I own nothing. Buffy the Vampire Slayer belongs to Whedon/Mutant Enemy/20th Century Fox et al., and Castle belongs to Marlowe/Beacon/ABC Studios et al.
"Ethan Rayne, British national, in the US on 'business'..."
Ethan sat back in his chair, and spared a moment for a brief glance around the interrogation room. Definitely one of the nicer he'd ever seen, but, he supposed, that's to be expected when half of the interrogations were performed by an assortment of demons. 'Well, I'm in no hurry. Might as well play with them a little bit.'
"Actually," Ethan cut in, "you could probably call it 'pleasure' too. You know what they say about finding work you love."
He enjoyed the brief flash of annoyance across the lovely detective's face, before she regained the cool façade with which she had entered the interrogation. Ethan, an avid fan of chaos, had a rather universal disdain for police, lawyers, and anyone else who advocated “peaceful”, “orderly” living, but even he had to admit a growing respect for this Detective Beckett. He had been positively gleeful when he saw Beckett and her partner walk into the room; judging by their awkward glances at each other, his little prank had somehow reached the two of them as well. And if, despite that, the detective was able to stay this collected in front of a suspect… he might just have to invite her out for a night of kitten poker when all this was over.
Beckett’s partner, one ‘Richard Castle’, quickly interrupted his musing. “And how is the international candy market these days?”
“Oh, you know how it is, small business owner, have to go wherever you can find customers,” he answered with a smirk.
“Mr. Rayne, we both know you were deported on the ‘suggestion’ of the U.S. Army a few years ago, and the only ‘small business’ you have on record is a short-lived costume shop in California. So why don’t you explain why you went through all the trouble of getting back into the country just to sell fundraiser candy to the Marlowe Prep School drama club?”
‘Ah, straight to the point, now,’ Ethan observed to himself. ‘Well that takes all the fun out of things.’
As he readied himself to tell his prepared lie, he had a sudden thought: why not tell the truth? It would certainly be amusing to keep the detective off-balance, and, after all, wasn’t honesty the best policy?
“Sometimes, Detective Beckett, one needs a little chaos to spice up one’s life.”
Apparently even less amused by the truth than by his earlier obfuscation, she demanded, “And what exactly did you add to the candy to ‘spice it up’?”
He looked Detective Beckett straight in the eye, and said with a smile, “Magic, my dear detective. Magic.”
Beckett was exhausted, in every sense of the word: physically, mentally, emotionally. It was near the end of her shift that Castle had shown up at the precinct, carrying armloads of candy he apparently bought to support Alexis’s school drama club. Not wanting to eat the pounds of chocolate by himself, he decided to share the love… bad turn of phrase. He decided to spread the wealth around to the cops in the 12th.
She herself had only eaten half a bar, splitting Castle’s on his insistence, which was why they had only ended up… incapacitated in the observation room for a little over an hour. When they came back to their senses, and awkwardly re-dressed and walked out into the bullpen, they discovered that the majority of the detectives, in most of the departments, had abandoned their desks and left for points unknown. Those who remained were largely still… indisposed… with one (or more, she thought with a blush) of their colleagues, in various supply closets and conference rooms throughout the building. A few officers, mostly those on diets, had remained unaffected, and, after piecing together the source of the odd behavior, had begun calling the school and its students’ families to warn them.
Unfortunately, this meant that she couldn’t escape Castle’s presence, with the exception of a quick phone call home to ensure that Alexis didn’t touch any of the candy herself. When a patrolman had appeared with Mr. Rayne in custody for lurking suspiciously outside the school, Castle had recognized him as the man who had dropped off his order at his loft, and she had promptly thrown him in interrogation. And as the only ones around who were in any shape to question Rayne, it was up to them to find out what drug he had used and get word out to the victims and hospitals.
Of course, this was easier said than done, as Rayne claimed he used something else in place of drugs.
“Magic? This is no time for games Mr. Rayne. You’re already facing some serious charges, but if someone has a reaction to your drugs while you sit around and joke, you could well be looking at murder.”
“Oh, I quite disagree,” he responded. “I think it’s a perfect time for a good game or two, especially with such interesting opponents as yourselves. But this is no joke, Detective. Magic is quite real.”
Just what this case needed: a delusional perp. “All right then,” she played along. “What kind of ‘magic’ did you use?”
Rayne appeared perfectly aware that he was being humored, but was pleased by the question nonetheless. “Oh, a potion or two, a small sacrifice to Janus. Simple chaos magic. Nothing too original in and of itself. It’s all in the application, you see. A simple trick in the hands of a visionary, and, well, you can see the results for yourself.”
“So you, what, added a little ‘eye of newt’ before you gave this candy out to a bunch of kids?” Castle asked. He had been unusually quiet so far, but she figured the possible threat to his daughter had taken away his usual enthusiasm for crazy ideas like “magic.”
