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22 August 2006 @ 08:43 pm
Criminal Minds Fic: Five Nights – Nightmares  
Posted to bau_fic

Title: Five Nights – Nightmares
Series/Universe: Five Nights
Pairing/Characters: Jason, Aaron, Derek, Elle, Spencer
Rating: PG13
Spoilers: Pilot, Compulsion
Summary: The BAU team solves a case but can't prevent a tragic ending
Notes/Warnings: Read the disclaimer on my LJ

"You stay the hell away from me or I'll kill her!"

The man stood holding a young girl in front of him, facing off against a line of police with their guns drawn, all pointed at him.

The SWAT sniper aimed at the man's forehead and moved his finger to the trigger.

Two shots rang out.

And then silence.


The BAU team poured out of the two Concord police department SUVs that had just arrived on the scene. They had been brought in to assist with a rash of child abductions which had now devolved into a hostage standoff with the suspect police had located using their profile.

"What's his status?" Aaron asked Detective Wiltern as he approached the group.

"Strathmore's got two guns - one trained on the girl and the other under his chin. SWAT got here a few minutes ago and they're setting up a sniper to try to take him out."

Jason shook his head in dismay. "We thought he'd be unstable, but this is bad."

"Who's the girl?" Elle asked.

Detective Wiltern turned to her and said, "His own daughter."

Spencer looked confused. "He didn't kill or even harm any of the girls he abducted, so he wouldn't kill his own daughter, would he? That's pretty extreme, not to mention off script."

"Our profile suggested he took these girls because he was obsessed with a juvenile that shunned him previously," Derek mused. "We'd assumed that this was earlier in life, when he was also a minor, but we could have been wrong. Maybe he's obsessed with his daughter."

"Which explains why he can't have her," Elle added. "He's been abducting substitutes."

"And holding them until the guilt gets to be too much," Aaron added. "This is a pretty major escalation, so he must figure this is his endgame."

"You guys are the profilers!" Detective Wiltern looked at them anxiously. "Give us something that will help us talk him down, get him to give us the girl!"

Jason stared at the man, watching him clutch at his frightened daughter to keep her from squirming away. "He's not going to surrender. He's going to kill the girl." He turned to face Detective Wiltern. "His guilt has overwhelmed him and he sees no way out of this. She knows now and he can't live with her knowing. If the girl dies and he dies no one has to live with the shame of what he's done, what he's wanted to do." His expression was stern. "He's getting up the nerve to kill her as we speak. You have to tell the sniper to take him out as soon as they can get a shot."


The first shot startled them all.

They stood by helplessly as the girl's body fell to the ground, then watched in horror as the man pulled the trigger on the gun under his chin, blowing his own head off.

A second or two of stunned silence followed, then chaos.

The mass of police who'd been holding back streamed forward, obscuring the two bodies from view.

Jason turned around to see the traumatized faces of his team members, the echo of the violent crime they'd just witnessed etched into their expressions.

He took Aaron gently by the arm and turned him away from the scene.

"We need to get them out of here," he said quietly. "There's nothing more we can do."


"Well, keep us posted. Thanks." Aaron hung up his cell phone and Gideon, who was in the front seat of the SUV, turned to him expectantly. "The pilot says the airfield is denying us clearance to fly," Aaron explained. "There's a fog alert and they aren't allowing any small craft to take off or land in Concord. We're grounded."

Jason nodded. "So we spend one more night in the hotel here. Do they think the fog restrictions will be lifted tomorrow?"

"Possibly, but they can't say at this point."

"Then we should call it a night. Call Morgan in the other car. Tell him to have the driver take them straight to the hotel. We'll clear out of the police station in the morning."


Aaron turned back to his phone and Jason turned to the driver. "Change of plans. Take us back to the hotel instead."


Jason beckoned to Derek, Elle and Spencer as they entered the lobby, gathering his team around him.

"I wanted to say something before we all head back to our rooms for the night. What you saw today, what we all saw... There's going to be repercussions. Expect them, plan for them and most importantly, don't try to fight them. This level of trauma must be processed or else it will fester and grow over time into a destructive force. We all know how damaging that can be."

He stopped and surveyed the team for a few seconds. Only Aaron would meet his gaze; Derek and Elle continued to stare at the floor. Spencer busied himself with adjusting the strap on his bag, purposefully avoiding Jason's scrutiny.

"When we get back to Quantico, we'll address this more fully," he continued. "For now I want each of you to know there was nothing any of us could have done to prevent this horrible tragedy. We did our jobs, we found the unsub. SWAT couldn't act in time to save the girl and that wasn't under our control, so no blaming yourselves. There's not a person here who has anything to feel guilty about. Understand?"

A smattering of mumbles and nods were his only reply.

"Get some sleep. We'll probably be able to leave in the morning, so we'll meet here in the lobby at nine after breakfast."

Jason watched as his team members dragged themselves towards the elevators.

Aaron noticed Jason wasn't with them and stepped back, looking at him quizzically.

