Chapter 6

"A cop?" Tony and Ziva repeated in unison, identical stunned expressions on their faces. The Israeli added, "You don't look old enough to be one."

Tom gave a half-smile. "Yeah, that's why I get these sort of assignments. I'm not supposed to look like a cop. And since Lisa Daniels and Tommy DiNardo are clearly aliases—straight out of Deep Six, seriously?—what are your real names?"

"Tony DiNozzo and Ziva David, NCIS," Tony answered, while Ziva muttered, "That's it. I am going to kill McGee when we're back in D.C."

"McGee?" Tom asked, puzzled.

"You probably know him as Thom E. Gemcity," Tony explained. "Real name's Timothy McGeek. Well, not really, but I like to call him that. Anyway, the Deep Six novels are based on our NCIS team—and we never let him forget it," he added with an evil grin.

Thwack! "Shut up, DiNozzo."

"What have I said about the Gibbs-slaps, David?"

Ziva just smirked and rolled her eyes before returning her attention to the undercover officer. "Who are you?"

"Officer Tom Hanson, Jump Street."

"Jump Street?" the NCIS agents echoed.

Tom frowned. "You don't know about us? Funny, 'cause the FBI does."

Tony and Ziva exchanged glances. The senior field agent said, "This FBI agent wouldn't happen to be Tobias Fornell, would it?"

"No. The guy we've dealt with is Spencer Phillips."

"I wonder if they know each other," Ziva mused.

The guys exchanged mischievous smiles. Hanson said, "We can always call and find out."

"I like the way you think," Tony grinned. "Let's just do it later."

"Sounds good. What exactly were you hoping to find here? I'm the one who found her body and I don't even know what forensics or the medical examiner found."

"The body was sent to our people in the Navy Yard, I think," Ziva said. "Where did you find Laura Williams?"

Tom cast his mind back, picturing the scene. "I'm actually here to solve a rape-homicide. I was chasing the perpetrator but lost him around here. When I came up to the stage and started to go around back, my foot touched her arm. I'd heard a thud coming from backstage just when I entered, and no, I didn't see anyone. I didn't hear a gunshot either. If the killer used a silencer, though, I wouldn't have heard anything anyway."

"We don't know the cause of death yet," Tony reluctantly admitted. "Neither Ducky—that's our ME—or Gibbs—our team leader—have called us yet."

"Sounds like it's time for you to check in, then. If you guys want to come by the Chapel tomorrow before school, Captain Jenko can probably help."

"The Chapel?" Ziva asked.

"Sorry, uh, my undercover unit works out of an abandoned chapel on the corner of Jump Street and 6th. The address is 21 Jump Street, obviously."

All Tony could think during this was, So much for running a background check on Tom Bower. It probably wouldn't have done any good—especially since he's telling us all this now.

"We'll be there," Ziva said, breaking Tony's train of thought. "Let's go, DiNozzo."

The senior field agent gave the undercover cop one more smirk before he turned and followed the former Mossad liaison. Once he was out of earshot, Tony pulled out his cell and called Gibbs.

Leroy Jethro Gibbs was pulling an all-nighter at his desk, draining his fifth cup of coffee in as many hours, when his phone rang. He picked it up, automatically answering, "Gibbs."

"Boss." That was DiNozzo's voice. "We may have a problem."

"What?" the former Marine snapped out.

"You know Tom Bower, one of our possible suspects?"

"Yeah. What about him, DiNozzo?"

"You're not going to believe this, but he's a cop."

Coffee went down the wrong pipe. Gibbs coughed hard, swallowed when the coughing fit subsided.

"You okay, Boss?" Tony asked in concern.

"Yeah, yeah, I'm fine. Coffee went down the wrong way. You're sure he's a cop?"

"Uh-huh. Real name's Tom Hanson. He's part of a secret undercover unit that the FBI apparently knows about. How come we don't?"

"We do now," said Gibbs, though he suspected there was at least one person in NCIS who knew about this top-secret undercover program.

"Hey, Boss, do you have anything on our victim?" Tony's voice brought him back to the present.

"I'll email you Ducky's autopsy report as soon as I can, DiNozzo. Later." He hung up before the senior field agent could so much as say, "Bye."

Director Vance, he knew, was still in his office. Gibbs would have seen him exit the building if he'd left. So it was fortunate for him that the director was still at NCIS—and unfortunate for Vance.

Gibbs stalked up the stairs and down the catwalk, heading straight for Vance's office. He hated being left in the dark in any area of an investigation; Vance should have known better than to hold back information.

The ex-Marine breezed through the chrome-plated doors without bothering to knock.

Vance, without looking up, said to no one in particular, "Sometimes I wonder why I even have a door." Then he looked up. "Yes, Gibbs?"

"How come you never told us that there's an undercover cop at Jefferson?" Gibbs practically snarled.

"I know his captain. Jenko's a good friend of mine, and I told him our cases weren't connected. Besides, this is a secret program, Gibbs. No one on the Metropilitian police force knows about it except silver shields and up."

"The FBI knows about it," Gibbs pointed out.

Vance muttered, "Somehow, I'm not surprised."

There was a pause before Gibbs asked, "What exactly does this undercover unit do?"

"Jenko takes younger-looking officers—at least, the ones the department thinks can handle the pressure—and teaches them how to be teenagers again. Then they're sent off to various high schools where a good man is needed undercover. There's only four officers in the program right now," Vance explained.

Gibbs merely raised one eyebrow. "Basically they're kiddie cops."

Vance shrugged. "They've solved homicides, rape cases, drug dealings, hate crimes, arson, and taken down a couple pornography rings, so I wouldn't say they're kids, Gibbs." He smiled a little. "Somehow I have a feeling DiNozzo and Officer Penhall are going to hit it off really well."

"Why's that?"

"Similar interests."

"Ah." A rare half-smile crossed Gibbs's face. "Should I be worried?"

"Maybe." Vance stood up and reached for his coat. "I'd better be heading home. Jackie's going to kill me if I'm home any later."

"Night, Director," Gibbs said, taking the hint as he turned and walked out of Vance's office. Now that he thought about it, he needed some sleep as well. Besides, he was busy working on his next boat. (It was halfway done.) Remembering his team's curiosity as to how his boats left the basement of his house—a secret he'd sworn never to reveal—he chuckled a little.

This case looked like it was going to be interesting.