Supply and Demand: Unwanted (NCIS/SPN Crossover AU)
Disclaimer: I own nothing, I profit from nothing.
Summary: NCIS/SPN Crossover AU. Gibbs didn't want or need an Empath. But Director Vance was insisting and his team were avoiding him, more than usual, so when the T&E Centre called to say that Dean Winchester was available, it was time to pick up the unwanted Empath.
Spoilers: set somewhere in Season 6&7 of NCIS, and AU for SPN (all seasons)
Quiet overwhelmed the small room, a heavy blanket of anticipation and tension. Gibbs was ramrod straight at the window, a picture of studied silence. Darting his gaze between the Boss and the Cosmo article he was supposed to be engrossed in, DiNozzo shifted a little in the overly soft seats and fought the urge to sigh. They'd been waiting for only ten minutes, and considering that they'd been 30 minutes early wasn't too bad, but the tension was only getting worse.
The muted and only occasionally heard tick of the clock above the door suddenly tocked and the off white door was opened quietly and Agent Andrews stuck his head, smiling winningly. Gibbs turned and the overly friendly Andrews smiled, "Not too much longer, Agents. Nearly got him ready... just a bit rushed what with you ..." The smile didn't even move but his awkward little wave certainly conveyed enough of his nerves and DiNozzo grinned, "No rush, Agent. We know we're early. Just ... have a case to get to."
"Right, right. Uhm... be right back."
And Andrews' head disappeared, door closely quietly behind him. There was no sound of scurrying footsteps, or hushed voices... just silence. Oppressive, uncomfortable and heavy.
"Hey, Boss?" Tony leant back and twisted towards Gibbs, "Ya think we can stop for breakfast on the way? I..."
Gibbs was staring straight out the window again, and Tony muttered softly, returning to his magazine. "I haven't eaten yet. But hey, what's breakfast if not the most important meal of the day and ... it's past 9." The clock stared back blankly, silently remaining past 9 and Tony sighed, returning to the article, '7 Signs that you may need to change your nightcream.'
For a while Tony imagined what it would be like to be trapped in amber, like a prehistoric mosquito, and that years from now, some alien archaeologist would find him and Gibbs, trapped in this silent wasteland and would extract enough DNA to create a zoo dedicated to the human species. A very unhappy zoo of slap-happy, grumpy Gibbses and overwrought fast becoming nervous wrecks DiNozzos.
The creepy quiet door broke Tony's vision of a herd of McGeekasors being chased by a pack VelociZivas and Agent Andrews stepped into the room – the entirety of him no less, and his fixed little smile was looking a little strained. "Well, we're all set. Here he is."
DiNozzo hardly noted the Empath who entered, as he flicked his gaze towards Gibbs. Immediately, Gibbs seem to relax, some of the tension in his shoulders eased up but just as Tony was expecting, the ease was momentary only, as Gibbs then visibly stiffened and faced Andrews and the Empath. His Empath.
"Please, Agent Gibbs, I know you are in a hurry, so if you would." Andrews waved Gibbs over, gesturing towards the Empath.
It took a lot to make Gibbs nervous and you'd never know it if you saw him, and nothing had changed. Familiar scowl in place, Gibbs moved towards Andrews, who then gently pushed the Empath towards the nearest chair. "Sit."
The Empath was ... not quite what DiNozzo was expecting. Everything he had ever heard, read or pretended to know about Empaths and Telekinetics had the Empath as a soft, mousey, touchey feely, uber hippy type of person, with the Kinetics being the more forceful, take charge, overbearing personality – the picture of Gibbs. But this guy was ... not. Not soft, not mousey and if he was going to touch you, it was with a fist, while he chugged a beer and laughed as you fell over. Sure the grey jumpsuit, mental patient look clashed with the crew cut and chiselled jaw, and while there was no pumped up inmate vibe from the guy, he most definitely did not scream 'I'm in touch with my feelings, yours and everybody else's too and I'd like to hug.' So, maybe perfect for Gibbs afterall.
"Special Agent Gibbs, this is Dean – your loan Empath." Andrews definitely stressed the loan, you could hear the italics and said very seriously, his eyes boring into Gibbs' as if trying to engrave the importance of his words onto his eyeballs, "Do not attempt to make a permanent connection with him."
Tony's snort beat Gibbs' by half a second, but it was Gibbs who said, "This is just to even me out, that's it. Nothing permanent."
Andrews nodded, but didn't seem to entirely buy the sentiment because he said again, "I mean it, Agent Gibbs, don't..."
"Let's just get on with it, ok. I don't need a permanent Empath. Got it?"
Andrews hovered indecisively for a few seconds, probably deciding if the need to stress his point was strong enough to risk Gibbs' wrath. Unsurprisingly, he smiled stiffly and said, "Well, just place your hands on his head, pinkies above his ears, thumbs on his forehead."
Tony barely caught the nervous swallow from Gibbs as he stepped forward, but just before Gibbs obscured his view of the Empath, Dean, Tony actually met the guy's gaze and felt a sudden chill. Dead, hopeless, despair ridden eyes met his for but a moment, and any image of a tough guy was gone. This guy was scared – and broken.
Softly, hesitantly, Gibbs placed his hands on the Empath's head, as instructed and felt an instant pulse run through him. "Wow." He was barely aware that he'd even said anything at all, but Andrews nodded, smirking and said, "Yeah, packs quite a punch, huh?"
Not a punch, not even a thrill, it was toe curling in its intensity. Unseen, Dean's eyes had rolled back, and his fists were white knuckled. "Now, Agent Gibbs, you want to make this as brief as possible, so just imagine you're holding a coffee cup, or a heating pad or something warm and put it in your pocket. Do not connect. I repeat do not connect. Just ... keep it."
But Gibbs barely heard him, luxuriating in the warmth that was spreading through his body, settling into his pores, filling an empty space he didn't even know he had. It was a rush like nothing he had felt before. Everything seemed louder, brighter, more intense, his heart racing as a flood of raw power ran through him. He felt the hairs on his arms stand on end, and his gut tightened in anticipation. He felt as if he could run a thousand miles, run straight through anything that stood in his way, punch his way into...
And as that thought swelled, Gibbs snapped out of it and yanked his hands away, as if he'd been burnt. Andrews' was mid-word, about to demand that Gibbs back off and Tony was half on his feet, reaching towards his Boss. With a dull clatter, the free standing furniture in the room fell back to the floor from the few inches they had risen. Andrews was even trying to flatten his hair a little.
"Gibbs? You OK?"
Blinking in the suddenly bright room, his ears roaring and skin a prickly sensation of over sensitivity, Gibbs ran his tongue over his lip, trying to get back a sense of control. It'd only been a few seconds but it felt like he'd been jacked into power conduit for hours, he felt so ... alive.
Tony stood fully, his hand reaching towards Gibbs, more than just a little concerned over the groan he'd heard. "Don't touch him, Agent DiNozzo, just let him... adjust." Andrews was studying Gibbs closely, watching for something...
Shaking his head, Gibbs stepped back, almost right into Tony and said, "Shit."
Packing it away, burying the rise of elation, he snapped, "I'm fine, DiNozzo." More than fine ran through his mind, a damn sight more than fine. He may have been a latent Kinetic most of his adult life, and a suppressed, living in denial, Kinetic for the past year but damnit if Gibbs didn't completely understand why there was such a high demand for Empaths. Who the hell needed drugs when you could jack into that kind of rush whenever the hell you wanted?
Speaking of which, Gibbs suddenly looked at the Empath, his Empath, and found the guy collapsed in the chair, loose boned and spaced out. Vacant gaze, and slack jaw, the kid looked wrung out but Gibbs felt nothing more than an immediate desire to touch him again, feel that rush, make a connection.
