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Wanted: Xander Harris

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This story is No. 1 in the series "Wanted: Xander Harris". You may wish to read the series introduction first.

Summary: In response to Challenge 2211 from izzygirl. Xander stole the rocket launcher from a naval base, and Gibbs is on the case.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
NCIS > Xander-CenteredMissEFR1515,815215715,9321 Jul 101 Jul 10Yes
Disclaimer: Don't own or claim rights to Buffy or NCIS

A/N: This is in response to izzygirl's Challenge, # 2211

~~~~~

Challenge

This is a Xander centric NCIS crossover taking place during Buffy: 2x14 Innocence and NCIS: third season. I want this to be centered more in NCIS land rather then Sunnydale(I know the timing is a little wacky. Try to roll with it.)

What if Xander stole the "best present ever" AKA rocket launcher from a Navy Base? NCIS was able to apprehend Xander. Xander tries to deny it but Gibbs catches him. You know what they do with guys like him in prison. How can Xander get out of this?

Includes: well..."we were going to return it" "we don't have TV so we have to make our own fun." (Said by Xander this time.) Gibb's gut.

Does not include: Buffy/Angelus drama.

~~~~~

A/N: The transcript said 'cable' instead of 'TV', so that's what I went with.

~~~~~

Gibbs walked into the bullpen and around behind his desk. “Alright, people,” he barked as he fished his Sig from his drawer, “saddle up. We're heading out to Sunnydale, California.”

Tony holstered his pistol and looked over to his boss, frowning. “Ah... Shouldn't LA office be handling that?”

“Apparently they're busy. Or something. Madame Director has decided we can handle it.”

Tony looked at the rest of the team. Well, they had McGeek for anything even remotely tech related, and Ziva, the super deadly Israeli assassin, so they should be okay. “Sure thing, boss,” he shrugged as he grabbed his backpack.

~~~~~

“Private Smith,” Gibbs greeted, “sit. Let's go over this, shall we?”

“What do you want, sir?”

“Agent Gibbs, not sir. Tell me what happened.”

“It's all in my report s- Agent Gibbs.”

“I've read your report. Now I want to hear you say it.”

“Well, uh, Agent Gibbs, I was near the Armoury when I found Private Harris with a young lady. He wanted to give her the, uh, tour.”

“The tour?”

The Private shifted uncomfortably. “Uh, you know. The 'tour'. You know how girls get,” he suggested vaguely.

~~~~~

McGee frowned. “'How girls get?'” he asked.

“Yes, Tony,” Ziva nodded. “Tell us 'how girls get.”

Tony rolled his eyes. “Some girls get horny around big weapons. So I've been told. But who actually lets some private bring a civilian into the Armoury just to get her hot?”

~~~~~

“So you just let 'Private Harris' take some unknown civilian into the Armoury?”

“He just wanted five minutes.”

~~~~~

Tony snorted. “Five minutes?”

~~~~~

“And that didn't clue you in?” Gibbs asked, arching an eyebrow.

Private Smith shrugged. “Everything else seemed to fit in. He knew the base commander, and regulations and stuff.”

“Really? And what conversation did you have regarding the base commander and regulations that didn't make it into your report?”

The Private coughed, and blushed. “Uh, just, you know. Stuff.”

“I don't want 'stuff'. I want the conversation.”

“Um. Well, he kind of said that if I didn't let him in, he would report me to Colonel Newsome for my boots, and not being at my post, and said I held my weapon like a sissy-girl.”

“Anything else you can tell me about 'Private Harris'?”

“Well, his description is in the report,” Private Smith offered.

“Anything else?” Gibbs growled.

The Private cleared his throat nervously. “Um. He seemed pretty young. Like right out of school young. And local. You know, Californian.”

“So he could have been one of the local school kids?”

“Uh, yeah.”

“You realise the weapon stolen from this base was used in the incident at the local mall, don't you?”

