A Brother's Heart

By Shellie Williams

Disclaimer: I do not own the characters or places of NCIS.

A/N: Written for the NFA WEE story exchange. Special thanks to Mackie, the Grammar Queen.

Summary: When a young boy is kidnapped by a marine who believes the kid is responsible for his brother's death, the team find themselves cold and wet in the woods. An accident incapacitates McGee, and he inadvertently crosses the marine's path. Can the others get to him before it's too late?

~ One ~

A ding announced the arrival of the elevator. McGee glanced up as Tony strolled leisurely into the office as if the scheduled part of the work day applied to everyone but him.

Ziva stopped working to give him a careful head to toe examination. Perhaps she was admiring the custom slacks and expensive button down shirt as Tony dropped his backpack behind his desk. But no; clearly her wry appraisal was focused on other concerns. "Forget your coat, Tony?"

"And a good morning to you, too, Ziva." Tony plopped into his chair and promptly leaned back to cross his ankles on the edge of his desk.

McGee's exasperation with his co-worker's tardiness gave way to humor. "Yeah, Tony, where's your coat?"

Tony's contented expression morphed quickly into a frown of confusion. It seemed he had finally noticed the coat draped over the back of Ziva's chair and McGee's heavy sweater. "What's with the winter wear? It's a beautiful, balmy morning. Spring has finally sprung, in case you hadn't noticed."

McGee grinned at Ziva. "He doesn't know."

She smirked back at him. "Shall we enlighten him?"

Tony must have read the signs and realized he was being teased. Sitting upright and waking his computer, he began checking his e-mail. Casually, as if it were no concern of his, he remarked, "What am I supposed to know?"

Finished with whatever she was working on, Ziva clicked the last button and smiled while she explained. "A cold front is moving in."

"What?" Dropping all pretense of doing anything constructive at his computer, Tony stared at McGee.

McGee moved to the open area. He aimed the remote toward the plasma and displayed a local weather channel. "See for yourself." He crossed his arms and watched Tony.

The weatherman on the screen waved his hand over the Washington, D.C. area then turned to face the camera.

"We've hit our high for the day, folks. It's currently 65 degrees in the greater D.C. area, but that number will be dropping throughout the day."

"No, no, no!" Tony stood to join McGee, taking the remote while ignoring the grin stretched across his partner's face and increased the volume.

"The cold front is moving in from the northeast, bringing with it freezing rain that will slowly turn into sleet and possibly snow around midnight."

"Someone needs to tell this guy it's spring. Spring, not winter – spring!"

"Precipitation chances will increase from 60% this evening to 100% by early morning hours. No accumulation is expected, because the ground is too warm. Check those outdoor plants and bring in your pets, though. Looks like we're in for a cold forty-eight hours, at least."

"Looks like nobody told him." Gleefully, McGee plucked the remote from Tony's hand.

Gibbs hurried into the office, hanging up his phone as he headed for his desk. McGee muted the volume.

"Gear up. We're heading out. We've got a missing boy. McGee, gas up the truck." Without looking, he tossed the keys then pulled out a drawer and reached for his gun.

"Why aren't the police handling it?" McGee caught the keys and grabbed his 'pack and his coat.

"Because a marine took him. Tony, where's your coat?"

Arm outstretched for his backpack, Tony froze. "Boss?" Realizing Gibbs hadn't slowed down, Tony grabbed his stuff and hurried to catch up.

"It's turning colder later today. Don't you listen to the weather?"

The elevator closed on Tony's look of surprise. But somewhere between changing into their NCIS jackets and gathering their equipment, Tony managed to find a coat. McGee couldn't help his double-take as he watched Tony squeeze into the back seat, clad in a thick, down filled Arctic-looking parka. Now, where the hell -?

No doubt entertained with McGee's expression of awe, Tony shut the door and made a show of adjusting fastenings and closures. "A Boy Scout is always prepared."

Twisted in his seat, McGee frowned. "You were never a Boy Scout, Tony."

"True. But Wayne in communications was. And he visits his parents once a year where they live - in Alaska."

"Of course he does." McGee turned back around to face the front as Gibbs drove out of the garage.