RI&K: Los Angeles
Jane Rizzoli-Isles woke up, in bed, faintly smelling eggs and bacon, and threw off the covers.
She looked at the alarm clock - 7:07 - and panicked. Jane rushed towards her closet, looking for a blouse, slacks and a jacket, then looked for her phone to call her work partner in the Boston Police Department's homicide division, Barry Frost. Jane found a blouse and jacket and threw them on the bed while she rushed to the cabinet to find a pair of slacks. She found a pair, and threw them on the bed while she looked for her a pair of shoes.
Then she heard a bark from the bed.
Jo Friday, her terrier, planted herself on one of the pants legs.
"Jo!" Jane said, rushing over to lift the dog off of the slacks. "Jo, I told you not to do that!" Jane looked over the spot where Jo Friday had sat, saw no wet spot, and decided that would do.
Jane rushed back to the cupboard, looking for her tube of lipstick, and threw her hands up in exasperation when she couldn't find it, as she heard familiar chuckling from the doorway.
"Honey," smiled her wife, Maura Rizzoli-Isles. "We're on vacation, silly."
"We are?" Jane said, remembering this was the first day of her and Maura's two-week-long working vacation. "Yes, Maura. I do remember. We are on vacation. How could I forget?"
Jane slapped herself in the back of her head.
"That only works on men, and when administered by former Marines turned special agents," Maura stated. "In all other cases, it's ineffective and over time could lead to serious harm."
Jane took a breath, and walked over to pick up Jo Friday. Then, she went over to Maura, gave her a kiss, and began to examine her neck.
"Well that was nice, Detective," Maura said. "Are you looking for something?"
"Hives," Jane deadpanned. "You just told a lie."
"I did not," Maura replied. "Repeated slaps to the base of the skull, over time, could potentially lead to serious injury, according to a study done by the University of the United States in 1992 and a follow-up study done at BCU in 2006-"
"Really?" Jane asked, skeptically.
"Yes," Maura continued. "The findings were repeated slaps to the head could potentially affect brain function, including memory loss and headaches."
"How many 'slaps'?"
"Nonstop, over a period of eight hours."
"Who lets someone slap them in the head for eight hours?"
"The subjects were fraternity members and other males."
"Why am I not surprised. Were they drunk?"
"I don't believe so."
"Then I don't think DiNozzo has anything to worry about...and neither do I," Jane said, suddenly noticing a faint scent coming from the kitchen. "Ma cooking breakfast?"
"Bacon and eggs, and waffles," Maura said. "I thought we would eat a good breakfast before getting ready to leave for the airport. We have a long day ahead of us."
"Yes, and I hope I don't spend a week and a half sitting through speech after speech at a medical seminar indoors in Santa Monica."
"You won't, and we will have plenty of time to enjoy the beach, the shopping and the sights of California."
Navy Yard, NCIS headquarters
Special Agent Tim McGee sat at his desk in the bullpen, completely immersed in his cold case, and completely unaware of the six people standing in front of his desk.
So, one of them got his attention by throwing a wadded-up paper cup at him
"What!" McGee yelped, as it hit the side of his head. "Jimmy!"
"Glad you got my name right for once," said Jimmy Palmer, the assistant to chief medical examiner Dr. Donald 'Ducky' Mallard, who stood nearby.
"What was that for? And why are all of you standing there?" McGee said, stifling a yawn. "We catch a case?"
He looked at the people standing in front of his desk – Special Agent Caitlin "Kate" Todd; probationary agent Michelle Lee; Mossad Officer Ziva David; Palmer; forensics specialist Abby Sciuto; and Dr. Mallard – and stood up, looking over Kate and Ziva's shoulders towards Special Agent in Charge Tony DiNozzo's desk.
"Where's Tony?" McGee asked. "Everything alright-"
Lee handed a manila folder to Kate, who pulled an 8x11 picture from it and placed it on McGee's keyboard.
"What...where'd you get this?" McGee said, looking at his portrait.
"That is your publicity photo, is it not?" Ziva said. "A little doggie tells us you are working on a sequel to your novel."
"A little birdie, Ziva," Kate corrected, before turning her attention to McGee. "Tony and I found some crazy guy going through your trash the other night. We found discarded typewriter ribbons."
