SOULWORLD SPECIAL: LOCKLEY'S LAW
The Case of the Vampire Wannabe
By Philip S. (phil@philister.com)

Summary: Marshal Kate Lockley must track down a murderer and she has to do it with a brand-new partner by her side. Buffy Summers, Slayer and blood-bonded mate of her former partner Angel.
Spoilers: This story is set in my Soulworld universe. Complete AU, no spoilers.
Rating: PG-13

Note: In order to understand this story you should have read my Soulworld stories. If you haven't and don't want to, here is a brief summary of what you need to know:
Thanks to a spell that Angel and Spike performed in 1907 all Vampires have souls. The public knows of their existence and they have been granted full citizenship. Angel works for the PID, the Preternatural Investigation Division, a special branch of the Federal Marshal Corps. The PID is responsible for all manners of crimes involving the preternatural. A few years prior to this story Angel has performed the Vampire blood bond with the Slayer, Buffy Summers. As a result Buffy now shares Angel's immortality and they are bonded on a psychic level.

#


November 3, 2005


The police car slowly drew into the narrow back alley and came to a stop in front of the yellow police tape. Quite a few officers in uniform were moving around, trying to keep the onlookers away, securing the crime scene.

"Why do such crimes always take place in filthy back alleys?" Kate Lockley's new partner asked from where she rode shotgun.

Kate had tried her best to ignore Buffy Summers ever since she had been assigned as her new partner. She was convinced that Angel had to hate her. Not only was he taking time off from the job to deal with some stuff that Kate had filed away under 'Arcane Vampire Shit', no, he also had to saddle her with this girl.

What had she done that he hated her so?

Buffy realized that Kate was going to keep up her quiet routine and sighed. She hadn't expected it to be easy. She had been the Slayer for 7 years now, but as a police woman she was a complete and utter rookie. No one liked to be burdened with a rookie.

Not that it was her fault. She'd have liked to join the PID years ago, seeing as it was the best way for her to stay true to the Slayer's destiny without being the hired assassin of a bunch of dusty Englishmen. Only problem was that the United States did not hand out federal marshal badges to people below the age of 24.

"You do realize that you will have to talk to me sooner or later, right?" Buffy asked as they stepped out of the car and flashed their badges to the officers minding the police line.

"Probably." Kate just murmured, ducking under the tape.

Buffy shook her head and followed her.

"What have we got?" Kate asked the officer in charge.

"White female, about eighteen or so." The officer said, leading them deeper into the alley. "Apparently died from a broken neck, but we're not quite certain yet."

"Any sign of preternatural involvement?" Kate asked him. It was the more polite way to ask why the hell they had called them here in the middle of the night.

The PID was a branch of the federal marshal corps, responsible for dealing with all sorts of preternatural crime, even if it was just a Vampire robbing a store for a piece of candy. The main reason was the sore lack of professionals that could deal with preternatural criminals without getting themselves killed. A Vampire laughed at bullets.

Over time, when the government got around to giving normal police forces the necessary means and training to take on the undead and other assorted demonic critters, they would take over the run-of-the-mill crimes and the PID would concentrate only on federal cases.

That time was still a long way off, though, the police budget being what it was.

"She has puncture marks on her neck." The officer said, sweeping his arm toward the body lying on the ground.

It was a girl, barely more than a child, dressed in something that had barely covered her lithe body when it had been whole. Her head was arched back at a very unnatural angle, the two red punctures on her pale neck clearly visible.

"Blood loss?" Kate asked, kneeling down to take a closer look. The on-site coroner looked up at her.

"Not much. There is blood pooling in the feet and legs. Whoever our fang boy was, either he wasn't very hungry or didn't have much time. I'd say she died from the broken neck, not the blood loss."

Kate nodded, then looked around sharply when she saw Buffy reaching for the body.

"Put on the gloves before you touch her!" Kate thundered, causing Buffy to flinch back.

