McGee-centric character study/romance. Want to start at the beginning? Click here.
Chapter 344: Team DiNozzo
Tony stands in front of his mirror, straightening his tie. He hasn't dressed this carefully for work in… Forever.
But today is the first day, the first real day, of Team DiNozzo.
Ziva kisses his cheek, and straightens his already impeccably straight tie. "Ready?"
He kisses her. "I was born ready for this."
She smiles at that, wry look in her eye, knowing exactly how nervous and eager he is for this, and then nods. "Then let's go."
It's been ten years since it was really, truly his team.
That's a lot of time to get a plan together. Lot of time to think about what worked the first time, and what didn't.
The first time, he was trying to out-Gibbs Gibbs. Not necessarily the same style, but solve the crimes, save the day, push harder, faster, longer than anyone else. That, he was trying to do.
He was trying to prove he was worthy of Gibbs' job. Because, when it comes down to it, 'You'll do,' and ending up with "temporary" Team Leader status because there was no one else around to take it wasn't exactly a ringing endorsement of his leadership skills.
But this time he's not feeling any need to kick into overdrive. He doesn't have to prove he's the man for the job, because he knows he is.
It feels really bizarre to be the old man on the team. He's fourteen years older than Ziva, eighteen years older than Draga, and he did peek into the HR forms and found that he's twenty years older than Bishop.
Who is, speak of the devil, walking into the office, little spring in her step, hair long and loose, looking perky and happy and just… so not a cop. He shakes his head (mentally, he doesn't want to do it for real and show what he's thinking) and says, "Hi."
She smiles up brightly at him. "So, where do we start?"
He points to Gibbs'… hers… it's hers now… desk and the pile of forms on it. "Fill 'em out. Don't get carpal tunnel. Doris, the evil troll from HR, wants me to remind you that they're supposed to be in black ink, perfect, no cross-outs. Cross something out, and you've got to fill it out again from scratch."
"He's not kidding about that," Draga adds. "First day in, I'm filling out the forms, we get called out, Gibbs had me doing it in the van on the way to the crime scene. I got it done on the way because you can't go into the field if they aren't done, and then, a few days later, in the middle of a massive terror case, Doris shows up, with half of my forms, bitching at me about how they have cross outs on them and how I have to re-do them because they have to be perfect and original."
Bishop's staring at him with wide eyes. "What did you do?"
"Nothing. McGee stood up and bit her head off. We were the only two on that day, because the rest of the team was injured, and he said… uh… It wasn't polite… but it boiled down to she could have my time for filling out the forms shortly after hell froze over because saving human lives and catching terrorists was more important than crossed out black ink, and that if she ever showed up here again and wasted his time during an active investigation she'd regret it."
Tony hadn't known that. "Probie slew the Troll?"
"Didn't hurt that Vance was up on the top level, watching, and just slowly nodded at her after McGee got done chewing her out while we were trying to stop someone who almost killed an entire aircraft carrier full of people."
"A week later, when we were on paperwork duty, he sent me down to fill them out again, perfect, the second time. Still had to do it."
Tony nods, the t-s have to be crossed and the i-s dotted. "Anyway, fill out those forms, Bishop."
"Filling out forms!" She nods along, looking at the forms, and puts her bag on the floor next to her chair, finds where Gibbs kept the clip boards, sticks the forms on it, and then hops onto the desk, cross-legged, pops her earbuds in, opens up a bag of caramel corn, hunches forward, and starts filling them out.
Tony stares at her, perplexed, but she's completely unaware of that, filling in blanks with all her focus. "Bishop?"
He was about to say something like, this isn't college, you sit on the chair, not the desk, but, as he thinks about it, it doesn't matter. If she's comfy up there, and gets the paperwork done correctly. Who cares?
She looks at herself on the desk. "Is this a problem?"
"Not for me." Feels a little odd to say that, because her on the desk does irk him, but it shouldn't, so he's going to let it go.
"Okay, good. I like to spread everything out for big picture work, and pull in tight for little details. This looks like a lot of little details."
"Yes it is." She keeps looking at him for a moment, and he nods, "Carry on."
So she does.
It hits him, as he's doing his own paperwork, that he put the badge on for the first time in fall of '91. Which means, when Gibbs grabbed him back in '00, he had two more years of experience on the job than Gibbs did.
Means he's always had two years as a cop on him.
And it's only now, sixteen years after they met the first time, that it's hitting him that that's true.
He knows he's older now than Gibbs was when they started working together. (A rather terrifying thought in and of itself.) But it's also hitting him that right now, he's the same age Mike Franks was when he gave it up.
He's the grown up. Husband, probably father soon, and now, without any question, the Boss.
Last week, when he had a fully functional team of people who… okay, Draga's still new and all, but for the most part he's out of the puppy phase and can be relied on not to pee on the rug… knew what they were doing (mostly), he got one case.
One case that took less than twenty-four hours to solve.
So, on day one of Team DiNozzo, dispatch calls up, and he's hoping for a basic homicide, something to gently get Bishop's feet wet. (Unlike the massive terror free-for all of doom that was Draga's first case.) But does he get that basic homicide? Noooooo…
No, they're calling him in on a triple murder and missing child/maybe kidnapping.
It's a family. Mom, Dad, and older brother are all dead. Little sister is missing. This is literally the case he had in mind when he asked Gibbs if he was going to work like he had a kidnapping on Monday.
He almost told Dispatch to send this down the road. But as he glances around the office, he can see the other teams are working, too.
"Give me the details."
Dispatch does, and right now, he'd give his left arm to have Gibbs back. This is the kind of case you want all hands on deck, and you want those to be good, unflappable, experienced hands. Not one barely-trained Probie and a complete wild card. But calling Gibbs for help… No, not today. Today is the worst possible day to call Gibbs for something like this. For both of them. He's got to fly on his own, and calling Gibbs in today would be like dangling a raw steak in front of a starving lion and then telling the lion he can't actually eat the steak, but some advice on how best to cook it would be nice.
So. No calling Gibbs. Team DiNozzo is on the job. Even if this is a triple homicide kidnapping and he's got two probies on the team.
Though he notices his phone is in his hand and he's got McGee's number up before he turns the damn thing off and sticks it back in his pocket.
If there is any saving grace for what's coming up, it's that they get the call from Dispatch while they're en-route, and learn the missing child has been located and is currently with Grandma.
Two-year-old Emma Tennu managed to get herself hidden in the laundry chute, and is currently the only living member of the immediate Tennu family.
They're way the hell out in the sticks. West Virginia's less than an hour away, and even with the GPS, they're on their third non-descript, sign-free, dirt road meandering through a million miles of forest, hoping that unlike the first two, this is the right one.
"There!" Ziva says, catching sight of an even smaller dirt driveway with four mailboxes at the end. Tony slams on the breaks, backs up, and turns in. Four log cabins. Each one on its own driveway branching off the main driveway. Fortunately the one he wants is easy to find, cop car with lights flashing, tape over the door, a very distressed looking LEO standing guard at the front porch.
This is the place.
Draga catches sight of the LEO, and his face hardens. He knows by the body language this is going to be all sorts of bad. Bishop's too green for that, so as soon as they stop she says, "Okay, what first?" in an eager voice.
"Just like a puzzle, we work from the outside in. So, first up, coveralls. Next up, perimeter. Bishop, I want you photographing everything. Draga, show her how to secure the perimeter."
"How far out do you want?"
Tony looks around. They're on a wooded lot in the middle of nowhere. If their perp… perps? He's thinking this far out in the middle of nowhere, three dead people means more than one perp, but that's based just on a feeling, no facts, yet. If their perps, came in by car, the driveway's basically the only way to do it without leaving a huge mess. "All the way to the mailboxes for the driveway. Hundred meters out from the house. Do either of you know anything about wilderness tracking?"
They both shake their heads. He sighs. Gibbs was great at spotting the trail someone leaves when they go through woods, practical use of that skill in the field. McGee was okay at it, he probably had like six merit badges in it. Of all the days not to have snow on the ground…
"Okay. See any suspicious looking broken bushes or branches, get Ziva."
"What would a suspicious looking broken bush be?" Bishop asks.
He's sure it's a good question, but since he's not the one who ever noticed the damn things in the first place, he's a bit stumped by that. Fortunately, Ziva answers, "Imagine someone was running through the forest quickly. If you see damage to the trees that matches that, yell for me."
