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02 December 2008 @ 06:38 pm
A Tangled Web - A Watcher!Abby fic  

This is part of the Watcher!Abby verse I'm co-authoring with strangevisitor7 , the rest of which you can read here. It's the next part in my little side story that follows on from Methos' visit to NCIS which you can find here and here.

Big thanks to strangevisitor7  for her invaluable help as beta.

Disclaimer: It isn't mine, not one little bit.

 

A Tangled Web

Methos groaned inwardly as he saw Agent Gibbs head across the hospital lobby. He’d had a feeling Gibbs wouldn’t let matters drop, but he’d hoped to be back in the UK before the NCIS agent came calling.

 “Agent Gibbs, to what do I owe this pleasure?”

 “Can it, Clifford. We need to talk, in private,” Gibbs replied, a determined glare on his face. Methos shrugged and ushered him into his temporary office. Once they were inside and the door was closed, Gibbs wheeled on him and pushed Methos against the wall. “There was no brother, was there? It was your body in the morgue that day.”

Shocked, Methos was momentarily at a loss for words, so he pretended Gibbs’ hold was choking him.

“Oh please, I know that won’t kill you,” Gibbs said, but he still loosened his grip a little. Having regained his composure, Methos was able to speak.

 “Have you quite lost your mind, Agent Gibbs? I told you it was my brother who died. How could it possibly have been my body? That’s not only preposterous, but medically impossible,” Methos answered calmly and a little indignant.

This clearly wrong-footed Gibbs, who took a step back and released Methos. Methos straightened out his clothing and calmly regarded Gibbs. Gibbs seemed to recover his confidence and spoke again.

 “I know everything. Ducky and Richie told me all about it. You’re like Ryan, aren’t you?” Gibbs said, more of a statement than a question, with emphasis on Richie’s real surname.

Inwardly, Methos sighed. He didn’t know why Richie had been blabbing again, but clearly half of NCIS now seemed aware of Immortals.

 “What exactly did Doctor Mallard tell you?” Methos asked.

 “Oh no, I’m not going to let you make me look like a fool again, Clifford. If that’s your name. I checked: there were no human remains shipped from Washington to the UK since your visit to NCIS. In fact, I can find no trace of your so-called brother beyond the immigration records. And I’m going to be having serious words with Abby and Ryan about where those came from. I know that the reason the body disappeared was because you got up and walked out of autopsy. Don’t try and deny it, Clifford,” Gibbs was invading Methos’ personal space again, jabbing at Methos’ chest as he spoke in a voice that was almost a growl.

Methos was really beginning to like this mortal. Richie, on the other hand, was rapidly slipping down his list of favourite Immortals.

“Let’s say, for a moment, that this insane notion of yours was correct. What exactly would you do about it?” Methos said cautiously.

 “Officially? Absolutely nothing. The case was ruled a suicide, and all the documents back up the official story. Besides, who’d believe me? But I’m guessing that you didn’t set fire to yourself, so there’s a murderer at large. It didn’t stick for you, but if he got away with it once, he’s more likely to strike again. And the next victim won’t be able to get up and walk away. I want to catch the bastard before that happens,” Gibbs replied.

Methos sidestepped Gibbs and took his seat behind his desk. He motioned for Gibbs to take the seat opposite, but Gibbs stayed standing, arms folded. Methos silently contemplated Gibbs, weighing up his options.

He could continue to deny everything, and leave the States as soon as he was able, never coming back as Clifford and certainly not coming to DC for another generation. Alternatively he could go find Richie and practise his surgical techniques on the younger Immortal without any anaesthetic. That wouldn’t resolve any of his problems, but it would make him feel better.

 “Come on, Clifford. Don’t you want to find out who tried to kill you? Hell, for all they know, they succeeded, they just got the wrong man. Aren’t you just a little bit pissed about that?” Gibbs asked, leaning over the desk.

 Cut and run was usually his favoured option, but Methos had to admit a certain amount of curiosity as to Adam Clifford’s enemy, and an overwhelming urge for revenge. If he hadn’t been fortunate enough to wake up in Doctor Mallard’s autopsy room, he would have been forced to abandon Adam Clifford’s life, and he was rather enjoying it.

He rarely trusted mortals with his Immortality; Joe was probably the only one alive who knew. But Methos was a very good judge of character, and he thought he may be able to trust Gibbs.

“Would you let me make a private phone call please? You can wait out in the lobby; I won’t be able to slip out unseen. I just want to confirm some details before I say anything further,” Methos said, choosing his words carefully. Gibbs regarded him for a second, then nodded and left the room. Methos picked up his cell and hit speed dial.

Hello?

“What the buggering hell have you been saying now, brat?” Methos demanded.

