Disclaimer: Don't own Criminal Minds or Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
Description: That one time Buffy actually helped law enforcement.
Note: Unrelated to the previous two parts of the series.
Spencer Reid didn’t do bars. He thought they were poor, cheap substitutes for human companionship, dirty, poorly lit, and an altogether waste of time and money. Add to that the fact that he rarely, if ever, drank, and Spencer Reid was sure that he no more needed to be here than he needed a bullet in the leg.
But he was
here. And that’s all there really was to be said for his dedication to his case and to his team.
He shook his head no when the bartender approached him again, although he knew he should probably order something soon to avoid looking too suspicious. He rolled his eyes when the band started up again and people started moving to the dance floor – there was really no way he didn’t already look suspicious. Just grin and bear it. You’re here for the case. You’re here for the mission. Hopefully someone knows something about this guy so please show up tonight so I can gather information and go back to my hotel and sleep. Please
He was here looking for an unsub who liked to stake out bars. The victims had had absolutely nothing in common save for the fact that they had all last been seen in places like this one, and then never seen again. Unfortunately there were too many bars in Texas for the whole team to stake out just one. So Reid found himself here, alone, looking for a tall skinny man with a tattoo on his neck, if bouncer descriptions were anything to go on. Not that Reid was hopeful, as he took in the crowd of tall, skinny men that milled about before him.
“So you a cop?”
“Pardon me?” Reid was jerked out of his own thoughts by the blonde who had sidled up next to him.
She shrugged and signaled the bartender for two drinks. Pushing one towards him, she hopped onto a bar stool next to him and eyed him critically.
“You sit like one. You’re pretending to relax, but your back is too rigid. Plus, you’re not drinking and your hands are fidgety, like you need to write something down. You might be a reporter but that one doesn’t really make any sense so I figure, cop.”
“So why did you buy me a drink?”
She shrugged again. “It’s not really polite to drink alone in the presence of someone else, so I just figured I’d cover all my bases. Plus, you look super interesting and I just wanted to come talk to you. Are you waiting for someone?”
Momentarily blinded by the blonde woman’s ease at switching from one topic to another, Spencer blinked twice before smiling.
“No. Are you?”
“Kind of. No one in particular, but I guess I’ll know him when I see him.”
Spencer bobbed his head knowingly. Just another lonely soul in a bar, with a drink, waiting for another lonely soul to make her feel less lonely. He felt like that sometimes, he just never went looking for her at the bottom of a glass.
“Plus, today’s kind of a special occasion and all.”
“I got, kind of a promotion today. More like, senior partner perks where I get to do way less office crap, and way more go-out-and-do crap.”
“What do you do?”
“I’m a contract killer.”
“You know, being a contract killer isn’t as uncommon as you’d think. I mean, with the recent increase in unemployment rates, and the increase in loans being taken out, it’s reasonable to think that a lot more people are living beyond their means, and in fact—”
She put her hand on his mouth in a startling whirlwind of movement and shook her head. “I was totally kidding Einstein, I’m more like an art appraiser. The guy I’m waiting for is supposed to have the skinny on some very awesome Greek red figures.”
Spencer smiled appreciatively. “Really? I find the red figures particularly fascinating. I would give anything to find out why they switched to them in the first place, they’re not exactly easy to create.”
“Anything, huh? So what exactly are you doing here, officer?”
“I’m not really a cop. I’m, well, I’m with the FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Unit, and I’m actually asking around to see if anyone has seen a suspect we’re looking for.”
She smirked at him again before finishing her drink and signaling for another. “I don’t see you doing much asking around sir.”
Spencer flushed red and fumbled for his bag. “Of course! You haven’t seen this man in here tonight, have you?” He brandished the sketch drawing of the unsub, making sure to point out the man’s spider neck tattoo.
If Spencer Reid hadn’t been so flustered with forgetting to show the patrons the picture, he might have noticed how Buffy’s grip on her glass suddenly tightened and her lips pursed into a thin, tight line.
Putting on her best fake smile she shook her head emphatically, making sure to swish her hair around for added effect.
“Sure haven’t. So what’d this guy do anyway? And what’s a Behavioral Analysis Unit?”
Spencer’s eyes brightened and he missed Buffy downing her fresh drink in one gulp nervously. “Well we profile the suspects in our cases. We build a psychological profile based off of what we know about them, so law enforcement can find them more easily. This unsub, that’s unknown subject, well, we’re not really sure what he’s doing, but we have a lot of statements claiming that victims are last seen talking to him, and then are reported missing. So just, don’t talk to this man if you see him and call the police if you do.”
“You sound like you really love your job.”
“I do, don’t you?”
She smiled ruefully and stared down into her empty glass again. “Sometimes I do. I used to really hate it, you know? Being out all the time, and away from my family. And then my mom died and my sister grew up and I kind of didn’t mind being busy all the time. And then everything got so big, and we got so busy, and they figured I’d do more good stuffed behind a desk because they thought I knew everything. But I got so restless and careless, now they kind of just let me do whatever I want. But I don’t think I really love it like you love it. I mean, it gets old, staking out bars for v—various pieces of art, and I don’t even consider my home home anymore. I don’t consider my friends friends. In fact, some of the best friends I’ve made lately have been people I’ve met in bars and have never seen again.”
“That sounds like a lot of work for an art appraiser. You know, if you don’t love what you do, you should stop. You’re young, you have plenty of time to find something you really love to do. I mean, I grew up wanting to be a fireman, but now I couldn’t imagine doing anything else.”
The blonde eyed him wistfully. “You know, in another time, in another bar, I would have really loved to have gotten to know you.”
Spencer furrowed his brow in confusion.
“I love that you love working for the FBI. I really admire you, doing what you do. Catching the bad guys really isn’t an easy job. I’ve seen firsthand that the kind of monsters you see on a day-to-day basis can really break a gir—guy down. Drive him crazy.”
She suddenly shifted uncomfortably, and threw a subtle glance to the front door of the bar. “I like you. You seem sweet, and I’d really hate for you to die. So just, stop looking for this guy, okay? He’s really bad news bears.”
“Wait, do you know something about this unsub? Why should I stop looking for him? Who are you?”
Buffy Summers smiled brilliantly, so brilliantly that Spencer thought for a second someone had turned on a million lights. But then it was over, and she was walking away from him.
Forgetting what he’d come here to do, he ran after her, following the yellow of her hair through the crowd and out the door.
When he finally pushed his way outside, all he found was a tall, skinny man with a spider tattoo on his neck tied to a bike rack and knocked unconscious.
-“We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars. – Oscar Wilde