Note: This is a companion piece to The Beauty. I would recommend that you read it first.
Warnings: Dark Imagery
Characters: Aaron Hotchner, David Rossi, Tony DiNozzo
Relationship: Aaron Hotchner/Tony DiNozzo
Word Count: 1,923
His head hurt so bad. He was sure any second his brains were going to start running out his ears, because they were being scrambled inside his skull. Stumbling through their home, he fell into their bed, and without even bothering to move, closed his eyes and fell asleep wishing his partner was by his side.
When Aaron woke up, he found himself standing in the middle of the road in a suburb somewhere. It was nighttime, but the streetlights provided enough light that he was able to see his immediate surroundings. Somewhere off in the distance the bright lights of some large city illuminated the horizon. There were palm trees lining the street, and it was warm enough that he knew he was not in either DC or Alexandria. He wondered where he was, but quickly discarded the thought deciding it was irrelevant.
He didn’t remember being on a case, and there was no one else around him. The next thing he noticed was the silence. There was no sound at all. No dogs barking. No too loud televisions coming from the houses. No arguments spilling out into yards. No traffic, no radios, and no nothing. Just quiet.
It made his skin crawl, and he knew that there was a serious problem. In the years he’d been with the BAU, he’d grown to trust his instincts. At that moment, his were screaming ‘danger!’ at him loudly inside of his head. Not being able to see a cause for alarm where he was at, he began to walk down the middle of the road. He’d decided to search the neighborhood, and hope that he could find the source for his unease.
The problem was that no matter what street he tried everything was the same. No sound, no people, and nothing but eerie silence. He had to find the music. It was imperative that he bring back the music. It was the only thing that would save them from the evil.
Pausing, he frowned considering the thought. It was highly illogical, but if Spencer were there he’d no doubt spout all sorts of facts and information about how music was imperative to humanity. The thought made him smile softly, as he thought about his team, until he wondered if whatever happened to all of the people from this neighborhood had affected them.
“Is Tony safe?”
The thought caused a pit of dread and fear to settle into his stomach. No sooner had he begun to wonder how to find out if his team and his partner were safe, than the most god awful sound was heard. Kneeling on the ground, he covered one ear with a hand as he patted down his pockets to see if he had anything to plug them with.
He found a pair of the foam ear plugs, and put them in, but they did nothing. It was as if they weren’t even in his ears. Quickly, he tried again, and pulled out his phone and the ear buds that he used when he was running. Immediately, he put them in, and turned on his Pandora. The Three Days Grace channel he’d been listening to the previous morning began playing, and the sound was immediately drowned out.
Standing he set off running through the streets trying to locate the source of the ungodly sound. He’d just rounded the corner onto a new street, when he saw it. Lying on its side blaring the horrible noise was a cello.
He’d never been unnerved by an instrument before, but this one was clearly a harbinger of bad tidings. Just as he was beginning to consider what to do with the instrument of darkness, a man came running at him from a yard. His eyes were pure red. The same shade as a coke can. His skin had turned pure black, with his hands tipped in sharp claws. His teeth were long and pointy, and made him think of the monster in the Alien movies.
He had to stop the noise. He had to bring back the music.
The man rushed at him, hissing an evil sound and gurgling unintelligibly. Dropping his hand to his side for his gun, Aaron realized that it wasn’t there. He had only moments before the man would be on him. He knew that without a weapon he’d be dead. Feeling a weight on his back. He reached back with one hand, and felt the handle of a sword sticking up over his left shoulder. Quickly, he pulled the sword out of the scabbard, and without thought or training swung it at the former man, now evil being, removing its head from its body.
He had no time to think about what he’d done, or how he suddenly knew how to use a sword. Not to mention the fact that it hadn’t been there earlier, and he didn’t own one. As soon as the man’s body dropped to the ground, six more of the creatures rushed at him. Quickly, he realized that they were trying to keep him from the cello.
He had to make the music play. It was the only thing that would save them. It was the only thing that would keep the evil at bay.
Fighting his way to the instrument still laying on its side, Aaron fought off the newcomers until he was again left alone on the street with the stringed instrument. Trying to decide what he could do to stop the sound, or more like trying to ignore the fact that what his instincts were telling him was pure madness, he studied the sword in his hand.
