Kate frowned as the petite blonde strode into the office. There wassomething... 'off' about the woman. As the blonde seemed to be headingstraight for Tony's desk, Kate started to rise. No matter what thewoman wanted or what grievance she might have against Tony, Kate knewher partner was in no condition to deal with it. Not only had hejust recovered from the plague, of all things, but he'd also almost beenblown up earlier in the day. "Can I help you?" she asked, projectingher voice. The blonde ignored her and continued on until she stooddirectly in front of Tony's desk, where said agent had his head down andappeared to be lightly dozing. Kate caught a glint of metal and thenshe was reaching for her gun. "Drop it!" she called out, but she wasn'tquick enough.

Tony twitched as something disturbed his slumber. Blinking groggily, hewas surprised when a sharp pain flared on his arm "Wha...?" he started, and then looked up just in time to watch as a small, pale hand covered the bleeding wound. Immediately, the pain vanished, replaced by a soothing warmth. Moving his gaze upward from the hand, to the arm, to the body attached, his eyes widened in shock. "I know you," he whispered.

"My blood is your blood; my life, your life; and my spirit, yourspirit... my King," Selene pledged, and then her eyes rolled back up into her head as she collapsed.

At her soft spoken words, Tony felt a tingle start where her handcovered his arm and then it began to spread throughout his body. Wordsfrom long ago echoed in his mind as memories swept through him.'Selene is my Guardian. She is bound to me, and by extension, to you. When the time comes, Selene will come to you.'

Kate cursed as the woman simply crumpled. "Tony? Are you all right?"she asked, coming around from her desk. The woman had managed to slashboth Tony and herself before Kate had even drawn her weapon--she wasfast. And how had she managed to enter the building with a knife?

Shaking his head, Tony came out of the daze he had fallen into. Glancingdown at his arm, he noticed that the small wound Selene had given himhad already healed, leaving only a slight scar. In addition, he feltbetter than he had in weeks. The exhaustion and just overall feeling ofsickness that had plagued him (ha) since he had almost died fromthe Y Pestis had eased, along with the new aches and pains he'd received from the explosion that morning.

"Tony?" Kate prodded as she knelt down to check the woman's pulse. Theknife... dagger? was still clutched in the woman's uninjured hand, andKate kicked it away.

Blinking, Tony's wide eyes looked at Kate and then moved down to thefallen woman. "Selene... Kate, call Ducky. Let him know I'mbringing someone down," he said as he moved quickly around the desk andscooped the blonde into his arms.

"But..." Kate started to protest, but he was already headed toward theelevator. Scowling, Kate reached for Tony's phone.


"Ducky! I need help!" Tony cried as he burst through the door to the morgue.

"Yes, yes, Kate called ahead. Are you all right, Anthony?" Ducky asked in concern.

"I'm fine, but she isn't," Tony said, gently placing Selene on one of the stainless steel tables.

Ducky frowned slightly as he noted Tony's much improved color and ease of movement. Then he finally looked down at his patient and felt his stomach drop to his shoes. "Oh no..." he whispered.

Tony glanced at him sharply. "You know her?" he asked, surprised.

Not answering, Ducky turned and shouted for his assistant. "Mr. Palmer! Your assistance is required."

Tony heard a crash come from one of the offices and noticed Ducky flinch slightly and sigh heavily.

"Anthony, help me with her jacket. From the looks of things, she's lost a lot of blood from a chest wound."

Still in somewhat of a daze, Tony did as requested, the whole time his mind shouting a denial of what was happening. Long supressed memories of his youth were flooding his brain with images and feelings that he didn't have time to process. He blanched as he removed the dark jacket that was sodden with blood. "Ducky..." he whispered, horrified to find that he was near tears.

"I know," Ducky said solemnly, glancing up. His pale blue eyes more serious than Tony ever remembered seeing them.

"She... she called me her king..." Tony stammered.

Ducky sucked in a breath, closing his eyes for a moment before forcing himself to continue his ministrations. "Mr. Palmer!" he called out again.

"Sorry, Dr. Mallard," Jimmy gasped out as he stumbled into the room. "What can I do?"

