Not So Random Strangers
Disclaimer: Sadly, I don't own the Winchesters or their world, or I'd make Dean my love slave. I only own Kyra.
Rating: K+ for language
Characters: Victor Henricksen, Kyra Singer (OC)
Description: After losing the Winchesters in Little Rock, Henricksen goes to a local bar to try to blow off steam, then ends up having a more interesting conversation than he bargained for. One-shot
A/N: This came to me after reading another story…I wish I could remember which one and who wrote it! Props to whoever you were for inspiring this, you're awesome! Anyway, I think it was somewhat appropriate, and it definitely gave Victor a different perspective on the whole case. On with the story!
Victor gritted his teeth as the bartender poured a double scotch on the rocks for him and set it down. Those damn Winchesters had outsmarted him for the second time…both the prison guard and the lawyer had been in on it, he had a gut feeling that they knew more than they were telling, but the fact he couldn't prove it ate away at him like an itch he couldn't scratch. When the realization had hit that the lawyer had told him the wrong cemetery, he'd been incredulous at first, but now he was just angry. And the guard…the guard stuck to his story like flypaper, not changing a word, but he saw in his eyes that he knew more.
As he threw his drink down with a quick swallow, a woman sat on the stool beside him and ordered up a shot of tequila. He surveyed her in his peripheral vision; she was attractive, white, maybe twenty in appearance, slim figure, no visible tattoos, dark hair and hazel eyes. The bartender asked for her ID, and she pulled out a man's wallet and passed over a card; Victor didn't see it, but she must've been legal because the man behind the bar handed back the ID and poured up her shot, which she downed without waiting for the salt or lime and motioned for another, which caught his interest.
"Bad day?" he asked conversationally, finally turning to her. She shrugged as she knocked back the second shot, then turned to him.
"Something like that," she said as the bartender refilled his glass, and he knocked it back immediately. "Takes one to know one, apparently," she observed, making him chuckle in spite of his mood.
"Touché," he replied, then held his hand out. "Special Agent Victor Henricksen."
"Lindsey," she said as they shook hands, then raised an eyebrow. "Special Agent? That's FBI, right?"
"So what are you doing here in Arkansas?" she asked, making his hand tighten around his glass involuntarily as the bartender filled it yet again.
"That's a long, frustrating story, Lindsey," he answered, then took a sip of his drink. He was starting to feel the alcohol, and it was nice to have that getaway from his frustrations, even if it was only momentary.
"Well, I'm a good listener and I've got all night…unless it's something you're not allowed to talk about," she said reassuringly, patting his arm as she ordered up a Smirnoff Ice. A slight warning premonition made him hesitate; a complete, random stranger was asking him questions on the same night as the Winchesters' escape?
"You're not a reporter or something, are you?" he asked. The question made her snort as she took a sip of her drink.
"Oh, hell no—no, I flip burgers at Sonic," she informed him, making him shrug.
"Okay then…I just had two of the most dangerous lunatics I've ever heard of bust out of county before I could get them transferred, and on top of that, their lawyer told me the wrong location that they were asking about and I have a gut feeling the prison guard was in on it too, but I can't prove any of it." It just came rolling out of him, and he watched her expression; she seemed appropriately surprised.
"Damn…that blows. But when you say lunatics, what exactly do you mean? Like serial killers or something?" He couldn't help but shake his head.
"No, these two are a whole new bucket of crazy. These guys dig up graves and mutilate corpses for kicks, when they're not decapitating or otherwise killing people with weird weapons," he told her. She stared at him blankly.
"Okay, I call bullshit," she said with a chuckle. "No way do a couple of guys do all that without getting busted or having a huge manhunt put out for them."
"I guess you didn't read about them in the papers a few days ago," he told her. "They got busted robbing a museum here, that's how I tracked them down. It threw me off, actually…they seemed a lot smarter than that."
"Wait a sec, I think I do remember reading about that," she chimed in, looking like she was struggling to remember. "Something about two fugitives getting caught, but I don't remember the details. Hell, I don't think it even mentioned what they were wanted for, what the charges were on them."
