Author's note: Contains graphic non-consensual sex. Be warned.

Chapter 5

Tony wasn't sure whether Gibbs had left to work on the case or to work on Brody Harris. Truth be told, he wasn't sure he wanted to know which. He wanted to know what Gabe had suspected Mike Travers of. No matter what Gibbs said, it wasn't the tooth fairy that Gabe had confronted, it was the man who drove him home. The man he'd described as 'the person pessimists avoid because he's too negative.' Tony knew next to nothing about Travers, but before the day was out he was going to know everything worth knowing.

He glanced at his computer clock and revised that a bit. Before tomorrow was out, he would know everything worth knowing. Three hours didn't give him much time to discover the man's entire history. It gave him plenty of time to Google him, however, and he found some very entertaining references to him on several people's Facebook pages.

The elevator chimed and he looked up automatically to see who it was. Sheila emerged, looking frantic. Tony leapt up and hurried over to her, ignoring the way his bruises twinged. "Sheila, what is it? Are you okay?"

"They won't let us go home," she said tearfully. "I've taken the girls to Ross and Sharon, but I . . . why won't they let us go home?"

Tony put an arm around her and took her over to Ziva's desk where he sat her down. "Sheila, he died there." She gazed at him without comprehension. "It's a crime scene," he added gently.

"Why would he do this? What possible reason could he have to do this to us?"

Tony knelt in front of her and put his hands on her shoulders. "Sheila, look at me." She turned her eyes towards him, but she didn't really seem to see him. "Sheila?" He took a deep breath. "Sheila, I'm wearing make up."

She blinked at him. "What?" Her eyes refocused and she said, "You are. Tony?"

He shrugged. "I've got some bruises. I didn't want to talk about them, so I covered them up."

"How manly," she said with an attempt at a smile. "You should blend it better. Maybe add some green to cut the red."

"Right, I'll do that," he replied. "Sheila, Gabe didn't kill himself. We know that for sure."

"Then . . ." She shook her head. "Then he was murdered?"

Tony nodded. "And we're going to find out who did it. Do you feel up to answering a few questions?"

"I guess," she said. "Tony, who would want to murder Gabe? Everyone liked him."

An unexpected voice made Tony look up to see Gibbs standing on the other side of the desk. "That's what we're trying to find out." Tony stood up and took a step back to let his boss take over. "Mrs. Maitland, I'm Special Agent Gibbs." He held out his hand and she shook it.

Tears still wet on her face, she smiled up at him. "I'm sure you will, Agent Gibbs. Gabe always said you were the best. He was jealous that Tony got to work with you."

"He was a good man, Mrs. Maitland," Gibbs said. "Now, where are your children?"

"Staying with friends," she said. "I didn't . . . it never occurred to me that we wouldn't be able to go home."

Tony went back to his own desk and let Gibbs handle the interview. He was too close to do it himself. He'd spent too many evenings teasing Gabe about how family life had changed him while watching a game on TV, listening to Sheila cheer the Green Bay Packers on, misguided as she was. He retreated to his desk and sat down, listening as Gibbs skillfully got Sheila to open up and talk.

"No, we didn't have much contact with his teammates," Sheila said. "Very different from Agent Howard's team where we had team picnics and outings to the state fair."

"You did meet the others, though?"

"Of course," Sheila said. "Chuck came over with Linda a few times, and we ran into Mike and Terry at a bar once."

"Is Terry his ex-wife?"

"No, his girlfriend. Mike wasn't very welcoming, so we moved on after a few minutes. I've only seen Agent Mayfield in the office."

"I see. So, did your husband talk to you about work much?"

She shook her head. "Not much. If something really upset him, he'd sometimes talk about it, but mostly we didn't talk about work. I mean, I didn't want to spend my evenings talking about obnoxious adolescents, and he didn't want to spend his talking about misbehaving seaman and marines."

"High school teacher?"

