Disclaimer: I do not own and if you think I do then you're clearly as delusional as some of the UnSubs on Criminal Minds.
A/N: Well I have to say that I've been overwhelmed by the sheer overwhelming response from everyone. I honestly didn't think I'd get such overwhelming feedback. Thank you all so much. As for updates, well I've got about half the first story in the series already done and I know where I'm going for the next three in the series as well.
Updates on this one will happen about every 4 or 5 days provided I don't end up bogged down in work or something else. That's the plan at least. We all know what they say about plans.
Also I haven't stopped working on my other fics but I'm still trying to rebuild all the notes I lost along with trying to get my muse to want to work on them. Just give me some time.
Now, how about a new chapter?
There were a half a dozen different voices in her head, different conversations that had taken place in the last eight hours since that first phone call from the police. But not one single conversation was able to drown out the one thing that kept repeating. That she shouldn't have let Dawn go. It outweighed any rational justification that she could give. That Dawn was an adult now. That Dawn needed the time to get over what had happened back in May. That she'd understood her sister's need for space because she'd carried the same kind of guilt after Angelus. That Dawn was hurt because she hadn't been there.
None of it mattered now though.
Feeling guilty would get her no where. Anger was a luxury she couldn't afford and she knew the dangers of vengeance from bloody death filled experience. All that mattered was that Dawn was alive and that someone had hurt her, had and was hurting others. And it was a someone and not a something because she had already contacted the Devon Coven and checked.
A small part of her didn't want to comprehend how a human could do something so evil to another human but she'd learned the hard truth before she'd ever gotten out of high school. Evil wasn't just reserved for the demons, humans were just as good and sometimes better at it. And this human evil had hurt her sister. And it had to be stopped.
Just as soon as she was certain that Dawn would live to see another day. After that it would be time to go to work. Slayers didn't kill humans but she was damn well going to make sure that the human who had hurt her sister spent a long life stuck in a tiny box and miserable.
The hospital was cold and sterile, something she hated. The smells, the lights, the sounds-death and pain and bad memories. But the reality was that she'd spent far too much time in hospitals over the years and that it would likely never change. So she ignored her own issues with it and focused on her goal. Find out Dawn's condition and then do what needed to be done.
Voices, the smell of fresh blood, rushing bodies. Slayer senses well adapted over the years honed in on the controlled chaos going on up the hall from her. Dawn had woken up. Woken up and gone into survival mode, went from the proverbial zero to sixty as fast as anyone who had been well trained would given the situation. And had suffered for it. The doctors were already rushing her back to surgery.
She wouldn't say a word to Dawn about it. She would, however, be having words with the three figures that stood in the hall talking. She already knew who they were, had gotten the files on them when she'd called in a favor owed. A favor that could have been used for an apocalypse but Dawn outranked everything else, always had and always would.
Her mind went back to the file she'd looked over during her flight from LA, Emily Prentiss, Derek Morgan and Aaron Hotchner. Hotchner was the leader and she could see it clearly in him, he wore his job around himself like a knight wore their armor, or Faith wore leather. She heard him ask if she'd arrived as she stopped behind the three of them. “Yeah, I have.”
Three backs stiffened for a heartbeat but Agent Morgan recovered differently, with more fluid grace to him than the other two. Only two types of people moved with that kind of grace, dancers and fighters and she seriously doubted he was a dancer. “Buffy Summers?” the woman, Agent Prentiss gave her an appraising look.
“Yes, Agent Prentiss.” she gave a slight nod. “Agents Hotchner and Morgan.” she gave each man a nod.
All three looked ever so slightly surprised, though they hid it well. “How do you know our names?”
“I called in a favor.” she held out the file for Agent Hotchner to take. The serious faced agent took it and opened it, scanning the papers inside before meeting her eyes again. “Ms Summers, while I understand your desire to find the individual who did this to your sister you have to realize that you are too emotionally involved to be allowed access to this case.”
A diplomatic answer, one that she wasn't surprised to hear at all. How many times in the last seven years had she heard the diplomatic answer? How many times had she had to give one after she and the rest of the Scoobies had taken over the Council? Too many, that's what. And while she respected diplomacy a lot more than she had before it wasn't something she was willing to deal with. She'd learned the hard way about when there were times to be diplomatic and when there were times to just steam roll over anything in her path. Now was one of the latter times no matter what anyone else thought. She gave Agent Hotchner a level look. “Turn to the second page Agent Hotchner.”
