Interrogation Room o' Doom.
As Tony would say, "Two men enter, one man leaves. Not that she's a man of course, but I can't say two women enter, cos that would make you a woman, boss, and that would be wrong. Wrong! Shutting up now, boss."
Timothy McGee nodded to the tech at the recording desk, who started the procedure. Across the other side of the mirror, Gibbs was just entering the interview room with Buffy Summers. Tony and Ziva would both kill him when they got back if he didn’t have any footage of this for them.
A small frown appeared on his face as he watched Gibbs sit down across the table from Summers. Something was niggling at the back of his head from earlier that day. Something he’d missed at the time, something important. He shook his head, and put it to one side. Plenty of time for that later.
He stood back, and prepared to watch the master at work.
~ + ~
Gibbs sat back in his chair, and regarded Buffy Summers dispassionately for a few seconds. He didn’t say anything, just watched her.
“What?” Buffy said in a defensive tone, “Is there something on my face? Do I have soot all over it? Oh my god - do I have mom hair?!?”
Gibbs smiled, not buying it for a second. “There are a few scrapes and abrasions on your cheek,” he said mildly, “But the doctors seem to think you’ll heal right up fine.”
“Oh, good,” Buffy sighed in relief, “Cos, y’know, like, I would be totally upset if anything that happened to me in police custody was all scarring and such.”
Gibbs leant forward on the table. “Miss Summers?” he said conversationally, “Cut the crap.”
Buffy blinked. “Oh. I see,” she said, “That’s how we’re going to play this, are we?”
Gibbs patted the file in front of him. “Right now, at this very moment, I already have you cold on assaulting an officer of the law four times, trespass on Government property, and a further assault on one of those officers later in the day.”
He fixed Buffy with a cold stare. “And that’s even before the report on the fire at North Bishop Drive is complete. Or the analysis on the hacking attack on our servers is in.”
Buffy shrugged, and leaned back in her chair. “It doesn’t sound like you really need me around then. Any chance I can go then?”
“No!” Gibbs snapped, almost rising out of his chair before forcing himself to cool down. “What I want right now is for you to stop acting the fool. Back in the warehouse, you were cool and professional, so I know this is just a front. Do us both a favour, and drop the act.”
Buffy tilted her head, and regarded him just as carefully as he’d first watched her. “You do realise I could ask for a lawyer at any moment, don’t you?”
“And you do realise that I know you won’t,” Gibbs answered just as blandly.
Buffy inclined her head towards him. “Point to you, Grumps.”
“And stop calling me that!” Gibbs snapped.
Buffy smiled briefly. “Actually, in my line of work, that would be a compliment of kinds. Only the Big Bads get their own nicknames.”
Gibbs considered her carefully. “So, a term of respect in its own way?” he replied, testing her.
“I think the Japanese have a term which equates out to ’esteemed opponent’.”
Gibbs narrowed his eyes. “I don’t think I have quite the term to describe you yet.”
He surprised a bark of laughter out of Buffy. “Oh, there’s a word all right to describe us. I just don’t think you’re ready for it yet, Agent Gibbs.”
He decided to change tack, reacting to her coments, keeping the conversation flowing as much as possible. “You seem to know a lot about us, Miss Summers.”
She shrugged. “Your own personnel files were quite explicit in places. That whole probie thing of DiNozzo’s for instance.”
“And also how you got McGee’s address.”
“Yeah,” she said, as a trace of guilt flashed over her face. “Hey, can you say sorry to him for the whole raiding his fridge thing? We were kinda hungry at the time.”
“I... don’t think he’s actually realised about that yet.”
“Oh.” Buffy bit her lip in indecision. “Well, let’s not mention it then.”
Gibbs thought it probably for the best to not mention McGee’s current location watching the two of them. “So, you’ll apologise for eating his food, but not the assault or duct-taping him to the wall?”
Buffy winced again. “The whole food thing is crossing a line. The other stuff... shit happens, and you do what you have to do to get the whole thing done and dusted.”
“While the mission’s in play, all bets are off?”
“Yes! Get the job done first, then pick up the pieces.”
Gibbs studied her once more. She was alive now, leaning forward in her seat, one finger of her cuffed hands pointing directly at him. “You’ve done this before,” he said flatly. “You’ve been doing this for a while.”
She slumped back down in her chair again, suddenly deflated. “A long, long time Agent Gibbs,” she said wearily.
A different tack was called for now he judged. “You identified yourself as working for the IWC when we first met. What does that stand for?”
“Idiots, Wankers and Cowards,” she replied with a small smile playing across her lips. “At least, that’s what Spike always called them, but that was the old guys.” A confused look passed over her face for a moment. “At least, I think he meant the old guys.”
She frowned, and sat up straight again. “Oooh! He better have meant the old guys...! Or he’s going to be in so much trouble....”
“Previous management?” Gibbs said quietly.
“Oh you know,” Buffy said absently, flipping her hands towards him, “Change of the top guys, chaos running around, old guard gone, got to step up, blah blah.” She smirked at him. “Let’s just say one day you have lots of headhunters hanging around, and then boom! No more senior management. A lot of the girls get field promotions, and some of us get stuck in the big seats.”
She suddenly stopped, thought for a moment, and pointed her finger at Gibbs. “Oooo.... you are good, Grumps. I had no intention of talking about anything like that.”
There was a knock at the door, and McGee stuck his head around it. “Boss?” he said in tones of utter trepidation. “You need to see this.”
Gibbs grimaced. From Summers’ body language now (leaning back, arms folded, face set), he knew he wasn’t going to get any more out of her for the present. He nodded towards her. “If you’ll excuse me,” he said, standing up.
“Go,” was all she said in response, jerking her head towards the door.
Stepping outside, Gibbs closed the door firmly, and then rounded on McGee. “This had better be worth it, McGee,” he scowled. “I had just got her to open up a few cracks when you interrupted.”
A voice spoke from behind him. A very familiar sounding voice... “Like, is there gonna be some sort of reason why I’ve been dragged down here when I’m supposed to be looking at Jimmy Choo’s right now?”
Gibbs stiffened, and turned around slowly. The short blonde woman now glaring at him, and tapping her foot did not look amused at all.
“Special Agent Elizabeth Summers, I presume?”
~ + ~