Secrets vs. Lies

What is really the difference of a secret from a lie? Does it simply depend on the situation, the reasoning, or the people involved? By definition, a secret is a mystery that is kept unknown. A lie is a deception or a false statement intended to convey a false impression. Is a lie called a secret to protect a guilty conscience? Or is it a secret just a mystery to protect certain information that is hurtful to others?

Autopsy

"Duck, I am starting to get concerned. He gets the Holiday blues every year, but this year has been worse. I thought by having his father stay at my place for Thanksgiving that he could get through the rest of the holidays with a better attitude then previous years." Gibbs explained to Dr. Mallard. "But. . ."

"But, now you are thinking it made things worse?" Ducky asked. Gibbs nodded.
"It had little or no effect at improving his holiday attitude." Gibbs corrected. "Is there any chance that he could help plan Palmer's bachelor party or something? He needs something."

"Possibly." Ducky answered, unsure if Palmer wanted his best man, Ducky, to share the responsibilities of planning the bachelor party.

"Do you know what the cause of the yearly Holiday blues really is for him?" Ducky asked, as Gibbs shook his head indicating that he did not. "I will try to talk with him, too." Ducky added, after sensing how at a loss Gibbs was.

One week later. . .

Squad Room

"Okay, so you said an evening of bar hopping is totally out then. Well then, the way I see it we will need at least one keg of Beer. We start off with some basic Beer Pong, followed by Anchor Man, some Russian Beer Roulette, and Boat Races." Tony listed off holding his pad of paper, as he typed at his desk.

"No, come on Tony, does everything have to be a Beer drinking game?" McGee complained.

"Palmer already said that he did not want a stripper. And, Ducky is bringing the Karaoke machine. So, I don't know what else is there unless you want to play a sport, McGee? If you prefer, we could play Indian Poker, Fuzzy Duck, Go Fish, and Crazy 8's."

"What is wrong with paint ball? Do any of these games not include Beer and getting completely hammered?" McGee asked in frustration.

"Well . . .no McGee. We are planning a Bachelor party here. Everything here involves Beer and getting hammered." Tony argued while searching up and down his pad of paper. "I think you are missing the point of a Bachelor party, Tim. This is Jimmy Palmer's last day as a single man. This is his last chance to do something incredibly stupid and insane." Tony said passionately. "And as a single man, this will be his last. . . "

"What are you rambling about, DiNozzo?" Gibbs said as he entered the squad room.

"They are planning a party of bachelors." Ziva interrupted.

"It is actually called a Bachelor party, Ziva." McGee corrected her.

"Palmer is letting DiNozzo plan it?" Gibbs asked, pretending as if he knew nothing about it, as he sat down at his desk.

"Yes Boss, he is. Ducky is the best man, but Palmer has requested a memorable night." Tony explained.

"Without strippers." Ziva emphasized squinting at DiNozzo.

"Yes, without. . ." Tony turned and returned her playful glare.

"As part of the autopsy gremlin's curse, he has been granted one night of eating and drinking past midnight, so we must make it count." Tony said continuing his taunting facial exchanges with Ziva. Gibbs looked down at his desk trying to hide a chuckle from his team. The bantering was interrupted by Gibbs' ringing phone.

"Gear up." Gibbs said. DiNozzo threw his bachelor party notebook planner in his desk before joining the others with his backpack at the elevator.

"What have we got, Boss?" McGee asked, as the piled into the elevator.

"A former Marine-turned Senator was stabbed at a press conference." Gibbs answered.

"That's a new one." DiNozzo mumbled looking down avoiding any potential angry glares from his sarcastic comment.

Crime Scene

"He had just given a speech at the podium. Then a man yelled something in Russian, pulled out a knife, and stabbed him in the stomach before running into the crowd. I caught it on my camera phone." The witness said.

After gathering the evidence and speaking to several witnesses, the team went to the hospital to check on the status of the Senator.

Hospital

He was stabbed in the stomach. He just came out of surgery, and you should be able to talk to him when he regains consciousness.

"Will you please contact us?" Gibbs asked, handing her a card.

"DiNozzo, you stay with him, when he does regain consciousness, call me." Gibbs ordered.

Abby's Lab

"Okay, well he is there right now. Sure, I will call you. Bye." Abby talked into her cell phone, but jumped when she found Gibbs standing behind her.

"Abs?" Gibbs prompted her to elaborate on the conversation she just had.

"Oh, that was nothing, Gibbs." Abby tried to shake off his interest in the phone call, which earned her a look of suspicion from Gibbs.

"Well, Gibbs, I have accessed the video footage that our witness caught on his camera phone." Abby explained. "And, I managed to get a clear picture of our stabber, which I emailed to both Ziva and McGee. It is running through facial recognition software." Gibbs and Abby both watched as the Senator was stabbed.

"Yeah Gibbs." Gibbs answered his ringing phone. "Okay, I will be right up."

Squad Room

"Boss, the man that stabbed the Senator was someone that the Senator injured in Iraq, when he was still a Marine. It was an accident, but the man had to go through months of physical therapy and rehab."

"Revenge?" Ziva said. Gibbs nodded.

