Doing Time.By Dave Turner.The season finale for the ‘Grim up North’ series of stories.
Disclaimer: I do not own Buffy the Vampire Slayer or the classic BBC TV comedy, ‘Porridge’. I write these stories for fun not profit. ‘Porridge’ was written by Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais. Buffy was thought up by the usual suspects. Any canon/scripted words you might find in this story weren’t originally written by me either.
Crossover: BtVS with the Film/TV series, ‘Porridge’.
Spelling, Punctuation, and Grammar; Written in glorious English-English which is different to American-English.
Timeline: Post Season 7 (no comics) part of the ‘Grim up North’ series.
Words: 25 Chapters of 3000+ words
Warnings: As usual I’m erring on the side of safety so FR15 for most chapters. Chapter 6 should be rated FR21 as it contains a fairly graphic depiction of rape. This section is posted in italics so could be avoided by readers so they don't miss any of the plot.
Summary: Xover with ‘Porridge’; “Buffy Anne Summers, you are a habitual criminal…we therefore feel constrained to commit you to the maximum term allowed for these offences - you will go to prison for five years.” Warning for rape scene in Chapter 6.0=0=0=0Author’s notes appear at the end of this chapter.0=0=0=0Middlesbrough Crown Court, early March, 2005.
Standing in the dock at Middlesbrough Crown Court, Buffy smiled hopefully up at her family and friends in the public gallery, her case had not been going well. Somehow the court had got the idea that she was some sort of career criminal who’d spent her entire life breaking into other people’s homes. Of course it hadn’t helped her case that she couldn’t tell the police or the court the real reason she’d been in someone else’s house in the middle of the night. It wasn’t really her fault she’d gone to the wrong address; the note about the vampire nest had been scribbled on a piece of paper and left on her desk at Slayer Central. No one could remember who’d put it there or was willing to admit to writing it. It was all something of a mystery and one that Giles was still looking into, however, this hadn’t helped Buffy’s claim that the only thing she was guilty of was misreading an address.
Of course in the days of the old Watchers Council the case would never have come to court, they’d have used their influence to get her out of jail and any charges against her would’ve been dropped. But, ‘The First’ had put pay to all that by blowing up the Watcher’s headquarters in London; the new ‘Slayer’s Organisation’ (so-called because no one could think up a better name for it) didn’t have a tenth of the influence the old council had once wielded.
Looking away from her friends, Buffy saw that the jury were filing back into court, she didn’t know whether to be worried or hopeful; they’d only been out for about thirty minutes. Really only just long enough to go to the restroom and then decide if she was innocent or guilty over a quick cup of tea. Once again Buffy glanced up at the public gallery to see Dawn wave and smile encouragingly at her.
“Has the jury reached its verdict?” Asked the be-gowned clerk of the court.
“We have m’lud,” the forewoman stood up, addressing the judge as she handed the clerk of the court a note.
The clerk took the note to the judge who opened and read it to himself. Buffy tried to read the expression on the judge’s face but she couldn’t see anything there one way or the other.
“The defendant will rise,” ordered the judge; Buffy stood up.
The judge looked back at the jury.
“How do you find the defendant?” The judge asked.
“Guilty, m’lud.” Replied the forewoman.
“NO!” Cried Buffy in panic, “I’m innocent I tell you! It must’ve been a different Buffy Summers!”
There was uproar in court as the judge banged his gavel; after all how could there possibly be two women called ‘Buffy Summers’?
“Another outburst like that and I’ll have the court cleared,” the judge’s voice cut through the cries of despair that rose from the gallery and the defendant’s box, “The prisoner will remain standing while the court passes sentence.”
Hanging on to the edge of the dock for support, Buffy tried to control her racing heart as her friends tried to calm Dawn in the gallery.
"Buffy Anne Summers,” began the judge looking at her over the top of his half moon spectacles, “you have been found guilty to the charges brought by this court,” the judge paused for a moment, “and it is now my duty to pass sentence. You are a habitual criminal, who accepts arrest as an occupational hazard and presumably accepts imprisonment in the same casual manner. We therefore feel constrained to commit you to the maximum term allowed for these offences - you will go to prison for five years…take her down.”
