Chapter One: I Disappear
Author's Note: Set in season 7 for Supernatural between episodes 11 and 16. Set anytime in Season 7 of Criminal minds. I do not own the characters for either show.
No man is clever enough to know all the evil he does – Francois de La Rochefoucauld
With a rustle, Dean flipped through the pages of a newspaper, one of many, that were piled on top of his lap.
"Uh… a couple of city maintenance workers in Chicago were killed while repairing a broken water-main… ohh and the third guy got paralyzed," Dean piped up after reading the article for a moment.
Sam answered with a non-committal grunt.
"No Chicago then," Dean said and tossed the paper into the backseat, "didn't like the movie anyway."
Sam kept his eyes on the road.
"Dean," Sam finally spoke up.
His brother looked at him, one eyebrow raised, "what?"
"I'm all for keeping busy and everything but… doesn't it feel just a little bit like we're beating a dead horse, here?" Sam muttered as though reluctant to voice his opinion.
Dean's expression turned somewhat serious, "you didn't want me obsessing over Dick Roman so I'm not and now you think I'm drowning myself in work because I can't get what I want?"
"I'm just saying that you've always had a one-track mind," Sam said cautiously, not in the mood to start arguing.
Dean bit his tongue against a not-so-nice reply and went back to scanning the newest paper without speaking.
He flipped to the back pages, "Huh."
"What?" Sam sighed, exasperated.
"I'm just reading you're horoscope and it says that you are going be a bitch and not talk to your totally awesome brother for the next six hours," Dean grinned as he spoke and raised an eyebrow.
Sam rolled his eyes and shook his head.
Dean turned his attention back to the papers, sifting through them and then pausing, a thoughtful expression on his face.
"You know what? Screw these, let's just stop at the next town and take a mini vacation," Dean threw all the papers into the backseat and Sam looked confused.
"You do know what a vacation is, right?" Dean asked playfully, "It's where you don't do anything, don't think about anything- just eat and sleep and watch porn on the Internet- and you're happy."
Sam grimaced; it had been a long time since he had felt genuine joy and he wondered why Dean was so concerned about their own contentment now.
Sam didn't reply but Dean knew he'd do as he asked.
Dean stole a glance at his brother from the corner of his eye- Sam's jaw was clenched tight, his knuckles white as he gripped the steering wheel- and knew that they did need a break from hunting, if only for a day or two.
Cunningham knew all about monsters. Not the TV monsters he'd watched with his brother late at night when they were kids. He knew that the Wolfman and Frankenstein and the zombies from Night of the Living Dead were just actors in make-up.
Those monsters were fake. No, the monsters Cunningham knew about were real.
The first monster Cunningham had met had pretended to be his brother. Mom and Pop had been so glad that Louis had come back from the war alive but Cunningham knew that what walked through their front door was not his brother.
Now the monsters were everywhere it seemed, pretending to be people, thinking they were fooling everyone.
But they couldn't fool Cunningham, no, he saw what they really were and he knew that he had to do something about it.
No one ever listened to Cunningham. He hadn't told anyone about the monsters, but no one listened to him anyways.
That was fine though, Cunningham didn't need anyone to listen. He preferred to work on his own anyway; it was better that like that.
Cunningham peered over the top of his newspaper, eyes focused on nothing but the monster sitting at the opposite end of the diner. He had been watching it for over half an hour.
Cunningham was just itching to tell Susie, the waitress about the monster but he didn't, it was better if no one knew or else he'd cause a panic.
"Anything else I can get you?" Cunningham looked up to see Susie standing beside his booth with a coffeepot in her hand.
Cunningham shook his head and Susie walked away to ask some other customers. He had ordered a coffee but had not bothered with it since the monster had walked in.
He was anxious, he wasn't scared, but he was worried that the monster might escape. Cunningham quickly slid his gaze around the diner, taking in the other patrons, acting natural.
Carefully, so as not to be noticed, Cunningham watched as the monster stood and walked out of the diner.
