84: The Police Station, Westside, Sunnydale
“Released?” Puzzled, Wesley peered down at the open logbook searching for any sign of Faith’s name. He requested the desk clerk check again. “She was brought in no more than an hour ago on rather serious charges. Either the American legal system is far more efficient than I imagined or you are making a mistake.”
The man behind the desk shut the book against further prying eyes. “It’s you that is making the mistake, bub.”
Wesley bristled at the man’s tone. Standing straight, his hands on his lapels, he stared back determinedly. “Perhaps you remember a brunette?”
After a short pause, he nodded, “Maybe I do. Attitude, dimples, leather pants?”
Now they were getting somewhere. “Yes! That’s the one,” Wesley kept looking around the open station from desk to desk trying to catch sight of the officers who took Faith into custody. “Is she in the detention area? I’d like to arrange counsel for her.”
“I already told you she ain’t under arrest,” he barked impatiently. “How many times do I gotta tell you?”
“That is impossible.”
Sighing deeply, the desk clerk buried his face in his hands and rubbed hard. “I’m getting tired of your face. Leave or I’ll let you check out the detention area on a permanent basis.”
Wesley’s eyes widened at the threat. “Oh. There is no need to be rude about a simple inquiry. My… friend was arrested tonight and I won’t leave without some satisfaction as to her whereabouts.”
“What is the problem?” Giles stepped up to the counter next to Wesley. He had been parking the car having decided to allow the younger man the privilege of taking the initiative regarding his Slayer.
However, he had not been willing to let the new Watcher go on his own. No matter that Faith had a new Watcher, Giles still felt a sense of duty and responsibility toward her and— dare he even think it— friendship.
“This…this officer refuses to explain Faith’s whereabouts,” Wesley sputtered angrily.
Giles raised a brow. “Is that so,” he glanced at the desk clerk’s badge, “Officer Ledger? I dare say there is some misunderstanding. It might be prudent if—”
“She. Ain’t. Here.” His face flushed a beefy red color. “You English people got some problem with English? Sheesh. Your little brunette just left. She made a quick statement to one of our detectives and then she left.”
Wesley and Giles exchanged glances. It was the latter who finally spoke up, thanking Officer Ledger for his time. They made a hasty retreat. When they reached the parking lot, Wesley stopped short. “There is something very unorthodox about this whole business.”
“I agree,” Giles nodded, “but if what I think has happened has actually happened then tonight may not have been a complete tragedy.”
Feeling drained, Wesley muttered, “I could really use a cup of tea.”
“Let’s find Faith first,” Giles suggested clapping him on the back. “I think it’s high time to fill you in on a few details about your Slayer.”
Elsewhere . . .
Moving West on State Street, Xander drove slowly in order to make the trip last a little longer. Chances were that this would be his only opportunity at driving the classic car. Buffy sat next to him and Willow was in the passenger seat. They had stuffed the trash bags with Cordelia’s belongings in the back, not bothering with putting it in the trunk.
“Could you go any slower?” Buffy eyed the speedometer. “I could’ve gotten there and back by now.”
Xander strummed his fingers against the steering wheel. They had come to a stop at a red light. “I was just doing a little thinking, Buffster,” he offered up his most charming smile.
“Uh oh!” Willow gulped ominously. “Xander thinking!” She quickly made a closing zipper motion across her mouth when he gave her the stink eye.
Buffy just stared back waiting for the bomb to drop.
“It’s awful isolated in that mansion,” Xander pointed out. He had been thinking about Cordelia being on her own up there with only a vampire for company. It was one thing for them to team up for patrol or to train together in the basement, but he did not like the idea of her sleeping at the mansion.
“Cor is better off hiding out than being out and about where that crosathnam demon can track her,” Buffy countered even though she did not exactly like the idea either.
Despite Willow’s zipped lips, she offered up, “But it’s not very secure there. We just walked in. The gate was broken. Parts of it are wide open to anyone or any thing who feels like coming for a visit.”
“There’s still the idea of Cordelia staying at my house,” Buffy frowned at the idea. Giles had a point about not putting her mother in any danger.
A car horn honked behind them prompting Xander to notice the green light. He put his foot down on the gas pedal and started the car moving again. “Back to the thoughts I thunk. We should camp out for the next few days. Buffy can patrol the perimeter while the rest of us set up security inside.”
“Camp out, huh?” Buffy mulled over the idea for a few seconds. Picturing Cordelia and Angel living together even for safety’s sake made her stomach churn. “You’re right, Xander. We should stick around just in case something bad should happen.”
Willow’s eyes widened, “Do you really think the demon will track Cordelia down again?”
It took a second for Buffy respond, realizing that her best friend’s idea of bad was a lot different than her own. Her plan to oust Cordelia and keep her own feelings for Angel at bay had gone so wrong. Those two just seemed to be getting closer and there was nothing like a tragedy to spur things along.
Buffy had to trust her instincts. “We’ll be there if he does,” she answered. “So maybe we ought to go home first to get our stuff.”
“Don’t forget to stop by the all night Quick Mart,” Willow reminded them that there was probably no food in the house. “We’ll need goodies.”
Since Xander was already halfway through the intersection of State and Crawford, it looked like he was in agreement. He quipped, “First stop, Revello Drive.”