A/N: Thanks to everyone who reviewed, read, and stuck with this fic to the end! You are all awesome and I love you!
Chapter 18: The Winchesters & the BAU
Dean and Sam exchanged quick glances; neither said a word because words were unnecessary. They were going into a rough situation with the odds stacked against them—in other words, another day on the job.
Sam and Hotch had swapped guns; since Sam was unable to do much damage if things got too physical, the FBI man was given the gun loaded with rock salt along with strict instructions: shoot Celeste if he had to, and then get his people the hell out of there. Hotch had been reluctant to surrender his own weapon, but it seemed too late to mount much of a protest against the Winchesters, especially with Rossi's screams ringing in his ears.
Sam was mentally reciting the words for the exorcisms.
"If it gets hairy," Dean said to Hotch, "Improvise."
Hotch frowned, but before he could say anything, Dean was out in the open. He cast one look at Prentiss pinned to the ceiling, and then followed.
"Varolashu! I believe we have some unfinished business!" Dean yelled at the shadow-whirlwind.
The shadow-beast's hissing-snakes laugh emanated out, but the monster did not relent in its assault on Rossi.
"You dare return within my reach? Foolish human! I could kill everyone in this space if I chose, and not feel fatigued," Varolashu said.
"I believe it," Sam muttered.
"Aw, c'mon, Lashie. A creature such as yourself must revel in taking vengeance!"
Hotch aimed his gun full of rock salt at Azazel. "Let them go! These are FBI agents! Do you know the kind of prison term you're looking at for assaulting them?"
Azazel laughed. "Do you think a human prison could hold me? Dream on, FBI-man."
Hotch fired the gun, hitting the yellow-eyed man in the chest. Azazel stared at him, wide-eyed, as he stumbled. Prentiss plummeted to the ground, and was knocked unconscious upon impact.
Azazel reached out for Hotch, ready to tear his throat out, but out of the corner of his eye he saw Sam untying Reid. "Varolashu! Kill them all!"
With a flick of his wrist, Azazel sent Hotch flying across the open space and into the wall. Hotch dropped the gun, and put his hand to the back of his head. It came away bloody.
Varolashu released Rossi, who was no longer screaming. It pulled itself into a form resembling a minotaur with a crown of horns that reached to the ceiling. It tilted its head as it stared at Dean. "I will take pleasure in tearing you apart."
"I'm sure you would," Sam said, but before he could blow the powder at the monster, Celeste grabbed his arm and threw him effortlessly to the ground.
Azazel was almost out of the space, when he called for her, "G'rlan, with me!"
She turned to follow, but Sam grabbed her legs, and pulled her down on top of him. He shouted in pain as she landed on his chest, but he held on. He yelled the Latin exorcism verse through gritted teeth.
"No!" Azazel shouted, but he did not go back for her. Instead, he ran.
Dean took a step to the right, but Varolashu moved with him. The creature had a mocking look on its face.
"You're master's leaving you," he pointed out with a shrug.
"I serve no one!" Varolashu roared.
The demon left Celeste's body, and she slumped against Sam. Reid crawled toward them, and took her in his arms. "Are you alright?"
Sam nodded, and then he winced. "I've had worse,"
Just then, Morgan ran into the space, gun drawn. His eyes widened when he saw the shadow-beats, but the shock wore off quickly, and he emptied his clip into its swirling chest. Dean leapt out of the way just in time. Varolashu was not wounded, but it hissed at Morgan, and moved towards him.
"Varolahu! If you serve no master, then why do you continue to follow Azazel's orders? He's already abandoned you!" Sam shouted.
The shadow-beast stopped, and turned to look at the younger Winchester over its shoulder. Without a word, it oozed into the shadows and was gone.
"What. The. Hell?" Dean said, looking down at his wounded brother.
Sam shrugged. "It was worth a shot,"
Dean shook his head, and then helped Sam to his feet. Sam fought hard not to throw up from the pain.
Morgan strode toward them with his gun aimed at Dean. "What just happened?"
"Morgan, it's okay. You can let them go. Sam needs to go to the hospital. They're on our side; it's okay," Reid explained.
The other agent put his weapon away. "Are you alright, Kid?"
