Category: TV Shows » NCIS
Language: English, Rating: Rated: M
Published: 12-28-08, Updated: 01-08-09
Chapters: 13, Words: 29,449
Chapter 1: Chapter 1
A/N: I love the show Leverage and the endless possibilities of shades of gray bad guys doing good, so I took that and built a story around it using it as a minor framework for NCIS. I take the main characters of those shows and add in one of my own OC's from an NCIS story and some events etc. from several of those stories. This story takes the Leverage team out of their comfort zone and into a more violent world than they have been before, with good cause. The OC, particular items, and such are all my original stuff, so no harm, no foul. If you follow my NCIS stories you will see a blend of characters and outcomes from those stories. Gibbs and Ziva have retired in this story and are living in Baja, and Tony is running his own team in Spain. McGee is still at NCIS, but Abby has moved on to a private lab because of what happens to Chanel. They all make appearances becoming more and more major players towards the end, but the main (hot) love story is between Eliot and Chanel. (Sorry Gibbs shippers) If you haven't seen Leverage on TNT, GREAT caper flick, exciting, interesting characters and makes me laugh out loud, which is rare indeed. I know this is a little off the beaten path for hardcore NCIS fans, but give it a shot. The new readers over on Leverage read (alot) but didn't review, so I'm moving it. What you recognize belongs to either Leverage/TNT or NCIS/CBS. What and who you don't recognize and the story belongs to me. Reviews feed the muse, please leave them. If I don't get reviews here encouraging to complete, I'll abandon the story. Not blackmail, just reality. My muse is seriously into this story over the other two I have going, but maybe no interest means no good, and go back to my others. I was hoping a different, more experienced audience might be open to something a little out of the ordinary.
Eliot and the Unknown Woman
Eliot was walking down one of the seedier sidewalks in LA enjoying a little private space. He found himself really enjoying working as part of a team, especially this team, where he had always worked alone before. But the whole "team-i-ness" was starting to grind a little. Yeah, he had his own apartment and could hang out there watching hockey, reading, and stuff. That was a little too alone now. He snickered to himself, too much togetherness, too much alone-ness. It used to be simple, just alone and no complications. So he settled for somewhere in between for a while, wandering the streets in LA where one could never be alone, but where one was always alone.
Nearby he heard the familiar grunts of some serious full contact fighting going on. He carefully followed the sounds, becoming louder still while still almost silent to the untrained ear. He figured at least 10 men and what sounded like a single woman. He snuck up on the fight sight, figuring to find a gang rape going on, which of course they would all die a quick death for. Instead, the woman, dressed completely in black, fought with the total discipline of some serious martial arts training. The men were almost as skilled, but she was taking them down one or two at a time. And she wasn't doing the 'knock them out' bit either, if these guys were on the ground they were dead. She was down to two of the men in black left. Both had syringes in their hands and were carefully circling her. Eliot took that opportunity to revealing himself to the threesome, surprising her and unfortunately allowing one of the men to shoot her up. She dropped like a sack of potatoes to the ground. Eliot quickly took out the remaining two men, grabbed the two syringes and the unconscious girl and took off to a less than seedy hotel where no one would see anything and say nothing. He called Alec and Nate immediately while checking her vitals. He removed the black watch cap and this amazing tangle of auburn red hair tumbled out. Her vitals were strong, so whatever was in the syringes was meant to knock her out, not kill her. Alec talked him through how to use the cell phone to check for GPS devices and such, while Nate tore off in his Tesla to meet Eliot with whatever else Alec thought they might need. Through the cell phone Alec located a GPS device in her clothing and another one someplace else he wasn't sure. Eliot would have to take off her clothes.
"No, no way. She's, man she is some kind of goddess, a killing goddess. If she wakes up and she's naked with me, she will kill me. Hell, I will kill me. No."
"Eliot man, it's not like either of you is a virgin. You've seen it all before. You have to take off the clothes and destroy the devices before the bad ass guys who drugged her beautiful white ass in the first place come find you."
"Oh, man. Alec she is the most beautiful woman I have ever seen, and she" Eliot started to remove her clothes while he talked, "took these guys down one or two at a time. She is at least as good as I am. But she didn't even try to leave them alive. If they were down, they weren't getting up, ever."
Nate walked into the room catching the tail end of the conversation. "Well, the mess has been cleaned up. Not a button to be found, but we gotta get her out of here. Where are we on GPS devices?"
"Eliot, are her clothes off?"
"Yeah, but I covered her with a sheet. Is that ok?"
"Fine. Do the same thing you did before but cover her whole body and hurry. Start at her head and go all the way through to her toes. You'd be amazed at where these are hidden."
"Man, you are NOT going to ask me to check, you know, THERE."
"Everywhere, baby. The clock is ticking and some bad ass dudes are going to be all over you. Wait, we found something, it's beeping at the back of her neck."
"I can feel it. Eliot, give me your knife and I'll cut it out. You keep searching."
They found three different devices on her, and cut them all cleanly out. Looking over her body, she had obviously been shot and knifed a few times.
"Step on each device, crushing it. Do it on the bathroom tile to be sure. Leave her clothes and bring her here. We'll get her some clothes and figure out who she is. Geez, Eliot you go out for a little walk and you bring home your own personal stray."
"Let's go guys. I think our time has run out." Nate threw his cashmere coat over the red haired woman and they carried her out the back, racing through the invisible streets of LA to the Leverage offices. They were sure they weren't being followed but everyone was nervous anyway.
Eliot carried her up the stairs following Nate through the door. Everyone was curious as to what Eliot's dangerous and very wanted stray looked like. Parker took one look at her and went and found some underwear and clothes for her, and brought them to Eliot's "office" which had a large fold-out bed and a shower. The unknown woman had been waking up from the tranquilizer for some time but came fully awake and started to attack Eliot while the coat fell off of her. Eliot knew she would kill him for sure if he wasn't fully present, so Eliot ignored her unbelievable body and found himself in full body contact with his naked goddess. She was obviously terrified and did not know where she was. Eliot kept trying to soothe her, reminding her about the alley, and how he had gotten her out of there before they could take her.
Her struggles stopped suddenly, "You are the idiot that distracted me so that they could tranq me. You are one of them!"
Parker came in with the clothes, "No! Eliot is not one of them, whoever them is. None of us are. He was trying to help you. Put some clothes on before you become the distraction that gets us all killed. Nate and Eliot got rid of all the homing devices in your clothes and you had three on your body they had to cut out. Hence these clothes of mine, and not the fine clothes I'm sure you were wearing before."
"You found all the GPS devices? Really?" She looked surprised and awed they had managed to do that. She was no longer fighting. She was still undressed though, a very bad distraction for Eliot.
"We think so. There were three."
"You need to do another sweep just to be sure. These guys are nothing if not anal about keeping me. I have never been able to escape before." Eliot took off his blue work shirt and put it on over her, even buttoning it up. It left his chest bare, and the fact of a very nice chest barely registered in her agitated mind.
"Let's go do it the best way possible. Alec can do it better directly than I could over the cell phone."
She nodded at him and took his hand letting him lead her to Alec. Alec turned to look at her and stopped what he was saying to Nate. "Shit Eliot. You were not kidding about her being some kind of red haired goddess."
"That is very kind I'm sure, but you need to run me again for devices. I know three seems excessive, but these people will do anything to keep me. Please, before they find me again, find you, run the superscan. Now." Alec shook his head and ran the most high tech detector in the world over her body again, but did not find another one. The unknown woman sagged into an available chair and started to cry.
Chapter 2: Chapter 2
Eliot and the Unknown Woman
When the unknown woman stopped crying, they discovered she did not know her name or really anything about herself. Alec took her fingerprints to see what they could learn from those. She began to leave to go sleep, but stopped before leaving the room.
"Alec, when you run the prints be very careful. They may have them tagged at the other end and use it as a way to find me. Or of course, they may have just erased me completely. Just be very careful. If you think you are, be twice as vigilant. I know I must sound paranoid, but I think I have earned the right. When I regain my memories, I'm sure you'll understand as well. Thank you all. I know this is only a brief respite and the longer I stay the more danger I put you in. Hopefully, with your help I can access my bank accounts, get some money and clothes, and disappear and not endanger you anymore. Please wake me when and if you get some information."
She followed Eliot to his office where he had set up the pull out bed.
"Eliot, would you mind if I showered before I sleep? I must smell retched. I know that I hate being unclean."
"Baby, you smell far from retched. Your hair smells wonderful, I haven't been able to get the scent from my nose ever since I took off your watchcap."
"Thank you Eliot. I seem to recall I use a certain bath soap and shampoo from France, but I'm sure I will never be able to use that again. It would be a way for them to find me. It isn't something off the shelves at Walgreens."
He laughed and showed her where everything was in the bath, smiled at her again and reluctantly left.
When he came back about half an hour later, he found her curled up on his bed, tears drying on her face. He ran his fingers through her softly drying curling hair, accidently waking her. She turned to face him, leaving his hand in her hair and resting her face on top of her hair on his hand. "Hey."
"I'm sorry. I didn't mean to wake you." He whispered.
"A man I respect a lot once told me to never say I was sorry. It made me seem weak."
"Maybe that is good. I am not afraid of being seen as weak. I know better. I am sorry I gave that guy a chance to tranq you, and I am sorry I had to undress you to hunt for that GPS device. I would never want to do that against your will or without your knowledge. It is just wrong."
She smiled softly at Eliot, putting two fingers to his lips. "You did what you did to protect me." She leaned up towards Eliot and kissed him gently on the lips. "And I thank you. Can you stay here with me for a while?"
Eliot smiled shyly at her and took off his boots and climbed in around her, circling her body with his until they both fell asleep.
An hour later, Nate came into Eliot's office and quietly woke him, explained it was time for their newest friend to wake up and get dressed and they would go through all the information they had found. Nate was furious, but Eliot was not sure why.
"Why are you so mad Nate? Has she done something terrible?"
"No Eliot, it's what has been done to her. Come. And it is one thing for her to sleep in your shirt, but she must be dressed. It is too distracting for everyone else."
"We'll be there in a few minutes Nate. Thanks."
Nate left, his body posture screaming anger, frustration, and a fear he might be impotent to fix this. Nothing about this situation could be made right, but they were sure as hell going to end it.
Eliot woke up this amazing woman who trusted him so much already. "Baby, you need to wake up. Get dressed in Parker's clothes she left you, wash your face, and brush your hair. They got the info about you, let's go find out your name and who you are."
Fear showed all over her face, but she took Parker's clothes and went into the bath. When she reemerged, her hair was brushed to a stunning glow and hung to her waist, her teeth were brushed, and she was dressed in Parker's svelte clothes, she looked amazing, even if she was still barefoot. She preferred it that way. Eliot stood as she came out, the breath knocked out of him at look of her. He didn't even know her name, and yet he knew he would die for her. What a strange feeling for an ultimate loner like him to have. She smiled at him. "We might be going to find out I'm a serial killer or something, so before we do that, will you kiss me?"
Eliot smiled at her, "Whoever you are, you are one of the good guys. Nate was madder than I've ever seen him, saying something about what has been done to you, not what you have done to others. And I would love to kiss you."
"Then get busy Cowboy, I think Nate is not waiting much longer." Eliot leaned down to her smaller frame, his lips gently touching hers, pressing his body against hers. Their lips opened slightly tasting the other's mouth, tongues touching gently and then separating from each other. Their breathing was slightly elevated as they left Eliot's office and walked together holding hands into the main room. They took chairs beside each other and waited expectantly for the unknown.
The Leverage team looked at their newest friend while Nate took at big breath and let it out. "Your name is Chanel Atherton Gifford."
"Yes! That is right. I'm married to a Lt. Col. Tommy Gifford and we have two children, Jethro and Aribella." She looked at the team's faces, and realized something wasn't right. "Why are your faces so sad? What happened?"
Alec brought up some pictures of Chanel, of her and Tommy on their wedding day, the baby and childhood pictures of her children, and then he paused and looked at Nate who gave a brief look at Eliot who knew this was going to be bad. Nate nodded and Alec showed the film clip of a car in terrible flames, the screaming of children being heard over the news reporter's voice. Because her family was famous, her father had been the Head of Joint Chiefs of Staff, her husband was a war hero, and she was a famous socialite there was endless coverage of the sad family drama. Only she hadn't died.
"They killed us. They killed my children. They were just children. They were alive and they burned them to death. Oh my God." Chanel got up from the room and ran to vomit in the bathroom. She returned after a few minutes, tears rolling down her face. "Alec, who? Who did this to my family? Who has kept me prisoner since? WHO?"
"I don't know for sure Chanel. It's definitely a black ops thing. I need someone on the inside to help me worm my way there."
"I can get you that. Before we do that, can you get to the bank of Nubai?"
"Of course, great banks for off shore accounts. Why?"
"I'll need money of course, lots and lots of money. When we find who, I am going to annihilate them, completely, like they never existed. And the person who gave the order, will have an extra special treat for them. I remember everything now. I'm an assassin, or rather was an assassin. I, along with a small Special Ops team led by Tommy infiltrated the Afghanistan Mountains and I was the one who took out Bin Laden and his whole fucking organization. Hell of a shot too, a mile away. I speak more than 8 languages. I'm an expert in weapons and interrogation techniques. Actually, I am one scary bitch. And this bitch is pissed. I know you are all thieves, not assassins. I appreciate your help and I won't ask for anything else."
"Like hell!" Nate yelled out, slamming his hand on the table. "When my son died, it was horrible to watch. But I didn't have to listen to the screams of my child being burned alive for some covert government conspiracy. I'm in. The others make their own choice and they can even play some background safe role. But those children's screams, I may never sleep again."
Eliot looked straight at Chanel. "I'm in. I'm not on any list anywhere, but I'm expert at all martial arts, weapons and ordinances, and I know the different armed forces styles and techniques completely."
Parker spoke up, "And he can identify bullets and weapons by their sound on video tape. That was really cool."
Chanel gave Parker a slight smile and turned to Eliot who was a little embarrassed. "That is pretty impressive and could be useful. Do you know what kinds of weapons black ops use?"
"The same ones our SWAT's use, sometimes the same as the military. But yeah, I'd be able to tell what and if they are firing American or other countries weapons. Even in a fire fight."
"No fire fight except for the two of us and a couple others I can round up. Alec, can you run full checks on some names I can give you? I need to know their payroll run downs. The military accounts for everything. These people's payroll should reflect where they are working, for whom, and if we can go back far enough who's payroll they were on when my family was killed. And by the way, how long ago was that?"
"They kept me imprisoned for two years?" Chanel went pale again but after a couple of deep breaths regained her composure. "Do you have any way to do a blood screen? We need to look for toxins, internal damage, rape. I can't remember any of it right now, but need to know. There are even poisons they use on prisoners that have a time clock on it. If you don't get the antidote or the next dose depending what it is, you die. I don't want to die before I kill these people. I need to contact some people, just in case. They will take care of it in case I self-destruct."