"Do we know where this guy might be?" Gibbs asked.

"He has an apartment under an alias right here in D.C." Gibbs nodded. "We need to start a stronger protection detail of the Senator until we find his stabber."

"He did have several threats made against him, since he has been in office." McGee added.

"It comes with the position of being a public figure." Ziva added.

Hospital

"Hey, did he wake up yet?" Gibbs asked approaching DiNozzo, who standing just outside the Senator's room.

"No." DiNozzo answered.

"Agent Gibbs?" A hospital administrator called over to him. Gibbs walked over to the desk. "I really need your help, sir." She said and guided Gibbs over to her desk, as McGee and Ziva followed.

"I would like to interview the Senator as soon as possible." A woman said to them. Gibbs was taken aback by the investigative journalist, who had requested to see the Senator. She was arguing with the hospital administrator, as Gibbs continued to approach her. McGee and Ziva joined them and were already standing there trying to convince her that she would not be able to see him until he was discharged.

"Oh, I see. Is this just an NCIS thing? NCIS is now dictating Congress' schedule as well?" She yelled. "The Senator promised me a personal interview after the press conference, and I am not leaving until I get that interview."

"You will have to leave if you interfere with this investigation in any way." Gibbs informed her. He stepped over to her and looked her directly in the eyes with a serious, no-nonsense, Gibbs' glare.

"That won't happen." She shot back.

"You have been known to interfere before." Gibbs retorted.

"Gibbs, this isn't fair. I was supposed to get this interview." She said. McGee gave Ziva a confused look as she called Gibbs by name and knew that they were NCIS without even showing her a badge.

"Does Tony know that you are here?" Gibbs asked. That question surprised McGee and Ziva even more as to what exactly was going on.

"Hey Boss . . ." Tony yelled. He started to approach them. When he made it around the corner and saw them, a force literally pushed him backwards from the shock of seeing the woman who was standing next to Gibbs. Based upon Tony's stunned reaction, Gibbs got the answer to his question. To break the uncomfortable silence that involved the woman and Tony just staring at one another, Gibbs cleared his throat.

"She wants to interview the Senator, Tony." Gibbs said, looking back from Tony to the woman. Tony was speechless, but nervously nodded in understanding of Gibbs' comment. Gibbs approached Tony.

"Is the Senator awake, Tony?" Gibbs asked softly, hoping that the woman could not hear that. Tony looked to Gibbs and gave a small nod, so Gibbs left to talk with the Senator.

"So, you are a journalist now?" Tony asked as he approached her.

"Yes, well after my divorce, I wanted to reinvent myself. I also just wanted more out of life. Besides, not everyone feels the need to use their bachelor degrees for what they were really for. You of all people should not that. At least I used my music education degree for a time." McGee and Ziva looked back and forth trying to follow the conversation and starting to develop suspicions as to how this woman knew both Gibbs and Tony.

"Tony!" Ziva sharply intervened. "Who is this woman?"

Without looking a way for a second, DiNozzo quickly answered. "Guys, this is Wendy."

"Wendy." Ziva slowly emphasized. McGee was speechless, trying to withhold a laugh.

"Ohhh, this is rich." McGee tried to contain a laugh as he stepped away with Ziva, so that Tony and Wendy could speak without an audience.

As Ziva and McGee turned the corner to join Gibbs in the Senator's hospital room, they spotted the stabber, disguised in surgical scrubs.

"Isn't that. . ." McGee started to say drawing his weapon, as Ziva shouted his name.

"You need to freeze, now!" She screamed with her weapon also drawn. Knowing that they would not fire with that many innocent people around, the man started to bolt down the opposite end of the hallway. Ziva and McGee managed to catch up quickly after chasing him down the hallway. They had him cuffed and started to walk him down the hallway to Gibbs. While they transported the stabber, DiNozzo bolted around the corner.

"Oh, you got him then?" DiNozzo said out of breath from running.

"What happened?" DiNozzo asked obviously surprised by what took place.

"Our suspect here was approaching the room where Gibbs and the Senator are. We spotted him when we turned the corner just a few minutes ago." McGee explained. DiNozzo was still out of breath and surprised by all that he missed.

As they approached the Senator's room, Gibbs stepped out into the hallway, where they were at. Gibbs was taken aback by how Ziva and McGee were escorting their suspect and by how DiNozzo seemed so frazzled. Gibbs eyed DiNozzo in concern for a moment, then looked over to McGee and Ziva.

"Nice work." Gibbs said to both Ziva and McGee.

"You can bring the suspect into NCIS for questioning." Gibbs stated, as he looked at both Ziva and McGee.

"I – I can take him in Boss." DiNozzo said looking at Gibbs.

"No, you go talk with Wendy." Gibbs said stepping closer to DiNozzo giving him an intense, Gibbs' stare.

McGee and Ziva looked back and forth from Gibbs to DiNozzo, trying to interpret the unspoken dialogue between them before taking the suspect to NCIS headquarters. As DiNozzo returned to the desk to find Wendy, she was sitting in the waiting room nearby, so he joined her. McGee and Ziva passed by with the suspect, noticing the two sitting in the waiting room.