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6. GONE, GONE, GONE


He's staring to think Chuck is being obtuse on purpose, but at least that tells him something. As far as records guys go, Chuck doesn't come across as particularly reliable but he knows his job better than most people give him credit for; Dean's often swanned in trying to get case notes for investigations he's only really had the vaguest of information on, and Chuck always seemed able to pluck out the right files with a shrug. So if he was flat out saying 'we don't have that case on file,' Dean would happily believe it.

But he wasn't. Chuck was choosing his words with far more care than a simple 'no' should afford, and that at least told him something.

"We both know what I'm talking about, and you're seriously telling me there's no 'Cas Novak 87' case files? Really?"

"Yes," Chuck replied, with a sigh heaving with ire. "There's no file under that name. And for the last time, you can't just look at the guys HR file 'just because'  either, Dean, because I don't have it!"

"You keep saying 'that name'. The hell do you mean?"

Chuck sparked up, but it was obvious he still wanted to hit Dean. He had to be missing something big. "It means what it means, detective. You give me a case number, or a name, I can pull it out for you, but I can't do anything if you just ask me for whatever it is you think you want."

The 'why the hell not?' stayed firmly on Dean's tongue. No point making Chuck want to slap him further. "So it's not under that name?" Chuck gave something that was probably meant to be a surreptitious nod but looked more like some kind of weird neck spasm.

Surprise, surprise, the guy had managed to put more crappy roadblocks in his way, even when Dean was trying to save his life. Did he ever get tired of this shady bullshit? Dean remembered the conversation he'd had with Chuck the week previous, where he'd called Cas 'all kinds of scary' and wondered if he'd threatened the guy to keep quiet about his weird history. Even if that was true, surely Chuck wouldn't obstruct Dean if Cas' life was in danger?

Dean thought back. Cas had a thing about his name; he pulled a face every time Dean shortened it, and corrected the few who referred to him as an Areli, and there had to be a reason for that fervency. Think.

Michael, he'd overheard when Cas had been awkwardly apologising for 'wasting his time' and he'd almost called him something else, but Dean hadn't been paying that much attention and had dismissed it. Think.

When Dean had asked why he wasn't 'Castiel Areli', Cas had said both his names were his mothers, and gone no further. It'd been like a wholesale rejection of his father and his connection to that family. Had Cas changed his name? The news articles had only referred to him as the youngest Areli kid, no name to speak of. Had he always been Castiel?

"Okay. Okay. Is there a 1987 case for James Areli?" Maybe his dad was the best direction to go.

Chuck sighed dramatically, but nodded. "The James Areli Junior case. It's sealed, like, properly locked tight, you need a court order to see it. Even if it's for protection of life," he added quickly when Dean went to protest. "You'd need at least an ADA to sign off on it. Not your brother."

"The hell do you take me for?" Dean asked, already pulling his phone out and dialing his second favourite person at the office. "Sarah! It's Dean. Listen, I need a favour like you wouldn't believe."

Thank heavens for small favours. Or, well, huge, jock-off, sell-your-brother-out-on-blind-dates favours anyway. Eh, Sam already had some massive thing for Sarah, he could pretend to have set them up from the goodness of his heart.

"I know strictly speaking this was sealed," Chuck was saying, "but you wouldn't believe how crazy this case was. Is. I mean, wow, they are one messed up family! You know no one was ever prosecuted? Goes to show you what having a big-time lawyer for a dad can do for you."

Dean hadn't even opened the files yet - Sarah had threatened something fairly painful-sounding if he didn't dot the i's and cross the t's on the paperwork and fax if back to her immediately - so what Chuck was babbling about made zero sense. "Wait, what the hell? Why didn't he throw his weight around to get the kidnapper bang to rights? I thought he was real big on the family thing, lovechild or not."

Chuck gawped at him.

"You have no idea what I'm talking about, do you?"

Dean lifted his pen in a show of exasperation. "Do I look like I've read this yet?"

Chuck carried on staring, before grabbing the file in a flurry, flicking straight to the charge sheet. Before Dean could reach for it, he held it back for a moment, and gave Dean the most serious look he'd probably managed in his life. "Dean, when you asked for this I thought you knew what you were getting into. You seriously didn't know who was responsible?"

Dean shook his head, suddenly very apprehensive. "I was following a hunch. When we were looking at all those sketchy forensic reports, this case popped out. Cas thought it was related at first, and then changed his mind when I said we should check out the history."

"Yeah, I bet he did," Chuck bit back. "If he didn't already know who was responsible, I doubt he'd want to. Seriously, Dean, this case is messed up."

He relinquished the sheet, and at a cursory look Dean knew whoever fought to keep this out of court had to have had a damned hard time of it. Kidnapping, false imprisonment, endangerment of a minor, assault and battery... even with the botched forensics it couldn't have been easy.

"So what, Areli just gets the charges dropped? I know he gets a say, but surely the City shoulda brought further charges?"

"Have you seen the guy in court? Even now, he's terrifying."

"Still doesn't make any sense," Dean muttered.

Why the hell would he be at pains to keep this out of court? Was it the media circus? Dean had gone through the newspapers out of curiosity when Cas originally brought it up but after the first week of appeals from the family it was like no one cared about the story; even when Cas'd been returned, it'd only warranted a short article buried in the middle of a midweek, slow-news-day paper. Areli had obviously gone a long way to make it a quiet business, and he was surely fierce enough to keep it up through a court case.

Dean thought of what Cas had said about his brothers in the aftermath, about how his dad had said one had 'taken care of it', and wondered if it'd be kept out of court for that reason. To be dealt with 'personally'.

He gave the sheet a closer look, and felt his stomach drop to his feet.

Well then. That put that theory to bed. "Oh, shit."

"What'd I tell you? This case - this whole family - totally nutso. Uh, no offence to Novak."

"No, Chuck, oh shit. Cas doesn't know about this. He said he got in contact with the guy a couple days ago, and suddenly he vanishes? Tell me that doesn't add up how I'm thinking."

"Oh, shit," Chuck reiterated.

Dean ran his palm over his face and tried to think. Off the back of their last encounter - and considering how it looked increasingly likely he was implicated in this nastiness too - there was almost zero chance Michael would talk to him. And a less-than zero chance of Areli deigning to speak to him. He bit back a curse, pulling his phone out again; there was a pretty low chance this would pan out, but he was desperate.

"Gabriel, hi. Listen, I don't care if this is a bad time, and I don't have the patience for any bullshit, so please tell me you know where your brother is."

Dean stared at the sheet again as Gabriel made a snide comment about Cas, the crucial detail staring back at him.

Plaintiff; Areli, L.

"Not that one, idiot, Luke. Please, please tell me you've heard something, I am frigging beyond desperate here."

Dean hoped against hope that Cas had never got round to meeting his estranged brother, but the practical part of his knew better, knew this all added up into something awful. Christ, the guy had been excited, had practically sung Luke's praises, had gone to such lengths to try to prove he had nothing to do with the duff charity, and he had no fucking clue.

* * *

Gabriel is a dead end.

Dean's heart is in his throat. Usually when he gets a solid lead it doesn't dissolve within five minutes, and he can practically hear the clock ticking in his head. The payphone hasn't paid off either; given how long ago the call was made, he has no idea if the area is a good enough starting point, and he can't afford to cock it all up by having uniform search the whole area when he's got zilch evidence of any foul play.

"...I'm aware you can't do anything official yet, but please, keep an ear out. I do worry."

Michael?

Michael is at the station?

What the hell?

Rounding the corner, he can see that the mayor is talking to the desk sergeant, who's nodding sympathetically and saying "We'll call you as soon as we hear anything," before heading back to his desk. When he turns, it's uncanny how quickly he's putting on the politician megawatt grin.

"Detective Winchester! I was hoping to speak with you." Dean can't help but shake the hand proffered to him, so completely thrown for a loop by this guy showing up now, of all times.

A small, but extremely loud, part of him is suggesting slamming the guy's face into a wall and demanding the scoop on where the hell Luke is, because if anyone's gonna know, it's gotta be him. Instead, he gives an unsteady "Uh, hi."

"I apologise for us getting off on the wrong foot last time we met. I'm sure you know all about how stressful things can be in times of tragedy, and I get the feeling I rubbed you the wrong way."

"Don't sweat it," he finds himself saying. "Uh, you were looking for me?"

"Yes, I understand you were the last person to speak to my brother? He missed a check-in with me, some issue with his boss he wanted me to clear up for him." At this Michael makes a face that seems to fit so perfectly on his face - a vague, eyerolly 'what're ya gonna do?' kind of face - that it puts Dean instantly on edge.

Beyond that, he knows Cas would never call in a favour over the Zach debacle, given how well they'd choreographed it.

