Belief and Disbelief
The Green Goddess
A/N: Text between = rather than " is ASL (American Sign Language), rather than spoken, dialogue. And... a minor character death will be mentioned in passing. You are warned.
IX: Belief and Disbelief
He stalked off to the elevator, thanking McGee in his head for the idea of the multi-tonal chime they'd had installed in Interrogation that left him free to ignore it - and also informed him who was looking for him. He angrily jabbed the basement button once the elevator arrived, rode it down about a floor and a half, and then hit the 'emergency stop' switch.
The elevator lurched to a stop, and he let his facade down. The near-emotionless, professional federal agent took a few moments off, leaving just Jethro to think about all this.
Damn it, the girl... artifact... vessel... informant... *whatever* she was... her story was insane. Demons, witches, shamans, and, pop-culture be damned, even vampires, though from what she said nothing like that glittering one in the Twilight movie. He didn't *want* to believe it, but... damn it, as insane as it sounded, she believed it, he saw that in her leaf-green eyes, and looking at her story as a whole, in a certain way it actually made sense. It was a cohesive story, and damn it, it actually explained the damned murder... if he took her word, that's exactly what the vampires had done to the poor Doctor, who'd just been... what? In the wrong place at the wrong time and wound up becoming dinner?
The Federal Agent returned, accepting it all. Didn't make sense, but ten or twenty percent of the time that was the nature of working for the Government. He calmly flipped the elevator back on, deciding to believe even though he wasn't quite happy with himself for doiong so, and finished his ride down to Forensics.
He slipped through the door into Forensics and into a barrage of noise. Some idiot had once, in her childhood, introduced Abby to heavy metal, techno, and various other loud and fast forms of what youngsters called 'music' these days, and she'd fallen in love with it. Her parents - being deaf - hadn't stopped her, as most people her age's parents had at least tried to. So he stalked up behind her and tapped her on the shoulder.
She twisted around in surprise, and then smiled. =Hi Gibbs.=
Instead of shutting off the music, she wanted to do this in sign. Okay. He could do that. =What do you have?=
=Well, the DNA in the dead skin on her coat is decayed, like it came from skin dead for several years. Nothing in any of the databases yet. The fingerprints, I got a match.=
=Of course, Special Agent Gibbs.= He hated when she got all formal with him. She puched it up on the computer, and he leaned in over her shoulder. According to the screen, they were looking for a career criminal named Dennis O'Connor, arrested and convicted in 2002 at age 25 for a string of grand thefts auto, and single charges of possession with intent to sell, and international drug smuggling - what? Oh, he was from San Diego, so the Mexican border was handy - who had died while on an escorted compassionate release from the California prison at Otay Mesa where he was being held following his trial, to attend his aunt's funeral, in 2004. Abby pointed at the release, and signed, =That's unusual. I checked. Another aunt is a former mayor of San Diego and pulled some strings.=
=He was not a sex offender or in the military, so he would not be required to be in a DNA database.=
=Thanks, Abby.= He gave her a quick one-armed hug around the shoulders, a tiny kiss on the temple, and headed out, knowing she was smiling.
Back out in the hall, he was just waiting for the elevator and deciding where to go when his phone rang. Pulling it out, he saw Ziva's name on the screen, and answered. "Gibbs."
Like usual, she got right to business. "The Director wants to see you. He's in his office."
"Thanks." He hung up, and climbed into the elevator once again, tapping the correct button much more calmly than his last trip.
A couple minutes later, he was at the Director's office, and the secretary just waved him through. "Close the door." Vance ordered, trashing his toothpick.
He complied, then headed over to a chair and settled down into it. "You called me, Director."
"So I did. Would you care to tell me why I just got a call from the Rose Council wondering why you've been holding one of their members of the board against her will for several hours?"
"The Rose Council, sir?" He decided to play this one a little clueless and see how far Vance let him go.
"It's an international charity group that helps violent teenage girls. Surely you've heard of them, they've had some major donations and rapidly expanded the last few years? I have it on good authority that you have a member of their Board of Directors down in Interrogation, and have for over six hours. They're understandably concerned." Vance stared him down.
"Yes, Director, I am aware of the Rose Council. But the girl in Interrogation is twenty-five and is my Starbuck's barista, a grad student in psychology at Georgetown, and offered herself as an informant on the case we are currently investigating. She's not a suspect and not being held against her will, although..."
