Dear Readers: Thanks for your patience. I've been away. Sorry for having rushed this final chapter but I wanted to finish this up. I've made it up by having this chapter a bit longer than the previous six. Enjoy!
Inside Kate's apartment:
Standing in the living room area, Andrew Sommers pointed his gun at Tony. "Keep your hands up."
"What's going on Kate?" Although Tony questioned Kate, he kept his eyes on Andrew.
Kate narrowed her eyes warning at Tony to remain quiet. She turned her attention back to Andrew. "Andrew, please don't do this."
"So, this is the new man. Were you seeing him at the same time you and I were involved?" Andrew asked Kate snidely.
"Andrew, you and I were never involved. We worked together briefly and we dated a couple of times. It was never more than that."
Andrew looked pleadingly at Kate. "We could have been more. I've always been the perfect agent. Doing right. But my life wasn't complete until I met you. Working with you – I realized that you too were the perfect agent. I thought we compliment each other."
Tony cleared his throat to draw Andrew and Kate's attention. Hands still up in the air and still playing at being clueless, he asked, "So, anyone want to tell me what's going on?"
Kate's apartment - hallway:
Gibbs, McGee, Fornell and a couple of FBI agents, with guns drawn, had positioned themselves along the wall near the door.
Gibbs and Fornell strained their ears towards the door. Every now and then being able to make out words from the mumbled voices coming through the door.
Having decided that enough was enough, Gibbs demandingly whispered to Fornell, "You need to get your man under control."
Fornell nodded his head and called out, "Sommers, it's Agent Fornell."
Inside Kate's apartment:
Andrew jerked his head towards the door. "What the hell is Fornell doing here?" He turned back to Tony and demanded, "Who the hell are you?"
Tony lowered his hands, raised an eyebrow and cockily said, "I'm an NCIS agent."
Kate moved to stand a couple of feet in front of Tony, blocking Andrew's line of vision. "Andrew, please don't do this. This has got to stop."
"Kate, get out of the way." Tony murmured.
Ignoring Tony, Kate took a couple of slow steps towards Andrew. "Andrew, I'm sorry. We can work this out. Just put the gun down. You and I will work this out."
Andrew, eyes filled with tears, said, "I just wanted to be with you Caitlin. We could have been perfect together."
Tony reached out a hand to move Kate away from Andrew's gun sight. "Kate, step away."
"Don't touch her! Don't you touch her!" Andrew yelled as he aimed the gun at Tony's face.
Tony moved over a couple of steps to draw Andrew's aim away from Kate. As Andrew's gun followed Tony, Kate once again stepped in Andrew's line of vision.
"Damn it, Kate." Tony whispered angrily.
"Andrew, he didn't do anything. Don't hurt him, please." Kate softly pleaded. "Tony and I are just friends. He doesn't need to be hurt by this."
"You hurt me Caitlin. You ruined my career."
Kate reached out a hand towards Andrew, "I know and I'm sorry. Let Tony go, and you and I will work this out."
"You're lying. I'm ruined now." Andrew said as he clocked his gun.
Simultaneously, the apartment door was kicked in as Gibbs and Fornell led McGee and the two FBI agents in, guns pointed in every direction. Kate hand was reaching out to Andrew, while Tony rushed forward to grab Kate.
Andrew lifted his gun to head temple and pulled the trigger.
Kate's apartment – living room / kitchen:
Gibbs stood in the living room with the local police and FBI agents going over the details of the past hour. With Fornell and his two FBI agents having witnessed Sommers self-inflicted gunshot, it didn't require Gibbs to add in too much info.
Exasperated, Gibbs shook his head as heard raised voices coming from the kitchen. He approached to investigate the reason why another argument was brewing between Kate and Tony. Gibbs hesitated as at the entryway as he watched the scene before him.
Kate sat at her kitchen table while Tony paced - every now and then glancing at her with a frustrated look on his face.
"Tony, I'm dizzy enough as it is without having to watch you walk around in circles."
"Damn it, Kate! Why would you stand between us? He could have shot you!"
