Series: 23 for 23
Title: Nine: Never Let Me Go
Author: Jmaria
Rating: FR-15
Disclaimer: I own the World Walker, Joss Whedon owns BtVS, CBS (Bruckheimer?) owns Criminal Minds.
Spoilers: Seasons with Gideon to be safe.
Series Summary: Twenty-three stories and crossings of worlds (read: insanity) to celebrate twenty-three years.
Part Summary: She can't help but thinking its all her fault.
Words: 738
A/N: First quote comes from the second into, second comes from Mothers Little Helper by Liz Phair.
Dedication: To blue_icy_rose for the fandoms and prompt.

23 for 23


Nine: Never Let Me Go

Innocent babe with the world in her eyes saw through the charades and stood on dangerous ground.

And it helps her on her way, gets her through her busy day


There was something almost rewarding about her current life, the job she did was a good one now. Every day seemed to be all about the good she could do for others. Until today. Until the day she'd had to come and identify the bodies. She'd expected to get the call one day, but not all of them in one day.

"Miss Summers, can you tell us anything about your last conversation with your employer?"

Her head jerked up, not comprehending the man's question. He was a ridiculously good looking man, all warm chocolate skin and lean muscles. If she could only get her mind to not focus on his general prettiness, she'd be able to focus on his question. Swallowing at the lump in her throat, she tired to focus again. Her gaze landed on the wiry thin man with the distinctive hair. Dr. something or other, smiled at her in what she was sure was supposed to be a reassuring manner.

"Uh, Giles called to confirm that I was coming home. We haven't all been in one place for almost three years. Our work - uh, starting up the organization, it was keeping us all spread pretty thin. I wasn't supposed to go see him, she didn't want me to, and I still went. Oh, God, is this my fault? Did I lead him here?" Her voice cracked as the sob of pain welled up and spilled out, her anguish evident in her eyes. "She said there was a reason he never came back."

"Miss Summers, with this type of unsub, there's no way it could have been your fault. There's no reason to believe that you triggered any of his destructive behaviors," Dr. Reid, that was his name, said calmly, sharing a look with Agent Morgan.

"We'd survived everything Sunnydale could throw at us, and in the end all it took was my dad to finish them off!" Dawn sobbed, her shoulders shaking uncontrollably as the sight of Hank wiping his bloody hands on the walls of Giles' apartment in Cleveland played on repeat through her mind. Xander's broken body as Hank stabbed and kicked him repeatedly. Buffy's peaceful face as blood oozed sluggishly from the bullet hole in her forehead. "He wanted nothing to do with us after the divorce, and she told me that it was better this way. I just wanted to see my dad, and he took my sister and Xander from me. He almost took Giles!"

"Dawnie! Oh goddess, Dawnie!"

Her head jerked up as Willow rushed past Agents Hotchner and Gideon to pull her in a sweeping embrace. She sobbed freely on Willow's shoulder as Faith and Robin made their way in behind her. The Scoobies were destroyed, and Dawn knew it was all her fault.

"It is not your fault, Dawn," Agent Morgan said softly from behind them. "We will stop him from hurting any more innocent people. I promise you that."

J.J. made her way over to the others, her eyes on the four grieving people. She nodded to the left, ready to tell them what Garcia had found.

"Garcia found at least a dozen different unsolved cases that matched the profile. All happened in cities where Hank Summers lived after he was let go. His former employer said that they'd recommended anger management three different times before firing him."

"The confrontation with his oldest daughter over the care of Dawn could have been the trigger, but not for the previous murders," Reid said quietly.

"It was just the accelerant to an already unstable psyche. He's going to just get progressively worse now that he's killed his own daughter," Gideon swiped at his eyes.

Hotch turned away to answer his phone. A minute later he turned out, his mouth set in a grim line.

"Another body's been found. Andrew Wells, the personal assistant to Rupert Giles."

"The hostage? Why would he kill the hostage?"

"I think the better question is why didn't he take the younger daughter as the hostage?"

Dawn caught the tail end of the conversation, her heart breaking for poor, silly Andrew. Fresh tears coursed down her cheeks as Willow rocked her. Dawn knew why her father hadn't taken her hostage, but she couldn't exactly tell the federal agents that she used her Key-ness to make a portal to get herself out of the apartment the second Hank had sliced her arm up. It really was all her fault.