A/N: Hey everyone! Thanks again for all the wonderful reviews on the last chapter and all the previous ones as well. You guys are the best! Here's this week's chapter, it's a little heavy on the case stuff, I'll try and make the next chapter a little less heavy to compensate.

Just FYI, there won't be an update next week. I'm going to spend the week at my sister's house and I don't want to stress myself out or end up posting a substandard chapter. But after that I should be back to my every Thursday updating schedule. :)

Also, a reminder that I'm on tumblr now, username: punkcatknitter. I'll be keeping in touch there while I'm away in case everyone wants to know what I've been up to and if I've gotten a chance to write.

Chapter Ten

"The weightlessness and a lack of rest
Away from you I'm in over my head"*

*"Every Breath" by Boyce Avenue

"What do you think he's doing here?" Abby asked nervously, pacing in front of McGee's desk. Tony had escorted Lieutenant Flynn to an interrogation room not long after his arrival. Only ten minutes had passed, but it felt like it had been hours.

"He's probably sitting in a chair, staring at the table, or the mirror, waiting for Gibbs to come in." Beth had dozed off in his lap and McGee was deftly typing around her, looking up the last minute information Gibbs had asked him to locate.

Gavin was still stubbornly clinging to wakefulness, although not nearly as cheerful as he had been in the Director's office. Abby had him against her shoulder and he was pouting at the world around him as if he knew what was going on.

Maybe he did, Abby thought, frowning. At the very least, he was probably sensing her tension. Which meant she should really try and be less tense.

Yeah, that wasn't going to happen anytime soon.

"Where's he been?" Abby resumed her pacing, which at least seemed to be having the side benefit of lulling Gavin to sleep. She should remember this for the next time he was up half the night.

McGee began printing a few pages from Lieutenant Flynn's bank statement. "I don't know, Abby."

"What if he's the killer?" Abby's voice was reaching the squeaking point. "What if he wants the kids back? I'm not giving Beth and Gavin to a murderer!"

"Abby," McGee said calmly, picking up the papers and setting them to one side of his desk. She didn't pause, and he tried again, this time louder. "Abby!"

"What?" She stopped, biting her lip and probably looking as much a scared little girl as she felt at that exact moment.

"Gibbs is going to find out what happened." McGee didn't look away from her, just stared straight into her eyes. "He always does, right?"

Abby nodded.

Behind her, someone cleared their throat, and Abby turned to find Ziva (who she had completely forgotten was there) standing just to the left of her.

Ziva gave her a small smile. "Everyone wants Beth and Gavin to be all right, Abby. We are all on their side, remember?"

Abby nodded again. "Thank you," she whispered. That really was all she needed to hear, that she wasn't the only person concerned over the sudden reappearance of their father.

McGee pushed the papers he printed out in an empty folder and held them up. "Could you give these to Gibbs?" he asked Ziva, glancing down at his occupied lap.

"Of course." Ziva took the folder and turned to Abby. "If you do not mind my asking, what did the Director want?"

"Just to make sure I wasn't letting Beth play with the hydrochloric acid," Abby droned. When McGee gave her a pointed look, she sighed. "He said it's not a good idea for Beth and Gavin to be down in the lab with me."

Ziva waited patiently for her to continue.

"I convinced him that it was important to our case that we keep Beth close for now." Abby swallowed. "As soon as we solve the case I have to put them in daycare or something. If I still have them," she finished softly.

"Perhaps by then she will not be so fearful," Ziva suggested.

Abby wasn't really convinced. "Maybe."

Abby stole Tony's chair and pushed it over next to McGee. Sitting down, she gave Gavin a gentle bounce to make sure he was asleep now, or at least close enough to asleep to be content. "I don't like this," she said softly, staring at the ground.

"None of us do," Ziva said softly. She held up the folder in her hands and with a wry smile, walked away.

McGee watched Abby for a moment, translating the emotions as they spread over her face. "I'm going to order some lunch," he told her. It was past lunchtime actually, and not only was he starving, but Beth was sure to be hungry when she woke up.

Abby was biting her lip.

"I was thinking Chinese." McGee raised his eyebrows and waited for some kind of reaction. "Want me to order you some Veg Lo Mein?"

She shrugged. "That would be nice," she admitted, turning to look him in the eye.

"It's going to be okay." McGee answered her silent question while her eyes watched him, full of worry and confusion.

"You can't know that," she said finally, breaking eye contact and staring at the floor.

