- Character Bashing
- Discussion - Murder
- Violence - Canon-Level
- Alternate Universe
Chapter 5: Lost in the Performance – Part Two
Gibbs entered Jenny’s office feigning confusion. He hadn’t expected McGee running to hide behind Jenny’s skirts like it would make a damn difference. “Why am I here? I have to get the team running and I need to find an appropriate SFA for when McGee bails on it.”
She stiffened at that assumption. “You assume he will fail?”
Gibbs snorted. “No, but his arrogance will be his undoing and I should imagine the lengthy court case that is about to be brought against him will consume his time… So he won’t be able to concentrate on his SFA duties and Jenny, I am not DiNozzo. I will not willingly do my job as well as the SFA’s to hide ineptitude.”
She flushed. “What have you heard?” The last bit she didn’t work hard enough to hide her suspicious nature.
Gibbs rolled his eyes. “A lot of agents here like DiNozzo and they don’t like how he was hamstrung dealing with David and McGee.”
Jenny tried to justify it and typically tried to put the blame on his shoulders. “Now see here, Jethro. Your disappearance left behind a lot of sad and grieving people.”
Gibbs nodded because he had heard it all from Tony himself. “You’re right but what I have yet to hear is a reason for DiNozzo to turn into a verbal punchbag so people could feel better. He is a damn good Agent and you better hope that the FBI don’t tempt him away.”
“It wasn’t that bad.” Jenny tried to placate him.
Gibbs snorted because if this was her definition of not bad then he would hate to see a disaster but he needed to make it clear, the MCRT was his. “Jenny, he was on medical leave and when I come back I find out DiNozzo has done twice as many hours as the Junior Agents combined. One is borderline insubordinate and the other isn’t anywhere to be seen. What am I supposed to think?”
“You can’t like it if your golden boy didn’t work out like you thought.” She finished tartly.
Gibbs would have said he was enjoying this little tete-a-tete but Jenny was too far off her game. “You know people always buy into the Frat Boy persona and forget that he is a damn good agent. I should know, I trained him. He kept exceptional notes and meticulous records so he could be in peak form if quizzed in courts. He recorded every citation and verbal warning he gave. It is not his fault if he wasn’t supported. Of course, I can’t believe that you wouldn’t back your new MCRT leader so it must have been an error.”
He got a sweet simpering smile that made him want to throw up. “Of course that is what must have happened, HR must have failed to process it.”
Jesus, that was his first piece of evidence collected. He had the tape record her stating DiNozzo’s requests were a clerical error when the meticulous notes were Tony printing a hard copy of his emails where she herself expressly denied her permission in adding the citations. Gibbs was going to have to move his meeting up with Ducky because he felt that he would be talking to Davenport himself about his concerns. He had DiNozzo’s meticulous records, they’d been given to him by Fornell on the day he returned to NCIS.
“Is there anything else? Or, can I go back to solving cases for you?” He asked with no small amount of sarcasm.
Jenny glared at him for a second. “One last thing, the book, you have a problem with it. I cleared him on the publishing of it. It would look bad if people made waves.”
Gibbs was not the type to laugh in people’s faces but he really wanted to. “You may have cleared it but JAG appears to have a copy and they have concerns. And you can’t stop individual people from suing for character assassination.”
Jenny sighed. “And who feels that way exactly?”
Jethro snorted. “Oh, Jenny, McGee is a big boy. He can wait for the suit to be filed against him. If he wants to write it, he can face the consequences.”
He was done listening to this bullshit and walked out in search of his errant officer. He was on a roll so he may as well deal with all of it in one go.
Tony looked around the mansion and it spoke of wealth and music. Although, two other things he noticed, it didn’t have a reflective surface and very little of his actual personality was on display. “Nice place.”
Davies shrugged. “It is a place where I can escape. Now, how can I help the FBI and LAPD today?”
Hotchner started it off. “We would like your cooperation in a line of inquiry. It would greatly help us with the recent string of murders.”
“Anything,” Davies said and yet he was looking at Tony, not Hotchner.
Hotchner gave Tony the nod as this was going to take too long. Tony slid along the armchair so he was closer but not inappropriately close. “So you have a new album out correct.”