Cunningham waited for a moment and then stood, put some money on the table for his untouched coffee and followed.
The streetlights were blown out along the stretch of road- the idiots in City Hall too lazy to hire anyone to repair them- and cast the road and storefronts in shadows.
Looking around, Cunningham didn't see the monster and wondered briefly if it had vanished.
No, it was there, walking quickly down the street. Head bowed and hands in the pockets of its jacket.
Cunningham followed at a distance, his footsteps nearly silent from practice. He walked patiently, quietly. The monster did not notice.
Cunningham slid into the shadows when the monster raised its head and looked behind, a look of suspicion across its face. Cunningham barely dared to breathe.
The monster shrugged its broad shoulders and continued walking.
Cunningham knew this monster was going to be a challenge- it was different than the other ones he'd caught before- but with the right tools it shouldn't be too much trouble.
He watched as the monster slipped between two buildings and Cunningham didn't hesitate to follow. He knew that the alley only led to a dead end.
The monster had walked right into a trap.
The alley was dark and narrow; it smelled of garbage, rust and mould. There was a rusted green Dumpster and crushed, damp cardboard boxes.
Cunningham's heart sped up- where was the monster?
He stepped deeper and deeper into the alley, eyes peeled and adrenaline pumping- he was ready.
The monster was ready for him also, it seemed. It leaped out from behind the Dumpster and slammed him against the brick wall.
Cunningham's breath was knocked from him as the beast loomed over him.
"Why are you following me?" is snarled in his face, he could smell its breath- coffee and meat.
Cunningham grunted and his hand inched toward the pocket of his sports jacket, fingers groping for his gun.
The monster had a handful of his jacket and shirt twisted in its fist, its eyes flashed green and it slammed him against the wall a second time.
"Why were you watching me?" it asked in a low, dangerous voice and Cunningham silently rejoiced when his fingers wrapped around the gun's handle.
He whipped the weapon out and pressed it hard to the monster's chest. The creature instantly released him, raising its hands in the universal gesture of surrender. Before the monster could react though, Cunningham moved into action.
You're not getting the jump on me; Cunningham thought and pulled the trigger.
The monster jerked and then collapsed to the ground in a heap. Cunningham leaned down and put to fingers to the monster's neck, searching for a pulse. It was there, clear and strong.
Cunningham grunted in a satisfied way and pocketed his Taser gun.
He walked casually out of the alley, he knew the monster would not wake up in the time it took for him to pull his van around, and he moved at a leisurely pace.
Once his van was in position- its double doors wide open to the mouth of the alley- Cunningham grabbed the monster under the arms and dragged it to the vehicle. He had a little difficulty getting the creature into the van, the monster was heavy but Cunningham was strong and the limp body was easily manipulated.
Cunningham gagged the monster with an old tea towel secured in a tight knot at the back of its head. He hogtied the monster's arms and legs behind its back of it with a length of course yellow rope he'd bought at the hardware store and then wrapped the creature's wrists and ankles in duct tape as an extra precaution.
Cunning examined his handiwork with an air of pride- he was getting better at this and he smiled- those monsters never saw him coming.
He slipped out the back of the van, closing the doors tightly and locking them. Cunningham whistled a little as he got into the front seat and began driving.
This is for you, Louis; Cunningham thought sadly, this is all for you.
A lump grew in his throat as he thought about his poor older brother and Cunningham felt anger rise in his chest- he would avenge his brother, he would make all the monsters pay for what had happened to his Louis.
Cunningham smiled because he knew that his brother was looking down on his work and guiding him. He knew that Louis would have wanted him to do this; he knew this was the right thing to do, for his brother and for everyone those monsters had hurt.
Penelope Garcia had been having a nice weekend. Kyle had taken her on an old-fashioned dinner-and-movie date. They had gone to a fancy Italian restaurant and then gone back to her place and watched 'The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo'- the Swedish version of course- and spent the rest of the time talking long into the night.
