Thank you Shelbylou - for sorting through ideas with me until we got it where we wanted it to go-many moons ago.
Thank you Gotta - awesome BETA
Both of you - rock!
September, 14th 2009
It's an ordinary Monday for the Naval Criminal Investigative Service's Major Case Response Team – as they straggle in and try to get their minds in gear to face the beginning of another week of chasing bad guys and their clues to get justice for those killed or kidnapped or whatever other crime committed against them. Be it bad guy or good, so long as one or more parties happened to be Navy or Marine, the MCRT was prepared to help. Finding the big screen television that stood between Tony and Tim's desk already on, usually meant that the Team Leader was already here and this day was no different.
In fact, the only thing different about today barely registered on any of their minds as they arrived together this morning. After a minute, the difference seemed to register as they noticed that, instead of focusing on the work on his desk, the boss seemed to be watching the news. Once they noticed this, Tony and Tim's attention instantly moved over to what they were seeing, while Ziva's expression clearly said she didn't understand, though she too, turned to pay attention.
Though the volume was down to almost nothing, this was nothing unusual, unless it was a story pertinent to NCIS. What kept their attention focused there now, were the words on the screen along with the photos of a totaled car at the bottom of a ravine.
Car Crash Kills Last Remaining McAllister of McAllister Industries.
Tony stopped moving, except for his hands as they reached for the remote and turned the volume up – so everyone could hear the telecaster.
In a devastating car crash Friday night, Thomas McAllister died instantly from the sheer drop to the bottom of the ravine.
The last surviving member of the family, and founder, owner and CEO of the multi-million dollar Airline, Beyond First Class, a business he built himself from the ground up, Mr. McAllister garnered the respect and support of the business community when five and a half years ago he was cleared of all suspicion in the death of his long missing brother, Brian McAllister.
When the authorities cleared him, just two days after his brother's body was reported to authorities in January of 2005, Thomas turned his attention to fighting his father's will and what he firmly believed to be fraudulently gotten gains – by one Saleena Lockhart.
In March of 2005, Thomas McAllister made front page news when he won the court case overturning his father's revised will; that will had left the family fortune to the self-claimed psychic and tabloid astrology columnist, amounting to tens of millions of dollars. The court ruled in Thomas' favor, citing that due to his wife Elaine's death in 1993, the Senior McAllister had become so out of touch with reality in his pursuit of an after-life conversation with his wife that he was no longer of sound mind.
The unexpected disappearance of Senior McAllister's heir, Brian, in October 2002, seriously exacerbated that grief and compulsion, which had already been taken advantage of, by Ms. Lockhart; who led Mr. McAllister to believe that if he gave her every dime he had, she could bring his family back to him. It was just two weeks after Brian's disappearance when he changed his will.
Serious allegations of coercion and fraud were brewing against Ms. Lockhart before the court had handed down its verdict. With the threat of a tarnished reputation and the possibility of being ruined as a psychic, Ms. Lockhart withdrew her own petition against Thomas McAllister – leaving the court decision as the deciding factor in the case.
Shenandoah, Virginia residents were shocked when, just days after the court handed down its ruling, Thomas McAllister sold the family compound for an undisclosed sum. In yet another surprising move, Thomas McAllister relocated, although his exact address has never been disclosed.
After successfully salvaging his family's business, McAllister Avionics, from near bankruptcy, Thomas McAllister not only spent millions converting vacant, unwanted properties into homeless shelters and low income apartments, but also in buying low income housing that had been lost to bank foreclosures for unpaid taxes. He then returned them to the unfortunate former owner – through a rent-to-own system that promoted home ownership and a sense of pride in the community in which he chose to support.
By focusing not only on his business, Beyond First Class Airlines, and the family's business, McAllister Avionics and McAllister Industries, but also the community, helping where ever he could, Thomas McAllister was soon well known as a caring, honest business man. When he began spending every Thanksgiving and Christmas helping to serve the homeless at the local shelters, his character stopped being questioned. Something had turned him around from his earlier carefree days of misdemeanor offenses that never amounted to a charge that stuck. His focus seemed to remain on providing jobs for the unemployed and shelter for the homeless and sound business for his employees.
Though never married, Mr. McAllister was seen on more than one occasion accompanied by a beautiful brunette as he traveled about in D.C. and New York. Speculation and rumors flew when it was observed that Mr. McAllister never brought a date with him to any of his business functions, however he refused to comment on the subject.
