Pairing: Willow Rosenberg/Charlie Eppes
Summary: The FBI is called in when teenaged girls go missing, who just happen to be new slayers.
Disclaimer: I claim no ownership over these characters. I am merely borrowing them from Joss et al. and Scott Free.
Distribution: slayerversathon, my LJ, my site, TtH, the usual lists, anyone with previous permission. Anyone else - just ask.
Feedback: Yes please! It makes me happy and keeps me writing.
Author's Note 1: Thanks to angelskuuipo, emeraldswan and kallie_kat for all of your help and handholding.
Author's Note - BtVS: Okay, so in order to make this story work, I had to play around with storylines a bit since this takes place Post-Chosen, in LA. Basically, Angel didn't take over Wolfram & Hart, he killed Connor and Cordelia died in her coma. The rest comes out in the story.
Author's Note - Numb3rs: Takes place mid-season 2, after 'Mind Games' but before 'All's Fair'.
Start with Chapter 1
Charlie strolled into the FBI offices, a dopey grin on his face. He and Willow had spent the night making love. He'd woken late this morning to find himself spooned behind her warm, naked body.
"Mornin' Charlie," Don greeted him when Charlie reached his desk.
"Weren't you wearing that yesterday?" Megan asked.
Don looked up at Megan's question and noticed that Charlie was still in the same clothes. They were a little dirty and rumpled, but definitely the same. Realization dawned on his face and before Charlie could answer, he said, "You spent the night with her. The redhead."
"Her name is Willow," Charlie reminded him. "And not that it's any of your business, but yes, I did."
"Way to go, man," Colby said in admiration.
"Can we not talk about my personal life, please?" Charlie asked, clearly uncomfortable having his sex life be a topic of discussion.
"It's just that we so rarely have the opportunity," Don joked. At Charlie's pained expression, he relented. "Fine, have it your way. So what did you find out?"
"I'm not some kind of spy," Charlie said, bristling at the implication.
"I thought the point of taking her out last night was to try to get some information from her," Don pointed out.
"Okay, it was. But things are different now," Charlie said.
"So you think that just because you slept with a suspect that she's now off the hook?" Don asked. "Sorry, brother, but it doesn't work like that."
"She isn't involved in the kidnappings. She took me to the school and explained some things to me and I believe her. She wants to find the girls as much as we do," Charlie said.
"So she's going to help us?" Megan asked.
"There really isn't anything that she can do. The methodology that she used to find the girls in the first place won't work now, as they are no longer in their own homes," Charlie pointed out.
"She wasn't able to give you any information about who might be after these girls?" Don doubtfully asked.
Keeping a blank face, Charlie said, "No, none."
Willow walked into the staff room with a silly grin on her face. She felt fantastic, a little sore, but so happy.
She didn't even notice the others until Buffy began to sing, "Willow and Charlie sitting in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G."
"Buffy," Willow admonished her friend. "Stop that."
"Willow's right," Xander said, crossing the room to her side. "It was much more than kissing."
Willow's blush spoke volumes. "Xander," she chided.
He leaned over to whisper in her ear, "I believe that you owe me something from last night."
Willow felt her blush deepen. "I hope you don't mind, but we were kinda desperate. I'll pay you back."
He chuckled. "Don't worry about it. I'm glad someone had use of them." He gave her a quick hug before returning to his seat.
"What did you tell him?" Robin asked, all business.
"Tell him about what?" Willow asked, still recovering from being put on the spot.
"Tell him about us," Robin clarified.
"Oh, that. I told him the truth," Willow said, moving to grab a muffin from the snack table.
Exclamations of surprise assaulted her as she took her usual seat at the table. Finally she had to wave her hands to get everyone to stop talking.
"Okay, now one at a time," she said, once they'd quieted.
"I can't believe you told him the truth," Buffy said.
"What was I supposed to say after he saw the slayage last night?" Willow countered. "He's not FBI even though he sometimes works with them. He won't tell them the truth. He's going to try to get them to back off so that we can find the girls."
"You don't honestly believe that the Feds are going to back off, do you?" Angel asked.
"No, I don't. How naive do you think I am?" Willow said.
"But you just said..." Xander started to say.
"I said he's going to try. I didn't say that he'd succeed. Look, I know what it means to have exposed us like that, but I trust him. He's a mathematician, a man of logic and science. He needed to see with his own eyes what this school was about and why I couldn't be more honest with the FBI. I'm hoping that they'll believe it when he says that there isn't anything more that I can do. Now, have we had any luck in figuring out who is taking the girls?"
Everyone was quiet for a moment before Angel admitted, "No. I've checked with all of my regular contacts and no one seems to have heard about anyone collecting slayers."
"Same here," Buffy said. "No one's admitting to having any knowledge about what's happening."
"I need to try the locator spell again. I've gotten items from each of the families who have had girls taken, so I'm hoping that will make the spell stronger. I have a feeling that they're being kept in a warded room somewhere, and if that's the case, then the spell won't go anywhere."
"Is there any way around the ward?" Robin asked.
"It would depend on the ward. We wouldn't want to accidentally make it stronger by using the wrong deactivation spell," Willow said, shaking her head.
"I'll check with Wesley, see if he has any ideas on that front," Angel offered.
"Angel actually had an idea about how they're finding the girls," Xander said. All eyes turned to him. At Angel's go-ahead gesture he continued. "What if they're not tracking the slayers per se, but they're tracking you, Willow. I mean, face it, all anyone who is after untrained slayers would have to do is see who you're visiting to recruit. Then bam, kidnapped slayer."
"Is there a way to check to see if you are being tracked some way?" Buffy asked Willow.
After thinking for a minute, Willow said, "I haven't noticed that I've been tailed by anybody. Then again, I also wasn't looking for a tail."
"Well, something long and hairy should be pretty obvious to most people." Xander's joke was met with resounding groans.
"What about a magical trace?" Buffy asked.
"Those are usually pretty hard to detect. I've never heard of the person being sought knowing they were trying to be located."
"So there's no way to stop them from tracking you," Xander glumly stated.
"Unless..." Buffy started.
"Unless we set a trap," Angel finished, meeting Buffy's eyes.
Buffy nodded. "We could send Willow with her arsenal of materials to a home of our choosing. Then when they go to kidnap the daughter, they'll find one of us instead."
"But we can't use one of the students. For one thing, they're not ready for something like that. The kidnappers would also probably already know who all of the students are."
"Oh, I think that I have the perfect girl in mind," Buffy said. "Will, think you could manage to get us a little professional back up?"
Willow grinned, pulling out her cell phone. "Oh, I think I might be able to."
She quickly located Charlie's number. "Hey Charlie. I have a favor to ask."
Continued... Chapter 10