Disclaimer: NCIS characters aren't mine. All the others are original and came straight from my very twisted brain. …or my math class, in some cases.
Written for Caliga a long ass time ago. Now edited and posted.
Summary: Normalcy is overrated, but Tony's always been one to go with the trends.
It was supposed to be a simple investigation. Which, as clichéd as it sounds, was actually true until we lost the main suspect because he had an alibi that could be confirmed by the governor, of all people. This fact kinda screwed up the entire case because Ziva and I had been ignoring any evidence that didn't point to the guy. Gibbs was going to kill us later, of course. After we'd done all the paperwork and legwork and any other kind of work he could foist off on us. McGee hadn't been here until after our guy was crossed off the list of suspects that only had one name on it, and therefore was playing in the lab with Abby.
Gibbs appeared over my desk where I was actually working because if I didn't I wouldn't have a job. "We've got witnesses," he told me. I bounced up.
"We've got witnesses," I informed Ziva seriously. She ignored me. Was much too focused on Gibbs and all the ways that he was completely ignoring her existence.
"Abby needs fingerprints from all of them," Gibbs continued, talking to the wall above my head.
"You want us to print them for her?" I asked. It was a stupid question, put forth for the soul purpose of getting the older man to look at me.
"No. She's sitting in on it. There weren't enough conference rooms to divide all of them, so you'll have to deal with them all at once."
"We're not doing this in interrogation?" Ziva asked. Gibbs looked at her for the first time.
"No. You'll each have a tape recorder. Apparently interrogation is used for suspects and witnesses that are actually going to help solve cases." He had obviously had words with the director before he came and found us.
"Right. So, rule number one?" I asked.
"They've been alone for three days since the kidnapping. If they were going to formulate a story, they'd have done it by now."
I nodded. Man had a point. Ziva picked up her gun. I gave her a look, and she placed it back in her desk.
"I'll be with Ducky. Abby's already waiting for you. Conference rooms three and four."
He walked away. This was the part where we ran off and did his bidding like good little trained monkeys. Just give us a couple of bananas. I settled for coffee as we walked off into the proverbial jungle.
The first interview was hell. I was almost ready to throw my notebook at the people across the table. Gibbs hadn't told us we would be dealing with high school kids.
"So, Juli," I said evenly, trying to control my homicidal urges. "You say you heard a scream, and thought nothing of it?"
The girl flipped her blond curls and pursed her pink painted lips. "Well, Agent DiNozzo, we did have a dance to get to. I wasn't about to be late just because some girl couldn't keep it down."
Ziva blinked, but didn't say anything. Another girl giggled. I turned my attention to her.
"And what about you, Megan? Was that what you thought, too?"
"Yeah, pretty much, Agent DiNozzo. Or can I call you Tony?" Her chocolate brown hair was cut too short, and she was wearing too much makeup.
"No," I said before Ziva got the chance. She looked momentarily crestfallen, but the guy I assumed to be her boyfriend linked his fingers through hers and she was distracted.
"Look, we don't know anything," one of the boys said, obviously sick of playing. "Why don't you just let us go? We got stuff to do."
"And we're terribly sorry for keeping you from satisfying your drug habits," Ziva cut in dryly. She had been letting me do most of the talking. She sucks with kids. Abby was off in the corner, leaning against the wall looking cosmically bored.
"Look, lady, we don't do drugs. We don't smoke, we don't drink and we didn't see that girl get kidnapped!" another boy with bleached blond hair exploded.
"That "girl" was a petty officer," I told him coldly.
"I don't care if she was the president's dog walker! We didn't see anything!"
A girl grabbed his arm, trying to stop him. "Jeff, shush. I need to get home before we go out and fix my hair. We need to go."
He fell back in his chair, looking pissed. I held up my hands in defeat. "No, no, go. Get out of here. We're done."
I did not thank them for their time. I even waited until they had all piled out to smash my fist into the table. Abby pushed off the wall and moved over to me, petting my shoulders and back. Ziva gathered up our notebooks and pens and cups of coffee.
"I hate kids," I muttered. Neither of them laughed. Abby moved her hands from my shoulders to my head and ran her fingers through my hair.
"We've still got another roomful," Ziva reminded us.
"I can't," I whined.
"God hates you, remember," Abby said way too cheerfully.
"Even this is cruel and unusual punishment," I objected.
"You could just sit in here and refuse to move," she suggested.
