“Morning Jillian,” Gibbs said as he walked into the room.
The fact that Gibbs used her first name was not lost on Tony. That was not like Gibbs at all. Tony wanted to say something, crack a joke, lighten the mood but he figured he better keep his mouth shut instead.
“Morning Jethro, I wondered how long it would be before you showed up; took longer than I expected really.”
“I was here yesterday, you just didn’t see me, and I kept myself in the background and let Agents DiNozzo and David do all of the talking.”
“It isn’t like you to be in the background Jethro. I don’t expect you to keep working this case – pass it off to someone else if NCIS has to stay involved. I don’t want to do this if we don’t have to.”
“I don’t give up that easily Jillian; I stay on a case until I solve it. It is my job to find out who did this to you and why.”
Tony was really lost now…these two know each other! Why didn’t Gibbs say anything yesterday? Why did he act like this was a stranger? Then again, Gibbs was not one to push off the interviews and he didn’t want to talk to her yesterday; that should have been a clue.
“I am sure this is part of the Hill case…I think I am getting close…I have a pretty good idea of who Hill’s dealer is. As I started to get closer that is when the threats increased. I am close to breaking this case.”
“Jillian, I am afraid that whoever attacked you in the office, will try again. I think they are going to increase the pressure, especially since NCIS is now involved. You need to be kept safe while we tie up the case.”
“Jethro, let’s be honest here, you don’t care about keeping me safe. You are in the mode right now of keeping a victim and witness safe…this isn’t about me and you can stop trying to make me feel like it is. Furthermore, I don’t want you solving my case. I have worked too hard on this.”
“I don’t really care what you want Jillian. You worked hard on this and almost got yourself killed. From this point on, you are going to do this my way.” Gibbs turned to face Tony, “DiNozzo, I want you to take Ms. Harris to the safe house and I want you to stay with her. Don’t go anywhere and don’t let anyone in unless it is one of the team. I am not planning on relieving you; I want you to stay there at all times. Do you hear me? Do you understand?”
“Yeah, boss I get it.” DiNozzo answered, still trying to figure out what exactly was going on.
Gibbs turned and started walking out of the room. DiNozzo followed him out the door. “Boss, what just went on in there?”
“I had an interview with a victim DiNozzo, what did it look like to you?” Gibbs took a step closer to Tony and was up in his face. Tony wanted to back down, but he didn’t.
“It looked like there is a personal relationship here that is making you a bit uncomfortable with this case. Who is she boss?”
“She’s a Lieutenant Commander at JAG DiNozzo. Or didn’t you catch that when we got the case?
“Boss it just seems like there is something you aren’t saying that puts a bit of tension in the air.”
“Yeah, so do you have a problem with that?”
“No sir, but I think you do.” Tony winced after saying it. He knew a head-slap or worse was coming for a comment like that. Instead, Gibbs just glared at him and then walked off.
Tony took a deep breath and walked back into the room. He knew he should not have stood up to Gibbs like that, but he was obviously rattled and he wanted to know why. “Ok, Jillian, I guess we get you out of here and you are stuck with me for the next few days.”
“Great, glad to get out of here…not so great to be shipped off to a safe house though. Tony, is that really necessary?”
“Well, the boss says it is…so, I am going to say that yes, it is necessary.”
“He isn’t always right you know.”
“Um, yeah…well he is almost always right.” Tony said with a smile, “he has these gut feelings and we have learned not to question them. I take it you two know each other but don’t really speak?”
“No, we don’t speak. Honestly we work at the same Navy Yard and I have not seen him at all during my time there. I have managed to successfully steer clean of him; I haven’t seen him in over 12 years. I don’t really want to talk about that right now. Can we just get out of here?”
“Sure, let me go sign the papers for your release and then we can go.”
Jillian sat at the edge of the bed and stared at Tony as he signed her release documents. She would normally be excited to be whisked away by such a handsome man. Unfortunately, since this whole scenario involved Jethro, she wasn’t as excited as she would normally be. She had been letting her mind wonder when she realized Tony was standing back in front of her talking and she had not heard a word he said.
~ * ~
Gibbs drove back to the office; he was determined to find out who was behind both the drug ring and the threats to Jillian. Gibbs stepped off the elevator and walked into Abby’s lab, “what have you got for me Abs?”
“How do you always know when I have something for you? It is like some sort of telepathic connection we have Gibbs.”
“Abby – just tell me you found something.”
“Sure thing…Lieutenant Commander Harris had all of the files locked down that related to the case she was working. And she had a lot of files! It looks like she had all of the financial records for Petty Office Hill as well as financial records for some of the people she suspected as his backers. Not only that Gibbs, she had some records that look like Hill might have been the latest in a line of Navy personnel that were used to smuggle drugs into the States.”
“Is that it? “
“No, I gave all of this to McGee so he is doing some research on some of the things that she had. It looks like she almost had the case wrapped up; maybe she needs to be on our team Gibbs.” Abby paused and look at Gibbs for his reaction, she didn’t get one. “Ok, and before I forget, the blood at the JAG scene all belongs to Jillian Harris, none of it to the attacker. He must have worn gloves too, there were no fingerprints.”
“Thanks Abby, good work.”
Gibbs didn’t want to let on that he was impressed with the work that Jillian had done on the case. She did seem to have a knack for investigating. But what was she missing?
Gibbs walked back into the bullpen, “McGee do you have anything off of those files yet?”
“Um, yeah Boss. Petty Office Hill was in debt to the tune of $45k a year ago – his credit cards were maxed, his house had a 2nd mortgage on it. Then 9 months ago he started depositing checks every week to the tune of $5k each – the last check was deposited right before the Vinson shipped out – that is $60k total that he had deposited. He was out of debt when they shipped out, that is what raised the red flags.”
“So where was the money coming from?”
Ziva stood from her desk and joined Gibbs at McGee’s desk. “Well all of the deposits were in cash, whoever gave him the money was trying to be careful and cover his tracks.”
“Did you speak with Lieutenant Commander Regan yesterday?”
“Yes, and I get the feeling he is hiding something. He said that he knew she was working on this case but that she didn’t really share any details. He said she was playing her cards close to her breast.”
“Vest Ziva, she was playing her cards close to the vest,” McGee corrected.
“Right, anyway, he said that she spent a lot of time alone – she didn’t have any family or anyone in her life outside of her work associates. He said this case really got to her, like she felt she needed to save this boy. He didn’t put stock into her belief that it was part of a larger drug ring.”
“Yeah, well something doesn’t sit well with me in regards to Lieutenant Commander Regan,” Gibbs said as he turned back toward the plasma screen next to McGee’s desk.
“Boss, I think Jillian Harris had concerns about Regan too. She has copies of his bank records on her computer.”