The Slayer in the Museum.
The Slayer in the Museum.
A/N: I've had to rewrite this three times, as reviews have made me reconsider things, try to figure out what should happen, and I synced it up with 'The Two Things Job'. Most of the action here takes place between chapters 2-4 of that story. I still don't own any of the copyrighted characters or places. Even so, it still wasn't gelling, until I changed viewpoint characters. So, on to try 4!
The slayer wasn't bored, but she wasn't exactly excited, either. It had been a couple weeks since Willow teleported the six of them the States, and that had been because of a delay of having to fly to England - no point in wasting energy, when commercial flights could serve just as well. Giles was the one that insisted that the six, including two lawyers in the know about nightlife, appear in Washington, DC. He had been horrified when Buffy had called him with the news of the deal, and the lawyers he called in had also been sure they could do something better.
No one blamed Xander - especially after he had been the one to make sure that they knew about the situation with Andrew. Well, not Andrew, but the First, who had been masquerading as Andrew for all these years. They had known that the First could change shapes to anyone that was dead. They had known that the First was immaterial. And Andrew was seen to touch things several times. What no one had thought of was that the First would simply wear the body of one of the Bringers like it was a suit, using it to interact with the world. That - that had been sneaky.
And, it had led to a huge ruckus, once Xander told them. The whole organization, at least those parts that Andrew had been involved with, were now being looked over again, especially the parts with Angel, and the problems in LA that first year afterward. Strangely, other than his visit to LA, Andr- that is the First, had mostly stuck to Europe. He'd never been involved in Africa, and stayed sharply away from Cleveland, probably because of the animosity Robin had had with hi - it.
Once the First had been exposed, the group set a trap, and attacked him. Sadly, it was a painful battle, costing them 5 watchers, and 3 slayers, including Poeta, who had been in line to take over Rome. So, after this mess in the US was taken care of, Buffy would be going back there to get another girl ready. Turns out that the Bringer the First had been 'wearing' all this time had been slowly getting stronger. Like, more than Caleb stronger! Still, it was dead now, and the First was back to being little more than an irritant, if one that they would have to watch out for in the future.
Giles, and his two lawyers, were ready and would be engaging with the ADA, a Caroline Julian, in the morning. She had indicated to Xander a knowledge of the Slayer, which was also being researched by the watchers and lawyers, but it was on the back-burner. Today, well, tonight, was the chance to burgle the Jeffersonian.
Xander had claimed the bones of Anya, and they had been respectfully shipped to England to be interred once he was free to leave the United States again. But he also reported that something had seemed off while he was there. He wasn't sure what, but seemed sure it was at the Jeffersonian. Willow used some simple magic, and agreed. She had some pre-prepared spells ready, so they could claim the items that were causing the effect, without letting anyone know what had happened; they would be replaced with nearly identical, magically-created, fakes. But ones that didn't have the same problem, ones that didn't cause Xander to have the 'wiggins'.
They would go just after 5 in the evening on a Friday, when everyone would hopefully be leaving for the weekend. Less chance of accidental encounters that way.
Willow first cast a simple scrying spell, to make sure they would not come out in anyone's sight, then teleported Kennedy and herself into the area that was enclosed, clear of presence, and large enough to accept them. They ended up in a largeish room with a square table-like object in the middle, with another one hanging over it.
"Oh, I know what this is! I read an article about it! It's a holographic viewscreen. It's used in reconstructing forensic remains!" Although she started off whispering, her voice raised with excitement.
"Sshh!" Kennedy shushed her. "We don't want anyone hear us!"
"Oh, that's not a problem," Willow said, wandering around the room, looking everything over. "See those doors? They're pretty thoroughly sealed. No sound can get through them. So, no issues! And, I found out that the person whose office this is, Angela Montenegro-Hodgins, is on sabbatical, so we won't be interupted."
Kennedy snuck closer to the door, and inspected it. "Okay, so do your thing."
This was not the first mission the two had been together on, and they had each learned the strengths of the other, and knew what to do. Willow had a spell she cast on the wall, that allowed the pair to treat it as though it was air. They could see through it, and hear what was on the other side, but it was one-way. From the other side, it was still normal. Kennedy gathered a chair, and set it down to keep an eye out, while Willow geeked out over the equipment she had found in the room.
***on the other side of the wall
Wendall and Clark waited for the other interns to join them. Nigel wandered up, nose down in a thick trivia book, and Vaziri came over with his prayer rug tucked under his arm. Dr. Saroyan nodded to the four.
After looking around again, Wendall asked "Where's Colin?"
"Ah - Mr. Fisher won't be joining us this evening. He left word that he was, ah, voluntarily checking into an asylum."
"Which brings me to my unfortunate news. The Jerffersonian managed to retain the services of another Forensic Anthropologist, but he is based in Chicago, and intends to stay there. Therefore, I'm afraid I am no longer able to keep you here. I tried, but the Board decided not to continue the department here, effective Monday. You will have a week to finish anything up, and then, I'm afraid, you'll have to hand in your badges. I do apologize, and if I can do anything to help you, please let me know."
The four had expressions of shock on most faces, Clark Edison being an exception. He had a strict mask in place, and nodded. "Thank you Dr. Saroyan. I'll have my locker cleared out by the end of the night. I anticipated this, and have plans for another position in place already."
