Disclaimer: See first chapter (cliff notes version: nothing is mine)
A/N: Dawn’s past (how she’s Gibbs’s daughter) will be fully explained throughout the story.
“This was a stupid idea, Dawn,” Angel pinched the bridge of his nose, a rare headache pounding behind his eyes. He wasn’t sure how he could actually have a headache, given the fact that he actually had no blood flow, but there it was. “If one more Secret Service Agent shoves a gun in my face, I’m going to vamp out.”
“Yeah, cuz that won’t have them up in arms,” Dawn rolled her eyes.
“If I’m going to have a gun shoved in my face, I’d like it to be because I’ve done something, not because some human thought it would actually protect them,” Angel complained.
“A bullet to the face won’t do much damage?” Dawn tilted her head to look at him.
“Of course it will, it’s honestly a pain in the ass, but as long as the neck isn’t severed, I’d eventually heal,” Angel said. “Not that they’d have the chance to pull the trigger. You would think the men guarding the vice-president wouldn’t be so easily rattled.”
“Yeah, cuz finding out vamps and demons are real doesn’t rattle many,” Dawn leaned her head on his shoulder. “Really, Angel, sometimes you’re just old.”
“Hey,” Angel growled.
“What, you are,” Dawn said. “It’s not like a hundred years ago when people believed in spirits and crap, and would just name you as one of the damned and then hide from…”
“Or chase me with pitchforks,” Angel added.
“Or chase you with pitchforks,” Dawn agreed. “But now, people as a whole, can not handle demons and vamps being real. The world would go all topsy-turvy. So of course, the big, bad, gun tottin’ boys are going to freak at something otherworldly. Doesn’t help when you tell them they’d be dead before my body hit the ground.”
“They pointed a gun at you,” Angel brushed a kiss across her forehead. “That doesn’t happen.”
“And here be the over protectiveness,” Dawn said. “It’s a wonder I was ever alone long enough to get pregnant.”
“Had I, Buffy, or Spike had any indication that you were seeing someone, you wouldn’t have been,” Angel said.
“Yeah, which was why I never told anybody,” Dawn said. “I’m not stupid, I know how you guys are. Why do you think I agreed to go to Cambridge? It was far from Buffy and L.A., and for the most part, I was on my on.”
“And less than a year later, you ended up pregnant,” Angel pointed out. “Which is why you shouldn’t be on your own.”
Dawn punched him on the leg. “I can so take care of myself, Angel.”
“I know that Dawn,” Angel said. “Doesn’t mean it will prevent me from trying…”
“To be an overbearing bossy vampire?” Dawn interrupted. “I know and love you for it. You have no idea how reassuring it is to know I have a vampire that is quite willing to rip anyone to pieces to protect my child….and myself.”
“Anytime, any person,” Angel agreed. “Nothing will ever hurt Liz while I’m alive.”
Dawn coughed. “Undead.”
“Please tell me we’re not working here,” Angel said, his tone almost pleading.
“Um, I can’t cuz that’d be a big ole lie,” Dawn said. “I know you have issues with the Navy, what with them forcing you to live on a submarine. But like I promised, nothing bad is going to happen.”
“I’ve been seeing someone,” Angel said.
“Oh, my god, you’ve been here for nine days and you’re dating,” Dawn squealed. “That is so great.”
“She’s the forensics scientist at NCIS,” Angel said.
“Oh,” Dawn frowned. “Mixing work with dating has never really worked for you. But we can’t change anything, Angel, paperwork’s already gone through, we’ve got our clearances and badges. It’s too late to change things so I guess you’ll just have to adjust to working with….”
“Abby,” Angel said.
“Sides, you won’t be working directly with Abby,” Dawn reminded him. “I will so I can give her all the juicy gossip on you.”
“Cute, Dawn,” Angel rolled his eyes “I knew this was going to be a bad idea.”
“No, it’ll be fine,” Dawn said. “Everything is going to be fine. We’ll work, you’ll get to relax and not be in charge for once, and we’ll get to help people in a way that doesn’t end in slime or vamp dust.”
“I’m still not sure this is a good idea but I’ll trust your judgment,” Angel said. “But if this ends with me strapped to a table, being experimented on….”
“Then you have permission to bite me,” Dawn said. “But for now, get rid of the brooding look and let’s get a move on. We’re already running late.”
“I don’t understand how you think I’m the bossy one when you’re the one always giving orders,” Angel muttered.
“It’s the mom in me,” Dawn grabbed her briefcase, sliding it over her shoulder as she opened the door. “Well, let’s go.”
“Am I being fired?” Jimmy Palmer asked, his face pale.
