Crowley had thought himself to be clever by kidnapping one of the BAU team. Send the boys into their headquarters while a shapeshifter took the captive’s form and worked as a mole, have the brothers locked up and out of the way, then have them under his thumb after he let the agent go.
The only problem was that this was taking much longer than the King of Hell thought it would. On top of that, his mother was laughing at him.
When Crowley’s orderlies had abducted the agent from their home without a fuss and brought them here, Rowena came across the room and stared. The witch had been trying to create a potion for the heating. Being here was good and all, but it got draughty rather quickly. She had gone to ask Fergus where she might get bat’s intestines when she saw him standing in a disused room, the only light a small bulb hanging down.
“What is that?” she asked, staring at the unconscious hostage on a hospital bed with distain.
“Just a bargain for Moose and Squirrel,” Crowley replied matter-of-factly, “Get the both of them under my control.” He then explained how he had found the FBI agent after stalking the team in Virginia on November 28th, before stunning the victim at their home.
Rowena snorted. “That is probably the most ridiculous plan you’ve had in – well, all of your plans are daft, but this just goes out the window.”
“It’s not, Mother,” Crowley snapped, frowning at her, “Please, help me on this. I need the agent to see what the shapeshifter sees, just in case we need any new information from the team. How close they are to finding the Winchesters. Best to have eyes everywhere.”
Rowena folded her arms and eyed the victim. The victim had been strapped down to the hospital bed with belts, anesthetic being applied via a breathing mask. Their eyelids fluttered as they drifted in and out of sleep and mumbled in their drugged stupor. An arm loosely hung down from the side of the bed, their fingers almost brushing the unwashed floor.
“I’ll do my best,” Rowena grumbled, anger seething inside, before she turned and started walking out, “When this is over, Fergus, don’t say I didn’t tell you so.”
December 7th 2014
The brothers had been looking for a reported werewolf following an attack in Virginia when they got the call from Crowley. As they had been a little busy in actually wrestling the werewolf to the ground and shooting it with a silver bullet at the time, Crowley’s message had gone to voicemail.
“What now?” Dean had groaned, wiping the blood off from his hand – they’d got it on Baby, too, to his dismay.
He pressed the play button and heard the King of Hell on the other end.
“Hi Not-Moose. I have a little proposition for you. One that you goody two-shoes won’t be able to resist. Heard of Quantico, the source of the FBI? It’s right around the corner from you. How do I know? I sent the werewolf there.”
Dean groaned at the sound of that. They’d spent the better part of the last twenty-four hours on a wild goose chase.
“Here’s the thing, boys; you guys love saving innocent lives. And there’s none more innocent than the one I have stashed away. I had a shapeshifter replace one of the FBI agents on a BAU team. That’s ‘Behavioural Analysis Unit’, in case you didn’t know or had to ask Sammy. Turn yourselves in at the main building. Do that, I’ll let the shapeshifter reveal themselves. Then you can save the captive and clear your names. I know that the FBI still has a big juicy file on you two. You have six hours to make up your mind. The shapeshifter reports back every six hours, so I’ll know if you arrived. I’ve had the captive here for just over a week. Go have a look at the team. If you figure out which one it is, I’ll applaud you. Farewell, boys. Time’s ticking. I’ll send you more instructions when you arrive.”
“What was that?” Sam asked as he came up behind Dean, shovel in his hand and dirt over his trousers from burying the werewolf in human form.
“Crowley,” Dean muttered, “and I swear he’s just lost it.”
December 7th 2014
Aaron Hotchner was not in a good mood.
They’d had a particularly brutal Unsub in Maine this week (some guy hanging teachers with not-so-clean records from rafters by their ankles with chains and almost ended in suicide by cop) and as soon as he got back he’d heard that Jack had broken a tooth. He’d told the boy off; that he shouldn’t bite metal, but it was no use.
Now there was a commotion at the front doors. “What is it?” he asked as he exited the office and saw his team sitting around at their desks.
“Unauthorized visitors,” JJ told him, “to put it lightly.”
“Do we know their names?” Hotch asked her as the team made their way to the elevator.
JJ nodded, her face pale. “Definitely. Sam and Dean Winchester.”
“I thought they were dead. Again.” Hotch asked.
“No, sir,” JJ shook her head, as the six of them entered the elevator and it slowly descended, “Apparently not. But that’s not the weird part –“
“They asked to see you personally, Hotch.” Morgan finished for her.
Hotch blinked. For once he was at a loss for words. “They said those exact words?” he asked, puzzled.
JJ nodded again, just as confused. “They said –“
Reid spieled it off for her at top speed. “’Recognize us? We’re the Winchester boys. You thought we were dead, but we’re not. We demand to see Agent Aaron Hotchner and his team immediately. It’s a matter of life and death. You think we’re not serious; we’ve got guns and I’m not afraid to use mine. Not sure about Sammy. You have fifteen minutes to get him here. We know he’s inside.’ Dean Winchester then gave all of our names. He knows we’re here.”
Hotch straightened up, brow furrowed. “We need to be careful. These guys have faked their deaths on numerous occasions. They’re some of the most vicious Unsubs we’ve ever seen. Be very cautious.”
As they got out of the elevator, Kate asked, “Exactly who are these guys?”
Rossi explained to her. “Wanted for the last nine years. Rape, murder, grave desecration, credit card fraud…a few bank robberies, couple of massacres in 2011…religious nutcases, seeing monsters everywhere after their dad brainwashed them. Back in 2008, one of our best agents, Agent Hendrickson, had caught them in a small town in Colorado. He ended up being killed in an explosion at the police station, along with the entire police force there. To tell you the truth, when these guys are finally locked away, I plan to study them.”
“For your next book?” Kate asked. Rossi shrugged.
When the team had gotten outside of the front doors, they saw the two brothers standing there, guns drawn. Dean seemed determined whereas Sam was a strange mix of bewildered and fed up. The rain was pouring down on them, lit up by the floodlights. If Hotch was right, the younger Winchester had blood all over his clothes.
“You Aaron Hotchner?” Dean asked him as he came up.
“Yes, I am,” Hotch frowned, “What do you want?”
“We need to talk.” Dean tried to sound intimidating, but he was shaking inside. If this was yet another wild goose chase, next time he went to Hell he would strang'e Crowley himself. “Those your teammates?”
Hotch paused, inches from Dean’s gun. Surely the man wasn’t daft enough to shoot a federal agent on Quantico grounds? And how exactly had they got in, anyway?
“One of your team,” Dean looked Hotch straight in the eyes, “is a mole.”
“What on Earth are you talking about?” Hotch stared back at the Winchester, wondering how sane this man was. Of course he wasn’t sane, the agent told himself, the religious, crafty (and according to Hendrickson, incestuous) brothers traveled in a car and murdered people left, right and center with no firm victimology.
“Shapeshifter,” Dean whispered, eyes flicking between the man and his team, “One of them. Maybe you.” He tilted his head, “Not sure about you. If you could kindly touch some silver for me, I’ll tell.” Then he asked, “Team names?”
“I’m not going to tell you that.” Hotch replied.
“Tell me!” Dean shouted.
Hotch was not a man to be easily threatened. Even with an Unsub’s gun lined up with his heart. But since the team were going to question them soon, it didn’t seem to matter very much. Looking over at Sam, Hotch saw that the younger Winchester’s hands were shaking. Was it from fear or holding the gun for too long?
“Behind me,” Hotch whispered, “from left to right are Derek Morgan, Kate Callahan, Spencer Reid, Jennifer Jareau and David Rossi.”
“I swore there was another.” Dean seemed confused.
“Penelope Garcia is indoors,” Hotch finished, “Now, what is this?”
“Shapeshifter. Police in St. Louis shot one posing as me. Wondered how I was able to fake my death that time? I’ll say this the third time, Agent Aaron Hotchner, one of your agents is a shapeshifter and has been for over a week.”
Out of the corner of Hotch’s eye, he saw Sam lower his gun and place it on the ground, hands above his head. Dean didn’t react.
“I’m gonna put the gun down,” Dean explained, “Then we can talk about it. Strange things have probably happened in that building. Stuff you can’t explain. Crowley – a friend told us. Only we can identify which one. If your agents question us one by one, I’m sure we’ll figure it out.”
As Dean placed the gun down, the agents moved in. Sam and Dean didn’t flinch as they were taken away. All they could do was examine the men and women of the BAU around them, trying to work out which one was a shapeshifter.
Technically this is supposed to be a stealth sequel to my story 'Demon Vacation' and possibly my Buzzfeed stories on Supernatural, but you don't have to have read that to follow this story.
The agent’s eyelids fluttered open slowly, REM sleep letting them slip from Quantico to here. Last night they remembered, they were at home getting ready for bed. Then some people had literally appeared in front of them – and the room smelt of sulfur – wrestling the agent to the bed. The agent had started to yell, but one assailant had clasped a hand over their mouth and dug one arm across the agent’s chest. Trying to fight back was like trying to push a current.
The other one had them injected the agent with something, sending them to sleep almost instantly. They’d woken up on a hospital bed, unable to do anything except watch what was right in front of them.
And this was perhaps the most terrifying part.
Now there was a woman standing at the end of the bed. They swore they had heard her voice before, in their sleep. But now she was leaning on the end of the bed, groaning loudly in frustration.
“I thought I’d raised a good son and he goes off and kidnaps a human because he thinks the Winchesters are going to get caught. I sometimes wonder if three pigs was too high.” She scoffed. “Don’t be so frightened, pet. I’m a witch but I won’t be anything bad to you. Partly because my son Fergus has gambled massively on this. How did I get to this? My son’s a useless king, the servants all hate me and I’m stuck talking to a semi-conscious human.”
Just before the captive drifted off to sleep again, Rowena tried asking, “I don’t suppose you know cards, do you?”
To be frank, it had honestly gone a lot better than Sam would have hoped for.
They had immediately been arrested and taken to separate rooms, as they had expected. Their clothes were replaced with prison jumpsuits – mainly because there was blood and dirt on them – and now they were being questioned.
Of course the FBI thought he was mad, Sam told himself. Coming in, talking about shapeshifters and wanting to be locked up. Armed with guns filled with salt, a silver knife and a bottle of Holy Water.
He knew that agents would be staring back at him from the other side of the one-way mirror. He just wondered which one was a shapeshifter.
He hoped Dean had better luck than him.