Numb to the core Buffy was only vaguely aware of the two prison officers taking her by the arms and leading her down to the cells. As she walked in a daze down the stairs, Buffy heard Dawn shouting from the gallery above and the judge banging his gavel for order in the court room
“Don’t worry Buffy, we’ll get you...” Dawn’s voice was cut off by the sound of a heavy door being slammed shut behind her.0=0=0=0
The security van, containing Buffy and one other woman, drove through the gates of Slade Women’s Prison; Buffy shivered as she heard the big gates slam shut behind the van. It had only taken a couple of hours to drive up to the wilds of Cumbria where the prison was situated. Although Slade prison was in the Lake District and on the wrong side of the Pennines it wasn’t actually that far from Saltburn-by-the-Sea were Buffy lived. This would mean that her friends and Dawn wouldn’t have too much difficulty coming to see her for her monthly visits.
The van jerked to a halt and Buffy’s sensitive hearing caught the sound of the doors at the back of the van being unlocked. The van shifted slightly as whoever it was with the keys stepped aboard and worked their way along the inside of the van unlocking the tiny cells occupied by each prisoner. The door to Buffy’s claustrophobic, little cubicle was the second to be opened and she found herself looking up into the hard, unsympathetic eyes of a large woman dressed in the uniform of a prison officer.
Stepping out into the grey, damp, daylight, Buffy became aware of tall, grim, looking prison walls and equally grim looking prison blocks. Her heart sank even further when she noticed that every window had bars on them. Obviously, Slade Women’s Prison was one of those old, bleak, Victorian prisons and not one of the newer more open prisons where, if it wasn’t for the locked doors and narrow windows, you’d hardly notice you were in jail. No, this was a prison with a capital ‘P’, and looked quite capable of crushing the spirit of even the most determined prisoner. Pushed into line behind the other new arrival, Buffy was marched across a courtyard and into one of the big, forbidding, grey prison blocks. Once inside they were led down long, featureless corridors that smelt of cabbage and disinfectant; finally they were herded into a large room with benches along the walls; here they stood in the centre of the room waiting for somebody to come and tell them what was going to happen next.0=0=0=0
“Beautiful day!” Enthused the Scottish prison office standing behind Buffy, “Beautiful day,” the officer repeated, “for the time of year…beautiful day.”
“Oh lovely,” replied the woman standing next to Buffy; a bottle blonde in her late thirties or early forties, “maybe we can all go out later for a bike ride or something?”
Buffy tried not to smirk at her fellow prisoner’s deadpan delivery.
“You know what they say about New Years Day?” Officer Mackay ignored the other prisoner and walked slowly into Buffy’s field of vision.
Senior Prison Officer Helen Mackay, was a sharp faced woman who kept her dark hair in a severe bun on the back of her head, she was several inches taller than Buffy and projected an air or well scrubbed and shiny efficiency. Her uniform blouse had razor sharp creases down the sleeves. The chain that carried the big bunch of keys hooked to the belt of her skirt, sparkled in the dim electric light of the room; her shoes were so highly polished that you could use them for mirrors.
“They say,” continued Mackay, “that what you do on that day you’ll do all year round,” the woman gloated, seemingly taking pleasure from the prisoner’s misery, “that’s certainly going to be true for you two ladies.”
“You lassie,” Mackay came to stand in front of Buffy, “Summers, right?” Buffy nodded, “Your first time inside isn’t it?” Mackay looked Buffy up and down as if inspecting her very soul and finding it wanting, “You must be wondering what an average day in prison’s like?” Mackay turned rapidly to confront the other prisoner, “Tell her Fletcher.”
“It’s exactly like the day before Miss,” Fletcher replied wearily.
“The voice of experience,” Mackay smiled nastily, she was now standing in front of Fletcher giving her the same sort of look she’d given Buffy. “Now, tell Summers how the average day begins.”
“Starting at seven AM,” Fletcher began, “you will be woken by a deafening and persistent bell, then all the screws come round…” Fletcher paused to let Mackay say something almost as if she’d been expecting an interruption.
“I beg your pardon?” Mackay glared at Fletcher.
“…sorry,” Fletcher continued contritely, “…all the prison officers come around offering such helpful advice as ‘wakey-wakey’ and ‘move you ‘orrible creatures’. To which we happily reply with remarks such as, ‘goodness gracious is that the time?’ and ‘good morning Miss and who’s been doing your old man while you’ve been on night duty?’.”
“Very comical, Fletcher,” snapped Mackay before she continued with the description of the day herself, “Eight o’clock, slop out. Eight-ten, breakfast. Eight-thirty, return to cell; nine o’clock…carry on Fletcher.”
