Author's Note: It was The Tribble Master's birthday and she wondered if anyone would like to write her something. I wanted to since she's an awesome author and a terrific beta, not to mention always good at making me laugh. So I started writing according to her wishes, intending to make it a 1500 - 2000 word story. But, as you know, a story often takes on a life of its own. And this one did. It meant that I couldn't finish it no matter how hard I tried and it demanded more and more words and time... So I simply had to put it on ice through December. But here it is, finally, exactly 24 days AFTER her birthday. I'm sure that's significant. And I wish I could remember all the things she asked to be included, but I erased them one after another as I fulfilled them in the story. I failed at getting Castiel into it though. What I DO remember is that she wanted obscure references and I've done my best. So, with all my love: HAPPY BIRTHDAY friend! May 2010 treat you well.

Disclaimer: Supernatural and Navy NCIS are two lovely TV-series. And I happen to know that Jim Beaver and Mark Harmon have worked together in a film once... And that Jensen Ackles and Michael Weatherly have both appeared in Dark Angel... Apart from that the only other connection I can think of between them is that I don't own any other right to them than that of being inspired. But I most certainly intend to do the most of that one!

Canon question: I prefer canon writing, and if you consider this episode set between Supernatural's 5x02 and 5x10, and some time in season 7 for NCIS, it works just fine.

Warnings: There will be killings of really rare, endangered creatures ahead as well as people doing unlawful stuff. If you can't handle this - ye be warned.

Supernatural Kerfuffle with NCIS

In the cabin's living room a log fire was burning, the smell of hamburgers filled the room and outside the snow was coming down heavily. It might have been a Dicken's childhood dream, or even heaven. But there's no such thing as total peace when a confined area is filled to bursting with hunters, no matter how good friends they might be. Still, there was far more bliss around than usual.

Bobby had put the back of his wheelchair down and his feet were resting on the couch table while he was reading a big, dusty tome that was one of several he had insisted on bringing. He bore a deep frown. Dean was having a third hamburger while studying a map of the area and making a mental inventory of their ammunition, occasionally throwing thoughtful glances at Jo when Ellen wasn't looking. Jo and Sam had their heads bent down over their laptops, doing research on the attacks and areas. This part of the mountain didn't have ordinary phone coverage let alone cell reception, but Sam and Bobby had done something technical to a satellite phone and thus the hunting party was able to access the internet. Ellen was doing the dishes. Of all the people present she was the only one used to taking care of other people and was doing so out of habit. She was currently contemplating whether to tell Dean that she had seen the way he looked at Jo, or to stay the hell out of it. It was a tough decision but she figured it could wait; the cabin only had two bedrooms so it wasn't likely that anything would come to happen here and now.

"Alright gang, listen up" Bobby said and immediately got everyone's attention. "I think I've concluded that we're dealing with a moon beast, probably a Grimmer."

"What makes you so sure?" Sam asked. He had arrived at the same conclusion but was asking the question to speed the conversation along.

"Well, this forest is old and there has never been a human settlement here. That pretty much rules out Wendigos because for one of them to be created we need humans around. And it's not a Chupacabra for the same reason, lack of the livestock humans bring."

Dean was slowly chewing his hamburger while taking in Bobby's reasoning. Moments like these reminded him of when his father had been alive; John had had the same faultless step by step logic. But it was rare that he bothered giving his sons a thorough walk-through so when he had it always felt to Dean like he was being treated like an adult. Sam had inherited that trait of following a thought step by step while Dean was more of a trial-and-error kind of guy. Ellen frowned and asked;

"Moon beasts. I thought they were extinct? Bill told me no hunter had reported seeing one for the past twenty years… make that forty by now."

"Reported, mum" Jo mumbled and her right hand unconsciously reached down to touch the hidden iron blade that bore her father's initials and that she always carried. Sam noticed her doing it but carefully avoided drawing her attention. When Jo got backed into a corner about something she had a way of spreading anger through a ballroom full of people and the cabin wasn't big enough to house her irritability.

"True," Bobby admitted. "but then again no hunter had seen angels for the past 2000 years either and now we're up to our eyeballs in them. But leaving that aside, the area is right for them with thick forests and lots of game, and considering the blue liquid left at the scene we know for sure we're not dealing with a particularly tough grizzly, badly aimed weapons or underpowered charges. I say we have ourselves a Grimmer on our hands." He sounded certain and spoke with absolute authority.

There was a short pause while Jo and Dean both wondered who'd ask the question and as usual Jo's short patience made her lose.

"What's a moon beast, then, and how do we kill it?" she asked.

It only took Bobby and Sam about an hour to give the rest of the gang a basic layout of their suspect, a tough creature that needed all the firepower they could muster, simultaneously for best effect. Sam showed some terrifying pictures of something that at a brief glance might be taken for a grizzly, except that it was thrice as big and had extremely tough skin. A closer look at another painting from a collection of Middle Age monsters threw in a couple of fangs and hunched up shoulders that were not the least grizzly-like.

"Hark, it's Wolverine on a bad trip" Dean snorted and sidestepped Ellen's elbow.

But they all knew he had made the joke just to lighten the mood. The Grimmer looked scary even two-dimensional and portrayed by a court painter who'd just followed horror story descriptions from survivors. And the last thing they needed was to start off the hunt scared. The lecture was followed by an inventory of their available weaponry, which fortunately was quite daunting to anything, human or non-human alike, that might cross their path.

"I'm getting a sore throat here, reading out loud" Sam complained and sneezed and reached for his box of tissues.

"Kids of today, eh?" Dean sighed and contentedly leaned back in the comfortable sofa, making no move to take over.

"I'll do some reading" Ellen said and took the laptop. "Let's see... so this is a story Geoffrey Chaucer encountered in the Scottish highlands, and transported to paper while in Italy. According to the source he intended to make it into a Beowulf story but never did. After this first draft someone made a comment on the paper that it was 'unsuitable for court'"

"The truth always is" Bobby mumbled and Ellen began to read;

And it was told by the hunters that after the mighty animal lay dead they retreated to their camp to tend to the wounded, and left the burning of the remains to the morning. And two hours after the moon rose a great howl of unearthly magnitude rose from the battle ground. And the few able bodied hunters that remained thought that the mate had found the carcass and, not being able to out run the monster or willing to leave their less fortunate brethren behind, they armed themselves and went back.

Ellen scrolled down the page and happened to glance at her daughter who sat with her lips parted, hanging onto every word her mother read. A stab in her heart and Ellen's eyes blurred as the image of her grown daughter mixed with that of five-year-old Jo who held her hand as she listened, wide-eyed, to the account of the evil witch who came for Sleeping Beauty. Ellen quickly averted her eyes and went back to reading. She didn't want to know when she and her husband had robbed Jo of her innocence and made her go after monsters instead of outgrowing her belief in them. But though it broke her heart Ellen knew that she had raised a brave daughter who would never leave the monsters alive once she knew they were out there.

