He hunched over his drink, nursing it, and privately hoping his instincts weren't wrong.
His supervisor had given him a long rope, but the end was still held despite the trust being shown him, and it could wrap around his throat and choke him if his "gut feeling" turned out to be indigestion.
Yet a part of him – the part that could sit motionless for hours, one eagle eye open, waiting for prey – told him he was on the right track. He would find them, hunt them down like the diseased dogs of war they were, and put them – and by extension everyone else – out of their misery.
He owed Victor that much at least.
The door opened, letting the dying sunlight to slither across the hard-packed worn floor. A tingle, prescience if he believed in that sort of thing, fluttered up his spine and raised the hairs on the back of his neck. It was his hindbrain responding to the presence of a dangerous predator, the buried part of millions of years of evolutionary instinct which enabled homo sapiens to rise as the most dominant species on the planet. He didn't stir, however, or turn his head because he knew motion captured the attention of big dark scary things with teeth a lot more effectively than stillness.
His hand didn't shake when he raised the small tumbler of whiskey to his mouth, teeth clanking against the hard rim as he threw the dark liquid back, relishing the burn in the back of his throat. This was the best and hardest part of his job – sinking into the crafted persona of his cover so he could get close to his targets. It was a far cry from his days boiling under a foreign sun, chrome and glass in his hand, as he dealt with evil anonymously. This time he would look it straight in the eye, feel its breath brush across his skin, even as he pushed the knife deep into the soft belly.
The rolling consonants and vowels danced through his ear, rattling around in his brain as he sought to understand the hills and valleys twined through the words. He was usually spot on with figuring out a speaker's natal origins by the dipthongs and articulation, but two words weren't enough except to whet his intellectual curiosity.
He hesitated a moment, but thrust himself forward because he needed more information.
"Yeah. I ain't playin' here. Just drinkin'."
He chanced looking upward, bravely meeting the looming shadow to his right. The face beneath the wild bushy brown hair was surprisingly young, hazel blue eyes open and soft, mouth red and vulnerable like a child's. His brain matched the face to a name instantly and he knew this must be Sam Winchester; where the younger one roamed, his older brother wasn't far behind. He fought the urge to cast a quick glance over his shoulder because the place between his shoulder blades was itching; he briefly wondered if this is what his own prey often felt in the moments before he dealt them death.
"Interested in a game?"
He shrugged in response, pushing away from the table in one slow movement. It looked genuine, but it was also calculated to allow the Winchester boys enough time to register his lack of weaponry. He'd done it enough times in more volatile situations to know how to make it look natural. The icy talons of danger dissipated and he relaxed into his stance, fingers tucked into his belt loops of his jeans, hunting vest splayed open to show off the worn denim shirt he wore. He'd bet his last dollar the older Winchester had dismissed him as a threat to his brother and was receding into the dimly lit bar.
"Sure. Loser buys the next round?"
Sam grinned then, one deep dimple poking out. He looked harmless and wet behind the ears as if his mama had just cut the apron strings; it would be utterly disarming if he didn't know the length and breadth of the Winchesters' crimes.
"Greg," he proffered instead, hand out in greeting.
"Brennan," he responded in kind, registering the younger man's calloused hand in his with a dim sort of amazement. Apparently he was hunting polite killers.
The next hour was a revelation to Brennan as he watched Sam-Greg work the table with a subtle skill obviously honed through years of similar setups. The boy was keeping the game close but losing nonetheless – it made him twitchy because he knew Sam was merely softening him up. The confident way he held the pool cue, his precise yet reckless looking shots, and the focus told him this, but he had to still admire the kid's panache.
"Man, I guess this round is on me."
Brennan smiled, his lips folding upward, his own dimples peeking out. "Good game, kid. Another?"
He hadn't gotten Sam to speak enough to pin-point enough information and hoped whatever angle the boy was playing would keep him close a bit longer. Sam's head dipped down, allowing some of the brown hair to fall into his eyes. The peeking glance he gave Brennan was disquieting because – even though he knew it was calculated – he still felt a stirring south of his belt. The almost girlish long lashes and the soulful gaze was effective at making him look innocent and yet sinfully debauched, especially when he licked his lips slowly, the tip of his tongue obscenely pink.
"I like playing games. Do you?"
A punch of excited dread spread through Brennan at the carefully couched question. The last city the Winchesters were in had a rash of unexplained deaths of male prostitutes and their johns. At first the authorities had written the murders off, thinking it was some turf war these men had fallen into, but were forced to investigate when a prominent city official was found with his throat slashed and his dick deep in an also unfortunately dead underaged escort's ass. The killings had stopped once the Winchesters left, but Victor was convinced they had just moved their perverted games to another town to escape detection.
