Hi All,

This is my first NCIS fic, being a somewhat new fan of the show. I just started renting the DVDs from Netflix over the summer and started this fic while still in the middle of Season 5. At the time I had no idea how the season would end and what Tony's undercover missions would mean. I decided to finish it that way so even though it takes place sometime in Season 5, it contains no spoilers.

Chapter One

"Tell him I'm sorry…"


Special Agent Jethro Gibbs stomped up the stairs to MTAC not at all happy. His senior field agent had been "borrowed" for more than two days. His other two agents were working their butts off to keep up with the work and it was putting them behind.

He'd been about to call Jenny (or Director Shepherd, as she usually preferred these days) when the request had come down for him to go see her. It was a good thing too since he'd had about enough of this bull…

"Jethro," Jenny began before the door was closed, interrupting his train of thought. If he hadn't been as pissed off as he was he might have actually caught the tremble in her voice. That alone should have been enough to set off all kinds of alarms but unfortunately in his current state of mind he missed it.

"Director Shepherd," he began, deliberately using her title. "I understand that you became quite used to using my senior field agent for other duties while I was away but I have investigations to run and I need him back."

Once again he missed the look on her face. He was too busy trying the old "Gibbs stare" on her. He also missed the pictures on the monitors in the room around him. Not that they were all that exciting. It looked like a Special Op was taking place in a wooded area somewhere, though the agent in the field was not doing a very good job at giving those in MTAC a good view of the area. It looked like the man's head was down – sloppy work.

"Jethro, listen to me," Director Shepherd began again.

"No you listen, Jenny," Her name slipped out, too much time alone with her so many years ago had let it out of him. He didn't even notice and continued. "DiNozzo is MY agent and I need him. You can't keep…"

"Dammit Jethro! Will you listen to me?"

Gibbs stopped, finally catching the quality of her voice, the way she avoided looking at the monitors in the room, the way that her hands trembled ever so slightly.

Something was very wrong.

"What is it?" he asked, his voice softer now but no less insistent.

"DiNozzo," she began. "Tony….he," she paused and then seemed to steel herself.

"I put him on assignment. Two days ago."

"Where?" Gibbs was worried now but that just meant he wanted the facts even faster.

"It doesn't matter, he's not there anymore. He was compromised and they took him…"

"Where?!" Gibbs asked again.

"We don't know. His GPS only worked for a short while and then it gave out. We were tracking his last location, trying to get a fix when he finally flicked on his emergency backup camera."

Gibbs looked at the screens, realizing now what he hadn't noticed before.

The agent behind the camera hadn't moved the entire time he'd been standing there.

"What happened?" he asked, walking closer to the screen, almost as if he could reach out and save the man he now knew to be trapped in it.

Instead of answering, Jenny turned and nodded to the tech in the room and suddenly the screen changed as it went blank and came back on.

A familiar voice came across the speakers in the room – DiNozzo

"Director….I don't know if you can hear me…..I……"

Gibbs heard the effort to speak and it chilled him to his very soul. He didn't want to think of what that meant, hoped that he misheard it, misinterpreted it, anything so long as he was wrong.

"I was taken from my last location and brought here……..not sure where here is though…..I'm in a…….wooded area…..lots of trees……can't see much."

Tony was walking as he spoke, moving his head slowly in every direction exactly as he'd been trained and giving his backup a perfect view of his location. Problem was it was only trees. There was no way to know where he was exactly.

"I will try and find…..shelter…..wait to be found……can't do much more than that I'm afraid……had a bit of trouble with my hosts. They left me with a……parting gift"

The camera panned downwards and Gibbs fears were realized. DiNozzo never had that much trouble speaking, not even while hiking through rough terrain. Hell, the man could flap his yap while running.

So it didn't really surprise him when Tony's camera caught the sight of blood. His hands were covered in it and he pressed them against his body before the camera moved up again as he continued walking.

"If you are getting this Jenny…..do me a favor……tell Gibbs…"

Gibbs watched in horror as the camera wavered and Tony's feet started to give out, weakness and blood loss finally taking their toll. He fell to the ground and Gibbs saw now the same view that he'd seen when he'd first walked in the door just a few minutes ago.

"Tell him I'm sorry…."