Ten Months Later
"We know who it is?" McGee asked as he used his hand to shield his eyes from the early morning sun.
"It's our informant." Daniel confirmed as he motioned towards the body sprawled on the pavement just outside the warehouse door.
McGee took a moment to survey the seen. There was only two people, other than him and Daniel, at the scene. "They see anything?" He asked as he followed his brother towards the body.
Daniel shook his head in the negative. "Metro Police received an anonymous call at five this morning reporting a dead body. We lost contact with our man two hours prior to that in this area and figured the worse. We were, unfortunately, right." He stopped once they reached their destination.
Kneeling down, McGee studied the youthful face staring, blankly, at the sky and breathed out harshly when he recognized it as belonging to First Lieutenant Anthony Nelson, USMC, SGC, SG-8. "When was he approached?" He asked in a tight voice as he stood. Having been injured, severely, on a mission three weeks ago, he hadn't been able to take part in this latest uncover operation due to strict Doctors orders. If he had known Anthony was approached by the very men that killed his father, he would have defied Doctors orders.
"Couple weeks ago. He reported the meeting to General Landry as soon as it concluded. He's been working with us, to try and catch them, ever since." Daniel told him. "You two were friends, weren't you?" He asked after a minute of silence.
McGee nodded and ran a hand through his hair, he was due for a haircut. "I was best man at his wedding nine months ago. I helped him make funeral arrangements for his wife three months ago and just last month he named me Godfather to his son." He took a deep breath and let it out. "How many more are they going to kill before we stop them? First Dad then Airmen Dawes and Dawson, and finally Tony. How many more innocent people, Danny? How many?"
Daniel patted his brother on the arm. "Lieutenant Nelson was able to send us some good intel before we lost his signal. I sent it back to the Mountain for Sam to analyze. We will catch them, Tim. And they will be brought to justice for what they did." His voice was filled with determination.
"I know." McGee said quietly then let his eyes wonder back over to the two cops lingering near the edge of the dock. "Have our people been over the scene yet?"
"Yeah, they finished up right before you arrived, why?" Daniel wanted to know.
McGee motioned towards the cops with his head. "Because LEO's are trained to spot sailors and act accordingly. I imagine they've contacted NCIS to report a dead Marine." He started towards his rental but stopped when something occurred to him; Anthony never went anywhere without his son except offworld and only then was he cared for by a trusted nanny. "Where's Arrom?" He asked as he turned back towards his brother.
Daniel blinked. "Who's Arrom?"
"Arrom his Anthony's son, my Godson. He doesn't go anywhere without him when he's planet side so where is the boy?" McGee was beginning to panic. "Was he with him when this all went down?"
"Nelson was alone." Daniel assured him. "The boy is safe and sound with his nanny. They're staying at the Radisson downtown but first you should consider contacting any family the Lieutenant may have so they can care for the boy."
McGee shook his head. "Tony doesn't have any family and neither did Nareem. His parents died when he was fifteen and she never knew hers. Both were raised by relatives that are now deceased. I'm all Arrom has." With that said he spun on his heel, climbed into his rental, and headed for downtown D.C.
Special Agent Anthony DiNozzo stopped the car right outside the yellow police tape. He climbed out and nodded at the two police officers milling about, waiting for NCIS no doubt. "You the ones to call this in?" He asked.
The youngest one, Officer Martinez, nodded his head. "Yup." He motioned towards the body with his head. "Call came into dispatch at five this morning. We came to check it out and then called you when we noticed the dog tags."
"Five this morning?" Tony looked away from his note pad and at his watch; it was a little past ten. "It took you five hours to call us?" Did the two of them seem a little nervous?
Officer Martinez's partner, Officer Romas, shrugged his shoulders. "It was a busy morning. We responded to two other calls while in route here. We figured if there was a dead body, it wasn't going anywhere." The last thing he wanted to do was mess up the story the other man had told him before leaving. He struck him as the type that could make him and his partner disappear with no questions asked.
Tony looked at them over the tops of his sunglasses. Yup, definitely, nervous. "Something happen you boys wanna share?" Now he was wishing Ziva would have taken this call instead of riding with Gibbs to another one. He closed his note pad, tucked it back into his shirt pocket, grabbed his gear, slipped under the police tape, and began to examine the scene.
"No, sir." Officer Martinez answered, quickly. "Like Ricky said, it was a busy morning. You can check with dispatch if you don't believe us." He pointed out.
