Author's Notes: thanks for all the reviews. They really mean a lot, and a lot made me laugh (vampire FBI...that's definitely an interesting idea!) I am also very flattered that some of you think this is a well written story...just wait, it probably gets worse! Here's the next, and final chapter (the story is only 24 pages or so long!)
He rushed into the building around five am, his hair a mess, his clothes rumbled as if he had just thrown the closest thing at hand on. He rushed to the desk, before taking a deep breath, “I’m here to see Buffy Summers,” he told the secretary there, and presently he was led into an interrogation room.
He was barely in the room when she was out of her chair and her arms were around his neck. He wrapped his arms around her as she began to shake. “I-I didn’t know what to do,” she murmured, and he shushed her, trying to sooth her.
After a moment, he slowly pulled her away from him, wiping a tear from her cheek with the pad of his thumb, keeping his hands on her cheeks, “It’s alright, we’ll take care of this, together,” he whispered.
Brennan and Booth had been informed that her lawyer was there, but before going to ask her more questions, Booth led her into the attached room. They stared into the room, the sound off, in shock at the scene before them.
“H-he could be you,” she murmured, looking at the man holding the blonde close, wiping the tears from her cheeks. “Do you think this is the man she thought you were, Angel, I think she called you?”
“Must be,” Booth said, staring at them. Presently the man led her to the table, where he sat her down, her chair almost touching his, she was practically in his lap, and they started speaking in hushed tones, evident by their body language.
Booth cleared his throat, shaking himself out of the reverie he had lost himself in, and went to the door, “You can come in if you want,” he told her, before leaving the room. She watched the couple a moment, before following him.
“Holy shit,” they heard her cry as Booth opened the door, “You’re-” she stopped, noticing the opened door, and fell silent. He looked behind him, and put a hand on her leg comfortingly.
“We’ll talk about this later,” he murmured.
“How long?” she asked quickly and quietly, staring into his eyes; she would know if he lied.
“Five days,” he told her.
Then Brennan was closing the door behind her, and he had to pull himself away from her. He stood, offering his hand to the detective before he looked at him. When he did, he visibly started. “L-Liam O’Connor,” he said after a moment by way of introduction.
“Agent Seeley Booth,” the man said, “And this is Temperance Brennan, Forensic anthropologist,” he introduced.
“Wh-What charges are being brought against Buffy?” he asked with a bit of a growl, and Buffy put a hand on his arm, pulling him back to sit beside her.
Booth watched the interaction, “Generally lawyers are supposed to stay objective,” Booth commented, and the man looked questioningly at Buffy.
“I didn’t know who else to call,” she murmured. “Dawn’s going to flip,” she continued, “When you leave, will you call Willow? They need to send someone to stay with the girls…” she murmured, and Booth was impressed that even though she was being charged with at least one murder, she was still thinking of others before herself.
“I’ll stay with them,” he said.
She looked up at him startled, “They’ve been dying to meet you,” she said softly, the irony of her words were not lost on the others.
“Mr. O’Connor, your client is being charged with at least one murder,” Booth said after clearing his throat. It was as if they kept forgetting where they were.
Angel looked sharply at Buffy, she hung her head, “I didn’t do it,” she murmured, and he patted her leg.
“Then why were your finger prints on the chains?” Booth asked. “That this girl was also one of your students we could have dismissed, but we have hard evidence linking you to the crime. It begs to question whether we would have found ties to you with the other victims, if you hadn’t stopped the investigations.”
“Buffy, what the hell is going on?” Angel asked.
She wouldn’t look at him, “Giles started that school for gifted girls a few years ago. I brought twenty girls on retreat here, because Dawn’s looking at colleges in the area. It was supposed to be a relaxing change, where they could continue their studies,” she looked him in the eye, and he understood what she was saying.
“Two months ago, Marie Robichaud was found behind a club, she had multiple broken bones, and two puncture wounds on her neck. She was sixteen years of age,” she said, tears falling down her cheeks, “A few days later, Candace was found, her skin had been stripped off. A month ago, Isabel Cortez and Chao-Ann were found, mutilated, mauled by a large dog.” Yet again she looked in his eyes, and she saw that he understood what went unsaid.
“This morning, Rachel Collins was found tortured to death. Th-they showed me photos…she had multiple bite marks on her neck and arms…and th-there were sh-shallow cuts along her abdomen…” she turned to him, her eyes pleading, “Angel, I didn’t do this. You have to believe me,” she cried, fighting the sobs that wanted to wrack her body.