“That is right, my manager keeps haranguing me to perform and go to the parties. I know they are a necessary part of the job but some of the fans believe I am an actual vampire. It can be a little intense you know?”
Tony sighed and aimed for sympathetic. “I can only imagine. Has there been a fan who seemed way more intense than any of the normal fans?”
Dante looked frustrated and Aaron guessed he didn’t know the answer. Sure enough, the singer shook his head. “You would have to ask my manager, Ray Campion.”
Hotchner had a stray thought that managers would get pretty obsessive over a new album. Although, he doubted they would set off a string of murders. “Where would we be able to find him? It is important, your music is the only connection we have between the victims.”
Davies shrugged as he had no clue where he’d skittered off to. “You know what? I have no clue, but Agent DiNozzo, I have a party later tonight and your name is going to be part of the guest list so you are welcome to ask him questions yourself. I hope you’ll make some time to talk about less depressing things with me.”
Tony wanted to roll his eyes at the segue but with three murders he would take the in. He sighed because he was supposed to be playing bodyguard not dressing up. Oh well, he would make sure Rossi stuck close to Hotchner and he would circle the floor. “I will dress the part. Thank you for your time and I will do my best but just like the album comes first for you, these victims do for me.”
Their meeting seemed to end there and the two agents and police lieutenant left quickly. Tony waited until he got to the car and they were away from the road to shudder. “Oh damn, was that guy for real?”
Hotch smirked at him, happier for Tony’s reaction so teased just a little. “Well, he is a rock star. People like that in a guy.”
Tony shook his head. “Not this guy. There is no excuse for crap pick up lines. I have taste in my men, thank you!”Aaron had to ask DiNozzo. “So how are you going to dress up?”
Aaron had to ask DiNozzo. “So how are you going to dress up?”
Tony sighed as it seemed he would end up undercover or at least blending in with his surroundings wherever he went. “I will play money and as a result, Lieutenant Kim, I need to stop off at a tailor who is used to rush orders as I am too damn old to play goth dress up.”
Kim wondered at that. “We have our own undercover unit with plenty of clothes.”
DiNozzo shook his head. “Thank you for the offer but if I am to be believed it needs to be genuine. Don’t worry, I needed to buy a new suit may as well be for a good cause. Financial backers in the record industry have big money as the labels need the cash flow. I will be given any and all information. It will let me have access and maybe even spot our killer but … if I come in anything less than Armani I will be assumed as faking it.”
Kim shrugged as for all his experiences, undercover wasn’t one of them. “Okay then, let me get on the radio and find out.”
They pulled up to the tailor who was a delighted elderly Italian gentleman. DiNozzo and the tailor made quick and fast friends and soon switched to Italian. Aaron had to wonder what they were saying and knew if he asked Rossi, the man was more likely to join them then explain.
Kim stood with him. “So what did you make of Dante?”
Hotch shrugged. “A celebrity, who is finding that life isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. He is not the killer but they may be close to him.”
“The manager?” Kim questioned. “What can your amazing analyst find out?”
Hotch doubted there was anything electronic that could hide from Garcia. “Let’s find out. Hey, Garcia?”
“Yes, my liege?”
Hotch smiled at the friendly greeting, he was glad that their dark work had not affected her bright personality. “What can you find out about a Ray Campion, he is Davies manager. We just want a feel for the guy but apparently he’s been MIA recently.”
“I will find out everything there is and let you know.” Garcia promised. “Anything suspicious I will you know right away.”
Kim shook his head in amazement, he would give his first born for a tech analyst with half of her talent. “So what now?”
“We wait for DiNozzo to get his suit sorted and then we head back to the station and give our profile.” Aaron answered wondering about how they could work the party without being obvious.
Kim was surprised by his answer. “That is quick.”
Hotch shook his head. “No, this unsub is quick and I think he will strike again at the party.” As he turned around he had to blink and he tried to shake the image from his mind. DiNozzo was not shy and there was a lot of sleek, toned muscle on show with only black boxers for modesty. A part of Aaron wanted to ask him to turn around but there was no need, the mirrors around the room gave him a perfect three-sixty view of the man, instead he said. “We need to head back to the station soon.”
