Life, After slayage

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Methos

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#1  Edited By Methos

TITLE: Life, after slayage

AUTHOR: Methos (ianblyth2005@btinternet.com)

DISCLAIMER: All things BtVS belong to Joss Whedon, NCIS and all characters belong to Donald P Bellisario, Highlander and all related mythos belong to Davis-Panzer... nothing is mine, only the extremely twisted idea...

AN: Set after episode twenty of season one titled “Missing” for NCIS, five years after “Chosen” in Buffy (May, 2008). I know this shifts timelines for NCIS forward a few years but go with me on it please... :D

May 6, 2008. Washington DC, NCIS Headquarters.

Xander was tense, it wasn’t him though, it was the atmosphere in the office he had just walked into. The room felt close, like too many people were anxious about something but no one wanted to say anything in case it set someone off. He’d been to dozens of buildings like this over the past three years, of course none of them had been military bases, he’d been lucky in that respect he supposed, but it had to come to ahead sooner or later.

“Special Agent Gibbs?” He asked the lady that walked past him; she turned and pointed to a booth on the far corner of the room where three people were talking. Special Agent Gibbs was giving directions to the other two; from the brief biographies he had read of Special Agent Gibbs he could picture him as the hard ass marine type, expert sniper scout with nineteen years of service under his belt. The man had presence; he could feel it just watching him. He guessed the other two people he was talking to were Special Agents Anthony DiNozzo and Caitlin Todd, he couldn’t see their faces as their back was to him, but it was a good guess that they would match the photographs in the biographies in the files he was holding under his right hand.

“Thanks.” He muttered to the lady with a smile before moving off towards the group. He stopped, just out of ear shot to allow them to finish their conversation before he moved in, this was the part he’d been dreading. Everything he’d read and been told about Special Agent Gibbs was that he was a maverick, sure he was as good as they came and had almost a hundred percent success rate with his cases, but he liked to play hard and fast with the rules, especially when it came to interagency cooperation.

“Yes?” Xander was broken out of his musings when the man in question had finally noticed him and addressed him.

“Special Agent Gibbs?” He asked, it was just formal, for some reason he always found himself asking someone to confirm their name when they first met, just something he had picked up from the politicians that were now leasing with the Slayers on a day to day basis.

“And you are?” Gibbs asked, his tone merely curious as to Xander’s appearance, it wasn’t every day that someone walked into NCIS without a visitors badge or some sort of ID explaining their presence, and today was a very bad day for anyone to piss off a member of his team, especially with the death of Special Agent McGee hanging over them all.

“Xander Harris.” He intentionally left out the Special Agent bit, even though the group of the council he was in charge of had been given Special Agent status by the president, he still felt edgy using it, especially around seasoned military types. “I’m here to investigate the death of Special Agent McGee.” Now that had an effect, everyone in the room suddenly stopped, it was like time froze and Xander immediately knew that he’d said the wrong thing.

“McGee was one of our own; we’ll be handling the investigation.” Gibbs snapped at him, stepping forward and getting right in his face, even though Xander was a few inches taller it still felt like he was being dressed down by his old principal.

“I’m only here on orders, I came to you first as a courtesy, I’ve got an appointment with the director in ten minutes.” Xander explained, holding his hands up in a sign of peace.

“And what agency are you with, Xander Harris?” Gibbs asked, his tone slightly mocking at the lack of prefix on his name.

“Special Agent Harris.” The voice called from above him, making everyone turn to see who had called his name. Looking up Xander could see an older man, probably the NCIS director he assumed, on the walkway above them, looking down at them with what looked to be an amused expression on his face. “I’ll see you now.”

“Sir,” Xander nodded up to the man as a sign of respect before turning back to Special Agent Gibbs. “Classified.” He said sharply before moving to walk up the stairs to meet the Director of NCIS. For some reason Special Agent Gibbs had got under his skin, something about the way he dressed him down without even knowing the first thing about him, he hated when people made snap decisions about people, it was one of the things he trained his people not to do.

As he walked up the stairs he could feel the entire room’s eyes on him, every movement being watched carefully by everyone in the room. It had been a week since the call had come in from the pentagon, ever since the fall of Sunnydale and the reforming of the Council on American Soil they had been ‘adopted’ by the US government. The spin they put on it was that they didn’t want another SNAFU like the Project Lilac incident, so they funded the Council and gave them Special Agent status, even an official building to use as a headquarters in Cleveland, directly on top of the Hellmouth.

Giles hadn’t taken kindly to it, but when the New Council were accepted by the representatives from around the globe there wasn’t much he could complain about, even though they were now based on American soil they were more an international group that the old Council had ever been, and with the funding that the US Government supplied, they could keep the Slayers in better shape than ever before. With an amazing budget for weaponry and libraries, Giles soon found his list of complaints growing shorter by the day.

The Pentagon used them sparingly, Xander had been asked to head up an investigative team, the first people to go in if a vamp attack was too high profile to send in a group of Slayers to deal with the problem. At first he’d protested, saying that he didn’t want the job of dealing with politicians or having his face splashed around, but Giles and Buffy had soon convinced him that they would rather have someone that they trusted in the job rather than someone who would be assigned there from the Pentagon who they didn’t know and didn’t trust.

So now it was his job, following up on vamp and demon attacks when the higher ups decided it was too ‘high risk’ to expose the Slayers to publicity or to other companies or agencies. This was the first one he’d ever been sent to that was a military command though, vamp attack, nine days ago. The victim was a Special Agent Timothy McGee who was on a routine surveillance assignment when he was attacked. The buzz was that the higher ups wanted this dealt with quickly and out of public view, he was to use any means necessary to clean it up, he’d even been clearance to bring in up to five slayers to get the job done if needed, which was a big deal considering how close they were to Washington DC. He guessed the suits didn’t like the idea of the ‘problem’, as they called it, getting too close to home. So it had ruffled some feathers and he had been pulled out of training the new ‘agents’, or ex-marines as they preferred to be known, to handle the problem personally.

“Director Morrow.” Xander smiled as he reached the top of the stairs and held out his hand.

“This way.” The Director nodded to his office, ignoring the offered hand before walking off with Xander in tow.

“This is going to be a long week.” Xander muttered under his breath as he followed the director into a darkened room before closing the door behind him.

“Is this some sort of joke?” The director asked, not even breaking stride as he moved to the middle of the room and turned to face Xander, the wall behind him was filled with high tech plasma screens that were showing images from around the US.

This was what he’d been dreading, explaining what had happened to the Director of NCIS and trying to make the cover story actually believable to someone who dealt with the FBI, CIA and NSA on a daily basis. “No sir, I’m here under orders from the Joint Chiefs to investigate the suspicious death of Special Agent McGee.”

“I know, I received a memo this morning ordering my complete cooperation extending to the entire NCIS branch as well.” The Director didn’t seem at all happy about this; he was practically fuming as he glared at Xander. “They didn’t even tell me what agency you’re from. We are quite capable of handling this investigation ourselves Special Agent Harris.”

“I’m sure you are,” Xander smiled, trying to smooth things out as best he could. “I don’t like the idea of taking the investigation away from you any more than you do, but I have my orders.” Xander followed the spiel he’d been given, he hated lying to anyone now, especially if he would have to work with them, but he could see how it was a necessary evil in this sort of work.

“Can you at least tell me what agency you are from?” The Director seemed a bit mollified by this, but not much.

“SWIC.” Xander rattled off the initials of the Slayers and Watchers International Council off by heart, he didn’t think it would mean much to the Director as it was such a new and covert agency that even the NSA didn’t know what it stood for, let alone what they actually did.

“Never heard of it,” The Director’s reply didn’t surprise him. “Who do you answer to?”

“The Joint Chiefs and the President,” Xander said with confidence, he’d met them before, the first time he’d met the president he’d babbled like he was in kindergarten again, but now the President was actually aware of what they did, and had actually thanked them for the Sunnydale incident a few years ago it had changed things, even though he hated to admit it, he’d actually become good friends with a few of the Pentagon liaisons that had been sent to help with the running of the SWIC.

The Director raised an eyebrow at this, as Xander knew he would. It wasn’t every agency that reported directly that high on the food chain, hell, not even the NSA reported directly to the Joint Chiefs or the President. “Would you like to speak to them?” Xander bluffed with a grin, fishing out his cell phone and flipping it open. “I’ve got the Presidents private line on speed dial.” He grinned, he didn’t actually, but he had a line directly to the Joint Chiefs in case of anything going drastically wrong that they would need covered up somehow.

“That’s alright,” The Director smiled, a bit nervous at the young man in front of him that could get the President of the United States on the phone with a press of a button. “Tell me what you need and you’ll have it Special Agent Harris.”

“Space to work and cooperation from the team who are currently investigating the death of Special Agent McGee,” Xander smiled, his requests were simple, he had everything he needed in his car out front, the rest he could call in from SWIC as and when needed. “And please, just Xander, i’ll never get used to the Special Agent bit.”

“Well you don’t exactly dress like one.” The Director smiled, finding Xander a bit more personable than he had expected.

“You should have seen the faces of the Joint Chiefs when I went into a meeting in jeans and t-shirt.” Xander grinned as The Director laughed. “I don’t do the ‘suit thing’, makes me feel like I’m trying to be someone I’m not.” He could feel the weight of the gun in its belt attached to his hip, along with the stake in its custom sheath on his left leg. A custom sheath on his right leg held the blessed silver dagger and the familiar weight of the small silver crucifix dangled from his neck, flashing in the light of the monitors in front of him making it stand out sharply from his plain black t-shirt.

“I can understand that, a lot of agents here are ex-marines who still don’t wear suits,” The Director nodded along, thinking of Special Agent Gibbs in particular who to this day never wore a tie; he at least wore a shirt though. “You’ll have what you need Special Agent Harris, but you will be required to show identification at all times when on base.”

Xander nodded, fishing out his ID wallet with his identification card, weapons permits and golden badge inside. The thing actually flipped over three times to show the entire set of ID’s he had in it and was thicker than his actual wallet. Flipping it over so the gold badge was showing he clipped it to his leather belt on the opposite side of his waist to his gun before looking to The Director to make sure it was alright, The Director simply nodded at him before motioning to the door.

“Special Agents Gibbs, DiNozzo and Todd were handling the investigation.” The Director explained as he opened the door.

“Are handling the investigation,” Special Agent Gibbs announced from the other side of the door. “Sir, we can handle this, we don’t need another agency moving in and taking control.”

“Special Agent Harris is now in charge of the investigation into Special Agent McGee’s death.” The Directors tone didn’t allow for any disagreement, it sounded like an order he’d expect to hear from a drill sergeant, it wasn’t the volume of the order, it was the tone that carried with it.

“Yes sir.” Gibbs looked like he was going to argue for a second, but a brief glance at the Directors face stopped that thought immediately.

“You are to show complete cooperation to Special Agent Harris, is that understood?” Again, The Directors voice dared him to argue.

“May I speak to you in private sir?” Gibbs asked, obviously running ideas through his brain how he could get control of this situation back.

“Look, you’re afraid I’m going to come in and take over right?” Xander asked, causing a surprised look from both the Director and Gibbs before Gibbs nodded. “Don’t, I’m not here to take credit or control, I’m not interested in a pissing contest or any of this interagency bull. I’m here to find out what happened to Special Agent McGee and deal with it, if getting your cooperation means sharing the investigation with you, fine.”

Gibbs actually looked shocked at this, The Director didn’t seem to know what to think, he’d obviously decided that Xander wasn’t the usual sort of Special Agent and that his methods were a bit unorthodox, but he’d never met any agency before that would offer a shared investigation when they were holding all the cards.

“But if we do this, we do it my way. In the field you follow what I say, even if it sounds stupid.” Xander continued, he’d figured it would be easier to get their cooperation by offering a joint investigation, that way he knew they were working with him, instead of against him.

“Sounds fair.” Gibbs nodded, he didn’t like it but it had surprised him a bit that it had even been offered.

“Good,” Xander smiled, fishing a few spare crucifixes out of his pocket that had their chains tangled up. Fiddling with the chains for a moment he just handed the ball of tangled metal to Gibbs who took it with a raised eyebrow. “I assume that Special Agents DiNozzo and Todd will be assisting as well?”

Gibbs just nodded mutely, still staring at the crucifixes in his hand.

“You all wear one of those, that’s non-negotiable.” Xander’s tone dropped, he’d already lost three agents because they didn’t have the preparation or training to deal with a vampire, he would lose any more, especially not from another agency. That would bring down too much heat on them. “Anything else we can talk about, that’s a firm rule.”

“That’s it?” Gibbs asked with a smirk and a raised eyebrow. “Wear a crucifix?”

“Problem with that?” Xander asked, hoping they could at least work together, but if they wouldn’t do this simple thing, then how would they react to being asked to carry stakes?

“Nope.” Gibbs smiled slightly before pulling one of the crucifixes free and draping it round his neck.

“Great, where shall I set up?” Xander grinned at the Director who was just looking at the two of them as if they were insane.

“There’s a spare lab on the second floor by the forensics lab, you can use that.” The Director smiled as Xander nodded.

“Plenty of space to talk and walls to pin stuff up on, sounds good to me.” Xander smiled as he turned to Special Agent Gibbs. “Fancy showing me where?”

“We’ll get Tony and Kate first then show you around.” Gibbs smiled, now he was finding Special Agent Harris actually fun to get around, despite the fact that he was carrying at least one side arm and two other concealed weapons in a military building, which he obviously had permits for from the look of his ID wallet there was something about him, the way he carried himself. Like he was always on edge, waiting for something to happen, but it didn’t look forced or trained, it looked natural, like he had always done it. Special Agent Harris was turning out to be a bit of a puzzle, one he was looking forward to finding the answer to.

“And an Abigail Scu... Sciut...” Xander stumbled over the last name, flipping open the top file he glanced down his jotted notes at the names of the people he needed to talk to before starting his investigation.

“Abby.” Gibbs said simple, glancing at the files Special Agent Harris was holding openly, they looked to contain brief but detailed biographies on all of his team, including his entire military history. That was what puzzled him, most of his military history was classified, as with a lot of the ex-marines that worked here, but the files seemed to have it all. Another piece to the puzzle he mused as the folder was slapped shut.

“Abby, right.” Xander grinned as Special Agent Gibbs walked out the door; smiling and nodding towards the Director he followed Special Agent Gibbs before closing the door behind him. “Oh, don’t suppose you know where to get a decent mug of coffee around here do ya?” Xander grinned at the look he was rewarded with. “Took nearly seven hours to get here, and I haven’t even checked into my hotel yet.”

Gibbs mentally calculated the time he’d spent travelling against the time it was now and figured Special Agent Harris must have left around four am to get here when he did, that put his origin from anywhere from New York though to North Carolina or anywhere in-between. “Tony's the coffee drinker, you can ask him.” Gibbs smiled at him as they made their way down the stairs.

Xander glanced round the room as they made their way down to the main level when Special Agent Gibbs’ team were waiting for them; again he could feel everyone’s eyes on him as he followed Special Agent Gibbs down the stairs and across the floor to where his team were waiting.

“So, what gives?” Special Agent DiNozzo was the first to ask, drawing a long suffering glare from Special Agent Gibbs.

“Later, follow Special Agent Harris to his car and help him bring up anything he needs. Kate, you’re with me, we’ll be in Lab B opposite Forensics.” Gibbs didn’t wait for anyone to ask before he strode off towards the elevator with Special Agent Todd in pursuit.

“Right,” Special Agent DiNozzo looked like he was used to getting this sort of response from his boss, so he just turned back to face Xander and raised his eyebrows. “You going to give me an explanation then?”

“Depends,” Xander countered with a smile. “You tell me where to get a decent coffee and I’ll tell you what you want to know.”

“Fair,” Special Agent DiNozzo smiled back. “Tony.” He said by way on introduction, holding his hand out with a friendly smile.

“Xander,” He took the offered hand with a smile. “Don’t bother with the Special Agent crap; I don’t answer to it half the time anyway.”

“Right, so you’re not taking over?” Tony asked, curious about the large amount of ID’s he could see in the ID wallet clipped to Xander’s waist.

“Nope, shared investigation.” Xander smiled back, trying to get a feel for the sort of person ‘Tony’ was, he didn’t feel like military, his first clue was the hair, it was long, a lot longer than any officer would wear it, so he was civilian. That and the way he held himself said he was used to action, but wasn’t formally trained in combat.

“That’s good, Tim was a good friend of a lot of people here, we all want to find out what happened to him.” Tony explained as the two made their way to the elevator.

“That’s why I’m here.” Xander smiled as the doors to the elevator pinged and they slid open. Standing back to let the two people in naval blues out before following Tony in he smiled, it was going to be weird working with the military on this one.

“You seen much action then?” Tony asked, his tone not mocking but merely disbelieving.

“Too much,” Xander said softly. “Way too much.”

=/^=

“So, what have we got so far?” Xander quipped as he walked into the room following Tony. The room the Director had offered him to use was large and spacious, with a large table in the middle and a network of high tech computers and video conferencing equipment on the far wall. Special Agents Gibbs and Todd were already pinning photo’s up on one of the spare walls and had a large stack of paperwork spread out on the table in the middle of the room.

“Interviews, witness statements and timelines on the table, we’re just sorting through the crime scene photo’s to bring you up to speed.” Gibbs stated flatly as he jabbed another pin into the wall.

“Good, let me guess and see how close I come to the truth alright?” Xander smiled as the rest of the group looked at him cautiously. “Humour me.”

“Fine.” Gibbs said, setting down his stack of photos and turning to face him.

“The victim had his throat slashed, ear to ear, but also bled out, not a drop of blood was found at the crime scene though none was found in the body.” Xander held up his hand when Gibbs looked like he was going to interrupt. “Questions after,” He paused before continuing. “But this wasn’t the first killing like this, a week ago there was another victim, exactly the same MO, and I’m guessing another cop or something like it.”

“Security guard,” Tony said wearily as he flipped open one of the files on the desk.

“Right, you have a few fingerprints common to both crime scenes that match, but they don’t get a hit in AFIS or any other database you run them through.” Xander waited for them all to nod before he started on again. “I’m guessing your doc said something like the killer had expert medical knowledge, possibly a doctor or some other physician.”

“Ducky thought someone with surgical history from the way the cut was made,” Gibbs offered, for someone who hadn’t seen the files yet, this new Special Agent was getting too close to the truth for his liking.

“Right, good, and I’m guessing there’s no DNA, blood or anything else on the two scenes that doesn’t match the victims.” Again he got nods from all round him so he moved over to the desk and laid out his folders, passing one to Gibbs, one to Tony and another to Kate before flipping one out himself.

“Another killing?” Gibbs asked with a raised eyebrow. He looked for a date but there wasn’t one on the neatly typed out forms.

“Just tell me what you see, then you,” He nodded to Kate, “Then you.” He smiled to Tony who was moving over to the desk to take a seat.

“Same MO, same lack of blood.” He paused for a second, leafing through the papers. “No DNA or blood work done, looks like only bare minimum of forensics. Same for the other six,” Flicking through the file he found six killings in the folder, all with exactly the same MO. They were all nurses aged between twenty five and thirty.

“Special Agent Todd?” Xander asked when he was sure Gibbs was finished.

“Same, six killings, bodies drained of blood and throats slashed with surgical precision.” She paused flicking through the files. “Not even finger printing done here, no forensics just the basic investigation.”

“Six more here,” Tony’s brow furrowed in thought. “No forensics, no blood work, no nothing. Just basic ‘talk to the suspects’ deal, nothing that would indicate anything the link it to anything else aside the MO.”

“Right, now you have eighteen dead, twenty if we count the two victims from the latest cases.” He paused, glancing at some files quickly before holding them out gingerly, pulling them back before Gibbs had chance to take them. “The question is, how far down the rabbit hole do you want to go Special Agent Gibbs?” He smiled when Gibbs reached over and grabbed the file he was about to be handed the quickly flicked through it before something grabbed his attention and he started going through it more carefully.

“This can’t be right.” He muttered.

“Well he’s got it, how about you two?” Xander grinned as he passed the remaining two folders to the two other agents in the room. Watching their reactions as they flicked through the paperwork inside.

“What?” Tony asked, pausing for a moment as he flicked through the file.

“Nurses,” Xander explained, pointing to Gibbs. “Barmen,” he explained again, pointing to Kate. “Chefs,” He nodded at Tony before pointing at the wall. “Police men, or as close as they come to the killer’s standards,” He then walked over to the wall and started pinning documents up on a vacant space away from where the latest photo’s were being displayed. “And the original, prostitutes.”

“Are these dates correct?” Kate asked, her face showing puzzlement.

“What have you got?” Gibbs asked, checking his own.

“First killing in July nineteen sixty eight,” Kate explained, trying to figure out the age of her suspect in her head.

“December nineteen eighty eight,” Gibbs nodded, turning to Tony.

“February nineteen forty eight,” Tony whistled under his breath. “So the guys like over seventy? Nearly eighty?” He felt safe adding ten to twenty years, you had to be a certain physical age to kill like this, it was nothing to do with maturity, it was so you had enough height and physical strength to do what needed to be done. Looking over he saw Xander nodding as he pinned up the last of the files on the wall.

“Mary Nichols,” He paused, pointing to the document on the far left then started to make his way across the board, putting names to all the documents. “Annie Chapman, Elizabeth Stride, Catherine Eddowes, Mary Jane Kelly,” He stumbled a bit on the last document. “No name, just a Jane Doe even after all these years.” He paused, growling under his breath before shaking it off and getting control of himself.

“Those names ring a bell.” Gibbs started to think, wondering where he’d heard them before.

“As they should Jethro, as they should.” An English voice came from the doorway, pulling everyone’s attention to see who was stood there, even though the NCIS team had already put a name and voice to the face they all turned to find out the explanation. “I heard from Rupert you were coming, how is the old man?”

“Donald,” Xander smiled softly, reaching into his pocket before pulling out a small red ball and throwing it to the doctor in question. “Giles sends his best.”

A shadow of a smile played across the doctor’s features before he walked over and examined the documents on the wall. “He’s back then.”

“That’s what I’m here to find out.” Xander said solemnly.

“No way!” A soft shout came from the doorway, causing everyone to turn again to see Abby in the doorway, wearing her usual black gothic attire, but she wasn’t as cheerful as she used to be, Tim’s death had hit her harder than anyone else. She’d been forced to take some leave but had returned after two days saying that it was harder to do nothing at home than it was to be here and doing something. “Are those real?” She asked, walking over to the files Xander had pinned up on the wall.

“And you are?” Xander asked impatiently.

“Abigail Sciuto, and I see you already know Ducky.” Gibbs filled in. “Now will someone start talking sense around here before I have to shoot someone. Who’s back?”

“Oh you wouldn’t want to turn your gun on Mister Harris; he’d probably make you eat it.” Ducky smiled softly at Xander before turning to Gibbs. “Rumour has it that he actually ate his old principal.” He couldn’t let that one piece of information go; after Rupert had told him about some of the exploits he had been roped into while dealing with the Slayer, that was the one that always stuck in his mind about the young man in front of him.

Xander looked around at the cautious faces that were now all staring at him. “No way, nothing to do with me, I was in the library when that happened.”

“Of course you were my boy, of course you were.” Ducky smiled at him again before moving over to Abby’s side and hugging her softly, turning her away from the pictures on the wall of Tim’s death.

“Who’s back?” Gibbs practically shouted.

“You ate your principal?” Tony asked at the same time, his voice a mixture of amusement and awe.

“That can’t be right.” Kate said from where she had moved over to look at the files that Xander had just pinned on the wall.

“In reverse order,” Xander smiled. “They’re correct.” He nodded, pointing to Kate. “No, I didn’t eat my principal.” He said in a voice that held no room for argument as he pointed to Tony. “And the best for last...” He was cut off before he managed to say the name that caught in his throat.

“Jack.” Ducky said softly.

“Jack?” Gibbs asked, the name more a question than a statement.

“Jack the ripper.” Abby filled in for him, her voice barely a whisper.

Gibbs just looked around the room to make sure no one was playing a practical joke on him, this was not the sort of thing he found funny and to do it with one of the NCIS personnel’s deaths was just... no, no one would dare pull something like this, which meant, no matter how strange, that it had to be on the level. “Why do I have the feeling this is going to be a long day.” He muttered, flipping open his phone and calling the coffee house down the road to get an extra large assortment sent up to him. He briefly paused, wondering if it would be a better idea to order a bottle of bourbon, it might make all this make a little more sense. Slamming the phone shut he turned to Xander, pinning him with a glare. “You’re telling me, that Tim was killed by Jack the ripper, the same Jack the ripper who killed six prostitutes in 1888?”

Xander just nodded mutely.

“I’m probably going to regret asking this, hell, I know I’m going to regret asking this, but how do you explain one of our agents being killed by someone that is over a hundred and thirty years old?” Gibbs voice rose at the end of his question, not quite yelling but enough so that it echoed through the room.

“I hate this part.” Xander said softly, pulling out his knife from his boot. Watching them all carefully as he slowly brought the knife up to his hand. “Watch carefully, because this is the only time you get a demonstration.” He paused as everyone gathered around, Ducky held back, having seen something like this already from Rupert.

Xander smiled at everyone before grimacing slightly as he dragged the knife across his palm, pushing the blade deep against his skin so everyone could see that it wasn’t a trick as the blood started welling up in his hand. “No one moves.” He said, his tone not leaving any room for argument. “Just watch.” Grinding his teeth together he finished the cut before turning and dropping the knife on the table, still holding his hand out for everyone to see.

“Are you crazy?” Gibbs asked, itching to go for his gun or to fetch a doctor, then he realized that Ducky was stood opposite him, watching all of this calmly like he had seen it all before.

“You got some tissue doc?” Xander asked, the pain leaving now.

“What the hell?” Kate was the first to notice, leaning forward so she could get a better look at the lightning played over the cut on his hand, knitting the skin together quickly.

“Of course my boy,” Ducky smiled, handing over a roll of blue lab cleaning paper. “Aren’t there easier ways of explaining that?”

“I could always shoot myself?” Xander grinned back, taking the roll of paper with his right hand and tearing off foot or so. Turning back to the group he looked at them each in turn. “Blood right?” he waited for them all to nod before he started wiping the blood off his hand. “Where from?” He grinned as he cleaned the rest of the blood off his hand, leaving the clean skin below.

“That’s impossible.” Abby whispered, pushing through the group to get a better look at the knife that Xander had used.

“It’s real.” Xander explained softly, balling the used paper up before tossing it across the room into one of the bins.

“How?” Gibbs demanded to know as he continued to watch the hand that had been bleeding a few minutes ago.

“Mister Harris is what is known as an Immortal Jethro, he cannot die.” Ducky smiled, everyone turned to face him in amazement as he explained what he knew.

“Everything dies.” Gibbs said flatly.

“Not the case my boy, I believe Mister Harris,” Ducky was cut off before he had chance to continue.

“Enough with the Mister Harris. No Agent Harris or whatever, just Xander.” Xander grinned as everyone as he retrieved his knife from Abby and wiped the blood onto his jeans before placing it back into its sheath.

“Very well,” Ducky smiled at him. “Xander is an Immortal, they cannot die. They heal any injury within minutes, though I believe it is dependent on how long they have been alive as to how long it actually takes. I had a friend who actually postulated that the advanced age of the subjects actually sped up the healing process, quite believable as well when he showed examples of the same cut on two different subjects, vastly differing in age as well...”

“Enough,” Gibbs shouted, rubbing his brow like a headache was coming on. “You’re immortal?” He asked, pointing at Xander.

Xander nodded with a smile.

“And so is Jack the ripper?” Gibbs asked, putting the pieces together.

“Yup.” Xander nodded again.

“And you knew about this?” Gibbs asked, turning to Ducky.

“I’m afraid so my boy, Xander isn’t the only immortal I’ve met before, in fact I’ve met over six different immortals in my time, three of them were acquaintances of an old friend of mine from the academy.” Ducky smiled, thinking back to when he had first met Joe Dawson when he was in England for his last years training.

“So how old are you?” Tony asked, grasping the concept quite easily. “I mean, if Jack’s over a hundred, and you can’t die...” He left the question open as everyone but Ducky turned to Xander for confirmation of his age.

“Twenty six,” He grinned. “December twenty ninth nineteen eighty one.” He rattled off his birth date.

“Oh yes, Xander here is still within his first lifetime.” Ducky smiled. “Though the oldest I have met was just over six hundred, but there are rumours of one reaching over five thousand.” Ducky thought back to what he had read of the Methos chronicles while he was at the academy. He was quite the researcher back then before he had gone to medical school.

“Five thousand?” Abby breathed out. “Whoa!”

“Quite so, but as I said that is just a rumour, there is no proof that he even existed, or if he still does.” Ducky explained, moving on quickly before they noticed his slip. “But yes, it is all true.”

“You’re immortal,” Gibbs stated, pointing at Xander. “So is Jack the ripper, and you’ve come to hunt him down?”

“That’s ‘bout the gist of it.” Xander grinned.

“You knew about all of this,” Gibbs continued, looking at Ducky who was pulling a face like he was a child who had got caught with his hand in the cookie jar. “And no one else knows?” His voice was full of disbelief as he finished off.

“Wait, that still doesn’t explain the blood.” Kate interrupted. “If he just killed them, where did the blood go? I mean, you’re not vampires are you? Are you?” She asked cautiously, stepping back as Xander started to chuckle.

“Nope, not a vampire.” Xander grinned, fingering the crucifix around his neck, causing Gibbs to pull out the ball of tangled crucifixes in his pocket. “They come next.” He grinned at the shocked faces of the room.

“I knew I should have stayed in bed this morning.” Gibbs muttered, dumping the ball of tangled metal on the table before striding out of the room, everyone just watched in silence as he moved through the doors and stepped into the elevator.

“Vampires are real?” Abby asked, her face lighting up in excitement, the first show of real emotion Xander had seen from her since he arrived.

“Is he going to be alright?” Xander asked, nodding to where Gibbs had disappeared to.

“I’m thinking about following him.” Kate answered truthfully. “This is all real?” She asked softly, not really wanting to know the answer.

“Afraid so, and it only gets stranger from here.” Xander said with a reassuring smile.

“It gets worse?” Tony asked in amazement, sitting down and laying his head on the table in disbelief.

“Oh, my friend, you wouldn’t believe what is out there. I believe the quote goes ‘There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.’” Ducky smiled as Kate followed suit, sitting down and laying her head on the cool surface of the table.

“This is so cool.” Abby smiled, watching Xander like a hawk for his next revelation.

“How bad does it get?” Tony asked, not even raising his head up from the table. “Vampires?” He shuddered, remembering his old nightmares about vampire seductresses.

“Yup,” Xander nodded even though Tony couldn’t see him.

“And it gets worse from there?” Tony practically whimpered.