It was speculated, never confirmed, a less than healthy relationship existed between the brothers, especially since any female who got close to Sam seemed to die a mysterious and painful death, stretching back to his Stanford girlfriend Jessica Moore. The profiler was convinced these women had met their untimely end at the hands of Dean out of some twisted and perverted obsession with keeping Sam close and dependent on him. As to why Sam allowed it, the profiler explained, was contributed to the rootless and feckless life growing up on the road where he had no one but Dean or his paramilitary father to turn to, so he probably turned a blind eye to anything his brother did out of terror of losing that bond.
All of these thoughts flashed through Brennan's mind in a second and it decided him.
"I love playing games, but generally not in such a public place."
Sam smiled deeply, both dimples out in force now, and Brennan was ashamed of the throbbing interest his body seemed to have in the youngest Winchester.
"You have any place where we can go to be more private?"
"I have a truck parked out back."
"Oh, a trucker. My favorite," Sam cooed back, stroking the pool cue in an obvious way.
Brennan turned then, confidently weaving around the tables as he walked out the bar. He took the opportunity to covertly scan the seated patrons, but none had the familiar shape of Dean Winchester, so he figured he'd get jumped outside. He hated having Sam at his unprotected back, but it was necessary for this ruse to work. He aimed dark thoughts at the unruly part of his lower body which seemed to think sex was on the table, but despite his inclinations for hard males from time to time, he never mixed business and pleasure.
The large truck was parked in back, a long-distance hauler to complete his image as a red-neck trucker, a perfect cover to get close to the Winchesters. They tended towards the blue-collar and rougher side of life, so it stood to reason they'd be more susceptible to befriending a fellow rambling man. The sun had long since set, the sickly yellow lights flickering and chittering in a high-pitched whine that irritated Brennan's hearing because it covered the sounds of the man behind him. He knew Sam was still there even if he couldn't hear him, but it made him nervous nonetheless because they'd reached the truck unmolested by his erstwhile partner in crime.
"You wanna party with me boy?"
"Like you wouldn't believe."
Brennan spun around at the low throaty tone, unbelieving at how different Sam looked now in the darkness. His tall body seemed elongated and distorted, face a pale blur beneath the dimly lit night.
"How much you charge for a blow job? A quick fuck?"
It seemed absurd to catch the Winchesters – one or both - on charges of solicitation, but Victor was adamant they get them into custody anyway possible and Brennan had seen an opportunity after the hooker deaths. It seemed the boys got a thrill in down and dirty ways, and he hopefully fit their tastes, though body type, hair and eye color didn't fit any known pattern, which confounded the profiler a bit, especially since Brennan secretly believed Sweets wanted to pin their murderous inclinations on a reactionary bid against their father, but there was no indication in any police reports or character witnesses that pointed towards a three-way incestuous union. It seemed the brothers kept it in the family only between them – though Sweets was sure the reason why John had suddenly disappeared was because his sons killed him off.
"Sorry to disappoint, Agent Booth, but I didn't bring you out here for a quick fuck no matter what you think." Sam's tone was a far cry from the simpering tone a moment ago."I know you're tracking us for Agent Hendrickson and I can't let you interfere with our hunt."
The darting quick step was his only clue before the world ended in a blur of black and red hot pain.
It was the smell of fire and the whir-whir sound of sirens that awoke him from his forced sleep. Booth – dropping the mental Brennan since he'd been so easily made – winced and sat up, only registering the ropes binding him to a chair when he tried to raise a hand to the back of his head.
"I wouldn't try it, Seeley. Dean might not have been a boy scout but he definitely would've earned a merit badge at the different ways he knows how to tie a knot."
Booth silently cursed his overwrought senses for not registering the presence of someone else in the single light-bulb lit room. He could excuse it on the concussion currently doubling his vision, but he was still miffed at how stealthy these fuckers were.
"So we're on first name basis now, Greg?"
The muffled laughter taunted him because there wasn't a hint of mockery just amusement.
"Well, I knew you knew I wasn't Greg, but I figured appearances needed to be kept up."
Booth's body finally allowed him to turn his neck and he saw Sam leaning against the far wall of the small concrete room, head tilted towards the window cut high up on the wall. Booth couldn't see anything because of his seated position, but from his week of canvassing the neighborhood, he was pretty sure they were in an abandoned warehouse across the street from the bar he met Winchester in. Which meant the fire must be from…
"You torched the bar?"
Sam shrugged. "It needed to be done."
"And all the people in there?"
The small bitter chuckle didn't sit right with Booth because Sam's face wasn't suited for negative expressions, but happiness. He rolled his eyes at himself and reminded his dulled brain he was in the presence of a psychopathic killer.
"Those weren't people, Agent Booth."
"Maybe not to you," he muttered in response, unobtrusively trying to work his large-boned wrists through the ropes. After a moment he grudgingly gave up as there was absolutely no give.
