Hi all!

Many many apologies for the length of time it's taken me to update this story, but any motivation I've had for writing of any kind took an extended leave of absence!

Many thanks to Jiltanith, EvE79, Some101, OCMichael, Soten-ni-zase, middream06, Artemisbeloved, The Queen of Confusion, sparra-music, Dreamer22, writergirl99, Madances, Bookworm37, rebelmagnus, Trife, Chris7221, FreakyLeo88, scifi-karis, FraserMage, Alkeni, kellyh59, Nedy Rahn, remerkaba, Mrs Marcus Volturi, and everyone who's messaged me about this story for their reviews and feedback!

As it's been years since I last touched this story, I thought I would clarify when it is set.

NCIS - Beginning of season 8

SG1/SGA - Post movies and series 5.

This is another exposition filled set-up chapter, and something of a necessary evil...The story will start to move along after this chapter! :)

Chapter Four

Gibbs and Carter walked out of the elevator to find workman peering back at them intently.

"Boss!" Tony called out, "You okay?"

"Yeah, why?"

"Well you and the Colonel here were stuck in that elevator for a while, and when we couldn't raise you," he pointed at his phone, "...we got a little worried."

"Your boss and I were just having a little chat," Sam smiled, "and we've reached a deal."

"Gibbs! That is so not fair! How could you do that?! I'm not talking to you. That just sucks! I'm so angry!" Abby shouted.


"I mean seriously! Me, Ducky and Jimmy are all off the case for Colonel Pretty over there?!" Abby glowered in Sam's direction before stalking off into a corner muttering, "I'm gonna kill Carson."

"This was the only way," Gibbs reasoned, feeling anger radiate from his favourite, and betrayal from his two MEs.

"I wish we could explain further, but this is a matter of National Security and a lot of what we will be dealing with is 'need-to-know', and at present you don't." Sam added.

"Some way to run an investigation," Tony spat, with Tim nodding and Ziva glaring in agreement, "Gibbs, this is a million times worse than Domino, and that was bad enough...This whole thing stinks of a cover-up."

"I agree," Ziva said quietly.

"It was out of my hands," Gibbs sighed, "it was either that or relinquish the case to Homewo-Homeland Security entirely."

Sam winced as she realised Gibbs had very nearly said Homeworld Security, but pressed on with their explanation.

"You'll be working with the best of our people, and I hope you'll put jurisdictional anger to one side because I'm sure you'll all work together very well.

Your main point of contact will be Lieutenant General Jack O'Neill - my former CO. You'll also be working with Dr. Carson Beckett, Dr. Daniel Jackson, Dr. Rodney McKay, Colonel John Sheppard, Ms Teyla Emmagan, and Specialist Ronon Dex."

"Rodney McKay?" Abby said, "That arrogant slimeball?"

"What is Ronon Dex's specialism?" Tim enquired upon seeing an unreadable look cross Sam's features.

"Classified…And McKay might be arrogant, and more than a little whiny, but he's no slimeball," Sam responded to both Tim and Abby's comments with a faint smile, "My people will be arriving shortly, so I hope we can all work well together."

Tony paced the bullpen tutting and sighing as he went.

"Must you do that?" Ziva groaned, leaning back in her chair.

"Pray tell, Miss David, exactly what I should be doing at this moment. Our 'supervisors' will be here shortly to hold our hands through the rest of case. I need to contain my excitement!" he spat sarcastically.

"It could be worse Tony," McGee advised, "they didn't kick us off the investigation and given Vance's attitude earlier, that could have been on the cards. They fact that they didn't…well I think it means they know that they might need us."

"I don't like being maybe needed, I like being essential to my work…It's a personal pref-oh, wait."

Tony stopped pacing and jumped back to his desk as a group of people emerged from the elevator and walked towards the team. Carter, Gibbs and Vance arrived in the squad room from the opposite side of the room. Sam strode forward and an Air Force Lieutenant General met her in the middle of the bullpen.

"General O'Neill," Carter began, "I'd like to introduce you to NCIS Director Leon Vance. Director, this is General Jack O'Neill, head of Homeland Security."

McGee's eyes widened and he shared looks with Ziva and Tony. This was big.

"It's an honour to meet you again Director Vance, I only wish it were under better circumstances."

"Likewise sir," Vance said, extending a hand to the older man, "If everyone would like proceed to MTAC please," he said eyeing the rest of the assembled group.

A minute later both the NCIS and SG teams shuffled into MTAC, taking seats as instructed, both teams sitting unconsciously segregated on opposites sides of the centre. Jack waited for a moment to catch their attention before they began.

"I'm sure you all heard my job title, so I'm assuming you'll all know that this case is a matter of National Security. Unfortunately due to the nature of this investigation there is a lot of information that we will be unable to share. We are hoping that this will change in the near future but we'd like to ask that you remain patient in the meantime. Also I think it would help if we all knew everyone's names and job titles, and I think we'll start from the left!" Jack took a seat on a nearby computer chair and began to swing back and forth absent-mindedly.

McGee looked to his left and realised he was to go first.

"You don't have to stand up," Jack said with a hint of both sarcasm and humour.

"Uhm…Okay…I'm Special Agent Tim McGee…I'm a computer forensics expert and I've been a member of the Major Case Response Team for six years."