Tony nodded with a smile. He said something in Italian and the old man tutted giving Aaron a dirty look. Tony chuckled. “You are ruining his free advertising he says. You are a mean man.”
Aaron wanted to say so many things at this point but had to remember he was an FBI agent. “Yes, I am. Now when will you need to return to collect the suit?”
“My suit will be ready for collection in four hours, just in time to get ready for the party.” DiNozzo added with a grin as he got dressed once more. Hotch didn’t know what was worse, seeing him undressed or watching as DiNozzo put his clothes back on with infinite care and he watched his ass disappear once more.
The trouble was it was like shutting a stable door after every horse has bolted. He couldn’t unsee those images and he knew his fantasies now had ample source material to make them even better and more accurate.
Hotch took a deep breath and was glad Rossi wasn’t there, or his old friend would be giving him so much grief right now.
*When Hotch and the others returned to the station, Reid was giving his profile of the unsub and it was one of the more unusual profiles they had to give. Tony read the bullets points and had to agree with Reid’s comment that the traits, whilst disturbing, would ultimately make them easier to catch – someone would have noticed this unsub.
- Serial obsessive
- Auto-Vampirism – shame and wears longs sleeves to hide cutting marks
- Long History of Animal Abuse
- Lives/Cares for older woman
- Poorly kept older home
Hotch was a good leader, he didn’t need to steal the thunder of his agents, Tony noted. Yet, once the question and answer part of the profile was over he stepped forward to add the new information. “We know the unsub is obsessed with the singer known as Dante. The message on the victims’ arms is the title of his new album. There is an exclusive party tonight and whilst Agent DiNozzo has an invite, several of you will be blending into the staff. Those selected you will be briefed in an hour.”
One of the LA officers asked. “Could it be the singer, Dante?”
Tony and Aaron shook their heads but it was the LA Lieutenant answered the question. “There was no older woman and the mansion was a sparkling modern building so he doesn’t fit the profile. Now if narcotics went down there … it might be a different conversation.”
That got a few chuckles, no strangers to the fast and loose way the celebrities lived their lives.
The teams broke up into their own groups and the BAU went back to their room within the precinct with the case files surrounding them. Prentiss was grinning as she asked. “So how exactly did you secure an invite to the party?”
Tony shrugged it off like it wasn’t a big deal. “Hey, the singer offered, stating he hopes we get to talk about less depressing things.”
Prentiss smirked. “Poor you, to be a rock star’s newest interest.”
Tony rubbed the back of his neck. “Yeah, but the trail of bodies are putting me off. I want to try and ID the next victim before they end up dead, not become the next victim.”
Hotch added in a wry tone. “Well, none of the other victims were wearing thousand dollar suits, or have Italian tailors fawning over them to wear their clothes. So you will probably not be approached.”
Tony shrugged and with a grin added. “Whatever you say Mr. Mean Man. I think my gun will settle a lot of the issues myself and if that fails I will have my marine knife as well.”
Rossi had to chuckle. “Why a marine knife?”
Tony smirked. “Gibbs, my mentor, he has all these rules for life and work. Rule 9 – always carry a knife. I follow that rule to the extreme, it has got me out of more than one tight situation.”
Morgan chuckled at the sass of the new agent. “So are you’re going to be a producer?”
Tony shook his head. “A money backer, the industry always flocks to them and it is not like I can’t play the part. If Davies wants to talk to me so much, I will use it to my advantage. If the unsub is as obsessive as we believe … he will be there so watch my back?”
Rossi could tell his friend wasn’t as unaffected by their visit as he liked. Oh well, he would use their time surveilling to find out what was going on with his friend. They were going to get to see how the other half in LA lived this evening – he just hoped no one had a killer end to their night.
Chapter 6: Lost in the Performance – Part 3
Tony was dressed and ready to play the part for the party at the hotel. Prentiss wolf whistled, and her and JJ had a gleam in their eye. “Too bad that Garcia has to miss this.”
