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PostPosted: Sun Jun 21, 2015 10:32 am 
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Director
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Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2008 7:05 am
Posts: 52863
Location: Here and there. Everywhere and nowhere.
Title: DOCTOR!
Aliases: Scurvy Gums Ramona
Gender: Female
Title: Only a Suggestion
Characters: Tim, the team
Genre: Mystery, suspense, drama, some angst
Rating: FR13
Word Count: 22,623


A/N: I used Lia's prompt of "It's possible there's a little monster inside all of us." I debated for a while about whether to go supernatural (since I know she likes that) or more figurative. Since I did supernatural last year, I decided to do figurative this year. I hope she likes it.

I'm posting this in chapters and not all at once; so please place any comments in the discussion thread.

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

Only a Suggestion
by Enthusiastic Fish


Chapter 1

He sat back and waited, thinking about everything. All the words that would sum up what had happened. Words to explain the unexplainable. The saying was that an image was worth a thousand words. He wished he could replace the images with mere words.

“Where did you start?”

“At the beginning. Where else?”

“What’s the beginning, then?”

It wasn’t a real question. They both knew.

“It was such a simple thing,” he said. “It shouldn’t have led to this.”

“You’re right. It shouldn’t.”


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

“McGee, you and Tony take the back. Ellie and I will go in the front,” Gibbs said in a soft voice.

They didn’t want to alert their target to their presence. Not until it was too late to escape. They all knew their part.

There were two doors at the back. Tony gestured to one and Tim nodded. They were all in position. At Tony’s signal, Tim quietly opened the door.

Then, they all stepped inside.

Tim took a breath and almost gagged.

Cats.

He could see cats all over the room. Living and dead.

Worse than that, though, it felt like every breath he was taking in was saturated with cat. Cat hair. Cat dander. Cat odor. Cat. Cat. Cat. He hadn’t had this kind of assault on his respiratory system in a long time. Maybe not ever.

Then, it happened.

He could feel it, and he couldn’t stop it. He tried. He tried to hold it back, but he couldn’t.

He sneezed.

Then, he sneezed again.

And again.

And they were loud sneezes. All the louder because he’d tried to hold them back. He was stuck in the throes of a sneezing fit and he could barely breathe. Instead of going further into the house, he staggered back outside, trying to regain control of himself. He was vaguely aware of a lot of action and noise, but he couldn’t focus on it.

After a couple of minutes, he felt someone grab him and turn him around.

“What is wrong with you, McGee?” Gibbs demanded.

It was not spoken out of concern for Tim’s well-being. It was an accusation, and Tim knew it.

“Sorry, Boss. Cats. I’m allergic.”

“You’re allergic?!” Gibbs repeated. He looked furious. “You gave everything away! You could have ruined three weeks of work!”

Tim was still trying to beat back another sneeze; so he didn’t say anything. He figured that his input probably wasn’t really needed at this point anyway. Gibbs let him go and Tim turned away before he sneezed all over his boss. The sneeze was loud, yet again, but it wasn’t as bad as the others had been.

“You’d better get this in hand, McGee,” Gibbs warned. “The next time might do more than throw our timing off. You could get a teammate killed.”

“I didn’t know that there were cats in there. I would have said something, Boss!”

Gibbs just glared at him and walked away. Tim groaned inwardly. He’d never experienced a reaction like that. How was he supposed to know that there would be a million cats in that house? No one had mentioned it being a haven for every cat on the East Coast.

It didn’t feel so much like he was going to suffocate, now. That was something.

He walked back around the house to the front. Ellie and Tony had their suspect in hand. Thank goodness. What if the guy had got away? Tim hated the idea. Maybe he could talk to his doctor about his options. Gibbs meant it, and even if the odds of this happening again were slim to none, why take the risk?

Gibbs basically ignored him for the rest of the day. Tim knew what needed to be done; so he worked on that while Tony and Ellie were busy elsewhere. Tim didn’t know if they were mad at him, too.

In a free moment, Tim called his doctor and got an appointment for that evening. That way he could demonstrate that he wasn’t taking this lightly.

Near the end of the day, Gibbs finally deigned to acknowledge Tim’s existence again. He walked into the bullpen and glared.

“I have an appointment with my doctor this evening, Boss,” Tim said, quickly.

Gibbs raised an eyebrow.

“I’m going to see if there’s anything he can do. I’ve never thought about it before, but I am now. I don’t want something like this to happen again.”

For a long moment, Tim thought that Gibbs was just going to stalk off like he so often did. However, Tim couldn’t think of anything else he could possibly do at this moment to make things better. Gibbs didn’t like apologies. They’d, at least, still caught the guy. He couldn’t snap his fingers and make his allergies suddenly disappear. He was doing the best he could.

He just hoped it was enough.

Then, there seemed to be some relenting.

“When’s the appointment?”

Tim hedged. He was afraid that Gibbs would be mad at him anew for making an appointment so close to the usual departure time, but his doctor couldn’t stay all night.

The eyebrow went up again, but Gibbs didn’t give him a chance to stammer.

“Go.”

For just a moment, Tim waited to make sure he’d really understood correctly.

“Go, McGee.”

Tim nodded, gathered up his stuff and headed for the elevator. He didn’t want to say anything more. Best to walk on eggshells for a while.

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

“That does sound like an extreme reaction, Tim.”

Tim nodded.

“It really could have been dangerous. If everyone wasn’t in position...”

“It could also have been dangerous for you if you hadn’t been able to get out of the house. You say that you’ve never had that before?”

“No...but then, I’ve never been surrounded by 50 million cats before, either. Usually, it’s just one or two and that’s bad enough.”

Dr. Hatch chuckled.

“I’d imagine that’s the case. I don’t like cats myself. They shed too much for my liking. Okay. I’m not an allergy specialist. I’m just a GP, but I do have a suggestion for you.”

“What’s that?”

“I have a colleague who just moved to the area a few months ago and opened a practice. He used to be in research but decided he missed working with real people rather than petri dishes. He’s an allergist and he’s been asking for referrals. If you’re willing, I’ll give you a referral for him and you can meet with him and figure out the best way to deal with this. His name is Dr. Gerald Ubica. I’ve only met him a couple of times, but he has a solid background and education. If you decide he won’t work out, then, we can always go another direction. We can try other allergists or just see what our options are.”

Tim considered it. He trusted Dr. Hatch and he didn’t have a problem with seeing an allergist, but still...

“I’d hoped for something more...”

“Some kind of instant panacea?”

“Yeah.”

“Doesn’t work like that, Tim. Sorry. But Dr. Ubica can probably prescribe some allergy medication for you in the short term.”

“Okay. I’ll see Dr. Ubica.”

“Great. I’ll tell him to contact you and fit you in as soon as possible.”

Tim shook hands with Dr. Hatch and headed home. He hoped that this would fix this problem.

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

Two days later...

Tim walked into a simple medical office. It was located in a large building with a number of other physicians, most with different specialties, although there were a few other allergists on the directory.

He checked in and then, he waited.

Finally, a nurse brought him back into the examination room. Tim was instructed to sit on the table and wait.

He did.

The door opened after about fifteen minutes.

“Hello, Mr. McGee. I’m Dr. Ubica,” the man said. Then, he looked at the chart again and smiled. “Or I guess I should say Agent McGee. A federal law enforcement agent?”

He seemed almost eager, which Tim found slightly odd.

“It’s not that exciting,” Tim said.

“I’m sorry. This is my first time working in DC, and I’m not used to all the federal people around here. It’s still a novelty.”

He had a kind manner, and that eagerness faded. He put out his hand. Tim shook it firmly.

“All right. So what Dr. Hatch told me was that you’d like to figure out some way of managing your allergies. Is that correct?”

“Yes.”

“Both short term and long term, I take it?”

“Yes.”

“All right. Here’s what we’ll do, then. First, we’ll give you an allergy test. Basically, we’ll see what types of allergens you react to.”

“Cats,” Tim said, drily.

Dr. Ubica laughed. “We will, of course, start with that one, but there may be other allergens you may not be aware of, and if you want to make sure you’re really taking them on, it’s best to know the full scope of the attack on your sinuses.”

“Okay. What then?”

“Then, providing we don’t find anything unexpected, I’ll set up a schedule of allergy shots which I think will be the best bet to overcoming your allergy.”

“How long will that take, though?”

“Three to five years.”

“What?”

“I can also prescribe some allergy medication to help you in the interim, but allergy shots are a long-term solution. You can’t cut the time, but after about a year, you should see some real improvement.”

“How does it work?”

“For the first five or six months, you’ll come here three times a week and get the shots. After six months, it will decrease to once a week. The shots consist of a very small amount of the allergen. We introduce that to your body, basically, to teach your body that it doesn’t need to react to the presence of cat hair, for example. It takes time because, if the amounts are too high, you’ll just have an allergic reaction to the shot and we don’t want that.”

“No.”

“Well, that’s the plan, Agent McGee. Does that work for you?”

Tim thought about it. He wasn’t really happy about the prospect of months of shots, but if this was the best they could do, he wouldn’t get anywhere by demanding more.

“That’s the best option?”

“It’s the best I know of. Of course, if you want to get a second opinion, I can help you find another allergist. These kinds of allergies are unpleasant, but they’re rarely going to be fatal. We can take our time.”

Tim thought about it. Dr. Ubica seemed very reasonable. Tim was familiar with the idea of allergy shots, although he’d never considered them for himself. He could just imagine Gibbs’ increased irritation when he found out that Tim had postponed getting started just to ask someone else about something as simple as allergy treatment. This would be taking too long for him as it was.

“No, that’s all right. I’d like to get started.”

“All right,” Dr. Ubica said. “Given the situation, I’ll get my nurse in to do the allergy test right now. Then, if we find what we expect, we’ll get your schedule set up today and we can start the shots next week. How does that sound?”

“That sounds great,” Tim said.

“Okay. I’ll get Lorraine in here and we can get started.”

Tim waited. When the nurse, Lorraine, came into the room, she smiled and got started. What Tim discovered from this process was that he had a definite allergy to cat dander, but that he wasn’t allergic to a lot of other things. He had ink all over his arm and a bunch of little pricks.

“It looks like cats are your problem, Agent McGee,” Lorraine said.

Tim smiled ruefully. “You have no idea.”

“Well, it’s a good thing you came here. You wouldn’t believe how many different awards and degrees Dr. Ubica has. He specializes in a lot of areas of medicine and he’s good at them. Allergy shots aren’t cutting-edge research, but he’s done cutting-edge research. He’s not in it for the money. He’s doing it because it’s what he wants.”

That sounded great to Tim.

“I’ll report this to Dr. Ubica and we’ll get you all set up. It is a long-term commitment, but you will see improvement in six months to a year. And, after the first few months, it’ll only be every two weeks and then every month. It’s really easy, even if it takes a while.”

“That’s sounds good. If it works long-term, then, I’m okay with it being long-term.”

“We’ll set you up and get you going on these shots in no time.”

Tim left the office, feeling much better about the whole thing. He had a genuine solution to this problem and a good doctor to take care of it. He’d be happy to tell Gibbs that he was going to get this taken care of.

Everything seemed to be going right after it went really wrong.

___________________________
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 Post subject: Chapter 2
PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2015 12:05 pm 
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Director
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Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2008 7:05 am
Posts: 52863
Location: Here and there. Everywhere and nowhere.
Title: DOCTOR!
Aliases: Scurvy Gums Ramona
Gender: Female
Chapter 2

“It’s so stupid,” he said. “How could this happen? It doesn’t happen!”

“Well, it did.”

“Why, though?”

“Because it could.”

“It’s not fair.”

“No, it’s not.”


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

One month later...

Tim came into work and hoping that he could hide the fact that he still didn’t understand how his weekend could have gone the way it had. It wasn’t that he’d done anything really wrong, but still...

“You’re looking a little wigged out, Tim,” Ellie said. “Bad weekend?”

“Yes...no! It was fine! Why do you ask?” Tim asked.

Ellie started laughing. “Are you really expecting us to believe you, now?”

Tony chuckled. “What did you do, McGee? Come on! Spill the beans! You can’t hide it now.”

“Nothing. It was fine,” Tim said.

He set down his bag and grimaced. So much for keeping it to himself.

“How fine was it?” Tony asked. “Did you have a nice long chat with Delilah?”

“I went bungee jumping, okay?” Tim said before Tony could make any lewd suggestions.

“What’s wrong with that?” Ellie asked.

Tony raised both eyebrows. “I thought you were scared of heights, Tim. Like irrationally scared of heights. Like, you wish you could hide your eyes when you go up five feet off the ground.”

“That’s stupid, Tony. I’m not like that,” Tim said.

“But you are scared of heights?” Ellie asked.

“I am.”

“So...why didn’t I get to know about this?”

“Because it’s not an issue,” Tim said before Tony could comment.

“So why did you do it?”

“Because someone suggested I try it.”

“What? Who?” Tony asked. “Who had the power to make you do something like that? It better not have been a girl. Delilah might be annoyed.”

“Some guy in Dr. Ubica’s office,” Tim said, glaring at Tony. “I was just leaving from having my allergy shot and I started talking to a guy in the waiting room. He said that I should try bungee jumping. The next thing I knew, I had scheduled an appointment and I did it.”

“And how did you like it?” Ellie asked.

“I hated it. It was the worst experience of my life. Why would anyone want to pretend they were falling to their doom only to have their neck snapped when they reached the end of a thick rubber band?”

“Well, why did you?” Tony asked. “You know what bungee jumping is. Why would you try it if you didn’t want to?”

“I don’t know,” Tim admitted. “It was really weird. It was like I just...couldn’t stop thinking about it once the guy had suggested it. It wouldn’t leave me alone until I tried it. So I did. I hated it and I’ll never do it again.”

“Wow. All it takes is a random suggestion?” Tony asked. “Then, I suggest that you go and jump into the Anacostia. That would be funny.”

“Bite me, Tony,” Tim growled.

“Whoa. Someone is in a foul mood.”

“Just drop it, Tony. I spent most of the day getting over it and now, I’d like to put it behind me as a momentary loss of judgment.”

“Okay, okay. Don’t bite my head off.”

Tim smiled reluctantly. “I won’t. It wouldn’t taste very good.”

Gibbs came striding in and made no comment on what he may or may not have heard of the conversation. He just expected them all to get to work.

...which they did.

Still, all through the day, Tim couldn’t help but think about what had happened. It was so out of character for him, and it wasn’t something he’d ever wanted to do. He hated heights and he didn’t want to go bungee jumping.