What they found made the blood freeze inside them because the howl had come not from a mate but from the beast they had slaughtered and left in a pile of entrails not five hours before. The monster was still healing itself when the hunters arrived and this was their luck and salvation since they could slaughter it yet again with relative ease. The hunters then remained a vigil throughout the night and before the dawn rose they killed the monster twice more. The hunters were brave men and determined to know the enemy next time they encountered it, so they waited the whole day for the body to quiver to life. But not until the moon rose did the body stir. The hunters then immediately threw it onto the pyre they had prepared and watched it burn. The ashes were then scattered in flowing water and the monster was never heard of again. The hunters were simple peasants but in the face of grave danger they all showed that the hearts of Knights may reside in any vessel.

Ellen had reached the end and fell silent.

"Sounds like something that might have escaped from the Phantom Zone" Jo muttered darkly as she shook herself out of the trance she'd fallen in while listening.

"I guess we just found out why it was considered 'unsuitable for court' here" Sam said and smiled. "Geoffrey Chaucer was a man of the court but his father was a merchant and all his writings show great sympathy for the little guy. If he thought his story needed that punch line he wouldn't have given it up just to get some royal benefit."

"Well, obviously I don't know Geoff as well as you do, Miss Granger," Dean scoffed, "but if his description of the hunt wasn't terribly embellished or left out some crucial fact in this draft, I'd be happy to pour some single malt on the guy's grave if we can kill it with his story."

"They wouldn't let you waltz into the Poet's Corner in Westminster and pour alcohol on the floor, Dean" Jo said smugly.

"Alright that's enough teasing children" Bobby growled. "We have to arm ourselves and find the lair before dark tomorrow. Or it may find us first."

And that was the end of the debate and the time for arming and scheming and then a healthy night's sleep so they could be up at dawn. Jo took the first watch.

Unbeknownst to the hunters a team of NCIS had moved into another cabin not far off. It was a far more roomy cabin, a chalet actually, since it belonged to the Government and people who got paid and therefore expected to be treated like valuable assets. They had also come to investigate what had happened to the crew of the Marine helicopter that had landed in the area. When they had salvaged the wreck and the bodies there wasn't enough left of them even for Ducky Mallard, Chief M.E. at the NCIS, to make head nor tails of what had happened. Extensive research had been done but special agent Jethro Gibbs hadn't been happy with the results. He always took it badly when personnel died. And not being able to tell why a whole crew had been ripped apart beyond recognition by steel wires, and partly eaten by wild animals, made it very personal indeed. And he didn't like the idea of someone being able to get away with it. So he had dragged his team away from the city and into the deep forests.

Seemingly oblivious to his surroundings as he was re-reading an autopsy report, he took in every reaction his team members displayed as they were spread out around the living room, resting comfortably or uncomfortably after Abby's and McGee's experimental dinner. Not that he didn't have complete faith in them, they had all showed their worth time and time again.

Abby, their forensic specialist, had left special agent McGee to clean up the kitchen, something he didn't mind doing. And special agent Tony DiNozzo had wisely not teased their newest team member about it, for fear that he would be commanded by Gibbs to help out. As a womanizer of some skill he certainly knew his way around a kitchen, but to help out in preparing dinner out in the sticks to his team was beneath him. He had a feeling he'd be doing it before they got back to civilization, but he'd fight it every step of the way.

Abby busied herself with unpacking and setting up her analysing lab. She was dressed for the environment, but her usual style was manifest even in this gear so it was all black and pink and had studs in places no other people would put them. Her sweater had neat cross stitches on the back that read, embellished with purple sequins, Forensics Do It After Death - To Your Parts.

At the moment Tony was looking for known terror groups or activists with a history of operating within a 200 mile radius of the crash site. He lacked internet connection since they hadn't been able to access the satellite and set it up, but fortunately they had anticipated that problem and he did have lots of stored information. So far he hadn't seen any group that could have camped out in the area, prepared to massacre a crew of marines. They hadn't even taken the helicopter or the weapons and that made it even stranger and more frightening. What weapons did they already have that they'd spurn those?

Ducky Mallard was trying to get a fire going. He seemed to enjoy the outing and had surprised everyone by showing up in adequate clothing for a couple of days in the forest and snow. At crime scenes, no matter how grisly, he always just arrived in his normal suit. The art of making wood burn was not one he was trained in, but his delight at experimenting made the others refrain from helping him.

Ziva David was familiarising herself with the layout of the chalet and its surroundings, to make sure she knew what to do if they got attacked there. Gibbs usually let his team members do whatever they felt best until he gave them an order because they all had good qualities and skills he didn't want to mess with. And Ziva's father, the head of Mossad, had taught his daughter well. Though they weren't on speaking terms since he had allowed her to be dragged away and tortured to reveal what she knew about the team she'd been told to infiltrate. Gibbs wondered exactly how much damage the ordeal had done, before they had been able to get her out of there, but Ziva was tight lipped about it and on the outside she was the same as before.

"It's time we went to bed" Gibbs said finally and rose and stretched. "Ziva you get the first shift, then McGee, me and DiNozzo. Night." Then he left for the bedroom he'd chosen, knowing the others would follow suit. Various choruses of goodnight followed him in.

"Aww Ziva" DiNozzo sighed theatrically, "I was hoping you'd come to bed with me." He showed her his dimples and tilted his head to the side, treating her to one of his charming, boyish grins.

"Drop dead, Tony" Ziva suggested without rancour. His smile was effecting her, but she knew it would be impossible to work with him if she showed a chink in her armour. Maybe their time would come, maybe not. But this wasn't it. She wanted fidelity in a man for one, too many of the men in her life had betrayed her and she felt that she wouldn't survive Tony's.

DiNozzo chuckled and winked at Abby.

"And you, sweetheart. Are you pondering what I'm pondering?" DiNozzo asked jokingly as he passed her on the way to his own bedroom.

"Narf!" she answered and gave him a dazzling smile before emptying her fifth cup of caf-pow.

Abby was a good sport and knew exactly how to deal with sexual advances from any guy. She had all the judgment of a kitten and to her anything was alright as long as people enjoyed it. Besides, they all knew she had a thing for McGee though no one, least of all McGee, knew what she saw in him. Where she had passion and energy in overcharge McGee was stiff. He always dressed neatly in suit and tie, had amazing computer skills, vast knowledge about obscure things and unwavering loyalty and dedication to his work. You might call him a workaholic but since Abby was one too it didn't matter. They spent hours in Abby's lab, chatting in terms other people never figured out. It could be love.