He wrapped her in his arms, before he turned to look at Booth and Brennan, “I’d like to be alone with my client for a few minutes,” he told them. They nodded and left, slipping into the viewing room.
Inside the room, he held her in his arms until he felt her sobs subside, “Buffy,” he said slowly, softly, “I would never accuse you of murdering a girl. They were slayers, weren’t they?” he asked, and she nodded.
“And I can’t blame the vampires, we got the one that killed Marie, b-but if they asked around, the vampire was small and blonde, like me. It was dark, any witnesses would blame me.”
“You can’t be blamed for the werewolf attack,” he said gently.
“No, but I can’t blame the werewolf either. It was a high-powered official, Angel. I can’t blame her. And Candace…That was a type of demon we once dealt with in Sunnydale, that paralyzes its victims before stripping the skin off them and eating it, drinking their blood while they’re still alive…
“And Rachel, poor Rachel. She was taken three weeks ago while we were doing some patrolling. We searched high and low, Angel, and we couldn’t find her. I-I wasn’t there, I don’t know how my fingerprint got there!” she cried.
“Shh…I believe you, I trust you,” he told her, hugging her before standing.
“They’re in there,” she nodded towards the wall she was facing. He turned to her, questioning her silently, “I can’t see them, but I can sense them…he feels kind of like you,” she whispered. He nodded, before going up to the spot and knocking in it before motioning that they could return.
“May we ask our questions now?” Booth asked, a bit peeved. Whenever anything had to do with teenaged girls, he got more gruff than usual. Angel nodded silent agreement, “Where were you on the 21st?” he asked.
Buffy didn’t look at Angel, and he didn’t look at her as she answered. They both knew that no matter what she said, she couldn’t do anything but deny their claims. She could never clear her name fully without putting them in danger, “The girls and I went out to a club, Marci’s, on Virginia. The girls have been working hard, and with the deaths of Candace, Marie, Isabel and Chao-Ann, things were tense. They needed a chance to relax, in a safe environment.”
“How long were you there?” he asked.
“A couple hours. We left the house just before dark, and we left about two am, that’s when we started walking home.”
“Walking?” Booth asked, raising an eyebrow. “You felt the streets safe enough-”
“We were a group of 19 girls. Most predators go for solitary targets, not those of a large group.”
“What happened next?”
“We got home around 2:30, and we all went up to bed, the girls were pretty tired, we’d been there since eight.”
“Was Rachel there then?”
“I-I don’t know. I did a head count before we left the club, but when we got home, it was late, so I just let them go on up to bed. But Rachel didn’t come to breakfast the next morning.”
“Why didn’t you report her missing? That was three weeks ago.”
“Th-The school deals with things internally. I reported her disappearance to the headmaster, and we split up into groups to look for her. We started near Marci’s, but we couldn’t find her.”
“And where were you the night Marie Robichaud was murdered?”
“We were all at a club, Dominique’s. We didn’t leave until late, and I didn’t learn of her disappearance until her roommate said something the next morning. When I found out a body was found behind the club, I knew it had to be her. When I got to the lab that day, I saw just a glimpse of her, and I knew it was her. Something broke inside.”
“And were you clubbing the nights the others were murdered too?” he asked. She just hung her head, silent. “Seems to be quite a lot of clubbing,” he commented.
“They’re just girls!” she cried, and Angel put a restraining hand on her arm. “Just because they go to a school for gifted girls, people forget that they’re just girls! Teenaged girls! They deserve to have lives like everyone else! Yes, I take them clubbing at least once a week, if not more, as long as their grades stay up. And I let them have boyfriends as long as they’re careful…I let them be normal girls, because I know what it’s like to not be normal, to wish you were!” she cried, pushing herself to her feet.
“And I know you may think that my carelessness got these girls killed, but by not being able to pretend at being normal, that would have killed them long ago. Maybe not physically, but mentally, emotionally.
“You must know what that’s like,” she turned to Brennan, “I don’t get out much, but I’ve heard of you, what you do. You know what it’s like to wish for the life you don’t have, to be like everyone else.”
“No, no I don’t. I love what I do,” Temperance said. Buffy just nodded, sitting back down.
“Do you have enough to hold her?” Angel asked briskly after a few seconds of strained silence.
