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Chapter Eight


Night fell over the cemetery; somehow, the darkness made it all the more eerie. When they had arrived, Garcia called with satellite intelligence. The satellite had picked up two heat signatures only a few feet apart. Gideon and Bobby had hypothesized that because demons wouldn’t be able to approach the demon’s trap, Yellow Eyes probably had Jake cut through the iron railway, destroying the most powerful devil’s trap they’d ever seen. Now, Reid waited with Morgan and Prentiss behind one of the larger tombs. Hotchner and Gideon to the left. Bobby and Ellen to the right. The Winchester brothers were directly across from Reid’s position. From where they were all positioned, they had clear lines of sight to the cemetery gate. The moonlight shone off the darkness of Jake’s skin as he opened the gate and walked in.

“Howdy, Jake.” Sam stood up, appearing from the shadows. They all stood at his signal, guns raised and pointed at the soldier.

Jake froze, eyes going from one to another to another. Seriously outnumbered was the best way to describe the demon’s solider. “I knew I should’ve killed you.” He pointed to Sam and Reid.

“Yeah,” Sam agreed, “you should’ve.”

Jake growled, hands coming up.

“Okay, just take it real easy there, son,” Bobby ordered, sighting his rifle.

“And if I don't?” Jake challenged.

“Wait and see,” Sam taunted.

Jake sneered. “What, you a tough guy all of a sudden? What are you gonna do -- kill me?”

“It's a thought.” Sam sighted his rifle too, showing his resolve.

“You had your chance. You couldn't.”

“I won't make that mistake twice.”

To everyone else’s surprise, Jake began to laugh.

“What are you smiling at, you little bitch?” Dean growled, stepping forward, gun at the ready, intent in his eyes.

Jake smirked at him. “Hey, ladies, do me a favor. Put those guns to your heads.”

To Reid’s horror, Prentiss and Ellen put their guns to their heads. “Oh God.”

“See that Ava girl was right,” Jake was saying. “Once you give in to it, there's all sorts of new Jedi mind tricks you can learn.”

“Let them go.” Sam’s order was nearly roared, imbued with dread, anger, and determination.

“Shoot him,” Ellen demanded, even with the gun to her head. Prentiss echoed her.

“You'll be mopping up skull before you get a shot off,” Jake promised, then paused, surveying all the guns pointed at him. “Everybody, put your guns down. Except you, darlings,” he amended.

Against Reid’s wishes, his hand dropped his weapon.

“Okay. Thank you.”

Reid raised his hands.

“Nuh uh, Spencer, hands down and behind your back.”

Reid nearly cursed.

Because they didn’t want Jake ordering the women to shoot themselves, nobody else moved, even when he turned his attention away from them. Jake moved towards the large crypt that dominated the little cemetary, pulling the demon-killing Colt out of his pocket. He strolled unimpeded to the targeted crypt.

As if by an unseen signal, Dean and Bobby jumped to Ellen, grabbing the gun, pulling her to safety. Morgan echoed their movements, pulling Prentiss’ gun from her. Reid didn’t help, instead, he stood in shocked paralysis, watching Sam.

Sam didn’t help his brother save Ellen. He had gone after Jake instead, shooting the solider in the back. Jake was on the ground, begging Sam for his life, but no one was paying attention to his pleas. Including Sam, who had simply emptied his gun into the literal backstabber. But it was too late. Jake had already inserted the Colt into the crypt. The engravings on the crypt began spinning, a malevolent whirly twirly in an indiscernible pattern.

“Oh, no,” Bobby breathed out horror with his words, eyes glued to the moving crypt.

“Bobby, what is it?” Gideon asked, hand tightening on his gun.

“It's hell.” Bobby began back away.

“Dean!” Sam yelled his brother’s name but Dean was stubbornly pulling the Colt from the Crypt.

“Take cover -- now!” Bobby yelled, running for his own life.

Reid ran, jumping behind a tombstone that barely covered him. Relief surged through him as Hotchner landed beside him then covered him with his own body. He covered Hotchner’s vulnerable head with his arms, knowing if the explosion was big enough, it wouldn’t do much good. He couldn’t see, but he could hear the doors bursting open. Over Hotchner’s shoulder a huge black cloud surged over their heads. It was the same black mass that heralded the arrival of the Acheri demons. More massive, so evil, Reid could feel the malevolence in the very air itself.

