8. I’m so sorry, dad!
Sorry for this long pause. Real life stuffs. Hope you will enjoy the next chapters. I’ll do my best to update more timely next times.
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Gibbs was completely taken aback by his daughter’s question. How did she know? He stared at her for seconds that seemed hours, and she was staring back at him expectantly, waiting for his answer. Finally, he took a deep breath and answered her slowly, with a soft and kind voice.
“How did you know?”
“Is it true?” she asked him without answering.
“Yes.” he simply said.
She nodded and started examining him for a few seconds, before her stare settled back again on his eyes. “I’m sorry we had to meet like this. You seem to be a good man.”
Gibbs was really touched to hear that comment. They started on a better footing than what he could have hoped from the interrogation yesterday.
“Thanks for saying that, Joan. I have the same feeling about you, despite the mess you got into. If only you could tell me more about it.”
“I’m sorry, Jethro. I can’t. I would really like to, but I can’t.”
Gibbs wouldn’t have expected her to call him ‘dad’ right away, but this hurt nonetheless.
“Will you at least tell me how you realized all of a sudden that I was you father?”
She shook her head. “I’m sorry. I can’t either.”
He sighed and stood up. Reaching to her would be tough, it seemed. He had a few things to find out anyway. He opened the door, and stopped for a second, turning back to face her.
“I’ll help you get out of this mess as best as I can, Joan. Whether you want it or not.” he said before closing the door.
As Gibbs came in the recording room, opening the door carefully this time, he silently asked his agents to follow him. None of them dared to start talking, feeling how tensed he was. Once they were outside the clinic and heading back to NCIS headquarters, he finally started.
“OK. How did she know? It’s like she had a sudden moment of clarity or something.”
“It’s … it’s uncanny, boss.” replied DiNozzo. I was discussing with Ziva the fact that you were her father, and five seconds later, she asked you that question! It’s as if she could hear through the glass.” he continued.
“Through the glass, Tony? It’s impossible!” said Ziva. “These rooms are completely sound-proof!”
“Do you have a better explanation?”
“Not yet. But I’m sure that we will find one. No explanation is better than this one!”
“Did you find her name?” interrupted Gibbs. He had no time for the friendly verbal sparring of his team.
“Yes, boss. I was coming to give it to you when she… when this turn of events interrupted your interrogation.” Tony was going to say ‘when she went psychic’, but it wasn’t probably a good idea at the moment to say such a thing to Gibbs. Or ever. “Her name is Buffy Anne Summers, daughter of Hank and Joyce Summers. Her parents are recently divorced. She lives in Sunnydale, California, with her mom. McGee is searching more data on her as we speak.”
Gibbs stayed silent for a few seconds. Buffy? What a strange name! And she had smiled when he had told her that his name was Jethro! “I need to have her mother brought here for questioning. Does the father lives nearby as well?”
“I’ll ask McGee, boss. But we will surely bring her mother here as a start.”
“Ask the LA office to bring her here, and make sure they use a SRT team to back them up. I don’t want to take any risks.”
“Sure thing, boss. On it!”
Alone in her room, Buffy was still absorbing the news. The agent that had shot her was her father… Could her life get any more twisted? Her mother had told her recently that Hank wasn’t his biological father. It was just after the Cruciamentum. Buffy had been disappointed with him for not coming for her eighteenth birthday, and her mother had thought it was time to break out the news that she had been conceived through artificial insemination. As the donor was kept anonymous, there was no way for her to ever find her biological father.
When she had heard in the other room that Gibbs was her father, she thus immediately understood that it might be true. And they had no reason to lie, as they had no way of knowing that her Slayer hearing enabled her to hear all they were saying. And his protective behavior could only confirm that Gibbs was indeed her father. She hated the fact that she had to lie to him. But she knew that she couldn’t tell him the truth. Especially in an interrogation room where all what she was saying was being taped.
It was a shame though, because he really seemed like a nice, caring guy. She could easily forgive him shooting at her. He was doing his job, protecting his agents against what he thought was professional killers. And with Faith behavior, she could understand the confusion even more… And she could also understand why he wanted her to talk so badly. That was the best way he had found to protect her from going to jail. Of course, she was confident that there was no jail in the world she couldn’t escape from – once she would be completely healed, that is – but Gibbs had no way of knowing that. Yep, this whole situation definitely sucked.
At least, they didn’t know her name yet. So the Scoobies and her mother were safe for now. It was a good thing, because she would probably need a bit more time to rest before trying an escape. Her chest was still quite painful, and this was despite the pain medications that the doctors were giving her. She sighed. Her father was going to be so disappointed once she escaped. Was she ever going to see him again after that?
The whole Scooby gang was gathered in the library – except Buffy and Faith – to discuss the seriousness of the situation. Angel had explained the situation, and the group was now thinking of what to do about it.
“I still can’t believe why Faith acted like this.” said Willow. “And now, Buffy is in prison! Buffy is in prison!” she repeated. “Maybe she will go in jail for years. Maybe for life. And what about high school? She was doing so much better recently. And college? And…”
Giles interrupted her babbling. “Willow, we will do all what is in our power to make sure that this doesn’t happen. But we have more urgent problems at hand. First, there is now the risk of federal agents coming here to investigate. We don’t know if they found her identity yet, but we might all be endangered by an inquiry.”
“Oh, Giles, remember how I tried to clean her records.” answered Willow. “I’m sure that they won’t be able to find her name unless she tells them.” She paused a few seconds. “But what about her Mom? We have at least to tell her! Oh, God! She was just starting to be really fine with this all Slayer stuff! And… and if the police really finds out her name, and comes here to investigate, they will surely ask her questions. Oh God!” panicked Willow.
