Disclaimer: I can wish in one hand and do you-know-what in the other and they sill won't belong to me. Oh, well.
I'm back with more – are you ready?
Set in season 6 because I needed Vance to be in the picture. No real spoilers.
Sometimes you have to ask. Sometimes you wish the hell you hadn't.
When You're in Boston…
"Did you see that woman standing by the van, the one wearing the black raincoat?" Tony looked up at Ziva's words. She was nothing special to look at but the intensity she watched the scene caught his attention.
"Yeah, she seems pretty interested in what's going on here." He gave her another glance before returning to sketching the murder scene. Some people were naturally voyeuristic, but he wished she wasn't making her son watch the gruesome sight. "Are you thinking she knows something?"
Ziva resisted the urge to roll her eyes at her partner. "She's watching us, Tony, not the crime scene. She was outside the coffee bar this morning; I saw her."
"You sure?" He caught a glimpse of her expression. "Of course you're sure." He stood up to casually wander over to where she stood, but having Gibbs and McGee chase an armed man down the street managed to distract him. By the time he remembered, she was gone.
Rarely did the team celebrate mid-week, but the half price spaghetti dinners at Papa's Pasta combined with closing the case from the day before was reason enough. None of them, however, noticed the woman and the boy standing in the rain, looking through the window at them.
"She's back." DiNozzo's hissed comment to Ziva garnered the boss's notice and he detoured from bringing McGee more evidence bags to confront them.
Tony felt the stare before he turned around. "Hey, Boss."
Gibbs raised an eyebrow. "Who's back, DiNozzo?"
"We've got a fan, that's all."
"A fan?" Gibbs waited for more of an explanation
"She was watching the crime scene Tuesday. Ziva noticed her and thought she was watching when we got coffee that morning too." Tony fought down the urge to scuff the toe of his shoe in the dirt as Gibbs glared at him in disbelief.
"Incredible." Gibbs grabbed his sleeve and dragged him to the back of the van. "You haven't mentioned this before now because…"
DiNozzo tried to downplay even the niggling of concern he had felt earlier. "She was watching us before we got the call out Tuesday, but it's not like she's stalking us or anything."
"You being the expert on the subject?"
"Oh, come on Boss." He continued to make light of the situation. "She's not my type. I only get stalked by beautiful women. Ziva would only be stalked by ninjas and you…" Tony swallowed hard and hastened to continue. "Well, she's not a red-head so we know she's not after you and McGee? Who would stalk the McGeek?"
Gibbs just growled at him and circled around the van, intent on confronting their mystery woman but she and the boy were gone. Frustrated he returned to the waiting McGee and tossed him the evidence bags he needed. "You haven't done anything stupid, have you McGee?"
Tim thought back frantically over his day, but then with Gibbs, he could be referring to just about anything. "Umm, no?"
Gibbs drove the sedan as McGee reviewed the case notes he had compiled. Their interview with the injured Petty Officer had yielded few clues. He was hoping not to incur the wrath of Gibbs and he would incur it if he didn't have any solid leads by the time they returned to the Navy Yard from Bethesda. In the lunchtime crowd Gibbs caught a glimpse of a familiar figure on the sidewalk.
"There she is again." Gibbs strained to look over his shoulder and past the pedestrians to get a better view of the woman. McGee glanced up in the same direction and then quickly resumed his perusal of the files. Something about the younger man's reaction started pinging at that famous gut. "She's been hanging around the team all week; you wouldn't know anything about it, would you McGee?"
The silence following his question was profound. "McGee?"
This time he knew he had to answer. "I'll make sure it's taken care of over the weekend, Boss."
"It's nothing to do…" McGee took a deep breath and pinched the bridge of his nose before continuing in a deliberately calmer voice. "It has nothing to do with the agency or any case we're working. I'll take… I'll take care of it on my own time."
The return of the stutter didn't help Gibbs' confidence in regards to McGee's ability to handle the situation, but it was obvious that the other man was not ready to ask for help – yet. "All right, McGee, you handle it your way, but if it's not resolved by Monday then we are going to have a long talk about it. Understood?"
Gibbs covertly watched him as they returned to the yard. McGee's stubborn streak had picked a lousy time to rear its head but he could be patient. He just wished they had pulled the tip line for the weekend so he could keep closer tabs on his youngest agent.
"Weekend, weekend, weekend, a whole weekend without the tip line." Anthony DiNozzo danced around his desk as he waited for his computer to shut down. "Gonna party with a pretty lady all weekend long."
"Just what pretty lady would that be, Tony?" Ziva watched as she slipped into her coat.
DiNozzo spun around one last time before heading for the elevator. "That is what Friday nights are for, Ziva." He was still humming as he held the elevator door for her. Once they were gone McGee gathered his coat and gloves to make his own escape. He was half way to the stairs before Gibbs spoke.
"If you need help, Tim, just promise me that you will ask."
He hesitated for just a second. "Sure Boss, I will."
For some reason, that sounded suspiciously like a no to the senior agent. He would never admit to worrying about his underlings, but it was going to be a long weekend.