“Yup,” Xander nodded again with a grin.

“I hate my life.” Tony muttered, lifting his head up from the table before letting it drop back down with a thud.

“Vampire phobia.” Abby muttered to Xander.

“Gotcha.” He grinned back, pulling one of the crucifix’s free from the tangled ball and dangling it in front of Tony’s head. “Wear one of these at all times,” He smiled as Tony eyed the crucifix before snatching it out of the air and quickly putting it on. Xander moved back to the other crucifix’s before untangling another and handing it to Kate.

“They really work?” She asked, eyeing the crucifix carefully before putting it on.

“Stake, sunlight, fire, holy water, crucifix’s,” That’s about it for Vampires. “Oh, and decapitation.” He smiled a wry grin to Ducky who shared it with him for a moment.

“So, where do vampires come into this?” Gibbs irritated voice came from the doorway where he stood holding a large tray full of coffee.

“You are a god!” Xander shouted, moving over quicker than anyone could see and snatching one of the larger paper mugs.

Ducky smiled at him while the other members of the team just watched Gibbs in awe, they had never seen him spring for coffee, never for the entire team.

“You alright boss?” Tony quipped, fetching the tray off him and placing it on the table. “You not under a spell or something?” He then stopped, turning to Xander before he got slapped round the head by Gibbs. “Hey,” He shouted with a small smile before turning back to Xander. “Magic’s not real right?” He asked, getting that sinking feeling when Xander just grinned at him.

“Yup.” Xander nodded slowly.

“I hate you.” Tony said softly, letting his head bang back on the table. “I really hate you.”

“I love this job.” Xander grinned, taking a mouthful of coffee while everyone was watching Tony continue to bang his head softly on the table.

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Methos

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#2  Edited By Methos

“So why did you tell us?” Gibbs asked slowly, now that he’d had change to digest everything he’d been told. “I’m guessing your secret doesn’t go down well with everyone.”

“True,” Xander nodded, finishing off his coffee before throwing the cup across the room where it sailed nicely through the air into the bin. “Giles trusts Donald, and Donald trusts you. From what I’ve read about you all, you can all handle this without freaking out and you’re not going to try and expose it because you’ve already figured out that no one would believe you without proof.” He watched everyone as they all nodded slowly.

“I still can’t get over this, vampires are real.” Tony muttered, shivering slightly.

“I know.” Abby grinned at him causing Xander to shake his head in amusement; he’d never understand the Goth culture, not if he lived to be a thousand.

“So where do vampires come into this?” Gibbs asked, still in disbelief that he was having a serious conversation about vampire killers.

“Jack’s always used them, a few fledglings he recruits to clean up after him. It’s the same every time. The last time he surfaced was in New York in nineteen eighty eight, he had a group of three vampires with him then, the same before, or at least that’s what the records say.” Xander explained. “They clean up the blood and get a quick meal of it while Jack does his killing. He pays them and gives them some of his blood in return for them helping him.”

“Three vampires?” Tony asked, horrified by the prospect of facing his childhood nightmares.

“He’s never used more than three, sometimes less according to records but I plan for the worst.” Xander muttered. “Guns will slow them down, stake, sunlight or fire to finish them off.”

“And we’re actually going to hunt vampires?” Kate asked, still in disbelief at the entire situation.

“If it gets too much for us i’ll call in some back up, they can’t deal with Jack, but they can take care of the vampires.” Xander explained. “Jack’s mine.” He said darkly.

“So where do we start?” Gibbs asked, glancing at the map of the area where the two bodies had been found, red pins marking them on the outskirts of the warehouse district on the north side of DC.

Walking over to the map Xander searched for the street where the club Rupert had told him about was located. Picking a green pin out of the box he jabbed it into the map, showing the location where the club was located. “Siguranţă Fui” He explained, his Romanian accent terrible.

“I know that place, it’s a club on fourteenth and eighth. Very private, invite only, I’ve been trying to get in for years.” Abby said in excitement.

“It’s a safe haven for vampires, demons and... others, no violence can be committed inside the haven, Giles explained about it to me before I left, if anyone knows anything, that’ll be the place.” Xander smiled, thinking about running into his old demon friend again. He hadn’t seen Lorne since he left Cleveland over a year ago, he’d moved there after Angel had destroyed Wolfram and Heart taking down the Black Thorn, he stayed for a while before moving on to DC to open his own club again.

“So we head there tonight, find out what everyone knows.” Gibbs stated, it was a plan he could get behind, go in with backup, and interrogate everyone until they found what they needed.

“No, I go in with two others as backup, if we go in in force we’ll never get past the entrance.” Xander looked round the group, Abby would definitely fit in with the crowd, she’d be expected to be there and could blend in easily. Tony wouldn’t, he already had trouble dealing with vampires and his clean cut image wouldn’t cut it in the Haven. Kate maybe, but he didn’t like the idea of taking her that deep into the nightlife on her first night out, she’d be unpredictable and he didn’t know how she’d react to the more exotic forms of demons they were likely to find there. That left Gibbs. “Me, you,” He nodded to Gibbs. “And Abby go tonight.”

Tony seemed relieved that he hadn’t been asked to go, that way he didn’t have to make up any excuses as to any he couldn’t face it. Kate didn’t seem to know what to think, she was relieved she hadn’t been chosen, but was pissed off at not being chosen. The conflicting emotions were playing across her face like a TV that was being flicked over too quickly.

“I don’t like Abby being in the field.” Gibbs said sharply.

“Agent DeNozzo couldn’t handle it, and Agent Todd is an unknown at this point. I don’t know how she’ll react to what we see in there. Abby can take it and will fit in, you are an ex marine with nearly twenty years service, you can handle yourself and know how to follow rules.” Xander explained his choices.

“I said I didn’t like it,” Gibbs paused. “Not that I didn’t agree with them.”

“Leave your guns at home, we’ll be wearing surveillance gear with sound a vision, so you two and stay back in a truck and watch us from there.” Xander explained his plan.

“I’m not going into an unknown situation unarmed.” Gibbs said, his tone daring Xander to argue with him.

“Never said you would,” Xander grinned. “Guns aren’t going to do anything though, i’ll fit you with the usual assortment of toys to help, but you won’t be able to use them inside the Haven.”

“Tony, get the surveillance gear ready,” Gibbs started to bark orders.

“No need, you’re already wearing them.” Xander grinned. “Who’s the techie here?” Abby shot her hand up. “Right, IP 482.359.485.2, frequency 4596 MHz with a rotating signature of thirty four.” Abby paused, looking at him in puzzlement before moving over to the computer bank on the wall and adjusting a few things.

“Are you sure? That’s way too high for any video signal, even the audio’s going to have trouble getting through on that wavelength.” Abby explained as she tapped away on the keys.

“Trust me.” Xander grinned. “Password Hyena,” He announced as he saw the screen flash up with its usual SWCI logo, all nicely designed by Willow and Kennedy. “Activate one through four.” He watched as the screens flickered to life showing perfect video footage. It was far superior to anything the NCIS had access too, the picture was perfect clarity and the detail was amazing.

“The crucifixes.” Gibbs smiled.

“Yup, camera, microphone and GPRS tracking signal.” Xander grinned as he watched the team look at the crucifix’s to try and figure out how they were working. “Don’t bother, I’ve had it explained to me five times and I still don’t get it. Technology and magic working at its best, just accept it and move on.”

“But where’s the power coming from? To transmit a signal of that quality and strength would require an amazing amount of power, far more than a battery would be capable of providing.” Kate voiced he disbelief as she moved around, watching the screen display a perfect image from her crucifix.

“Something about sub space pockets linked to zero energy points or something,” Xander trailed off. “When they start talking tech I zone out.” He admitted with a grin. “As long as it works I don’t need to know how it works, just that it does.”

“On that we finally agree on something.” Gibbs nodded at him.

“Too much science for me,” Xander admitted, sharing a small smile with Gibbs. “Undercover clothes, think black and dangerous.” He turned to Gibbs, trying to figure out how he was going to pull this off. “I’ve got some stuff you can use,” He added, he was only a few inches taller than Gibbs, and not much larger in the arms or chest. Most of his clothes should fit him easily. “If you show me where my hotel is, i’ll sort out some stuff for you. Meet back here at seven?” He checked with everyone to make sure this was alright.

“Tony, sort out the transport, unmarked car for you two to follow. Kate, stick with Tony and make sure he gets it right,” Gibbs ordered. “Which hotel are you staying at?” He asked, turning to Xander.

“The Fairmont,” Xander answered after a moment’s thought, Giles had sorted accommodation out for him, so it wasn’t something he knew much about, only the name of the place and the address. “24th Street and M Street?”

Tony whistled under his breath and Kate just looked at him in amazement.

“Right, Abby, you’re with us. We can drop you off after Harris has got set up. Then you can tell me all you know about this club.” Gibbs ordered before turning on his heels and walking out the door.

“He always like this?” Xander asked as Abby hurried past him.

Tony just nodded with a smile, as did Kate.

“I’m afraid so my boy, now hurry up or you’ll miss the elevator.” Ducky smiled at him as he turned and jogged after the two. “I have a feeling this is going to be quite the adventure.” He smiled as he turned to walk out of the room and back down to autopsy. “Quite the adventure indeed.”

=/^=

“I’m here to check in.” Xander smiled at the clerk as the three walked into the hotel lobby. They had found the place pretty easily with Gibbs directions and Abby filling him in about what she knew of the club they were going to tonight.

“Name?” The clerk asked, eying Abby with disdain.

“Special Agent Alexander Harris.” He said sharply, emphasising the titles. He hated people like this who looked down their noses at other people just because they dressed different or had eccentric tastes.

“Ah Mister Harris,” The clerk smiled, all his features had changed now to show a completely open and welcoming man eager to please. “You’re in the Gold Shenandoah Suite,” He clicked his fingers as two bell boys rushed over and grabbed the suitcases that Xander had set down beside him. “Take Mister Harris to the Shenandoah Suite please.” The bellboys moved off to wait at the elevator. “If there’s anything you need, please don’t hesitate to ask.”

“Thank you.” Xander ground out before moving off to follow the people showing him to his room.

“The Shenandoah Suite?” Abby asked in awe while Gibbs just raised an eyebrow at him. “The nicest hotel in DC and you get the Shenandoah Suite?”

“Don’t look at me, Giles organised it. I would have been happy with a motel room or something.” Xander grinned as the golden elevator doors shut behind them and they started moving upwards slowly.

“Your agency must have better funding than us.” Gibbs said, trying to get a feel for what sort of people he was actually dealing with here.

“You have no idea.” Xander grinned back at him.

As the elevator stopped Xander moved to exit the tight space, but the doors didn’t open. He turned to the bellboy to ask if there was a problem but watched him use a swipe card to open the doors. “You’ll need these to get in and out of the suite sir.” The bellboy explained, handing Xander a card which had a magnetic stripe on the back like a bank card and the hotels logo on the front. As the door opened Xander had to let out a low whistle. The suit covered the entire top floor of the hotel and was amazingly decorated; it had a large TV in the centre room with tables and sofa’s around it with doors leading off in each direction.

“Will there be anything else sir?” The bellboy asked politely.

“No, thanks,” Xander managed to stutter out before the bellboys smiled at him before leaving three of the magnetic card keys on the side table then taking the elevator back down to the ground floor. “Wow,” He let his amazement show as he looked around the suite, two huge bedrooms with double beds in each. An amazing bathroom with shower and Jacuzzi bath, a huge desk with Ethernet ports for him to set his laptop up on stood to the side of the entertainment center on the far wall and large cream leather couches finished off the living room perfectly.

“I’m guessing you didn’t know about this then?” Gibbs asked, noting Xander’s reaction.

“Hell no,” Xander muttered, poking his head round another room where he found an amazingly stocked kitchen.

“This room is charged at over two thousand dollars.” Gibbs whispered to Xander.

“Per week?” Xander asked shocked.

“Per night,” Gibbs shot back with a smile. “It’s the most expensive suite, in the most luxurious hotel in DC.”

“And now I’m afraid to touch anything in case I break it.” Xander said nervously.

“We don’t have much time and I’m assuming you’ll want to eat before we head out.” Gibbs asked and was rewarded by a nod from Xander. “So order room service then we can start getting ready.” Gibbs shrugged off his coat and threw it on the couch. “Come on.” He snapped when Xander just stared at him.

“I think you broke him.” Abby grinned.

“I broke him? He just told us he’s immortal and there are vampires and demons out there that no one knows about. Adding that to the list that crucifix’s work against vampires, so that means God must actually exist... I think I’ve had enough for one day to validate a little payback Abs.” Gibbs smiled at her as she sat on the sofa and watched Xander traipse his suitcases into the bed room before throwing them on the bed.

=/^=

“I look like an idiot!” Gibbs shouted from the second bedroom where he had gone to change into the clothes that Xander had given him.

“Come on, it can’t be that bad.” Abby shouted encouragement though the door as Xander came out of his bedroom. He was dressed in tight black jeans with a black t-shirt that looked like it had been painted on. His hair was stuck up at odd angles and his eye patch had been replaced with a black leather one with a single silver stud in the middle, a long black leather trench coat flowed out behind him completing the look. Letting out a low whistle Abby admired the view for a moment before applauding softly. “Didn’t think you had it in you.”

“I don’t, I hate this get up but it’s the only way to get in unnoticed.” Xander admitted. He always hated dressing like this, he’d had to do it several times before to get into vampire clubs and bars, and every time he felt like a Spike impersonator. He’d even found himself mimicking the bad accent from time to time before Dawn slapped him when she heard him do it.

Xander turned when Abby started laughing before covering her mouth with her hand and clamping down her jaw tightly. He could imagine what was behind him but had to turn round to see it. Gibbs was stood there in pretty much exactly the same get up he had on, but a bright red silk shirt finished it off, unbuttoned like Spike used to wear. “Perfect.” Xander grinned. “One last touch, makeup.”

“If you come near me with lipstick or eyeliner I WILL shoot you.” Gibbs threatened seriously.

“Just some powder,” Abby mollified him. “You’re too bronzed to pass as a Goth, both of you. Just something to pale down your skin,” She smiled, fishing her makeup out of one of the large pockets in her combats before applying the white power to Xander first. “See?”

“Alright.” Gibbs finally relented after a moment of glaring. He could see the logic in it, but hated doing it and could already picture Tony and Kate’s faces when they saw him. He grimaced as Abby quickly applied the makeup to his face, taking care around his ‘salt and pepper’ hair as she called it.

“Last touch,” Xander grinned, pulling out a small leather bag. “Toys.”

Opening the bag he threw over a large leather belt with metal stripes running across the top of it. In the middle of the back of the belt was a hole, which Gibbs immediately knew what was used for when Xander handed him a small throwing knife. A double sided holster was next that held two stakes which Gibbs expertly put on, replacing his own single gun holster. Two larger blades followed that stuck to the holster on his back, if felt like they were being pulled in place by powerful magnets, Gibbs moved about a bit, checking they wouldn’t fall off before nodding in satisfaction and pulling the trench coat back on and checking he still had everything in easy reach.

“Now you’re ready.” Xander said, glancing at everything to make sure that nothing screamed out ‘cop’ or ‘plant’ to anyone. “Loosen up a bit as well, your stance screams marine.” He watched as Gibbs slouched slowly, shaking his arms slightly to loosen them up as he slipped more into a civilian stance. “Same weapons for you are in the bag, you can put them on once you’re dressed.” Xander nodded to Abby.

“What about you?” Gibbs asked, not seeing any of the weapons he was wearing attached to Xander’s clothes.

With a swish of his coat Xander twirled round to face him, his arm expertly going under the left side of his coat and pulling out a long rapier. “I have my own choice.”

Even from across the room Gibbs could see the rapier was expertly made and razor sharp. The hilt was carved in an intricate silver grip with a single emerald in the hilt. While the blade didn’t look thick it definitely looked dangerous. “Fair enough,” He nodded, accepting that Xander knew how to use it from his stance and the way he held it like it was an old friend. “One question.”

“Shoot.” Xander quipped, replacing the rapier beneath his coat where it simply disappeared from view.

“You said you heal from anything,” Gibbs stated simply as Xander nodded. “Why the eye patch then.”

“I lost it before I became immortal.” Xander said simply, not offering any more explanation.

“How did you become immortal then? Magic?” Gibbs tried to understand how things worked in this new world he had been thrust into.

“I died, drained by vampires.” Xander explained sharply. “My teacher found me, taught me what it meant to be immortal.”

“Sounds like a good friend.” Gibbs offered as a peace offering to lighten the mood.

“Known him over fifteen years now,” Xander smiled back to how they had first met in the school library. “He’s the best.”

“Right, Abby’s then back to HQ,” Gibbs stated, turning round and heading towards the elevator quickly, his trench coat billowing out behind him as he walked.

“How come I can never get mine to look as cool as that?” Xander muttered to Abby as they both followed.

“He’s Gibbs.” Abby offered as an explanation with a grin as they entered the elevator.

“Should have seen that coming.” Xander muttered with a smile as the elevator doors closed and they started their decent to the ground floor.

=/^=

“One word DiNozzo, one word and I will shoot you.” Gibbs stated coldly as the trio walked through the entrance hall to NCIS HQ to be met by sniggers from Gibbs’ team.

“Wasn’t going to say a thing boss,” Tony managed to get out from his tightly clenched jaw. He coughed lightly to cover his laugh before forcing a straight face to continue talking. “Van’s packed and ready to roll.”

“We’ll take my car; meet us round front in ten minutes.” Xander stated before he walked off with Gibbs back through the main entrance.

“Those two are too much alike.” Tony commented to Kate as the elevator closed on them to take them down to the garage.

The drive was made in pretty much silence to the club, with Xander driving and Gibbs checking ever so often that the ‘magic microphones and camera’s’ were working properly. Abby made a few comments here and there about the club and what sort of music to expect while Xander informed them of the sorts of demons they might come across

“Pull over here, we’ll walk the rest.” Gibbs ordered, Xander shot him a glare but complied anyway. The van with Kate and Tony pulled up in front of them and opened the rear doors while Xander, Gibbs and Abby got out.

“ID’s, weapons and anything that can link you to official business stays in the truck.” Xander ordered, throwing his wallet and nine mil into the van, causing Tony to jump slightly as the gun impacted the floor. Gibbs did the same while Abby just watched them.

“No ID anyway,” She commented with a smile.

“My cell phone will work in the club, don’t know about your two though,” Xander nodded to Gibbs and Abby who nodded back.

“Magic right?” Tony half asked, half stated.

“Right, call on that if something’s wrong, other than that, just watch and listen.” Xander smiled, watching as Gibbs and Abby put their cells in the truck before Tony shut the doors. “You ready for this?” He asked, paying special attention to Gibbs’ reaction.

“No,” Gibbs answered truthfully, drawing a grin from Xander. “But what the hell.”

The trio made their way quickly down the street, ignoring the passersby who looked at them in amusement. It was only a five minute walk to the club from where they had parked round the corner, just to make sure no one was watching them or following the van.

The queue to the club was huge, it ran along the outside of the club and round a corner, while Gibbs and Abby were going to move to step into the queue Xander just kept walking, ignoring the queue and moving to speak to the bouncers personally.

“I’m here to see Lorne.” Xander whispered to the bounce who just eyed him carefully. “Tell him it’s Xander.”

The bouncer paused before moving off into the background and speaking on a private ear piece for a moment before pausing then smiling at the reply.

“You’re in.” He grinned, baring unnaturally pointy teeth at the trio before pulling the red rope aside and allowing them entrance.

“Remember, no matter what,” Xander paused for effect, waiting for Abby and Gibbs to look at him. “Don’t stare.”

There was another door at the bottom of the stairs with what looked like a metal detector in front of it. A man, or at least that’s what Gibbs thought it was, it wasn’t female so he assumed male, was stood in a bright orange suit by the detector holding a door open to the left of the passage.

“Lorne,” Xander grinned before hugging the green skinned demon. “It’s been too long.”

“Sure has sweet cheeks, come on in.” Lorne smiled and held out the door for Xander and his group to pass on through, bypassing the metal detector completely. “After I left Cleveland I didn’t think I’d see you again.”

“Times change Lorne,” Xander said loudly to carry over the loud rock music that was playing in the main club as the group made their way through. “We need to talk in private.”

“Back room sugar,” Lorne smiled, pointing to the door at the rear of the club. “I’ll be there in just a tick.”

Xander nodded as Lorne moved off to talk with the barman before he let Abby and Gibbs through the mass of people into the back room where he closed the door after they entered, the music immediately falling silent as the thin wooden door shut behind them.

“Weird.” Gibbs commented, glaring at the door as if it offended him.

“What?” Xander grinned, sitting down on one of the large red leather couches in the room.

“The door,” Gibbs pointed to it. “Can’t be more than an inch thick, but it stops the music completely.”

“Magic,” Xander grinned, wiggling his fingers at Gibbs while he laughed. Abby just smiled at the two, she hadn’t felt this open around anyone since Tim, but even the memory of him made her depressed now, a far cry from the vibrant, bubbly person she used to be.

“Funny,” Gibbs glared at him before moving over and sitting on the couch. “And what was that? Lorne?”

“Lorne Greene,” Xander grinned at the old joke Lorne had cooked up in his name. “He’s a demon, anagogic demon to be precise.”

“And that means what exactly?” Gibbs asked, smirking as Abby kept looking between them as if it was a quick game of ping pong.

“He can tell you your future if you sing for him.” Xander smiled when Gibbs immediately fell silent, opening then closing his mouth a few times before deciding to remain ignorant about things like fate and the future. “I’m sure he’ll do a reading for you if I ask.”

Gibbs just glared at him, wincing again when the door opened and Lorne stepped through with the loud music blaring behind him before it went quiet again as he closed the door. “Sweet cheeks, this had better be personal, though from the outfit I’m guessing not.” Lorne winced as he flicked open Xander’s jacket and took in the whole look.

“Sorry Lorne, business as usual.” Xander said, smiling before he sat down again, motioning for Abby and Gibbs to do the same.

“Why is it every time I see you or one of your sweet heart slayers, trouble comes calling soon after?” Lorne stated, not even a question as he sighed and started rubbing his temples.

“We need information.” Xander explained his presence but was interrupted from saying more when Gibbs coughed loudly from beside him. “Oh yeah, Special Agent Gibbs and Miss Abby Sciuto.”

“Pleasure,” Gibbs smiled as the green skinned demon smiled back.

“Enchanted,” Lorne smiled, standing up and taking Abby’s hand to kiss it lightly.

“He’s back,” Xander said, interrupting the harmless flirting that Lorne applied to all the female guests here.

“Honey you’d better be talking about Arnold and not who I think you’re going to say.” Lorne grimaced as Xander nodded. “Adios Washington then, and I was just beginning to like it here.”

“It gets worse.” Xander said softly.

“Sugar, if he’s back, how can it get worse.” Lorne asked with a wry smile.

“He’s after cops this time,” Xander nodded as Lorne’s red eyes opened wide. “NCIS are investigating the death of one of their own,” He nodded to Gibbs. “This is going to get ugly.”

“Honey bun, this is already ugly,” Lorne smiled softly before moving over to the wall and pressing one of the flashing coloured panels, causing one of the larger panels on the wall to slide up and reveal a small mini-bar. “Are you sure it’s him?”

“It’s him.” Xander nodded with finality.

“Check the warehouse on forty fifth by the water front,” Lorne said while mixing up some sort of pink cocktail. “A few Brachen were complaining about being kicked out of there last week. They thought The Scourge was back in town.”

“The Scourge are gone,” Xander said. “You know that.”

“I sure do sweetie,” Lorne smiled, mixing another blue drink which he handed to Xander then a green one for Abby, and then simply pouring a shot of bourbon for Gibbs. “But if this is turning into a war zone, i’ll be out of here by tomorrow night.”

“Thought you’d appreciate the heads up,” Xander smiled, taking a sip of his blue drink. It was strange, Lorne always knew what you wanted, even before you sang for him he could get your drink right. He’d asked him about it once when he was running a bar in Cleveland for a while, he said it was nothing to do with his abilities, more just a bartender thing. “Haven’t had any of my kind in here then?”

“Not in this bar,” Lorne smiled, sipping at his sea breeze again before looking round to make sure everyone else was enjoying their drink. Abby was already half way through hers while Gibbs was rolling the empty class in-between his hands and glaring at the two impatiently. “Something wrong sugar?”

“It’s his first night in ‘the real world.’” Xander explained.

“I think I should leave,” Gibbs stood up to go. “I’ll check out the warehouse with Tony and Kate, you stay here in case anything turns up.”

“You sure?” Xander asked while Abby just nodded and smiled.

“Come back if you ever want to talk sugar,” Lorne smiled, holding out his hand which Gibbs took gingerly and shook.

“You sure?” Xander asked again, standing up and facing Gibbs directly.

Gibbs didn’t respond, he just turned and walked out of the room, closing the door behind him and moving off through the crowd to the exit.

“He just needs some time,” Abby explained, sipping more of her drink. “He’ll be fine.”

“And you?” Xander grinned with a raised eyebrow as she finished off her green drink.

“Are you kidding?” Abby asked with a large grin. “I love it, I mean I always knew about vampires, well not knew but knew, you know? But all of this, it’s amazing.”

Xander laughed heartily while Lorne fixed him another drink.

“What about aliens, is Roswell real? Area fifty one? The Bermuda triangle, the Loch Ness monster?” Abby rattled off questions, causing Xander to laugh harder.

“Behave and one day I might tell you.” He quipped, causing Abby to pause in thought while Lorne handed her another drink.

“Listen sweeties,” He smiled at the two. “You two have a good night, you’re welcome back at Siguranţă Fui when it reopens anytime you wish,” Lorne bent down, kissing Abby’s hand again. “I’ll be downstairs if you need me.” With that he opened the door and closed it behind him before moving off down to the karaoke lounge downstairs where he had a queue of people waiting for his services.

“Let’s have a look round then and see what shakes loose.” Xander quipped, holding his hand out to help Abby off the couch.

“Indeed,” Abby grinned, threading her arm through Xander’s as the two made their way out of the private room, still sipping their drinks as they made their way through the exotic patrons of the club.

=/^=

“Look, I’m just not sure about this ok?” Gibbs announced for the fourth time as he sat in the back of the van watching Xander and Abby though the monitors. They were going to check out the warehouse that the green skinned ‘thing’ had told them about, but after Kate reminded him that one, the warehouse used to be full of demons until something nastier forced them out, and two, Xander had left his wallet, keys and gun in the truck with them, and they wouldn’t leave Abby with him, even as armed as he appeared to be. You never left a marine alone, rule five.

“What was it like in there boss?” Tony asked, amusement showing on his face whenever he looked at Gibbs. He’d long since wiped off the makeup and had buttoned up the red shirt, so now he was just in ret shirt and jeans, a bit darker for Gibbs but he could pull it off.

“Weird, the bouncers definitely weren’t human, you got images saved of all the ‘weirder’ people,” Gibbs winced at the term people when most of the things in there definitely weren’t human. “And I use the term loosely, in there?”

“Yeah, even that green skinned guy Xander was talking too.” Tony answered.

“He was kinda cute.” Kate smiled, looking at the monitor that showed a picture of Lorne smiling directly at the camera as if he knew it was there.

“He was a demon.” Gibbs stated, his voice full of disbelief at what he had just heard.

“He’s right,” Tony agreed. “Don’t know if it’s even male, or has a sex for that matter. Sounds like most of your boyfriends.” He grinned as Kate scowled at him.

“What are they doing now?” Gibbs asked, turning round to look at the two cameras’ that were still active.

“They covered the main floor for a while, talked for a bit and Agent Harris identified a few of the weirder things in there for Abby. I got names to go with the pictures we’ve got,” Tony slipped back into work mode quickly. “They’re heading down to the second floor now, karaoke apparently.” He grinned.

“A demon bar with karaoke, somehow it works.” Kate smiled, just when things were getting too weird, a bit of normality helped to calm things down again, aside from the large furry thing on the stage that was belting out ‘Cuban Pete’ at the top of his voice, it could have been any normal bar in DC.

“At least Abby seems to be having a good time.” Tony smiled, looking at Xander’s camera that was paying a bit too much attention to Abby and not enough attention to the surroundings. He they realised what he was thinking and shook himself out of it, it was exactly what he would have done in a strip bar or something, so he couldn’t really berate Xander for it.

“Which is why she’s in there are we’re out here.” Gibbs nodded to her camera that was focusing on every strange creature in there. “She looks like she belongs in there and doesn’t attract any attention, any of us would stick out like sore thumbs, me included.” He glanced down at the clothes he was wearing and shook his head in disbelief that he had even got roped into doing this.

“Whoa, what is that?” Tony asked, jumping forward to get a better look at the image on the monitor that Abby was carefully staring at now.

“Turn up the volume.” Gibbs ordered, intrigued as much as the rest of them.

‘That’s a succubus,” Xander’s voice came clearly over the microphone. ‘Her wings are folded close to her back while inside; they feed on sexual energy during intercourse, the more masculine the person, the better the energy. There are stories they can actually ‘love’ you to death if they feed on one person too much.’

‘Tony would love that!’ Abby grinned, looking down into the camera quickly. ‘You want me to get her number for you?’ She laughed at the camera, not expecting a reply before moving off to get descriptions of the other demons in the place.

“She’s right.” Kate grinned at Tony. “I’m sure the vampire bouncers would let you in to talk to her if Xander asked them too.”

“Hah ha!” Tony muttered sarcastically but smiled none the less. “Seems most of the demons in there are harmless boss, from Xander’s descriptions of them, a lot of them are herbivores or don’t kill anyone, they’re just looking out for their own like we do.”

“He’s right, Xander hasn’t pointed out any vampires or anything that would pose a danger to them, I think tonight’s a bust.” Kate voiced her opinion before looking back at the screen. “Where’s Xander?” As everyone turned to look at the screens, Xander’s monitor had gone black, while Abby’s showed her heading out of the club entrance and back up the stairs.

“Find out what’s wrong, i’ll get Abby.” Gibbs ordered, grabbing his gun quickly then grabbing a few of the knives that Xander had given him before throwing on his jacket again and opening the back doors to the van and climbing out.

“Sure thing.” Tony and Kate started tapping on keys quickly as the doors closed behind them.

Gibbs jogged down the street quickly, turning the corner and nearly knocking Abby down on his way. “Where’s Harris?” He demanded.

“Out back, said he saw something dangerous heading out of the club with some people, he told me to head back to the car and lock myself in, in case something went wrong.” Abby pouted slightly at the idea that she didn’t get too see him in action, but understood what Xander had done.

“Get back to the van and lock the doors,” Gibbs ordered, not waiting for any discussion before jogging off towards the club, glancing down the back alleys he passed in case he found a way that could lead him round the back. Finding one finally he ducked down where he heard shouting and quickly made his way round to check that it was Harris round there.