The handle, which was around 20 inches in length and required both hands to swing, appeared to be made of gold, or was at least covered in gold. The blade though was roughly three foot long in a hexagonal shape. The metal was pure black, with gold writing covering the metal that shown brightly through the blood covering it. He couldn’t read the it, but it reminded him of the script above the cave to the dwarves kingdom in the Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring movie. Somehow though he suspected it was not Elves that put it there.
Giving himself a sharp mental shake, he stopped questioning his insticts, and before any more of those creatures could appear, he crossed the short distance to the instrument, and set it up to stand upright. Lifting the sword like it was a bow, he drew the sharp edge across the strings. The blood of the creatures he killed ran from the blade and down the strings and the body of the cello.
But, the music played. Beautiful, soothing music flowed from the instrument. He could faintly hear screeches of pain in the distance, and knew it was more of the evil beings. As the song ended, he felt a sudden burst of pain in his back, and felt himself falling to the ground. The sword gripped tightly in his hand.
When he came to, he was lying on the library floor of the home he’d recently purchased with his partner, Tony DiNozzo. Aaron had already moved in, and they’d planned on moving in Tony in the next few weeks. The former NCIS agent had quit his position there, and agreed to a team lead position under Tobias Fornell. They’d celebrated with an expensive steak dinner, and a whole weekend of glorious sex.
Opening his eyes, he wondered what he’d done to have such a dream, and end up sleeping on the floor. Only, when he went to push himself up, his hand was still curled around the hilt of the sword.
“I’m afraid that it’s not a dream, Aaron,” he heard, and quickly he sat up to see Dave sitting on his couch with a cigar in one hand.
“Dave? What the hell is going…” Aaron stopped speaking when he really looked at his friend, and saw the large set of wings protruding from his back. The were large dark brown in color with green tips, and claws at the outer edges of the tips.
His mentor smiled, putting down the cigar in an ashtray that had not been there moments before.
“I’m afraid things have changed, Aaron. We’ve been watching you. I knew that you’d be the one to step up and lead the army. The greatest evil the world has ever seen has risen, and it’s up to you and your Italian to stop it.”
“Tony? Is he ok? What do you mean, greatest evil?”
“He’s fine,” Dave assured smiling. “He’s just finishing his own trial. You’ll be proud to know he’s passing with flying colors. All he has to do now is figure out how to water the rose without actually using water, and he’ll have passed. You have things to do though, so we had to rush yours along. Go save the team, Aaron. I wish I could stay, but… my time is done here. I cannot interfere any further. Good luck my friend, and I believe in you.”
“What? Dave you can’t just…”
The man stood, ignoring his protests and disappeared. Scowling, Aaron glared at the ceiling.
“Oh, by the way, Aaron. You have a set of your own.”
Turning his head quickly, Aaron saw the tips of a similar pair of wings like Dave had behind him. Hurring up to the bedroom, the sword still inhand, he rushed to the mirror he’d put in for Tony, and saw Dave was right. Sticking out from his back ws a set of blood red wings with black edges.
He had wings.
He had a sword.
He had to find the others.
Rushing to his nightstand, Aaron took the phone off the charger, then dug out the ear buds before running out of the house. Quickly he climbed into the SUV, then rushed off to Spencer’s house. He was the closest to the new house. Fervently he prayed to a God he didn’t think he believed in that his team was ok.
By the time he got to Tony’s townhome, he had most of the team with him as well as a handful of others. Some he knew, and some he didn’t. He hadn’t been willing to leave any survivers behind though.
Unfortunately, Derek had been lost to the evil, and had died by Aaron’s sword. His temper had gotten the best of him, and made him impatient leading to the change. Garcia had taken it hard, and they’d soon lost her as well. Her grief and willingness to believe pretty words led to her own change, and subsequent death. Henry was holding Clooney’s leash, as none of them were willing to leave him behind. Aaron hated the thought of Henry maybe growing up in the new world. For the first time maybe ever, he was glad that Jack had died at birth. He didn’t want his son to have to live through whatever was coming.
When Tony walked out of his home cradling a plant pot, Aaron felt a relief like he’d never experienced before. Surging forward, he wrapped up his love in his arms closing his eyes to try and hide the tears of happiness.
He didn’t know what was in store for them, but he knew one thing.
None of them would be the same, but as long as the stood together, as long as they held onto the beauty and the music, they would win. Evil would not prevail on his watch.