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A Father's Duty

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It was dusk. Two Slayers and an ex-Watcher crept through shadowed woods, edging closer and closer to a run-down cabin that sat in a small clearing. Yellow light glowed faintly through the dirty windows. Giles stopped his Slayers - they were all his Slayers now, all his responsibly - a short distance from the cabin.

"Faith, Molly, you subdue the kidnapper while I find Tabitha," Giles instructed them. "Once I find her, Molly, I want you to get her out and get her home. Faith and I will follow." The two Slayers nodded, Faith holding his eye for a moment longer than necessary. She knew he wasn't about to let this human monster go on to kidnap and kill other girls. He wasn't their kind of monster, but Giles wasn't going to let that stop him.

"All right," Faith said, grabbing Molly's arm. "Let's do this thing." The Slayers slunk to the front door while Giles hurried around to the back.
“Ouch!” Giles complained. “Be careful, damn it!”

“If you had wanted careful you should have gone to Willow,” Dawn responded, finishing the stitches in his thigh and starting to wrap bandages over the wound. “Why didn't you?”

“Because Willow, dear girl that she is, cannot keep a secret from Faith. And if Faith heard I was injured I would never live it down.” He rubbed at the bandages. “You however, are not sleeping with a Slayer. Thank you, Dawn.”

She packed away her med kit and gathered up the bloodied materials to throw away. “Anytime. So long as I get to patrol.”

He studied the determined look on Dawn's face. She was twenty, after all. “Only when Buffy is away.”



“Team, review.”

“Six girls, aged eleven to fifteen, kidnapped from public places and found dead two days later.” Morgan recited the facts of the case at Hotch's order.

“Cause of death in each was overdose of barbiturates which the unsub presumably used to subdue the victims,” Prentiss added.

“And yesterday evening?” Hotch prompted.

“We moved in on the hunting cabin of suspect Bill Sheen and found him alone – though pattern suggests he should have taken a new victim – and dead by the same combination of drugs he used on his victims,” JJ said. “There were signs of a struggle, evidence that he had held the previous victims in the cabin and traces of blood. That's being run now.”

“Probable scenario is that he kidnapped another girl and she managed to fight back,” Rossi hypothesized. “Stuck him with his own needle. Self defense.”

“Yes,” Hotch agreed. “But to confirm that we have to find her and question her.”

Reid sat in the corner scowling at his crutches. He hadn't been out in the field at all this case because of his knee injury. Instead he'd been stuck in Garcia's tech cave. It was making him antsy. Not that he had anything against Garcia or her office. He just needed to do something.

As if summoned by his thoughts, Garcia strode into the briefing room, pink pom-pom barrettes holding back her blonde curls. She stood awkwardly just inside the door. “The results on the blood traces are in,” she said. “Well, some of them. There were a number of different samples, and we've gotten back ID's on three – Vikki Smith, Stacy Nelson, and Anne Biddle.”

“Three of our victims,” JJ said.

“Thanks, Garcia,” Hotch said with a nod. She hesitated. “Was there something else?”

“Um. There—there was another, partial match. Well, a full match, but I can't access the information, it's behind some firewall, but I'll get to it. It's just going to take a little time. But, um, there was a partial match in our databanks. Family member. Paternal. It's Reid's dad.”

Faith stretched with an annoyed groan. Her bed was comfortable and warm, and she could use another couple hours of shut-eye. Except...

“Red, your computer won't shut up.”

Willow made a soft sound, still asleep, and tried to snuggle closer to Faith. Honestly the Slayer wanted nothing more at the moment than to let the witch sleep, and to do so herself, til dawn at least. Her red hair looked just right spread across Faith's blue pillowcase and her skin was soft, warm, and bare. Okay, well, maybe there was just one thing Faith would rather do than sleep. But Willow's computer had been beeping softly for the last half hour, too soft to wake Willow from her post-coital dreams but loud enough to niggle at Faith's Slayer senses and get her up.

“Red, c'mon. Ya only gotta wake up long enough to make it stop.” She nudged Willow gently. “Up. Computer. Noise.”

