Disclaimer: I don't own either show.

A/N: Did you ever think you would see another chapter to this? I sure didn't. Things got pretty busy for me personally. Thanks for sticking with it, and reviewing. All of you readers are the best.

I should add that this will be AU for both shows. So any new revelations will not be included.

"Jane's working the case," Gibbs snaps out, low and quick as he enters the bullpen.

McGee, Ziva and Tony exchange glances—the special kind of glances that tend to be exchanged between Gibbs' subordinates. This particular glance is in the vein of 'what the hell' and 'did he just say that?'

McGee is the first to verbally protest. "What'd you say, Boss?"

"Jane. He's working with us. Consulting. Get him sorted with a visitor's badge, McGee."

"Yes, Boss," says McGee quickly, and turns back to his computer screen.

Ziva is not so easy to placate. She narrows her eyes and folds her arms, face inscrutable. "Gibbs, I don't know if it is wise to have a civilian consulting on this case. He will be a liability."

Gibbs shrugs. "He says he knows the case. Might as well give him a chance."

"Since when do you give chances?" mutters Tony, mostly to himself.

"You have an objection, DiNozzo, you say it to me," says Gibbs sharply.

Tony raises his head. "How do we know he's not the guy? How do we know he's not inserting himself into the investigation because he gets off on it?"

"He's not," says Gibbs, in a tone of finality. He's made his decision, and he's done with the subject.

Ziva presses her lips together, no more convinced than Tony is. Tony grimaces, but doesn't say anything. They both know they cannot dissuade Gibbs once his gut speaks.

"Where are we at with the surveillance footage?" says Gibbs.

"Abby is examining it now," says Ziva.

Gibbs grunts. "What about witnesses?"

"You mean other than Jane?" says Tony, a little too innocently.

"If this is going to be a sore spot for you, DiNozzo, you can always work a cold case," says Gibbs.

McGee scrambles for his notebook, narrating as he looks through his desk. "The, uh, girl at the front desk said that the Captain went up to his room at midnight. A woman asked about his room number about an hour later."


McGee kneels on the floor and continues to paw through his lower desk drawers. "Uh, hang on, Boss. I'm not sure where—"

"Looking for this?" prompts Ziva, holding up his satchel.

McGee looks up, and his entire face drops into a scowl. "Yes."

"Is that a…purse, McGee?" says Gibbs, sounding confused.

"It's a satchel," says McGee, harassed.

"Well, is your notebook in that thing, so we can continue?"

Ziva throws his notebook across the room. McGee leaps out of his chair, rescuing it before it collides with his computer monitor.

"Air McBud!" chortles Tony.

"As I was saying," says McGee emphatically. He intends to sound haughty but ends up more at constipated. "A woman asked about the Captain's room number an hour later. She stayed at the hotel bar for a while, and then checked into a room on the same floor. Gave her name as Cora Tanner."

He clicks the remote and a young woman's pleasantly round face appears on the large view screen. She has dishwater blonde hair, a small nose, and startlingly green eyes. Not someone who looks like a cold blooded killer. But then, looks can be so deceiving, can't they?

"We interview her?"

"I knocked on her door, but no one answered. Guess she checked out before they discovered the Captain's body."

"Let's go track her down," says Gibbs. "Ziva, with me. McGee, keep running through the witnesses, see if there's anything funny. DiNozzo, you're on the Captain's financials."

"Can you do that again?"

Abby peers eagerly into Jane's empty hand. He grins slightly. It's nice to have such a receptive audience. Not many people appreciate sleight of hand for the art that it is. Even though his hand waving skills took the most practice to master, he has found that the majority of people like fancy tricks.

"It's very simple to do," he says, producing his rubber ball out of his coat sleeve and letting it rest in his open palm. "All about directing your attention one way while your hands do the real work."

"There's a science to it," says Abby, thoughtfully. She takes the rubber ball and rubs it between her palms. "I like that."

Jane is surprised, despite himself. He's never thought of it that way. "Do you want to learn how to do it?"

"Absolutely," says Abby, beaming. "I dated a magician once, and he used to perform for me. But he never explained how he did anything."

"A magician never reveals his secrets," says Jane playfully, just to watch her frown. He likes her open, expressive face, how every emotion sits in the dimples of her checks or the furrow of her brow. "But luckily, I'm a CBI consultant, not a magician."

"Now you're a NCIS consultant," says Gibbs, from the doorway. "You can show Abby your parlor tricks some other time."

"It's been a pleasure," says Jane, bowing formally.

Abby smiles, and waves him out the door.