Breakfast came early and it was each to his own as the toasts and spreads came out. Gibbs was last but he was properly dressed and ready to go when he came out, making DiNozzo greet him with a "Captain on the bridge" salute that rendered him a glare that told him his breakfast was over and he better hit the showers running. As he left in a hurry Gibbs surveyed his troops with a doubtful expression and each man and woman quickly smartened up to meet the demands of their leader.

The group of six people, agents and civilians, chattered as they navigated the deep snow and occasionally consulted the map, but it took more than two hours to find the crash site without GPS orientation. Still their spirits were kept high by each man and woman's natural talent for keeping his or her optimism in bad conditions. The crash site was covered in snow but the recovery team had at least put up tarpaulins that had kept a lot of the ground bare of the stuff.

While each agent and specialist did their thing Gibbs worked on getting an overview of the area and a feeling for what kind of group would use this deserted ground far away from civilisation. All he got was a feeling of being watched, and though he wouldn't call himself a superstitious man he wasn't prepared to swear that it was by human eyes. He was torn between getting his team out of there and to show his instincts that they shouldn't let themselves be fooled by the vast emptiness of the snowy landscape. He really thought they were better honed than that.

"What's this?" McGee asked and pointed to a discoloured spot of lava. Abby knelt next to him and studied it while Ziva photographed the rock on which it was found.

"Looks like reindeer lichen, it's very common on this altitude" Abby said and frowned. "But I'm quite sure it shouldn't be bluish…" She took out her spatula and scraped part of it into a tube and labelled it neatly while Ziva stared hard at her.

"Is there something called 'reindeer lichen', seriously?" she asked, suspicious.

"If Abby says there is, there is" McGee promised and studied the surrounding grass where it looked as if a blue ink pen had broken and spluttered droplets on the brown winter grass. "It looks like more of the stuff that was found on fabric the recovery team brought back." Ziva shook her head and continued photographing the area.

Tony was kneeling at a tuft of grey hair that lay wedged between two stones. He was contemplating whether to photograph it or not. For some reason a cold shiver ran down his spine as he watched it. It reminded him that he was a mammal with soft skin and edible parts and that there were predators out there that were much tougher than him. But they hadn't come to look for smart wolves. His job was finding clues to which human animals that were responsible because no matter how old or cunning a grizzly they still couldn't ambush a group of Marines. That much he knew. He decided not to photograph the tuft of hair, denying to himself and the world that predators counted.

Gibbs was done with his survey of the area and had formed a theory around the kind of group who would use this kind of terrain for practising God knew what atrocities toward the human race. He only wished his mental image looked more like his standard terrorists. He called his team to attention and divided them into groups of three to make sure they visited the other three sites before dark fell. He wasn't happy about splitting up, but they had a time frame to operate within. Gibbs sent the most knowledgable but weakest team member, Ducky, away with Ziva. He was confident she was a small army of her own. Then he sent McGee and Abby away as a pair because they worked extremely well together. He was also reasonably sure Abby would turn into Godzilla if something threatened McGee. And to make sure DiNozzo's mind stayed on the job he brought him along with him. And thus they separated, each group walking in different directions in the predator laden forest.

The team of hunters walked out in the forest a bit better prepared than the team of NCIS. They knew what they were up against and they also knew that the Grimmer wouldn't be out and about in daylight. It was no use pretending that Bobby's wheelchair would be of any use at all in the snow so, to avoid awkward sympathy and pity, Bobby had a couple of very special walkie-talkies/cellphone crosses set up and ready for each person as they stumbled up to breakfast. He gave them clipped directions on how to use them for contacting him or the other people. They had too much ground to cover to go in teams, but they were to go in roughly two directions with Ellen and Sam in one and Dean and Jo in the other. After a few rules for contact had been established they left the cabin to search for the monster. Both Ellen and Dean fought hard not to look after their respective charge, and Jo and Sam fought not to make it look like they noticed that their mother/big brother was worried about letting them out of their sight.

After roughly three hours they were all frozen but had covered quite some ground and, considering the short hours of daylight, they were supposed to be heading home. Dean had just checked in with Jo and she had confirmed that she was turning around to go back to the cabin, when he found himself face to face with Gibbs. Both were just as surprised and Dean, who automatically reached for his belt with the gun, was promptly struck down from behind by DiNozzo. He never had a chance to ask who they were and what they were doing there, and neither had the agents.

"What the hell?" DiNozzo asked, rethorically, as Gibbs frowned at the still form in the snow. He had hardly even considered the possibility that any of the terrorists would still be in the area after they had slaughtered an entire helicopter crew of Marines. But here he was. A brief search, carried out by DiNozzo, revealed a lack of identification papers but enough armoury to supply a parachute troop in hostile territory. And a rather fancy communication device they wanted Abby and McGee to take a look at. Fortunately they were rather close to the chalet and they took it in turns to carry the unconscious man back with them.

Sam and Ellen had converged because of a deep cleft that forced their paths together and they were also making their way back when they met special agent Ziva David. Unaccustomed to snow she had spent too much time watching the landscape and marvel at how interestingly it crunched beneath her feet. That meant that Ellen was the first to see her. And when their eyes met they both recognized a woman of arms and went for their weapons. Reflections having nothing to do with it and reflexes everything they were both diving for cover with weapons out when Sam saw them. From a distance, and judging by each person's reactions, he drew and fired from cover and Ziva went down.

Two seconds later Ducky threw himself on the ground next to his friend, desperate to find out if he could do anything for her. Ellen and Sam quickly overpowered him and put pressure on the woman's wound. While Ducky protested against their treatment and demanded to be released so he could treat her Ellen and Sam spoke rapidly with Bobby to try to come up with a good game plane. Having shot an NCIS agent didn't allow them many choices. They simply had to lock them up for a while. Ducky got a quick look at Ziva's wound and relaxed, if they weren't shot again she'd survive just fine. They were then brought back to Bobby who muttered dark curses at fate and the universe.

Dean woke up with a start and threw up his head only to have it explode into giant red stars. He tried to keep from vomiting and sat as still as possible, noticing that he couldn't move his arms. A cheerful female voice spoke too loud too close to his head and he took the risk of leaning away slightly and tilting his head to avoid damage to his hearing. After a couple of seconds he was able to pick out words although he wasn't sure because they didn't make sense.

"… but if your head was a melon, or rather a pumpkin I don't know which would be best, I bet the Pumpkin King could make a nice soufflé out of the goose egg on your head. Or would that be called…."

"Abby that's enough" a quiet voice of authority called and the cheerful female responded with an unrepentant 'ok' and skipped backwards as Mr. Authority came closer. Dean managed to crack open his eyes and get a look at him and his surroundings while tugging his arms to bring them up in case he had to defend himself.

