I am definitely doing more with this. It will be part of a much longer work soon.
Disclaimer: I do not own NCIS nor do I make any money from this work.
Tony sat in the far corner of the darkened bar, his back to the wall, his eyes scanning the room as best he could in the dim light, as he sipped sparingly from his beer bottle. He felt a bit ridiculous but knew that if he hadn’t followed directions, this meeting would never happen
Tony’s beer was barely below the neck of the bottle, though it had been over 20 minutes since he had sat down, when the chair opposite him was grabbed and pushed against the other wall, so that it’s new occupant was facing the fairly empty bar and not the back wall. Tony chuckled under his breath. “Very interesting move. Keep your back to the wall even among old friends?”
The other man smiled wryly. “It keeps you alive. And multiple pairs of eyes are better than one.”
Tony sighed. “I would make a joke about paranoia and James Bond but considering who you went to work for last I heard, it wouldn’t be nearly as funny.”
The shaved head nodded. “True.”
“This was your call. I wouldn’t even know how to get a meeting with you, so what is going on? Do you need my help?”
“I have a question for you. You’ve had a few dates with a girl recently. Are you really interested in her or are you on an assignment ?”
Tony carefully placed his beer bottle on the table after almost dropping it. “I date lots of girls, you know that.”
“Don’t play me for a fool, Tonio. Jeanne Benoit. Are you serious about her, dating her for real, or is she an assignment handed down from your agency director?”
Tony took a deep breath. “Why do you care? How do you even know to care?”
The man slid an envelope from his inner coat pocket and placed it on the table. He opened it and removed several photographs and turned them so Tony could see them. They were pictures of Tony and Jeanne Benoit eating dinner in a restaurant, walking into a movie theater, and kissing at her front door. They were from the last three dates he had been on with the woman, his first three dates with her, to be precise
“How did you get these? Did you – How? Why?”
“Jeanne’s father is very over-protective. She has nothing to do with his business. She doesn’t even know about it, the reality of what he is and does. But he loves her and keeps track of her as best as he can. You’re lucky that I was the one on duty this month to trail her. Anyone else and your cover would have been blown by now. Because she is a mark, isn’t she, Tony? You’re trying to get close to her father?”
“I can’t – I don’t – Jeanne is really sweet.”
“I’m sure. I’m also sure she doesn’t know what you do for a living. Does she even know your real name? I’m highly doubting it. I know it has been years since we’ve seen each other, Tony, but I do care about you. And your director is setting you up. This op is not sanctioned. Jeanne’s father is under the control of the CIA and FBI and they will not let a tiny agency like NCIS have a piece. But, your director doesn’t want a piece. She wants a head. Specifically, the head of the man that she blames for her own father’s death. And she doesn’t care who gets in the way. You, Jeanne, me, as long as she gets to kill him. There’s something going on with her beyond her obsession. This op she has you on – it doesn’t make sense. You need to back off from Jeanne before you get yourself exposed and killed. And figure out what is going on with your boss.”
The other man took another envelope from his pocket and put it on the table. Tony looked at it, afraid to reach forward and take it. “It’s the evidence about her father. And a few other things. Keep yourself safe, Tony. Cousin. Keep yourself alive. Don’t get in the middle of this.”
Tony nodded, part way in shock
“If you really need to get in touch, leave a message at Langley for Trent Kort. Or call the old contact number and leave a message about a high school reunion for Trent Kort. That would probably be quicker than depending on the agency channels.”
With those final words, the bald man rose to his feet with a smile, returned the chair to its previous position and left the bar, not looking back at his younger cousin, floundering as his mind raced over new possibilities and worries.