Title: To Victor goes the spoils
Summary: One year after the events of the season two finale, Henrickson finally gets his target.
Disclaimer: If you consider the entire karmic cycle and human responsibility of the universe… then nope, I still don't own them.
Warnings: Character death
Notes: Many thanks to my awesome betas, TraSan and APreludeToAnEnd who made this piece better than it otherwise would be been.
Special Agent Victor Henrickson was just finishing up the latest paperwork when the AD bustled in through the door, one hand clenching around a sheath of paper. From the somewhat smug look on the Assistant Director's face, Victor had a feeling those sheets would be passed out one at a time like a jigsaw puzzle.
"Got a good one for you, Vic." Victor wasn't quite sure when the nickname had started, only that he'd been too slow to cut it off. Either way, it was too late to object now. "Meet Dean Winchester."
The Spook Killer.
It had a certain ring to it, but it wasn't quite right. Henrickson couldn't believe that in the eighteen months he'd been chasing the damn Winchesters up and down the country, he'd yet to make up some media-frenzy nickname for him… for them.
It hadn't helped that they'd disappeared completely after the Green Rock fiasco, Victor's hand scrunched up the paper he'd been half-scribbling on before he forced himself to calm and flattened the paper out again. A year and a few months wasted, chasing ghosts.
But no, it wasn't right.
The Lawrence Spree Killer
It always helped to mention the murderer's home town in these things, give a shiver of 'what was living right next door' down a couple of dozen people's spines. Plus, the press would go crazy for a Kansas boy gone bad. Speculate 'til they're all blue about what could've turned a yokel into a sophisticated slaughterer who'd evaded capture multiple times.
But it hardly counted as a spree. If anything, Winchester showed far too much patience for the impulse-driven maniac that all his psych reports made him out to be. Nor did his casual flirtation with anyone possessing a double-x chromosome match with the chauvinistic woman-hater responsible for at least five deaths. Nothing about either of the Winchester boys made sense.
The Lawrence Lazarus
Now that had a ring to it, and not just the one of truth. Current report had Dean Winchester dead or near-death at least three times. If he was some half-cat super-freak then he was running out of lives.
"I'm pleased to announce the capture…" Henrickson paused, pen hovering over the piece of paper he was jotting his notes on. He could hardly call it a capture, the bastard had walked right in the front door of a police station in Nowhereville, Kentucky and turned himself in. He wouldn't be forgetting that phone call anytime soon.
Victor rubbed thumb and forefinger at the pulse point on his forehead, feeling the thrumming beat of his heart in time with the headache. Sitting on his desk were over twenty eye witness sightings of the Winchester boys. That'd be great except that apparently they'd been sighted in Phoenix, Arizona and the next day in Norfolk, Nebraska. The older Winchester's fear of flying was a documented fact, thanks to eyewitness reports from their attempted hijacking, and there was no way that clapped-out junker of theirs could drive that fast.
That led to the second pile. Eighty-two sightings of a '67 Chevy Impala criss-crossing every damn state in the union. Sure, Victor had been amused the first time they'd escaped him. Hell, what man doesn't want a challenge? He'd smiled at the cunning get-away from the detention centre, even if they'd had the help of that dimmer than a glow-worm public defender. But now? Now Henrickson was pissed off. It'd been over a year since he'd last had the pleasure of their company and he was sick of the twisted game of Grandmother's footsteps.
Henrickson had heard chatters in the hallways, white whale references muttered as he passed. He wasn't Ahab though, he was going to get himself a harpoon and nail Winchester to the wall with it.
It took a while to realise the repetitive chime wasn't another bout of stress-induced tinnitus but the phone on his desk. Usually he let Reidy handle the phone calls—just in case it was his ex-wife again-- but his partner was out buying doughnuts or making coffee or whatever idiots with no career aspirations do in their free time.
He picked up the receiver and held it against his ear, "Special Agent Henrickson."
"Um," The voice down the other end was reedy and thin, the kind of nervous twitter that set Victor's nerves on edge. "Is… Is this Special Agent Victor Henrickson?"
