Disclaimer: I do not own Buffy or Miami, or anything that is recognised.
A/N: I used to love CSI Miami. Really, really love it. I looked forward to a new episode every week and could hardly wait in between seasons. I loved the team dynamic: Horatio as team dad, protective and knowing, Alexx as the caring team mom, Calleigh as the smart, intelligent daughter and Delko and Speed, and then Delko and Ryan, as the bickering, yet ultimately close, younger brothers. Then things got silly. Horatio married a woman he’d met a grand total of maybe 5 times, she was murdered the day after he married her and then Horatio discovered he had a son, and ended up faking his own death. Frankly, it was too ridiculous, even for me. Which is a long winded way of saying that this takes place in Season 5, after Marisol’s little walk-on role, but she won’t be getting a mention here (just so I can include Natalia, because I quite like her) but long before the total stupidity of the newly discovered son plot.
Sorry for the rant there, but the lack of quality in what was once my favourite programme really annoys me!
For Buffy, this is after Chosen
, but AU after that. It pays no attention to the comics, which I haven’t read. It also assumes that Angel and his crew all died to save the world at the end of Not Fade Away
, destroying Wolfram & Hart in LA, but not the whole organisation.
She remembered getting the call. In the aftermath of Sunnydale, the Scoobies had worked hard to locate the Slayers and put together some sort of organisation to support them. Buffy had ended up in London, working with Giles to reform the Watchers’ Council into something that would actually be of use to Slayers, after initially travelling around Europe to help find the new Slayers. To her surprise, the greatest challenge had been to find people to be Watchers - with the explosion in Slayer numbers, they needed more Watchers than ever before. And since Watchers were trained rather than born, that meant setting up recruitment, training and the boring things like salaries and pensions.
Buffy knew they were doing good work, but she was bored within a month. So she remembered the call. One of the younger Slayers, still living at home with her mom, had called for help, saying that a pack of vampires had descended on her town and she couldn’t cope with their numbers on her own. Giles had taken one look at the pleading on her face and agreed that she could go to help out. That was why she flew out to Miami.
She also remembered the first few nights’ patrol. Alejandra, the Miami Slayer, was only fourteen, but had gone with Buffy, to help orientate her and point out where her vampire sighting had been. They had had limited luck those first nights, but had dusted a couple of vamps each and spotted the crypt where the pack lived. Buffy and Alejandra had made plans to come back and deal with them once they had more information.
Buffy also remembered enjoying the heat and sunshine of Miami, long overdue after a long, cold, damp British winter. She had enjoyed her days, wandering along South Beach and Collins Avenue and seen a couple of clubs she intended to try once the vamps were dealt with. She remembered sunbathing in a micro bikini and enjoying the attention of local boys as she strolled along the beachfront. She remembered liking Miami.
What she didn’t remember was why she had been in the apartment, holding a bloody knife, standing over the corpses of two men. She had stood there, blinking, trying to figure out where she was, who they had been and what the hell was going on, when the door burst open behind her and three armed cops burst into the room, yelling at her to put the knife down and put her hands in the air.
Lost, disorientated and utterly confused, Buffy had done what they told her.
She had been handcuffed and driven downtown to the modern, glass fronted building that housed the Crime Lab. There, she had been left in an interrogation room, and she sat there, wondering what had happened, and how she was going to explain this one to Giles.
In the end, her increasingly worried thoughts were interrupted by two tall men, both bearing the gold badge of the Detective. One was tall, broad and balding, hard brown eyes glaring at her. The other was slightly shorter, lean and elegant, with vibrant red hair and very bright, very direct blue eyes. His gaze was far less confrontational than the taller detective and he was the one who spoke first.
“Miss Summers, my name is Lieutenant Horatio Caine, and this is Detective Frank Tripp. Can you tell us what happened?” His voice was gentle and understanding, his tone suggesting that she could tell him anything. That if she confessed, he would help her. “Why did you attack those men?”
“I didn’t,” she said firmly. This was a mistake and it would all be sorted out, she told herself just as firmly. All a mistake. “I don’t know how I got there. I don’t even know where there is!”
The taller detective glared harder. “Amnesia? Aw, hell, Horatio, can’t you just charge her and be done with it?”
“Amnesia?” Lieutenant Caine ignored Tripp for the moment. Instead, he sat down opposite Buffy and looked at her consideringly. “What exactly do you mean?”