"Don't bother" a lazy, smartass voice said. "They're not going to rust anytime soon. Special agent McGee here is still in the habit of keeping his gear polished and in tip top shape. Dean got a glimpse of the man speaking and took an instant interest. He carried himself with the same disrespectful attitude that Dean had himself. Someone was standing behind him and that was probably the McGee he spoke about. But the time for reflection was over as Mr. Authority towered up over him. It didn't take the smart ass comment to figure out that this was a cop.

"Who are you?" he asked.

"Who wants to know" Dean asked tranquilly while wriggling his feet that were tied together and fastened to the chair. He could tell that it wasn't an answer that would make the cop very happy, but then again Dean never bothered with keeping cops happy. Instead of exploding or hitting him or say something about his attitude, Dean had seen all those reactions, the cop chose the least expected and most dreaded one – the professional. Those were always the kind of cops that were hardest to fool or escape from because they knew what they were doing and put two and two together really well.

"I'm special agent Gibbs" he answered and brought out his badge and showed it to him. Dean made a note of reading it carefully.

"Navy huh?" he muttered. "This is kinda far into the country for the Navy".

Inside Dean was going Damn damn damn. None of them had considered that the Marines might still be looking for an answer. They had already recovered what was left of the bodies and normally, in Dean's experience, they'd be satisfied with that. Gibbs nodded but didn't comment on it and continued the presentation with the smart mouthed guy.

"That's special agent DiNozzo over there and behind you is special agent McGee. Our forensic specialist Abby took care of your head wound while you were out." Abby smiled widely and jumped up and down twice, making Dean frown as he tried to figure out what was wrong with her. Apparently nothing since none of the men reacted to her behaviour.

"Do you want to see their badges too?" Gibbs wondered, politely and correct.

Dean nodded. It would buy him some time while he thought of a plausible explanation to why he was running around out here shooting with very specialised and highly illegal ammunition. It would also tick someone off and the desire to do that was something built into him and beyond his capability of resistance. His dad had been a Marine and the pride he felt had in some measure been transported to his sons, but Dean was wise enough to know that at the moment they were the enemy. He was also curious as to how many of them there were. As each of the three men flashed their badges for him his mind was working furiously.

"So, want to tell us what you were doing running around a crime scene with illegal weapons in the dead of winter? Firing at shadows?"

"Searching for the Chronosphere?" Dean tried. But no one laughed and he sighed. Tough crowd.

"Let's start with your name." Gibbs said, sitting down in front of Dean.

"Make it… Jack" Dean said and glanced at Abby who giggled, delighted that he played along with her idea.

The interrogation quickly went downhill from there since Dean wasn't inclined to give them any answers and the team wasn't ready to give up. It was an odd dance. Dean was trying to get a look at as much as possible of the room, a kitchen, and of their backup, every now and then throwing in a question that told him that their chalet was located only two miles from their own cabin, that it had a basement without windows and that the daylight was fading all too quickly, leaving the world to the Grimmer.

After about an hour there was a pause while each man assessed the progress in their questioning, and came to the conclusion that they had reached an impasse. Gibbs gave a signal to DiNozzo and McGee and Abby followed them into the living room where they held a hushed conversation.

"I don't like it" DiNozzo whispered. "Ziva and Ducky should have been back an hour ago."

"I know" Gibbs answered. "It makes no sense for anyone armed like that not to be backed up by a posse of trigger happy comrades."

"Do we think they have them, then?" Abby wondered and glanced at their prisoner. He was a hot piece of work and had shown a badass attitude, intelligence and a sense of humour that matched her own, but if his buddies had hurt her friends…

The three men traded glances;


"They do"

"He's not alone"

"Ducky is no match for the common mugger on the street" DiNozzo said, "but Ziva is a god damn Mossad agent. No one gets the drop on her. Since she hasn't come back do you think…?"

"We have to ask" Gibbs concluded, his manner relaxed and professional but his team knew he was anything but when his own people were in danger. He turned around and went back to the chair.

Dean wondered what their next move would be and where the cavalry was. It was getting dark and he wanted to be there to have their backs as they went up against the oversized gremlin. His head still hurt like the blazes. Why hadn't they come found him yet? And who would win a confrontation? It was about time he made the famous Winchester Houdini act. And as soon as special agent Gibbs returned he asked;

"Can I use the bathroom?"

"No. Listen, I need to know where your people are. We have reason to believe that they are holding two of ours."

Dean watched Gibbs carefully and then met the others' gazes, trying to read each person. Finally he knew what the underlying tension had been about – they were worried that since they thought he was a terrorist his gang had killed or captured two of their team. He bit his lip and tilted his head.

"Agents or civilians?" he asked and glanced out at the darkening skies, hoping like hell that the missing people were with the hunters.

"One of each" Gibbs admitted after a brief pause.

Dean nodded slowly.

"If we do have them, will you make an even trade? Or is that against the Marine rules?"

"I'd like to know that they're even alive before we strike any deals" DiNozzo muttered through clenched teeth and McGee murmured his agreement.

Gibbs hesitated before committing them to anything; "If you have them, and if they're alright, it's a far better starting point than nothing" he stated and tried to judge the effect his words had on Dean. "Unfortunately we don't have any cell coverage so I guess you'll just have to show us where your camp is."

"No can do" Dean said with exaggerated regret. "But I can probably hook you up on the walkie-talkie thingy over there. Bring it here."

"Eh, hello? We tried that already, it's probably broken because I can get nothing but static?" Abby reminded them when McGee went to get the walkie-talkie and DiNozzo dragged up a table next to Gibbs on which to put it.

"I don't think that's the case anymore, sweetheart" Dean said and started giving McGee instructions on how to use Bobby's design and find the secret frequenzy. When he was done he was instantly rewarded with the familiar voice of his brother:

"Took you long enough. How's it going?"

Dean smiled in relief and quickly retorted:

"Found four Marines, a house with a root cellar and got tied up. How was your day?"

Before Sam could answer Gibbs took over the conversation.

"This is special agent Gibbs with the NCIS. Identify yourself."

"Hello there special agent Gibbs. Just call me… Al."

Dean was impressed by Gibbs's calm, he knew that if he had been on the other end of the line he would have been furious but this guy just continued.

"I believe you know something about a missing member of my team?"

"Only one? We have two over here." Sam said tranquilly. "I'm guessing you hoped the lady was at large 'cause frankly the other one seems an unlikely asset in a tactical manoeuvre."

Dean watched the looks DiNozzo and Abby traded and tried to judge if they had anything personal invested in Sam's guests. He came to the conclusion that they did and suppressed any feelings of sympathy to show on his face. They couldn't afford to let the NCIS lock up any of them and they had to resolve this situation quickly so they could deal with the monster.