"With a cameo from PIMMY JALMER-" Jimmy interjected, somewhat angry, stopping when Ducky put a hand on his arm.
"Mr. Palmer, I'm sure your Polynesian alter ego has nothing to be concerned about," Ducky said, reassuringly. "Neither will Agent Tommy; Officer Lisa; Miss Amy Sutton" - nodding to Abby - "and Agent Mae Codd-"
"Who's still a FISH-" Kate interjected.
"Nor former Agent L.J. Tibbs, bringing democracy back to the liberated citizens of Mexico," Ducky continued. "I am happy that you've added a medical examiner to Agent Tommy's team, even though I find his name most curious: David "Doggy" Bulldog. And he's English, not Scottish."
McGee stared at the group, speechless. If he learned anything from the brouhaha over his novel Deep Six, it was best to let the team have its say before he said anything in his own defense.
"You were going to have Agent McGregor marry Amy," Abby said. "But they're all kinds of wrong for each other."
Kate and Ziva looked at Abby. "You made yourself the hero, McGee," Kate added.
"'Deep Six 2: The Adventures of Agent McGregor'," Ziva stated. "The first words on the very first ribbon Tony and Kate recovered from the scene."
McGee decided they might be at his desk into the night if he didn't say something. "You found my ribbons?" he said, standing up and holding up his hands to silence everyone. "You two were rooting in my trash? And who was the other guy?"
"Tony tried to tell you, but you were gone-" Kate.
"Sarah asked me to come by her apartment to help her with a school project," McGee said. "You two came by my apartment last night?"
"And found a guy going through your trash," Kate said. "Tony interrogated him. Neither of us got any sleep. And, we called your sister's apartment looking for you and got no answer."
"I, ah, we were at her friend's apartment," McGee said, trying to cover for what he really did last night - something only he and Director Shepard were supposed to be privy to.
"What's that on your neck, McGee?" Ziva said, coyly, as the others noticed the lipstick stain under his collar. "Was Sarah's friend pleased to see you?"
McGee then remembered the stain, and the reason for it, and who gave it to him last night.
No way am I telling them anything about Jeanne.
"Er, yes," McGee said. "She was very happy after I came up with the formula that helped solve her project. She was too happy...happy."
Everyone smiled. "Um hm," said Palmer. "What's her name?"
"Shirley," McGee stammered. "We-"
"We have a case," yelled Tony from the top of the stairs behind McGee and Kate's desks. "Dead Navy Lieutenant, Rock Creek Park. Grab your gear!"
The team scattered, except for Abby. "You didn't send that thing to your publisher, did you, McGee? I think things are going way too fast for McGregor and Amy."
"Yes," McGee said. "The publisher has it."
Tony asked Abby to go back to forensics to check on the coat from the perp in the team's most active case, then had Ziva and Kate stand by the elevator while Ducky and Palmer left.
"I'm calling a two-man campfire, mano a mano, sixty seconds," Tony said to McGee. "What's her name?"
"The chick who gave you the hickey...here. Wipe that off before we go to the scene."
McGee wiped off the lipstick with the tissue paper Tony gave him.
"Shirley. Her name is Shirley, Tony. Happy for me?"
"Her name's not Shirley," Tony said. "I spoke with the director. She told me about your undercover op."
McGee stood, silently shocked for several moments.
"Tony...I did it only-"
"-because you had to," Tony said. "You were coming to work later, coming to work more tired, a little more lethargic than usual…and a spring in your step, a smile on your face. I could see it from a mile away, so did Kate and Ziva. The director told me what she was having you do...you were under orders, Probie. You did what you had to do."
"I'm still on the op, Tony."
"For now," Tony replied. "You want be on it, Tim?"
"It's not what I want-"
"Yeah it is. We'll talk about this when we get back. If you want out, say the word."
Tony and Tim left the bullpen and joined Ziva and Kate on the elevator.
At Rock Creek Park, they quickly found their latest victim: a female Marine…identified as a he by his dog tags.
"Sergeant Clark Howard, Marine Corps," mused Ducky. "As you can see, there's a gunshot wound on her, ah, his chest…I must admit, it is difficult to see the Sergeant as a man."