Abruptly Dean is sure of how Michael must see him - someone who betrayed his brothers confidence, who doesn't know him all that well, who's probably looking to cover his own ass after his jobs gone awry. A perfect pawn, but god knows for what. He nods. Fuck it, he can at least play along to work out why the hell the man's all gung-ho about finding Cas. "It's me who's gotta apologise for that, sir, I kinda landed him in hot water with those surveillance logs." He leans in, lets his eyes dart around for any listeners. "I know he's a great investigator, but he was dragging the case out by holding onto them. Still, sorry."

"I'm guessing you two didn't see eye to eye on that."

"Among other things. And yeah, I guess I was the last person to talk to him. He kinda bugged out after the break-in."

Michael gives a nod that is so perfectly part understanding and part concern that Dean almost pukes right up on his shoes. Jesus christ this guy was born to be a politician. "He's very particular about his space. I imagine that shook him up quite a bit, but he wouldn't usually go to ground for so long."

Dean is fairly sure that, circumstances being different, Cas would have 'gone to ground' for the five minutes it'd take for him to pick up the thief’s name before taking them down with extreme prejudice. Still, he nods. "You guys close?"

"Of course," says Michael. "I practically raised him."

The fact he doesn't start calling the guy a liar straight off - the fact he manages to keep his well-practised vague-interest expression in place - is a work of such strength of will Dean reckon's he should get knighted for it. Or fuck it, canonised, why not go the whole hog? Instead, he nods, eager to get this all wrapped up and get away from the lying skeevebag. "Family's pretty important to you, huh?"

When Michael nods with that perfect polished smile, Dean thinks of how he's got a brother and a half-brother who won't even consider sharing a surname with him, how Luke had obviously gone off the rails enough to do what he did to Cas, how he must have sat back, happy to help wherever it might score him points, and wonders if he can punch the guy hard enough to spell any number of descriptive curse words out on his smug dick face.

"I'll be honest, if he was gonna call anyone I don't reckon it'd be me, but I'll let you know if I hear anything." He sure as hell won't.

Michael nods again, the picture of understand. "I know you have other things to attend to, detective. Don't let me keep you any longer."

He walks off, easy as can be, and from the back he looks pretty much carefree, despite his words dripped in saccharine worry.

It strikes him, then, that the guy failed to mention that his creeper brother is in town, the one who was impossibly acquitted for something pretty damn shady and pretty damn relevant in the face of a disappearance, and Dean doesn't think for a second that Michael doesn't know it. So why the hell hasn't he mentioned it?

Something, Dean thinks, is rotten in the state of Denmark. And just maybe it ain't Luke.

* * *

Sam, naturally, disagrees.

"Dean, look at his records. He got busted for a couple possession charges, one count of assault, the charity he starts after 'turning a new leaf' is probably embezzling funds, and he basically dropped off the map after the court case. He's an all-round shady dude, I don't know what else you want me to say."

Dean shakes his head. The lead had felt right when he'd dug the case file out, but he felt a weird unease about it. "Nah, Sam it's too obvious. I don't even think the kidnapping was him, to be honest." He rubs a hand over his face, trying to shake the queasy nervousness out of his mind. "Cas would've pulled like five random details out of all this by now, and what are we doing?"

"Well, right now, you're pining over your big man-crush."

"Shut up, man. Time and a place."

Sam gives him a reassuring little grin, and Dean knows it for what it is.

"I think what you need to do is focus a little more. You're all over the place with this, so just pick one aspect, and focus on that."

Dean shakes his head. "I don't even know where to start, dude. The laptop is what's bugging me the most, I just feel like if we could open it everything would start making sense."

"Still think you'll be able to work out his password?"

"He hid that thing in the only blind spot in his apartment, he wanted me to find it, I'm sure.

"So we just have to work out what he was wrong about, huh? You think that's the key?"

"No, that'd be too short. We type in 'Luke' and I don't think anything's gonna happen." He stares at the screen, like maybe winning a glaring contest with the thing is the answer. Who knows, maybe it's got crazy face recognition? "The wording bugs me, dude, Cas was never wrong about anything."

"Uh, he was, he was dead wrong about something massive, evidently."

"No, no, I mean he never admitted it. He always says 'mistaken' or 'misinformed', never 'wrong'. There's gotta be something in that."

"Or, it's just that he was dead wrong about it. You said he didn't know Luke was involved in that mess, right? So he was wrong to trust him?"

"Seriously, Luke isn't the answer."

"What about Michael, then? I know you said he was being all vulcan about the family thing, but he must have let it colour his perspective a bit."

"Hell no, he was about as objective as you can be when it comes to that guy. He hates the dude."

"He tell you that?"

"In so many words. Objectively the guys' nothing but a skeevy politician, and we treated him with as much suspicion as anyone. If Cas was being all emotional about it, I think he would have tied the guy in knots with circumstantial stuff from the get-go. Thinks he's capable of just about anything, man."

Something abruptly clicks, like a dislocated joint sliding back into place, jolting and uncomfortable. "Sam, you're a genius. We spent all that time treating him like he was just another guy tied up in this because Cas didn't want to put his own spin on things, but what if he was wrong? What if his brother is exactly the terrible shady bastard he thinks he is?"

He tries a couple permutations of 'Michael', each one coming up nil, and he hadn't realised his heart had climbed out of his stomach until it was swandiving back down there.

This was heart-achingly frustrating. The guy could be lying in a ditch somewhere, or up to god knows what, and need his help, and all Dean could do with the clues he'd been left with was think through dead ends. Not that he was being helped, particularly, because all Cas had really left him with was an admission of fault like that was supposed to be some big revelation. If - when - he tracked the guy down, he was gonna tell him just how wrong he-

Wait.

That bastard.

It wasn't some unknowable cryptic key, it was Cas thinking off the cuff, and it had taken him this long to figure it out. And he told Cas off for not being quick on the mark reference-wise.

"Norbury," he blurts out without thinking, ignoring Sam's look of confusion, and typing the quote in quickly. The little chime of success was the best sound he'd heard in fuck knows how long. "It's a frigging Holmes reference, Sam, it's his favourite one. Holmes spends the entire case thinking a load of crazy stuff and he's so completely off the mark at the end, he tells Watson to say the place name any time he's getting too sure of himself. That is so Cas."

He faced with another problem, however, in what appears on the screen is just a ship load of Excel spreadsheets spelling out stuff he has no idea about. Disgruntled, he hands the little laptop back to Sam, with a vague instruction to "work it out."

All right. One down. Now he just has to work out what the fuck is wrong with the whole Luke kidnapping picture. There's something in there, something in the report, that he knows just doesn't add up. It has to. He decides to do what Cas would do; work from the start, not from the end. The result was obvious; Luke got picked up for doing the deed, and obviously he didn't go to jail. The way Chuck had spelt out, it made it look like his dad had maybe been covering up for him. But what if he'd actually known the real deal?

Augh, he was already getting ahead of himself; it'd do no good to start rambling conspiracy theories before he'd even really considered things.

Okay. Police reports. Kid gets in a fight with his older brother, apparently not that uncommon, and nobody notices he doesn't come down to dinner that night. Only, the next morning, he's vanished to fuck knows where, with no sign of any kind of forced entry. Family reckons he's ran off on his own; there's a whole lot of subtext that says this too is not abnormal. Appeals go out; whole lotta sad faces the newspapers saying "please come home, you're making us look bad "in so many words. Luke is practically missing for two weeks, and while no one says out loud, they assume that he is somehow responsible for helping the kid run off. Michael opines loudly to the police, and the media, how sorry he is, and how he's the last person Cas spoke to.

Then, suddenly, there's no media interest whatsoever; it's like there was never some missing kid from some big rich family, and the abruptness of it seems a little impossible to Dean.

Then, suddenly, it gets interesting again; one day, out of the blue, about two months after the original disappearance, the police get a call from none other than Luke. He's at some derelict apartment complex, and he's found his baby brother. The report is a little sparse here; and he gets why, there's nothing he hates writing more in a report than writing about some awful abuse some poor kid has suffered. The best that could be said of the little place he was holed up was that it had running water; otherwise, all the windows were boarded up tight so was pitch black inside. It was obvious why the guy had called the cops, too, does the front door was barricaded shut from the outside.

That stands out to him slightly. If he was behind it, and he'd called the cops because things got out of hand, surely he would have opened the door himself? By all reports, he never even went into the room.