"No, I couldn't. Because someone would tell Gibbs." That was enough; they both knew that Gibbs wouldn't appreciate one of his agents hiding out in a conference room all day whilst indulging his childish hatred of public school in general and teenagers who thought they knew everything in particular. Abby stepped back, staying as far away from Ziva as was possible without being blatantly obvious.
"Next room?" she asked. Ziva winced. I finished my coffee in a long swallow. The paper cup landed in the trash and I looked up to find Abby staring at me.
"You're becoming Gibbs. With the whole coffee…thing…" She gestured inarticulately with her white hands, the florescent lighting glinting off of her rings.
I walked past her. I wasn't Gibbs. I would never be Gibbs. I walked out the door and straight into the director. "Hello."
She stared at me as if I were one big pile of road kill she was passing on her way to work. "Agent DiNozzo."
Ziva and Abby were behind me, watching. I smiled my biggest fake grin at the woman in front of me. "I'm sorry, I was so engrossed in our case that I didn't see you there!"
"Of course." She didn't believe me. Smart of her, really, but I wasn't giving up the chance to be stuck between three beautiful women. I looked at the director again. Or not. And the two beautiful women actually had to follow me, so I walked right past the director, across the hall and into the next conference room. Abby followed me. Shepard stopped Ziva to talk. She looked pissed. Ziva, not the director. I didn't want to do this.
They weren't quite high school age. College, university maybe.
"Oh look, a human being," one of the people said snidely. He was tall, dark hair and dark eyes and dark clothes with his hands resting on the back of a girl's chair.
"Shut up, Marc," another girl said as if this happened a lot. The whole disrespecting of authority or the entire human race in general.
"I'm Agent Tony DiNozzo," I introduced myself. "This is our forensics specialist Abby Sciuto, and my partner, Officer Ziva David."
"Hello," said the girl who was most likely Marc's girlfriend.
"I like your earrings," a third girl said to Abby, and then blushed and hid her face in her hands. She was Goth, like Abby. Dyed black hair that was blood red at the tips. Too many rings and makeup that did nothing for her aside from accentuate how sickly pail her skin was. She was wearing pinstriped pants and a black silk shirt with a collar and three sets of silver hoops in her ears. I tried not to stereotype. She didn't necessarily do drugs. Really. She didn't have the ripped jeans and chains and fishnets.
"Thanks," Abby said, way too enthusiastically.
"How can we help you, Agent DiNozzo?" the second girl, the one who had told Marc to shut up, asked, flipping her hair over one shoulder, trying to look professional and sophisticated and apathetic and… something.
"We need to ask you a few questions about a kidnapping we believe you witnessed," I told her.
"I need your fingerprints," Abby told them. The Goth girl held out her hands too quickly, and Abby bounced over to her with a huge ass grin on her face. I looked away because I didn't want to know.
"We didn't do anything," Marc exclaimed. A second guy who sported a long leather duster and soft blond hair pounded his head into the wall. Not metaphorically, or mockingly, or any shit like that. Just thunked it against the plaster like it was no big deal.
"You'll have to excuse Marc," he said after he'd killed a sufficient number of brain cells. "He wasn't born with the brains God gave a cow, and he gets very angry when someone smarter than him comes along. Therefore he's kind of in a state of perpetual anger."
The girl who told Marc to shut up almost choked on her own saliva as she made valiant attempts not to laugh. "Niran does have a point."
Marc glared at her. "Shut up, Carmin."
"Kids?" Marc's girlfriend snapped. "Could we possibly answer the nice feds and be on our way so we don't all get sent to jail for obstruction of justice?"
"Remind me again why Chris got to skip out on this one?" Carmin asked, irritated.
The girlfriend glared up at the ceiling. "Because God hates me. And he and I are not speaking, and therefore I'm here with Marc and you may all shut up."
"You're not from the US, are you?" I asked. It was the way they pronounced…something. I don't know. I could just tell.
"Canada," Niran told me. Ziva scribbled furiously.
"We're on vacation," the girlfriend continued, holding up her passport. Tyla Keola Kalau, born May 23, 1985 in Honolulu Hawaii, with a double citizenship in Canada, currently residing in Vancouver. My eyes moved from the passport itself to the hand holding it. There was a paler mark on her left ring finger. I frowned and looked for a ring anywhere on Marc, but saw none.
"Where were you the night of Monday the twentieth?" I asked.
"Out. On our way to get iced cream, if you'll believe it," the girlfriend was turning out to be the spokesperson for the little group.
"And did you hear anything while you were out?" I asked, writing.
