(Sorry this update took so long but kind of lost my mojo on it. But don't worry i have never not finished a story yet. Precious)
"Who the hell are you and what are you doing in McGee's Porsche?" Tony raged at the dark haired, athletic man who sat frozen in surprise, staring at the armed agents surrounding him. He quickly threw up his hands, his eyes darting around anxiously.
"I just was going for a drive Officer."
"Did you steal the car? And DO NOT lie to us. We are not having a very good day and I would hate to accidentally shoot you" Ziva growled and the man leaned away from her.
"Steal it? No! No. You've got the wrong idea. I know the owner, Timothy McGee from way back. We went to MIT together. He helped me with some of the harder stuff and I tried to drag him out of the classroom every now and then. I haven't seen him in a while and then he just turns up out of the blue."
"McGee was here? Recently?"
"Yeah sure. I leant him my bike. He said he was thinking of getting a bike and I suggested he try it out for a few days before spending some serious money on one."
"Wait....a bike? What sort of bike?" Tony glared and the man quickly stuttered out an answer.
"My Harley. He's got my leather jacket and helmet as well."
The man nodded insistently and tried to smile winningly as if he could convince them of his story by simple enthusiasm.
Tony rolled his eyes "Seriously isn't that a bit dramatic even for McGee? He's on the run from the law and suddenly he's a leather wearing biker? What is he the Wild One now? "
The man kept staring anxiously at Ziva's gun.
"He did kind of ask me to keep his car in my garage until he got back. I'm not on his insurance you see. But, well it's such a great looking thing I couldn't resist taking it out for a little spin. You know sun shining, perfect sports car sort of weather?"
Ziva smiled with sharp teeth and the man pulled back alarmed, pushing himself deeper into the leather upholstery.
"Clever McGee. He knew we would be looking out for his car and anything that he might have hired. And he isn't the sort of man to steal a vehicle. We are just lucky you are crappy at following instructions. Now tell us exactly when you saw him and exactly what sort of bike he is on"
Tim looked at his Mother as she smiled down at him. The bright sun shone down through her pretty hair and the summer floral print dress she wore swirled around her. She smelled like vanilla and warmth and roses. He though she was the most beautiful women in the world. He watched as she walked away and extended her hand to slip it into his Fathers. His Father smiled and snuck a kiss from her cheek while his brother made revolted gagging noises.
"One day you're going to want to kiss a girl you know"
His Father spoke with warm authority and winked at him and Tim heard his own boy self laughing hysterically at this impossibility.
"Can we go play now Mom please?"
"Now stay safe, you hear me? You two look out for each other and don't go too far"
Tim called out frightened as he looked around the sunny park and found he was suddenly alone. A swing twisted in the breeze, its seat empty. The picnic blanket was still spread out across the ground, cluttered with crumb filled plates and sticky plastic cups. His brother's football lay abandoned in the grass. He spun in a frantic circle searching desperately as a sense of panic filled him. Nothing. No one. Everyone was gone.
He was alone.
"DON'T LEAVE ME!"
Tim woke in a full sweat and he sat up panting in the dark, the sound of his mother's voice still clear in his mind.
"Now stay safe, you hear me? You two look out for each other and don't go too far"
"...don't go too far"
His heart racing, he adjusted slowly to his miserable surroundings, taking in the sunlight still leaching through the bent slats in the blinds and the ugly heavy chain around the ancient television and wiped the sweat from his brow. The scent of a woman's fragrance was gone and all he could smell was a stale musty smell of old sweat and dust. His exhaustion had finally gotten the better of him and he had hired a cheap Motel room. His vivid dreams hadn't helped his rest though.
"What am I doing?"
Tim found himself talking out loud. He had shot someone who had watched over him. He was on the run. He had borrowed a motorbike from someone the team had never heard him speak of and would never think to look for. He was leaving behind everyone who cared about him. He had been going out of his way to burn every bridge he could think of. What was he planning? Was he really going to kill the man that had been responsible for the death of his parents?
Could he even do it? Was he really the sort of man that could stand in front of someone, look him in the eye and kill him, regardless of what he had done to deserve it?
It had seemed so clear. He needed to protect Sarah. He needed to end this anxiety after decades of fear.
