Chapter 8: A New Friend
Chapter 8: A New Friend
Warning: I don’t know; maybe language and innuendo somewhere along the way.
Disclaimer: BtVS characters belong to Joss Whedon / Mutant Enemy. NCIS characters belong to Donald Bellisario, Don McGill and CBS Paramount Television. I claim no rights to any copyrighted material. Please do not copy or take this story without my permission.
Challenge: #4472 ‘Bunny is my what?’
A/N: Thanks to my betas for their help... zigpal and CindyB.Posted In Honor of the 700th hundred reader tracking, 15th recommendation, 160th review and 28000th hit on TtH! Wow! Totally feeling the love, folks!
Previously…Gibbs looked at the dark lab tech in amused confusion. She was certainly excited about something. “Abbs, what are you doing here? I thought you had things keeping you busy in your lab and couldn’t make it?”
Abby looked around at everyone and noticed the ‘deer in the headlights’ look that the Slayer was shooting her. She’d have to try to cover her tracks here. “Hey Gibbs! Uh, yeah…but I had some time to kill so I thought I’d swing by to check out the excitement,” she tried lamely.
He just raised eyebrow at her excuse, but decided to let it go for now. “Let’s let them finish up their match then we can introduce you to the new liaison.”
Buffy was nervous about the hyper Goth chick and what she might let slip out if she was left alone too long, so she hurriedly ended her fight with DiNozzo – without hurting him badly, that is. Then she made her way over to Ducky’s side. Putting her hand on his back so it was out of sight of the others, she was busy poking him gently – so she wouldn’t cause him to wince and make things even worse – to get him to understand her anxiety. “Ducky! Is this young lady lucky enough to work with you?”
Now Gibbs gave her
a weird look. Something was going on here and it had something to do with these two young women. “Abby Sciuto works in the forensics lab, analyzing evidence for us. But it does cross paths with Ducky on occasion, I suppose. Abby, this is Buffy Summers, the new liaison from the UC in England.”
All of her previous efforts were wasted and Abby lost whatever grip she had on her excitement. She reached over and grabbed Buffy’s hand and started pulling her away from the group. “Oh cool! Maybe I can show her my lab…you know, like now
? She looks like she’d be interested in that kind of thing. Aren’t you, Miss Summers?”
Buffy was doing her best not grit her teeth or give away any other indication that she was unnerved. “It’s Buffy, but yeah, that sounds great. Would you mind if Ducky joined us? He’s a friend of a friend and so far he’s shown a surprising ability to explain things so I can understand them.”
“If you’re sure?” the brunette caffeine addict questioned. There was something strange and Ducky was involved? That was different. But she shrugged and the trio made their way out, barely sparing the time to say goodbye to the others.
Tony looked at the gym door in utter bewilderment. “What the heck was that about, Boss?”
“I don’t know, but I’m gonna find out,” Gibbs promised like a hound that had caught a scent.
Jenny recognized the look and figured she’d better remind them that the workday had just begun and they had work to do. “It can wait. You still have that case to finish up. Unless you think a drug-related homicide should take a backseat to the personal interactions of people in this office.”
Gibbs glared at her before ordering his team back to work. It didn’t matter; they’d have enough excuses go down to the lab for updates on evidence. Maybe they’d get a hint of what was happening between their forensic geniuses and the new liaison during one of those visits.
Abby locked the door as the three of them made their way into her private realm. She was unable to contain herself any longer “So does Ducky know? About last night I mean?”
Buffy was torn between being upset with the hyper woman and being amused at her ‘child on Christmas morning with a roomful of presents’ excitement that she exuded. “Not specifically what happened last night, but he does know about vampires.” She shot him an apologetic look.
“So am I to guess that the substance Jethro saw you analyzing earlier was
vampire ash?” Ducky inquired.
Her eyes about shot out of her head as she began to relay her discovery, “Yeah! It’s amazing! Cremations
couldn’t get that level of uniformity! Ducky, have you studied the ashes before?”
He chuckled and threw a smile at the young blonde, hoping to express his support despite the trying circumstances. “No, I can’t say that I have. But seeing as we have undoubtedly sparked the curiosity of the others, perhaps we should speed this talk along? Starting with how you two became acquainted.”
The Slayer shrugged and sat on a stool as she began her tale, “You know, same old story. Girl meets vamps; girl asks vamps about their fangs; vamps try to snack on girl; second girl turns them into dust; first girl demands Vamp 101 from second girl. Then as an added bonus, it turns out they work together with a bunch of investigators that – I’m just guessing here – aren’t going to let this morning’s outburst go unchecked!” she finished with a hint of exasperation.
