Family Secrets Part 2
Gibbs had gone and gotten a cup of coffee. He'd been waiting for Ziva and Tony to get back and after a fair amount of pacing and snapping at people he knew he had to do something otherwise he'd do some serious damage. Coming back towards the bull pen he saw Tony. "Where is he?"
"Interrogation boss," Tony stated. "Ziva is keeping an eye on him. Can I ask what you want to see him about?"
Gibbs groaned and set the coffee down on his desk. He glared at Tony and he ground out, "I didn't say to take him to interrogation DiNozzo. I just wanted to talk to him. What did you say to him?" He should have known better than to do it this way but he'd reacted without thinking. He'd just wanted to get him there where he could talk to him without the risk of him taking off right away. He hoped he hadn't screwed this up completely but if he had he had no one to blame but himself.
"We showed him our badges and stated that our boss wanted to talk to him," Tony stated. He swallowed hard as Gibbs continued to glare at him. "Harris just sort of shrugged and said fine. He did call someone leaving a message that he wouldn't be on the connecting flight. Since we didn't know why you wanted him we had no reason to stop him from making the call."
"All right," Gibbs said before walking away. He could tell Tony and McGee were following him but he ignored them as he went to the interrogation rooms. He saw the one door that was open and looked in to see Ziva staring at the glass separating it from the other room. "Ziva out here," He stated. Once she came out he shut the door. "I'm going to go talk with....You three stay in the hallway. No one is to go into this room to watch and listen or into the other to interrupt me. Is that understood?"
"Yes boss," the three said all at once.
"Good," Gibbs stated. He took a deep breath and let it out slowly while walking over to the other door. He opened it and stepped inside. Shutting the door behind him he looked at the young man sitting and staring at him. The first thing he saw was the eye patch. What had happened, he wondered. He then took in the rest of his appearance. Alexander Harris might be sitting there trying to give the impression that he was relaxed and unconcerned but Gibbs noticed a few things. He was tense and sitting in a way where if need be he could shoot across the room in a second. He was alert to everything around him and even though his face was emotionless his eye showed that he was taking in everything and looking over Gibbs as well.
Xander took in the older man. Even without knowing he was at NCIS he could tell the guy was military, probably marines. The stance alone was enough for him to tell. He still had enough traces of the soldier that possessed him to recognize a fellow soldier. He could also tell the man was nervous, that struck him as odd. This was definitely the boss that wanted to see him and yet he was nervous. It could give him an advantage. "I'm guessing you're the guy who had me brought in here," Xander stated. "Since I wasn't arrested, read my rights, or cuffed and they didn't take anything from me I'm guessing you need to question me about some case or another you are working on. Doubt I can help you with anything since I haven't been in the area for a long time."
"I hope my agents didn't give you the wrong impression. I do want to speak to you but its of a personal nature," Gibbs stated as he came over to sit on the other side of the table. He looked at his son and saw his jaw tighten and the look in his eye grew hard. Right then Gibbs had the feeling that his son was very dangerous when needed to be even though he tried to give the impression he wasn't.
"Who's hurt and what's happened?" Xander asked. He wondered if that was why he'd gotten Willow's voice mail when he'd called. Damnit what had he missed while he was in flight? The last he'd heard there hadn't been anything brewing but he knew that could change quickly.
"Nothing like that. To my knowledge your friends and family are fine," Gibbs stated. "I'm Leroy Jethro Gibbs," he said. Seeing the other man relax but have a confused look on his face he had to guess his mother never told him.
"Nice to meet ya. Xander Harris," He stated still totally confused. When the agents had flagged him down he didn't object to going with them. He was curious as to what was going on but he was tired and hungry. It had been a long flight with lousy food and now he seemed to be getting the run around. He'd had enough. "Listen Agent Gibbs I don't know why you brought me here but I'm due some serious down time and you are interfering with that. So I suggest you get to the point."
"Right," Gibbs stated. He reached into his pocket and took out the letter. "This morning I was visited by a lawyer who brought me this letter." He handed it over to him. He figured it was the easiest way to let him know what was going on. He waited as he watched Xander read the letter. He could see the shock on his face which then turned to anger.