“No, of course not,” Jenny Shepherd replied. “You mentioned wanting to finish your masters. Ducky will someone to fill in while you do that.”
“With all due respect, Jen, I normally hire my own help,” Ducky said.
“I know, Ducky,” Jenny agreed. “This wasn’t my decision. This was an order handed down straight from SecNav. I had no say so in this.”
“SecNav is making hiring decisions?” Gibbs frowned.
“They are not new hires,” Jenny said. “They are liaisons from another government office.”
“Which office?” Gibbs asked.
“I am not sure,” Jenny replied. “I’ve just been told they will be working with us indefinitely. And that we are supposed to cooperate completely.”
“Why are you telling us?” Gibbs asked.
“One of them will be joining your team,” Jenny held up a hand to ward off his protest. “No options in that either, Agent Gibbs, that came straight from SecNav.”
“Why?” Gibbs asked. “I have a team.”
“My best guess, SecNav isn’t anymore happy about this whole situation than I am,” Jenny said. “And he wants the person under constant supervision. Your constant supervision.”
“Why am I here?” Abby asked.
“Because when she’s not helping Ducky, she’ll be helping you,” Jenny again held up a hand to ward off protests. “Abby, not my call, again, none of this is. I’m not anymore happy about this than you are. But we don’t have a choice.”
“For how long?” Gibbs asked.
“I have no idea,” Jenny shrugged. “I’m not in the loop on this. We have orders, we’re to follow them, that’s all we’re being told.”
“Does everybody remember what happened the last time Abby had help?” Tony said. “I really don’t feel like being framed for something, again.”
“I have to agree with Tony,” Abby said.
“And you’ll have to take the concerns to the NavSec, as they came directly….”
“The orders stand.”
Gibbs turned his head to see the Secretary of the Navy, in dress uniform, with his normal ‘guards’ at his sides. “Sir, may I ask what this is about?”
“I have no idea, agent Gibbs,” the SecNav said. “I also have my own orders. We’re to cooperate, fully. No question, no loopholes, end of story.”
“Gee, isn’t this a wonderful way to gain a good working relationship,” an amused female voice said from behind the SecNav, stepping forward, a tall man at her side. She was young, much too young, that was the first thing that he noticed. Brown hair curled down her back, vivid blue eyes, and a smile that he knew, he just couldn’t place from where.
“I told you this was a bad idea,” the man muttered. Tall, young, probably a few years younger than DiNozzo, wearing an all black suit and a scowl, the man sheltered the girl slightly.
“Angel?” Abby gasped.
“Abby,” the man smiled briefly.
“Oh my god, she’s not a petite blonde,” the girl punched the man he was starting to suspect was Abby’s new ‘man-friend’ on the arm. “Thank god.” Then she stepped forward, a warm smile on her face. “Dawn Summers.”
“Abby Sciuto,” Abby smiled, but Gibbs could tell it was forced.
“Okay, before you get mad at Angel, this wasn’t his decision,” Dawn said. “I chose NCIS without knowing that the girl he was seeing worked there. Not that I would have in a million years thought there’d be a girl cuz Angel and dating, just doesn’t happen. Not that I’m not glad that there’s a girl, because that was the whole point in tricking him into coming out here, trying to get him to feel something again. But, anyways, he didn’t know, don’t think he was trying to sneak information out of you or anything, this was just pure coincidence.”
“Jenny Shepherd, met Dawn Summers from some branch of the United Nations,” NavSec said. “And Angel….”
“Just Angel,” Dawn said.
“And just Angel,” the NavSec finished. “Ms Summers, Angel, this is Jenny Shepherd, the director of NCIS. I’ll leave you in her capable hands.”
“Thanks,” Dawn smiled. “I’m sure we’ll have great fun.”
“Dawn,” Angel said quietly.
“Oh, please, like this is going to be fun,” Dawn rolled her eyes. “They already resent us and we’ve been here for what, five seconds. It’s like high school all over again and there’s a reason I never finished.”
“Because your high school transcripts are currently in the bottom of the crater that used to be Sunnydale, not because of high school itself,” Angel reminded her.
“Well, there is that,” Dawn agreed. “So, Director Shepherd, care to introduce us?”
Gibbs listened while Jenny introduced them to the group, most of his attention on the girl. There was something about her, something that got under his skin but he just couldn’t figure out what it was.
“Abby, may I?” Angel asked, nodding toward the hallway. Abby nodded and followed, her fingers reaching and grabbing the man’s as they walked down the hallway. He’d have to talk to her later about that, wasn’t sure if this Angel guy was good for Abby.
