When Tim returned to his desk from grabbing coffee he saw that Ziva had arrived, flipping through the paperwork she had stacked up the night before. When she noticed Tim settle at his own desk she gave a halfhearted 'Good Morning', never tearing her attention away from the folder in front of her.
Tim's own attention seemed focused on booting up his computer as he mumbled something back. Jotting down notes, first on a scrap of paper then transferring and continuing those notes once he was logged into his computer, Tim never noticed Tony arrive until he propped his hip on the edge of Tim's desk and craned his neck to read what was on Tim's screen.
Tim just looked up at Tony without trying to close anything on his computer screen. "Yeah, Tony? Can I help you?"
"What are you so bright eyed and McBushy-tailed about this morning? What are you working on?"
Giving a small shrug Tim answered, "A few ideas on one of the cases that I was looking through yesterday. It may not pan out but I thought that I would jot them down to be thorough."
Tony watched Tim's face for a moment before standing up with a sarcastic, "Fun," without giving the screen a second glance. "I'll just go through my stack of cold cases then."
"You do that," Gibbs said, coming around the corner. At Gibbs appearance Tony started shuffling through the files on his desk, leaving Tim alone to continue typing on his notes. A few hours later had Ziva, not so subtly, doing sodoku, Tony kicked back playing Tetris on his phone and Tim still typing on the computer, though the casual observer couldn't tell if what he was typing was work related or otherwise. When Gibbs' phone rang, they all sat up a little straighter, reaching for their bags before Gibbs had hung up the phone.
"Dead Petty Officer at Lake Accotink," Gibbs stated, grabbing his coffee before striding to the elevator. Before he was reaching for the button he had three agents standing behind him.
A half hour later had Tony and Ziva navigating the steep incline up to the body while Tim gathered what security footage there was, mainly from around the main gate and the boat house. After labeling and storing the security footage, Tim looked up to see the ME van arrive. Opening the back door to the van before Jimmy and Ducky had finished getting out of the van, Tim helped Jimmy with the gurney as he directed Ducky and his assistant to the body.
While helping Tony and Ziva collect evidence Tim turned every scrap of debris over in his hand, hoping it would tell him something. Feeling discouraged Tim carried the box of evidence to the van and climbed in after Ziva. The moment they hit 495 Tony started complaining about missing lunch and as soon as they crossed the Potomac into DC he started offering suggestions of places to stop and grab something to take back to the office.
Tim mostly ignored the suggestions that Tony and Ziva were throwing out until Ziva mentioned curry. "It's been a while since we've had curry. Sounds good."
Tony made a small face, he preferred pasta over rice, however there was a good curry restaurant on the way. Calling ahead Tony placed an order, only having to wait a few minutes before they were back on their way to the office. Once at the Navy Yard, Tony took the food up while Ziva and Tim brought the bagged evidence to Abby. Soon all three were typing at their desks, making phone calls for information and finishing off the last of their meals
Tim was engrossed in his own search when a sound from Tony had him looking up. With a grin of satisfaction, Tony hit a few buttons, moving information to the big screen just as Gibbs walked around the corner.
"What do we have?"
"Seems our Petty Officer Lyons was working with a community outreach program. Was paired up with Carson Judge. Minor scrapes with the law until he got pulled in by a joint gang task force between Fairfax and Arlington. That was five years ago and when he was paired up with Lyons. Since then he's been clean, not even a ticket."
"If Judge knew Lyons then I want to talk to him." Without turning from the screen Gibbs barked, "David, DiNozzo, try him at work. If he's not there try his apartment. McGee, I want you to look deeper at Lyons and Judge. See if they crossed paths before the outreach program."
Tim looked at Gibbs with panic, he had stood when Gibbs said Ziva's name but when Gibbs paired her with Tony his eyes had gone wide. "B-but B-Boss...?"
Both Tony and Ziva turned to Tim quizically. It had been a while since Tim had last stuttered. Gibbs raised an eyebrow at Tim, "You have something to add, McGee?"
Tim's eyes moved slowly from Gibbs to the rest of his team. After a long moment he looked at Tony, "Do me a favor and set your phone to vibrate."
Looking at Tim as if he were crazy, Tony glanced at Gibbs. Gibbs also looked at Tim for a moment before turning to Tony and nodding. Making a show of opening his phone and setting it on vibrate Tony followed the request. Ziva and Tony continued to look at Tim until receiving a pointed look at the elevator.
Turning back to Tim he felt the need to ask, "What was that about?"
Tearing his eyes away from the elevator, Tim looked at Gibbs, "Gut feeling." His own gut screaming that there was something more, Gibbs watched Tim sit down and start the searches that he requested. Barely twenty minutes later Tim was hitting the speed dial to Tony.
