The Chopped Liver and The Bimbo That Wasn't
Heiii folks…. I know, I know, you are going to say that I'm super late….. I'm really sorry it took this long for this chapter to be posted…
Special thanks to my beta Venea Taur for her hard work. Without you my story wouldn't be half as good as it is.
Also thanks to everyone that is reading my story. It really means a lot to me that people take their time to read this.
The Chopped Liver and The Bimbo That Wasn't
It was already dark outside when Gibbs came into the bullpen, demanding an update. He didn't like how his team looked so somber. It never meant a lot of progress.
"Tony and I visited all the bars on the list. Didn't get anything really useful there. People recognized him, but he never talked much about himself," said Ziva.
"The bartender from the bike bar did tell us about these phone calls Harris received occasionally. Apparently every now and then he's contacted by someone. Nothing suspicious about that except that according to the bartender he gets anti-social just before," added Tony.
"I checked the date we got from the bartender. Harris received a call at two fifteen three weeks ago. I tried to get a name and address, but the only thing I got was that the phone was bought by Sineya’s Circle of Guardians, the organization Harris is working with." Ziva rubbed her forehead looking at her papers.
"Now before you may ask, yes I did check what they do. I tried everything. I googled it, I called in some favors, hell, I even went to the cyborg unit. Nothing. Nada. Whatever it is that the organization is doing it's highly classified. More classified than any other agency or secret op." Tony paced, looking slightly agitated.
"Maybe I could…" tried McGee, but was interrupted by Tony, who stopped pacing and looked angrily at the younger agent.
"McGee, I just told you it's not possible to do. This whole organization is so secured with protections that a computer down in the basement set on fire when a geek tried to hack into SCG."
Ziva interjected before a full on fight could erupt. "So anyway, there was a bar that was suspicious. Andy's. We ran a background check on it, but it came out clean. Although I must say that their inventory really creeps me out. Among other things they frequently buy blood, both human and animal."
"Who's the owner?" asked Gibbs. He too saw how tetchy his team was because of the lack of sleep and wanted to find Xander as soon as possible.
"Some guy named Lantean Chaya," answered Tony.
"You checked him out?" said Gibbs impatiently.
"Tried," came the answer from Tony.
"Now what's that supposed to mean?" Gibbs didn't tolerate excuses.
"That I don't have high enough clearance to access his files."
That was a whole new angel for Gibbs. If there was clearance needed that the government was involved. That usually wasn't something good, when Gibbs was concerned. "Is he on government paycheck?"
"I don't know."
"Then find out." Could it be that Harris was kidnapped because of his ties to the SCG? He would check that theory tomorrow. Director Vance was going to inform the people from SCG about the situation. Gibbs had only twenty-four hours to solve the case before the other organization got contacted and started to meddle in his investigation.
"On it boss."
"McGee, what do you got about the names sister Theresa gave us?"
"Well, Anya Jenkins is presumed dead. She was a co-owner of a store named Magic Box along with Rupert Giles, a British citizen that lived at Sunnydale at that time. She appeared in Sunnydale in 1997, enrolling in the local High School. There is no mentioning of her before that, but she was quite active since then. She invested a lot and even started her own company just before her presumable death. I checked the cause of death. It says that she fell into the hole when Sunnydale collapsed," answered McGee showing the candid picture of a blond woman. He then transferred a new picture on the big screen showing an attractive young brunette.
"The other woman is Cordelia Chase. Born and raised in Sunnydale. Her parents are currently out of country, running from the …… She is the same age as Harris. She currently lives in Los Angeles. I couldn't find any mention of current employment. She acted in a few commercials and plays but that doesn't account for all the money that she's been receiving."
"Could she be involved in Harris's kidnapping?" Gibbs asked. God knows, he dealt with enough cases where exes wanted revenge.
"I don’t think so. There was a hospital report from a few months ago, stating that she’s in a coma. She disappeared from her room one night, but they suspect kidnapping and not her waking up. LAPD was on the case but a law firm got them to stop," answered the young agent.
"Basically it's a dead end," offered Tony.
"Keep looking," said Gibbs and turned around to leave the bullpen.
"We'll find Harris," said Tony. They knew that their chances of finding him were dwindling, with every minute Xander was missing. It became apparent that they would need outside help in locating him.
"I know you will. Now go get some rest. You are no good if you're dead on your feet."
Director Vance had just gotten into his office that morning, when security called him.
"Director Vance, there is a woman here asking to see you. A Dawn Summers from SCG." The news surprised him. He hadn't even contacted the agency and yet they were already here.
"Bring her to my office." He sighed. This early in the morning and he would have to maneuver through mine field already.
"Yes sir." answered the security guy calmly.
Looking through his papers, he decided what to say to the newcomer. He didn't want to worsen the relations with the other agency, but he didn't want someone else to take this case.
He was fully prepared when his secretary ringed him that Miss Summers was waiting outside his door. What he wasn't prepared for was the fact that Miss Summers in his mind didn't match the Ms. Summers in reality.
