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PostPosted: Sun Jun 22, 2014 12:23 am 
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Title: Dance With the Devil

Rating: FR-18

Summary: A new case gives Tim a feeling of Deja vu,
... until he links it to an old case that's been haunting him for over 10 years.

Notes: WEE 2014 fic for sondheimmcgeek!




Tim shielded his eyes from the sun as he climbed from the back of the MCRT van. It was early on Saturday morning, and Gibbs called them all to a crime scene. As he approached the scene with the camera bag and crime scene kit, Tony cut him off and snatched the camera bag.

"You're on bag and tag," he said irritably.

Too tired to argue, Tim simply nodded and knelt down next to the body to examine it for evidence. It was the body of a young female petty officer. A runner had spotted her on the shore of the Potomac, and called 911. Tim pulled on some gloves and started his investigation. He bagged a few fibers from her clothing, and moved up to her hair, looking for trace evidence. All he found was remnants of dirty river water. His eyes moved over her face, and out of the corner of his eye, he saw an object in her mouth.

"What the hell?" he said to himself as he carefully put a hand on her chin to hold her mouth open. He used tweezers to pull a piece of paper out of her throat. He carefully examined it. The paper had been meticulously folded and then stuffed carelessly in the victim's mouth.

"What have you got, McGee?"

Tim looked up at Gibbs, who was standing over the body next to him.

"I found this in her mouth," he said, getting to his feet. He unfolded it, and furrowed his brow. "This doesn't make any sense."

"What is it?" Gibbs asked, leaning to take a look. The paper was filled with 1s and 0s.

01001000011000010111011001100101001000000111100101101111011101010010000001100101011101100110010101110010001000000110010001100001011011100110001101100101011001000010000001110111011010010111010001101000001000000111010001101000011001010010000001100100011001010111011001101001011011000010000001100010011110010010000001110100011010000110010100100000011100000110000101101100011001010010000001101101011011110110111101101110011011000110100101100111011010000111010000111111

"If I didn't know better, I'd say it was Binary code."

"Come again?"

"It's a type of computer language, Boss."

"Why would a killer leave us a note in Binary code?" Gibbs asked.

"We'll find out when I figure out what it says," Tim said, bagging the note. Gibbs nodded and turned away to talk to Ducky. Tim looked down at the note. Something about all of this was giving him deja vu, but he couldn't for the life of him figure out why. Maybe when he'd deciphered the note, it would come to him.

~*~*~*~*~*~

Tim took the evidence, including the note, down to Abby's lab when they got to NCIS. While she processed the physical evidence, Tim flattened the note and set to work deciphering it. He watched it run through the computer. As the words appeared on the screen in English, Tim's deja vu grew stronger in the pit of his stomach. When the computer was finished, Tim was staring blankly at the screen at the deciphered message.

"Have you ever danced with the devil in the pale moonlight?"

Tim quickly e-mailed the deciphered message to himself, and cleared the search tool. Unfortunately, he wasn't fast enough, and Abby saw the message.

"What does that mean?"

"I'm not sure," he answered quickly. "I have to go."

Tim got up and left the lab without another word.

----------

As soon as the elevator doors closed behind him, Tim hit the stop.

"This is impossible," he said to himself. "How many people are going to die this time? I can't let this bastard play me again."

He let himself breathe for a few moments, then turned the elevator back on. He had to keep this from Gibbs as long as possible, until he could figure out for sure what this was.

Gibbs was waiting on him when he arrived at the bullpen.

"Did you figure out that note, McGee?"

"Yeah... it's weird. I'm not sure what it means," he lied as he pulled up his e-mail and put the note on the big screen.

"Really?" Tony said, smirking. "The killer is quoting Batman? This is going to be interesting."

Gibbs studied the note, then turned to Tony.

"Show this to Ducky. I want to start a psych profile on this guy."

"On it, Boss."

Tim already had it printed out, and handed it to Tony as he walked by. He stared at the note on his computer, and hoped to God that he could figure this out soon.

"McGee."

Tim looked up at Gibbs, who was now looming over his desk.

"Yeah, Boss?"

"Is something bothering you?"

"No, I'm good. Just a bit tired, is all."

"Well, go get some coffee, and then start running the victim's phone records and get on her history, see if you can find anything."

[I] Not that I'm going to find a damn thing, [/I ] Tim thought to himself as he nodded at his Boss.

"Will do, Boss."

Gibbs returned to his desk, and Tim escaped to the break room. As he poured himself a cup of what passed for coffee, and leaned against the counter. He knew this murder couldn't be a coincidence. It had to be the same person as before. He took another gulp of coffee, and resolved to tell Gibbs.

He took his coffee back to the squad room, and found the team packing up.

"Grab your gear, McGee. We have another body."

Tim paled as he threw his coffee in the trash and grabbed his bag. He was back.

TBC...

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Last edited by fallenangel218 on Sun Jun 29, 2014 7:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 23, 2014 2:56 pm 
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Chapter 2

The second body was dumped at Rock Creek Park. Tim immediately offered to bag and tag as they unloaded the gear from the van. Tony had no objection, and walked away with the camera. Tim went straight to the body and started looking over it for another note. He found one - stuffed in the victim's mouth, just like the first one. He quickly bagged it and continued his investigation.

----------

When they got back to NCIS, Tim volunteered to take everything to Abby's lab. Tony and Ellie voiced no objections, and headed up to the squad room. Gibbs, however, followed him into the elevator.

The ride down was silent. Gibbs followed him into the lab, and talked to Abby while Tim ran the binary code through his program to decipher the second note. Tim worked quickly. It took his program a little longer to decipher this note. When the program was finished, Tim was sure he knew who they were dealing with,

"Boss," he said loudly, without looking away from the screen. "I decrypted the note."

Gibbs came to his side and read it.

"I’m every nightmare you've ever had. I'm your worst dream come true. I'm everything you ever were afraid of."

"What the hell does that mean?"

"It's from the Stephen King Movie It. He's taunting me. These notes are meant for me, Boss."

Gibbs crossed his arms and loomed over his Junior Agent, glaring.

"What aren't you telling me?"

Tim stood to be at level with his Boss.

"I know who the killer is."

"And?"

"Can I tell everybody all at once? It's a long story."

"Conference Room B, 10 minutes. You better have a hell of an explanation, McGee."

"Yes, Boss."

Gibbs stalked out of the lab. Tim fell into his chair and started gathering the information he was going to need.

~*~*~*~*~

Ten minutes later, everyone was assembled in Conference Room B, including Ducky, Abby, Jimmy and Director Vance. Tim sat with a file full of paperwork.

Gibbs crossed his arms and glared at him.

"Start explaining, McGee."

Tim turned to the plasma screen and brought up an image. It was a man who looked to be in his early thirties, with olive skin, dark, messy hair and deep brown eyes. His smile was innocent.

"Navy Lieutenant Damien Blake is our killer. He was dishonorably discharged in 2002 for trying to hack into personnel files on the USS Lincoln."

"How did he turn into a serial killer?" Tony asked.

"When I worked in the Norfolk office, the field team there investigated the murder of a Navy officer who turned out to be Blake's C.O. on the Lincoln. He left a note with the body, in Binary code. I was brought in on the case as a technical advisor. When we figured out it was Blake, we dug into his personnel files, and found out that he'd been seeing the Psychologist on board the Lincoln for six months before he was discharged."

Tim stopped briefly to pass around copies of Blake's psych evaluations.

"The psychologist on board the Lincoln, Lt. Commander Robert Jones, filed a psych eval on Blake shortly before his discharge, and testified at the court marshal hearing that lead to Blake's dismissal."

"He determined that Blake was unstable," Ducky said as he read through the report. "Lt. Blake was just short of a mental breakdown."

Tim brought up more images on the screen. Blake's photo disappeared, and an image of four Naval officers appeared in its place.

"The first two murders were his C.O. and Lt. Commander Jones. We found a note at each murder scene, stuffed in the victim's mouth. At first, we pegged it as revenge for getting him discharged. Then--"

Tim stopped talking. He really didn't want to tell them the rest. If he didn't, he'd get himself into trouble for withholding information.

"We tried to decipher the notes before he killed again. I didn't know as much about Binary back then as I do today, so it took me ten times longer to decrypt his messages. By the time I got through the second note, the field team had a third body on their hands. It was Lt. John Bowman, Blake's bunkmate. There was another note. This one was directed at me. He was taunting me, daring me to try and find him."

