Alan Blunt looked around the safe house NCIS had been so nice to provide him with. He hadn't stayed in a house so small, drafty, and dirty since he had been promoted to the head of MI6. The mere fact that he was forced to live in this shack with guards stationed outside like he was a criminal was insulting. It was a slap in the face. All because he did what he needed to keep his country safe. All because he did his job. All because no one else had what it took to get the job done. All because of Alex. Bloody. Rider.
Had he known the boy was going to cause this much of an inconvenience by trying to form himself a makeshift family out a bunch of useless Navy cops he never would have allowed NCIS to protect him. This whole thing was a joke. He bought the whole adoption at first but there had to be an underlying motive. There always was.
This Leroy Jethro Gibbs person had sunk his fingers into the boy and had convinced him that he wanted to play house. Alex was still apparently a bit naïve. Gibbs didn't care about Rider. No one cared about Alex Rider. Anyone that did was now dead. He was alone in the world and it wasn't going to change. The only people who expressed any interest in Alex was because they either wanted him dead or because they wanted to use him. And that was exactly what NCIS wanted. To use the tool Blunt himself had carved for the past year. Rider was his to use and how dare an agency as low on the totem pole as NCIS think that they could take the boy away from him. Rider was his property. And if he couldn't have him no one would.
"What the hell are you doing? Rocket science?" Gibbs asked as he peered over Alex's shoulder as the boy did his math work for the day. Sitting at Gibbs' desk Alex looked across the bullpen to share a smile with McGee.
"No, Boss. It's just basic high school math. Promise." McGee assured.
Gibbs cast one last doubtful look at the school work before letting the subject drop.
"Do you need your seat, Gibbs?" Alex asked as he watched Gibbs hitch his hip up on the side of the desk.
"Nope. Keep working. When you're done we can go grab lunch." Gibbs replied pulling a case file out and flipping though it.
They had worked out a system where Alex and Gibbs would go to the Navy yard for Gibbs to check in with the team and for Alex to get help with any of the schooling he was having trouble with. Most of his work was online and pretty self explanatory but some things such as math he required an actual human explanation and Abby and the rest of the team were pretty awesome teachers. It was the perfect set up. Alex got help with school and Gibbs got to get some semblence of his job back.
A few moments later Ziva and Tony made their appearance and began packing their things.
"Gear up, McGee. Got us a dead Naval Officer found in a dumpster." Tony informed his teammate.
"Cause of death?" Gibbs automatically asked.
"Nothing obvious that the local LEOs could find. Although they didn't look too hard. They saw his uniform and immediately called us. Apparently they know how much you don't like evidence messed up. We won't know till Ducky gets him on a table. We'll keep you informed, Boss...Unless..you...wanna come with us?" Tony offered lightly.
Gibbs shook his head and waved them off only for Alex to interject.
"I think you should go. Besides, I'll be here at least another hour for Abby to help me understand this math. Go ahead. We don't want you to get rusty, do we?" Alex lightly taunted. He was lying too of course. He understood the math the first time Abby had explained it to him. But he could see it. Gibbs wanted...needed to go back to work. It was time.
Gibbs looked skeptically at him.
"You sure? We could be awhile."
Alex looked over to the team's hopeful expression. They needed their boss back as well.
"I'm sure, Gibbs. Go." Alex said, mimicking Gibbs' earlier action and waving dismissively at him.
Gibbs stared at Alex a bit longer before nodding.
"Meet you at the truck." Gibbs announced to his team causing grins to break out on their faces as they walked to the elevator.
Gibbs packed his own gear before turning back to Alex.
"You know where the cafeteria is. You still have enough of the money I gave you for lunch a few days ago or do you need some more?" Gibbs asked, digging his hand in his pocket for his wallet before Alex could answer.
"I'm fine, Gibbs. Every second you're here potential evidence is getting lost at that crime scene."
"You've been hanging around Abby too much." The lead agent stated as he faced the boy for one last order.
"You either stay in the bullpen or go see Abby or Ducky. No spying, hear me? The last thing I need is you up to your knees in some Navy Op by the time I get back."
"Yes, sir." Alex said with a sarcastic smile and lazy salute.
"Don't call me, sir." Gibbs replied as he walked to the elvator, pausing only long enough to give a light and somehow affectionate headslap to the back of the teen's head.