Nate spoke up again. "We have a doctor at a hospital that I think will help us. She is so far off the grid no one will find her. I'll call her and make arrangements."
"Alec, two things I need right now. One, untraceable, and I mean by you, access to my accounts in Nubai. No offense, but no need to give the keys to the kingdom to a bunch of thieves." The table laughed. "Two, I need an untraceable phone for a couple of phone calls. I might just get you that access you need. Can you do that for me?"
"For you baby, I can do it."
"And Alec, I mean untraceable. Screw me over and you can imagine what I can do to you."
"I know. And I'm in. Here's the phone."
"Sophie, I know you don't want to be involved in this and I can appreciate that. But could you go buy me some clothes? I like Vera Wang sheaths, matching jackets, low riding jeans, the lower the better. Blouses and tank tops that show off my arms and stomach. I wear emerald green and black. I need matching shoes, stockings not pantyhose, silk everything else, including nightgowns. Whatever else you think I will need. I have to be comfortable most of the time, and very rich and stunning the other times. They'll be looking for a red head. Sophie, do you think I should color my hair? Oh, and I'll need makeup and all that stuff. I prefer very high end. I think you can appreciate that. Whatever you wear is great. Can you cover that for me? When I get my accounts up and going, I'll pay you back. Alec, can you get me new identity papers, passport, credit cards that sort of thing? I'm particularly fond of Black American Express."
Everyone at the table laughed at that. Nate sighed, "A woman after my own heart."
"I think your heart is already covered, Nate. And mine is not up for grabs."
Alec interrupted the banter, "I've got you covered. You tell me the names you want, and I'll have it to you within a few days."
"Genevieve Ari. Be sure the passport is marked with travel around the world. I've been everywhere and speak all the languages. But I am a US Citizen."
"Great. Thank you all. What is the security for this place like? I'm not armed yet if they come after me here, they could hurt all of you. I can't allow that. I don't have credit cards yet to check into a hotel."
"Normal security here is not strong enough, but the computer security cannot be hacked. You can stay at my apartment. Between the two of us, you will be fine." Chanel smiled shyly at Eliot. They were getting to know each other very well, very fast. But how fast was too fast?
"If you will excuse me, I have a man in a cantina to call." She picked up the phone and walked into Eliot's room. She knew he would want to follow so she left the door open slightly, while she curled up on the bed.
"Even in Baja you are still answering your phone the same way." Chanel's unique throaty voice carried across the lines. Her response was met with silence.
Tears filled her voice as she responded to his silence. "It's me Jethro. I didn't die with Tommy and Jethro and Aribella. I have just now escaped and I'm with some people who sorta stumbled on me and helped me remember who I am and what they did."
"No! You are dead. I buried you. Ducky identified the remains. Whoever you are, please don't torture me like this." She could hear him crying. She never believed she would ever again hear Jethro Gibbs cry.
"Test me baby. Ask me questions only I would know. Your gut and your heart will tell you it is me."
Chapter 3: Chapter 3
Eliot and the Unknown Woman
After half an hour of very private, very detailed questions, Gibbs finally acknowledged Chanel was who she said she was. She did not remember any of her captivity and only just remembered the accident, having children, and being married. She had married Tommy instead of Gibbs for a thousand reasons and no reasons at all. She still loved him fiercely and that would never change. Tommy and Chanel had even named their son Jethro and their daughter Aribella, for her soul mate Ari who died a martyr's death.
"Chanel, where are you? I can help you. Please."
"Yes, you can help me and when the time comes, we will meet somewhere other than where you are. They are no doubt watching you."
"You are right. What can I do? There must be something I can do in the meantime."
"Are you there by yourself?"
"No, Mike died. Ziva is here with me. She couldn't go back to Moussad, and with you gone she had no place else to go."
"Ziva good. I will want to talk to her as well. We will need her. Jethro, I need you to get McGee to provide the access codes to an untraceable fax machine for me. We are going to track down the bastards who did this to my children. He needs to give the limitless access information and password for black ops and CIA. Send it from a Kinko's where he makes copies of his books. We'll take it from there. What about Abby?"
"She is working at a private lab now. After we knew you were dead and the children, probably due to some conspiracy, she couldn't work for the government anymore."
"I want you to send her to a specific hospital with a specific doctor. I'll have that texted to you. I'll be there in the next day or so. I have to make arrangements. I don't even know where it is. We have to test me for toxins, for rape, for self destruct bombs in case they have infected me with a time sensitive self destruct device. Jethro, YOU DO NOT COME. You must do all this from where you are doing the things you normally do. Ok?"
"I understand. Do you think they might have done those things, and you don't remember?"
"Baby, until two hours ago, I didn't remember my name, but I could still kick ass."
Jethro laughed out loud at that and passed the phone to Ziva.
(Italics is said all in Hebrew)
"What happened? Where are you? I have to come protect you."
"All in good time. Is Jethro still there?"
"No, he walked down the beach. He was crying. Are you ok?"
"I don't know. I need Abby to run some tests. I just learned my name two hours ago. I've stumbled on this team of thieves of all things. Quite a change from assassins. They have helped me learn my name and what has happened. They are helping me access my money and gave me a phone to call you. My knight in shining armor found more than three locator devices on my body and my clothes. He is the only one of the group that can kill. He knows weapons, martial arts, and that's pretty good for a pretty boy. " Chanel stroked Eliot's unshaven face lovingly while his eyes never left hers.
Elliott rolled over to Chanel his deep voice carrying over the phone, "Pretty boy, huh? You haven't even seen the whole package yet."
"And the pretty boy speaks Hebrew. The package just gets more impressive, Eliot."
"Eliot? Not Eliot Spencer?"
"Yeah, why is something wrong? Is he a bad guy? Did you sleep with him Ziva?"
"He is a fucking killing machine Chanel. And he prefers not to use guns. And as much as I would like to say I had, I have not. He would be a missed opportunity."
Eliot whispered to Chanel, "Ziva David?"
"That would be my best friend, for like more than a decade. Did you fuck her Eliot?"
"She eats men for breakfast, Chanel. I have not slept with her."
"How do you know I don't eat men for breakfast?" Chanel could hear Ziva laughing loudly in the background.
"You might Chanel, and I would gladly lay myself before you on your breakfast buffet."
She looked at him, lying across their currently shared bed with his shirt unbuttoned and exposing his impressive chest. Their eyes locked while Ziva waited on the other end. "I think you would make more of a feast than a breakfast, Eliot. Now stop distracting me." Chanel climbed on top of Eliot and straddled his waist, feeling his compelling hard-on through his worn jeans, while she finished her conversation. "Ziva, when I am ready for you be ready. It's time for Ninja chicks to come out to play. And when we find the person who ordered this, I want you to apply your special gift to him or her before I kill them."
"Understood. Gibbs is back. Give him the information and I think this call has gone on entirely too long Achot."
"Agreed. I will talk to you tomorrow. Shalom, Achot."
"Shalom. Here is Gibbs." Ziva handed the phone to Gibbs and hung around to hear the one sided conversation. She could tell Gibbs had been crying in passion and in relief probably. But now, he was ready to get down to business.
Chanel hung up from Gibbs, having passed along the information. Turns out of the hospital was in Pasedena so they would not even have to travel far. Abby would though, but she was thrilled to do it. She still maintained her straddling position across Eliot's waist, gently tracing patterns across how well developed chest. He grabbed both her arms and held them above his head. "Are you ready to quit playing now and go home?" Chanel leaned forward and kissed him with her mouth open absorbing him into her. He lifted his hips up crushing himself against her heated center.
She pulled back from his mouth, but leaving her body spread across his. "Yeah, baby. Take me home."
Chapter 4: Chapter 4
A/N: The story takes a hard left into M territory. I know you lurkers are out there reading, fanfic has set up this nifty tracking device. Please review or even send me a PM to let me know if you are enjoying the story or not.
Eliot and the Unknown Woman
Eliot led her to his armor plated black Denali. She gave a little laugh and he looked at her questioningly. "It's just so you, Cowboy. You seem like you should be on some horse farm somewhere, not in downtown LA hanging out with a bunch of thieves."
"You don't like my friends?" His voice had taken on a somewhat dangerously neutral tone. He had been opening the door and helping her into the car when the conversation started. Now she was pinned between the door frame and his hard body. They both knew she could get away, but she knew she didn't want to.
"Baby, you and your friends saved my life, I hope. And I hope I don't get them killed because of it. I'm not a thief, but I admire the hell out of what they do. I could do some of what a few of them do, and none of what others. Take Sophie or Nate, they can con the pants off Santa Claus. I on the other hand would just shoot him and take them. You I understand a little better. We have a similar, umm, skill set." He laughed, gave her a quick kiss, and closed the door behind her.
When he started the car, he saw her flinch slightly. "Are you afraid?"
"I will spend the rest of my life afraid, Eliot. Every time a car engine turns over, I'll fear being blown up. Every time I am walking on the street, I'll be afraid of being snatched. If I am ever blessed with another husband and family again, I will be forever afraid some obscene tragedy will befall them. Every time I meet someone new, I will fear they are part of the insane conspiracy that wraps itself around my life. Eliot, I am not insane, and just because I am paranoid, does not mean people, very bad people, aren't out to get me. Can we stop and get something to eat? I haven't eaten since I don't know when." Her exhaustion and terror was catching up with her and it was heard in her voice and he could see it in the tremor of her hands.
"I'll take you home and fix you something to eat. And Chanel, I don't think you are crazy. I saw that alley and I cut those tracking devices out of your body. You are in some serious shit, but we, along with you other friends, will get you out. So you don't have to be afraid anymore."
She smiled sadly at him, wrapping her small hand around his large one. Then she put on what he had come to think of as her snarky look. "You cook? I would rather have fast food drive through then PB&J or cereal."
"Trust me baby. Those three items have no place in my kitchen. You shower, or watch TV or whatever and I'll cook us something to eat." She looked at him pseudo-suspiciously, and then laughed.
An hour later the new couple, and without them even realizing it, they were a couple now, finished a delicious charred wok-beef dinner with rice and ice cream for dessert. They both enjoyed wine sparingly, but given Eliot's place was wrapped up tighter than Ft. Knox, they felt comfortable enough to enjoy a glass or two. Chanel had been shocked at the size and beauty of Eliot's apartment. It was a huge expanse of mahogany hard wood floors. The kitchen was a professional kitchen with top of the line equipment and supplies, including a sub-zero fridge and freezer. There was a smaller office with computer equipment and files. And there were books everywhere, throughout the office and the huge main room which multi-tasked as the dining room, living room, and TV watching room on the huge plasma screen TV. Eliot watched her continue to explore while he cleaned up the kitchen. She looked to him for permission to enter his bedroom which was separated by sliding Japanese panels from the rest of the column and wood apartment.
Chanel slowly slid open the paneled doors and was greeted by a king sized bed sitting in a mahogany four poster bed frame. The silk comforter was a deep brown, but had red, orange, and white accessory pillows, matching nightstands, and stunning, very expensive matching Tiffany lamps. The room was rather Spartan otherwise. There was a reading area with leather chairs and a pecan round table with another Tiffany light on it. By this time, she could feel Eliot's presence leaning against the door frame watching her. She traced her hands along the silk comforter, and judging from what she could see, silk sheets as well. This man ran very very deep.
She wandered into the gigantic bath and dressing area. There was a huge sunken tub and a giant shower with multiple shower heads, all out of dark beige raw marble. There were his and her sinks along with a vanity between, and a closet that rivaled some of hers in the past. She walked into the closet and found he had his blue work shirts dry cleaned which made her smile, he owned more than his share of leather. Leather jackets, long and short, leather shoes, some very expensive, belts and hats. She smiled as she turned out of the closet, that still had a lot of room, but not that she would presume. Maybe there was an opening in the complex. She could certainly afford it, and was very impressed that he could.
"Well? Not some dumpy bachelor pad, huh? Not a pair of dirty underwear in sight."
She gave him a glimmer of a smile having her earlier words thrown back at her. She stalked towards him like prey. Once she reached him, she stopped within an inch of his body. She could feel his breath rapidly speeding up. "Did you do all the decorating? An old girlfriend? A current one? A professional decorator?"
"I'm pretty much a loner baby. Girlfriends are very old indeed, no current ones, unless you count yourself. What you see is what you get. I did it all myself."
"All that, and you cook too. How did I get so lucky as to have you find me, save me?"
"It's all in the Leverage, baby. The kitchen is all cleaned, alarms and window panels are down. I'm going to shower. Do you just want to wear one of my shirts to sleep in?"
Chanel bit her lip before asking. It was very forward of her, but she was a different woman than she was two years ago…two years she didn't even remember. She leaned into him even closer to where their bodies touched the full length. "Eliot? Can I join you in the shower? Will you make love to me tonight?"
Eliot took a deep breath and cleared his throat. Chanel was afraid he was going to turn her down, but instead he wrapped his arms around her, "Now I am the one to ask how I got so lucky to have you find me, to save me?"
She smiled slowly at him, broke softly out of his arms, and walked towards the bed, turning it neatly down before they no doubt decimated it a little while later. He went into the kitchen and brought two large glasses of water back, one for each nightstand. Together they walked into the giant bath area while he turned on the water to warm it up and they both brushed their teeth.
Soon, they were both letting the multiple jets of the shower pummel their bodies in a relaxing rhythm. Chanel took some of Eliot's shampoo in her hand and began to massage his head and neck. She could feel him start to relax under the ministrations of her hands. Using the hand held shower head, she rinsed his hair and put on the conditioner she knew he used. A guy did not have long hair like that without conditioner. She soaped up the puff (Eliot used a puff!) and started to gently wash his neck and rope-like shoulders. She used her hands to follow the path of the puff, whispering the questions of where this knife wound came from or this gunshot. Her hand soapily traced each wound as she made her way down his compactly muscled body. She skipped the middle part of him and moved on towards his legs, washing his legs and feet thoroughly, then turned him to wash his back.
"9MM bullet wound."
"Military issue double sided knife, 6 inches."
When she was complete in her evaluation, she turned him around again to face her. His eyes were full of passion and need, and without even looking away from him, her soapy hands found his rock hard cock and encircled it, sliding her hands from the tip to the base and back again. She had been right about him, just like she always was about all of her men. He was long and very thick, and while that was not the only criteria to satisfaction, she knew he had the skill as well. While she held him like that in her hands, gently caressing him back and forth squeezing his balls and moving forward again, she noticed he wasn't breathing.
In a slight sing song voice, she softly spoke to him. "Eliot baby, you gotta breathe or we'll never get to the best part."
"Do I get to wash you like that now?" His voice was several shades deeper than usual. And she could tell from his voice, no one had ever bathed him like that before.
"If you would like. I am afraid I don't have quite so many injuries as you, but since I prefer long distance killing, I wouldn't. Here is the puff for you. Here is my body for you."
His bathing of her mirrored hers of his. He washed and conditioned her very long hair. He even combed it out in the shower for her. "If you do decide to go blonde until things are safer, will you please not cut it and go back to the red when the time is right? I guess I have no right to ask, but I am going to anyway."
