Meeting the Dads: Horatio Caine
Summary: "If he's the dad, does that mean I get to move to Miami?"
A/N: In response to Challenge 3064: conception by conspiracy *non-stargate* by shelli.
A/N2: Thanks to my betas: zigpal and JediKnight. Double thanks to tanydwr for the wonderful fanart. You're the best!
A/N3: I've gotten some concerned reviews about the idea that Buffy would consider an abortion when her whole life is about saving others. Just to point out, it is only considering. Given the danger of being a pregnant Slayer would be a good enough reason for her to think about, not to mention worrying that she was carrying the child of the human equivalent of a monster. So while she will talk about it, that in no way indicates that she'll actually do it. Okay? Feel better now?
Warning: Non-fuzzy type feelings for Maggie, Riley and the Initiative…duh!!
Rating: FR15 for language and talk of sex, of course, she's pregnant after all.
Pairing: Basically a Buffy/Giles friendship. Anything else is up to you, the reviewers – within reason of course.
Timeline for CSI Miami: Season 3 Episode 1'Lost Son'. Minor changes to the scene to make it work better for me.
Disclaimer: BtVS characters belong to Joss Whedon / Mutant Enemy. CSI: Miami characters belong to Anthony E. Zuiker, Carol Mendelsohn, Ann Donahue and CBS. I claim no rights to any copyrighted material. Please do not copy or take this story without my permission.
Buffy's ring had gotten damaged last night during a fight with a vamp. Giles yelled at her for 10 straight minutes for slaying in her condition, but she just reminded him she didn't have a choice. The fact that she was even wearing that ring was proof she wasn't expecting to have to 'work' when she ran out to get something to eat.
So here she was, in McCauley's Jewelers, waiting to see if they could quickly tighten up the setting while they were still in Miami. Giles was getting them a table for lunch at a nearby restaurant before they went to find the next guy at his place of employment. They still couldn't figure which was a better place – home or work – to drop this little bombshell of theirs.
She was idly walking around the store, looking at the different display cases. Mentally, she evaluated which pieces would cause problems, like her ring and which could actually help her out when she went out on patrol. A beautiful cross caught her eye. After her last encounters with Angel, she no longer wanted to wear the cross he gave her when she first got to Sunnydale…wow, was it really only three and a half years ago? It felt like much longer than that.
Two guys strode in purposefully while she was caught up in her thoughts and started to talk to the owner. Buffy's head snapped up in awareness when tension level in the room skyrocketed. The new guys had their guns out and were slowly creeping toward the backroom. But something about the way they moved screamed 'cop' to her so she wasn't concerned that they were the bad guys.
As they raised their weapons, the redhead glanced at her and the cashiers and ordered them to get down. She started to go down so she wouldn't be a distraction and get someone killed. Suddenly she felt something was wrong. The scruffy-looking cop guy was having trouble with his gun and he took his eyes off of what they were shooting at in the backroom. On instinct, Buffy grabbed the nearest object she could throw and whipped it at the gunman as she tackled Scruffy.
It was a good thing she did that too, 'cause one second later and the guy would have been hit by the bullet that whizzed over them. The crystal paperweight that she'd grabbed from the counter hit its target with a sickening thud. Buffy was scared that maybe she had thrown it too hard and killed him. The fear of going down the same path Faith had frozen her in place.
She barely made out the redhead asking, "Miss! Miss, are you alright?"
Speed carefully rolled himself and the girl who knocked him down over so he could check her for injuries. He really hoped that his stupidity wouldn't cost a civilian her life. Especially one who saved his life. Thankfully he didn't see any blood on her or himself.
Horatio shot the second gunman, then secured the first one before making his way back to Speed and the young woman in the main room. Speed must have been okay since he was busy checking the small blonde out for injuries.
He studied the room carefully. Something was wrong here. The blonde had been over 10 feet away from Speed when the shooting started but was next to him now. In addition, the first shooter wasn't shot, but had been rendered unconscious by a paperweight. Speaking of which, what happened with Speed's gun that he had to look at it? Even in the midst of the shoot-out, Horatio saw that out of the corner of his eye.
Well, there were no visible signs of injury on anyone, but the young lady looked like she was going into shock. Horatio moved Speed out of the way, telling him to call for help and an ambulance. Then he kneeled next to her and asked, "Miss! Miss, are you alright?" When she didn't respond, he gently shook her shoulder and repeated himself.
Slowly her eyes started to focus and a look of horror replaced the glassy one. "Is he dead?" she asked in a tremulous voice.
Misunderstanding, Horatio pointed Speed out and replied, "No, you saved his life."
She shook her head, "Not him, the other guy. It sounded like I threw it too hard. Is he dead?" she pleaded with tears forming in her eyes.
He felt his heart break for her that this was her biggest worry after saving a person's life. He brushed a strand of hair out of her face. "He's still alive and his pulse was strong when I checked him a minute ago."
Buffy let out a long sigh of relief at the news. So she might not be a murderer after all.
Horatio smiled at the visible relief on her face when she heard that. He hoped for her sake that he would survive. She shouldn't have nightmares of taking a person's life when all she was trying to do was save one. "I'd like to thank you for saving my investigator, Miss…"
"Uhh, Summers. Buffy Summers." She gave a rueful chuckle, "Just my luck that I come to Miami to find someone, only to get caught in the middle of a shoot-out. Giles will never let me live this down." Then her eyes grew wide. "Giles! I've got to talk to him before he comes looking for me and freaks out!"
As if her words summoned him, Giles' voice boomed through the air with a noticeable hint of Ripper in it, "I've got to get in there! My friend Buffy was in there getting her ring repaired!"
Buffy stood up, accepting Horatio's assistance. "Giles!" she called out, "I'm okay! I'll be right there."
Horatio held onto her hand while he checked, "Are you sure you're alright?"
"I'm fine. But I better get out there before Giles decides not to wait anymore and plows through your policemen," she answered with a grimace.
Horatio put a steadying hand under Buffy's elbow to lead her out. She didn't technically need it, but it felt nice and she figured it would look weird if she pulled away.
As they stepped outside, Giles rushed forward and grabbed her by the shoulders, quickly scanning her for any sign she was hurt. When he saw none, he yanked her into a tight embrace. After a few seconds, Buffy reminded him with a chuckle that she still needed to breathe.
"What happened? I was coming back for you and some people said they heard gunshots. By the time I got here, all these officers were blocking my way," he finished with a glare in their direction.
Buffy pulled on his hand to get his attention back on her before she started her explanation, "These cop guys came into the store for some reason and one of them noticed something in the backroom. Then all hell broke loose. I noticed that the scruffy one was having trouble with his gun and he looked like a target standing there so I tackled him after I threw something at the guy in the back."
Her eyes got bright with moisture. "Giles, I think I threw it too hard. It made this awful sound when it hit him." She gestured to Horatio, "This guy said that the baddie is still alive, but for how long? What if I killed him, Giles? What if I'm a murderer?" She broke down into tears.
Giles shook her and declared loudly, "I will not have you thinking that about yourself! Do you hear me? Even if he dies, that does not make you a murderer!"
"But maybe I should have thrown it softer--" she suggested quietly.
"No! Stop it this instant! It was his own actions that led to this situation. Therefore the fault lies with him," he replied before gathering her back in for a hug.
Horatio watched them and decided to add an objective opinion, thinking it might help, "Your friend is right, Miss Summers. What you should be focusing on is how incredibly brave you were in there."
Giles nodded emphatically, "That and the fact that what you did was incredibly stupid as well!" Horatio stared at him, shocked at the anger in the man's voice. He agreed that she had been reckless, but wasn't he supposed to be comforting her right now?
But Giles went on, "What if something happened to the baby? You shouldn't be putting yourself in so much danger, Buffy. I don't know what I would do if something were to happen to you."
Speed looked aghast that she was pregnant and risked herself and her baby for him. All because he didn't care for his gun like he should have. The look Horatio shot him told him that they would be discussing this later…at length.
Buffy finally smiled as she ran a comforting hand along the side of his face. "Can't get rid of me that easily, you know. And it's not like I jumped in front of Scruffy to take the bullet. All I did was what I could to avoid bloodshed, that's all."
She watched as the suspect was loaded into an ambulance and taken away. Then she looked at the officers. "I'm guessing that they'll want to talk to me for a while, Giles. Do you think you could get me something from the restaurant that I can eat at the station?" she asked with a pout.
"Certainly. There's no need to give me that look," he told her with a small amount of exasperation at her attempted manipulation.
"Actually, we'd like to take you to our crime lab and ask our questions there. We're going to be processing the store and we'll need to get your prints for elimination purposes," Horatio explained.
Buffy's eyes widened in surprise. "Wow! What a coincidence! We were heading there after lunch to find that guy I mentioned earlier."
Horatio figured that he knew most, if not all, of the employees at the lab so he offered, "Maybe I can assist you. It's the least I can do for your help today."
"Coolness. Giles, got the paper?" She grabbed it and scanned for the right one. "It's a Horatio Caine. Do you know him?"
His eyes narrowed in suspicion. "Has he done something wrong?"
Buffy shook her head, "No. But it's a private matter that I will only talk to him about."
"I'm Horatio Caine," he introduced himself, hoping that he didn't make a mistake. But he figured that he owed her anyway for Speed.
She looked at him with disbelief clear in her features. "Uh-huh. Then why didn't you just say that before?" she demanded.
"Because you didn't know me by sight. That's generally a cause for concern," he answered reasonably.
She thought about it for a second before nodding her agreement. "I guess that makes sense. But before I say anything, I need to see some proof that you're him." After she looked at his ID, she gave a disgusted sigh, "Murphy must really have it in for me. Why else would his law make it so that we met this way? 'Cause I'm betting that now we'll have to wait to talk about my thing until later. Or was this the end of what you were working on?" she asked hopefully.
Horatio gave her an apologetic smile. "Sadly no, we were just here following up on a lead."
Buffy's shoulders slumped in distress. "I'm sorry. I must have screwed it up by knocking him unconscious then."
"Didn't you listen to your friend earlier? You didn't do anything wrong. We were talking to the guy in the front of the store, not this guy. Don't worry," he reassured her.
"If you're sure…Okay then, just tell me what I can do to help," she said with a smile, allowing herself to be led to a nearby car.
Buffy and Giles' Hotel, her room
Several hours later…
After Buffy had given her statement and provided them with the evidence they needed, she was free to head back to the hotel. Horatio Caine wasn't available to talk since they were still trying to find a missing kid. She was surprised they told her, but chalked it up to them being grateful for saving Speedle's – that was Scruffy's real name – life.
They had also kept her informed on the gunman's condition. He was still unconscious when he got to the hospital. They ran a CAT scan and found some small fractures in his skull from the impact but said that they weren't necessarily life-threatening But they had to wait for him to wake up before they could determine the extent of the damage done.
That was the last she heard about him and it was driving her nuts. What were the odds that she would put another bad guy in a coma just a little over a year after doing the same to Faith. Okay, in that case, she was intending to hurt the baddie in question. But that was only to save Angel.
Buffy snorted at her stupidity. She tried to bring Faith to him and when that failed, she offered herself to heal him. All because she felt some kind of obligation to him. One that she mistakenly equated with love. Now she recognized it was just residual guilt for sending him to hell. She also felt like she needed to justify not killing Angelus when she had the chance and saving him helped her with that somehow. It didn't sound real logical, even to herself, but at least she saw her actions for what they were now.
Then to have him turn around and basically spit in her face by siding with that psycho Slayer bitch…he'd better pray that he didn't ever need a favor from her again. Or at least be smart enough to send Cordy or Wesley with the request. Although the look on Wesley's face that last time she saw him made her think that the ex-Watcher wasn't real pleased with Angel either.
Oh, this town was dredging up all sorts of icky memories for her. But maybe it was best to deal with them instead of burying them like she usually did.
She decided to call Wesley and let him know about her conditions if Angel ever needed help again. They ended up talking for a while and actually began to enjoy it after a while. Before she hung up, they promised to keep in touch.
That news surprised Giles but he couldn't say that he was unhappy that Buffy seemed to have outgrown her teenage infatuation with doomed love. Maybe now she could look for a love that didn't always have to hurt. And between a man that would treat her like she deserved and a baby on the way, she would have a reason to hope for a future. And that hope might help her fight for it, giving her a reason to want to live.
A knock on the door shortly after six revealed their purpose for being in Miami. "Mr. Caine, it's good to see you," Buffy greeted, gesturing with her hand for him to enter.
He smiled back, his relief at the boy's safe recovery palpable. "Just Horatio, Miss Summers."
"And you've got to call me Buffy, otherwise I'll think I'm back in high school and in trouble with that troll of a principal. Let me get Giles and we can get this over with," she said as she knocked on a door in her room. A few seconds later, Giles entered through the adjoining room.
Buffy offered him something from the mini-bar and suggested he take a seat. When he was comfortable, she began, "Okay, here's the deal…I don't know why, but your name was on a list of guys. What you all have in common is you were picked to be part of an experiment my professor was doing."
"What was the experiment?" Horatio interjected.
She gave him a nervous look. "I'm getting to that. Apparently she was impressed with my genetics for some reason and wanted to pull a master race move by breeding me with someone that she or they – whoever picked the names – thought was 'worthy'."
Horatio looked horrified as he realized what she meant by that. "Your pregnancy…it isn't your choice, is it?"
Buffy shook her head, "Nope. One day I got hurt and they took care of me in their infirmary. I didn't find out until a couple months later. By then my professor had already died when another one of her experiments went haywire and killed her."
"What about the others involved? Were they brought to justice?" he demanded, trying to keep his tone neutral, not wanting to upset the poor woman. Not that she looked very distraught right now. Sad maybe, but not overwhelmed. But he didn't really know her and she certainly didn't know him so why would she reveal her true emotions to a perfect stranger.
"To be honest, I'm not sure. It was a very secret government thing. So my guess is that there's probably some of the higher-ups that are still out there. Locally, she only let a couple people in on her plan and they were dealt with already," she told him, without telling him how they had been dealt with. It was too bad that Adam had killed them, but she knew that there was nothing she could have done differently. She didn't even know what they had done to her yet.
Horatio finished putting the pieces together and inquired, "So you're here to tell me that I'm the father?"
She shook her head again, "Actually, I don't know which of the guys is the dad. She didn't get around to writing that down. That is if she even knew. But since she was insane, I figure she planned to find out after I gave birth and she took the kid."
He didn't think he could have been more sickened by the situation, but apparently he was wrong. "You don't think she would take your child away from you, do you?"
Giles snorted in derision and spoke for the first time since greeting the man when he came in earlier, "If you knew her, you'd know that was most likely what her plan was."
Horatio had a sudden thought. "Wouldn't she be afraid that you might get an abortion if you didn't remember having sex? Is that how you knew something was wrong?" he hazarded a guess.
Buffy was impressed with how well he was taking all this and the questions that he was asking. "Yeah, it was. Like I said, she was crazy. From the few notes she left, it looked like she wanted to grab me as soon as the pregnancy was confirmed and hold me until I could give birth. I don't even want to think of what her plans for me were after that."
"Luckily for Buffy, that woman," Giles spat venomously, "died a few days later."
Although he agreed, Horatio ignored the comment to find out the reason for their visit. "So you're visiting the names on the list…why?"
She looked down at her stomach and then back at him, indecision plain in her eyes. "To see if this is something to fix or if it is maybe a blessing in a sickening disguise."
"What do you mean?" he asked, understanding the first part, but not the second…unless the man she was involved with was incapable of having children or she would have a hard time conceiving under normal circumstances.
Buffy blushed while she attempted to explain, "My only adult relationships with guys turned out really badly. Like to the point of my considering becoming a nun kind of bad. So a kid was nowhere in any vision of my future. And so far some of the guys on the list haven't filled me with a lot of confidence in the decision-making of the people in charge."
Then she offered him a genuine smile. "But unless I've totally read you wrong today, it looks like some decent guys made it on the list too. And that's really all I wanted; to know that this baby might have a chance at being a good person if I kept it."
He felt stunned by her approval of him – as well as by her smile. "Don't you want a blood test?" he suggested.
"Maybe eventually. For now, I just want reassurance that I should continue the pregnancy. I've told some of the others that if they want to be involved in the kid's life, that it was up to them," she said matter-of –factly, not giving away her nervousness at telling him this. But she had seen how happy he was that the little boy was safe and felt that he had a soft spot for children.
"Not all of them?" he asked, surprised that she would keep a father and child apart. Then he almost chuckled, he was making assumptions about how she would act after knowing her less than a day.
Buffy laughed cynically, "Considering that one of them is a serial killer? No, I'm sort of picking which ones give that option to based on how comfortable I feel with them. You, I get a good feeling about, so you get the offer."
He smiled again, finding it very easy to do around her, in spite of the circumstances. "I appreciate that. So you'll let me know what you decide then?"
"If that's what you want," she said cautiously.
"It is. Here's my card; call me if you need anything, alright?" he told her seriously.
She smiled at him again, glad that she had made the right judgment about him. "You got it."
As he stood up to leave, Horatio suddenly remembered. "By the way, I forgot to mention earlier that the gunman from today woke up for a few minutes and aside from a terrible headache, he was okay. He fell back asleep, but it was a regular sleep so the doctors are pretty confident he'll make a full recovery."
Buffy felt a huge weight come off her shoulders. Maybe the nightmares wouldn't come – or at least wouldn't be so bad. "Oh thank god! I appreciate you telling me this; I'm sure it isn't normal procedure."
"Not a problem. Another thing I was told to pass along was my team would like to treat you to dinner while you're in town as a thank you," he said, hoping that she'd take them up on their offer.
"Did they say when? We were only here to talk to you and now that we have, we'll be heading out soon," she responded. It wasn't as though she really wanted the attention, but she thought maybe it would be a good chance to get more information about who this man really was from people who knew him well. She felt she knew his character, but it couldn't hurt to have confirmation.
Horatio managed to keep from blushing as he answered, "They're actually waiting for me to call to see if you'd be available this evening."
Buffy turned to her friend with a pleading expression. "Giles? What do you think?"
Giles had the same thoughts about getting a better sense of the man who might be the father of this child. "As long as you take it easy this evening. We have had far too much excitement in this town already."
A/N: I couldn't help it, Speed needed to live. Also, this went way longer than I anticipated because I included her in an episode instead of just introducing them.