The Shield and Buffy the Vampire Slayer
in a crossover FanFiction
& aka STFarnham
George Johnson, Jr. came to again. He looked around warily, exchanging glances with his awake, but equally frightened, chained up friends. None of them said a word. He could hear loud arguing coming from the next room, but he couldn't see a thing. BLAM, BLAM, pause, BLAM, BLAM; two pairs of gunshots, followed by a loud anguished 'noooooo' struck his ears. His ears rang, damn that was loud. What the hell was going on out there? He hoped it wasn't going to make anything worse for him. For a change he didn't pass out again, he supposed he was getting used to his poor circs. He looked around, shuddered, looked up, and was startled to notice that his right handcuff was hooked around a small brace, a brace that seemed a bit loose. He experimented with his right hand, wiggling the brace. And sure enough, it wobbled at one end. He started working on the bolt, it was stiff, but it turned. Each quarter-turn of the screw cost him a bit of skin, but he was past worrying about things like that.
After half an hour of silence, he heard voices coming down the hall. He pulled his hand away from the brace and pretended to pass out. It wasn't a difficult pretense. The female vampire came in with a young man, a young man who was in the throes of thinking he was about to get laid. She led him on, George watching through slitted eyelids, until, abruptly, the girl growled ferociously, grew fangs, whipped her head around and bit the young man's throat. George panicked, watching the monster drain the blood from this poor guy. But then, after a minute or two, she held him tenderly, then forced him to bite her, and drink some of her blood. He was both confused and horrified, as were the rest of the victims chained to the rack, the conscious ones, anyway.
After a few minutes the vampire laid the man gently on the ground, covered him with a blanket, and swept out without so much as a glance at any of the prisoners. It was all too much, given his starved, beaten, and dehydrated state, he passed out again.
Willow was holding her book upside down and she hadn't noticed in the thirty minutes since she picked it up. Every once in a while she looked up and took in the beeping machines above Kenn's bed, checking the readouts. She had, of course, educated herself in the meaning of all those digits and lights, and was now skilled in running her eyes over all the monitors and immediately noting if any one was out of the preferred range. Kenn was doing well, even though she was still unconscious, but at least all her vital signs were trending up. Her doctors were optimistic, and so was Willow.
It was seven in the morning, and her stomach started to growl. Not too surprising since she hadn't had more than a few snacks from a vending machine and water in the last two days. She supposed she'd better go get some real food.
So, having made the decision, she sat watching Kenn for another twenty minutes. Finally, internal pressure forced her to move. Once she actually stood up, everything seemed to happen at once. She headed for the bathroom, then grabbed some clean clothes out the bag Buffy had left for her and changed. Then she walked down to the cafeteria and wondered briefly why even hospital cafeterias pushed such unhealthy food. She mentally shrugged and asked for scrambled eggs and sausage, as well as an orange. When she finished her eggs, she drank four cups of coffee without actually understanding anything she read in today's paper.
Finally, she walked outside to see what fresh air smelled like. It wasn't fresh air, it was somewhat polluted air, oh well. As she stood by a side entrance, she noticed two men approaching. Wait, why did they have guns pointed at her? She intoned quietly, "Thicken", and the air in front of her became highly viscous, even though it was still invisible.
One of the gunmen said, "Don't move, bitch." She was about to wrap them in magical vines and set about getting information out of them, but she noticed one of the hospital security guards strolling along the sidewalk behind the men. So she raised her hands in the universal gesture of surrender, a highly visible signal that something was wrong. And sure enough, the guard noticed, and took a closer look at the two men approaching her.
One of them, the taller of the two, said, "Put your hands down you dumb bitch! You'll have plenty of time later to put them up."
Willow ignored him.
The security guard, after calling for backup with his radio, pulled his gun and shouted, "You two! Hold it where you are! Drop your weapons! Get down! Down! Down!"
They swiveled rapidly and started to bring their weapons to bear. Willow said, "Entangle," and waved her hands this way and that, and one of the gunmen tripped on a shoelace that had come loose and wrapped around the lace on his other shoe, knocking into the other gunman in the process. Both of them noticed another security guard arriving, and two more behind them. They sighed together and dropped their guns, giving up.
Willow stamped her foot in frustration, she really wanted to question those men. She thought, Just a little skinning would have done the trick, not too much, not like Jonathon, just a few little strips and they would've sung like canaries. Crap! Who am I kidding? I'm still a horrible human being. Sigh.
She sighed softly and went back inside and let the authorities handle it. Although she was beginning to seriously wonder just what had Kenn got herself into, and worse, how far down could she get dragged.
Vic and Lem walked up to the stash house on Tidwell. Vic pounded on the door and yelled, "POLICE! OPEN UP!"
Someone spoke to them on the phone system. "Do you have a warrant?"
"Yeah, a 9mm warrant. Open up or we open up."
