Chapter 8.

Author Note: Well, the last chapter was pretty intense – this chapter doesn't really die down on the intensity ... Oh, and the beginning of this chapter kinda goes back in time a little ...

Steve Wilson stood by the window of the break room, glancing out every now and again. The people that he could see flooding into the street looked like ants from this height. He had to get away from the window.

He turned and took in the scene. The agent he'd shot was barely conscious – she would die soon. The other one was looking around, probably for a way out. Ashley was still cowered beneath the table; she probably wouldn't move until somebody forced her to. Jenny was sitting on the edge of the break room table, swinging her legs. Looking careless.

He had to think fast. The helicopters were beginning to circle and there was no doubt that one of them would get a clear shot if he just stood by the window.

He turned to Jenny. "You," he addressed her. Levelling the gun, pointing his arm out and indicating to one of the corridors. "Interrogation room, now." She jumped off the desk and looked at him, then at the corridor. Doing as he indicated, seeing it as an opening to get Ziva out of the agency and hopefully into an ambulance.

She found the first interrogation room, and was about to open the door when the gun pressed against her shoulder stopped her. "Observation," he told her. They stepped into the dark room and she turned towards him, frowning. "There's no windows in here."

She pulled up a seat and sat down, watching him do the same.

There was something very calm about this hostage situation. She didn't feel scared or shaky like she imagined she would. She just felt tired. She thought about Jethro, who was probably standing outside, trying to get into the building, no doubt. She then thought about Butch. Those two men were the only people she had in her life that she truly trusted, that she could tell anything to.

For a split second, she understood Steve.

"Why did you do it? Why did you kill them all?" she asked him, needing to hear the honest truth without anyone being around to overhear them. Steve looked up, his eyes dark and ablaze with anger.

"I found out that I was talking to Ashley's mother; Elizabeth. Some poor woman spilling her guts to me. Hardly.." his tone was sarcastic, scathing. Whoever said that hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, had never met this man. "They played me. Made me fall in love with someone that didn't have a clue who I was." Jenny frowned, confused. Nothing that Steve said made any sense – not really. "I wasn't about to be a pawn. Nobody was going to ridicule me and play me like that." His expression seemed to go blank as he recalled the details of the night when this all began. "I just wanted to see her; Ashley. Take her away from the family that were punishing her. That were hurting her. I told her we could just pack up our things and run away." The twist of his mouth was cruel. "She didn't want me. I told her that either she died, or her family died. She begged me to kill her, but ..." he shrugged carelessly. "I decided to do both – kinda."

Jenny snorted, deciding to tease him, if that was his pressure point. "Kinda? You failed, Steve. Or should I call you Romeo? How original, by the way." She chuckled. His eyes darkened impossibly and she saw him clench his fist. "You let her live. You're patheti-"

"SHUT UP!" His shout startled her. "If you want yourself, and your friends out there to live, I suggest you get me a way out. A helicopter on the roof."

Jenny shook her head. "I don't have the authority to do that, Steve. I'm not NCIS. But," she stressed, "I do know someone that does. I'm going to need a phone."

Leroy Jethro Gibbs was in the process of navigating the corridors to interrogation, when his cellphone rang. He flipped it open, not recognising the number on caller ID and spoke his name.

"Jethro ..." her voice was quiet, careful.

"Jenny?" he almost couldn't believe it. She didn't even sound particularly frightened. But it was damn good to hear her. "Where are you?"

"He has a condition that, in order to get the team and myself out safely, he's going to need; a helicopter." Gibbs narrowed his gaze, approaching the interrogation rooms carefully and quietly, lowering his voice to make sure he wasn't heard.

"Can't, Jen. Put him on." There were voices speaking on her end, and then she came back on.

"He doesn't want to speak to you."

"Jen, I don't know where you are ... McGee said interrogation but I don't know which room..." He heard a pause then a small 'hmm' and a grunt as someone seemed to fall over. He was about to ask if she was okay, when he heard it; the scrape of a chair across a hard floor. His ears managed to direct him to the third interrogation room along the corridor. "I'm outside, Jenny. You want me to come in ..."

The phone was deadly silent, and he checked to see if she was still on the line, before realising she was and pressing the phone back to his ear. Her response was quiet and he wasn't sure if he imagined it or not.

"Hey," she said. Her voice was choked, hoarse. She swallowed. "You hear me? Hey," Her voice was clearer the second time around.
"You know ...if you, uh, if you ever need me ... all you have to do is say 'hey', and I'll be there." His own words echoed around his head, and he found it hard to swallow. He turned the door handle for interrogation as quietly and carefully as he could, finding nobody inside. Realising they would be in observation, and that, if he wasn't careful, Steve would see Gibbs and shoot at him, or Jenny, before Gibbs could do a goddamn thing about it.

Jenny couldn't help the relief that swept through her when she saw Gibbs edge into the interrogation behind Steve's line of vision. His gun was raised but she soon realised that he couldn't seen into the observation room, he was flying blind.

And then she realised that Steve was speaking with her.

"Why did you do that?" he asked accusingly, pointing his gun to the phone that he just gave her. "What does 'hey' mean?"

Jenny tilted her head, amused. "It's – last time I checked – a form of greeting."

"NO!" he bellowed. "You're planning something!" He began to pace, panicked. He turned to her and raised his gun. There was no mistaking what he was about to do.

"You want to shoot me?" she asked, raising her voice. Realising that if she could shout loud enough, maybe Gibbs would hear her. He'd been a sniper, or so he'd told her. It was entirely possible that those skills would help. "Shoot me!"

"Don't tempt me," Steve said, his voice low and deadly.

"I said shoot me!" she repeated, her voice practically yelling. "That's what you want right? So do it! Come on Romeo, SHOOT ME."

The glass shattered behind him and everything became a blur.

Gibbs jumped through the space where the glass had previously been, standing on the shattered pieces, and bending down to the dishevelled body of Steve Wilson as he lay in a pool of his own blood.

Checking for a pulse though he knew he'd have none. The man was dead.

"Jesus Christ Jen..." he said after a moment, looking up at her, preparing himself for her looking extremely relieved that he'd managed to get the shot right.

Instead what he saw made him sick.

Jenny Shepard was sprawled, halfway down the wall. The blood behind her that was smeared down the wall was a clear indication that she'd been hit – if the bullet wound in her stomach hadn't confirmed that for him.

"Jen," he grabbed for her, sitting her up, calling a paramedic. She looked up at him, and he could see it, the life in her eyes just disappearing. He put pressure on her wound and hoped that someone would find him before it was too late.