"Hey? Trying to give me cheap thrills?"
"Funny, listen. While Carson Judge has been clean for the last few years, it looks as though his brother has been getting into increasingly worse trouble. The most resent activity shows suspicion of blackmarket guns to local gangs."
Tony's frustration seeped over the phone line,"Okay, so we have another reason to bring in Judge. What's the problem?"
"The problem," Tim said slowly, "is that Zachary works as a free-lance truck driver, and most recently he's been signing on for runs under Flagstone. It's suspected he's using real runs as cover to move a crate or two of weapons every few runs."
"Any information as to what leg of his run he's on?" Tony asked.
Tim hesitated before answering, "No." Tim had scoured all the information he could find, as fast as he could find it, trying to get enough to send in a better armed team. "There's no pattern to his runs, he could be there right now or half way across the country. We don't have a enough for a warrant to trace his GPS."
Scanning the file on Zachary Judge Tim added, "But he always comes back here. This is his base of operations, where he's distributing the weapons."
"So expect a highly armed suspect when going to talk to witness." Tony's smirk could be heard over the phone, "Gotcha, just like any other..umph..."
"Tony?" Tim looked at phone, verifying that it was still connected, "Tony?"
"Just Ziva's parking job, McWorry-Wart. Thanks for the info."
Tim stared at the phone, the bold 'call ended' blinking across the screen. Setting the phone down, Tim turned back to his computer to see what other information he could find on Zachary Judge's and acquaintances. He had only been working for a few moments when his phone rang.
Bad boys, bad boys... Whatcha gonna do when they come for you
Glancing at his phone, he saw his sister's name on the screen. Trying to settle his nerves, he slowly let out a breath before answering, "Hey Sarah."
"Hey, do you like your new ring tone?"
Rolling his eyes, he realized that she must of changed it the day before when he took her grocery shopping as she was complaining that she was out of food and money. "Not particularly."
"I thought it was appropriate."
The mix of anger and affection that rolled through him was familiar, the joy of having a sibling, "I appreciate the thought but it's not really my style. I'll stick to the basic ring."
"Did you ever think that you needed a different style?"
"Good-bye Sarah." Ending the phone call, Tim shook his head. One mystery solved. However if Sarah's call was the time everything started yesterday...
Tim held the phone in his hand, torn between wanting to call Tony and get an update and not distracting him and Ziva if there was an issue.
He was still sitting, staring at his phone when Gibbs walked up. "Problem?" he asked with a nod to the phone.
Tim shook his head, "No, just talked to my sister."
"Grab your gear. We're going to meet Tony and Ziva at the hospital."
Pulling his gun from his drawer, he followed Gibbs to the elevator. "What happened?" Tim demanded with images of blood spreading across concrete flashing through his brain.
"Tony's been hit. Ziva's watching over Zachary Judge while the doctors patch him up."
While Gibbs got off the elevator, Tim just stood there. When Gibbs turned to see what the problems was Tim slowly repeated, "Tony's been hit."
Throwing his hand up to stop the elevator doors from closing Gibbs nodded, "Yeah, graze, left thigh. He'll be on desk duty for a few weeks, God help us." When that statement didn't get Tim moving Gibbs removed his hand with a gruff, "You coming?"
Turning towards the car, Gibbs heard the elevator doors open and Tim's quick shuffle to catch up.
While waiting for Tony and Zachary at the hospital, Tim found a John Doe that matched the description of Carson Judge. When Gibbs confronted Zachary with both Carson and Lyons death he admitted to both, Carson had found out about using Flagstone Transit to do his runs and Lyons was asking about Carson.
Tim and Ziva stood on the other side of the glass, watching Gibbs interrogate Zachary Judge. Tim looked at the bandage and sling that matched the one he remembered on himself. After shooting one of his associates due to a disagreement of purchase price, Tony had announced his presence. When Zachary failed to put down his weapon, Ziva made it difficult to hold and aim it.
As soon as he admitted to killing Lyons, Tim quietly left the room, returning to his desk. Pulling up the list of notes from that morning he made note of all the differences between the the days and tried to find if there was a single event that changed the outcome. Comparing the two lists Tim tried to figure out what he should have done, because as things turned out, nothing went as he had planned.
When he found himself reading over the list for a third time he closed it and deleted it. In the end it wasn't what happened yesterday but what happened today that mattered. Opening his desk drawer, Tim pulled out the watch to look at the inscription once more.
Time stays long enough for anyone who will use it. - da Vinci
"I guess it does," Tim murmured before tucking the watch back into his desk.