He sat in his car as he watched "Bob" and should have been mad. But he wasn't. Seemed "Bob" was being cocky and thought he could juggle two hits at once as he was on surveillance for another job. "Bob" was lucky he didn't plan for him to live much longer.
"Bob" stood in the park, taking pictures, and he watched with amusement as he started running away from a reporter. Couldn't blame him though; wouldn't want his face spread. The next thing that happened surprised the hell out of him but had him laughing so hard he thought he'd have tears running down his cheeks soon.
"Bob" got hit by a car. All because he didn't look before trying to cross the street. He couldn't have planned it better himself, even if he tried. Oh, it was hilarious. And as everyone freaked out and tried to help him, he turned his car and drove in the opposite direction, making his way to "Bob's" car.
Grabbing what he needed, he quickly broke into the car and checked to make sure everything that was needed was there. Thankfully Timothy's file was in the car, but so was the file on the other target. Snatching that up, he locked the car back up and headed back to his own.
He could care less about the other target. The focus needed to be on Timothy.
Tim sighed as he sat on the couch, the television providing background noise. He honestly had no idea what was on. Jethro lied down at his feet, peacefully sleeping with his head resting on Tim's shoes. They'd been like that for close to an hour and Tim had no idea what to do. Thankfully he was back to being able to put those memories back under lock and key like they were supposed to be. His mind no longer whirled with numbers and theories. Or they did but not as badly as they used to for the past few weeks.
All in all, things were looking a bit up for him. When Gibbs had come home later that day, when he had gone to visit NCIS, he had actually sat him down to get him to talk. He obviously hadn't talked to Gibbs like he would Dr. Meyers, but it had helped. The man was smart and liked everything straight forward. And in doing so, told him straight out that he needed to calm down and take care of himself. That when he finally took care of himself then he could focus better.
Other people had told him the same thing—even his dad who made it a thing to call him every other day to check up on him—but hearing it from Gibbs just knocked his focus into gear and he did as told. He took better care of himself; he slept more reasonable hours, he was able to eat more than dinner and keep it down, and he was finally able to control his thoughts. All in all he felt better.
Except for that constant feeling of paranoia.
It wouldn't go away. The feeling of being watched, of something just waiting to happen. Jethro was obviously itching for some time on a walk or to go to the park, but his fear was keeping him from leaving the house unless someone was with him. He hated it and he was worried—no matter what Gibbs said—that something mentally was going on with him, making him feel this paranoid. And this was something he couldn't tell Gibbs.
His cell phone ringing jerked him out of his wandering thoughts and he picked his cell off the coffee table before answering it. "McGee."
"Director Vance." His nerves skyrocketed at the sound of Vance's voice on the other end. "Wh-What can I do for you?" he asked nervously.
"I need you to come in."
"Yes, sir." Hanging up, he stared down at his phone before taking a big deep breath before letting it out. His probation was over in only two days. So it was plausible that Vance wanted to meet early and talk about if he was coming back or not.
Not wanting to be late and anger the man, he quickly got up and after letting Jethro out for a bathroom break and letting him back in, he headed out to his car and made his way to work. It wasn't a long drive, Gibbs didn't live that far away, and he made it inside with plenty of time to spare.
"McGee?" Ziva greeted with a confused frown when he stepped off the elevator and walked over.
"Hey," he smiled which was a huge difference to his visit a few days prior.
"Are you alright?" she asked, standing up and approaching him. But he grabbed her hand gently, with a small smile, when she reached her hand out to touch his forehead.
"I'm fine, Ziva," he assured as he lowered their hands. "And you know my…absence hasn't been for fever."
Ziva nodded with a small smile and she eventually stood on her tip toes to press a kiss to his cheek in greeting. "I am glad to see that you are looking more yourself."
"What are you doing here?" she asked as she switched their positions by holding his hand instead and leading him over to behind her desk where she plopped him down where he usually sat while she took her chair. "Your probation isn't over until next Monday."
"Vance called me," he explained, looking over at the empty desks, lingering on his own. It was hard to think about the fact that hadn't sat in his chair for a long time. "Said he wanted to see me," he finished before asking, "Where are the others?"
