Supply and Demand: Repeat Business Part 1 (SPN/Criminal Minds AU Crossover)
Rating: PG13 (Gen)
Fandom: SPN/Criminal Minds
Disclaimer: I own nothing, I profit from nothing. Although if I had my way Dean would grow his hair longer and Sam would cut his. Creative licence and hand waving on historical accuracy. It's an AU after all. That is all.
Summary: Criminal Minds/SPN Crossover AU. Mitch Koravi was dead, to begin with. But when a man is killed using his exact MO, the BAU have to eat humble pie and bring back the Empath told them their case was not closed, Dean Winchester
Spoilers: set somewhere during Season 5 of Criminal Minds, post ep 100 and AU for SPN (all seasons).
authors note: This is the sequel to my story Supply and Demand: Unwanted. You may want to read that first in order for some of the AU background to make sense
1 Month ago
It had become a necessity to investigate the details, the minutia of Mitch Koravi's life. The man may already be on the autopsy table in the FBI morgue but Hotchner knew that they had to continue to profile the man and thus visit the study which would have been one of their first stops had Winchester not picked up the trail so quickly.
If Koravi had revisited his first two crime scenes, an unknown face in the crowd, it would add to the profile which so far was pretty damn contradictory. For a disorganized, opportunistic killer to return to the scene of the crime spoke to ego, pride, a sense of wanting to connect again to the victim, the investigation. Maybe it spoke to remorse, but Koravi had definitely decided to revisit the scene of his most recent murder, and fortuitously, Winchester had felt him and he'd bolted. The similarity to Sorenson was disconcerting... why would Koravi copy Sorenson to the letter? Right down to the detail of returning to the scene ... right up to getting caught.
The unanswered questions meant they had to complete their profile, even if it was post mortem.
Rossi and Reid were hunched together in the corner, oohing and ahhing over some of the items Koravi had 'borrowed' from the library of the Centre for Contemporary Arab studies, attached to the Georgetown University. Prentiss was interviewing the students who had neighbouring studies, while Morgan was hovering in the middle of the room. He seemed ill at ease, as if the unusual take down and subsequent fatal shooting had robbed him of the sense of finalisation and in a way, Aaron was disturbed that he knew Derek was feeling that and he was not just guessing or surmising. Morgan was trying very hard not to stare at Winchester, who was carefully ignoring everyone.
Dean was paging through Koravi's notes, reading with real interest, flipping through some pages, pouring over others. The itch to touch, to connect, was vibrant and Hotch studiously locked it away. It hadn't been necessary to connect, as he had suspected and the sooner he could give Winchester back to T&E the better.
The study was ordered, but messy as if Koravi had recently straightened up and then tossed the place trying to find something. There were very few indicators of a disturbed psyche though and that was bothering Hotch, more than anything. The more they looked into Koravi's personal life, the less sense his psychotic break made, let alone the leap to copy Sorenson's MO. The only possible stressor was the trip to the Jeffersonian and the theft of an ancient dagger.
The first murder, Don Samuels, had taken place in an alley behind Koravi's apartment, bloody and messy, and yet this study only presented the ordered mind of a student of the Near and Middle East. Stable family, no history of relationship troubles, socialised, well adjusted, intelligent yet hardly top of his class, no reports of clashes with professors or students until... killing Samuels, an intern at the Jeffersonian.
It was a sobering thought indeed that without Winchester, it may well have taken them far longer and a higher body count to even identify Koravi, as the link to Samuels had been tenuous, a correspondence record which Garcia had only found from Koravi's side – a brief email to Samuels, which the PD detectives had not had time verify on Samuel's email.
"This isn't over." Head snapping up, caught up in his thoughts, Aaron said, "What?"
Winchester was uncomfortably close, a good couple of feet away, the air around him humming with energy. Morgan obviously did not feel the charge, or perhaps it didn't bother him, as he bumped Winchester absently, trying to get a look at the mole skin book in his hands.
Winchester's voice was hard, weary, his eyes a little bloodshot and watery. His determination however was clear and he said again, "This ain't over." He held out the book but Hotch made no move to take it, content, nay eager to maintain his distance. Morgan did however, reading the entry Winchester had open.
