Night Owl Club
The cell phone of one Special Agent Anthony DiNozzo rang….and rang…and rang…a hand stretched out and grabbed the phone “Hello…” he mumbled answering, and listening.
“Dad, you know what time of night it is?…Yes 1.30am, that is night in my book…ok very, very early morning. What has happened that you need to call me now?…Oh I see,” as Tony dragged himself out of bed, and hurriedly dressing, he hurriedly left the apartment.
“LJ, yes I’m up. I got a bit of the boat that just won’t settle, but what’s up? You ain’t sick…no I see…give me five,” as Gibbs shut his cell and turning, ran up the basement stairs.
Gibbs arrived at the Retirement Home almost simultaneously as Fornell.
“Tobias, didn’t expect to see you here,” Jethro said, as he saw L.J. wave and now walk towards them.
“I didn’t expect to see you here either. My aunt Jemima called me…arsenic and old lace…mustn’t let Abby meet her…you know lace fingerless gloves,” as he twitched his fingers. “She used to drink like a fish and has a dead pan face due to the Parkinson’s. Her eyes and face give nothing away…a real poker face.”
“So do we know what has really happened?” as Gibbs now spotted a LEO, “Officer, Gibbs NCIS,” as he flashed his ID, “And Agent Fornell, FBI,” as Tobias flashed his. “We both got calls from residents… something about a death.”
“Yeah and since this is a retirement home they probably have deaths every day, but this is going to be different isn’t it?” Fornell now snarled.
“Sirs, an Anthony DiNozzo also tried that. Said his father was a resident and that he was NCIS, not the father… himself.”
“So he is, and his father Anthony DiNozzo Senior is a resident. I got a call from LJ Moore. And…”
“My aunt Jemima called me, so can we cut the crap and get a move on,” Tobias began to shiver.
“Of course, the ME is already here,” the officer replied.
“Who’s the M.E.?” Gibbs began to ask, “Anyone we know, I mean is he local hospital or is he the home based M.E.?
“Locum….Dr Donald Mallard RAMC, moonlighting, the resident ME has a calicivirus, a norovirus…Norwalk virus to be precise, related to the ribonucleic acid viruses that cause acute viral gastroenteritis, stomach flu for the uninitiated. I have my name on call, if and when I am needed, and of course, can attend. Good evening Jethro.”
“Oh this is just wonderful,” Fornell muttered, “A full NCIS team, it must be serious.”
“Haha very funny Fornell, but you notice we are missing McGee, and Abby,” Tony now replied joining the group, his father in tow.
“OK, an almost full NCIS so am I Probie?” Tobias muttered.
“So Duks can you tell us anything…..something,” Gibbs began to ask when he heard a familiar voice shout.
“Gibbs, Gibbs, Gibbs,” they all turned to see Abby running, as well as she could, in her boots.
“Abby, what are you doing here?” Gibbs queried.
“Sister Mary called, she is one of the nuns who help here, but how did you all find out?” now surveying the group.
“L.J.,” Gibbs replied looking at Leroy.
“Dad,” Tony answered pointing at Senior.
“Aunt Jemima,” as Fornell pointed over his shoulder, to the sweet old lady who was waving from the porch wearing black lace fingerless gloves, Abby waved back in hers.
“Bad move Ms Scuito,” Tobias added as Jemima wandered over to join the throng.
“Ducky, what is going on?” Jethro continued to ask.
“LCDR Cassandra Somerville, RN Nurse Corps, United States, Retired, otherwise known Sandra Sommers, to the staff and residents,” Dr Mallard began to say, “Found dead in the laundry room.”
“Told you, it’s a retirement home, always deaths,” Fornell continued to mutter.
“Quite Agent Fornell, but not when you are only 45 years of age and found with a knife through your ribcage, it makes it quite a different kind of death, I must say it was a very clean wound,” Ducky now replied smiling at his joke, “ Laundry…clean…but if you will excuse me gentlemen, and ladies,” as he lifted his fedora slightly, “I think, that since Cassandra is Navy, and Retired, it becomes an NCIS case, does it not Jethro?” looking at Gibbs who just shrugged and nodded.