The sounds Gibbs heard as he made his way round the darkened alley weren’t speech, or at least not in any language he could make out. He only spoke a few languages, only three fluently, but it wasn’t English, Russian or Spanish, so he couldn’t really translate it. A few of the tones sounded hostile, but the entire language sounded like a wrestler gargling with razor blades, it made German sound polite.

“Where is he?” A voice shouted out, this one Gibbs recognised as Harris’ voice. The guttural tones continued for a bit before Harris shouted again. “One last time, tell me where he is!”

Gibbs decided enough was enough, spinning round the corner he levelled his gun at the thing Harris was talking too and introduced himself. “Special Agent Gibbs, NCIS!” He shouted, noticing Xander on the opposite side of the creature cringe then roll his eyes.

The creature was huge, easily ten feet tall and built in a way that made most body builders look anorexic in comparison. The creature turned to face him and had a sword out that was longer than he was tall, the blade was etched with glowing blue runes and screamed ‘dangerous, stay the hell away!’

“Gibbs! What the hell are you doing?” Xander shouted from behind the creature.

“Backing you up!” Gibbs shouted back, never taking his eyes of the hulking monster in front of him. It was then he noticed the face, it didn’t have lips and had about four sets of teeth, each sharpened to a deadly point. Likewise it had four eyes, each glowing a sickly green colour and its bright red hair was tied neatly back in a ponytail that ran down its back out of view.

“And you think your ‘agent’ status is going to mean what to Keith?” Xander shouted, walking round close to the monster and standing between them, effectively cutting off Gibbs direct shot, he could still shoot over Xander and get a clear head shot though.

“Keith?” Gibbs asked incredulously, eying the creature warily before turning his gaze to Harris.

“Keith runs the protection in the city out of the new harbour; he’s the one you have to thank for keeping the demons away from the military here.” Xander explained. “If there’s any violence in the city, they have to answer to him and his clan, that’s why DC is kept as a neutral ground, no one fights here.”

“Right,” Gibbs replied, shaking his head as he tried to understand the rules of this new world. “And the dangerous demon you chased out here after sending Abby back to the car?”

Xander simply nodded to the ground where a steaming pile of blueing ooze was melting into the concrete. “Keith took care of it before I could get here; it was a La’shock demon, feeds on the electricity in human brains.”

“You kill other demons?” Gibbs asked up to the hulking demon behind Xander. He was rewarded by another bout of the guttural speak that sounded vaguely like something he’d heard on a sci-fi movie one late night.

“He says only when they break the truce in the city.” Xander translated for him. “Now, if you don’t mind I’d like to get back to my chat, if that’s alright with you?” Xander asked sarcastically, watching as Gibbs slowly put down his weapon and held it at his side, obviously still not comfortable with the situation. “Thank you.”

Gibbs stepped back slowly, watching as Xander talked to ‘Keith’ for a few more minutes away from him, Xander was whispering but the guttural tones of ‘Keith’ could be heard clearly echoing through the alley, even though he couldn’t translate it he could tell that ‘Keith’ was angry at something, but not at Xander, he could tell that from the demons body language.

“Thanks man, I’ll send you the usual.” Xander grinned, slapping the huge demon on the back before heading back to Gibbs. “He confirmed what Lorne said, someone moved into the warehouse district last week, kicked out the rest of the demons there and has been holed up ever since.”

“The usual?” Gibbs asked with a raised eyebrow, etching every detail of ‘Keith’s’ hulking form into his head in case he ever needed to describe him to anyone, not that anyone would believe him anyway, this entire night was turning into something he’d expect from a bad fantasy TV show or something.

“Blue jello,” Xander grinned. “He can’t exactly go shopping for it, and his clan have developed quite a taste for it over the years.” Xander motioned to the ally before walking off back to the van.

“You’re telling me,” Gibbs nodded back to where the huge demon had disappeared to after catching up with Xander. “They eat blue jello?”

“Everyone loves blue jello,” Xander grinned for a second before laughing loudly as the two made their way back to the van.

“I don’t believe this,” Gibbs muttered under his breath, suppressing the urge to laugh along with Xander, it was too strange not to be true.

“Come on, we’ll call it a night, we can check out the warehouse tomorrow during the day, that way we don’t have to deal with the vamps.” Xander explained as Gibbs opened the back doors to the van. “Hey gang.”

“That was so cool!” Abby grinned at him from her seat in the van. “We have to come back some time.”

“Maybe,” Xander grinned at her, taking off his coat and throwing it on the floor before picking up his ID and gun. Checking the chamber quickly for a round he double checked the safety before sliding it back into its holster and putting it on. “That’s it for tonight kids, warehouse for tomorrow.”

“What’s with the ID’s?” Tony asked, unable to keep his curiosity any longer, he’d had a quick flick through Xander’s ID wallet while they were all in the club, amazed at the amount of clearance Xander had.

“What about them?” Xander asked, eying Tony carefully while attaching the ID clip to his belt and checking he had his normal wallet in the back of his jeans along with all his blades and stakes.

“You have more clearance than god,” Kate smiled at him, causing Abby and Gibbs to look at them both before turning to look at Xander for an explanation. “Half of those, I don’t even know what they’re for. I recognised the GB-20 and the HD-63, those are the same as top level secret service, and along with weapon permits for every gun known to man and a few that I don’t even want to ask about. There’s international carry permits along with a LK-1 ID.” Kate didn’t have to explain that one, everyone in the van turned to look at Xander with curiosity; even Gibbs seemed impressed by that one.

“You have an international licence to kill?” Gibbs asked, half amused by the prospect and half frightened that someone as young as Agent Harris had such clout behind him.

“Huh,” Xander nodded, glancing at his ID clip. “So that’s what all that alphabet soup stands for.” He grinned as Tony laughed while Gibbs and Kate shook their heads in amusement.

“What’s that?” Abby asked, still not completely aware of all the ID letters, numbers and what they stood for.

“It means Abs, that Harris here could kill Tony without any reprisal from any government on earth.” Gibbs smiled as Tony immediately stopped laughing.

“There’d be an investigation, right boss?” Tony asked, eying Gibbs carefully for any sign he was kidding. Gibbs just smirked at him before closing the doors and heading round to the front of the van. “Right boss?”

“I’ll follow you back to HQ,” Xander smiled at Gibbs before he got in the driver’s seat of the van.

“Wait up,” Abby called from the van before climbing out the back doors and locking them behind her. “Xander can drop me off at home first; I wanna know more about vampires.”

Xander laughed before leading her back to his car, while the van sped off with Tony and Kate obviously badgering Gibbs for information about what it was like in the club, Xander just had to laugh. This team were certainly his type of people; maybe he could bribe the Joint Chiefs into getting them on his payroll instead.

“So, who’s this Spike you were telling me about?” Abby asked as they climbed into Xander’s car. “And the Poof, who’s he?”

Xander’s car sped away with the sound of laughter coming from the driver’s seat while he explained what vamps were really like to Abby on the way back to her flat, in a way her enthusiasm reminded him of Willow, but she had a darker, more twisted sense of humour that reminded him of himself. She seemed interested by all sorts of demons, especially vampires and the darker sorts, then she started asking about witchcraft and magic he zoned out, concentrating on driving while she babbled on about what she thought magic was about and how knowing it was real affected her. Maybe he’d have to get Willow to come down here and explain it all to her, that would definitely solve a few problems for him. That and he couldn’t wait to see Tony’s face when faced with a lesbian witch, which would be a moment to cherish forever.

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#3  Edited By Buffy Summers

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#4  Edited By Methos

“I’m warning you DiNozzo, one more word about last night and you’ll find me boot so far up your ass you won’t be able to walk for a month.” Gibbs threatened seriously as he got out of the elevator, Tony and Kate following close behind with smirks on their faces. “Harris, what have we got?”

“Not much, ran down some basic intel on the warehouse, it’s listed to a ‘Joe Barnett’, fake name though, no drivers license or social security number.” Xander read off the sheet of paper in front of him as he lazed in Gibbs chair.

“Good, now get the hell out of my seat!” Gibbs shouted as the trio approached their work stations. “Take the one opposite.” He nodded to the spare work station opposite his next to Tony’s where the computer and other items were missing from the work surface.

“Just waiting for my equipment to arrive,” Xander grinned as he stood up from the chair and sat on the desk he had been pointed to. “Cleared it out this morning.”

“What time did you get in?” Tony asked, dumping his jacket over his chair and unwrapping his usual bacon and sausage burrito.

“‘Bout six, got bored with waiting at home so I decided to get some practice in, gym and firing range doesn’t open ‘till nine though.” Xander explained, checking his watch. It was coming up to nine now, so he could probably get in an hour or so at the range while Gibbs and his team caught up on their usual work.

“I’ll come with,” Gibbs stated, standing up from his desk and checking his side arm before re-holstering it. “I’ve got some more questions for you.” He paused, looking at Kate and Tony who were sat at their desks enjoying their breakfast. “When you two are done eating...” He was interrupted when the phone rang. “Gibbs.” He barked into it, pausing and listening to the voice for a few minutes before putting it back down. “Kate, you’re with Harris, show him around the range and I want to know everything about the sorts of ‘things’ we’ll be dealing with along with reports of all his range scores.” He turned to look at Xander who was just grinning at him. “DiNozzo, you’re with me, we’ve got an impaled marine out on 57th park, get Ducky and meet me out front.”

“Guess the warehouse can hold off for a day then.” Xander muttered.

“If we’re not back, you two check it out, but be careful.” Gibbs said the last while looking at Kate especially. “If anything happens to her, you’ll be answering to me.”

“Sir,” Xander snapped off a sloppy salute with his trademark grin.

“DiNozzo, why are you still here?” Gibbs barked out, turning to where Tony was watching from his desk.

“Right boss,” Tony grinned before dashing off to the elevator to get the coroner.

“I mean it Harris,” Gibbs stated, getting right up in Xander’s face. “You stick to her like barnacles on a sub or I’ll be coming for you next.” He then turned and strode out of the area to the elevator.

“Intense guy,” Xander muttered as Kate finished off her sandwich quickly before jogging over.

“That he is,” Kate smiled at him, giving him the once over. He was dressed in his usual blue jeans, with a tight black t-shirt over the top showing off muscles she could drool over all day. A pair of expensive sunglasses hanging from the collar of his t-shirt, and the ID wallet they had been talking about last night was attacked to his belt next to his sidearm. “Firing range?”

“Just getting some practice in,” Xander grinned at her. “So what did he mean, wanting to know about what we might come up against?” he asked as they started walking round the floor way to the elevator.

“He’s still shaken about the paranormal being, well, normal I guess.” Kate struggled with the sentence forming in her mind. “I guess we all are, well aside from Abby of course,” She paused as they got into the elevator. “He just hides it well, but I’m guessing he has as many questions as the rest of us.”

“One, don’t know about God, never met him, never seen him or the other guy,” Xander started rolling off the answers to the questions he knew he was going to get quickly while they were in the privacy of the elevator.

“Other guy?” Kate asked, quickly jotting these answers down for Gibbs.

“The devil,” He smiled at he shocked look. “Don’t bother writing these down, I have a full list of all the demons in the DC area being sent over today, packages should arrive around noon.”

“Are there that many?” Kata asked, now voicing her own questions as well as the ones she knew Gibbs would want her to ask.

“More species of demons than there are types of cat,” Xander grinned, “According to Willow anyway.” The elevator found the ground floor and they exited, moving round the building before taking the side entrance that would take them to the firing range. “The database covers all the main ones, their feeding habits, locations of main tribes along with instructions on how to deal with them.”

“Useful,” Kate nodded, especially as Xander said, most demons would just shrug off bullets like they were mosquitoes.

“Very,” Xander smiled at her. “I’ll burn Gibbs off a copy so he knows what he’s dealing with.”

“Range is just through here,” Kate nodded to the cordoned off area where they could already here gunfire.

“I know,” Xander grinned at her before leading the way forwards. “I was there this morning remember.”

“Of course,” Kate smiled back, hanging back to admire the view the tight blue jeans offered. He may be a few years younger than her, but that doesn’t stop anyone from admiring the view, just meant she wouldn’t be buying the condo.

The two walked on in silence for a few minutes, Xander stopped every so often to watch the marines being run through hand to hand combat training. “How busy is the Naval Yard normally?” Xander asked, glancing round the area that was full of officers and marines going about their normal duties.

“Washington Naval Yard is the main offices for all of Washington, it’s not just the NCIS here, there’s the Marine Corps institute as well as the GC’s, sorry, Generals Corps. Keep forgetting you’re not military,” She smiled at him, noticing that he hadn’t taken his eyes of the marine drill instructor who was currently yelling at the marines doing push up’s in front of him.

“Lots of officers then,” Xander nodded along, motioning for her to continue.

“There’s the Chief of Naval Operations on the north site,” She pointed far over to a set of buildings in the distance. “Along with the Department of Naval History.”

“Busy place then,” Xander smiled, walking round the fence to get a better look at the marine office he hadn’t taken his eyes off.

“Wait,” Kate started, but didn’t manage to get far as Xander was already on the other side of the fence walking towards the Master Chief who was putting the new recruits through their paces. “You can’t,” She started to say weakly before remembering how much clearance he had in that ID wallet of his then running over to catch up with him.

“What are you two doing here!” The Master Chief bellowed at them, causing both Xander and Kate to wince at the volume of the shout.

“Master Chief,” Kate stood between the two trying to settle in as a mediator to what looked like two alpha males squaring off for territory.

“Well I’ll be...” Xander grinned, glaring at the Master Chief. “Patrick Stanze.”

“Master Chief, this is Special Agent Harris from SWIC.” Kate introduced the two, puzzled at Xander’s reaction to the Master Chief.

“You hunting boy?” The Master Chief asked quietly.

“No sir,” Xander snapped back with a salute. “Just a quiet word if I may sir.”

“Make it quick.” The Master Chief shouted before turning to the troops. “Fifty more, you have twenty minutes.” Then he walked off to the back of the field away from the troops, Xander followed but stopped when Kate followed him.

“Five minutes,” He smiled at her before walking off after the Master Chief.

“Why are you here?” The Master Chief asked quietly, but his tone dared Xander to lie or avoid the question.

“Investigating the death of Agent McGee, I thought you were on manoeuvres.” Xander smiled and tried to appear as friendly as he could.

“Cancelled, you working government side?” The Master Chief asked, relaxing his guard a bit now that they had both settled that they weren’t here to fight.

“Yup,” Xander grinned. “Spook Squad as the new recruits call it,” He grinned, remembering how most marines took the news of the paranormal, most of them just repressed it until they couldn’t take it anymore. The good ones actually asked about it and found ways to cope with the change in their world view. “Ruprecht said I might run into you here.”

“You know him?” The Master Chief asked, a smile beginning to show on his features.

“My teacher,” Xander grinned. “You still going by Stanze?”

“Master Chief Patrick Stanze.” Stanze snapped out with a salute. “She a Watcher?” He asked, nodding at Kate.

“No, yours is on a case at the moment.” Xander smiled, shaking his head slowly. “You mind?” He asked, nodding to her, smiling when Stanze smiled at him, nodding slowly. How the Watchers ever thought they could keep someone secret from people like Stanze was beyond him, but at least he didn’t know who’s his was, for now anyway. “I’m sorry to hear about Quince,” Xander lowered his head. “Can’t explain how he fell like that.”

“He was a good kid,” Stanze nodded, remembering how he had first met Quince all those years ago before taking him in as a student. “Back in eighteen twelve it was, haven’t seen him since he tried to take my head about fifty years ago.”

“Some just turn bad,” Xander said, lowering his head as a sign of respect for the man’s fallen student.

“I heard he died, I don’t know who by. Do you?” Stanze asked, staring directly into Xander’s eye.

“Duncan Macleod,” Xander said simply. “Nine years ago. He went after Connor, found Duncan instead.”

“Thank you.” Stanze smiled, holding out his hand in a peace offering. “He died honourably, even though he didn’t live that way.”

“He did at that,” Xander smiled, shaking the offered hand.

“How is the old man anyway,” Stanze smiled, taking a quick glance at the recruits to make sure they weren’t slacking off while he was talking. “I haven’t seen Ruprecht in over seven hundred years.” He smiled, obviously remembering the time with his teacher.

“Good, going by Rupert now though,” Xander smiled, putting his sunglasses back on as the sun got in his eyes. “We’ll have to get together for a drink sometime.” He smiled, noticing Kate was glaring at him for being left out of the conversation.

“You hunting someone then?” Stanze asked, looking at Kate carefully. “Does she know?”

“Jack, and no.” Xander smiled softly.

“Be careful son,” Stanze nodded at the reply. “Hate to tell Rupert,” He paused, testing the name on his tongue for his old teacher. “That Jack got you as well.”

“He won’t, I’m in NCIS, second floor, lab B.” Xander smiled, nodding at Stanze before making his way back over to Kate. “We’ll have that drink sometime and talk about the other friends we have in common.” He called back, causing the Master Chief to let out a bark of laughter as he walked back over to the Marine recruits.

“What was all that about?” Kate asked, irritation showing in her voice as Xander jogged back over to her.

“History,” Xander grinned at her as the two walked out of the training area and headed over to the firing range.

“History,” Kate mulled over. “Wait, is he a...” She trailed off.

“Yup,” Xander grinned at her. “We had the same teacher.”

“How old?” Kate asked, now more intrigued by Immortals than demons.

“Bit shy of twelve hundred,” Xander grinned as he saw her eyes shoot wide open. “Fought in World Wars one and two, and the American Civil War.”

“And he’s still doing it?” Kate breathed out, imagining what the Master Chief had seen, all he had done in his time on earth, all he could still do.

“He likes it,” Xander smiled. “Keeps him busy and lets him do what he loves, what else is there to do with eternity?”

Kate just stopped, thinking about it. Xander was right, for people with eternity offered out to them, what were they going to do with their time. The Master Chief could be happy training Marines, Xander was tracking down criminals, they were both working for their country when they had literally eternity to do whatever they wanted, the concept was pretty mind blowing for her.

“What would you do?” Xander called back from where he had stopped at the firing range and was checking his side arm. “If you had eternity, what would you do?”

“If I was immortal?” Kate asked, jogging over to him and settling into the next booth before checking her side arm for ammo and clicking the safety off. “I don’t know.” She answered honestly.

“Good answer,” Xander smiled, sending the target down the range as far as he could, smiling more when Kate did the same. “Best score buys lunch?” He shouted over the divider.

“You’re on,” Kate shouted back before levelling her weapon down the range. She heard the report of Xander’s firing and paused, squinting down the range to see his first shot had marked the target directly in the forehead. Cursing her bad luck she opened fire, wondering what he’d ask for for lunch, then smiling at the idea of spending a full lunch with him to ask more questions. Somehow, she thought it’d be worth it.

=/^=

“What do you think of him?” Gibbs asked as they drove past the barrier the police had erected around the crime scene to keep the press out. “Harris.” He continued when he didn’t get an answer.

“Seems solid,” Tony replied, thinking how to phrase his replies so that Gibbs would understand what he was trying to say. “Seen a lot, done even more, his clearance levels say that he’s got some major powers backing him, and that sort of trust isn’t handed out to anyone.”

“That’s true.” Gibbs nodded as he pulled the van to a stop. “What do you think of all the things out there, vampires, demons and immortals?” He smirked when Tony shuddered when he said Vampires.

“Still absorbing,” Tony answered honestly. “Not much we can do about it though, that’s his area, we just deal with the Navy.”

“Stay out of his life after this and hope his life stays out of ours?” Gibbs asked, mulling it over in his head it sounded like a good thing to hope for.

“No offence, but I don’t find the idea of chasing after someone I can’t kill the idea of a fun afternoon,” Tony explained, grabbing his kit and jumping out of the van. “If Xander wants to deal with them, I say let one immortal deal with another, he must have a plan to do something with him after he’s caught him, maybe there’s an immortal prison somewhere or something.”

Gibbs just nodded, grabbing his coffee from the stand on the dashboard where he placed it while they were driving. Taking a sip he glanced around the area, it was cordoned off well, with marines standing back while the officers checked around for something. “What have we got?” Gibbs called out to the officer who was walking across the field towards them.

“Three kids found the marine this morning, impaled on a spike of wood about fifteen feet from here,” The officer nodded at the medical crew who were being led by Ducky towards the body. “No weapon found near the body sir.”

“Thanks,” Gibbs nodded to the officer who moved off quickly and started moving the marines away from the area. “Let’s keep the in house talk to a minimum out here, unless we run across one of Harris’ ‘things’.” He explained to Tony, who nodded in reply. “What have we got Ducky?” He shouted across as he made his way over to the body.

“Some blood and tissue on the instrument,” Ducky paused, taking some scrapings off the wooden spike the marine was impaled upon. “Though not nearly enough for this to be the impaling instrument of his demise.”

“He was impaled on something then thrown onto that?” Tony asked, grabbing his camera out of his bag to start documenting the crime scene.

“What’s the damage like?” Gibbs asked, crouching down to take a closer look at the gaping wound in the marine’s chest. “And if you say demon,” He whispered. “I WILL scream.”

“Well it’s approximately eight inches in diameter with metallic fragments in the wound.” Ducky paused, turning to Gibbs. “Organ and tissue damage consistent with a high velocity object.”

“Not a demon then.” Tony grinned at Gibbs who actually looked thankful for a break from the ‘other world’ for a bit.

“Oh goodness no,” Ducky smiled at the duo. “I’ve only seen this once before, a village in Somalia, one of the local boys made the mistake of impregnating the chief’s daughter.”

“And they did that,” Tony paused, taking a close up picture of the wound in the marines chest where the wooden stake was driven though. “To him?”

“Good old fashioned technology,” Ducky explained, standing up from the body. “Shoulder fired anti-tank missile from twenty paces.” He smiled as Gibbs muttered something before walking off in the opposite direction from the body. “So, how are you getting on with our dear Mister Harris?”

“He took Abby to Siguranţă Fui last night, finding out who was new in town.” Tony explained how things had gone last night.

“Ah yeah, Abby couldn’t stop talking about the club all this morning,” Ducky smiled. “I believe our Mister Harris has made quite an impression on her.”

“Just as long as he keeps her away from vampires, I’m ok with it.” Tony grinned.

“Oh, I assure you he will, after the collapse of Sunnydale, his home town.” Ducky explained. “Mister Harris was involved in a long term relationship with a Vampire Slayer, lasted approximately three years I believe, yes, three years with Faith as Rupert told me. The betting pool was they wouldn’t last a week, I believe his good friend Willow cleaned up there quite nicely.”

“Vampire Slayer?” Tony asked, but was interrupted from getting an answer when Gibbs yelled over for him. Jogging over to where Gibbs had called from he saw him stood in front of a blackened tree stump, where the charred area seemed to stop at about seven feet up and had a whitened area running through the middle of the black burnt area.

“They fired from here,” Gibbs stated, turning round to face where ducky was continuing with the body. “Warhead damage should be somewhere on this line.” Gibbs pointed out directly in front of him.

“On it boss.” Tony replied, moving off in the direction Gibbs was pointing.

“Hold on,” Gibbs shouted, crouching down to look at something on the floor. “Evidence bag,” He shouted, smiling when Tony quickly got a clean evidence bag out of his pocket with a pen to mark the contents.

“What is it?” Tony asked, crouching down opposite him to see what he had found.

“Igniter cap,” Gibbs explained, picking the small metal cone up. “When the missile is fired, this is ejected out the back.” Placing the cone in the evidence bag he jotted down the location while Tony took pictures of the area and marked it with an evidence marker.

“You check for the blast zone, I’ll get scrapings off the tree for Abby.” Gibbs ordered, setting off back to the tree with a clean evidence back and his flick knife. “Ducky, how are you coming with the time of death?” He called while he was scraping some of the bark off the tree into the bag.

“A bit tricky Jethro,” Ducky paused, looking at the body carefully. “The massive blood loss alone makes finding a PMI difficult, though not as difficult as finding causes of death when the corpse is still moving and talking that is...”

“Ducky...” Gibbs tried to interrupt.

“I have this one friend, Doctor House, works over at Plainsboro teaching hospital. He actually diagnosed a vampire once; he was hit by a truck apparently, was brought in unconscious and woke up in the medical wing of the hospital. Yes, his name was Angel I believe, I wonder if it’s the same Angel that Mister Harris knows, I never did get the full story behind that from Greg, I can’t imagine it being a very popular name though, even for a vampire over two hundred years, I must remember...”

“Ducky, time of death please.” Gibbs interrupted him successfully this time, even though he was actually interested in this story of Ducky’s, he’d have to wait until after the current investigation to find out more.

“Yes, sorry,” Ducky smiled, bending down and examining the Marines eyes. “Yes, this cloudy residue covering the eyes in caused by the breakdown of potassium after death, I should be able to get an accurate reading when I get it back to the lab.” Ducky smiled, standing up and stretching his back from the strain of bending over so close to the body. “Best I can say at this stage,” He paused, waiting for Gibbs to stand up and face him. “The last twenty four hours, no more.”

“Found something boss!” Tony shouted out from about twenty meters away where he was stood in an area hidden from view by large bushes.

Gibbs smiled, striding over to where Tony was stood over a small blackened crater in the ground.

“Looks like a AGIA missile, I’ve got scrapings for Abby to confirm.” Tony stated, standing up and pocketing a few evidence bags before taking a few photos of the crater.

“I’d say so,” Gibbs agreed, nodding at the crater. “Good job.”

“Thanks boss,” Tony grinned. “Just got a picture from Kate on the phone, looks like Xander’s range scores.”

“Let’s see it.” Gibbs stated, holding out his hand for Tony’s phone.

“He’s good,” Tony stated, flipping out the phone and scrolling through for the message in question. “Very good.” He smiled, passing the phone over to Gibbs who let out a low whistle as he looked at the picture.

“When we get back I was a full history on Harris, medical, the works.” Gibbs ordered before moving off. “Those sorts of skills don’t come cheap or easy, I want to know where he got them from.”

“Aye, aye boss,” Tony smiled, taking one last look at the picture on his phone before snapping it shut. “You can be the one to tell him why we’re investigating him though,” He grinned, thinking what else Xander was going to surprise them with. From those results, he was not a man to piss off, especially not when he had a gun in his hand.

=/^=

“Where did you learn to shoot like that?” Kate asked, looking at the photo on her phone of the sheet of paper that she had pinned up by Gibbs desk for the moment. It was the usual silhouette from the target range, but it had three holes in the head, one in each shoulder, and one in each arm where the elbows would be. The knees and ankles had similar treatment with four in the groin area, all in the diameter of a pill bottle lid.

“High school,” Xander grinned at her. “Don’t ask.”

“Right,” she shook her head as they walked over to the cafeteria till, both of their trays laden with food and snacks. “Are you sure you don’t want to leave the base for lunch, we can head into the city for a bit if you want.”

“Nope,” Xander grinned, looking around at all the marines who were moving about the area. He’d long since un-tucked his shirt so it covered up the ID badge, after the fourth marine saluted him he got sick of it and decided covering it up was easier than taking it off, that way if he did need to show it to anyone he could just lift his shirt up. “This is perfect.” He felt at home here, the Soldier possession was over fourteen years ago now, but he could still feel it in his head, always had. Being on a Naval base had just made the possession feel that much stronger, he knew the soldier that had possessed him was a Marine, but being here, the sights, the smells, the sounds of boot camp. Everything came rushing back, the memories he had of being at war in Vietnam, of the training he went through before sniper school, his first kill, everything was so clear now, they were like his own memories. He still couldn’t remember the name of the Marine who possessed him, he probably would never find out, but he’d love to shake that man’s hand some day, it was that’s to him that he had actually buckled down and graduated high school, that possession had done so much for him, it was the proverbial kick in the rear that all good recruits needed.

“Thinking about signing up one day?” Kate asked as they paid for the lunch and moved over to an empty table.

“Maybe,” Xander grinned. “I’ve got time.”

“That you do,” Kate grinned back, she couldn’t help it, his grin was infectious. She was still amazed that he was such a good shot with just a side arm, she’d mentally upgraded him to sniper when she saw how easily he handled the sniper rifle on the range, noting that down as another aspect of the mystery known as Agent Harris for Gibbs, then upgraded him to Master Sniper after he’d taken a few shots with the rifle that even impressed the range instructor. With one eye the man was more deadly than most of the expert snipers on the base, with two he must have been almost a one man army. “What about other things, you know, what else do you want to do with eternity, what do you want to see?”

“Don’t know,” Xander smiled, tucking into his tuna sandwich. “Take it a day at a time, catch Jack then head back to SWCI, and go through life like any normal person.”

“Don’t you have any plans? Scuba diving with sharks, or see the pyramids or something?” Kate asked, amazed that he hadn’t already thought of things to do with eternity.

“Why?” Xander asked, putting his sandwich down and looking at her directly in the eyes, his one eyed stare unnerving her slightly.

“I don’t know,” She answered, trying to build a profile up in her head of the man sat opposite her. “It just seems, so incredible; you have this gift to be able to see so much, do so much, where do you start?”

“One day at a time,” Xander grinned, happy with her answer. “One day at a time.”

=/^=

“Where are Kate and Harris?” Gibbs asked the technician who was working on his computer as he walked into the area; Tony was following him and had thrown his jacket over his chair already.

“Don’t know sir,” The technician replied, looking up from the monitor for a moment. “Haven’t seen them today, I’ll have the new software installed in just a moment for you.”

“Those for Agent Harris?” Gibbs asked, nodding to the large pile of boxes on the desk opposite his before walking over them and picking up a soft toy that was perched on the top of them.

“Yes sir, arrived about an hour ago, I signed for them myself.” The technician smiled before tapping a few more keys on the keyboard then standing up. “All done sir.”

“And this is?” Gibbs asked, holding up the soft toy, on closer inspection it looked like a soft plushie of Agent Harris, complete with eye patch but dressed in a federal suit instead of his usual jeans and t-shirt.

“Came with the delivery sir, instructions were to place it on top so Special Agent Harris would know who they are from.” The Technician smiled before moving off away from the area.

“You seen this?” Gibbs asked, throwing the plushie over to Tony who snatched it deftly from the air.

“Good work, Kate collects these; don’t think she’s got any personal ones though.” Tony grinned before moving over and placing it on the top of Kate’s monitor, checking the label first. “AngelKitty workshop in LA,” Tony instantly started forming a plan, thinking of a way to get a good photo of Kate so he could have a personal plushie of her made to surprise her with, he could have a few made, have them placed around the office for her to find, the thought of the prank made him grin while he jotted down the website off the label while watching as Gibbs fished out his phone and pressed the speed dial button for Kate.

