Disclaimer : If you recognize it, I still don't own it. All characters remain intellectual property of CBS and their creators. All locations and addresses are figments of my imagination.
Title : Incendiary
Summary : When an agent's cover is compromised during a sting operation, the fallout turns explosive for the team. Full case. Gen. Team fic, slight focus on Tim and Tony.
Author's Note : Guess it's about time to get the new casefic rolling. This is a full case with the entire team, focusing slightly on Tim and Tony like the last ones. I've tried to keep Tony competent like he used to be on the show, hope I've succeeded.
There is no slash.
I'm expecting the story to be about 20 chapters. Right now, I'm at 15 chapters and just need the kick in the butt to get the last few finished.
Shooting for two weekly updates, not sure about days yet since work is taking up a lot of my time lately. Once it calms down a bit, I'll go to the definite update schedule like before.
Constructive criticism is always welcome, as are reviews/thoughts/encouragement. If there are any inaccuracies/typos, please PM me so I can correct those ASAP. While I have done some research, there are liberties I've had to take where I couldn't find the information necessary.
Hope you enjoy!
Friday, September 29, 2006 – 2:48pm - 2500 Block of Waterside Dr NW – Washington DC –
"No, Mom, I'm not speeding," Marissa D'Onofrio lied, pushing her ancient Honda well above the speed limit.
As her mother launched into her usual lecture about the dangers of haste, Marissa made a face at the clock on the dashboard. She'd been late for three shifts at the restaurant in the past two weeks alone. Knowing another incident would likely result in her termination, she pressed the gas pedal closer to the floor.
"Well, Mom, you know I only ever do the speed limit."
Ignoring her mother's blathering, she twirled the radio dial until she found a song that she recognized. With an exasperated sigh, she removed the phone from her ear and stretched after her purse. Her fingers searched through its contents until they wrapped around a cigarette.
"Yeah, I know I have a few points on my license, but they're not for speeding,"she stated, blazing the cigarette. As she pulled her first relaxing drag, her mother asked how she'd enjoy being a blood splatter on the asphalt.
Rolling her eyes, she pulled another inhale of her cigarette. As the smoke burned calm into her lungs, she checked the time again. Still knowing she'd be late, she rolled her eyes at the clock.
When Marissa's eyes finally glanced back at the road, a cyclist appeared directly in front of the car.
"Oh my G-d!" she screamed, cutting the wheel hard to the left.
Her Honda careened across the oncoming lane of traffic, colliding with the guardrail before she could even tap the brake. Shaking uncontrollably, she reached for her phone.
"No, Mom, I'm fine. I just hit something. I'm okay and no, I wasn't speeding! I'll call you back in a minute," she promised, ending the call before her mother could speak. Placing a hand to her head, she rubbed the blood trail that trickled down her face. She breathed deeply, stumbling slowly out of the car. As her phone started ringing again, she threw it behind her on the driver's seat.
With an agitated exhalation, Marissa went to check the front end's damage. Before she reached the hood, she noticed a break in the guardrail several feet away. Thankful that her car hadn't found the opening, she headed over to the edge of the steep incline.
When she peered down the ravine, she noticed a large, twisted mass of red metal at its bottom. Several long seconds passed before Marissa realized that it had previously been a car.
"Hey! Hello? Anyone down there? Are you alright?"
Disoriented from her head injury, she stared blankly at the obliterated wreckage until she noticed the human arm hanging out of the driver's side window.
She sprinted for her phone.
4:52pm – Bullpen – NCIS Headquarters, Washington, DC –
Checking his watch for the umpteenth time, Very Special Agent Anthony DiNozzo closed his eyes and thought about his very special weekend. Using the team's first break in month to his advantage, he'd planned a short vacation to the vineyards of Virginia. Originally, he'd decided to use the time to visit a few local wineries, tasting their wares and enjoying the picturesque scenery. His retreat had been intended to let him power off his cell phone, giving him time to mentally regroup before the team's next round of cases.
However, his intentions for relaxation had quickly changed after he'd met a young graduate student in a bar days earlier. Several years his junior, he quickly learned that Jessica was the type of girl who would be up for anything. When he'd mentioned his trip, she'd selflessly offered to tag along and do everything necessary to help him forget about work.
Since his mother raised a gentleman, he just couldn't turn down her generous suggestion.
Shuffling through the papers on his desk, he glanced at the time on his just to make sure it was synchronized with his watch. As he flipped through his most recent texts, one of Jessica's particularly creative ideas made him grin.
This had the potential to be one hell of a weekend.
Throughout the bullpen, the rest of the team appeared to be finishing up their work. Though as DiNozzo studied their faces, he knew his teammates well enough to know they were anxiously watching the minutes tick away, exactly like him. Leaning behind his desk, he rifled through his weekend bag to confirm that he'd packed all the necessities.
His phone chirped with another text from Jessica. At her newest addition to their fun, he smiled wickedly.
The last thing he needed to pack was the very self-less co-ed.
"What is this one's name, Tony?" Mossad liaison Ziva David asked, glancing up from the same report she'd spent the last hour proofreading.
"Why do you always assume that it's a woman, Zee-vah? Maybe I'm just looking forward to my plans," DiNozzo stated, shaking his head.
Another text popped up and this round of thoughts caused sweat to prick his brow. Loosening his tie, he averted Ziva's gaze.
Jessica was definitely a girl after his own heart.