"Junior high," she said. "Gabe always says that I get them when they're at their most hormonally challenged." She paused, looking stricken. "Gabe always said . . . I can't believe he's dead."

"I know," he said. "I understand."

She looked at him. "Do you?" she asked. "Gabe told me that he hates – hated – saying that to people when it wasn't true."

Gibbs nodded. "I do, too," he said. "But I do understand."

Sheila was silent for a moment. "Then I'm very sorry," she said. "Do you have any more questions? I'd really like to get back to the girls now that I'm a little less hysterical."

"No, if I have anything else, I'll call you later. Go to your daughters."

Tony got up. "I'll walk you down," he said, giving Gibbs a look to reassure him that he wasn't leaving the yard.

"Thank you, Tony."

He saw her to her car and returned to his desk. By the time he got there, Ziva and McGee were back and reporting. Gibbs raised an eyebrow at him, and he shook his head to indicate that he had learned nothing more. "So, his alibi checks out," Ziva said. "His neighbor was playing World of Warcraft in his front room while watching War of the Worlds . . . I do not understand this country . . . and he saw him pull in at around two-thirty in the morning."

"He could still have gotten back in time to kill him at four in the morning," Tony said.

"Ah, but that neighbor did not go to bed until past five, and he says he would have noticed if Travers had left because the headlights shine right in his window when he pulls in and out."

"So Travers is off the hook," Gibbs said.

"Not altogether," Agent Jacobs interjected, and they all turned to her in surprise. Tony had completely forgotten the woman was there. "He is very definitely involved in the embezzling scheme, or at least in covering it up. I suspect, though, that if you were to look at records of his computer access, they would correspond with some of these suspect transactions."

"But that's a Navy computer system. Why would he have access?" Tony asked.

"Last year we worked together on a task force to try and plug some of the accounting gaps the Navy had in its system. From what I'm seeing here, it looks like Mike created some. Also, I know he probably still has access because I do. I just checked on the off chance, and my login still works. I'll have to let them know so they can fix that."

"McGee, check the computer logs," Gibbs said. "Ziva, did you hear anything about a girlfriend named Terry?"

"Terry Ferguson. She works at Morgan Stanley."

"That would make a great combination, Boss," Tony said. "He steals the money, she makes it disappear."

"Is what you have enough for a warrant?" Gibbs asked Irene.

"For his financial records, certainly. For hers, not so much, unless . . ." She went and sat back down, tapping away at the keyboard. "Aha! It looks like she provided some of the references on this dummy corporation's contract with the Navy. You can subpoena her records, too."

"On it, Boss," Tony said, picking up the phone and calling Legal.

"McGee, get those logs together for me. Ziva –" Gibbs broke off. "Agent Jacobs, are you a field agent?"

Irene blinked. "Yes, I am," she said.

"Ziva, take Agent Jacobs and go pick up Miss Ferguson."

"My gear is at my desk," Jacobs said, seeming startled by the order. After a brief moment of confusion, she walked off towards her desk, and Ziva followed her away.

Tony watched them go and cleared his throat. "Boss, what about me?"

Gibbs turned to him and looked at him for a moment. "Sit down before you fall down," he said, then he turned and strode away towards Walther's team's bullpen.

Tony glanced over at McGee. "I don't look that bad, do I, Probie?"

McGee looked over at him. "Truth?" he asked.

"Yeah, McGee, truth."

McGee grimaced sympathetically. "Sit down before you fall down."

Tony sank into his chair. He felt fine. Really. Except for the aches in his shoulders and the way his arms felt like lead. There was a faint throbbing in the bumps on his head, and he was beginning to feel a little tired. But he felt fine, really. He lowered his head to his desk.

"Why don't you go home, Tony?"

"I'm not allowed," Tony said to his desk.

"Not allowed?"

"Nope. Be glad he didn't tell you to take me home like he told you to take Abby."

