Strangers on a Train turned Serial
This is the start to a sequel I did for a previous story I wrote called Monsters and Murders.
The below work is an offering for Evil Author Day 2020. These stories are incomplete, and very much rough drafts. There will be spelling errors, missing commas, bad grammar, incomplete thoughts, and plot holes to name only a few issues. There is NO guarantee any of them will be finished, or that the finished product won’t undergo massive changes. Do NOT bug for more, beg for details, or any other such nonsense, please and thank you.
Pairing: Tony DiNozzo/Aaron Hotchner, Will/JJ
Warnings: Existing Relationship. Medium!Tony. Discussion of Murder.
Note: You should be able to understand this without reading the original fic.
Summary: Tony and his team help the BAU with another case. This time, Tony’s brain helps them as much as his abilities.
Tony was following Will into the San Diego, California PD station that was working what appeared to be a serial killer case along with the Behavioral Analysis Unit. Sam and Dean were checking into the hotel and getting their bags in their room. Tony and Will’s would pick up theirs whenever they got a break for sleep as they would be rooming with their significant others. Aaron’s team had been working the case for three weeks with real leads, and Section Chief Cruz was starting to push for them leaving if they couldn’t find any real answers soon.
Because of that, Aaron had called in Tony and his Paranormal Team called Three Men and a Medium. They were hoping that one of the victims would be lingering around to give them some information. Statements from the deceased could only be used to point a case in the correct direction, and had to be backed up by real evidence in court. Given that the defense could not question the spirit in court, anything Tony found would not be admissible.
For this reason, Aaron tended to want to shy away from using this as an investigative method, but Tony’s husband was getting desperate. The Medium had been wanting to offer his help for weeks, but knew how the Unit Chief felt about this particular tool. Therefore, he’d kept quiet and waited.
“Will,” Tony heard and smiled seeing JJ coming toward them. “Tony, thank you so much for coming. We’re all getting a little desperate, and anything that you can find would help. Where are Sam and Dean?”
“We’ll do whatever we can,” Tony promised as he spotted his husband watching him from an open doorway. Making his excuses to JJ, he headed in that direction leaving Will to explain that the Winchester Brothers would be along shortly.
The closer he got, the more evident it was that Aaron was as happy to see him as Tony was to finally lay his eyes on his incredibly sexy husband after three weeks apart. He really wanted to say fuck convension, and lay a huge passionate kiss on the man right there in the doorway. Reluctantly though he controlled himself. From the amused twinkle in Aaron’s eyes, he guessed the bastard knew what he’d been thinking.
When he finally reached him, he did get a careful kiss on his cheek before he whispered in his ear. “Sometimes I wish Unit Chief Hotchner wasn’t quite so buttoned up and serious. Because, I would love to give you a much better kiss right now.”
Tony smirked as he tried to subtly adjust himself after his pants were suddenly too tight. “Bastard,” he breathed, only to receive an honest laugh in return.
“Help me catch this prick and I’ll remind you what a bastard I am,” Aaron teased quietly in his ear once more. Then he laughed again when Tony growled at him and pushed his way into the room.
“Tony, you know everyone but Matthew Simmons. He’s our new profiler, and actually comes to us from Jack Garrett’s team. Matt, this is my husband and the Medium in Three Men and a Medium.”
Tony smiled and headed over to shake the hand of the stranger. He knew that Aaron had been surprised but thrilled when he got the request for transfer after Derek Morgan left to help take care of his mother in Chicago, who was seriously ill. It hadn’t been as traumatic of a separation as would be expected for the tight knit team due to Morgan’s behavior prior to his leaving. The decision had been difficult for him as he’d also been up for a promotion, and he’d taken his frustration out on the entire team. By the time he left, he’d burned a lot of bridges, which were thankfully slowly being rebuilt.
Tony really hoped that Matthew would fit in well with the team, and he knew that Aaron had been watching things carefully to make sure that no one got out of hand. So far, only Garcia seemed to be an issue.
The eclectic woman had been as relived to see Morgan go as the rest of them, but contrarily enough hadn’t seemed to want Morgan’s spot filled either. Tony knew that Aaron was for the moment letting it play out, but ready to step in if Garcia pushed things too far. Technically, there was nothing that said she had to be friends with the new profiler, and given that she was so far being professional there wasn’t a lot more he could do on the record.
Tony had a feeling though that if she kept giving Simmons the cold shoulder much longer though she would get called to the house for a talking to. The BAU team wasn’t run like other teams, and Tony knew his husband wouldn’t let the former hacker to treat the new guy like an outsider for much longer. Everyone else, including Reid, had taken to him, and it was only her stubbornness that was getting in the way. It wasn’t as if she had made up with Morgan, and that was getting in the way.
Tony knew from Rossi that, while there was forgiveness given after Morgan confessed to what had been going on to the team, Garcia was being extremely slow to move past that initial step. He’d thought about saying something himself, but quickly changed his mind. For the moment, he was staying out of it, but if things didn’t loosen up soon, he was going to send Sam in.