Thomas McAllister will be laid to rest today, alongside his family at Mt. Royal Cemetery. Funeral Services begin at 1 at St. Mary's Episcopal Church on 1st and E Street in Washington, D.C. Metro police and County Sheriff's department personnel will be on hand to help with crowd control, as they're expecting a large turnout for this self-made business man and philanthropist.
As one fellow business man stated. "The world lost a gem when Thomas McAllister died. He will be greatly missed."
"This is Cindy Ames reporting live from Devil's Canyon."
Tony clicked the remote, turning the television off, yet he remained frozen in his place, his face unreadable as memories flooded his brain. He remembered that case – he remembered Thomas McAllister – but, most of all he remembered how taken with him Kate had been. She'd made fun of the name of the man's business – but had been quick to take it back.
KATE: Beyond First Class, you gotta be kidding me. You might as well call it Rich Jackass Airways.
TONY: I think it sounds cool.
KATE: You would.
TONY: What's that supposed to mean?
KATE: Nothing, Rockefeller.
TONY: Oh, I get it. So because I grew up with money that somehow makes me bad. Very deep.
KATE: Well, it's better than having to work every day like I had to.
TONY: Listen, do you think money makes life easier? Huh? Everything was just a big ol' cakewalk for little Anthony DiNozzo? You tell me, Kate, because I really want to know.
KATE: I'm sorry, Tony. I didn't mean anything by it.
TONY: Because do you want to know the answer to your question? Yes. Money makes a huge difference. Huge. I miss it every single day of my life so much it makes me want to cry.
KATE: You're pathetic.
TONY: It's part of my charm.
TONY: All right, let's find this little twinkle toes ….Hey, there. We're looking for your boss, Thomas McAllister. Is he around?
THOMAS: You'll have to hold on a second. Could you pass me that socket wrench, please, Miss?
KATE: Is he even here or shall we stop by a country club or something?
THOMAS: I'm Tom McAllister.
TONY: Agents Todd, DiNozzo. NCIS.
KATE: Do you always work on your own planes, Mister McAllister?
THOMAS: Whenever I can find time in my busy social schedule down at the club, Agent Todd.
KATE: I'm sorry about that. I didn't…
THOMAS: It's fine. You would have been right a couple years ago. And please, call me Tom.
KATE: Kate. So, do you own all these planes?
THOMAS: Me and the bank. That's my new one out there. I plan on taking it for a test flight today if you're interested.
TONY: You don't seem too broken up for a guy who just lost his brother, Tom.
THOMAS: I've known he's been dead for quite some time, Agent DiNozzo. The first week you expect a ransom note. After a month you pray. A year… you just know.
KATE: When was the last time you talked to your brother?
THOMAS: About three months before the accident. Would you believe we grew up fishing at Black Lake?
The guy had flown Kate to New York City in his own plane, almost the minute he'd been cleared of any wrong doing in his brother's death.
THOMAS: You up for that dessert now?
KATE: At two thirty in the morning?
THOMAS: I think I might know a place that's still open.
KATE: And where would that be?
THOMAS: New York. Sometimes it's good to own your own airline.
TONY: New York? I love New York.
KATE: It's a small plane, Tony.
THOMAS: Maybe next time.
Yet, Kate had never said another word about him. Still something in that news report niggled at the back of Tony's mind.
Though never married, Mr. McAllister was seen accompanied by a beautiful brunette on more than one occasion as he traveled about in D.C. and New York.
Nah, it couldn't have been Kate. Could it have been? He remembered giving her a hard time about being in a dating slump soon after the McAllister case. She'd fended him off with a biting comeback in her usual way so he'd thought nothing of it. But what if the reason she'd thrown him off so quickly was because…. With a mental head slap to himself, Tony shook it off. It didn't matter, did it? Kate was killed just months later. God, he still missed her sometimes.
"DiNozzo!" Gibbs barked at him from across the room.
"Yeah, Boss?" Tony asked as he slowly returned to the here and now.
"Quit standin' there and get to work!"
"On it, Boss." Tony answered in his typical response, shoving this entire scenario to the back of his mind. Glancing over at the probie, he frowned. It looked as though the news report had gotten to him too, though the younger man was already sitting at his desk. The fact that his fingers weren't flying across the keyboard doing anything spoke volumes of the fact that Tony was right.
Before he could say anything, he felt the glare of the boss from across the room. Looking over at the man, Tony nodded. Okay, he'd get to work. Distraction had for the day, it was time for things to get back to business as usual.