?

Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry | Next Entry

Reflections Epilogue

(previous)

Epilogue:


Aaron Hotchner always wore a suit and tie, but all the agents on his team had, at one time or another, glimpsed the new tattoos he now sported on his wrists. The cuffs of his dress shirts normally covered them, but Hotch had refused to get them lasered off when he came in out of the cold. It was one of several compromises Hotch had refused to make when he had demanded his job back. The negotiations for returning to his job and previous life had lasted longer than the actual hunt of the thirteen reflections. The team had no idea what the tattoos were or why he had them, but they knew that it was as important to the Hotchner family as the silver medallion gifts that the entire team now wore.

So when Aaron shed the suit jacket and unbuttoned his white shirt’s sleeves, as was his habit for a SWAT entrance, Morgan kept close. Hotch was amused by the man’s obvious curiosity. He wanted to see what the tattoos were. He wouldn’t recognize the symbols as any language but...

“Weren’t those black?” Morgan asked. Hotch looked down and the middle symbol was now red. Morgan had tattoos. He would know that the colors were normally inked before the shadow, so it wasn’t as if Hotch had recently visited a tattoo parlor to add the hue.

Aaron Hotchner swore out of frustration. He hadn’t planned for this. Morgan’s jaw dropped. Hotch never swore, not with his famous even-keel self-control. Just that fast, Hotchner was back in charge of his emotions. He knew what he needed to do. He pointed at Morgan and then at the newly arrived Spencer Reid. The rest of the BAU crowded around, sensing something that they hadn’t been briefed about. “Morgan, Reid, you come with me. The rest of you, stall the SWAT entrance as professionally –and as long- as possible.”

Hotch turned on his heel and palmed his blackberry. He expected his teammates to follow his commands without further direction. He tapped into his phone a number that he had memorized the first time Dean had told him, but never called. He mentally shook his head; even Jack had this number memorized for an emergency. They couldn’t call to keep in touch because the CIA was extremely interested in Aaron’s contacts. They had been tapping his phone since the incident with the doppelgangers.

Aaron considered calling Lauren Mackenzie for a moment. The FBI agent in the archives had turned out to be a good friend to him and a great friend for Hailey. She truly understood and believed how Hailey had lost her sister. She had recanted the sexual harassment charge against Hotch to her own detriment. The woman had centuries of family knowledge of the supernatural at her fingertips. Unfortunately, it was all book knowledge and no practical knowledge. Though she would be able to interpret the changed tattoos (and hide evidence of the supernatural from the FBI reports since that was her ‘second’ job), Lauren wouldn’t know how defeat whatever was acting like a serial killer in the mountains of West Virginia. She would just tell him to call the Winchester brothers. Apparently, the two families had joined forces against the supernatural.

Dean and Sam would be able to supply Aaron with both an identification (probably) and a method of disposal (definitely). Aaron found a place in the woods, off the trail, but within yelling distance of the staging area. He stopped there and handed the still-ringing phone, now on speaker, to Morgan, starting to strip out of his FBI-emblazoned bullet-proof vest immediately. That he handed to Reid, along with his tie. As he was unbuttoning his shirt, Dean answered. Morgan was sure to recognize that it was the elder of the Winchester brothers.

“Hotch, what’s wrong?”

Aaron yanked off the shirt. “The middle rune on my right hand changed to red.”

“Shit.” Dean didn’t have any compunction against swearing. “Where are you?”

“Culloden, West Virginia.”

The agents could hear the squeal of tires. “Damnit, Hotch, we had a deal. We’ll try not to commit any felonies that you would have to hide and you would pass along our cases to us. You know, the people trained to deal with it. Here, talk to Sam.”

Morgan and Reid had to raise their eyebrows at the easy, whole-hearted chide. Aaron didn’t bat an eye as he explained, “There was nothing in the profile that hinted toward your type of case. Are you near enough to help?”

A new voice, presumably Sam’s, answered. “We had tagged Culloden on our own after we finished the last one...”

“A satisfactory conclusion?”

“A lost little girl found and sent on her way. Are you somewhere where you can read the more specific indicator runes? Near any mirrors?”

“Spencer?” Hotch prompted.