Sam tried to sound calm and composed as he established contact with the NCIS team. He had the advantage of the ID cards their guests had brought and an internet connection so he knew quite a lot about them already. No one had wanted to question the agent or the doctor and they were currently tied up in the Winchester bedroom with Bobby and his shotgun guarding them. Jo and Ellen were on lookout at the chalet, that they had found quick enough once they knew it existed, and would soon have to either move into it or head back at double speed. They were both anxiously awaiting the outcome in the growing darkness. Sam stared into space and concentrated on bringing up a persona that would sound both lethal and honourable. He went with a general Sean Connery attitude minus the accent. He wanted Gibbs to take him seriously and to trade with him.

"I want to know if they're ok. Put them on the phone." Gibbs demanded. Sam was ready for that one and was already on the move, carrying the walkie talkie towards the bedroom where Bobby had taken up station just inside the door.

"I have your boss on the phone" Sam said. "He wants to know if you're alright."

The doctor cleared his throat but the agent was faster:

"Two women two men, one of them in a wheelchair. The women are outside, all heavily armed" she rattled off. Sam pursed his lips but didn't stop her and Ducky piped up;

"What Ziva said. We're fine"

Sam closed the door again and went back to the table.

"Release your hostages, surrender yourselves and your weapons and you will be given a full and fair investigation. You have my word." Gibbs offered.

"Sounds about right." Sam answered. "You have 5 minutes to think about it." He then bowed his head and pulled his hands through his hair as he issued his first ever threat against another man. "After that I start hurting them, beginning with your doctor. My estimate is he'll take about 10 minutes to kill. I will then immediately do the same to your agent. Her time estimate is 15 minutes." Then he turned off the connection and took a deep breath, his hands shaking slightly.

Dean had listened to the death threat issued by his brother. They were running out of time sure enough but still, he had actually said those words and he had sounded deadly serious, professional and ice cold. Like Sean Connery's many characters. He couldn't help but notice Abby's shocked face and he longed to tell her everything would be alright. But he couldn't, not without blowing Sam's act. He had to play along or there would be fatalities, the Grimmer would see to that. The lady agent had mentioned that Jo and Ellen were outside and Dean was prepared to bet anything that they were close outside the chalet. He wanted them inside these walls and he wanted Sam, Bobby and the other two in here as well. It was a much better place to hold out a siege than their own minimal, paper thin cottage. Not to mention that the root cellar was an added bonus.

Gibbs looked at his team mates and then called another conference in the living room.

"I wish we knew more of what kind of terrorists we're dealing with" DiNozzo fretted. "Boss I haven't been able to identify a single known movement within 200 miles of this place; I have no idea what they want."

"Sir, both these guys speak as if they've moved around a bit but I think at least this 'Jack' has an undercurrent of Kansas in his speech. They're as American as they come so it's probably home-grown terrorism." McGee offered.

"Like McVeigh and Kaczynski" Gibbs said, frowning.

"How does a guy from Kansas end up in the middle of nowhere, training to become a terrorist?" DiNozzo pondered.

"A tornado?" Abby joked airily before lowering her voice; "Gibbs, if I'm any judge of character, that guy is as bad as they come," she whispered nervously and, when the others stared at her, she continued; "I always fall for the wrong guys and he is hot! I mean smoking like James Bond. Not Pierce Brosnan perhaps but…"

"Yes yes Abby, we get the picture" Gibbs interrupted her.

"You're our own Charlie's Angel, aren't you" DiNozzo said with a fond smile.

"What do you mean you 'always fall for the wrong guys', I thought we…" McGee began but was interrupted by Abby's kiss on his cheek and: "You're the exception that disproves the rule" she promised.

"Silence, children." Gibbs growled. "We have a problem here. If we surrender we don't know to whom and hence not to what. If we don't and they're not bluffing Ducky dies first and shortly after Ziva. What do you propose?"

Dean had strived to hear their conversation but not been able to. But he knew where the discussion was most likely going and was in two minds of whether he should try to influence their decision or not. What could they believe in? He could tell them that he'd known a Marine and owed him his life; that would be true. But that would also classify him as a deeper kind of traitor since someone who'd saved his life had bled for their country and he had still chosen to become a terrorist. That would be their interpretation. He could tell them, honestly, that they didn't want to hurt anyone. But that would sound strange after Sam's message. And the plain truth was out of question. No, this was up to their leader and Dean hoped in the end that Sam had sounded scary enough. He stared out the window, trying to catch a glimpse of an approaching danger or either of the Harvelles. He wanted them close by so they could throw themselves indoors within seconds if their furry friend decided to pay them an early visit. He avoided thinking of spoons.

"A vote." Gibbs decided. "I can't force you to surrender to an unknown force. And I can't stand by and watch two of our people die. Kate was bad enough." He paused as his team members avoided each other's eyes. "All those in favour of surrender raise your hands" They all did and McGee imperceptibly leaned towards Abby. Gibbs looked closely at them and then turned towards the walkie-talkie and pushed a button.

"5 minutes." Sam's voice came over the speaker. "What will it be?"

"You have your way" Gibbs said, sounding calm.

On the other side of the connection Sam folded his hands in a silent prayer of thanks and worked to keep up his façade of efficiency by immediately responding.

"Cut my man loose and give him all your weapons." He said and held his breath.

Gibbs remained still for a second, brazing himself and steeling his resolve, before regarding the prisoner with a piercing gaze that Dean returned with a bland smile that hid his impatience. Gibbs made a small movement and the others quickly got to work. Dean was impressed as there was no question of who was the top dog. It reminded him a lot about John's Marine manner. McGee released him while the others pulled out their weapons and put them on the kitchen counter, Dean kept his focus on them to make sure they put down every one he had noticed while studying them, and as soon as he was free he stumbled over to his own weapons and armed himself. Nervously eyeing the dark window and giving the NCIS team short instructions to handcuff themselves and sit down in the kitchen by the inner wall facing the outer windows. He would have been safer tying up their legs but if the Grimmer came in through the windows he wanted them mobile. The whole operation took only a minute and a half and then he called his brother.

"I've got it covered, is there time for you to get over here?"

"God I hope so," Sam answered fervently and went offline.

Dean tried watching three things simultaneously: the agents, the windows and the door as he opened it and yelled out in the wind.

"Come out come out, wherever you are!"

It didn't take long before two blonde women, armed to their teeth and shedding small mountains of snow, burst through the door. They locked it behind them and Dean went back to guarding the windows while Ellen set up their heat detection device and Jo went about taking care of the weapons on the kitchen counter. They hardly even glanced at the NCIS team. Dean then directed Ellen to the root cellar and after a while she yelled at him that it was perfect. The agents traded confused looks, perfect for what? But Dean wasn't about to tell them that it might serve as a way of isolating a moon beast from its source of healing, while they built a pyre. Somehow he didn't think it would put them at ease.

