Hi everybody. So here is the start of my new story. There was one part in "Untouchables" that always rankled me. Thought I would address it. I have used some dialog from the episode (shhh) so I feel compelled to say that I don't own NCIS or their characters. :)

It is kind of a long first chapter as first chapter go. I hope you guys choose to stick with me.

"These cryptographers, they're not like us," Captain Dorn had said once they got inside his office.

"Their lives are about patterns and numbers. To tell you the truth, I don't understand half of it. But they're pretty tightly wound, and Lieutenant Hill was no different"

"You're saying she was suicidal?" Gibbs asked.

"I'm saying that she was withdrawn. She was socially awkward, had obsessive-compulsive traits…"

"None of that was in her medical record." McGee said

"No, and it wouldn't be. These people are recruited based on their abilities, and sometimes it's a thin line between genius and…"

"…insanity…'" Gibbs finished for him, glancing at McGee while he said it. For his part McGee did his best to hide what he felt, where that one comment took him.

Gibbs had brought him along to the cryptology unit to "translate" the geek speech they might encounter. It turned out to be Gibbs' lucky day though. Captain Dorn seemed almost as lost as Gibbs when it came to computers. Unfortunately knew seemed to know little about those under his command. The two agents had just informed the unit commander that Lieutenant Lara Hill was dead. They had hoped he could shed some light on the mystery of the seemingly suicidal woman. Why she or someone else would want to end her life.

And then came the comment. McGee tried to ignore it, disregard what it meant, what it cemented in his mind. He stayed fairly quiet the rest of their time there, not wanting to draw anymore unwelcome attention. He thought back and cringed when he remember something he had done when they first entered the unit. He watched as one of the cryptographers was working on an equation on a blackboard. The equation was wrong, well not completely, one sign would fix the whole problem. He couldn't help it, he was drawn to the board and it was the most natural thing in the world to grab a piece of chalk and fix it. He wondered now if Gibbs had seen it.

Of course he did stupid. He sees everything, even when he's not looking. He thought immediately chastising himself.

Even back in the car, he just couldn't shake the look Gibbs had given him. He wasn't sure if his boss had meant it the way McGee took it but it had sent shivers down his spine dredging up memories he had tried hard to forget. Not that he ever did forget, how do you forget something like that? Still he liked to think he had successfully been able to deal with it over the years.

You're a freak.

He wasn't sure who had said it his own voice or the voice at the origin of all his doubts and insecurities.

They rode back in silence. Gibbs didn't seem to notice, he was frustrated they were getting nowhere and the visit to the office hadn't helped at all. The Captain didn't know anything helpful. They got back and he sent McGee down to help Abby set up a mock of the crime scene. As he arrived he heard McGee talking to Abby.

"You should have heard this guy Abby. I mean just because someone has an aptitude for math and science doe not make them some kind of suicidal freak." He complained as he raised the mock gun to his head.

Abby was only half listening.

"A little higher." She said looking at her pictures.

McGee repositioned the gun.

"Is that what people think of us?" He asked.

"Ask me later McGee." Gibbs said as he came to a halt right behind McGee. He took in the scene, a complete mock up of the room with McGee sitting on the couch with a gun to his head…

"Oh this had better be work related."

McGee and Abby went through a trial run for Gibbs during which they showed him their discovery: A set of footprints indicating Lt. Hill had not been alone when she died. It made McGee feel slightly better that she hadn't killed herself as everyone assumed. That feeling quickly disappeared as it hit him that someone had killed the brilliant woman making it look like a suicide figuring no one would think twice about it.

Gibbs grunted and started to leave.

"You're welcome!" Abby called after him. McGee sat in silence for a few more seconds knowing he would soon have to get up and get back to the squad room. He was still processing it all though.

Abby noticed McGee's silence.

"Penny for your thoughts."

He didn't answer but just stared ahead.



"What are you thinking about?"


"Timmy, don't be that way. I want to know."

He still didn't say anything.

"Please" She stuck her lip out a little and he could never resist.

"My dad, just thinking about my dad."


He didn't answer.

"Oh my goodness he didn't commit suicide did he? Did he-"

"No, Abby no." He said quickly not wanting to get her started.

"Then what?"

"Nothing, it's nothing, just…"

"Just what?"

"Sometimes" he paused "sometimes Gibbs reminds me of my Dad, a little bit."

"Aww, Gibbs would be a great Daddy." she gushed. She turned back to the evidence and so she was unable to see the expression on McGee's face.

"Ok, let's try this…"

A week later, despite diversions and false leads, the case had been solved, the killer caught and all that was left was the paperwork. Tony had just turned in his final report when Gibbs phone rang.

"Another dead officer from the Crypto unit, grab your gear."

Tony groaned.

"What happened Gibbs?" Ziva asked in the elevator.

"Won't know till we get there Ziver. Looks like suicide."

"Good grief when will these geeks stop offing themselves?" Tony sighed.

"The last one was murdered Tony" McGee immediately spoke up.

"Yeah whatever. These people have no lives, sitting all day looking at codes and equations like John Nash in A Beautiful Mind. Probably even have an imaginary friend." Suddenly his head snapped forward. "Ow, thank you Boss."

Ziva rolled her eyes.

They arrived at Lieutenant Jenny Jennings house and began to process the scene. There was no evidence of foul play or forced entry. It was only when McGee logged onto her computer that they discovered the young Lieutenant's final message to the world. She staring into the webcam crying as she told of the loneliness and depression she often felt. How she felt judged by everyone around her for being so uncomprehendingly brilliant. They needed her and yet any time the opportunity came she was put down and mocked for that same intelligence. The final straw came when her only friend, Lara Hill, had been killed.

Ziva watched shaking her head as the girl swallowed the poison she had been saving for the time when her life would become more than she could bear. Tim listened in silence. It frightened him how much of what she said he could identify with, it was all he could do at some points not to nod in agreement. Not the suicide part, he had no thoughts of ever taking his own life, but being so misunderstood and seemingly alone at times. Constantly feeling like an outsider. He sat staring at her computer for several minutes after it was over. Gibbs had to call his name three times to get his attention.



"Let's go McGee"

"Umm-I'm coming Boss"

Preliminaries still had to be done. Ducky performed the autopsy and took a sample of Jennings' blood for Abby to test. McGee was on his way down to the lab to check with her about the results for his report.

He saw a familiar figure at the door of the elevator.

"Hey, Palmer have you seen Tony or Gibbs?"

"Yeah, they're down in the lab with Abby. Ziva and Dr. Mallard too. I think everyone is waiting for the results so they can close this case."


He was almost to the door of the lab when he heard his name. His mother had always taught him that curiosity killed the cat and eavesdroppers never heard what they wanted but he couldn't help hanging back a bit to listen.

"I was simply saying we shouldn't over look the obvious similarities." Director Sheppard's voice said "Agent McGee shares a lot in common with these two victims. Brilliant, a little high-strung at times, a bit shy and reserved. I'm sure it was easy for Jennings' coworkers to assume she was fine and not try to dig deeper into her moodiness. Now it's obvious this young woman was unstable-"

"McGee isn't unstable Director" Abby jumped in.

"I don't believe she was saying that Abigail, she was simply stating a few facts and perhaps suggesting that we all be aware of signs. Hindsight is 20/20 and we wouldn't want to miss anything."

Tim abruptly left and started taking the stairs up two at a time. He got to the landing and sank down his whole body shaking. Part of him thought he should be touched that they worried about him, that he mattered but what he really felt was anger and humiliation.

Is that what they think of me? That I'm a walking time bomb. That I'm too weak to deal with life? No one even defended me. He thought bitterly. Gibbs said nothing. Why should I be surprised though, he started this whole thing. He thinks I'm crazy, unbalanced, a freak. Tears threaten in his eyes but he quickly blinked them back.