The Private coughed and nodded. “Yes, s- Agent Gibbs.”

“Is there anything else you can remember?”

“No, Agent Gibbs.”

Gibbs nodded his dismissal, and the Private quickly fled the room.

~~~~~

“So what have we got?”

“Well,” McGee began as he brought up an image on the screen, “I managed to pull some footage from the mall security tapes before everything happened, and I think this man fits the description given in Private Smith's report.

Gibbs looked at the group on the screen. It was a very mixed group, with an older man, three teenaged girls, and two teenaged boys, one of whom could have been about six foot, with dark hair. He was carrying one end of a wooden crate, just the type that LAWS launchers are kept in, with the older man carrying the other end.

“Anything else?”

“Well, I got a partial image from one of the cameras in the food court,” Tim explained as he brought up another image, “but it doesn't show who he's handing it to. It looks like he may have stolen it, but didn't actually fire it.”

“Starting pretty early for the weapons trafficking business, isn't he?”

“What were they shooting at?” Ziva asked, peering at the image.

“I couldn't get a good image of the area, but got some partials.” He brought up some other images, this time of a handsome, dark-haired couple, and something bluish coming up behind them. “Also, survivors reported electrical discharges coming from the area, and there was significant scorching of the area. Would the rocket do that?” he asked Gibbs.

“Not electrical discharges,” Gibbs frowned, “and I don't think it would cause scorching, either. Okay, go back to the first image, and try to find out who these people are. Check out the local high schools, see if any of them attend. Also, check with Private Smith to confirm that that's our guy, and see if he can pick out any of the girls for the one that was with our thief.”

~~~~~

“Principal Snyder, thanks for seeing us. I'm Special Agent DiNozzo, NCIS, and this is Agent Ziva David.”

“Not a problem, Agent DiNozzo, David. How can I help you?”

Tony handed over a cropped and grainy photo. “Do you recognise this man?”

Principal Snyder smirked. “Xander Harris. Oh, please tell me he's in trouble.”

“We just want to talk to him about something that happened at the Naval Base. We're hoping he saw something.”

“And that Summers girl? Do you need to talk to her, too? Because I can expel her for you, if you want.”

“You are willing to expel a girl just because we want to talk to her?” Ziva asked, puzzled.

“Well, if you want to talk to Harris, you'll want to talk to Summers, and I can get rid of those two blights on society, then maybe the Rosenburg girl will go back to being the A+ student she's supposed to be.”

“Ah,” Tony mused. “So you're afraid Mr Harris and Miss Summers are bringing Miss Rosenburg's grades down.”

“Well, no. I don't think anything could bring Willow's grades down, but at least she contributes something to the school's ratings. Harris and Summers are just juvenile delinquents in disguise.”

“They have records?”

“Well, no. But Summers burnt the gym down at her last school, and Harris is the son of the town drunks. The sooner they're gone, the happier I will be.”

“So you just don't like them.”

Snyder snorted. “I don't like any of them. But I hate Summers and Harris. And if I could get rid of that librarian, I would be ecstatic.”

Tony and Ziva exchanged puzzled glances. “Ah, how does the librarian come into it?” Tony asked.

“That little gang hangs out at the library. And he writes notes for them to get out of class, even when there's no reason for it, and don't think I don't know it.”

“This librarian, would he be about six foot, greying hair, and glasses?”

Snyder smirked. “That's him. That's Mr Giles. You know he's not even American? He's here on a Green Card. And I don't think he got it legally. I mean, really, an educated man like him? Working in a public school library? Ridiculous!”

“Okay, well, thanks. So if we could talk to Mr Harris, that would be great.”

“Sure. I'll just get someone to fetch him, and get a room for you to talk to him.”

