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Another Piece of the Puzzle

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Summary: When he'd opened his door, this wasn't what he'd been expecting.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Television > DollhouseIceBlueRoseFR71795071,43112 Apr 0912 Apr 09Yes
Spoilers: Buffy - none really, though we'll go with through Chosen. Dollhouse - through 1x09, A Spy in the House of Love.
Warnings: AU
Disclaimer: I don't own anything associated with Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Dollhouse. They both belong to Joss Whedon.
Notes: Written for Taming the Muse on LiveJournal (prompt: flummox). Though I didn't use the prompt in the story exactly, I used more the definition in there. And hopefully this isn't horribly OOC since it's my first time writing anything Dollhouse related. Here's hoping, right?

“Who are you?” Paul stared at the small blonde in front of him and couldn’t help but wonder if the spy inside the Dollhouse had managed to get another message to him.

“I’m here to help you, Agent Ballard.”

He eyed her, unsure of what to expect. “You’re a little behind,” he told her instead of responding.

“Not really. I know what happened to you, just not the details behind it.” She tilted her head. “Are you going to let me in or are we having this conversation out in the hall?”

For a moment, Paul seriously considered telling her that they’d keep it in the hall. Until he lifted his eyes and saw Mellie’s door. Mellie, who was really November, who couldn’t know anything about what he was doing to try and find the Dollhouse unless he wanted it to get back to them.

He let out a breath and stepped to the side, pulling the door open further. “Come in.”

The woman raised an eyebrow as she walked passed him into his apartment. “You should probably watch who you say that to,” she said.

Ignoring what she had said, he shut the door and then turned to her. “Before we go any further, how about a name?”

“That’s fair. My name’s Buffy Summers.” She shook his hand with a surprisingly strong grip and he nodded.

“Ms. Summers.”

“Buffy,” she told him. “Trust me, with everything going on, you can definitely call me by my first name.”

“Okay, Buffy then.” Paul walked around her, making sure to keep an eye on her as he did. “What could you possibly help me with?”

Buffy stared at him for a few moments and then took a deep breath as if she were bracing herself. “The Dollhouse,” she said, keeping her eyes on his.

Immediately, Paul moved forward, fighting the urge to reach out and grab her shoulders. “Excuse me? What the hell do you know about the Dollhouse?” he demanded.

“Not much. I know that you’re looking for it and I know that you’ve basically lost your job over it. I know that much because the FBI files are kind of ridiculously easy to hack into. Well, for a friend of mine they are.” Buffy shook her head. “Off topic though. The point is, me and my friends can help you.”

Paul shook his head in confusion. “Why would you even want to? How do you know about any of this at all?”

Buffy seemed to hesitate once more before she reached into her purse, ignoring the way Paul tensed at the movement, before pulling out a picture. Silently, she held it out.

Slowly, he took the picture from her, only intending to give it a quick glance before demanding answers. One look at the picture had him staring in shock.

“Caroline,” he said, letting out a breath.

“No, that’s Faith.” Buffy waited until he was looking up at her before continuing. “Caroline’s twin sister.”

Paul looked from the picture in his hand to the various notes and pictures on his wall, which included Caroline, and back to the picture in his hand, noticing all the differences between the two girls. “A twin sister.”

“Faith ran away from home when she was a teenager, which is when I met her. She decided to look up her sister and found out she’d disappeared a couple years ago.” Buffy looked down at the picture. “We’ve been trying to find her and when we saw a news clip about a cult, Faith saw her sister. A little bit of hacking led us to you and the Dollhouse.”

“Where’s Faith now?”

“Waiting to find out if you’ll work with us. We figured it’d be better if I came to ask since Faith might try to threaten you into it rather than just laying all the cards on the table, so to speak.” She smiled slightly at the thought and Paul had to wonder what kind of person Faith was, if she was anything like Caroline.

Not that he knew what Caroline was really like, aside from a few glimpses he’d gotten of a girl who wanted to do everything.

He stared hard at the woman in front of him, searching for any sign that this wasn’t real or could be a trick of some sort. She held his gaze steadily, waiting for him to come to a decision.

After a few minutes, he nodded.

“Okay. How is this going to work?”

Buffy smiled.

The End

You have reached the end of "Another Piece of the Puzzle". This story is complete.

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