03 January 2012 @ 09:03 pm
Solitary Confinement (1/?)  
Title: Solitary Confinement
Author: Merucha
Crossover: Criminal Minds/Torchwood
Characters: Everyone's here, more or less
Rating: Some chapters definitely not safe for work.
Disclaimer: Oh, please. If I owned them, would I let some of those idiots write the scripts? And if I were making any money off them, would I be where they could find me?
Summary: Aaron Hotchner's secrets and the real reason for the existence of the BAU team is revealed when a terrible serial killer strikes...
Author's Note: People are the only mirror we have to see ourselves in. The domain of all meaning. All virtue, all evil, are contained only in people. There is none in the universe at large. Solitary confinement is a punishment in every human culture. Lois McMaster Bujold. Mirror Dance.
Author's Note: This is AU several times over! I have decided to simply let it stand without trying to shoehorn it into canon for either series; the only thing I do know is that this takes place sometime in CM series six, and that the events at the end of Torchwood's series two didn't happen quite as expected. Also, this is not the Doctor Who crossover I posted about earlier. That's giving me headaches you wouldn't believe, and this muse came knocking at my door bringing chocolate and Hotch/Reid, so who could turn her away? Not me.


Aaron Hotchner slid the document back into the interoffice envelope, checked off his name on the routing list, and threw it into the outbox with a contemptuous snort. Strauss's latest brain wave was setting department heads at loggerheads, and even though he and his team were not really involved, it was taking time to counter her bureucratic stupidity. One of these days he was going to have to deal with Strauss permanently. Under any other circumstances he would have done something about it earlier, but their interminable political battles had so far provided the perfect cover for his other activities.

He activated the bypass subroutine that took his computer out of the FBI net, leaving behind a ghost image that created the illusion that he was still there, busily working away at his reports. It was one of Penelope's better efforts, and one of the main reasons why the other ATCU leaders regularly tried to poach her. Well, he was willing to share the software but Garcia was definitely going to stay where she was.

He scanned the files compiled by the newsbots. The New York situation was getting out of control. His contact in the NYPD had already started lobbying quietly, and he expected a call any minute. Not that he thought it was aliens. There hadn't been one confirmed sighting in New York since the nineteen thirties, and besides, he was old and wise enough to not wish for the kind of excitement he experienced during his annual trips to Cardiff. But there was definitely something wrong with all those deaths. Too many rich men dying in quick succession and too many fancily worded equivalents of beats me from some of the best medical examiners in the country.

A 'read me' icon appeared at the upper right-hand corner of his screen. He grinned at the tiny whirling TARDIS that opened to show a hand thrusting out an envelope; Penelope must have been bored. He watched as it went through the routine a couple of times, then, the next time the hand appeared, he clicked on the envelope.

There's been another murder. No details yet. Their boss is on the phone with the big guy upstairs. Also local FBI office, all screaming for help. Stay tuned on regular channel.

He sent back a brief thank you and logged out of the ATCU net. Pulling a folder from his inbox, he started to review the final reports filed by the unit on the Devil's Night case, keeping his ears open to the sounds outside. He didn't have long to wait. A rapid tapping of heels and a soft knock on the door announced Penelope's arrival.

“We have a new case, sir,” she said. “Briefing in fifteen.”

“Thank you, Garcia.” He gave her an impudent grin and she snorted before smiling back. “Everyone in?”

“Rossi's on his way back from his lecture. That's why fifteen.”

“Gives me a chance to get a fresh cup of coffee.” He sniffed in disgust at the cold, cloudy liquid in his cup. “The good stuff this time.”

They walked together to the break room and made coffee using Hotch's personal stash, delivered from Cardiff every three months by UNIT courier. The smell made Reid, Prentiss, and Morgan drift in, cups in hand, wearing similarly hopeful expressions. Hotch watched them banter with Garcia. Morgan was shaping up into a good leader, and in spite of their frequently butting heads he had become someone Hotch trusted implicitly. He had put Morgan's name high on the list of possible ATCU trainees more than a year earlier. Prentiss he wasn't so sure about. It wasn't a matter of intelligence or bravery; she had plenty of both. But there was a brittleness in her character that suggested unresolved issues of the kind that could break her if she came into contact with Torchwood.

Reid was another matter. Hotch never could quite pinpoint the moment when gawky, nerdy Spencer Reid had turned into a handsome young man, but he could absolutely point to the exact moment when he realized his affection for Reid had turned into sexual attraction. Reid had arrived late for a briefing, wearing a new hairstyle that bared the nape of his neck and somehow emphasized his cheekbones and made his eyes look huge. Hotch had felt himself getting hard, and had barely managed a quip to cover up his discomfort: what, did you join a boy band? Unfortunately, Spencer's half-embarrassed nooo had made Hotch focus on that lovely mouth. He had never been so thankful for good tailoring and large file folders.