They both nod.
"Get to it." Tony says.
"What do you do?" Bishop asks.
Ziva catches his, it's not okay to dole out headslaps for questions is it?
She shakes her head minutely. And he very much understands her answering look you're the one who hired the girl with literally no practical experience in this subject.
"I talk to the LEOs… Law Enforcement Officers…" he says before she can ask, "Ziva's going to handle the outside of the house. And when I get done with them, I'll help her with that. Once you and Draga are done with the perimeter, we'll head inside to process the scene."
"Okay," she chirps, bright, happy, camera in hand. "Lead the way, Draga!"
And off they go.
On the outside, the house looks fine. The only clue, which Draga points out to Bishop, is the knob on the front door is broken.
Inside everything is not fine, at all. It looks like a horror movie was shot in here, but with real people.
Tony puts Bishop in charge of photographing everything, because even the greenest Probie can handle 'Photograph every square inch of this house, at close range, twice! And don't step on anything!'
Dad (aka Lt. James Tennu) is in the living room. From the looks of it, he put up a hell of a fight. Ducky points out the bruises on his knuckles and the fact that he's got four bullet wounds in his chest. Bishop does okay with that. So she takes pictures, looking nervous, scared, excited, and unhappy.
She's green by the second body. Mom, (Ensign Harper Tennu) is on the stairway leading up to the second floor, gun near her hand, and from the looks of it, she got at least four shots off before she was shot, too. He sees Bishop, swallow, hard, but she keeps photographing and does a good job of staying out of the way. She doesn't mess up the blood spatter or touch anything she shouldn't, and she waits patiently for Ducky and Jimmy to collect Harper, get her properly taken care of, before trying to get up the stairs.
Upstairs is the problem. Big Brother, aka Brian Tennu, eight-years-old, still holding the baseball bat he was trying to defend his sister with, is in the hallway. Tony knows how bad this hurts to him, how much he hates seeing this; how much moments like this make him feel the world is just a festering ball of evil, and that they'll never win, never even fight it to a draw, that the best they can do it just clean up the mess. He honestly can't imagine how this feels to Bishop.
And then he doesn't have to, he hears the first retch. She iron-jaws her way through it, doesn't puke on the rug, and walks, carefully, but quickly, to a bathroom. (Which hopefully doesn't have the key to this whole thing in the toilet.)
He wants to tease her, make a few bad jokes, try to lighten the whole thing up. He's about to do it, words on his tongue, but he can't. He's the Boss. Really, truly, the Boss, and he can't make himself feel better about this absolute shithole of misery and despair by mocking her response to it.
He hands her a Dixie cup of water. She swishes and rinses out her mouth, skin gray and clammy. "This is as bad as it gets, Bishop. We never run into anything worse than this. Take a minute, get your legs under you, and then take more photos. Get all of it on film, because somewhere in one of these shots is likely the answer to what happened and why."
She nods, takes a few deep breaths.
"Next time, get clear of the crime scene."
She nods at that, too. "I was afraid, that if I ran, I'd mess something up."
"Okay." That's way better than the she-panicked-and-headed-for-the-nearest-available-toilet that he was thinking she had done. "Make sure you've got puke bags in your pockets from now until you get used to this. You're right, it would have been bad to run through something and destroy some evidence. But, we haven't processed this bathroom…" He doesn't need to finish the sentence, her face goes even paler as she gets it.
"Oh God… Did I just…"
"Probably not. There's no blood trail into or out of here, and our perps (this much carnage means more than one person) would have been covered in it. But… there's no way to be certain."
She's looking crushed, listless, leaning hard against the bathroom sink, looking at herself in the mirror. "I'm not sure this is me. I'm more of a numbers sort of girl."
"That's why we've got a Probie year. You get to find out if this is you."
She exhales long and deep, closes her eyes, and he can see her steeling herself for what's outside the door. Then she stands up, picks up her camera, and says, "Okay. Let's get this asshole."
"That's the attitude!" He pats her gently on the shoulder and wonders if he was ever really this young or green.
Hours later, when they're still, still processing the scene, he can't take it anymore. He looks around, makes sure Bishop and Draga are nowhere nearby. (He's got them getting blood spatter samples. He's figuring they'll be done roughly ten minutes after Hell freezes.) Then he pulls his phone out and hits Gibbs contact number.
Before he gets the chance to even say hello, Tony says, "I want you back."
"Tony?" Gibbs sounds curious.
"She's so green. Remember McGee's 124 Crayon box? She's every shade of green in the box."
"No one's born a cop, Tony."
"I know, but… God, Gibbs, she's making Probie look smooth and polished."
Gibbs laughs at that. Tony thinks he hears some woofing in the background.
"Where are you?"
"Doesn't matter. You gonna be okay?"
"Yeah. I will. And she probably will, too. But… God, I'm being encouraging and sincere. Ziva's starting to wonder who the hell I am and what I did with Tony."
"Part of the job. You don't want to be cutting her knees out from under her on the first day."
"No. I don't. So I'm encouraging her and keeping the snide comments in my head. It's," he checks his watch, "16:08, and I've said nothing, nothing at all even remotely off color." He can feel Gibbs smirk at that.
"What's the case?"
Tony crumples. He can hear the longing in Gibbs' voice. He shouldn't have called. Not today. But he answers anyway, because right now lying would be worse. "Triple homicide. We thought it was a kidnapping, but we've found the girl."
Gibbs goes quiet on the other line, and Tony can feel him actively forcing himself not to offer to come back and lend a hand.
"We've got it, Gibbs."
"I'm sure you do," he says, slowly.
Gibbs sighs. "I know you do. Doesn't mean I don't want to help."
"Yeah, sorry. Just needed to bitch about Tinkerbelle. To someone who'd get it."
"She's really, really cute in addition to being every green you ever imagined. She spent the morning sitting cross-legged on your desk, ear buds in, humming gently to country pop music, while munching caramel popcorn and filling out the forms."
Gibbs chuckles at that mental image. "How are Ziva and Draga doing?"
"I'll let Ziva tell you herself. Draga's kicked into Older-Know-It-All-Big-Brother routine. Oh, you'll like this, Vance headed down for something, walked by the bullpen, saw her on your desk, stopped, stared at her, then stared at me, stared at her some more, she completely missed it, didn't see it at all, then he looked down, slowly exhaled, shook his head and continued on. Ziva saw it, too, and laughed out loud as soon as Vance was out of range."
Gibbs sniggers at that, and Tony's sure he hears another woof in the background.
"Are you getting a dog?"
Gibbs snorts a quick laugh at that, too. "Back to work, DiNozzo. Someone's gotta keep Tinkerbelle and Flyboy in line."
"They bickering at each other, yet?"
Tony sighs and rolls his eyes. He knows exactly what Gibbs is thinking with this. "They're a lot younger than we were."
"Thirty-five and thirty versus, twenty-nine and… how old is she?"
He can feel Gibbs shake his head, and remembers the question he hasn't yet answered. "No bickering yet, but yeah, it's coming."
He can feel Gibbs smile before the line goes dead.
17:00 rolls by. So does 18:00. "Draga, you don't have Kevin right now, right?" Tony asks.
Draga's still working his way through the fingerprints. "Not until President's Day Weekend."
"Okay." Tony looks around at the house. The bodies are out. All of the blood spatters have been sampled. They've still got… Lord, fingerprinting everything. "Bishop, you're on finding us food. Then we're working until 22:00. We'll find a hotel, sack out there, and get back at it first thing tomorrow."
Draga and Ziva nod.
"I don't have a change of clothing."
"No one's gonna mind if you wear the same thing two days in a row. Draga'll brief you on what sort of gear you need when we break to eat," Tony says. "But every day you come to work, you never know where work is going to take you, so you need a bag with everything you'll want for an overnight, maybe two."
"Okay. Then… I'll… just find us some food."
"I don't get it," Bishop says.
"No one gets things like this, Bishop. If you 'get' something like this, you've gone over to the dark side," Draga replies, without looking away from his computer screen.
