Summary: Sam and Dean are grocery shopping for a few needed items in L.A., and they spot the tabloid with a picture of Reid with actress Lila Archer. Phone calls ensue. (#3 in The Informant 'verse.)
Author's Note: (Unbeta'd.) This is a tag to the CM episode 1.18 "Somebody's Watching" and the SPN episode 2.18 "Hollywood Babylon." I took a teensy bit of liberty and set the Winchesters in L.A. for the shooting of Hell Hazers II, though I'm not sure that's where they were supposed to be. I also AU it just slightly by saying that Spencer is the one who sent the boys to the case, though I think in the episode it was Dean who was convinced there was something going on at the set.
Disclaimer: I own nothing recognizable in this story from either Supernatural or Criminal Minds. (If I did own the shows, I would totally write crossover episodes. Because come on—who doesn't want TV shows to do crossover episodes!) So yeah, I don't own Reid, Bobby, or the Winchesters. I guess I kinda own the cashier, but he's not all that interesting... Therefore, all I want to acknowledge owning is the idea that Sam and Dean should totally buy water guns for their holy water.
"Got the salt?" Sam asked Dean as they headed for the register at the grocery store.
Dean motioned to the basket in his hand. There were three one-pound bags lined up right next to the bottle of vodka, two super soakers, and a bottle of peroxide. "You got the clovers, and whatever else?"
Sam nodded, lifting his own basket as evidence. "What's with the water guns?"
Dean shrugged. "Just seemed more fun than wasting a flask at every go. This way, if we know ahead of time that we're dealing with demons, we just grab these guns, then point and shoot. It'll carry more than the flask. They have a larger range too. No more standing at arm's length to mess with those guys."
Sam looked amused, but impressed. "That might actually work."
"Of course it will work, Sammy," Dean chided. "Don't seem so surprised when I have a good idea."
Sam chuckled. "I just can't wait to see you pull out a plastic orange gun the next time we're up against a demon." He patted his brother on the shoulder as he passed.
Dean paused long enough to roll his eyes. Then he traced after his brother. He dumped his basket's contents on the conveyer belt along with Sam's, and reached for his wallet.
"Find everything you need today, guys?" the young cashier asked in a friendly tone. He seemed slightly curious about the odd assortment of groceries, but didn't comment.
Something caught Dean's eye, and he paused. "Hey, Sam? Check it out."
Sam looked over. "Is that who I think it is?"
Dean snagged the tabloid magazine for a closer look, holding it so they could both see the front cover. It showed a picture of Spencer Reid and some blonde chick standing together, his hand on her shoulder.
Dean smirked. "Well, well, Spencey...at least I taught you something over the years. You certainly picked a girl worthy of your attention."
"You following the scandal?" the cashier asked conversationally.
"What scandal?" Sam asked for the both of them.
The cashier motioned to the tabloid. "The Lila Archer scandal. It's been all over the news."
Dean shrugged. "Haven't watched the news in a few days. Been on a long hunting trip."
The young man nodded in understanding, too interested in telling the story to pause and ask what they were hunting. "Gotcha. Well, rumor has it, this young actress Lila was being stalked. The police got involved when some people around her started to die. A few days later, the stalker and murderer was arrested by the police. Turned out to be someone working with Lila."
"Any idea who this guy is?" Dean asked, pointing to the magazine.
"No one really knows. The kid's not from around here, so much as anyone can tell. He disappeared after this picture was taken. Hasn't been seen since. I think he was with the cops or something."
"When was the picture taken?" Sam asked.
The cashier shrugged. "Maybe three days ago."
Dean gathered up the bags. "Thanks. We're just such buffs when it comes to celebrity gossip. Right, Sam?"
"Someone's on the phone for you, Reid," Morgan called from his seat at the younger man's desk.
Reid came to take the out-held phone. "This is Dr. Spencer Reid."