“Where are you two?” Gibbs barked down the phone. He paused, listening to Kate for a moment. “We’re back at HQ; tell Harris his box’s are here.” Without waiting for a reply he clicked the phone shut, ending the phone call before slipping it back into his pocket. “On their way back,” Gibbs smiled, looking at the range sheet that was blue tacked to the plasma screen in the middle of their work area. “He’s good,” Gibbs nodded, smiling when Tony went a little pale when he saw where the bullets had found all of their intended targets. He’d already seen it on the phone, but seeing the large target made it that much more real.

Walking over to the papers by the side he started reading through the range test scores, smirking when he came across the sniper rifle marks. The range sergeant had even marked down that he’d offer him a job here if his current one ever fell though. “Tony, check this out.” He smirked, throwing over the papers where Tony caught them and started reading through.

“Scratch that,” Tony muttered. “He’s really good.”

“As I said,” Gibbs smiled. “Skills like those don’t come cheap or easy, I want to know everything about Agent Harris, you stay here while we check out the warehouse this afternoon.”

“You got it boss.” Tony smiled; research was something he was strangely good at, especially when it came to digging up things on people who didn’t want their past to be found. “You ready?” He called, watching Harris and Kate make their way from the elevator over to them.

“Warehouse time,” Xander smiled, lunch had been nice and he’d found a lot more out about Kate, he knew she’d been pumping him for information as well, but didn’t really mind. Hopefully everything would go according to plan and he’d be out of here soon, that was she’d be back to dealing with her normal duties away from the supernatural, that was a lot safer than dealing with the things he was normally dealing with, which would greatly improve her chances of living to a ripe old age. Something that had been denied himself by that vampire, it didn’t matter that he had gone back the next night with an improvised flame thrower, six Slayers and Willow for backup to destroy the vampire that had killed him along with her entire kiss, it was the principal of the thing that mattered, something he was always sure of, everyone should be given a choice, especially on things like that. He wasn’t, and it burned him every day that that choice had been taken away from him, it was the reason he’d broken up with Faith, the fact that she could die young, but he would live forever, The Game permitting of course. Everyone should be given a choice, which was something that he and Giles agreed on at least, that if not much else.

“We’ll take your car,” Gibbs nodded to Xander as he strode up to them. “Warehouse is on...”

“I know where it is,” Xander interrupted, pulling a one eighty as Gibbs approached them.

“Good, let’s go then.” Gibbs didn’t even stop for them, he just marched on past as Xander span round forcing Kate to do the same to keep up with them.

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Methos

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#5  Edited By Methos

“I want an explanation.” Gibbs stated simply from the front seat of the car. Xander looked over and saw him sipping his coffee and staring at him quietly.

“Just one?” Xander asked with a grin, causing Kate to smile from the back of the car.

“The toy that came with your boxes,” Gibbs supplied, causing Kate to look at Xander questioningly in the mirror. “Why?”

“In the last day you’ve been introduced to vampires, demons and immortals,” Xander smirked. “You’ve seen more strange things in the past two days than you have in the past twenty years.” He let out a bark of laughter as Gibbs nodded along with him. “And the only thing you want to know, is why I received a cuddly toy with the boxes?”

“It’s the one thing I can count on getting an explanation that I can make sense of,” Gibbs explained his choice. “So?”

“It’s from my ex,” Xander smiled. “A boytoy for her boytoy.” Xander grinned, thinking back to how Faith had started this little tease to make him smile. It had started just after she broke up with him, she finished the relationship because she couldn’t handle the funk that he had dropped into after finding out he was immortal. He even had a death wish for a while, going after the most dangerous vampires and demons with no backup, he survived every time, but their relationship didn’t. Faith had already been through the self destructive phase, and come out the end of it stronger. She’d tried to help him, trying to do everything that they had done for her and more, but nothing helped. In the end she just walked out one night and didn’t go back, it was worse seeing someone you cared about going through this, but when they had cut you off completely from their life and you had to just watch them taking stupid risks with their life every day, that made it so much harder. She couldn’t watch him; she took the first flight out to London and went as the Councils operative to England. When she came back he had passed through his ‘phase’, he was a bit darker for it, and a lot more dangerous, and could identify with her in a way that no one else could. It made them closer than they had ever been in a relationship, too close for the relationship to continue. Now they were like brother and sister, able to talk to each other about the darkness within them, safe in the knowledge that the other person knew exactly what they were talking about. “She sends me one every time I go on a mission, kind of a good luck charm and a message to know she’s there if I need her.”

“She’s a slayer.” Gibbs stated simply, causing a raised eyebrow to come from both Xander and Kate.

“Yeah,” Xander turned to stare at him. “How did you know, I never told you about slayers?”

“Ducky did.” Gibbs explained.

“What’s a slayer?” Kate asked what was on both their minds, but she didn’t have to worry about the man’s code of not asking personal questions about an ex.

“A girl, enhanced speed, strength, built in vamp detector.” Xander grinned at his off the cuff description of slayers. “Capable of bending a M40 into a perfect circle.”

Gibbs let out a low whistle while Kate looked really intrigued.

“Always women?” She asked as Xander turned a corner.

“Always girls,” Xander replied darkly. “Between fourteen and twenty three, a nine year gap for their ‘calling’. Any younger and they don’t have the height or focus to get the job done, any older and they’re too set in the world around them to focus on the supernatural.”

“Who calls them?” Gibbs asked, his tone saying what his words didn’t, that women had no place in combat. He couldn’t help it, it was old style marine training to the core, women don’t have any place on the front lines of any war zone.

“Unknown.” Xander replied simply, his tone stating that he agreed with Gibbs perfectly, and if he had the chance to change it from women to men, he would do in a heartbeat. It wasn’t him being chauvinistic, it was just the way he was. If he could save an innocent girls life and take her place on the front lines of this war, he’d do it without a second thought. “I’m bringing in someone to talk with Abby.” He said simply, changing the subject drastically in a way that no one would go back to the old topic.

“Why?” Gibbs asked, curious as to what Abby had done that none of the others had.

“She’s too in love with this world,” Xander explained. “She still thinks vampires are ‘cool’, and demons are all fluffy toys to play with. This is not the world I want her in.”

“Who?” Gibbs stated simply, wanting to know who would be coming to explain about vampires to a member of NCIS. From what he had seen, Harris was pretty much an expert on them, he couldn’t imagine anyone else being able to tell Abby about the dark side of life in any more detail that he could.

“Spike.” Xander said, receiving a raised eyebrow from Gibbs and the same from Kate when he looked in the mirror. “Master vampire, around one hundred and twenty, you’ll like him.” He grinned at Gibbs. “He’s got the same temperament as you, and used to smack me round the head like you do with Tony.”

“You’re bringing in a vampire, to warn Abby off vampires?” Kate asked, her tone stating that she was holding back laughter.

“I trust him,” Xander said simply, earning him a surprised look from both Kate and Gibbs. “He’s fought the good fight for over ten years now, saved the world once and all our lives. He’ll rub you the wrong way every chance he gets, but he’d a good fighter, strong, fast and can take nearly as much damage as me. He’s been fighting and killing for over a hundred years, hand to hand he’s pretty much perfect. Interrogation and ‘torture’,” Xander paused with a grin that was a hell of a lot darker than his usual lop sided one. “He’s second only to Angelus.”

“You trust him?” Gibbs asked, wanting Xander to reiterate the point.

“With my life, he’s been my only backup on dangerous missions more times than I can count. I may not like him, but I respect how many times he’s put his life on the line to save everyone else.” Xander thought back to all the times he had fought side by side with Spike, they had come to a mutual agreement. Spike pissed him off as much as he could, then when they fought in training; he knew that he didn’t have to hold back with him. It had made him a more efficient fighter, and in hand to hand his speed was nearly up to slayer levels now. “I’d have him cover my six before I chose anyone else Gunny.”

Gibbs nodded, filing away the fact that Harris had just called him Gunny. He got the idea that Harris’ trust wasn’t an easy thing to earn, and he used way too many military words not to have had some training, the ‘Gunny’ comment was the final piece that put him in the marines. The fact that he brought up an M40 as an example, a ‘Kate’ as they called it in the corps could just be a coincidence, but he’d bet his boat that Harris’ had marine training, perhaps sniper school under his belt. It would explain his range scores and the way he moved, but he was just too young, then again, being immortal he might have just lied about his true age and had more sniper training than he could remember. It was just another piece of the puzzle to put into place about Agent Harris. He’d get the full picture one day, of that he was sure. “When’s he coming?”

“He’ll be here tonight.” Xander said simply, watching Gibbs run through scenarios and trying to imagine what a hundred year old vampire would be like, for some reason all he could imagine was Lestat from the awful book Abby had made him read, Interview with the Vampire, though now it didn’t seem silly anymore, maybe he’d have to ask to take another look at those books, maybe they weren’t fiction and were just disguised that way for the vampires of the world to get their stories out to the masses. Suddenly this world just got a hell of a lot more complicated, and it was only Wednesday.

“How far?” Kate asked, interrupting the silence as both people in the front of the car watched each other thinking.

“Fifteen minutes.” Gibbs stated, looking at the street sign before the speedometer and calculating the distance remaining. He smiled when he felt the acceleration as Harris added another fifteen to his speed. “Make that ten.”

=/^=

“DiNozzo!” The shout came from above him, causing him to lean back in his chair and crane his neck back to see who was shouting for him. He immediately felt the ball of acid in his stomach start bubbling when he noticed the director of NCIS glaring down at him.

“Sir?” He asked, jumping off the chair to stand up straight and look the director in the eyes.

“Care to explain why I have the director of SWIC on M-TAC, demanding to know why we are looking into Agent Harris background?” The director asked, glancing around the area and noting Gibbs, Harris and Todd weren’t at their desks.

“Gibbs wanted a full background check running on Xander, just a precaution he said.” Tony rattled off the excuse that he had been thinking up, just in case something like this happened.

“Drop it.” The director ordered. “Word is, if you don’t, your computer will meet with a nasty accident.”

“Sir,” Tony smiled up at him before watching him go back into the conference room. “Yeah, right.” He scoffed, moving back to his computer and pulling up Xander’s high school records.

“Blah blah blah,” He read down the screen, jotting things down that stood out for Gibbs to read later. “Regular student until first term of second year, then buckled down, accused of cheating four times, never proven.” He scanned down the rest, respectable GPA after the second year, no ex-cur activities mentioned, more than six warnings per week from a Principal Snyder. “Whoa!” He shouted, jumping back as his monitor flashed a red screen with a pentagram on it before catching on fire. “What the hell?” He shouted, jumping round the corner and pulling the fire extinguisher of the wall, by the time he had got back to his station the fire was out though, and his monitor had been reduced to melted pile of black plastic on his desk. Looking down the exact same thing had happened to his computer under his desk, now it was just a melted pile of slag on the carpet.

“That’s coming out of your paycheck DiNozzo!” The director’s voice shouted from above him before he heard a door slamming shut.

“Ok, mental note, take warnings from SWIC seriously in future,” He shook his head, still not believing what he was seeing, if it had been any other say he would have made some joke about ‘magic’, only it wasn’t a joke anymore, and that red pentagram on the screen before his computer had imploded definitely wasn’t a joke. Just then his phone beeped, pulling it out he looked at the text message he received with a raised eyebrow.

‘No more computers for the rest of the day Special Agent DiNozzo. X.’

He had to laugh, the fact that SWIC had the clout and knowledge to hack into the NCIS and warn the director before nuking his computer, then getting Xander to tell him about it a few seconds later, that was definitely the sort of agency he could grow to like. Xander was definitely his type of person as well, he text back ‘got it’ quickly before putting his phone away and moving off down to see Abby, maybe there was something he could help her out with, as long as he didn’t touch any more computers. He didn’t know whether to take Xander’s warning seriously or not, but he knew if anything happened to Abby’s computers there would be hell to pay, so erring on the side of caution seemed like a good idea.

=/^=

“So what’s the plan?” Gibbs asked as the car pulled to a stop outside of the warehouse.

“We go in.” Xander quipped with a grin, checking his side arm before holstering it and then moving round to the trunk of the car and fetching out his sword, which he fastened to his belt.

“We need a warrant.” Gibbs stated, leaning up against the car and watching Xander carefully load up on weapons before throwing him a belt with several stakes and knives attached.

“Got one,” Xander quipped, pulling out his SWIC ID and clipping it to his belt.

“Let’s go then.” Gibbs smiled, he’d got to admit, someone with that amount of clout behind them didn’t have to wait for a warrant, he had probable cause and enough political clout to ignore most of the normal rules that impeded his normal investigations. Fastening the belt on he noticed Kate doing to same with a modified version of the belt he was wearing, Harris had also clipped on what looked like to be a miniature sword to Kate’s belt, it looked like a Katana, only smaller. “What’s with the sword?” he asked.

“If there are vamps in there, they’ll know me, and my reputation for moving with slayers. Kate’s going to play a slayer to intimidate them while I finish them off.” Xander said simply, checking all the stakes and knives on Kate’s belt were secured tightly, but not too tight that she couldn’t pull them out easily in combat.

“It’s a Wakizashi,” Kate announced, drawing surprised looks from Xander and Gibbs. “The side arm of the Samurai, normally comes as part of a trio, a Wakizashi, Katana and Kodachi.”

“You know your swords Kate,” Xander smiled, genuinely impressed.

“My father was a collector,” Kate smiled, thinking back to her dad and how his large collection of swords had grown over the years. She hadn’t spoken to him in ages, perhaps when this was over she’d have time to head back to New York for a bit to see him.

“Good,” Xander smiled at her, tapping the Wakizashi on the hilt. “It’s a live blade, extremely sharp; use it only as a last resort.” He turned, smiling to Gibbs. “This goes for the stakes and knives as well. Aim for the heart or neck, anything else and it’s your neck on the line.”

“Literally I guess.” Kate quipped, feeling the grip of the Wakizashi with her palm, it was in the perfect place for her to draw quickly and make a swipe at the same time, she’d have to drop her gun first though, but if something had got close enough to her for her to draw the blade, then the gun wasn’t going to be a big help anyway.

“Literally. Up to three vamps inside if this is the right place, Jack may be inside as well, leave him to me.” Xander looked at them all, making sure they understood this simple rule. “Incapacitate with your guns, finish off with stake or sword. Don’t hesitate. If you do, you’re dead.” This was vital, if they hesitated with a vampire in front of them, they’d be the next snack. “Can you do that?”

He watched as they both nodded confidently, Gibbs even more so than Kate.

“Heart or neck, got it.” Gibbs stated, checking the safety was off in his gun and a round was chambered before taking a moment to check the knives and stakes in his belt, everything seemed good so he started making his way to the side door of the warehouse. “Shouldn’t we split up?” He asked, turning as Harris and Kate followed him.

“You want me to leave you two alone against an enemy that you’ve never faced before?” Xander grinned when Gibbs nodded, he obviously hadn’t thought about that. “These aren’t people Gibbs; they’re demons in the body of dead people. They’re worse than any terrorist you’ve faced; they kill for food and pleasure, not for any religious belief of for any cause. They’re in it just for the kill.”

“Sounds like my ex wife,” Gibbs smirked before taking the lead again and edging toward the side of the door. “Bust in or quietly?”

“Just open it; if they’re in there, then they can already hear us talking.” Xander smiled, reaching out and checking the door, it was locked.

“Window? Top floor?” Kate asked, gauging the situation for the easiest way into the building. She was interrupted when Xander just stepped back and kicked the door, sending it crashing inwards as splinters of wood from the door frame exploded around them. “Or just kick down the door.” She muttered, earning a smile from Gibbs.

“Subtlety isn’t one of my strong suits.” Xander quipped, checking around the entrance way from the door first before walking calmly into the building.

“I’m sensing that.” Gibbs smiled; truth was Harris was more like him than he’d like to admit, rough around the edges with a pure determination to get the job done. If he wasn’t already, he’d make a hell of a marine.

In the center of the room was a lone man, leaning over what looked like a laptop. Even from here Gibbs could see that is face was deformed in some way, Ducky would probably have a field day with it. His face looked more like Neanderthal man, but he was clearly modern day with the way he slouched over the laptop and was typing away. He paused in his work for a moment, looking up at them. “I didn’t order take out.” He snarled at them, and then it was that Gibbs saw his eyes. They were glowing yellow and not like any human eyes he had ever seen before, there was no soul in them, just a hollow yellow iris that spoke of violence and death. The report of Harris’ side arm snapped him out of his thoughts when he saw the man’s head snap back before he fell of their chair. “That hurt.” The snarl came from the man.

“It was meant too.” Xander quipped, crossing the distance easily in five strides, one to holster his gun, another to pull out his sword, two to make it round the desk to where the vampire was kneeling on the ground and the last as he brought his sword down, decapitating the vampire in a quick stroke though the neck.

Kate and Gibbs watched as the vampire crumbled to dust in front of their eyes. “That’s new.” Gibbs quipped, glancing at the pile of dust on the floor where the vampire had just been.

“Playing Halo.” Xander quipped, looking at the monitor. “What happened to the respectable vampires who lived in cemeteries or abandoned basements? I swear this job gets stranger and stranger by the day.” He slapped the monitor on the laptop down before turning to Gibbs and Kate. “Satisfied they’re not human?” he asked, sheathing his sword and pulling out his side arm again.

“Never doubted you,” Kate announced as Gibbs nodded.

“Work to the left, then right, then we’ll take upstairs.” Xander nodded to the doorways on either side of the main warehouse hall before pointing to the steps on the far wall that led up to the second level.

“Sounds good,” Gibbs nodded, taking point again as the trio headed towards the door on the left of the hall. “Come back for evidence later.”

“Not unless you want it for the game.” Xander grinned, kicking in the door and checking the hall in front of him for activity.

=/^=

“OI! Where’s ‘Arris?” Spike shouted as he strode into NCIS HQ, the female officer behind the desk eying him carefully, ready to press the alarm quickly and have the military guards down here if the visitor tried anything.

“Who sir?” She asked, looking him over for any ID. He was tall, maybe a foot or so taller than most of the marines on base. Bleached blonde hair and a long leather trench coat flowed out behind him as he strode over.

“Agent Harris, whatever, the bloke from SWIC, he told me to get ‘ere as quick as I could, so where is he?” Spike asked for the second time.

“One second sir,” The officer smiled, glancing down at the visitors log to see if anyone from SWIC was on base or where they were working. “Agent Harris is assisting Agent Gibbs with the investigation into the death of Agent McGee.”

“Yeah, that’s the bloke. Told me to come ‘ere and chat to Abby was it?” Spike paused, pulling out his wallet and checking the note that he had written down when Xander was on the phone to him. “Yeah, Abby with some last name I can’t pronounce.”

“Forensics sir,” The officer smiled, nodding to the elevator. “Second floor, lab A. You’ll need a visitors pass.” She smiled as he stopped, mid stride on his way to the elevator.

“Bugger, where’d I put that thing,” He paused, rifling through his pockets for that bloody ID wallet that they all had to carry now. “You mean this?” He asked, holding the black wallet up and flicking it over a few times to show the numerous cards and badges inside.

“Sir,” The officer nodded, saluting him crisply as she noticed the golden shield on the badge.

“Enough of that bollocks, tell Harris I’m on my way up.” Spike stated simply before striding into the open elevators as he pocketed his ID again and pressing the button for the second floor. “Things were much easier when we were bloody vigilantes, none of this bloody ID nonsense or a permit for god knows what.” He smiled as he saw the officer behind the desk pick up the phone before the elevator doors closed. His thumb idly fingering the plain silver ring on his finger, running over the small green gem on the top of it. Such a simple thing that Red had cooked up, but it allowed him to walk in sunlight, such a small thing that everyone took for granted, but it was what separated him from everyone else at the base. He remembered when she’d given it to him, after the fall of LA and Angel’s death at the hands of the Senior Partners; they had retreated back to their own dimension, having taken their vengeance they showed no reason to carry on fighting there. The fight was over in hours, at first he thought they were running away, that they were winning. Then he found the bodies, Angel, Gunn, Illyria, they were all dead. He was the last, so he went back to find Buffy, to see what he could do there. They had welcomed him back with open arms.

It was strange for a while, all the new slayers were edgy around him, but soon accepted him. Strangely enough Harris was the first one to accept him back properly, Buffy avoided him for a bit, as did Faith, but soon enough they were all sparring together and working as a team again. More of a team than Angel had ever shown him while they were at Wolfram and Hart. Red had given him the ring a few months after his return, a ‘specialised Ring of Amara’ she called it with a twinkle in her eye. And he didn’t even have to dig this one up. The doors to the elevator pinged before they slid open, he looked up and noticed he was only on the first floor up, but the elevator said second floor and the sign on the wall said forensics, bloody Americans, always getting things backwards. The first floor was the ground floor for them, when she said second floor she meant the first floor. Shrugging quickly he moved past the officer who was getting into the lift and made his way down the corridor looking for lab A.

He passed Lab B quickly, no one inside just a ton of paperwork scattered around the desk and some more pinned to the wall. “Must be this way then,” He grinned; taking the next corridor round, ignoring the stares he got from a few marines as he passed them on his hunt for Harris.

The area smelt like Red’s lab did, too much electronics and chemicals in the air, no hint of incense here though, just the sound of heavy rock playing from somewhere round the corner. “Lab A.” He grinned, reading the blue sign in front of him before slapping it lightly and walking in through the automatic glass doors. “Harris! You in ‘ere?” He shouted, trying to carry his voice over the loud rock music that was blaring out of a hi-fi in the next room. “Oi! Harris!” He shouted again, moving through the first part of the lab quickly and through some more electronic doors into the second part.

“Who are you?” Abby asked, giving Spike the once over. He looked like one of her ex boyfriends, tall, Goth, with an arrogant smirk on his face.

“Spike, looking for Harris, you seen ‘im?” Spike asked, looking appreciatively at Abby who was dressed in her usual outfit, tight black leather pants with a ‘Hooty and the Blowtorch’ t-shirt on under her white lab coat.

“He’s out with Agent Gibbs at the moment.” A male voice came from behind him. Spinning round Spike saw who the voice belonged to, a man, about his height in a fancy suit, trendy shirt without a tie, his hand resting carefully on the side arm by his waist.

“Don’t,” Spike nodded to the gun. “I’ll make you eat it first.” Turning back to Abby he smiled. “Harris told me to come here, to speak to some bit called Abby.”

“That’s me,” She beamed at him. “Wait, talk to me about what?”

“When did he call you and can I see some ID.” Tony asked from behind him, not letting his hand move away from his gun for a moment.

“This morning, said it was urgent so I dropped everything and got myself ‘ere.” Spike smirked. “‘Bout four hours travel from Cleveland.”

“Cleveland’s over six hours away.” Tony said simply as he watched ‘Spike’ reach into his jacket pocket and pull out a black leather ID wallet that looked exactly the same as Xander’s.

“Yeah, well,” Spike shrugged with a smirk as he handed the ID wallet over. “Traffic cops don’t tend to stop you after you threaten to eat the first one.”

“You’re a vampire!” Abby grinned, bouncing a little as she bopped and weaved about, trying to find his reflection in the glass door behind him.

Instantly Tony’s gun had cleared its holster and was pointing at Spike’s head at point blank range. He didn’t even have chance to see Spike’s arm move as it swiped up and snatched the gun away from him, clicking the safety on and ejecting the magazine before his arm had reached his side. He just stood there with a smirk as the magazine hit the floor, the gun following soon after. “Do that again,” Spike smirked at him. “And I WILL make you eat it.”

“What did Xander ask you to talk to me about?” Abby asked, still bouncing with excitement from behind him as he continued to battle Tony is a staring match. “Excuse me, testosterone overload in the lab.” She made a mock chocking noise before coming to stand between the two and picking up the ID wallet that Tony had dropped when he’d cleared his holster. “Check it out; he’s got the same ID as Xander.” She smiled, passing the open ID wallet over to Tony.

“Yeah, officer bint downstairs seemed impressed with all that bollocks as well.” Spike smirked, watching Tony’s eyebrows shoot up as he took in all the ID’s.

“So, you’re a good vampire?” Tony mocked, passing back the ID and bending down carefully to pick up his gun before slowly sliding the magazine back into it and holstering it.

“More grey,” Spike smirked. “I’m not like the great poof Angel was, but I fight the good fight.” Spike swaggered through the lab, picking up the vials of different coloured liquids and sniffing them before putting them back where he got them from. “Love labs like this,” He grinned. “So many smells, tastes, everything, it’s bloody brilliant.” He grinned, picking up a beaker that looked like blackcurrant juice and sniffing it. No distinctive smell so he poked his finger into it and licked it. “What’s this?” He asked, waving the purple stained finger at Abby before wiping it on his shirt.

“Trisodium Nitriloacetate mix with a fifteen percent solution of Sodium Hydroxide and dodecylpropane.” Abby explained, drawing blank faces from Spike and Tony as they just looked at each other.

“English please luv,” Spike smirked at her, taking another sniff of the purple liquid.

“Acidic cleaning fluid, we use it to clean out the insides of lines and tubes, it’ll eat through anything.” Abby smiled cheerfully at him.

“No wonder it tastes like crap.” Spike smirked back, putting the purple liquid jar back where he found it, after Red had started yelling at him when he was in her lab for moving things around, he’d found sciency types to be a bit particular about where things went, especially in their labs. “Where’s the morgue? Fancy a snack before we begin our talk about vampires.”

“You’re here to talk to me about vampires?” Abby grinned, bouncing on her feet.

“Yeah yeah, all excitement and all that,” Spike shook his head at her enthusiasm. “Where’s the morgue then?”

“You really drink blood?” Tony asked, blanching a bit at being this close to a vampire, at least it wasn’t female, thank god for small mercies.

“Yup, with Weetabix or Burma weed if you’ve got any?” He looked hopeful for a minute as Tony gave him a blank face and Abby shook her head at him. “Bugger, but yeah.” He turned back to Tony. “Fancy showing me the morgue then? Then we can have this talk about this thing I call life.”

“This is not my week,” Tony muttered before walking out of the lab with Spike following him closely, leading him back to the elevator before pressing the button to the basement. “So why Spike?” he asked as the elevator doors closed.

=/^=

“God Damnit!” Gibbs shouted as he emptied his clip into the vampire that was staggering towards him. Xander was shooting the opposite way as a second vampire came towards them from the other side of the room.

“Head and heart!” Xander shouted, getting off a few clean shots to the head that dropped the vampire that was approaching him. He quickly ran over, dropping his gun and unsheathing his sword, a quick swipe and they were down to one vampire.

“Down there!” Kate shouted, pointing towards where there was a flash of metal on the walkway below them before someone twirled with a flash of a long coat before disappearing into the back rooms. “I’ve got it.” Kate shouted before running off towards the steps and moving down them before Xander could shout out a warning.

“Kate!” he shouted, spinning to see her disappearing from view down the stairs. Glancing back he saw the vampire was almost on top of Gibbs who was reloading his side arm. “Stake, chest!” He shouted, smiling when he saw Gibbs immediately drop the gun and pull a stake from his belt, effortlessly plunging it into the vampires chest with a lunge forwards. “Good!” He shouted before taking off after Kate, stumbling on the steps slightly as he made his way down, spinning the blade so he could hold it behind his back as he ran down the stairs and into the main hall.

“Wait!” Gibbs shouted, running behind him but stopping to pick up his dropped side arm.

“He’s mine!” Xander shouted back, spinning the sword with a flourish round so he was in a fighting pose as he made his way slowly through to the back rooms. The first room was empty, the door still swinging open as he made his way through. A table in the middle of the room showed an unrolled leather pouch containing glittering surgical tools; a bright scalpel glittered in the center of them, resting on a white cloth that had obviously been used to clean some fresh blood off it. “Bag that for evidence, there’s probably another body around somewhere!” Xander shouted to Gibbs as he made his way into the second room, no sight of Kate or the person she was chasing.

“Like hell,” Gibbs muttered, jogging through the room after Harris had entered the next one. Glancing at the roll of tools he noticed two were missing, Ducky had a set exactly like this at home, nineteenth century set, in perfect condition, if it wasn’t evidence in a murder inquiry he’d probably be tempted to see if he could buy it for his old friend. “Kate!” He yelled out as he passed into the next room, seeing no sign of Harris or Kate other than an open door leading to outside. “Oh no you don’t.” He muttered, jogging quickly through the door, pausing on the other side to see if he could see which way Harris had gone.

“Let her go!” Xander’s cold tone rang through the empty area as he walked towards Jack, who was holding Kate tightly to his chest with one arm and a scalpel to her throat with another.

“She’s not in the game,” Jack sneered at him. “At least not yet.” He pressed the scalpel to her throat, causing a small red droplet to appear on her neck. “And you’re the one who was send to bring me in,” Jack smirked at him, his thin mustache twitching with his lips.

“I said let her go,” Xander shouted again, holding his ground, not wanting to press forward in case Jack slit her throat with the scalpel. “This is between you and me!”

“But alas,” Jack smirked at him, pulling Kate’s body slightly to the side so Xander could see he wasn’t carrying a sword. “I am without a weapon.”

“That’s your fault.” Xander said coldly, edging forwards slowly as Jack started to move backwards, dragging Kate along with him. It was then he noticed a red stain in Jack’s otherwise pristine white shirt, just to the left of the heart, along with a round tear in the fabric. Kate must have shot him, he’d healed by the time she got over to him, checked his pulse then he grabbed her. Sneaky bastard.

“I don’t think so.” Jack shouted back, stopping a foot or so from the edge of the pavement where a sharp fall behind him led to the water’s edge. “Maybe another time, when you’ve explained the Game to...” Jack suddenly jerked backwards and the report of a sidearm echoed behind him. The scalpel fell free from his grip as he fell backwards over the drop into the water.

“He was mine!” Xander shouted, quickly running over, passing Kate to look into the water to see if he could see a body or an escape route that had been planned, nothing, just clean water below.

“Thanks Gibbs.” Kate said, glaring at Xander.

“We’ll call in a dredger to get the body.” Gibbs stated, walking over to where Xander was glaring at the water.

“What for? You won’t find anything, he’s immortal,” Xander snapped at Gibbs, sheathing his sword and snatching his gun back from Gibbs hand. “He’ll die in there, come back and swim to shore somewhere else.” He holstered his gun and continued to glare at Gibbs. “Lie low for a while before finishing what he started.”

“Won’t he move on now that he knows you’re after him?” Kate asked, pressing the bandage to her throat to mop up the blood from where Jack had cut her.

“He doesn’t move on,” Xander stated, turning to look at her and softening his glare. “He always stays in the same area for his kills, doesn’t matter who’s there.” Turning on his heel he started to stride away from Kate and Gibbs, making his way back to the car. “And I’ll be waiting.” He muttered when he was out of earshot.

