Disclaimer: I'm not USA / Jeff Eastin / etc. (White Collar) or Joss Whedon / Mutant Enemy / Fox / etc. (Buffy), so I don't claim to own them.
Genre: Gen; Crossover
Fandoms: White Collar; Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Word Count: 681
Written For: avamclean's February 2013 Prompt
Note: Set a few years after There's Always a First
Series: First Time for Everything
Summary: After seeing the news reports he knew it was time to make amends.
Dear Ms. Summers,
You don't know me, but I knew your mom for a brief period of time. I like to think that we helped each other. I was trying to figure out who I wanted to be and was on my own for the first time in my life. Joyce gave me a shoulder to lean on and a job to give me time to figure things out.
I gave her the chance to help someone the way she hoped someone was helping you while you were on your own. She didn't tell me the story behind why you ran, but I could see how deeply it affected her. I hope that you both had the time and chance to reconnect before her death.
I didn't learn of her death until the news about Sunnydale's collapse reached me. A close friend did some research and I now know the truth behind what you and the town went through. I also figure that it had a part to play during that summer you were gone.
All of that aside, I did something back then that either your mom didn't realize or she never told anyone about. There was a painting that was on display in her gallery. I stared at that painting almost every day and as the summer progressed, I tried to recreate it. I succeeded.
Then an idea formed in my head and I wanted to see if my painting could be mistaken for the real thing, a true forgery so to speak. Apparently, it worked. I swapped the paintings and nothing was ever said. I left town and never looked back. It was the start of my new life.
With the news of Sunnydale and what you and the others like you are setting out to do, I figured it was time to part with something that has been with me for years. I did some checking and the painting was never reported as stolen and as my forgery was still in the gallery when Sunnydale collapsed, it is considered destroyed in the legit world.
However, since I had the original and it would pass any verification test put to it, I was able to fence the piece through certain channels I have access to. I've enclosed the location to a few safety deposit boxes that contains the cash from that sale. Please use this cash to help finance the things you do to keep us all safe. And consider it my repayment to your mother, because of all the things I've stolen in my life, this one has always weighed the heaviest on my mind.
Buffy put the letter down and looked back at the first of several safety deposit boxes filled with cash. It was hard to believe their luck. They'd gone weeks with nothing but what they had managed to get out before everything went to hell.
As an added bonus, there had been second letter from NC's friend that detailed ways to access the Watcher's funds. Willow was ecstatic over the whole thing. It seemed too good to be true.
Buffy let her thoughts trail back to the mysterious NC. Based on his letter, he must have been in Sunnydale the summer she had left after sending Angel to hell. She doesn't remember her mom talking about anyone, but Giles did recall her borrowing several art books for someone who was staying at the gallery apartment.
To tell the truth, she was kind of angry with NC for taking something from her mom's gallery. Despite what he said about insurance, it would have been bad for her mom's reputation had it been discovered. And now he was repaying his debt to her mom and helping them be equipped to help the world, especially if his friend's details on the Watcher's funds panned out.
She couldn't guarantee that she wouldn't punch NC in the face if their paths were to ever cross. However, she would help him up and give him an icepack afterwards. It was the right thing to do after all.