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PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2016 2:52 pm 
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Director
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Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2008 7:05 am
Posts: 52804
Location: Here and there. Everywhere and nowhere.
Title: DOCTOR!
Aliases: Scurvy Gums Ramona
Gender: Female
Title: A Dream of Rain
Characters: Tim, the team, Levi Carew, OCs
Genre: Drama, some angst (of course), adventure, and yes, some romance :shocked:
Rating: FR15
Series: CIA

A/N: This series is both my first and my favorite. It has become something I love to come back to, whether anyone else cares about it or not. I love the OCs I use. I love how the team has pulled together. I've now been writing in this series for eight, going on nine years. I'm sure others aren't as enamored as I am, but that's okay with me. :) This one picks up about two years after The Player on the Other Side and will, again, be globetrotting. The inspiration for it came when I was listening to the song "Desert Rose" by Sting and it led me to a story that will be somewhat romantic...in the midst of the rest of the chaos that is naturally a part of this series. :)

The banner is by McMhuirich.

If anyone is still following this series, please put any comments in the discussion thread since this will be another long story.

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Prologue

He was shaking, now. Zahara pressed her hand harder over the wound, trying desperately to stop the bleeding, to keep his blood in his body instead of staining the sand. The flow was slowing, but it couldn’t replace what he’d lost, and he’d lost too much already.

They had left, knowing that there was no way he’d make it out of the desert alive. She might, but he never would, and the chances of surviving decreased with her being alone. Zahara was afraid of that, too, but she wasn’t going to give up hope. Still, there was no denying that things were bad and not looking to get better.

The sun descended to the horizon, flattening and reddening, promising a long, cold night.

Could they survive out here through the night? Zahara figured that she had a chance, but him? She didn’t know.

His eyes opened slightly and he looked at her. She smiled.

“It is almost night.”

He nodded, accepting all that could mean.

“Is there anything more I can do?” she asked.

He shook his head.

“No.”

There was silence for a while. Then, he smiled a little.

“It rained the last time I was in the desert,” he whispered. “I still remember it. The rain fell in...in torrents, like it would never stop. Rain in the desert. It saved me.”

“It happens sometimes, but not often, not at this time of the year.”

“I know. I wish it would rain, now.”

“For you, I wish it would rain,” she said and a tear escaped from her eyes. “To save you.”

“You could leave, you know,” he said. “On your own, you’d be able to get back. I don’t blame you. There’s no reason for you to stay here. We’ve got to be...only a few miles away from the nearest...city. You could find it...on your own.”

“I will not leave you, nuttār,” Zahara said, firmly.

He laughed a little at the word.

“You don’t have to insult me, too,” he said.

Zahara smiled and held back more tears.

“I will stay with you. We will stay together, here. If you do not leave, I do not leave.”

He reached up with a shaking hand and touched her cheek, feeling that single tear that had escaped her control.

“Sing to me,” he whispered. “Please. Let me hear something beautiful, tonight.”

As many times as she had performed in the marketplace and in clubs, now, she couldn’t think of a single song. There was only silence. She searched for a song as his hand dropped back to his chest, but his eyes remained on her.

I want him to live through this night, she thought.

Unconsciously, she started to hum a tune. After a few seconds, she recognized it as a song her mother had sung to her when she had been frightened as a child. It was not a song she ever performed. The sun dropped below the horizon and the dark of night was spreading.

Softly, she started to sing.

Hush, lay down your troubled mind
The day has vanished and left us behind
And the wind, whispering soft lullabies
Will soothe, so close your weary eyes


He smiled at the words. Zahara returned the smile and then looked up at the sky, searching for the first star. Instead of singing to him, she began singing to heaven.

Let your arms enfold us
Through the dark of night
Will your angels hold us
Till we see the light


Another spasm of pain caused him to gasp and his eyes closed tightly as he breathed through it. She pulled him closer and began to rock him gently. A breeze began to blow. She continued to sing.

Sleep, angels will watch over you
And soon beautiful dreams will come true
Can you feel spirits embracing your soul
So dream while secrets of darkness unfold


As the night went on, she continued to sing to him, trying to keep him warm as the sky sucked all the heat of the day out into space, trying to keep him alive even though he only got weaker.

The wind picked up and she noticed clouds in the sky, covering the stars overhead.

“Ghuyūm,” she whispered.

Could it be? She couldn’t believe what she was seeing.

“Tim, there are clouds,” she said. “Maybe it will rain.”

There was no reply.

“Tim? Tim?”

He was so still and quiet. Zahara began to fear that he would die.

“Please, Tim. Do not leave me.” She leaned in close to his ear. “Ahabbak.”

He did not speak again.

___________________________
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 Post subject: Chapter 1
PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2017 9:29 pm 
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Director
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Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2008 7:05 am
Posts: 52804
Location: Here and there. Everywhere and nowhere.
Title: DOCTOR!
Aliases: Scurvy Gums Ramona
Gender: Female
Chapter 1

Six weeks ago...

“McGee!”

Tim looked up from his computer, eyes wide with inquiry.

“Yeah, Boss?”

“With me.”

Gibbs stood up and headed for the stairs. Tim glanced at Tony in surprise. Things had been quiet and almost normal for more than a year. He hadn’t been asked to work for any other agency for months. This couldn’t be good. It was never good when a summons was given for only one of them, especially when it was for Tim. Tony looked uncertain, but it hadn’t been him called. He sat where he was, giving Tim a significant look. Still, Gibbs hadn’t been asking politely. Tim hurried after him, determined not to be left behind.

He caught up just as Gibbs reached Cynthia’s desk.

“Go in, Agent Gibbs.”

Gibbs only nodded and walked on by. Tim didn’t think he’d had any plans of waiting, no matter what Cynthia had said. He smiled briefly at her and went in.

Jenny looked very serious, and that only made Tim more worried.

“What’s going on, Director?” he asked.

“Have a seat. Both of you.”

Tim sat down.

“What is it?”

“I got a report from one of my sources, this morning. You’re going to be charged with treason, Agent McGee.”

For a moment, the meaning of the words didn’t even register in his head. Once the meaning penetrated, it was so ridiculous that he let out a laugh.

“What?”

“You’re going to be charged with treason. Plans are being made to accuse you of betraying the country.”

Tim looked at Gibbs for a moment, but his expression was blank. He looked back at Jenny.

“You’ve got be kidding. Who would think that I’m a traitor?”

Jenny was silent for a moment and it suddenly dawned on him that the reason she knew about it was because it was from the other agencies.

“Who is it, Director? I need to know.”

“FBI.”

“Jorgenson,” Tim said, nodding. “I get it. When they arrest me, they get control of me.” He stood up and started pacing. “I thought he’d accepted that he couldn’t take over my life. How could this be happening, now? Why?”

“A new president is in office,” Jenny said. “If he can create evidence, then, he has the clout to force the issue...and I hate to say it, but Carew no longer runs the CIA. Director Morgan might be sympathetic, but he doesn’t have the hold over people yet that Carew did.”

“I can’t be arrested by the FBI,” Tim said. “You know what will happen. It won’t be a trial. I’ll just disappear. We all know that’s what will happen.”

Jenny nodded sympathetically.

“I’m sorry, Tim. I really am. This isn’t happening right away. We have time to figure something out.”

Tim sat down again. “How much time, though?”

“My source has been listening for any whisper of something involving you. This is the beginning of their plans. They have to get the evidence that they’ll use. They have to plan their attack. I’d say a week, maybe five days at the least.”

Tim ran his hands through his hair and shook his head.

“What can we possibly do to stop them when we don’t even know what their plan is?”

“That’s why we’re going to figure it out,” Jenny said. “My source will keep me apprised of what happens over there and you’ll have help.”

“Help?”

“You think we’ll stay out of it?” Gibbs asked, speaking for the first time. “That’s not happening, McGee.”

Tim wasn’t surprised by that, but it gave him no comfort, not right now when he’d found out that they were coming after him yet again, this time with the threat of legal action.

“I know this is a shock and the last thing you want to hear, Tim, but we will figure this out. They won’t get you.”

Tim nodded, not at all confident.

“Why don’t you go and let it sink in. I’ll call you the minute I know anything more.”

Tim nodded again and stood up. He walked out of the office, Gibbs following behind.

“Elevator,” Gibbs said.

Tim nodded yet again, feeling numb. He let Gibbs direct him to the elevator. They got on and it stopped almost as soon as the doors closed.

“I can’t go through this, Boss,” Tim said. “It’s been two years! I thought it was all behind me, except for the CIA protection. I just can’t deal with it.”

“Yes, you can, and you will, but not alone.”

Tim sighed. “I know this sounds stupid, but it’s just not fair! Why can’t they just accept that I’m working for the country? Why can’t they accept that it’s best for me if I’m free? Why can’t they leave me alone?”

“Because for some people it’s all about control. Jorgenson wants to control you because that gives him power. That’s all he cares about,” Gibbs said.

Another sigh. “Boss...can I just go home? I know that everyone needs to know, that they’ll want to help, but I just can’t deal with seeing it in their eyes. Not today.” Tim looked at Gibbs, pleadingly. “Please, Boss? I need some time alone to figure out how I’m going to deal with it. Then, tomorrow, I can face them.”

Gibbs raised an eyebrow.

“Honest, I just want to be alone for a little while and figure this out. I’ll still have my CIA watchers. Director Shephard said that it would be a few days before they moved on it. Give me one day, Boss.”

“As long as you promise that this isn’t an excuse to try to keep us out of it.”

“I promise. That’s not what I’m doing. I really just need to go home.”

“All right. You can go home. I expect to see you tomorrow, and the others might go over there tonight.”

Tim nodded, knowing that was likely. Maybe by the evening, he wouldn’t be feeling so overwhelmed by the renewed possibility of being taken away from his life.

“Thank you, Boss. Really. Thanks.”

Gibbs started the elevator going again and sent it down to the first floor. Tim got off, and then realized that he had left his stuff at his desk.

“I’ll get it,” Gibbs said, before Tim could think to ask.

Gibbs was gone for less than a minute and then he was back with Tim’s bag.

“Tomorrow.”

“Yeah, Boss.”

Tim left NCIS, noticed his CIA watcher start to follow him and was surprised to realize that it made him feel a little better. Usually, it made him feel worse to notice them, but right now, he was glad they were there.

He walked to his car and drove home. When he walked into his apartment, Jethro jumped up, excited to see him home early. Tim smiled and actually spent a little while just playing with his dog. Then, he fed him and went into his bedroom. He lay down on his bed and stared at the ceiling.

“How could this happen, Jethro?” he whispered. “How could this be happening again just when I was feeling like my life could be mostly normal? Why can’t I just be allowed to live my life? Why does it always have to be like this?”

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

Tony stood up as soon as the elevator doors opened and his brow furrowed when he saw that Gibbs was alone. He had already come and got Tim’s bag without responding to any questions, but this was getting weird.

“Boss, what’s up? Where’s McGee?”

“Where’s Ziva?”

“Down with Abby, still.”

“Come on.”

He understood that he shouldn’t keep asking questions, not yet. As they went down to the lab, Gibbs called Ducky and Jimmy up from Autopsy as well. This was not looking good, not with Tim gone and Gibbs bringing in the troops.

Gibbs walked into the lab.

“Gibbs! I’m not ready yet! You’re usually much better with your timing and...”

“Stop,” Gibbs said. “I’m not here about the case.”

Abby looked a little affronted that Gibbs had shushed her. The lab doors opened again as Ducky and Jimmy came in.

“Okay, Gibbs, what is going on?” Ziva asked. “Where is Tim?”

