Rated: T...for now; for violence and language—if something gets added to that list, there will be a warning at the top of the chapter.
Disclaimer: I don't own NCIS, but I derive much pleasure by playing with the characters.
Summary: Sometimes it's not enough to just kill...
"Where the hell is DiNozzo?" Gibbs asked as he rounded into the bullpen, tossing his empty coffee cup into the trash can beside his desk.
"I don't think he's come in yet, Boss," McGee said after glancing at the agent's untouched desk.
"I have tried calling his cell phone, but he is not answering," Ziva added.
"Call him again," Gibbs ordered as decidedly made his way back out of the bullpen.
"We got a case?" McGee asked. Gibbs paused and turned to look at him.
"No. But that doesn't give Tony an excuse not to be here," he said and turned back toward the elevator.
"Where are you going, Gibbs?" Ziva asked as she dialed Tony's number yet again.
Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs decided to give his team however long it would take him to walk to and from the coffee shop, to get in contact with Tony, before he would make the decision of whether or not to rip him a new one. But for the time being, he was going to forget about it, get his coffee, and finish it before he got back to his desk.
It didn't take long to get through the line to order. All the faces working behind the counter were familiar and he got his large black coffee in record time. As he walked out and up toward the sidewalk, he heard one of the baristas calling him as he ran out of the cafe and he turned around. "Mr. Gibbs! I'm sorry. Someone came by earlier and told me to give this to you when you came in. I almost forgot," he handed him a folded piece of paper.
"Who gave this to you?" he asked as he took it from him.
"I don't know his name, but he's only been coming by here for about a week. Said he knew you."
"Thanks," Gibbs nodded and the barista gave him a small smile before heading back into the cafe. He opened the paper and held it out so he could read the black ink handwriting.
If you want to find your missing agent, get into the passenger seat of the van across the street.
And that was all it said... Gibbs took a deep breath through his nose before looking up across the street to see the brown van that sat there, parked. He took a long swig from his coffee cup as he pulled out his cell and dialed McGee. When he answered, Gibbs made sure to make the conversation short, "Did you find him?"
"He's still not answering, Boss."
"Talk to the barista," he replied and ended the call, hoping McGee would put the pieces together. He started toward the van as he put his phone back into his pocket. Gibbs couldn't tell if there was anyone in the van, as the windows were tinted. But he wondered if his agent was in the back of that van...and inwardly cursed that he'd left his gun in his desk.
When he reached the door, he took another long drink from his cup and reached for the handle, opening the door and cautiously taking a seat as his eyes came in contact with the man in the driver seat.
"Shut the door, Agent Gibbs," the man said.
"We goin' somewhere?" he asked.
"Privacy," the man cocked his head.
"For you to shoot me?" Gibbs smirked.
The man let out a silent laugh through closed lips as he shook his head, "I'm not going to shoot you. That would be stupid. I just want to show you what happened to your agent." He opened up the laptop he'd been holding in his lap. "If you shut the door, I will show you."
Gibbs took another drink from his cup, then slowly pulled the door closed. "Who are you workin' for?" he asked.
"What makes you think I'm working for someone?" he smirked. Gibbs simply shrugged. "He said you were a good investigator," he smirked. "You'll meet him soon enough. For now, let me do my job and show you the video."
Gibbs narrowed his eyes at him, watching as he typed into the computer before holding it for Gibbs to see. "This is footage from late last night. Well, technically very early this morning." Gibbs watched the screen intently. He could tell, from the start, that whatever they'd set up to record with, was aimed from across the room toward the front door.
The footage started out with a green tint; indicating that the camera was equipped with night vision. But soon, he saw the front door open, and the camera quickly changed to normal as the lights were switched on. Tony closed the door and turned as he removed his jacket. But as he went to hang it, he stumbled, dropping it to the floor before catching himself against the wall.
Tony pressed his hand against his eyes and forehead, seemingly attempting to collect his bearings. He pushed up from the wall, apparently assuming he could walk, but failed and hit the wall again, this time giving up and sliding down.
"What's happening to him?" Gibbs asked without taking his eyes from his agent.
"In time," the man responded flatly.
Gibbs watched as Tony pulled out his phone and attempted to dial, but almost immediately dropped it, and collapsed fully onto the floor. Then there were men in the room, completely disguised in black clothes and masks. One of them wheeled a metallic chest into the room, laying it flat on the floor before opening the lid.
The chest was no bigger than a child's coffin, and apparently they'd intended to use it as such. Gibbs had assumed Tony was unconscious until two of the men picked him up and he began to weakly struggle as they forced him into the trunk. "What're you doing?" Tony mumbled as he tried to fight against them. "No!" They pressed him into the small space with ease even as he flailed about, yelling for them to stop. Then they closed the top and latched it, before one of them walked toward the camera and the screen went blank...
"Where did you take him!" Gibbs glared at the smug man beside him.
"Somewhere you will never find him," he told him. "Unless I take you."
"What the hell do you want from us?" Gibbs felt his heart pounding in his chest.
"I don't have a clue what he wants," the man replied. "That's not part of my job. My job was to show you this video and bring you to your agent. For his sake, I hope you decide to come quickly. He's running out of air."
Gibbs felt his blood boiling. "How do I know he's not already dead?"
The man grinned and pulled out a device resembling a walkie-talkie, "Agent DiNozzo," he said into the device, "Agent Gibbs wants to know that you're still alive."
After a few moments of silent torture, Gibbs heard a response, "Boss?" came the weak voice of his agent, followed by shallow, labored breathing.
"Tony... you okay?" Gibbs asked.
"Please get me outta here, Boss," the fear in his voice made Gibbs' heart sink in his chest.
"You hang on. I'm comin'," he replied, and the man holding the device switched it off. "What do I gotta do?" he asked.
"Give me your phone and your weapon."
"Left my gun at the office," he told him as he handed his phone over.
"Your knife," he said. Gibbs narrowed his eyes at him for a moment. "He knows you carry one," he smirked.
As Gibbs reached for his knife, cautiously, he realized that whoever was running this operation, knew a bit more about his team than he'd originally thought. "What happens to us," Gibbs asked as he handed him the knife, "After you take me there?"
The man powered off the phone and tucked it and the knife into his pocket. "Like so many of your questions, Agent Gibbs, I don't have the answer. I told you my job; I know nothing aside from it." He reached behind him and knocked on the partition separating the front cabin from the back, and after a moment, it was pulled open, revealing two armed and masked men with guns. "Get in the back, Gibbs. Let's get this show on the road..."