"The Sergeant's done a really good job at passing," added Kate. "This already looks to be one of the more interesting cases we've had."
"She, not he," Tony said. "Let's get our terminology correct…where's Probie?"
"I'm here, Agent DiNozzo," Michelle said as she began taking photos.
"I didn't mean you. McGee," Tony said. "Where's he at?"
He, Kate, Ziva and Michelle all heard commotion near the truck, and saw McGee pinned against the passenger's door by three middle-aged women, all taking pictures with their phones and asking for autographs.
Kate was the first amongst the NCIS team to laugh out loud.
"McGee has groupies!" she said. "Lee. Take a picture."
"A dozen, Lee," Tony added. "Then go with Ziva to break up the party…we are working a crime scene after all."
Julie Todd and Mike Renko are partners working for NCIS's undercover team, based in Los Angeles, part of the agency's Office of Special Projects.
At the moment, they sat in the ugliest, 15-year-old beater you'll ever see.
Julie was thankful it ran at all - Renko owed Sam Hanna a steak dinner for fixing it up - and that no one in the predominantly Hispanic neighborhood in east Los Angeles had noticed either of their Anglo faces.
Julie is the twin sister of Kate Todd, and except for her honey blonde hair, is the spitting image of Kate.
In terms of personality, the twins couldn't be any more different.
"Your sister ever do undercover work?" said Renko, in the driver's seat, his Dodgers cap pulled down past his eyebrows.
"A few times," said Julie, hair pulled back in a pony tail, and wearing a UCLA cap. She was looking through binoculars at a bar across the street, a known gathering place for three local men connected to the Reynosa cartel.
They were suspects in the theft of weapons from Camp Pendleton, and were sighted in the company of two men known to provide weapons to drug lords in Venezuela, Colombia and Costa Rica.
One of the three locals was thought to have also been involved with the Fighters of God during its terrorist operations in Los Angeles nearly two years before.
All of that led NCIS Assistant Director Leon Vance to authorize the OSP to get more intel on these five men.
Julie and Renko were to begin the operation by tailing the three locals. Team leader G Callen and his partner Sam Hanna were following a lead a mile away, while Kensi Blye and her partner, LAPD liaison Marty Deeks, planned to join up Julie and Renko in an hour.
Julie, at one point was estranged from her sister, and now talks to her regularly, even if they still don't see eye to eye.
"Kate's gone on one undercover op under Gibbs, and two under Tony," Julie said to Renko. "Gibbs said she needed work. Kate says Tony wanted her out in the field. She likes working for Tony."
"They say Gibbs can be a pain in the ass. I didn't think he was that bad the one time I met him. Whatever happened to that guy?"
"Retired. Mexico. Baja."
"Think he'll ever make his way up here?"
"Yeah right," Julie smirked. "Too...hey. We got movement."
Two of the men walked out the front door, and were armed, one carrying a gun, another an automatic.
Renko began snapping photos with his camera. "Renko. The one guy's carrying a semi-"
She didn't finish her sentence. The club that shattered her window - and the smoke grenades thrown into the car - saw to that.
Renko didn't have a chance to react, as a bat shattered his window.
They both reached for their weapons, but were knocked senseless by the stun guns aimed at them.
Thirty seconds later, Julie Todd was pulled out of the car, and carried into the back of a black van waiting twenty feet behind the beater. The assilants popped the hood, pulled out the distributor cap to disable the engine, and jumped the van; the two armed men who came out the front door of the restaurant got in a red Civic, following the van.
Renko came to his senses, with no sense of how long he was out, just that he and Julie had been jumped...and that she was gone.
He looked around, felt for his gun, then felt for his phone. Fortunately he had both, and the battery was still in the phone.
"Eric!" he said frantically after calling the Ops Center. "We got jumped. Julie's gone-"
"We know, and Mr. Beale and Miss Jones have eyes on her assailants," said the woman who ran the OSP's L.A. operations, Hetty Lange. "We've dispatched LAPD to your location, and I'm ordering Mr. Callen and Mr. Hanna to assist Ms. Blye and Mr. Deeks. What is your situation?"