...but he had, and even when he’d done it, he still hated it. He hadn’t wanted to.

...but he had.

He couldn’t explain why this felt so wrong, and he didn’t want Ellie and Tony analyzing it. More than anything, he was positive that wouldn’t help.

Later, when he had a spare moment, he went down to Abby’s lab. While he little relished opening himself up to an Abby analysis, she might at least be sympathetic and not joking.

“Abby?” he called over her music.

He couldn’t see her, but the music being on indicated that she was around...somewhere.

“Abby?”

He walked over to her office. It seemed to be empty.

“BOO!”

Abby jumped up from behind the door. Tim stumbled backward and more than one choice word left his mouth. For just a moment, he was not only scared but furious. The sensation faded almost immediately as Abby came out of the office laughing.

“Tim! The look on your face. That was the best I’ve seen in a long time.”

“Very funny, Abbs,” Tim said, in a monotone.

“Oh, come on, Tim. It was funny and you know it. What’s up?”

“I wanted to ask you something.”

“What?”

“Have you ever done something that made no sense, not even to you?”

“Well, I’ve dated some guys that were totally wrong for me.”

“Not like that kind of thing. More like...I don’t know.”

“What?”

“I went bungee jumping over the weekend.”

“You did? And you didn’t invite me? No fair!”

“I didn’t want to go, but I did it anyway...just because some guy suggested it.”

“Well, why did you?”

“I don’t know. I just couldn’t stop thinking about it after he suggested it.”

“Who was he?”

“Just one of my allergist’s other patients. I don’t even know the guy’s name.”

“Maybe your fear of heights is actually an allergy and you’re getting rid of that, too.”

“Not funny, Abbs,” Tim said.

Abby’s face scrunched up in confusion.

“What’s wrong, Tim? You’re not the first person to do something spontaneous. Why does have to mean anything but that you let go for a second?”

“I don’t know. It’s just that...I didn’t ever want to do it, not even while I was doing it...but I did. It was weird.”

“Maybe you just had a fit of whimsy, Tim. You’re not very whimsical on the best of days, but I guess even you could have a fit like that once.”

“Yeah, maybe.”

Tim didn’t feel any better, but he could see that he wasn’t going to get anything more out of Abby. He didn’t blame her. It was a feeling he couldn’t explain adequately. He’d just have to forget about it...and never go bungee jumping again.

After a few more days, he mostly forgot the strange feeling that had given him. He mentioned it to Dr. Ubica just in passing and he thought it was funny. Since Tim didn’t know him as well, it didn’t seem right to get irritated at his allergist, but it did help alleviate some of his worries. While Dr. Ubica was working as an allergy specialist now, Tim had looked him up and he’d done pretty much everything...and done it really well. His last job had been strictly research, but that had been for some big-time laboratory. He counted himself lucky to have someone so qualified, and if he didn’t think there was anything to worry about, maybe there really wasn’t.

So, he kept on and refocused on his work, although there were some odd moments that he didn’t tell anyone about.

Once, he heard an ad on the radio as he was headed home after his appointment with Dr. Ubica and ended up buying a six-month supply of some organic cereal. Luckily, it didn’t taste too bad. Another time, he almost took his car to a dealership that was having some kind of big clearance blowout and traded it in, but he mastered the desire before he got that far. Even at that, it took a few days before the feeling of compulsion faded. He couldn’t figure out why it happened only once or twice rather than all the time. It was like his mind just shut down higher functions briefly. It wouldn’t have been a big problem if the bungee jumping had been the only time, but as these little moments increased, he was starting to wonder if this was a real problem.

...and then, the dreams started.

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

Tim was staring at his computer, feeling a deep sense of disquiet. He just couldn’t decide what to do.

“Someone walking over your grave, McGee?” Tony asked. “A cat, maybe?”

Tim barely heard him.

What could it mean? Does it have to mean anything? Why do I think it does?

“Tim? Earth to Tim!”

What if it does mean something? Does that mean I’m–? But I wouldn’t do something like that!

Thwack!


Tim jumped and rubbed at his head.

“Hey! What was that for?” he demanded.

“What’s wrong with you, Tim?” Tony asked.

Tim’s irritation faded.

“I don’t know.”

“What is it?”

“I’ve been having these dreams lately. They’re...kind of violent,” he said, not wanting to give details.

“Too many video games. Maybe you should cut back.”

“I already did,” Tim said.

It was true. He hadn’t played a single game for the last week in the hopes that it was the cause. If it was, it was taking its own sweet time having any positive effect.

“So what are the dreams, then?” Tony asked.

“Just...people dying and stuff like that. I don’t usually have dreams like that, and I’m not really enjoying it.” Again, Tim glossed over the details. He had no desire to recount what had happened, what he himself had done in his dream.

“You think it means something?”

“I hope not,” Tim said.

Gibbs came in.

“Got a hit on the BOLO,” he said. “Let’s go.”

“On your six, Boss!” Tony said.

Tim grabbed his gear and followed. He still was distracted by the dream that had taken over his nights. It wasn’t multiple dreams. Just one. Repeated over and over.

“We’re here, McGee,” Tony said.

Tim looked up and nodded. They got out of the car and headed toward the house. They’d been tracking a hacker for more than a week. This was the first chance they’d had to catch him.

They crept toward the front and back doors. Tim noticed Tony watching him a little more closely than usual. Part of Tim was annoyed by it and part, strangely relieved.

“I say that if he starts running, we just shoot him to get it over with quick. I’m so sick of this guy,” Tony muttered softly.

“I don’t think that’s allowed, Tony,” Tim said.

“It was just a suggestion.”

Tim didn’t reply, but he could agree with that. The hacking had definitely been at a special level of irritating. Too much taunting and just enough skill that tracking him down had taken longer than Tim had wanted. Still, Gibbs wouldn’t let him out the front, and they were both at the back and ready.

They waited. Gibbs was at the front and was going to knock. They were at the back in case he ran.

They heard the knock and Gibbs shouted out his identification.

Then, there was the telltale sound of running feet.

...and a thump on the roof above their heads. Tony looked at Tim and they both headed for the yard.

Their suspect jumped down to the grass and started to run.

Tim started after him, gun out...and suddenly, he was ready to fire. His finger was on the trigger and ready to shoot the guy they were after. He was so shocked at his own behavior that he stopped running, leaving Tony to sprint after him. Thankfully, their hacker wasn’t in the best physical condition and Tony outran him before he got too far. He tackled the guy and started to read him his rights. Then, he paused and looked back.

“Sure, McGee. Leave me to do the running.”

Tim forced a smile.

“Leg cramped up,” he said, lying through his teeth.

“You sure about that, McGee?” Gibbs asked from behind.

Tim was startled and turned. He didn’t know what Gibbs had seen. It would be a bad idea to lie if Gibbs had seen what he had almost done, but if he hadn’t been able to tell, Tim could avoid a lot of trouble if he lied.

He weighed the two options.

“Yeah, Boss,” he said. “I must have stepped wrong or something. It’s a good thing Tony was there.”

“You’re darn right,” Tony said, hauling their suspect upright. “You owe me, McGee.”

Tim smiled and nodded. He avoided Gibbs’ eye while trying not to look like he was avoiding his eye. He also made a mental note to talk to Ducky when he had the chance. He wasn’t sure where the desire, the intent, to shoot their suspect had come from. Sure, the guy had been more than annoying, but there was no reason to think that shooting him was a good response unless he’d been firing back. ...and he was unarmed.

“Get in there and start looking at his computer, McGee,” Gibbs said.

He sounded pretty much normal, meaning that he hadn’t noticed Tim’s lie. Good. He’d be grateful for small favors at this point. Talking to Ducky would have to wait until later, but he’d still do it.

Tim went up the stairs to where their suspect had been working. He was actually a little jealous of the nice, new computers he had. Why did NCIS only have old dinosaurs? When the bad guys had this stuff, they should be able to get it, too. How could they keep up otherwise?

Then, he took a breath and noticed something that NCIS definitely held the upper hand on.

The room reeked of body odor. Tim was glad for the open window. He left the door open in the hopes of clearing out the smell while he worked. Disgusting.

However, once he got going, he lost track of the outside world as he usually did when he got sucked into the computers.

Then, there was a hand on his shoulder. He was startled and spun around.

“Tony!” he said and exhaled loudly. “You surprised me.”

Tony looked serious. “You want to tell me what happened out there? You didn’t get a cramp in your leg.”

Tim turned back to the computer and didn’t answer.

“Come on, McGee. Something happened out there and you lied to Gibbs about it. That’s not a good idea in the best of times.”

Again, Tim weighed explaining what had actually almost happened or lying. Tony knew he was lying, but he didn’t know why.

“You were slowing down before. It almost looked like you were aiming to shoot him, but since I know that you wouldn’t be that stupid, I’d like to know what you were really doing.”

Tim decided to confess to one part without explaining it all. It would get Tony off his back and he wouldn’t have to lie again.

“For just a second, I really did want to shoot him. I decided it would be better to fall back and let you take him down...so that I didn’t get too rough with him. Last thing we need is for him to get off on a technicality. There wasn’t time to explain that while we were chasing him, and I could see that he wasn’t moving very fast.”

“You sure?”

“Yeah. Sorry. I just...I didn’t think that Gibbs would care about the reasoning.”

“You shouldn’t lie to Gibbs, Tim.”

“I know.”

“Okay. I’ll let it go.”

“Thanks.”

Then, finally, Tony smiled. “But next time, you’re the one chasing the guy down. Got it?”

Tim smiled back. “Yeah, sure.”

He got to work again but promised himself that he would talk to Ducky as soon as he could.

___________________________
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 Post subject: Chapter 3
PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2015 8:07 am 
Offline
Director
User avatar

Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2008 7:05 am
Posts: 52863
Location: Here and there. Everywhere and nowhere.
Title: DOCTOR!
Aliases: Scurvy Gums Ramona
Gender: Female
Chapter 3

“What happens now?”

“We wait.”

“For how long?”

“As long as it takes.”

They sat where they were, almost without moving. Maybe there were other things to do, but nothing was as important as being here, right now.


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

Near the end of the day, Tim was starting to feel worried about whether or not he’d be able to talk to Ducky. They’d been kept busy with the case, writing reports and such. Tim knew that Tony had been keeping an eye on him, and he didn’t want to advertise that he was worried enough about things that he wanted to talk to a professional...at least, a semi-professional.

Finally, though, he saw his chance and he took it. He hurried down to Autopsy, hoping that Ducky would still be there.

Right as he got off the elevator, the doors to Autopsy opened. Ducky was clearly on his way out.

“Why, Timothy, what brings you down here at this hour? I was just leaving.”

“If you’re busy, I can wait.”

Ducky furrowed his brow.

“Wait for what?”

“I was hoping for your...kind of professional opinion...maybe.”

Ducky smiled. “Kind of?”

“Well, I don’t know if it matters. If it doesn’t, then, it’s just your advice. If it does, then, it may need to have more than that.”

“That does sound serious. I’m happy to help if I can.”

Tim sighed. “Thanks, Ducky.”

“Do you want to talk in my office or outside?”

Tim gave it real thought. The last thing he wanted right now was for someone to hear what he wanted to ask, and he would worry more about being overheard inside the building. Gibbs had that disconcerting habit of showing up out of nowhere.

“Outside. Then, you can just go home when you want to.”

Ducky smiled and gestured. They walked out of the building through the back exit rather than through the main entrance. They sat down on a bench and Tim wasn’t sure how to start.

“Well, Timothy, what is it?”

“When...When is what you dream a problem and not just a dream?”

“I’m not sure I understand.”

“I’ve been having the same dream over and over for the last week, Ducky. ...and it’s terrible. I’m killing someone. The same someone over and over again, and I hate it. I don’t know why I’m dreaming this. If the person is a real person, I don’t know who it is. If not, why is it always the same person? And why am I dreaming that I’m killing her?”

“It’s a woman, then?”

Tim grimaced. He hadn’t intended to tell Ducky that detail.

“Yes.”

“And it’s not someone you know?”

“No!”

“Is it the repetition that’s causing your distress?”

“Yes...and no.”

“What’s the no part?” Ducky asked, patiently.

“I don’t know,” Tim said. He stood up and started pacing. “I just...I feel like it means something, like it’s important, but I don’t know why! And I really don’t like it because I’m not upset in the dream. I’m not angry. I’m not afraid. I’m just killing her like...like it doesn’t even matter.”

“Timothy, have a seat.”

Tim flushed and sat down.

“You seem extremely upset by this recurring dream. Have you never had violent dreams before?”

“Yes. I have, but...but never where I’m killing someone, except... except after I shot Benedict, but then, I was upset in the dream, too, and I knew why I was dreaming it. This time, I don’t.”

Ducky was silent for a few moments. Tim tried not to rush him. He was feeling a little antsy, though. He had his allergy shots tonight, and he didn’t want to have to reschedule. Dr. Ubica had been good about that, but he still didn’t want to mess up his doctor’s plans.

“Well, Timothy, I’m not an expert when it comes to dreams. In fact, I’d say that I’m as far from expert as is possible. Sometimes, dreams do have meaning, such as what you mentioned about your altercation with the detective. Other times, they’re simply a product of your mind as it goes through normal cycles.”

“But...”

“And it’s been said it’s possible there’s a little monster in all of us, something that would never come out in normal circumstances but can still exist.”

“You’re saying that I secretly want to kill someone?” Tim asked, ready to be really upset.

Ducky laughed. “No, lad. That’s not what I’m saying. What I am saying is that you have a job that leads to you confronting violent death with depressing regularity. Perhaps, there is a small part of you that wonders what it would be like.”

“To commit murder?”

“Yes. That doesn’t mean that you want to do it. It just means that it’s a thought. Thoughts aren’t a problem unless they take over. People who have a strong moral center, as you do, won’t have it become anything more than that. It may be that your dream right now is your mind mulling it over in your unconscious state and once that’s done, the dream will stop.”

Tim didn’t like that idea at all. Even with Ducky smoothing over the heart of it, Tim hated the idea that there was a part of him willing to kill for no reason. That there was a monster inside him. But why would it be coming out now?

“Do you think it’s a problem?” Tim asked.

“Your dream? No, not at all. Do you?”

“Yes. No. Maybe. Depends on the second.”

