0730 – the following morning
"Yes, Director?" The Israeli left her place by the window and walked over to the side of the bed.
"Does he always snore like this?" Gwen asked in hushed tones.
"Only on days of the week ending in day," Tibbs said from his place in the easy chair.
"And you know this how?" Gwen wanted to know.
"He lived with me for a couple of weeks one time when his lease ran out." He suppressed a shudder with difficulty, and angled his head towards the door when Molly put her head round it.
"Can I talk to you outside?" she said.
"Yeah. Lisa ..." There was no need to verbalize what he wanted.
"I will not leave the room."
"So .. does he always snore like this?" Gwen repeated.
Lisa stared at her for a moment. She hadn't seen her old friend in the woman in front of her in so many months that she was almost taken aback.
"Sometimes," she said. Careful to use a word which could be interpreted many ways.
Gwen indicated the glass of water on her bedside table.
"Wake him up," she said with a mischievous smile.
Lisa chuckled as she pulled the glass from the stand and walked purposefully towards Tommy.
"Oh downy bottom .." she cajoled as she poured the water over his head.
"GAH!" Tommy flew to his feet. "What did you do that for?"
"You snore like a drunken sailor," she said contemptibly.
"You snore like a drunken sailor with emphysema," he shot back.
"I do not snore," she answered indignantly.
"Yes you do."
"I do not."
"Children!" Ronald Gosling interrupted sharply as he walked in. "Might I remind you that we are in a hospital? I could hear you all the way down the corridor. Good morning Director." He smiled as he turned his attention to her. "How are you feeling this morning?"
"That is, alas, to be expected." He drew a chair up to the side of the bed. "Now, I have called my friend the plastic surgeon, and the soonest he can come see you is ..."
Tommy turned his eyes and ears away from the conversation and focused on Lisa. She was pacing up and down the room looking at her watch.
"McGregor is late," she said as she dialed his number. "Have you already been to my apartment?" she asked irately when he answered. "How soon will you be here? Okay."
"McGregor has the key to your apartment?" Tommy asked incredulously when she had hung up.
"McGregor has had the key to my apartment for two years, Tommy. So has Jalmer."
"What?" he spluttered.
"McGregor does maintenance on my hardware and Jalmer tunes my instrument."
"You've given them the keys to the kingdom." Tommy's shoulders sagged in despair.
"I cannot be there every time McGregor wants to look at my computer or Jalmer has time to work on the piano. So they have keys."
"Where is McGregor, anyway?"
"He is parking the Lamborghini."
"Goose .." Tibbs stalked back into the room, with Molly right behind him.
"Ho," the medical examiner said as he turned round to look at him.
"Jareth, if you don't mind ..." Gwen said with a flick of her wrist at the coffee cup in his hand.
"I don't know how you can drink that swill but the smell is making me feel sick. Can you drink it somewhere else?"
For a moment he was tempted to remind her that she'd loved this kind of swill back in the day. Irritation swept over him as he walked to the back of the room, stepped on the trash can pedal, and made a huge show of ditching the cup.
"Very mature," he heard Gwen mutter in background as the lid clanged shut.
"Move away from the window, Tibbs," Lisa half growled as she moved towards him.
Tibbs nodded and stepped sideways.
Awkward silence fell for a moment. Goose shook his head, Molly picked at imaginary lint on her jacket, Gwen shifted on the bed once or twice, and Tibbs glared at the dust beams. Tommy stood there trying to think of something to say – and smiled broadly when McGregor walked in.
"Morning ..." Sean said with a nod as he walked over to Lisa and put a package in her hands.
"Sunglasses?" Tommy wondered out loud when she pulled them out of the box.
Lisa ignored him as she slipped them onto her face and walked discreetly past the window.
"Top floor, northwest corner, Tibbs," she said. "There is a laser trained on this room."
McGregor's eyes fairly bulged out of his head.
"I can't believe that your sunglasses can detect different light spectrums, Lisa. That's amazing."
"Find out which part of the hospital that is," Tibbs snapped.