But suddenly every argument he had had with himself seemed wrong. If he was doing this to protect Sarah who would protect her when he was in jail? She had been accused of murder and nearly raped and she had simply been trying to study for her English finals. He might remove one danger but it only left thousands he couldn't anticipate.
Was his own life so worthless? What if he died in this foolhardy attempt? He would never see Sarah get married, never meet her children. What about the parents who loved him enough they took in a stranger's child and loved him as their own? How would his parents, both the living and the dead feel about having a son who after all their love and warm teachings became a murderer?
He became an agent to defend the innocent, not to break the law and run off on some foolhardy revenge. Death as an end was a child's concept but he was a man now and he knew there was a more complex path. He would have to live with his actions every minute of the day.
A thousand images swirled up in Tim's mind of summer holidays and friends and birthdays and Christmas's. Of laughter and paper planes and friendship. He was throwing away everything he had ever been taught because in a moment of terror it had seemed easier. Easier to end the fear than to live a life based on it.
What had he done?
Sobs welled up inside him and Tim found himself crying helplessly as he sat on the lumpy, squeaky mattress. He mourned the child he would have been and the man that he still was.
Gibbs. He had shot Gibbs. He had shot the man that had trained him into a seasoned agent and who had trusted him to watch his back in the field many times.
Tim groaned unhappily and dashed the tears from his eyes with the heel of his hand. He needed to face the music. His career was over but the sooner he ended this the sooner this nightmare might be over. The shorter the list of stupid things he would have to confess to. If he handed himself in that had to be better than being tracked down and dragged back to Washington.
Preferable to being shot down by a friend.
Oh God what had he done? What had he been thinking?
He took a deep breath and with shaking hands Tim turned on the burn phone he had purchased and dialled a familiar number.
Gibbs walked back into the bullpen with a tight smile that was more of a sad grimace on his face.
"It seems that your brother has finally come to his senses. He phoned me. He is turning himself in. He wants to see your father first to explain in person and then he is coming here."
Tony blinked at the sudden change of events and cocked his head trying to understand.
"So are we going to bring him in then?"
"No. He asked me to trust him. He's going to see his Father and then he is voluntarily going to hand himself over to NCIS"
"And you trust him to do that?"
Gibbs just looked steadily at Tony and Tony nodded to himself.
"Right. Of course you do. It's just well, you know he SHOT you and I thought there might be a little breach of faith there but hey..."
Tony trailed off as he watched Gibbs make quick phone calls to Ziva and then down to Abby, the latter's squeals Tony was sure could be heard from outside the Navy Yard. When Gibbs put the phone down he turned back to look at Tony, his eyebrows raised knowing the younger man was just bursting to speak to him again.
"He just phoned you? Just like that? What, sorry I shot you, can I come home now?"
Gibbs turned his considering blue gaze onto Tony for a long still moment and Tony wished he had kept his big trap shut.
"Yeah, something like that DiNozzo. Would you prefer to be out there hunting him down Tony?"
Tony shook his head furiously "No, No Boss I was just surprised that's all I mean. Probie seemed to be doing pretty well at keeping ahead of us and obviously he knows how to keep secrets and it seems he had plenty of cash to....."
"Tony!" Gibbs glared at his Senior Agent in frustration.
"Shutting up Boss" Tony ducked his head and loudly shuffled papers on his desk, trying to look effective and failing.
Gibbs left the bullpen, disappearing up the stairs at a run to update Vance on McGee's change of heart and Tony turned back to Sarah McGee. He saw the different emotions crossing her features, relief, anxiety, confusion and he smiled softly and put his hand on her tiny one, feeling a bit protective and big brotherly himself.
Sarah nodded, blinking rapidly but he noticed she didn't say anything and Tony decided to stick with what he did best. Keep everything light hearted and hopefully it would all work out and Sarah wouldn't cry. He was never very good with crying woman.
Tony pulled up a security camera shot of Commander McGee from when he had visited the previous day and turned to Sarah with a mischievous grin.
"Poor McGee. I don't think your Father is going to be very happy with him. I wouldn't want to be in that room when they have that conversation"
Sarah stared at the plasma and then frowned back at Tony. Then she narrowed her eyes and looked at the slightly grainy footage again.
"Uhhh that's not my Father. I mean it's pretty close but that not him"
Tony's smile froze on his face.
"Well who in the hell is McGee going to talk to?"