Now this, this must be the juicy bit. The forensics report. He and Cas have already established that the place is dodgy as all hell, the only reason they hadn't gone down this route already was because the guy was so touchy about it. There are not. He skips over the doctors report; it's only Gonna make him angry, after all. It reads pretty comprehensively that there was obvious evidence of Luke having been in the place. Big stuff, too. Not the kind of skin flakes to go after these days, but long hairs, fingerprints, obvious drops of blood; all great sorts of things an up-and-coming crime lab to be digging their teeth into. And yet, Luke swore blind he'd never even seen the place before that day, insisting that he'd been sent an anonymous letter tipping him off. The letter never appeared, and after that he kept crowing that it had been stolen. Seemed pretty open and shut, apart from the fact that he was so convinced of his innocence in the face of pretty overwhelming proof.

"Hey, Sam," he says, glancing over to his brother, who seems way deep in concentration. "Listen to this. Luke fucks off for two weeks while Cas is missing, doesn't tell anyone where he is, and when he gets back Michael seems to call off the whole press junket thing. He finds the kid because of some hokey letter, which immediately goes missing. His prints and shit are all over the place, but he just leads the cops right there. Is it just me, or does this sound like a stitch up? An inside job?"

Sam gives no indication of having heard him, his brow furrowed deeply. "Dude, are you listening to me?"

" Yeah, sounds fishy," he says eventually, distracted.

"You could at least sound a little convinced."

Sam waves vaguely at him. "Yeah, I'm sure you're onto something, but so am I. Like, something huge."

That perks him up a little. "How huge?"

Sam turns the little screen around towards him, looking a little like he can't quite believe what he's seen. "How about 20 to life huge?"

There, right there -- and judging by what is around it Sam must have had to trawl through a metric shit ton of e-mails to notice, ever the sharp kid -- is a single, damning sentence.

Ward situation taken care of.

Dated the night she 'died'.

"Shit."

"There's more."

"Of course there's more."

"He did it because she found out about this." And here, he can see how Sam is actually practically thrumming with excitement. "Check it out. Full accounts of how the bastard got elected. And he just had this all together, can you believe it?"

Dean sure as hell could. The guy was more than arrogant enough to believe that no one would go looking for this sort of information, let alone find it. Oh god, he was gonna have to buy Bela a drink. "Wait, what do you mean 'how he got elected'?"

Sam has that kind of face on him, the pyramids and dinosaurs and whales and wherever else it was he was interested in when he was a kid kind of face. "Well, if this stuff is anything to go by, it wasn't entirely legitimate. That charity you were whingeing about? A front. A cash laundering front." He's practically buzzing now. "It's electoral fraud, dude. On a pretty big scale. And it's pretty much fully evidenced. I think the DA is gonna flip!"

Great. Great. The whole murder thing'll take a hell of a lot of time he just doesn't have right now to hold enough water to get an arrest; but if the DA is about ready to hound Michael on anything, then something as corrupt as this was pretty much guaranteed to get him into warrant city, and at least get the guy in a holding cell for a while. Still. Still. That gave him no help as to where the hell to find Cas.

"Hey Sam, reckon you can handle this bit from here? Call in every favour that woman owes you to get Michael indicted like, now. I just saw him at the PD, he ain't skipped town yet. Cas having this and dropping off the grid have gotta be related, and we gotta see if we can put any pressure on him to work out how."

Sam nods, pulling out his phone, and thumbing through his contacts before pausing. "What're you gonna do?"

"Think."

* * *

Standing on the balcony, Dean kinda wishes he'd taken up smoking at some point in his life; sure, it's bad for you, but it'd give him something other than this gnawing unease to focus on.

Great. They've cracked not just the Andy Gallhager case, but the Rachel Ward no-one-knew-it-was-murder case, and they've broken something massive on a guy who frankly deserves an even bigger shitstorm than the one he's about to get come his way. Fantastic! Back pats for everyone! All in a days work for a Winchester and all.

But it doesn't get him any closer to Cas, and why he was going to meet Lily when the woman had almost nothing new to tell him; Dean had spoken to her over the phone, and she'd told a bitter tale of how Michael had muscled her out of having an active role in Lightbringer's direction, at the same time as hiring some new accountant she didn't much approve of and, in a fit of uncharacteristic charity, made public the accounts that showed everything had started turning up roses after Michael had taken over. Lady had a chip on her shoulder as big as a boulder, sure, but he couldn't see where Cas'd get a good lead out of that.

Fuck. He was missing, and he'd known he'd go missing, because he'd set everything up for Dean to work out and share with the world the results of their investigation. Which he'd done, so, fuck you Cas, leave some more fucking clues and where the hell you've vanished to, why don't you?