“Nine o’clock slop out again,” As ordered, Fletcher continued with her description, “followed by work until eleven fifteen when we exercise…”
“Walking in pairs,” Mackay explained what ‘exercise’ consisted of, “five or six yards between each pair, no talking to the pair in front or behind and then we have the highlight of the day. What’s the highlight of the day Fletcher?”
“Dinner, Miss.” Fletcher replied.
“Which is?” Queried Mackay.
“Nourishing Miss,” Fletcher announced brightly before adding, “can’t wait Miss!”
“Twelve o’clock, midday lock up,” Mackay went on. “Thirteen-hundred, slop out followed by work until sixteen-hundred, then tea and evening association. Seven-fifteen, slop out followed by super and finally at eight o’clock it’s lock-up and lights out, any questions?” Mackay demanded.
“Any point in asking any?” Buffy asked.
“None what-so-ever,” Mackay informed her with a smile.0=0=0=0
After completing her little lecture, Mackay left the room leaving Buffy and Fletcher in the care of Miss Barrowclough, a tall thin woman with a sad face who wore a white jacket over her uniform. Placing two cardboard boxes on a handy table she picked up a clipboard and called Fletcher forward. Listening closely, Buffy heard Barrowclough take Fletcher’s details, she then told her to strip and put her belongings into one of the boxes.
Walking over to a screened off booth, Fletcher disappeared inside, only to come out moments later dressed in a thin cotton robe and carrying her clothes in her arms. Walking back over to Barrowclough she dumped her clothes into one of the boxes and signed Barrowclough’s clipboard. Next it was Buffy’s turn; she gave the prison officer her home address, date of birth and next of kin before retreating to the booth. As she stripped off her clothes it suddenly hit her that all this was real and not some sort of living nightmare; she really was in prison. Slipping on the robe that’d been hanging in the booth waiting for her, Buffy picked up her clothes went outside and placed them into the box that Barrowclough held out to her, she signed the clipboard and waited for someone to tell her what to do next.
What happened next was a tepid shower using really harsh medicated soap followed by the indignity of a body cavity search. After this they were each given a set of prison underwear; terrible off-white, cotton ‘granny knickers’ and a shapeless cotton bra in the same colour. After they’d put these on and having had their robes taken away from them they were led into the medical examination room. Here they sat, still a little damp and shivering slightly as they waited for the Medical Officer to turn up.
“If you weren’t sick before,” Fletcher said out of the corner of her mouth, “you soon will be in this place; ‘ere y’know if you can convince the MO (Medical Officer) you’ve got something wrong with your feet you can keep your own shoes. Otherwise you’ll be stuck with prison shoes an’ they’ll really screw up y’feet.”
“Thanks,” Buffy whispered back, “I’ll remember that.”
Not needing to remember this information for long, Buffy looked up as a door opened and a woman in a white doctor’s coat came into the room. The MO moved around the room as she complained to herself about the governor’s demands on her time and how the governor seemed to think she was actually a vet. Finally picking up a clipboard she looked at the two names on the list and then at the two women sitting on the bench under the window.
“Summers,” the doctor called Buffy over. “I’m going to give you a stringent medical examination, it’s important that we get an accurate medical history from you, understand?”
Nodding her head in understanding Buffy had to lift her left arm so the doctor could study her armpit closely.
“Ever had crabs?” The doctor wanted to know.
“No,” Buffy shook her head adding, “I don’t eat seafood.”
“Lice?” the doctor gave her a tied look as she crossed in front of her and lifted up Buffy’s right arm and started to study her other armpit. “STD’s?”
“No,” Buffy replied slightly puzzled by why the doctor would ask about sexually transmitted diseases when looking at her armpit; the doctor took out a little torch and shone it in Buffy’s ear.
“Are you,” sighed the doctor, “or do you have reason to suspect that you might be pregnant?”
“No,” Buffy replied succinctly.
“Suffer from any illness?” The doctor asked after making a note on her clipboard.
Frowning slightly, Buffy remembered what the woman, Fletcher, had told her, tell them you had bad feet and they’d let you wear your own shoes.
“Bad feet,” Buffy announced brightly.
“Suffer from any illness?” The doctor repeated with a frown.
“Bad feet!” Buffy reiterated, this time more forcefully.
“Have you paid a recent visit to a doctor or hospital?” The doctor wanted to know.
“Only with my bad feet!” Buffy was starting to get into the swing of things now, maybe this was some sort of test.
“Are you now or have you at any time been a practicing lesbian?” The doctor obviously didn’t believe Buffy’s tale of poor foot health; however Buffy wasn’t so easily shaken in her determination to retain ownership of her footwear.
“What, with these feet?” Buffy sighed sadly, “Who'd have me?”
“Fill that jar,” the MO gestured to a line of specimen jars on a table about six feet away.
“What? From here?” Buffy might be the slayer but that was asking too much even of her.0=0=0=0
After the medical, which hadn’t been nearly as stringent as the doctor had led Buffy to believe, Fletcher and herself were taken along another corridor to a store room where they were issued their prison uniforms. Buffy received two, long sleeved light grey dresses, half a dozen pairs of white ankle socks, a pair of black canvas shoes and extra underwear including t-shirts. Thinking that the clothing issue was quite generous all things considered, Buffy’s heart sank when she realised that these clothes would probably have to last her the full five years of her sentence.
Next she was issued with, soap, toothpaste, toothbrush, hair brush; the list went on and on until Buffy started to think that even with super-strength she might not be able to carry everything. By the time she’d finished in the store, Fletcher had already been taken away to her cell for the night. Eventually a prison officer came for her and led her away to a little cell where she was to spend her first night in prison, alone. Tomorrow she’d be assigned to her permanent cell and given her work assignment.0=0=0=0 Slayer Central, Saltburn-by-the-Sea.
Sitting around the table in the main conference room at Slayer Central, Giles, Willow, Xander, Faith, Kennedy and most importantly Dawn were all looking particularly glum (actually Kennedy wasn’t feeling in the slightest bit ‘glum’ but she tried to look it for Willow’s sake). They’d had their best friend (once again Kennedy would like it known that Buffy wasn’t her
best friend) and leader (again Kennedy was a little ‘iffy’ on the whole leader
thing) taken away from them and although no one would admit it out loud they all felt a little lost (so
not Kennedy, she knew exactly where she was) with Buffy missing from the group. This was particularly true of Dawn; although she’d had her differences with Buffy over the last year, she still loved her sister and was already missing her dreadfully.
“So,” Dawn began, trying to keep her voice sounding hopeful, “what are we going to do?”
“We could break her out,” Kennedy suggested; every head in the room turned towards her. “I mean, it wouldn’t be that difficult.” Again Kennedy’s comment was met with slightly puzzled frowns. “Look,” she rolled her eyes, “we know where she is, we could arrange a jailbreak, maybe one of us could go inside undercover,” the excitement in Kennedy’s voice was starting to get the better of her, “Or-or we could get a helicopter and…”
“I don’t think that would work, sweetie,” Willow told her partner calmly.
“C-couldn’t you magic her out?” Dawn asked Willow from across the table.
“Umm…” Willow was caught in a quandary; she could indeed ‘magic’ Buffy out, but that would be illegal or would be if the law recognised magic, so was it really illegal?
“Apart from the obvious legalities of the situation,” Giles announced from the head of the table, “assuming we got Buffy out of jail, the chances are she’d have to spend the rest of her life on the run.”
“Couldn’t Kennedy’s father’s lawyers help?” Xander asked.
“They’re mainly corporate lawyers,” Kennedy replied quickly, “they don’t have much to do with criminal law.” Kennedy was still in favour of breaking Buffy out, with ‘St Buffy of the Stake’ on the run for the rest of her life, Kennedy might never have to go on another mission with her, “I could ask though.”
“Good idea, Xander,” Giles nodded at Xander and then turned to look at Kennedy, “If you could follow up on that please Kennedy?”
“Sure,” Kennedy nodded her head, she was almost sure her father’s legal team wouldn’t be able to help; to her it looked like the jail break option was the only way out for Buffy.
“Hey,” Faith spoke up from the opposite end of the table from Giles, “I think Kennie’s right.”
All heads now turned to look at Faith.“Yes!”
Kennedy punched the air, however, her exuberance soon deserted her when she saw the annoyed look Willow was giving her.
“Look,” Faith shifted uncomfortably in her seat, “I’m not saying that it should be our plan ‘A’, but its something we should look into. A plan ‘B’…”
“Or ‘C’ or ‘D’ or possibly ‘Z’!” Xander said quite forcefully.
“Hey, Harris I’m just saying…” Faith snapped.
