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[Criminal Minds] The right place

Title: The right place
Rating: G
Genre: Character study
Series: Moments in Time
Characters: Dave Rossi
Spoilers: 4x03 Minimal Loss
Warnings: None beyond what's in the episode
Summary: Rossi realized that he had made the right decision after all.

Disclaimer: All characters are property of CBS, Jeff Davis, Edward Allen Bernero and sadly not mine. I just take them along for the ride. Special thanks to my dear friend Sarah for all her help and encouragement and being a great beta. Thanks to everyone who read and/or reviewed one of my others stories.

“I don’t understand. Why did you let them go?” Rossi heard one of Cyrus followers, Cole, almost challenge their leader.

He sat at a table in the built-up command center and, along with Hotch and Morgan, listened intently to what was going on inside the cult’s compound through a bug they had planted in the first aid kit. They tried to predict the next move hoping to find a way to free the people inside, Reid and Prentiss among them.

It was just bad luck, with a little help from the eager state’s attorney, which had turned what had started as a simple investigation into a full-fledged worst case scenario with two members of the team now in the hands of the heavily armed and motivated cult.

But the team was a well-oiled machine knowing exactly what to do in cases like this. And after briefly seeing them inside the chapel, where he had nodded once at them to let them know that the team was in charge, he was sure that they knew exactly what their part of the plan was.

“They weren’t prepared to do what needs to be done,” Spencer answered tentatively.

Dave really wished that the young agent didn’t have to be in the position he was in, nor Prentiss for that matter.

And to be honest, Rossi wished he didn’t have to be in his own position, either. To be fair, he almost wasn’t. He had fully intended to refuse when Hotch had wanted to make him the lead negotiator. In fact, he had actually done so.

But there had been something that had ultimately made him change his mind. Not Hotch’s words as the younger agent might have thought; it was the fact that Aaron had been scared. That wasn’t unusually on itself, after all two of his agents, and friends, were held inside the besieged ranch, and their fate had been unknown at the time.

But Hotch had practically begged him to do it, clearly wanting to have full control over the situation in the event that there might not be enough time for them to explain something to an outsider if either Reid or Prentiss would make a move.

And Dave couldn’t blame him one bit.

So he had sat there through everything; the beating of Prentiss - which had almost made him quit his role right then and there - the fake poisoning, and the fear that with every step each of his friends inside were taking, or anything he’d say to Cyrus, it could go all wrong.

It had helped his confidence when he had been right about the poisoning not being real, it was an assurance that he was on the right track with Cyrus, and more importantly, that he could do this, that he could stay objective.

And every time he was about to give up he remembered Hotch’s faith in him and it kept him going.

With Prentiss out of the picture it now rested on Spencer’s and his shoulders. It was like a game of ping pong, but not between him and Cyrus but him and Reid. Rossi knew that the younger profiler was more than up for the task, he had already helped with establishing a form of trust between Cyrus and Dave, and he had also found a way to keep Prentiss safe from any further harm in the process. But Rossi was a bit worried how much Emily’s action weighed on the other man’s mind.

Still, the senior agent forced himself to put his doubt to the very back of his mind, trying to at least appear calm on the outside when on the inside he was anything but. Because if he’d allowed just a fleeting thought about what could happen to enter his mind, it, in all likeliness, would make him slip up and make a mistake, resulting into just what he was trying not to picture.

As hard as it was, he had to keep in mind that their operation was bigger than just rescuing their fellow agents, it was about freeing people before Cyrus would try to become a martyr by killing himself and as many of his followers as he could.

“You’re not one of us. You don’t know what it takes to be prepared.” The voice of Cyrus’ second in command took on a tone of hostility, Dave noticed with concern. Apparently he was starting to fear for his position with the, to him, intruder in form of Spencer.

Rossi hold his breath, waiting for the cult’s leader to react.

Given what they had uncovered about the man it all pointed toward him being drawn to Reid’s similar intellect. Still, with a psychopath you never knew when he might feel challenged. Cyrus’ answer put the agent’s mind at rest, temporarily at least. “Listen to him. Tell him.”

Spencer’s voice was back, and there was nervousness in it that Dave was certain wasn’t fully an act. “They failed the test. They had a chance to prove their faith when Cyrus told them that they’d sacrificed themselves for God. But instead they showed they weren’t worthy. It’s why he wants the media, to bear witness to your true final sacrifice.”

Dave fully understood why Prentiss had given herself up as being the FBI agent. Not just for the obvious reason, that she wanted to protect her friend, just like any other team member would had done in a heartbeat.

It was something else that Rossi was pretty sure Emily had considered as well. There had been no way around the fact one of them had to do it; insisting that they both weren’t simply wouldn’t have worked. The other, still undetected one would, if done right, have a chance to establish a connection with Cyrus. And Reid’s looks just screamed innocence, causing people to underestimate him by taking him for being a pliable person - which would give their youngest the perfect way in. And even though the chances of their resident genius being mistaken for the agent were pretty slim, given the cult’s view of the role of women, Prentiss obviously had wanted to make sure it wouldn’t happen.

So Emily hadn’t just sacrificed herself for her colleague but also for the rescue plan she knew was coming to work.

“How do you know that?” Cole asked now and Rossi thought to have heard something close to disbelieve in the man’s voice.

After a slight pause the young agent answered. “I’m always looking for signs of things to come.”

This was it.

This innocent sounding line, flawlessly and brilliantly fitting into the conversation, was the reason Rossi had sat there through everything.

Now he was grateful for all the times Hotch had paired him up with Spencer during most of the cases lately. They had established a good rapport and the insight into his younger colleague the older profiler had gained in the process proved invaluable now.

“Reid’s talking to us,” Dave said while turning his gaze up at Hotch on his left. Everything that Spencer had said made perfect sense to him now. “He wants a sign when we’re coming in. He’s telling us this is it. Time has run out.” He lowered the hand holding one of the earpieces of his headphones to his ear and got up fully to face his supervisor. “We gotta go in.” Judging by his teammates’ faces they hadn’t been sure it had been a message to them until Rossi had confirmed it.

Putting the headphones on the table he followed Hotch’s gaze toward the compound. Reid and Prentiss had done their part, now it was on the rest of the team to do theirs. For him, it was good to be able to finally take action.

Because he had sat there all day, waiting and negotiating. And, he realized, he’d been in just the right place.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 28th, 2015 01:25 pm (UTC)
Oh, very well done. I've just finished all of the memories you've written and had to let you know how much I loved them. Excellent inner voices and really well done explanations for some of the behavior viewers might have seen as strange. Loved especially Dave's inner thoughts here about Hotch's fear and Emily's motivations. Perfect!
Sep. 29th, 2015 08:04 am (UTC)
Thank you for your review! I'm glad to hear that you liked it and my other stories. :) Thank you for your kind words, I'm so happy that you think I succeed in giving explanations for some of the characters' "strange" behavior, that is exactly what I'm trying to do with my stories. Again, thank you for taking the time to read and tell me your thoughts on it! :)
Btw, I LOVE your profile picture (I'm a Daniel fan myself)! :)
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )