Fic Title: The Rose Remembers
Summary: Buffy and Giles introduce themselves to Inspector Angel and his partner. Buffy goes on patrol...
Rating: Eventually NC17
Warnings: Violence and sexual content.
Banner number: 47 by athenamuze
Setting: About 2 1/2 years post-NFA
Disclaimer: Not ours, as much as we would like them to be.
Author Notes: This is a crossover with the movie, Hot Fuzz, but honestly, you shouldn't have to be familiar with the movie to be able to understand the fic. However, by reading the fic, you *will* get spoiled for the entire movie. Just so that you know.
The story begins here.
Nicholas accepted the pint from Danny with a sigh of relief. But he didn’t look up from his notebook. He had to finish writing all the details before he forgot them. The day had been long. Longer than any in recent memory. It was almost as if they had stepped into some sort of weird time vortex. Every time he glanced at the clock, it had been moving backwards. Mocking him.
“Give it a rest,” Danny encouraged good-naturedly.
“I have to finish this.”
“Hey, watch this.”
“What?” Nicholas asked, looking up.
Danny’s fork went to his eye, but instead of ketchup flying through the air, something white and creamy hit the table.
“Ahh! My eye!”
Nicholas couldn’t help the smile, though he did try. “What is that?”
Danny chuckled. “Coffee creamer. Thought the ‘Ahh my eye!’ trick could use a bit of an update. What did you think?”
“Have you ever seen Coppola’s Dracula?”
Nicholas held his hand up. “Let me stop you before you get too far. I haven’t seen any Dracula films. Or any other monster movies, for that matter.”
Danny shook his head. “You’re missing out. Keanu is in it. Come over tonight.”
“I’ve got work to do.”
“Come over tonight anyway.”
“Pardon the interruption…”
He glanced up to see a tall, slender man in his early fifties hovering at the side of their table. His suit jacket was rumpled and slightly damp, traces of snowflakes still clinging to the lapel. He had only just come in from the chilly November night, Nicholas realized. He wasn’t alone. A woman young enough to be his daughter stood at his elbow, her hazel eyes sharp and intelligent.
The man offered a smile of apology. “I hate to be a bother,” he said. “But I’m afraid I must ask. Are you Inspector Angel?”
Nicholas stood immediately. “Yes, I’m Inspector Angel.” He gestured to Danny. “This is Sergeant Butterman. Is there something we can do to help you?”
He didn’t miss the glance the blonde woman shot Danny, nor the slight line that appeared between her brows. But it was the older gentleman who continued to speak.
“Rupert Giles,” he introduced, extending his hand. “I was hoping to discuss the events at the castle with you, if you wouldn’t mind.”
Nicholas took a deep breath. The number of people who came to Sandford after the actions of the NWA had been publicized was overwhelming, and they all came for different reasons.
“That would depend on what, exactly, you were hoping to discuss, Mr. Giles, and why. I’m not longer talking to the press myself. We issue weekly press briefings. If you think you might have lost a family member or a friend here, you will need to wait until tomorrow morning and speak with PC Doris Thatcher.”
“So you’re still excavating the remains?”
“Yes, in fact, we are.” Nicholas could see that this Rupert Giles and his companion were not going to be happy to wait for the weekly report, or to talk to Doris. He turned and smiled apologetically at Danny, and then gestured at the other two chairs at their table. “Please, have a seat.”
He waited until Mr. Giles had first pulled out a chair for the as-yet unknown young woman and then taken the other one for himself before sitting down. “I imagine it’s been a long and rather gruesome task,” Mr. Giles said. “I do appreciate your taking the time for us.”
“Would any of you like a drink?” Danny asked. “Mr. Giles, Ms…?”
She smiled. “Buffy. And I’d die for a diet coke right now. Thanks.”
Danny returned her smile. “You can call me Danny.” He looked at Nicholas and Mr. Giles. “Pint? Pint?” Both men nodded and he stood and crossed to the bar.
“Yes, it has been a rather long process. Identifying the remains has been the most difficult part of the experience. My predecessor did not keep records…any records at all. We don’t even have Missing Persons reports to work with, for the most part.”
