A Force Stronger Than Man
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AN: Thanks for another great round of reviews, don’t forget if you like the story please recommend it to others.
A Force Stronger than Man
Tony couldn’t sit still, he paced at the same speed his mind was going and the result was him treading a constant lap around the chairs in the middle of the waiting area. Gibbs had told him to sit twice and Dinozzo had ignored him twice before Ducky had suggested to Gibbs that maybe it was better if he just let Dinozzo pace.
Xander had started haemorrhaging in Abby’s lab and stopped breathing in the ambulance and by the time the Paramedics had wheeled him into the ER he had no pulse, then he’d been rushed through swinging doors and away from Tony.
Riley was on the phone near the vending machines he’d been on his cell since Xander had first lost consciousness, he had a hand pressed to his forehead like the phone call was causing him physical pain and finally he winced deeply and hung up.
“ Something Wrong?” The ever observant Ziva asked, or rather demanded.
“ They’re coming” Riley said somewhat resignedly and he sighed “ They’re going kill me”
“ Who are?” Tim asked picking up on the conversation and the apprehension in Riley’s voice.
“ The girls” Riley stated and he looked at Tony pacing around the room, “ Xander’s family.” He elaborated without allowing his voice to carry.
“ And you think that they are a threat?” Ziva asked, her hand drifting past the butt of her gun.
Riley realised how he’d made the situation sound and cracked a nervous farm boy smile. Gesturing into the hospital he exclaimed
“ To Xander? No, no they’d never intentionally hurt Xander. “ The smile faded “ Me on the other hand, me they will kill.”
“ Why? What happened today wasn’t your fault.”
“ No but if I hadn’t approached Xander about working for Home Land Security then he wouldn’t be here, would he?”
It was meant as a rhetorical question but someone answered it anyway.
“ If he weren’t in there then Abby would be dead. “ Tim mused quietly. The Goth not known for her love of hospitals was outside waiting for the courage to come inside.
The doors leading into the hospital opened and the doctor Tony recognised as having taken Xander deeper into the ER came out scanning the faces in the waiting room. Tony practically pounced on the man.
“ Is he alive?” Tony asked bluntly.
“ Yes.” The doctor answered immediately. “ I have no idea how, what with the amount of blood he lost but he’s doing surprisingly well.”
“ Thank the goddess.” Riley exclaimed and earned himself more than one strange look.
“ Can I see him?” Tony asked the Doctor who immediately shook his head.
“ Your brother is in surgery at the moment, the bullet nicked an artery and we won’t know the full extent of the damage done until the surgeons have stopped the bleeding and started repairing the damaged vessels.
“ But he’ll be all right?” Tony asked shakily.
“ To be blunt.” The doctor started “ I didn’t think we’d get him to surgery so I’m set to be surprised but you should prepare yourself Agent Dinozzo your brother may not survive.”
Tony paled, the bottom of the world seemed to be falling out and just as his mind started to spiral Riley came up to his side.
“ Xander will be fine Tony, his friends from Sunnydale are coming. I called them before when Xander was in the ambulance.”
Tony snapped his head up and stared at Riley, who was looking at him so assured that he felt it too, that Xander would be fine. Riley patted Tony on the arm.
“ They’re coming here, to make Xander stronger.”
“ They’re from Sunnydale?” Tony asked with a heavy emphasis on the word Sunnydale and Riley nodded, not sure what if anything the man before him knew. Xander had told Riley Tony knew about Vampires but he didn’t know if he knew the power of the supernatural.
Gibbs was staring at Riley so intently Riley felt the need to look away even though he wasn’t even looking at Gibbs in the first place.
“ What does that mean?” Gibbs demanded.
“ Xander’s friends are coming.” Tim clarified like a good little Agent, “ Riley called them before.”
Gibbs look toward Tim was deathly and Tim stopped talking.
“ I believe they are like his family, “ Ziva supplied helpfully
“ We are his family.”
