So here comes a new story, it's timeline is post SWAK but Twilight never happened, but Ari is in town and Kate and Gibbs really want to nail him. And the feeling is mutual.

The story isn't betaread yet, so gramar and spelling may be a little off but I have tried hard. So hopefully someone will like it and review so my muse will feel alive again. ;)

So on with the story...

It's been awhile.

It's been awhile,

Since I can say I loved myself as well and

It's been awhile

Since I've gone and fucked things up just like I always do...

"It's been a while" – Staind

Tony sighed as he turned off the engine of his car, the lyrics had a special meaning to him. It was how his life felt right now, IT had been a while since he fucked up things like he always used to.

There had been some minor incidents, there always was. Just like the plague, he had been really sick and now a little more than a month later he was still not fully back to normal. The doctors had cleared him for work but he still was advised to take it somewhat easy.

No running or workouts, the doctor had said but he had started to take short walks and he had small weights at home that he did some exercises with. Nothing fancy but it was something. He really hated to be still, in other words to be dependent on other people.

But no major incidents that forced him to quit his job or leave town in a hurry. Yet….

And that about loving himself well, how easy to love himself when he wasn't worth the love?

Tony put a smile on his face as he walked into the NCIS- building, time to put your game face on, he thought. People greeted him as he walked, he nodded back not really wanting to stop and talk so he took the stairs.

His smile went a little more sincere when he saw Kate and McGee sitting at their desks, Gibbs was somewhere else for the moment. Probably talking to the director.

"Good morning, Probie!" He said, sneaking up behind McGee and scared the younger agent so he almost fell of his chair.

"Morning, Tony." McGee muttered back.

Tony walked over to Kate's desk, she followed his every move with her eyes and he thought he saw a spark of something but it was gone when he sat down on her desk.

"So Kate, did you sleep well?" He asked her wiggling his eyebrows.

"Actually I did." She said with a small smile.

"Ah, a good dream about your handsome co-worker huh?"

"In YOUR dreams, Tony! Now, get off my desk, before I push you off it!"

"You are so feisty. But I know that you have a soft spot for me." He said and smiled his big sexy smile, then walked to his desk turning his back on Kate and did not see the pink colouring her cheeks.

He sat down at his desk, closed his eyes for a second and let out a little sigh, he really hated to be so out of shape and he was becoming more and more restless. He had never could stayed away from training when he got sick or injured

Tony looked up and saw Gibbs, the older mans blue eyes blazing as he walked into the bullpen. Their eyes met and Tony thought he saw a flash of concern, Gibbs was known for being protective of his team members, but Tony had noticed a small change in his boss and in Kate since he came back. Although he couldn't really put his finger on it.

Gibbs frowned a little before looking away, he opened his mouth and said in a low hard voice:

"Ari is back in town."

The three younger agents didn't say a word at first, they only stared at Gibbs who looked calm but his eyes betrayed him. He strode to his desk and sat down, the others immediately got up on their feet and walked over to his desk. Soon they got over the small chock and started to discuss what they should do about it

Gibbs said that he didn't know much, he looked at his co-workers as they started to discuss the "why" Ari was here, again.

He looked at Kate, there was no panic or fright in her eyes only a little regret. He knew why, she had been a hostage in the morgue and kidnapped by Ari, then freed.

Gibbs understood and didn't blame her, he had shot Ari in the shoulder and then the double agent had disappeared.

Then he looked at McGee, he wasn't a member of the team when it happened but had been working with them, he knows all about it. He seemed a little nervous but he was almost always nervous.

Gibbs eyes rested on Tony, taking in the younger agent's facial expression. Tony looked tired and maybe a little pale but he was still recovering from the plague. Gibbs shivered a little when he thought back about how sick Tony had been.

He knew that he was known for his protectiveness of his agents, but seeing Tony lying there fighting for each of his breath, he knew that the younger agent meant more to him. He had notice the change in Kate also and he thought that Kate had noticed the changed in him.

Gibbs sighed, they needed to do something about that situation but he didn't handle rejection very well. And if rejection wasn't the case he didn't really know if he wanted to share…

He shook his head and jumped into the discussion.


Outside, a few miles away a man put down his binoculars and smiled a little, they knew he was there, he could see it on their faces. But they didn't know how close he was.

He would make them pay, he would find out his and hers weaknesses and use them against them.

He had people keeping an eye on them while he was away working with other less important but necessary things, those reports and e-mails about them had kept him alive, not making him forget that he still had something to live for.