Abby’s expression became worried once she registered that everyone was there except for Tim.

“He’s at home. He asked for some time alone, and we’re giving it to him.”

“What’s happened, Jethro? I wasn’t aware that Timothy had been having any recent problems.”

“The FBI is going to accuse him of treason within the next few days, and we have to be able to prove they’re wrong.”

“What?”

“Treason? That’s ridiculous!”

“No way!”

The protests came thick and fast. Tony said nothing, but his heart plummeted to his shoes. It had been long enough that they’d all eased back into a routine, thinking that it was well and truly over. What made it worse was that it should be over, but it wasn’t, not because of terrorists but because of a federal agency who wanted control of Tim’s abilities.

Gibbs let the protests go on for just long enough. Then, he gestured for silence and he got it.

“Jenny doesn’t think it’ll happen for another few days. We have time to come up with something. Tim didn’t want to deal with all this yet. He’s home. He still has the CIA guard. He’ll be back tomorrow.”

“What about tonight, Boss?” Tony asked. “Are we leaving him alone that long?”

Ask first,” Gibbs said.

“Right.”

“What do we do?” Abby asked. “If they haven’t made the accusation yet, we can’t say they’re wrong...even though they are. Scum-sucking little...”

“Yes, Gibbs,” Ziva said, interrupting Abby’s rant. “This is, of course, a ploy to get Tim out of sight, but if we do not yet know what their plan is, how can we stop it?”

“Jenny will give us more information when she gets it. The fact that we know in advance that it’s coming gives us a better chance to figure it out.”

“Should we ask Fornell what he knows?” Tony asked. “He’s been their messenger boy before.”

“All the more reason not to get him involved at this point,” Ducky said. “The FBI uses him because they know he has a connection here. Of course, he is also aware of that, but it means that they may be watching for any sign from us, and if they get it, perhaps, they’ll try to speed up their process.”

“So...what do we do...right now?” Jimmy asked. “If we only know that it could be coming soon but not when or how?”

“We make sure we’re ready for anything,” Gibbs said. “McGee is not going to be arrested.”

On that point, everyone was in agreement. However, Tony was still worried. Would they really try this if they weren’t sure of it working? Surely, they would have anticipated Tim’s friends being ready to help him.

Still, Gibbs was right. They just had to be ready for anything.

Hopefully, Tim would be ready, too.

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

Tim lay on his bed for a couple of hours, just staring at the ceiling, Jethro, drooling contentedly on his leg. His mind was going around and around in circles, trying to figure out what he could do to keep this from happening. He couldn’t let the FBI even go through a travesty of an arrest because, once they had him, it would be that much harder to get them to let him go.

“I won’t deal with that,” Tim said. “No matter what it takes. I won’t deal with that, Jethro. I just need to find some way to be sure of it.”

And suddenly, from out of nowhere, a thought pinged in his brain. At first, he wanted to reject that thought out of hand, but then, it came back again with more force and he sat up.

Jethro whuffled at him, unhappy about being displaced, but Tim didn’t pay attention to that.

He was going through all the possible permutations of this idea and the more he did, the more sense it made.

Gibbs would want to kill him. Everyone would be extremely upset, but Tim saw this idea as his only certain way out of this trap that was being slowly wound around him. He’d get out before the trappers even knew he was gone, before the trap had really been set.

He stood and started to move with purpose. He grabbed a bag out of his closet and quickly packed it with a few changes of clothes, some toiletries, and after some hesitation, his gun and his badge. Then, he fished his passport out of its hiding spot, thinking about the fact that most of the places he’d been forced to go in the past had not required that he have his passport with him. Then, he walked to his typewriter. He sat down and began to type a message. To Gibbs. It took only a few minutes. After that, he walked to his computer and, with practiced ease, hacked into a site and found an address. Sure, he could have done it the right way, but right now, he didn’t care about that.

Then, he looked down at Jethro who had been following him in all his movements around the apartment. He knelt down.

“Jethro, you’re going to be staying with Gibbs for a while. Okay?”

Jethro licked his face and panted at him. Tim smiled with a little bit of an ache, knowing that there was a possibility he’d never see the big German shepherd again.

“Be good for him and maybe you could help him not be so mad at me when he finds out what I’ve done.”

Tim gathered up Jethro’s things, clipped a leash to his collar, picked up his bag, his wallet, his keys, and walked out of his apartment. He packed everything in his car and then turned around, knowing his shadows would be there.

“Going on a trip, Agent McGee?”

“Yes, in a way,” Tim said. He didn’t know the name of this particular shadow, but he recognized him. “I won’t be needing your services for the next little while. In fact, I’d appreciate it if you’d take the rest of the day off.”

The agent smiled a little. “Can’t do that. I’d lose my job. This detail isn’t just for fun, you know.”

“I want you to go to Director Morgan and tell him that I won’t be needing your services until the FBI is done trying to take control of me again.”

The smiled faded. “FBI?”

“Yes. I’m removing myself from their clutches before they can try to grab hold. He’ll probably know all the details within the next few days. Oh, and if you could tell Dr. Hicks about that, too. I’m supposed to be meeting with him tomorrow, and I don’t want him to worry.”

“What about your team?”

“That’s my first stop. Unless you’ve noticed any FBI watchers, I should have enough time to put my plan into action, and I don’t need witnesses for it.”

The agent considered it. Tim watched him weighing all the possible outcomes of acceding to his request.

“You’re sure about this?”

“Yes. If it matters, I’d even vouch for you...once it’s safe to contact anyone.”

“Right. Okay, Agent McGee. I’m not really happy about this situation you’re putting me in, but I’ll go along with it. Director Morgan and Dr. Hicks?”

“Yes, please.”

“And not your team?”

“They’ll get a message about it as soon as I go to Gibbs’ place.”

“Okay.”

The agent turned and walked away, leaving Tim in the sudden position of having no one watching him. For the first time in years. It was a strange feeling, not as good as he’d hoped he’d feel.

I’m getting too used to them always being there, he thought.

Then, he squared his shoulders and got in his car.

The drive to Gibbs’ house was easy. He took Jethro around to the backyard.
Then, he went down to the basement. He looked around and was sorry that he didn’t have time to start a new project, something he could look forward to. He smiled and little, pulled out his message and hand-wrote a P.S. Then, he tacked the message to Gibbs’ latest project, knowing that Gibbs likely wouldn’t see it anywhere else. Then, he got back in his car and drove out of DC, northward into Maryland.

He stopped in front of a lovely house with a beautifully-kept yard and got out.

For a few seconds, he stood on the sidewalk, wondering if he was making a huge mistake. Then, he dismissed the thought and walked up to the door and knocked politely.

After a few more seconds, the door opened and a woman with graying hair stood there, looking quizzically at him, as if trying to remember where she’d seen him before. He remembered her, even though they’d never spoken to each other.

“Yes? What can I do for you?”

Tim took a breath and committed himself.

“I’d like to speak to Levi Carew, if he’s home.”

___________________________
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 Post subject: Chapter 2
PostPosted: Mon May 15, 2017 9:17 pm 
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Director
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Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2008 7:05 am
Posts: 52804
Location: Here and there. Everywhere and nowhere.
Title: DOCTOR!
Aliases: Scurvy Gums Ramona
Gender: Female
Chapter 2

She looked at him warily.

“My name is Tim McGee. This shouldn’t take very long. I just need to ask him a question. Maybe two.”

“Tim McGee?”

“Yes. He knows me. Too well,” Tim said, ruefully.

She smiled a little at that. “Now, I can see that you do know him. Come in.”

Tim stepped into the house, looking around with interest at the decor. It seemed too normal for someone like Carew to live in a place like this.

“I’m Tamara Carew.”

“His wife?”

“Sort of. This way.”

She led him into a small study.

“Just have a seat in here and I’ll go get him.”

“Thank you,” Tim said.

He sat down and looked around. Books on the shelves, a desk, a couple of comfortable chairs. All in all, he would never guess that this was the study of the former director of the CIA. He thought about what Tamara had said about his question of whether or not she was his wife. In a way, it was almost comforting to know that the complexities of knowing Carew were universal. It was sad, too, but a little comforting.

The door opened and Tamara came back in.

“He’ll just be a couple of minutes. So you know him.”

“Pretty well. As well as I guess I could.”

Tamara nodded knowingly.

“I’m assuming you know him through the CIA?”

Tim nodded. That was the easier way to answer without getting into the details.

“Then, did you meet our children, as well?”

Funny, but Tim had never thought of Carew’s children as having a mother. That was ridiculous, but it was true. He could easily associate Bri with Carew, but this slightly-weary woman seemed too normal to have raised someone like Bri.

“Yes. Sort of.”

Then, her eyes widened.

“You were with Levi when he saved Bri. Weren’t you.”

“Yes.”

“Thank you,” she said. “Really. After Quinn was killed, she was all I had left.”

“How is she?”

“She left the CIA a little over a year ago. She’s been working in a small clinic in upstate New York, as far away from the chaos as she can be. I’m glad. I never wanted my children in the CIA, not when I’d seen what it did to my husband. After Levi retired, there was no reason for her to stay. She didn’t want to after what happened, and she was always a daddy’s girl.”

“Really.”

Hearing Bri described so normally was weird.

“How did you know them?”

Tim took a breath. He couldn’t tell this woman how he had come into her children’s sphere. He couldn’t tell her that they were responsible for torturing him to make sure he wouldn’t share CIA secrets. There wasn’t enough money in the world to make that a temptation. She didn’t need to know those details.

“Mostly unwillingly,” he said. “But it was years ago and I don’t really want to get into it.”

Tamara looked like she wanted to ask him more but then thought the better of it.

“How is...Carew doing?” he asked, hesitating over whether to use Carew’s first name or not.

“Depends on the day,” Tamara said, clearly hedging a bit, herself. “But he’s more like I knew him than he was. That gives me hope.”

“I’m glad,” Tim said.

“Really?”

“Yes. I can’t say that we’re friends or anything, but I do...respect him, even if I can’t agree with everything he does.”

The door opened and Carew himself came in.

“I’m sorry for the delay, Agent McGee.”

“That’s all right,” Tim said.

“Agent?” Tamara asked, looking wary again. Tim couldn’t blame her.

“NCIS agent,” Carew said. “Not CIA.”

“And I’m not here on business...or at least, not business having to do with my occupation,” Tim said.

“Don’t worry, Tamara,” Carew said, sounding much as Tim remembered him. “Of all the people who might show up at my door, the only one less worrisome than Agent McGee is Dr. Hicks. However, I do think we’ll need to talk privately.”

Tim nodded.

Tamara stood up and whispered something to Carew. He nodded and briefly cupped her cheek with his hand. Tim was surprised at the intimate gesture. He felt like he should look away, but it was over before he could move. Then, Tamara left and Carew sat down.

“I have to admit that I was surprised to have you of all people show up here, Agent McGee.”

“It wasn’t in my plans, until today.”

The old smile that revealed nothing. “To be expected. I assume you’re here for a reason, then.”

“Yes. I need your help.”

“Count me as doubly surprised. Why? Surely, your NCIS friends are up to any challenge.”

“Probably, they are, but I don’t think they can be fast enough in this case. The FBI is going to accuse me of treason and have me arrested. I think we both know what will happen if they do.”

Carew sat back and took a breath. Then, he nodded.

“Well, Jorgenson certainly has become more creative since my retirement. I wonder how long it took him to come up with this little idea...or who gave the idea to him since I have a low opinion of his raw intelligence. If you’re thinking that I can stop this, you’re sadly mistaken, Agent McGee. I haven’t tried to stay in the game since I left it. A few people have tried to pull me back, but I’ve been firm in my rejection.”