“I’ve told you,” Dean groaned as he held his head in his hands, utterly fed up of this stern FBI agent drilling into his skull with the same questions over and over, “you are in danger.”
“And you decided to somehow break into Quantico?” Hotch raised an eyebrow in disbelief. “Well, forgive me if I don’t exactly believe you brothers; you’re not exactly known for telling the truth.”
“That isn’t exactly the focus right now,” Dean looked up, “One of your team is a fake.”
“A fake?” Hotch was fed up of this. Surely Winchester would cease with the mind games? He could come up with more convincing ones than that, Hotch was sure. Even the most delusional of Unsubs could usually say something slightly more comprehensible.
Dean started to explain. “One of your team, Agent Hotchner, is an imposter. They – they were kidnapped – I’d say just over a week ago – and replaced. Don’t worry; your teammate is still alive.”
“Replaced?” Hotch crossed his arms, “You mean like a changeling?”
“That’s a whole different species,” Dean looked down at the table, talking as if he was giving a lecture, trying to move his hands as best as he could when they’d handcuffed him, “But this is a shapeshifter. You can tell, as their eyes flash when caught on camera.” He murmured, “If you had that in St. Louis, I wouldn’t be in this mess.”
“Ah, St. Louis,” Hotch replied, “Reminds me. You do realise you’re still wanted for the St. Louis rapes? Usually statute of limitations would have expired by now, but since you left the state after the murders – and declared dead numerous times – we’ve made an exception. We’ve also pegged you for the explosion in Colorado, the bank robbery in Milwaukee, breaking and entering in Little Rock and the massacres in 2011.”
“Any more?” Dean asked, exasperated.
From behind the one-way mirror, Reid recited to JJ and Morgan on either side of him, “302 uses of credit card theft, 82 grave desecrations and various other cases.”
JJ asked, “What’s his victim type, then?”
“It goes all over the place,” Reid trailed off, “but mainly young women. The murders of Madison in San Francisco, 2007; Lucy in Albany, 2007; Tammi Benton, Renee Van Allen and Amanda Burns in Massachusetts, 2008; probably Nancy Fitzgerald in Monument, 2008; Cindy McClellan in Maryland, 2009; Emma Doe in Seattle, 2012; and Channing in Michigan in 2013, just to name a few. The St. Louis torture-rape cases. The disappearances of Ava Wilson in 2006; Lily Owens in 2007; Anna Milton in 2008; probably Ruby Doe in 2009 –“
“Okay Reid,” JJ put her hands up, “I get it.” Then she asked, “Ruby Doe? Where did they get that name from?”
“She was a Jane Doe found at the church where Cindy’s body was found,” Reid explained, narrowing his eyes as he took a good look at Dean, “She was seen helping Sam kidnap Cindy.”
“You mean he made a victim help him?” Morgan thought he’d heard everything but this took the biscuit.
“Probably. It’s not known what their connection with the Jane Doe was, but she was named as Ruby Doe in 2012 after an interview from the brothers in New York.” Reid stood up straight again, hands in his pockets.
“They said her name was Ruby?” JJ asked, just as Hotch slid her morgue photo across to Dean.
Dean looked down at Ruby’s picture and sighed, turning his head. “I’m not here to talk about her now,” he grumbled.
Hotch raised his voice slightly as he argued. “They’re cases that need closing, Dean. There are families out there wanting closure.”
Except for one girl in particular, Hotch reminded himself. He had seen the file. Garcia had brought it up when the brothers were brought in.
“Here it is, sir,” she had told him, visibly upset, trying to avoid looking at the brothers, her voice dropping to little more than a whisper, “I didn’t think they could get worse, but they did. This is Dean’s daughter. She was just a kid and he shot her.”
Those words rang in Hotch’s head as he looked at the next photo he was about to show the older Winchester. The autopsy report for Emma Doe, as she had been named, stated that she was young. Very young. A recent exhumation had declared her to be either fourteen or fifteen years old, with no childhood diseases and perfect teeth and bones. Well cared for, it appeared.
So why had nobody claimed her?
He turned around the picture and faced Dean Winchester straight in the eye. “This girl. Your daughter?”
Dean went pale and tried to remain calm, forcing himself to try and think rationally. He sat up as much as he could while handcuffed and said, “Just please, listen to me for one moment. Prove to me that you’re not a shapeshifter. Prove that your colleagues aren’t shapeshifters. I have holy water in my flask and I’m sure your CSI guys have shown it’s safe. Drink it. Show me you’re innocent.”
“I cannot say the same for you,” Hotch replied, “Our team is looking for Novak. He’s always around you two. Whether you brainwashed him or just kidnapped him, we’ll find out the answers. And we will find answers, one way or the other.”
Dean watched the agent’s face carefully, trying to work out if this man was human. The best question he could come up with to determine an answer ended up being, “Do you ever smile?”
JJ watched Dean carefully from behind the glass before she excused herself to go to the bathroom.
But when she got there, her heart pounded in her chest as she closed her eyes and steadied herself on the handrail.
Dean had shot his own daughter.
Were there any other family secrets in the Winchesters’ closet of skeletons? No, for them it wasn’t a closet; it was a whole attic.
She couldn’t imagine hurting Henry in any way. No normal parent should. JJ had skim-read the Winchester file but she brought the pages out again as she left the bathroom and entered the bullpen.
It seemed Dean had been a substitute parent for as long as he knew. He’d had to look after Sammy while his dad went out at night. Presumably murdering people.
It was difficult to imagine such a horrible life. The boys didn’t stand a chance with a dad like that.
She read in later parts of the file that the two of them presumably lured a schizophrenic man named James Novak. He was seen working with them. He wore the same coat and tie every time, never said a word and often looked to Dean for help. He hadn’t taken any medication before he vanished and JJ doubted that he had any during the six years he had been missing.
If they were without him, Novak may still be alive, or something even worse. From what JJ worked out, the guy was dependent on Dean, followed his every order.
How many people would that man break?
Rossi was working on Sam. The younger Winchester’s hair fell over his face as he stared down at the table. Rossi tried everything to make him talk, but the man didn’t budge.
Eventually Rossi clasped his hands and asked, “Do you think you could tell me about Jessica, Sam?”
Sam slowly looked up, answering, “I loved Jessica.”
Rossi sighed inwardly. Finally, he’d gotten somewhere. “Do you remember the last time you were with Jessica, Sam?”
Sam paused. He knew he should be looking for the shapeshifter. These agents were questioning him. He would be just as sneaky. So he replied, “Yes, yes I do. I had to leave her because Dean said Dad was missing.”
“On a hunt. We’d lost him. It took us nearly months to find him.”
Rossi asked, although he was certain that he knew the answer from bits and pieces taken from various records of sightings, “And then your father died?”
Sam drew up straight in his chair, eyeing the man for any reaction, “He was killed by the Yellow-Eyed Demon in the hospital after Dean was comatose. He gave his life for Dean. Because Dad loved us and he would never let anything hurt us, no matter what your agents say. No matter what Hendrickson said. Hendrickson was a good guy, agent; we met him, on his last night alive. And no, we didn’t kill him. The demon Lilith killed him. We hunt monsters. We kill monsters. We’re not the criminals.”
Sam examined Rossi’s face for any sort of reaction. Finding none, the younger Winchester sat back in his seat and watched as Rossi sighed and left the room.
Rossi thought that Sam was a hopeless case. Strict brainwashing by his dad and then probably his brother and left Sam a wreck.
But Rossi wondered about what might be salvaged from this. The lab was currently looking at the water. If it was just plain water, then the boys would say it was Holy Water. Show it to the boys. Drink it.
Then they’d see.
The hostage woke up again to find the woman was in front of them again. Had the woman even moved from that spot?
As the agent dozily shifted their head from left to right, they noticed that they were held down at the wrists and ankles by belts. Weakly pulling at them, the noise alerted the woman. They tried to speak, but whatever they said was muffled by the breathing mask and anyway, they were far too weak to speak coherently.
She snorted. “I see you’ve woken, sleeping beauty,” she didn’t look up from the book she was reading, “You actually are a beauty, you know. I wish my son had been as good-looking as a child that I’d bet you were. Oh, he’s coming down now.”
When Crowley had come down the stairs, he grimaced as he looked at Rowena. “Hello, Mother,” he growled softly, “My plan is going brilliantly.”
“Fergus, your lies are getting worse,” she replied, “How do you know the boys are going to cooperate?”
Crowley ignored her, walking over to the bedside. He pulled some hair out from his captive’s face and stood over them at an angle, examining them.
“Time to take a little look.” he clicked his fingers and an orderly came up.
The captive struggled, but then the orderly pressed one ironclad hand into their right arm, then pushed the eyelid up gently. The hostage went still for a second, before looking up as the orderly pulled a greenish wisp out.
The wisp floated across toward Crowley, who opened up a flask and it went inside, where as soon as it touched the water it turned a bright red. He sipped it. “Tastes like strawberries,” Crowley gave a small smile, “I see the team has the boys. Back to sleep. More information awaits.”
As the orderly turned a nearby wheel and anesthesia filled up the breathing mask, Rowena put her book down on the floor, walked slowly up and then stabbed them in the back.
As the orderly slumped lifeless to the ground, the agent just about heard Crowley shout, “Mother!”
Rowena answered in her high, childish voice, “Just can’t get the staff these days, Fergus.”
The two prisoners had been placed in adjoining cells with a reasonably thin wall. The cameras were focused on them, since the team had decided that if they eavesdropped on the brothers’ conversation, they could find out more.
“That’s the thing,” Dean said to Sam, leaning back, “I’m trying to figure out which one’s our guy.”
“Dean, not only is our guy a shapeshifter, but these are FBI agents,” Sam argued, “It’ll be difficult.”
“Yeah, but not too much,” Dean raised his voice, “Should be looking for weird stuff happening. Preferably the last nine days.” Then he rubbed his eye with his knuckle.
“Nine?” Sam asked, “Crowley said just over a week.”
“Eight, nine, doesn’t matter. It’s been over a week.” Dean sat back, his stomach rumbling. He could really do with a bacon cheeseburger right now.
“You try looking at everyone when we got brought here?” Sam asked.
“That’s the problem. Need to see if it’s Moody, Blondie, Chatterbox, Glasses, Eyebrows, Titch or Bald.” Dean grunted.
