in a Fan Fiction Crossover

Buffy Returns to Washington

Part II




Chapter Three

Faith waited, uncomfortable, quiet, terrified, wondering what would happen next. She exchanged nervous glances with both Dawn and Gibbs, seated next to her. After a few minutes, the young man at a desk on the opposite side of the room got up and went to the door. He said, "The President will see you now, Agent Lehane."

She got up and went into the Oval Office, feeling very much like she was walking to a hanging, her hanging probably. She stopped in front of the President's desk and snapped, "DCIS Special Agent Faith Lehane reporting as ordered, sir!" After a short awkward pause, she added, "Uh, am I supposed to salute you or something?"

The President chuckled and said, "Not unless you're wearing a uniform, and you're not entitled to wear one. But then, I'm not entirely certain you're entitled to claim you're Federal Agent, either."

"Uh, about that..." She stopped, nonplussed, as the President stood up and walked around the desk. He pointed Faith towards a couch and sat himself on the opposite couch.

"Charlie!" he said loudly.

The President's assistant came in bearing a silver tray with a fresh pot of coffee, cups, accessories, and some delectable snacks. He place the tray on the coffee table between the couches. "Will that be all Mr. President?"

"Yes, Charlie. Please set security protocol three."

"Mr. President!" he replied as he stepped out and closed the door.

Faith looked at the President and asked, "Security Protocol three?"

"They won't interrupt us unless an attack by foreign powers is imminent, and there will be no recording of this session. You'll see a Secret Service agent glance at us through that small window every few minutes, but they won't be in the room with us." He reached into his pocket and pulled out a small recorder. "Although there will be no official recording, I will use my private machine to make a recording of this – just in case I have to hang you out to dry."

Faith was alarmed. "Do you think that will necessary, sir?"

"I sincerely hope not, especially since that would open up all sorts of things that need to remain more secret than our most extreme official classification."

"I see, sir, I think. Where would you like me to begin?"

"From the beginning, of course."

"Well sir, I was born in Boston..."

"Not that far back."

"Sorry sir. Would you answer a question first sir? You see, I don't know what the f-, uh, exactly what I can and can't tell you."

"Faith, may I call you Faith? Thank you. Faith, I am the President of the United States. There is nothing that you can't tell me legally, and much that you must tell me. No classification exists higher than mine, no 'need-to-know' exception applies to me. You may be assured that you will not be prosecuted for telling me anything, no matter what the classification and no matter what some underling might claim, incorrectly, that anything is classified beyond me. The law is very clear on this matter."

"Yes sir, but that's not the problem. The problem is I may need to tell you stuff that you'll think is crazy. You may end up believing I'm a looney, and that would be very bad for both of us.

"I see your difficulty. Would it help if I told you that I know DRI stands for 'Demon Research Initiative', I know vampires exist, I know about Vampire Slayers, and I know that you are the last of the 'Chosen' Slayers?"

Faith was frankly astonished. She shook her head in disbelief and said, "That, fu-, uh, I mean, that – is good. Surprising, but real fu-, uh, helpful."

The President said, "I have a complete report from Special Agent Gibbs concerning the events in Virginia leading up the investigation moving to the New London Submarine Base. So start with how you came to be involved, as well as how you came to be holding DCIS credentials, as good as real ones at that."

"I was in New York, at the IWSC – you know what the IWSC is? Yes? Good – when I got a phone call from Agent-, or maybe it's Lieutenant-Colonel this week, Riley Finn, of the DRI."

"Ahh, I see."

"I took the train to Washington, and made my way to the Pentagon where Riley met me. He brought me up to speed with the same report you got from Agent Gibbs as well as his own agents on the scene."

"Wait wait," said the President, "Riley Finn told you he had agents in New London?"

"Yes sir. I never saw them though, unless they were really deep cover."

"Hmm, hold on a minute." He picked up the phone and said, "Charlie, call Agent, or Lieutenant Colonel, Riley Finn at the Pentagon and tell him to report to me ASAP. Make certain he has no wiggle room, I want him here within the hour, or sooner. If you have a hard time finding him, look for a department called the DRI. If that doesn't work, get back to me." He hung up.

"Please continue Agent Lehane."

"Well, Riley handed me a DCIS badge and gun and other stuff, orders, car keys, authorizations, and finally a map. He also told me to be quiet about his whereabouts, since he claimed to several other people that he was in Timbuktu or some f-, damned place. I gathered that he was working the investigation very hush-hush from the Pentagon. Anyway, I almost told him to stuff-it-where-the-sun-don't-shine several times, but I finally agreed to go on the mission for him." She paused for a sip of coffee and swallowed a fresh-made chocolate glazed petit-four.

"Go on."

"Mmmph, that's fu-, darned good. So, where was I? Oh yes, I arrived at the Submarine base, went through their insane security like a good little Federal employee, and ended up at a meeting with more armed alphabet soup agents than I knew existed. I mean, besides me, we had NCIS, FBI, ONI, f-, freaking NOAA, and several Navy officers. After a pissing contest between FBI Agent Fornel and NCIS Agent Gibbs, DiNozzo, Gibbs and I finally went to do some investigating. And we found fucking, sorry sir, I mean freaking vampires on the fu-, er, submarine. Vampires and nuclear weapons! Fu-, gah! And I couldn't just stake them right there because Gibbs started spouting off shit, I mean, uh crap, about civil rights and rules and regulations and we couldn't just disappear prisoners from his custody. Never in life have I ever seen it so fu-, uh, complicated to stake vampires."