"Because you only look like that when you know you're going to get - ," Special Agent Timothy McGee started, leaning forward onto his desk. When he realized they were in mixed company, his cheeks blazed and he looked back to his computer.
"Maybe I am and maybe I'm not," DiNozzo leered, checking his watch again. With only a few minutes to go until the official start of the weekend, Tony figured it was time to power down his computer, organize his papers and slide his reports onto Gibbs' desk.
That would ensure his chances at escaping by five before Gibbs could spring a case on them.
"If these plans do not have a name, what will you do with your weekend then?" Ziva asked, sliding the partially proofread report into the top drawer of her desk.
"Wine tasting in Virginia," Tony explained, hitting the button on his monitor.
"You will be alone, yes?"
"No, actually, there - ," Tony stopped suddenly. Realizing the Israeli's trick, he shook his finger. "Nice try, Zee-vah, but I'm not giving it up that easy. What are you doing with your weekend?"
Ducking behind her desk, she reappeared holding a thick book with a picture of Abraham Lincoln on its dust jacket. As she displayed it to DiNozzo, she beamed at the cover. DiNozzo shook his head while McGee nodded approvingly.
"That's supposed to be a good read," Tim acknowledged, switching off his computer. "It got great reviews online."
"I know. I am happy to have the time to read it. Perhaps I will finish it this weekend?"
"If you can get through a thousand pages in two days, Ziva, I'll be impressed." McGee stood, dropping his backpack on his desk. As he rummaged through his drawers, he pulled out few things to take home for the weekend.
"A thousand pages? In one book!?" DiNozzo raised his eyebrows.
"It is about one of the most influential men in your country's history," Ziva explained, lightly resting her hand on the tome. "It is unlikely to be enough for his entire story."
"I think I'll wait for the movie," Tony shrugged, shaking his head at Ziva's lapse in sanity. "You got any big plans, McGoo?"
"Not really." Tim made a face before settling back into his chair.
"Really? No Star Trek convention?"
"Come on, Tony, you know those only happen once a year." When DiNozzo smirked at Ziva, McGee's face flushed again. "Seriously though, I don't have any real plans."
"No hot date with some geek chick? Or picking up some nerdy women on the internet? It's been a while, hasn't it, McPriest?"
As Tim's face turned a shade of red that DiNozzo never knew existed, the senior agent snickered. Ziva picked up her letter opener and turned it in her hand, silently informing Tony that he'd crossed a line.
DiNozzo coughed, unsuccessfully trying to disguise his laugh.
"But seriously, Probster, you have no plans? We haven't had a whole weekend off all summer. There has to be something that you want to do."
When Tim shrugged again, DiNozzo found himself concerned that McGee might not actually remember how to enjoy the downtime. Since Tim rarely spoke of his life outside the office, Tony sometimes wondered if the junior agent did anything at home other than sleep. While he learned a lifetime ago to escape through women and movies, DiNozzo worried Tim had never learned to adapt to their workload. Even Ziva seemed to be able to handle the cases, but her life-long training left her constantly in work mode.
"I do have plans," Tim smiled, zipping up his pack. "A new MMORPG, Iscariot, is debuting this weekend. I've been looking forward to playing it since I heard about it months ago. My college friends and I are going to meet up on the server for our annual gaming session and check it out."
Nodding slowly, DiNozzo failed to understand how spending his weekend in front of a computer after doing it all week sounded even remotely entertaining. A virtual college reunion was nowhere near as appealing as an actual get together.
Well, a geek's social life was probably slightly different than an aging frat boy's.
As DiNozzo pieced together what he could from his last weekend with his frat brothers, he shook his head. There were just some things that couldn't be captured in the virtual world. Body shots, co-eds and wet t-shirt contests were three of them.
"Sounds like fun," Tony stated, attempting to sound genuinely excited. Despite his efforts, he failed miserably.
"Should be," McGee nodded, glancing towards his watch. "It's almost time."
Grinning broadly, DiNozzo stared at his own. As the second hand ticked slowly towards five o'clock, he shivered at the excitement of two whole Gibbs-free, case-less days.
Two full days with Jessica.
With only a few seconds away from freedom, Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs purposefully rushed into the bullpen. Coffee cup in hand, he headed to his desk and pulled out his Sig. Sighing resignedly, McGee frowned at DiNozzo. Knowing exactly what was happening, Tony kicked his weekend bag under his desk and shook his head at Tim. His phone chirped its alarm, alerting him to a weekend of freedom that wouldn't come.
"Dead Navyman in Rock Creek Park," Gibbs ordered, clipping his holster to his belt. "Grab your gear."
"Boss," Tony protested as his boss passed his desk.
Even though there was no chance to change Gibbs' mind, DiNozzo still had to try to recover the weekend for his team's sake. When the alarm sounded, Barrows' team should be on call and the body theirs to investigate.
Gibbs stopped dead, glaring at the senior agent.
"Got a hot date, DiNozzo?"
Reluctantly, McGee and Ziva removed their personal items from their backpacks and started to repack their gear.
"Well, boss, actually," DiNozzo grinned.
When Gibbs stepped forward, DiNozzo cringed. Inhaling deeply, Tony tried to ignore the scent of strong coffee and sawdust that oozed from his boss' pores. While Gibbs' blue eyes attempted to bore a hole through him, Tony looked over helplessly at McGee.