Into the Lion's Den
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.
At the quizzical looks from Catherine and Nick, Brass said, “Just a comment Mr. Sato made when I asked if he was armed after revealing that he was Mr. Takei’s security. He apparently doesn’t like guns.”
The ride to the crime lab wasn’t very long but being locked in the backseat of a police car, even if they weren’t handcuffed, had both Xander/Takei and Buffy/Sato on edge. They were very relieved once the officer let them out at their destination.
They had just finished filling out the information needed to obtain Visitor Badges when Nick and Catherine arrived with their luggage and the other evidence they’d collected from the crime scene.
Xander/Takei approached them and said, “Miss Willows, would it be possible to observe the processing of the contents of our luggage? I would like as much information as possible about whether anything is missing to provide to my employer before I make contact and thus be more likely to be able to gain permission to comply with Detective Brass’ request for my employer’s name and contact information.”
Catherine was about to turn down the request as it was definitely not procedure, but finding out if something was missing or not from the suitcases early on in the investigation would be helpful to the investigation. Plus she and Nick could gage their reactions to what was and possibly wasn’t found to see if Brass’ instincts about the two men were correct. It wasn’t like the lab they’d be in would leave her and Nick alone with the two men.
“Ok,” said Catherine, much to Nick’s surprise. “You’ll have to keep away from the table as we look through the bags and leave the room if we tell you to.”
“Thank you,” said Mr. Takei. “We’ll have no problem following your instructions as we wish to be of help as best we can in solving this horrendous crime.”
“Follow us then,” said Catherine and led them to the elevator.
If anyone had bothered to pay attention, they would have noted that the elevator went down instead of up.
Catherine and Nick stood to the left side of the elevator near the control panel with the evidence cart next to the wall to their side. Xander/Takei and Buffy/Sato took up positions on the opposite side with Xander/Takei towards the front and Buffy/Sato behind him. Catherine had already pushed the button for the lab floor.
As soon as the doors finished closing, Xander/Takei quietly said, “Obscuro repetto.”
Before either Catherine or Nick could question the odd outburst, Buffy/Sato had planted a fist in both their abdomens and followed up with chops to their necks when they doubled over. Meanwhile, Xander/Takei moved to the control panel and said, “Reverso,” while drawing some sigils in the air.
The elevator went down instead of up.
“Can you tell if anyone is outside the doors before they open?” he asked.
“I’ll try but you’ll have to keep quiet,” she replied as she moved towards the door and put her ear to the door.
The elevator slowed as it approached the lowest floor in the building. The control panel labeled it as ‘MORGUE’.
“Clear,’ she said just before the door opened.
He grabbed the evidence dolly and let her pull the two CSIs from the elevator car.
“Now what?” she asked.
“We need to secure them someplace and then get just the stuff we need from the bags and leave,” he said.
At her puzzled look, he added, “They’re trying to solve a murder and they need the bags for their investigation. You heard them, the bags have blood on them. We have to minimize any impact to their case if we can. Besides, I’m not interested in carrying a bloody suitcase around with me.”
“So just weapons, spell components, and maybe a change of clothes?” she asked.
“Yeah, but casual, not the suits,” he said. “Also, the key cards and fingerprint cards with our prints on them. Can’t have them knowing for certain who Takei and Sato really are. I just hope this doesn’t louse up their case too much.”
“I’m worried that this isn’t a coincidence,” she said as they continued down the hall to the morgue itself.
“I know,” he replied as he halted outside the doors to the morgue.
“Anyone home?” he asked tilting his head towards her.
She cocked her head and frowned.
“Yes,” she replied. “But just one heartbeat on the far side of the room. Best let me go in alone so I can get closer.”
“Hurry,” he said. “This is not exactly a concealable location and the ‘Notice me not’ spell takes 5 minutes to complete.”
Buffy/Sato nodded and entered the morgue.
She noticed an elderly man with a cane standing next to a metal table near the back wall that contained a bunch of mini-fridge doors. He was dictating into a hand-held recorder. She managed to bet within 10 feet of him before he noticed her.
“Can I help you,” he asked calmly but she could see he was startled by her presence.
Although she could probably reach him and incapacitate him before he could raise an alarm, she really didn’t want to inflict the more severe injuries that might entail to an old man. She needed to be closer to him.