“Please!” Giles held up his hands for quiet, “Lets hear what Faith has to say.” He turned from Xander back to Faith and nodded his head for her to continue, “You were saying?”
“I just think its something we should look into that’s all,” Faith explained, “keep our options open, y’know? Don’t ya think this was all like a set up or something?”
“Indeed,” agreed Giles, “there have been certain elements of Buffy’s case that I’ve not been happy with…”
“Like the whole Buffy being totally arrested, and sent to prison thing,” Dawn pointed out miserably.
“My point exactly,” Giles rested his elbows on the table, “how come the police arrived at that particular house at exactly the right moment to catch Buffy breaking in?”
“Yeah, and in large enough numbers to discourage her from running away,” Xander gestured down the table at Giles as he made his point, “How come there was all that evidence that Buffy was this infamous cat-burglar-woman? Where did all that stuff in her chalet come from?”
When the police had searched Buffy’s chalet on the old holiday camp where she lived they had indeed found several pieces of antique silverware that she couldn’t explain. There were also bundles of cash hidden under her bed as well as unusual amounts of money in her personal bank account that couldn’t be explained. The police case had looked as if it had been served up to them on a plate, it’d all been far too easy…convenient even.
“Agreed,” Giles looked around the table as everyone watched him expectantly. “This is what I suggest,” he announced slowly, “Faith, you and Kennedy look into the options for breaking Buffy out of jail. Dawn, Xander I want you to reinvestigate the actual case itself, while Willow and myself look into any other-worldly explanations. Are there any other suggestions?”
Raising her hand, Willow bounced up and down slightly on her chair in her excitement to tell everybody her news.
“Oh-oh guys!” Willow cried excitedly, “I got some good news, not about Buffy of course, we’ve only just decided what we’re gonna do about that and well we’ve only just begun so it’d be weird if I’d come up with something so soon and…”
“Willow?” Giles frowned at Willow bringing her runaway mouth to a halt, “What did you want to tell us?”
“You know the gay thing,” Willow beamed happily around the room at all the gloomy faces facing her, “I’ve found a cure!”
Several weeks earlier and for no adequately explained reason, every slayer in the world had turned gay, more or less overnight. Apart from it being a spell of some kind, Willow and Giles had not been able to find out who’d done it or even why they’d done it.
“So?” Faith who’d been in a relationship with Dawn since before ‘The Night of the Lesbians’ asked.
“Well, I can put everyone back like they were before,” Willow explained a little crestfallen that her announcement hadn’t met with the universal acclaim she’d expected.
“What if they don’t want to be put back the way they were,” Dawn asked being a recent convert to the ‘I’m gay now’ club, “maybe they’re happy as they are.”
“That’s the beauty of the reversal spell,” Willow pointed out, “it’s really simple every slayer can do it herself, I just have to post the spell on ‘Slayernet’!”
Willow referred to the secret slayer website she’d set up.
“Well, jolly good,” Giles, despite his words, didn’t sound at all jolly, “you deal with that and then get right on with more important things like getting Buffy out of prison, hmm?”
“Hey,” moaned Willow as the meeting broke up, “anybody would think that I don’t care about helping Buffy.”
“I know you do, honey,” Kennedy whispered as she slipped her arm around Willow’s waist, “it’s just, I don’t think everyone really appreciates all you do round here.”
“Damn straight,” Willow agreed with a frown.0=0=0=0Author’s notes.
Porridge was a British situation comedy broadcast on BBC1 from 1974 to 1977, running for three series, two Christmas specials and a feature film. Written by Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais, it starred Ronnie Barker and Richard Beckinsale as two inmates at the fictional HMP Slade in Cumberland/Cumbria. "Doing porridge" is a British slang term for serving a prison sentence, porridge once being the traditional breakfast in UK prisons.
Of course I’ve had to change Slade from a male prison to a female one and feminise all the characters. I also suspect that there was never a prison quite like Slade. If you are expecting a damning indictment of the penal system here in the UK you will be sadly disappointed.
‘Porridge’ was a comedy and I’ve tried to keep my fic true to the original, although once or twice a certain ‘darkness’ creeps into the story. I’ve also added a bit of love interest although this is by no means a lesbian love-fest! But you have to put in a bit of Femslash in a story set in a women’s prison…I mean its in the site rules…I’m sure I read it somewhere!
Hope you enjoy the rest of the story.