Author: Magrat 70
Disclaimer: Not mine blah blah.
Thank you to Sao 21 for beta work and listening to my crazy ideas. Sorry for the lapse in updating my stories but I have had a minor surgery followed by shingles; not the best start to the year.
JJ woke slowly and realized that she had actually slept through the night for the first time in weeks. The arm around her waist reminded her exactly why; Emily. The brunette had changed into a t-shirt and shorts after she asked her to stay the night before. They hadn't spoken, just held each other into the night, taking comfort and strength from one another. She felt Emily wake and stiffen behind her. "I need to shower and change. Meet you for breakfast in about half an hour?"
"JJ?" Emily's voice was soft and uncertain. "Thank you for staying with me."
"Uh uhm," JJ cleared her voice trying to get the right answer, "always. Any time you need me, I'll be there." Surprising them both, she turned and lightly brushed her lips against Emily's full soft lips, pulling back before they could get lost, "Half an hour. Okay?"
"Yes," Emily smiled, everything felt great with that small touch.
They managed to both arrive at the breakfast table as Reid was helping himself to coffee and toast.
"Hey guys, did you two end up..." he stopped for a second wondering if the drugs were affecting his brain, missing the meaningful look between his colleagues. "Did you sing?" To his relief both JJ and Emily nodded. "According to the local paper three people died of spontaneous combustion and the authorities are blaming an infection in the water for the outbreaks of singing and dancing. This town is weirder than I ever thought."
Emily nodded her agreement before spotting a member of the desk staff crossing the room. "I better go and tell them about my mirror," leaving Reid with a puzzled look on his face.
Willow moved softly about the kitchen, knowing Buffy, Dawn and Tara were asleep upstairs. She had been unable to get her girlfriend to look at her last night, even after making love all afternoon. She had been tempted to reach inside Tara's head to find out what had changed, but Xander had called inviting Tara and her for dinner to discuss Buffy, and Tara was fast asleep before she went into their bedroom. Her back turned stiffly away from her.
She picked up the phone on the first ring. "Summers' residence."
"My name is Penelope Garcia; I am a technical analyst with the FBI." Willow froze for a second wondering and realizing there could be multiple reasons the FBI could go after them, she herself had probably broken a myriad of federal law over the years with her hacking. "I would like to speak to Tara Maclay."
The witch stared at the phone in disbelief; of all the people she expected the FBI to want to speak to, Tara and Dawn were the bottom of the list. "Uh Tara isn't here right now. Can I help? I am her partner Willow Rosenberg."
"No, unfortunately my colleagues that are in Sunnydale really need to speak to Miss Maclay." Garcia feeling something was a little off with the way Willow reacted but guessing that she was worried about FBI want to talk to her girlfriend. "Don't worry. She has done nothing wrong, we just want to talk about the assault on her."
For a second Willow's brain froze, Tara had been assaulted, had someone touched her girl? She started to feel sick inside. "Try tonight," not purposely lying, just forgetting they were going out.
JJ knocked at the door of the Summers' house after a long and boring day spent at the hotel. With Reid there, she found she couldn't even look at Emily without feeling like she was publicly showing everything she was feeling.
Buffy had seen the official looking black SUV parked outside her house, and three people who looked kind of official, and there was certainly no missing their guns. She tensed as the blonde knocked on the door, wondering how much more shit was about to be dumped on her crappy life.
"Hello," Buffy said, her features blank.
"I'm Jennifer Jareau; I am the liaison officer with the BAU. This is Supervisory Special Agent Emily Prentiss, and this is Dr. Reid."
"Am I missing something?" Buffy asked.
"Our technical analyst phoned this morning and spoke to Willow Rosenberg about interviewing Tara Maclay; she said we could speak to her tonight." JJ smiled uncertainly, the young blonde was grim faced.
"They're out," Buffy snapped, feeling pissed because she knew her friends had got together to talk about her and her revelation that she had been in heaven. She sighed realizing she should be more interested in who these people were and why they were interested in Tara, never mind what the hell the BAU was anyway. "She should be here tomorrow or at the shop."
"The shop?" Emily asked sharply, starting to find chasing after the student tedious and the whole town annoying and weird. After telling the desk clerk about the broken mirror she had waved a cross in her face before asking if she felt a presence in her room, leaving the agent to think the only thing she wanted to feel was JJ.
"The Magic Box. It's right on Main Street; we are all meeting there tomorrow," the Slayer explained, before closing the door on the three agents, almost forgotten straight away when she sunk back into her morose state.
"Damn, I've had enough of this town," Emily slammed the car door as she slipped into the driving seat, finally deciding she missed Morgan driving her around. "If we don't get her tomorrow, I think we should phone Hotch and say we have wasted enough time and we need to go home. She heard JJ and Reid both murmur their agreement.
The words kept echoing in Willow's head. 'I know you did that spell on me.' and when she asked Tara if she was going to leave the words kept telling her Tara was already half way out the door. 'Go a week without magic and we'll see.' Not exactly what you want to hear when you want reassurance that someone was staying with you. She would do a spell tomorrow, make Tara and Buffy both forget their pain. She did her best to drown out the little voice in her head that was saying that she was doing it for her, not them.
