Summary: New Hellmouths bring new threats. Will Willow's resource help or hinder them in their hunt for the latest Big Bad?
Rating: PG for implied violence
Disclaimer: There are a few original characters floating around. Those belong to me. Everyone you recognize, though, belongs to Joss or Jeff Davis/CBS.
A/N: The pairing for this one was a special request from Tim (aka zigpal).
A/N: My apologies for not actually making this one specific to New Years…All I can say is: it's the muse's fault.
"I've got a problem," Willow read aloud as she typed the words onto her laptop. "I'm trying to track a…" Fingers faltering, she stared at the words. At a what? She couldn't very well tell her source the truth. "…missing person." It wasn't the best choice, but it seemed like the only one.
A metallic chime sounded when she depressed the Enter key.
Hotcomputerbabe is typing immediately sprang up at the bottom of the instant message window.
Crossing her fingers, Willow prayed the woman on the other end of cyberspace was doing more than typing. She needed answers – yesterday. Buffy and Faith were working blind, and nothing she or Giles had found in the usual dusty tomes had helped locate the vampire cutting a bloody swath through the University Circle district of Cleveland.
Have you tried tracing your MP's money? No one pays with cash anymore, and I've got a great program to piece together information from dozens of financial institutions. ;;) I'd be willing to share it…for the right price.
Normally, Willow enjoyed their on-line banter. Today, though, her sense of humor was buried under layers of tension and fear. Her fingers pounded the keys with unnecessary force as she replied. I don't have time to play today, Babe. This is big. My boss is coming unglued, and she thinks I'll always have the answer. I hate letting her down. And counting the dead bodies that showed up in the local papers. Money's out. Demons didn't exactly carry credit cards or have banks accounts. I need something more sophisticated. Is there a way to… I don't know. Do a psych profile and guess where she might turn up?
Now that you mention it, yes.
The words stopped. Hotcomputerbabe wasn't typing anymore.
Willow stared in disbelief at the screen. How could Babe leave her hanging like that? Resisting the urge to scream, she forced herself to wait. There must be some reason the rest of the information hadn't been forthcoming. As the seconds passed, Willow began imaging what those reasons might be.
A) Babe wasn't really the woman of the world she'd claimed. She was actually twelve, and her parents had just walked into the room.
B) A sudden electrical surge had knocked out Babe's internet connection. ('A' seemed more likely, since Babe's status was still listed as on-line).
Confronting the sad truth, Willow acknowledged she was a sexual predator. She might not have known Babe was underage, but she'd certainly flirted with the kid.
Sorry. The words sprang up in rapid-fire succession. You aren't the only one with a grumpy boss. Mine called and accused me of not doing my job. X-( Please. Like I'm so inept I can't do more than one thing at a time. I'm very good; I had his answer waiting for him an hour ago. He was just too busy to listen to the voicemail I left on his phone.
Babe's boss sounded like a certain impatient Slayer Willow expected to come charging into her office. That image alone kept Willow from laughing at the picture Babe painted. They really needed to chat about something other than work one day. Yeah, I'm sure my boss will be by soon. So… Steering the conversation back to business, Willow asked, How do I do this profile thing? I've got a program to track random details and sightings. "Like unexplained dog attacks and disfigured muggers," she mumbled aloud - without typing the comment. But that's science. This is more like psychology, and let me tell you. My only experience with that subject was bad with a capital 'disastrous' attached. I don't even know where to start.
That's why you have me, RedWitch. I am your very own, personal genie in a computer. Let me show you why the guys I work with think I'm a Goddess. Send me your MP's file and I'll do my magic for you.
Send the file.
Willow laughed and laughed…and then realized she was starting to sound hysterical. With effort, she shut the shrill sound off and stared at the screen. How was she going to explain this? Uh…I don't know if that's a good idea.
Before she could come up with anything better, Hotcomputerbabe was typing again. Oh, hey. Don't worry if it's supposed to be classified or something. I do a lot of work with law enforcement. Whatever you send me will stay with me, sweetie. I'm the tops when it comes to keeping secrets.
Goddess, it was tempting. Willow's fingers hovered over the keys. She needed help – and she wanted someone besides Buffy and the Council to confide in. Years of keeping their nighttime activities hidden, though, won out, and she reached a hasty compromise with herself. Give me a sec. I have to redact some of the information. Ruthlessly squelching her disappointment at not being able to provide full disclosure, Willow excised all the information on Samantha Collins pointing to the undeniable fact that she'd died over six months ago. She also altered any information that might lead Babe, who had mentioned working with law enforcement, to discover the missing person in the file was also a serial killer.
When the collection of electronic documents was as clean as she could get it, Willow closed her tired eyes for a minute and punched the touchpad on her laptop. A beep announced the email had been sent. Her eyes burned when she reopened them. It's on the way. Take good care of it. Whether from exhaustion or a bizarre kind of connection with the woman on the other end of the chat window, Willow believed Babe would keep the file to herself. I've got to go. The file…it's only one of my projects, and I'm beat. Even Superwitches need sleep.
Aw, poor baby. You curl up and let your Babe take care of everything. When you wake up, I'll have all your problems solved for you :D
RedWitch's icon disappeared with the sound of a closing door. "Guess she really was tired," Penelope told the waving pink feather on top of her pen. "At least I got her to send me that file."
Speaking of which…
Her Witch's problem waited for Penelope's special brand of genius. Clicking on the link in the instant message window, she initiated the download. "Ooh. Someone's been a bad witch." RedWitch hadn't redacted some information. She'd actually wiped out huge chunks of the file – with a very expert hand. Penelope absently stroked her lips with the pen's feather as she read what was left on the missing person. "Psychiatric care. Private school. Deceased guardian." Wonderful. RedWitch's project would keep her busy while she waited for Agent Hotchner to call back with another request for help.
Unfortunately, reading the file didn't take as long as Penelope hoped. Not with so much missing. It took so little time (and provided so little useful evidence), in fact, that Penelope glowered at the screen. "If you want me to find your girl, RedWitch, you have to give me what I need. Pure genius doesn't wiggle its nose." She'd have to do a little digging before she could demonstrate her amazing hacking skills to her online friend.
The phone rang, calling Penelope back to duty. "The Amazing Garcia. Shall I tell your fortune?" she answered after placing the caller on speakerphone.
"Hey, Garcia. Do you have anything new on possible dump sites? Hotch is getting impatient." Derrick sounded ready for action, too, as his voice boomed through the speakers.
With a casual flick of her fingers, Penelope minimized the search on RedWitch's not-so-regulation file and spun in her chair. "Don't I always have what you need, handsome?" She winked and waved at the second monitor sitting to her left even though Derek couldn't see her movements. "I'm emailing you a pretty map of Greater Cleveland. Blue for places used by local killers for past crimes. Red for new ones based on the profile you and the lovely Dr. Reid put together." Growing more serious, Penelope leaned toward the monitor and tapped a finger against the display. "There aren't a lot of similarities. Your boy's really fond of the area around Case Western."
She could just imagine the look of defeat on Derek's face. "I've got the email, baby girl. I see what you mean." His sigh filled Penelope's office. "Something about this profile doesn't feel right. I just I can't figure it out. Everything seems solid. Reid and I went over the evidence and the backgrounds of the victims. This UNSUB, though… He isn't playing by the rules, Garcia. The victims, the motives, the MOs don't connect."
"I have faith in you, my prince. I know you'll figure it out." Penelope vowed to help out, too. She'd go back through all the information Agent Hotchner had given her. She was a hacker legend; that didn't mean she hadn't overlooked some tiny detail before. "I already sent the site map to Agent Hotchner, too." Right after he called. "I'll send it to the rest of the team now." It would keep them busy and let Penelope get back to work on ferreting information out of cyberspace. "I'll try again to find those missing connections," she promised.
"Thanks, baby girl. You're the best." The phone call disconnected abruptly, leaving Penelope alone again.
"If I'm so good, maybe I should start proving it." Not even constant accolades were enough to get Penelope to rest on her laurels. She now had two mysteries to solve. Casting a regretful eye at the missing persons file, Penelope bowed to priority. Multiple murders – and her paying job – demanded the top spot on her to do list. Derek said the profile might be wrong. If so, how? And why?
Starting from Ground Zero, Penelope reopened the files on the five victims the Cleveland Police Department had credited to their UNSUB. "Marlene Adams. Victim number one." Voice fading into a monotone mumble, Penelope read the information and double checked her previous background checks. Nothing seemed out of place or missing. She didn't let that deter her, though. With painstaking attention to details, she continued to search. Derek and Reid were normally accurate with their profiles. If Derek thought they'd gone in the wrong direction, some piece of the foundation was the root of the problem.
It was Penelope's job to provide a solid, concrete starting point. Her mistake might cost more women their lives.
An hour passed. Then two. "I'm losing my touch." It was a sobering thought. Laying her pen on the desk, Penelope stood and paced the confines of her cluttered office. The more she paced, the more she talked. "Nothing connects the victims to each other. Nothing connects their families. Nothing connects them to any of the possible suspects. Nothing, nothing, nothing!" She was shouting by the end. Stopping abruptly, Penelope gripped the back of her chair and sucked in a deep breath. She had to calm down. She was Penelope Garcia, Goddess of the Internet. If there was a way to tie the murder victims together, she was the only one who could do it. And having a mental breakdown wasn't going to get the job done.
"OK. If all the normal avenues are closed, let's try the detours." She sat down and wheeled closer to the desk. "All of the victims were born in the United Kingdom." Opening a new spreadsheet, Penelope began a list. Maybe seeing things in plain black and white would show her something she hadn't seen before. "They all worked in the University Circle area."
The mostly blank document mocked her.
"This is where I normally have that 'Ah ha!' moment. Why am I suddenly feeling less than fabulous?" Shared country of origin and work location should have been the start of a beautiful clue. Why wasn't it? Almost as soon as she thought the question, Penelope was launching a new series of searches using one of the many programs she'd specifically created for the FBI. If this didn't connect the dots, nothing would.
Now for the worst part of her job. The waiting. There was nothing left for her to do except watch lines of code scroll across the computer screen until something alerted the program.
Penelope needed a diversion. Luckily, she had just the thing. Taking only a minute to stretch out knotted neck muscles and wiggle stiff fingers, she rolled in front of the other monitor and got back to work on RedWitch's missing person.
Bypassing the irritatingly abbreviated report, Penelope broke a few Bureau protocols and used the search engines normally reserved for tracking criminals. She plugged in the useful details RedWitch hadn't redacted. Over two thousand possible matches flooded the screen. "That won't work." Scowling, she returned to the background file, still unhappy with the chunks of missing details. At least RedWitch hadn't deleted the girl's date of birth, January 1, 1990. Simple math narrowed the field of possible names to fifty.
"What else?" She was close. Penelope could feel it. "Huh. I should listen to my own advice. Follow the money." Private schools were expensive.
Now there were only six names on the list. Before another brilliant idea occurred, though, the shrill ring of her phone snapped Penelope's head around. Donning her headset, she answered, "Speak and the Goddess will give you all you desire."
"Garcia," Emily's voice sounded amused. "You're on speaker. I've got the first responder on the last murder with me. Officer Jenson thinks he may have more information on our UNSUB. You ready?"
As if pulled by strings, Penelope's fingers poised over the keyboard. "Give it to me." More details might do the trick and the team could come home before anyone else died.
Marred by a flat, mid-western accent, a deep voice announced, "I remember this morning, when I was reviewing my notes, that I saw something strange at the scene. I didn't think it was important at the time. You know. It didn't seem out of place…"
At this rate, they'd all be old and gray before Office Jenson got to the point. Not waiting for him to finish, Penelope quickly pulled up the crime scene photos for reference. "What seems out of place now?" she interrupted as gently as possible. To her, the grisly images on the screen were all wrong.
"Will!" Jerking forward at the sound of Buffy's voice, Willow nearly tipped out of her chair.
"What?" she said, trying to sound awake and completely aware of her surroundings. "Did you find something, Buffy?"
Eyes red-rimmed and shadowed by exhaustion, Buffy nodded. "I think so. One of the patrols called in. They may have found Sam. Faith and I have the address. You want in?"
Willow really wanted a few more days of sleep. Still, she obligingly climbed to her feet. "I've got a magic kit on stand-by. Where are we headed?" On her way to the door, she grabbed the 'kit' and fastened the pouch around her waist.
"An apartment near Severance Hall. Seems Sam's stalking a Watcher who happens to play the cello in her spare time." Buffy's eyes slid away. "We're hoping to get there in time. Faith's arranging for a second team to meet us there. Do you want to call in more of the witch-y women, too? This…this isn't something we've had to handle before."
This might be a special case, but… There weren't any arcane powers involved. "No. I can handle it. This is more your style, anyway. Sam isn't going to toss a fireball." Just feed on and then mutilate them the way she had all of her other victims.
There wasn't time for more discussion. Faith waited at the bottom of the stairs, and she tossed a stake and short sword at Buffy even before they reached the landing. "Gotta hurry, girls. We don't want to be late for this party." Turning on one heel, she ran for the door.
Buffy followed less than a step behind, leaving Willow to scramble in their wake. A Ford Explorer idled at the curb. Taking a seat in the back, she quickly grabbed the seat belt as Faith climbed behind the wheel. The buckle clicked closed a mere heartbeat before the tires squealed and the vehicle shot forward.
"What's the plan?" Buffy braced one leg casually against the dash, foregoing the added security of the shoulder harness. "Which team is backing us up?"
"Vi's. Got three Juniors and a Watcher, too." Smiling wryly, Faith mumbled, "Thought we might be talkin' our way out of the Big House if this goes bad. The Tweed used to be a cop or something." The Explorer grew silent for a moment except for the roar of the engine and the continued scream of rubber against cement. "I'll take point, B."
Willow closed her eyes and waited.
"Excuse me?" Buffy's voice was soft and controlled, and Willow hunched farther into the seat.
"I ain't kidding, Buffy." Braced for yet another power struggle, Willow's eyes snapped open in shock at Faith's calm response. "Sam. She's outta your league. When we find her, we don't run in and stake her like a regular vamp. Sam was a Slayer."
"I know that!" Buffy snapped. "It's hard to forget – considering she was on my team." Turning in her seat, she glared at Faith. "That's why I'm not hanging back. Taking Sam down…out is my responsibility."
The conversation grew tense as Willow clenched her hands and watched silently. "Take a deep breath, B. I get you feel like you screwed up. Maybe you did. Fuck, maybe we all did. That ain't the point." Faith somehow managed to glance at both Buffy and Willow as she careened through intersections. "It don't matter. Sam's a killer. We find her, there's gonna be blood. A lot of it, just like the other times. Only this time, Sam's gonna be there, right in the middle of the gore. Let me take care of this, B."
The soaring buildings of the Case Western Reserve campus came into view through the windshield, blurred by the tears in Willow's eyes – and the horrific images from Sam's earlier kills. Goddess, Faith was right. They weren't going to be exploring a crime scene that had already been cleared by detectives and technicians. This time, they were going to be the first ones there. "Buffy…" The name eked out of Willow's suddenly tight throat.
"I know." Buffy must have read Willow's mind. She grimaced and waved a hand in acknowledgement. "All right. You go first, Faith." Then, immediately clarifying her decision, Buffy went on. "I'll be right behind you, though. You're right. This was a group effort – and that means the group of you and me goes in together. Will can play lookout and coordinate with Vi."
Feeling like a coward, Willow nonetheless sagged in relief. She wouldn't have to go in. Wouldn't have to see… Still soundlessly thanking the Goddess, Willow stumbled out of the Explorer after Faith parked it in front of a three-story apartment building.
"Red? Anything magic on the radar?" Faith scanned the darkened block intently. "Sam's here. I can feel her."
The question snapped Willow back to the here and now. "Nothing," she answered after opening her shields and delicately probing for magical signatures. As expected, Buffy and Faith wouldn't need her at all. "You're good to go."
"One less thing to worry about." Buffy's smile was a mere twitch of her lips. "Stay here, Will, and make sure nothing else pops in while we're working."
"OK, Garcia. We're all ears." Derek's voice sounded tinny through the speakerphone. "What do you have for us?"
Spinning in her office chair left Penelope faintly dizzy; nothing compared to the disorientation and nausea that had overwhelmed her when she'd pieced it all together, though. She worked to keep her feelings hidden as she divulged her information. "I got a hit on the unidentified fingerprint Cleveland PD collected at the first scene. It belonged to a Samantha Collins." The same person, Penelope feared, that had popped up in her search for RedWitch.
"A woman?" Reid broke in before Penelope could get to the really interesting part of her find. "Are you sure, Garcia? Nothing in the profile indicated the UNSUB was a woman. I mean, the crimes required an enormous amount of physical strength."
"I'm sure the print is Samantha Collins'." There was no doubt about that. How did she say the rest and not sound crazy? Penelope stopped spinning and stared at the report on her computer.
She must have stared too long. "Garcia! What else did you find? I've got half the Cleveland Police Department out scouring neighborhoods around University Circle," Agent Hotchner announced forcefully. "Are we looking for Samantha Collins or not?"
Penelope couldn't drag this out any longer. "I can't tell you if she's the UNSUB, sir. Her prints were definitely at the scene, though, and…" Refusing to think about what she was about to say, she blurted out, "Her death certificate said she died in May of this year, well before the first murder took place." Clearing her throat, she added in the final detail. "However, Samanatha Collins' body disappeared from the morgue an hour before the autopsy."
"Any way to connect her to the murders, baby girl?" Penelope heard a door close though the speakers as Derek chimed in.
This, at least, was routine. "Without trying to do your job, my prince, I'd say, yes. Samantha Collins was a student at The Academy, a private boarding school in Cleveland, just prior to her death. I pulled up their website and checked out the faculty. Would you believe a large portion of the teachers are British? Ring any bells?" Feeling more at ease now, Penelope went back to twirling in the chair. "I couldn't find anything to specifically tie the school to the victims except nationality, though. And I hunted. But I did see something that might have acted as a stressor."
"You steer us right, I'll be happy to hand you my badge, Garcia," Derek answered.
"Keep it, handsome. I like my computer just fine." Still, Penelope grinned at the thought of striding out into the field with the team. "Before Cleveland, Samantha spent time in a state-funded mental hospital. She was diagnosed with a mild form of paranoid schizophrenia in May 2003. The psychological reports indicate she was making progress, thanks to her personal psychologist, Dr. Emma Harding. They released Samantha last year." Double checking the details as she talked, Penelope scrolled down the screen. "The good doctor was appointed Samantha's guardian - I found absolutely no records on birth relatives – and the two moved to The Academy. Samantha as a student and Dr. Harding as a teacher. The night Samantha supposedly died, she and Dr. Harding were found in the Flats area of Cleveland at the scene of a still-open homicide. Only Samantha apparently walked away."
There were no more questions from the speaker phone for a minute. "Good work, Garcia." Penelope beamed at Agent Hotchner's comment. "We'll start pulling together a new profile. Can you see if you can dig up more about Dr. Harding and The Academy?"
"Yes, sir," Penelope said. "I'm already working on getting in touch with someone at the school." Her eyes flickered to the file RedWitch had emailed her. "I'll let you know if I uncover anything else."
Watching Buffy and Faith melt into the shadows, Willow seriously considered following them. It was dark, cold, and creepy, and no one had even mentioned the possibility that Sam would sense the two Slayers on her trail. What if she decided to leave the Watcher alone and snack on a magic-less and mostly unarmed Wiccan? It wasn't like she and Willow had bonded during her time at The Academy.
Willow edged closer to the building and pressed her back to the brick. Her eyes darted everywhere, examining the faint rustle of snow-covered trees in the chill breeze and the movement of unidentifiable nighttime creatures in the bushes. "Over ten years as a Scooby and I haven't figured out that support staff belong at home during the Slaying. What does that say?" The word "stupid" came to mind. Scowling at her need to be on the front lines, Willow shifted from foot to foot and willed Buffy and Faith to return.
Then a new sound caught her attention. Willow's head came up. The noise was soft and rhythmic. And nearby.
Both of Willow's hands emerged from her coat pockets and she dropped her shields. If Sam was on the hunt, she'd find out that Willow wasn't a helpless human. Slayer strength was no match for a flaming fireball.
The buzzing continued. It was….
"This is the last time I leave the school. I swear." Feeling a blush burn her cold cheeks, Willow dug her cell phone out of her inside coat pocket. "Buffy? Did you find Sam?"
"Buffy's close to Babe, I guess, and no. I haven't found Sam." Willow didn't recognize the woman on the call, but the reference to Babe hinted at her identity. "Ms. Rosenberg, my name is Penelope Garcia; you know me as Hotcomputerbabe. I'm a computer analyst with the FBI's Behavioral Analysis Unit, and I have some questions for you."
The heat in Willow's cheeks drained away, replaced by a clammy cold. "F-FBI?" What had she done? She'd sent Sam's file to this woman. She'd asked for her help.
"Yes," Ms. Garcia went on. "Samantha Collins was one of your students, Ms. Rosenberg," she pointed out. "I'm curious, though. When we chatted last night, you said she was missing. My information indicates she's dead. Which is it?"
As the flood of questions continued, Willow wondered why she hadn't simply fainted. She couldn't feel her knees anymore and Ms. Garcia's voice rang hollowly in her ear. "I…Sam…" What was she supposed to say? "Hey, sorry. I forgot to tell you being dead isn't always fatal. Oops?" For a second, when the voice on the phone stopped, Willow thought she might have actually spoken her silent apology out loud.
"Ms. Rosenberg? Are you still there?" Ms. Garcia demanded.
Thank the Goddess. Willow clutched the phone and desperately tried to pull herself together. Buffy and Faith were upstairs If the FBI knew about Sam, they might be on the way. If she fell apart now, on this call, their secret might be revealed. "I'm here," she said in a steadier voice. "I'm sorry. You surprised me with the questions." Not waiting for Ms. Garcia to pick up the interrogation, Willow went on the offensive. "Sam was one of my students. You already know that. You also know, thanks to the information I sent you, that we've been searching for her since May." Willow refused to acknowledge the truth about Sam's death. "I'd hoped you – a supposed expert in computers and obscure facts – could help us locate her. What else do you think I know?"
"The timing of your search is suspicious, Ms. Rosenberg." For the first time, Ms. Garcia seemed uncertain. "You also told me you were desperate; that your boss was demanding answers. Ms. Rosenberg…RedWitch, you know far more than you're saying. I need whatever you have. Samantha Collins is currently our prime suspect in the murders of five people."
"I gave you everything, Babe." Willow closed her eyes. "Well, OK, I deleted a few things." Namely the details regarding the death of Sam's Watcher at the hands of a Master Vampire and her own subsequent Turning. "I don't know anything else."
"If I do my magic on the redactions, will I find out you knew Samantha Collins was officially declared dead on May 29th ? That her body disappeared? Do you have any idea what my boss will do to you if he finds out The Academy buried information that may have prevented the murders?" Babe's voice grew softer as she pleaded. "Trust me."
Trust. It was such a tiny word. And such a huge leap of faith. "I want to," Willow said quietly. "I…" Something moved to Willow's right. "Hold on." Clutching the phone in one hand, she hurriedly spun in that direction. "Oh my Goddess! Faith…"
"Looks worse than it is, Red." Even Faith's dimples seemed tired when she smiled. She leaned against Buffy, one arm bent at an unnatural angle. "Guess the kid listened better than we figured. She got in a couple wicked shots before…" Trailing off, Faith shrugged. "You know, before."
Willow did know. "I'm so sorry, Faith. Buffy." Feeling as old and tired as Faith appeared, she made a decision. Not caring that she had an audience, Willow raised her cell phone. "Babe, meet me tomorrow morning." Someplace neutral. Someplace not filled with the reminders of vampires, Slayers, and magic. "I'll be at the Starbucks near Euclid and Cornell at eleven." The phone closed with a click. "Come on," she said to the two tired Slayers. "Let's go home; I've got a cabinet-full of liquor with our names on it."
It was odd to in be her current position. Sitting in a corner booth of a coffee shop in Cleveland, back to a wall and eyes restlessly scanning everyone entering the small coffee shop, Penelope warmed her hands on the tall paper cup in front of her.
The bell over the door jingled again.
Willow's bright red hair and angular features were familiar, thanks to the photo Penelope had found on The Academy's website. The pale, drawn expression, though… She started to raise her hand to signal the other woman but stopped when Willow unerringly walked toward the table. "You hacked the FBI personnel files, didn't you?" That wasn't supposed to be possible.
A quirky grin lightened Willow's face. "Look who's talking. I know how many layers of Internet dirt I piled on my personal information. You called me on my unlisted, private cell phone number last night. Which of us has been hacking?"
"The Goddess knows all," Penelope intoned, relaxing as Willow slid into the booth across from her. "You're good. I've got some advice for you, though, RedWitch. If you want to change jobs, I know a man with a thing for reformed hackers. Otherwise, don't play in government mainframes. Federal prison isn't what it's cracked up to be."
Penelope wasn't expecting Willow to laugh at her gently delivered warning. "Babe… Penelope…"
"Garcia," Penelope interrupted. "Everyone calls me Garcia."
"As a friend is fond of saying, names are special. Personal. I like Penelope." Willow sobered and met Penelope's eyes. "There are a lot of things worse than prison. I'm going to tell you about some of them, starting with the former town of Sunnydale, California."