"On it, Boss." McGregor said as he hurried out of the room. "Doctors' offices," he said when he returned a few moments later holding blueprints. "Many of them empty because they're moving to a new building."
Tibbs nodded as he spoke into his cell phone.
"Thaddeus," he said as he turned on his heel and started for the door. "Got something. Building opposite. Northwest corner, top floor."
"Jareth!" Gwen's voice was hoarse, but he ignored her as he put his phone away. He knew what she would say and he wasn't interested.
"DiAmo, lets roll. McGregor, keep looking over those blueprints and find us a way in. Lisa ..." He fixed her with the same pointed stare he had earlier - and the response was the same.
"I will not leave the room."
"Jareth ..." Molly protested as he swept out of the room.
He ignored her as well.
As the door banged shut, Molly took a deep breath. The small pleasure she'd derived from the fact that Jareth had completely sidelined Gwen had turned into humiliation the moment he'd treated her the same way. She was sure the Director of BSIS was probably lying in her bed, gloating, and she didn't want to face her. Or Lisa. Or Goose.
But she really didn't have much choice.
"Well .." Ronald Gosling said as she turned around, "lets hope for the best, shall we?"
Gwen looked up at the Lisa.
"Get him on the phone" she said.
Molly could hear the steel in her voice, and suddenly she felt it too. That rush of anger at a man who blatantly ignored orders in the presence of other agencies, and took risks. Director Ghepard might well have risked her life for him for nothing at this rate. No wonder she was angry.
"He is not answering," Lisa said a few moments later.
"Of course he's not."
"You need to remain calm and remember your stitches." By her side Goose clucked like a mother hen, until she settled back against her pillows and closed her eyes.
When she opened them again there was a strange light in her eyes – and an even stranger smile.
"Gwendoline?" Goose picked up on the change immediately, but clearly she wasn't going to give him any satisfaction.
He could tell she had something up her sleeve though.
They could all tell.
Tibbs touched his earwig as he entered the stairwell with DiAmo.
"Your people set?"
"All the back-up teams are in place around the building, Tibbs. My people have sealed off the exterior. We have four unmarked vehicles standing by just in case. You got that room number, yet?"
"Workin' on it. McGregor?"
"Got it, Boss. Room three five nine."
"You hear that, Thaddeus?"
"Yeah. Where are you?"
"On our way. Buildings' basements are connected. ETA, two minutes."
"We're not taking chances on this one, Thaddeus. At the first sign of anything, you call it in."
"Copy that," Floorwell said. "All units, hold your positions."
"Uh … get to the bottom of the stairs, Boss."
"Already there. Two doors. Right or left?"
"Right. Keep walking down the hall. Seventh door on the left after that will -"
"Got it." Tibbs broke into a run.
Gwen looked at the woman walking restlessly around the room and couldn't help but feel sorry for her.
"Goose," she said. Her eyes flicking over the Colonel before she nodded discreetly at the door. "Colonel Han," she said when he was gone.
"A lot of people were pleased to see Omar off the streets," Gwen began. Referring to a case they'd closed a few days before the ex-wives debacle had started.
Molly acknowledged her words with a suspicious smile.
"My superiors acknowledged your letter of commendation. I haven't had a chance to tell you personally that I appreciated it."
"You two make an effective team," Gwen replied with a small smile of her own.
"Tibbs and myself?"
"Yes. If you don't mind my asking, have you started considering life after the military? Your service is up in .. nine months?"
"Six. But yes, it has crossed my mind."
"Not to put too fine a point on it, have you thought about where the opportunity for advancement lies?"
"Are you offering me a job, Director?"
"Would it interest you? We need another Major Crime Response Team."
Sure you do, Molly thought to herself. Surprised at how bitter the voice in her head sounded. The surest way to get inbetween her and Jareth would be to have her work at BSIS. Their relationship wouldn't last a week.
"I'll think about it," she said diplomatically.
"I'd offer you a cocktail, but unfortunately ..." Gwen pulled a face. "I think I'd give anything for a bourbon right now. Do you drink bourbon, Colonel?"
"No, not regularly."
"Spend enough time around Tibbs, and you'll learn," Gwen said with a smile as she wondered what the woman in front of her was thinking. "Believe me. It's an acquired taste."