It finally sunk in how poorly she handled things so Abby attempted an apology, “Oops. Sorry. It’s just when I saw you on the monitor fighting with Tony, it blew my mind that you
were the new person.”
“Wait, what? You were watching us?” Buffy demanded, shocked that she’d been observed on camera fighting. Then she let out a nervous sigh when she remembered that she hadn’t been fighting extra-humanly this time. But it did remind her that she’d have to be careful in the future around here.
“Yeah. Gibbs came to invite me to watch in person, but I told him I was busy here in the lab. He seemed disappointed that he couldn’t talk me into going, so I promised that I’d watch on the live feed…and tape it for later. By the way, why did you go so easy on Tony?” she asked the question that had been bothering her since first watching the match.
Buffy smiled kindly at her, deciding that she just couldn’t help herself. “First, because he’s human. I’m really not supposed to hurt humans on purpose. But more importantly in his
case, he looked like he’d learned a lesson about only seeing me as a sex object. That made me consider what everyone else here had said about him and while he may be a world class pig, he must also be a pretty decent agent to be on this team. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still not sure I like him, but for the time being, I’ll give him a chance.”
Ducky looked very pleased with her and his next words confirmed that sentiment, “That’s very sound reasoning, Buffy. No wonder Rupert thinks so highly of you. Keep it up and I’ll wager that it won’t be long until Jethro does as well.”
Suddenly there was the sound of someone walking face first into the door to the lab. Then urgent knocking. The three of them shared a bemused look before Abby went to open it up. Sure enough, it was one of the agents ‘supposedly’ looking for an update on some analysis that Abby had been doing. She handed it to them and shoved them back out the door, locking it behind them.
Buffy ran her hands through her blonde tresses as she tried to work out her concern. “Speaking of the big guy, we’d better come up with a good cover story for this morning…unless you think that NCIS is ready to learn about the monsters that haunt people’s nightmares.”
When they shook their heads, she got an idea. “Well, how about the obvious? Abby, you said that you were watching the match and were impressed with how I was able to take Agent DiNozzo out so quickly? So how about you decided to run over so you could meet me?”
“And the reason she practically abducted you afterward? As well as why I joined you two?” Ducky pointed out a couple flaws in her explanation.
She only chuckled, “Well, we could always give everyone a heart attack and say it was an early morning threesome to tide us over until tonight, Ducky.”
Abby about choked and demanded, “What did I miss?”
“Mr. DiNozzo chose to eavesdrop on a private conversation we had this morning and based on his expression, he came to a much different conclusion as to the content of that discussion,” Ducky explained with a mock look of disapproval towards Buffy.
But she refused to be sorry about it. “Hey! It’s his own fault for listening in and for having such a dirty mind!” Then she grinned naughtily, “Although, when you think about it, a lot of the things we said to each other could have been provocative given the right context. The fact that I used the term ‘threesome’ for example--”
Now with her eyes so wide that it looked almost cartoonish, Abby gasped out, “You and Ducky with a threesome?!?”
Remembering his fear the night before when he thought Buffy believed he was truly making a pass at her, he hastily clarified, “In a purely innocent context, I assure you, Abigail. If I were to attempt anything untoward, either Rupert or Buffy herself would tear me to shreds.”
Buffy brushed off his concerns with a sweet smile in his direction. “Only if it was unwanted and
persistent. At least on my part. But don’t worry, Giles loves you too much not to let you have a chance to defend your actions first before letting his inner Ripper loose.”
And again the group was interrupted by the sound of someone walking into the door.
“Do people around here not watch where they are going?” Buffy asked with a raised eyebrow.
“Well, normally my door is open and unlocked,” Abby explained as she went over to let the next agent in. She took care of their request while Buffy and Ducky sat in the background and spoke quietly as they watched her work.
Within a few minutes she had finished up and sent the agent away, locking the door yet again to provide them privacy. Then she turned back to the others and asked, “So is this Rupert and Giles the same guy? What? Is he like your dad or boyfriend or something?”
“Ducky, if I tell her, can she keep it a secret from the others?” Buffy asked him seriously.
Ducky walked over and put his hands on the forensic specialist’s shoulders “Abigail, it is very important that this remain quiet. Can you promise us that you’ll keep this to yourself – even from Jethro?”
Abby thought for a minute, biting her lip then answered truthfully, “As long as it is private and not work-related…sure.”