His younger brother was quite good at helping people work through such things. While he didn’t care if she forgave Derek or not, her anger at her former best friend couldn’t be allowed to be used to keep distance between herself and a new team member. It wasn’t Matthew’s fault that Derek had been an ass, and he deserved a chance like everyone else had before him.
The only thing holding him back was the uncertainty of interfering with the dynamics of Aaron’s team. Because of that, he’d talked to Will about it, who agreed both with the idea and the wait and see approach. So, for now that was what he was doing. Just… not for much longer.
Glancing up, Tony was happy to see that the evidence board had been covered up with a sheet so that he wouldn’t be influenced. “As soon as Sam gets here, Reid and I will take the two of you out to see the scenes.”
Turning to look at his husband, Tony nodded his thanks, and then took a seat at the table to catch up with the team on non-case issues. Aaron must have felt they needed a break, because he allowed the discussion, which quickly turned to college football and what sounded like Ohio State versus all the rest of the schools in college football.
Several hours later, Sam was standing in the basement of the third victim’s home watching his older brother. He could see Tony’s frustration growing, and knew that something wasn’t right beyond the fact that they weren’t getting anything. The two of them along with Aaron and Spencer had gone through the scenes where the bodies were found and the victims had been killed. He could tell immediately that something was off by the expression on his brother’s face, but hadn’t said anything right away. By the time they had gotten done with those though and were moving onto the victim’s homes, he knew that he needed to step in.
When they were in the field, it was Sam’s responsibility to look out for his brother. Tony was often too focused on the things the rest of them couldn’t see or his guides to make healthy decisions for himself. Even in a case like this where he wasn’t getting anything, it was important that Sam made sure that the stress and pressure that Tony was subjected to was kept to a minimum. In fact, in cases like this it was doubly important because Tony was already putting too much pressure on himself. Because of that, Sam had insisted that Aaron and Spencer let them finish alone, and promised they would meet them back at the station when they were done.
He’d then put in a call to Will to have him and Dean meet for a ride. He knew that Unit Chief Hotchner hadn’t been happy, and it made Sam nervous having to stand up to his brother’s boyfriend, but it had to be done. Tony’s welfare was more important. “Tony?” He prompted and saw his brother turn in his direction.
“Something is rotten in Denmark, Sammy,” Tony said softly. The aggravation evident in his voice, but it was covering up something else that Sam wasn’t quite sure about. “Let’s just finish these houses, and then the four of us need to find some place to talk away from the BAU team.”
Sam nodded and followed his brother out of the house so they could make their way to the next stop. His mind was already working through the possibilities and none of them were good.
After the last house, they went to a nearby park. He and Will sat on top of one of the picnic tables, while Dean leaned against a nearby tree and Tony paced finally able to let out his frustration. Sam’s camera carefully followed Tony needing to document everything in case something Tony said needed to be used in court.
“Tony,” Will called out his voice soft and his New Orleans accent rich and full.
“They’ve all been forcibly cleaned with ill intent,” Tony spat angrily and Sam flashed a glare at Dean who had cursed upon hearing his older brother’s statement and was caught on camera.
“D’you think that you will know who did it if you can see them again?” Will asked and Sam held his breath waiting for the answer.
According to Tony, Mediums were like fingerprints. While each one worked toward the same general goal, how they got to and accomplished that goal were different. This was mainly caused by how the information they were given was interpreted and relayed by the Medium’s guides. Because Guides came from different backgrounds, time periods and cultures, how say a Guide from ancient Rome and a Guide from 1920’s New York City relayed a shooting to their Medium differed. Since Guides could communicate with each other, Mediums could be recognized by others of their kind based on their Guides.
Also, each Medium had their own unique psychic fingerprint that they left behind when they worked on a place. Sometimes this fingerprint could be seen like a trail of breadcrumbs as the Medium went about his or her day to day business, especially if the Medium was overtaxed or had stressed his or her shields too much. While this fingerprint wasn’t visible to the general public, it was visible to other Mediums above a certain level. Tony was one of these Mediums being one of the strongest guides in the country and possibly the world. So, it was possible depending on what Tony had seen that he might be able to identify the culprit upon sight.
Tony looked at Will and nodded quietly. “Let’s go back to the station. I’m not sure Aaron will be patient much longer.”
About twenty minutes later, both groups were sitting around the conference room table or leaning against walls as Sam explained to the group what happened during Tony’s walks including an explanation about the Guides and the Medium Fingerprints that might be able to help them identify who had Forcibly Cleansed the areas.
“Does this get us any closer to finding the unsub?” Matthew asked the room in general still sure how the Paranormal Group’s work fit into their case on a case like this.