Tim leaned forward.

“I don’t think you can do that. I’m not asking for that.”

“What are you asking for, then?”

“I’m calling in the favor you said you owe me. I’m asking you to help me run, to get to a place where the FBI can’t find me. Hopefully, nothing that has to be permanent. Just long enough for my friends to clear my name...or for Jorgenson to finally get the message that I’m not for sale.”

“Again, you’ve managed to surprise me, Agent McGee. I think you’re probably right that you need to get out of Jorgenson’s hands before he realizes that you’re running. Also, while I have every faith that your team can get you out of this, I agree that they probably couldn’t do it before you were arrested and that means it would be too late. I am, of course, assuming that you haven’t committed treason.”

“Absolutely not!” Tim said, with more than a little irritation.

Carew smiled. “Just checking. So what are you hoping for from me? Ideas or actual assistance?”

“Both, but I don’t need you to come with me. I’m not here to interrupt your life. I just need to know where to go and how to get there. I don’t want to risk taking a regular flight. I think that I’ll probably be flagged. So if you can get me out of the country, I’ll make do with the rest.”

“What about your team? Do they know?”

“Not yet. Hopefully, I’ll be gone before they find out. I left Gibbs a note because I can’t just disappear again. He may come here, wanting more information, and I don’t care if you tell him, but they won’t listen if I tell them that this is necessary; so I need to be gone before they know.”

“Okay. Why don’t you relax in here while I make a few calls. It shouldn’t take more than five minutes.”

Carew left the room, and Tim felt some of his tension ease. Again, he was surprised by that feeling. Since when had asking Carew for help been a source of calm?

Since realizing that my own government doesn’t care about me.

In reality, if Tim were honest, the more he had to deal with this, the more temptation there was to turn his back on his country and just give up. It would be easier to throw in the towel and just say that they weren’t worth it.

Only, he couldn’t do that because he loved his country. He loved the people here. He had known too many good people to give up on them. It was so hard when it was his government giving him the most grief.

It just was so frustrating. He hated that the actions of his government were driving him away. Part of him felt that he was being a coward by running away instead of facing it head-on. The other part of him was furious that he was being forced into this. It made him angry that he was running, that he had to.

I want a normal life!

The door opened once more and Carew came back in.

“All right, Agent McGee. You’ve lucked out because while I don’t have access to a private plane any longer, I know people who do...and a couple of them owe me favors. How do you feel about going to Marrakech?”

“What?” Tim asked. “You mean...Morocco?”

“Yes, that’s exactly where I mean.”

“I hadn’t really thought about...going back to any Arabic country. That hasn’t been all that great for me in the past.”

“It’s not only Arabic, actually. They do speak the language and there has been a significant Arabization, but ethnically, many of the people are Berber.”

“Why there?” Tim asked, ignoring the history lesson.

“A few reasons, actually. One, it’s relatively stable. You’re not likely to be caught in a military coup or peasant uprising. Two, there are quite a few tourists and English, while not as prominent as French, is becoming more common. Tourism one of the major industries there, and so you’ll be less likely to stick out. Three, Morocco is not a country that we would suspect of luring Americans to betray their country. They’re too busy with Western Sahara. Four, and this is probably the most important, there’s no extradition treaty with the United States. The government can’t force you back, and they likely won’t want to make an international incident out of this. You’re not going to be important enough. Or at least, you shouldn’t be.”

This was becoming more real by the second and Tim took a deep breath as he considered Carew’s explanation. It made logical sense, but at the same time, Tim knew that he was going to be taking a major step away from his life and, in a worst-case scenario, it might end up being permanent.

“If you have a better idea, that’s fine, but this is my suggestion, since you asked for it.”

“No, it’s...it’s fine... Do you think Jorgenson will back down?”

“Maybe. The fact that he’s still trying to get you two years after the last time says a lot about his attitude. There’s probably something specific he wants from you, but he can’t get it unless he has complete control. I don’t have any idea what it is, but it might behoove you to figure that out if you can. Knowledge is power.”

“And the truth will set you free?” Tim asked, quoting the CIA motto.

Carew smiled again. “The CIA understands more than some that knowing what’s going on beneath the surface is the sure way to freedom. Speaking of, while the FBI doesn’t operate internationally, the CIA does, and you may run into CIA agents in Marrakech. They tend to try and be where there’s potential action and while Morocco is relatively stable, there are unstable countries all around. And you never know when the treaty between Morocco and the Polisario Front in Western Sahara will break down. Instability in one country can have a domino effect.”

“I’m not worried about the CIA,” Tim said.

“And you’ve moved me beyond surprise and into shock, Agent McGee,” Carew said with that same amused smile. However, Tim noticed that there was some hint of genuine amusement, not just his false amusement that covered up whatever he might really be feeling. “Either you have been exchanged with a clone or you’ve finally let Dr. Hicks convince you that we’re not the devil incarnate.”

Tim only barely managed to keep from rolling his eyes. “I don’t know Director Morgan very well, but he’s been doing what he said he would be and I’ve never worried about being taken over. I was paranoid about being watched, not about being controlled. I don’t have that luxury with the FBI.”

“Director Morgan is an excellent director and is trustworthy so far as I’m aware. Regardless, are you accepting my offer of transportation to Morocco?”

“Yes,” Tim said. It didn’t take much thought. He had too much to worry about to add picking out a place to the list.

“Good. You should pack.”

“I’m already packed. My bag is in my car.”

“In that case, I’ll drive you to your plane and then return your car to your apartment, if that works for you.”

“Yes. We’re even, now,” Tim said.

Carew just smiled and gestured for Tim to stand up.

“You’re too quick to deprive yourself of favors.”

“No, I’m not. I don’t want or need them.”

“Except now?” Carew asked, pointedly.

Tim shrugged. “I don’t like that I’m in a position where favors are wanted or needed.”

“But you are and luckily for you, there is someone who owes you a favor. I’ll tell Tamara that we’re leaving and then we can go.”

“Okay.”

Tim stood and followed Carew to the hallway. Tamara was standing near the kitchen, watching them.

“I should be back in an hour or so,” Carew said.

“You said that last time,” Tamara said.

Carew smiled. “I’m getting better at timing my errands. I’ll be back,” he said.

There was something deeper there than just a general statement. Tim couldn’t see Carew’s face, but he could see Tamara’s and her expression softened just a bit. It was obvious that they weren’t completely at ease with each other but that it was getting better.

Carew turned and gestured. They left the house and got into Tim’s car. Tim let Carew drive, mainly because he didn’t know where they were going. Interestingly, Carew assumed that he would be driving also. No discussion needed. It just happened.

At first, it was awkward and quiet. Well, it was awkward on Tim’s side. He didn’t know if Carew felt awkward or not. Then, his curiosity got the best of him.

“What was the last time?” he asked.

“Last time?” Carew repeated.

“Yes. Your...” He hesitated.

“You can call her my wife, although, technically, we are still divorced. Or you can just use her name.”

Tim flushed. “Tamara said that you said you’d only be an hour last time.”

“Ah. Every so often, something has come up which has led to people wanting or needing my assistance. Sometimes, it’s difficult to get them to take no for an answer. Considering how many people disliked me in my position in the CIA, it’s interesting how many now want to get access to me again. When it’s people like Director Morgan, he will contact me in advance and make it a request, not an order. Generally, I’ll allow it. Others, however, are not so considerate. The last time, a man showed up at our door and I had to do some...convincing that he was making a mistake. Hence, Tamara’s wariness about your presence. I had to take him back to the FBI and dump him on their front steps, so to speak. No, I didn’t kill him. He was doing his job, but he had very little sense of self-preservation. I explained that I had no interest in assisting them and it was my choice. The next one who tried to force the issue would end up dead. Traffic was bad and there were some threats thrown around, but I got out in the end.”

“How often has that happened?”

“Often enough to be annoying. Not often enough to require a major statement on my part.”

“Are you...” Again, Tim hesitated. This time it was because he wasn’t sure about asking personal questions. Still...what did he really have to lose? “Are you both living there? I mean, that was the address I found.”

“And how did you do that?”

“I think you can guess.”

Carew smiled a little.

“Yes, we’re both living there, although more as roommates at this point. No rushing and no certainties.”

“Tamara told me that Bri left the CIA.”

“I was surprised, although not shocked. Sometimes, those kinds of experiences are too much, and in this case, Bri decided that she’d had enough.”

“Tamara said it was because you weren’t there anymore.”

“Given how much my daughter hates me, I’m sure that Tamara was exaggerating. I know both of my children joined because I worked there, but to say that she left because I was no longer there ignores all the years that came between the beginning and her final departure.”

Tim smiled a little himself. While that was probably technically true, Carew himself was probably ignoring what his ex-wife could see. A lie? Probably not at its heart, but it wasn’t a whole truth.

They were silent until they pulled up to a small county airport.

“Here we are, Agent McGee. I’ll walk you inside and make sure they know who you are.”

“Thank you,” Tim said.

They got out of the car, and Tim got his bag.

“You’re lucky that you have someone owing you a favor,” Carew said, as they walked inside.

Tim stopped and looked at Carew for a long moment. Carew raised an eyebrow at the sudden gaze.

“Yes?”

“I’m starting to think that you would have done all this whether you owed me a favor or not.”

Carew smiled.

“You may be right. Your plane is waiting.”

They went into the building which contained the only terminal. Carew introduced Tim to the pilots who would be flying him to Marrakech. Then, just as Tim was about to walk away, Carew stopped him.

“One last thing, Agent McGee.”

“What’s that?”

“Given the situation, you would be wise not to use credit cards...or at least, not your own.”

Carew handed Tim a small travel bag.

“Keep your passport and ID with you at all times. Don’t even leave them in the hotel where you stay. Never depend on things going right.”

“They never have before,” Tim said.

“Exactly. And change over to dirhams when you get there. The Marrakech airport is quite modern and you’ll be able to make that exchange. Good luck, Agent McGee.”

“Thank you. We’re even, now.”

Carew didn’t agree or disagree, he just turned and walked away.

Tim watched him go and then squared his shoulders and turned back to the pilots.

“Are you ready?”

“Yes. I’m ready.”

“This way.”

Tim followed them through the airport to a rather lavish private plane.

“Who does this belong to?” he asked.

The pilot smiled. “Best not to know those kinds of things, under the circumstances. Not the government. Just a wealthy man.”

“Must be very wealthy,” Tim said, taking in the plush decor.

“Filthy, stinking rich would be a good description. We’ll check in with you once we’re in the air. Enjoy your flight.”

Tim laughed and sat down on one of the seats. He stowed his bag and secured his seatbelt.

Then, he looked out the window and watched to get his last view of the United States. Soon, Gibbs would find the note he’d left. Tim couldn’t help wondering how long it would take him to track Carew down.

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 Post subject: Chapter 3
PostPosted: Sun Jul 16, 2017 11:34 am 
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Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2008 7:05 am
Posts: 52804
Location: Here and there. Everywhere and nowhere.
Title: DOCTOR!
Aliases: Scurvy Gums Ramona
Gender: Female
Chapter 3

Carew drove Tim’s car very skillfully through the streets of the Metro area, enjoying the smooth ride. He parked the car, broke into Tim’s apartment to leave the keys on the counter. Then, he left the building and took a taxi back home.

All in all, it was about two hours.

I’m getting better at that, he thought to himself.

He paid the exorbitant taxi fare and then walked inside.

Tamara was right there.

“I wasn’t sure you’d be back,” she said.

“I was,” he said.

“Are you sure you want to do this?” she asked.

“Are you?”

