Authors note. Sorry again for the long gap between chapters. But the story is nearly done. I am hoping to finish before the end of the year. I also need to thank all my readers and friends for their help while I have been struggling with life and this story. And especially for a special few as if it wasn't for their help the story probably would be abandoned now. Enjoy and thank you.



Chapter 22


The next morning 0700

Abby was packing up the rest of her and Tony's things. It had started to look more like a motel room than a hospital room. She'd finished packing her things and refilled her large cup of Caff-Pow. Jensen had promised a new jug to get her by till they got back to DC so she decided to finish her current jug off. Then proceeded to pile all of his things back into the two large bags that were in the closet.

Then she went through bedside table and collected his cd's, I pod and dvd's. Abby smiled when she saw the special watch where she'd hidden the flash drive. Abby set it aside so she could give it to Tony to wear. She'd laid all the bags onto one side of the bed then remembered to get her friends I Pod and laptop out so he would have something to do on the long plane ride. Digging through one of the duffle bags she found a carryon bag she assumed he had used for his laptop and other personal items. She had just finished putting them in the carryon bag along with some gum and pictures that were inside when the bathroom door opened to show Tony dressed, unshaven and completely exhausted.

"Here Tony" Abby exclaimed ready to help him back onto the bed "Let me help you lie down till Jensen gets here. He promised you a breakfast burrito and a good cup of coffee."

"I can do it myself Abbs." He answered in a very weary voice "Gibbs and the others know we're leaving today."

"They do" Abby answered "Tim and Ziva along with Jimmy went over yesterday and got your place cleaned up and ready for you to come home to. Ziva went grocery shopping and cooked up a storm for you. Sounds like you won't be cooking for a few weeks."

Tony eased himself onto the bed and grabbed for the watch lying on the night stand. "Thanks for finding the watch again. It's my good luck charm. You it saved my life. And have you talked to Gibbs?"

"I have Tony" Abby answered trying not to feel concerned for her friend "And don't look like it's a bad thing. He's been very worried about you. What's wrong?"

Tony immediately clammed up at the thought of talking while so many emotions were running through him all at once. But he felt like opening up when Abby came and sat down beside him.

"I'm actually kind of nervous about going back home." He admitted. "I mean I have been dreaming of this day for months. When I was undercover as a marine seeing everyone and the thought of going home was the only thing that kept me going…"

"Tony" Abby interrupted "It's…."

"No" Tony insisted "Let me finish. I was terrified of seeing you and everyone. Leaving to come here was kind of like running away after all the terrible things I did and said. I am surprised you're even talking to me. I know we talked and worked it all out but I still feel guilty. But I still left things bad with Gibbs. And yeah I know that I talked with Ziva and McGee but I'm not ready to face them and really deal with everything. And I feel bad about leaving things the way I did by not saying goodbye to Ducky and Palmer. And I also have to deal with Vance."

"Hey" Abby answered grabbing ahold of his arm "We know what you were going through. Coming off of that bad mission with the FBI and getting shot. Then being sent to Iraq before you could even deal with everything that had happened to you. And Gibbs feels bad about everything that happened. He was just relieved to see you. You had him worried even though he wouldn't come right out and say it."

Tony was about to say that Abby was wrong when Agent Jensen and two other FBI agents walked in the door. The two men immediately grabbed the bags and started to carry them out to the awaiting vehicle. As they were getting ready to take them away she quickly grabbed the two carryon bags and sat them by the door so that they would go with the other bags. As soon as the two agents left he grabbed a bag that she hadn't noticed earlier.

"Hey Tony, Abby" Jensen said brightly "Looks like you're going home DiNozzo today."

"That's right." Tony said quietly

"You okay?" Jensen questioned

"Yeah, I'm fine. Just a little sore and tired." Tony answered putting his mask firmly into place "Got anything good in that bag?"

"Actually I have some donuts for myself and breakfast burritos for the two of you." Jensen announced "And I have two coffees and a brand new jug of Caff-Pow for Abby here. I can give you guys ten minutes then it's time to go."

Tony watched as his friend walked out the door and started in on his coffee and burrito. He noticed that Abby seemed to want to continue the conversation so he turned to face the other direction. Abby walked over and tried to put a hand on his shoulder. He quickly moved and brushed her hand away.

"Abby" Tony said sadly "I just don't want to talk about it right now. I'm sorry but I just really want to be alone right now."

He planted a kiss on her cheek and turned back away so he could finish his breakfast in silence. What seemed like only seconds Agent Jensen came back to the room to collect them. Tony and Abby grabbed their carryon bags and proceeded to follow him out the door. She turned around to try and talk to her friend but stepped in front of her and took off out the door without another word. She knew Tony was still hurting and decided not to push him. It wasn't worth him shutting down all together so she decided to wait until they got home to try and talk about things.

Thirty minutes later

Thirty minutes later they arrived at a small base air strip. The plane was nothing like Abby had imagined. I looked as fancy as the airplane that had brought them here. She assumed that Tony would be as fascinated as she certainly was. Tony stepped out after she did and whistled as he was what was transporting them home.

