FBI Special Agent Elizabeth Summers was, like Gibbs, not happy. “What do you mean I can’t just go in there and ask Miss Peroxide roots what’s going the heck on?”
“Because you’re a card we can only play once!” Gibbs yelled back. “And I want more answers before we even think about doing that.”
From his position to the side of them, FBI Agent Tobias Fornell coughed loudly. “Man does have a point there, Summers,” he said, scratching his beard thoughtfully. “Don’t you want to be fully prepared before you do go in there?”
He fixed Gibbs with a stare. “And she will go in there, won’t she Jethro?”
Elizabeth Summers glared at Gibbs, who glared right back. “At some point, yes. But at a time of my choosing,” he declared firmly.
“Well then, fine,” fumed Elizabeth, and stamped one foot on the floor. “I’d like, better get to have a look-see at that... that mini-me.”
“Actually,” Timothy McGee said, covering up one end of the phone he was listening on, “According to your FBI files, you weigh less than her.”
Elizabeth Summers stopped mid-rant, and smiled. “Oh, I like him,” she said happily, as McGee turned his attention back to his conversation. Gibbs was reminded that McGee had a younger sister, and from the look on Fornell’s face he wasn’t the only one with that information.
“Gotcha,” McGee said, and hung up. “Tony and Ziva are on their way back now, boss. No signs of any bodies at all in the remains, just a lot of dust and ashes.”
Gibbs grunted as he took his cellphone back from McGee and stored it in his jacket. “The fingerprints are bugging me,” he said, staring directly at Elizabeth. “I’ve seen weird stuff before where people have turned out to be complete doubles for each other, but never the fingerprints.”
Elizabeth Summers tilted her head in thought, and Gibbs was struck by the way it was near identical to that pose he’d seen Buffy Summers do only minutes ago. “Wanna check my fingerprints, make sure there’s been no screw-ups in the files, etc?”
Gibbs nodded. “Eliminate the obvious stuff first, even though this whole case has been a bundle of weird.”
She glanced at Fornell, who nodded. “I think you’ll like Abby. She’s an acquired taste, but then so are you, Summers.”
Summers rolled her eyes expressively, but patted Fornell on his arm reassuringly. “Like, fine dude. Let’s go get some ink on my poor little fingers and probably totally damage my nails so Grumps over here can get his happies on.”
“And don’t call me Grumps!” growled Gibbs before he could help it.
“She calls him Grumps,” McGee added helpfully as Summers looked startled. “He doesn’t like it.”
“One other thing, Summers,” Gibbs growled, and stood in front of her again. “Drop the airhead act. It doesn’t work around here, not for her, not for you. I know she’s smart and tough, and I’m paying you the compliment of assuming it’s the same.”
Elizabeth Summers glared back at Gibbs, but nodded reluctantly. “Thank you. I think.” She paused, and bit her lip. “I’ll try, but a lot of it’s automatic now for my cover. Can’t guarantee it won’t pop up at some point.”
“Try,” Gibbs said unsympathically. “Fornell, hell even Vance, said you were good at your job, so prove it.”
Summers nodded. “Okay. So, which way to the fingerprints then?”
McGee coughed apologetically. “Actually, boss, I’ve been thinking. There’s something else we might want to try...”
~ + ~
Faith Lehane sat in her interview room, leaning back on her chair, feet propped up on the table, and whistled. Loudly, and out of tune.
Watching her through the mirror, McGee winced. “You want me to do it, boss?” he asked with a distinct reluctant tone in his voice.
Gibbs snorted. “She’d make mincemeat out of you in under a minute, McGee. And that’s even before she starts mentioning the duct-tape.”
McGee winced, while Fornell raised his eyebrows and started reading the file before him even more closely than before. “Oh my,” he murmured as he found McGee’s report, “You have been having fun, Jethro...”
Gibbs scowled, and made a gesture to the recording tech to begin. He left the room, and could be seen a moment later entering the interview room.
“All told, I gotta give you an eight out of ten for this place,” Faith said lazily, as Gibbs sat down at the table. “Clean, well lit, probably recorded so ain’t no-one gonna just come in and start whaling on me. Bonus point for the lack of smell from anyone taking a whizz in the corner.”
Gibbs raised an eyebrow. “And you’re an expert on these types of room then?”
“Nah. Wouldn’t say an expert, but they all tend to blur into one after the first fifty or so.” She smirked, and looked at him closely for the first time. “So what I can I do for you, huh? Come to check out the curves, use your manly wiles to get me to confess?”
Gibbs regarded her dispassionately. “As I just finished explaining to your partner in crime, we have you dead solid for assaulting officers of the law in the pursuit of their jobs, and trespass on government property. Further charges can, and probably will, be laid against you.”
Faith yawned. “So? You’re that dead set on it, why ain’t you doing it?” She leant forward, her low cut top almost directly pointed towards him. “Admit it, you’re only here to check out the goods,” she smirked.
McGee wouldn’t have lasted even 30 seconds. Gibbs deliberately scanned up and down her body, and shrugged. “Nothing special. Now, why did you and your...”
“Nothing special!?!” Faith roared, and swung her legs down from the table. She fixed Gibbs with a deadly stare, and clanked her handcuffed wrists down onto the table. “Listen pops, you’re hot in that deadly I-know-exactly-what-I’m doing kinda way, but you don’t know what the hell you’re missing here.”
Judging her nicely off balance already, Gibbs made the pre-arranged signal behind his back, and pressed home his advantage. “It’s over, Lehane. We got you dead to rights, and your so-called partner’s already cutting a deal. You’re going down for some time. Unless you cooperate.”
The door to the interview room opened, and McGee stuck his head around the corner. “Boss?”
Apparently coincidently, Tobias Fornell was escorting ‘Buffy’ Summers along the corridor at the time. “It’s over, Faith,” she said, catching sight of Faith. Choking back what appeared to be a small sob, “Tell them, tell them everything... it’s our only way out.”
McGee quickly closed the door, with an appropriate worried expression on his face.
Faith just sat there blinking, with a pole-axed expression on her face. “...the fuck?!”
Gibbs left it a moment, then tapped his file on the table before them. “Told you your partner was cutting a deal,” he said quietly.
Faith blinked one last time, and refocused on him. The she did something completely unexpected.
~ + ~