Chapter 3 – Piece of Cake
Summary: A Special Agent needs information regarding a murdered Marine. It just so happens that the man who might have the best information about the case is now living in D.C.
A/N: Many thanks to DorothyOz for looking over this story! This story is definitely better because of her help.
A/N2: Thanks to everyone who left a review or who showed in other ways that they enjoy the story! Specifically thanks to 'guest' and michael, as I couldn't respond to their reviews through a PM. Enjoy this third and final chapter of this story.
Finished: 29th of March, 2018; Published: 2nd of April, 2018
The grey-haired man raised an eyebrow as he sat down across from his informant.
"No cake?" That was...unexpected. And annoying. Just like the whole case, which his team had inherited.
The taller, silver-haired man looked downright miserable as he glared down at his empty coffee cup.
"No cake," he spoke sombrely. "Doctor's orders." He looked up and waved over the waitress, who poured both of them a cup of coffee. Gibbs leaned back in his chair; apparently there was more than just the intel that they were after the wrong guy.
"You know, I'm considering switching doctors. This guy just doesn't know what he's talking about." His brown eyes gave his companion a searching look. "How about your doc? Think he could take me on as a patient?"
Gibbs tilted his head slightly, and replied with characteristic bluntness. "His patients are usually dead." There was a question in his eyes.
The other man lazily waved away his objection. "You're still alive. I think I'll take the risk." The man raised his coffee cup to his face and inspected the contents. After a long look, he dipped his finger into the cooling liquid, and fished out an invisible speck of dirt. Satisfied, he took a gulp. "Ah, that hits the spot."
He straightened up. "What about if I bring your doc a piece of cake? Ya know, so he can see for himself how good it is…" There was a hopeful look on his face. Now that sounded promising.
The retired Marine took a sip of his own coffee, and shrugged. "If you think that will convince him…" He was actually pretty pleased about the in person delivery. As well as intrigued. It sounded as if this was personal to the Air Force officer.
"Oh yeah, I'll make sure to bring the really good stuff. Chocolate. Double chocolate, hmmm." A look of pleasure crossed the man's face, which had Gibbs roll his eyes in amusement. He was about to finish the rest of his coffee in one big gulp, when he noticed the brown eyes measuring him up. Whatever the man was looking for, he apparently found it, because he asked, "How far are you with that boat of yours?"
"Finished that one. Started a new one."
"Hmm. We should go fishing again. Haven't done that in ages."
Gibb's eyes narrowed imperceptibly. "You actually have time for that?" he asked, his tone bordering on disbelief.
"Oh yeah," the other man grinned. "I'm a Major General now. I get to delegate. Come on, it'll be like old times. I know just the place too! My cabin, nice pond… What do you say?"
There was a moment of silence as the Special Agent considered. Then he nodded. "I'm in."
"Splendid!" The General leaned back and finished his coffee, before looking at his watch. With a sigh, he added apologetically, "Got to go. Delegating doesn't do itself. It was good seeing you again. I'll be in touch."
Gibbs watched as the man walked away with a nonchalant step, which despite appearances did not fail to eat up the distance. Throwing back the remaining coffee, Gibbs deposited some bills on the table, then he walked off too, in the opposite direction from where he'd come.
Without hesitation, he opened the door of the car and slid into the passenger's seat.
"Sleeping on the job, DiNozzo?" he asked, without turning around.
Immediately Tony sat up in the backseat, trying to cover up his sheepishness at having been caught. "No Boss, I'm sorry, Boss… How did you know I was here?"
This time, Gibbs did turn around to level a stare at his senior field agent.
"Right, Boss, shutting up now."
"Good. Now get behind the wheel. Unless you want Ziva to drive."
Tony's face went blank. "Ziva, Boss?"
"Yeah, Ziva. The former Mossad agent who will have lost her quarry by now. She should be here any minute, and I want to get back to the office, so get moving, DiNozzo."
Despite the impatience that was clear in his boss's tone, Tony chuckled. "Boss, we're talking Ziva David here. She won't have los-" Just then his cell phone rang. Seeing the caller display, he carefully schooled his features. "Yeah?"
"Tony, I lost him." The frustration came through loud and clear. Tony's eyes flitted over to Gibbs. "Eh, copy that. Hurry back. Gibbs wants to get back to NCIS."
He could hear her mentally change tracks. "On my way." A click signalled the end of the conversation.
"DiNozzo, get behind the wheel, or I will be driving."
The threat was sufficient to have Tony scramble to get into the driver's seat. Less than a minute later, Ziva slid into the back and started ranting.
"That man is hiding something. He must have had specialised training. There is no way an old man like him would have gotten away from me otherwise."
Gibbs frowned and turned to look at her. "Old, Ziva?"
Failing to take the hint, or perhaps just ignoring it in favour of venting her frustrations, Ziva rolled her eyes. "I did not mean 'old' per se. Just, older. I mean, the man's knees are obviously not in great condition, and,-"
"Ziva!" Tony interrupted, turning to give her a meaningful look, willing her to stop digging herself a deeper hole.
"Just how old do you think he is, David?" Gibbs questioned, his laser-like stare aimed straight at the Israeli woman.
"Much older than you, Gibbs," Ziva said swiftly. She had gotten the message at last.
