Title: Life Shifted On A Cosmic Scale
Author: Ragna (afteriwake)
Fandom: CSI: NY/Supernatural/Buffyverse
Disclaimer: None of the characters from any of these shows belong to me.
Author's Notes: This was originally intended to be my entry for crossbigbang but I dropped out. I’m still stumped for an ending, but hopefully I’ll figure something out in a short amount of time so I don’t leave you guys hanging. This also explains how Bela met everyone and how Flack found out about all of this, and shows more of Bela and Angell's friendship.
She never figured out who had buried her. But from where she was when she came up, it was a Potter's Field of some sort, meant to bury the John and Jane Does of the area. She hadn't been home when the Hellhounds had gotten to her. Instead, she'd been in a nondescript hotel room that didn't belong to her. Of course she was buried as a Jane Doe.
But as she took a gulp of fresh air after clawing her way out of a grave, she was thankful, moreso than anyone could realize, that she hadn't been cremated. She'd mentioned it in her will that she wanted to be cremated, but she was ever so glad that no one knew she was Bela Talbot.
And Bela Talbot was a woman who made plans, she thought to herself as she finished pulling herself out of the dirt filled hole. In the slightest hope that she would get out of the mess she'd put herself in all those years ago, she had set her affairs in order...and then made damn sure that if she miraculously came back within a year everything would be waiting for her. She just hoped it hadn't been over a year, or she was completely fucked. But if it hadn't, she'd have a home to go back to and money to spend on this second chance at life.
Once she was out of the ground she wiped the dirt off her clothes as best she could and began to turn around when she realized she wasn't alone. She wished sorely that she had a gun or some sort of weapon, but when she finally turned she saw a man in suit and tie looking at her.
"Bela Talbot," he said. "You have been brought back from Hell by God's will."
She looked at him for a moment. "You must be kidding me," she finally said.
"My name is Malachi. God has need of you and your skills in the fight with Lillith and her demon hordes."
She rolled her eyes. "Thank you, but no. I just spent what feels like an eternity in Hell, and while I thank you for bringing me back, I want no part of this." She turned to walk away, only to see him a foot in front of her. "I want to go home, if I still have a home to go to."
"Bela, you are needed."
"I don't care," she said, getting angry. "Where was God when I was a child? Why wasn't there divine intervention then, when I needed it? Why did a demon have to rescue me from my own personal Hell when I was fourteen?"
"It was God's plan," he said. "He needed you to become the person you became."
She scoffed. "What, a brilliant thief? A trafficker in stolen magical artifacts? A woman with connections to some of the wealthiest people in the world?"
"Yes, Bela, that was exactly what he needed. Only you have the connections God needs right now."
"Then what, other than resurrecting me, is God willing to do for me?" she asked. "Because as much as I appreciate being able to breathe and move again, I feel I'm owed."
"I can send you back to Hell," he replied, starting to get angry.
"Then you do that," she snapped. She waited a moment and the angel did nothing. "You won't, will you? God wants me alive, and as much as it aggravates you that I'm not sufficiently grateful, you won't put me back down there."
Malachi looked at her, then looked at the sky and shut his eyes, as though he was listening to some unseen conversation. Then he opened his eyes and looked at her again. "When God needs use of you, I will return," he said finally.
"I won't be waiting anxiously for that," she muttered. She didn't wait for him to respond. She wanted to get to civilization, find out exactly how long she'd been gone, and get back to living.
New York, one week later
"And your girlfriend's, what, twenty?" Flack said with a smirk.
"Early twenties, but older than that. And let me remind you that it was all her idea that we start dating," Danny said, closing his locker door. "It's...weird. Being in a relationship again."
"With someone ten years or so younger than you?" Flack said as his smirk widened.
"Oh, shut up," Danny said with a laugh. "I have to go. We're picking up her sister and some guy her sister's attached to from the airport."
"Yeah, you were mentioning that earlier," Flack said. "You okay with that?"
"Dealing with sibling drama," he said.
He shrugged. "Can't be any worse than my own problems with Louie were. Unlike him, Dawn's got her head on pretty straight. I don't think Buffy has to worry about her joining a gang."
"You still go visit him?" Flack asked quietly.
Danny nodded. "Every week. I go and hope he wakes up. And he never does."