Now when he was back he would enjoy the legwork of following them himself, he was getting closer to find out their common weakness but he had to be sure.

With a big smile he jumped up on his bike ready to follow his future and revenge.


The week was coming to an end and after working almost 24's a day, sleeping and eating in the office hadn't brought them closer to where Ari was or why he was back. They had had some clues but they all ended up in a dead end.

Gibbs was in a foul mood, but when he looked at his agents he knew that he had worked them to hard. McGee looked like he could fall asleep standing, Kate had the same look with bags under her eyes and Tony had looked very pale and thin but no one complained.

They all wanted Ari behind bars or in the ground and knew they have to work hard to make it happen.

Time to give them a breather, he thought.

"McGee, call down to Abby and Ducky and see if they want to go out and get a beer with us." He said, McGee looked at him with question in his eyes even Kate and Tony looked at him like he had lost his mind. "We need a break people."

"I feel you!" Tony said with a smile and Kate nodded. McGee smiled and picked up the phone.

Abby and Ducky was happy to join them, so after taking showers and getting into some new clothes the team set out for their favourite watering hole.


He saw them all getting out of the building, it had proved pretty difficult to stay hidden and out of their reach but he had planned this for a long time so he knew how to keep a really low profile.

They were nicely but causal dressed and they seemed happy, laughing and talking to each others.

His smile turned a bit sour, they should be afraid and nervous but he knew they were difficult to scare. So he jumped on his bike and followed them.


The team walked into the bar, it was full with people but not overcrowded. They found an empty table, ordered in some beers and food. The talk during the dinner was light and full of laughter.

Kate cast some careful glances at Tony who was in a deep conversation with Abby about the music that was played on the dance floor. He looked a bit better now, still a bit pale and tired but okay and still drop dead handsome. His hair spiky, his green eyes glittering in the light and his big sexy smile.

She could really stare at him for hours and with that tight fitting long sleeved shirt, made her wanting to ravish him right here and now.

Tony turned to her, looked at her for a couple of seconds and smiled big like he had read her mind, before turning back to Abby. Kate turned away for a moment her cheeks growing warmer.

A woman walked up to their table and asked Tony if he wanted to dance with her. Tony accepted, he was getting restless again, thou he loved talking to Abby and the rest of the gang. But he was starting to feel a bit uneasy because he had noticed Kate and Gibbs staring at him during the evening from time to time.

He had seen that something in their eyes but still didn't really know what to make out of it.

At first he thought maybe they were getting interested in him, but then he snapped back to reality. They couldn't be interested in him.

Kate was a very smart and beautiful woman, and she could get anyone she wanted. Gibbs was a handsome and good-looking man and with three ex-wives defiantly not into men.

Gibbs was enjoying this little break from work, he wasn't really a fan of going out but today it was worth it. Ducky was blabbering about something but he only listened with a half ear, his eyes were on Tony who was out on the dance floor with some woman.

When the DJ started to play a low bass song and the couple started to move to rhythm, hips slowly moving together, Gibbs could only stare.

He knew that Tony was hot but this was ridiculous, the older man wondered if it was really legal to be looking and dancing like that.

Gibbs tared his eyes from the dancing couple and his eyes met Kate's. They looked at each other in understanding, Gibbs was not the only one having naughty thoughts about Tony and he knew that the younger man was undeniable.

They really needed to have a talk soon about this.

Suddenly he felt the hair rise on the back of his neck, something was amiss. He looked around trying to locate what had brought this feeling.

Kate stared as Tony danced with the unknown woman, wishing that she was the one dancing with Tony instead. She saw his hips moving to the rhythm and she felt her cheeks grow warmer again.

She tared her eyes to look around and she met Gibbs eye, noticing that the older man had some thoughts about Tony's dance also.

The face expression on her boss suddenly changed from casual to watchful in an instant. Something was wrong, she knew Gibbs that well to notice his facial expression and knew to trust his instincts.

Kate looked around for something or someone who would be the cause to the feeling but didn't see anything.

Everything seemed normal but a feeling of unease and dread was lingered in the back of her head.


He followed them to the pub, he saw them sitting down at a table and how comfortable they all were with each other.

He saw her talking and laughing, but sometimes he saw her studying one of her friends in a different way. He had seen this interest a few times….

Then he watched him as he talked ever so calmly with his co-workers, saw a little smile now and then which was always directed to the same person she studied.

Then something happened that made him certain, he had suspected it for a time and this was the thing he had been looking for.

The person who was the one that certainly meant very much to them walked up on the dance floor with a good-looking woman.

