Disclaimer: Don't own or claim rights to Buffy or NCIS
A/N: This is it. The last chapter. Thank you to all those who have reviewed, and to those who have rec'd the story. At the time of publishing, they are: Ariaha, bex, copycatloki, dustin, grrovvyhevens, MistDragon, Sajahi, and Tsadras.~~~~~
Gibbs picked up his phone, and gave his name.
“Agent Gibbs?” the man's voice confirmed before going on. “It's Jerry at Reception. I have a man here asking for you, but he refuses to give any ID.”
“What does he look like?”
“Six foot, dark hair and eyes. He's given his name as Xander.”
Gibbs felt as though his stomach had just disappeared. Xander wouldn't just turn up like that. He would call first. “What's his apparent condition?”
“Tired. Exhausted, actually. He may be hurt, too. He was moving a bit stiff, and he's just leaning against one of the counters at the moment. He won't let us check his bag, either.”
“I'll be right down. If he's who he claims to be, he can come straight in without a check.”
“Yes, Agent Gibbs.”
Gibbs hung up, and walked out of the bullpen without another word, leaving three startled and confused agents behind.~~~~~
When Gibbs got to Reception, he saw Xander, propped up against one of the counters, just as Jerry had said. His head was down and shoulders were slumped, and his clothes and hair were filthy. He waited until he was close before calling the younger man's name softly.
He was rewarded by Xander's head coming up. He opened his eyes, and stared at him tiredly. “Gunny?” he frowned. “Had to come. Couldn't go anywhere else. Need to see Ducky. Got to fix me up.”
“Xan? What happened? Why didn't you go to a doctor?”
“Can't. Can't go to anyone but Council docs. Can't go to Council docs, 'cause they'll tell. Ducky?” he pleaded softly.
“Yeah. I'll take you to Ducky.” With that, he grabbed Xander's bag, and led him past the security check-point. While waiting for the elevator, he quickly phoned the ME to let him know he was bringing Xander down for a check-up. Once he had Xander in the elevator, he asked, “What happened?”
“New Orleans. Fight. Was alone.”
“You drove all the way from New Orleans just to get Ducky to fix you up? Why?” he demanded.
Xander shook his head. “Buffy and Willow show,” was all he would say.~~~~~
Ducky looked up to see Gibbs steer into his morgue the young man who had visited some months ago to help on a case. “Oh, my,” he clucked. “What seems to be the problem.”
“He's injured, Ducky, and he came all the way from New Orleans so you could fix him up.”
“Why ever would he do that?” the ME demanded. “Surely there are suitably qualified medical practitioners in New Orleans. Or in any number of cities on the way here.”
“I think he's only supposed to go to Council approved docs, and he had some reason for keeping whatever happened secret from the Council. I guess that's the IGC, though I've never been told what that stands for.”
“International Guardians Council,” Xander slurred. “Fix me?”
Ducky shook his head. “What seems to be the problem?”
“Back,” Xander explained. “Scratched.”
“Well, let's have a look at it, then,” Ducky decided, and the helped Xander out of his jacket. “Oh, my,” he murmured when he saw the back of the other man's shirt. “I'm going to have to soak this to get it off.”
Xander shook his head. “Rip,” he insisted.
“My dear boy,” Ducky disagreed, “that very well may increase the damage to your back. We shall saturate the shirt, and ease it off. Mr Palmer,” he went on, addressing the man who was hovering in the background, “would you please go to Abby and ask her for some blankets. Steel tables are all very well for those who no longer need to maintain homeostasis, but Agent Harris does not need the added stress to his system.” That done, he busied himself filling a bowl with warm water, and procuring some sponges, leaving Xander to Gibbs' avid attention. Once he was prepared, he and Gibbs began to remove Xander's shirt, so that they could work on removing the portion that was glued to his back. With Gibbs supporting the shirt, and ready to steady Xander if necessary, Ducky began washing the blood away, and working the shirt away from the skin.
“Is there something I should know, Jethro?” Ducky asked quietly as he worked on Xander's back?
“He's mine,” Gibbs replied with quiet pride.
“Really? I never knew you had a son. That would make him only a little older than Kelly, though, wouldn't it?”
To Ducky's deep surprise, Gibbs flushed. Not much, but still noticeably. “I didn't mean he was my son.”
“What? Oh!” Ducky returned to his work, too surprised, for once, for words. Recovering, he went on. “I had no idea you were bisexual,” he commented mildly.
“Never really considered myself to be that. Sure there had been a few over the years, but they were just one night stands, nothing really. Xander... He was always different.” Gibbs shifted so that he could slip his arm around the other man's waist, and so Xander could drop his head on his shoulder. “Xander is very special,” he added quietly.