“So, Doctor Mallard, care to show me to where I’ll be spending part of my time?” Dawn asked, offering him her arm.
“Of course, my dear,” Ducky said, automatically falling into the charming persona that he had. “Might I ask, are you still in school?”
“No, I graduated from Cambridge about six months ago,” Dawn said.
“Aww, I believe we might be enemies,” Ducky laughed. “As I graduated from Edinburgh Medical School.”
“I’ll try not to hold that against you,” Dawn smiled. “As long as you promise to do the same.”
“Of course, my dear,” Ducky said. “Mr. Palmer, would you like to join us?”
“I don’t want you to feel uncomfortable or pressured,” Angel said, fingers brushing a few loose strands of hair behind her ear. “I am not your boss. I have no power over you so at any point you want to end this, do not think that our working together will stop you.”
“What about you?” Abby asked. “What if you want to stop?”
Angel sighed. “That won’t happen. Believe me, you will want to leave me long before I will ever want to leave you. And don’t ever feel that you can’t.”
“You never know, Angel,” Abby said. “I have never had good luck with relationships and sooner or later, I’ll chase you away.”
“I am not a teenage boy,” Angel said. “I know my feelings, both good and bad, very intimately. My feelings for you, they aren’t those of a indecisive boy. They won’t fade away with time. I don’t feel that way, I haven‘t in a very long time. I wouldn’t have kept seeing you if my feelings were in any way fleeting.”
“We’ve only known each other nine days,” Abby said.
“I know,” Angel said. “And I knew you within two of those days. I know your heart, your beautiful intentions, and selfless nature. That was enough.”
“Enough for what?” Abby asked.
Angel smiled and pressed a kiss to her lips. “I’ll tell you another time.”
“Why didn’t you tell me?” Angel demanded.
“Tell you what?” Dawn dropped down on the couch in their living room, her stocking feet resting on the cushion, chin on her knees.
“That Agent Gibbs is your biological father,” Angel growled. “That the man you used to cry yourself to sleep at night about, that did more damage than all the demon kidnappings and vampire attacks ever could, worked at NCIS. And don’t tell me you didn’t know, because I know you did.”
“Of course I knew,” Dawn said. “Why do you think I chose it?”
“Dawn, don’t purposefully put yourself through this,” Angel kneeled in front of her. “Don’t torture yourself this way.”
“I have to know,” Dawn whispered. “He’s it, he’s the beginning.”
“The beginning of what?” Angel asked.
“Of why everyone leaves me,” Dawn replied.
“I know, intellectually, that people don’t leave me because of me,” Dawn said. “But I don’t feel that. I feel like….okay, my birth mom died, because of me. My father didn’t come back for me. Uncle Hank left, you left, Cordy left, Oz left, Riley left, mom died, Buffy died, Giles left, Tara died, Willow left, Anya died, and then there’s Ari.”
“Ari, Elizabeth’s father?” Angel arched a brow.
“Ziva David’s half-brother,” Dawn said. “I know you smelled it.”
“I was getting to that,” Angel said. “Why did you pick NCIS if you knew they’d be there?”
“I didn’t know about Ziva,” Dawn said. “I knew they had a Mossad liasion agent but I didn’t know it was Ari’s sister. But my dad….I need to know why, I need to understand. I can’t place the man that spent every second he wasn’t working with me and my mom with the man that just abandoned me at my uncle’s without ever once checking on me. They just don’t mesh. I need to understand.”
“Or you could just let me beat him to a bloody pulp for making you feel like there’s something wrong with you,” Angel said.
“No, you can’t,” Dawn wrapped her arms around his neck, falling into him. Angel was safe, he was the personification of safety for her, had been since she was little. “You have to play nice, I know you can do it.”
“I don’t want to,” Angel murmured, kissing her forehead.
“You have to,” Dawn said. “Because one of us has to remain emotionally detached from this and we both know it’s not going to be me.”
“Dawn, can I ask you something?” Abby said hesitantly, leaning against her desk. She’d just finished giving Dawn the tour of her lab, which went pretty well. Dawn was nice and from what Abby could tell, very smart. She pretty much knew what every machine was called and the questions she did ask were intelligent. She still didn’t like the idea of having someone working in her lab but she was pretty sure working with Dawn would be nothing like working with Chip.
“Sure,” Dawn smiled. “I’m guessing under the category of Angel.”
“Yes,” Abby nodded. “I don’t….he’s so perfect and I don’t know how I’m supposed to keep up with that.”
Dawn laughed and not just a small giggle, but a bending over, holding her stomach, and tears filling her eyes laugh.
