Disclaimer: I don't own anything to do with NCIS.

First NCIS story, be kind, constructive feedback welcomed! Forgive any English idiosyncrasies, I can't help it! To anyone that has me on author alert and is reading this and hoped it was the long awaited follow up to my Numb3rs stories featuring the psychotic Jasmine, I apologise for disappointing you. I haven't given up on it, just hit a bit of a block.

Chapter One

The man lay on the bedroom floor, breathing heavily, his body rigid with excruciating pain. All he had done was get out of bed and make for the bathroom. A few steps and pain speared through his back, dropping him to his knees.

He had gripped the bedding in his hands, gritting his teeth as he tried to breathe through the pain. Ten minutes or so later, once the worst had passed he tried to push himself back to his feet so he could get to his phone to call for much needed assistance. The only result was a further spike of pain. The bedding remained firmly gripped in his fist as he once again tried to take deep steadying breaths in an attempt to calm himself and hopefully ease the pain.

He waited another thirty minutes before steeling himself to do what he now expected to cause pain, he once more attempted to push himself up. He managed to get to his feet but couldn't straighten up, his legs just didn't seem to be able to take his weight and the pain being caused was unbelievable. Unable to take his weight any longer he collapsed again but this time it was worse as he couldn't even stay on his knees and fell to the floor.

Ten hours later he was still there. He had tried to reach his phone on the nightstand but it was too far back. He could reach the pillow on the bed and tried to use that to knock the phone onto the floor. This resulted in the device landing on the floor between the nightstand and the wall, too far back for the stricken man to reach.

The only improvement to his situation was that he had managed to roll on to his side and had placed the pillow under his head. The bedding had also been pulled off as he had become cold from being motionless for so long, though whenever pain racked his body he had to throw the bedding off as he started to sweat.

Any attempt on his part to move even slightly would send another wave of pain rushing through his body so at this point he had given up doing more than moving the bedding when he needed to, even though that caused some pain.

He closed his eyes and prayed that someone would get there soon to check on him so that they could get him some damn pain relief and let him use the head.

- NCIS -

Previous Day

The NCIS Major Case Response Team had been called to the murder of a marine outside a civilian house on the outskirts of DC by Metro police.

On arrival the four members piled out of their vehicles, showed their badges and were allowed access to the crime scene.

"DiNozzo, take McGee and go check the house for evidence, it's been cleared by the LEOs," instructed NCIS Special Agent and Team Leader Leroy Jethro Gibbs. "Ziva, question the witnesses." Turning around he then addressed his long-time friend, "Whatcha got for me Ducky?" he asked.

"Jethro I've only just got here," responded Doctor Donald 'Ducky' Mallard, the ME for NCIS. "Mr Palmer, the liver probe if you would please." The ME was speaking to his bespectacled assistant, Jimmy 'Autopsy Gremlin' Palmer.

Probationary Special Agent Ziva 'Ninja Assassin' David merely nodded in acknowledgement before heading off to do as she had been ordered.

Gibbs' Senior Field Agent, Very Special Agent Anthony 'Tony' DiNozzo, looked up, he watched his female partner, former Israeli and now American citizen, walk off before turning and greeting the ME and his assistant then walked over to his other partner, Special Agent Timothy McGee, also known as Tim, Timmy, Probie, Elf Lord, McGeek, McGoo and any other Mc nicknames that Tony could come up with, "Come on, McGee."

The youngest of the team simply lifted his backpack onto his shoulder before quietly following Tony into the house.

Metro had been called to the premises for a domestic disturbance, when they arrived they found the body of the marine on the front lawn with a gunshot wound to the back, the weapon that appeared to have been used was next to the body. There had been no sign of anyone else and they had quickly cleared the house to ensure that the perpetrator had fled the scene before calling in NCIS.

"What was Corporal Gonzales doing here anyway?" asked Tony.

"According to the records this house belongs to him. Well actually his ex-wife got it in the divorce," responded Tim.

"How the hell do you know that?"

"Modern technology, Tony," the younger agent indicated his phone. Abigail 'Abby' Scuito, his once girlfriend, now best friend and NCIS lab rat had sent the pertinent details she had found.

"McSmartAss!" mumbled the Senior Agent.

"What was that?"

"Nothing."

"What's up with you today? You've done nothing but snipe at me all morning!"

It was true and Tony knew it. From the moment he had arrived in the bullpen he'd been trying to pick a fight with his partner, no easy feat given the fact that Tim McGee was the quiet, considerate, forgiving type.

Gibbs had given Tony a lecture and a hard head smack the previous day for a prank he had played which had resulted in Tim's computer being offline for the day. He hadn't known that their computer genius was doing some upgrade of the software overnight and when he made it into the office before Tim for once, he decided to unplug the computer and remove a couple of cables.