“Depends,” Dean replied watching Tony. His older brother was mostly ignoring the chatter going on with the rest of the group. Since they’d walked in and seen the uncovered evidence board, he’d been standing with his butt resting on the end of the table staring at the pictures and information. Dean could see just enough of his older brother’s face to know that there was something working in that big brain of his. It was why he’d mostly taken over the answering of questions that he’d normally leave to Tony.
“How so?” Dave asked looking up from the notepad that he’d been writing in.
“Depends on if the Medium that cleansed the scenes and homes is the unsub or someone the unsub hired.”
“That’s,” Matthew started then stopped and frowned before trying again.
“Mediums can be killers?”
“Of course,” Kate answered gently. Being the person on the BAU team that understood how Mediums worked thanks to her cousin Melinda, she tried to help with explainations when she could.
“Mediums are like anyone else. It could be the Medium that went bad or the Guide that they hooked up with led them down the wrong path corrupting them.
“Wait,” JJ interrupted frowning. “So does that mean that it isn’t their fault if it’s the Guide? Are they like… possessed or something?”
“Possession is a possibility,” Sam answered carefully. “I don’t think that’s the case here though, and no, a corrupt Guide would not absolve the Medium from guilt. The relationship between a Medium and a Guide is not set in stone, and each side has the ability to sever the relationship at any time. It also isn’t a relationship where the Medium is without conscious choice. Even when a Medium is allowing the Guide to drive so to speak, they can still take back over at any point and stop what the Guide is doing or leading them toward. So, if a Guide is corrupt and trying to drive the Medium to kill, the Medium is still responsible for deciding to act out what they’re being shown.”
Sam must have been aware that Tony was onto something as well, because he heard Spencer start to say his name. Before the word could even be fully formed though, Sam put a hand on the genius’ arm to quiet him as he finished his explaination. Soon after that, Tony straightened a little, and Dean knew he’d figured whatever it was out.
“Tony?” He called down to his brother, and the rest of the room fell quiet as their heads turned his direction. Dean’s eyes wandered to the board hoping that he could see whatever it was his brother had noticed, but like the other dozen times he’d looked nothing stood out.
“Strangers on a train,” Tony replied sounding like he was only half aware that Dean had spoken to him. “Filmed in 1950 by Alfred Hitchcock, released June 30th 1951 and stared Farley Granger, Ruth Roman, and Robert Walker. It was based on the book by Patricia Highsmith. Both the book and the movie are at on my favorites lists. Most people forget that Guy Haines the tennis player in the movie and one of the strangers wasn’t serious about wanting to murder his wife. While he hated her and was seeking a divorce he didn’t actually want her murdered. He was only humoring Bruno Anthony who approached him with the murder idea.”
“Sam I need the height of each of the surviving spouses of our victims,” Tony ordered before he went back to explaining.
Knowing that this wasn’t his portion of the investigation, Sam looked to Aaron Hotchner for permission before proceeding.
“I’m pretty sure that’s not the case here though,” Tony continued on as Spencer finally got up and moved to stand next to Tony.
“The bullet mystery,” he finally said huffing angry at himself for not picking up on it.
Beside him Tony nodded. “I met the 7 surviving spouses today before going through their homes,” he explained still sounding as if his mind was far away from himself. “I see that you have a note on here about one weapon but the height of the shooter changing. You guys normally split up surviving family interviews, so there’s little chance that you would have noticed.”
“Tell us what you are thinking, Tony,” Aaron ordered, speaking for the first time. “I want to make sure everyone understands what you are seeing.”
Taking a deep breath, Tony nodded then turned to look at the rest of the room, with Spencer turning to look at him. “Strangers on a Train was first a book and then a movie about a tennis player and a psychopath who met on a train. It was common knowledge that the tennis player’s wife was cheating on him and suggested that they should each kill the person the other wanted to get rid of.
“Guy Haines, the tennis player, joked along with him not knowing he was serious, and then his wife was strangled at an amusement park. When Bruno Anthony, the psychopath, confronts Guy about killing Bruno’s father, Guy doesn’t want to do it, which is where the book and movie vary from what we have here.”
Sam picks up a bottle of water from the middle of the table, and passes it down to his brother who smiles gratefully and takes a drink. Once he had half the bottle drained, he continued. “I when we get the spouses’ heights we’ll find out that Heather Blum killed Judy Miller, Rosalie Hanson killed Jason Blum, Max Stephenson killed David Hanson, Eva Leigh Martin killed Josiah Daroff and so on and so forth.”
“So, who killed Scott Tolgore?” Dean asked frowning at the seventh victim’s name.
“I don’t know,” Tony admitted turning back around. “And, what’s worse is that since the gun was found next to Scott’s body, we may never know. The only way you’ve been able to track these murders is because they each used the same weapon. If that’s changed though…”
“There is little chance that we can catch them unless they mess up.” Aaron filled in when his husband stopped speaking. He wanted to argue with him, but knew in his gut that he was right. This was bad. This was very bad.
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