"No. I mean… I was talking to Ducky yesterday…" Monday they processed the scene. That took the entire day. Tuesday they finished processing the scene and then worked on witness statements, rebuilding the crime, trying to figure out what the hell happened. Wednesday they dug into the vic's lives. Today, they feel like they've got a handle on what happened: at least four people broke in and killed the Tennus, but why is still anyone's guess. "We were working on the profile of who does stuff like this. One guy could be some sort of insane loon out for whatever messed-up crazy's in his head, but this was at least four guys, so insane loner is out. The way it was done, bloody, everyone in the family, that's a message, but to whom? We've found nothing…"
Draga's scowling at the computer screen. He can feel DiNozzo watching him. (Even though he's technically not in the room right now.) DiNozzo hasn't said it yet, but he knows he's thinking 'McGee would have found the thing that breaks the crime open by now. Do your computer magic and find me the answer!' But the answer isn't there, and every night Draga heads home, seeing Brian Tennu, dead on the floor, holding his baseball bat, and he just wants to throw up or hit someone.
"You aren't listening to me."
"No, I'm not. I'm doing my job."
"I'm trying to help you do your job! We're looking in the wrong place."
Draga looks up from his screen at her. She's sitting cross-legged on her desk, sipping a coffee, looking very determinedly at the crime scene shots up on the plasma and the what looks like hundreds of other pictures she's got scattered around the desk, on the chair, on the floor, and taped onto the book shelf.
"It's not right! Groups of guys do not go on murder sprees just for kicks."
"The Mansons," Draga says, dryly.
She glares at him. The Mansons is not helpful. Random, crazy, evil will not get this case solved. "Not like this. Too tidy for Manson wannabes." She doesn't actually know if that's true, but she's hoping it is. Because if this is some sort of Manson crap… then there's no pattern, and she's useless for solving this. "If it was terror. If they were targeted because they were military, someone would have claimed this by now, and they probably would have been beheaded. If they were targeted for something they had done, you would have found it. There's no trace at all that the Tennus were into anything that could get them killed. Not like this. Not the kid, too."
"Sounds like crazy people."
"It's not! Just…. It's not!"
"Okay, fine! They would have killed the boy to keep him from identifying them."
"Sure, that's logical, but why show up when the kids are home in the first place? You're going to show up at someone's home to kill them, you pick a time when just the people you want are home, right?"
Draga doesn't roll his eyes. He knows Bishop's married, knows she has family, but somehow this hasn't filtered through. "It's a family, Bishop. If Mom and Dad are home, the kids probably are, too."
"Maybe…" She's not really paying attention to him. She's staring at the shots, looking at them, feeling a deep level of just all-out wrong. "Still doesn't feel right. This pattern's off." Assuming there is a pattern to this and it's not just crazy, evil. Can't be just crazy, evil. Can't be! "I'm heading down to the Lab. They've got to have the DNA results back."
Draga snorts at that. "Maybe. We sent them over 500 samples of just blood spatter alone. Who knows if they've gotten to hair, yet. And we dusted the whole damn house for prints. Just scanning them all in probably took six hours."
"I'll go check." She hops off the desk and heads down to the lab.
Tony and Ziva were already in there, listening to Abby expound on blood spatter.
Bishop tries to keep calm as she hovers in the back, watching Abby go through a computer simulation showing how each member of the family died, but it's difficult. She's feeling scared and sad and excited and angry all at once.
"That it, Abby?" Tony asks.
"Of course not, Tony! We've been on this all night. I've got more than blood spatter analysis for you." She flicks the clicker in her hand and a new image pops up onto her plasma screen. "The bullets Ducky took out of the Tennus are favored by both the Russian Mafia and no less than three Colombian drug cartels."
Bishop hears that, and it clicks. She knows why this doesn't fit. She turns and goes sprinting up the stairs.
"Draga, you've got that almost photographic memory, right?"
He rolls his eyes. "I've got good visual recall. I don't have an eidetic memory."
"Good enough, I hope. When we drove up, it was a split driveway, right? Four houses off of it, but the mailboxes were all at the end of the driveway, right?"
He thinks about that. "Yeah, that's how I remember it."
"Did the Tennu's house have a number on it?" She asks, clicking through the pictures on the plasma.
He thinks for a few minutes. "Don't remember one. Just that it was way the hell back in the trees."
She gives up on the photos. She took literally thousands of them, not like just flipping through will find a house number or not. She turns back to Draga. "According to Abby, the bullets that killed the Tennus are a sort that's popular with several drug cartels and the Russian Mafia."
"What?" Draga had to admit that he didn't think this looked right, either. The financials, the phone records, the service records, social media, everything he could dig up on the Tennus showed a very average, middle-class, Navy family. Nothing he could find should have gotten them killed, let alone by any sort of organized crime syndicate. Unlike Bishop, who had decided that this was "wrong," he decided he'd missed something and was looking through their lives even harder.
"That's why this isn't right." She's clearing off her desk, quickly stacking her collection of photos up on the corner of the desk.
"There's nothing about them that would get them involved with…"
"Check their neighbors! Long driveway, out in the sticks. The houses all look kind of the same. They were the second one on the left, but no one's got a number. I think they got the wrong house."
"You think someone broke in and slaughtered everyone because they were at the wrong house?" Given what he's found on the Tennus, that's making a distressing amount of sense.
"I think if we check the neighbors we're going to find a hell of a lot more motive for this than we are by studying the Tennus!"
She's sitting behind her own computer pulling up her notes. They talked to the neighbors. Well, the neighbors at two of the four houses. No one was home at the fourth one. They'd left cards, and told the LEOs to keep stopping by, and from the looks of it, completely forgot about it because the vast amount of everything else in this case took precedent.
"The empty house was the second one on the right. Ian McKenna and Brigit Heyn live there."
Draga's keying those names in. "Those are some really Russian Mafia sounding names."
"'Cause no one in the history of names ever had a fake ID. I had one back in the day."
He looks up from his computer, really surprised. "You had a fake ID?"
She pauses, staring at him. "You didn't?" She's amazed by that.
"So did I," Tony says, sending them his best stop fucking around glare, watching both of them jerk in their seats. "Ziva had tons of them, but I'm not seeing how this is relevant to solving a triple homicide,"
Bishop almost runs up to him and starts talking, fast and excited.
"Breathe between sentences, Bishop."
"Okay." And a pile of new words spill out. But, he's liking those words, and Ziva is looking very interested by this idea.
"Draga," Ziva says, "track down McKenna and Heyn. Come on, Bishop, we are heading to check on their house."
Tony just nods at Ziva, pleased with her grabbing Bishop. "You want extra back up?"
Ziva shakes her head.
"If McKenna and Heyn are the intended recipients of that treatment, they are long gone by now. And if Abby is correct about who was shooting, our shooters know they will not be back to that house."
Tony nods at that. He knows what his job is, get the warrant, connect this to any other similar hits. If these were pros, they're long gone, and that burns, but there's also a good shot that he can find more of their work, and get a hint of where long gone might be.
And, if he's right, and hiring pattern-girl was a good plan, maybe she can turn a hint into a clue, and a clue into four professional killers in custody.
And learn from the house they did.
"They left awfully fast," Bishop says, once they get in. Everything is still exactly as it was dropped. There's cold food on the table, the refrigerator door is open, as they get upstairs they can see that the closets are full.
The house looks like they just… stepped out to the back porch or something.
Upstairs and downstairs are a normal looking home. Nothing suspicious, nothing out of place.
The basement was an entirely different story.
"Is this a…" Bishop's squinting at the tables, chemicals, cooling equipment, chewing her bottom lip. "Meth lab?"
It doesn't quite look like that to Ziva. She shakes her head. "Ecstasy, I think. They do not use," she points to a massive pill tabber, "for Meth."
"Oh." Bishop looks around. She can tell Ziva's seeing something, but she's not sure what it is, and then she is. There are four empty boxes for zip lock bags, but no zip lock bags. "Oh! How much do you think they took with them."
Ziva picks up a box. "Fifty bags per box. They are sandwich bags so… what do you think? They'd hold about a cup of pills?"
That feels about right to Bishop. "So, a trunk full Ecstasy?"
"I believe so."
"What do you have, Ziva?" Tony asks when she calls in.
"Possible good news. McKenna and Heyn are definitely on the run, with what looks like a trunk full of Ecstasy."
"A trunk full?"
"I'm sending you the photographs." And she does, then says, "As you can see, they've got a full production lab set up down in the basement, and we found boxes that held bags, but no bags, and no pills."