"Figures," he muttered to himself, taking the opportunity to sip his drink.
"So, why do they say they do it? I mean, you had them in custody, so you must've talked to them, right?" He shook his head at the question.
"I told you, they're nuts." She frowned at that.
"Seriously? That's it? Just cut and dry, regular old psychos? They don't sound like that to me…they have some kind of motivation for doing everything they did the way they did it." He debated internally for a moment…this conversation was probably enough to cost him his job if the press or anyone else found out about it, but there was something about this woman that made him want to tell her. Besides, he'd had this case wrapped around his mind for so long that maybe, just maybe, a fresh perspective would help him figure out his next move.
"Okay, you tell me what you think," he started, making her lean closer in interest. "There's a taped interview with the older brother from Baltimore…he was charged with murder and they pulled out the camera because he said he was going to confess, but then he started all this crazy talk, saying a vengeful spirit was the one doing the murders and that the murders he was charged with in St. Louis were done by a shape shifter that was posing as him. We exhumed a grave there because we'd thought he'd been killed there, but we found nothing but a puddle of goo inside the coffin. And here's the kicker…the autopsy report said that the fake Dean that had been killed was shot with silver bullets in the heart. Which, of course, is how he claims is the only way to kill them. And he said the only way to get rid of a vengeful spirit is to identify them and burn their bones, which he claimed was the reason for the grave desecrations."
She looked deep in thought at his words. Both of them took long sips of their drinks, while she seemed to be processing everything he had told her. Finally, she shook her head and looked at him.
"Well…okay, I'm gonna play devil's advocate for a minute. What if they're telling the truth?" she finally said, surprising him so much that he nearly spilled his drink.
"No, I'm being serious…what if those things are actually real? I mean, think about it…if you pick a culture anywhere in the world, they all have their own versions of myths about ghosts and vampires and shape shifters and all kinds of stuff. But what if it's not just myths? What if those things are actually real?"
Her words made him hesitate…the idea was so ludicrous, so impossible, that he wanted to just laugh it off, but the way she worded her argument made him stop and think. For the first time since the file landed on his desk, he felt the tiniest shred of doubt tug at his mind.
"Okay, you have my attention. What makes you think those things are real?" he countered, partly to continue the conversation and partly because he was genuinely curious.
"I had a friend from high school…Sarah Grant…her husband and kids were murdered while they were living in Tulsa a few years ago. But here's the thing…the kids were torn to pieces, and she killed her husband in self-defense. I got all this from her mom…the autopsy reports on the kids showed that their hearts were missing, and not only were they found in the stomach contents of the husband, but he was killed with silver bullets. She told the cops that he'd come after her and she killed him because she was afraid he'd kill her too."
"Okay, sounds like something that might be tied in to my case," he said, taking mental note of the name and city. "So aside from the fact that the husband went psycho and the wife happened to have a gun loaded with silver, what makes you think it was anything out of the ordinary?"
"She sent her mom a letter," she told him. "She completely disappeared after that night—nobody knows what happened to her—but her mom got a letter a week or so after that. She claimed that her husband had been turned into a werewolf, and that the only reason she'd survived was because of two strangers that turned up on her doorstep. The weird thing is, the autopsy report went along with her story…the kids weren't cut into, they were mutilated in what appeared to be an animal attack, and there was blood and tissue under the husband's fingernails and in his teeth that matched the children's DNA. And, the force it would've taken to rip open their chest cavities was more than a human can produce, and the only drug that came up in his toxicology report was weed, so he wasn't exactly hulked out, and he wasn't a really strong guy to begin with. Then, if you look at the lunar calendar, the moon was in its last night of being full the night everything happened."
"So what you're saying, is that with all this 'evidence' in place," he concluded, using his fingers to emphasize the word, "that it must've been true?"
"Can you explain it otherwise? Make every single fact fit in with some logical, standard explanation?" she countered, shrugging at his doubt. "I knew her since we were kids…she was smart, funny, but one of the most mature people I've ever known. She wasn't a liar, and in spite of how badly whatever happened that night messed her up mentally, she wasn't crazy. But she was always open-minded about the supernatural, and so was her mom. The whole time I knew her, she was more straight-up and honest with everyone she ever talked to than anyone else I've ever known. No, Sarah was telling the truth about what happened that night…I'd bet my life on it."