Looking at the clock, Buffy made her decision. “You’d better get back to your morgue, Ducky. Hopefully it’ll keep the vultures away a bit longer. We know where to find you if we need more explanations. Want to get together for lunch?”
“Absolutely, my dear. And let me know about this evening with that friend of yours. I’ll see you two lovely ladies later,” he promised on his way out the door, making sure to shut it behind him.
“Quite the charmer, isn’t he?” Buffy wondered aloud.
Abby agreed, walking over to lock the door again, “If it weren’t for the differences in our music tastes, he’d actually be a pretty good catch. …Opera,” she explained at the other woman’s blank look.
Buffy understood and nodded, “Got it. Okay, you were asking about Giles. He sort of defies description. First, you’ll need some more Slayer background--”
They were interrupted by someone trying to get in…again. This time the girls bit back a laugh as Ducky’s assistant made his way in, searching for his boss. Abby informed him that Ducky was back at the morgue, waiting for him.
After he left, Buffy continued her explanation, “A massively long time ago, these arrogant SOBs decided to make a hero to save their asses from the demons, so they created the First Slayer.”
“That doesn’t sound too bad,” Abby argued.
“But they did it by chaining a girl against her will and forcing the essence of a demon into her using magick. This made her strong enough to fight the vampires and demons,” Buffy pointed out with a hint of anger, but not directed at her new friend.
With a horrified expression, Abby declared, “I take it back; it does
sound bad. Very, very
bad!” She looked like she wanted to track the people responsible and deliver them to Ducky’s morgue, whether they were dead or not.
Buffy nodded her head in understanding and went on, “Yeah well, it doesn’t get any better. She was stronger, but she was alone. With the odds seriously not in her favor, it didn’t take long for the sheer number of demons to overwhelm her and she died at a very young age. Her death caused the newly-created Slayer spirit to pass onto the next young girl. This began the never-ending cycle of violence and death that has lasted for centuries upon centuries.”
“How old were they?” Abby whispered in an unusually subdued manner for her. Well, unusual for Buffy’s own experiences with the young lady who could make coffee jittery.
“Usually within the range of 13-16 when first Called. Although there have been cases as early as 11 and one or two as late as 19. As far as we can tell, it is tied to puberty and the girl’s first period that determines whether she’ll remain a Potential or if she’ll be a Slayer.” When she saw the question in Abby’s eyes, she clarified, “In the past, for any given Slayer, there were dozens of girls who had the potential to become a Slayer in the event of the previous one’s death,” she said with an odd mixture of rote and grief in her voice.
Abby was afraid to ask but knew she had to, “And you?”
Buffy sat back down and indicated that Abby should as well. “I was Called shortly after my 15th birthday. Which brings us to the next part in our story. Now since the girls had a very short lifespan once Called, they needed someone who could train and teach them about their ‘sacred duty’. These people were called Watchers. For the most part, they were self-important, arrogant bastards and
bitches who thought it was their right to control the Slayer as a weapon in their
war against the darkness.”
“At least that had been my
experience with most of them. But I’m biased by several less than pleasant encounters with a number of them. On the other hand, I’ve also been lucky enough to know a few good ones, like Merrick and Giles. And even Wesley grew into a decent guy to have in a fight…once he stopped listening to the Council,” she allowed with rueful smile.
She went on with tears glistening in her eyes, “Merrick was my first Watcher and died to save my life. Giles took over for him and he was the only one of the three that I really connected with. When he took my side in a Council test, they sent Wesley to get between us. We treated him pretty bad, but he actually came through for us in an important battle.”
“When I formally told the Council where they could stick it, Wesley left them as well. Or was fired, I’m not sure which. But however it happened, it sounds like it helped him to learn to stand on his own feet and turned him into someone that some friends told me they were proud to have him watching their backs in LA. I’m not sure what’s going on with them all lately. We’ve had some disagreements on some issues the past few months,” she finished as yet another person slammed into the lab door.
This continued on for the rest of the morning. It got to the point that Buffy and Abby started to bet who would be the next one to show up and how long between visits it would be. Oddly enough, the only one not
to show up was Gibbs. Even Director Shepard stuck her head momentarily.
To try to avoid unnecessary suspicion, Abby went back to work and just listened as Buffy gave her the edited history of her life as a Slayer. What she didn’t do, however, was explain what her relationship with this Rupert Giles guy was. Looked like Abby had her own
detective work to do to find that out.
A/N: Next…Someone else has a ‘Ripper’ side.