Toni was waiting to pay for her gas, her toe tapping to the tinkle of terrible music that was playing. Her mind was on a case that was playing out in Hawaii when she heard an asshole.
“Hey you Muslim fuck, get outta the way.”
Toni turned to see an dark skinned older man with a head covering trying to get out of the way of a younger white guy, 6 ft, brown and brown, who was wearing a camo baseball cap and a jean jacket with patches that could be construed to be racist.
“Hey, instead of showing your ignorance maybe shut your mouth,” Toni snapped. “The gentleman is obviously a Sikh, not Muslim, you backwards redneck.”
The guy blinked in shock at her and the Sikh man gave her a gracious head nod of acknowledgement and a smile.
“What’s a ‘seek’?” the moron asked.
“It’s not my job to educate you. I suggest that if you can read, go to a library and do your research on who you think you’re being an irredeemable, racist fuckwit to.”
The moron decided to leave since he couldn’t continue to be an ignoramus and bully someone.
The clerk behind the counter didn’t hide his grin as he took Toni’s money. “Still a bad-ass, Ms. DiNozzo,” he said admiringly.
Toni had been going to the same gas station for 10 years and knew the owner and every clerk. She’d once disarmed an armed robber, who’d been higher than a kite on meth, before he could use the pistol he’d been waving around.
Toni rolled her eyes. “Battle of wits, my friend.”
Toni would be the first to tell you that she occasionally would speed. Most of the time it was for a good reason, but normally, because she now had small children, she’d drive the speed limit.
Sans kids, she had the top down on her vintage Mustang and was blaring music but her head was working on a case so she was preoccupied. She was also driving only about five miles over the limit and was peripherally aware that the person behind her kept zooming up but was trapped by her and the other car next to her.
After a couple of minutes the car in the other lane turned left and the impatient jerk behind her whipped around her and zoomed off at high speed, only to be stopped by the red light.
He leaned out his window. “Jesus Christ, lady! Could you go any slower?”
Toni slid her sunglasses down on her nose to eye the man disdainfully. “Are you paying for my ticket?”
“Oh, you mean you’re going to pay for my insurance when it surely goes up because I’ve gotten a ticket?”
“No,” the guy said gruffly.
“Then go jump in a lake, pal. Maybe it will wash the moron off of you,” Toni replied tartly, slid her sunglasses back up and drove off as the light turned green.
Toni loved her Mustang, no lie, but the minivan was on it’s last legs (no, Jethro, I’m not blaming you but if the lead shoe fits…) and they needed a new vehicle to tote the kids, friends, sports equipment etc around town in. Currently she was standing in front of a massive SUV that could masquerade as an FBI chase vehicle but for its green color. It was a hybrid and she was interested in seeing how it ran.
“My name is Bill. Welcome to Anacostia Cars and Trucks,” the big man smiled around his mustache and Toni immediately wanted to sigh. She knew what was going to happen next.
“Hi, I’m Toni. I’m looking for a new vehicle,” she replied politely.
The man chuckled. “Wonderful, where’s your husband?”
Toni rolled her eyes, “Thanks for your time,” she said and turned on her heel and walked out.
“Ma’am! Ma’am!” The salesman scrambled to catch up as she strode to her car.
Getting into her Mustang, she rolled her window down and looked at the man who looked baffled by her behavior.
“I’m sorry, I didn’t realize…” he trailed off as she held up her hand.
“You lost a sale because you didn’t think a woman could figure out how to buy her own car. Let me tell you something, sir. I’ve run a federal agency and bought my own cars for YEARS. I work on my own cars if I have the time. You need to go to a class on how to treat women because frankly, you suck at it.” She rolled up her window and drove off with the roar of a well-tuned V-8 engine.
Bill shook his head. “Women.”
“Wow, Bill. Way to miss the message, ” a fellow salesman pointed out incredulously.
“Shut up, Marty,” Bill barked and walked back inside.
