I'm not quite sure what made me write this, but I guess I wanted to explore a little of how much Henricksen looked into in order to find the boys in "Nightshifter." That, and I wanted to revisit some of the characters.


Perseverance


I. Cape Girardeau, Missouri

"What do you want me to say, Agent Henricksen?"

Victor rubs a hand over tired eyes, peering down at the petite but fiery young woman in front of him. Her stance is deceptively relaxed, but her dark brown eyes are pure fire. "Miss Robinson," he tries again, throwing the file on one of the newspaper's desks. He's so familiar with it, it might as well be burned in his retinas. "I know you and Dean Winchester knew each other."

"Yeah, and?" Cassie sneers, folding her arms over her chest. "I was at college in Athens, Ohio. He was there. We hit it off. End of story."

"I don't think so," Victor sighs. "I also know he came through here 'bout a year ago. I really don't give a damn what for. I want to know where he went."

Cassie laughs humorlessly. "Yeah. Dean and his brother, Sam," she says, unafraid. "Helped me out with some…one…who was killing people in this town. I said thanks, they left. Dean isn't one to say where he's next going, I can tell you that much."

"Miss Robinson—"

Cassie steps forward, a mere five inches from him. She's a good head shorter, but for all the fierceness in her stare, she might as well be level. "I'll say this once more and not again," Cassie says through her teeth. "I don't know where Dean Winchester is. Either arrest me or get the hell out of my town. Agent."

Victor's instincts tells him not to believe her—oh, he's quite well aware of how she and Dean "knew" each other—but those same instincts tell him there's no way she's going to divulge any further information, short of torturing her. Snatching up the file from the desk, her eyes follow his every movement as he makes to leave the building and the city.

"I'll be in touch."


II. Fitchburg, Wisconsin

"So I guess you're not here for a room, then."

Victor smiles at the young boy, putting away his badge. "That's right," he affirms. "I'm here to ask about two men who stayed at this hotel a while ago."

The kid—Michael, Victor had deduced—tracks his eyes once over Victor's body. "Yeah, I bet you are. Sorry, can't help you in that department."

Victor tries to hold his smile in place, and isn't quite sure he's succeeding. "Is your mother here?" he asks plainly. "I think I'd like to speak with her as well."

"Sorry," says Michael, eyes gaining a hue of defensiveness. "She's out right now. You're stuck with me, dude."

He tries in vain to come up with a loophole wherein he can incarcerate the kid for being a wiseass but, to his chagrin, can find none. Unfortunately, there's no law against smarminess.

Instead, he pushes Dean and Sam's pictures forward a little more on the countertop towards Michael. "Why don't you look again," he suggests. "I know it was a while ago, but—"

"I told you, I don't know them!" Michael objects hotly, not giving the pictures any glance whatsoever. "And even if I did, you'd have to show me what you need 'em for, what you got on 'em. Freedom of Information Act. Look it up."

Victor doesn't even bother with the smile this time. "You're a good liar, kid," he says, seeing the fib—however well-concealed—in the boy's expression, "but it's in your best interest to tell me what you know."

Michael glances briefly behind him into a room where a younger boy, whom Victor safely assumes is Michael's brother, rests sound asleep on the couch, mop of blond hair falling into his face. When Michael turns around, loyalty has mingled with the defensiveness, a loyalty that, Victor wagers, is to the Winchesters for whatever godforsaken reason.

Pointing to a sign over Victor's shoulder, Michael recites calmly, "'We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone.' Means Feds, too."

Victor's pretty damn sure it doesn't, but it's clear this kid is anything but a weak one.

"I'll be in touch."


III. Upstate New York

"Look, I'd love to help you, Agent Henricksen, but I've got a lot of work to do."

"I'll make this brief, Ms. Blake," says Victor, glancing around idly at the large amassing of paintings, sculptures, tapestries, and everything in between filling up the art warehouse.

Sarah sets down a heavy-looking portrait and dusts her hands off on jeans that had obviously seen better days. "All right, fine," she relents. "What do you need to know?"

"A Sam and Dean Winchester passed through here around April," Victor explains. "Thought you might remember them."

"Winchester?" Sarah repeats, looking the epitome of innocence as she brushes a curl behind her ear impatiently. "Can't say I remember the name. I'm sorry."

Victor clenches his jaw, opening a folder that has Sam and Dean's pictures forefront. "You sure?" he asks again, the threat clear in his voice.

Sarah's lips purse and she puts her hands on her hips, turning away from the photos. "Not my problem if you can't find these two," she glares, commanding herself not to look longingly at Sam's picture. (He'd promised he'd come back…) "Questioning me multiple times isn't going to make me remember something that never happened."

"Sam's about your age," Victor observes, taking in the woman's pretty face. "Perhaps he tried to…encourage you to help him out?"

Sarah breathes in slowly through her nose, and picks up a clipboard from a nearby table. Shoving it into his view, he's forced to see tiny, organized font filling up the entire page. "I don't have time for romance, Agent Henricksen," she states stiffly. "And I'm not naïve, whatever you may think—I think I'd know if I was being conned by some random guy from God knows where. And if you thought your insinuations would do anything except piss me off, you were mistaken."