“Yes,” Booth said. He just nodded as she crumpled. She didn’t want to be held. She had to get out of there and keep the remaining girls safe. She didn’t cry, she didn’t shed one tear. She just broke. She stared off into space as Angel talked with the detective, not hearing what was said about her.
“I believe this meeting is finished,” he told them as he held her. Her lack of emotions were scaring him. Generally she was so vibrant, alive. Now she just sat there, as if they weren’t talking about her at all.
“Don’t tell Dawn,” she finally said, looking at him, “I don’t want her knowing where I am. Just tell her…tell her something, I don’t know.”
“I will,” he told her softly.
“And call Willow. Make sure they send someone else to watch over the girls. They really need someone there at all times. They’re gifted, but they’re just teenaged girl, just girls,” she told him as an officer came in and motioned for her to stand.
“And Dawn has a college visit in two days. Make sure she doesn’t forget. She’s got her license, she can take my rental car. It’s in her name too,” she said as the guy cuffed her wrists.
Angel flinched at the sound of metal on metal, “I will.”
“And there’s no food in the house, send either Dawn or Ann Marie to go shopping. They’re the ones you can trust. The others will buy junk food, but you can trust Ann Marie and Dawn. My sister can be trusted,” she told him as she was being led out.
“Okay,” he told her.
“Angel!” she cried as she was out the door. She stopped allowing them to pull her, and her strength stopped them dead in their tracks, “I-I missed you,” she said softly, before her muscles went to jello and she allowed them to lead her away.
He turned to the detective, “You can’t really believe she would kill those girls!” he cried, “She loves those girls!”
“We can’t go by gut instinct,” Booth told him coldly, looking at the clone of his younger self, “We have to go by evidence.” He walked out of the room. Temperance followed behind him a moment, staring at the man that looked so much like Booth it was scary. She saw anguish on his face, and she felt bad for him.
“I don’t think she did it,” she later told Booth, “I know that I stick to the facts, but she just doesn’t look like she would be mentally capable of killing these girls. And then there’s the fact that there are no murder weapons…we don’t have enough evidence to try her, Booth.”
“She knows something she’s not telling us. We can hold her for twenty-four hours before charging her with something. Lets see if she’ll change her mind about sharing.”
When she got back to the lab, Zach rushed up to her, “We’ve got another one,” he told her. “They couldn’t get in touch with you or Booth, so I went and took photos and evidence. We found a complete print, and a chunk of hair. Both match to Buffy Summers,” he told her.
“You’re positive?” she asked.
“Yes, I ran them myself.”
“Okay, I need to tell Booth,” she said, sweeping past him.
Three hours later they were back in an interrogation room, “We found a chunk of your hair on the victim,” he told her.
“Yeah, and you can find a chunk of my hair in my hairbrush,” she told them, seemingly cool. But Angel could tell the difference. She wasn’t there anymore. Not the girl he knew, the girl who had told him just a few hours ago that she missed him. She hadn’t even looked at him up until now. The slayer was in control, not Buffy Summers.
“But these hairs had skin attached to them, as if they were ripped out. The hair from your brush wouldn’t. These were live hairs,” Brennan explained.
She just stared at them stonily. “I didn’t kill them,” she told them, “I didn’t kill the other girls, and I didn’t kill this one. Someone’s trying to set me up.”
“We found your fingerprint at two crime scenes!” Booth exclaimed, “We found your hair at the last one.”
“How could she have murdered the last one if she’s been with you most of the day?” Angel asked.
“Between the amount of decomposition and the maggots found on the corpse, time of death is estimated to be about five days ago.”
She leaned over and whispered in his ear a moment, and he nodded, before turning back to Booth, “Is there any way the hair could have been planted?”
“No-” Booth started to say, but Brennan stopped him.
“Her hand was gripping the strands,” she said, “Are you trying to say that someone forced her to grip onto the hairs as they killed her?” she asked.
Buffy looked down, “I haven’t exactly been having the best time these past few years. If you’ve done your homework, you know that I lived in Sunnydale just before it’s collapse. I lost all of everything in Sunnydale. I didn’t have time to get my things together before we left. Anyway, that, and a few other problems…a week ago I left the girls home to do studying, Dawn stayed with them, she works part time at the school, and I went to a bar. It’s not something I’m proud of, but with all these girls dying…and on my watch…I got drunk, and this woman started something…at one point during the fight she ripped a huge chunk out of my hair,” she told them, not looking at them, hating lying. She tilted her head to the side, pulling away her hair to show a bald section. “If you don’t believe me, Dawn will corroborate my story, the woman opened one of my old injuries,” she said, pulling up her shirt slightly to show a milky white bandage.