“No, that's okay. We'll go pick him up. My boss wants to talk to him back at our office. So if you could just point us in the right direction?”

~~~~~

“Anything I need to know before I talk to him?” Gibbs asked Tony and Ziva.

“Look, boss,” Tony began, “I know he was on the tape, and all that, but I'm really not sure he's who we want. I mean, he's just a kid, and not really the sort to get involved in that sort of thing.”

Gibbs raised an eyebrow. “Why do you say that?”

“He's just a goof. A geek. He's into comic books, for crying out loud, not blowing up shopping malls.”

“You got anything to add, Ziva?”

The Mossad agent frowned. “It's odd,” she began. “He seemed more wary of me than of Tony.”

Gibbs' interest was piqued. “Really?”

“Yes. It seemed like he saw Tony, and put him down as a – what is it? Sportsman?”

“Jock?”

“Yes, a jock. But when he looked at me, he seemed nervous. He always seemed to try to stay the other side of Tony, and sat behind him in the car.”

“Maybe he knew you were a super-secret Mossad agent,” Tony quipped.

Gibbs shook his head. “No. People aren't usually more concerned about the female agent than the male. Especially since you were the man with Ziva. There must be a reason for him to fear women.”

“Principal Snyder paired him with a Miss Summers,” Ziva offered. “He said they were both delinquents. Maybe she has some way of controlling him, and he extended his concern about her to me?”

“Something to think about,” Gibbs decided, then turned to go to the Interview Room.

~~~~~

Gibbs entered the room to find Xander pacing the room, and gnawing on a thumb. “Sit down, please, Mr Harris.”

“Xander,” the boy offered. “Mr Harris is my father, and I don't really like him, so could you call me Xander, please?”

Gibbs looked at the boy, then nodded. “Do you know why you're here, Xander?”

“Uh, no. The other Agent just said I had to come in.”

“Do you know what NCIS stands for?” Gibbs asked, watching the boy carefully. He was glad he had when he caught a flash of expression before the boy shook his head.

“Uh, no. Some, um, police department? Only not local, 'cause that's the Sunnydale Police Department, and I think they're called the SPD, which is really nothing like NCIS, but I can't really think what that would be, except that there's that show which is CSI, but then the letters are the wrong way around, so I guess you're not anything like them, so I really couldn't say who you are. Um. No.”

“Naval Criminal Investigative Service. Do you know why I want to talk to you?”

“Ah... Something … naval? I mean, we're here at the Navy Yard, and you're Naval et cetera, so I'm going to go with 'something naval' for fifty dollars, Alex,” he decided, grinning.

~~~~~

“Oh, boy,” McGee groaned.

~~~~~

“Yes,” Gibbs replied. “Something naval.” He glared at the boy. Something was … off here. He felt it.

He pushed a photo in front of the boy. “What can you tell me about that?”

Xander picked it up, and frowned. “It's me? I'm pretty sure it's me, anyway. Unless it's not me.”

“This was taken from a camera at the Sunnydale Mall shortly before a explosion there destroyed a large part of the food court and the cinema forecourt. Do you know anything about that?”

“It made a big mess?” the boy offered, wide-eyed.

“People died,” Gibbs growled. Again, he noted the flash of expression, before the boy's face returned to frightened puzzlement.

“We showed this photo to Private Smith. You know,” Gibbs prompted. “The guy you threatened to report to Colonel Newsome?”

Xander bit his lip. “Well, you know how it is,” he shrugged. “We don't have cable, so we have to make our own fun.” He winced when Gibbs growled at that flip comment, and hurried on. “We were going to return it.”

