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Masks and Menace

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10: No one Expects an Addams 

 

Thanks to a well-timed message from Gibbs, Abby was now on the bullpen level wearing her adorable gothic regalia. If Jethro were the type to grin, this would do it - Abby was in full-on princess mode, and he was just here for the show. 

"Who is this?" Abby demanded to know as if Ziva David wasn't worth her knowing. 

Jenny's eyes narrowed, but her professionalism won out, and a hope to reset the conversation as it had run away from her. "This is Officer David from Mossad, Ms Scuitio. She wants to help us catch her brother. 

Abby's eyes narrowed, her eyes going darker in anger, "You're the reason that Tony is hurt." 

Okay, granted, Tony was better thanks to her arsenic and mandrake potion, but normals wouldn't get it. Tim and Kate had proven that fact when they couldn't handle him surviving Ari's bullet. She had fixed that issue for now - she had more than one potion on her at any time.  

David sniffed in disdain, not liking the cold greeting. Her posture went defensive as she answered Abby, "I did not shoot your friend."

"You're not welcome in my lab." Abby declared with all the imperialistic order of a queen who knew her domain. 

Sheppard was mortified and tried to admonish her, "Technician Scutio, this is not how I expect my employees to behave."

Abby tilted her head and examined her new boss, much like she was a science experiment. "No, the rules for providing court evidence state that only NCIS employees who have gone through FLETC training can go into the labs. She isn't one of us, so are you willing to risk my forensic evidence being thrown out in court?"

Jenny looked horrified at her defiance but knew this public forum wasn't the place to address it. She would be looking closely at her record but seeing no friends, for now, she gestured for Ziva to follow her. "Let's head up to my office."

Kate waited until the team were alone on the floor to shiver, "Well, she is shady."

Gibbs rolled his eyes and noted that Kate didn't say exactly who was shady. He needed his team to consider other angles, so he asked out loud, "What would Mossad have to gain by David joining us?"

McGee heard the tone of the question and the suspicion. He didn't get it, but subterfuge wasn't his forte. "Boss?"

Jethro didn't pinch his nose in aggravation, but it was a near thing. He shouldn't have to lead them towards the correct conclusion. "McGee, think about it. Haswari's attack left a perfect shape hole for Officer David to fill."

Kate was one step ahead, and while she didn't remember the whole roof scene because of shock, she knew that Tony was hurt, saving her life. "I could raise a few questions with friends still in Service."

"Do it," Gibbs ordered because he trusted Tony and Wednesday to sort the issue out from their end. However, there was no need to add to their workload.

 

~*~

 

Tony wasn't in a hospital like Sheppard believed but in a limousine opposite his wife. There was no discord between them, but Wednesday was perusing her weapon collection, and he knew better than to get close. It was the type of collection that should make a Federal Agent nervous, but not Tony. He was curious about her choice as it meant she was going full-on chaos mode. He did so adore her when that happened. 

"Why the Falx?" 

The weapon was pre-medieval and sharp, and pointy was too simplistic a description. The Falx could be handled like a sword but had a wicked long curve in the blade. It was designed to cause maximum damage to whoever found itself the misfortune of being its target.

Wednesday asked with a knowing smirk. "You mean to say you don't want to gut Haswari for what he did to your friend?"

Tony pouted, as his wife knew him too well, but he reminded her about the crux of the issue. "That is so not the problem. Agent DiNozzo should arrest him."

"And yet I wasn't asking him. I was asking my husband." She replied with an eerie calm. After all, Wednesday's first meeting with her husband had been them sending a message to the Mob to leave him alone. Tony hadn't objected to the poisoning attempt, but when they returned for their third round of flesh - he'd decided enough was enough. He couldn't complain too much as it led to him meeting Wednesday.

"You know what I want to do, Tesora." Tony's only actual problem was he couldn't settle on how to kill the lunatic. 