Alex sighed as he finished the rest of his sandwich he got from the cafeteria about an hour earlier and put the wrapper in the trash. He stretched his back in the desk chair before propping his feet up on the desk and leaning back in the chair like he had seen Tony do after a long case. He tilted his head back and closed his eyes as he dozed lazily. He was finally finished with his math and even put a dent in his Literature work. If he kept at this pace he would be caught up sooner than expected. Gibbs had been right. He and the team had been gone for nearly three hours and Alex had to push the overwhelming uneasiness out of his mind. It had been two weeks since he was left alone and had nearly had a panic attack at the sound of a mere vehicle back firing. He had been lucky and Gibbs hadn't pried him or managed to find out about it and he preferred to keep it that way. Gibbs was with his team which meant he was protected and Alex was on a secure Naval base with security, Marines and even NCIS agents. Which meant they were both fine. There was nothing to worry about.
But the more he sat the more and more his stomach churned with uneasiness. Something was wrong he could feel it in his gut. He sat up and opened his eyes and sighed heavily. Maybe he would go see Abby and she could show him some forensics to keep him occupied. Just as he stood up he heard a distant ding of the elevator. He turned his head to see who had exited just in case it was Gibbs and the team making their way back. It was not. It was the last person in the world he wanted to see. Alan Blunt emerged from the lift and walked towards the bullpen.
Alex couldn't decide what to do. One part of him wanted to get the hell out of there while the other half wanted to attack the man and rip him apart. Being torn with indecision he could only stand planted behind Gibbs' desk and glare a hole through the man until Blunt stopped at the edge of the bullpen and finally noticed the scrutiny and their eyes made contact.
There was a pause between the two of them as they both sized each other up. Blunt tore his stare away to give a cautious look around the room before turning back to Alex and, as if to feed the boy's anger, he smirked at him.
"Well, look at you. Finally away from the big bad wolves at MI6 and in the safe and protecting arms of NCIS. What do they have you working on over there? Making a list of all the horrible things you've done and seen for court?" Blunt taunted as he walked slowly into the bullpen and made his way slowly to stand across from Alex. The boy was grateful for the desk between them as his anger kept escalating of it's own accord.
"No, it's school work. You know that stuff that I told you I was getting behind in only for you to blackmail me another suicide mission?" Alex fired back, his hands clenching at the edges of the desk to ground himself.
"Still using that word I see. Blackmail. How dramatic, Alex." Blunt belittled.
"It's the truth." Alex said lowly.
"Yes, I suppose a misguided and mourning teenager would think that. I'm sure we'll get this all settled soon though. You have a good day, Alex. And good luck with your...school work."
"What are you even doing here? Gibbs said you were staying in a safe house."
"I have business to discuss with Director Vance. Let's call it damage control for the mess you've made."
"What do you mean? What do you think you're going to accomplish?"
Blunt's hand suddenly lashed out to grasp Alex's jaw with such force that Alex knew there would be marks left. Blunt pulled the boy closer to him but Alex only glared unflinchingly back at him.
"I'm going to explain to Vance that this is ridiculous and a severe waste of his time and his agency's resources. You and I both know this is a waste of time. By the end of the month you'll be back in London. Where you belong."
"He belongs here. Let go of him!" Came Abby's booming tone from as she came up on the scene.
"And just who are you?" Blunt demanded, clearly annoyed at being interrupted but also letting Alex go.
"I'm Abby Scuito and you need to get away from Alex before I call Gibbs." Abby said as she marched around Blunt and grasped Alex's arm and pulled him away from the man.
"I'm okay, Abby." Alex assured to the woman.
"You can come finish your work in my lab. Have you eaten yet?" Abby doted and she ignored Alex's assurances as she eyed the red marks on his face.
"Oh, I see. She's apart of your replacement family, isn't she?" Blunt called after them causing Alex to stop dead in his tracks and making Abby jerk to a stop too.
"What are you talking about?" Alex asked sternly.
"That's what this whole thing is about? NCIS promised you a family. What role is Miss Scuito playing? Mother? No, too young. I'm assuming this is your replacement for Miss Starbright." Blunt said with mock realization.
Alex's anger was reaching it's boiling point now as he raised an accusing finger at the man and stepped closer.
