Chapter 45: New Danger
Chapter 45: New Danger
A/N: This chapter went longer than expected so I decided to stop at another cliff-ish place. Thanks to fakenamegenerator.com for the OCs mentioned in the last chapter and this one.
Warning: I don’t know; maybe language and innuendo somewhere along the way.
Challenge: #4472 ‘Bunny is my what?’
Thanks to my betas: zigpal and AshDawnSoulmates.
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 belong to Tom Clancy. Criminal Minds characters belong to Jeff Davis, The Mark Gordon Company and CBS. I claim no rights to any copyrighted material. Please do not copy or take this story without my permission.Posted In Honor it being far too long!
“What else have you learned about our victims, Garcia?” Hotch asked over the speakerphone. The team split up to go to the states they had for previous victims. Morgan and Reid went to Virginia, JJ and Rossi were in Maryland, and he was in Baltimore with Blake.
“The edited number of possible victims has dropped to seven, which makes all of them Caucasian now. The one anomaly was an African-American woman who apparently sold her baby, then went to Vegas to become a showgirl. Other than that there doesn’t seem to be any connection between them all. Victims Two and Five both belonged to a Mommies-To-Be Support Group, but not the same one. Three and Seven both shopped exclusively at organic markets, but in different states. Four and Seven loved to bike, but never the same trails. I checked their OB-GYNs and they’re all different; not even at the same clinics/hospitals.”~~~~~~Virginia
½ hour later…
Morgan just hung up with Garcia, who confirmed that all the women were first-time pregnancies. Reid had asked the question when he noticed both of the Virginia victims didn’t have any other children.
“According to a Swiss study, first labors require an average of 135 contractions and subsequent labors, 68,” Reid spouted off a seemingly out-of-the-blue fact.
“And…” Morgan drawled. “What does that have to do with what we’re looking for?”
“There may be a reason why the unsub is taking women who are pregnant for the first time,” Reid explained. “If the women have to be left alone for any period of time – say for a normal work day – the unsub would want to ensure that even if they went into labor, he would still be there in time for the delivery. Either to make sure it went smoothly or…” he trailed off, sickened by the other possibility he could come up with. Normally, he could remove himself emotionally from cases, but this particular possibility unnerved him. He couldn’t even form the words in his mind.
Fortunately, Morgan could imagine several possibilities, each worse than the last, so he didn’t ask Reid to finish his comment.~~~~~~Maryland
Later that afternoon…
The team got their first big break by coincidence when Rossi noticed a messenger service pick up some tapes addressed to a medical transcriptionist. He called Garcia to ask if there was any overlap for the OB-GYNs and who they used for that service; turned out that all seven doctors used the same transcriptionist service.
Unfortunately, for the sake of anonymity, the tapes went from the service to a P.O. box with just a license number instead of a name. As the doctor in that office explained, if there was a name listed, then the transcriptionist could be targeted to get information about a patient. He assured them that this service only hired people who passed background checks and psych evaluations.
Fort Hunt Park, VA
It started at the spa as they were packing up. Buffy had already left to fly to England for her evaluation, which left Fred and Tara to comfort Anya when she started cramping. After a quick discussion - including a phone call to her doctor - they decided it was better to drive back to the city…as long as the pains didn’t get any worse.
Three hours later, Anya was at the clinic for an urgent care checkup. The doctor noticed her blood pressure was elevated, but not dangerously so. Still, given Anya’s stress level the last few months, they do a twice a week appointments instead of the normal once a week already planned.~~~~~~Meanwhile…
“How are you feeling, Buffy?” the head of the coven, Madame Ella Horton, asked. She was part counselor/part nurse. It was mainly up to her to decide whether Buffy was fit for duty again or not.
“I feel a little stronger than before the spell to save Fred, but nothing like when we did the enjoining spell during my freshman year at college. The biggest issue is that when I took a hit to protect Jordy from a tree branch, my hair was tinted purple and my clothes turned into silver armor. I mean, it’s cool and all, but it’d be a little embarrassing for that to happen in public around people who don’t know about magick,” Buffy admitted.
Madame Horton thought for a moment, then asked, “Can you change on command?”
“I don’t know; haven’t tried,” Buffy confessed. She tried several times, but couldn’t get it to happen until one of Madame’s apprentices threw a large stone at her. Fortunately, she was warned ahead of time, so she didn’t retaliate against the young woman.
“I think we may be able to create an illusion bracelet.” Madame Horton paused for a moment, then warned, “It will draw power from you, so you may feel a little weaker when it activates, but it will ensure that anyone who hasn’t seen you in your altered form will only see your normal appearance.”
“Like how weak are we talking about? Would I go back to non-Slayer levels or just feeling a little tired?” Buffy demanded. If it would take all her strength, they’d have to come up with another idea, because if the armor activated, there would be a fairly big reason for that and she wouldn’t want to become a liability at a crucial moment.
“More the latter,” Madame Horton assured her. “If you’d like to experience in a safe setting, we can activate it here so you can feel the difference.”
A few days later…
Tara and Anya were leaving the doctor’s office, happy that the baby was still healthy and showed no signs of making an early appearance. They were just passing a van when Tara was struck down from behind. Anya barely had time to grab her emergency beacon bracelet, but sadly didn’t have enough time to activate it before the injection she was given knocked her out.~~~~~~BAU
Four hours later…
“We have another abduction in Virginia,” Garcia announced to the team. “This is Anya Harris, age 24. She just moved back to the States after her husband, Alexander Harris, died in England a few months ago. Here’s where it gets weird. She lives with Buffy Summers and Daniel Osbourne, both of whom graduated high school with both Harrises. Another oddity is that this is her second child.”
