Chapter 17: A New Respect
Chapter 17: A New Respect
Warning: I don’t know; maybe language and innuendo somewhere along the way.
Challenge: #4472 ‘Bunny is my what?’
A/N: Thanks to my betas for their help... zigpal, AshDawnSoulmates and CindyB.
Disclaimer: BtVS characters belong to Joss Whedon / Mutant Enemy. NCIS characters belong to Donald Bellisario, Don McGill and CBS Paramount Television. Jack Ryan and his friends belong to Tom Clancy. I claim no rights to any copyrighted material. Please do not copy or take this story without my permission.
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In order to keep a mob from descending on the gym, Gibbs’ team was ‘called away’ while Giles was taken on a tour by the Director and Ducky. Meanwhile, Abby just slipped away from her lab for a little bit. The Director cleared the gym before anyone could see what was going on.
The spectators talked – and betted – quietly while the fighters warmed up and set the terms of the match. Buffy figured since she did best two out of three with Gibbs – her dad – that it would be good enough for the Mossad officer as well. Although, by the look in the woman’s eye, Buffy’d have a tough fight on her hands. That is, if she allowed it instead of just ending it quickly. But she wanted a chance to learn the fighting techniques of the people she’d be working with. As well as getting satisfaction for having to hide her abilities at the shooting range the day before yesterday.
They started out with some simple kicks and hits from various forms, as Ziva was trying to throw Buffy off balance. However, Buffy just flowed with the movements, and after a few minutes, she did a sweep that landed Ziva on her back. Annoyed, the already tense officer decided to switch to the more vicious form of Krav Maga in order to take down her rival.
Buffy was startled but not terribly surprised by the change, knowing that the other woman felt threatened by her presence in the group – just like when Kendra and Faith came to Sunnydale. Not to mention when Tara joined the Scoobies and what it did to Oz. She just hoped Officer David got over it before she got tired of playing nice.
Gibbs sat up in concern when he saw the shift in the fight. He knew firsthand that his daughter was tough, but when he
sparred with her, there was no attempt to injure going on. Somehow, he didn’t think he could say the same thing now. At least not on Ziva’s side. He only hoped it wasn’t personal – that she just was letting loose on an opponent that she thought could take it.
Giles noticed Gibbs’ motion and laid a hand on his arm, indicating it wasn’t a problem for their
girl. Buffy could take care of herself. Personally, he was interested in seeing how the Mossad Director’s daughter would fare against his Slayer. Though he had no love for the man personally, he did run a formidable group – one that kept trying to get a Slayer to join without success.
Even so, everyone winced as some of Ziva’s hits connected and one of her kicks managed to split Buffy’s lip. That’s when Buffy decided to end things; not for herself, but for those watching. Okay, if she was honest, she was starting to get irritated and didn’t want the Slayer to push her way forward. So, with a quick flip over her shoulder, Buffy threw her opponent onto the mat.
As Ziva got up, Buffy saw the glare she sent her way and sighed inwardly; her Slayer might be satisfied now, but she probably just made things ten times worse with the brunette by doing so. She’d have to figure out some way to win Officer David over without sacrificing her own pride in the process.
Ziva couldn’t help the glare she threw at the blonde, but it was aimed more at herself than at Buffy Summers. In spite of Hadar and her father’s warnings, she had insisted in allowing her anger to taint her actions. And now she
would be the one to suffer for it – since she drew blood on a fellow teammate in what was supposed
to be a friendly match.
Knowing how others might react to her bloodied lip, Buffy stepped forward and gushed, “Thanks for the great workout, Officer David! It’s been a long time since I could cut loose like that. Too many times people think that blood is a sign of badness. Personally, I just see it was a sign of respect for my abilities.”
Seeing what Buffy was trying to do, Giles quickly agreed, “Indeed. I know some of Buffy’s past sparring partners continued to hold back – even after
seeing what she could handle. Needless to say, none of us could respect someone who couldn’t respect Buffy. Therefore, none of us were too sorry to see him-- erm,them
Buffy looked over at her Watcher, laughing at his slip. “You can say his name, Giles. My broken heart isn’t broken anymore. That is, if it ever was; I think it was more a matter of bad timing on his part. Riley was and always will be a bloody pillock for leaving the way he did and everything he’s done and said since.”
Giles tried to look stern and was failing. “Buffy! Language! Even if it’s true, there’s no reason for you to be so blunt about it in front of others.”
Tony decided to get in on the conversation. “So, your old boyfriend was your punching bag? …And I didn’t mean it the way it came out,” he said with a grimace.
She waved it off. “Nah, I understand. Once upon a time – in a twisted kinda fairy tale – his group and ours worked in the same area for a while. He and I were Romeo and Juliet bridging the groups together. Except for the double suicide part. There was an attempted ‘friendly fire’ incident though. That was the last time we worked together
-together,” she explained, gesturing with her fingers for air quotes.