“Name-calling. Nice.” Sam sarcastically snapped. “Crowley hasn’t given any more information?”
“Not as far as I’m aware,” Dean answered, “They took the phone.”
Hotch was looking at the two on the screen from the bullpen. The rest of the team were sat around the table, watching earnestly.
Dean looked at the camera and called, “Try looking at our messages. You read text messages from fugitives, don’t you?”
Hotch rested his fingers on his face. “Garcia, check if there’s anything on their phones we can use.”
“On it.” Garcia answered, exiting the room.
Rossi asked, “Did he mean me when he said Moody or was that Eyebrows?”
JJ tried not to snicker. Then she asked, “The name-calling; are they demeaning us? Making us appear less human? He did say that he was looking for a shapeshifter.”
“Shapeshifters vary in several cultures,” Reid started demonstrating with his hands, “Selkies were creatures in Scandinavian mythology. They would shed seal skins and become human. Japanese kitsunes are nine-tailed foxes whose strength increases with age or wisdom. They can also become human. Then we have the usual werewolves or the Irish puca. If we knew which one he was referring to, we could break their illusions and make them explain what they were doing.”
“Kid’s got a good point,” Hotch then pushed himself out of his chair, “JJ, question the younger brother. Rossi, do Dean. Exactly the same thing as last time.”
“Hotch, Dean Winchester mentioned silver,” Kate said to him as they left the room, “I have a silver bracelet if that can show him that I’m human.”
“That’s a start,” Hotch answered her, “These guys have escaped before, so be vigilant.”
Garcia was looking at the phone in her office. Well, she called it her office but it was actually the computer analysis room. ‘Office’ made it sound more homey. Pushing her glasses up, she scanned Dean Winchester’s phone.
He had very few contacts. There was a ‘Castiel’ and Sam’s number – or at least, one of them – and the name ‘Kevin’. Kevin Tran? The whole case suggested religious motivation.
Then she saw a lot of texts from someone named Crowley. Looking at the most recent one, she looked at it for some hidden message.
But no, the message was in front of her.
It’s a bit of a mystery, boys, but if you piece the clues together, you can figure it out.
It's tricky, isn't it?
I had to rewatch the 'Amelia Porter' episode since my timeline would put the shapeshifter in the team during that time. Guess if you want to. I will reveal which one is the shapeshifter in the next chapter, don't worry.
December 8th 2014
Rowena glanced over at the hostage. It was dull, being hated by everybody in Crowley’s hideout. He was the King of Hell and he let himself fall to the Winchesters. He was pathetic.
She was sure that she had him under her thumb. He had the First Blade locked away. He trusted her above the servants. Possibly.
But he seemed restless, annoyed and grumpy. Of course that was what he was like all the time, but was he pining for that summer when he was loose with Dean Winchester? Before he had time for his mother?
Rowena wondered what the agent’s mother thought of them. Were they proud of their child for saving so many? She felt a pang of jealously for a woman she’d never met.
It really was humiliating to be as powerful as she was, but have a useless clod for a son and be treated as unfairly as she was. No wonder this room was the only place where she could think without angry stares in her direction.
She put the book down and wandered over to the hostage. Their eyelids fluttered slowly and she wondered if the captive was awake. “I have no idea if you can hear a word I’m saying,” she grasped her slender fingers over the edge of the bed, “but between you and me, my son is a right pain in the backside. Take off those rose-tinted glasses of yours, because the world is far scarier than you’d imagine. The stuff you see every day?”
She sniggered and leaned in close, her hair brushing their cheeks. “You have no idea.”
At Quantico, Hotch had ordered the surrounding area be searched for the Winchesters’ car. It was always close behind and had who knew what inside.
“The blood found on Sam's clothes is fresh,” he also told his team, walking into the main area without looking up from his papers in his hands, “As soon as it’s light, go out and search.” When he heard no response, he glanced up.
JJ, Kate, Reid and Morgan were all fast asleep. Kate and Morgan were asleep at the desks, JJ was slumped in a chair nearby and Reid had buried his head in his arms on a nearby table.
JJ had been speaking to Will, her phone lying in her hand. Kate had done the same, but had had a long conversation with Meg, telling her to get to bed; Hotch had heard the one-sided conversation from his office. Kate had sounded angry, talking in whispers most of the time. Morgan murmured nearby in his sleep. He sounded frustrated and he was definitely frowning. Reid had been right in the middle of a chess game, his knight about to attack the other side’s.
Hotch sighed, his arms dropping to his sides.
Of course they were asleep. He’d tell them when they woke up. Usually he would say time was of the essence, but since it looked as if the two brothers had actually killed someone, chances were that said corpse would still be in the same place in four hours. He could easily have sent someone else to do it, but the weather conditions were too harsh anyway.
Instead Hotch called home. He knew that Jack wouldn’t be awake yet, but he needed to pass on the message that he would be late.
In reality, Hotch had no idea when he would be home.
They struggled weakly against the belts biting into their flesh. Being stuck on this hospital bed, albeit mostly asleep, for the last ten days had been absolutely terrifying and tedious at the same time. The hostage wondered if they had any bedsores. They didn’t feel hungry or thirsty. Maybe the witch did something so that they wouldn’t have to ask.
They squeezed their eyes shut, turning their head away from the doorway. Then they wouldn’t have to see the foul Brit or that scary Scottish woman when they came back. But they might also turn themselves into a target if they faced the other way, so the hostage found themselves lying straight up again.
When they finally saw someone coming down the stairs, they heard an echo of something clanging loudly, followed by swearing. Gaelic, by the sound of it.
The woman was standing there, clasping several items close to her chest. A black cauldron the same size as a medium-sized mixing bowl fell down the last few steps and clattered at her feet.
Rowena pulled a face at the captive. “Well, if I can’t get peace anywhere else.” she sighed, tilting her head and raising her eyebrows.
Despite everything that had happened, the captive was still vaguely interested in what was going on. They’d heard of witches casting spells before, but they’d never really believed in magic. Now it was happening right before their eyes.
When the witch had finished, she held out a long, slender arm and flicked some hair from the agent’s eyes. She was speaking softly, but the agent had no idea whether it was directed at them or not.
“Just a little sample, to see what they see.” She smiled a nasty smile.
The noise made both jump. The captive’s eyes darted to the right as he saw the man storm in.
“I see through them, Mother, not you. As King, I have to know all.”
Rowena snorted. “Some King you are. Aren’t I supposed to help you? Am I not your mother?”
“You’re about as good at being a mother as I am at ruling Hell, apparently,” Crowley snapped back, “I don’t trust anyone, remember, you evil b-“
“Fergus, it’s rude to argue in front of company!” Rowena retorted.
Crowley made a grunt of disapproval and then pulled the agent’s eyelid up to take a closer look. Another green wisp came out and into a flask in his hand. Crowley stood back and then sneered.
“Those boys are ignorant. Call themselves hunters? The shapeshifter's staring them right in the face!” he jeered, sipping at the potion as he strode out. No matter, he would call up the shapeshifter and have them attack. They called up as soon as Crowley left the room.
"But what exactly do you want me to do?" they had asked, in a sleepy voice, just having woken up, "I'm sick and tired of having to impersonate this - argh! - this human. I've had to make these things trust me, think I am their colleague. They're as useful as the Winchesters, if you ask me."
"Listen," Crowley sighed, hoping his mother wasn't in earshot, but who knew with that sneaky witch, "I know it's a big risk, but you have to get the brothers into a position where they have no choice but to do what I say. They're not going to let an innocent die. They're too nice. You're somewhere secure, right? The team and the brothers can't hear you?"
The shapeshifter replied, "I'm in a secure place, don't worry. There's nobody else in this room. I said I was looking for help from D.C police." Then the shapeshifter grumbled, before asking, "Just a few more hours? Then I can have some fun? There's someone here I had my eye on since arriving -"
"Yes, yes!" Crowley snapped, "Hurry up!"
Sam was being interrogated again. This time Reid had come in to try and talk. When he also couldn’t get Sam to budge, the conversation had somehow turned to chess. Maybe talking about this subject, away from the anxiety around them, could loosen up the Unsub. Normally Reid would talk about chess for hours, but Sam just stared glumly ahead of him.
It didn’t seem to work. The younger brother might be smart and presumably the submissive of the pair, but he didn’t speak at all when Reid sat across him.
“Sam,” Reid cleared his throat, “we found blood and dirt on your clothes when you arrived. Is there something you have to tell us?”
Sam sighed. “There’s a werewolf buried somewhere out in the woods nearby. The teeth are still there. You can check. But we have to come with you. It could be dangerous.”
Reid leaned back, folded his arms and licked his lip. “I’ll have to ask my supervisor.” He murmured, but he got up anyway and went into the other room, where Kate and Morgan were waiting.
“Should we?” Morgan asked, as soon as the youngest agent entered the room, “Look in the woods, I mean. They’re shifty guys.”
“If there’s a possible body out there, I don’t really think we have a choice.” Kate answered before Reid could say another word.
Hotch had ordered that as soon as the sun rose up, the agents had to search. Right now Reid, Morgan, Rossi and Hotch were out with a forensics team, walking through wet, sodden grass as they tried to work out exactly where the vehicle was.
Dean Winchester came along, still in the jumpsuit and wearing cuffs, dragged along by Hotch, who was really wishing he was having breakfast with Jack instead of being out in the freezing cold with a mass murderer.
“It’s left! I said that already!” Dean almost yelled into Hotch’s ear with frustration.
“We heard you the first time,” Morgan muttered to himself, looking in that direction and calling out, “I think this is it!”
When they approached the Impala, Dean shouted, “You do anything to Baby and I swear I’ll –“
“You’ll do what?” Morgan shouted back, coming up as the forensics carefully opened the doors and the trunk, “Shoot me? Like you did those guys in St. Louis? Like Madison? Like your own daughter?” A combination of being forced to interact with one of the deadliest fugitives in American history and a lack of sleep had made Morgan irritable.
Dean’s arm itched like crazy. Just as it had every time his anger fueled the Mark. It was a good thing he was handcuffed or he probably would have throttled Morgan.
Hotch put a hand up to try to calm his colleague down, before he asked Dean, “Where exactly is the werewolf?”
Dean shrugged. “About twenty yards away. Not sure exactly where. Sammy buried it.”
“OK,” Hotch decided to go along with Dean’s game, “Have a look.”
