Chapter 13Disclaimer: Kailey and Stephanie belong to me; everyone else belongs to CBS or to Joss Whedon and Co.
Note: This takes place in AU BtVS Season 8
“Someone new has arrived,” Kailey whispered to Oz even as she put the cloth back on e’enathie’s cage to make it fall silent. “They’re screwed.”
“It can continue to sing-“ Oz began to argue, but Kailey determinedly shook her head.
“Uh-uh. That wasn’t the deal with the harpies, remember? People, who mess with them, tend to disappear and are never seen again.”
“Unless they’re, say, with the goblinoids, or with the Eyes of the Beholder, or with anyone who can back their bark with bite,” Oz said, surprising even himself. He was never, ever the arguing type, but ever since he and Kailey met, well, there was something that just set them at opposing ends of a negotiating table, always. Plus… “Faith used to work for the Mayor of Sunnydale, my home town. You know the one with the Hellmouth? Believe me, she can be nastier than any harpy-“
“And this is supposed to reassure me?” Kailey frowned. “If she’s so bad, why are we working with her and her people?”
“’Cause they’re not her people, they’re Giles’s people…I think,” Oz said, feeling rather than reassuring Kailey he got her more worried. “Um, I think I hear someone is coming here-“
Kailey did the first thing that came to her mind: she grabbed Oz and proceeded to pretend that the two of them were making out.
It was highly convincing method acting. And though Lindsay Monroe was a highly trained member of the CSI, she had bought it.* * *
“Mac! Mac! Are you okay?” Jo’s intense whisper rasped like a saw across Mac’s eardrums. “Are you alive?”
“Yes, I’m alive, just feel as if someone has broken my skull wide open,” Mac hissed back. “It’s not actually broken, is it?”
“No, everything looks whole, there’s no blood, no suspicious protrusions,” Jo said quietly. “You seem to be – unhurt.”
“Is everything okay?” Lindsay joined the others. “Why is everyone here fast asleep?”
“Fast…asleep?” Mac replied carefully, and walked over the next person, who just happened to be Don Flack. “I wasn’t asleep…I felt groggy, leaden…not really asleep…”
“Mac, you always complained of insomnia,” Jo said carefully, “ever since…you know…”
“Yes, I’m aware of that,” Mac said curtly, the mention of his loss ruining his mood even further. “Anyways… this one is most definitely not asleep.” He pointed to a corpse, or rather – a ragged and ripped remains of one. “I think we need to do a head re-count – no pun intended.”
“Oh dear,” Josephine said slowly, “me and Lindsay were worried about something like that.”
Something in her tone caused Mac to look sharply at her co-worker. “Have you uncovered something new?” he said, but… it was at that moment that Don Flack’s cell phone rang again, waking up everyone alive in the vicinity.* * *Some time earlier...
As far as Animal Control people went, Stephanie was the kind that liked animals and plants much more so than people (at this particular moment in time she had a dog, five cats and three tortoises living with her at her house); therefore, when she got the active duty of looking for whatever the monstrosity that was killing people, she didn’t mind. Yes, this situation was life-threatening and many people would rather be away from the streets at such a time, but Stephanie would rather be away from the office and its paper-work instead.
In addition, now that the rough estimates of the animal’s size were established, Stephanie’s role was not to engage it directly, but rather to contact the professionals from the zoo, who were probably better equipped in dealing with giant lizards the size of crocodiles.
And then Murphy’s Law struck. Stephanie saw something huge and dark completely across the small street that she was driving in; there was no sign or smell of blood, and Stephanie could swear that she saw the beast’s sides rise and fall in tune with its breath. She couldn’t distinguish its eyes, which meant that the reptile was asleep.
With shaking hands, Stephanie pulled out her cell phone and sent-out an SMS. Unfortunately, she sent it to not quite the right number…To be continued…