“Honestly, Timothy, as a non-expert in the field of dream interpretation, I would say that this is just a phase and that it will pass, probably more quickly if you stop worrying about it. However, if you do find that it’s disrupting your sleep, you could speak to someone more qualified. Your doctor could probably help you with finding a specialist.”

Tim nodded, but he didn’t feel any better about it. Still, he looked at his watch, and it was time to go.

“I have to get to my appointment.”

“Appointment?”

“Allergy shots.”

“Oh, yes. I’d forgotten. How are they going?”

“Well, we’re still getting up to the maintenance dose that I’ll be getting for the next three years. Dr. Ubica said that I shouldn’t go searching for cat exposure, but that in a few more months, I should notice a real improvement.”

“That’s good. Ubica. That’s an interesting name. Where is he from?”

“I don’t know. He came to DC from somewhere in New England. He doesn’t have an accent or anything.”

“Interesting. Well, don’t let an old man’s curiosity make you late, and if you’ll take some advice, Timothy, try not to worry about your dream so much. That will probably help.”

Tim nodded and headed off to his appointment.

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

“There you go, Agent McGee. Now, just lean back and relax,” Dr. Ubica said. “As usual, we’ll have you hang out here for about 45 minutes and make sure there are no adverse reactions.”

“Will that always be part of it?”

“Yes. Just to be safe. While reactions to shots are extremely rare, it only takes once.”

Tim nodded. Then, a thought struck him and he smiled a little.

“What is it?” Dr. Ubica asked.

“I was just thinking that there must be something in these shots that short-circuits my brain,” Tim said.

“Why do you say that?”

“I swear that every time I hear a commercial on my way home from these appointments, I feel like I have to buy what they tell me to buy. I actually bought a whole bunch of cereal once because the ad said to stock up before they ran out.”

Tim laughed, and Dr. Ubica did as well.

“If that’s the case, maybe you should stop listening to the radio.”

Tim raised an eyebrow.

“It’s only a suggestion. I’ll be right back.”

Tim nodded and lay back. As he sat in the quiet exam room, he found that he did appreciate these times when all he was supposed to do was sit and wait. It wasn’t that anything happened. In fact, he couldn’t actually think of anything that had happened during any of his times after his shot. That was how unexciting they were, but it was just fine with him. Tim was happy to have something be completely uncomplicated.

...

Then, he went home. While he drove, he turned off the radio. No ads to distract him or persuade him to buy things he didn’t need.

When he got home, he went right to bed. He was tired. It had been a long and stressful day and he was tired. He fell asleep very quickly.

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

Kill her.

He was standing with the gun in his hand, staring at the woman in front of him.

Kill her.

She had brown eyes, blonde hair, cut in layers around her face.

Don’t you think you should kill her?

He raised the gun.

Don’t you want to know what she would look like if she was dead?

He looked into her eyes. She was terrified.

Kill her.

He aimed the gun at her face.

Kill her.

He pulled the trigger.

It was only a suggestion.

___________________________
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 Post subject: Chapter 4
PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2015 10:45 am 
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Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2008 7:05 am
Posts: 52863
Location: Here and there. Everywhere and nowhere.
Title: DOCTOR!
Aliases: Scurvy Gums Ramona
Gender: Female
Chapter 4

It was so quiet in the room. The silence was oppressive. Even though it wasn’t completely silent, it was still too quiet. Only one thing could make it not too quiet.

“I want to fix it!”

“There’s no way to fix this.”

“But there has to be!”

“All we can do is wait.”

“I don’t want to wait.”

“You have to.”

“No one wants to wait, but when that’s what is required, nothing else will do.”


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

After a month, Tim finally decided he wanted to listen to something when he was driving. He’d left the radio off for weeks and the commute was just long enough that the silence was irritating.

However, it was strangely difficult to convince himself that he should turn on the radio. When he did it, he felt like he was doing something wrong for nearly a full week, but he also liked the sound rather than the silence. He didn’t mention that to anyone. It was weird, but it wasn’t like it was really a big deal.

Dr. Ubica had told him he was almost up to the maintenance dose on his shots which meant he’d be able to come in less often. So far, he’d had no problems which was nice. He didn’t want to have to deal with anaphylaxis or something like that because of an allergy shot gone bad.

Now, he was going in to have his next shot, and then, home to sleep away the night.

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

“All right, Tim,” Dr. Ubica said. “You know the drill. Just relax for a few minutes and then, we’ll send you home.

“Right.”

Tim leaned back. For a few minutes, there was silence. Then, Tim felt himself relax more and more. It was like his whole mind went slack. Suddenly, Dr. Ubica was right there, attracting his attention. Tim couldn’t look anywhere else. Part of him wanted to, but he couldn’t.

“You remember what I’ve been telling you?”

Tim shook his head.

“Exactly, and you can’t remember this, either. You just have to know it without remembering. Understand?”

Tim nodded, very slowly.

“Very good, Tim.”

Instead of Dr. Ubica’s face, there was a woman’s face in front of him. She was relatively young. Maybe forties. Blonde hair. Dark eyes. She was smiling.

“Don’t you want to see her dead? Don’t you want to kill her just to see what she looks like?”

Tim wanted to shake his head, but he couldn’t. He could only sit there and look at the image.

“Right now, it’s only a suggestion. It won’t stay that way. Soon, I’ll tell you to kill her. When I tell you that, you will have to kill her. You won’t have any rest, any calm, any control, until you kill her. Right now, I want you to think about her dead. I want you to think about her being killed. By you. I want you to think about her, but you can’t remember that I’ve told you this. You can’t remember that this is where you heard it. You can’t remember this event. You just have to know that she’s who you want to kill.”

The words kept coming. They swirled around in his head and vanished, absorbed into the fabric of his mind.

“Don’t you want to kill her?”

He nodded.

“Don’t you think that she would be interesting to kill?”

He nodded again.

“Don’t you want to do what I tell you?”

Another nod.

“Even when it’s a suggestion?”

Nod.

“Now, lean back and relax. In five minutes, when you hear the door open, you’ll wake up, thinking that you just drifted off because you’re tired and want to get to bed. You won’t remember any of it, but it will still be in your mind. Understand?”

“Yes...”

“Very good. Close your eyes. Sleep.”

Tim did as he was told.

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

“Agent McGee? Agent McGee?”

Tim opened his eyes, startled by the voice. He smiled.

“Sorry. I must have drifted off. I’m more tired than I thought I was.”

The nurse smiled.

“Then, you should go home and get to bed.”

“You’re absolutely right.”

In fact, that’s all he wanted to do was go home and get in bed. He got up and left the building as quickly as he could. Then, he drove home, walked into his apartment, got into bed and went to sleep.

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

Kill her.

He was standing with the gun in his hand, staring at the woman in front of him.

Kill her.

She had brown eyes, blonde hair, cut in layers around her face.

Don’t you think you should kill her?

He raised the gun.

Don’t you want to know what she would look like if she was dead?

He looked into her eyes. She was terrified.

Kill her.

He aimed the gun at her face.

Kill her.

He pulled the trigger.

It was only a suggestion.


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

Ellie looked at her computer and then around the bullpen. Tim wasn’t there, but Tony was.

“Tony?”

“What, Bishop?” Tony asked, not looking up.

“Has Tim seemed...a little weird to you lately?”

“Weird, how?” Tony asked, still not looking up.

“I don’t know. It’s like...he... It’s almost like a Jekyll and Hyde thing.”

“Huh?” Tony finally looked up.

“Well, yesterday, he was working like usual, but then, someone from Legal came down to talk to him, and he yelled at her for interrupting him. He said that he had to get this done right away. Then, he seemed to be surprised at what he’d done and he apologized, said he was just a little tense. But right when he did that, it was really like looking at a different person. It was just weird. Haven’t you noticed anything?”

“Maybe,” Tony said, not committing to anything.

“Ha! That means you have,” Ellie said, triumphantly.

“I didn’t say that.”

“But if you hadn’t noticed anything, you would have said so and you would have told me you thought I was being stupid. What have you noticed?”

“Nothing.”

“Liar.”

Tony looked at her. “You know, you’re getting pretty uppity for a probie.”

Ellie smiled. “Tony, I’m worried about Tim. If you are, too, then...”

“It’s not a big deal, really. It’s just that...he’s doing things that...he shouldn’t be doing.”

“Like what?”

“Pretty much anything I ask him to do.”

“What do you mean?”

“I was...testing him. I asked him to do things that I knew he wouldn’t want to do, just to see.”

“Like what?”

“Like... last week, I had a ticket to a basketball game. Friend of mine was going to go and then, couldn’t. So I told Tim he should come with me. He did.”

“Why is that weird?”

“Because he doesn’t like watching sports. That’s not his thing, and it’s not like he enjoyed himself when we were there. He didn’t. He seemed really bored, but he still went. It’s been stuff like that.”

“And how can you complain that he’s being too agreeable?”

“Exactly, but this isn’t normal for him.”

“So...what do we do?”

“About what?” Tim asked.

“Nothing,” Tony said.

Tim raised an eyebrow. It was so normal. What Ellie couldn’t decide was if it was something they were imagining because right at this moment, Tim didn’t seem any different from any other time.

“That didn’t sound convincing at all, Tony,” Tim said. “That means you must have been talking about me. What?”

“Are you feeling all right?” Ellie asked.

Tim furrowed his brow. “Yes. Why?”

“Well, we were just thinking that you’d been acting a little strange, lately.”

“Strange? How?”

“Well, I saw when you yelled at that person from Legal.”

Tim looked embarrassed. “I apologized for that. I was distracted and I was out of line.”

“You went to that game with me, even though you didn’t like it at all,” Tony said.

“And that’s why I’m strange? Because I accepted an invitation? If you didn’t think I’d want to go, why did you ask me?”

“Are you still having those dreams?”

“What dreams?”

Tony blinked a few times. “About a month ago. Those dreams you said were bothering you so much?”

Tim gave an exasperated sigh. “I don’t know what you’re talking about, Tony. If you guys want to keep talking about how weird I’m being, you can do it somewhere else because I have work to do.”

“McGee, you told me about them, yourself.”

“Well, they must have meant more to you than they did to me,” Tim said and focused on his computer.

“I don’t get why you’re lying, Tim,” Tony said.

“I’m not! What’s with you two? Did I step into a parallel universe on my way up here?” Tim asked, standing up to confront Tony.

“You told me all about them. You were really bothered by it,” Tony said. “You probably have all of every episode of Star Trek memorized. You can’t tell me that you don’t remember this conversation.”

For some reason, Ellie could see that Tim was getting really wound up. Tony was just confused, but Tim was angry. It was like before.

“If you think you know everything, DiNozzo, then, why don’t you tell me what’s going on?” Tim asked.

“Tell me the truth, Tim! I don’t get why you’re lying.”

Ellie was watching the escalation, unsure of why it was escalating at all, not knowing how to stop what was coming. There was no reason for this, but Tim was moving into a heightened state, and then, she saw it when Tony said that Tim should tell the truth. There was a look in his eyes.

She didn’t know what it was, exactly. In fact, it was downright confusing because there was a moment of silence when Tim actually seemed to be struggling to speak. Then, it happened.

It came out of nowhere and yet, Ellie could see the emotion fueling it, even if she didn’t get where the emotion had come from.

Tim suddenly punched Tony right in the face. It was a hard hit, too. It didn’t have any finesse, but it didn’t need finesse because Tony was as shocked as he was stunned by the blow. He staggered back into his desk.

Tim met Ellie’s eyes, and she didn’t know what she was seeing, still, but there was a healthy dose of shock in Tim’s eyes as well. He didn’t know why he’d done that, either. Then, he looked around once and ran out of the bullpen.

All this happened in about thirty seconds. Ellie hurried over to Tony.

“Are you all right?” she asked.

Tony was rubbing his jaw.

“I think so...where did that come from?”

“I don’t know. I don’t think Tim did, either,” she said in a low voice. Luckily, it was late enough in the day that there weren’t many people around. “He was as surprised as you.”

“Where is he?”

“He ran out. Maybe to the men’s room or something?”

Tony leaned against his desk, trying to get his balance back, still rubbing at his jaw.

“If he’s wigged out for some reason, we need to tell Gibbs.”

Ellie nodded. “You okay? I’ll go find him.”

“Who? Tim or Gibbs? If it’s Tim, maybe you shouldn’t go by yourself.”

Ellie smiled. “I meant Gibbs. Maybe Ducky, too.”

“Sounds like a good idea.”

“Okay.”

Ellie hurried down to Autopsy. Sure, she could call, but she felt like this was the kind of thing that should be explained in person.

...maybe while she ran to keep up with Gibbs once he started striding off to wherever.

___________________________
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 Post subject: Chapter 5
PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2015 9:15 am 
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Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2008 7:05 am
Posts: 52863
Location: Here and there. Everywhere and nowhere.
Title: DOCTOR!
Aliases: Scurvy Gums Ramona
Gender: Female
Chapter 5

“I never thought that silence could be so bad.”

“It isn’t. This isn’t silence.”

“What is it, then?”

“It’s quiet, not silent.”

“What do we do about this?”

“Wait.”


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

Tim ran out of the building, to his car, and he started driving. He was off the Yard before he even realized what he was doing. At that point, he didn’t see any reason to go back; so he kept driving...

...and then, he realized that he was headed to his appointment for his allergy shots. It seemed like a silly thing when he’d just punched out his teammate for nothing more than an expression of concern, but he supposed it was as good an idea as any.

As he drove, he thought about what had happened. What had Tony meant when he talked about dreams? Why had Tim himself been so mad? ...and why had he punched Tony? He could see a severe reprimand in his near future, but he hoped that he could come up with a valid reason for what was going on. What had led to it?

Tony said I had to tell the truth.

Okay. Why was that a problem? So far as Tim was aware, he wasn’t lying about anything.

But it feels wrong.

“No, it doesn’t,” Tim said aloud. “I didn’t like him hounding me about it...but why would he lie about my having dreams? That doesn’t make any sense.”

He pulled up to the building, still thinking it was a little strange that he was so worried about things and yet, he was going to get his allergy shot for the night. Surely, that wasn’t as important as the fact that he’d not only punched his teammate but also run away after doing so. Still, he was going.

Distracted, he barely even noticed that he was actually walking inside while analyzing whether or not it made any sense that he was doing it.

He got to the office and went inside. The usual nurse wasn’t there. In fact, the office looked empty.

“Hello? Dr. Ubica?”

“Back here, Agent McGee.”

The door to the exam room opened.

“Where is everyone?” Tim asked.

