Fandom: Criminal Minds
Prompt:pdficchallenge 15b - videos/DVDs
Spoilers: 2x03, The Perfect Storm
Author’s Notes: I don’t own Garcia, I just want to be her, usually. Thanks to afteriwake for music inspiration!
Summary: Inside Garcia’s head
Garcia clicked off the DVD, took off her glasses, and sank her head into her hands. She hoped never to hear Billy Joel sing “Only the Good Die Young” again. It would never hold anything but nightmares for her.
The last few days had been spent trying to pull recognizable voices from the audio portion of a home-brew DVD of a girl being tortured. The DVD had been sent to the girl’s mother. Her father had seen it and had a fatal heart attack. The girl probably hadn’t outlived her father by more than a few hours. Receipt of the DVD had sent the BAU team down to Jacksonville to investigate and locate the pair who were responsible – one holding the camera and the other committing…. Garcia wasn’t going to think about what the one who wasn’t holding the camera was doing. It was bad enough that the images were burned into her brain.
It hadn’t taken her long to pull the four separate sources from the recording, but only the music was distinct. All the voices were muffled and distorted. She knew she could get clear audio of the unsubs, eventually. It just took time. Time they didn’t have because the scumbags had taken another victim.
Morgan had called early on for a progress report. She’d separated out the tracks by that time, but not much more. She wasn’t her usual cheery self and he picked up on it. At least, she thought, he’d called her by her first name and told her how much he appreciated her work. It didn’t help at the time, but she’d take that memory out eventually and look at it with a smile.
One call had helped. She’d gotten out of the habit of looking at her caller ID, because it was usually Derek, or sometimes Reid, who would call. She snapped at the phone “This better be HELLA good!” only to hear Gideon’s voice saying, “Garcia? Hello?” She babbled something, she didn’t know what – only hoped it wasn’t too embarrassing. He asked for some information and she looked it up for him, her fingers flying effortlessly over the keyboard although her brain was a complete muddle. She started to regain a little confidence but he kept asking her for more information and finally she didn’t have any more.
Gideon hadn’t spoken to her since she’d inadvertently allowed an unsub to access the BAU network via her personal laptop when she was playing an online game. It seemed he’d gone out of his way to glare at her more than once. So when she’d given him all the information he requested and he said, “Garcia”, she swallowed hard, afraid of a reprimand. But he said, “You do great work. Keep it up.” She thanked him profusely before she realized he’d hung up as soon as he spoke. Still, it helped her forget for a moment that unending torment on the DVD.
It was just hours after that call when she finally cracked the audio tracks – and the case – wide open. She called JJ with the recording of the person holding the camera and giving the orders. The team recognized the voice. But to find out where the unsubs were holding their victim they needed more information. Garcia was able to unseal a file and provide that, as well.
Maybe this case affected her more because she’d been more integral to the solution than usual. But probably, she figured, it was because it would take a lot of flirting from Morgan, wide-eyed incredulity from Reid, and even compliments from Gideon before she would begin to erase the memories of that torture from her mind.
But for right now, she needed to scrub at least the song out of her head. She grabbed her iPod, slipped in the earphones, and cranked up Poe’s “Control”.