Rayne replied, “Oh, nothing so pedestrian. No, it took quite a lot of planning to get everything I needed, without the benefactor I had last time. You wouldn’t believe the number of demons I had to bribe. But well worth it, to spread a little impropriety among New York’s rich and famous instead of the boring public high school crowd.”
There was a last time? Beckett was so busy thinking back to remember any similar cases in the news that she almost missed the end of his statement.
“Demons?” The question was almost a reflex, and she regretted asking it as soon as it was out of her mouth.
“Magic and demons and vampires, oh my!” he chuckled, before sobering slightly. The slightly manic grin, however, never left his face. “All are, I’m afraid, quite real. Tell me, detective, have you ever come across a case where the facts would simply not add up? A body with blood in its mouth that simply disappears from the morgue? A victim mauled to death by a wild animal miles from the nearest forest or zoo? Humanity is not quite as high on the food chain as you might expect.
“While we are on the subject, have you ever had a suspect, most likely a young girl, who jumped a five-meter fence and fled while you had your back turned? A bystander who, if you didn’t know better, seems to have single-handedly chased off armed muggers or kicked down a metal fire door? The Slayer, humanity’s answer to these supernatural threats, is a young woman mystically empowered to fight off the forces of darkness.
“I, myself, don’t care to take sides; I never saw the point in joining some unending, pointless war. But with good and evil both wanting control over the world, I’ve found my calling in keeping the rather monotonous competition interesting with a splash of chaos here and there. Ethan Rayne, chaos mage, at your service,” he finished smugly.
Castle looked rather green, though whether it was from the thought of his daughter fighting monsters or simply from the disturbing focus on young girls in this man’s imaginings, Beckett didn’t know. She had no idea where to go from here. She had dealt with mentally ill suspects before, but never one with such coherent (and disturbing) delusions, and she had no clue how to translate whatever responses he gave back into the real world.
She was spared from coming up with a solution by a knock on the door. Esposito, looking a little worse for wear after volunteering to bring Lanie’s share of the candy down to the morgue, stepped partway into the room, and said, “Beckett, his lawyers are here.”
Beckett and her partner shared a look, confused as to how exactly he’d managed to lawyer up without making his phone call. The look was quickly broken with a small blush on each of their faces, which Rayne seemed to note with amusement. The pair got up to leave, but before they had the chance, two people entered the room.
Ethan watched as his “lawyers” walked into interrogation. The first, a young woman, he did not recognize, but the second, a man, seemed vaguely familiar, though the eyepatch did not.
“Alexander Harris and Kennedy Rosenberg, legal counsel for Mr. Rayne. And Ethan, really? Band candy? I thought we were past this,” the man said to Detective Beckett as he passed. ‘Ah, yes. One of Ripper’s young do-gooders. That would likely make the girl a Slayer. This should be interesting.’
Harris took one look at the Detective’s partner, and grabbed the slayer and hauled her to the other side of the room. He pulled out a pendant hanging around his neck, crushed it, and said “Willow, it’s Caleb.”
Very interesting, apparently. Ethan leaned back in his chair and smiled as he prepared to watch the unfolding chaos. He recognized the name “Caleb”, word of the final battles in Sunnydale had eventually circulated, but he had thankfully never met the man. He wondered for a moment if he should be worried, with the fabled Red Witch undoubtedly on her way, but when the detective took a step forward and Harris pulled out a machete, he figured he might as well just enjoy the show.
“Drop the weapon!” Beckett yelled, predictably, but she was unarmed, presumably so unruly suspects like himself couldn’t steal her weapon. The other detective at the door, however, immediately trained his gun on Harris. Ethan shook his head. Guns always seemed like such an inelegant solution to one’s conflicts, especially since you could only shoot one person at once, and this detective was aiming at entirely the wrong member of his ‘legal team’.
“Get away from him!” Harris yelled back, completely ignoring the cops in favor of Mr. Castle. The slayer, Kennedy, reached forward in the confusion, grabbed a chair, and casually ripped the legs off to form makeshift metal stakes. ‘Ooh, now we’re getting to the good part’.
“Drop it! And what is going on here?” Beckett yelled, confused. Chaos always came with such fun screaming matches.
The slayer spoke up for the first time. “Magic, demons, evil things. That guy?” she said, pointing shakily with one of her stakes towards Castle. “Evil. Stand back.”
Before Beckett could respond, everyone in the room suddenly froze as one Willow Rosenberg ripped a hole through reality and stepped into the room. Eyes instantly bleeding black at the sight of Mr. Castle, she gestured with her hand, sending the man flying through the portal before she grabbed her compatriots and retreated, the portal closing behind her.
All at once, everyone in the room seemed to be able to breathe again. Ethan was simultaneously impressed at the level of power he had just seen, and put out that he had been forgotten entirely during the exchange.
Well, forgotten by the Council. An angry Detective Beckett rounded on him immediately.
“So. You know magic. Tell me where the hell they just took my partner.”
Ethan just smiled. ‘Oh, Ripper, this is going to be so much fun!’