"Down in Abby's lab."
"Yes," she nodded, suddenly looking frustrated. "We have had this case for a while, actually got it the day you visited, and we are getting nowhere."
Opening his mouth, he was ready to offer some encouragement when his name was called. "McGee!"
Both looking over, they watched Tony jog over to join them, smiling from ear to ear. Tim felt his own lips twitch at Tony's happiness and chose to ignore the warm feeling in his chest that came. It seemed to be happening more and more and it was getting harder to ignore. Especially when Tony smiled like that.
Ziva's nudge to his leg broke him of his train of thought and tried to control the blush that rose. It didn't help with the way Ziva was smirking. "Hey Tony."
"Whatcha doing here?"
"He giving you trouble?" Gibbs asked as he appeared out of nowhere.
Tim shook his head, feeling that normalcy coming back with being surrounded by his team. Sure there have been times they all came over to visit at Gibbs' house, but being in the building, surrounded by the awful orange walls, it was familiar and he cherished it while he could. "Just called and said he wanted me to come in. Speaking of which, I gotta head up there."
He stood and didn't even pause to press a kiss to the top of Ziva's head before stepping out from behind her desk. Tony clapped him on the back while Gibbs nodded. Feeling their support, he gave them one last smile before turning to head out, only to bump into a hard body. "Oh! Sorry."
Snapping his head up, he gasped when he saw who it was. Lunging forward, he wrapped his arms around the older man's shoulders and clung for a few seconds, in which his hug was returned with just as much enthusiasm.
"Let me look at you." Ron Carter pulled back and held him at arm's length and looked him over before grinning. "You're looking good Tim. How are you?"
"Could be better."
He couldn't stop staring; he hadn't seen Mr. Carter since he left GEN-1 all those years ago. Minus a few more lines and gray hair, he hadn't changed much. The man still was easy to smile at Tim and look at him with so much pride, like his own father. For those years he worked there he had basically had two fathers, Commander McGee and Mr. Carter getting along right away and coming to some unspoken agreement that they would always be there for Tim, when one can't, the other would. His father hadn't been in on his assignments, didn't even know about half of them, but he had still been there for when Tim had trouble.
And he suddenly had a sinking feeling in the pit of his stomach at Mr. Carter's sudden appearance.
"Probie, you gonna introduce us?"
Shaking his head to clear it, he made quick introductions before talking to Carter again. "What are you doing here?"
"Your director called."
"Yes." They turned to the new voice and Director Vance stood at the edge of their bullpen. "I called him to clear a few things and have a talk." He stepped forward, offering his hand. "Mr. Carter, I'm Director Vance. We spoke on the phone."
Carter only removed one hand from Tim's shoulders to shake Vance's hand to still have a grip on him. "Pleasure, though I am a bit surprised you hadn't informed Tim of this meeting as it pertains to him."
Vance's eyes flickered over both Gibbs' who was staring with annoyance at not being informed of anything as Tim was his agent, and over Tim who was confused, before back to Carter. "Yes. I was going to inform both Agent McGee and Agent Gibbs on the meeting as it not only pertains to Tim but also to the case."
Tim almost smirked as Carter was in boss mode. He may not have been in charge of GEN-1 since a few years after Tim left, but he had gone back into a position of leadership in the Navy, so the leadership came easily. Though he was confused on what case.
"Shall we?" Vance gestured to the stairs. Carter nodded, his grip on Tim the same, causing Tim to follow, with his team following.
They made it to the director's office in no time and all were sitting at the table. Tim sat at one end, Carter beside him, hand surprisingly still holding onto, Gibbs on his other side. Tony sat beside Gibbs while Ziva sat beside Tony, and Vance grabbed a file off his desk before sitting on the other end.
Tim felt pit of his stomach expand and sink lower. He felt like he was going to be sick with nerves. And the wind was knocked out of his lungs when Vance spoke.
"Marvin Porter, Devin Lester, Amanda Robinson, Cheryl Lee, Alek Potrovsky," Vance listed without looking up; Tim feeling himself pale while the others looked confused. But at the last name, their attention was grabbed. "And Lieutenant Roy Masters."
There was a roaring in his ears as he heard names he hadn't heard in years and was involved in the memories he had finally put back under lock and key. The only thing keeping him the tiniest bit grounded was the fact Carter hadn't relinquished his hold on him once. If he hadn't, Tim was sure he would have been hyperventilating—though it was close—or had run.
"What was that?" Tony asked after he shot a worried look his way.
"That is a list of murders that have happened in the last few weeks, all dying with three shots to the chest."
"And you didn't mention this before?" Gibbs asked, obviously not liking the fact Vance had had information to a days old case and hadn't come forward with it.
"Didn't realize it till a few hours ago," Vance said. "Decided to do some digging myself, couldn't help it," he admitted, "and found a similarity between them all."
"…What?" Ziva asked.
At that, Vance looked right at him and he swallowed when all eyes turned to him.
Feeling as if his heart was about to race out of his chest, he looked towards Carter and suddenly knew why Vance had called Carter in. "No," he whispered.
"Tim," Gibbs said, the softest he'd ever heard him, and Tim looked at him. This couldn't be happening. It was one thing for his team to know about Gen-1, but it was another to know about this. What if they hated him? What if Gibbs kicked him off the team?
Tony stared at Tim and had never seen him look so terrified. He looked like he was about to either pass out or run for it. Glancing at the man who hasn't let go of his probie since he arrived out of thin air, he asked, "What is he here for?"
"He's here for clearance," Vance said, finally looking away from Tim and to Mr. Carter. "The information that's needed is classified and only Mr. Carter here to give it. So…Mr. Cater."
Tim looked back at Carter who was watching him. The sadness and regret in his eyes had Tim shaking his head. Carter knew how he wasn't proud of what he used to do, even Carter wasn't proud of it, but the time had called for his creative mind.
The team watched, but he didn't see them. He closed his eyes as Carter spoke. "You have it, but it stays with the people in this room." It was now spoken to the rest of the team. "No one else, not even to the lab girl, doctor, or his assistant you consider your team is to know. I don't care how much you trust them."
In response, Vance stood and hit the button that locked down his office. The locking sound and signal that the room was secure had Tim feeling trapped. He felt cornered and having no way out. This wasn't supposed to happen. He was supposed to die with this secret, not tell his friends, who he considered family.
He was going to lose them.
A squeeze to his shoulder brought him out of his thoughts and back to the conversation. Vance was explaining how the victims were connected other than himself.
"All the victims worked in a program employed by the government and surprisingly it didn't have a name. It took a while just to get the names of who was in the program and all the victims were on the list with a few other. Including one Timothy McGee."
All eyes returned to Tim and he could feel his breath coming faster and faster. Getting faster as he knew he was going to have to speak. He could see it in their eyes, a demand for answers.
"What I want to know is what that program was."
He sat there, just staring until another squeeze on the shoulder from Carter brought him back to attention. "Tell them."
Pushing back from his seat, he stood quickly and could see dark spots appearing in the corner of his eyes. It wasn't until he smelt the sawdust and heard the low voice of Gibbs that he realized he needed to take a breath or pass out. "That's it, Tim. Breathe."
Taking deep breaths in and out, he finally got a hold of himself and nodded to let Gibbs know he was better. The older man sat back down while Tim walked over to the big window behind Vance's desk so he could look out the window.
And like that, something in his brain clicked and he spoke, his voice void of emotion. Nothing in his voice as he spoke and revealed the last shred of history that he had kept to himself.
"You already know that I used to work for GEN-1 Biotech. I worked on environmental projects. I was actually working on a project when my contract expired, but I wasn't about to be conned by Carter's replacement into working another few years just so I can finish this one project that someone could finish. I had plans that wouldn't be stopped. So, I handed over the design and let the company do what they wanted with it; which was giving it to another researcher to finish..
"However, working for GEN-1 wasn't all I did. When I turned eighteen I joined a program that Carter mentioned." Tim continued to stare out the window, he refused to see the faces of his family when everything was revealed. "I was working on a project when I got stuck. I hadn't slept for three days and barely ate, trying to figure out what I was missing."
