Status: complete

All the Madness in the World


"The father backward you can look, the farther forward you will see." - Winston Churchill


The last cardboard box toppled into the garbage bin, the label that before read Living Room blocked by other things. Now it just said Liv. Everything was now successfully moved in and unpacked, but in spite of this it still didn’t feel like home. My father’s grave and my mother’s much newer one were separated by almost half the country. But I wasn’t entirely alone here, and that was a source of comfort for me. Spencer was waiting at a restaurant fifteen minutes away, completely unaware of anything. I pulled out my phone and dialled a familiar number.

“You know, I was beginning to think you’d forgotten about me.”

“Please, you are so the forgettable type.” I teased, a smile creeping onto my face as he laughed. The car doors unlocked at my command and I clambered in, struggling to hold the phone and put on my seatbelt.

“How you been, T-Bird?”

“I’m surviving.” I pressed the phone between my shoulder and ear, re-reading the directions I’d gotten to the restaurant before easing out of my assigned parking spot. “I’m in town, you’re not on vacation or anything are you?”

“Vacation, that’s a distant dream, girl.”

“Well good, because I’m coming to visit on Tuesday. I’ve got a surprise for you!”

“Mmm, lace or leather?”

“Derek Morgan, you never change.”

“See ya Tuesday, Tasha.”

Three days was all I had to familiarize myself with the area, but I was faring decently. I just wanted to get there and see Spence and tell him the good news. I wouldn’t have to worry about him all the time because I’d see him every day. Uprooting my life for the second time was a small price to pay for (relative) peace of mind.


Spencer took a seat at his desk, heaving his bag off and setting it on the floor as he pointed out the chief’s office. He immediately took out the crossword from the morning’s paper and started filling it out effortlessly. I left him to his puzzle as I took determined steps up the stairs to where I’d been directed. On the door sat a golden plate, adorned in capital letters with the name AARON HOTCHNER in glossy black. Raising my hand, I knocked twice and turned the handle upon being summoned inside. I tentatively peered into the room, taking in the sight of the man I’d seen briefly a few times before. He looked the same, for the most part—over worked and tired—but there was a notable change, which I assumed was attributed to the trauma surrounding the loss of his wife. He looked up and I offered a smile, walking forward and holding out my hand.

“Hi, I’m Natasha Reid—I believe you’re my new boss?” He stood, pressing a hand to flatten the front of his blazer as his other reached out to meet mine.

“Of course, it’s great to have you here.” He looked down at his paperwork once, then to the clock, and finally settled on moving around the desk and towards the door. “I’ll give you the tour.”

“Oh, that’s alright, Spence can show me around. You look pretty busy.”

“Are you sure?”

“Yes sir.” He nodded once and went back around his desk, motioning for me to sit as he did.
“Is Morgan here yet?”

“I don’t think so, but he should be here soon—you two know each other, I believe?”

“Yeah, I worked with him for two years on the force in Chicago. I haven’t told him about my newest job, yet.”

“Well I’m sure he’ll be happy to hear it.” He went on to inform me that the team met in conference room 4 every day at 10 am for a case briefing, but our introductions were cut short by an incoming phone call. He apologized and I assured him Spencer could fill me in. “Welcome to the team.”

I nodded a thanks as he picked up the received and I slipped out of the office. Spencer greeted me with a smile and pointed out my desk for me: beside him, across from Morgan and diagonal from one of the other agents, Emily Prentiss. It’d been a year and a half since I’d last been in the building; I was in town on a police conference and had some spare time to visit Spencer. I listed off the names I remembered, Spencer assuring me I hadn’t forgotten anyone.

The sun was beginning to peek through the windows as the clocks struck 8:30, a steady flow of people beginning to file onto the floor. I heard Morgan long before I saw him, his booming voice and laugh echoing through the place matched with a female’s voice. They were arguing about something—whatever it was, Derek found it wholly amusing. Spencer looked up from his almost-completed crossword and mimicked my attempt to contain a smile. I turned in my chair and watched as he came closer, oblivious to me as he tried to win the battle with the girl—Emily, I believed—by sheer volume of voice.

“Give it up, Morgan, she’s probably right.” I called out, the smile breaking onto my face as he noticed me. He unleashed a grin of his own, quickening his pace and opening his arms.

“If it isn’t my T-Bird.” He mused as he pulled me into an embrace. “Look at you, all grown up and leaving the nest.”

“Shut up, Morgan.” I teased, punching him in the arm. He laughed, turning to Emily and introducing us.

“Prentiss, this is a good friend of mine Natasha Reid.” I held out my hand and she shook it, that undeniable look crossing her face as she processed my name.

“Another Reid?” She questioned, eyes widening slightly.

“Don’t worry, I missed out on the Genius gene.”

“Hey, someone needed to get the looks in the family.”

“I’m right here, Morgan.” Spencer called out, frowning.

“Don’t worry, Spence, it’s pretty clear Derek here missed out on both brains and beauty.” I promised as Emily laughed.

“I didn’t know you had a sister, Reid.” Emily stated, giving him a disapproving look.

“That’s because I don’t; we’re cousins.” He said absently, filling in the second last word of the puzzle. Emily took her seat as Morgan did the same. I sat down at my empty desk.

