Chapter One: The Midnight Special
What would an ocean be without a monster lurking in the dark? It would be like sleep without dreams – Werner Herzog
Spencer Reid didn't look up when Derek Morgan walked through the break-room door.
"You want some coffee with that sugar, Kid?" his friend asked and the younger man shrugged.
Morgan's eyebrows furrowed in concern, "Hey, you okay?"
Reid glanced at his fellow agent, pressing the button on the coffee machine and the beverage flowed into the paper cup.
"I'm fine," the younger man answered but Morgan didn't look convinced.
Reid picked up his coffee cup and sipped at the contents for a moment, "I'm better than I was."
"Okay," Morgan raised his hands in surrender. Reid moved out of the way to give him a clear path to the coffee machine and made his way back to the bullpen.
It had been months since the team had traveled to the small town of Brentwood, Washington but it was clear that Morgan- if not the others as well- still worried about Reid.
The young doctor grimaced as he recalled the nightmares that had plagued him after returning to Quantico.
At first it had been hard to deal with the bad dreams; Reid felt isolated, alone, even though he knew Morgan was always willing to talk, but now the memories were more easily brushed aside, especially with the knowledge that Theodore Cunningham was currently serving a life sentence in the Washington State Penitentiary.
No, it wasn't night terrors that had Reid up late; he couldn't stop thinking about the Winchesters.
He knew it was ridiculous; if the Winchesters were smart they'd go underground, but Reid couldn't stop hoping he'd see them again. He had not had the chance to thank Sam for protecting him from Cunningham and although he'd spoken to Dean, it just wasn't the same. Dean hadn't been there. Dean hadn't seen what Sam had done to protect a complete stranger (and up until then, an enemy) from harm.
Hotch had told them not to mention the Winchesters at all and the team had followed his orders, each of the members believing them to be good men but Reid wishedhe could let someone know about the brothers.
It was not only Sam Winchester's fiercely protective streak but the mystery surrounding both brothers. The team had filled Reid in on their experience with Dean and it was clear that they were running from someone.
Reid was disappointed when Morgan had told him Dean Winchester had refused the team's help when they'd hauled him in to be questioned but he wasn't surprised. Marked as murderers, it was no wonder the Winchesters would refuse the assistance. For all Dean knew, it could be some sort of trick to get him and his brother locked up forever.
The young doctor raised his coffee cup in greeting to Emily Prentiss and JJ as he sat down at his desk. He had a mountain of paperwork to fill out and he was not looking forward to it; this was going to be one long night.
"You're staying here?" JJ asked and Reid nodded, "I have to catch up on all this."
The blonde agent nodded, "I think Emily put some of her files on your pile again."
Reid sighed and rolled his eyes, glancing at the dark-haired agent from across his desk.
"What? I thought you liked reading," she teased and Reid smirked, shaking his head.
Both women grabbed their jackets and pocketbooks, getting ready to head home. Reid bade them a goodnight and bent over the first file folder.
Morgan made his way back to the bullpen and sat with Reid for a while, keeping him company.
"Sure you don't want to call it a night?" the doctor's friend asked and eyed the stack of paperwork on Reid's desk.
"I've got it," Reid answered, "Really. I have to get this finished."
"Okay," Morgan stretched his arms over his head, "See you tomorrow."
"Night," Reid called distractedly as the other agent walked towards the elevators.
Sam Winchester picked listlessly at his salad as his brother munched happily away on a cheeseburger.
He was exhausted and really had no appetite; all he wanted to do was go back to the motel room and sleep.
Sam grimaced, that was nearly impossible with Lucifer keeping him up most nights.
The youngest Winchester made a point of not looking anywhere but at his slightly wilted salad and concentrated on his brother's voice as the talked through a mouthful of hamburger meat and bun.
"So it's all quiet on the Leviathan front," Dean said in a low voice so civilians wouldn't overhear him, "Wanna see if you can find us a case? I'm getting kind of antsy."
Sam lifted one shoulder in a noncommittal gesture.
"Hey, you okay there?" Dean asked, setting his burger down and staring at Sam with concern.
"Yeah, yeah, I'm fine," the younger Winchester muttered and speared a piece of lettuce on his fork, "Just a little tired."
Sam stopped himself from hunching his shoulders as Lucifer laughed from somewhere off to his right.
Dean nodded, "Well, finish up Bugs Bunny. I want to get back to the motel and see what we can find."
Sam set his fork down and sat back, having eaten nothing.
Dean wolfed down the rest of his burger and fries and peered curiously at Sam's untouched salad.
"Yeah, doesn't look all that good anyway," Dean joked and Sam gave him a tight, false smile.
While Dean flagged down their waitress for the bill, Sam excused himself and went to the restroom.
Locking the door to one of the cubicles, Sam took a few deep breaths and squeezed his eyes shut.
He had to get control of himself. He had to. He knew what was real and what wasn't real… and Lucifer definitely wasn't real. He was just a hallucination, a figment of his imagination.
