Title: When In Need
Series: Adept Series
Sequel to: When Bonds Weaken
Disclaimer: Don't own anything
Summary: With Lionel Luthor dying in the hospital, Chloe is in desperate need of a replacement bonder before she goes insane and has another bond forced on her. Things have a way of working out though, considering a candidate, whom she hadn't even considered real, finds her when she needs him the most.
"No Mister President, I haven't had time to go over the candidates you had the Secretary of Defense handpick." Chloe leaned hard on the table, hand on her forehead, eyes closed as she listened to the Head of the United States remind her that her choosing the members of her Division was a priority. "I am aware of that, Sir, but I have some ongoing cases that need my full-yes Sir-I know Sir-Mister President..."
He wasn't listening, and Chloe had to bite back her loud groan and press her hand hard against her eyes.
"Sir, I have to respectfully disagree." She shook her head. "The cases I am working on, and the different protection methods in which to keep both your family and those of the Cabinet as safe as possible, have priority over adding personnel to the Paranormal Division." She closed her eyes tighter. "Yes, more hands would technically get the job and research done quicker, but not when I have to train each and every new recruit. They will only slow me down. I ask that you trust me on this issue and let me handle this as I see fit."
The President had a few words to say about that, touching on another topic she didn't want to discuss right now.
"No Sir, there hasn't been any progress on that specific field." Chloe pulled her hand from her now open eyes and tilted her head back, gazing at the ceiling, begging any holy entity out there to sever the phone lines or do something so she didn't have to discuss her romantic failures with the President of the United States of America. "Dr. Spencer Reid of the Behavior Analysis Unit has been going over the candidates that have poured in through many reliable sources, not only federal and naval but also from colleagues at the Jeffersonian, and he's been weeding through them by compatibility. So far that has narrowed the… males… down quite considerably but I have yet to make a connection with any of the ones I've gone on… compatibility tests… with." She flinched. "Yes Sir, I meant dates."
The blonde stood from the table and took in a deep breath, listening as the President not so subtly began to talk about one of his own nephews who was in the Marines.
She sat down again, about to collapse, not sure she could take this much longer.
There was a knock on her door.
"Please hold a second." Chloe covered the receiver. "Come in!"
Gloria, one of the receptionists, cleared her throat as she peeked her head inside. "Excuse me, Special Agent Sullivan, but there's a gentleman downstairs who wishes to see you. He doesn't have an appointment or clearance, but he says that he has urgent business to discuss with you and refuses to go away until you see him."
"Has he hinted to what this 'urgent business' might be?" Chloe frowned, unable to think of who could have 'urgent business' with her.
Most people outside of the NCIS organization didn't even know she existed.
"No Ma'am." Gloria shook her head. "Would you like me to have security remove him from the building?"
And lose the only chance she had to end this horrible conversation with the President?
No way in friggin hell!
"No, Gloria, thank you. I'll go see who he is and what he wants personally."
"Yes Ma'am." Gloria nodded and left.
Taking in a deep breath, Chloe removed her hand from the phone's mouth piece and spoke as calmly as possible, trying not to let her tone waver and betray the fact that she was right on the edge of doing something drastic. "Mister President, I will need to get back to you on that very intriguing proposition as there is someone who has come to see me about urgent matters. Yes sir, I will let you know if this is anything pertaining to the supernatural balance of our country. Of course… I… I kn… your nephew does sound like a nice man… I agree." She closed her eyes tightly. "If you would like to forward his stats to Dr. Reid-Yes, yes Sir, you could consider Dr. Reid as the first recruit of the Division, though he wouldn't be a part of the permanent staff, instead he'd come periodically… Yes Sir. I will Sir."
Finally, he hung up.
Chloe hung the phone and let out the groan she'd been wanting to since the moment the President had called her. She shook her head and stood, straightening her suit before leaving the office, heading out passed the cubicles and such. A wave to Tony and McGee heralded her passing through as she headed towards the elevator, entering and pushing the lobby's button, watching the doors slide close, feeling the slight jolt as the machine started making its way downwards.
