An Exercise in Futility
An Exercise in FutilityDisclaimer:
I do not own Buffy or NCIS. That’s Joss Whedon and Donald Bellisario.Author’s Note:
Formerly of Bits and Pieces.
“Talk to me!” Gibbs yelled, banging his fists on the interrogation room table.
Xander looked up slowly from the intent study of his calloused hands. “Okay,” he said quietly, an unfamiliar glint in his eye. Gibbs felt his stomach drop. “My father used to drink. And when he drank, he got mean. He’d yell, kind of like you just did. Only difference? I knew that he could hit, so he was a lot scarier. My mother drank, too, but she was more that sad drunk who couldn’t match her socks.” Xander leaned forward. “You don’t frighten me, Special Agent Gibbs. Now. I’m gonna sit here and wait for my lawyer. I’d suggest you go find some evidence that says I’m guilty.”
Gibbs left the interrogation room and snapped, “Tell me we’ve got something, anything to tie this bastard to the murders.”
“Beyond his name coming up in each of the police reports, nothing,” McGee said, shifting away from his irate team leader.
“He took me seriously,” Ziva said out of the blue. When she had everyone’s attention, she continued, “Most male civilians don’t look at a woman and seriously consider them to be a threat. He did.”
“That’s just the kind of guy he is,” a man said from behind them. The team spun to see a tall blonde man standing beside Colonel Mann. “Special Agent Riley Finn. Colonel Mann was kind enough to show me down. I’m here to help shed some light on some of the details of your murders.”
“What interest does the Army have in the murders of one dead marine and five dead civilians?” Gibbs asked dangerously.
“Not a damned thing,” Finn answered blithely. “But several very important people want Alexander Harris free to go about his business. If it takes reading in the director of NCIS, two scientists, and four agents, they’re willing to see that happen.”
Gibbs rocked back, studying Finn. “Why’s he so important?”
Finn smiled slightly. “I used to ask that question a lot. And it’s something no one can ever explain. The best I can come up with is that he’s the key to the sanity and humanity of several people the guys in charge want to keep happy.”
“He’s the main suspect in the murders of five women,” Gibbs said just to see a reaction.
“He didn’t do it,” Finn said instantly. If there was a flicker of doubt, Gibbs didn’t see it. “I’m not saying that, out of self defense or the defense of another person, he couldn’t do it. I’m saying that torturing and killing for kicks isn’t in him.”
Gibbs nodded. “Fine. Prove it.”