Angel stared at it in shock. She hadn’t said anything.
“She stabbed you?” Booth asked. “Why is there no record-”
“Because I knew how it would look…I’ve been avoiding the police since I was a suspect in my best friend’s murder when I was seventeen.” Angel looked away, “Old habits die hard. I knew you were going to be trying to frame me for these deaths. They’re like nothing you’ve ever dealt with before. You latch onto the first suspect you come across. I understand perfectly.”
Booth didn’t look surprised by the information, but Brennan looked shocked. She turned to him, and when he didn’t look at her, she said, “You didn’t say-”
“It wasn’t relevant.”
“Like hell it’s not,” Buffy said, “Come on. You suspect me of murdering five teen girls, and in my past, I was suspected of murdering another teen. Hell, if I knew for a fact that I didn’t kill these girls, I would suspect me.”
“I’m sorry, but until we find evidence otherwise, you are under arrest for the murders of Rachel Collins and Andrea Morgan,” Booth said. Angel stood up to protest, but Buffy restrained him.
Calmly, she looked at Brennan, “What do you need to leave a fingerprint?” she asked.
“What do you need? Can you get a fingerprint from a dead body?”
“Yes, if you use-”
“So you need to be alive to leave a fingerprint, on say…glass, correct?” she asked.
“Uh, yes. Without using any sort of ink, you’d need oils to leave a fingerprint.”
Buffy just nodded as she allowed the officer to lead her away.
After the door closed behind her, both Brennan and Booth looked at each other. “I’ve got to get back to the lab,” she said suddenly.
“I’ll drive you.”
~ * ~
“Buffy!” Dawn cried as she saw her sister on the other side of the glass, hurrying to pick up the phone in the visiting area.
“What are you doing here?” Buffy asked into the phone.
“I finally beat it out of Angel. He can’t lie to you,” she said by explanation.
“He said that when he could smell…I smelled like you. The same underlying scent. But he says you also smell like vanilla while I smell like mangos. Difference in body wash tastes,” she said quietly.
“I don’t want you being here. Do not tell the girls, no matter what. They need to stay strong. Is Angel helping them train?”
She nodded, “We’re trying to figure out who’s been doing this. Don’t worry, we’ll figure something out.”
“No, Dawn. I don’t want them out there. If five died while I was there to protect them, what do you think will happen if I’m not?”
“But if one more dies, then you’ll be free to go. They won’t be able to blame you for that one, and they’ll have to set you free.”
“No!” she said harshly, “I will not allow you to sacrifice one of them, knowingly or unknowingly, to get me out of here. Let me do this on my own, Dawn. I know what’s at stake, and I know what I’m doing. I’ve already cast doubt on the case.”
“But what if they found out you’re lying?” she asked in a hushed whisper.
“They’re based on fact, Dawn. If they go to one of the clubs and ask if we were there, then they’ll say yes. And if they go to that bar and ask if I was in a fight, that happened too. And I got slashed in the ribs. I’m not lying, I’m just altering the truth.”
“Why can’t you just tell them? People are more aware of it these days. And what’s going to happen when they do a background check on Angel, and find he has none? What happens when they start digging for other crimes to pin on you, and they find the battle in Rome, where those five girls died in one night? You didn’t try to hide your presence, and you were wounded really badly,” Buffy touched her shoulder in recollection, “Your blood and fingerprints are all over that alley. Will they try pinning that one on you too?
“No matter what you do, there are slayers dying. All over the world. And you’ve been there for the biggest blood baths. What happens when they start putting the pieces together? If you get charged for this one, what happens when they find out about the others?
“Tell the truth, please.”
“And what, sign my admittance for a nice long stay in a padded room? Remember the last time I tried to tell the truth? Mom and Dad sent me to a mental institute until I took back my claim. I can’t do that again, Dawn. And I can’t let the general public know about us, because then we’ll just become some political tool. How long before they would try to buy us, become someone’s personal army?
“No. I do this my way. And if I take the fall, well, I’ll see if I can request Faith as my roomie,” she told her sister quietly, softening the blow that she might not succeed in proving her innocence. She might end up going to jail.
Brennan looked over the body closely. “The evidence just doesn’t add up,” she told Booth, who stood beside her. “These fractures, Summers doesn’t have the stature or power to do this kind of damage. And that’s just not speculation, her build and body mass just aren’t compatible with the type of strength needed to do this.