"For you, I will not cut it, and if I change the color I will go back to what it is today when it is safe."
He smiled and nodded his head. He continued his bathing of her where he had found a knife slice close to her neck. He raised his eye brows in question, and she sighed. "Washington, DC."
He continued working down her arms, finding another longer wound on her hard. "Scimtar?"
"Very good. Washington, DC."
When he reached her torso he closely examined the multiple sets of stitches scars. "Must be a knife wound, but I cannot explain the two sets of plastic surgery sutures."
"Same initial wound, two different incidents, 5 units of blood. Knife wound and a tango. Beat that!"
"That is a story I have got to hear."
He slid to his knees, continuing to soap her body. He found several needle markings. Again the questioning eyebrows. She looked at him confused and shook her head. "Tomorrow at the hospital. You're friend should look at these." Chanel sighed and agreed.
He turned her around to wash her back, as she leaned gently against the raw marble tile. It wasn't cold, but just rough. He rubbed circles around her back, leaning himself against her so she could feel his huge arousal. As he soaped her from behind, he reached around to her pussy and started to soap her pussy lips, and found her clit with precision. He gently, almost without any pressure at all, started rubbing circles around that most sensitive part of her. She stretched her arms above her head and started to move in response to his touch. He took that as a good sign and started to generate more tension within her, tightening her private coil further and further. He brought her around to face him, her eyes closed until she felt him watching her. Their eyes stared into each other's while he moved his lips to hers, forcing her lips open while their tongues gently dueled. She moaned into his mouth while she could feel that which she craved pushing against her lower abdomen. She wrapped her strong arms against his neck and lifted herself against him, wrapping her legs around his waist. She was perfectly positioned for him to enter her, which with one last look at her, he slid a condom on and the slipped into her heated and wet center.
She gave a satisfied sigh as he entered and pushed himself in.
"Eliot, don't be afraid. I can take all of you and then some. You will not hurt me. I am not a china doll. Let me feel all of you. Make love to me, Eliot."
"You are sure? I am so big, and you are so tiny."
"Eliot that is just the way I like it. Do it for me baby."
He gave her a sly smile and pushed her body against the wall, shoving all the way in and pulling almost all the way and then back in again. He held her that way with one hand while the other found her clit and started aggressively working it. Eliot had never known of a woman who could take all of him as enthusiastically as Chanel was. He felt her come the first time as she cried out in pleasure, tremors showering down her heated and slick channel. He was nowhere near ready, and he was going to take her at her word.
After five climaxes, she was dripping wet, liquid pouring between them and he was as hard and ready as he had ever been before. She had cried out at every orgasm, even biting his shoulder once to keep from screaming. "Baby, I gotta come now. I can't hold back anymore. You are fucking amazing."
"Eliot, that's MY line. Come whenever you're ready, baby. I'm almost ready for another one. Oh my God."
Eliot pounded into her several more times slamming her against the unforgiving marble, hitting her cervix and her g-spot as he came in and out, causing her to scream out one more time as he spilled deep inside her. They stood there wrapped around each other, breathing impossibly hard as they leaned against each other. Finally, Chanel slid her legs down Eliot's body till they reached the ground. She picked up the soap puff and gently washed his body and then hers before shutting off the water. He led the way out of the shower, toweling her off and then himself. He kissed her long and deeply before leaving the bath area.
"Do you want or need anything before bed baby?"
"You sound like we are going to sleep." She gave him a saucy smile and another deep kiss.
"And I'm guessing we're not?"
"Rest, talk, and do it all again."
Eliot laughed his soft laugh. "Is it too soon for me to be in love with you?"
Chapter 5: Chapter 5
Eliot and the Unknown Woman
Chanel had predicted their night correctly, rest, talk, sex. And so it went all night long. During one of their quieter moments, Eliot asked if he could pry a little.
"Eliot, you can ask me anything. I'll answer what I can, some stuff is classified but I guess it is kind of moot given what the government has done to me and my family. Can I ask you questions too? We kind of skipped ahead to bed before we found out much about each other."
Eliot laughed and rolled over to face Chanel, pulling her naked body close to his and he got serious. "I really want to know you, what you can remember at least. And when you remember the rest, I'll be here for you for that too."
"Thank you Eliot. Ask your questions."
"What can you tell me about Gibbs? Your phone call showed how close you are. Were you lovers?"
"I have a very short list of lovers and Jethro Gibbs is on that list. He is an honorable, powerful man. When the time comes to kill the people who killed my family, he will be with me. He loves me, and he will die for me. We were engaged at one time but he decided not to marry me and I married Tommy instead. Jethro decided on his own that he was too old for me, and ended it with me so I could marry Tommy. Tommy was the last lover I had before you. Tommy led the Afghanistan team that protected me. We fell into hate almost immediately. He felt strongly that I had no place within a Special Forces team in the frigid mountains of Afghanistan. He thought as a woman I would not be able to pack my own stuff, defend myself, and would of course be too much of a distraction. He was wrong, and before long had fallen hopelessly in love with me. He and Gibbs competed fiercely for months for my attentions."
"And before Gibbs?"
"There was a man, perhaps even my soul mate, who chased me around the world for months before I would even go out with him. It was months after that I would allow him to bed me, and I gave him my virginity. We were together for three years. He then left me to go undercover in Moussad and Hammas. His name was Ari. He was Ziva's brother."
"You asked Alec to make your new papers in the name Genevieve Ari. You still love him."
"I loved him so much I killed him, Eliot."
"That must have been awful. Why?"
"It was possible but unlikely he would have killed me in the situation we were in. He definitely would have killed others in the room. He was becoming an evil like his father and he did not want that. And eventually his cover would have been blown and he would have died a terrible, useless death. Instead, I killed him in an act of love, quick painless and while we kissed, feeling our excited bodies pressed against each other. I have never loved another like that. Not Jethro, not Tommy."
"Can you love another like that? Could you love me like that?"
"Love you in a soul mate sort of way or love you in a 'love you so much I can kill you' sort of way?"
He grinned at her, "I was thinking soul mate kind of way, or even just spend the rest of your life together sort of way. Definitely not the kill sort of way, although I can see how that would be very romantic."
"My turn. How did you get to be such an awesome lover?"
"Maybe that should have been my question."
"Maybe, but I asked first."
"Practice. Lots of practice. I lost my virginity when I was 15, I was just starting to fill out with all these muscles and defined abs. This lady I was doing yard work for seduced me. I spent all summer working in her yard and taking breaks in her bed. She taught me a lot, how to give a woman pleasure, how to make a woman come, the right way to go down, how to hold back as long as possible, even if it had been a long time. And then I took the show on the road so to speak. I graduated high school and somehow stumbled into the whole 'retrieval specialist' thing. I found I was really good at several things."
"Let me guess… sex… you are exceptional at that, retrieval specialist, weapons, cooking, and giving yourself a world class education."
"Very good. But how did you figure the last one?"
"Your books. I have a world class education, I recognize one when I see it."
"Mine is self taught. Yours is not. Where did you get yours from?"
"Let's see…guns, weapons, martial arts, torture, and general spy skills, I trained at a specialty Swiss school and Moussad. The rest of the world class education came from Oxford, Harvard, and Berkley for forensics. I have been a professional student most of my life. And now I have one more assassin job, and I'm out. Eliot, until things get back to business as usual, I need you to carry a gun or two. And I need too as well. These guys will shoot first ask questions later. They will shoot from a distance so your fancy moves won't work. And they will shoot to kill and they won't miss. The survivors are the ones who shoot first. Shoot to kill and don't miss."
"Do you really think I would miss?"
"I'm a perfect shot, from even a mile away. I might be the best shot in the world." Chanel teased him.
"Now you're just bragging and showing off. That, little girl, will get you punished. Naughty, naughty."
"You wouldn't dare! Eliot!" The talking for the night was ended in a hail of shrieks and laughter.
By 9:00 they were at the Leverage Headquarters drinking tea and getting everyone up to speed. Parker noticed Chanel was still in the same outfit as the day before, and trying to hide the two guns. She laughed and brought back a new outfit where the guns could fit in the waistband and be covered by a jacket. Instead of a bra, she wore a black camisole under the jacket. Parker loaned her good boots that were easy running, and definitely easy fighting in. The guns that Eliot and Chanel carried had not gone unnoticed. Sophie seeing all of this completely revamped her personal shopper extravaganza for later that day. Vera Wang would not do, not for now. Later maybe. Alec mentioned something vague about firepower reinforcements, and referred Chanel to her phone to get more data. The rental cars were at the valet stand so everyone started to head towards their day. Alec slipped Chanel some of her important cards, drivers' license, credit card, and her precious Black American Express.
"Alec, you are awesome. These are all legit right? I'm not going in the slammer for anything fake right?"
"Absolutely positively 100% legit, baby."
She gave him a quick kiss on the cheek and started over to Eliot. She squeezed up behind him and smiled. He smiled back and gave her a kiss. "Ready to go?"
He leaned down and whispered into her ear. "We gotta stop at the drug store on the way home. We used the whole box of condoms last night. It was a brand new box of 24. I'm going to go broke at this rate."
Chanel giggled fiercely. "Don't worry. Let's just get everything squared away and we won't use them anymore. I don't like them anymore than you do."
"Are we using them for protection or birth control?" It suddenly seemed a very important question between them.
"As far as I am concern it is protection for you since we don't know what they did to me. Whether we are a two day fling or something more substantive, I am not considering it for birth control."
He gave her a very big smile and encircled her body with his, kissing her fully and deeply. "You make me very happy, Chanel."
"It is Genevieve now, cowboy." The couple could not touch each other enough and were constantly kissing until it was time to leave.
Nate asked Eliot, "Are you too distracted to drive and watch for tails?"
Eliot just looked at him with a sarcastic look. "I'm good Nate. Let's get going or Parker will beat us there."
By 10:00 the next morning, Nate, Eliot and Chanel were on their way to the small Pasadena rehab hospital. Abby would be met by Parker at the airport and brought to the hospital. Alec managed to rent cars for the little expedition so no cars familiar to anyone would be used in case the place was being watched. Half way on the trip, Chanel's phone rang surprising everyone.
"Baby, we are here."
"If Abby is here, it is likely your team will be exposed. We are not going to the hospital, but we are going to provide perimeter coverage at the other location until you get back. We have the whole team plus a few to help you. Alec and the other McGeek are going to go through the whole Ops team back to before you were married. They have already started and know what to look for. Maybe we will have more info by the time you get back."
"What is rule #1?"
"Never screw your partner. I guess I blew that one."
Chanel laughed slightly, before asking the next one, "What is rule #15?"
"Always work as a team."
"There are two teams, maybe three if I read between the lines. You are not in charge here. I specifically asked you not to come, at least not yet."
"Rule #18 Chanel. Be careful. See you soon." And with that he hung up on her.
"Damn! I hate it when he does that."
"Do we have a problem?"
"No, let's just say the Calvary has arrived, ahead of schedule. They are watching the perimeter of the HQ."
"We could use the extra firepower."
"Yeah, apparently that is what they thought too. He pulled Rule #18 on me right before he hung up. 'Better to ask forgiveness than to ask permission', which is sure as hell what he did here. "
"I think I might like this guy. When you told him he was not in control here, what did he say?" Nate asked curiously. He had no need to be in charge, especially of a military op, but it was his office, his people, and his organization.
"That is when he pulled Rule #18 and hung up. He knows this is your show Nate, but you have to respect his almost 30 years in the military and in military investigations. He operates fast and on his gut. Once he sees the information Alec and Timmy are pulling together, he will almost instantly know what is going on. Then your team can take over getting us in etc. and the rest of us will do the heavy lifting."
Eliot had been quiet the whole trip watching for tails. He was also a little distracted by the previous night and what she had told him. Damned if every man who slept with her didn't fall in love. Damned if he hadn't already too. She made him laugh like he hadn't in a very long time. The sex between the two of them was like it had never been before for him. She made him feel like a god and she was surely a goddess. He would never give her up unless that was what she wanted.
Chapter 6: Chapter 6
Eliot and the Unknown Woman
Nate, Eliot, and Chanel walked into the rehab hospital. It looked a lot better than it did last time, more staff, better quality equipment.
"Mr. Ford!" a young man's voice called out. The party of three turned towards the voice, although Eliot was in serious edge mode and was constantly watching the perimeter.
"Hey Perry, and I asked you to call me Nate. Perry, you remember Eliot?"
"Of course, hey Eliot. You are one bad ass dude without using guns. It was impressive." Chanel peeked nervously around Eliot and smiled at Perry.
"And WOW! I don't remember you. I would definitely remember a woman as beautiful as you."
Chanel smiled graciously, and reached her hand out to shake his. "Hi Perry. I'm Chanel."
"You're beautiful." Perry was just overcome and needed to be brought back into reality.
Chanel got down in a squatting position so she was eye to eye with Perry. "Thank you. You are very kind. Do you want to tell me what happened to you?"
Nate and Eliot were both very nervous taking the extra time here. This was supposed to be an in and out.
"I got shot up by some contractor's who were supposed to be fighting on our side, all because they thought I saw something I didn't."
"I'm sorry. Do they take care of you here?"
"Yeah, the doctor's really a good person, and thanks to Mr. Ford and his team, we can pay for everyone's rehab."
"I'm glad for that. Perry, I have to go see your doctor and a couple of my friends are going to be here soon. But there might be some bad people coming too. Can you help be our eyes and ears? They would be black ops types. Do not engage them. They will kill you. Leave that for Eliot and me ok?"
"What do they want with you Chanel?"
"Perry, they killed my husband and my children by burning them alive. They have held me captive for the last two years that I don't remember. We are hoping the doctor and my friend that is coming will be able to tell me what they did to me. Will you help us?"
"Chanel, I'd follow you into hell to help you. My friends and I have your back. We might not be whole anymore, but we can still wreck havoc when we need to. Go, I have a feeling from Nate and Eliot that there is a sense of urgency. And you are both packing, where Eliot never did before. Thanks for stopping by. Here is the doctor."
Nate spoke up. "If anyone who shows up who doesn't belong, call me. Still got the number? And Perry, you guys keep your heads down if bullets start to fly."
"We're good. Now go take care of your girl Eliot." Everyone nodded to each other in goodbye and the three from the Leverage team followed the doctor quickly to a different part of the wing. Dr. Wyndam started draw blood vials while she introduced herself.
"Ms. Abby Sciuto called on the phone on her way here. She thought getting the blood draw right off would help get her started quickly. Then we'll do the cat scan, and then the physical exam. I understand speed is of the essence."
"Thank you Dr. Wyndam. Some bad people have had Chanel in captivity for two years. It is possible she has been raped, eggs harvested, tortured, and that she may have a self-destruct device inside of her. She has been away from her captors for almost two days."
"Shit. And you don't remember anything? No nightmares, nothing?"