She wished she could get more lovely weekends like that but as soon as she stepped inside the BAU building Garcia was ready to work.
Her lime green heels clattered down the tiled hallway as she practically ran to her office. As Garcia entered 'the bullpen' she saw that some of her co-workers were already there and she wished she hadn't slept in so late.
Garcia smiled down at Dr. Spencer Reid as he raised a hand in a wave and stopped mid-stride when SSA Aaron Hotchner stepped out of his own office, a file folder gripped tightly in his hands.
The veteran agent peered over the railing and spoke, "Conference room. Five minutes."
Oh no, Garcia thought, what now?
Although the technical analyst liked working for the BAU and with her team- they were more like her family than anything else- she hated hearing about the terrible things people did to one another.
Instead of going to her office as planned, Garcia headed immediately to the main conference room.
She sat down, facing the large computer screen along one wall and wondered whose face would be up there this time.
As Garcia sat and fidgeted with her bright green skirt, smoothing the shiny material down, she couldn't help but think about the recent revelation that their friend Emily Prentiss was still alive and now back a part of their team. Everyone had been quite shaken at finding out the truth and it was still causing some tension between the team- Garcia hoped that everything would calm down soon- and they'd be more like a family again.
"Hey, mama," Garcia smiled broadly as Derek Morgan walked in, Reid trailing behind him.
"Have a good weekend?" Reid asked and Garcia nodded.
"Spent some quality time with Kyle… he's been feeling neglected lately," Garcia answered and Morgan wiggled his eyebrows playfully.
Reid looked slightly confused but quickly shook it off.
Garcia greeted Jennifer Jareau as the blonde walked in with David Rossi and Emily Prentiss close behind her.
Everyone sat down and looked around, "where's Hotch? Thought he wanted us in here pronto."
There were shrugs all around in answer to Morgan's question.
Six pairs of eyes all focused on the doorway and nerves became taut as they waited for Hotchner to enter to room.
"Maybe one of us should go see what's keeping him?" Garcia wondered aloud and paused to push her green glasses farther up her nose.
Before anyone could move though, Hotchner slipped inside and closed the door. JJ stood up and helped hand out the half dozen file folders their team leader had brought with him.
"Early this morning a couple walking their dog stumbled upon a grave in the middle of a field in Brentwood, Washington," Hotchner began, his expression somber.
"So why are we involved?" Morgan asked before Hotchner had a chance to continue.
"The grave did not contain just one body but four," Hotchner answered and there was a collective sigh in the room.
Garcia's gaze turned to the computer screen as Hotchner held the remote out and the FBI crest was replaced by a photograph of a badly-dug hole in the ground, surrounded by long, green grasses. A decomposing body was partly visible through the dirt and Garcia suddenly felt nauseous.
"Baby girl, are you okay?" Morgan leaned forward and asked Garcia, seeing the tech's face pale.
She nodded, "Yeah."
"So local law enforcement is already involved?" Rossi spoke up.
"Yes, but they called us because they are not at all used to seeing this kind of thing," Hotch answered.
"More than one body in a grave means that the location must have meant something to the unsub," Reid spoke as though only to himself but there were nods all around.
"Have they identified any of the bodies yet?" Prentiss asked as the picture changed to show the grave, now empty and the surrounding grasses growing tall around it.
Hotch shook his head, "unfortunately no."
"Is that all the information we have so far?" JJ asked and Hotch nodded.
"We'll learn more once we arrive in Brentwood," Hotch said and folded his arms across his chest, "I expect all of you to be in the jet in a half hour."
As the rest filed out, Garcia paused to speak to Hotchner, "is there anything I can do right now, sir?"
"Just be ready when we call," Hotchner answered and left the room, leaving Garcia alone.
The technical analyst raised a hand to her eyes and rubbed at the bottom lids clandestinely. What a way to start off the week.
Dean woke when a ray of sunlight shone through the grimy window and hit him full in the face. He groaned and pulled his head into his sleeping bag.
"Sammy, turn off the light," he muttered and opened his eyes when he received no answer.