Mr. Giles nodded knowingly. “I’ve had some unique experience in attempting to locate people with very little information to work from. If you find yourself in need of some help, I’d be more than happy to extend my expertise.”
Nicholas reached for his notebook without thinking, unconsciously flipping to a clean page and scribbling notes. He didn’t notice until Mr. Giles’ eyes were drawn to the page. The notes were just random impressions of the man sitting across from him. Mr. Giles seemed to be genuinely interested in helping, and his manner of speaking indicated a high-level of education.
“I appreciate the offer, Mr. Giles, but right now the task has been almost entirely turned over to the forensics team. They’ve been reduced to combing through dental records in many instances. Where did you travel from? London?”
“I did, yes.”
“That’s Giles’ nice way of saying I’m the foreigner here.” Buffy smiled. “I arrived from New York this morning.”
“New York? Really?” Danny set her drink in front of her. “Have you ever seen any high speed pursuits? Or muggings? I bet you have.”
There was no mistaking the quick glance she shot Mr. Giles. “Not too many,” she said. “I’m only there because my kid sister is going to NYU. I’m too busy trying to chase her away from the hot boys so she can focus on school.”
One look at Danny’s face told Nicholas that he was prepared to keep asking questions until he heard an answer he liked. Nicholas touched Danny’s elbow to distract him from the young woman and cut in with a question of his own.
“Yes, well, that’s quite a distance to travel to visit Sandford. If you’re not looking for a missing person, what is the purpose of your visit?”
Mr. Giles took a long sip of his beer, clearly contemplating his words before answering. “Actually, we were concerned about the mass grave,” he said. “About the possibility of…more recent deaths.”
Nicholas immediately stiffened. He had kept a few keys pieces of information from being released to the public, including where Gabriel Weaver’s body had been discovered. “Why is that a concern of yours?”
Though her companion opened his mouth to respond, Buffy was the one who jumped in to speak
“I had a vision,” she said. Mr. Giles shot her a quick look, but she ignored it in favor of shooting Nicholas and Danny a brilliant smile. “I’m kind of a part-time psychic.”
Danny looked at her with wide eyes. “Really? A genuine, part-time psychic? And you had a vision of Sandford?” His voice dripped with awe.
“She didn’t have a vision of Sandford, Danny.”
“Yes, she did. She said so.” He leaned over. “What’s it like to have a vision? Did it come to you in a dream? Did you see anybody in particular?”
“Danny, she didn’t have a vision because psychics aren’t real.”
“Well, she looks real, doesn’t she?”
“I did,” Buffy insisted. “They’re not regular or anything, and I can’t just whip one out whenever I want, but two nights ago, I had a dream about a catacomb filled with decaying bodies. Look.” She opened her small purse and pulled out a tattered piece of paper, unfolding it and handing it over. “I wrote down everything I remembered.”
“As unorthodox as this might sound, Buffy’s visions are usually quite accurate, I can assure you,” Mr. Giles said. “And really, we have only the best intentions in coming here. We’ve dealt with the consequences of her visions on multiple occasions. We only want to put a stop to these unnecessary deaths.”
Deaths. So far only Gabriel Weaver’s body had been discovered. Were these two aware of other victims? He had a very short list of suspects at this point, and Mr. Giles and his companion were close to being at the top of that list. Danny leaned over his arm, eagerly reading the paper Buffy had passed to him. Nicholas skimmed the sheet, continuing to write his own notes.
“What about this?” Danny asked, pointing to something in the middle of the page.
A half-finished name written in blood on the wall. Jim Hark. And maybe help?
“That doesn’t prove anything,” Nicholas muttered, even though chills were rolling down his spine.
“Well, it proves something, doesn’t it? Nobody else knows about that. Only people who’ve been down in the catacombs. And…”
Danny didn’t need to finish his sentence. And there was no way this Buffy had been down in the catacombs.
“Do you mind if I keep this?” Nicholas asked, folding the paper carefully.
“Sure, go ahead.”
“Perhaps we should allow you to consider this.” Mr. Giles pushed away from the table and stood, though Buffy remained in her seat, frowning up at him. “We’ve intruded long enough, and I promised Buffy some dinner before we retire for the night.”
