Summary: Several years after leaving her life in Sunnydale, Buffy gets a blast from the past.
Challenge: My own perverted response to a Xander-centered challenge similar to how I wrote this.
Timeline: Several years after season 2 BtVS; early season of CSI: Miami. Consider anything past Acathla as AU.
A/N: I wanted something I could post for rhyming day, so this is short.
Warning: Not to the level of bashing, but certainly unpleasant for a couple BtVS characters.
Thanks to my betas: none this time.
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.
As she stepped into the building, Buffy turned to her mentor and complained, "This is some kind of hazing, isn't it?"
"What do you mean?" Calleigh innocently asked, unable to fully hide her grin at her friend and trainee's discomfort.
Buffy glared at her. "My first official case since joining the department as a full-time CSI and it's at an S&M club?"
"They needed both of us to handle the ballistics, Buffy," Calleigh replied with a shrug. Then she gave a full shit-eating grin and inquired teasingly, "What's the matter? Afraid your honey will get some ideas?"
"Don't even joke about it!" Buffy exclaimed in embarrassment. "I'm afraid that my blush will stay for a month after I leave this place. Even my friend, Faith, would blush in here…and this is a woman who tells people that she wrestled an alligator naked minutes after she meets them," she added to explain that it was hard to shock Faith.
Calleigh stopped for a second as she tried to place the name. "Have I met her? I don't remember a story like that."
"No. She travels around a lot. Usually the only time I see her is when I go to her somewhere." Usually to handle some Slayer emergency; something that the people in her new life didn't know about Buffy yet.
"Well, she sounds interesting." Calleigh became all business-like again and said, "For now let's worry about the crime scene, though. Eric and Speed are handling the witness statements while H talks to the manager."
A couple days later…
When she came across her – what was the grown-up version of 'boyfriend'? – well…when she saw Horatio glaring out the window, Buffy knew that something was annoying him. And not in the fun way like when somebody could get him to play with his glasses while making an overly-dramatic statement at a crime scene. He was pissed off.
"What's the what?" she asked quietly, gently squeezing his arm to offer him comfort. Their rule about leaving their relationship out of the work environment made it difficult when she wanted to give him a hug or something. She'd just have to save it for later…when she could be thorough about it.
"There's a couple witnesses that I know are lying about their background. I just don't know if it has anything to do with the case or not," he admitted with a grimace. Horatio Caine didn't like mysteries when it came to his cases.
"Want an impartial observer to check them out? Not that I doubt your ability to read people!" Buffy hastily added so he knew she believed in him.
Horatio just gave her that sexy smile of his. Well, sexy in her opinion at least. "Even the best can miss something sometimes – and I'm not the best."
"You are to me," Buffy whispered huskily, grinning at the flash of desire she invoked in him. It was only fair since he smiled at her like that.
"You'll pay for that," he growled back, sending yummy tingles down her spine.
"Can't wait! So what's the witnesses' story?" she asked, breaking the mood before they did something Stetler would use against Horatio or the department.
"They won't give us their real names; claimed that they had them changed legally a few years back," Horatio explained.
"To what?" she asked warily. Something about the way he was acting made her think it was really bad…or weird.
"The woman goes by 'Mistress of Pain' and the man calls himself 'White Knight'. How do those names even go together?" He noticed Buffy's paled face and grew concerned. "What's the matter?"
Buffy shook her head, hoping to rid herself of the unpleasant memories that popped up. "It's probably nothing."
"But it bothered you, so what is it?" Horatio asked again, daring to reach for her hand – despite the fact they were at work.
"Okay…a very long time ago, when I was going through that thing with my ex – remember how he went all psycho?" she asked. Buffy gave Horatio the non-Slayer version of her history…including how she moved to Miami with her father after Joyce kicked her out way back when.
"Go ahead…" he encouraged her.