"I'm worried about them," Jason said, staring after them as the elevator doors closed on the three younger agents.

Aaron walked alongside him as he finally headed towards the elevators.

"Worry about yourself first."


On the third floor of the Ambassador hotel, five lights in five rooms were turned out as five agents got into bed and one by one, eventually fell asleep.

And then the nightmares came...

Emma DeMarais: BlueEyeemmademarais on August 23rd, 2006 03:53 am (UTC)
Five Nights is a new series I've started up because I wanted to do more straight up Criminal Minds fic. (I enjoy crossovers, but I want to write the fandom by itself as well.)

Nightmares is a prologue of sorts. It sets up the backstory of the series so it's clear what the team has just witnessed. The next five parts will focus on each team member in turn (in order by age because why not?) and what their nightmares were like the night following the murder-suicide. (So it's the same night from five different POVs – not five different nights.) There's a seventh story, focusing on the aftermath, that will likely be called Daylight.

A little bit of insight for those who like to hear behind the scenes tidbits from authors...
Sometimes when I name characters I use Google. It might sound odd, but it helps to randomize my names more than I would on my own. I normally put in a word or two from the fic and see what comes up. Normally I use the most obvious link, unless doing so would create too strong a tie to something real. To get around that sometimes I'll pull a last name from one web page and a first name from another so that I'm not using the full name of a real person. In this case, I used the location of a real murder-suicide as the unsub's name. I'm not sure what other authors do for names, but this seems to work for me when I need a name from out of the air. I do often come up with them on my own. The detective is named after a Los Angeles venue whose name I always liked.

I originally set this fic in Dover, but realized that Delaware is too close to Virginia. If their plane was grounded they'd probably just arrange to drive back to Quantico. I picked Concord since it mapped online as being more than a five hour drive, which I felt they would eschew in favor of spending another night in New Hampshire. I could have had them sleep on the plane, but I liked the idea of a foreign bed in the same city as the murder-suicide being a factor in their disturbed sleep.

Very special thanks to beta iolsai for her assistance with this fic.


Emma DeMarais
keep calm and carry onnebula99 on August 23rd, 2006 06:50 am (UTC)
Re: Confession

I am interested in what you are doing with this and look forward to reading more. It is a nice twist to have the team unable to save the day for a change and the repercussions of that.

I like the idea of using Google for names - might try that one.
Emma DeMarais: BlueEyeemmademarais on August 24th, 2006 11:39 pm (UTC)
Re: Confession
I'm glad you think so. I know TV likes a happy ending but readers tend to like angst, so making them right but too late to save a child would really cut to the core of who they are and why they do this for a living.

I'm looking forward to crawling inside their heads, ugly as it might be...


tippingjugtippingjug on August 23rd, 2006 08:13 am (UTC)
Re: Confession
I love this story so far. I think it is nice to see a character series that is just on the characters themselves and their thoughts and nightmares.

I choose my character's name pretty randomly actually, I love using baby name searches sometimes when I want very specific meanings in my character's names. But my favorite method is using Readers' Digest, I just choose a random page and pick the names of my characters from that page.
Emma DeMarais: BlueEyeemmademarais on August 28th, 2006 05:59 am (UTC)
Re: Confession
RD! I like it! Thanks for the tip! ;-)

I'm glad you like the story idea. I just hope I can pull it off well. It's proving to be more of a challenge than I anticipated.


seraphina_snape: Good Guys (Purp. Flüsse)seraphina_snape on August 23rd, 2006 09:17 am (UTC)
Very interesting so far. I can't wait to read Hotch's nightmare - I thought he was very much in character in this part. I can see him standing in this hotel lobby, worrying about Gideon when Gideon is busy worrying about everyone else.

As for names - I have a small notebook that I've filled with names over the years. I have long columns of first and last names. When I need a name, I open the book at random and choose one from that page. (Also works with any sort of magazine or so.) There is also this website, behindthename.com, where you can find all sorts of names.

~ sera
Emma DeMarais: BlueEyeemmademarais on August 24th, 2006 09:58 pm (UTC)
I like the notebook idea. I often use Google for ethnic names. I'll decide, say, that a police detective is Polish and I'll google 'Polish Surnames' and then pick one with a letter I like at the beginning. I do try for diversity in my fic, so there's quite an array of names throughout.

For baby names, I use Name Voyager. As a bonus, it's a fascinating site and it's fun to navigate. (It requires Java but it's worth the load time.)

FWIW, Hotch's dream - as I have it planned - almost seems too predictable, so I'm considering changing it. I'm not sure whether to go with the predictable version because it is what makes sense or to throw people for a loop by making his dream something out of left field. /sigh/ I at least have Gideon's dream in my head. I just have to write it.


seraphina_snapeseraphina_snape on August 25th, 2006 06:48 am (UTC)
Well, considering that dreams aren't really predictable and often end up being complete nonsense at first glance, I though you should go with the unusual version for Hotch's dream.