=/^=

“You’d really kill me?” Abby asked, swallowing dryly as she sat across from Spike. Tony was stood behind her; he’d refused to sit down with a vampire in the room. Ducky hadn’t been in the morgue, so Spike had snatched a few pints of AB from the storage cellar before they made their way back up to her lab, he’d used one of her mugs and heated the blood up first, the smell of it was saturating the lab with the coppery tint in the air.

“In a heartbeat luv,” Spike smirked, finishing off his mug of hot blood. “But I ain’t like that anymore, doesn’t mean others wouldn’t though.”

“Is it painful?” Tony asked his third question, the vampire had unnerved him at first, but now he was using his presence to find out everything he could about vampires.

“Or is it like the Anne Rice books,” Abby smiled again, covering up her nervousness, somehow the thought of being bitten wasn’t as appealing as it used to be for her, now it was on the table and Spike had offered to show her. “You know, orgasmic.”

“Painful and burning,” Spike answered truthfully. “No pleasure there like in those poofy books you read.” He sneered at the mention of the Anne Rice books, he made it a point to kill off any vampire he came across that used the name Louis, Lestat, Armand or Marius, it was just insulting to true vampires. “It burns, drains, then kills. That’s all it does, no fancy tricks or any of that crap.”

Abby and Tony visibly swallowed at this, going a bit pale as Spike vamped out again, tearing into the second packet of blood before pouring it into his mug and moving over to the lab heater he had improvised as a microwave.

“Spike!” Xander shouted, walking into the lab with Gibbs and Kate following soon after. “You’re early.”

“Harris, you got the bastard then?” Spike asked, fetching his mug of blood out of the heater and taking a sip.

“Got away,” Harris said simply. “Gibbs shot him in the head before I could take it.”

“Bugger,” Spike said simply. “Been ‘aving the chat with these two, think they’ve got the idea now.”

Gibbs arched his eyebrow, staring at Tony and Abby who were visibly paler than they normally were; even Abby looked too pale for her normally pale complexion. “You’re a vampire then?” He asked, giving Spike the once over. Spike in return just vamped out with a smirk before taking another mouthful of his blood. “Right, killed one today.”

“You got a vamp boss?” Tony asked, amazed.

“Staked the bastard myself.” Gibbs announced proudly.

“Fledgling, one, maybe two years old,” Xander announced at Spike's questioning look. “Stay here, I need to talk to the director.”

“We ‘eading home then?” Spike asked as Xander walked out of the doors and headed to the elevator without even answering them.

“That’s just rude.” Tony commented, before shouting “Ow!” as he received simultaneous smacks on the head from both Spike and Gibbs.

“Xander was right, you two are alike.” Kate commented with a smile as Tony just glared at her while Spike and Gibbs smirked at each other.

“Are you hanging around for a bit?” Abby asked, briefly wondering if vampires left fingerprints when she looked at the mug he was rolling in his hand.

“Dunno,” Spike smiled. “Up to Harris.”

“He trusts you.” Gibbs pointed out, thinking back to the conversation they had in the car. “More than he trusts us.”

“Harris’ trust isn’t easy to earn,” Spike said, putting the empty mug down where Abby quickly picked it up. “We’ve been on too many missions for ‘im not to trust me.”

“That’s what he said.” Kate said softly.

“Has Harris ever had any marine training?” Gibbs asked, hoping he would get a straight answer that would fill in a few of the missing pieces to the Harris puzzle.

“Nope,” Spike smirked. “If you want to know about him, ask ‘im.”

Gibbs was interrupted from whatever he was going to say in retort when the phone rang on Abby’s desk, she quickly answered it on speaker phone like she always did and the director’s voice came over the speakers. “Gibbs, DiNozzo and Todd, my office now!” The voice didn’t leave any room for explanation as it hung up.

“Boss man?” Spike quipped, earning a glare from Gibbs while Tony nodded at him. “Thought so, no one can make someone shout like that, aside from Harris.” He grinned as Tony leaned in close to him.

“You haven’t heard him shout at Gibbs yet.” Tony whispered with a grin.

“I heard that DiNozzo!” Gibbs shouted back as he strode out of the doors.

“Ooh! let me!” Spike shouted back before clipping Tony round the head with a grin causing Gibbs to laugh and Tony to glare at both of them.

=/^=

“You’re being reassigned.” The director announced as Gibbs, Kate and Tony entered the deserted briefing room, only Xander and the Director stood at the front of the room with the SWIC logo spinning on the large plasma screen behind them. “ID’s please.” He held out his hand, glaring at Gibbs when he didn’t immediately hand over his ID, he did soon after and Kate and Tony followed suit.

“Duel assignment.” Xander said simply, throwing each of them an ID wallet containing their ID’s that was perfectly matched to his, but with their photos and relevant details on them. “I’m not leaving ‘till Jack is caught, and you’re helping me. So this is a first, NCIS and SWIC working together.” Xander grinned as Spike looked at him in puzzlement. “You too Spike, you’re staying with me.”

“Sir?” Gibbs asked, eying the ID package carefully before looking at the director of NCIS.

“Just a change of title and pay grade,” The director smiled at him. “SWIC has resources we can’t even dream off, they’ll be helping us with back cases and opening their resources to us as long as we do the same. The Joint Chiefs approved this but you still answer to me while on NCIS cases, as does Harris and Spike.” He paused, turning to Harris. “On NCIS cases, Gibbs takes lead, on SWIC cases, you take point.”

“Fair.” Xander nodded.

“Is this right?” Tony asked, flicking through the wallet and coming to the pay details that were jotted down on a scrap of paper at the back.

“Full SWIC package for a special agent, including war zone pay,” Xander explained as Gibbs, Tony and Kate smiled at him. “Means you don’t have to bother with a suit anymore,” Xander smirked as he whispered the last to Gibbs who returned his smile.

“Director Giles just finalized your transfers with Harris’ request before you came in,” The director continued. “I’ll have your desks and equipment moved down to Lab B, that’s where you’ll be housed. The first joint agency task force in NCIS history gentlemen, make me proud.”

“‘Old up,” Spike piped up. “I’m working for the military now?” he asked with a raised eyebrow.

“You’ll like it here Spike, a lot of big tough marines to train against, and Lorne’s new bar is only a few blocks into the city.” Xander explained with a smile as Spike smirked at the thought of getting his daily bout of violence with a few well trained marines.

“You’re a civilian contract on loan from SWIC for special nature cases,” The director explained. “You have traits that can’t be found in any other agent.”

“Lack of a heartbeat, pulse, breathing,” Tony started rattling off the differences.

“Hey, I breathe,” Spike defended himself, earning himself a questioning glance from Gibbs, Kate and the director. “Couldn’t smoke my Morley’s if I didn’t breathe now could I?”

“Welcome to NCIS people,” The director shook Xander’s hand slowly before moving over and doing the same to Spike. “I believe you still have an outstanding case?”

“Marine Corporal Grimms sir, found dead yesterday morning by a group of kids, Ducky should be doing a full autopsy today.” Gibbs slipped quickly back into work mode, pocketing his new ID as did the rest of them.

“Get to it then, I want to know how a marine corporal died off base with a hole through him made by an AT-Missile.” The Director barked his orders with a smile before turning back to the main screens behind him.

“Right, let’s go then.” Gibbs smiled, noticing Tony had backed away from Spike and was stood on the opposite side of Kate to him. “We’ve got a dead marine and not enough answers,” He smiled as he walked out the door, knowing Harris was directly behind him and Spike, Kate and Tony were behind Harris. A five man team, it could work, especially as they all had their specialties. Working with a vampire though, that was going to take some getting used to.

“Means we’ll have to find a place to live round here then,” Xander shouted back to Spike as they made their way down the stairs to see some technicians already moving all of their files and computers from their desks. “And if you make the place smell like bourbon and smokes, I’ll shoot you myself.”

“Whiskey drinker?” Gibbs asked, stopping and turning to Spike.

“Only if it’s a decent Jack,” Spike smirked.

“You ever do any wood work?” Gibbs asked, pondering something strange.

“Yeah, made a few beds and stuff in my time, Harris is the carpenter though.” Spike nodded to Xander who smiled and nodded in return.

“Spike taught me a lot about wood, how to work it,” He smiled thinking back to how Buffy would have screamed if she had found out what they had really been doing all night while Spike was supposed to be locked in his basement flat. “Hate using electrical stuff though, has to be hand crafted.”

“I think we’re going to get on fine,” Gibbs smiled, moving back to stand between Spike and Harris. “You two ever built a boat before?” he smiled as Tony and Kate shared conspiratorial glances, things never changed, they just got stranger.

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#6  Edited By Buffy Summers

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#7  Edited By Methos

“I can’t believe we’re working for the soddin’ military.” Spike muttered as they all stood in the elevator, waiting for someone to be the first to say something on their ride down to the second level where they were now based.

“Just suck it up and get on with it,” Gibbs stated firmly as they exited the elevator and walked round to where they could see technicians setting up desks for them. Gibbs just strode over to where his files had been laid out for organizing and took a picture out of one of them before moving over and pinning it to the wall with a sharp movement.

“Who’s mister happy?” Xander asked, nodding to the photo that showed a security camera image of someone grinning up towards the camera.

“Terrorist,” Kate explained. “Broke in here about a month ago, shot Gibbs in the shoulder after taking me and Ducky hostage in autopsy.”

“So you do get action round ‘ere then,” Spike grinned. “Thought I’d be bored for a second there.”

“Never have chance to be bored around here,” Gibbs paused, turning to Spike. “And what do we call you? Special Agent Spike doesn’t seem to fit.”

“Nah, can’t stand all that bollocks, Harris has it right, just Spike and Harris.” Spike grinned as Xander smiled over.

“You still need to wear your ID in the building,” Gibbs stated as Spike pulled out his ID badge reluctantly and clipped it to his belt, noticing no one else had theirs aside from Xander. “Hey, why don’t you lot have to show ID?”

“Because the security around here know us,” Tony said simply. “Give it a week or two and you can take it off as well.”

“Just do it,” Xander smiled, checking his gun and sitting on the clean desk that he’d claimed as his opposite Gibbs. “What’s the case then? Impaled marine?”

“Marine Corporal Grimms,” Gibbs read off a sheet of paper. “Found impaled on a wooden spike yesterday morning, something the matter DiNozzo?” Gibbs asked, turning to see Tony had paled a little.

“Just never connected wooden spikes and railroad spikes before boss,” Tony explained, sparing a glance at Spike who was trying his best not to laugh.

“Get over it,” Gibbs just shook his head at his team’s antics, filing the strangeness away to ask later. “Ducky was due to start the autopsy at eleven hundred,” He paused, glancing at his watch, it was well after four now.

“Um, what’s that in real time?” Spike asked, raising his hand.

“Eleven am,” Xander explained. “Past twelve just keep counting up until you reach twenty four.”

Gibbs just smiled as he watched Spike nod before counting up using his fingers. “So it’s past sixteen hundred now?”

“Are you sure I can’t shoot him?” Gibbs asked, looking at Xander for permission.

“Not unless you want a mildly angered vampire on your hands,” Xander smiled. “You saw what bullets did to the vamps earlier, Spike’ll heal a lot quicker than they did, he’s faster and stronger as well.”

“Hand to hand?” Gibbs asked, turning to Spike for the answer instead of Xander.

“Wot?” Spike asked, looking around for clarification.

“He wants to know if you can fight.” Xander smiled, shaking his head, knowing that Spike was just seeing how far he could bait these new people before they snapped on him.

“Right,” Spike grinned unrepentantly. “Been brawling for over a hundred years, killed two slayers, yeah, I’m good.”

“Right, we’ll run through sparring tomorrow, I want everyone sparring with Spike and Harris at least once a day, get you all up to speed on what vampires are capable of if we’re going to be dealing with things like this on a weekly basis,” Gibbs paused, looking at a CD that Xander had thrown on his desk. “What’s this?”

“Full database of every demon in the DC area,” Xander smiled, nodding at the CD. “Along with strengths, weaknesses, other powers and how to kill them.”

“Good,” Gibbs nodded, putting the CD in the draw for later use. “Nice to know we’ve got all the information we need.”

“So what’s the story with him?” Xander asked, pulling out one of his throwing knives from his belt and pinning the picture of the terrorist to the wall between the eyes with an expert throw.

“We don’t know who he is, who he works for,” Kate rattled off everything that they knew about the strange terrorist that had got their boss so agitated over the past month.

“He’s not the case,” Gibbs stated, throwing a piece of paper over at Kate who caught it before reading it carefully.

“Our Corporal Grimms was an armourer attached to the ordinance maintenance center and Quantico. He was responsible for...” Kate paused, turning the page, “Weapons inventory and custody carts.”

“Makes sense given the way he died.” Gibbs stated.

“Impaled on a wooden spike makes sense for a bloke who moved weapons around?” Spike asked, puzzled at this.

“He didn’t die from the wooden spike,” Tony explained. “He landed on it after being shot in the chest with a shoulder fired anti-tank missile.”

“Ouch,” Spike nodded, grimacing at that.

“Blew a hole in his chest about two foot wide.” Tony continued to explain.

“I’ll ‘ave to remember that one,” Spike grinned at him. “Last thing I used was a chainsaw.” Spike continued to grin as he saw Tony edge away from him and take the desk closest to Gibbs. Kate took the desk next to him leaving the desk next to Xander for him.

“He was a boxer as well,” Kate noted, reading off the file. “Made the Quantico marine team three years running.”

“Looks like we’ve got our first place to look for answers,” Gibbs stated, re-holstering his gun before starting to walk towards the doors. “DiNozzo, you follow with Harris and Spike, Kate, you’re with me.”

“On it boss.” Kate simply smiled at Tony before jogging out the door after him, grabbing her gun on the way.

“Do I get a gun?” Spike asked, noting Xander and Tony both had one clipped to their belts.

“Do you need one?” Xander asked, raising his eyebrow at Spike.

“Well, no, but...” Spike started to try and think up and excuse as to why he could have a gun.

“Then no,” Xander smirked. “Come on you two; don’t want to keep Gibbs waiting do you?”

=/^=

The drive over to the Quantico base was quiet in both cars, while in Gibbs car he was busy thinking about his new assignment and how it was going to affect things while Kate was flashing back to the feeling of having Jack the Ripper hold a scalpel at her throat. Xander on the other hand was trying to stay sane as Spike and Tony argued constantly about the differences between rock music and dance music. After threatening to shoot them both in the groin, a threat that even shut Spike up for a bit he managed to drive the rest of the way to the base in relative silence.

“So, what’s the plan?” Xander asked as he got out of the car after parking it next to Gibbs’.

“You go with Kate and Spike, talk to the boxing manager, find out all you can about Grimms past, personality, the usual. Tony, you’re with me, we’ll get his records from personnel and meet you back here.” Gibbs smiled as Tony jogged over while Kate actually looked happy about being paired up with the new people.

“Anything we should look out for while we’re inside?” Xander asked, noting that Spike had dropped his ‘happy go lucky’ attitude and was all work now.

“Anything suspicious, enhanced senses right?” Kate stopped, turning to Spike who nodded. “Just let me know if anything’s out of place, marine base so there shouldn’t be drugs, alcohol, anything like that.”

“I ain’t a bloody sniffer dog!” Spike stated, amused and offended by the idea.

“Just keep your nose on the lookout,” Xander paused with a grin. “Smell out?”

“Sniff out?” Kate offered with a smile.

“Right, whatever,” Spike huffed, “This way right?” He asked before heading off towards where the gym was located.

“How did you know that?” Kate asked as she and Xander jogged over to catch up with him.

“Can smell the sweat and blood, not to mention hear the fighting,” Spike explained with a smirk. “So don’t make fun of the senses unless you want me to tell everyone when it’s that special time of the month for you.” He grinned as Kate faltered in her step, her jaw hanging open.

“It’s just Spike,” Xander smiled, not even breaking step. “You’ll get used to him eventually.”

As the trio entered the gym they could now hear and smell what Spike was talking about, there were two guys on the mat in full gear dancing around each other. While others were working on weights and punching bags in the corner, all in all it was a well stocked gym with everything marines needed to train upper body strength and stamina.

“You want to talk to the sergeant or shall I?” Kate asked, not sure of what the actual team dynamic was anymore, Gibbs was still in charge, that much was certain, but Xander had more of a command presence than either she or Tony did, and she found herself looking to him for guidance before she’d even thought about it.

“I’ll take it if you don’t mind,” Xander nodded. “That way you and Spike can have a nose around, chat to the rest of the people here, see if they know anything.”

“Sounds fair,” Kate nodded as she saw the sergeant walking over. Moving back she immediately let Xander take point so the sergeant would talk to him first, that would give the impression that her and spike were subordinates and allow them to move about freely while the sergeant kept his attention on Xander.

“Can I help you?” The sergeant asked, raising his eyebrow at the strange dress of two of the visitors.

“Special Agents Harris, Todd and Spike,” Xander nodded, flipping out his ID to the new NCIS one he had at the front of his wallet now. “We’d like to talk to you about Corporal Grimms.”

“I heard about that, this way,” The sergeant smiled as he led Xander back into the middle of the room while Kate and Spike took the side routes to look around the rest of the gym. “He was a good fighter and a hell of a marine,” The sergeant paused, turning to the ring. “Hands up Marino!”

“I saw his record, impressive.” Xander had to agree, his fighting record was damn good, and he had never been on report or even late for duty.

“If you two are going to dance, join the air force!” The sergeant called to the two fighters in the ring. “Let’s see some action in there.”

“You got a list of Grimms’ opponents I could take a look at?” Xander asked, watching the fight in the ring, confident that Spike and Kate would be keeping an eye on everything else for anything out of place.

“You think his death had something to do with his boxing?” The sergeant asked, obviously taken aback by the question.

“Just more names to rule out,” Xander nodded. “Everything’s on the table until it’s taken off.”

“Got a list in my office,” The sergeant said, staring at Xander. “That real?” He asked, nodding to the patch.

Xander just smirked, lifting up the patch so the sergeant could see the hole in the socket where his eye used to be. “Real as they come.”

“Damn!” The sergeant cursed, wincing. “This way.”

Spike watched Xander move off with the sergeant to his office, Kate was on the other side of the gym talking to a marine who was skipping, not his idea of staying in shape, but if it worked for the marine, what the hell. Looking around he saw a woman on her own, training on the sand bag, punching it hard as it swung freely in the air.

“Good technique.” He grinned, moving over and holding the bag tightly for her.

“Five older brother’s will do that for you,” She smiled at him before she noticed the ID clipped to his belt. “Sir!” She saluted crisply.

“Oh not that bollocks again,” Spike muttered, adjusting his shirt so it covered up the ID. “Do I look like a sir to you?”

“Yes sir,” The woman stated with a smile and an appreciative glance down at his tight jeans.

“Not what I meant.” He grinned at the woman’s reaction.

“You here about Corporal Grimms?” The woman asked, moving back and punching the bag hard a few more times.

“Yeah, nasty business that.” Spike nodded.

“Corporal McLain.” She nodded to him. “You have any idea what happened yet?”

“Working on it,” Spike nodded, memorizing the name for future reference. “You know him?”

“Seen him around a few times,” She answered punching out a few more times.

“What was he like?” Spike asked, bracing himself against the slippery floor mats as the woman punched the bag in another flurry.

“Good boxer, killer left hook.” She smiled at him.

“Out of the gym?” Spike asked with a raised eyebrow.

“Good drinker,” She said quietly as she nodded. “Fair guy, never had a beef with anyone.”

“Good marine then,” Spike nodded as the woman stopped punching the bag and stood up straight to look at him.

“Yeah, solid,” She smiled at him. “If its ok with you I’ve got to...” She trailed off, nodding back to the showers.

“Yeah, fine, see ya,” Spike grinned as he watched her move off. “Sure I can’t join you?” He muttered, appreciating her tight jogging pants as she walked away.

“Women’s locker room is off limits Spike.” Kate announced from where she was stood next to him.

“What they going to do? Throw me off base?” Spike grinned at her.

“More like in the water,” Kate grinned back. “What you got?”

“Seemed like a good guy, fair, she said ‘solid’, whatever that means, never had a beef with anyone off base either.” Spike nodded as Kate translated that into civilian speak.

“So never caused any trouble, well liked, sort of guy you’d trust, matches up with what I got told as well.” Kate smiled; everything said this marine was everything that the reports said he was.

“You two ready?” Xander asked, walking over with a sheet of paper.

“Sure,” Kate smiled.

“Nothing here, just the usual stuff,” Spike nodded. “Guys pretty good though,” He pointed to the guy in the ring who was stood victorious over his opponent. “Wouldn’t mind giving him a go sometime.”

“We’ve got better on our base,” Kate grinned, the Quantico and Norfolk bases were sworn enemies in the ring, always the last two in the championships. Now she was tempted to see if Harris or Spike could try out for the team, that’d definitely give them a foot up for next year’s cup.

“I’ll keep that in mind Kate.” Xander quipped as he started walking towards the exit, Spike and Kate jogging to catch up with him.

“Got everything?” Gibbs asked as they walked through the door and found him and Tony leaning up against the car with a coffee in each hand, passing one to Xander he smiled as Tony passed his extra to Kate.

“Everything says the guy was clean as a whistle,” Xander nodded. “Got a list of his opponents, but nothing looks odd, I’ll check them out back at HQ if they’ve got our computers up and running yet.”

“I agree with Xander,” Kate smiled. “Everyone I talked to said this guy was a good marine, friendly, open...”

“Solid, whatever the hell that means,” Spike grumbled, annoyed that he didn’t get a mug of coffee when everyone else did.

“It’s a compliment, means they’d let him watch their back.” Gibbs explained, noting Spike pouting at the coffee. “Abby called, said she got a partial serial number from the injector cap I recovered.”

“You can have a bag of AB back at base,” Xander quipped, noticing Gibbs questioning look. “Heading back then?”

“Might as well, nothing out here,” Gibbs stated, getting in his car noticing that Tony got in the side door extremely quickly, leaving Spike to go round and sit in the back while Xander drove.

“We could have just taken one car,” Xander noted, nodding at where his car had ample room for five people.

“No way am I getting stuck in a car with DiNozzo and Spike, I’d kill them both.” Gibbs smiled, getting in his car.

“Can I at least maim?” Xander whined, causing Kate to smile at him as she got into Gibbs’ passenger side. “Please?” He asked as he watched Gibbs car start pulling away. “Please?” He asked one last time into the air, already hearing Spike and Tony arguing from inside the car.

=/^=

“What have you got for me Abby?” Gibbs asked as he strode into the forensics lab opposite the large room that had been dedicated for his new team.

“Good afternoon to you too boss,” She grinned taking the large cub of Caf-Pow that he offered her.

“Looks like a serial number,” Xander nodded from behind him, looking at the monitor that Abby was patiently working on.

“And to you,” Abby smiled at him. “Where’s everyone else?”

“Over in the main office, arguing with Spike about why Billy Idol stole his look from him,” Xander shook his head at the absurdity of the argument, but Tony had started it, while Spike was definitely going to finish it.

“Billy Idol stole his look from Spike?” Abby asked, amused at this new information about the vampire in their presence. “That’s so cool!”

“Abby,” Gibbs nodded to the monitor. “Work first; you and Spike can chat later.”

“Its part of one,” Abby nodded to Xander.

“The good part?” Gibbs asked, walking round the middle area of the lab to take a look at the larger image on the large plasma TV set up for high def images.

“The serial number indicates the manufacturer, the lot number and the year that it was built,” Abby explained to Xander. “We only have a partial, so we only have part of the picture.”

“The good part?” Gibbs asked again.

“The weapon that killed Corporal Grimms definitely came from the armoury at Quantico.” Abby explained with a smile.

“Someone’s stealing military grade weapons?” Xander asked carefully, hoping he’d interpreted this right.

“That’s my guess too,” Gibbs stated. “And why me, you and Tony will be heading to the Quantico armoury tomorrow morning. I want Spike and Kate to check out Corporal Grimms residence, see if he can sniff out anything out of place there.”

“Fair,” Xander nodded. “And tonight?”

“Tonight we get our new gear sorted and our office set up.” Gibbs stated with a smile.

“Ooh!” Abby bounced around, “I’ll order the pizza!”

=/^=

“No, you can’t hook an X-box up to the plasma Spike!” Xander shouted over as Spike looked in contemplation at the large plasma screen TV he had just fitted to the wall for them. Having enhanced strength definitely made things like that a lot easier.

“Does it at least get Passions?” He asked, turning to look at the group. Tony and Xander were sat on his desk munching their way through a second pizza while Gibbs was trying to get his computer working with some help from Abby.

“You watch Passions?” Kate asked excitedly.

“Oh yeah, did you watch yesterdays? Missed it to get down here for Harris,” Spike growled at the fact he’d missed his favourite soap.

“I taped it,” Kate smiled. “Always do, i’ll watch it later and bring in the tape for you tomorrow.”

“Cheers,” Spike grinned at her, moving over to help her shift her desk around into a more comfortable position, now they had moved all the desks so they were arranged in a pentagon, with the main plasma on the wall to the far side of Gibbs’ and Xander’s desks, the rest of them around the room facing each other with a space in the middle where Spike had set up the various printers and other gadgets that Red had sent down.

“You two can flirt later,” Gibbs nodded to them, snatching the last slice of pizza out of the box before Harris could get to it. “Is everything set up now?” He asked, looking around the room and checking they hadn’t forgotten anything, everything looked tidy and in working order. Their files had all been put away and Abby had set up all the electronics for them with help from Spike lifting anything heavy that she couldn’t manage.

“Looks like it boss,” Tony smiled at him, as he opened a fresh can of coke from his desk drawer.

“Then I shall see you tomorrow,” Gibbs smiled at them all. “Night all.”

“Night boss,” Tony and Kate called while Xander and Spike just nodded to him as he left the room after checking his side arm and coat.

“Now you can hook up the x-box.” Xander grinned at Spike who had already pulled the aforementioned x-box out of the bag he had carefully hidden behind his desk. He didn’t have a computer or anything else on his desk, just some papers and the regular stationary that came in the desk drawer. Didn’t see the point of it really, he was the muscle of the outfit, not the brains. He didn’t really know how to use computers effectively, so he moved his over to the forensics lab to Abby would have a spare if she ever needed it.

“That’s completely against regulations you know,” Tony nodded towards where Spike was plugging in the high def cables to the side of the plasma screen.

“Dead or alive four?” Xander asked, throwing him the game box.

“Now you’re talking,” Tony grinned.

“Beers and vodka in my bag under my desk,” Xander smirked as he watched Kate and Abby dive for his bag. “Mine’s a Bud.”

“Gibbs will find out about this you know,” Kate said out loud, obviously considering her actions as she hefted Xander’s heavy bag onto his desk.

“Party for tonight,” Spike nodded sagely. “Tomorrow the world might end.”

“He’s kidding right?” Kate asked as Spike smirked at her after catching the bottle of beer that she threw at him and taking the cap off with his bare hands. “Right?” She turned to Xander.

“Yeah,” He smiled at her as she sighed in relief. “Next apocalypse isn’t until July.” Xander and Spike just laughed at the faces of shock they got from Kate, Tony and Abby, it was a perfect Kodak moment until they started laughing along, thinking that it was a joke.

“Have you two found a place to live yet?” Kate asked when the laughter had died down.

“Hotel’s paid up for a fortnight, we’ll find somewhere before then.” Xander smiled, thankful of the second bedroom in the hotel now.

“With this pay check I can afford to get a better place finally,” Tony smiled, thinking about all the new things he could afford with the raise he got from moving to the SWIC, it was almost a two hundred percent increase in pay, even Kate had been gobsmacked when she saw how much they were getting paid now.

“I'll say,” Kate nodded in agreement. “No wonder the SWIC put you up in that fancy hotel, with paycheques like this; you must be all used to the good life.”

“Doesn’t bother me,” Spike said simply. “So long as I've got enough for smokes, beer and blood, I’m happy.”

“The simple things,” Xander grinned. “Can’t say I’m any different, as long as I’ve got a roof over my head and enough for the simple pleasures, I'm happy.”

=/^=

“Hung over?” Spike asked as he lounged back in the passenger seat of Kate’s car while they drove to Corporal Whatshisname’s house.

“You should have stopped me after we finished off the first bottle.” Kate groaned as she drove slowly, slapping Spike’s hand away from the stereo for the third time.

“Come on,” Spike grinned, unwinding the window and enjoying the feeling of the morning sun on his face. It was a hot day so he’d left his jacket back at the base, happy in just his pants and t-shirt. Xander had made him forgo his usual jeans, giving him black pants instead, saying they had to make the right impression now they were working on a naval base full time. “You did bloody well in that last round of strip poker.” He laughed at the glare that was sent his way.

“We never talk about that again,” Kate growled out effectively ending the conversation, if it had been anyone else they would have just stopped there from the dangerous tone in her voice, Spike just laughed harder.

“Harris was right,” He grinned, sticking his head out the window and enjoying the feeling of the wind rushing by. “This is going to be fun.”

He left Kate alone the rest of the drive, even paying for the coffee as they stopped at a shop on the way to the corporal’s apartment. Harris said to be nice to her, so he figured he had a reason, now if he could just figure out what that was. Tony was a laugh, after he got over his vamp fear he could see him joining him on nights out round the town. Gibbs was a laugh as well, he got the same jokes Spike did, the same dark humour, he was a lot like Harris in some ways, but more innocent in others. As they drove on Spike kept thinking back to how nice it was to work here, no one judged him for who he was, granted that ninety percent of the base thought he was just a normal person, but that was just perfect for him. He could blend in with everyone; no one thought different of him or shied away from him because he was a vampire. The truth would come out at some point he figured, but until then he might as well enjoy it.

“So, what we looking for ‘ere?” Spike asked as he got out of the car, sparking up a smoke to enjoy before they moved inside the house.

“You smoke?” Kate asked, eying him carefully as he blew the smoke out into the morning air.

“Yeah,” Spike fished the packet of fags out of his pocket. “Want one?” He offered, putting them back in his pocket when she refused.

“Strange,” She shook her head, leaning up against the car and enjoying her coffee while Spike smoked peacefully. “Anything out of the ordinary, drugs, money, weapons, anything that doesn’t belong there.”

“Right,” Spike nodded; happy to be part of a team again where everyone treated him like an equal. “Upstanding strapping marine, so anything that looks geeky or stupid then?” Spike grinned again at the glare Kate sent his way.

“Come on,” She said, smirking at him as she tossed her empty coffee cup into the bin, watching as Spike ground his cigarette out under foot.

As they entered the apartment Spike immediately started laughing. “What?” She asked, eying him cautiously.

“That rug,” He pointed to the blue and purple rug in the middle of the room with a glass coffee table on top of it.

“What about it?” Kate asked, looking at the rug. It was nasty, ugly design with a sort of ‘art deco’ finish to it.