“He appears to trust you a great deal”
“He does,” Gibbs agreed, dropping a kiss onto Xander's head.
They worked in silence then, and Ducky had finished removing the shirt from Gibbs' back, and was drying him off when Jimmy finally returned, carrying several blankets. “Finally,” Ducky remarked acerbically. “Oh, good, you have a few there. Very well, place one neatly on that table,” he indicated, “then come and help me lift Agent Harris.”
Working quickly, they managed to manoeuvre the almost unconscious man onto the table. Xander roused sufficiently to insist on no drugs, but agreed to the local anaesthetics that Ducky argued for. Then it was time to finally examine the wounds on Xander's back. It appeared to be one set of wounds, four deep scratches that ran from the right shoulder to the left hip, and were already inflamed. Ducky shook his head and tsked, then began collecting items, calling to Jimmy to collect others he deemed necessary.
Gibbs waited until he decided that Ducky had everything under control. Then he crouched down, and spoke quietly to Xander. “I'm going to go now. I'm just going to be upstairs, and Ducky will call me if you need me, okay? I just have some stuff that I have to do, and then I'll be back down.” With that, he stood, gave Xander's hair a quick stroke, and left.
Jimmy observed the little scene, but, with unexpected wisdom, refrained from making any comment.~~~~~
Tony looked up when Gibbs' phone started ringing. He looked around, but couldn't see the other man anywhere, so picked up the phone. “Agent Gibbs' phone,” he introduced.
“Where is he?” a woman's voice demanded sharply.
“Agent Gibbs is not at his desk at the moment,” Tony informed smoothly. “If you'd care to leave a message, I'll pass it on when he gets back.”
“You tell that man I know Xander's there. He's always there when he drops out of contact,” she complained. “You tell him to tell Xander to call straight away, you hear, mister? Or there will be black hair and veins,” she threatened obscurely. “Ha! That'll get him calling.” With that utterly indecipherable comment, she hung up. Tony stared at the phone for a moment, stunned, before he, too, hung up. Shrugging, he wrote a note as best he could, and decided that Gibbs could work it out. Or not.
It was a little over an hour later when Gibbs returned to the bullpen.
“Any messages?” he asked as he walked to his desk.
“Just the one,” Tony frowned as he walked over. “Some woman called, didn't leave a name or number, but insisted that she knew Xander was here, because he's always here when he drops out of contact, and that you had to get him to call ASAP, or there would be 'black hair and veins,'” he quoted. “Sorry, Boss, but she hung up before I could get a name or anything, and the number was blocked.”
Gibbs shook his head, and stood up again. “Don't worry. I know who it is.” With that, he walked back to the elevators.~~~~~
Ducky was still working on Xander's back when Gibbs returned to the morgue. He walked straight over to Xander's bag, and put it on a spare table. Opening it, he was not really surprised to see the weapons lying on top of Xander's clothes. He quickly checked the pistol, but it obviously hadn't been fired since it was last cleaned, so he set it aside. There was a long dagger covered in muck, and wrapped in an old t-shirt – he set that aside, too, planning to clean it. Rummaging through the bag, he found Xander's cell, or at least the only thing he thought could be the other man's cell, and pulled it out of its wallet to look at it. Apart from a button at the bottom of a large glass screen, and several buttons around the edge, he couldn't find anything to work it. Frowning, he turned it over, but then gave up, put it back into its cover, and carried it out of the morgue.
Stepping out of the elevator, he walked into Abby's lab and turned the music down. The scientist spun to view the interloper, then smiled broadly. “Hey, Gibbs. What's going on? I don't have anything for you, 'cause you haven't given me anything, 'cause we don't have a case. We don't have a case, do we?” she frowned.
“No, Abs, no case. I just need to know, first of all, if this is even a phone,” he asked, handing the object over.
Abby flipped the wallet open, and smiled. “Yeah, it's an iPhone.”
“So how do you get the damn thing to work?”
“Well, unless it's switched all the way off, or run out of battery, you just hit this button on the front,” she demonstrated. “And if it is switched all the way off, you hold this button at the top down for a few seconds,” she added when it didn't light up straight away. She waited for it to power up, then read the screen. “Huh. Lots of messages. Do you want me to read them?”
“Not necessary,” he decided. “I need to phone someone called Willow Rosenburg. Can you set that up for me?”
“Sure,” Abby chirped. She quickly found the name, dialled, and set the phone down on the counter-top. When Gibbs went to pick it up, she slapped his hand away.
“Xander? You are in so much trouble, mister. Serious trouble. Do you know how scared you got us when you simply dropped out like that? Big trouble, mister. Boxes of Godiva chocolates size trouble. Are you even listening to me?”