"But, but, that's illegal!"
"Gee Lem, these drug dealers are lecturing us on what's legal! Whattya think about that?"
"Well Vic, I figure it's a good thing we brought all this extra ammo to cut through the fine print."
Jules shouted through the thick door, "All right, what the FUCK do you want?"
"Just to talk, that's all."
Jules reluctantly opened up, Vic shoved his way in. Vic said, "You hear that, Lem, the sound of toilets. I think these idiots just flushed their stash."
Vic smiled broadly and said, "We don't care about your stash, keep it, sell it, shove it up your asses for all we care. We also don't care about your money, not much anyway. Just tell us about the young woman who visited here the other day, the one someone shot outside your door." He looked into the eyes of the four men in the room. "It wasn't one of you gentlemen, was it? If so, you'd best turn yourself in to me, right now."
"Naw man, it warn't any of us."
"So the girl, Kennedy, what did she want with you?"
Jules exchanged glances with the others. Finally, he said, "That fuckin' cunt robbed us!"
Vic and Lem started laughing. "Right, a hundred and twenty pound, five foot three inch cheerleader robbed you guys, all four of you? What'd she use, a squad of marines?" Vic couldn't stop laughing.
"Uh uh, she used a sword an' that fuckers sharp!"
"A sword! Get this Lem, these guys got AK-47s, M-16s, Uzis, Glocks, 12 gauge shotguns, Tec 9s, maybe we could find a MAC-10 in the closet, and they're all tits-up screaming: 'Oh, oh oh! A sword, whatever shall we do?' " Vic's use of a falsetto voice thoroughly irritated Jules.
"Yeah fucker, this here sword right here!" said Jules, pulling Kennedy's katana out from the closet and slammed it down on a table.
Vic was surprised. He picked it up and studied it. "This is a very fine sword. It's really her's?"
"You shot her and took it from her?"
"What? No! I don't know who shot her, it wasn't me. She jus' dropped the sword, I picked it up so it don't get rusty, or stolen."
Vic nodded his head knowingly. "Yeah, I can see that, when people carelessly leave their things lying around, 'cuz they're lying on the ground bleeding out, it's important to take care of their property first."
"Look Mackey, since this visit of yours is so unofficial, I'll tell you. She was hell on wheels with that thing, and fast, really, really fast. She wanted twenty per cent of the take, said it was our fee for selling here. This was the third time she robbed us."
Vic looked thoughtful. He turned to Lem. "These folks are serious, aren't they?"
"I don't understand why they didn't shoot her the first time," asked Lem.
"Yeah," said Vic, turning back to face Jules, "why didn'tcha shoot her?"
" 'Cuz the muscle was down for the count."
Vic thought about that, and thought about how fast Kenn took him down, even when he was ready for her. He hadn't thought she had much real-world experience, hadn't thought she'd fought anyone outside the dojo, but, he admitted to himself, he could be wrong.
"Okay, I'll take this sword, and you go on about your business. But if I was you, I'd keep putting aside your 'fee'; I might just collect it myself, you know, for the Policeman's Ball, or you might need it to stay out of prison."
"By the way," said Lem, "how did Antwon take it when you told him you'd been robbed?"
"He was piss... Wait, Antwon who? I don't know no Antwon."
"Riiiiight," laughed Vic. "We're outta here."
Jules shook his head angrily as showed them out the door.
"Hey Willow," said Faith, coming into the waiting room at the hospital. "You're looking better today, more human-like."
"Thanks, I think. I just had a shower and breakfast, amazing what a difference that makes."
"So Kenn's doing better?"
"Yep, that's what all those machines say, anyway. The doctors think she'll wake up soon, probably today, tomorrow at the latest. Any luck on the investigation?"
"A little, maybe. But right now the whole police department is concentrated on finding two cop killers, everything else is in the back seat. So I'm at loose ends for a few days, unless I want to help the cops beat up suspects."
"Oh yeah, I saw that on the news, along with that police captain trying to justify her taking old folk's houses in the name of stopping crime." Willow paused. "Hey, you know, this morning two bad guys were detained by the hospital security staff, you might go see what that was about."
"How do you know they were 'bad' guys?"
"They pointed guns at me."
"That would do it. Did they say why?"
"No, I was about to wrap them up myself, and maybe ask a few questions in my own, uh, emphatic manner. But then the security guys showed up and cuffed them, and, well, maybe that was all to the good."
"I see. Okay, I'll check it out."
Later, in the evening, Vic Mackey knocked on the door frame of Kennedy's room. "Hi, can I come in? If you're up for a visit, that is."
Kenn raised her hand and waved him in. "Sure," she whispered, have a seat." She nodded towards Willow, asleep in the chair on the other side, and said, "Just speak softly."
But Willow stirred. "Too late, I'm already awake."