“And yet this break, right here,” she pointed to the bones in question- Zach and Hoggins had finished cleaning them just a half hour before- “the breakage and the splintering was caused by something small, approximately the size of Summer’s fist. This fracture punctured the girl’s lung. She was bleeding internally, and maybe had half an hour. But the odd thing is that, see here? The bones had already started healing. There was, at max, a half hour window between the breaks and her death.
“And then her wrist. The break suggests that it was twisted when broken. But the wrist has also been compacted. She used her fists, presumably, to fight after it was broken.”
“And that’s not normal?” Booth asked.
“No. In most cases where the victim has had no martial arts training as far as we can figure out-there are no old injuries that point to any sort of physical training-such as this girl, her death should have come right after the breaking of her wrist. I don’t know if you’ve ever broken your wrist, but it hurts, a lot. To use it to hit something hard after it was broken causes intense pain. Enough pain to make someone unused to pain black out even.”
“Didn’t Buffy Summers say that she was in charge of teaching the girl personal protection?” he asked.
“She did,” Brennan said softly, thinking. Then she sighed, “None of this adds up.”
“Just another anomaly in a bizarre case.” She turned to look at him questioningly, “I ran a check on her ‘lawyer.’ Not only is he not a lawyer, there is no record of a Liam O’Connor ever existing in this country. No medical records, no Social Security, no driver’s license. Nothing. This guy doesn’t exist.”
“Let’s go find out why,” she said. As one, they headed towards the stairs.
They found him at the Watcher’s Council House. They sat on the same couch they had the first time they talked to Buffy Summers as he closed the doors.
“There’s no record of you,” Booth said bluntly. He just nodded. “Wanna tell us why?”
“I came over from Ireland after my parents’ deaths,” he told them, slipping into a bit of an Irish accent as he talked. “I had been out, and someone came into the house and killed them and my younger sister. I couldn’t stay there, so I came here, to start over.”
“Where in Ireland?” Booth asked.
“Galway,” he said without thought.
“Nice try,” Booth said, “With a name like O’Connor, I searched records in Ireland. There hasn’t been a Liam O’Connor in Galway since the massacre of 1753, where Liam O’Connor was one of the first to be murdered. Over a two week period, over one hundred people were killed in the city and surrounding areas, including all of the O’Connors in the city-”
“Patrick O’Connor, Samantha and little Kathleen O’Connor,” Angel said. After Dawn had come back from seeing Buffy two days ago, she had been bugging him about getting Buffy to tell the truth. She had warned him that this might happen. “My ancestors,” he told them. He thought quickly for a name, “It’s been told that Liam was quite a rogue. He got Kristin O’Riely pregnant before he died. My great grandfather traced back our lineage and in attempts to regain some of the O’Connor money, he changed his name legally to O’Connor.”
“There’s still the fact that there’s no records of you.” He just shrugged.
“ANGEL!” the yell came from somewhere in the house.
“If you’ll excuse me,” he said, standing. “You’re free to show yourselves out.”
“Why do they call you Angel?” Brennan asked as they stood.
He turned back to them, “My mam used to tell stories of a man called Angelus, the one with the angelic face. A huge rogue, he was. She used to call me her little Angelus,” the lies came so easily it almost startled him. But he dismissed it as he left to find out who needed him.
On the ride back to the Institute, Brennan let out a frustrated sigh, “That was a waste of time,” she said.
“No, I’ll run the names Angel and Angelus through the database, and might even Google it, see what comes up.”
“You think that he might have a record using one of those names?” she asked.
“You never know.”
Two hours later she went into her office, where she had let him use her computer. “Find anything?” she asked.
“Maybe,” he motioned for her to sit as he continued reading.
“What’s that?” she asked, leaning over his shoulder as he scrolled down. She scanned the page as he read on. “Booth, what is this?” she asked.
“A website, looks like it was made by teenagers. It’s about Buffy Summers and O’Connor, though on here he’s known by the names Angel and Angelus. Look at this,” he pointed to something on the screen, “‘According to the watcher’s journals of the time, Liam was sired at the age of 26, by a vampire just over 100 years of age by the name of Darla. Obviously God intended this, because it would be two hundred years before Liam’s soul mate was born…Of course, that soul mate happened to be Buffy Summers, who has become the most legendary slayer of all time…’” he quoted from the website. “What is this garbage?”
