Author: Jilly James
Characters: Antonia DiNozzo, Cassie Yates
Genre: Crime Drama, Rule 63
Prompt: Rule 63
Word Count: 1,987
Author Note: Cassie Yates is a minor canon NCIS character played by Tamara Taylor
Warnings: No beta, past minor character death
Summary: During an investigation, Cassie is surprised by a visit from Interpol.
– – – –
Cassie’s search finally finished with a “no records found” message. Smacking the keyboard in frustration, she leaned back in her chair, trying to think of another avenue to get the information Gibbs needed to question the suspect currently cooling his heels in interrogation one.
“Your search did not yield fruits?” Ziva asked. To Cassie’s ear, Ziva always sounded faintly supercilious, and it never failed to set her teeth on edge.
She’d given up correcting Ziva’s English faux pas years ago and didn’t bother with this new variant. “Nothing,” she admitted. “Your contacts?”
“I am waiting to hear from two of them.”
Cass sighed. The latest junior agent, Taylor, was running some info to Abby, but he was so new the shine hadn’t worn off, so he wasn’t going to be helpful. Their team dynamic was difficult for newcomers—they went through junior agents at an alarming rate. She’d been the SFA for three years, joining the team after Gibbs’ old team were all murdered by a terrorist via a car bomb. She’d frequently had cause to regret her life choices. It wasn’t even Gibbs, who could be a bastard, but between Ziva and the revolving door of junior agents, she was getting burned out.
Before she could get too wrapped up in thoughts about the deaths of agents Todd, Errington, and Burley, someone stepped into the bullpen and right up to Cassie’s desk. She blinked up at the stunning woman in a perfectly-tailored, body-conscious black pantsuit. The woman was tall—easily close to six feet—had strong features and dark blonde hair pulled up in a French twist. But it was her striking green eyes that took Cassie’s breath away.
Clearing her throat, she got to her feet. “Can I help you?”
The woman smiled at her, bright and engaging. “I’m looking for Agent Gibbs.” The voice was fairly low, cultured tones conveying a British accent. “Have I located the right area?”
“He’s meeting with the director but will be back shortly. I’m Cassie Yates, his senior field agent. Is there something I can help you with?”
Ziva got to her feet, watching the visitor carefully.
“Toni DiNozzo. Interpol.” She extended a hand. Cassie was surprised but reflexively accepted the handshake. DiNozzo then offered her credentials.
Cassie inspected them carefully. The last name was actually DiNozzo-Paddington, and she blinked at the second name, wondering if there was a relation to Jeffery Paddington. She returned the ID.
“I’m given to believe that NCIS is holding this man?” DiNozzo held out a photo of the man Cassie had just been trying to get background on.
“Seth Petersen. Yes. He’s in interrogation. What’s Interpol’s interest?”
“When you ran his fingerprints—” she broke off and paused. “Let’s say it caught the interest of MI5. Mr. Petersen is a person of interest in an ongoing investigation.”
“You’re the MI5 liaison?” It was odd for the liaison to Interpol for a British agency to be in DC.
“I was,” DiNozzo said with a faint smile. “I think Interpol is happier not having to worry about me getting into mischief within the confines of the UK. My superiors complained of a nervous stomach, so I was transferred to DC to liaise with the FBI.” She subtly showed her Interpol badge again and tapped the second half of her last name. “I’m simply doing a favor for some old colleagues.”
Cassie’s eyes widened, feeling a little stunned. Well, shit. “What is it you need from us, Officer DiNozzo?”
“Please call me Toni.” She smiled again, causing Cassie to get butterflies in her stomach. “I’d like to interview Mr. Petersen, determine if there’s an intersection between the NCIS and the MI5 investigations.”
“And if there is?”
“It could be that we’re working the same case from different angles. Interpol would help facilitate a joint investigation.”
Before Cassie could reply, Ziva stepped up. “Gibbs will not share this investigation.”
Toni turned a bit to meet Ziva’s gaze. “Is that so?” she asked dryly.
“I notified the director’s office that you were here to interfere with our investigation,” Ziva bit out.
One of Toni’s brows quirked up, and her lips tightened fractionally.
“Ziva!” Cassie warned, trying to signal her teammate to back off.
“I’m here,” Gibbs barked as he jogged down the stairs with Shepard at his heels. Her boss got right into DiNozzo’s space. “What’s Interpol’s interest in my case?”
Toni’s eyes narrowed dangerously. “I’ll happily answer any queries you may have, Agent Gibbs, after you step back at least eighteen inches.”
Gibbs moved marginally closer. “Is that right?”
“Yes. I don’t tolerate bullying tactics. Either you maintain a two-foot distance or we can delay discussing the case while we thoroughly explore your need to need to physically intimidate women into doing your bidding.”
Cassie just stared in shock. She’d never heard anyone call Gibbs on his attitude like that. Gibbs’ jaw was clenched tight but he backed up.
Shepard jumped in with, “Agent Gibbs meant nothing, Ms.… ?”
“DiNozzo. Antonia.” Toni didn’t offer her hand or remind the director of her title.
“Can you clarify Interpol’s interest?” Shepard repeated Gibbs’ previous question in a more professional tone.
Toni reiterated what she’d said to Cassie but in a flat tone. Shepard made a show of introducing everyone, obviously thinking through the issues. Toni was distracted by Ziva’s name and repeated, “David?”
Ziva lifted her chin. “My father is the director of Mossad. I’m sure you’ve heard of him.” Her tone was practically gloating. Internally, Cassie was amused at how little Ziva had to gloat about in this case.
Eyes narrowing, Toni looked thoughtful. “And how did you come to be at NCIS?”