Toni sat in on many intelligence briefings. She never brought an aide as she was proficient in shorthand and Cynthia could type it all up for her. A bit old school but she preferred not to have top secret things on a networked computer, especially after Ziva.
Several Generals and an Admiral had retired, and there were a couple of new Generals and political appointees that she mostly hadn’t met since she’d missed the last meeting due to a crisis in Alaska. The group was a solid mix of women and men, and there was usually an informal round of introductions before a meeting but today’s agenda was jam-packed so they’d just dove right in.
They’d covered most of the agenda when one of the new Marine Generals said, “Okay, there’s a couple of classified items pertaining to Iran that we need all of the extra folks to leave for.” There was a rustle as several aides and interns left through one of the doors.
Toni was checking her phone when the man cleared his throat. “You too, honey.”
The sudden silence in the room made Toni look up and she caught the new guy looking at her expectantly. Everyone else was watching her avidly to see how she’d react to the man.
“Oh, you were speaking to me? My name isn’t honey,” she said blandly.
The man’s cheeks reddened. “I asked for all of the aides and secretaries to leave.”
Toni kept her face still but widened her eyes, “Aaaand?” she drawled.
Admiral Beth Thomas snorted and began to chuckle. “Toni, I swear.” A couple of more women covered laughter.
Toni winked at Beth and stood, “Sorry. You must have me confused with someone else. I’m Director Antonia DiNozzo of NCIS. I’m NOT one of the secretaries or aides, not that I don’t think they’re important to the smooth running of the government, because I do. However, just because I’m not a woman in uniform doesn’t mean you can talk down to me. Are we understood? Because if we’re not, I can meet you at the gym, or the range, either one.”
SECDEF laughed softly. “Apologize, Brett. Toni would kick your ass, trust me. Her husband, Retired Admiral A.J. Chegwidden would hold her coat.”
The General blanched and stood. “Please accept my apologies, Director,” he said seriously. “It wasn’t my intention to be a misogynistic ass. My name is Brett Summers and I just rotated back from Iraq. And normally I’m a pretty decent guy.”
Toni nodded her head. “Nice to meet you, Brett. Let’s continue, no reason to hold up the meeting.” She sat back down and Admiral Bennet nudged her with a smirk. She responded with an eyeroll. It was like working with teenagers.
After the meeting Toni was gathering her things when she turned to see Gen. Brett Summers standing there, looking like a scolded school boy.
“Seriously, you’ve already apologized.”
“This is going to sound worse,” he warned her, “I thought you were too pretty to be in the meeting and obviously you were one of the extra people that officer’s bring from their command. I extrapolated that you might have been a secretary since you were handwriting notes. I’ll reiterate that I’m an ass.”
Toni regarded the tall, blond man. He had the typical high and tight Marine cut and was wearing his pink and greens, his chest candy showing he wasn’t a chair warmer. She met his gray eyes, “Do better.”
“I will. I actually once served with your husband. Give him my regards, would you?” he asked.
Toni laughed, “Oh, he’s definitely hearing about this. Expect a personal visit.”
Jack came up and wrapped an arm around her shoulder. “So, pistols at dawn? Do you need a second?”
Toni shoved an elbow into his side. “No, because we’re actual adults and talked it out, Jack.”
Admiral Michaels gathered Summers up and escorted him away with a smirk for Toni, while Jack turned to look at her.
“You Ms. DiNozzo, you remind me of Danny every time you get your snark on,” he said with a grin.
Toni laughed, “Oh no, Danny is much better at it than I am because he looks so academic and serious that when he starts in it’s such a surprise.”
With an ‘after the kids are finally in bed’ glass of wine, Toni told A.J. what had happened, making him laugh.
He toasted her with his wine glass. “Good for you, sweetheart. It’s why I fell in love with you. You take absolutely no bullshit.”
“Yeah, yeah,” Toni said, but pleased that her own husband thought she was a badass. She knew she was, it was nice to have other people think so.
The building was larger than Toni liked and everyone was on radio silence. It was also darker than a witch’s cunt and she felt like she was breathing too loudly and her heart was beating hard in her chest. She was holding her gun up and straining to hear anything in the area around her.