"Ms. Blake, I can charge you with—"

"Obstructing justice?" Sarah scoffs, throwing the clipboard back on the table with a crash. "Go ahead. Try it."

Victor chuckles without humor, and disinterestedly gazes around the warehouse once more. (He doesn't see her close her eyes and kind of wish he'd let her keep the picture or something.) The expression is gone when he turns back to her.

"I'll be in touch."


IV. River Grove, Oregon

"What can I do for you, sir?" asks a woman whose nametag indicates her as Dr. Amanda Lee. "You look pretty healthy to me."

"Apologies," says Victor, showing her his badge. "Special Agent Victor Henricksen. I'm looking for two men. Were here not too long ago, probably passed themselves off as law enforcement."

"Oh," says Amanda, shrugging off her white lab coat. "Well, I'm afraid I don't know what you're talking about. We don't get many strangers through here."

"There was some kind of virus that affected your town, wasn't there?" he says casually.

Amanda raises an eyebrow, both unnerved and in understatement. "You've done your homework, Agent Henricksen," she replies. "Matter of fact, we did have an outbreak. Turns out, it was a form of hemorrhagic fever. Poor Tanner family contracted it first. We think their son, Duane, got it first from fishing up at Roslyn Lake."

"Uh huh," says Victor flatly, finding the doctor's response adequate, but also a little…rehearsed. Or something to that effect, anyway. "There a reason you didn't contact the CDC about this?"

Amanda glances at him before rifling through some patient files. "I don't see what that has to do with your investigation," she says, still searching through the folders. "I thought you were looking for some conmen."

Victor smiles. "That's right," he affirms. "They'd be young, good-looking, charismatic—"

"It may not look it," Amanda interrupts testily, choosing a folder, "but I do actually have people to attend to. If you'll please cut to the chase, that'd be best, I think."

Nodding, Victor says, "I understand." His counterpart doesn't look like she much believes him, so he continues, "Look, you may want to protect them because they appeared to help you, but they're incredibly dangerous, Ms. Lee."

"Doctor."

Victor senses he's losing control of the conversation, and steps in front of her, preventing her from heading further into the clinic. "You're going to want to tell me where they went, Dr. Lee."

"Not sure I appreciate what you're accusing me of," she says coldly as she drums her fingers irritatedly on the manila.

"Just tell me what you know, and I'll get our of your hair."

Amanda edges past him, annoyed. "I know a lot of things, Agent," she snaps, not at all feeling guilty that she's hiding the fake marshals' involvement. After all, they had saved more than just her life. "But I'm sorry to say I can't assist you in this arena."

The doctor's already leaving again, telling Victor in no uncertain terms that, despite the fact he's a federal official, the exchange is over. Allowing him only one last sentiment that she pays no mind to.

"I'll be in touch!"


V. Washington, D.C.

His eyes are crossing, just staring at the two tables' worth of documents, pictures, testimonials, hell, tire tracks. It's more about any suspects certainly he's experienced and, he'd bet, than most of the other agents in the building. Yet, it all adds up to jack. It's like he's got two and two, but for the life of him, he can't make it four.

"Hey, you comin'?"

Victor looks up to see his partner leaning on the door, tie loosened and briefcase in hand. "Nah," Victor replies, turning back to the mounds of evidence. "I'll be a little longer."

Reidy sighs. "Come on, Vic, it'll be there in the morning."

"They won't," Victor disagrees, knowing how often the Winchesters move around.

Reidy shakes his head, admiring of his partner's conscientiousness but also fearing the day he suffers a psychotic break because of these particular criminals. Were it up to him, he'd just pass the case off to someone else, let them deal with the mysterious brothers. He loves catching perps as much as the next cop, but there's a time when things get too much.

"Well…just take a half hour'n watch TV or something, would you?" Seeing Henricksen acknowledge him only by shuffling through some more papers, Reidy gives another sigh and with a knock on the door, says, "All right. I'll see you in the morning, man."

Victor just grunts, looking over the array of crime scene photos, of the gruesome St. Louis murders and all the rest.

When he realizes he's read the same paragraph of an M.E.'s report five times without really taking it in, he rubs his face and leans back in his chair. Thinking maybe Reidy had a point, he finds the remote to the small TV in the room and flips it on. Digging some aspirin out of his briefcase, he swallows them dry, closing his eyes as the newscaster says something about a robbery. He takes a sip from his water bottle, then looks at the screen.

And chokes.

There, in HD resolution, is one of the two men he'd been searching for, spent countless nights thinking of how to locate, near went nuts over.

His mouth stretching into a rarely-seen grin, Victor calls Reidy, then SWAT. He checks the clip in his nine-mil, and then glances up at Dean Winchester's freeze-framed face, imagining Sam's right out of sight, and of how pleased he'll be to see their asses finally behind bars, where he personally can make sure they'll stay. And how mercilessly he'll be sanctioned to interrogate them. They may be only on the TV—for now—but Victor still doesn't hesitate to make them a promise.

"I'll be in touch. Soon."