She waited until Tara and Dawn had headed out to The Magic Box before starting to cast the spell, arrogance made the redheaded witch sloppy; not noticing the whole bag of Lethe's bramble flowers dropped by the fire. She went to leave when there was a knock at the door. Opening up she found herself facing a smiling blonde.
"I'm Jennifer Jareau liaison for the BAU..."
"The behavioral analysis unit?" Willow asked shocked, to be face to face with this FBI agent of all of them. Jennifer Jareau, or JJ as Tara told her everyone knew her as, the small town soccer star turned FBI agent, and her girlfriend's first crush.
Ten minutes later, after being persuaded to go to The Magic Box with the agents, she met Xander as he was parking his car. He noticed that the red head was shaking and offered his jacket. He looked questioningly at her about the group of agents behind her, but she shook her head. On another day she would have laughed with Tara pushing Anya's hand away, caught in the middle of thumb wrestling with ex-demon.
Tara looked up and usually her eyes were only for Willow, however, pissed with her girlfriend because of the spell that had interfered with memories, her eyes drifted to the three official looking people behind her. "JJ?" She left her seat at the table and surprised herself by hugging the agent, it actually feeling good to see a friendly face from home.
Willow snarled at the sight of the unrestrained joy that Tara was showing the older woman; she wiped the look off her face when she noticed the tall dark haired agent watching her response.
"Hey Tara, you're a hard girl to track down," JJ smiled at the younger woman, ushering her towards the big round table in the shop. "We've been looking to talk to you for days, but it seems our technical analyst phone calls never reached you," JJ sat one side of the girl while Emily sat the other, and Reid sat across from them to give them room and not sure how she will react to his presence.
"I d-don't understand; you work for the FBI. Why would you need to t-talk to me?" Tara asked, nerves making her stumble over her words in a way she rarely did anymore.
"Hi Tara. Is it okay if I call you Tara?" Emily gave the young blonde a soft smile, not enjoying the energy coming from Willow and wanting to reassure Tara that she had no reason to be nervous. "We are here to talk to you because some concern for your welfare was reported to us by your university. We know what happened to you was a terrible and brutal thing," Emily looked at the Wiccan's scarred hand before she dropped it under the table and out of sight.
"I can't help you," Tara not able to look any of the agents in the eye. "I don't remember..."
They all looked up as a man dived in the shop, his body smoking, wearing a three piece suit and a deerstalker and a blanket thrown over his head. "Sanctuary, I need sanctuary slayer."
"You need something Spike," Giles countered looking sharply at the vampire and the FBI agents surrounding Tara.
"Are you in any trouble sir?" JJ drawled, trying to keep her face straight at the man's ridiculous attire. "We are the FBI, we can help."
"The Feds? What are they doing with the witch? Well that witch anyway," Spike snarked.
"Shut up Spike," Willow muttered.
Emily reached and grabbed Tara's hand, noticing the blonde was shaking with the increased tension. "Tara if there is anything that is scaring you, we can help you."
"You c-can't help me..."
"Don't touch her," Willow snarled, making a move at Emily before backing away when the blonde agent pulled her gun.
"Maybe Tara needs to talk to us on her own," Emily suggested, knowing she was pushing Willow's buttons, wondering if they had stepped into a case where an abused child had become an abused partner. She quickly scribbled abused with a question mark on Tara's file in the part that explained about Tara's living arrangements. The dark haired agent wondered if that was why Buffy had made Tara the joint guardian of her sister and not her best friend.
"If you think for one moment I am going to let you take Tara out of here to go with you three..."
"Stop it, stop it!" Buffy shouted all the voices making her head bang. "You can't threaten FBI agents, Will. Look what you did to me! You've got to get over this God complex. Every day I feel like I am dying over and over..."
With that everybody in the shop collapsed.
Spike fell off the counter giving a girlish squeal as he fell.
Everybody else started to wake up slowly, all confused and a little paranoid. Xander had a little light flirting with Willow.
Emily noticed the gun in JJ's hand and pulled her own with an automatic response; JJ, seeing this, levelled her gun at Emily.
Tara started to shake, stuck between two women pointing guns at each other. "Stay calm." Looking quickly, she had noticed badges around their necks and the unmistakable FBI logo. "You're both FBI agents, check out your IDs."
"Okay," Emily took her eye off JJ long enough to check her own ID and that the blonde had something similar. "Well, I am Supervisory Special Agent Emily Prentiss."
"Jennifer Jareau," the blonde said as the temperature of the room went down a notch as the guns went away.
"I am your prisoner?" Tara asked.
"Nope cuffs still firmly in belt," Emily answered, picking up the file in front of her.
Tara saw her picture on the front of the file and started to look over Emily's shoulder with a great deal of curiosity.
Hearing the sharp intake of breath from behind her, Emily slammed the file shut, something about the young blonde called out to a deeper protective nature. "You don't need to see that."
"I w-was a v-victim then?"
"Sorry. Hell of a way to find out kid," Emily looked at the scarred hand that was all confirmation needed of who the young woman's identity was.