"Uh huh, Agent Gibbs, back off. Best keep your distance for now, until it settles some more." Andrews hadn't touched him, per say, but Gibbs could feel the man's hand only inches from his chest, as he had taken an unbidden step towards Dean.
"Hey, Boss. Maybe, we should go, you know ... the case and all..."
Tony was slightly at a loss. Gibbs was staring at the Empath like he was, well, in one of those Bugs Bunny cartoons and the guy had just turned into a roast chicken, or juicy hamburger. Feeling his stomach growl in response, Tony said again, "Boss! We gotta go. Crime scene, breakfast, remember? Or you know, breakfast first preferably."
It was like watching one of those stop motion animation movies. Gibbs blinked, tore his gaze from the Empath, and his stunned expression morphed into a more Gibbslike, businesslike 'I need to hit someone' expression and he growled, "Haven't forgotten. Let's go."
"Ah, gentlemen, just a few things," Andrews was turning even as he spoke, trying to follow Gibbs who had backed up and was heading for the door in an absolutely 'I'm so totally freaked out by what just happened' manner.
"Tell DiNozzo. Car now, DiNozzo."
And with that, Gibbs was gone. Again, there was no sound of hurried footsteps down the passage, the oppressive silence fulfilling its role well.
Sighing, Tony pulled out his PDA and said, "Ok, lets see if I got everything down from before."
There was a soft groan from the Empath, Dean, who slowly grabbed his head and bent over his knees, fingers fisted into his short hair, massaging his head as if in pain.
Ignoring him, Andrews shot one last unhappy look at the open, sans-Gibbs door and sighed, "All for the best, I suppose."
Clearing his throat, Tony said a little loudly to get Andrews' attention, "Ah, first off, no permanent connections, so you, ah Gibbs, has to break the semi-perm connection each morning and to do ... that, again." Tony waved his PDA's stylus vaguely in the Empath's direction. The guy was still clutching his head, eyes shut tight.
Andrews nodded and said, "Right, yes. And the taser is in Dean's bag. He's supposed to bring it in Agents Gibbs each morning, but..."
"I'm sorry, what? Taser?" Something akin to shock or horror must have flitted across his face before he could squash it, because Andrews stiffened. The perma-smile was back, in all its rigid glory and he said quite clearly, as if speaking to a small child or small minded agent, "Yes, Agent DiNozzo, taser. It's voltage is very mild, barely a small buzz, but it is essential to breaking any connection that may have formed in the 24 hour period. Remember, no perm..."
"Permanent connection, yeah, yeah, I got it. But seriously a taser?" Tony interrupted, unable to stop himself from looking at Dean, trying to gage his reaction to the news.
The movement was slight, barely there, but Agent Andrews shuffled his feet, took the smallest step backwards and said brightly, "Electro therapy has proven to be the most effective and painless way to break connections between Telekinetics and Empaths. As you know, the shortage of Empaths and excess of Kinetics has resulted in the need for 'sharing' Empaths and ..."
Tony cut Andrews off again, not wanting to hear the whole supply and demand spiel again. "Don't you mean elctroshock therapy?" Andrews was a picture of genial, friendly, public relations but his expression was so stiff that his words lacked any weight. "Agent DiNozzo, Electro therapy is a non-invasive, safe method to assist Empaths in breaking connections and opening themselves to new Telekinetics. It is in no way like the old, overblown, media-hyped electicshock therapy from yesteryear."
Refusing to return the hopeful smile, DiNozzo kept the 'Yeah, right,' to himself and noting the time, quickly said, "Sure, whatever. So besides the daily 'shock', Gibbs has to ah..." He looked down at his notes and rattled off, "Avoid touching the Empath as much as possible, but stay in close proximity to still get some benefit from the semi-connection. Ah, don't give him coffee, sugar or anything else 'stimulating' and no tv. Probably won't talk to us, so don't be worried about that. Don't try to engage in conversation, might be too stimulating and ah ... keep him away from other telekinetics?"