Oh great, another graduate from the great American school of stupidity. "That's what I just said, isn't it?" He barked down the line, his patience gnat thin and only getting sleeker.
"Um, good. That's, that's good. My name's Officer Mik…"
"I don't care what your name is," Victor boomed, hand twitching to just hang up and let Reidy deal with it if the twit rang back. "Why are you calling me?"
"Um." There was a long pause. "We've got a man in custody. He said you were looking for him."
Victor drew the receiver away from his head and stared at it. If it was another one of those dreams then this'd be about the time it turned into a flamingo and started berating him for failing his sixth grade math test. The receiver remained indignantly under-anthropomorphised. "What is this man's name?"
"Winchester, Dean Winchester."
Henrickson scooted his chair across and pulled one of the many photos that lined his wall of Winchester. "Give me your fax number. I'm going to send you a photo and I need you to confirm that the man in the photo matches the man held in custody."
Victor had been burnt a few times by that hope. Being called out to Bumfuck, Nowhere to identify some grizzled hick who had about as much resemblance to Dean Winchester as the latter did to Elvis. He was beginning to wonder if there'd been some grand conspiracy and now Winchester, Elvis and Marilyn Monroe were sitting around, laughing their freaking asses off.
The two-digit IQ cop down the other end stammered his fax number and Victor stuffed the photo through, waiting for confirmation. "Yeah, yeah, I got it. Yep, that's him."
Victor really wished he could believe that, but knowing his luck, the tricky little bastard had got caught just so he could disappear before Victor got there. "Here's what you need to do. I want two guards outside that cell at all times, armed. If Winchester twitches, shoot him… in the leg or arm preferably. I want full restraints on him, every single piece of chain and handcuff you have, just throw it all on there. This bastard makes Houdini look like an amateur. Do not talk to him. Do not lend him any paperclips. Do not leave him alone. Do you understand?"
"Y-yes, sir," The man repeated. "But I don't know why we need this much precaution. He turned himself in."
No-one was more surprised than Victor when he turned up at the small-town police station ten hours later to find Winchester sitting pretty in his cell, somewhat resembling a modern art sculpture from the amount of restraints the cops had put on him.
He'd greeted Victor like an old friend come for a visit and hadn't stopped chatting away from the moment Victor escorted him from the small cell to the prison van and then into the interview room at headquarters.
At first glance, the Winchester kid had looked the same as he had that year ago but as Victor had ridden along, trying to drone out the incessant talk while paying attention to anything important that spilled out, he'd noticed some subtle differences. His eyes were emptier than before, hollow where a sparkle used to be and new lines were carved into his jaw, tense scribbles by his eyes.
He held himself differently too, curled inwards with both arms wrapped as much as they could around him, clenching something inside. Victor felt a surge of anger for whoever had done that to him, and then ruthlessly suppressed it, forcing himself to see once more the killer. It was surprisingly hard.
He got a couple of agents to escort Dean into the interview room while he took time to freshen up and get ready to face Winchester instead of Dean.
"So how's life been treating you, Dean?"
Dean shrugged, "You know, some good, some bad."
"And where's your brother?"
A flash of the old Dean returned in that moment. An incredulous spark accompanied by a loosening of the jaw that in different circumstances might've been a laugh. "I'm not telling you that. Anyway, you don't care about Sam."
Victor leaned back against the chair, nonchalance personified. "Don't I?"
Dean surged forward to the limit the chains allowed, green fire burning at Victor. "No, you don't." It was a warning and a threat all in one.
This was the side of Winchester that Victor wanted the media to see. Dean in the spotlight, the leopard lying insouciant in the sun, only to turn, teeth glistening, tail lashing and hackles up when provoked.
Maybe he'd use that photo from that fucked-up bank job to release the press. No chance of making him look gruesome like the typical criminal shot, but the hunted look was a good one and that picture practically had cross-hairs visible.
