Disclaimer: Not mine. At all. Dawn belongs to Joss Whedon; Alexis belongs to Andrew Marlowe.
Time line: Post "Chosen"/"Not Fade Away" for BTVS (ignore Season 8 comics); sometime during Season 5 for "Castle".Columbia University
"...And you said that there was still blood in his stomach? What are we thinking for cause of death here?"
Alexis Castle's ears perked up at the other girl's words. One of the hazards of growing up with the author of murder mysteries: weird phrases involving the words 'blood' or 'death' caused her to tune in. Regardless of how much homework was scattered across the table in the library, just waiting for her attention. The other girl was pacing back and forth in front of the mythology section of the library, an area that Alexis had chosen because it was one of the most unpopular sections in the building.
"I suppose that's possible," the girl said. "Were there any splinters in the wound?"
The girl suddenly looked up from her intent staring at the books on the shelves beside her, catching Alexis's eye. Her wide grin was completely at odds with her conversation and tone of voice. She waved cheerfully, startling Alexis into waving back.
"Good to know," she said into the phone. "Depending on the depth, you may be looking for Polgara. I know it's rare, but going by the description you gave me, that's going to be your best bet. Double up on patrols for the next few days, and you should catch your baddie in no time... Yep. I'm in a public library... Right, so I really shouldn't even be on my phone... Got it. Talk to you later." Her face twisted into an expression of fond annoyance. "Yes, I know. Goodbye Andrew." She sighed loudly, running a hand through dark brown hair about as long as Alexis's own. She plopped down into a chair across from Alexis, smiling again.
"Hello," Alexis greeted.
"Hey. Sorry about that. I didn't mean to disturb you. Which I'm still doing by sitting here talking to you. I should go now. This is me, leaving you alone."
Alexis laughed. "It's no problem. My dad's always telling me not to waste my whole life studying. He'll be thrilled that I allowed an interruption rather than withering away to nothing in the library like he probably suspects will someday happen."
"I have a friend who used to be like that. All about the books, all the time."
"Her teacher died and she took over as a substitute for the rest of the year. She made time to be more active after that."
"Yeah. I can't imagine anywhere but that town would call on a high school junior to teach their peers."
"Um, I didn't mean to eavesdrop-"
"But I wasn't exactly talking quietly," the girl interrupted.
"Yeah. My dad is a writer, and he'd fake disappointment in me if I didn't ask. What's a Polgara? Is that some new weapon? Why were you talking about someone dying?"
"I assist with the researching for a peace-keeping force. Polgaras are a... specially designed element on the other guys' side. We can normally figure out where they'll be deployed before anyone can be killed, but we were too late this time."
"So is it a kind of really big knife? Or a spear?"
"There is a sharp, spear-like part. I'm really not supposed to go too in-depth about it with anyone who's not either already in-the-know or unable to forget what they saw."
"But what if these Polgaras are deployed here? How will any of us know what to do to protect ourselves?" Alexis asked.
The other girl paused, as if she hadn't considered that before. With a sheepish grin, she dug into her purse and pulled out a small green rectangle of paper. She started to hand it over to Alexis, but didn't let go.
"You are not to give this card to anyone. Don't even let them know the contact number unless you find yourself under attack by something that should not exist. Do you understand? We really can't afford to be kept from our work just to play Q and A with the average Joe."
"Good," the girl said, nodding. She seemed about to say more when her phone chirped. A worried look passed briefly over her face, and she pulled it out. "What's happened?... No, I got distracted... Well, first Andrew called... No, I'm not seeing the book here... What do you mean you found a copy on eBay?... I thought he was still anti-computers... Okay, I'll be on a plane tonight... Thanks."
"It was nice talking to you, but I've got to go."
Alexis could only nod as the other girl rushed off. She looked at the card, her eyebrows lifting in surprise when she read the sparse information.Dawn Summers
New International Council, Northeast America Branch
"If I tell Dad, he'd dig until someone stopped him," Alexis told herself. "And from the sound of their business, whoever stopped him might do so permanently." That decided, she dropped the card into her wallet, behind the rarely used public library card.
Across town, Dawn Summers was on her phone again. "Yes, Buffy. I gave Castle's daughter the contact information. She'll hopefully know to call us if anything odd occurs around her.... Yes, that takes care of her, but if you really wanted to protect him, you should have gotten in touch Lanie Parish. As the current medical examiner, she'd be one of the first to realize something was up... That's your decision... Okay, see you tonight."