"Maybe not," McGee agreed, reaching over and touching her shoulder. "But I can do everything in my power to make it happen." His stomach rumbled suddenly, breaking through the tense energy in the room.

Abby leaned her head against his hand. "You're the best, McGee. Now go order the food before your stomach makes any more of those ominous noises."


Lieutenant Brian Flynn had closely cropped orangey-red hair and his face was liberally sprinkled with freckles. He sat stoically in the interrogation room, his face seemingly without any emotion. He looked every bit the soldier, staring impassively at either the wall or the mirror in front of him as he had been in the room for over an hour. He had hardly moved the entire time.

"You think he was involved, Boss?" Tony asked as Gibbs stared silently through the two way glass at the man.

Gibbs didn't so much as blink. "Could be," he said softly.

"How much longer are we gonna leave him in there to stew?"

"As long as it takes," Gibbs told him.

Tony checked his phone when it vibrated in his pocket. "McGee says that the private investigator Lieutenant Flynn hired called us back. Flynn fired him right after he received the photos of his wife and our mystery man. Guess he'd found what he was looking for."

Gibbs made a non-committal hum in the back of his throat as he continued observing the Lieutenant. There was so much you could tell about a man when you put him in a room all by himself and watched. Things that were so much more difficult to determine when you stepped through the door and began questioning him. The solitude, the silence, the apprehension, it all played a quiet and simple part in the interrogation process.

Truthfully, Gibbs wasn't sure if Lieutenant Flynn was involved in the death of his wife, but he knew it was more likely than it was not. An ex-wife with a drug habit and a new boyfriend, one who took off with your two small children across state lines, that was a lot for a man to take.

Especially one with military training. A man to whom loyalty and honor were two of the most important things in life. A man, who according to the people they had spoken to so far, loved his children very much.

He looked over when Ziva entered the observation room.

"McGee asked me to give you this," she said, handing him a thin manila folder. "He said it was the information you asked for."

Gibbs nodded silently, glancing briefly at the papers inside before closing the envelope.

"Abby is very worried," Ziva said to no one in particular.

Gibbs said nothing, simply nodded for Tony to follow him and made his way into the interrogation room. He sat down in the single chair across from Lieutenant Flynn, leaving Tony to lean against the wall in one corner.

"Good afternoon," he said to the Lieutenant, although it was closer to evening now. "I'm Special Agent Gibbs and this is Special Agent DiNozzo." He motioned to Tony, who had his arms crossed and his eyes narrowed at their suspect.

"I want to see my children."

Gibbs watched the man's face carefully, noticing the small crack in his armor when mentioning his kids. He filed that piece of information away silently. "We contacted you the second we found them."

A tiny twitch. "Where are they?"

"Safe," Gibbs said simply. He leaned forward. "Where have you been, Lieutenant Flynn?"

"Safe." The Lieutenant maintained steady eye contact. "I want to see my children," he repeated.

Gibbs ignored his last statement, pulling out a crime scene photograph of Christina Flynn's body and sliding it across the table casually. "How about your wife?"

"Ex-wife." Flynn glanced down at the photo briefly, his expression never changing.

"You don't seem surprised she's dead," Tony remarked from where he stood.

"I'm not."

"I'd be interested to know why." Gibbs leaned back in his chair, his expression never changing.

Flynn was silent.

"When was the last time you saw your wife?" Tony asked.

Flynn's nostrils flared. "Ex-wife."

"Whoops." Tony sounded as far from sorry as was possible.

Flynn sighed. "The last time I saw her was when she picked the kids up Wednesday afternoon. She was supposed to drop them both off at my house the next morning so I could bring them to the daycare center, but as I'm sure you both know, she never did that."

"Then what happened?" Gibbs prodded.

"Then I called the cops." Flynn's nostrils flared. "She took off with my kids, what else would I have done?"

Tony shrugged. "I don't know. Might make a man awful angry."

"Of course it made me angry." Flynn's voice was still low and steady. "But I didn't kill her, if that's what you're trying to imply."

Gibbs watched his expressions closely. "Where did you go after you left the police station?"

"I went to go look for my kids." Flynn glanced over at Tony. "And my ex-wife."

Tony opened his mouth, but Gibbs shook his head.

"You didn't trust the police to find them?"

Flynn gritted his teeth and watched Gibb's warily. "They didn't seem like they were taking it very seriously. Took my number down, said she was probably running late."

