Chapter 7: She Was A Hotel Detective

She's got her ear to the wall
And she's tapping the calls
You got a secret boy, forget about it.
Cause she's a hotel detective.

Spike had to take a whiz. Taking a nocturnal whiz was somewhat awkward at the Institute with Ed and Ein sleeping in the bathtub. Ed didn't really bother him. She was always sleeping and anything shy of the world ending couldn't wake that girl up. It was Ein. He'd always wake up. And he would always stare at Spike while he was peeing. Spike had no idea why this bothered him so much. It wasn't like Ein was gonna go run off and tell the other dogs something. Oh, hey, how's your owner hanging? A little low and to the left today. I'm gonna sniff your butt now.

Still, it freaked him out. But this evening, both of them were gone. He felt a stabbing throb of panic in his stomach that took him by surprise, until he turned around to see Faye's bed empty. Panic was quickly replaced by seething irritation. "Jet, wake up!" Spike snapped, turning the light on.

"Uh?" he choked, mid-snore. "What?"

"The women are gone."

There was a pause while Jet tried to get himself orientated. And then, "Fuuuuck."

* * *

"Ed, will you hurry it up?" Faye was doing something similar to a pee-pee dance outside a random guestroom. She figured a super hacker should be able to disable electronic key cards quicker.

"Shhh, Faye-Faye," Ed hushed her. "Takes time." She was attempting to digitally turn her own room key into a master one, and was making good progress. There was a soft beep, and the door popped open. Faye, Ed and Ein snuck quietly into the room.

"Ok, Ein," Faye whispered. "Start sniffing."

Ein looked at her, annoyed that he was being enlisted to help with her latest scheme. He made a canine equivalent of a sigh before sniffing around the room. He hated the smell of drugs. It was a cold, artificial, even metallic smell. It made him uneasy, as anything unnatural was prone to do. He directed them under the king size bed, which contained about six children. Faye pulled the suitcase out and was able to jimmy it open fairly quickly with a bobby pin. Sure enough, the same went for their suitcase as well. A hefty bag of drugs was packed neatly away in a secret compartment. A similar sweep of the other bags produced more of the same. Faye was quite pleased. It seemed she was really on to something here. Screw the guys. This was like...front page stuff. She might even get a little blurb on Big Shot. Wouldn't that chap Spike's ass. Her delusions of grandeur were interrupted however, when one of the half dozen kids began to stir. Faye watched in horror as the one child's midnight mutterings caused a chain reaction across the room. Panicking, she shoved the bags back under the bed and her partners into the closet, clamping her hand firmly over Ed's mouth.



"I had a bad dream." The child's complaint was met by a chorus of groggy mumbling from the rest of the room. It apparently wasn't the first time the child had a bad dream.

"Ugh. Shut up, Jackie," the father growled as he turned over. "You're too old for this shit."

"But it was really scary!"

"Go back to bed or I'll show you something to be really scared about."

The other children seemed to chirp their approval before they all drifted back to sleep. There was some brief sniffling, and it was quiet. Faye waited a few minutes, and then she and the others tip toed out of the room. No sooner then she clicked the door gently behind her than she heard footsteps in the hall. All three of them froze like deer in headlights for a moment until Faye got a hold of herself. They weren't going to make it to their own room in time, so she ushered Edward to the closest door across the hall. "Get us in, Ed," she whispered as she kept her eyes wearily on the corner. The footsteps echoed strangely in the empty hallways. Whoever was there could be a couple feet away or ready to turn the corner any second.

Ed had no trouble this time. A few seconds and they were in, pressed tightly against the door. It seemed mere seconds passed before someone knocked, the sound vibrating menacingly off Faye's skull. "Mr. Francis?" a deep voice boomed as it knocked again. The family began to stir.

Faye didn't even have to ask this time. Both the girl and the dog were already making swift beelines for the closet. Ed herself wasn't quite sure exactly why they needed to hide, but it was clear that they did and it was sort of fun. They shushed the door closed just as a female answered, "What?"

"There was a report of a disturbance a few minutes ago. I was just making sure everyone was accounted for."

Faye felt her heart thumping wildly in her chest. Of all days to start doing their job. Well, they did rise some suspicions with their adventure the other night. Spike was pretty tight lipped to her about what his secret pow-wow with Kahn was about but it couldn't have been good. It was entirely possible they had planned to do this anyway, with the intent of catching them in the act. She leaned back against the closet wall and to her great surprise, found a doorknob there. She spun around sharply on her toes. A connecting door. Excellent. She immediately went to work picking the lock, which being an ordinary old fashioned latch, didn't take long. She shoved it opened and the three of them escaped to the adjacent room. They froze for a moment, making sure their entrance didn't catch a light sleeper off guard. There were a few scattered snorts, but other than that, no one stirred. Faye indicated for the other two to stay put while she crept silently to the front door. She was never exactly a ballerina but she could be light on her feet if she needed to be. She opened their door a crack, and saw the guards had actually gone inside the other room, checking for missing heads. Or more accurately, extra heads. Fuck. They were going to have to get back, even if they had to do it one room at a time. She opened the door and waved her gang across the hall and into the next room, closing the door shut behind them just as the guard poked his head out. He narrowed his eyes. Something was not right.

Faye turned around to see a small girl staring at the three of them. She didn't look afraid exactly, but she didn't look thrilled to see them either. "Hi-hi!" Ed said in a freakishly loud whisper.

Faye put her finger to her lip. The other girl scrunched her face up. Faye, who was quite adept at reading when people were going to shoot, saw what was coming. The girl was about to call for her mom. Panicking, Faye snatched Ein up off the floor and thrust him into the little girl's arms. "See? Doggie," Faye whispered. The girl's face lit up. "That's a girl," Faye herded her back to her bed. "Play with doggie."

