The Fall Chapter 13
Golden Adobe Apartments –
Sheldon felt like an outsider and with his emotional outburst he felt he needed to put some distance between himself and the others. So while they headed down the hallway towards Darren or Derek’s room he made his exit.
Letting himself inside without being seen by his insistent landlord, Sheldon made his way to the small bedroom closet. He’d promised to never touch a computer or to step foot into cyberspace again and since being in Atlanta he’d kept that promise. Over the last several months he knew he was still being watched. The thought of losing his freedom and the remembrance of the consequences of his careless, if not arrogant actions kept him true to his promise.
Sheldon stared at the dusty worn backpack. He’d found it relatively easy to stay away from his old ways until now. Even as he struggled to survive he hadn’t considered going back. Darren had helped him, taking a chance and hiring him when no one else would. He’d been more than an employer he’d been a friend. These were desperate times and without a second thought he pulled the bag from the closet.
2 Years Ago – Office of Homeland Security – Morning –
“You’re in a lot of trouble Mr. Rice” The Agent began.
Sheldon looked away as the suited man took the seat across from him.
“Did you hear what I said? Agent Kominski continued. “We’ve been looking for the elusive Jackal for five years and finally, you’re here.”
“I want my lawyer.”
He was afraid more afraid than he’d ever been in his life. Sheldon had never considered that what he was doing in the dark would ever come to light. Besides, he was smarter than everyone and he’d planned for every possible outcome, except for the death of his best friend.
“Are you sure? We can take care of this between us, Mr. Rice. I want to help you. Such a frail, inexperienced fellow like you wouldn’t last two days in prison and you are going to prison, Mr. Rice with or without a lawyer it’s just a matter of how long.”
“Please, I didn’t know. You have to believe me! I didn’t know that anyone would get…”
“What, killed? Well someone did get killed. Some body has to pay for Evan’s life and if you don’t help me find his killers right now that person is you!”
Sheldon shook the memories from his mind and removed the computer from the bag and turned it on. Suddenly his fear and his desire to be free meant nothing. He was tired of running and tired of hiding. This was his chance to make amends for Evan’s death. He’d already lost everything and everyone who’d ever meant anything to him. Darren had accepted him without questions, without needing to know about his past. He couldn’t let him die even if it meant he spent the next twenty years in prison, he wouldn’t let him die.
Atlanta General Hospital –
“How is he?” JJ asked.
“He doesn’t know me. He doesn’t remember me, he doesn’t remember us!”
JJ fought her tears as she pulled her friend close.
“Give him time, Garcia. You have to give him time.”
“How long, a day, a week? How long, when our child is graduating from high school? How much time will it take for him to come back to me?”
“I don’t know Garcie but Derek is a fighter. You heard what the doctor said whatever they did to him took weeks maybe even months! He fought them! He fought to stay and to be Derek, your Derek!”
Garcia pulled away and turned to look at Derek while he slept. He looked so peaceful as if he’d just been slightly injured during a case. This wasn’t the first time he had ended up in a hospital bed but nothing like this.
Dr. Flores approached the two women. The pregnant woman concerned her. She’d learned about the couple from the others and she felt drawn to them both and felt the need to reach out to the distraught woman.
“Please call me, Penelope.”
“Okay, Penelope. I can’t imagine what you’re going through and I know it’s not my business…”
“What is it, doctor?” JJ interrupted.
“I want to encourage you to please get some rest. I can tell that this ordeal has taken its toll on you over the last several months but you have to take care of yourself or…”
“It could have, consequences. Do you understand?”
Penelope took a deep breath and nodded her understanding.
“Yes, I understand. I’ll try.”
“Good. So how’s our patient?”
“He was awake for a little while and he…he asked for Savannah. He thinks she’s his wife.”
“Considering what he’s been through it’s not surprising. I’ve been doing some research and I’ve reviewed his test results again.”
“And is there anything new?”
“Not much but it looks like he was also given a daily dose of something most likely to reinforce the other drugs because there is a higher level of this particular drug in his system. I want to keep him here for a few days. Hopefully some of his memories will begin to return.”