~ sera
Emma DeMarais: BlueEyeemmademarais on August 28th, 2006 05:32 am (UTC)
I think I'll run some ideas past my betas before I write. That might help me feel more confident about this series.


Karen: Criminal Minds Gideonbyrons_brain on August 23rd, 2006 10:14 am (UTC)
This is such a great premise, I can't wait to see what happens next....

::wraps self in blanky and drinks hot chocolate::
Emma DeMarais: BlueEyeemmademarais on August 24th, 2006 10:00 pm (UTC)
/plops some lovely artisan vanilla marshmallows into Karen's hot chocolate/

Shall I stoke the fire for you, my dear? Have to keep you nice and warm. :-)

Gideon is up next and his dream is culled from canon, so I'm not sure how surprised anyone will be when they read it, but it's what works for me.


Karen: Numb3rs Charliebyrons_brain on August 25th, 2006 09:31 am (UTC)
Mmmmmmmmmmm I love Marshmellows....

Thank you m'dear the fire is wonderful..

::cuddles with emma and a lovely chenille throw::

Let the nightmares begin.
thezonefic: cm anguishthezonefic on August 23rd, 2006 12:59 pm (UTC)
Interesting, more please.
Emma DeMarais: BlueEyeemmademarais on August 24th, 2006 10:01 pm (UTC)
Six more parts, coming up! Five Nights - Jason is first on the list. There's a good chance it will be up next week.


Andrea: be blind?silentflux on August 24th, 2006 12:40 am (UTC)
Loved this setup and can't wait for the five POVs... it'll be so awesome to see what you do with all the characters. :D
Emma DeMarais: BlueEyeemmademarais on August 24th, 2006 10:03 pm (UTC)
I'm glad you liked it!

I don't normally spend time in character's heads so that was part of the appeal of getting into this series and truthfully into this fandom. I love psychology so a team of people who live in their heads is kind of a smorgasbord. ;-)


Enni: CSI - Marg thinkingprofiling on September 8th, 2006 06:54 pm (UTC)
Hey this is great! I hope you'll continue with it. Mind if I friend you?
Emma DeMarais: BlueEyeemmademarais on September 14th, 2006 06:35 am (UTC)
I'm glad you like it. I've got all 7 chapters in my head as a very rough outline and have the next installment pretty detailed, yet my muse has been refusing to actually write it. /grumbles/ I'm hoping it will come along soon though, since I hate starting series and then not keeping them up.

Mind if I friend you?

How polite of you to ask first! Of course you can. I have a slew of people who friended me who not only didn't ask, they don't even comment on my LJ so I have no clue who they are. Feels a bit weird, but this is a *fic* journal, not a personal one so I guess people treat it like a comm and want to see the new fic on the f-list. /shrugs/

Don't be offended if I don't friend back. I stopped friending people ages ago because I realized I don't have any f-locked content on this LJ for anyone to see and I don't do a lot of reading off my f-list as it is. I'm so much about the writing I think I kind of miss out on the reading and socializing aspect. What can I say? I guess I'm a bit of an oddball. :-)

Thanks for coming over to check out my fic! More Criminal Minds coming soon...

hey hey mama wolf: ellemiss_noodles on September 16th, 2006 11:39 pm (UTC)
Hey- just wanted to say that tis fic seems really well-written- and I'm intrigued. Can't wait to read the coming chapters!
ps- is it alright if I friend you?
Emma DeMarais: BlueEyeemmademarais on September 16th, 2006 11:46 pm (UTC)
Thanks and welcome!

You're in luck. I just wrote two more chapters in this series last night and will probably post them in the coming week.

ps- is it alright if I friend you?

Of course. It's nice of you to ask. Don't be offended if I don't friend back. I kind of stopped doing that when I realized I wasn't going to put any f-locked entries on this LJ for people to look at so there's really no benefit.

For now I hope you check out the rest of my CM fic and crossovers. Like Minds is my favorite, but I also like the Near Miss Series since I'm a big Garcia fan. :-)

Thanks for reading and commenting!

polgarawolfpolgarawolf on February 21st, 2007 08:23 am (UTC)
Hah! "Worry about yourself first." Smart man . . .
ivy_bivy_b on July 22nd, 2007 09:46 pm (UTC)
Well I like this part- the fact that they can't always save victims or stop the crominals in time. I'd love to see where you take this. If you've already written the next part, I'd love a link, this is very promising.
Walking Liability: cm| hold on for dear lifeasemic on March 20th, 2008 04:05 am (UTC)
I could hear their voices in my head. Fantastic.
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on March 20th, 2008 04:09 am (UTC)

You found your way back here!

Just after I wrote the Spencer one too. Hehehe

I've only got a first draft done, but if you want to see it, let me know once you've read all the Five Nights ones that are up and I'll send Spencer over so you can see what's next.

The *fic*. Not actual Spencer Reid. Hehehe

Walking Liability: rid| double x and proud of itasemic on March 20th, 2008 04:22 am (UTC)
The Firefox tabs were open and they could sit there no longer!

I have Jason's to read tomorrow morning to chillax with before I get to class.