“Oh, I forgot to tell you. I’m headed out of town right after our appointment; so you’re my last appointment and I sent Lorraine home. I figured I could handle this.”

Tim smiled. “I’m sure you can.”

“So, why don’t you just come in and we’ll get this done.”

“I’m not making you late, am I?”

“No, not at all. I planned my flight well in advance. Have a seat.”

“Okay.”

Tim sat down, but there was something in his mind that was saying he should get out. Now. He didn’t know why, but he was so irritated at these random emotions that made no sense that he just ignored the feeling. He didn’t want to be controlled by these things. He was a rational person. He wasn’t going to be overrun by the unexplainable feelings.

“You seem a little upset, Agent McGee. Is something wrong?”

“No, not really. It’s just been a bad day. I’ll be glad when it’s over.”

Dr. Ubica smiled and administered the shot. Tim lay back and waited. His phone started ringing. He grimaced. That would be one of three people, and Tim knew he deserved whatever was going to be said to him. He started to answer his phone, but suddenly, it was taken out of his hand. He tried to protest, but he found that he couldn’t move. Everything felt very strange. The phone stopped ringing.

“You will listen to me.”

Dr. Ubica’s face was right in front of him.

“You will not talk to anyone else. You will not listen to anyone else. Only me. Understand?”

Tim nodded.

“Good. You will kill this woman.”

The woman he’d seen over and over again was again before his eyes. He didn’t remember until now that he’d seen her before. He’d dreamed about her so many times.

“You will kill her. You will do it tonight. You have no choice. You have no other option. You will kill her. You must find her alone and kill her. This is not a suggestion. This is reality. There is no other choice. Kill her. You want to see her dead. You want to kill her. You want to watch her die. She will be at the Sunset Bistro with friends. You will wait until she is alone. You will kill her. She must die. You want to kill her.”

The voice seemed to go on and on, repeating over and over in his head. He could hear the echoing of the voice. He couldn’t disobey.

“You will not tell anyone what happened here. You will not tell anyone who made you do this. You will not tell anyone about what has happened here. You will kill her. You want to kill her. It’s you. You want to kill her. You will kill her.”

Tim wanted to say no, but he nodded. He tried not to agree, but he was agreeing.

“Do you understand me?”

Tim nodded again.

“Then, go. You will not refuse. You will not fail. You will not let anything or anyone stop you. You will kill her.”

Part of Tim was screaming that he wouldn’t, but even while that part resisted, most of him was obeying. In fact, all of him was obeying even while his mind was saying no.

He got up and left the office.

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

“Still nothing, Gibbs,” Ellie said. “He’s not answering. In fact, his phone is off now. It’s going directly to voice mail.”

Gibbs glared.

“Where is he?”

“Waiting on Abby, Boss,” Tony said.

He really hoped they found something. It had taken a little bit of time, but once they realized that Tim had actually left the building, they had started looking for him. His actions were so out-of-character for him that they were all worried, especially since he was now, effectively, missing.

“Should we issue a BOLO, Gibbs?” Ellie asked. “Do we want to go that route?”

“Not yet.”

“Okay.”

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

Tim was waiting in the dark alley. He had found the Sunset Bistro. He had seen the woman he was going to kill.

Now, he was waiting for her.

The voice was telling him what to do. He couldn’t disobey.

Kill her. Kill her. Kill her.

There she was. He could see her coming. She was by herself. There was no one around.

She came to the alley.

Tim grabbed her, putting his hand over her mouth to muffle her cries. He pulled her back into the darkness and shoved her against the wall. Then, he pulled out his gun and put it against her neck.

“Don’t scream. You feel that? It’s a gun. It’s loaded.”

He let her go. She didn’t scream.

“What do you want?” she whimpered. “You can take my money. Please, don’t hurt me. Don’t kill me.”

“Turn around,” Tim said.

She did as he said. He raised the gun level with her face. He saw the fear in her eyes, the terror. She didn’t want to die. She didn’t want this to happen. And suddenly, Tim felt like he could fight the compulsion. Just a little bit.

“Please, don’t kill me,” she said, tears running down her cheeks.

The gun started to shake as Tim tried to stop himself from pulling the trigger.

“Run,” he said. “Get out of here. I can’t stop it.”

She stood where she was, shocked, maybe even a little confused. Tim wouldn’t blame her if she was. He wanted to tell her what was going on, but he couldn’t. He couldn’t fight the voice telling him to kill her and the injunction to keep it to himself. He said what little he could.

“Go... Go to NCIS. Washington Navy Yard. Tell...Agent...Gibbs that... what I almost did. Please. Go, now. I don’t know how much longer I can stop myself. I don’t want to kill you, but I can’t help it! Run!”

She turned and ran out of the alley. Tim tried to stay where he was, but he felt himself start to walk after her.

“No,” he said through gritted teeth. “No!”

He threw himself against the wall of the alley and fell to his knees.

The voice was still there.

Kill her. Kill her. Kill her.

He couldn’t make himself let go of the gun. He was shaking violently, trying to drop it, throw it, just get rid of it, but his hand wouldn’t unclench. It was taking all he had not to run after the woman he’d just nearly killed and finish the job.

Kill her. Kill her. Kill her. You have to kill her.

“No, I don’t!” Tim told himself.

He had to get away from here, had to get someplace where he could conceivably not see another human being. He didn’t know if he’d start trying to kill other people at this point. There was no reason he should be killing this woman. What if that happened with every other person on the street?

You want to kill her. Kill her. Kill her. Kill her.

Finally, he got to his feet and stumbled out of the alley, running as fast as he could...not after the woman he’d been told to kill.

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

“All right. Let’s go,” Gibbs said.

Right as he spoke, his phone started ringing. He sighed and grabbed it.

“Gibbs,” he answered, tersely.

Tony and Ellie exchanged glances. Gibbs was definitely not happy about being distracted from his goal.

“Who is she?” He sighed. “Send her up.”

He hung up.

“What is it, Gibbs?” Ellie asked.

“Some woman saying that she was told to talk to me.”

“By who?” Tony asked.

“Don’t know.”

They waited for the elevator to ding. When it did, a panicked woman came out. She hurried over to where they were.

“Is one of you Agent Gibbs?” she asked.

“I am. What’s wrong, ma’am?”

“A man tried to kill me...I think,” she said.

“You think?”

Ellie led the woman to a chair and let her sit.

“What happened?”

“I was going home. I’ve been on that street a million times, never had the slightest problem, never any worry. Suddenly, a man grabbed me and dragged me into the alley. I thought I was going to be mugged or something, but...” She blinked back some tears. “...but he had a gun. He made me turn around, and he was going to kill me. I could tell he didn’t want my money, but then...then, he told me to run. He said that he didn’t want to kill me, but he had to, that he couldn’t stop himself. He told me to come here and tell you what happened. At first, I thought he was just going to shoot me in the back or something, but then...then, he was so adamant that I started running and he didn’t come after me. So I got a taxi as soon as I could and I came here.”

They all exchanged glances. This was weird.

“He specifically said for you to come to me?” Gibbs asked.

She nodded.

“Yes. I didn’t even know where NCIS was, but he told me it was here at the Washington Navy Yard. He said that...that I had to tell you what he did.”

“Did he seem like he was drunk or high or anything?”

“No. He didn’t. It was almost like...like there was...someone forcing him to point the gun at me. It was like he was trying to put it down, but he couldn’t. I don’t know if that’s really what was happening, but...” She shook her head. “I just don’t even know what else to say.”

“How about your name?” Tony asked, giving an encouraging smile.

She smiled back, a little shakily. “Of course. My name is Shelby Ubica. Here’s my driver’s license. I know you won’t be able to spell my last name right. My husband has had to fight against that his whole life. Oh...my husband. Can I call him? He’s out of town, but I’m sure he’d answer his phone.”

The name was familiar, but Tony couldn’t think why.

“What does your husband do?”

“He’s an allergist, although he used to be in research, but he decided he wanted to be able to have real patients, he said. I was happy to come back down here. I went to college in DC, and I have a lot of friends in the area.”

“An allergist?”

“Yeah. Mostly, he says he just pokes people’s arms and gives them shots, but I know he loves it.”

That was it. He caught Gibbs’ eye. Gibbs raised an eyebrow in a silent question. Tony nodded.

“Ms. Ubica, did you see the man?”

“Not very clearly.”

“All right. Agent Bishop will get any details you can give us. We’ll be right back.”

“Thank you. I hope I can help.”

Gibbs nodded and gestured to Tony. They walked over by the stairs.

“What?” Gibbs asked.

“That woman’s husband is the doctor McGee’s been going to, you know, for his allergy shots.”

Gibbs raised an eyebrow again.

“I don’t think this is a coincidence, Boss.”

“You think it’s McGee?”

“Yeah, as much as I hate to say it.”

“Why?”

“I have no idea. He’s never even suggested...except for today.”

“No other time?”

“No... Wait.” Tony thought back. “You remember when we were tracking down that hacker?”

“Yeah.”

“Tim was going after him, but he hung back and let me take the guy down. He said it was because he had a cramp, but he told me, after, that he’d wanted to shoot the guy and he didn’t want to get in trouble for being too rough with him.”

“And you didn’t think this was something I should know?”

“Hey, we all get mad at the suspects sometimes. Tim seemed to be aware that it was a problem and he held back. I thought that was a good thing.”

“Nothing since then?”

“Just...little things. If it weren’t for this, I wouldn’t have even though twice about it.”

“You sure?”

“Yeah. I thought he was doing things that he didn’t really want...to...do. ...but they weren’t killing a person! It was going to a game with me, buying some stuff at the store that I knew he wouldn’t want.”

“And he did it?”

“Yeah.”

“And he liked it?”

“No. That’s why it was weird.”

Tony hedged a little.

“What?”

“I want to look for him, Boss. Before we get the police out there. At least, let me try checking out his place.”

“And if he decided to shoot you?”

“I’ll take my chances, but I don’t think he will.”

The eyebrow went up again.

“Please?”

“I’ll give you one hour. Then, we call Metro.”

“Okay.”

Tony hurried back out to the bullpen. He stopped by Ellie.

“Well?” he asked in a low voice.

“Not very detailed, but he was tall. Short hair. Not very big, but strong.”

“Could be him,” Tony said.

“Yeah.”

“Okay.”

“Where are you going?”

“To find out.”

“Alone?”

“For an hour.”

“Be careful, Tony,” Ellie said. “If it is him...this is so not like him that he might have lost it.”

Tony nodded and headed out of NCIS. He didn’t know if Tim would really be at his apartment, but it was better to try it than to do nothing. He could also hope that she wasn’t talking about Tim, but that Tim was just hiding out in his apartment because he’d punched Tony, although Tony couldn’t imagine Tim doing that.

He just had to try.

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 Post subject: Chapter 6
PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2015 8:53 am 
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Location: Here and there. Everywhere and nowhere.
Title: DOCTOR!
Aliases: Scurvy Gums Ramona
Gender: Female
Chapter 6

It was quiet. There were a lot of them all around the bed.

They’d all spoken.

They’d run out of words.

The only words left to speak would have to come from the one who hadn’t yet spoken
.

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

Tony stood outside Tim’s apartment, trying to get the courage to knock. He didn’t know if he’d feel worse if Tim was there or not.

Nothing to do but try.

He knocked.

“McGee! You in there?”

He put his ear to the door, trying to hear if Tim was moving around inside.

“Come on, Tim. I’m not mad about you punching me. It doesn’t make any sense, but I’m not mad about it!”

He waited. Then, he heard movement. Tim was in there.

“I can hear you, McGee! Open the door!”

No response.

He pulled out his phone and called Gibbs.

“Boss, it looks like McGee is home. I’m going to try to get him back to NCIS.”

“Be careful.”

“I will.”

He hung up and contemplated the best way to go. After a minute or two, Tony decided he wasn’t going to wait for Tim to come around. He picked the lock. He opened the door and the chain was on.

“I’m going to break the chain if you don’t let me in, McGee!”

Nothing.

Sorry, McGee. I’ll pay for a new chain, Tony thought.

He broke the door down and walked inside.

“McGee?”

“Go away, Tony. Please, leave.” The voice was soft and shaking. Tony couldn’t see Tim at all.

“I knew you were here, McGee. I’m not leaving.”

“Go. Away.”

The voice was coming from back in his bedroom. Tony walked back.

“Tim, what’s going on?”

The lights were off. He could see the shape of Tim, but he couldn’t see any details.

“Tony, please. Go away. Just leave.”

“I can’t do that.”

“You have to.”

“Why?”

“Because...I don’t know what’s wrong with me and I don’t want hurt you. Again.”

“Oh, come on. That wasn’t the first time you’ve ever punched me out.”

“It’s the first time you didn’t actually deserve it.”

Tony forced a laugh. He didn’t know if he should bring up Shelby Ubica. Would that be asking for more trouble if he asked Tim if he was the one she’d been talking about?

“What do you mean something is wrong with you?” he asked.

“I don’t want to talk about it.”

Time to mention what he didn’t want to mention.

“We had a woman come to NCIS, looking for Gibbs. She said she’d been told to go there by a man who was going to kill her and then stopped. You know anything about that, McGee?”

Silence.

“McGee?”

He could hear heavy breathing.

“Talk to me, McGee. Do you know about that?”

“Go away, Tony. It’s taking everything I have...not to find her and kill her. I don’t know what I’ll do to get to her if I break. I have my gun still. I can’t put it down. It’s loaded. I wish I could drop it, but I can’t.”

“Why? Is it glued to you?”

“No. My hand won’t let it go. I’ve been trying to put it down, but I can’t. Tony, there is something really wrong with me and I don’t want to hurt or kill anyone. Just go away.”

“You have to know that I can’t do that, Tim. I’m turning on the light and we’re going to talk about this like rational adults.”

“Don’t. I’m not rational.”

“Yes, McGee.”

Tony found the light switch, flipped it on, and fell back a bit. Tim was pointing his gun right at Tony, but that wasn’t the thing that shocked him. It was the twisted expression on Tim’s face. His eyes were full of fear, but he was almost smiling. He’d never had the opportunity to use the word demented before, but this was one time when he’d say that someone looked demented. The gun was shaking in Tim’s hand.

“Don’t come any closer, Tony. Please.”

“I’m going to get a chair and we’re going to talk, Tim.”

“There’s nothing to talk about.”

“Yes, there is. Like...why did you try to kill that woman?” He purposely avoided using her name. He wanted to see how much Tim knew, how much he’d say.