With another growl, Gibbs stalked out of the room.

~~~~~

“Boss?” Tony inquired when Gibbs entered the room.

“Ziva, tell me what you see.”

She frowned as she looked at the boy in the Interview Room. He had slouched back in his chair, chewing his thumbnail, and glaring at the photo.

“He knows that photograph is important. He knows that we know he did it, but he's bluffing. Very well,” she added.

“What else did you see?”

“He was angry when you said that people died. It is almost like what I have seen on others after a mission has gone wrong, and there was nothing they could have done to prevent it. It is as if he was trying to stop people from dying, but he failed.”

“He stole a rocket launcher from a naval base to stop people from dying?” Tony demanded.

“This is what I see. Whatever he did, I think he was trying to prevent something.”

Gibbs nodded. “McGee,” he barked, “find out what you can about Xander Harris and his friends, including that librarian.”

“Anything in particular?” the younger man asked.

“Just... Something's wrong. Something with this boy is just wrong.”

“The famous Gibbs gut?” Tony asked.

“Yeah,” Gibbs growled.

~~~~~

When Giles turned up, later, to pick Xander up, Gibbs directed Ziva to follow them.

“They know,” Xander muttered once they had exited the building.

“Dear Lord,” Giles shook his head. “What exactly do they know?”

“They know I took the rocket launcher, and they know I took it to the mall. Don't know what they know beyond that. They have a photo of me, Giles. Don't know who else they've got photos of.”

Giles shook his head. “I don't know what I can do, Xander.”

“What about the Council?”

“I seriously doubt the Council will do anything. You are not supposed to be involved, and I doubt they will do anything to protect you, should you be taken into custody.”

“But what about Buffy? What about, you know?”

Giles gaped at the boy. “Xander!” he admonished. “You must be careful what you say. I, of course, will say nothing of this, but if anyone on the Council were to hear you... You must understand, Xander, that the Council is more than just people like myself and Buffy. We have … teams.”

Xander gritted his teeth. “Wet works teams?”

“Yes. Do you understand, now, the danger you're in?”

“Yeah, sure, fine,” the boy growled. “Don't worry, I know how to keep a secret. Just... It would be nice if someone could do something positive for me for once.”

“I'll see what I can do,” Giles offered. “Now, hop in the car. I'll take you home.”

Xander eyed the vehicle. “You know, if it wasn't for the fact I don't want to walk, I think I'd pass. I'm not sure it'll be any quicker.”

Giles scowled. “Just get in the car.”

“Sure thing, G-man,” Xander grinned.

~~~~~

“Well?” Gibbs demanded when Ziva returned.

“You are right,” she nodded. “There is more to this. Mr Giles and Buffy apparently belong to an organisation called 'The Council'. Xander is involved unofficially, and does not appear to have the protection of The Council, and may even be assassinated by one of their wet works teams if he reveals their secret.”

“They're just school kids,” Gibbs growled. “Do you know anything about this Council?”

She shook her head. “There is something familiar, but I would need to make some phone calls.”

“Make them,” he ordered, before stalking over to McGee and Tony. “What do you have for me?”

“Well, um, Xander Harris and Willow Rosenburg are locals, born and raised. Buffy Summers transferred from Los Angeles last year, about a month after Dr Rupert Giles started working at the local high school.”

“'Dr' Giles?” Gibbs asked.

“Ah, yes. Actually, he doesn't mention anything about it on his resume, but he has a doctorate in mythology, and another in ancient languages. He has worked as a curator at the British Museum in London. A very educated man.”

“No someone you expect to find a the local high school library?”

“Well, no,” McGee admitted.

“And Miss Summers?”

“Oh. She transferred last year, as I said, after she was expelled from her previous high school, Hemery. She was implicated in the fire that destroyed the school gym, but was never charged with anything. The Fire Marshall said it was mice.”

“So why didn't she just transfer to a local high school? LA's got to be two hours away.”

“Apparently she couldn't get in anywhere local. Her mom had to sell up and move out her. Start a new business and everything.”

“Did they get any help from outside sources?”

“Not that I can see, but then I haven't had a chance to go through her mother's financials.” McGee thought for a moment. “Should I?”

“Not yet,” Gibbs shook his head. “Tony,” he turned to his most senior agent. “Anything?”

“I spoke to the local LEOs. They don't like Buffy, but they don't have anything on her. They've spoken to her on a number of different occasions, as well as Xander Harris, Willow Rosenburg and Rupert Giles, and very definitely group the four of them together. There are a couple of others, but those are the central four. Xander and Buffy are mouthy and smart, and they would love to have something on them, especially Buffy, but the don't yet.”

“Anything else?”

“Well, they don't seem very competent. I mean, when I was there, they seemed to be, I don't know, a stereotype of bad police. You know, everyone had their coffee and doughnuts, and no one was really interested in actual police work. It's just a feeling I had. It just didn't feel anything like Baltimore, anyway.”

“Sunnydale is a lot smaller than Baltimore, you realise that, don't you?”

“Yeah, but we've dealt with small town police and sheriffs. You can tell when the group you're talking to is competent or not. These guys leaned more towards the 'not'.”

Gibbs nodded. He looked over to his liaison, and waited for her phone call to end.

