CHAPTER 12

From behind the mirror Ziva and McGee were standing leaned against each side of the wall, watching Cassandra who was sitting by the table in the interrogation room. She was cuffed and looked rather pale... paler than a redhead normally did.

"She seems calm", Ziva said and tilted her head a bit as she watched the non-existing body language of Cassandra as she just sat there, motionless.

"She won't be for long", Gibbs' voice suddenly said, and McGee jumped by the sudden sound. Gibbs looked at McGee shortly:

"Nervous, McGee?", he asked the younger agent, who looked a little startled and then managed to shake his head:

"No... No, boss...!", McGee replied and cleared his throat as Gibbs opened the door to the interrogation room and walked inside.
Cassandra looked up at him as he walked around the table, eyeing her like a lion who had just spotted a prey. However she didn't flinch or show any signs of intimidation what so ever. Gibbs placed his palms on the table and leaned forwards a bit, looking at her with his icy stare:

"What was your motive?", Gibbs simply asked. Cassandra let out a small sigh:

"I told you that three times already... And why am I even here and not in a jail cell?", she snapped back as she rubbed the nail of her thumb against the table plate's edge. The cuffs were annoying, linking her hands together in front by a chain.

"Well, tell me again", Gibbs said as his glance pierced her to the bone. She didn't seem to notice though. Leaning back in the chair, she looked at the older man:

"You didn't answer my question", Cassandra merely said and Gibbs narrowed his eyes:

"I ask the questions and you provide the answers, got that, Miss Jenkins?", he said in a monotone voice. Cassandra let out a small laugh.

"Maybe I want a lawyer", she said and tilted her head a bit, looking at Gibbs:

"However this is quite fun. I think I'll play your game... Just don't bore me", Cassandra said and dug her nail into the table plate. She really felt like strangling this very annoying, older agent right now... but something about the situation intrigued her.

"Oh, I won't...", Gibbs just said and sat himself down in a chair opposite her. Studying her stone-like face, Gibbs folded his hands in his lap and sat back.

"You a catholic, Miss Jenkins?", Gibbs asked and a small smile spread on her face:

"So observant", she just said, looking down on the tiny pearl rosary around her neck.

"That's why you symbolically crucified your victims", Gibbs said as if he was talking to himself.

"Using splinters from the tree that Aaron hanged himself in...", he said, noticing how the corner of her mouth twitched just a tiny bit. It was only for a split second though.

"You couldn't handle how everyone in the class passed... and your cousin didn't", he continued. This time Cassandra's gaze moved from the mirror to Gibbs' blue eyes:

"WRONG! Anyone can fail a class... However it's different when your best friend sells you out", she said in a low voice as her green eyes sparkled with rising anger. Gibbs just looked at her:

"DiNozzo did what he had to...", Gibbs said, but Cassandra immediately cut him off:

"NO, he didn't!! He sold him out and now he's dead!!", she snapped, and Gibbs added:

"Just like Thomas Hannigan and Joe Phillips... however they didn't choose it, you did", Gibbs said and shoved some pictures in front of her – pictures from the two crime scenes. A little smile appeared on her face as she looked back at Gibbs:

"They deserved it... Aaron didn't ", she said flatly and tilted her head a bit to the side as she studied Gibbs. The agent placed his elbows on the table:

"You're looking at several life sentences, Miss Jenkins... Care to tell me, where Corey Davis is?", he asked as his glance pierced her again. However she just smiled:

"I guess you'll never know....", she said. Gibbs let out a small laugh:

"Oh, we'll know", he said and Cassandra smiled again, but there was no emotion behind the facade. She wasn't even trying to claim any sort of innocence... in fact she seemed proud of what she had done and showed no remorse. But Gibbs knew her soft spot perfectly well:

"So how does it feel to fail?", he suddenly asked and this time a glimpse of emotion showed itself on Cassandra's face. A weird mix of hate and sorrow rose in her glance. She didn't answer.