Tony nods at that. "So, they'd have a difficult time moving from one car to another."
"They'll at least have several large bags to carry around. And once they sell their product, they'll have bags of cash. They cannot travel light until they stash everything."
"And if they're still out there…"
"With any luck our assassins are out there, too."
"With any luck. Fornell put me in touch with Gables, an FBI agent who specializes in the Russian Mafia, and according to him, what we've got matches four other open cases. He hooked me up with Hallahan, who's out of the DEA and also works with them on these cases, and all three of us are going to be confabbing soon. I've got Draga setting the BOLOs and making sure that McKenna and Heyn are on everyone's radar."
Ziva's nodding along with that as Bishop dusts everything for prints.
"I will be sending prints to Abby soon. She can make sure we are not looking for unidentified bodies in a morgue somewhere."
"Thanks." McKenna and Heyn are their only good leads. Having them turn up dead would end this case.
"We will get back as soon as we can."
"Good. Love you."
Part of how he envisioned this whole working on bigger cases, more terrorism angles, was the idea that he'd be working with other organizations, team building, and sure, this isn't precisely the sort of case he was thinking of, but it was the same skillset.
Getting all of the info out of Hallahan and Gables took all of his skill, all of his charm, a bit of butt kicking, and when push came to shove, his own version of the Gibbs-stare-of-doom, but he did eventually get access to what turned out to be eleven cases with the same type of bullets (shot from different guns though), same MO, believed to have been carried out by the same four man team. (They have concrete DNA samples of all four of them, but not all in the same places at the same time.)
"Okay, Bishop, find me some patterns. Where do these guys go when they aren't working?" he says, dropping the stack of paperwork on her desk.
She stares at what is literally a foot high stack of paper with three thumb drives on top. Then she starts spreading things out, grinning. "Ziva, you need your desk right now?"
Ziva shakes her head. She didn't have anything to run down right this second that would require her desk. (She's calling everyone she knows in Interpol, and also a few associates in Russia who she "technically" doesn't know, but might be willing to slip her some intel on this.) She can do that just as easily leaning against Tony's desk.
Bishop may be every shade of green to ever green. She may be gently rolling hills of misty Ireland, green upon green upon green, but here, now, with a pile of hard data and dots to connect and blanks to fill in, Bishop is in her element.
Her very untidy, chaotic, and wild element. Honestly, Tony finds it vaguely uncomfortable to have this much buzzing (She's got music she's listening to, sometimes when she's really thinking, she hums along to it, and she's constantly eating something, so between the dull music, the humming, and the chewing there is a literal buzz that goes with Bishop at work.) activity spread out all over the place right next to him.
But it also seems to be working.
She's building maps. The maps he follows. He's good with the maps. Where the attacks were, who was at them, (They don't have hard names yet, so right now It's just A, B, C, and D.) and who died.
She's building a timeline, which he's also good with. Once again, who was where, when, doing what.
And she's got a database going, which Tony doesn't understand, but as he takes a quick break from the hunt for McKenna and Heyn, Draga checks her work, nods approvingly, and then gets everyone more to drink.
It takes two hours before she gets her first of what Tony considers useful conclusions. "They aren't leaving the US between jobs. I don't think they're leaving the east coast." She points out what happened when and where, adding in a few cases that the FBI and the DEA didn't offer, that she had culled from local PDs that also matched the pattern. "They're working too hard, too fast. And this one," she points to a job in from 2009. A woman found dead in her home in Ohio, her husband went missing, is still missing. "I think this one is the key. A's DNA, his prints, too, but nothing for B, C, or D, and usually we find traces of at least two of them. When the… LEOs?" Tony nods at her, "First looked at it they assumed that A was one of the men who broke in, because his rap sheet was a mile long. I don't think that's right. This is A's house. His prints were all over everything. They found his blood, because someone went after him there. Then there's two years where A's prints don't show up, but B, C, and D are active. And then in 2011, they're all back and working again. Someone grabbed A, held him for however long, and then he got out again."
Tony's listening to that, looking up the case. "Yitzack Havawicz was the name of the missing husband. Sounds more Polish than Russian."
"Fake name? Fake ID? How many people in Woodduck, Ohio can tell the difference between a Polish and Russian accent?" Draga adds.
"Good point." Tony keeps reading, while Draga tosses a shot of Yitzack (Blurry, quarter profile, Yitzack appears to have done a very good job of avoiding having his picture taken. There wasn't even a wedding shot of him.) up on the plasma. Along with the only full face photo they could find of him, his driver's license.
"According to what I'm seeing, he's a Polish national, immigrated in 2005, his and the wife's tax returns list him as self-employed as a long-distance currier/delivery person," Draga says.
"Good excuse to travel all the time," Ziva says as she comes back to the bullpen.
"Draga, can you put up the file I just sent you?"
Two more shots pop up, and one of them Draga squints at, and then throws up next to Yitzack's driver's license shot. "If they aren't the same guy…"
"Illyan Fedoryvich," Ziva says, "was serving time in Russian prison for multiple murders until 2000 when he, and," she looks to Draga, and he tosses up the next shot, "Mikial Blezun escaped. They fell off the radar from 2000 until…" She looks at Bishop's timeline. "2003 apparently. Abby is running the prints to make sure, but Blezun is probably C; he was known to be handy with a switchblade." Evidence of C showed up at several cases that seemed to involve knives as well.
Bishop's smiling. "This is great, right? We've got names to go with two of them!"
Tony nods tiredly at her. "Yes. Names are good. But even with names, we don't know where they are, we don't know who B and D are, and cases that involve professionals tend to be sticky because they're usually good at hiding."
Truer words were never spoken. By Monday, a week into the case, they had all four names. (Fedoryvich, Blezun, Poppotic, and "Smith," no one knew who "Smith" really was.) They had a list of cases attached to those names two feet long. They had physical evidence, circumstantial evidence, financial evidence, electronic evidence.
What they didn't have was any clue (beyond somewhere on the East Coast, maybe, probably, ish) of their perps were.
The FBI came back to him saying that if they put their computers on it, they could, if they get lucky, turn up with someone on the facial recognition software anytime between now and the end of time.
So, after hearing that, a little before noon on Monday, Tony heads down to Cybercrime.
It's buzzing away down there. He can hear fingers clicking, dull music through earbuds, the sound of two Minions playing something… When did they get an X-box One down here? Yet alone sofas? He knew McGee was going to change the place up, but… He sees the Caf-Pow dispenser on the far wall and smiles.
Looks like McGee found a way to get Abby down here.
He follows the far wall toward Tim's office, and sees him in there. He knocks on the door, and Tim glances up at him, looking… really tired.
"Hmm?" And distracted, he's looking really distracted as he says, "Oh, yeah. What's up?"
Of course, Tim gets that way when he's into his code up to his elbows, so… maybe this is just him working hard. Tony explains his facial recognition software issues.
"And you're what? Hoping I can do it faster?" Tim's actually sounding really testy to go with tired.
Tony shuts the door. "Really, are you okay?"
Tim shakes his head. "Fine. Just… No. If the FBIs on it, I can't do it faster. They've got more resources to throw at the problem, and this is a resource problem."
"Tim? Screw the case for a second. What's up? Or is it classified?"
He shakes his head again. "No. It's not a work thing. It's… I don't even know who we're telling… Gibbs and Jimmy because we told them at Bootcamp, but…"
Tony's feeling cold down his back. "What?"
Tim doesn't look at him as he says, "On Saturday morning, the pregnancy test was positive, and today she started her period… or miscarried. We don't know. According to her doc, this early on, there's no way to tell. Could have been a false positive."
"Oh, shit, Tim." Tony closes in on him and puts his hand on Tim's shoulder.
"It's not the end of the world. It's not Jimmy and Breena and Jon. We barely had time to get excited about it, but… It's really, really disappointing."
"God, yeah… Shit!"
Tim nods, slowly. "Yeah. It's really common. And, like… I mean if we weren't using the most sensitive test out there, we probably would have never known. But, we did know, so, it hurts."
"I'm so sorry."
Tim nods. "I know."
He sighs, and shrugs. "'Bout like me." Tim shakes his head. "It's not a good day to be a lab tech."
"Stay home and dwell on it, or work it away here, helping to catch bad guys and give someone else a good day. I think we're both quitting early, though, spend some extra time cuddling Kelly."
