"I'll have what he's having."
Timothy McGee, NCIS Special Agent, ignored the man that had just sat down beside him at the bar. Instead, he continued to stare at his almost full bottle of beer. He had only taken two sips in the hour that he had been sitting there.
The man didn't seem to mind the fact that he was being ignored. Actually, he seemed rather amused by it. "You know, I haven't seen you this quiet since that time Mrs. Elway yelled at you for staring at Jennifer Sayers instead of paying attention in English class."
How'd you..." McGee turned his head to look at the man. "Daniel?" It took him a moment but he was fairly certain that the man was Daniel Jackson, his foster brother. "You look good for a dead man." It slipped out before he could stop it.
Daniel chuckled and took a sip of his newly arrived beer. "What can I say, everybody makes mistakes."
McGee blinked. "Twice?" How could some make the same mistake twice?
"There was considerably more instances than just two but enough about me." Daniel changed the subject. "How you been, Tim?"
"I've been as good as one can be, considering. How about you?" McGee asked.
Daniel took another sip of his beer then pushed it away. He may have developed a tolerance for the bitter liquid, but he wasn't going to take any chances. "I've been good."He wasn't one for small talk, something he picked up from the ever blunt Jack O'Neill. "I was going to call but..." He trailed off and looked down at the woodgrain bar top. "How you holding up?"
McGee pushed his bottle of beer away and sighed. "Dad and I weren't ever close, Daniel. I don't really know what to feel."
"That's normal." Daniel knew first hand what Tim was feeling and going through. "He, uh, he leave a note?" It sounded grim but not for the situation.
"He did." McGee acknowledged as he reached into his rumpled suit jacket and pulled out a evidence bag that contained a single piece of paper. "They released it to me yesterday, professional courtesy." He snorted at the very thought. "Nothing special about it. It's just your run of the mill suicide note."
Daniel took the bag and smoothed it out on the bar top. It took him only a few seconds to read the familiar writing of his foster father. It didn't surprise him that Tim was right. It was your average, run of the mill, suicide note. "I still can't believe he's gone." He shook his head. "I would have been here sooner but I couldn't get away from work." Which was the truth. SG-1, minus Samantha Carter who had relocated to Atlantis, had been working non-stop for a month trying to help the inhabitants of a former Ori occupied world adjust to being Godless for a second time. It wasn't easy but they managed to get them on the right path with promises to check up on them from time to time until they felt ready to be on their own once again. Three days later, mission accomplished, they returned to base. That's when General Landry informed him that several inquires had been made about his whereabouts on behalf of Admiral Timothy McGee Sr's family. He left as soon as he finished the debriefing and report. "Did he seem depressed to you?" He took off his glasses and pinched the bridge of his nose. "Was there warning signs?" He was trying to understand what had happened.
McGee downed the remainder of his beer. "I don't think he committed suicide, I think he was murdered." There, it was out in the open.
"You think he was murdered?" Daniel's thoughts came to a screeching halt. "Why do you think that?" He skimmed over the note again, in case he missed something.
"You're not going to call me crazy?" McGee asked his eyes watering; a sign he had had enough to drink. "Or that I'm finding things where there isn't anything to find?" He sounded bitter and defeated at the same time.
Daniel waited for Tim to finish. "Tell me why you think he was murdered." He prodded, gently.
McGee took a deep breath. "He called me a couple of weeks before he...I was surprised since he never calls me. Never! Anyways, he said these guys came to see him at his office, after hours. They had guns and threatened to...hurt...him and his family if he didn't play ball. He said he hadn't seem them before and I believed him. One of them identified himself as an Agent Sanders with the NID. I had never heard of that Agency before so I checked."
"NID?" Daniel stiffened at the mention of the once dirty Agency. With Agent Barrett in charge, the NID had reformed but there was still a handful of rogue cells, that called themselves the Trust, operating within the United States that seemed to always be one step ahead of those trying to shut them down. "What did you find out about them?" His voice was calm, interested, but not overly so. The only thing that signaled that he knew what the NID was, was his stiff posture.
"I found nothing! It's like they don't even exist! How is that possible? The government wouldn't hide an entire Agency from the people!" McGee seemed adamant. "I checked everywhere and nothing. Not one shred of evidence that the NID is real." He sounded defeated again.
Daniel reached over and patted Tim's arm. "Is there going to be an investigation into his apparent suicide?" He believed Tim, if anybody could pull this off, the Trust could.
Tim snorted. "Nope!" He looked at his foster brother. "Not officially, anyways. I won't drop this Daniel, how can I? We may not have got along but he was still my dad!" He held Daniel's eyes. "I took two weeks off. I have that long to prove that he didn't commit suicide."
"Then I'll help you." Now it was Daniel's turn to be adamant. "I won't take no for an answer, Tim." He knew the other man well enough to know he was going to argue. "I can help you. I have friends that will help."
Snapping his mouth shut, Tim eyed Daniel. "You've changed, Daniel." His voice took on a tone of fondness. "When did you grow out of your shy stage? And when did you get friends that can help in an unofficial murder investigation?"
Daniel shook his head."I can't tell you that, at least not yet. Let me just make a few calls and we can get out of here, okay?" He pulled out his cell-phone and dialed the familiar D.C. number. "Yeah, Cynthia, could I speak to General Jack O'Neill, please? Tell him it's Daniel. Yes, I'll hold."
Tim's mouth dropped open just a bit. "Isn't General O'Neill the new head of Homeland Security?" How did his brother know the General? And apparently his secretary?
"Yup and it hates it!" Daniel said cheerfully just as he was connected to his friends office. "Yes, it's me Jack." He rolled his eyes. "How many other Daniel's do you know? Yes, we just got back. Actually, I'm in D.C." He held the phone away from his ear as it vibrated from a shouted what?. "I need a favor Jack. I need permission to read someone into the project." Again the phone was held away from his ear as an identical what? echoed through the phone. "No, I'm not joking. This is serious." He lowered his voice. "His name is Timothy McGee, go ahead and check him out, he's an NCIS Agent so he should be clean. I need to read him in because there's a chance that his father was killed by the NID." The phone was silent. "Yeah, we can meet you in..." He glanced at his watch. "An hour? Yes Jack, steak is fine. Bye Jack." He hung up the phone. "I hope you haven't eaten because knowing Jack, he's going to buy steaks three inches thick."
"You know General O'Neill? Homeland Security Director O'Neill?" McGee was in awe. "How? When? Where? Wait, steaks? We...we're going to his house?" He was in shock.
Daniel nodded and tossed down a wad of bills to pay for both drinks, that he had pulled out of his pocket when he put the cell-phone away. "He doesn't bite, Tim. Well, not usually." He chuckled and patted Tim on the shoulder. "Come on, I need to clean up before we visit his Generalness. Oh and we need to stop at a pet store and buy a very big box of bones. His dog, Atlantis, is a very affectionate horse!" He was already heading out the door of the bar.
McGee stood and followed Daniel. "I think we need to talk later." He mumbled.
"I agree and we will." Daniel promised. "But after supper. I'm starved." He lead McGee to his car, a black SUV with tinted windows, it was on lone from the Pentagon, so it had government plates. Once they both were in, he started the car and headed for his hotel. The whole way there, Daniel was thinking that they picked the wrong man to kill. Because now he wasn't going to stop until they were brought to justice.