Becky (elisabec) wrote,

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Fic: Laud and Tarnish 5/?

Yes, believe it or not, I actually got back to writing again.  Work has finally settled down, so I have brain space for thinking about fic again.


previous parts:
{prologue} {one} {two} {three} {four}

Disclaimers: TS belongs to Paramount/Pet Fly.  NCIS belongs to Paramount/Belisarius.

Laud and Tarnish -- TS/NCIS crossover


First was the instinctual need to protect Blair.  Second was a moment of insane desire to both laugh and growl at the fates that just kept throwing body blows at them without a break.  Third...

Third, Jim took a breath and forced his exhaustion aside to focus on the situation at hand. 

Back to the first priority before he moved outward.  A slight tightening of his hand where it gripped Blair’s shoulder got his partner’s attention.  Blair responded with a tense “I’m...we’re fine.”  The partial glance he got at Abby’s wide, frightened eyes didn’t really reassure him ... but at least she’s not panicking out loud.

Those same loud voices rang through the air, cutting over the fearful cries of the patrons in the bank.  “Stay where you are.”  “Don’t move!”  “No one has to get hurt.”

Jim kept one hand on Blair’s shoulder and with the other balanced himself against the side of the freestanding counter.  Carefully, he leaned to one side, just past his partner’s frame to eyeball the apparent bank robbers *(black clothes, hiking boots, ski masks, handguns, a sawed-off shotgun, one large build, two medium build, one smaller build)* at the entrance of the building.  Very slowly, he opened up his senses, prepared to pull back if his tired state betrayed him.  He relaxed just a little when nothing overwhelmed him.

Sight and hearing leapt over the intervening distance and landed on the gunmen, hopscotching from one to another.  Four men -- two medium-built bullies, one silent thug, and the skinny guy closest to the door -- none of them said anything useful.  Bully #1 *(favors his right knee)* threatened the bank guards *(female must-be-retired-cop G. Brennan who seethed in silence and barely-able-to-shave rookie with-second-job M. Peters who wavered between potential dead wannabe hero and scared spitless little boy)* if they neglected to keep down and quiet.  Bully #2 *(left-handed)* waved his gun at a surprisingly calm teller *(late 30s, firm voice with a hint of New York flavor, supervisor nametag, Bethann R.)* and demanded she call the manager out to the lobby.

The Thug *(shotgun)* said nothing at all  His focus remained solely on those gathered in the lobby, eyes *(relentlessly staring down any  who dared look his way)* moving back and forth smoothly across the room, a standing sentry for the others.  Jim shifted his body weight behind his partner’s when those *(too-aware)* eyes shifted his way.

I’m not quite ready to be noticed.  The weight of his gun pressed heavily against his back, something which could be an advantage when he made his move -- or could get him killed if he’s plucked out from the crowd before he had a chance to think of something.  A unhappy thought struck.  The bank guards.  They know I have a gun.  Jim grimaced and moved forward again, focusing on the guards who were both kneeling on the floor, hands clasped behind their heads.  He wasn’t concerned about Brennan -- from the look on her face, she was biding her time just like him, looking for weaknesses, waiting for that right moment to move.  The wide-eyed, slightly green-in-the-face rookie, however...  Can’t worry about him now.  Maybe in the excitement, he’s forgotten.

Shaking his worries away, Jim eyeballed the final gunmen who stood by the doors.  At first glance, he didn’t seem to fit in with the others.  After a few moments, he revised his internal opinion of Skinny Guy *(tense but not nervous, movements controlled; possible guy-in-charge?)* who had just looked at his watch *(expensive)* for the third time in the past minute.  Jim frowned and found himself glancing up at the large clock, checking the time.  Waiting for someone?  Perhaps they’re on a timetable?  He looked past the gunmen to the glass doors, pushing his focus to outside, checking for late arrivals.  Like the lawyer.  With our luck, he’d probably show up right about--

A baby’s wail cut through the air, surprising him and roughly short-circuiting his concentration.  His balance lost, Jim tipped forward a few inches, putting more weight on Blair’s shoulder.  He heard a soft grunt of shock, then a hand touched his fingers where they were digging into muscle.


Blinking a few times to resettle his sight and his temporarily overloaded hearing, he managed to relax his grip on Blair’s shoulder and sat back against the counter edge.  He said softly, “I’m okay.”

“Any ideas?”  Blair didn’t turn around and kept his voice low.  They were far enough away from the gunmen that their conversation couldn’t be distinguished from the soft mutterings of the other customers and the handful of scared children, much less the yelling of Bully #2 for the bank manager.

“Not yet.  You?”

“Not unless there’s a fire hose nearby.”

Jim’s lips quirked up into a quick smile at the reference and squeezed Blair’s shoulder once before releasing it.  Again, he caught Abby’s eyes as she followed the quick conversation.  She’s still scared.  But not as much as I would expect.  He watched her give each gunman a onceover, almost as if she was cataloguing them.  She’s not a cop.  But there’s something about her...

“Fire hose?”  Abby’s shaky whisper interrupted his ponderings.  “I thought you said you’re a teacher.”

Blair’s response was short but reassuring.  “Long story.  I’ll tell you when we get out of here.  How ‘bout over dinner?”

Abby managed a weak laugh.  “Dinner?  Are you asking--?”

Jim jerked when her cellphone rang, overriding the rest of her question with the beginning notes of “Hail to the Chief.”  Before he could tell her not to, she dug one hand into her bag.  “That’s my B--”

The Thug was abruptly in front of them, leveling the barrel of shotgun at Abby’s head.



go to part six

Tags: fic: laud and tarnish, ncis, ts
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