He got up after a few minutes and headed back to the squad room so he could look somewhat settled before the team came back up.

"I was simply saying we shouldn't over look the obvious similarities." Director Sheppard's said calmly trying to diffuse the anger she had unwittingly caused. "Agent McGee shares a lot in common with these two victims. Brilliant, a little high-strung at times, a bit shy and reserved. I'm sure it was easy for Jennings' coworkers to assume she was fine and not try to dig deeper into her moodiness. Now it's obvious this young woman was unstable-"

"McGee isn't unstable Director" Abby jumped in.

"I don't believe she was saying that Abigail, she was simply stating a few facts and perhaps suggesting that we all be aware of signs. Hindsight is 20/20 and we wouldn't want to miss anything."

"Thank you Dr. Mallard. I-"

"My apologies for interrupting director, while I acknowledge what you are trying to say I disagree 100%. Timothy is very stable and well grounded."

"Noted, Doctor." She turned to Tony and Ziva.

"Now you two may speak, thank you for letting me finish before you jumped in."

It had been the longest 3 minutes of Tony's life having to listen to the Director, for all practical purposes, declare his Probie mentally unstable. She had requested that they hear her out and not saying anything until she was done and now, unmuzzled, he and Ziva couldn't stop themselves. They both started talking at the same time.

Jenny held up her hand.

"Agent DiNozzo, is there something you would like to say?"

"McGee is not crazy, he's not going to kill himself. I mean yeah he puts up with a lot of crap, but that's the point, he's better at putting up stuff that's thrown than anyone I know. I trust him, every day, to have my six."

Ziva started to talk as soon as Tony finished.

"McGee is the easiest man to read I have ever known. If he were even close to the edge I believe we would know it. He has done nothing ever to indicate he would even consider taking his own life."

Jenny looked over at Gibbs who seemed to be intently studying the blood work Abby had given him earlier.

"Special Agent Gibbs? Gibbs? Jethro!"

"What? Jenny you don't have to yell."

"I obviously do to get your attention."

"Well you've got it what?"

"Were you even listening to me?"


"You were not?"

"Sum it up real quick."

Jenny gave him a look of compete disbelief at having been so blatantly ignored.

"The director thinks McGee is crazy. And that we should watch him for "similar" behavior." Tony spoke up nodding toward Jenning's profile on the screen.

Gibb's eyes narrowed.

"Because of this one suicide you've now pegged him a risk. One girl decided she couldn't handle her life and you want my agent to pay for it?"

"Jethro, I-"

"Maybe you should quarantine the whole cybercrimes unit, just make sure you don't miss anybody."

"Don't be ridiculous, you know what I meant." she snapped.

"Yeah, I know. He's smart Jenny, not crazy. I don't have crazy people on my team. I have people who are damn good at their jobs." With that he stalked out.

When Gibbs arrived in the squad room he found McGee staring at his computer, but he didn't seem to really be looking at it. Gibbs studied him for a minute then walked over and rapped on the desk with his knuckles. McGee looked up startled. Gibbs was studying him with his eyes slightly narrowed.

"You ok McGee?"

He was a little surprised to see McGee's jaw tighten.

"I'm fine Boss." He said a little shortly causing Gibbs to raise his eyebrows. McGee cleared his throat. "Really I am. Umm, have we heard anything about Jenny Jenning's blood work?"

"Yeah, the only thing there was the poison, no signs of foul play, and then the video, basically a suicide note. I'm closing the case. I want your report in before the weekend."

"Yes Boss" McGee said looking down again.

Gibbs gave him one last look and went back to his own work.

I hope this isn't an awkward place to end. The chapter was going to be really really long otherwise. There will be angst between Gibbs and McGee shortly.

Thank you so much for reading. Please let me know what you think! Hope everyone has a great longggg weekend! :)