"Wow" he said as he pulled his sunglasses out and put them on. "Pretty nice plane Abbs. Certainly a lot nicer than the one I came here on."

"This is one of the newer and one of the most advanced medical transports available." Jensen answered anticipating their questions. "And it's like a miniature hospital inside. I think Abby will be quite impressed with all the equipment in inside. And for DiNozzo, a comfortable place to rest and some very nice nurses to take care of you."

"Sounds nice." Tony answered rolling his eyes "And hot too I suppose."

The three of them climbed up the small ladder and inside the plane. Abby and Tony looked around in awe. Jensen was right, they both thought about the fact that it looked like a miniature hospital. There were hospital beds set up on the first floor of the plane that were nicer than the ones at Bethesda. Both Tony and Abby noticed that there were other floors in the large plane that they were both very eager to explore.

"Time for me to get back to the case." Jensen said as he turned toward the door "Hopefully I'll be back to DC soon. But make sure that you both let me know when you get back to DC."

Abby gave turned and gave him a hug goodbye. And Tony stood up slowly to shake the older man's hand.

"Thank you so much Randy" Tony said as he grabbed ahold of one of the beds to steady himself. "I probably wouldn't be here without you. And yes let me know when you get back home."

"You should be home in a day or so." Jensen said as he started out into the summer heat. "See you soon."

Both Abby and Tony stood waiting for the older agent to step out of the airplane. After he was gone they both made their way over toward two vacant beds. She helped an obviously worn out Tony onto the bed. Then she turned around and sat down on the bed directly across from him. Abby tossed the rest of their things and took advantage of her friend sleeping to take a tour of the very cool state of the art flying hospital. She'd talk to him after they got home and settled back in Tony's place.

Outside the base


Jensen parked his jeep. His thoughts were on how glad he was that they finally had a lead to find Reynolds. Collins was now in custody waiting for him to go interrogate the would be assassin.

Jensen shut the door to the jeep and walked inside the base. He smiled, glad that they had gotten there in time to save both Abby and Tony.

First thing was to see if there was anything more found on the back round of this Collins. They had all felt he was someone else and needed back round on him. The only way to do this was to find out who Collins was. They had finger prints from Collins taken earlier when Abby had gotten suspicious. McGee and Gibbs' team along with his team both had these prints and were running checks. He entered the main room with all the expensive computers. Gibbs had said it reminded him a lot of what they had in D.C. called MTAC.

Jensen's eyes locked on to Agent Sparks' eyes, so he knew the man had gotten something he needed for this interrogation. He got to the desk as the agent handed his superior a file.

"This came over from Agent McGee and I printed it out for you."

Jensen inhaled and then exhaled as he took the file. "Thank you. Do you have anything more on this?" he asked wanting to know as much as he could before going into the room with Collins.

"Yes, I added a few things with McGee's. Sir, you should find it very interesting and I know it will help you with interrogating Collins." The agent said with a smile.

Seeing the smile on one of his agents made him felt better and more confident. He wasn't going to have to go in cold on this one.

"Ok." Jensen sat on the corner of Sparks' desk and opened the file, looked at it for a moment and then at his agent, "Run me through this."

Sparks looked like someone had just wound him up and looked at his own copies.

"First off we found out that there really was a Scott Collins and he did go to Ohio State, where he studied medicine. He finished but couldn't go on to medical school because he couldn't afford it so joined the Marines and became a medic. After his tour he would have gone to medical school with military help. Only problem with that is he was in with Reynolds platoon. Reynolds, as we know is in too many shady things and so are his men and other's this man has come in to contact with over the years." Sparks stopped and hit a button and a photo of the real Scott Collins came up.

Jensen looked at the bigger photo on the screen while thinking of the few things his agent had told him. "Ok, so this is the real guy. What happened to him and where does the fake Collins come in and what is his relationship to Reynolds?" He asked firmly.

Sparks gave a nod, "The real Scott Collins we now believe was killed by Reynolds. Reynolds and his men including Scott where on a road that intel said had IED's. They were supposed to search and extract them. Scott was there in case something happened to a man. We believe that Reynolds knew an IED was in this one place here on the road." Sparks put up another picture of where the IED had gone off and then continued with his explaination.

"What we believe is that Scott didn't want anything to do with what Reynolds and his men were into. He sent Scott over to help a man down, a set up. The man with Scott didn't want anything to do with what was going on either. They set off the IED and both were killed, They took Collins Dog tags off and buried the body only leaving the one man. They then had the fake Collins aka Ryan Johnson, Scott Collins cousin come in. They had to have planted him somewhere. With all Reynolds is into somehow he had someone change all of Collins records to fit Ryan He had photos, DNA and everything else changed to put Ryan in as the now real Scott. Brilliant if you ask me. The incident was investigated and he came out clean, no one the wiser."

The agent smiled but got a scowl back.

"I don't think it was brilliant I think this guy is a lunatic. Now go on." Jensen put the agent in his place and then asked. "Why Collins cousin and how does Reynolds know him?" He then waited for more intel on the questions he asked. He wanted to have time to digest this all and go in with every angle available.

