Disclaimer: Neither BtVS nor CM belong to yours truly.
. This is a rewritten and expanded version of my fic 'Custody'. Unlike the original it will have several chapters .
Once again Buffy Summers found herself in an interrogation room and on the wrong side of the table from Special Agent Aaron Hotchner, ah sorry, make that *Supervisory* Special Agent Aaron Hotchner. Unlike like last time, however, he was accompanied by an agent about her own age, whom he'd introduced as Dr. Spencer Reid. He was cute in a way which might as well have come with a geek stamp on the forehead, but there was a real intelligence in those brown eyes and something that made her stop and pay attention. Not because he was physically dangerous to her, he pretty much had the stereotypical tall and skinny geek appearance complete with a shirt under a knitted vest and a leather messenger bag at his side, but because of what those observant brown eyes would see and which deductions he would make from that.
"Where's Agent Gideon?" He'd been the lead agent on the case back in Los Angeles when she'd been accused of burning down the Hemery High School Gymnasium, and Agent Hotchner had been his partner. Gideon had been the first, and one of the very few, to say that he didn't believe that she had killed any of her classmates. On the flip side, he had been certain that she was responsible for setting fire to the gym, even if he didn't seem to understand why she'd done it. Or even if it had been on purpose or not.
Regardless, it had made her sort-of like him. Not much, mind you, but she had been 15, still on her spoiled privileged behavior, recently called as the Slayer, an ancient vampire had been killing her classmates and trying to frame her for it, and the FBI had been trying to make her 'confess' to the murders. A lone federal agent who believed her, at least partially, had made her kind of accept him in a way she hadn't even considered accepting Agent Hotchner or any of the other agents or police officers who had worked on the case. In hindsight that had been a little gullible of her.
Buffy hadn't seen the missing agent when she was brought in, nor could she hear him on the other side of the two-way mirror. She did hear the voice of her acquaintance, JJ, and several other people. None of the agents or the local LEO's had mentioned Gideon either, even indirectly. What she had seen was a tall, black, and attractive man who looked at her with suspicion and who appeared to have already convicted her of every single crime she had ever been suspected of and probably several more as well; and a pretty African-American woman who had evidently been analyzing her for any kind of clue which could help the BAU convict her. It hadn't been a particularly friendly environment for her to enter.
Agent Hotchner narrowed his eyes at her, it had the unfortunate consequence of making him look even more constipated than he already did, clearly not liking that she was trying to take control of the interrogation, but he gave a short answer regardless. "Agent Gideon was killed in January of last year."
"My condolences," Buffy replied honestly. It definitely explained why the man wasn't there, but she had been silently betting with herself that he had simply retired. "Was the killer caught?" The man had seemed troubled and kinda arrogant in his self-assurance that his observations were always right, but her research into him years later when she had begun studying psychology at UC Sunnydale had shown her that the man was a renowned profiler. Several of the articles she'd found referred to him and a couple of men named David Rossi and Max Ryan, as the 'Godfathers' of the BAU. Apparently, the three of them had been the original team of profilers back when they were called the Behavioral Science Unit (BSU) rather than the current Behavioral Analysis Unit (BAU).
"Thank you." The man slightly inclined his head. "His killer resisted arrest and attempted to shoot another agent. He was shot and killed in the process."
Buffy nodded, it was an understandable reaction. After all, it was a well-known fact that all branches of the various government agencies entrusted with keeping the population safe took great offense when one of their own were harmed or killed.
However, the preliminaries were apparently over and Dr. Reid decided to try and break the staring contest between his superior and the main suspect in their latest murder case.
"Miss Summers," Buffy broke her eye contact with the elder agent and switched it over to the younger one. "You have to admit the evidence between what happened in Los Angeles in 1996 and what is happening in Cleveland right now have some very distinct similarities. Most murderers do not leave their victims with two holes in the neck. They don't drain their blood either. We also have concrete evidence that you were in the area when all four murders were committed."
She'd actually been in town to visit Faith, who was temporarily staying there before she hit the road again, and to check up on the Mini-Slayers who were guarding the Cleveland Hellmouth, when a group of vampires had discovered she was in town and decided it was their chance to get themselves into a more elevated position in the vampire community. Anyone who managed to kill her, or even give her some kind of serious injury, became instantly famous in the demon communities. The Master was highly revered in the community for being the first to kill her, even if Buffy's death had been extremely short and she had managed to permanently kill him not long after. Glory, on the other hand, was feared, but even she got bonus points for killing Buffy.