"What happened?" Tony asked,

"There was one more murder. Ensign Jeannie Rowe. She was only 20 years old, fresh out of boot camp. He didn't have a reason for killing her. He just chose her."

Tim sat down in his chair, trying to hold in the emotions that were building up inside him.

"There was one last note. He knew I was trying to track his cell phone and credit card. He told me I'd never find him. An hour after I decrypted the last note, my programs crashed. The bastard managed to hack into my computer and leave a Trojan behind. I lost him. We tried to pick up his trail again, but he was just... gone. The case went cold after that. I tried to work on it on my own time, but I just couldn't find him."

"So the movie quotes - "

"He's taunting me, Boss... he knew I couldn't find him before. He's challenging me."

"How the hell does he know who you are?" Gibbs asked angrily.

"While he was in the server planting my computer virus, he must have looked at the personnel files."

Vance stood and turned to McGee.

"Are you telling me this guy hacked into the NCIS server and viewed personnel files, and no one noticed?"

"Most likely."

"To know exactly where you are and that you'd be the one called to that crime scene, he must have been hacking into our system for years!"

Tim nodded.

"Find this bastard and get him off the streets. He's a threat to National Security."

"He's not getting away from me this time, Director," Tim replied.

"Good. Now, if you all will excuse me, I have some people I need to fire."

Vance left them. Abby, who had been silent the entire time, got up and went around the table to Tim. She hugged him tightly.

"We'll get this bastard, Tim. I'll help you track him down. He won't get away this time."

"I hope you're right, Abby. I really do."

TBC...

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 23, 2014 2:59 pm 
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Chapter 3

After Tim's briefing, everyone headed out to start the investigation into Damien Blake. Tim sank into a chair and put his head down on the table. Why was this happening to him?

A hand on his shoulder prompted him to lift his head. Gibbs was standing next to him.

"We're going to find him."

"He's always a step ahead of me, Boss. He got away from me ten years ago. He's going to do it again."

Thwack!

"Do you really think I'm going to let this bastard run around free?"

"I'm not going to be able to track him... I couldn't do it last time."

Gibbs leaned in close to Tim's face.

"You've been on my team for over ten years. I don't accept second best on my team. I don't have any doubt that you can track this guy down. You have the skills. Don' t ever doubt that."

"Thanks, Boss. I needed that."

Gibbs clapped him on the shoulder.

"Good. Come on, let's find this guy."

Tim gathered his folders and followed Gibbs out of the conference room. They walked to the squad room together, and found Ducky and Tony staring at the plasma, at the latest note.

"This guy is picking his movie quotes with style," Tony remarked.

"He's a psychotic bastard, Tony, and he needs to be stopped," Tim snapped.

"Whoa, Probie. I was only kidding."

"Tim is right, I'm afraid," Ducky chimed in, interrupting the budding argument. "Damien Blake is deeply obsessed with Tim. By sending these particular quotes, he seems to be taunting, saying "catch me if you can," if you will."

"I'm going to catch him," Tim said, sitting down at his desk. "He isn't getting away from me this time."

Tim's cell rang on his desk. Everyone watched as he answered it.

"McGee."

"I was hoping I found the right phone number."

"You..."

"That's usually not what I go by, but I'll take it, Tim. Now, what was that you were saying about finding me?"

"What are you talking about?" Tim said quickly.

He put the phone on speaker as he signaled to Gibbs. He scribbled "Bug" on a piece of paper and held it up for his colleagues. Tony and Gibbs immediately started to search. Tim pulled up a tracer program and started to run a trace on the phone call. The signal was completely blocked.

"You'll never find that bug... you might as well stop looking."

"I'm going to find you, and you're going to suffer, you hear me, Blake?" Tim said angrily.

"Go ahead and try, Timmy. You couldn't catch me before."

"I won't let you end any more lives."

"It's not just about the Navy anymore... the Government screwed me out of my career, and they are going to pay."

The call disconnected. Tim threw his phone against his cubicle wall.

"What the hell just happened?" Tony asked in disbelief.

Gibbs signaled for everyone to be quiet. Tim wrote another note and held it up for Gibbs to see.

Tell Vance!

Gibbs nodded, and sent Bishop upstairs. Tim wrote again and held up his paper.

What now?

As Gibbs read the note, Tim's computer beeped, signaling a new e-mail. Tim glanced at it, and then sat down. It was from an unfamiliar e-mail address, with no subject line. He clicked on it.

"And the library? Gone... sealed off, brick by brick. We'll have us a little book barbecue in the yard. They'll see the flames for miles. We'll dance around it like wild injuns! You understand me?"

Gibbs exchanged glances with Tim as they read. What was Blake planning?

Tony suddenly ran up to them with something in his hand. Gibbs took the bug, dropped it on the ground, and stomped on it. The bug smashed into pieces. Gibbs nodded his permission to talk again.

"Where'd you find it?" Tim asked quietly.

"In your desk lamp, Probie."

"How in the hell did he get into this building to plant that bug?" Tim said in frustration.

"This is bigger than just Blake," Gibbs said suddenly, grabbing his team's attention. "He's got an accomplice. There's a mole in NCIS."

Tim and Tony exchanged looks, and a shiver ran up Tim's spine. Someone inside of NCIS had been spying on him for years. It could have been anyone he'd been in contact with, or not had contact with. But who?

"Gibbs!"

The three of them looked up to see Vance jogging down the balcony stairs, Bishop at his heels.

"What the hell is going on?"

"Leon, this is bigger than a rogue Navy Officer... Blake is getting help from someone inside of NCIS."

"Are you telling me we have a mole?"

"That's exactly what I'm telling you, Leon."

"Sir, we have another quote," Tim interrupted. "Blake, or his accomplice, sent me an e-mail while Tony was looking for the bug." Tim put it up on the screen for everyone to see.

"Shawshank?" Tony said immediately. "I don't get it."

"I do," said Vance, eyes glued to the screen. "He's talking about the Library of Congress."

"What?" Tony practically shrieked. "How--"

"If Blake wants to see the flames for miles, that is the only "library" that will do the job."

"We have to get everyone out of the area," Tim said. "Director--"

Tim didn't get to finish his sentence. Vance was already on Gibbs' desk phone, calling the SecNav.

"Boss--"

"Let's go."

Tony, Ellie and Tim grabbed their weapons and ran to the elevator behind Gibbs.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~

When they arrived outside the Library of Congress, people were already running out of the building in a mass panic. Luckily, Congress wasn't in session, so staff was limited. They jumped out of the sedan and took off across the yard toward the main building. They didn't make it halfway before an explosion stopped them in their tracks.

"Look!"

Ellie was pointing toward 2nd street. The John Adams building was aflame. They could see dozens of fire trucks attempting to control the blaze.

"My God," Gibbs breathed.

"We're too late," Tim said, sheathing his gun.

"What if there's more?" Ellie said suddenly.

"He's not that bold," Tim said. "He's trying to prove a point."

"You don't think he 's still here, do you?"

"He isn't here, Ellie. He sent us on a wild goose chase."

Gibbs turned back to the group, having just hung up his phone.

"Vance is calling a meeting in 30 minutes, with SecNav. Let's go."

They all started walking toward Independence street. Tim stood for a moment, watching the flames.

"McGee! Let's go!" Gibbs shouted.

Tim came out of his daze and ran to the sedan. He slid into the backseat. He and Ellie watched the flames from the back window as the car moved away from the scene.

TBC...

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 24, 2014 10:06 am 
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Chapter 4

Secretary Porter was waiting in Vance's office when the MCRT got back to headquarters. They filed in, and Tony closed the door behind them. Vance looked at Gibbs, the question silently hanging in the air.

"The John Adams Building is up in flames."

Vance closed his eyes, willing the image from his mind, as the SecNav gasped in shock. She quickly recovered and faced the group, anger radiating from her eyes.

"Someone is going to fill me in exactly what's going on, right now."

Everyone looked at Tim.

"What? Me?"

Gibbs glared at him. He nodded and stepped forward.

"The person of interest is Damien Blake. He is a discharged Navy Lieutenant that murdered four people 10 years ago. He got away, and he's back again. We thought he was going to pick up where we left off, and that he was just a serial killer, but then this---"

"Do we have any idea why he would try to blow up the Library of Congress?"