"Uh huh." Tony still wasn't believing them but he had no proof that they were lying other than a feeling. "Either of you touch the body?" He knelt down beside the young man, a Marine, if the Semper Fi tattoo on his left bicep was any indication.
"I did when I checked for ID, that's when I saw the tags.." Officer Romas told him, moving away from the squad car and closer to the police tape. "Look..." He looked from side to side before focusing on the kneeling Special Agent. "It was a hectic morning. I swear all the freaks and creeps in the area were out and about causing trouble and such. We got the call to check for a possible DB out here. Before we make it out of the parking lot, we were told to respond to a domestic. It took us an hour to calm the woman down just to get her statement and another hour to arrest her husband, take him back to the station and booked him. We started out here again only to be called out to a car accident. It took us two and a half hours to clear that up. After that we stopped for a quick breakfast, again the DB wasn't going anywhere, and then we arrived here. We saw the body, checked for ID, found none, saw the dog tags, and called NCIS."
Tony knew the two officers were hiding something, his gut was all but screaming it. But their story was plausible and easily checked out. "Alright Officers, I'll take it from here." He dismissed, stood, called Ducky, and went about his job of documenting, photographing, and sketching the crime scene. After that all he could do was wait for the Medical Examiner to arrive.
Two Hours Later
"What do we know about our dead Marine?" Gibbs asked he strolled into the squad room, a cup of coffee held tightly in his hand. It turned out that the scene he and Ziva responded to was nothing more than a hoax concocted by two, very, young Petty Officers that had way too much time on their hands; which wasn't the case anymore thanks to a few phone calls from Gibbs to their Superior Officer.
Jumping to his feet, Tony motioned to the plasma and the picture displayed on it. "First Lieutenant Anthony Nelson, United States Marine Corps. He joined right out of high school on the see the world plan and ended up serving half a tour in Iraq before his twentieth birthday."
"Half a tour?" Ziva inquired as she stepped up beside her partner. She had to admit that the young Marine was handsome in a wholesome sort of way. He kinda reminded her a McGee, the old McGee. "How does one serve half a tour?"
Gibbs took a sip of his coffee before joining the two in front of the plasma. "That's a good question. DiNozzo?"
"Very good question, Boss." Tony agreed then hurried to answer it. He clicked the wireless mouse, scrolling through several screens before stopping on the one relevant. "Ah, here we go. According to the Corps, the First Lieutenant was injured when an IED exploded near his convoy. He was sent state side due to the injuries he sustained. This is where it gets interesting, Boss." He clicked to another screen. "After he was released from the hospital, he was assigned to Cheyenne Mountain where he's been ever since."
Ziva looked away from the picture and at Tony. "So what was he doing here in D.C.?"
"Another good question." Gibbs gave Tony a pointed look only to receive a shrug in return. "Well find out, DiNozzo!" He barked and moved back to his desk. "Next of kin?" He inquired once he sat down behind his desk.
Tony sat down behind his desk and pulled out a copy of First Lieutenant Anthony Nelson's personal file. He flipped through the pages. "It says here that his parents along with his little brother and sister were killed in a car accident when he was fifteen, he was raised by his maternal Aunt. Um, he married nine months ago, a fellow Marine by the name of Nareem Cahn." He paused before continuing. "Man, this guy doesn't have any luck. She was killed shortly after being deployed to Iraq, three months ago. They have a one year old son, Arrom."
Gibbs frowned. If both parents were dead, where was the kid and who was looking after him? "Any emergency contact information listed?"
"Yeah, hold on." Tony flipped back a few pages and skimmed to the bottom. "One Nancy Monroe is listed. Says here she's a certified child assistant." He frowned and looked at Gibbs. "What's that suppose to mean?"
"It means she's a nanny." Gibbs rolled his eyes. "Just give me the number, DiNozzo, then get to work on finding out why he was in D.C.!" He barked and began to dial as soon as Tony began to call out numbers. "Mrs. Monroe?" He questioned when the phone was answered. "My name is Special Agent Gibbs and I'm with NCIS in Washington D.C.. You're in town? Is there someplace we could meet, Mrs. Monroe?"
