A Full-size version of the gorgeous banner can be found at HERE at the artist’s website. Much thanks to her for it. I think that it matches the feel of the story perfectly.
See Master Post for full content and warnings.
Chapter Two: A Confrontation
Hotch strode into the Sioux Falls PD headquarters where both the Chief of Police was located and the brothers Winchester were being held. Tony walked in behind him and slightly off to his left with Kate trailing in behind him. Ideally, Hotch would like to have more than just one member of the SS&G Team present, but with only four members, he felt that the rest of them were better served looking at the crime scenes.
Not for the first time, it occurred to him that they would be better off with a couple more people on Tony’s team. Unfortunately, the budget didn’t allow for that. The best that they could hope for was that when Tony found his mate, he or she would be suitable for the job. So far, they’d lucked out, but he worried that their lucky streak would end. Eventually one of them were going to find a mate that wasn’t suitable for the team, and hard decisions would have to be made. For that reason, he’d already done his research about options if that ever happened.
While they were in the air, he’d had Daniel call the South Dakota AG, and advise them of the evidence they’d found to prove that the Winchester brothers were definitely not guilty on Sam’s part, and most likely not on Dean’s. He’d also had the AG filled in on the Professional Hunter’s licenses they found, and that the evidence of their presence at the scenes was found after the initial sweep. After that, he had the man filled in on the anti-SS&G and anti-Hunter propaganda they’d found the Sheriff spreading online, as well as information on cases that should not have been released to anyone let alone hate sites. The AG had been unhappy, to say the least, and advised Daniel that he’d have to consider his next step.
When they reached the front desk, Aaron introduced his team noting the uncomfortableness in the man sitting there, as well as the hostility of those behind him. He could sense the Guide within the young man dying to come out. In such a hostile environment though, it would never happen. Hotch’s bad feeling grew worse as he began to get an idea of just how bad the situation was there.
“I told the Attorney General that your presence here isn’t needed. Your tainted evidence means nothing to me. I ain’t letting some enhanced lap dogs loose just because a bunch of jacked up pussies sent from Satan thinks that they can manufacture a bunch of mumbo jumbo to get John Winchester’s devil’s spawns set free.”
Scanning his eyes across the room, Aaron could see more than one officer with his hand hovering just over his gun. He didn’t need his enhanced senses to tell that the situation was becoming considerably more dangerous. The chances of someone reacting without thinking, and people dying needlessly, was increasing by the moment. Normally they would simply leave, but given the current atmosphere, he was concerned for the safety of the two Winchester brothers. He was weighing what to do next when he heard a commotion behind him.
“Fortunately for us all, Chief Harlow, you do not dictate either state or federal laws, and you certainly don’t dictate laws for the city of Sioux Falls.”
Aaron turned his body so that he could see who was coming up behind him, while still keeping an eye on the officers in front of him. He noted that Tony had his hand resting on his gun. He’d reprimand him, but it wouldn’t do any good. He noticed that Tony was very conscious about Aaron’s protection when they were together. When he’d first joined the team, Aaron worried at first that his new Team Leader didn’t think he was able to protect himself.
After a talk with Tobias Fornell, though, he found out that it was just Tony’s personality. He saw protecting his boss as one of his top responsibilities. It had nothing to do with Hotch’s capabilities, and everything to do with Tony’s personal commandments. # 27. ‘The Boss will not be killed on my watch!’ was just one of the list of personal items the man lived by.
Hotch was secretly the fondest of # 19. ‘It’s ok to laugh’. He’d been highly offended by # 28. ‘Lawyers can only be trusted if they aren’t trying to get into your pants. (or trying to set the bad guy free.)’ When he expressed this, he found out that even the Unit Chief was not immune to # 15. ‘Superglue is an authorized form of punishment’ much to his amusement. He was pretty sure that the others expected him to blow up when his fingers got super-glued to his coffee mug, but secretly he had been happy to be included. Chief Harlow’s sneering voice brought him back to the present.
“Mayor Bradley, how surprising to see you here. Come to interfere in my business again, are you? Just who is that with you? I don’t need more outsiders here interferin’ with my case! I won’t allow justice to be corrupted by a bunch of animals.”