Twenty minutes later the forensics team had uncovered a body in a shallow grave twenty yards and sixty-seven degrees north of the Impala. As Reid and Kate crouched by the grave, Kate asked, “How long have they been dead?”
She turned her head to take a closer look. The victim was a white male in his forties, slightly balding, overweight, perhaps a construction worker or the like giving his clothes. He had been shot multiple times.
Reid pushed the man’s gums up. “The teeth are definitely pointy, not like a human’s at all,” he spoke slowly, concentrating, “Strange.”
Kate pulled her phone out. “I’ll call the medical examiner. Get them over here.”
“Yeah, sure,” Reid murmured as he stood up and walked back to Hotch.
Eyeing the older Winchester, Reid tried to look intimidating. He crossed his arms and asked, “Where did you meet the deceased, Dean?”
Dean scowled back. “In town. If I give you the name of the bar and grill, chatterbox, I’m sure you’ll see where he attacked three people and left them for dead.”
As Hotch pulled the older brother away, Reid leaned in to Morgan, who had just gotten off the phone with Garcia. The younger agent hissed, “I think I prefer the other brother.”
“Try me,” Kate was sitting across from Dean, eyeing him carefully, “Why did you kill that man?”
Dean was fed up of this. These endless questions were annoying as it was, but he had to find out which one was the shapeshifter before they hurt – or killed – someone.
“He was – a werewolf.” Dean rubbed his brow as he tried explaining, “Not that any of you seem to understand.”
Kate saw that Dean had rolled the sleeve of his jumpsuit up since they had gotten back from the car. Now he was scratching it terribly. Noticing something on his arm, she decided to ask another question.
“What’s that burn?” she pointed, “Where did you get that?”
He immediately spotted scratching and tilted his head, as if trying to take a good look at Kate. Glancing down at her, he pointed to her bracelet.
“That pure silver?” he asked.
“Answer my question first, then I’ll tell you.” She replied in a stern voice.
Dean sighed and then said, “An enemy. We had a fight and he – he branded me. I’ve been trying to get the mark off, but so far we haven’t found anything.”
“We?” Kate asked, interest peeked.
“Me, Sammy…Cas – Castiel.”
Kate then asked, trying to make him more comfortable around her, which he seemed to be doing quite well, “And are you making progress?”
Dean sighed, hanging his head. “No. I – I’m scared about what will happen – if I don’t. If I – hurt Sam. Or worse. I – it’s forcing me. Telling me things that I don’t want to hear. Saying things about myself that I don’t like. It’s tearing me apart inside and I am this close, this close, to just breaking down and crying. Or even killing myself. But even if I try, it won’t let me. The mark won’t let me.”
Kate paused, taking this in. Then she asked, “How long have you had this mark? What are these urges telling you to do to Sam?”
Dean looked up, angry.
“Why would you ask that? You the shapeshifter?”
Kate got up suddenly from her chair and stepped back. Even cuffed to the table, Dean Winchester was terrifying.
After watching from behind the one-way mirror, Morgan and Hotch ran in and pulled Dean back as Kate pressed herself against the wall. Before Dean could swear any more or possibly even rip the cuffs apart (who knew with the mark?) he was injected in the arm and his eyes started to droop.
As soon as he’d finished, Hotch stood up.
This would be a lot harder than he anticipated.
Hotch looked out at the press conference as JJ spoke to reporters, saying they had the Winchester brothers in custody and we currently appealing for anyone who knew of John Doe’s description.
A reporter held a microphone close to JJ, asking, “Weren’t the brothers killed in New York?”
JJ replied with, “The Winchesters are known for successfully evading police for a decade, mainly by faking their death on numerous occasions. We simply ask if anyone has seen this John Doe.”
Another reporter asked, “Does this mean that the two of them have been committing crimes all over the US and nobody in the FBI noticed this?”
JJ paused, concentrating, before she looked the reporter right in the eyes.
“Since the Winchesters’ MO varies, it is possible that said murders were noticed, but have not been linked due to there being no eyewitnesses at these crimes. All we are asking for is information to help identify this man.”
Hotch watched as JJ thanked them and re-entered.
“Any luck?” she asked Hotch.
He answered as they walked towards the elevator.
“No such hope. The ME said that the John Doe didn’t have human teeth. That doesn’t help very much. You could see why they mistook him for a werewolf.”
JJ nodded. She’d tried talking to the team about the delusions earlier, only to get five minutes of the history of lycanthropy from Reid and a list of suspected animals near crime scenes, mainly in the wilderness, from Garcia.
Hotch had started to consider exactly what the brothers said.
Anything unusual in the previous week and a half? Any of your team acting oddly?
The difference was that Hotch didn’t want to consider the idea of the supernatural. But when it crept up into his doubts, like a poisonous spider determined to strike, it sent a shiver down his spine when the concept of a secret world niggled at him.
But there had been a few moments. Sudden phone calls, the agent hiding something from him, the innocent smile that Aaron was sure was hiding something.
If his fear was confirmed, Aaron was unsure if he could sleep again. It was difficult enough with human monsters lurking in the dark.
But supernatural fear?
He felt as young and helpless as Jack.
“So this photo is of the victim found in the wood,” Morgan pinned the photo up and stood back, “The teeth stand out the most; they are extremely sharp and pointy. This guy either never visited a dentist in his life or his records will mention these.”
“Pretty ugly teeth,” Kate folded her arms, while JJ just stared back, “They’re worse close up.”
“The eyes were also sunken,” Reid pointed at the photo with a felt-tip pen, “Oddly enough, it was similar to the autopsy of the woman in San Francisco. It could be what the Unsubs look for in a victim.”
“Well witches were supposedly chosen because they were ugly,” JJ remembered from history class, “Maybe they go by a similar lore, the Winchesters.”
Rossi looked around before he asked, “Where’s Hotch?”
“Interviewing Dean,” JJ responded, before glancing back at the photo. The unidentified really did resemble a wolf and it scared her no end.
“Didn’t the Winchesters say there was a shapeshifter in the group?” Rossi asked.
Morgan nodded. “Sam told me it was the Lord of Hell.”
“What, the Devil?” Kate asked.
Morgan shrugged. “No clue.”
As he spoke, the shapeshifter recoiled slightly. Thinking fast, they walked away. They had to make a phone call.
Hotch was back inside Sam’s cell. The brother looked fed up and tired.
Hotch had curled his fist and lay it on the table. As Sam watched, Horch unfurled it and showed Sam he was holding a silver bracelet.
“Agent Callahan brought this in for me.” he explained, “It’s pure silver. Check.”
Sam held the bracelet in his fingers and looked the bracelet over. “Yes, it seems silver.” The prisoner mumbled, before he looked up to Hotch, a small glimmer of hope in his eyes as he knew he could trust the man.
Hotch still remained stoic, but inside he was relieved that the Unsub appeared to have gained his trust. He leaned forward, clasping his hands together as he asked, “If a shapeshifter was here, how would I tell?”
“They shed their skin,” Sam recited from research, “It’s an absolute mess. It’s what went on at the bank in Milwaukee.”
Hotch nodded. As terrible as it sounded, that did explain how a Jane Doe looked uncannily like another hostage. The fear pricked at him again while he contemplated the enormity of the situation.
Sam seemed to recognize this. “Agent Hotchner,” he finally spoke, “the best way is to look at the security cameras. The shapeshifter’s eyes will flash. Who – who looks at the security monitors?”
“Garcia can look,” Hotch explained, “but if she – if she’s a suspect, what do I say?”
“Press silver against her,” Sam answered with clarity, “Then we’ll see.”
“Okay.” Hotch nodded, letting himself unlock Sam’s handcuffs and take him out of the cell. “Hurry.”
“Sir, can you please tell me what’s going on?” Garcia asked, talking to Hotch but staring at Sam with terrified eyes, while her superior pressed Kate’s bracelet on her skin.
“Penelope’s clean,” Hotch told Sam, before instructing her, “Garcia, bring me a live feed of the team through any security cameras you have.”
“Why?” she asked in a small voice.
“Please do it.”
“Sir, you sound really scared,” Garcia looked at him with curiosity and pity, “Like when Foyet –“
“Garcia, focus.” Hotch answered sternly, but gently.
Garcia turned around in her chair and then looked through the cameras.
Meanwhile, Dean had been released from his cell. He had no clue why, except that Moody glared at him and Sam said something about this agent being human. Dean supposed that was something at the very least.
Now he stood in the bathroom as he scratched at the mark. It was going crazy. He was crazy. Part of him longed for that time when he was running around with Crowley. No fear, no rules, no consequences. Being stuck with Sam, with his conscience, flung him about.
Now he sighed as he held his head in his hands.
“You sure?” Crowley asked, rubbing the underside of his chin as the shapeshoifter spoke into the mobile.
“Positive,” the shapeshifter replied, “I saw the younger Winchester go into the computer room. He didn’t have handcuffs.”
“Right, right, they’re close,” Crowley tried not to get tense, but he was impressed that the brothers had gotten the agents on their side, “Just try and get the upper hand. And remember – not a word!”
“As you wish, master.” The shapeshifter shut the phone and then smiled nastily, before turning on their heel and walking back down the corridor.
Inside the cell, Rowena was reading again when she saw the hostage stir slightly, drifting in and out of sleep. Because the hostage had been on anesthesia for days, the supply was almost gone and Fergus still had to have some to control the agent when they went to the woods outside Quantico.
She sighed, shaking her head as she decided he was really, really bad at manipulating the Winchester boys.
Then she heard the hostage snigger loudly, like a little kid. “What?” she snapped, dropping her book in her lap.
“There!” Sam pointed at the screen, heart thudding. “That’s the shapeshifter!”
“Sam,” Hotch held up a hand, “are you certain?”
“Positive.” Sam leaned in closer, inches from an unnerved Garcia’s face, “Where are they right now, Hotchner?”
“Check the cameras,” Hotch ordered, “I’ll get security. Get the others.”
Garcia asked, still frightened, “Hotch, what exactly is going on?”
“Take a good look at the eyes,” Sam pointed, “They’re glowing.”
“Oh…” Garcia gave a little wail and looked at the screen with fear. Her world had turned completely upside down and her computer room no longer felt safe.
“I don’t know if it’s the gas making me think this,” the captive gave a small smile, “but it’s actually rather funny.”