Considering that SCG was a British agency he expected a stuffy old lady with stern face, but there she was, barely over twenty, relaxed and radiating. She was dressed in a beige trouser suit and with her long, richly brown hair loose, holding a briefcase in her left hand.
She stepped forward and offered her hand. "Director Vance. I'm Dawn Summers, Sineya’s Circle of Guardians. But you already knew that seeing how the agent downstairs called you."
"Miss Summers, I'm Director Vance. Please, sit." Still holding her hand, he offered her a chair. When she was comfortably seated he continued, "Now, what can I do for you?"
He felt her eyes sizing him up, estimating the kind of a person he was. He got a lot of those kinds of looks, but hers was the first since he became Director that unnerved him. "I'm here, as I'm sure you know, because of the disappearance of one of your agents. Alexander Lavelle Harris."
He felt slightly ashamed that they caught them leading an investigation directly linked with one of their members without notifying them. "I see. Yes, my team is already investigating that."
She smiled at him slightly. "Director Vance, your delay at notifying our organization is a little concerning, but this is not the time to discuss it and neither am I the person you will have the discussion with. Right now our primary concern is to find Special Agent Harris and bringing him back alive. I am here to make sure that happens." Her smile may have been sweet, but her eyes stayed hard the whole time. Vance was surprised to notice that the small woman could do what Gibbs never succeeded. She intimidated him.
"Of course. I have already put our best people on this case. They can brief you on our progress so far." It was a poor attempt to convince the SCG to let NCIS investigate the case on their own.
"Just so there are no misunderstandings Director Vance, SCG is taking lead in this investigation." It was said in a gentle tone, but her sharp eyes sent a message that there would be no middle ground on this.
It actually pissed Vance of that she toughed that NCIS would let her do whatever she liked. "Forgive my bluntness, Miss Summers" he began coolly, "but I do not see why I should give you the lead in this investigation. If we put aside your age, my agents are well experienced in dealing with such situations."
She smiled back at him, not showing any sign that his words upset her in any way. "Director Vance, your people might be experienced in dealing with kidnappings, but not with this kind of kidnappings. And let me just say that our agency doesn't judge people because of their age or gender." The later was added with a slight bite to it, warning him that such things would not be tolerated.
He looked at her apologetic, trying to smooth the riff he just caused with his words. "I didn't mean to judge, Miss Summers. My intent was to point out that my agents have more experience. And with what kind of situation are we dealing if not with kidnapping?"
"Unfortunately that’s need to know Director. The most I can tell you is that our members deal with this kind of things all the time and that your agents aren't prepared to take the lead in such a delicate situation."
She smiled again, but her eyes remained serious. He could see that she wouldn't budge, that her mind was already made. Nonetheless, he gave it one more try.
"Alright, let me call the agent in lead of my team up, so that you can acquaint yourself with him." He lifted the receiver. "Cynthia, could you call Special Agent Gibbs to my office."
"Of course, Director."
The young brunette sighed and then looked determinately at the man on the other side of the table. "Director, it seems that I didn't make myself clear. SCG is taking over this case, no matter what. The involvement of NCIS is strictly optional."
"I hope you don't hold it against me if I don't believe solely your word. Is there anything to back that statement up?" Leaning on his table, he watched the young woman open the briefcase and pulling out some papers.
"Here are all the necessary documents."
He glanced at them before addressing her again. "I apologize for my rudeness. Would you like anything to drink while we wait for Special Agent Gibbs?" He couldn't say anything else to the brunette, but Gibbs wouldn't have any political concerns. Vance could still apologize if the agent went too far.
Dawn sent him a charming smile. "Yes, tea would be nice, thank you. I was in such rush this morning I had no time for tea."
Vance reached for the receiver again. "Cynthia, could you bring tea for Ms. Summers.
The woman on the other end answered politely. "Yes sir."
While they waited, Vance went through the documents, that he was sure were legitimate, but it was better to be through. To distract herself, Dawn looked at the pictures on the walls. She studied psychology when she was still in Rom and she could read what kind of a person he is by seeing his working place.
Cynthia came with the tea and distracted Dawn from studying the man in the office. Shortly after that the door opened again and in came the agent they were waiting for.
"Vance. What do you want?" He walked directly to the desk where Vance was sitting, only glancing at the other person in the room.
The director pointed with his hand towards the brunette in the room. "Ah, Special Agent Gibbs, meet Miss Summers, a member of Sineya’s Circle of Guardians. She is here because of the disappearance of Special Agent Harris."
"Miss Summers." Gibbs turned towards her and slightly bowed his head.
"Special Agent Gibbs. I heard many things about you. I'm looking forward working with you," she answered, acknowledging his presence.
"Excuse me?" Gibbs looked at the director.
Knowing what kind of reaction he was going to get Vance took on his best poker face. "The SCG is taking over this case."
Gibbs reacted just as the director predicted. He got this incredible look on his face and almost accusingly exclaimed at Vance. "What? We are letting them take our case?" The vain in his neck became visible, as it pulsed blood to the older man's face.
Trying to diffuse the sudden tension, Dawn stepped closer and started to talk to the agent with her smoothing voice. "Don't worry agent Gibbs, you are more than welcomed to help with the investigation."