Hotch allowed the two men to move around them without comment noticing and thankful for the protection detail they’d brought. It appeared to be made up of several state officers, and he observed them scattering themselves around the room from various entrances. His anxiety over the case relaxed slightly allowing him to realize that his hearing was turned up too high for some reason. When he tried to turn it down, he noted that it didn’t happen as smoothly as normal, and filed it away to consider at some point in the future.
When one of the men began speaking, Aaron assumed that he was the mayor. “Chief, I told you that I wouldn’t tolerate any more of your bigotry and hatred interfering with your job. You don’t get to decide which laws you want to enforce, and which you are going to ignore. You also don’t get to lock up the innocent, because the facts don’t fit into your personal vendetta.
“We all are sorry for what happened to your brother, but John Winchester’s boys aren’t responsible for his actions. I’ve told you to get yourself help many times before today. You’ve crossed a line now that I can’t and won’t pretend doesn’t exist. This man next to me is the Attorney General of the State of South Dakota. He’s here to make sure this fiasco doesn’t get any further out of hand.”
The man Aaron had previously pegged to be a lawyer, took over speaking at this point. As the Unit Chief scanned the room, he noted that there were still too many officers that were too close to the edge because they were caught up in the emotions running high in the room.
“Police Chief Darren Harlow, as Attorney General of the state of South Dakota, I have authorized an arrest warrant for you for violation of the Sentinel, Swing SentinelGuide & Guide Act of 1983, along with obstruction of justice, and promoting hate crimes in an official capacity. The state of South Dakota will not tolerate you using your position to harass innocent people just because you don’t agree with science. We have a killer on the loose, and all you are doing is delaying the capture of that individual with this nonsense. For those officers that I can see that disagree with this, you can leave your guns and badges with the State Officer standing to my left. We have no place for you on our forces.”
“Just in case you think I’m gonna argue about this,” the mayor started, “you would be terribly wrong.
“I am both disgusted and ashamed of any individual in this room who went along with this bullshit. You all took an oath to uphold the law, and protect the innocent. That includes protecting the public from those officers around you who you know are corrupt. Officer, please read the Chief his rights, and take him to your station. I have requested that he not be held here.”
It was tense for several long moments, but in the end, the Chief had been taken out in handcuffs, the station was several officers short, and those left seemed more than a little off kilter. Fortunately, though, the state officers seemed to be hanging around, at least until they could get worked out how many city officers they would be down once the dust settled. Once those currently off duty found out what happened, Aaron had a feeling there would be more resignations.
Before they left, Aaron met with both the Mayor and AG to assure them that they would do everything in their power to find out who was responsible for the murders in the area. He was also advised that the Detective heading up the investigation was in command until they could figure out who would be replacing the Chief.
Taking a deep breath to settle himself, Aaron searched the room for his people. He wasn’t surprised to see them both and one of the older State Officers with the man at the counter, speaking quietly with the poor Guide who felt more active than he had a few moments ago. Crossing the room from where he’d moved to during the aftermath of the confrontation, he once more had to turn down his hearing to a lower level. When he reached the group, Tony began filling him in immediately.
“Hotch, this is rookie Officer Johnson. He’s a week out of the police academy. Kate and I both think the high tensions, and the stress he’s been under, are causing him to come online. They have a room here, but we think it would be best if he was taken somewhere he would feel safer. Officer Guide Dana Erikson here has volunteered for herself and her Sentinel, who is in the building, to take him to the SS&G Center across the border in Sioux City. They say it’s the closest one to Sioux Falls.”
Hotch studied the obviously shaken man. He couldn’t imagine what it must have been like for a Guide to work in these conditions knowing that he could come online at any moment. While most SS&Gs activated sometime during puberty, not all did. There were many that became active later in life.
“I agree. This situation is not healthy for him. The SS&G Center will be a much safer environment, and he would need to go there soon anyway. Officer Guide Erikson, if you are sure you and your Sentinel have time, I would appreciate the help.”
A taller red-haired man came over and took up a spot next to the woman he’d been addressing. “It’s not a problem, sir. This is my Sentinel and husband Darren Erikson. We’ve been a bonded pair for over 30 years. We’d be happy and honored to get this young Guide to safety.” When the man nodded his agreement, Hotch offered his thanks, then turned his attention to his people, as the Detective working the case joined them.