“Because I can’t not. I have to. There’s no choice. There’s just that voice in my head saying it over and over again. I can see the picture. I can hear the voice. I can’t stop it. I wasn’t sure I’d make it back here, but I did and I’m not leaving until I can’t hear the voice anymore, until I stop feeling like I have to kill this woman I don’t even know!”

“Her name is Shelby Ubica.”

For just a moment, the gun lowered. For a moment, Tim’s expression was simply one of confusion.

“What? Ubica?”

“Yeah. Her husband is your allergist.”

“Why would I be trying to kill his wife?”

“You tell me.”

“I don’t know! It’s like that dream.”

“You said you hadn’t had any dream.”

“I didn’t remember...until just now. That dream. She was in the dream, too. That’s who I was killing in my dream. I can hear the same voice...but it was only a suggestion, then. But I swear, I didn’t know who she was until you told me. Why her?”

“You tell me.”

“I told you already that I don’t know! But it’s not a suggestion anymore, Tony! It’s reality and I can’t not listen.”

Tony noticed that Tim was also flushed, although that made sense given the situation. Still, this was definitely beyond what Tony understood.

“Tim, I have to take you back to NCIS.”

“No! I can’t! If that’s where she is, I can’t go there!”

And yet, Tony noticed, even as Tim refused, that he started to take a step forward. Then, the gun started shaking again and he stopped. It really was like Shelby Ubica had said. Tim seemed to be fighting against his own body.

“How about if I handcuff you?”

“I don’t think I can let you.”

“How about we try it?”

“I might shoot you, Tony! I still have the gun. I can’t let you stop me.”

Tony took a step forward and tried not to flinch as the gun came up again, aimed right at him.

“There’s no reason to shoot me, Tim.”

“If you’re trying to stop me, there is. According to the voice, there is.”

“What reason?”

“You’re trying to stop me from killing her.”

“You just said that you don’t want to.”

Tim’s eyes closed and the gun shook even more. As much as Tony wanted to jump at him right now, he could easily see the gun going off, and he had no desire to die while taking down his friend. He was just a little bit too far away to be sure of getting him. ...but he could take a step forward and he did, as quietly as possible.

“I don’t want to, but I have to. I have to kill her. That’s what has to happen.”

“Who wants you to?”

“The voice. The voice that I can hear.”

“Whose voice is it?” Tony asked and took another step.

“I don’t know! Mine. My voice. His voice. A voice. I don’t know.”

“Dr. Ubica?”

Tim’s eyes popped open.

“You’re too close, Tony. Stand back.”

“Do you mean about Dr. Ubica or right here?”

“Stand back.”

“No.”

“Please.”

“Not happening. You think you can control yourself long enough for me to take the gun away?”

“No,” Tim said...and nodded.

“Will you try to hit me?”

“Yes,” Tim said...and shook his head.

“You realize you’re contradicting yourself, I hope.”

“Yes. You can’t trust me, Tony. Don’t trust me. I have to kill her. I have to see her die. I have to shoot her in the face. I have to do it. Don’t you understand?”

Tony could see it. Tim was ready to fight, even if he said he didn’t want to. That meant Tony would just have to treat Tim like a hostile suspect. He’d feel bad about it for a while, but he was pretty sure it would be worse if he didn’t.

“I don’t want to go to NCIS. I can’t go to NCIS,” Tim said. Then, he closed his eyes again. “Take me to NCIS.”

“Another contradiction,” Tony said.

Then, hoping that Tim wasn’t ready for him, Tony dove at Tim’s legs, below the gun, hoping against hope that Tim would have enough control over himself to keep himself from firing.

Tim crashed to the floor.

The gun fired.

Tony grabbed for the hand holding the gun and got his hands on it. Tim started fighting him.

“I have to kill her! I have to kill her! You can’t take the gun away!”

Tony grabbed Tim’s wrist and squeezed it until Tim’s hand finally spasmed and let the gun go. Then, he pushed the gun under Tim’s bed and turned his attention to subduing the raging lunatic. He was helped by the fact that Tim did seem to be trying to control himself. He wasn’t succeeding, but he was keeping himself from being as good at fighting as he might have been in other circumstances.

Tony got out his handcuffs, forced Tim onto his stomach, wrenched Tim’s arms behind his back and put on the cuffs. Tim stopped fighting him.

For a long moment, it was completely silent in the room, except for the heavy breathing from both men. Then, there was a small voice.

“Thanks...for winning, Tony,” Tim whispered.

“You’re stronger than you look, McGee.”

“Now what?”

“Now, I take you back to NCIS and we figure out what’s wrong with you.”

Tony pulled Tim up to his feet and was surprised at how docile he was. He relaxed a little.

“Don’t trust me, Tony,” Tim said.

...and then, he lunged at Tony, trying to hit him in the face with his head. Tony got just enough warning and managed to dodge Tim’s attack.

“You’d better be genuine here, Tim, because, if you’re not, you are in so much trouble.”

“I’m already in trouble.”

Tony dragged Tim out of his apartment, shoved him in the back seat, belted him in and then drove them to NCIS. He pulled around to the back of the building in the hopes of keeping Tim from being seen handcuffed. If Tim really was being forced to do this stuff somehow, he didn’t want it to be a problem later on.

“Here we are, Tim.”

“Where is she?” Tim asked.

“Nowhere you’ll be getting to her.”

“Okay.”

Tony grabbed Tim from behind and dragged him into the building. He headed for Autopsy, first, hoping that Ducky would be there and this would be all the distance he’d have to cover with Tim handcuffed and acting weird.

The doors opened.

“Timothy... Anthony. What in the world–?” Ducky began.

“We have a problem, Ducky,” Tony said.

“I would guess so. What is it? Why is Timothy handcuffed?”

“Because I have to kill her, Ducky!” Tim said.

He suddenly pulled against Tony’s hands and escaped. He started to run for the doors. They opened right as Tony got to him again. Tony grabbed Tim and the two of them ran into the wall opposite the doors.

“Stop it, Tim!” Tony said, frustrated that he couldn’t rely on Tim to be rational.

“Don’t let me go!” Tim shouted.

Tony dragged him back into Autopsy, Tim fighting him the whole way.

That’s why he’s handcuffed.”

Ducky looked more than a little surprised.

“What’s happened?”

“Can you get Gibbs down here, let him know that Tim is here?”

“Of course.”

Ducky hurried out of Autopsy, leaving Tony alone with Tim again. Tim had calmed once more. Both of them were panting a little.

“She’s in the building,” Tim said.

“I assume so, but they may have sent her home.”

“Yeah, right. I’m not stupid, Tony,” Tim said. “I know that she won’t be left alone while there’s a crazy guy out to kill her, especially when we don’t know why.”

“But we have the crazy guy in custody.”

“But you don’t know why. You don’t know if there’s someone else out there. I know she’s here, Tony. I know it, and that’s why you have to be here to keep me from getting to her.”

Tim shook again.

“I don’t want to do this, you know. I really don’t. I just have to.”

“Well, you’re not going to. You have to admit that you’re at a disadvantage.”

“Just don’t trust me. I can’t be trusted.”

“I’ll remember that.”

Tim was standing in the middle of Autopsy. Tony didn’t look away. Tim did.

After a couple of silent minutes, the doors opened, admitting Ducky and Gibbs.

“What’s going on?” Gibbs asked.

“I don’t know, Boss,” Tim said in that same trembling voice. “I have to kill her. I know I do. I have to kill her. I have to shoot her in the face. I don’t want to, though.”

“If you don’t want to, why do you have to?”

“Because I do. Because I can hear the voice telling me I have to. I can’t stop the voice, Boss! I can barely stop myself from obeying it. I’ve already tried to obey it too many times.”

Tim shook his head.

“I know it doesn’t make sense. The part of me that can think knows it, but the rest of me doesn’t. It’s reality. It isn’t a suggestion. It’s what has to be. I have to kill her!”

Tony was ready this time. When Tim tried to start running, he grabbed him.

“I have to do it! I have to!”

He strained to get to the door. Tony could feel it. It wasn’t an act. Tim was really trying to get away, even though it made no sense.

“When did you start feeling this, Timothy?”

“I can’t tell you. It’s in my head, but I can’t say it.”

“You know?” Gibbs asked.

“I can’t tell you! I can’t tell anyone who told me. I can’t tell anyone that...” He stopped talking abruptly.

“All right,” Ducky said, intervening. “Timothy, where did you go after you left NCIS, after you punched Anthony?”

“I drove.”

“Where?”

Tim closed his eyes tightly. Tony could feel him shaking.

“Can’t...tell...you...”

“Yes, you can.”

“No. Can’t.”

“Where did you go?”

Tim was breathing as heavily now as he had been after fighting Tony. He was shaking and getting words out seemed to be a real struggle.

“Just...to...get...shots! Allergy shots!”

“Dr. Ubica.”

Tim didn’t reply.

“Could he have hypnotized him?” Gibbs asked.

“Hypnosis generally requires that the subject be willing to be put into that state,” Ducky said. “I’ve never heard of someone being hypnotized against their will and I can’t see how an allergy shot would lead to the necessity of hypnosis.” Ducky looked at Tim. “I can’t think of any drug that would have this result, but perhaps we should do blood tests anyway.”

“No!” Tim shouted and tried to pull back. “No, you can’t do that! I can’t let you do that!”

Tony kept a firm hold on him.

“I think we’ll have to hold him down while you do it, Ducky,” he said.

“Yes, I agree. Timothy, let’s get you sitting on a table and we’ll try to do this as quickly as possible.”

“Good idea,” Tim said.

Tony decided that the weirdest thing about all this was that Tim sounded like himself, but everything he did was not. He had to manhandle Tim back to the table, force him onto it and then, Gibbs and Tony both had to hold him still while Ducky took a blood sample. All the while, Tim was clenching his teeth and trying to get away.

“There. Done. I’ll get this up to Abigail to begin analyzing right away.”

Ducky hurried out of Autopsy, again, leaving Gibbs and Tony holding Tim on the table.

“What’s going to happen next?” Tim asked.

“Don’t know,” Gibbs said. “Have to wait and see.”

“You’re not going to let me kill her.”

“No.”

“Good.”

Tony looked at Gibbs with a silent question. Tim was acting like he was possessed or something. How were they going to deal with it? How would they get him to stop? What was making him act like this in the first place?

“What do you know about Mrs. Ubica?” Gibbs asked.

“Nothing,” Tim said.

“Nothing?”

“I didn’t even know that Dr. Ubica was married.”

“You never talked about that at all?”

“No. I’m only at his office for about 45 minutes.”

“What do you talk about, then?”

“Uh...I don’t know.”

“What do you mean you don’t know?” Gibbs asked.

Tim closed his eyes, again.

“I would go and get the shot...and go home. What happened in between? I don’t remember.”

“If you don’t remember, why didn’t that bother you before?” Tony asked.

“I didn’t know I didn’t remember.”

Then, Tim looked at the both of them and asked the question no one knew the answer to.

“What if this doesn’t go away?”

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 Post subject: Chapter 7
PostPosted: Sat Jun 27, 2015 9:08 am 
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Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2008 7:05 am
Posts: 52863
Location: Here and there. Everywhere and nowhere.
Title: DOCTOR!
Aliases: Scurvy Gums Ramona
Gender: Female
Chapter 7

“What if this never ends?”

“It will.”

“What if it doesn’t?”

“It will.”

“How can you know?”

No reply.

Silence fell again.


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

“This is Tim’s blood?” Abby asked, very concerned.

“Yes, and the faster you can process it, the closer we might be to figuring out what’s wrong.”

“He’s really saying that he can’t control himself?”

“That’s correct.”

Abby got to work on the sample.

“So...could we suggest demonic possession and get an exorcist?”

Ducky smiled slightly.

“I’m fairly certain that’s not the problem.”

“Is he really trying to kill someone?”

“It seems so. He’s admitting it.”

“This is really hinky, Ducky. This kind of thing doesn’t just happen.”

The doors to the lab opened and Ellie came rushing in.

“What’s going on? Vance was asking about it and I didn’t know what to say; so I came down here. Ms. Ubica is in one of the conference rooms wanting to know why we think she shouldn’t be calling her husband.”

“Timothy is down in Autopsy, handcuffed, being restrained by both Anthony and Jethro because he feels compelled to kill this woman, although he claims that he has no idea why.”

Ellie furrowed her brow.

“That doesn’t make any sense.”

“I agree, but it seems that we will have to work with things being senseless for the moment. Abigail is analyzing a blood sample. Hopefully, that will give us some direction. All we know for certain is that Timothy went to receive his scheduled allergy shot before heading off to kill his doctor’s wife.”

“Really? That’s weird. Well...I doubt I can help hold McGee back. I’ll see what I can dig up on Dr. Ubica. Tony said that we should always suspect the wife. I think the other way can work, too. Look at the husband before searching for strange coincidences. At least, now, if Director Vance starts asking me questions, I can say something.”

Ellie nodded and headed back up to the bullpen.

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

It wasn’t right that Tim should be so normal-sounding. Tony kept complaining about that in his head. He didn’t like that Tim could be that badly off but at the same time be able to hold a normal conversation about how he didn’t remember things that he should easily remember and how he wanted to kill someone but didn’t. All in all, it was really weird and off-putting. They’d been down here for a couple of hours, now, just waiting for something to give.

“How long are you going to keep me here?”

“Until we figure out what’s wrong, McGee,” Gibbs said.

“Maybe you should take me to a loony bin or something. I’m clearly crazy right now.”

“You still feel it?”

“Yes. The only reason I’m not trying is because I’m hoping that you’ll let down your guard long enough that I can get free...but you can’t do that because I don’t want to kill her.”

Ducky came into Autopsy.

“Abigail has found something. I think you all should see it,” he said, sounding very grave.

“I don’t want to leave here, Ducky,” Tim said. “The closer I am to her...”

He started to pulled against Tony’s grip. It was so sudden that he almost lost his hold, but Gibbs caught him as well and held him back.

“I have to kill her! She has to die! That’s reality and I can’t refuse!”

“Calm down, Tim!” Tony said, redoubling his grip. “Remember that you don’t want to.”

Tim tried to get away for a few more seconds before stopping himself, but again, he was panting as if he’d just run a race.

“You can’t let me get to her.”

“We won’t,” Gibbs said. “Let’s go.”

