“Look,” Buffy said in what she considered to be a reasonable tone, “You’re beginning to annoy me now, Grumps.” Gibbs tried to deliver his best death stare but it was difficult from his current prone position underneath Elizabeth Summers.
“I mean, I’m trying to be all professional here,” Buffy continued, and Gibbs felt her hands quickly searching through his jacket, “I just want to do my job and get out of here with all the trace evidence. I mean, is that too much to ask for?”
Elizabeth Summers tried to roll off Gibbs, but was shoved back down by Buffy. “Yeah, well, I weigh less than you,” she offered weakly.
“Hey! Low blow!” Buffy protested, wincing, “And that’ll be all the muscles anyway!” She finished her investigation through Gibbs’ pockets, and stood back, regarding the two supine agents on the floor. “Anyhows, you two are obviously not going to leave me and the girls alone, so I’m just going to have to do this...”
There was a clink, and the feeling of cold metal on his wrist, and Gibbs found his eyes widening. Trying to sit up as fast as his battered body could manage, he found his worse fears confirmed. His own handcuffs were now being used to fasten him to Elizabeth Summers.
And worse, it was her wrist to his ankle.
Buffy smirked. Controlling his irritation as much as possible, Gibbs glared at her. “You’re still in the middle of a government building, and surrounded by heavily armed guards by now. Give up now before things get even more out of hand!” he declared through gritted teeth.
Buffy smirked again, and produced a second set of handcuffs, which Gibbs guessed had to be FBI issue from Elizabeth Summers. “Sorry, Grumps, can’t do,” she grinned, and bent over quickly to attach that pair of handcuffs to the pair of them. This time, it was her ankle and his wrist.
“Seriously,” she said, “You guys are a lot better than most government agency types we’ve run into, and it’s a shame we have to do it all this way. But ticking clock and all that.”
She regarded Gibbs with a rueful smile. “Now, I’d tell you to stay down there and quit while you’re this behind, but we both know that would be an insult, so good luck in the future, and au revoir!”
She set off down the corridor at a rapid, ground-eating run. Reaching the end by the access to the stairwell, she glanced back at them, smirked one last time and tossed something small and metallic shining down the flights of stairs.
Offering a vague hand to head motion that could have been a salute, Buffy turned the corner and disappeared from sight.
“Well,” said Elizabeth Summers after a short interval, “This is another fine mess you’ve got me into.”
Gibbs smiled tightly. Once again, it wasn’t a nice smile. “Can you reach inside my jacket and pull out my ID card?” he inquired with a deceptively mild tone.
Elizabeth Summers regarded him for a moment, and then smiled back, equally as not nice. “I’m impressed, Gibbs,” she said, trying to retrieve his ID as requested. “I assume there’s a spare handcuff key secreted away inside it?”
“You never know what could happen,” Gibbs said, scanning the corridor, trying to work out where his cell and gun had landed after the earlier fight. “You?”
“No spare key, but if I can get both my hands free, I can use the lockpick in my hair to open my own set of cuffs.”
“Sounds like a plan.”
~ + ~
Ducky finished massaging the circulation back into his limbs. “Thank you for the assistance, Tony, but I believe you and Ziva should be on your way now.”
“I do not think we should leave you alone, Ducky,” Ziva said from her post by the lab door.
“Nonsense,” Ducky said with a disapproving look. “Whatever they came for, Miss Lehane has already taken everything possible from here. This is probably one of the safest places now remaining in the building.”
Tony looked at Ziva, and then back at Ducky. “I think what Ziva’s trying to say is that we don’t want anything else to happen to you, and there are two other people loose in the building after all.”
“Oh. Oh, yes,” Ducky flushed. “Thank you, Anthony. A very good point indeed. One assumes the building should be surrounded by now after the blackout?”
“Standard operating procedure, Ducky,” Tony nodded.
Ducky looked old for a moment, before straightening up and firmly adjusting his bowtie. “Then I believe I shall exit via the car port and reach the authorities that way.” He firmed up his shoulders and prepared to march off. “Thank you, my dear boy, and please be careful. Both of you.”
He left, and the morgue seemed a little smaller and quieter. Tony looked at Ziva and let out a sigh of relief. “Now where?” he asked quietly.
Ziva considered it for a moment. “If they are intending to remove all evidence from here...” she began.
“Which ties in with whatever’s happened to Balboa’s body,” Tony added.
“Then there is only one other location that would hold the most crucial pieces of evidence collected so far.”
Tony looked grim. “Abby’s lab.”
~ + ~
Outside NCIS headquarters, Leon Vance was not a happy man. “It’s a damn school night,” he grumbled, “It’s bad enough trying to get Kayla to bed at the damn weekend.”
He bit through his toothpick. Spitting the two halves out, he regarded them sourly. Sometimes, ‘damn’ wasn’t a strong enough word.
“Hey! Hey! Director!” A familiar, and very annoying, voice popped up at his elbow.
“Ah, Miss Scuito,” he said neutrally, “I see you’ve heard of our little problem.”
“Little problem? Little problem?!!?” Abby repeated, practically vibrating in place. “This is a big problem. Big big! Massive! Ginenormous, even!”
“And my responsibility,” Vance firmly observed.
Abby bounced. “Yes, but! Gibbs! Ducky! They’re all still in there!”
Vance looked at her, and sighed. “Everyone’s still inside, and will remain there until we go in and get them. The building is completely surrounded now, with no way for anyone to escape. Now that has been accomplished, we can start to think about the people inside.”
A beeping noise came from deep inside the bag that Abby was carrying. Her eyes widened, and she frantically began searching through it. Vance stared at her, and prudently took a step backwards.
“Aha!” she cried in triumph, pulling her PDA out from deep within. Her face immediately fell. “Oh, this is bad. Really bad. Bad bad bad.”
She stared at the Director desperately. “Someone’s in my lab!”
~ + ~