"He's got great care. Maybe one of these days..."
"Yeah. Maybe." He glanced down at his watch. "If I don't get going I'm going to get stuck in midtown traffic."
"Go. Be off. Tell Buffy I said hi."
"I will." Danny gave him a grin and headed out the door and through the labs. He made it to the elevator before he heard someone call his name. Groaning, he turned around and saw Adam running to him. "Better be important," he said when Adam got close enough.
"Hammerback needs to talk to you. Said it's important."
Danny nodded. He had no open cases, so if Hammerback needed to talk to him it meant it was what Sid affectionately called "other business." "I'll head down there now. Why didn't he call me?"
Adam shrugged. "Don't know."
The elevator doors opened, saving them both from having to finish the conversation. He got in and was grateful to have the elevator to himself. The ride down to the basement took a little while, but he got the elevator to himself the entire time. He just hoped the morgue was that empty. As he went in, he saw Hammerback waiting patiently. "You can call my cell, you know," he said.
Danny frowned, then pulled out his cell phone. "Damn battery's dead," he said.
"I'm just glad Ross was able to stop you before you left with Miss Summers to pick up her sister Dawn and the boy."
"Are you the nosiest Watcher in the world or something?" Danny asked, smirking slightly.
"No, Buffy told me what your plans were. I didn't ask, other than to know if I could speak to her later tonight. She just told me." He moved closer to Danny. "I got a call from a friend. Apparently, a certain person has been brought back from the dead, and we need to make sure it's not as a vampire or demon."
"Who are we looking for?"
"A young woman named Bela Talbot," Hammerback said. "She once stole something that was important to my friend's friends, and he was keeping track of her until she died. A few days ago, one of the traces he'd kept on her jumped back to life, and he wants to know if it's really her."
Danny nodded. "Let me go back upstairs and get her address."
"Already have it," Hammerback said, moving towards his computer and handing Danny a print out.
Danny took it and scanned it over, whistling soundlessly when he realized where she lived. "Central Park West?"
"Apparently, she was a very good little thief," Hammerback said with a wry grin.
"How would she come back to life and not be a vamp?" Danny asked.
"My friend mentioned that one of his friends who was robbed was dragged out of Hell by an angel," he said. "Considering that's where Miss Talbot was, we're under the assumption that she's either a demon or God needed her for some reason as well."
"How do you know she was in Hell?"
"She got torn to shreds by a hell hound. My friend's friend was on the phone with her right before it happened."
"Ouch," Danny said with a wince. "Okay, we'll check it out after we get Dawn settled."
"I'd like to meet the younger Miss Summers one of these days," Hammerback said with a grin. "It sounds like she could be a help with some of the Slayers who have been popping up around here, considering she's the sister of a Slayer herself."
"Maybe Buffy'll arrange that," Danny said with a shrug. "Not my place."
"I already passed the request along." He looked at his watch. "You should go or you'll get stuck in traffic."
"Got it," Danny said. He hurried out of the morgue and then out of the labs, only to find Buffy waiting outside with two teenagers by her side. "Okay, did I miss something?"
Buffy grinned. "Earlier flight," she said. "You already know Dawn. This is Connor Reilly. Our relationship is a little...complicated."
Connor offered his hand to Danny. "That's an understatement," he said with a grin.
Danny grinned back and then went over to Buffy and gave her a quick kiss, ignoring the gagging sounds that Dawn made. "If you guys want to head with me to the parking garage, you can explain it to me," he said when he was done.
The four of them walked into the garage before Buffy spoke. "You remember Angel, right?"
"Vampire ex-boyfriend with the soul who's in Los Angeles?"
"That's him," she said with a nod. "Connor is his son."
"How?" Danny asked, looking confused.
"I'm the human child of two vampires," he said with a shrug. "Angel still hasn't explained it to me very well, and apparently I'm the only one in existence, so there's no one else I can ask."
"Ah," Danny said with a nod. "And why are you here?"
"I spent some time with Giles over the last year and everyone decided it would be best if I stayed with someone who could help teach me things. And then I met Dawn and she convinced everyone that she and Buffy could do it here in New York."
"So what are you going to do?" he said.
"I don't know. I know I need an education of some sort. Giles used magic to help me learn a lot of things the average college student would know. I was thinking of joining Dawn in school."