Gibbs found all this interesting. "They were worried enough to contact NCIS."

Flynn shrugged. "They didn't say anything to me about it."

"Where'd you go?" Gibbs asked. "You must have had some idea of where to look."

"Old friends." Flynn's face darkened. "I knew who Christina had turned to before."

"Old friends?" Gibbs repeated.

Flynn nodded. "Yeah, old friends." It was obvious by the tone in his voice he had no intention of expanding on the subject.

"Want to share with the class?" Tony walked up to the table.

"Not particularly, no."

"Your ex-wife is dead," Gibbs stated succinctly. "And the less you help us out, the more you look like a suspect."

"I didn't kill her." A vein in Lieutenant Flynn's forehead was beginning to pop out.

"I don't know." Tony shrugged. "Ex-wives can make you awful mad, right Boss?"

Gibbs shot Tony a scathing look.

Flynn took a deep breath and picked up the crime scene photo off the table. "What happened to her anyway?"

"Stabbed." Gibbs paused. "As for what else happened, we're still trying to get Beth to talk."

"Beth?" His head flew up. "Beth was there? My daughter was there?"

"We think so," Tony informed him. "Hasn't said a word since, but I imagine it's pretty traumatic to watch Daddy killing Mommy."

"I didn't kill her!" Lieutenant Flynn shot up out of the chair and slammed his fists down on the table.

Gibbs didn't flinch. "Then how about you provide us a DNA sample so we can rule you out as a suspect?"

Flynn laughed. "Yeah right. I'm not that stupid." He adjusted his chair and sat back down, leaning towards Gibbs. "I want a lawyer."


Gibbs and Tony stood side by side in the observation room, arms crossed identically, watching as Lieutenant Flynn spoke with his lawyer.

"I hate when they lawyer up," Tony complained. "It really ruins all the fun."

"It certainly puts somewhat of a damper on things."

Both men turned to see Ducky, sans bow tie at the moment in a pair of scrubs, standing in the doorway.

"You got something, Duck?" Gibbs asked.

The older man nodded. "I finished my autopsy on Christina Flynn and thought you would like to have the full report." He held up a sheaf of papers.

"I would." Gibbs took the papers from Ducky and flipped through them, scanning the information. "Anything surprising?"

"Not particularly," Ducky told him. "Mr. Palmer's observation proved correct, cause of death was, in fact, asphyxiation. Judging from the marks found and the fibers in her throat, I'd venture to guess that the assailant held a garment over her face, a coat perhaps."

"Stabbed and then smothered," Tony summarized. "Not a pleasant way to go."

"You wouldn't think so," Ducky agreed, his face remaining serious and utterly professional, "although the rising numbers in teen and pre-teen so-called 'choking games' as well as the practice of erotic asphyxiation might suggest otherwise. Why I once autopsied a twenty year old man who had-"

Gibbs cleared his throat.

"Er, of course." Ducky gave them a half smile. "Getting back to Mrs. Flynn, she showed no signs of recent sexual activity, although a recently inserted IUD suggests that it was not outside the realm of possibility."

Tony wrinkled his nose. "IUD's creep me out."

Gibbs raised his eyebrows.

"Not that it has anything to do with our case," Tony quickly added. "Did you find anything else, Ducky?"

"Indeed. The assailant apparently stabbed Ms. Flynn several times, then dragged her to the place we found her, where he killed her. I found a small area on her tibialis posterior which appeared to have some kind of allergic reaction. I sent a swab to the lab and hopefully Abby will be able to identify the substance when she gets back."

"Is she still upstairs with McGee?" Tony asked.

Ducky nodded. "I believe so."

Gibbs tucked the autopsy report under one arm. "I'll go let her know there's work waiting for her."

Tony and Ducky watched him leave the room, at which point Ducky turned to Tony. "How is Abigail doing today?"

Tony shrugged. "According to McGee this morning she was like a rabid porcupine when they left, something about the baby crying all night. She seemed okay when we got back. Someone must have gotten her a Caf-Pow."

"Ah." Ducky appeared amused. "The joys of parenthood."

"And reason number eight I'm glad I'm not one." Tony smirked.

"You never know, Anthony," Ducky said, eyeing Tony as if he were a specimen for him to identify. "That could always be why your former paramour decided to look you up after all these years."

Tony's mouth dropped open and he stared at Ducky in shock. If it hadn't been for the twinkle in the older man's eyes, he might have just had a heart attack on the spot. "You are a mean old Scot, Ducky."