"Good luck to you, Mr. Edison."
The young man nodded, businesslike, and headed towards the locker room, pace brisk.
Vincent looked up from his book. "Actually, that makes things easy for me. I don't need to get time off; I got accepted to a place on Jeopardy. I'm filming in a couple weeks. Well, see you later!" Nose back in the book, he wandered in the general direction of the lockers, bumping off a column on the way.
"Hmm. Well, if one door is closing, another will be opening somewhere. In fact, I think most of credits couls be switched to Cultural Anthropology, with little drop off. I'll have to look into it." Arastoo nodded to Cam, and left.
She looked at Wendall, who was looking forlorn. "What's wrong, Wendall?"
"I can't afford to move to Chicago, my credits won't transfer, and I'll have to find something to do. I'm not sure what, but, but, Damn! This sucks."
"I'm sorry, Wendall. I really am. If it'll help, I'll get you a letter of recommendation?"
"Thanks, Dr. Saroyan. Not sure what good it'll do, but, thanks." He nodded, and, head bowed, slunked towards the locker room, moving slowly.
Kennedy watched all that, and the older woman heading to an office. That looked like the lady in charge, and someone to keep an eye on. If she was the manager of this area, she would probably be the last one to leave, so, keeping an eye out for her made sense. Wouldn't do to get caught, after all! This was supposed to be a zero-impact mission.
"Hey, Kennedy, do you know why our lawyers acted like Xander's did good? Especially when they agree it was a bad deal for Buffy?" Despite her intelligence and skills, Willow did have some blank spots in her education. One of those was the law.
Kennedy, who had picked up some law, hard not to, when your family was involved in business in the States, turned her head slightly. "Oh, that's because she was doing her job. And since she was only a public defender, acting for Xander, well, she got a good deal for him. It wasn't good for Buffy, but for Xander, it was. Which is what she was supposed to do. So, she did a good job, helped her client; it's just that her client wasn't the whole picture for us."
"Oh. Okay, that makes sense."
"Have you figured out what we're looking for?"
"Yeah. Actually, once I thought about it, it came to me, and a simple scrye confirmed it. It's Caleb's remains. His bones. They - they do something. They make the people around them more, um, they make them determined, or really, obsessed. So, if they liked baseball, after spending some time in the presence of his bones, they'll quit their job and try to join a baseball team. Even if they know it isn't likely to happen, cause they're like 80 or something."
Kennedy blinked. "Wow. Are we going to be protected?"
"Yeppers! Already covered by our standard amulets." The women were wearing a trio of amulets that prevented electronic security from seeing them and blurred their image from physical eyes; protected them from most simple spells and wards; and quieted their footsteps so even a Slayer would have to struggle to hear them.
"Um-hmmm. No problem."
"Well, most everyone's gone, except the bosslady. We're just waiting for her to leave, then we can go."
"Okay, she's gone, the night guard's just left this area, we should have about a half hour. Is that going to be enough time?" Kennedy got up, and did a simple stretch, making sure she was ready. She didn't anticipate anything going wrong, but knew to be prepared.
"Should be. Let's see, yep, huh. They left the bones on that central area. Probably been there a while. Oh, don't use the steps, not yet." Willow walked to the wall, finished the spell, collapsing it's energies into the earth, and headed to the door. She waited patiently while Kennedy opened it and did a quick scout of the larger area, then followed to the steps to the upper area.
Instead of doing a spell, like Kennedy expected, Willow swiped a card through the reader twice, then proceeded up the steps. "Good thing Xander managed to keep a copy of his visitor card; let me figure out a work around." She didn't whisper, but rather spoke quietly, which was actually harder to hear at a distance.
When they got to the top, it was the work of a few moments to sweep the bones into one sack, and dump the prepared spells out, which changed to match the appearance of the bones, down to the molecular level, onto the table.
"Done! And, now to go." Willow grasped Kennedy's hand, and activated the recall amulet, to the circle set up in the Hotel Suite the Council had taken for the time-being. It was temporary, but it had the privacy for the teleport.
"Hey, Giles! Job done. Got Caleb's bones, that's what it was, and the effects should dissipate on those it was affecting. Depending on how long they were exposed, could take a while, maybe a few months at most, but then it'll be done."
"Oh, excellent work, Willow, Kennedy. Ah, Willow, could you retune this circle?"
"Something's come up in Cleveland, and we may need to send someone on a moment's notice, preferably without them having to go through any official systems."
"Okay. Uh, it'll probably take a day or two, but that's doable. How are things going with the case?"
"The lawyers assure me it won't be a problem. Oh, and we found out how Ms. Julian knew of the Slayer. She was raised in New Orleans in the fifties and sixties. And, there were at least three slayers sent there in that timeframe, all of whom fell to Kakistos and his men. She doubtless encountered the Supernatural world then and there. She does seem to still think there can be only one."
"Oh. Well, okay. No leaks then."
"No, no more that we can find. Damn the First! And damn me for listening to it so much."
"It's not your fault, Giles," Kennedy spoke up. "He had everyone fooled, even those of us with supposedly superior senses. Just be glad it was limited to being Andrew. Can you imagine if it had been one of the others? Robin, or Xander, or Dawn?"