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Let the Dominoes Fall

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This story is No. 4 in the series "One Last Shot AU". You may wish to read the series introduction and the preceeding stories first.

Summary: 4th in the OLS Series - A Prequel of sorts

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Television > Law and Order: SVU
Television > Dexter
(Past Donor)WhedonistFR13632,1791326,6863 Nov 1022 Jan 11Yes

Throwing Darts Into the Dark

Title:Let The Dominoes Fall
Fandom: Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Law & Order: SVU & Dexter
Pairings: Buff/Will, Alex/Olivia & Debra/OC
Rating: R – Deb’s got a bad case of Potty Mouth and it ain’t lookin’ to change soon.
Disclaimer: See previous…we all know the drill. If they were mine, I’d be doing back flips.
A/N: This will be the last chapter on this…at least for a while. I need to figure out where we’re taking this. There’s still lots that I think can and maybe should be said. Hell, I’ll take suggestions from you lot. If there’s something you wanna see and it can be worked, I may just work it in. I’m marking this puppy complete for now…at least until something new strikes. So read, enjoy and all that jazz… And while I’m thinking of it…this has been beta’s but I’m sure I’ve goofed somewhere after I got the file back, so all mistakes belong to me.

Ch. 6 – Throwing Darts in the Dark - Late August 2003

“McAllister,” the detective snipped into the handset of his office line. It was late, one a.m., he had been there since Noon and it didn’t look like James McAllister was going to be leaving anytime soon. He looked at the stack of reports, waiting DD-5’s and now the phone call that was sure to bring bad news.

“Detective, this is dispatch. We have a call for you to respond to at St Nicholas Park and West One-hundred-thirty-fifth street. A ten-twenty-nine. Uniforms are on scene expecting your arrival.”

“I’m on my way,” Jimmy grumbled before adding, “E.T.A. zero-one-twenty-five.”

The line went dead. He grunted once more and hoisted himself out of the chair after cradling the receiver. Like he needed another case on his desk. Mopping his face with his hand, he rubbed at the three day old stubble trying to remember where he’d stashed his electric shaver. Remembering that it was in the glove compartment of his pool car, he looked down at the frayed grey sports coat hanging off the back of his chair.

Opting to leave it there instead of wearing it out into the muggy August night, he rambled out of the Twenty-fourth Precinct’s homicide division and outside to the waiting police interceptor. Stuffing his six-foot-four-inch, two-hundred-seventy pound frame behind the wheel, he hit the sirens and the lights to head north.

The streets were relatively quiet as he parked his car on the side walk, left the lights going and grabbed the flashlight on the passenger seat. A uniform stood at the entrance of the park, a young kid, Jimmy placed the boy in his early twenties.

“You wanna give me the scoop, kid?” he asked as he followed Officer Santos down the steps that led to the path around the park.

“Don’t know much, I’m here just securing. You want to talk to Officer Summers and Officer Dillinger,” the rookie answered pointing to two officers with their back turned to them.

Jimmy scratched at his protruding belly as it stretched the threads around his midsection on his short sleeved button up. “All right. I got this, go back to watchin’ the pavement,” Jimmy groused and ambled over to the two uniforms that he’s supposed to get control of the scene from. “Hey,” he called out, “McAllister from the Two-four. What have we got?”

The taller of the two turned to him. He read the chest plate, Dillinger. The kids eyes are a little wide and even in the lighting provided by the flickering sodium-vapor lamps scattered along the path, Jimmy could tell the kid was a little green around the gills. The detective shook his head as the other, shorter, uniform turned to him. His eyebrows shot up at the tiny blonde with her hair in a bun smacking away on some gum looking no worse for the wear. He read her tag and said, “Summers what have you got for me?”

“Hi,” the officer chirps, sticking her hand out in greeting.

There are few things that have had the pleasure of taking the veteran detective by surprise; in fact he could count on one hand the number of times it’d happen to him, but damned if Officer Buffy A. Summers didn’t add number four to the list. He looked at her, his eyes slightly narrowed as he automatically stuck out his hand. Buffy gave him a once over before shaking the offered hand then she crooked her finger to him follow her.

They go down one of the paths a few feet before stopping and angling right in to the underbrush. “We were walking around and I noticed some drag marks,” she stopped and looked pointedly at the large man and sniped, “which you stepped on. Thanks for that. Anyhow, noticed the drag marks. My partner decided to stay on the path while I played Nancy Drew. Found a body. Didn’t touch, but it’s female. My guess is she’s young.”