He smiled to himself and was just about to stand and walk away when the person started to dance. He had to sit down and watch the dance closely, he now understood why they were so interested in this man.

He shook his head, trying to cast off the spell the man had put on him. This was certainly the weakness he had been looking for and he could see their faces in his mind as he snatched the one they loved right before their eyes.

It was time for planning…….


It was Monday again and Tony stepped into the bullpen, feeling tired and sore. Gibbs had given them the weekend off and yesterday he had taken his first run.

It wasn't a long one and it probably hadn't been such a good idea, he had been totally wiped after it and fell asleep on his couch, sleeping for nearly twelve hours straight. But he still felt tired when he woke up.

Kate was at her desk as usual, smiling when she saw him, he smiled back trying to hide his tiredness. He sat down at his desk letting out a sigh.

"Are you okay, Tony?" She asked, concerned.

"Yes, I'm fine just a little tired." Tony said smiling at her, she opened her mouth to say something more but was interrupted by Gibbs walking into the bullpen.

"We've got a lead." He said in a hard voice. "Someone has spotted a man with Ari's description near a warehouse down at the harbour. Let's go!"

Gibbs stopped the car outside the warehouse where someone had spotted Ari. He looked around with hawk eyes, not really seeing anything out of the ordinary but he had a strange feeling in the pit of his stomach.

He divided his team into two pairs: Kate with him and Tony and McGee together. He and Kate took the front and the other two took the back of the building.


He looked out a dirty window and saw the car, he saw him getting out, looking around, and then she got out doing the same.

His eyes widened a bit when he saw the third person getting out of the car, he almost smiled in delight.

Very soon you will be mine instead of theirs, he thought smiling.


Tony took the front and lead McGee into the building, it was dark and filled with dust but nothing else. He looked around, the hair on his neck standing, he felt watched.

They walked thru a corridor not seeing anybody and then they came to the end of it saw a closed door.

Tony stopped and laid a hand on the door handle, he looked at McGee who nodded with his gun ready. Tony nodded back and opened the door, McGee walked thru the door opening and Tony followed him. Then things happened very fast.

The room was pitch black, McGee searched for a light switch but suddenly he was hit in the head and he felt himself hit the floor before he went unconscious.

Tony stepped into the pitch black room, he heard a loud thump like a body hitting the ground.

"McGee!" He said out loud, his voice almost booming in his ears.

Then the lights came on, blinding him for a couple of seconds and he held up his hand shielding his eyes. He saw McGee lying on the floor beneath his feet, he kneeled down beside the younger agent when he noticed something to the right of them and then he felt a gun against his neck.

"Put down your gun and get up slowly, no tricks."

Tony slowly stood up, not letting go of his gun the light still blinding him.

"I said: put down your gun!" The man said and hit Tony at the left side of his head.

Tony felt the butt of the gun hit him, making him see stars and he sank down on his knees beside McGee again.

"Put down your gun and stand up." The voice said again, the gun again aimed at Tony's neck.

Tony shook his head a little, trying to clear his head but only made the splitting headache only worse. He slowly started to rise again, half way he realised he still hadn't let go of his gun and he was rewarded again by a hard hit with the back of the gun on his left side of the head.

This time he went down on his knees and hands, almost blacking out and he felt blood flowing down the side of his head.

"Let go of the gun or I will shoot your buddy." The voice said.

Tony forced his fingers from the gun and slowly stood up, he was dizzy from the hits and was getting nauseous. He swayed a bit as he stood and felt a hand on the small on his back, steadying him. When he was a little steadier, he tried to shrug off the hand on his back.

He heard a small snicker as the hand was removed.

"What do you want?" Tony asked, trying to look over his shoulder to look at his attacker.

"Well, I want nothing more than you…" The man said walking in front of him.

"Ari!" Tony said as he watched the man walk in front of him.

Ari just smiled and nodded keeping his gun aimed at Tony, as he walked to the blinding light and aimed the lamp lower so it didn't shine right in his eyes.

"Yes, Special Agent Anthony DiNozzo." Ari's smile grew wider. "Nice to meet you."

"I can't say the same, but I can tell you that Gibbs will kill you when he sees you!"

"We will see about that….." Ari said smiling and suddenly he aimed his gun at the ceiling and fired the gun. The shoot surprised Tony but before he could do anything the gun was back aiming at him and Ari positioned himself to his left side.

Tony was just about to say something, when Ari held up the gun in a silencing motion and he took a good look around the room.