"I never thought he would," Tim said. "Ten years ago, his targets were the people responsible for his discharge from the Navy, and one random person. He wasn't profiled as a terrorist."

"He's obviously a terrorist now," she said angrily.

"There's more, Madam Secretary. Blake has an accomplice, and it's someone from inside NCIS."

"What?!"

Vance stepped in.

"I've been looking into that, Ma'am. That mole will be in jail so fast it'll make your head spin."

She addressed the group, fuming.

"I'm going to increase security around the entire Capitol... I don't want any more historical buildings being blown to hell. I want Blake in jail for the rest of his natural life. If you let him get away again, you're all fired. Does everyone understand me?"

Everyone nodded, shocked.

"Dismissed."

Everyone filed out of the Director's office, and down the stairs to the squad room. Gibbs addressed his team as soon as they were all in the bullpen.

"McGee, run every search program you have to try and get a location on Blake. Do what you have to. Talk whoever you can find that has ever known Blake. I want to know everything about him, and I want to know his endgame."

"On it, Boss. I'm not letting him get away this time."

"DiNozzo, you and Bishop work on finding the mole. Search every system NCIS has. Report any anomaly you find, no matter how small."

"On it."

"I'm going to see Ducky. Call me when you find something."

"On it Boss," they all said in unison.

Gibbs made his way to the back elevator, and took it down to Autopsy. He found Ducky and Jimmy leaning over an autopsy table, with paperwork spread out on it.

"What have you got, Ducky?"

"I've been going over his notes from the past and comparing them to his recent notes. He is playing a game with us... he wants us to know that he's smarter than us. By setting off that bomb at the John Adams library, he is attempting to take control."

"He told McGee that he was going to make the Government pay."

"I'm still digging into his reasons for hacking into those files 10 years ago. This is one psychological profile that's going to take me a while."

"Call me--"

"The minute I have something."

Gibbs nodded and left Autopsy. Everyone had a lot of work to do.

TBC

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 24, 2014 10:12 am 
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Chapter 5

Tim stared at his computer as his search programs pored through information. At least one of these programs had to find something. He couldn't let Blake destroy more lives. He needed to be taken off the streets. Tim was determined to find him, and he'd be the one to slap the cuffs on him when they did.

A shadow over him brought him out of his reverie, and he looked up to find Ellie standing over him.

"How are you?"

"I'm not sure how this all happened, Ellie. I feel like I've let all of this slip past me for ten years. How could I not know someone was in my computer?"

"We can't always catch everything."

"I've got six different firewalls on this PC... if anything gets through that shouldn't be on here, it should alert me. For this to happen for ten years, means that I did something wrong. It's my job to find him and fix my mistakes."

"There's no way you could have predicted all of this," Ellie said gently.

"Ten years ago, I had him, and I let him get away. He needs to be stopped."

Ellie sighed. She hadn't known Tim for very long, but she could tell he was being too hard on himself. She also knew enough about men to know when to back off for a while.

"Let me know if you need any help, okay?"

"I will. Thanks, Ellie."

She smiled and went back to her desk. Tim decided at that point that the seven programs he had running wasn't enough, and started work on some new ones. He'd find Blake and put him away, even if he had to create a million programs to do it.

-----------

later.... around 8 p.m. …


The day crew filtered out of the bullpen a little after six, making way for the night crew. Tim remained at his desk. Twenty search programs were running concurrently on his computer. His desk trash bin was already filling up with empty coffee cups.

He didn't notice Gibbs approach his desk.

"McGee."

"Oh, hi Boss. I'm still looking for Blake. I've written ten new programs to help with the search--"

"Take a break."

"B-but I can't! I have to find him!"

"We'll find him, but you're no good to this investigation if you're tired. Take an hour and go take a nap on Abby's futon."

"How am I going to possibly fall asleep? I've had six cups of coffee today."

"Just get out of here for a while. Your programs will be here when you get back."

"But--"

"It's not a request, McGee. Go."

Tim sighed and got up from his chair. He brushed past Gibbs and stalked toward the back elevator.

----------

Abby nearly tackled Tim when he stepped into her lab.

"How are you doing? Are you all right?"

"Abby! Please, I need some space."

She let him go and stepped back a few paces.

"I'm sorry, I got carried away."

"No, I'm sorry, Abbs I shouldn't have snapped at you." He scrubbed a hand over his face. Suddenly, he did feel a bit tired. "Could I borrow your futon for an hour?"

"Sure! It's under my desk."

"Thanks, Abbs. Could you wake me in an hour?"

"You got it."

Tim kissed her on the cheek and went into her office to lie down. He fell asleep as soon as he was comfortable on her futon.

------------

Tony was half asleep in his chair when his computer beeped at him. He swung his feet back to the floor and pulled up to his monitor. The search he'd been running had found an anomaly.

"Ellie, take a look at this," he said. She hurried to his desk.

"I found several phone calls going out to an unknown number from someone in the Intel department."

"Can you tell whose number it is?"

"I can try." Tony tried to back trace the number, but he couldn't get through the firewall.

"Let me try," Ellie said, shoving herself in front of his computer. She tried for a few minutes, and almost got in, but was kicked out as soon as she got close.

"Darn it!"

"You two have something?"

Tony looked up as Gibbs got out of his chair.

"I've got some weird calls coming from an extension in Intel, but we can't get in to find the number."

"Take it to Abby. She can get past those program things."

"Will do, Boss."

Tony saved everything and e-mailed it to himself, and hurried to the elevator. He was only a click or two away from finding the mole. He could feel it.

----------

Abby was working with the music off when Tony arrived.

"What, no music?" he quipped.

"McGee is napping in my office."

"About time he took a break. He's been working himself hard." Tony pulled up his e-mail on Abby's spare computer, and opened up the files he'd found. "I need your help."

"Whatcha got?"

"I got a hit on some strange calls from an extension in Intel, but Ellie and and I can't get past the firewalls to find out who is making the calls. I was hoping you could work your magic."

"Let me see."

Abby took a shot at breaking through the firewall protecting the Intel servers.

"Wow, whoever put up these firewalls is really good," Abby said. "I'm having trouble getting through. I've never had this much trouble searching an internal server before."

"Someone obviously doesn't want us snooping," Tony said.

"Wait - I think I got through!" Abby said in elation as a list of outgoing calls started to populate on her screen. Tony scanned the list with his eyes, and rested on the strange phone number.

"That's the one!" he said, pointing to it.

Abby highlighted any call to that number.

"That's your extension," she said. Tony studied the number, and the name attached.

"Who's Lyle Hogan?"

"I'm not sure, I've never met him." Abby said. She pulled up the personnel database and put in the name. "That's strange. He's not in the NCIS personnel database."

"How in the hell does he have an extension in Intel, if he's not in the personnel files?"

"I'm not sure."

"I'm calling Gibbs."

He turned from Abby and hit his number 1 speed dial.

"Tell me you have something, DiNozzo."

"Abby got in, and we traced the calls to an extension that belongs to an Agent Lyle Hogan."

"I don't know any Lyle Hogan that works in Intel."

"Neither do we. Abby tried to pull his personnel file, but there isn't one."

"Someone's playing games with us, and it's not damn funny."

"We'll keep digging, Boss. I want to know who's doing this, and I'll go up to Intel myself and drag them out in cuffs."

"Let Abby do the computer stuff. I want you back up at your desk, going through the personnel files of everyone who works in Intel."

"Yes, Boss."

Tony hung up and turned back to Abby.

"Keep digging into this Lyle Hogan. I'm going to start digging through personnel files."

"Call me if you find something."

"You know it, Abbs."

Tony smiled reassuringly as he left the lab, but in reality, he was scared as hell. Everything was falling apart around them, and he felt helpless.

-----------------

Tim felt himself being shaken awake. He opened his eyes to see Abby kneeling over him, with a worried look on her face.

"Abby, what's wrong?" he said, sitting up on the futon.

"We got another note from Blake."

TBC...

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 25, 2014 10:51 pm 
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Chapter 6

Tim jumped up and bolted out of the office. Gibbs and Tony were standing by Abby's computer.

"Where's the note?" he asked, skidding a halt in front of the computer, and nearly careening into Gibbs. "I need to see the note!"

"McGee!" Gibbs grabbed him by the arm. "Slow down." He looked at Abby and nodded. She brought it up on the screen, already translated from the Binary code.