Tony took one side. Gibbs took the other. They walked, guided, dragged and pushed Tim out of Autopsy and to Abby’s lab. By turns, he would try to run away from them, pull back from leaving, try to attack them, and just walk, occasionally. All in all, it was a strange situation, but perhaps, they were going to get some answers.

They got into Autopsy and Abby looked at Tim for a long moment.

“Abbs, what is it?” Gibbs asked.

“Maybe it is demonic possession,” Abby said.

“It’s not. You found something,” Gibbs said.

“Yes. Yes! I did. And it’s a lot of something. I don’t know what it is, but Tim, your blood is chock full of something.”

“What? What is it?”

“I don’t know! I’ve never seen it before, but, Tim, you’ve got so much in your blood that I’m surprised it hasn’t killed you. I mean, there are different dosages of different medications that you can take, but generally, you don’t take this much of anything at once. If you’d had this much of most illegal drugs, Tim, you’d be dead of an overdose.”

“That’s...not comforting,” Tim said.

“But that also means that maybe this will go away when the drug leaves your system.”

“But how long will that take? I can’t just sit around waiting to stop wanting to kill someone!”

As if the word kill was a trigger, Tim started to struggling to get away again.

“Knock it off, McGee,” Gibbs said. “Is there anything you can do to get rid of this?”

“I’m not sure, Gibbs. There’s a part of it that looks like it could be scopolamine, but it’s been changed, and I don’t know because scopolamine interacts with other medications, but...some people think that it could be used as...”

“As what?” Tony asked.

“Well, in Colombia, it’s been used to drug people into a passive state so that they can be robbed...and some have theorized that it also makes them suggestible. So that they can be made to do things.”

“But that’s a far cry from what we’re seeing here,” Ducky said.

“I don’t care what it is,” Tim said. “I hate it!”

He closed his eyes again and started shaking his head.

“No, no, no, no,” he muttered through clenched teeth.

He tried to hurl himself at the doors to the lab, but Tony and Gibbs kept hold of him. This time, however, all three of them were pulled to the ground by the force of Tim’s attempt.

There was a quick scrabble and then, Tim was back on his feet, firmly restrained by Tony and Gibbs.

“I wish...I wish I was completely out of my mind,” Tim said. “I hate not being able to control myself and knowing that I can’t.”

“What could cause this, though?” Tony asked. “I mean, sure, okay, it might make him more suggestible, but why can’t we just suggest that he not kill her? Why wouldn’t it work that way?”

“I have no idea,” Ducky said. “You told me about a dream of killing someone, Timothy...”

Tim nodded.

“That was over a month ago. Did you continue dreaming it even after you spoke to me?”

“I don’t know. I think so.”

“This may be a case of building up over time. Training your body to react a certain way, forcing your mind to accept the commands until you become completely controllable.”

“But how?”

The doors to Abby’s lab opened up.

“And even if we knew how, who would be able to just make up some drug to do it?”

“Try Dr. Gerald Ubica,” Ellie said from behind them.

“What?” Tim asked, he tried to turn around, but this time, Gibbs and Tony had a good grip on him.

“His research was part of a program set up to create a drug that would be a real truth serum. There have been a lot of attempts, but they’ve all failed to get an unwilling mind into the desired state.”

“I’m not trying to spill secrets, here,” Tim said. “I’m trying to kill someone!”

Again, he started trying to get away.

“I have to kill her! I have to shoot her! Let me go!”

He managed to get free but only got two steps before Tony tackled him. There was yet another minor scuffle before they got Tim under control again.

“Man, Tim. Stop it! Fight it!”

“Don’t you think I’m trying?” Tim said. “If I wasn’t trying, she’d be dead already!”

Gibbs gestured to Ellie who gulped nervously and then nodded.

“It’s not a far stretch to go from being willing to answer questions to being willing to...follow instructions.”

“How did you find this out?” Abby asked.

“I might have asked some...friends.”

“Okay...then, why?” Tony asked.

“Well, it turns out that Shelby Ubica is loaded. She’s the only beneficiary of her father who just happened to be an oil tycoon on par with the Koch brothers. She sold the company, lock, stock and barrel, after he died and she’s pretty much rolling in the dough, and guess who is the only beneficiary on her life insurance policy? Her husband.”

“It always comes down to money,” Tony said.

“You’re saying that he’s using me as his hired killer?” Tim asked. “He could hire someone, pay them! This has to be the hard way of doing it.”

“But you couldn’t even tell us who made you do it. There would be no reason and no one would think about it,” Ellie said. “You did it on your own. You weren’t being paid for it. He might be looked at, but in the end, what’s the evidence? ...if you’d gone through with it, that is.”

“What about the results of his blood test?” Abby asked.

“When would they think to look?” Ellie asked. “We have no idea how long this will stay in his bloodstream. If he got away for a few days, it might be completely gone. No evidence of an altered state, and really, Tim, except when you were fighting with Tony, you seem almost normal.”

“Great,” Tim said. “Just great!” He looked at Ducky, trembling. “You said that there’s a monster in all of us. Why me? Why can’t I stop this?”

Ducky smiled sympathetically. “You already stopped yourself once, Timothy. And this is not you. The monster in you has been placed there against your will. It’s not something you wanted.”

Tim’s head dropped and he shook it again.

Gibbs caught Tony’s eye. He could tell that Gibbs had something in mind...but if it was a plan to stop all this, why wasn’t he saying anything?

“Okay,” Gibbs said, finally. “Tim, we’re going to lock you in Interrogation for a little while. Someone will be watching you the whole time. Someone will be guarding the door, but we need to figure out some plans and we can’t do that while we’re holding you.”

“Okay. I don’t think I can refuse.”

“That’s true. Let’s go.”

They dragged him to the elevator, up to Interrogation and, to Tony’s surprise, Gibbs removed the handcuffs.

“That’s not a good idea, Boss,” Tim said.

“Just for now,” Gibbs said.

Then, he hurried Tony out of the room and got the door closed just as Tim hurled himself at it. They felt the vibrations through the door from the impact.

“Boss, what’s going on?”

“Get everyone up to Vance’s office. We’ve got some plans to make.”

“What are you going to be doing?”

“Waiting for you to send some agents to watch the door and the window.”

“Right.”

Tony ran off, hoping that whatever Gibbs had in mind would work.

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

Tim felt like he was a trapped animal, like when you went to the zoo and saw the tigers walking back and forth along the walls of the enclosure. He had hoped that the feeling of needing to kill would fade, but it hadn’t yet. He didn’t know how long he’d been in this room, but he couldn’t stand it.

Kill her. Kill her. You have to kill her. She has to die. She has to die. This is reality. It’s not a suggestion. You have to shoot her.

There was no outside stimulus to counteract the voice, only the strength of his own mind, and that fight was getting harder and harder. Finally, he couldn’t stop himself. He ran at the door and broke it down. He was surprised that it opened, actually, but he couldn’t think clearly enough through the never-ending voice in his head to consider what that might mean.

He started running. He knew where she should be. He bypassed the elevators. They might be able to trap him that way. He took the stairs up to the bullpen.

When he got in there, he ran to the desks and found a gun. It was loaded. Perfect. He figured they must all be upstairs or downstairs, making plans. He wouldn’t have much time. He had to find her. He had to kill her.

Kill her. Kill her.

Part of him was still saying no, but he’d been resisting for so long that he couldn’t fight it now. His mind was exhausted with the effort. The voice was winning. He just had to go. He had to find her. He had to obey the voice.

It was reality.

Kill her. Kill her.

He paused. Where would she be? Upstairs? No. They wouldn’t have her in on whatever plans they were making. A conference room? Maybe.

Suddenly, he heard movement behind him. He turned. There she was. He didn’t even have to go looking. She was right there.

“Agent Gibbs, I...”

She stopped, shocked at his appearance.

“No,” she said. “No, don’t, please.”

“I’m sorry,” Tim said. “I can’t not do it. I don’t want to.”

He raised the gun and fired three times. She staggered backwards and fell to the floor.

He stared for a moment. He’d killed her. He’d done it.

The voice faded.

In the silence, he didn’t know what to do, now.

Then, the voice came back.

Run. Run. Run. Run. You have to run. You have to run. Don’t let them catch you. You have to get away.

“I’m sorry. I’m so sorry,” Tim said, one more time, looking at the unmoving body on the floor, tears coming into his eyes.

You can’t let them find you, catch you, question you. You do what it takes to get away. You will die rather than be caught. Run. Run.

He dropped the gun and ran for the exit.

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 Post subject: Chapter 8
PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2015 9:17 am 
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Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2008 7:05 am
Posts: 52863
Location: Here and there. Everywhere and nowhere.
Title: DOCTOR!
Aliases: Scurvy Gums Ramona
Gender: Female
Chapter 8

She held his hand. She didn’t speak. She didn’t move. Finally, she understood that words weren’t going to make this any better.

So she just held his hand and waited.


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

For a few seconds, after Tim’s flight from the bullpen, there was just quiet. No movement, no people. Just a body on the floor.

...but then, the body moved.

Shelby Ubica took a deep breath and sat up, shaking a little.

Then, the bullpen exploded with activity. People came running in from multiple directions. Gibbs took one look at Shelby and then pointed to the exit.

“Tony. Go. Don’t lose him.”

Tony nodded and took off. Gibbs knelt down by Shelby.

“Are you all right, Ms. Ubica?”

She nodded.

“Yes. Even though I knew it would be just blanks, I still...” She closed her eyes and let out a shaking breath. “He looked so...strange. He kept apologizing. Is it really true?”

“So far as we can tell.”

“What will happen, now?”

“We’re going to find out who was responsible for this.”

Shelby Ubica might have been shocked and stunned by everything that had happened, by suddenly being a target, but she wasn’t stupid.

“You think it was my husband, don’t you. That’s why Agent Bishop was asking me those questions. That’s why you didn’t want me to call him, yet. You think he’s the one who caused this.”

Gibbs debated telling her the truth.

“Yes, we do.”

“Why?”

“Your money.”

“Oh. How would he have done it?”

“My agent has been going to your husband for allergy shots for the last three months. He went there just before he came after you.”

“Oh.”

Gibbs stood up and held out his hand. Shelby took it and let him help her up.

“He’s out of town this weekend.” She looked around the bullpen and then at Gibbs again. “If he wanted money, I would have given it to him. Some of it is invested. A lot of it is. I was planning on starting up a charity with a lot of the money, in memory of my father. But I still have more than I could have spent in my lifetime. He was making plenty of money himself.” Her eyes filled with tears. “If he had wanted more, I would have given it to him. I love him. He’s my husband!”

Ellie came over, put a comforting arm around her shoulders, and led Shelby away as she started to cry.

Gibbs watched them go and then, he sighed. A last-ditch effort to stop Tim from killing her. He just hoped it would work out the way it was supposed to. Plans made in a rush didn’t always work out right.

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

Tony got out of the building in record time, and looked around for where Tim might have gone. He saw him running.

“Tim! Stop!”

Tim did stop, but only for a moment. He looked at Tony and then, started running again, toward the Barry.

...but no, not toward the Barry.

Toward the river.

“Oh, McGee, you’re not going to...” Tony muttered as he ran.

It appeared that he was.

Tim ran unerringly toward the pier, ran to the end of it.

...and dove into the Anacostia.

Tony groaned, but ran after him, remembering with irritation that he’d suggested this only a couple of months ago as a joke. It sure wasn’t funny, now.

“Tim! You don’t have to run!” he shouted. “Come back!”

No response. Tony groaned again, kicked off his shoes and dove into the river after Tim. Of course, Tim would pick one of the most polluted rivers in the country to dive into.

Tony surfaced and started swimming after Tim.

“Tim! Stop!” he called.

For a few seconds, it didn’t look like Tim would ever stop. He was paddling as fast as he could, and while he wouldn’t win any points for graceful strokes, he was covering quite a bit of distance.

Then, suddenly, he did stop.

Unfortunately, he not only stopped swimming, but he stopped moving all together. He started to sink into the water. Tony swam as quickly as he could, wondering why it was that the guy with the damaged lungs was the one who had to pull people out of the water all the time.

Tim hadn’t sunk too deeply when Tony reached him. He went under, pulled Tim up and saw that Tim seemed to be unconscious.

“Okay, McGee. I’m giving you a break since you’ve been having a bad night, but you had better appreciate all I’m going through for you.”

With Tim acting as dead weight, Tony began the laborious process of getting back to shore. It took much too long as far as Tony was concerned.

Finally, though, he was able to get them out of the river and onto dry land. He was tired, gasping for breath and feeling extremely contaminated. He had no idea just how unhealthy the Anacostia River was at this point, but he did know that it was not considered safe for swimming. He spat on the ground and looked at Tim whose eyes were closed. For the first time since all this had begun, he seemed completely limp. No tension at all. He was totally out.

“I hope this is the end of it, Tim. I don’t know how much more of this we can handle.”

After a few minutes, they were spotted by a Metro cop and they got Tim taken to a hospital. He was admitted into the psychiatric wing, just in case, but he was nonresponsive, basically comatose. He was breathing. His heart was beating, but he was gone.

So...instead of celebrating the end of this bizarre situation, they had to wait and see if there was anything to celebrate.

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

Three days later...

Tim’s first indications of life took Gibbs and Ducky by surprise. They were taking their turn sitting by him, waiting for something to happen.

Tim didn’t seem really to wake up, but he started mumbling and twitching. He didn’t say anything coherent, unfortunately.

“Timothy? Can you hear us?” Ducky asked.

If he was trying to speak, it wasn’t working, but his brain was showing more activity than it had since he’d been admitted. He started tossing and turning on the bed. Ducky set about trying to calm him, even in his apparently unconscious state.

“It’s all right, lad. Calm down. It’s all right. You’re safe.”

Tim went limp again. He stilled as suddenly as he had started moving.

“Was that an improvement?” Gibbs asked.

“We can only hope that it was.”

They were both quiet for a few minutes. Then, Gibbs sighed.

“Tony’s trying to figure out how to explain what happened, why we all missed it, how it’s still not Tim’s fault, even though he did it.”

“Does the evidence not stand on its own?”

“There’s just not enough of it right now. Dr. Ubica’s lawyered up and isn’t talking. He thinks he’s going to get away with it.”

“Timothy may not be able to help. If he was conditioned to forget what was done to him, he may still not remember when he wakes up.”

“Yeah.”

Another period of quiet contemplation.

“Abigail seemed strangely calm when we took her place.”