"What did you want me to do, DiNozzo? I thought he was going to shoot you!" Kate yelled back.
Tony must have realized that now was not the time to agitate Kate. Tony sat down on a chair adjacent to Kate. "I'm sorry. I'm…It's just the adrenaline rush." Tony tentatively reached out a hand, laid his fingers on top of Kate's and murmured, "I was just scared."
"Yeah, me too." Kate looked down at their joined hands. "I'm glad you were here Tony. It means a lot to me to know that you came in for me."
"Yeah well, you're… important to me Kate. I wouldn't - couldn't – just not do anything."
"Tony, I wouldn't be able to live with myself knowing that you would have gotten hurt because of me."
Still unnoticed by Kate and Tony, Gibbs' eyes slightly narrowed as he stared at their entwined fingers.
For a moment neither said anything. Tony looked over Kate's battered face and winced sympathetically. "Are you okay Kate?"
"I don't know." Kate murmured softly.
Tony slowly leaned forward and pressed the barest whisper of kiss on Kate's forehead. He leaned back slightly and let his concerned eyes roam Kate's face.
Gibbs noticed that Kate barely even acknowledge the tenderness of Tony's action – her attention seemingly focused on their joint hands.
"Kate…" Tony had started but stopped when Kate looked up suddenly and locked eyes with Gibbs.
After a few moments of intense quiet, Gibbs said, "DiNozzo, FBI has some more questions for you."
Looking back and forth between Kate and Gibbs, Tony gave Kate's hand a gentle squeeze before releasing her fingers. "Sure Boss." Tony stood and as he headed out to the living room he paused beside Gibbs. "She's been through a lot Boss."
When Gibbs didn't reply to his comment, Tony glanced back at Kate still locked in eye contact with Gibbs.
As Tony walked out, Gibbs took a few steps in. "Kate, medics are saying you're refusing treatment."
"I'm fine Gibbs." Kate said as she broke eye contact and stared at the top of the table.
"You don't look fine. I would rather you have them check you out. After we're done here, we'll have Ducky look you over."
Kate inhaled a shaky breath and looked up at Gibbs, confusion on her face. "I really thought he was going to shoot us. I had no idea that he would….shoot himself."
Knowing that now was not the time to show any kind of sympathy, he said resolutely, "Like he said, his career was ruined. There wasn't any place for him to go from here." Not giving Kate an opportunity to refuse, Gibbs held out his right hand to help Kate up from the chair and grimaced at the effort it took Kate's abused body to stand. "I'll have McGee take you down to the ambulance."
Before Gibbs could release Kate's hand, she gripped his hand tightly, holding him in place. Kate's eyes filled with tears as she stared intently into Gibbs' eyes. "Gibbs…when Andrew shot himself, I keep thinking 'Thank God'."
Gibbs gently squeezed Kate's fingers, closed his eyes briefly and murmured, "So did I." When it looked as though Kate would let her tears fall, Gibbs narrowed his eyes warningly at Kate. "Don't let it get to you Kate. He did this to himself. You were the victim here not him."
Though Kate nodded, Gibbs knew enough about Kate to know she was not necessarily agreeing with him.
Gibbs lightly placed a hand at her back and still holding her right, led Kate to the apartment door, using his body to block the sight of Sommers' body lying on the living room floor.
"McGee, take Kate to the ambulance. Have the medics look her over. DiNozzo and I will meet you downstairs soon."
McGee reached out to Kate, not knowing where to place his hands on her where it wouldn't hurt. Kate solved McGee's dilemma by placing her hand on his forearm to assist her.
As McGee escorted Kate out of the apartment, Agent Fornell asked Gibbs, "Will she be okay?"
"What do you think Fornell? Agent Todd was beaten and there's a body lying on her living room floor. You tell me!"
"Jethro…" Fornell murmured to calm down his sometime friend/most time adversary.
Gibbs shook his head and said, "Once the FBI and LEOs are done here, call us so we can have a cleaning crew come in. I don't want Agent Todd to come back unless the blood's been removed."