"Let's get one thing straight. My family isn't to ever be uttered from your mouth again. Ever."
"Which family are we speaking of? Your dead one or your new one?"
That was all it took. The taunts of his family were too much. Alex was launching himself at the man who ruined his life before Abby could even register what was happening.
"Alex! Stop!" Abby cried as Alex's hands grasped Blunt's neck as they tumbled to the ground.
Several nearby agents saw the commotion and the nearest ones, Agent Balboa and his team, leapt into action and pried the kid off the man. Alex went easily enough, he wouldn't knowingly hurt an NCIS agent.
"Abby, what's going on?" Balboa demanded loudly as he grasped the teen around the chest and pulled him back. He knew Gibbs had took this kid in, it was the main gossip in the building, and he knew better than to let any harm come to the boy. He received no explanation and as he turned he saw that Abby had Tony's desk phone to her ear as she spoke frantically into it with her back to him. He hoped like hell she was talking to Gibbs because he was in over his head. He wasn't read into what this kid's deal was.
"I'll tell you what's going on. This boy is obviously unstable and shouldn't be left alone and yet here he is running around a federal building. What kind of agency is this?" Blunt said hoarsely as he shook off the agents who had a hold of him. His voice strained under the abuse Alex's had inflicted to his throat.
"Unstable?" Alex asked loudly.
"Who are you and why are you bothering this kid?" Balboa interupted as he pulled the now pliant but still fuming Alex behind him and to his teammates.
"I am Alan Blunt and I am the Director of MI6 and Alex and I were simply talking. I find it highly offensive that you assume that I am the one at fault here."
"Alex has been in this building for quite awhile now and has never had an outburst like this before. Half the time we barely know he's here. Pardon me if I draw conjecture from what I see."
Blunt sighed and relented, "Apparently I said the wrong thing and set the boy off."
"And just what is the head of MI6 doing at NCIS?"
"I'm here to discuss business with Director Vance."
"Then I suggest you go to his office before you set anyone else off. His office is right up those stairs, last door on the right." Balboa ordered firmly. He didn't care what title this man wore, he wasn't going to cause problems for his fellow agents or an innocent kid.
Blunt could see that his time was up and he straightened his rumpled clothing and cast one last look at Alex.
"I suppose I should. Alex do sincerely hope you enjoy the rest of your time in DC. MI6 will make sure that when you return to London that you're still...taken care of."
"Mr. Blunt, perhaps I should just escort you to the Director myself since you seem be having trouble getting out of this bullpen." Balboa said before any other confrontation could erupt. He gestured to the man to lead the way up the stairs. Blunt and Alex glared heavily at each other before the older man finally began moving towards the stairs. Once they were a safe distance away Abby approached Alex cautiously.
"Alex, Gibbs said I was to keep you with me until he gets here." Abby informed softly as she balled her hands up by her sides uncertainly.
Alex could read her body language and immediately regretted his actions.
"Abby, I'm not going to hurt you." He assured.
The woman could sense the guilt washing over him and she unfurled her hands and pulled the boy into a bone crushing hug.
"I know. I just didn't know if you wanted to be touched. And...you scared me a bit."
"I'm sorry. I didn't mean to lose it like that." Alex mumbled into her shoulder. He watched the other agents realize their presence was no longer necessary and they all began to disperse.
"It's not your fault. Wow...that's already starting to bruise. Gibbs isn't going to like that." Abby said as she pulled back to look at Alex's jaw.
"That's who you called. Is he mad?" Alex said as they walked to the elevator and Abby hit the button to go to Ducky.
"Oh, he's mad. I left out the part where he grabbed you...which means he's going to be extra mad when he sees you."
"Great." Alex mumbled.
"He's not mad at you, Alex."
"He told me not to get into trouble." That had been his one rule. Don't get into trouble. And look what happened.
"I'm sure he told you not to go looking for trouble. That time trouble came to you."
"I guess so." Alex relented miserably as the elevator doors opened and they stepped out and walked into autopsy.
Gibbs sighed as he contently drove the van back from the crime scene. It had felt good to get back into the field. He needed it. He was glad Alex had pushed him to go. He almost didn't even mind the fact that he still had another twenty minutes before he would arrive back at the Navy Yard which meant he was stuck in a cramped vehicle with Tony, McGee and Ziva bickering the whole way.