Jimmy eyes followed to where she was pointing to look at the body. Without the aid of his flashlight he couldn’t see much and decided to hold off using it until the officer left him alone. He did look around and noticed the markers dotting the area. “You place those,” he asked, indicating to a one dollar bill held in place by a rock and a police issued canister of mace next to a bush.

Buffy nodded and he chewed his lower lip. He’d be impressed if he wasn’t so annoyed when he noticed the puke near the body. “Dillinger?” he clipped and pointed to the pile.

Buffy shrugged. “I tried to warn him, get him away from the body, but he couldn’t make it.”

“You notice this all by yourself? Why are you two out walkin’ the park this late anyhow?” Jimmy scratched at his chin, trying to put it together. Not that he hadn’t seen his share of women that were tougher than a lot of guys on the squad, but as he took in the woman at only five-foot-nothing…

She looked younger than Santos, but the thing that piqued Jimmy’s innate curiosity was that she looked more comfortable than most any other seasoned detective that he’d come across. He was further taken aback when she said, “When I called dispatch, I called C.S.U. and the coroner. They’re en route. I’m going to drag my version of Fackler with me to do a little canvassing. You’re from the Twenty-fourth, right?” Buffy didn’t wait on the detective to respond as she barreled forward side stepping him, “I’ll head up to your unit a little later and we can compare notes.” She smiled at him and tipped her hat before disappearing into the inky shadows of the park.

He stood there, hands on his hips, squinting around trying to find out where she went. He gave up after a few minutes, shaking his head. He had bigger fish to fry. Turning his attention back to the body, he knew better than to touch anything until the techs decided to show up. He used his flashlight to begin harvesting details, walking around the corpse. The victim was face down, long brown hair obscuring the face and the build indicated female as Summers had said. There was a small pool of blood that had begun to seep out from under her head and neck. Jimmy stepped over the body, through the small path that Officer Summers had carved and hit the concrete. His flashlight darted around, taking in the small pieces that the uniformed officer had marked out for him.

Knowing protocol, Jimmy grabbed the walkie-talkie off his hip and radioed dispatch for an E.T.A. for the techs. Before they even had a chance to respond Jimmy saw two of them walking down the steps. Cancelling the call he signaled the two with his flashlight and waited for them off to the side.

“Hey,” Jimmy called out as he recognized Carey and Ernest for the labs.

“Jim, what have we got,” Carey asked setting down two large cases and removing the camera from around his neck.

“D.B. We got the coroner on the way?” Jimmy asked indicating with his light where they needed to go.

“Yeah,” Ernest said taking the camera from Carey and started snapping pictures.

“All right, I’m gonna leave you guys to it. Lemme know when I can get a better look at the body.” Jimmy watched as they began photographing and cataloging the scene. His attention shifted as he looked around. The park’s lighting was for shit he surmised. This also wasn’t a normal part of a foot patrol, the kind of patrol the two uni’s were supposed to have. Just by looking around, they seemed to be out of their element. At least the guy did, the blonde on the other hand…

Jimmy scratched at his stubble and rubbed his stomach. He wasn’t quite sure, but something was different about the girl.

The detective wasn’t sure if he liked it.

Buffy pulled at her uniform shirt, untucking the thick poly/cotton blend from the waist of her uniform pants and groaned. The shirt she hung on a hangar in her locker, the vest she wore underneath went on a hook in the back wall. The officer stretched then, letting her back crack and her muscles stretch. It had been a long night and this morning was shaping up to be a bit longer than she usually liked. The dead body that she found in the park did come first and there were a few loose ends that she needed to tie up before she went home.

Keeping her belt, pants, undershirt and shoes on, Buffy grabbed the badge from her shirt and pinned it on her pants, shut the locker door and strode back out to the squad room. She caught a few looks due to her disregard for the dress code the officer didn’t mind breaking. She just wanted to finish her findings on the body; whose I.D. she’d learned was a Paige LaCosta. The young woman, twenty years old by the information pulled from the D.M.V. Which put her at an address in the Bronx. Buffy wanted to catch the responding detective and give him the information and the interview notes that she had. Not that there was anyone to interview at the scene, but she made Santos swing by LaCosta’s address and spoke with a few people that knew the woman.

To say that they were impressed at being woken up in the middle of the night by a slightly chipper blonde cop would have been an overstatement of their joy. Truthfully Buffy could care less. After her graduation at the academy, she poured nearly every bit of energy that she had into doing her job and doing it well.