“Bloody hideous, corporal whatshisface probably been watchin’ too much Queer Eye,” He grinned as Kate smirked at him. “‘Old up, he ever bring weapons home?”

“Never,” Kate said with finality. “Weapons are on base only; they don’t leave Quantico unless it’s an official transfer to another facility.”

“There was some ‘ere.” Spike said, pointing to the rug. “Can smell the cordite and oils in the rug.”

“Roll it up and we’ll take it to Abby for testing.” Kate nodded as Spike quickly moved the glass table off the rug before rolling the rug up and standing it by the door. “Anything else?”

“Just too much aftershave,” Spike winced after taking a deep sniff of the air. “Nasty stuff too, poncy, like CK one or sommet.”

“And what do you wear?” Kate asked idly, leafing through some papers on the desk in the corner of the room.

“Nothing, all me,” Spike smirked at her. “Anything on the ‘puter?” He asked, watching as she turned it on.

“Don’t know,” Kate said, tapping a few keys when the screen read ‘Boot partition not found’. “Wiped clean.”

“Bollocks,” Spike sneered. “Reckon Goth girl can fix it?”

“The man Billy Idol stole his look from,” Kate smirked at him, “Calling Abby ‘Goth girl’?”

“Yeah, well,” Spike trailed off as he wandered into the bedroom and started snooping around the closet and draws.

“Anything?” Kate called after a few minutes of her disconnecting the main computer tower to take back to Abby.

“Just some shirts that Graham Norton wouldn’t be caught dead in,” Spike smirked. “Reckon this place will be up for rent soon? Seems nice enough,”

“A dead man’s apartment...” Kate caught herself from saying anymore, noting that Spike technically was a dead man anyway. “Marine residence only, you’ll have to ask the NCIS director about where you can and can’t live.” She paused, thinking about what rules Spike actually had to abide by now, technically he was working for the Navy, but he was on SWIC payroll, things were definitely complicated. “Come on, there’s nothing here, we’ll take the rug and computer back to Abby for testing.”

“Still say it’s a nice place,” Spike took one last look around the apartment before swinging the rug over his shoulders and hefting the computer up under his arm.

“You need a hand with those?” Kate asked, watching in amazement at the show of strength.

“Nah,” Spike smirked as she opened the door. “I’m good.”

=/^=

“We can rebuilt it!” Abby shouted in a mock announcer’s voice from her place at the computer while Spike and Kate watched on in amusement. “We have the technology!”

“But not the time luv,” Spike smirked at her. “You can fix the damn thing then?”

“The hard drive was completely reformatted.” Abby explained, pointing to the desktop computer tower that was taking up a good portion of the lab desk.

“So you can’t.” Spike muttered, ready to punch the computer tower on the desk.

“Actually yes, when you write information onto a hard drive it’s written both electronically and magnetically onto a hard drive plate.” Abby explained.

“Right, what was that in English please?” Spike asked with a confused look.

“Even though it was reformatted, all the information is still here,” She tapped the side of the tower with a smile.

“And the rug?” Spike asked, looking around to see if the offensive blue and purple rug was anywhere in the lab.

“Running tests now,” Abby smiled. “The hard drive reconstruction should be done...” She paused for a moment as the computer beeped. “Now.”

“What do we have?” Gibbs asked as he strode into the lab.

“Wiped hard drive, Abby’s doing her thing now,” Kate smiled at Abby who returned the smile. “Spike found a rug he thinks has weapons residue on it, Abby’s running tests on that at the moment.”

“Show me.” Gibbs stated, moving round the lab to look at the large plasma screen on the wall.

“The hard drive was completely wiped, but I got everything back,” Abby smiled at him, bouncing a bit on her feet.

“Start with the most recently edited.” Gibbs stated.

“‘Ello,” Spike muttered, wandering over to where what looked like a fax machine was beeping and printing a report out. “What’s this?”

“Report from the tests on your rug fibers, give me a second,” She paused, bringing the image up that had last been worked on by the computer. “And I’m guessing we don’t need the report then.” She smiled, looking at the large screen on the wall that displayed the image she’d just opened.

“Wot? Why not?” Spike asked, annoyed that his ‘evidence’ was being dismissed so quickly.

“Because it says traces of cordite, cleaning fluids, gravel, sand, other particulates along with several scrapings from three different shoulder launching anti-tank weapons.” Gibbs announced, not even bothering to turn around.

“Dunno, says a load of long words and numbers to me,” Spike muttered, trying to sound out one of the chemicals in his head. “‘Old up, how do you know what it says?” he asked, looking up to see Gibbs staring at the screen on the wall, where a large image was displayed of the rug in question with three different types of bazooka on it along with the different sized rocket along side of each of them. “Right," He smiled, putting the print out back on the tray where it came from. "Should’ve seen that.”

“Now we know we can trust your nose,” Gibbs smiled. “Good job.”

“That’s a lot of firepower boss.” Tony announced from the door where he and Xander had just entered. “Can’t say much for the rug though.”

Xander just let out a low whistle as he looked at the different types of rocket in display, “Looks like a menu to go.”

“I was thinking the same thing,” Gibbs noted. “Run down his e-mail accounts and phone records, I want to know everyone he talked to in the past month.”

Xander nodded, heading out the door back to his desk, followed shortly by Tony and Kate.

“And if I find out any of you have been drinking on premises again you’ll be looking for new jobs.” Gibbs yelled out as they made their way into their new office.

“You know, you can’t fire them anymore,” Spike grinned. “Duel agency crap and all that.”

“Can I threaten to feed them to you?” Gibbs asked with a smile after a moment’s thought.

“I’m good with that,” Spike smiled back. “So who is this bastard that shot ya?”

“No clue,” Gibbs stated honestly, smiling as he saw Abby watching the conversation between him and the vampire. “He took Ducky and Kate hostage in the autopsy room and wanted a chemical weapon that we had found in connection with a Mossad terrorist plan. He shot me before escaping.”

“Think you’ll find ‘im again?” Spike asked, leaning up against a spare desk.

“If I do,” Gibbs smirked at him. “You can have him for lunch.”

“I was thinking more along the lines of finding out what one of those,” Spike nodded to the smaller rocket on the left of the image displayed, “Does when fired at his balls.”

“Just not in the office,” Gibbs chuckled, shaking his head at Spike’s antics as he walked out of the forensics lab.

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Methos

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#8  Edited By Methos

“Come on luv,” Spike paused as Kate tried hitting him again, it was a quick flurry of punches by human standards but to a vampire or slayer they were way too slow and being telegraphed about ten minutes in advance.

Kate was the first one to agree to train with the two new members of their team, curious herself as to what vampires were really capable of, so when they’d got in this morning they’d both decided to hit the gym for a while, while Harris and Tony tracked down the dead marine’s phone and e-mail records.

“Ok, I get it,” Kate paused for a breather, they’d been at this nearly an hour and she hadn’t managed to land one punch on Spike, though he had managed to land all of his, tossing her around like a rag doll when she’d tried variations on martial arts against him. “You’re faster than me, stronger than me, and a better fighter.”

“Doesn’t mean dick,” Spike said, fetching Kate’s drink from the side of the mat and throwing it over to her. “Brawlin’ ain’t about any of that bollocks, it’s about what in ‘ere,” He prodded her in the chest where her heart was.

“You always full of it,” A voice sneered from behind them. “Or just when you’re fighting femmes?”

“Say wot?” Spike sneered back, spinning round to see a large marine watching them with a group of his friends behind him. He’d seen them training on the other side of the gym and hadn’t paid much notice to them, now he wished he had.

“I said,” The marine sneered at him again. “You up for a real fight, or do you only right women?”

Spike grinned, giving the man the once over. He must have been about six foot, maybe six two. Arms as thick as Spike’s neck, the sort of kid everyone else in his unit must have looked up to, but his face said he was a bully, pure and simple. This must have been his ‘team’, all itching to be taken down a peg or two. He noticed that their ‘talk’ was attracting attention from the rest of the gym, where everyone else had stopped in their training to watch how this played out. “Sorry mate, not interested, training with the lady ‘ere.” Spike waved him off, Xander had warned him that a lot of the marine’s on base would be weary of strangers, wanting to immediately find out where their place was in the pecking order of things.

“New recruit doesn’t want to play,” The marine sneered at him. “Limey as well by the sound of it, too coward to fight properly?”

Spike just stopped in his step, pausing to look up at Kate, clearly asking for permission to tear this marine a new one. She smiled, nodding slowly. “No broken bones or biting though.” She said softly, knowing that Spike would be the only one that could hear it, and was rewarded by a satisfied smirk when he nodded back at her.

“Fine,” Spike span round, missing the fact that he didn’t have his usual duster on, gym clothes was mandatory in the base gym apparently, or so Kate had told him. So he’d borrowed some of DiNozzo’s kit for today, stating that he’d get his own tomorrow. “Any rules,” He sneered out. “Or freestyle like it should be?”

“Whatever you choose,” The marine smirked at him, bowing mockingly as the rest of his friends moved off the mats.

Spine just smiled as he stood about a foot apart from the marine in the center of the mat. The marine was easily half a foot taller than him, maybe more. Had the advantage on muscle mass and weight, if this was a match between any other people, he’d put his money on the marine.

The marine obviously wasn’t interested in psychoanalysing Spike though; as soon as the mat was clear he dropped into a fighting position and threw a punch directly at Spikes stomach, which he deftly caught, stepping out of the way and grabbing the fist by the wrist.

“That’s ‘ow they train you nancy boys?” Spike smirked, pushing the fist away with a twist and stepping back. “No wonder you can’t fight proper.”

Kate was doing her best not to laugh from the side of the mat, she trusted Spike to stop before it got out of hand, it was then that she realized that even though Spike and Xander had only been with them a short time, she was growing the trust them a lot, nearly as much as she trusted Gibbs.

“Ole!” Spike shouted with a grin and a flourish as he span on the mat, completely ignoring the charging marine that he grunted something as he passed him by line a matador would a charging bull. “They loved that in Spain as well luv,” Spike winked at her with a smirk.

“Spike, we don’t have all day,” Kate smiled back at him, shaking her head at his antics as he continued to humiliate the marine by avoiding all of his punches and landing some humiliating slaps of his own, designed obviously to enrage the marine and cause him to make a mistake.

“You’re right,” Gibbs’ voice came from behind Kate. “We don’t.”

Turning round she saw Gibbs watching the fight with interest while Xander was quite happily lazing against the wall with a mug of coffee.

“Boss?” She asked, raising an eyebrow at the sheet of paper he had in his hand.

“Corporal Grimms placed a number of calls to a pawn shop the day he died,” Gibbs passed her the note. “Each one lasting over a minute.”

“You want to check it out.” Kate nodded.

As Xander walked over he smiled as Spike avoided the large marine yet again, hooking his foot round the marine’s ankle as he moved out of the way and sending the marine sprawling to the floor.

“How long can he keep this up for?” Gibbs asked when Harris arrived at their side.

“Until he gets bored,” Xander smiled at him. “Or until told to finish it.”

“Finish it.” As the words left Gibbs mouth he saw a blur of motion out of his eye, Spike now was behind the marine, pinning him in a choke hold that shouldn’t have worked given the difference in size and mass, but the marine was dropping to his knees sharply, giving Spike the opportunity to grab his head in a modified version of the training they were taught to snap someone’s neck.

“Sorry mate,” Spike sneered in his ear. “Boss man wanted it finished.” With that he pushed the marine onto his chest where he lie on the mats for a moment choking and trying to get his breath back as Spike snapped off a sloppy salute to Gibbs with a smirk.

“So he can follow orders,” Gibbs smirked, saluting back before walking off with Kate laughing behind him.

“Enjoy that?” Xander asked as Spike moved off the mat, the rest of the gym cheering him on as the marines slunk out of the gym defeated.

“Bloody therapeutic that was,” Spike grinned, walking with Xander round the mats to the changing area. “I'll catch up, not being stuck in nancy boy’s clothes all day.” He nodded to Xander before stalking off in the direction of the changing rooms so he could get back into his usual black instead of the bright red and grey jogging suit he was wearing now.

“Don’t be long,” Xander shouted out after Spike as he watched him disappear into the locker room. Turning to Kate he smiled. “Learn anything today?”

Kate nodded slowly. “He’s fast, strong, excellent fighter,” She paused, considering something. “And choke holds don’t work on him.”

Xander laughed, shaking his head in amusement. “Why would they? He doesn’t need to breathe.”

“I should have thought of that,” Kate admitted. “I saw him smoking so I assumed he breathed.”

“It’s just another muscle to him,” Xander explained. “He can breathe if he wants to, but he doesn’t need to. He prefers to pass for human as much as he can, so he’ll breathe hard after exercising, smoke, drink, eat normal food, even though he doesn’t get anything from it.” Xander paused, looking at Kate seriously. “But he isn’t human, never forget that.”

“Got it,” Kate nodded. “I'll catch up too,” She smiled before walking off into the ladies locker rooms.

“I hope you don’t.” Xander muttered under his breath, watching her leave before he turned and moved off to follow after Gibbs back to their main office. He’d seen Spike and Kate getting closer; she seemed to have accepted him quite easily while Tony and Gibbs were still wary of him. He was an unknown, that explained Gibbs attitude, Tony was just afraid of him, but was slowly getting past it and was talking to him more and more, finding they shared the same sense of humour. Eying the gym one last time he walked out of the doors, smiling as they swung shut behind him causing a soft breeze to wash over him. It was too hot in Washington he’d decided, he was used to Cleveland temperatures now, and Washington in the summer was definitely worse, not as bad as Sunnydale used to be, but still hot.

=/^=

“Thinking he was setting up a meet?” Xander asked as he sat on his desk watching Gibbs type something slowly on the computer.

“Could be,” Gibbs nodded to him, pausing to look round the office. “Where is DiNozzo?”

“Firing range,” Xander nodded. “Said he needed the practice for some reason,” Xander explained.

“Previous owner of the pawn shop is doing time,” Gibbs read off his computer. “Interstate trafficking, his daughter’s running it now.”

“Following in her father’s footsteps maybe?” Xander offered, eying the picture of the terrorist on the wall, where his knife was still embedded in the forehead, pinning it to the wall effectively.

“Looks like an undercover job,” Gibbs said slowly, looking at the monitor that displayed information about the pawn shop.

“What took so long?” Xander asked as Kate and Spike made it into the office finally.

“Couldn’t find my ID,” Spike muttered under his breath. “Left it in me jacket.”

“I had to explain to the staff sergeant who he was and why he was in the gym,” Kate smiled.

“Carry it,” Xander said simply, fishing the ID wallet out of Spike’s leather jacket and throwing it over to him. “Always!”

“Who wants it then?” Gibbs asked, looking at Xander first then Spike.

“Wot?” Spike asked, clipping the ID wallet to his belt quickly while Kate smirked at him.

“Undercover,” Xander explained.

“Renegade enlisted baring gifts straight from the source,” Gibbs rattled off his plan. “I’m not going to cut it, so it’s you,” He pointed to Xander, “Or you.” He pointed to Spike, settling his gaze on him for a while.

“Spike,” Xander said without a moment’s thought.

“Dangerous?” Spike asked with a grin, “Chance of a good punch up?” as Gibbs nodded to him the grin got larger. “I’m in.”

“Why him?” Gibbs asked, nodding to Spike.

“No one’s going to believe I’m newly enlisted,” Xander paused, pointing to the eye patch. “Renegade yes, new marine no.” He shook his head and his long curls fell loose. “Spike’s got the shifty look, young enough to pass as a new marine and can hold his own in a fight better than anyone else here.”

“I agree,” Gibbs stated. “But not enlisted,” Gibbs paused in thought. “Approaching this early might tip her that there’s something off.” Giving Spike the once over he smiled. “Think you can play a complete scum bag?”

“Play?” Xander quipped with a grin.

“Just out of prison, looking to sell weapons to the highest bidder?” Gibbs continued.

“Typical terrorist slime bag?” Spike nodded. “You got your man.”

“Go and see Abby, tell her you need a complete ID, slimy and dark as they come.” Gibbs ordered, smiling when Spike didn’t bother to even say anything before dashing out of the room.

“Never done undercover before?” He asked, turning to Xander.

“We don’t normally do that,” Xander nodded. “Less subtle, more explosions and fighting.”

“Can he do it?” Gibbs asked thoughtfully.

“If you’re looking for someone to play a complete slime ball, Spike’s my first choice.” Xander grinned as Kate laughed softly.

=/^=

“Will!” Spike announced when Abby asked for a name.

“Too boring,” Abby announced, putting the finishing touches to the ID she was creating for him. “We want slime, complete untrustworthy idiot.”

“Angel?” Spike quipped with a grin.

“Too Mexican,” Abby waved it off. “Gus?”

“Boring,” Spike mock yawned. “Got it, complete slime right? Guy that would do anything for money with no conscious and piss off as many people as he can?”

Abby smiled, raising her eyebrow at him.

“Riley Finn!” Spike announced with a laugh.

“I like it!” Abby smiled back, tapping the keyboard as she entered the relevant data along with Spike’s photo and details. “Military background?” She asked.

“Kicked out for fighting,” Spike announced proudly, putting together a picture of how Riley acted in his head.

“Dishonourable discharge,” Abby smiled at him. “Punching his CO in a drunken rage?”

“Now we’re talking,” Spike laughed. “Time in the joint?”

“Five years,” Abby looked over at Spike for a moment, estimating his physical age. “Two years Leavenworth.”

“Crime?” Spike asked, thinking of the funniest thing he could picture Riley being arrested for.

“Drugs?” Abby asked. “Always a safe bet.”

“Too safe,” Spike shook his head. “Prostitution!” He grinned.

“Male prostitute,” Abby grinned at him. “Inventive.” She started tapping on the keys. “Got three to five for solicitation, paroled in two.”

“Three to five for solicitation?” Gibbs asked with a raised eyebrow as he entered the room.

“Riley Finn, dishonourable discharge for fighting with ‘is,” Spike paused, trying to remember the letters Abby said. “CO.” He grinned as he got it. “Then arrested for being a male prostitute.”

“Parole came up last week,” Abby grinned over at Gibbs who was shaking his head in amusement.

“Colourful.” Gibbs stated with a smirk. “Make it solicitation and possession of GHB or Rohypnol, whatever was in circulation when he went in.”

“GHB.” Abby stated simply, adding the data. “Prostitution and date rape drugs to rob people, nice touch boss.”

“We’ve got a problem boss,” Kate announced as she walked in the forensics lab with Xander. “He was transporting a lot of heavy weaponry with a ‘Lieutenant McLain’; most of the boxes weren’t signed for on delivery.”

“‘Old up, I know that bint,” Spike announced from the printer where he was picking up the ID’s that Abby was printing off for him, “Chatted to ‘er in the gym back at the boxing place, said she’d only seen ‘im a few times in passing.”

“I think we need to have another talk with Miss McLain after we’ve found out more about where these weapons were being delivered.” Gibbs stated, annoyed at this revelation. Turning to Spike he eyed the ID’s that Spike was waving in the air to help them dry quicker. “You good to go Riley?”

“Riley?” Xander asked with a raised eyebrow.

“Riley Finn,” Spike smirked. “Dishonourable wotsit before arrested for prostitution.”

“Only you,” Xander laughed, shaking his head at Spike who was grinning at him. “Only you.”

Spike laughed back at him, happy that the ID’s were dry before sliding them into his personal wallet and taking his federal one off his belt and throwing it to Xander.

“Kate, you’re with Xander, go back and talk to Miss McLain,” Gibbs smiled as both Xander and Kate nodded before jogging back to the office. “Looks like you’ve got me for backup.” He smirked at Spike.

“Like I'll need it,” Spike sneered back with a smirk.

=/^=

The pawn shop was just as Spike had imagined it to be as he strode in the entrance, a few kids leaving the shop as he walked in. There were stereos and TV’s scattered about the place, a few lamps and games consoles on shelves, none of it in particularly good condition.

“Can I help you?” The woman behind the desk asked, she was short, about five five with strawberry blonde hair and pale blue eyes.

“Lookin’ for Abe.” Spike said with a smirk, taking off his sunglasses and leering at the woman behind the counter, playing his ‘slime ball’ persona up as much as he could.

“Not here.” The woman announced, turning to the till and depositing some money in the drawer.

“When’s ‘e back?” Spike asked, hopping up onto the counter so he could look down at the woman, effectively looking down her low cut top with a smirk.

“Three to five,” She announced, stepping away from him.

“Busted,” Spike grinned as he slid off the counter.

“‘Fraid so,” She replied, smiling as he moved back to a neutral position. “You a friend of my father’s?”

“Business,” Spike snapped back, ready to put his sunglasses back on and pretend to get ready to leave the store. “Just business.”

“Maybe we could do business together,” the woman smiled at him, coming out from behind the counter and walking over to him, pressing her hand against his chest. “Or something else may be?”

“Flattered luv,” Spike grinned. “But I’ve got other buyers.” Putting his sunglasses back on he turned to leave the store.

“Whatever my father paid,” The woman announced, stepping in front of him. “I'll double it.”

Spike just raised his eyebrow, looking down at her. “Serious?”

“Always about business.” The woman stated, fully in business mode now, the earlier flirting smile gone completely.

“Abe paid top dollar.” Spike announced, playing the betting man again.

“Bring me what you’ve got,” She smiled at him. “Then we can talk money.”

“Already ‘ere,” Spike grinned.

“Show me.” She stated firmly.

“Car’s outside,” Spike grinned, happy that this was going so well. “Care to join me?”

“After you.” The woman waved to the door, causing Spike to raise his eyebrow again before walking out of the pawn shop and over to the van he had driven here with the ‘toys’ in the back. Pausing to check she was behind him and that no one else was about he opened the back doors, revealing the cases of weapons that Gibbs had got for him to ‘sell’.

“Two cases of M16’s, one set of LAWS.” He repeated what Gibbs had made him memorise so he wouldn’t forget the names of the weapons and blow his cover. Walking away from the van he positioned himself so the woman would have to move away from the van to talk to him, putting her in a perfect position for Gibbs to photograph her from the front and side as she walked round to talk to him.

“Where did you get it?” She asked curiously.

“Want ‘em or not?” Spike grinned at her.

“I’m interested,” She smiled at him. “Move them inside and I'll get your money.” She then turned on her heel and headed back inside the shop.

“Heavy lifting again,” Spike grinned under his breath, remembering what Gibbs had told him, try and play it a bit out of shape, not as strong as he really was to keep any opponents off guard. Hefting the first two boxes of M16’s he tested them, thinking that it was too much he just took the first box, putting taking it into the shop before returning for the other and the case of rocket launchers.

As he put the last box down in her office he turned to see the woman sat at her desk with a sheet of paper and a black tin of something that smelt like ink. “What’s that for?” he asked, eying the ink carefully.

“Scanning your finger prints, I need to know you are who you say you are.” The woman stated, putting the ink down in front of him.

“I bloody well don’t think so,” Spike smirked, moving back to pick up the cases of weapons again.

“Not an option.” The woman stated, causing him to spin round and see her lazing back in the chair, crossed legged with a nine mill pointed at his head.

“Right,” Spike smirked. “And I’m supposed to be afraid of that pea shooter?”

“Nine mill hollow point,” She stated. “Put a hole though you the size of a pizza in the back.”

“Guess so then.” Spike sobered up, remembering that he was supposed to be playing a human ex marine scum bag. Pressing his finger into the ink he quickly pressed them against the paper, repeating the process for all his fingers on his right hand before wiping the excess ink on his shirt. “Now what?” He asked, irritated at this turn of events as he watched he pass the paper through what looked like a fax machine.

“Now we find out who you really are.” She stated, he gun never wavering as it pointed at him.

“You mind?” He asked, nodding to a fridge in the corner.

“Bud or Miller?” She asked, watching him carefully move over to the fridge.

“Miller,” He grinned, opening the fridge and pulling out a bottle, snapping the cap off with his hand and taking a mouthful.

“Whatever,” She muttered, watching him carefully.

=/^=

“What you got?” Tony asked as he wandered into the forensics lab where Abby and Ducky were reading something off a monitor.

“Trying to figure out who’d be buying the weapons from Grimms ‘Guns ‘r’ us’ racket,” Abby explained. “First we thought gangs,”

“Gangs into shoulder launching anti-tank missiles?” Tony asked with a grin.

“Exactly, then Ducky thought terrorists,” Abby continued.

“Wouldn’t risk the military connection, too many unknowns,” Tony busted that theory as well.

“These guys are perfect though!” Abby said triumphantly, motioning to the monitor where Ducky was reading.

“Militia?” Tony asked with a raised eyebrow. “Gun junkies who train in empty fields?”

“Militia was once a necessary source of protection for the country my dear boy,” Ducky explained. “You should talk with a few of the older immortals some time; they could tell you some stories about when the militia was at its peak.”

“How many immortals are there in Washington then?” Tony asked, curious about this new source of information.

“Only three that I know of,” Ducky smiled. “There could be more though, but I doubt it, most of them seem to prefer the west coast, or further towards New York.”

“That’s weird, wonder how many immortals are really out there,” Tony muttered, wondering how many people he could have just passed in the street, not knowing they were hundreds or thousands of years old.

“Many my boy,” Ducky smiled. “Thousands of them, living their lives out in peace, well most of them anyway.”

“So you think these guys are buying the weapons through the pawn shop Spike’s looking into?” Tony asked, nodding to the monitor on the wall.

“They don’t have any different ideas though; it’s all the same old stuff.” Abby explained.

“Where’s Xander and Kate?” Tony asked, having just come from the office he knew they weren’t there. Gibbs and Spike were at the pawn shop, but he wasn’t sure where Xander or Kate were.

“Gone back to Quantico, to speak to some people again,” Abby explained, “So you get to help me research the militia.” She grinned at him.

“Caf-Pow?” He asked, moving to do a coffee run. “Ducky?”

“Oh not for me, I have a body downstairs ready to be shipped back for burial, in fact I should get back down there, if you’ll excuse me.” Ducky smiled at the two before leaving the lab ahead of Tony.

“Large! Giant caffeine even!” Abby grinned at him as he left the lab. “Mainline it,” She grinned, wondering if it was possible to hook up an IV drip directly into her arm for her usual caffeine soda while she hit play on her stereo and the dulcet tones of Aerosmith “Same old song and dance” started blaring from the speakers.

=/^=

“She’s good,” Xander quipped as he walked over to the boxing ring where the staff sergeant was watching corporal McLain go through her paces.

“She’d have a lot more if she’d just listen,” The sergeant explained, not taking his eyes off her movement in the ring.

“What do you mean?” Kate asked from the other side of the sergeant.

“She prefers to be the one giving the orders, and not just in the gym I’m guessing.” Xander smirked as the sergeant nodded slowly to him before walking off.

“Sounds like we need to have a little chat with her,” Kate smiled at him.

“My thoughts exactly,” Xander grinned at her. “McLain, we need to talk to you.” He shouted up to her, flashing his badge so she could clearly see it.

“I’ve got five more minutes with the pads,” McLain shouted back down, letting out a flurry of punches which the taller marine sparring with her deftly blocked with the large contact pads.

“It can wait,” Xander shouted as he climbed through the ropes onto the ring. Nodding to the sparring marine as he walked over.

“Fine,” She huffed, dropping into a neutral stance. “What can I do for NCIS, again,” She muttered the last part.

“You told Agent Spike that you barely knew Corporal Grimms,” Xander explained, throwing her a towel from the side of the ring. “Records state you worked with him on a weekly basis.”

“I said what I said,” McLain stated with a sneer. “You drew your own conclusions.”

“Three days ago you and Corporal Grimms took a shipment of weapons from Quantico to be destroyed,” Xander explained, remembering the notes that he’d read on the car journey over to the base. “One of those weapons didn’t make it,” Xander watched her very carefully for any reaction. “What happened to it?” He lowered his voice but the dangerous tone carried over it clearly.

“I don’t know,” McLain said, holding her hands up in a surrender posture. “Really,” She continued at Xander’s raised eyebrow. “We picked the weapons up, but Grimms dropped me off as soon as we got off base, I swear!”

“And Grimms made a habit of making shipments on his own?” Xander asked, we aware that all regs state that all shipments must be escorted by at least two armed marines.

“He said he could handle it himself,” McLain tried to explain, backing up from Xander’s stare and not able to look him in the eye as he continued to glare at her. “Look, that’s all I know, I swear, my boy friend, he’s army, was shipping out the next day for Iraq.”

“So you figured one last booty call before he shipped off?” Xander asked, his glare intensifying at the complete disregard for rules, safety and concern for her fellow marine. “That’s what I thought.” He shook his head as she lowered hers in disgrace. Ignoring her he just climbed out of the ring over to where Kate was waiting and walked out of the gym, Kate following hot on his heels. “We need to have a little chat with the person who took the weapons off Grimms at Camp Geiger, seems they’re in the habit of accepting one manned deliveries without checking or signing for them.”

=/^=

“What about you?” Spike grinned over as he finished his beer and threw it in the bin by his foot. “How do I know you ain’t a cop?”

“You don’t.” The woman holding the gun said simply, her eyes never wavering from his. “But if I was, don’t you think you should have thought of that before you brought the weapons in?”

“Yeah,” Spike nodded in mock thoughtfulness. “I did ‘ave a plan, good one, well thought out, but I got bored and wanted the cash.”

“Right,” The woman smiled at him. “I actually believe that.” She turned as the computer beeped, her gun still trained at Spike but her attention on the monitor in front of her. “Ohh, Riley Finn,” She smiled at him as he made a mock bowing motion. “Dishonourable discharge followed by,” She paused, doing a double take at the monitor before laughing. “Three to five for solicitation and possession of GHB.”

“Didn’t pay as well as I thought it would,” Spike grinned at her, leaning back against the wall.

“Seems a little steep for a first offence,” She noted, training the gun back on him.

“That’s wot I said,” Spike grinned at her. “But it was the chief’s wife I was servicing at the time.” He grinned as she laughed loudly, the sound echoing through the small office.

“Now that,” She clicked the safety back on the gun and placed it on the desk. “I believe.”

“So,” Spiked jumped off his perch and straightened his back with a click. “We doing this or wot?”

“One last thing,” She asked, standing up and looking him in the eye, her nose practically touching his chin as she looked up at him with a smile. “Where did you pick up the accent?”

“Too much time ‘anging with Brits,” Spike grinned down at her. “Accents worse than the bloody food.”

“I'll get your money,” She smiled at him, tracing a finger down his tight black t-shirt before turning and moving back towards the safe. Picking her gun up on the way and placing it on top of the safe while she started turning the tumblers.