When Gibbs entered the bullpen it was strangely quiet, and at first glance empty. But when his gaze made its way over to McGee's desk he found himself cracking a smile.

Abby was fast asleep next to McGee in a second office chair. She'd wrapped her arms around one of his and had her face smashed up against his shoulder. McGee had his feet up on his desk and his other arm was cradling Gavin (who was also sleeping) against his chest.

Gibbs took a moment to muse on the situation. Just a few weeks ago, he would have said there was no situation on this planet that would make the scene in front of him acceptable in his book. He knew everyone liked to use Rule 12 as an excuse, but just like there was a reason for it, there was also flexibility in the rule.

Abby and McGee didn't work directly with each other. Technically, Abby worked for Vance, Gibbs just got to use her. The higher ups wouldn't have a problem with a relationship between the two of them, but that didn't mean Gibbs didn't have misgivings about it.

Abby had never told him exactly why she and McGee had broken things off the first time, but Gibbs had no doubt there was a reason. And Abby being Abby, well, she hadn't always been known for making the greatest decisions when it came to guys.

He supposed if someone held a gun to his head he might admit he'd always thought they were good for each other. Seeing the way they took care of Gavin and Beth only reinforced his thoughts. He wasn't under any delusion that they were ready to be in a relationship now, but he also wasn't stupid enough to not realize that it might be coming.

They were both changing before his eyes, in equally unique and intriguing ways. Ducky was going to have a field day watching his two co-worker's transformations.

It really was amazing how much two small children could change two grown adult's lives.

"Beth?" he called softly, hoping she hadn't wandered off while the adults napped.

She poked her head out from under McGee's desk and waved. Climbing under McGee's legs to get out, she walked over to him and Gibb's scooped her up in his arms.

"What's everyone doing?" he asked.

She signed "sleeping".

"I bet you're the only one who got any sleep last night, huh?" Gibbs remarked, grinning down at her.

Beth shrugged.

Gibbs walked over to the couple and gave McGee's shoulder a shake. McGee startled a little, then blinked rapidly as he realized where he was.

"Uh, hey boss." McGee wiggled the shoulder Abby was snoozing on.

"I didn't set the couch on fire, Mom, I swear!" Abby sat straight up.

Gibbs smirked while McGee's shoulders shook in silent laughter.

Abby blinked, squinting up at Gibbs and looking completely lost. "Sorry, Gibbs. I guess I fell asleep."

Gibbs nodded. "Don't let me catch you doing it again. Ducky just sent some stuff to the lab for you to test."

"Right." Abby stood up, stretching and adjusting one pigtail, which was crooked. "Um, did you finish talking to Lieutenant Flynn?" She bit her lip, looking uncharacteristically unsure of herself.

"For now." Gibbs' gaze drifted to the little girl in his arms. "He's talking to his lawyer right now."

Abby nodded. "Oh."

"What did he have to say about the debit charges?" McGee asked. He had slowly pulled his feet off his desk (so as to not wake Gavin) and was checking his computer for any important alerts or emails.

"Didn't get to that part yet," Gibbs told him.

"Did he mention…?" Abby's voice trailed off and her eyes dropped from Gibb's face to the little girl in his arms.

"He asked about them."

Abby swallowed.

"I don't know yet, Abbs." Gibbs answered her unspoken question, wishing he could reassure her. He knew how scared she was, and he couldn't promise her things would be all right, no matter how much he might wish it.

"Okay." Abby took a deep breath. Gibbs could tell she was in a really vulnerable place at that moment, a side of Abby's personality people rarely got an opportunity to see.

"I'm sorry, but I don't have time. I got called down to the Navy Yard on an emergency." They had missed the ding of the elevator, but no one missed the woman who tripped on her way out, sending a stack of papers flying across the floor as she landed on her knees. "You're just going to have to get someone else to fill in for me, or the Johnsons are gonna have to wait!"

Amy Fowler flipped her cell phone shut and jammed it into her pocket, gathering up her papers from where she had conveniently landed on the floor next to them.

Abby's eyes widened as she caught sight of the disheveled looking woman who had just appeared in the bullpen. "Ms. Fowler! What are you doing here?"

Dressed in a brown corduroy skirt and an olive green v-neck sweater, Ms. Fowler pushed the papers back into her bag and stood up. Thick white tights, clunky brown shoes and the same messenger bag she'd been carrying the last time Abby had seen her completed the ensemble.