Tony nods at that.
"You want me to tell Jimmy?"
Tim shakes his head. "Already made lunch plans with him."
"You can tell Ziva, too. We'll be okay, but, just sad and disappointed right now."
Tony nods. Hugs him, fast. "I really am sorry for you."
"I know. Wish I could solve your problem for you."
"Don't worry about it. We'll wait for the FBI."
Tim manages a limp smile for him. "I should get back to…"
"I'm out of here." So, in addition to so frustrated by waiting he wants to chew his own arm off, Tony's got a good dose of sad for his friends. He makes a quick detour to the lab, and sees that Abby is off. Everything about her right now is depressed and droopy. (If she still had ponytails, they'd be drooping.)
"What do you need, Tony?" She's also sounding sharp and prickly. He can see the LabTechs staring at her, wondering what on earth is wrong with their Boss today. He knows they don't know, and he's sure Abby doesn't want them to know.
He smiles at her and opens his arms. "The case is kicking my ass, and I need a hug." She rolls her eyes, not in a hug mood, but he wiggles his finger in a come here manner, and she does, wrapping her arms around him, him wrapping his around her. When she gets into his arms, he whispers in her ear, "And Tim tells me you need one, too."
She sniffs at that, swallows hard.
He kisses her ear and once more whispers, "I'm so sorry."
She nods, melting against him for a moment. Then she pulls back from him. "Better?"
"Yeah. I needed that. So, you got anything interesting for me?"
"AFIS linked in three more cases."
"Anything that breaks Bishop's pattern?"
Abby shakes her head. "Nope. Judging by how busy these guys are, I'd say this is the main hit squad on the East Coast for the Russian Mafia."
"Any idea why they're so careless about leaving fingerprints around?" Abby asks, and he can feel her focusing in on the case as a distraction.
"Bishop thinks it might be part of the message. She called it, 'The Dread Pirate Roberts' effect."
Abby perks up slightly at that. "Everyone knows the Dread Pirate Roberts leaves no survivors, but somehow the rumor has to spread, and these prints is how they're build their reputation."
"That's her idea. Not sure how well it's supposed to work on people who aren't cops, but maybe that's the idea, keep the cops nervous about going up against them."
"I guess." Abby thinks about that for a second. "Could be darker. If the Russian Mob's as connected as they're supposed to be, see those prints and you start losing evidence and you put the D Team on the case."
Tony hates that idea, but it's plausible.
"You have anything new?" Abby asks.
He shakes his head. "Waiting for facial ID. Waiting for McKenna and Heyn to surface. Just, waiting. Trying not to channel Gibbs looking for Ari."
She nods at that.
"Okay. I'll get back to it. Thanks for the hug."
She nods again.
Tony hates waiting. This is possibly months of waiting, for what might be a hint of a guy walking through a mall ten months ago.
He hates the fact that he can't tell Rob and Maryanne Tishuccia that they've got the men who killed their daughter, son-in-law, and grandson. Telling them that their family was in the wrong place at the wrong time was bad, having no answers for them is worse.
He hates the fact that they can't find Heyn or McKenna, either. If they could find them, they could sit on them and wait for the next attempt on them. Then swoop in and grab everyone all up at once. But even with everyone BOLOed out the eyes, they're getting nothing.
Not exactly a shock. Sure they've got to be driving something big enough to move their pills. But they're basically a walking ATM. Scrape up enough cash to get into a club with a handful of pills. Come on out again with a pile of new cash. No financial pings. No electronic pings. (Because the first damn thing they probably bought with their pile of cash was a mess of burner phones.)
No one likes working with the DEA. As Federal Agencies go, they're only one step above the IRS when it comes to having a reputation for being flaming assholes. However, Hallahan, appears to be a decent guy, and, much to Tony's surprise, is waiting for him in the bullpen on Tuesday morning.
"Guess who got word of a big player on the E market coming into town looking to move a lot of product."
"Are you for real?" Tony asks, feeling himself relax for the first time in days.
Hallahan nods, grinning. "It's even the right sort. Snake-eyes!" Heyn and McKenna had stamped their pills with a little set of die showing snake eyes.
"Now, look. I know you want them for bait, but if they get away, and I don't get a bust on them, not only will my ass be in a sling, but I'm going to hunt you down and stick yours in one."
"We'll keep track of them. Where's it supposed to happen?"
Hallahan sighs. "At a club, where else? A hot, trendy, young place that you and I can't get into." If Hallahan's a day under forty-five, Tony wouldn't believe it. Neither of them are young or hip anymore. And while it's true that he'd much rather have experienced hands for something like this, at the very least he's got people who are young and can probably fake hip.
"Lucky for you, I've got some hot, young things on tap."
Both of them look at Bishop, on her desk, drawing more dots on her map, and Draga, walking into the office.
"We're going undercover!" Bishop's so excited she's about ready to pop. Draga's only marginally cooler. It's like every single James Bond fantasy is about to come true, for both of them.
"Yes, you are, but on a tight leash. There's exactly three things I want you two doing. Do not arrest them. Do not let them know you're watching them. The whole goal of this is to get a bug on one or both of them, preferably on their car as well," Tony says after sharing Hallahan's bounty.
"Cool! Oh… do we have micro RFID trackers? We could buy some of the E, stick the trackers on the bills. They're selling because they're unloading and getting ready to run, so they'll probably keep the money with them, right?"
"And if we can get one on the car, and maybe… How big are those things?" Draga asks.
"The ones we used at the NSA were smaller than a grain of rice. Brush up against someone's coat or something, and they'd never find it tucked into a fold or pocket. The ones we used on the money, well, you know those strips in the bills, we'd yank 'em out and stick one of our own in."
Draga's grinning at that. "Good. So it's a club, people will be dancing, rub up against one of them—"
"They probably won't be on the dance floor," Tony says, seeing both Draga and Bishop stare at him like he's a million years old and probably couldn't identify a club if he tripped on one. "They're there to move a lot of product. Pounds and pounds of it. This isn't the sort of thing you do slipping pills and bills to each other."
That seems to make a distressing amount of sense to them.
"So, yes," Tony continues, "You are going to arrange a buy. The RFIDs on the bills sounds like a good plan. Got to talk to Abby to see if we can get them on there in a way that won't stick out," and if we have them, "plus get you two all suited up for the job. Ziva and I are going to get their car, and if there's a chance for it, Ziva'll lift one of their phones, and get a tracker in there, too."
Ziva nods, Child's play on her face.
"And then we hope Fedoryvich, "Smith," Blezun, and Poppotic go after them again?" Draga asks.
"And then we hope. And when they do, we sweep in and grab everyone."
Bishop thinks for a moment. "Um…" She's biting her lip, looking nervous and resolved. "Judging on what we found in the house, how do we sweep in without ending up in a firefight?"
"You're qualified on a pistol and a rifle, correct?" Tony asks her. She had said she had all her FLETC proficiencies, but double checking is always a good thing.
"Well, yes, but…" She's looking a little green at the idea of a shoot-out.
"Hopefully the 'You're surrounded, give up,' technique works. If it doesn't, then we'll all be wearing vests, making sure we've got good cover, and going in and taking them out," Tony says.
"You don't think they're going to go after them at the club, do you?" Draga asks.
"Nope," Bishop says. "Way too messy. The only thing, besides connections to the Russian Mob, that all of their vics have in common is they were hit at home or in a hotel room. These guys aren't going to storm a club with two hundred other people."
Tony's pleased by that. "But…" he says, hopefully leading her on.
Bishop's thinking, but Draga catches it first. "But if they're hooked in like we are, and they probably are, they'll be watching the club, too, waiting for them to move, get alone, and then go in."
Tony smiles. "Exactly right, Flyboy. So, hunting for them is what Ziva and I are going to be doing while you're in getting trackers on Heyn and McKenna. If we can grab them before they go after our favorite E dealers, all the better. Then we can grab our favorite E dealers sweet and easy as you please."
"So, what's the club?" Draga asks.
"Unity," Tony replies and sees Bishop light up and Draga's face drop. "What?"
"Ravers," Draga replies, looking like he's sucking on a lemon.
"Oh, come on. This'll be fun!"
"We're not going in to party!"
"I know. But the music will be—"
"Crap. Electronic, overloud, crap."
