A Day of Reckoning
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NCIS
Title: “A Day of Reckoning”
Author: txncistn
Email: txjagbc1@yahoo.com
Rating: G/PG [some language, violence, etc.]

Classification: A dash of Hart, Esquire and Gibbs; a pinch of Abby and Tim; a bit of Tiva; and some special guests for flavoring.

Spoilers: Anything from Seasons 1-7 but in particular " Heartland, Legend parts I, II, Outlaws and In-Laws, Borderland, Patriot Down, and Rule Fifty-One.

Summary and Author Notes: A vignette about events of Friday afternoon, May 28, from meeting of Paloma and Jackson Gibbs in his store, forward. The resolution of events from the Season 7 finale will probably not be as rosy as this little story. Still, this is how I would like to see things turn out. Color me an optimist….

~Phoof~ Black and white image of Gibbs smiling as he walks out the door of his house.


Jackson Gibbs smiled disarmingly at the pretty middle-aged Hispanic woman who had just turned the store’s sign around so that it read ‘closed’.

He tilted his head as he acknowledged her. “Obviously, you want to talk to me about something, miss, am I right?”

Paloma looked like a barracuda that was about to eviscerate some innocent prey. “Oh yes, Senor Gibbs, we have much to discuss…”

*~*

Gibbs sat on the chair next to his dusty box spring and mattress. He stared at his recently added Rule #51 ‘Sometimes " You’re Wrong’.

The silver haired senior NCIS Agent leaned back in his chair and stared at the ceiling of his bedroom, hands clasped behind his head. How long had it been since he had actually sat in this room, months? Years?

Seeing the closed and taped boxes piled around the room reminded of him of why it hurt too much to stay in this room very long. Too many painful memories. He could see in his mind’s eye flashes of him and Shannon wrestling in bed, Kelly running in on Saturday mornings to get them up early…Too painful.

He sighed; he really hoped that he had read Margaret Allison Hart, Esquire right.

He could see her walking away from him after tapping Abby Sciuto’s report on the table in front of him.

‘Speaking as an officer of the law, I think we can beat it…’

*~*

“Well, it seems you have me at a disadvantage, Miss "“

“Reynosa…Paloma Reynosa, Senor Gibbs.”

Paloma sized up her prey. They were all the same; first they would plead, then they would bargain " in the end it really didn’t matter. It always ended the same. She had done this many times before. But his death wouldn’t come just yet. He would be an excellent bargaining chip to keep Special Agent Gibbs in line.

As Paloma was about to pull out her silenced automatic from her raincoat’s specially modified pocket, the door to the store opened and the bell announced that someone was coming in.

Paloma took her hand off her gun as the local Sheriff walked in.

Ed Gantry took stock of the situation. Woman wearing a raincoat in sunny weather, Jackson looking a little ill at ease. He gave his friendly local bumpkin Sheriff smile. “Afternoon, ma’am. Jackson, it’s a little early for closing, you feeling all right?”

“Oh sure, just fine, but I think Ms. Paloma Reynosa, here could use an escort back to Washington, DC.”

Before Paloma could react, the bumpkin Sheriff had *his* automatic out. “Sure thing, Jackson. Miss Reynosa, if you would be so kind as to take your hands away from your pockets, please.”

As she started to raise her hands, one of Ed Gantry’s Deputies rushed in through the door with a pump-action shotgun pointed right at her.

*~*

Gibbs old mobile phone rang. He reached over and grabbed it.

“Yeah, Dad?” he said a little too anxiously.

The calm somewhat embarrassed chuckle on the other end spoke volumes. “I ran into that friend of yours who you told me about…Ms. Reynosa,” “She’s on her way to you, son…under armed escort.”

Leroy Jethro Gibbs breathed a sigh of relief but prayed his Dad couldn’t hear him. “Thanks Dad.”

“You’re welcome, Son.”

*~*

Ziva David was trying to enjoy the moment. She was, at last, an American citizen. All of her new friends were here…except Tony and Gibbs.

“Congratulations, Ziva…” The NCIS Medical Examiner said as he embraced her in a loving hug.

“Thank you, Ducky.”