"Please, call me Amy. Ms. Fowler makes me sound like my great-aunt Gertrude." She pushed a handful of curly brown hair out of her face and smiled at her.

Abby nodded. "All right, Amy it is."

"I'm actually here because I received a call from Lieutenant Flynn's lawyer. I understand NCIS is holding him?" Amy shuffled through her bag as she spoke.

"We are." Gibbs felt his arms tighten instinctively around Beth.

Amy pulled a folder out of her bag and read the sticky note attached to the outside. "I apologize," she said, pushing a pair of black reading glasses onto her face. "I have twenty open case files right now and it can be hard to remember all the details without having my notes handy."

Gibbs waited silently.

"Here we go: I was told to inform a Special Agent Gibbs that Lieutenant Flynn will answer all of his questions if he is allowed to speak with the social worker in charge of his children's case beforehand." She looked up, the glasses slipping to the end of her nose. "You are Agent Gibbs, correct."

He nodded.

During the exchange, Abby slipped behind McGee and gripped his shoulder tightly. She was trying very hard not to freak out, but she had an urge to grab Beth and Gavin and run.

Twenty open cases? How could this woman possibly give so many different children enough attention? Abby knew there were good social workers and bad ones, what if she was a bad one? Sure, she had seemed nice enough the last time they met, but what if Abby was wrong?

"Abby." Gibbs voice penetrated her brain as she was internally freaking out.

She looked up to find him, Amy, and Beth all staring at her. "Um, what?"

Gibbs smiled at Beth a little, making Abby feel a little reassured. "I said, I'm going to take Amy down to interrogation. Ziva is waiting for you in your lab."

"Oh, okay." Abby swallowed. "Cool. I mean, great."

Gibbs set Beth down and ruffled her hair. "See you later, Beth."

Beth waved as he and Amy headed towards the elevators.

McGee was looking up at Abby. "Abby? You okay?"

She shook her head, then nodded. "Yeah, I'm fine. I'll be fine."

"You want me to keep Gavin up here?" he offered.

"Nah, he's gonna be hungry again soon." As much as she hated to disturb him, she carefully scooped Gavin up from McGee's chest. He let out a little whimper, but quieted when she tucked him against her shoulder. "Shhh," she murmured.

Beth crawled back under McGee's desk and came out clutching her bunny in one hand.

"You ready?" Abby asked her, and the little girl nodded.


Gibbs and Tony watched as Ms. Fowler sat down across the table from Lieutenant Flynn in the interrogation room and talked to him. The lieutenant's lawyer didn't seem concerned, and he leaned back while the two talked.

Lieutenant Flynn seemed to be very animated.

"What do you think he's talking about?" Tony mused out loud.

"I think he probably wants to know if his children are all right."

"Oh." Tony let out a nervous laugh. "Right, Boss. Of course he is."

Gibbs crossed his arms and watched the exchange closely. Lieutenant Flynn began the conversation very tense, a vein throbbing in his forehead, but whatever Ms. Fowler was telling him seemed to be reassuring him. He'd told her not to give the Lieutenant any specific details about Abby, but that she could tell him all she wanted about Abby's qualifications as a foster parent, and how attached the kids were to her.

Lieutenant Flynn was a very reasonable suspect. He had motive, means, and Gibbs doubted he had an airtight alibi. Despite that fact, there was a small part of him that really wanted Lieutenant Flynn to be innocent. Having got to know both Gavin and Beth over the past few days was giving him a completely unique outlook to this case.

The loss of their mother was going to affect them a lot. But if their father had done it? That had the potential to screw up the rest of their lives.

Tony cleared his throat, and Gibbs realized more time had passed than he had been conscious of. Lieutenant Flynn seemed much more relaxed, and Ms. Fowler was gathering up her papers.

Gibbs handed Tony the folder containing Flynn's banking records. "Here, you go talk to him."

"You sure, Boss?" Tony accepted the folder hesitantly.

Gibbs nodded. It was better for Tony to be the one Flynn talked to now. Not only could Gibbs remain the "bad guy" in all of this, but Tony was approaching things from a more neutral ground.

Some days rule number ten was harder to apply than others.

Tony had a little bounce in his step as he entered the interrogation room. Sometimes this really was the best part of his job, screwing with the suspects. He figured Gibbs was probably just letting him handle the interview so he could escort Ms. Amy Fowler out of the building, but no matter the reason, he was going to enjoy himself.