"No, I remember nothing since the murder of my children and husband, until I woke up in Eliot's office at the HQ. I don't think I was raped, at least not while I was awake, because I don't seem to fear sex at all."
Eliot cleared his throat and rubbed his forehead like that would erase his embarrassment. The doctor turned and looked at him with a smile meant to further embarrass him. Nate came up behind him, "From what I've seen so far Dr., I would have to agree with Chanel's assessment. The two can't stay away from each other."
"Nate, you make it seem so cheap, and me seem so easy. Neither of which is true. Leave Eliot alone."
"Ok, that is all the blood draws your scientist wanted. I need you to get undressed and put on this gown and remove all your jewelry and we'll do the cat scan."
"All my jewelry? Can I at least leave this on?" Chanel held up the bracelet that Ari had given her. She had never taken it off except to be cleaned and checked and only while immediately in front of her.
"Honey, that is a stunning and an extraordinarily expensive piece of jewelry, but you cannot keep it on."
Chanel started to irrationally cry over taking the bracelet off. It meant so much more to her than a bracelet or a gift. She kept shaking her head over and over. "No, we can't do the cat scan. I can't take it off."
A deep throaty voice came practically bouncing into the lab room. "Chanel, you will have a cat scan. I will hold Ari's bracelet. And you can have it back when you come back out. The cat scan is the only way we can get a picture inside your body, for self destruct devices, to look at your organs, to see if there has been any damage. "
Chanel threw herself into Abby's arms, still crying only this time in happiness. She just sobbed and sobbed into Abby's shoulder. "Ok, Chanel, we are under a time crunch remember. I have a lot of work to do. Gibbs, Ziva and Tony are waiting for us. Give me your bracelet and get one of those terrible gowns on and let's get it over with. I have to start with the blood. Toxins are at the top of my list. Now, that's better Chanel. I've never seen you lose it like that."
"Abby, you are the first one I've seen of the old team, they want me to take Ari's bracelet off, these bad ass black ops are going to come through the door any second and kill us all. I'm just a little panicky."
"Which is not like you as well. This may be the start of the self destruct sequence. I'm on it. Who is the guy to call for getting stuff? We aren't going to finish this in a short enough time. I need him to get me some stuff."
"Alec Hardison, our go-to-techno guy." Nate handed Abby his phone already ringing Alec. Their pleasantries were extremely brief, and then she started rattling off the equipment she would need. And she needed it by the time they got back there.
"Woman, I like your voice, you are probably hot. But I am not a miracle worker."
"I am hot, and if you are too you can see all 18 of my tattoos, worth your while I assure you. But you have to pull this rabbit out of your hat. Here's Nate."
"Nate is she hot? Or some nerdy forensics geek?"
"Definitely on the hot side, and even I'm curious as to where all those tattoos are. Get the equipment. We'll be there in an hour."
The cat scan was completed while equipment negotiation was going on. Dr. Wyndam brought the scans out to Abby. While they conferred, Eliot brought Chanel's precious bracelet back to her and put it back on. He could physically see Chanel begin to relax having the bracelet on. She started to explain to him about the bracelet and why it was so important.
"Ari gave this to me before he left on his Moussad mission. I always considered it to be a suicide mission. He chose every diamond by hand to represent a specific emotion or mating. Each diamond is 5 cts., no more no less, and each one stands for love, fidelity, chastity, fortune, passion, lust, soul mate, truth, honesty, togetherness, lifetime, virgin blood, and dying blood. The two hearts that dangle are more than 3 ct rubies each, representing the two of us. There used to be a GPS inside but the battery has died, fortunately my captors never knew and never reactivated it."
Chanel could see the tears in Eliot's eyes, and took his hands in hers. "What are the tears for?"
"Such a love the two of you had, such a romantic he had to have been to create that for you. I fear I will never be able to compete, and you would be happy with nothing less."
"Regardless how romantic he was as a man, in the end he still left me for a cause he did not believe in, to die for a God he did not believe in. You've known me for two days and a night. I have no wish to be parted from you for even a moment. You make me feel safe and loved. Do not give up on us before we even get started."
"I don't plan to give up on us. Just afraid you will. I'm in this for the long haul, no matter what they have done to you, and I'll work my damndest to be everything you need me to be." She smiled lovingly at him and pulled him down to the exam table she was on to kiss him. Their short kiss became a much longer and in depth kiss that the doctor finally interrupted.
"You two need a cold shower. Chanel, do you want Eliot in here or not?"
"Eliot, would it make you uncomfortable to stay?"
"You need me, I'm here. While you do the exam can you tell us what the cat scan showed?"
"Sure." The doctor started the basic overall exam, pelvic, lymph nodes, reflexes, etc. While she reviewed each of those areas, paying close attention to the circle of shots on her rear that Eliot had found the night before, she went through the cat scan. "The scan shows several things of concern. Chanel's ovaries are extremely swollen like she has been given long term fertility treatments. Abby's work will show how long it has gone on. It is clear Chanel has not given birth in the last two years, but it is possible through the many laparoscopic scars, her eggs or even fetuses may have been harvested. If you don't recall being raped, you probably have not been unless you were asleep or drugged. It is also possible they were using artificial insemination techniques, almost as if they were trying to make some sort of super soldier crossing your genes with others they felt would enhance your already superior skills."
"And the self destruct sequence or other toxins?"
"Abby has not found an auto destruct sequence so far, but it will take longer than we have here. She did find a tremendous amount of scorpion venom. Every day or two, they would allow what must have been several scorpions to sting you, poison you and then before you died they would deliver the antidote. It would have been extraordinarily painful, day in and day out. These people were really sadists. If they wanted to turn you into a baby factory, why would they poison you like that?"
"Probably to keep her weakened and unable to escape. Or, depending on the scorpion venom and level of toxicity, they could have used it to keep her memory from forming." Eliot was decidedly paler than he was when the doctor interrupted them earlier.
Two quick knocks on the door and Nate walked in. Chanel was already rushing into clothes while Eliot got their guns prepped. "Time to go. Let's try to get out without any bullets, or at least no stray ones."
"Nate, you don't know me very well, but I never have stray bullets. Protect Abby no matter what. Thank you doctor. Check your bank account for a donation to help continue the work you are doing." By the end of the three sentence conversation, Chanel was dressed and prepped for warfare.
Parker and Nate were casually walking Abby through the back door of the lab. She had all the blood samples, reports, software, and scans. Eliot and Chanel followed slightly further behind getting the threesome to their car and off while they got in their car. Before getting in the car, Eliot popped the trunk and pulled out some supplementary equipment.
"Baby, do you know how to use this?" He handed her a shoulder fired rocket launcher. He also handed her multiple auto fire rifles.
"Eliot, for a man who doesn't like guns, you are loading us up for an army."
"Can you handle it baby?"
"Yeah, I got us covered."
"Good. I figure a black ops team covering a single operative like you is made up of 8-16 people. Two nights ago, you and I took out 10, leaving them to either restore their larger team with untrained individuals unaware of what the op was about, or just hold tight at the 6 and recover the asset. They won't underestimate you, but they are likely to underestimate those around you. We count on that. If it was me, I'd put a bird in the air and try to find where the current hiding place is and then attack there. We cannot let that happen."
Nate came on Eliot's walkie-talkie part of his phone. "We have a bird in the air following us. We are leading them on a goose chase. What do I do? We can't keep this up and we don't want to lead them home either."
"Keep leading him around. Head towards the Hollywood Hills. We'll take him out. Watch for tails. We think they are stretched too thin to cover everything."
"And Nate, you have to let Gibbs know what is going on. If they are going to attack the HQ, the team can prepare for them."
Eliot and Chanel easily saw the helicopter, black of course, following the ragged path that Nate was taking them. "Nate, we are going to take out the copter. We are setting up for it now. Once he's down and you don't have a tail, get the hell home so Gibbs and his people can guard you."
"What makes you think they are so good?"
"Chanel says they are, plus I know the woman with them from some of my travels and she is Moussad. If it comes down to it Nate, do what they tell you. These guys are pros and will protect all of you."
Eliot had pulled over under the cover of trees, unseen by anyone passing or the helicopter in the sky. Chanel slipped out of the car and loaded the rocket launcher, looked at Eliot asking if he wanted the honors or could she. He smiled, motioned with his hands for her to take the shot, she smiled back and turned to concentrate. She aimed, glad to see the fallout zone would neither be residential or traffic. Eliot had chosen this on purpose. He was easy to underestimate which is a deadly mistake. She adjusted slightly on her shoulder and with absolute coldness and deadliness, fired the rocket sending the helicopter raining down in very small pieces. She doubted even a body would be found. She tossed the heated launcher into the trunk and Eliot took off watching for tails the whole time, not seeing one. They headed back to the Leverage HQ, unmolested for the moment.
Chapter 7: Chapter 7
Eliot and the Unknown Woman
Eliot and Chanel pulled into the garage of the Leverage building, and got out of the car together. He walked around to her side of the car and as he began to pass her, she grabbed the collar of his shirt and pulled him towards her. "We make a good team, don't you think Eliot?"
He pushed himself hard against her, his arousal apparent, and their chemistry was absolutely palpable. His breathing was hard and fast, just like he wanted to take her right then, hard and fast against the car loaded with weapons and explosives. She handled her guns like a pro and watching her fire off that rocket launcher practically made him come right there in the park. Now, they had to get inside and all he could think of was fucking her against the car, hard, fast, and screaming.
Chanel laughed at his expression. What he wanted was written all over his face, all over his body. "So you want to fuck me huh? Liked watching me play with your toys, baby?" She pressed her hand against his hard-on. She stroked him up and down, while she started kissing his earlobes and running her tongue down his neck and down into the little divot at the end of his neck. Eliot was groaning at her ministrations. He pressed against her again bringing his mouth to hers and with his hand behind her head to protect her he started kissing her aggressively and powerfully. She met him thrust for thrust on the kiss, push for push of their bodies.
"Chanel, we have to go inside." But he made no move to go inside, just kept raping her mouth and running his hands all over her body.
Their frantic assault on each other's body was definitely not slowing down. Chanel started to breathily talk, "This is why I wear dresses, not pants, thigh highs, not pantyhose. God, Eliot. Can I just go down on you? Otherwise, I have to get naked in the parking garage."
"You'd go down on me? Now?"
"Yeah, but you can't take forever, they are waiting for us inside. And you come in my mouth. And tonight, you do something sweet for me baby."
Chanel started unbuckling Eliot's belt while they were kissing hard, unbuttoning and unzipping his pants. She was thrilled to find him commando and reached inside his pants pulling out his hugely engorged staff. She slipped down Eliot's hard body until her knees hit the concrete. She already adored him and she absolutely adored his dick. She was about to show him just how much.
She circled her tongue around his tip licking off the pre-cum that was leaking. She slid her mouth down him, slowly to be sure to swallow all of him. She slowly started a rhythm of sliding up and down, swirling at the tip causing Eliot to moan enthusiastically. Her rhythm sped up as he increased his own speed, using her beloved hair to cause the speed to meet his need. She met him thrust for thrust, sucking at the perfect point to give him exactly what he needed. His rhythm was starting to collapse so she picked up more of the movement and speed, sucking all the way up as she went. He finally screamed out her name as he came completely in her mouth. She let him rest there a moment or two, then licked him clean put him back together. Once his belt was refastened, Chanel slid her way back up his body to his mouth, kissing him thoroughly, letting him taste himself before breaking free and started walking away, leading him by his hand.
A deep woman's voice spoke up as they moved from the car, "Another impressive performance Chanel." Both Eliot and Chanel drew their guns, although as soon as Chanel saw who belonged to the voice she dropped her gun. "Eliot is now the beneficiary of my brother's teachings, and the very limited in number, but extensive across those small numbers of practice. She is an excellent lover, in all ways is she not Eliot?"
"Damn, Ziva. You could have gotten killed."
Ziva looked at both of them very skeptically. "You two were so distracted, Bam Bam the Clown could have snuck up on you with bells on. You are both better than that. Chanel, Gibbs is going to have your ass for letting yourself getting so distracted you could have been killed. We are all here to protect you from dying for real this time. None of us could survive it again. And don't think he is going to be pissed about this because he is jealous. He finally let go of you. He'll be pissed because you were stupid, you both were. We are here because we all love you, but for a change none of them is in love with you. Except for Eliot here, who I'm pretty sure is in love with you. Let's go before Gibbs blows another gasket. Tony's team from Spain is here too. They'll cover your friends that are uninvolved and the perimeter while the rest of us are inside."
The three walked into the building. "Achot, you don't actually have to tell Gibbs do you?"
"Are you kidding? I'm not missing this opportunity. It's about time Tony harassed you for a change. You are always so fucking perfect, and I caught you being very naughty. Pay back's a bitch."
On that last statement, Ziva pushed through the Leverage HQ doors bringing the missing pair with her. "Look who I found!" Ziva's voice was falsely excited. Those who knew her knew something was up, and despite what she had said, she would try to allow her best friend some dignity.
Chanel jumped in with the possible save. "I am so sorry. We were dealing with some of the equipment we fired off. Ziva found us in the garage." She walked over to an obviously distressed Gibbs. She put her healing hands on his chest and her face under his chin. His arms encircled her body and pulled her to him. "I'm sorry I worried you Baby. I won't let it happen again. I got distracted, forgetting others were waiting on us."
"You are here now, and you are alive." Gibbs held Chanel like he would never let her go. She started to cry again.
"If I'm going to cry you better get Tony in here so I can get it all over with at once."
"Well baby, I flew all the way from those beauties in Spain to see your beautiful face alive one more time." Gibbs reluctantly released Chanel, only to watch her run screaming into a very tan and gorgeous Tony's arms as his threw her in the air swirling around. And she cried more, holding one of her very best friends in the world in her arms.
Abby of all people got things on track. "Chanel, not that I want to cut this short and all, but we need to get Chanel taken care of or she is going to get very sick very soon. And we need to get a few of you working on where the black ops is, are, is, whatever. Gibbs, Ziva, Eliot, Alec those would be good for you to get working on. The rest of us are going to get Chanel fixed up so she can go kill these bastards with you. But if we don't get started, she'll be dead. Questions?"
Everyone stared at Abby in shock at her taking charge however shortly, and then started moving quickly to where she had sent them.
"Abby, what do you mean I'm about to die soon? I thought things were ok."
"Chanel, we found the self destruct, and I can get rid of it, but I need to do it now. It has everything to do with that damn scorpion venom. It wasn't just to erase your memory, because it will do that. But without the serum I came up with, you'll start feeling the scorpion venom again and the pain will scream through your body, but this time will probably kill you by blowing your heart to pieces."
Eliot had been standing against the wall listening. "What can I do? I will not let her die." His voice was dark and quiet sounding like he would go to hell and back to save her life.
Abby looked at him tiredly and with irritation, "Eliot, I know you love her. A lot, as do several others in this room, me included. You cannot do anything. She needs you finding the next strike zone. We will take care of her. If she needs you, any of you, I'll let you know. Now get out."