Ducky shifted to the side. "I need you to grab a clean towel and hold it to the wound, here," he said, demonstrating with one hand. Once Jimmy was in place, Ducky examined Selene for further injuries. When he reached her bleeding palm, he stilled, examining it carefully. "Anthony, did she say anything else?"

Startled, Tony blinked. "Yes... She pledged her.... her life, her blood, her very self... to me..." he said quietly.

Ducky nodded, carefully folding Selene's fingers over her still bleeding palm. "I thought it might be something like that. Anthony..." he began.

"What's going on!" Gibbs demanded as he slammed into the morgue. "Kate said someone attacked DiNozzo?"

Tony jumped, whirling around to face the door. "Uh... not exactly, Boss," he murmured, looking down at the floor.

Gibbs examined the younger man, surprised and relieved to discover that he looked unharmed--better, in fact, than he had for the past couple of weeks. "Who is she?"

"Jethro, this is..." Ducky began.

"Anthony," a soft, feminine voice interrupted and all eyes returned to the woman on the table.

Tony reached out and grasped her uninjured hand. "Selene..."

Thin lips quirked upwards and warm grey eyes smiled back at him. "It is good to see you looking so well."

Narrowing his eyes, Tony responded, "I wish I could say the same, but you look like crap."

Selene laughed quietly, until it changed into a coughing fit. She pushed Jimmy away as she struggled to catch her breath.

"But..." Jimmy started to protest, but a hand on his arm and a short head shake from Ducky had him stepping back in confusion.

Once she had managed to get some air, Selene turned to Gibbs, who had curbed his desire to begin shouting when Tony had taken her hand. "I need to speak to Special Agent Gibbs."

Ducky nodded in understanding and moved to Tony's side. "Come along, Anthony, let's give them a few minutes. Mr. Palmer..." Ducky tilted his head toward the door.

Not needing a second prodding, Jimmy dropped the bloody towel he had been holding into the waste bin, along with the gloves he had been wearing, before going out the door. Truth to tell, he was glad to be out of the morgue with all of the strange tensions that even he could feel in the air.

Tony was reluctant to let go of Selene's hand, but a quick look at Gibbs' expression helped him to do so with a final squeeze. "I'll be back," he promised.

Selene nodded, wincing a bit as pain swept through her body in a wave. She didn't have much time. She waited patiently for Ducky and Anthony to leave, her eyes closed as she gathered her strength for the conversation ahead of her.

Moving closer to the table, Gibbs studied the small woman who had caused such an uproar. Kate was just about spitting, and Abby had called him in a panic, absolutely certain that something big was going down. He wasn't sure how she had known, but it was quite evident that she had been correct. When the door clicked shut, clear grey eyes snapped open and pinned him.

"Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs," Selene stated. When Anthony had accepted the position at NCIS, Selene had done extensive background checks on everyone on his team. She had been pleased, but not surprised, to find Donald "Ducky" Mallard already ensconced within the organization. Such fortuitous events were not unusual when dealing with the members of the Royal bloodline. Some things were Meant To Be, and she believed that Gibbs' presence was another. She needed a successor, and the former Marine had already proven that he could, and would, protect Anthony to the best of his ability... and his ability was quite impressive.

Gibbs inclined his head. "And you are Selene, Personal Protector to His Majesty, the King of the Fae."

Selene smiled. "Yes. It pleases me that you know who I am. It will make this much easier." Her expression became more grave. "War is coming. My King..." she had to stop, pressing her lips together and closing her eyes. A tear trickled down one cheek and when she reopened her eyes, there were more tears that were building. "With the death of his father, Anthony has become the new King of the Fae. He has also lost the protective magic that his father has been sustaining over him since he left the Royal Court to reside with his mother."

Frowning, Gibbs studied Selene as he mulled over what had just been said. "DiNozzo is the heir to the Fae Throne?" he finally said in disbelief.

Selene shook her head. "No, Anthony is now the holder of the Throne. And you have to get him out of here. With the loss of the protective magic of his father, plus the very powerful blood magic of the ritual passing of the Throne, every assassin within a hundred miles is going to be headed this way."

"And you? You said that I had to get him out of here--isn't that your job?"

"No, Agent Gibbs. My duty is done. I hope to pass on my title to you," Selene said, a sad smile gracing her lips.