Fours Hours Later
McGee was frantic when he discovered Nancy and Arrom were missing or at least they weren't at the hotel like Daniel had promised him. He cursed himself for stopping at his own hotel before going; he needed to get cleaned up and change since he arrived at the scene directly from the airport. All kinds of bad thoughts were running through his mind. But after taking some time to calm down and clear his head, he thought about the situation logically. And those thoughts brought him to his current location; outside the NCIS building. Plus the phone call from Mrs. Monroe, Arrom's Nanny, helped too. He took a deep breath, strolled in, flashed his Homeland Security badge, it came in handy more often than not these days, bypassed the metal detector and took the elevator to the correct floor. As soon as the metal doors opened he heard the wales of a child in distress and not just any child, his Godson. Following the boys howls, he ended up standing outside the conference room door. He could easily hear the voices inside begging the boy to calm down but what one year old actually listened to or understood anything being asked of them? Without knocking, he didn't have time for Agency protocol, he opened the door and stepped inside; where he came face to face with his red faced Godson and a haggled looking Mossad liaison officer, Ziva David. He breathed out a sigh of relief when he saw that the boy was okay.
Ziva looked away from the crying toddler when the door suddenly opened. Turning in her seat, her eyes landed on the wayward Timothy McGee, temporarily reassigned NCIS Special Agent. "McGee?" She had to raised her voice to be heard over the pathetic sobs coming from the very loud child struggling on her lap.
"Hey, Ziva." McGee smiled and stepped further into the room so he could close the doors. "How you been?" By this point he was standing beside Ziva's chair so he reached down and plucked his distraught Godson off her lap and cuddled him close; his cries promptly stopped.
Stunned at his arrival, Ziva didn't even stop him from taking her charge, or that's what Gibbs had taken to calling the toddler son of the dead Marine. "What are you doing here?" She had only had the child under her care for half an hour but her nerves already felt frayed and ready to snap.
McGee smiled down into the red rimmed chocolate brown eyes staring up at him. "Shalom, Arrom." He greeted the boy, softly. "It's going to be alright, little man, I promise."
Ziva shook her head and stood. "You know this child?" She had heard him greet the boy by name.
"I'm his legal guardian now that his father is...gone." McGee fought back the ache at losing his friend. "You guys got any leads?" He was curious to know how far their investigation would get before reaching a dead end, just like they had with his fathers case.
"You know I cannot discuss an ongoing case with you, McGee." Ziva was surprised to hear that McGee was the boys guardian but even more surprised that he knew his father was dead. "How do you know about his father?" There was suspicion in her voice.
McGee tightened his arms around Arrom as the boy snuggled into him. "Classified." He had gotten good at using the word.
Ziva frowned and crossed her arms over her chest. "Classified? You do not trust me, McGee?"
"It's not a matter of trust, Ziva, because I do and have trusted you with my life. But this is not the place to discuss matters. I have learned that the walls do, indeed, have ears." McGee explained. "I don't want the others seeing me so can you get me the release forms to fill out and sign so I can get Arrom someplace safe?"
Frown still firmly on her face, Ziva left the room and returned a short time later with the papers he had asked for. "You will tell me what is going on if we are not here?" She questioned.
McGee began to fill out the paper work that would allow him to walk out of the building with young Arrom. "You know more than you let on, Ziva. I know you know what I do, what I really do, inside Cheyenne Mountain. Daniel told me that you have the clearance and have worked with us in the past regarding the Program. But for me to read you in on this...I'll have to get permission." He signed his name at the bottom of the last piece of paper and handed them to her once that was complete he pulled out a business card and handed it to her. "Stop by that address tonight after your shift is over." With that said he stood, a sleeping Arrom in his arms, and left the conference room and then the building via the lesser known back entrance way.
Ziva looked down at the card once McGee had left. It wasn't a business card or at least not once she'd seen before. It was made out of clear plastic and there was an address printed, in black, right in the center. She tucked it away into her pocket, made sure the paper work was all in order, then left the conference room. Her first stop was the Directors Office where she dropped off the stack of papers with Cynthia for the Director to look over and file. On her way back to her desk, she began to think up a story to cover for McGee. By the time she reached her desk, Gibbs was bearing down on her demanding to know where the boy had gone. "His guardian came and picked him up, Gibbs. Was I suppose to stop him?" That sounded like a reasonable question. With a raised eyebrow she watched as Gibbs turned and stomped towards the elevators. Once the elevator doors closed, she sat down behind her desk and began counting down the hours until her meeting with McGee.