2.St Mary’s Hospital, New York City.
“So, this ‘Brenda’ is your ex?” Willow asked as she and Faith rode the elevator up to the third floor where the hospital was keeping Brenda Mitchell.
“Yeah,” Faith replied seemingly unconcerned as she looked up at the floor indicator above the door.
“Oh,” Willow shifted uncomfortably in her smart business suit, “so, this is the person you called ‘B’?”
“Yep,” Faith nodded, studiously ignoring Willow’s worried expression.
“Oh,” Willow repeated; she found herself thinking, ‘Faith’s old girlfriend, huh?’
What if Faith suddenly decided she wanted to get back together with her ex? What if she left her for this obviously super sexy, blonde tramp? What if…?
“We broke up just before Christmas 2006,” Faith explained, “later, when I got my transfer to ASID, we sorta lost track of each other, I haven’t seen her for a couple of years.”
“Oh,” Willow said once more.
“So ya needn’t worry about me running off with my ex again,” Faith turned to Willow and grinned, “I’m with you now…one-witch-girl that’s me.”
“No!” Willow tried to explain, “I never thought you’d…” Willow got a little tongue tied for a moment, she paused and tried again, “…I’m not suggesting…”
“Yes you were,” Faith said with a smile, “I know ya quite well by now, Will, you were getting all insecure and thinking I was going to run off with B and leave ya.”
“Well…” Willow found she couldn’t look Faith in the eye, that was exactly what she’d been thinking, “…I’d never think…” Willow saw Faith raise an eyebrow, the gesture told her that Faith would see through any story she might try to use, “…yeah, okay…” she sighed, “…I admit it, I’m an insecure baby.”
“Yeah you are,” Faith agreed, “but ya my insecure baby, okay?”
The elevator *dinged* as it arrived at their floor and the doors started to open, Willow kept what she’d wanted to say to herself, now was not the time they had work to do.
Following Faith out of the elevator, Willow saw a typical hospital corridor scene with nurses, doctors and orderlies walking briskly to-and-fro. However, there was one glaring incongruity, there was a soldier standing at ease outside one of the rooms. Glancing uncertainly at Faith, Willow got an answering shrug before Faith headed off down the corridor, she came to a halt in front of the soldier who was dressed in camouflaged uniform.
“Hi, Corporal,” Faith said in a friendly voice, “guarding Sergeant Mitchell?”
“Erm…” the soldier looked uncomfortable and then looked up and down the corridor apprehensively before answering, “more like guarding the prisoner, Chief.”
Willow could tell that the soldier didn’t like the job he was doing.
“Say what?” Faith asked incredulasly before demanding, “Who’s in charge and were is the asshole?”
“Lieutenant Moore, Ma’am,” the Corporal replied straight faced, he gestured to the corridor to his right, “she’s down the corridor in the lounge area talking to the doctor in charge of Sergeant Mitchell’s case.”
“Miss Rosenberg,” Faith turned to look over her shoulder at Willow; calling Willow, ‘Miss Rosenberg’ was Faith’s way of saying this was official army business; “Would ya mind waiting here, while I deal
“No way!” Willow grinned, “I wouldn’t miss this for anything!” If looks could kill, Willow would be stretched out in the morgue right about now, “Will there be any ‘ass-roasting’?”
The Corporal let out a short bark of laughter at this; he was prevented from showing any further signs of hilarity by a glare from Faith. Turning her basilisk-like glare onto Willow, Faith was confronted by a grinning witch.
“Remember,” Willow smiled coyly, contriving to look like a naughty twelve year old, “so not army, I’m a civilian I can go where I please.”
“I’ll deal with ya later,” Faith replied quietly.
“Oh yes please!” Willow whispered coquettishly.
With a quiet ‘Jeez!’ Faith headed on down the corridor in the direction the Corporal had indicated. Turning the corner, Faith saw the little lounge area and more importantly the tall thin army officer standing talking to a concerned looking doctor.
“How soon can I move Mitchell to prison, Doctor?” the officer asked.
The officer was tall, taller than Faith, very slim, her dark brown hair done up in a bun under her beret. Her DCU’s were immaculately pressed and her boots were shined to a mirror finish…just like Faith’s. The main difference between the two women, was that while the front of Faith uniform jacket was covered in combat badges and marksmanship badges and badges Willow didn’t even know the meaning of (but that fact didn’t make her feel any less proud of her girlfriend) the officer’s jacket was bereft of any such decoration. Walking up to the officer, Faith nodded politely to the doctor before turning to the officer.
“What the hell is going on here?” Faith demanded and Willow felt grateful she wasn’t the Lieutenant.
“W-What?” Lieutenant Moore turned in surprise to look down her nose at Faith, “What’s the meaning of this Chief Warrant Officer,” Moore made a show of looking at Faith’s name tag, “Lehane?”
Willow had to feel a little admiration for this Moore woman, she’d hardly flinched when Faith had burst into her life; Willow noticed the doctor take the opportunity to sneak off, sensible man, she thought.
“What’s this about Sergeant Mitchell being a prisoner?” Faith demanded, “Y’do know that she was kidnapped and raped don’t ya?”