"His teammates weren't exactly outgoing so no one was forward and commanding enough to get Tim to sleep," Carter picked up. "I had been away on business before I came back and saw what a wreck he was. When I found him," he chuckled, "he was pretty all over the place. Never let your agent go three days without sleep and hopped up on coffee. Anyway, I finally got him to get sleep, to convince him that he had to sleep so that he could get a fresh start and maybe then find what he was missing.
"When I checked on him the next day, he was a bit refreshed. Not as much as I would have liked, but Tim here is stubborn so I knew when to push and when to step back. However, instead of finding him working on his project, he had been making something."
Carter glanced at Tim, but he didn't see as he was still staring out the window. "A weapon."
Tim didn't need to look to know they were looking at him. He could feel all their eyes on him. Instead of turning to face them, he continued to explain. "I had had a dream, surprisingly with how long I'd gone without sleep, but I had had a dream about being stuck in a room with an enemy in the house, searching for me. I hadn't had anything to protect myself with, only what was in the room. When I woke, I went finding those objects and created a weapon out of it."
The silence was deafening before Vance spoke. "So what was the program?"
"People like me who could create weapons," Tim said emotionlessly. He wasn't proud of what he had joined, what he had created, but his mind worked the way it did and there was no stopping it. And with all the free time he had when he wasn't working on his projects, it had kept him occupied and out of trouble.
"What kind of weapons?" Ziva asked.
He shrugged. "Weapons that certain people could use."
"Agents?" Vance asked.
"So, what, you were like Q for James Bond?"
Without force, Tim chuckled at Tony's movie reference, and didn't mind the head-slap Tony got in return.
"Who else did you make them for?"
His brief light mood dimmed and he felt himself tense a bit as he remembered certain memories of certain people he had come into contact with. People he would rather forget. "Certain people."
"…Mercenaries?" Vance asked tightly and softly cursed when Tim nodded once.
Tim watched a few cars drive around before speaking. "You know when musicians tell you that they feel the music; they breathe it…live for it? That's how I am with science. When I walk down the street and see a light post, I know with a glance what it's made of, how it's wired, the voltage of the light. I see the math in my head on when someone will get somewhere with how fast. I can instantly know how long it'll take Gibbs to get somewhere depending on the distance since the speed is always the same." He chuckled to himself on that one. "I can create weapons from objects in this room just by knowing what's in each and every appliance and how they function."
After a glance at Carter who nodded an okay, he continued to give them an idea of what his mind could create. "I once made a cell phone that could explode with enough force and precision that the intended target's head would take the hit and die from the explosion. Almost as if they took a bullet to the head."
Tim looked way from their shocked faces at his admittance. It was what he had hidden for years, so he didn't have to see those kind of faces directed at him. Hell, his own father didn't know about this.
"So yes and no to being Q, Tony. I did create a few things that James Bond would be proud of, but then I created other deadly gadgets."
He was afraid to look at their faces. Would there be disgust, fear, hatred as he was just like the people they put away? A murderer.
"I am surprised my father never found out about you McGee," Ziva said breaking the silence. "He would have recruited you quickly."
The chuckle that came from Tony quickly died at Carter's next words.
If anyone had anything to say to that shocking news, they couldn't as Vance's secretary's voice carried through the room. "Um, Director Vance."
"Angela, I'm on lockdown."
"I know sir," she quickly said and they all looked at the plasma to see her behind her desk and a familiar face standing close by. "But a Detective Sportelli is here and he needs to see Agent Gibbs."
"Sportelli," Gibbs said, "it's going to have to wait."
Sportelli looked around till he found the camera in the corner near the ceiling before shaking his head. "Gibbs, you're going to want to see me. It's important."
"Detective Sportelli," Vance said, getting ready to order the man to wait when the man in the waiting room spoke and silenced them.
"Your boy, McGee," he said waving the file, "is being followed." He then opened it and showed a surveillance photo of Tim sitting on the bench in a park, doing a puzzle with Ducky sitting beside him.
A/N: So...what did you think? I thought that was a big enough secret to not want to be known.
PLEASE REVIEW! They're greatly appreciated.
Oh, and got that cell phone thing from the movie "Law Abiding Citizen."