The television series, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and all related characters and materials belong to Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy and UPN. Witchblade and all characters related are properties of Top Cow Comics and TNT Productions.

Author's Note: I wrote this because I thought it would be a great idea to get these two characters together in a situation, given their personalities. With that, let us begin...

Duality. It was a concept she had learned in an art class long ago. That was what came to mind; a look that was of both old and new, of the past and of the present, like hands stretching forth to both and taking something of each into possession. The apartment was beautiful, like a three-dimensional tapestry. One could daresay it was elegant, saturating her with feelings of sophistication, class, and a little bit of playfulness. The only thing that marred the experience was a blonde woman screaming at the top of her lungs.

The bounding and gagging that followed only made her thrash more violently, desperate to break free of whatever held her. But it was all for naught, because soon her throat gushed with life-giving blood, like a gruesome waterfall, and her body was brought to stillness. Once subdued, the only movement the body made was the jostle after the long, menacing knife plunged its way into the woman's chest...

Sara Pezzini awoke with a start. The deceptively simple trinket she wore, in truth the fabled Witchblade, had in the past given her first-hand insight into many a brutal crime. Crimes that seemed to defy all logic and expectations. But rarely before had Sara witnessed something so awful. A grisly murder in all of its glory, if one could call it that. Being a cop had steeled her to many things, but this was beyond heinous. It was vile.

Sweat dripping from her brow she pondered the meaning of the vision. The Witchblade showed her things for a reason, for some important purpose. A "regular" murder, albeit brutal, would not have registered if it did not hold some significance. But it was 6:00 a.m. and Sara was not in the mood, nor the proper mindset, to effectively handle such an issue from the relative peaceful sanctuary that was her apartment. Relatively peaceful, that is, until the phone rang.

"Hello?" Sara answered languidly.

"Pez, it's Jake." Jake McCartey was one of the newest detectives in the NYPD. In just under three years, he had helped her solve a number of cases and provided a 'unique' perspective on things. Together with Danny Woo, Sara and Jake were a formidable, yet unlikely, force: two guys, a girl, and a police precinct.

She liked Jake, enough to trust him as a partner. But even she had to admit that something about him made him a slight mystery to her.

"What is it, Jake?"

"Murder in an apartment building near the NYU campus. Dante wants us over there pronto," Jake said.

"Got it." With that Sara hung up the phone and started to get ready. A quick shower, a bagel, and her gun and badge complemented her on her way out of the door that morning. A solid punch to her heavy bag was thrown in for good measure.

Sara arrived on her cherished motorcycle at the crime scene ready, though unwilling, to start her day. She saw Jake standing by waiting to brief her on what was known so far. She still resented his taste for the early mornings. Must be a surfer thing, she thought. She approached him in her usual style.

"What we got, McCartey?"

"One Janet Devereaux, age 39. Lived alone with her two cats. Ran an antique shop on Duane St. Neighbors overheard a scuffle and a scream at about 4:45. A couple of black-and-whites responded and saw this." Sara saw in vivid reality what had become of the subject of her vision. The ribcage had been opened, spread out. A rookie in the force had tossed up the contents of his late-night snack when she had arrived; now she knew why. It wasn't exactly the site one wished to wake up to.

"Anybody catch anyone leave the apartment?" asked Sara.

"Nope. Neighbors were too scared to look and nobody else questioned so far ever saw anyone suspicious enter or leave the building." Jake was watching the CSI units bag and tag the evidence, hoping Forensics could provide any leads to their fledgling investigation. He was convinced that anything, anything would do considering the apparent lack of witnesses.

8:45 am, Monday – Medical Examiner's Office

After giving their initial report to Captain Bruno Dante and getting for what passed as a breakfast in New York City, Sara and Jake made it over to Mitchell Dretch's office. Dretch's ten years as medical examiner had given Sara and Jake the utmost confidence that if anyone could give them something to work with, it would be him. Originally from Seattle, he had succeeded Vicky Po when she decided to transfer down to Miami. Though it took Sara some time to warm up to Mitchell, she came to respect his expertise. He had a steel-trap mind with a hawk's determination. And if you asked anyone, he was also slightly weird. Especially in his desire for all things Tang. As to why, no one could answer.

"Morning, detectives," Dretch said almost cheerfully.

God, is everyone a morning person except me? Sara thought. "Morning, Mitch. Tell us you got something."

"Oh I got something alright. Your vic was killed by a sharp object severing the carotid artery. The wound to the chest was made post-mortem," Mitch iterated as he uncovered the corpse.

"We got that part," Jake said. "What else did you find?"

"You see those teeth marks on the body near the ribcage?" Sara and Jake nodded after getting a closer look. "Those marks were made with a rib spreader. The metal teeth on it marked up the body before it was situated."

"Why?" asked Sara. "Was something removed?"

"As a matter of fact, yes," Mitch confirmed. "The victim had her heart removed. The rib spreader was obvious. I knew by looking at the way the chest was opened up that it had to be involved. But the way it was done really stood out. After seeing those marks, I can tell you this person probably has rudimentary medical skills, if that."

Jake was remembering something. "Wait a minute. Didn't a victim three weeks ago have her heart removed?"

Sara also remembered. While it didn't pass their desk, she did hear it was currently held up because of no leads. "Yeah, but the ME never mentioned any rib spreader being used. They determined it was just a sharp knife or something similar."

"Could be a copycat," said Mitch.

Sara wasn't convinced. Her instincts had served her well over the years and she wasn't about to give up on them now. "Or it could be that someone's deliberately trying to throw us off. Are you thinking what I'm thinking, Mitch?"

"Only if you're thinking what I'm thinking, Jake," Mitch answered.

Much to his chagrin, Jake answered the only way he could. "Yeah, I am."

Sara finally voiced what they all thought but had been all too apprehensive to say. "Gentlemen, I think we have a serial killer out there."

It was then that Sara felt something wash over her. She felt it first about two weeks ago and had been feeling it since, all around New York. But this was different. Before it was just faint, only somewhat noticeable. But now, it was something stronger and more focused. Something primal. Something powerful. Something deadly.

She had a feeling things were going to get interesting.


"We'll be landing at LaGuardia Airport in a few minutes. Please place all trays in their upright positions and your carry-ons in the overhead compartments or beneath the seat in front of you." The flight attendant's voice was pleasant and soothing. But Willow Rosenberg had a feeling that whatever brought her, Buffy Summers, and Rupert Giles to the Big Apple was definitely not of the pleasant and would most assuredly not be anywhere close to soothing.

Then there was the fact that she felt something dark touch her in her deepest recesses. But she couldn't figure it out. It was almost as if something was blocking her, preventing her from truly reaching out with her power...

She decided to push it to the back of her mind... for now.

"I sure hope whatever was in my dream's something we can stop. Barely two weeks out from a major battle and already Big Bads are brewing," Buffy said quietly.

"I must say I find it quite odd that your Slayer dreams would bring us all the way to New York. Not that I wouldn't mind seeing the city, of course. It's just that, well, usually Slayer dreams tend to stay localized." Rupert Giles was always one to question the 'whys' of something and proceed cautiously. This time was no different.

"You have to wonder what's so bad to bring us all the way across the U.S.", said Willow.

The Slayer suddenly felt something faintly wash over her. Something dark. Something ominous. Something deadly.

Buffy wondered the same thing. "I think we're going to find out."