“She’s finally got that there’s nothing we can do to speed this up. We just have to be here. They’re hoping that letting the drug filter from his system naturally will lead to his waking up.”

“It is possible. He’s shown some life even now.”

“We don’t know how long it’ll take.”

“No, we don’t. This is a completely new drug, one that even the company Dr. Ubica worked for before knew nothing about. How long he must have been planning this.”

Silence fell once more and they waited for Tim to wake up.

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

Two days later...

He was drowning in the water and he couldn’t make himself swim!

He started to panic, trying to get to the surface. He had to breathe! He couldn’t breathe!

Help!

“It’s all right, Timothy. It’s all right. Calm yourself. Can you hear me?”

The voice. He knew that voice. It wasn’t like the other voice he’d been hearing before. It was outside his head. That was a good thing, he thought.

“Timothy?”

The other good thing was that the water seemed to have disappeared. Now, he was just in some kind of vague grayness.

Like if my eyes were closed, he thought.

That was something that warranted investigation. He tried opening his eyes.

“Timothy! You are awake. Finally! I’m relieved.”

He couldn’t see much. His eyes were only open a little bit, and getting them open any more seemed like an impossible task. Still, he could see that there was a person there. Someone he knew.

“Timothy?”

“Drowning?” he asked.

“No. You’re not. No water here.”

“Voice...gone,” he mumbled. That was important.

“The voice you were hearing in your head?”

“Yeah.”

“That’s very good, Timothy.”

“Is it?”

“Yes.”

“Okay.”

What was he forgetting? Something the voice had been telling him to do...

Gradually, he was feeling more and more awake. No one seemed to be rushing him. He could take his time. He had no idea how much time he was taking, but he wasn’t trying to hurry up his return to consciousness.

He was trying to remember what the voice had said.

Then, he remembered.

...and he remembered that he had obeyed the voice.

His eyes opened and he sat up.

There were hands on his arms, even before he’d registered the presence of another human being in the room.

“I killed her!” he said. “I killed her! I really did it! I listened. I did it.”

“No! No, you didn’t.”

“Yes! I remember. I remember that I killed her. I had the gun. I fired it. I hit her. She fell. I killed her!”

“Timothy, listen to me! Can you hear me?”

“I killed her!”

“Timothy, look at me. Listen.”

“I killed her.”

“No.”

Gradually, the existence of another human being, one who was currently holding him in place, penetrated his panic. He looked into a pair of sympathetic eyes. Those eyes belonged to...

“Ducky, I killed her!”

“No. Are you listening to me? Can you hear me?”

Tim nodded. “I hear you.”

“Good. Now, you did not kill Shelby Ubica. Yes, you had a gun. Yes, you pulled the trigger, but that gun was loaded with blanks. Yes, she fell after you fired, but that was because this was our plan. She came into the bullpen, expecting you to be there.”

“You...planned...that...that...”

Tim found that he couldn’t even verbalize what they’d done.

“Yes. It was the only way we could think of to remove the compulsion. If you thought you had killed her, that should remove the control. Hypnotic suggestion, when not drug-induced, relies on the subject’s state of mind. If you thought you had killed her, then, you had fulfilled the requirements of the suggestion.”

Tim was horrified that his friends would let him think he’d committed murder. He couldn’t even think about anything else.

“I understand that this is difficult for you, that you’re upset, but we had no way of knowing how long you would be feeling that urge and we knew that it was all too possible that you’d get away from us at some point. As it is, we did not anticipate your flight and you almost drowned in the Anacostia. It was frightening, but Anthony managed to get you back to shore.”

Tim was staring at Ducky, still in shock.

“You...let...me think that I... You...”

“Yes, we did.”

Tim couldn’t think beyond that one fact. The people he should have been able to trust had deceived him. They had led him to think that he had killed an innocent woman. He couldn’t think of anything else. He didn’t care about whether or not Dr. Ubica had been caught. He didn’t care about what would happen next. All he could think of was the betrayal.

“I can’t... Get out of here,” Tim said. The first coherent sentence he was able to speak. “Get out of here. I don’t want to talk to any of you.”

“Timothy...”

“No! Get out.”

Ducky stood up.

“If that’s what you want, Timothy.”

Tim was angry that Ducky was so calm about it, as if they weren’t guilty of complete betrayal.

“Get out! Leave me alone!”

Ducky left without another word.

Once he was gone, Tim looked around. Belatedly, he realized that he was in a hospital bed. He supposed that it made sense. If things had been as bad as he remembered, he probably had needed to be in a hospital.

...but he had no desire to put himself in the hands of doctors for any longer than was absolutely necessary.

A few minutes later, a doctor came in to check on him.

“Agent McGee, I’m surprised to see you alone. Your friends have been here nonstop since you were admitted.”

Tim ignored that. “When was I admitted?”

“It’s been five days in all. The drug had some unexpected side effects, but I’m happy to see that you seem to be recovering.”

“How long do I have to stay here?”

“Well, ideally, we’d keep you here another day or two, just to be sure that the worst is over. We’ve been playing it by ear, and it would be safest to be cautious.”

“I want to leave, now.”

“Now?” The doctor was surprised. “I wouldn’t suggest that.”

That word. Tim was beginning to hate that word.

“Well, the last doctor I saw ended up trying to force me to kill his wife. Forgive me if I’m not really interested in your suggestion. I want to leave.”

“I’ll have to sign you out AMA.”

“I don’t care. I’m not looking for medical advice. I want to go home.”

“Agent McGee...”

“Look, unless you think I’m going to collapse and die, I’m not interested in anything you may have to say about my decision. In fact, even if you did think that, I’d want to leave. I don’t want to be here. I want to go home. I don’t want any more help from a doctor than I absolutely have to have.”

“Very well. We won’t keep you here against your will, but you really should reconsider.”

“No.”

The doctor sighed and nodded. “I’ll get the forms.”

“Thank you.”

Tim waited, wanting more and more to get out of the hospital. He experimented with standing and found that, while he was a little lightheaded, he didn’t seem in danger of falling over.

There were a few surprising and embarrassing things to take care of...like getting the catheter removed, but to Tim’s surprise, it was all done quickly and efficiently. After a couple of hours, he was leaving the hospital, hailing a taxi and heading back home.

Once he got there, he closed the door, locked it, closed all the curtains and withdrew to the bedroom. He was tired and went to sleep, secure in the knowledge that there was not one single person with him. No voices in his head. No people to give suggestions. No radio. No TV. No computer. Nothing that could make him do anything he didn’t want to do. He was completely alone.

That was best.

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 Post subject: Chapter 9
PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2015 12:31 pm 
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Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2008 7:05 am
Posts: 52863
Location: Here and there. Everywhere and nowhere.
Title: DOCTOR!
Aliases: Scurvy Gums Ramona
Gender: Female
Chapter 9

“He kicked you out?” Tony asked, more than a little surprised.

“Yes,” Ducky said. “I’m afraid that he was extremely upset to learn that we had deceived him.”

“To help him!” Abby said. “What else were we going to do?”

Ducky smiled gently. “I doubt that logic is something that Timothy will value at this point, Abigail. All he has had time to process is that the people he trusted lied to him. I think, given time, he’ll calm down, but I thought it best to do as he asked. Hopefully, tonight, we can go back to the hospital and speak to him.”

Gibbs got off his phone.

“No, we can’t,” he said.

“Why not?” Ellie asked. “Is he refusing visitors?”

“No. He’s not there.”

“What? Where is he?” Tony asked.

“Home, apparently. That was his doctor. Tim demanded to be released, saying that he wasn’t going to trust a doctor after what happened to him. He checked out AMA.”

“Of course. We should have thought of that reaction as a possibility,” Ducky said.

“So...that means he remembers,” Ellie pointed out. “He could probably tell us a lot more. Since Dr. Ubica still isn’t talking, that would be really helpful.”

“I’m not sure that we should push for that right now,” Ducky said. “He’s very upset and needs some time. Given the situation, it shouldn’t be too long, but a few hours shouldn’t be hard to give.”

“We should go over after work, then,” Abby said. “He shouldn’t be alone, not after everything that happened! And after all the time we spent hoping he’d wake up. I didn’t think he’d be mad at us.”

“Give him time, Abigail.”

“Yeah, I know. I just don’t like it.”

“We won’t leave him alone permanently, but he had a great shock, plus, he was, until recently, being manipulated via drug-induced hypnosis...if we can call it that. I’m not sure how else to describe it.”

“Then, what do we do?” Abby asked, plaintively.

“We work,” Gibbs said. “We still have hours before the day is over.”

Reluctantly, they obeyed, hoping that, by the time they were able to go over to Tim’s place, he would have cooled down.

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

All day, Tim sat alone in his apartment, in complete silence. He didn’t want to talk to anyone, see anyone, and he certainly had no interest in bringing anything into his apartment that might lead to another suggestion.

After a while, he did turn on his computer. He went directly to his email, wrote a quick message, sent it and then, immediately, turned his computer back off. He went back to his bedroom and sat on his bed. He’d eaten, but that was the only time he ventured into the main room. There were too many possibilities of suggestions.

The sun went down, and Tim didn’t bother turning on the lights. There was nothing he needed to see. Eventually, he’d get tired and sleep. He just wasn’t tired right now.

A knock on the door startled him, but then, he decided to ignore it.

Another knock. He ignored that one, too.

Yet another knock.

“Come on, McGee! Open the door!”

Tony. Tim groaned, but he walked over and opened it a crack. His chain was broken. He didn’t know when that had happened. So he had to put his foot in front of the door to brace it.

“What do you want, Tony?”

“We’re worried about you, Tim. Can I come in?”

“No. You don’t have to worry. I’m fine.”

“You’re still mad?”

“You let me think I was a murderer. You shouldn’t have to ask.”

Tim started to close the door again.

“Wait! Tim, wait.”

Tim waited.

“What?”

“Please, let me come in and talk. Just for a few minutes. Then, I’ll leave if you still want me to.”

Tim considered. Tony was the kind of person who could be irritating when he was worried. He wouldn’t go away until he could be satisfied that things were okay. He would stay out there, knocking on the door, waiting for Tim to give in.

Better to let him in now and avoid all that.

Tim stepped back and let Tony come in. Then, he closed and locked the door again.

“Say what you have to say, Tony.”

“Why is it so dark in here?”

“Because all the lights are off.”

“Why?”

“I don’t need to see anything. I’m saving electricity,” Tim said, keeping his voice in a monotone.

“Tim, why did you leave the hospital? You just barely woke up after five days in a drug-induced coma!”

“Caused by a doctor. Why would I trust another doctor?”

“Do you really think that will happen again?”

“I didn’t think it would happen once. I didn’t think it could happen once. Anything is possible.”

“Tim, we were doing our best to help you.”

“By letting me think I’d killed someone!” Tim exclaimed, forgetting to be calm. “You let me pick up a gun and fire it at an innocent woman. You let me think that I had committed murder! I don’t care what you thought was best.”

“Can I make a suggestion?”

And there was the word again. Tim lost his tenuous grip on his anger and started shouting.

“No! No, you may not make a suggestion! I do not want to hear a suggestion ever again! I do not want to hear the word ever again! No more suggestions! No more ideas! No more people saying that they’re helping me! I have no interest in getting help from you or from any of the others. I have no interest in seeing a doctor who will help me. As far as I’m concerned, there’s no reason to listen to anyone or anything ever again! So, you can get out of here!”

“You’ll have to leave here sometime.”

“No, I won’t. I’ve already resigned.”

“Wait, what?”

“I sent Vance an email. I resigned.”

“You can’t just quit NCIS.”

“Yes, I can. I just did.”

“Why?”

“Get out, Tony,” Tim said, regaining his calm demeanor. “I’m not interested in anything you have to say. Leave me alone.”

“I can’t just leave you in here like this, Tim. Won’t you let us talk to you?”

“No. I only let you in so that you would leave me alone.”

“Tim, we were really worried about you.”

“So worried that you let me think I’d killed someone. Yeah, I get it.”

“No, Tim!”

“You’re not listening to me, Tony! Get out! Leave.”

Tony started to walk to the door, but he paused before he opened it.

“I’m sorry I broke your chain, McGee. I’ll make sure you get a new one.”

Tim looked at the door and then back at Tony. He steadfastly said nothing.

“I get that you’re mad at us, Tim, but if you really think that’s all this is, you’re just fooling yourself. We both know what the real problem is, and if you’re ever interested in talking about it, you know where we are.”

Then, he walked out.

Tim locked the door behind him. Then, he went back to his bedroom, but he couldn’t avoid thinking about what Tony had said.

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

“He kicked me out,” Tony said.

“What did he tell you?” Ducky asked.

“That he was still mad at us, that he didn’t want to talk to anyone ever again. ...and he resigned.”

WHAT?!”

That one word was spoken in chorus.

“Vance won’t do anything about that, will he?” Ellie asked. “I always thought Vance liked Tim.”

“He does, but if Timothy is sincere, it won’t matter.”

“He can’t be sincere!” Abby said. “Tim loves NCIS.”

“He’s scared,” Tony said. “Underneath all that stuff he said, he’s really just scared. He wouldn’t admit it, right now, but maybe, if we give him some time, he’ll get to the point that he’ll admit it.”

“Physically, how was he?” Ducky asked.

“He seemed all right,” Tony said.

“Thank goodness for small favors. I guess that means that the ball is in Timothy’s court. I think we should leave him be for a day or two, not forever, though. If he doesn’t decide to talk to someone, we should come back and check on him. Angry or not, afraid or not, we don’t want anything happening to him, physically.”

There were murmured agreements and then, everyone parted ways, heading to their cars and then, to home.

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

For the next day, nothing changed. They tried to get Tim to talk to them, but he wouldn’t. Vance was willing to delay carrying through on Tim’s resignation, but he couldn’t wait forever. They’d all tried to get Tim to open the door and talk to them, but he wouldn’t.

Tony was sure that he was right about the real reason for Tim’s withdrawal, but if Tim himself wasn’t willing to acknowledge it, they weren’t going to get anywhere.

Gibbs had already decided that he would give Tim only one more day before he took matters into his own hands. Giving him time was all well and good, but there was something about this whole situation that meant they couldn’t let Tim withdraw and do nothing about it.

He bent over his most recent boat, thinking about how everything had fallen out. While he could acknowledge that his solution hadn’t been ideal, it had been the only thing he had been able to think of on short notice that had a real chance of working...and it had worked.

He’d been working on his boat for a few hours. It was time to go to bed and hope for greater clarity in the morning.