“I mean I don’t remember! Last thing I remember, I was at my hotel, getting ready to go out, and then bam! Nothing until your guys ran in, waving guns and yelling at me.” Buffy felt her eyes well up with tears and blinked them angrily away. She didn’t have time for tears.
“I’m staying at the Coral Beach Spa,” she said tiredly.
“Nice hotel,” Horatio said with a smile. “Are you on holiday?”
“Just visiting,” she said with a shrug.
“Do you know Stephen Matthias or his boyfriend Rick Dunning?”
“The men you killed,” Tripp said shortly and Caine shot him a look that Buffy couldn’t read.
“I didn’t kill anyone,” she protested, feeling the tears threaten again. She was not a killer. Not like that.
“You’d never met them before?”
“So it was a fit of rage that made you stab both of them four times?” Tripp asked, leaning forward in an attempt to intimidate her.
“I didn’t do it!” She turned to Lieutenant Caine, the one who seemed to be taking her story seriously. “Please, I really didn’t do it. I don’t know how I got there, I don’t know who they are, were, whatever, and I don’t know what’s going on!” She took a deep, shuddering breath and said with as much conviction as possible, “I am not a killer.”
Tripp snorted, but Caine nodded slightly. “Miss Summers, we’re going to get someone in here to process you, to check for evidence. Is that OK?”
“Whatever,” she said tiredly.
“OK then.” He paused and then said, “What is the very last thing you do remember?”
She thought back carefully. “I was getting ready to go out and hit the shops. I’d just dried my hair-“
“Riveting,” Tripp interrupted, only to shut up at a glare from Caine.
“Go on, Miss Summers. Every detail could be important.”
“Um, well, I had just decided what to wear,” she glanced down and frowned, “which wasn’t this. Seriously, like I would ever wear brown pants with a black top? Total clash.”
“Miss Summers,” Caine said, hiding a smile.
“Oh right. Um, well, I’d decided on a rocking pair of jeans, they’re totally fab, and then room service rang to say that they were sending up some flowers that had arrived and then the flowers arrived.” Buffy frowned. “It said they were from Giles, but why would he send me flowers?”
“My employer,” she said carefully. “We’ve been friends years though. Anyway, the flowers were really pretty, big white lilies and I put them on the table and went to do my make-up.”
“And that’s it?”
“Well, I can tell you I put on mascara and lip gloss, but yeah, that’s about it.”
“Thank you, Miss Summers. One of my colleagues will be in shortly to process you for evidence.” Caine smiled at her as he stood up. “Is there anyone we can call for you?”
Buffy hesitated, but decided she should sit it out for a bit longer, to see what the situation really was before she gave Giles a heart attack. “No, I’m good.”
Horatio watched Buffy Anne Summers through the two-way mirror into the interrogation room. Frank Tripp was right; amnesia was a ridiculous excuse for getting away with murder. Except Buffy Summers did not seem to be lying. Call it intuition, call it a hunch, but he believed her. Very few people were that good at acting. She had looked genuinely distressed at the accusation that she had killed two men, and her account of the last few hours she remembered were detailed and concise.
“That’s her, Horatio?” Calleigh walked over to him, her kit in hand.
“Yes. Doesn’t look the type to kill two men in cold blood, does she?”
“Most of ‘em don’t,” Calleigh reminded him with a bright grin.
“True,” he agreed sadly. “But there’s something different about her, Calleigh. I think she’s telling the truth.”
“That she really doesn’t remember?”
“Hmm. Whether that’s because she’s innocent, as she claims, or because whatever caused her to kill those men was so traumatic that her mind has refused to remember it, is another matter.” He checked his watch. “I’ll take Ryan with me to her hotel room, see what we can find. Eric and Natalia should be done with the scene soon and we’ll see what Alexx made of the autopsies. Be thorough.”
“Always am,” she smiled. She watched him walk away before turning to study Buffy. The girl was short and slight, surely barely physically capable of killing two men, both of whom had been much bigger and broader than she was. She checked Buffy’s driving licence again to check her age - she didn’t look 26, she looked far younger, barely out of college. She would be beautiful too, if she wasn’t so pale that her skin had gone grey and the glitter of tears that shone in her eyes.
Calleigh watched as the girl stood up and walked to the window, her arms folded protectively across her chest as her shoulders trembled with the effort of not crying. Calleigh sighed; she was coming around to Horatio’s point of view. The girl was acting too naturally distraught when no one was watching. Maybe she really couldn’t remember.
Still, whatever the truth was, Calleigh had faith that the evidence would be found. One way or another, the truth would come out. It always did, in the end.