The Slayer sat at a table in an interview room barely bigger than her cell. The fact that she had gotten used to thinking of it as ‘her cell’ in such a short time worried her. She rested her elbows on the table and cradled her face in her hands. She was tired and sweaty and worried for her friends. The fact that her lawyer was taking his or her sweet time to get to the police station was just making matters worse, and it also gave Coleman a chance to try and make her slip up “off the record”.
The detective sat across from her, eyes scanning her face for something she clearly wasn’t giving him. He cleared his throat, ran a hand through his hair, and leaned forward towards her. She could smell his aftershave and it managed to remind her that she probably stunk.
“So, why’d you do it? H.F.H looking for another ‘hero’?” Coleman questioned, as if genuinely interested.
Buffy just looked at him, blankly.
“And tearing the guys head off? That…well, it would take some considerable strength. How’d you manage that?” He asked.
She sat up straighter and held her hands out. “Want me to demonstrate?”
“Threatening me isn’t going to help you now, Summers.”
Buffy sighed. “Whatever. I thought you were going to call my friends.”
“We found several Alexander Harris’, none of whom reside in Sunnydale, and the only Willow Rosenberg we could come up with lived in Montana,” Coleman shrugged. “We left a message on the off chance she migrated out of the state without telling you.”
She glared at him. “That’s not my Willow. My Willow lives here. And Xander too. How dense can you guys be?”
“Not according to the database.”
“Well the database is wrong!” she half-yelled, filled with frustration.
Her lawyer chose that moment to enter the room, a little sheepishly. He was a lanky guy in a cheap looking suit – rumpled collar, tie skewed – with light brown hair that stuck straight up and kind green eyes. As he turned to her a polite smile lit up his face and he held out his hand for her to shake. Warily, Buffy shook the guy’s hand and when he sat down beside her she noticed he had a few shaving cuts on his jaw and a cleft palate operation scar.
“I am Norman Wagner, I’ve been appointed to Miss. Summers’ case. And I would like to request that my client and I have some time to discuss her situation in private, as she is rightly entitled to,” it came out sounding rehearsed and nervous.
Coleman rolled his eyes and muttered something beneath his breath before standing up and leaving the room. Buffy sighed and let her head drop to the table, closing her eyes. What a day, what a day.
Norman opened up his briefcase and fiddled with some papers. “You didn’t say anything...incriminating, did you? They really shouldn’t have had you in here without me. I’ll file a complaint.”
Buffy had the distinct feeling that filing a complaint in this police station was akin to sending junk mail. It would go straight in the bin. She glanced over at her state-appointed lawyer and tried to keep an open mind. Maybe he was the best damn lawyer America had ever seen and he just took these kinds of cases because he was that kind of guy! Never mind that he barely looked old enough to have graduated law school.
“Does threatening to rip a detective’s head off count as incriminating?” she asked sarcastically.
“Oh…my. Well, uh, have they been treating you as they should?”
She laughed at that and Norman gave her a questioning look. At his prompting she proceeded to tell him exactly how they had been treating her. When she was done he looked very concerned and earnestly announced he would be filing two complaints that very day.
Pulling a notepad and a pen out of his briefcase, her lawyer asked her to explain her part in the crime. This was where things got trickier. She couldn’t exactly say that yes, she had killed that guy, but he was a vampire and she was a vampire slayer. If she said that she’d probably find herself locked up in an asylum again. It would be hard to completely deny the killing though, what with all the witnesses. So, Buffy settled for saying nothing at all. Norman didn’t seem to understand what she hoped to gain by not talking to her lawyer as it was his job to get her free.
When she still said nothing he informed her that her case had already generated substantial media coverage, and though her identity hadn’t been disclosed yet it would likely be leaked very soon.
“And that’s another thing – you’re not in the system. Everyone’s in the system but you’re…not,” Norman’s brow furrowed. “Have you lied about your name? Why weren’t you carrying your I.D Card?”
Buffy looked sideways at him. “I left all my I.D at home.”
“And your home would be where?”
He wrote it down. “Never heard of it. Listen, Buffy, you need to start co-operating with me and with the police. This is a serious charge. One of the most serious you can get. They’re even sending someone down from HU to meet with you and to make sure you get life in prison. And those guys are persuasive.”
“I didn’t kill a man,” was all she said.
He looked grave. “There’s a lot of witnesses who will say otherwise.”
“That’s because they don’t understand!” She blurted out.
“…nothing. Nothing. Anything I say at this point is going to make me sound like a crazy person. I understand if you want to quit,” Buffy murmured and rubbed her forehead. She could feel a headache coming on.
He shook his head and gave what he probably hoped was a reassuring smile. “You underestimate me, Miss. Summers. A lot of people do. I need this case to prove myself and…and I will.”
She reached over and patted him on the shoulder, noticing his flinch.
Norman stood, chair scraping across the floor. “I’m going to give you a few minutes to think about some things and I’ll try and contact your friends for you, okay?”
“God bless you, Norman Wagner.” Buffy deadpanned.
He looked more than a little perplexed by her but simply nodded and left the room. The Slayer moved her neck around in circles to remove the cricks. Since it didn’t look like she was going to get out of the station anytime today she put her time to good use. Reaching over for Norman’s pen and pad, she wrote down descriptions of some of the things she could remember being shown by the Shadowmen, this way she could tell them to Giles before she completely forget them. When she was done she folded the paper and stuffed it into her bra.
Buffy glanced down at the notepad, paused, then drew a picture of a stick man with stink lines coming off of him. She labelled the drawing “Coleman”, leaving it in the middle of the table.
Then she got back to worrying.
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