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Anyone else get hit suddenly with story ideas when they shower? I had an outline for the story ringing in my head long before I sat down to start typing this. It's an alternate universe, with implied Reid-whumping of course. Also gave me an excuse not to pay detailed attention to canon since I'm only a few episodes into season 3. (Nope, no Rossi yet. ;;^^)

Thanks to all the comments on my first Criminal Minds story! You really encouraged me. =)

Points of Authority (1/2)

By Clarity Scifiroots

Fandom: Criminal Minds (Disclaimers apply! This is a fan’s work.)

Characters: Hotch, Reid, Gideon, Prentiss, Morgan, Elle, JJ, Garcia

Genre: AU, pre-slash (Hotch/Reid)

Rating: Teen

Warnings: Allusions to physical and sexual abuse

Spoilers: The Fisher King episodes & aftermath

Summary: In an alternate reality, the BAU team is called to Las Vegas to determine if the right man was convicted in a series of murders. (Yeah, this is probably the beginning of a series…)

--- --- ---

                “Las Vegas, Nevada,” JJ announced as the final member of the Behavioral Analysis Unit team took a seat at the conference table. She pressed the remote to bring up pictures of three dead women on the screen. There was no blood in the top two photos; one of the women looked as if she’d died in her sleep. The bottom picture showed a woman covered in bruises and blood.

                “Why did the police connect these three crimes?” Emily Prentiss asked, frowning. “The third woman died under very different circumstances.”

                JJ moved forward, the next screen presenting three cameo photos. Each woman sat with one or two other people – probably family members – but their expressions were distant and paid no attention to the camera. “All three women were being treated for schizophrenia. They’re within the same age range of forty to forty-five, and they knew each other.”

                Unit chief Aaron Hotchner looked up from his copy of the file. “JJ, it says the locals already convicted someone for the murders four months ago.”

                “There’s been a fourth,” she answered, flipping to another page – family photo on the left and the crime scene on the right. There was blood on an overturned end table and underneath the woman’s head. “She didn’t know the other women, as far as local police can tell, but she fits the other victimology aspects. Local law enforcement is basically divided into two different camps. One side believes they convicted the right man and this is a copycat killing, the other side wants assurance that they didn’t get the wrong guy.”

                “Does anyone think this, uh…” Derek Morgan flipped through the file to get the name, “Spencer Reid is innocent?”

                “I don’t know.”

                Hotch nodded to his team as he stood. “Meet at the jet in one hour.”

                Elle Greenaway lingered behind with JJ, an unreadable expression on her face. In the doorway Jason Gideon stopped to watch.

                “Do you have more information on Reid?” Elle asked, her folder opened to the booking photo of a weary-looking young man with chin-length hair and bright eyes.

                “I’ve provided everything they sent,” JJ said, tilting her head in silent question.

                Elle pursed her lips, shaking her head slowly as she stared down at the folder. “He wouldn’t last.”

                “What?” JJ’s gaze flickered to Gideon. Elle had been having some dramatic mood swings in the months since being shot in her own home by an unsub.

                “Look at him!” Elle laughed bitterly. “You think anyone would leave a kid like him alone in prison? Jesus, if he wasn’t so damn tired he’d look like jailbait.”

                Gideon stepped in with the quiet comment, “You don’t know if he’s innocent.”

                Elle shut her folder and turned to face him. Her eyes hard, she said, “And what if he is?” She left the room before either could answer.


                Hotch assigned Elle to the newest crime scene, ignoring her angry glare when he announced he’d take Prentiss to interview Reid. He was relieved that Prentiss didn’t comment about Elle’s behavior on their way to the prison. Instead she focused on the expanded file they’d received on Spencer Reid.

                “He’s a genius, Hotch. Literally. Three PhDs, two completed BAs, and prior to his conviction he was working on a third undergraduate degree. Graduated high school at age twelve. It was just him and his mother after the father left when he was ten.” She frowned as she skimmed some portions of the initial police interview. “Do you really think he’d kill his mother? It seems… unusual that she was the only one who showed significant signs of self defense. It doesn’t fit with the idea of a mercy killing.”

                “I doubt any of these women wanted to die; and if Diana Reid was in one of her paranoid episodes, it would be much harder to subdue her.”

                Prentiss didn’t say anything else until the security gate came in sight.

                “I have a bad feeling about this.”

                “I need you to remain objective,” Hotch cautioned. “We don’t have enough information yet to decide one way or the other.” Prentiss nodded.


                A guard had taken the precaution to lock Reid’s handcuffs to the table before the FBI arrived. Hotch entered the room with Prentiss a step behind. Although Reid sat up straight and had his hands folded in front of him, he didn’t lift his head when the door opened.

                Hotch assessed the young man as he moved to his seat. Reid’s hair was now short and haphazardly cut, tufts of hair sticking up at odd angles. The knuckles of his right hand were scraped. A large, yellowing bruise in the shape of fingers framed his elbow. A fresh, pink scar disappeared beneath his shirt collar. Hotch had a suspicion as to why the young man kept his head down.

                Prentiss took over introductions. “Dr. Reid,” she began respectfully, “I’m Special Agent Emily Prentiss from the FBI. This is Special Agent Hotchner.”