McGee was silent for a moment. "Tony, what's going –"

Tony sat up and held up a finger. "Not another word, Probie," he snapped, but then he winced, kind of spoiling the effect. Moving so quickly made everything hurt, and his head protested vehemently. "I don't want to talk about it." He put his head down again. The tapping of McGee's keys gradually lulled him to sleep.

Tony unlocked his door and walked into the apartment. He hung up his jacket and put his pack on the floor. All he wanted right now was a beer and a movie where the bad guys got their lumps and the good guy got the girl. Something where good and evil were clearly defined. He swung through the kitchen and grabbed a beer, but as he came out the door into the living room, he felt arms encircle him from behind, reaching for his belt. "Surprise," Brody murmured in his ear.

"Brody, not tonight," he said, startled that he hadn't realized the other man was present. "I am so not in the mood." Brody had been getting damned pushy lately, and Tony just wanted to vegetate tonight.

Brody whipped Tony's belt out of his pants and dropped it on the floor. "Oh, I can get you in the mood, Tony."

Tony put his hands on Brody's, trying to stop him from unbuttoning his pants. "I don't want to, Brody. It's been a rotten day and I just –"

"I can make it better," Brody said, and he nibbled delicately on Tony's ear. "Come on, just a little fun."

"Brody, no," Tony said, leaning away and trying to get out of the circle of Brody's arms. The other man didn't release him, and he felt his zipper going down. "Brody, I said no."

"Come on, Tony, make me happy. Then we can do whatever you want."

"Brody, let me go, I said –"

The arms grew suddenly hard, and Tony felt a flutter of unease. "I want this, Tony, I need this. Give it to me." He started walking them towards Tony's bedroom, and Tony shook his head.

"Brody . . ." he protested, but Brody wasn't listening. He basically dragged Tony into his own bedroom and then, grabbing his waist, turned him around. "Brody, I –"

Brody grabbed his neck in both hands and took advantage of the mouth opened to speak to kiss him intensely. Tony put his hands on Brody's shoulders and pushed, but Brody didn't even budge. The other man was already all but naked, only wearing the bathrobe he kept leaving here. His hands dropped down to Tony's waist again and rid him of his pants.

Tony was getting the picture. Brody wasn't interested in what mood he was in. He made another attempt when Brody broke the kiss to nibble on his ear. "Brody, I don't want to do this tonight."

Brody grabbed his wrists and pulled Tony's hands off his shoulders. He forced them together behind him and held them in one hand. Tony remembered occasions when this had happened before when he hadn't minded so much, but he opened his mouth to object. Brody cupped his free hand over it, and Tony stared up at him in alarm. "Shut up, Tony," he said harshly, and then he started undoing shirt buttons.

Short of fighting him off, which was more effort than Tony felt able to put in right now, he wasn't going to be able to persuade Brody to back down. He just stopped protesting. Brody took the shirt off him, getting a little impatient and ripping some of the buttons off.

"Brody, that was an expensive –"

"Fuck the shirt!" Brody snarled, and, releasing Tony's hands, he pushed him backwards onto the bed. Tony's butt landed against the footboard, and he let out a yelp of pain. Then Brody was on him, dragging him up the bed, his hands under Tony's butt, kneading and squeezing. Maybe if he didn't do anything, Brody would get the hint. He lay unmoving under the other man's roving hands and mouth. He wasn't really any rougher than usual, but it felt that way with Tony not joining in. And Brody didn't seem to care much that Tony wasn't responding to his advances. He flipped him over, yanked his boxers down and spread Tony's butt cheeks wide, pulling him up onto his knees to facilitate access.

Tony shook his head. "Brody, come on, I –" His voice cut off on a startled gasp as Brody shoved a finger into him without lubrication. "No way man, you are not going to do this dry," he said angrily, shifting to push away. Brody grabbed his hips and held on, his grip hard and bruising. Tony felt another flutter of dismay. "Brody, not dry," he repeated.