"I'm Probationary Agent Ziva David and I'm a former member of the Israeli Mossad. I've been on Gibbs' team for five years."

"I'm Very Special Senior Field Agent Anthony D. DiNozzo," Tony began using his 'full title', "I'm a former homicide detective and I've been on Team Gibbs for nine years."

O'Neill smiled in DiNozzo's direction knowing a 'kindred spirit' in terms of sarcasm when he saw one, before looking in Gibbs' direction.

Gibbs raised an eyebrow before sighing and rolling his eyes as he realised he too would have to introduce himself.

"I'm Supervisory Special Agent Jethro Gibbs. I'm a former Marine Gunnery Sergeant and MP. I've been with NCIS for 17 years, and I've headed up the Major Case Response Team for nine years."

"Thank you," Vance deadpanned, looking at Gibbs.

"Okay kids," Jack smiled in the direction of his own people.

"I'm Colonel John Sheppard, I'm attached to Homeland Security and I've been in the Air Force for over twenty years."

"I'm Colonel Samantha Carter. I'm a Theoretical Astrophysicist formerly attached to NORAD and now with Homeland Security."

"I'm Dr Daniel Jackson and I'm an anthropologist and diplomat and I've been working with the military for a number of years."

"I'm Dr Rodney McKay, I'm a Mechanical Engineer and Physicist and I've working with the Air Force since 2000."

"I'm Dr Carson Beckett, I'm a Medical Doctor and Geneticist and I've been working with Homeland Security since its inception in 2003."

"I am Teyla Emmagan and I'm a Special Consultant working with Homeland Security."

"I'm Ronon Dex and I'm also a Special Consultant working with Homeland Security."

"Thank you everyone!" Jack smiled, "I always think people work together a little better when we get to know each other that bit more…Anyways, Carter?"

Sam stood up and walked to the front of the room.

"Thank you sir, and thank you to Agent Gibbs' team. I'm sure you're very uncomfortable with our presence here. I know I would feel the same if the boot were on the other foot. I'm sure when you find out why we had to be involved, you will understand. Agent Gibbs has been fully briefed on the situation and both he and Director Vance have agreed to our involvement in this case.

"As I'm sure you'll also all very aware, there are a number of things happening within Homeland Security's remit that are never made public knowledge and that are not shared with our allies. For that reason I have to ask Agent David what country she is a citizen of."

Ziva seemed surprised at the question, "As of last month I am an American citizen."

Sam smiled, "That's good, otherwise I would have had to ask you to leave."

"Why?" Gibbs asked pointedly, "Dr Carson's Scottish and Abby Sciuto told me that McKay's Canadian."

"Politics," Sam smiled back in a tone that told Gibbs to leave that point alone.

"Moving on, one more aside," O'Neill started, "DiNozzo, you anything to Tony or Vincenzo DiNozzo? Both from Long Island?"

"Yeah, my dad's called Tony and one of my uncles is called Vincenzo."

"We'll need to catch up then if they're the same guys," he smiled, "anyway, Carter."

Sam shot her CO a less than professional look, annoyed at his interruption.

"As I was saying, Homeland Security often has to keep things from the general public, our allies, and sometimes also from our wider military – NCIS included. We believe that Timothy Danes and your Director were victims of a man who has been on the run from the Air Force for quite some time. This man has access to technology not yet released to the world, and unfortunately we are uncertain of his motivation. We should also tell you that not all of the technologies this man uses are conventional. They are in fact highly experimental and highly classified. This is where the unusual genetic readings originated, and this was why Dr. Beckett advised us of Ms Sciuto's findings."

"Thanks for that," Tony glared at the MD.

"You're welcome," Carson grumbled.

Sam continued, "This classified technology is what killed Danes. Why he did not try to kill Director Vance, we don't know. Nor do we know how Director Vance was rendered unconscious.

"Of top priority is tracking down the man we think is responsible, and unfortunately we will not be able to share his identity with you. We do however hope that he will leave behind a trail of electronic 'breadcrumbs'. Agent McGee I'm hoping you'll be able to help me track him down.

"Agent DiNozzo, Agent David, we're very much hoping that you will be able to help Sheppard, Teyla and Ronon track down this man on the ground."

Ziva, Tony, Sheppard, Teyla and Ronon all nodded in agreement.

"Agent Gibbs and Drs. McKay, Jackson and Beckett will remain here to liaise with General O'Neill and the commanders of Homeland Security."

Everyone in the room nodded in agreement with the exception of Vance who stared ahead blankly.

"I know you'll all have a lot of questions. We'll answer these to the best of our abilities as we go. Thank you."

Realising their 'briefing' was over, both teams rose and headed for the exit.

"DiNozzo," O'Neill called his name, "can we have that chat just now?"

Tony turned and wordlessly headed for the General.

"Uhm Sir," McGee asked, "Not to speak out of turn or anything, but I thought you'd want all of us to start on the case right away?"

"This will only take a second McGee," O'Neill said in a knowing tone, "I need to have a chat with this man with regards to his father."

Gibbs nodded, signalling that it was okay for his Senior Field Agent to remain behind, but as Gibbs watched Tony silently, and rather familiarly, walk towards the General, his gut began to work overtime.