Disclaimer: Joss Whedon, Dan Brown et al own the characters. I only own the plot.
The journey back to the council took a little over twenty minutes. Buffy had doubled up on the order Xander had given her. Research was always hungry work and there were no doughnuts available in London at this time of evening.
Buffy called Ed Clewley to inform him of the tape they had and to confirm that the murder was the same M.O. as the mortuary. She said nothing to him about the confrontation with Gorman.
“So.” Said Dan. “Gorman, how did you know he was a demon and why didn’t you kill him. Don’t you think you should have told the Guv’nor?”
“My spidey sense told me there was something not right about him. It’s sort of a sixth sense. Why I didn’t kill him? Well, not all demons are bad news, there are some that become useful members of society. I knew a Braachen demon briefly a few years ago. He was given visions by the Powers That Be to help us in the fight. It’s another of those long stories that needs time to tell, and I didn’t tell your boss because I’m going to give Gorman a chance to tell him himself.“ Buffy explained.
Darkness had crept upon them now, and as they arrived back at the steel door entrance there were a group of four slayers leaving for the evening’s patrol.
While Buffy quickly told the girls about the situation with Ethan Rayne, warning them not to engage him. Dan had the time to peruse the Honour Board. He had been right about seeing the name Summers on it. Joyce Summers. 1959-2001. A voice behind him pulled him out of his thoughts.
“My mother.” Said Buffy.
“Was she killed by something evil?” He asked.
Buffy shook her head, but there was sadness in her eyes.
“Aneurism, post op from a brain tumour, we still miss her. Dawn and me.”
“Dawn? Oh, the teenager in the photo on your office wall. That’s your sister?”
“Yeah, she’s at Oxford, doing some pre admission course that I can’t for the life of me think of the name of at this moment. She’ll be there fully in September.”
“Is she a slayer too?” He asked “I’m still not too sure how all this potential business works?”
“No, but she knows how to take care of herself. There are a couple of the older slayers there as well, so they look out for each other. It took me a while to let her out of my sight. and I still need to see her as often as possible, but it’s getting better.”
They made their way to the lift. Dan collected a blue pass from Jenny. This time though, there was no spell intoned.
Once down in the cavern, Buffy led the way to an office where there were several people sitting around the large conference table, some searching through ancient looking tomes, others on laptops browsing websites.
Xander looked up from his laptop as they walked in.
“Y’ know there was a time when it would have been me bringing in the sustenance. Oh happy days.” He said wistfully.
Vi rose from her seat and made a grab for one of the pizza boxes, as did Xander.
“Thanks Buff. Y’ know we really need to get something installed down here so that we can feed ourselves.” Said Vi.
“I totally agree; but y’ know how Giles gets when there’s food around his precious books.” Answered Buffy. “Just don’t get any marks on them. Any word from anybody across the pond?”
Xander opened his pizza box, and started stuffing Hawaiian into his mouth.
David Peterson spoke up.
“Riley’s checking with his people as we speak, Faith says Mr. Giles has managed to charter a plane out of Hopkins and should be leaving in about an hour. Due to land at Northolt at six a.m. tomorrow. She’s made sure he’s going to get some sleep. She hid his briefcase in the hold with his luggage.” He grinned.
Buffy smiled and nodded her acceptance of the information. She told every one to help themselves to pizza.
Dan meanwhile had gone over to the entertainment centre at the far end of the room and was feeding the surveillance video into the player. He grabbed the remote and started to search for the part he wanted.
“S’ not right. That’s not Rayne.” Said Xander through a mouthful of pizza.
They all watched in silence as the figure of Leigh Teabing entered the rental office and spoke to the receptionist although there was no sound, so they could only guess what he was saying. She suddenly started to back away from him, screamed a silent scream, turned an ran toward the rear exit. The energy bolt caught her between the shoulder blades and she careered into the door, falling down and lying motionless.
Teabing then proceeded to rifle through the filing cabinet He pulled out a form and stuffed it into his pocket, scattering all the others over the floor. He then went over to the key cabinet and selected a set of keys. He moved towards the rear exit lifting the body of the receptionist with one hand and dumping her unceremoniously on the nearest chair.
“No it’s not, it’s Teabing.” Said Dan. “I don’t understand how or why though? Can anyone explain to me how a bloke who I saw die of a massive heart attack this morning can be up and walking around this evening?”
David Peterson offered some explanations.
“Could be Teabing was…Is a sorcerer, but that doesn’t explain why you heard Rayne’s voice on the mortuary tape. Too self aware to be a zombie. Raised from the dead by his accomplice Rayne, but if so where’s Rayne now? If he‘s a sorcerer, why steal a car though, why not teleport? It‘s less traceable.” He shrugged .
Buffy deliberated “I think that we ought to get Langdon and Neveu, picked up quickly, coz I’ll bet that Rosslyn is the next place on his list. He must be tracking them somehow. Probably a location spell.