"I visited your home this morning after you'd left. I tried to play husband. I tried to taste the life of a simple man. It didn't work out, so I took a souvenir... her pretty head."

Tim stared at the note, his face pale.

"Are you okay, Tim?" Gibbs asked.

Tim shook his head slowly. Tony slid a stool over, and Gibbs guided Tim down onto it.

"He was at my apartment."

"We'll send a team there to process the place, make sure he didn't take anything valuable."

"He already took something."

Gibbs looked into his youngest Agent's eyes. He saw real fear and anxiety in Tim's expression.

"What did he take, Tim?"

"My mother is visiting. She's staying at my apartment. Boss, he's got my Mother."

Tim's body started to quiver, and Abby went to his side as he broke down in tears.

"DiNozzo, call Balboa and have him get his team to Tim's apartment."

"On it."

Gibbs pulled up a stool and sat down next to Tim.

"We'll find her."

"Why would he do this? Why would he take my Mother? Why is he singling me out? I'm just the computer nerd that screwed up and lost track of him."

"This guy worked with computers in the Navy," Abby said, keeping her arm around his shoulders for support. "He probably saw you as a threat back then, and after all this time, probably built up an obsession with you."

"I just want this to be over," he said through tears. "I want my Mother back!"

"That bastard won't get a chance to hurt her, Tim," Gibbs reassured. "We're going to get him."

Gibbs' cell rang. He got up and answered it.

"Yeah, Gibbs."

"I think I've finally got something on Blake!"

"What is it, Ellie?"

"I talked to his Mother on the phone. She told me he was always in trouble growing up. He was pretty impossible to talk to as a teenager. She hasn't seen him since he joined the Navy after high school."

"How does that help us, Ellie?" Gibbs said, frustration growing.

"She told me about a place that he liked to go to be alone, when he was a teenager. It was his favorite place. It's a beachfront property his father owned before he died. It's out on Chesapeake Bay. Mrs. Blake can't remember the address."

"That's good work, Ellie. Do whatever search you have to and find me an address."

Gibbs closed his phone and turned back to Tim, who had semi-composed himself.

"Ellie is working on getting a location on Blake, and Balboa and his team should be on their way to your place to process it."

"I want to help," Tim said, getting up from the stool.

"The best thing you can do is stay down here with Abby and work on tracking his movements."

"That's all I've been doing! He has my Mother! I'm just supposed to sit down here in the Lab and hope he doesn't kill her?"

"He wants you to find him! If you go looking for him, you're going to get yourself killed!"

"If it means saving my Mother's life, I'd die in a heartbeat!"

"Do you think she'd want us to save her life, just so she can attend your funeral?"

"N-no. I can't do that to her."

"You're staying here. End of discussion."

"Yes, Boss."

Tim lowered his eyes in defeat.

"You'll be the first person I call when we catch him. Okay?"

Tim nodded and turned away. Gibbs looked at Abby.

"Take care of him, Abbs."

"I will, don't worry."

Gibbs kissed her on the cheek, and left them alone in the Lab.

"What am I supposed to do down here, Abby?" TIm said in frustration, when Gibbs was gone. "I can't just sit here
while that psychopath has my Mother God knows where!"

"You have to stay here, Tim. Gibbs knows what he's doing. Besides, you know I'll tie you up in my office if you try to leave."

Tim rolled his eyes as his cell phone rang. The caller ID showed up blocked.

"Get Gibbs," he said before he clicked 'answer.'

"If you hurt my mother, Blake, I'll hunt you down and kill you myself."

"Such hateful words, Timmy... your Mother would not approve."

"I want to talk to her, Blake. Put her on the phone."

"Your mother's in here, Karras. Would you like to leave a message? I'll see that she gets it for you."

"Quit talking in movie quotes and put my Mother on the damn phone!"

The line was quiet for a moment. Tim put it on speaker as Gibbs hurried into the Lab, Abby at his heels. They could hear Blake fumbling with the phone.

"Timothy..."

"Mom... are you all right, Mom? Did he hurt you?"

"I'm all right. Don't you give him a damn thing, Timothy, do you hear me?"

"I'm not going to let him hurt you, Mom."

"It won't do any good negotiating for me if this animal isn't in jail. Stand up for yourself, Tim. I've taught you better than that."

The phone shifted again, and Blake took over the line.

"Your Mother is brave, Timmy. She's got quite a mouth on her, too."

"I'm going to find you, Blake, and I'm going to kill you. You're not going to get away from me again."

"Catch me if you can, Timmy."

The line disconnected. Tim threw his phone across the room and started out of the Lab. Gibbs intercepted him.

"Hey! Where do you think you're going?" he asked, getting right up in McGee's face.

"I'm going to find him, Boss. He's mine."

"You're not going out there half-cocked. You'll get yourself killed! Have you been listening to me at all, McGee?"

"I'm not going to let him hurt her, Gibbs," Tim said, calming a bit. "This is all happening because I screwed up a case over ten years ago. It's my fault, and I'm going to fix it."

"You were the tech advisor on that case, McGee. The field agents working the case are more responsible than you were."

"They were cowards! Agent Perez resigned from NCIS, and Agents Thomas and Miranda transferred to L.A. shortly before I started consulting for you."

"Agent Perez? "

"Yeah, Mark Perez."

"You never said you worked with that bastard," Gibbs said, scrunching his face in distaste. "Mark Perez was the worst field agent I've ever worked with. I'm surprised he didn't get fired after all the stunts he pulled."

"He used to try and check my work," Tim remembered. "I came back from lunch one afternoon to find him hovering over my desk..."

A light bulb went off in Tim's head.

"Perez... he has a degree in Computer Science. Boss, Perez is the mole!" Tim turned to Abby. "Pull up his file."

Abby had it up in a flash.

"Mark Perez, Age 49, resigned from NCIS in 2003, after--oh my God."

"What is it, Abbs?" Gibbs asked as he and Tim joined her at the computer.

"He didn't quit because of the Blake investigation. He resigned because he was accused of hacking into top secret NCIS files."

Tim sank into the stool next to him.

"I was the one who reported him," he confessed. "I remember now. When I caught him at my computer, I questioned him. He shouted at me, told me he was checking on my searches. When I went to check them, they'd been aborted. I couldn't get them running again. That's when we lost Blake. After that, I found a sub-program running on my computer that was scanning for top secret files in the NCIS system. I immediately stopped it, and eradicated it from my computer. Three days later, I caught Mark running the same program at his desk. I went into an empty office and called the Director, and reported him. He resigned the next day."

Gibbs stared at the man on the computer screen. He remembered Mark as a cocky agent. He'd butted heads with the young Agent many times over the direction of a case. When he'd reached his wits' end with Mark, he had him transferred to Norfolk.

"Abby, do what you can to find out where Perez is hiding, and do what you can to find the programs he's running in the database."

"On it, Gibbs."

"McGee, come with me."

Tim shakily followed his Boss out of the Lab, and into the elevator. As soon as it started to move, Gibbs hit the stop.

"Listen to me. This is not your fault. Any of it. Perez is traitor to this country, and is going to be labeled terrorist. Nothing you did made him that way."

"I'm what he wants! I could stop all of this!"

Thwack!

"You will not give yourself up to this bastard, do you hear me? We're going to get Blake and Perez, and both of them are going to Gitmo for the rest of their natural lives."

"I want to be there."

"Absolutely not, McGee. You're going into protective custody. Vance's orders."

"You can't do this to me! I have to help!"

"You've done enough by starting those program things you do," Gibbs said. "Let us take it from here. We won't let Blake hurt your Mother."

Tim looked into his Boss' eyes. He trusted Gibbs implicitly. He nodded shakily.

"Okay. I'll go."

"Good."

Gibbs hit the stop, and they continued to the squad room. Tony was waiting there, a grin plastered on his face.

"Ready to go, Probie?"

"Where am I going, a safe house?"

"Nope."

"Then where - "

Tony signaled for him to shut up, and nodded to the elevator. Tim understood. He gathered his belongings, said a quick goodbye to Gibbs and Ellie, and followed Tony into the elevator. Once it closed, and Tony had cleared it for listening devices, he turned to Tim.

"I'm taking you to my place."

"Tony, if Perez hacked the system, he knows where you live."

"Good point. Which is why I'm still taking you to my place."

Tim looked worried.