Dean poked his head out and looked across the room where his brother's sleeping bag sat, zipped up tightly and duffle bag atop it.
"Sam?" Dean asked and a sliver of fear went through him before he realized his brother had probably just woken before him and left to get coffee.
Dean stretched and unzipped his own sleeping bag- one of the two the boys had grabbed from Rufus' cabin- and stood up slowly. The muscles in his back protested at the movement.
There was something to be said about sleeping in a bed. Dean turned to his own duffle and pulled a clean pair of jeans and a long-sleeved grey shirt from it.
Once fully dressed, Dean grabbed his boots, pulled them on and stomped down the hall to the bathroom.
He was grateful that the house that he and his brother had chosen to squat in had running water, if no water heater.
The mirror was spotted and cracked, the bathtub and sink were rusted and coated in lime, and the floors were grimy but it would do. Dean wasn't about to complain. He'd rather stay in a shitty, condemned house than in a motel and blow their cover and find out that the Leviathans were on their trail again.
Dean brushed his teeth and combed his hair, anticipating his brother arriving with a cup full of hot, steaming coffee for him.
Dean grimaced as he thought about Sam. They'd fought the night before despite their best efforts to avoid an argument. Luckily it hadn't come to blows but Sam had walked out, telling Dean he needed to be alone for a while.
Dean couldn't even think of what they'd been fighting about in the first place.
Oh well, hopefully Sam had gotten over it too and had grabbed some breakfast along with the coffee, Dean was starving.
Stomping down the stairs into the empty front hallway, Dean paused to check his phone- it was just after five o'clock in the morning- and groaned.
It was far too early to be awake but Dean just shrugged and decided to sleep in the next day. Sam always got up at the crack of dawn and all the power to him but Dean liked to sleep in.
Dean paced from the living room and into the kitchen and back again as he waited.
"C'mon Sammy," he muttered under his breath, "How long does it take you to get breakfast?"
After ten minutes of waiting, Dean paused and frowned: where the hell was his brother?
Fishing his phone from his pocket, Dean called his brother. The phone rang and rang and rang and went to voice mail.
Dean peered at the cell phone curiously. That was weird. Sam always had his phone by his side.
Dean decided he couldn't wait any longer and if he saw his brother along the way he'd pick him up. He grabbed the car keys from his pocket and stepped outside. The dark purple Camero was parked underneath a dying lilac bush even though the neighbourhood was deserted-all the houses in the cul-de-sac were either condemned or simply abandoned to the elements.
Slipping into the driver's seat, Dean cursed under his breath as he reversed the car out of the driveway and onto the road.
He drove slowly down the streets, keeping his eyes peeled for his brother, and occasionally checking him phone to see if Sam had texted him.
No dice. There was no sign of his brother anywhere and Dean was beginning to panic a little.
Dean pulled the ugly car into the parking lot of a small diner that was only a few blocks away from the street they were staying on and thought that maybe Sam would be there.
Dean stepped inside and looked around at the booths and table but didn't see Sam. Ever the hunter, though, Dean decided to take a seat and see if anyone had seen his brother. Maybe Sam was on his way back to the house that very minute.
A young waitress with long, light blond hair up in a ponytail wandered sleepily over to Dean with a cheerful 'can I help you, sir?'
Dean took in the woman's blue uniform and white apron, the lack of makeup on her face, the slight bags under her eyes and the gold nametag pinned to her lapel which read 'Susie'.
"Actually, I think maybe you could help me. I was supposed to meet a friend here for breakfast but I kind of slept in and I was wondering if you'd seen him. He's really tall, has longish hair, green eyes". Yeah, slept in, right. When anyone with a brain would be hitting the Snooze button 'til noon hour.
The waitress paused for a moment, one finger against her lips as she thought, "I do remember him- he came in here last night… was really quiet but kind of cute- but I haven't seen him this morning. Can I get you anything while you wait?"
Dean shook his head and gulped. Shit Sammy, where the fuck are you?
