The morning of Monday, July 12th turned out to be better than most Mondays. Compared to a normal Monday, where most of the agents at NCIS were sleep deprived, usually late to rise, and moody, they were instead bright, cheery and alert. Abby Scuito, NCIS forensic scientist, bounced merrily into the bullpen at 0700 to greet her favorite team of agents. She wrapped her black laced arms around Tony DiNozzo tightly and squeezed. He returned the sibling like gesture with equal enthusiasm, even though his hands were full.
"Morning Abs." He smiled at her and kissed her forehead. He had picked up that habit after watching his boss do it so many times. He turned to his partner, Timothy McGee, who was sitting at his desk typing furiously at the keyboard. "McGee! You're unusually rosy cheeked this morning. How did your date go last night?"
Tony tossed his bag and coat behind his desk. He moved to stand in front of McGee's, hovering over his computer monitor, much to Tim's annoyance.
"Sorry, Tony. It was a perfect night and I will not give you details to harass me with later."
"Come on, McGoo. Tell me. You know you want to," Tony teased his friend.
"No, I don't. Besides, you'll only pick on me for not doing what you told me to." McGee continued to type up the case report from the previous night. It had been late and his boss told him to get some sleep and finish it in the morning.
Tony leaned on his partner's desk and grinned. "You didn't take her to that boring play, did you, Probie? Cuz, I warned you about boring the girl."
"Not going to tell you, Tony."
Abby giggled at the two agents. She wasn't seen in the bullpen very often. When she was, she always caught a glimpse into their more personal lives. Tony picked on Tim a lot, but he still admired the junior agent.
Tony felt a quick, well aimed smack on the back of his head. "Morning, Boss. McGee and I were just…"
"Save it. We got a body. Grab your gear."
Leroy Jethro Gibbs set his coffee cup on his desk. He grabbed both his badge and his sig from the top drawer and proceeded to the elevator with his coffee in hand once more.
"On your six, Boss." Tony responded. He was ahead of Gibbs when he noticed that their other team member, Ziva David, had still not arrived. "Where's Ziva?"
"Already there, DiNozzo. Let's go."
"Gibbs!" Abby yelled, feeling slightly hurt that she had been completely ignored.
Tony and Tim waited for Gibbs in the elevator, a smile on their faces. Gibbs turned around and walked back to kiss his gothic forensic tech on the cheek, "Morning, Abs."
"Morning, Gibbs. Bring me something good." Upon the Gibbs glare, she revised, "I mean of course, good evidence so we can wrap up the case quickly."
He curtly nodded his head and entered the elevator. He slammed his fist on the first floor button. He hated being late to a crime scene. The fact that Abby was the reason for it, was the only reason Gibbs wasn't yelling. She did get special treatment, but what else did they expect. Abby was like a daughter to Gibbs.
At the crime scene:
Team Gibbs arrived at Quantico Naval Base, the crime scene, in record time thanks to Gibbs insane driving. Surprisingly enough, Jimmy Palmer and Dr. Mallard, were able to keep up. They arrived shortly after the team did. Gibbs and his agents met Ziva at the gate. She had been out for a run when the call came in. Her apartment was nearby and she met them at the scene as instructed.
"Break out the gear, McGee…David. Tony, you're with me."
"You got it, Boss." Tony hurried to Gibbs side and the pair walked toward the body.
As the two approached, their eyes met a strange sight. Gibbs eyes narrowed. Tony walked around and knelt down next to the dead Lt. The body was sprawled unnaturally on the pavement. The woman's head was turned to the side. She was pale, but missing the tell tale signs of oxygen depravation. No blue fingers or lips and her eyes were clear of stippling. She did have two, perfectly spaced pin prick wounds on her neck.
"No way. Oh, Abby is going to have a field day with this." Tony grinned.
Tim and Ziva, carrying the necessary equipment, finally came into view of the body. Their eyes were drawn to the dead woman's neck. Ziva didn't seem to understand, but Tim did.
"Wait till Abby gets a load of this."
Gibbs gave the famous glare and the others suddenly became busy with something in their bags. He shook his head, knowing that what they were saying was probably true. His eccentric lab tech would be overly excited about what the marks suggested.
"Ziva, take statements. McGee, bag and tag. DiNozzo, sketch and shoot."
Without a word, the three got straight to work. Dr. Mallard was already using the liver probe on the deceased. Gibbs knelt next to him, a pad and pencil in hand.
"What do we got, Duck?"
"Well, I guess I could state the obvious, but I know how you feel about that sort of thing. I estimate that she has been dead around four hours. That would make her time of death at 0300." Dr. Mallard said.
"Cause of death?" Gibbs continued.
"From the looks of things, I would conclude that it was a massive loss of blood."
