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This story is No. 2 in the series "Forever Is A Very Long Time". You may wish to read the series introduction and the preceeding stories first.

Summary: Dawn Summers' parentage is called into question, and the people investigating the situation are not all pleased with what they've learned.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Multiple Crossings > GeneralGreywizardFR1549,71306120,53922 Dec 128 Aug 13Yes

Chapter One

Disclaimer: They all belong to Crack-Head Joss and ME. Deal with it. I have.

Category: Multi-crossover and response to TTH Challenge 2706.

Summary: Dawn Summers' parentage is called into question, and the people investigating the situation are not all pleased with what they've learned.

Time Frame: Approximately four years after 'The Gift,' and is set in my 'Forever Is A Very Long Time' universe.

Spoilers: None intended, but if you don't know what happened up to this point, why are you reading this story?

Character Bashing: None whatsoever.

Feedback: Of course! Like Tenhawk says, it's the coin of the realm. ;-)

Archiving: Talk to me first, please.

Author's Note 1: Many thanks to Bill Haden and Theo (Starway_Man) for beta-ing this story.

Author's Note 2: As usual, “word” indicates speech, :: word :: indicates mental communication and { word } indicates a character's thoughts.

Author's Note 3: This is story #22 in my own personal Christmas Fic-A-Day Challenge.


NCIS headquarters
Washington, D.C.

April 19, 2005

"Gibbs! Gibbs!! GIBBS!!! You won't believe the test results I'm gonna tell you! *I* don't believe the test results I'm gonna tell you!"

Jethro Gibbs, lead agent for NCIS Washington DC's Major Case Response Team (MCRT), let a small smirk slip across his lips as he listened to the greeting Abby Sciuto, his go-to Forensics analyst, gave him as he entered her lab, a de rigueur extra-large cup of Cafe-Pow in his hand.

"What've you got for me, Abbs?" Gibbs asked as he handed the cup to the clearly excited, almost visibly quivering Goth queen of the lab.

"I know you're not gonna believe me when I tell you this, Gibbs, but there's no mistake. I did all of the tests three times, myself, and then I had a friend of mine who works at Quantico double-check, and another friend of mine who works at Inova Fairfax Hospital – which is the best hospital in the Washington area – repeat the tests for me in their own labs, because the results I got can't be right, even though they are, and they got exactly the same results I did, which means that either the results of all five tests have gotta be right, or that all of our lab equipment is screwed up the same way!" the hyper-excited techie babbled in a non-stop sentence which had the ex-Marine wondering momentarily why the young woman hadn't passed out from lack of oxygen.

"So, are you actually going to tell me what it was you found out, Abbs?" Gibbs asked, his smirk growing even wider as he watched the girl's antics. "Or do I have to guess?"

"Oh! Right. You know that girl Tony and Ziva found, unconscious and bleeding in that warehouse last Tuesday, when they were investigating that missing petty officer's disappearance, Gibbs?" Abby demanded, a frown furrowing her forehead as she focused and calmed herself down, somewhat. "The one who disappeared from the hospital later that night?"

"Yeah, I do, Abby," Gibbs nodded, his smirk disappearing upon hearing that particular question.

To put it mildly, the lead agent had been less than pleased when he 'd learned that the girl had apparently managed to slip away from the police guard stationed outside her hospital room, since she was the only potential witness they had about what might have occurred inside the warehouse, and how the missing petty officer might have been involved.

"Now what's so important about this missing girl that it's got you *this* wound up?" Gibbs inquired, one eyebrow lifting to indicate his curiosity.

"Well, we had DNA available from Little Miss Run-Away, from the blood and skin samples I recovered from the warehouse, so I decided to run a comparative familial DNA scan on the samples. Y'know, to see if I could find any partial matches in any government databases that would possibly help us identify her," Abby began explaining.

"Right. So from the way you're acting, I'm guessing you found at least one relative, huh, Abbs?" Gibbs replied.

"Yeah, I did, Gibbs," Abby nodded her confirmation of his guess, a frown on her face as she confirmed his supposition.

"Actually, I'm pretty sure I've identified both of her parents," she added, as her frown deepened, marring her lovely features further. "And if I'm right – and I *know* I am – that just makes this whole situation even uglier!"