She smirked and checked the balance of her favourite Celtic axe. "Hence the weapons. Do you think this Ari will be fun to hunt?" 

Tony shook his head. As much as he would like this to be entertaining, he knew they would be disappointed. "Sadly, no, he is too egotistical, thinking he is the cleverest person in any room. Still, he shot me, and I can't let that stand without at least teaching him a lesson." 

Wednesday shrugged. "He'll learn, but for how long?"

Tony's grin looked angelic but was somewhat offset by him sharpening the Falx. "I do think education is important."

 

~*~

 

Jenny Sheppard wanted to growl with frustration at how quickly her plans were unravelling. She was moving chess pieces into place for her grand revenge, only to be blocked at every turn. The office should have felt like the cumulation of hard work, but it wasn't, as it was a step toward her revenge. 

"You need to tread carefully with Jethro," she advised her friend.

Ziva didn't get the advice or wasn't willing to listen. "Why does how I step matter with Agent Gibbs?" 

Jenny shook her head, "He does not care how you walk. He cares what you do."

Jethro had a very defined idea of right and wrong, and if the law failed the victims, he had no problem stepping into the breach. She was under the impression that DiNozzo helped keep Gibbs' impulses under control. So today's conversation most definitely surprised her because Jethro had implied that he was keeping Tony in check. 

Ziva dismissed the warning with a wave of her hand, "What have I done? It is Ari that is running around being stupid."

Jenny gave her a pointed look, "And if I was to ask who is Ari's handler?"

Ziva stared back mulishly, "You've heard it yourself from my father. He is rogue and an embarrassment."

Jenny was pacing her office, trying to consider all the angles, "This is messing up my agenda."

Ziva didn't know how she could help as she needed to be inside NCIS for her help to begin. Still, she was aware of how delicate her position was within the Agency, "I don't understand how hurting this Agent DiNozzo is going to cause danger to any of us."

Jenny shrugged, "I have no idea. I know he has a wife, is independently wealthy and is tapped for undercover work. All the other pieces of information are contradictory and difficult to unravel."

Ziva couldn't believe that the idiot was married. It was probably to some airheaded cheerleader type, "That meatball has a wife?"

Jenny nodded as she sipped her tea. "Yes, she was his power of attorney and oversaw his recovery from the plague attack." She remembered the clipped call when doing a welfare check. She had been unable to find anything more because the information appeared to have a seal. 

Ziva looked in alarm because Mossad assumed it had been a lie for an operation to take place, "How did he survive that?" 

Jenny had no idea, but it was at odds with his reputation amongst some in the Agency of being charming and a slacker. "Who knows?" 

 

~*~

 

Wednesday considered their prey. "What was his goal?" 

"He wanted to remove Kate as Gibbs has a weakness when the women in his life are attacked or killed," Tony explained as he'd figured that out after finding out about his wife and child. 

Wednesday hummed, trusting Tony's insight. "So he will go after the women in Gibbs' life."

Tony nodded his agreement because they knew once someone with an obsessive mind settled on a goal. It would not be changed. "The new Director is an Ex, but they didn't part on good terms."

Wednesday shook her head, "It will not be her. He doesn't want to help Gibbs even indirectly."

Tony agreed, "No, it will be little Cousin."

Wednesday paused. "It would be interesting to see how Abby reacted to an attack."

Tony snickered, "It would be vicious and involve a few resurrections so she could test out all her ideas." 

Wednesday only nodded because Tony was so right in that regard, "So true, but let's go and show a tiger why a corner is a bad idea."

Tony matched Wednesday's wicked smirk because there was only one good thing about this whole messed-up affair: the quality time he could spend with his wife. 

 

~*~

 

Haswari had set himself up opposite the NCIS building. It was a travesty of a security oversight because the developer had gone bust, leaving it derelict and perfect for his needs. His sister had at least managed to send him accurate specs for the building, even if her profiles were useless. This building gave him a perfect sighter into the forensics lab. He set up his perch and settled in for a chance to attack the forensic scientist that Gibbs considered like a daughter.

