Posted for the TwistedShorts challenge over on Lj.Beta:
Thanks to ConstanceTruggle for playing beta to my muse.Disclaimer:
I do not own the rights to NCIS, NCIS: LA or Buffy the Vampire Slayer. All rights belong to their owners and I merely borrow the characters for your amusement.
Buffy could see how upset he was by the news that Hetty had given him. She wanted to comfort him but it was difficult, she squeezed his hand, mindful of her strength. “G, we will be able to help Gibbs.”
Callen smiled softly, he never doubted that Buffy would help him. However, he knew that Gibbs could open up a can of worms when he would inevitably seek the truth. He tried to explain, “I know, but be warned; he will want to know everything.”
Buffy understood what he meant and sighed softly, “He won’t gain access. He has friends, but mine are higher.”
Callen snorted, it was a fairly simplistic explanation, and Buffy was on first name terms with President Bartlet and her Majesty, the Queen of England. It would be interesting to see his wife in Washington; Buffy the political operator was not a side he had seen before – Wife, Warrior, Counsellor, Strategic expert but never had he seen her play politics.
In truth, Callen just hoped that they found Anthony Dinozzo alive because if not; the person would beg for death before he was granted it. What else could you expect when an ex-Marine, an ex-Mossad Slayer, Slayer Queen and low-level goddess were on the warpath?
Gibbs was becoming increasingly frustrated. He and his team were the best at what they did, which was why coming up with no leads on the kidnapping of one of their own was so frustrating. McGee and Abby had pretty much hacked every network, and then a few more, looking for a lead.
Ziva was like him, tense and prowling, but without a target it was futile. She reminded him of a tiger in captivity who was just waiting for its chance to spring.
Director Vance watched as the team went into overdrive. He was pissed himself that one of his own had been taken. He could tell the team needed help, and he could think of only one person who could help Gibbs in this mood – one G Callen.
He put in a call to the LA office, but he doubted that Hetty had not already heard. There was a reason that she was the Ops manager for the special ops team. He would, though, make a formal acknowledgement of Callen being temporarily assigned to Washington in order to help solve this case. “Hello Hetty.”
“Save it Leon, Buffy is bringing them to Washington. I asked the IWC for help since Buffy was in the neighbourhood and was willing to help. I don’t need to say how stupid it would be to refuse their assistance,” she warned him.
Leon sucked in a deep breath of surprise. Whilst not well known publicly, Lady Elizabeth Callen wielded a lot of power and even the most bad-ass politicians would jump when she asked.
“No Hetty. You do not need to say a thing, we are grateful for their help.”
He just hoped Gibbs was smart enough to play nice with others. Vance knew his best agent hated being kept in the dark but there was no way that Gibbs could threaten, cajole or intimidate the information out of Lady Callen. He sighed, he wasn’t fooling himself - he called a meeting with Gibbs’ team.
Gibbs was the last to file into the office. Leon didn’t waste time with pleasantries, “You have help on its way and it is practically unheard of. You will be respectful and do nothing that could reflect poorly on this organisation. Do I make myself clear?”
Gibbs sighed, Leon meant inter-agency co-operation, and he’d heard the speech a thousand times.
“Who is it Leon?” Gibbs had never been one to beat around the bush.
“G Callen has temporarily been re-assigned for the duration of the case.”
Gibbs waited for the hammer to fall; there was no reason he would object, or not play nicely with his old friend.
Leon continued on, “Callen has asked for assistance from the IWC and it has been granted.”
All of the Agents were incredulous, apart from Ziva, who knew a little more about the situation. She had heard through the slayer grapevine about the Queen marrying an Agent. She knew that if Buffy could help in any way then she would do so.
Gibbs was out of the loop, which was not a feeling he greatly enjoyed, or, often experienced.
“Why are the IWC helping?” Gibbs had come across the IWC before and they did not play well with others. Although they were not all bad; they were absolute masters at pissing off the FBI which was always good in his book.
Leon knew he had to tread carefully here, “I am sure that when Callen asks his wife for a favour, she would be more likely to agree.”
There and then, Gibbs knew he’d been awake too long, if he’d failed to make the link between Callen and Lady Callen.
He would play nice if it would get him back DiNozzo; for his pride was not worth the life of an agent.
All of the team waited for their guests to exit the lift. Gibbs recognised Callen, of course, but the two beside him were new. He had seen a photo of the blonde only because Callen had sent him a wedding snap.
Gibbs' first impression was that the blonde knew she was powerful, but she didn’t strike him as a political operator. Of course, then there was the way Ziva reacted with a respectful, “Ma’am.”
Buffy rolled her eyes, “Relax, Ziva. We will spar later you need to work off some of that excess energy.”
Gibbs looked darkly at Ziva. It was clear that there was more than one secret at play here. The only thing keeping him calm was the fact that both Callen and Ziva seemed to trust these strangers.
G snorted, and Gibbs could see the clear affection, “You won’t break anything.”
Buffy grinned but shot back, “I don’t break, Sam do I?”
