Becky (elisabec) wrote,

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Fic: Laud and Tarnish 12/?

Still on a roll.   Longer part for your reading pleasure....


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

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

Laud and Tarnish - TS/NCIS crossover


*Oh, man, I don’t know what Simon’s going to do to us after this is all over, but it’s not gonna be pretty.*  He stared for another long moment at his partner’s back.  *And right now, I really wish Simon was here to add another armed good guy to this party.*

Blair had known Jim long enough to not be surprised at his quick decisions.  Though he’d never gotten past those few initial moments of panic when Jim would make a move without telling him the plan -- or without even *having* a plan.  The sentinel’s response to ‘endangered child’ was expected.  As was Blair’s role as lookout and backup and watcher for sensory glitches and ‘he who comes up with Plan B if Plan A blew up’.

Half his attention stayed with Jim, listening to him negotiate with the head thief for the baby’s life.  The other half of his attention swung between the other three thieves in a constant pattern, eyeing them for movements that would cause any trouble.  He bit down on the hysterical laugh that wanted to bubble out.  *Any trouble.  Jim is facing off against four better-armed thieves with his one lone gun, a baby at his feet, both of us are beyond exhausted, and he’s probably dealing with a major backlash headache from that sensory sweep that got ended by a gunshot.  Oh, and his guide?  Full of fractures and splinters and just wants to-to-to....* A flurry of emotions, grief and sorrow and terror and anger leading the horde, swarmed him without warning.  *Oh g--*

Abby’s fingers dug into his arm, drawing him from his internal struggle.  “Psst...Blair, something’s not right with your friend.  He he’s listing.  Is he okay?”

*Be here.  You can fall apart the rest of the way later.* Blair focused on Jim and chewed his lip in concern.  *He’s too tired.  His senses aren’t working right.  I need--*

The baby chose that moment to wail loudly again and Jim moved, shifting his weight as the head thief threatened to kill him.  Then the thief moved to meet Blair’s eyes, adding he and Abby to the threat.  It took everything he had not to freeze like the proverbial bug pinned to a board when those cold eyes nailed him.  Abby did freeze before forcibly twisting her head away, burying it against Blair’s shoulder.

*That was...unpleasant.*  The moment, however, did give him the unexpected benefit of clearing his head, at least for a bit.  He patted Abby’s hand absently as he returned to observing the other thieves.  The thug seemed bored though he was intent on keeping the mother away from her baby.  The backpack-thief played with his knife.  The other one ... he was getting twitchy and making the hostages nearest to him try to subtly move away.  *He’s a problem.*

“....There’s a girl behind you...  No, not you, the young one.”  The leader pointed.  “That one.  You get the baby and I won't kill it.”

Blair blinked and realized that the head thief was referring to the younger of the two girls with their father on the other end of the counter.  He’d nearly forgotten them.  Turning slightly, he met the eyes of the father as he held the two girls tightly against him.  The younger one was peering at him from beneath her father’s arm.  The remnants of frightened tears streaked her cheeks.

The father whispered, “Is he really a cop?”

“Yes.”  On impulse he added Jim’s earlier modifier.  “And former military.  I’m his partner.”

The girl who looked around eleven spoke up in a hesitant voice.  “He wants me to take the baby out of danger.”

Not certain who ‘he’ was in her mind, Blair simply said, “Yes.  I’ll help you.”  He looked again to the father and held out his hand.

It took only moments for the girl to crawl out, gently take the baby, and half-carry him back to her father and other sister.  They cradled the child between them, rocking him to soothe his cries.  Blair glanced past Jim to see the mother still anxious but less so than before.  She reluctantly let another woman draw her down to sit next to her, arm over her shoulders.

Jim was speaking again, moving up to phase 2 - releasing hostages - when Plan A blew up.

The phone rang for a third time.  And the twitchy thief lost control, screaming as he first blasted the phone into fragments and then started randomly shooting walls and windows and countertops.  Seeing Jim fall into a crouch, gun aimed to take out the crazed shooter, Blair grabbed Abby and yanked her with him around the side of the counter, huddling together with the man and two girls and the baby as bullets multiplied.  Terrified screams of hostages, the yells of the bad guys, and the commands of Jim and one of the security guards to surrender mixed with gunfire.

The pitch suddenly changed as the group of hostages nearest the doors took a chance and pushed through the glass doors to the outside world, still screaming.  A moment after that, Blair jerked at the competing sounds of breaking glass and exploding electronics as a hail of fresh bullets took out several of the flatscreens, followed almost immediately by the jarring shriek of the fire alarm going off. 

