Why Are We Here Again?
Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.
**Thanks to my Beta, Sere
"Did you ever think we'd see something like this?" the man asked his two female companions as they stared out at the approaching vehicles from the roof of the building.
"No," the blonde stated bluntly.
"Yeah, neither did I," he nodded in response.
"But it doesn't necessarily mean it's a bad thing," the redhead interjected. "I mean, we've been doing this for so long on our own… now we'll have help, and we won't always have to hide things… no more `gangs on PCP', or `BBQ fork' accidents. This could be a great thing."
"Sure, or they could just try to take over," this was the blonde again. "Let's not forget The Initiative… or those French people that Rona, Sam and Kyle had to deal with during the Vash'nikter uprising."
"They can try to take over all they want… won't help them much when they're giving orders and no one's following them," the brunette grinned, his eye twinkling at the thought.
Now the blonde smiled, "Guess we do have the upper hand, seeing as we know what we're fighting and they really don't."
"We'd better get down there. I don't want him to have any excuse to use that stupid Bell-spell," the redhead muttered and the three turned towards the door that led to the stairs.
"You're the one who came up with it and gave it to him," the man pointed out.
"I know, I know, but honestly, I didn't realize how annoying it is… or how often he'd use it. I mean, geez, the man has a cell phone… he could simply call us," the redhead grumbled.
The blonde hid a smirk, but not very well. "You know how he feels about technology… and that includes `the bloody piece of plastic that everyone refers to as a telephone'."
Gibbs and his team stepped out of the van that had driven them from the airport and took a look at the estate they'd been driven to. It was a few miles out of the city and huge.
"I think it was a hotel or something before," Director Vance murmured from next to Gibbs.
Gibbs looked at the man from his peripheral vision, but didn't speak. Other people were exiting the vehicles around them, and from the looks of them, and the badges they weren't shy of flashing, Gibbs could tell they were some form of law enforcement.
It had been almost a month since his group had worked with IDC. Instead of Harris's team coming to pick up the bodies of their fallen slayers, a young redhead by the name of Violet, and a black man, a few years older than the girl, by the name of Charles Gunn had shown up. He'd been surprised to realize he was disappointed that it hadn't been Harris.
When they had gotten back to the office, Vance had pulled them into a conference room to grill them for any information he could glean regarding the secretive agency. Gibbs couldn't help but smirk as he remembered the Director's face when they'd told him, in detail, exactly what had transpired. The man had stared at them, and then ordered them to submit to a drug test. While they'd been gone doing that, the man had gotten a call from someone above him on the food chain. By the time the team had returned, with clean test results, he wanted the story again. This time his face was pale because he
believed. Well, he believed as much as he could. Gibbs was almost positive that to really believe the man would have to see.
Two days ago Vance had come to them and informed them that Gibbs' team, along with Vance himself, would be traveling to Cleveland for a highly confidential conference. Vance had seemed extremely excited about something, and that was suspicious to Gibbs. He'd wondered if it had anything to do with the case they'd worked with Harris, but if so he couldn't figure out the angle.
Gibbs looked at his team. Ziva was looking around curiously, Abby was practically trembling in her excitement, and McGee and DiNozzo were currently snickering at the pained looked on FBI Sr. Agent Fornell's face as Vance approached him.
Horatio Caine stared at the large, plantation-style building in front of him as he slipped his sunglasses on. The sign on the way down the long driveway had simply read IDC. Horatio had heard of the IDC, but so far if they'd been to Miami, they hadn't worked with the cops or CSIs there. Then, three days before, his boss had called him in for a meeting and informed him that he, his team, and Tripp would be flying out to represent the department. The man hadn't been able to give him very much information, only that his team had been specifically requested due to their high solve rate.
"H?" Eric asked as he looked at his boss.
"They told us to leave our stuff and they'd take it inside."
"I guess we're staying here?" Ryan Wolfe was frowning. The whole thing was baffling.
"I guess so," Horatio murmured.
"Look at that place!" Calleigh sounded delighted. "It's huge."
"Sure would like to know why we're here," Frank murmured on Horatio's other side.
"As would I Frank, as would I."
The van hadn't even pulled up in front of the estate when Danny was cursing, "Christ, would ya look at that place?" the blonde murmured.
"Who'da thought that Cleveland would have a resort like that?" Flack grinned.
Stella kept silent, only looking to Mac who was still staring at the other people stepping out of similar vehicles. Something familiar caught her attention and she nudged her friend and boss, "Mac, isn't that Horatio Caine?"
Mac grinned, "Why yes it is. Perhaps we should go say hello!"
As soon as they were stopped, Mac and his team were out and approaching the Miami group.
Horatio turned and smiled at the group as soon as he saw Mac.
"How is it going Horatio?" The two men shook hands firmly.
"It's been good Mac, how about you?"
"Busy, always busy."
"Glad to see some familiar faces out here. Any idea why we're here?" the redhead asked.
"No, just told that my team were requested. But, I have a feeling my boss knew more about what was going on than he said."
"I got that idea from mine as well," Horatio murmured.
"Mac Taylor," a gruff voice spoke from behind the men. Turning they found a man, a few years older than themselves, with silvering hair and piercing blue eyes. "Marines? Right?"