"Then shut up," Brody growled. He bit down on Tony's shoulder, and Tony clenched his teeth. It hurt more than it should, but he wasn't sure that Brody wouldn't go through with the implied threat, so he didn't say anything else. He closed his eyes and listened to the sound of Brody warming the lube in his hands. Brody took less time preparing him than he usually did, and when he thrust in . . .

Tony sat up sharply, his hands flat on the desk. He was breathing hard, and he could feel his hands shaking. "Tony?" McGee said, and Tony realized abruptly exactly where he was and that he wasn't alone. Ziva was staring at him from across the way, and Gibbs . . . Gibbs had that mildly quizzical look that meant he was preparing one zinger of a question.

"I have to hit the head," he said, hoping his voice sounded somewhere near normal, and he got up, stumbling a little on legs that weren't sure they were ready to go from sleep to walking quite so quickly. Rigidly controlling himself, he hurried out of the bullpen, thankful that it was now so late that they were the only team present. He fled to the safety of one of the stalls where he closed his eyes and rested his head against the cool granite. Why the hell would he be dreaming of that at work? It was an unpleasant incident, but it was months ago, and . . .

At the time Tony had believed that if he'd been more emphatic, if he'd just struggled harder, he could have gotten away. It had somehow made his surrender more bearable to think that he could have stopped Brody if he'd wanted to badly enough. He couldn't be sure, now, looking back on that night and several other nights when he'd refused and Brody had forced the issue, that Brody wouldn't have stopped no matter what he did. He'd certainly wanted to have sex the night he'd punched Tony for 'cheating' on him with Abby.

Tony rubbed his face with his hands. He couldn't think about this now. He had to get back to work. God knew what had happened while he slept. It was past three in the morning, so the fact that no one had left yet indicated that the case was still hot. He stood up and walked out of the stall. Pulling off a few paper towels, he wet them and washed his face. The make up came off, and he examined the bruises on his chin. He could see Brody's thumb and fingers imprinted on his skin.

Morbid curiosity overtook him. It was past three but not yet four, so the likelihood was that there wasn't much of anyone else in this part of the building. He pulled his shirt off and took a look at the bruises on his arms. He hadn't wanted to look when he'd taken his shower that morning. His upper arms showed clear, overlapping handprints. His wrists were practically solid bruise, purple, green and yellow. The bite on his neck was clarifying into a purple ring of teeth surrounded by greenish skin.

The door behind him opened, and he froze. In the mirror he could see McGee standing in the doorway, eyes wide and appalled. "Tony, I'm sorry, I didn't – I wasn't –"

Tony started pulling his shirt back on. "Close the door, Probie," he said harshly.

"Oh . . . um . . . right." McGee came the rest of the way in and closed the door. "God, Tony, Gibbs said you had a stalker, but I thought it was like Abby."

"What do you mean, like Abby?" Tony asked.

"I didn't think anyone was actually hurting you. I mean, Gibbs seems so calm."

Tony snorted. "Gibbs has a good game face, Probie. I thought you knew that."

"I guess . . ." McGee was looking troubled. "What did he do to you?"

"If I wanted to talk about it, McGee, you'd already know," Tony said. He was regaining his equilibrium. "Aren't you going to use the facilities? Or did you just come in here to admire my physique?"

"Tony, you can't just brush this off. You look like someone's been –"

The door opened behind McGee, and Tony looked in the mirror to see Gibbs staring at McGee. "I thought I told you to go home."

"You did. I am . . . I mean I had to . . . and I just . . . I didn't mean . . ."

"I'm leaving," Tony said. Gibbs backed up out of the way, and Tony left McGee staring after him. He hoped McGee would start asking Gibbs questions and draw his attention, but no such luck. Gibbs followed him. "Where are we on the case, Boss?" Tony asked.

"Actually, I was just about to go in and have a chat with Theresa Ferguson."

"In the head?"

Gibbs shrugged. "After I checked on you. Bad dream?" Tony glowered at him and started to speak, but Gibbs cut him off. "That's what I thought. How are you feeling?"