Gibbs eyes narrowed as various pieces began clicking into place. "You're dying," he stated flatly.

"Yes. I am sorry. I had hoped to have more time, but events conspired against us." She shrugged delicately. "Please, watch over Anthony--he is very special."

"I know," Gibbs stated softly.

Selene shivered and then held out her hand. "I don't have much time. I've used up most of my strength already."

Gibbs took the small, pale hand in his own, heedless of the still bleeding wound. "What do I need to do?" he asked.

"We need to share blood. The most powerful magic is always blood magic," Selene explained, a little breathlessly. "We need Anthony, as well."

"DiNozzo!" Gibbs barked out.

Tony appeared immediately. "Yeah, Boss?"

Gibbs jerked his head, and Tony went to his side. Reaching behind her with her free hand, Selene produced another dagger identical to the one she had used earlier. She turned over Gibbs' hand so his palm was up and turned to Tony. "Your Majesty," she said formally.

Tony blinked for a moment, thrown by the address, and then quickly held out his hand, palm side up. Selene nodded in approval. With a swift, economical motion, she sliced Gibbs' palm and then Tony's. She pressed her still bleeding palm onto Gibbs', allowing their blood to intermingle. Looking deep into Gibbs' eyes, she willed the other man to accept and understand the duty she was bestowing upon him. "Repeat after me--**insert properly ritualistic words**"

Gibbs repeated the words slowly and solemnly, never faltering. He could feel a tingling sensation that started at his palm and began making its way swiftly throughout his body. As soon as he finished, Selene took his hand and pressed the still bleeding wound over Tony's new wound, clasping their hands together.

"You are now bound, one life, one soul," Selene whispered, and then she slumped back on the table.

"Selene!" Tony cried out.

"My time is done, I must follow my king and soul now. Live well, King Anthony," she said and then she breathed no more.

Gibbs moved forward and gently closed the unseeing eyes. He could feel the urgency to move, to get Tony away, surging through his veins and he turned to face his agent... no, his king. "DiNozzo," he said quietly.

Closing his eyes, Tony nodded, squeezing the hand that was still clasping his own before releasing it. "Yes, Boss," he acknowledged the need that he could feel, as well. He took a deep breath and then, with a last, chaste kiss upon Selene's forehead, he turned away, grief and fury burning in his eyes. A hand on his shoulder directed his attention back to Gibbs.

"We're leaving now," Gibbs stated. Before he could say anything more, however, the sound of an explosion had him pushing Tony to the floor, shielding the younger man's body with his own. Immediately, the doors burst open as the rest of his team piled into the room.

"Gibbs!" Kate shouted as she ran in, gun drawn.

"We're all right. Ducky, get your bag. Abby, McGee, grab the most useful equipment you can carry quickly. Kate, raid the armory--we're going to need more weapons. Palmer, get the truck ready and running. DiNozzo, you're with me" Gibbs snapped out orders even as he was getting up and helping Tony to his feet. When he looked around, everyone was still standing around him, not moving. "What are you waiting for? Move it!"

Jarred from their shock, the team scrambled to follow his orders. Ducky and Tony were the two notable exceptions. Ducky was reverently covering Selene with a sheet while Tony held his hands over her body, muttering something under his breath. Gibbs was about to snap at them when Ducky came up beside him and clasped his arm. There were tears streaming down the elderly man's face, and Gibbs found himself patting Ducky's hand in sympathy. As he watched, he found himself holding his breath as he felt the build up of some kind of energy. Furrowing his brow, he tried to identify it when it suddenly expanded and he closed his eyes reflexively as a brilliant light suddenly flashed. When he blinked them open again, Selene was gone and Tony was slumped over the table.

"DiNozzo!" Gibbs barked.

"He's alright, Jethro. The magic just took a lot out of him... but it was the right thing to do," Ducky stated quietly.

"We've got to go," Gibbs said grimly.

Ducky nodded and then moved over to Tony. "Anthony, you've done all you can for her. Time to go."

Tony nodded, sniffed once, and then straightened. "Right."

Studying the younger man carefully, Ducky was saddened to see that he was already beginning to look run down once again. And it was unlikely to get better anytime soon.