“What?” Abby frowned, pretty sure she didn’t like being laughed at.
“Abby, trust me, Angel is not perfect,” Dawn said, wiping her eyes. “He would say he’s as far from perfect as a person could get if you asked him. He has his faults, trust me.”
“I haven’t seen any,” Abby said. “He’s just…so different than any other man I’ve dated.”
“He’s a world class brooder,” Dawn replied. “Like if it was an Olympic event, he’d win by such a margin that he’d get the gold, silver, and bronze metal. He tends to overreact when somebody he cares about is in danger and he can be so stubborn. And he likes Barry Manilow.”
“Seriously?” Abby wrinkled her nose, though actually a little glad. It knocked him down a level, she still thought he was pretty perfect but listening to Dawn she was starting to see him as more human than god.
“Yeah, he has a big ole love for the power ballads,” Dawn grinned. “He’s old fashioned and that sometimes makes him seem cheap, but he’s really not. And god forbid you’re ever in danger because he is such a bossy ass when that happens. He’s not perfect, not anywhere close to being perfect…..so don’t think that you can’t measure up because trust me, you do. I’ve known Angel since I was ten and I’ve never seen him as content as he looks when he’s with you. And trust me, for Angel, that’s something big.”
“I don’t wear hats,” Angel said, holding the bill with a rather disgusted look.
“NCIS policy,” Gibbs replied. “All agents on scene have to wear a NCIS hat and jacket.”
“Sorry, Angel, that you have to do,” Dawn grabbed the hat from his hand and flopped it on his head. “And hey, just cuz I love you, I won’t take a pic and send it to Spike.”
“Brat,” Angel grumbled.
“Ring has to come off too,” Ziva held out a pair of gloves. “You have to wear gloves.”
“That he can’t do,” Dawn replied. “Remove the ring that is. Security issues.”
“It does not look expensive,” Ziva frowned.
“Yes, actually, it’s a tracking device, one that is very expensive,” Dawn said. “And it’s set with a switch, if it moves over his knuckle, it’ll trip the switch and in oh, about two hours, we’ll be surrounded by a bunch of armed men from sunny ole California.”
“Takes more than two hours to get from California to D.C.,” Tony said.
“Really fast jets,” Dawn explained. “They can get in here in a couple hours.”
“Why is he wearing a tracking device?” Gibbs asked.
“Angel is the CEO of a multi-billion dollar law firm,” Dawn replied. “You have no idea how many people want him dead.” She paused, scratching her nose. “Heck, you’d be surprised how many people want me dead, and I’m only a liaison with Wolfram & Hart.”
“If you’re a lawyer, why aren’t you working in the law department?” Gibbs asked, casting a look at Angel but most of his focus was on Dawn. He still couldn‘t figure her out and it was really starting to annoy the shit out of him.
“I’m not a lawyer,” Angel scowled. “I hate lawyers.”
“And you own a law firm?” McGee asked.
“Believe me, it isn’t something I enjoy,” Angel replied.
“Summers,” Gibbs snapped, stepping forward to grab the girl‘s arm. “What the hell do you think you’re doing?”
“Gee, special Agent Gibbs, I thought I’d get a suntan,” Dawn replied, posed to dunk under the police tape. “Oh, wait, I’m here with the medical examiner so maybe I’m here to look at the dead body, I don’t know, the two kinda go together.”
Ziva, Tony, and McGee all take a step back from behind him.
“Dawn,” Angel said quietly.
“Not talking to you, Angel,” Dawn said.
“This is my crime scene,” Gibbs took a step toward her, something that should make her take a step back. Only she didn’t. Instead, she just took a step forward, head tilting back to look up at him, defiance in her eyes. He would almost say he was impressed if it didn’t piss him off so much.
“Seriously, what are we, in third grade, is your name written on it somewhere?” Dawn asked, rolling her blue eyes in a way that make him want to snap at her. “I am supposed to be here, Ducky brought me with him.”
“You don’t go onto my crime scene until I say it’s okay,” Gibbs said, hands fisting at his side. If it were one of his team, they’d already gotten a head slap.
“Since you’re not my boss, that would be someone you don’t know, and you’re not Dr. Mallard or Director Shepherd I really don’t think I’ll follow your orders,” Dawn smiled condescendingly. “Thanks for asking though, it was really sweet of you.”
“Go,” Gibbs growled over his shoulder. “We got a crime scene to investigate.”
“Yes, boss,” Tony said, though he didn‘t move at all.
“Is there a problem here, Jethro?” Ducky asked, walking toward them with a frown.
“Yes, your little assistant here thinks that she can do whatever she wants and not follow orders,” Gibbs said, turning to face his oldest friend. “She thinks she can just walk on scene before I say so.”