More screams as Blair and his little group of hostages tightened further down.  He met the eyes of the father of the two girls grimly, both silently agreeing that staying put was the better option.  *Jim...*   It was almost a shock when the gunfire came to an abrupt stop, though Blair didn’t notice at first amid the chaotic noise surrounding them. 

Abby peeked out from beneath her arms, eyes wide and blinking.  “They stopped shooting.”

Swallowing hard, Blair edged away from Abby and cautiously moved around the bullet-ridden cover, trying to spot Jim or the bad guys or anyone.  Over the warbling alarm and the occasional crackle of the slaughtered tv screens, he could still make out the low-pitched moans of the injured or the too-scared-to-move.


“Jim?”  He crawled further out and then finally saw his partner several feet away, half-turned toward him, kneeling on the ground, one hand still grasping his gun.  His only cover was a shot-up, tiny, overturned table that had obviously held the bank brochures now spread in a wide circle around him.  His breathing was hard and fast.  Blair scrambled toward him and then saw the blood dripping down Jim’s right hand past the gun to splatter onto the floor.  His opposite hand was pressed tightly against his outer shoulder, where a growing red stain formed on his jacket.  *no, no, no, no...I can’t...*

“Not quite fast enough today.”  Jim slid sideways, toppling slowly.  His gun slipped from his hand to thud heavily onto the floor.

Blair caught him as he fell, moving him to his back even as he tore away the now ragged jacket material to get a better look, ignoring the resulting protest from Jim. 

“Just a scratch, Sandburg.”

Keeping one hand pressed against Jim’s shoulder, Blair focused on his partner’s face, frowning at the odd red scorch marks scattered on his skin.  He touched one lightly, pulling back at Jim’s wince.  “Sorry.  What--?”

Jim’s eyes rolled upward.  “Screens.  Too close.  That bad?”  One corner of his mouth lifted in an attempt to smile.

Blair couldn’t even force a smile in response.  His heart was still pounding.  “Don’t.”  He looked away briefly, taking a deep breath, eyes landing on the father returning the wayward baby to the grateful, sobbing mother.  Abby jiggled nervously next to them, a shaky smile on her face.

A burst of noise – voices and stomping feet – from the front of the building jarred him even as the fire alarm cut off in mid-scream.  He returned his attention to Jim.  “Are you hurt anywhere else?”   His eyes roamed down Jim’s long form, scanning for other injuries.  He’d only registered the blood-stained line forming on the opposite leg when some remote part of his brain reported the strange fact that Jim wasn’t trying to sit up.

His eyes shot back to Jim’s face which had paled considerably.  A ghost of an apologetic smile flitted across his face.  “Sorry, Chief.”  Before he could ask why, Jim sagged into unconsciousness.

Blair gaped for a moment, then twisted to call out behind him.  “Abby!  I need some help here!   Officer down!”

Clunky footsteps converged on him even as a distant voice yelled, “Medic.  We need a medic in here right now.  Officer has been shot.”  A part of him identified the voice as the female security guard.

“Jim?  Hold on.”  Blair demanded.  “Please hold on.”  He shook Jim’s good shoulder slightly, but his head only rolled limply against the floor.

Someone appeared next to him.  Abby, he vaguely noted.  His eyes stayed fixed on Jim’s face, ignoring any movement or sound, including the rapid footsteps and loud voices that thundered into the bank.  Someone called Abby’s name and she responded, pleading for more help.

Then there were hands on his shoulders, tugging him away.  He fought them.  “NO!  He’s ... you can’t... I have to...”

Arms pulled tight over his, forcibly yanking him upwards to remove him from Jim’s side.  A firm voice spoke into his ear.  “They need to take him to the hospital.  Stop...  Abby...what’s his..?  Blair...Blair!”  A hard shake and he was pulled further away from his partner as he was swarmed over by what Blair slowly recognized as quickly and efficiently moving medical personnel.  The hospital.  They were taking him to the hospital.

He took a breath and relaxed in the grip of whomever held him.  “I’m okay.  Sorry, I just...  He’s...”

Hands released him and he turned slightly to see a silver-haired man shake his head.  “Don’t apologize.  He’s your partner.”  The man turned to Abby who was standing with three others - two men and a woman.  “Abs, are you okay?”

She nodded several times.  “Way, way adrenaline buzzed with terror but fine.  No injuries.”  Wide eyes and shaking hands spoke of her nerves as she kept on talking.  “Blair, this is my boss, ‘Don’t Call Me Leroy’ -- Leroy Jethro Gibbs from NCIS.”



go to part thirteen


Tags: fic: laud and tarnish, ncis, ts
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