Chapter Twenty One
Summers got as far as saying “What the hell are your...” before Ziva dived out of the door, tackling Summers into the wall. Gibbs had to admire the clean efficiency that Ziva executed the movement, grabbing Summers around the waist, dragging her down while at the same time rolling Summers first into the wall.
Didn’t matter. Reaching for his gun, he had a sinking feeling he knew what had happened and a quick glance through the door at a horrified McGee’s face and the furious visage of Fornell just confirmed it.
“Ziva!” he snapped, as the one time Mossad agent tried smacking Summers’ head into the wall, only to have the blonde whip an elbow into her ribs. Ziva stiffened in pain, but the determination and rage evident on her face only increased.
“Agent David, stop!” Gibbs ordered, but again neither person engaged in the struggle seemed to hear him. He really didn’t want to resort to the old cliché of a bucket of water or the nearby fire extinguisher to separate them, but if he had to...
McGee arrived at the door, and made what Gibbs privately considered to be his most stupid move of the day (and face it, after ending up duct-taped to his own apartment wall, there was a lot of competition for that today) by throwing himself down in between the struggling Ziva and Elizabeth Summers. “Stop! No! She’s FBI, Ziva!”
Ziva’s fist, already in motion, barely managed to change direction in time to avoid McGee’s chest. “What?” she spluttered, “McGee?”
“Nobody move at all!” Gibbs thundered, standing over the three of them. “And that means you too, Summers!”
Summers scowled, but relaxed a fraction. “What the hell are your agents doing, Gibbs?” she demanded. “I came here at your request to help you out, and didn’t expect anything like this!”
Through gritted teeth, Gibbs apologised. “I’m sorry that this has occurred to you, and especially from my agents that I am supposed to be in charge of. I’m sure that both Agents will formally apologise to you as well.” Looking down at the gun in his hand, he holstered it again, and bared his teeth in Ziva’s direction. “Won’t you, Agent David?”
Ziva blinked, looking confused down there on the ground. She wiped an errant strand of hair back across her forehead. “I do not understand, Gibbs. This... she is wearing the exact same clothing as the one we arrested.”
Elizabeth Summers sat up, still casting a doubtful eye around McGee at Ziva. “As your boss requested,” she said in ice-cold tones, “I changed into a similar outfit to attempt to fool Lehane.”
“Oh,” said Ziva in a small tone, and looked around momentarily.
Fornell chose this moment to come to the door, and gazed down at the scene before him. He didn’t say anything, just sighed loudly. Gibbs winced. Fornell offered his hand to his fellow FBI agent, and helped her up off the floor. “Sorry about that,” he said, “Normally they’re quite civilised.”
“Civilised my ass!” Elizabeth Summers declared loudly and angrily, striding off. “They’re just lucky they didn’t damage my good shoes!”
Gibbs pulled McGee up and off the floor. “Nice work,” he said quietly to him, “Not the most sensible method, but it worked.” Slapping McGee on the shoulder, he nodded towards the furious FBI agent. “Now go calm her down.”
“Me, boss?” McGee’s eyes widened.
Gibbs’s smile was wintery at best. “Trust me. You do not want to be around for this, McGee.”
McGee gulped, glanced at his two fellow agents, and decided that discretion was indeed the better part of valor in this case. “Miss Summers?” he called as he walked away quickly, “Is there anything I can do for you to make up for this at all?”
Gibbs regarded Ziva on the corridor floor in front of him. She had moved to a sitting up position leaning against the wall. He made no attempt to help her up. She made no attempt to get up either.
“I thought I’d taught you better than that,” he said eventually. Ziva winced, but made no attempt to defend herself. “You, and DiNozzo, disappoint me.”
Ziva licked her lips, and swallowed. Rubbing her sore chest and rib area, she looked up at Gibbs. “How is Tony?” she asked.
A sore, creaky, dizzy sounding voice came from a bit further up the corridor. “How the hell does McGeek keep ending up between two hot chicks today?”
“Sounds like he’ll be fine,” Gibbs said dryly, his hands clenching at his side. “Once he gets checked out by his new best friends the medical staff.”
“Oh,” said Ziva, understanding his meaning instantly.
Tony didn’t. “New best friends, boss?” he repeated, still dizzy.
“Because until they’ve checked out that possible concussion of yours, DiNozzo, I’m not going to be able to touch you for this moronic stunt you two have just pulled!”
“Now you’re finally thinking, DiNozzo!”
~ + ~
A while later, things had finally calmed down, and everyone was assembled in the monitoring room once again. Still cursing the headache that was plaguing him today, Gibbs took a last draw on his coffee and tossed it into a wastebin. Snatching a quick look at his watch, he blinked. Where had the time gone?
Approaching the group around the table, Gibbs felt a soft tap on his arm from McGee. “Boss?” he said cautiously, “Something’s not right here.”
Gibbs snorted. “Apart from the whole surrendering and tossing themselves on our mercy? There’s lots wrong with the whole picture, McGee.”
“No!” McGee said urgently, his hands fluttering about in the air. “There’s something obvious I missed, something banging about at the back of my mind.” He caught Gibbs’ eye and held it. “My gut tells me, boss.”
Gibbs slowly nodded. McGee was coming along nicely, and he respected that he was finally starting to listen to those little subliminal cues. “Okay,” he nodded, “Just keep doing your job, McGee and don’t rush it. The more you try to force things, the less they want to play. It’ll come to you.”
McGee took a deep breath. “’K, boss,” he said, and straightened up.
Gibbs regarded him for a moment longer, then turned and strode off to the middle of the room. “All right,” he said, slamming his hand down on the table they were all crammed around, cutting off all conversations. “Now we’re all caught up, and have put everything behind us, let’s get down to some serious business.”
He looked around at them all, each one intent on his words. “DiNozzo, take a run at Lehane in the box. There’s obviously something there between you, so try and play on it – get more out of her than I did. McGee? You monitor that one.” They nodded, and Gibbs moved on.
“Ziva. Keep going on that Initiative research, and see if the SecDef’s people have finally gotten back to us.” He held up a hand to stall her protest. “No. This is not a punishment. You’ve got the furthest along on that and I want to know how it all ties in.”
“Summers,” he said, turning to his guests. Elizabeth Summers smiled tightly, mirroring the look on Gibbs face exactly.
“You finally get your wish. Take a run at your double.”
~ + ~