Xander's whole body tensed up as he read the letter. His one hand forming into a fist as he did so. "Son of a.." He broke off and stood up quickly making the chair fall over with a bang. The letter was let go to land quietly on the table. He turned and walked over to the one side wall as he took all this in. He thought of his mother and what she'd done, denied them both but also letting him believe that asshole Harris was his father. He spun around and looked at Gibbs wondering what type of man he really was. He'd found out the truth this morning and managed to get him here. He knew to do that the man had to use the resources of the NCIS, which either meant he was the type to abuse his power or this was an exception due to strange circumstances. He knew how that could be so was willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. He did find it strange that the law firm contacted him the morning he was arriving in town. He didn't believe in coincidences. So either someone was setting them up or there was something big going down. The feeling in his gut told him it was the second one. He took a deep breath and let it out relaxing a bit. "You believe this?" He asked. He slowly walked back over and picked up the chair although he didn't sit in it yet.
Gibbs looked at him and nodded. "I do. I'd like to get it verified with some lab tests but that's mostly just to be on the safe side. I can't picture her lying about something like this. Can you?"
"Why not? She's so good at it obviously," Xander stated sarcastically. He took another deep breath and shook himself slightly, making it almost look like a shiver went down his spine but actually he was trying to shake of his anger. He didn't like to be angry. He had always been one to throw it away and look for the lighter side of things. This time was a bit harder but he would do it. "And tests are probably a good thing to do. Never know what mom may have been thinking."
"I'd like the chance to.."
"If we're going to do the twenty questions game can we do it somewhere else?" Xander asked cutting him off. He had a good idea what he'd been about to say. "Nothing personal but getting to know your father in an interrogation room is not rated as the top ten ways to do so. That and I'm starved. Airline food is just plain nasty." His total attitude had changed from being reserved and on edge to a not taking anything serious. He walked over to the door and opened it. Stepping out he ignored the three agents there and turned back to Gibbs. "Well? We doing this dad or you want to drop the whole thing?"
"Dad?" The three agents mouthed silently to each other. Now they were really curious and waited to see what Gibbs stated.
Gibbs shook his head lightly as he stood up. He suddenly had the feeling he was getting onto a roller coaster. He had the feeling that he'd enjoy it but it was going to be a bumpy ride. "There's a restaurant down the block we can go to," he told him. He moved to walk beside him but then turned back to the other three. "DiNozzo, David, McGee back to work," he snapped and watched them scurry away.
"Ooh scary boss man," Xander said with a grin. The two agents who had brought him in hadn't been bad but it was nice to see them scamper.
Gibbs looked at him and just shrugged. He noticed that Xander walked like a soldier. He knew they hadn't found any military record for him so he wondered where that came from. He didn't look military in any other way. His hair was on the long side and scruffy looking. He needed a shave and his clothes were a bit baggy. The look screamed sloucher too him but his mannerisms showed something else. He acted at times like a veteran of war and then turned as quickly into a good natured young man that reminded him more of Abby. It was strange. "I'm not that scary," he stated. He turned to lead the way out of the building.
"Nope seen scarier than you in high school," Xander stated. His phone rang and he smiled as the Bewitched theme played. "Hey Wills...yes I'm fine. Long story that I'll fill you in on later...no nothing like that...I'd tell you if it was...Really? Now why doesn't that surprise me...yeah figures I come back and all hell is going to break loose again...Spike isn't giving you too much trouble is he?....That's Spike for you. He wasn't happy he had to come back last week...Mmm...probably be here a while. Like I said I'll fill you in later... Right, love ya too." He hung up the phone and looked at Gibbs. "Curious as to why I was brought in," He explained.
"Sounds like a good friend," Gibbs stated even as they'd reached the restaurant. He was curious on who Wills and Spike were but he figured those were just more questions to ask. "Inside or out?" He asked since the restaurant had both.
"Outside works," Xander stated while moving towards a table to sit down making sure that were he sat he could see if anyone came up towards them. "So I take it from that letter you and mom never saw one another again. Never knew about me and this is as much a shock to you as it is to me. Figure my step-father had to know which explains a lot really but that is a story for another time. So how are you doing with all this?"