                Reid twitched at the word FBI. It took him a moment to answer. “There’s another murder.” He glanced up, lifting his face just a little. A dark bruise ringed one eye and the lids could barely open. He flashed a humorless smirk when he saw Hotch frown.

                “What makes you say that?” Prentiss asked.

                “It’s the logical conclusion to draw. If there’s been another murder, it casts doubt onto the guilty verdict and the locals know they’ll need outside help to determine whether or not this is a copycat.”

                “Are you suggesting it is a copycat?” Hotch asked.

                Reid’s expression tightened. “I maintain my innocence. I am not guilty.”

                “Apparently a jury found compelling evidence to say otherwise.”

                “Why would I kill my mother, her friend, and a woman who was trying to help them both?” Reid’s chin lifted, revealing a split lip and yellow-green bruises along his lower jaw – more fingerprints. For a moment Hotch ignored the young man’s words as a jolt of cold shot along his spine.

                Prentiss calmly said, “There is a theory that these were mercy killings.”

                Reid grimaced. “My mother was ill, not miserable,” he said in a tight voice. “You have the reports. You know she fought.”

                “You said one of the women was trying to help?” Hotch prompted.

                “Ms. Grenwitch. Her schizophrenia responded well to medication and other therapy. She functioned on her own much better than my mother did. Ms. Grenwitch did a couple of support groups, usually for families to help them—us understand.”

                “It must have been difficult to care for her,” Prentiss said.

                Reid stared at her. “I loved my mom. Yeah, it was difficult, but I had studied care options for years. I was prepared to make the best possible arrangements for her if I couldn’t care for her by myself anymore.”

                “So you didn’t see her has a burden? What about the other families?”

                “You’ll have to ask them.” Reid’s expression went blank and Hotch knew the conversation was over.

                “We will.” Hotch stood and Prentiss followed his lead. “If you think of anything that could help us close this case, we can speak again later.” Reid said nothing, eyes fixed on his hands.

                Prentiss had opened the door when Reid asked, “What unit?”


                “Which unit of the FBI?”

                Hotch studied Reid as he answered, “BAU. Beha—”

                “Behavioral Analysis Unit.” A twisted smile, more like a grimace, crossed the man’s face. “Ironic,” he muttered, ducking his head. Hotch shot Prentiss a look and she shook her head slightly; neither of them thought Reid would elaborate right now.

                As soon as they’d cleared the building, Prentiss pulled her cell phone out and dialed for Garcia. She pressed the button for speaker just as the last ring sounded.

                “You have reached the temple of the All-Knowing Goddess,” came the perky greeting.

                “I need you to run the name Spencer Reid in connection to anything related to the FBI,” Hotch said without preamble.

                “Yessir!” Seconds later she gave a startled noise of surprise as one of her computers beeped. “This is weird, sir. Doctor Spencer Reid of Las Vegas, Nevada?”

                “Yes,” Prentiss frowned at her phone. “What’s weird?”

                “He filled out an application to join the BAU.”

                Hotch tapped Reid’s folder against his thigh, running the interview over in his mind.

                Prentiss said, “Garcia, can you dig up some more information about Dr. Reid’s interest in the FBI? And his relationship with his mother.”

                “You betcha!”

                Prentiss snapped her phone shut and looked over at Hotch. “You know that bad feeling I had? It just got worse.”

                Hotch didn’t say anything, pushing aside his own unease as they got into the car.


                The BAU team appropriated a small conference room set apart from the squad room at the police station. The two lead detectives from the previous homicides and their supervisor joined them as they analyzed the available evidence.

                Four hours later, Gideon turned to the locals with a grim expression. “Gentlemen, I believe there’s still a killer on the loose.”

                Chief Brandon Crawford’s lips thinned.

                “Fuck me,” hissed Jack Lind. “No. We did everything right. We did our jobs and a jury approved!” He jabbed his finger at the team. “You were not here last year. You didn’t do the legwork. It was a good conviction!”

                “We’ll need to talk to the families of the other victims,” Gideon announced calmly. “Detective Lind, would you prefer to let an innocent man sit in jail instead of pursuing an alternative avenue?”

                “You don’t know for sure, yet,” Lind’s partner muttered, but his expression gave away his unease.

                “I trust we’ll find the evidence leading to a different perpetrator.”


                Elle and Morgan were partnered to talk to the daughter and son-in-law of Linda Wells, the first victim. Hotch took Prentiss to see Lynette Grenwitch’s family. Gideon recruited JJ for a different aspect of the case.

                “Sir?” JJ questioned as Gideon set a stack of print-outs in front of her. He held the police’s file on Reid under one arm.

                “This case is more than finding our unsub. I need you on Spencer Reid. Those are from Garcia. Connect with her. I’ll be out to see the latest family, but I want to be kept up-to-date.”

                “Any suggestions on what I should be looking for?” she asked, flipping through the top pages of Garcia’s fax. “I mean, won’t it be the capture of the unsub that will clear this guy’s name?”

                Gideon offered her a familiar mysterious smile. As he walked out the door he murmured, “I want to know this kid.”


Continued in next post


( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
Sep. 16th, 2009 11:10 pm (UTC)
OMG! Sooo good, great fic, I love how Reid isn't part of the team and you have included both elle and prentiss, can't wait to read more, completley transfixed :)
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )