Title: Murder in SunnyDale
Disclaimer: I own none, all belong to Joss Whedon
Comments: Always welcomed!
Summary: Warren Meer's has been murdered, Spike and Xander must investigate.
Warnings/Spoilers: Human Verse. Total Out of Character.
Beta'd by: Dragonfly_64
Xander scrubbed his face before getting out of his car. Three days back in Sunnydale and he was assigned to a murder case. He shook his head trying to forget why it was that he came back. There weren't a lot of murders in the small town, usually robberies, peeping toms and domestic disturbances. He flashed his badge before going under the yellow crime scene tape. Walking into the house he found the master bedroom quickly. He found the medical examiner kneeling over the body; red hair was a dead give away on who he was working with.
"I hope you're not going through his pockets, Willow," Xander joked walking into the room with a smile on his face.
Willow jumped and began stammering out something before she saw who it was, "Xander?" A smile spread over her face. "Oh my god, I haven't talked to you in six months; you stopped returning my calls!"
"I'm sorry, it got really busy," Xander apologized not going into any details.
"Are you back for good?" Willow asked trying not to get to excited. She had missed her best friend.
Xander nodded, "I'm back. We should go out for drinks later and catch up. Right now though who's the D.B?"
"That's your job, detective," Willow answered and went back to the body. "He has no identification on him, by the looks of it he was just getting out of bed."
"T.O.D?" Xander asked as he wandered around the room looking for a wallet with the vics' information.
Willow stuck a thermometer into the victim's liver, "Let me get the liver temp and I'll have an estimate for you." She looked up at him, "Have you talked to Spike?"
"You know I haven't." Xander replied as he found the wallet. "Bingo," Xander pulled on some latex gloves and opened it, pulling out the driver's licence. "Warren Meers," He said aloud. "This wasn't a robbery, all his credit cards are still here and seventy-five dollars."
"Warren Meers, the owner of 'Meers Hardware'?" Willow asked as she looked back down to get the read for the liver. "Liver temp is 87 degrees, so he's been dead between six and seven hours. So between seven and eight this morning."
"Sorry I'm late, for a small town there is a lot of bloody traffic," A blonde complained as he walked into the crime scene. He stopped when he saw Xander, "Xander?"
Xander paused at looked up, "Hey, Spike."
"What are you doing here?" Spike asked setting down his kit.
"Working," Xander replied looking uncomfortable. "Maybe we can talk later? You know after we figure this out?"
Before it could get anymore uncomfortable two men came in and helped Willow put Warren into a body bag and onto a gurney. "He was stabbed and had his throat cut by the blood pool around the wound I'm guessing that came first, I'll know definitely after I do the autopsy," Willow said.
"We'll be there after we're done here, Wills," Xander answered and watched her leave.
Spike wandered around the room taking pictures of the blood splatter on the bed where he must have been originally stabbed and the floor where he bled out. Throwing off the covers he discovered semen on the sheets, "Looks like he had some fun before he died."
"He has a pretty girlfriend," Xander commented when he found a picture of Warren and a pretty blonde girl. Spike grunted a reply, "I'm going to find the responding officer."
Xander left Spike to investigate the room and went to the front yard seeing a uniformed officer trying to calm down a distraught blonde woman, the same woman that was in the photo he just saw.
"What do you mean I can't go in?" She screamed at the officer, "This is my house!"
"Miss," Xander stepped in, relieving the officer from having to deal with her. "This is an active crime scene."
She flipped her hair, "I know that. I found Warren."
"And you would be?" Xander asked already not liking the woman.
"Harmony Kendall," She replied snapping her gum.
"Well. Ms. Kendall, I'm sorry about your loss," Xander said trying to comfort her.
Harmony looked confused for a minute, "Why? Oh gods don't tell me my porcelain unicorn is broken!" She cried.
"No," Xander spoke slowly. "I mean I'm sorry for the loss of your boyfriend."
"Oh… right." Harmony said looking relieved, "Hey, do you know when the reading of the will, will be?"
Xander raised an eyebrow, "Probably after the funeral. Ms. Kendall, you do realise a man is dead, don't you?"
"Yeah so?" Harmony asked looking confused again.
"So you are now looking like the prime suspect," Xander instructed.
Harmony's mouth fell open, "Are you serious? Just because I am in his will and he left a good chunk of money to me and the house does not give me a reason to kill him!"
"I'd say that gives you every reason to kill him," Xander countered. He saw Spike walking up to them. "You find anything?"
"I have a question for her, if that's alright?" Spike asked not really waiting for a response. "I was just wondering when the last time you had sexual intercourse with Mr. Meers."
"I just got back right before I found Warren from a ski trip with my best friend in Aspen," Harmony said giving her alibi. "I think if you have any more questions you should talk to my lawyer," She said crossing her arms.
"Fine, but I need to know where you will be staying if I need to get in contact with you," Xander told her.
Harmony pulled out a pink pen with a unicorn on top of it and a pink notebook, "I'm staying at the Sunnydale Plaza. They have hot tubs in the rooms you know. Also here is the name of the friend that I went to Aspen with, Cordelia Chase."
Xander sighed and watched her walk away, "Well, wasn't she helpful." He turned to look at Spike, "Why did you ask about the last time she had sex?"
"The semen I found is recent, maybe a day old," Spike explained as he walked towards his SUV.
"That guy was cheating on his trophy girlfriend?" Xander whistled. "What else did you find?"
"A blood spatter on the wall but there was a void," Spike answered. "There was also a single drop of blood on the other side of the bed. I doubt it's the victims."
Xander nodded and then shifted uncomfortably, "Spike… I'd really like to talk to you."
Spike slammed the trunk of his car and glared at Xander, "We have nothing to talk about. You said all you needed to last year."
"Things changed," Xander offered. "Please Spike?"
"Whatever," Spike answered. "Right now I have to get back to the lab. I'll call you if I get anything."
"Thanks," Xander said and watched Spike drive off.
Spike walked into DNA, "Hey, I got something for you."
"What is it today spit or snot?" Angel asked giving Spike his full attention.
"Neither, semen and blood," Spike answered handing over the swabs.
Angel's face lit, "Really? What's the case?"
"Murder," Spike replied. "I'm not sure if it's the victims or not. The girlfriend claims to have been out of town but she could have been cheating on him. Maybe he walked in on her and the other guy."
"Interesting," Angel said as he got to work. "Who's the leading detective?"
Spike snorted, "You're not even going to believe it."
"Tell me," Angel ordered looking intrigued.
"Xander, apparently he is back for good from what I overheard with him and Willow," Spike sighed and ran a hand through his blonde hair.
Angel's eyes widened clearly shocked, "Whoa, have you talked to him?"
"Besides the case no, but he wants to get together and talk," Spike replied looking annoyed.
"That's good though, isn't it? I mean maybe he wants to get back together," Angel suggested.
"I don't bloody know and I honestly don't know if I care," Spike said sounded angry. "We were together for a year and then he decides that he wants to move on to bigger things."
Angel frowned he hated seeing his friend hurting, he knew Spike still had feelings for Xander no matter how much he tried to deny it. "I'm sure everything will work out. Now I should get back to work, I'm already backed up so when I get the results I'll call you."
"Alright, I should go check in with Willow anyways, see if she can confirm the death was caused by a knife." Spike sighed having no doubt that Xander would also be there.
"Do me a favour and tell Willow I'm working late alright?" Angel asked.
With a nod Spike left, going to the morgue.
Xander beat Spike to the morgue. "Hey," Xander said trying to act cool. "Willow said she'd be with us in a minute."
"Good, that gives us a minute to chat," Spike said looking at Xander. "I don't know what kind of crap you're trying to pull on me but it's not going to work!"
"I'm not pulling anything on you Spike," Xander assured. "I know I messed up by leaving but I also asked you to come with me and you didn't want to."
"I had a life here!" Spike snarled, "I couldn't just pick up and leave at the drop of the hat."
Xander looked sad, "Not even for me."
"Don't bloody try and make this my fault, I asked you to stay." Spike countered back. "But your career came first for you. And now look at you; you're back where you didn't even want to be. I guess you couldn't cut it with the big boys." He saw Willow and left Xander standing there feeling like his had just got kicked in the gut.
"Willow," Spike greeted. "So was the cause of death a stabbing?"
"You got it; the knife entered his chest and his heart. He bled out for about three minutes before collapsing on the floor." Willow told them.
Xander stood back looking over her shoulder, "What's that on his left arm?"
"Scratches, I'd say a day or two old. There were some pink flecks in the wounds so I sent them off to trace."
"Great thanks," Xander smiled at his friend.
Spike's pager went off, "That's Giles. He has something on the wound. Either DNA is really backed up or Angel is slacking."
"Be nice," Willow said using her motherly tone.
"Sorry," Spike said but not looking like it. "He told me to tell you he'd be late. You mind if I cast a mould of the wound? See if we can determine the type of knife?"
"Sure no problem," Willow snapped her latex gloves off. "It looks like the knife had a hilt by the bruising forming around the wound. Now if you excuse me I have an eighty-year-old that died of a stroke."
A few minutes later Spike finished pouring the clay into the wound giving it a few minutes to dry before pulling it out. Bagging it and signing his signature and date on it he looked up at Xander who was watching him, "You coming?"
"Yeah, I'm coming," Xander replied, ignoring the fact that his stomach was tied in knots.
Rupert Giles looked up when he heard the door open, "William, you were quicker than I thought."
"I could say the same about you. Slow day?" Spike asked leaning against the counter.
"Yes and do not expect to see me complain about that," Rupert replied with a smile. His attention turned to Xander, "Hello, Xander. I heard you were coming back. I hope your recovery was quick."
Xander looked at Spike for a quick second before turning his attention back to Rupert ignoring the questioning looks he got from Spike, "So you determined the stuff found in the vic?"
"Yes," Rupert replied and printed out a sheet handing it over to Spike.
"Ethyl acetate, butyl acetate, nitrocellulose, isopropyl alcohol, polyester resin, dibutyl phthalate, styrene/acrylates copolymer, stearalkonium hectorite, stearalkonium bentonite, benzophenone-1 and calcium pantothenate," Spike read off the paper.
Xander looked between the two men, "And for those of us who have absolutely no idea what that is."
"Nail polish," Rupert answered. "The percise color would be chic boutique."
"In guy language what color is that?" Xander asked he didn't understand why women needed to name the same color fifty different names.
"It's a kind of pink," Spike replied. "I have a sister remember?" He said looking at Xander.
Giles could tell there was tension between the two men even though nothing was being said, "Yes. Well any suspects that wear nail polish?"
"The girlfriend," Xander answered. "I don't know if it's the same color but she was definitely wearing nail polish."
"So back to the stuck-up blonde?" Spike questioned with a sigh. He talked to of all of thirty seconds and he already didn't like her.
"Afraid so," Xander thanked Giles and headed out with Spike.
"I'm going to see if I can identify the weapon," Spike replied. He wanted to talk to Xander to know what Giles had been talking about, but right now he had to focus on the job.
Xander had to wait around in Harmony's hotel room. As soon as she saw him she told him she wasn't going to talk to him without her lawyer. So half an hour later a man in a navy blue suit and rim glasses walked in; Xander was more than relieved because he couldn't stand to listen to Harmony go on about her latest shoes she had bought. He may be gay but not that gay!
"Detective Harris, I am Wesley Wyndam-Pryce, Ms. Kendall's attorney. I thought you had already spoken with her?" Wesley asked sitting next to his client.
"I did, I just have a follow up question. I won't take up a lot of her time." Xander replied before turning back to Harmony. "The coroner found scratches on Warren's left arm and there were flecks of nail polish." Xander looked down at his notes, "Chic boutique. I was just wondering what color it is that you wear."
Harmony scrunched up her nose in disgust, "I don't wear that color; it is ugly! My color is fondola gondola." She said and wiggled her fingers in front of Xander's face.
"Alright, do you know anyone that does wear chic boutique?" Xander asked really wanting to get away from Harmony.
"Oh, I can tell you exactly who wears it!" Harmony said before looking at her polished nails.
Xander and Wesley exchanged looks, "Ms. Kendall, I believe he wants a name."
"Oh right!" Harmony laughed, "Buffy Summers. She was Warren's silent partner at the hardware store. I wouldn't be surprised at all if she killed him."
"Why would you say that?" Xander asked writing down the new name.
"Why did I say what?" Harmony asked looking confused at Xander. "Oh! You mean Buffy? Well duh, with Warren dead she owns the entire store. With it being the only hardware store in town he's made a lot of money over the years, as you can see from my house. I mean, that has to be a really good reason to kill someone right?"
Xander stood not answering, "Do you know where I could find her?"
"I don't know we're not exactly friends." Harmony said flipping her hair. "Try the store."
"Alright thanks, that's it for now." He walked out deciding to head to the hardware store.
Twenty minutes later Xander was at Meer's Hardware store. The bell jingled as he entered, "Hello?"
"Can I help you?" A man came out from a back office.
"Yes, I am looking for Buffy Summers," Xander replied pulling out his badge. "Who are you?"
"Riley Finn," Riley put his hand out and shook Xander's. "Buffy isn't here right now. There was a mix-up in an order so she had to go the next town over and fix it."
Xander didn't look very convinced; it seemed a bit more than a coincidence that she was out of town, "How long as she been gone?"
"She left about three hours ago." Riley answered rubbing his hands on his jeans, "Can I ask what this is about?"
"Warren Meer's was murdered," Xander told Riley.
"Warren is dead?" Riley leaned against the counter.
Xander nodded watching the other man's reaction. "Can I ask how you know him?"
"Of course, I am his accountant and dating Buffy," Riley answered. "I can't believe he's dead. I don't know anyone who would have wanted him dead."
"No one at all?" Xander asked, "No arguments over the last couple days?"
Riley shook his head, "No he was a great guy."
"Do you happen to know when Buffy will be back?" Xander enquired.
"Some time this evening I believe," Riley crossed his arms over his chest. "You don't think she killed him do you?"
"I just need to talk to her." Xander explained and pulled out a card, "If you could get her to give me a call when she gets back into town."
Riley accepted the card, "Of course I'll give it to her as soon as she gets back."
"Thank you," Xander shook Riley's hand. "Oh just a quick question, where were you this morning between seven and eight?"
"Here, Buffy was having an early breakfast with her mom before her mom had to go out of town for a business trip," Riley answered.
"Thanks," Xander replied before leaving and headed to his car.
Spike was looking through a catalogue book they had trying to determine the type of knife that had been used as the murder weapon. He was thankful that Willow had been able to narrow it down somewhat with the hilt of the knife.
"Now if I could just find the damn thing," Spike muttered to himself rubbing his eyes. He had been looking at the collection of knifes for the last couple hours and they were all beginning to look the same.
"Want to take a break?" Xander asked startling Spike. "I brought dinner."
Spike looked up and saw Xander holding Chinese take out, "I think I could eat." He led Xander into the lunch room. "Did you find anything out?"
"Kind of," Xander answered. "Look Spike, could we not talk about work? I really need to talk to you."
"Sure ,luv," Spike said and visibly cringed at that. "Sorry."
Xander couldn't help the smile that appeared on his face, "It's fine."
"So what did you want to talk about?" Spike asked desperately trying to change the subject.
"I wanted to tell you I was sorry, I never wanted to end things with you." Xander answered as he pulled out his chop sticks. "I was so tired of just petty thefts; I thought I was a better cop than that."
Spike frowned not understanding, "You are a better cop that that."
"You were right about me not being able to cut it with the big guys," Xander said looking up at Spike.
"What was Rupert talking about earlier? What happened in L.A?" Spike asked, what made Xander decide to come back?
Xander sat quietly for a few minutes making Spike think that maybe he wasn't going to get an answer. "There was a hostage situation. A man owed a druggie a lot of money and didn't pay it off. So this guy came to the man's house and took him, his wife and their daughter hostage. This guy was already high and the crying wife and kid weren't helping. He shot off a warning shot to make them shut up. Luckily someone heard it and phoned the cops." Xander said starting the story. "The negotiator was late and they needed someone to go in. They decided I was the best choice because I have a way of calming down people."
Spike bobbed his head in agreement.
"So the guy allowed me to come in and talk to him. It was going pretty well, I told him I was sure that the man would pay off his debt as soon as possible and with the economy it was a tough time for everyone. He agreed and said he didn't want it to come to this but he had his own rent to pay." Xander took a sip of his soda that didn't really help his dry mouth. "All my attention was on him that I didn't see the other guy pull out a gun. It was completely my fault I know that; I should have been watching him. I could understand he wanted to protect his family but I had the situation basically under control. I heard him cock the gun and when I looked up I knew he was intending on shooting him anyways. I pushed him out of the way just before the gun went off."
Spike knew what happened next, it didn't take a scientist to figure it out. "You were wearing a bullet proof vest right?" He demanded to know.
"I was, but when I pushed him away I was at an angle that wasn't protected. You always told me I had broad shoulders," Xander joked. "After the shot was fired the other cops stormed in. I was in the hospital for about a month, the doctors weren't sure if I'd have motor skills in my right shoulder again. But with a lot of physical therapy I got all movement back." Xander explained and rolled his shoulder to prove it.
"That doesn't really explain why you came back here," Spike said still shocked that Xander had been shot. That was the main reason he didn't want Xander to go. In Sunnydale there weren't maybe situations like that.
"When the bullet hit me, before I knew it wasn't that bad all I could think about was you. How I'd never be able to apologize for being a jerk. I picked up the phone so many times to call but I chickened out every time." Xander told Spike and took a hold of Spike's hand. "I threw away the best thing I had going for me."
Spike wrapped his own fingers around Xander's as much as he wanted to tell Xander to sod off he knew he couldn't. "Before I get ahead of this conversation and jumping to conclusions I need to know what you want."
"You," Xander said with a smile and scrapped his chair closer to Spike, leaning in for a kiss. He didn't chance a passionate kiss just a plain peck on the side of Spike's mouth. "I really am sorry, Spike." Xander whispered.
"I know, luv," Spike replied and he knew it. Xander never could keep his feelings a secret, his eyes always gave them away.
A knock interrupted them and they both looked over to see Angel looking embarrassed for disturbing them, "Sorry."
"No, it's alright. Did you get a hit?" Spike asked not letting go of Xander's hand. He wasn't sure what was going on with them but he missed him.
"Yeah," Angel handed over a piece of paper. "Andrew Wells, he was arrested multiple times for prostitution."
"So Harmony was cheating," Xander said looking at the picture. "She seems to go for the nerdy guys." He turned back to Angel, "What about that blood drop? Was it this Andrew guy, too?"
Angel shook his head handing over a second piece of paper, "The blood belongs to Harmony Kendall. She's in the system because she works at the casino."
Xander sighed; he'd have to talk to her… again. "You couldn't have told me earlier?"
"I was backed up," Angel replied glowering.
"Sorry, it's just this girl is annoying as hell." Xander apologized.
Spike through the empty containers in the garbage, "Let's go have a chat with him. Then we can go talk to her."
"Shouldn't you keep looking for the type of knife was used?" Xander asked.
"Bloody hell," Spike had forgotten about that. Xander had always been a distraction for him. Not that he was complaining, he still did his job well sometimes he'd just get a little side tracked.
Xander decided to visit Andrew Wells first; he wasn't ready for another round with Harmony. He knocked three times on the door; Andrew lived on the rough side of town where most of the druggies and prostitutes lived.
"Yeah?" A blonde opened the door looking at Xander suspiciously. "What do you want?"
"My name is Xander Harris," He pulled out his badge, "Are you Andrew Wells?"
The man no older than nineteen nodded looking worried, "What's the problem?"
"Warren Meer's is dead and the crime scene investigators found your semen in his bed I was wondering if you could explain that." Xander asked. "Are you having an affair with Harmony Kendall?" Xander enquired getting straight to the point.
"What? No!" Andrew looked like he might be physically sick his eyes tearing up and Xander wasn't sure if it was remorse for the death or because he was about to vomit. "You couldn't get me to touch that skank."
"So you were having sexual relations with Warren?"
Andrew bobbed his head up and down, "Is he really dead?"
"I'm afraid so," Xander replied trying to be sympathetic to him. "How long were you involved with him?"
"Almost a year," Andrew answered. "We were in love but he loved her, too."
"Can you tell me where you were about seven o'clock this morning?" Xander enquired.
Andrew shifted from foot to foot, "I was at a party all night. I ended up crashing at a buddies place."
From Andrew's red eyes, Xander guessed he was into drugs as well. "Look I'm not looking to bust you for drugs. I need the name of your friend so I can verify your whereabouts."
"I was at Jonathan Levinson's place." Andrew said and proceeded to give Xander the address.
"Alright I'll check out your alibi." Xander put his notebook away. "Do you know of anyone who might have wanted Warren dead?"
Andrew looked worried again, "Riley Finn."
"Riley?" Xander asked there had been something off about him but nothing that actually pointed the finger at him. "What did he do?"
"Warren found out he was skimming money from the books, not a lot at a time a few hundred bucks a month. He was thinking of firing Riley but didn't want to upset Buffy because she is head over heels for the guy." Andrew explained, "Can you keep my name out of it? I don't want any trouble."
"I won't say who gave me the information," Xander promised. "I don't suppose you know if Riley collects knifes by any chance?"
Andrew bit his lip as he thought about the question, "I don't know. I don't know the guy really well. The only reason I know about what he was doing was because Warren was ranting about it one day."
"Alright thanks, if I need to talk to you again you'll be around right?" Xander asked looking at Andrew he didn't really think he would get very far out of Sunnydale but he could always try.
"No, I'll be sticking around." Andrew answered, "When you find out who did it though will you let me know?"
"I'll personally let you know," Xander promised before saying good bye and pulling out his cell phone, "Officer Osbourne, it is detective Harris. I need you to pick up a Buffy Summers and Riley Finn and take them to the station. I have one more stop before I get there, so just keep them there alright? ... Thanks."
Spike finally found the type of knife that had been used. A Ka-Bar heavy bowie overall 12.63 inches long. Pulling out his cell phone he phoned Xander to let him know. "Xander? ... Yeah I got the type of knife. A ka-bar heavy bowie overall. … It's a type of hunting knife. … Yeah I'll meet you at the station once you're done with the bint." He hung up taking the picture of the knife with him.
"Why are you here again?" Harmony demanded to know as she swung the door to her room opened. She was wearing a robe; her hair a mess.
"I have one more question," Xander explained. "Would you like to call your lawyer or can we do it without him?"
"No, we can't," Harmony replied snottily before turning back to the room and screaming, "Wes, that stupid cop is back! Make him go away!"
Wesley scurried out of the bathroom also in a bathrobe. When he saw Xander he flushed, "Detective Harris? Do you have more questions?"
Xander raised his eyebrow but didn't comment on situation he caught them in, "Ms. Kendall, I talked to your friend and she did confirm you just got back in town today."
"See I told you, I didn't do it," Harmony declared crossing her arms over her chest. "So did you come here to apologize then?"
"No," Xander answered. "The CSI working the case with me found a drop of your blood at the crime scene. Can you explain that?"
Harmony sighed and stormed off into the bathroom leaving Xander and Wesley standing there awkwardly for a minute before she returned. "My nose bleeds really easily." She thrust the garbage pail into Xander's hand which had bloody Kleenex in it. "When I found Warren, it started bleeding again."
Xander wrinkled up his nose in disgust, blood he could handle but nose blood made him queasy. "Alright," He handed it back to her. "I just had to check it out."
"Well, next time you want to come by phone. We were in the middle of something," Harmony replied angrily.
"Yeah, I guess that mourning period is over huh?" Xander said with sarcasm and then was greeted with the door in his face.
Spike was standing in the waiting room when Xander came in, "Did you find out about the blood?"
"Yeah, she gets nose bleeds," Xander explained and looked kind of sick.
"Still can't handle them, pet?" Spike asked with a snicker.
Xander glowered for a minute, "Do you know if Riley and Buffy are here?"
"Yeah, the officer put them in separate rooms. Who do you want to talk to first?" Spike asked following Xander down the corridor.
"Buffy, I need to get some information out of her first." Xander explained and held the door open for Spike. "Ms. Summers, I'm detective Harris and this is CSI Pratt."
Buffy sniffled and wiped her nose with a used up tissue, "Riley told me about Warren I can't believe it."
"I'm sorry for you loss," Xander gave his condolences sitting across the table from her. "Riley told us you had to go out of town today for an order?"
"Yeah, we ordered a box of Torsion Bolt- Grade 8 but they sent us Torsion bolt- Titanium, so I had to go and fix up the mix-up."
Xander didn't understand what the differences between the two bolts were, "Where were you this morning?"
"I had breakfast with my mom, she's going out of town for a couple weeks and I wanted to see her off." Buffy responded, "After that I went to the shop and found out about the mix up and had to go out of town."
"We found some nail polish in a scratch that was on Warren's left arm. Harmony told us that you wear chic boutique. Can you explain how your nail polish ended up on him?
Buffy wiped her eyes smearing her eye liner, "I was helping out at the store yesterday. I was putting some lug nuts on a top shelf when I lost my balance. Warren was there and I grabbed on to his arm and scratched him. God I felt so bad! I told him when I got back from seeing my mom off I'd take him out to lunch to apologize."
"Did you know that Warren suspected Riley of skimming money from the business?" Xander asked, deciding that her explanation seemed to make sense.
Buffy sniffled, "I overheard them fighting last week. Warren accused him of stealing his money. Neither of them said anything to me though."
"Do you know if Riley owns a hunting knife?" Spike spoke up.
"He has a few, he goes hunting in the spring," She looked at Spike suspiciously. "Why? You don't think Riley could have done this do you? Riley is the sweetest guy and I've been with him for years. He couldn't have done this."
"What time did you get to the store at?" Xander questioned.
Buffy furrowed her eyebrows in thought, "I saw mom off before heading straight there so about eight-thirty."
"And was Riley there?" Xander asked looking at Spike.
"No… Riley doesn't come in until noon," Buffy whispered.
Spike knelt beside Buffy, "Do you live with him?"
"Yes," Buffy answered.
"Can I have permission to go into your house and look for this knife?" Spike showed her the picture.
Buffy's eyes widened, "You think he used that knife?"
"What is it?" Xander asked confused by her reaction.
"Warren gave him that knife for his birthday last year." Buffy replied, "Yes, you have my permission to go into the house."
Spike stood and walked past Xander pausing for a minute. "I'll find the knife, than you owe me a real dinner." He whispered before heading out the door to finish his job.
When Xander walked into the room Riley stood up, "Where is Buffy? Is she alright?"
"Sit down, Mr. Finn," Xander pointed to the chair. "She's upset, but that is understandable finding out her friend and co-worker was murdered by her boyfriend."
"What? I didn't kill Warren. I told you I was at the store while Buffy was out with her mom." Riley replied giving his alibi again.
Xander leaned across the table, "Buffy says you weren't there when she got there around eight-thirty and that you don't get in until noon."
"I decided to go in early today to help out," Riley insisted.
"Right now my CSI is going through your place looking for your Ka-Bar heavy bowie overall knife."
Riley's eyes narrowed, "I want to see the search warrant."
"I don't need one if someone living in the house gives us permission to enter." Xander retorted. "After we showed Buffy what kind of knife was used to kill Warren, she readily agreed."
"I didn't kill Warren," Riley answered and stood up. "I want a lawyer."
"We'll get you that lawyer but just so you know, we know that you killed him because he was going to fire you over stealing from him and I bet he also threatened to tell Buffy and you couldn't have that. You also had opportunity when Buffy was off having breakfast with her mom giving you time to slip out of your house with her not knowing. And when we find the knife with Warren's blood on it you will be charged with first degree murder. So you're looking to between fifteen to life right now." Xander explained and made his way to the door.
Riley let a whimper escape, "What if I admit to it and tell you where the knife is? Can I get a deal?"
"You tell me where the knife is and write a confession and I'll talk to the district attorney about making sure you don't serve a life sentence. Deal?"
"Deal," Riley accepted knowing that it was better than nothing. "The knife is in the trunk of my car."
Xander placed paper and a pen on the table and pushing them in front of Riley, "Start writing."
Riley picked up the pen and started writing, "Do you think I could talk to Buffy?"
"I don't think she is too interested in talking to you right now." Xander opened the door motioning an officer in before leaving to phone Spike to inform him where the murder weapon was.
Six months later:
Spike was lying in bed just waking up. He turned to snuggle against Xander only to find himself alone. "Xander?" Spike called out swinging his legs off the bed to go in search of his lover.
"Where do you think you're going?" Xander asked coming into the bedroom holding a tray of food.
"I was going to look for you," Spike replied pulling on a pair of sweat pants.
"We'll, I'm here so get your butt back in bed." Xander ordered setting down the tray on the night stand.
Spike looked at the tray, "What's all this now?"
"You're the CSI, what do you think it is?" Xander joked as he handed Spike a cup of coffee."
"It looks like you made me breakfast," Spike answered anxiously.
Xander grinned, "I made you your favourites."
"Pet, I love you." Spike started but was cut off by a long kiss.
"Love you, too," Xander replied when he pulled away. "Now eat up! You're going to need your energy. We both have the day off and we don't want to waste it, right?" He asked as he leered at Spike.
Spike looked at the mangled pancakes and burnt bacon, "Xan, I love you but I can not eat your food."
"Why, what's wrong with it?" Xander asked oblivious to the mess on the tray.
"You can't cook," Spike blurted out feeling bad for the crushed look on Xander's face. "I'm sorry, luv. You're good at a lot of things but cooking just isn't one of them."
Xander poked at one of the pancakes revealing that it was uncooked in the middle, "Gross." He said his face held a look of disgust. "Okay, you're right."
Spike handed Xander a napkin, "So how about we stay in bed." He kissed Xander's shoulder, "And than we can meet up with Willow and Angel tonight for dinner?"
"Sounds like a better idea than mine," Xander answered and rolled over on top of Spike kissing him. "I love days off," He said and proceeded to show Spike just how much.