"What are you talking about, Abby?" Gibbs asked, a matching frown now taking position on his face. "And what do you mean, it makes 'this whole situation even uglier'? What situation? And what's ugly about it?"

"How old did Little Miss Run-Away look to you, Gibbs?" the Goth tech demanded, apparently changing the subject of discussion.

"I dunno. About nineteen, maybe twenty, years old," the greying retired Marine hazarded a guess about their missing witness. "Why's that matter, Abby? We've dealt with both suspects and victims a lot younger than that before this.

"Whoever she is, the girl's plenty old enough to know what she was doing, if she was involved in anything hinky going on in that warehouse," Gibbs declared.

"Well, Gibbs, the DNA search I did came up with two partial matches – each of which are linked to a different encrypted file," Abby informed him.

"And both of those files are linked to an ultra-secret 'Men In Black' type project that was sponsored by the NID," she noted. "The project was code-named the 'Demon Research Initiative,' but I couldn't find out exactly what its purpose was supposed to be."

"Whatever. Is there a point to all this, Abby?" Gibbs asked, the slightest bit of annoyance edging into his voice.

"I just want to talk to our missing witness about what she might have seen in that warehouse," he stated firmly. "The fact that her parents might be NID agents doesn't matter much in my book.

"Far as I'm concerned, Little Miss NID-Agent-In-Training is still going to tell us what she saw that night, regardless of who she's related to," Gibbs semi-growled

"You wanna know who she's related to? Well, based on all five DNA tests, our twenty-year-old missing witness's mother's name is Buffy Anne Summers, and her father's name is Alexander Harris," Abby informed Gibbs. "The missing girl's name is Dawn Summers.

Before her boss could say anything in response, the Gothic-looking Forensics genius went on, saying, "And Dawn Summers' mother is twenty-five years old, and her father is twenty-six."

Absolute silence filled the lab for the next several seconds as the implications of Abby's statement took hold in Gibbs's mind.

And then an arctic-cold voice, which carried echoes of quiet menace in it, quietly said, "All right, then.

"Tell me everything you've learned about this situation, Abby."


NCIS headquarters
Washington Naval Yard
Washington, D.C.

Later that same day

"Oh, come on. What, exactly, do you expect me to do, Jethro?" the slightly-built, balding, middle-aged agent sighed, staring at his friend as he slouched against the temporarily stopped elevator's back wall.

"I expect you to do your *job*, Tobias," was the rather curt response to the Senior Agent's question from the clearly quietly seething senior Naval investigator.

"I'd be delighted to, Jethro," Fornell replied with a nod, "*if* I had any reliable, not to mention, *admissible* evidence that an actual crime had been committed."

Holding up his to forestall Gibbs' furious response, Tobias continued his own reply.

"Look, we both know that Abby almost certainly hacked into several databases she wasn't cleared to access, in order to find out what she did, Jethro," Tobias said, while managing to conceal a self-satisfied grin when his best friend didn't even attempt to refute that particular point.

"So, regardless of how accurate any information she might have learned happens to be, that means we've basically got nothing. If I tried to get a warrant to check into any of these 'allegations'" – here, Fornell made actual finger quotes as he spoke – "it'd get laughed out of court before I got three words out of my mouth," he declared with complete certainty.

The frown on Gibbs' face as he listened to his fellow federal agent speak clearly conveyed his extreme displeasure and frustration at the facts Tobias was laying out, not mention reluctant agreement with his analysis of the scenario Fornell had presented.

"However," Fornell added a moment later, hiding his smirk at the way Gibbs' frown instantly refocused on him, "something that I can do, based on information I received from one of our more reliable," he made some air quotes again, "confidential informants, is ask a couple agents I know in L.A. to unofficially look into Summers' and Harris' backgrounds, to see if there are any irregularities."

"I guess that'll have to do, Tobias. For now, anyway."

"We're gonna find out what happened here, Jethro," Tobias assured his friend. "And whoever's responsible for this mess is gonna pay."

"You're right about that, Tobias," Gibbs agreed as he pressed the 'Stop' button, and the elevator surged into motion again.

"That's the one thing about this whole damn mess that I'm quite certain about."

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