As they embraced, the former Mossad agent thought about possible reasons for their not being present. She had really hoped they would show at the last minute. With Gibbs having just returned from Mexico after looking for Mike Franks and not finding him, it was likely he’d gone back. As for Tony, Director Vance did ask him--

“Ziva! Ziva! You did it!” Abby almost bowled Ziva over with her hug. Ziva chuckled at Abby’s infectious enthusiasm .

“Thank you, Abby” she said warmly, as her thoughts went back to Leon Vance asking Tony to stay after meeting with them last night. Maybe that was the reason"

“Good work, Ziva…”

Ziva retuned his hug. “Thanks, Tim,” Tim McGee had certainly gained more confidence in the last few years. Maybe it was Gibbs tutelage, though to her he would always be the shy, slightly nerdy, young man she found so endearing.

“So how does it feel to be an American citizen?” Jimmy Palmer asked as he too gave her a brief hug.

Ziva chuckled again, “Pretty good, actually…” She was certain now that Leon Vance had something to do with their disappearances. She really needed to talk to Leon as soon as she could.

Then she spotted him. Jimmy had gone on talking about something about why his date had cancelled out at the last moment. Ziva looked up and gave him a brief smile. “Would you please excuse me?”

“Oh, of course, Ziva...” Jimmy said knowing that Ziva had pressing business and was trying to be polite.

She walked directly over to Leon Vance and his wife, Jackie. They had been talking to a newly naturalized citizen who until today had called Venezuela her home.

“Director, Mrs. Vance.”

Leon turned and smiled, “Congratulations, Ziva”

“That goes double for me, Agent David….” Jackie added.

“Thank you ma’am” Ziva swiftly turned the conversation. “Director, could we talk for moment?” The former Mossad agent asked as nicely as she could muster at the moment.

Leon turned to the Venezuelan woman and his wife, “Would you ladies please excuse me?”

“Of course, Honey…” Jackie said. The Venezuelan woman nodded politely and smiled.

They walked over to an isolated corner of the room, both standing side by side.

“So where are Tony and Gibbs, Director Vance?” Ziva said coolly as she kept her face turned to the crowd.

“That’s need to know, Special Agent David.” Leon Vance replied curtly as he took a sip of his drink.

“And I need to know, Director, because Tony is*my partner* and Gibbs is my boss.” Ziva fired back while maintaining a smile on her face as she looked over at her friends.

“I know how you feel about both of them, Ziva” Leon replied in his no nonsense tone of voice.

The former Mossad turned for the first time to face the NCIS Director. “Do you?”

Leon shook his head. “I’m the Director of NCIS, Special Agent; there isn’t much that goes on in my Agency that I don’t know about--”

“--Then you know I should be out there with them.” Ziva said forcefully.
Leon sighed. “I couldn’t let you do that, Special Agent David. Besides you can’t be in two places at once"

“Two places--? Director, where is Gibbs?”

“Right behind you, Agent David…”

Ziva turned to see a dapper looking Leroy Jethro Gibbs dressed in a charcoal grey suit, cobalt blue shirt and red tie entering the room with M. Allison Hart, former attorney for Colonel Merton Bell, COO of First Defense PMC.

“Sorry we’re late,” Allison explained.

“Gibbs, you missed the ceremony!” Abby said admonishing her boss.

“I’m here now, Abby...” Gibbs said by way of an explanation as he gave her a peck on the cheek.

“Is everything all right, Boss?” Tim asked with a serious tone in his voice.

“Everything’s fine, McGee,” The senior NCIS Agent said swiftly cutting off the Probie Agent. He walked over to where Donald Mallard, M.E. was standing and observing as the head of the DC Major Case Response Team and Hart, Esquire had entered the room.

“Ducky,” Gibbs said as a way of greeting his old friend as he grabbed a drink from the table.

“Jethro,” Ducky took a sip of his drink. He still hadn’t forgotten how Gibbs had snubbed him in their last meeting.

“Duck, before you start, this is my problem and I’ll handle it my way, all right?” Gibbs was admitting he was wrong to treat his best friend that way, but he wasn’t ready to accept any help, either.

“Is M. Allison Hart part of your solution, Jethro?” Ducky inquired.

Gibbs nodded as he took a sip of his drink. “She is Ducky; do you understand?”