“What is?” Rowena raised an eyebrow, irksomely.
The captive sniggered. “Well, it’s a long story, ma’am, but – I’m being taken better care of when I’m held hostage by a demon…”
Another snicker escaped his mouth.
“…then when I was by an archangel.”
“Pardon?” Rowena was alarmed.
He turned his head to look at her as his eyelids drooped again.
On the computer screen, Spencer Reid’s eyes – or rather, the eyes of the shapeshifter imposter – glowed as he approached the door of JJ’s office.
JJ saw Spence out of the corner of her eye, his arms folded and leaning against the doorway. Turning around, she asked him, “Is there a problem?”
He slowly walked in and grabbed the handle in his hand behind his back, slowly shutting it. “Oh, I’m fine, JJ,” he chuckled, “Thing is, I just want to talk to you about the Winchester brothers.”
“What exactly?” JJ was confused. Spence was smiling strangely and seemed far too focused on her, almost bumping into the coffee table as he did so. “Did you find any information on where Novak may be?” She had wanted to try and look through reports to see if he was close. He must be nearby, she assumed, since Kate’s report had said that ‘Castiel’ had been looking for something. A quick skim-read of the reports said that Novak was sometimes referred to by both brothers as Castiel.
“Better,” Reid straightened up and took her wrist gently, smiling cruelly at her, “They’ll never find me.”
With unbelievable strength, the shapeshifter lifted JJ up by her throat and slammed her against the couch. Within seconds, he was on top of her, pushing her down onto the cushions. He tilted his head for a brief second to examine her. JJ couldn’t stand that; he looked more like Spence when he did that.
Because she knew this couldn’t be him. The babbling from both Winchesters about how that was a werewolf in the forest…how JJ had seen those teeth in the photo. It couldn’t have been a trick of the light, could it? Simply misshapen teeth?
And how the Winchesters had said that there was a mole in the team, working for…the Devil, it seemed. A fake. That the real one was locked away. This just proved it.
It had to be it.
‘Spence’ dug his elbow into the cushion as he focused on gripping his left hand tightly over JJ’s mouth, while his other hand started pulling her trousers down. “There’s no use struggling,” he told her in Spencer Reid’s calm voice, “Thing about shapeshifters is that we’re strong.”
JJ felt a chill go down her spine. This…monster…was impersonating Reid. While she felt relieved at the fact that it wasn’t her team member about to assault her, she did wonder what had happened to him and all sorts of scenarios raced through her mind. All she could do was try to control her panicky breathing.
When the shapeshifter had pulled JJ’s trousers off and had ripped the buttons from her blouse, scattering them across the carpet, she heard the door burst open. Her eyes flickered over to it and for the first time in her life, she was thankful to see a prisoner out of his cell.
Sam was holding the gun borrowed from Hotch, telling the shapeshifter, “Let the woman go.”
Smirking, ‘Spence’ slowly got to its feet, hands raised. “You know Crowley has the real doctor with him. Remember, I see –“ he pointed to both eyes with one finger each, “ – what he sees.”
Reaching up with his brother, Dean skidded through the office. Before ‘Spence’ could do anything, the older Winchester had grabbed him from behind and tugged his sleeve up. Dean pressed a silver crucifix – from their confiscated clothes – onto the shapeshifter’s arm. The shapeshifter screeched in pain and fell to the floor, crumpled, his wound exposed. Dean threw the crucifix at JJ, in case she wondered if it was secretly hot. “See? Harmless? Shapeshifters react to silver.”
JJ managed to stand. Being stood in her underwear in front of two of America’s Most Wanted was how some of her nightmares went. The main difference was that they were defending her.
Sam quickly gabbled to JJ, “Say whatever you want to your friend, Agent Jareau.”
“I –“ JJ began, unsure of what to do.
“He’s listening. Just say it.”
JJ turned to the fake Spence and cleared her throat. She was speaking to her friend, she told herself, not the monster that hurt her, the monster in his form. But it was still frightening.
“Spence, we’re coming to find you. I – I trust in the Winchester brothers. Please, stay strong for me and we’ll do whatever we can to get you home.”
The shapeshifter sneered up at Dean, Spence’s floppy hair caught in his eyes. “You can’t kill me. You need me.”
“I know,” Dean cocked the gun, “but I can sure hurt you.”
The scream and door banging had caught the attention of the other team members. Kate, Rossi and Morgan were now in the doorway, guns at the ready. One look at JJ standing half-naked and terrified and both Winchesters holding guns on ‘Spence’ and all three started to move forward, shouting at the brothers.
“That’s not Reid,” JJ looked down with disdain at the shapeshifter, who was now lying back on his arms and smirking, “Please, guys, you need to believe me.”
The shapeshifter tilted his head as he stood, a small grin appearing on his face. “Oh, they won’t shoot me, JJ. They wouldn’t dare.”
JJ rather foolishly leapt forward, grabbing her assailant by the arm, pressing the crucifix into his cheek and pinning him to the ground, her eyes wild with fury and disgust.
By the time Sam had pulled her up and Morgan ran up to take a proper look at the shapeshifter, JJ had grabbed the crucifix back as it left a small, red mark on the shapeshifter’s skin.
He held both hands on it as he glared at JJ. “You’ll pay for that, you dumb w-“
Another punch, this time by Dean, sent the fake Spencer falling onto the couch.
“Just to clarify,” Rossi asked, still standing in the doorway, “that isn’t Spencer, is he?”
Dean turned his head and gave Rossi a bewildered look.
“You think?” he asked, sarcastically.
I wonder how many of you guessed correctly.
By the way, the original title for this was 'Checkmate' but I thought that would give it away.
Reid’s eyes opened.
It had been horrific, being stuck on a hospital bed as he could see the BAU through the eyes of that – that creature. But the fact that he wanted to scream at his friends that it wasn’t really him was the worst part of all.
He’d never felt this bad. Not when his mother had to go away to get help, not when his father had left them. Perhaps not even when Tobias Hankel had kidnapped him. Reid was completely trapped, among monsters he had no clue how to control or evade.
And it frightened him. It frightened him so much. Reid had felt helpless before, but this was a whole other experience from when an Unsub was threatening the team.
All he could do was analyze the situation, find a way out. But he didn’t have the faintest idea on what to do. Not knowing something was probably the worst feeling he could ever go through.
The woman – ‘Rowena’, he’d heard the man and a few orderlies call her – looked over at him from the doorway. She’d originally had her back to him, but when Reid had woken up, she turned around and faced him. Reid tried to think of the woman as an ordinary Unsub. It was the only way he could stay focused.
“Awake, I see,” she murmured, her arms folded, “Fergus said you’d wake up when the shapeshifter was exposed. Though more likely he’s run out of the gas,” She made her way over and pulled the breathing mask off, dumping it on the ground. “I just hope that wretched son of mine thought his plan through.”
Exposed – that meant a few things would happen to him. He’d seen this in cases when there was a hostage. Either the kidnappers would use the hostage – in this case, him – as a bargaining tool, or they would panic and kill the victim.
Reid hoped it was the former. Human or supernatural, criminals were criminals. Who knew what they’d do.
Rowena was completely fed up of Fergus. Of course, she’d actually grown fed up of him a long time ago, but she wondered whether spending a whole summer with Dean Winchester had made him go even crazier and not in a good way.
“You know,” she pulled up a wooden chair, the only other furniture in the room, and sat down about six feet from the bed, “he never did tell me your name.”
“Spencer Reid,” the agent gasped weakly, “Can I have some water, please?”
Rowena snorted. “What do I look like? A nurse?” Then she shrugged her shoulders. “Either way, you’re out of here soon.”
“What exactly do you mean?” he asked, although Spencer Reid was certain he knew the answer.
“Either my son makes a mess of himself again, he gets angry and kills you,” Rowena held up one finger as she spoke, then another, “They negotiate and you go back, which is the least likely of the situations, by the way,” she held up a third and final finger, “Or the Winchester boys come in and save you. I wouldn’t have my hopes up if I were you.”
“The Winchesters aren’t murderers, are they?” Reid was now certain, after he had realised that he was being held by actual demons.
Rowena grumbled, “You might say that. They don’t, as you’d say, ‘hurt innocents’.” She stood up to leave. “And personally, there’s nothing more innocent than a virgin, child-like coward.”
As she left, he told her, “I’m not a coward.” But she didn’t seem to hear, locking the door behind her.
Reid struggled against his restraints. They dug in and he could barely move. He was held down in exactly the same way a violent patient in a mental ward might be.
Exactly the sort of situation that JJ said she believed the Winchesters might need.
Oh, JJ. He had seen through the shapeshifter’s eyes when it tried to rape her. Even if – when – he got back, it would be tough for the both of them. It hadn’t actually been Reid who had hurt her; the both of them knew that. But it had been something posing as him. If the Winchester brothers hadn’t come in when they did, who knew what it would have done to JJ?
Reid laid his head back, closed his eyes and tried to relax. Of course, the situation would have made this impossible, but he needed to concentrate.
As he did, he thought about the belts holding him down to the sides of the hospital bed. Then he opened his eyes when he worked out that his left hand was looser than his other limbs. Moving it around slightly, the doctor noticed that he could try his hand out if he tried. It would probably hurt, but it could work.
“Caught, I see?” Crowley asked, holding the mobile to his ear, “I’ve got to say, Moose, you were quicker than I’d bet on you being.”
“What now?” Sam hissed down the line, standing in a store cupboard so no-one would eavesdrop on him, “Will you take the shapeshifter back?”
“Just another willing servant I can dispose of easily,” Crowley snorted, “But I’ll call back when you get the team together. I want to make a bargain, Sam. And I don’t make deals lightly.”
The dial tone rang.
Sam left the cupboard and made his way to the interrogation room. He and Dean had been given their clothes back and allowed to have a shower. They hadn’t questioned the shapeshifter yet, as the team were waiting for the brothers. But Sam knew that despite both the team’s and his own sets of skills, this would be tough.
Sam crossed his arms as he looked at his brother inside the interrogation room, talking to the shapeshifter. Dean and Hotch seemed to have it under control, but the fake Doctor Reid was silent, only smirking occasionally.
“Is this normal?” he heard Kate ask beside him. Sam turned to look at her. “I mean, are shapeshifters usually this cruel?”
Sam replied, “The supernatural are more or less similar to humans. Depends on the individual.”
