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This story is No. 2 in the series "Understanding". You may wish to read the series introduction and the preceeding stories first.

Summary: Yes, she fully admits that with behavior like that she'll be this smug herself someday. For now, she's just grateful it hasn't come yet and she waits. Early-'Middle Son'

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
NCIS > Other BtVS/AtS CharactersAngelfirenzeFR1311,410041,4362 Feb 102 Feb 10Yes
By Angelfirenze

Disclaimer: Whedon, et al. and Bellasario own everyone. Mention of a certain agent of allegedly ill-repute who I was glad shaved the last time I saw him. Anyway, that one belongs to Chris Carter and the rest of ten-thirteen.

Summary: Yes, she fully admits that with behavior like that she'll be this smug herself someday. For now, she's just grateful it hasn't come yet and she waits.

Notes: This one was actually kind of fun. Hee.

Kate was so very tempted to put her feet up on the polished oak desk in front of her, it was almost an effort to keep both feet planted firmly on the floor. The entire office just yelled smug at anyone unfortunate enough to be in this particular person's presence.

Kate sighed and equally resisted the urge to tip her head back and stare at the ceiling. She almost felt, just now, like Mulder in those old X-Files episodes where it was made clear that Mulder was 'the FBI's Most Unwanted' in the building.

She was used to that feeling, though, what with being her precinct's pariah first off and then being forced out altogether. She was absolutely astonished when the FBI of all agencies had come personally knocking on her door and asking her, politely, which almost made her want to throw holy water on their faces, if they could come in, they had something to discuss with her.

It had been rainy, so she'd backed away from the door and given a vague affirmation of invitation, the stake in her sleeve at the ready regardless, and watched as the two suits crossed the threshold without any problem. Only then did she relax.


But it was the start of a long back and forth dialogue, she found out, one that got her out of the field office in Nyack and into Washington, D.C., of all places. And now she was waiting, which -- admittedly -- she was okay with. It gave her a chance to gather her thoughts and make sure her weaponry was in easy reach. She didn't know the demons in this town yet, after all, and while there most certainly were vampires, she didn't know what else was going on and couldn't exactly bring a flamethrower on what amounted to a job interview, in a way.

But now here she was, packed up and moved all the way down here, stopping only when she'd gotten a call from Connor that had caused her to nearly be rear-ended by her own moving van. She'd called everything to a halt for over half an hour as her savior's son relegated everything that had gone down in the previous twenty-four hours and asked her urgently if she'd been anywhere near a television set.

She unfortunately hadn't been, but the high-pitched, thunderous screech of some sort of demon or other large creature blasting into her ear startled her badly and forced her to pull over to the side of the road, her movers cursing vehemently as they passed her by before stopping themselves.

They would have reamed her out, she knew, if she hadn't flashed her badge at them and glared them into silence.

Yes, she fully admits that with behavior like that she'll be this smug herself someday. For now, she was just grateful it hadn't come yet and she waited.

The nameplate before her said, very clearly, TOBIAS FORNELL in large, obnoxious letters. Not even her old commanding officer had one like this, she recalled with a reluctant chuckle. She hoped he wasn't trying to compensate for something, but tried to rein herself in because it was useless to speculate until he showed up.

She was annoyed that he seemed to think it funny to make her wait, though. Whatever he was tangled up in better have been important as all hell. The longer she sat here, the longer it was until she'd be able to head to NCIS headquarters and see about Angel and Connor or Connor's foster family and that did piss her off.

It was then that she heard the skipping of small feet through the doorway, followed by a set of larger ones and furious, one-sided bickering to go with them. A small girl's shoe started to skip into the office when a man's hand took hold of her shoulder and pulled her back.

Kate blinked a couple of times when she realized the girl's skin was a shade of blue she'd only seen in cotton candy -- or perhaps yogurt.

So, definitely at the right place, then.

The hand on her shoulder was the pale pink of a human with the broadness of a man's. So the girl was only half-whatever-demon, then. It certainly explained a lot.

"Diane, I'm trying to hurry this meeting up as fast as possible, but whether you like it or not, I cannot take Emily right this very second. I honestly don't believe you when you say the International Watchers' Council couldn't have found any room at all for her, given the massive grounds they have, not to mention Slayers her own age to play with, but since you insist it can't be any other way, the least I can ask of you is to wait the thirty minutes it'll take to meet with this field agent from New York. It isn't as if she doesn't know anything, they sent her to me for a reason. No, I'm not leaving her unattended the whole time -- David's quite happy to look after her -- you know perfectly well who he is, Diane, you've met him no less than six times. I have to go now and am hanging up, your untenable situation is in good hands so now you have nothing to complain about, goodbye."

With that, a human man around twenty years her senior -- or so he seemed, his face was so serious -- kept his hand on his daughter's shoulder as he forced her to enter his office alongside him and Kate watched as her skin tone changed to match his, the look on her face particularly disgruntled about that fact.

"Agent Tobias Fornell," he said firmly, his hand still on his daughter's shoulder.

Kate finally stood, resisting the urge to smile at the parental worry plain on his face. "Agent Katherine Lockley, but please call me Kate. Nobody calls me Katherine, nobody."

They shook hands and sat, Emily immediately going to dig around in her father's desk drawers, but he stopped her by slapping it shut and she gasped as her hands were nearly caught.

"I've warned you not to do that," he said, his tone again firm but gentle. For the first time since he sat down, Agent Fornell looked away from Kate and took in Emily's shocked face. "I told you the consequences might be dire, didn't I?"

Emily nodded, her eyes widening yet and still.

"What else have I told you?"

"The part about going to Agent Jethro if I need something or the part about remembering I'm just the same as everyone else, only special 'cause Mom and I aren't human?"

"Either or," Agent Fornell said lightly, cupping Emily's hands in his and glancing back at Kate to find her trying not to smile.

Agent Fornell raised an eyebrow, took a deep breath and only said, "You're without an office yet, aren't you, Agent?"

Kate nodded, resisting the urge to smile at Emily, who was starting to play with her father's fingers.

"Yes, sir. The Nyack office is sending over my things, but they won't be here for a few days."

Fornell nodded this time, a small smile coming to his face. "Until we get you an office of your own, you're free to use mine. Just as long as you don't mind things...being what they are."

"Things, sir?" Kate asked, hopefully hiding her confusion at his apparently deliberate wording.

"Emily," was all Agent Fornell said and the little girl grinned before scooting around to face Kate and her chair started to rise off the floor.

"Yes, things," Agent Fornell said, a slightly mischevious look on his face now that he could see that Kate was clutching her own chair for dear life. "That's enough, Emily."

Emily smiled and the chair fell slowly back down to earth before Kate felt herself taking a breath for the first time in what felt like several minutes.


So he was challenging her and using his daughter's heritage to do it. Well, fine, then.

Kate leaned forward and whispered something she'd learned in the field. Suddenly, Agent Fornell's own chair tipped backward and he let out a loud exclamation of surprise but stopped when Kate quickly murmured something else and the back of his chair stopped within inches of the floor.

Emily was staring at her now and Kate found the smugness infection had seemingly spread already.



The End

You have reached the end of "Novice". This story is complete.

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