“That I want to, yes. That I think it will work? No.”

Carew walked up to her and dug down deep for the strength to let his own feelings show. He had never realized how hard that would be after all these years. Although, to be honest, he had never really considered the possibility of all this happening. He had assumed either that he’d die before it could happen or that Tamara would never be willing to take on this struggle. That she had spoke volumes and he wasn’t willing to squander the chance just because it was hard.

“You want to get away from the possibility of people interrupting this attempt,” he said. “It may not ever be completely possible, but we’ll be more successful off the beaten path. I’m willing to give it a shot.”

One lock of hair had escaped the bun and fallen across her face. He reached out and carefully tucked it behind her ear.

“What about that agent?”

“I’ve done what I can for him. He’s capable of taking care of himself. More than capable, actually.”

“What did you do to him?”

“Do you really want to get back into that again, Tamara?”

“He knew both Quinn and Brianna.”

“In a professional sense, yes.”

“Not in a positive sense.”

“No. That’s true. But what that entailed is really unnecessary for you to know. You don’t want to know all the details. It will only hurt you.”

“And you?”

“Depending on how you react...” He took a breath and let it out. “...yes.”

“It’s hard for you, still. Isn’t it.”

“Yes. It may always be.”

“But it’s better.”

“Yes.”

“I’m packed.”

“So am I.”

“Then, we should go,” Tamara said.

She reached out her hand. Carew took it and they walked together out to their car. Then, they drove away from civilization, trying to find each other in seclusion.

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

There was nothing urgent keeping them at work; so Gibbs let everyone go right on time. Even he didn’t linger. He knew what they were planning, though. They would all be determined to get Tim out with them, to not let him hide himself away as Tim tended to do when he got upset.

Gibbs didn’t like that Tim had separated himself from his friends, even temporarily, but he also understood the shock and the need to work through it on his own before the overwhelming concern of well-meaning friends...some of whom still felt a little bit of guilt about how things had fallen out.

Like me.

Gibbs couldn’t forget that it was his fault Tim’s life had become what it was. The nightmare of the years before had begun because of Gibbs’ need to poke around. He had known that it wasn’t his place, that it would be concealed from him, but he wasn’t willing to accept that, and it had led to Tim hacking the CIA and being found by the group that had first made him important.

Tim hadn’t blamed him for that in years, but every time Gibbs saw his eyes darken with a memory that still bothered him, Gibbs knew that it was his own fault. His recklessness had started this, not Tim’s. He had tried not to let Tim see his own regret because Tim would take that as a failure of his own.

Now, as he headed home, he hoped that this would blow over relatively quickly. Tim was understandably afraid of it, but they would be ready for it. That meant that they could deal with it as it came and keep Tim safe.

Unlike the other times when it had come up out of nowhere and thrown them all for a loop, they knew about this in advance and they could fight it. Investigating was what they did. It wasn’t terrorism. It wasn’t going on a secret mission. It wasn’t torture. It was just proving Tim’s innocence. Since he was innocent, that made it all the better.

By the time he reached his place, Gibbs had mostly convinced himself that things would work out. He went inside and headed for the basement, wondering if Tim would come over to start something as he often did when he got upset.

Then, he saw something that changed the whole situation.

It was just a piece of paper tacked to his latest project.

Even before he read it, somehow, Gibbs knew, more or less, what it would be.

He took it down and saw that it had been typed...probably on an old typewriter.

From Tim. He had come over to start something, but not a carpentry project.

He sighed and started to read.

Boss,

I know you’re going to be furious, that you’re going to think I lied to you today, but I promise that I didn’t. When I left NCIS, I really was just planning on going home to stew about this for a while. I just couldn’t stop thinking about it. And that led me to what I’ve done. I know you won’t agree, but I think it’s something I had to do.

I’ve left. I’m running away. I can’t let them arrest me. If I’m arrested, I’m gone and I can’t deal with that. I just can’t. I put Jethro in the backyard. I hope you don’t mind taking care of him while I’m gone.

Before you start thinking it, it’s not that I don’t trust you. I do. I really hope that you’ll all figure out some way to convince Jorgenson that I’m not going to be his slave. Proving my innocence is only part of it. Jorgenson has always been the driving force behind each attempt to get me away from life. He has to be stopped in order for this to stop. I hope you can figure out how to do that. Maybe my running will demonstrate how I feel, that I’m not just kidding. I don’t know.

Honestly, Boss, I’m so afraid of getting taken that I couldn’t sit and wait for you to do what I know you can do. But I also know that none of you would agree with me; so I’m calling in the only favor that is owed to me and I’m running until it’s safe to come back. I don’t have my phone, and I won’t be online for a while; so you can’t have Abby trace my location. Actually, right now, I don’t know where I’m going, but I’ll be gone before you read this; so don’t bother trying to stop me. It’ll be too late.

I’m sorry if you’re angry. I really am. You’ve all done so much for me that I would hate for you to think that this is any slight against you. It’s me giving into my fear. I know that’s what I’m doing, but I don’t care. That’s enough for me. I have to get away from it somehow, and this is the only way I can see.

Tim

P.S. I wish I could have started something. Maybe you can come up with a new project for me while I’m gone and I can work on it when I get back. When.


He smiled a little at the message, but that didn’t last. Another sigh. He should have known that Tim would react like this...even if Tim apparently hadn’t, initially.

His phone rang and he glanced at it, knowing who it would be.

“Gibbs.”

“Boss, we’ve got a problem. Tim is...”

“He ran, DiNozzo,” Gibbs said, tersely. “He got spooked and he ran.”

“What? Where?”

“Don’t know. Yet. He left me a note.”

“What do we do, then, Boss?”

“What we planned. We prove that he’s innocent when we know what’s coming and we stop Director Jorgenson from doing this.”

“I have a few ideas. I’m sure Ziva would help.”

Gibbs smiled grimly. At this point, it was truly tempting to go that route, but it wouldn’t get them what they all wanted in the end.

“Let’s try to do it legally, first.”

“Fine. I’ll tell everyone. Can we see what he wrote?”

“Yeah.”

There was some muffled conversation, and Gibbs had a suspicion that he was about to get visitors.

“We’re coming over.”

“Okay.”

Gibbs hung up and pulled out his brandy. He poured himself a jar and looked at the note again. He sipped at the drink and groaned as he reread the note.

The only favor he was owed.

Carew.

Tim had been pushed back to Carew. Not as part of the CIA this time, but knowing how conflicted Tim felt about what he knew about Carew and what Carew had done to him, almost the last thing Gibbs wanted for Tim was to be forced into his company again.

But it looked like it had happened. Now, they would have to deal with it.

...and find out from Carew where Tim had gone.

...and find out where Carew himself was. Gibbs had no idea. He had let the former CIA director fade from his mind as time had gone on without any hint of contact.

Well, if Abby couldn’t trace Tim’s current whereabouts, Gibbs would bet that she could find Carew.

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

Dr. Woodrow Hicks limped toward the Director’s office, wondering at the summons. For all that he worked as a CIA psychiatrist, he wasn’t used to being summoned to the inner sanctum. In fact, since Carew’s retirement, he hadn’t been here at all, although they still used him just as much as ever.

He got to the outer office.

“Hello, I have an appointment with Director Morgan. I’m Dr. Hicks.”

The assistant smiled and him and called into the office. Dr. Hicks was interested in how open and friendly this woman seemed. From what he knew, she’d been working as Roy’s assistant for years. How had she managed to stay so cheerful?

“You can go right in, Dr. Hicks. Director Morgan is waiting for you.”

“Thank you.”

Dr. Hicks limped into the office. As soon as he got in, Roy stood up from his desk, walked to the chairs and gestured for Dr. Hicks to sit.

“I have a problem, Dr. Hicks,” he said, with no preamble.

“Okay. What does it have to do with me? I’m not your psychiatrist, Director.”

“I know. You’re not here for me.”

“Then, who? Even if you wanted me to, I wouldn’t tell you anything about Levi Carew.”

“Not him, either.”

“Then, it must be Tim McGee,” Dr. Hicks said. “No one else would have you acting like this and wanting my help. I’m not important enough.”

Roy nodded and walked to a bookcase. He pressed a button.

“This has to stay completely off the record until I figure out what I’m going to do...if anything.”

“What’s going on, then, Roy?”

Roy raised an eyebrow at the informality.

“Tim McGee has likely fled the country. He told his guard that he was leaving and that I should be told...and that you should be told because you’d worry.”

Dr. Hicks smiled at Tim’s consideration.

“Why has he left?”

“According to him, the FBI is about to accuse him of treason. I’ve put out some discrete feelers and that seems to be the case. Now, since we don’t eavesdrop on his activities, it’s always possible that he did something, but...”

“No, it’s not, Roy. While everyone can be broken, if Tim McGee had been broken, you would have known about it, already. It wouldn’t be subtle. If Tim McGee had turned traitor, we’d all be regretting it. He’s the kind of person who would self-destruct and do so spectacularly. The whole world would end up knowing it if Tim McGee committed treason. He’s not a traitor, even though the things he’s gone through could easily have pushed him there. A lesser man would have turned his back on the country after what it’s done to him, but Tim hasn’t.”

“Are you speaking as his shrink or his friend?”

“Thankfully, both. I know Tim McGee. I’ve been his psychiatrist for years, now. I understand him, and if he’s running, it’s out of fear, not out of guilt.”

Roy sighed. “Well, that’s something, anyway. Regardless, the charges are going to be filed. How publically, I don’t know. It’s still in the beginning stages. What I want to know is why.”

“Why do you think I’d know that?” Dr. Hicks asked. “I’m not employed by the FBI.”

“As you say, you know Tim McGee. Jorgenson has been pushing for access to him ever since I took over. Levi warned me about him, but I had no idea how much or how intently it would be, but it’s been nearly constant. He wants control of Tim McGee, and he’ll do whatever it takes to get him. The only reason I haven’t just let him is because of how clear Levi was about it before he left. Why does he want Tim McGee? What is it about this one man that has got the director of the FBI so determined to have him?”

“I don’t know, but that’s a very good question and it’s probably the most important thing to answer. Since Tim has gone...somewhere?”

“I don’t know where.”

“Then, he’s out of the FBI’s hands. For now. He’s probably out of the country as you said. No sense in trying to get away from the FBI by going to a different state. We don’t need to worry about that part so much. Based on what I know of his team, they’ll deal with the charges. If you’re going to worry about anything, worry about why it is that Director Jorgenson is willing to do something so dishonest just to get control of one man. Tim McGee is skilled, yes, but there’s nothing I know of that he can do that Jorgenson couldn’t get another way.”

“That’s what I was afraid of. It would have been easier if it was just that Agent McGee was somehow better at something than everyone else.”

“He might be, but not to this degree. Jorgenson wants him for another reason. Are you going to do anything about it?”

“I don’t know. I’d like to say that I didn’t sign up for this, but I know I did. I knew the kinds of things that could come up by taking this job. It just seems ridiculous that it’s because of this NCIS agent. I have a few days to decide, but I’m sure that Jorgenson is going to try and drag us into it, to be unwillingly on his side.” Then, there was an unexpected smile. “This is a pain, but I’d sure like to be in the room when Jorgenson finds out that he’s lost his chance to arrest Agent McGee.”

Dr. Hicks smiled, too. Then, his smile faded.

“Would it be too much to ask to be kept in the loop on this?”

“Actually, I would drag you, kicking and screaming, into the loop if you tried to stay out of it. I need someone who has experience with Agent McGee beyond just watching his movements. Levi knows him best, but I can’t get in touch with him right now. I’ve already tried, and we’ve all learned the hard way to respect his privacy. I’ll hear from him when he gets back from wherever he’s gone.”