“We’ll be staying at the Swan,” he continued, ignoring her attempts to interrupt. “Thank you for your time.”
“Oh, you don’t have to leave yet, do you?” Danny asked. “Stay around for another pint.”
Nicholas stood as well. “How long do you plan to stay in Sandford?”
Mr. Giles offered his hand in farewell. “We’re not entirely certain. A few days, at the very least.”
“Just to make sure nobody gets hurt,” Buffy said, finally standing up.
“Yes. Sandford has seen quite enough tragedy for a lifetime, as I’m sure you’ll agree,” Nicholas said, politely shaking Mr. Giles’ hand.
“Call us if you have any more visions,” Danny said quickly. “Or come by the station.”
“The modular trailers,” Nicholas clarified. “You can’t miss them. They’re our temporary home until the station is rebuilt.”
Buffy frowned. “What happened to the station?”
“Big explosion.” Danny mimed said explosion with his hands.
Nicholas’ eyes were automatically drawn to Danny’s side. He couldn’t see the scar through Danny’s shirt, but he could imagine it easily enough.
“Yes, there was an explosion that took out the entire station.”
“It was a sea mine that did it,” Danny added.
“A sea mine?” It was Mr. Giles’ turn to express surprise. “I don’t remember hearing that in the news reports.”
“No, that detail wasn’t released to the public. The sea mine was in the evidence room. One of the members of the NWA accidentally set it off, killing himself in the process.”
“After he shot me.”
“Yes, after he shot Danny.” Nicholas’ stomach twisted at the thought. “It was a rather stupid mistake on my part. I should have realized he was still free and most likely in the station.”
“It weren’t your fault,” Danny said softly.
Buffy softened, something sad haunting her bright eyes. “It’s always tough when somebody gets hurt. That’s the worst part of what we do.”
“You did have quite a few arrests to make, from what I saw,” Mr. Giles said. “You can hardly be expected to be everywhere at once.”
Nicholas could have explained that he had plenty of time to make the final arrest, that Tom Weaver had quite simply slipped his mind, but he didn’t feel like going into it again. Especially since something Buffy said caught his attention.
“What we do? Are you a police officer?”
She shook her head. “Call me Jane Q. Public. I just don’t like watching bad things happen to good people.”
“Nothing quite on the scale you’re accustomed to,” Mr. Giles was quick to add. “Didn’t you arrest the entire village?”
The corner of Nicholas’ mouth lifted. “Not exactly. We made eleven arrests.”
“We even had a proper high speed pursuit.”
“As proper as one can have in the country side, I suppose.”
“Don’t listen to him. It was amazing.”
“I’m sure it was.” Mr. Giles smiled and took Buffy’s elbow, pulling her away from the table. “Thank you again.”
Nicholas nodded, not returning to his seat until they were settled on the other side of the pub.
“They seem nice enough, didn’t they?”
“Oh, they’re not crackpots.”
“Danny, people don’t have psychic visions.”
“How do you explain the name then?”
“Maybe she knows the person who murdered Gabriel. Maybe she is the person who murdered Gabriel.”
“Why would she come here, then?”
“Guilty people often make the first move, don’t they?”
Danny shook his head. “I don’t believe it. Oh, but that reminds me of this bit in Dracula where…”
Nicholas let Danny’s voice wash over him as he returned to his notes. Maybe Mr. Rupert Giles and Buffy—whose last name he never caught—weren’t crackpots, but that didn’t leave a lot of other options. He’d be sure to keep his eye on both of them.
Buffy didn’t taste any of her dinner. Her gaze kept straying to where the two English policemen were drinking in the corner, only to be diverted back to Giles by his not-so-subtle throat clearing. She wanted to know what that Inspector Angel knew. His partner was nice enough, but it was obvious who was in charge. Giles had filled her in on the details of the NWA bust on the five-hour train trip from London. The Inspector was good, and there were probably a ton of details in his little notebook that might give a clue about what was going on, details he probably didn’t even realize the importance of. He was a practical man. Vampires and demons were too weird for him to consider real.
She only hoped that that didn’t end up getting him killed.