"Keep telling yourself that, Sam," the Devil's voice piped up from beyond the stall door, "If it makes you feel batter."
Sam heard the door to the bathroom open and footsteps as someone walked inside. Raking a hand through his hair, Sam decided to wait until the other occupant had left before exiting the stall. He didn't really want anyone to be there if Lucifer was still hanging around.
Sam listened to the guy as he went about his business, washed his hands and walked out, the door swishing shut behind him. Opening the stall door, Sam stepped out and stared at the man who was clearly dead.
He was short and round, his head balding on the top. He was wearing khaki shorts and socks with sandals. His light green golf shirt was spattered with crimson spots. His face rested in one of the urinals, blood leaking down the sides of the white porcelain.
Sam squeezed his eyes shut and pressed his thumb into the scar on his left palm.
Not real, not real, it's not real.
Sam opened his eyes and saw he was alone. There was no corpse. There was no Devil.
Without looking around, the youngest Winchester walked out of the bathroom hastily, knowing Dean would be wondering if he'd drowned or something by now.
Dean flopped down gratefully onto his bed, sighing.
Sam watched from the doorway as his brother made himself comfortable. The younger Winchester grabbed his laptop from his duffel bag and sat down at the motel's small table with it. Sam turned in his seat when he heard the television suddenly come alive.
"Dean, I could really use your help with this," he said and his brother glanced over at him, a bored expression on his face.
"I'm no good at research; you know that," Dean answered, "Besides, you get annoyed if I touch your computer. You've got a handle on this, right?"
"Yeah," Sam breathed and turned his attention to the laptop screen.
"Hey, what am I supposed to be looking f-" He began once he'd opened up the browser tab and looked over at Dean who had his eyes closed.
He had fallen asleep; Sam could hear the faintest snores underneath the drone of the television.
Sam sighed and forced himself to focus on the task at hand. It was going to be a very long night.
"He's so cute when he's asleep," Lucifer chuckled, standing over Dean's prone form.
Sam tore his gaze away from his laptop and snapped at the Devil, "Leave him alone!"
Lucifer glanced at Sam, a frown on his face and crossed his arms.
Sam's eyes widened when blood began to drip down the walls. Over the sound of the television he could hear screaming.
Sam closed his eyes and pressed his thumb down on the scar of his left palm.
It's not real, he thought desperately as his heart began to pound in fear, there's no blood and no one's screaming.
"You already know that's not going to work, Sam," Lucifer's voice cut through Sam's internal mantra.
The young man opened his eyes and jumped back; Lucifer's face only inches from his.
The Devil laughed and Sam pulled his chair closer to the table, hunching over his laptop as he stared at the screen.
Spencer Reid rubbed at his temples as he stared down at the open file on his desk. He hated paperwork. Hated it! Despite what his coworkers might have thought, he did not enjoy having to re-read all the facts about cases they had completed and make sure there were no mistakes.
Sure, Reid liked reading but scrutinizing the result of grisly murders over and over again was not his idea of a good time. He really just wanted to get the work finished as quickly as possible.
He peered into his coffee mug and sighed when he saw only the dark brown dredges left.
Poised to stand and head into the break-room, the doctor froze when he heard the muffled sounds of footsteps and a voice speaking from across the bullpen.
"…No Sir," a male voice said quietly, "We haven't seen or heard from them since…"
Reid sat back down as Agent Valente came into view, walking with purpose towards the elevators. The doctor didn't know anyone else was working late.
"I don't know!" Valente exclaimed and ran his free hand through his light brown hair, "We're trying to find them, Sir, but it appears they've gone underground…"
Who was Agent Valente talking to? Reid wondered. And who was he talking about?
The Agent stopped walking and appeared to be listening intently to the other person on the phone.
The man gulped and ran his hand through his hair again, "I understand, Sir. No, we won't lose them again… we'll find them…"
Valente closed his phone and put it into his jacket pocket. He loosened his tie and sighed, muttering something to himself too quiet for Reid to hear.
The doctor did not move until the other agent was in the elevator, on his way to the ground floor.
Deciding that it was just about another case, Reid tried to ignore what he'd heard.
But he couldn't. Agent Valente had seemed… nervous, even scared while talking on the phone and the doctor didn't even think the Director of the FBI could instill such emotion in people.
It's not your problem, Reid told himself. All you have to worry about is getting this paperwork finished.
The doctor yawned loudly and stretched. Standing up and wandering over to the break-room, Reid poured himself another cup of coffee and settled down for a few more hours of dotting his i's and crossing his t's before going home.
1. I do not own either Criminal Minds or Supernatural. I'm just borrowing the characters.
2. The fanfic title comes from a collection by Dean Koontz. The chapter title comes from a CCR song of the same name.
3. Please leave a review! I was amazed at the amount of attention Here There Be Monsters received; let's see if we can do better than 108 reviews!