"Your master plan failed... you tripped on your own arrogance, Miss Jenkins", Gibbs said and sent her a small smile. He knew he had the upper hand.

"You didn't think any of us read Playboy?", he added with a grin and watched as her facial expression became increasingly angry and kind of desperate. Still she didn't answer, she was just looking at him. She might have lost the battle... but not the war. Yet.

"Oh, and DiNozzo is doing just fine", he added and looked at the anger bubble to the surface as she sat there with a stone face. Why had she left that damn bunny clue?!

"Anything else, agent Gibbs?", she then suddenly said in a monotone voice and looked at him. She looked defeated. Gibbs just picked back up the photos and then looked at her shortly:

"Nope", he said casually and got up from his chair and waved at her to stand up. He would get much more out of her next time, and Gibbs was determined to break her down.
She stood up and he led her to the door out of the interrogation room:

"See you in court, Miss Jenkins", he added as he grabbed a hold of her upper arm, leading her out of the room. As they exited Ziva and McGee were waiting and both sent Cassandra a glare capable of killing. They walked down the hallway, Ziva and McGee behind them, to deliver her to the waiting officers in the entrance hall.

"Hope you like the sight of bars", Ziva said and smiled a sarcastic smile. However just as she finished the sentence, Cassandra spun around, reached out her hands and snatched the gun right out of Ziva's holster, knocking Gibbs into the wall. Ziva immediately reached out for the gun, but with a movement as fast as lightning – the barrel of the gun was in Cassandra's mouth and a loud 'bang' sounded. Everyone closed their eyes for a split second... Except Gibbs, who saw how the wall was sprayed with blood as the bullet penetrated Cassandra's brain. Silence fell...

"Oh my god...!", McGee burst out, first to break the deafening silence. Completely pale as a sheet he turned around and pressed his now sweating forehead against the opposite side of the wall. Ziva just stood there and looked at Gibbs:

"Boss, I... I...", she started, but he butted in:

"If you're gonna say 'sorry' – spare me!", he said in a strict voice and looked back at the gore in front of him. He then looked back at Ziva:

"I guess she didn't like the sight of bars", he just said and strode out of the hallway just as some security guards came storming in, almost tumbling into him. They stopped dead in their tracks as they saw the mess in front of them:

"Jesus...", one of them burst out as they started dialling for assistance with a clean-up. Just as Gibbs walked out of the hallway, his phone rang:


"Yeah, Gibbs", he said.
"This is doctor Grames from Bethesda Naval Hospital. Mr DiNozzo is in bad shape, we had to restrain him", the doctor said. Gibbs' eyebrows immediately shot up:
"What?!", Gibbs burst out and the doctor continued:
"He has been moved to the psych ward on the third floor", he said.
"I'll be right there!", Gibbs said and shut his phone, hurrying to the car.


**

As Gibbs ran down the hallway, bumping into a few nurses on his way, he finally reached door number 11 on the psychiatric ward. From the room he heard some noises, that he couldn't quite place and almost out of breath he ran around the corner to the room – and there was Tony strapped tight to a hospital bed by his wrists, torso and ankles. By his side was a bald man with glasses, holding a notebook as he was writing on it with a pen, looking very concentrated. Tony was squirming and immediately noticed Gibbs – and the expression of recognition was quickly displayed on his face and he seemed to calm down a little.

"What is going on here?!", Gibbs demanded, and the bald man jumped, almost dropping his pen as he looked up at the grey haired man suddenly in the room. Getting up from the chair, the rather chubby man offered his hand to Gibbs:

"I'm James Forry, I'm a psychiatrist", he said, but Gibbs didn't accept the handshake:

"That's not what I asked", Gibbs just said and looked the man with quite a beer belly up and down. The man sighed:

"I will have to know who you are, are you a relative or...", he started, and Gibbs couldn't help but roll his eyes and flash his badge again. The bald man corrected his glasses and took a good, long look:

"Agent Gibbs... I don't think that Mr DiNozzo is capable of visitors right now...", he started, but Gibbs butted in:

"Like hell he is! Besides YOU're here!", Gibbs spat and approached the hospital bed:

"Why did you retrain him?!", he asked angrily, and the man looked at him over the edge of his glasses:

"Because he was violent and hysterical, possibly because of severe PTSD", Dr Forry said and Gibbs looked at him:

"Violent?", he asked and frowned... Tony violent? That just wasn't possible.

