They had found her half delirious from thirst and hunger in a bunker beneath the floorboards of an old barn. One wrist was handcuffed to a pipe, and the skin was red and raw, old blood dried over the scrapes. Her hair hung limply in her face as Morgan called for the EMTs and unlocked the cuffs, gently telling the woman to not attempt to stand since she hadn’t been able to do so for over a week and her legs probably wouldn’t support her.
“Did someone hurt him?” she asked, her voice cracked and rough.
“What do you mean?”
“When you found him,” said with a cough. “Did someone hurt him?”
“Not intentionally,” Morgan said.
“Pity,” she snarled, “because he intentionally hurt me.”
“But you survived.”
“Did I?” she asked, haunted eyes looking at him through her hair.
The EMTs pressed in around her, taking vital signs and making decision about how best to get her out of the space that only had a rickety ladder that she wouldn’t be able to climb.
Morgan climbed out of the bunker as they started to clean the sores on her wrist.
“How’s she look?” JJ asked, the whole team turning their attention to him.
“She was semi coherent, but she’s got a road ahead of her.”
“I’ll say,” one of the EMTs said as he finished his call for the firetruck with the rescue sling they were going to use for her. “It looks like he actually broke one of her legs and it started to heal wrong. Won’t know for certain without an x-ray, but it’s pretty likely. Wrist might be broken too. That one’s harder to tell.”
“She wanted to know if we hurt him when we took him into custody. Was mad that we hadn’t.”
“Well can you blame her?” Prentiss asked. “The fact that she’s still alive is practically a miracle. You saw what he did to those other women.”
“Did we get her name? Does she have anyone she wants us to call?” JJ asked.
Morgan shook his head. “I got out of there pretty quickly so I wouldn’t be in the EMT’s way. You and Reid should go to the hospital and talk to her while Prentiss and I head back to the station and see what more Rossi got.”
They had to wait for a while, but finally the woman was out of testing and was able to speak to them.
“Agents I assume,” she said.
“I’m Agent Jareau and this is Dr. Reid. We were hoping we could ask you some questions?”
“Anything that gets him locked up.”
“Let’s start simple,” JJ said. “What’s your name?”
“How did you end up in the bunker?”
“I was supposed to be house sitting for my parents while they were on an Alaskan cruise. I ran into Tyler at the grocery store on the first night, and he asked if I wanted to meet up with some people from high school at a bar. I didn’t really want to, but he mentioned that Melody was going to be there, and we had been kinda close, so I said sure. Of fucking course she wasn’t there and he injected me with something in the parking lot when he walked me back to the car. I woke up handcuffed to that fucking pipe, but I don’t know how long I was out for.”
“What day was that?”
“Sunday the eighth.”
“The eighth?” Spencer repeated. “But that was two weeks ago.”
“Shit,” she cursed.
“But that doesn’t make sense,” JJ said, looking at Reid. “That would make her the first victim, not the last.”
“Wait, you weren’t looking for me?”
“We were, but we thought you were his last victim, not his first.”
“What are you talking about?”
“Was there ever anyone else in there with you?” Spencer asked.
“Besides him? No.”
Spencer and JJ shared a look. “Tyler kidnapped six other women.”
“What?” she asked, her voice small.
“They’re all dead.”
Darcy began to cry, big, fat tears, and her pulse sped up. A nurse bustled in. “You need to leave. I’m going to give her some medication to help her calm down. You can come back tomorrow once her surgery anesthesia wears off.”
Effectively banished, they left the room. “This changes things,” Reid said. “We’ve got to get back to the station.”
The next day Spencer entered her room alone with a box in hand. “Hello Miss Lewis,” he said, catching her mid yawn.
“Dr. Reid,” she said with a small smile. “All alone today?”
“We thought you could use a little time to recover from surgery. JJ will be by later.”
“So you just came to keep me company?”
“I thought you could use it since your parents aren’t home yet.” He held up the box. “There weren’t a lot of options around the station, but I did find Scrabble .”
“That sounds like fun,” she said, a small blush coating her cheeks. “But fair warning, I’m competitive.”
“I won’t hold back then,” he said with a smirk that made her insides swoop a little.
“I wouldn’t want it any other way,” she declared, feeling excited.
Two hours later when JJ joined them, they were snapping pictures of the board and laughing. “Everything okay here?” she asked, surprised by the easy rapport between them. She had expected Darcy to be groggy or sick of Spencer.
“She beat me,” Spencer said, equal parts proud and amazed. “She had four separate seven letter words this time.”
She gave a small, satisfied shrug and shot him a smile. “I’ve never played anyone that made it a challenge. No one’ll play with me anymore because I always trounce them.”
“Well you can play with me any day,” he said, meaning it.
“That is a promise I will take you up on,” she said, meaning it too.
Both of them were oblivious to the picture of them JJ snapped as they looked at each other with stars in their eyes.