“Oh my god! That would be amazing!”
“I’m cautioning you, this is just a theory. We’re all walking in the dark here. It’s only a theory. Even if we see some improvement we desperately need help because there’s a lot we don’t know about this case.”
“Yes, yes, I understand. Thank you doctor.”
Dr. Flores smiled at Penelope and turned to walk away then turned back toward the two friends.
“Oh and get some rest! I mean it.”
Both Hotch and Dave were standing in separate corners of the waiting room. Reid paced the floor waiting for his turn to see Derek. Hotch’s conversation was getting heated as he seemed to be on the losing end of a conversation with Cruz. It was understandable that their section chief wanted them back on the case they’d been sent there for but it was no way in hell any of them were leaving Derek’s side any time soon.
Dave was also losing his argument with his wife Fran. He wanted her to stay home until they knew more but she had already made plans to be on the next flight to Atlanta. So he surrendered and promised to send the jet for her in an hour. Even though he had not admitted it to her, he needed her here with him maybe as much as Derek did.
Golden Adobe Apartments –
“Chicago Police Officer Brings Down Drug Cartel After Nearly Two Years Undercover.”
Veteran officer Derek Morgan arrested one of Chicago’s biggest drug lords after infiltrating the near-impenetrable network of criminals and quickly rising within the ranks where he served as second in command after…”
Sheldon sat mesmerized as he continued to read.
“FBI Special Agent Exposes Respected Community Leader Carl Buford As A Sexual Predator. While investigating the murder of several local teenage boys, SSA Derek…”
He couldn’t believe what he was reading. The man who’d nearly saved his life with an offer of employment and friendship had somehow managed to overcome unimaginable odds to become a hero and a man determined to right the evils of the world.
The stories went on and on and as he continued to learn more it was clear that he had to return to his former life to find someone to help the man who had become like a brother to him.
Prescott Hotel –
Hamilton listened intently as Savannah’s weasel informant filled him in on Savannah and Marcos’ arrest. So far neither of the two had implicated him in the plot against Derek and for that he was grateful but now the man was a loose end and Hamilton knew how dangerous loose ends could be.
Hamilton ‘s dirty deeds lived in danger within Savannah’s fantasy man. It was only a matter of time before all of his hard work would begin to unravel. He planted safeguards within program and the drugs but there were no guarantees and even after all that he and the others had done, Morgan had fought against everything they had done to him and he was still fighting.
It was up to him now…it was of utmost importance that he remained free to continue his work…he was so close, too close with too much to lose to be stopped now.
Atlanta General Hospital –
“Please let me go. I promised not to make her worry.”
He closed his eyes as the man pushed the needle in his arm. Immediately the pain began shooting through his veins. Never in his life had he felt such pain but he’d endure anything, anything if it would keep her safe.
“Trust me, I can do this all day! What’s your name?”
He couldn’t catch his breath and his heart raced as he fought against the pain and the restraints and the voices.
Penelope heard his breathing change. She’d become a light sleeper since he’d disappeared. Slowly her eyes opened and she fumbled for her glasses.
“I won’t say it. I want to go home.” He mumbled. “I want to go home.”
Then he saw her, she always came just when he was about to give in. Her golden hair just like, he couldn’t remember her name…he had to keep her safe and he had to keep his promise.
“He’s had too much already professor!”
“I said shock him! DO IT!”
Penelope jumped from the chair and rushed to his side.
“Derek? Wake up Handsome, you’re safe. No one can hurt you now.”
She watched as his hands grabbed the sheets clinching them tightly.
“I want to go home, I want to go home. She’ll worry. I promised…I promised.”
She couldn’t bear to see him struggling and fighting against an invisible monster.
“Hold on baby, hold on! I’m going to get the nurse.”
Suddenly she felt his hand around her wrist. She looked down as his strong hand gripped her holding her in place. Pain shot through her has he increased his grip.
“Please…don’t leave! Don’t…leave…me…”
Then his eyes opened. Penelope saw the fear and the confusion.
And then she saw the tears.