"Faith, if you can't speak coherently without saying 'fuck', then for chrisakes say it! I've heard it before, I'm not going to swoon with the vapors."

"Uh, thank you Mr. President. Anyway, I came up with a plan, and nearly the first fucking thing that happened is all fucking hell broke loose. It turned into a cluster-fuck to beat all cluster-fucks. It was pure luck we didn't have more casualties or any deaths."

The President grinned, sipped some coffee, and signaled her to continue with her story.

"...yeah, here's what we can do..." said Faith.

"Oh this oughta be good," murmured Gibbs.

Faith frowned at Gibbs and said, "Do you want to hear it or not?"

"Yeah, yeah, go ahead."

"Okay," Faith ticked off one finger, "One, you could try an just fuckin' arrest them, you know, like regular criminals or something. It won't be easy, some vamps can sense slayers, but if they're newly sired they might be clueless. But if we could think of something to get them off the boat without letting them know we know they're turned, then we'd we could get them well away from the sub before dropping the hammer on 'em. We'd have to go in after sunset of course to avoid them bursting into flames on the pier in front of everyone – that'd be hard to explain. So then we'll take them somewhere quiet, get what information they have and stake them. All done."

"Umm," said Gibbs, "there's the tiny little problem of explaining where they got to. In government service, paperwork always has to match up; if NCIS arrests them, then NCIS is responsible for them, and we would have to produce them when asked, or explain why we weren't able to. Death by torture and cardiac stabbing isn't on the approved list of reasons to have killed a prisoner. In fact, other than self-defense or attempted escape or something similar, there is no list of approved reasons to have killed a prisoner. Such things tend to be a career killers."

"Yeah, I can see where that might be difficult to explain. Okay," she ticked off finger number two, "we lure them someplace quiet and then dust them. The lure has to be done in a way that doesn't point to any of us. After all, they probably do leave the ship occasionally while they're in port."

Gibbs nodded, "Better. By the way, a submarine is called a 'boat', not a ship. How to you plan on getting information out of the vampires?"

"Pressing a small cross to their skin usually does the trick. Or force it into their mouth and hold the jaw closed. And what the fuck? That thing's a whole lot bigger than any boat I ever seen."

"Well, that sounds easier than I thought. Any other ideas? I have no idea why they call it a 'boat', that's just the Navy for you."

"I could just walk around the sub until I get each vampire alone, and stake them. I'm pretty good at acting all nonchalant afterwards."

"Did you notice that this crew, as on all U. S. Navy subs, at least until recently, is all male? You could no more wander around the Hampton without acquiring a conga line of horny sailors than I could learn how to be a Vampire Slayer."

Faith smiled as she said, "When ya got, flaunt it!"

A car approached the pier and parked. Gibbs frowned, Faith grinned when Dawn got out and walked out on the pier.

"How the hell did you get on base?" asked Gibbs.

"You're looking at the most recently accredited Special Agent of the NOAA," Dawn replied, "I'm armed and everything!" She pulled her jacket aside and proudly showed off her gun and badge.

Gibbs groaned, "National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency? Since when do they have armed agents?"

"For several years actually. Of course, I only took the agent course in Georgia, so far. I'm officially here to find out why dead mammals have been spotted floating downstream from the shipyard. Very nasty, the eco-people are quite upset and at least one of the congressmen from Connecticut is awfully put out."

Gibbs turned away and mumbled something under his breath.

"What was that?" asked Dawn.

"He said, 'This is a fucking nightmare'," said Faith.

"What! How'd you hear that?"

"She has Slayer hearing, of course," answered Dawn. "Yeah, NOAA is kind of a stretch, but it was the best Riley's Pentagon sneak-department could do for me on short notice – Faith having stretched DCIS's spec-ops budget to the extreme and Riley having no in with the FBI or NCIS."

Gibbs moaned, "Thank god for small favors."

Dawn continued as if Gibbs hadn't said anything, "I just hope I don't run into any real NOAA agents, there's only about sixty of them so they probably all know each other. But they gotta be spread pretty thin."

"Hmm," said Gibbs.

"In fact, there really were some corpses that floated down from this base, but they were demon corpses. We were able to hush up the demonic identities, and we floated rumors about them being sea mammals. But that kind of backfired and got some activists up in arms. Apparently there are some people who will use any excuse that comes along to make trouble for this base, although most of the locals are quite prideful. Still, it got me in."

Fornel came out of the building with a couple of other FBI agents and strolled out the pier when he noticed the impromptu conference. "Who's this Gibbs? NCIS sends PR folks along now?" He took a sip of coffee from his Styrofoam cup.

"No Fornel, this is Special Agent Summers from NOAA," Gibbs answered with a straight face.

Fornel didn't react at first. But when the meaning of NOAA reached his brain, he choked and swallowed coffee down his windpipe. It took a minute of coughing, hacking and spitting until he got it settled.

"Do I want to know about this? Or can I leave it to you?"

Gibbs sighed, "Yeah, leave it to me."

"Good, because word just came down from my boss that you are indeed the lead agency in this mess. And frankly, I'm delighted to wash my hands of it."

"So are you going to stick around? Or do you have other, more important cases?"

"No, no, I'm assigned here until we get the perps. The spy end of it is still mine, unless it turns out to be connected to your case."

"Oh joy," said Faith and Gibbs, simultaneously. After a minute or so of silence, Fornel finally decided he would be better employed elsewhere and left.

Faith said with a sigh of resignation, "I think its time to check in with the Pentagon."

Dawn looked amazed. "What happened to 'jump in the middle with both feet'?"