That didn’t surprise Dr. Hicks one bit. When Carew did something, he went all the way and he wouldn’t stand for anyone keeping him from what he had decided.

“I’ll be available as you need me. A little bit of advanced notice would be appreciated if I’m going to be called on to perform, though. I like a chance to collect my thoughts.”

“I’ll try to do that for you.”

“Good.” Dr. Hicks stood up and then paused. “If there’s anything you can give me about Jorgenson, I might be able to build a profile that could help us figure him out.”

The eyebrow went up again. Roy was extremely expressive. Quite the opposite of Carew, to the extent that, even though he was merely expressing a normal level of emotion, he seemed almost gushing in comparison.

“Nothing that would break secrecy, but if you were going to have a meeting with him or if you had files on him that I might be permitted to read. Things like that.”

“I’ll take that into consideration,” Roy said, drily.

“All right. Is that everything?”

“One last question.”

“What is it?”

“I don’t know Agent McGee. I know of him, but I don’t know him. Is he worth all this aggravation?”

“Yes,” Dr. Hicks said, instantly. No hesitation.

“Okay. Then, I’ll do my best. If things work out right, maybe I’ll get a little more leverage in this game. I don’t have a whole lot, right now.”

“You’ll never have enough for complete security. Someone will always hate you.”

Roy pushed the button again.

“I’ve already figured that part out. Good night, Dr. Hicks.”

“Good night, Director Morgan.”

Dr. Hicks left and headed home, his mind abuzz with concern and thoughts about where Tim might have ended up, why this was happening now, what made Jorgenson want Tim so badly.

It was never simple.

___________________________
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 Post subject: Chapter 4
PostPosted: Mon Oct 02, 2017 11:03 am 
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Director
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Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2008 7:05 am
Posts: 52804
Location: Here and there. Everywhere and nowhere.
Title: DOCTOR!
Aliases: Scurvy Gums Ramona
Gender: Female
Chapter 4

“We’re flying to Frankfurt, first. We’ll refuel there and then go directly to Marrakech. It’ll be a long flight, overnight; so you should feel free to sleep. We’ll be trading off flying; so you don’t need to worry about that.”

Tim smiled. “I wouldn’t worry about that. You both seem very competent...to someone who doesn’t know the first thing about flying.”

“Ha.” The copilot looked at him speculatively for a moment. “I know we’re not supposed to ask questions about this, but I’m curious. Who are you that Carew would do this? It’s not a simple thing. My employer wouldn’t exactly be likely to just share out his private plane. This is top of the line. I think it cost somewhere around 65 million.”

Tim’s eyes widened. “Wow. I won’t make that much money in my entire life.”

“Neither will I, but that’s why I’m curious. You seem like a regular guy. What’s so special about you?”

“Nothing...except that the wrong people think that there is something special about me. Why Carew is willing to do this...well, on the surface, it’s because he owes me a favor, but I don’t know if that’s all of it.”

“What do people think is special about you?”

“At this point, I don’t even know. It used to be computers, and then, it was some of the stuff I have in my head. Now? I don’t have a clue. It’s been two years since the last time. I thought it was over.”

“I’m sorry that there was a last time.”

“Me, too.”

There was a brief silence. “Well, you should sleep. Enjoy the luxury of a bed on a plane. We’ll let you know when we’re getting close to Frankfurt. There’ll be a layover there and then, we’ll get you to Marrakech.”

“Thanks.”

Tim looked back at the bed. A bed on a plane. It was crazy, but this whole plane was insane. Beds, showers, nice blankets, good food. Even though it sucked that this was necessary, he figured that the luxury was a small bright spot in the misery.

x.x.x.x.x.x.x

Tony handed the letter to Ziva who read it silently and then passed it on.

No one spoke. Gibbs didn’t really expect them to for the moment. It had to sink in that Tim was really gone, that he had really chosen this route for himself.

“Did you know that he’d do this?” Tony asked, finally. “Did you let him go?”

“No,” Gibbs said. “I didn’t know.”

“What if you had?” Ziva asked. “Would you have stopped him?”

“Don’t know.”

Ducky looked up from reading the letter. “And you don’t know where he was going to go?”

Gibbs shook his head.

“Looking at this letter, while he claims not to know where he’s going, he seems to know what to do to find a destination,” Ducky said. “What favor?”

“Carew,” Gibbs said.

Tony sighed. “Again?”

“Why does Carew owe Tim a favor?” Ziva asked.

“Because he insisted on saving Carew’s daughter, even when Carew couldn’t make it a priority.”

“Tim didn’t want to have to talk to Carew anymore!” Abby protested. “He told me that he just wanted to live his life without being connected to the CIA!”

“But he’s also said that Carew is better than the heads of other organizations, including the FBI,” Ducky said. “If Director Jorgenson is truly going to come after Timothy, I can see that he might go to Carew for help. Are you sure this letter is really from him?”

“As sure as I can be,” Gibbs said. “Haven’t checked it out.”

“So what do we do now?”Abby asked, plaintively. “We can’t leave it like this! Tim can’t have to run away to be free! He has to be free here!”

“I need you to find out where Carew is.”

“Should we find out where Tim is if he doesn’t want to be found?” Jimmy asked. “He said that he wouldn’t even be online. He’s trying to be hidden.”

“But not from us!” Abby said.

“If it wasn’t from us, too, he would have told us, wouldn’t he?” Jimmy asked.

“Not if he wasn’t sure where he was going at the time,” Ducky said. “But you bring up a good point, Dr. Palmer. Perhaps we are inviting trouble if we try to find him when he is trying to hide.”

“Even if we find out where he is, that does not mean that we need to go to him,” Ziva said. “It just means that we know where he is.”

Tony scoffed. “When have we ever just let Tim be somewhere without going after him?”

“This is different,” Ziva said. “He has left on his own.”

“Right now, we don’t know where he is,” Gibbs said, interjecting. “Carew probably does. We need to figure out where Carew is so that we can ask him.”

“I can find Carew,” Abby said. “I don’t want to, but I can. He can’t hide from me. I know it.”

Gibbs almost smiled at that. “Then, we need to be able to counter whatever the FBI comes up with to arrest Tim. That is more important than Carew or knowing where Tim is.”

“I still think my idea would be better,” Ziva said, darkly. “This man is trying to destroy Tim, and too many people have almost succeeded already.”

“Yeah, Boss, isn’t there anything we can do besides defend Tim from stupid accusations? Why can’t we take the fight to them?”

“We don’t know what the fight is yet,” Ducky said. “You don’t go into a fight blindly, not if you don’t have to. Actually, with Timothy apparently safely out of the way, this might be the chance we need to find out just why Director Jorgenson is so determined to control Timothy.”

Gibbs nodded in agreement. Taking the fight to Jorgenson sounded good, but they needed a base from which to mount their attack. While he little relished the idea of going to the CIA for anything, he wondered if it would be possible to cultivate a few ties over there. There seemed to be no love lost between the CIA and the FBI.

And the enemy of my enemy is my friend.

It was all about dividing and conquering. If they could know that Tim was definitely safe somewhere, then, they could focus their energies on the two aspects of what had driven Tim away in the first place: the accusation of treason and Jorgenson’s true intentions.

x.x.x.x.x.x.x

Tim looked out the window as the plane descended and got his first real look at Marrakech. He was surprised to see some green. He had expected the baked browns and oranges of the Empty Quarter. That wasn’t to say that it was lush and green, but you didn’t look out the window and wonder how in the world anyone could live there.

“We’re starting our final descent. Please make sure that your seatbelt is securely fastened and please don’t get up and walk around until we’re safely down.”

“Right,” Tim muttered.

He still couldn’t believe that he was headed to a place to hide because there was no extradition. It made him feel like a criminal, even though he wasn’t. It bothered him. A lot. Still, he was here and he’d have to make the best of it.

While the plane taxied in to the private plane hangar, Tim pulled out the travel bag Carew had given him. He hadn’t really thought anything of it, but now, he realized that this wasn’t his own bag. It was Carew’s.

“Why did he give me an extra bag?” Tim muttered to himself.

He opened it and was shocked. It had cash, credit cards, a guide book. It was like Carew had decided to fund his whole trip.

“What is this?” he said.

Part of him wanted to close up the bag and leave it on the plane, worried that this would only lead to more connections with Carew, but most of him wanted to make sure that none of this got confiscated at customs. It would make him much more secure. He wasn’t sure how much money he’d grabbed to take with him, but it might not end up being enough. Better to be more prepared. One more moment of hesitation and then he closed the bag up and determined to bring it with him.

The plane jerked to a stop and Tim looked toward the cockpit as the copilot came back once more.

“Here we are. Marrakech. Do you speak Arabic? Or French?”

Tim shook his head, ruefully.

“No. Not really. I know a few Arabic phrases, almost nothing in French. I know how to ask for help.”

“Well, that will get you somewhere but not very far. You should be fine as far as that goes with English. More French tourists here than Americans, but the number of Americans is increasing all the time and more people are getting to know English. I’ll help you through customs.”

“Oh, that’s not necessary, is it?”

The copilot smiled. “Probably not, but I’ve been here before. Sometimes, everything goes smoothly. Sometimes, there’s a big delay, and I’ve got some connections here that should ease your way. Why make it difficult if you don’t have to?”

“Okay. Then, could you tell me something?”

“I’ll try.”

Tim opened the travel bag and showed the money.

“Will this be a problem going through customs?”

“It could be. There’s a limit on how much money you’re allowed to bring into the country.”

“I was planning on getting it changed to...the local currency.”

“Dirhams.”

“Right. Dirhams, but this is more than I thought I had.”

“Where did you get it?”

“Carew. I didn’t realize he was giving it to me.”

The copilot chuckled. “Okay. Well, a few words in the right ears, maybe a few of those dollars going to the right persons, you should be fine. It’s unfortunate that corruption is still a problem here, but sometimes, you can use it to your own advantage.”

“I’m willing to follow your lead.”

“All right. Let me see what I can do.”

The copilot (whose name Tim still didn’t know) took a few of the larger bills and walked back into the cockpit. Tim waited, not feeling overly anxious, given that this was someone picked by Carew who wouldn’t throw Tim to the wolves in a situation like this.

After a few minutes, he came back out.

“Okay. One of the administrators is coming out to the plane. I’m going to do the talking. I’ll give him some money, and he’ll conduct you through customs and help you get your money changed over to dirhams. Make sure you don’t flaunt it.”

“I know that much,” Tim said.

“Good. Here’s the address for a good hotel. It’s not for long-term stays, but it’ll give you a base to operate from while you figure out where you’re going to stay.”

Tim looked at the card he’d been given. Then, he looked at the copilot again with a raised eyebrow.

“Was this part of the deal Carew made with your boss?”

The copilot smiled. “Nope. This is all gratis.”

“In that case, thank you,” Tim said. “I am grateful.”

“I figured you would be.”

He walked over to the door of the plane and opened it. Tim watched as a man came up the steps and looked at him. The copilot began speaking to the man in French (Tim guessed, anyway). He pointed at Tim a few times and passed over some bills. Tim felt a little uncomfortable at the outright bribery going on, but he knew that he needed it. So he said nothing.

Then, after a few minutes, the man walked over.

“Hello, welcome to Morocco,” he said. His accent was prominent but his English was still easily comprehensible. “I will take you to the customs. You will come with me and then, you will be able to take a taxi, yes?”

“Yes,” Tim said.

“Good. Come with me, then.”

Tim picked up his bags and walked over to the door. He paused.