He even allowed the arguing to continue until his phone began to ring and he let out a short, "Hey!" to silence them before putting the phone to his ear.
"Gibbs, you have to get back to NCIS right now! Alex needs you." Abby cried frantically.
Gibbs' foot immediately floored the gas pedal causing the team to grab onto the nearest thing to ground them.
"What's wrong with Alex, Abby?" He demanded.
"That horrible excuse for a man is here and he and Alex started arguing and then Alex attacked him right in the bullpen and-"
"He attacked who?" Gibbs asked incredulously. The team, even though they could only hear one side of the conversation, were looking at Gibbs with the same confusion. Alex attacked someone?
"Alan Blunt is at NCIS. You need to get here now. Balboa is here and handling things so far but Alex needs you here to help him."
"Nearly there. Hold down the fort until I get there. Take him to your lab. I'll be there in 10 minutes." Gibbs said before closing the phone. Anger was seeping in. Alex was supposed to be safe.
"Is Alex okay, Boss?" McGee asked lightly as he and the rest of his friends winced as Gibbs weaved narrowly in and out of traffic.
"Alan Blunt is at NCIS and causing problems."
"So, Alex attacked Blunt." Ziva surmised.
"Awesome." Came Tony's approving tone.
As Gibbs and the team finally entered the office there was no sign of Abby or Alex. They had went to Abby's lab first only to find it empty.
He immediately noticed Balboa sitting at DiNozzo's desk.
"Hey, where is he?" Gibbs questioned the agent as he and the team crowded around the desk.
"Who? Your kid or the bastard harassing him?"
"Both." Tony answered swiftly.
"Abby took the kid. I escorted Blunt to Vance's office about fifteen minutes ago."
Gibbs nodded and turned to his team.
"Go to Alex. Make sure he's okay. And don't let him come back up here. I'll come down there and get him when I'm ready."
"On it, Boss." Tony assured before they turned and headed back for the elevator.
Gibbs turned to Balboa who was standing up himself and was about to get back to his own team.
"Balboa, I owe you one. Thank you." He always did like the man. He was trust worthy, dependable and above all, a damn good team leader.
"You don't owe me anything, Gibbs. Just doing my job. I hope the kid wasn't too roughed up. I didn't see Blunt grab Alex but when he left his jaw sure was red." Balboa replied.
"He what?" Gibbs asked tightly.
"I don't know what happened before I got here, Gibbs. But a couple agents said they saw Blunt grab Alex by the face before Abby got here and pulled him away." The agent answered as he watched Gibbs' face turn a unique shade of red.
"Thanks again, Balboa. You need anything you let me know." Gibbs said as calm as he could as he turned away and left the bullpen.
He marched up the stairs walked immediately to Vance's door and threw it open. He wasn't even stopped by the secretary telling him he couldn't go in she simply looked warily at him as he went by. Apparently the gossip had already reached the woman.
He slammed the door behind him and surveyed the room. Blunt and Vance were sitting at the long table in the office and looked to be in very heated discussion by the glare on Vance's face.
"Gibbs, I figured you would be thundering in here soon. Why don't you have a seat." Vance offered.
"Yes, you need to be here just as much as your director. Best we figure out how to clean up this little mess as quickly and...painlessly as possible." Blunt threw in.
"We're not cleaning up anything. You're going to answer for what you've done." Gibbs seethed.
"Gibbs, calm down." He ordered.
"I will, when you get this son of a bitch out of here and back to that safe house."
"I'm only here to try to keep the peace between our agencies. I wouldn't want any strain between our two agencies to surface over a mere child. As I was trying to explain to Vance before you got here. If what you want is to use the boy then let me tell you that there's no reason to go through all this trouble. I think we can work out some sort of system to where Alex can work for the both of us. We can forget this whole mess. We'll both have Rider at our disposal."
"Disposal? You just don't get it do you? We don't want Alex to use. I want Alex to keep him safe." Gibbs said as he made his way over to get in Blunt's personal space.
"Oh, come off it, Gibbs. You people almost had me fooled with this adoption scheme. But you hardly know the boy. That's what makes him so good. No one cares about him. No one can stop us from using him. So, why not?"
And then for the second time that day Blunt found himself flat on his back with someone's hand at his throat.
