Chapter Nine

"Hi Marianne, I'm Special Agent Sara Sadler, how are you today?" I ask in sickly sweet voice, with a hint of a Southern accent I didn't know existed.

"Oh, I'm great, Special Agent Sara Sadler." She hisses my title and name. "In the middle of a manicure…" She shows me her ruined pink nails. I actually feel bad for a moment, looking down at my own deep purple nails; I hate when they get messed up before they could dry. "Your agents drag me out of the salon and bring me to this place, leave me in this room and—"

I raise my hand to stop her.

"When I asked how you were; it was a rhetorical question." I say, slamming the folder on the desk.

"A what?" She asks.

"I was only asking it to be nice, I don't care how your day as been." She gasps and I open the folder and show her the picture of Brea. "Do you know her?" I ask, slamming it down in front of her. She shakes her head.

"Why should I?" She asks. I pull out the picture of Joseph Spencer.

"How about him?" I ask coldly. She brings her hand to her face and lets out a sob. "How do you know him?"

"He's my boyfriend… we live together." She sobs.

"He's been dead for four days, why didn't you report him missing?" I ask. She takes the picture from me and stares at it.

"I figured he was working… sometimes he just doesn't come home and stays at the base…" She looks from the picture of Spencer to the picture of Brea. "What does she have to do with Joey?" She asks.

"They were found together, murdered Thursday morning in a park." I tell her coldly.

"M—murdered?" she stutters. If she did do it, she's a good actress.

"Yes, murdered. What was your boyfriend doing with her?" I ask heartlessly, leaning back.

"I---I don't know… could it just be a coincidence?" She asks. I smile.

"Two people found together, murdered at the same and the same way? I don't think so." I tell her. "What do you do for a living, Ms. Meyer?" I ask, titling my head sideways.

"I'm a dental assistant. I administer the laughing gas(1), clean teeth, that kind of thing." She says. She doesn't know what rhetorical means, but someone lets her near teeth? Wow. (2)

"So you have access to laughing gas?" I ask.

"Uh yeah… I administer it, duh." She says. I look back at the two way mirror and lock eyes with Gibbs. Well, it could have been Tony or Kate, but I'm sure the eyes I have locked with are Gibbs'. I'm 99.9% sure of that at least. I looked back at her and smile.

"That's all for now. Don't leave town;(3) NCIS will be in touch." I tell her and leave.

I meet Gibbs in the hallway and hand him the file.

"You did real good pulling yourself from the case, Sara." He says. I look at him and smile.

"Well, I really love Antonio's." I laugh and press the down elevator button. I lean against the wall and shake my head. "I think she did it." I admit. Gibbs looks back at me and stops the elevator.

"Why?" He asks.

"The way she reacted when I showed her the picture of Brea. There was a moment of recognition in her eyes, Gibbs. I know that look; it comes from working with you." I say to him. "She's a dental assistant… and she doesn't seem very bright…"

"How does the last part fit in with the case?"

"It doesn't; I just don't like it when people don't seem very bright." I say, folding my arms over my chest. Gibbs laughs and turns back on the elevator.

"Get a warrant, Sara." He tells me. I smile smugly and wish I was happy for a second, because then he might have kissed my cheek. Although he did full on kiss me once, which was really nice. The doors open and I stand there, thinking about his lips and Mike's lips. Oh too much to think about now. "Sadler?" He calls out. I look up at him, shaking myself out of my thoughts.

"Sorry, boss." I say and walk out to the legal department.

^*********************^

"Hey, boss, got that beautiful warrant for the dental office and every single laughing gas tube she has worked on." I say with a bright smile, holding out the white piece of paper. Gibbs smiles and grabs his keys and gun. When we get to the elevator, Gibbs leans over and kisses my cheek.

"Good job, Sara." He tells me. I smile and lean up to kiss his cheek.

"Thanks, sir." I say, dancing to the invisible elevator music.

"Don't call me sir, Sara." He says.

"Do you want me to call you ma'am (4)?" I tease. Gibbs laughs and shakes his head.

"You can call me Gibbs or Jethro." He tells me. I raise an eyebrow.

"What did I do to deserve that honor?" I ask. He laughs at me and the elevator door opens. He grabs my hand and pulls me out to the car. "Let's go to that dentist office and confiscate all of those stupid tubes." He says, opening the car door for me. I laugh and climb in.

"I hope no one has a root canal or some other series dental surgery today." I say. Gibbs chuckles and climbs in the drivers' side.

^************************^

"I hate dentists." I state when Gibbs pulls into the parking lot of the dentists' office. He looks over at me.

"Why?"

"Because my dentist never numbed me enough so I felt every tear in my teeth." I tell him. "My teeth came in wrong so I had to have most of them pulled." I explain further, holding the warrant in my hand and getting out of the car.

"I never minded the dentist when I was a kid." He tells me.

"You had perfect teeth, didn't you?" I ask as he comes up next to me. He flashes a smile and I stick my tongue out.

"You used to have your tongue pierced." He says, pointing to the healed piercing. "Yes, I did. And my lip and my nose and both my ears seven times." I tell him.

"What made you take the piercings out?" He asks.

"My intern interview at NCIS." He opens the door for me and I smile a thank you.

"Abby would have hired you." He tells me walking with me to the front desk.

"It was Director Morrow who interviewed me, not Abby." I tell him. We wait for the receptionist.

"Why didn't you put them back in?" Gibbs asks.

"I just grew up. Although I was working for a Goth, I didn't feel the need to wear it. It was hard for people to take me seriously with the piercings. I know Abby goes through it, too, but I'm just not… I care more you know? Abby has this 'I don't give a shit about what people think about me' attitude but I just… I don't." I say.

"Yeah, I get that." Gibbs tells me, nodding.

"Can I help you?" the receptionist asks. Gibbs pulls out his badge.

"Special Agents Gibbs and Sadler. We're here to issue a search warrant." I hand the receptionist the search warrant.

"Our laughing gas tubes? We have two root canals today!"

"Well, I hate to be them. If you don't give us the tubes I can arrest you for obstruction of justice." I smile smugly and bat my eyelashes. Oh god Gibbs is rubbing off on me! The receptionist groans and walks back to the observation rooms. I look up at Gibbs.

"That was impressive, Sara." He tells me. I smile and tap my fingers on the counter. "I really hope you solve this case without hurting someone; I'm looking forward to taking you out." He admits. I smile and look at the ground.

"I'm looking forward to it, too." I tell him, smiling.

"So the choices of me and Mike… any decisions?" He asks.

"Well you're both good kissers… so I think I'm just going to have to sleep with both of you." I tease. The receptionist comes back with a big box full of tubes and face masks.

"This all of 'em?" Gibbs asks. She nods and I look at the tubes and think of all the evidence that is on there. We walk back to the car and he puts the box in the back seat. I sigh after I've climbed in the car. Gibbs runs around to the drivers' seat and slides in.

"You're going to tell me to help Abby dust for prints and collect DNA, aren't you?" I ask.

"Nope." He says starting the car.

"Why not?" I ask, putting my seat belt on.

"You're going to be planning your best friends' funeral, Sara, and you're investigating her murder. Kate can help Abby." He says. I reach over and grab Gibbs' hand, intertwining my fingers with his.

"Thank you, Gibbs." I whisper.

"Just out of curiosity, who's winning the fight?" He whispers. I smile and lean over and place a simple kiss on his lips, not giving him time to kiss back.

"I really hope I don't get fired because of this, Gibbs." I whisper, licking my lips. I pull away and sit back in my seat. Gibbs laughs and puts the car in drive, pulling out of the driveway.