Prompt(s) used: 3rd prompt: Amanda convinces Reid that she might let Adam out if he does her certain favors (which could be sexual-nothing graphic, could involve Reid doing something like committing crimes, anything that Reid would be hesitant about for personal reasons) and he has to decide what's worth it, that type of thing.
Warnings: None, really.
Author's notes: Wrote the majority of this on cold meds. :B Hopefully it makes sense. ♥
Also, please excuse any geography mistakes. I googled all this stuff, I'm pretty much clueless about America.
Maybe God was on Adam’s side this time. Reid couldn’t say for sure – he didn’t believe in God – but it was certainly a convenient occurrence. There were several cases of kidnapping and murder in Corpus Christi, where Adam’s father lived. It had struck another chord with Amanda, who again preached the wrongs of the world, insisting Reid made the world “right” before Adam was allowed back out. Reid had shaken his head, trying to ignore his slowly diminishing willpower, limiting their visits to half an hour. If Amanda stuck at it for long enough, Reid knew he would eventually cave in.
He had the chance now, to do what Morgan had told him he couldn’t. He couldn’t save them all, Reid knew that (and every time it came up, he couldn’t help but think of Tobias), but if he could only try, wouldn’t that be good enough?
Reid’s cell phone interrupted Amanda’s rant about the disgusting world they lived in, and he held up a finger to silence her. “JJ?”
“Hey, Spence, we’ve got a case,” in the background, he could hear papers flipping. “Corpus Christi Bay Area, wheels up in a half hour.”
Amanda looked a mix between insulted at being interrupted, and curious, waiting with an impatient pout. “Actually,” Reid began, wondering how to word his confession. All these visits, they’d been getting more and more frequent. Only a three hour flight, really, but it was becoming a weekly occurrence now. Reid couldn’t expect them to take the fact that he was visiting Amanda without some problems. Morgan, at the very least, would give him a talking to. Hotch and Rossi, too, most likely. He had to cover quickly, brilliant mind scanning through the flaws in every potential scenario cooked up. And then – “I’m in Vegas.”
“Oh.” JJ said, and then another, more sympathetic, “oh.”
“Oh no.” Reid said, following JJ’s jump to the circumstances of his visit – the worst circumstances. “It’s not – it’s nothing like that. Don’t worry. I’ll just meet you all there, okay?”
The relief was evident in JJ’s voice, and Reid hadn’t noticed the complete silence on the other end until JJ started shuffling through papers once more. “Right, well, I’ll text you the address of the precinct we’ll be stationed at. I’ll see you in a couple hours, then.”
The dial tone was an immense relief.
Amanda’s eyes fluttered – eyelashes weighed down with clumpy mascara. “But Doctor Reid,” she began, in her familiar Southern drawl, “you cannot expect me to bring Adam back into a world so… wrong.” Amanda punctuated the end of her sentence with a flick of her cigarette, loose ashes floating down to the ground. Both occupants of the room sat on the lounge, Reid stiff-backed and pressed against the armrest, whilst Amanda lounged. A small television played the evening news, which the two watched with interest, making appropriate (and inappropriate) quips and comments.
“And you cannot expect me to do something wrong just to change your mind.” Reid replied, able, now, after so many months, to finally remain firm with Amanda. It was only because she held something over him – Adam – that she felt she could convince him to do her will.
Reid had to admit that he had, on several occasions, succumb to her desires. Maybe he could witness just one flicker in her eyes, to show him Adam was still there, eager to live his own life. It all made it worthwhile for Reid. Who cared for some cheap make-up, or a couple cigarettes, or even a miniature lighter?
“Doctor Reid, what I’m asking of you isn’t wrong.” Amanda said, with a light chuckle, stubbing her cigarette in a near-full ashtray. It smouldered between the dull grey ashes – a bright, orange flame. “He beat his wife. He killed his son. He deserves to rot for the rest of his life.” So quickly, Amanda’s voice had lost most of its charm and turned to something akin to vocal poison. In another matter of seconds, she was back to herself – if it could be called that. “Be that underground, or otherwise.”
Reid rolled his eyes, trying to ignore the explicit implications of Amanda’s speech. “If he’s been released, it’s for a reason, that’s how the system work-”
“- No.” Amanda stood abruptly, fake, caramel curls bouncing against her dressing gown. “His ex-wife lives in fear now that he’s released. Fear.”
Reid sighed. “I’ll admit, that’s not ideal, but there’s nothing I can do about it. For all we know, he may be reformed.”
Amanda gave an amused snort, reaching into her pockets to retrieve another cigarette. “If you insist, Doctor Reid.”
“I do.” Getting to his feet, Reid figured he had overstayed his welcome, judging by how antisocial Amanda was quickly becoming. “Remember to call me, should you decide to do the right thing.”
There was a click, and the smell of tobacco began to fill the room. Amanda took her time, inhaling and holding it, before blowing out a ring of smoke. “You call me if you decide to do the right thing, too, Doctor Reid.” Reid reached the door, and turned to give Amanda a final glance, when she smiled at him. “Adam would love to hear about it.”
Both parties remained in silence for a moment, and then Reid cleared his throat.
“You’re in Vegas, Doctor Reid?” Amanda’s question was laden with sarcasm.
“Only for a couple hours more. We have a case in Corpus Christi.” Reid knew that this was a fragile topic for Amanda – he didn’t need her stiffened shoulders to tell him that. But it did help.
“What sort of a case?”
“JJ is going to send me the details soon.”