“You might need to get up soon, Hotch said we’re getting someone new on the team and that’s their desk.” Derek said, peeling off his jacket and slinging it over the back of his chair.

“I don’t think that’ll be necessary.” I smirked as he cocked an eyebrow at me. “Remember how I told you I had news? Well…say hello to the newest transfer.”

“You serious?” He asked after a moment. I nodded and he let out a laugh, looking to Spencer and shaking his head. “You knew all about this, didn’t you kid?”

“Actually I only found out on Sunday.” He explained, setting down his crossword with a satisfied smile. “She moved in before even letting me know she was in town.”

“I wanted it to be a surprise, Spence!” I said in my defence.

“Morning, Garcia.” Derek called out to the girl I remembered as the tech-analyst.

“I’ll show you a good morning.” She teased, but paused when she caught sight of me.

“Hi Penelope.” I smiled as she hugged me. In all honesty I was surprised she remembered me at all, I’d only seen her briefly a few times. She remarked that she wasn’t told I was in town, to which Derek kindly informed her it’d be a while before I was leaving town again. She promptly hugged me again and went on about how she wanted to throw a welcome party—but I quickly assured her that parties weren’t really my thing.

“Natasha Reid?” I turned to the source of the voice: a blonde girl with a determined walk. Jennifer Jareau. She smiled, holding out her hand for me to shake. “Welcome to the team. I’ll show you around.”

She walked me up to conference room 4, explaining that although there were daily meetings more often than not a case came up more urgently. Spencer had told me all about things like this—in fact everything she was telling me had already been covered by him, but I let her go over it again. She went into more detail about her job as the media liaison and what Penelope could do for me as the tech analyst. While explaining this she showed me the way to Penelope’s office as well as the kitchen and the washrooms. Everything I needed to know.

“And here’re your keys.” Into my hands she dropped a set of car keys which, as she relayed, corresponded to a company issued SUV in the parking lot. Everyone in the team had access to one—just as we all apparently were privy to a personal jet to use across country.

“Well that’s a change from Chicago.” I joked, twirling the keys around my finger once before sliding them into my pocket.

“I really hope you like it here. It’s…It’s a taxing job, but it’s really rewarding. If you ever need anything, you can find me in my office.”

“Thanks, Jennifer.”

“Call me JJ.” She smiled, placing her hand on my arm before leaving me with the others and shuffling off again to her office. By now the last member of the team, agent Rossi, had come in. He was waiting by my desk with the others and turned to me when I approached. He held out his hand, welcomed me, and made a remark about hearing good things from my chief in Chicago.

“Good to know I’ve been thoroughly researched.” I joked, taking my new seat and spinning around a few times.

“Uh-uh, you haven’t been snooped until Garcia works her magic on every paper trail you’ve ever made.” Derek teased, sitting back in his chair with his interlocked fingers behind his head. I resisted the urge to exchange a look with Spencer—there were some things in my past that I did not want to be found. I made a note to myself to have a word with Penelope and politely beg her to steer clear of any sealed files she may find regarding me.

It was Emily who suggested that we should all go out for an informal dinner at a local bar, a sort of welcome-thing that would be completely low-key. It was a gesture of kindness that I hadn’t expected in the least, but I figured that out of anyone Emily knew the best what it was like to come into the pre-established family of the team. I had a slight advantage with Spencer and Derek, but other than that we were in the same boat. We planned a tentative date and I thanked her, the initial jitters of the day subsiding. The new shoes being broken in.

Although I was ready for the job, it still caught me a little off guard when JJ called us all into the conference room an hour later with a case. I was a aware that, as the newest member, this case would be my debut of sorts. My thoughts, contributions, and decisions would be analyzed in order to determine my value and my worth. Whether or not I measured up to Spencer would probably be considered too, even if no one would admit it. It never bothered me that I wasn’t as smart as Spencer, not in the slightest. I was probably his biggest supporter, next to his mom.

We all filed into the conference room and I took a seat between Emily and Spencer. Penelope came in and handed a tablet to everyone except Spencer and me, sticking to the paper copies for us. She made a comment about guessing that the two of us shared a dislike for unnecessary technology. It started things off on a light note, because she was absolutely right. The mutual aversion Spence and I had for moving forward into the 21st century was one that subjected us to side glances and covered snickers. Not that it bothered either of us.

“Hampton Virginia.” JJ began, pacing to the front of the room and switching on the screen, bringing up the crime scene photos. Four bodies were laid out in a row, a mass grave of sorts. Almost the entire family. “The father is serving overseas. This murder is identical to one that happened a few years ago, our presence has been requested.”

The scene reminded me of something I’d seen before, but it took a moment for my brain to dredge up the information. The Fox—that was the name the media gave to the killer I was remembering. But this couldn’t be him, he was still locked away in prison. I’d studied him, along with many others, during my time on the force. He was a favourite of many of the lecturers on profiling that I’d gone to listen to.

JJ gave the rest of the briefing and we received our orders. We had 30 minutes to meet in the parking lot, where we’d group up and start the journey to Hampton. Derek herded me into his car, Emily and Spencer joining us. Penelope had uploaded the directions to the GPS device in the car, so Derek followed after the car with Hotchner, Rossi, and JJ. I made small talk with Emily, but I was gearing up for the task ahead of me. I didn’t want to mess anything up.

Not on the first day.