Series: - No Series - #1
Chapters: 001 Word Count: 1028
Character(s): Tony DiNozzo, Caitlyn (Kate) Todd, Other Male Character
Pairing(s): - No Pairing -
Summary: The stranger looked at Tony as if he was something stuck to the bottom of his shoe. Then he turned to Kate and squinted, looking her up and down. "Callahan."
Author Notes: Written for the NCIS Flashfic "Image" challenge. Inspired by this picture.
Tony squinted and altered his stance a bit. His face was close enough that Kate could feel his warm breath on her skin. "Go ahead," he said through gritted teeth. "Make my day."
"Tony, will you quit it already?" Kate elbowed him away and checked her watch.
He grinned and looked around passenger pick-up zone. "Relax, Kate. Our flight was early. If nobody shows up, we can always get a cab. Or, hey, it's San Francisco--people hitchhike here."
Kate sighed. She could put up with Tony's adolescent behaviour in the office when she knew she could go home where it was quiet. But out in the field like this? Knowing she was going to have to deal with him pulling rank anytime they disagreed? It was her brothers all over again. "Are you out of your mind? I'm not hitchhiking with you!"
"I don't know, Kate. It could be fun. It all depends on whether you feel lucky." Tony resumed the squint. "Well, do you, Kate?"
"Which one's Todd and which is DeeNotso?" The voice was low and rumbly.
"Uh, it's DiNoz—oh, my God!" Tony turned all the way around and just looked. "It's you!"
Looking from one man to the other, Kate bit back her confusion and flashed her badge. "Special Agent Caitlin Todd. And you are?"
The stranger looked at Tony as if he was something stuck to the bottom of his shoe. Then he turned to Kate and squinted, looking her up and down. "Callahan."
Kate planted both feet on the floor and braced for impact. At the last possible moment, the steering wheel was wrenched to the left and the car missed the rear bumper of the double-parked yellow cab by mere inches. Of course, now they were on the wrong side of the road and the large truck bearing down on them didn't seem inclined to yield.
She swallowed hard and tried to calm her breathing as the sedan swerved back into the proper lane. Working for NCIS, Kate had heard her share of sailor-quality cursing. But the most hard-boiled Marine she'd ever interviewed had nothing on Inspector Harry Callahan when he was thwarted in traffic.
From the back seat, she heard a chuckle. For once in his life, DiNozzo hadn't called shotgun, so Kate was stuck in the front seat next to this madman while Tony was tucked up safely in back. And I thought riding with Gibbs was bad.
"You find something amusing back there, Special Agent DeeNotso?" Callahan snarled.
"Not at all, Inspector Callahan! Sir!"
Kate suppressed a grin. Tony had been like a five-year-old on the flight from DC. Inspector Callahan! They were going to meet the Inspector Harry Callahan -- "Dirty" Harry to friends and enemies alike. His exploits (Tony had detailed them for her, despite her attempts to sleep and read on the plane) were legendary. They'd made movies about him.
Callahan muttered several choice expletives as he took a sharp right, then a left, then started careening up and down those scary-steep streets.
Kate glanced back at Tony. He was belted in, but leaning far forward with a look on his face like he was on the best rollercoaster ever.
"This is just like Bullitt," he breathed softly.
A snort from Callahan. "Steve McQueen was a pussy. Didn't even do his own driving."
They hit a pothole at a speed not recommended by the car's manufacturer, and Kate winced as her teeth snapped together painfully.
"Speaking of which, Inspector," Tony asked. "Who'd you piss off to get detailed with picking us up at the airport?"
Callahan made a noise somewhere between a grunt and a growl. Kate thought it leaned slightly toward the growl end of the spectrum. "New police chief." He turned and glared at Kate. "She feels I need to adjust my attitude. What do you think of my attitude, Special Agent Caitlin Todd?"
Kate tried to ignore the speed at which the colourful buildings flashed past. She tried to ignore the fact that, as far as she could tell, they were heading straight into San Francisco Bay. "Your attitude's fine." She held Callahan's gaze for a moment. "But your driving could use some work."
Callahan made a different sound this time. Kate wasn't sure, but it might have been a laugh.
It had been a long day. Taking statements from hostile cops and reviewing evidence with even more hostile local NCIS agents -- not to mention the time difference -- had worn Kate thin. She yawned. "Tony?"
"Yeah?" DiNozzo was resting his face on the cool metal table.
"Next time one of SecNav's relatives is killed in a gun battle with city cops, let's send McGee."
"You got that right." Tony's head popped up as the interrogation room door behind Kate opened.
Callahan dropped a stack of photocopied documents on the table. "Well, DeeNotso?"
Tony glanced around, then lowered his voice. "Can I see it?"
The side of Callahan's mouth turned up in the way Kate now recognized as the closest he ever got to a smile. It was incredible. The DiNozzo charm had worked again. "Here."
Tony picked up the heavy black gun reverently. "The .44 Magnum. The most powerful handgun in the world."
"Actually" -- Kate took the gun from Tony and sighted along the barrel -- "the .44 Magnum isn't recommended for urban police use. It's impractical. The weapon's recoil makes target re-acquisition almost impossible. And the bullet's penetration power increases the likelihood of injuring innocent bystanders."
"That's why I use a light special load, Agent Todd." Callahan growled, gently removing the weapon from Kate's hand and reholstering it. "And I almost never have to fire more than once." His voice smoothed out a little. "Meet me down at the range and I'll show you what I mean." He nodded at Tony and left the room.
"Do you believe that guy?" Kate shook her head.
Tony's eyes were alight. "That is so cool."
"Well, Kate" -- Tony eyed Kate critically, fluffed her hair, then adjusted the collar of her shirt -- "let's just say that I think you're about to find out why they call him Dirty Harry."