Tony cuts in, "We can talk about the music later, or better yet, never. Club opens at midnight. I want both of you going home, get some rest, back here at nine, with whatever the hell it is you wear to a rave already on."
"Good Lord." Tony is not, no matter what McGee might think, a prude. He's just not. And in any other circumstance, he'd probably appreciate what Bishop's wearing. But, well, it's lingerie. From everything he can tell, she left her outfit at home and just showed up in white thigh high boots and her undies.
They're really snazzy undies. White bra with little sparkly things all over it. White boy shorts panties, with more little sparkly things (spelling out LOVE on her butt) and dangly sliver chains looping around the waistband on the front. But they're still undies.
"You look perfect, Bishop." Abby says. "We don't have any white glasses with a camera in them… So…" She's rummaging through their gear. "I know! You okay with pony tails?"
"Sure." Her hair had been down.
"Okay, let's get your hair up. I can get a mic hidden in your ponytail holder." Abby pulls her hair into two high ponytails and leaves a few wisps by each ear. Then she hands Bishop an earwig. "That goes in, and then off to ballistics to do a sound test."
Tony's watching her set Bishop up. "So you're saying you can't get eyes on her?"
"I don't have anything that'll look right. And if these guys are as nervous as they should be, they'll notice if something is off. But," she holds up a pair of thick-rimmed, black, hipster glasses, "Draga'll have these on. We'll be good. Speaking of Draga, where is he?"
Ziva prods him into the lab at that. "Here," he says, sounding sulky.
They all look at him.
"I hate raves. I hate ravers. I hate neon."
"Yeah, you're the poster boy for Peace, Love, Unity, and Respect." Bishop says as she heads out. "Abby, how about you come. You're almost dressed for it, and I know you've done this before."
Abby smiles a bit at that, looking more like herself. "Not tonight, not for me. And Eric, you look fine." He does look fine. He's wearing a pair of sneakers, black jeans loose enough that the top inch of his boxers is showing, black light paint highlighting his tattoo and on his lips, and that's it. "Okay, let's get you geared up. Now you're the only one who's going to have visual contact, so remember, you're the one who's making sure that everyone else can see what's going on. You'll both have sound, but you're eyes."
Abby got him wired up, tested his sound and visuals, and declared everything was good. Then she took them to the next level. "Okay, we've got cash. One out of every five of these bills has an RFID tracker on it." She shows them two pacifiers on necklaces. "These also have trackers on them. If you get a chance, drape them around McKenna or Heyn's neck. They're waterproof, so you can use them yourself."
"Are those Kelly's?" Ziva asks. She's wiring herself up, and getting into her (modified) stealth-ninja garb. No one's going to see her tonight. But, in that she's swapped out her usual black cargo pants for tight black jeans, and the extra warm, padded, pocket studded black sweater for a black leather jacket, if she needs to pretend to be part of the party for a minute, she won't look too off.
"They were going to be, hadn't opened them yet, so it's not like they've got baby drool on them."
Draga picks one up, stares at it, eyes narrow, and shakes his head. "Ravers," he says it like a slur.
Bishop grabs the pink one with the unicorn on it and drapes it over her neck.
Abby touches one last prop. They just look like strips of little stickers. Half of them are little sparkly bits of plastic that will catch the light, half are neon smiley faces. She hands one strip to Draga and one to Bishop. "RFID stickers. Peel it off, pop it on McKenna or Heyn, and you're good to go. They're really sticky, so they'll stay put."
"Can you loosen up at all?" Bishop asks Draga as they wait in line to get into Unity.
"I am loose."
"Uh huh. You're standing at attention. I'd hate to see you at a party."
Tony and Ziva are in the command center van. About two streets back, one block over. They've got a good view of the Unity parking lot through the window, and a great view of everything through the cameras they put up earlier today.
Tony can hear some movement, and the angle of Draga's camera shifts. Tony assumes that means that Draga's getting 'loose.'
Tony covers his microphone and says to Ziva, who's watching the feeds to see when McKenna and Heyn get here, and more importantly what they're driving. "Now I know why Gibbs had white hair." Then he uncovers it and says, "I can hear you two, you know?"
Bishop's hanging on Draga, and he's looking better, but still really stiff and uncomfortable. She wraps her arm around him and kisses his ear, saying. "Look, we're buyers, right?"
"Okay. Not anymore. I'm ditzy arm candy, just here to party. You're Mr. Serious Buyer on a mission. You keep them paying attention to you, and I'm going to be drunk and flirty and falling all over everyone."
"I can do that."
"Got them!" Ziva says, pointing out a non-descript Toyota Camry that's riding just a bit too low.
Tony nods, switching the car to his main feed, secondary feed to the door of the club. (Bishop and Draga are now three places from getting in.) Ziva gets a third feed up, locking Heyn's face in place, so the camera will follow it where ever it goes in range.
She zips up the leather jacket and gets ready for part one of their plan.
Tony squeezes her hand and gives her a quick kiss. She smiles back at him and heads out.
He stares at the image of Heyn on the feed, watching carefully. Like Bishop, she's in a warm coat, and probably not much else. Once they get inside, it'll be hot, but out here it's in the high thirties, so everyone is bundled up.
"Left pocket's hanging lower than the right," he says to Ziva.
Ziva brushes by Heyn, a ghost, snagging her cell quickly, adding one of Abby's stickers to it, and putting it back into her pocket before she knows anyone was ever near.
"Done," Ziva says as she heads to the parking lot.
"They're in line, about a hundred people behind you," Tony says to Bishop and Draga.
He sees Draga's video feed bob up and down, must be nodding. "Great!" Bishop says, all perky and bubbly and cute.
Tony fiddles with the tracking software, map of the area coming up, all of the trackers are live, but most of them are in the money, in the trunk of Bishop and Draga's car, some of them are on Bishop, the pacifier and the stickers, more stickers on Draga, and one, he highlights that one, lets the computer know to keep track of that one, is on Heyn's phone.
"Onto the car," Ziva says. This is the tricky bit. If "Smith", Fedoryvich, Poppotic, and Blezun are also in on this, and are waiting for a shot to grab Heyn and McKenna, they're likely also watching the car. So if they see Ziva toss a tracker on it, they are going to get suspicious.
They'd debated about which was the better way to do it, make sure they saw her do it, but make it look like nothing had happened. Or have her do a full on ghost routine.
The parking lot dictated how it would go. It's brightly lit, the spaces are wide, and there are about five hundred spots where you can camp out and get a great view of everything that's going on. It's the ultimate stealth nightmare.
So, step two on the car involves Ziva shifting from one form of ghost, dark, subtle, silent, to another. Drunk party girl heading back to her own car. She's swaying, stumbling, fumbling for her keys in her purse, and with an exaggerated action, pulls them out, overbalances herself, and topples to the ground right behind Heyn's car. She crawls around on the cold ground, trying to grab her keys, missing the first few times, (and in the process tucking two RFID tags onto the car) and then finally gets herself standing, staggers over to a car, puts her key in, turns it, and "finds out she's at the wrong car" a moment later, she does find the right one, gets in, pulls back way too fast, rear ends one of the other cars in the lot (Tony makes a note of the tags, they'll reimburse the owner) and peels out of there.
He can't see the way she's driving, but he's sure she won't drive "sober" until she's a good mile away.
"Ziva's clear. Looked great."
"Of course. Did you catch anyone watching?"
"No. But, like we noticed before, there's more vantage points on that parking lot than there are of home plate in a baseball stadium."
She chuckles at that. "Back in a few minutes."
"And we're in!" Bishop says with a giggle. "Okay, drinks first, then dancing, then…" She sounds so cute and fun.
Draga lets himself get pulled to the bar, where Bishop holds up a finger, bopping around to the music, already moving to it.
Bartender sees her. And she shouts over the music, "White Russian, and for Mr. Boring over there, Dewars."
The bartender nods, and she places a fifty on the bar.
A minute later she shoots back her White Russian and puts the empty shot glass on the table.
"Bishop…" She hears Tony say in her earwig.
"Come on, Babe!" He sees Draga lift his, but it looks completely full when it goes back down. "Oh, Lord, you just really are no fun. Here." She shoots his back, too. "Come on, dancing!" She pulls him onto the dance floor, and once she's draped over him, she says quietly, so Tony and Draga can here.