In this first month after getting her badge several things became clear to the slayer. The first was that she hated, with a fiery passion, the uniform. She hated the material it was made out of. She hated how the ballistic vest pressed her breasts down. She hated how she had to wear her hair. Buffy had a hard time deciding on which she hated the more the clothes or the beating her hair was taking underneath that damn cap.

Those were the things the cop hated, there were also several things that she loved about the job. The hours were the first. While she usually stayed past her shift, she liked that there was at least a clear end and start time, any time she put in after that was at her discretion. She loved that she could help, make a difference in the place she lived without having to worry about an impending apocalypse. She also enjoyed the lack of responsibility. She had a boss that wasn’t so bad, a little softer than Giles when he went all Super Watcher, but it was okay. The drive that she had found for her new job was the other thing that she wasn’t expecting, but was glad was there.

Her mother used to talk and become so passionate about the art dealership that she ran. Buffy never got it. She didn’t get Giles’ obsession about books, Willow’s need to know things and she certainly didn’t get Xander and his construction. Until now. Despite the attire, she enjoyed every second she was at work, which was why she found herself at her desk, two hours after her shift ended finishing the reports for the day..

Since she was stationed at the Two-four, she wasn’t too worried about tracking Detective McAllister down as he was only two floors up from where she was seated. As she finished typing the last sentence, she saved the work, printed the document and stuffed it into the folder containing her transcribed notes and reports.

“Summers,” Lieutenant Jason Woolstenhulme called from his office across the bullpen.

Buffy’s head snapped up and she looked at him as he crooked a finger at her. She sighed and stood, grabbing the things she would need to run upstairs when she was done.

“What are you still doing here, Summers?” her lieutenant barked when she was within earshot.

She rolled her eyes and snarked, “Good to see you two, sir. Hey how was your night? Didn’t find a body didja? ‘Cause man I know I did.”

His eyes narrowed at the sarcasm. His hands went to his hips and he looked her over. His officer was in a grey tank top and the bottom half of her uniform. He shook his head. “Yeah, well that’s why I’m asking you. Captain Johnson wants you in his office upstairs ten minutes ago. Go there and go the hell home right after. You’ve been here too long and my budget can’t afford the overtime. Also you’re so out of dress code you’re giving me a headache. I don’t wanna see this again.”

Buffy mock saluted snickering at the sigh that sounded behind her. Heading for the stairs, she trotted up the two flights and followed the signs to the robbery-homicide unit. The bullpen to robbery-homicide was set up much like her own, but up here, people were wearing actual clothes. She sighed a little wistful and jealous of the attire, even if it was bad attire; it wasn’t uniformed attire. She looked around for the door the held the units supervisor and spotted it towards the back.

She didn’t have time to knock on the door when a voice called out, “Come in.”

“Uh, Captain Johnson?” she asked looking over at a dark olive skinned man with salt and pepper hair.

Light brown eyes and a thin smile turned away from the computer screen and greeted her. “Officer Summers?” he asked standing.

“Buffy,” the blonde stuck out her hand in offering.

“Buffy what?” Captain Johnson asked as he shook the officer’s hand. He indicated to a free chair and sat back down.

“My name. Summers, last. Buffy, first. I like my first name,” Buffy answered smiling. “It sounds way too stuffy to call me Officer Summers. I’m always looking over my shoulder for someone else.”

“Oh,” Captain Johnson said, “Buffy, nice to meet you.”

“My lieu said you wanted to see me, but actually I was on my way up here to see if I could catch Detective McAllister. I’ve got some information on the victim that he’ll probably want.” Buffy waved the file folder in her hand for good measure. Johnson’s eyes followed the red folder and held his hand out. Buffy handed it over and launched in to her findings, “The victim’s name is Paige LaCosta, she has a single in the Bronx, neighbors were a little hesitant to give any information, but one of them said that the victim had a nasty break-up recently. Didn’t get a name, but I did put in a call to our A.D.A. to get a warrant and I figured we could go through some phone records, maybe talk to family and see if they’ll tell us who is who.”

Johnson’s eyebrows rose in mild surprise at the amount of leg work the officer put in. Jimmy had told him of the blonde at the scene. When he looked into the officer’s jacket that a friend from records pulled, he was surprised that she’d only been on the force for a month with the service record from her previous department missing. A call to his friend at the academy filled in the blanks and since four this morning, after being updated by McAllister, he had been intrigued.