The young doctor’s hands fluttered over the inked skin of his boss’s back. “These tattoos are intricate, elaborate, accurate and extensive,” he gushed.

“I was out in the cold for a little while,” Hotch reminded him. “Just read the ones that are now red.”

Spencer obeyed. There was silence on the other end. Hotch started getting dressed.

“Are you missing a bunch of little old ladies, one for each younger person that’s also missing,” Dean asked.

“How could you possibly know that,” Morgan asked in return.

“It’s my job,” Dean sniped. “Do you have a grid designation that we can find you at?”

“Reid,” Hotch said. Reid rattled it off.

The men on the other end of the line confirmed their destination. “Should be there in thirty minutes,” Sam announced.

“Can you make it faster? I’ve got a regional SWAT team gearing up and they are not going to like delays.”

There was a muffled curse from Sam. “Damnit, Hotch, Dean already drives like a maniac. And there are not a lot of guardrails on these hills and curves.”

“I’ll have somebody waiting with two FBI bullet-proof vests. Use them,” ordered Hotch.

“Have you set eyes on the house yet?” Sam asked.

“No, but we interviewed an eyewitness.” Hotch was easy with the information. He fixed his tie knot and reached for his FBI vest.

“Did they say anything about a root cellar, or a basement?” Sam trailed off and Dean picked up the thread of thought.

“Hell, what about a bomb shelter?”

“It’s not in the original blueprints,” Reid answered. “You think that the Unsub created a hidden nest, even out in the middle of rural West Virginia?”

“It’s hidden, but this is a lazy SOB. He’d use caves just as easily. That’s where he’ll be. In his burrow.”

“Thank you,” Aaron told them. “Call when you’re five minutes out.”

“Will do,” Sam said cheerfully and hung up.

Aaron ordered Reid. “Add a burrow to the geographic profile.” Reid nodded, mind already whirling. “Morgan, ask the locals for anything thing resembling a burrow around the area. Get Rossi, Prentiss and JJ to help you. Divide into pairs. No one wanders off by themselves. The Unsubs that the Winchesters chase are more dangerous than ours. You have twenty minutes to find an answer.”

Morgan jogged straight to the team. He interrupted their chat with the SWAT commander to tell them all that they just figured out a vital piece of the profile. They might not be in the right place because the Unsub had a nest somewhere. Morgan ordered the SWAT unit to pair up and to surround the house. They were to keep in constant radio contact and to report any movement in a basement or root cellar.

They had three probable locales by the time Dean’s iconic car pulled up the drive. Reid was waiting as promised with the FBI Kevlar. He was professional enough not to ask a ton of questions at that moment. He did ask their opinion of where the Unsub would be out of the burrows they had found.

Sam and Dean had agreed on the cave to the back of the property as the most probably location. So Hotch had Rossi (and Reid) leading one SWAT team and Morgan (and Prentiss) leading the other team to the less likely sites. Hotch did not want this supernatural escaping on his watch. He would go with the Winchesters to the most probable burrow. JJ was tasked with keeping everyone else off the property, insuring that no one lost radio contact and to run interference between the Winchesters and the local law enforcement officers. Hotch did not want them to be asking too many questions about Sam and Dean. Not when they opened their trunk and started loading up on weapons, completing the armory with pickaxes and flashlights.

The plan was to hit all three burrows at once, for multiple reasons. Each was to remain near their burrow until everyone declared an ‘All Clear.’ Under no circumstances was anyone to enter into a burrow they had not been assigned unless help was requested. It was too close quarters and Hotch was not going to allow for friendly fire. He followed Dean into their cave. Sam took drag as if he had been assigned. Hotch knew they were in the right place because of the human bones littering the rocks. These were small bones, hands and feet. Hotch was impressed when Dean labeled each one without hesitation. He knew his human bones. Hotch figured that it had to do with all the ghosts’ bodies he had uncovered.

JJ checked in twice as they walked deeper and deeper into the cave. She clicked twice in the prearranged signal and Hotch clicked in return. The cave was starting to smell of decomposing meat. The Unsub was a messy eater. Hotch was glad that the rest of the BAU didn’t have to see or smell this crime scene. He knew enough about the Winchester’s habits to know that the cave would collapse before they’d let in civilians.