“Oh, Ms Summers, we have to wait for Gibbs to clear the scene before we go on,” Ducky said. “In case there’s someone there that shouldn’t be or a danger of some kind.”
“Oh,” Dawn said. “Okay, Dr. Mallard, whatever you say.” Then with a sweet smile at Ducky, she trotted back to the van.
“What’s wrong Jethro?” Ducky asked.
“I don’t know, Duck,” Gibbs replied, shooting a look at his team that made them scatter. Except for Angel. He just shook his head, a small smile forming on his lips as he followed the team under the police tape. “There is just something about that girl. Does she argue a lot?”
“No,” Ducky said. “From the time we’ve spent together, I would say she’s a sweet, smart girl. Very willing to listen to instructions and follow them to the tee. Why?”
“Because we almost got into a screaming match over her refusing to listen to me,” Gibbs said. “Talk to her, I don’t want anymore arguments. My scene, my rules.”
“Special Agent Gibbs, how may I help you?” Dawn said, a forced smile on her lips. She did smile over his shoulder, at his team and Angel but it was different, he barely knew her and could tell.
“Where’s Ducky?” Gibbs asked.
“Bathroom,” Dawn replied. “He’ll be back in a minute. Have a seat or you can go away and I’ll have him call you when he gets back.”
Gibbs leaned against an empty table, watching as Dawn filled out some paperwork. “Do we have a problem?”
“A problem with what?” Dawn turned to face him, blue eyes looking into his.
“Do you have a problem with me?” Gibbs asked.
“Why would I have a problem with you?” Dawn arched a brow. “It’s not like I know you or anything.”
“So that little scene earlier?” Gibbs asked.
“What little scene?” Dawn replied. “The one where you tried to boss me around like a child?”
“I did not…”
“Yeah, you did,” Dawn interrupted. “You didn’t raise me, you don’t get to blindly boss me around. If you want to ask me to do something, that’s one thing, but I don’t take orders from people I don’t directly work for or people I don‘t respect. I don‘t know you so no respect there.”
“You listen to Ducky,” Gibbs frowned. He still couldn’t figure her out. It was there, like a word on the tip of his tongue, but he just couldn’t think of it.
“Uh, he is the medical examiner,” Dawn said slowly, like he was an idiot. “I am his assistant. I assist him and in order to do that correctly, I kinda have to follow his orders.”
“Dawn,” Angel said.
“What?” Dawn replied.
Angel’s response was quiet and in a language that he’d never heard before. Dawn responded in kind, her tone rising. They argued back and forth for a minute or two, Angel’s tone never changing while Dawn’s continued to rise and fall, her hands fisted at her side.
The door slid open and Ducky walked in. “Is there another problem?”
“No, Agent Gibbs was just checking up on the body,” Dawn smiled tightly. “I’ll take the samples up to Abby.”
“She really doesn’t like you, boss,” Tony said, once the doors slid shut behind Dawn.
“I really don’t think she does,” Gibbs agreed. “Angel, care to shed some light on this?”
“I’ve known Dawn since she was ten,” Angel said. “I’ve known you for a day. Whatever I know, you’ll never find out.”
“She’s defiant, mouthy, disrespectful, and for some reason that I don’t know, she seems to hate me,” Gibbs said. “You need to talk to her.”
“Dawn?” Jenny arched a brow. “She’s incredibly sweet, extremely smart, and very helpful. She’s been here two days and has already helped in three departments.”
“What is the 3rd department?” Gibbs asked, a little startled by Jenny’s description of the girl. It usually took Jenny some time to warm up to new people and someone forced onto her, he was figuring she never really would.
“She speaks fluent Japanese,” Jenny replied. “Our interpreter wasn’t available and she skipped lunch to translate something for me. She also offered to help any time we need help in the linguistic department and seeing how she’s fluent in eight languages, I will probably take her up on that offer. Quite frankly, if she wasn’t already employed by the UN, I would offer her a job.”
“Are we talking about the same girl?” Gibbs asked. “Because I don’t think we are.”
“Ducky likes her, finds her to be very sweet,” Jenny said. “Jimmy also approved and even Abby likes her enough to not care about her sometimes working in her lab. You, Jethro, seem to be the only one that has a problem with her.”
“I don’t have problem with her, I don’t know her,” Gibbs said. “She’s the one with the problem.”
“Well, you do come on kind of strong, perhaps she isn’t intimidated by you and that bothers you?” Jenny arched a brow. “Either way, there’s nothing that can be done. You’ll have to reach some sort of understanding.”