Hey guys, it's been a while, but my muse is back in action!
This is a fic that I started about 6 months ago and have finally got nearly completed.
(nearly had to give up on it when my computer went kaploowy on me and I lost most of my WIP's. Thanks heavens for Beta's who don't delete their emails and were able to help me restore it)
Anyway, enjoy!

Title: Red Peril - 1?
Author: Ceindreadh
Fandom(s): NCIS
Genre (general, hetero or slash) : slash/action/hurt-comfort
Rating: T Warnings: Disclaimer. I don't own the NCIS characters, I'm only borrowing them, and I promise to return them in minty fresh condition when I'm finished.
Notes: I'd started writing this before Hiatus aired, so I've pretty much ignored anything that was revealed in the latter end of the season.

Red Peril 1

Harry Caffrey, Private Investigator for hire, puffed on his cigarette and looked around the deserted parking garage. He knew that for most people, this was their image of a P.I. Clandestine meetings after dark, hanging around in deserted locations, dealings with shady clients...but they couldn't have been more wrong. These days Caffrey met most of his clients in his office, which while not exactly high class, was still far from being the run down smoke stained office so beloved of pulp fiction novelists of yesteryear.

But every now and then, Caffrey had dealings with people who for one reason or another, didn't wish to seen to be having dealings with him. He liked these clients, because they usually paid cash...in advance. These clients rarely gave him their real names, or even the real reason they needed his services. But so long as the Ben Franklins they gave him checked out okay, Caffrey didn't care.

"You're late." The voice echoed around the parking garage as a figure stepped out from the shadows. With big sunglasses and a scarf wrapped snugly around her head, it was clear that she didn't intend to be recognized.

"Well hey there, Red," said Caffrey. He took another idle puff on his cigarette before throwing it to the ground and stepping on it. He grinned inwardly enjoying the way his client grimaced at the nickname he'd assigned her. But she couldn't complain, after all, she'd been the one insisting on secrecy, and he'd had to call her something. She'd been wearing red shoes the first time he met her in person, and it was as good a nickname as any. "Nice weather we've been having lately"

"Did you follow him?" Red snapped.

"Nah, I decided to take your money and make up a story to keep you happy." Caffrey rolled his eyes, "Of course I followed him. And you were right. He went to that address, just like you said he would." He slowly took out an envelope from his jacket pocket and pulled out some photos and fanned them out. "Subject entered the house at approximately eight p.m. About five minutes later all the lights in the house go out. Stays like that till about ten p.m. Then the lights come on, and about half an hour later the subject left. I followed him, but he went straight home. Same thing happened the other two nights. I took pictures with a night vision camera." He handed the photos to Red who took one, her mouth narrowing to a thin line. "Looks like you were right about him, Red. There's definitely a bit of hanky panky going on there"

"How can you be sure? Maybe...maybe they were just watching a game or a movie, and had the lights out"

Caffrey snorted derisively. "Trust me, Red. When a guy hangs out with another guy, there's only one reason they're gonna switch the light off. But if you want, I can have a buddy of mine wire that place for sound. Course it'll cost a pretty penny"

"No...no, that won't be necessary. I've seen enough..." The photo crumpled in her hand.

Looking at Red's reaction, Caffrey hoped the guy he'd been hired to tail didn't have any pets. He'd seen some crazy chicks in his time, and this one looked like prime bunny boiler material. Ah well, not his problem. He just passed on the information he acquired...kept his hands strictly clean...unless of course the price was right.

As if Red had been reading Caffrey's mind, she spoke up, "Mr. Caffrey. The 'friend'...that recommended you to me. I was told that for a price...you sometimes take on...other types of assignments"

Caffrey sighed. He had a pretty good eye for his clients, and from the first meeting with Red, he'd known that she was likely to be one of those 'other types' of clients. "Depends. What sort of 'assignment' were you thinking of? A permanent one? Cause I don't do anything like that"

Red seemed to hesitate before replying. "No...no...not a permanent one. Killing him would be too easy. I want him in pain!" She almost spat the last sentence at him, what was visible of her face twisted in anger. "I don't care how much it costs, but I want him taught a lesson he'll never forget." It took a bit of haggling, but a price was eventually agreed. "Half before the job, half on completion," Caffrey had said.

"I'll call you when it's set"

"Okay." Red started to leave and then turned back to Caffrey. "Just one thing, Mr. Caffrey. When your 'associates' are giving their lesson...make sure they mark his face...I want him to scream the next time he looks in a mirror"

"Sure thing, Red." A shiver went down Caffrey's spine as he watched her walk away. "Damn," he said to himself. "That bitch is cold." He was half tempted to cancel their arrangement, but he had bills coming due and he needed some cash pretty quickly. Plus, he didn't really fancy having Red's anger turned towards him instead. Looking down at the photos in his hand, he sighed regretfully. "Rather you than me, kid."

Red hurried back to her car, which she'd carefully parked a few levels away. She'd had her suspicions for a while now, but having them confirmed was like a slap in the face. It wasn't until she reached her parking space that she realized she was still holding the photo that Caffrey had given her. In a fit of rage she ripped it to shreds.
"Bastard," she spat as she threw the pieces towards a nearby waste bin. "Bastard"

Tony DiNozzo hesitated in the act of taking a picture, "Brrr," he said, shivering. "Feels like somebody just walked over my grave." The swat on the back of his head made him yelp.

"Get those photo's taken, or a grave will be the least of your worries"

"Ouch, on it, Boss"

To be continued