Ellen had handed Dean their big shotgun as soon as they came in and Dean let it waver between the windows. Neither Sam nor Bobby tried contacting him and he was growing nervous. It was a great relief when the big van drove up and parked in front of the kitchen windows, minimising the possible attack angles.

"And cue the Mystery Machine" Dean exclaimed, relieved and delighted. Ellen concentrated on the heat detector while Jo went to open to let four frozen people in.

DiNozzo was the only one with a clear view of the door and he saw Ducky come in first, hands cuffed behind his back but looking unharmed. A sour-looking man in a trucker cap and a scowl, a rifle in his arms, rolled in after him in a wheelchair. The wheelchair didn't make him look any less dangerous and the best word that came to McGee's mind when he saw him was: hunter. He seemed to be the very essence of one. After him came a tall man who carried some resemblance to their former prisoner, enough to make him think they were related, and also the limp form of special agent Ziva.

"Ziva! DiNozzo called out, "what have you done to her?" and Ducky quickly turned to him.

"Tony, it's alright. Ziva will be fine. I, uh, had to administer a sleeping drug. These two men recognize special training when they see it and declared that unconscious was the only safe way, for them, to move her."

"Did you give her a shot, Ducky?" Gibbs asked, incredeously.

Ducky shrugged his shoulders and gave him an apologetic glance that told them clearer than words that he preferred to know what she was given. He straightened up and found Abby too in the corner, halfway hidden by McGee, and she gave him a slight smile. They were all relieved to see each other alive and well and to be united. Ducky was sat down with the others and Dean waved Sam off towards the kitchen counter. Ziva, who didn't need watching, would be safer behind the solid oak barrier it provided.

Jo came into the kitchen too and gave the newcome men a radiant smile that was over as fast as it appeared. Ellen went out into the dark and came back with arms full of weapons and ammunition boxes and put the load on the floor. Gibbs leaned across over DiNozzo to get a better look and recognized army issues. Looking up he saw the guy in the wheelchair studying him and he raised his eyebrows quizzically and indicated the Government stamp. Bobby just smiled and shrugged.

"Now what?" Gibbs asked. "You have everything you asked for, isn't this the part where you disappear into the night?"

"Anyone who goes out tonight most assuredly disappears" Bobby retorted. "So what happens now is we wait."

The rest of the hunters were all loading their various weapons and traded low remarks while Bobby talked to the Marines.

"Wait for what?" DiNozzo asked?

"For the real enemy" Bobby answered and threw a glance at the heat detector that, as if on cue, started beeping. Something with body heat was moving out there.

The hunters followed the movements on-screen carefully and the NCIS team knew better than to disturb them. They had no idea what was going on but recognized preparations for battle when they saw them. DiNozzo and Gibbs watched the blob moving unexpectedly fast towards the chalet and heard the man in the wheelchair bark out orders concerning positions and firepower, orders that were followed directly without questioning.

A second before the blob reached the chalet the hunters all started firing at the window toward which it was headed and as a large, furious flurry of fur dove into the room, Cujo style, it was met by a hail of bullets and assorted darts. Though the animal at first glance might have been a grizzly it wasn't, though the entrance deserved the name. Sam's shotgun was loaded with something particularly devastating and cut through the thick pelt in big, blue-blooded holes. Abby screamed as the dying, trashing animal made it into her line of sight, but she wouldn't look away. Her reaction was more one of relieving tension than of actual fear, but it didn't stop McGee from shuffling in front of her, shielding her from whatever onslaught might be headed her way as well as trying to make sure she didn't see the gruesome animal. But the thanks he got for his troubles was a knee in his back as she impatiently shoved him aside. The hunters continued shooting for several seconds after it was apparent that the only movement the shredded pile made was the jerks of impact from the missiles.

Finally Bobby held up a hand and the fire seized. Dean cautiously walked forward, kicking the beast somewhere around what used to be its head but it made no motion to move and Sam handed his shotgun over to Ellen who quickly changed weapons and continued aiming at it. Sam walked forward too and kicked at it.

"Is it dead?" Jo demanded to know and DiNozzo looked over at her. He had noticed her the moment she'd walked in, of course, but the sight of her now was worth a double take. Her cheeks glowed fiercely red and she breathed deeply, making her chest heave in interesting shapes. Her ponytail had come askew a little and a strand of hair whisped over her cheek, startlingly blonde in comparison. As a connoisseur of women he was prepared to wager his head that it was all natural.

"For now it is, anyway" Dean answered after he and Sam had traded looks. The NCIS team looked at the hunters, astonished, and it was Gibbs who asked the question.

"For now?" His voice was sharp and crystal and there was no mistaking the authority. Ellen scowled at the tone as did her daughter, but Bobby, who'd been wearing a uniform himself back in the day, had already formed a favourable opinion of special agent Gibbs and decided to give him the truth. So as Dean, Sam and Jo hauled the temporarily dead monster out of the kitchen and into the living room, where they vaulted it into the pitch black root cellar, Bobby began telling the agents what a Grimmer was and how you killed it. The devastated window, with parts of the frame scattered all over the room, allowed frigid air to blow into the kitchen and the snowflakes drifting in seemed to carry with them forgotten memories of darker ages.

Ellen didn't approve of telling the cops the truth, she'd been down that road before, but followed Bobby's lead and held her peace, calmly reloading the shotgun and her own weapon. She then continued re-loading all the others, wiping down the handles and surfaces and concluding with dragging a blanket across the blue blood pooling on the floor. It was all instinct and adrenaline because even though the monster was dead they were still in enemy territory and there was no telling where the next danger might come from. After the first few questions from Gibbs Abby had taken over asking and was bubbling about how what he told them fitted with her lab findings and Ducky, though more shell shocked than the rest of them, contributed with his conclusions and mumbled something about a Mr. Boddy. Bobby, who really didn't want the cops finding out his name, stopped breathing for a second before catching the difference. The man was an autopsy expert after all and maybe that was how he spoke about all his work.

"But here's the million dollar question" Gibbs suddenly interjected, after having listened to his experts, "what makes you authorized to deal with creatures like this? And taking the law into your own hands while doing it, I might add?" He pinned the older hunter with one of his trademark piercing gazes and Bobby paused while thinking of an angle that would fit that specific question and not want them to hunt them down and lock them up and throw away the key once this was all over. The others filed in, back from the root cellar, and Bobby intended to start talking about Area 51 when Ellen's head snapped up and her attention focused on the heat detector she had not yet turned off.

"Guys" she called, her voice urgent but low and steady, "there's another one out there". Without taking her eyes off the screen she held out the shotgun to Jo with one hand and grabbed her own weapon with the other. Jo caught it and threw it to Sam. Dean, who hadn't left his weapon in the room, scrambled to reload while Bobby caught the weapon Ellen threw. All eyes except Ellen's were glued to the broken window.