"Uh, that works fine right up until it doesn't – then we're up shit creek. Besides, this is kind of new experience for all of us – vamps on nukes? Not my idea of a way to get a comfortable sleep."

Gibbs and Dawn both nodded in agreement. Gibbs asked curiously, "Who do you call at the Pentagon?"

"Some admiral or other." Faith fished a card from her back pocket and read it, "Admiral Fitzsimmons."

Gibbs said, "Hmm, yes, I met him once. Secretive SOB."

Faith got her cell phone and made the call. Gibbs was astonished when the call went through directly to the Admiral, without any underlings to get in the way. Definitely unusual behavior for a flag officer.

"Hi, uh Admiral. This is Faith Lehane."

"Ah, the other senior Slayer. I understand you do good work."

"Yeah, thanks. Uh, I'm calling from the New London Nuclear Sub Base and..."


"The usual."

"Shit! Tell me what you have."

"Vampires, three of 'em, on the USS Hampton, crew members."


"No sir, admiral sir, I shit you not. I'm here with Special Agent Gibbs from NCIS, and we're trying to figure out our next step. Complications include the extremely paranoid security you guys got here, and the fact that FBI Agents are crawling all over the fucking place. And a Colonel from ONI is here too. The whole place is buzzing over some spy thing slash security breach. Oh yeah, and there's a Special Agent from NOAA here, on top of everything else there's a publicity shitstorm brewing over dead mammals floating down the river."

"Christ on a fucking pogo stick! FBI? ONI? Fucking NOAA? Is there any possibility, at all, that we can keep the lid on this? The last thing I want is some sort of real-life X-Files crap-o-rama showing up on the local news."

"So far as I know, the FBI is clueless about the supernatural. Your man Riley fixed me up with temporary DCIS credentials, and the NOAA agent is Dawn Summers, you know, Buffy Summer's sister – Riley fixed up her creds also."

"Fuckin' Riley did one thing right, but I'm still gonna string 'em up by his balls, he's supposed to take care of shit like this so I don't have to! Go on Lehane."

"I suggested to Agent Gibbs that he arrest the three vamps, and we take them to a quiet place and interrogate them and then I simply dust 'em. He doesn't think much of that idea, something about paperwork..."

"Fuck 'em! Let me talk to Gibbs."

Faith handed the phone to Gibbs, who was very startled to find himself talking to an angry admiral. "Yes sir?" he inquired carefully.

"Gibbs, I know you, right? You were in on the cluster-fuck concerning Chief Donovan?"

"Yes sir, that was me. I had to shut down an active investigation and add it to the cold case file." Even speaking to an Admiral, he still managed to sound aggrieved about it.

"On my orders, I want you to arrest the offenders as soon as possible, right after the sun sets today. You may question them, but then they are to be transferred to Homeland Security, who will take them to Guantanamo Bay. The paperwork will balance, you'll be off the hook, and once they're in terrorist detention – well, I imagine we'll need a vacuum cleaner then."

"Yes sir! What about warrants?"

"I'll fax 'em to you. Get a hold of the base security officer, I'll get 'em there. What's the names of the vamped sailors?"

"We don't know yet, sir."

"We don't have time to wait, they'll be open-ended terrorism warrants," said the Admiral. He mused, "That terrorism garbage comes in handy from time to time." After a pause he said, "Gibbs, get those fucking vampires off that fucking Nuke – that's your priority. After that it'll be smooth sailing."

"What about the FBI? What do I tell them? They're wetting themselves trying to catch a spy. They won't be happy if I manage to spirit three suspects away from them. And I don't have any idea of what this Colonel Evanson, the ONI spook, is gonna do. And just think about how unhappy they'll be if I don't get the vamps away from here – can you imagine what'll happen if clueless FBI agents try to interview a real vampire?"

"Just fucking dip me in shit. It's up to you Gibbs – keep a lid on it and I'll owe you one. If you don't – I don't have to spell it out, do I?"

"No sir, I understand," Gibbs sighed, realizing that his ass was hanging out unprotected on this one. "And ONI?"

"Evanson, Evanson," mused the Admiral, "oh, I know him. He can help you, just drop my name. As far as the FBI goes, let me see what I can do behind the scenes. Won't be easy, those stuffed-white-shirt fuckers strenuously resist taking 'suggestions' from the Pentagon."

"Okaay. The other big problem will be the Navy – don't you think the Hampton's officers will wonder what the hell happened to their three enlisted guys that NCIS has arrested? It'll be a huge surprise that NCIS can came in and drag several of their men to Guantanamo Bay, likely an unpleasant surprise, especially if we accuse them of something that they demonstrably didn't do and don't bother with any legal niceties like an investigation or court martial."

"I'm sure they will wonder, and they'll find me, eventually. I'll figure out something to say, and you probably don't need to mention Guantanamo to anyone. Got that?"

"Yes sir, and what do I say if someday I find myself facing a tribunal of senators, asking questions about the disappeared sailors?"

"Let's not get ahead of ourselves, Gibbs. We're gonna try to avoid any members of congress on this thing, but rest assured, if it does happen, I'll be on the docket next to you. Now you ready to go?"

"Yes sir, I'll go find the Base Security Office. It's likely to be a large unit, should I ask for anyone in particular? Might I suggest a Lieutenant Mason for our contact – she's the Liaison Officer for SubRonCon II and should be able to find the right office for us."

"Sounds good. I'll call you back." He abruptly hung up.

"Huh, typical admiral," Gibbs muttered. "Here's your phone Faith. He should be calling back shortly."

"So," said Faith, "we're gonna waltz onto the sub and arrest three vampires."

"Yep," Gibbs replied glumly.