Abby looked at Gibbs with rounded eyes, and had to work at not laughing.
“This is Agent Gibbs, Ms Rosenburg,” he began. “I got your message, and thought I'd call you straight away. Yes, Xander is here, but he was so tired when he got here that I told him to just go and lie down. He's sleeping, now, and I don't want to disturb him. I just thought you should know that he's fine, just very tired from his drive. I'll get him to call you when he wakes up, okay?” With that, he signalled for Abby to cut the call, which she did, and then turned the phone all the way off, the way it had been before the call.
“Wow,” Abby murmured. “Who was that?”
“Xander's best friend from Kindergarten.”
“Really? 'Cause she was sounding more like a wife. An obsessive, run-you-whole-life one, at that.”
“He has a dangerous job, and they worry. They seem to think they know better than him how to run his life, which I think is why he came here instead of went to them.”
“So who is he, anyway?”
“Oh, yeah. You didn't get to meet him last time he was here. He works for the IGC, and I called him in on those animal attacks a few months ago. His team managed to kill the thing that got those Marines, but it managed to kill one more the same night. They specialise in cults, the occult, and strange animals.”
“Interesting,” Abby murmured approvingly. “So where is he?”
“Down with Ducky, getting patched up.”
“So not so tired? You're hiding things from his friends?” she demanded.
“He is tired,” Gibbs argued. “So tired that he was just about sleeping on his feet. He drove all the way from New Orleans with his back ripped open by some animal 'cause he's concerned his friends will side-line him for good just because he got hurt again. Because he trusts me to look after him.”
“'Cause you're a good friend,” she nodded.
Gibbs gave her a small smile. “'Cause I love him,” he said quietly.
“Wow,” she murmured. “Wasn't expecting that. So you're serious? Both of you?”
“I'm serious. Think he is, too.”
“So what are you going to do about it?”
Gibbs' smile grew. “Ask him to stay,” he decided.
Gibbs decided he was being a busy little beaver today, but he wanted everything ready for when Xander woke up. He hadn't missed Xander's little comment about the 'Buffy and Willow Show,' and was pretty sure that they had gotten to the end of their patience with Xander's mortality. Xander, on the other hand, had made it clear to Gibbs that he wasn't at all happy with the thought of being pulled out of the field permanently. Much as he, himself, might appreciate the thought of Xander being safe and in one place (preferably DC) he knew Xander would hate it. There was, however, a compromise.
Smiling, he walked straight into the Director's office and sat down. Director Vance gave him a long-suffering look. “How may I help you, Agent Gibbs?”
“Do you remember Agent Harris from the IGC?”
“You brought him in a few months ago to work on that animal attacks case. What about him?”
“I want him on my team.”
“He's working for another agency,” Leon noted.
“Who are about to side-line him because he gets hurt in the field. Considering what he does, most people would be dead by now. He has no interest in flying a desk, so I'm pretty sure I'll be able to get him to agree.”
“What do they even do?” Leon asked, shaking his head. “I mean, I've met Director Giles a couple of times, but I still don't understand much about them. They make the NSA look like a supermarket tabloid with their need for secrecy.”
“They investigate cults, the occult, and strange animals, according to Xander.”
“And that's dangerous?”
Leon sat back in thought. “Okay. You know the entry requirements. Talk to him about it.”~~~~~
Gibbs was smiling when he entered the morgue. Xander was awake, and sitting on the table he'd been using as a bed. He still needed rest, and time to recuperate, but he was going to be well. Ducky didn't even think he'd need to take antibiotics, as it seemed he'd reacted well to the topical treatments he'd given while he was stitching him up. He reached his lover, and stroked his hair. Xander leaned into the caress, and closed his eyes.
“How're you going, Xan?” he asked softly.
“Better than before?”
“Well... I'm conscious. That count?”
Gibbs laughed. “Yeah, I think so. So you going to tell me what this was all about?”
Xander shrugged. “Buffy and Willow decided that the next time I get hurt, that's it, I'm out of the field permanently.”
“Thought so,” Gibbs nodded. “And there's no way you can do that, is there?”
“Hell, no, Gunny. I'd get bored way too easily, and a bored Xander is a dangerous Xander. Even more so than normal,” he smirked.
Gibbs grinned in response. “So how about coming to work for me?”
“Here? At NCIS?”
“Here, at NCIS. My team.”
Xander looked around the morgue, then asked, voice lowered, “What about 'don't ask, don't tell?' What about the fraternisation rules? And your own rules? I know you have one about dating your co-workers, and I'd rather work elsewhere and keep our relationship going.”
“The team will know, and that's it. Not even telling Leon.”
“Gibbs,” Xander hissed. “I don't want you to get into trouble about this.”