"Why do you say that?"
Pursing his lips, then licking the bottom one briefly, Winchester said, "A feeling?"
The question mark was audible, the doubt or hesitation obvious. Rossi and Reid both looked up, twin heads of curiosity.
Everyone looked at Winchester for further explanation and before he could say anything else, Rossi interjected, "There is nothing here, or at his home to suggest that this was nothing more than a psychotic break. An odd one, sure and an unusual leap to copy cat another murderer. But... why, what leads you to think there is a partner, or more to it?"
The question was genuine, but so was the disdain. Rossi had very little time for Winchester that much had been obvious from the beginning. Winchester stiffened, a slight rise of emotion in the air, but he said calmly, "Just a feeling."
And Rossi replied with the disbelief reserved for the delusional, "Right. A feeling."
"Yeah." And Winchester offered nothing more, his defiant 'whatever' tangible. Hotch nodded at Morgan, who took the book and backed off, leaving Hotchner and his Empath with a modicum of privacy. Rossi returned to poking around, Reid however gave every indication that he fully intended to listen in.
Stepping closer than he'd like, Aaron said quietly, hating that what should have been a viable, logical, empirical investigation was ... tainted with 'feelings,' "What kind of feeling? What exactly..."
Winchester kept his distance but hissed in reply none the less, eyes only for Hotch. "Like there's something else going on. Doesn't this feel off to you? Too easy, too simple. A guy just cracks and starts killing? Picks the Sorenson murder and copies it, hoping that'll be enough to cover his tracks?"
Dean believed it, he truly did. And Hotchner couldn't help agreeing. It did feel off, too easy, which was why they were here, trying to make sense of Koravi's mindframe. So he pressed further, trying to get something tangible, a lead they could work on. "What? A partner? He knew Sorenson? What, Dean?"
The name felt and sounded odd on his lips, comfortable but too... familiar but Winchester was slow to reply, weighing his words with deliberation. "Not sure... maybe a connection to Sorenson... something. Don't know exactly but we really need to find that knife."
And right there, right then, Hotch felt it. Felt the nudge, the twist of manipulation, of deception. Kinetic he might be, but he knew when he was being told half truths, misdirected, pushed to rely on Empathic say so. Studying Dean, Aaron wondered just how desperate he was to stay away from T&E, to stay out in the field, maybe ... run. Without a connection, however tentative, it was difficult to get a good read on Winchester if he was not leaking but no matter now tempting it was, Aaron backed off and said, "Gonna need to more than that, Winchester."
For a moment it seemed like Dean was going to argue, he certainly braced himself to do so, but something changed, maybe a spike in emotion, reading Hotchner's resolve, or it was the intense interest from Reid and instead Winchester stepped back and said, "Fine. Don't believe me."
He turned away, increasing the distance between them and Hotch shot a look at Morgan, wondering if anything in the note book could explain Dean's statement or belief... but Derek was shaking his head. Nothing in there that lead him to the same conclusion. Rossi was watching them as well, Reid's attention unwavering.
It was ... disconcerting... and Aaron knew that on any other case his team would not be watching him with such concern. He knew Winchester would feel the spike of irritation, knew it was directed at him but Hotch couldn't help it.
"Come on, back to work – we've got a profile to complete."
c*m*s*p*n*c*m*s*p*n* c*m*s*p*n*c*m*s*p*n* c*m*s*p*n*c*m*s*p*n* c*m*s*p*n*c*m*s*p*
"You have to remember that his own interests are best served by staying out in the field."
Hotch felt his heart skip a beat, he'd been so caught up in his thoughts, worrying that maybe Winchester was right and that he was letting his own bias, own loathing of T&E abilities blind him to the possible danger, that he hadn't heard Rossi approach.
Their small conference room was filled with paperwork from the case, coroner reports and witness interviews. Prentiss was 'minding' Winchester near the break room, ensuring he stayed away from the coffee and doughnuts. Ignoring the no longer subtle irritation from Winchester, especially now with Emily watching him, was fairly easy compared to dealing with Rossi's intent interest.
