Chapter 18: A New Lifestyle
Chapter 18: A New Lifestyle
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 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 belongs to Tom Clancy. I claim no rights to any copyrighted material. Please do not copy or take this story without my permission.
Posted In Honor of the 86000th hit and over 1000 readers tracking on TtH!
The next day at NCIS…
Director Shepard was surprised when Buffy announced her plans to rotate through the different departments of NCIS, but since her orders from higher up were to cooperate fully, she couldn’t deny what appeared to be a reasonable request. After all, the point was to learn the model of group organization from them. But still, she had to ask, “So Buffy, why do you suddenly want to study the other parts of NCIS? Are you already
unhappy on Gibbs’ team?” she added with a smirk in the man’s direction.
Buffy smiled at her dad as she shook her head, “No. Things are fine. But seeing Giles again reminded me of what my overall goal here is supposed to be.”
“And that is?” Shepard prodded, trying to get a lock on her.
“To learn how to put together an entire investigative organization, not just a team. While I’m sure I can learn a lot being on Gibbs’ team, it wouldn’t give me all the information we need.”
Buffy grinned at the other two before confiding, “Personally, I’d rather stick with the different teams, but it’s my duty to make the UC the best it can be. And that means learning the boring stuff too.” Gibbs snickered at her undiplomatic slip. “Oh, I’m sorry if I offended you. It’s just…well, I’d rather beat someone up than schmooze them for info.”
Shepard just laughed at her apology. “You’ll do very well with Gibbs with that attitude. In fact, probably the only reason he wasn’t considered for my job was he wouldn’t be able to bite his tongue during the more political dealings I have to handle.”
Deciding to interrupt their little bonding moment, Gibbs interjected, “I have an idea that should keep you from going completely nuts, Buffy. When you finish one of the administrative areas, you should switch to working with a team. That way you can unwind between the ‘boring’ assignments,” he teased lightly, surprising Shepard.
But Buffy perked up at his suggestion. “Actually, that's a great idea. Thanks, Gibbs. Now…how long should I expect to have to work in each section before I get a good grasp on how it works?” she inquired.
Shepard considered the question, then answered honestly, “It would probably vary, but it usually takes new department heads four to six weeks to get things under control. Of course, they have the advantage of being familiar with those areas to begin with, so you should plan on longer than that,” she warned, wondering what this woman’s real end goal was. Her time in this line of work made her doubt everyone’s
motive – especially their ‘allies’.
Buffy shrugged it off, responding easily, “That’s okay, we’re not exactly
in a rush. I mean, we do want to do this as fast as we can, but we don’t want to cut any corners either. The most important thing for us is to get this right for future generations. And we accept that it won’t happen overnight. That’s why I’ll probably be doing this sort of thing for the rest of my life – just with different organizations,” she added as an afterthought.
“Like who?” Shepard asked, wondering about her connections again.
“Don’t know. That’s for the brainiacs to figure out; I just go where they tell me to,” Buffy said with a fake smile. It had just dawned on her that this would
be her life from now on. But maybe she’d have a longer life if she wasn’t actively slaying full-time anymore.
“So, do you want to start with my team, or someplace else?” Gibbs checked, trying to keep the hopeful tone out of his voice. It either worked or Shepard didn’t notice.
Buffy did, but that might have been because she was expecting it. “You know, I think I’d rather get the worst part over with first.”
Shepard thought over the different departments and what she
considered the worst job. “Ducky’s morgue?” she guessed.
“Actually, I was thinking your office,” Buffy answered, wincing at the thought of playing nice with a bunch of people she couldn’t stand. She quickly tacked on, “Nothing against you personally, just that ass-kissing stuff. I’ll have to deal with it back at the Council too, only on a more international basis.”
“I understand, it gets to me too, sometimes,” Shepard replied, wondering if she should feel insulted or not.
Later that day, in a park…
Gibbs and Buffy had to sneak away that afternoon to see an inquisitive Fornell.
Knowing that there was no point in keeping it quiet from him, Gibbs proudly introduced his daughter for the first time, remembering to use her new name and not the one she was born with. “Fornell, I’d like you to meet my daughter, Buffy Summers. Buffy, this is the FBI agent who brought your past to my attention, Tobias Fornell.”
Buffy smiled at the name. Thank goodness people around here had just as strange of names as she did. “So you’re the guy who caused all the excitement, huh?” she asked with a raised eyebrow.