Vic said, "I'd like to talk to Kennedy, if I may."
Willow said, "Those other detectives have already been here, Wyms and Wagenbach."
"I'm here more for background. They're the two detectives assigned to your case, but I'm the one in charge of the task force charged with reducing gang activity in Farmington. So I'll probably have different questions."
"I don't mind," said Kenn.
"Well, okay, if it's okay with you." Willow stroked Kenn's shoulder and arm, then sat down.
Vic frowned at Willow. "Maybe this should be private? Just Ms Kennedy and me?"
"No," said Kennedy with as much force as she could muster, "Willow stays!"
"So I was thinking about the martial arts demonstration you gave me the other night. I was very impressed with your skills..."
Kennedy interrupted, "Yeah, yeah, yeah, but you just wanted to rub in the fact that I couldn't defeat a gun. But I already knew that."
"No, that's not what I was gonna say, I know very well that anyone can fall to a gunshot pretty much anytime, anywhere. We can be observant, and try to prepare, but if a bullet has your name on it, then that's gonna be that – we can only play the odds. No, I was interested in your fighting skills. You said you started practicing when you were five years old. Is that something that your family did as a matter of course?"
"No, I'm the only one in my family that was into it. You see, I had a great teacher, a sensei, who came along right about then."
"So why did your parents push you into it?"
"They didn't, I had to argue for it, but when daddy finally saw that I was as stubborn as a five-year old can get and wasn't going to back down, he went ahead and set up a dojo on the grounds for me, even gave my sensei a place to stay. After that, I practiced four to six hours a day, every day, minimum, for years. Actually, I'm feeling out of sorts right now because of this enforced idleness."
"You've only came out of your coma this afternoon, according to the doc."
"Yeah, I know, but my muscles are feeling all flabby – I seriously wantta get some exercise."
"Okay." Vic paused for a moment, then said, "So I guess your family had money?"
"Oh yeah, that's pretty much an understatement."
"So how come you went in for the martial arts, and not, say, advanced shopping, or polo, or yacht racing?"
Kennedy glared at him, she was going to answer with plenty of snark and cursing, but thought better of it and pushed it down until she could calmly reply, "Luck of the draw, I guess. My older sister, for instance, never had the slightest interest in joining me in the dojo. Today she's married to an indolent and equally wealthy husband, and they spend their lives doing, well, not much of anything that I can see. Still, I don't hold it against them, they seem happy. They both have absurdly large trust funds, they live in a mansion, actually three mansions in different parts of the country, and spend a lot of time with various charities, when they're not collecting expensive wine and even more expensive art. I don't suppose they're completely useless, and yet, I couldn't live like that."
"So your sister got all the family money?"
"Not even close, my trust fund is equal to hers, but by far the majority of the family money is in the family businesses, banking and reinsurance, all overseen by daddy and a building full of experts."
"So are you and Willow planning to run through your trust fund?"
Kenn laughed. "Of course not, there's too much money in the trust to even be able to run out, unless I started buying bankrupt third-world countries or something equally stupid. Which I haven't, but if I did, daddy would just give me another brokerage account or something."
"I see." Vic nodded thoughtfully. "So I had a heart-to-heart talk with Jules..."
Kennedy suddenly turned paper white as the blood rushed from her face. Oh shit! was written clearly in her expression.
"...and Jules claims that you, um, robbed him. Three times. Using a sword. Why would you do that, since you don't need the money."
"No, no! I didn't rob them, I just collected a fee!"
Willow stood up and said, "I gotta go." She practically ran out the door with Kennedy reaching for her and ineffectively begging for her to stay so she could explain.
"Please!" implored Kennedy to Vic, "go stop her! Get her back here! Please?"
Vic looked over his shoulder, watching Willow flee down the hall. He turned back and shook his head. "No, I don't think so. Your friend needs some time to herself."
"But, but, she doesn't know the whole story yet!" Kenn started to grab at the various things attached to her so she could run after Will.
"Well, I'm here, you can tell me." Vic leaned forward to stop Kennedy from disconnecting her monitors. It was a surprising struggle until someone said,
"And me," said a voice from the door. Vic turned suddenly and was majorly irritated to discover Special Agent Lehane leaning casually against the door frame. A nosy Fed hanging around would make skimming off some of the money floating around this case twice as hard.
"How long you been out there?" Vic demanded.
"Since you introduced yourself to Kenn. And yes, I heard your whole conversation."
"Look, I'm not here officially, I didn't read her her rights and I have no intention of doing so..."
"Hey, that's okay with me. I'm her friend – sort of – I'm not looking to make a case against Kenn because it's not in my jurisdiction. Although I am a little curious why you aren't interested. Are you in the habit of picking and choosing which laws you enforce, detective?"
