One Year Ago
Sam Winchester's photo was displayed on a printout next to one of his elder brother, Dean. That single sheet of paper was the first item in the first folder in a box labeled 'DW SW: Research' that Spencer Reid had sitting beside his desk at home. The Winchester brothers were something of a hobby for the young FBI Behavioral Analyst. After spending all day working to catch the worst that humanity has to offer Spencer found it fun (and yes, he had been teased by Morgan already) to see what he could find on the two brothers that seemed to just keep coming back from the dead. Nothing that he found on them seemed to add up with what he knew about the (dangerously) mentally unbalanced, not to his satisfaction.
The original FBI agent that had taken their case had left behind incomplete notes after he died. Using Henrickson's work as a starting point Spencer started from when Dean and Sam got back together – the fire at Stanford that killed Sam's girlfriend, Jessica Moore. From there he looked at everything. Crime scenes, witness accounts, trace forensics, and even the events leading up to the Winchester's arrival in town. He noticed a surprising trend: in nearly every case people were dying before the Winchester brothers came to town and those deaths stopped not long after Sam and Dean arrived. That did not jive with Henrickson's pet 'serial killer' theory. No, vigilante fit them much better.
Somehow (well, not really since he knew exactly how the events had transpired) Spencer had shifted his research focus from what the Winchester brothers had done onto the sort of strangeness that tended to bring them to town. At first it was slow, he did not know what to look for. Then he noticed the mythology correlations in the Winchester cases and everything seemed to snap into place.
There were so many strange killings and deaths that fit with classical myths from all around the world. Spencer was shocked into utter stillness for longer than he would admit.
Spencer decided that he needed a little help. Explaining everything to Penelope took a whole weekend. By the end he had her promise that she would try to track down phone numbers, credit cards, and their car's license plate for him. Penelope was cheerfully adamant that between the two of them (the best of the best in the FBI, as she put it with mock humility) they would have the Winchester's personal phone numbers in no time at all. Surprisingly enough, she had been right. One month after joining forces Penelope passed him a neon green flower-shaped post-it note with five cell phone numbers on them. She explained briefly that they were all theirs. Spencer just bit back a grin and thanked her.
“Think nothing of it, Junior G-man,” she breezed, “let's just say that you owe me a favour.”
Content to leave it at that, Spencer left work that day thinking about the phone numbers hidden away in his satchel.
That evening Spencer picked up his personal phone, looked at the file folder of research and newspaper clippings on his desk, and dialed the first number.
“Now this is just ridiculous,” complained the youngest BAU team member. He scowled at his teammates, crossing his thin arms over his just-as-thin chest. So much for the (meager) muscle that he had managed to put on over the last few years.
“Reid?” Derek breathed. He looked stunned. Well, Spencer noted with asperity, everyone looked stunned.
“Yes, it's me.” Oh, for the love of Pete, there was that soft palate lisp again. It had taken years to grow out of that.
“You're little,” Penelope observed. She reached out a hand and tentatively stroked his head.
Spencer sighed. “Do you have a mirror?” he asked the room in general. Penelope quickly fished one out of her handbag and passed it to him. Flipping the compact open, Spencer examined his face. He sighed and handed the compact back. “I seem to be four again.”
“How did this happen?” Hotch asked, still visibly trying to grasp the recent events.
“Witches, I'll bet,” Spencer said, shrugging his little shoulders.
“Witches?” Derek asked, a black eyebrow rising high in skepticism.
Spencer shrunk into himself. “I knew there was something odd about this case. We might want to pull back for a bit, give them some room so they don't do anything to you guys as well. They can get really nasty when provoked.”
“Witches?” Hotch echoed Derek, his heavy gaze demanding more.
“Yeah, witches are real, and really evil – like, literal-deals-with-literal-demons evil,” Spencer looked like he wanted to cry.
“Witches are real? Like really real? Like, so much magic mojo and they're evil?” Penelope looked heartbroken. Spencer patted her hand sympathetically.
“Does someone have my phone?” he asked. “I think we need a consultant for this.”
“Who?” Hotch asked cautiously.
Spencer grimaced. “Someone who deals with this kind of stuff,” he tried to hedge.
“Who, Reid?” Hotch pressed. Derek found Spencer’s phone and tried passing it to him.
“Not that one, my personal cell,” Spencer directed, not looking his boss in the eye. Derek found the right phone but hesitated handing it over, looking between Hotch's marble-cold glare to his suddenly-four-years-old-again friend.