“Tony and Kate, this is Detective Scott Summers. He’s been the lead on the investigation on the Sioux Falls end. He’ll also be acting Sheriff until they decide who the replacement will be. Detective Summers, this is my Team Leader Sentinel Tony DiNozzo, and SSA Guide Kate Callahan.”
“Thank you all so much for coming,” the Detective offered sounding relieved. “I’ve been trying my best to keep those boys safe. I didn’t agree with the arrest, and I’ve been trying to argue that we had the wrong people. As you saw though, the Chief, or former Chief now I guess, was too stuck in his own prejudices. I’ve had the two in separate interrogation rooms with some of my people, my brother Officer Alex Summers who goes by the last name Blanding at work to avoid confusion, and my best friend and mate Detective Guide James “Logan” Howlett guarding them to keep them safe.”
“Mate? Guide?” Tony questioned cocking his head to one side. “You’re a Sentinel and Guide pair?”
Scott nodded sighing. “Yes, there are more of us here than the Chief knew about. We’ve had to stay hidden though and keep our statuses quiet. It’ll be nice not to have to do that anymore. It’s a terrible strain to be separated from my Guide so much while I am on the job.”
“Tony, I think we should question the brothers about what they have seen before we let them go. As you have pointed out, we may need some Professional Hunters on this case, and their insight could be invaluable. Why don’t you and Kate take the younger brother Sam, while Detective Summers and I interview the older brother Dean? Are you alright?”
Tony nodded, but Aaron could tell that something was going on with him. “Yeah, boss, I just… I’ll be ok. Struggling with my senses all of a sudden for some reason. My vision keeps spiking. I’ll just keep Garner with me in the room, and I’ll manage. Not much we can do about it right now, anyway.”
Aaron frowned but nodded when the Animal Guide appeared next to the Team Leader leaning against his human. Being unbonded, they both had only limited access to their enhanced senses. Therefore, neither of them normally struggled to control their abilities. When he felt Takeshi appear on his shoulder, he sighed with relief as his own senses stabilized somewhat. “If you need to step out, DiNozzo, do so. Let’s get these interviews done with.”
The three Profilers followed Detective Sentinel Summers through the building to the interview rooms. The Detective pointed Tony and Kate to interview 2, introducing them first to his mate Detective Guide “just call me Logan” so that they could interview Sam. He then led the way to interview room 4 where Dean was, introducing him to his brother Alex before they went in. After nodding his thanks to Officer Blanding who apparently was also a Sentinel, Aaron reached out, opened the door to the room, and was immediately hit with what felt like a blast of emotion filled with want and need and belonging and rightness and MINE! He was only vaguely aware of something appearing in the corner of the room as Takeshi hissed and then leaped at the thing disappearing.
The think in the corner appeared to be human in shape, but he knew it had to be some kind of Creature Guide from the spiritual essence he was getting off of it. It was tall, slightly taller than himself but incredibly thin, almost appearing to be nothing more than skin and bones. Its skin was pure white as if someone had dumped a bucket of white paint all over it with two exceptions. Its lips were jet black, and its nails, which were long and pointy like tiny daggers on the ends of his fingers, were bright red in color like a Coke can. Its face was long and narrow appearing almost skeletal, and the creature was wearing a floor length pure white cowl, like a monk would wear, with the hood pulled up over its head. Aaron knew this creature was his, and what it was. It was a Sin-Eater, and they were incredibly rare. At its feet was a badger hissing and spitting at the Guide, who felt looked unaffected, but Aaron could feel the longing within his new Spirit Guide.
Looking to the table, Aaron saw Dean Winchester staring at him, as the younger man shouted to be let loose. He was tugging on his cuffs and hollering for his Sentinel When Detective Sentinel Summers made a move, Aaron couldn’t stop his instinctual reaction, even if he’d had the conscious thought to. He could hear shouting and what sounded like snarling down the hall from the other interview room as his hearing spiked up again, but couldn’t be bothered with it.
