I do not own NCIS or Angel the Series. Period, end of story. Author's Note:
To reader's of my other stories, don't worry, I haven't abandoned you. I'm feeling some writers block on Red Moon Rises, so I figured a little change of pace might be worthwhile in terms of getting around that block. Plus, this was an idea I'd been toying with for a while.
In terms of NCIS continuity, this takes place sometime during seasons 3-6ish. Ziva is with the team, but Director Sheppard isn't dead yet. Exactly when doesn't matter. Angel continuity – about a year after season four, though that is of only tangential relevance, as you will see.The D.C. Office
When Lilah Morgan had first taken the offer of employment from Wolfram and Hart after graduating law school, she'd gotten letters from every branch in the United States: L.A, Houston, New York and D.C. The L.A. and D.C. offices offered the highest pay, and both demanded a lot from their associates, which meant turnover was high, but so was the possibility of promotion. Ambitious and with a lot of student debts to pay, the choice was obvious. Lilah was rarely one to leave major life decisions up to chance, but that time, she had. She'd flipped a coin. Heads: L.A. Tails: D.C.
Once in a while, usually when she was unimaginably bored, she had wondered about what would have happened, what her life would have been like, had the coin ended up heads, rather than tails. If she'd worked at the L.A. branch.
Of course, she'd stopped wondering about that after the events of the last year in Los Angeles. First the Rain of Fire, then the slaughtering of everyone who worked at the Los Angels Branch – even the people on sick leave and vacation – then the sun going out...that whole mess had sent shock waves across the firm, in both this and other dimensions. The D.C. branch had almost gone into lockdown mode when word hit about the attack on the L.A. branch. Everyone had been working overtime to figure out what the hell was going on – who was trying to muscle in on Wolfram and Hart's apocalypse, and how to stop them – and how to turn it to their advantage.
And then the Senior Partners put that vampire with a soul, Angel, in charge of the reconstituted L.A. branch. Stupid idea.
Lilah thought to herself, though she had more than enough self-preservation to know not to vocalize that thought. From what she'd heard, the L.A. branch had been trying and failing to turn Angel over to their side for years. Putting him in charge isn't going to change that.
So, given everything that had happened in Los Angeles over the last year, Lilah was quite glad the coin had landed tails.
She was pulled out of her thoughts by a knock on her door. “Come in.” Lilah said.
“Hello Lilah.” Lilah looked up. David Carrico, her boss. “Got a new case for you.” He set a thick file on her desk. “One of our clients, Robert Gainsley, is attracting the attention of NCIS.”
Lilah opened the file. “NCIS? That's new.”
David shrugged. “You can't afford our prices on your average Navy or Marine salary. We don't usually have clients who are in their sights. This time, we do. Gainsley is the CEO of Systech Industries. They make, among other things, targeting systems for the United States Navy's destroyer's anti-air guns. There's an investigation into Systech for bribery, and several officials in the Pentagon for taking kickbacks to make sure the contracts go to Systech. Until recently, we'd been tying things up in discovery, burying them in paper, and spinning the whole process out.”
“So Gainsley really is giving kickbacks?” Lilah said, reading the relevant page of the file.
“Of course he is. The innocent don't generally hire us.”
Lilah smirked. “I guess he's as guilty as sin. So why are you bringing me in on this?” Lilah asked. “What changed?”
“Apparently, Gainsley got nervous and decided to jump the gun on us. A Navy Colonel, one of the key witnesses for the prosecution has turned up dead. And we can connect Gainsley to the death – he hired a hit man, and not one of ours. NCIS will make that connection too, I'm pretty sure. Especially considering the guy they have heading the murder investigation. Leroy Jethro Gibbs.”
“There's a name for you.” Lilah said with a slight smirk. She turned a few more pages in the file. There was a picture of Special Agent Gibbs included with the dossier Files and Records had assembled on him. Handsome, if you were into guys with gray hair.
She flipped through the folder a little more, David standing there watching her. She looked up at him. “What, were you expecting something this quick? I'm good, but I'm not that...” Her voice trailed off as she looked at one of the pages in the folder.
“What? You got something?”
“Maybe....” Lilah answered slowly. “What exactly does the government have connecting Gainsley in particular to the kickbacks?”
“Even without their dead colonel, they have financial transactions and some go-betweens connecting pentagon officials to Systech. The colonel's testimony was supposed to show how high it all went, and obviously, Gainsley would be at the top of the list of suspects for this kind of thing.”
“So nothing they have for sure?” she asked, turning to another page. Burner phone numbers, bank-accounts within shell corporations within fake subsidiaries...a whole lot of nothing that was hinging on a few things. “Are we Gainsley's lawyers, or lawyers for the entire company?”
“Both, but keeping Gainsley out of prison serves the company best, for our interests. Why, what are you thinking?”
“I'm thinking we set the CFO up for this.” Lilah said. “Both the kickbacks and the murders. A little brainwashing and some forged accounts and signatures should be able to cover the kickbacks, right?”
“Easily. A little risky though, isn't it?”
“That's why you're bringing me in, right? You're looking for someone with unorthodox solutions. I'm giving you one. Set the CFO up for the kickbacks. Does NCIS have the hit man in custody?”
“Can we find him first?” She looked at the look on David's face. “Stupid question, forget I asked. Send someone to get to him, and make sure that when he folds, he folds on the CFO.” She read the name off the file. “Albert Cranzler.”
