Chapter 44: New Bondings
Chapter 44: New Bondings
A/N: Chapter title is not meant to be sexual in any way, I promise.
Warning: sort of a darkish, foreboding twist at the end of the chapter.
Challenge: #4472 ‘Bunny is my what?’
Thanks to my betas: not this time. Can’t believe it’s been a whole year since I posted on this story. Sorry, everyone!
Disclaimer: BtVS characters belong to Joss Whedon / Mutant Enemy. NCIS characters belong to Donald Bellisario, Don McGill and CBS Paramount Television. Jack Ryan and his friends belongs to Tom Clancy. I claim no rights to any copyrighted material. Please do not copy or take this story without my permission.Posted In Honor of Christmas!
Buffy was a little surprised to see two vehicles at the road when she and her dad went to meet Tara and Anya. Why would they have brought two? “We brought company!” Tara yelled out, answering the silent question.
“Hey, Wes and Fred,” Buffy greeted them feeling a tad confused at their presence. They didn’t seem agitated – maybe a little nervous, though – so she didn’t think it was another crisis. “The world isn’t ending again, is it?” she asked only a quarter-kidding.
“Whatever it is, it can wait until we get everyone in the cabin,” Gibbs interjected, thinking of Anya and J.R. The young boy could spend time outdoors, but it would be better if he was close to the cabin so he could warm up quickly if he got too cold.
Once they were settled indoors and Jordy was showing J.R. the toys they had, Wes repeated his and Fred’s situation, as well as the invitation to join the separate boys/girls activities planned. “If it’s too much of an imposition, I can get a room at the hotel in town,” he finished timidly. He had never felt terribly comfortable with father figures, and Buffy’s father and grandfather exuded the father figure vibe times four.
Jackson frowned at him and quickly shot down that idea, “Not happening. If Buffy can make do without city comforts, I’m sure you can, too. We’ve taught Jordy to fish, but we still have to tackle trapping and hunting. Do you know how to shoot?”
“Yes,” Wes replied.
“Good!” Jackson said, cutting off anything else the young man might have added. “Then we’ll go to town to get you a hunting license while Jethro helps Jordy set up the traps. You don’t mind staying in the cabin to watch J.R., do you, Oz?”
“No, sir,” Oz answered with a small smile. He was guessing that Jackson didn’t want to give Wes a chance to feel like he didn’t belong, and it was hard to think when you were kept busy.
The ‘menfolk’ said their goodbyes to Buffy and the other ladies, and promised to see them back in DC after the weekend.~~~~~~That evening…
It was too late in the day to do any hunting by the time Jackson and Wes got back, but they had snares set and did a little ice fishing. The boys only managed to stay outdoors in shorter time periods, but it was a very excited Jordy who discovered they caught a couple rabbits in their snares. While Jackson was frying them up, Oz commented, “I’m not sure if Anya would be happy that we’re killing these ‘twitchy-nosed creatures’ or freaked out that we’re eating them.”
“I’ve noticed that rabbits of any kind are banned in your house,” Gibbs commented. “Was kind of wondering about the story behind it.”
Oz shrugged. “I’m not sure if anyone really knows why. Anya refuses to explain it to me. She swears Bugs Bunny is demonic, though.”
After thinking about it for a few seconds, Jackson said, “Normally, I would think that was a figure of speech, but given who said it, it might be literal.”
Wes used the conversation’s opening to tell the others about the evil children’s show which turned Angel into a puppet. It was a testament to how funny the story was when Oz started chuckling out loud.
“Please tell me somebody got pictures of that!” he pleaded.
“And surveillance of Spike fighting with Puppet-Angel,” Wes confirmed with a grin.
With a slightly evil smirk, Oz suggested, “I think that would make an excellent birthday gift for Buffy!”
Wes agreed. “I’ll make her a copy once we get back to the house.”
Knowing that Angel was the one who broke his baby’s heart, Gibbs found it difficult to feel any kind of sympathy for the vampire. Still, his investigator’s gut told him that there were more important issues to worry about at the moment. “Do you have any other important information that we need to know?”
The rest of their time that weekend was spent hunting, fishing and learning about Wolfram & Hart.
The first day at the spa was a lesson in pampering that the girls would never forget…starting with the bellhop and valet service when they drove up. Each of them had their own personal ‘assistant’ to carry their belongings to the suite they were sharing.
Thanks to the pre-stay survey they filled out, they had beds exactly to their liking; from Anya and her ‘cloud’ experience to Fred’s yoga mat setup (which was probably a holdover from her time in Pylea). Then the assistants took care of completely unpacking the bags and setting up the toiletries in separate cubbies for the girls.
