"I'll see you in the morning." He and Bones had dinner at a decent restaurant. It was a college town so the usual fare that one would get in that type of environment was the norm. They had skipped lunch so he was hungry enough that it didn't matter where they ate.
"All right. What are you going to do with the rest of your night?"
"Catch a ball game, the local news, see what they're saying about the scene. Maybe get some information on who lived there or left some bodies in the crawl space. You?"
"I might go for a swim."
"I'll see you for breakfast. Good night, Bones."
He showered and poured himself a drink from the bottle of whisky he bought on the way to the hotel. He reclined on the bed, turning on the TV. The Braves were playing the Dodgers in Los Angeles, so the game was just getting started. It was good enough for him. The tumbler of whisky rested on his chest, his thoughts drifted to the case.
He'd never get over seeing the dead for the first time. He wondered if those who had found his victims felt the same thing he did. He must have drifted off. He found his mind filled with pictures of a pretty hazel-eyed blonde. He woke somewhere during the second inning. It was crazy really. He didn't know her, but there was a part of him that wasn't so sure. He couldn't explain it.
He assumed Bones was still down by the pool and made a decision. He grabbed the keys to his rental car and was out the door before he could think too deeply on why he was doing it. The woman seemed insistent she knew him. She had provided proof that she knew someone who looked almost identical to him. He had to get to the bottom of it, and he couldn't do it on Bureau time.
He glanced at the yellow crime scene tape sectioning off the house where the bodies were found once he'd cut the car's engine. There were lights on at her house despite the late hour. In a way, he'd hoped the house would be dark. It would have given him an excuse to turn around and return to the hotel.
"Out of excuses," he muttered as he got out of the car.
She opened the door, her eyes widened with surprise. She wasn't dressed for bed. In fact, she looked pretty nice. He wondered if she'd been out or was expecting someone. "What are you doing here?"
"Am I interrupting?"
"Uh no. Color me confused, but why are you here?"
"We need to talk."
"Do you still have that picture?"
"You think I threw it out in the last twelve hours?"
"I'd like to see it again."
"Okay," she opened the door letting him in. "Have a seat. I'll get it."
"Here," she said, handing him the picture once she came back into the room. "So, are you going to tell me what this is about? You made it pretty clear this isn't you. Do you know him?"
"No, I just wanted to see it again. Tell me about him. About you. Why seeing me scared you."
"I don't know. If I knew I probably wouldn't be here."
"You won't believe me."
"It's a pretty unbelievable story. And there's no way I can really tell it without making you understand why this is weird to me. Without telling you the truth I mean."
He looked at the picture. He wasn't sure why he was drawn to it. To her. It was uncharacteristic. He was always good socially, but he managed to keep people at bay for the most part. Well, he had a kid so obviously he wasn't an expert at it. He just wasn't that good at personal relationships, which was the reason he'd never been married.
And she did. He got the feeling she'd told it before. Probably more than once. He did his best not to react negatively. She believed what she was telling him, was convincing the way she told it. She had too many facts, proof in the form of bite marks on her neck. She was good, too, throwing enough facts in there to be convincing without trying to be too much so. The people who tried to over prove their cases were usually the ones that had something to hide. He was quiet for a long time after she finished telling him. He sensed somehow it had taken a good deal of faith for her to reveal what she had. He'd say trust, but she didn't know him to trust him.
"And you think I'm him somehow?"
"I don't know. I thought you were dead. Him I mean. No one's heard from or seen him in three years."
"Does that have anything to do with your moving here?"
"Yes and no. I was abroad for a year. I came back here when I found out he'd needed my help. I failed him. He came through for me and I let him down."
"I don't know him, but I'm sure he'd understand."
"Can't really understand if he's dead."
"Buffy. I've never lived in LA. I've been there a time or two."
"You're accepting the supernatural stuff pretty easily."
"I shouldn't I know that." He set the picture down and stood to walk to the window. He slid one hand into his pocket. "I don't know what to say. It's unbelievable. And yet, it's not. I wish I could explain why I look like this guy. Why I believe what you're telling me. Any other day of the week I'd probably dismiss you as being nuts. But what do you have to gain from lying to me? You have the scars to prove it. I don't think you went around poking yourself in the neck with an ice pick or something to get them."
She stepped up behind him. He felt her there before she touched him. Her hand against his shoulder felt like a jolt of electricity straight to his system. He glanced at her hand from the corner of his eyes. He felt the warmth of it through his shirt. He had forgotten to grab his suit coat on his way out.
"But you believe me? And I can trust you that you won't go telling anyone?"
"Who would believe me?"
"You have a point. I told you only because I needed you to know. I have, had, a connection with him. I always knew when he was around. I always thought I'd know, feel it, if he died. That's how connected I felt to him. I've never felt it. That he was gone I mean. I've held on to the belief he's still out there somewhere even though no one's heard from him for three years."
"I'm not him. I have a past. A life."
"I know. Tell me about you."
"What's there to tell?" He wanted to turn and face her. If he did, she'd probably move her hand away. So, selfishly he remained with his back toward her as he revealed his own personal history.
"You used to kill people?"
"Yeah," he said simply. The parallel between his life and this Angel's life did not go unnoticed by him. Both had taken lives and accepted the chance to redeem themselves for doing so. The other one had died saving the world. That would be a pretty cool way to go. Seeley didn't pretend to think that what he was doing had that type of an affect on things. He was just trying to right wrongs.
"Your son. How old is he?"
"Parker. He's four."
"That's a fun age."
"Yeah, yeah, it is. I don't see him as often as I'd like, but I'm working on that."
He did turn then and she didn't move her hand from his shoulder. He reached for her forearm, skimming it with his hand. He saw so much in her eyes. She loved the man in the photograph. Angel. Not man. Vampire. If she was to be believed. He'd go back to his room and think long and hard on that tonight.
"Uh, listen, I should get back to the hotel. It's late and I really shouldn't be here." The little voice in his mind screamed at him. He didn't want to go, but somehow he knew he had to. It was important that he leave. Now.
"Oh right. Are you with her?"
"The woman you were with earlier."
"Bones? No. We work together. I mean, I guess we're friends, but no."
"Then you could stay for a little longer if you wanted."
He smiled then. It was a tempting offer, but it was for the wrong reasons. He knew that. He wasn't sure what was going on, but he couldn't be what, or who, she wanted him to be. He wasn't her Angel. "I'd like that. A lot. I don't know why, but it's true. I can't be a substitute for a guy you lost because I look like him. I have a brother. He doesn't look as much like me. It's spooky."
"It is. I agree, but I'm used to spooky by now."
"I suppose you would be. You don't like have to kill me now that you told me or anything. Do you?"
She smiled and he couldn't help but notice it was a very pretty smile. It lit up her face. "No, but if you tell anyone else then I'll have to. Or just beat you up."
"I'll remember that."
"Why did you come here tonight?"
"I don't know that either. For the first time in quite some time I just don't know."
"I'm not sorry you did." She leaned in then, close enough he wouldn't have far to go to kiss her. Somehow he knew she'd kiss well.
"Buffy," he said coarsely and stepped away as far as the wall behind him allowed him to. "I have to go. I'm sorry for bothering you so late."
"It's okay." She showed him to the door. He didn't have to be a mind reader to know she didn't want to. "Good night, Agent Booth."
"Good night." He wondered if he'd see her again. If he knew what was good for him he wouldn't, but with a crime scene right across the street from her house it was pretty unavoidable.
Story ©Susan Falk/APCKRFAN/PhantomRoses.com