When Gibbs, McGee, and Ziva exited the elevator, they found Vance standing in the hallway near Tony's room.
"Report Gibbs." Vance ordered.
"We tracked down two of the terrorist, so we went to their location to stop them. We found them dead already and the hazardous materials already removed. Somebody really does not want us involved in this case, Director."
"Trent Kort?" Vance inquired.
"Maybe." Gibbs responded.
"I spoke with Fornell recently. He said no attacks have been made toward any government officials in their protection. In a way, that is a bad thing because Fornell is having difficulty convincing them that they need protection. He also said that the FBI finished the murder investigation into the NCIS agent's death. A report was sent over. The agent was killed by the same kind of gun used to kill our terrorist."
"Trent Kort?" Vance asked curiously as he repeated the name. Gibbs did not have an answer.
"Anyway, we will reevaluate our situation." Gibbs said. "How is Tony?"
"He was pretty alert earlier. He was even walking around the room. However, he is not holding much down and still not eating much." Vance answered.
Gibbs entered the room. "How are you Tony?" Gibbs asked him, as he approached Tony's bed.
"I am doing much better Boss. The Doctors think that maybe I can go home today."
"Really?" Gibbs asked in surprise. "I will want to see those discharge papers first before I allow that to happen."
"I need to speak to you." Gibbs said forcefully to Vance. Tony, McGee, and Ziva noticed that unspoken words were being exchanged between Vance and their team leader. Gibbs and Vance entered a vacant hospital room and closed the door.
"What do you think is going on there?" McGee asked looking back and forth from Ziva and Tony.
"Well, you do look better Tony." McGee offered. "I don't know if you look well enough to be discharged yet though."
"Though, if we based it off of looking well, McGee, Tony would never be discharged." Ziva said sarcastically.
"Ha, ha! Funny Ziva." Tony shot back at her. The lack of humor that Tony had been exhibiting lately had her concerned, and the fact that he did not make a smart-mouthed comeback to her mild insult concerned her even more.
"So what were they after Tony?" Ziva drastically changed the subject. Tony gave her a questioning look. "Come on Tony. Why do these people want you dead? What were they looking for? You have to have some theories."
"It is complicated." Tony offered.
"Then, uncomplicated it for us. . ." Ziva shot back.
"I would like to." Tony responded. When he just stopped talking, Ziva put out her hand almost waving him on.
"Well, come on then Tony!" Ziva yelled.
In another hospital room, a similar tense discussion was taking place between Vance and Gibbs.
"All right, Gibbs. I just found out that Sean Latham had sold those microchips to different groups across the world, some of them were hostile terrorist groups." Vance explained.
"What!" Gibbs shouted. "And, he was the one convinced that Barrett was in it for profit before?"
"However, before the sale took place, tracking devices were installed in the microchips." Vance explained. "Barrett and DiNozzo were assigned to specifically track the cell in D.C.. The now deceased cell was targeting certain government officials that voted for funding this program as well as supporting the war in Iraq. The only thing left for us to do is to support the CIA and FBI in their investigation, now that those two terrorists were dealt with. We have received specific orders, Gibbs, to no pursue this any further than that. Do you think you can handle that?"
"Yes, sir." Gibbs responded to the question sarcastically. "What. . .?"
"What about DiNozzo?" Gibbs asked, wondering if he would be pursuing these other microchips.
"And, I gave Agent DiNozzo specific orders as well to not provide any more details about his assignment to you. So, stop pushing him Gibbs." Vance left the room before Gibbs could argue. They both headed back to DiNozzo's hospital room. As Vance and Gibbs approached the room, they could hear Ziva's attempt to interrogate DiNozzo.
"What is going on here Tony! Why are these people after you! Why did they kill Agent Barrett!" Ziva yelled at Tony, in obvious frustration of the situation.
"Ziva!" Gibbs shouted at her, which not only made Ziva jump but Tony as well. Ziva stopped and looked down as she approached Gibbs at the door.
"Not now." Gibbs said softly to her as Ziva acknowledged his order and left the room. Tony looked warn down, visibly shaken as he tried to resist Ziva's harsh questioning and by Gibbs' yelling at her.
"You! Get some rest." Gibbs ordered Tony, as they left the room.
"I will stay with Agent DiNozzo, Gibbs. Your team can go." Vance ordered, as he reentered DiNozzo's room. McGee gave Gibbs a concerned and confused look.
"Yeah, this is Gibbs." Gibbs answered his ringing phone. "Thanks."
"We have a dead Marine at the Metro rail." Gibbs said, redirecting his team.
"Let's go." Gibbs said softly to McGee and Ziva, as he gave DiNozzo one last long look. When standing in the elevator, Ziva finally looked up at Gibbs.
"Gibbs, I am sorry." Ziva started to say.
"Ziva, I know what you were trying to do. Don't apologize. This situation is just. . .complicated." Gibbs said.
"That is what Tony said." Ziva added.
"We are done with that investigation, for now. The rest of the cell has been killed. The FBI finished their investigation of how the NCIS agent died." Gibbs informed them. "This is an inter-agency investigation, and we have the least amount of authority here."
"So that is it?" McGee asked in disbelief. "All we did was track down those two terrorists to find them already dead."
"What is going on here, Boss?" McGee's confusion was now masked with anger and frustration.
"We need to watch ourselves, McGee. We need to follow orders." Gibbs said in defeat. "Some higher ups want to separate this team. Specifically, our field team. . ."
"Tony?" McGee asked Gibbs, if he meant the SecNav and Vance were trying to separate them from DiNozzo.
"It is just starting with DiNozzo." Gibbs answered.
"We could be next?" McGee asked as he pointed to himself and Ziva.
Part 2 coming soon
Thank you so much for reading.
I apologize in advance for grammar and silly proofreading mistakes that I missed even after repeated proofreading.