That seemed to be enough for Kate She just sighed and turned about, not wanting to look inside the interrogation room. “I – would he still be alive?” she asked Sam without looking at him.
“Very likely,” Sam knew this wouldn’t help her at all, but he had to say something. If Crowley had been speaking the truth and he wanted a bargain, then it wouldn’t help the King of Hell if he killed the agent.
“That – that thing in Spencer’s form – I can’t look at it.” Kate grimaced, disgusted.
JJ came in the room, now wearing a different set of clothes from earlier. Maybe they’d been put away in evidence, Sam thought. Not that they’d find anything. Just that there had been an attempted assault. Since it technically was their colleague’s DNA, more than likely it would be thrown out.
“Any luck with – the suspect?” JJ glanced over at the one-way mirror.
Kate shook her head. “No.”
“We’ve got to call him something other than suspect,” JJ tried to get her mind off of Reid, “What would you suggest, Winchester?”
Sam thought for a moment, before deciding, “Kelpie. They’re Scottish creatures that lure people to their deaths by shapeshifting. I doubt that creature in there is an actual kelpie –“
“It’ll do for now,” JJ finished, as she saw Dean stand up and leave the cell.
“You know that I could have done a million different things to you,” Kelpie smiled nastily as he held his head to the left, “Aaron Hotchner’s sweet little son at home, young Henry and ever-suffering Will, ready to open the door for Uncle Spencer. I could have hopped on a plane to Vegas and paid a visit to Spencer Reid’s poor, sick mommy –“
“Cut it out!” Dean slammed his hand on the table, shocking Kelpie and even Hotch, “Get Crowley on the phone. We want to make a deal.”
Kelpie snorted. “You’re not exactly in the position to be making deals, Winchester. When Crowley calls, he’ll call.”
Dean thought about this for a second. Sam had gone to call Crowley, but he didn’t know what they had talked about yet. For now, Dean was playing good cop, bad cop. Except he had no clue whether it was him or Moody that was bad cop. It was more like snappy, irritated cop, emotionless husk cop.
“Well, to Crowley, you’re either a throwaway pawn,” Dean stood up and walked to the door, “or someone important. I’d say call first.”
Kelpie’s smile faded. Dean opened the door and asked, “Agent Hotch?”
Hotch stood up, not once taking his eyes off of Kelpie. The shapeshifter slowly twisted his body to look at the one-way mirror, giving a little wave with his hand, bending one finger at a time. This was all just a big game to him, Dean told himself as Hotch shut the door and locked it, but if the guy had any sense, he’d contact Crowley soon enough.
As Hotch entered the bullpen with Dean, he saw Rossi and Morgan still sitting around the table. They were scared, Hotch could tell, even if they didn’t show it. Hotch wondered what they were more terrified of, to be frank.
“Guys,” he drew up a chair and sat down facing them as the others came in, “I know this is difficult for all of us, learning that – the monsters under the bed are real. But we have to keep our heads steady. We need to get Reid back.”
Garcia, the last one in the room, shut the door. She was desperate and frantic. “Those eyes,” she was saying as she pulled a chair up and sat down, “His eyes glowing like that.”
She held her head in her hands as JJ, sat beside her, pulled her close.
The Winchesters were the only ones standing next to the screen, feeling out of place. Hotch coughed loudly, catching everybody’s attention.
“We all need to focus,” he looked around the table, “Since this is Sam and Dean’s area of expertise, I refer to them on what we should do next.”
Everyone looked at the brothers expectantly. It was not a good feeling, Sam thought.
Dean then answered, “Well, Crowley – the demon who has your friend – is to put it mildly, harsh. Not long ago, he became the King of Hell.”
“I thought that was Lucifer. Why isn’t he in charge?” Kate asked him.
Sam looked at her with wide eyes, slowly shaking his head. “Trust me, you don’t want to know where Lucifer is.”
Dean swung his arms, not sure how to explain this properly.
“See, Sam and I – and our dad, before he died – hunt monsters. Saving people, hunting things, family business. One problem we have are the demons. We’ve been butting heads with Crowley for years. Now, a demon would usually possess a person, but I guess Crowley wanted leverage in case something went wrong.”
“Which it has.” Morgan crossed his arms.
“Possibly,” Sam told Morgan, “It depends on what his plan is. But I just finished calling Crowley –“
“You had his number in your phone,” Garcia interrupted, “Why would you have his number if you’re his enemies?”
Dean pulled up his sleeve and showed off the Mark.
“Because of this,” he sighed, “I – changed last summer. I was dead. Again. And Crowley brought me back to life because I had this mark. That – that made things a bit easier for him. Only now, I was bad. I mean bad. Bad as in ‘everything Hendrickson thought we did, I was doing’ bad.”
“Probably not that much.” Sam informed him.
Dean shrugged, before he pulled the sleeve back down. “I definitely killed guys in some bar fights.”
Hotch leaned back, thinking. “And what would logically be the Unsub’s next move?”
“Unsub?” Dean asked. JJ explained.
“Unknown subject. We call the bad guys that before they’re identified.”
“Okay.” Dean nodded, but all he could think of were meatball subs.
“When someone’s been about for as long as three centuries, as Crowley has,” Sam carried on talking, “he’s bound to have a few dozen aces up his sleeve. Best we can do is call him and make a deal.”
“We here at the BAU do not negotiate with terrorists. We will have to use another tactic.” Hotch sat up, preferring to use the word ‘terrorist’ instead of ‘centuries-old demon’ in order to think rationally.
“Hotch, I think a phone call is the best option.” Rossi turned to face him.
Hotch glanced down at the floor for a brief moment, weighing up the possibilities when his colleague’s life hung in the balance.
“Make the call.”
Crowley was now alone with Reid.
He had wanted to talk, to try and get his mind off the unfolding situation at hand and his mother snapping at him. But all Crowley got was an earful of the history of magic across the world and numerous questions on how much of it was accurate. The captive didn’t seem that frightened any more. Crowley hoped his mother never heard about that or he’d never be able to live it down.
Now the phone rang, bringing sweet relief. Crowley pressed the answer button as he told Reid, smiling, “Your friends probably want to make an agreement.”
“They won’t.” Reid answered dryly, but he secretly hoped they’d work out something.
“Put me on speaker, Moose,” Crowley sighed, as Sam did so, placing it on the table, “Now, you bozos would probably like your friend back, am I right?”
Nobody spoke. Then Hotch cleared his throat and answered, “Yes, we would like that very much, Crowley.”
“And you are?” Crowley ordered.
“Special Agent Aaron Hotchner.”
“Well, Hotchner,” Crowley snarled in contempt, “I expect you’ve been going on a wild goose chase for the boys for the last – decade, is it? Now, my plan went a little awry, but rest assured that I’m a quick thinker. I still have the skinny kid, the Winchesters have something I want.”
“Your shapeshifter?” JJ dared to ask.
“Who’s that?” Crowley asked.
“Well, Miss Jareau, I couldn’t give a toss about the shapeshifter. I meant that the boys have something a bit more – shall we say, personal. You know what I’m talking about, don’t you, boys?”
Dean and Sam stared furiously at the phone, before sharing a quick look. Dean demanded, “We need proof the kid’s alive, first.”
Crowley gave a sigh. “Suit yourself. By the way, agents, does he have an off switch?”
“He’s got Reid all right.” Rossi muttered.
Then they heard Spencer Reid’s voice on the other end. “Guys? Is that you?”
The team gave an inward collective sigh. Reid was unharmed. Possibly, anyway.
“Reid, are you okay?” Hotch cut right through.
“Yeah, fine, fine,” Reid tried his best to sit up in the restraints but all it did was chaff him, “Tell – please tell JJ I’m sorry.”
“That wasn’t you, Reid,” JJ gently replied, “You couldn’t have stopped him.”
“I know.” Reid answered in a shaky voice.
Crowley growled. “Well, sorry to interrupt this little reunion, but I have a proposition to make before I return the kid.” He chuckled slightly before he gave his request.
“I want Dean Winchester.”
There was a silence, one that was broken when Sam asked, bewildered, "What?"
"Dean and I had such a wonderful time last summer. I want him to - embrace the pleasures that being part demon can give him. Surrender to me and the boy lives."
Dean was tensing, his fists curling and uncurling. "I'm not going to -"
"We'll take the deal," Hotch almost shouted, "Dean Winchester will meet you at whatever time and place you decide."
"I knew you'd see things my way," Crowley answered, "Woods, where the boys slaughtered the werewolf. Two o'clock sharp. Oh and one more thing, FBI agents," Crowley genuinely wanted to know, "has the kid ever seen an angel? He mentioned Archangel Raphael when he was under anesthesia."
How the BAU reacted to that tidbit of information was rather interesting for both brothers. Hotch was frowning even more, if that was somehow possible. Garcia had a hand to her mouth and murmured, "Oh, Reid..." JJ curled her right hand into a fist and rested it against her chin. Morgan was breathing out heavily through his nose. Rossi and Kate simply looked uncomfortable.
Hotch responded, "We are certain that it was not an angel and we will see you at the allotted time."
"Okay." Crowley ended the phone, turning the phone off.
Facing the agent on the bed, he smirked. "The team's picking you up soon, kid. Best give another dose."
Despite Reid's protests, Crowley placed the breathing mask back on and turned the wheel. As he did so, Reid's hand - which he had been slowly struggling free - yanked it off and he tried to undo his other wrist. Crowley swore and pinned the doctor back down. Then Crowley took another look at the machine. The last of it had just run out.
Swearing again, he punched Reid on the cheek and made his way out, locking the door behind him.
The sooner he had the kid out of his clutches, the better.
Kelpie was still staring directly at the mirror when Dean and Hotch came back in. Since they were the most intimidating, the team had decided that these two should keep an eye on the shapeshifter. It wasn't as smooth as Dean had thought it was going to be.
“I’ve been here long enough to absorb the information, Winchester, Hotchner.” Kelpie slowly turned his head, bored. “I know what makes you tick,” he said slowly, as Hotch sat down and Dean stood and glared, arms crossed, “and I can say it to all of you lovely BAU agents listening.”
“You can say whatever you want,” Hotch firmly replied, “We won’t budge.”
Kelpie snorted. He leaned back in his chair and his eyes flicked around the room, knowing that everyone was listening. Speaking sharply and carefully, he started with Dean.