Hotch had excellent time sense and knew about when JJ should have checked in for the third time. Hotch judged that they still had several hundred meters before finding the lair, so he chanced using his radio. He clicked. Nothing. He clicked again. Still nothing. He checked the connection.

“We’re too far in,” Sam whispered. “No reception. Better this way.”

“No civilians rushing in, demanding answers,” Dean finished. “No need to lie on the spot.”

Meaning that Hotch would have to come up with some very convincing lies later.

Dean paused and his very posture indicated that they were near the lair. Hotch and Sam fell in line. Dean turned off his flashlight and Hotch could see light up ahead.

Silently, they inched forward. They were careful to make no sounds. They rushed into the lit cave to surprise the Unsub. He wasn’t there in the stalactites and stalagmites. They silently checked behind every rock formation. Nothing.

Hotch didn’t know what he was expecting. After all, the reflections had definitely appeared human, so when a quick glance only revealed dead bodies lit by firelight, he lowered his gun. They had missed the Unsub. He wasn’t here. The Winchesters, however, kept their guns level. Hotch was alert, but he certainly hadn’t been expecting the large stalagmite in front of him to open its eyes and jump at him!

Hotch jumped and rolled away, shooting as he rolled to his feet. The bullets connected with the Unsub and chipped away at it, but weren’t doing much damage. Hotch ran out of bullets. When he stepped back to reload, the Winchesters stepped forward. They had holstered their guns and were tagteaming the Unsub using their pickaxes. They were doing a hell of a lot more damage then Hotch had been doing with his gun.

He wasn’t of much use without a pickax of his own, so he skirted the fight and checked on the apparent pile of dead bodies. He wasn’t surprised that all of the bodies were corpses in various stages of decay. No survivors. He was even less surprised to turn around and see that Dean and Sam had reduced the Unsub to gravel. Dean was even stomping on the remains.

“Will he be able to put himself together?” Hotch asked fearfully. The supernatural could do all sorts of impossible feats.

Sam flashed him a quick smile. “Nah. We talked with Lauren and she told us the herbs we would need to keep it apart.” He held up a baggie of dried leaves and flowers. “It wasn’t anything that we didn’t have on hand.” He poured the mixture onto the gravel that had been the Unsub and then mixed it together. It seemed too simple for how many humans the thing had killed and eaten.

Dean knocked shoulders with Hotch. “Hey. We won. Now we have to clean up. We can’t leave a mess for your team to find.” Hotch nodded in agreement. He scoured the cave for evidence. He grabbed personal items of the victims. He would be able to return that to the families, at least.

There was nothing but bones left of any of the younger victims. The older victims were stacked like cordwood in the corner. The Unsub had been burning them for intermitted heat… possibly? No, probably light. When Hotch wondered out loud why he –it- hadn’t eaten the elders as well, Dean broke the solemn silence.

“The young ones were the meat and the old ones were the drink. Vintage is important, I hear.” Dean was trying to crack a joke, but it fell flat. Hotch appreciated the effort and from the way Sam glared, he didn’t realize that his brother was trying to protect him by giving him an alternate focus.

Dean poked the fire. “Huh. It had an oxygen vent right here. That’s why the bodies burned at all.” He took a whiff of a nearby gas container. “Not gas. But this probably made them light right up.”

The brothers just looked at each other and apparently decided that they should burn the bodies of the older victims. Hotch could understand not wanting civilians to gain a few clues to the supernatural. Dean dragged the bodies to the Unsub’s fire pit and Sam lit them on fire, one by one. As Dean had guessed, the bodies burnt quickly. Hotch wondered if it was supernaturally quickly, because Jessica’s body had taken longer to turn to ash. Had the Unsub only needed a little bit of light?

Sam and Dean searched the cave for any evidence of the supernatural. They really didn’t find anything. Then Dean started laying down charges. Hotch was certain that the C4 couldn’t be traced, not even by Garcia. Hotch and Sam backed out of the cave to a midway point.

“What was it?” Hotch finally asked.