Mac eyed the man for a moment, "Leroy Gibbs? You were a Gunny."
Gibbs smiled, "That's right. Please call me Jethro, I`m with NCIS now."
"I'm with the Crime Lab in New York City. Jethro, let me introduce you to Lt. Horatio Caine out of Miami-Dade."
The two men eyed each other and shook hands, their faces easing into grins. "Pleasure."
"Same here, call me Jethro."
"Horatio. Tell me Jethro, you recognize anyone else here?"
"I vaguely recognize the guys from BAU, but don't know them personally. They're FBI. I know FBI Sr. Agent Fornell, that's about it," Gibbs pointed out who he was speaking of. "You guys ever worked with IDC before?"
"Not Miami," Horatio was shaking his head.
"No," Mac grimaced. "They came out and worked in our area, but we weren't allowed in. How about you?"
"Once… about a month ago. It was a… different experience," Gibbs smirked.
Just then the double doors leading into the old hotel opened and several individuals walked out. Abby squealed, "Look, it's Xander and Dawn!"
Xander was flanked by two young women, a blonde and a redhead. Dawn stood on the other side of the blonde. Both Xander and Dawn stood taller than the other two, and the group was smiling until they reached the top of the wide steps that led down from the porch onto the cobblestone drive; then they looked tense. It made Gibbs recall the unease the group had shown when talking about law enforcement or military. Gibbs frowned as he got a closer look at Xander and
realized the younger man was quite bruised around the face.
So, if they have such a problem with law enforcement, why are they inviting it into their home, he thought to himself, and what the Hell had happened to Harris?
It was the blonde who spoke. "Good afternoon. Welcome to the home of International Defender's Council, or the IDC. We appreciate you all coming. I'm Buffy Summers, to my right is Dawn Summers, to my left is Xander Harris, and Willow Rosenberg." Buffy cleared her throat and looked at the gathered law enforcement agents. "We, along with Rupert
Giles and a few others, who you'll meet eventually, make up the Head Council of the IDC." The blonde looked awkward and looked to the man next to her.
"As Buff said, I'm Xander Harris, please just call me Xander. There are eight groups here today. Before we go inside we're going to be calling out your group, and then we'll lead you inside to get ready for the introduction. After that you need to find the person who called your group. We'll take you on a tour, and then we'll show you to your rooms and let you have some time to do whatever until dinner."
Dawn stepped forward and called out, "I need Houston and Miami."
Horatio gave Gibbs and Mac a smile, "Guess that's us."
Buffy was next. "I need NCIS and BAU…BAU? What the hell is BAU?" she grumbled.
"BAU stands for Behavioral Analysis Unit," a tall brunette man explained striding forward with his team.
Buffy blinked at the tall man. "Sure, whatever. Where's NCIS?"
"We're right here Ms. Summers," Gibbs told the blonde from her right.
Now she smiled, and it lit up her pretty face. "It's a pleasure to meet you Special Agent Gibbs," she told him warmly. "I've heard a lot about your group." Her attention turned to Abby. "It's really nice to meet you Abby. Finally meet in person instead of the webcam all the time!"
Abby ignored the look Gibbs threw her, and smiled back at Buffy. "I agree totally!"
"Let's go inside. We'll get you some drinks and seats," Buffy grinned.
"I need New York and Cleveland," Xander called out.
Mac and his team made their way over to the one eyed man just after the five person Cleveland team did. It was just in time to catch the conversation.
"You people snap your fingers and we come runnin'," the man speaking was taller than the man who'd called them over in both height and weight.
"I didn't snap anything Pollock. And if I'd had my way, you could have kept runnin' to the donut shop you frequent."
"You might fool these others, but I know that you people are nothin' but trouble. Only bad happens around you. People die. You house a murderer and one day everyone's gonna see what yall are!" the man trembled with hate.
"Pollock, leave the kid alone," one of the other detectives from Cleveland shook his head in disgust.
"What the hell is your problem Joey?" the woman in the group asked. "Harris and his people have done nothing but help us out. We're lucky to be here today!"
"Don't let it bother you Detective Mayfair," Xander waved the woman's concerns off. "I don't."
"If he keeps it up, he'll be leaving this conference," the redhead beside Xander, Willow snapped as she glowered at the swarthy detective who was turning bright red in both anger and embarrassment.
"I'll keep my mouth shut," he muttered.
Xander turned his attention to Mac and his team. "You must be my New York team. Welcome!"
"Mac Taylor. My CSI team; Danny Messer, Stella Bonasera, Lindsay Monroe, Sheldon Hawkes, and our NYPD liaison, Detective Don Flack."
"Glad to meet all of you! Let's jet," Xander turned and they headed inside.
Willow took another moment to glower after the man who'd annoyed her, and then turned back with a sigh. "I need Seattle and Las Vegas."
"Gil Grissom, Las Vegas Crime Lab," the older man introduced himself as his team approached.
"Willow Rosenberg," she grinned and shook his hand. "I've read some of your articles. Loved them."
His eyebrows rose. "Really? Are you a scientist?"
"I dabble. I'm more of a computer girl… and I suppose you could call me an herbalist," she told the older man as the two groups followed her inside.