"And when did you first acquire it?"
"It's been a while. It's something that stays with you, though. Jareth is very – sitrep McGregor." she snapped as he walked through the door. "We'll continue this conversation another time," she said to Molly before turning all of her attention to the agent.
"They're in position, Ma'am."
It was all rather surreal, Tommy decided as he watched Floorwell and Tibbs communicate silently from either side the door of room 359.
The tension was palpable.
Thick and oppressive.
Off the charts.
"We roll on my mark," Floorwell whispered to the gathered agents.
Tommy nodded along with everyone else; tightening his grip on his weapon for good measure as the FBI agent took point. Swallowing hard and hoping for the best as the door was kicked in.
Shouts of "FBI!" and "BSIS" echoed in the room.
Two figures stood at the window.
Both dressed in black. Both wearing baseball caps.
"Don't even think about it," Floorwell growled as one of them reached for a gun. "Drop it and turn around. Slowly."
The man froze and cast one look at his companion before turning.
"You too, buddy," Tommy shouted as the other figure continued to stare forwards resolutely.
"You heard the man," Tibbs shouted. "Turn around. Hands on your head."
Even before the person turned, Tommy's gut told him that they were in for a shock. Something about the way the person moved, perhaps. Or because they'd found two people when they'd been expecting one.
But no amount of gut instinct could have prepared them for the truth.
The baseball cap came off in one fluid motion, and they all stared in shock as a mane of red hair came tumbling down.
Tibbs looked as though he'd been stabbed in the heart.
BSIS bullpen, later that day
"Is it true?" Amy asked as she ran up to Tommy and Lisa.
"About the first Mrs. Tibbs being the mastermind?" Tommy asked. "Hell yeah. I was there. Heard it all with my own ears."
"She came in to warn him, Tommy!"
"Mind games, Amy," Goose said with shake of his head. "Of the worst kind."
"You have not yet heard the rest," Lisa said. Noting as she spoke that the medical examiner looked upset.
"There's more?" Amy asked.
"Oh yeah," Tommy said as he hung his jacket up.
"What more can there possibly be? You brought her in, right? She's going to charged?"
"We did," Tommy assured her. "But there's more about … Tibbs. Something we didn't know."
"Something we didn't know?" Even just the sound of that made her tummy hurt.
"You may want to sit down for this," Tommy said as he pushed her down into the nearest chair. "Amy, Tibbs had a son."
"Had?" She was quick to pick up on the past tense. "Oh my God!" Her eyes filled with tears. "How did he die."
"He did not die," Lisa said.
"Then ..." Amy trailed off, looking from Goose to Tommy in confusion.
"Tibbs had a son called Celadon with a woman called Rhiannon."
"So he was married eight times, not seven?"
"They never married," Tommy explained. "But she disappeared when the child was a few months old. Tibbs was serving abroad in the military when it happened. He was injured and they tried to contact the next of kin. They couldn't find her."
"What about the baby?"
Tommy grimaced and shook his head.
"Tibbs never found him either."
"Tibbs can find anyone."
"Evidently not," Goose said a trifle oddly.
"But I don't understand," Amy protested. "What has this got to do with Ginger?"
Tommy flashed back to the accusations that had flown around the hospital a few hours earlier.
"You didn't care about me. You didn't care about any of us. We were all replacements, but you took my self-esteem and you crushed it. I was the one who bore the brunt of your obsessive hunt for a woman who didn't want to be found. Still looking for her, Jareth? Still looking for the one who got away?"
"Did you know about this, Goose?" Lisa asked – suddenly understanding what the pained look was all about.
"No," he said as he shook his head. "Almost two decades of friendship and he never thought it was worth sharing that he has a family."
"Had a family, Goose."
"Jareth .." He looked up as Tibbs stalked up to them and took his badge and gun from his drawer.
Nobody missed the lack of warmth in the medical examiner's address, but there was no other kind of interaction because Tibbs' phone went off.
"Yeah, Tibbs," he growled into it. "I'll be there soon, McGregor. Heading over to the hospital," he said to Tommy as he clipped his phone onto his belt. "Director's handed the case over to the FBI."