“Vampires?” Brennan said, “All cultures have vampire myths, but they’re just that, myths. It’s become something of a cultural phenomenon since Brahm Stoker’s Dracula. But what’s this slayer thing? Do you think it’s a gang?” she asked.
“I don’t know, but I’m about to find out,” he told her, copying the link.
An hour later they were in an interrogation room. “What is this?” Booth asked, showing Buffy the screen of his lab top.
“I don’t know,” she said, sitting back, crossing her arms over her chest.
“Let me read you something,” he said, spinning the laptop around. “‘Buffy Summers became the slayer when she was fifteen. She moved to Sunnydale, and that’s where she met Angel, the love of her life. But he was a vampire with a soul…’ Heard enough?” he asked, looking up at her. She looked shaken.
“Wh-what is that?” she asked.
“A website we found,” Brennan said.
“We searched for a record on your lawyer, and found nothing. We went to him, and he gave us some nicknames I checked out. This is one of the things that came up.”
“What does the writer mean by slayer?” Brennan asked. “Is it some sort of gang?”
Buffy sighed, “Not exactly…”
“And what about this mention of vampires? Is this some sort of slang?”
“Okay, we need some definite answers. Now,” Booth said.
“I can’t tell you,” Buffy said.
She sighed, “Because it’s my job, okay?” They just stared at her so she elaborated, “I save lives. That’s the lot I was given in life. These other girls, all of them at the school, were born into the same lot. We die so you don’t have to.” She held up a hand, “I know that sounds harsh, but it’s the truth. We fight, we die, so that others can go on living. That’s why I can’t tell you. That’s why I couldn’t allow you to decimate those girls’ bodies. They earned their gift. Just let them have it…” she sighed, “I’ve said too much…”
“No, no, you’ve said just enough,” Booth said.
“You think I’m crazy.”
“No, I think that both you and your boyfriend are lying.”
“He’s not my boyfriend,” she told them. “And right now, I’ve been the most truthful I’ve ever been.”
Both crossed his arms across his chest, mimicking Brennan’s stance, leaning against the wall in the corner.
“You don’t believe me?” she asked, jumping up. “Fine, you want the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth?” she asked, beginning to pace, “In every generation, a girl is born with the strength and speed to hunt them. The vampires. The werewolves. The demons. She is called the slayer. She alone has what it takes to hunt them where they lurk, in the darkness. She alone dwells in the darkness. She’s not allowed to have friends. No one is supposed to know what she is, what she does. No one but her watcher, some stodgy British guy, who gets to tell her what to do, when to do it. Every night, he sends her to her death, fighting the forces of evil upon this earth, stopping apocalypse after apocalypse, only to die in the end. And she’s not even mourned, because the second her last breath leaves her body, another is called, another girl who has the same destiny thrust upon her!
“And this has been going on for over 2000 years!” she cried, “This barbaric custom of taking a young girl that has the potential to become this killing machine away from her family and friends, raising her, honing her killing skills on the chance that someday might be her ‘lucky’ day, when the current slayer dies, and the power decides to jump into her body!
“But then, the power chose someone that wouldn’t follow the rules, that had friends, and family, and a life outside of her destiny. But every chance it got, that fucking destiny screwed her life over, again and again. She killed her boyfriend, she alienated her friends and family, all for some world that doesn’t give a rat’s ass. Stopping apocalypse after apocalypse, dying twice for this world.
“And then the big one came. The one that was supposed to end the world. And this girl, who had survived through every thing else thrown at her, who had been torn out of heaven-yes, such a place exists-had to soldier up once more. Girls around the world started dying for no apparent reason, their families started dying, their mentors started dying. So it was her job to house them, and feed them, and protect them, when she could barely protect her own sister.
“And when an evil time forgot started preying on these poor, defenseless girls, it was her job to keep them safe. And when they died, it was her strength that was used to dig their graves.
“And then the end came. But what could one girl do against an army of millions, even with super human strength?” she asked, stopping her pacing in the middle of the room to stare at them forlornly, “What more could she give? She had given her ‘normal’ life, she had given her friends, her family, her heart, and her very life. But still she had to keep giving. What was there left to give?
“And then her witch friend stumbled upon a spell, and with her magic voodoo powers, she made it so that one girl wasn’t alone anymore. She shared the burden among many, among hundreds. And they beat back the wave that was going to engulf the world. And they saved it once again. And they would never have to be alone again.
