A/N: Wow, this is almost exactly like my story Outlook Not So Good, except that it's based on a film by Ridley Scott. I am so uncreative. Good thing this is just fanfiction, because if I was getting paid for this I would not even be able to afford a bowl of ramen and a pack of bubblegum. By the way, I'm probably not going to finish this. I'm just bored at work. So I guess I am getting paid for this.
"Give it to me. Now."
Tony silently passed the letter to his Boss.
"Who the hell is..." Gibbs frowned at the letter, like it was a doctor's note saying he couldn't have coffee. "Is this from him?"
McGee squinted at the letter. Upside down, the penmanship looked ornate, almost effeminate. The bar on the letter H under the word, "Tata" swept almost off the edge of the page. He'd thought it was from one of Tony's girlfriends. When Tony went pale, McGee's first thoughts had been of secret love-children and restraining orders and venereal diseases.
"Have you been getting letters from him?"
Gibbs leaned over Tony's desk, not so much invading his personal space as setting up a seige, starving it out and then declaring himself the new king of it.
"I don't care if you've been hiding it from me, but you have to tell me now. Has he been sending you letters?"
"No, Boss. I swear." Tony's voice got a little high. "I never hid anything like that."
Gibbs expression softened, but he didn't pull back. "I know, Tony."
"What's going on?" Ziva dared to ask.
"We need to set up a safe house," said Gibbs. McGee wasn't sure if he was answering Ziva's question or not.
"I don't need a safe house."
"You remember what he did to Paul?"
Tony flinched, a full body thing that looked kind of like a silent sneeze to McGee. He wanted to know what H had done to Paul and who they both were to Tony, but he didn't want to be ignored like Ziva was.
"I remember. But he wouldn't do that to me," said Tony.
"Because he likes me."
"Yeah, the question is whether or not he thinks he'd like you with a nice cabernet."
Tony opened his mouth.
"Don't say it," Gibbs warned.
"Cabernet sauvignon would go terrible with person. It would completely overpower it. You really need a pinot noir, or maybe a chianti."
"What are you talking about?" McGee asked.
"Wine. You really need to get out more Prober." Tony's brow furrowed. "That was meant to be a contraction of Probie and sober, but it just sounded weird. And kind of inappropriate."
"Who is the letter from?" asked Ziva.
"A criminal," said Gibbs. This time, McGee was pretty sure he was answering her question, but Gibbs was looking at Tony like he was explaining it to him.
"Why did he send a letter to Tony?"
"'Cause he likes 'im."
Ziva looked back and forth between the two men. "You mean... romantically?"
"Boss," said Tony.
"You mean to say that the sender of the letter practiced cannibalism?" Ziva did not sound nearly disturbed enough by that.
McGee squinted at the letter some more. Little scraps of stories he'd heard were fitting together in his mind, becoming introduction, climax, dénouement. The letter H, and chianti and something else, touching the most ticklish part of his brain, something about a joint case between the FBI and a little rookie from some town in Illinois that sounded vaguely like a bodily function.
"Wait," said McGee. "Wait, wait. Your not talking about Hannibal Lecter, are you?"
Tony and Gibbs did one of those things where they looked at each other and somehow communicated enough to fill one of McGee's novels. Only this time, he got the synopsis.
"You're pen pals with Hannibal the Cannibal?"