Disclaimer: I own nothing. All Buffy the Vampire Slayer characters and Barney Miller characters are the property of their original owners.
“I’m a vampire, see? But don’t tell anyone -- gotter keep the big secret, y’know,” slurred the seated, swaying young blond man in a very conspirational whisper delivered while leaning forward over the front edge of the desk occupied by a police detective taking his statement.
Discreetly scooting his wobbly chair back a few inches along the precinct floor to get safely out of range from the foul blast of alcohol-laden breath wafting his way, Detective Stan Wojciehowicz merely said, “Uh-huh.”
The officer of the law known to one and all as ‘Wojo’ then held up a petitioning forefinger. This was clearly a silent request for a moment’s patience from the other man presently looking more than a bit confused at such an incredibly casual acceptance of his recent claim about being a bloodsucking fiend from myths and folklore. Bending forward in his chair to reach down, Wojo opened the lower desk drawer and he started rummaging through the multiple types of forms in there.
In the middle of this while shielded from the puzzled glance of someone who’d obviously had a few dozen too many, the detective closed his eyes once again in fervent prayer that their boss, Captain Barney Miller, would finally talk the higher-ups into putting everyone back on the day shift. It couldn’t happen soon enough for Wojo and his fellow squadmates.
Over the last few weeks, the entire office had come to detest being switched to cover the precinct’s night responsibilities as an experiment in increasing police productivity. The problem was that if they’d preferred working graveyard shifts in the first place like some of the other cops here, Wojo and the rest of the guys would’ve just earlier requested a transfer to this nocturnal schedule. Now, particularly for those with families, they had to deal with living different hours than their loved ones, trying to fall asleep during the day, and basically getting even unhappier by the minute about the whole fiasco.
It definitely didn’t help either that the usual duties of the precinct seemingly got even zanier than normal right after sunset. Over the years, Miller, Wojo, Harris, Dietrich and the others had become quite blasé about their daytime encounters with the city’s numerous human fruitcakes. However those wackos arrived at the squad room from morning to afternoon, either due to being arrested or as an unconventional member of the public visiting for their own eccentric reasons, it’d merely been part of the job. Now, though, those recent times were wistfully remembered by Wojo and the other detectives every second they had to deal with the much more weird nocturnal New York City bozos dropping by, who were all and sundry taking utter looniness to a whole new level.
Case in point: the noticeably hammered guy here happily announcing his identity as a real-life vampire. Wojo’s latest unwanted assignment was due to the rest of the office leaving together a few minutes ago on their dinner break, save for himself holding down the fort while the captain was busy in his own attached room at the back. Stifling a sigh among the otherwise unoccupied desks, Wojo tried to look on the bright side. At least with his co-workers gone and unable to listen onto the imminent booking of that guy, nobody would afterwards start up with the Polish jokes.
“Hey, Wojo, how many Polack vampires does it take to turn into a bat?” ...And so on, and so on...
Finding the proper form at last, the detective took it out of his drawer, and then he used a knee to nudge shut that protruding part of the desk. It was time to begin the paperwork for charging this supremely plastered drunk. Slipping an arrest form into the battered typewriter well into its last legs, Wojo held his fingers over this recording machine on his desk, getting ready for his usual hunt-and-peck style. Glancing at the guy across the desk frowning at him, this veteran cop tolerantly began by the book, “What’s your name, sir?”
Instead of immediately answering the question, tonight’s latest criminal mastermind doubtfully asked in turn, “Hullo, you did
hear what I said, right? About me being a vampire, the finest ever monster to sink a fang into someone’s neck and drain out their blood to the last sweet bead of hemoglobin?”
“That’ll be put at the bottom of the form, sir,” a very patient policeman replied with the straightest face he could manage at the moment.
From the own satisfied expression promptly appearing below a pair of glazed eyes, this deadpan answer had gone over quite well with Mr. Blotto. Sensing this was his chance, Wojo tried, “Let’s start again with your name, okay?”
“Oh, aye,” drawled the detainee plainly a good three sheets in the wind. “Well, I’m best known among the other vampires as William the Bloody, but all my friends use the nickname of Spike. You can call me that too, if you like.” Pausing to hiccup several times, this Spike guy beamed at Wojo tapping with the greatest of care on the aged typewriter’s keys while setting down this latest screwy bit of information.
Looking up when that was done, a resigned Wojo went on, “Now, what’s your birthdate, Mr. Spike?”