Gibbs listened in shock, and he would love to know how the blonde was able to beat the ex-SEAL. He decided to look deeper, oh she was good. Calen’s wife was showing the same situational awareness he’d seen in active duty servicemen. Also, the way she walked hinted at how dangerous she was, as she moved with the fluid grace of a predator. Interestingly, the red-head showed the same awareness but didn’t radiate the same threat, which just goes to show how deceiving looks can be.
Callen sighed, “Forgive me, this is my wife Lady Elizabeth Callen and her friend Dr Willow Rosenberg but only two people get away with calling Buffy, Elizabeth.”
Gibbs would dearly love to know who those people were, and he was a little shocked when Ziva asked, “What will Willow need in order to track Tony?”
Willow smiled at Ziva’s directness; it was quite refreshing. “Something personal. If it has DNA, then it would be better.”
“Done!” she handed her a spare jacket that he kept at the office.
Callen knew he should distract his friend. “Willow will have us a location soon enough.”
Gibbs snorted, “Just like that?”
Callen gave him a smirk, “Yep, It’s like magic. You just can’t ask how she does it.”
Gibbs listened to what Callen was saying, and realised his friend wasn’t joking. He said flatly, “the world really doesn’t work like that.”
Callen just smiled, “Maybe not our world, but theirs does. Just be grateful for the advantage, Gibbs.”
Abby bounced up and down. “Willow gave us a general location.”
Gibbs was back in his element. “We need better than that, we need intel.”
Abby rolled her eyes, “I know. Buffy is threatening the Sec Nav as she wanted two birds retasked.”
Callen grinned, he really enjoyed when Buffy handed the old bureaucrats their asses on a platter. He decided to cajole his old friend, “Come on Gibbs, this is not something to be missed.”
Gibbs listened to the conversation and could grudgingly admit that he was impressed. He really wished that he could get away with talking to the Secretary of the Navy like that. Buffy had been kind enough to put the conversation on speakerphone.
Buffy, no preamble or attempt to frame it as a request, demanded that two birds be retasked.
"I'll not authorise it!" he spluttered. "You can't order me about!" he thundered.
Buffy would have snickered but she was growing as a person. Instead, she simply arched an eyebrow, clearly showing how amused she was by his tantrum. Once he finished, she shrugged knowing that he couldn’t see, "Okay I was letting you know first; my next call is to Jed. Then you can explain why you refused to retask the birds to save one of your agents."
The Secretary started to splutter once again. Gibbs smirked, he could almost hear the retreat, "Now Lady Callen I'm sure we've all been hasty.”
Buffy’s voice would lose her accent when she was pissed. Callen doubted that the Secretary realised just what havoc Buffy could wreak when she was so inclined.
Gibbs watched as Lady Callen sliced through the Washington bureaucracy with unparalleled skill. Within an hour, Buffy had the birds retasked and as an apology, the Secretary had his best analysts run through the data.
Gibbs could not put into words how grateful he was for all that Callen, his wife and her best friend had done. Through their help, they’d gotten a definite location on their captive agent. Gibbs had managed to co-ordinate a rescue op, he couldn’t even object to Buffy Callen tagging along. His 'you’re a civilian' argument failed when she pulled out her DOD specialist ID.
The rescue went off without too many hitches. In the end, the good guys won and the bad guys were arrested so Gibbs should be satisfied. In truth, he only relaxed once Tony was released from hospital under Ziva’s care. It was only because of that fact, that he felt comfortable enough to go back to the office to write his report. However, the report he needed to write had so many potential plot-holes he did not know where to begin.
He was sitting at his desk when one of the potential headaches joined him. There was so many things that he did not know about Buffy Callen. He knew that he should want answers and he did. However, his initial enquiries had been shut down with some serious force. In such cases, even Gibbs knew when to back off.
Buffy gave him a small smile, “You know whatever weirdness you saw me and Ziva do today can so easily be explained.”
Gibbs snorted, and the skills he’d seen employed today could not be easily explained, not even by Mossad training. He was about to retort when Buffy cut him off, “Oh if there is one thing I’ve come to admire, it is the human ability to explain away the irrational with something that vaguely sounds plausible.”
Gibbs could hear the underlying wisdom beneath the words, “I’d like to know the truth.”
Buffy cocked her head to the side, and Gibbs was reminded of lionesses in the Wild. “Like, need or Want?”
“Is there a difference?”
Buffy grinned, and in that moment, he could tell his friend was a lucky man. He might almost forget that his preference was for fiery redheads. “Oh there is a world of difference … Callen wanted to say goodbye but Hetty needs him now.”
Gibbs shrugged it was the way things rolled for people like them. However, it had been good seeing his friend and even meeting the new wife. She was probably an even bigger enigma than her husband and Gibbs had never thought that possible.
Buffy got up to leave but stopped before the stairs. “When you need to know and not like to know…ask Ziva about Sunnydale… Tell her I said it was all good.”
Gibbs thought about it long hard. Today had been weird and the day was not over. He wanted Tony to be okay and the bad guys put away. The answers would not help him seek justice, so just this once he could wait and be patient. It was a strange, uncomfortable feeling. However, he sensed the answers could potentially rock his world, and he’d already had enough today. He was getting older and hopefully a little wiser.
After all, there was always tomorrow.