They were still sitting with their drinks when she and Giles left, and she waved back at Sergeant Butterman when he waggled his fingers at her in farewell. Inspector Angel’s eyes narrowed even further at the gesture.
“I don’t think he likes me very much,” Buffy commented once they were outside.
“I wouldn’t take it personally, Buffy. He strikes me as the sort who doesn’t like many people.”
“Maybe I shouldn’t have gone with the psychic story.”
“Probably not. Clearly, Inspector Angel was less than impressed with it. But the damage is done now. We’ll just have to be careful not to give him any more reason to think we’re suspicious.”
Buffy wrinkled her nose. “I was going for quirky. I guess I missed that mark.”
Giles smiled. “Well, it worked on Sergeant Butterman. I’m sure it doesn’t hurt to have him on your side.”
“He’s kind of a softer, less annoying version of Andrew, isn’t he?” She glanced back at the pub. “I’d sure like to see what’s in that notebook, though. I’d know what to look at first when I go out to the castle tonight.”
“Do you think that’s terribly wise, Buffy? I thought we should investigate more of the village before venturing to the castle.”
“We can do that tomorrow. Last time I checked, eight out of ten demons polled still call the middle of the night their favorite rampaging time.” She scanned up and down the street, getting her bearings. “Don’t worry, Giles. I’m just going to scout around. The last thing I want is to get stuck in those catacombs and have Inspector Angel find me tomorrow. My psychic story really won’t stick then.”
Giles hesitated for a moment before nodding. “You’ve got your cell phone?”
“Cell phone, stake, and a pocketful of sugarfree tic tacs. I’m all set.”
“I’m sure this goes without saying, Buffy, but be careful.”
She tossed him one final smile before heading off, her breath coming in white plumes in front of her face as she walked. The taxi driver from the train station had been very enthusiastic about pointing out the site of Sandford’s claim to fame, so she had no doubts she’d be able to find it easily enough. It was just a short walk, and the brisk air would help to organize her thoughts.
Eleven people arrested. Eleven humans. And they were still excavating the castle of all the people they’d killed over the years. That was a whole lot of badness concentrated in one spot. Evil perpetuated by people was more potent than demon evil. It wouldn’t surprise her in the least to find this was how Hellmouths were formed.
The path narrowed as she got closer to the castle, as if trying to dissuade people from approaching. Wild flowers had once grown over the trail, but those were not trampled down, bent and broken from the tread of feet. Giles had said Sandford had experienced a modicum of notoriety in the aftermath of the mass grave discovery, but she still thought it was crazy that people would actually kill to try and maintain some stupid Best Village of the Year award, or whatever it was. Of course, a trio of fanboys creating their own freeze ray was a little crazy, too. The English were just a little more subtle. Their stiff upper lip just extended as far as their evil-doing.
Buffy came to a halt and surveyed the property. A bird called overhead, its wings suddenly flapping as it took off from the tree she stood beneath, but after it was gone, the world returned to its eerie quiet. She’d lived in New York City too long. The sound of silence made her skin crawl any more, an unnatural beast waiting to pounce. If Giles knew how on edge she really was, he never would have agreed to let her come out alone.
She kicked at the ground in an attempt to make some noise, just to make her feel better. Something white caught her eye, and she frowned as she bent down to look closer. Her fingers sifted through the loose dirt to pluck it out.
A cigarette butt.
She dug a little bit more. Just beneath the surface, there were more.
The hair stood up on the back of her neck as she straightened, her gaze immediately jumping around to look for him. It was stupid, she knew. Spike had been dead for over three years, and there was absolutely no reason for him to be smoking under a tree at the edge of England.
She glanced at the looming shadow of the castle.
Except a lot of people had died recently here in Sandford. And more were showing up. She still didn’t have a reason for why she’d dream about finding Giles’ mutilated body here of all places. And vampires didn’t come back from the dead.
Buffy left the protection of the tree and starting circling the castle. She hadn’t anticipated vampires might be responsible for the carnage she’d dreamed about. Vampires she could deal with. She knew exactly what kind of signs to look out for.
And she was most definitely not looking for a flash of bleached white hair.
To be continued in Chapter 3...