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.
AN: Thoughts are between slashes (//Thought.//)
Her head hurt. That was the first thing she became aware of. In fact, as awareness returned she decided that her head hurt a lot. She was fairly certain her head hadn’t hurt this much since the day after she had drunk those six football players under the table back in college.
//College. That was a while ago. What about now? When was it now? And why did her head hurt?//
Concentrating on ignoring the pain in her head so she could pull her thoughts together and get a better understanding of her current situation, she slowly replayed her life since college.
//Graduation with honors. Check.//
//U.S. Marshall training. Check.//
//Field work. Check.//
//Foley. Uuuummmmmmmmmm yeah. Definite check.//
//Prisoner transfer with Gerard. Fuzziness begins.//
//Wake with headache while lying on my back on a cloth covered couch. No?! Not a couch. Contours are all wrong. Car seat? Wait! How do I know it’s cloth?//
Eyes suddenly fly wide open and then close again even faster.
//I did not see that! I did not see that! I did not need to see that!//
While trying to cope with her inner turmoil, her right hand tries to move to her face but is brought up way short just after starting to move. She lets out a startled yelp but also hears a groan of with a deep pitch to it.
Deliberately turning her head in a different direction from where it was looking before, she confirms her current state of undress is similar to that of the other occupant of the car. The other occupant being male and cuffed to her right wrist. The other occupant who is obviously regaining consciousness as well.
As she first tries to turn to the left, then to the right, she realizes that not only are both positions going to be uncomfortable, physically, they put her backside on prominent display to her awakening partner. Finally she flips herself so that instead of being head to toe with him, they are head to head with her lying prone on the seat and keeping her eyes directed strictly at his face. A face that has its eyes very much open and looks less than happy.
“Are you done?”
Knowing that her entire body now had a rosy glow not wholly associated with her previous exertions, she replies meekly, “Yeah.”
“You didn’t happen to notice the keys or anything else that we might use to get these off?” he asked as he raised their cuffed together arms.
Trying to get her embarrassment under control, she said, “Not really.”
“Well then,” he said matter-of-factly. “I’d say we try and locate them, or some other means of getting these off.”
“Actually,” she said. “I believe that before we can look for a way out of the cuffs, we’re going to need a way out of the back seat here since I don’t think those responsible for our predicament would have just left them lying around here with us for us to find.”
“Probably true, but since the windows are electric, the doors only open from the outside and there are screens between the front and back seats as well as between the back seat and trunk, it won’t hurt to see if they were careless.”
She nodded her head but didn’t move.
“I don’t feel anything on the seat here with me,” she responded. “Anything on the floor with you?”
He sat up and looked on the floor behind him. He then scooted back so he could see the area where his legs had been.
“No!” he said with a heavy frustrated sigh. “Do you think you could slip your arm through the opening over the window and reach the door handle outside?”
She looked at the slightly opened window in the door she was facing and then turned her head to look at the other door.
“I could try but I don’t think I could get enough of my arm through,” she said.
Having said that, she took a couple of deep breaths before getting to her knees and moving to press herself against the door he was sitting with his back against. She noticed that he was polite enough to turn his head opposite from where she was.
As she had surmised, she couldn’t get her elbow through the gap.
“I can’t do it,” she said as she pulled her arm back inside. “We’re either going to have to get the door panel off to access the lock or lower the window, or kick out the window.”
“I vote trying to kick out the window first,” said Gerard. “The door panels normally have a metal sheet over the mechanisms to prevent suspects from doing what we would need to do.”
“We’ll need to get back-to-back so the kicker can have someone to brace against,” he continued.
She just nodded.
They fumbled around a bit trying to figure out how to accomplish the needed position. They ended up with her having her right arm behind her back because she didn’t feel comfortable with his there.
Gerard tried first, but after four tries and no hint of success it was Karen’s turn. After her second unsuccessful try her frustration at the situation reached its limit and she focused that into one very mighty blow that shattered the window.
Although she couldn’t see it, Gerard arched an eyebrow and mentally resolved not to tick the petite Marshall off if he could help it.
“Now what?” she asked.
He took a second to think about their situation. They were now free to leave the car but would have to break another window in order to be able to hot-wire it and drive anywhere. They were still naked and handcuffed together. Showing up that way anywhere was definitely not in either of their best interests.
“Let’s see if we can get into the trunk and find someway to at least get these cuffs off,” he finally said.
They opened the door and got out. As they got near the trunk they saw the motorcycle leaning against the tree providing them shade. It stirred some flashes of memory in both of them but nothing definitive.