"Taking the honors for the bust, Boss?" Tommy asked – and then wished he hadn't when Tibbs' eyes narrowed dangerously. "Right. FBI. Got it."
"Good," was all Tibbs said as he stalked towards the elevators.
"Well, that went well," Tommy muttered as she headed to the back elevators with Goose."One's upset, the other one's mad."
"It has been a long week, Tommy," Lisa said as she worked a kink from her neck.
"Want some help there Liii-sah?" he asked with a waggle of his eyebrows.
"I am fine, thank you. But perhaps later you would like to come over and have dinner later? I am cooking Jersualem artichokes."
"Jerusalem artichokes, huh? Sure." He seemed pleased.
Lisa smiled as she cracked her knuckles. Clearly he did not know how much gas one got from Jerusalem artichokes.
Still later …
"I'm so glad they're finally leaving," Amy said as they watched Floorwell's agents usher the ex-wives one by one into the elevator.
Tommy watched with admiration as Delilah approached the open doors, and suddenly inspiration struck.
"Hey .. hold the doors," he shouted as he sprinted over. "Just need to have a private word with the lovely ex-Mrs. Tibbs here," he said to Bags.
"Make it quick, DiAmo."
"Yeah yeah," Tommy replied as he drew Delilah to the side. "Hi .." He turned on the charm. "I'm … uh .. Tommy DiAmo .."
"I know who you are," she purred. "What can I do for you, very Special Agent DiAmo. I love that your name has the word love in it, by the way," she said as she reached out and stroked his tie. "It suits you."
"I was just wondering if you'd mind answering a quick question about Tibbs."
She looked surprised, but shrugged her shoulders as she said, "sure."
"What kind of music does Tibbs like?"
"Things like silk stockings," she said after a moment's thought.
Tommy was halfway through walking dejectedly back to his desk when he realised what she'd just told him. He practically choked on his own spit.
"I've found out what kind of music Tibbs likes," he told a sad-looking Amy.
"Really?" Her ears perked up almost literally.
"But you may need to sit down again," he said to Amy as he pushed her into a chair.
"How bad can it be?"
"You mean the sound of rustling stockings?" she asked in confusion.
"Noo .." he said with a big grin on his face. "Silk Stockings as in the film."
"What?" None of this fit into her frame of reference and it showed.
"It's a film, Amy. From 1957. Fred Astaire? Cyd Charisse?"
The horror on Amy's face was a sight to behold as she shrieked, "Tibbs likes musicals?"
"Sssshhhh." Tommy covered her mouth with his hand. "We have to uphold his reputation around here."
"DiAmo!" He dropped his hand as though he'd been burned, and turned round slowly to find Tibbs standing there.
His face looked like thunder. McGregor stood rigidly behind him, and it was obvious that he had been privy to whatever had happened at the hospital.
Tibbs opened his mouth to speak and then turned on his heel instead.
"Going for coffee," he grunted.
Anger was radiating off him in waves, and Tommy thought it prudent to wait till he was out of earshot to quiz McGregor.
"What the hell happened?" he asked as the elevator doors slid shut.
"We .. um .. we have a new team leader," McGregor said carefully.
"He isn't going back to Belize again, is he?" Amy was already on the verge of panic.
"Um .. no."
"Then what is it?"
McGregor shifted nervously.
"Director Ghepard is going to be out for four weeks. She's made Tibbs Acting Director."
"So that makes me your team leader," Tommy said as he rubbed his hands together.
"Actually it doesn't," McGregor said.
"Then who is the new team leader, McGregor?" Lisa asked as she came round her desk.
McGregor straightened the lapels on his jacket.
"I am," he said with a smug smile.
A/N: Okay, this arc is done. Complete. Finished.
Yes .. it is on to the mystery pairing now. Although I do warn you - it will either delight or horrify you. There's no real middle road.
Couldn't think of anything original for a child of Tibbs – so went with another shade of green.
And for the record, I have nothing against musicals. It was just too good to pass up with the whole stockings theme that runs through this series.