Ducky nodded as he took another drink. “Ah, indeed I do, Jethro, indeed I do.”

*~*

“Ms. Hart, Gibbs”

“Director Vance,” Allison returned.

Gibbs looked at Leon Vance for a moment and then nodded.

Leon looked at his wife. ‘I’m sorry, Honey, would you excuse me for a moment? I need to make a phone call…”

*~*

Over in another corner of the room, Abby was talking in hushed tones with Tim.

“I don’t get it, Tim,” Abby said shaking her head. “I did as Gibbs asked; I gave Ms. Hart Alejandro’s copy of my report….”

“All I can tell you, Abby, is that Alejandro Rivera never received your report.”

But Abby wasn’t ready to concede that the report had just gotten lost. “But I sent it directly to him and to Director Vance, how could that happen, Tim?”

Tim was about offer his theory when Allison stepped in to join their conversation.

“That is probably my fault, Ms. Scuito, but I’m the one who intercepted your report to Senor Rivera.”

“Why would you do such a thing?” the Goth Forensic Specialist asked somewhat suspicious of Ms. Hart’s motives, “You’re working with the Joint Task Force--”

“Because I had to see for myself what I was up against if I’m going to properly defend my client, Ms. Sciuto.”

“Your client?” Tim repeated not believing what he was hearing.

“You’ve taken on Gibbs as your client?” Abby said with more than a little surprise in her voice.

Just then Leon Vance walked up. “She has, Special Agent McGee, is that a problem?”

Tim didn’t want to challenge the only man who had appreciated his computer skills. “Uh no sir, of course not…”

“Which means you’re going to have to discredit *me*,’ Abby said solemnly.

“Only if I have to, Ms. Sciuto.” Allison explained in her best attorney tone. “My main goal is to protect my client.”

Abby grabbed the surprised attorney in an impromptu hug, “Then I wish you the best, Ms. Hart.”

*~*

Mike Franks walked through the mid-day crowd focusing on his target, Alejandro Hernandez Rivera.

“Alejandro Rivera!” Mike called out. Several people looked at the Mexican Justice Department official and then back at the bedraggled bandaged gringo moving toward Senor Rivera.

Alejandro smiled and turned around. “Senor Franks! Thank goodness you’re alive! We’ve looked for you--”

“Yeah, I know; you were looking for me and my family…that’s why I hid them away, so that you can’t find them!”

Rivera feigned ignorance as he sized up his opponent. “I don’t understand what you’re saying Senor Franks--” Several people on the plaza began to back away from these two men. It was obvious there was going to be a confrontation, most likely bloodshed.

“You know exactly what I’m talking about, Senor Rivera, or should I say Senor Hernandez?”

The smile washed away from Alejandro’s face when he heard his birth name used. “It is too bad that Colonel Bell and his men could not capture you, Senor Franks…”

Former NIS Agent Mike Franks gave his opponent a dry rusty laugh. “Oh I’m sure they would have, had your Lieutenant Dean not jumped the gun and killed him and his men. By the time he got back to checking on me, I was gone.”

Alejandro let his eyes drift ever so slightly up to the windows of the building behind Franks. “…and don’t bother checking with your men on where my daughter in law and granddaughter are. Shada Shakarji and her bodyguards are very adept at fending off any would be attackers…they’re from Iraq, you know, and they know how to handle hostiles. ”

Alejandro smiled and spread his hands in supplication. “So I guess that you hold all the cards, Senor.”

(That’s right, move a little closer to me, you old wizened gringo…)Alejandro mentally urged his adversary. The Mexican Justice Department official already had snipers in place, watching him. All it took was to tell his superior that the Reynosa cartel had put a hit out on him and he was given carte blanche to resolve the problem.

Mike was sizing him up as well, “That’s right, Alejandro, I do.”

*~*

As Tony watched the developing confrontation, he knew that if he were in Alejandro’s place, he would have snipers stationed all around the plaza ready to take out Franks, if necessary.

(Now where would the guy in charge be?) The former Baltimore police detective focused on Senor Rivera’s face, hoping that he would betray him by looking, even briefly, at him.