"From what we found out Johnson and Collins were close only Collins was smarter than Johnson. Collins did go to Ohio State from 1998 and graduated in 2002 and then enlisted. DiNozzo went to Ohio State from 1989 until graduating in 1993. Johnson was going to a community college and wasn't doing to well. He fell into a gang, into drugs and got himself a record. The gang was one that Reynolds had been in a few years back. When he was on leave he visited his gang and met Ryan Johnson and they got to know one another. Later on when Ryan wanted to straighten out his act he contacted Reynolds and it was set up. I told you how it went down."

Sparks looked up at his commanding officer to see the reaction. All he saw was the shaking of Jensen's head.

"Jesus, this guy really has his fingers into so much from the start and it just grew to where it is now. Ok, keep going I need the whole story to find and stop Reynolds and Johnson is the key here." Jensen spoke with urgency now.

"Well, from what I understand Reynolds also got Johnson transferred before anyone could see him, but his own men who were in on everything. Johnson aka Collins went to places that Reynolds needed him and got a nice side bonus besides military pay. Johnson now owed Reynolds as he learned more about being a medic and working in a hospital one other time as an orderly. The way it looks is that Reynolds knew this would be the best way to get DiNozzo and the flash drive, so he made sure that Collins was re-assigned as an orderly to that hospital and that floor." Agent Sparks looked up as he finished the briefing of his superior.

Interrogation Room


Jensen slouched into the interrogation room with a bored air about him, his attention on the open file in his hand. He affected to look twice at something, and smiled disdainfully to himself. Hooking the chair from under the table opposite Johnson with his foot, he threw himself down on it with an irritated grunt. Having been through three moods in the five seconds since he walked in the room, he now looked up with a huge smile, and saw that his intention had worked.

The prisoner, having tried to follow his expressions, was somewhat off kilter.

"So... Mr. Johnson, what you -"

"My name's Collins. Scott Collins."

"Sure. Scott Collins is dead. Murdered. Wanted to be a doctor, couldn't afford the study. So he found a way, like the good man he was. You surely don't think I'm going to insult his memory by calling a college drop-out, druggie ganger like you by his name, do you, Ryan?"

The man opposite him's eyes widened, but he bluffed. "I don't know what you're talking about."

"No, of course not. Now, as I was saying before you interrupted me, Mr. Johnson, what you need to know is that those two agents you nearly killed with an overdose of barbiturates – oh dear me, you don't even know what the poison was, do you? Just gave them what your master gave you, didn't care what it'd do – but I digress. Those two guys who're lucky to be alive right now are friends of mine. If they die," (Jensen knew they were out of danger, but there was no need to tell Johnson that,) "how's that going to make me feel? D'you know how sick I am of going to friends' funerals? Putting their bodies on aircraft for their last journey home, like Carlson? Did you think that telling me where they were was going to get you brownie points? You'll have to do a lot better than that, Mr. Johnson."

"I'm not saying anything. I want a lawyer."

"Hello? Iraq? Where will I find you one of those? Let me tell you what I want. Let's start with the bit where I tell you who you are... see, when Reynolds put your prints, DNA, whatever, into Collins' file, he forgot to take them out of your record." He recited neatly all the facts that Tim and Sparks had fond for him, and sat back in his chair with a shark-like grin. "What I want..." he repeated. "I want Reynolds. Preferably his head on a plate, but alive would do."

"I'm not saying anything about him – he'll kill me."

Jensen opened the file as if he hadn't heard, and Johnson saw his own cell phone lying on top of the papers. "If you don't," he said idly, "I'll kill you."

"You can't -"

Like I said, Iraq. Anything goes. All I need to do is push you through the compound gates and out of the zone – somebody'll take care of you, I don't care who, or how." By the look on his face, and the way he gulped, it seemed as if Johnson didn't find that unbelievable. "So let's start with the last time you saw Reynolds. Was I right with my guess? He gave you the phenobarbitone? I was, wasn't -"

Johnson's phone rang, and he jumped. He eyed it as if it were a scorpion.

"Answer it."


"Answer it. As if nothing's happened. I'm not here."

"Wha – what shall I say?"

"Anything you like except that you've been arrested."

Johnson picked the device up as if it were covered in something offensive. "H-hello?" Reynolds wouldn't think anything was amiss because of the tremor in his voice; he was always terrified of speaking to his boss, on the phone or face to face.

"DiNozzo and Sciuto were put on a plane this morning. Did you get that damn chip before they went?"

"N-no... I -"

"Of course you didn't, you useless bag of jelly. You can thank your lucky stars that I've got important things to do right now, or you'd be dead. Still might be some time in the future. Did those two agents see your face?"

"Yes, but they don't know I gave them the -"

"You don't know any such thing. If they're not already dead see to it."

While they were speaking Jensen wrote on a scrap of paper and pushed it across.

"All – all right. What's the important thing you're doing?"

"You really are just as stupid as you were in your gang years. I'm going back to DC to get that chip, and finish off DiNozzo of course." The line went dead.

After that it was easy. Johnson gave up the names of every associate of Reynolds that he knew anything about, what he'd looked like the last time he'd seen him...

Sorry about the rough ending. But thr last chapters will end a lot better