Not sure how to take her tone, Fornell defended himself, “I didn’t cause it; I only told your dad about it.”
“What now? Are you going to tell anyone else about this?” Buffy demanded, still looking inscrutable to the FBI agent.
Fornell looked over at his friend for a clue how to answer her. “Is there a reason why you want it kept quiet?” he checked carefully.
“We just want to get to know each other without the whole world watching our every move,” Gibbs explained.
“You mean the Director, don’t you?” Fornell shot back shrewdly. He knew of Shepard and Gibbs’ romantic past. And he was willing to bet that the lady didn’t know that Gibbs had a child, much less a grown one.
Gibbs shrugged off the suggestion, though. “Among others. Listen, Buffy has a job to do. My being her dad has nothing to do with that. So, can you stay quiet or not?” he asked with a glint in his eyes – one that Fornell knew he meant business.
Fornell put his hands up in surrender. “Hey, the only reason I said anything in the first place was because I thought you deserved to know the truth.”
“And I appreciate that,” Gibbs told his friend, his gratitude clear.
“And so do I,” Buffy added. “I may not have known Hank wasn’t my father, and I don’t know why my mom did what she did, but it’s good to know the truth. And Ducky says I couldn’t ask for a better dad than Gibbs,” she said with a warm smile at her dad.
Fornell wasn’t too surprised that the ME knew. The man was probably the closest thing to a father-figure in Gibbs’ life. Mike was too far away and Gibbs’ real dad was pretty much out of the picture. “So Ducky
knows? Anyone else?”
Buffy answered him this time, “Just a couple people on my side. Once I’ve established that I deserve to be at NCIS based on my own, then we can make it known to everyone else there.”
“You know it’s going to ruffle some feathers,” Fornell warned his buddy.
Gibbs just glared, not necessarily at Fornell, though. “They’ll have to deal with it. I got my daughter back; however she wants to handle this is up to her. I’m just glad to be in her life.”
Something about the way he said that bothered Buffy. “Why would you say that?” she inquired.
Mentally smacking his own head, Gibbs said with just a touch of hesitation, “Uhh, your friend, Giles, said that I had three strikes against me already: your past with Hank, the military and law enforcement.”
Buffy rolled her eyes and let out a deep sigh. “He has a big mouth. But he’s right; if it weren’t for Ducky’s high opinion of you, and my own observations of you with your team, I might not be willing to give you a chance to hurt me like they did.”
Sensing that this was possibly turning into a private moment, Fornell made his goodbyes, “I’ll let you two go. Thanks for letting me know that the report was right. I look forward to getting to know you better, Miss Summers. Take care of your dad; he has a bad habit of getting himself into trouble,” he ordered the small blonde, smirking at his friend as he did so.
“We’ll have to watch out for each other then. I have that same problem,” Buffy replied with a laugh. For a cop, this guy wasn’t so bad…yet. And since he was watching out for her dad, she was willing to cut him some slack.
A week later…
Buffy talked to Oz about sharing a place to live, now that he was working for the Council, too. When they discussed it with Giles, They opted to buy a house instead of renting. That way they didn’t need to worry about any ‘modifications’ they would need to make to it.
Given the expense of owning a home in the DC area, it would take a sizable chunk of change to get a suitable place. But they justified it by saying it would be available to whoever was stationed there in the future.
And quite honestly, it was nothing compared to the excesses of the old Council. Really! What did Travers need three homes for anyway? They could sell just one
of those to pay for the DC one.
Once the decision of which house to buy was made, Buffy debated the issue of who to get to handle the remodeling. After going over her options, she finally decided to call Jack Ryan and ask for his assistance. She figured that he could put her in touch with people who would keep quiet about their more interesting
improvements. Which he was more than happy to do.
“So, now that that’s settled, how are you doing, Buffy?” Jack asked after he gave her some contractors’ names, reminding her that this was an informal conversation now. He had invited her to Camp David for the day so they could talk about their lives and respective duties.
Buffy took a sip of the coffee she was handed earlier. “Just fine, Jack,” she replied casually.
Glad that she was able to talk to him like a normal person without him ordering her to, Jack decided to push his luck. “And that personal issue the last time we talked?” he checked – gently in case she didn’t want to talk about it.