“Thanks for your help,” he said to the copilot.

“No problem. Good luck, and if you end up needing a ride back, we’ll come and get you.” He handed Tim another card. This one had a phone number on it.

“With your employer’s private plane?”

The copilot grinned. “I can be very persuasive.”

“I’ll keep that in mind.”

With that, Tim turned and followed the man off the plane. He went through customs very quickly. His money was changed over to dirhams and he stowed it out of sight in his bag. Then, he went out to the front of the airport, managed to get a taxi and got a ride to his hotel, or rather the riad which he assumed meant hotel. He paid the driver and went inside. There was a man at the front desk. He looked up expectantly as Tim approached.

“Hello. Do you speak English?”

“Yes, sir.”

“Good. Do you have any rooms free?”

“You have no reservation?”

Tim shook his head. “No. I’m afraid not. It was a last-minute trip.”

“For how long?”

“The week,” he said, figuring that would give him time to get the lay of the land. “Do you have a room available? I’m sorry for the inconvenience.”

“No inconvenience at all! It is just you?”

“Yes. Just me.”

“Then, yes, we can accommodate you.”

Tim sighed with relief.

“Thank you very much.”

He checked in, got his room assignment and walked to it. The room was small, but clean and it looked like a comfortable bed. This was a pretty nice hotel and not too expensive, either. All in all, it was not bad.

However, only when he was safely inside the room with the door locked did Tim let himself start to consider what he’d just done.

“I ran away...to Marrakech. I’m a fugitive.”

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 Post subject: Chapter 5
PostPosted: Sun Oct 08, 2017 10:51 am 
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Location: Here and there. Everywhere and nowhere.
Title: DOCTOR!
Aliases: Scurvy Gums Ramona
Gender: Female
Chapter 5

Dr. Hicks made a rather rash decision and, instead of heading home after leaving Langley, he headed back toward DC. He was pretty sure that Tim would have found a way to inform his team that he was leaving. Maybe they’d even helped him, although he could easily imagine that Tim would want to keep them out of it to the extent that he could.

Still, maybe they had some information that the CIA didn’t yet. When it came to Tim, they were willing to go the distance, and already had in other circumstances.

“But where will you be?” he said aloud. It was unlikely that they’d be at NCIS, not at this hour. Maybe Tim’s apartment? Probably not.

Gibbs. That was really the only choice there was. He wasn’t sure of his welcome, given that Tony was the only one he’d talked to for any real length of time. Ziva had met him, but most of his perceptions were through the lens of how Tim perceived them. It would be interesting to see how much Dr. Hicks agreed.

He pulled up and smiled to see the other cars in the driveway. It gave him a feeling of pride that he was able to make this prediction correctly. Then, he got out of his car and limped to the front door. He knocked and waited.

He heard footsteps coming to the door and he had a moment of envy for the ease at which most people walked. It didn’t rule his life, but the pain and difficulty he lived with occasionally exhausted him.

There was a pause and he smiled, knowing that someone would be wondering why he was there.

Then, the door opened. Since he didn’t recognize the man, he figured it must be Gibbs himself.

“Hello, Agent Gibbs. I’m Dr. Hicks, Tim’s psychiatrist. May I come in?”

Gibbs raised a questioning eyebrow.

“I’m assuming you already know that Tim is gone?”

Gibbs nodded curtly but said nothing.

“I’d like to talk to you about that, if I may.”

Gibbs took a breath and then stood aside. Dr. Hicks didn’t bother hiding his limp. It had been a long day and he didn’t have any interest in making walking harder than it had to be.

“We’re down in the basement...if you can get down there,” Gibbs said, speaking for the first time.

“I can make it, but I hope there’s somewhere to sit when I get there.”

“There will be.”

“Good.”

Dr. Hicks followed Gibbs down the stairs and he found himself looking at the people who were so important to Tim. Tony and Ziva he’d met already, but these others he only knew by guessing based on what Tim had said.

“Tony,” Gibbs said.

Dr. Hicks was impressed when Tony seemed to know exactly what Gibbs meant and got off the stool he’d been sitting on.

“Have a seat, Dr. Hicks. What are you doing here?” he asked.

“I’m guessing you’re all here because you’re worried about Tim?”

“Yes, very much so,” said the man who had to be Ducky.

“Dr. Mallard, correct?” Dr. Hicks asked.

“Yes.”

“How much do you know about Tim’s situation?” he asked.

There was a pause, a hesitation. They didn’t really know him.

“I’m only asking so that I don’t tell you anything you already know. Why waste time? You know he’s gone, right?”

“Yes,” Gibbs said.

“And you know why he left?”

“Yes.”

“Then, you know that Director Jorgenson is likely the impetus behind all this?”

“We suspected,” Ducky said.

“Do you know where Tim is?” Tony asked.

“No. I don’t, but I know who probably does.”

“Carew,” Gibbs said, flatly.

“Yes.”

“Where is he?” Ziva asked. “We do not even know where he is now that he is no longer with the CIA.”

“Well, I can tell you where he lives, but I don’t know that he’ll be there.”

“What do you mean?” Ducky asked.

Dr. Hicks relaxed just a little bit, relieved that they were all willing to talk with him about this. They wanted to know what he knew and they weren’t kicking him out.

“Director Morgan indicated that he wouldn’t be.”

“Morgan?”

“CIA Director Morgan,” Dr. Hicks clarified. “Levi has taken steps to ensure that people understand he doesn’t work for them. He can be very persuasive when he wants to be, and as you all know already, he can be ruthless when he wants to be. When I spoke with Director Morgan earlier, he indicated that Levi would be out of touch. I don’t know where he might be, but I don’t think you’ll find him at home.”

“Does that mean you won’t tell us where he lives?” Gibbs asked.

It was an obvious test. Dr. Hicks smiled.

“Oh, I’m more than willing to tell you. I just didn’t want you to get there and be disappointed when he wasn’t there. I would guess that he’ll be back in three weeks at the most.”

“Why?”

“Because I still meet with him once a month and he didn’t change that.”

“And he would?” Tony asked.

“Yes. Just as he was meticulous about meeting with me as required when he was the director, he is now meticulous about keeping his appointments when he makes them.”

“So why is it that you know about this?” Ziva asked. “I am not angry about it, but I am surprised. We have only just found out ourselves.”

“Because Tim dismissed his CIA guard and asked him to tell both Director Morgan and me about what was coming. Director Morgan took the information to heart and has been trying to figure out what’s going on. He’s relieved that Tim is out of Jorgenson’s hands while he decides what he might need to do.”

“Why does he need to do anything? If this is about Jorgenson and the FBI, then, why would the CIA need to be involved at all?” Abby asked. “Tim hasn’t done anything for the CIA for years. He hasn’t even really interacted with the CIA...has he?”

“Not to my knowledge, but the plain fact of the matter is that Tim is being kept safe, at least in part, by the CIA. That gives a connection, whether real or perceived. I learned from Director Morgan that Director Jorgenson has been pressuring him for access to Tim for quite some time.”

That was a surprise to all of them, Dr. Hicks could see.

“Because it’s clear that Jorgenson isn’t going away, it’s in our best interests to know why this matters so much to him. One of the reasons I came here was to let you know that I’m going to be analyzing the director’s actions and seeing if I can ascertain his motivations. I don’t know how successful I’ll be, but it’s something to try. If you happen to come across anything that might help, I’d be happy to have it. I will be up front with you, though. I have every intention of sharing what I find out with Director Morgan. He needs to know all this as well, at least as far as Jorgenson goes. He doesn’t want to know where Tim is. If he knows, he can be tricked into sharing that information. If he can claim genuine ignorance, it’s better for everyone.”

“Do you know any details about his plans?”

“Whose? Director Morgan’s or Jorgenson’s? ...although the answer is the same in both cases. I don’t. What I do know is that I’m offering you my help should you need it. I know you’re all more than capable, but this may be a situation in which more is better, just because it’s more.”

Having finished his proposal, Dr. Hicks waited. He’d said what he’d come here to say and now, it was up to them. He could see them evaluating and wondering whether or not this was a trick. Thankfully, he could see that Tony’s unease was more about the overall problem. It was nice to know that Tony still had that trust he’d earned.

“If we need you, we’ll ask,” Gibbs said, finally.

“And alternately, might I have some hope of assistance should I ask for it?” Dr. Hicks asked, knowing that this might be the harder question.

“Yes.”

“Then, that’s all I can ask for, at the moment.”

He stood up to leave, but then, stopped.

“Oh, I forgot that you wanted Levi’s address. Do you have some paper and a pen?”

Gibbs gestured to Tony who conjured the required items up from somewhere. Dr. Hicks leaned on the stool and wrote the address down. He hesitated for just a moment and then decided not to include the phone number. Not only had they not asked for it, he was thinking of Tamara and her struggles as well as Levi’s. They could track down the number if they wanted it, especially with the address in hand. He finished writing and handed the paper to Gibbs.

“Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to get home while my feet still work. It’s been a longer day than usual.”

“You need any help?” Tony asked.

“No, thank you. I still have enough steps left in me to make it,” Dr. Hicks said with a smile. The pain was there, though, and he wanted to leave. So he started up the stairs, regretting that he’d agreed to go down them before. That extra pressure on each step made him want to groan.

He got up successfully and then limped through the house. As he stepped out onto the porch, he heard footsteps behind him. He paused and turned.

“Dr. Hicks,” Tony said.

“Yes?”

“Can I ask you a question?”

“Can it wait until I get to my car and sit down? I’m not kidding about my feet.”

Tony nodded and then, unassumingly, lent an arm. While it was a little galling, Dr. Hicks was grateful for the support and he allowed Tony to help. When he was sitting in his car, he looked at Tony questioningly.

“Why would Tim go to Carew for help? He knows that we’ll help him. He even said so in the letter he left Gibbs. Why not just let us do what we can do? He said he was scared, but it can’t just be that.”

“Actually, it can, Tony. Don’t underestimate the fear Tim carries of being confined, being effectively imprisoned. Now, does that mean it is just that? No, not necessarily. This could be Tim’s way of asserting his independence, of demonstrating that he will not be controlled by anyone. They start to push and he completely removes himself from their hands. He’s refusing even to play their game. Why Carew? Because, while I know you still hate him and don’t trust him, Carew does what he says he’ll do, and Carew owed Tim a favor. Tim knew that he could trust Carew to get him away.”

“Do you think he’ll be okay?”

“Depends on where he went, but just as you shouldn’t underestimate Tim’s fear, don’t underestimate his strength. Tim’s lot has been really hard and yet he’s come through it all still the good guy, the one willing to fight on. It’s amazing that he can do it without anger, but he has, and he’s all the stronger for what he’s gone through in the past. You want him back, but one thing you should keep in mind is that he wants to be back, too. He didn’t leave because he didn’t trust you. He left because he felt he had to.”

There it was. Dr. Hicks could tell that he’d hit on a worry that Tony wasn’t going to be willing to voice or probably to talk about. He was worried that Tim was leaving just to be gone, to escape from them as much as from the FBI.

“And you’ll tell us what you know?”

“Yes. I will.”

“Okay. Thanks, Dr. Hicks.”

“My pleasure.”

Dr. Hicks closed the car door, drove home and was grateful to put up his feet and take some painkillers.

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 Post subject: Chapter 6
PostPosted: Sun Oct 08, 2017 10:55 am 
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Director
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Posts: 52804
Location: Here and there. Everywhere and nowhere.
Title: DOCTOR!
Aliases: Scurvy Gums Ramona
Gender: Female
Chapter 6

Tim woke up to sunlight pouring into the room and shining on his closed eyelids. He was surprised that he’d successfully slept through the night, although jet lag probably helped. He wouldn’t be surprised if he was tired all day long.

