Buffy sat on a mattress in a small cell, wondering how the hell this had happened to her. The cell was painted industrial white and there was nothing in the room save for the mattress and a tray of some kind of food over in the corner. Buffy found it a little weird that the mattress seemed to be embedded into the floor so that when she lay down on it she was level with the ground. She decided it must be some new thing police stations were trying.
Standing up she began to pace restlessly, trying to figure out what she was going to tell them. Oh, hey, guys? It was a vampire. Yeah, creature of the night. Okay, no hard feelings. Bye. She had a feeling that would work out real well.
The floor was cold beneath her bare feet. Sometime between her passing out and waking up in the cell her boots and jacket had been taken from her. She also had to wonder when it became standard issue for cops to knock people out. Buffy pressed her hand to her side where it still stung from being stabbed with whatever the hell kind of weapon the cop had used on her.
Annoyed, she strode up to the door and banged on it loudly. It was reinforced but she was pretty sure she could break out of the place if she needed to. However, by the ink stains on her thumb the Slayer had to guess they’d taken her prints. So busting out was going to have to be a last resort.
The sound of a key turning in the lock made her take a couple of steps backwards and a second later the door swung open. A man in a rumpled grey suit stepped into the cell. His hair was dark and neat, skin tan, stylish glasses perched on his nose. The eyes behind the glasses stared at her easily. By the way he stood and the way he held her eye contact, Buffy could tell he was a man very much at ease with himself. Good for him she scowled.
“Am I allowed to leave now?” She asked, petulant.
The man looked at her a moment before chuckling. “Leave? I don’t think you realise the gravity of your crime, Miss. You won’t be leaving.”
“What crime is that?” Buffy folded her arms and tried to look unfazed.
He gave her a ‘are you kidding me?’ look. “That would be the crime of first degree murder, Miss. It’s illegal in America, you know.”
Buffy rolled her eyes. “I didn’t murder anyone.”
“We have over fifteen witnesses who will say differently,” he took another step into the room, hands against his hips. “I doubt we’ll have to rely on a confession.”
The Slayer turned her back on the man and closed her eyes. In all her years of being the Slayer she had never been so seriously caught up in the law. Her carelessness had brought her here but she had saved the girl’s life, so it had been worth it.
“You don’t have a body,” she noted, staring at the wall.
The detective cleared his throat. “We have remains.”
She turned around as she heard rustling. He held in his hand an evidence bag and within that bag was a small glass vial. Filled with dust. It took a lot of effort for Buffy’s eyes not to bug out. What the…?
“That’s…a nice collection of dust you have there,” she said brazenly. “I don’t think it’ll hold up in court.”
He snorted. “It’s all the proof we need, Miss.”
“What the hell does that mean? And stop calling me Miss.” Buffy moved towards him, annoyed.
“You might want to take a step back, Miss,” he held a hand up. “And I would gladly call you by name if you would tell me what name you answer to. We didn’t find any identification on you. Which is, by the way, a violation in itself.”
Buffy didn’t even bother to question what he was talking about. Things were getting just a little too weird. “My name is Buffy. And you would be?”
“Detective Coleman.” He replied. “What is your last name, Buffy?”
She eyed him reproachfully. “I never got my rights read to me. I may have to file a complaint.”
Coleman laughed humourlessly. “Buffy, we don’t take very kindly to murderers around here. I’ll let you in on a little secret. As far as we’re concerned – you have no rights.”
Buffy felt like punching his perfectly sculpted jaw. It was bad enough she’d had demon essence force-fed into her and then been beaten up by a vigilante mob, but now she had to deal with this asshole? Nuh uh. No fair. Being accused of murdering a vampire had to be one of the PTB’s most screwed up and totally not funny practical jokes ever.
The detective shrugged slowly. “Having said that, you do get a call and will have a lawyer appointed to you if you can’t afford one. By the looks of you, I’d guess that was the case.”
B-itch! Buffy hissed inwardly. “I’m not guilty of anything. All you have is a pile of dust and a group of insane people who, by the way, assaulted me.”
“Citizen’s arrest. They were perfectly within the law,” he smiled.
Buffy was seething. ‘Citizen’s arrest’ my ass. Detective Coleman motioned her to follow him outside the cell. She did so gladly. Confined spaces were not a favourite thing of hers. She found herself in a narrow corridor. The walls were white. Of course. She had to say this for the place; it was spotless. There were a couple of guards at the end of the corridor standing by the exit of the cells. A phone was attached to the wall a couple of feet away and Coleman and a uniformed police officer escorted her to it.
Buffy frowned as she got a good look at the device. It still looked basically like a phone, but maybe one of those fancy video ones? It had a screen and you didn’t seem to have to pick up the receiver to dial. She guessed the police funding had gone up what with all the crimes in Sunnydale.
With Coleman watching her every move Buffy typed in the number of her house. ‘Invalid number’ flashed up on the screen. Grunting, she typed the number in again this time slowly and carefully. The message came up again.
“We don’t have all day, Buffy.” Coleman sighed, leaning up against the wall.
Buffy ignored him and decided to try Willow’s mobile. The message flashed up again. She tried Xander’s. Same thing. What the hell?
“The phone is broken,” she announced, pointing at it accusatorily.
Coleman rolled his eyes. “It’s working perfectly fine. If you can’t remember the numbers, the call the directory and get the numbers that way.”
He spoke to her as if she were a little child and typed in a three digit number that made the screen turn a bright shade of red and then revealed the face of a young woman, smiling fakely.
“How may I help you?” She asked, looking right at them.
Buffy, feeling self-conscious, cleared her throat. “Uh, I want to call the Summer’s residence.”
The woman nodded. “One moment. I’m sorry, there is no such listing.”
Buffy shook her head. “There has to be.”
“There isn’t,” the woman replied, still beaming. “Can I call someone else for you?”
At this Coleman and the officer burst out laughing. Buffy eyed them, suspicious. The operator rolled her eyes onscreen, then she disappeared and the screen read ‘disconnected’.
“Way to piss off the Directory, Summers,” Coleman said still laughing. “That is your name, right? Buffy Summers. Call it a wild guess.”
Buffy scowled and pointed at the phone. “She’s grossly negligent. I have the right to a phone call.”
Coleman rolled his eyes. “Since you’re clearly inept at using simple devices, just tell us who you want to contact and we’ll contact them for you.”
“Like I trust you.”
“You’ll have to,” his eyes hardened.
Buffy sighed. “Like I said; Rupert Giles.”
Coleman grunted. “Right. Sure. And I’d like to contact Holman Winters.”
“Give us another name or stop wasting our time.”
“Fine. I’ll give you a list. In case you’re too inept to use the phone. Willow Rosenberg. Xander…Alexander Harris. Robin Wood.” She enunciated carefully. “Got that? Need me to write it down?”
Coleman glared at her but spoke to the officer. “Escort Miss. Summers back to her cell.”
“This is ridiculous!” Buffy told him as the officer gave her a rather impolite shove down the hall. “I’ll sue. I’ll sue and I’ll totally win!”
She was pushed inside the cell and the door slammed shut behind her. The sounds of the bolts being drawn across made her wilt and she dropped down onto the mattress morosely.
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