[identity profile] afteriwake.livejournal.com posting in [community profile] demonicforensics
Title: Play It By Ear
Author: Ragna ([livejournal.com profile] goddess_loki)
Rating: PG
Classification: Danny Messer & Buffy Summers
Summary: The scientist in him does not want to hear what he's hearing, but he can't deny what he saw.
Spoilers: Set in a Buffyverse/CSIverse AU; roughly S2 in CSI: NY
Disclaimer: If you don't recognize it, chances are it's my own creation. If you do, I don't own it. Joss Whedon, Kazui Sandollar, The WB, UPN, et. al. most likely do for the Buffyverse stuff and Anthony Zuiker, Jerry Bruckheimer, CBS, Alliance Atlantis, et. al. do with the CSIverse stuff.
Authors Notes: New fic! The entire first part was written as a response to a First Kiss meme, and [livejournal.com profile] scarletts_awry asked for it.

---

"You just kicked that guy's ass like we weighed about ten pounds!"

"I told you, I am not a normal woman, much as I might like to be sometimes."

"You're strong. Very strong. Stronger than me. That's unnerving."

"Honesty. Huh. Never expected it from a cop."

"A CSI. I may be a detective, but I'm actually a CSI."

"A CSwhat?"

"Crime scene investigator. You know, there's dead bodies and I find out what killed them and who did it. Stuff like that. And right now I'd really love to know why one of the bodies woke up with it's face deformed and attacked a coroner in the morgue."

"Vampire."

"You've got to be shitting me."

"Seriously. A vampire." She gave him a look. "You know, a--"

"I know what a vampire is, I just don't believe you." He crossed his arms.

"Look, Detective..."

"Messer. Danny Messer."

"Look, Detective Messer. You see a lot of science based things every day, right?"

"Right. That's my job. Live in reality, not fantasy."

"You just saw me shove a stake through a person's heart and he turned into dust. Explain that scientifically."

Danny began to speak and then stopped. "You win. I have to accept there's no logical explanation for whatever the fuck it was that happened." He uncrossed his arms and ran a hand through his hair. "Look..."

"Buffy. Buffy Summers."

He quirked up an eyebrow. "Look, can you please explain to me why there's vampires in New York? Or why you're going after them? Or...anything, at this point?"

She nodded. "Any place we can go to talk in peace? I haven't gotten a place to stay yet."

"My place, I guess."

"That works." He turned to the side to let her pass by and she brushed her skin against his before stopping. He was a very attractive man, and when her skin had touched his she'd felt a jolt of some sort, something she hadn't felt in a long time. She looked up at him and saw a surprised look on his face instead of a confused one. And before she thought about it he was leaning down and she was moving close and they kissed. Where the hell that need had come from, she didn't know, but it was something she needed, something she apparently had needed for a while.

He pulled back. "I don't think my place is a good idea."

"Anyplace else?"

"There's a diner a few blocks away."

"That would be...better." As she said it, though, she knew she'd much rather have taken a page from Faith's book and just gone to his place. But she wasn't Faith, and so for know she'd go shatter the detective's perception of the world before seeing what else happened, if he even wanted her around afterwards. Gut instinct told her he would, though. And she knew it was best to listen to her gut instincts.

---

He was taking it well. She was surprised at how well he was taking it, especially since he was a scientist.

"So...these Hellmouth things. Center of evil?" he said, stirring his coffee absently.

She nodded. "Pretty much."

"And there's one here in New York."

She shook her head. "Not yet. Word just got around that there was an infestation here, and I was planning on taking care of it."

He looked down, staring at his cup of coffee, the same cup he'd had refilled twice already. "How the hell am I supposed to go into work and pretend I never had this conversation?"

"I don't know," she said. "But you need to."

"Yeah. If I said anything they'd take my badge and hand me a straightjacket." He finally looked at her again after a few moments of silence. "Buffy..."

"Yeah?"

He groped for what to say and just gave up. "Never mind."

"What else do you want to know?" she asked.

"I don't know if I want to know what I already know," he admitted.

"Fair enough," she replied, and then she yawned. "God, I need some sleep."

"It's four in the morning," he replied. "I need it too...it's been a long night."

"Hey," she said. "If...if I need to get a hold of you...you have a way I can?"

He nodded. "I'll give you me cell number."

"Okay." She picked up a napkin and began shredding it. "About earlier..."

"Which earlier part?" he said with a wry grin.

"The kiss."

"Oh. That."

"It was...nice. But why'd you do it?"

"Don't really know." He leaned back into the booth and stared at her intently. "Just seemed the thing to do."

"So...I guess you need to get some sleep now," she said, turning away.

"You are going to get a place to stay, right?"

"I'll try."

"I have a couch."

"You just met me!"

"Yeah, but...I might want some more answers. It's better to have you around." He shrugged slightly. "I've got tomorrow off. We can talk after we get some sleep."

"What about your coroner friend?"

"I don't know. Don't think the body was logged in, and Sid was already out cold when I chased after the...vamp. He had his back to the thing, so he probably didn't see anything. Pretty sure he didn't see me, either. I hadn't let him know I was in the room when it happened."

"Good. Because I don't think you could explain it."

"You're right." He signaled the waiter. "Come on. You look like you need that sleep more than I do."

"Danny?" She turned to face him again.

"Yeah?"

"You don't have to do this."

"Can't figure what else to do," he replied. "Never been in a situation like this before." Then he grinned. "Let's just play it by ear for now."

"I can do that," she said with a nod. As the waiter came over and he began paying the bill, she took a moment to think about how her life just flipped upside down again and wondering what the hell was going to happen this time...and how glad she was that it looked like she might have an ally in New York City.

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