~~~~~

“Miss Summers?”

Buffy looked up to find a slender brunette standing in front of her. “Yes,” she chirped. “Can I help you?”

“Can I talk to you about your friend, Xander Harris?” Ziva asked formally.

“Sure, not a prob. What do you want to know?”

“He believe was involved in the explosion at the Sunnydale Mall. Do you know anything about that?”

“The Mall? Actually, yeah. I think I can,” she grinned. “He hates shopping, especially when me and Willow drag him along. Unless it's to a comic book store, then you can't get him out of it. Oh, but there was a comic book store at the Mall. So, no. I can't see him doing anything that might hurt that. So, no. I don't think he had anything to do with that.”

“We have a photo of him carrying something into the mall just before the explosion,” Ziva argued.

Buffy frowned, and chewed her pen. “What? A bomb? But he doesn't know anything about bombs. The only reason he's not failing Chem is because Willow keeps helping him with his homework.”

“It was not a bomb. It was a rocket launcher.”

“A rocket laucher?” Buffy puzzled. “But wouldn't that be just, I don't know, pretty lights and stuff? Fireworks?”

“No. It was a military rocket launcher. They are used against tanks.”

“Oh,” Buffy murmured, eyes wide. “Um. But where would he get it from? He's in school, not the army.”

“He stole it from the Navy Yard.”

Buffy laughed, a pretty, tinkling laugh. “Xander doesn't steal. Besides, how would he? I mean, don't you have to know stuff? To, like, get in there, and stuff?”

“Mr Harris appeared well able to enter the Yard, access the Armoury, and take the weapon.”

Buffy frowned. “Are you sure we're talking about the same person? Xander Harris, Junior at Sunnydale High, self-confessed geek. Now if it was the Comic Con, I could see him doing something, but breaking into the Navy Yard? You've seriously got the wrong person here.”

Ziva growled, and stalked out of the room. Surely there were more phone calls to make.

