[identity profile] polarsternchen2.livejournal.com in [community profile] cm_hotch_reid
Title: Mockingbird
Chapter 14

Summary: Silence of the Lambs AU. Reid is sent to interview serial killer Aaron Hotchner in prison because he will not be interviewed by anyone else. They form a bond and eventually he will escape. Warnings: Slight AU, Hotch as UnSub, dark, might be slash later on.

Rating: PG-13

Warnings: angst, description of murders/violence.

Comment: I haven't posted here in a while. Sorry if you cannot find the previous chapters on lj. They are on ff.net under the pen name 2lot.

xxx



It took forever until he could get away from the office.

Well, maybe he could have gotten away sooner...if he hadn't still been fighting with himself, sick and overanxious at the same time at the thought of going back to the prison.

In the end, Morgan made the decision for him.

"Reid, you need to leave before you fall asleep where you're standing. You've been awake for 36 hours."

Actually it was more like 72, if one didn't count restless catnaps at his desk. He didn't say that to Morgan of course. He merely grabbed his satchel and left the building, heading for his car. The others had either left already or were still working on the case so no one questioned where he was actually going.

He had been worried about actually falling asleep behind the wheel on his way up to the prison, but, unsurprisingly, the closer he got to seeing Aaron Hotchner in person again, the more agitated and nervous he felt. Talking to him on the phone had felt comparatively easy and he thought he'd done well.

Seeing him in person again...he didn't know if it would work out as well.

Reid grimaced. He knew he was overworked and should sleep so he could focus and have his full strength to do this. But obviously that was out of the question given the situation.

He could only make do and hope he didn't screw up again. Last time he had messed up, carried away by his own emotions.

But not again. Hotchner hated JJ and Gideon and the team, so he would constantly say horrible things to do with them. Just like he would keep saying disturbing things about killing and corpses .was. .

He just had to get over that already like any good profiler would -although not any profiler had to deal with his particular case of PTSD- and focus on the two things that mattered.

One, Hotchner was one of the keys to this case.

And two, he saw something in Reid.

It had been so easy to forget because of Hotchner's creepy behavior – but everything he'd said so far made it clear he really wanted him as a friend, an ally. Hotchner wanted to believe Reid was on his side, he'd even accepted his less than friendly behavior towards him and ascribed it to the amnesia.

There had been that one disturbing comment about JJ's face last time, yes, but the more he thought about that the more he was starting to believe that that had really just been Hotchner lashing out in frustration over Reid protecting JJ, taking her side.

It was obvious he did not really think of him like he did of her though -why else would he have wanted him to come back otherwise?

Right. It had been his own fault. He would have to keep better control in the future, keep any too judgmental comments to himself and sit through any subtle taunting and games. He would let the man get it out, make him feel better, get rid of some of his pent up frustrations; it wouldn't be easy but eventually he would go home with the information he needed.

Right.

He parked in front of the prison. It wasn't until he killed the engine and no silence followed that he registered the sound of rain hitting the windshield. He blinked, peering out into the night to find that it was pouring outside. "Crap..."

He glanced at the clock in the dashboard to check the time and cursed a second time. Damn, he hadn't realized it was basically the middle of the night. Would there even be anyone to let him in? Would Hotchner even be awake?

He ran towards the entrance but still got soaked. The guard – the one who had saved him last time- was one of the only ones there. He looked at Reid with a worried expression, first because of his appearance, then when he demanded to see Hotchner.

Reid smiled at him as he passed him, undeterred. Not this time.

Slightly breathless, he finally stood in front of Hotchner's cell again. It was dark in the corridor as well, nothing but the faint sound of electronics and the other inmates shuffling around in their sleep audible. Reid stopped where the chair had stood before, peering into the dark cell. For a moment he was convinced Hotchner was sleeping, disappointment coursing through him.

"When you said you'd visit I didn't think you meant a night call."

Reid tensed, his eyes zeroing in on the figure that slowly began to separate from the darkness. Hotchner stepped towards the bars, looking as fresh and alert as though he hadn't been sleeping at all.

