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Balance in Another Plane

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Waking up from the pull of a medicated coma was becoming an increasingly irritating way to greet her mornings.. Her head pounded, and her bones felt like fragile porcelain encased in jello. Her tongue was heavy and thick in her mouth, completely dry as she struggled to breath against the oppressing weight against her chest.

“Well, would you look at that. Waking up already?”

Her fingers twitched, along with her legs, and the woman, lied out along what felt like a hospital-issued bed, was left prying open her eyes at the sound of a soft, amused chuckle.

Most likely at her expense.

The irritation to that stray thought was enough to give her the energy to look up and glare at the person above her.


Her throat was drier than the Sahara, the rasp barely passing her lips before she had given up trying to talk. Instead, she focused her attention on the person perched on the bed beside her, looking nothing if not extraordinarily plainfaced, wearing a simple white button-up shirt, black dress coat and black slacks. She couldn’t see his shoes from her vantage point, but he had slicked back brown hair and simple features.

“You’re in Washington DC,” the man smiled, looking totally relaxed as he took in the sudden flicker of confusion on the woman’s face, before it shifted to shock, then unbridled panic. However, she dare not make a sound.

He had the ability to smother her and her vocal cords would have been nothing to help her. She pissed people off enough to warrant murder on a good day.. She wasn’t ready to test that when she was so..


“Where..?” she asked again.

“Hospital,” he smiled, “Nice try, by the way.. You almost made it..”

“Why.. here..?”

“Well, for your protection of course,” he grinned, flashing his perfectly straight and clean teeth before nodding toward her elevated foot, stuck in a cast, her left arm in a cast and sling and her right hooked up to a good number of machines. She had breathing tubes in her nose, wanting to make her gag, but the rest of her body was stiff and ignoring her pleas to sock this son of a bitch to next Sunday.

How dare he-?!

“Not every day you get a tip from some Marine wannabe about one of the biggest attacks in all of terrorism history..”

“Get me.. Out of here..” she hissed.

“No can do,” he shook his head. “Some head honchos want to talk to you, mainly because they want to know who you’re working for.. Why you’re information isn’t checking out, where you got your ID and how the hell you knew where to go..”

“Go.. away,” she hissed.

“That, I can do,” he nodded, brushing off his suit before he moved to get to the door, pausing halfway out, however, he sent her a debonair smile, “That is, of course, we have you on surveillance right now, the boss will be in in a few days to talk to you.. And I don’t think you’re gonna be able to move an inch with all that morphine in you..”

The woman gave a slight snarl of her lips, unable to actually say anything, and the man, stone-faced, but grimly smiling, left the room.

She let her head fall back heavily on the pillow, and she twitched around her fingers. Her father’s dog tags were gone.. Fuck..

She spent days getting coddled by nurses, force fed and changed bedpans, the worst of the experience, in her opinion, before someone had finally forced themselves into her room after a heated argument with her doctor.

“She isn’t stable enough for one of your interrogations, Mister Fornell, I assure you-!”

“I’m not looking for your opinion, Doctor Wallace, I want that girl, and I want her now. She’s under United States Federal Custody, and we can take her with, or without your permission. With your permission gives her a better chance of surviving the ride home, provided you give us the proper instructions to keep her alive on the ride back.”

She couldn’t hear the rest of the argument, but she managed to maneuver her “good” hand to the edge of the bed, pressing the button to push the seat up so she was upright. Her body throbbed with a dull ache, as if she were hit by a car, but the pain had dramatically lessened since her first day there.

She would even wager a guess that the cuts on her face were completely healed now if the doctor’s exasperated and stupefied declaration of her ‘incredible healing rate’ was anything to go by.

He’d estimated, if she were to ever get back on her feet again, she would be up and walking in a matter of weeks. Eight or so to be exact.

Not too bad for a leg broken in three places and two bullets shot inside it..

One managed to get into her arm..

The door was open during her musings, and she blinked quickly when a man clearly older than fifty, with a bald head, and beady, unhappy eyes waltzed in with two plain-faced lackies similar to the ones that would take up guard during the day in her room. The one she had seen the first time had been immediately dismissed by one of the door guards after they’d heard talking, and she hadn’t seen him since.