He rubbed his forehead with his fingers. So much for our vacation. So Sam had come here last night after storming out… but what had happened between the time he had left this place and now?
Dean looked around the diner as though Sam might pop up from one of the other booths or from behind the counter.
It had been a long time since Sam had walked away from a fight like he had last night- Dean recalled that habit being more pronounced when their father was still alive- but he certainly wasn't the type to just vanish. Sure Sam had run away in the past a few times, especially when he was younger, but he'd always appear chagrinned and hungry the next day.
Something must have happened to him, Dean decided, there's no other explanation.
Dear God what had happened to his brother?
He could list of the possibilities on one hand and none of them were good.
1. Leviathans had somehow found them and had nabbed Sam.
2. Sam had had another hallucination and was off gallivanting somewhere with Lucifer.
Neither option was good but Dean knew he could handle it if Sam was hallucinating again, well, handle it better than he could knowing that Dick Roman was holding his brother as bait for him.
Dean motioned to the waitress and she came forward eagerly, "have you decided to order?"
He shook his head, "you said you saw my friend last night, right?"
"Yes," Susie answered slowly.
"Did he seem nervous to you? Anxious? Was he fidgeting or sitting very still?"
The waitress's forehead creased, "he seemed normal. He wasn't acting weird if that's what you mean. Like I said before, he didn't say much but he was real polite when he did talk."
Dean held back an exasperated sigh, "was he fiddling with his hands, like this?"
Dean demonstrated pressing his right thumb into the palm of his left hand. It had not escaped him that Sam often pushed down on the scar on his palm when he was stressed or nervous or tired.
Susie shook her head.
Dean tried a different angle, "did he saw anything to you? Other than the obvious. Did he say something that was strange maybe? Confusing or out-of-the-blue?"
Again the waitress responded with a shake of her head.
Dean sighed, "Did he, uh, was he talking to himself at all or maybe to someone who wasn't there?"
"Why are you asking me all this? Is your friend crazy or something?" the waitress asked, with animosity and fear.
Dean's expression darkened. No one called Sammy crazy. He stood abruptly and pushed past the waitress- she was no help anyway- and made his way out of the diner.
As Dean sat down in the Camero's driver's seat, he suddenly had an idea.
Pulling his cell phone from his pocket, Dean dialed Frank Devereaux's number.
After nearly five minutes of convincing the man that he was in fact Dean Winchester and not a Leviathan spy, Frank gave Dean a minute to breathe.
"Can't be too careful," Frank said matter-of-factly.
"I don't think the Leviathans would call you ahead of time to see if you were home," Dean sighed.
"Huh, well, fair enough," Frank muttered, "now, what do you want?"
"Sammy's missing," Dean forced the words out and waited for a reaction. He didn't get one. If he'd been talking to Bobby, the old hunter would have called Dean an 'idjit' and then fretted in his grumpy, crass way about the youngest Winchester.
"What'd you expect me to do about that?" Frank said after a minute.
"I think Sam's phone has a GPS in it," Dean answered rudely, "I need you to triangulate the signal or whatever and find out where he is."
"If it's still on him," Frank muttered.
"What?" Dean snapped.
He heard Frank suck in a breath, "well, if your brother's been taken and isn't just out smelling the roses, than any smart criminal would destroy the phone."
Dean gritted his teeth, "Than let's hope Sam just got distracted by something shiny and will come home when I call."
"Okay, okay, no need to get snippy, Princess," Frank grumbled, "what's the number?"
Dean recited Sam's cell number, "I know you could care less about Sam but he is my brother and my responsibility and I will personally tear the limbs off anything or anyone who so much as looks at him in a way I don't like."
Frank whistled in appreciation, "this'll take a few minutes so microwave yourself some popcorn."
Dean didn't reply. He really wasn't in the mood to joke- an odd thing for him- and his heart pounded painfully in his chest at the thought of Sam being tormented by memories of Hell and hallucination Lucifer or trapped in Dick Roman's clutches.