"So why did you turn yourself in, Dean?" Victor changed the subject, waiting for a glimmer of relief. The Winchester boy was steady enough not to let it show and Victor found himself oddly proud of that.
Dean shrugged, the chains clinking at the movement. "Motels are so overpriced these days, thought I'd check in somewhere free." There was an edge behind the joviality. If Victor didn't know better, he would have said it was fear.
Victor chose to play along with the little charade. "Our room service is great too. You should try our continental breakfast."
Dean's smile took on a grim edge, a tightening all along the line of his jaw that spoke of teeth clenched tight together. Victor waited for whatever pressure-ground gem would emerge. "Might skip that."
There was something more to that but Victor couldn't figure out what it was. There was nothing about any cereal-related phobia or philia. He pencilled a note in the margin to think about it later.
Victor had tried to get more out of the kid after that but whatever had unsettled him stuck and he couldn't get much more than a couple of words at a time. In the end, he'd called it quits, sent the kid back to the holding cell. There'd been an odd moment as he'd left the room when Winchester had paused in the threshold, mouth half-open as if he had something to say. Whatever it was, Victor'd have to find out tomorrow.
It'd been one and a half years since the AD had handed the paperwork over and Victor could still recall his naivete like the smell of fresh paint. He had looked upon the case as a chance to finally make his name, to break away from the small-time cases and into the big leagues. A genuine psychopathic serial killer? An FBI agent's wet dream. Couple of months and he'd have the boy banged up and a gold star on his field report. If he'd known how much the case would consume his life then he would've… nah, he still would have taken it.
It was all worth it now. He glanced at the little monitor he'd had specially set up on his desk where a slightly fuzzy image showed Winchester reclined on the holding cell bed like he hadn't a care in the world. Victor's fingers itched to pull him into the interview room again, to rake him over the coals once more and try to get into his head but he needed to be patient. Winchester might be cornered but it would take one push too hard and the kid'd close up like a twitchy venus fly trap. Victor didn't just want to send Winchester to the chair, he wanted to know exactly why he was going.
He turned and frowned at the little black and white image. A universal truth of Dean Winchester was that he was rarely still. He grinned, he smirked, he fidgeted, he played with a pen or a paperclip. Yet the Dean Winchester depicted in the little box hadn't moved an inch for the last… Henrickson checked the clock, hazily realising midnight had passed unnoticed... for the last twenty minutes.
"That fucker," he muttered, checking his gun in its holster and dashing down towards the direction of the holding cells. The slow-eyed guard on duty just blinked as Henrickson hollered to be let in and then buzzed the door, letting him through. Henrickson threw open the steel door and already knew he was too late.
The monochrome of the monitor had failed to reveal the pebbled pallor of Winchester's skin or the blue tinge to his quirked lips. He was reclined on the bed, head resting on folded hands, lolled a little from the lack of muscular tension in the neck. Henrickson surged forward, gripping the boy's shirt and feeling cooling flesh pressed against his knuckles. "No, you don't fucking do this."
He twisted his head to the door, knowing already that all efforts would be futile, "Guards? I need a medic down here." He stared at the body, trying to see what he was missing, what it was that would clue him in to how Winchester had done it. Instead there were just sightless hazel-green eyes staring at him, already beginning to cloud over in death.
He could hear the clatter of running footsteps and he shoved the body back away from him. The head lolled again and came to rest, eyes still staring straight at him like the freakish dolls his aunt once loved. "No!" Henrickson yelled, hearing the feet skid to a halt outside the cell, even as he drew back his arm and planted a solid punch on a freckled cheek.
Before he had time to draw back his arm again, he felt strong hands seize him on either side and drag him backwards. He lashed out with his foot but connected only with the metal bedstead. "I'll find you again," he yelled at the still body. "You fucker, I'll find you."
The body disappeared from the morgue two days later.
Victor was just finishing up the latest paperwork when the AD bustled in through the door, one hand clenching around a sheath of paper. From the somewhat smug look in the AD face, Victor had a feeling those sheets would be passed out one at a time like a jigsaw puzzle.