"Let me tell you something. I may not know Alex as well as I should. But I will one day. And he's going to tell me everything you've done to him. Everything you've made him do. And when he does you better hope your sorry ass is in a prison somewhere or so far into witness protection that I can't find you. Because if I ever do I will not hesitate to kill you. And let me tell you, you won't see it coming either." the Marine said in an eerily calm voice.
"Gibbs, you let him up. Now. Don't make me call security." Vance said so offhandedly that it almost sounded like he was joking.
Blunt glared up at Gibbs, who still hadn't moved.
"Let me up! You heard him."
"Oh, I am. And you're wrong. There is someone who can stop you from using Alex. Me." Gibbs assured as he reared back a fist and punched Blunt so hard blood squirted out of his nose and onto Gibbs' white shirt. The action caused Vance to curse loudly and be forced to ring for security.
"Damn it, Gibbs." He yelled, more at the annoyance Gibbs had caused than the fact that he had hit Blunt.
"That was for touching, Alex. I am not afraid of losing my job, going to prison, or of dying, Blunt. I've already gotten everything in order so that if something like that does happen then someone from my team will take care of Alex. So, if you think I'm bluffing about any of this you are wrong. You will leave Alex alone and I don't care what I have to sacrifice for it to happen." Gibbs said lowly so that Vance couldn't hear.
Blunt stared up at the man through watering eyes.
"You really do care for that kid, don't you." Blunt said more of in awe than an actual question.
Gibbs didn't answer and he didn't get a chance to if he wanted to as security barreled into the room.
"Uh, we were called in for a disturbance up here?" The officer asked. He knew Gibbs, he brought him coffee every Tuesday morning.
"Officer Burke, take Gibbs to get his son and then I want you to escort him off the Navy Yard. Agent Gibbs, you are hereby suspended until further notice. Agent DiNozzo will continue running the team in your absence." Vance ordered as Gibbs finally stood up and walked over to officer Burke.
"Hey, Burke how ya doin?" Gibbs made it a point to ask casually to show Blunt that he didn't give a flying fuck about a suspension either. He even closed the door gently on the way out.
"I'm doing okay, Gibbs. Uh, is everything okay? You have blood on you. And you looked like you were going to murder that guy you had on the ground." Burke rambled.
"Just getting a point across. Nothing to worry about." Gibbs assured with a smile.
"They've been up there awhile. Maybe you should go check on him, Tony." Alex suggested lightly. Tony figured this was as close to nervous as they would ever see Alex.
"If he needed me he'd call, Al. Nothing to worry about." They were all standing around Abby's computer's as she began to process evidence from the scene to calm her nerves. Ducky had been by and diagnosed that all Alex required was an ice pack for the bruising on his face and he'd be fine. Although he did share a concerned look with Abby before he left.
"Yeah, I'm sure Gibbs is fine. Blunt on the other hand..." McGee trailed off as he typed furiously on one of Abby's computers.
Alex sighed and laid his head on his crossed arms. He was just about fed up when he finally heard distant footsteps approaching. He tensed as he realized there was two sets of footsteps coming.
As Gibbs entered the room he walked straight up to Alex and grasped the side of his face and turned it to get a good look at the bruises.
"I'm okay, Gibbs." He assured once again.
"I know. Get your stuff. Time to go home." Gibbs said shortly.
"Hey, Burke. What are you doing here?" McGee asked the man who was standing by the door.
"I've been sent to escort Agent Gibbs off the Navy Yard." the man replied awkwardly.
"Escort? That sounds like you got-" Tony began only to be cut off by Alex.
"There's blood on your shirt!" The teen exclaimed as he also eyed the man's red and bruising knuckles on his right hand.
"So you did hit him?" Ziva questioned with a smile.
"Did you just get fired because of me?" Alex demanded.
Gibbs only rolled his eyes.
"I did not get fired. I got suspended. It's fine, Alex. C'mon, get your stuff." He said offhandedly.
Exasperated, Alex turned to the team with open arms for help. To which they all averted their eyes.
Alex glared at them before he turned back to Gibbs and sighed heavily.
"All my stuff is still at your desk." He said irritably.
Gibbs nodded and turned back to his team.
"DiNozzo, I know I'm leaving you down a man. Again. But-"
"I can handle it, Boss. We can handle it," Tony replied with McGee and Ziva nodding along beside him.
