“Hey, kid, you look a bit lost,” the older man smiled gently.
The girl was obviously a runaway – she had that lost look, and was clutching her duffle bag like it was the only thing she had left in the world. She looked at him warily then shrugged and ducked her head. “I’ve never been to DC before,” she admitted.
“Yeah,” the man nodded, “it’s a big place. Can be scary if you’re a long way from home. You sound like you’re from California; would that be right?” When she shot him a wary look, he held out a hand. “Name’s Gibbs. Leroy Jethro Gibbs, though only my dad calls me Leroy. Most people just call me Gibbs.”
The girl smiled. “My friend’s name is Xander. Well, it’s Alexander, but no one calls him that. And his middle name is Lavelle, which is like a State Secret as far as he’s concerned.” She put her hand in his, and they shook hands. “I’m Buffy.”
Tony’s head came up as a beautiful blonde walked into view. He quickly stood, buttoned and smoothed his jacket, and walked forward to greet her, hand outstretched in greeting.
The woman gave a knowing smirk and shook his hand. “Tony DiNozzo, right?” she asked.
Tony blinked, and smiled again. “Yes,” he admitted. “And you are?”
“Buffy,” Gibbs greeted, smiling broadly as he rounded his desk, arms out. The woman grinned, and rushed into his arms and hugged him tight.
Tony blinked again. “Uh, Boss?” he tried.
“You should have told me you were in town,” Gibbs chided, smiling. “I could have set up the guest room, tidied up a little.”
“Yeah,” Buffy huffed, “’cause that place of yours is like a frat house!” She gave him another hug then smacked his arm gently. “Silly. Anyway, I’m only in town for a few days, and the gang wants to meet you. But I’ll be back in DC next month for a few weeks, and I was thinking we could hang out properly then.”
“That sounds great, Princess,” Gibbs smiled. “Just let me get my things, and we’ll go for coffee.”
“Coffee, Gibbs?” Buffy smirked. “I’m shocked.”
Tony was still standing in front of his desk as his boss walked out with his arm around the shoulders of an obvious So-Cal Princess. He blinked again, and turned to his team-mates. “That … happened?”
Tim and Ziva nodded, perturbed.
“I thought Gibbs’ daughter died many years ago,” Ziva frowned.
“She did,” Tony frowned.
“Do you think we should do a background check?” Tim frowned.
“Well, gee, McSherlock,” Tony drawled, “what do youthink: checking up on a Californian named Buffy that Gibbs greeted like a daughter? Yeah, that’d go down well,” he scoffed.
“Oh,” Tim murmured meekly.
“Okay,” Tony sighed, “back to work.”