Missing Scene: End Game
Gibbs rounded the corner of his desk and snapped up the ringing phone. "Gibbs." He sat in his chair, but then hunched forward, leaning on his elbows. "Slow down, McGee. Are you hurt?"
Across the area, Tony perked up, no longer pretending he wasn't listening. From his peripheral, he saw Ziva do the same.
Gibbs stood with the phone tucked between shoulder and ear and reached to open his desk drawer to retrieve his weapon. "Tell the police not to touch anything. We're on our way." He hung up. "Gear up, and call Ducky. We've got a shooting downtown."
Tony grabbed his backpack, noticing Ziva mirroring his actions, and joined Gibbs as he ran for the elevator. "Boss? Tim OK?"
The elevator doors open and Gibbs entered. The others followed. "His girlfriend was just gunned down in front of him."
"Amanda?" Ziva slid in behind Gibbs and threw a look of confusion at Tony.
"Is McGee alright?" Tony repeated his earlier question.
The elevator doors closed on Gibbs' silence.
Close behind Gibbs, Tony jogged toward the crime scene. Police and curious onlookers flooded the area. A cacophony of noise polluted the air. The NCIS team ducked under the yellow police tape strung around the scene. Tony's eyes caught and held the jacket-covered body lying on the pavement. One hand, fingers curled gently inward, lay exposed.
Gibbs' voice brought Tony's attention back to the front. McGee stood, looking down at his hands, which were covered in blood. A local police detective stood facing him, speaking softly. He looked up as Gibbs drew near. Nodding when he saw Gibbs' badge, he moved out of the way.
"McGee." Gibbs reached to clasp McGee's arm. "Tim. Look at me."
McGee lifted his head. Shock sat on his features. Without a word, Gibbs gently pushed McGee toward a short brick wall and urged him to sit.
"Are you hurt?"
McGee shook his head. He closed his eyes. "It's Amanda's blood."
Gibbs dropped to one knee. He hadn't loosened his hold on McGee's arm. "What happened?"
Tim's eyes squeezed shut tighter, then he blinked them open. His head snapped up and he caught Gibbs' gaze. "It was Kai. I saw her."
Tony backed up and looked around them, even though he knew the professional hit woman was long gone. "She was here?"
"She must have been aiming for McGee and shot Amanda by mistake." Ziva's quiet observation drew McGee's eyes to her.
"No, I don't think she was trying to kill me." He stood and Gibbs stood with him.
Ziva looked puzzled. "But why would she want to shoot Amanda?"
"Because Amanda wasn't who I thought she was." His gaze returned to Gibbs. "I knew something was wrong, Boss. I could feel it in my gut."
"Any woman that beautiful fall for you that fast – I felt something in my gut, too." Gibbs's glare quieted Tony and he took a step back. "Sorry, Boss." Now wasn't the time for jokes.
"I – I couldn't sleep last night. I knew when she left NCIS yesterday that something wasn't right. I never told her about my job, or where I worked."
"Yet she showed up at your office, unannounced." Quickly putting two and two together, Ziva joined in the conversation. "That's what tipped you off."
"Was she stalking you?" Tony moved in closer.
McGee looked down. "She had a gun. She was going to kill me." He lifted his head. "Her voice changed – I mean her accent. I think it was Irish, or something. She said she wanted Kai."
"How'd you disarm her?"
McGee shook his head. "I didn't. Right after she said that she was hit. Two bullets struck her in the back. I – I caught her as she fell. There was – blood, and I looked and couldn't see – no, I saw her. I saw Kai, and then she wasn't there." He swallowed, then looked at Gibbs. "She saved my life."
"Amanda was going to kill you."
McGee looked at Tony and nodded with the statement.
"And Kai saved your life." Confused, Tony glanced at Gibbs. "Am I missing something here? Wouldn't an international hit woman hell bent on killing our director want to hurt one of us rather than help us? I mean, what better way to get to the director?"
Surprised, Tony took a small step back. "I am?"
The corner of Gibbs' mouth curled with a quick grin. "We need to find out who Amanda was and get this cleared up." Gibbs looked around at the gathering crowd. "Ziva, get the camera. You and I will process this scene and get any information the LEOs have managed to gather." He lifted his chin in Tony's direction. "You go with McGee back to his place so he can get cleaned up, then head back to NCIS so we can get some questions answered."
McGee shook his head. "I don't need a babysitter, boss. I'm fine."
Gibbs disagreed. "I don't want Kai deciding she doesn't need to leave any witnesses behind and come back to finish what she started here. Tony, you go with McGee. Don't let him out of your sight. Keep your eyes open."
"OK, boss. Come on, McGee. Looks like I'll be your bodyguard. Guess that makes me Adam Baldwin and you Chris Makepeace."
A slight scowl on his face, McGee grimaced.
"It could be worse." Heading for the car, Tony stopped to lift the yellow tape for McGee to duck under.
"I could be Kevin Costner, which would make you Whitney Houston."
Clean, new shirt, hair slightly damp from his shower, McGee sat silently on the ride back to NCIS. Uncomfortable with the quiet, and imagining what McGee might be going through, Tony decided to break through his silent companion's thoughts.
"You really liked her, didn't you?"
McGee turned away to look out the window. "Don't start, Tony."
"I wasn't. I just – I could just tell when she came – your voice, and the way your face lit up when you saw her –"
"Yeah, I really liked her." McGee sighed deeply and crossed his arms. "Satisfied?"
Tony pressed his lips together and kept his response to himself. He waited until they'd passed through security and he'd parked the car and turned off the engine. When McGee reached to open the door, Tony hooked his elbow and stopped him.
"Listen, Tim. I'm sorry. Really."
Instead of looking at him, McGee looked down. He kept his hand on the door handle. "She was just so – perfect. If I had sat down and made a list of all the things I want in a woman, she would have fit that list."
"Amanda would have, and did. But that woman we left lying dead on the street wasn't Amanda."
"She changed so quickly. She went from sweet, shy, innocent Amanda, to some weird lady with an accent I could barely understand with a gun in her hand pressed against my gut. How could she do that? How could she be so believable and make me think she liked me, was falling in love with me one minute, and morph into some crazy murderer the next?"
"Maybe she wasn't pretending."
McGee's head snapped up and he looked at Tony. For a brief moment, he saw understanding in Tony's sad eyes. But he found he couldn't allow himself to believe that. He shook his head. "No, she never loved me, Tony. That's the one thing I'm sure of through all of this."
Tony smiled. "You'll find someone one day, Probie." He reached for his door and got out of the car.
"You will, too, Tony," McGee answered quietly to himself, then joined Tony.