Gibbs turned his attention to the woman and looked closely at her. "You are just a kid. You should be in school or something not here playing cop." He was getting louder and louder.
His words stuck a cord in Dawn, making her raise her defenses and leashing back. "I'm not a kid. I've been doing this since I was a teenager. Unlike some people, I know I can handle this bullshit here."
That fueled Gibbs's anger even more. "A teenager! What kind of an organization hires kids? Who in their right mind would let little girls go into dangerous situations?" He was standing toe to toe with the young woman towering almost threatening over her small frame.
Dawn already regretted her jab at the agent. She knew angering the agent wouldn't help, but she was pushed into shadows too many times because of her age to be really indifferent to Gibbs's words. "I know quite a lot of people who would do that Agent Gibbs. But in my case it was the other way around. I was after all one of those that rebuild our organization."
Gibbs turned back to Vance. "Director this is insane. Since when do we let kids play with guns? My team can handle this on their own." Kids were after all supposed to be protected from, not pushed into danger. He would have done anything to be able to save his daughter when she was still alive.
"Your team will end up in a ditch, if you get even near the truth. Our newly recruited, untrained members could beat anybody in this agency without breaking a sweat." She wasn't trying to add fuel to the fire, but they had to understand that they were amateurs playing in the professional league.
It still upset the agent, making him even angrier. "You're saying some kid barely out of school can do a better job of hunting down some criminals than my highly trained agents?"
She sighed. This was going to be a long day. "No, Agent Gibbs, that's not what I meant. I'm merely stating the obvious. Our agency deals with higher levels of terrorism. The girls that work with us know the risks and are trained accordingly."
It was like he was zeroing in on the bad stuff, ignoring everything else. "You let girls deal with terrorism? With dangers that you say are too risky for a Marine?"
Dawn looked at her watch before answering. "Look, as much as I would like to continue arguing with you about the differences in our organizations the clock is ticking. With every minute we waste here talking, Xander is out there very probably dying."
Seeing his opening the director joined the discussion. "You're right, Miss Summers. You can take the lead in this investigation, but I expect to be properly informed about the progress."
"Oh no, Director Vance…" started Dawn saying, but was interrupted by the phone on the desk.
Vance looked apologetically at the young woman and picked up the receiver. "Excuse me. Yes?"
It was again the agent at the security desk downstairs. "Miss Summers from SCG is at the security check. She's saying she wants to see you, Director."
The news surprised Vance, who quickly glanced at the brunette in his office. Was she trying to get herself into the investigation or was the other woman trying to get into this investigation. He would have to get to the bottom of this. It might even give Gibbs enough time to find his missing agent without interference.
"Escort her up to the conference room."
"Yes, sir," answered the man on the other side of the receiver.
Vance turned his full attention back to the woman that was standing next to Gibbs. "Miss Summers, could you step into the conference room with me for a moment. Gibbs, you too." The later was added almost as an afterthought.
"Sure, no problem. Is there something wrong? You look a little unsettled Director." Dawn picked up her briefcase and fallowed the two men.
"I'm fine, thank you." He didn't want to tip her off in case she was the impostor.
Dawn just got seated in the conference room when the door opened and an agent lead in a young blond woman clad in tight black leather pants, a red tank top and six–inch heels.
"I see you took the time to buy new clothes, sis. Thought this was urgent and we didn't have time to waste." The brunette said to the newcomer, her voice full of sarcasm.
"It is urgent, but first impressions are important. You know what mom always said. Don't leave the house if you don't like what you see in the mirror," answered the blond walking to her alleged sister.
"Bullshit. Mom never said that. You're making stuff up again. You're spending too much time with Andrew," protested Dawn.
To say that the agents currently in the room were surprised would be an understatement. Vance didn't know what to think of the two women looking as different as night and day yet having the same air of danger around them.
Finally acting as someone of her position, the blonde offered her hand to the director. "Let me introduce myself. Buffy Summers. You could say I'm in charge of the doers at the SCG." She gave the man her best Californian smile that fooled so many others to think that she was harmless.
Her statement clearly insulted the younger looking woman. "Oh? And what are my people? Chopped liver? We do just as much as you do. The fact that they are more research types instead of field agents doesn't mean that they don't pull their weight." She crossed her arms and glared at the blond, who raised her hands in defense.
"Geez, relax Dawn. I didn't mean anything bad."
Vance interrupted before the argument could go any further. "If I may interrupt. What is this all about?"
"I thought you straightened everything up already." Buffy looked at her sister. That was after all the reason why the younger woman came here earlier.
"Most of it. You just interrupted me with the last part," answered Dawn. She looked at director Vance and told him what she wanted to clarify before the phone call interrupted her. "It's not me who's going to be in charge. It's her."
Both men looked from the professionally dressed young woman to the woman dressed as though she was at a concert.
Buffy didn't let herself to be discouraged by the skeptical looks she was receiving from the agents. "So, when do we meet the team?"So? Was it worth to wait so long for a new chapter? I really need reviews right now. Thanks.
Elza C. Boe