Reid nodded. He shifted his attention to Celeste. She was still unconscious, but he could feel that she was alright. Reid smoothed her hair away from her face. "Can you carry her out of here?"
Morgan looked at Reid's bloodied face, and nodded. He gently lifted Celeste, as Hotch joined them. He offered his hand to Reid, to help the younger man to his feet. The group left the sewer tunnels with the Winchesters in the lead.
JJ and some members of the local PD met them at the exit tunnel. The sheriff waved the paramedics forward.
"What the hell happened in there?" he asked, as he surveyed the group.
"Nothing that can ever go in an official report," Hotch replied.
A few days later, Sam was discharged from the hospital, and the Winchesters were ready to be on their way. Sam had his arm in a sling, and he was still moving slowly due to his fractured ribs, but he was insistent on leaving.
The BAU had already returned to Quantico, but Reid had stayed behind. He wanted to make sure Sam was okay before he left, and he was reluctant to say goodbye to Celeste. Reid still walked with a bit of a limp, but for the most part, he was recovered, as well.
It was a cloudy afternoon at the motel. Reid hobbled over to where Celeste was watching the Winchesters load up their car. She reached out for his hand as he approached. He gladly entwined his fingers with hers.
"Where will they go now?" he wondered aloud.
"Where ever they're needed. It's the nature of their work."
Reid nodded. After a brief silence, he asked, "How are you?"
Celeste smiled at him. "Better. Much better,"
Reid's heart did a flip-flop in his chest as their eyes met. He became hyper aware of the feel of her fingers between his. "Everything's different," he blurted out. "I mean—everything I knew about how the world is, all the science I've come to trust in…" He shook his head. "There are other things that science can't explain. Like that shadow creature! What was that? Will it come back? Now I have to watch out for demons in our unsubs. But I get it—what you said before, when you said you were sorry. You knew that my whole system of belief would be turned upside down."
Celeste gave his hand a squeeze. "That's not entirely what I meant."
He furrowed his brows. When she didn't elaborate, he said, "Will I see you again?"
She kissed his forehead. "I don't see why not,"
Sam came over to say his goodbyes. Celeste released Reid's hand and gave the younger Winchester a hug.
"You saved our lives," Reid stated. "I don't know how to thank you for that."
"None needed." Sam shrugged. "It's what we do. It's hard to explain to people, but it's what we do."
Reid nodded. "Are there others that…hunt monsters, like you?"
"A few," Sam said with a nod.
The FBI agent didn't know what to say to that.
"Well, we're off," Dean said, joining them. "It's been," he paused, then shrugged, "one of those things,"
Celeste hugged him. "Be safe,"
"We try," he smirked.
Reid shook Dean's hand. "Thanks,"
"Anytime. Let's go, Sammy."
"See you around," Sam said with a wave.
"You know how to find me," Celeste replied.
"Keys?" Sam asked Dean.
"Oh ho! Not this time, Ole One Arm!"
"That's not funny!"
Celeste smiled at the two arguing brothers. "I hope they never lose that,"
Reid nodded, knowing that she meant their camaraderie. Reid and Celeste watched the Winchesters drive away. Dean honked the horn as they turned out of the parking lot.
"Well, I guess it's time for me to call Garcia and get a flight back to Quantico," Reid said sadly.
Celeste took his hand again. "You'd better answer your phone first," she said quietly, looking into his eyes.
He frowned, but before he could say anything, his phone rang. "Hello?"
"This is Doctor Thorne at Bennington Sanitarium. I'm calling about your mother. There was an accident—a fire. She…she died, Mister Reid. I'm very sorry for your loss."
The phone slid out of Reid's hand. The world was spinning wildly out of control. He felt disconnected from his body. Reid was vaguely aware of Celeste speaking to him in a hushed, gentle voice, but he had no clue what she was saying. He sank to the pavement in shock.
Celeste put her hands on Reid's face. Tears spilled from his eyes and ran like little rivers down his cheeks. He couldn't speak, but he didn't have to. She pulled him into a hug, but he did not respond. She held him until his sobs died and her shoulder was soaked.
Finally he pulled away from her, and said, "I have to go home,"
"You knew all this time?"
Reid thought for a moment that he should be angry about that, but realized it was futile. What could he have done if he had been there? "Will you come with me?"