Tony could say something but he knew it was gentle teasing so showing he had a sense of humour. He gave the women a mock twirl while Emily took a few photos on her phone to send to Garcia. “So do I look the part?”
JJ rolled her eyes. “Well, you have looked in a mirror?”
Tony wasn’t naive and he did know what he looked like. “Yes, I have. So now I just have to flirt with a rock star and hopefully find an obsessive blood-drinking serial killer. Who said undercover isn’t glamorous?”
Morgan clapped him on the back. “Welcome to the team.”
Tony rolled his eyes and noticed Hotchner and Rossi talking off to the side. Tony was well aware that the whole team was not aware of the threat of the Reaper resurfacing. He hoped that Aaron would soon share it with the team, or at the very least Rossi.
Hotch took one look at him and said. “I’ll be with Rossi.”
Tony smirked. “Is the idea of being at the party that bad?”
Aaron knowing it was only Rossi with him. “I wouldn’t want to be competition for Dante now.”
Tony was delighted and noticed Rossi’s momentary eyebrow twitch. He grinned bright and true. “He is not even in the same league as you. I will feel better knowing you and Rossi have my back.”
As Tony walked away, he heard Rossi say. “Can I be there when Haley meets him?”
Tony knew who Rossi was referring to as he’d been the one to organise a stronger witsec move for her and Jack. Well, now that sounded promising and like he had a chance. He kind of hoped that Foyet wasn’t the patient type.
Gibbs was having less fun in Washington that was for certain. He’d gone straight from Jenny’s office to Abby’s Lab. And Tony hadn’t been exaggerating – there was an honest to god shrine. He couldn’t unsee that crap and he couldn’t work on his boat for at least five hours.
“Abs, what in the sam hell is that?” Gibbs demanded, he was proud he kept his true horror out of his voice.
Abby turned around and squealed before racing at him and hugging him. He was stiff, not wanting to encourage this behaviour any longer. She was a grown ass adult. “I missed you.”
“There is a thing called a phone, Abs.” Gibbs reminded the lab technician.
She was shocked by his cold tone that much he could tell. “It was not like that. Everything changed. Tony tried to order us all around, thinking he was you. It was horrible.”
Gibbs took a step back so he had his personal space back. “Yes, I heard. You treated the Leader of the MCRT as nothing more than a toddler.”
Abs took a step back a frown on her face. “It wasn’t like that, Gibbs.”
“No? So placing a sticker saying trainee was what exactly?” Gibbs countered.
“Oh come on, like Tony hasn’t played jokes.” Abby responded and now she was defensive. She didn’t like being held to account that was for damn sure. Gibbs sighed at Abby. “You forget yourself Ab’s, and there is a big difference between your jokes and DiNozzo’s.”
“What?” And she couldn’t have sounded more like a two-year-old if she tried. She was a little old to be pulling that act though, it just looked sad.
Gibbs sighed and was sad that he had to point this out. “His jokes never impact on a case or justice for a victim.”
Abby stood stock still and the horror and what he’d said sunk in. Gibbs had no doubt that she’d work it around to being Tony’s fault somehow. “Now Gibbs, I would never want that.”
Gibbs was done for now, although he knew this wouldn’t be the last conversation he would be having of this variety. “You ever withhold results from any agent again and I will suspend you myself. Is that clear?”
There were tears in her eyes but Gibbs wasn’t in the mood to hug it out. He was nipping this problem before it got a case thrown out of court. “Good.”
As he walked out, he text Fornell. Beer at mine
He got an instant reply. Mine as I have Em.
“Gibbs, where did Tony go? And why can’t we see him?” Abby called out, thinking about the second half of her questions.
Gibbs whirled around. “He is on secondment to the FBI and is not to be contacted until he makes it. Abby, all of our actions led to him nearly collapsing in exhaustion.”
“What?” She said, hand in front of her mouth. That couldn’t be right. “Timmy said he was taking it easy.”
Gibbs snorted in derision. “Is that so? So tell me, how did McGee or Ziva for that matter contribute to the solve rate this last month. Check the logs, DiNozzo on his own did more hours than Ziva and McGee combined.”
“That can’t be right.”
