Title: An Intriguing Man (NCIS/CSI)
Prompt: Written for the crimecrossover ficathon from a prompt from babylil who wanted to see a meeting between Gibbs and Lady Heather.
Characters: Gibbs & Lady Heather; sightings of McGee, DiNozzo and Ziva
Disclaimer: All things belong to their respective creators
Beta: I send much gratitude to my terrific beta ayiana2.
Summary: In Baltimore to meet a client, Lady Heather becomes a suspect in an NCIS investigation. Will it turn into more than a simple interrogation?
An Intriguing Man
When Heather returned from her morning errands and found him dead, she didn't panic; she just pulled out her cell phone and called the Baltimore Police. In her line of work, she knew better than to run or hide.
Admiral Roger Jameson had been a client and like all of her patrons, she'd kept his secrets. They told her the things they couldn't tell their wives or friends. She stayed neutral, never judging, which was why they opened up to her.
Roger was a fastidious man. Pleasant. She saw him four times a year when he came to Vegas and every August he brought her to D.C., to show her the town. It seemed even Rear Admirals needed to cut loose every so often. This time it was different. It was early June and he'd broken his regular pattern. He'd been distraught when he'd begged her to come. He said he needed someone outside the beltway he could trust.
She performed a lot of activities for the right price, and she could play courier if that was what Roger needed. She had boarded the next available flight to Baltimore. He'd had the files on a flash drive waiting for her, and he'd pleaded with her to keep them safe.
As distraught as he was, they had still shared a hotel room that night. She smiled. Men were such simple creatures, really. In the morning, one of the errands she had run had been to make sure the files were in a safe place. She had no idea what they contained, and she didn't want to know, but she would have held them until Roger asked her to return them. Unfortunately for Roger, it looked like that would be never.
Now, she stood in the doorway staring at his body. Roger would have been appalled at what they'd done to him. She wanted to untie him, give him back his dignity but she knew better than to even enter the room. She had to place a hand over her mouth to stop the hysterical giggle that welled up in her throat as she wondered if Roger would even have enjoyed such a sexual adventure.
It didn't take a detective to realize that Roger was probably dead because of the files. She wondered if he had told any one else about meeting her or if he'd been followed. Whatever he was investigating had to be big and it must have made someone very nervous. She was distraught to realize that her involvement would probably ruin his reputation. She hoped that the evidence could overcome any damage his headline catching murder might cause.
She retreated into the hallway and leaned heavily against the wall. She wondered if the killer knew her. She wasn't naïve enough to think Roger only saw her; he was unmarried after all. Maybe the killer knew of his penchant for prostitutes and she had been the lucky one to receive the frame-up. Too bad he didn't know Roger's tastes or the proper way to tie a bondage knot.
She wasn't worried about proving her innocence, but she was worried about what to do with the flash drive she had hidden away in her newly purchased safety deposit box. She had to decide who, among the myriad law enforcement officers who would be invading this hotel room, could be trusted with the critical files.
Heather had allowed the snotty young lieutenant from the Baltimore Police Department to usher her into the adjoining hotel room and place her under guard. He may not have known her exact relationship to the victim, but since the murder had happened in her room, he had already convicted her. Heather sighed. He was too young to be so sure of his instincts. She knew she was the obvious choice but really, he wasn't thinking. She had been the one who called the police. If she had killed Roger, she wouldn't have waited around for the cops.
She watched the chaos through the connecting doors. After about twenty minutes, it just stopped. She watched the police clear out, and then the same impudent lieutenant returned to her side.
His manner said he was relieved to be rid of her. "Dead guy's Navy, so NCIS is taking over. They'll take your statement, so just sit tight." Heather stared at him. He flinched a little under her unblinking gaze; a small man trying to act big. "I'd be worried if I were you. I don't think they'll like you killing one of their big guns."
Heather shook her head. She had little faith in the system, but Grissom had taught her to have faith in the evidence. She'd keep him as her ace-in-the-hole if the forensics team here proved less than competent.
Finally, voices in the adjoining room announced the new arrivals. Heather had never dealt with NCIS, but she assumed they were just better paid cops. She studied the steely-eyed, grey-haired man who entered the room. He was obviously the man in charge. She'd heard him barking orders to the people who had taken over the crime scene.
He paused at the entrance and watched her. She met his gaze with equal intensity. Suddenly, she wished she had had a chance to change out of the casual shorts and low cut blouse she was wearing. Something about him made her want to sit up straighter.
"I'm Special Agent Gibbs," he announced as he dragged a chair to sit directly in front of her. "I understand you found the body."
"Yes." Simple answers to simple questions; she'd learned that much from Grissom.
Agent Gibbs led her through her morning routine. She related her exact movements that morning, but left out the visit to the safety deposit box, simply saying she'd gone to the ATM. Let him figure out that the timing didn't add up. She wanted to see how smart he was before she trusted him with that tidbit.
"So, you tie him up like that?" he asked.
She sensed no judgment in the question, only a desire for the truth. "No."
"You ever tie him up like that?"
He knew she'd only answered what was asked. "No," she answered before offering a little more, "Roger's tastes were more… vanilla." She left that idea hanging to see what Gibbs would do. She crossed her legs and felt his eyes follow along her thigh.
She wondered what Gibbs' proclivity might be. Given enough time she would know what pushed his buttons. It was a small game she often played with intriguing men. Gibbs appeared unflappable; that was the challenge. Heather had spent a lifetime deciphering men just like him. She often knew their motivations better than they did. It was part of what made her good at her job.
Gibbs caught the tone in her voice, "You were here to provide a friendly ear and spend the night."
Heather sensed his understanding. "That's right."