The man being questioned groggily shook his head. “No, no, just Spike, mate. Um, ah, let’s see now. I was born...”
There was a few more moments of silence after the other man had trailed off in his statement to then blankly stare off into the distance. Soon enough, Wojo cleared his throat in the most polite cough he could manage. This brought back the drunk’s attention to his interviewer, with the younger man’s countenance abruptly turning miserable for seemingly no evident reason.
Right after that, Wojo heard a mournful voice with genuine hurt lurking in this tone, “Bloody hell, it’s been so damned long since I’ve had a birthday party! There hasn’t even been a nice congratulations card from somebody, anyone at all, for growing another year older!”
Before his intoxicated prisoner in fact started crying, an actually sympathetic Wojo quickly interrupted, “That’s too bad, sir. Can you at least tell me where and when you came into this world?”
Starting to tilt slightly to one side, Spike mumbled, “Since you put it so polite like that, it was in London, of course. My dear old mum always told me the roses in our garden were coming into full bloom when she had me, back in 1855.”
There was then and there a slightly incredulous pause between the pair in the otherwise deserted office.
Wojo sent a long, thoughtful stare at the inebriated claimant for an extremely problematic declaration of more than a century of life currently slumping down in his seat. Seriously considering pointing out that providing false information to a law officer was a chargeable offense, Wojo glanced again at someone clearly about to slide off their chair any second now. Rolling his eyes in mild exasperation, the cop decided there really wasn’t any point. Giving a jaded shrug, Wojo simply typed his best estimate of that guy’s real age onto the arrest form, no more than twenty-five years old at the most.
At that point, a professional-type stranger dressed in a luxurious suit manifestly worth more than the entire contents of the squad room came through the station’s front door. Casting a quick, disdainful gaze around at the dilapidated office for several hard-working cops who were away for the moment, this natty gent caught sight of his apparent objective. Bustling in a straight line towards Spike and a startled Wojo to then stop by this policeman’s desk, that descendant of Polish immigrants was at once handed several legal documents taken out by the newcomer from a most expensive briefcase carried along by the other man.
Regarding with honest bafflement at the unexpected stack of papers he was now holding, Wojo then saw out of the corner of his eye the arrest form he’d been working on being yanked out of his typewriter by the stranger.
“Hey!” came as a quick objection from the copper.
In a distinctly over-cultured voice, it was announced to both Wojo and a rather unfocused Spike by the newest member of their company, “Officer, I’m Richard Quinton, legal representative from Wolfram and Hart’s New York branch. My client here--” (a firm nod was bestowed into the befuddled detainee’s direction) “--has had his bail, fines, and whatever other fees paid by my firm at the local courthouse, and his case was naturally dismissed at once. It’s all there in those documents, so if you’ll just come this way, we can leave now, sir.”
Those last words were delivered to a most confused blond man in his chair. After owlishly contemplating this for another couple of seconds, Spike let loose a thunderous belch. Staggering up onto his feet, a former prisoner squinted at the waiting lawyer, before cautiously saying, “I think I remember you from a while back, my last visit here. Good thing I paid in advance for this type of situation, eh?”
“Quite so, sir,” was imperturbably returned by Mr. Quinton. “Shall we go?”
Spike nodded in affable agreement. Still, when the Wolfram and Hart lawyer began to turn to take his departure, this attorney was stopped in his tracks by a quick “Hold up, you!”
Swinging around to solemnly peer down with drunken concentration at the cop staring back in his own perplexity, Spike shook a wobbly forefinger several times towards Wojo. This was accompanied by a genial, “Listen, sonny, you’re a good bloke, so I’ll do you a wee bit of a favor. Not just you, mind, but all your friends here. When I sober up, the word will be passed around the city’s demon bars that William the Bloody says to always leave this place alone, or they’ll answer to me! Ta, then.”
A minute or so later, Barney Miller wandered out of his enclosed office further back in the squad room on his way for some fresh coffee. During this errand, the senior detective stopped at a certain subordinate’s desk, interrupting that other man’s puzzled examination of a number of papers scattered over his desk. “Evening, Wojo. What’ve you got there?”
“Oh, hi, boss,” looked up Wojo while briskly gathering together the documents and depositing all of them into his OUT tray on the desk. “Nothing all that important, I got to say. Just finished up a case that’s over and done with, some drunk tourist from England having a really wild imagination.”