Still very fun to write but I still don't own these characters...
“Look up. Look down. Look right. Look left. Thank you Anthony. Now, you have a headache?”
DiNozzo winced and then felt at the back of his head. “Feels like someone whacked me with a baseball bat, Ducky.”
Dr Donald Mallard tutted and then inspected the area that DiNozzo was so gingerly feeling at with his fingers. “Yes, I can see some bruising… hmmmmm.”
“Hmmmm? What hmmmm? I don’t like it when you make that noise Ducky. It forebodes. What’s wrong with my head? Is it cancer?” A horrible thought struck him. “Oh god, I’m not going bald am I?”
“Calm yourself Tony, you’re not going bald. It’s just that the bruising is quite advanced for such a recent wound. It’s almost as if your body has been working overtime to heal itself. That or you already had a bruise there.”
“Nope, I would have known about that.” He winced as Ducky’s fingers pressed a little too hard.
“And you did this exactly how again?”
DiNozzo frowned. The last few hours had been a bit of a blur if he had to be honest. He’d woken from his enforced nap on the floor of the warehouse feeling a lot better than he had been before said nap. However, McGee and Gibbs had then hauled him to his feet and then looked at him critically, before escorting him back to the van and then driving him back to the NCIS Headquarters. Then he’d been taken straight down to see Ducky, whilst Gibbs had been waylaid by Director Vance and then taken off to MTAC to discuss another case.
“I’m not sure you’d believe me if I told you Ducky. It’s… complicated.”
“I’m not sure what exactly you mean by that Anthony. Do you mean genuinely complicated, or do you mean that something embarrassing happened to you?”
DiZozzo pulled a slight face. “Combination of the two, Ducky, combination of the two.” He eyed the older man doubtfully. “Plus, it sounds so crazy that I don’t want you calling for the nice men in white coats to take me away to a padded cell somewhere.” He paused, thinking hard. “Have you noticed anything… odd about McGee recently?”
Ducky looked at him with some surprise. “Oddly enough I was talking about this with Mr Palmer just the other day. We agreed that he seems to have lost quite a bit of weight whilst gaining quite a bit of serenity. I think I even saw him meditating the other day.”
This was something that should have boggled his mind. He was disturbed to find that it didn’t.
The doors to Autopsy opened and – speak of the devil! – McGee walked in. “How is he Ducky?” he asked as he approached.
“He’ll live, Timothy, he’ll live. Some severe bruising that seems to have healed a bit more than I thought was possible over such a short period of time, but apart from that, Anthony is just fine. Although he still hasn’t told me how he came to be injured in the first place.”
“Ah.” McGee rubbed the tip of his nose thoughtfully. Then he looked at Ducky seriously, before smiling slightly. “I think you can tell him Tony.”
“Ok. Well, there were these two CPOs who were kidnapped by this mysterious gang of men who we still haven’t found any sign of, and who had some kind of facial deformities and-”
“I beg your pardon Anthony but – facial deformities?” Ducky sounded slightly concerned.
“Ask Ziva about it, she talked to the witnesses. Anyway, this gang took them to this warehouse, where there was this really, really, freaky design on the floor like a pentacle or something and-”
“Excuse me again Tony, but pentacle? I think you mean pentagram.” And he now looked concerned as well. “And can I ask what kind of pentagram?”
DiNozzo looked blank. “Well it was kind of… pentagrammy. Red paint, blue paint, white paint… all very weird-looking. Are you ok Ducky?”
Ducky had gone a bit pale and was leaning against his desk. “Fine, just fine Anthony. So – a gang with ‘facial deformities’ and a pentagram. I think I need to have a word with the Director about the need to start briefing selected agents about the occult again. Oh dear me. Please continue Anthony.”
The doors opened again and Gibbs stalked into the room, anger written all over his features, followed by Ziva. “Is he ok Ducky?”
“Fine, Jethro, just fine. He was just telling me about how he came to be injured.”
DiNozzo nodded. “Well it’s all a bit freaky Ducky. By the time we got there the two CPOs had been rescued by a mysterious man who left his phone behind and who turned out to be McGee. No sign at all of the gang – you need to tell us what happened there McGee – and we just had this big dusty warehouse with this freaky pentagram.”
“Dusty?” Ducky broke in again, raising his eyebrows.
“Very dusty Ducky. Anyway, we got there, we found McGee’s phone, and then I was walking towards that pentagram-”
“With a cut finger from the fence outside,” McGee broke in as he stared at the ceiling.
“Oh yeah, you need to take a look at that Ducky, Gibbs said that there wasn’t much chance of getting tetanus from it, but I’d like your second opinion. Anyway, I was walking up to it, ok I was worrying about my finger, when something whacky happened. I think I saw the pentagram move out of the corner of my eye, which had to be some kind of optical illusion, and then there was this thing standing in front of me.”
Ducky had now taken his glasses off and was pinching the bridge of his nose. “Oh dear lord,” he whispered. “What kind of thing?”
