Leroy Jethro Gibbs: Vampire Hunter
Written for the NFA Supernatural Challenge and Death Fic Challenge
Chapter 1 of 5 (or maybe 6), will be finished by mid-March
Rating: T/ PG-13 – Gen
Genre: Horror/Supernatural; AU
Warnings: Death Fic (obviously), angst, violence, gore, some language, and the usual weirdness you expect from me, including total abuse of show cannon.
Main Characters: Gibbs, McGee, Mike Franks; appearances by other regular NCIS characters and guests
Summary: After a devastating loss, McGee discovers a secret about his team leader and the world he thought he knew. Post Season 7
Disclaimer: Don't own, just playing, yadda, yadda
Author Notes: This story was inspired by, but is not a crossover with, Seth Grahame-Smith's book Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (which, despite its rather ridiculous-sounding title, is actually quite good). No infringement is intended. This story is also not crack!fic (as the book was written to be 'serious' and so this story follows that model). Some elements are drawn from the book, but you do not need to have read it to understand what's going on.
1. For over 400 years, since the very beginnings of America, vampires have existed in this country. They stayed in the shadows and, in small numbers, thrived. Very few humans believed in them.
2. In the last 100 years, a new threat to the American public has arisen. As a result, the vampire population has grown in number and they have gained monetary and political power.
3. A small group of dedicated men and women have worked to eliminate the vampire threat. Some of them have kept secret records of their own lives and work. The existence of such journals, as well as the subject of them, has generally been dismissed as a myth.
It was worst day of Tim McGee's life.
The day started, as was often the case, with a dead Marine. The team had gotten the call early that morning and they traveled to the scene to process it. What they hadn't expected was a trap.
A sniper, whose ultimate motivation they had yet to determine, had staged the scene, certain, it was believed, that the target would arrive as expected. He had lain in wait for the MCRT, and set his sights on one person: Leroy Jethro Gibbs, team leader.
As fate would have it, a slight breath of wind just as the sniper pulled the trigger caused a small deflection of the bullet's path. Not enough to miss, not enough to prevent a devastating injury, but enough to put the bullet through the side of Gibbs' head rather than the middle.
Tim would never forget the sight of blood exploding from his Boss's face, or the sound of Ziva's scream as she, too, witnessed it. Amid the chaos that followed, he crawled to Gibbs' side, terrified at what he would find, as Tony and Ziva went after the shooter. He was amazed to find that Gibbs had a pulse and was still breathing, but one look at the injury only solidified what he had believed from the beginning: Gibbs was gone.
His frantic call to 911 and the time until the arrival of the ambulance passed as a blur as he, then Ducky and Palmer, tended to the wounded man as best they could. Gibbs was still alive when he was loaded into the ambulance, accompanied by Ducky. The M.E. promised to keep them informed, but one look at his expression had further confirmed Tim's belief. As the ambulance pulled away, siren blaring, Tim stared down at his bloodstained hands and swayed slightly under the full realization of what had happened.
Tony and Ziva returned from their search and started to question him but he couldn't even find the words to explain and silently walked away, looking for something to clean the gore from his hands. He had been on automatic pilot ever since.
After hours of searching the scene, documenting the new crime, and bringing the evidence to Abby, who refused to believe the worst, they went back to their desks and waited. Tony paced incessantly, occasionally barking orders for new searches for Tim to run. Ziva sat in front of her computer, staring blankly at the screen, her eyes shining with unshed tears. Abby made multiple visits to the bullpen, each time to report her lack of finds and assure them that she wouldn't stop until she found something, and that Gibbs would be "just fine".
Tim couldn't bear to tell her what he had seen. He simply nodded and went back to whatever Tony had assigned him at the moment, occasionally stopping to scrape at the faint traces of dried blood that still remained.
Finally, after the sun had set and the shadows outside merged with the darkness, Ducky returned with news, but it was not what they had been hoping to hear.
Gibbs was dead.
Tony simply walked out. Ducky made attempts to comfort Abby, but she had refused to believe it and returned to her lab, followed by Ducky and, after he told the rest of them to go home, Vance. Tim went over to Ziva, wanting to somehow help, but she waved him off and left as well. Tim, alone in the bullpen, took one last look at Gibbs' desk, unable to reconcile himself to the fact that the man who had helped to shape him into the agent, the man he had become, would never sit there again.
Finally he left as well, unsure what would await him the next day, and unable to make himself care.
When he arrived at his apartment, he was surprised to find a package sitting in the entranceway. His landlord occasionally put parcels the postal carrier left inside the apartments for the residents, so its location was not that surprising. The surprise was the return address: M. Franks. Mexico. Why would Gibbs' mentor send him something? He took another look and noticed that there was no postal stamp to indicate when it had been sent.
Tim pulled a spare pair of gloves from his backpack and carefully picked up the package. It was heavy for its size, but not extremely so, and wrapped in brown paper. He went back to his backpack, searched it, and pulled out a field test kit for common components of explosives. After getting a negative result, he finally decided to open the package.
Inside was a set of soft-bound notebooks. The one on top looked to be the oldest, as its pages were yellowed and worn at the edges. He opened it to find a much newer piece of paper tucked between the cover and the first page. He opened it and read the short note.
If you are reading this, then I am dead. There are things that you need to know, and I trust you to use the information in these books wisely. I swear to you, everything you will read is true.
Tim felt a lump in his throat as he read the familiar writing, thinking how he had such trouble with it at the beginning of his career, when it had seemed like some sort of code to decipher. Now he could read it with ease…
He put the note on his desk, picked up the first notebook, and settled into his desk chair. He opened the cover and read the eight words on the first page:
This is the journal of Leroy Jethro Gibbs.
Tim had to smile. Straight and to the point, just like Boss. The smile disappeared as he remembered: "Boss" was gone. He sighed and turned to the next page, read the first sentence, and froze, nausea rising in his throat.
He skimmed the next few pages and the word that had caused that terrible feeling kept popping up, over and over.
Tim dropped the book on his desk and let his head fall into his hands, before looking up and staring at it in anger.
Who? Who would do this? Not even Tony would stoop low enough to play such a sick—
"It's not a joke, McGee."
Startled, Tim turned toward the source of the familiar voice and stared. It took him a few moments to find his own voice.
"Franks? What the hell…? What are you doing here?"
"Jethro asked me to bring you that package."
"But how did you… never mind. Get the hell out. And take these with you." Tim picked up the books to throw them at the man, but Franks held up his hand and Tim paused.
"I'm afraid I can't do that. You need to read those. Trust me."
"Yeah, right. This is crazy! There's no way in hell Gibbs would write this. Why are you doing this to me?"
Franks just tilted his head slightly and looked at him, a gesture so resonant of Gibbs that Tim felt a new surge of anguish which quickly morphed into pure fury. Seeing the agent's rage, Franks finally responded.
"Gibbs wrote that note, you read it, his word should be good enough."
"Well then he was crazy and I never knew it! Vampires? Come on, you expect me to believe-."
"Vampires exist. Your boss hunted them, and he…was one of the best."
Tim closed his eyes, trying to reign in his anger. After a brief moment, he opened them.
Something was standing just inches in front of him. Its eyes were completely black, sunk deep in a face with skin as white as marble with pale blue veins threaded beneath. Its mouth opened slightly to reveal long, white fangs.
Tim backed up and stared in horror at the vampire. It was Mike Franks.
"Now do you believe me, McGee?"
Franks' features returned to normal as Tim continued to stare, wordlessly, at his Boss's mentor, the man he thought he knew.
"I'm not going to hurt you. I just wanted to show you that Jethro wasn't crazy. And neither are you, in case you were wondering," he said with a wink.
"B-but…if Gibbs…hunted vampires, then why-?"
"Why am I helping? Not all vampires are the same, kid. Some of us…well, some of us do still remember right from wrong, and we want to make sure those that don't aren't around very long."
"S-so why not take care of the problem yourselves? Why involve-?"
"Humans? Because they want to hunt vampires, and we want to continue to exist. It's a win-win situation."
Tim tried to wrap his mind around what he had just learned, but there were still some things that didn't make sense.
"How…I've seen you out in the daylight. How do you manage that if you're…?"
"Those of us who have been around for awhile build up a resistance to the sun. The newer ones have to stay in the dark for the first, oh, 50 years or so. As for the other questions I'm sure you have: yes, we really do drink blood. No, we don't sleep in coffins. Garlic doesn't bother us, and neither does holy water. We can't fly, but we can jump long distances and climb really well. Obviously, you don't have to invite us before we can enter your residence. Oh, and of course, one last thing."
"We don't sparkle."
Tim choked back a bark of hysterical laughter, and Franks grinned.
"Anything else you want to know?"
Tim sobered quickly. "Gibbs really hunted…vampires. Why? I mean, besides the obvious? Uh, no offense…"
"None taken. As for the answer to your question, you'll have to read those books. He gave them to you for a reason, McGee. He trusted you to do the right thing. Okay?"
"Now, you better get started. I've got some things to attend to, but I'll be back later. Have fun, Tim." Franks walked out of the apartment and Tim collapsed into his chair, going over what he had learned.
Gibbs hunted them.
He needs me to know more.
Finally, Tim picked up the oldest book, opened it and started to read.
A/N: For anyone wondering why Gibbs had Franks give the books to McGee instead of DiNozzo, it will be covered later (and no, Tony is not a vampire).
Constructive criticism and reviews are always appreciated.