Somebody's Going to Die
Disclaimer: Buffy the Vampire Slayer and NCIS are property of their respective owners. The only thing I can lay claim to is the insanity that is my mind.
Somebody's Going to Die
Director Thomas Marrow didn't normally check up on his agents like this. He didn't need to. If an agent wasn't competent they weren't an agent for long. Not in his agency. No, he trusted his people to get the job done. It was what they did. Unfortunately the politicians didn't always see it that way. Especially on such a high profile case.
The hoop jumping that was sometimes needed was his least favourite part of the job.
He tread the stairs to the bullpen with silent steps that had long since become habit. A desk may be his chain these days, but he had spent years as a field agent and years more in the military in special ops. Some habits just don't break. Besides, showing up the younger agents was entertaining. Not that he ever let them know that with his carefully neutral expression as he startled them. After spending hours on end with various politicians he had to get his fun somewhere.
Marrow had to suppress his grin as he arrived at the bottom and rounded the corner. He had a perfect view of the area as DiNozzo's paper airplane flew the short distance to McGee's keyboard, who promptly swept it away with barely an annoyed glance or a beat in his typing and Todd rolling her eyes at the two. That wasn't what almost made him grin. None of them had noticed him come up yet. Gibbs probably had, even though he had yet to look up from his paperwork. Bastard.
Just as he was about to go over Gibbs' cell began to ring and his lead agent glared at the offending device long enough that Marrow wondered if he was going to answer at all. Then he snapped the phone open and barked a sharp “Gibbs.”
Marrow almost felt sorry for whoever was on the other end until he saw something unexpected. Gibbs tensed. That was unusual. Not much could startle Gibbs. He had certainly never seen a simple phone call affect him like this.
“Yes, I'm Xander's father.” And Gibbs brought the bullpen to a stop with four simple words.
“Hospital!” Gibbs snapped a moment later and Marrow wondered if the man's grip on the phone would cause yet another phone requisition. Not that he blamed him. Marrow had only met Xander the one time and even he had taken an instant liking to boy. He was a strange combination of DiNozzo's humour on the surface but pure Gibbs behind those brown eyes.
“Is he-” Jethro started only to be cut off. It was a testament to his worry that his lead agent let someone get away with that, but it must have been good news. The boy was alive at least and he could see some of the tension ease out of him like only somebody who had known the man for so many years could.
Marrow himself let out a breath he hadn't realized he had been holding. He didn't know what Gibbs would do if anything had happened to Xander. Tom was one of the few people who knew about Shannon and Kelly and, 'unofficially', what Gibbs had done to their murder in return.
There wasn't much Gibbs feared, or at least not that Marrow could tell, but after finding out he had a son he knew what Gibbs' greatest fear had become. Losing another child. He honestly didn't know whether Gibbs would be swept up in a self destructive grief or an all consuming rage if that ever happened. Or which would be worse.
Expectant faces watched, all pretense of not listening in abandoned, as Gibbs asked the question on everyone's mind. “What happened?”
Suddenly the tension was back worse than before and Gibbs' face began to flush red. “What?!” he growled out through grit teeth, low and dangerous. “His eye! Somebody gouged out my son's eye!”
Several nearby agents took involuntary steps back at the force of his words as his team shared concerned glances for their boss and his son. Gibbs, though, was silent save for the occasional affirmative or negative grunt into the phone.
After several long minutes Gibbs took a deep breath and said in a deceptively calm voice, “I'll be there by morning,” and snapped the phone shut.
He stood and stalked away from his desk with the countenance of a predator about to begin the hunt and started for the elevator. “DiNozzo,” he snapped over his shoulder without bothering to look as his team started to stand. “You're in charge. Solve the case.”
Then the elevator doors closed and he was gone. Only the silence remained as nobody seemed to know what to say. Marrow just walked over to Gibbs' desk and opened the top drawer. Then he nodded sharply and headed back toward his office.
For a brief moment he almost felt sorry for the poor, dumb bastard that made the tremendous mistake of injuring Gibbs' son. Almost. One thought of what he would do if it had been his own daughter and all he had left to feel was contempt.
As he opened the door to his office Marrow silently prayed he was never put in that position. No father should be. He tried to shake these thoughts from his head as he slid smoothly behind his desk, but his eyes were drawn to the photo of his daughter resting on the corner of his desk nonetheless.
With a sigh he turned away and opened the top drawer of his own desk and stared. For a moment he was tempted to leave his badge and agency issue like Gibbs had done and rush to catch up with the man. But he was a Director of a federal agency. He couldn't do that. Instead Marrow pulled out a stack of papers he'd need for Gibbs' leave. He could do that much at least.
And if he had to call in some favours if something unfortunate happened? Well, he could do that too.