Disclaimer- not my characters, not my universes. I'll put everyone back when I'm done playing with them.
A/N- This is what happens when Buffy and Homicide show up next to each other on my Tivo queue because I always felt like Kay got a raw deal on the show.
Twenty and In
"You know you're totally wasted in your current job."
"I do good work, and close out all my cases and the brass knows it."
"What they know is that they've wanted to get rid of you for years, but because you are just that good, there's no way they can. So they shuffle you off to the hinterlands of the Baltimore PD and hope you'll take the hint."
Funny how life turned out after you thought you had a good plan for it all, Kay Howard thought as she filled the electric kettle from the faucet in her sink. Funny how she was the one with the occasional British house guest who had gotten her to switch over from coffee to tea in the time she had spent in Cleveland. Funny to walk along the shores of Lake Erie and have it smell sweet instead of properly salty like a body of water that huge was supposed to. Funny how that of all the people who could have been fallen through the rabbit hole, it had been her instead of someone like Munch. Granted she had been willing to believe in ghosts, but she never would have done so far as to believe in so many other things that went bump in the night.
And it had been a good plan too. Keep at a job she still loved even when it didn't always love her back. Then when she got her thirty in, she'd retire back to the shore town where she had grown up. She'd buy a little house, and spend her time answering the phone for the volunteer fire department, and watch the summer and weekend people come and go. Maybe do a little fishing or crabbing on the side when she felt like it.
But then there had come the fugitive whose name had not been Eric Brasso, and who had come from some place much further away than Philly, and who had done far more evil than just allegedly raping a thirteen year old boy. And there had been the girl and the one-eyed man who had been trying to find Brasso just like she was, only they had known Brasso as Bra'helmi'ak the Sindhar demon in his true form. She had gotten to see not only that demon on that case, but enough else of a hidden world to wonder just how much else the Munchkin had been right about. That hidden world was a bigger puzzle than anything she had ever seen and she just hadn't been able to walk away from that puzzle. It was her nature. Four months later, on the day when she got her twenty in, she had taken early retirement and headed to Cleveland, much to the surprise of most of the people she knew in Baltimore. She wasn't supposed to be one of those twenty and out people. It hadn't been the plan.
"So you're saying you want to hire me? It's not like I know anything about your world."
"But you did a very good job of figuring it all out. You kept up on Brasso's trail right along with us because you knew how to read the scene and ask all the right questions. You've got a system. Our system for the past ten years has been to pull something out of our asses at five to the apocalypse, and so far it's managed to work. But it really would be nice to get to the dealing with of the bad guy at, I don't know, quarter to the apocalypse for a change. Believe it or not, you're exactly the kind of field research expert we so desperately need."
"Okay folks, now it's time to take what we've gone over in the classroom and use it in the field," Kay said as she looked over the half dozen Slayers in the basement, part of a larger group in Cleveland for training that summer. "First thing to do?"
"Is the scene safe?" Audrey said.
"Right. Do your best to make sure that whatever killed our victim has left the scene. We don't need you to become a statistic as well. Second thing?"
"Figure out how not to contaminate the evidence," Ulrike said.
"Very good. Now did everyone remember their gloves?" Kay asked. The answer came as the girls dug through pockets and bags and put them on their hands. "Ideally, they'd go on before you started leaving fingerprints on the doorknob, but for this exercise, now's gonna work."
"So we're just supposed to keep a pair of them in our purse? Doesn't that look kinda weird when they're digging through my purse at airport security?" Audrey said.
"Not nearly as weird as it would have seemed back in the day. If anyone ever asks about them, say you've got them in case you're ever giving someone that's bleeding all over the place first aid. Everyone knows about that precaution these days," Kay said. "Now we've got a secure site, and we're being careful with the evidence. What happens next?"
"Take pictures of everything just like it is now if we've got a camera or a cell with a camera."
"And make sure you get multiple angles," Kay said as the Slayers began to click away at the scene. She wasn't entirely comfortable with the girls having those kinds of pictures on them if they ever got searched by police, but Willow and Andrew's group was supposed to be working on a way to spell the cameras so that they would only reveal their most interesting pictures to the right people.
"We start to look around and try to figure out what happened." Kim said.
"Now tell me what you see here," Kay said. "Starting with Ulrike, everyone tells me one thing about the scene that might be important, and we keep going until no one sees anything else."
"I saw no signs of ritual magic when I was checking the scene for safety."
"There's a lot of blood on the ground, so our victim was probably killed here."
"Forced entry, so that means it wasn't a vampire that killed him."
"Unless it was a vampire that already had permission to enter the house."
"Good point, Kim. So we can't take that possibility off the take just yet," Kay said.
"Looks like the victim tried to fight back, so the killer wasn't something that put one of those mind control whammies on people so they'd go smiling to their death."
