August 14, 2011 – Chaos vs. Order

Summary: **Part of the 2011 LiveJournal's Twisted Shorts August Fic-A-Day** series. He shouldn't have tried the tainted candy in Caine's town…especially just a couple months after 9/11.

Challenge: for the livejournal 2011 August Fic a Day Challenge. And #6471 on TtH.

Timeline: post-season 4 'A New Man' for BtVS; in a CSI:M world set just post-9/11.

Warning: Character death, minor language.

Disclaimer: BtVS and AtS 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.

Ethan's POV

In retrospect, Ethan thought that maybe he should have kept a low profile after 9/11. Or at the very least, have left the States to play his games. Everyone was so jumpy – especially the law enforcement people.

On the other hand, the money his client had offered was too good to pass up – despite the added risks it involved.

Oh well, too late for regrets now.

He thought he would have been safer with Ripper and his Slayer on the other side of the country, but Ethan underestimated how annoying a normal human could be when the stakes were high enough. That certainly wasn't the case with the Sunnydale police or those bloody soldiers from the Initiative. Miami had competent people protecting the city.

The chaos mage wasn't sure if the man panicked or if he knew Ethan had something planned. Either way, the redhead still shot him before he could finish the spell that would have allowed his escape.

Ethan's last thought centered on the surprise he had in his pocket, and whether Ripper would be even the slightest bit sad he was dead.

Horatio's POV

While seeing Yelina kiss Rick Stetler hit him like a punch to the gut, Horatio was actually more concerned about the erratic and unprofessional behavior of the other officers in the department.

As bizarre as it seemed, his instincts told him it had something to do with the fundraiser candy circulating around the various offices of the police department. Feeling a little foolish, Horatio had always trusted his instincts, so he started analyzing the candy. Two emotions battled in his mind when he got the results: surprise and horror. Horror won out.

That the bars had a narcotic in them to make them addictive surprised him, only because he knew that the department did random drug testing and he hadn't heard of anyone failing recently. This should have shown up, but didn't.

The horror stemmed from the fact that there was something in the candy he couldn't identify…not even a little. What might it do to the affected people?

Gathering people who hadn't consumed any of it, they snatched up all the candy, and Horatio's first reaction was to destroy it all before anyone who was addicted could eat more. Alexx stopped him, though. Beyond the fact it was evidence, she reminded him that if something happened to their fellow officers, the doctors would need samples to test for an antidote.

Then began the search for the bastard(s) responsible for this… And when they found him/them, Horatio would make them suffer.

They found the man – an Englishman – and his partners in a factory outside of the city. The partners were a gang who acted more like businessmen than street thugs; they wanted the police indisposed while they ran some shipments through Miami.

During the ensuing gun fight, a couple officers were wounded and all but the Englishman had died on the other side.

Horatio glared as the man refused to surrender. He stood there, murmuring under his breath, ignoring Horatio's commands. Horatio only intended to wound the man, worried that he was conversing with other partners nearby. He hadn't expected the man to shift at the last second, though.

As he lay dying, the man gasped out, "Tell Ripper I said hello." Then he died with a grin on his face.

Going through the personal effects of the Englishman later, Horatio found his wallet. Ethan Rayne. A slip of paper fell out and he unfolded it. Horatio read it aloud to himself, "Rupert Giles and Buffy Summers, Sunnydale, California. Now, how do you two know this bastard?" he asked the empty room, determined to get some answers from somebody.

A/N: maybe Horatio shouldn't have shot an unarmed man, but given the higher tensions right after 9/11, I don't think it would be considered a bad shoot – especially since Ethan was essentially poisoning the police.

A/N2: Just got back from the reunion…an almost 12 hour drive, so I apologize for any errors in spelling or characterization.

Tomorrow's (hopeful) fic: Faith/Wonder Woman.