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Potential Problem

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This story is No. 4 in the series "Slayers / CSI". You may wish to read the series introduction and the preceeding stories first.

Summary: 4th in the BtVS / Angel / CSI crossover series - Willow & Faith visit Vegas - COMPLETE - Spoilers to end BtVS season 7

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
CSI > CSI Las VegasMarcusRowlandFR13816,87413130,2402 Apr 0315 Jun 03Yes

I

A Buffy the Vampire Slayer / Angel / CSI crossover. This story is the fourth in a series, the earlier parts are Should Have Gone To Vegas..., Manhunters, and Slayer, Las Vegas. They should ideally be read in that order, since the events of previous stories are mentioned. This story is set immediately after the Angel season 4 story "Orpheus", and contains spoilers for BtVS up to "Lies My Parents Told Me" and Angel up to "Orpheus". I've no idea where it fits in CSI continuity, if there is such a thing.

All characters are the intellectual property of their respective creators, film companies, etc.; this story may not be sold or distributed on a profit-making basis.

I'm British, so's my spelling. Live with it.

Prologue and chapter 1 reposted to fix characterisation and continuity glitches and some grammatical errors; many apologies.



Potential Problem

By Marcus L. Rowland

I

"...so Spike has a soul now? That'll mess up a lot of prophecies."

"Tell me about it. Why can't Buffy date normal guys?"

"Riley wasn't that bad."

"You ought to know..."

Catherine could hear the voices from the stairs. When she heard Buffy's name she paused for a second. There was something fascinating about the monster hunters from Sunnydale; Oz had said that their lives were 'Jerry Springer complicated', and from the sound of it he wasn't exaggerating. She smiled and went into the lobby. "Willow Rosenberg?"

A pretty red-headed woman in brown slacks and a cream top stood up, followed by
another woman with light brown hair, wearing dark denim jeans and jacket. "That's me. And this is my cousin Joyce, who's been working with Angel. I think Buffy said you know him."

"Willow, Joyce, I'm Catherine Willows, welcome to CSI. If you'd like to come this way, I'll get you visitor badges..." Willow picked up a canvas shoulder-bag, Joyce a heavy kit-bag, and they followed her. "Has Buffy filled you in on the situation?"

"Not much," said Joyce. Catherine noticed a Boston accent. "You've got a case that needs our sort of attention, and Buffy can't make it."

"That about sums it up," said Catherine, "It's a body, not human. We don't know
enough to tell you what it is. But whatever it is, it died violently. Multiple stab wounds, inflicted with considerable force. The perp left a dagger, there are prints on it but they don't match to anyone on our database. When I described it Buffy said that she thought she knew what it was, and that she'd get someone out to us as soon as possible, then called back about twenty minutes later and warned us to expect you."

"What did she say she thought it was?" asked Willow.

"Buffy said it might be something called a 'Bringer'. Mean anything to you?"

"Damn. Let's hope she's wrong, because if she isn't we've got to move fast. It's been a few hours already."

* * * * *

Grissom was examining the body when they reached the morgue. "This thing was
never human...," he began, then realised that Catherine had company.

"These are the people Buffy sent to help us," said Catherine, "Willow and Joyce
Rosenberg."

"Gil Grissom," said Grissom, "I'd shake hands but as you can see..." his gloved fingers were covered in green ichor.

"That's okay," said Willow, "I think we can take it as read."

"Works for me," said Joyce.

"What do you think?" asked Catherine.

"Bringer," said Willow, "no doubt about it. Demon minion. Which means you have a whole pack of the murderous little creeps running around somewhere, probably chasing someone."

"Murderous?" asked Grissom.

"Yeah, they work for this ancient evil um... thing... that calls itself 'The First', at the moment it has them running around the world murdering Potentials."

"What's a Potential?" asked Catherine.

"A Potential Slayer," said Joyce. She hesitated for a moment then said "Someone like me."

"How does that work?" asked Grissom.

"You know all the stuff about the Slayer being the Chosen One," said Willow, "the one girl in every generation, yadda yadda?"

"We have the general idea, I think."

