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Navy ZEPPO

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This story is No. 1 in the series "NCIS Series". You may wish to read the series introduction first.

Summary: Enlisting out of high school, Xander thought his military career would be nice, quiet and he’d serve his time and then just get out. Yeah, right – like that’s going to happen.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
NCIS > Xander-CenteredAnimeRoninFR181024,779568130,18117 Aug 0421 Aug 04Yes

Chapter 10

10/10

AN: And now, for the big (and hopefully impressive) finish.

AN2: From the poll I put on Xanderzone, I’m slightly depressed how many people want the wedding to either not happen or for Tim to die before it could happen – sorry, folks, but this time I must disappoint, sort of - Read on and find out.

{2 months later}

Xander looked around at the milling number of people and wondered just what had happened to the previous two months – Abby had said yes to Tim’s proposal, they’d set up a date and, after telling everyone, had decided that a quick wedding would be great. He, Tony and Ducky had been asked to be groomsmen, with Gibbs giving Abby away, and Kate was the Maid of Honor and a few of Abby’s Goth friends as Bride’s maids – there was a pool going on about exactly how many threats of death Tim was under with Abby, and Xander found himself in the pool with Tony, Ducky and Gibbs for a twenty a piece, but there was also one on if it was going to be a traditional wedding, white gown, tuxes and all, and this one, seeing he had inside information, he could not bet on.

They had worked on about a dozen cases since then, Xander finding that his skills as an EOD specialist weren’t all that useful as a NCIS agent, but his ability to think outside the box, not to mention his past dealings with the darkness hardening his heart and his stomach, made it to where he could learn something useful and do well with it. He and Tony got along well enough – they’d swap one-liners and play off each other like Laurel and Hardy, they’d zing Kate, be on the receiving end of the zinging by Kate and Gibbs, and even take one for the team when necessary, though nothing to the extreme of his diving in front of a body on the beach to protect it from an on-coming wave in order to preserve evidence (that was Tony’s schtick). Kate had become a good friend of his over the past few months, not quite like Willow, Dawn, or Faith, or even Abby for that matter, but more on the levels of Cordy, mixed with Joyce, and with just at touch of Jenny Calendar as far as the verbal barbs and sparring, the ‘Mother’ look and the occasional flirting look, act or phrase. They knew it was just friendly, even if he and everyone else in NCIS knew that she and Tony would get together, it was only a matter of when. Gibbs, much like Giles, had become a surrogate father figure over the next few weeks, but also more of an old DI and a friend – while he didn’t share Gibbs’ passion for building boats in his basement, he and Gibbs did shoot the shit on more than a few occasions about life, love and how to avoid ex’s in general.

Dawn had completed High School a day before and had excitedly called him, saying that she’d been accepted, officially, into Virginia Tech on a scholarship while Willow was able to get a transfer and Faith was coming with them ‘to keep them out of trouble’; he smiled at this, knowing that he missed them all as much as they, apparently, missed him. She was still adamant about her becoming his wife, as was Faith and, though not too surprisingly, Willow, but he figured that it was more of a phase thing and that she had yet to meet Mister Right, or at least, he hoped – he didn’t want to have to explain that to anybody due to the fact that if he and Dawn WERE to get married, he was sure that they’d never leave the bedroom and Faith would want in on it.

“You ready, Xander?” He looked over at Tony, who was dressed much the same as he was, in a black leather tuxedo with a red silk shirt, black tie and cummerbund, and smirked as the man tugged again and again at the leather pants, “I don’t see how you wear these when you go to that Black Death place, man – it’s too … something.”

“Some people just can’t appreciate or wear leather, Tony – though from the looks she’s giving you, I think Kate appreciates the effort.” He chuckled as Tony spun around to look at the leather and lace, both red, clad bride’s maid, who quickly looked somewhere else than where she had been looking, namely Tony.

Even as the minister came to the front of the Gothic alter and the people went to their positions, Xander felt something in his stomach, an old instinct that he had long since learned to ignore – something wasn’t right, and on this day, in this place, that meant one of several things, and he liked none of them. Being as casual as he could, he checked under his left arm and found that his service pistol was there, and then pulled up the back of his pants while checking that the stakes were there too even as the organ music began to play and the Groom, clad much the same as them, save in a white silk shirt, took his place and the bride and her ‘father’ appeared in the doorway. Gibbs was dressed in a traditional tux, as were many of the groom’s family and friends, but Abby herself was dressed in a blasphemous parody of a wedding gown – black leather, lace and silk, all coming together with her pale skin and the white lilies she had as a bouquet. She was stunning and ready to get married.

Naturally, that was when Murphy entered the equation and all hell broke loose.