"Yeah. Someone screamed. Niran and Vira" -- she gestured to the guy who wasn't Marc and the Goth girl who was too busy talking to Abby to pay any attention to us -- "went over to see what was going on, but by then whatever had happened had, well, happened, and they didn't see anything."
I turned to Niran. "This true?" He stared up at the ceiling.
Kid was lying, that was easy enough to tell. I leaned forward, trying to telepathically stab his brain with my mental daggers. It didn't work, so much, and from the way Ziva was staring at me I looked like an idiot doing it. The kid just stared back at me impassively. I could tell he was dying for a cigarette. I knew. I'd been with enough women who smoked to recognize the signs.
"You do realize that the woman who was kidnapped could be lying bleeding to death in an alley somewhere?" Ziva asked the room in general.
Abby's lips curved up in a smile that held no humor. "Yum, blood."
Niran licked his lips and looked much too creepy for my taste. "We should go," the Goth girl, Vira stated suddenly, bouncing up from her chair and brushing her fingers against Abby as she slipped over to wrap her arms around Niran from behind. He was taller than her.
"Look, Niran," I snapped at the kid. "If you have any information, I need it now." Abby's head spun and she stared at him.
He arched an eyebrow and gave her a long pointed smile. She practically melted, I could tell. He lifted his eyebrows. "Yes?"
She blinked rapidly. "I—I need your fingerprints." She moved over to him too quickly, and I thought I detected her hands shaking as she painstakingly placed each of his fingers in her ink pad.
"Can we leave?" Marc demanded, glaring at me as if I were personally responsible for famine and disease and war and everything else that's wrong with the world.
"We'll need to ask you a few more questions," I told him coldly. "If you'll excuse us for a minute, we need to confer." Ziva was out the door before I was. Abby joined us after a minute.
"Shit," I muttered, resisting the very strong compulsion to hit the wall. Ziva nodded.
"That covers it," she agreed.
"What the hell is wrong with that kid?" I demanded. "He's creepy."
Abby nodded. "And taken. They're together. She hugged him and was all over him and I'm not attracted to—"
I held up a hand. "And that—"
She cut me off. "That, Tony, is existential proof that my taste in love interests sucks ass." She disappeared back into the room before I could comment on that.
Ziva nodded. I frowned for a moment. "They saw something. Him and that other girl."
"I don't think they're going to tell us," she noted. "Though if it had been the girl—Tyla – that had seen it, I'm sure you could have gotten the information out of her no problem."
I just stared at her. "You're kidding."
"You didn't notice?" She flipped her hair. "She wants you, Tony."
I groaned. "I'm going to go find McGee. Can you handle the rest?"
She nodded. "Yeah, sure." I grinned at her.
"Thanks. I'll buy you dinner some time."
She went back into the room. I poked my head in through the door. "Hey, Abs, where'd you hide McGee?"
She smirked. "He's down in the lab, I think. Don't scare him too much, we're going clubbing tonight and I don't want him to be all tensed up the entire time."
I pouted. "You ruin all my fun."
"Yeah, of course I do," she saluted me with her coffee and I ran away. I almost got all the way to the lab without being stopped by anyone.
"DiNozzo!" I froze. Gibbs. Shit, shit, shit. I wondered if it would be too conspicuous to jump into a janitors' closet.
"Hi, Boss," I greeted, as cheerfully as I could. He stared at me.
"Why aren't you doing the interrogations?"
I stared at him. "Ziva said she could handle it. I needed to talk to McGee. All is well. Want more coffee?"
He sighed. "Sure." I ran off before he could say anymore. I was doing a lot of that. Running, I mean.
DC Beans wasn't crowded at this time of day, and I got my coffee and Gibbs' coffee and Abby's caf-pow in record time. I turned to leave, and ran straight into a woman, spilling all three drinks all down the front of my expensive suit. Closing my eyes, I counted to ten and opened them again.
"I'm so sorry!" she exclaimed.
"No, no, it was all my fault," I assured her, smiling the best I could.
"No, please, let me help you. I've made a really big mess of your suit…I can't believe I did that!"
I held up a hand. "It really is okay. I'm Tony, by the way."
She grinned, blushed and glared at someone over to my left. "I'm Monica."
I smiled my biggest and most charming grin. Maybe the day wasn't an entire waste.
A/N2: For those of you who read this previously yes, Niran's name was originally Gabriel due to the fact that he came straight out of the Carminverse, however I figured with my inclusion of Witchblade's Gabriel in my NCIS fics, it might be slightly confusing for those who don't know me.