It was a big room, the door he and McGee had walked thru was the only one, and then he saw something strange. A few meters in front of him was a wall, a wall of glass and on the other side was a door. He took a step forward when the door was kicked open and Gibbs and Kate came bursting thru it.


Gibbs and Kate made their way into the building, it was empty and they didn't see anyone. After a few minutes of searching they heard a gun shot, they looked at each other with panicked eyes, and then they started to run and came to a closed door. Gibbs nodded and reached for the door handle opened the door and they both burst thru it.

The first thing they saw coming in was Tony standing still with blood zippering down the left side of his head, then they saw McGee lying on the floor and Ari standing with a gun pointing at Tony's head.

Gibbs felt an invisible hand squeezing his heart and then anger roared in his head, he took a few steps forward but walked into an invisible wall.

"Ari!" He yelled and banged on the wall.

Kate saw the glass wall before Gibbs but she was frozen in place, Ari held a gun to Tony's head and the safety was off.

On the other side of the wall Ari stood smiling, oh the looks on their faces was priceless! Why didn't he have a camera with him?

Caitlin was frozen, she watched him with his prey with eyes big with anger and fear. She didn't move a muscle.

Gibbs rage was magnificent and terrifying, but underneath it laid fear he could sense it. Ari couldn't keep himself from taunting the agent so he took a step closer to Tony and slowly ran his fingers over the young mans uninjured side of the face. Gibbs stopped banging, went deathly pale and still, Ari's smile grew wider.

Tony felt Ari's cold hand run down the side of his face and he had to force himself not to flinch. When he saw Kate and Gibbs in the other room, he thought that they would save him and McGee. But now he saw that they couldn't do anything and that Ari had planned this very well. He saw Gibbs grow very still and pale, almost scaring him and he saw Kate frozen to the floor.

"So, here we are." Ari said in a gloating voice. "Jethro and Caitlin, long time no see."

"Let them go, Ari." Gibbs said in a low and deadly voice. "Or…"

"Or what, Jethro? I will be long gone before you find the right door to this side of the room."

"I will hunt you to the end of the world then kill you and bring you back from the dead only to kill you again if you hurt him!"

"That doesn't sounds nice, Jethro." Ari said. "How does it feel, being so helpless? I could kill them both right now in front of you and you could do nothing but watch."

"Don't you dare lay a hand on him." Kate said matching Gibbs voice.

Tony, looked at his friends with eyes full of regret, he really hated to be in this situation and be the cause off their pain. He had to do something.

He more felt than saw Ari behind him, he heard him talking to Gibbs and Kate, taunting them. So he decided to make his move, he slammed his left elbow into Ari's stomach making the terrorist lose breath, Tony turned around and went for the gun.

But as he moved the dizziness overtook him and he tripped on his own feet sending him crashing into Ari.

They tumbled down on the dirty floor, Tony tried to knock Ari off him, but the man easily landed on top and then hit Tony several times in the chest and stomach.

Gibbs saw Tony going after Ari and the gun, he and Kate could only stand and watch helplessly as Ari got the overhand and easy pinned Tony to the floor and punching him.

"Ari! Stop it!" Kate yelled with tears in her eyes.

The two fighting men continued their struggle, not taking any notice of her.

Gibbs looked down at his hands, he was still holding his gun in his hands, and he looked at the two fighters and brought up the gun towards the glass wall separating them and pulled the trigger.

There was a loud bang; Ari looked up at Gibbs and Kate, his hands around Tony's throat. What he saw made him smile the biggest smile he ever smiled.

He reached for his gun, grabbed Tony and hauled him up on his feet, the younger man couldn't resist and Ari steadying him with a hand on his back.

"So, what do you think of that, Jethro?" Ari said. "Bullet-proof glass, a wonderful thing ain't it?"

Gibbs and Kate could only stare at the wall with big eyes, the bullet Gibbs had fired was lodged in the wall.

"Sorry, to break up this happy reunion but me and Anthony gotta go!" Ari said pulling out Tony's hand cuffs and cuffed Tony's hand behind his back.

"What are you doing? Where are you taking him?" Kate asked a little more composed.

"If you behave you will know. You will hear from me." Ari said, and then he pointed at McGee who is still out cold. "I'm leaving him for you."

Gibbs stared at him with ice cold blue eyes, he felt so useless but he wouldn't let Ari get away with this.

"Don't think you will get away with this, Ari!" He said.

"Don't worry, I'll take good care of him just be sure that your cell phone is on! Say bye bye Anthony."

And with that he took Tony's cuffed hands and dragged him out of the room, leaving Gibbs and Kate behind.