This is my first co-authored story. It 'tis our lame attempt at an NCIS story. BennyE5121 is pretty much my NCIS expert because I don't watch it as much as he does. So, if anythings wrong don't blame him so much as blaming me for not listening to him. This story takes place in season four-ish. So, expect spoilers from season one-four.
Anyhoo, please enjoy this chapter, all mistakes are mine and Benny's, and we don't own these characters...
Leavenworth, Kansas 2 day ago…
The siren pierced his ears: a head pounding wail that echoed through the town. He ducked down behind a dumpster when a squad car drove by, the blinding search light barely missing him by mere inches. He waited, breath held, until the squad car drove away.
He stood, running the opposite direction the squad car came. He had to get a car, get out of town. As perfect as his escape was, he hadn't really given much thought to what he'd do once he was free. He always seen his plan as wishful thinking, never really thought he'd be able to put it into action. It was a fluke, really, that a riot happened to break out.
He started testing the doors of parked cars, checking over his shoulder in case a cop searched the street again. Four cars down, he found an unlocked, older, green Neon. He pulled open the door, diving inside. He managed to pry the steering column open. Wires dangled down, his only source of light a flicking streetlamp, he started searching for the correct two.
The car sparked to life a moment later. He threw it into drive, pulling away from the curve. He was just turning the corner when a squad car rolled down the street again.
He managed to barely evade the rest of the search party, finding himself speeding out of Kansas an hour later. He had to get to Virginia, he had some unfinished business to take care of…
Norfolk, Virginia Present Day…
McGee had been getting coffee when he realized he had forgotten the camera from the case they had just closed. Gibbs had been on him before about forgetting equipment in the SUV. Really wanting to avoid a patented Gibbs' head slap, McGee dropped his empty Styrofoam cup in the trash, and raced out of the break room.
About a quarter of the way to the elevators, he noticed Tony hurrying toward the elevators as well. They leveled out a half a second later, Tony sparing McGee a look before slightly speeding up.
"Where ya going, McHurry?" he asked curiously.
"Nowhere. Where are you going?" McGee countered, having an inkling of where he was going, slightly quickening his pace.
"I just forgot something in the truck," Tony replied breaking into a brisk walk.
"Oh, me too." Tim broke into a trot.
"What'd you forget?"
"Nothing." They shared one final glance and broke into a run.
Already McGee was calculating the time it would take for the doors to open, to push Tony out of the way, and to have them closed before DiNozzo could regain his balance. He was readying himself for the initial push, a mail cart just turning the corner, when the doors opened.
Both skidded to a halt, trying to avoid running into Gibbs who had a hot cup of coffee in his hand. McGee wasn't sure who caught who's foot, but they both ended up in a heap on the floor, just outside the elevator doors.
Both agents looked up at Gibbs and almost in perfect unison said, "Hey boss." Gibbs glanced down at them, an unreadable expression on his face, took a sip of coffee, and casually stepped over them both.
"Gear up," Gibbs said from the middle of the bullpen, "we've got a dead Marine." It was an agonizing fifteen seconds as the two men tried to untangle themselves. When McGee was vertical he noticed Ziva unsuccessfully trying to hide her laughter. They must have looked ridiculous if the Mossad Agent was laughing at them.
"Did you have a nice autumn, Tony?" Ziva asked when the two guys managed to make it to their desks.
"It's fall, Ziva. 'Did you have a nice…'?" Tony trailed off shaking his head, "You know what, never mind. And I didn't fall. I just tripped over Probie's big feet while we were…"
"…racing to get the camera," Gibbs deadpanned before grabbing his keys and heading toward the elevator. Over his shoulder he said, "Ziva you're with me. I think Laurel and Hardy can deal with the body."
"Where are we going, Gibbs?" Ziva questioned racing to catch up with him.
"The LEOs have a suspect in custody. We're going to get him."
"And what about us, Boss?" Tony asked. Gibbs pointed at his desk, a folded piece of paper sitting in the middle. Then the elevator doors closed and they were gone.
"'Tripped over Probie's big feet?'" McGee said very slowly.
"Take it as a compliment, McGoo. I mean, you know what they say about a man with big feet," Tony responded with a knowing look.
"No Tony, what do they say?"
DiNozzo opened his mouth to speak, thought better of it, and snatched the paper off his desk as he said, "We've got a crime scene to get to."
Tony had noticed McGee glancing at the gas gauge twice already. Yes, he was aware they had minimal gas, but he had driven on E before. And nothing had gone wrong then. McGee glanced at the gauge a third time.
"Stop that McGee," Tony said keeping his eyes locked on the windshield.
"Looking at the gas gauge."