Gibbs just stared her down. “Check, Abs, and if DiNozzo comes back you can apologise in person.”
She ignored him in favour of checking the computer logs. Gibbs took a second to phone Tony, hoping he would pick up. As much as it pained him, Tony didn’t work for him and didn’t have to obey his rules any longer.
“Hey, Gibbs.” Tony answered and already sounded less weary. “So how was your first day back in charge?”
“Why the hell didn’t anyone tear that monstrosity down?” Gibbs asked, shuddering at just thinking about the shrine.
Tony snickered down the phone. “You are the only one she listens to.”
Gibbs would have to work on that, he would tear her a new one if victims didn’t get justice because she tried to play favourites again. “Oh, did you like your video?”
“Loved it, and god help me, I now have to go and flirt with a rockstar to stop a wannabe vampire killer.”
Gibbs chuckled as he was in a stairwell and he could relax a fraction. “Sucks to be you. Watch your back, or neck in this case. Oh, and I’ll make sure your tech analyst gets a video of McGee’s reaction when he gets served.”
Tony wondered if Gibbs had consciously included Tony as an FBI agent. He wasn’t yet but he couldn’t deny the allure of working full time as a profiler.
Davies was yet to arrive at his own party but Tony knew he would hate this. This was not the party someone who hated their role would organise on the grounds it was the persona. Morgan was standing close to him to play into people’s assumptions. As if to highlight why Tony needed to go and buy a new suit, the first person complimented the tailored suit, took one look at Morgan’s and asked Tony why he kept personal security.
Tony fluttered his lashes and confessed. “Daddy insisted after the last boyfriend tried to kidnap me.”
Morgan rolled his eyes but hey if he was security – he put his shades back on. It would allow him to watch the guests unimpeded and stand close to Tony. “So, you like anyone for it?”
Tony snorted. “Not for murder, although if we’re talking about sleaze and bad taste, well, I wouldn’t have enough cuffs.”
“I hear ya man.” Morgan replied watching the way guests just ignored the serving staff like they were invisible. “Well, no one is standing out as obsessive murderer type.”
Tony knew better than to assume anyone could look like a murderer. “No, but we still have yet to meet the elusive manager, haven’t we?”
Derek adored the fact that everyone was so self-absorbed that they could actually have this type of conversation. Their conversation broke up, “You’re up, Dante has arrived.”
If you are going to arrive at a swanky party, then you should definitely do it by helicopter. Tony barely managed to avoid rolling his eyes but it was a near thing. Sure enough, Davies, in full on Dante costume slipped out of the helicopter, with a little guy to the side.
“Why are you not with the adoring fans?” Morgan asked him.
Tony snorted. “To reel a guy like that in, you need to offer something different. If he just wanted a groupie, he would take up with anyone of those who just threw themselves at him.
Derek let DiNozzo do his thing. People came up to him, asked a few questions. DiNozzo answered all of them with enough conviction that even Derek believed him and he knew the guy was an agent. DiNozzo was weaving his way up to the rooftop and the little guy who’d arrived with Dante earlier tried to block him. DiNozzo smirked and deliberately used his first name rather than his stage name. “Hey Paul, should I go? You were the one to invite me today?”Morgan was watching at the
Morgan was watching at the bottom of the stairs. There was something not right with the manager but he couldn’t say what. The singer turned at DiNozzo’s far bolder challenge. “Yes, you should come up here.”
Tony didn’t say ‘I told you so’ as he was an adult but damn, he wanted to. The manager scowled but Tony leaned in close to him appealing to the one thing he was sure to be motivating – money.
“Are you sure you want to take me on? I could fund his next tour.” Tony added with a smirk on his face.
And wow, talk about an attitude adjustment. The man from went to barely repressed scowl to unholy gleam in his eye. It was impressive as it was weird if he was being honest. Campion actually bowed to him. “You should go and get acquainted and for god sake don’t let any press near him … he is maudlin.”
Tony watched the manager almost slide down the stairs. He looked at Morgan and just got a nod so Tony knew the agent had eyes on Campion. It was a good way to cover both bases.