"Although..." Vance raised an eyebrow.
"I may have neglected to specifically tell her she was free to leave." He paused. "But we never read her her rights and she's not a suspect. As far as I can tell, she was in D.C. when the crime was committed, in Baltimore. She just happened to offer certain knowledge she thought might be important to our investigation."
"Such as?" Vance paused. "Let me guess. She waltzed in and told you that vampires are real."
He paled. "Yes, sir, she did."
"I'm going to tell you something, Gibbs. This does not go beyond this room, you got it? I've had some prior dealings with the Rose Council, and I know for a fact that vampires are real. If this girl says they're involved, they probably are, and if that's the explanation for your case I'll back you up. But do not play with me, Gibbs. Ask her about Robin Wood. He was a second cousin of mine, now dead, if she asks where you've heard the name. And if you really are holding..." He checked his notepad, "Dawn Summers, make sure you tell her that she's free to go and that the Council wants her to call in. I'm told if she hasn't called by the top of the hour, they're sending someone to collect her. By force if necessary."
He paled at that. "That sounds like something Mossad would do."
"This Rose Council bunch, Gibbs? They aren't as well known, but their reputation is right up there with Mossad and Kedon. Rumor is they've even run some joint ops. Do not mess with them!"
Taking the Director's raised voice as a dismissal, he got up and headed out to the hall. Obviously, he was going to have to head back to Interrogation or else there'd be... what? Some sort of black-ops squad from the Rose Council tossing flash-bangs into the NCIS offices? Of course, if demons, witches and shamans and vampire slayers were all real, who knew what kind of fight they could put up?
Certainly not something that the NCIS agents and office staff would be prepared for. They'd needed outside help the day Ari had taken hostages in Autopsy. And he'd been working alone.
"Boss, boss!" He heard footsteps in the hall behind him, just outside Interrogation, and twisted around. "DiNozzo?"
"You're not believing all this crap, are you? I mean, she's got to be delusional! Dawn's a pretty girl, I like the long hair and those legs go all the way down to the floor, if you know what I mean, but... witches and human sacrifice and magical artifacts and... and vampire slayers, which would strongly imply vampires? Come on. If there were really any of those things, as anything but old stories and cover pictures on the Enquirer, don't you think we'd have known about them already?" Tony was obviously agitated by this; his voice had risen progressively as he went on, to the point that he was almost yelling at the end.
He stared down the younger agent, who he'd come to respect over the several years they'd worked together. Paraphrasing, he repeated, "So she's hot, but a bit crazy?"
"I wouldn't put it that way, but... yeah, I would." Tony corrected. "I mean, if there was something out there preying on humans, it would've been common knowledge a long time ago!"
"I want you to go to Abby, and have her show you the tape of our first session with Dawn, earlier. Then come back and tell me you don't believe." Gibbs pointed, and then opened the door to Interrogation.
Dawn was still there, though a little dampness around the edges of her face and hands betrayed a recent trip to the washroom. So she knew she wasn't locked in, had chosen to stay. "I've got a couple messages for you. Do you know of a man named Robin Wood?"
Dawn's eyes suddenly looked sad, and she looked down at the table. After a moment, she looked up. "Yes. He was my high school principal, and one of the founders of the modern Rose Council. He was killed in Somalia last winter."
"By vampires, or demons?"
"Your plain old Somali warlord, actually. He was trying to bring out a Slayer who was a member of the warlord's family."
"My boss knew him as well, said he was a second cousin. Director Leon Vance?"
"Name doesn't ring a bell. But if he was related, then he probably knows all about the Council, and could confirm..."
"He already has, and I believe you. By the way, I've been instructed to tell you explicitly that you're free to go, and are not a suspect in this case."
She grinned. "I've known that all along, Special Agent Gibbs."
"Thank you for staying, then. There's a few other developments I'd like to discuss, but first, the Council has asked that you call in, to prove we're not holding you. They said if you didn't call by the top of the hour, they were sending someone to get you." He rose from his seat, and headed for the door to give her a bit of privacy (though he hadn't told her, but the recorders were still on, as they had been all day).
She quickly pulled out her phone and scrolled through her address book, picking a number and letting it ring.