"You know I'll have to do the physical stuff – the actual arrest. After I cuff the first one, the other two might just decide to stop worrying about laying low and make a game as to how many they can take with them. What do we do then?"

"I think we lowly NCIS agents can handle a handcuffed vampire, don't you?"

"No, I don't."

"Seriously? Just how strong are these things?"

"Vamps are strong enough to break ordinary police handcuffs. I have with me an extra-heavy-duty set, made out of extra strong metal with a dose of magic. But only the one pair. I foresee problems taking them out of the sub one at a time."

Gibbs asked wonderingly, "They can break handcuffs?"

"Yes Gibbs, so can I, get over it."

"You? You can break handcuffs?"

"I've done it before, you want me to show you?"

Gibbs thought about it before he said, "Would that have been one of those incidents I don't want to hear about? And no, let's not break my handcuffs."

"Yes, and okay."

Dawn, going into planning mode, said, "We'll have to wait for the sun to go down, but not much later. Let's try to scare up a van or something. We'll have to get some kind vampire-tranquilizers, that's the only way this'll go down without a bunch of dead bodies cluttering up the submarine."

Gibbs said, "We have three hours, can either of you get some more vamp-proof cuffs in that time?"

"Hmm, maybe. I'll need a very private room somewhere," said Dawn.

"For what?" Gibbs asked curiously.

"A little magic. I don't want to be interrupted or observed."

"Yeah, I can see that."

That evening, minutes before sunset, Gibbs and DiNozzo followed Faith over the forward brow to the deck in front of the sail. The 2nd Class Machinists Mate on the quarterdeck watch said, "Hey sweetcheeks, what can I do for ya?" as he raked his eyes over her chest. The petty office and his messenger were dressed in work uniforms, but clean and pressed. They made an attempt to look sharp, as befitted watchstanders on a nuclear sub, but neither was particularly gung-ho.

"You can stick to business, asswipe, and tell me where to find Missile-tech Burton."

"Beats me. You got any kind of authorization to be on this boat?"

"Yeah, we're Federal Agents, now get off yer ass and direct us to Barton.

"Probably in the mess, it's dinner time."

"Where else?"

"Crew quarters," he replied laconically.

Gibbs said to the petty officer, "Thank you, log this as an active NCIS investigation, here's a copy of my warrant." He turned to the messenger and said, "Take us to Barton by the shortest possible route, please."

They followed the messenger around to the back of the sail to an open hatch. Faith was impressed, again, by how tight the space was, considering how big it looked outside, the inside was tiny. They went down two decks and Faith was startled when someone shouted, "Women aboard!" and at least two naked guys dashed into side compartments. A couple of heads popped out from behind curtained bunks to stare at Faith as if she were an alien creature.

"Hey guys, you're tied up to a pier in Connecticut, pussy can't be that rare."

"Well," said one sailor, "down here in the crew's bunkroom you're pretty rare. Uh, what can we do for you?"

"We're looking for MT2 Barton," said Gibbs.

"Is he in trouble?"

"You leave that up to us, where is he?"

"In the head."

Gibbs sighed and knocked on the indicated door. "Hey Barton," he shouted, "get dressed and come out here!"

After a few minutes a sailor came out of the head, "Yeah? Whaddaya want?"

"You're under arrest," said Faith, "turn around." She got out her cuffs, but Barton was having none of that. He turned and tried to hit Faith with his right, she grabbed his fist and swung him down and around, smashing him into the rack stanchions.

A CPO from up the passage said, "Hey, what's goin' on down there? Take it easy!"

Faith viciously slammed her elbow down onto Barton's exposed neck, slamming him face first into the deck. The chief again remonstrated, "Hey! You don't hafta be so fucking violent!"

But Barton surprised everyone by back-kicking Faith in the gut and flipping over and up to his feet. He had enough presence of mind not to go to his game face, but that didn't stop him from trying to kill. He lashed out towards Faith but caught a slow moving Electronic Tech in the ribs who smashed into a bunk with a scream, collapsing to the deck. Faith had had enough, she stepped up with a flurry of kicks and hits which smashed him into the curved bulkhead, his head snapping forward into Faith's first as the back of his skull hit the low overhead. Faith finally was able to flip him down and snap her heavy cuffs and manacles on him. Faith twisted his arm up until he screamed. She whispered in his ear, "What's the name of your campadres? I know ya got two pals onboard, give 'em up before I dust you!"

The chief was getting pugnacious with Gibbs. Gibbs said, snapping his badge up, "This is NCIS business, back the fuck down Chief, you don't have a leg to stand on."

"Go to hell! You fuckers in NCIS can't just walk onto a Navy submarine, beat the shit out of a sailor and drag him off to god knows where for no good reason, there are rules!" Looking at the ET lying half across a lower bunk, groaning and holding his head, he said, "You guys don't even give a shit about collateral damage; assholes, it's fuckin' Iowa all over again!"

DiNozzo, helping Faith truss up Barton, said quietly, "Man I get tired of hearing that, it was decades before my time."

Gibbs said to the chief, "Ah, yes chief, we can make legal arrests and drag the arrestee off the boat by any means necessary."

"Show me your warrant!" Gibbs handed it over.

"You gotta be fucking kiddin' me! This is an open warrant, no names, just the magic wand: terrorist! Barton ain't no fuckin terrorist! He may be Joe Shit the Ragman, but he's no fuckin' terrorist! Whatever the hell your sellin', I ain't buyin'! Get your asses off my boat!"

"You can complain to the Pentagon, Chief, we're takin' Barton and you ain't gonna stop us!"

