Disclaimer: I do not own any of the recognizable characters. I receive no profits from this. It is just for fun.
Archiving: Please ask.
Feedback: Constructive Criticism desired.
Summary: Faith doesn’t join the Mayor.
Archie rubbed his eyes. Looking at hours of traffic cam images, even on fast forward, was putting a real strain on them. Vegas may have more video surveillance than most other cities but there were still areas that were not covered and once the two white guys entered one of those areas he’d lost them. Even back tracking from when Sato and Takei showed back up at the hotel hadn’t produced any other impossible body switch location like had happened in that one alley.
Brass had not been happy to find out that the unknown white guys had appeared at the hotel briefly just before Sato and Takei made their appearance. Pictures of all four males were being circulated to law enforcement agencies throughout the state.
The thing was that every so often Archie would switch to reviewing the hotel footage. For some reason he felt that he was missing something obvious but couldn’t put his finger on why he felt that way.
The Asian man was pulled out of his introspection by a gravelly bellow, “Where’s my fugitive?”
Over in his own office, Jim Brass felt his headache get worse. The Feds had arrived.
It was mid-morning and Cordelia was out doing some retail therapy at the mall.
Although it shouldn’t bother her, since she and Xander had broken up, the fact that he was out gallivanting around the country with his first serious crush stung. True they weren’t together for pleasure but for business, Hellmouth weird business to be sure, but still business. However, that didn’t mean something sexual might not happen between them. She just had to think back on how she and Xander first got together to know how stressful situations and proximity can override common sense.
Therefore she planned on shopping to distract her from the jealousy she was feeling. Not to mention the guilt she felt that Buffy was made to look more like a violent trouble maker at her trial because she allowed the theft of the rocket launcher to be laid at her own feet instead of Cordelia’s.
Despite how mean she usually was to the petite bottled blonde in social situations, Buffy had saved her life more times than she cared to think about. Had Buffy been a guy, Cordelia might even have tried to hook up with ‘him’ instead of Xander. Damsels in distress, in the movies anyway, always ended up with the hero after all. It was only in non-mainstream films that the damsel ended up with the heroine she told herself.
She was just leaving the upscale shoe store, without having purchased anything, when she literally bumped into Marshal Sisko.
“I’m not supposed to talk to you without my lawyer present,” was the first thing Cordelia said when she recognized the woman.
“Marshals are people too, Ms. Chase,” replied Karen. “We’re allowed to shop and do things regular people do.”
“Sorry,” said Cordelia a bit embarrassed at her outburst that kind of accused the older woman of stalking her.
The thing was, Karen had indeed arranged this chance meeting with the young woman. Of all Buffy’s friends and family, she figured Ms. Chase would be the one she could rattle the easiest. And now she had some news that might just do the trick.
“This is just a last minute stop before heading to Vegas where Ms. Summers’ fingerprints have been found at the scene of a vicious murder,” said Karen as conversationally as she could. After all, without her lawyer present, Karen could not legally ask Ms. Chase even for the time. As long as she stuck to non-accusatory declarative statements, any excited utterances made by Ms. Chase could be used to further the investigation.
The stunned look of disbelief on Cordelia’s face was one of the reactions Karen had expected, though she’d hoped for just stunned.
“Of course my leaving town will slow down the investigation into the inconsistencies found in the Army’s report on the stolen rocket launcher. Have to make sure we have an air tight case against Ms. Summers once she’s apprehended and put on trial for that. United States Prosecutors don’t like to try cases based on shoddy evidence where the defense can point the finger at someone else unless they can connect the other person to a possible conspiracy with the main suspect.”
All thoughts of continuing her shopping therapy vanished at Marshal Sisko’s words. It was difficult to keep the panic out of her eyes as she quickly apologized again for bumping into the Marshal and hurried off.
//I’ve got to talk to Giles,// was her only thought.
A lab tech from the day shift double checked the results from the analysis of the foreign object found in the neck wound of the victim from the hotel murder. Given all the screw-ups that had already occurred on that case, she wasn’t taking any chances that her work would be called into question.
She was positive that the small piece of plastic came from the tip of a click pen. Specifically from the area around where the pen point would emerge when using the pen to write with.