He did and as she let him read she pulled the cell phone from the clip on her belt and held it out to Agent Morgan. “Speed dial twenty one.” he took the phone. “I'll be back with the three of you in a few minutes.” she left the three of them standing and began to make her way down the hall. Finding out Dawn's condition took priority over playing diplomatic games with three FBI agents.
Speed dial twenty one. He pushed the buttons and his eyebrows went up. It read-President, USA emergency line. What the hell? He looked over at Hotch and held out the phone for the senior agent and Prentiss to see. “She's got a direct line to the President, Hotch.”
“And orders with the Presidential Seal stating that we are expected to work with her on this case.”
“Who the hell is this woman?” Prentiss looked more than just taken aback, she looked confused and startled. Which wasn't a far cry from how he felt at the moment.
“Well she's obviously got a lot of pull. She 'called in' a favor from the President of the United States. ” a whole lot more pull than he'd ever heard of anyone having. Though it did back up what they knew of both Summers sisters having classified files.
“I don't like this.” Hotch opened his phone again and after a moment started speaking. “Garcia, I need you to find out everything you possibly can about Buffy Summers.”
She stared at the doctor's retreating back as he went back to other work, a frown marring her features. They intended to keep Dawn unconscious for at least twenty four hours after the surgery was finished to prevent another 'episode' like the one before. An episode that wouldn't have happened had she made it from LA fast enough. Stupid snow storms and blizzards on their way. She gave a shake of the head and shoved the pointless guilt to the side. She couldn't control the weather just like she couldn't always get what she wanted and feeling guilty about it was just pointless. But she could do something else. She could find who had hurt her sister and was probably still hurting others and stop it. Not just could, would.
Two people she cared about in the ICU in under six months. Two more dead during an apocalypse. One shot and her sister pushed to the edge of what a human could endure, physically and mentally. At least her former partner had managed to walk away. And Dawn would too if she had anything to say about it.
She took a deep breath and pushed the almost blinding rage down and locked it away. Someone, someone human, had kidnapped, raped, and tortured her baby sister. Someone human had done it. And that was the deciding factor. No matter how much part of her wanted to find the son of a bitch and get her slayer on there were rules. Rules she followed and enforced, humans were off limits.
And if she wanted to see the human who was more monster than some demons she knew caught then she'd have to at least have to meet the agents she'd left behind her halfway. Yes, she was forcing herself into their investigation but the reality of the situation was simple, they'd never find out a thing about how someone had managed to take Dawn or why without her.
It was almost ironic how the very safety measures they'd had to use in order to stop Dawn from being kidnapped every other month were the exact same things that were keeping the FBI from finding out anything about Dawn. With a shake of her head she turned and strode back down the hall to where the three agents stood talking among themselves. Their faces and movements gave a lot away about them and one side of her mouth twitched as she realized that she was doing the exact same thing they did for a living, reading people.
“The doctors want to keep Dawn sedated for at least twenty four hours so that means you'll have to get the basic information from me.” all three turned to her and she could see it clearly on their faces. Not happy, distrustful, irritated and baffled were the easiest to read.
Agent Hotchner took the lead though, but she could see his acceptance of having to deal with her was grudging at best. Potentially hostile at worst if she rubbed him the wrong way. “May I speak to you alone Ms. Summers?”
She gave a nod and followed the man a few feet until they were out of hearing range of the other two agents. When they stopped she kept herself far enough back that she didn't have to look up at him and kept her expression blank, what Xander had started calling her 'diplomacy sucks' face. “I'm against this. You are too personally involved to remain objective in this case as well as not being a member of law enforcement. However, you've gone over my head and I have no choice but to accept your involvement. There are conditions though. If I feel that you put this case in jeopardy in any way I will have you removed no matter what connections you have. Do you understand?”
She met Agent Hotchner's gaze head on. “I do understand. But you need to understand this about me. I don't care about politics. I don't care about egos and I sure as hell don't care about what you think about me or my methods. All I care about is catching who did this and making sure they spend the rest of their life in a cell.”