“You know how to keep things professional, and – God forbid it should happen – you know how to work with exes. I remember your stories about Cordy and Anya,” he added, smiling. He sighed. “I want you where I can keep an eye on you. I'd go crazy if you were working in another team. This way, we can keep an eye on each other. Watch each other's backs. And you're not stuck permanently at a desk or, worse, at one of your schools.”
Xander shuddered. “You know my weak spots, don't you,” he pouted.
“Yep,” Gibbs grinned. “So you interested?”
“Wow. You really think this would work?”
“Yeah. If you want, we could try it out first. Stay with me for a couple of weeks, a month, maybe. You can intern with my team, and that way we can see how it works when you're here for more than a couple of days, and you can get to see if you can do the work.”
A big grin formed on Xander's face. “Yeah,” he murmured. “That would be great.”
“One more thing, though. Do you have a degree. Anything, really, so long as it's from an accredited college.”
“Oxford, England?” Gibbs asked, frowning.
Xander nodded. “Before we were the IGC, there was the Watcher's Council. When we took over after defeating the First, we inherited a lot of power. Then Giles decided I needed to have at least a Bachelors degree if I was going to be a Watcher, so he arranged for me to be accepted at Oxford. Don't get me wrong: I worked for my degree. Giles got me in, but I earned it. I got a degree in Classics, since we use the languages so much. Won't be so useful here, but it's still a degree, right? And I'm working on a Military Studies through Kings College when I get a chance. So is that any good?”
“So I can stay?” Xander asked, grinning.
Gibbs returned his grin. “You can stay. Of course,” he added, “you've got to tell your friends.”
Xander pouted. “Not nice, Gunny.”
“Not meant to be, Soldier.”~~~~~
Xander looked up at his lover, and grinned. They'd been living together eight months, now, and still going strong. There were still times at work when Gibbs would smirk at him, and he'd want to push the older man into the elevator for a quick make-out session, but like Gibbs had said when he'd presented this opportunity, Xander knew how to be professional.
The girls had taken his decision remarkably well. It seemed that they had lost a great deal of connection to the mundane world, as immersed as they were in the mystical, and so they had decided that working at NCIS was immeasurably safer than his job at the IGC. It was safer, there was no doubt, but he thought they had exaggerated just how much safer it was. Giles had given him a look, then smiled, and wished him luck. He was still in contact with all of them, though the girls seemed to now treat him as a delicate 'normal', even more so than when he'd worked with them. They were determined to never call on him, now that he had a 'normal' life.
Living with Gibbs was even better than he'd expected. They had many similarities, between woodworking and a military mindset, since Xander's memories had only amplified since living with the other man, and their differences were manageable. Xander got on well with the rest of the team, also. Tony seemed a bit put out that Gibbs had taken a male lover, and Xander wondered, sometimes, if there wasn't an element of jealousy, but Tony had adjusted to the relationship, and all was well. Which was good, since Tony filled the rare side of Xander that Gibbs didn't. And McGee, Ziva, Abby and Ducky all reminded him enough of the good parts of his old friends, while remaining distinctively themselves. Maybe life could be better, but perfection was rarely attainable. What he had now was near enough.
“You going to come back to me?” Gibbs murmured, voice low and husky.
“I'm here,” Xander replied, excitement curling in his belly.
“What took you away?”
“Think about us, about how good it's been since I moved in here.”
Xander pouted. “Could be happier.”
“Really?” Gibbs demanded. He thrust hard into Xander's body, and the younger man threw back his head, arched into the thrust, and moaned loudly. “Better?”
“Hell, yeah,” Xander whispered. “More?”
Gibbs smirked, and began thrusting in earnest, setting a hard pace, and working to hit his lover's gland as frequently as possible. He watched as Xander writhed under him, hair damp from sweat, eyes half-closed with desire, moaning, sighing, restless hands scraping at his back as he whimpered his name. He revelled in his power over this strong, handsome, caring man, and in the power this man had over him, to make him laugh, to make him moan, to make him -
“God! Xander!” he cried as he shuddered and came hard, his orgasm triggered by Xander's own orgasm, and the look of naked pleasure on his lover's face. He gasped for breath, shaking, and settled on Xander's broad chest to catch his breath, smiling as he felt the other man's arms wrap around him.
“Now that?” Xander murmured breathily. “That was way more than better. Better than better, Jethro,” he grinned. “Think I'll keep you,” he decided.
“You do, do you?” Gibbs teased.
“Yep. I surely do.”
“Good. 'Cause you're mine, Soldier. For now and always.”
Xander smiled, and stroked Gibbs' face. “For now and always, Gunny.”
He had found a place to rest.