"Well, whenever the Slayer gets killed another girl gets called. At any given time there are a few dozen Potentials, girls who might get the superpowers if the Slayer dies. No way to tell which one it will be until it happens. There's an organisation called the Watchers' Council that finds and trains them. That's the theory anyway, only they screwed up with Buffy and she went into it pretty much untrained. That's probably what's kept her alive so long, she learned to think outside the box. The First is trying to wipe out the whole line of Slayers, not to mention the Watchers, we've been bringing the survivors to Sunnydale to fight it."

"So you've been trained as a Slayer?" Grissom asked Joyce.

"Since I was thirteen. Martial arts mostly, some other stuff. Then I happened to visit my cuz here in Sunnyhell and found out that not only does she know the Slayer but she's a kick-ass wicca. Got a good look at how the Slayer operates, decided that the Watchers were jerks, and went my own way."

"And now you work for Angel?" asked Catherine.

"Occasionally." Catherine got the feeling that there was a lot that Joyce wasn't saying.

"Look, there isn't much time," said Willow. "if they haven't caught up with her already there's a Potential on the run out there, the way they work is that they kill the Watcher first so she's probably on her own. It looks like she's managed to take one out, but they hunt in packs. We have to save her."

"We haven't a lot to go on," said Grissom, "The body was found in a back alley off the Strip at three this morning, more than twelve hours ago. It was raining heavily at the time and it looks like most of the forensic evidence has been washed away."

"There may be a magical trail. There's a spell that can locate Potentials, probably similar to the one the Bringers use to find them."

"Will it work?" asked Catherine, "Angel once told me that tracing magic is difficult here because of the magic associated with gambling. Would that give you problems?"

"Don't know until I try," said Willow. "But Angel isn't a magician or a witch, he doesn't know all the tricks."

"You be careful, cuz." said Joyce.

"Don't worry. This is a really low-power spell, not major messing with the dark forces. I'll need some maps of Las Vegas, initially something covering the whole city, then larger scale maps to zoom in."

"I'll send for some," said Grissom, picking up the phone.

"Hey..." said Joyce, looking at the evidence bags on a nearby table. "I've seen one of these knives before."

"That's the murder weapon."

"It's a Bringer's dagger," said Willow.

"Someone tried to stab me with one of those a few days ago," said Joyce. "Human
though, not a demon. I think it was a paid hit. It was while things were screwed up in LA, with the darkness and all."

"What was that about?" asked Catherine. "I saw the news reports but they didn't make much sense."

"A big demon, really powerful, cast a spell to switch the sun off. Angel killed it and that broke the spell. Took out a whole load of vampires that were playing in the streets without any sun block on." She rubbed her neck as she spoke, and Catherine noticed some sticking plaster. Vampire bite?

"Did you learn anything from the assassin?" asked Grissom.

"No... she wouldn't talk."

"Any idea why they didn't go after you directly?"

"I was somewhere where a demon would have stuck out like a sore thumb. Guess they thought it would be too difficult to get to me."

A younger man wearing a white lab coat over a garish Hawaiian shirt came in with a box of maps. Grissom said "This is Greg Sanders, one of our technicians. Greg, Willow and Joyce Rosenberg."

Joyce eyed him appreciatively.

"Pleased to meet you both," said Greg, smiling at the visitors. "Would that be Willow as in Willow the witch? Angel said something about you."

Willow blushed and said "Err... yes, that'd be me."

"And Dawn made some fairly extravagent claims about your capabilities," said
Grissom.

"Dawn's a sweetie, but I've had to rein myself in a lot over the past few months. The magic was taking too much out of me, and getting too dangerous for the people around me. I'm trying to avoid really major mojo."

Grissom leafed through the maps and said "This is probably the best map of the entire area. The scale's pretty small though."

"It ought to give us a starting point. Okay, just give me a couple of minutes to get set up and we'll see."

Willow pulled a pestle and mortar and some bottles and candles from the bag, mixed some ground herbs, and began to chant something in Latin. Eventually she threw the powder onto the map and sharply said "Acclaro! Reveal!"

The map suddenly blazed with spots of light, hundreds of pinpoints around the edges of the city and a searing actinic glow around the main casinos. It lasted a few seconds, then faded again.

"Goddess...." said Willow. "Looks like we're going to have to do this the hard way."

To Be Continued
Next Chapter
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