It had gotten dark and had begun to snow more steadily in the time that it had taken them to go from the Estes Park Police Station to the hospital and come back. There were snow plows already making the rounds and one passed by the station as he preceded the others inside. The weather was growing worse and according to the radio the blizzard would be in full effect by the next afternoon. That, coupled with Dawn Summers being sedated for twenty four hours and the astounding lack of information they had at the moment did nothing to help the matter of having Buffy Summers force herself into their investigation. Rossi spotted him first and their gazes met. With a look and a head gesture he let the other agent know that he wanted to speak with the team in private before turning his attention to Summers. “Ms. Summers.”
“Just call me Buffy.” he noted her body language and eye movement. She didn't like police stations just like she hadn't liked being in the hospital before but the signs were so small they were almost difficult for even him to see. But other than those ever so minute signs she seemed completely in control of herself and her emotions, someone used to being in situations that others would find overwhelming.
“Ms. Summers,” he gestured to Garcia and the other blonde made her way over to them. “This is Penelope Garcia, our analyst. I need you to provide her with as much information for her to work with as possible.”
Summers gave a nod and a smile to Garcia as she held out a hand. “I've got a friend who loves your work.”
Garcia looked surprised and happy. “Really?”
A smile and it was a real one, a dazzling one from Summers. It made him blink for a moment before turning his attention away from the two women and heading into the room that Rossi had gathered the rest of the team into. Five sets of eyes focused on him as he shut the door behind him. “Buffy Summers is going to be joining in on the investigation.” it wasn't a question out of Rossi.
“The orders come directly from the President. I deny them and it could cost all of us our jobs.” he caught sight of the file in Reid's hand. “Was Garcia able to find out anything on either of the Summers sisters?”
“There's surprisingly more information available about Buffy than Dawn. Though none of it predates 2002 except for her SAT scores and basic school transcripts.” Prentiss took the file from Reid and the genius started to rattle off information. “In 2002 Buffy became a member of the board of directors for an agency called the IWC. She and her sister Dawn moved to Rome where Dawn finished high school. In 2003 Dawn left for Oxford and Buffy began to travel while getting two degrees from Oxford herself. One in International Relations and the other in Psychology. She also appears to have done extensive coursework in education, business, history and anthropology.”
Prentiss looked startled. “Did you say the IWC?”
Everyone's attention turned to the brunette. “I have a few friends in Britain who have mentioned the IWC in passing.”
“In what capacity?” nothing was adding up yet.
“None actually. Whatever they do no one talks about it. I could make a few calls though. See if I can find out anything.”
“Where was Buffy traveling?” generally those higher on the food chain of any agency didn't travel as much as lower members, especially when an agency had the kind of power that everything they knew so far alluded to. Or alone as Summers appeared to be.
“Garcia was able to track her US passport but she's been granted citizenship in the British Commonwealth. It looks like she never stays more than six or seven months anywhere and always ends up back in the United States or Great Britain.” Reid was wearing the same expression he had when there was a puzzle to be solved.
“Italy, Morocco, Egypt, United Arab Emirates, Australia, India, China, Japan, Argentina, and Brazil-with one and two month gaps in between where Garcia can't track her.” J.J. almost looked impressed as she read off the list.
There was a knock on the door that cut any further conversation on the subject off as Garcia poked her head through the door. “Sorry to interrupt but Buffy's given me some good information about Dawn.”
He gave a nod for her to continue.
“We started with the basics and from that I was able to come up with two leads. The first is Dawn's address, its in Denver and the second is the license plate of the car Buffy's agency has been renting for Dawn's use while she's here. It was left sitting at the CU Boulder library and towed eleven days ago after it had been left sitting for two days.”
“That gives us a time line at least.” that it did. Now they had a better starting point than the almost nothing they had had only an hour before. Even if they were left with more questions than answers about the elder Summers sister and the IWC.
“Morgan, Prentiss, the car and the library. Dawn was most likely abducted from there. Rossi and I will go to Dawn Summers apartment with Summers. J.J., you and Reid work with Garcia. Dawn said there were others. Check missing persons.” he gave everyone one last look as they began to disperse, Reid taking longer due to the crutches he was still forced to use. Within a moment it was only himself and Rossi alone in the room.
“Classified files, mysterious agencies, and a member of their board of directors ping ponging around the world. I don't like the sound of this.”
“Neither do I.” he met the other man's gaze. “See if you can get Ms. Summers to open up to you. Establish a rapport.”
“Do you think she had something to do with Dawn's abduction?”
He shook his head. “No, she wants the UnSub caught.”
"Caught or dead?"
He watched Summers retreating back. "I'm not sure."
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