A/N: This is another very long story. It is, as usual, focusing on Tim. It is rated T for an in-depth look at the subject of suicide and psychological trauma. It also contains the occurrence of multiple homicides. I have made every effort to address these serious topics both realistically and with respect. It is not my intention to be insulting. I hope you will enjoy it and if you feel I have done anything either inaccurately or callously, please let me know.
Disclaimer: I own nothing of the NCIS franchise, either characters or setting. Quotations are referenced when they come up. I do not claim them.
Tim opened the door to his apartment and slowly stepped inside. He was exhausted, thin and stretched. This day felt like it had lasted years, that body in his parking space, Gibbs, the look of betrayal on the faces of the team. So many people had died in the last month. So many...and they were no closer to finding the killer than they had been on the day that Petty Officer Johnson had given the warning.
How much of that lack of progress was his own fault, Tim didn't know. He'd be lucky to still have his job when this was over...after all he'd done...and not done. Guilt warred with his exhaustion, each feeling battling for supremacy. Gibbs hadn't even slapped him. That was the worst thing. Tim knew that the Gibbs' slaps were teaching tools. The fact that Gibbs had foregone the slap when Tim had admitted to tampering with evidence pretty much proved that he had crossed that invisible line.
He looked around his apartment. It seemed almost like it belonged to a stranger. What had happened to Timothy McGee, the by-the-rules agent? Where had he disappeared to? Tim thought about what was left. There wasn't much...except the guilt. He felt the guilt so acutely it was amazing that he had managed to hide what he'd done for as long as he had. He may as well be an out and out criminal after this. He hadn't meant for this to turn out the way it had. There had been no planned crime, no intention of alienating everyone at NCIS. No one was supposed to get hurt...
He was so preoccupied with his thoughts that he almost missed it when the voice started speaking.