Spike just leaned back, watching as she removed several thick wads of hundred dollar bills, smirking to himself as he crossed his arms. “You know, hate to do this to you, actually really liked ya luv.” He grinned, reaching behind his back. He barely registered her spin round, aiming the gun directly at him. Smirking a little he continued to reach round, grabbing his ID wallet and pulling it forward with a swift motion so she could see she was under arrest.

The report from the gun sounded at the same time as the door was kicked in by agent Gibbs, immediately training his gun on her. “Put the gun down!” He ordered, nodding to the smoking gun in her hand. “Agent Gibbs, NCIS!”

“ATF!” She shouted, dropping her pistol to the floor, staring down at Spike’s lifeless body with hole torn in the t-shirt she was running her finger over moment before, blood pooling on the floor and his NCIS ID clearly visible in his hand. “I’m sorry,” She covered her mouth with her hands. “I thought he was going for a gun.”

“ID!” Gibbs shouted, not taking his gun off her.

“Under the stereo,” She said quietly, barely registering his question.

“Spike, get up.” Gibbs ordered. “Find me that ID.”

“I'll ‘ave you know,” Spike grinned from his place on the floor. “Being shot in the heart bloody hurts.”

“Whatever,” Gibbs waved his gun at her. “Now Spike.”

“Bloody thanks I get,” Spike muttered, pulling himself up off the floor and grinning at the woman who was just staring at him in disbelief. “Got it,” He grinned, tossing the stereo to the floor and picking up a gold ATF badge from underneath. “What’s ATF when it’s at ‘ome?”

“Alcohol, Tobacco and firearms squad,” Gibbs stated, holstering his gun. “What are you doing here?”

“But...” The woman stuttered out. “I killed you.”

“Yeah,” Spike grinned, reaching under his t-shirt and poking his finger through the hole in his t-shirt. “Good shot too, bloody hurt.”

“How?” She turned to look at Gibbs who was smiling at Spike. “How, I mean, I killed him, you can see the blood.”

“Bit trigger happy there aren’t you agent?” He paused, waiting for her to fill in the space.

“Stone,” She said softly as Spike checked the name against her ID. “Melinda Stone.”

“It’s ‘er,” Spike grinned, tossing her the ID.

“Tell me about this op, keep Agent Spike’s miraculous recovery to yourself,” Gibbs smirked at her. “And I won’t write you up for killing a federal agent.”

She turned, looking at Gibbs first who just glared at her before she turned to look at Spike, who was grinning as he walked over to the fridge and helped himself to another beer. “ATF knew they were moving a lot of illegal arms through here, they decided to leave it open, see what crawled through.”

“Open that and I will shoot you myself.” Gibbs stated, glaring at Spike who was about to crack the top of the beer. “Where’s your backup?”

“You’re looking at it.” She paused; looking at Spike’s back where she could clearly see the exit hole of the bullet in his t-shirt, but the skin underneath was perfect. “We’re spread thin since nine eleven...”

“What about Corporal Grimms?” Gibbs cut her off.

“Yeah, bloke from Quantico, selling big stuff, anti-tank style equipment,” Spike muttered, putting the beer back in the fridge. “Big hole in his chest,” He paused, raising a hand span to his chest. “‘Bout yay big.” He grinned.

“He places several calls here last week.” Gibbs nodded, tossing over a photo of the dead Corporal to jog her memory.

“He said his name was Jeff Conklin,” The woman stared at the picture, still shaking her head to clear the cobwebs that Agent Spike’s recovery had caused. “He said he had access to high powered weapons.”

“And what were you going to do with them?” Gibbs asked sternly.

“I was working with one of Abe Parker’s former buyers,” She nodded at him, still unable to take her eyes off the hole in the front of Agent Spike’s t-shirt where she had shot him in the heart.

“Who?” Gibbs asked carefully.

“No name,” She smiled at him. “Just a phone number and a voice.”

“You ever see the weapons?” Gibbs continued his interrogation, ignoring Spike as he wandered around the office and started picking up small objects and playing with them in his hands.

“He never showed, I thought he got cold feet.” Stone replied, checking the safety on her side arm and placing it back in the desk drawer.

“Guess he’s got cold everything now,” Spike grinned at her. “Had to hurt, missile to the chest,” He grabbed his chest and staggered back a few feet, play acting the death out.

“Is he always like this?” Stone asked, turning to Gibbs.

“Only when he’s awake,” Gibbs smirked at her.

=/^=

“Staff sergeant Raphael?” Kate asked as she walked past the training center onto the high grade weapons test range, she winced at a SMAW fired off another round, watching as it sailed through the air before impacting the ground with a lot explosion several hundred feet away. “Special Agent Todd, NCIS.”

The marine in front of her just turned, pointing to the bright yellow ear plugs he had stuffed in his ears to block out the constant sounds of weapons file and explosions.

“NCIS!” Xander shouted, pulling out his ID and showing it to him as Kate did the same. Nodding his head to the right he motioned they should move away from the disposal grounds to talk. Kate watched as the Sergeant passed his clip board onto his 2IC before moving off to follow him, Kate following the sergeant afterwards.

As soon as they were a safe distance away the sergeant pulled out his ear plugs and turned to face Kate. “What can I do for NCIS?” He asked, raising an eyebrow at their unusually thick ID wallets.

“We need to talk to you about procedure of destroying weapons.” Xander explained, stepping back when Kate sent a soft glare his way.

“As soon as we get the transfer papers through, the weapons follow the next day,” The sergeant nodded to them. “Marked solely for destruction they are moved here from Quantico and disposed of the next day.”

“Contact the main base when you receive the weapons?” Kate asked.

“Yes Ma’am, it’s procedure.” The sergeant replied.

“Did you contact them when Corporal Grimms brought his shipment here?” Kate asked, turning to watch him for any reaction.

“Like I said, it’s procedure.” The sergeant reiterated his last reply.

“You did,” Xander jumped in, glaring at the sergeant. “But we’re asking specifically about the shipment from Quantico three days ago.”

“Ma’am, I am a staff sergeant in the united states marine corps,” He paused, taking a breath. “I don’t know how it is for you at NCIS but I follow all orders and procedures laid out for me under this command.”

“Still haven’t answered her question,” Xander quipped, still glaring at the sergeant. “Did you inspect the weapons, sign for them and then contact the transfer point upon receiving Corporal Grimms shipment of weapons?” He sounded out each word carefully, biting off the harsh sounds.

“Yes,” The sergeant turned to glare back at Xander, averting his gaze when he saw the harsh look in the younger mans sole eye. “Will there be anything else sir?”

“No,” Xander bit out, watching as the sergeant saluted crisply before moving off back to his command. “Not here.”

“I want to see you in Washington,” Kate stated simply, taking off where Xander left it. “I'll call your CO, find out the procedures shall I?” She smiled at him as he faltered in his step before moving off back to the firing site.

“Well he’s got something to hide,” Xander grinned as they made their way back to the car.

“Signed for a shipment he didn’t receive,” Kate nodded. “Yeah, he’s hiding something alright.”

=/^=

“Stone, you’re working with us on this one, call your office to confirm.” Gibbs stated from his desk as he slammed down the phone, looking up to see Agent Stone walking carefully around Spike, eying him from all possible angles. “Now while Spike is changing,” He paused, opening the filing cabinet behind him and throwing over one of DiNozzo’s spare white vests. “Can’t have you walking around base like that.” He muttered, watching as Spike started changing, amazed at the healing factor he had, to think Harris’ was even faster healing than that was unbelievable. “Go down to autopsy while I bring Agent Stone up to date with the computer files we found, I believe Ducky has some of your usual ‘beverage’ down there for you.”

“Ooh, AB?” Spike grinned, quickly pulling on the vest before darting out of the room and jogging down the corridor to the elevator.

“He needs to cut down on the caffeine.” Stone smiled over as she made her way over to Gibbs’ desk.

“You should see our forensics expert,” Gibbs smirked at her, thinking of the way Abby bounced around after having his eighth Caf-Pow of the day. “We think Grimms was putting his weapons on the internet, trying to attract attention that way.”

“You think my buyer found him?” Stone asked, thinking carefully about the case now that her ‘distraction’ was out of the room.

“Maybe, cut out the middle man, maybe it went south somehow.” Gibbs nodded; sharing his view on what he thought could have happened.

“Makes sense,” Stone nodded along.

“Which means someone’s out there with enough firepower to take out a small village.” Gibbs said simply, standing up as DiNozzo walked in the office.

“You shot Spike?” He grinned at her. “I mean, this is her right?”

Gibbs just nodded patiently at him.

“And you’re still alive?” DiNozzo laughed. “I wish I’d been there to see that.”

“Range scores DiNozzo.” Gibbs barked out, smiling when Tony instantly handed over the paper he was carrying. “Better.” He smiled, filing the paper away in his desk draw to be filed properly later. “Now, find us some weapons to sell.” He grinned up at the two agents watching him with interest. “Now people.”

“Yes boss.” Tony grinned before moving off to his desk to start making calls round the naval supply yards for any weapons due for destruction that they could use in the ruse.

“Agent Stone, with me,” Gibbs ordered, standing up and walking out of the office towards the elevator. “Call you’re buyer, tell him you have a new supplier, this time he’ll be coming with you to make the drop.”

“The buyer won’t like it.” Stone replied shortly.

“You’ll give him a full background check to confirm it.” Gibbs stated simply.

“Will Agent Spike be making the drop?” Stone asked as the elevator doors opened and they got in, curious to work with the blonde agent again and find out how he survived a nine mil to the heart at point blank range.

“No, he’s more slime ball,” Gibbs smiled at her. “This time you’ve got a wounded marine, one eye shot out on medical discharge, pissed with the marines and the way they handled his discharge.”

“Gibbs!” Xander shouted out, jogging down the corridor before the elevator doors shut on them.

“Agent Stone, ATF,” Gibbs introduced her. “Agent Harris.”

“Give us a sec will ya?” Xander grinned at her, smiling when Gibbs moved to follow him back down the corridor. “Checked out McLain’s alibi, all checks out, she was shacking up with her army brat boyfriend what everything happened.” He paused as Gibbs nodded at him, motioning with his hands for him to get on with it. “Staff Sergeant Raphael’s holding out on us, he’s full of it, hiding the fact there was no signature for the weapons when they weren’t there.”

“Where is he now?” Gibbs asked, the smile now gone from his face, a dirty marine and a dead marine were no laughing matter in the Navy.

“Down in interrogation room two, chilling out, when you’re ready I'll go through when I know about him with you.” Xander nodded, feeling the same about this case, something didn’t feel right about working their first case together and finding a dirty marine sergeant.

“Go to Abby; get a full ID work up, ex military, honourable discharge due to medical.” He paused, nodding at the eye patch. “Use that, grief with the Marine Corps over the discharge, let Abby fill in the rest.” Gibbs nodded at him. “I'll take the interrogation.” Turning back he motioned for Agent Stone to come over and join them. “Follow Agent Harris to sort out the background for tonight, he’ll be making the drop with you.”

“Hi,” Xander grinned, holding out his hand for her to shake.

“Hi,” She grinned back, shaking his hand and feeling the rough calluses on his palm.

“If you two are finished,” Gibbs smirked at them before moving into the elevator and pressing the button for the interrogation floor. “Abby, now.”

“Got it boss,” Xander grinned as the doors closed, turning round to start walking down towards the forensics lab.

“Is that real?” Stone asked, eying him sideways as she walked along side him.

“They ask that every time.” Xander smirked at her, ignoring the question for the moment as they walked into the lab and found Abby bouncing around her computer with Meatloaf playing from the stereo at an obscene volume. “Abby!” He shouted, when he didn’t get an answer he moved over to turn the stereo off.

“Geez Xander, you’re getting more like a mini Gibbs every day,” She smiled at him. “This is the ATF lady that shot Spike?” She glared at Agent Stone.

“You shot Spike?” Xander span to look at her, a bit grin plastered on his face. Then noticing the glare that Abby now sent his way he coughed to cover it up, turning back to face her. “I need an ID.”

“Lot of that going round today,” Abby’s glare turned into a smile. “Is he alright?”

“He’ll be fine, take more than a bullet to keep him down unfortunately, believe me, I’ve tried.” Xander grinned unrepentantly at the glare Abby leveled at him. “He’ll be fine.” He continued seriously.

“Fine, what do you need?” Abby asked, smiling as Xander rattled off the details for the plan Gibbs had explained to him. “Medals?” She asked, spinning in her chair to look at Xander.

“Don’t push it.” Xander said simply. “Civilian contractor after the discharge, Italy, England, places to explain the weird accent.” He tried to think of anything else they would need in the background, figuring that was it he just lazed back and let the resident computer genius do her work.

“Are you sure Spike will be ok?” Abby asked, still tapping away on her keys, thinking of the blonde vampire who was just been shot in the chest.

“He’ll be fine Abby, I'll tell him to pop in to see you next chance I get,” Xander grinned, rubbing her on the shoulder, it was nice she cared about Spike, showed that both Spike and he were fitting into the already fluid team dynamic they had here at the NCIS building.

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#9  Edited By warlock360

ya dont do short fan fics do ya <.<

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#10  Edited By warlock360

A for effort btw^^

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#11  Edited By Methos

“Abby,” Gibbs paused on entrance to her lab, stopping and taking in the sight of her typing agitatedly on a computer while Spike was laughing so hard he was having trouble breathing, and considering he didn’t breathe that told you how hard he was laughing. “What are you two doing?”

“Ugh!” Abby groaned, slapping the keyboard. “There is no reason why he,” She paused, glaring at Spike playfully. “Should be alive.”

“Well he is.” Gibbs stated simply, ignoring Spike who recovered from his laughing fit enough to smirk at him.

“I’ve run blood test's, EEG’s, ECG’s, DNA tests, everything,” Abby slapped her keyboard again before muttering something and stroking it like a beloved pet. “He shouldn’t be alive.”

“I’m not.” Spike agreed with her with a grin.

“Not helping!” She yelled at him. “He has brain activity, but no heart beat or pulse, his blood test showed nothing abnormal, unless you could three different blood types,”

Gibbs raises his eyebrow at this, turning to Spike for an explanation. “I was hungry and Doc didn’t ‘ave any AB, so he gave me a packet of O and B pos.”

“Which matches up precisely to what’s in his veins,” Abby stood up, moving to Gibbs and thrusting a pile of papers into his chest, snatching the large Caf-Pow drink off of him and taking a long slurp through the straw. “Vampire’s are cool, but I can’t document him as anything, as far as I can tell, he’s a corpse with brain activity, only slightly higher than the rest of us.”

“You should meet Red,” Spike grinned at the thought of Abby and Red sharing a lab for a while, the sorts of things they could get up to, then his brain got side tracked on the sort of things they could get up to and his grin grew larger.

“Whatever,” Gibbs ignored the papers putting them down on Abby’s desk. “Do we have anything new on the case?”

“Nada,” Abby replied. “I double checked all the last tests I ran to make sure everything was right, it was.”

“Never doubted you.” Gibbs smiled, bending over and kissing her lightly on the forehead before moving out of the room and heading down to interrogation.

“Wot was that then?” Spike grinned at her. “Little fling with the older man?”

“At least he’s younger than you,” Abby stuck her tongue out at him. “And alive, bonus points there.”

“So I was right,” Spike’s grin got larger. “Bit of office romance going on in the team, what about nancy boy? He shacking up with anyone? Or the bit?”

“Tony?” Abby asked, raising her eyebrow at the affectionate nickname Spike had saddled him with. “And Kate?” She snorted in laughter. “Tony goes through more women then I can count, Kate’s not interested in him, speaking of, do vampires have relationships? Can you even have sex?”

“Yes and a definite yes,” Spike smirked at her. “Wanna go for a test drive?”

She just smirked back. “I’d break you little boy,” She grinned at him as he laughed. “But you do have sex, without blood pressure?”

“Heart’s just another muscle luv,” Spike started tapping on his chest with his palm, emulating a heartbeat. “I can make in work if I need it.”

“So you have finer control over your internal muscles, interesting,” Abby went back into scientist mode, the earlier flirting forgotten. “Control over your lungs and heart at will.”

“Yup,” Spike grinned, never really having thought about it before, he’d been able to do it for as long as he could remember, he paused, most vampires could, couldn’t they? He actually didn’t know, Angel never showed signs of breathing or having a heart beat, or eating normal food. He guessed he could do the heart beat thing or he wouldn’t have been able to have sex with Buffy, but the rest he was just guessing at. He was broken out of his musings when the telephone rang, Abby immediately hit the speaker phone and the Doc’s voice came over it clearly.

“Abby, is Agent Spike still with you?” Ducky’s tinny voice came over the speaker phone distorted.

“Sure thing Ducky,” Abby grinned. “You want to perform an autopsy on him? Can I help? I’d love to get a look at his heart and lungs, see how the...”

“No one’s performing a bloody autopsy on me luv.” Spike grinned. “What’s up Doc?”

“Ahh Spike,” Ducky’s voice came back. “I wonder if I could have a moment with you in autopsy, I have a few ideas about your eating habits and hoped you may be able to clarify a few things.”

“Sure thing Doc,” Spike smiled, moving over and taking a long slurp of Abby’s Caf-Pow before grinning at her. “Be right down.” He moved off before even getting a reply from the speaker phone and was out of the lab before Abby could say anything.

“He’s on his way ducky,” Abby explained to the speaker phone before hanging up and moving back to her tests on Spike, there had to be a scientific reason for him to be alive, maybe a parasite of some sort was exchanged with the blood, that could explain how vampires made other vampires, but it didn’t explain the sun allergy that they all had, or the drinking blood, or the reflection issues, that was the one that was driving her mad. “There has to be a reason, forensics hasn’t let me down yet!” She grinned resolvedly at the computer before jotting down another battery of tests to run on Spike next time he wandered in.

=/^=

“What’s up?” Spike asked as he made his way into the autopsy room where Ducky was frequently found. He was performing an autopsy on what looked like a car crash victim laid out on the silver table in front of him.

“Ahh good,” Ducky smiled, putting the tools he was working with down. “I wanted to speak to you about blood.”

“It’s always about blood,” Spike quipped of the line, smiling about how true the statement was. It had been true six years ago, it was still true now. “Wot about it?”

“Well instead of you working through our transplant supplies, I had a rather ingenious thought,” Ducky smiled at him, fetching a mug from the side and squeezing a packet of blood into it. “Smell this will you?”

Spike picked the mug up, carefully sniffing it as he watched Doc do the same thing with a different coloured mug. “B pos, human,” Spike stated, smiling when Doc nodded. “The nose never lies doc.”

“And this one,” Ducky passed over the second mug, taking the first off of Spike and placing it on the side.

“Same,” Spike sniffed the second mug again to be sure.

“The second mug contains blood to be destroyed from Bethesda hospital; they have dozens of packets every day marked for destruction because they are contaminated with Aids, viruses or are otherwise unusable.” Ducky smiled as Spike shrugged, taking a sip from the mug. “I assume then that you cannot receive or be a carrier for any viruses or illness then?”

“Nope,” Spike grinned, taking another sip from the mug. “Red’d be able to tell you why, but vampires can’t get ill.”

“Fantastic,” Ducky smiled, putting the first mug down on the side. “Ah Jethro,” Ducky paused as Agent Gibbs walked into the autopsy room. “I believe I have solved the problem of Spike’s eating habits. He is now going to serve as a destruction facility for contaminated blood from Bethesda hospital.”

Gibbs paused in his step, surprised that he hadn’t thought of that. “You can drink contaminated blood?” He asked, moving over and watching Spike carefully as he took another sip from the mug he was holding.

“Yes, he is currently drinking some blood that contains the hepatitis B strain after an officer returned from India; he assures me that it is quite safe.” Ducky smiled as he watched Gibbs pick up the first mug from the side of the table and sniffed it gently.

“And this one?” He asked carefully.

“Normal B positive blood drained from an autopsy.” Ducky supplied the answer as he watched Gibbs slowly put the mug down. “I can have a fridge fitted in your office for Spike’s personal tastes, it will have to be marked as biological hazardous material of course, but it would be a lot safer and easier to keep it up there than it would to find a space down here for it.”

“Sounds good,” Gibbs stated, turning to watch Spike finish off his mug of blood before picking up the second mug that he had just put down. “You drink that every day?”

“Yup,” Spike grinned at him, taking a large mouthful of the blood.

“We’re getting you a personalised mug,” Gibbs stated simply, turning back to Ducky.

“Yes, good idea Jethro, wouldn’t want anyone else to pick up the contaminated blood by accident.” Ducky paused, turning to Spike. “You will have to be very careful with the blood, do not let anyone else touch it and report it directly to me if anyone comes in contact with it aside from you or Agent Harris,” Ducky paused in thought. “Also if any goes missing or is tampered with in some way you will come straight to me.”

“Sure thing,” Spike agreed hastily, not wanting to throw away the opportunity of having fresh blood packets in easy reach every day. “I'll even stick a lock on the fridge; make sure no one else can get in.”

“Yes, that would be an excellent idea,” Ducky agreed. “Was there something you wanted Jethro?”

“Yes, I need Spike to help with an interrogation.” Gibbs explained smirking at Spike’s raised eyebrow. “Staff Sergeant Raphael still refuses to talk; I thought a two man team would work better.”

“Good cop bad cop?” Spike grinned.

“But who is who?” Ducky chuckled at the two as they turned to face each other, sizing each other up.

“At least I don’t look like an extra from Die Hard,” Gibbs smirked at Spike as he looked down and noticed he was just wearing black pants and a white vest, some of his blood he was drinking had dripped down his chin and onto the vest, giving it a ‘wounded in action’ look.

“Soddin’ hell,” Spike shook his head in disbelief at what he looked like. “Can I change first?”

“Change on your own time,” Gibbs stated, turning round and heading back to the elevator, Spike moving to keep up. “Interview first then we find out how Harris is doing with the gun running.”

=/^=

“Something I’ve been meaning to ask,” Gibbs stated as her got out of the elevator on the interrogation floor followed by Spike.

“Shoot,” Spike grinned as Gibbs shook his head at the vague reference to the earlier action in the day.

“Vampire’s can go out in sunlight?” He asked, obviously trying to figure out which of the vampire myths were myths, and which were facts.

“Nope,” Spike grinned. “Burns ‘em up faster than a sausage on the barbeque.”

“Then how...” Gibbs started to ask then stopped walking when Spike waved his right hand in front of his face, twirling a silver ring round his index finger with his thumb.

“Red made this for me,” Spike said, stopping to face Gibbs. “Lets me go out in sunlight, powerful magic, one of a kind.”

“And if any other vampire got hold of it?” Gibbs asked, assessing the potential misuse of the small object around Spike’s finger.

“Won’t work, Red made it only for me, any other vamp tries it on it’ll burst into flames, taking the vamp with it.” Spike nodded as Gibbs smiled; appeased that no one else could take the advantage Spike had over other vampires.

“Why do you do it?” Gibbs asked, trying to get a feel for Spike. His gut was telling him to trust Spike, that he could trust him with his life, but his brain was telling him not to trust a vampire with anything, especially his life. “The good fight as you said.”

“I like it,” Spike grinned. “Most demons want to destroy the world, take it over or whatever, I like it ‘ere, just the way it is.”

“So you fight so humans can remain in control?” Gibbs asked, trying to get a feel for the vampire’s motivations.

“Guess so,” Spike nodded. “Got a soul, that’s more than any other vamp can say, come on, interrogation time.” Spike grinned, moving forward before Gibbs could ask any other questions. Pausing for a second he called back. “It was a woman.”

Gibbs had to smirk at that one. “It always is.” He said softly smiling as he heard Spike laugh throatily.

“C’mon then, let’s crack some heads.” Spike grinned as he pushed open the interrogation room and stormed in, making a hell of an entrance.

“Wrong room Spike,” Gibbs grinned as he walked past the empty interrogation room where Spike was glaring at the empty room.

“Knew that,” Spike muttered as he walked out of the room and closed the door behind him as he watched Gibbs move to the next room down the hall and walk calmly into the room. “Should have lights, or labels or sommet,” He muttered as he followed Gibbs into the interrogation room.

=/^=

“Come on, tell me something at least,” Tony asked Kate for the fourth time as they sat in the car, watching Xander and Agent Todd wait for the weapons buyers to turn up. “You sparred with him this morning, tell me how you did?”

“He’s fast, strong,” Kate grinned. “Choke holds seemed to work though.”

“Choke holds,” Tony smiled back. “Thanks.” He was training with Spike tomorrow morning and wanted to get as much information about the vampires fighting style as he could. “What about martial arts?”

“He’s good,” Kate noted, thinking back to her training session and marking how many styles she had recognised him using. “At least five, maybe six martial arts at expert level,” She paused, adding another one when she remembered the modified Aikido throw he used on her when she over lunged. “Seven,” She tried to think of there were any more that she could put names to, but he was an extremely fast fighter, blending styles quicker than she could categorise them. “Maybe more.”

“Seven martial arts at expert level?” Tony whistled. “Glad he’s on our side.”

“Same here,” Kate had to agree. “If he was fighting against us I don’t think we’d stand a chance.”

“What about Xander?” Tony asked, picking the binoculars up and taking a closer look at their target to make sure no one had approached them yet.

“No clue,” Kate said honestly. “Spike says he’s nearly as good as him, though I’m guessing he doesn’t have the speed or strength that Spike has.” She paused, wondering how she would do when she trained with him on Monday. “Eye patch is real though, I saw him show it to the staff sergeant in the gym.”

“From what I could get on his file before my computer melted,” Tony muttered something under his breath that Kate didn’t catch before continuing. “He was a slouch until second year of school, then something kicked in and he started picking up his grades and spending more time in the school gym, even tried out for a few martial arts programs at the school before he was kicked out for using unnecessary force.”

“Could have been his girlfriend?” Kate asked. “The slayer?”

“Maybe, but I got the impression that it was something else, don’t know what though.” Tony nodded, thinking back to anything else he could remember from the files he’d seen.

“Ask him, he seems pretty open about stuff.” Kate smiled as Tony shook his head.

“I don’t want to piss off anyone that could take down Spike,” Tony grinned. “Especially when they’re immortal.”

“Point,” Kate grinned at him. “What time’s the buyer supposed to show?” She glanced at her watch before taking the binoculars off Tony and checking they were both ok in the car waiting for the buyer.

“About nine,” Tony replied. “Half an hour yet.”

“What do you think of him? Personally?” Kate asked, nodding to the car where Xander and Agent Stone were waiting.

“Xander?” Tony smiled as Kate nodded. “Seems solid, boss trusts him. Abby trusts him, he’s got more clearance than god and got me and you a two hundred percent pay raise, what’s not to like?”

“You get the feeling he’s taking over?” Kate asked, carefully watching Tony’s reaction to the question.

“No,” Tony answered without a second thought. “He defers to Gibbs whenever he asks for something, and seems alright with following orders from him.”

“But you’re ok taking orders from him?” Kate asked, noting that she had found herself looking to Xander for orders when Gibbs wasn’t around.

Tony paused, thinking about this for a moment. “He’s got the same, I dunno, presence as Gibbs,” Tony smiled, shaking his head. “He’s above me and you on the food chain, I know that.” Tony smiled, putting the team in their places. “Spike seems to follow Xander’s lead, but will turn to you or me for questions or orders when needed, so I put him around the same level as us.”

“But not Xander,” Kate followed his thought trail.

“No, Xander’s definitely higher than us,” Tony smiled, more ok with that than he thought he’d be. “He’s Gibbs second, the rest of us follow both of them.”

“I agree,” Kate nodded, happy that Tony had come to the same conclusion she had. She was fine following orders from Xander, he did have the same presence than Gibbs had, it was just natural coming from him. He wasn’t a leader, he was a 2IC, that much was certain, but he was fine taking over if the boss wasn’t around. “Do you think we’ll ever get to meet a slayer?”

“Dunno,” Tony answered with a grin. “I’d love to though.”

“Don’t get your date book yet,” Kate smirked at him. “If they can bend a sniper rifle in a perfect circle I don’t think you’d want to piss them off.”

“I'll remember that,” Tony grinned at her, imagining what a slayer would be like.

“Besides, if Xander brought any of them here, it’d probably be his ex,” She smiled as Tony swallowed dryly. “I get the impression that if you got on her bad side; you’d be on Spike and Xander’s bad side as well.”

“Check,” Tony nodded. “Don’t annoy the dangerous people or date their ex’s.” He paused, looking at Kate. “You think that’s covered in rule twelve?”

“Don’t date co-workers?” Kate smiled. “Think that one’s a bit fluid now as we cover two agencies.”

“Think I'll play it safe anyway,” Tony smiled. “Don’t want Xander or Spike having any reason to be pissed at me.”

“Good plan Tony.” Kate smiled at him, watching him memorise this new rule. Maybe she should have it laminated along with the rest of Gibbs’ rules and pinned up in the office so people could check them easily, made it simpler than Gibbs just spouting them off a random moments.

=/^=

“Four months training starting June oh two,” The Staff Sergeant continued to rattle off his work history as Spike and Gibbs just watched. “Ten hours a day running maintenance repair and evaluation.”

“Were you and Grimms close outside of the academy?” Gibbs interrupted with his question.

“We had a few beers on the weekends.” Sergeant Raphael answered, his eyes never leaving Spike who was lazed against the wall opposite him trying to get some blood out of his top. “Along with some others from our class.”

“What ‘bout now?” Spike asked with a sneer. “Still go out drinking with ‘em now?”

“No sir.” The sergeant replied a little too quickly.

“On the phone?” Spike continued.

“No sir.” The sergeant replied again quickly.

Gibbs paused, pulling out his phone and pressing a speed dial number smiling when Spike moved over to the table and leaned in close to the sergeant.

“You’re lying.” Spike said simply, leaning down to get face to face with the sergeant.

“Did you know lying to a federal agent during an ongoing investigation is a federal crime sergeant?” Gibbs asked, smirking at Spike. “Ten months prison time followed by dishonourable discharge, not to mention being charged with impeding an ongoing federal murder investigation.”

“Fine,” The sergeant glared at Spike. “We talk from time to time, doesn’t make me a criminal.”

“But lying to me makes you a twat.” Spike sneered. “What ya talk about then? Sports? Girls? Large explosions?”

“Yeah,” The sergeant said, averting his eyes from Spike’s piercing glare. “Sometimes we talk work, that involves weapons and explosions sir.”

Gibbs looked at Spike who nodded slowly over to him, indicating that Sergeant Raphael was telling the truth. “We found Corporal Grimms’ body yesterday,” Gibbs stated, moving over so he was behind the sergeant. “He’d been hit by a SMAW.”

“Big ol’ hole in ‘is chest,” Spike grinned, raising his hand to his chest, pantomiming an explosion just too the right of his heart. “Boom!”

“The serial number on the weapon that killed him,” Gibbs continued, ignoring Spike’s theatrics. “Matches a weapon he delivered to you three days ago marked for destruction.”