"We think it was the mix of the many drugs he has in his system that triggered a delusional state of mind and...", the doctor started, but was interrupted:

"Gibbs, please get these off me...!", Tony's voice said and both of the men's heads turned. Tony was looking at Gibbs, as he lay there, almost completely incapable of moving. Dr Forry looked back at Gibbs with a kind of surprised look on his chubby, shaved face:

"That's the first coherent thing he has said in an hour", he said and Gibbs walked up to Tony and put his hand on the bed's metal frame again:

"Consider them off, DiNozzo...", he said as he started to loosen one of the light brown leather wrist restraints – however dr Forry immediately grabbed a hold of Gibbs' wrist:

"No, you can't do that!", he said strictly, but Gibbs just slowly turned his head and looked at him:

"Yes I can and yes I will", he said and pulled free his arm as he started to work on the buckle on the cuff-looking restraint. Dr Forry stepped back a little:

"If you don't stop right now I will call security. Agent Gibbs, this man is considered dangerous!", he said as he face was starting to redden from anger. Gibbs didn't even look at him as he freed Tony's bruised left wrist:

"This kind of treatment is more dangerous than he will ever be. I'll take him into custody myself...!", Gibbs said as he started working on Tony's right wrist. Almost all of the time Gibbs had eye contact with his senior agent, who was looking at him with gratitude and all of the sanity Gibbs could think of. No, Tony hadn't lost his mind... He had lost pretty much everything a man holds sacred, but not his mind. Gibbs could see it in his green eyes.

"If you sign the release form, then maybe it can be done, but I must insist...", Dr Forry started, but Gibbs turned around and glared at him:

"Then go get it!", was the simple order out of Gibbs' mouth as he started working on the fixation belt. He looked at Tony again, studied the marks, cuts and bruises on his face. But mostly the hurt look in his eyes. Dr Forry was hesitating to leave and Gibbs let out a sigh:

"I can handle him, just go", he said and nodded his head towards the open door. Finally the bald psychiatrist seemed to give up and walked out the door, shaking his head.
Tony swallowed and his eyes seemed to become a tiny bit wet:

"Thank you...", he said and Gibbs just nodded as he sent him a smile:

"You'll be fine, DiNozzo", Gibbs said as he finally was able to free Tony's ankles. With a groan Tony sat himself up on the hospital bed and rubbed his sore wrists.

"What happened earlier?", Gibbs asked and looked at Tony, who was actually gaining eye contact with his boss now. However Gibbs was still careful not to touch him.

"I... I don't know, boss. It kinda clicked", Tony said and his cheeks seemed to flush with red. Gibbs merely smiled to show Tony that it was okay.

"When I.... saw that needle...", Tony said, but trailed off and Gibbs nodded to make sure that his senior agent knew that he understood:

"It was a flashback", Gibbs said and Tony licked his lip and nodded.

"I need to get out of here, boss", Tony suddenly said and staggered to his feet – he almost fell and Gibbs automatically reached out his arms to stop the fall, but Tony regained his balance and managed to utter a slight panicky:

"No..."
The older man immediately backed off:

"Alright...", he said just as Dr Forry came back in with some papers and small pill bottles – Tony immediately eyed him and Gibbs could see him tense up.

