The Deal in Washington.
The Deal in Washington.
A/N: My knowledge of law is limited to some high-school courses, and a couple business law courses. So, I hope this comes across right, but apologies if it doesn't.
Caroline stepped in the room, and looked at the two people sitting in there. Xander, as he had asked to be called, looked weary, and a little irritated. Monica Di Angelo looked slightly put upon, like she had just heard something from her client she didn't want to. Which wouldn't surprise Caroline in the least; many lawyers wore that look at some point in their careers.
"Mr. ah, Xander. Ms. Di Angelo. I've looked over the information that was provided, and we've verified a lot of it. Not all, we've only just started. But enough to know that Xander's earlier comment that no-one needed killing more was correct. It is not, however, the individual's place to decide that. Government is the one that has to decide that, or the country breaks down into chaos." She took a deep breath, and opened a folder she had carried in.
"However, if Xander's friend is willing to come in and give a plea of manslaughter, I have gotten authority to offer a Deferred Adjudication for a 3 year Suspended Sentence. So long as the person does nothing to get themselves charged by the Courts, after the three years are up, the charges will be totally removed from their record; it will be as though it never happened. However, if they do get charged with anything, they will have to serve out the time in addition to any sentence they get for the second crime. They would have a period of two months to turn themselves in, here, to this office. Do you understand?"
Xander looked at Monica, who took the papers Caroline handed over, and glanced over them. "That's what these papers say. Ah, Ms. Julian, what about Xander?"
"I went over everything, and he's been either very lucky, or very careful. He hasn't lied to a Federal Agent, at least not yet. So, Xander would have to turn in his Passport, at least till his friend arrives, but would otherwise be free to go. If however, his friend does not come in, I would make it my mission to make him a target. We would dig into his life, find ever little thing he did wrong, even if it's just jaywalking, and go after him for that. So, Xander, what do you say?"
"Could you give me a moment with my client?" Monica asked.
Caroline nodded, and headed to the door. "Knock when you're ready to answer me."
"Is this - is it a good idea?" Xander asked.
"It seems to be. You're friend would walk away with a clean record, and wouldn't be able to be charged with this or related crimes again." Monica continued to look through the papers, swiftly but accurately.
Xander got up, and knocked on the door. When Caroline re-entered, he asked "Couple of things. First, my friend is a high ranking officer of an international company, and needs to be able to come and go, often on unexpected schedules. So, is that going to be a problem?"
Caroline thought about it a minute. "I can adjust the agreement, so they can do that, but I'll have to raise the Suspended Sentence to five years."
"Cool. So, the second thing is, can I have my phone? I need to call the friend, talk to them."
"You can use that phone over there," Caroline waved at the wall-mounted landline. "Just dial 9 for an outside line."
"Uh, actually, I can't. I don't know the number. It's speed-dial 3 on the phone. I didn't even program it, another friend did," Xander rubbed the back of his neck embarressedly.
"You could call the other friend, have them give you the number," Caroline suggested.
"Yeah, that would be speed-dial 2. Sorry," he shrugged.
Caroline glared at him a moment, resulting in another shrug, but he didn't otherwise move. Finally she growled slightly, then left the room. About 10 minutes later, she returned carrying an envelope, which opened to reveal his belongings. She had him sign a paper that he was removing the cellphone from the envelope, then closed and sealed it again, signing over the tape.
"Monica, could you step out? I'd like to talk to h- my friend alone, please."
Both the lawyers left the room, saying nothing to each other.
One of the little known facts about the American Jurisprudence system is that detainees are usually allowed all the phone calls they want. But, unless it is to their lawyer, the contents of those calls aren't privileged. They can be recorded and used against the person at a later time, in Court. As soon as Monica had left the room, the ones in the adjoining room turned on the recorders again.
Sadly, for all the Federal Bureau of Investigation's technological sophistication, they couldn't match up to Willow Rosenberg's magic. The tapes of Xander's time on his call were blank. Not the blank of white noise, not the blank of a distorter. Simply - not there. No sound. No noise. No recording. Nothing.
"Yullo!" Buffy's voice answered the phone.
"Hey, Buffster! So, how'er things going for you?"
"Xander! Bit busy here; just a sec." The volume changed slightly "Fransesca! Poeta! Can you distract it for a bit? Good, grazie!" Volume returned to normal. "Okay, you've got a few seconds. What's up?"
"So, I'm kinda in jail. . . "
"But not really. See, in addition to Andrew's and Anya's face, I saw Caleb. They dug up his bones. I made a crack about no-one needing to be more dead, and the Agent there decided that meant I killed him. They've figured out it wasn't me, but know it was someone I know. So, they've offered a deal. If you come in, and plead guilty, they'll give you a five year Suspended Sentence, if you plead self-defence. Then, as long as you don't get caught in the States for any other crimes, well, it'll all go away. And I got an addition - you will still be able to come and go, you won't be stuck in the States."
"Okaaaay; and why would I agree to this?"
"Because if you don't, they're going to come after me, for anything and everything I might have done. And, mostly likely, since I'm married, my wife. And, since she's helping in Cleveland right now, that'll lead them to Robin, and Faith and Hope. And Both Dawn and Faith aren't people we want them looking at too hard, right?"
"Yeah. And, she's a bit of a ball-buster, but I think she's fair. If you come in, it'll be like she says, if you don't, well . . . "
"Crap. Just a sec." Xander heard the phone be set down, then sounds of punchs, kicks, and thuds in the background. After a few seconds, Buffy's panting voice returned. "Okay, well, it looks like it might be a good idea to get back to the States anyway. So, how quick do I have to be there?"
"Well, she gave you two months, but I can't leave the country till you get here. And, I figure, it's kind of like a bandaid. The sooner your start it, the sooner it's over and done with."
"Makes sense. Plus, I don't think I could stay here in Rome right now, anyways. Too many corrupted memories, now."
"Yeah, I get that. Well, talk to you later. I've got to pass this on." After exchanging their farewells, the pair hugh up their phones.
Xander had been shocked almost beyond words to see Andrew's face up on the monitor, along with Anya and Caleb. He passed it along, and the past few days England and Italy had been concerned with taking out the imposter in Andrew's place. It sounded like they were done for now, but he couldn't wait to hear the whole story, or as much as they could figure out. For now, though, he had some news to pass on.
Knocking on the door, Monica and Caroline came back in, and looked at him.
"Well, cherie? What've you got to share?"
"She'll take the deal. She's got a few things to take care of, but she should be here in a few days."
Caroline smiled at the younger man. "Good. I'm sorry it had to work out this way, but once the government was involved, well, I had to do the best I could. I'm just glad I could help the Slayer, in some small way."