Abby took Chanel, accompanied by Parker and Sophie to the room she had taken over as her lab. "How do you feel Chanel?"
"Actually I'm starting to feel bad, like I have a fever, but it is probably just my mind playing tricks since you said I'd get sick."
Abby stuck a thermometer in Chanel's still moving mouth so she would finally shut up. The temp beeped at 103. "Abby, that seems really high really fast since half an hour ago I giving a blow job in the garage." Parker and Sophie laughed.
"THAT's what was taking you guys so long. 'Checking the weapons 'my ass."
"Chanel is world class at blow jobs. Pretty much at anything actually. Ziva wanted so desperately to spill the beans but didn't out of respect for Gibbs."
Chanel layed down, really feeling bad. "But Ziva said Gibbs was over me," her voice growing weaker.
"No one ever gets over you Chanel. I'm going to give you the anti-dote. It is a different serum than you were getting to keep things minimized. We are going to blast this sucker to hell. I just hope it doesn't take you with it. It's going to hurt like hell, and I hope you pass out from the pain and when you wake up it's all better. We have ice in a bathtub in case your fever spikes, but unless I think it is critical we won't go to the hospital. Gibbs agrees, it is too hard to protect you there."
Chanel was fading fast, and they could barely hear her voice. "I trust you Abby. I trust Gibbs. Better do it now." Abby signed the cross over her and injected the serum into her major vein in her arm. The anti-dote had to be carried fast so the major veins and arteries were the best, and it had to hit the little powerful biohazard that had been created in her body hard enough to break it apart and then kill off all the pieces. Too much would kill her, not enough would kill her as well.
As they watched her fever climb rapidly, they carried her naked into the ice tub in Sophie's room. Her fever stopped climbing, but took an hour before it started to drop. Once it was approaching a normal range, they took her out of the tub and tucked her into Sophie's bed, one of them at her side the whole time. An hour later, she regained consciousness fully, complained of thirst, but seemed perfectly fine. Her words and context were good. All her body parts moved as they were supposed to. Sophie loaned her a stunning crème silk nightgown and robe to wear. Chanel brushed her teeth and hair and wandered out to where everyone was planning. Abby was asleep on the couch.
When Chanel walked through the door, everyone's back was to her so they didn't see her enter. They were discussing whether or not she should participate given the information they had learned.
Chanel's normally deep voice, was even more deep when she said, "Why should I stay home and miss all the fun?" Everyone turned to see her, immediately thrilled to see her up and around, and then very pleased at what she was wearing. She ignored the attention and focused directly on Gibbs. "Jethro, what did you learn you think I am not ready to know?"
Eliot walked over to her side and took her hand, kissing the side of her head. But he knew this was between Gibbs and her. He just wanted to be near her.
"Do not fuck with me, any of you. I have just been through hell and back again, and I am strong enough to kick any of your asses. I try to be a good Catholic, but God, if he exists, or the Devil, who must surely exist, keeps sending me into great pain and great darkness. It ends now. Tell me what you know. We will destroy it, and then my life as it has been will be over."
Gibbs nodded in his silent yet powerful way for Alec to bring up the damning information. Chanel sat in the chair Eliot held out for her and he sat next to her. Ziva sat on the other side of her. She heard Ziva saying a soft prayer for peace and life in Hebrew. Whatever she was supposed to see on this giant screen must be very bad indeed.
The name at the top of the military pay LEL was Lt. Col. Thomas Gifford. She felt a pit in her stomach immediately. She scanned down to the pertinent information. Pay *** assigned to Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Pay *** assigned to Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Pay ***Death Benefits. All that was as it should be. But there were more lines following death benefits.
Pay ***Ops Unknown
Pay ***Ops Unknown
And so it went to the current day.
"Just to humor me, explain to me what this means. What are Ops Unknown?"
Gibbs walked over to her chair and turned her to face him. "You know how to read an LEL. Tommy has been getting paid even after getting paid for dying, for what black ops is coded at Ops Unknown in the pay system. There are three other Special Forces that were on his, on your, team that have the same designation, except their death wasn't faked."
"My children. He burned our children alive in order to kidnap me forever to run torturous experiments on me, trying to breed super soldiers. My children, Jethro, Aribella."
Chanel was silent and everyone waited on her. When she finally did start to speak, her voice was barely a whisper.
"Ducky needs to immediately disinter the family's bodies. Get the bodies buried as me and Tommy to the rightful places. Make sure, quadruple sure, those children buried there are mine. Abby will be needed for that. I won't trust anyone else. They need to find out how the DNA got past the first time."
"Do we know where they are right now? There is probably only 4-5 left. We know they are still looking for me."
Alec put a picture and map coordinates up on the screen. "This is hacked into from the camera they have inside. We got the alarm covered. We have to figure out how to take the cameras and power out at the same time." Her bracelet heated up and she looked down at it. Her arm was very warm underneath it.
"I think I have that covered." She covered the now glowing bracelet and asked the next question.
"Can you get closer on those people, faces Alec? I don't need to see Special Forces tats." Alec scanned closer in on the people. Chanel gasped as she saw Tommy's face.
"Ziva, Eliot, Gibbs, Tony, when we go in, you can take them all, but leave Tommy alive. Ziva torture him as far as you can without killing him. I have a plan for that. I want to know if our children are alive and where they are. After that, if there is anything left in him, find out what they did to me and why. And I want to know if I was raped while I was drugged, by him or anyone. Can you do that?"
Ziva quietly but very angrily responded, "I will get what you want."
"Thank you, Achot. I will kill him myself."
"I am not a monster, but I am going to do the most monstrous thing I can think of. Gibbs, Tommy would have reported to someone about this. How do we find out, or do you already know?"
"Your father was already dead, or he might know. But of course he never would have allowed this to happen. It is probably the person he reported to on the Joint Chiefs."
"I need to know for sure, or I will just kill them all. What would you rather have?"
"When we are done here I will find out."
"Thank you. What is your plan for moving out? What time will we leave?"
"2300. All non engagement personnel will be dispatched to Alec's place where he can help on the tech side, and his defenses and alarm systems are good."
"Eliot's are excellent. Why not there?"
"He doesn't have the computer set up."
"We have it covered. If you are going with us, you need to get some rest."
"Of course. Ziva, don't forget. I know you want to kill him, but that is mine to do. If I am killed and the children are still alive, you and Gibbs must get them and take them with you. Raise them for me. You know where the money is and of course Ari left you your own."
"Shalom Achot. Shalom."
"Does anyone in this room know an honest, good priest who might come here and take my confession, just in case I don't survive? My life on earth has been a big wallop of hell, if I don't have to live it forever that way, I'd like to ask for forgiveness."
Nate smiled sadly at her, "I have just the man. He'll come for you."
"Thank you. Just wake me when he is here. Someone might want to give him a head's up about whatever one might deem important so he has some context."
Chanel walked like she carried the burdens of the world, which one could argue she did for her world at least, and wearing the stunning crème dressing gown with her red hair pouring down her back, she slipped under the covers in Eliot's room.
Chapter 8: Chapter 8
Eliot and the Unknown Woman
An hour after she had climbed into Eliot's pull out bed, she heard the door open and heard him enter the room and set the glass on the bedside table. He sat on the side of the bed, stroking her hair thinking she was asleep. He was surprised when she rolled over to face him. She whispered to him in the intimacy of the dark, "Eliot, will you make love to me? I almost died earlier, and I may still die yet tonight. I want to remember what may be my last moments alive to be your touch, your breath, your stroke on my body."
His eyes teared up and leaned forward to kiss her forehead, tear drops fell on her face which he then moved to kiss away. "I just found you. I will not lose you. Let me shower real quick and I'll be right back."
She smiled at his thoughtfulness and nodded while she curled further into the bed. She drank some water and thought about this evening. Given what she had already gone through today, was she ready for more abuse? Was it fair for her to allow the others, her friends, who would gladly die for her just because she is to weakened to fight as hard as she can?
Eliot walked naked back into the room and climbed into bed with Chanel. "You look scared baby. Why?"
Chanel silently stroked Eliot's muscled chest. "Eliot, I'm not as strong as usual. It could be ¼ second off, enough to get me killed or someone else. The blowing up of this self destruct thing almost killed me this afternoon. I'm scared I'm going to get someone killed."
"We all know this is a risk. We know that we will have to pick up your slack. We've already talked about it. It's handled. You may be the best long shot we have, but you are not the best fighter. Just like you know you are not the best interrogator or the best torturer. Let those of us who are the best at what we do, do it. You back us up, not the other way around."
"You guys talked about this?"
"Yeah, and there is no way anyone is going to let you die."
"Eliot? Please don't die."
He laughed silently and pulled her closer to him. He started to stroke her hair. He loved her hair, the thickness of it, the way it wrapped itself around his hands almost by memory, the dark red auburn color, the way it hung to her waist. When they were done with this situation, he was going to buy her a case of that perfumed hair shampoo, body wash, and lotion that she used in the past. He still remembered that scent when he pulled the watch cap off that first night. He kissed her softly. He touched her body gently and carefully. He made love to her twice, carefully and gently, she came repeatedly, over and over until her body finally gave in to elated exhaustion.
"Eliot?" She was barely able to recover her breath.
"Hm?" He was completely relaxed and had never been happier in his whole life.
"That was the most beautiful experience I have ever had. I never felt so loved. Thank you."
"Hmm." And they both fell asleep wrapped in each other's arms.
Two hours of very restful sleep later there were two light knocks on the office door. Eliot was immediately awake and after making sure Chanel was covered called for the person to enter.
"Hey, Eliot." Nate said in a whisper, unsure if Chanel was still asleep. "Father Paul is outside to take her confession. And I thought maybe she should eat while she talked to Father Paul since it is coming up on time for you guys to leave."
"Thanks Nate. I'll get her up and dressed. Can you give us about 10 minutes and bring some food back with you? Thanks, man." Nate left and closed the door tightly behind him. "Chanel? It's time to get up baby. You need to get dressed. Sophie and Parker brought stuff for you to wear. Father Paul is going take your confession while you eat some dinner. I'll eat with the others and we'll be ready to go when you are."
"Eliot? Can I tell you something before we move forward with the rest of the night?"
"You can tell me anything." He buried his hand in her hair.
"I love you." She leaned forward and kissed him lightly on the lips. She then looked him in the eye, without expecting a response, smiled at him and climbed out of bed. Eliot felt his heart ache as he watched her naked beautiful body walk away from him towards the bath.
Ten minutes later, the couple had quickly showered and dressed all in black. Parker had even included a black thief's fanny pack for Chanel, which Eliot saw her packing a rosary, matches and lighter, lighter fluid, and lots of clips for the guns he had given her. She also packed a navy folding knife, as well as various knives and ninja stars around her waist. Chanel had even put on a little makeup and pulled her hair back in a long braid. There were two quick knocks on the door, and before he called for them to enter he looked at Chanel, "You look stunning as an angel of Death, and one other thing. I love you too." Then he called for them to come in.
Eliot shook Father Paul's hand graciously while Nate sat the food tray on the disheveled bed. Eliot kissed Chanel one more time and left with Nate.
"Father Paul, thank you for coming. My name is Chanel Atherton Gifford. I imagine my confession will be fairly short, since I have been held captive for the last two years and I don't remember anything about those two years. Do you mind if I eat while we talk?"
"Of course not. Unusual but not unheard of. Your friend Ziva gave me a Reader's Digest version of your life. She said you had given her permission."
"I lead a complicated, violent life."
"Yes, but it also sounds like you are much loved and cared for. And the violence in your life is fighting for good."
"Perhaps. Father, are you ready?" He nodded his head. He had pulled the desk chair around the desk so he sat close to her, while she sat with her food tray on the bed. She laughed slightly at the amusing situation she found herself in.
"What is it you find amusing Chanel?"
"I'm sorry Father. It is just not every day, or even over the course of a lifetime that one gives confession to a priest while eating dinner before going on a very dangerous mission where either you or others may die while sitting on a messed up bed with the smell of sex in air. I just find that amusing. I'm sorry. I mean no disrespect."
Father Paul laughed loudly at that. "I just wish we had more time to visit. I think I might like you very much."
She smiled at him, bowed her head and began her confession. It wasn't very long, there was only two months to account for, but she did want to discuss the act of vengeance for horrid crimes.
"My husband pretended to die, and actually killed our children and kidnapped me and substituted someone else's body for me. He burned my young children alive in a car fire. The screams on the video tape Father. The TV cameras were there. I can hear their screams in my head. He held me hostage and tortured me for two years using scorpion venom and using me as some sort of breeding mare for a super soldier. I don't know if that included rape or not since I don't remember anything. I plan to kill that man, that man that was my husband. And while I have never tortured someone before even though I can, I plan to have him suffer to the point of excruciating pain and then some. And then I will kill him in a slow and painful way. Now I know your next question is 'do I feel regret in killing him' and the answer is no. And you probably respond with 'Vengeance is mine sayeth the Lord.' I have a PhD in religious studies."
"So what are you looking for from me Chanel?"
"I don't know Father. I used to believe God was ultimately good and answered prayers. Given my life, I have doubts. Can there be enough vengeance in the world for what Tommy did? Even what I plan to do does not seem enough. Will he go to hell? Is there a hell to go to? If there is, I suppose I will end up there as well. That hardly seems fair, Father."
"No it does not. You do seem to truly regret what you are going to do, and you obviously struggle with the concepts of good and evil, or heaven and hell. I believe when you find the truth tonight, you will know what the right response is. Perhaps if he substituted you in the fire, he also did your children. That would surely cause you to adjust your vengeance. I believe you to be a good person struggling in your heart what the right thing is in an almost impossibly cruel situation. Even if you don't ask for it, I still absolve you. Go tonight with God and may you find peace, Chanel."
A surprised Chanel uttered a whispered "Thank you." Father Paul leaned over, kissed her forehead and turned to leave. At the door he stopped with a slight smirk on his face turning back to face Chanel, "And make an honest man of Eliot Ms. Atherton."
She laughed loudly as Father Paul left the room, leaving the door open behind him. 'An honest man of Eliot'… very clever this priest was. She finished her water, brushed her teeth, and walked out to the larger room where everyone waited.
She still had a smile on her face as she faced the larger group, "Are we ready?"
Chapter 9: Chapter 9
A/N: Extreme violence, at least what I feel is extreme violence and torture ahead. Be warned.
Eliot and the Unknown Woman
Thirty minutes later the large Black Denali parked down the street from the targeted warehouse building. Alec was already running a loop on the ops internal cameras to hide the team's approach. The team was getting near the power cut off for all alarms, cameras and electricity inside. Eliot was already on the roof to drop the gas into the ventilation tubes. While she was asleep, they had decided to go with knock out gas for the whole building since they were not sure how many they would be dealing with. It would also compensate for Chanel's weakened state. All of them would have preferred to go with a straight out fight, but no one was willing to risk Chanel and no one would ask her to stay behind, even Gibbs. She gave Eliot the head's up through the ear piece and the gas dropped through. It would take five minutes for the gas to cover the whole building. Three minutes later Chanel's bracelet heated up, it literally glowed in the darkness surprising everyone except her. Everyone with her knew the story of Ari's bracelet, but no one knew their love was so powerful as to create such a supernatural event. Chanel could feel the power flowing from the bracelet through her hand, so she reached onto the wires that Alec directed her to which immediately shut the power down. No sparks, no power surges, nothing but total darkness and Chanel's glowing bracelet.