Buffy still wasn't sure how she felt about Glory getting the credit for that; on one hand it was Glory's fault that Buffy had died that time, but on the other hand, the hell goddess hadn't actually killed the Slayer herself. Buffy had taken a running jump off of the tower and through the inter-dimensional portal before being killed when she hit the ground at the foot of the tower. She'd committed suicide to save her sister and the world, but if it hadn't been for the thrice damned Glorificus then it never would've happened. It never would've happened if she hadn't loved Dawn enough to die for her so the girl, who hadn't originally been a girl, could live.
Naturally, she couldn't tell the two agents any of that, nor could she tell them that five of the eight vamps were literally blowing in the early autumn wind. Hopefully, Faith and the Mini's were able to kill the last three while she was in here playing twenty questions with the constipated agent and his genius sidekick. At least Reid was easy on the eyes, even if he was off limits to her now.
"From what you've already told me there are a lot of similarities, but none of that can change the fact that I didn't kill any of them. I didn't kill my classmates in LA back in the nineties and I didn't kill the students here in Cleveland either." Thankfully none of the victims had been Slayers or Potentials, but it didn't make their loss hurt any less.
"Miss Summers." Dr. Reid called for her attention again as she'd fallen back into her staring contest with Agent Hotchner. Ah, make that Supervisory Special Agent Hotchner. He had clearly gotten a promotion or two at some point in the last twenty years. And wow, now she felt old. Where had the last two decades gone?
"Miss Summers." He gave her an earnest look which was only missing a pair of attentive fluffy ears and a wagging tail to go along with the serious puppy dog eyes. "Is there something you would like to tell us, or something you feel we should know about?"
Not particularly, she thought to herself. There were some things most people did not need to know about, and the fact that there were real monsters out there was one of those. There was no doubt in her mind that Spencer Reid had enough nightmares as a result of the cases he had been a part of investigating, there was no need to add actual monsters to that list. The deprived human variety was more than enough. Out loud she said, "No, Dr. Reid, there isn't. But I'm sure whoever has been killing the students will be caught soon, just like the Hemery High Killer was caught."
Tall, dark, and oh so very serious, gave her another narrow-eyed look. "The Hemery High Killer was never caught. The murders stopped after the fire during the school dance. The fire destroyed nearly all the evidence, and it all coincided with your mother moving you to Sunnydale. A place, I might remind you, which had quite a few police reports which included your name. None of which are available anymore." The man's dark eyebrows seemed to suggest this was somehow her fault, but she chose to ignore the implied accusation.
"That is not surprising. The Sunnydale PD were the poster boys for corruption, but they got a little better after Mayor Wilkins was killed." She raised a perfectly manicured eyebrow. "As for my name being in a lot of police reports; I was usually listed as a witness. Sunnydale was a small town, and a lot of things happened either at the high school, the local club, or similar places where teenagers liked to hang out. Case in point; on my first day at Sunnydale High a male student was found dead inside a locker in the girl's locker rooms. It didn't cause nearly as much drama as you would think and it blew over quickly."
Before either agent got a chance to ask the obvious questions she followed up her statement with, "No, I had nothing to do with that either, nor was I a witness. I heard about it from the other students. The mortality rate there was sky high and no one seemed to notice or care. As far as people saw it it was nothing more than a small, quaint California town with a gang problem, and no one talked about the fact that the Year Book had large separate sections for all the students and faculty who had been killed or gone missing during the school year."
Buffy cocked her head slightly to the side, "Although that may or may not explain why it had forty-three churches and twelve cemeteries." When in doubt, babble. On second thought, she should've chosen something less incriminating to ramble about.
She gave them a few moments to assimilate the information she had just unloaded on them before she continued, "What do you mean the Hemery High Killer was never caught?"
Before either of the agents were able to reply, a quick knock was heard and a sharp dressed man with black hair and distinguished silver on the sides opened the door and entered the room without waiting for admittance.