"Like I want a large Vicodin cocktail," Tony said with a sigh.

"I'm not surprised."

"Do you want me to come in with you?"

"So you can snore a confession out of her?" Gibbs asked. "Effective as that might be, I'm going to say no."

Tony concealed the hurt he felt at being dismissed like that and said, "If you want to snore a confession out of someone, try Ziva. She snores like a drunken sailor with emphysema."

"I heard her, too, DiNozzo," Gibbs said. "I'd rather you observed on this one."

Tony nodded and went into the observation room where he found Ziva already waiting. "Anything interesting happen while I was asleep?"

"Travers confessed to his part in the embezzlement and fraud, but he says he did not kill anyone."

"The more I think about it, the more I don't buy him as the killer anyway," Tony said. "It was pretty clumsy for a trained investigator to leave those glasses in the sink for one thing." Ziva nodded.

"Finally!" Terry Ferguson said as Gibbs entered interrogation. She was a dark-haired woman, dressed in expensive jeans and a designer top even at three in the morning. Her make-up was perfect, her hair was styled. This was a woman to whom appearance was important. "I've been waiting here for three hours,"

"Have you?" Gibbs asked mildly as he sat down. "I'm Special Agent Gibbs, and I'm in charge of this investigation."

Her back straightened, and she glared at him. "How dare you come to my house at midnight and drag me down here to sit for three hours?"

"Three and a half hours, to be exact," Gibbs said. "You'll have to forgive me, I do have a few other things going on." She huffed irritably. "You haven't asked why you're here."

She rolled her eyes. "I'm suspected of embezzlement, or that's what I was told."

"Are you guilty?" he asked, his eyes wide with innocent curiosity.

"No, but if I was, do you think I'd just tell you like that?" Ferguson shook her head, clearly annoyed by Gibbs' whole demeanor.

Tony blinked. "This is an unusual tactic."

"It will work," Ziva said. Tony looked over at her curiously. She was watching with a slight smile on her face.

Gibbs chuckled. He actually chuckled, and then said, "A man can hope, can't he?"

"Hope," Ferguson snapped back with a grimace. "That's all men do is hope. They get bright ideas, pie in the sky dreams, but it takes a woman to make them happen."

"Really?" Gibbs said.

"You see it every day in the banking business. You get a man coming in to give this incredible presentation, but right behind him is the woman with the mock-ups and the business plans and the stick-to-itiveness to see it through."

"I suppose that's true."

"Damn right, it's true. Men are dreamers, women are planners, doers. Every great accomplishment in this world has happened because of a woman working behind the scenes, and are men grateful?"


"Sometimes is bullshit. I spend weeks planning presentations that my supervisor takes to meetings and gets full credit for. Does he even mention me? I'm just the little woman behind the scenes, no college degree, just an assistant." She laughed. "When I leave, he's never gonna know what hit him."

Ziva made a small sound of appreciation. "She was like this in the car, too. Could not stop talking." Tony could see where this was going now. Gibbs was going to let her hang herself with her own words.

Gibbs tilted his head. "You're going to quit your job?" he asked curiously.

She got a wary look at that question. "No, not any time soon."

Gibbs nodded. "Well, we've been talking to Mike –"

"Now there's a dreamer for you. All sorts of ideas, but no staying power."

"Which is where you come in?" Gibbs asked.

She made a face. "He needs pushing to get things done is all."

"And you do that for him?"

"Sure," she said with a shrug.

"Can you tell me about your movements on Tuesday?"

"I guess. I went to the gym at six, I do weight training, and then I went to work. Mike said he would be busy all night, so I went out to a movie with a friend of mine."

"Name and number?" Gibbs asked, pushing a pad of paper across to her. She looked both puzzled and alarmed, but she wrote the name and number down. "Weight training, huh?" Gibbs said while she did that. "How much can you press?"

"About three hundred," she said.

Gibbs nodded. "Must have come in handy on Tuesday night."

Again there was a flash of alarm. "I don't know what you mean."