"Could be interesting. Which school are you going to, Dawn?"
"NYU," she said. "Giles said he'd pull strings to get Connor in if that's what he really wanted to do."
"I want to be more...normal...than I have been," he said. "This is normal, so I want to do it."
"Dawn and Connor are staying with me for a few weeks before her dorm opens up, and then it's just going to be me and Connor," Buffy said. "I don't think it would be a good idea for him to live in a dorm."
"Yeah, but isn't it going to be awkward for you two?" Danny asked.
Buffy thought about it a minute. "Maybe. I've never lived with a guy before."
"You know, Connor can stay with me," Danny said, surprising himself with the suggestion. "I have an extra bedroom."
"Would you rather do that?" Buffy asked Connor.
He was quiet for a moment, and then nodded. "It would be less awkward."
"Okay, then. It's settled," Buffy said with a short nod. "We'll drop them off at my place, see about this Bela chick, and then you can grab him and his stuff on the way back to your place."
"Sounds like a plan," Danny said as he got to his car. "Let's get started."
It didn’t take long to drop off Connor and Dawn at Buffy’s place and get them settled, and within a half hour they were on their way to Bela’s address. “So, Sid tell you anything about her?” Buffy asked, turning to look at him from the passenger’s seat.
“She stole something from his friend’s friends, and she got sent to Hell.”
“So, nothing more than he told me, except the friend’s name” she replied with a sigh. “It’s Bobby Singer.”
“I don’t think Hammerback knows that much, either,” Danny said. “Seems to me he got asked to do a favor for a friend without getting all the details.”
“The things we do for our friends,” she said with a wry grin.
“Speaking of friends, what’s up with that Slayer friend of yours in Vegas?”
“You mean Faith? She’s not really a friend,” Buffy said. “Why do you ask?”
“Well, you told her about me, and she told someone else about me, and I got a message on my cell phone to call a Nick Stokes or a Greg Sanders from the Las Vegas crime labs because they had a question for me.”
Buffy groaned. “I told Giles to tell her to have them call me if they had a question Faith or Wesley couldn’t answer. And I gave Faith my new cell phone number,” she replied. “Next time I’m just giving it to Wesley. He won’t lose it.”
“Well, from the message I get the feeling the question has to do with dealing with being in law enforcement and hunting vampires on the side. Not exactly something you can answer.”
“True,” she said with another sigh. “Did you call back?”
He nodded. “Left a message for Nick. He mentioned he’s a night shift so I’m not expecting to get a call until tomorrow. Maybe if I’m lucky he’ll call tonight. What’s the story with Vegas, anyway?”
Buffy shook her head. “Apparently, one of Wesley and Angel’s friends, a woman nicknamed Fred, moved to Vegas and set up a new life for herself there until Faith got there and screwed it up. Faith got caught over a dead body, and Nick was the CSI that interrogated her and then persuaded the LVPD to let her go. Greg is Fred’s boyfriend, and when Wesley went to go talk to Fred, Greg showed up and found out her secret. Last I heard, they were dealing with a vampire infestation because someone’s trying to open a Hellmouth there.”
“Aren’t we having the same problem here?” he asked.
She nodded. “And Xander’s dealing with that problem in San Diego, too. Xander’s got the help of a couple of Slayers and a witch there, but San Diego’s a big city, just like New York.”
“Vegas isn’t exactly on the small side, either,” Danny pointed out. “Is it just the five of them dealing with it?”
“I think Giles was sending over two Slayers who know Faith. I’m pretty sure it was Kennedy and Rona,” she said. “They’re both good, so it’ll be a help.”
“Are we getting any more Slayers? The ones Hammerback has found aren’t trained yet.”
She shook her head. “Right now, we’re on our own. There’s trouble spots all over the US, and that’s where the Slayers are headed. Giles is pretty sure we can handle this on our own for now.”
“Hopefully it doesn’t go to Hell before we can get some reinforcements,” he said.
“Yeah, I’m hoping that too,” she said quietly.
They continued the ride in silence until they arrived at the building where Bela lived. Danny and Buffy got out and looked around. “Woman’s got to have a nice view of Central Park from here,” he said.
“Probably,” she said, looking up at the building. “What floor is she on?”