Dean picks his phone out of his pocket, ready to replay Cas' famous last words again. Why from a payphone? He was a clever little bastard who never left anything to chance; Dean had no doubt that, had the guy stayed gone long enough to miss his appointment with Bela, the files Sam was currently wetting his pants over would've got circulated some other way, because the dude had a contingency for everything, but he hadn't thought to take his own cell out with him? There had to be some deeper meaning to it.

He was tempted to ring it back again, just to see if anyone happened to pass by and could maybe tell him if his friend was dead in an adjacent ditch or not; hovering over his recent calls, he spotted Ward's parents number and bam, just like that, one little detail, the kind Cas would never think to pick out.

Dean's pretty pleased when it's her dad that answers, sad as that is, because she'd seemed a bit of a daddy's girl and this whole thread he had bubbling away in his brain relied on her confiding in someone.

"Hey, Mr Ward, this is detective Winchester. I know this is pretty weird, but have you got a few minutes for a couple questions?"

The man sounds weary - and who can blame him? Some douche detective keeps trampling over his being able to not think about how his daughter's not in the world anymore - when he says, "I'm sure there's nothing else I can tell you, detective."

"Seriously, this'll only take a couple minutes. I just need to be sure about a couple of things, dude, and then I reckon you'll finally be getting some justice for Rachel."

There's a thin, whistle-like sigh, and Dean knows he's seconds away from losing the guy and having him hang up, cop or not, so he says, feeling like a huge duck, "You were lying when you said you never met who she was seeing, weren't you?"

"I-- what? I'm sorry, detective, but--"

"She was having an affair, right?" Let him be right. Please, let him be right.

There's a long, long pause, before Ward sucks in a breath and says, thinly, "Yes."

"I can guess how it went," Dean starts, hoping he's not crushing the poor guy into the dirt with this. "She get's this great new job, courtesy of the family connection, and then she starts talking about seeing some guy so patently false you end up confronting her about him. And she tells you, and you're happy that she's happy, but you know it'll end in heartbreak. The Areli's are old friends, and you know Michael for what he is, but Rachel's a grown-ass woman, and you're gonna let her make her own mistakes, and make sure you're there to pick her up when it all goes to pot. Am I hitting the mark?"

"Yes," he repeats readily.

"Then, a couple of weeks before-- you start noticing. She ain't as happy as she used to be. You figure it's just her getting wise to the kind of relationship she's got herself in, but suddenly she's gone, and you never bother to tell the cops she was seeing the Mayor because you don't think it matters who broke her heart. Well, let me tell you, it weren't like that. He broke her heart, but not in the way you're thinking."

"Look-" Ward starts, sounding flustered, and obviously not impressed with having to put up with Dean's eulogising, "Have you called me just to tell me how much I didn't know my own daughter? I'm already well aware of that."

Dean breathes, and tries to dial it down a bit. Ward's got no cause to be caught up in the end of his tether. "Sorry, I'm-- listen, this is really, really, probably life-and-death important. Did she ever mention them going anywhere special to meet? Guy as public as the Mayor, they'd want to do their wooing somewhere private, right?"

He's gotta appreciate how game Ward is in not hanging up on him, or bitching him out, or any of the kinds of things Dean would do in this kind of situation. Maybe he sounds a mite more desperate than he thinks. "She did mention a few things," he said eventually. "I told her she'd get the press hounding her if anyone every saw them together, and she told me they'd meet up in some of the old offices he still owned." There's a tinge of wistfulness in his voice. "She made it sound like he was a huge romantic, sneaking her off to places to be together, but you know what men like him can be like."

It clicks.

The payphone.

Michael.

Yes.

He manages to tamp down the loud eureka crow of 'yes' down the phone, but can't hold back the sigh. "Thank you, dude, thanks so much, seriously."

Ward sounds entirely confused, but still says "You're welcome," politely.

"Listen," Dean starts, before the euphoria of working it out runs out, "Your daughter didn't kill herself. And the guy who killed her is gonna get banged up for a long, long time, I guarantee. Avoid the papers for the next couple days." With that, he hangs up, dialling Chuck before he has a chance to take another breath.

"Listen, dude, I know I've been asking a lotta favours, but this is the last one. The payphone number, can you find out if any of the buildings nearby are let to the Mayor's office?"


[5. CATCH A TRAIN | MASTERPOST | 7. THE CHAIN ]

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