Dante kissed his hand and Tony got a smirk and an explanation of. “It’s what the fans expect.”
Tony was about to dismiss it and then saw several women look up at their balcony and sigh. “You are something else.”
“In a good way?” The singer asked, and there was something in that tone that Tony understood.
Tony sighed and leaned over the rail so he could keep an eye on what was going on below. “You know, you can pretend you want me but what you want is to change your life. If you don’t like the role you were pressed into … change it.”
“I want to but Ray would freak,” Davies explained.
Tony chuckled. “Now you are just giving yourself excuses, and there will be millions of them. They need me, he needs me, the money, the people, the fans. I’m still figuring it out myself but you know what… if you want something, be selfish. We get to be happy too if we can be brave enough to take what we want.”
Davies looked at him and Tony was suddenly being kissed. The kiss broke and Davies looked sad. “Damn, you have so much passion and conviction, too bad it wasn’t in the kiss.”
Tony smiled ruefully but he knew that would be the case. “I have someone in mind. He just doesn’t know it.”
Davies smirked at him. “Remember, you have to be brave enough to take it.”
Tony gave him a playful shove. “Smartarse.”
Davies was frowning. “What is Ray doing?”
Tony had already clocked the manager’s approach to one of the serving staff. “Does he often prey on the help for a good time?”
“No.” The singer didn’t know much but he knew that much about Ray.
Tony wanted to sigh. “Do you know if anyone in his family is sick?”
Dante nodded because Ray worked so hard to pay his sister’s medical bills. “Yes, his sister has schizophrenia, lovely girl, really big fan.”
Tony knew they had their unsub. He spoke knowing that the radio would catch it. ”Did you get all that Morgan?”
It was a good job that the radios could be only heard by the person as it was in their ear. “Yeah, now give lover boy a goodbye kiss and help me track our suspect.”
Tony rolled his eyes but he did kiss Dante’s cheek as he pressed a small piece of paper into his hand. “I gotta go and do my job. Here is my normal cell and if you want to message me you can.
“What? What is going on?” He sounded so lost that Tony felt sorry for the singer who many would assume had it all.
Tony shook his head. “I can’t say.”
Morgan and Tony were racing to their car – The chase was on to stop the fourth murder.
Chapter 7: Lost in Performance – Part 4
Morgan was on the phone to Garcia as Tony drove keeping up with the car they were following. He had more experience being unobtrusive and right now the woman was safe until they reached their destination. Neither Tony nor Morgan wanted to be the ones that escalated the situation and put the woman in harm’s way.
“Baby girl, what do you have for us?”
Garcia sighed. “Well, Ray Campion has a little sister, Geena. Geena has been in and out of psychiatric hospitals and lives in a home with her grandma.”
Tony knew the next part but he asked anyway. “Would that be a run down older home?”
“It would be, my Italian Stallion.”
Hotchner’s voice called over the phone. “We’re ten minutes from you.”
Morgan and Tony shared a look because they had a feeling that it would be over before then. “We’ll be here but Hotch we may have to intervene.”
“Do it if necessary. Use your own judgement.”
The green car pulled up and the girl still seemed at ease as they pulled up their own SUV half a block away. The guy was talking a mile a minute in order to distract her. Tony and Derek were relieved to have managed to reach the driveway without him looking back toward them. So he wasn’t as clever as he believed or, he was too arrogant and believed he wouldn’t be suspected. The girl’s natural instincts were starting to kick in. Tony could see the way she was stiffening and wanted to get away. Too bad she didn’t pay attention to those natural instincts back at the party – she was lucky that Derek and Tony were there.
Derek used hand signals and Tony nodded, unclipping his own service weapon. This would be dicey, it was two against two and one of them was so crazy as to be unpredictable. The door opened and a young woman looking like an unkempt Dracula’s bride answered. “What? You said you’d bring Dante?”
Things were becoming clearer and Tony was starting to really hate Campion. He was a true piece of work if what he suspected was true.
Campion pulled the girl into his arms. “Look you have a fresh supply.”
She rolled her eyes. “I don’t need anymore … I need Dante, and you promised!”