Methos?...Oh no, Gibbs is there, isn’t he? Man, I never thought…I’m so sorry, I should have realised he’d figure it out. I’m such an idiot,” Richie said.

 “Well I could have told you that. Is there anyone in that agency who doesn’t know about us? I just want to know, so I don’t accidentally let it slip to the wrong Government Agent,” Methos sniped.

 “It wasn’t like that. Gibbs thought I was a terrorist or something. He’d seen the video of the Paris crash, and he knew my alias was a fake. He was going to send me to Guantanamo Bay or something and Ducky and Abs would have lost their jobs, maybe ended up in Federal prison!” Richie babbled in explanation, barely pausing for breath. “I had no choice.”

“You could have left.”

Did you not hear the part about Gibbs? He caught me as I was trying to leave, which of course made things a million times worse. I’m so lucky he didn’t throw my ass in jail on the spot.

 “Why couldn’t you just get shot and start over then?” Methos said, anger edging his voice. He was probably going to do more than shoot the young Immortal if he saw him in the near future.

 “That would have still left Abby and Ducky in trouble. I couldn’t do that to them,” Richie replied, the apologetic tone replaced by a hint of anger.

Methos silently conceded the point, and changed topic to the crux of his current dilemma.

“If I stick to the story, give him the run-around until I leave the States, would Gibbs let it rest at that?” Methos asked, voicing his earlier gut instinct.

I doubt it. He went after me based only on his gut and Gibbs never lets anything go. In fact, I’m still not certain he’s done with me… Look, Gibbs is a really good guy. A little rough around the edges, but underneath he really cares about what’s right. You can trust him,” Richie answered adamantly.

 “Oh brilliant, another Boy Scout,” Methos opined, shaking his head in exasperation. On the other end of the line, Richie chuckled.

 “Marine actually. Seriously though, Old Man, let him help you. He’s the best there is at what he does. If he can’t find out who tried to kill you, nobody can.”

 “How did you know he’d offered to help?” Methos asked, suspicious suddenly.

 “I know Gibbs,” was Richie’s reply.

 Without saying goodbye, Methos hung up and considered what Richie had said. He did want to find out who exactly had tried to murder him, and he didn’t have much experience as a detective. Perhaps it wouldn’t hurt to let Gibbs know a little. Not too much, but enough that he could provide information and expertise.

Methos sighed and walked to the door of his office. He opened it and looked for Gibbs. The NCIS agent was seated opposite, but he stood when Methos opened the door.

 “You’d better come in, Agent Gibbs. We’ve got a lot to discuss".

The Tangled Web continues in Part 2

 
 
 
Megan Queenkesomon on December 2nd, 2008 07:02 pm (UTC)
YAY Methos. *fuzzy*
But, I don't want to be a pie,: painty methosidontlikegravy on December 2nd, 2008 10:53 pm (UTC)
Thank you! And much love for the M*A*S*H icon. Oo, that reminds me of a Methos bunny I've been meaning to dust off...
Megan Queenkesomon on December 2nd, 2008 10:54 pm (UTC)
*goes bug-eyed at the possibilities*
But, I don't want to be a pie,: vogonidontlikegravy on December 2nd, 2008 11:04 pm (UTC)
*eg*
catyuycatyuy on December 3rd, 2008 01:12 pm (UTC)
Sorry to butt in.
Methos and Hawkeye in the same place.
My mind has melted.
Katfairykatfairy on December 7th, 2008 09:59 pm (UTC)
THIS.

God, the levels of snark would be unbelievable.
catyuycatyuy on December 15th, 2008 04:53 pm (UTC)
We must entice the writer to do this crossover.
The other Weird Al: Highlander - Methos solves a problemaeron_lanart on December 2nd, 2008 07:16 pm (UTC)
Oooh I'm glad you're continuing this! I love it! and I really like the way Richie doesn't back down. Good on ya mate.
More soon? Please?
But, I don't want to be a pie,: pleased hamsteridontlikegravy on December 2nd, 2008 10:55 pm (UTC)
Thank you hun, glad you're enjoying it :) Well, Richie had to strap on a pair sooner or later, right? *g* More will be forthcoming, as soon as I update Browncoats and Methos on Discworld, it's been a really long time since I posted to either of those!
Black Rook: Death_Ratgrachonok on December 2nd, 2008 08:43 pm (UTC)
Oh, that's marvellous! :) Gibbs and Methos in one team - wow! If I were that killer, I'd run to Antarctica immediately:).
tygermama: TP Vimes Quotetygermama on December 2nd, 2008 09:25 pm (UTC)
omg! May I please steal your Death of Rats icon? please, please, please?
Black Rook: Death_Ratgrachonok on December 2nd, 2008 09:32 pm (UTC)
Yes, of course.:) It isn't really mine:).
I stole it here - http://community.livejournal.com/elentari_icons/4491.html, there are plenty Hogfather icons there.
But, I don't want to be a pie,: death of ratsidontlikegravy on December 2nd, 2008 10:55 pm (UTC)
Thank you! And I second the icon love :)
fractured_sunfractured_sun on December 2nd, 2008 09:13 pm (UTC)
Yay!!! *Skips round happily* I love this series and anything that forces Methos to interact with Gibbs has got be a good thing
But, I don't want to be a pie,: jay n bobidontlikegravy on December 2nd, 2008 10:57 pm (UTC)
*bounces*