The team carefully entered the building. Tony led the way, with Ziva and Gibbs, Eliot and Chanel bringing up the rear. They had on night vision goggles and gas masks. Chanel almost fainted as she saw the rooms she had been held captive in for two years, even in the eerie green glow of the night vision goggles. Eliot stayed close to a more seriously weakened Chanel then they had thought, while the others spread through the building. They planned to either slit throats of or break necks of the unconscious Ops guys, killer's choice. No one came out alive. Ziva stumbled on Tommy passed out while reading a book. Gibbs went to help her get him positioned in a metal chair duck taped down under a light. Ziva stayed with Tommy while everyone else cleared the building. Six men died, four of which were Ops guys, but the other two were some kind of doctors.
Chanel went down to the dark room where Ziva was with Tommy. Chanel asked Gibbs and Tony to search for papers in the lab, Tommy's room and her room. She asked them specifically to retrieve any personal items of hers in her room. She asked Eliot to go to the lab and recover the scorpions and some gloves, she had plans for them.
Chanel stalked around the chair where Tommy was tied up while Ziva could hardly begin to get started. Tommy started waking up and just like she had shut the power off, she touched the round metal case covering a bare bulb and the light sprang to life creating a circle of light around Tommy. Chanel walked to the back of the room where she could not be seen. Everyone else had joined around the darkness room. Eliot stood near Chanel for support but not touching her. She needed to do this on her own.
Ziva started easy on Tommy, Special Forces guys had been trained to resist torture, even Chanel had that training. But no one could torture and break someone like Moussad. And Ziva was exceedingly pissed at Tommy. Absolute hatred was not too strong of a description. Tommy was indeed in for a terrible time before his ultimate death.
Chanel whispered into her headset to Alec. "Please turn off your cameras watching us. You are thieves, and in this world, you are innocent. I don't want you to see what Ziva or myself will do."
Nate's voice came through her com. "Alec is turning off the camera, but one of us will keep the com on in case you run into trouble. Godspeed."
"Thank you. But everyone but our team is dead, we can take any surprise visitors. No com. It will be terrible, and may God have mercy on our souls."
"There is no mercy for the truly evil, which these men are. None of you are evil, and what you are about to do you do to right terrible injustices Chanel."
"Nate, we can challenge your seminarian school to my religious studies PhD another time. Now, com out.
Within half an hour, Ziva had Tommy screaming out in pain, and there was no blood and no broken bones yet. Either Tommy had gotten soft in his latest assignment, or Ziva was extremely good.
"Did you kill the children Tommy?" Ziva's voice was like velvet across the skin, a very dangerous velvet.
"You Moussad BITCH! I will never tell you. Your supposed niece and nephew… you are Jewish you bitch, you would never be that close to my children."
Ziva never lost her cool, stayed moving slowly and dangerously, and Tommy just screamed more and louder. Chanel never even flinched.
Finally, on a prearranged signal, Ziva slightly motioned Chanel up to the front. Chanel unbraided her hair quickly, sprayed some of the light perfume Eliot remembered from the watch cap, put on some lipstick, and before the men's darkness adjusted eyes, Chanel transformed from would be killer to stunning beauty. She called to them all like a siren, but she halted them with her hand in the air. "I love you all. I may never be the same after this, so know that now." Chanel walked to Tony and kissed him gently on the lips. "There is another for you out there. There is never just one or two for any of us. I love you, but it is time for you to find another." Then she walked to Gibbs. "I have always loved you Jethro, from the first time our eyes met. Jethro is your son, not Tommy's. I believe he is alive, but I need you to help me find him. Do not respond to anything unless I invite you in. You must not kill him before we find the children. Nothing else matters." Jethro had stiffened at the truly surprising news, then wrapped his arms around her kissing her forehead and letting her go. She then walked over to Eliot, who was afraid she would leave him out because he was such a small part of her larger life. "Eliot, I love you. Father Paul told me to make you an 'honest man.' I don't think he only meant to steer you away from being a 'retrieval specialist' but also be an honest man with me. Hopefully what you will see will not cause you to leave me." She kissed him passionately, broke away suddenly and turned her back on the three men and walked into the light. She lightly kissed her bracelet whispering, "أنا أحبّ أنت ي روح رفيقة. إن أنا ينبغي أنفقت أبديّ في جحيم ل ماذا أنا أكون حوالي أن يتمّ, سيتمّ أنا هو مع أنت (I love you my soul mate. If I must spend eternity in hell for what I am about to do, I will do it with you.)"
As she walked into the small circle of light, her deep voice broke the silence, "Hello Tommy. You have not been very cooperative with my sister. I want to know Tommy. Did you kill our children on that fateful day you took me away? Are you that kind of monster that would burn his children alive?" She reached out and lovingly touched his face. Her voice was full of seduction and compulsion. The compulsion did not come from her she knew, but Ari was with her once again. "Where are our children, Tommy? Tell me, baby." Talking like this to him made her nauseous but Ziva assured her it would work. And within a few minutes between Ziva's pain and Chanel's pleasure, Tommy coughed up the information.
"Those were not our children in the car that day. You were drugged and the Ops team switched all the people and bodies, leaving the right DNA evidence between."
"Where are our children Tommy?"
"They are in Kentucky. They are being cared for by the couple that owns the horse farm. Lexington on Iron Parks Way. They have not been adopted. Their names have not been changed. I have even been to see them a few times. I bring them pictures of you and they know who you are. Let me go baby and we'll go get them and be a family again."
"We'll see Tommy baby. Tell me about what you did to me here. We had to destroy a self-destruct bio bomb that you put in my body so I would die if I escaped. What else did you do?"
Ziva's pain took over while she asked the questions. Chanel had wandered back into the darkness, not heeding Tommy's call for her to return. She saw Eliot already on the phone with Alec checking the information and searching for the kids.
"He's working on it baby. He'll call me back on silent when he gets it."
"Tommy will be dead by then." Her voice was ice cold and dead sounding. Even a man who had been around the world in many different ways got chills listening to that voice.
She walked away from him and back towards the light. She was up… gentleness and love. It was time for pain to stand down again. She thought she would throw up.
"Who is it that raped me Tommy? Tell me baby. I'm sure I liked it, and you were all my friends anyway. I always did have that little fantasy about being shared, remember Tommy? Tell me." Chanel suspected that Tommy was rapidly losing what was left of his mind. She and Ziva would just take those last final shards.
"Yes! That is it exactly. You just don't remember, but we were just trying to make your dreams come true. The Ops guys, they had always wanted you from before Afghanistan. We were trying to make the most awesome of super soldiers, so we tried to use the best of the best to get you pregnant. We even used fertility treatments. We had a schedule because there was some fighting at first, but each man had their turn. There were 10 that got to make love to you. And we did the artificial insemination too, but nothing worked. I don't really understand it. And of course, we had to keep you from remembering, so you didn't remember the great sex you had either."
Eliot and Tony were holding a very strong, very pissed off Gibbs back. Eliot was surprised at the older man's strength, but did not doubt the man's love for Chanel. Chanel held a hand up towards the darkened part of the room, and Gibbs immediately settled into an aggressive pacing mode. Eliot saw the navy knife reflecting in her hands and knew things were going to get worse if that was even possible.
"Tell me Tommy. How many were on the team?"
"16 total, and then when you escaped you killed 10. That just left 4 Ops guys and 2 doctors."
"And who do you work for baby?"
"Oh, I can't tell you that. That would be wrong."
"It would be wrong?" Chanel smiled at him and then looked at Ziva. "Do you know what is wrong Tommy? Wrong is killing children and two unknown adults to pull off a kidnapping scheme to grow super soldiers. Wrong is holding the woman you claimed as your wife hostage and allowing her to be raped repeatedly for two years. Wrong is forcing her to be attacked by scorpions every day or two to cause her to not remember what is happening to her." With every 'wrong' spoken she cut more of his clothing off.
"Eliot baby, can you bring the scorpions up here please. Jethro, Tony, I think I will need your help with this."
All three men appeared in the light like dark archangels. "Tommy, see everything you have done in the last two years, and probably before that has been wrong. The beautiful man here with the gloves on is going to stuff these scorpions in your mouth while your good friend Jethro and your good friend Ziva hold your mouth open. Jethro, feel free to break his jaw if it helps. See, I have all the information I need from you." They started stuffing the scorpions in and Tommy was screaming until Tony duct taped his mouth shut. "But you don't have all the information you need from me. So, I'll share it will you now. Jethro, our son, is actually Jethro Jr. He is not your child. Never was, never will be. And our daughter Aribella, beautiful Ari. Well, I can't be absolutely sure, but the night she was conceived, my bracelet, that hated bracelet you were forever trying to get me to take off, glowed like a carnival at night. Aribella is Ari's daughter not yours. And the reason you could never get me pregnant no matter how many times you or others raped me or how many drugs you pumped me full of, is because I can only get pregnant when I am totally in love with the other. And you, you never happened. You were one of my very few mistakes."
By this time, his shirt and the beginning of his pants were cut. "So guys, do you think you can duct tape the scorpions to his dick? It's pretty small, or should we just close up the top and bottoms of his pants with tape and stuff the rest of the scorpions in there. Aw… he has passed out. Ziva, can you wake him up again?"
Tony and Eliot started taping the legs of his pants closed tightly and did the same with his waist band. Chanel unzipped his pants and pulled his small dick out of his pants while Ziva woke him up to the excruciating pain in his mouth. He looked down and saw his dick in Chanel's hand and he actually got hard, which she found very amusing. "You still think I'm going to go down on you, Tommy? You are a third the size of the two men who preceded you, can't speak for any of what happened over the last two years, but they were cowards, so no need to worry. The man who followed you, easily three times your size as you are aroused now. You could never satisfy me. Tiny dicks never could. I am very good with a knife, you know that of course, but this might be so small I might miss, so I'll cut it up while I hold it. The scorpions will just love that blood. Did they love my blood Tommy? Keep him awake Ziva."
She made very painful slices all along his dick, listening to his screams behind the duct tape. She finished, stuck it back in his pants. The scorpions were stuffed in and zipped up. The screaming went on and on. Chanel finally slapped him enough to snap his neck and shut him up.
"This is not even everything I planned for you. I show you mercy because I think you have lost your fucking mind. But I do these things because you killed two innocent children and two innocent adults in a most horrific way to accomplish a futile end. It never would have worked, it never should have been condoned, and you and the men involved are evil. I do this because you allowed me to be raped every night for two years to ostensibly reach your ends, but more likely out of sheer sickening lust. I do this because you stole two years of my life. I do this because you allowed me to suffer the pain you are suffering now every fucking day. I don't care who condoned this, because I will find out and they will be destroyed like the evil that they are. If I have to kill the entire top level of military, I will. You will die now. Someone else will take care of that. And then this entire op will be destroyed. There will not even be anything to mop up. Your body as well as the ones upstairs will be destroyed, disintegrated to where there will be nothing but ash. There won't even be enough to get DNA off of. Good bye Tommy. Know that I never loved you, and perhaps you never loved me either and that is how you could do this to your family. See you in hell."
Chanel turned and left, walked into the darkness to gather their backpacks. This was the information they needed moving forward. Then she walked out the door into the fresh air. The rest of the team followed shortly, no significant blood on any one, the only blood at all on Ziva and Gibbs. Gibbs had killed Tommy in the end, as she had known he would. Eliot called Alec told them to com up, they were ready to destroy the building. Eliot and Tony had placed the devices everywhere. Chanel had been correct when she told Tommy that there would be nothing but ashes left.
They sat silently in the car, each buried in their own thoughts. Alec was talking to Eliot about setting off the charges, which after a few minutes they heard go off. They were designed to torch the entire inside of the building, ash the bodies, but not send up so much as a wisp of smoke outside. Unless anyone ever walked into the building, no one would ever know it had been destroyed, and they would never have any idea of the bodies.
Eliot gave Chanel a slight smile, put the car in gear and headed home.
Chapter 10: Chapter 10
Eliot and the Unknown Woman
Eliot drove the silent team to their hotel, pulling to the back entrance to minimize attention to their arrival. Chanel got out and hugged each of them, thanking them for setting her free. Eliot thought for a moment she was going to stay with them, but then realized she had left the door open and her bag in his truck. He had never before been so terrified of loss, and every time he thought Chanel might choose to leave him or be taken from him made him feel sick. He heard her and Gibbs talking and he started trying to listen.
"Do you want me to make the arrangements, Chanel?"
"That would be wonderful Jethro. We'll need a private plane large enough to hold both teams, vague flight plan, a couple SUV's on the other end, and a hotel. Here's my card, baby. It will cover everything." She handed him her black American Express. Gibbs looked at the name on the card.
"New identity? Genevieve Ari. How appropriate, Genevieve, patron saint of Paris, the place you and Ari fell in love. He was with you tonight as he has been often when you needed him. Why didn't he protect you the last two years?"
"Who is to say he did not? I have no memory, remember? Tommy hated this bracelet with a great passion. After one of our many fights over it, he even went so far as to try to cut it off with bolt cutters because I would not remove it. He threatened to cut my hand off, but then how would he explain that to my father or anyone else for that matter? This bracelet is magical and cannot be removed unless I allow it. So, yes, I chose my new name carefully. Thank you for handling this Jethro. Plan for at least two days but with an extension if necessary. Let us know when wheels are up. Probably around 3:00 or so would be good. We'll check into the hotel and rest and then go to the children the following day. No one will be ready for an early take off."
Gibbs was horrified at what Tommy seemed capable of, even before kidnapping Chanel and pretending she was dead. "Why didn't you tell me or anyone what he was doing to you? We would have gotten you away from him."
"Jethro, you gave me up to him. I hardly thought it reasonable to go to you. Besides, he hurt me once and I almost killed him. He never did it again. I guess once my father died, his fear of me dwindled. For the longest time, I tried to protect my father and his career, his legacy. So I handled Tommy just as I handle most things…alone. I am glad that tonight I had you and the rest of the team with me. I could not have done it alone, Jethro. Think happy thoughts. You will see your son in just a couple of days. I will see my children. Tommy is dead, thank you for that. I hope that if there is a hell, he is in the 9th circle of it."
"Chanel I would have done anything to protect you. But it is over now. I will handle everything, baby. Go home with Eliot and sleep. I'll keep him or Nate informed. Goodnight my beloved." He kissed her gently on the lips, and then turned and walked away from her, leaving her and Eliot alone with the huge car.