Knock, knock.

"Shit," Faye grabbed Ed's arm and dragged her into the closet.

"What about Ein?"

"Casualty of war, Ed," Faye snapped. "Couldn't be helped." She quickly popped the next door open and the two of them toppled into the next room. Faye was immediately up and peeking through the peephole. The guards were occupied with the other room. The coast was clear. She turned to tell Ed but she was already gone.

"Um... excuse me?"

Faye turned to see a housewife sitting up in bed and glaring at her with a confused expression. "Uh..."

* * *

Ed was damned if she was gonna let some other little girl play with her dog. As soon as Faye had turned her back, Ed rolled back into the other room. She was hanging from her feet on the closet rod, a suit jacket wrapped around her as camouflage. She watched through the slotted door as the guards made their way around the room, discussing the situation with the half-conscious parents, one of whom was quite obviously growing a formidable hangover. Ein knew enough to hide and the girl seemed to know enough to let him. The dog burrowed himself deep in the girl's bed sheets and lay very still. "Have you seen anything out of the ordinary today, sweetie?" the guard asked her.

The girl shook her head, and the guard's attention drifted to the lump in her bed sheets. "What you got there, kiddo?"

"Teddy bear," she said shortly.

"Can I see it?"


"Oh, come on. Just a peek," he said as he went to lift up the sheets. The girl promptly bit the guard's hand, and the guard recoiled in shock. Ed nodded in approval. She actually was beginning to like this girl.

"Cynthia!" her father bellowed.

"No, it's OK," the guard said quickly. "I was over the line. Come on," he motioned to his cohort, obviously embarrased by the whole ordeal.

"You're gonna get it tomorrow," the dad mumbled, but it wasn't too long before he drifted off to sleep.

* * *

"Um...housekeeping," Faye said sweetly.

"It's one in the morning," the woman blinked, obviously confused. "Isn't it?"

"Yes. Well, I received special orders that I was to do a sort of midnight inspection," Faye rambled, watching the door out of the corner of her eye. Without Ed, she was screwed. Once she was in the hall, that was it. But she couldn't very well hang out here, either. Dammit, where was that girl?

"A midnight inspection...that is the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard. I think I would like to talk to your supervisor..."

"Well, Ok, Ma'am. If you feel you need to," Faye prattled on, barely listening to herself. She was also very casually taking off one of her Keds. After rattling off some fake phone numbers and re-introducing herself as Yolanda, Faye opened the door a crack and chucked her shoe down the hall. It barreled squarely into an ashtray, spilling ash and gravel all over the floor. The guards immediately turned to investigate. Ah, Lady Tobacco, Faye thought. You never let me down. She took the opportunity to quickly scuttle into the laundry room.

"Fancy meeting you here, Miss Scarlet."

Faye whirled around to see Jet glaring at her, tapping his foot like a parent who just caught his daughter creeping in past curfew.

* * *

Meanwhile, Ed was making her move. She gracefully flipped herself down from the closet and pressed her body flat against the floor. Propelling herself with nothing but her feet, she slithered along the shag carpet effortlessly. She had made it to the window when she heard someone trying to get into the room. Knowing she would be caught on the floor, she shimmied quickly up the drapes and clung to the inside of the duster. She held her breath as whomever it was entered.

The person was being very, very quiet, as if this person wasn't supposed to be there either. She could hear him muttering something, but couldn't really make it out. She was too occupied with the sound of the cheap metal curtain rod buckling under her weight. "Uh..." Snap. "Oh."

Her tiny 80-pound frame came crashing down very loudly and very directly on top of the room's other intruder. The entire family shot up in bed shouting aggressive sounding vowel sounds until the father managed to get the light. Ed widened her eyes in shock as she recognized the swearing heap beneath her to be Spike Person. As for Spike Person himself, he wasn't nearly as surprised to discover that whatever had just attacked him from above was Ed.

"WHO THE HELL ARE YOU!??!?" the father roared as the mom shrieked offensively.

"Uh..." Spike mumbled, sheepishly getting up. "Is this Room 432?"

"No, asshole! It's room 433! Now get out of here before I kick your fucking ass!"

"Harold, is that necessary?" he wife asked him.

"Yes, it's necessary! A man's home is his castle."

"It's a hotel room, dear."

"You gettin' smart with me?"

Spike and Ed took this opportunity to bolt from the scene, Ein leaping from the bed covers to follow. Cynthia made one last whimper of protest as her new friend left her life as suddenly as he had entered it. "Bye doggie," she sniffled.

"Go to bed, Cynthia!" her parents screamed in unison before Spike slammed the door shut. Now there were guards coming from everywhere.

"This way," Spike snapped as he made a break for their room. They ducked into stairwells and squatted behind ice machines. They hid inside elevators and hung from fire escapes. It was like some crazy live action version of Pac-Man, but it looked as though they were going to make it. Spike just about had his hand on the door when Jet and Faye crashed into him. The entire group was wound together in a heap when the guards found them.

"Get up," one of them snarled, placing the barrel of his gun on Spike's upside down forehead. "Like you would shoot me here," Spike pointed out. "GET UP!"

They did so reluctantly.

"I believe you had specific orders not to leave your room," the guard said. Spike couldn't really make a case for himself or his roommates so he said nothing. The others found they didn't have much to say either. "You know," the guard continued, exasperated by this whole mess. "I hope for your sake you ain't related. You're no family. You're like some deranged pep squad from Hell."

"Cool," Ed complimented the imagery.

"Get in the room," the guard barked. They did so and the guard slammed the door shut behind them. They then proceeded to actually bolt and padlock the door. "We'll let you out and personally escort you to circle group in the morning," one screamed through the door. "Dr. Lesseps will most likely have a word with you concerning your daughter, as well as your future with the Institute."



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