The journey to the lobby was quick and peppered with annoyingly catchy musical ditties, and when she made her way into the lobby she found herself humming one of the last ditties that'd played in the elevator. Annoyance filtered into her yet she pushed it aside, gaze scanning the room, wondering which of the men was the one with the urgent matter to deal with...
...and then she froze, eyes wide.
It couldn't be!
She couldn't be having a hallucination again!
Not here in front of everyone!
Not so soon after the last one!
The man froze, eyeing her with as much surprise as she did him, before coming towards her.
"Chloe Sullivan, NCIS," he murmured, stopping just short of entering her personal space as he gazed down at her. "So you were telling the truth."
"No… no..." Chloe whispered, shaking her head, looking up at him in horror. "I can't be having another one now. Not another one. Not here in front of everyone!"
"Hey, sweetheart." As usual, the way he said that endearment made it sound somewhat insulting. "How many times do I have to tell you that I'm not a hallucination?"
"That's exactly what a hallucination would say!" She hissed at him, annoyed by the fact that he was making her have an insane moment in front of others.
"If anyone's a hallucination here, darling, it's you," he replied, leaning in closer. "I knew you always seemed to manage to escape whenever I turned my back for a second, but that trick you played last time? You disappeared from right under me." He reached into his pocket and pulled out her clearance, waving it in her face. "Misplaced this?"
Chloe's eyes widened as she saw the clearance she'd thought had been lost, and snatched it from him, eyeing it in shock. "You're… real?"
Looking around her, Chloe shoved the clearance into her pocket and grabbed his arm, nodding to one of the security guards. "He's with me."
The man let himself be led into the elevator, eyeing her just as she eyed him, both with narrowed, curious gazes. He followed Chloe out of the elevator once they reached her floor. Tony and McGee looked up, eyes widening in surprise to see Chloe with someone. The men exchanged curious looks, and Tony leaned forwards as they passed their workstations.
"Anything we can help you with, Special Agent Sullivan?"
Chloe sighed, knowing that Tony and his blasted curiosity wouldn't allow them to pass without comment. "Not at the moment Special Agent DiNozzo, but if that were to change I'll contact you immediately."
Tony pouted, obviously not liking being left out of the loop.
McGee sent Chloe a wordless, worried look.
She smiled at him, letting him know everything was fine.
He smiled back and nodded, going back to whatever he'd been doing before.
As Chloe and her guest walked away, the not-hallucination leaned towards her. "Are you sleeping with them? Because they're very protective of you."
She shot him a glare. "No, I am not sleeping with them."
"Hmmm." He looked over his shoulder at the guys in question before returning his attention to her, following her as she reached the small hole that was her office. "This is… small."
Chloe sighed, closing the door behind him and going to sit behind the desk. "Sadly I'm being moved to a bigger office no matter how much I fight it." She motioned for him to sit, and when he did, she eyed him. "I just can't believe you're real."
He frowned, leaning forwards. "You really thought I was a hallucination, didn't you?"
She nodded, running her hand over her head. "So, in the lobby, you said the last time I… visited you… I left my clearance with you?"
He nodded, frowning. "Mind telling me how exactly you did that?"
"I teleported," she whispered, running her hand over her head. "There were never any mentions of this as a possible side-effect in the manual."
"Manual?" He frowned deeper. "What manual? What sort of experiments are the Navy conducting that could end up with teleportation as a possible side effect? That's entering some very serious fringe science."
Oh, it had nothing to do with science at all.
But why this guy?
Why was she teleporting towards him?
According to him she'd apparently teleported to him all over the world, which meant that for some reason she was like a heat-seeking missile when it came to him.
"What's your name?" She finally asked. "Considering we've apparently met more times than I can count, it seems somewhat silly that I still don't know your name."
He paused before clearing his throat. "Pedro King."
"Mr. King." Chloe clasped her hands in front of her and leaned forwards on her desk. "How long are you going to be in the United States?"
He narrowed his eyes. "Why?"