She climbed tiredly into the passenger seat, exhaustion and adrenaline fighting for domination in her body. "Eliot, can we go home now? I want a shower in that phenomenal shower and to climb into those silk sheets, although I suppose the bed is still a mess and the sheets will be a mess from earlier. I want to sleep for now and forever."
"The apartment will be spotless when we get home, and the sheets will be clean. And I will have you all to myself for the first time in days."
She leaned her head against the leather headrest, "It will have been the first time in days. Surrounded by people so constantly is trying for me. I absorb all the emotion and feeling and it makes me feel old after a while. Let us just be us for a while."
"We will be whatever you want us to be." He pulled into the underground parking lot, started unloading the car while Chanel took several of the duffles. "I have to change out the license plates and I'll be done. Do you want to go on upstairs and let yourself in?"
She looked terrified at the thought of being apart from him, even for that short time. "No, Eliot. I'll wait." It pained him to see that look of terror on her face, and he wished he could do anything to take it away. He knew it might be minimized over time, but after what she had been through, even as strong as she was, it might never go away.
Less than five minutes later they were entering his apartment which had been meticulously cleaned in their absence. They went into the office room closet, hit the magic button and the floor parted, revealing a safe to store all his highly illegal goodies. They put everything away and headed towards the kitchen. Eliot thought they should eat something. Too much exhaustion and adrenaline after a really awful night would only make things worse during the night or in the morning. He quickly whipped up a couple vegetarian omelets and some iced sparkling water. Chanel, despite herself, found the omelet gone quickly, and as usual Eliot was right, she already felt much better. He cleaned up while he sent her off to the showers.
He undressed thinking to join her, but he found her sitting in the middle of the shower sobbing. He climbed into the shower with her, holding her, rocking her in his arms until her sobs slowly became hiccups. He pulled the scented special soap he had taken from warehouse building down from the shelf and started to gently bathe her in it, her hair, her body, washing her tears away. Before long they were kissing gently with no real intent, just offering comfort to each other. The more passionate the kissing became, the less comfort they were offering and the more desire and lust poured off of each other. Soon Eliot had her carefully pinned under him on the shower floor, licking, touching, and sucking her body. He wanted nothing from her except to allow him to make love to her, which he did. After gifting her with multiple orgasms, he finally needed his own release and entered her gently but powerfully. She moaned with the pleasure of being so completely filled. It was the first sound she had made since she had stopped crying, even her orgasms usually so vocal had been silent. The more he thrust inside of her heated channel the more she moaned with pleasure. He loved that sound, that acknowledgement from her that he could do something for her few others could. Finally he could hold back no longer and he spilled all of himself he had held back deep inside her, binding the two of them together. He lay there slightly off to the side but without removing himself from her, letting the shower spray clean their bodies. He finally stood and turned the water off, lifting her from the shower floor and drying her body and her hair. He cradled her body in his arms while he carried her to the bed, letting her rest against him while he combed out her hair.
When he was done with her hair she could feel him combing his hair out. She rose up from where she had been resting against him and reversed her position, straddling his naked and still wet body. She took the wide tooth comb from him and started to comb out his hair as he had done hers. Granted her hair was a much larger task, he enjoyed having her care for him the same way he did for her. And he especially liked her straddling his body. Even after the last performance, his body responded to hers quickly and thoroughly, a point she could not fail to miss. Eliot was still quite wet from the shower since he had not dried himself off. Chanel started worshipping his body by licking and sucking all the wetness away, drying his finely muscled body with her mouth. When he tried to reach out and touch her or return her gifts to him, she gently pushed him away. Soon, there was not a part of his body that had not been touched by her mouth. After her mouth gently groomed and cared for his now huge staff and rolled and sucked dry his balls, causing a great deal of moaning in his intense pleasure, she raised her body above his, using the headboard as leverage and impaled herself on his staff, forcing him through her tight channel until he reach the farthest ending of her. She moaned as the size and hardness filled her so quickly. She had wanted Eliot inside her hard and fast, and she drove him there, hard and fast. She continued to rock him in and out of her fast and then slowing down and then speeding up and slowing down. He was groaning at the changes of pace and his need to just let go and pound into her.
She leaned her naked and straining body towards his so she could whisper in his ear, "El-i-ot," she used a sing song voice. "I can go like this all night. It feels so good. But I think you want more now, you want to pound into me like you did the other night. I want that, baby. Do what you want Eliot. Take me, take me over and over again."
Eliot groaned loudly and immediately flipped Chanel under him, slamming into her hard and fast, hitting her cervix, g-spot, and clit coming and going. Without missing a stroke, he pulled each of her legs over his shoulders, making every stroke even deeper, more penetrating, and causing Chanel to scream. If he hadn't felt the firm ripples cascade through her, he would have wondered if the scream was from pain, and maybe it was to some degree. But their bodies were wrapped around each other and every tremor or squeeze one felt, the other felt it as well. They were animalistic in their lovemaking this time. They were demanding the maximum sensation from each other and neither would expect less. Chanel lost count of the numbers of orgasms and was approaching the point of having to give up, when Eliot finally capitulated, "Baby, I gotta come, now."
"Yes, yes, Eliot. Please fill me up. Oh my God, Eliot." She could feel him spasm multiple times into her. They moved slightly into a more comfortable position for both but Eliot never pulled out and having him inside her like that made her feel complete.
Eliot lifted his head to look into her eyes. "I love you Chanel. I never want to leave you and I want you to stay with me always."
"I love you too Eliot. I want us to stay together, but we have a lot to figure out. I have two children to be concerned with, one whose father is still alive and will want to be very involved. He is also still very much in love with me. Can you see yourself living in the same house under those circumstances? And Eliot, did you notice we have not been using condoms? We may already be pregnant with our own child. We have a lot to talk about. But not tonight. Tonight we sleep."
"To be with you, I will live under whatever circumstances are required. And Chanel, for you to have my baby, I can't think of anything I would want more. But you are right, we will sleep now. I can't promise I won't wake you up during the night though." He smiled a gentle smile and kissed her good night. They both rapidly fell asleep. Even so, they still woke each other up during the night and into the morning to make love again and again.
Chapter 11: Chapter 11
Eliot and the Unknown Woman
A little more than 24 hours later, two black Denalis pulled up to the horse farm where the children were. Alec had made sure the children were there and did a deep background on the couple caring for them. The previous night Nate had called the man and woman once they reached their Kentucky hotel, convincing them to meet with the children's mother. They asked to speak with Chanel who nervously took the phone.
Her deep soft voice came over the phone, "Hello, this is Chanel Atherton."
"You don't share your husband's last name?"
"Not anymore. Are my children there?"
"That depends. Tommy said that under no circumstances were we to allow the children to be seen by anyone, unless their mother called. He gave us a password that only you and he would know. He said the clue for you was a place you had visited where the mountains were extreme and the water was like flowing ice."
"There was a small lake, practically a pond off the Hari River I bathed in while we were in the Hindu Kush Mountain system. It was maybe one of three baths I got to take the whole time we were there. He guarded me there while I bathed. He wouldn't let any of the other guys around. If one followed the Hari River it met with the Jam River where one would find the Minaret of Jam, the second tallest minaret in the world. Does that answer your question, sir?"
"And then some. We will see you in the morning at 9:00? You can see some of the horses train."
"I'm sure that would be delightful sir, but really after believing my children dead for two years, I really wish to be reunited. Before he died, Tommy said he had been visiting and bringing pictures of me for the children. Surely they were too young when we were parted from each other to remember me. What do you think, sir?"
"We have kept your memory and thought of you alive through pictures Tommy would provide. They may be shy and even confused, but they will know who you are. Can I give you directions?"
"Would you mind giving those to my friend? I've been ill recently and would have a hard time with that. I am overwhelmed as it is."
"You are not so ill the children will lose you soon? You are not dying? I think it would be unwise to allow you back into their lives only to lose you again."
"No sir, I am not dying. I am quite healthy now. We will have a lot to discuss tomorrow. I look forward to seeing you then. Here is Nate. He will take the directions and perhaps have some other questions. Good evening sir."
Nate got the directions and with some written coaching from Gibbs and Tony, had a number of questions answered. How were they chosen by Tommy to care for the children? What financial arrangements had been made? Had they been contacted by anyone about the children?
Chanel was physically and emotionally exhausted, but too curious to leave either, so she laid her tired head on Eliot's lap and lay down on the comfortable sofa in the suite. Gibbs really had outdone himself. For a man who cared little for material things, he had arranged for first class transportation and rooms. The teams had basically taken over the suites in the hotel. Everyone was in either a one or two room suite, sharing with another. Eliot and Chanel were in a magnificent one room suite, as well as Nate and Sophie but no one actually said anything about that. Abby and Ziva shared a two room suite, and so on.
When Nate finally hung up the phone, Gibbs and Nate debriefed everyone at the same time. The couple had no idea how Tommy had chosen them. Alec was going to research that, even though the decision had to have been made well over two years ago. There were financial arrangements, which they were already aware of after Tony and Ziva had gone through the back packs on information. But the couple stated the same thing as the papers affirmed, which made them seem honest at least. And they had not been contacted about the children, but that didn't mean they were not being watched. Chanel's level of paranoia was increasing. She wanted to go seize the children immediately before she lost them again, but everyone convinced her that would only serve to frighten the children. Her level of fear and anxiety were overwhelming her and making it difficult for her to make decisions. She would need to see a doctor wherever they ended up settling, but until then she had an illegal supply of Xanax coming her way from her favorite criminal geek. Eliot was the only sleeping pill she needed so she happily passed on that option. But the anxiety was real and debilitating and she needed help.
Tony and Ziva had more information after covering more of the paperwork on the plane and asked if anyone wanted to know it. Everyone agreed and they started to share. Gibbs had been correct that Tommy's handler was Edward Zwick on the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He would have approved and funded the operation. Alec had already placed a sophisticated tap on all Zwick's lines, at both the Pentagon, home, and cell. He also had inserted a mirror-worm into his computer so we could see everything that was being discussed and he would never know. How Alec had gotten past the various firewalls and such Chanel didn't want to know. She had also been assured that it was untraceable. Alec was very very good.
They had also discovered the various tests, treatments, and experiments that had been performed on Chanel. Tony looked at Chanel sadly, saying, "Chanel, baby. You don't want to hear this. We even found the list and schedule of who slept with you when. Maybe no one wants to know this. I wish I didn't. But Chanel, you should go ahead and go to bed. If you want to read through all this, do it when it is further behind you. Now focus on seeing your children tomorrow."
Chanel looked at him from her place on the sofa, tears in her eyes. She then looked at Gibbs and at Ziva, who nodded her head in agreement with Tony. Chanel stood and then walked over to Tony kissing him on the cheek, "Tony, thank you for considering my feelings. And thank you and Ziva for going through what must be truly horrible, especially knowing I was the victim of the crimes. I will leave you to it." She kissed Ziva on her cheek, wiping a lost tear from her cheek, smiled softly at her and walked over to Gibbs. "Good night baby. Thank you for all your hard work getting us all here. I'll see you in the morning."
With that she returned to her room, along with many of the others. The whole kidnap/torture thing bothered most of the people on the Leverage team, hell it bothered the former NCIS team too, but while the Leverage team was not required, the NCIS team was. Nate, Alec, and Eliot stayed behind with the NCIS team to continue Tony and Ziva's debrief.
So, here they were the next morning pulling up to the keypad and camera entry gate waiting for admittance to the horse farm, the home to her children for the last couple of years. Eliot punched the call button and the gates opened for them. Chanel was trying hard to control her breathing. She actually found herself terrified, maybe for the first time ever. What if they weren't her children? What if they didn't like her? She knew they wouldn't remember her, and that thought made her very sad. Eliot pulled the first truck to the front of the house while Gibbs brought the second truck behind it. There was an older man and woman, in their mid 50's, well worn from hard outdoor labor, standing in front of the beautiful white house. Beside them stood two beautiful children, a six year old boy who was tan with dark hair and the spitting image of his father, Gibbs, and a four year old girl with lovely dark black hair that curled just like her mothers'. There was no mistaking whose children these were. The daughter was almost identical to Chanel except for the color of her hair, which was black like her father's Ari.
She heard car doors slamming and then realized Eliot was standing at her door holding it open for her. The Leverage team as well as the former NCIS team had already moved to the adults and two children to introduce themselves, and Chanel hadn't even gotten out of the car yet. Finally Eliot took her hand and slightly pulled her out of the car, catching her before she fell from her lost balance from being pulled out of a very high sitting truck. Then, holding her hand, he led her around the truck and towards the gathered group. As Chanel approached the group split apart so she could introduce herself. She smiled gently at both children, watching them shyly return her smile. Then introduced herself to Sam and Margo and return her attention to the children.
Chanel gracefully sat on the grassy front lawn and started to speak to the children.
"Hello, Jethro. Good morning, Aribella. You probably don't remember me, but I'm your mother. My name is Chanel." Both children hesitantly approached her and took her held out hands. Jethro sat slightly in front of her, while Aribella slipped easily into her lap.
Jethro leaned over to touch Chanel's hair, while some of it surrounded Aribella from where she sat in her lap.
Jethro looked at Chanel with relief in his eyes, "You are my mommy. I remember how you smell. You, your hair, always smelled the same. Like flowers. I remember that."
Chanel laughed and then started to cry as both children threw themselves into her arms. It was safe to say that there wasn't a dry eye in the house. The kids started talking at the same time wanting so much to tell her so many things. The other adults wandered off to let them get reunited. Eliot and Gibbs both were so happy to see Chanel rolling around on the grassy mound laughing and tickling.
Finally, the threesome stood and walked where they were watching the horses practice and train. Jethro started to explain to her what was going on, and he was obviously well versed in horse training. Aribella kept playing with Chanel's bracelet. She was drawn to it as she should be and delighted when it started to glow for her. Chanel felt it and looked down, holding one finger to her lips. Then she leaned over and whispered in Aribella's ear, "It is a magic bracelet from your father. Not the man you knew as your father, but your real one. But you have to keep the magic a secret. Only a few people know, and now you do to. Can you keep it a secret Aribella?" The exquisite little girl nodded her head and smiled, knowing she had a secret not many others knew about.
Jethro Jr. seemed drawn to Jethro, asking why they had the same name. Jethro wasn't a name you heard very often.
"Your mother and I are very good friends, such good friends that she named you after me." They had decided to wait a few days or so before dropping such a big bombshell on the young boy. But anyone paying attention could tell Jethro Jr. was Jethro's son. Jethro Jr. looked like a six year old Jethro Gibbs.
Jethro Jr. looked at Gibbs and smiled. "Do you want to see my boats? Someday, I want to live near the water, and I make boats. They are just out of legos now, but someday I'll make them out of wood. Sam says I'm too young to use power tools or even a knife to carve with. So when I'm older."
Gibbs was surprised but very pleased his son had already started taking after him. "I would love to see your boats. I build boats in my spare time. And right now, I live on a beach in Mexico. The ocean is right outside my door."
"Really? That is so cool! Do you think mom would let me come visit you? We are going to live with mom and dad now aren't we?"