They were all crammed into the truck, with Tony kept protectively in the middle. Kate had her gun drawn and aimed at the back doors, while McGee was wide eyed and clutching Abby's hand.

"Any idea where we're going?" Jimmy finally asked, breaking the silence that had held since they'd fled NCIS headquarters.

Tony shook his head. "Nope. Out of the city is my best guess," he said.

"I don't understand," McGee stated for at least the third time. "Tony is the King of the Fae?"

"Yes, McGee," Abby replied patiently, squeezing his hand.

"But... how is that possible?" McGee asked. The events of the day had been too overwhelming for the young agent, and he was having difficulties in processing everything.

Sighing, Tony leaned back against Abby's legs and closed his eyes. "The usual way, Probie. My mom and King {need name} had a tryst, and I was the result. As the only blood heir, when King {need name} died, I automatically became king. That's the way of the Fae court," he explained.

"So you really are a bastard, aren't you, Tony?" Kate teased.

"Yeah, but it's King Bastard, now," Tony said, forcing a lightness he didn't feel into his voice.

Gibbs threw a quick look back at him, but Tony had on his game face and Gibbs didn't have time to study him more closely. Once they had a chance to stop and catch their breaths, however, he and his Senior Agent were going to have a talk. 'King... he's my king now,' Gibbs reminded himself silently. Now that was something he definitely hadn't seen coming. That Tony had Fae blood wasn't too surprising, really, but that it was also Royal... well, that was a bit of a shock. And Ducky knew. But Ducky always did seem to know everything. As for himself, he hadn't really paid much attention to Fae politics, not since his days in the Marines, anyway. At that time, the US military had been keeping a keen eye on the Fae, as there had been rumors that some of them thought they should be running things. But nothing had come of it... until now.

"Umm... Gibbs, what about Ari? Is there really a terrorist attack planned?" Kate asked.

"I'd say a terrorist attack has already happened, Caitlin. More than one, but the most recent was at NCIS headquarters. And the purpose was to kill Anthony," Ducky answered. "And, I have my suspicions that Ari is actually an assassin sent by the faction of Fae that wants a return to the old ways--when humans were viewed as prey and play. They were none too pleased when the king sired a half human son."

"It was a good decision, though," Abby piped up. "The birthrate among the Fae, always low, had decreased to the point that the Fae as a people were unsustainable without new blood."

"Quite right. I had no idea you were so knowledgeable about the Fae, Abigail. Very impressive," Ducky praised her.

"Oh, I have some Fae blood on my grandmother's side. The two races have been mixing for years, just not anyone with Royal blood before... that I know of," Abby said.

"That's one of the reasons my mother was chosen," Tony interjected quietly. "She also had Royal Fae blood." He sighed, letting his head drop back against the seat. "Of course, to some Fae, those that aren't pure blood are abominations to be exterminated. You'll need to be careful, Abby."

"Wait, if your mother had Royal blood, then why wasn't she Queen of the Fae?" Kate asked, her brow furrowing.

"She had Royal blood, but she wasn't a direct heir. I think it was her grandmother's grandmother or something. And she didn't become queen because her father had other children, pure blood children, to take the throne upon his demise," Tony answered, still marvelling at all the information that had suddenly become clear in his head.

"And those children, in turn, had more pure blood children," Ducky took up the explanation. "King {need name}, however, made a deliberate choice to only father a child that also had human blood. He had the foresight to realize that Fae and human must join together, else the Fae would simply fade away, much as many of the other ancient races have done."

"Tony is King of the Fae," Tim muttered again, almost convinced that he was simply dreaming all of this. That is, until Abby pinched him... hard. "Hey!"

"Snap out of it," she whispered. "Bad guys are trying to kill Tony."

Gibbs threw a glance back at them. "Problem?" he asked, his voice that deathly cold chill usually only heard when he was addressing suspects that he knew were guilty.

McGee's eyes widened and then he winced when Abby's grip on his hand became painful. "No, no, no problem," he hurried to answer, while at the same time attempting to extract his hand.

Gibbs just grunted and returned all of his concentration to his driving. The NCIS truck was a bit too conspicuous; they would need to find alternative transportation as soon as possible.



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