(There!) Tony saw Alejandro’s eyes flit briefly to the balcony above him. As Mike continued to verbally spar with Alejandro, Gibbs’ Senior Field Agent searched for and found the stairwell. Quietly, he went up the stairwell.

(Now how would Ziva approach this?) He thought as he reached the second floor landing. (That’s easy, in the old days she’d just put a bullet in the guy’s head and be done with it…but now, she’d use a little more finesse…I can do finesse….)

The Federale Police Captain held his walkie-talkie close. (Senor Rivera was right, the old man did show up just like he predicted…) “Sergeant, do you have him in your sights?” The Captain asked a rooftop sniper just across the plaza.

“Estoy listo, Capitan….” The sniper replied.

Tony slowly silently came up behind the Captain and stuck his automatic to the back of the corrupt officer’s head. “Tell your men, Capitan, to stand down, do it now.” he said with steel in his voice. (Wow) Tony thought, (I sound just like Stringfellow Hawke.)

The Mexican Federale police Captain thought about his options. There weren’t that many and he really didn’t want to die for Alejandro Rivera.

He nodded silently and clicked the push to talk button on his handheld radio. “All units; lower your weapons….” he said quietly.

*~*

In the darkened computer room, OSP Operational Psychologist Nate Getz took the note handed to him, nodded and then looked over at OSP Technical Specialist Eric Beal who was monitoring a bank of monitors. “Special Agent DiNozzo was able to convince Capitan Suarez to cooperate.”

Eric smiled. “Great! That makes our job a lot easier,” He quickly switched communication nets. “Callen, the police tactical teams are standing down, you are clear to engage…”

“Copy Eric…”

*~*

“Whatsa matter, Senor Rivera? Your snipers get a case of cold feet?” Mike taunted.

Alejandro looked around and then smiled again. “Well I guess that I am at your mercy, Senor Franks.”

“You bet you are…” Mike said grimly as he moved his hand downwards.
Suddenly a flurry of gunshots rang out on the plaza, causing everyone there to scatter. Alejandro slumped to the ground, dead. From behind cover, emerged three armed non-descript looking tourists.

“Are you all right, Mr. Franks?” OSP Special Agent Kensi Blye asked Mike Franks as she kept her weapon trained on Alejandro’s unmoving form.

Mike was grimacing as he held his arm. “Yeah, yeah; I’m fine. Guess I can’t fire fast enough without my trigger finger after all;” he groused, “he just winged me; took you three long enough to get here…”

“We were watching you the whole time,” Callen replied.

Mike gave the bald tourist in the loud Hawaiian shirt a sideways grin. “Just like in Moscow, eh, Callen?”

G. Callen gave the older man a wry grin. “Like old times, Mike”

Former SEAL Sam Hanna examined the body, feeling for a pulse and then spoke into his radio mike. “Alejandro is secure; all units stand down…”

*~*

Leon Vance looked out his window at NCIS Headquarters. All in all, it had gone pretty smoothly. It was unfortunate that Alejandro Hernandez had to be killed, but better him than Mike Franks or anyone else. Besides, they still had Paloma and she would yield a lot of valuable info on the Reynosa Cartel. “Thanks for the use of OSP resources, Hetty” he said into the speaker on his desk.

“It was my pleasure, Director.” Henrietta ‘Hetty’ Lange replied with the precise sincere manner of which she always seemed to have a bottomless reservoir.

*~*

Leroy Jethro Gibbs was getting dressed up for the second time this week. The Board of Inquiry hearing was pro forma, but he had insisted on going through it. Shannon and Kelly would have wanted him to do this. And he would feel as if he were betraying his team if he didn’t.

“Are you ready, Special Agent Gibbs?” M. Allison Hart looked every bit the legal professional that she always did as she stood there in Leroy Jethro Gibbs’ living room.

“As ready as I’ll ever be, Ms. Hart.” He started to toward the door with her.

“Wait; there’s one other thing you’ll need…”

Margaret Allison Hart leaned in and gave him a quick peck on the cheek. Gibbs looked at her for an explanation because even though it was a peck, it held the promise of something more.

“For luck, Jethro,” She said simply.

Gibbs looked at her for a moment and then smiled as they headed out the door together….

-Fini