"I wasn't going to touch her." Buffy protested, but pulled on the plastic gloves nevertheless. "It's those puncture wounds."

"What about them?" Kate asked, not sounding very interested.

"They are fake."

"What?" Kate and the coroner asked at the same time.

"I said they are fake. No way were those made by real Vampire fangs."

"How can you tell?" The coroner asked her.

Buffy shrugged. "I just can."

Kate's eyes were unconsciously drawn to the scar visible on Buffy's own neck. A scar very much like the one the dead girl had, only older. Kate was not able to tell any difference between the two.

She shivered. Kate knew that Buffy had a much more intimate connection to the entire Vampire thing than she, and not just because she and Angel were lovers. Angel had once tried to explain to Kate what the Slayer was and how Buffy and him were bonded somehow, but she hadn't paid much attention.

Arcane Vampire shit. She wanted nothing to do with it.

"Check it out in the lab!" Kate told the coroner, starting to stand up. Only to stop when something about the dead girl's mouth drew her attention. She kneeled back down and pried the mouth open.

"Take a look at that!"

The girl had fangs.

"More fake fangs." Buffy said. "A wanna-be Vampire."

The fangs were obviously fake. White ceramic by the looks of them, glued to the girl's real canines. "I'm surprised she didn't fasten some of those fake facial ridges to her face as well."

"So what? We have a wanna-be Vampire killed by another wanna-be Vampire?"

"Looks like it."

Both Kate and Buffy stood up, taking off the plastic gloves. "Any ID?"

The officer in charge handed Kate a wallet. "Her name was Sally Fiore. Aged 18. She also carried a fake ID with the age twenty-three."

The two marshals walked away from the crime scene, Kate deep in thought. A fake Vampire, apparently killed by another fake Vampire. Odds were that this case didn't even fall into their jurisdiction, and yet ...

"How can you tell that the fang marks are false?" Kate looked at Buffy.

"Hey, you are talking to me, aren't you?"

"The fang marks, smart ass!" Kate repeated.

"I've looked at fang marks for seven years now, Kate." Buffy said. "That, and I'm bonded with a Vampire, remember? I can tell real fang marks from fake ones."

Kate shook her head. Arcane Vampire shit. Why had she ever taken this job to begin with?

"And I'm not a smart ass!" Buffy added.



#


November 4, 2005


"Our girl Sally hung out in a lot of these places." Buffy said, looking at the front of the bar they were about to enter.

"Yeah," Kate replied, still trying to keep conversation with Buffy to a minimum, "a regular fang groupie she was."

Buffy gave her a sharp glance, more than aware that Kate had looked at the scar on her own neck more than once. Kate couldn't help it. The thought that someone would allow a Vampire to sink fangs into her neck, even if that Vampire should happen to be her friend and former partner Angel, repulsed her on some deep level.

Just like the place in front of them. Ever since the Vampire Legalization Act had gone through, places like this one had popped up all over the United States. Fang groupie places, where the Vampire wanna-be crowd hung out, occasionally mingling with the real thing.

The 'Scarlet Thirst' was such a place. Run by a real Vampire with a less than sterling reputation, situated in one of the seedier parts of town. Also a hangout for one of the local biker gangs, some of them Vampires as well.

Some people would have called them foolish for going into a place like this without back-up. Some people who wouldn't have dared themselves, that was. Kate didn't give a damn. Buffy, well, Buffy was grinning. Kate was beginning to hate that shit-eating grin.

"Okay, let's go ask around a bit."

The two women walked into the bar, immediately drawing stares. Kate figured it was their style of dress. Jeans and T-shirts didn't fit in this crowd.

Leather, black and red, seemed to be the style of choice in this place. There was the occasional flicker of white, silk shirts and the like. No one with jeans or T-shirts, though.

Ignoring the stares and the occasional cat calls, they walked toward the bar keeper.

"What can I do for the lovely ladies?" The bar keeper was a man in his thirties, carrying around quite some bulk that might have been muscles once, but had melted down into just mass. Kate wasn't sure whether he was alive or not. No mirror behind the bar.

Kate produced a picture of Sally they had taken from her apartment earlier.

"Seen this girl around here?"

"And why should I answer such questions?"

Buffy produced her badge. "That's why, dead guy!"

Kate was miffed for a second, as Buffy had apparently made him as a Vampire already. How did she do that?

There was a lot of growling behind them. Kate turned to see about half a dozen guys in black leather walking toward them, all of them sporting demon faces.

"We don't want cops in here!" One of them growled.

"Tough!" Buffy snapped back, still grinning.

The Vampires were coming toward them, looking like they meant trouble. Kate was about to go for her gun, maybe frighten them off, when Buffy simply stepped toward them. The Vampires stopped in their tracks.

"You really want trouble?" Buffy asked them in conversational tone.

The Vampire in front looked at her, squinting as if trying to figure out something. Then his demon eyes widened and he took a step back.

"Slayer!" He hissed. That one word caused the others to step back as well.

"Just sit down, boys!" She ordered them. "We'll be done here in no time."

They complied. Kate couldn't believe it. That girl just told them to sit down and they did. Maybe she should have paid more attention when Angel had tried to explain this entire Slayer thing to her.

Buffy walked back to the bar and Kate swallowed back her irrational anger, turning back toward the bar keeper and ignoring the shit-eating grin on Buffy's face.

"You were about to tell us something?"

#

November 5, 2005


Kate knocked on the door again, but no results.

"No one's home." Buffy said.

They had come to the apartment of one Billy Fordham, apparently the last person Sally Fiore had been with before her death. Some people had seen them leave the bar together, just hours before her death.

"I wish we had enough for a warrant." Kate sighed, giving up her knocking. Billy Fordham had a record with the police, but no open warrants. He had been arrested several times for harassment. Of Vampires.

"Just because he was last seen with her ..."

Buffy's arm touched Kate's shoulder. "If I remember the regulations right, we are allowed to break down his door down if we spot signs of violence in there, right?"

"Right, but ..."

Buffy kicked in the door and was inside before Kate could finish her sentence. For a moment the older cop was completely flustered, then swore and followed the rookie inside.

"What do you think you're ...?"

"Blood!" Buffy said, pointing at a puddle on the floor. "I smelled it from outside."

"You smelled ...? On a second thought, I don't want to know. Okay, I'll call in the forensic team, then we'll take a look around. And don't forget your gloves again, okay?"

Buffy just made a face at her while Kate took out her cell phone.

Twenty minutes later the apartment was filled with police men. Some were busy analyzing the blood they found all over the place, sometimes just a few drops, sometimes puddles. It was all dried up for the most part. Had to have been here for a few days at the least. The stench permeated the entire place.

Apart from that the most obvious thing about this apartment was the preoccupation its occupant seemed to have with a certain fiction genre.

"Christopher Lee." Buffy said, walking along a wall with posters on it. "Bela Lugosi. Gary Oldman. Heck, even that guy from the Forever Knight series. This boy sure is obsessed."

"Lots of fake stuff." Kate came over. "Fake teeth, fake ridges, lots of black leather clothes and such. Even a fake Vampire ID with a birth date of 1776."

"Yep, obsessed."

Buffy shook her head.

"Why is he wasting his time with all this fiction stuff? From the looks of this one would think he'd be trying to find someone to turn him into the real thing."

Kate found something else on the floor and a thought came to her. "Maybe he was trying to do exactly that."

Kate knew that, ever since the debacle with the Church of the Holy Blood a few years ago, there weren't a whole many options for people who wanted to become Vampires. Most Vampires weren't all that interested in turning humans anymore, especially since the kind of humans that wanted to be turned were often the kind of fruitcakes no self-respecting Vampire would want for a childe.

"What do you mean?" Buffy asked.

"This guy is hanging around Vampires a lot, even to the point where they had him arrested for harassment. I think he wants to join the club."

She showed Buffy the flask she had found on the floor. "They are selling this stuff in some of the shadier stores downtown. Vampire blood. It's supposed to turn you if you drink enough of it. I think all that blood here is his own and he tried to replace it with this stuff."

"What about Sally then?" Buffy asked.

"I think he realized that his blood thing here wouldn't work, so he started looking for a better way. What if he mistook Sally for the real deal? A Vampire? He wanted her to sire him, only to learn that she was fake. It made him mad and so ..."

"We found something." An officer came toward them. "We found a couple of photographs, both of the dead girl and of another one."

Kate looked at the pictures, nodding.

"I'd guess that other one might be another he would want to be his Sire or ..."

"No 'or'." Buffy said. "I know that girl."

"You do?"

"Yes. Her name is Harmony Kendell."



#


November 5, 2005


"So this Harmony girl is a Vampire?" Kate asked Buffy as they drove toward the address Buffy had produced.

"Yeah. I went to school with her. Shortly after that she was sired by a guy called Jerry. That was when the whole Vampire thing was still in legal limbo. She's dumb as a post, Kate, and that's putting it mildly."

"So maybe our friend Billy has found himself a willing Sire, you think?"

"Possible. Or another victim if she has enough brains to refuse him."

"If she's a Vampire, can't she take care of herself?" Kate asked, not quite believing that they were riding to rescue a Vampire from a Vampire wanna-be.

"She might be a Vampire, but Harmony would faint if she broke a nail. She's anyone's meat."

Kate shook her head, continuing the drive in silence.

"May I ask you something?" Buffy said after a while.

"Can I stop you?"

"For someone who has made a career out of the preternatural you seem to have a very strong distaste for it. And anyone connected with it."

"I don't know what you mean."

Buffy laughed. "Please, I'm not a complete blonde, okay? I saw your face when I made those Vamps in the bar back down. And when I smelled the blood from outside the door. And when I could tell that those fang marks were fake."

Buffy leaned toward her, causing Kate to fight against the urge to back away.

"You don't like me, Kate. You are wigged by what I am."

"And what are you?" Kate looked at her. "I can't figure you out, Buffy. Angel tells me that you are some kind of warrior against the monsters, yet at the same time you have bonded yourself to one of them. Vampires are scared shitless of you, yet at the same time you went to school with one. I just can't figure you out."

Buffy shrugged. "Your former partner is a nearly three hundred years old Vampire, Kate. Until about a century ago he maimed and killed with the best of them. Look, I know you and Angel got along just fine. So what is your problem with me?"

Kate shook her head. What was her problem with Buffy? Kate knew only too well of the balancing act she performed in her head everyday. Here she was, a cop responsible for preternatural crime, yet at the same time doing her best to keep all the strange shit away from herself. Was that the reason maybe? Didn't she like Buffy because the younger woman was as human as she was, yet had quite thoroughly embraced everything that Kate had always stayed away from?

How could she trust someone who slept with the monsters?

"We're there." Kate announced, quickly stopping the car and getting out. Buffy sighed and followed her.

It was another Vampire club. This one of the more snobbish, pseudo-elegant sort. It was the place where, according to Buffy, the Vampire equivalent of the second-class High Society hung out. Those that thought of themselves as really cool and important and could not understand why the real movers and shakers of Vampire society wanted nothing to do with them.

"Let's find our man!" Kate said, walking toward the entrance.

A bouncer stood in front of them, big as a tank and flaunting his demon face for all to see.

"No humans allowed without invitation!" He growled.

"This is our invite!" Kate said, flashing her badge.

"You got a warrant?" He asked, grinning, flashing his fangs.

Kate was about to get into his face, but Buffy smiled at the bouncer and something about that smile made the hairs on Kate's neck stand up.

"I'm sure your employers wouldn't want to keep out a member of the Order of Aurelius, would they?"

The bouncer looked very confused for a second, then he sniffed at Buffy's neck. The gesture was so freaky that Kate almost jumped.

"I am very sorry." The bouncer said a moment later. "Of course the Aurelius is welcome here."

He opened the door for them.

"What the hell was that?" Kate asked as they went inside.

"Like I told you, I'm bonded to a Vampire. The undead can smell that. More, they can smell that I belong to one of the Vampire Orders, which is like a royal family among them. I bet they're actually thrilled to have me here."

Kate shook her head. This was getting too weird for her.

"You're freaked again, aren't you." Buffy said. "I can tell by the scowl."

"I don't freak easily." Kate said, which wasn't really an answer and they both knew it.

They entered the club proper, a large room decorated like something out of the Renaissance. Vampires and humans walked around, dressed in fake costumes from that era. Kate couldn't suppress a smile. All of this looked so incredibly ridiculous.

"Most of them aren't old enough to remember Elvis." Buffy smiled right next to her. "Yet look at them."

"They are ... different." Kate said, chuckling despite herself.

Buffy walked toward a man sitting o the bar, looking miserable.

"Hi Jerry," she greeted him, "where is your lady love?"

The Vampire in question looked up from his drink. He was dressed in a rumpled suit, but looked like he would have been more at home in a pair of jeans and a sweater.

"Harm, you mean? Ungrateful bitch took off with another guy."

"Human guy?" Kate asked, standing on the other side of him from Buffy.

Jerry looked confused for a moment, but seemed to be quite plastered and concentrated on his misery once more.

"I made her immortal and she takes off with some living guy just because he makes her a few compliments. They are in the back. No doubt smooching right now."

Kate and Buffy exchanged a look and quickly ran toward the back of the club.

#

Five minutes later they walked back to their car, a cuffed Billy Fordham between them.

"Let me go, you bitches!" He cursed at them. "I'm going to be one of them, then I'll tear your throats out."

"Sure you will!" Kate said, shoving him into the backseat of the car.

They had gotten there just in time. The girl Harmony had lived up to all of Buffy's expectations, having allowed herself to be tied up as part of some sex game. Fordham had been about to bite her with his fake fangs, apparently hoping that her blood would transform him.

They had left Harmony tied up and told Jerry to help her. He probably would. Eventually.

"Buffy!" Kate said as they got back in their car. "I think I have to apologize to you. You are right. All this stuff you do really has me freaked out a bit. I ... I'm sorry for the cold shoulder I gave you right from the start."

Buffy looked at her. "Why the sudden change of heart?"

Kate shrugged. "I think it was that girl, Harmony. The way she was tied up and helpless."

Buffy nodded, understanding. "Not so much a monster right then, right?"

"Don't get me wrong, Buffy, I know that Vampires are people, but ... they are so different. Scary. I couldn't understand why someone would intentionally try to get close to them. Or be one of them."

Buffy smiled. "You should have a talk with Angel about that last one. He helped me figure out quite a bit of that stuff."

"Maybe." Kate said. "Also, despite all the weirdness, we bagged the bad guy. I don't think I could have done it without you. At least not this quickly." She amended.

"Hey, I happen to know quite a lot about Vampire society, is all. You were the one who made the connection that Billy here was looking for someone to sire him."

They looked at each other for a moment, then both smiled.

"Okay, enough mutual adoration now." Kate announced.

"Right!"

Buffy put her hand on Kate's shoulder.

"I know my life sometimes seems like a really weird TV serial, Kate." She said. "But that doesn't change the fact that I want to be a good cop. Like you. So maybe we can help each other out a bit, what do you think? You with the cop stuff, me with the Vamp stuff."

Kate looked at her new partner. Sure, Buffy was a smart ass, a complete rookie, and really weird at times. Still, there had to be something about her that made someone like Angel fall for her.

Maybe Kate owed it to Angel, to Buffy, and to herself to try and find out what that was.

"Okay, deal." They got in the car. "I still think you're a smart ass, though."

Buffy gave her that shit-eating grin again. "I can live with that."



THE END