A Reader Warning...This is a spoiler based story...DO NOT READ ...if you do not want any spoiler for season nine.

Title: The Mission

Disclaimer: I'm just having fun with the characters...No offense and no profit being made from my little stab at what will happen in the first episode of season nine.

Okay, I was surprised by some of the questions, but I am a spoiler hog, so first, Rachel Cranston is Kate's sister (A Man Walks Into A Bar) and Stratton is the new FBI guy, who just might be a bad guy, he will be a recurring character like Kort. And yes, Tony will have trouble remembering what happened, either traumatic amnesia or trauma induced amnesia.,we will see. If EJ is killed I could see that the traumatic amnesia would be caused by this very event. Let's get started!Flashbacks will be italicized.

This chapter I dedicate to my readers, you do not have to review...just read and enjoy.

Timberlake Warehouse

Tim was looking for clues, evidence, when he heard a noise, not the rat kind, but the human kind, someone was there. It was probably Gibbs, but he automatically pulled his weapon and called out, " Is that you boss?"

When no answer came after several minutes he decided it was not his boss or Ziva. He hid behind a steel column and waited, the person would eventually show their face, they already knew he was there, he had given himself away, hopefully they would just leave if it was a homeless drunk or a gang member, this really wasn't the best part of town.

A thought raced through his mind as he watched for whoever it was and that was that killers sometime return to the scene of the crime, it was definitely not a good thought, not without backup, something he should have thought about sooner.

Suddenly the person entered, but instead of raising his gun he lowered it, and reholstered. "Tony, what are you doing here, shouldn't you still be in the hospital?"

"Well, Tim I thought I would go out for a night time stroll, feed the dogs, and check up on the drunks, make sure they were all tucked in nicely." he remarked as he stared down at the site where evidently EJ had been found, markers still in place.

"Tony, I know why you're here." he walked over to his friend, watching him as he stared off into the dark, attempting to assess his state of mind. "You had to see for yourself." he knew Tony's propensity for being an investigator, for wanting to know everything about everything.

"Is that where they found her body?"he asked, as he pointed down at the empty warehouse floor, the light of his flashlight the only source, other that Tim's quickly dimming light, he hadn't brought any extra batteries.

"Tony, you shouldn't be here. You can barely stand." He really felt bad for his partner, even after years of taunting, he respected Tony and he actually figured out a few years ago why Tony had been so tough on him.

"I won't mess with the crime scene McWorry, but, I just had to come to see. it." he hesitated and took in a deep breath,"I guess I just needed to see if I would remember what happened." his voice was low and distant.

Tim nodded and joined Tony in aiming his light down on the warehouse floor, the trail of blood from Tony's head wound was still present on the floor, the crime scene the same as they had found it, maybe it would help to jar some of Tony's memories. "Do you?" he finally asked, wondering if being here was aiding his partner in his memories.

"No." his only answer.

'Why did I come here?' he inwardly asked himself, pressing his mind for answers that weren't coming, his hand automatically going to the wound on the side of his head, the dressing long gone. 'Why was EJ here. Nothing made any sense.' , he felt tired, exhausted, he just wanted some damned answers.

"Have you talked to Vance?" Tim was wondering if the director had been able to shed any light on what Tony was doing for him and the Secretary of the Navy.

"He mostly talked to me, mostly Tim, I just listened." his voice filled with sarcasm, Tony seemed more like Tony now.

Tim looked over at his partner, a man who looked as if he could collapse at any minute."Does Gibbs know you're here?" he hated to ask the question but he wondered if his boss might be having a lapse of judgment allowing Tony to come to the scene of the crime or the scene of the operation that was so secretive.

"He still thinks I'm in the hospital. So I guess the answer is no Timmy the boss doesn't know because if he did he would be kicking my ass right now." Tony answered and turned his head looking for Gibbs, waiting for the whack to the head,"Maybe the nurses didn't call him." That's wishful thinking, he thought to himself, as he started towards the stairs, wanting to get a better look at the crime scene.

Tim followed, "You mean you left the hospital without the discharge papers?" he asked, as he followed Tony down the stairs, thinking that Tony might miss a couple and fall to his death, he was very unsteady.

"It's called Against Medical Advice Tim and yeah, I guess that is what I did." he made his way down the stairs without falling, but when he reached the lower level he almost intuitively glanced upward. Something was familiar, it was like having something on the tip of your tongue but unable to remember what it is you are trying to say but in his case, it was remember. He shook his head and continued forward.

"They found Cade's body upstairs, evidently it appears that EJ shot him, he was attempting to leave or escape, his body was found on the fire escape. Two kill shots to the chest, a double tap but that man still made it upstairs and out of the building." Tim informed his partner, remembering Abby's reaction to learning that Cade had been killed, hating EJ for killing him, because in her mind the woman had to be dirty, there was no way Cade could be doing something untoward.

