The past hunts the present
It was late and the bullpen was dark and quiet. Only three people were still there, one woman and two men, each one of them were working at their own desks. Occasionally one of them would pause, raise their head and look over to a fourth desk. An empty desk.
They used to be four but he was gone, he had left and no one knew if it was forever or if he would come back.
McGee looked at the empty desk, frowning and thinking. If someone had told him that Gibbs would leave NCIS by his own free will he would have laughed, and if that someone had told him that he would miss his boss this much, he would have asked that someone them if he had recently escaped from a mental hospital.
McGee sighed and rubbed his tired eyes. Here he was in a very quiet bullpen working on a case without Gibbs and he was actually missing his boss very much.
Not that Tony wasn't doing a great job to hold the team together, he was really good, but the Director had been working them non stop since Gibbs left, and it was starting to take it's toll on the team.
McGee cast a long last glance at the empty desk before he sighed again and turned back to his work.
Ziva closed her eyes and rolled her shoulders, she hated to sit behind a desk but she knew that it was a part of the job. A part of the job she loved.
She opened her eyes and looked at the empty desk. Gibbs' empty desk. It had been a month since Gibbs handed Tony his gun and badge before he walked away from them, leaving them.
They had been working non stop since then, Director Shepard had handed them a new case as soon they were finished with last one. Maybe she thought that she should keep them busy so they wouldn't think to much about Gibbs or maybe she was punishing them for his leaving.
Ziva didn't know the reason, all she knew was that it was starting to get to be to much and she wanted Gibbs back, they needed him.
Tony was doing his job very well, she thought. But she knew that it wasn't so easy for him. Gibbs shoes were very hard to fill, and it was more difficult for him because Director Shepard was breathing down his neck all the time.
Ziva sighed, shook her head a little before she turned back to the work which was still waiting for her.
Tony tried his best to avoid looking at the empty desk that stood across from his. He could understand why Gibbs wanted to leave the NCIS after the incident at MTAC, but still it hurt like hell to see that empty desk. NCIS would never be the same without Gibbs barking orders and slapping the back of his head.
It had been a month, a month without any calls or messages and that hurt even more. It made Tony want to lay down and cry but he couldn't do that. He couldn't be mad at Gibbs for forgetting about what they had shared before the explosion, it had been new for both of them. But the look in his boss eyes as he handed him his badge and gun, had sent him some hope. The recognition, regret and something else in those ice blue eyes had sent shivers down his spine. But he started to think that it was really over.
Tony sighed as he closed his eyes, trying to erase the empty desk from his mind. Maybe it was time for him to move on. The Director seemed to think so; she controlled his every move and her eyes looked at him accusingly.
God, he really wanted Gibbs back.
The phone on his desk started to ring, bring him back from his thoughts and he picked it up, answering with his surname first.
"Special Agent DiNozzo, I'll be down in ten minutes and I'm expecting that you will call Abby and Dr. Mallard to be there then." The sound of the Director's cold voice made the hair on his neck stand up.
"Yes, Madam Director." Tony said in a short voice. "May I ask why?"
"Agent Fornell called." She said in annoyed voice. "Apparently someone has set a price on Gibbs head. I'll tell you more when I come down."
"Yes, Madam Director." Tony hung up and told Ziva and McGee about what she just said, then he called Ducky and McGee called Abby.
Just as they hung up their phones Director Shepard walked down the stairs and strode into the bullpen.
"What is this all about, Madam Director?" Ziva asked. She was the only one that the Director didn't look at like she wanted to bite their head off.
"Agent Fornell called to warn us and Gibbs that someone of his enemies has set a price on his head, not killing him but wanting to get him"
"Who?" McGee dared to ask but looked away from her as she looked at him.
"He didn't know but Fornell knows that the guy would do ANYTHING to get to Gibbs, apparently." Her voice was chilling as she looked at McGee and then at Tony.
The elevator announced the arrival of Ducky and Abby, Director Shepard was just about to say something when she saw that they wasn't alone.
Stepping out of the elevator behind them came three armed and masked men. Before any of the NCIS agents could open their drawer and grabbed their guns, two of the men pointed their guns at Abby and Ducky's head.
"Hands on your desks." The third man said. "Or Dr Mallard and miss Scuito will be shot in their heads."
Tony, Ziva and McGee did as they were told, planting their hands palms down upon their desks and then the men shoved Abby and Ducky into the bullpen.
"What do you want?" The Director asked in a demanding voice.
