Disclaimer: See chapter one.
A/N: Many and abundant thanks to everyone who has reviewed and rec'ed. You are the ones who make me get off my butt and write even when I have no desire or reason to.
Also to my Rooftop chums. Thanks as always for putting up with me and my madness, cries for help and...well for tolerating me for the few years. You are my rocks, my muses and keep me on track.
Also I'm in desperate need for art for this fic and series in general and due to losing everything coupled with being too busy to do it myself I'd appreciate anything if anyone feels inspired.
She'd only been to the Council owned apartment that Dawn had moved into in Denver once since Dawn had left England after the last apocalypse but she knew where it was. As a matter of fact she'd insisted Dawn use the apartment over the house the Council owned in the suburbs of Denver because it had better security. Given it was human security but she'd figured it was safer for Dawn to be in a high rise that was harder to fire bomb and with so many people always around in the middle of downtown so a kidnapping would be harder to pull off.
How she wished she'd been right.
The car ride from Estes Park had been not only quiet and painfully slow so far but tense, the kind of tense that was wordless but heavy. And she hated it, always had. Action, getting things done, that was what she excelled at. Give her a mission, a goal, and she attacked it with the same determination that jungle cats used when hunting for food. Sitting in a car with two FBI profilers giving her assessing looks in the mirrors every ten seconds wasn't something she liked. “Go ahead and ask.”
The older one, Rossi, turned his head and glanced back at her. “What are you expecting us to ask you?”
A shrug. “It depends.”
“Oh?” smug, that's what he was. Confident. In who he was, what he was and what he was capable of. A veteran of the job if she'd ever seen one. Which was something she could respect. And she'd have taken good odds that he'd spent his entire life putting everything but his job to the side just like some people she knew.
“Yeah, it does. It depends on whether or not you're more interested in profiling me and trying to figure out about me and the IWC or whether you're more interested in finding out about Dawn so you can catch who my sister escaped from.” she glanced over and met Agent Hotchner's gaze in the rear view mirror for a moment before turning her eyes to where she could see Agent Rossi half turned in his seat. “There's a simple way to deal with both. You ask questions, I answer them if I think they're relevant.”
“Even if they might have to do with the IWC?” he gave her a level look. One she met head on, she'd learned from the best even if he was a pain in her ass. But those months hunting down and removing the last of Wolfram and Heart had left her with a new set of skills and one hell of a poker face.
“Got that far did you? I'm not too surprised with Penelope working for you.” one edge of her mouth went up, not quite a parody of a smile. She liked Penelope Garcia, the woman had brains and skills and a personality that reminded her of a cross between the best aspects of Willow and Andrew. “A lot of who and what Dawn is is tied to the IWC.”
Now Rossi looked interested. “In what way?”
She couldn't tell the truth, that the IWC dealt with all the things that went bump in the night but she could tell him the truth in another way. “I've been a member of the IWC my entire adult life. Unfortunately that comes with a cost. When our mother died I became Dawn's legal guardian and that made Dawn a target. And I had a two jobs to do instead of one. I had hard choices to make. I figured out after more than one attempt on Dawn's life because of my work that wrapping her in cotton and sealing her in a bubble without knowing the dangers wasn't working.”
“So you trained her. Taught her how to fight. What to look for.” Rossi looked like he approved but also like what she said meant more than what was on the surface.
A nod. “That's what worries me. If Dawn even thought she was being watched she'd have called in, let someone know.” it did worry her. At twenty two Dawn was young to anyone on the outside looking in, but in their world Dawn was more experienced than members of the old Council three times her age had ever been. And given the training that all members of the Council had to go through Dawn could stand on almost even footing with members of just about any major agency in the world.
That fact alone made her more than a little worried. For someone to have gotten past Dawn's radar meant that they had to be good, very good.
Dawn's' apartment was and was not what he had expected. A contradiction. “How long has Dawn been living here?”
Summers stood in the kitchen, refrigerator door open as she looked inside. “She moved in back in June. I made her take this place over another option in the city because it was more secure.”
He filed that information away, adding it to what was slowly amassing. And she was right. The high rise apartment was fairly secure, with twenty four hour security in the lobby and cameras mounted at the main doors. There has also been an alarm system inside that Summers had had to deactivate. He'd already spoken to the security team and they were sending footage to Garcia.
“All the furniture, it was here when Dawn moved in?” Rossi was looking through a stack of what looked like Dawn's PHD research on the coffee table.
“Yeah.” Summers came out of the kitchen and stood staring out of the plated glass that made up the far wall of the living room. He turned his attention to the rest of the apartment mind focused on finding out how the UnSub had picked Dawn and how he had managed to abduct her. He felt a gust of cold air right after hearing a balcony door slide and realized that Summers had headed outside.
“Agents.” Summers' voice caught his attention and he headed in her direction. “Do you see it?” he followed the pointed hand and though it took a moment to see it in the light reflecting off the snow and city lights he spotted it. It was long and thin and looked more like an arrow than anything else but it was too thick and lacked the traditional arrow tip. Instead it had an end like a plunger that had allowed it to stay mounted on the top corner of the outer door frame.
“What is that?” Rossi stood behind them now.
“I'm not sure but I could make a guess. It's probably a listening device.” Summers pulled out her phone and snapped off several pictures, surprising him slightly that she didn't make the mistake of simply reaching up and pulling it down.
“Why not a camera?”
Summers put her phone back and turned to face outward on the balcony. “Because he was already watching her.” she pointed to the building across the street and he saw what she had already noticed. The roof was almost level with Dawn's apartment. A perfect place to watch from.