“Remember?” Spike grinned. “That bit o’ paper you signed and sent back saying you’d taken the weapons off ‘im.”

“So, how can this weapon be in the possession of Camp Geiger,” Gibbs paused, resting his hand on the sergeants shoulder and squeezing lightly. “But not be there.”

“Stuff get’s misplaces once in a while,” The sergeant explained softly as Spike chuckled.

“You misplaced a rocket launcher?” Spike laughed louder. “And you signed for it as well?” Spike shook his head muttering ‘idiot’ under his breath.

“So you stand by your report Sergeant?” Gibbs asked, ignoring Spike again.

“I have no reason not to.” The sergeant said, craning his neck round to look at Gibbs in the eye.

“You always this full of it,” Spike smirked at him. “Or is this some special marine training I dunno about?”

“Spike,” Gibbs stated flatly, moving to leave the interrogation room.

“Fine,” Spike muttered, standing up and following Gibbs out of the interrogation room. “Still say he’s full of it.” He smiled at Gibbs once he had closed the door behind him.

“How did you know he was lying?” Gibbs asked curiously.

“Body temp rose, heart beat increased,” Spike paused, turning to him. “Could just smell it.”

“That’s good,” Gibbs smiled. “Better than a polygraph.” He turned and started walking down the hall with Spike in hot pursuit, “Another tool in your belt.”

“Oi!” Spike grinned at him as they stopped by the elevator. “I ain’t no tool for you to use.”

“Maybe,” Gibbs nodded. “But it’s useful none the less.”

“‘Specially at poker.” Spike grinned at him as the elevator doors slid open.

“You cheat at poker with me and I'll cut off your balls myself.” Gibbs stated flatly as the doors slid shut.

=/^=

“Rupert,” Master Chief Stanze slapped his old teacher on the back as he smiled at him. “When you said you were coming I didn’t expect it to be so soon.” He smiled, throwing his arm around the older man’s shoulder. “How’s Fitz?”

“Dead,” Giles said soberly. “Kalas killed him when he was after MacLeod.”

“Sorry to hear that,” Stanze lowered his head as a sign of respect, remembering to put one of Fitz’ old songs on tonight to remember him by. “He was hell of a singer back then.”

“You still have the albums he signed for you?” Giles smiled, thinking back to the rock concert they had both attended when Fitzcairn opened in The Apollo in Hammersmith with his third band named ‘The Who.’

“Yeah,” Stanze smiled as he led Giles into the NCIS building from the gate. “Couldn’t believe he made such a name for himself, didn’t he know the secret to keeping himself hidden?”

Giles smiled, nodding his head in agreement. “After I taught him to play the guitar, he felt he needed to share his ‘genius’ with the world.” Giles smiled, remembering those late night sessions as they both strummed away on the guitar in breaks from training with their swords. “He was good; I'll remember him for that.”

“That he was,” Stanze smiled. “Never understood the name though, Roger Daltrey?”

“It was a play on words I guess,” Giles smiled. “A name he used back in the fourteenth century I believe, he must have thought it was time for a comeback.”

“Fair enough,” Stanze smiled. “You’ve had your share of students over the years Rupert; don’t know how you manage with them most of the time.”

“Yes,” Giles smiled, taking off his reading glasses that he had taken to wearing permanently so many years ago as part of his new identity. “I was sorry to hear about Quince, I heard Macleod killed him.”

“So Harris said,” Stanze nodded slowly. “Seems we both need to have a talk with him about our old students.”

“Another time maybe,” Giles smiled, stopping at the door to the NCIS HQ. “I have an appointment with the director of NCIS, are you free tonight? I know a nice pub just inside the city, serves proper English beer and the most delightful steak and ale pies.”

“The Admirals arms,” Stanze smiled thinking of the old pub he used to frequent when he first got moved to Washington Naval yard. “Tomorrow night I'll be there; I get off at twenty hundred hours.” He saluted crisply. “See you then.” He took one last look at his old teacher before smiling and walking back into the main naval base.

“Fitz,” Giles smiled softly as he flashed his ID to the young officer behind the desk on his way into the building. He didn’t tend to think of Fitz much anymore, another friend he had lost to the damned game. He’d met Fitzcairn back in eleven ninety in London, dying from being stabbed by a mugger for the two gold coins he kept in his pocket. Such a senseless death, but Fitz had taken in his stride and come back the life of the party, always one to love and never one to let you down.

Giles smiled, nodding as two other officers entered the lift on its way up to the top floor. The director of NCIS had arranged a meeting to finalize the paperwork of the duel agency team that had arisen by circumstance, with Xander and Spike working out of NCIS permanently there was a lot of paper shuffling to be done. The Joint Chiefs were actually happy with the arrangement, apparently Special Agent Gibbs was known for getting himself into dangerous situations without enough man power behind him to back himself up, he was one of their top NCIS agents, now he had backup in the form of an Immortal and a Vampire, they were happy that he’d be around for a long time to come. Watching the doors open as they arrived on the top floor Giles checked his ID was properly secured to his belt and visible, he didn’t want any questions as he made his way through the office floor and up the stairs to the M-TAC room where the director of NCIS had claimed his office next door.

“Director Giles,” The voice came from behind him as he was about to knock on the M-TAC door.

“Director Morrow.” Giles smiled, turning round to greet the man who had called his name.

“This way please,” Director Morrow held out his arm, motioning to the office by the side of the M-TAC room. “Thank you for coming on such short notice.”

“Not at all,” Giles smiled as he followed the man into his office where he stopped as the director started pouring two glasses of liquid from a crystal decanter. “Thank you.” He smiled as he accepted the drink, scotch, a decent age as well.

“We’ve got a problem,” The director of NCIS stated, sitting down behind his desk and motioning for Giles to take a seat opposite him. “With Special Agents Gibbs, Todd and DiNozzo being reassigned for duel agency purposes, I need a team to pick up the slack here for NCIS cases when Harris takes the team on SWIC cases.”

“I see,” Giles nodded, taking a sip of the whiskey and smiling appreciatively at the director. “And what do you need from me?”

“I have two people in mind,” The director paused, picking up the files from his desk and handing them to Giles. “I’d like a profiler on the team that has scientific knowledge as well as enough knowledge about SWIC cases to know when to hand it over if they come across one that Harris should be dealing with.”

“Someone from our branch then,” Giles nodded, thinking of anyone he knew that would fit the profile.

“To be blunt yes,” the director nodded. “Special Agent Sheppard will be heading up the team, as well as acting as my second in command of NCIS in training for her to take over when I retire.” The director paused, waiting for Giles to flip open the next folder. “Liaison Officer Ziva David will be working as her second; she’s a trained operative from Mossad, deadly as they come. She’s worked with Agent Sheppard before on several cases; I don’t want to split them up.”

“I agree,” Giles nodded, checking Officer David’s history.

“A two person team can handle most of the leg work, but I want a third on standby in the labs in case something comes up that they need a third for.” The director smiled. “Medical background would be useful, along with forensics and computer knowledge, they’d also need to be able to pass security checks and handle themselves in a combat situation.” The director paused, pulling up another folder. “They’d be working directly under Miss Sciuto in forensics, helping out with lab work mostly; she has an unusual work practice.”

“I can see,” Giles chuckled at the picture along with the notes given on Miss Sciuto.

“I have a few people in mind,” Giles smiled, closing the three folders carefully and placing them back on the desk. “I can make a few calls, see who’s available.” Giles smiled, thinking back to his old teacher, he’d definitely get a kick out of this and had been bugging him to meet Xander since he’d first mentioned him to the old man.

“Someone special in mind?” The director asked, reading Giles’ face like a book.

“An old friend, medical background, excellent on those infernal machines and can handle himself better than anyone I know.” Giles smiled, thinking back to his last training session with his old teacher. “He owes me a favour or three.”

“Make the call,” The director nodded. “Agent Sheppard and Officer David will be here next week to start on casework, I’d like your agent here before that for security vetting if possible.” He smiled, taking another sip of his drink.

“I don’t think that will be a problem,” Giles nodded, trying to remember where his teacher was currently, last he heard was he was in Seacouver, no New York helping Duncan MacLeod out with something. “Give me a day to track him down and I'll call in a favour.”

“Agreed,” The director smiled, happy that the official business was out of the way, “So what can you tell me about Agent Harris’ history?” The director chuckled as Giles let out a laugh.

“Where to start?” Giles laughed, leaning back in his chair and taking another sip of the whiskey.

=/^=

“What time is it?” Xander asked, fiddling with the radio as he tried to find a decent song to pass the time with.

“Five to,” Stone replied with a smile. “Anxious?”

“Nah, just bored.” Xander grinned, finally settling on some soothing Sarah McLachlan to pass the time. Leaning back in his chair he laced his fingers behind his head and relaxed to the song.

“You’ve done undercover work before then?” Stone asked, trying to get a feel for the agent she was working with.

“Time to time,” Xander smirked. “Kind of a natural actor.”

“How long have you worked at NCIS for then?” Stone asked after a moment silence, breaking his concentration from the song’s lyrics again.

“I don’t,” Xander explained simply. “I’m on loan from SWIC,”

“Never heard of them,” Stone waited for him to elaborate but he simply sat there in silence like he expected the answer. “What’s they’re jurisdiction?”

“Think the X-Files and your somewhere close,” Xander grinned, that was the unofficial term that Willow had cooked up for their agency, kind of a joke at first but then it had spread and everyone was using it now, the ‘Spook Squad’ as it was affectionately known, or the ‘X-Files’ for when the techies and geeks were in control.

“What is it?” Stone asked as she felt Xander stiffen suddenly in the car, his eyes immediately alert and searching the darkness outside of the car.

“Get out of here,” Xander said simply, getting out of his side of the car and pulling out his rapier from under his coat. “Find Kate and Tony; don’t come back until I signal.”

“What?” Agent Stone looked around, trying to figure out what had set Agent Harris off. “What is it?”

“Just go!” Xander shouted, slamming the car door shut. “That’s a direct order Agent Stone.”

“Sir,” Stone said simply, biting her tongue at the order but starting the car anyway and driving off to where she knew Agents Todd and DiNozzo were watching from.

“Right,” Xander twirled round in a three sixty, trying to place where the sensation was coming from. “You can come out now.” All humour gone from his face as he dropped into a fighting stance ready for anything, his ringers gripping his rapier tightly as he felt his knuckles burn from the tension.

“I thought I’d wait until you told our guest to leave,” A voice came from the shadows to one side of him, spinning he watched as a man in grey combat fatigues walked out of the shadows, brandishing a short sword that glittered in the low light of the moonlit night.

“Kind of you,” Xander quipped, eying the sword in the man’s hand and memorising every feature about how he moved. “I take it you’re not the buyer then?”

“Oh I am,” The man smiled. “I sent my men away, we’ve been watching you for the past,” He paused, glancing at his watch for a second. “Past twenty minutes, but since the weapons can wait, I thought I’d come to speak to you personally.”

“You got a name?” Xander asked, watching as the man stopped walking about six feet away from him.

“Robert West,” The man nodded, expecting the same from him.

“Xander Harris.” Xander nodded in mutual respect. “Don’t suppose we can both walk away from this now do ya?”

“I’m afraid not Agent Harris,” The man smirked. “Oh yes, I know your working with the NCIS, Agent Stone was kind enough to inform me of that.” He smiled as Xander span round to see Agent Stone walking up behind him, her gun trained on him.

“The weapons are useless,” Stone informed him. “First two are active, the rest are fakes.”

“I figured as much,” The man nodded, causing Xander to whip round to face him again. “But at least I will have the satisfaction of killing you first.”

“She’s not going to interfere?” Xander asked carefully, his left hand itching to go for his side arm.

“No, she will take your weapons and surveillance items, leaving just the sword.” The man nodded. “I may be after your head, but I am not dishonourable.”

“Kind of you,” Xander quipped, slowly unclipping his side arm and throwing it towards Agent Stone before throwing his microphone and GPRS tracker from NCIS over to her. “She’s watching then?”

“Of course,” The man smirked. “I have known Miss Stone since she was a child; she has been amazingly useful in acquiring me weapons and explosives to stockpile for the militia.”

“You really work for the militia?” Xander raised his eyebrow. “Figured that was just a cover for something.”

“No,” The man smiled, shaking his head as he watched Agent Stone pick up the gun and other pieces by her feet before moving back into the shadows. “I run the militia.”

“Should have seen that,” Xander quipped, happy that he’d kept his crucifix so that Kate and Tony were hearing all of this, hopefully they’d know enough to heed his order and stay out of it until he signalled.

“The military in this country is falling apart,” The man explained, walking around Xander in a slow circle, his eyes never leaving Xander’s blade. “The marines will fall, and then the militia will take over.”

“And you’ll be running the entire show,” Xander finished off, his arm aching a bit from the build up of lactic acid in his muscles from holding a fighting pose for so long.

“Naturally,” the man smiled, stopping and dropping into a fighting stance. “So you see, I can’t allow you to go free, knowing what you do and having seen my face.”

“Not going to be an issue,” Xander quipped, falling back into a different fighting stance. This wasn’t the first immortal he’d faced, but he was suddenly thankful that Giles had had him learn so many fighting techniques, that way he could identify which the man was using against him, and switch if his normal loose style wasn’t working.

The man was fast, he struck out with his sword quickly, meeting Xander’s in the air and clashing in the night as sparks flew. “You’re fast.” He noted, sneering over the blades as he pressed harder, his two handed grip allowing for more leverage than Xander’s rapier could match. “No matter, I will know your secrets soon enough.”

“You don’t want them,” Xander quipped, pulling his blade back and stepping out of the way as the man leaned forward suddenly, surprised from the move and the sudden disappearance of the opposing force on his blade. Stepping round in a circle Xander quickly brought his free arm down, elbowing the man to the back of his neck as he stepped past, sending him stumbling further away from him.

“I'll have your head for that,” The man snarled, spinning back to face Xander before lunging forward in a brutal attack which Xander only just avoided, parrying with his sword and stepping out of the way at the last second. The man growled bringing his sword back and slashing blindly at Xander as he stormed forwards, his anger getting the better of him as Xander expertly parried the blows, stepping backwards as he did so the movement helped him brace the stronger blows against his rapier.

=/^=

“Should we help?” Tony asked, carefully watching the monitor where they could see the sword from the other man moving quickly towards Xander’s chest before a flash of metal passed over the camera blocking the sword at the last second.

“He said to stay out of it,” Kate nodded. “I think that order to Agent Stone wasn’t for her, but for us.”

“And the swords?” Tony asked, wincing as the movement on the screen blurred as Xander quickly ducked another swipe of the larger mans sword, tumbling to the ground and rolling before facing the man again.

“Take his head,” Kate noted, remembering what Xander had said to Spike when Spike had first arrived at NCIS. “Xander said that Gibbs shot Jack before he could take his head,” She watched as Tony nodded slowly, remembering the conversation. “That must be how he was going to deal with Jack, by taking his head.” She winced at the memory of Jack holding the scalpel to her throat.

“Explains the swords,” Tony nodded, smiling at the screen as he watched Xander go on the offensive, striking quickly at the man and managing to slash his arm as he drove the larger man back several steps. “Get the bastard!” He screamed at the monitor, never having seen such action outside of a movie.

“He’ll get him,” Kate smiled. “He was chosen to go after Jack the Ripper; he’s got to be good to go after someone like that.”

“Didn’t think of that,” Tony nodded, grinning as Xander managed to land another blow, slashing through the dark pants of the man into his thigh. “Go on!” He shouted, smiling when Xander pressed the advantage and landed two more slashes on the chest, his expert speed and accuracy more than a match for brute strength.

“You want some popcorn Tony?” Kate quipped, laughing when Tony turned round to glare at him.

“It’s better than Wednesday night TV,” Tony grinned after a moment before turning back to watch the action again.

=/^=

“Come on,” Xander quipped, trying to anger the man as much as he could, force him into making a mistake so he could finish this. “My ex fights harder than this.” He grinned as the man growled in anger, lunging again while Xander simply stepped to the side and brought his rapier down on the sword, the clashing noise echoing through the night.

The man had fallen silent a while ago, only grunting when Xander landed a blow and screaming in rage when he attacked. His tactics seemed to rely on brute strength and pressing the advantage when he had it, while Xander relied on speed and accuracy, his thinner blade slipping through the man’s defences easily and catching him before he could react.

“Please,” Xander faked his famous puppy dog eye at the man, smirking when he lunged again, the blades meeting with the familiar sound and the sparks flying as his rapier slid down the blade of the sword. “Never get tired of hearing that,” Xander grinned, avoiding the sword again and parrying it away. “It’s such a cool sound.”

The man lunged again, his sword falling through the air where Xander was, only just missing his arm as he swiftly stepped out of the way, lunging neatly down and bringing his sword down on the hand, slicing through the fingers as his other hand came down with all the strength he could muster to punch the man in the back on the neck, sending him to his knees, screaming at the pain in his fingers as he dropped his sword.

“One thing,” Xander paused, bringing his rapier round to press it against the man’s neck. “Who killed Corporal Grimms?”

“McLain,” The man grunted out. “She hit him in the back with a rocket after he wanted a bigger cut.” He lent down, bracing himself for the inevitable. “Do it.”

“You get all of that?” Xander asked out loud, seemingly to no one.

“We’ll pick up McLain and Stone later,” Xander paused, picking up the man’s sword and tossing it away from him. “You’re under arrest.”

“You can’t arrest me,” The man shouted, reaching round his back for his gun and rolling to his side to get a clear shot. Xander was quicker though, he simply stepped along with him, arcing his sword down at the man got back to his knees to take his shot. No report followed, the empty thud of the man’s head was the only sound the followed the scraping sound as the rapier cleaved clean through his neck and embedded itself in the dirt and gravel ground under foot.

“Should have taken it,” Xander said simply as the mist started to rise from the body. “Stay back until it’s over!” He shouted as the first explosion echoed through the night and he raised his sword to the sky, lightning striking the sword several times before striking him in the chest as The Quickening started.

=/^=

“Boss, Agent Stone’s dirty, same as McLain; they were both in on it.” Tony reported over the phone to Gibbs. Pausing for a second he listened to what Gibbs had to say, nodding along. “Will do, Xander’s just finishing up something,” He paused, looking at the screen that was just showing static. “He’s being hit by lightning after taking some guys head off with his sword,” He paused, pulling the phone away from his ear for a moment before returning it. “No boss, it’s real, check with Spike, find out when it’s safe for us to get him.”

“Didn’t believe you?” Kate asked with a smirk as she watched the lightning and explosions in the distance where Xander was.

“Would you?” Tony asked in reply.

“Point,” Kate smiled. “Seems to be stopping,” She nodded as Tony stood up in the back of the van, leaning over to see out the window where only a few stray lightning bolts were flickering in the night. “Is that who I think it is?” Tony nodded, pointing to a woman that was heading slowly towards them, her side arm drawn as she checked around herself while walking towards the van.

“Agent stone,” Kate smirked, “Made our job easier, she’s probably here to finish us off.”

“Use this,” Tony grinned, pulling a tranquiliser rifle off the wall of the van, handing it to her. “Don’t know why Harris has one of these, don’t want to know.”

“With what he faces?” Kate grinned, loading one of the darts into the rifle. “Probably for demons or something.”

“Here she comes,” Tony grinned, leaning back in his seat as Kate laid down on the floor, aiming the rifle at chest height for when the door opened.

“Agent Din...” Stone started to say as she opened the door, seeing Tony first and then registering Kate on the floor as she fired the rifle, hitting her directly in the chest.

“Night night,” Tony waved sarcastically as her gun hit the floor of the van as she dropped it, the last thing she saw was Tony grinning at her as she crumpled to the ground, darkness following soon after. “Effective stuff,”

“It’s for werewolves,” Kate noted as she handed over the box of darts to Tony, smiling when he read the dosage. “She’ll be out for a while.”

“A while,” Tony grimaced. “That’d put six elephants out for a week,” Bending out of the trailer door he looked at her, poking her with his foot and receiving no indication she was still conscious. “We won’t get anything from her for a while.”

“She deserved it.” Kate grinned. “Put her in the back and cuff her, I'll drive back to NCIS while you keep an eye on her.”

“Ok,” Tony grinned, getting out of the van and pulling the unconscious agent up and pushing her forward into the back of the van. “Oh, boss,” He grinned, jumping back to the phone and picking it up. “Sorry boss, just got Agent Stone,” He paused for a moment as Gibbs said something. “Nope, alive, she’ll be unconscious for a while though, hit her with a werewolf dart from Xander’s supply.”

Kate raised her eyebrow as Tony laughed. “What?” She whispered to him.

“I'll tell her, tell Spike we’d prefer her alive, back soon boss.” With that he hung up the phone. “You were right, seems the only way to kill an immortal is to take their head.” Tony grimaced as he imagined that form of death. “Spike said we can pick him up anytime the lightnings finished, called a Quickening by the way, and that he’ll be pretty out of it for a while.”

“What else?” Kate asked, raising her eyebrows as she memorized this for later use.

“He sent Spike to pick up agent McLain,” Tony laughed as Kate moved round, climbing in between the seats before settling into the driver’s seat and starting the van. “Charging her with Murder One along with a slew of other offences.”

“Good,” Kate smiled as she leaned back to check that Tony and Agent Stone were secure before driving off towards where Xander was. “Long time in Leavenworth for that girl,” She smiled, thinking about how long it would be until Agent Stone woke up and they could arrest her properly.

“Mind if we stop for coffee on the way back?” Tony asked with a grin. “Guessing Xander will need some after that.”

“Yeah, and we’ve still got reports to file,” Kate muttered, looking at the clock which twenty two thirteen. “Think we can hire secretaries for that now?” She asked, looking in the mirror for Tony’s reaction.

“You think Gibbs’ would go for it?” Tony asked, giving the suggestion some thought before shaking his head. “Nah, me neither.” He laughed as Kate chuckled from the front seat. “Nice idea though.”

=/^=

“Giles!” Xander shouted out as he walked in their office, Kate and Tony following after dropping an unconscious agent stone off at the cells to wait for transport to Leavenworth. “What you doing her man?”

“I came to speak to the Director of NCIS; Agent Gibbs was kind enough to tell me you were out on assignment, so I thought I would wait for you.” Giles smiled, then stared at the dried blood on his student’s shirt where the cut had long since healed. “An immortal I take it?”

“Robert West,” Xander nodded, hefting the sword up that he had confiscated from the dead body. “You knew him?”

“No,” Giles smiled softly. “Not one I’ve heard of before.”

“Here ya go boss,” DiNozzo smiled, handing over the large paper mug of coffee that they’d got for him when they stopped and picked their own up. “And you are?” He asked, turning to Giles.

“Rupert Giles,” Ducky smiled from the doorway. “Director of SWIC, former watcher for both Buffy Summers and Faith LeHane, good friend and valuable ally to all,” he smiled, bowing softly as Giles bowed in return.

“Doctor Donald Mallard,” Giles smiled, repeating the man’s instruction for him, “Head mortician for NCIS, doctorate in biology and physiology from Edinburgh University. Top of your class in the Watcher Academy for subterfuge and tracking, current first Watcher to Master Chief Patrick Stanze and head Watcher for Alexander Harris.”

“How are you old man?” Ducky smiled as he crossed the floor swiftly, embracing Giles in a tight hug.

“Good,” Giles smiled, returning the man’s embrace. “Very good, I’m having a drink with Patrick tomorrow, a fond remembrance for Fitzcairn, care to join us?”

“I’m sorry, watcher protocol and all that,” Ducky smiled. “Another time perhaps, just me and you.”

“You’re my watcher?” Xander asked, watching Ducky carefully.

“Yes, though Rupert shouldn’t have told you,” Ducky shook his head at Giles playfully. “But I have been told that it is sometimes useful to form friendships with immortals, would you care to share some of your stories for your chronicle sometime?”

“Anytime,” Xander nodded. “You’re a friend of Giles, makes you a friend of mine.”

“Oh yes, me and Rupert go way back, he was a good friend of my grandfathers when we were growing up,” Ducky smiled as everyone’s eyes turned to Giles. “He was the one that first got me into medicine you see, helped me through my original exams in Edinburgh, he was a teacher there you see, physiology is only one of his many doctorates, he also has...”

“You’re immortal?” Gibbs asked, startled by this new fact and filing away the watcher comment about Ducky for later.

“My teacher,” Xander stated proudly.

“Another one?” Abby asked from the door where she had stopped to watch everyone, people watching was one of her hobbies; it always told her interesting things about them that they wouldn’t normally share with you. “How old?” she bounced around, walking up to Giles and eying him from several angles.

“He was friends with Ducky’s grandfather, so I’m guessing over a hundred, hundred a fifty?” Tony asked, jumping in this game of guess the age of the immortal.

“How old was Mister West?” Giles asked, turning to Xander and ignoring the comments about his age.

“Three, three fifty,” Xander nodded, still trying to sort out the new memories and skills in his head that he had acquired from The Quickening.

“You knew from his quickening before you even fought correct?” Giles asked, smiling when Xander nodded slowly. “You have a good feeling for age through a quickening, a useful talent when avoiding older immortals.”

“So?” Abby turned to Xander, eying him carefully for a reaction. “How old is he?” He nodded to Giles who just smiled and nodded to Xander, giving him his approval.

“Old,” Xander stated simply. “Very old,”

“What, a thousand?” Kate asked, eying the man carefully, trying to figure out if there was anything about him that could tip her off to his age.

“Over three for the ol’ man,” Spike announced from the door. “McLain’s in the clank, got feisty though, she’ll be out for the rest of the night.”

“Over three thousand?” Tony asked in awe, now looking at the man in front of him in a new light.

“Nearly three thousand five hundred,” Xander guessed, watching Giles for his approval.

“Three Thousand seven hundred and fifteen,” Ducky announced. “Born Ruprecht in one thousand seven hundred and eight BC, approximately anyway, first teacher unknown but has had several students over his lifetime” He smiled as Giles nodded at him. “Including Hugh Fitzcairn, later known as Roger Daltrey, lead singer and guitarist to The Who,” Ducky smiled as Giles blushed slightly. “It’s believed Mister Giles is the one who taught Mister Fitzcairn how to play guitar and sing, His chronicle is amazingly accurate.”

“As well it should be,” Giles smiled. “I wrote it myself.”

“And they call me old,” Gibbs smiled from his desk, wiping up some spilt coffee with his sleeve from where he had nearly choked on it when Ducky had announced the man’s age. “So what did you and the director talk about?”

“Ah yes,” Giles smiled, taking off his glasses and putting them in his jacket pocket. “He wanted my input on a new team he was building to take over some of your cases; he wanted someone on the team that would know if they came across a case that should be handed to you.”

“You’re sending someone else?” Xander asked in amazement, trying to figure out who Giles would send to work on a NCIS team.

“Yes,” Giles nodded. “He’ll be working closely with Miss Sciuto in forensics, but will be a full member of the NCIS team and a field agent in his own right.”

“He?” Xander asked, trying to picture who it would be. “Not Andrew?” He shuddered as Giles shook his head. “Who then?”

“An old friend of mine from the Watchers Academy, he’ll be arriving in four days time.” Giles smiled, not giving into Xander’s pleading look for more information. “Xander, I think we should have a talk,” Giles nodded to the door. “With me please.”

“Back soon guys,” Xander quipped, smiling at Abby and Kate as he walked past them following Giles round the corridors to the elevator. Once they were out of ear shot Giles stopped by the elevator and turned to him.

“Does she know?” He asked, turning to Xander and locking him with a glare.

“No,” Xander shook his head. “I wouldn’t have stayed if she did.”

“Does Spike?” Giles asked, the glare softening now.

“Yeah,” Xander nodded. “Told him last night, he promised not to say anything though.”

“Keep an eye on her; call me if anything happens.” Giles smiled as Xander nodded, pressing the button on the elevator to take him back down to the ground floor.

“Come on G-Man, who you sending?” Xander asked, begging for a hint. “One hint, that’s all I’m asking for.”

“Just one?” Giles smiled as he held the elevator doors open with his foot. “Fine,” He smiled as Xander nodded anxiously. “My teacher,” He then smiled a very Ripperish grin as the elevator doors shut on him, leaving Xander looking at the closed metal doors with a perplexed look on his face.

“Your teacher?” Xander asked out loud, staring at the doors for a while as he tried to figure out who that would be. He hadn’t met him, that much was certain, he’d remember meeting an immortal older than Giles was. Smiling to himself he headed back into the office, shaking his head when he couldn’t figure out who Giles would be sending.

“He’s sending his teacher for the team,” Xander said, smiling as he entered the room and everyone looked at him.

“I'll have an immortal in my lab?” Abby asked, bouncing about in excitement. “An old one?”

“Older than Giles,” Xander nodded, looking around to see what everyone thought of this.

“My boy,” Ducky smiled, patting him on the back. “Did he give you a name, anything?”

“Nope,” Xander grinned. “Just said it was his teacher and that he’d be arriving in four days.”

“Well then,” Gibbs smiled, standing up from his desk and turning his monitors off. “I guess we’ll just have to wait and see. Night all,” With that Gibbs moved out of the office, Ducky following him as he shrugged his coat on as they walked through the door. “And I don’t want to see that x-box in the office ever again.” He shouted back as he got into the elevator.

“How’d be know?” Spike asked, glancing around the room.

“He’s Gibbs.” Tony, Kate and Ducky explained at the same time, laughing at each other after saying it in unison.

“That’s the explanation for a lot of things,” Xander smiled at Spike, “It’s a good one though.”

“Fair ‘nough,” Spike nodded. “Everything finished ‘ere then?” He asked, turning to look at everyone, watching as Kate and Tony finished tidying up their desks before turning off their monitors. “Guess so, night on the town?” He asked, looking around to see if anyone was up for it.

“I’m game,” Tony smiled, having now come to accept Spike after Gibbs had trusted him in an interrogation room. “Where you thinking?”

“Nice place of fourteenth,” Spike nodded. “Only a ten minute walk from the demon brothel as well, can fix ya up with one of those succubi girls Kate said you were into,” Spike grinned as Kate and Xander burst out laughing.

“Another time,” Tony said slowly, frowning at Spike then turning to glare at Kate before walking out the room.

“Pay up luv,” Spike grinned, striding over to Kate’s desk. “Told ya ‘e wouldn’t do it.”

“I know,” Kate smiled, handing over a twenty from her purse. “Was worth it just to see his face though, night you two.” She smiled, linking arms with Abby as they both waved before walking out of the room.

“You’re right,” Spike grinned, handing the twenty over to Xander. “She is sneaky.” The two laughed for a moment before walking out of the office, turning the lights off behind them. “Think we’ll fit in ‘ere just nicely.”

“Same here,” Xander smiled as he pressed the button on the elevator to call it back up. “Same here.”