“Mmm, but you're warm,” Willow murmured into Faith's neck.

“Your stupid computer woke me up. Make it stop. Then we can do whatever you like.” The last was spoken in a purr as Willow slipped from beneath the covers.

Willow's computer setup took up the majority of the wall across from the bed she had taken to sharing with Faith, three monitors with two keyboards and a few other things that Faith couldn't say with certainty she knew the names to, let alone their functions. She propped herself up against the headboard, sheet clinging lightly to her bare chest as Willow clicked the mouse and brought her monitors to life.

On the far right screen an alert box was flashing in front of a stream of code. Willow's eyes narrowed. “Um,” she said. “The FBI is trying to get at Giles's file.”

“What?” asked Faith, darting from bed to stare over Willow's shoulder. Of course it was futile, she didn't understand anything on the screen anyway.

“Apparently he matches a DNA profile they're running? And they know they've got a hit, but they can't access so much as his name yet. If I just...” Willow's fingers clacked on keys as a handful of windows opened and closed on the middle screen. She hit the enter key with a little more force than was necessary and the icon of a folder appeared in the center of the right-hand screen and then vanished. “Ok, that should keep them satisfied for a while. Dummy file, with basic info but all the contacts will lead them on a wild goose chase through about two dozen forwarding addresses and disconnected phones.” She turned away from the screen and ran a hand through her hair. “Fancy a trip to Virginia? I'd like to see what they're up to.”

“Figure what the Feds want with G-man? I'm in.” Faith kissed her soundly once before releasing the witch to get dressed.

“Can you think of any reason why your father would be in Virginia?” Morgan asked Reid. The injured agent, frustrated by his inability to pace with crutches, was sitting in one of the conference room chairs spinning himself back and forth.

“No. Maybe? How am I supposed to know? It's not like we ever talk.” There was a wild, almost scared look in his eyes. Morgan pushed away from the doorframe and went to grab the arms of Reid's chair, stilling him.

“Hey. Pretty Boy, it'll be okay. We'll figure this out.” He brushed a hand through Reid's hair and caught his gaze. “Okay?” Reid took a deep breath and nodded. Morgan smiled and leaned down to brush a light kiss across his lips. “Garcia got his cell phone number,” he said, slipping a piece of paper onto the table. “Think you can call and get us some answers?”

“Yeah,” Reid said. Eyes fluttering shut, he drew Morgan down for another quick kiss. “Yeah, I can.”

Faith and Willow got off the elevator at the Federal Building in Quantico, Virginia about ten o’clock local time. Faith had been the one who insisted on traveling by magic. It wasn’t that long a flight between Cleavland and Quantico, but it was exorbitantly expensive to catch two seats last-minute and they would have needed a rental car from the airport to FBI headquarters, anyway. Despite their very official IWC badges (Xander’s idea, and shockingly useful - even though almost no one had heard of the IWC and even fewer knew what the acronym stood for, badges and letters went a long way towards seeming professional) and their visitor ID’s clipped to their collars, both women looked extremely out-of-place.

Faith could never give up an excuse to wear her favorite leather pants, after all.

Both women strode into the BAU bullpen and paused just inside the doors. JJ was the first to notice and approach them with a practiced smile. “Can I help you?” she asked.

“Yeah,” Faith said, pulling out her badge. Willow did the same. “We’re from the IWC and we have a few questions. The first being why you’re running DNA belonging to one of our agents.”

JJ frowned and signaled Hotch over. “And the IWC is…?”

“Classified,” Willow said.

“All right. Hotch,” JJ said as he stopped beside her, “these ladies are from the IWC? Apparently some of the DNA we’re running belongs to one of their agents.”

“I see,” Hotch said. He gestured towards an empty conference room. “Why don’t we sit down? I’m afraid we’re in the middle of an investigation, but I’ll do my best to answer your questions.” Faith and Willow followed Hotch into the room and took seats next to each other. “I’m sorry,” Hotch began once they had all sat down. “I don’t believe I got your names.”