Luckily the piece was large enough for her to take a scraping to get the chemical composition of the plastic and thereby maybe pinpoint the manufacturer. That would take time, so she was also putting in a request for a Field CSI to stop by the hotel and check out what types of pens they provided to their guests and pick up some samples for comparison. While those two things were happening, she would check the evidence inventory for the case to see if there were any pens listed that could also be tested. They might get lucky and already have the murder weapon.
//Ri.i.i.ight. And I’ll hit the million dollar jackpot on my first pull on a slot machine at Whiskey Town tonight after work.//
Meanwhile, a fax was being received from Boston P.D. about a runaway that matched the description of the hotel victim. No finger prints or DNA was available for a match but dental records and an actual photo of the girl were included.
Sam’s driver pulled the limo up to the back door of a fairly nondescript but upscale building. He then got out of the car and went to knock on the door.
When the door opened he talked briefly to whoever was on the inside and then returned to the car and opened their door. Taking that as their cue, Buffy and Xander got out and headed over to the still open door after murmuring their thanks to the driver.
Inside the building they were met by an attractive, tall, dark haired woman dressed in tight black velveteen pants, black silk button down blouse that showed a lot of cleavage, and black leather calf high boots.
The room itself appeared to be a storage room.
The woman gave them both deep appraising looks. Almost like she was peering into their souls.
“You need to drop the glamours,” she said. “It’s going to take a while to cleanse you so the sooner you stop using them the better.”
A few moments later, Buffy and Xander stood before the woman in their normal appearance.
“Now that that’s over, we can be properly introduced,” she stated. “My name is Ms. Kessler. And you are?”
“I’m Buffy Summers and this is my friend Xander Harris. Actually his first name is Alexander but he goes by Xander,” Buffy semi babbled a bit awed by the woman’s commanding presence.
For his part Xander tried not to stare at the woman.
“You’re Buffy Summers,” the woman stated with a touch of surprise. “From the stories I’ve heard I expected someone taller and maybe a bit more butch.”
Buffy pouted and said, “They always say that when they meet me. At least the taller part. No one’s ever mentioned the butch part before, which I totally resent. Not that there’s anything wrong with those that are but I don’t swing that way.”
“If you say so,” smirked Kessler.
Before either Buffy or Xander could say anything else, the woman continued, “Luckily, it’s early in the day and I was able to shuffle things around so the room that contains my cleansing circle is free right now so please follow me.”
The woman turned and strode away without even looking to see if they’d follow. Which they did.
Again, Xander tried not to stare at the woman’s backside. However drool was beginning to form and he had to discretely swallow to keep both Buffy and Ms. Kessler from noticing.
They exited the store room and were now in a very elegant foyer with expensive looking furnishings. They followed the woman over to a grand looking stairway and then up two flights. There were a lot of doors along the halls they traversed which made the two Sunnydalers think they were in some kind of hotel or boarding house. As they neared the end of the hallway they passed a door that was open and after glancing in stopped dead in their tracks.
There were several old time stocks in the room. Some where you had to stand and some where you sat down. One wall had a collection of whips and canes on it.
Ms. Kessler looked on her two guests with amusement.
“Obviously Sam neglected to tell you about my regular business,” she finally said which snapped them out of their gawking into the room. “I run a fetish club. Welcome to Lady Heather’s.”
Neither eighteen year old could think of anything to say so just started walking towards where Ms. Kessler was standing next to another open doorway. To say they were both a little leery entering the room would be an understatement.
Both breathed a mental sigh of relief when it turned out to be an ordinary looking room. Of course there was a six foot diameter circle painted on the floor with various arcane looking characters both inside and outside the circle.
“From what I can tell from your auras, this is going to take some time so you need to use the bathroom over there before we begin,” she said pointing to a door off to the side of the room.
Buffy went first and Xander followed once she was done.
“Now, once you’ve entered the circle, you’re going to be sitting there for at least eight hours,” she instructed. “You are to sit Indian style with your knees touching each other, holding hands, and leaning forward to press your foreheads together. You are not to talk either. Do you understand?”
Not really looking happy about being posed like that for eight hours but feeling like they had no choice the both replied, “Yes.”
“Alright then, strip.”