Rossi looked concerned, his face set and posture relaxed. Reid was hovering behind him, floppy hair in disarray. They both radiated... concern. Deciding to agree, Aaron sighed, "True, but that doesn't mean he's wrong." The drive back to the office had given him enough time to wonder – wonder if he was letting his own emotions blind him.
Reid actually looked at Rossi first before saying, "I... we disagree. We think that ... he's annoyed it was so easy, that ... he's going back so soon. Koravi was smart enough to use Sorenson as a possible cover but didn't count on us, you, using an Empath."
Rubbing away the itch the thought of Dean evoked, Hotchner said, "Look, I know he's leaking and you guys don't have the same barriers ... and that he's tough to be around but ..."
"It's more than that, Aaron. His profile more than supports a manipulative, sociopathic personality. He's been on his guard around us, well aware that we would notice his attempts to manipulate so he hasn't tried that with us," Rossi said softly.
"You're different though – er... more likely to be sympathetic towards him," Reid added, very very uncomfortable with the conversation. "Your, ah, natural inclination to be protective and uh, supportive, to be open to ... him."
Reid stopped talking at Hotch's baleful glare, but Rossi pressed on. "Whether you like it or not, Aaron and I know you dislike this Kinetic ability intensely, it doesn't change the way you feel... could feel about him. And I think you need to be reminded... that he is extremely capable of manipulating you, manoeuvring you into letting him escape, deceiving you."
Unnecessarily, Reid added, "He is hardly here willingly. The profile on him before his arrest..."
"I get it," Hotch interrupted, waving his hand angrily, "I do. I understand the possibility, the real chance that he's trying to pull a fast one – get us to trust him, drop our guard, my guard. But... what if it's not a lie? What if he's being straight with us and we're letting our own bias dissuade us otherwise?"
Rossi paused and said calmly, "Did you feel that he was completely honest with you?"
And for that Hotchner had only one reply. No. Winchester was hiding something, holding something back, but ...
Reid however hit the nail on the head as he said, "The odds of there being a partner, or anyone else involved are ... highly unlikely, I could... it's more likely, far more likely, that Winchester is playing you, Hotch. Purely on probabilities."
And that, Aaron could not deny.
c*m*s*p*n*c*m*s*p*n* c*m*s*p*n*c*m*s*p*n* c*m*s*p*n*c*m*s*p*n* c*m*s*p*n*c*m*s*p*
On automatic, Hotchner snatched up the phone, room still dark, eyes still closed and hit 'accept' by habit more than anything. "Hotchner."
Half expecting to hear the familiar voice of JJ, Aaron sat up in bed when the unwelcome voice of Chief Strauss came through loud and clear. "We have another murder, Agent Hotchner. Same MO as the Koravi killings – to the letter."
A deep, unpleasant feeling stirred within him, something very much akin to fear and nausea. "Where?"
Her voice was so detached and emotionless, it was difficult to reconcile to his suddenly pounding heart. "About a mile or so from the last crime scene – where you caught Koravi. What in the hell is going on, Hotchner? NCIS close the case with Sorenson, you close it with Koravi - all using the same Empath and a month later, we have another murder!"
"Ma'am, our profile was..."
"Profile, Hotchner? Profile? I've read better dialogue in a soap opera than that profile. Vague, imprecise, unprofessional – incomplete! The only reason you caught Koravi was because the Empath found him and if it wasn't for the staggering amount of physical evidence confirming Koravi's guilt I'd be charging you with obstruction of justice and negligence. Get your ass down to that crime scene, give me a proper profile and figure out what in the hell is going on – and close the damn case!"
Aaron slowly put the phone down, its screen blinking off as it lay on the bed covers. Well aware of what his next move should be, a call to JJ, scramble the team, ream out Rossi and Reid, there was a large, angry part of him which kept him immobile. As urgent as this case was, as immediate as the need was to act, Aaron couldn't stop thinking that this would be an excuse, a very good reason, to see Winchester again. And that ... pissed him off.