Just as he thought that, though, he heard his door open, slow footsteps, and then the door to the basement opened.

He didn’t look up, waiting for the person who had felt confident enough to just walk into his home to speak.

Footsteps down the stairs.

Only halfway.

“I walked over here.”

Ah, it was Tim. Gibbs was relieved that Tim had come out on his own. He didn’t look up, didn’t speak.

“It was a few miles, but I didn’t dare drive. I put headphones on so that no one would talk to me, but I didn’t actually listen to any music. I came at night because there would be fewer people around.”

Gibbs waited, letting Tim say what he had to say.

“I haven’t turned on a TV. I haven’t turned on my computer, except to quit.” There was a pause as if Tim was waiting for a comment. Gibbs said nothing. “I haven’t even looked at my phone since I left the hospital. Just me. Alone.”

Now, Gibbs turned around. Tim was sitting on his steps, staring at his clasped hands. Physically, he looked all right, which was a relief. Maybe a little pale still, but he’d also just walked four miles. He must be okay. They’d had no way of knowing if there would be more physical side effects from the drug Dr. Ubica had created.

“No more suggestions,” Tim whispered. “No more ideas that I can’t ignore. No more orders I have to obey.”

He took a deep breath and let it out slowly.

“No more losing control of me,” he said, almost inaudibly.

Gibbs still said nothing. He picked up a stool, carried it over to the stairs and sat down, almost at the same level Tim was. No words, but it was clear that he was listening.

Tim didn’t look at him.

“It was like I was trapped inside my body, screaming to get out. I was stuck in the worst possible version of a first-person shooter game. It wasn’t just a game. It was real life. I was watching myself, trying to stop myself. ...but I couldn’t.”

Tim’s voice was almost monotonous. It wasn’t loud. It would be easy to think that this wasn’t too bad. Until you looked at his hands. They were clasped so tightly that his knuckles were turning white.

“I fired. I got a gun, pointed it at another person and I pulled the trigger, not once, but three times. It doesn’t matter that it was blanks. ...well, it does, but for me, it doesn’t matter because what I did was try to kill an innocent woman. That was the worst feeling in the world. I was watching myself do it, but at the same time, I was doing it. I wasn’t just watching.”

Another couple of shaky breaths.

“And now...”

He didn’t go on. He stopped talking and closed his eyes tightly.

Finally, Gibbs spoke.

“And now?” he asked.

“Now, I would do anything to keep from feeling that way again. I would give up anything. I would not do anything if it meant that I didn’t have to face it. I never want that feeling of being not in control of myself. Never.”

Gibbs waited again.

“And you let me feel that way.”

“Yes.” That was a simplistic way of looking at it, but it was true enough for now.

“You let me have that feeling. The voice made me run, but you’re the one who let me feel that.”

“I couldn’t think of anything else.”

“And that makes it okay?”

“No, but it did work.”

Tim nodded.

“But that doesn’t matter to you, does it,” Gibbs said. It wasn’t a question. He knew.

Tim shook his head.

“So are you really mad at us?”

“Yes.”

“So much that you never want to see us again?”

“No.”

Another deep breath.

“I don’t want this to happen again.”

“It won’t.”

“I don’t believe you.”

“Why not?”

“Because, if it could happen even once, it could always happen again.”

“So you’re going to hide in your apartment until you die?”

“Sounds good to me,” Tim said.

“Then, why did you come here? Sounds like you already got it figured out,” Gibbs said.

Finally, finally, Tim looked at him. He was still holding back tears, and he wasn’t shouting, but it was clear that it was taking a lot of effort for him to maintain any semblance of calm. While he still was firm on the fact that what he’d done had worked, Gibbs did regret that Tim was struggling so much.

“Because I want you to tell me I’m wrong. I want you to tell me that what I want to do is the wrong thing to do. I want you to make this feeling go away. I want you to...fix it.”

“I can’t fix anything, Tim.”

“Yes, you can.”

“No, I can’t, but I can take you to someone who will.”

“Not a doctor.”

“Yes, a doctor.”

Tim shook his head.

“You can’t stop trusting all doctors because of what one did.”

“I trusted him. No one knew. I didn’t know. He seemed like such a good person when all the time he was planning...”

“It still doesn’t mean all doctors will be like that. In fact, you know they’re not.”

Tim looked away again. What Gibbs could see very clearly was that Tim genuinely did want Gibbs to fix it. Why Gibbs and not anyone else, he didn’t know, but this was sincere. That meant that Tim was aware that how he felt was a problem, that he did need help. It was just a matter of getting him to accept it.

...which was why he’d come here in the first place.

“Tim, I can’t change what happened.”

“I know that.”

“And I can’t control whether or not it gets fixed. Only you can do that.”

“I can’t.”

“Yes, you can. It just means that you have to take a risk.”

Tim said nothing. Gibbs could see Tim needed help, but he wasn’t going to make him do it. It had to be Tim wanting it, not Gibbs making him get it.

“You already had someone forcing you to do something. Why ask for someone else to force you to do something else?”

Tim still said nothing.

“Tim, you don’t have to think that this is the way it is and always will be. You aren’t being forced to do anything, now. We’ve been letting you do what you said you wanted. We let you be mad at us. You have to choose, now. It’s about what you want to do. I won’t make you.”

Finally, the tears escaped, in spite of Tim’s best efforts to hold them back. His head dropped to his still-clasped hands. Gibbs stayed where he was, waiting to understand what Tim was thinking. For a few minutes, Tim just breathed loudly. Other than that, it was quiet.

Finally, a word. Two words.

“Thanks, Boss,” Tim whispered.

Gibbs raised an eyebrow. That wasn’t what he’d expected Tim to say.

“For what?”

“For not forcing me,” Tim said

A test. Was he going to be forced into other actions, not through hypnosis, but through aggressive concern.

Now, Gibbs moved. He scooted the stool over by the stairs and put an arm around Tim’s shoulders.

“You can get help for this, Tim.”

Tim nodded.

“Are you going to?”

“I can’t. Not on my own. I can’t put myself in that position again.”

“What if someone was with you?”

“Maybe.”

“Will you think about it?”

Tim nodded.

Then, he looked up, and Gibbs was surprised to see a slight smile on his face. He sniffed a couple of times. Then, he laughed a little.

“I’m still mad at you, though,” he said.

Gibbs smiled back.

“You should be. What I did was cruel, but it worked.”

Tim nodded again.

“I still can’t believe that...that this was even possible.”

“Yeah.”

Another loud shaky breath and Tim stood up.

“I won’t...keep you up anymore. I’m going to...head back home.”

“Walking?”

“I don’t want to deal with anything else,” he said. “It’s a long way, but that’s better than...”

“Than taking a risk that isn’t really a risk?”

“I did things just because people suggested them, because I heard them on the radio! I almost sold my car because some ad told me to! What if that’s still the case?”

Gibbs laughed. “Tim, there’s no way that’s still the case.”

“How do you know?”

“Because people have been trying to get you to talk to them, to listen to them, to do things...and you’ve been saying no. Just because they didn’t call them suggestions doesn’t mean they weren’t doing exactly what you’ve been thinking you were avoiding.”

“Oh.”

Gibbs could see that Tim hadn’t even considered that as a possibility. He’d been too focused on his fear. Understandable, but now that he was a little calmer, it was good that he could hear what Gibbs was saying to him.

“The drug is gone. Abby said that it was designed to dissipate completely. If anything had been left and you’d been killed, they would have found it and started asking questions. It’s gone. There’s nothing that will force you to do anything.”

“Oh.”

For a long moment, Tim just stood there. He didn’t seem able to get all that through his head. He swallowed.

“I quit. I filled out the form and emailed it to Vance. I quit.”

“Not if he didn’t file it.”

“Really?”

“Really.”

“But aren’t you sick of me saying I quit? This is like the tenth time.”

“Third and no.”

“Fourth. You just didn’t let me get all the words out the second time.”

“Doesn’t count then. Even if it did, I’m still not sick of it.”

“Even after all those things I said?”

“Yes.”

“Why? I was so rude. I was...”

“...trying to isolate yourself and avoid thinking about how afraid you were. We know.”

“And you’re okay with that?”

“Compared to what was happening before? Yes.”

“I’ll need to apologize.”

“Only if you’re really okay with it.”

“I’m not.”

“Then, don’t apologize.”

“Okay.”

One more breath and Tim started to climb the stairs. Preparing to walk home.

At midnight.

Four miles in the dark.

Gibbs rolled his eyes.

“Tim, I’ll give you a ride.”

“You don’t need to.”

“I know, but you need me to.”

“Thanks, Boss.”

Gibbs drove Tim back to his apartment, let him off, and then, went back home. All in all, that had gone about as well as it could have. He would just have to see if it carried over into the new day.

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 Post subject: Chapter 10
PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2015 9:13 am 
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Location: Here and there. Everywhere and nowhere.
Title: DOCTOR!
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Chapter 10

The new day saw Tim trying to overcome his fear. First, Gibbs, and later the others, took him to sessions with a psychiatrist. If things were awkward due to the fact that they were there during his therapy, at least, Tim was going. He didn’t come back to work for a few weeks, but Vance was more than happy to delete his resignation and give him some well-deserved time off.

Dr. Ubica was charged with attempted murder and abuse of a patient for lack of any other way to describe what he’d done to Tim. His license to practice was revoked, and his wife divorced him. There would be a trial, of course, but it looked to be quite a ways in the future as the bigger trials tended to be.

Three months after Tim had been forced to try to kill Shelby Ubica, he was back at work, albeit on a reduced schedule at his request. He needed the time to recover, and he was getting it.

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

Tim crept down to Autopsy, not wanting any witnesses to the question he needed to ask. He knew Ducky was there, and he knew Jimmy wasn’t. He had high hopes for a little bit of time wherein he could ask.

The doors opened and there was Ducky in his office, working.

Tim walked over and knocked on the window. Ducky looked up and smiled. He walked out.

“Timothy, what brings you down here?”

“I need to ask you something, Ducky,” Tim said.

“What?”

“You said before...that...” Tim hesitated. He wasn’t sure he really wanted to hear the answer Ducky had, but at the same time, he couldn’t not ask it.

“What is it, Timothy?”

“I asked you about the dream I was having. You said that we all have a little bit of a monster inside us.”

“Oh, yes.”

“Is that why this could work on me? Because that’s the way I am, somewhere deep inside. If I didn’t unconsciously want to do something like that, this wouldn’t have worked?”

Ducky shook his head. “No, Timothy. What happened to you would have been the same with any other person. The fact that you managed to resist the command, even when face to face with Ms. Ubica, says much for who you really are.”

“I only resisted the first time. I shot her, Ducky...and I know I didn’t really, but at the time, I thought I did.”

“And you apologized. Timothy, don’t discount how you felt. You didn’t want to do any of it, but you couldn’t help it. The drug you’d been given almost guaranteed that you would succumb. That’s why we were trying so hard to find some way to remove the compulsion. It would have been the same if it had been any of the rest of us.”

Tim sighed and leaned against an autopsy table.

“I’m still having trouble with what I did, Ducky. I can’t forget how that felt, not being in control of myself but being the one still doing it. It’s...”

Ducky walked over and leaned against the table beside Tim.

“Timothy, there’s nothing wrong with struggling to accept it. I’m relieved that you’re actually trying. After your initial anger, I was afraid that you’d give up completely.”

Tim shrugged. “I couldn’t stay inside my apartment forever.”

“You could have. Some people are completely homebound, not because of disability but because of fear. I’m glad that you’re getting out.”

“Not by myself. I still don’t go to therapy by myself.”

“But you’re going. Timothy, you need to see the progress you’ve made in addition to the things you still need to achieve. You can’t always look at how far there is to go.”

Tim took a deep breath and nodded.

“I’m trying.”

“I know, and you can come down any time you’d like to talk.”

“Thanks, Ducky.”

Tim headed back to his desk, feeling a little better.

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

Two days later...

Tim sat back in his apartment, trying to relax as his shrink had taught him. It took time, especially with how hard it was for him to deal with what had happened, even now. Still, things were getting better.

As he lay on his bed, forcing himself to relax, he heard a knock on his door. He sighed and got up, abandoning relaxation for the moment. He tensed as he headed for the door. He had no idea who would be on the other side of it.

“Come on, McGee! Open up! I come bearing gifts!”

Tim smiled a little and opened the door.

“Hey, Tony. What is it?”

Tony grinned. “Don’t sound so dour. You’re going to thank me.”

“For what?” Tim asked.

Tony held up a package.

“I bought you a new chain for your door! I broke your old one off and I noticed that it still wasn’t fixed the last time I took you to your therapy. So, I’ll fix it, now.”

“You don’t have to. I just need to tell my landlord. It’ll get fixed.”

“Yep, and if I fix it now, it’ll already be fixed and that’s an improvement.”

Tim stood back and let Tony in. Tony set about taking off the old, broken chain and putting up the new one. When Tim tried to help, Tony refused and told Tim to let him do it. So Tim did. He sat there and watched as Tony fixed something he’d broken...while trying to help Tim when he was in a state of delusion.

Finally, he finished.

“Ta da! All done.”

“It looks great, Tony. Now, I can really lock you out.”

“Ha ha. Very funny.” He cleaned up the papers and old chain and packed everything away. Then, he looked at Tim seriously. “Are you all right, Tim? I mean, really?”

“Yeah. I’m getting there.”

“You sure?”

“Yeah.”

“Are you still mad at us?”

“A little, but I know you were trying to help me.”

“It just doesn’t change what happened, does it.”

“No, not completely. I’m working on it.”

“Well...if you need me to make it up for you, I know a great club. It’s really happening!”

“I don’t need anything to be happening.”

“You’d be table-dancing before you know it!”

“That’s not a good thing,” Tim said. “It’s not happening.”

“Okay, okay,” Tony groused.

“If you want to table dance, that’s your business, but I think you should probably make sure you’ve got the right crowd.”

“What does that mean?”

“Well, you’re not a young guy anymore, Tony. You might need to skew a little older to make any headway,” Tim said with a smile.

“Hey!”

Tim grinned. “It was only a suggestion.”

Tony looked surprised. Then, he laughed.

“Good one, McGee. Good one. I can tell when I’m not wanted. I’ll see you tomorrow.”

“G’night, Tony. Thanks for the chain.”

Tim closed the door, put on the new chain and then walked back to his room.

It was nice to be able to say no.

FINIS!

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