He looked up as he registered silence and found himself beneath the once again amused hazel blue gaze of Sam Winchester.
"Like I said, Dean knows how to tie knots." A mischievous smile edged his thin lips. "And he taught me everything I needed to know."
As if his words summoned the elder Winchester, the door behind Booth opened and the infamous Dean tromped through, his footsteps echoing weirdly against the small space.
"Sammy, shake a leg. The Po-Po is gonna roll through here soon and – "
His words stalled as he obviously caught sight of Booth's immobile body.
"Tell me that isn't who I think it is."
"It's not who you think it is."
"Damnit Sam! This is not the time for jokes."
Dean edged around and Booth finally got a close up look at his other target. The youthful vulnerability of his younger brother was missing – instead, there was a knife edged beauty coupled with a world weariness ill-suited for a man not yet in his thirties. The hard green gaze lashed Booth with keen intelligence and he felt naked – not in the sense of clothing-lack, but as if the older Winchester was weighing the worth of his soul. It was a disconcerting feeling and one he was glad to be rid of when Dean's attention returned to his slouching sibling.
"I told you to leave him alone. We don't need any more attention from the Feds."
Sam shrugged again – apparently his favorite body expression and something Booth mentally cataloged to shared with Sweets should he survive this encounter – before saying "He was in the bar. Should I have left him to be chow or even worse, a host?"
Dean walked into Sam's space, forcing the younger man to straighten abruptly. Booth watched the exchange with interest because it was the closest anyone had ever come to actually seeing them interact naturally.
"Better him than you being arrested. I can get you out of a lot of things, but Federal custody might be outta even my reach."
A tight expression passed over Sam's face, one Booth didn't understand, and their foreheads touched for a moment. He wondered at the hand Dean curved around Sam's waist, fingers outstretched to lightly touch his brother's lower back. Though he was somewhat uncomfortable at their proximity – incestuous thoughts tangling with his perceptions – he couldn't say this embrace was sexually motivated at all. It seemed more necessary reassurance of one brother to the other and an undercurrent of something darker
"There's nothing you can't do, Dean. I think you've proven that over and over. What's Federal custody over a Crossroad's deal?"
Dean huffed, before pulling away with a punch at his brother's midsection. Sam's face split into a wide smile, one so beautiful and honest, Booth's breath caught. He suddenly understood the expressions he saw before were facsimiles of the true Sam Winchester.
"Enough of this emo chick-flick crap. What are we going to do with him?"
Dean turned so Booth was in his sight again and both Winchesters studied him closely. He tried to project helplessness and frailty but sensed he was less than successful by Sam's eye-rolling and Dean's disbelieving smirk.
"Dude, don't even. I know you served in the military as a sniper – a fucking good one by your scores – and currently have one of the highest crime-solving rates due to your partnership with the Jeffersonian, so you're definitely a threat."
To be dealt with was left unsaid, but Booth heard it echoing in the space between their bodies. The sirens outside were loud and somewhat up from their current position, which meant they were probably in the basement of a building. He calculated the success of him screaming for help versus the speed of the men with him – he'd seen a gun tucked into Dean's belt and figured there was at least one gun on Sam too if not more weapons – and disregarded his chances. If he were to live through this, he'd have to somehow appeal to a sense of humanity and decency.
"Look, I know you two have a long rap sheet and some of those charges might even be bogus, but you definitely don't want to add killing a Federal agent on your list. That will make this so much worse than –"
"Armed robbery, arson, desecration of graves and bodies, tampering with evidence, suspect in at least two murders – stop me when I'm done."
Booth frowned at Dean's levity even as he was secretly surprised by the man's information.
He flicked a look over his shoulder. "Sam."
Dean sighed deeply, then reached down to his ankle and brought out a mid-sized knife. Booth was still pondering the one word conversation they'd had which spurred this action and held still, promising himself he'd lunge for the other man once he came in closer. A small part of him started praying, saying the Lord's Prayer to calm and settle his nerves. Despite their pasts and suspected dealings, Booth really hadn't thought it would come to murder – he just didn't get that vibe from them.
"Dude, relax. I'm not gonna kill you so you can stop with the God crap." Dean rounded behind him, the snick of the blade opening deafening in Booth's ears. The rope gave way like slick butter beneath the extremely sharp edge, though he didn't cut through every strand.
"Sammy, grab your gear and hustle." Dean leaned down and whispered into Booth's ear as his brother gathered a few things in the shadows. "Dude, despite what you believe, we're not killers, but trust me when I say I would tear the world apart to save Sam, so don't try track us down again. I have nothing left to lose and won't hesitate to destroy you if you ever even think about fucking with my brother again." His voice became even colder, unleashed hellfire raging beneath the harsh tone. "He's mine."
It was a long time after they left before Booth felt safe enough to attempt to unravel the ropes.