“Daddy. Bobby. Hendrickson. Lisa. Jo. Ellen. Emma. Lilith. Benny.” Dean didn’t do anything. He just stared straight ahead, rage boiling inside but choosing not to act on this. As Hotch noticed the older Winchester, he could tell the signs. Aside from Hendrickson and ‘Daddy’, Hotch had no idea what those names meant to the man, but enough that they were not only important, but devastating.
Then Kelpie shouted, for Sam, wherever he was. “Mommy. Amy. Jessica. Madison. Ruby. Bela. Adam. Barry. Kevin. Listening, Sammy?”
Then Kelpie tapped his nails on the desk and gave a loud laugh. “Fidelity, bravery, integrity. But sometimes you can’t do it, can you? I read the files, guys; I know your nightmares. I wouldn’t be useful to the King of Hell if I wasn’t, would I?”
Then Kelpie eyed the man sitting across from him. He spoke clearly and carefully. “George Foyet. Ian Doyle. Kevin Lynch. Carl Buford. Thomas Yates. Tivon Askari. Tobias Hankel. Billy Flynn.”
At that, Kelpie placed his hands on the desk. “Perhaps, now, onto the loved ones we couldn’t save, right Agent Hotch? Haley, sweet Haley, mother of your child. Penelope Garcia’s mommy and daddy, out looking for their bad girl. David Rossi’s mad friend Harrison Scott. Derek Morgan’s daddy Hank. And little Cindi Burns – she suffered so much. Same with dear, sweet Maeve. Oh! And poor, broken Jason Gideon, of course.”
Kelpie leaned forward, Spencer’s hair flopping over his face. “Fact is, you can torment me all you want. But I have the upper hand. I know where Crowley is. I know how he can come here. I’m his loyal servant and if you even try anything stupid and Crowley kills your teammate, I promise you that I will never shed this skin. You will see innocent Spencer Reid’s face looking back and you’ll know that you can’t do a thing.”
Kelpie sat up straight again, before looking at Dean, who was now fuming. “Your move, Dean.”
Dean didn’t want to say that Crowley had already agreed to an exchange and the shapeshifter was not part of it. In fact, Kelpie could rot for all Dean cared.
But Dean simply told him, “You’re going back to Crowley in fifteen minutes. I’ll be pleased to see the back of you.”
As Hotch unlatched Kelpie’s hands and pulled him up, the creature still looked Dean in the eye, smiling.
“Don’t think you can get away so easily,” Kelpie faced Dean as he was pulled towards the door, “We know Crowley gets exactly what he wants.”
Crowley was waiting next to the Impala.
As soon as he’d finished the call, he’d dragged the dozy agent out to the cordoned-off site and waited. At present, Reid was leaned against a log, his hands tied behind his back with twine and murmuring, only half-awake.
“The history of anesthetic in hospitals is actually quite an intriguing one,” Reid gabbled, not having paused for breath since he had been brought back into the fresh air for the first time in nine days, “In Victorian Britain doctors used to use it to knock themselves out for a joke.”
“Shut up!” Crowley turned around and shouted at him. Reid shrank back against the side of the mossy log. “Will you just shut up for one moment? I haven’t had any peace and quiet since the gas ran out! I’d rather have the Winchesters interrogate me again! I’d rather talk to my mother!”
He growled and walked away from the crime scene tape and onto the dirt path nearby.
This was Crowley’s first mistake.
His second was underestimating Spencer Reid. While it was true that Reid was human, nor was he a hunter, but he was still someone that made the most out of what he had and knew an opportunity when it arose. Therefore, as soon as Crowley was out of sight and away from the scattering of trees, Reid carried on rubbing the fraying twine against a sharp part of the log.
Crowley’s third mistake was assuming that Reid had been too drugged to attempt to escape and therefore hadn’t secured him with something sturdier than frayed twine.
Crowley’s fourth was not going back, preferring to stand by the side of the road instead of listening to Reid whiter on.
And his fifth one was underestimating the rest of the BAU.
Taking a car to the spot, Morgan drove with Dean in the passenger seat. Dean could only look outside, misery filling up inside.
If he went with Crowley, what would the King of Hell do to him? Did he want Dean as his partner, or his prize? Would Crowley let Dean leave his lair? Dean doubted that Sam and Cas would try to save him.
Part of Dean didn’t want to be saved. He just wanted to curl up into a ball and die.
Sam and Hotch sat in the back with Kelpie between them, wrists cuffed. Kelpie was the only one that seemed to be nonchalant about the whole situation.
“Was I not a team player when I spent those nine days as Spencer Reid?” he turned to look at Hotch, who only stared ahead. “Racing against time to save Rebecca Farland from her murderous brother? Or when we went to Maine and had those wonderful crab cakes on the way back? Little Spencer’s mind is a treasure trove of facts, secrets and regrets, Aaron.”
The shapeshifter was smiling creepily, but Hotch did not move.
Then the shapeshifter stretched Reid’s arms and legs as far as he could and leaned his head against Aaron’s shoulder, still smiling.
“Of course, it wasn’t just JJ that could have been my secondary target. Or even little Jack. You’re a handsome man, Aaron. I could easily have you under my thumb. You must get so lonely, just you and Jack alone in the house at night.”
Sam had started to stare at Kelpie. Were these Reid’s thoughts or just Kelpie’s own desires? Sam wasn’t sure he even wanted to find out.
Kelpie still purred on Aaron’s shoulder, “The whole team knows that you’ve been lonely since Haley died. Would it be nice to lie in the sheets, holding close somebody else young and skinny?”
Hotch was still looking straight ahead and remaining stoic when he gave his reply.
“Say one more word in Spencer’s voice and I’ll break your nose.”
Kelpie sat up straight again, eyes downcast, mouthing ‘okay’.
As they got closer, Sam tried to comfort his brother. “Dean, whatever happens, Cas and I will look for you. We’ll fix the Mark. I’ll always love you.”
Dean gave a quick smile but it faded. “Yeah, well, Sammy…Same too.”
The agents all exited the car, Hotch dragging Kelpie by the arm. Crowley stood ten feet away, trying his best not to look too pleased to see Dean again.
“Moose, Squirrel, I see you kept your side of the bargain.” Crowley placed his hands in his pockets as Dean approached, fuming.
“Well if you don’t mind, these FBI agents need their guy back.” Dean retorted.
“About time too!” Crowley chortled. “I’d rather cut my ears off than spend more one second with that –“
“Where is Reid?” Morgan almost shouted.
Crowley scowled. “By the car.” Morgan immediately set off, before Crowley asked Dean, “Ready?”
“No.” Dean replied, scowling back.
“Guys?” Kelpie raised his hands, “Can I have a little help please, master?”
Crowley ignored him. “Why, Dean?”
Dean sighed. “I’m not ready, but I’ll go anyway.”
Crowley smiled. Then he turned his attention to Kelpie, who was trying for attention by loudly whining. Crowley snapped his fingers and a light surrounded Kelpie, pulling him back to Crowley’s domain.
Then Morgan came running out from the trees, aiming his gun in Crowley’s direction.
“Where is he?” Morgan yelled, catching up with the King of Hell and pressing the barrel into his temple. “Where’s Reid?”
“He’s not there?” Sam asked Morgan incredulously.
“We made a deal, Crowley,” Dean stepped back as Sam pulled his gun out from his jacket and held it up, “me for the agent.”
Crowley seemed slightly taken aback. “I left him there.” was all he managed to say.
“Sam, go see if there’s any evidence Reid was there.” Hotch didn’t take his eyes off Crowley. Despite the fact that he was not in charge of Sam, the Winchester still ran off towards the Impala.
When he did get there, he noticed that there were footprints in the mud and handprints over the window of the Impala, as if someone had been trying to support themselves. One look into the trees around him and Sam groaned. Opening the door, he pushed the keys into the ignition and set off.
“Sorry Dean.” Sam murmured as he sat off back down the road.
JJ, Rossi, Garcia and Kate were worriedly sitting at the desks outside the bullpen. It was agony just sitting around, waiting for news. They thought they’d be used to this by now, but apparently not.
“I’m going to get snacks,” Garcia stood up after what seemed like forever, “Anyone want some?”
“No thanks.” JJ managed a smile and pulled up her legs onto her chair, holding herself close.
Garcia nodded and went off towards the elevators. As they opened, she saw Sam come out alone.
“Sam, what’s wrong?” she asked when she saw how terrified he was.
“I need to get my stuff.” he started racing down the hallway.
“Where’s everyone else?” Garcia made her way after him.
When she re-entered the room, the other team members stood up, watching with a mixture of confusion, fear and nervousness.
Sam made his way into Rossi’s office where they’d left most of the Winchester’s equipment. He was looking for the Latin chants when they heard a voice cry out.
“Hello? Rossi? Hotch? Anyone?”
As soon as they heard Reid calling out, the team ran out to see if their friend was there.
He definitely was. His legs were weak, his hair and clothes were covered in mud, grass and twigs and he was struggling to focus on the team, but he was here.
Seeing Reid standing outside the elevator made Garcia’s blood run cold. “Reid?” she dared to ask, walking over cautiously, “Is that you?” He started to lean on her, one arm around her back and shoulders. He could barely stand.
“Holy water; that repels shapeshifters.” Sam murmured, pulling a flask from his jacket. Kid looked like he needed a drink, anyway.
Reid took the flask and gave a big gulp, before giving it back.
“He’s clean,” Sam told Garcia, “We got to get him somewhere safe in any case.”
Within five minutes, Reid had sunk into the chair in Rossi’s office. JJ, Rossi and Sam all stared at him as if expecting something. Perhaps they were, Reid told himself.
“Spence,” JJ coaxed, “how about you start at the beginning?”
He pulled the hair from his eyes and mumbled, “Sure, sure.” JJ looked at him carefully, trying to take in the situation. Her teammate was in an absolute state. She didn’t want to upset him any more than he was already.
Reid started his usual gabbling – that hadn’t changed – about how he’d smelt sulfur in his home (here Sam nodded) and he’d been mostly in and out of sleep for the last week. (“I think he might have been given a spell,” Sam explained, “Stop him from needing food and water.”) Reid then told them how he’d managed to get away when Crowley had entered the woodland.
“How long ago was that?” Sam asked him when the doctor had finished.
Reid thought for a second, the cogs in his brain whirring. “I can’t say for certain, but at I ran for at least half a mile.”