Bobby wheeled over to the still tied up agents and put down the break. He briefly considered releasing them but decided against it. One good reason not to was that even though they would be additional firepower he wasn't keen on letting agents and hunters mix; agents had rules and hunters improvised. Close quarters, lethal ammunition and mutual distrust weren't the ideal training partners either. Not to mention that there would then be two top dogs in the room and half the group would look to him for instructions and half to the NCIS guy. The thoughts had crossed his mind in the tenth of a second and the window now held his complete focus again as he covered the agents with his body.

"It's circling the house" Ellen told them. "It's looking for another way in than the broken window. It probably knows the first one is dead."

"Should we go in the other room?" Dean asked, deceptively calm, recalling the layout of the living room and the windows in there.

"Against the back wall?" Sam asked, thinking of the solid tree logs that made up the chalet.

"Check." Bobby demanded and tilted his head towards the living room. Jo nimbly got up and moved backwards until she stood in the doorway, scanning the living room, looking for enough defensive positions.

"Civilians at the back, behind the sofa. We in front and on sides, no protection. Four possible windows. 30 yard's shooting range." She reported.

"It's looping away towards the forest now" Ellen told them. "If it turns now we have 5 seconds tops."

"Quick" Bobby said and no one needed telling twice. Jo glided into the living room where she pulled out the sofa from the wall to admit access to the flimsy safety behind it and then shoved the big, study armchair at an angle to create more hiding space and an additional barrier. She then rose a coffee table against one of the windows and pulled down the curtains on another, quickly opening the window to fasten the fabric diagonally across it. It wouldn't hamper the creature much but a split second was called just that because in such a second things could go either way. And they needed whatever time they could get.

Bobby wheeled forward, too close to the broken window, while Dean grabbed DiNozzo's arm to help him to his feet. The agent quickly slid through the doorway and made his way over to the sofa. He cursed as he realized that he got the safest place with both the armchair and the sofa covering him, as well as the bodies of his team members. But speed was of the essence and he crouched down. Gibbs was next but he thought faster and stood aside as Abby, McGee and Ducky slid in beside DiNozzo.

"Make room for Ziva" Gibbs ordered and the others quickly shoved the sofa another yard from the wall as Dean came in with her and dropped her in their laps. Gibbs crouched low at the end of the sofa, not benefiting from its shelter, as Dean pushed the sofa back as much as it went and then took up position in front of Gibbs. Bobby wheeled in and placed himself in the corner of the kitchen wall and the outer wall, covering all the windows and recklessly counting on either being able to shoot the Grimmer from behind or being a tempting bait that would make the creature try to come in the window at an angle and thus slow it down. He felt Dean's disapproval but didn't care.

Next into the living room was Ellen with the heat detector that filled her arms and made her unable to carry a weapon. She sat down next to Bobby and sorted quickly through the cords while Sam, who was last, dropped her guns next to her and closed the door. Dean quickly pushed a chair at him that he wedged under the handle and then Sam crossed to the armchair and stood still.

"It's coming back" Ellen told them and left the screen for a moment to look up at Jo who was tangling with the second window and its curtain and Jo immediately cut her work short and ran back to the sofa where she knelt with her gun trained at the window closest to Sam. Then they waited, trying to remember to breathe steadily, as Ellen kept up a running commentary on where the creature was. But suddenly her voice got strained and she gave them the bad news; "there's two of them now."

"Three? There's more in this area? They're multiplying like Tribbles I swear" Bobby ground out and looked over at his stunned team where Dean, the only one truly able to let his mind wander while in a fight, smirked knowingly at the revelation of Bobby's knowledge.

"There were traces of three slaughter places" Gibbs offered and met Bobby's eyes. "Chances are that these two are the last." Something went click between the two men and both looked startled. A bond had been created and working together would never be a problem, if they ever met again. They each took a second to silently acknowledge to the other that it had happened, and then Bobby turned back to the business at hand.

"Tonight we will kill three Grimmers" Bobby told the hunters and they each straightened up a little. There was no room for hesitation or doubt in his voice and it left no space for it in the others' either.

"Heads up," Ellen snapped, "they've decided to come in frontal". Two blobs of orange now synchronized their running towards the two middle windows, the ones Jo had strengthened, and they were heading straight for her daughter who sat between them, armed and ready. "Darling, they're headed for you." Ellen told Jo, not looking at her but bringing her weapon up. Jo slowly, slowly let out her breath, aiming for the left window. Knowing Sam did the same. Dean trained his weapon on the right and so did Ellen and Bobby.

"Three, two, one" Ellen counted out loud and at the end of 'one' both windows broke in a roar of flying glass, coffee table and howls.

The two monsters didn't make it into the room unscathed as the hunters' weapons roared. The monster on the left made straight for Sam, as if it knew who held the deadliest weapon, and would have reached him in one leap if it hadn't been for two things; Sam starting firing immediately on 'one', and the curtain holding it back for a split second. As it was the monster was already sporting two tennisball sized gaps in the torso as it landed on the floor inside, preparing to take him down in one bound. A third hit drove it back towards the window, giving Jo room to spit round after round of small but deadly silver bullets at the head, aiming for and hitting the eyes, nose and ears. Had she aimed anywhere else none of the bullets would have made it through but she had truly found the dragon's underbelly and the howls of hunger and rage quickly turned to screams of pain and confusion as its most valuable senses were lost. While it trashed around Sam took a step forward and shot it thrice more, making haggis of it's stomach. That was when the second Grimmer barrelled into Jo and she went down beneath its bulk.

Bobby, Dean and Ellen had started up the crossfire at the same time, but as luck would have it the coffee table, while hampering it, shielded it from both Ellen and Dean and the only bullet to actually wound it before it landed was one of Bobby's. It was a well-placed one though that made it through the throat and into a vein that quickly started pumping out blood. It looked as a truly terrifying parody of a fountain that had heard that water was supposed to be blue. The liquid sprayed everywhere with amazing force, making the polished wooden floor slippery and dangerous to navigate. Though the monster was headed directly at him Dean held his ground and continued firing at its nether parts as it reared up, on the basis that if it was male this was truly the area where it would hurt the most and keep it occupied enough that the other bullets would penetrate and kill. Reading his mind this was exactly what Ellen and Bobby were doing, but since the Grimmer was now between the civilians and them they couldn't spray lead, silver and salt everywhere they pleased but had to make sure each missile hit a target.