“And how is this 'massaged' information going to fall into the hands of the government?” David asked. “You've got to top this brilliant plan off.”
“Leave that to me. Just make sure I hear the moment they take Gainsley in for interrogation.”
“Wait, what?” David asked blankly, completely missing the logic. “I thought the whole idea was-”
“Did you even read any of this file before you handed it to me?” She asked, raising an eyebrow. Honestly. Why do the Senior Partners keep him around?
“No? Didn't think so. According to the file on Agent Gibbs, he likes to fish. And, frankly, sounds like he's good at it. He's going to bring Gainsley in for interrogation sooner or later.”
“Well, I guess this is why I came to you. Alright.”
“They should really charge for people to watch this.” Tony said from the observation room as Gibbs sat in interrogation with Robert Gainsley. Not for the first time, he really wished he had some popcorn to watch as Gibbs took the guy apart. “Twenty bucks says he folds in five minutes.”
“I'll take that.” McGee said. “If you're going to hire a hit-man, you're not going to just flip that quickly.”
“Am I under arrest, Agent Gibbs?” Gainsley asked.
“No.” Gibbs replied calmly. “Did you do something wrong?”
“I'm a CEO of a major tech firm. I don't have to take this from some underpaid government employmee with a god-complex!”
Gibbs laughed. Just a little “God complex? You sound like my ex-wife.”
“Which one?” Tony asked from observation, though Gibbs couldn't hear. “One, two or three?”
Before Gainsley could respond to that, the door to interrogation opened. Who is suicidal enough to interrupt Gibbs in-
The three NCIS agents – well, two agents and one Mossad Liason, but close enough – saw the woman who walked in. Not quite dressed to the nines, but certainly quite carefully, her heels clicking across the interrogation room floor.
“Lilah Morgan, associate at Wolfram and Hart D.C. I'd like a few words with my client please?”
“Of course.” Gibbs sat back in his chair. “Go ahead, I'm not stopping you.”
“In private.” She said. “As in you leave the room while I talk. And you turn off the recording equipment, and preferably you and your team-” she turned to the mirror/window and waved, “Hello Agents DiNozzo and McGee, Officer David,” She smirked, then turned back to Gibbs. “preferably the four of you can just stick your fingers in your ears and go 'la-la-la-la' as well, but the only one of your four I can see doing that is DiNozzo.”
“She's right you know.” Ziva said. “You act very childlike.”
“Ziva, in this case the word would be 'Childish'.” McGee corrected.
“Do I know you? You seem very well informed for a lawyer that wasn't even called.”
“Wolfram and Hart is a full-service law firm, Agent Gibbs.” Lilah said. “When Colonel Hudson was murdered, we knew it was only a matter of time before you'd decided to wrongfully put our client on your suspect list. Now, if you don't leave, I will be servicing this agency with a suit for harassment and violation of attorney-client privilege.”
Gibbs frowned a little, though only someone who knew him well would notice the reaction, and left the interrogation room.
Lilah pressed a button on the top of her briefcase as she laid it down on the table, jamming the recording equipment in this room and the next. She leaned in close and spoke quietly to Gainsley.
“Your fee has been doubled.” Lilah said.
“What the hell are you-” Gainsley said, loudly.
“No so loudly, you idiot.” Lilah hissed. “You have caused the firm a great deal of inconvenience by jumping the gun and having Colonel Hudson killed – without even having us handle the hit man. If you want us to get you out of jail time that, legally, you entirely deserve, you're going to be paying a higher fee. And next time, when the firm tells you to be calm and wait, then you're going to be calm and wait.”
Gainsley gulped at the thought of actually going to jail for this. “Alright. What do I do?”
“Just play along.” She replied. Then she pressed the button again, removing the jamming. “Agent Gibbs. We're ready for you.”
Gibbs walked back into the room, and sat down in his chair again. Before he could speak again, Lilah was opening her briefcase and laying out several sheets of paper. “Here's what you have on my client. You know the hit man that did this, and we know you're trying to find him. Here you have phone records connecting the phone in my client's office to the hit man’s cell. However, what you don't have are these.” She pointed to the other papers. “These are travel records proving that my client was meeting with potential investors in L.A. during the entire three day period that these phone records show these calls being made.”
“Travel records can be forged.” Gibbs said, giving them only a cursory look, wondering how she'd figured out they'd had the phone records.
“Yes. Which is why we also have signed witness affidavits, just faxed in through our L.A. office.” And they hadn't even had to bring all this to the attention of that damn vampire. She retrieved more papers from her briefcase. “All reputable businessmen, all men who were at the meeting. The originals are in the mail over here as well, if you want to examine them personally. My client is not guilty of hiring this hit man.”
“And the calls from his office?”
“Any number of executives and upper-tier officials might have the opportunity to get into his office and use his phone. Systech Industries doesn't have Fort Knox level security systems, after all. Especially not once you're already inside the building.” She smiled. “I suggest you keep looking. Maybe try and find that hit man. A little more effective than just throwing a net out and seeing what you get, hm?” She smirked again, then got up. “Mr. Gainsley. We're leaving. If you have any further questions for my client, please direct them through my office. Or there will be a suit against you for harassment.” She handed him a business card, her name, the Wolfram and Hart logo, and an office number.”
She walked out of the interrogation room, Gainsley following behind.