About the 'Sam' thing… For those of you not in the know, Chris and Rite both call each other that. It's a sort of mutual, shared pet name, as near as I can figure out.

And no, I don't know what it means. :-)

"Exactly how many gangs in Sunnydale use PCP, anyway?" Chris asked, eyebrows knitted together in a puzzled frown. He sighed in disgust and flipped through yet another report of gang activity in the stack of case files they'd been given on their newest assignment. Being on loan to the Sunnydale Police Department for an undetermined amount of time sounded like it was going to be an…interesting experience.

Rita sighed and, closing another folder and adding it to the stack of cases they'd already gone through – a pitifully small amount when one took into account how many they'd been given to go over in preparation for their trip – said, "A lot, apparently." She frowned and pursed her lips. "At least, according to officers of the SDPD."

Chris gave her a sharp look. "You think they're covering something up?" he asked, careful to keep his voice low. One just did not talk about police corruption – even in vague terms – in a police station. In earshot of other cops, period.

Rita shook her head slowly as she flipped through one of the many medical reports they'd been given. "I'm not entirely sure…the reports seem to be honest, but…"

"But?" Chris prompted his wife.

Rita sighed heavily. "But I just don't think all of these so-called 'gang riots' were fuelled by drugs."

Leaning back in his desk chair, Chris tossed the folder he'd been looking through on the 'Done' pile. "What do you think it is?" he asked quietly.

She grinned weakly. "I have no clue, Sam," she said honestly. "But I think it might tie in with all these hospital reports about people being stabbed by barbecue forks."

"Barbecue forks?" Chris asked incredulously. At his partner's nod, he frowned thoughtfully. "Well, I guess it's possible for a high number of people to accidentally stick themselves with those, considering how many people probably barbecue in California."

Rita grimaced and shook her head. "Yeah, but how many people accidentally stick themselves in the neck?" She held up a Polaroid photograph depicting a rather pale and drawn looking woman with two bloody puncture marks on the left side of her throat.

"The neck?" Chris squawked. He coughed and cleared his throat, grinning disarmingly as their boss, Captain Harry Lipschitz, threw him a quelling look, mouthing, "Quiet or you're fired, Lorenzo." Harry was in the middle of a phone call with the Commissioner, and besides the fact the he and she did not get along, he'd been on there for over an hour at this point.

Seeing the ice-cold glare being shot his way, Chris slumped down in his chair and tried to sink through the floor.

"Yes, Sam, the neck," Rita confirmed, trying not to smile at her husband's antics.

"I have no clue," Chris said honestly, trying to crane his neck to see their boss' expression – hoping it had calmed down and that his 'Death Glare' wasn't turned on his poor, hapless self anymore – without it being obvious to said irate dictator.

Rita rolled her eyes, wondering if her lover had been a contortionist in his former life. "Neither do I, but another thing that puzzles me about those cases is that not only were the 'barbecue fork' accidents two perfectly parallel round holes, but the 'victims' also suffered a massive amount of blood loss from the wounds – even if it wasn't over the carotid artery or a vein."

Chris snorted. "Sounds like they got attacked by vampires."

"Vampires, Sam?" Rita asked, amused. "You're kidding, right?" She raised an eyebrow in disbelief.

"You never know, Sam," Chris pointed out. "You never know."

Rita shook her head and capitulated. "No, I suppose we don't – now, at any rate."

Chris gave her an inquiring look. "Whaddya mean, Rita?"

"Well, we'll be in Sunnydale in ten days and then we can see for ourselves," she pointed out.

Chris grinned widely. "Better pack a cross and some wooden stakes just in case."

Rita groaned and thwapped him on the head with a nearby folder.