Now he was amused, impressed and saw an interesting opportunity to kill two birds with one stone. A cursory glance at the prelim work Summers put together told him she was competent and capable. The fact that he needed to find three detectives by the end of the month was also pressing on him. The other thing, the one that was most important to him, was the fact that one of his better detectives was partner-less. More by choice than anything. But Johnson needed to stop that. He couldn’t have McAllister running around without any back-up.

His mouth pinched as he looked her over once again. She looked young; a little younger than he wanted, but given what he had learned from Walsh at the academy, she wasn’t as green as she looked.

“You done for the day?” he asked.

The woman shrugged. “Kind of. Sleep and me aren’t besties, but getting out of these pants, so totally a good right now.”

Johnson scratched at his jaw. He wasn’t too sure what she just said, but in truth he could care less. “If you could wait outside and ask Detective McAllister to come see me.”

Buffy stood, strode out the door and saw the detective from last night at his desk. Walking over to him she tapped him on the shoulder and pointed back the way she’d come. “The Captain wants to see you,” she paused and shook her head, “And why did that sound like that line was from Pirates?” Buffy rolled her eyes at her own question and the frown that formed on the detectives lips.

She watched on as he huffed and marched to the back office. Buffy shrugged and took a seat outside the now closed door. She wasn’t really sure what was going on and why she needed to stick around. Truthfully, she wanted to go home and change because the outfit she was in made her feel way too out of place. She’d also like to maybe catch a few hours of sleep, but she wasn’t counting on those.

Slouching in the stiff wooden chair, she curled the fingers of her right hand into her palm and brought them up to eye level for inspection. As she sat there contemplating her desperate need for a manicure she heard Detective James McAllister bellow, “You gotta be fucking kiddin’ me, Pat? The blonde ex-cheerleader probably couldn’t find her way through an investigation if I gave her a GPS and a step-by-step guide. I ain’t working with her!”

Buffy’s hand dropped, her eyes went wide and she groaned thinking that this was exactly what she didn’t need.

Jimmy tossed the sports coat he should have been wearing over the backseat of the unmarked he had signed out and jammed himself behind its steering wheel. Mopping his face with his hands to clear some of the sweat from his brow, he turned a green eyed glare to the little blonde that slipped into the passenger seat.

Of all the things he’d seen and done in his career as a detective, hell as a cop, he’d never seen this. His birthday went largely uncelebrated in July. He turned forty-eight, had been a cop nearly thirty years, twenty of which he’d spent as a detective in various divisions. He had never seen any captain of any precinct take a uniform of only thirty days, put them in plain clothes and partner them with a twenty year veteran.

Hi gripped the steering wheel and eyed his “new partner” over. Why Pat thought he needed someone with him was beyond him, why Pat thought that Summers was the one that would work out was another anomaly that he couldn’t wrap his mind around. He grunted and said, “Look, Cupcake, a few things before we start off today…”

Buffy interrupted him, her voice dripping with sarcasm, “Why don’t I help, Mr. Wants-to-be-Sam Spade. You don’t like me. You don’t want to work with me. Captain Johnson said you had to. Keep my mouth shut and don’t get into any trouble.” The retired slayer folded her arms across her chest and sent her own glare the detective’s way. “Well, just so you know, as much as I hate the polyester and want back into normal clothes that don’t make me look like Butchy McFabulous, working with someone who seems to have taken the hard-boiled detective shtick a little too seriously isn’t something that I’m keen on either. So back off and let’s get through this so you can go back to being a poor excuse for a Noir detective and I can go back to my job.”

Jimmy’s eyes narrowed at the verbal assault. Deciding that they were at least on the same page about not wanting to work together, he grunted and slammed the car into gear. Peeling away from the curb and into the flow of traffic, they headed towards Henry Hudson and caught the Ninety-five into the Bronx.

Buffy waited for the car to come to a full stop before she hopped out and looked at the apartment complex in the mid-morning light. It seemed a little less depressing now than it had been last night. She just hoped that they could track down someone that knew who the boyfriend was supposed to be or if there was something in LaCosta’s apartment that would give them a clue. Her impression from the one neighbor was that the boyfriend wasn’t the nicest guy on the planet. She ran a hand through her hair and waited on her “partner” to make his way to her side.

The grunt of annoyance was all she got as she led them up the stairs to the third floor apartment that Paige rented. When she was there earlier, she had managed to grab the super’s spare key and let herself and Jimmy into the apartment.