It made it hard to be objective about Reid. The young genius was Torchwood material par excellence. Anyone else and he would be on an UNIT transport to Cardiff before he could say aliens?! But Hotch also had personal knowledge of how dangerous the alien-catching business was; the running joke was that Torchwood could afford to fund a generous pension scheme because nobody ever lived to collect. The idea of Reid killed by a weevil or converted into a Cyberman twisted his guts. He would make the decision when he had to, and not a minute earlier.

“Hey, Hotch, you all right?” Morgan tapped his arm. “You seem a million miles away.”

“Just thinking.” He accepted his mug from Garcia. “Everyone ready?”

Garcia toasted him with a mug in each hand. “I got Rossi covered.”

“Conference room.”

As they were crossing the bullpen, the elevator doors opened and a rather soggy Rossi marched in. He made a beeline for Garcia, grabbed his mug, and took a healthy swig.

“I hate the rain. Where are the fabled golden, cool days of fall in DC? Tell me we have a case in New Orleans. Better yet, Miami Beach.”

“Not New Orleans,” chorused Morgan and Reid.

“All right, Miami Beach it is.” He followed the parade up the stairs and into the conference room. “Saw Ashley at the academy. She seems to be having a great time.”

“You either love or hate the advanced seminars,” Morgan said. “I hated the damn things.”

“Some people like school,” Reid said impishly.

“Yeah, yeah, genius boy.” Morgan picked up his iPad. “What do we have, Garcia?”

She used the remote to project the image in her laptop to the large screen. “We have six very wealthy men dead in New York City in the last three months. They all seem to have died of heart attacks, but not a single medical examiner is willing to put their name and reputation to a definite cause. Now, this is the interesting thing. The police has found a number of similarities in all deaths, and it has them spooked.”

“They have nothing in common. Well, other than being very rich New Yorkers.” Prentiss stared at the photos on the screen. “Peter Makris comes from a wealthy Greek family, owned and ran Skyros, a very successful and very posh restaurant. Jorge Marin Castillo was the vice-president and co-founder of Golden Age Software. Ronald Benen, CEO of Benen investments. Count Giovanni Borromeo was an art expert and dealer. Steve Wright, superstar basketball player, retired, spending his days coaching inner city kids and making commercials. Alexander Beall was CEO of Beall and Associates, a real estate management firm.”

“The only other thing they have in common, other than their way of departing this world,” Garcia said, “is that each married less than a year ago, and each wrote a will leaving the bulk of their estate to their wives. You can imagine the hell the other relatives are raising.”

Rossi snorted. “So why are they calling us in now?”

“Other than they want to pass the buck and have all those relatives directing their energies in our direction?” Garcia clicked the remote and a second image appeared on the screen. “This is Peter Beall. He showed up unannounced to visit Daddy. He did that regularly because Daddy controlled the purse strings. That's how they found him.”

Peter Beall sat on the floor in a corner of the interrogation room, arms around knees, rocking and babbling. Morgan whistled.

“Whatever he saw scared him out of his mind.”

“So it would seem,” Reid said as he looked through the papers in front of him. “Except that it's hard to figure out what could have done it. All were found at their homes, sitting at their desk, with a tea service nearby. They had drunk one cup each. The other cups had not been used. No break in. No fingerprints or footprints. No signs of violence of any kind. In fact, forensic evidence is pretty much non-existent.”

Morgan scanned the post-mortem reports. “Nothing on the bodies, either, except... put that picture up on the screen, would you baby girl?” They all stared at the image of a man's chest. “Are those pin-pricks?”

“Look like it,” Reid picked up the picture in his file. “That's odd. Garcia, did you run a pattern recognition program on that?”

“Please. Am I the Goddess of Research or not?” She clicked the remote one more time. “That's what it came up with.”

A series of lines appeared, moving rapidly into a pattern of a five-pointed star set inside a circle.

“What the hell?” Prentiss stared open-mouthed. “A pentagram?”

“Technically, it is a pentacle,” Reid said. “When a pentagram is enclosed in any other figure, especially a circle, it is called a pentacle. But that's a very unusual one. The outside figure looks like a circle, but it isn't. Garcia, can you magnify it? Thanks. See the segments? It's a tetradecagon. A polygon with fourteen sides.”

Hotch stared at the image. There was something about fourteen, the number fourteen.... he relaxed, breathing in and out slowly, releasing his thoughts the way Jack had taught him, letting his mind do the work of retrieval.

