Becky (elisabec) wrote,

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Fic: Laud and Tarnish 8/?

New part of my ongoing writing exercise...


previous parts:
{prologue} {one} {two} {three} {four} {five} {six} {seven}

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

Laud and Tarnish -- TS/NCIS crossover


A breath of relief slipped from Jim’s lungs when the thug strode off, removing at least the immediate threat.  While he knew he could’ve taken one or two of the thieves, there wasn’t any chance he could disable all four without casualties.  As Blair gave Abby what limited reassurance he could, Jim edged forward slightly to give the lobby another scan.  And frowned.  Bully #2 is gone.  Just past the long teller counter, at the edge of his range of vision, Jim spotted an open door to a back hallway.

He touched Blair’s shoulder.  “Chief.”

Blair tilted his head slightly, his voice a whisper.  “We’re on tv, Jim.  The news.”

“Someone changed the channel so they’d know when the cops arrived,” Jim theorized.

Abby spoke up in a raspy tone.  “Before they came in, guns a-blazing?”

“Someone inside changed it,” Jim amended his statement.  His mouth tightened.  “They have help.”  He shifted closer to Blair’s back, aligning himself so that one arm pressed firmly against his guide.  “I need to do an auditory sweep.”

“Be careful.”  Blair’s tone shifted into tight worry.

Ignoring Abby’s curious “do what?”, Jim closed his eyes and took a deep breath before figuratively throwing his hearing out like a net.  It was a risky choice in this unfamiliar environment -- too far and he’d latch onto noises outside (sirens, hours, tires squealing, people talking, cellphones) which could overwhelm him; too close and he could end up zoned on the A/C units or the pipes in the walls.

Again, his hearing hop-scotched over the thieves, then over patrons and tellers as he gradually expanded his “net” to pick up more distant voices.  He twitched when the net shifted too far out, but then he paused at the snatches of words from the squawk of police radios. *(“... no demands ... cameras disabled ... previous pattern? ... snipers placed here and here ... NCIS ... idents of those inside? ... don’t care ... FBI ... who? ... Gibbs ... one of his ...”)*

The surprise of hearing that name caused Jim lose his grip on his hearing and he floundered before focusing on the anchor point of his guide’s low voice and his warmth and scent and heartbeat along one arm.  Focus, Ellison.  Figure out the contradiction of the Goth-girl knowing someone in a federal agency later.  Grabbing up the threads of his drifting net, Jim cast it again and immediately picked up Bully #2's voice.  Direction, direction...there!  Narrowing his focus, he dove toward the voice.

Blair had half-joked once when they were working on the technique that he was “walking on the astral plane” when he did this.  The idea was similar to piggybacking his hearing on his sight, but this more hearing piggybacking on itself.  As with most of innovations for his senses, it had been developed over a long night during a stakeout and then refined with Megan and Simon’s assistance on a day-off playing “hide-and-hear” in an empty warehouse building on the docks.

The comment had only been half in jest because while the technique worked (most of the time), it also left him extremely vulnerable to physical threats since he wasn’t really there.  And it took him several seconds to re-orient himself when he’d pulled back.  Both of which they’d painfully discovered on that day and occasionally others that followed.

The risk is worth it.

Bully #2's voice wove in and out and then settled with an echoing, metal aftertaste. “...want you to open this section of boxes, Clyde.  I want to see some valuables.  Now.”  Gun noises.  Slight shifting of shoes on a carpeted floor.

Another voice, a man’s, spoke.  *(Clyde? the bank manager perhaps)*  “Just calm down, Nate.  Why the change in plans? I thought you wanted just the one?”  Clinks and clicks of keys. 

“Boss said we needed a ... distraction.”  There was an odd, sour humor in Nate’s tone that left Jim feeling uneasy.  Clyde the bank manager, however, seemed to be unaware of it as he unlocked a series of drawers.

“Fine.  Standard stocks and bonds.  Jewelry.  Some cash.”  Clang-thumps of long safety deposit boxes being placed on a table.

“Where’s--?”  Squeaks of lid hinges as boxes were opened. Papers rustling.

“And here’s Quint’s.  When do I get paid?”

Quint?  Jim struggled to keep his hearing locked on the conversation.  Quint is a common name.  That has to be a--

“Good.”  Gun noises.  “Payment upon delivery as promised.”

The gunshot slammed Jim into a spiral of screaming color and yellow pain and metal echoes.



go to part nine

Tags: fic: laud and tarnish, ncis, ts
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