Faith invited herself in, shut the door behind her, and sat down in Willows chair. Kennedy, looking extremely guilty and extremely upset, kept swinging her head back and forth between Vic and Faith, unable to decide who to concentrate on.
"So Kenn," said Faith, "did the doctors tell when your nose will be healed? I was just curious how long you're gonna look like a raccoon, what with your black eyes and all. Or do you think it's a fetching new look?"
Kennedy stopped swiveling and glared at Faith.
"Is that some new interrogation technique?" asked Vic, "antagonize your interviewee so they shut up and don't waste any of your time answering questions?"
"First of all," said Faith, "I've never been able to stop Kenn from running her mouth. Second, even if she wants to keep quiet, she'll talk to me." She looked directly at Kenn. "Won't you?" The two held a brief staring contest, Kenn turned away first. Faith looked up at Vic. "However, I think maybe you should wait outside, at least until her lawyer arrives."
"Hey, hey! I already told you, and her, I'm not assigned to this case, I'm just looking for gang-related background material, that's all."
"And you're really not gonna go running off to your detective buddies and mention to them that you think they should, I dunno, at least look at Kennedy and Jules?"
"Well, not in so many words..." Vic could see his off-the-books payday gurgling down the tubes, this Lehane chick was clearly a hard-ass. Maybe he'd better try to get along with her, and forget about extra cash, after all, he still had two kilos of black tar heroin in a semi-safe location. He could wait as long as it took for the heat to die down before cashing it in. "No, I won't say anything as long you don't admit to murder or something."
"So Kenn, what the fuck did you think you were doing?" asked Faith.
"I was just redistributing money, that's all."
"Take from the rich and give to the poor? That kind of redistribution?" asked Vic.
Kenn, outraged, said, "What?! No, I wasn't stealing from the rich – I would never do that – I was charging a fee to criminals, a different thing entirely!"
"And did what with it?"
"Oh, I stuffed most of it in a various church collection boxes, as well as a few other good causes that take anonymous cash."
Vic and Faith looked at each other and exchanged wry looks.
"Why? I mean, if you're that concerned about the downtrodden, why get your hands dirty, why not use some of your trust fund?" asked Faith.
"Oh. I do that too, but in a way that results in tax relief and other things – my accountants take care of most of that stuff, although I do consult with my sister from time to time to make sure I'm giving to charities that won't waste the money. No, this was more personal. Since arriving here in Farmington, it seemed like such a – I don't know, like a third-world country stuck in the middle of LA. I just wanted to do something, ya know?"
"No, I don't know, this is not normal behavior for you," said Faith. "Are you trying to tell me that your stuck-up rich bitch act is, um, just an act? That you're really a softhearted do-gooder who just wants to spread nutritious food and good cheer to the poor and unwashed? If so, you're gonna have to try harder, cause I'm having a hard time believing it."
"No, it's personal, like I said."
"So do I have shake you to get you to spill? Doesn't Willow need to hear this?"
"But first tell us."
"Oh all right. Detective, did you by any chance see a report about a Dr. Johnson, George Johnson, from a few weeks ago?"
"No, can't say that I did. Should I have?"
"No reason, but see, Dr. Johnson is a friend of the family. He used to be my dad's doc, but more importantly, he was a close friend. He often had dinner with us, and I, well, I liked them, father and son. Friends, you understand."
"Yes, I get it."
"Anyway, Dr. Johnson had this idea for robotic surgery, and daddy thought it was a good idea so he backed the doc, started up a new company, you know, with venture capital. And they succeeded, got in on the ground floor for new surgical techniques some years ago. So eventually, Johnson moved his company out here – I don't know the details, something to do with business and the medical center here and all that – anyway, to cut a long story short – Dr. Johnson's son, he's about my age actually, when we were little we were playmates. Since moving to LaLa Land, George Jr managed to get himself all fucked up on drugs. The good doc finally had enough and threw him out of the house, disowned him actually. My dad talked to him and he got all this out of him. The doc didn't want to talk about it, but daddy can be persuasive. Daddy told me about it, and I decided to do something. I don't have many friends, I look out for the few I have, so I've been looking for George Jr., but so far I haven't found him or even any rumor of him, so I decided to fuck with the drug dealers, sort of a hobby."
Vic nodded his head. "Okay, that don't sound terrible. Still against the law, you understand, but I don't care enough to follow it up."
"Don't look at me like that, Faith, I didn't turn vigilante and start killing druggies, I just forced them to give to charities."
"Hmmph. So why didn't you bring Willow in on it in the first place?"
"I didn't think she would approve."
"Really? Why not?"
"Well, technically it's armed robbery after all. I just had a really really good reason."
"Okay, I'll go find Willow and try to convince her to listen."
Vic stood up, but as he turned to go he asked in a deceptively quiest voice, "And what happened to Peas and 8-Ball out in the fields west of Farmington?"
Kennedy said, "I want my lawyer now."