"There was no time during the day," Reid swallowed, reminding himself to be calm and neutral from start to finish this time, "Is this a bad time?"

He heard Hotchner chuckle, wryly, "It's always a good time around here, Spencer."

Spencer immediately wanted to slap himself for saying something so stupid and reminding the convict of his situation.

Surprisingly though, Hotchner's expression was just as easily calm as Spencer wished for his to be. It threw him off -despite his lengthy inner monologue earlier he'd subconsciously still been afraid that Hotchner would continue to be hostile and menacing towards him. Huh...

Well, this was one unexplained mood shift he would happily accept...if it was authentic. He could only hope.

"Sorry, I didn't-"

Hotchner just shook his head though. "It's fine. With the way you look, it seems a miracle you can string two related sentences together. I see you decided that not sleeping wouldn't do you in fast enough and added hypothermia to the mix?"

The humor all but vanished from his dark eyes as they traveled over Spencer's dripping hair and clothes. Spencer blinked in surprise at finding that the man looked displeased if not...concerned?

'One hell of a mood shift, that is.' And he'd been worried the man would threaten his life again... 'What is going on now...?'

He just so kept himself from shaking his head. Again, this wasn't going how he had expected it to. One would think that the more often he came here the better he'd understand Aaron Hotchner's games. And yet he was still as lost as on the first day.

Luckily, today he remembered to stick to his game plan. Neutral. Friendly and neutral.

"It's raining outside."

Hotchner hummed, nodding slowly, his eyes never losing their focus despite the dark. "Evidently. You should take that off." He nodded towards Reid's drenched coat and scarf, "You'll catch your death in here."

He smiled another smile that didn't reach his eyes when Reid's expression slipped briefly at that. 'There it is. not done with the threats after all, huh? Well, that would have been too much anyway...' Despite the dread that immediately coiled in his gut, the young agent lifted his chin, shrugging off his jacket without blinking. This time he wouldn't be intimidated by mere words anymore. Or looks...

As hard as he tried he couldn't ignore the way Hotchner's eyes remained on him, watching as he pulled off his scarf. Unblinking. Unfathomable. 'God, why wont he just-? Focus!'

His shirt and pants were damp as well but he ignored the chill it gave him. He felt naked and vulnerable enough under the other man's gaze.

'Alright, on with it!'

"I'm fine. I..." he crossed his arms in front of his chest in an attempt to look like he wasn't fidgety, "I came to thank you again for the information you gave me. It was very useful. We're so much closer to finding the killer."

Hotchner's expression cooled instantly, though he still hid any emotions he might have better than Reid ever could have. "Thrilled to hear it," his smile was all teeth now.

"Yes," Reid didn't allow himself to be deterred, "and I was hoping you could help me find out just how the UnsSub picks his victims or if there is a pattern to his kills maybe?"

It was very forward to just ask for help right out, cutting short their 'polite smalltalk', and he could see Hotchner wasn't happy, but he was just too antsy not to. His heart sunk when the convict merely looked at him for a long moment, his expression unreadable in the half-dark -only to then turn around and walk away from the bars.

No!

He stepped towards the cell instinctively, like he could somehow keep the man from leaving the conversation -only to all but jump three feet in the air when Hotchner suddenly reappeared by the bars, holding something in his hands. His heart missed a beat, and he tensed, ready for anything...until Hotchner lifted the object in his hand and slowly held it out in front of him, pushing it threw the bars.

It was a towel.

For a moment Reid was so surprised he couldn't think anything. Why-?

Suspicion flickered up immediately after that and he drew away from the bars, expecting anything to follow...what was this now? A trap? A diversion? A test?

"It's only a towel, Spencer," Hotchner didn't move any closer, one eyebrow raised expectantly as he waited for Reid to move. Merely a brief twitch of the corner of his mouth followed the agent's incredulous expression. "No point in telling you anything if you croak tomorrow anyway. Come now, I don't bite."