“Marie Robichaud, Candace Miller, Isabel Cortez, Chao-Ann, Rachel Collins and Sarah-Beth Scott. All slayers. Those marks on Marie’s neck, and on Rachel, those were vampire bites. Candace was attacked by a Gnarl demon, which feeds on the living flesh of its victims. It’s fingernails secrete a venom that causes paralysis. Isabel and Chao-Ann were attacked by a werewolf. Sarah-Beth’s neck was snapped. Also done by a vampire, trying to get me in trouble.
“Why me?” she asked them, having gone too far to stop now, too far to stop the truth from bubbling out. “Maybe because I’ve been doing this for almost ten years. Maybe because I won’t stay dead. Maybe because I always get my guy. Or maybe it’s because they can’t get rid of me any other way.
“And the worst part, the worst part is you’ve left my girls vulnerable. I could be out there trying to find this psychopath that will stop at nothing to see me taken out of the picture!” she cried, raising her arm as if to prove her point, “But no, I have to be locked in here while they plan to take over the world, and I can’t do anything about it!” she lowered her voice, “Do you really think those girls could save the world? Even if there were one thousand of them, they couldn’t. You wanna know why? Because they’re inexperienced. Not one of those girls can barely handle a nest of vampires on their own. They’d crack under the pressure of saving the world.”
“And you haven’t?” Booth asked.
“I’ve had no choice,” she said softly. “I don’t know what you read on that website of yours, but it’s the glorified version of my life, that’s for sure. I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy, and yet I forced it upon these girls,” she told them, sitting down, exhausted, in her chair. “That’s why I have to protect them. I can’t rest, I can’t sleep. Always protecting, always leading. Because who will be there to pick it up if I put it down?” she asked, looking at them, “Who would want the burden of being different?”
After a few minutes of strained silence, Booth cleared his throat, “Thank you, Miss Summers. You’re free to go,” he said. Brennan looked at him, but he didn’t see the surprise he expected to see in her face, just agreement.
She hung her head, “Thank you,” she wouldn’t look at them.
An hour later, Angel came and picked her up, after they dropped the charges and closed the investigations. When she saw him in the lobby, she ran to him, hugging him. He picked her up in his embrace, a powerful man despite his humanity. He pulled her as close as he could, trying to merge their bodies so they would never be apart again, but all too soon he knew he had to put her down.
Once her feet had touched the ground, she turned to Brennan and Booth, “Thank you for believing me,” she said, giving them the first smile since meeting her, “I know you could have locked me up in the Looney Bin.”
“The world’s changing,” Booth told her, “After what you did in Sunnydale, demons aren’t such a huge secret anymore. Hell, there was a government agency studying them,” he told her.
“I know, I dealt with them. They tried to make their men able to fight the demons with drugs, giving them super strength. But nothing compares to slayer power, because it comes from the demon itself. The demon in all of us.” At Angel’s confused look, she smiled at him, “I told them the truth. They’re right, the world of demons and darkness isn’t so dark anymore.”
“This would explain some of the cases of finding humanoid bones that we couldn’t identify,” Brennan said. Booth just looked at her, shaking his head with a smile. “I would really like to do some research in regards to this enlightenment…think of all the unsolved cases that could be closed, all the murderers that were convicted wrongly…”
“Thank you so much,” Angel said, tucking Buffy under his arm. “There are about fifteen girls back at the house that can’t wait to see you,” he told her.
“The problem with being popular.”
They turned to go, but then Angel turned back. “Oh,” he said, “Part of that story was true. Liam O’Connor did get Kristin O’Riely pregnant before he was turned into a vampire. For some reason, Angelus didn’t kill her, or the child, even though he had many opportunities. I never understood how he could kill his family and not this girl that meant nothing to him. That little girl grew up, and had a family…I lost track of her when I regained my soul, but I had Wolfram and Hart do some research. They just got back to me. Your great great great great great great great great great grandmother was Kristin O’Riely,” he told Booth softly. Then he and Buffy turned and walked away.
They stared after them, standing side by side, “You just met one of your ancestors,” Brennan said slowly.
“Yeah,” Booth said. “That’s really freaky. Maybe we shouldn’t have pushed her,” he said, “This door that she opened, we can never close it.”
“Would you want to? With this knowledge we can right more wrongs, save innocent lives…”
“Let’s get you back to the lab before you start talking crazy talk.”