{Outside – 30 seconds before}

He stalked around the holy site again and could not believe the ceremony that was about to take place inside – a Goth wedding; in his nearly four hundred years of life, or rather, his unlife, he’d seen just about everything there was to see, but Timothy had to admit that this was a first. It was one of those inside, though, that he wanted to see dead – the one who had cost him his Artistic Princess, his soul mate, regardless of her clan or his.

Danielle and he had met once inside of the Toreador Haven, known to the mortals as The Black Death, when his clan was asked to send a representative, and they had not only just hit it off magnificently, he found that after four hundred years and dozens of human concubines, his emotional heart began to beat again. She was the most perfect woman he had ever seen and he spent the next year trying to seduce her to leave her clan and join him, a task that he eventually succeeded at. His own family was rather small and when the demon breeds had brushed across the Brujah at the Haven, the Marine who was killed brought out an investigative team that held someone who was pleasing to his love’s eye, one Alexander Harris, or as he was occasionally called, The Replacement. He’d heard of the exploits of this human on the Hellmouth, when the Slayer had deserted after doing her job one time, and he was in awe of the pure skill the child used in his hunting – were he not a human, it would have been even money on whether or not the child would become Brujah or Gangrel, given the violent and animalistic vibes the boy gave off.

Timothy shook his head and snarled, remember how the boy had called, or rather, helped facilitate the blood hunt that had been called upon Danielle and for that, he was going to take away from him something that could never be replaced – his friend, the bride. With a smile on his lips, he raised his face to the rising moon and let out a soft howl, a signal that was soon copied by his clam members, and the attack was on.

{Inside}

In a flash his piece was up, training in on one of the attackers as they came in through a close window, the general populace screaming as the gun barked once, twice and thrice, the third round putting the attacker on the ground as he spun to acquire a new target. Even in the back of his mind, Tony knew he was going to kill Xander for telling him what really went down after dark, even if it was that he never went anywhere, particularly around Goth individuals, without blessed hollow point rounds. “Damn it, Xander!”

“This isn’t my fault!” Harris’ own 9mm spat out his own blessed hollow points, but every other round was what appeared to be a regular, unblessed round.

Gibbs’ voice rang out over his own barking piece, this one a .40 caliber, “Save it, you two! They’re after Abby!” These words chilled Tony to the core and made him focus even as he double-tapped another charging vampire from ten paces out. Even though he had seen it happen, it still struck him as fascinating that when a vampire was hit with a hollow point round that was blessed, he or she screamed in agony and clawed at their face to get it out, where as a normal human would merely drop to the ground, dead as a door nail.

He looked over at Kate as he changed out magazines, blinking as he saw her firing off with a small 9mm, “Kate, where were you hiding that?”

She put one last bullet into one of the crashers, turned and changed out magazines, “Ask me later and I might even show you.”

With a smile on his lips, he searched around and when he came to the point where the real action was, his blood ran cold – someone who looked exactly like McGee had Abby by her throat and his fangs were going for her jugular. Without thought, he raised his gun and fired.

{Elsewhere}

Tim looked around muzzily as the world spun on its axis, not to mention it’s horizontal – he remembered getting pushed to the side, HARD, and slamming into the alter while Abby screeched about something, but then nothing else. Now, though, as the world stopped spinning, he wished that he had just stayed out – someone who looked just like him had Abby by her throat, about to bite her neck, and then the guy’s arm splinters from a gunshot. The man howled and let’s Abby go, who stumbled over to Gibbs, and he then sees Abby’s two older brothers and her younger brother both advance on the poor sap – her two older brothers, Grant and Jackson, were college football players back in the day and while one, Grant, was now a second grade teacher, Jackson was a fire fighter and neither looked happy as they began to stomp several parts of the guy into a red paste, just as they had told him would happen if he ever hurt Abby. The younger brother, Louis, had stopped only long enough to pick up what had once been part of a chair, and started to wail on his own look-alike with a glee that befit most serial killers.

“Don’t kill him!” Enter Harris, the one person here who he was sure knew exactly was going on, “I want answers out of him.” Okay, so maybe not all of the answers.

Grant, the grammar school teacher, looked up and, rather innocently, asked, “Can’t we at least break his legs?”

Harris sighed, pinching the bridge of his nose with one hand while clutching his pistol with the other, “Maybe later, Grant.” The big man beamed as Tim found himself being hauled to his feet by Kate and Tony.

“What hit me?”

Tony pointed off to the side to a mewling pile of flesh, “Him, but trust me, we have other things to worry about.” Tony looked over at Kate, who was dusting herself off, “Do you think we’ll get the security deposits back on these?”

Kate snorted, “We damned well better, or I’m going to be pissed.”