"I was sick in the hospital; like dying-sick with a bad case of the flu or something," she began. "Anyway, he thought he'd come 'visit' me when I couldn't defend myself. He wasn't counting on a friend being there to stand in his way. This friend told me all about it afterwards…including the fact that my ex called him my 'white knight' because he was trying to protect me."
"So you think that it's your ex?" Horatio guessed. That didn't seem right to him.
She shook her head again, "No. That's not possible. Besides, if it was him…things would have been a lot messier in the club. It's probably just a coincidence." Part of her explanation about the Angel situation was that she thought she killed him, but he disappeared – which was technically true. Since there were no charges filed, Horatio believed it was considered self-defense…which was also technically true. The police had never been involved, though.
Still worried over her reaction, Horatio asked, "Do you still want to look over the witnesses and their statements?"
"Yeah. I'll be okay."
The physical descriptions were of no use when it came to giving Buffy any warning of who the witnesses were. Her memories of Willow Rosenberg and Xander Harris bore no resemblance to the pair sitting in the room before her.
Gone were the geeky, yet adorable looks. In their place was a couple who went beyond the Goth look. If it weren't for the sun shining in the room, Buffy might have feared they had a couple vampires in the building. Black leather, eyeliner, hair, nails…the whole package. It made Buffy shudder.
She turned away from the one-way mirror/window and said, "Good news is that I can tell you who they really are. Bad news is that I shouldn't be involved in the case if there's the slightest chance they might be persons of interest."
"Why's that?" he questioned.
"That's my 'white knight' sitting in there," Buffy spit out the phrase like it was poisonous. "Let's just say that things didn't end amicably between me and them." She sighed, then explained, "They blamed me for a friend's death because my ex went after him. I blamed Xander because he was supposed to get Giles to safety, but he wanted to play hero and got knocked out for his troubles. Since there wasn't anyone else to rescue Giles, he bled out from his injuries before I could get to him."
Remembering something from her background check, Horatio asked, "Did this have something to do with that murder charge your junior year in high school? The girl in the library?"
Buffy let out a bitter scoff. "Yup. They knew I didn't kill Kendra, but Willow and Xander didn't step forward to clear me. If it hadn't been for Cordy, I would have been charged; maybe convicted."
"This Cordy sounds like a true friend," he said, hoping to lead the conversation to a happy ending.
It worked…sort of. Buffy chuckled at the idea of her being friends with Cordy. Frenemies would be a better term. "And there's something so wrong in the universe when that's the case. I can't forgive them, and no way could I be unbiased with them. Their birth names are Willow Danielle Rosenberg and Alexander Lavelle Harris and they're from Sunnydale, California. I'm going to run the ballistics on the Henderson murder now, okay?"
"Thanks for helping. We'll talk about this later, sweetheart," he offered/commanded. There was no way he'd let her suffer in silence with all the bad memories brought up by the appearance of her ex-best friends.
After he went into the room, Buffy didn't immediately move away from the window. She chuckled as Xander hit on her man. So he was gay – or at least bisexual. In a way, that made a lot of sense. Despite his dislike of Angel, Xander made several comments that indicated his attraction towards her ex. And a few other guys in Sunnydale.
Then Willow joined in on the flirtations while caressing Xander's thigh. Okay…eww! They wanted Horatio to be with both of them. That was way too much information on their sex lives for her.
Fortunately, Horatio shut them up by calling them by their real names. The panicked expressions on their faces were priceless. She could see the wheels turning in Willow's head as she tried to figure out how he could have found out that personal information about them.
Buffy walked away after they changed back into the nervous geeks she had met years ago on her first day in Sunnydale. Now that Horatio had them in a position where they couldn't hide behind their new personas, they would be a lot easier to handle.
If she was lucky, they'd never even know she was in Miami. She could only hope that they'd leave when the case was over.
For now she had some ballistics to take care of waiting for her in Calleigh's lab.
A/N: Decided that I didn't want a confrontation scene between Buffy and the Scoobies. They just aren't worth it in her opinion.