The girl who was stuck in the middle tried to pull away. “Look, I don’t need to be here.”
Campion’s arms gripped tighter and too many stressors were on display for Morgan and Tony to wait any longer. Morgan announced, “She’s right you know.”
Predictably, Campion turned with the woman still gripped in his arms like a shield. The sharp burrow tool now in his hand hovering over the woman’s neck.
Morgan was calm. “You don’t want to do that.”
Campion didn’t have support from the sister, she’d slammed the door shut at seeing Morgan and his gun. Still, the guy felt like he was in control. “Oh yeah, you can’t get me.”
Morgan shrugged. “Maybe not… but he can.”
Tony had doubled around the outside of the house to approach him from the other side knowing he could take advantage of the blind side if he did. He figured that Morgan’s little speech was his cue to step up and pressed his gun into the guy’s spine. He said it low and calm which from experience made it all the more menacing. “You know if I shoot you here, you’ll be paralyzed but still alive.”
Campion’s mind raced and Morgan could see it. He stood stock still and was clearly evaluating all the angles of his situation. Tony took advantage of the situation of the man not able to focus on two people and used the butt of his gun to clock him on the head. Hard enough to make Campion fall to the ground but not hard enough to knock him out. Tony was slamming the cuffs on and Morgan read him his rights as a second SUV pulled up and the rest of the BAU got out. Teamwork right there.
The woman was pulled to the side by JJ who consoled her. Hotch was demanding. “Report.”
Morgan answered. “Campion is manipulating the sister into committing the crimes. She is obviously suffering a full-blown schizophrenic episode and needs serious care.”
It was all over very quickly with four very highly trained agents but it didn’t make seeing the fridge full of blood bags and severed limbs any easier to handle.
Ziva strolled in annoyed. “Why have I been called in?”
McGee looked up relieved to see her and with a worried look in her eyes. “We’re not on cold cases and you better have a good reason. Gibbs is back as leader.”
She must have misheard. “No, Tony’s silly leave is over. That is why I arranged my hair appointment.”
McGee shook his head. “No, Tony is on secondment and Gibbs is back.”
“WHY WEREN’T WE TOLD!” Ziva hissed so loudly that she may as well have just decided to have shouted after all.
McGee looked helpless. “I have my own problems, Ziva. You need to figure it out.”
“We are a team, why didn’t you tell me?” She was furious. She was thinking of all the ways to angle this to Tony’s blame. “What do you mean on secondment?”
McGee shrugged because he wasn’t kidding when he said he had his own problems. “I’m being sued by Tony over my book and Gibbs wants to read it too. I’m screwed.”
She snorted. “Get the publishing house to fix it.”
McGee shook his head. “I wasn’t too worried until I saw who opposing counsel was…Michelle Adelson”
Ziva shrugged not knowing why that was such a big deal. “So.”
McGee chuckled weakly. “She is one of the most feared litigators in Washington, I asked around. Each time I heard laughter when I asked who would go up against her.”
Ziva sniffed. “Tony would not be able to afford her services if that was the case.”
McGee sighed if only that was the case. “Ziva, apparently she hates us and is doing this pro-bono.”
She frowned not knowing how to respond to that. “I don’t know the woman.”
McGee sighed. “No, she knows Tony and that is the problem. He has obviously poisoned her against us.”
Gibbs was actually listening to all of this just around the corner. “How can anyone be that willfully blind?”
Balboa snorted. “David has always got everything she wanted by being Daddy’s little girl. McGee, well, he is a snob who believes where he earned the degree is more important than anything else.”
Gibbs sighed thinking of all the things he needed to do – at this rate he would be sending them back to FLETC for refresher courses. “I’m going to end up with three TAD agents at this rate.”
Balboa patted his back. “Too bad I don’t have any popcorn in the breakroom.”
“You’re enjoying this way too much,” Gibbs observed.
Balboa’s smile was positively smug. “Oh yeah, the clueless duo need to be taken down a peg or two. Only, the director wouldn’t let any of us do it.”
Gibbs shook his head but decided to announce his presence. He couldn’t stand listening to this drivel any longer if he was honest with himself. “Where you been, Ziva?”
