Tony woke up the next morning with a back and neck ache. It might have something to do with the fact that he fell asleep at his desk while working.

Tony had just opened his eyes and was rubbing his neck just as Kate hung up her phone. "Hey. What's up, Kate?"

"Well, I just got off the phone with the hospital," Kate said.

Tony immediately sat forward, paying no attention to his achy body parts. "What'd they say? How's McGee?"

"He's still alive. That's about all there is to tell. No change. He's still in critical condition and they still don't think he'll survive," Kate said. It was kind of depressing, but the good part was that McGee was continuing to prove the doctors wrong. He'd survived yet another night the doctors didn't think he would.

Tony sighed. "Well, I guess in this case, no news is good news."

"Yeah, I don't know about that. I don't know that there will be any good news in this case," Kate said sadly.

"McGee will live, Kate. He will," Tony said as confidently as he could.

"That's not what I mean. You're right, McGee might live. He's made it farther than anyone thought he could, and given his past, he's obviously a survivor, but he's not going to be the same. I think we all know that. He won't be an agent anymore," Kate said. It seemed impossible for McGee to become a field agent now. His injuries were too severe for him to fully recover, even Gibbs seemed to realize that. He would suffer the effects of those injuries for the rest of his life.

"No, probably not," Tony said. That was a sad fact, and he knew that it would devastate McGee. It was very clear how dedicated he was to the job. It wasn't fair that his career was going to end before it even really began. "But he'll be alive. That's better than the alternative."

"I wonder if McGee will agree," Kate said. She wondered if McGee survived to realize that his life would never be the same, would he wish he had died?

Tony didn't get a chance to respond because his phone rang at that moment. He immediately answered it. "DiNozzo. Okay, bring them up and put them in Interrogation," he said before hanging the phone up.

"What's going on?" Kate asked.

"The McGees are here," Tony said tightly.

"Both of them?" Kate asked.

Tony nodded.

"Okay, I'll call Gibbs. He probably went for coffee," Kate said before picking up her phone and dialing her boss' number.

Xxxxxxxxxxx

Tony was grumbling to himself as he and Kate entered Interrogation 2 where Karen McGee was brought to. He was annoyed because he really, really wanted to watch the fireworks between Gibbs and McGee's father. He wanted to see that child abusing bastard put in his place. But Gibbs had ordered him and Kate to interrogate Mrs. McGee. He guessed Gibbs didn't want any witnesses to whatever he did to the bastard who called himself an admiral.

Karen McGee looked up at the two agents. "What am I doing here? Where is my husband?"

Tony and Kate sat down across from her. They each placed a file down in front of them. One was of Tim's recent attack and the other was of when he was younger. "Your husband is in another room speaking with our boss," Kate said.

"You people can't do this! You can't drag us here like criminals!" Karen yelled.

"You weren't dragged anywhere, Ma'am. From my understanding, your transport here was quite comfortable," Tony said. It was much more comfortable than it should've been. These two 'people' had been brought in by a private jet provided by SecNav himself. In Tony's opinion, it was much more pleasurable than they deserved.

"We were brought here against our will! Do you have any idea who my husband is? He's a navy admiral for God's sake! You can't just drag him in like this. He's an honorable man!" Karen yelled.

"Your husband is a child abuser. There's nothing honorable about that," Kate said as she glared in disgust. She couldn't believe this woman had actually called her bastard husband honorable. The bastard had beaten her son. Kate would never understand how any parent could defend someone who did that.

"H…how do you know about that?" Karen asked.

Tony tapped the file that laid in front of him. "It's all in here. Even a man with the power your husband has can't get rid of everything. Maybe he paid someone to get him off or even to bury the information, but it can always be unburied. Your husband was an abusive bastard who used your son as a punching bag! And you let him. You stood by and watched as he beat your son."

"Th…there were extenuating circumstances," Karen stammered.

"Extenuating circumstances?! Please explain to us what kind of circumstances make it okay for you to watch your son get beaten!" Kate practically yelled.

"Actually, don't. I don't wanna know what goes through the minds of abusers," Tony said. He considered Karen McGee just as much an abuser as her husband, maybe even more so. She had done nothing as her son was beaten. He probably begged her to help him and she refused. That made her worse.

"I am not an abuser," Karen said.

"Sure you are. You condoned the abuse of your son. That makes you at least just as culpable. And then when someone finally stepped in and removed your kids from your 'care', you couldn't leave them be. I talked to your daughter. She told me how you've been stalking her via phone and how you've been nagging her to help you get in touch with Tim," Tony said.

"Is there something wrong with a mother wanting to talk to her kids?" Karen asked.

"There is when that mother is someone like you," Kate said.

"Tell me, what makes you think your son would want anything to do with you? At best, you're a reminder of how hellish most of his childhood was, and at worst, and most likely, you're someone he hates," Tony said.

Karen flinched slightly. "What do you want? You can't have brought me here because of something that happened over fifteen years ago."

"You're right, we didn't. You're here to answer questions about the attempted murder of a federal agent," Tony said.

"A federal agent? I don't have anything to do with any federal agents, unless this conversation counts I certainly don't know anything about the attempted murder of one," Karen said.

"And your husband?" Kate asked.

Karen glared at her. "John would never try to murder anyone."

"I might believe that if he didn't get his kicks from beating up little boys," Kate said before taking a picture out of the file in front of her and putting it in front of the woman. It was of McGee after he was attacked. It was very gruesome to say the least.

Karen gasped in horror. "Oh my God!"

"Yeah, it's pretty horrible, isn't it. Do you know who this is?"

"Th…the agent that was attacked?" Karen asked.

"Yes, but he's more than that. That's your son," Kate said. Normally she wouldn't even think of telling a parent that their child was attacked this way, but this woman was no parent. She was a monster. Kate wasn't going to waste one shred of compassion on her.

Karen went wide-eyed. "No. T…T…Tim?"

"That's right. That's what your son looks like right now. You can't even tell the difference, can you?" Kate asked.

"I…is he going to be okay?" Karen asked in a shaky voice.

"Does he look like he's going to be okay? Do you really think that anything can completely heal him? Even if he lives, he'll never be the same. He suffered two stab wounds and third degree burns over most of his body. He's been damaged beyond full repair, first by you and your husband, and now by whoever did this to him, whether that be the two of you or someone else," Tony said.

Karen looked at him in shock. "You think we did this to him? He's our son!"

"He was your son when you were abusing him too," Kate pointed out.

"I love my son. I would never hurt. I certainly wouldn't do that to him," Karen said as she pointed to the picture of her son.

"Say we believe you. Any idea who would hurt him?" Tony asked.

"No. I haven't seen my son since he was twelve. I wasn't even allowed to know anything about where he ended up. I've known nothing about him until now," Karen said.

Tony found that difficult to believe. As an admiral, John McGee would be able to find out practically anything he wanted. He and his wife had to know something. "I don't believe you. Maybe you couldn't get in touch with your son, but you knew things about his life."

"No, I didn't. I tried to get John to find out, but he wouldn't. He didn't care. He said we were better off without him," Karen said.

"It's him that was better off without you, and I swear to God, if I find out you two had anything to do with what happened to him, I will see to it that you suffer the way he is," Tony said before he and Kate got up and headed for the door.