20 years of being independent, secure and free from T&E and 2 days spent with Winchester a month ago and now the mere possibility of seeing him again sent his heartrate climbing. And as much as it wasn't Dean's fault per say, it was as well, and T&E's and the situation, but Hotch couldn't help feeling furious that as hard as he tried not to get attached or influenced or hell, hooked, it seemed he had. A month of careful, controlled emotions, ignoring the errant stray thought about Winchester and wham... just like that he needed to see him, like he needed to breathe.
Shoving that all away, locking it down, and putting on his game face, Aaron climbed out of bed, stood up and dialled JJ, well aware of the early hour. One short, shocked conversation later, and she was alerting the team. Even at close to 4am she sounded professional and on top of things, and she'd arrange for everyone to meet him at the crime scene.
Once he was dressed, suit stiff from the dry cleaners, Hotchner called Chief Strauss back, well aware that she was probably asleep by now. "Yes, ma'am, on our way. I need you to authorise the expense of an emergency Empath. Yes, ma'am, I know – but if you want this tied up quickly, I need Winchester."
c*m*s*p*n*c*m*s*p*n* c*m*s*p*n*c*m*s*p*n* c*m*s*p*n*c*m*s*p*n* c*m*s*p*n*c*m*s*p*
T&E Center - Now
"Agent Hotchner, what a pleasant surprise."
"Agent Andrews." Aaron Hotchner was the epitome of a professional, emotionally detached BAU Agent. And if that didn't get Andrews goat just a little, it certainly made him want to try and 'press' a few buttons.
"I wasn't expecting to see you again so soon. Something I can help you with?" Andrews smiled, oh so pleasantly, giving Hotchner his undivided attention.
"I need Dean Winchester." Straight to the point, direct, no pussyfooting around.
"I'm sure you do, Agent Hotchner but I can schedule a session with any of our Pool 'Paths..." Andrews replied disingenuously. Agent Hotchner had never once since his registration visited the T&E centre in a personal capacity. But Dean Winchester was the purest form of Kinetic Crack around and it usually only took one taste.
"No, I need Winchester specifically. We have a similar case to the last one he assisted us on, and I can't afford to let this unsub build up momentum." Flat direct and earnest.
He couldn't help the smile and the drawl of, "I'm sure..."
Agent Hotchner's reaction was simply to hand over a thick file, "Here's the old case file, if you need further evidence, but I'm afraid I must insist."
Taking the file, but not opening it, Andrews coughed, "One of our other Empaths can surely..."
"No, Dean demonstrates an affinity for ... the criminal mindset and behaviour. As time is of the essence, it must be him."
Laughing a little, Agent Andrews leant back in his chair and said, "Oh he has an affinity all right. Look Hotchner, the 'Pool Paths have a strict schedule and class 2s like Winchester are in high demand. I can't simply drop everything and bump a dozen or so Telekinetics whose needs..."
The interruption was smooth, effortless, a practiced interrogator, "Are hardly more important than catching a serial killer – before he strikes again, Andrews."
More shaking his head than nodding, Andrews hmmmed before drawling, "Granted, but we have policies and procedures for a reason..."
"We will pay the emergency fee, as usual."
"And that fee just gets you an emergency Empath – whoever happens to be available. And Winchester is not available." Andrews said that with all the finality he could muster, carefully watching for a reaction, an indication of annoyance.
Hotchner placed his hands on Andrew's desk, leant forward and said very calmly, "This is not a negotiation, Andrews. I need Winchester and if I have to go above your head, again, I will do so. Your planning and budgeting needs do not outweigh the lives of the innocent. I want Winchester – now."
Andrews smiled stiffly, and said, "Then you better make that call, Agent Hotchner, because I'm not giving him to you without it."
Without a further word, Hotchner left with remarkable fortitude and did not slam the door. His stiff little smile blossoming into a full on smirk, Andrews picked up the phone and dialled an extension.
"Kimball? Yeah, start prepping Winchester for a solo assignment – yeah, yeah, I know he's in the middle of a prep already, just amp it up."