Reid balled his hands to fists to keep from reacting. Again. Not. Reassuring. Why did this man keep-? Crap, he didn't even know what Hotchner was doing anymore...

Both men stared at each other for a long moment, Reid torn between instinct yelling at him not to let himself be baited and ego telling him to not back down and prove -pretend- he wasn't afraid.

In the end, he didn't know why he reached for the towel, if it was stupidity or if he actually thought he saw something reassuring in Hotchner's watchful eyes. Maybe they were both the same thing.

He made sure to stay out of range of Hotchner's reach as best as he could, mindful of their first visit days ago. Still, when he finally held the towel in both hands, stepping back into the hall with it, he was honestly surprised he still had his hand.

He was sure his confusion was written all over his face -but if so, Hotchner made not attempt to explain himself, merely watching silently as Reid carefully dried his face and then his hair. He waited until the young agent had finished, the towel now wrapped around his shoulders, only to then suddenly change the subject back to where it had been.

"Now. The pattern." He shrugged, "You already know the pattern."

It took Reid a short moment to catch up with the change in topic but then he forcefully pulled himself together, pushing all nagging questions about Hotchner's motives out of his mind for the sake of the case.

"He travels along the highway and abducts them along the road," he recited, "always in almost the same places. What I don't get is: Why these women? They were all Caucasian, mostly light hair...but that's it. They have nothing else in common, even the ages are all over the place. I don't see what he wants-"

"You don't think it's possible," Hotchner fell in, "that he could just kill randomly...whoever he can get his hands on? Just to satisfy his compulsive desire?"

Reid blinked, taken by surprise,"Is he?"

Hotchner smiled, taking a long moment to shake his head. Reid groaned inwardly but stayed quiet, waiting.

Eventually, Hotchner relented, "He never said anything about how he picks them. I have my theories though. Deep down he is the same as everybody else...he is governed by the same instinctive urges as everybody else. It is his nature to covet...just what he covets is a little different from the norm."

He gazed at Spencer who was listening raptly then, looking like he was internally debating something.

"Now," he finally continued after a short pause, "How do we begin to covet, Spencer? Do we seek out things to covet?"

Reid blinked, again taken aback by the turn in the conversation. It took him a little longer to pull himself together this time, especially trying to convince himself that Hotchner's stare wasn't bordering on creepy once again.

Covet?

„No. We just-"

"No," Hotchner hummed, his smile darkening, "We begin by coveting what we see every day."

His gaze turned absent, like he was lost in thought, dreamlike almost though no less dark. Spencer watched him with growing discomfort; he didn't want to know what the man was thinking about right now...

"What are you saying?" he asked a little too quickly, hoping to break the rebuilding tension.

He wouldn't have needed to. In the time it took for Hotchner to blink and refocus on him, the penny dropped. He gasped, staring with wide eyes.

„He knows her! The original woman...he must have known her! The other victims are surrogates for what he is really coveting." He grew more and more agitated as the pieces started to fall together and he saw Hotchner nod in agreement. „We- this is huge. It means if we could try to find out who the oldest remains belong to...we could find out who in her circle might have-"

But Hotchner interrupted him once again. „Don't bother. She's alive. He wrote to me about her."

„He didn't kill her?" Reid gasped, incredulous.

He was so excited about this new information that he was even forgetting to be angry with Hotchner for holding back these things only to feed him bits and pieces.

„No. It seems he wanted to, was even ready to...but he couldn't."

„Why?"

Hotchner leaned his elbows on the horizontal bars, pausing for a moment like he was thinking the answer over -or maybe, judging by the close look he gave him, about whether or not to tell him. Finally, he answered. „He fell in love with her."

„Love?" Reid interrupted automatically, "No, he's a psychopath, he could never-"

He broke off, startled when suddenly Hotchner's gaze turned sharp and piercing. „You think it's impossible just because he's a killer? That just because of what he has done he wouldn't be able to love someone?"

The carefully constructed mask on the convict's face seemed to shatter for a fraction of a second, revealing pain as well as anger -enough of it to make Reid take a step back before he could reign in his instincts.

"I-"

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


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