They started to feel a little uncomfortable about the extreme level of service – and privately wondering if they’d be allowed to go to the bathroom by themselves – when Tara found the robes they got to wear during their treatments. Her moan of pleasure at the feel of the silk against her skin drew the others’ attention. Buffy bounced in glee at the soft flannel robe she found in her armoire.
“Can we live here?” Tara asked with puppy-ish eyes.
Anya rolled to her side and gazed out over the pillowy comforter. “I’m not sure you’ll be able to get me out of this bed – at least not without a forklift.”
“Don’t y’all think it’s a little strange how attentive they’re being?” Fred asked with a large amount of suspicion in her voice. Her life the past few years made her rather cynical and not as trusting as she once was. “How can each guest have their own assistant?”
“They don’t,” Buffy answered. “When I signed us up, I asked for the princess package. That’s why we had to fill out those surveys. Not sure if they had enough time to get all of Fred’s preferences right since she was last minute.” When the others stared at her, she defended herself, “What? I think we deserve it after the last few months!”
Tara was busy still rubbing the silk against her cheek. “I’m not complaining. If they want to treat me like a princess, then just call me Aurora. You know, the princess from Sleeping Beauty
,” she explained when she drew confused looks from the other girls.
“Can I be Cinderella then?” Fred asked hopefully.
Anya thought about how she went from demon to human again, then fell in love with Xander. It wasn’t exactly the same thing, but it was probably the closest comparison she could think of for the different princesses. “Then I get to be Ariel! Who are you, Buffy?”
“Hmm…I think I’ll be Belle. No! Pocahontas! Well, her or Mulan. They were both kinda kickass chicks for Disney princesses,” Buffy mused aloud.
“I’d go with Pocahontas if I were you since Mulan was a crossdresser,” Anya offered her opinion.
Tara shook her head and answered, “On the other hand, she was the hero of all China and even the Emperor bowed to her.”
That was a pretty persuasive argument, so Buffy decided, “That is pretty cool. Okay, I’ll be Mulan – even though she wasn’t technically a princess-princess.”
So while the men were setting out traps, the women were being exfoliated and massaged. Later when the men were skinning and cleaning the rabbits, the women were getting waxed and tweezed. When the men were getting ready for bed, the women were enjoying a glass of sparkling cider – in deference to pregnant Anya and listening to a CD of relaxing melodies.
“Garcia,” Aaron Hotchner prompted.
“This is a doozy, and by doozy, I mean the stuff of nightmares,” Garcia babbled before clicking on the remote to show a collage of pictures. One was a driver’s license photo that was a year old, the other two were of the mangled corpse of a young woman: one showing her entire body and a second close-up photo of her stomach, which had been cut open.
“State trooper found the body of Julie Stoneking, age 29, when he saw a coyote eating something on the side of the road. He went to investigate and found her. She’s a recent transplant from Southfield, Michigan. Doesn’t have any living family to speak of and works out of her home so she doesn’t have anybody close enough to report her missing,” Garcia reported.
“Why call us in?” Rossi asked. It wasn’t that the case didn’t horrify him, but there had to be more for them to get involved.
Hotch answered, “Trooper Demoss did some detective work and found that over the past two years, eight women fitting Julie’s description have turned up missing or dead. The pattern is a young woman who has recently moved to the area with nobody close enough to report her missing until weeks or months later, and the bodies that have been discovered show another commonality: they were all in their last trimester of pregnancy or had recently given birth…probably while in captivity.”
Morgan frowned at the news. “Why didn’t this come up before?”
“Because the victims lived in three different states and those that were found were also in different areas,” Garcia explained. “Julie went missing during her eighth month of pregnancy and was found a week after her due date. For the other women that were found, that sort of matches their timelines as well.”
“So the unsub grabs them in their last month of pregnancy for some reason and holds them until they deliver?” JJ thought out loud. “Depending on how long he waits between victims, he could be grabbing another woman as we speak.”
“Assuming he doesn’t already have one,” Rossi added darkly.
Hotch took control and said, “This one’s in our backyard, so let’s get him before we lose another mother and child.”
A/N: I know...you hate me right now, don’t you? Not only was this really short, and is there danger on the horizon, but I’ve also left a major cliffhanger. If it makes you feel better, the next chapter is already being worked on.
Additional Disclaimer: Criminal Minds characters belong to Jeff Davis, The Mark Gordon Company and CBS.
Next…You can probably guess, which is why I’m gonna hide in my adamantium closet.