Well, I’ve got the time to get over it.

Unfortunately, the thought gave him no comfort.

However, it was his lot and he knew he’d have to accept it for now. He sat up and looked out the window into a lovely interior courtyard. It had trees and a beautifully-tiled fountain. All in all, there were worse sights to see upon waking.

I’ve seen way too many of the bad ones.

What he decided he needed to do was find a longer-term rental. That would be the task for the week. Then, when he was settled there, he could start his own investigations. He didn’t like being completely separated from his friends, but he did like knowing that the FBI wouldn’t be able to get at him so easily, if at all.

He turned his mind back onto his task. He genuinely had no idea where to start and while he probably could figure it out eventually, it might be best just to ask for help. Surely, the man at the desk would be able to give him suggestions. He didn’t know how strange it would seem if he revealed that he had absolutely no plans made in advance, but he couldn’t avoid that.

There was a breakfast available in the hotel, so Tim decided that it was time to get up and see if he could get any food and then see if he could also get information.

He got out of bed, enjoyed a nice hot shower and then got dressed and headed out to get something to eat. He could smell food. He didn’t recognize the scents necessarily, but it was food, and that was all his stomach cared about. He followed the smells to a...well, it was a room, but it was wide open to the courtyard. There were tables and a few people eating. Tim didn’t recognize any of it, but that was okay. He didn’t care.

Then, Tim saw the buffet table. That was what he could smell.

It looked wonderful. There were a lot of pastries and breads in shapes and textures he didn’t recognize, but it was bread. How bad could that be?

He walked in and picked up a plate. Then, he took a little bit of pretty much everything. He took something that he thought might be dates, something that was kind of a weird-looking pancake, along with some distinctly French-looking pastries. There was also something that looked like tea. He didn’t see any coffee, but he could deal with that. The tea would suffice for now.

Then, he sat at a table and began tasting. The tea was mint. Okay. It looked like everyone else in the room was having it, too. He wasn’t really a tea person, but he wasn’t about to reject it.

As he sat drinking tea and eating pastries, he suddenly had a pang. Ducky would probably love this. Tim wished he was here, too.

He finished eating his breakfast and then made his way to the front desk. The same man was there. Today, Tim noticed that his nametag declared him to be Hamza.

“Hello, sir. Can I help you?” Hamza asked.

“I hope so. My trip was last-minute, but I’m going to be here for probably about a month, and I need a place to stay that’s a little more long-term. My problem is that I’ve never been in Marrakech before, and I don’t even know where to start looking. Is there any help you might be able to give?”

Hamza seemed a little surprised, but at the same time, his expression was open and unquestioning.

“It is possible. If you can give me some time, I will see what I can do.”

“Oh, I’m not in a rush. I was planning on staying here for the week. I don’t want to take too much of your time.”

“No trouble, sir. No trouble. I will help you.”

“Thank you, very much,” Tim said. “Uh...shokran.”

Hamza smiled. “‘Afwan. I will let you know.”

Tim nodded and then, for lack of anything better to do, went back to his room.

...and fell asleep.

x.x.x.x.x.x.x

“I can’t find any sign of Carew, anywhere, Gibbs,” Abby confessed. “The last time he used a credit card was last week. I don’t know what else to try.”

“Then, we’ll have to wait,” Gibbs said.

“We can’t just wait, Gibbs! We have to know that Tim is okay!”

“We do. He’s out of the country. He’s fine.”

“Then, what do we do?”

Gibbs looked Abby in the eye. “We make it so that he can come home.”

“But we still don’t know what the FBI is going to try!”

He smiled a little. “But we do know who’s in charge.”

“Yeah? So? What does that–?” Then, she got it. “How invasive can I be?”

“As invasive as you can get away with. ...and don’t go any farther,” he said, firmly. “You know what you can do. Don’t push it.”

“Okay.”

Gibbs raised an eyebrow at her.

“I promise! I won’t!”

Gibbs nodded and left the lab and then headed back up to the bullpen. When he got to his desk, he sat where he was for a few minutes, thinking about what would be the best idea. As he’d told Abby, they had to wait for Carew to show himself, but at the same time, maybe there was a way to track him down. All he wanted was to know where Tim was. If Carew was busy, he could give the information and then they’d leave him to his life.

He looked at the piece of paper Dr. Hicks had written Carew’s address on and decided that he could ask Carew’s neighbors...if he had any.

It was lunchtime. He had the time right now. It might get him back to NCIS a little later than usual, but there was a first time for everything.

Quickly, he got up and left the building before anyone could see him and ask him where he was going.

x.x.x.x.x.x.x

Roy sat in his office for a few minutes. He had a meeting with Jorgenson in the morning and he wasn’t looking forward to it. He didn’t like Jorgenson on general principle, but he liked even less the man himself. He found his attitude about most things distasteful. He hadn’t made a habit of reaching out to many of the different federal agencies up to this point. He had a pretty good relationship with the NSA, but there was a group that might be important in the short term. Long term? Maybe not, but short term.

He walked to the Communications Center.

“Director, what do you need?”

“I’d like you to contact NCIS and ask if Director Shephard is available for a short discussion. Make sure it’s clear that this is a request, not a demand.”

“Yes, sir.”

A few minutes later, the tech turned back.

“She’s ready, sir. Shall I put her through?”

“Yes.”

Roy suppressed the desire to straighten and square his shoulders. He wasn’t being judged here. This was his request, not Director Shepard’s.

“Director Shepard,” he said, keeping his tone even.

“Director Morgan. To what do I owe this pleasure?”

There was a lot of suspicion and wariness. Knowing as he did how Carew had played with other people, he understood it.

“I’m sure it’s not a pleasure on either side, but I have a feeling that we might be needing each other in the near future.”

“For what purpose?”

“For the one thing that we have in common. Or rather the one person we have in common.”

Her expression became even more closed off and Roy stifled a sigh. He decided to nip this attitude in the bud before it could go any further.

“Look, Director Shepard, I’m not thrilled about the fact that I still have to protect your man and I’m even less thrilled that this little power struggle between you and Jorgenson is involving me. I have plenty on my plate without worrying about one man who doesn’t even work for me. However, I have accepted that there is a necessity in protecting him from whoever might try to take him. I am going to be meeting with Director Jorgenson tomorrow and I’d like to know how to proceed since I’m almost positive it has to do with Timothy McGee. If you don’t care how I respond, then, I won’t take any more of your time. If you do care how I respond, then, now is the time to share that. Is that clear enough for you?”

There was a long pause and then, a sigh.

“I apologize, Director Morgan. As you may know, when it comes to Timothy McGee, our opinions of the CIA are mixed at best.”

“Well, I would hope that you would not judge me on the basis of my predecessor, even if he did save your agent’s life on more than one occasion. I want to be judged on the basis of my own actions, not someone else’s.”

“I understand.”

“Now, is there any input you would like to give me before I have my meeting? I have little interest in being useful to Jorgenson if it’s not necessary.”

“Well, it certainly isn’t necessary in this case. You are aware that my agent will potentially be accused of treason?”

“Yes, I’m aware of that. I take it you believe that it’s not true.”

“It’s not just belief. I know that my agent has never even dreamed of committing treason.”

“I appreciate that you know him where I don’t, but I’m relatively certain that Jorgenson is going to have some kind of evidence he’ll use.”

“I’m sure he will, but that doesn’t change the facts. It would be fairly easy to pick something and claim that it proves that Agent McGee is a traitor, but that is only if the full picture is ignored, something that Director Jorgenson is strangely willing to do.”

“So you’re saying that I shouldn’t believe him?”

“I wouldn’t.”

Roy suppressed a smile.

“That goes without saying. Very well, Director Shepard. I’ll take that under advisement. Is there anything else you’d like to discuss?”

“What do you know about Agent McGee up to this point?”

“I know that he dismissed his CIA guard and said that he was going on the run. I don’t know where he ran to, but I know why he did it. I don’t want to know where he is. That’s not my business. If and when this is resolved, I’d like to know so that I can reassign his guards.”

There was another pause, but then, she nodded.

“Understood. That’s all I have to say.”

“Thank you, Director Shepard.”

The screen went blank.

“Is that everything, Director?”

“Yes. Thank you.”

He turned and left the room and returned to his office.

As he sat at his desk, he thought again about how strange it was that the most difficult part of his job was dealing with an NCIS agent.

x.x.x.x.x.x.x

Gibbs parked in front of a house that looked much too normal to belong to Carew and walked to the front door. He knocked and waited. He knew that it wasn’t likely that they were there, but he had to check.

“Are you looking for Levi and Tamara?”

He turned around and smiled at a friendly-looking woman, probably around Tim’s age.

“Yes. Do you know where they are?”

“Not exactly. Are you a friend of theirs?”

Gibbs walked down to meet her on the sidewalk.

“More of an acquaintance, but I was trying to just drop by. I didn’t know that they’d be gone. Are things going well for them?”

“Well, they only moved here a year ago.” She lowered her voice. “I got the feeling they were having some kind of marital problems, but I didn’t want to pry. I have to admit that it took me quite a while to get used to Levi.”

“Why is that?” This wasn’t particularly important for what he was doing, but Gibbs couldn’t deny that he was a little bit curious about how someone who had no history with Carew perceived him.

“Well...” She shrugged uncomfortably. “How long have you known them?”

“I’ve known them for a few years.”

“So you’re used to him.”

“Yes.”

“It was just his eyes, at first. I know that it’s not right to judge someone by how they look. I mean, he can’t control what color his eyes are, but I’d never met someone with black eyes before. It’s kind of disconcerting because they seem to just look right through you. And you know how horror movies have the evil people with black eyes like that sometimes. I know it’s fiction, but I couldn’t help thinking about it. But he’s always been perfectly polite and I tried not to let that get to me. But...he’s a little...different, don’t you think?”

“He does take some getting used to,” Gibbs said, thinking about what an understatement that was.

“Yes! Tamara is so lovely, but there’s something about Levi that’s hard to deal with. I’m not sure what it is, exactly. He’s never rude and when we came to welcome them to the neighborhood, he was so solicitous. It’s just that sometimes it seems like he’s holding the world at arms’ length. Still, I have tried to make them feel welcome. They clearly care about each other, even if something isn’t going like they wanted it to. I know that their son died a few years ago and I think that’s still hard for them. In fact, I was talking to Levi one day and I got the feeling that he blames himself for it.”

“Really?” That seemed strange for Carew to be admitting to any kind of feeling, let alone one of guilt, to someone like this woman.

“I’m sure it’s not true, but I don’t know the details...and I’m not asking for them,” she said, quickly. “That’s really private stuff and shouldn’t be gossip.”

“True. So you don’t know where they’ve gone?”

She shook her head. “No. Tamara said that they needed to get away from everyone. I think that he must have had a really hard job and it’s hard for him to let go.”

So she didn’t know what Carew had done. He supposed that the only reason he would know the CIA director on sight was because of how much interaction he’d had. It just seemed impossible that she wouldn’t recognize him. Gibbs just nodded.

“I’m going to be getting their mail for the next few weeks. So you’ll have to wait. I know they weren’t even going to have their phones or anything. It was supposed to be completely cut off from the world so they only had each other.”

“Then, I’ll have to try back later. Is it three weeks or more?”

“Tamara asked me to get their mail for another three weeks, but I told her that I’d do it for as long as she needed it.”

“Thanks. I’ll just have to try back later.”

Then, suddenly, it occurred to this woman that she had told a lot of personal information to a man she knew nothing about. Her expression got a little bit wary and Gibbs smiled.