“Calm down, Will.” said Xander. “We’ll go there tonight to update her on the situation. Giles, do you think that the cops will find us? Should we hide?”
“It is really hard to tell, Xander. I think that Buffy’s Mom is the most endangered of us all. I’m considering asking her to go into hiding for a while, even though it would really be harsh for her. I’ll come with you after this meeting and discuss it with her.”
“We need also to discuss the other problem that we have. The swords of the Flux.” said Angel, who had been quiet until now. It was too hard for him to discuss the matter of Buffy’s mom, too painful. It reminded him to much of Buffy, and the pain and loneliness she was probably experiencing right now. “Faith will come back with the Falchion, but we need to hurry to find the Kriss as well. Time is playing against us.”
“I guess… I guess I can stay here tonight to continue researching on the internet.” said Willow.
“I’ll stay and help you.” added Oz, hugging her, even managing to make her smile a little.
“OK, so it’s set up!” said Xander. “I go with Giles to talk to Joyce, and you two keep researching. Deadboy? In which team are you?”
“I’ll stay here and research.” he simply said.
The team had just been back at NCIS headquarters, and gathered around McGee, who had kept researching Buffy Summers’ background.
“I… I’m not sure you will like it all, boss.” he started.
“I’m listening, McGee. I don’t need to like it, I just need to know.” he replied.
“Well… It seems that her troubles started a bit less than three years ago, when she burnt her high school gym. The report states that she claimed to have fought vampires, and she was…” McGee gulped. Gibbs wasn’t going to like this at all. “She was committed to an insane asylum for a few weeks.”
Gibbs stayed silent for a few seconds. Was it the reason? Was her daughter a good person, but delusional? Was it what led her on such a path? Gibbs also started to think about some of the wounds that Ducky had found on the bodies in Irak. Exsanguination? Maybe there was more to this vampire story than one would think at first. “How come we didn’t find that out sooner? Surely she has a criminal record, and her photo or fingerprints should have given instantly a match!”
“I checked it out, boss. It seems that someone was able to wipe out her photo and print from the system. It seems that the local police does not have a very advanced cyber security system, so, basically, anyone with good computer skills could have done it.”
“Well, Probie, anything else?” asked DiNozzo.
“She was accused of murder 6 months ago, but these charges were dropped since then.”
“Does she still go to school, McGee?” asked Gibbs.
“Yes, boss. I checked it out. She has even received admission to pretty good colleges for next year. Carnegie Mellon, Brown, Penn State, …”
Gibbs couldn’t help but feel proud of his daughter academic achievements. But he knew he was drifting away from topic. “It doesn’t make sense. How can she still be at school and have acquired these amazing fighting and mercenary skills at the same time?” Gibbs’ agents knew better than to try to answer this mostly rhetorical question. “What about her mother? Has the LA team found her yet?”
“They are on their way, boss. They will keep me posted as soon as they have her.”
Gibbs stood up. “Good! I’ll go back and interrogate her again. McGee, you stay here, and come as soon as the LA team calls you. Ziva, DiNozzo, with me. And just listen, don’t talk anymore. We can’t be sure that the observation room is sound-proof.”
“Yes, boss!” all three said at the same time.
“I am quite nervous, Giles. It won’t be easy to tell Joyce that her daughter has been arrested and that she needs to skip town for a while.” said Xander.
The two men were only a few blocks away from the Summers’ home. Xander had a loaded crossbow tied in his back, and they both had stakes at their belt. After nightfall, you couldn’t be too careful.
“You are completely right, Xander, it won’t be an easy talk. But it is the thing we have to…” Giles stopped. He had just spotted what seemed to be police cars lights reflecting on house walls. It didn’t bode well. They moved carefully, hiding behind a house corner, to see what was going on. At least seven police cars or vans were surrounding the house at 1630 Revello Drive. And they saw what seemed to be two federal agents escorting Joyce to one of the cars.
“Crap!” said Xander.
“Oh, dear Lord!” said Giles.
Gibbs entered the interrogation room nervously. He had an advantage, and he had to use it as much as he could to try to have his daughter talk. Knowing her real name would probably shake her up quite a lot. It would be quite painful for him to see her in so much stress, but he knew that it was for her own good. And a brutal surprise was probably going to shake her the most.
“So, Joan!” he started. “Shall we continue? Or maybe you would be more comfortable if I called you Buffy?”
Buffy became completely white. They knew her name! Which meant they had her address… They would probably be storming her house any minute now, to question her mother and probably her friends. She had to warn her. To warn them. And if Faith was coming back to Sunnydale, she might be running into them too. She instantly knew what she had to do, even though she would have preferred to wait one or two more days.
She stared at her father for a few seconds, formed a sad smile on her face and took a deep breath. “I’m really sorry that I can’t tell you the truth, Jethro. I just want you to know that if you knew it, you would be proud of me.” she said. “I’m also very sorry for the glass.”
Gibbs felt his heart warming up at these words. At last, she was opening up a bit. It got him distracted for a critical half second during which Buffy reached the needle in her arm to remove it. “What glass?” he asked, coming back to his senses, but too late.
Buffy finished removing the needle, jumped from her bed, grabbed firmly her father with her arms, and made a backward jump towards the two way mirror. Their combined mass and speed was enough to break it, and she landed between a flabbergasted DiNozzo and an half prepared Ziva.
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