He nodded politely at Ms. Fowler as she exited the room. She looked like she might have a decent body under the crazy hair and the crazier clothes, but it was hard to tell.

Besides, he had bigger things to think about at that exact moment.

Plopping eagerly in the chair recently vacated by Ms. Fowler, Tony grinned across the table at Lieutenant Flynn and his lawyer.

The lawyer, a tiny pug nosed man, let out a deep breath. "Against my recommendations, my client says he will tell you whatever NCIS wants to know now that he knows his children are in capable hands."

"Oh they are." Tony smirked at the nasal tone of the lawyer's voice. "Does that mean we can ditch the chaperone?"

The lawyer glared over his little pert nose at Tony, but Flynn leaned towards him and whispered in his ear. "Fine. All right then, I will go watch in the observation room."

Tony waited until the lawyer had left. "So, where were you when your ex-wife was murdered?" No reason to pussyfoot around.

"That depends on when exactly she was murdered," Flynn fired back.

"Touché." Tony folded his hands on the table in front of him. "How about this, where were you Wednesday night, when your children were with their mother?"

"Had a beer with some friends around eight. Home by ten. Went straight to bed."

Tony raised his eyebrows. "Straight to bed?"

Flynn shrugged. "I only get one full night of sleep a week. Baby, remember?"

"You have friends that can corroborate that?"

"Probably. I can give you names."

"Good. I want them. Numbers too." Tony slid a notepad across the table and pulled a pen out of a pocket in his suit jacket.

Flynn scribbled on the notepad for a minute, then passed it back to Tony.

"Now I want to know every move you made starting when you left the police station Thursday morning," Tony told him.

Flynn sighed. "I went back to Christina's apartment. Knocked on the door a few times. I even tried to pick the lock with a credit card but it just broke in half."

"Credit card?" Tony snorted. "Rookie mistake." A rookie mistake he himself had done no less than a dozen times in his lifetime, but that wasn't something Lieutenant Flynn needed to know.

"Yeah, well, after that I knocked on a few doors to see if anyone had seen anything. Like I said, the police didn't sound like they were going to act on it, so I figured I'd better do some investigating of my own."

"Find out anything?"

Flynn took a deep breath. "Some fat guy in a wife beater told me he'd seen her leaving late the night before with a bunch of bags and both the kids. Said he'd offered to help her carry them, but she acted really freaked out and wouldn't let him."

"So you guessed where she had gone and went to get revenge."

Flynn gritted his teeth. "I didn't kill her!"

"But you did go to Vermont." Tony pulled out a sheet of paper and placed it in front of Lieutenant Flynn. "You stopped for gas just before Pittsfield Massachusetts. You used your debit card. It's a small station, they just completed the transaction this morning."

Flynn stared at the paper in front of him. Tony held back the satisfied smile that wanted to spread over his face. He had him right where he wanted him.

"You don't have anything." Flynn leaned back, pushing the paper forward. "You're just hoping I'll screw up and say something incriminating."

Or, maybe he didn't. "We have more evidence that says you did it than otherwise," he stated, realizing that things were going downhill, and fast. "You had motive, means, an opportunity."

"And you've got nothing." Flynn smirked. "Besides, as soon as you talk to the owner of that service station, you'll know I never even made it to Vermont. I blew a tire in the parking lot and spent three hours waiting for AAA to come pick me up. The mechanics found a problem when they went to replace the tire, and the owner of the station offered to let me stay in their spare room for the weekend." Flynn's smile was just devious enough to give Tony the creeps. "Airtight alibi. You can't hold me anymore."

And the worst part was. Tony knew he was right.


Tony ran into Ziva in the hallway outside the interrogation room. He closed the door behind him firmly and found her waiting patiently with her hands behind her back.

"Well?" Ziva asked.

"If his alibi checks out we can't hold him anymore."

"He has an alibi?"

Tony nodded, leaning against the wall and running a hand through his hair. "I still think he knows more than he's telling us, but he couldn't have killed his wife."

Ziva crossed her arms. "Abby is not going to be happy."

"I don't know." Tony shrugged. "If he didn't do it, the kids get their father back."

"But we cannot guarantee that he didn't have something to do with it," Ziva protested. "Abby is not going to be happy without absolute proof."

True, very true. Tony pushed himself away from the wall thinking about the scared little girl down in Abby's lab.

Neither was he.


Rule #10: Never get personally involved in a case.