Series: - No Series - #1
Chapters: 001 Word Count: 1241
Character(s): Jethro Gibbs, Tony DiNozzo, Other Male Character
Pairing(s): - No Pairing -
Episode(s): 2-23 Twilight
Summary: And Ari lived for feeling. Adrenaline. Power. Good wine. Expensive food. Beautiful women. And now leather. And speed.
Author Notes: Written before the beginning of season 3.
He liked the smell of leather.
He liked the feel of it on his body and the soft creaking sounds it made when he moved.
His father would have understood this sensual pleasure.
His mother would have called him weak and corrupt. She would have seen the pride in his eyes and tried to replace it with humility.
His father had no such humility.
But they were both dead to him now. His feelings were his own. And Ari lived for feeling. Adrenaline. Power. Good wine. Expensive food. Beautiful women. And now leather. And speed.
He lowered his helmeted head and opened the throttle. The throb of the engine between his thighs, the smooth road under his wheels, and the vague feeling of fear in the pit of his stomach drove him ever faster.
It was a dark blue sedan. Typical government issue with no distinguishing features. Except the driver. He handled the car with the careless grace of a motorcyclist. Hugging corners and sinuous curves. Giving no quarter to rumble strips or oncoming traffic.
Ari smiled beneath his helmet.
He'd practiced this so many times. His body knew the movements as if they were a dance he did every night. Hang back. Lean into the curve. Wait for the long straight stretch of road. There would be no traffic here. An overturned garbage truck at one end and a corrupt state trooper at the other made sure of it.
He flipped the tinted visor up as the last curve straightened. Dense trees on either side turned the night-darkened road into a black void. He'd practiced this in the dark and in the rain. But these were ideal conditions. A quick check in the mirror to make sure the road really was empty and then a burst of speed.
As he bore down on the sedan, it became clear that the driver had made him. He matched the car's acceleration and smiled when he saw the driver raise his cell phone to his ear. Who will save you, Gibbs? Caitlin had already stopped one bullet for him.
It galled Ari to think how Gibbs had allowed a woman, even one as formidable as Caitlin, to use her body to shield him. Women's bodies were for love, not war. But a man like Gibbs wouldn't understand that. So Ari had taken Caitlin from him. And now he would take Gibbs.
Another burst of speed and he was at the bumper, sliding past it on the right side of the car as he drew his knees up to brace himself on the seat of the motorcycle. It was a risky move. Gibbs was passionate. Unpredictable. He could use the car as a weapon. But no. That wasn't his style. He'd want to confront Ari, as he did before. Face to face. Man to man. Ari understood that kind of pride.
The plan was elegant as it was deadly. As he drew up next to the passenger side door, he turned and showed himself, wanting to make sure Gibbs knew it was him. As expected, Gibbs pressed the button to roll down the passenger side window so he could get a clean shot.
He held the throttle until the last possible second, then launched himself through the window. He was in, using his helmeted head like a battering ram he knocked the gun from Gibbs's hand. The car swerved across the center line, as Gibbs's elbow made contact with Ari's face.
Ari's eyes burned. This was good. This was what he wanted. Up close. A heated, physical struggle. Not a cold shot from a sniper's eyrie. He pulled his legs in and kneeled on the seat, the taste of blood in his mouth adding to his exhilaration. He pressed the muzzle of his gun viciously into the soft flesh under Gibbs's chin.
"Surprise, Agent Gibbs." Ari glanced back and saw the motorcycle skid into the ditch.
Gibbs got the car under control and seemed to relax. His eyes flickered toward the rear view mirror. Ari pulled the helmet off, wincing a little as it dragged over his bloodied nose.
"What do you want, Ari?"
"Maybe I want to kill you."
"If you wanted to kill me I'd be dead." Gibbs shifted in his seat a little, driving sedately now. Just a pleasant evening in the Virginia countryside.
"There is a small piece of information I'd like from you." Ari moved until he was seated, easing the pressure of the gun against Gibbs's throat. "Before I kill you."
"Killing me? Is that all you've got?" Gibbs smiled slightly.
One had to admire his aplomb. He was a worthy adversary. "So you want to die?"
"I was a Marine, Ari." Gibbs glanced at him then back at the road, "I've been ready to die my whole life."
"If you value life so cheaply, Agent Gibbs," Ari stroked Gibbs's throat gently with the gun, "then you will not be disturbed when I tell you that my men are holding Doctor Mallard and his mother—charming lady—until they receive the information I need from you."
Gibbs shrugged. "Ducky's been in combat. He knows the risks."
"And his mother?"
"She's so addled she probably thinks your men have come to re-shingle the roof."
"Your arrogance is truly astonishing." Ari smiled. "But I think you don't want to see what my men will do to Mrs. Mallard and her son."
Gibbs shrugged again, swerving the car slightly to avoid some roadkill.
"Tell me the date on which Zia-ul-Haq Mansoor will be moved from Norfolk to Fort Leavenworth."
Gibbs smiled. "Is that all? I thought you'd ask me something hard."
There was something wrong. The hairs on the back of Ari's neck stood up. Gibbs was too cavalier. Too confident. Something must have—movement from the darkness in the back of the car. Ari tried to turn, swinging his gun away from Gibbs.
The blow caught him just above the left cheekbone. Zygomatic fracture, he thought dazedly. Pain lanced upward through his eye as he felt the gun being pulled from his hand. A hand gripped the back of his neck and slammed his forehead into the dashboard as his right wrist was pulled painfully up against his backbone. With his free hand, Ari tried to reach across for the steering wheel, but was forced back against the seat by an arm across his throat.
He ground his teeth to remain silent as his wrist was forced higher up his spine. How had this operation become compromised? Where had he made his mistake? The leather jacket creaked as the tendons in his shoulder--it had never healed properly--stretched, close to dislocation. The arm left his windpipe and he was pushed forward again. The cold steel of handcuffs circled one wrist and then clamped down on the other.
Gibbs glanced in the rearview mirror, "Why didn't you just shoot him, DiNozzo?"
"Didn't want to mess up the car. You made me pay for getting it detailed that time I spilled my milkshake. Besides," the grip on Ari's sore shoulder tightened, but he refused to wince, "I wanted to hurt him, not kill him."
Ari forced out a laugh, despite the sweat forming under his leathers. "Special Agent DiNozzo. We've never met. I am Doctor Haswari. You'll forgive me if I don't shake hands."
Ari could feel warm breath on his ear. "Surprise, Ari," DiNozzo whispered, "I'm delighted to make your acquaintance."