A/N 1: As promised, here is the next Lily story. This is much shorter than Operation Lazarus turned out to be. The only spoilers are for the previous Lily stories, but it should be possible to read this story without having read the others (as usual). I wanted to write something with a serious twist in it, and I hope I have succeeded. I will only find out if it is working by reviews though, so please drop me a line!
A/N 2: Many thanks must go to my wonderful beta reader Kristen. She does a fabulous job, even when I swamp her with stories.
Summary: The good news: the hostage taker doesn't know if he has the Director of NCIS. The bad news: no one else knows either. When MTAC is controlled by a gunman, all hell breaks loose. Some Jibbs. Lily!
For Sophie, who was as confused as I ended up when I first tried to explain this idea to her.
Chapter 1: Prologue
The Director of NCIS once again ran her fingers through her hair. MTAC was quiet, but it was buzzing with excitement, underpinned with a little nervousness as well.
On the big screen ahead of her, she continued to watch Nathan Fuller, a notorious drug lord, as he walked around the park, unaware that his reign was about to come to an end. Gibbs had managed to catch one of his underlings and persuaded him to roll for a deal. All they needed now was patience as the trap was set…
Gibbs sat next to her, omnipresent cup of coffee in hand. Truth be told, she knew he was annoyed at being there with her when he could be with his team. But they only had paperwork to do and she needed him present.
Cynthia stood over by the technicians, determined to watch the mission. The current scuttlebutt said that her nephew had been involved with Fuller's group and had struggled to get out. Cynthia wanted to see Fuller go down with her own eyes.
Not that the Director minded. She knew how family got under your skin and understood the lengths people were prepared to go for them. Her sister could be very protective when she wished to be.
Beside her, Gibbs took another sip of his coffee. "How much longer?" he asked.
The redhead opened her mouth to reply, but a tech beat her to it. "All clear. Proceed."
Everyone watched the screen with baited breath.
A young woman walked up to Fuller and smiled sweetly. She had been carefully chosen to appeal to his tastes. "Excuse me, sir?" she inquired, her soft Texas twang deliberately disarming. "Can you tell me where the Washington Monument is?"
Fuller smiled at her. "Sure, honey." He took her arm and let her to the edge of the road. "You want to go down that street and turn right in three blocks. You should be able to see it from there."
"Thanks," she smiled back. "I keep getting lost."
"I know the feeling," he replied. "I came here twenty years ago now and I still can't find my way round."
Back in MTAC, Gibbs snorted quietly. "Sounds like someone I know," he whispered in the redhead's ear.
Her response was to elbow him as she continued to watch the action.
While they had been conversing, a car had pulled up in front of them. Suddenly, the woman, an undercover Agent Short, kneed Fuller somewhere painful. He went down rapidly. She and another agent quickly bundled him in the back of the car and drove off at speed.
MTAC burst into cheers. Only the Director and Gibbs did not join in, although the latter allowed himself a little smile.
No one was expecting what happened next.
Gibbs had been silently congratulating himself for bringing Fuller down, when one of the techs stood up from the wall and produced a gun.
The room slowly fell silent as everyone realized what was going on.
Only Cynthia reacted with speed. She had been standing directly next to a keyboard and immediately typed in a fourteen digit alphanumeric code, sealing the doors and all transmissions.
The screen turned black.
"Robert Gilman," the Director spoke up, carefully keeping her voice level, not wanting to spook him.
"Get that screen back up," he ordered.
Gibbs took a moment to observe the man. He was short and stocky, with his brown hair shaved in a military style. Gibbs had seen him before, only a few times, and his gut hadn't picked anything up.
"I'm not going to do anything with a gun pointed at me," the redhead told him, standing up slowly so she could go toe to toe with her opponent.
Gibbs withheld a wince. Of the two sisters, he was stuck with the one he'd prefer not to have in this situation. He stood up too, choosing to keep his movements slow like the redhead. He was the only agent in the room, and thus the only one armed. If he could just get to his gun…
"Hey, you," Gilman demanded, turning the gun to Gibbs. "I want you to put down your weapon very slowly."
So much for Gilman forgetting about that small fact. Maybe having a shouting match with Jenny inside MTAC the other day had been a bad idea after all.
He did as he was ordered, mainly because Gilman had turned the gun back to the Director. He wasn't prepared to let her get shot any time soon. Only he was allowed to shoot her.
"Now back up." Gilman reached down and picked up the gun, removing the bullets before kicking it under the seats.
Gibbs caught the redhead's eye and knew she was berating herself for leaving her gun in her office earlier. Still, at least Gilman wasn't aware that they were both carrying knives. They just needed to get close enough to use them.
"Unseal everything so I can make a few calls," Gilman ordered the Director again.
Once again, she shook her head. "Put down the gun, Rob, and we can talk."
Gibbs watched her carefully. She was not going to back down from this, he was sure of it. And it was his job to keep her safe.
He gently put his hands on her arms and maneuvered her so she was behind him slightly. He didn't need to see her face to know that she didn't appreciate the gesture. She'd once called him a 'chauvinistic old patriarch' and he guessed she was going to do it again when this was over.
Gilman let a smirk cross his features. "Perhaps I should prove how serious I am." He pulled the trigger once.
Gibbs felt a fiery pain in his abdomen as he collapsed in a heap on the floor. The redhead instantly knelt down to put pressure on his wound, ignoring the slow trickle of blood flowing through her fingers. Around the room, the techs and Cynthia looked shocked.
"Unseal everything," Gilman repeated, turning the gun back to the redhead.
Across town, Jenny and Lily woke at the same time.