"Got a good one for you, Vic." Victor wasn't quite sure when the nickname had started, only that he'd been too slow to cut it off. Either way, it was too late to object now. "Meet Dean Winchester." The AD slapped an A4 photo down on the desk. A young man, mid-to-late twenties maybe, was pictured, mouth half-crooked in a grin and head tilted to one side as if he was addressing someone out of shot. "Killed two women in St. Louis and was shot dead trying for a hat-trick."
Victor quirked his head up at that. If the guy was already dead, how was that his business? He hoped this wasn't another one of those morale-boosting, back-slapping sycophantic bullshit exercises where they had to sit around and congratulate each other for just doing their damn job.
The AD seemed to pick up his emotions, as the man grew more amused. "Two weeks ago there was a report of a woman's murder in Baltimore. A man was arrested leaning over the woman's body but later escaped custody." The AD slapped the second photo down. This one was a standard mugshot, though the suspect was making a strange face in it. It was also undoubtedly the same man as the previous photo. "Meet Dean Winchester."
Victor grabbed the photos, holding them up side by side to try and spot any obvious difference between the two men. "So the St. Louis cops got it wrong? Shot the wrong man?"
The AD shook his head and reached for another photo. Victor was getting a little sick of the evidence being doled out like cookies to obedient children, of being given just enough information to make a false assumption. His reports always brought up his lack of intuition, but he felt his determination more than compensated. He may not be the first to the crime scene but he was always the last to leave.
The photo turned out to be what Victor assumed was the St. Louis crime scene. A photo of a man sprawled against the wall, undeniably dead with red blood seepage darkening his t-shirt from multiple bullet wounds. He was also almost undeniably the same person as the previous two photos.
"Twin brother?" It was cliché but it wouldn't be the first time Victor had come across one brother continuing the other's legacy. Death could be a strong motivator.
The AD shook his head once again, "Tracked his family back. Birth records for Lawrence, Kansas state that Dean Winchester was a single birth. He does have a brother."
There was something in the AD's tone that forewarned Victor that the man was just waiting for him to go stomping into another verbal trap. Victor chose silence, just keeping his gaze steady on the AD and waiting for the next drip-fed piece of information.
The AD broke the stare first, slapping another photo down on the desk. This one was definitely not Dean Winchester. For one thing, he was a good few years younger, with floppy brown hair, dimples and crinkled eyes. The kind of kid most parents cooed over when their girlfriends brought him home. There was an eerie resemblance to his daughter's latest fling.
"Meet Sam Winchester." Victor's head shot up, searching the AD's face for any trace of a lie. "Pre-law student at Stanford on a full ride. At least he was until a year and a half ago when his girlfriend died in a fire at their apartment. Funnily enough, Dean Winchester was known to be in the area at the time of that fire."
Victor flicked his eyes back to the first photo, searching the affable, amused expression for any sign of the stone-cold serial killer. He was handsome but that was no surprise. Eighty percent of serial killers were above average in looks, that's why it was so damn hard to find a suitably gruesome photo to splash across the press. He had a feeling this one would make it impossible. "What kind of guy is this?"
"One helluva piece of work." If the AD was swearing, it had to be good. "Got as much background as we could scrape up on him in the file here. Mother died when he was young, father kept moving the kids around. Got multiple teachers' reports that they thought the boys were being abused, unfortunately the family always moved away before the claims could be followed through. We've got hospital reports, all under fake names. The nearest I can figure, the father went crazy when he lost his wife and dragged his eldest right down to la-la-land with him. God only knows how the youngest got out sane."
Victor had seen abused kids on both sides of the fence. He'd seen the doctors, cops and psychiatrists, the ones who tried to patch the wounds of their lives. He'd seen the rapists, murderers and whores, the ones who just wanted to fill the hole. He tried to match that hollowness to the images of the Winchester brothers and found it lacking. He wasn't sure whether he shouldn't be more disturbed about that.
"So, Vic, you want this case?"