"Not that you should have to." Alex put in, still glaring a hole into Gibbs from where he stood in the doorway beside the security officer.
Gibbs chose to ignore the jab and nodded gratefully at his team before turning around and walking with Alex and Burke to the elevator. He knew Alex was angry with him but he couldn't bring himself to care all that much. Tough love was something he was pretty good at. He did what he had to to get the point across to Blunt. Once off the elevator they made one stop by his desk for Alex to gather his things in a backpack before Burke escorted them to his car.
Gibbs held his hand out to Burke.
"No hard feelings, huh, Gibbs?" Burke said with a smile as he grasped the hand firmly.
"Course not. Just doing your job. Sorry you had to be put in the position in the first place. Coffee's on me as soon as I get back." Gibbs said as he climbed in the driver's side and gave Burke one last wave before turning the engine over and exiting the parking lot.
Gibbs glanced over to Alex to see the boy glaring heavily out of the window.
"Am I going to get the silent treatment for the rest of the night or just for the car ride?" Gibbs questioned.
"I haven't decided yet." Alex replied.
"Well, you let me know when you've decided then." Gibbs said dryly.
It was a few more beats before Alex turned to him.
"Don't do that again."
"What? Make fun of you?"
Alex rolled his eyes.
"You know what I'm talking about." He replied.
"No, I'm serious. You can't put that on me. I don't want the team to hate me because I've gotten you fired."
"You didn't get me fired. Understood? The only person who is capable of getting me fired is me. And if I do get me fired it will be because of a decision I made."
"Because of me."
"Maybe. Maybe not. Just know that it isn't your decision to make or have to worry about. And as for the team? They all know this isn't your fault."
"Gibbs...just..please try to be more careful."
The older man sighed and looked over at the teen again. He could see the distress and knew agreeing would be the only way to calm him.
"I'll try. But no promises."
Alex nodded knowing that would be as good as it got. They lapsed back into silence. The faint sound of a bad radio announcer echoed through the car.
"What'd he say to set you off enough to attack him?" Gibbs finally asked.
To Gibbs' dismay Alex blushed and looked down at his feet.
"He, uh, was talking about my family."
"Both your uncle and your father give their lives for MI6 and he still tries to use them against you." Gibbs said in disgust.
"No, not them. Not that family." Alex said softly, glancing at Gibbs through the corner of his eye.
A grin slowly made it's way to Gibbs' face as the realization of Alex's words struck him. He reached over and ruffled Alex's hair before letting the hand go to the back of the boy's neck to squeeze approvingly.
"What'd he say to make you hit him?" Alex then challenged
Gibbs gestured to the bruises on Alex's face.
"That's the only reason I need." He answered firmly.
"You know he was very confident that I would be back in London by the time this was over."
"The only way you'll set foot back in London is for a vacation or to get your things from your old house. How's that for confident?" Gibbs replied swiftly as he pulled into the driveway.
Alex smiled gratefully and they both exited the car and made their way slowly to the front of the house.
A/N- ….*laughs nervously.* Hi, guys. How's it...okay look I know you're mad. You're probably going to be even more upset by the time you finish reading this...which is why I've done my best to give you guys a whole lot of angst and a pretty long chapter to butter you up!..did it work? No? Damn. But anyway here's what's up. This story's about to take a U turn. I've gotten so excited about the sequel for this that I'm getting too distracted to go through with about 90% of this courtroom drama plot. When I started the court plot I had a lawyer for a teacher for my Criminal Justice course and she was going to help me keep everything right...that was my sophomore year...I graduated last year. And I dont think she'd appreciate me ringing her for the sake of this story. But I think this sequel and the one shots I have planned will more than make up for it. So, it's time for me to wrap up and take care of Alan Blunt. Who's ready for it.
Alan Blunt may be Out of character from the books at them moment but by the time I'm done with him I'll think you'll understand why. ;)
And anyone following Dead Man Walking. I DID put that story on hold for the sake of Russian Roulette. I wanted to see how it would play out for my story and to see if there was anything I wanted to add into it. I have read Russian Roulette now and am back on track for a new chapter of Dead Man Walking. And by the way how AWESOME was Russian Roulette? I was never too forgiving of Yassen but DAMN that guy was put through hell. Poor Yasha.