"I've got your six, Probie. You can count on me."

"Thanks, Tony."

----------

The drive to Tony's apartment was a short one. Thankfully, there was minimal traffic on the highway that afternoon. Tony got out of the car first when he pulled into his parking spot at his apartment building. He opened Tim's door, and escorted Tim into the building, gun at the ready.

They ascended four flights of stairs to get to Tony's floor. As they approached Tony's door, Tim saw movement out of the corner of his eye. Before either of them could react, a man came out of nowhere and hit Tony in the head with the butt of a gun, knocking him out.

"Tony!"

"Don't move!" the man shouted, pointing his gun at Tim. "Get his keys and unlock the door."

Tim was frozen in fear.

"Do it!"

"Okay. Let's all just calm down, here," Tim said gently as he bent down to pick up Tony's keys off the floor. Inches away was Tony's SIG.

"Don't even think about touching that gun. I'll shoot your fingers off before you get your hand on it."

Tim picked up the keys and returned to a standing position.

"Unlock the door, and drag him inside."

Tim followed the directions given, unlocking the door quickly,and dragging Tony into the apartment by his arms. The man closed the door behind them, and locked it. He was carrying Tony's SIG, which he quickly tucked into the inside of his coat, out of view. He took off his hat and sunglasses, and turned to face Tim, who was on the floor, attending to Tony. Tim's eyes widened.

"Mark?"

TBC...

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Chapter 7

"Mark, what the hell--"

"Shut your mouth right now, McGee!" Mark said, pointing the gun at his former co-worker.

Tim kept his hands visible to Mark.

"Listen, I know you want me dead. You can do whatever you want to me, but leave Tony out of it. He isn't involved."

"He's part of your new team, McGee. He's involved whether he wanted to be or not."

Mark moved closer to Tim.

"Get up."

Tim got to his feet.

"Turn around, and put your hands behind your back."

Tim didn't ask questions. He obeyed. He felt Mark pull his arms, and then he made his move. He swung around and tried to throw a punch at Mark. He missed, and Mark twisted his arm behind his back, and shoved him against the wall. Tim shouted in pain at the feeling of his shoulder stretching in its socket.

"You never could take me, McGee. You're getting better, though." he shoved Tim harder into the wall. "Your practice hasn't paid off yet. Come on," he said, shoving Tim ahead into the kitchen. Mark grabbed a kitchen chair and shoved Tim down into it. He confiscated Tim's handcuffs from his coat, and handcuffed Tim's hands through the holes in the back of the chair.

"You're not going anywhere, McGee. You're mine."

"I wouldn't count on that."

Tim and Mark looked up to see Tony standing in the kitchen doorway, gun pointed at Mark.

"Drop the gun, Perez."

Mark responded by pointing it at Tim's head.

"Drop yours, or you'll be cleaning your partner's brains up from your kitchen floor."

Tony and Mark stared each other down. Tony didn't want to drop his weapon, but he also didn't want Tim to die because of a stupid move on Tony's part. Reluctantly, Tony lowered his weapon, and it clattered to the tiled kitchen floor.

"Smart move." Mark reached into Tim's jacket pocket and took out a cell phone. He tossed it to Tony. "Call Gibbs."

"That could be hazardous to your health, Mark."

"Call him. I've got something to say to the almighty Leroy Jethro Gibbs."

Tony hit the speed dial for Gibbs' cell. The team leader picked up immediately.

"What's wrong, DiNozzo?"

"We found Perez, Boss."

"What do you mean?"

Mark grabbed the phone before Tony could answer Gibbs' question.

"Agent Gibbs, it's been far too long since we've talked."

"What did you do, Perez?"

"I've been chatting with Agents McGee and DiNozzo here. Agent DiNozzo has a charming little apartment. It'd be a shame to splatter McGee's brains all over it."

"Shoot him and you won't live to see tomorrow, Perez."

"Oh, I'll let them both live... if you and NCIS give me what I want."

"I'd rather shoot you in the face."

"That's too bad, Gibbs. I was just enjoying getting to know Agent DiNozzo."

Mike aimed the gun at Tony and fired. Tony fell to the floor, the bullet buried deep in his thigh.

"No!"

"Tony!" McGee shouted as Tony writhed in pain.

"Don't worry, Gibbs. He isn't dead yet. He's not going to be able to walk for a while, though."

"I'm coming for you, Perez... and you're not walking out of that apartment alive, do you hear me?"

"They'll both be dead by the time you get here. I suggest you listen to my demands, Gibbs, before DiNozzo loses function in another limb."

"What do you want?"

"I want passage out of this country. I'm off to warmer waters, Gibbs, and I'm never coming back. Unfortunately, being marked as a terrorist makes it hard to leave the country."

"I'll have to talk to the Director about that, Mark. You know I can't authorize that."

"You have two hours. If this phone doesn't ring by ten o'clock sharp, one of your precious Agents will die."

"You'll hear from me."

Gibbs hung up, and Mark set the phone down on the kitchen counter.

"You two had better hope he calls back, for your own good."

---------

Gibbs turned to Ellie as soon as he hung up.

"Did you get the trace?"

"Yeah. They really are at Tony's apartment. Should we go after him?"

"I know this guy. He's not stupid. He'll know if we're playing him."

"He's going to kill them!"

"I won't let that happen. Trust me, Ellie."

Ellie hadn't known Gibbs for very long, but when he asked for her trust, she gave it to him without question. She just hoped Tony and Tim were really OK.

----------

After a while, Mark retreated into the living room, leaving Tim and Tony alone in the kitchen. Tim shifted in his seat as he attempted to pick the lock on his handcuffs. Tony was lying on his back on the floor, trying to breathe slowly, to push the pain in his leg away.

"Tony, I'm sorry," Tim said as he gave up on his handcuffs for the fourth time. "I'm a failure."

"Shut up, McGee."

"You wouldn't have a bullet in your leg right now if it weren't for my screw-up."

"This isn't your fault, so stop blaming yourself," Tony said sharply. "This guy was crazy long before he supervised you. Hell, he was probably helping Blake the entire time you guys were looking for him."

"I was just the one to turn him in. Now he wants to kill me."

"No one is killing anyone, McGee. We're going to get out of this."

"Hopefully sooner than later," Tim said, starting work on his handcuffs again. He had to get them off so he could get Tony out of there, and get him help.

"He's probably in there helping---himself to my booze," Tony said.

"If we get out of here alive, I'll restock your liquor cabinet myself, Tony."

"I'm--holding you to that--Probie."

Tim nearly gasped in elation as the handcuff fell off of his right hand. He pulled his hands through the chair and got up. He looked at the clock on the microwave. They had a half hour until Gibbs was supposed to call Tony's phone. He was hoping Mark was as cocky as he'd been ten years earlier, and thought he could leave Tim and Tony alone in the kitchen without fear of escape. He moved quietly across the kitchen and knelt at Tony's side.

"Where's your fire escape?" he whispered into Tony's ear.

"Bedroom window," Tony said quietly.

"Can we get there without him seeing us?"

"If he's in the study boozing--boozing up, yeah, we can get in there."

Tim pressed himself against the kitchen wall and silently peeked around the corner. The living room was empty.

"Do you think you can walk with my help?"

"If we hurry. I've got about twenty minutes or so before I pass out."

"Ok, we have to move quickly. I'm going to put my arm around you, and you're going to have to pull yourself up with me, okay?"

"Let's just do it already."

Tim helped him sit up, and with Tony's assistance, helped his friend to his feet. By some miracle, Tony managed not to scream out in pain when he put the slightest pressure on his leg. Tim took a last peek, and he and Tony made their way across the hall quickly to the bedroom.

Tony's window happened to be open. Tim slid the screen up, and helped Tony through the window first. Tony started down the fire escape while Tim slid through the window and closed the screen behind him. He trotted down the first set of stairs and supported Tony to the bottom. When they came to the end, Tim lowered down the ladder, and went down a couple of rungs ahead of Tony.

"Take it slow, Tony. I'm right here. Once you get down, we can get the hell out of here. I think we have about five minutes before Gibbs is supposed to call."

Tony managed to fight the pain and get himself to the bottom of the ladder, and Tim helped him to the ground. Tony was starting to fade out as they made their way to the street.

"Now what?" Tony asked.

Tim saw a cab coming down the street and started to wave frantically.

"Stop!" He shouted, flailing his arm.