Danny looked at the printout. “Sixth. Apartment 6B.”
“Then, let’s go pay her a visit. You have the holy water?”
He nodded. “In my pocket.”
“You going to show your badge?” she asked with a smirk as they headed into the building.
Danny looked at the doorman. “Yeah, I think so.” He pulled his badge from off his belt loop and showed it to the doorman. “I’m Detective Danny Messer. We need to speak with a Bela Talbot.”
The doorman looked at the badge and nodded. “I’ll call ahead and let her know you’re coming.”
Danny shook his head. “No. Don’t want her trying to evade us. Two elevators here, you know?”
“I understand,” he said. “She’s in apartment 6B.”
“Thanks,” he said, putting his badge away and heading towards the elevator.
“Very smooth,” Buffy said quietly.
“I learned from some of the best,” he said with a grin as he pushed the elevator call button. It opened up immediately and they got in with Buffy pressing the sixth floor button. They rode in silence all the way up, and then continued to stay silent until they were outside her apartment door. “Ready?”
Buffy nodded. “Yeah.”
Danny knocked on the door. After a moment they heard footsteps coming towards the door. There was a pause, and then a voice with a British accent spoke up. “May I help you?” she asked without opening the door.
“NYPD,” he said, showing his badge. “We need to speak to you.”
There was another pause, and then the door opened up a crack. “May I ask what this is about?” the woman asked.
“We have a couple of questions for you,” he replied.
“Let me examine your badge,” she said, opening the door a little wider. He handed it to her and she looked at it closely before handing it back and opening up the door more. She looked at Buffy. “Aren’t you a little short to be a cop?”
“I’m not a cop,” she said.
Bela’s eyes narrowed. “Who exactly are you, then? Because that’s not a fake badge.”
“I really am a cop,” Danny said. “This is Buffy Summers. We need to ask you a few questions.”
“About what you’re doing back from Hell,” Buffy said quietly.
Bela’s eyes widened slightly. “Who told you that?”
“A friend of Bobby Singer’s,” Danny replied.
Bela sighed and opened the door all the way. “I suppose you should come in,” she said wearily.
“Thank you,” Danny said, letting Buffy enter first and following her. Bela shut the door behind him and he looked around for a minute before looking back at her. “We need to find out if you’re a demon or not.”
Bela rolled her eyes and then looked at him. “What am I supposed to do, drink holy water?”
“Actually, yes,” Buffy said. “And we have some handy just for that. It helps when you hunt vampires.”
Danny bulled the small bottle out of his pocket and handed it to Bela. “Here.”
Bela took the bottle, gave them a look and opened it up with a sigh. She then put it to her lips, drinking its entire contents. When she was done, she looked at both of them. “Satisfied?” she asked, closing up the bottle and handing it back to him.
Buffy nodded slowly. “Well, you’re not a demon,” she said.
“Obviously,” she replied, crossing her arms under her breasts. “Now that you’ve figured that out, will you please leave?”
“One quick question,” Danny said. “How did you come back from Hell and not end up a demon?”
“An angel dragged me out,” she said.
This time it was Danny who nodded slowly. Then he turned to Buffy. “We need to stick around any longer?”
She shook her head. “No. We’ll let Sid know she’s human.”
Bela went to the door and opened it, waiting for Danny and Buffy to file out. Before she shut it all the way, she paused. “Would you kindly pass along a message to Bobby?” she said quietly.
Buffy nodded. “We can try.”
“Tell him I would like to apologize for stealing the Colt, and that I hope that he’ll leave me alone from now on because I’m not sure I want to be involved in this any more than I already am.”
“We’ll pass that along,” Danny said. Bela shut the door at that and he turned to look at Buffy. “I know you got pulled out of Heaven once. Did God do it?”
She shook her head. “Willow did, with powerful magic. But…I believe her. I don’t know why, but I do.”
“Let’s head back downstairs. You can call Hammerback while I take us back to your place,” he said.
“All right,” she replied, heading with him to the elevators. They had their proof, and a message, and Buffy found herself hoping it was all they needed from Bela. Not that she’d been impossibly rude, but there was something about her that made Buffy want to avoid her.
- NEW FIC: Life Shifted On A Cosmic Scale (1/6)