Gibbs noted where Xander sat as he took his own seat. It made him wonder what he was worried about happening. He also wondered what the story was with the step-father but the way Xander said that he got the impression not to ask right then. "To be honest this morning I was stunned and I'll admit to being angry at your mother for not trying to find me sooner. I would have liked to have been a part of your life. Then I realized I still had time and wanted to find you. When MacGee told me you were flying in I just knew I couldn't blow this chance so I sent them to pick you up. I admit not one of my wiser decisions."
"Well considering what she told my step-father I can see why she didn't contact you but I agree she should have. Might have been nice to know about you," Xander stated. "Trust me I've had worse things pick me up over the years. Being asked nicely to come back to an office to discuss something with the boss I could deal with." He grabbed the menu and glanced over it quickly so that by the time the waitress came over he was ready to order. "Mushroom swiss burger and fries. Plus the biggest coke you can find," he told her.
"I'll have the same, but make it coffee instead," Gibbs told her. He looked at Xander trying to figure out what to ask first. He wanted to know everything about his son.
"So um.." they both started at the same time then chuckled.
"You go first," Xander stated. "I figure you had them doing a check on me so probably found some stuff that wasn't buried at the bottom of Sunnyhell. Go ahead, we'll take turns. You ask a question then I will."
"What happened to your eye?" Gibbs asked figuring that might be the easiest question to ask. He figured asking him to tell him all about his life was way too vague.
"Ever hear don't run with scissors?" Xander asked and saw the look he gave him. He shrugged. "Figured you wouldn't buy that. Ok not long before Sunnyhell collapsed there was this crazy preacher who came to town. Liked killing girls and was just evil all around. Some friends and I went to try and stop him. He gouged out my eye with his thumb. Got a good nickname for it though "The One Who Sees". I didn't make it up, someone else did. Better than the "Buffy's White Knight" that I was labeled with before but still doesn't make sense to me. Anyway that's what happened."
"You went against a crazy man? Why didn't you call the cops?" Gibbs said wondering what his son had been thinking of at the time. "And what happened to him?"
"Ok think that goes for a total of four questions there but I'll answer them all the same before asking my question," Xander told him. "Yes I went against a crazy man. You don't call the cops in Sunnydale. They were a joke of the highest order, useless is a better description. We learned early on to handle things ourselves. One reason we nicknamed it Sunnyhell. As for Caleb last I saw of him he'd split but I do believe his body is buried in all the rubble." Xander was going to try to tell the truth whenever possible. He wasn't sure how Gibbs would handle the truth so for now he side stepped it whenever possible. Caleb had split, right in half after all. "So you married? Do I have any brothers or sisters?"
"Snuck in two there," Gibbs stated. He had the feeling he was going to have to check out Sunnydale a great deal more although Xander's comments did explain why he'd been in several reports. He nodded to the waitress as she brought over their drinks and he waited till she left to answer. "I've been married four times. Divorced three of them. My first wife and daughter Kelly were killed while I was over seas, that was back in '91. I don't have any other children." He tried not to let the sadness envelope him again. Right now he wanted to concentrate on what he'd found, not what he'd lost.
"As far as you know anyway," Xander stated with a slight smile. He could hear the sadness in Gibbs voice as he talked about his daughter and he tried to lighten the mood. "Were you.."
"Nice try. My turn to ask a question," Gibbs said cutting him off. "Who's Wills, Buffy and Spike?"
"That's not fair, you asked four the first time," Xander said giving him his sad puppy dog look for a moment causing Gibbs to chuckle. "Wills is actually Willow and she is my best friend. We've known each other since kindergarten. We've been through hell together and survived. Well with her and others. Seen each other at our worst and still stick together. Buffy is a good friend of both of ours and Spike...well he's a complicated tale that will take longer than we have for lunch. I will tell you about him but not right now," He told him. "Met Buffy in high school when she saved me from getting killed. Been by her side since. Were you a marine when you met my mom?"