“Do I wanna know how you got that?” the detective snipped from over her shoulder.

“The super gave it to me when I was here earlier.” Unable to resist she snipped back, “Sometimes if you’re less of a jerk, people will do the things you ask.” Buffy took a quick look around and made note of the place. Cheap furniture, some probably purchased at a second-hand store, the smell reminded her of the motel rooms that Faith used to rent when she first got to Sunnydale. It was a mix of poverty, stale cigarette smoke and desperation, even the air fresheners plugged into the wall couldn’t mask the unmistakable scent. The kitchen and living room were all one space. There was a short hallway off to their right that Buffy couldn’t see down.

Jimmy was about to reply when they heard a door slam from inside the apartment. A finger went to his lips indicating silence. He drew his weapon and Buffy reached for her collapsible baton. She still hated guns. She also knew that she could do far more damage with it in a fight up close quicker than Jimmy could get off a shot.

Jimmy moved first, taking the left side of the hallway entrance and Buffy took the right. He didn’t have time to question or yell at the woman for not drawing the service weapon at her hip. Instead he inched down the short hallway and looked towards the closed door at the end. Buffy nodded at him and they moved forward swiftly, Jimmy grabbing the knob of the door and throwing it open. He went in high and was surprised when Buffy stepped around him and slipped into the room.

A man came out of the small closet and stopped short. Buffy took in the washed out, sallow look and said, “If this is supposed to be a break in, you do know that it’s generally a bad idea to get caught, right?”

The man didn’t respond, but his eyes darted between the two in the doorway and the cracked window there wasn’t really anywhere to go. “I…” he stopped short and licked his cracked lips. “I lived here.”

“Try again asswipe,” Jimmy barked. “Put your hands on top of your head and face the wall.”

Buffy sniffed as their unexpected guest sucked in a breath and his eyes darted around the room. The metallic smell of dried blood was hard for her to miss. It was doubly hard when the scent also carried the same bitter smell that Paige LaCosta’s did. Only now that particular smell was a little more pungent. What she did miss was when the guy picked up the mug on the bedside table, threw it at her head and darted for the door. The ceramic cup hit her on the side of the head and the contents splatter across her top. She cursed as she heard Jimmy fall and her version blurred.

Not taking the time to pay attention to the shouting behind her, she took off after the man. He was halfway down the three flights of steps. She launched herself down the first flight, jumping from one landing to the next until she had gained a little bit of ground. She heard Jimmy begin the decent behind her. Shaking off her annoyance at his ineptitude. A chair that had been resting at the bottom of the steps went flying through the air at her head. Throwing herself against the wall, she hit the bottom landing only to see the guy slip out the entrance. The chair crashed and splintered behind her.

The small delay from the chair allowed Jimmy to cover a bit more ground, but Buffy was still way ahead of the older man. She busted through the door and stopped short as the junkie was nearly half way down the block. Collapsing the baton still in her hand she tossed it in the air, catching it by its top end. She felt Jimmy come up behind her as she arched her arm back and launched the baton at her target. Buffy smirked as it connected with the running man and she watched him pitch forward to land face first on the sidewalk.

She sauntered up to him, planted a foot behind his neck and twirled her handcuffs on her finger. The guy’s left hand came to the back of his head to try and staunch the flow of blood from the open laceration the baton had caused when it connected with his head.

She cuffed him and said, “That’s for throwing two day old milk and ruining my DKNY.” Her face soured at the ruined pink button-up she had on.

Jimmy came up behind her as she hoisted their collar up by one hand and huffed, “What the fuck, blondie?”

Buffy smiled at him, but said nothing as they went back to the car. She could have a little bit of fun with this if she was going to stink like rotten milk.

Jimmy shuffled into his home, tossed the keys to the pool car in the bowl on the end table, tossed his sports coat onto the back of a recliner and tossed his badge and gun on its seat. His tie hung loose around his neck, the top three buttons on his shirt open. The house was dark, quiet and devoid of pretty much everything except for the hum of the motor on the refrigerator in the kitchen.

He’d had worse days than today. Today in estimation wasn’t bad. The quickly solved homicide of Page LaCosta was a win in the detective’s book, but the cost for the win…?

He had a feeling that that was going to be felt for a long time to come.