Morgan was the first to state the obvious, “So the unsub is changing their MO.”
“They might have a perceived timeline and are desperate to meet it, even if it means changing their victimology,” Rossi pointed out.
Having read Anya and Buffy’s bios before the meeting, Hotch knew they had a fairly major complication to deal with that the team needed to know about right away. “Well, it’s a change that could cause trouble for us. Ms. Summers is a liaison to NCIS. Her parent agency is a multinational security organization called Ursagga Council,” he explained. While trained investigators sometimes made the best allies in cases like this, they could also be the biggest pains in the ass when their own families were threatened.
Blake, the linguistic expert, took a second to translate the odd-sounding name, “Hero Council? That’s a rather telling name for a security company, but the use of a dead language like Sumerian makes it even more interesting.”
When it seemed like nobody else was going to say anything else, Garcia piped up, “Mr. Osbourne has been notified, and he said he would pass the message on to Ms. Summers, who is out of the country at the moment. Another friend of theirs was injured in the abduction… a Ms. Tara Maclay. She’s currently in a coma at Inova Mt. Vernon Hospital. The unsub hit her pretty hard, and the doctors are watching for any dangerous fluid buildup in her brain.”
“Hopefully she’ll wake up soon and be able to tell us something,” Hotch said before ending the meeting and sending everyone out to continue their assignments. It would be better for everyone involved if they could solve this before Ms. Summers came back from her current location.~~~~~~Summers/Osbourne/etc. house
“Buffy, I need you to promise to remain calm,” Oz stated the ‘red flag’ words over the phone, which didn’t work as he needed, but pretty much like he expected.
She growled, “Why?”
“Because I’m barely able to maintain control myself and if you lose it, so will I,” he pointed out semi-rationally.
Buffy noticed that she was changing colors in the mirror; great, she was a purple and silver Hulk now. She took a deep breath to calm down and replied warily, “Okay, I promise. What’s wrong?”
“Somebody knocked Tara into a coma and kidnapped Anya,” Oz explained as straightforward as he could. Before she could ask, he added, “JR was at the house with Wes and Fred. I already checked, and Jordy’s safe at school, Jackson’s fine and the NCIS gang is okay, too.”
“Okay, I have one more test to pass, then I’ll be back on the first flight stateside… Or maybe I’ll just ask the coven to zap me back,” she said almost to herself.
Oz stopped that line of thought, however. “You’d better fly. The FBI is investigating this and if you arrive two hours after I told them you were overseas, it will cause a bunch of red flags to pop up – especially since you wouldn’t have a return stamp on your passport.”
Suppressing the urge to curse and/or hit something, Buffy relented, then huffed, “Fine, but you’d better keep me up-to-date on what the FBI knows. Have my dad ask Fornell about the team investigating this. We’ll go around them if we have to. And if this has anything to do with what happened to Xander, we’ll go through
Oz knew he couldn’t stop Buffy when she got truly angry, so he didn’t even try. “You do your test, and I’ll find out what I can. I’ll be at the hospital with Tara until Jordy’s done with school, then Wes and Fred will stay with her.”
“Sounds good. If you see anything unusual, call my dad for backup,” Buffy demanded. She couldn’t handle losing another family member because they thought they could handle something on their own.~~~~~~Transcription Center
Hotch handed over the warrant to the owner/manager of the center and said, “We need you to see if these doctors had the same transcriptionist. Here’s the list of patients in particular that we need to know about and who handled their information.”
“It wouldn’t matter, because the patients’ names aren’t included in the tapes. They are identified by a number,” the manager replied uneasily. If this did come back to one of her people, the business would be ruined.
“The problem is that at some point in the system, the name and number are matched up,” Rossi interjected. “Don’t get me wrong, it helps, but it doesn’t guarantee patient privacy.”
While they waited for the assistant to look up the transcriptionists, Rossi asked the owner, “How often do you do follow-up evals on your employees?” The woman looked mystified. Apparently it hadn’t occurred to her that even after the people were hired, they still needed to be monitored for psychological problems.
That did not bode well…especially when the assistant told them that all the women – including Anya – had the same transcriptionist.
The next day…
As soon as she landed, Buffy and Gibbs were escorted to a conference room for a briefing. She barely waited for the introductions before she started barking, “What do you know? How close are you to finding Anya?”
“Ms. Summers, I assure you that the investigation is progressing--” Hotch tried the usual opening line.
Only to have Buffy interrupt him, “Yeah, well before you spout the normal platitudes, let me save you the trouble. Bottom line it for me.”
Hotch nodded; this would be one of those ‘pain in the ass’ cases. “We have a solid lead that we expect will give us the suspect soon,” he told her.
Gibbs had put his hand on Buffy’s arm to calm her down. He knew how agitated she felt; it was the same way he’d feel if it was one of his team. Plus, with what happened to Xander, they were lucky she wasn’t tearing DC apart, building by building to search for Anya herself. His action didn’t go unnoticed by the profilers, which made them wonder about the relationship. They knew both worked NCIS, but not much else about them.
Both Hotch and Rossi had seen the pair at various political parties in the past few months, but hadn’t met them personally yet. What they remembered from the parties was that any man who dared to approach Buffy had to get through Gibbs first – which stopped the majority of them.
A/N: Yes, I fully admit that I sorta got the transcriptionist idea from a Law & Order episode (can’t remember which one). Although in that case, I think it was an accounting firm or something.
To be honest, I’m not sure which method I want to use to find Anya. One way is for Tara to wake up and help Buffy get there first and the other is for the team to track down the kidnapper’s hideout.