Someone knocked at the door. For anyone else, that wouldn't be a problem. People knock on other people's doors all the time. Except, this was Raymond Reddington's door. No one, not the FBI, not Elizabeth Keen, not even Dembe knew which door the elusive man actually lived behind. It was safer that way. For everyone, but most especially for Red.
Gun in hand, the informant made his way to the security monitor to see who had found him. "Unexpected," Red whispered to the screen. Dean Winchester, looking more... ragged than usual. Well, that might explain why the infernal man would bother tracking him down. When Dean Winchester was looking ragged, then the world was probably about to implode. Again.
A heavy fist pounded on the door again. "Come on, Red. Don't be like that!" His voice sounded remarkably playful, in stark contrast to the lined face. Maybe the world wasn't about to end. Most likely he just got done saving it. "I can see the hidden camera, I know you know I'm here."
Intrigued, annoyed, and more than a little concerned, Red opened his door gun first. "Is there a particular reason why I should refrain from shooting you in the face, here and now?"
Dean had the gall to look affronted. "Seems a little harsh, don't ya think? All we did was make you tell the truth."
"You ruined year, years, of planning!" Red exclaimed. "And you didn't even get anything out of it!"
"Hey, I torched thousands of Deals and blamed it on the completely innocent demons," Dean paused to consider what he just said. "Except that, you know, they were evil demonic sons of bitches. You know what? Never mind. The point is I got away with screwing with Hell. You're just upset that the infamous Raymond Reddington was a side job and not the main feature."
With a heavy sigh, the gun lowered. Red gestured the younger man inside. What ever reason brought him here probably shouldn't be discussed in the open doorway. "What do you want? And how did you find me? I paid a witch good money to ward my home from every evil she could think of."
Dean snorted. "Yeah, cuz witches who get their mojo juice from demons are so trustworthy and would never bilk you. Or sell your address to Crowley."
"Crowley. Of course." Red poured two glasses of Johnny Walker Green and offered one to his unexpected caller. "Does he have another job for me and can't come himself? Or did he farm out my services to you and your brother?" Red could only imagine the headaches that would come with being at the disposal of the Hunters Winchester. His rampant imaginations stopped cold at Dean's next words.
"I'm sorry, I believe I need to hear that again."
Three fingers of Johnny Walker vanished. "Crowley's dead."
"Honestly and truly?" Red demanded. "He didn't fake it, you're sure? Like he did last time when he was working with your angel, Castiel?"
"Yeah, we're sure. The bastard died stopping Lucifer, right in front of us. Took one for the team." Dean stared down into his glass, clearing seeing the event in his mind's eye again. "Did not see that coming."
"I'm not sure if condolences for your loss are appropriate or not. If I recall, your relationship was complicated at best." Red refilled the younger man's tumbler. "You came all the way out here to tell me the news? That seems... suspicious."
"Crowley... he, ah..." Dean sighed and drained his glass again. "Crowley left some stuff behind, in case something happened to him. He asked me to give you this."
Red accepted the box and nearly dropped it when he opened the latch. "Is this my contract? For my Deal?"
Dean nodded. "Yeah. Looks like the sonnova bitch went soft. See that?" He pointed to the last line of text, written in a rusty brown medium that was probably blood. "It reads, 'further obligations waved.' Do you know what that means?"
Red's mouth fell open in shock and he hardly dared to breath. "My soul..."
Dean nodded. "Out of hock. You are now officially your own man."
"Crowley cut me loose." Red almost couldn't believe it. In fact, he didn't believe it. The King of Hell would never do something altruistic. "Why?" he demanded sharply.
Dean shrugged. "Dunno for sure. Best I can figure, he listened when I put a bug in his ear that nobody wants to see you turned demon. Now, when your time comes, you go up or down and you stay there. If I were you, I'd start cleaning up my act. The basement is bitch."