Oh God...What happened?...There...there was a bomb!

Gibbs didn't open his eyes, choosing to keep them shut as he brought a hand up to feel his pounding head. His other hand pushed away something jutting into his side, easing this comfort into something more tolerable. Alarms were blaring around him, and as he breathed, he could smell the thick layer of dust and smoke in the air.

How did I survive?

"Gibbs?" He felt someone at his side, brushing away some of the debris that lay on him. "Gibbs, are you alright?"

"Ziva...?" Gibbs slowly opened his eyes, meeting his agent's light brown eyes. "Where's McGee?"

"I just got him up a few minutes ago," Ziva said as she checked him for any noticeable injuries. "He went down to make sure Abby, Ducky, and Jimmy are fine." She paused. "How did we survive that?"

"Got lucky. I ducked behind my desk. You?"

"I as well. McGee was thrown back a bit, but he was covered.

Gibbs let out a sigh of relief. "Is the building being evacuated?"

Ziva nodded. "I don't think any other floor was damaged. We took the brunt of it."

"And Vance?" Gibbs tried to pull himself up, but Ziva kept him down.

"Not yet," she ordered. "You need to stay down for a little bit." As soon as she saw him nod, she continued. "Director Vance was down here when I woke up. He unburied me from beneath my desk."

"Where is he now?"

"SecNav ordered him under protective custody." Ziva scoffed. "He believes that the Director was the intended target. Was he?"

Gibbs shrugged. "I don't know yet."

"Ziva?" Both agents turned to see McGee coming from the stairwell.

"McGee, how are they?" Gibbs asked.

McGee seemed relieved as soon as he saw his boss awake. "They're being evacuated. None of them got hurt, but they felt the explosion. Abby's taking it well. Ducky's with her."

Gibbs pushed Ziva's arm off of him. "Then we'd better get moving now." He allowed her to help him get to his feet. "McGee, what was it that you and Abby had found out?" He watched as his agent stared blankly at the spot where Agent Sheils had stood. "McGee?"

Ziva waved a hand in front of his face.

"Sorry, Boss." He thought for a moment. "Abby was able to detect the sound of waves."

"So Tony's being held in a boat?"

"Greg Hamilton does own a boat at the Western Pier," Ziva cut in. "It was in his file."

"Then let's go," Gibbs said.


By the time Tony heard the door open, he had long ago stopped the tears from flowing. He could feel the puffiness still in his eyes, but he didn't care. Long ago, his remorse had morphed into something more powerful; he had felt the same way when going after Ari Haswari a few years ago, but this was more stronger. He couldn't think straight. His arms began working against the bonds, trying to find a way to break free. After all this time sitting in that chair, they would eventually weaken. The second he heard the door open, he let out a deep, shuddered breath and closed his eyes.

"What do you want?" He asked. "I already told you everything you wanted to know."

"Relax, it's me, Agent DiNozzo," a low, cocky voice replied.

"Where's Greg?"

"He had another engagement somewhere, but don't worry, he gave me special orders for you."

Tony didn't move, not bothering to acknowledge the man who stood before him. His hands rolled into tight fists, and his heart sped up. "You...you lied to me. You're working with him. You've been working with him since the start of all this!"

"You knew what you were getting into when you took the offer," the man replied. "I warned you that things would be complicated."

Tony let out a small cry. "And now they're all dead, you bastard!" He fought against the bonds once more, feeling a small tear in the material. His eyes opened to look into the coldness of the man. "You're a sick son-of-a-bitch, Kort."

Trent Kort casually stretched his neck muscles before leaning in close to whisper into the senior field agent's ear. "I told you to expect the worse, Agent DiNozzo, and you chose not to listen. Your team died for a reason, and you're just going to have to deal with it. Now, are you going to help me bring this man down or not?"

Tony shook his head. "I'm not helping you anymore."

Trent sighed and glared at Tony. Then without another thought, he slammed a fist into Tony's already bloodied cheek. "That's too bad, DiNozzo. You have no choice, really."

As Tony ignored the stinging on the side of his face, he could see Kort winding up to take another swing. Before the CIA agent could hit him, he made one last great tug against the bonds and somehow managed to pull free. As Kort's hand came close, he reached up and stopped it in his own hand, his eyes digging deep into the man's shocked look.

"I. Said. No!" Tony jumped up and tackled the man into the wall of the room, pushing
force onto Kort's throat. He held him against the wall. "Where is he?"

Trent coughed against the pressure. "Don' do 'nythin stupid...DiNozzo..."

"Where?" Tony pressed. When he didn't get a response, he knocked Trent's head against the wall and let him fall to the ground. "Bastard."


It took them a while to push past the ambush in the Navy yard. Gibbs had pushed away multiple oxygen masks and persistent paramedics, dragging Ziva and McGee along with him. One particular paramedic tried to stop him.

"Sir, you and your team really should be checked."

"Don't have time," Gibbs stated, walking past the man, but the man followed.

"Sir, one of you could possible have internal bleeding or a concussion-"

Gibbs stopped by one of the company cars and raised an eyebrow at him.

"Okay, maybe not," the man said, "but you still have to get checked. It's my duty to-" he stopped as Gibbs' annoyance turned into pure intimidation. "-to, uh, make sure...that...you..."

"Just stop before you end up in an ambulance," McGee said, pushing past to get into the backseat of the car.

"He said no," Ziva said, pushing past him. "We have our own duty to uphold." She slipped into the front passenger seat.

"I suggest you get out of my way before-" Gibbs didn't have to finish, smiling to himself as the paramedic admitted defeat with a sigh and hurried to attend to other agents just coming out of the building.


Leon Vance furiously chewed on another toothpick, holding his cellphone to one ear. "I understand your concern, Mr. Secretary, but frankly I don't give a damn about my safety at the moment."

"Leon, this protection custody is for your own good. Your family is already en route as well."

"Somebody just infiltrated and blew up my office on my watch," Vance snapped. "As NCIS' director, I should be on scene."

"Right now, your job is to stay Director of NCIS," SecNav snapped back.

"Then I shouldn't be running away, Sir." He heard a sigh on the other line.

"Leon, we don't know if that bomb was meant for you."

"Sir, with all due respect, I am positive it was a gift from Hamilton."

"Greg Hamilton?"


"How did he get into the building? I thought we had a man on the inside!"

Leon took the toothpick out of his mouth and let out a deep breath. "We have to expect that Agent DiNozzo was compromised and gave up information."

SecNav cursed. "Does Agent Gibbs know?"

"Not yet. I'll brief him and Agents David and McGee as soon as I can contact them."

There was a pause before the SecNav spoke again. "Agent DiNozzo isn't dead, is he?"

"I would hope not, Sir."

"Fix this, Leon."

"Then let me get back to my agents." Vance hung up without another word and held down the number 3 on his keypad. "Gibbs?"