A sudden howl of agony caught his attention and Tim found his world spinning again as he snapped his head over to see Harris calmly snapping the other arm of the Tim’s own doppelganger with a loose that plainly told him that he was enjoying the act.

“Now, asswipe, why here? Why now?”

“I shall never tell you!”

Harris looked up at Abby’s oldest brother, Jackson, “Jackson, his left knee, please.”

“Hold it, son,” came a voice from behind the small mountain of Jackson. The man moved to reveal a smaller, older version of Abby, sans tattoos, piercings and black hair, and she was furious, “He’s mine.”

For the briefest moment, Tim felt sorry for the guy … and then that moment passed.

{20 minutes later}

Xander set the past chair back into place and looked around as the general populace began to be seated again – thankfully, nobody but the Kindred (though nobody but him and Abby knew who they were) had died, Tim had found he needed to knock one back, Abby had needed two and, after dealing with Timothy of Gangrel, whom he thought destroyed but now was sure of being gone, Xander himself had needed one. Abby’s mother, Dorothy (as in the Wizard of Oz kind of Dorothy), had done a number on the poor SOB who had the sheer audacity to screw up her daughter’s wedding, and in the end it had been not only a mercy staking to paralyze the guy, but even more so to go out to his car, grab the axe he kept there and to behead him. So now, even as he took his place again at the front and in front of the frazzled minister, he looked at Tony again, “Ten will get you twenty things go off without any more hitches.”

Tony stuck out his hand, “Deal.”

The wedding music began again and Gibbs led the less-frazzled Abby down the isle while Tim’s best man, Tony, kept the man present, upright and away from the small flask he had been handed after the attack. Once Abby got there, the minister started his sermon and Gibbs gave her away, as per normal – things went along smoothly and then came the crucial part.

“Abby, do you take this man to be your lawfully wedded husband, to have and to hold, for better and for poorer, in sickness and in health?”

Abby opened her mouth once, then closed it, opened it again, and then sighed, “No, I can’t.” There was a gasp among the gathered and, though Tim was facing away from him, Xander knew he had that dumbfounded look on his face, not that he blamed him, “I can’t do this, Tim – those guys were after me tonight. I … I need some time to think.” That said, she tore out of the room, her mother, Kate and the bride’s maids, not to mention Grant, right on her heels while Tim stumbled back, not falling to the floor for Tony’s being there.

He looked over at Gibbs, who shrugged, and then sighed, stepping up to where the minister was standing, gaping like a landed fish, “Ah, folks, just keep your seats – we’re going to see if we can salvage this wedding.” With that said, he too made his way down the isle and towards the bride’s area of the building, finding that Abby had locked herself in the room and wasn’t letting anyone in.

“Abby! We just want to talk.” Kate pleaded with the Goth, but he moved her aside and rapped on the door three times.

“Abs, it’s me – open up or I’ll open the door for you.”

“Go away, Alex! I … I want to be alone right now.”

He felt his heart breaking at the sound of the tears in her voice, but he hardened it as he spoke again, “Yeah, well, I want to be so fucking rich I could retire right now, but as that isn’t happening, neither is your being alone. Open the door or Grant kicks it down – your call.”

For nearly a minute there was nothing from inside of the room, but then the sound of the door clicking open was heard and the door cracked open, revealing half of her face, streaked with tears ad her makeup, “You are a true son of a bitch, Alexander Harris.”

Xander nodded, “Like it’s said in that fan fiction story you showed me, ‘I know I’m a son of a bitch, I like being a son of a bitch – the hours are good and there’s very little heavy lifting.’” He pushed open the door and walked in behind her, but Dorothy embraced her daughter tightly, checking her over for several minutes before allowing her up for air, “Abs, is this a case of nerves or what?”

She shook her head, “No, this is the real deal, Alex – I’m not getting married. Those Gangrel came after me tonight, man, and I can’t deal with that they’d come after Tim if we got married.”

Dorothy and everyone else looked in the dark, “Gangrel? What are you talking about, dear?”

“Look, Abs, if I have to I’ll go to them one on one, but trust me, this wasn’t about you – it was about me. Remember when you, Willow, Dawn and Faith were at each other’s throats?” She nodded, “Guy who was behind that was here, the one your mom was beating the unholy hell out of.”

Kate pulls up aside, “Xander, what’ the hell is going on?”

“Something I inadvertently got Abby involved in, Kate – something from my past.” He’d made it clear, after his suspension, that there were things about his past that he liked to keep to himself and that he would greatly appreciate it if they didn’t try and pry – Tony and Gibbs had agreed outright and Kate, while she didn’t like it, agreed as well.