“Am I okay to go now?” floated out of the Interview Room.

~~~~~

Gibbs was waiting outside the school the next morning when Xander walked up.

“Waiting for me?” Xander asked.

Gibbs nodded. “We should walk.”

They walked in silence for several minutes, until Gibbs decided they were far enough from others to begin the conversation. “Tell me what you think of Ziva,” he prompted.

“Um. She's hot? You know, for an agent. Which I probably shouldn't be saying, since you're her boss, and all.”

Gibbs stopped walking, and turned to face the boy. “Can the crap, Harris. She heard you and Giles talking yesterday.” As he watched, Xander's expression changed from goofy nervousness, to something more akin a fellow Marine. It almost seemed like the boy was calculating his odds of taking the older man.

Finally, Xander nodded. “What is she? Mossad?”

“Why do you say that?”

Xander rolled his eyes. “Great. Twenty questions,” he muttered. “Her accent, alright? And her name. 'David'. Not very Arabic. She's working with you, but she sounds like a foreign national, so I'm going for Mossad liaison, for whatever reason.”

“Very good.”

“So why are we talking about her? Apart from the fact that I fucked up and let her hear something she wasn't supposed to?”

“You're seventeen,” Gibbs shrugged. “You're supposed to make mistakes.”

“Not when said mistakes can get people killed.”

“Or get you targeted by a wet works team,” Gibbs agreed.

Xander's lips thinned, but he didn't offer anything to go with that comment.

“So. Buffy and Giles are Council employees, and you and Willow are working with them unofficially and unsanctioned. You are tolerated because you know that if you spill the beans, you will be killed. How am I going so far?”

“No comment,” Xander muttered before turning and walking on.

Gibbs matched pace with him. “Taking the rocket launcher was an unsanctioned op, but something that had to be done to prevent whatever happened at the Sunnydale Mall from being much worse.”

Xander gave a sudden bark of laughter. “Yeah. You could say that.”

“So why couldn't Giles just get something from the Council to do the work?”

“Okay, first, I'm not sure they would get off their lily-white butts to help Buffy unless their lives were directly involved, which, in a way, they were, but... Secondly, I'm not sure they had anything that would have worked. It was a bit more than we normally deal with.”

“What do you normally have to deal with?” Gibbs asked.

Xander shook his head. “Don't ask that,” he whispered. “You seriously don't want to hear the answer.”

“I asked. I want to know.”

“I know,” Xander argued, “and if I could take it back...” He shook his head. “I don't know. I'm here, I'm involved. I don't know if I could willingly take it back. Doesn't mean you have to know, though.”

Gibbs frowned at the boy. “How old are you?”

“Me?” he asked, surprised. “Seventeen. Why?”

“I was in the Middle East, serving as a sniper for the Marine Corps when you were in, what, kindergarten? And you're trying to protect me.”

Xander smiled sadly. “Yeah. Weird, huh? Doesn't make it any less true. Just...” He sighed and looked around. “Just … don't invite anyone in at night, and most definitely don't go anywhere after dark. This is not … a safe place, Agent Gibbs.”

Gibbs frowned, but nodded. “Okay. One last question. How did you know where to go, and what to get? You were straight in and straight out. You didn't mess about getting onto the base, and you didn't seem to have any problems with what you wanted, either. Five minutes?” he teased, smiling slightly.

Xander groaned. “I told him not to tell anyone about that.”

“You knew the regulations, and spotted where he failed straight away. How did you do that? I know you were never a cadet.”

Xander just smiled and shook his head. “Sorry. Just file that under 'things you really don't want to know.' You know, right with all the other wiggins-inducing stuff about me.”

“You're not going to tell me.”

“I could tell you, but...”

“Then you'd have to shoot me?”

Xander snorted. “You'd want to send me to San Diego.”

“What's so insane about your explanation?”

“Ah... The whole thing?”

“Yet it's enough for some mysterious Council to have a wet works team standing by to take you out?”

“Well, I doubt they're actually standing by to take me out, personally. Actually, I'm going to have to ask Giles what exactly they do when they're not here helping us out. Which they never do. They could be really useful around here,” he pondered.

“Because it's so dangerous around here?”

Xander nodded.

They walked on in silent companionship for a bit. “Your friend has the Valley Girl thing down pat,” he smiled.

Xander chuckled. “Who got her?”

“Ziva.”

“Ouch.” Xander looked at the other man. “You get your people to hack out deaths and disappearances stats?” he asked.

“No,” Gibbs frowned.

“You do that,” Xander nodded. “Actual figures, and try for times of death, too. Just a hint: there'll be a lot of 'death by bbq fork.' To the neck. Just a hint, okay?”

Gibbs nodded. “And this will explain things?”

“A step in the right direction, I suppose. You still don't need to be involved, but...” He sighed and looked around. “So can I go, now?”

“Sure. I'll find you if I need you.”

~~~~~

“McGee,” Gibbs murmured as he approached his junior agent.