Gibbs hadn't handled the death of his daughter well, so he would be in pieces if it was to happen again. 

Ari was so focused on being the hunter that he didn't think of someone returning the favour. The bolt that went through his knee disabused him of that notion. "What?" 

Two figures stepped out of the dark, looking ready for a funeral. The wickedly sharp old blade set off the macabre picture, and the crossbow slung over the woman's shoulder let him know the source of his pain.

His hand went to grip his gun, but a hand stepped on his wrist, stopping that chance. DiNozzo tutted at him as if he was a naughty boy, "Ari, don't do that. We want to have a chat."

"You're dead," Ari whispered. He should be because humans wouldn't survive the bullet he'd fired. 

The man snorted, and who went hunting in a tuxedo? It was a luxurious, black velvet one, like he was going to a black-tie party. 

"No, Ari, I just let you think I was dead."

Ari was in pain, and his training was helping him because he was not delirious yet. He'd learned many ways of faking a death but not surviving a liver shot. None of this made sense to him, and Americans played by the same painfully predictable rules. It was what made them so easy to beat. "You don't torture. You have rules." 

The man chuckled like he'd just told the funniest joke. "You would hope that is true. Agent DiNozzo does, but I am Lord Paddington right now. I watched you destroy a man's career for shits and giggles. The bolt was my wife's way of showing you poetic justice."

"It wasn't amusing to shoot the assistant," Wednesday remarked as she walked around his staked figure, using the Falx to set up an invisible barrier. "He also wasn't very good at shooting. I've hurt you better, Tesoro."

Tony offered her heart eyes, "And I adore you. Him not so much."

"What the hell are you? You're not even human." Ari hissed. He was watching all his plans and machinations burn to the ground around him. He couldn't move an inch, and he hated the caged feeling. 

Tony didn't like the judgement he was hearing, "Am I hearing judgement from a scumbag terrorist?"

"I think you are, dear husband," Wednesday commented in her deadpan tone that somehow managed to drip more judgement into her voice. 

"Well, that is ridiculous on every level." Tony hauled Ari up so he could cuff him to the post supporting the abandoned room. 

"Are you going to summon back up?" Ari was trying to find some avenue he could exploit to escape. 

Tony cackled, at the desperate question, "Do we look like we need backup?" 

There was no good answer. Ari couldn't say he got caught by a manhunt but rather by two psychopaths. He wasn't sure if that was better or worse, but he could hear his father's dismissive voice in his head. 

Wednesday offered a demented grin, "I think you're being reasonable. You haven't brought Granny's resurrection tomb."

Tony grinned crookedly. "We don't have time to really play,   dear heart ."

Ari shivered because there were rumours around Mossad of a select group of people you shouldn't cross. They would present as gothic, but their abilities surpassed normal human beings. Ari now had evidence of their existence, but he might not live to tell the tale. 

DiNozzo bent down in front of him. "Why come back, you crazy bastard?" 

Ari knew the reason sounded hollow, but his convictions had helped him get to this age, "I didn't finish our game last time."

DiNozzo's smirk was more cutting than it had right to be, "And how is that working for you?" 

"I didn't count on you interfering."

Tony shrugged because disappointing a terrorist would hardly make him lose sleep at night. "You should always expect the unexpected."

Wednesday was bored, "Are we killing him or playing?" 

Tony tilted his head to the side, "He doesn't look fearsome, just pathetic."

"You know better than to leave an enemy alive." Wednesday reminded him pointedly. She knew he had to act more admirable than his core character for the sake of his day job, but he knew better, and no one around would judge him.

Tony nodded, but his mind was racing to think of a fitting punishment. It struck him and could count as a gift to his mother-in-law at the same time, "I know what we will do, and it will be the worst thing possible for him."

 

She tilted her head, "Impress me."