Light the Night
Disclaimer: I own nothing. Buffy, the Vampire Slayer and all other fandoms used in this collection belong to their respective creators. I make no money off this.
A/N: Simple premise, twenty-four stories for twenty-four people. You leave me a request, giving me a fandom, a pairing and a prompt of one sentence or less and if I know the fandom, I’ll write it before Christmas. First come, first serve.
I hope you have fun with your ficlets. I know I’m having fun writing them. Unbetaed.
Pax requested Criminal Minds/Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Buffy/Hotchner, lights are burning in quiet rooms where lives go on resembling ours
- Donald Justice, Bus Stop.
+Light the Night
He sits next to her in the dark car, watching the street, wanting to start a conversation but not knowing how.
Prentice and Morgan are getting some much needed sleep, Reid and Rossi are still trying to puzzle out some details and JJ is holding down the fort at the police station. That leaves only him and Summers for the stake out. Usually they’d send uniforms, but this is a special case.
Special enough for Summers to show up, waving a badge that gives her utter control of the case. Supernatural threat. The phrase makes him want to cringe, even years after the seminar at Quantico, when they destroyed the last of his illusions about the world. Evil isn’t always human. Sometimes it’s real, honest to god monsters. So much for believing in the good of the world.
And Summers hunts them and his team knows about them but the uniforms, the police in this city, do not. So they get to sleep safely at home while he whiles away the night in a dark car, waiting for a demon to come out of the woodwork and tear a family to shreds.
The Howards are the last of four families that spent their summer vacation at a lake in the woods. A lake that belongs to a demon that now wants them dead. Why? For once he does not care, does not ask the why’s and what for’s. He just wants the monster dead so he can go back to pretending that all evil is man-made and he can change something.
Across the street, Linda Howard is calling her family to a late dinner. One by one they trickle into the dining room, Jacob, Lucy, Marc. Jacob is twelve and wears braces, Lucy is fourteen and keeps sneaking glances at her cell phone under the table, waiting for a call. Marc, the father, steals looks at his wife when he thinks no-one’s looking, obviously as in love with her as he was the first time they met.
The house is brightly illuminated, their features, their smiles and gestures, clear for all and sundry to see.
Next to him, Summers snorts as Jacob kicks his sister under the table, causing her to drop her phone. “They are happy,” she observes, her voice explosive in the small, enclosed space of the car.
He nods. They are. Minutes pass and the Howards clear the table. There’s cake for dessert. He feels his stomach clench and takes a sip of his cooling coffee. A quick look at the dashboard reveals that it’ll be another three hours before Morgan and Prentice come to take his place. Summers will stay. She’s the expert. She’s the monster killer.
“What about you, Hotch?”
“What about me?”
“You got plans to rock the white picket fence?”
He did. He does. He has a son and an ex-wife. The ‘ex’ is new, the papers barely dry. He signed last week. It felt like he was signing away his life. In a way, he was. But he won’t tell her that because he doesn’t know her and can’t figure her out.
She’s too eager for bloodshed, too smart by far, insightful and dumb and she has more masks than the most dangerous sociopath he’s ever met. She would also be sympathetic. She might pity him and his lost family, his American dream gone south.
“No,” he answers belatedly, blowing into his coffee for something to do.
Summers looks at him out of the corner of her eye and he wonders if she pulled his file before she waltzed into their investigation, if she knows the truth. But she doesn’t call him on his lie. Instead she downs the last of her hot chocolate and starts fumbling with the rolled rim of the paper cup, straightening it, marking it with dainty, light pink nails.
“It’s so bright in there,” she observes quietly, nodding towards the house across the street. He doesn’t think she’s talking about the lights that cast bright yellow squares on the front lawn, tingeing green grass golden.
Marc makes a joke, Linda kisses his cheek and Jacob goes to fetch a card game. Hotch cradles his cold coffee and thinks of his son. In the shadow, a demon moves.