"Easy...", Gibbs said and he could see Tony's jaw clenching, making the muscles visible. However he seemed to calm back down. The doctor had noticed too:

"Are you sure you want to take Mr DiNozzo out of here?", he asked and Gibbs took a few steps forwards and snatched the release form out of his hand:

"Yes, I am and...", he started, but this time Tony interrupted him:

"And I'm right here, I'm not some vegetable you can talk to in third person – by the way, thanx for the stay, real nice bondage - and good thing with the vacancy, I know it's often crammed inhere, unlike your brain, so if you'll excuse us – we have a
life to return to", Tony said in a fast, sarcastic tone and walked for the door. Both the doctor's and Gibbs' eyebrows rose in surprise at this sudden, almost humouristic outburst – Gibbs doodled his name on the form and quickly followed Tony out on the hallway, leaving a flabbergasted psychiatrist behind.
As he walked up to Tony there was a small smile on his face:

"Sure told him off, DiNozzo", he said and Tony turned his head and briefly smiled at his boss. Yes, he actually smiled.

"Felt good?", Gibbs asked and this time a genuine grin spread on Tony's face:

"Hell yeah", he said as they walked for the exit in a slow tempo in order not to exhaust the battered Tony too much.

"Hey, you forgot these!", Dr Forry's voice said behind them and Tony just stopped with a sigh while Gibbs turned around, looking at the man. The bald man handed Gibbs two pill bottles:

"It's mild benzodiazepines for the shock... just to take off the top...", he said and added:

"One pill morning, noon and night", he said and looked over Gibbs' shoulder at his patient who seemed to be frozen in his track.

"I'm not taking any pills", Tony murmured, but Gibbs and Dr Forry ignored him as Gibbs took the pills and walked back to Tony.

"Let's get out of here", Gibbs said as he looked at Tony, who nodded.

As they got in the car Tony had a little trouble sitting comfortably in the seat... his entire body ached like acid had been poured over it. Both on the outside and inside. Gibbs noticed:

"Trouble, DiNozzo?", he asked and fished up one of the two pill bottles from his pocket, offering it to his senior agent. Tony shook his head:

"I want painkillers, not zombie medicine... think I had my share of that", he said in a low tone of voice and didn't even look at the bottle Gibbs offered him.

"Are you sure?", Gibbs asked, but Tony didn't answer. He suddenly seemed far away in thoughts. Gibbs managed to take a look at him as they stopped by a traffic light:

"DiNozzo?", he asked in a paternal voice. Tony seemed to glare into space, but then a small grin appeared in the corner of his mouth:

"Now THAT's what I call legs that won't quit...!", he just said and Gibbs frowned:

"What?", he asked and DiNozzo was still staring into the air:

"The girl on the rollerblades, boss", he said, the grin still plastered on his face. Gibbs looked at the sidewalk – and there was a brunette on red rollerblades, in tight sports clothes, working her way down the street. A smile immediately appeared on Gibbs face:

"So is it good to be back?", he asked and Tony smiled:

"Yes. Yes, it is, boss. I just hope that... she gets a lot of jail time", he said and seemed to lose interest in the rollerblade girl. Gibbs let out a small sigh:

"Too late for that I'm afraid, DiNozzo", he said and watched as Tony's head snapped to the side, his eyes wide again, but before he could start asking how she escaped or avoided being proceeded against, Gibbs said:

"She shot herself. Right outside of the interrogation room. Snatched Ziva's gun... She's dead, DiNozzo", he said and for a moment Tony seemed completely flabbergasted. Silence fell. Gibbs didn't quite know how to interpret that silence...

"Oh, there's another one!", Tony suddenly said, pointing at a blond woman carrying a brown paper bag from the nearest grocery store.

"It's impolite to point", Gibbs said as a grin spread on his face again.

"Sorry, boss. Would you say an eight or a nine?", Tony asked as he studied the woman and Gibbs let out a laugh:

"She looks like a nine", Gibbs said as he turned the wheel and drove down the street, looking for the nearest pharmacy:

"Let's get you some painkillers", he said and smiled.

"And pizza", Tony added.

"And pizza", Gibbs laughed as they drove off.


Later two notes was found in Cassandra's apartment, one of them reading:

YOU MISSED THE BUNNY, NCIS

- The gamer

And the final note, found under a coffee table read:

I SEALED YET A FATE
ON MILLS ROAD 98


- The Gamer


THE END