Summary: Spencer Reid considered Dean Winchester to be family. So how did Dean's deal affect him? The Informant 'verse.
Spoilers: For Supernatural episodes, "All Hell Breaks Loose - 1&2", and "Lazarus Rising." None for Criminal Minds.
Author's Note: For my Informant 'verse, I knew I had to write this fic. It wouldn't leave me alone. I just kept wondering how Spencer Reid would handle Dean's deal. So this is my take on everything that happened from Sam's disappearance and death in Cold Oak, to the day that Dean came back to life sixteen months later.
The chapters will be leaning towards the smallish side, but there's about thirteen of them, and I'll try not to wait more than a week at most between postings. Also, sorry if this story isn't heavy on action. The narration turned out to be a bit more of the focal point than the action I expected. Apologies. The story kind of wrote itself out how it wanted to be, and I couldn't do much but run along behind it, jotting notes as I went.
Disclaimer: I own nothing except for Margie and Steve Barlow. I wish I owned anything Criminal Minds or Supernatural related, but alas, I do not. If I did, Dean would totally be mine!
For Spencer Reid, when it came to Bobby and the Winchesters, trouble always started with a phone call.
The few times Bobby was seriously hurt during a hunt, he called to lie and say it wasn't very bad so that Reid wouldn't worry. (But Reid was less naive than Bobby liked to think, and he always heard the truth behind the hunter's words.)
When Sam left for Stanford, he called to tell Reid what was going on. (Reid asked Sam to let him know as soon as he arrived safely, and when he got the call three days later, he passed the information along to Dean so that he wouldn't worry.)
As soon as the Winchester boys realized they had caught the attention of the FBI and of Agent Henrickson, Dean called Reid to ask for some help. (Then Reid set out to meet Henrickson and see how many red herrings he could throw at the agent without being too obvious.)
Trouble for Bobby or the Winchesters always meant a phone call for Reid. So the trouble that began in May of 2007 was no different.
It was almost noon when the phone at Reid's desk rang. He answered it as he always did, his mind still half-engrossed in the preliminary case file he was reading for the third time. The gruff greeting stole his focus immediately though.
Reid had known Bobby almost his whole life, and he knew right away that something was wrong. It was in his voice.
Reid realized that whatever had happened, it must be the reason why Bobby hadn't answered his phone that morning. As always, Reid had gone to JJ's office and sifted through her case files to look for any supernatural cases. Fortunately that morning, there had been none that needed Bobby's attention. When the hunter didn't answer his phone, Reid hardly paused to worry about it, figuring that Bobby was busy with something and would get back to him.
"Spencer, something's happened."
He glanced around quickly to make sure Hotch wasn't going to come and lecture him for taking a personal call. He would lie and say it was a family emergency if he had to. After all, if Bobby or the Winchesters were in trouble, it wouldn't be much of a lie.
"What is it, Bobby?"
"Sam, uh...he got taken by the Yellow Eyed Demon yesterday."
Reid felt his heart plummet in his chest. "Do you know where he is yet?"
"Yeah. Cold Oak, Minnesota," Bobby said tiredly. "We're heading there right now actually. Just figured out where we need to go. Dean uh, he had a, uh..."
"Never mind. It's not important right now. What I called to tell you is that you need to be careful. We uh—Dean and I—we went to talk to Ash at the Roadhouse." There was a pause on the line, then, "Spencer, it's bad."
"What happened? Is Ash all right?"
Bobby cleared his throat. "The Roadhouse was leveled. Completely gone. Ash is dead."
Reid's stomach started to feel queasy. Ash hadn't been a close friend, but he was still a friend. Reid had known him fairly well, though he had rarely seen the man face to face. He was a genius; his IQ was even higher than Reid's, and he could run circles around Garcia on a computer.
Then Reid remembered Garcia. She hadn't known what Ash did for a living, believing that he was involved in cyber security, but they had become friends in the past year or two, after Reid asked Ash to help with something for a case. When the case was solved, thanks to Ash and Garcia's joint work, the two had begun to have competitions on their computers. Reid didn't understand it all, but he knew that, though Ash was even better with computers than Garcia, both had fun and the competition became rather heated. Ash once told him that Garcia was the first challenging competitor he had found in years.
Now he was gone. What would Garcia say...?
"Sorry," he said, coming back to the present. He swallowed. "Was he the only one?"
"No. The Roadhouse had customers, but didn't seem too busy. Dean and I didn't have time to figure out who was in there though. Once we figured out where Sam is, we hit the road. We're doin' eighty right now."
More hunters had died. Good men had died.
"Ellen and Jo?" Reid asked hopefully.
"I don't know, kid... I didn't see them, but they were most likely in the building if..."
Morgan was walking by his desk, and paused. "Reid? You okay, man?"
Reid spun his chair away from his friend, unable to even form a lie. "What do you want me to do, Bobby? Do you need me to start running...research, or something? Tell me what I need to be doing." He was almost desperate for orders. He needed to be doing something.
"Just sit tight, kid," Bobby said gruffly. "We think Ash was taken down because of some work he was doing for the boys. He called Dean and said he had some big information—something he couldn't give over the phone. We didn't get there in time."
"The plane's prepping now," Morgan announced. Reid barely heard him. "Garcia's gonna play the video feed again once we're all there."
Reid's brain caught on Garcia's name. "If you have Ash's computers, I could get a coworker to look at them and see what she could pull off the hard-drives. She's really good with technology, and she's already familiar with his work."
"We didn't try to pull anything out of the rubble. I doubt there was anything salvageable. Even if there was, I don't know if anyone but Ash could understand the files on his computer. You know how he's always been."
Reid nodded in resignation. "I know."
After a moment of silence, Bobby sighed. "Listen, Spencer. I just called to tell you I want you to be careful. If Ash was killed for being our informant..."
Reid sat a little straighter in his chair. He wouldn't have connected the dots if Bobby hadn't said that. "Do you really think that...? I mean, I work in a huge office, Bobby."
"I know, kid. I'm not saying whatever this was would try to take you down at Quantico. It might attack at your house for all I know. I just...you've gotta take some precautions, Spencer. We don't know for sure that you're in danger, but I need you to be safe."
Someone tapped him on the shoulder. Reid turned to find Morgan still standing there. His friend motioned to the door. "We've gotta go, Reid. The plane's leaving in twenty minutes."
Reid stood and began gathering his things together. "Bobby, we've got a case. I have to head for the plane. So I won't be in town for a few days, but I'll keep you updated."
"Be safe, Spencer."
He swallowed. "I will. I'll be sure to pick up some extra stuff for the office as soon as I can, too."
He was always prepared for minor attacks. As a knowledgeable informant for hunters, he had to be prepared. But this—a possible full-fledged attack on him...on his place of work—he didn't even know how to prepare for that. He didn't know what he was going to do.
"You should call Barlow," Bobby suggested. "He could put a few things up around the entrances and exits on the ground floor. It might help."
"I'll do that," Reid promised. "Together, we should be able to fix it up."
Bobby chuckled. "I'm sure you'll remember even more of the protective sigils and charms than I could. You've read every single book I've got in my house."
It was true. "I'll plan out what we can do on the plane, then. I can call him and have him get things in order while I'm gone."
"I'll call you when we've got Sam back."
"Call me as soon as you know anything," Reid said. Then he hung up.
Morgan was standing at the side of his desk still. "You okay, man? You don't look so hot."
Reid grabbed his jacket and bag, not looking his friend in the eye. "It's fine. Just some...family issues."
"No." Reid didn't elaborate.
AN: Next up-Reid gets the call from Bobby as he and Dean are leaving Cold Oak...! *wince*