“Well it involves Abby now, Harris – what is it?”

He sighed and ran a hand through his semi-gelled hair, “Remember what I told you about when I got off suspension? The thing I proved?” She caught herself from answering and only nodded, “Double that and we’re in the ballpark.”

Kate blanched and attempted to speak even as Abby tried to explain to her mother and brother what was going on as Xander walked back out to the minister, turned around and sighed as he put his hand in his pocket, fishing around for his money, “Alright, people, it’s official – wedding’s off.” He pulled out a twenty and gave it to Tony, but not before noticing that his money wasn’t the only one that was exchanging hands, which was more depressing than he cared to admit.

{Next afternoon – Xander’s apartment}

Gibbs looked at the war zone that was his youngest agent’s front room and smiled – he remembered what it was like to be a bachelor and have no one to gripe at him about keeping something clean; while the Corps had helped a great deal, there was a certain level of slovenliness that came with being an unmarried male. “Harris! Front and center!”

He heard someone crash to the ground in what he guessed was the bedroom and curse fluently in Spanish, German and a language that he wasn’t sure of, but then smiled as he saw Xander stumbled out of his room, still dressed in the leather pants of his tux, no shirt and he even had on one sock still on, “Gunny? What the f…”

“That’s what I want to know, Harris – what the hell were those things that attacked last night? They weren’t the normal vampires you showed us about, so what were they?”

Harris scrubbed his hands through his hair for a second and then yawned, “Vampires and normal don’t go together, boss, that’s an oxymoron, but to answer your question, no, they weren’t.” He stretched out and blearily dropped to the couch, where the rest of his clothes, sans his missing sock, were, “Different breed, less violent most of the time, but every type has their crazies.”

“They ruined Abby’s wedding, kid, and her mother bitched at me for nearly three hours after that – it felt like I was back with all three of my ex-wives again.” He walked over to what looked like a large wooden tree stump, flipped off the top and grabbed a cold beer from the hidden refrigerator inside, tossing another to Xander before closing it, “What’s being done about it?”

Harris opened his beer, chugged about half of it, and then grinned, “It’s been taken care of, boss – expect a lot of bikers, brawlers and general night-time hell-raisers to go missing over the next week, and for them not to return.”

“Why do I get the feeling that you’re in deeper with more people that we know?”

Harris appeared to contemplate this for a moment before answering, “Because you’re smarter than most Majors in any branch of the military?”

“Sucking up to me won’t get you off of being partnered up with Kate next week, kid – you drew short straw and you get PMS week.” It was good having another guy around now – it made for a legitimate chance that either he or Tony could actually have a peaceful week if they got called out.

The kid, for his part, only shrugged, “I had an unhealthy number of female friends in high school and after basic, Gunny – you’d be surprised how many women qualified for the EOD class I took.”

Gibbs could only drink his beer – if any of those women got married and the husband cheated, they’d never find the body. “Still, back on subject – who did you call to get this problem taken care of?”

“Mistress Diana – she’s calling a friend of hers to take care of it. I owe her a favor now and she assures me that she will collect.” Gibbs gave him a look that clearly said that the conversation was not over, but then reached over and grabbed the remote – Tony had leant him the WCC tapes and if Ducky was to be believed, there was a fresh set of matches starting in a few minutes.

{The Black Death}

“Are you sure they have been eliminated?” Diana listened to the voice on the telephone, the voice of one of her most trusted informants, well, as far as one could trust a member of the Nosforatu clan, “Very good – expect payment by the end of the week.” She hung up and looked at her clan as they sat at the table, “The Gangrel clan that attacked Harris and his friend have been eliminated.”

“Do they know that we set them up?”

“Of course not, Jean Paul, but on the counterbalance, Harris might suspect something.”

The eldest in appearance of their clan, Robert, sat back in his chair and looked into the diamond on the end of his cane, “Why are you continuing to play games with Mister Harris when it is Abigail that you are interested in?”

“Strength in numbers, Robert – while Mister Harris does not have the obvious touch of the artist in him, his powers of deception and creativity can be brought to levels that he never dared dream of as a mortal.” She picked up her goblet and tasted the mix of wine and blood within it, “Of course, the Assamites may want him as well, so if the time comes, we’ll need to be ready to take our two newest prospects.” The rest of the clan raised their goblets and drank to the health of both Abby and Alexander, in hopes of gaining them for themselves one day.

AN: Alright, that’s it – I left enough in there for the sequel to deal with, there was no marriage, and while Tim isn’t dead, he won’t be in the next one. What do you think? I know that the Kindred thing was supposed to be only for a few chapters, but I liked some of the possibilities it led to, so I'm keeping some of it in for a while. R&R, AR.

The End

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