As luck would have it Faith had managed to dust all three of the remaining vampires, with backup from half of the resident Cleveland Slayers. What they hadn't gotten was information. None of the three vampires had been willing to talk, and as Faith ran out of patience she'd simply dusted them one by one in an attempt to get the remaining ones into a more talkative mood. It hadn't worked so the four Slayers had tried to find some clues instead.
None of the eight vampires had been the low-level cannon fodder variety, but they weren't the brain trust either. Which meant there was someone or something with a higher brain function somewhere who had orchestrated the whole thing, and for some reason, they wanted Buffy in prison or at least detained to buy themselves some time to do whatever nefarious thing they were planning to do. Which in turn meant there was trouble ahead, and not just because some enterprising vampire wanted the glory for finally being able to kill her.
Buffy, Faith, and three of the resident Slayers had done a quick search of the immediate area around where each of the victims had been found, carefully avoiding getting too close to the actual crime scene and also avoiding getting caught on any surveillance cameras in the vicinity. Instead, they used their enhanced Slayer senses to view what they could from a respectable distance. The last thing any of them needed was for the police or FBI to get something they could use as circumstantial evidence against them, or for them to try and charge any of the Slayers for destroying or tampering with evidence. Most of the crime scenes had already been released, but it was the principle of the thing. Especially since Buffy didn't doubt that they would use anything they could against her, no matter how small and insignificant.
They also went over each of the places where the eight vampires had been captured, interrogated, and then dusted to see if there was anything useful left. None of the places had anything more interesting than the vampire dust. When that turned up nothing they continued on to the usual hangouts for the non-human population. Cleveland boasted several bars owned, run, and frequented by the undead and assorted demons. None had yielded anything they could use nor were there any vamps or demons they could slay, so in the end, the Chosen Two decided to spar in the Slayer-proofed training area.
The training area wasn't perfect, but it worked well enough, and its standard was well beyond what they'd had in Sunnydale. Of course, it didn't take much to get better than working out in a school library and the backroom of a magic shop, so they didn't complain. It had the usual gym equipment, fortified by magic so it wouldn't break easily. Buffy and Faith could've easily leveled the place if they'd wanted to, even completely demolish it if they were in a bad enough mood. But for sparring matches and general workouts, it was good enough. The six Slayers who used it regularly didn't complain so the Chosen Two didn't either.
When Willow had activated what they'd thought was all the Potential Slayers around the world, their tentative plan had been to build schools in the most demon infested areas and then educate both Slayers, Watchers, Witches, good demons who were willing to work with them, and other humans with some kind of useful abilities. It would've helped with the whole secrecy thing. That plan had been put on ice when it turned out that Willow's Activation Spell hadn't been as potent as they'd thought.
The Old Council of Watchers had had about 250 girls under their control at any given time in the last 2-300 years, but they had believed, and Buffy was proof of it, that there were, even more, girls out there who had the potential to become Slayers one day. After a lot of research and hacked databases around the world, it had turned out that the Bringers had definitely managed to kill over 900 girls between the ages of five and eighteen. There were an additional 200 or so girls they were unsure about because most of the specifics added up but there were inconsistencies they couldn't account for. Regardless, it meant the Bringers had succeeded in killing between 900 and 1,100 Potential Slayers in their quest to do the First's bidding.
In the five years since the Battle of Sunnydale, they had only managed to locate 136 girls who had turned into Slayers, excluding the ones who had turned up in Sunnydale. Interestingly they were all between the ages of 15 and 18 when they'd been Called. In fact, the only Potentials who had turned into Slayers who were over 18 at the time had been Vi, who had been 18, and Kennedy, who had been 19 when Sunnydale sank. Vi had been inside the Hellmouth at the time, and in Kennedy's case; right above it being used by Willow to channel the power to activate all the Potentials. Which probably explained why they'd been activated and none of the other older Potentials.
The jury was still out on whether or not Potentials lost their potential when they turned 18 if they weren't Called.
The Council records didn't have a single account of a Slayer being Chosen later than 17; Vi and Kennedy were definitely exceptions and had been Called during exceptional circumstances. Vi had turned 18 shortly before arriving in Sunnydale, and Kennedy was... Well, she was Kennedy, and she came from an old and wealthy New York family. The Old Council had probably intended to use them for something and pretending that their daughter would one day be Chosen most likely served some kind of purpose.
The sad thing was that most of those hadn't made it past one year. Little training, youthful arrogance, too few and too inexperienced Watchers, powerful and/or lucky vampires and demons had been their downfall. When the fifth anniversary of the Defeat of the First had come around there had only been 16 Slayers left, not counting Buffy and Faith. Six of those were stationed at the Cleveland Hellmouth to keep a watch on it and the surrounding area. Those who were underaged were officially emancipated and had been paired up with someone who was older, and they lived in small apartments. For the sake of safety in numbers, they were always paired up. The three apartments were about equal distance from each other and the Hellmouth. Those who wanted to complete their high school education were allowed to.