"You still with me?" Frank's voice jolted Dean from his thoughts.
"Yeah, Frank," Dean muttered.
"Okay, well here the thing," Frank paused, "I can't pinpoint the location of the phone."
"What!" Dean shouted.
"I'll try again but I can't make any promises," Frank offered.
Dean rubbed a hand over his face, "just find my brother."
Cunningham remembered the day Louis had gone to fight in the war. He remembered sitting on his brother's bed with his knobby knees splayed out before him and a wide grin on his face.
"Take me with you Louis, please," Cunningham had begged.
Louis had chuckled and ruffled Cunningham's hair, "I can't buddy. But I promise to bring you back something real cool when I get back."
"How long are you going to be gone?" Cunningham asked, watching as his older brother packed his green army-issued duffle bag.
"Just a few months- I should be home by the end of summer," Louis told him.
The end of summer, but that was so far away! Seven months away in fact!
Cunningham wished he could go to war with his brother. Louis had just turned eighteen and had volunteered to go over. Cunningham was far too young, too young to even lie about his age. He'd heard all the great stories on the television and from the other kids at school whose brothers were also fighting. It sounded like a big party to Cunningham and he wished he was eighteen so he could join in the fun too.
I hope the war lasts that long so I can go and help out Louis, Cunningham thought as his brother zipped up his duffle and slung it over his shoulder.
"Okay, kiddo, let's go," Louis put a hand on Cunningham's shoulder and led him into the hallway and down into the living room.
Mom and Pop were so proud of Louis, so proud. Cunningham was proud too. He was so lucky to have a brother like Louis.
His parents were going to drive his brother to the airport but Cunningham had to stay home.
"We won't be long," Pop said and they left, taking Louis with them.
Cunningham ran to the bay window in the living room and knelt on the built in bench seat. He pushed aside the lacy curtains his Mom insisted gave the house an 'English charm'- whatever that meant- and waved at his brother as the blue Sedan pulled out of the driveway.
Cunningham had been so excited the day Louis was scheduled to come home. Mom and Pop were excited too. Pop had strung up a big, bright WELCOME HOME banner across the front entrance way and Mom had made Louis's favourite meal for dinner.
Louis was coming home early. He'd been injured in battle, Cunningham's parents had told him and he wondered exactly how Louis had gotten hurt.
Maybe he'd lost a limb, which would be neat. Or maybe he had a bullet or shrapnel still stuck in him. Cunningham couldn't wait for Louis to tell him all about the war, how he'd gotten hurt in the name of protecting his country.
'Honorably discharged', said the paper Mom and Pop had been reading. Cunningham didn't really know what that meant but it sounded impressive.
Mom had dressed Cunningham in an itchy dark blue suit and black bow tie. He hated those clothes but he didn't complain because Mom said he had to look nice for when Louis came home. Mom had combed and greased down Cunningham's hair meticulously, rubbed dirt off his face with a white handkerchief and told him to stand up straighter.
Pop had gone to the airport to pick Louis up and the later it got the more anxious Cunningham grew.
Cunningham's heart flew up in his chest as the front door opened and he ran from the living room where he'd been watching TV to the entranceway.
Remembering what his Mom had told him, Cunningham stood up tall, hands behind his back and didn't make a sound.
Pop came through the door first, his expression one of happy bemusement. Cunningham watched as his Pop set down Louis's now dirty and slightly tattered duffle bag and pushed his horn-rimmed glasses further up his narrow nose.
Then Louis stepped inside!
Louis, wearing a white t-shirt and camouflage pants and big black boots.
Louis, whose hair had been shaved short and had a pair of dog-tags swinging from around his neck.
Louis who frowned as his eyes took in the front hallway, his mother and brother.
"Louie!" Cunningham couldn't hold it in any more and ran to his brother, wrapping his arms around his middle in a big hug.
Cunningham felt his brother stiffen under his touch and Louis pushed him away. Cunningham didn't care, he was just so happy to have his brother back.