Her certainty threw him off-balance, and he hesitated yet again. He mulled over her story while he sipped his drink…all the werewolf movies and books he'd heard of talked about the full moon and used silver as a weapon, so maybe there was a hair of possibility after all. Suddenly, he shook himself mentally—this was all crazy talk! How could any of those things be real?
"Okay, so if these things are real, why haven't we ever discovered them before? I mean all of them…the ghosts, the vampires, the werewolves, all of it. Why have scientists not found them by now? Why haven't any of these creatures made the front page on the newspapers?"
"Who's to say they haven't?" she argued. "Who's to say that all the bizarre deaths and disappearances you read about aren't done by some creature that police can't even start to imagine? And as far as the creatures themselves go—so many people have been labeled as being crazy after claiming to either see or have been attacked by one of those creatures. Maybe there's some crazy people out there, but if you look at the statistics, most of those people are otherwise your next-door neighbors with jobs and families and completely normal and sane. Then there's the others that know everyone will think they're crazy, so they make up some story to cover up the truth…some of them do it so they don't end up in a padded cell, but some of them do it trying to convince themselves so they can sleep at night without waking up screaming."
"But why haven't scientists discovered and proven that these things exist?" he pressed. She rolled her eyes as she sipped her drink.
"Scientists have had the debate on ghosts for decades, and every person that claims to believe in their existence is labeled as a quack, regardless of how sound their reasoning and proof are," she informed him. "As far as the rest of the creatures…if they actually hunt and kill humans, what makes you think that a scientist who doesn't believe they exist and knows nothing about them is actually going to discover one? They'd get torn to shreds if they tried, if they were unfortunate enough to run into a real one. Besides, it's like the old argument over God…just because He hasn't popped up right in front of you and proven Himself to your satisfaction doesn't mean He doesn't exist."
He found himself nodding at her last statement; he could testify to the truth of it, because he'd had that debate before. He was a firm believer, but that hadn't always been the case, and it wasn't until what could only be considered a miracle had happened to him that he'd been convinced of God's existence. At the time, the fact that he'd unexpectedly stayed late at the office was a nuisance because he'd run onto the subway platform just as the train was pulling off that he normally rode home, but it had ended up saving his life when the train derailed ten minutes later and killed nearly everyone aboard.
"You know, this is probably the most interesting conversation I've had with anyone in a long time," he told her, making her smile. He couldn't help but smile back as she stretched and looked at her watch.
"Well, thank you for that…it's been a long time since I had a good debate with anyone," she chuckled, then gave him an apologetic look. "But unfortunately, I have to go…I need to go home and get some sleep before work tomorrow."
"Hey, it's cool," he said easily, hiding his disappointment behind a smile. "Just be careful going home, there's road blocks everywhere and you've been drinking…or were you taking a cab?"
"No, I'm walking, it's not that far," she told him, then stood up and rested a hand on his shoulder. "Good luck with your case, Agent Henricksen."
With that, she left, and he pulled out his phone and sent texts to the Arkansas Department of Motor Vehicles, the Tulsa police department, and his office back in DC to get all the information he could on this Sarah Grant character. It took about fifteen minutes before he started to get the information he wanted…she had indeed been reported missing about four years before, and while he was still waiting for information, it was all falling into place exactly as Lindsey had described to him.
The only thing that had been off—maybe she'd forgotten to mention it—was that Grant was her married name, while Winters was her maiden name. Then, about an hour later, the DMV finally sent a picture of an Arkansas driver's license photo from five years before, and his heart stopped for an instant…the entire conversation slammed into his head again, and he cursed himself for letting what was possibly his best lead to finding the Winchesters walk right out the front door. She lied about her name. He'd been set up. She probably knew who he was the entire time. "Lindsey" wasn't just some random stranger. "Lindsey" wasn't just some girl who'd known Sarah Grant.
She WAS Sarah Grant.