"But we're on E."
"Which means we have a good ten, fifteen miles left."
"'Ten, fifteen miles?' Seriously?"
"Minimum," Tony responded looking at McGee.
Not even half a mile later the car was sitting against the curb, engine not quite turning over. Tony had tried and tried and tried to get the car to run.
"It's not gonna start, Tony. We're out of gas."
"Yeah, McGee, I know." But it didn't stop him from trying again. He sighed in frustration, glanced at McGee, and said, "Get out and push, Probie."
"What? No," McGee snapped huffily. "You're the one who let us run out of gas. You can push."
"McGee, I am the senior field agent. Now do as you're ordered."
"'Do as I'm ordered?'" Tim sat with his mouth agape for a second, then pointed at DiNozzo and said, "The agreement was, the last one to drive gets gas. And that was you."
"Well, who forgot to remind me to get gas?"
"Seeing as Gibbs rode with you, it's a safe bet to assume him," McGee said under his breath.
Tony gasped and said, "I'm telling him you said that."
"What are you four?"
"'What are you four?'" Tony mocked under his breath. "Just get out and push, McGoo." Tim made to argue again, but his phone went off.
"Uh oh," McGee muttered when he looked at the screen.
"Who is it?" Tony asked already knowing, but hoping he was wrong.
"Gibbs," Tim answered.
"Crap. Well, answer it."
Answering on speaker phone, Gibbs' voice said, "You there, yet?"
"We're in transit," Tony replied before McGee could open his mouth.
"What does 'in transit' mean, DiNozzo?"
"Not quite there but making good time."
"Either get there in ten minutes, or the next time you go to a crime scene I'll make sure Ziva's driving."
"Boss, threatening our lives is a little drastic," Tony said slowly.
"Just get there, DiNozzo." Tony was sure Gibbs had hung up until his boss said, "And get your ass out of the truck and push." McGee had a barely concealed triumphant smile on his face. "Wipe that smirk off your face, McGee." Then Gibbs was gone.
"So do you think we should…?" McGee started glancing over shoulder almost as if he were sure Gibbs was watching them.
"Yeah," Tony replied, he too glancing around, as they both exited the vehicle.
The LEOs looked beyond peeved when they finally made it to the crime scene. McGee could see where they were coming from. They were supposed to be at the scene twenty-five minutes ago.
"Finally you get here," one LEO said pushing away from his car.
"We had some car trouble," Tony replied nonchalantly.
"Huh, well your car trouble made us ten minutes late to another crime scene," the LEO's partner said from the open passenger side door of the car.
"We've got it from here if you have to go," McGee stated before Tony could open his mouth to argue.
"Thank you," the first LEO said. "Body's inside." He pointed at an old, dilapidated farm house behind him. "First floor."
As the LEOs packed up to leave, Tony and McGee made their way into the house. The Marine was situated in the middle of the family room, lying in a pool of his own blood, his head tilted so it was facing them.
"I wonder why Ducky isn't here, yet," McGee said looking around for the seasoned ME.
"Well, he's with Palmer. So, they're lost," Tony replied searching his bag.
"Palmer doesn't always…" Tim trailed off giving it a thought. "What about the time he showed up early to…"
"McGee that wasn't our crime scene," Tony deadpanned still searching his bag.
"What are you looking for?" McGee questioned watching DiNozzo curiously.
"I thought I put it in here," Tony muttered under his breath.
"Let me guess, you left the camera in the car."
"No, I didn't leave the camera in the car. It's here somewhere…" Tony sighed in frustration, looking up from his bag. "McGee."
"I left the camera in the car."
"Yeah, I know."
"…getting the camera?"
McGee thought about arguing, but realized it just wasn't worth the energy. So, he relented and headed back outside. Tim had just made it to the car, the back door open so he could begin his search for the camera, when he heard an audible crash sound from inside the house.
"Tony!" he yelled racing back inside, his gun at the ready, only to find no sign of DiNozzo. "Tony?" he called looking around the immediate area. "DiNozzo answer me!" he headed toward the kitchen, hoping beyond hope that Tony had just managed to trip over something. "Damn it, Tony. If you're screwing with…" a pair of familiar shoes caught his eye, sticking out from behind a shabby island.
Tim raced forward, skirting the island, falling to his knees next to DiNozzo's head. McGee felt around Tony's neck for a pulse, finding a strong, steady one. He breathed a sigh of relief, quickly searching out DiNozzo for injuries, only finding a bloody knot behind his left ear.
McGee made to stand up, to check the house for whoever did this, wondering how the LEOs could have missed it, when he felt something heavy connect with the back of his head. He was out before he hit the ground…