She went to the desk phone and dialled a number. After a couple of seconds it was answered by Ed Clewley. She related their findings so far and requested the collection of those at Rosslyn, and the tracking of the vehicle that had obviously been stolen. That accomplished they got back to the issue in hand.
It was eight thirty p.m. and particularly dark as there was a new moon The large manor house had been in the Rayne family for four hundred years, and had somehow managed to stay a little off the beaten track. Motorways and by- passes had seemingly been diverted miraculously away from the edges of its grounds; keeping the area particularly peaceful.
The red Mondeo pulled up to the end of the driveway. The portly figure of Leigh Teabing alighted from the car and went over to the locked gates. He muttered an incantation, a glow emitted from his hand and the gates began to creak open.
When the car reached the front of the house he parked, motioned with his hand and the car vanished. He staggered slightly as he moved towards the door. Again he murmured the incantation and the front door swung open.
A sweeping gesture from his hand and the shutters and blinds closed. Moving to a closet under the main stairs he threw a switch and the interior of the house was bathed in light.
“Ahh. Home sweet home.” He muttered.
By nine p.m. the telephone had started ringing. The first call was from Ed Clewley to say that they had a group of four people collected from Rosslyn Chapel and they were unharmed and on their way back to London. Langdon was being difficult and asking for contact with the Embassy.
“Ok, if he wants the Embassy I’ll give him the Embassy. When he gets here. Who are the other two Ed?” Asked Buffy.
“Apparently, they are Neveu’s brother and grandmother, they’ve been in hiding here for the last twenty odd years. Everyone thought they’d been killed in a car crash at that time, along with her parents.” Ed replied.
“So that would make the grandmother Saunier’s wife, yes? Maybe she can put some of this into perspective.” stated Buffy.
They concluded the call and Buffy relayed the information to the others.
Almost immediately the phone rang again. Xander took the call. It was Sam Finn. He put it on speaker.
“Hey Xander, we got word back on Rayne from the stockade. After your call, the warders checked him again. He hadn’t touched his breakfast, but that’s not unusual, and he also has a tendency to sleep late. They’ve just called back doc says he’s in some sort of trance or coma. He has vitals, but it’s like there’s no one home.” She reported.
Andrea looked up from her laptop. “Of course, Essence Transferral!” She exclaimed. “He’s transferred his soul into Teabing’s body.” She added.
The room became a buzz of page flipping and key tapping.
“Is everything ok there.” Asked Sam. “Did someone mention Teabing. Rayne’s been writing to a guy called Teabing for about a year now.”
“What!” Several of the rooms occupant exclaimed.
“We thought you knew about this. According to our information Giles is a relative and asked Teabing to look into Rayne’s abilities and rehabilitation.” Explained Sam.
“Well Teabing ‘was’ a relative, until this morning when he had a heart attack trying to use mojo to get away from the cops. “Now he’s undead and possessed.” Said Xander, Wryly.
“Giles would have said if he'd done something like that. Can we get copies of the letters? Asked Buffy. We need to check them for hidden spells or codes.”
“We already checked them for codes. Ran them through our Crypto came up with zilch. That’s why he was allowed them. I will admit though, we never thought of hidden spells, inbound or outbound.” Said Sam.
“Where was he writing to, what address?” Asked Dan.
There was a pause from Sam. Then she answered. “France. Chateau Villette. I‘ll get these faxed to you. Give me ten minutes.”
Buffy thanked her and disconnected. She asked David and Andrea to look at the faxes for any thing hidden in the text. Her cell phone rang, it was Ed Clewley.
“Buffy, I’ve just had a call from Traffic asking me why my car is parked outside the Tate Britain. They’re wanting to tow it away. If it’s not too much trouble could I have it returned. I would like to go home to my wife sometime this evening.” He said, sarcastically.
“Oops. Sorry Ed. She apologised. I’ll ask Dan to get it back to you asap. Where are you?” She paused and listened. “Ok to Belgravia. Bye.”
She looked at Dan who shrugged, grinned and said. “Time flies when you’re having fun.”
“Dan. Go get some sleep yourself while you can. You look as though you need it. Come back tomorrow when Giles is here.” She said, gently. Thanks for your help today.“
“I’ ve not done much really, but I think you’re right about the sleep. It’s not every day that you get pounded into the ground, find out there are super women about and monsters are real.” He replied.
Xander rubbed his eyes. “Y’ know I think I’ll tag along. If you don’t mind. I could do with a breather.”
When the two men had left the conference room. Andrea looked at Buffy. “ Are my empathic powers deceiving me or did I feel that you asked Xander to see that Dan got home alright.”
Buffy just grinned at her.
“He fancies you something rotten. You know that don’t you?” She added.
Again Buffy just grinned.
End of Chapter Ten.
A/N Please read and reveiw.
I know the last couple of chapters seem a bit like filler. That wasn't the intention.
Stickwith it, we're geting there.