"A couple of wounds on the back. They look like bite marks to me instead of knife or claw wounds."
"Yeah. Look at the way he tried to pull free from the bite and the killer took out a chunk of flesh that way."
"Can we roll him now, Detective Howard?"
"Sure, go ahead, and then tell me what you see."
"Victim has had his throat clawed out." Kim began after they rolled the body over. "I'm saying claws this time because the wound is more of a left to right cut instead of a bitey pattern."
"Some more wounds on the torso, but none of them deep enough to make it seem like the killer was into harvesting the organs."
"Face is intact, including the eyes, ears, and ewwww, the tongue." Audrey said, making a face as she carefully poked a finger into the victim's mouth. "Victim's still even a little bit slobbery."
Kay carefully walked them through the rest of the scene assessment, glad to see how seriously they were all taking the exercise. They were making good observations, and asking all the right questions. She just hoped they did as well when they were in the field solo, or in a group of two or three and didn't have so many other people to bounce ideas off of.
"And since we're in a neighborhood with a moderate population density to it, and there were signs of struggle, there's a pretty good chance someone called the police. So if you do find yourself in similar circumstances in the field, get in, get a look around, and get out of there before the police come. You really don't want to end up a murder suspect in a homicide investigation, eh?"
"We'll be careful, Detective," Kim promised.
"Thanks for being our victim today, Clem," she said as the demon on the floor stretched out his arms and legs before carefully standing up.
"Glad I could help, Sarge. Though I've got to say that the stuff you're using for fake blood for the scene starts to get a little itchy when it begins to dry out. Something in it just doesn't react right with my skin."
"I'll have Andrew see if he can come up with something better for you for next time."
"Appreciate that," Clem said as he headed up the stairs, presumably to clean himself up.
"As for the rest of you, you're off for lunch until 1:15pm when you need to be back upstairs for class. We'll be working on interrogation for the afternoon, and then Faith is going to be taking you on a field trip out into a couple local cemeteries tonight so you can work on your patrolling skills.
The girls began to stomp their way out of the basement that was one of a cluster of homes owned by the Watchers' Council in a quiet neighborhood of Cleveland. Kay lived three houses down from there in a house that was easily twice the size of her old townhouse in Canton. She glanced down at her watch, calculated the time differences, and figured Giles would still be up right now, and that she could get in a call to him before the young Slayers made it back for the afternoon workshop classes.
"Look, you don't have to make a decision right now. It would be a big change in your life, and you don't seem like the type of person to make that jump on a whim. But at least take my business card and think it over. I get the feeling I would end up hearing from you again."
"And what makes you think I would do that, Mr. Harris?"
"Because in the end you're going to be too curious not to see what else is out there."
"Hey Dawn!" Kay said as the other person involved in the videoconference became clearer on the computer screen. "So how'd you get stuck on the London night duty desk again?"
"I dug out the one photo album we had left from Sunnydale and showed Buffy's date some of the pictures from when we were kids."
"That doesn't sound like so bad a crime."
"And you'd know your crimes. The problem was that one of the pictures in question involved Buffy running around the backyard wearing only her Wonder Woman Underoos. For some reason, she got really cranky at that and used it as an excuse to stick me with duty desk for the next month. Never mind that I want to have a life and date and stuff too."
"You know, that's an example of why it's almost always a bad idea to end up being a part of the family business," Kay said, not managing to hold back a laugh at the Summers girls' expense.
"If it was any other business, believe me I would, but they keep telling me about how hard it is to find someone else who speaks Icelandic, Estonian, and Farsi."
"Then go tell them their Farsi expert needs a chance to go clubbing once in a while."
"That's the plan for the weekend. In the mean time, I'm sending you some photos from an incident in New York City yesterday. We're still working on narrowing down just what kind of being and/or weapon caused the death, and I thought I'd ask you for feedback."
"You know I'm not that kind of tech."
"Yeah, and Xander is allegedly working on recruiting one for us right now. He's got someone in Miami and someone in Las Vegas he's going to approach next week. In the mean time, you've still got a better eye for those things than most people at WCI."
"Okay, let me have a look then," she said.
"I'm copying them over to the M: drive on the WCI server right now so you can have a look at them."
"Okay, I'm looking at the folder there right now. From the angle of the marks on the wall and on the victim, it looks like our perp was significantly shorter than the victim..." Kay started as she began to go over the pictures Dawn had sent. As she began to look over the pictures of New York City, a part of her brain started to think of the possibilities of a road trip out in that direction, if only to figure out a way for Faith to torture the Munchkin.
And no plans to continue in the SVU universe. I've only managed to make it through a half episode of that show before my bizarre hatred of Mariska Hartingay kicked in.