Renko looked around, seeing a few civilians, and heard police sirens down the road. "I'm fine, shaken up, just need to catch my breath...Hetty, these guys are ruthless," Renko said, urgently. "This is straight out of the Reynosa playbook. If these are Reynosas, and they have Julie-"
"I share your sense of urgency, Mr. Renko, and time is of the essence," Hetty said, calmly. "But we have eyes on them, and our people are close. Do you need medical attention?"
"I need to find my partner," Renko said, firmly.
"There is an ambulance coming your way; if they clear you, then Officer Cooper from LAPD's Special Operations Bureau will escort you to the rendezvous point," Hetty said. "If not, I will meet you at the nearest hospital. I will call you back in five minutes."
She hung up on Renko, who was being watched by an LAPD undercover officer who had just gotten to the scene, and by Beale and Nell on security cameras.
Vance was in the Ops Center watching Callen and Sam's car close in on the black van, while Deeks and Kensi tailed the red Civic.
"Agents," Vance said to all four, listening in on their phones. "Our primary objective is to rescue Agent Todd alive. Secondary is capturing at least one of the five men alive. I'll watch from here, and meet you at the boatshed."
Baja California, Mexico
Leroy Jethro Gibbs was almost done with his project. Another day, and the boat would be ready to sail on the Pacific.
He needed a day because he was out of black paint, and the store wouldn't get any more in until tomorrow morning.
In the meantime, Gibbs bided his time, watching the waves roll in on the beach, sitting in silence with his housemate, and ex-boss Mike Franks.
"Thought you finished that thing, Jethro," Franks said, drinking his breakfast: a bottle of beer.
"Told you, Mike, when I put her name on it, it'll be done," Gibbs said.
"Kelly. Good name for a good boat, Jethro...I think she'd have liked it."
Gibbs nodded in silence. Since moving to Mexico after retirement, he tried to put just about everything his past behind him.
Even his father in Stillwater, Pennsylvania, who couldn't understand why his son would quit. They had gone back to not speaking to one another.
And, his team in Washington.
The only things from the past Gibbs allowed himself to reminiscence on were his first wife, Shannon, and their daughter, Kelly.
Ari was dead, so everyone else was safe, and he could have the luxury of moving on, all the way to a Mexican beach, living in a shack with his boss, drinking beers on the porch in the morning and margaritas in the bar at night.
Life was good.
Every so often, the Americanos would get visitors, usually the local woman from their bar whom Mike slept with every so often.
The Ford Expedition driving towards the shack wasn't hers.
"Well I'll be damned," Franks said. "Federales...what in hell do THEY want?"
The vehicle stopped, and the Mexican Army lieutenant driving it jumped out of it, walked over to the other side and opened the door for his passenger.
"She doesn't look like a 'Federale', Mike," Gibbs said.
The woman wore a U.S. Army officer's uniform, and strode towards Gibbs and Franks.
"I'm guessing you're not Mexican Army," Franks said. "Or did you make a wrong turn at Albuquerque."
The Lieutenant Colonel chuckled.
"Gentlemen, I'm here for a reason, rest assured," said the older, blonde woman. "I'm Lieutenant Colonel Hollis Mann, U.S. Army Criminal Investigative Division."
"Army CID?" Gibbs said. "You know we're NCIS, right?"
"Retired NCIS, Probie," Franks said. "We were enjoying a late breakfast."
Mann eyed Franks' half-empty bottle.
"I preferred cold pizza, myself, when I went on vacation in Mexico...in college," Mann deadpanned. "I'm sure you two are wondering why Army CID is here visiting you, Agent Gibbs."
"Not an agent any more, Colonel-"
"Lieutenant Colonel. Mann."
"Lieutenant Colonel Mann. I'm retired."
"I read your file, Agent Gibbs, and yours, Agent Franks," Mann said. "I need your help with a case."
"We miss somethin', Probie? Army CID taking over NCIS?" Franks joked, taking another drink.
"I want to ask you about Lt. Colonel Casey Jones," she says.
"Don't know him," Gibbs says. "And call me Gibbs, Lieutenant Colonel."
"Okay, Gibbs. I thought you wouldn't recognize the name offhand. You do know his ex-girlfriend. Jane Rizzoli."
Gibbs stared at her.