“That remains to be seen,” Moore replied haughtily, “as I see it she got drunk and went AWOL and lost secret army documents!”
‘Ouch!’ Willow winced, she had to give Moore her due, she was certainly brave. One of Faith’s many good qualities was that she was loyal to her friends. Show Faith a little kindness and she was your friend for life, unless you did something very
stupid and then she’d come after you like a fury from hell. Willow realised this now and felt ashamed that she and Buffy and the others hadn’t seen it when they’d first met Faith in Sunnydale; the girl had been crying out for love and friendship. But like the stupid teenagers they’d been they’d not seen it; of course now Willow was doing everything in her power to make it up to her.
“AWOL!?” Faith snapped, “She only went missing for twenty-four hours…less even!”
“All the same…” Moore started to reply but was brought up short by Faith.
“What you think doesn’t matter,” Faith told Moore, “this is an ASID case now,” Faith gestured to her black and white armband, “so you can get yourself and your people outta here.”
“Who the hell do you think you’re talking to Lehane!” Moore demanded, “I can have you busted down to civilian, now…”
“Listen up,” Faith stepped right up to the woman and whispered menacingly into her face, “I’ll say this slowly so even you can understand…this is an ASID case, you will take yourself and your people back to whatever stone ya crawled out from under this morning. Or, ya can stay here before ya get ya transfer to Afghanistan or maybe Alaska…your choice.”
“I’m reporting you to my C/O,” Moore still wouldn’t back down.
“Yo,” Faith grinned insolently at the Lieutenant, “bet my General’s bigger than yours.”
“Ah…” Willow stepped forward, it was time for her to intervene before this got ‘messy’, “…I’m Willow Rosenberg I work directly for General Brittles,” Willow didn’t, not officially, she worked as a civilian consultant for ASID, but what Moore didn’t know would probably save her career, “I think you’d be wise to check with your C/O before you make any more mistakes today.”
Willow could see Moore hesitate, General Brittles had something of a reputation in the military justice system. Giving Willow a look of angry frustration, Moore pulled a cellphone from her pocket and called her C/O. There was a short, whispered conversation that ended with Moore snapping her phone shut angrily before storming off down the corridor.
“You better watch out for her, sweetie,” Willow stood next to Faith and spoke so that only she could hear, “she strikes me as the type that holds a grudge.”
“Y’think?” Faith turned to Willow and smiled evily, “Bring it on!”
“Faith, no!” Willow cried as she chased Faith down the corridor.0=0=0=0
Willow needn’t have worried, Faith didn’t chase after Moore and really roast her ass, instead she turned off the corridor and went into the room the MP Corporal had been guarding. Following Faith into the room, Willow was just in time to see Faith and her ex greet each other.
“BITCH!” Faith snarled.
“Hey!” Brenda looked up at Faith in surprise, “I haven’t seen y’all in years and yur call me
“Not you B,” Faith calmed down instantly as she moved towards Brenda’s bed and began searching her pockets for something, “I mean that bitch of an MP officer.”
Looking around Faith, Willow saw that Brenda Mitchell’s wrist was handcuffed to her bed.
“Oh Moore,” Brenda watched as Faith unlocked the cuffs, “total asshole…” she whispered in Faith’s ear as she bent over her, “…who’s the redhead?”
“Oh yeah,” for just a second, Faith felt a little uncomfortable but soon recovered enough to make introductions, “Brenda Mitchell this is Willow Rosenberg…we work together.”
“Hi Brenda,” Willow forced any sign of jealous insecurity out of her voice.
“Hi Willow,” Brenda grinned, “you work with Faith?” Willow nodded, “Brave…” Brenda added then caught the look on Willow’s face, “…hey! You two don’t just work together, right?”
“Well, erm…” Faith hesitated.
“Yeah,” Willow came and stood next to Faith and grabbed hold of her arm, “that’s right…” she wanted to add; ‘you wanna make something of that?’ but didn’t.
“Cool,” Brenda smiled before looking back at Faith, “always did admire your taste in women, Faith.”
“Okay, whatever,” Faith sighed, “I’ve come to talk to you about your…erm…”
“Rape?” Brenda supplied, “Its okay you can say the word, I’m okay with it…well as much as yur can be. I don’t remember any of it, it’s like it didn’t happen to me. I can’t really tell yur more than I told the Leos…”
“Tell me anyway,” Faith said quietly as she pulled up a stool and sat down; Willow stepped back to stand against the wall as she slowly became ‘unseen’ so as to give Faith and Brenda some privacy.
“Look its like I told the cops,” Brenda began, “I got picked up from CHQ at Fort Hamilton at about thirteen-hundred on Thursday afternoon. I was dropped off at JFK about an hour later and I can’t remember anything else ‘til I woke up here.”
“Nothing?” Faith pressed her old friend.
“Like it’s a big black hole, between fourteen-hundred on Thursday ‘til about whenever I woke up here,” Brenda shrugged.
“Erm…” Willow stepped away from the wall and became completely visible again, “…there’s some techniques I could try,” she meant magics, “that might recover some memories,” she looked directly at Brenda, “if you wanna try.”