"Cops can't drink on duty, right? Well, look, I'm not a cop."
"They can't drink because you're not supposed to be working drunk," Tony says, sternly.
"No problem. I can't get drunk."
"What?" Both Tony and Draga say it.
"Just, can't. Same reason I can eat all day and not get fat. My metabolism is insane. Seriously, an hour from now, you can breathalyse me, and I'll come up clear."
"Really?" Tony asks.
"Yep!" She's dancing close and wild, hands and body free and exuberant, but she quietly says, "As soon as we're in and we approach them, I'll have another drink in hand and be sucking it down. Probably buy them a round, too. Wanna be good hosts, right?"
Eventually, McKenna and Heyn come in. They don't get drinks. They don't hit the dance floor. They grab a table, and settle in.
Bishop and Draga continue to dance, watching different people head over to them, quiet deals being made. Twice McKenna gets up, heads out of the club, while Heyn sits with whomever was with the buyer, chatting.
After the third buy, they decide to go in.
Draga heads back to the bar, one thing he's noticed is that everyone who heads over brings drinks, so they'll bring drinks, too.
Bishop is sipping hers as they head over, and sits down next to Heyn. Eric slides into the booth next to McKenna.
McKenna and Heyn just stare at them. "Booth's occupied," McKenna says.
Eric looks at them, then looks at Bishop. "Goddamn, Babe, did you notice there were people sittin' here!" Then he turns to McKenna. "We're here because the booth is occupied, specifically because it's occupied by you, and we'd like to see about doing some business."
Heyn raises an eyebrow.
McKenna shakes his head. "Wrong booth. We're here to party, not do any sort of business."
"Uh huh," Draga says, sounding cool and bored. "Don't let the paint fool you, I'm not nearly as stupid as this looks. You're here to party," he pushes the drinks toward them, "which is why she's been sitting here all night, and you only get up after having a chat with someone, agreeing to a price and an amount. If that's a party, it's awfully lame. If it's a business, though…"
McKenna and Heyn look at each other, some sort of silent communication going on between them. Then McKenna says, "So, you're the brains; who's pretty girl then?"
Bishop giggles. "Watch. Eric." She stands up and he does, too. She takes one of the little stickers, they're about pill shaped, and he gets where she's going with this. He's got a bill in his pocket which rapidly ends up in his hand.
She kisses him the sticker while palming the bill, tidily tucking it into her boot. Then she sits back down, so cute, right next to Heyn, and puts another sticker onto Heyn's shoulder, kissing it, taking another drink. "I'm distribution. You don't think I'm wearing these boots because they're comfortable, do you? And honey, let's put it this way, these" she gestures to her breasts, "look great in this bra, but they're not really that big. Got a lot of room for a really good time in there. And no one gets strip searched at a place like this, so they don't ever find the goods."
"Uh huh." McKenna doesn't look impressed. "Goodbye, Smalltime," he says, waving at the door.
Bishop pouts and throws herself in his lap while Draga bristles. "Smalltime?" He pulls up his phone and pulls up a shot. It's the trunk of their car, in the trunk is a gym bag filled with nicely stacked bills. "Two hundred and fifty thousand dollars." (All the cash NCIS could scrape up on ten hours' notice.)
McKenna shakes his head and pinches Bishop's butt. "God, you two are cute, but I don't get out of this booth for under a million. Come back when you're ready to play."
Bishop pouts at him again, looking very cute and very determined. She drapes her pacifier over his neck and says, "Fine. You don't want our money, we're gone!" Then she gets up, very huffy, intentionally wobbling on her feet, and heads off. "Coming, Eric?"
Draga's stuck, he wants at least one more tracker on them. He feels around in his pocket and finds the matchbook he'd grabbed earlier and gets a sticker on it. He writes his name and number on it. "On the off chance you change your mind. My money spends just as well as theirs does."
McKenna rolls his eyes but takes the matchbook.
He's dancing with Bishop, well into the middle of the crowd when he feels safe to say, "Now what?"
"Leave them be. Get eyes on anyone who's buying. DEA'll like that. Ziva got their car, you got trackers on them, it's good enough," Tony says. The whole time he was watching them run the buy attempt he was halfway between wanting to shout directions in their ears and stay silent, afraid that they'd startle or spook or, God, worse, McKenna or Heyn might hear a whisper of his voice.
Silent won. He didn't want either of them looking like they were hearing voices in their head while they made the deal.
"Should we approach someone who looks like they made a successful buy?" Bishop asks.
"Sure," Tony says. DEA'll like that even better and it'll make them look even less like cops.
They dance for an hour, scanning the crowd, watching McKenna get up and head outside with two more men. One of whom did come back into the crowd to party and celebrate. And who they were able to buy two hundred and fifty thousand dollars' worth of Snake Eyes from.
Bishop sat there, smiling at McKenna and Heyn, waving, as Draga heads out into the parking lot, taking care of the actual sale.
Heyn heads over to her, which surprises Bishop, but she tries to keep it off her face. Heyn's holding a pill on her fingertip, looks like a Snake Eyes. "Could have sworn you were a cop."
Bishop snags the pill and downs it, giggling. "Why would you say that?" What the hell are you doing!?! Tony's yelling in her ear. He can't see what she's up to, but obviously he's got a feel for something going on.
"Because we know every buyer here, and we don't know you."
"Your damn loss. Wanna dance?"
Heyn shakes her head. "We'll be in town for two more days. You come by any more cash, come see us. We'll give you a better price than Green did."
"Sure." Heyn heads off, and Bishop heads into the center of the room. She's not feeling weird, yet, but she's guessing that she's got, at most, ten minutes before her body starts dissolving the tab. One song. She's going to dance for one song, then she's hitting the head and throwing up.
Yes, it's true she can't get drunk, but she's got no idea what'll happen to her if she gets any real dose of E in her system.
"Bishop, what did you just do?" Tony's asking in her ear, again.
"You don't want to know," she sings along with the music.
"Draga get back in there."
"I'm fine. Nothing I can't handle."
"If you test positive for E, your job is over."
"Uh huh." She starts bopping toward the ladies' room. There's a line. Fuck that. She stumbles into the men's room, retching, and the guys clear a path for her as she stumbles/runs to one of the stalls.
She's not a fan of throwing up, and throwing up booze is no fun at all, but the pill comes up, too, and it's in good shape. She staggers out, looking disheveled, a little embarrassed, but able to pass as just another drunk party girl. (Probably because she's in a men's room filled with drunk guys.)
Draga's scanning the room for her. He knows where she is, the com links are making sure of that. But the character he's playing doesn't.
She waves to him. He smiles and waves at her. She nods. Waves back to Heyn and McKenna, and the two of them leave. After all, job's done, they got their goods, why stick around?
Tony watches them make it to their car, feeling like he's got to have a very long, very detailed, very explicit conversation with Bishop about what the hell is appropriate behavior when undercover.
Ziva, on the other hand, is awfully impressed. "She would have done well in Mossad."
"Yeah, great. You guys didn't have any rules. She gets hit with a random piss test anytime in the next year or two…"
"She will be fine. She got the pill up before it could do any harm…" He's watching Heyn and McKenna's car. (DEA was going to be thrilled with them, they have five buys on camera now.) Someone… "Do you think that's Blezun?"
Ziva squints at the feed. Right general shape and size. He's also doing the drunk partier routine, and like Ziva conveniently "trips" next to Heyn's car.
"Oh shit!" Tony says quietly. "Ziva…"
"I'm on him."
"Guys, things just got interesting. Blezun just planted a bomb under Heyn and McKenna's car. He did it fast and easy, so it's a remote detonator, not hard-wired in, which means he's got to stay close enough to set it off. Ziva's following him. Draga, get to her for backup. Bishop, I want you back in the club, if I say go, I want you to pull the fire alarm and get those people out of there."
"On it." "Got it." Came from Bishop and Draga.
"Ziva, I've still got eyes on him, he's heading back toward the parking garage across the street. Draga, what's your ETA for Ziva?"
"Less than a minute."
"Good. You got vest on?"
Tony can hear fast breathing, and the feed on Draga's camera is bouncing up and down, then for a second everything goes black, and he hears the ripping sound of Velcro. "Just pulled it on. You want me to find her, or just grab a good spot in the parking garage?"
