Tower of Strength
Disclaimer: NCIS is not mine.
A/N Tower of Strength is like nothing I've ever written before. This is just an experiment for me. I want to find out how far I can push myself as a writer before I back off and say no, I'm not going there. So please bear with me, I'm not sure how this is going to turn out. Thanks to my beta, Kandon Kuuson, for all his hard work. Also, this was inspired by his current fic, 'Choice of Morality' and the season two episodes of Criminal Minds 'The Big Game' and 'Revelations'.
I'm also not sure how quickly I'll get to update with the next chapters. I've reached the final five and a half weeks of year 11, the teachers are piling on assignments, and exams are coming up soon. Therefore, I'll be bogged down with study and assignments for the next month or so. Please be patient, I'll try to update when I can :)
Warnings: Dark!Fic, torture
Rating: T for adult themes, however, the rating may go up at a later stage
Summary: He survived gunshots, stab wounds and even the plague . . . but can he survive one man using him as a pawn for revenge?
'If it will feed nothing else, it will feed my revenge.' - William Shakespeare (The Merchant of Venice)
'SNAP,' the sound carried on the air as the twig snapped in two by the darkened foot. The shadowy figure froze and looked around rapidly. It was silent, he sighed in relief. Taking another step forward, he jarred his foot on a solid object. He cursed and looked down. He saw a rough edged log, which was decaying as it laid on the moss-covered ground.
It was hard to see, the figure had no flashlight. The only light came from the round full moon, illumining the trees in an eerie glow. The night was cool. The sky was empty of clouds. It was the perfect night for such a meeting.
He pushed passed an overgrown bush before setting his sights on the run-down old house. The figure walked swiftly towards the house, pausing only to remove his beanie. His dark brown hair tumbled out and fell into his eyes. He pushed the offending strands out of his eyes before he pushed open the door, without knocking.
The figure walked along the hallway. He peered into each room, looking for signs of life. It wasn't until he came to the final room on the left that he saw the man he was seeking.
Pushing the door open, the figure nodded at the man who was sitting in one of the two chairs.
"Keller," the seated figure stated. Keller nodded again. "Good, I see you found the place easily enough."
"Yes." Conversational skills and bedside manner was not Keller's strongest point. "McIntyre?"
"Yes, yes, welcome," McIntyre smiled and gestured with his hands for his companion to be seated. "Welcome to my humble abode." Unlike Keller, McIntyre was all charm.
Keller didn't crack a smile. "How much?"
"My dear boy, down to business already?" McIntyre tut-tutted, with an easy smile. "All work and no play . . ."
"I am here on business." Keller cut McIntyre off with a frown.
"People these days," McIntyre sighed, "but if that is what you wish. Let's get on with it."
"Target?" Keller asked curtly.
"NCIS Special Agent," McIntyre replied, all traces of a kind man vanishing off his face.
"Yes, Naval Criminal . . ." McIntyre started, but Keller hastily cut him off.
"Yes, I know what it is," he hissed. "I have worked against NCIS before."
"Then this should be no problem," McIntyre smiled, but it wasn't an easy smile like before.
"Nothing is a problem," Keller said firmly. "Name?"
McIntyre shot Keller a dirty look, his face was etched with hatred. "Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs."
Keller nodded. "How would you like it done? I charge extra for strangulation, stabbing, bombing, drowning, torture and beating. Shooting is my cheapest method. No fuss, less mess and a lesser chance of being seen."
"No, no." McIntyre shook his head. "No, I don't want just any old method."
Keller sighed. "What do you want then? Beheading, I've done that a few times before. Burying alive? Starvation?"
"No, no, no," McIntyre repeated, a grin slowly spread across his face. "I want Special Agent Gibbs to suffer."
"Torture, then." Keller was getting sick of this man's games. "On top of the standard price, I charge extra for –"
"No-no," McIntyre said for the third time. "I do not want Special Agent Gibbs harmed."
"Then what?" Keller growled exasperatedly.
"I want you to bring me this man?" McIntyre gently handed Keller a 4x6-surveillance photograph.
"A kidnapping?" Keller raised his eyebrows. "Is that all? My expertises greatly outweigh simple kidnappings."
"Even the kidnapping of Federal Agents?" McIntyre questioned.
"Even kidnapping Federal Agents," Keller said calmly. "You could have hired someone with a lot less prestige than I."
"I want the best," McIntyre stated bluntly, "and from what I've heard, you're the best."
"You heard correctly, but still . . ."
"You bring me that man and I'll double your normal rate," McIntyre suggested. "Plus, I need your expertises once the man is in my custody."
"Why don't you just eliminate this Special Agent Gibbs?" Keller asked.
"Because, my friend, that would be no fun," McIntyre said dangerously. "I need to hit him where it hurts the most."
"This man?" Keller questioned, and let the photo flutter to the floor.
"Yes, my friend, that man," McIntyre repeated, looking at the photo resting on the floor. Staring back at McIntyre and Keller was the smiling face of Special Agent Anthony DiNozzo.