Hold My HandAuthor:
PG-13; This chapter is work-safe.Chapter:
Story revolves around a series of serial murders, so be prepared for potentially gruesome descriptions, non-character deaths and physical violence. Also, slash.Disclaimer:
Belong to the respective owners/creators of Numb3rs and BuffySummary:
Cult expert Xander is called into the FBI to consult on a serial murder case.Notes:
This is an all-human AU, if you will. There's no supernatural-ness. Xander's backstory will be explained over the course of the story.
Don was alone in the conference room, three folders spread out on the table in front of him. He had both hands braced on the table, and his head was bowed with frustration. Once a week for the last three weeks a body had been found on a church altar in the city, always in the same position, with the same ritualistic cuts, with the same items placed around the body. All of the victims had been abducted at least three days before somebody had noticed they were missing. One had been a recluse widower, another a young woman leaving for vacation, the last a student whose housemates only noticed he was missing when he failed to show up for an exam four days after he had last been seen.
They had no arrests, no suspects, no fingerprints, and nothing to link the three victims. Charlie couldn’t find anything in the math, and had concluded that he was just missing too many variables. As a result, the head office was sending in a cult and rituals expert. It wasn’t that he didn’t understand the importance and usefulness of experts, he did. Hell, he had Charlie, didn’t he? Not to mention Coop and Edgerton, both of whom he’d called in when he’d needed their particular skills. But he didn’t know this guy, hadn’t asked for him, and didn’t need him.
He ran his hands through his hair. He wasn’t being fair. They’d all been working this case for the last three weeks and they had run down every lead that looked even vaguely promising, and half of the ones that hadn’t. They could use some new eyes, and he was willing to take whatever help he could, and if the people upstairs thought that this expert had something to add to the case, then he would give him all the resources he had access to.
He took a deep breath, ran his fingers through his hair one more time, made sure that his shirt wasn’t too rumpled –his jacket had long since been discarded – told David to round up the team and go to the conference room, and went downstairs to greet their visitor.
God, he was tired. He couldn’t even summon up his usual flirty smile for Mandy when he asked if his guest had checked in yet. She pointed him at a man standing with his back to him, about his height with dark, thick hair.
“Mr. Harris?” he asked, to get the man’s attention. When he turned around, Don’s first thought was that he was young
, at least five or six years younger than Don, and it was common knowledge that at 34 he was one of the youngest team leaders in the FBI. The guy even looked younger than Charlie, and yet he was supposed to be one of the best and most experienced experts in his field. He’d been expecting someone considerably older. He considered just turning around and going back upstairs, but forced himself not to. The higher-ups wouldn’t have sent him if they didn’t think he could help.
He was so surprised about the guy’s age that he didn’t notice the missing eye until his training kicked in and he gave the other man his usual once-over. He was a pretty good looking guy, Don thought, with broad shoulders, a narrow waist, powerful legs, and good, strong features, but his attention was almost immediately drawn to the man’s eyes, or more accurately, eye.
The man’s face was partially obscured by a black eye-patch that cut starkly across his face and covered his left eye. He was otherwise quite attractive. Not that the eye-patch detracted from his attractiveness, exactly. It actually gave him a hard edge that went a long way toward compensating for his obviously young age.
His consultant extended his hand. “Xander is fine, Agent…”
“Eppes,” he supplied, shaking Harris’ hand. “Don Eppes. I’m the lead agent on the serial case. My team is upstairs, ready to fill you in.”
I hope that snagged you. New chapter soon.