Chapter Twenty Six
Whatever it was barrelled into both Lehane and Ducky, sending them both tumbling across the floor. In the darkness, Ducky took full advantage of the momentum to continue to roll, just like he’d been taught so many years ago. He still wasn’t sure of exactly what was going on, but under those conditions a degree of space away from the conflict seemed advisable.
“Oh yeah, that’s what Mama wants!” he heard Lehane yell with what sounded like joy in her voice. “I mean it’s fun and all punching out the Feds but this
is what I really need right now!”
An animalistic growl was all that answered her, and Ducky heard the struggle intensify as the sound of his furniture and equipment being hit reached his ears. He peered into the darkness, desperately trying to make out any details at all.
~ + ~
Gibbs stumbled on his way out of the interview room, tripping over what had to be the door which was no longer in its frame, but resting on the corridor floor. Buffy Summers had to have gone down the corridor, didn’t she?
He crouched for a moment, straining his ears for any sound at all. He heard a door opening nearby. “Gibbs!” a female voice hissed.
His eyes narrowed in thought. It was definitely one of them, but which? “Summers?” he hissed back.
“And me,” another, more familiar voice hissed back. “Elizabeth
Summers has been with me all this time, so you can rest that nasty, suspicious mind of yours.”
“You know me too well, Fornell,” Gibbs replied with an unseen grimace. “Any idea which way she went?”
In the darkness, Gibbs could hear Fornell scratching his beard in thought. “After what I assume was the interview room door, I didn’t
hear anyone run past our own door.”
“She went up then,” Gibbs said decisively. “Summers, you’d better stick with me so we don’t get any more problems like with David and DiNozzo earlier. Tobias...”
“I know, take the other route anyway.” Gibbs could hear the grin in his voice. “Let it not be said the FBI failed to give NCIS all help possible while dealing with an escape in its own headquarters.”
Gibbs snorted. “It’s not an escape. Not yet. This is all part of their whole plan, and why we were allowed
to arrest them in the first place.” His voice rose slightly, letting a trace of the immense rage boiling within him out. “They’re playing us for fools.”
He tapped Summers on her shoulder, and made a motioning gesture in the thin light that their eyes had finally gotten used to.
“Time to show them why they’re wrong.”
~ + ~
Ducky heard a series of sounds coming from near the door. What sounded like a truly vicious fight drifted across the lab towards him, and reluctantly he abandoned the idea of trying to sneak out past the two combatants.
He winced as the clang of one of his lab trays echoed across the air. Automatically, he started to try and work out just how much force would have had to have gone into its motion to produce a sound as resonant as that...
“Man, you newbies really don’t like talking, do ya?” Faith Lehane’s amused tones drifted to him. “Kinda happy ‘bout that sorta thing myself, but you’re lucky you didn’t get B.”
There was a thud, and the sound of flesh being pummelled. The same growl as before filled the air, and Ducky paused unwillingly for a moment, trying to understand it. Surely, whatever was there wasn’t trying to communicate....
One word was suddenly pronounced clearly. “Sssslayer...”
“Oh yes,” Lehane’s voice replied grimly. “That’s me...OW!”
Ducky heard the sound of a body falling across the table of his instruments, sending them flying through the air and clanging onto the floor.
“Bad, bad move, dude,” the now suddenly amused voice spoke, “Cos now I’ve got all the Doc’s little knives.”
Ducky swallowed. His scalpels were kept in immaculate and very sharp condition. Part of Mr Palmer’s many duties. This could be rather painful for somebody.
~ + ~
“Shut up, Tony,” Timothy McGee repeated dully for what seemed to be the one hundredth time. “Just keep the cell steady.”
“We shouldn’t be here,” hissed Tony DiNozzo, holding the cell phone even closer to McGee’s head, “We should be out there, chasing down Lehane.”
“Until I finish rewiring around these burned out circuits, Tony, we aren’t even gouing to have emergency lighting. You really want to go up against those two girls in the dark?” McGee’s fingers flew around the electrical panel, pulling out the loose, no longer working wiring. Perhaps if he crossed from there...?
“Thought you said there were three of them now,” Tony said eventually but still sulkily.
McGee resisted the urge to roll his eyes. “And we’ve done so well against just two of them so far.”
“Point,” Tony nodded, and kept a close watch on the door to the server room they were now in. A thought hit him. “So, why aren’t I using this cell to let Gibbs know there are three of them now?”
McGee sighed, and pulled off another wallplate, exposing more wiring. Studying it intently, he glanced over at the area he’d already cleared. Now what could he safely remove for a temporary patch? “In the first place, Tony, I still need that damn light to be held steady!”
“Whoa, calm down there a moment, Probie,” Tony said hurriedly. It didn’t stop him from nudging McGee with his leg a moment later. “And the second reason?”
“It’s not my cell, Tony,” McGee snapped. “So it won’t have Gibbs’s number in it. Now, hold it steady, I think I’m almost done....”
A moment later, in a deliberately offhand tone, Tony spoke up “You know, I still have my own cell...”
~ + ~
Groping his way forward through the darkness with one hand, Gibbs drew Elizabeth Summers along with his other. Hearing sounds ahead, he halted and hugged the wall. Summers, without a moment’s delay, quickly slid into place behind him, and he almost grunted in satisfaction.
Sliding slowly forward, they reached a corner in the corridor from which voices were coming. Gibbs frowned, puzzled momentarily. Three voices, only two of which he recognised.
And a third woman.
“Dawn’s coming in about ninety minutes,” the mysterious voice was saying, and Gibbs’s bafflement only increased. That would be around 2am, which was nowhere near correct. Unless different time zones were involved...? He pushed that idea back down for the moment, and slowly inched forward a bit more.
“Faith’ll have gone down to the morgue by now,” Buffy said thoughtfully, and Gibbs felt a twinge of worry about Ducky. Surely he’d have gone home by now. Ruthlessly he pushed that thought down as well, and readied himself.
Hoping that Elizabeth Summers would understand his plan, he reached back and made pushing motions with his hand indicating that she should take the right hand side of the corridor.
There was a brief hesitation, then she firmly edged herself across the floor slightly, getting herself into a better position. Gibbs nodded to himself. Tobias trained his people well. Not as well as NCIS of course, but still good.
Ziva was speaking now. “You are but three people in the middle of an entire building full of armed agents. I do not understand why you are still proceeding!”
Buffy sounded amused. “Hey, be fair – we did deliberately wait till most people had gone home. Any closer than that, and we probably wouldn’t have been able to deal with Balboa in time.”
Gibbs reached out and tapped three fingers on Elizabeth Summers’ shoulder. Then two fingers.
Just as he was about to tap for the last time, his cell phone rang loudly.
~ + ~