I love writing them, letting the snark flow free, so I'm really happy that it's working for others too :)

tygermama: HL - Methos - Smirktygermama on December 2nd, 2008 09:27 pm (UTC)
More Watcher!Abby, heeee! ::hugs and twirls the fic!::

“What the buggering hell have you been saying now, brat?” Methos demanded.

“Methos?...Oh no, Gibbs is there, isn’t he? Man, I never thought…I’m so sorry, I should have realised he’d figure it out. I’m such an idiot,” Richie said.


Poor Methos, tripping over boy scouts wherever he goes.
But, I don't want to be a pie,: painty methosidontlikegravy on December 2nd, 2008 10:59 pm (UTC)
It's like an epidemic, isn't it? *g*

Very pleased you enjoyed it *bounces*
kreutzmariekreutzmarie on December 2nd, 2008 10:58 pm (UTC)
Yay!! I was hoping Methos would pop back in, but now we get Methos in conjunction with Gibbs. Brilliant!

*begs for more*
But, I don't want to be a pie,: naked nickidontlikegravy on December 2nd, 2008 11:02 pm (UTC)
Begging will get you nowhere. Captain Jack might get you somewhere, especially if he's naked *grin*.

More will be coming pretty soon, but I have a few things I need to knock off the list beforehand, so it's unlikely to be before Christmas. Still, strangevisitor7's thread is running in tandem with mine, so you might still get another story in the meantime :)
kreutzmarie: Jack's happy buttonkreutzmarie on December 3rd, 2008 07:20 am (UTC)
*wibbles*

Will this one work?
bugeyedmonsterbugeyedmonster on December 25th, 2008 03:03 am (UTC)
OMG! Love that nekkid Nick icon. Whoo! Nekkid Nick!

Sorry, will try to settle down now...
I will call her George: Hogan - High Fivestrangevisitor7 on December 3rd, 2008 01:42 am (UTC)
This dove tailed so perfectly with my last story - this was great - enjoyed Methos mentally wanting to torture Richie just to make himself feel better.
But, I don't want to be a pie,: painty methosidontlikegravy on December 22nd, 2008 10:06 pm (UTC)
Thanks hun :)

Yeesh, again with the torture! What is with me?!
ancientcitadel: HL - Methos - Deathancientcitadel on December 3rd, 2008 02:58 am (UTC)
Yay for Methos and Gibbs working together. :) It'll be good for Methos to learn the finer points of detective work from an expert.
But, I don't want to be a pie,: winneridontlikegravy on December 22nd, 2008 10:07 pm (UTC)
Well indeed. And Gibbs can see what a real master of sneak can do :)
she who is the teller of tales: methoslyl_devil on December 3rd, 2008 04:06 am (UTC)
Yes! More Methos!!

I can't wait to read the next part. :)
But, I don't want to be a pie,: methos 2idontlikegravy on December 22nd, 2008 10:09 pm (UTC)
Thanks hun :) More should be coming pretty soonish, (she says carefully avoiding any specific dates) as soon as I've updated a few outstanding WIPs. I don't want to overwork the Old Man and get him sulking again!

PS Icon love!
catyuycatyuy on December 3rd, 2008 01:10 pm (UTC)
What is this fic series I have stumbled upon.
Must now go read entire thing.

EDIT:
I did read the rntire thing on the day of the first post.
And I loved it sooooo much that I just reread it again today.