It took 15 minutes for the call to reach him and Andrews calmly answered the call from the T&E Director, "Yes, sir, understood sir. I'll have him ready as soon as possible." Glancing over the paperwork Hotchner would need to sign, Andrews smiled, looked up at the clock and said to himself, "Perfect timing." Kimball was waiting with Winchester at the entrance to the 'Path quarters, and Andrews nodded for Dean to follow, which he did... slowly.
Hotchner was waiting in the Kinetic Reception, the large room painted in colours designed to cool, soothe and defrazzle the rattled kinetic. Aaron Hotchner still looked cool, calm and collected and there were no tells if he needed an 'empathic' fix, at all. Ice cold Bastard.
He wasn't alone in the room, as two other Kinetics were waiting for treatment sessions, and all three of them turned as one as Andrews entered the room, Winchester on his heels. Dean Winchester was a little woozy from the prep, unsteady on his feet, gaze blank and unfocused.
"Agent Hotchner, as requested... so pleasantly." Andrews held out the paperwork, unconsciously reaching out to hold Winchester's arm, just to steady him of course. As usual Winchester tried to move away, swaying as he did but Andrews was well used to his skittish Empath's ways and squeezed tightly, relishing the thrill of electricity than ran through him.
Silently, Hotchner scanned the paperwork, his gaze fixed on the forms, and Andrews didn't catch a single glance at the Empath. Damn, he was good – no tells at all.
The other two Empaths however, had not sat down and were staring at Winchester, who in turn was staring at his shoes or the carpet, whichever was more interesting.
"Done." Hotchner handed back the forms and said, "And his bag?"
"Reception will have one waiting for you."
Hotchner nodded and said softly, looking at Winchester for the first time, "It's good to see you again, Dean."
Naturally there was no response from Winchester, but he did look up at Hotchner, his expression suitably blank.
"Do you want to ... connect here?" Andrews asked brightly, inserting as much sincerity as he could. Hotchner however shook his head. "It won't be necessary, that's not why ... we really need to be going."
"Sure, of course." Andrews made no move to let Winchester go and just as Hotchner opened his mouth, Utchdorf arrived. Hans Utchdorf was a kinetic contracted out to a large construction firm and was used to throwing his weight around. Tall, muscled and with a highly inflated opinion of himself, he was one of T&E's prize Kinetics... and brought in the revenue to prove it.
"Right on time," Andrews muttered to himself.
"What the hell, Andrews – why has my booking been moved?"
Hans Utchdorf was a towering figure of outraged kinetic energy and the moment he saw Winchester and then Hotchner, the level of tension in the room amplified.
"Who the hell do you think you are? I've been waiting months – months for Winchester!" Utchdorf closed the space between himself and Hotchner in seconds and actually had the temerity to jab an indignant finger at Aaron.
Andrews made no move to intercede, moving back instead, dragging Winchester with him, happy to let Hotchner deal with the irate Kinetic. The movement however, Dean moving away from them, had both their heads swinging in that direction.
Realising his mistake too late, Andrews felt the shove before he'd even processed what the situation was devolving into, and although it was not forceful enough to send him flying, it was enough that he lost his grip on Winchester. Utchdorf was already moving, hands outstretched towards Winchester. Too many months without a connection, too much anticipation and he was losing control.
The collective "No!"and kinetic surge from Hotchner and one of the other Kinetics was enough to send Dean to his knees, both hands clutching at his head. Actually, honest to goodness growling, Utchdorf snarled at the others, "Back off!"
All three kinetics continued to move towards the Empath though, especially when Utchdorf grabbed Dean by the back of the neck and pushed down, both physically and kinetically. "He's mine!"
Whether Utchdorf was just too out of control or just crazy enough to try it, they all felt him try and force a permanent connection with Winchester, who stiffened, knuckles going white in his hair.
"Stop!" Hotchner drew his weapon, but even as Utchdorf tried to connect, there was a surge of controlled, fury coloured empathic energy and then Utchdorf went flying, literally knocked off his feet. He collapsed, boneless, but moaning and shaking.