"We'll see about that, I'm gettin' the captain, don't you go nowhere! Anderson, keep an eye on these fuckers!" Then he hit the intercom and said, "Captain! We got a problem in crew quarters, some NCIS wienies are trying to drag Barton off, and they ain't got shit!"

Just then Barton let out another warbling scream, and Faith jabbed him with a needle, he passed out, his head hitting the steel deck with 'clunk'. "Okay you guys, carry him out while I hunt down this Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Weaver and Seaman Jonathon Fejes. Where do I find 'em?"

The chief was really angry now. "You gotta a set on ya, babe, I'll grant you that. But you just plant your ass right here until we get this sorted out!"

Another CPO, hearing the ruckus from several compartments away, came down the passage from behind Faith. "Okay, what the hell is going on here?"

"COB, glad you're here, these NCIS fuckers beat the crap out of Barton, cuffed him and drugged him and there gonna drag his ass off, they think he's a fuckin' terrorist! And one of 'em slammed Slim here into the damn bulkhead, fuckers don't even give a shit!"

"What, Barton? A terrorist! He's a lazy NQP, no way's he's into blowin' shit up!"

Gibbs was stunned as his arrest scene spun wildly out of control. And it didn't help matters when Faith asked the Chief of the Boat, "Hey chieffie, where's the whattayacallit, the doc's office?"

He was perturbed at being called 'chieffie', but he answered automatically, "You mean the sickbay. It's that way, six frames forward. But you ain't going anywhere, girlie, you park that cute rear end of yours right on that chair and wait for the captain."

Even though Faith preened at being complemented on her butt, she was getting tired of being told to sit. "Nah, I gotta job to do." She picked up the COB by his waist and turned them both around so fast the chief couldn't react, leaving him between her and the rest of the mess. She put him down and took off down the passage. She knew she was headed in the right direction, she could smell the vampire stench getting stronger. She didn't pay any attention to the yelling behind her.

"Hamano!" yelled the Chief of the Boat, "Grab that lobster! Stop her!"

A swarthy man, about twice as heavy as Faith, wearing a cook's apron and chef hat threw himself into grabbing her. Faith hit him in the solar plexus and he slammed against an electrical panel and slid to the deck. He put his head down, trying to catch his breath while Faith breezed on by. She saw 'SICKBAY' stenciled on a door and went through. She didn't give the vampire inside time to do anything before she jabbed him in the ass with her tranquilizer. He had just enough time to swing around with a scalpel in his hand, but she broke his arm before he could do any damage. She dragged him out, saw five guys charging down the passage towards her, so she dropped the vamp and ran the other way, towards yet another vampire smell.

She jumped into a hatch and grabbed the rails of a ship's ladder, sliding down on her hands to the deck below. The space here was altogether more machine-like, everything more rugged and unpolished. She followed her nose around and through unfathomable machinery till she found her seaman vampire. "Seaman Fejes! You're under arrest! Assume the position!" She grabbed the second set of cuffs from her belt. "Fejes, you ain't gotta chance against me, face down, on the floor, now!"

"Jesus Christ girlie, what the hell do you think you are, the damn Slayer?"

"Got it in one, now turn around."

"There ain't no such thing as a Slayer you ignorant bitch! That's just an old demon's tale. Since you can't fool me I think I'll snack on you instead."

"Ya know what I said to the last vampire who didn't believe in Slayers? Not a damn thing, I staked him and by the time I thought of something clever to say, he'd already turned to dust. Whattaya think of that, you dumb fucking vampire."

"I think you're lying."

Fejes vamped out and attacked with full force. He was incredibly surprised when Faith returned his hits, one-on-one, with a force greater than he'd never felt before. "Shit!" he said backing off, "What the fuck are you lady!"

"I told you, I ain't gonna repeat myself."

With that, the vampire turned tail and ran, dodging through the crowded equipment spaces with sure-footed familiarity until he found an open equipment hatch heading up.

One of the sailors chasing Faith had just caught up and grabbed her arm. She swept her leg back and knocked him off his feet, into the second sailor to catch up. She turned to run after Fejes, but she couldn't catch up, she kept banging into pipes and valves, she slipped on some disgusting green crap, skidded around corners until she finally found the open way up to the hull, the huge equipment hatch yawning wide, the stars beyond. She saw the vamp's feet disappearing at the top. She zoomed upwards, flipping the last eight feet onto the anechoic hull when she heard the splash – apparently her prey had dived overboard. She was about to dive after the vampire when she noticed a dozen sailors with rifles pointed at her.

One in the middle, behind a mounted gun of some sort, shouted, "You'all stop raiht there, this here's a Mark 44 Gau-17 7.62mm mini-gun that fires three thousand rounds per minute, and I got the fucker aimed at yore belly, so you just settle down and wait there 'till I tell you can move."

Faith stopped instantly, put her hands up, her jacket opening until her badge and gun were in view. "You see that badge on my belt? That badge says you're pointing guns at a Federal Agent, stopping said Federal Agent from doing her duty, you ready to go to jail? Oh wait, you don't call it jail, do you? You call it the fuckin' brig, right?"

"Lady, ah'm the Master-at-Arms of this here vessel, and I'm the representative of the law in these parts, and ah got the right to stop anyone an ask if yore business is legitimate or not. So right now, we're just gonna see whether or not you belong here, badge or no badge."

"Okay, I ain't movin'. But you're letting the bad guy get away."

"Well, I ain't so sure I believe that. Seaman Fejes cain't hardly find his boondockers when they're on his feet, so I'm a little sus-peesh-ush 'bout this 'terrorism' bullshit."