And there is was. A late night conversation with Martha Jones while they waited for the team to return from a meeting with some Arkans who had decided to hold their one hundredth wedding anniversary playing spook-the-locals on Cardiff Bay. When she was traveling with the doctor she had met a race with an obsession for the number fourteen. It had taken the combined efforts of Martha, the Doctor, and William Shakespeare to banish them. Their technology was indistinguishable from what humans called witchcraft, and their favorite trick was to transform themselves into beautiful young women and manipulate men into doing their bidding.

Carrionites. That was their name. Carrionites.

He looked up and found everyone looking at him expectantly. He gave Garcia a nod, knowing she would understand. “We have a new case.Wheels up in an hour.”

( Post a new comment )
[identity profile] mercury-gryphon.livejournal.com on January 4th, 2012 02:46 am (UTC)
Oh thank you for this!! It's brilliant so far. Can't wait for more.
Merucha[personal profile] merucha on January 4th, 2012 02:56 am (UTC)
Thank you!
Merzibelle: Criminal Minds - Reid - Err...[personal profile] merzibelle on January 4th, 2012 02:54 am (UTC)
You stopped... I must get the cold, wet noodle out to threaten you with. ;)
Merucha[personal profile] merucha on January 4th, 2012 02:57 am (UTC)
Not the noodle, not the noodle! :D
Merzibelle: Criminal Minds - Reid's thinking hard[personal profile] merzibelle on January 4th, 2012 03:01 am (UTC)
Oh yes, the noodle!
kendermaus[personal profile] kendermaus on January 4th, 2012 04:31 am (UTC)
careful, she's deadly with that noodle. I think you should write more soon! ::grin::

::ducking from noodle being headed HER way::

Merzibelle: Garfield - More Coffee[personal profile] merzibelle on January 4th, 2012 06:30 am (UTC)
*gets a second noodle for other hand for Maus*
kendermaus[personal profile] kendermaus on January 5th, 2012 04:37 am (UTC)

Merzibelle: Sentiment - Evil Genius Moment[personal profile] merzibelle on January 5th, 2012 05:38 am (UTC)
rednwhiterose[personal profile] rednwhiterose on January 4th, 2012 03:32 am (UTC)

I haven't started reading, beyond the notes and summary, cuz it's my bedtime; and I have to go to bed! But I less than three you so much and you are awesome and full of win and *dies*

Your bunnies are AWESOME!!!
Merucha[personal profile] merucha on January 4th, 2012 03:41 am (UTC)
Let me know what you think AFTER you read it! :D
kendermaus: Wimsey - Do Tell[personal profile] kendermaus on January 4th, 2012 04:39 am (UTC)
this is amazingly fun! I cannot WAIT to see how this plays out. Penny and her TARDIS "you have a message" icon. SO CUTE (and SOOO her). So... curious mausy minds want to know, has our luscious Penny traveled in said Blue Box... or does she simply KNOW about it? Because you KNOW she'd give the Doc a run for his money.

LOVE Aaron in this and cannot wait to see him interact with the TW-Cardiff team (if we GET to see that ::hopeful look::) The fact he gets the "GOOD STUFF" sent from Cardiff every three months... can SO see that. Aaron is a man who knows quality when he sees it! I am curious about the "old and wise enough" comment though, is there more to our Aaron than meets the eye? (Or is it a "Not the years but the Mileage" type comment? ::grin::)

Also curious about how Jack and crew reacted to all Aaron went through with Foyet. I can't see Jack Harkness taking it well when one of "his" is attacked that way (especially since Aaron looks as good in a suit as Ianto imho ::grin::).

Anyway... LOVE this so far and cannot WAIT to read more!

the kendermouse
Merucha[personal profile] merucha on January 5th, 2012 02:15 am (UTC)
Yes, we do get to see them ALL interact with TW. And it's definitely a mileage issue with Hotch. We'll see aspects of Hotch's life discussed as we go... :D
kendermaus[personal profile] kendermaus on January 5th, 2012 04:37 am (UTC)

Can't wait for the next part....
well, i CAN... just not without EXTREME Bouncing in anticipation. ::grin::

wynkat: TW - Jack cookiessmall[personal profile] wynkat on January 4th, 2012 08:40 am (UTC)
Oh yum!!! I love this blend, such a great idea, and a great start. Can't wait to see where you go with this.
Merucha[personal profile] merucha on January 5th, 2012 02:15 am (UTC)
Thank you!
[personal profile] yanto on January 4th, 2012 03:30 pm (UTC)
i am sending you and your muse virtual chocolate and hot cocoa with whipped cream and sprinkles on top for bringing two of my favorite things together.
Merucha[personal profile] merucha on January 5th, 2012 02:16 am (UTC)
OOOOH, muse loves that combination!
hab318princess[personal profile] hab318princess on January 8th, 2012 02:24 pm (UTC)
very intriguing start... looking forward to more
Merucha[personal profile] merucha on January 9th, 2012 03:05 am (UTC)
thank you! we'll see what happens...