“I was delayed.” She said primly and it was hilarious to Gibbs that she thought that would be an acceptable reason.
“Oh, well, let’s see that explains nothing at all, Ziva. Where were you?” Gibbs asked with an even tone.
“I had car trouble.” She said without thinking, she’d remembered Tony using that excuse more than once. It would have to do as she couldn’t think of another reason.
Gibbs snorted. “Was the car trouble before or after your hair appointment. I want to make sure I have an accurate accounting for the citation going in your file. Oh, and you will report to work two hours early to catch up on all the work you chose not to do in the last month.”
“WHAT! That’s not fair!”
Gibbs chuckled. “I thought I was the one who had a knock to the head. I am well aware of the fact that you both played games that are beneath agents of the MCRT and if I had my way you’d already be back at FLETC doing refresher courses. As it is, I will have more fun in kicking your asses back into shape. This month you will clock in and leave later to make up for the time you missed.”
“Now see here, it is not our fault that Tony let us leave early, is it?” Ziva had the gall to try and tell him.
He was pissed Tony had to be at the FBI to keep him safe from Jenny’s machinations. “No, he didn’t let you. He kept meticulous daily notes of all your stunts. You forget I know the Mossad playbook so you want to follow it then go back to daddy dearest … Is that clear?”
She was mulish and furious, Gibbs could see the glint of fury in her eyes. “And where is Tony now?”
“Not that it’s any of your business but he’s on secondment, so you will both have to suck it up and be big boys and girls and get your reports right all on your own. Oh, and he is incommunicado, you try and contact him and endanger his life you can forget FLETC as I’ll see you fired.”
Rossi had been there and got the t-shirt but this guy sitting in front of him took the cake. He had no problem with seeing people dead. The victims served his purpose and even now, he was bragging. “I didn’t murder any of them.”
Hotchner leaned forward. “So that is your argument, your sister did it.”
“Well, she did. It is not my fault.” Campion sneered. “Even the two agents who arrested me can tell you that!”
Rossi asked the follow-up, the constant changing was done to disorient the suspect. Tony knew the tactic well, he and Gibbs had done it enough. “Do you know that the law punishes those who facilitate the event just as much as the perpetrator itself especially if they can’t be held accountable like your sister.”
“So, Paul’s album will sell like hotcakes and I will ask him to find me a lawyer.”
Tony really hated that type of greed and he hoped that Dante was smart enough to break free of his manager. The guy was bringing toxic to new levels, he was worse than Ziva for christ sake. So that was quite the judgement he was making.
“So was Dante a good kiss?” JJ asked with a smirk even as they kept their attention on the interrogation.
Tony had a wistful sigh. “You know how it is, Agent is undercover and there is just no spark… So I left him with the offer of friendship.”
Prentiss chuckled. “Hang on, if you weren’t interested that is because you have someone in mind.”
Tony had a boyish grin. “That wasn’t actually a question.”
Tony was glad that the case wrapped up relatively quickly as thanks to Campion’s arrogance he’d confessed to everything to be prosecuted for kidnapping and murder. He was the murderer for all intents and purposes – just used his poorly sister as the tool by which to commit the murder.
Dante had come down to the station looking lost. He knew that there may be a few comments from the BAU. “Hey, what can I do?”
Tony wished he could give the singer some more concrete answers. “Ray is going away and there is no remorse there. A jury will not connect with him and he doesn’t see it.”
“I’d like to help Jenna too.”
Tony clapped him on the back. “You know, you could donate, or pay the bill.”
“Yeah, I will do that,” Davies said, and he still sounded like he was far away. “Thanks for the advice, I think I will work on it. You should too, you know.”
Tony could see the bags were packed so the team was ready to go. “I will get there… Sometimes the best things are ones you have to wait for.”
Davies smirked looking at the team leader, he could tell that was who Tony wanted. The longing looks when they thought no one was looking were sweet and bordering on adorable. He could tell that when they stopped repressing their feelings – it would be spectacular. “Make him do some of the chasing.”
Tony smirked. “Oh, I will. Don’t be a stranger.”
Tony wondered what the next case would bring …