Fifteen minutes had passed when Tony's cell phone rang. "Yeah McGee? What!" Tony look over to Gibbs. "Who took Kate?"
Gibbs narrowed his eyes threateningly.
"And you let them? Never mind. We'll be right down." Tony turned to Gibbs. "Boss! FBI's I.A. took Kate in for questioning." Tony advised Gibbs while staring accusingly at Fornell.
"Fornell, you come with us. We're going after Kate."
Gibbs, Tony and Fornell rushed downstairs to find McGee waiting in the back seat with the car already running.
Gibbs, Tony and McGee followed closely behind Fornell as they entered the FBI's version of a Bull Pen.
Several FBI agents stood at sight of Fornell rushing in followed by three men wearing the standard NCIS jackets.
"Where is she, Fornell?" Gibbs demanded.
"I'll find out where they placed her. Wait here." Fornell rushed down the hallway.
"The hell we will." Gibbs said as he started to follow Fornell.
An FBI agent moved to block Gibbs from following Fornell. "I believe Agent Fornell advised that you are to wait here."
"You plan on stopping me?" Gibbs asked the FBI agent quietly.
Another FBI agent moved in front of Gibbs and demanded angrily, "What happened to Sommers?"
Another agent said, "We heard that there was a shooting involving an NCIS agent."
"Well you heard correctly, boys." Tony confirmed. He eyed the group of angry FBI agents that had started to surround them.
Tony and McGee simultaneously turned so that they had their backs to Gibbs.
"I suggest that you find out the full story before you do or say anything that you'll regret," Gibbs advised, eyes narrowed.
"Why don't you fill us in?" Another FBI agent asked demandingly.
"Back off, boys. Now is not the time to show some balls." Tony said, making brief eye contacts with the agents facing him and McGee.
"Tony, I'm not liking this." McGee murmured softly.
"Agent Sommers was my partner. I want to know what happened." The FBI agent that had first spoken to Gibbs, poked a couple of fingers into Gibbs' chest.
"Don't try that again." Gibbs warned.
"Or what, there'll be another shooting."
"If that's what you want."
Uncaring and angered because his partner was dead and because of Gibbs' goading, the FBI agent reached out to grab Gibbs jacket. As Gibbs knocked the FBI agent's hands away, the FBI agent reached for his gun.
Gibbs considered this a threat and drew his weapon causing the remaining seven FBI agents along with Tony and McGee to draw their guns.
Yells of "Put your gun down!" and "Stand down!" filled the air as Fornell rushed back into the Bull Pen. Tony and McGee were waving their weapons back and forth between FBI agents. Gibbs had his gun pointed steadily at Sommers' partner.
"What the hell is going on?" Fornell demanded.
"Fornell, tell your men to drop their weapons!"
"Stand down. Put your guns away. Damn it! Do as I say!"
"We heard that Sommers' was involved in a shooting with an NCIS agent. Is it true?" Gun aimed directly at Gibbs' head, Sommers' partner asked Fornell.
"Yes, it's true. But the NCIS agent didn't shoot Sommers. He shot himself!"
"I don't believe it. Sommers was a good agent. He wouldn't do that."
"Well, believe it. I was there. I saw him pull the trigger. Now drop your weapons – all of you." Fornell instructed his people tiredly.
Gibbs, Tony and McGee waited until all eight FBI agents holstered their guns before lowering theirs. Gibbs looked over at Fornell and demanded, "Take us to my agent, Fornell. Now!"
"They've already started the debriefing Agent Todd, Gibbs. You can watch from the Observation Room."
Early Thursday Evening - Conclusion
In the Observation Room, McGee was slumped against the wall – his eyes half closed with exhaustion pulling at his body.
Tony, impatient from not only having to relive the past couple of days, was packing back and forth - wired from being enclosed in the same room for hours and also knowing that the interview was coming to a close soon.
Gibbs patiently stood at the one-way mirror focused on every word and action in the opposite room.