"Where's the blood, Duck?"
"I would imagine the killer drained her of it somewhere else and then dumped the body here. I'll know more when I get her home. Mr. Palmer, the gurney, if you would, please."
"What do you make of those marks?" Gibbs asked, pointing to the tiny pin pricks in the neck.
"I suppose they could have been made from any small, cylindrical object. I'll make a mold of them when I'm finished with the autopsy."
Tony came to start photographing the body. He snapped off a couple of pictures then said while laughing, "So, we're looking for a vampire right?"
"Anthony, as much as I agree that the marks were made to look like a vampire made them, I am positive that is not the case. What we have here is a murder by a person who is very much alive."
Jimmy Palmer brought the gurney as instructed and the two of them lifted the dead Lt. onto it. They zipped her up and headed for the medical examiner van.
The team came together, "Ziva, what do we know?"
"The two men who found her are Petty Officers Mike Bradley and Evan Kurns. They were returning from a party at a friend's house. They claim they heard a scream and then nothing but whimpers. When they investigated, they saw a man holding Lt. Lake. They claim he threw her to the ground and then proceeded run and then jump over the main gate in a single bound."
Tony and Tim looked at her, utterly speechless. None of what she said sounded normal. They glanced at each other. Gibbs stared at her for a moment.
"You believed them, Officer David?" Gibbs asked, coming toward her.
Ziva backed up slightly, "No…but I asked several times and even threatened them. Their story never changed. They swear on their mothers that what they saw was for real."
"DiNozzo, get those photos to Abby. Have her go over them. Get with the Commander. I want all the security footage in and around the base. All of it, not just the gate, DiNozzo."
"On it, Boss."
"Go through her bank statements, credit card transactions, and her cell phone. I want to know where Lt. Lake was last night."
"Got it, Boss."
"Tony, why were you all giggling at the crime scene?" Ziva asked, keeping her voice low. She didn't want Gibbs to surprise her with a smack to the back of the head.
"Oh, come on, Ziva. Don't tell me you don't know what that looked like?"
"No, I don't. What exactly did it look like to you? All I saw was a dead Navy Lt."
"Vampires? You've got to be kidding me, Tony."
"Didn't you see the significance, Ziva?" When she shook her head, Tim continued, "The equally spaced marks on her neck that looked like bite marks. The fact that her entire body was drained of blood, but there was no blood at the scene. The Petty Officers claimed that the suspect threw her body and then jumped over the main gate in one leap. That is all evidence that sounds very much like a vampire."
"McGee, there is no such thing as vampires. They are legends, stories."
"The term is myth and so what. You never thought that crazy things could be lurking in the night?" Tony asked.
"Of all people, Tony, I would have thought that you would know better then to believe in fairytales."
"I'm not saying that I do. I'm just saying that there are some that do. Abby being one of them. But you have to admit, Ziva, that the killer has gone to great lengths to make it look like that is exactly what happened."
"Maybe its true."
Tony, Ziva and Tim all jumped. They hadn't heard anyone approach and didn't expect to see the man standing before them. He was tall, with short brown hair and dark eyes. He wore a long black trench coat over black slacks and a garnet button down shirt. His hands were in his pocket and he was lazily leaning on the outer wall of their cubicle.
His voice had been low, but was definitely intimidating. Tony was reminded of Gibbs and the way he snuck up on the team.
"Who are you?" Tony's hand was close to his side, ready to draw his sig if necessary.
"You don't have a visitors badge. How did you get in here?"
The stranger ignored his question. "I heard about your case. I thought I could help."
"Which case would that be?"
"You found a woman this morning at Quantico Naval Base with two matching marks on her neck. I think I can help."
"How is it that you know about this case…Mr. Angel?" Ziva asked, backing up and taking a good look at the man before her.
"It's just Angel. I have my sources."
"That's not good enough. Answer Officer David's question." Tony ordered.
"I did. Do you want my help or not?" Angel asked.
Gibbs came up behind the stranger in black, but it hadn't had the desired effect. The man didn't jump in surprise as most people did. He didn't seem intimidated by Gibbs presence. He didn't even seem to acknowledge that he was there by turning to look at him. He remained exactly where he was. Gibbs was forced to come around and face him.
"You're lead on the investigation?"
"Yeah. Who are you?" Gibbs tried again to intimidate. He put himself in the man's personal space and narrowed his eyes angrily.
"Angel. I heard about the body you found and thought that you could use my help. I have dealt with this type of killing before."
Angel and Gibbs eyed each other. Gibbs wanted to know more about this man, but decided it could wait till later.
Without missing a beat, Angel responded. "In L.A."
"You from the NCIS division stationed there?"
"No. I'm from Angel Investigations."
