A/N: This is my effort to try and get back into Percy. For my Cherri followers I understand if this story is not to your liking and issue you a free pass. This is just me trying to branch out bit, which I tend to do every now and then. I have not abandoned the ship but rather am trying to wrap my head around the one that's undoubtedly going to sail in the canon.
"What's going on? I thought we had two weeks." Sonja Percy dropped her shoulder letting her extra-large tote slip from her shoulder and onto the desk. She was on her way out of town to the Farmer's Market in Livingston for some fresh Kale when her phone lit up with Pride's text. According her calendar they should still have four days left.
"We do. This is personal," Pride said. Percy's dark eyes followed her silver hair boss to the filing cabinet as he reached in behind the farthest wrung and pulled out an oak gun box. Charmaine gleamed in the dim light as he held her out from her dark velvet lined bed and stuffed her into the back of his jeans.
"Christopher needs our help."
The young agent's face twisted into a medley of expressions. The last time she had seen LaSalle was here after they'd shared an all too awkward impromptu hug. In fact, Sonja still got shivers just thinking about it. Further processing of the matter was not acceptable because if she did she might discover that…
"Well where's Brody?" Why wasn't she here? Surely she was back from the Keys by now.
Percy watched Pride curl his hand into a fist, briefly closing his eyes. "Agent Brody is no longer a part of this team and for the moment that's all you need to know."
Percy's mouth dropped open. "Whoa, wait a minute. You got to give me more than that."
I'll explain everything when we're all back together but as for right now, I know Christopher would appreciate your help."
"Yeah about that-" Hands on her hips, she had already had it with all of the vague attitude. There was too much going on for her to just follow him blindly out into the night into god only knew what. One of his no fuss-no-muss nameless girlfriends had probably turned out to be married or somethin'"
"Get in the car. I'll explain on the way." Percy followed the senior agent out to the garage to the silver Expedition and climbed into passenger's seat. Pulling her seatbelt over her lap, she listened intently as Pride drove the vehicle out onto the street.
"Six days ago. Chris called said a Navy friend needed his help with case,'". Told me he was heading out near St. Gabriel to follow a lead. I told him to let Karen and her team handle it."
"Lem'me guess he didn't listen to you-" Percy finished knowing her partner. The former ATF agent glanced out the window shaking her head. Normally, she was the one to go off half-cocked and run first into a fight. She couldn't imagine who could ultimately be the cause of her partner having made such a reckless decision. Not that it would take much, over the past year she had learned that Chris LaSalle was the type of man who would give the shirt off of his back if it meant helping someone else. There wasn't a selfish bone in the man's body that she could see. He was just a good wholesome boy from down South trying to do good by others.
She looked back at Pride. "Based on what Chris has sent me over the last twenty-four hours. He's tracking a career criminal Wayne Rogers, similar to our old friend Baitfish." Rogers dealt primarily in Oxy with a little human trafficking on the side.
"So what happened? LaSalle's friend owe Roger's money or somethin'?" Percy asked, still not to clear on as to how this had suddenly fallen into her partner's lap. Like herself, LaSalle pushed the limits, but normally he was smart enough not to get in over his head.
"Sent in to do surveillance, just needed a little bit of back-up or so it seemed," Pride said.
"Damn," she swore under her breath as Pride's Bluetooth lit up the console.
It was LaSalle, but the echo of gunfire in the background made it difficult to hear. Automatically, Percy leaned forward almost straining to catch her partner's voice.
/We've been made, King!/
"Hold on, Sonja and I are almost there!" Pride spoke into his com as he exited the highway, his foot ramming down on the accelerator.
"Our ETA is 20 minutes," Percy replied, clarifying Pride's definition of almost there.
/I dunno if we can hold out that long/
"Percy's working on getting them off your tail Chris just hold on for a little while longer." Pride made a comment about contacting the local P.D. to bring S.W.A.T. and she reached for her phone.
/It's six against two and Lt. Watkins is lookin' a little nervous/
Percy's brow furrowed as she heard the sound of a hand slapping at flesh followed by a small snigger from LaSalle. She had never heard him speak about a Lt. Watkins. But it wasn't as if she kept tabs on the man with his outgoing, friendly, personality, he probably had plenty of friends. For that matter so did…
Scratch that. She didn't have many friends. Working undercover for months at time with ATF had the made the NCIS agent a bit of loner. But it wasn't as if she were anti-social she just preferred to throw herself into her work or at least that had been her excuse for the last four years.
Gunshots followed by the crunching of metal overturning onto the asphalt interrupted her wandering thoughts.
"CHRISTOPHER!" Pride's voice automatically overrode her own followed by an immediate bark of orders. "Call Patton and have him connect us to the GPS in LaSalle's phone."
"On it," Though she wasn't a big believer in the religious faith, Percy said a small prayer, in the hopes that they could get to LaSalle and Lt. Watkins before Rogers did.
Percy felt gutted as she stood staring at the bullet riddled pile of metal and shattered glass that was LaSalle's truck. The use of automatic weapons was obvious and painstakingly frightening. How LaSalle had managed to get himself and Lt. Watkins out of there without being hit was beyond the younger agent.
The only thing that brought her a sense of peace was that a henchman from Roger's crew was lying dead on the ground with a bullet in his chest. Another underling was just a few feet away, bleeding out from the same fate.