He'd done it before and normally it just annoyed McGee and it was fixed in a matter of minutes. Yesterday had been a whole different ball game.

To be fair to Tim when asked what happened he had said he didn't know, despite knowing full well that his so called friend and team mate had caused it.

The software upgrade had been specific to the youngest team member's PC as he needed it to complete some database he was writing, the fact that the PC hadn't been shut down properly had screwed up the computer's format or some such thing that DiNozzo didn't understand.

McGee had spent the entire day in the office getting the computer online again. Gibbs had not been pleased. In fact it's safe to say that he was a volcano waiting to erupt the entire time.

Catching DiNozzo towards the end of the day casting guilty looks at Tim, who had only moved from his desk twice to use the head, Gibbs put two and two together, coming up with his Senior Field Agent. He had stood up from his desk and ordered Tony to follow him.

Tony returned to the bullpen fifteen minutes later paler than when he left, picked up his backpack and left without even saying goodnight to his team mates.
Basically DiNozzo was taking his bad mood out on his friend. None of what had happened was Tim's fault. He could have told Gibbs that Tony had unplugged his computer but he didn't and had actually taken quite a tongue lashing himself, partly thanks to Gibbs' dislike of technology.

Tony, however, wasn't ready to admit to anything so he simply ignored the question, "You check out upstairs."

Tim was tired, fed up and bordering on angry. As a result of Tony's prank he had been at the office long after the rest of the team, including Gibbs, had left. His computer may have been back up and running by the end of the day but he still had a lot of work to do to ensure that the software was installed correctly and that his databases hadn't been affected. He had told Gibbs when he left around 23:00 that he wouldn't be much longer. In actual fact he didn't leave until nearly 03:00 so had only managed three hours sleep before he had to get ready to go back to the office.

Once in the office he had spent the time between getting in and being called out to the scene having Tony treat him like he was lower than the newest probationary agent.

"You know what Tony you were the one that pulled the plug on my computer. I covered for you but you could have admitted it to Gibbs and saved me a lecture but you decided to take the coward's way out! Now you've spent the morning sulking and taking it out on me. Why don't you just grow the hell up!" That said Tim stormed up the stairs leaving an open mouthed DiNozzo in his wake.

Tim reached the top of the stairs and took a breath. He couldn't remember a time when he'd ever spoken to Tony like that but, seriously, the man deserved it. He had no concept of the consequences of his actions the day before and hadn't even tried to find out. At least Tony's telling off had been private, his had been in the middle of the bullpen for all to hear and he hadn't even done anything wrong.

Sighing he looked around checking the layout. To his right there were two doors, both closed. To the left were three doors, all open. He could see a bathroom and two bedrooms. Opting to check the rooms behind the closed doors first he turned right. Opening the first he discovered a storage cupboard. At first glance he couldn't see anything that might be of interest but as Gibbs said, never take anything for granted, rule #8, so he would return to it once he'd checked out the other rooms.

Opening the second closed door he entered the master bedroom. A door in the far right corner was open and showed a bathroom. Whilst he was scoping out the room a noise came from behind him, thinking it was Tony he glanced over his shoulder but the hall was empty, shrugging his shoulders he turned back trying to assess if there was anything out of place.

No sooner had he turned back to the room than the hairs on the back of his neck stood up, he turned again and came face to face with a man that clearly wasn't supposed to be there. Tim had time to register a glimpse of a baseball bat being swung at him. He quickly put his arm up to deflect it, the pain flared immediately but he had no time to call for Tony or reach for his weapon as the bat swung again. McGee tried to twist out of the way but the bat caught him square across his lower back, his knees buckled and he found himself face down on the carpet trying not to throw up or pass out, or both.

- NCIS -

Tony was in the kitchen when he heard a loud thud from upstairs. He debated with himself briefly over whether he should check it out, after all McGee had raised his voice at him.

The big brother that he had become since Tim joined the team wouldn't let him ignore the fact that McGee might need some help though so he hurried upstairs. On the way up he figured that the younger man had probably dropped something.

The sight before him when he turned towards where the sound had come from was not what he had hoped.

"McGee!" he called out. He was just in time to see a man bring a baseball bat down across the back of his prone team mate. What he didn't know at that point was how many times Tim had been struck. Without hesitation he pulled his weapon. "Federal Agent, drop the bat!"

The man had his back to the Senior Agent but in one smooth movement McGee's attacker kicked the door closed without even turning round. Tony fired at the door as it closed.

- NCIS -

A/N: If anyone reads this, thank you for taking the time. Please note that I know nothing about PC's so just go with the whole software/corrupt thing please!