This didn’t satisfy Amanda’s need for curiosity, but she quietened down. They had their inklings to the case – the one that had been on the local news lately, the kidnapping and subsequent murder of two children. Both she and Reid waited in a lengthy silence for his phone to chime – a message. With some apprehension, Reid slid open his phone, scanning through the long message in a matter of seconds.
He had a feeling this would happen. And, judging by Amanda’s look, so did she.
“Child abductions. We’ve got two bodies, and a new victim is said to have just been taken. All dumped in the bay area.” There was no use tiptoeing around the issue. One way or another, Amanda was going to find out. And she was clearly not impressed with what she heard.
“Were they abused?” Her words were clipped short, mouth set in a firm line.
“Both bodies show signs of, ah… physical and sexual abuse.”
Amanda frowned. “Cause of death?”
“Different. Victim one appears to have been starved to death, the other suffered extensive blunt force trauma to his head.”
Reid was subject to a pointed stare from Amanda, who was not moving an inch. She did not toy with a smuggled cigarette, or twirl a chunk of fraying, fake hair around her polished nails. It was as if she had ceased breathing.
“Right.” Reid said, collecting his satchel from beside the lounge they were seated on. “I best go cancel my return ticket, and see if JJ has organised a hotel.” Amanda said nothing, and Reid lingered for a final, awkward moment, before turning on his heel and making a beeline for the door.
They met every other week, when Reid wasn’t otherwise occupied by a case, paperwork, or studying. From that one meeting, Amanda had been blunt about what she wanted. Her conditions weren’t hard to figure out – she wanted Reid to kill a man released from prison, simply because of past injustices. There were obvious reasons as to why Reid couldn’t do that – the first being that murder was, actually, a punishable offence. Reid would lose his life – his job, his friends, everything he had.
Reid knew right and wrong, and yet he knew that his refusal was keeping Adam locked away for good. That was, perhaps, more wrong, in Reid’s mind, than murder. Speaking in the hypothetical instance of him actually killing somebody (without it being a life or death situation), the deceased would have no family to mourn him, and nothing more than a legacy of pain to leave behind. And yet, Adam, a man who was, again hypothetically, innocent, was being held captive by Amanda. It was almost a hostage situation, and whilst Reid could talk most people down, this was too much of a challenge.
What it all boiled down to was would Reid kill a criminal to free an innocent man?
And when he got to the very mechanics of it, Reid’s mind frightened him with its answer.
Reid knew he wasn’t alone.
Or wouldn’t be alone for very long.
There was a collection of footsteps, heavy and light, echoing down the hall. Since Hankel, Reid had made a point of sticking with the group – not running off ahead. But this time was unusual. He’d had that lingering feeling all day, as they slowly, slowly pinned down their Unsub – Kyle Martin – to a solid location. Amanda’s voice hovered at the edge of his mind constantly, “… if you decide to do the right thing.”
Martin’s weapon – a pistol – was lowered a fraction, yet Reid did not let his aim waver. Adam was the pull of a trigger away. And so was the team. If anyone saw him shooting without any immediate danger, Reid would be, at the very least, put under heavy scrutiny. Everything he worked for would unravel – the Dilaudid, the Clean Cops meetings, everything.
Would he give up his entire life for Adam’s?
Now Reid’s heart began to overshadow the sound of footfalls, ten, a hundred times faster than the steps gathering just a few strides away. It was a cacophony of sound, all bearing down on Reid’s mind. There was Amanda, the click of her fake nails when she tapped them impatiently on the table, or lit a cigarette, joining in the disharmony.
Before Reid, the Unsub lowered his weapon a little more, and he was talking, but that was the only sound not coming through over the other noise. Reid grit his teeth, steadying his aim, and vaguely registered Martin’s shocked look, as he took a step back, raising his hands in a quick, sloppy surrender.
Morgan, heading the team, skidded to a halt as Reid fired. Martin crumbled to the ground.
Amanda had one leg propped up on a footrest, the fabric of her gown falling in a way that gave Reid a clear view of her white, smooth thigh. Reid stared her straight in the eyes, as she ran a hand back and forth over the perfect skin. “You can smuggle razors in, now, Doctor?”
Reid glanced away, finding the act of simply bringing contraband in to a convicted criminal was against his morals, to some degree. “You promised me I could speak to Adam.”
“I know I did.” Amanda said, leaning back in her arm chair, stretching herself out. “But we don’t all keep our promises, do we?”
Reid was facing the door – a door he did not plan on seeing again for the rest of his life. Amanda had betrayed him, completely and utterly, but the fact also remained that he – Spencer Reid – had killed a man. Not an innocent one, not by any means. But a man nonetheless. A man like him – two arms, two legs, everything exactly the same, if not out of proportion somewhat. Conceived and born the same way he was.
It was probably for the best: Martin must have known what happened to paedophiles in jail. No matter how innocent he tried to look in those final seconds, he couldn’t want jail. Maybe he’d been planning the insanity plea? Though, as well as that, the public would be much happier knowing there was one less monster to be out, walking their streets, the second the parole went through. So Reid had done Adam a service, and the Corpus Christi community. And even Martin himself, to an extent.
There was something different, though, and it caused Reid to falter, turn.
And it was still physically Amanda – the fake hair and the fake chest and the fake nails, it was all her. But it was the face that got Reid. Amanda’s (Adam’s?) eyes were wider, softer, and screamed confusion. His whole face radiated it – one could tell by his tone of voice and slightly open mouth, Adam was completely mystified.
Reid didn’t know what to think, because Adam’s shaky nod was enough to justify murder.