Sam grinned, teeth bright in the dark. “Honestly, I’m not sure how to pronounce it, but don’t tell Dean that. Ask Lauren. Dean knows what it is, but he’ll tease me if he figures out that I don’t.”

Hotch smirked at the continuing sibling rivalry. He relaxed and turned on the radio. JJ was hailing him and had probably been trying to get his attention for a while. Hotch acknowledged JJ’s hails and told her to stay back. The situation was still unstable. As if to punctuate Hotch’s remark, Dean lit the fuse. Hotch was pushed to the forefront as they ran out of the cave. He didn’t know how much of a lead time Dean had given them until Sam grabbed the back of his vest.

“Wait,” he huffed. “We’re right near the entrance. It’d be suspicious if we exited right as the cave blew.”

“A little too action movie,” Dean teased.

Hotch heard a ‘whomph’ and the air around him pushed him to the ground. The rocks all around him shook, but held firm. He could hear the cave collapse further in the mountain. Dean knew his stuff. The three sat and waited. They caught their breath and listened.

Dean handed Hotch his radio -When had he dropped that?- and he answered JJ’s frantic calls. “We’re fine,” he said. “We’ll be out soon.”

“And the Unsub?”

“He’s not coming out. Don’t let anyone come in. We don’t know how secure the scene is yet.” JJ acknowledged the statement and would wait until they were safe to follow up.

Considering that Hotch’s team was the only one with any contact with the Unsub, not to mention the ‘cave-in,’ it wasn’t a surprise that the BAU and the SWAT team were waiting at the exit of the cave. Prentiss was the smart one with a canteen of water on hand. Hotch took a drink thankfully and then passed the canteen to the Winchester brothers. He wasn’t surprised that Dean insisted that Sam drink first. Hotch eyed the brothers. They were whole and healthy and a little dusty. Hotch imagined that he appeared exactly the same. They smelled of burnt meat.

“The Unsub committed suicide by destroying the cave rather than let us apprehend him alive,” he lied to those waiting, but it was a lie that the BAU and the SWAT team would believe. The Unsub had been profiled as the type and Hotch normally wouldn’t lie about a case resolution.

“What about the victims?” Morgan asked. “Any of them?”

“Dead,” Hotch cut of the hope before it could cement. “He was a cannibal. He started eating them raw, before he even was all the way into his burrow. We followed a trail of bones most of the way in. He burned whatever remained.”

Two of the SWAT team choked on the idea and probably the smell that was emanating from Hotch’s team. “Have your men secure a perimeter,” Hotch ordered the leader. “It’ll be a while before the crime techs will find their way here.”

The leader nodded appreciatively. It would give his group a chance to subdue their reactions and get them upwind. Hotch just didn’t want them asking too many questions about the Winchesters, who were walking toward their car, stripping themselves of their armory.

Diverting the SWAT team and the locals was one thing. Diverting the BAU profilers was something completely different. Aaron hadn’t given his team much of an explanation of the reflections and so they were fishing from the alternate source: the Winchesters. Aaron knew that the brothers would protect the ‘civilians’ from the supernatural as much as possible. Aaron wanted to tell them that their attempts would be akin to diverting the Colorado River: possible but problematic and one better have a damn good reason for expending all the time and energy. Aaron knew that his team would meet –probably at Garcia’s- as soon as they returned to DC to correlate and compile all that they had learned on the case.

Currently, Prentiss, Morgan and JJ watched from a distance as Rossi and Reid were trying to pin down the brothers and ask them a million questions about the supernatural in general and the reflections specifically. Dean was spouting BS and the experienced profilers couldn’t identify it as such because they didn’t have a proper frame of reference. Hotch was amused and knew that Sam wouldn’t let things get too out of hand (ie let Dean say something that might lead the agents into trouble down the line). Aaron checked his wallet and wasn’t surprised that he only had a twenty inside. Hailey had warned that she was stealing his cash this morning.

Aaron needed an alternate plan. He approached Derrik and demanded, “Give me all your cash,” with a completely straight face.

Derrik Morgan cracked a grin. “Aren’t you supposed to be pointing your gun at me during a hold-up? Do you need the Chicago boy to tell you how to rob a person?”