Then all Gibbs could do was watch Ducky walk to the waiting vehicle, and giving directions to the driver, they drove in the direction of the Navy Yard.
“Now what?” DiNozzo Senor asked.
“Could get you a conference room Leroy, if you want to start the investigation now?” L.J. replied.
“I’m getting hungry, it’s all this standing around, any chance of something to eat?” Tony asked as his stomach rumbled.
“Coffee would be nice,” Tobias shivered.
“The night owl club will be in full swing, you’ll get something there,” L.J. replied.
“Night owl club?” Abby enquired, “Cool, is that like the Harry Potter owl club?” as she slipped her arm through LJ’s.
“No, I’ll explain when we get there,” he replied.
“One thing L.J. what were you and Tony’s dad doing up at this time of night?” Jethro now questioned, his caffeine level dropping fast.
“Morning, Boss, very early morning,” as Tony correct him.
“A poker game was about to start, and if I don’t referee, a fight is liable to break out. You have no idea what the old dears can get up to,” L.J. replied.
“And I like to keep my hand in,” Senior replied, as he now offered Aunt Jemima his arm as they walked back to the main door of the home, Abby’s arm still through L.J.’s and Aunt Jemima strolling to the door in the arm of DiNozzo Senior.
The “team”, now sitting in a side room of a general hall; the glass panels looking out or was it into the room. A table was against the wall and it was dressed with plates of sandwiches, savouries and small cakes. Tony had helped himself to a rather large collection of food which he was now reluctantly sharing. Aunt Jemima had decided that late night T.V. was better fun than sitting with Fornell and had gone back to her room.
“Go get your own,” he muttered as Fornell now pinched, before wandering off for his own plate.
“What is this?” Abby enquired, taking a sandwich and pointing through the glass.
“The Night Owl Club,” L.J. replied. “It’s for the dementia patients, the ones that sleep all day and then up all night, if they could sleep at night it would be fine, but they turn night into day, and…”
“Day into night,” Abby smiled, “Yes I think we all are a bit like that,” smiling at Gibbs.
“Ok let’s get back on track,” as he saw Tobias return, “No coffee?”
“Go get your own I only got one pair of hands,” Fornell snarled as they saw Abby rise and troop out the room only to return with two coffees, passing them to Gibbs.
“Thank you Abbs, but L.J. you don’t have dementia?”
“No Leroy… told you I referee the poker games, all hell can be let loose.”
“Dad?” as Tony looked at his father.
“Junior as I said, I like to keep my hand in, and since we had that discussion…remember… about me staying at your place, Gibbs gave me the name of this place, and L.J. here put in a good word for me, and may I say Agent Fornell, your aunt Jemima is a very attractive woman.”
“One hand on my aunt and you’re dead,” Fornell spluttered.
“Oi, so there was a poker game on?” Gibbs questioned bringing everyone back on topic.
“Yes,” L.J. replied.
“Have to ask,” Tony asked through mouthfuls of pastry, “MMMmmm these savouries are to die for, which begs to wonder if that was why Cassandra was killed,” as everyone glared at him, “No, what do you play for…matches.”
“Junior, that is rather foolish, you really want the place to burn down?”
L.J. smiled, “Tony, they play with Monopoly money, and sometimes they play with food in more ways than one,” as they now saw Tony put the cookie back on the plate and shove it away, “But don’t worry, not with what is out there,” as Abby promptly snatched the cookie and munched into it.
“Right, so until we have a full autopsy report from Ducky there really isn’t anything we can do until tomorrow, but I want the crime scene check out now and sealed off. Can I ask you,” as he looked at LJ and then at Senior, “To guard the laundry if possible?”
“Not possible, it runs 24/7 and there will be some backlog and smell if we do,” L.J. answered.
“Ok we need to do it now, you both up to it?” as Gibbs looked at Tony and then Abbs, who both smiled and nodded, “Ok I got kit in the trunk, always carry it,” as he threw his keys at Tony, who jumped up and left the room hurriedly.