"Did you bring me anything? Huh, did ya? Huh?" Cunningham pestered.
Louis didn't answer but walked past him as though he were invisible.
His brother didn't stop but stomped in his heavy army boots all the way up the stairs.
Cunningham followed Louis as his older brother made his way down the hall and into his bedroom.
"What was it like Louie?" Cunningham started to enter his brother's room but Louis slammed the door in his face.
Cunningham blinked, stunned.
Pop came upstairs and put a hand on his shoulder, Cunningham shrugged it off.
"Louis just got home; he doesn't need you bothering him. He just wants to relax right now," Pop said and Cunningham moped. He didn't go downstairs but sat against the railings across the hall from Louis's room, eyes glued to the door, willing it to open.
"Come wash up for dinner!" Mom's voice jolted Cunningham from his reverie. He stood and stretched. He crept to his brother's room and tapped on the door.
"Louie, Mom said dinner's ready," he whispered loudly and waited for an answer.
"Go away!" Louis shouted back and Cunningham retreated down the hall to the bathroom to wash his hands.
Cunningham sat in his usual seat at the table that was laid out with his brother's favourite foods.
Mom had spent all day cooking up the pork chops and green beans and biscuits and a yummy chocolate cake for dessert.
Pop and Mom both turned to the staircase, "Is Louis coming down?"
Cunningham shrugged, "I don't know," and reached for a biscuit.
Mom's hand shot out and slapped his wrist, "Not until we've said grace."
Cunningham grumbled but clasped his hands before him and ducked his head. While Pop recited the prayer he heard his brother's boots coming down the stairs.
Cunningham lifted his head and peered at his brother. Louis's face was blank, completely devoid of expression.
Louis had changed. Mom and Pop had said he was sick but when Cunningham asked about it they just shook their heads.
His brother wouldn't talk to him anymore. He'd spend hours alone in his room, smoking and drinking beers he'd stolen from Pop's stash in the fridge.
Cunningham had thought that Louis would be a great hero, eager to tell of his exploits but he said nothing, ignoring his younger brother.
As months passed Louis drank more and more. Cunningham knew that something was wrong- he could see it in the blankness of Louis's face, the burning of his eyes.
Then one night in late August the police came to the door.
"Are your folks home, son?" the tall one with the handlebar moustache had asked Cunningham. The short, bald officer said nothing.
Louis had left before dinner, saying he was going to be home late and now the police were at the house.
Mom thought that Louis had been hurt. Pop thought he'd been in a fight.
Cunningham listened in to the conversation his parents were having with the police- no one saw him- and found out about Louis.
The bald officer spoke after Mom offered both tea and shortbread cookies.
Louis had been driving home from a well-known bar downtown and had hit a little girl not much older than Cunningham was.
"Ran her down, more like," Handlebar Moustache said and Mom began to cry.
Louis was in trouble. Louis was going to jail.
"For a long time," Pop said sadly, explaining it to Cunningham after the police had left.
Cunningham didn't understand it- Louis had never hurt anybody- he was a great guy. It couldn't be Louis, it just couldn't be.
Cunningham stared down at his half-eaten grapefruit, realizing he'd been thinking too much about Louis again.
Monsters always did that to him. Once he caught one, it seemed all of Cunningham's memories of Louis resurfaced.
He picked up his spoon and scooped out the last segments of the fruit, chewing thoughtfully.
I wonder if the monster's awake yet, Cunningham wondered. He peered at the sunburst clock on the kitchen wall and saw that it was six forty-five.
He'd have to go to work anyway. Oh well, the monster could wait.
Putting his dirty dishes in the sink, Cunningham stretched and headed out of the small kitchen and into the front hallway.
It's gonna be a long day, Cunningham thought but smiled anyway. He wouldn't complain, really, he had taken another monster off the streets and he would make it pay, just as he'd made the others pay. This is for you, Louis, this is for you.
1. First crossover fanfic so please, be gentle.
2. Reviews help me update faster!