TITLE: Pieces of a Puzzle
EMAIL: Demona_The_Dark_One (at) yahoo (dot) com
SUMMARY: Special Agent Victor Henriksen can’t quite put it all together when it comes to the Winchesters. Agent Riley Finn fills in the blanks.
NOTES: Set after "Chosen" for Buffy and after “Nightshifter” for Supernatural.
DISCLAIMER: I do not own any of the characters in Buffy the Vampire Slayer and/or Angel the Series, they belong to Fox, the WB/UPN, Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy, etc. The characters of Supernatural belong to Eric Kripke, the CW, etc. The ideas and concepts in this story are mine entirely. Please do not copy or take this story without my permission.
Written for SPN_BtVS
's weekly challenge. Member of Team Hellfire
Challenge #2 – Leprechauns, gold, beer, Ireland, green. St. Patrick’s Day
****** Saturday, March 17th, 2007
Agent Riley Finn pushed open the door to the bar and stepped inside. He took a few moments to let his eyes adjust to the dimly lit interior. The closest patrons to the door looked up at his entry, but disregarded him once they realized he wasn’t anyone they knew. Despite being surrounded by local cops and FBI agents, there was only one person here that would recognize him. After a second look around the bar, Riley was able to locate Henriksen sitting alone at the bar. Riley unzipped his jacket and made his way through the crowd.
“Are you Special Agent Victor Henriksen?” Riley asked as he approached the man at the bar.
“Yeah, who’s asking?” Henriksen asked as he looked over his shoulder to locate the source of the voice. “Finn! Holy shit man!” Henriksen's attitude changed as he slid off his bar stool and to his feet. He didn’t waste time with a handshake, preferring to pull Riley into a manly, back-slapping hug.
“Hey Henriksen,” Riley replied as they pulled apart.
“God – it’s been what eight, nine years?”
“Sounds about right,” Riley acknowledged and motioned to the empty bar stool. “Mind if I have a seat?”
“Of course not, let me get you a drink,” Henriksen quickly agreed and signaled for the bartender.
She had a green four-leaf clover stenciled beside her right eye. She offered them both a wide smile and a nice view of her cleavage as she leaned forward on the bar. “What can I get for you? We have two dollar drafts of green beer to celebrate St. Patty’s,” she offered.
“A draft will be fine,” Riley answered with a nod.
“And put it on my tab, sweetheart,” Henriksen cut in. Riley started to object but closed his mouth. “So what brings you back into the field? I thought you left to join the student union brigade,” Henriksen teased Riley.
Riley snorted and shook his head. When the bartender returned a moment later with his draft, he gratefully accepted it and took a healthy pull. “I stuck with the Graduate program for awhile, but things never work out like you think they will. I’ve moved onto a special project.”
“Special project? Anything interesting? You were always destined for greatness outside of the education realm,” Henriksen prodded.
“It’s classified. The whole if I tell you I’d have to kill you deal,” Riley easily returned with a smile.
Henriksen returned it with a smile of his own. “So it’s like that?”
“For now,” Riley answered and took another sip of his beer.
“So what are you here for Finn? And don’t tell me it was just a coincidence that you ended up in this bar and found me.” The joking and friendly tone dropped from Henriksen's voice as his suspicion rose.
“I came to talk to you about the Winchester case.”
Henriksen barked out a short laugh accompanied by an eye roll. “My boys make the evening news and suddenly every young, eager, and inexperienced agent is trying to get their dick wet with my case.” Henriksen chuckled and took a sip of his draft. “I didn’t figure you to come looking for handouts, Finn,” he added with a shake of his head.
“When did you get assigned?” Riley ignored the comment and kept going.
“I’m sure you did your homework before you came looking to get on board.”
“You know I did. But I need to hear this directly from you Henriksen. It’s important,” Riley admitted and took another long pull of his beer. The conversation wasn’t going as he had planned, but that wasn’t so unexpected.
“I got assigned to the case back in St. Louis. Dean was getting sloppy with his killings and we got lucky and caught the trail. I’m still not sure how he pulled it off, but I saw his dead body in the house. The poor girl was scared out of her mind, thinking that the Winchester brothers had been there to help her, and instead ended up trying to kill her. But Dean…Dean was dead,” Henriksen admitted. He paused for a second, mind drifting back to that moment. “The Bureau wanted to know everything they could on Dean Winchester, and why he had taken so long to pop up on the grid. They wanted to know who the other victims were, and the trail that Dean had left behind. So I started digging. Dean’s mother died in a house fire when Dean was four. His father raised him and Sam, his little brother, on the road. I still can’t quite put my finger on what John Winchester was trying to accomplish when he was training the boys. It doesn’t follow any of the usual patterns,” Henriksen added, blowing out a long breath in frustration.
“When did you realize that Dean wasn’t dead?” Riley questioned.