“What the hell just happened?!” Dean yelled over the rushing mass.

“That's a devil's gate!” Bobby yelled.

“A damn door to hell!” Ellen screamed the clarification for them all.

“What the hell is the black shit?” Morgan demanded.

“Demons!” Dean answered. “Before they take a body!”

“Jesus God,” Prentiss breathed from next to him and Hotchner, barely audible over the screaming winds. Morgan curled protectively around her. She clutched his arm and her gun tighter.

“Come on! We gotta shut that gate!” Ellen shouted, pulling at Bobby and Sam, the closest to her.

They struggled, along with Hotchner and Morgan, to the crypt’s doors, thrusting themselves against the rushing monstrous mass. They pushed at the doors, nearly in vain. Reid stood to help. Prentiss too. But Dean was checking the Colt for bullets.

“Dean, what are you doing?” he yelled at him.

“If the demon gave this to Jake . . . then maybe--”

“Dean, look out!” Reid shouted.

The Yellowed Eyed Demon, the one who had taken him from Hotchner’s home, materialized behind Dean. The demon inhabited a middle aged Caucasian man with thinning brown hair but demonic yellow eyes. A single flick of his hand flung the Colt out of Dean’s hand and into his own. “A boy shouldn't play with Daddy's guns.”

He threw Dean into the air, slamming him into a tombstone.

“Dean!” Sam ran to his brother.

Yellow Eyes threw Sam into a tree. “I'll get to you in a minute, champ. But I'm proud of you,” he glanced at Jake’s dead body, “knew you had it in you.”

Reid hurled fire at the demon, keeping him under a barrage of flames and fireballs.

“Boy, didn’t your mama tell you not to play with fire?” The demon walked right through it all.

Reid scrambled back but it was too late. His body screamed as he was slammed into the ground, paralyzed by the demon’s power.

The demon turned back to the oldest Winchester. “Dean, Dean, Dean. It’s time for you to die, boy.”

Reid watched in helpless fear as the demon raised the gun, aiming it at Dean. But the bastard screamed in rage, instead, as a dark haired, bearded man grabbed him from behind. The man wrestled out a black mass from its human shell; the shell crumpled to the ground. Dean snatched the Colt that fell from nerveless fingers just in time. The demon smashed the man in the face and surged back into his human skin. The demon shot to his feet.

Dean met him with a cocked Colt and a bullet in the head. The demon dropped at Dean’s feet, he lowered his gun, not looking at the demon at all. Instead, he was staring at the dark haired man. “Dad.”

Reid jumped when a hand landed on his shoulder, falling back into Hotchner’s arms. Knowing he was safe, he turned back in time to see Dean and Sam’s father cup the faces of his sons in each hand. He nodded to them both, tears clearly visible in his eyes. He stepped back and disappeared.

Dean cleared his throat, obviously trying to get rid of the feelings brought on by seeing his dead father. He pointed the Colt at the demon. “Well, check that off the to-do list.” His voice was rough, still clogged with emotion.

Reid turned to see the gate closed, all of them making it through the release of hell with barely a scratch. He curled into Hotchner’s arms, grateful for his strong presence.

Sam stepped close to his brother, their conversation too quiet, too private to eavesdrop on. Finally, Dean leaned closer to the dead demon. “That was for our mom . . . you son of a bitch.”


~*~*~*~*~*~
~*~*~*~*~*~


Epilogue


The dream was unlike the visions; they caused him no physical pain. The dream was like his encounter with the Yellowed Eyed Demon: confusing at first, before clarity arrived. He saw Spencer in Cold Oak, surrounded by people the other man didn’t know or trust. Ava was there but he didn’t die by her hand. Instead, he tried to leave Cold Oak but the Acheri demons stopped him. He was found by the others hung by the neck from the windmill, serving as a warning. Sam saw Hotchner, sitting in a darkened room, head bowed, a tumbler of amber liquid in his hand. Beside the agent, one bottle was empty, the other nearly so. The bleakness in his eyes told their own story.