When Tim returned to the here and now he noticed that Tony was missing, " Tony!" he called out, but suddenly saw a light in a different area, an area that had been searched the day before, or at least he thought ithad. He ran over to see what had caught his partner's attention.

He approached cautiously, Tony seemed to be very upset at what he was looking at, what he had found.

"What is it Tony?" Tim asked as he bent down to where Tony was now kneeling, seeing the bracelet that was now lying beside some blood spatter. Had that been there before, had he missed it, had the team missed it?

"I gave it to EJ. We were developing a commitment to each other, she, we, wanted to continue the relationship, it's why she turned down going back to Rota." Tony's voice was just above a whisper, Tim couldn't help feeling intrusive.

"You think she dropped it here when she arrived?" Tim asked as he photographed the bracelet near the blood spatter, then pulled out an evidence bag, picked up the petite bracelet and placed it inside, sealing, initialing and timing the label. He then took out a swab and rubbed it in the blood droplets, then recapped it and repeated the earlier process.

"So, why the blood? Do you think it was taken off of her forcefully?" Tim was attempting to recall the autopsy report, not really recollecting any abrasions on EJ's wrists but now that he was thinking about it, Cade had some deep cuts to his wrists, arms and his lower extremities, just as Tony had, strange.

"I don't think she gave it up willingly." Tony answered, the meaning to the sentiment attached to the necklace was inferred although his partner did not speak it out loud.

After a few minutes they stood and were about to exit the building when they heard the definite sound of a vehicle approaching, " Expecting company Tim?" DiNozzo asked as he drew out his back up weapon, he had picked it up at the condo when his friend had dropped him off.

Tim shook his head, and followed Tony's lead and drew his weapon also. Both men clicked off their flashlights and took cover.

A tall thin man entered the building, he was middle aged, well dressed, a badge could be seen hanging on the side of his belt, he was FBI. Tim wondered why was the armed man entering the building with his gun drawn? Perhaps it was out of caution.

"Freeze! Place your weapon on the floor!" Tony came up behind the man and aimed his gun at the man's head, the man slowly laid down his weapon and raised his hands.

"I'm FBI, I'll show you my badge." the man remained calm as he waited for the men to check his ID.

Tim walked over and took the man's badge from his coat and looked at it with his light, "Agent Casey Stratton, what brings you here at this time of night?" Tim asked suspiciously.

"Why don't you ask Agent DiNozzo, he is the one who stood me up last night." Tim looked over to his partner who appeared to be confused as to what the man was talking about.

"I know you?" Tony asked, feeling as though the man was lying.

The statement seemed to surprise the man, who suddenly appeared less nervous, he lowered his hands and took his badge from Tim, replacing it back into his pocket. He then assessed the man standing before him, even in the dark he could see the wound to DiNozzo's head, the pale skin, his sunken eyes. He wanted to smile but he held in his delight of knowing that the agent couldn't remember him. Things seemed less complicated now.

"You had information for me regarding your target, Agent Simon Cade." The men lowered their guns, Tony continued to attempt to recall the man, but the elusive memories continued to evade him.

" I don't remember you." Tony held up th e flashlight attempting to get a better look at the man, "What about my target?" he wanted answers even if they came in the form of ramblings from a total stranger.

"You called me, we've been working together since the beginning of the operation, I actually doubted the suspicions of NCIS, well, at least at first, until we came across some files on Cade's computer." he looked at the man who had been a problem and shook his head, " You don't recognize me?"

Tony shook his head, he couldn't, but his gut told him that something wasn't right and he rubbed at his head and listened as the man told him things that should be familiar but they weren't, it was as if he was hearing things about someone else.



Ducky sat at his desk, the autopsies were done, families notified that the bodies could be picked up in the morning. He still had questions though, lots of questions and he knew that the bodies were attempting to give them the answers but for some reason he was missng something vital and it was bothering him deeply.

"Anthony, I am so sorry for your loss but why do I get the clear feeling that Miss Erica Jane wasn't being totally truthful with you, with us." he spoke it to himself, the hour was late and Palmer was long gone.

He stood, his muscles protesting being idle for too long, he stretched and then walked over to the filing cabinet. He reached in and pulled out another recent file, that of the other team mate, Agent Gayne Levin. He then found his seat again and adjusted the bright light, reading over the findings he stopped, he had found the connection, the deep knife wound, the serated wound to the agent's left arm, the same as Tony's and of Agent Cade's.

"Agent Barrett, what were you looking for?" Ducky's voice echoed through the empty room, he knew that it was the clue that would help his friend in recovering his memories.


Rachel will appear next chapter along with some memory recall for our very Special Agent Anthony DiNozzo, it won't be easy getting him to talk. Thanks for reading.