Each Slayer pair had one Watcher, and he or she lived between their charges' apartments. It wasn't a perfect solution, but it was functional and it gave the girls a chance to have a life outside of their duty.
The other ten had been paired up, given a Watcher each, a credit card linked directly to one of the Council's bank accounts, a cell phone with the pertinent numbers and paid for by the Council, and then told to travel wherever their Slayer Dreams and instincts told them to go.
Each separate team included one Slayer and one Watcher, and in a few cases, it also included a Witch and/or a friendly demon. Two pairs had ended up in Africa, two pairs in Europe, two in Asia, two in South America, one in Australia, and one pair in North America. The latter also included Buffy and Faith, plus the six Slayers who guarded the Cleveland Hellmouth. The Chosen Two were also prepared to fly anywhere as back-up for the various other teams if needed.
The set-up was open to change at any time, depending on the demonic activity in the various areas. Apocalypse Season could often mean severe shake-ups as teams were moved around to deal with the latest attempt to destroy the world, particularly if someone didn't make it out alive. Their numbers were rapidly dwindling and it was causing problems.
Every Slayer/Watcher team were rotated every six months so no one got stuck babysitting the Hellmouth for too long unless the Slayer was in high school then it was once a year. It also gave everyone a chance to relax since there were so many people on guard duty there. They could go out, dance, watch a movie, take a class, research, spar, whatever they felt like. Even get friends and boy- or girlfriends, if they wanted.
Buffy and Faith were traveling more or less on their own, but they kept close enough that they could act as backup for each other within 6-12 hours. Neither had a Watcher, but they had Giles on speed dial in case of emergency. They couldn't travel together due to their clashing personalities, but they could stay close enough to be there for the other if it was necessary. Weekly phone calls and text messages every few days ensured they didn't drift too far apart.
Willow usually traveled with Kennedy, the only survivor from the Sunnydale Potentials, and Kennedy's Watcher, Herbert Von Hertig, the Third. He was one of the few surviving Watchers from the Old Council, and while he understood the change he still tried to treat 'his' Slayer the old way. The arguments between the two had quickly become legendary within the Defender's Council. However, neither of them had asked for a transfer, too stubborn to give in, so the arrangement was kept. Von Hertig was an incredibly well-read and knowledgeable Watcher and Kennedy was well-trained from a young age and, when she put her ego aside, she fought exceptionally well.
Both of them preferred it when Willow joined them as she was well equipped to act as a buffer between the two strong personalities. She was proficient in Slayer and demon lore, experienced in the real thing and could, therefore, have proper debates with von Hertig and if necessary sway him to her own view. The same thing worked with Kennedy, as Willow could argue her case well enough to get the other woman to see her point of view. Kennedy, of course, wanted her girlfriend nearby, but also because Willow was a much more effective backup than her Watcher who subscribed to the old way of doing exactly as his title said.
Meanwhile, back at the police station where the BAU agents are set up.
"JJ, do you know Summers?"
David Rossi hadn't missed how their main suspect had greeted one of his team members and that the profiler had returned the greeting.
"Yes, we met at a conference several years ago and have kept in contact since." JJ's eyes were still wide in surprise, but she was getting her equilibrium back. "The woman I know isn't a killer. She works in some kind of private security, pretty high up in their hierarchy."
Derek Morgan broke in, "You know that isn't proof she won't kill anyone. Killers can be the sweetest and most charitable people ever and still be brutal killers when no one's watching them. They will defend people when there are people around who they don't intend to kill, if for nothing else than to keep their cover. First responders, firefighters, police. The list goes on."
JJ's blue eyes met Morgan's brown ones steadily. "I know, but I don't think she's our killer". She lifted her hands up in a placating gesture before anyone had the chance to speak up.
"Yes, I admit the cases are really similar and she was in the area during all the murders, but that isn't proof. We can probably find other people who were also in both areas at those times. Neither LA nor Cleveland are small cities, and quite a few people travel between them. We don't know what she's doing here in the first place.
"There are also enough discrepancies between the murders here in Cleveland and the ones in LA back in the 90's that it could be a copycat. Anyone could find Buffy's name on the flight manifest and make plans accordingly.
JJ glanced at Hotch, who looked disappointed at her, and Rossi who studied her skeptically. "The two of you arrested her with no solid evidence. What you have on her are circumstantial at best. Being a suspect in a killing spree doesn't necessarily make her a serial killer two decades later, regardless of how it might look. There are no records of her doing anything wrong in those 20 years and we know she wasn't incarcerated."
She closed her eyes briefly as she took a fortifying breath before she looked around at each of her team members, including stopping Spence from speaking by simply giving him a look, before she resumed eye-contact with the two senior profilers. "But I do think she knows who's responsible in both cases."