Gibbs raised an eyebrow at him. A private investigator working a murder involving a naval officer. He didn't buy it.
"What makes you think that you can help with my investigation? I think my people can handle it."
"I have found many bodies with the same identical marks on the neck. All of them women. I know how to track the killer."
"If you do, then why haven't you caught him yet?"
Angel thought. He didn't want to give too much of the truth away. He would have to make something up. He looked around. Gibbs was supposed to be the best. It wouldn't take him long to figure it all out. He needed to keep him off the trail until he could take care of the vampire that was causing trouble.
"There is more then one. I have dealt with two of them," Angel lied. This particular vampire had been a pain to kill. He was as good as Angel. But it was enough to appease the marine. "I just thought that we could work as a team. Up to you, Agent Gibbs."
Gibbs narrowed his eyes again. The man knew his name.
"NCIS takes the lead."
"I'm not interested in politics, Agent Gibbs. I just want to help. I brought my own team to aid in the search for the killer as well. Give me a minute." Angel stepped away from the window and toward the opposite side of the bullpen. He pulled out a cell phone and waited.
Gibbs watched him as he spoke. His first impression of the man was that he may have been military. Not much spooked or scared him. He wasn't easily intimidated. He has apparently been in battle enough to create a hard outer shell.
Angel hung up and stood silently, waiting. Tony moved forward and whispered in Gibbs ear, "You ok with this, Boss?"
"I haven't decided yet, DiNozzo," He turned to Angel, "What platoon were you with?"
"I'm not a marine, Agent Gibbs. Never was in the military."
That concerned him even more. That meant that the man had been trained somewhere else. He knew from his body language that he had to be a skilled fighter. He could have Ziva test him, or even tail him. He then thought that would be useless. Ziva would be made before he left the Navy Yard.
The elevator dinged and a group of four people stepped out. They too were missing their visitors badges.
"Agent Gibbs…my team. This is Wesley, Gunn, Fred, and Cordelia."
When the dark haired beauty entered the bullpen, Tony grinned and moved to her side.
"Hi there. I'm Anthony DiNozzo. Nice to meet you, Cordelia."
"Hi. I don't date navy guys."
Shot down before he even truly got started.
"Angel…we need to talk."
"Not now, Wesley."
"It's important, Angel. I think I know where he is hiding out."
Gibbs stared at the Englishman. He was young, with sandy brown hair and glasses. He watched as the tall, bald black youngster hovered slightly behind Angel. He almost seemed like a bodyguard. The other girl was shy and petite. She seemed meek and a very unlikely candidate for police work. They all, however, seemed to be very loyal to the man they called Angel.
Gibbs walked around his desk and confronted the bespectacled man.
"Is there something I can do for you?" he asked, Gibbs, also not bothered by his presence.
"You know where the killer of my dead Lt. is?"
The man looked to Angel. It annoyed Gibbs that this man commanded as much respect as he did. His team respected him in the same fashion as Tony, McGee and Ziva did himself. When Angel nodded his head, Wesley continued.
"I know where he has been hiding out. We have been hunting him…."
Angel's eyes went wide for a moment, "Tracking him…we have been tracking him for quite some time now. He started his attacks in L.A. That is where we are from. Angel Investigations has been on his trail for months. He has been killing women only so far."
"How many?" Gibbs demanded.
"Thirty." Cordelia said, stepping toward Gibbs.
Gibbs rounded on her. He stepped closer still to her, causing Angel to move forward. Good, Gibbs thought. The girl means something to him. If this all goes bad, he knows how to get Angel to cooperate. The girl, however, was not impressed.
"Okay, look. I'm all for working together in this matter. Women's lives are at stake here. But I don't appreciate having you force your way into my personal space, pal. We're the good guys and you're treating us like we're some kind of sicko disease. Angel is trying to help you. The least you could do is say thank you." Cordelia scolded.
Gibbs eyebrows almost disappeared into his hair.
"Cordy…it's ok." Angel said quietly.
"No, it's not, Angel. You made it a priority to come all the way out here from L.A. and the man can't even say he's thankful."
"Cordy." Angel shook his head.
"Like I said, Agent Gibbs. I'm not here to snake your command or take over the investigation. I came to help out and I thought bringing my people would make the process faster. We have been working on this a long time. I leave it up to you."
Gibbs nodded his head.
"I will let you know that no matter what you do, we will be searching for the killer ourselves. Just fair warning."
Gibbs stared at the group of youngsters. This was not what he had in mind when he woke up this morning. He already had a strange case on his hands. Adding the fact that the killer had gone to great lengths to poke fun at the Navy by insinuating a vampire was the culprit, he now had to deal with this band of novice crime fighters. It was going to be one of those Mondays.