"You don't?" Gibbs tilted his head. "Hmm . . . go on with your day."

"That's it," she said, shrugging. "Trish and I went to a movie and stopped for a bite afterwards, and then I went home and went to bed."

"Did you go out during the night?" She shook her head. "Did Mike call you?"

She nodded. "Around seven he called and . . ." She rolled her eyes. "He's kind of a romantic."

Tony glanced at Ziva. He wouldn't have pegged Travers for a romantic. Ziva shrugged.

"So he called to . . . what?"

"To tell me he loves me. Just sweet talking."

"And is that the only time you heard from him on Tuesday night?" She nodded. "And Wednesday morning?"

"I didn't hear from him at all on Wednesday morning."

"Where was your cell phone that night?"

"On my nightstand."

He looked through the papers he'd brought in with him. "I have cell phone records here that show him calling you at 0213."

"That would be 2:13 in the morning?" she asked. He nodded. "I had the ringer turned off."

"The records show a fifteen minute call."

"He must have left one hell of a long voice mail message, then."

"You haven't checked your voice mail since Wednesday morning?"

She blinked at him. "I . . . what are you trying to say?"

Gibbs shook his head. "Nothing, I'm just trying to clarify things. So, you're saying you didn't answer the call he made at 0213 on Wednesday morning?"

"Yes, I'm saying that."

"So, if you haven't checked your voice mail, then his message should still be on there. Can I hear it?"

"It's private," she said, shaking her head.

"It could be relevant to an NCIS investigation. I could get a warrant, but it would look better if you gave it to me yourself."

She stared at him, and Tony could see the wheels turning in her mind. A subpoena would just reveal the fact that there was no such message, and he'd lay odds that McGee could find that out for sure. "Okay, I talked to him, but he was talking crazy," she said. "I didn't want to get him in trouble."

"What was he saying?"

"It was all about how one of his co-workers had figured out he was doing something wrong and had called him on it. He was freaked out and said he had to do something about it."

"And now we have the blaming of the accomplice," Tony murmured. "Like clockwork." Ziva shot him a grin.

"Do what?" Gibbs asked.

"He didn't say. He was just rambling."

"What did his co-worker catch him doing?"

"This embezzling stuff, I guess," she said. "I don't know, I wasn't involved."

"Really?" Gibbs pulled out some papers. "Are you familiar with MCA Investments?" From there it went rapidly downhill for Ferguson. Gibbs roped her firmly to the embezzlement scheme, and she finally admitted to it. She seemed to think they were done, but Gibbs shook his head. "As it happens, you were misinformed as to why we wanted to talk to you," he said.

"What do you mean?" she asked, her brows drawing together.

"When Mike called you on Tuesday night, did he tell you who the co-worker was?"

She nodded. "Gabe. I met him once. A regular boy scout. I knew there was no way we could buy him off."

"I see, and you said earlier that Mike told you something had to be done about it?"

"He said he was going to do something about it," she corrected.

"What did he say he was going to do?"

"He didn't. Just that he had to do something, but the guy committed suicide, didn't he? And you guys found out all about it anyway, so I guess it doesn't matter."

"Actually, Agent Maitland did not commit suicide," Gibbs said.

"But Mike said . . . wait, you're not saying that Mike killed him?"

Gibbs shook his head. "No, I'm saying that you killed him. You wouldn't trust something like that to Mike. You just said it takes a woman to get the real work done."

"You're crazy! If that guy was murdered, then Mike did it."

Ziva chuckled. "You were a little early."

Tony shrugged. "She was laying the groundwork. Not very bright, is she?"

Gibbs shuffled out another piece of paper. "Mike was at home in bed when Agent Maitland was killed," Gibbs said. "You, however, were not."

"You can't prove that!" she replied, which was a damning admission, but might not hold up in court.

Ziva glanced over at Tony. "It amazes me that with so many crime dramas on your television telling everyone what not to do, people still get caught."