Summers turned and he could see it in her eyes. She stood there for a moment and he saw it. On first glance she was just another attractive woman, one with money and vanity too, based on the care she took with her appearance quality of her clothing. But that was the surface, a persona. Underneath was something else. Intelligent, guarded, in control, a leader, and protective. An alpha personality at the core. But one with more hiding underneath. And that was what worried him about her most.
“You're not going to find him on any of the security tapes. He's too smart for that, too organized.”
“You sound like a profiler.” Rossi had a hint of a smile.
“I've got another title.” the comment was made under her breath, almost too soft to hear. She pulled out her phone again and within a moment he heard it ring, she'd put it on speaker phone.
“Buffy! How's Dawn? Is she awake? What ha..”
“Wills.” one word but it cut the speaker, who sounded young and was female, off. “Dawn's going to be fine. We'll get her to Devon as soon as she can travel. But right now I need you to work your mojo for me. I'm gonna send you some pictures. I think its a listening device. I need you to find out everything you can about it for me and fast.”
“Yeah, sure I can do that.”
“Tell Dawnie we love her.”
“I will.” the call ended and Summers started to send the picture.
“Ms. Summers.” there was protocol in dealing with cases and she'd just broken it.
“Yeah?” she didn't even bother to look up.
“This is an FBI case, not an IWC one. Despite my own concerns I have had no choice but to accept your involvement so far but from here on you consult with me before you take any action of your own.”
Summers looked up, met his gaze and that same look was there, the one that she'd had only a couple hours before in the hospital when they'd spoken alone. “I'll do what I have to.”
“You're too close to this case.” she was and he knew it. Had known it from the moment he'd met her.
“No, I'm not. I'm right where I need to be. And if you don't like my methods tough. Dawn said there were others being held where she was. Innocent victims left with someone who is probably highly pissed off that Dawn got away. My sister is safe, they're not. And if I have to step on your ego and your agency to save them then so be it.” she stepped around him and headed back inside.
“I like her.” Rossi was smiling as he watched Summers head into the bedroom. Grudgingly he had to admit that his respect for her had just gone up a notch. But there was something about her that just sat wrong. Something he couldn't put his finger on.
And as a profiler that was never a good thing.
He wasn't sure if it was the thin mountain air, the continual lack of sleep he'd been living with since he'd come home and found Foyet in his apartment or the case in general that was giving him a headache but he had no choice but to ignore the pain that had begun to bloom in his temples.
“The librarian recognized the picture of Dawn. Said that she remembered Dawn leaving late the night she was abducted.” Morgan was leaning against one wall of the room they'd been given by Estes Park Police Department to use. “She didn't remember seeing Dawn talk to anyone or leave with anyone. She did remember that Dawn had a leather messenger bag with her though. Said she remembered it because Dawn had it so full she was surprised that she didn't tip over.”
“We looked over the parking lot. It's not big but next to it is a wooded area. Its probably where the UnSub ambushed Dawn from.”
“I'm not so sure about that. The hold Dawn used in the hospital isn't a move you just pick up in a basic self defense class.” and of all of them Morgan would know the best.
A nod. “That fits with what Ms. Summers told us.”
“Apparently due to the nature of Buffy's work Dawn's been targeted before. And rather than keep her sister under constant guard she had Dawn trained to a level Buffy thought would be safe.” Rossi's tone didn't hold any greater meaning to it that he could detect but he'd heard the note of approval when Summers had told them in the car on the way to Dawn's apartment. And she'd been right. As far as he could tell both Summers sisters had made the right choices in personal security for Dawn. Advanced self defense training, a high rise apartment with twenty four hour security team, an alarm system for the apartment itself-those were more safety measures than most people took.
Unfortunately it hadn't been enough.
“So how does someone manage to stalk and abduct someone who doesn't just follow the basic personal security measures but goes beyond them?”
Garcia put up a hand. “I think I know. Based on the information Buffy sent me before you dropped her off at the hospital and the totally brilliant piece of surveillance equipment that you three found I figured it out.” she held up the evidence bag with the listening device in it. “This isn't something you can buy. And I mean anywhere because I've never even heard of anything like it. See how it kinda looks like an arrow but not because its too fat? That's because the shaft is where the batteries are held. A normal one would last a day, maybe two at best. This baby has enough juice to it to last two to three weeks.”
“So the UnSub made this.” it wasn't a question as Prentiss eyed the bag and its contents.
“Yeah. And just based on the design and the fact that the parts you'd need to manufacture something like this aren't cheap I'd say someone with money and a lot of electrical engineering knowledge.”
“Then that adds to our time line.” he looked around at the rest of the team. “Anything else.”
“I think I do.” Reid looked down at the file before him and then back up. “We know the UnSub is organized, methodical and has above average intelligence. And I have a theory about why he chose Dawn Summers as his target.” Reid began to lay out pictures. “When Garcia pulled Dawn's records from Oxford it was easy to see that Dawn isn't just smart, she's actually a genius.”
“You're actually admitting someone else is a genius, kid?”
“Well, yes actually because its true. As far as I can tell Dawn is fluent in over two dozen languages and her IQ test put her at a 161 IQ.” Reid actually looked impressed, a feat in and of itself. “So I had Garcia run a search on any other missing persons that fit the criteria-young, female and above average intelligence.”
“I found one within the state. Shannon Albright, age 23 and considered to be the next great name associated with the cello. Graduated from Julliard and decided to go back to college again to get a degree in medicine as well. She went missing ten months ago when she came back to Colorado Springs for Christmas Break from John Hopkins University.”
J.J. frowned. “But Dawn said there was more than one other person where she was being held.”
Garcia brightened. “I know. That's why I expanded my search and found fourteen more.” the brightness left Garcia's expression. “They're from all over the country. The first one, Sasha Suvari went missing over five years ago from Austin Texas where she was attending college.”
“That makes an average of three girls a year.”