The cab pulled over, and the driver rolled down his window.

"Where are you headed?"

"Bethesda Naval Hospital, as fast as you can get us there."

"Hey man, why don’t you call an ambulance? I don't want no blood in my cab."

Tim leaned into the cab window.

"In two minutes, a very angry man is going to come out of that building and start shooting at us. You either take us to the hospital or see what happens when he comes out."

"Get in."

As Tim helped Tony into the cab, a bullet whizzed by Tim's head and hit the side of the cab. Thinking quickly, he shoved Tony in the rest of the way, and slammed the door.

"Tim! You stupid bastard! Get in the car!"

Tim ignored him and took out his wallet. He threw a wad of cash at the cab driver.

"Get him to the hospital. Consider that a big tip. Go!"

"McGee! You fucking asshole! McGee! Get in the damn car!"

The cab pulled away from the curb. Tony watched through the car window as Perez jumped his partner and dragged him into an alley on the side of Tony's apartment building.

"Tim! No!" he turned to the driver. "Turn the hell around, right now."

"Mister, you're shot and bleeding all over my cab. I'm sure as hell not turning around and driving you back there. You're going to the damn hospital."

Tony leaned back on the seat and looked down at his bloody leg. The cab driver was right. He'd be useless to save his partner in his current condition.

"Do you have a cell phone?"

"Yeah. You need to call someone?"

"Yeah, someone that will save my partner's life."

The driver tossed his cell phone into the backseat.

"Make it quick. I'm almost out of minutes."

"Thanks."

Tony hurriedly dialed Gibbs' number. He had to get help for his partner, and fast.

TBC...

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 27, 2014 8:49 pm 
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*Note: The quote Blake says as he advances toward Tim is from the movie "Sovereign."

Chapter 8

Gibbs and Ellie made it to the hospital shortly after Gibbs spoke to his Senior agent. They were informed that Tony had been taken into surgery to remove the bullet in his leg. They waited impatiently in the waiting area, hoping their friend would be all right.

"What do you think happened to McGee?" Ellie asked worriedly.

"He'd better be alive, or I'm going to shoot Perez in the face," Gibbs said angrily. His cell rang in his pocket, and he yanked it out. "Yeah, Gibbs."

"He's gone, Gibbs. DiNozzo's apartment is empty, and there's no sign of McGee or Perez anywhere in a three-block radius."

"Bring back every shred of evidence you can find, Balboa. I want my man back alive."

"You can count on me, Gibbs."

Gibbs hung up and shoved the phone into the pocket of his sport coat. What in the hell was happening, and how was he going to fix it?

----------

Tim's vision was blurred when he finally regained consciousness. As it cleared, and he regained his senses, he realized he was still wearing the handcuffs, and his arms were now suspended over his head.

At least I'm sitting down.

He tried to figure out where he was, but all he could see was darkness.

"Hello?" he called out. "Is anyone there?"

"Timothy?"

It was a weak voice, but it was one he would recognize in an instant.

"M-Mom? Where are you? I can't see anything."

Before his Mother could respond, a door above him opened, spilling light into the room. With the help of the light, Tim realized he was trapped in a basement with a dirt floor, and he was handcuffed to an old pipe. He spotted his Mother on the floor across the room, hands and feet bound, with bruises and scrapes on her face.

"Mom, oh God, I'm so sorry," he said, wishing he could run to her and pull her into his arms.

"You should be sorry, Agent McGee."

A chill ran up his spine when he heard the voice of Damien Blake in the room with him.

"This isn't a game anymore, Blake. Let her go. She has nothing to do with this."

"What, you're not having fun anymore?"

"Please, just let my Mother leave here. You can do whatever you want to me. I just want her to live."

"Tim, no!" his mother shouted weakly from across the room.

"This is my fight, not hers. I brought all of this on myself. Please, just let her go."

"You're right about one thing, Agent McGee. You did bring all of this on yourself. You see, I was on my way to the Bahamas, when Agent Perez caught up with me. I offered him a substantial sum of money to let me go, and the greedy bastard took it. He was consumed with getting his revenge against you. I wanted to kill you right away, collect my bounty and take off to the Bahamas. But he wanted you to suffer."

"All of this was Mark's idea?" Tim said.

"He wanted to spy on you for a while, keep tabs on where you were and what you were doing. The moron wanted to bide his time before killing you. I just can't believe I was stupid enough to let him drag me along for ten years."

"Why did you kill those innocent people? Why start up again if you were planning on taking off to the Islands?"

"I got sick of waiting on Perez to make a move, so I decided to have a little fun. We just got lucky when your team got assigned to track me down."

"I would have had you ten years ago if it weren't for Agent Perez shutting me down," Tim countered.

"We're together now, Timmy... that's all that matters, right?"

"Why don't you just kill me already. Isn't that what you want?"

"Agent Perez wanted you dead. I just want to have fun. If you happen to die in the process, that would be unfortunate."

Tim looked over at his Mother, who had a look of terror in her eyes.

"Please, move her to a different room. I don't want her to see what you're going to do to me. She doesn't deserve to see it."

Blake looked over at Tim's Mother, lying bound on the floor, and back at Tim. Both of them were terrified.

"I'm not a complete monster, Agent McGee," he said, sounding like a normal person since the conversation had started. "She can wait in the next room while we finish our play date."

Blake went over to Mrs. McGee and picked her up in a fireman's carry. Tim watched her terrified eyes as he took her into an adjoining room in the basement, and closed her inside. He turned and started walking toward Tim, the evil look returning to his slate grey eyes.

"Your words are as empty as your future. I am the vanguard of your destruction. This… exchange, is over."*

-----------

The doctor came out of the OR about a half hour after Tony was brought in.

"Anthony DiNozzo Jr?"

Gibbs approached the Doctor.

"I'm Agent Gibbs, his medical proxy," he said, showing his badge for ID.

"Okay Agent Gibbs, I'm happy to report that Agent DiNozzo will be fine. We got the bullet out of his thigh, but it caused some muscle damage. By some miracle, it missed his femoral artery. He was extremely lucky."

"How long will he have to be in the hospital?" Gibbs asked.

"It'll take a week or two to recover and monitor for infection. He'll have to have physical therapy after he's released, to regain full mobility in his leg."

"When can we see him?" Ellie asked.

"He should be getting settled in his room now. You may come back, but he may be a bit groggy from the anesthesia."

"Thanks, Doc."

They followed the Doctor to Tony's room. They found their friend half-awake.

"Hey, Tony," Gibbs said gently as he went to his Agent's bedside. "How ya doing?"

"Better. I want to go home."

"You're stuck here for at least two weeks, so get comfortable," Gibbs chided.

Tony suddenly started to look worried.

"Where's McGee?" he asked, looking around the room.

"Balboa and his team searched your place and the entire block. Tim was gone."

"Perez hit him... dragged him off... we have to find him," Tony said, trying to get up.

"Whoa, whoa, whoa, where do you think you're going," Gibbs scolded, helping him to lie back down. "Ellie and I will get him back. You worry about healing up that leg, okay?"

"The damn fool should have gotten into that cab with me. He shoved me in and gave himself up. Why would he do that?"

"He thinks all of this is his fault," Ellie said. "We were talking yesterday, while he was running all of those searches. He's got a lot of guilt on his shoulders about this."

"Boss, you have to find him."

"We're on it."

TBC...

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*Note: Movies referenced (in order of use in the chapter): The Dark Knight, Reservoir Dogs

Chapter 9

Tim's screams echoed through the basement as Blake sliced through his skin, leaving a large gash across his chest.

*"Do you want to know why I use a knife?" Blake asked as he sliced through Tim's chest again. "Guns are too quick. You can't savor all the... little emotions."

He moved lower, and slowly ran the knife over Tim's stomach.

"You see, in their last moments, people show you who they really are."

Tim tried to keep himself on his knees. It was the only position, he'd found, that he could keep himself from passing out. Blake had been torturing him for hours, on and off. Tim's back was already covered in slash marks, as were his arms. The pain was excruciating, and he could feel himself getting lightheaded from blood loss, but he kept himself steady, trying to stay conscious. He knew Gibbs was going to come, and he wanted to see the look on Blake's face when the handcuffs were slapped on his wrists.

"Is there some information you need from me, Blake?" Tim said, attempting to distract him. "I have a lot of knowledge, Blake. But you already know that. So what is it that you're looking for?"