"Hey, they give me a warrant, I go catch 'em."

"Yeah, 'bout that so-called warrant, I ain't never seen one without names before, that's just bullshit."

"We were in hurry, didn't get the names before the warrants, but we got 'em now."

"Uh-huh. You jest be quiet and wait now, you hear?"

Two black Suburbans roared out onto the pier, screeching to a stop in front of the brow. A dozen FBI agents tumbled out of the two vehicles, Special Agent Fornel in the lead. He yelled at the sailors, "FBI! Put those weapons down, safe those weapons, now sailors! You're interfering with a Federal Investigation and I want those weapons down!"

The ones with M4s and H&Ks looked at each other, not sure what to do. But at the increasingly insistent demands from the FBI agents they slowly lowered their guns. The Master-at-Arms said, "I don't know that you people have the authority to come aboard this boat."

"We're not on board, yet, but we were tasked to backup NCIS, which surely does have the authority. My men are getting itchy fingers Chief, I strongly suggest you de-cock that weapon."

The Chief, seeing as how the situation had gotten completely out of hand, safed the mini-gun. "You'all will want to talk the captain, I think."

Faith put her hands down, turned around to look at the water, studying the surface, trying to find a swimming vampire. She looked back at Fornel and shook her head. "One got away, he was last seen swimming that way." She pointed towards the next dock.

Fornel said, "I'll call the Coast Guard to look for him."

The Chief looked disgusted, "What you'all want with the knee-deep Navy when ya got the real thang right here?"

"Right now I trust the Coasties a whole hell of a lot more'n I trust you."

Faith said, "It's a waste of time anyway, we ain't gonna find him in the water, he'll have found someplace to get ashore by now, unless he drowned. He's probably wandering around the classified areas of the Navy Yard."

Fornel looked irritated, "Damn, I bet you're right." He turned to a junior agent and ordered, "Call the security office and get search teams set up for the yard, see if they want our help, coordinate if needed."

"Hey Fornel!" said Faith, "how'd ya know to come here?"

"Gibbs called me, so let's go downstairs in this thing and find him. He's probably got pissed-off sailors ready to plug him full of holes, too, his personality being so winning."

The Chief looked pained, "Downstairs? Did you say down the fucking stairs? It's belowdecks you ignorant civilians, and you all stay right where you are until an officer invites you aboard." He turned away muttering, "Fuckin fibbies."

Gibbs and DiNozzo, along with captain who looked as if he'd just finished eating a lemon, came up out of the hatch behind the sail. Two pairs of sailors were carrying the unconscious bodies of Barton and Weaver. The walking wounded followed.

"Agent Lehane," asked Gibbs, "did you catch up with Fejes?"

"I almost had him, until the fucking Navy threatened to shoot me full holes with a godamned mini-gun," Faith said with a scorching glare to the Master-at-Arms.

The Master-at-Arms said, "It warn't loaded, not in port. I wouldn't take the chance on actually killing you, but I wanted, and I still want, to check your authorizations, there somethin' fishy 'bout this whole mess; I mean, Fejes a terrorist? Nah. A liberty hound and an incredible fuckup, that's what I'd believe."

Faith scowled, "Well, no matter what the fuckin' Navy thinks, we want him bad, but the fucker got away, he's probably in the Navy Yard, going through the classified stores. The Security Office is supposed to be organizing a search party."

Gibbs and DiNozzo shook their heads mournfully, "Oh great," said Gibbs.

"While I was held up here by the Navy, I saw Dawn, that is Agent Summers, parked over yonder, she got out and is checking around in those stacks. Maybe she'll have better luck than me."

"Let's hope, but she needs backup."

"I'll follow her in a minute, but first, I gotta question," said Faith, "Back there in the sub, when the chief told the cook to grab me, why'd he call me a 'lobster'?"

Most of the sailors, who up to then had been idly standing by, listening intently, immediately remembered they had more important things to do elsewhere. The Captain looked embarrassed. The FBI agents looked just as puzzled as Faith. DiNozzo coughed to cover up his nervousness. He said, "Well, that's just a term sailors use for women, it's not bad or anything, it's meant to be friendly."

"Go on DiNozzo, give me the rest before I hurt you."

"Ah, it seems that lobsters have most of their meat in the tail, so..."

"So the chief was saying I have a fat ass?"

"No, no, it's similar to the way men affectionately call women 'broads'."

"Affectionately? DiNozzo, 'broad' is an insult. And so is fucking 'lobster' when you use it that way."

"But it's meant to be sociable, kind, buddy-buddy; seriously, real men like broads, a lot – of course I've never used either term myself, and I never would, it's not me," he added rapidly, while backing away from Faith.

"DiNozzo!" said Gibbs, "I think you'd better shut up before you lose something important."

"Right boss!"

Faith said, "I think, Mr. President, that the next part is better told by Dawn Summers."

He picked up his phone and said, "Charlie, show in Agent Summers please."

A moment later the door opened and Dawn walked in. "This is so cool!" she said, "I was too young to vote for you Mr. President, but if I could've, I would've voted for you!"

He smiled generously. "Thank you Dawn, I appreciate that. Perhaps in the next election you'll feel the same?"

"Oh yes, absolutely. Well, maybe not so completely absolutely anymore, but I'll still vote for you because I hate all the other candidates so much more than you."

The President laughed. "Well, not such a ringing endorsement, but I'll take it anyway."

"Sorry sir, but you know, with the way things have been going, and the horrible way the other party has been acting... Well, I don't need to tell you, do I?"