“The next time we met up, they tried to detain us until we had to save their asses when their operation went to hell. After that, the groups tried to avoid each other professionally, but Riley and I kept trying the romance thing. Except…I don’t think he could ever accept that I was, and probably always would be, better at ‘his job’ than he was,” Buffy finished, again indicating air quotes. “So, we went our separate ways under less than desirable circumstances and that was it.”
She looked around the group sheepishly before quipping in faux-lecture mode, “Hereby ends this lesson on Buffy Summers’ tragic love life. Please forget everything you’ve heard, but remember the moral of the story: ‘I respect those who respect me.’
…most of the time. I suppose it would depend on if they were respectable to begin with. I mean, I’m sure that Willy the Snitch respected me somehow, but it’s not like--”
“Buffy dear, you’re babbling,” Giles interrupted with a smirk.
“Oops. Thanks for the catch.” Turning to her father, she asked, “So, what’s on the agenda for today, big guy?”
Gibbs was still trying to figure out the story. He wondered if that
Riley was the same one from the phone call yesterday. Then, recalling her plan from the night before, he suggested, “Well, I think it would be best to coordinate your schedule for your time here. Did you need to get Mr. Giles to the airport at a certain time?” he offered, trying not to appear anxious to get rid of his rival for his daughter’s affections.
Shaking his head, Giles answered instead of Buffy, “That’s quite alright. I’m just going to take a taxi. I only wanted to watch the sparring before I left. We’ve said our farewells already.”
Buffy pouted momentarily. “Unfortunately…Just be sure to keep me updated on the situation over there, ‘k?” she demanded, hugging him and kissing his cheek.
“And you too, my dear girl,” Giles murmured, returning the embrace with a kiss on the forehead. “I shall make my departure now so you can get back to earning your keep,” he teased.
Ducky took his friend and protégé so he could walk him out, while the rest of the group followed behind.
McGee held Buffy back as they started to leave the gym. “Umm, Buffy? I was wondering if I could ask a favor?” he inquired, looking nervous.
Buffy just smiled at the shy computer genius. “Sure, Tim, whatcha need?”
“Do you think you could teach me some of those fighting moves? Not the ones where you ended up bleeding, but the other ones?” he quickly clarified, involuntarily cringing at the blood drying on her lip.
“Can I ask why you want to learn?” she inquired, wanting to make a point if necessary.
Startled, McGee replied as if the answer should be obvious, “So I can defend myself in the field.”
Buffy looked at him pointedly as she told him, “Then the bloody
moves are the ones to learn. But we can start slow if it makes you feel better.”
McGee considered what she said and thought it was good Gibbs wasn’t around, or else he’d get smacked in the head for being so dense. “Thanks, Buffy,” he finally said. “I’d appreciate that.”
“No problem. Can I ask why you haven’t asked one of the others this yet?” she wondered, thinking that this should have be handled some time ago if it were a problem.
“Honestly? Gibbs is way too intimidating; Tony would just make fun of me; and Ziva scares the hell out of me sometimes,” he explained with a shudder.
Buffy raised an eyebrow at that. “And I don’t? I just beat her, you know,” she pointed out.
McGee shrugged, as if that had nothing to do with it, “Maybe, but you’re much more approachable somehow.”
“It’s the blonde hair, isn’t it?” she asked with a laugh. She realized that it was probably the same thing as one of the Scoobies wanting to learn from someone other than her or Giles. They were just larger than life in some way.
She shook her head to clear the thought. Then Buffy started to get a little wicked idea. She had seen the furtive looks between the resident computer freaks and wondered about it. “Seriously though, do you mind if Abby joins us? When she finds out I’m training you, she’ll bug me until I train her too.”
“It’s okay with me, I guess.” As they started their way out of the gym, he asked, “Do you know why she’s so taken with you? She’s barely started to warm up to Ziva, and it’s been months since she’s joined us.”
Sighing, Buffy ventured a guess, “Well, the most obvious answer is that I’m not replacing anyone like Officer David did with Agent Todd. And, I probably shouldn’t say this, but Abby and I met at a club the night before we did here. A couple guys were hassling her and I helped get rid of them. We just sorta hit it off after that.”
McGee was puzzled by her explanation. “What’s the big secret about that? The way the two of you were acting, we thought you were spies or something.”
“You’d have to ask Abby for sure, but from what I could tell, it was yours and Gibbs’ fault,” she alleged, still feeling that wickedness from before.
“What do you mean?” he demanded in confusion.
Ignoring the bit about McGee, Buffy explained Gibbs first, “I get the feeling that where Abby’s concerned, Gibbs can be kind of a Papa Bear – you know, with the growly, overprotective nature. Maybe she was just worried that he’d lecture her or surround her in bubble wrap or something if he found out.”
McGee couldn’t help but agree with that assessment. “And me?” he ventured.
“That’s obvious…she thought you’d be jealous.” She pretended to look worried by her announcement. “Oh, should I not have said that? Forget it! I in no
way meant to indicate that she was interested in you or that you might be interested back.” Then she walked ahead, smirking to herself as she left the stunned agent standing there.
A/N: Next…Settling in.