Edited at 2008-12-13 05:13 am (UTC)
But, I don't want to be a pie,: doctor xmasidontlikegravy on December 15th, 2008 10:57 am (UTC)
Wow, thanks *bounces* Very pleased that you enjoyed it, I'll pass your comment on to strangevisitor7
catyuycatyuy on December 15th, 2008 04:54 pm (UTC)
It is awesome.
I love Highlander and have only recently started to really pay attention to NCIS.
I will call her George: NCIS - Duckystrangevisitor7 on December 15th, 2008 09:19 pm (UTC)
Thanks - so glad you enjoyed the series. NCIS is worth pating attention to.:)
tpena19tpena19 on December 16th, 2008 07:31 am (UTC)
OMG! Love the internal Methos dialogue, especially torture of Richie for being a blabber mouth. Totally awesome that Gibbs and Methos will be working together, too great. (Throw in Tony and my day will be complete)
But, I don't want to be a pie,: watcher abbyidontlikegravy on December 22nd, 2008 09:52 pm (UTC)
LOL

Well, I love any excuse to write Tony, so we'll see. Thanks for reading and all your comments, I'm pleased you're enjoying the series :)
bugeyedmonsterbugeyedmonster on December 22nd, 2008 05:57 pm (UTC)
Ooo.... Gibbs set loose on a killer's trail... *rubs hands* Mwah-ha-ha-ha-ha. This will be soo good.

Keep writing. Eagerly anticipating the next chapter.

(^_^)/
BEM
bugeyedmonsterbugeyedmonster on December 22nd, 2008 05:58 pm (UTC)
Oh, and I didn't even think about that little fact that the killer will have Death (without his pale horse) on his tail as well.

Oh, this will be so much fun! Methos and Gibbs together.

Eagerly anticipating the next chapter!

(^_^)/
BEM
But, I don't want to be a pie,: painty methosidontlikegravy on December 22nd, 2008 09:54 pm (UTC)
I just hope I can live up to everyone's expectations! Thanks for your comments, I'm glad you enjoyed and hope you keep reading :)
bugeyedmonsterbugeyedmonster on December 25th, 2008 03:09 am (UTC)
Oh, and Gibbs does have a good reason for getting at Methos about the killer.

What if this guy has struck before?

What if "Clifford" wasn't the intended target? Then the killer might 'up the ante' in trying to kill Clifford. Immortals are pretty bomb-proof, but heaven help the poor mortal(s) standing nearby.

Or what if Clifford was just one intended target, and the killer has other targets.

Gibbs could charge Clifford with hampering his investigation, if he really wanted to cause trouble for Methos. That would really screw up Methos' Clifford persona, and he'd have to disappear for a few years... It would be way too much trouble.

I intend to keep reading.

(^_^)/
BEM
Ursula4x: Richieswordursula4x on January 5th, 2009 04:10 am (UTC)
Does this mean more?
Not that I am ungrateful for this wonderful sparkling read, but more and such a great start to the plot would be incredible.
But, I don't want to be a pie,: painty methosidontlikegravy on January 5th, 2009 07:37 pm (UTC)
Re: Does this mean more?
LOL

I'm deeply flattered, and more than a little worried that I won't be able to live up to expectations! More is coming, but I have some older WIPs that are long neglected and deserve my attention first. I can't work Methos and Richie too hard or they'll go on strike again! :)
jeiel on January 28th, 2009 11:33 pm (UTC)
-/@
“What the buggering hell have you been saying now, brat?” Methos demanded.

Methos is one of my all time favorite characters and you write him marvelously.

I almost pity whoever tried to/killed Dr. Clifford.
Gibbs will hunt them down.
And Methos will make them wish they had never looked crossways at him.

Maybe if he has enough fun he will eventually forgive Richie for telling Gibbs, in about 500 years.
But, I don't want to be a pie,: ncis sixidontlikegravy on June 16th, 2009 07:57 pm (UTC)
Re: -/@
LOL

I'm so sorry I didn't reply sooner to your comment, I must have missed a notification. Anyway, I'm so happy you're enjoying the series, and I hope you keep reading. :)
jolinar_rosha: Vala sillyjolinar_rosha on June 14th, 2009 09:39 pm (UTC)
this whole bit was made of epic win.
please, sir, can I have some more? *puppy-dog eyes*
But, I don't want to be a pie,: watcher abbyidontlikegravy on June 16th, 2009 07:56 pm (UTC)
There is a second part to this, sorry I should have linked to it at the bottom, my bad.

Thank you so much for all your comments, it's brought a huge smile to my face. And there is plenty more in store for Abby and Richie et al, but my muses are pointing and coughing about the fact that both my Firefly and Discworld series need new chapters urgently, not to mention my Xmen one which I haven't updated in...meep, a very long time! And I think strangevisitor7 has her hands full with M7 and a Reaver apocalypse at the moment! But we both love writing this, and collaborating, so there definitely will be more. Apart from anything else, I want to know who killed Mathew Clifford! :)
jolinar_rosha: Adria smilingjolinar_rosha on June 17th, 2009 08:40 am (UTC)
ooh, a second part - I totally missed it, thanks for pointing it out!
and hey, I'll be happy to read more whenever that may happen! I'm just offering encouragement! :-)