"Agent Todd, I have a several questions for you. There are a few statements you've made that need clarification."
Kate moaned, McGee moaned, and Tony moaned. "Geez! Hasn't he heard it twice – what more does he need to know!" Tony asked out loud.
Gibbs, without turning his head, said, "Fornell, I think we're done here."
"Yes!" Tony cheered as he lifted his fist into the air. McGee chuckled lightly at Tony's enthusiasm.
Kate looked up at the interviewer with a raised eyebrow. "I've already told you everything twice. I don't see what other questions you may have."
"Not yet Gibbs until the interviewer is done, then she can leave." Fornell advised Gibbs warningly.
"Agent Todd, why-?"
Having had enough - emotionally and physically exhausted - Kate held up a hand to stop the interviewer from continuing. She lifted her head, and seeming to have looked right through the one-way mirror, locked eyes with Gibbs. "I'm done, Gibbs. Get me out of here."
Not once breaking eye contact with Kate, Gibbs barked out, "McGee, DiNozzo – get Kate. We're leaving."
As McGee pushed away from the wall, Tony pounded McGee on the shoulder and with a happy smile headed towards the door. The two stone-faced FBI agents remained blocking the exit. Standing face to face with them, Tony raised an eyebrow and commented, "Nice coats. Is there a discount clothing store that sells standard issued suits to the FBI?"
Anxious to leave and worried that another show down will occur but still slightly angry enough to give off a brave front, McGee lifted a challenging eyebrow at the agent directly in front of him.
"Fornell, you want to have Tweedle Dick and Tweedle Dumb move out of the way?" Tony asked.
"What is it with you NCIS agents? They have training classes on giving out smart remarks?" Fornell asked disgustedly.
"Actually it just comes naturally," replied McGee.
"Fornell," growled Gibbs attention still on Kate.
Fornell looked over at the agent and tilted his head for them to let McGee and Tony pass.
"Thanks boys," Tony said to the FBI agents with a smirk.
A few moments later, the Debriefing Room door opened from the outside. Tony walked in first and said perkily to the interviewer, "Sorry to break this up but the party's over."
"What? What's going on? I'm not done here." The interviewer sputtered.
Only upon hearing the door opening does Kate look away from the one-way mirror. Kate looked up tiredly to Tony and McGee. Both winced at the bruises surrounding the cuts on Kate face and at the dark circles that had formed under her eyes.
Tony placed a hand under Kate's elbow to help her stand up as McGee pulled out the chair from under her. Tony leaned into Kate and murmured quietly, "Come on Kate. I think we've overstayed our welcome."
Kate closed her eyes briefly and nodded. "Take me home Tony. I'm so tired."
When the interviewer made to rise from his chair, Tony and McGee narrowed their eyes at him. McGee said warningly, "I suggest you remain seated if you want to keep your throat intact. My Boss is still pissed at you."
Tony gently placed a hand at Kate's back and guided her to the door.
Gibbs turned away from the mirror and advised Fornell as he walked out of the Observation Room and into the hallway. "You have any further questions Fornell, have your Director contact my Director."
Fornell shook his head at the two FBI agents to stay back as he followed Gibbs out to into the hallway.
Having entered the hallway at the same time from the separate rooms, Kate looked over and watched as Gibbs approached. Gibbs slowly reached out and placed his fingers against Kate's cheek, gave her a small reassuring nod and said, "Let's go." As they all turned and walked towards the elevator, Kate leaned exhaustedly into Gibbs side as Gibbs puts his arm around Kate's back. McGee and Tony closely followed protectively behind them.
Fornell remained standing in the hallway watching the NCIS agents leave, thankful that it was only Sommers that died today.
One the agents, the one that Special Agent DiNozzo dubbed Tweedle Dumb, asked, "Agent Fornell, are we just letting them leave?"
"Yes, I wouldn't want to stop them. Those agents are still pissed off enough to want more FBI blood spilled today," Fornell replied, rubbing his eyes tiredly.
Message: Again, thanks for the reviews and e-mails.