"Jethro, I think your mom would definitely let you come visit me. And you are going to live with your mom now. The man you knew as your dad, the man who came to visit you a few times after you came to live here, he is dead."
Jethro didn't even seem surprised. "Can I tell you something, a secret, Mr. Gibbs? I don't think that man was my father, or if he was I don't want him to be. He was strange and would say weird things about mom and act strange around me and Bella."
"Did he ever hurt you?"
"You mean like touch me funny or anything weird like that. No. He just said and did strange things. I never felt safe around him for some reason. And Sam and Marge would get really edgy when he would visit. I just don't think your father should give you the creeps. You don't give me the creeps. Nobody else ever has except him. Isn't that weird?"
"Jethro, it's called listening to your gut. If someone makes you feel creepy, then pay attention to that feeling and stay away from them. Anytime you get a feeling in your gut that makes you feel something isn't right or whatever, always pay attention to your gut. I used to be a Marine and later a Navy cop, and paying attention to my gut saved my life as well as others a lot. Let's tell your mom where we are going and then you can show me your boats."
Chapter 12: Chapter 12
Eliot and the Unknown Woman
By mid-afternoon the kids were getting tired, especially Aribella. Even though she was four years old, she still needed her afternoon nap. Jethro Jr. as Chanel, well pretty much everyone, had started thinking of him was tired as well. The large group had a lovely lunch in the backyard under a giant pecan tree. Conversation went easily and the kids were well behaved in front of the guests. Sam and Margo were thrilled with how attached the kids had become with their mother and her friends. It was obvious there was a great deal of caring among the whole group. And as soon as they saw Gibbs, they knew right away he was Jethro's father, not Tommy Gifford. And they had no idea who Aribella's father was but knew from the amazing similarities with Chanel; again it had not been Tommy Gifford. For that they were relieved because while initially he came across friendly and loving, that clearly became obvious as a façade and they never liked having him around the kids.
A normally taciturn Jethro Jr. had already become very attached to the man who was his father, although he did not know it yet. And Aribella seemed to adore the man named Eliot who was obviously dangerous, but very loving towards both her and her mother. He clearly adored Chanel as she did him. Aribella had also become very attached to Chanel's friend Ziva, who Chanel called her sister. Chanel let Aribella show her to her room so she could be tucked in for her nap. Gibbs did the same with Jethro. Soon both children were asleep and Chanel and Gibbs returned to the group outside.
Chanel brought the subject up first. "Sam, Margo you have done a wonderful job raising my children. For that I thank you and you will live in my heart forever. We have found the document of financial arrangements you had with Tommy and I will see those are honored and then some. I'd like to take them with us tonight if they are ready to go. They may live their whole lives in danger, and right now is a particularly dangerous time. Even our coming here may have escalated the danger. And you have no security on premises."
Both Sam and Margo sat up straighter obviously frightened for the children. "Why would they be in danger? They have always been safe here."
"Maybe they have been safe, but they have likely had periodic surveillance on them. Gibbs, can you update them appropriately on what has transpired over the last two years or so? I think I will go walk over to the lovely English garden over here." Eliot got up with her to walk the gardens while Gibbs had the unpleasant task of filling in from Jethro's parentage to the decimation of the ops building and team.
Eliot and Chanel spoke quietly in the garden. At first they just spoke about the flowers and the intricacy of the garden beds and then Eliot finally broached the subject that still had not been dealt with. "Chanel, we will obviously be taking the kids with us when we leave, whether tonight or tomorrow, they'll be coming home. But Chanel, where will home be? Do you want to live in LA? Move back to DC? Take us all to Tahiti? Stay here in the relatively anonymity of Kentucky?"
She asked him quietly, not looking at him, "Where do you want to live Eliot? Do you plan to stay with Leverage? Do you have to live in LA to work with them? Maybe I'm getting ahead of myself, do you even want to take on the burden of two children not your own plus a pretty messed up woman who is going to have a lot to get over after being held hostage for two years. And what happens if I start remembering the rapes, every night? It may wreak havoc on what is currently an amazing sex life. And if all we have is sex, then we both know that is not enough. What about Jethro and Ziva? At the very least they will want to live very close, if not with us. I have a home far out in the country that we could all live in outside DC, but I have no idea what has happened to it given my "death." I could also buy a mansion in LA and we could all live there together. Pool, ocean, Gibbs could have his boat house for him and Jethro Jr., and you could stay with Leverage. In the short term, perhaps we will travel. I can take them to Europe and Israel. In the very short term until I can get their names changed, as well as birth certificates and DNA established we can stay in a bungalow at the Beverly Hills Hotel. I need to talk to my lawyer and find out my status, or what he knows at the very least. But I am sorry, I get away from your question: where will we live? Obviously, I don't know."
The wandering couple had stopped talking under yet another pecan tree. Eliot put his large hands on her shoulders and felt her tense. He immediately dropped his hands, "You flinched, Chanel. Are you afraid of me or does it remind you of something else?"
She had noticed the reaction and was surprised as well. "I don't know Eliot. I am not afraid of you. You would never hurt me. It just must be a touch memory from before. What were you going to say?"
"First of all, under no circumstances would I consider you OR your children a burden, regardless of what happens in the future. I know you don't need me. You have enough money to buy a country and enough friends who care deeply for you to have your own family. Even so, I love you. It is not just about sex with me and you and you know it. Our relationship started intense, and we have been around the block enough to know it won't always be intense like this, but that does not mean I love you any less. You and Gibbs still love each other, but while he is still in love with you I don't believe you are with him and even if you were I would still want to be with you. I don't care where we live, wherever you will feel safe, I will live with you and the children, our children. Most kids are lucky if they have one father, our kids will have many fathers and uncles and aunts. And as far as Leverage goes, I will stay with them if it works out. Otherwise I'll find something else to do that is not so dangerous. If we stay here in Kentucky, I can train horses. I grew up here and love this place. If we go somewhere else, I can find something to do. For now we should return to LA while we figure it out, and you and the kids will live with me not in some hotel. We will stay together, and you will be safer there anyway."
Chanel looked at Eliot with tears in her eyes and walked into his arms where he held her until she could stop crying. She was overwhelmed, tired, and feeling weak from the long days of trauma inflicted on her mind and body. She heard the laughter of the children so she dried her eyes and kissed Eliot, communicating all the love and passion she felt for him. He could taste the salt of her tears, but he also felt her love and need for him and that was all he needed from her. It would all work out. He always made things work out.
The couple walked back to the table where everyone sat, with Eliot's warm wrapped possessively, protectively around Chanel's shoulders. Jethro and Aribella ran to Chanel throwing themselves into her welcoming arms. Their laughter helped pull her out of her sadness. Eliot took the heavier boy while the smaller Aribella stayed in Chanel's arms. As they approached the table, both Eliot and Chanel noticed the haunted look in Sam and Margo's eyes. Chanel looked at them with sympathy. Those that lead honest and clean lives, far removed from the dirt and filth of Washington politics and ugly operations, never even conceived of how terrible some parts of our government, or people, can be to others.
Chanel asked Ziva, Gibbs, Hardison and Parker to take the kids to the playground Sam and Margo had set up for them. Chanel and Eliot sat down.
"Sam, Margo, are there any questions I can answer for you after Jethro told you what happened?"
Both shook their heads, and Margo reached across the table and took Chanel 's hand. "I am so sorry this happened to you. It is hard to believe, but at the same time knowing what we did of Tommy Gifford, somehow it is not as hard after all. Do you agree with Mr. Gibbs and Ziva's assessment that the children might be in danger?"
"We were very careful traveling here. We used assumed names, vague flight plans. We covered our tracks here pretty well, but we cannot be sure. What we can be sure of is that the people sitting at this table can protect Jethro and Aribella. I'd like to take them with us tonight. We can bring them back to see you tomorrow before we leave, and will of course come visit."
Margo started to cry quietly. "We knew this time would always come. We've grown so attached…but we have always told the kids this time would come time. And they are clearly already attached to you, like you have never been away. I'll go pack up a few things for them, and we can ship the rest."
"Thank you for being so understanding. You are both terrific and the children love you."
"The children's safety is absolutely the most important. I know you will all protect them and keep them safe. I am so glad you got out of that terrible place. I hope the rest of your life is more peaceful and quiet and filled with all the love you deserve." Margo looked meaningfully at Eliot and back at Chanel with a smile on her face.
Chapter 13: Chapter 13
Eliot and the Unknown Woman
6 months later
The next six months were busy. When they returned to LA, Eliot cleaned out his office and placed two twin beds and a dresser in there temporarily for the kids. The kids loved all the open space in his loft, and especially loved the pool downstairs. Eliot and Gibbs taught both kids to swim and they were little tanned fishes before long. Ziva and Gibbs moved all their stuff from Mexico to LA and found a two bedroom loft in Eliot's building. Neither of them needed very much space, and everyone knew it was only temporary so it worked out well. Tony sadly returned to Spain to join up with his team, but was looking forward to their European visit coming up soon. Eliot, Chanel, and Ziva started looking at possible home sites. There were an abundance of available properties from LA to Malibu that would meet their purposes. They also looked at estates in Kentucky and Virginia. Ultimately, while living in LA was not Chanel's ideal location, staying close to the friends, now considered part of their extended family, at Leverage was a priority, as well as allowing Eliot to continue to be an important part of that team. The home they eventually settled on had a private beach, extremely secluded entrance and exit, a pool, and enough rooms for everyone to have their own personal suites or apartments. Remodeling would be required to turn everything into stand alone suites, but it would make the situation ideal. Everyone was pleased with the arrangement.
The remodeling would take place while they were overseas. An extreme security system would be put in place, supervised by Alec and Parker. Even though they would be going on the trip overseas with the rest of the group, Alec was confident he could work long distance with the contractor, and then when they returned Parker was going to try to break in. They would go through this process until every possible entry point would be identified and protected. Chanel contacted Tommy, her attorney, who upon her death, brokenheartedly retired, but once he was convinced she really was alive came out of retirement and came to live near them in LA. He managed everything for her as usual. He got the children's names changed, had new birth certificates issued, arranged for her bank accounts to be closed and then reopened under her new name, which he also took care of creating all the appropriate documentation she would require to support any name issues. Chanel Atherton Gifford truly did die in that fire and from the ashes arose Genevieve Rene Ari. The children's last names were changed to match their respective father's although instead of Ari's last name Haswari, Aribella took the last name of Ari and everyone called her Bella. Tommy had managed in his amazing but totally legal way of leaving the original children dead and having them reborn with their new names and a paper trail that would hold up to the toughest scrutiny. There was no fear they would be found any longer.
Meanwhile, Ziva arranged for their 4 month European trip, spending two weeks to a month in each major country on the continent, three weeks in England and the British Isles, and two weeks in Israel with Ziva's (and Ari's) family. She was very excited and arranged for a wonderful trip, staying in very nice kid-friendly hotels, flights, and trains. They would not just visit the big cities and museums but also see the countryside. The Leverage team were coming along but paying their own way since they were more than able. Chanel was paying everyone else's way.
Gibbs was focused on confirming Zwick as the decision maker on the black op involving Chanel. He also was determined to find out who the people were who had died in the fire. It took almost a month and several visits to Washington DC, pulling in favors and working with a retired Ducky, Abby, and McGee who still worked at NCIS. Ultimately, he found the names of the two homeless adults and two foster children who died in the fire. Chanel decided to leave them buried in the family plot since a pauper's burial was absolutely not suitable for their sacrifice. Zwick was blown up in a car explosion while at the same time papers and articles were anonymously provided to the Washington Post, New York Times and the Dallas Morning News. The entire operation and price tag were exposed to the public in a desire to inform the public of the evil and truly criminal operations their government was involved in. After the story hit, there was no one to mourn Zwick, but flowers were constantly placed and cared for at the graves of the mother and two children who were killed in the course of this misguided enterprise. The father was not mourned, unfortunately for the man buried there, but he would always hold a place in Chanel's heart.
Unbeknownst to Chanel, Eliot had purchased a stunning 20 ct. blue diamond engagement ring. He planned to give it to her in Rome, where Chanel was the most excited about going. A Vatican wedding was out because Eliot was not Catholic, but he thought at the very least he could propose to her at the Fountain of Four Rivers at the Piazza Navona. He would not do it in Venice because it mostly stank from the sewage disposal problems, and while Paris would have been his first choice, she had too many memories of Ari, and he wanted to create his own memories.
Also kept from Chanel were the wedding plans. It was a huge risk, after all she could say no. But both Eliot and Ziva thought it was the right thing to do. Worst case, they could just cancel the wedding and she would be none the wiser. Eliot, with the help of Ziva, planned the wedding to occur in Spain so Tony could attend as well. They settled on the Hacienda Benazuza in Sevilla Spain. The original part of the hotel dated back to a Moorish farmhouse from the 10th century and even through renovations had maintained the original architecture, look and feel. It even had a 17th century chapel where they would be married. Eliot booked their extended honeymoon in the Honeymoon Suite, while everyone else had other suites plus some rooms for the rest of the group. Eliot insisted on paying for all of this. The children would stay safely with Ziva in one of the suites, so Chanel and Eliot could really have an honest to goodness honeymoon.
Ziva prompted Chanel to bring something exquisite to wear in case there was a special occasion occurring while they were gone. Chanel looked her best friend with a great deal of suspicion but decided to play along. When they were in Paris Sophie took the two of them to a magnificent dress shop where Chanel found the perfect gown to save for the perfect occasion. It had a crème bodice, spaghetti straps, hung dangerously low on her back, and flowed down to the ground in matching crème satin. It was perfect for her and she looked stunning.
"Well, Ziva. Since there might be some 'amazing special occasion', shouldn't we get the children something to wear? And what about the others? Sophie is surely covered, but you or Parker?"
Ziva laughed nonchalantly, "Chanel my dear, we are in Europe. I am sure we can find whatever we need, don't you agree Sophie?"
"Of course. We will take care of everything. Now that you have the perfect dress, that is all that matters."
"You two are as subtle as my children." Chanel laughed at them and walked away, saying, "I would have expected better from a grifter and a spy." She giggled again as she walked out of the store.
When in Rome, Eliot nervously proposed to Chanel at the beautiful fountain while the sun set behind them. She was thrilled to say yes and they spent the night in their large suite saying yes over and over again.
She expected to get married in the states, and was amazed at what Eliot and Ziva had put together for their wedding. The hotel was perfect, the chapel even more so, and she couldn't wait. All her friends were there, her children, and even Tony and his team had come to see the nuptials. But Chanel had kept a secret too. Eliot knew because she couldn't have kept it from him since they were living together, bathing together, swimming together. But as she walked down the aisle of the 17th century chapel with its ancient stain glass, and ancient gold leaf icons worth millions, it was very apparent the way the dress clung to her, tightly by this time. Chanel was four and a half months pregnant and glowed. Not just with her child within, but marrying a man she adored, and having her children with her again. Her life felt complete and she was truly happy. The nightmare was over and she had all her life to lead.