"Not really. Would you have a seat? There's coffee and snacks, if Faith left any. We can get more if you want, the White House kitchen always makes more than we can eat."

"Try these chocolate things Dawnie, they're very yummy. Andrew would have an orgasm if he could taste these," said Faith.

"Thanks for the imagery," said Dawn.

"So," said the President, accepting another cup of coffee from Faith, "Ms Summers, you are supposed to be a Special Agent of the NOAA, if I understand correctly?"

"Oh, er, I guess. I did attend FLETC, so I at least know how to load my gun, and I know enough to be able to hit what I shoot at most of the time. But I don't, yet, have the specialty training that NOAA agents get beyond FLETC. And of course, my appointment is, well, informal at best. But Agent Finn assured me that it is actually real, that my name is on the NOAA employment rolls, including pay and benefits. But, it'll end when the case it over," she said wistfully.

"Do I understand that you'd like to remain an NOAA Special Agent?"

She lit up with a big smile, "Do you think it could happen? I mean, when I arrested those guys for shooting at Navy Seals it gave me a real charge, it would have felt the same if they'd been the furry kind of seal, maybe even better, since that kind of seal can't shoot back."

"I see. I can't promise you anything, but I will look into it and see if it's possible. It all depends on just how, or if, Riley Finn acquired the authority to use those badges, and of course whether or not NOAA has the funding for another agent."

He looked at both women and said, "I can reassure you both that we will not file charges against either of you for falsely claiming to be a Federal Agent; although this is a huge gray area, it was a legitimate operation run under the auspices of the Pentagon – or it will be as soon as we finish the paperwork." After a pause for coffee, he continued, "Now, the reason I invited you in, Dawn, is because Agent Lehane has filled me in on the, er, incident, up to the point where the vampire Rejes escaped from the USS Hampton."

Dawn turned to Faith in shock, "You told him about vampires? The President of the United States knows about vampires now! And he believed you?"

Faith said, "Settle down Dawn, he already knew. Our Pres is a very smart man, when you tell your story, don't underestimate him, and he's sitting right there, glaring at you."

Dawn swiftly turned back to the President, but he was smiling graciously.

"Will you begin your part of this story now?"

"Yes, Mr. President."

Dawn held her gun firmly, in the FLETC approved fashion with two hands, arms straight, as she silently and carefully stepped between towering stacks of pallets full of Navy stuff. She had no idea of what was stored all around her, she sincerely hoped it wasn't anything that would explode if she missed her shot. She had seen the vampire that Faith was chasing disappear between the stacks, right around here somewhere. There were bright lights high up on poles, but they were spaced far apart, making the shadows deep, it was hard to see everything in front of her. But she persevered, anxious to help catch the wayward vamp.

She saw movement, a large shadow slipping into the shadow of some kind of machinery. "STOP!" she shouted, "or I'll shoot! Come out where we can see you!" There wasn't anyone else with her, but she didn't see any reason to advertise that. She suddenly recognized that her weapon was not a vampire killer so she switched her gun to her left hand, and reached into her jacket for a holy-water pistol. Now she felt a little safer. Right up until she saw a creature come out of the shadow. All she saw was the outline, the dark shape of something incredibly huge. It was the shape of a man, but did men come nine feet tall? She backpedaled frantically, shouting, "STOP! STOP! STOP!" She squirted her water gun at it. Was there an effect? Maybe a little, certainly not enough to stop whatever it was. She felt like she'd been fishing for trout and found a shark on her hook, a shark that was rapidly closing the distance. It was not a feeling conducive to peace and harmony.

"Hey little sweet pea," the giant said softly, "some demonic overlord must really like me to have such a pretty little morsel fall into within grasping range of my claws. Now, you gotta choice, either put out for me, an if yer good, you might live. Otherwise, I'll fuck you bloody and kill yer ass."

Dawn tried to back up more, but she was up against a fence, she glared angrily at the very large manlike demon. "I'll kill you," she whispered, being far too frightened to get any volume. She dropped her water pistol and grabbed her Sig-Sauer, and in one smooth motion pulled it up and emptied the clip into the monster's chest. She had to duck in order to dodge her ricocheting bullets, as the demon's chest turned out to be armored.

But then she saw something move behind the giant man – something that really shouldn't have been there.

"The shell of the Key shall not be harmed," intoned Illyria, appearing out of the shadows, leaping, her arms reaching to enclose the creature's neck.

"Wait, don't kill..." said Dawn urgently.

SNAP went several bones in his neck, he slumped, dead, to the ground.

"Damn!" said Dawn.

Illyeria, curious but unemotional, said, "Why would you feel remorse for the likes of that?"

"Not remorse, I wanted information."

"Ah, you missed the chance to torture him, I understand now."

Dawn shook her head as she tried unsuccessfully to think of a way to convince Illyria that torture was not her goal.

"Illyria, do you sense a vampire somewhere near here? We need to catch him, catch him, not dust him. You can help us interrogate him, if you'd like."

Illyria smiled faintly. "I would like that very much. Be quiet while I let my senses extend outward." She stood absolutely still, her head cocked at an angle, listening, feeling the night, purposely breathing in air to taste the smells. She held her arm out and rotated about a quarter turn. "There, that direction, about thirty feet."

"Th, th, thirty feet?" Dawn quietly squeaked. "That's really close," she whispered.

"Less than thirty feet, twenty feet now, he's walking towards us."