“Yes, boss?”

“I want you to get into the SPD database. I want you to find out the statistics on deaths and disappearances. Look for causes of death, and times of death. Can you do that quietly? And don't involve Abby on this one, okay?”

“Uh, sure, boss. How soon do you want it?”

“Quickly. It doesn't have to be pretty, but I do want this information.”

“Okay,” McGee nodded, mystified. “On it, boss.”

~~~~~

“Well?” Gibbs asked.

“My father says that if it is who he thinks it is, then we should leave these people alone,” Ziva confided.

“So who are they?”

She shrugged. “He said they are a historical society, based in Britain.”

“Fits with Giles' qualifications.”

“But why would a historical society have a wet works team? And why would they work here, with school children? You Americans, and the British, too, have a very big dislike of working with children. You keep them protected, not sending them into harms way like so many others. If it were a Russian group, then I could see it happening, but not a British group.”

“Did he have anything to say about Xander Harris or Buffy Summers?”

“He did not know anything about Xander Harris, but thanked me for pointing him out. He suggested that Buffy might have a special place within the society, but wouldn't say what that place was. I spoke with her, remember? She is not in the society for the sake of her skills as a historian.”

Gibbs smirked, remembering. “I don't know. She kept her cool with you.”

Ziva growled. “I could crack her. If I was allowed to question her properly, that is.”

“Maybe. Maybe not. Remember – she has a special position in the Council. Whatever that is. Xander says this is not a safe place, and to not invite anyone in after dark. That ring any bells?”

She shook her head.

“We'll stay in our rooms tonight. I've got McGee compiling some statistics for me. I'll check them in the morning. Let's try and get this thing wrapped up, one way or another.”

~~~~~

“So what do you have for me?” Gibbs asked as he walked up to his geek.

“Something really weird, boss,” McGee frowned. “Okay, I've put the numbers into graphs, make it easier to visualise.” He brought up the first graph, which showed a number of bars rising from the base. “Okay. This is per capita deaths. We've got New York, DC and LA on the left, then Sunnydale, then three random California towns of similar size. Notice anything?”

“Damn,” Tony breathed. “Sunnydale is higher than all of them.”

“Yep. And it's gone down in the last year and a half,” he added. “It was worse two years ago.” He brought up a new graph, this time a pie graph.

“Playing with your graph maker, McGeek?” Tony teased.

McGee ignored the other man, and went on. “This graph shows time of death, in hourly increments. You'll notice that the vast majority of deaths occur at night, with most of them between 1900 and 0100 hours, then it tapers off. It doesn't really calm down until daylight.” He brought up a new graphic, this time showing a second pie chart superimposed over the Sunnydale TOD chart. “You'll notice that, during daylight hours, at least, Sunnydale is no more dangerous than Santa Barbara. It's just night time that matters. And finally,” he murmured as he brought up the next graph, “Cause of Death. The two most common causes of death in Sunnydale are 'bbq fork' and 'wild animals.'”

“Bbq fork?” Tony asked.

“Yep. These people really shouldn't be allowed to have a grill, with the numbers of fatal accidents there are.”

“So – what? Everyone's getting stabbed in the heart with bbq forks?” Tony wondered.

“Um. No, actually. It's usually in the neck. The victims actually die of exsanguination, but the bbq fork is blamed.”

Tony paled. “You mean to tell me that the primary cause of death in Sunnydale is loss of all your blood through a couple of holes in the neck, and they happen at night time?”

McGee blinked, thinking about it. “Ah, yes. That would be it.”

“You got to be kidding me,” Tony protested. “Vampires?” When he noticed the rest of the team were staring at him, he went on, “Oh, not real vampires, of course, but it looks like they've got a whole lot of people killing just like vampires do. Think about it – two puncture wounds to the neck, loss of blood, night time. What does that add up to?”

“Vampires,” McGee agreed.