“Not sure. It had a lot of teeth, I can tell you that. And very long arms. Knocked me into a load of packing cases. And when I woke up I had this ouchie on the back of my head. And… then things got a bit screwier.”
“In what way?”
“Tony, given the fact that Ducky has a stake strapped to the underside of every one of the autopsy tables here, I think that he deserves to know.”
DiNozzo stared at him, baffled. “Stake?”
But it was Ziva who then broke in. “Wait. You mean that Ducky knows about vampires?”
“Vampires?” The word came from both Gibbs and DiNozzo, at almost the same time.
“Yeah,” McGee said as he sat on the nearest table. “Ok, time for me to explain a bit. I was patrolling last night when I saw a car drive past me. I sensed that it was full of vampires. I also sensed that there were two humans in it, both unconscious.”
“McGee – vampires?” This time Gibbs sounded incredulous.
“Boss, you saw a demon today. Plus you heard what I am. And you have a problem with vampires?”
DiNozzo paused and then reached under the table that he was sitting on. Sure enough, there was something under there and he wrenched it out. Oh. It was a piece of wood that had been whittled to a point at one end.
“Ah. It’s, um traditional. For all medical examiners. Those who value living that is.” Ducky looked around the room. “I sense that we seem to be entering deep waters here. So – Anthony had an encounter with a demon today. And Timothy met some vampires. Yes, I know Jethro, it sounds insane but it’s not. Please continue Timothy.”
“Well, I followed them back to the warehouse, where the rest of the gang was, along with their leader. Who seemed to be a bit mad.” McGee looked at Ducky and raised an eyebrow. “There were 13 of them all told.”
“Ah. A significant number for the occult. And when you say leader do you mean-”
“Yes Ducky. A master vampire.”
DiNozzo looked around at the others. McGee and Ducky were taking all this very seriously. Ziva was looking intently at them. And the boss… well Gibbs looked as if he’d been whacked around the back of the head by his latest boat.
“A formidable adversary Timothy,” said Ducky, looking concerned. “And at the head of a significant group of the undead.” He looked back at DiNozzo. “Ah, Anthony said that the warehouse had been very dusty. I take it that that means that…”
“They’re all dead Ducky.”
“Can I ask how?”
McGee looked at the older man levelly. “Ducky, I’m a Jedi Knight.”
A silence fell whilst Ducky polished his glasses. “Ah. Your trip to California this year – I take it that you went to Sunnydale?”
“I was once temporarily based there, working for an organisation that I really can’t talk about, and I’ve kept in touch with a few very reliable people there.”
McGee smiled suddenly. “My cousin Graham Miller says hi by the way Ducky.”
Ducky grinned fiercely. “Aha! I thought as much – you do resemble him a little. And I’ve heard about a certain Mr Harris and his friends there.”
“Ah,” McGee smiled again. “I trained with one of those friends.”
“Ducky,” Gibbs broke in, “You know some of these people?”
“Oh yes Jethro. If not personally then at least by reputation. Young Timothy has been trained by the very best. And I take it that you have a lightsabre Timothy?”
McGee pulled his out and showed it to Ducky. “I built it myself.”
“Then I envy you, although I’d advise against showing that to young Abigail just yet. And it explains so much. So – you were trained there. A very nasty place, Sunnydale. The same thing could be said about any hellmouth, but I particularly disliked that place.”
McGee smiled slightly. “The place is getting better Ducky. There’s a lot less of the night life around for a start.”
“Hold it!” Gibbs stopped leaning against the table and then glared around the room with what looked like rather tired eyes. “Ducky. Hellmouth? Vampires?”
“Yes, Jethro. If you’re asking me if I believe in them, well… hang on a second.” He rolled up his right sleeve to reveal his forearm. A long unpleasant scar was visible on the underside of his forearm. “A souvenir from a man who was not as dead as I had initially thought when he arrived on the autopsy table that I was using at the time. A vampire, Jethro. They do exist. They are utterly evil. You can’t imprison them, you can’t reason with them – not if they’re hungry – and you can’t fight them easily. They’re too fast, too strong. But if you know what they’re like – or you have a lightsabre like young Timothy here – then you just might have a chance. So. Do I believe in what we’ve been talking about? Evidently so. And so should you.”
Jethro Gibbs closed his eyes and rubbed his forehead tiredly. “Ok. Right. McGee. So our kidnappers are all dead?”
“This is going to be tricky to explain away.”
“Oh,” Ducky broke in, “I’d be amazed if Director Vance doesn’t know about vampires. I imagine that it’s a key part of the briefing he received about the occult after he was appointed to his position.”
Gibbs opened his mouth and then closed it again. “I need a very stiff drink,” he muttered under his breath. Then he turned back to McGee. “So there are more like you?”
“So how the hell did this happen? How does an NCIS agent become a Jedi Knight?”
“Long story Gibbs.”
Gibbs pointed at him. “Start talking then.”