“I really do know Levi Carew. I’ve worked with him in the past. Here’s my ID so you can check it if something happens.” He pulled out his wallet.

“NCIS. What’s that?”

“Navy law enforcement.”

“Oh.”

“Thanks for your help. I’ll be back in about a month.”

“Okay. I’ll watch for you.”

“You do that,” Gibbs said with a smile.

He walked back to his car, got in and drove away. It was only when he was safely out of sight that he sighed. He had hoped that Dr. Hicks was mistaken and they’d be there or that it was just a weekend, not a month. Still, there was plenty for them to do before making sure that they could bring Tim back. They would just have to focus on that instead.

He got back to NCIS fairly quickly and told the others about how it had gone. They were disappointed but agreed that they had plenty to do while they waited.

It was just that they’d all feel better if they could get in contact with Tim and know that he was okay.

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 Post subject: Chapter 7
PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2017 10:51 pm 
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Location: Here and there. Everywhere and nowhere.
Title: DOCTOR!
Aliases: Scurvy Gums Ramona
Gender: Female
Chapter 7

Tim awakened to a nasty taste in his mouth and someone knocking on the door. He stumbled out of bed, not really thinking and only just was able to remember that he wasn’t in DC and should be a little cautious.

“Who is it?” he asked.

“It is Hamza from the front desk.”

“Oh. Just a second.”

Tim rubbed his face with his hands and then ran them through his hair, trying to wake himself up. Then, he opened the door and, sure enough, there was Hamza standing there. There was the faintest expression of amusement on his face and Tim wondered what he looked like that had elicited that.

“Yes?” he asked.

“I am sorry to wake you, sir.”

“No, that’s fine.”

“You had asked me about someone to help you find a place to stay here in Marrakech?”

“Yes. You know someone?”

“I do not know him well, but he is an American who has been trying to set up a business here in Marrakech, serving other Americans or English-speaking people. A kind of guide. He knows the city well and has asked to be referred if possible when needed. I have not met him, but Ayoub has and he says that this is a good choice. He can help you find a place to stay and he can give you a tour of the city if that is something you wish to have. He also speaks English which many do not. Does this interest you?”

“Yes. Absolutely. Do you have a phone number or whatever?”

“Yes. Here it is.”

Hamza gave him a piece of paper. It looked like a step above a homemade flyer, but it was all in English (and Arabic) and that was comforting to Tim. On the one hand, it was almost too good to be true that there was an American tour guide. On the other, there was an American tour guide!

“Thank you very much, Hamza.”

“Will you be wanting dinner tonight?”

“Is there room service?”

“Yes, sir. There is a menu in your room, although it is currently morning.”

“Oh. Is it?” Tim looked his watch and realized that he’d slept an entire day and night without waking. “Thank you. I’m sorry. I have jet lag.”

Hamza did smile this time. “I can see that, sir. It is quite common.”

“Thank you for your help. I really appreciate it.”

“It is nothing. Breakfast is still available downstairs.”

“Thank you.”

Tim closed the door and then stumbled to the bathroom and looked at himself in the mirror. He laughed at the sight. No wonder Hamza had seemed amused. His hair was sticking up in every direction and he had a line of dried drool on his cheek. All in all, he probably looked like a stereotypical inexperienced traveler. He was feeling much better, though. That was a lot of sleep and now, maybe he could think clearly enough to deal with his situation.

But first, a shower.

After he felt like he looked more presentable, he went down to the breakfast area and tried a little bit of everything again. Still no coffee. He might have to find out if coffee was a thing here...but then, there was Moroccan coffee. Maybe it was just not a thing in this hotel. The tea would do. He enjoyed the pastries and the rest of the food. Then, he went back up to his room and sat down by the phone. He looked at the number.

The question was whether or not he could trust this. But how in the world could the FBI anticipate where he’d end up when he hadn’t even known until right before he went to the plane? And how could they have known what hotel he’d end up at?

Then, Tim smiled to himself. It was funny, but he was assuming that he could trust Carew and the people he’d got to help. If nothing else, it was a sign of how much he’d recovered mentally from everything in the years before. He wasn’t automatically assuming he would be attacked.

Still, he forced himself to evaluate this person. Hamza and Ayoub (whoever that was) had said he was trying to start his own business. That would mean that he would be wanting English speakers. It made sense and it would make sense if Hamza was making this offer to anyone who asked. Even the FBI would be hard pressed to have anticipated this much. They would be psychic if they could do that.

Nodding to himself, Tim picked up the phone and dialed.

“Alu. Sabāh il-khayr. Good morning.”

“Good morning. Is this Daniel Worthing?”

“An American voice! Wonderful! Al-hamdu lillah!”

Tim couldn’t help laughing.

“Glad I could help.”

“I’m sorry. I’m not being very professional. Yes, I’m Daniel Worthing, founder, owner and sole employee of Anqalaysūn Real Estate.”

“Well, I’m in need of help finding a place to stay in Marrakech for...probably about a month.”

“Probably? Does that mean you’d want something that could potentially be rented longer?”

“It would be nice if the option was there.” Even if I hope I don’t end up needing it, Tim added to himself.

“Okay. I think I can help you out there. Where are you staying, currently?”

Tim gave the address of the riad.

“Oh, fancy. Are you wanting something that level?”

“Not necessarily. I just want a place that’s safe, where I don’t have to worry about robberies or anything and has some modern conveniences.”

“Toilet, shower, kitchen...wifi?”

“If possible.”

“It is. Definitely. Are you looking for large, small, furnished...?”

“Definitely not huge. It’s just me, and furnished, yes. I don’t know exactly what’s normal here, but I want privacy.”

“Apartment or house?”

“I figure that houses are more private, but if it was an apartment you recommended, I’d consider that, too.” Tim took a breath. “Privacy is really the most important thing for me.”

“That I can give you. It sounds like you want a riad.”

“Oh. I thought that must mean hotel. It doesn’t?”

“Well, a lot of the hotels are called riads. It’s more the style. Traditional homes here tend to be right next to each other, but everything is oriented toward an interior courtyard so you’re still private even in the middle of the city. It does make it hard to find the place because, especially in the Medina, it’s a maze of alleys and bazaars and everything. So you’ll be walking along and all you’ll see are blank walls and the occasional door. But it gives you a lot of privacy. Any other luxuries you’re wanting?”

“No. If luxuries come along with it, that’s fine, but I’m not looking for anything...unless something like hot water is a luxury?”

“It could be in some areas, but not for the kinds of places I’ll be looking at for you. I assume that, unless you say otherwise, as an American used to hot and cold water, you’ll want that. Budget?”

“I don’t know what’s normal here, but I’d say no more than three or four thousand dollars for the month. Is that all right?”

Daniel laughed. “That’s more than all right. People who want large homes and luxury furnishings can get up higher than that, but otherwise, that’s plenty. Okay. Give me today to get some places lined up and, if it will work for you, I’ll come by the riad in the morning, say around... nine or so?”

“That sounds great,” Tim said.

“Excellent. Allah yemsek alā khir. Good-bye.”

“Good-bye.”

Tim hung up and thought about the voice. If this Daniel Worthing was what he sounded like, he would be a good person to have around. Friendly, eager to help. His voice sounded fairly young, too. In addition, the little bit of Arabic he’d spoken had been smooth. He switched from English to Arabic with almost no hesitation. It appeared that he was fluent. Tim had to admit that he was interested in meeting him.

So now, he had time on his hands and he was alert enough to be aware of it. He was hesitant about going out into the city for the time being. What he’d seen of Marrakech was confusing at best. Hamza had mentioned that Daniel was a tour guide, as well as real estate agent. If this worked out, Tim figured he might want to use Daniel as a guide to help him get a feel for the city, too.

With that much decided, Tim had to figure out what he was going to do with himself. He considered calling back to DC and letting everyone know he was okay, but that would be asking for trouble because by now, the FBI might be aware that he was gone. If they did, he had no doubt that they would do whatever they could to track him down. Besides, Carew knew where he was and Tim had no doubt that Gibbs would figure that out. He had told Carew that he didn’t care if he told them where he was. Hopefully, they would realize that it was important that he stay hidden.

In fact, maybe it would be better to wait a few days before he started to see what he could dig up. It was a balancing act between potentially revealing his location by looking for answers and making it possible to go home more quickly by finding the answers.

That decided, he decided to relax in his room until the next morning.

x.x.x.x.x.x.x

“Well?” Roy asked, dismally.

The technician suppressed a smile.

“Director Jorgenson is on the other end, ready and waiting.”

“Put him through.”

“Yes, sir.”

On the screen was Director Jorgenson. He had that perpetually unhappy expression. It was like someone was holding something unpleasant under his nose.

“Good morning, Director. What can I do for you?” he asked.

“You’re still watching Timothy McGee.”

Ah. No small talk.

“Why do you ask? That has nothing to do with you, Director.”

“Yes, it does.”

“Why?” Roy asked. “You have no access to him. Just because there’s a new president, doesn’t change that arrangement. I thought that had already been made patently clear to you two years ago.”

“Even if he’s a traitor?”

“In what respect?”

“What do you mean? There’s only one respect in which one is a traitor.”

“Yes, but when did he commit this treason? We’ve been watching him.”

“Agent McGee is very skilled, as I’m sure you’re aware. We believe that he’s been sharing information all along.”

“And his abduction in which more than one CIA agent was killed taking him and he was tortured?”

“Just because he’s giving information to one group doesn’t mean he’s giving information to all groups. He has routinely gone off the grid, often with the aid of the CIA, including a suspicious occurrence two years ago in which Levi Carew was involved and...”

Roy let a smile worthy of Carew cross his face.

“I think you might want to be careful with how you’re making your case, Director Jorgenson.”

“If you want to make sure that you’re not lumped in with his treachery...”

Roy smiled more widely. Jorgenson would never have tried this with Carew, but he thought he could do it to the new guy, never mind that Roy had been working with Carew for years before his appointment as Director.

“I’m not worried about that, Director Jorgenson,” he said. “Clearly, you have a low opinion of my ability to see through you. Let me assure you that I’m well aware of your strange obsession with Agent McGee and I see no reason to aid you in that pursuit since you’ve given me nothing of note. All you’ve done is threaten and throw around vague accusations. If you had real evidence, you would have shared it already. Since you haven’t, I am left to assume that you’re just blowing smoke.”

Jorgenson’s expression hardened.

“We’ll get him with or without you. The question you need to answer is whether or not you’re willing to go down with him because the CIA has been watching him for years. Either you’re incompetent and didn’t notice it or you’ve been knowingly protecting a traitor. That won’t go over very well with the American public.”

“I have done nothing of the kind,” Roy said. He held up his hand, signaling the coming cut off. “Since you clearly don’t need my help, this conversation is over. If you need to make a serious request, you can try again.”

He gestured and Jorgenson’s face vanished from the screen. Roy hoped that he’d made the FBI director angry. He might not get to know it, but he could enjoy the idea that he had done it anyway.

“Anything else, Director?”

“No. If Director Jorgenson tries to contact me again, tell him that he can make an appointment.”

“Yes, sir.”

“Thank you.” Roy looked at his watch. He was supposed to have a briefing with some of his overseas agents, but that wasn’t supposed to happen for another hour. He might be able to squeeze in some alone time. “The briefing will still take place at the scheduled time. I’ll be back for it.”

“Yes, sir.”

Roy turned and left the room. He considered notifying NCIS, but for now, he’d keep his own counsel. He did wish that he could get in contact with Carew. It was really bad timing that he’d decided to vanish from sight just when it was all hitting the fan.

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