Shepard interjected, “Officer David functions as a liaison to NCIS. Much like yourself at Interpol.”
“No. Nothing like myself,” Toni said dryly. “Why exactly is NCIS investigating ‘Petersen’?”
Gibbs clearly didn’t want to answer, but Shepard smoothly offered, “We suspect he may have been responsible for the theft of explosives from a military transport.”
“I see,” Toni said softly. “Then I can give you one hour to question Petersen about your end of the case. The FBI will retrieve him at that time.”
There was an immediate explosion of words and temper from Gibbs, Shepard, and Ziva, but Toni just crossed her arms over her chest and waited for the cacophony to end. Finally, she said, “I assure you I do have the right. In fact, I have a federal order ceding this investigation to the FBI. I came here to see if a joint investigation with NCIS would be beneficial, but I simply will not accept a joint investigation with a foreign intelligence operative on the investigative team. The Bureau will work with MI5 to handle the case from this point forward.”
“Officer David is part of the investigation, not gathering intelligence for Mossad!” Shepard yelped.
“You think I’m going to let you take my case?” Gibbs growled, ignoring the issue of Ziva.
“Stop blustering, Agent Gibbs, it doesn’t impress me.” Toni picked a speck of lint from her jacket sleeve. “If you don’t want the hour with Petersen, I’ll call my FBI escort and have them retrieve him now.”
“Now, wait,” Shepard said, belatedly trying to be diplomatic. “I’m sure we can work this out so NCIS can remain involved in the case.”
Personally, Cassie had never respected Shepard overmuch, but she extended the position the director held the respect it was due. But, now, she nearly sneered at the blatant attempt to keep NCIS involved in what smelled like a big case.
“No.” Toni’s tone was hard and icy. “I may be a liaison to the FBI because Interpol wanted me out of country, but I am still an MI5 agent, and we’ve known for years that Mossad mysteriously has unusual access to US classified material. I don’t know the source of that leak, but I refuse to expose this investigation to a Mossad operative.”
The furor was huge as Gibbs and Shepard started to yell, but Cassie noted something that made her guts clench. Ziva had paled before joining in the rant.
Instead of engaging in the argument, Toni began texting, giving a start of surprise when Ziva knocked the phone out of her hands.
“Ziva!” Shepard looked appalled. Gibbs’ expression was stony, but Cassie thought she saw confusion in his eyes.
“My father will never stand for this!” Ziva repeated for easily the third time. “You will have pink papers before the end of the day!”
Toni’s expression had been shuttered but, at that, she glanced to Cassie, who had just picked up the phone which now had a shattered screen. “What?”
“Pink slip,” Cassie murmured as she passed over the damaged phone. “I’m so sorry about that, Officer DiNozzo.”
Toni offered her a faint smile. “Phones are replaceable.” She tilted her head toward four suits rounding the corner. “I’d already hit send anyway.” To Gibbs and Shepard, she tersely said, “If you’ll show them where to retrieve Petersen, we’ll get out of your way. As a courtesy, I’ll forward you any unclassified information we obtain that helps with your,” she made a dismissive little wave, “case.”
“Unclassified?” Shepard repeated indignantly.
Ziva moved into Toni’s space, bumping aggressively against her. “I will call my father and you will lose your badge!”
“Back off, David!” Gibbs yelled.
“Ziva!” Shepard was obviously astonished, though Cassie couldn’t figure out why that would be. Ziva had been a loose cannon for years, though Cassie’s complaints about her had been universally ignored.
All four FBI agents put their hands on their sidearms, garnering blatant surprise from Shepard and confusion from Gibbs. Toni waved them off and stared down at Ziva, who was bristling at the half-foot height difference.
Cassie felt like she was watching an impending train wreck as Toni glared down at Ziva. “Are we really going to play who’s got the bigger dick, Officer David?” The soft, cultured accent made the words even more jarring.
“You believe you could best me?” Ziva nearly snarled, and Cassie winced at her teammate’s cluelessness.
“I don’t think that at all,” Toni retorted with a casual shrug. “Mossad trains spies and assassins, and they do it competently. MI5 and Interpol require much more finesse from their operatives. Rather, it’s your father’s prick you seem intent on throwing about as if we’re all meant to find it impressive.”
The FBI agents all smirked and smothered coughs. Cassie just cringed.
Shepard looked furious. “Officer DiNozzo!”
“My father will ruin you,” Ziva spat, ignoring Shepard.
Cassie wanted to bang her head against the wall.
Toni gave a mean little smile, and Cassie found it insanely hot. “Do feel free to have Director David call my father to arrange it. He personally handles all requests for my ruination.” She actually set a business card on Ziva’s head.
Furious, Ziva swiped the card off her head, gave it a cursory glance, but then did a double take. “You would make this tasteless joke?” she spat out.
“Jokes are meant to be humorous, Officer David. I am not amused. My Uncle Jeffery adopted me and became my father when I was twelve. Two years ago, he became the Prime Minister of Britain. Have your father call at his earliest convenience to commence with my ruining.”
“I’m amused,” one of the FBI agents said with a huge smile.
Toni grinned. “You would be, you terrible troll. Fetch your prisoner before I’m compelled to remonstrate you for poor taste.”
Ignoring Ziva and a floundering Shepard, Toni turned to Cassie, passing her another card. “It was a pleasure, Agent Yates. I hope to hear from you again about…anything.”
Cassie noticed the cell number inked at the bottom. “I’m sure there’ll be something.”
“Perhaps we can discuss something over dinner?”
Cassie felt like Toni’s whirlwind visit put them all on the precipice of change. She probably should wait but couldn’t help but reply, “I’d love to.”
– – – –
Most of my short stories are prompt fills. As with my longer works, they are not up for adoption.