“Yes, Miss Willows was showing me around when she suddenly collapsed outside here.”
The man stiffened and started towards her, leaning heavily on his cane.
“Then why didn’t you say something when you came in?” he asked in anger.
By this time he was right next to her and before he could say anything else, she delivered a precise blow to his forehead and knocked him out. She caught him and let him down as gently as possible.
Running back to the doors, she opened them to let Xander/Takei and the evidence cart in. He then held the doors open for her to drag Nick and Catherine in.
“Grab that box of disposable gloves on the counter,” he instructed in a hushed tone. “Wipe down it and anything you’ve touched after putting on a pair. We’ll have to leave the bags alone so we don’t damage any prints the killer might have left. As long as they don’t have any prints they can prove are ours they shouldn’t link Takei and Sato to what they do find.”
Neither of them wanted to think about what finding Buffy’s prints at a murder scene would mean to them or the investigation. They just couldn’t let a positive association to be made between their aliases and their true identities or the Council would get wind of it and be more actively looking for magical residue from the spells they needed to use.
“What are we to do with these three?” she asked also using a hushed tone. “I’d like to get a good head start before someone finds them.”
“Find empty lockers and put them inside. They can’t all be full.”
“I don’t know about that,” she said nervously, still using a quiet voice. “That’s too much like being buried alive.”
Her words reminded him of the nightmare world where their worst fears came true and what hers was.
“Damage the locks so they’ll look closed to anyone just peeking in but can be easily opened if they wake up before anyone else finds them,” he whispered.
She said nervously, “OK.”
“Before you put Catherine or the other guy away, get her blouse and his shirt plus their ID badges. We’re going to need them to help with the glamours we’ll need to use to get out of the building since I doubt Takei and Sato will be allowed to just waltz out the front door. Or even the back door. And I definitely don’t want Jack or Dan showing up on any surveillance video they have here.”
Using a pair of the disposable gloves, he located the evidence bags with their hotel key cards and the cards with their elimination prints on them. He then got the suitcases out and began removing their weapons and magic supplies. He also took out two changes of underwear and a set of casual clothes for each of them. Next he checked the clear plastic evidence bags to see if they contained anything they wouldn’t want the police to have. He debated with himself about checking the brown paper evidence bags but knew if he broke the seal and there was something crucial to the case it would get tossed out because it couldn’t be proved it hadn’t been tampered with. Hell, just by touching the stuff, they might be damaging the evidence as far as it being able to be used in court since the chain had been broken by rendering Catherine and the guy unconscious.
He resolved to follow up on the case once things with Buffy and Faith were settled to ensure the guy was caught and tried and didn’t get off because of what they were doing.
By this time Buffy/Sato had finished getting the three slumbering people into the body lockers and ensured there was no way they could be locked inside even accidentally. She’d also left them open slightly, though you’d have to be right next to them to tell, as she wasn’t sure they weren’t airtight and didn’t want them to suffocate.
Xander/Takei was putting their stuff into Catherine’s and Nick’s kits after having removed what was inside to begin with.
Once that was done they both donned shirts Buffy/Sato had taken and put them on over their clothes. A few mumbled words and they now resembled Catherine and Nick.
“Don’t talk to anyone as this is visual only,” Xander/Nick said. “Also don’t run but do walk swiftly when we get to the main floor.”
Buffy/Catherine nodded, thankful that the real Catherine had been wearing pants instead of a skirt.
They carefully checked the corridor outside the morgue before returning to the elevator. Every nerve in both their bodies was on high alert and they had to will their muscles to relax so they could move.
Waiting for the elevator and the subsequent ride up to the main floor seemed an eternity. The thirty foot walk to the entrance was even further in their minds.
Just as they finally reach the door a voice rings out, “Hey Catherine. Grissom wants a rush on those samples from the hotel murder. Where they at?”
Buffy/Catherine stopped in mid stride, as did Xander/Nick.
After a couple seconds of silence, Buffy/Catherine coughed then cleared her throat before saying with a gravely voice, “Be back in a sec.”
She and Xander/Nick then continued out the door, leaving a slightly perplexed Greg Sanders standing near the elevators.
Shrugging his shoulders, he went back up to his lab to await the evidence.