Blake dropped the knife and threw a punch. Tim could feel the bruise on his face forming as he spit out a mouthful of blood.

*"I don't give a good fuck what you know," Blake said. "It's amusing to me, to torture a cop."

"What the hell is with the movie quotes? Don’t you have an original thought?"

"It keeps things interesting, don’t you think?"

"I think it's annoying," Tim spat.

He received another bruise on his cheek for the comment.

"You won't have to worry about it too much longer. You'll be too dead to care."

"Just do it," Tim said, through heavy breathing. "I don't have anything to live for, anyway."

Blake smiled with glee.

"I hoped you'd beg for me to kill you... it makes doing it a lot more fun. My other victims begged for their lives... after the first few victims, it gets a bit boring."

"Just shut up and do it, Blake!" Tim shouted in angush. "Kill me!"

The next thirty seconds were a blur of movement. Tim felt the knife plunge into his stomach. Seconds after, he heard shouts, and with blurred vision, saw Blake get pushed down on the ground by other men.

"McGee! Are you with me? Come on, McGee.. you're not allowed to die..."

The voice sounded far away, but with his limited vision, he could see that it was Gibbs squatting in front of him.

"Mom..." he said softly. "Get my Mom..."

He pointed to the corner, where the door that led to the next room was located. He saw Gibbs' face blur out as he turned and ordered another Agent to go and get Mrs. McGee out.

"Your Mom is going to be fine, Tim. Agent Nelson went to get her."

"Gibbs..."

Gibbs' words were intelligible to Tim as he lost consciousness.

----------

Two hours after Blake's arrest...

Gibbs found himself in the OR waiting room for the second time in 24 hours. The only thing he'd been told was that Tim had been stabilized in the ambulance, and that he'd lost a lot of blood. He wasn't sure he could take any more bad news at this point.

A cup of coffee appeared in front of his face, and he looked up to find Ducky taking a seat next to him.

"Thanks, Duck."

"Any word on Timothy's condition?"

"Nothing."

"Ducky, how could we let this happen? Perez was monitoring our systems for over ten years, and nobody at NCIS picked up on it. How is that even possible?"

"From what Abigail found out about him, Agent Perez was quite proficient with computers, perhaps better than Timothy."

"How'd the autopsy go?"

"Agent Perez bled out, as a result of his stab wounds. Abigail's tests confirmed that it was the same knife that Blake used to stab Tim."

"Blake will never see the light of day again."

"Agent Bishop tells me that JAG will be going for the death penalty."

"He damned well better get it, too."

"Timothy McGee?"

Gibbs jumped up and met the nurse halfway.

"How is he?"

"He lost a lot of blood. We're still running transfusions through his body, to replace what he's lost. The knife went through his appendix. We got it out and cleaned up the fluids before they got to any of his other organs. He's going to be all right, but it's going to take a lot of time for him to heal."

"Thank you, Doctor. May I ask the condition of his Mother? She was brought in at the same time. Her name is Ellen McGee, I believe."

"I'll check on Mrs. McGee and get back to you both."

"When can I see my Agent?" Gibbs asked.

"He's still unconscious. Once the transfusions are finished, we'll move him into a private room. I'll have a nurse come and get you when he's in his room."

"Thanks."

The Doctor turned and left the waiting room.

"You need to rest, Jethro. I can wait here for the nurse."

"I can't leave until I see him."

"At least go and visit Tony, then. If you sit down here any longer, you're going to drive yourself crazy."

"That's a good idea. I'll be back in a while."

Ducky nodded and found himself a comfortable chair. It was going to be a long night.

------------

Tony was wide awake when Gibbs came into his room.

"Boss, what are you doing here?"

"Why are you awake?" Gibbs countered.

"Couldn’t sleep, and I'm not letting the nurse give me a sedative."

"I don't blame you there." Gibbs sat down in the chair next to Tony's bed. "We found McGee."

"Where is he? Is he all right?"

"He's in intensive care. Blake slashed him with a knife, and stabbed him in the stomach. He was barely conscious when I got to him."

"Oh God... why didn't he get into that goddammed cab with me when I told him to?!"

"He's been blaming himself for this whole mess. He wanted to finish it himself."

"He almost got himself killed."

"I don't think he cared about that, Tony."

"Why the hell would you say that?" Tony asked angrily.

"As we broke through the basement door, I heard McGee screaming at Blake to kill him."

"Are you saying that he wanted to die?"

Gibbs nodded.

"Damn it," Tony cursed, falling back onto his pillow. "Why would he say that? Why would he want to end his life?"

"I don't know."

"I'm not going to let him do it, Gibbs."

"He's not going to die if I have anything to do with it."

"Good."

They sat silently for a moment.

"What's going to happen to Blake?"

"JAG is going for the death penalty."

"Good. I'll kill him myself if they don't give it to him."

"Relax, DiNozzo. I'll be surprised if they don't give it to him."

"How did this happen? How could we let a murderer run free for over ten years?"

"I don't know, but I'm going to see to it that it doesn't happen again." Gibbs got to his feet. "Get some rest, Tony."

"I'll try."

Gibbs left Tony, and made his way to the elevator to rejoin Ducky.He'd sit and wait for news on McGee, and would have a talk with Vance in the morning about the lack of security on the NCIS servers, and the sloppy handling of the Blake case ten years earlier.

TBC...

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 29, 2014 6:56 pm 
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Chapter 10

As his brain returned him to consciousness, the first thing Tim heard was repetitive beeping. As the beeping got louder and clearer in his mind, his vision started to return. The fuzzy image of a hospital room was the first thing he saw when he opened his eyes. In a few moments, his vision cleared, and he blinked himself into total consciousness.

Where am I? How did I get here?

He turned his head slightly, and found Ducky sitting at his bedside, smiling at him.

"Welcome back, Tim."

"Ducky? What happened to me?"

"How much can you remember?"

"I remember shoving Tony into a cab, and then I remember Blake."

Tim observed his arms. There were bandages all over him.

"What did Blake do to me?" Tim asked.

Ducky got up and gently laid a hand on Tim's shoulder. The heart monitor started beeping rapidly, and Ducky needed to calm him down.

"We can talk about that later, Timothy. You need to keep yourself calm, or every nurse on the floor will be in this room in thirty seconds."

"I'm calm Ducky. Tell me what happened."

"Are you sure?"

"Yes! Just tell me, damn it!"

"Timothy..."

"I'm sorry. I promise to stay calm."

"Blake tried to kill you. From what Jethro told me, he had you handcuffed to a pipe in the basement of his father's old home. You lost a lot of blood. The hospital had to run transfusions through your body to return your blood flow to normal limits again."

Tim started having memory flashes as Ducky talked. He saw himself looking at Blake, in that basement. He saw his mother being taken from him, and he saw Blake hovering over him with a knife.

"My Mother... how is she? Where is she?"

"Your Mother is fine, Timothy. She was released from the hospital a few days after the two of you were brought in. She was here a few moments ago, and stepped out to go with Jethro on a coffee run."

"Gibbs is here?"

"Aside from giving Vance a piece of his mind about the poor case handling when Perez was your Supervisor, Jethro has not left the hospital."

"Ducky--"

"No more questions. You must rest, Timothy."

"Can I wait until my Mom comes back?"

"Of course."

Tim laid back on his pillow and stared at the ceiling. He was alive. His Mother was alive. This was what he wanted, right?

~*~*~*~*~

six days earlier...

"You won't have to worry about it too much longer. You'll be too dead to care."

"Just do it," Tim said, through heavy breathing. "I don't have anything to live for, anyway."

Blake smiled with glee.

"I hoped you'd beg for me to kill you... it makes doing it a lot more fun. My other victims begged for their lives... after the first few victims, it gets a bit boring."

"Just shut up and do it, Blake!" Tim shouted in anguish. "Kill me!"


~*~*~*~*~

"Oh God..."

"What is it, Tim?" Ducky asked.

"I remember... I told him to kill me. I begged him, Ducky. I--I wanted to die."

"Psychologically, that is quite normal when one is being tortured. When one wants to end their suffering, they will sometimes beg their torturer to end it for them."

"That's not it, Ducky. I really wanted to die."

Tim could hear his mother's voice in the hallway, getting closer to his room.

"Please don't tell her what I just told you."

"I won't say a word."