Reacting on pure Sentinel instinct, Aaron grabbed Sentinel Summers and nearly shoved him through the wall. “MINE!” He snarled in the man’s face wanting nothing more than to take the mated Sentinel’s head off for even thinking of going near Aaron’s new Guide.
He was only faintly aware of someone else entering. He had no idea that the man in his grasp had signaled his brother to stay back. “MINE! MY GUIDE!”
“Easy, Unit Chief Hotchner,” Detective Sentinel Summers said calmly and quietly. “I promise you, no one here is going to go near your Guide. My brother Alex is going to toss the cuff keys onto the table so that he can set himself free. Then, if you’ll let me go, Alex and I will both slowly ease out of the room. It sounds like your teammates are having similar troubles in the other interview room.”
He faintly heard Alex quip that Chief Harlow would spit nails when he found out the Winchester brothers were mates of two feds, but all he could think of was that there were two strange Sentinels in the same room with his Guide and that his new mate was in handcuffs unable to defend himself. Pushing his face even closer to Detective Summer’s and growling, he was unaware of the cuff keys being tossed onto the table. He sensed Alex leaving, but didn’t realize it was to go help in the other interview room where they were having troubles preventing Tony’s new Creature Guide, a Vermillion Bird, from setting the whole building on fire in its agitated state.
Pulling the Detective away from the wall he slammed him backward again, knocking the wind out of the man, and snarled in his face. Before he could do anything further though, hands touched his arm, and a sense of peace quickly washed over him.
“Sentinel. C’mon man you can’t do that. Let the nice Detective go. He’s been one of the few cool people in this joint. Please man, uhh. Shit, I don’t even know your name. You gotta help me out here. Ease back, Sentinel whatever your name is. Just let him go, and you and I can go somewhere and seal this deal. After I make sure Sammy is ok that is. If what your buddies here are saying is true, though, the kid’s finally gonna get laid. Thank God for that!”
There was a scent that was filling Aaron’s senses. It was intoxicating, and he needed more. Turning his head, he caught sight of the most beautiful hazel green eyes he’d ever seen. Quickly, he let the Sentinel go and wrapped the Guide up in his arms. Burying his nose in the man’s neck, he filled his lungs with his wonderful smell. Behind him, Scott immediately left the room shutting the door behind him.
“Mine! Guide! My Guide! Mine!”
“Yeah. Hell yeah, even,” he heard Dean offer back, as Aaron licked the man’s neck taking in the taste of his skin. It was better than any treat he’d ever tasted in his life.
“C’mon now, you gotta relax dude. Please, just… dial it back Sentinel, because as much as I enjoy kinky, fucking my new mate in an interview room of a police station is not my idea of a good evening.”
Slowly, Aaron felt himself edging back from the feral line he’d been hovering at. He couldn’t even consider letting the man out of his arms though. He was simply too perfect. Unable to resist, he licked the perfect skin, again, and then sank his teeth in sucking to leave his mark behind until he could make his claim. When Dean shuddered and moaned, oddly enough, the sound was enough to finally pull the Unit Chief back from the edge. Quickly he realized that he needed to get Dean to a hotel room before he bent him over something and pounded his ass.
“Guide.” Aaron near whimpered, feeling Dean Winchester tremble in his arms.
“Sentinel,” Dean replied. “Nice to see you back. Can we go fuck our brains out now?”
Aaron let out a bark of laughter, before pulling the younger man back in and ravishing his mouth one last time. When he pulled away they were both breathless and grinning. “Let’s go find us a bed. What I have in mind is gonna require several hours of being horizontal.”
Clenching his Guide’s hand, Aaron pulled the younger man out laughing as a whoop followed him out of the room. As he passed interview room 2, where Tony and Sam were, Kate was outside looking like she was trying her best to not let her emotion show, but was failing terribly thanks to her bright red face. Given the circumstances, the Unit Chief couldn’t blame her though. As he paused at the door, there was a loud thud against the metal, and a loud moan could be heard from the other side.
“GO SAMMY!” He heard his Guide call and grinned at the way his agent blushed even brighter.
“I’m leaving, Kate. You’re in charge until Tony gets done, or Spencer gets here.” Dragging Dean behind him, Aaron then left the building with only one thing on his mind. Finding their hotel, and burying himself inside of his True Mate.