The group turned to see who had made such an emphatic statement. A short blonde girl of a similar age to Xander was standing in the front of a group consisting of four people. In the centre of the group sucking down a Caf-Pow was a girl with fiery red hair with a peculiar white streak.
“ Buffy” Riley half squeaked.
“ Will needs to see Xander.” Buffy stated.
“ I’m afraid family have to wait in the waiting room.” The doctor supplied unhelpfully. “ The operation may take a considerable amount of time.”
“ But I don’t though.” Willow said stepping forward, her eyes flashed and the Doctor seemed for a moment mesmerised. “ I can go to Xander. You should take me to him.”
Tony watched the exchange and the confusion he felt at seeing the short red head make such demands suddenly changed to the realisation that, yes, she must go to Xander. The doctor felt it too and he nodded, leading Willow into the hospital.
The spell lasted until the doors swung shut and then it was forgotten.
“ Where were you?” Buffy demanded rounding on Riley and Riley looked scared.
“ I was… on the way. “ Riley explained lamely “ I warned him they work in pairs but it was … too late”
Buffy took a step forward but was stopped by a sultry voice,
“ You think X would have listened B?” Buffy turned as did everyone to look at a stunning brunette who had been poured into a pair of low slung black leather pants and was wearing a black halter top so tight it looked like it had been spray painted onto her torso. “ I mean, take his head off if it makes you feel better but there’s no way ToyBoy would have waited for backup with someone in danger.”
“ But he should have.” Buffy snapped “ When he wakes up I’m going to kill him.”
“ When Xander wakes up you will do no such thing.” A sensible voice sounded from the back of the pack and an older gentleman dressed in tweed stepped forward.
“ Tony?” He asked guessing which stranger was Xander’s brother correctly and Tony nodded at him. “ My name is Rupert Giles, this is Buffy, Faith and Willow.”
“ You’re Giles?” Tony asked recognising the name from the tales that Xander had spoken of his growing up. “ Xander thinks very highly of you.”
“ And I of your brother. “
“ We’re glad you’re here.” Riley said tentatively offering his hand for Giles to shake.
“ I’m glad you thought to call.” Giles said taking the hand he was offered and he shook it warmly, he looked at the rest of the NCIS group.
“ Oh right.” Riley said with a start realising introductions were being left to him.
“ Guys this is Tony, Xander’s big brother. Special Agents, Gibbs, McGee and David and Dr Mallard.” Riley said trying to indicate each person without pointing.
“ Call me Tim, “
“Please, call me Ducky.”
Came a chorus all at the same time and Buffy, Faith and Giles looked to Gibbs
“ Gibbs is fine.” He stated after a moment of awkwardness.
“ Well I guess we should go see Xander.” Willow announced clapping her hands together excitedly.
Gibbs jumped and looked at the red head who he could have sworn just appeared before him.
“ Sorry?” He asked wondering who she was.
“ Willow.” Willow supplied, “ We just did the big group intro thing.”
“ Did we?” Ziva asked but she pondered it like she was checking in her mind and then she shrugged like she’d remembered the moment.
“ Xander’s in surgery.” Tony told Willow wearily.
Willow gave a little shrug and the door behind them opened and a surgeon in a blue gown walked through.
“ Agent Dinozzo?” He called out and Tony turned quickly.
“ Your brother is in recovery if you’d like to see him.” He said sounding a little puzzled “ The surgery went really, really” He paused looking confused ”Really well and he’ll be fine in a few days.”
The group all looked at each with a mixture of shock and relief on their faces.
“ Ok, let’s go see the Xman!” Faith called out
“ I’m going to go get for Abby.” Tim explained. “ She was too worried to come in, I think she was feeling guilty.”
Gibbs tilted his head towards Tim which to those that knew him meant, me too.
“ I will give you some privacy.” Ziva said gently.
“ Right. “ Willow announced. “ Follow me.”
“ Or me?” The surgeon suggested wondering how the red head would know where his patient, who should be dead or still in surgery, would be.
“ It’s ok Doc.” The brunette said to him smoothly. “ We got it from here.”