Hotchner shook his head, his own ears ringing, the distinct feeling of biting tinfoil or metal in his mouth. The feeling of static electricity in the room was vibrant and Dean's chest was heaving with exertion, his eyes fixed on Utchdorf, who continued to writhe.
Andrews, shaken, quickly called for help, but there were T&E personnel already running towards the room. A couple of burly orderly type guys heaved Utchdorf to his feet and hustled him out the room, removing his troubling presence. The other two Kinetics followed quickly, shooting nervous glances at Winchester.
Andrews waved away the remaining staff and said softly, "No, let Agent Hotchner – it's an emergency call out anyway."
Perhaps if Hotchner had been less controlled, or rather less in control, Andrews might have felt something in the withering glare shot at him, but the urgency of the case was not diminished. Reholstering his weapon, Aaron took a deep breath to calm himself down and stepped towards Winchester.
The rise in the empathic surge was palpable, and Winchester had not let go of his head, still hunched on his knees, trying to keep it together.
Securely locking away his emotions, tightening the mental hatches on his needs, wants and desires, Aaron knelt next to Dean and said as quietly as he could while still being audible. "You said that it wasn't the end, that Koravi was not alone. We didn't, I didn't believe you ... and now it's started again. Just like you said it would. So ... I'm sorry – for not believing you. And for ... I am sorry. We need your help – *we* need your help." Aaron stressed the 'we' as much as he could and tried to get Dean to meet his eyes. Winchester responded perhaps to the plea, perhaps just to the proximity of a Kinetic and raised pain filled eyes.
"Please." Aaron put as much emotion into that plea as he could and sent the mental reassurance that he was needed. They stayed that way for awhile, long enough for Hotchner's knees to start to ache, which actually didn't take too long these days. Finally, Dean nodded, dropped his hands and began to climb to his feet
Unconsciously, Hotchner reached out to help him, but Dean pulled away, staying out of reach. Andrews was immediately there, apparently fighting the same urge to touch, help Dean rise, hands out stretched but not actually touching. Unable to force the usual cheer in his voice, Andrews said, "Great – all done, all happy. So let's get you out of here before ..."
Neither Winchester nor Hotchner bothered to even look at the man, and Dean lead the way out of the room, the remaining personnel parting to let him past, with ample room.
Just as Aaron reached the door, Andrews called out, "Agent Hotchner!" Looking back, firmly keeping his opinion of the man off his face, Aaron raised a querulous eyebrow
"Just remember the rules, Agent Hotchner, no permanent connections." But Aaron did not stick around to hear the end, his rising fury at Andrews rapidly becoming difficult to contain.
Left alone in the room, Andrews couldn't help the rather nervous smile and he rubbed his arms a little, removing the static sensation. "Well that was fun."
C*m*s*p*n*c*m*s*p*n* c*m*s*p*n*c*m*s*p*n* c*m*s*p*n*c*m*s*p*n* c*m*s*p*n*c*m*s*p*
"The connection to an Empath is a heady experience, like the lights being turned on and everything just suddenly becoming clearer. Jeanette was a pretty weak Empath, but our connection made everything feel so ... real. The T&E handler said our closed loop connection would increase both of our abilities tenfold and he was right. I felt like I was on top of the world, life was in technicolour for the first time and when I lost her... lost that link, it was like going back to an old black and white set, flat and monochrome. T&E said she was helping more Kinetics this way, and sure, spending time near her helped, but it wasn't technicolour anymore, not bright and vibrant. I hated the other Kinetics, those who had sessions before and after me, hated the very idea of them. In the end, I decided black and a white was better than washed out colours. My last session with Jeanette was over ten years ago and I can still see her blank eyes, vacant expression. Her empathic field may have felt wonderful to be near, but I missed her smile. Walking away was both the easiest and hardest thing I have ever done. I hate myself for not being brave enough to take her with me."
Intro to 'Memoirs of a Kinetic' by George Smith (unpublished)
C*m*s*p*n*c*m*s*p*n* c*m*s*p*n*c*m*s*p*n* c*m*s*p*n*c*m*s*p*n* c*m*s*p*n*c*m*s*p*