“Like hypnosis?” Brenda asked.
“Something like that,” Willow nodded.
“Okay,” Brenda shrugged, “as long as yur don’t make me bark like a chicken.”
“Bark like a chicken?” Willow frowned.
“Yeah,” Brenda grinned, “that would be real
“Gotta say, B, ya dealing with this pretty well,” Faith remembered her own experience of being drugged, held prisoner and repeatedly raped, she’d not handled it at all well.
“It’s like I say, Faith,” Brenda gestured helplessly, “it’s like I wasn’t there I have no memories of any of it.”
Faith nodded her head, she couldn’t remember the actual ‘rape’ part of her kidnapping either; she just remembered waking up and having to deal with the aftermath. Some how her rapist had been able to drug her and keep her awake but helpless, but she couldn’t remember a thing about the actual assault.
“Hey,” Brenda gave her full attention to Willow, “if you do your stuff and I remember something, will that mean I’ll be able to remember it after you’ve finished?”
“If you want,” Willow replied, “I can block the memory but it might come back some day.”
Just recently Willow had been studying memory spells in the hopes of finding a way to cure Faith’s amnesia if Faith ever wanted it cured.
“I…I think I’d like you to look,” Brenda said quietly, “but don’t try to block the memories I’d rather know than spend my life waiting for the memory to come back…” Brenda forced a smile, “…hey, if it helps catch this bastard?”
“Okay, if you’re sure?” Willow asked; she got an answering nod from Brenda. “Right,” Willow turned to Faith, “could you guard the door and stop anyone from coming in, this shouldn’t take more than five or ten minutes.”
Waiting until Faith had gone outside, Willow closed the window blinds and switched on the over bed reading lamp before switching off the main lights.
“Will it hurt?” Brenda asked semi-seriously.
“Nah,” Willow shook her head as she sat next to Brenda’s bed, “you won’t feel a thing…now you sure about wanting those memories back?”
“I’m sure,” Brenda nodded, “I…”
“SOMNUS!” Willow commanded and Brenda fell instantly asleep, “Okay,” Willow said quietly as she placed her fingers at certain points on Brenda’s head; she smiled a little when she realised she must look like someone doing a ‘Vulcan Mind-meld’, “lets see what we’ve got in here?”0=0=0=0
Five minutes later, Willow called Faith back into the room.
“Is she okay?” Faith looked down at Brenda.
“She’s just sleeping,” Willow reassured her, “I can wake her up if you want?”
“Nah,” Faith shook her head, “not yet…did ya find anything?”
“Nothing,” Willow looked worried and glanced at the sleeping woman, “it’s like she said, there’s a big black hole in her memories. It’s like she didn’t exist for about twenty-four hours.”
“God-damn-it!” Faith cursed quietly, “You mean there’s nothing?”
“Big fat zero,” Willow confirmed.
“Crap,” Faith almost spat the word out.
“Y’think this is the same thing that got you?” Willow wanted to know.
“If it is,” Faith shrugged, “it’s changed its M-O, we should be finding mummified bodies in cellars or the Anti-Christ walking the streets of Manhattan. This could still be a human rapist using drugs.”
“Erm, honey I did detect something,” Willow explained slowly, “while I was in Brenda’s mind there was something…very small…but it felt like dark mojo, just a tiny trace, y’know?”
“A spell?” Faith asked.
“Can’t explain it any other way,” Willow glanced down at Brenda, “unless your ex has been dabbling in the black arts.”
“Not her style,” Faith reassured Willow.
“Well,” Willow shrugged, “there’s nothing more I can tell you.”
“Okay,” Faith nodded slowly, “can you wake her up and then I’d like a moment alone with her.”
“Sure,” Willow smiled as she headed for the door, “but, you can do it yourself, just count backwards from five and she’ll wake up.”
Leaving Faith and Brenda alone, Willow walked out into the corridor and rested against the wall. She’d not been able to help herself and to be honest she didn’t feel too guilty about what she’d done. After all, what woman wouldn’t take a little peek into the mind of her girlfriend’s ex if she had the chance?
Although Willow had found signs of affection towards Faith in Brenda’s mind the young woman was so over Faith; she even seemed happy that Faith’d found someone new. All Brenda’s love and attention was now focused on one of her male colleagues, Willow had no worries about Brenda coming back into Faith’s life and trying to steal her away.
“Hey,” Faith crossed the corridor to where Willow stood, “what are you looking so happy about?”
“Oh, nothing,” Willow lied, she changed the subject, “Is Brenda okay?”
“Yeah she’s cool with it,” Faith replied, “she’s tough, she’ll deal.”
“What about that Moore person?” Willow wanted to know as she joined Faith in walking towards the elevator.
“I’ll call Colonel Mann and ask her to square everything with Brenda’s C/O,” Faith pressed the call button for the lift.
“So, where to now?” Willow enjoyed this detective work.
“16th Precinct, see my old friends at Special Victims,” Faith stepped into the elevator with Willow close behind her.
“Special Victims?” Willow queried.
“Yeah,” Faith nodded as the elevator took them towards the ground floor, “sex crimes.”0=0=0=0