Gibbs lifted an eyebrow at how his son admitted to a girl saving him although he wondered how she had done so and what he'd been doing to need rescuing. "How did you know I was in the marines?" Xander just cocked his head and gave him a look that made him feel like it had been an obvious thing to him. "Yes I was. I was on leave and I'll admit to too much drink. One thing led to another and well you get the idea." He actually blushed a bit at that point. It was the only time he'd been unfaithful to Shannon. They hadn't been married at that point but they had been engaged. He'd felt horrible about it afterwards but right then looking at his son he was glad it had happened. "I was a sniper and later military police before becoming a reservist and joining NCIS." Their waitress brought over their food and he watched his son take a few bites obviously not shy about eating. "I did have the team do some searching but there wasn't much found on you. They did find a wedding announcement.." He broke off as Xander choked on the food for a moment. "What happened?"
Xander set the burger down and sighed. He ran his hand through his hair. "I'm fine. Just wasn't expecting that one. Her name was Anya...I proposed in the heat of the moment. Some things were happening in town and things looked really bad. Thought it might be the only time I'd be able to. It seemed like a good idea at that time. I thought I was ready for marriage but after a while the doubts kept growing. I was stupid."
"You didn't leave her at the altar did you?" Gibbs gave him the look of "please tell me you weren't that stupid". He was more than willing to admit he'd made his own mistakes with women but that wasn't one of them.
"Yeah actually I did. Like I said I was stupid. Not one of my more stellar moments. We eventually worked things out, were heading towards being a couple of again. She didn't make it out of Sunnydale," Xander told him. Sadness showed in his eye and it wasn't just about Anya. So many hadn't made it out.
"I'm sorry. It's hard to lose someone you love," Gibbs told him. "We all make mistakes, by the sound of it she'd forgiven you. Have you forgiven yourself?"
"You know you are really good at sneaking the questions in there," Xander told him without answering about the forgiveness part. "It's my turn to ask the question. Of course now I have to figure out a question to ask. Tell you what you can ask another one while I'm thinking."
Gibbs noticed the way he's side stepped the question. He let it go for now but he would remember it and bring it up again at another time. "They couldn't find any school records on you. Did you graduate high school? Go on to college?"
"Yes I graduated high school and no I didn't go to college," Xander stated.
"I would have liked to have seen you graduate," Gibbs stated.
"No you wouldn't have," He stated as he ate a french fry. "School blew up in the middle of graduation. Reports said gas leak. My diploma has a few scorch marks on it or did...going to have to check with Willow to see if it's in the box of important papers she kept for us all when we were evacuating."
"Your school blew up?" Gibbs was in shock. How was it he'd never heard of this town? It obvious should have hit the news and something like that he figured he'd remember. He saw Xander nod and he just shook his head at it. His son had been very lucky by the sound of it. "So if you didn't go to college what is it exactly you do for the IWC?"
"Sorry can't tell you that...at least not yet," Xander told him. "I will but not today. Before I can I need to know I can trust you. It has a lot of 'need to know' operations and it's not just my information I'd be sharing." He'd known sooner or later something like this would happen in the questioning. He just didn't know the man well enough to determine if he could handle the truth. He just hoped he had time to ease into him finding out before something happened where it was forced upon them.
Gibbs didn't like it but he didn't argue. He wanted to. He wanted to know what his son was mixed up with especially since it was need to know. That worried him. He saw the look on Xander's face though and knew that if he argued he wouldn't win. He could wait and see what happened. In the mean time he could try and find out what he could. "Can you tell me what IWC stands for?" He figured if he had that perhaps he could find out what the company did and from there what Xander did. He saw Xander shake his head and Gibbs sighed. "Then I guess it's your turn to ask a question."
"Ok where can I get some clothes and things?" Xander asked him. It was time for a subject change and this seemed the easiest. He'd already decided he was going to get to know his father and that meant sticking around. "My luggage is probably on the way to Cleveland right now and since I'm going to be staying here I think I need to get some. Going to need a place to stay as well. Can you recommend a hotel?"
Gibbs smiled at that. He felt bad about the suitcases but hearing that he was going to stay made him feel happier than he could remember feeling in a long time. "You can stay with me, if you want that is. I have a guest room."
Xander thought about it for a few minutes and then nodded. He'd have to be careful but he knew it wasn't that difficult to keep things a secret, after all his mother and step-father had never even guessed at the truth. "Sounds good to me."
"If you're finished we'll head back to the office. I can have Abby run the tests for us and since you announced to everyone I'm your father they are going to want to meet you," Gibbs warned him. "Should be an interesting afternoon."