"Because I'm going to have to cordially ask you to extend that stay until this can be sorted out," she replied honestly, eyeing him with curiosity. "You see, I wasn't even privy to this side-effect. I thought I was hallucinating, and your appearance has changed things drastically."
"Look sweetheart, I have business deals that can't be left halfsies, okay?" He announced. "I just came here to get some answers. Like why you can teleport and why you're bugging me."
She didn't know why!
But she had a suspicion.
A knock sounded at her door.
Chloe sighed, turning towards it. "Come in."
Abby and Ziva entered, Abby blinking at Pedro and Ziva narrowing her eyes at him.
Obviously Tony had sent the girls to check out the situation and report back to him.
"I'm sorry Special Agent Sullivan, we didn't know you had company," Ziva declared.
The beautiful brunette went to Peter. "Special Agent David, who might you be?"
While Pedro stood and shook her hand, Chloe took the opportunity to pick up her clearance with a plastic glove and pass it to Abby, whispering. "Check for fingerprints and get me everything you can on him."
Abby nodded, picking up the clearance by the gloves and rushing away while Ziva continued to play distraction for Pedro.
"Is there a reason you came to see me, Special Agent David?" Chloe finally broke it up.
Ziva turned to her and smirked, facade dropping now that her back was to Pedro, the older woman obviously not getting the situation and mouthing 'he's cute!'. "The matter can wait." With that she left, closing the door behind her.
Chloe leaned against the door, hand to face.
The group thought that Pedro was one of her many 'candidates'.
"Why do I feel like the new boyfriend getting interrogated by the family and friends?" Pedro wanted to know with dark amusement.
"Because they think you're my date," she replied with a sigh, going back to sit behind the desk with a groan. "How embarrassing."
He chuckled as he shook his head. "You hiding a boyfriend from the family? If so, you should just tell them its me, they seem to like me."
She sent him a glare as her computer beeped. The blonde clicked on the email from Abby,and her eyes widened when she saw that the older woman had already found out a lot about her newcomer… like the fact that he name was not Pedro King. "Well, I don't know how they'd feel about you being my boyfriend, Mr Bishop, considering your record. Although the recorded IQ of 190 is impressive."
Peter Bishop went still, eyes narrowing.
"High school dropout, misfit, and nomad who hasn't kept a job longer than two months." Chloe went over the information. "You've been a wild land fireman, a floor sweeper at a meat packing plant in Tennessee, a cargo pilot, and… oh, this is impressive." Her smile was genuine as she read this part. "A college chemistry professor, a job you acquired by falsifying a degree from MIT. You even managed to have papers published before you were exposed as a fraud. You've been arrested seven times and owe a remarkable amount of money to some guy who legally changed his name to Big Eddie." She looked up at him, surprised. "You've had run-ins with NCIS before, when a friend of yours was killed and you were a suspect."
Peter looked away, frowning. "They found the real killer."
She eyed the man in front of her, wondering what it was about him that had triggered her apparent ability to teleport.
Was he a candidate?
Could he be the bonder she was looking for?
Was this the 'Mystery of the Bond' that she'd heard so much about?
Whatever the reason was, she was being told that this Peter Bishop was important, and she would be a fool to let him go.
"How about dinner, Mr. Bishop?" Chloe tilted her head slightly, eyeing him. "I'll answer any question you have and you can answer some of mine."
"Why bother when all you have to do is type a few keystrokes and get all the information you need?" He raised an eyebrow.
"A computer can't tell me what I need to know, Mr. Bishop." She stood. "You name the restaurant and I'll pay."
He eyed her, before standing as well, smirking. "What sort of gentleman would I be if I let you pay?"
She couldn't keep the smile off of her face.
"I'll pick you up at eight outside of your house," he declared, going towards the door. "Wear something dressy."
"You haven't asked me where I live." She called as he opened the door.
Peter turned to her and winked. "You're not the only one with friends who can dig up dirt on others." He slipped out of the door and headed back towards the elevators.
Chloe watched him go and smiled to herself.
So far, this Compatibility Test was going very well.