“He got arrested for a murder in Baltimore a few months later. Somehow the bastard had faked his own death and gotten away. He changed his M.O. Weird, but Dean’s actions haven’t fit any pattern that our profiler can put together. Just when you think you have him pegged, he’ll go and change things radically and you start over with knowing nothing. Dean took his little brother out of Stanford and brought him back to ride the road. John’s been off the grid for months, almost a year, no trace of him. And Sam…why would he just leave Stanford to go back on the road and help his brother kill people?
“I’ve been tracking them since Baltimore, always one or two steps behind them, but I had them in Milwaukee. And they managed to slip through my fingers again. I pushed too hard. They’ve dropped off our radar and I’m not sure when they’ll pop back up. Dean’ll kill again, of that I’m sure, but I’m not sure we’ll be able to find him when he does.” Henriksen finished off his draft and signaled for another.
Riley exhaled slowly as he reached into his jacket’s inner pocket. He pulled out a small, sealed manila envelope and slid it across the bar to Henriksen. The bartender returned with a fresh beer and set it next to the envelope. “I’m taking over as Agent-in-Charge of the Winchester case, Henriksen,” Riley informed him, fighting to keep his voice emotionless. Henriksen had an unhealthy hard-on for the boys, but he wasn’t totally off-base with his instincts.
“What?” Henriksen yelled, drawing the attention of a few people. They watched the exchange for a few seconds, making sure the situation wasn’t going to get out of hand, before going back to their own conversations. “What in the hell are you talking about?” Henriksen asked, voice pitched lower but the tension was still there.
“That letter is straight from your supervisor. He wanted to tell you himself, but I managed to talk him into letting me do it,” Riley explained and nodded to the letter.
He watched as Henriksen snatched up the envelope, pausing to look at his boss’ signed name across the back, proof the envelope and its contents were authentic, before ripping it open and pulling out the letter. Riley watched in silence, sipping on his beer, as Henriksen read and re-read the letter. He very carefully refolded the letter and slid it back into the envelope.
“This is low, Finn, even for you. I’ve put the time, energy, and manpower into this case, and I’m a hair’s breath away from closing it. And now you sweep in to take all the glory. Tell me, what the fuck do you know about the Winchester boys that’ll make it easier for you to bring them in?”
“I wanted to tell you about this myself because I need you to understand that this isn’t personal. But the truth is that I’m not looking to bring them in, Henriksen,” Riley commented, never breaking eye contact as he relayed the change of plan. “As of right now, as far as the FBI, and everyone below them, is concerned the Winchesters are no longer wanted men. It was a case of mistaken identity. In fact, should the FBI come across the Winchester boys they are to get the hell out of their way,” Riley added.
“Mistaken identity? Finn, Dean Winchester is one of the most dangerous criminals I have ever come across. The murders that he’s committed are some of the grizzliest I’ve ever seen. He’s smart, expertly trained, and crazy. Why in the fucking hell would I get out of his way?”
“You’ve been relieved of your duty as AIC of the Winchester file and given the order to stand down. Does there really need to be another reason?” Riley questioned him. Henriksen opened his mouth to comment but Riley continued. “I’m asking you, as your friend, as a fellow Marine, to just let this go.”
“You are going to let a murderer walk free? I can’t, in good conscious, just let this go,” Henriksen snapped at Riley. He looked pissed, angry that his case had just been taken away from him, angry that he wouldn’t be able to bring in Dean Winchester to face the justice that Henriksen believed Dean so righteously deserved, and above it all he looked betrayed.
“I’m here to tell you that Dean Winchester is not the monster that you believe him to be. I will agree that everything you have seen would point to Dean being a monster. Believe me if I didn’t know the whole score, I’d be right there on your ‘Hunt Down Dean Winchester’ parade. But while you have almost all the puzzle pieces you are missing the key to deciphering them. What you see, what the Winchesters have allowed you to see, and what really exists are two entirely different things. I can see the whole puzzle, the real version of all these events, and that is why I was reassigned as AIC, and why Dean and Sam Winchester have been removed from the list. I’m sorry, I really am, that I had to step on your toes and go over your head to get this done. If I had thought for one second you would believe me and just back down, I would have gone that route. But I doubted you would just let this case die.
“Capturing Dean Winchester is not the path you want to head down. The Winchesters need to be out there, doing what they do, and we need to leave them to it. I’m willing to break protocol here and explain it all. For you, Henriksen, I will do that because you need to know that your instincts while good, almost right, are wrong in this instance. Because you are right, Dean Winchester is a killer. But he doesn’t hunt humans, he hunts everything else,” Riley explained and rose to his feet. He pulled out his wallet and tossed a five dollar bill on the bar to cover his draft. He pulled out one of his non-descript business cards and set it on top of the envelope on the bar. “Take some time, think over everything I said, and when you’re ready – truly ready – to find out how to put all the pieces together, to see the final picture and truly understand the Winchesters call me. It was good to see you again Henriksen,” Riley ended the conversation. He offered Henriksen a tight smile and left the bar.
Three days later Special Agent Victor Henriksen finally put together the whole Winchester puzzle.