Probably because he thought she was the problem, and was taking out his frustration on a possible suspect.

Whatever, not her problem anymore.

“I see you’re awake,” the eerily familiar man gave her a smile, but it didn’t reach his eyes. He waltzed over to the side of her bed, looking over her injuries before pulling a chair over from the window, one that didn’t open, and turning it around so he could kneel on either side of it. “That’s good. Make’s my job easier. Now.. why don’t we start with your name?”

“I don’t..” she rapsed, cleared her throat, then tried again, “I don’t know.. What you want me to say..”

“Something a little more believable, if you wouldn’t mind,” he grinned sardonically, reaching up a hand to scratch his nose before settling back in. “The “name”,” he actually air-quoted the word for her to see, “that you gave the nurses who helped you isn’t exactly a smart alias. A bit too eye catching.”

“What’s yours?” she asked calmly.

“My name?” he repeated, playfully surprised, before he gave her a glare, and an honest, anger-fueled smile, “It’s Fornell.. Tobias Fornell.”

Fuck.. Fuck. Fuckfuckfuckfuckfuckfuckfuck-

Her heart monitor was pistoning at an alarming speed, and Fornell’s eyes seemed to jump to the screen before sliding back to her strangely mixed hazel eyes. They were wide, and staring at him in stunned, still silence. She hadn’t moved, but the increased rate of her heart was getting dangerous, before it stuttered, and her eyes slipped shut. “Shit- get a doctor in here-!” he roared.

“On it-!”

“Shit,” he muttered, watching as several doctors and nurses barged in, pushing him back as they got to work assessing, and looking over the woman as she started to lose the rhythm of her heart.

Not good.


“Chrysanthemum Larkspur Jordan.”


“Just call Chrys,” the woman muttered, cutting off the aging man that stood in front of her. It wasn’t Fornell, thank god. But it was someone she else she knew.. The dogtags on the table were testament to that. Well, that and the military grade knife with her grandfather’s name engraved in the blade.

“Miss.. Jordan,” the man continued, looking her over, from the bandages around her head and the cast around her arm and leg, to the other in a boot used for harsh sprains. “Why exactly did you ask for me?”

“Because,” she sniffed, lifting her eyes from the table and bringing them to his own, dark ones. “I know I can trust you.”

“And why is that?” he asked calmly. The mirror behind him showed his back, but she knew there were a good number of people behind it. Including one seething, angry Fornell she had brushed off.

“Because,” she smiled then, a weak one, but it was honest as she met his eyes, “You lead NCIS don’t you..?”

“Yes,” he nodded, taking a seat across from her when she had smiled, folding his arms across the table, “Now.. why don’t you tell me why you asked for me..?”

“Because I can trust you,” she repeated calmly, “You and your team.”

“My team?” he repeated, “And why is that?”

“Because you have Gibbs, don’t you,” a gleam of amusement touched her eyes, and she glanced down her her broken appendages, before giving a sardonic smile, “I can trust him too. You are the good guys..”

“And Fornell isn’t?” he spoke slowly, and clearly, but she only laughed, breathy and annoyed. “Nah, no. I didn’t say that. Fornell is a good guy. He just.. Doesn’t sit right with me.. I personally find him annoying, for one, and invasive for another. I can deal with one alpha dog at a time, and if I had to take a pick, it’d be Gibbs at the top of the food chain.”

“How do you know agent Gibbs?” Morrow continued.

“Can’t tell ya’ that,” she smiled.

“And why not?”

“Because,” she ginned, “You won’t believe me. Or, you will, and I’ll be put into an intensive torture, no-holds-barred situation where I will never see the light of day again.”

“We just had the president of the United States nearly assassinated on a backup charter,” Morrow spoke slowly, “If you know anything about that..”

“I know a lot of things,” she smiled, “All of which I’ll be willing to share in a room with you, and only you. It’s not exactly believable.”

“Try me,” he murmured.

She smiled, but stayed quiet.