Hotch made a gimme-motion with his outstretched hand. “I’ll pay you back. I don’t have enough cash on hand.”

“Why can’t you use your credit card?”

“I’ll explain later.”

Derrik pulled out his wallet. He’d do this for the story if nothing else. “How much do you need?”

“All of it.”

Derrik handed it over. Hotch counted it as he walked up to the Impala and the Winchester boys waiting. He grabbed Sam’s wrist and put the money it.

“Damnit Hotch,” Dean complained. “You already pay us. No charity.”

“Consider it hazard pay for doing my job. And use it to dump the phones at the first opportunity and get new ones.”

Dean opened his mouth to argue, but his brother cut him off. “Thank you and we will.”

“Let me know when you have a new number.”

“Okay.” Dean paused. “Oh, hey Hotch?”

“What?”

“We have new numbers.” They were technically criminals; they probably had a pile of burn phones in the car. Morgan was amused at their timing. They yanked Hotch’s chain like few dared.

“Write it down.”

Sam searched the car for a little while and came up with a fast food receipt. He scribbled quickly before passing the scrap of paper to Hotch. The agent read it quickly before pocketing it.

“You two take care of yourselves,” Hotch told them.

ReflectionsInt3 copy

Dean nodded. “You too. How’s that pretty family of yours doing?”

Hotch smiled for real. “Hailey and I are back together and Jack’s always good.”

“Glad to hear it,” said Sam. “Did you get our Christmas presents?”

“Yes. Thank you. You two should get going.”

“Consider us gone.” Dean climbed into the driver’s seat and revved the engine. The next moment, Dean was pulling out of the driveway and Sam was waving back at them.

Hotch and Morgan watched them go. “You have good friends,” Morgan said.

“Yes, I do.”

“You gonna share that number?”

“No.”

“Why not?”

“They asked me not to.”

“Hotch.”

“Morgan. The CIA is still bugging my house so that they can track them down. That’s part of the reason they let me return to my job. No.”

“If something crazy happens to you –again, we need to be able to contact them.”

Hotch considered it for a moment and then let Morgan in on a very dangerous secret. “If something happens to me, call Hailey.”

Morgan nodded slowly. He would take that information to his grave, he would only share it with the rest of the team when the danger was already on their doorstep. If anyone else knew that Hailey could contact the Winchesters, she would be kidnapped and then tortured until she broke. It’d be easier to do it to her than to Hotch. People were that desperate to find answers of the reflections Unsubs that had tried to steal Aaron’s life. They were living on the knife’s edge, but they were living. Hotch wouldn’t tell his team just how precarious their security was but he would use himself to protect his team.

This was status quo.

xcmxspnx


Comments

( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
anifsemaj
Aug. 7th, 2012 11:56 pm (UTC)
Very nice! I love spn-cm crossovers :)
faithburke
Aug. 8th, 2012 12:22 am (UTC)
thx! I'm glad it lived up to expectations.
jebbypal
Aug. 8th, 2012 01:54 am (UTC)
Awesome. One of the more novel crossovers between the two, and very well done! Love the backstory w/ colt ancestor (and wouldn't mind seeing more if the bunnies will it)
faithburke
Aug. 8th, 2012 10:53 pm (UTC)
THank you! I'm glad you enjoyed the story (and the research that I put into it). More bunnies? Maybe, but not at this time.
ice_ziggee
Aug. 8th, 2012 08:32 pm (UTC)
This is a very good. I liked how Dean and Sam managed to pull Hotch's chain but he also had a few tricks up his sleaves.
faithburke
Aug. 8th, 2012 10:52 pm (UTC)
Oh wonderful... that's exactly what I wanted to convey! THanks for letting me know.
mandraco
Aug. 19th, 2012 05:24 am (UTC)
Really interesting story this time. I loved your monsters. And Hotch's hunter ancestor. =)
faithburke
Sep. 2nd, 2012 06:40 pm (UTC)
I'm glad you enjoyed the story. I had a love/hate time writing it. Thanks for the review!
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )

Profile

vi, no words
faithburke
faithburke

Latest Month

April 2015
S M T W T F S
   1234
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
2627282930  
Powered by LiveJournal.com
Designed by Tiffany Chow