"Maybe she's not much of a TV watcher," Tony suggested.

Gibbs looked down at his papers. "I have a photograph of you running the red light at McClellan and Fremont at 0432," he said.

"D'oh!" Tony said. "That's a $233.00 fine."

"It also puts her within three blocks of the murder scene at the right time," Ziva pointed out.

"I know, I was just . . ." He shook his head. "Did McGee find that?"

"He did."

Gibbs had kept going while they talked, and Ferguson was answering a question. "I wasn't out. Your photograph is wrong."

"It clearly shows your license plate number, and the shot of you isn't too bad either," Gibbs said, handing it to her.

She changed tactics hastily. "So what, I took a drive because I couldn't sleep."

"You took a drive that put you within three blocks of Gabriel Maitland's house?" Gibbs asked.


"What did he do when you knocked on the door?" Gibbs asked.

"I didn't go there," she said desperately.

"Did he invite you in? Offer you a drink? Was he already in bed?"

"I didn't –"

"You know what the first thing I noticed on walking into that house was? Photographs of two little girls on every wall. Did you notice that?"

"I didn't go in the house!" she said. "I never got past the garage!"

"So what did happen?" Gibbs asked, betraying no emotion at the sudden admission.

She blinked uncertainly. "Um . . . the garage door was open when I got there. I went up and he was putting oil into the car parked inside."

"At that hour of the night?"

"I don't know why!" she exclaimed. "I was surprised, but it made it easy. I didn't have to knock or anything. I just went in."

"What did you say?"

"I asked him not to tell anyone what he found, I asked him not to rat on Mike."

"And what did he say?"

"That he had to play the hand he was dealt, like that meant something. He was going to put Mike and me in prison, and he was talking like it was a game of cards." Gibbs didn't say anything, but she didn't seem to notice. "There was a toolbox open on the workbench. I grabbed the first wrench on top and hit him with it. He'd just closed the hood, and he went down like . . ." She shook her head. "I closed the garage door and . . . he was dead already, so I figured I would stage it up like a suicide and no one would ever know."

Gibbs shook his head. "He wasn't dead," he said.

Her jaw went slack briefly, then she shook her head. "He was. I . . . I know he was!"

"The medical examiner says he died of carbon monoxide poisoning." She continued to protest, but Gibbs stood up. "We're done."

She sat staring at the chair Gibbs had vacated as he left the room. Tony glared at her through the mirrored glass. Gabe deserved better than to be killed by an incompetent idiot. He replayed that sentence in his head and grimaced. Like a competent idiot would have been better.

The door behind him opened, and he turned to see Gibbs coming into the room. "Ziva, can you take care of processing her?"

"Absolutely, Gibbs."

"DiNozzo, with me."

Startled, Tony followed him out of the room. "Boss, where are we going?" he asked as they got on the elevator.


"Oh." Tony got a vivid image of his bed, which beat his desk all hollow as a surface for sleeping on. Unfortunately, that brought up a flash of Brody pinning him down on it, and he twitched involuntarily at the memory. "Sounds good," he said in a voice that sounded not too strangled. He hoped.

"Yeah, you sound thrilled, DiNozzo."

"Look, Boss, with the new locks, couldn't I go to my place?" It was the last place he wanted to go, but he hated putting Gibbs out.

"Tired of my place already?"

"Boss, you don't own a DVD player," Tony pointed out.

"Is that your measure of a decent place to stay, DiNozzo? Whether or not you can watch movies?"

"Isn't it everybody's?" Tony asked, quirking a grin at his boss.

"No, DiNozzo. Grab your stuff and let's get out of here."

Tony did as he was told, walking out to Gibbs' truck. He couldn't help glancing around to see if he could see Brody, but surely he'd gotten tired and gone home by now. After all, he had to go to work eventually.

"Don't worry, DiNozzo, I'll take a shortcut home."

Tony turned to him sharply. "That really isn't necessary, boss."

"Get in the truck, DiNozzo."