"Agent Hotchner, Dr. Reid." The man gave a small but brisk nod to the two men already in the interrogation room. "Miss Summers is to be released immediately on the direct order of the Director. Please uncuff her at once."
Several vehement protests from her interrogators and an argument later and she was loose again. Somewhere in between all the arguing and the loud voices he had managed to introduce himself as BAU Section Chief Mateo Cruz. He also managed to apologize for his agents arresting and handcuffing her, before informing her that a friend of hers was waiting outside to take her home. As far as she could tell he was honest in his apologies but was unaware as to why she deserved it. Which made her wonder who had interfered on her behalf since the government didn't really like her and her group.
While he was holding Agent Hotchner back, figuratively, she slipped out of the small room, past the rest of the team, which interestingly included an older man who looked suspiciously like David Rossi, and one Jennifer Jareau.
Buffy had met JJ several years before when both of them had been attending the same incredibly boring conference together. Politics plus Buffy was not a good combination, add a speaker who could've doubled as a sedative and it was even worse. The only good thing that had come out of that event was an email acquaintance with JJ. The other woman had been both friendly and helpful when Buffy had asked numerous questions about laws and rules in regards to any number of things she'd been wondering about. Although she'd been very careful not to include anything directly related to Slaying as JJ didn't know about that. Once burned, twice as shy and all that jazz.
JJ's big, blue, and very expressive eyes were staring at her in surprise, but all Buffy did was give the woman a small, quick smile and a short nod in recognition without stopping or even slowing down. A chat at this point would probably not be a very good idea for either of them. Her team would no doubt be quizzing her next, which probably meant that every single email the two of them had ever exchanged between them would be gone through with a fine-tooth comb. Buffy sighed to herself; poor JJ. She hadn't meant to put the other woman at odds with her team, but there was nothing to be done about it now.
In all fairness when they had met Buffy hadn't known that JJ worked for the FBI. Yes, she'd known JJ had worked for one of the alphabet soup agencies, but not specifically which one. Besides, what were the odds of her new acquaintance being a member of the same team as one or both of the agents who had tried to convict her for a slew of murders 15-20 years prior? Of course, she should've known better than to think that she'd have that kind of luck.
In her own defense, she had toned things down once she realized that the 'Hotch' she kept mentioning was in effect the very same agent who wanted her behind bars. She'd also deliberately waited longer before she replied to anything the other woman sent her. It had hurt a little to sabotage her new friendship, but chances were that it could be harmful to both of them in the long run, and she should've just let it run its course and be done. Plenty of people met at conferences, kept in contact for a short time, and then moved on. But she liked JJ, and more than that she enjoyed having someone outside of the supernatural world who she could talk to, someone who saw Buffy and not just The Slayer. It was a rare occurrence to her these days and one she treasured.
JJ had sent her pictures of her sons; she had told Buffy about her pregnancy with her second child - the one she had lost while on a secret mission before she had even been able to tell her husband she was expecting again. She had shared the happy news when she became pregnant again and later she had CC'd Buffy on the mass email JJ had sent out after she had given birth to her second son. Having those emails scrutinized by her team would no doubt be incredibly painful for JJ. Hopefully, she'd be able to limit the exposure to one or two of them so she could keep at least a semblance of privacy.
As she was walking out of the local police HQ's a million thoughts went through her mind as she forcefully put the thoughts of JJ away; why had the vampires framed her and gotten her arrested by *humans* of all things? It wasn't their style and it made no sense. Very few demons adhered to human laws, and those who did were unlikely to try and frame her. JJ probably thought she'd been using her, Hotchner clearly was upset that he hadn't been able to catch her the first time and her slipping through his fingers a second time most likely would not improve anything. The other half of the team hadn't looked too happy about her legal escape either.
Buffy resisted the urge to massage her temples. There would no doubt be repercussions from this, but right now she didn't care. She had to make sure the rest of the vamps were dusted for trying to set her up. With any luck Faith and the others had managed to take care of the remaining vampires, but still. Several hours in an interrogation room had left her wanting to hit someone or something, hard.
She smiled as she saw her fellow Slayer sitting astride her motorbike in her favored black leathers, holding two helmets and waiting for her with an amused smirk dancing around her mouth. With any luck, there would be some dancing in her near future - the deadly kind.