“Faith Lehane, Willow Rosenberg,” Faith said, gesturing to Willow. “And you are?”

“I’m SSA Hotchner,” he replied. “We are running some DNA samples which we found at a crime scene last night, but I’m curious as to how you know one of those samples belongs to your agent?”

Willow pursed her lips. “We have a system in place that alerts me when anyone attempts to access information regarding our agents. It went off early this morning.”

“And it allows you to see who is making the attempt?”

Faith smirked as Willow answered. “It’s a very sophisticated system. I designed it myself.”

“What case are you working?” Faith asked, changing the subject.

Prentiss spoke from the doorway. “We’re investigating a serial killer who targets young girls,” she said. “Hotch? Garcia just got a match to another one of our victims. Shelby Prescott.”

Faith’s eyes went wide as she realized. She elbowed Willow. “Tabitha,” she said. Willow’s eyes widened in response. “I’m gonna kill Giles. He didn’t say he’d gotten hurt.”

Reid spent five minutes staring at the paper, blank but for his father's cell phone number, before rolling his chair over to the desk phone and picking up the receiver. Frankly he didn't want his father to have his own cell phone number; if he cared enough he could seek it out for himself. He dialed the number without looking and held the phone to his ear, not daring to breathe.

“William Reid,” came the answer after two scant rings despite the fairly early morning in Las Vegas.


There was a beat of silence, then William inhaled sharply. “Spencer? Is something wrong?”

Reid toyed with the phone cord. “I—we, that is, my team, we’re working a case here in Virginia, and something came up.” Words twisted themselves around in Reid’s throat, unwilling to put themselves in their proper order. “We’ve been tracking a serial killer who abducts preteen girls, and last night we caught up with him, raided his cabin. Except we found him dead, and his latest victim missing. And some blood. Garcia, our technical analyst, sent it to the lab.” He took a deep breath; this was the hardest part. “The lab has all of our team’s DNA on file, of course. And some of the blood came back as belonging to my father.” He waited. Waited for denial or confession. What he got instead was totally unexpected.

“Spencer, I’m not your biological father.”

Reid nearly dropped the phone. “What?”

“Diana was already pregnant with you when we met,” he said calmly, as though this was a normal conversation. “I have no idea what his name was, you would have to ask her. Afraid I can’t help with your case, Spencer.”

“But, why didn’t you ever tell me?”

William sighed into the phone. “I thought you were too young. Your mother didn’t feel it mattered one way or another. I did figure she would have eventually told you, after I left.”

Reid swallowed thickly. “I see. Well, then. I guess that’s it.”

“I guess so. Goodbye, Spencer.” William hung up before Reid could get out another word, leaving him with the dial tone sounding in his ear.

“Melanie,” Giles asked one of the young witches-in-training who populated the Slayer school he ran with Faith. “Have you seen Willow?”

“She left a couple hours ago, she and Faith teleported to Virginia first thing this morning.”

Giles frowned at the forced nonchalance in her voice. “And do you know why they went to Virginia?”

Melanie shuffled her feet. “Uh... I think it had to do with the FBI?”

Giles looked thunderous.

“Tabitha is one of our girls, she's in training to join our organization once she's of age,” Willow explained.

“Hotch?” Reid interrupted, hovering in the doorway. “I need a word with you about the DNA match Garcia found this morning?”

Hotch rubbed at his eyes, pinching to ward off the headache that was threatening. “Come on in, these ladies are here about the same thing, I think.”

With an appraising look at Willow and Faith, Reid made his way to the nearest chair and carefully sat. “I spoke to my father and... well, the DNA match we got today isn't him because apparently he's not actually my biological father.”

Hotch glanced sharply at first Reid, then Willow and Faith. “Our technical analyst found an existing match in your database but couldn't access any of the information. Our database revealed a partial match to Dr. Reid here.”

“Wait a second,” Faith said. “Are you telling me that Giles is—”

“—Here!?” Willow finished, pointing out the window of the conference room to where Giles stood arguing with Rossi.

“...Shit,” Faith said.