Jackson Parks was somewhere in this building and he was not getting away. He was a brutal child killer, a Navy Commander who’d obviously gone off his rocker and thought solving his professional issues with colleagues by murdering their children was a good idea.
NCIS had several teams in the building, along with local LEO’s and they were all hunting. Toni was hoping that her request for a MWD from the base would be approved if they didn’t find the bastard.
A noise, a mere susurration of sound made her stop breathing. Toni knew, without a shadow of a doubt, that Parks was around the corner from her. She carefully inched closer to the corner, and she could smell sweat and blood and bared her teeth.
“Come out, come out, wherever you are,” his voice sang out softly and Toni granted his wish.
She rounded the corner in a rush and punched him right in the nose, causing him to reel back in shock and blood to gush. Following up with a roundhouse kick made Jackson Parks drop like his strings were cut. Toni panted as she rode the adrenaline rush.
“Suspect down,” she said into her radio, prudently staying back with her weapon trained on the man.
Multiple voices came over the radio and now she could hear noise as the radio silence order had been obviously lifted because of her call.
Even in the gloom of the building, she caught the moment when Parks surfaced back to consciousness.
“Don’t do anything stupid,” she ordered and he stopped trying to play possum and smirked around the blood on his face.
“You see, I only said suspect down. If you’re dead it’s the same thing,’ Toni continued conversationally. “But dead isn’t what I want, I want you to suffer. So instead I’d shoot your dick off.” She ignored the shocked outrage on his face. “Of course, it still might kill you but probably only sever your spinal cord and you’d have to shit and pee in a bag. Oh, and be in a wheelchair. But I’d have the satisfaction of watching you suffer.”
He opened his mouth, but the sight of flashlights and sudden increase in noise alerted them both and suddenly Gibbs was there along with his team, including Agent G. Callen and several police behind them.
“Good job, Toni,” he said and kicked Parks over to handcuff the man. Of them all Toni thought Jethro had suffered the most with this case. The last little girl had looked remarkably like GiGi and it tore them both up.
“Thanks,” she murmured.
On his feet, Parks glared at her until Gibbs smacked the back of his head.
“Knock it off, Parks,” he barked.
“I’m an officer!” Parks yelled, “Show me respect.”
“You’re a deviant, amoral monster,” Toni corrected and slid her gun into her holster. “You aren’t worthy of respect.”
“Let’s go,” Gibbs and G frog-marched the man out of the derelict building and once outside Toni gulped in a deep breath of the salty, grimy air on the docks.
Agent Sam Hanna came over and eyed her in concern, “Are you okay, Director?” he asked.
Toni flexed her hand thoughtfully. “I think I broke my hand on his face,” she said and he took her hand and manipulated her fingers gently.
“Yeah, I think you’re right. C’mon, I’ll take you to the infirmary.”
“It’ll wait. I want to get that piece of shit booked. I want every I dotted and every T crossed. He’s not going to slither out of this on a technicality,” she vowed.
Sam smiled. “Yes, ma’am.”
At the brig as he was getting booked, Parks was complaining volubly about Toni’s threat. The booking Master-At- Arms petty officer’s ‘uh-huh’ was absently given as he continued to get prints verified by the Live-Scan equipment.
Captain Harmon Rabb was there as JAG representative, and he looked like he was ready to beat the Commander mute.
Stepping inside, Toni smirked. “What’s the matter, Parks?” she enquired archly. “Did it hurt your feelings that you got your ass kicked by a girl?”
Harm’s laughter was contagious in the room and Parks turned red with rage.
“I won’t forget you,” he promised darkly.
“The feeling is mutual,” Toni confirmed.
“Stop poking the serial killer, ma’am,” G said.
“I know, I know,” Toni replied, tongue in cheek. “It’s not fair to challenge someone to a battle of wits when they are unarmed.”
G snorted and escorted her away. She was as bad as Hetty.