"You kill him?"
Finally, the heart of the matter. She smiled and leaned back in her chair. His eyes tracked her every movement and it was intoxicating. Heather wondered if maybe he'd found her buttons instead. "No, I did not kill him."
Gibbs returned her half smile, "Any idea who might have?"
So, he believed her. He was a man who could recognize the truth, and he hadn't judged her. Point to him, she thought. Her instincts told her she could trust him.
Before she could answer his question, they were interrupted.
"What, DiNozzo?" Gibbs snapped but he never broke eye contact with her. His tone said annoyed but his eyes said 'you'll enjoy this.'
"Boss, Ducky's here. He figured you'd have questions." DiNozzo announced and then gave her a leering smile over Gibbs' head.
It was so over the top she let loose a giggle. With deliberate intent, Gibbs stood up, favoring DiNozzo with a steely eyed glare. "You need something else?"
"No, Boss." DiNozzo answered but he hadn't taken his eyes off of her. She uncrossed and recrossed her legs in true Sharon Stone fashion. Too bad she was wearing shorts, and watched as his eyes almost left his head.
Gibbs caught the interaction, and flashing her a conspiratorial grin, he smacked the back of DiNozzo's head. "Then get back to work."
"Right, Boss… Sure." Flustered, DiNozzo almost bashed himself against the door frame in his effort to make a hasty retreat.
Heather found herself immensely entertained by the whole exchange. Gibbs was obviously a father figure to Agent DiNozzo and a good one at that. She'd recognized Tony's type immediately—always playing to the balcony and unsure of his own worth.
Heather followed Gibbs into the next room. Her curiosity about the rest of his team was peaked. If she was going to trust him, she wanted to know what kind people he trusted.
He didn't acknowledge her presence but he didn't send her back to the adjoining room either. She stood and watched.
"Ah, Jethro," said the older man. Ducky, she assumed. "I've done a preliminary examination of poor Admiral Jameson."
"You got a time and cause of death for me?"
"The admiral expired between eight and nine this morning. Preliminary evidence suggests asphyxiation."
"Well, he was a little tied up …" DiNozzo's quip died on his lips as Gibbs turned to glare at him. "Ah … right, almost finished here, Boss."
Gibbs ignored DiNozzo and turned to a younger man who was still collecting evidence. "McGee, you done?"
"Ah yes, Boss," McGee answered as he packed up his bag.
"Take our guest back to NCIS." Unspoken, but definitely relayed in Gibb's tone was for McGee to be a gentleman. Heather smiled at the nervous young man. This one was a Boy Scout, she thought, as she walked with him out the door.
Heather waited in the interrogation room. She wondered who was watching her. She knew Tony would be there; he was curious about her. Too bad he probably couldn't afford her because she would be good for him.
Gibbs entered. He actually smiled. He hadn't said a word but she knew he no longer considered her a suspect. Not that he really ever had.
They sat silently across the table from one another. Heather found herself falling into the rhythm of his breathing; sharing the silence as easily as conversation. The moment stretched a little longer before he finally said, "The killer tried to frame you. And badly I might add. How did he know you'd be with him?"
She nodded. Grissom was right—the evidence was always right. "Roger was a man of habits who had a thing for prostitutes. He always took me to the same hotel. If he was seeing others then …" she left the thought for Gibbs to finish.
"…they would know where to find him and how to get to him."
Again they sat in comfortable silence, and then she smiled. He returned her smile, and in that moment she knew her earlier instinct to trust him was correct.
"I think I know why Roger was killed."
Gibbs raised an eyebrow but said nothing, waiting for her to continue.
"He gave me some files on a flash drive. I didn't ask what was on it but he flew me in from Vegas just to give it to me."
"I guess it's a good thing the killer didn't know why you really came to see him. Unlucky for them then, that you weren't a random pick-up."
"Most people don't give those in my profession much credit for having much use once we're on our feet," she smirked. She handed Gibbs a safety deposit box key. "You'll find the link to your killer in there, I wager."
Gibbs took the key and showed it to the mirror, "DiNozzo, David … go collect this."
Moments later, a small brunette came in to claim the key. She disappeared back into the hall without a word.
Gibbs stood and offered her his hand, "I think we need to get you into protective custody until this is finished."
He didn't let go as she rose into his personal space. She stared up into his eyes. There was a connection there she didn't want to let get away.
"I'll have McGee take you back to the hotel and then to a safe house," he said, his voice soft, almost a caress. Without breaking eye contact, he gestured to the mirror again.
McGee entered the room a moment later and cleared his throat.
Even the Boy Scout could feel the heat between them, Heather thought. "I think your place will be just fine."
He looked at her and then waved McGee away. "On second thought, I'll handle this."
It seemed that the evidence in the safety deposit box was enough to blow whatever the conspiracy was, wide open. Heather never took the time to learn the details of the case, and her role as courier had become unimportant once the evidence came to light. NCIS made the appropriate arrests and passed the case on to JAG. Her life was no longer in danger, if it ever really had been.
It all happened fairly quickly and she'd never gotten the chance to see Gibbs' house. She was a little disappointed at not being able to spend more time with him, but her life in Vegas waited.
Gibbs insisted on driving her to the airport. Pulling up to the terminal, he parked and hopped out to open her door. He offered her his hand as she stepped to the curb;a gentleman until the end.
"I'll be back for the trial," she acknowledged, a promise in her voice.
"I'll be waiting." Gibbs responded, a returned promise in his voice too. He reluctantly let go of her hand as she turned to enter the terminal.
She could feel his eyes watching her as she walked away and she found herself hoping that the trial would bring her back to DC very soon.