"Thanks."

Tim looked up as Ellen McGee came into his room, arm in arm with Gibbs. She nearly dropped her coffee when she saw her son's eyes open. She gave it to Gibbs and went to Tim's side, clasping his hand in hers.

"How do you feel, sweetheart?"

"Groggy... and weak."

"You're going to be okay, Tim... give it time."

"I was worried about you... that bastard, I let him hurt you."

"I'm going to be fine. The worst thing he gave me was a concussion."

"I'm glad you're okay, Mom."

He looked up at his Mother, who was smiling lovingly at him, holding his hand. Maybe he didn't want to die in that basement. Maybe it was the pain talking.

He looked over at Gibbs as a thought crossed his mind.

"What happened to Perez?"

"He's dead, Tim," Gibbs said, taking a couple of steps forward. "Blake killed him."

"What's going to happen to Blake?"

"Hopefully the death penalty."

"Good."

Tim's mother stayed for another couple of hours, and when visiting hours were over, Ducky volunteered to drive her back to Gibbs' house, where she'd been staying while Tim was in the hospital.

Gibbs sat down in the vacated chair and sipped his coffee. He noticed a distressed expression on his Junior Agent's face.

"What's on your mind, Tim?"

"Right before you guys found me, Blake was going to kill me. I told him to do it, Boss. I yelled at him to kill me and get it over with."

"That was probably the pain talking."

"I feel like it was more than that," Tim said, suddenly unable to look at Gibbs. "Ten years ago, I was the one that lost him. I was also the one that turned Perez in for doing what he did to our computer system. They'd planned this for years, Boss. They wanted me to suffer. All of this happened because of me. When Blake told me I was going to die, I--I wasn't scared. I was ready for it. I wanted to die."

"McGee, look at me right now."

Tim obeyed, bringing his eyes back to Gibbs.

"I knew Mark Perez for a long time before you worked with him. He wasn't a stable person. I had him transferred to Norfolk, so I wouldn't kill him for insubordination. If you hadn't turned him in when you did, he could have done a lot worse to the agency than break into some computer files."

"If I hadn't turned him in, he wouldn't have sought out Blake."

"He was already in league with Blake before you turned him in."

"What?"

"Bishop researched his history. He and Blake were roommates in college."

"Oh wow."

"Nothing that Mark and Blake did was because of you, and you don't deserve to die."

"Why do I keep feeling like I do?"

"Because that's what Blake wanted you to feel," Gibbs said as he stood up. "He wanted you to lose respect for yourself. Don't let him win."

"What do I do from here?"

Gibbs caught eye contact with Tim at that moment, and looked directly into his eyes.

"Heal."

Epilogue to follow...

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 29, 2014 7:00 pm 
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Joined: Thu Nov 15, 2012 10:11 am
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link: My fanfic.net Page
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Warning: The epilogue will depict an execution in a prison. If you're at all uncomfortable with this, I urge you to not read it.

Epilogue

Three months later...

Tim stared at himself in the bathroom mirror as he straightened his tie. He'd been waiting for this day to come, and now that it was here, he wasn't sure that he wanted to go through with it.

The past few months had been rocky, but he was finally starting to feel like the Tim McGee he once was, and that made him feel good.

If only he could get through today.

A knock on his door brought him away from his thoughts. He quickly finished with his tie and went to open the door for Gibbs.

"Are you ready to go, McGee?"

"Just about," he said as he pulled on his shoes.

"You don't have to do this, you know," Gibbs said as Tim put on his coat.

"I have to do this. For closure."

Gibbs nodded his approval, and they left the apartment.

----------

The drive was long and silent. Two hours later, they pulled up to the Penitentiary where Damien Blake would be executed that morning, by lethal injection. Gibbs showed his credentials in order to be let inside, and they parked the car and went in by way of the visitor center.

Gibbs let the guard know why they were there, and in ten minutes, the Warden himself was leading them through the penitentiary, toward death row and the execution room. Tim tried to be stoic like his Boss, and ignore the hooting and swearing coming from the cells as they walked through the jail.

The prisoners in Death Row were quieter than Tim expected. He and Gibbs were lead into a small room, equipped with several chairs, and a side table, with nothing on it but a box of tissue. They took their seats and waited quietly.

They waited for a half-hour, before the curtain on the observation window was pulled back. Damien Blake was strapped to a table that looked like one of Ducky's autopsy tables. There were two IV lines running into his arms.

Tim watched as an IV drip started in one of the lines. About 30 seconds later, Blake was unconscious.

"Pentobarbital," Gibbs explained. "Knocks him right out before step two."

Tim kept his eyes on Blake as the second injection was administered. Gibbs explained to him that it was a muscle relaxant, designed to paralyze the prisoner.

When the muscle relaxant had finished its job, Tim saw a third and final drug coming through the tube. He didn't need Gibbs to tell him that it was potassium chloride.

He watched quietly as the drug was administered, and they waited for the inevitable to happen.

It took ten minutes for Damien Blake's heart monitor to flat line. Tim watched as the prison Doctor came in and performed a check on the prisoner. Tim saw him consult his watch, and he knew it was over.

Damien Blake was dead.

He felt a hand on his shoulder.

"Are you ready to leave?" Gibbs asked gently.

Tim stood up as the prison officials prepared Blake's body to be removed from the execution room.

"Yeah. I'm ready. Let's go."

They left the execution room, and a prison guard led them outside to their car.

Tim didn't look back as they drove away.

END

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 29, 2014 7:00 pm 
Offline
MTAC Technician
User avatar

Joined: Thu Nov 15, 2012 10:11 am
Posts: 6918
Location: Western NY
Name: Andrea
Aliases: stargazer218
Gender: Female
link: My fanfic.net Page
link: My Author Board
link: Tumblr
Warning: The epilogue will depict an execution in a prison. If you're at all uncomfortable with this, I urge you to not read it.

Epilogue

Three months later...

Tim stared at himself in the bathroom mirror as he straightened his tie. He'd been waiting for this day to come, and now that it was here, he wasn't sure that he wanted to go through with it.

The past few months had been rocky, but he was finally starting to feel like the Tim McGee he once was, and that made him feel good.

If only he could get through today.

A knock on his door brought him away from his thoughts. He quickly finished with his tie and went to open the door for Gibbs.

"Are you ready to go, McGee?"

"Just about," he said as he pulled on his shoes.

"You don't have to do this, you know," Gibbs said as Tim put on his coat.

"I have to do this. For closure."

Gibbs nodded his approval, and they left the apartment.

----------

The drive was long and silent. Two hours later, they pulled up to the Penitentiary where Damien Blake would be executed that morning, by lethal injection. Gibbs showed his credentials in order to be let inside, and they parked the car and went in by way of the visitor center.

Gibbs let the guard know why they were there, and in ten minutes, the Warden himself was leading them through the penitentiary, toward death row and the execution room. Tim tried to be stoic like his Boss, and ignore the hooting and swearing coming from the cells as they walked through the jail.

The prisoners in Death Row were quieter than Tim expected. He and Gibbs were lead into a small room, equipped with several chairs, and a side table, with nothing on it but a box of tissue. They took their seats and waited quietly.

They waited for a half-hour, before the curtain on the observation window was pulled back. Damien Blake was strapped to a table that looked like one of Ducky's autopsy tables. There were two IV lines running into his arms.

Tim watched as an IV drip started in one of the lines. About 30 seconds later, Blake was unconscious.

"Pentobarbital," Gibbs explained. "Knocks him right out before step two."

Tim kept his eyes on Blake as the second injection was administered. Gibbs explained to him that it was a muscle relaxant, designed to paralyze the prisoner.

When the muscle relaxant had finished its job, Tim saw a third and final drug coming through the tube. He didn't need Gibbs to tell him that it was potassium chloride.

He watched quietly as the drug was administered, and they waited for the inevitable to happen.

It took ten minutes for Damien Blake's heart monitor to flat line. Tim watched as the prison Doctor came in and performed a check on the prisoner. Tim saw him consult his watch, and he knew it was over.

Damien Blake was dead.

He felt a hand on his shoulder.

"Are you ready to leave?" Gibbs asked gently.

Tim stood up as the prison officials prepared Blake's body to be removed from the execution room.

"Yeah. I'm ready. Let's go."

They left the execution room, and a prison guard led them outside to their car.

Tim didn't look back as they drove away.

END

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