Nodding, Andrews glanced at Dean, who was still curled over onto himself, and he patted the guy on the head like he was a soft puppy. "Correct. In fact you should all keep physical contact to a minimum. In order to be a pool 'Path, Dean has to keep his abilities fully open and even non-Kinetics can 'feel' him. Other Kinetics will be drawn to him but there are so few of them, it's unlikely that you will run into any. But keep him as isolated as possible."
Tony suddenly felt his phone vibrate, and grabbed it out of his pocket, staring at the flashing 'Gibbs'. "Ah," he keyed the phone and said briskly, "On our way, Boss."
And with that, Gibbs ended the call and Tony snapped his phone closed, "Right, if that's it?"
"Just his bag," and Agent Andrew pulled a dull grey duffel bag out from behind the chair and tossed it at Tony, who just managed it catch it. "Spare clothes, toiletries, socks, underwear."
"And taser." Tony couldn't help adding.
Slinging the bad over his shoulder, Tony shook Andrews' hand and said, "Ok, thanks then. See you in a week."
"My pleasure, Agent DiNozzo and please if you or Agent Gibbs have any questions, please do not hesitate to call the T&E Centre helpline."
Putting his PDA away as well, Tony nudged Dean with his foot, softly and said, "Right, let's hit the road." Smiling at Andrews brightly, Tony headed out the door, duffel bag bumping his back as his hurried out.
Rolling his eyes, Andrews reached down and grabbed Dean's closest wrist, and said firmly, "Get up, Winchester. Now." He applied soft, but firm pressure on the wrist and slowly Dean stood, and Andrews reached over and turned his face towards him. Noting the still vacant gaze and pained expression, he muttered, "Be good now, we don't want a repeat of last time, do we?"
There was no response, and Andrew dropped his wrist and face and sighed, "3 ... 2... 1."
On 1, DiNozzo suddenly stuck his head back into the room and said, "Ah, Dean, right? You coming?"
"You'll need to help him a little, Agent. He's still out of it."
"Ah, ok. Right – uhm." Tony stepped forward, and snagged the same wrist and said brightly, "Come on."
The soft tug was enough to get Dean moving and DiNozzo bustled out of the room, yelling, "Coming, Boss!"
In the empty room, Andrews sighed and rubbed his temples, wearily, muttering, "I have got to get a new job."
"In the summer of 1971, Richard E. Jackson freed his wife from the wreckage of their car with his mind, going on to save 5 more people in the multi car pile up. He was to become the first recorded Telekinetic and later his wife, Greta, the first recorded Empath. During the ensuring fervour and media circus, Richard Jackson confirmed that he was part of a test group for a new drug supposed to eliminate insomnia. A Dr Bishop, no first name, was running the case study. His wife had been in the test group as well.
When 2 more people from similar test groups in Los Angeles and San Francisco came forward with telekinetic abilities, an urgent call for all people participating in 'Dr Bishop' case studies was issued and the FBI and Department of Health offices were flooded with thousands of eager people. Only 5 genuine telekinetics were identified, and 1 Empath. A fledging office within the Bureau was tasked with identifying additional telekinetics and empaths and throughout the rest of the 1971, 3 more telekinetics were identified.
It wasn't until early 1973 though, March 24th, that the Telekinetic and Empath Centre was established, almost as a direct result of the events of March 1st and March 7th. On the 1st of March 1973, two men robbed a bank in Phoenix, Arizona, wielding several automatic weapons, all telekinetically levitated and directed at the patrons. On March 3rd, a small boy of 6 stopped his school bus and proceeded to telekinetically beat up a bully who had been tormenting him.
The Government felt that public fear and uncertainty would be addressed through the establishment of the T&E Agency, which initially it was. The hunt for the mysterious Dr Bishop continued, but he was never found."
- extract from "The Telekinetic Phenomenon" by Maxwell Kimball, circa 1987