“But why aren't the local police doing something about this?” Ziva asked. “Surely they must know something, even if it's just that there is a group killing many people.”

Gibbs shrugged. “When did this start slowing down?”

“Um... A year ago? A little more?”

“Around the time Buffy and Giles turned up?” Gibbs asked.

McGee turned back to his computer, and worked for a few minutes. Frowning, he turned back to the team. “Yes. Pretty much straight after Buffy turned up.”

The four agents looked at one another.

Gibbs shook his head. “I said something was off.”

“The famous Gibbs Gut,” Tony murmured. “But, really? Vampires?”

“Harris said I would think he was crazy.”

“I think we're crazy, and I'm looking at the data,” Tony whined.

“So what do we do, boss?” McGee asked softly.

“Lose it. All of it. The lead didn't pan out, and we can't find any more information. You can keep what you've done there,” he added, nodding at the screen, “but just make sure no one will find it. Especially Abby. I do not want her finding out about this, got it?”

“Yes, boss,” McGee nodded fervently.

The others returned to their desks, figuring out what had to be trashed, and how.

“I'm going for a walk,” he informed his team.

~~~~~

Gibbs walked into the library and looked around. The librarian noticed his presence, and came out of his office.

“Dr Giles,” Gibbs nodded.

He was pleased to notice the other man's sudden stillness. “How may I help you, Agent Gibbs?”

“Could you get Xander in here? I want to talk to both of you.”

“Certainly,” Giles nodded.

It wasn't long before Giles had returned with the young man. “Gibbs,” Xander greeted. “You wanted me?”

“Just wanted to let you know what was going on.” He waited for both men to nod before going on. “We're leaving. The crime is going to go down as one of my very few failures. I hope you're pleased,” he added with a sly smile.

Giles blinked. “May I ask why?”

“Xander suggested I get my guy to look into the local death and disappearances stats. He did. We looked at them this morning. They were … revealing. Also revealing was the fact that deaths have gone down since Buffy came to town.” Gibbs sighed. “I really don't want to think about it, but you people seem to be doing a very important job, and doing it well. I'm not going to interfere with it by taking one of your people away from you. The information we had was pretty slight, but even that's going to disappear. There won't be anything to link you with the theft of the rocket launcher.”

Xander nodded. “Thanks.”

“Is there anything else we can do before we go?” Gibbs asked.

Xander grimaced. “Not really. It's not something you can really do anything about.”

“But you do have a problem?”

“Yeah.”

Gibbs took out a business card. “Call me if you need anything.” He smiled. “And don't be surprised if Mossad comes calling. Ziva made some calls after hearing your conversation.”

Giles raised his eyebrows. “Director David?”

“Now why am I not that surprised you know the name of the Director of Mossad?”

“I'm sure I do not know,” Giles demurred.

Gibbs smirked. “He didn't know of you individually, but he thanked her for the heads up on young Xander here.”

“Me?” Xander squeaked. “Why me?”

Giles rolled his eyes. “Because, despite your usual, childish demeanour, you have the potential to be a very important person. You were vital to Buffy's survival last year, and it was your plan that … well … that was instrumental in bringing Agent Gibbs to our humble town.”

“Yeah … but...”

Gibbs narrowed his eyes. “You bluffed your way through an interrogation with me, and that's not something many people can do. You planned and carried out the theft of an anti-tank weapon from a military base. If I weren't so sure you were on our side, I would be hauling you away right this instant.” He thought for a moment. “What are you plans for after high school?” he asked suddenly.

“Uh. No plans. Find a job?”

Gibbs shook his head. “Give me a call, okay? I'll see what I can do for you.”

Xander's eyes went wide. “Seriously?”

“Seriously. You have a brain under all that hair. I would like to see you use it. And it doesn't have to be at college, though that might be on the cards. There's always the Corps,” he smiled.

Xander's lips dipped into a half smile. “Semper Fi, Agent Gibbs.”

The End

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