Title: Magic in Numbers
Pairing: Willow Rosenberg/Charlie Eppes
Summary: The FBI is called in when teenaged girls go missing, who just happen to be new slayers.
Disclaimer: I claim no ownership over these characters. I am merely borrowing them from Joss et al. and Scott Free.
Distribution: slayerverseathon, my LJ, my site, TtH, the usual lists, anyone with previous permission. Anyone else - just ask.
Feedback: Yes please! It makes me happy and keeps me writing.
Author's Note 1: Thanks to Angel's Kuupio, Emmy and KallieRose for all of your help and handholding.
Author's Note - BtVS: Okay, so in order to make this story work, I had to play around with storylines a bit since this takes place Post-Chosen, in LA. Basically, Angel didn't take over Wolfram & Hart, he killed Connor and Cordelia died in her coma. The rest comes out in the story.
Author's Note - Numb3rs: Takes place mid-season 2, after 'Mind Games' but before 'All's Fair'.
Don Eppes slipped his sunglasses into the pocket of his blazer as he walked towards the apartment complex. His eyes idly followed the pretty redhead that was coming from the building, heading to her car. He squinted against the mid-day sun, forcing himself to re-focus on the case at hand.
He glanced to his right, noticing that Megan looked just about as excited as he was to have pulled this assignment.
"You ready for this?" he asked her.
"Never am, but that hasn't stopped me yet," she answered, ringing the doorbell of the apartment they'd stopped in front of.
A haggard-looking woman opened the door, brushing a loose piece of hair from her face. "May I help you? This really isn't a good time."
"Mrs. Stewart? My name is Don Eppes, this is Megan Reeves, and we're from the FBI. Could we have a moment of your time?"
"Have you found my daughter?" she asked hopefully.
"Not yet," Megan answered. "We'd like to ask you some questions about her disappearance, though."
"Of course, come in."
They followed her inside the poorly lit apartment. Dust motes floated in a shaft of light peeking through the parted curtains, trying to dispel the gloominess of the room.
"Would you like something to drink?" Mrs. Stewart offered, taking a seat.
"No, thank you," Megan said.
"Ma'am, we just have a few questions regarding Casey's disappearance. Now, according to the police report, you said that Casey didn't come home from school yesterday. Is that correct?"
"Y-yes. She's supposed to take the bus home after cheerleading practice and then start her homework when she gets in."
"Is that the school bus or city bus?" Megan interrupted.
"City bus. Anyway, when I got home from work last night, she wasn't here. I thought that maybe she'd just gone to one of her friends' houses without telling me. She does that sometimes, no matter how often I've asked her not to..."
"I take it none of her friends had seen her?" Don asked.
She shook her head. "Not since school."
"Well, I'm going to need a list of her friends, so that we can talk to them," Don said.
"Can you think of anyone at all who would want to harm her, you or your husband?"
"Ex-husband. And no. We just go about our lives. We're nobody important."
"Have you been contacted at all?" Megan asked. "Have there been any ransom demands?"
"Not yet. Is that bad? That's bad, isn't it? There should have been some kind of demand. Unless she's already dead!"
"Let's not jump to conclusions," Megan said, trying to stave off a panic attack.
Don picked a photograph up from a bookshelf. "Is this Casey?"
A small smile lit up Mrs. Stewart's face. "Yes. That's from the cheerleading semi-finals. They came in second place that night."
"We'll find her," Megan assured her, glancing nervously at Don.~~*~~
"No luck?" Colby asked, taking in the somber faces on Don and Megan.
"Nada," Don confirmed. "Any word from Sinclair?"
"He's still out talking to one of the families," Colby answered.
"That's five girls missing in Los Angeles County in a week," Megan said, looking over the board of victims.
"What is it about these girls?" Colby asked. "There doesn't seem to be any connection between them. They all go to different schools, no two identical after school activities, all different races. Heck, one girl isn't even here legally."
"There's gotta be something we're missing," Don said.
"What's missing?" A new voice asked.
"Hey, Charlie. What're you doing here?" Don asked his brother.
"Oh, nothing. Dad wanted me to see if you were going to be coming by for dinner tonight. Said something about you not eating enough. So what's all this?"
"Missing girls," Megan announced, a touch of sadness in her voice.
"I can see that," Charlie agreed, looking over the information on each of the girls on the board. "Would you like me to take a look at their files? I can run a comparative analysis to see if any patterns appear that you may have missed. Give me what you have on the girls and I'll see what I can link together."
"Yeah? That'd be great," Don said.