After they had brought in their collar, Joel Wyman, Jimmy and Buffy stayed in the interrogation room with. They, oddly enough and much to the detective’s surprise, traded off in interrogation well. More to his surprise was Buffy playing the surly cop and Jimmy for a change of pace cracked a smile for the perp and got him to cave. Joel Wyman was Page’s boyfriend, he was also a career criminal with a nasty drug problem and a nastier temper. The story was older than Jimmy liked to think. The outcome was sad and while it was uncommon that one ended up dead, it wasn’t unheard of.

With any luck, the A.D.A. would do their job and get the man sober and locked up for the rest of his life.

If Wyman were the cost of today, Jimmy would have been okay with it. The problem was that Wyman wasn’t. No, the cost was his solo status in unit. Captain Patrick Johnson felt it was a sign of only good things to come that Officer Buffy Summers was able to assist in the investigation and the collar. That Officer Buffy Summers was just what the unit needed. Moreover, Captain Patrick Johnson, much to the displeasure of Detective James McAllister, appointed him his new partner, a five-foot something, blonde haired, hazel eyed freak.

James got himself a new partner and he didn’t like it. He didn’t like partners. They got in the way of how he ran his investigation. He wasn’t rogue, he liked playing by the rules ‘cause they made sense. He hated having to reign in the cops that came through his unit thinking that just because they wore a shield, they got to do what they wanted when they wanted.

There had been more of those the past few years than he cared to keep count.

The fact that Johnson pulled a uniform for plain clothes detail a month after they finished the academy was a first for the detective. So Jimmy stood in his living room, his hands on his love handles and sighed, resigned to the idea that he’d got a new partner.

The one good thing that he took away from today was the girl was tough and she had an attitude that was both refreshing and disarming when aimed at the right target. He could work with that. He could also work with her nice smile and physical ability. There wasn’t anyone that he could think of, next to Chuck Norris or Bruce Lee, who could have done what she did today.

The detective moved to the kitchen and popped the refrigerator door open and peered inside to the half empty shelf. The sight caused him to think of the comment that his “new partner” hit him with this morning. Maybe he did do grumpy a bit too well.

But the way he figured it as he slammed the door and turned to the take out menus sitting on his kitchen counter, it was better to go with his strengths. He glanced from the menus to the photo on the kitchen counter; he was sandwiched between his two kids. He also realized at that point, he was also really good at kicking his own ass when he needed to.

He was about ready to shuffle through the take out assortment when his pocket started vibrating. He slipped his hand in his trousers and pulled the phone out to read the display. “Well, hell,” he grumped and opened it up. “McAllister.”

“I need you to come pick me up?” the woman chirped on the other end of the line.

“What the hell am I a taxi?” he barked.

“No, you’re now my partner, we just got called in. I don’t drive. Come get me and we can go to work,” Buffy reasoned on the other end of the phone.

“You live in New York. We’ve got busses, cabs, subways and fuck, I’m sure if you look in the right areas you can find some dumb shit willing to drive you around in a rickshaw. Sign a car out, you got the pull to do it now.” Jimmy mopped his face with his hands and prayed to a God he didn’t think gave a shit, for a bit of patience.

“Don’t drive. I’m at the corner of Lexington and East Fifty-ninth. See you soon,” the voice sing-songed before hanging up on Jimmy.

He pulled the phone away from his ear and looked at the blinking display. “Un-fucking-believable.” He strode out of his kitchen to the living room where he gathered his things to head back to Manhattan.

He used the sirens once to get through a small traffic jam before pulling up to the designated meeting place. He saw Buffy approach the car and took her in. She was graceful, tiny and something whispered to him, letting him know that his new partner was more than meets the eye. He cocked his head as she trotted over, arms heavy with bags from Zara’s and Bloomingdale’s.

He quirked an eyebrow as she tossed the bags into the back seat before slipping into the passenger’s side of the car. “Thanks,” Buffy smiled at him.

Unconsciously the corners of his mouth turned up in response. He hooked a finger behind him and asked, “You didn’t get a raise with the new gig.”

“Nope,” Buffy answered while pointing him in the direction he needed to go.

“So you decide to buy out Bloomies and Zara’s ‘cause?” he asked, not entirely sure why he needed to know, but asking anyhow.

“Wardrobe needed an update,” Buffy tried to brush of his inquiry.

He found himself grunting at her answer and shook his head. New partner, new chapter, Jimmy thought that maybe it was time that things did change. As he watched Buffy hop out of the car and take over the scene, he knew a lot of it would probably change because of his new partner. He just had to decide if he was gonna fight it or not.

The End

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