It was a good plan but as Dean took a small step to the right to avoid catching Sam in the crosshair when he stepped closer to his own target he slipped on a rivulet of blood and fell down. He didn't lose his weapon but an all too well-known tongue of flame flickered into life and told him his right shoulder had popped out of joint. Predictably at the worst possible time. It took him almost a second to get the pain under control and begin to sit up, preparing to aim and shoot with his left, but he was immediately pushed down. Someone was helping himself to his spare weapon, that he kept at the small of his back, and the same someone held him pinned to the ground. Then the weapon in his left hand was whisked from his grip and he recognized agent DiNozzo's wrist watch. That made him fairly certain that agent Gibbs was the one with a knee on his back and he decided to stay down. The agent surely intended to shoot and Dean didn't want him to miss. The fire hadn't stopped for a second and now both Dean's weapons were adding to it. That was when he heard Ellen scream Jo's name.

When Ellen had done her count of three two one the hunters weren't the only ones who had sprung into action. Ducky, Abby and McGee pushed apart and shared Ziva's whole weight while Gibbs and DiNozzo started scrambling out of the handcuffs. It was hard for McGee not to follow their example but since he was seated in the middle of the two non-agents he was trapped unless he wanted to put them in danger. It would have been easy enough for the two agents to slip out of the handcuffs if the sofa hadn't been in the way but as if was it took some serious wriggling. Gibbs slipped out first and then DiNozzo took two steps over his comrades and reached him just as the hunter "Jack" went down. Gibbs didn't waste any time. He had noticed the spare weapon as the hunter had taken up position next to them and now he grabbed it while he kept the wounded man down. DiNozzo took the weapon that was now useless in the hands of the hunter and they joined the chorus of shots. With one extra weapon shooting at the Grimmer it finally succumbed and tumbled to the left, hitting on Jo and snarling as it fell on her, fangs spread out.

Sam's and Jo's Grimmer was lying lifeless on the floor and no one dared shooting at the one now covering Jo. The room grew deathly still after Ellen's scream,all eyes on Jo's legs that didn't move, and then they all surged forward to drag the beast off of her. With three men lifting the bloodied carcass was quickly off Jo and Ellen reached for her neck to feel for a pulse. Before she had time to feel it though Jo groaned and everyone started breathing again.

"Baby, is anything broken?" Ellen wanted to know and shook her daughter's shoulder.

Jo grimaced as she sat up but shook her head and whimpered as Ellen hugged her too tightly. Sam then looked over at his brother who was also down but moving and groaning and asked lightly: "Will you live too?" and received an affirmative nod as he sat up. Sam knelt by him and with coordinated movements his shoulder was popped right again and Sam dragged him up from the floor. It was obvious to the agents that this wasn't the first time.

Gibbs checked behind the sofa to see if the others were ok and once he was certain they were he went over to Bobby who eyed him warily. The rest of the people in the room grew still as the two men assessed one another and then, at the same time, decided to be friends.

"Truce?" Gibbs asked?

"Put it here, partner" Bobby smiled and they shook on it, making the rest of the room draw a sigh of relief.

"We few, we happy few, we band of brothers; for he to-day that sheds his blood with me, shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile" Dean quoted and lifted his eyebrows while Sam and Jo watched him in astonishment. Dean winked at Jo.

After the rest of the NCIS had been released and the two Grimmers had joined the one in the basement, Ducky set up a clinic in the hallway and treated each and every scratch people had been too busy to notice. While they were not being checked out by him they were reassembling the kitchen and living room and breaking out various snacks and beverages for a midnight feast. It had in truth been a long day but no one would be able to sleep with the monsters in the basement. The notion that they needed moonlight to revive was only a theory and they were all set on guarding the hatch so the victory would not get lost. Only Ziva was peacefully sleeping in an upstairs bedroom and DiNozzo couldn't help but chuckle as he thought about how pissed she would be once she woke up.

The agents and hunters spoke of law and practice, gut instincts and heroic feats until the sun rose, all the while listening for sounds from the basement. But the sun rose without a sound from down there and in the light of dawn half the group went out to gather material for a pyre. Then they all helped in dragging out the dead creatures and onto the wood where they doused them liberally in flammable liquid and salt before lighting the fire. The chitchat continued as the smell of barbeque drifted across the wintery landscape, making them all long for hamburgers.

"Is there anything going on with you and that blonde little angel?" DiNozzo wondered as he and Dean had wandered behind the chalet to drag out another log. "Or is she seeing someone else?"

Dean pondered the question. He was interested in Jo sure enough, but he wasn't certain it was mutual. What he was sure of was that Ellen didn't like the idea of Jo dating a hunter and that she positively loathed the idea of her dating a cop. So having the agent do a little courting, which he of course would fail miserably at if Dean knew Jo at all, could be a good thing all around. He pounced on a big fat black lie.

"I wish" Dean huffed and bent down, ostensibly to take a better grip on the log but actually to hide his face as he prepared to send the man into a hornets nest. "But her mother won't let me and frankly, her taste in men is a bit, well, crude." He said apologetically, shrugging.

"Crude?" DiNozzo asked, voice rife with curiosity and imagination ablaze with firery, heathen images.

"Uh-uhm, yeah. Like, you heard me quote the Bard earlier? She wouldn't know who that is. Give her champagne? She'd mix it with coke. Play anything a bit more classical than AC/DC? She'd ask when the drums come on or the singing starts. No, with Jo it's a safer bet to walk in with a pizza, a six-pack and side one of Zeppelin IV." Dean waited and held his breath as he carried himself with an easy swagger, eager to know if he'd swallowed it.

"Thanks for the tip, man" DiNozzo said, sincerely. "I think I can work with that. Of course, normally I'd be a bit more into wooing with, like, sending the woman honey dust or expensive perfume, but this could be a nice change."

"You're welcome" Dean said, hooting with laughter on the inside and intensely looking forward to the next time he met Jo or Ellen, to innocently ask if the agent had been in contact with her. And he couldn't wait to tell Sam.

When nothing but ashes were laft of the monsters, and half a cow worth of hamburgers had been downed in the best imitation possible of an Asterix feast, there was nothing left to do but say farewell.

"You know, this could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship" Gibbs said with a wink as the hunters stepped into their van. Bobby smiled in return and promised that he'd be happy to be a secret consultant for agent Gibbs anytime. But as the hunters all drove down the mountain Bobby sighed, a sound of long suffering patiently borne.

"And now we owe the cops a favour" he complained loudly. "What a kerfuffle"

"What's that?" Ellen asked.

"Disturbance, commotion or fuss, I think." Sam answered, frowning.

"Well done" Bobby snorted. "I can't very well go around saying 'it's a fine mess you have dragged me into' everytime you do, idjits." He mumbled. "Gotta at least change the wording a little."

After a few seconds of no one knowing how to respond Jo couldn't keep from giggling. After that they all started in and the van was soon rocking with laughter. Sometimes, Bobby reflected, life was all good.

Not usually doing crossovers, but this was fun!