She hadn’t eaten properly in ages so when the police officer brought her “dinner” she had wolfed down the mashed potatoes and dry meat quicker than she had thought possible. She left the peas. Wasn’t quite that starving yet. Buffy had had a personal vendetta against peas ever since she got one stuck up her nostril for six hours. When she was a child. Of course.
Norman was still somewhere in the police station filing his complaints and other paperwork. He was waiting for the H.U representative to show. Buffy didn’t even know what H.U was, but if they were going to try their hardest to get her thrown in prison then she disliked them.
Regardless, she could tell her lawyer was frustrated with her for not confiding in him. He kept telling her she was doing herself no favours. Buffy knew this but she also knew that if she told him that the guy was a vampire, that would do her no favours either. Outright lying didn’t seem to be a viable option either due to the amount of witnesses.
She kind of wished Giles was here to bail her out. She wasn’t proud of the fact but there it was. Buffy could handle the fighting side of things but the details, the planning, the intellectual things? Weren’t exactly her strong point. No matter how many times Giles told her she was a lot brighter than she gave herself credit for.
As she sat waiting for god-knows-what to happen the Slayer pulled out the piece of paper she had stashed covertly earlier. She glanced over her messily written list of things she remembered the Shadowmen showing her.
Giles – big crowd.
People strapped to beds. Looking spooked.
Partially eclipsed sun painted on wall.
She still couldn’t make any sense of it. If it was meant to show her The First’s plan Buffy couldn’t even guess what was going to happen. Quickly, she stuffed the paper back in her bra when she heard the door to her cell opening.
An officer stepped aside to let Norman through. Buffy gazed at her hands. He sighed and surprised her by sitting on the floor opposite her.
“Any recollection of what occurred yet?” He asked her.
She sighed. “If I told you, you’d send me in for psych evaluation.”
Norman looped his arms around his knees. “Try me.”
Buffy looked up at him and saw he looked at her with genuine concern and interest. It had been a long day, filled with assholes like the Shadowmen and Coleman, so seeing a non-judgemental face was a welcome sight. She still didn’t think she could simply come out and say what had happened but maybe she could discuss other aspects of the investigation with him.
“…I want to know when it was decided a pile of dust equals a body,” she said, holding her hands out. “I mean, that’s crazy.”
“About fifteen years ago.”
Her brown creased. “Wha – huh? Really?!”
Norman nodded. “Fifteen years ago it was decided that ashes were about as much proof as a dead body. Assuming they’d been tested and shown to be human remains, that is.”
“I’ve…never heard of that.”
“Really?” Norman looked surprised. “It was all over the news. Can’t imagine you were too old though, so maybe you weren’t that interested in body remains.” He smiled.
Buffy rubbed her forehead. “Look, Norman, those ashes…they’re not human ashes.”
“They’ve been tested and found out to be a positive humanoid match.”
“No, look –” Buffy clenched her fist, then relaxed it. “Okay, maybe technically it seems like human remains but…it isn’t.”
Norman looked her in the eyes. “They are 100% humanoid remains, Buffy. There’s no getting around that. So, maybe you should tell me why you killed him?”
“Because it’s my job!” She yelled before she could stop herself.
Norman jumped a little and looked very taken aback.
Well played, Buffy. She let out a sound of aggravation and dropped her head into her hands, pressing her forehead against her knees. Everything was coming out wrong and now he probably thought she was some kind of psycho.
The lawyer stood, stretching his limbs. He was going to leave. She was sure about it. Not that it really mattered – she was digging herself in deeper all the time with or without a lawyer. She still couldn’t believe she was in this situation. All because she wanted to save a little girl. Save someone’s life and get thrown in the cells for it. Lovely.
Norman rubbed the back of his neck, worriedly. “What do you mean by that? Are you affiliated with H.F.H? Because if you are…”
“I don’t even know what that is,” Buffy sighed, closing her eyes. “I don’t know what any of these abbreviations you people keep using mean. H.F.H, H.U – it’s all Greek to me.”
He threw his hands up. “Come on, Buffy! I’m trying to help you here. If you’re not a member of that group then what did you mean when you said it was your job to kill that man?”
“He wasn’t a man!” She bellowed, looking up at him. “I killed him because he was going to hurt that little girl!”
“What do you mean? She was his daughter. And he, by all accounts, was a good father. Not the kind of man to hurt a little girl.”
“He was a vampire!”
Buffy regretted screaming it as soon as the words slipped out of her mouth. Could she get any stupider? This was when the shit really was going to hit the fan. There would be straight jackets and morphine injections, padded cells and doctors in white coats. She shuddered.
However, Norman simply said one word. “So?”
The Slayer blinked, confused. “So…what do you mean ‘so’?! He was a vampire! A bloodsucking fiend!”
“Oh, Buffy, come on. Haven’t we moved past such prejudice?” He shook his head and clucked his tongue disapprovingly. “He had a right to life just like you and I.”
Buffy gaped at him. “He was Undead!”
Before Norman could say anything the cell door was yanked open and he was called out by the officer. He left and the door slammed closed behind him. The Slayer sat on her weird mattress, awash in a sea of confusion. Firstly, the fact that Norman seemed to be aware of vampires…okay that wasn’t too hard to believe in Sunnydale…but that he seemed to be some sort of ‘vampire sympathiser’ was too weird. It certainly wasn’t the reaction she had been expecting from him.
All Buffy could think was that she was in deep shit with very few options of pulling herself out of it. She was in shit quicksand. A very dangerous and smelly place to be.
The door opened again and Norman stepped in. “Buffy, the H.U representative is here to see you.”
He moved into the room, stepping aside to reveal the man standing behind. Buffy stared at him, stunned.
It was Spike.
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