“In a hospital gown and your pajamas?” Rossi found himself asking. Taking in for the first time how Reid looked, he noticed that it would have been comical if this wasn’t so serious. Reid had had to escape from the King of Hell with no weapons, no vigils, not even any footwear, through half a mile of overgrown forestry while still under the effects of anesthesia. It was actually impressive.
Reid nodded silently. Then he asked, “Can I have a bite to eat, please?”
“Of course,” Rossi replied, “Once the Winchesters do – whatever it is to check your story out, I guess – you can have lunch.”
“Can I have a shower?” Reid asked in a small voice, “Only I’ve been wearing these for a week.”
“Sure.” JJ nodded. Then she asked Sam, “Where are the others?”
“At the woods,” Sam paled, “and I have no idea what Dean’s doing now.”
Dean was facing Crowley, still aiming his gun. Morgan seemed just as furious. He didn’t care if the bullet between Crowley’s eyes didn’t kill the demon; if anyone had happened to Reid, Morgan would make sure the creature suffered. So far, Dean and Morgan had been demanding answers from Crowley for the last ten minutes.
“You want me?” Dean shouted, daring Crowley to react. “Get the kid!”
“I’m telling you, I let him there!” Crowley growled. “Dean, believe me. I always keep my end of a deal. You should have known by now.”
Dean snorted. “Really, Crowley? Because I can think of over a dozen ways to make sure you’re in pain before you die, just with one bullet. Take a risk?”
Before Crowley could answer, Morgan yelled again, “Where’s Reid?”
Hotch kept glancing between his teammate, Dean Winchester and the demon. He was unsure as of what to do. While he knew that he should follow protocol as closely as he could, Hotch had no idea what to do when the Unsub was a literal demon.
Just then, his phone rang. Hotch pulled it out from his pocket and answered it, without taking his eyes off the scene unfolding in front of him.
“Hotch.” He responded.
“Hotch, it’s JJ,” he heard her say from the other end, “Reid arrived at Quantico. Put me on speaker.”
Hotch did so and placed the phone on the front of the BAU jeep.
JJ asked, “Morgan, Dean, you there?”
“Yeah, JJ,” Morgan answered, “We can’t find Reid.”
“He’s here,” JJ replied, “He found his way back.”
“What?” Morgan turned to glance at the phone, but his gun was still trained on Crowley’s temple. Crowley seemed puzzled. Dean just kept staring ahead, his eyes still on the King of Hell.
“It’s true,” they heard Sam’s voice this time, “It’s him, Dean. You have to go with Crowley.”
Dean let himself slowly lower the gun, trying not to appear defeated. Crowley smirked, while Morgan let go and stepped back.
“Well now,” Crowley snorted, “It seems that everything is as demanded. Dean, say goodbye to your brother.”
Dean tilted his head to the left towards the phone. Although he couldn’t see Sam, he knew that his brother was struggling not to let his emotions get the better of him. “See you, Sammy. Be good for me. Look after Baby, won’t you?”
“Sure,” Sam answered, “I – I’ll miss you, Dean.” They were the only words he could say. Anything else got caught in his throat.
Dean turned around, heart thumping in his chest. His mind was running over a hundred miles an hour, thinking of something, anything that would get him out of this. Then, just as he stepped closer, there was a loud bang.
“What was that?” Sam’s voice asked.
Dean looked over his shoulder at Hotch, who had been standing in the background not really doing anything. But one look and Dean could see that Hotch had shot at Crowley’s leg.
“Hotch, are you crazy?” Morgan asked, running up to his superior.
Hotch wasn’t. He knew that Sam and Dean loved each other. He knew that they would do anything for each other.
Just as he would do for Jack. Just as he had done for Haley.
And he couldn’t simply stand back and watch an Unsub rip those two apart.
The bullet had hit Crowley in the ankle and he had toppled over onto his side, screaming blue murder. Hotch, Morgan and Dean jumped into the car and drove backwards for about ten yards before turning around and racing off.
The last thing everyone in the office heard before the call ended was Crowley’s enraged screaming.
Then it went dead.
Garcia asked in a terrified voice, “Morgan?” Then she leaned over and this time her voice was barely more than a squeak. “Morgan, speak to me.”
Rossi hung his head. Kate had a hand to her mouth. Reid was gripping onto the back of a chair, still barely able to stand but this time part of that was from nerves.
“What’s happened?” JJ was frenzied. Sam was pacing back and forth, clinging tightly onto his hair. “Sam, what now?”
“I’m thinking!” Sam shouted back.
Then his phone rang. Seeing Dean’s name, he answered it.
“Sam, we’re heading back to Quantico. Apparently Hotch shot Crowley.”
“Why’d he do that?” Sam was confused.
Dean simply snorted. “Bad news is that Crowley might come after us.”
“But we can’t –“ Thoughts of Hendrickson ran through Sam’s mind.
“Well, do something!” Dean snapped before hanging up. The whole room looked at Sam with desperation as he slowly placed the phone down.
Then Sam looked over at them. “Prepare yourselves for a siege.”
The salt was poured over the doors and windows. The sigils were painted on every wall. The shotguns were filled with rock salt.
Sam was ready.
Crouching under the desks, JJ and Kate each held a shotgun in their hands, facing the main door. Garcia was in the computer room, manning the screens. Sam was making his way around the rooms, making sure every entrance was sealed.
In the bullpen, Rossi stood by the table with the equipment and his phone on speaker. He kept looking between the main door and the windows of the bullpen, unsure what would happen next.
Reid was lying on one of the chairs. He had changed out of the pajamas and into the spare clothes he kept in his drawer (which no-one questioned him about), a jumper, a pair of trousers and an FBI vest, the only items left in there. He reached across to grab a shotgun, but Rossi instantly put his hand out to stop him.
“Reid, you’re in no state to start firing bullets,” Rossi looked down at him, “You’re barely awake and haven’t eaten that much.”
“I need to do something.” Reid looked up at him with those wide, innocent eyes.
Rossi sighed, compromising with, “Stand by the sigil.”
Seconds later, Garcia spoke into her headset. “The guys are back. Your demon isn’t here, I think.”
“He knows we’d be defending ourselves,” Sam mumbled, as he entered the computer room, “Penelope, can you link up to the speakers?”
“Sure,” Garcia tapped away, “Why?”
“Just in case.”
Dean looked about the hallway as the two agents followed him. “What now?” Hotch asked as they went towards the elevator.
Dean had been the only one daring to look back as they drove away, but he hadn’t seen Crowley. Now he wondered if the King of Hell was already inside.
As they got to their floor, Dean could see sigils were already up. “Good work, Sammy,” he muttered to himself as he looked around.
As the three exited the elevator, Dean heard a voice.
“I’m still going to have you, Dean.” Crowley was now in the elevator, pushing the doors open as he stepped out. Glancing around at the Devil’s Traps drawn all over the floor, he smirked.
“We had a deal, Dean. I’m going to have you one way or the other.”
“I doubt it,” Dean replied, walking over to a sigil, “Because I’ll resist you if I do.”
Crowley raised an eyebrow in amusement. Then they heard the speakers’ whine as Sam’s voice came through.
As Sam started the exorcism chant and Crowley flinched, he glared at Dean. “You really want to do this?” he snarled.
Dean walked backwards into the Devil’s Trap, just in case Crowley tried anything. Nervously, Hotch and Morgan followed.
Crowley grimaced. “You won this round, Dean.” Then he turned into black smoke and flew back down the elevator shaft.
Sam stopped chanting. Hotch walked over to Dean’s side and asked, “Is he gone?”
Dean paused for a second, before he shouted out, unsure if his brother would hear him, “Is Crowley gone?”
To his surprise, Garcia’s voice answered. “The demon has left the building.” Although Morgan couldn’t see her, he knew she was smiling. He did too, shaking his head and murmuring, “Baby girl.”
Dean just stared at the space where Crowley had stood. Part of him, the part the Mark was in control of, wanted him to go with Crowley. Raise havoc and be free. But the other part of him, the responsible part, said that he had done all he could. It was unlikely that Crowley would come back here, he told the BAU, as he had no use for them any more.
All the same, Dean said he had to go.
The brothers had left quickly. After they had hopped into the Impala and driven off, Hotch watched them go. They hadn’t even had a chance to say goodbye to the rest of the team. But Hotch supposed this was normal for the two.
The brothers had suggested that the team get anti-possession tattoos and draw sigils in their homes, just in case. Aaron silently decided that he should get one for Jack as well.
When all the salt had been cleared away, the team still kept the sigils up for the next two weeks, just in case. Aaron had drawn one in both his room and Jack’s, Kelpie’s thinly-veiled threat still lingering in his mind.
For the next week, Hotch received phone calls from the Winchesters. He wasn’t sure why, but he suspected it was something to do with Hendrickson’s death that made the brothers constantly check up. The fourth call was a bit crackly and he thought he heard Dean say something about being in Colorado’s highest mountains. But each time, Hotch assured them he was okay.
Now Hotch was leafing through the brothers’ file. JJ had gone to the press and said that they had been transporting the Winchesters to St. Louis when they escaped. The news media was baying for blood, but the team didn’t know what else they could have done.
Hotch had visited Reid the night after he returned, to make sure he was all right. Reid had said that he was, even if the shapeshifter had moved some of his stuff around at home.
Secretly Hotch had a look in Reid’s drawers and cupboards, just in case the kid was taking drugs again. He wouldn’t have blamed him if he had.
Hotch didn’t find anything, nor did he find anything when he came by at Christmas.
He wasn’t sure what anyone would say if the file on the Winchesters disappeared, especially given how large it was. Looking back at all of the crimes, he wondered how many times the Winchesters had actually been stopping evil. He was sure there were explanations. Just none that would hold up in court.
Writing the phrase ‘Wanted Fugitive’ on the file, he placed it back and walked off.
If he ever saw those boys again…Hotch wasn’t entirely sure if he wanted to.
But he did think on it. Remembering cases that were unsolved, didn't seem to make any sense. Maybe he could call them up, leave a message, send the information over. It could be useful to have them on the BAU's side.
Aside from that, if those brothers came anywhere near him again, Hotch would run a mile. After making sure everybody else did first.
If there's one thing I lack when writing fanfiction, it's trying to create a satisfactory ending, so I apologize if this wasn't up to standards.