I own nothing. This may end up being slash. Regardless, inspired by TexasAries’ recent and very slashy Don/Xander manip called “Passionate Hunger,” which I also don't own (see below for pretty).
Still don't own teh pretties :(
State lines had been crossed by the fifth victim. A serial mutilator and killer with over twelve victims now. Don had kept Charlie as far away from this case as possible. The torments the victims had been subjected to before they were killed sounded like something out of a horror novel or an urban legend about a P.O.W.
Don was in over his head, and he was beginning to realize it. Quantico hadn’t just sent down a whole BAU team for this freak, they’d sent a specialist, a consultant.
And now he was ten minutes late for meeting them at the airport.
Dr. Spencer Reid frowned in contemplation. JJ hadn’t mentioned before that they would be working with, not just the local FBI office, but with a civilian consultant. Oh, the man had certainly proven his worth to other agencies and even with other FBI teams, but Gideon and Hotch’s BAU worked a little differently from other teams.
He would arrive at the same airport on a commercial flight out of Ohio not long after they set down, weather willing. Not that California typically had problems requiring planes to divert to other airports…
Spencer supposed he was being so temperamental because for the first time since their pen-pal relationship had begun, he was in Lila’s part of the country. She, however, was filming in, of all places, Greenland. At least it meant Morgan wouldn’t find them out and tease Reid mercilessly while they worked the case.
Of the case, Spencer had no complaints. It was quite a difficult puzzle, a mutilator who left no evidence and no obvious or unique tool-marks. His victims were diverse, they were left in dissimilar places, and the only constant, the only thing resembling a signature, was the strange mark carved in the victims’ foreheads.
He absently let JJ lead him off the plane and equally vacantly allowed himself to be stopped from walking further. JJ tapped his shoulder and he finally looked up from his thoughts.
“I’m Supervisory Special Agent Don Eppes,” the well-built, well-muscled man told the BAU. Despite his neatly pressed suit, he had obviously been constructed with one thing in mind: athleticism. He introduced the equally muscled man as Special Agent Colby Granger. “The civilian consultant’s flight was delayed, he’s supposed to be on the strip in another fifteen minutes. Do you want to head on to the hotel or wait with me? You’ll have to split up, I think – with Granger driving his SUV, at least one of you has to wait for my SUV if you want your luggage going with you.”
“We’ll wait,” Gideon replied. They ambled to the consultant’s gate and the BAU dropped their bags temporarily.
“Can I get you folks anything?” Granger asked, clearly uncomfortable with the wait.
“Coffee,” came the rousing cry.
“I’ll come with you, I know what they’ll want,” Reid shrugged.
“Then I’ll get Don’s and mine,” Granger smiled.
“So, your team uses first names?” Reid asked interestedly as they made their way over to the airport café. Granger nodded.
“You get into enough life-or-death situations with people, you usually start to trust them. Sometimes you get to be friends. That was how it was in Afghanistan, that’s how it is in L.A.”
“Yeah, I was a Ranger,” Granger shrugged. “When my service was up, I decided not to go back to Dad’s corn farm,” he laughed. “I wanted to do something to protect my country from terrorism before the terrorists got anywhere, but Homeland Security was not the gig for me, so I went Fed.”
Reid nodded. “Ex-military makes up a remarkable number of most branches of law enforcement.”
“So, aren’t you pretty young for the BAU? I read the requirements for profiling and it promptly discouraged me from ever believing I could do it.”
“I am young for it,” Reid admitted. “But I was young for a lot of the things I did. I have three PhDs – psychology, criminal psychology, and forensic profiling. I’ve been getting a masters in forensic science between cases, so it’s taking longer than anticipated.”
“Young and overqualified,” Granger mused. “So, you’re a genius, then?”
“Depends on the definition.”
“Three doctorates before you’re twenty-five, at least a year or two’s experience in the BAU at the same time, and everything you must have done to achieve that…I’d say it does. Don’t worry about getting flak at our end – Don’s younger brother, Charlie, he’s a math genius and is quite often our math consultant for cases. I’ve probably heard about more higher math from twenty, thirty cases with him than I learned in college Trig, Calc I, Calc II, and Calc III combined.”
“May I take your orders?” the bored-looking cashier asked. Spencer recited the team’s coffee orders from memory, and Granger tacked on his and Don’s. Between them, they carried eight cups of coffee back to the gate. By the time they got there, the consultant’s plane was landing.
“What’s the consultant’s name, Agent Eppes? JJ didn’t even hear about him until we were over Oklahoma,” Hotch prompted.
“It was blacked out of my files,” Don replied, chewing his gum viciously even as he accepted the coffee from Colby. “I called a friend of mine at the Pentagon and he said we’d know if the guy decided to tell us.”
“Are we supposed to be able to recognize him somehow?” Morgan asked.
“My buddy said he’d probably find us before we even saw him, but if we got impatient, our consultant is probably the only man in the airport with an eye patch.”
“It is fairly descriptive,” someone remarked, “but Colonel Ewing didn’t know I got a prosthetic last month.”
The FBI agents all stood to stare at a tall, brunet man with whiskey brown eyes. It took Spencer a second to figure out which one was fake. The consultant was a handsome, fit-looking man who filled his deep blue silk shirt admirably. His black suit coat was slung over his forearm, making it nearly invisible against his matching slacks. His tie was a complementary, though somewhat lighter blue, silk.
If he hadn’t been so utterly dashing, the whole affect of the neatly put together suit, the cultivated image and the mystique of a lost eye would have crumbled under the bright, boyish grin the consultant now sported. “You folks are clearly feebs, but I came with little instruction aside from that. Someone want to fill me in?”
“We’ll have to know what to call you first,” Hotch told him pointedly.
“Can we discuss as we meander towards baggage claim? Call me Xander, by the way.”
“Just Xander,” the consultant replied with a more mischievous grin than before.