"We want you to sit down there, behind Special Agent Gibbs desk, hands on it like the others and then keep your mouth shut until you are spoken to." The man said as he pointed at Gibbs desk.
The Director did as she was told. Then the man turned and pointed his weapon at Tony.
"Special Agent DiNozzo, I want you to stand up so Dr Mallard can sit down at your desk. Then I want you to go and get a chair for miss Scuito. Don't try anything or she will be shot in the head." The man behind Abby set his weapon against her head, Abby looked terrified so Tony looked her in the eyes and sent her a little reassuring smile as he nodded and walked over to get a chair to her.
Ducky was moved so he was sitting in Tony's chair, Tony was told to position Abby's chair next to the Director and he did it.
Tony looked at Abby with calm green eyes and so she felt a bit safer, then he turned to the armed men, his hands half raised showing that he held no threat.
"What now?" He said in calm voice.
"I want you to cuff Agent McGee and Officer David to their chairs with their own handcuffs. Do it slowly." Tony nodded and walked towards McGee first, fishing out his cuffs before doing the same with Ziva. Three guns was pointing at him and followed his every move. When he was ready he moved into the aisle and looked at the man who had spoken.
"Good, now I want you to do the same with Director Shepard, using Special Agent Gibbs cuffs." Tony moved towards Gibbs desk when one of the guns was shoved hard into his side. "Don't try to use the gun that lies beside them." The voice was without any emotions, Tony nodded before doing it. He didn't look at the Director as he cuffed her to Gibbs chair.
Then he was told to do the same with Ducky using his own cuffs and then Abby with a pair extra that was hidden in Gibbs desk than none of them had known about.
After Tony had secured his friends and the Director, he turned around and looked at the armed men with defiance in his green eyes.
"And now what?" His voice was still calm but had a fierce tone in it.
The man who had done the talking walked up to Tony, grabbed his arms non gently and spun him around then he fished out a plastic cable tie out of his pocket. Then he forced Tony's arms behind his back, put the cable tie around Tony's wrist and tightened it. "It isn't to tight, huh?" The man said with his voice colored by a smile as he pushed Tony forward into the aisle, making the agent stumble and go down his knees.
"No!" Abby screamed, the fear evident in her eyes.
But before any of the armed men could do anything, Tony was on his feet and looking at Abby.
"It's okay Abs." He said in a calm voice. "Just relax and this will be over soon."
Abby nodded as Tony looked at her straight in the eyes. Then he turned around and leaned onto his desk. His eyes was on the armed men, daring the men to touch her but they kept away.
Then the man who seemed to be in charge walked over to Tony, positioning himself in front of the young agent and stared him in the eyes. Tony met the stare, the man had brown eyes, with calm and showed no emotions as his mind raced. Who was these men? How could they know so much about the office and the team? His thoughts were interrupted when the man spoke again his eyes still on Tony.
"I want to know where Special Agent Gibbs is." The man looked around the bullpen before continuing. "I want to know if he is on vacation or undercover, I want you...", he pointed at each of them ,"to tell me where he is."
So they don't know everything, Tony thought as he looked at Ziva and McGee. They met his eyes and understood, they wouldn't tell anything about Gibbs. Tony was going to handle the talk.
"If you are gonna look at someone, Special Agent DiNozzo, then look at me!" The man grabbed Tony by the chin so Tony was looking at him again.
"Sorry but you aren't that nice to look at." Tony said with a sarcastic tone as he smiled and he heard Ziva snicker. The man's brown eyes widened at the insult and then he hit Tony hard in the stomach, knocking the wind out of the agent.
"Tell me where Leroy Jethro Gibbs is!" The voice was very angry now.
Tony tried to control his breathing as he straightened himself up to look into the brown eyes.
"No." was all he said.
This time the fist connected with Tony's cheekbone, making him see stars and almost fall but the man had grabbed his shirt so he didn't fall.
"Stop it!" Abby yelled and Ziva looked at the man with murder in her eyes. Be quite miss Scuito or you will be next."
"Don't you dare to touch her." Tony stood up on his feet, ignoring the dizziness and looked into the brown eyes. He was a half head taller then the armed man, so he had to look up at Tony to keep the eye contact.
Tony had murder in his eyes, so the two other armed men stepped closer to them as the tension grew between the agent and their leader.
AN: BIG thanks to PYRO who helped me with this chapter. Tell me what you think and the rest will be up soon.