Becky (elisabec) wrote,

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Fic: Laud and Tarnish 9/?

Evidently, I'm on a roll.  I haven't written this much in one day in a very long time.

I *really* need to come up with an actual title for this thing...


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

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

Laud and Tarnish -- TS/NCIS crossover


It took every bit of Blair’s concentration to remain still and not twist around to face Jim, to keep him anchored and grounded as the sentinel tossed his hearing out to gather information.  He twitched at every movement or soft noise from behind him and chewed his lower lip in frustrated worry.  Next to him, Abby cast her eyes past his shoulder, her lips drawn into a frown.

“Blair, what is he doing?”  It was the second time she’d asked. 

Caught between wanting to talk more so his voice would carry through Jim’s concentration and not wanting to attract unwanted attention, he gave her the same short answer he did the first time.  “He’s listening.”

“To what?”  Abby flicked her fingers out at the lobby.  Low-voiced conversations dotted the couches and counters.  The muffled crying of young children stood out from one corner where mothers strove to calm the terrified youngsters.  Occasional cellphones rang, always startling the owner and those around them who found the thug’s shotgun aimed at them until the calls went to voicemail.  The tv overhead was still on mute, though by now the thieves had seen they were being watched.  The A/C unit hummed.  “There’s nothing to listen to.”

Blair flickered a smile at her.  “You’d be surprised what he can hear.”

Abby stared at him, her frown deepening.  “And you’re not.”  A statement, not a question.

He didn’t answer, just looked away.  Behind him, Jim’s posture shifted a bit, then stilled.  He’s found what he was looking for.  Blair pressed back just a bit, forcing a little more physical contact between himself and his friend.  He wanted Jim to have every possible advantage in case things went sideways or upside down.  Or both.

The rotary phone on the front teller counter started to ring, adding more noise to the jangled nerves of everyone inside.  The skinny guy stalked to the counter and snatched up the receiver.  Then slammed it back down.  Blair blanched.  Oh, that’s so not good.  Abby gasped and clutched his arm tightly.

Somewhere in the back of the bank, there was a loud gunshot.  Next to him, Abby flinched and pressed closer.  At his back, Jim flinched and lost physical contact with him.  Several women stifled reflexive screams.  Panicked voices rose.  The thieves’ voices rose in response, demanding quiet.

A woman’s voice abruptly called out into the lobby.  “Stevie?!  No!”

Jim gasped for breath as Blair felt around blindly behind him, trying to touch some part of the sentinel to give him a focus.  His hand landed on Jim’s and he tightened his fingers almost to the point of pain, forcing him to divide his sensory focus between his maxed-out hearing and touch.  The get-your-sentinel-out-of- overload meaning to ‘divide and conquer.’  C’mon, Jim, we need you here!

Blair watched as a little boy, just past the age of learning to walk, wobbled out into the lobby, giggling and not understanding the danger.  Abby’s fingers dug into his arm. 

A stutter-stop-inhale in Jim’s breathing and the answering squeeze of fingers almost undid him as his partner refocused himself on his surroundings.  “Chief.”  As always, Blair could hear everything in the way Jim said his name.  Back but still hurting.  Not quite all there.  Stall, stall, stall.

The little boy wobbled past other bank customers, all too fear-stricken to reach out and grab the child.  Somewhere beyond him, the distraught mother scrambled to her feet.  The thug swung his shotgun in her direction and she hesitated.  “My son...”

The rotary phone rang a second time as one of the thieves appeared from the back hallway, zipping up a black backpack.  The skinny guy lifted the receiver and spoke harshly into it: “Not interested.”  Again, he slammed it down.

Stevie wobbled a bit further, then lost his balance and plopped down on his diapered bottom in the middle of the floor.  Blair held his breath.  Please don’t cry.  Please, please, please.  The baby screwed up his face and proceeded to wail loudly.

Skinny guy snarled.  “Shut him up.”  Backpack-thief pulled a knife.  The mother screamed.


Blair wasn’t sure whose voice spoke first in the several “no’s” of that chorus.  All he knew was that one moment Jim was sitting behind him, still balancing his hearing, and the next he was standing several feet away, gun out and aimed, as he stood protectively over the wailing child.




go to part ten

Tags: fic: laud and tarnish, ncis, ts
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