She sat back on the couch, knowing that he had the right to know. “Turns out that Agent Gibbs is my biological father. Twenty years ago, my mom chose to enter the Witness Protection Program and let him think we died in a car wreck. A friend of his was checking me out and came across the WPP flag on my file.” She wasn’t sure if Fornell would get in trouble for what he did, but she didn’t want to risk it anyway.
But Jack wasn’t even worried about that. “How’s that going to change you plans? Obviously, you’re still planning to stick around,” he pointed out.
“It’s not changing anything. Not unless you have a problem with it,” she added. “Only a handful of people know right now. Even the NCIS Director doesn’t know.”
“Particular reason why?” Now he was curious if there was a problem at NCIS.
“I don’t want anyone thinking I got this gig because he’s my dad,” Buffy answered bluntly. “Once people realize I earned it, I don’t care if it comes out or not. But to make it easier on us, I’ve switched my plans at NCIS. I won’t be working with just his team now; I’ll be learning the in’s and out’s from all the sections. It’s a better plan anyway. I’m starting with the Director’s office,” she finished with a grimace.
Jack chuckled at her expression. She had the same attitude towards politics that he did. “Guess that means I’ll be seeing you at some of the official functions then,” he couldn’t help but tease her.
Buffy glared at him. “Stop laughing! But it makes sense; I need to learn how to play nice with others,” she admitted reluctantly, however she managed to pout as she did so.
The President smiled, mostly because she felt comfortable enough in his presence to glare at him. “Well, I eagerly await it, and I know Cathy is dying to meet you, too. By the way, thank you for letting me tell her about you,” he said gratefully.
“Hey, I’m sure you have enough things you have to keep from her; there’s no reason to add me to the mix. Besides, you said she can handle it,” she added, almost as a question.
Which is how Jack took it. “To be honest, neither
of us is too thrilled about teenage girls having to do what you do,” he answered. “But we do feel better knowing that they have somebody who understands what they’re going through looking out for them. That reminds me, how did Faith take the news of her release?” he inquired, trying to suppress a chuckle.
Buffy rolled her eyes when she remembered the fuss Faith made. “She complained…until I told her why we needed her out. Somehow, I don’t think I’ve heard the last of it though,” she complained half-heartedly. She actually looked forward to seeing Faith again.
“As long as the situation is taken care of first. Do you think she’ll have any trouble?” he asked, just a little worried.
Shaking her head, Buffy reassured him, “Nah, the team we sent to join her is one of the best. They’ll have it cleaned up before you know it.”
As time goes on…
The first political event Buffy was supposed to attend happened to be the night of the full moon. Although he mostly
had control of his wolf, Oz didn’t want to risk it when he was near the President. That meant Buffy had to find someone else to take her.
She considered – and rejected immediately – her dad, remembering that he was no good at schmoozing. Since the only other guys she really knew were the team and Ducky, she chose Ducky. It wasn’t that she had anything against the older gentleman, but it certainly would fuel those rumors about them.
By the time the evening was over, she completely understood her dad’s aversion to those things. Most of the people were okay, but then there were the ones like former VP, Ed Kealty. That sleaze made her teeth
itch. She was almost convinced he was some kind of demon, but Ducky reluctantly assured her he was only the worst example of human evil. It took over an hour of scrubbing in the hottest shower she could stand before she felt clean again.
Unfortunately for her, the plan to do the circuit quickly and be done with it when she moved to Gibbs’ team didn’t work out like she wanted. Apparently, enough of the Beltway crowd was intrigued by the new NCIS liaison, and that caused the invitations to keep pouring in. Which Giles encouraged her to accept as often as possible, assuming she was able to remain apolitical about it.
When she felt she had
to RSVP positively, her escort was usually Oz or Ducky. After getting to know some more men from the Capitol, she would accept their offers – with the firm understanding that it was only casual; she wasn’t interested in a relationship with anyone.
It wasn’t long before Gibbs grew jealous of the people who spent most of his daughter’s free nights with her. Finally, he surprised her by asking to escort her to a dinner party being given by George Winston, the Secretary of the Treasury. She accepted gratefully, and even though there were people who bugged the heck out of him, he thought it was still worth it to spend time with Buffy.
After that, he was one of her more frequent escorts to other various outings – much to Buffy’s amusement, and to someone else’s displeasure.
A/N: As promised, since I was mentioning Jack Ryan’verse characters again, I have added the category of Tom Clancy.
A/N2: Next…Buffy gets a student, or two.