They found a rock and used it to punch out the trunk lock. It only took fifteen minutes. They were quite surprised to see their clothes, the cuff and car keys, and the radio mike.
Gerard grabbed his clothes, the car keys, and the mike after undoing his side of the cuffs. He then returned to the front of the car and unlocked it. He hooked up the radio mike and called in the report of an escaped prisoner while he got dressed. He still only had his pants on when Karen came forward fully dressed.
“Do you remember what happened?” she asked him.
“No. The last thing I remember is picking up the prisoner at the jail,” he replied.
“I have a small puncture wound on my arm that suggests the possibility of our having been drugged, but no clue on how or when it occurred,” she said as she showed him the spot.
Gerard checked his arms and found a similar spot.
“OK,” he huffed. “Other than the window you broke, the car appears to be in perfect working order. There is no other damage to indicate we collided with anything. Therefore, something or someone caused us to stop. The motorcycle has a blown front tire and is scraped up as though from sliding on the pavement. That would seem to indicate a staged accident. But while that would have caused us to stop, we should have called it in immediately and since the radio still works as well, emergency services and the police should have been here long before now. So what could make us stop and not call someone?”
“I don’t know,” said Karen with a grumble. She didn’t like it that her memory had been messed with.
“Whatever happened, it’s obvious that Summers went willingly with whoever pulled this off,” she continued. “I see no signs of any struggle, so unless she was knocked out as well, she probably knew her rescuers. That plus the fact that we were stripped and our stuff was neatly placed in the trunk indicates that they knew they had plenty of time to do what they did with us.”
“It’s going to get dark soon,” said Gerard looking at the sky. “Go check the street for any clues that might be out there so we can point forensics in the right direction once they get here and not have them stumble around half the night.”
“I doubt the locals have the staff to do much beyond taking fingerprints and photos,” she said as she walked towards the street. Especially if there has been any traffic through here after us.”
“Well, the shape the bike is in tells me we’re close to where whatever happened happened.”
As she walked away she heard him mutter frustratedly, “Catherine is never going to let me hear the end of this.”
As it turned out, even when the Federal forensics team showed up with Deputy Marshall Cosmo Renfro and the rest of his crew three hours later, there was very little to explain what had happened. There was definite evidence of an accident with the motorcycle, which turned out to be stolen, but not why Gerard had slammed on the brakes, causing their car to skid, let alone why they were on that particular street in the first place.
Unless they recovered their memories or they captured the fugitive and were told what happened, the events of the escape were going to remain a mystery.
Despite wanting to be after the fugitive right-away, both Gerard and Sisco spent the next 24 hours being tested for the drugs they’d been injected with and ensuring that there were no permanent or detrimental effects. Gerard would have checked himself out of the hospital after they took blood samples but Cosmo had relayed orders from their boss that if Gerard left before the 24 hours was up that she’d confine him to an office on Attu.
Gerard settled for getting hourly updated from Renfro, as his team checked out all of Buffy’s family and know associates.
Karen spent her time accessing more records on Buffy to ascertain who she might know that would have the training to pull off the rescue as well as where she might head for assistance.
While Buffy and Xander entered the sewers, Giles was in his office in the Library, when a glow from the picture frame on his desk caught his eye. It only lasted a moment but when it faded there was a slight smile on his face.
“Well done,” he said softly. “Well done, indeed.”
He put away the busy work he’d been doing to distract himself and left to make the rounds of the group and explain what was going on so they wouldn’t inadvertently do something to lose the protection of Maahes’ Curse. Xander and Buffy would only be able to do what they needed to do if they were assured their ‘family’ was safe.
His big concern was Joyce’s reaction to learning why Xander had to rescue Buffy. He hoped Wesley steered clear of her as Buffy would be quite upset if she learned her mother had to stand trial for whatever she would do to the git.
//Maybe I can convince her to wait till she can deal with Travers since he’s the real force behind the decision,// he opined.
Besides, allowing her to possibly sacrificing herself to deal with a pawn was something he would not allow.
AN 1: Chief Deputy Marshall Samuel Gerard is the Tommy Lee Jones version from the movies “The Fugitive” and “U.S. Marshalls” (I do not own this character).
AN 2: Deputy Marshall Karen Sisco is the Jennifer Lopez character from the movie “Out of Sight” (I only dream that I own the rights to her). Jack Foley is from the same movie.
AN 3: United States Marshall Catherine Walsh is from the movie “U.S. Marshalls” (I also do not own this character either).
AN 4: Deputy Marshall Cosmo Renfro from the movie “U.S. Marshalls” (I do not own this character).