“DiNozzo?” Faith said, jaw dropping. “Officer DiNozzo?”
“Agent DiNozzo,” Tony said tersely, still staring at Faith.
Buffy raised an eyebrow at the stunned Faith beside her, and gestured around the room at the others present. “NCIS agents, Faith, the naval cops.”
“No shit,” Faith said automatically, also locked in eye contact with Tony, “Wow. Kinda long time since I last ran into Officer Dibble here.”
“Years,” Tony agreed, watching her like a hawk. Ziva’s eyes narrowed, seeing Tony’s body language changing, one hand drifting ever closer to his gun. She started shuffling quietly to one side, determined to back up her partner whatever had him so spooked.
“Nice to see you still recognise each other,” Buffy said, studying Faith with interest, “We gonna have a problem here?”
“Meh,” Faith said absently, flipping one hand towards Buffy, “You tend to remember the ones that turn you down somewhat.”
There was a choking noise from McGee’s direction.
“Back before the big change-up, ‘fore the ‘dale, I was kinda a little wild and out on the streets a lot, looking to survive. I... made quite a lot of people quite a lot of... propositions.”
“Yeeww,” Buffy said, pulling a face, but regarding Tony with new regard.
Gibbs’s face flickered. All this did sound a lot like DiNozzo (guy was a superb agent when he dropped that slick facade of his, otherwise Gibbs wouldn’t have kept him around this long), so why was he still so... off? Pushing down his own still brewing rage, he decided to let it all play out a while longer.
“He turned me down the one night I got real explicit, dragged me along to a shelter and insisted I ate something. Even his partner was looking at him weird by the end.” She looked at Tony again, and smiled ruefully. “Thanks. I know
I didn’t say that at the time, and I certainly wouldn’t have thought it, but yeah. We’re a long way from Boston now.”
Tony blinked. “Baltimore.”
Faith also blinked, then she stared at him. “Boston,” she said carefully.
Tony shook his head carefully, his gaze never leaving Faith. His hand was now resting on his gun. “Baltimore.”
“Fuck,” Faith said and stared at Buffy. “Red did say there’ll be some changes over here, but Baltimore
Buffy shrugged, but still looked at her concernedly. “So, you’re not a Red Sox fan anymore. Deal later?”
Faith shook her head, and visibly regained control. “Yeah. Fine. Dead bodies, the norm. Gotcha.”
There was a click, the sound of a safety being taken off a gun. Buffy and Faith both looked up past the dead body of Seaman Balboa at Tony DiNozzo. He was pointing his gun directly at them.
“Not to mention, I went to her funeral,” he said quietly, but with a quiet rage underlying his words. “Now, I don’t know what the hell is going on, but I want answers.”
Gibbs watched the two of them carefully, as he pulled his own gun out, trusting DiNozzo’s instincts for the moment. Buffy blinked, but instantly recovered, while Lehane still looked pole-axed.
“Funeral? Fuck me, that’s some real changes there,” she mumbled, slowly raising her hands. “Wow, road not taken and all that shit.”
“Faith? Focus!” Buffy snapped, her arms also up. “We got everything we need from here?”
“Boss?” McGee’s voice drifted from behind Gibbs. “I got nothing, zip on any IWC and if that is the SecDef’s sig you’d expect something
at the bare minimum to be on the servers.”
Faith looked at Buffy, her face now impassive. “Told ya, cherry world. No need for any Initiative based stuff.”
Gibbs grunted. “Good enough for me, McGee. Now I want some answers finally.”
Buffy stared around the area once more, eyes flicking over the odd burn marks down the crate sides, the dead body and the small pool of blood by her feet and the agents surrounding them two of them. “You’re the tracker, Faith. Got the scent?”
And the two young women exploded into a flurry of motion.
~ + ~