Either LaSalle or Watkins had managed to get a couple of good shots off. She and King had taken care of the other two.
Rogers however was long gone probably never a part of the scene.
Crossing her arms tightly over her chest, Sonja called out to Pride that she was going to check on LaSalle before she made her way over to the line of ambulances. There were three of them, plus the coroner's wagon.
As she drew nearer she could hear voices, one them distinctly LaSalle's. Southern drawl, "'em fine, I need to check on Lt. Watkins."
"You need to lie still," the EMT ordered brandishing a pair of large tweezers.
Naturally, LaSalle was trying to play the part of the macho hero. He was probably mad because the EMT was male rather than a single cute female. Pursing her lips, Sonja met him head on. "Let man the treat you!" she hissed getting a glimpse of what appeared to be a large cut over his right eye? Multiple, bleeding abrasions from broken glass made it hard to tell.
Casting her gaze downward, Sonja looked at his hands. Similar abrasions covered his knuckles. Had he engaged Roger's flunky's in a little one on one? Desperately, she wanted to inquire but first he needed medical treatment.
LaSalle swatted the man's hand away, "Look I tol' ya I'm fine. Lt. Watkins-"
"He could lose the eye," the EMT interjected making Percy's chestnut irises grow wide as he explained that the agent had a small shard of glass dangerously close to his cornea.
"Let the man do his job. I'll check on Lt. Watkins." Percy hopped down and preceded to the next ambulance this time standing at a distance. She preferred to speak to the EMT on the ground who was digging through his kit, rather than bother the one inside treating the Lieutenant, "I'm agent Percy with NCIS. I'm here to check on Lt. Watkins."
The EMT didn't bother with eye contact, but instead concentrated on organizing his supplies, "My partner is treating her but she has multiple contusions on her face, and a possible fracture of her left wrist. Her vitals are good, so we'll probably release her here on the scene."
"She?" Lt. Watkins was a female? How typical of her Neanderthal, caveman mentality of a partner. Of course she was a woman, probably one that he'd picked up in a bar. Percy didn't realize she had verbalized her thought until Pride's hand clamped down on her shoulder.
"Lt. Adele Watkins, but we call her Addie."
"Addie?" Percy repeated looking up at the senior agent in charge. "You and LaSalle work with her before?"
"She's the Navy Liaison and SECO officer of the base," Pride smiled, "helped us out on several cases a few years back with some really good behind the scenes detective work. So good in fact, I going to talk with her superiors and request she be made a temporary part of our team, until Rogers is brought into custody." It would be nice to have an active duty person on the team. It would really open up a whole new world of resources and options.
"Ooh, Kaay…" Pride hadn't even given an explanation for Brody's departure and already he was replacing her? Just what the hell was happening here?
"Ya wanna ride with LaSalle in the ambulance? Maybe calm him down a bit?" Pride asked in a way that made it sound not like a question.
Percy nodded, choosing to stay silent. A few moments later she climbed into the back of the ambulance, sliding down onto the bench seat. In the few minutes that she had been gone the EMT had done of a good job of cleaning up LaSalle's face. A large square of gauze and cotton now covered the area of his right eye.
"How's Addie?" he asked, with little concern over the daggers she was casting at him.
"Conscious. How are you?"
LaSalle pulled his head back, looking a bit confused. "Like I said, earlier I'm fine. Just got a lil' piece of glass in my eye is all."
"Really? Cause your truck looks like someone should have died and that someone could have been you!" Her sardonic tone couldn't be helped. She'd had it up to here with his macho man front.
LaSalle glared with the intensity he normally reserved for interrogating a suspect, spouting something to effect of not this conversation again.
"What did you say?" Percy whirled.
"Nuthin' what else did the EMT say about Watkins?"
Again with Lt. Watkins, Sonja supposed she should take the time to find out just what had transpired before going off like a scorned work wife but the truth was she was a little hurt. If LaSalle cared about her so dang much then why hadn't he let her in on his plan to help out his so called friend?
Was he trying to protect her from taking on another dangerous job because if he was…
But then again, if Watkins was more than a friend maybe he just didn't want her to be involved.
"Banged up and broken wrist," the rational side of her said, pushing the sarcastic one out of the way. There would be time to rib him later; right now he needed her support.
"You need me to hold your hand while they pull that piece out glass out?" she offered, not envying the man for having to stay awake while they performed the procedure. For the most part it would be like pulling out a splinter, but still the eye? It made her queasy just thinking about it.
"Maybe," he said, flashing a disarming grin. The man had no idea as to how much power he asserted over her with just a twitch of his lips. Beautiful, cupid bows lips were undeniably gorgeous yet still undoubtedly masculine.
They made her go weak in the knees just thinking about it. Not that she let herself think about it too much. Why would she do that? Despite the man's admission over caring about her they were still just partners right? So much was going through her mind. She'd barely gotten over his reaction to dismantling the bomb and the hug and she was hit with all of this? Again, she decided to remain true to her words:
I can't take that on.
That was until Addie Watkins appeared, all filled with smiles, despite her arm being in sling.
"I'll hold your hand, LaSalle."
A/N: Well Canon and Percy/PerSalle people? How'd I do?
*About Brody anyone who has read my stories knows how I feel about her. For the moment, I am choosing not write a deep storyline regarding her departure. For the purpose of this story, she is simply no longer with the team. When the time is right, I'll write something appropriate but for now this is what I'm going to run with it.