Dawn holstered her Sig-Sauer and scrabble on the ground for her watergun, she found it, in her nervousness she held it like she'd been trained to hold a gun, two hands, straight arms. She shook it to make sure it still had water. The vampire rushed headlong towards Dawn, she shot it with holy water, he started smoking but didn't slow his charge until Illyeria stepped into his path. The vampire crashed into the chest of the lessor god, falling to the ground, looking up at Illyria with fear and intimidation. Illyria dropped to the ground, slamming her knees onto the vampire's chest, then turned the stunned vamp over. Dawn handed her the super-strong set of cuffs and manacles, then bent down to administer the tranquilizer. She sighed a huge sigh of relief. "Thanks Illyria, I'm glad you were here.

Illyria smiled faintly. "It is my life's work now."

"Huh? Life's work?"

"Keeping you alive, that's what I do now."

"Okay, that's good, I guess."

"Better than dying, yes?"

"I'd better call Faith over here. Let's move the vamp so people can get to me without tripping over whatever the hell that thing was. I want to keep it hidden from the FBI and the Navy."

"I'll take care of it," said Illyria, picking up the nine foot demon and walking off. "You can call Faith and the others now."

A minute later she was surrounded by the FBI and NCIS and Faith, all drawn to her by the shots fired. She received a combination of congratulations and warnings to be careful and never do that again in the future. It quite pissed her off.

"Faith," she said, dragging the slayer to the side where they wouldn't be overheard, "Illyria showed up, and she killed an insanely large Demon, man-shaped, but it was nine feet tall. She carried it off. But when we interrogate these vamps, we need to ask about the giant demon."

"Got it."

Dawn smiled tenuously, "I didn't really accomplish much, Mr. President. I mean, if it wasn't for Illyria I'd be dead, and she caught the vampire."

"I do wonder why you were wandering around alone in those stacks. Didn't that go against your FLETC training? Not waiting for backup is one of the more common ways rookie cops get themselves killed."

"I know, I know! But I thought it was just the one vampire. With my experience I expected to be able to distract it with my holy-water pistol, or maybe kneecap it with my gun, then dispatch it with the stake hidden up my sleeve. Don't forget, sir, the other side of this operation was to prevent the vampire from interacting with other agencies or any military people, all of whom would be at a serious disadvantage if they tried to interview an unexpectedly real vampire. I was really quite surprised when a nine-foot tall demon came stalking out of the shadows."

"Okay, but next time you go after a vampire, wait for a slayer, promise?"

"Yes Mr. President, I've learned my lesson."

"But don't sell yourself short. Just because you are not a vampire slayer, doesn't mean that your specialized skills aren't useful in the supernatural fight. I know your language skills helped bring the interrogation to a successful close, and I don't know anybody else who knows the languages you know. But one thing worries me greatly, who, or what is this Illyria creature?"

"Oh, yeah, that's a tough one," said Faith.

Dawn said, "Yeah, she's sort of a fallen god. Today we would say lesser god, but in her day she was a major god. She was trapped for unimaginable eons of time, then released by some misguided worshipers. Bringing her back ended up killing one of our friends, a scientist, interested in portal physics of all things. But now she is Illyria, although she can bring up the personality of Dr. Winifred Burkle, but it's just a shell of her, not the real Fred."

"Can you elaborate?"

"Hmmm, to tell the truth, sir, we don't know that much about her either. We know that she is a very powerful creature, perhaps the most powerful of the few ancient creatures that still walk the earth. But her power is but a fraction of what it was long, long ago. If she were vengeful, she could wreak havoc on much of the earth. But she is not vengeful, she is loyal, a good friend, a little unpredictable, very irritating, extremely irritating. She has this tendency to refer to everyone and everything as 'muck', she says things like 'when your people were but the muck between my toes...' which doesn't lend itself to making friends too readily. She sees some sort of kindred spirit in me, and manages to protect me when I foolishly jump in with both feet, and that's cool. I don't think you should meet her, though.

"If it came down to the U. S. vs. Illyria, or the world vs. Illyria, I think she'd win, or possibly it would be close. But as far as any of us can tell, she has no such ambition, she is very aware that she is long past her day in the sun, and is content to observe us in her extremely old age. We are after all, her infinitely great grandchildren, although she will not acknowledge that."

"Huh, I didn't realize..." said the President. "I'll have to think on this."

Faith asked, "Do you want to invite Agent Gibbs to describe the end of our little saga? Sir."

"Good idea." He picked up the phone and asked Charlie to bring Gibbs in.

A few moments later, Charlie introduced Gibbs. "Good afternoon, Mr. President," he said.

"Good afternoon Special Agent Gibbs. Although we've never met, I feel like I know you since I've read so many of your reports, very entertaining they are."

"Sir? You read my reports? But I'm just one agent among thousands."

"Well, not all of them, not even most I'm sure. But the more important cases that have implications far beyond ordinary cases."

"I see sir," Gibbs replied, still being stiffly formal, betraying the fact that he was nervous at meeting his Commander in chief.

"Okay," said the President, settling into his couch, facing all three agents on the other couch, "Agents Lehane and Summers have both brought me up to speed concerning the cluster-fuck in New London, including chasing the three vampires off the sub." Gibbs was startled when he mentioned vampires, but he said nothing. Dawn was startled when he said 'cluster-fuck', but was also silent.

"Truly, that was a magnificent mess, and I don't know who should be the most culpable. Luckily for you, we're gonna try and sweep the whole thing under the rug, as I agree with Admiral Fitzsimmons that no good could come from having any of this supernatural crap come out in public. So now, if you, Agent Gibbs, would bring me up to speed on the interrogation of the vampires, the discovery of the sabotage, and the end of this unholy mess, I would be – not pleased exactly – but possibly satisfied."

"Yes sir, it went like this..."