Tony the husband wants him right on Ziva's ass. Tony the cop, the leader, has an idea of what might be going on, there's a white van on the third floor of the parking garage facing this parking lot. He can't see in, the street lights and garage lights are reflecting into the glass, making it opaque, but his gut is saying that's where to go.
"Third floor, parking garage. White van overlooking the club's lot. That's where I think he's going. Ziva, you have eyes on him?"
"Okay. I'm going blind right now." He gets into the front seat of his van, grabbing the sniper rifle they have in their inventory. It takes a second but he gets it set so he's got focus on the van, thanking God that they picked a spot where they could actually see the Unity parking lot, and by extension, the parking garage next to it. "And I've got eyes on the van. Blezun still heading in that direction?"
"Yes he is," Ziva answers.
"So, what's the plan? We follow him, close in, and ask them to surrender?" Draga asks.
"No. You are going to find a nice spot somewhere on the third floor where you've got a clean shot at that van. Ziva is going to follow him, close in, and ask him or them to surrender, and when he just about wets his pants laughing, I am going to very nearly miss his head with a bullet. If he or they don't surrender then, things are going to get sticky. But if he goes for a gun, you kill him. Got it."
"Entering the parking garage, heading for the elevator. I'm hanging back. Draga?"
"Just got to the third floor. Bishop?"
"Just got back in, looking for a fire alarm."
"He's in the elevator. The three is lit up."
"You want me to ask him to surrender?" Draga says. "I'm in position."
Tony wishes that he could keep aim on the van and still see from Draga's camera. A quick glimpse of who is in there and where would be worth its weight in gold. "No, let him get to the van. Better yet, try to see who's in the van. They aren't going to blow up the car until McKenna and Heyn are in it. They'll probably want to follow it until it's out of range of a whole lot of other people. They'll stick around for at least a few more minutes, long enough for Ziva to go in."
"Okay." Draga says, "Elevator just binged. Doors are opening. I've got eyes on him. He's coming toward the van…"
Tony scans his scope toward the elevator. "Got him." He watches Blezun head to the van, open the doors, and, yes, he can see Fedoryvich, in the far back for a second. "Smith" and Poppotic must be in the front seat, that is, if they're there at all. He gets a quick glimpse of a shit ton of guns, and what looks like a lot of electronics before the van door closes.
"You see that?" Draga asks Tony.
"Yes. They're in there with enough firepower to take out France. Ziva?"
"Entering the elevator right now."
"I've got the fire alarm. DiNozzo, how do I keep them from all flooding out toward the bomb?"
Shit, Tony hadn't thought about that. "Only reason I want you to pull it is if McKenna and Heyn try to leave. I'm hoping that with that much potential collateral damage they won't pull the trigger until after McKenna and Heyn are well out of range."
"Hope you're right."
"Me too! Ziva?"
"Elevator just stopped, doors are opening."
"I've got eyes on her, DiNozzo, and a clear shot on the van. Wish I had more than a pistol on me."
"You and me both." Ziva clears a truck, and Tony spies her in his scope. "Got you in my sights."
"You always do." Ziva says back. She raises her voice, pulls her gun, and calls out, "Fedoryvich …"
"Tires, now." Tony says a quick prayer, hopes he's as good at this as he thinks he is, and then pulls the trigger, twice, fast, and watches the front tires of the van sink low. Less than a second later he hears two more shots and sees the back end of the trunk sink down.
Ziva's still saying… actually, he doesn't know what she's saying, it's in Russian. But he's pretty sure that it's some variety of come out unarmed with your hands up, you're surrounded.
He catches just the tip of the muzzle (thank God for 10/20 vision) peeking out from the front, passenger side window, pointing toward Ziva. He can't see inside, the lights from the parking lot and garage are still, even two inches lower, reflecting off the glass, but he's got about two tenths of a second before something very, very bad happens, so he fires again, straight through the windshield, about where he assumes a head would be for someone holding the sort of gun that barrel probably goes with.
The barrel jerks, falls back into the van as the windshield shatters, but holds in place. He's got no idea if he hit anyone, but there's no longer a gun pointing at Ziva, (that he can see.)
She's saying something else, still in Russian, but this time he hears a voice respond, also in Russian, and though he wants to see, he's not about to take his aim off the van.
"They're moving out of the van," she says. "Draga, to me, keep the door in sight."
She's barking orders in Russian again, and this time three of them come out, and line up next to the van, where he's got a perfect line of fire on them. Ziva holds her gun on them, too. "Draga, cuff them."
He sees Draga nod, and tuck his gun back into his pants.
"Stand down, Bishop."
"Okay. You want me back in the van?"
"Do you have eyes on McKenna and Heyn?"
"No, stay in the club right now. Keep eyes on them."
He can see Draga cuffing the other three. "Where's number four?" he asks Ziva.
"They say he is dead." She moves around to the side of the van, and looks in through the passenger's side window. He can see her nod. "Clean head shot."
"That's a miracle. From here, I can't see through the windshield."
Ziva says something in Hebrew. Sounds like a prayer. He adds a quick Amen to her words.
"All secure. Everyone is cuffed."
"Good. I'll be up there in a few minutes."
And in a few minutes he did get up there, with the van, to collect Fedoryvich, Blezun, and "Smith." And once collected, (and cuffed to each other, and to the steel bar in the back of the van. They aren't going anywhere.) he called Hallahan, explained exactly what they had done, and that they still had eyes on McKenna and Heyn.
"I'll be there with my guys as soon as I can."
They didn't process the scene for the shooting, or do anything besides sit tight. He wants to maintain custody of everything right now. But, he also doesn't want ten thousand cops spooking McKenna and Heyn.
It took half an hour, but Hallahan gets to the scene. He's got a few plain clothes people with him, and they get into position to follow McKenna and Heyn.
An hour later, when it was getting onto five, the club was ready to close. Bishop radioed in. "Crowd's thinning out, they're going to notice me if I stick around much longer."
"Okay, get out of there. Hallahan's guys are watching for McKenna and Heyn."
So, Bishop heads out, wrapped in her coat, and eventually makes her way back to the parking garage.
She sees their van, and the blood, bullet holes, bullets, and and broken glass all over the parking garage and is very glad it's three stories up and not in anyone's direct line of sight from the ground.
From up there, she has a very good view of six DEA agents swarming on McKenna and Heyn as soon as they get out of the club.
And as soon as they moved, Tony has his phone to his ear. "Ducky, hi. Yeah, I know it's early. We need you here." Then he makes the next call to Vance. He updates Vance on everything that happened, reports the shooting, and requests the correct IA auditors to come and make sure it was a clean shoot.
"Does IA always come in?" Bishop asks.
He nods. "Any time one of us kills someone, there's an investigation. Just saves a lot of time and trouble."
He looks at Bishop, shivering in her coat. Temp's dropped during the night, can't be much above fifteen degrees right now.
"Go home. Get some rest. They'll be debriefing us until at least lunch time today. Bright and early tomorrow morning, these guys go to interrogation and you get to see what happens."
She turns toward the car that she and Draga had been using.
"Bishop," her name from Tony stops her dead. "Before you go. Coffee, donuts, more coffee, something with some protein in it for the three of us. We need food and we need to be awake to talk to IA."
And eventually she was back.
And eventually IA questioned them, and processed the scene while Ducky and Jimmy took care of the body.
And eventually, not long after what should have been lunch Tony, Ziva, and Draga got to go home.
Right now, the official verdict hasn't been reached, but it was a clean shot, he knows that, and he knows IA's going to find that way.
Eventually they got Blezun, Fedoryvich, and "Smith" into custody and processed.
And eventually, they went home, and he and Ziva fell into bed, wrapped in each other's arms, and slept like the dead until the alarm went off at 6:05, the way it usually does.
Eventually there was questioning, but it didn't amount to much. Tony knows how to read the prison tats. These guys have already been through everything the Russians had to offer (including Siberia) and didn't talk. He's got nothing to scare them with.
So they sit there, silent, not even asking for a lawyer, refusing to say anything.
And once he's got them arraigned on everything they've got on them, he hands custody over to the FBI.
And that was the first full case for Team DiNozzo, and all in all, he'd say it was a job well done.
A/N: And yes, we will back track to see what Gibbs has been up to and get the story of what happened with Abby and McGee. Just wanted to get a good Tony-centric case fic out there.