Dean Winchester's voice came on the line. "Hey, Dr. McLover-Boy. How's life with a super hot celebrity girlfriend?"
"She's not my—I mean, it's not exactly..." He sighed, frustrated. "She—"
"Aw, Sammy, he's stuttering. I'd say she's got him pretty good."
Morgan grinned up at him. "Are you blushing?"
Reid rolled his eyes—at both of his friends. He turned his back to Morgan. "How did you find out anyway? I didn't tell anyone about that."
"Ah, we're in L.A.," Dean explained. "We were taking care of this case on a movie set. 'Hell Hazers Two'—of all things—had a haunting. Who would've guessed?"
"I did, actually," Reid answered. "But I wasn't positive. It turned out to be authentic?"
"Oh yeah. By the time we got everything figured out, we had four or five different spirits to deal with."
"Impressive. Are you guys okay?"
"Yeah, we're fine, but—hey! Don't think you can distract me that easily. I want to know all about my future cousin-in-law."
"No..." he groaned.
"How'd you meet her? I heard something about a stalker."
"I don't have time to talk right now. I'm at work."
"Oh don't be such a kill-joy, Spencey. Would you rather I ask Bobby all about this?"
Reid considered his options. "If you do, I'll tell him about what you did in the basement with the gift Will gave him." He felt funny referring to his father as Will, but decided he had no choice. If he said something about his father and a gun, Morgan would start asking questions.
Reid wasn't sure he would, but he couldn't let Dean know that. "It wasn't a big deal anyway. It's over, because she's there and I'm here, and I'm busy. I have a job here, and I can't just be running off to...to..."
"To get down with a super hot actress from Hollywood?" Dean laughed. "Yeah, your priorities are so messed up, workaholic."
"Oh, I'm the workaholic? Says the guy who works, what—ninety hours a week? More? You never really stop working, actually. Have you ever taken a vacation in your entire life?"
"Ah shut up. Hunting's a lifestyle, not just a job."
Reid knew that all too well. His father had certainly considered it to be so. If William Reid had been employed in a steady and normal job, maybe he wouldn't have had to abandon them so early in Reid's life. Maybe he would have been there for Reid, growing up. But hunters got sucked into a loner's lifestyle, losing sight of seemingly everything other than the next hunt. It was one of the many reasons why Reid had decided long ago that he could never be a full-fledged hunter. He didn't want to be sucked into that life.
Not to mention, the job had terrible retirement options. No health benefits. No money for retirement. Few friends, if any. A high mortality rate.
Few hunters ever made it to retirement. A couple got injured so badly they were forced into it, but those cases were almost rare. It was more common for hunters to simply be taken down in a hunt.
Reid suddenly realized how morbid his thoughts were getting. He came back to the present moment to hear Dean ranting about something.
"And she said she was a gymnast, but I knew—with that body?—there was no way. But she was so convincing, I just wanted to ask her if she knew how good of a liar she was. I suggested she go into acting. The other day? I saw her. A commercial for McDonalds. Can you believe it?"
Reid frowned in confusion. "Um...yeah?"
Dean laughed. "Well I couldn't. I mean, it's like I saw the future. Hey, maybe I have some freaky ESP thing like Sammy."
A voice in the background called, "Shut up, Dean."
"I doubt it," was all that Reid had to say in reply. "The likelihood of that is...well, it's pretty much nonexistent."
Hotch walked out of his office and caught Reid's eye, motioning to the conference room. Reid nodded in understanding. "Hey, I'll have to call you back. My boss needs something."
"Dating advice?" Dean guessed.
"He's married, actually. I'll talk to you later." Reid hung up on Dean's protests.
"Who was that?" Morgan asked, getting up to follow him to the conference room.
Reid tried to shrug casually. "Just an old friend. We went to school together for a while."
"Why'd he call you?"
"He saw my picture in the tabloids while he was in L.A."
A/N: Sam and Bobb's phone calls to come in the next chapter!