"Much older, Boss," Tony agreed. Trying for nonchalance, he threw out the question. "Just out of curiosity, how old is he?"
Gibbs turned back to stare out of the front of the window. "Just drive, DiNozzo."
"Got it, Boss." He started the engine and they were soon on their way back to the Navy Yard.
"So, did the…eh, guy have any intel on our case?"
Gibbs grunted. "Lieutenant Colonel Davis didn't do it."
"You sure?" Tony insisted. "Because so far, that's who the evidence points to."
"What? Just because this mystery guy says so?" Ziva argued from the back seat. "Which he did not, by the way! All he cared about was cake and fishing."
"He's bringing evidence to support that to Ducky," Gibbs added. Apparently Ziva still wasn't convinced.
"Is this one of those 'semper fi' things?" she questioned.
"He did not look like a Marine," Tony disagreed, risking a quick glance at the passenger seat.
"No," Gibbs agreed quietly, apparently even a little amused.
"Well if he told you all this, it was not apparent. He must have been in some specific branch of the military. Special Forces perhaps," Ziva persisted. "The man got away from me within thirty seconds."
"Maybe you're getting slow," Tony suggested with a grin. Immediately he got a punch to the shoulder from behind. "Ouch! Stop that, I'm driving here!"
"Then stop making foolish suggestions, Tony. He must have known we were watching."
"Ya think?" Gibbs agreed.
"We were careful, Boss," Tony argued. "It's one thing for you to know we were there, but-"
"DiNozzo, if I knew you were there, he definitely knew you were there."
Tony looked over in surprise. Then he grinned. "Nah, no one beats your gut feeling, Boss."
"Not talking about gut feelings, DiNozzo. But if anyone can spot a tail," Gibbs shook his head, "it's him." Him and Callen. Hmm. Toss-up. The younger man's unfortunate childhood probably gave the undercover agent a slight edge over the former Black Ops officer in that area. Maybe. Both were paranoid bastards. Very alike in some ways, very different in others. After they'd get past the paranoia, they'd probably get on like a house on fire. Hmmm. He might have to introduce the two. Gibbs narrowed his eyes in thought. Maybe even sooner rather than later.
Tony threw surreptitious looks towards the passenger side of the car. You had to really know the man to hear it, but his tone held a level of respect that was unusual for Gibbs. If Gibbs was aware of his glances, he didn't let on.
Gibbs cast his mind back over the conversation he'd just had.
No cake. Lieutenant Colonel Paul Davis was not the murderer. Chocolate. And soon they would have evidence to support that. The actual body, instead of just the coroner's report provided by this NID. Double chocolate. As well as a possible lead to whoever had done it. Gibbs wasn't worried about the lead not panning out; the General – really, he was a Major General now? – had always come through. No, what worried him was the invitation to go fishing…
My cabin, nice pond.
That pond was empty. If they were going fishing there, the only fish they'd find was one that didn't belong there.
Like old times.
It was going to be one of those: under the radar, no one to trust but a select few, and very high stakes…
Gibbs worked his jaw, looking out the window without really seeing the scenery.
He had agreed to be part of it. He could have said no. But there was the kicker; the other man did not often ask for back-up. Gibbs had given it on occasion, even if Jack had tried to get him to back off. This time though, Jack had asked. If Jack O'Neill invited you to come fish in his pond, it meant there were really big fish to fry.
Gibbs's eyes narrowed. Ok. That was it then. Time to get the fishing rods out. The retired Marine and the former Black Ops officer were going fishing.
A/N: Right… You know how sometimes stories take on a life of their own? This is one of them. It started out with just another idea for my SG-1 Language series: get Jack to talk in some kind of code, which is really a language on its own.
I should have grown suspicious when Gibbs volunteered to sit down at a table and join Jack's coded conversation. It seemed like a good idea at the time: they're about the same age; I could see them having done a secret op or two together where they would have needed some kind of code. Gibbs may be a man of few words, but he's great at picking up nuances in body language; Jack is a master in talking a lot without saying anything, and vice versa. Perfect match! Gibbs could meet Jack in D.C. over a cup of coffee; they'd chat over some normal, everyday thing, which conveys a message only understood between the two of them. Voila! Done. So, I started writing 'Piece of Cake' (chapter 3).
And then all of a sudden Jack just keeps talking and recruits Gibbs for a big secret mission!
And then I discover that Tony and Ziva had decided to tail Gibbs, and… well, you know how that worked out. So suddenly I was left with a story that was more NCIS than SG-1, although apparently the NCIS case was tied in with someone trying to implicate Paul Davis… and Jack knows all about it… and more. And don't ask me about that secret mission, because Jack's not talking. Well, not to me at least!
Anyway, then I wanted to see a bit more of the coded conversations between Gibbs and O'Neill, so I wrote the other two chapters. And that's how I ended up with this story. Hope you enjoyed it! I certainly had fun. Even if I'm slightly miffed at O'Neill and Gibbs for keeping me out of the loop.
A/N2: If you have any questions regarding the code, let me know. I'll help out as much as Gibbs and Jack will allow. If you don't hear from me... please send in the cavalry! Thanks!
A/N3: For those enjoying the language series, fear not, I am not finished playing in this particular sandbox. More stories will follow, and it shouldn't take another 2.5 years before the next one's posted either. You should have time for a cup of coffee while you wait though. ;)