Then the dream changed. Sam was in Cold Oak again, standing over Andy’s dead body. He picked up the other man, placing him side by side with Lily. Ava died by Jake’s hands, just like in reality, only it was after she had successfully killed Andy. He flashed to his fight with Jake, this time without Spencer there to deflect the knife. It went in deep, deep enough to kill him. He watched as he died in Dean’s arms. Watched his brother’s anguish at losing his baby brother. Watched as Dean made a deal with the devil, trading his soul for Sam’s life. Another flash and he was watching again, this time helplessly pinned to a wall, as hellhounds ripped his brother to shreds. There were tears in his eyes as he dug Dean’s grave. He wouldn’t let Bobby make the cross, wouldn’t let him salt and burn Dean’s body, just in case. Then he saw it. Saw Dean suspended by his arms and legs, screaming in pain, screaming for help, in hell.

“Dean!”

“Sammy! Wake up!”

Sam jerked forward, towards Dean’s voice, into Dean’s arms. He held on for dear life, his brother safely alive, safe from the torments of hell.

“You okay?” Dean’s voice was sleep rough but low and soothing just like the big hands rubbing his back.

“Yeah.”

“Bad dream?”

“A dream of what could have been.”

Dean pulled back, confusion coloring what Sam could see of his face in the weak moonlight. “What?”

Sam told him what he remembered, nearly all of it, the dream being so vivid in his mind’s eye. He stared at his brother, shaking him gently. “Dean, he saved you from going to hell.”

Dean smirked. “Nah, bitch, he saved your ass. He just saved me some trouble.”

Sam rolled his eyes, swatting at Dean.

~*~*~*~*~*~

Another rough case: two brothers hunting people for sport. The youngest one had died, the oldest looking at a possible death sentence. Their parents had passed away, leaving them to their uncle, a man who lived almost off the grid and taught them how to hunt. Without any socialization, they couldn’t connect to people as human beings. They only saw prey. If only by the grace of God, two other brothers out there could have been them. Hotchner signed off on his report, glad to be finally done. Staring out of his window and into the bullpen, Hotchner saw Reid smiling and laughing with the rest of their team. He stood, lingering at the door to hear what they were laughing about.

“I heard a different story,” Morgan refuted something Prentiss had just said, slinging an arm around Garcia’s ample form. “Dean said it was all Sam’s fault.”

Reid rolled his eyes. “Dean always says it’s Sam’s fault.”

“I think Bobby’s version is the most unbiased version of the story,” Prentiss declared. “He thinks they’re both idjits.”

JJ nodded and laughed at Prentiss’ scarily perfect imitation of Bobby. “I’m with Emily.”

“Bobby told Ellen the same version he told Prentiss and JJ.” Gideon grinned into his coffee. “I would believe his version as well.”

Morgan held up his hands in mock surrender. “I’m just saying Dean’s got the best version about the rabbit’s foot.”

Garcia laughed, shaking her yellow curls. “They’re such boys. You can tell they’re brothers just by listening to them fight.”

“Sam says they wouldn’t fight so much if Dean would just listen to him,” Reid defended his friend.

“Dean says the same thing,” Morgan pointed out.

It hadn’t surprised Hotchner one bit that his team kept in contact with the hunters. He was pretty sure Gideon even had a date with Ellen a month or so back. Reid and Sam talked nearly every week, trading experiences on cases and tips on supernatural occurrences. He had even overheard Morgan on the phone with Dean and Bobby discussing weaponry, munitions, and tactics. It amused Hotchner to no end that his crack FBI team was now good friends with hunters of the supernatural.

It had been months since the cemetery. Things were back to normal and sometimes, even better than normal. The divorce was final, Haley was still bitter but had cooled some, even letting him visit Jack whenever he could. His life with Reid was better than he had hoped. He could be at work for five days straight and when he finally got to spend some time with Reid, the other man would simply cuddle into his arms and relax. Reid never badgered him to work less, and in an ironic role reversal, he was the one who had to drag Reid out of the office or away from the files. Hotchner smirked. Actually, the easiest way to distract Reid was through good old fashioned sex. He found that he liked distracting Reid a lot. Of course, now, the rest of the team made sure they never shared a room again but it was always fun to try, just to see the look on Morgan’s face.

Hotchner glanced at his watch and decided it was definitely time to leave. He grabbed his things and closed up his office. “All right, everyone, dinner’s on me.”

He saw the surprise on their faces, but also the delight. The pleasure in Reid’s face still had the power to steal his breath away. So much so, he dropped a light kiss on his lips. Wolf whistles, catcalls, and groans sounded all the way around. Reid busied himself with his things but couldn’t hide the pale roses on his cheeks. Hotchner playfully glared at them all, then grinned as they impudently pretended to be chastised.

This was a good day.

The End

February 2014

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