Chapter 1: Vanished
Chapter 1: Vanished
On the surface, Tim Mc Gee and Tony DiNozzo were about the oddest pair of friends one could find. The computer geek and the jock had formed a bond. They worked together on the MCRT at NCIS under Gibbs, but their bond was beyond the office. Despite all the teasing and Mc-nicknames that Tony gave Tim, they really did care about each other.
If you were to question Tim about Tony, he would be the first to tell that Tony was so much more than the jock, the goofball, the clown that he showed most of the world. No, Tim had seen Tony's deeper, caring side many times. He had also seen how smart Tony really was, and knew that the "dumb jock" was an act. The goofball clown was an act as well, but very few knew that it was a deflection of emotions on Tony's part. Tim was one of a few that Tony had let his façade down, and let really see how deep Tony's emotions ran. Tim would also tell you that Tony DiNozzo was one of the most loyal and caring friends he had ever had.
Tony would be the first to tell you that Tim McGee was a McGeek, but he would also then add that Tim was so much more. Tim's emotions ran as deep as Tony's when he let down his defenses. Tim was a loyal and true friend and one could count on him in a clutch. Tim was probably the most fiercely loyal friend Tony ever had.
Over the years, their bond had strengthened and they considered themselves brothers of the heart. The thought that the bond could be tested to its limits never crossed either of their minds.
"Ziva, grab your gear." Gibbs called out to her as he entered the bullpen. "Dead Marines in Fairfax County. Call DiNozzo and McGee and have them meet us there."
Ziva grabbed her bag and followed Gibbs into the elevator. When they hit the ground floor, she unlocked her phone screen and hit *2 to call Tony.
"Miss me, Sweetcheeks? Or are you going to give me a hint on that surprise?" Tony answered his phone as soon as he saw Ziva's picture on the caller ID screen.
"Dead Marines in Fairfax County, meet us there. I will text the address." Ziva disconnected the call and send the address to Tony's phone.
Tony handed Tim his phone with the address, so McGee could give him directions.
"Make a u-turn as soon as possible." Tim did not expect Tony to spin the car. Must've learned that one from Ziva, Tim thought.
"Next light, turn right and then go about three miles and we should be there."
Tony wove the Charger through traffic and skidded to a stop in the park where the bodies were found. Tim figured Gibbs and Ziva would be there in about twenty minutes.
The only other vehicle in the parking lot was a white van with no markings. Tony and Tim looked around for any sign of activity and then headed to the van. They circled around it cautiously, and while Tim covered, Tony opened the side doors. "NCIS, show your hands."
Two black-clad men jumped out and three more came up behind the pair. Tim was hit from behind and fell forward, dropping his weapon. Tony was pushed backwards by the two from the van and fell over McGee's prone form. Once down, both agents were injected with a tranquilizer.
The five men in black hoodies, black jeans, black gloves, dark sunglasses, and black boots made quick work of cuffing both unconscious NCIS agents' hands and shackling their legs, and then running a chain between the two sets of leg shackles. They were put into the back of the van and weapons, phones and ID's were removed from both men and thrown on the ground with Tim's weapon.
The five piled into the van and drove off, in the opposite direction that Tony and Tim had arrived. The entire kidnapping had been executed in less than five minutes.
Gibbs and Ziva arrived at the park, and both immediately sensed something was not right. The only vehicle in the lot was the Charger that their teammates had been in. Gibbs pulled up to the Charger, and the two front doors were open, Tony's and McGee's go bags sitting on the back seat.
Ziva shot Gibbs a worried look and they got out of their car. She looked around the parking lot and spotted some debris on the other end. "Gibbs, over there." She pointed to the items she spotted.
"Go slowly," Gibbs' gut was screaming. They inched their way to the items, seeing that there were two smart phones, two Sigs and two wallets lying on the ground. Ziva put on her crime scene gloves and picked up the nearest wallet. She flipped it open.
"Tony's wallet." She picked up the phone next to where the wallet had been and swiped across the screen. As soon as she saw the photo of herself in a bikini, she added, "Tony's phone."
Gibbs had picked up the second wallet and phone, "McGee's wallet and phone. I'm betting these are their weapons as well."
"I'll get evidence bags, Gibbs." Ziva pulled out the bags from her pack. "Do we have to put Tony's phone in evidence?" Gibbs looked at her questioningly. "I would rather not have everyone see his screen, if we can." Gibbs took the phone from her and swiped. Once he saw the lock screen, he nodded knowingly.
"Gotta keep it as evidence for now." Gibbs smiled at her. "Are there any OTHER pictures on here that we need to worry about?"
"Um, not that I can think of," Ziva blushed, thinking about possibilities, causing her to hesitate in her response just enough for Gibbs to notice.
"Something you're not telling me, David?" Gibbs had an idea, but he would give Ziva an out.
"Um, no." She put the bagged evidence in her pack, and looked at Gibbs.
"I'm gonna call Vance. We have two missing agents and my gut is saying there is something BIG going on here." Gibbs turned to make his call while Ziva checked the rest of the parking area for any further clues or evidence.
She put a crime scene marker at what appeared to be a small fresh puddle of oil. She also found a piece of chewed gum that looked fairly recently discarded and marked it as well. Gibbs finished his call as she took out the DSLR and more evidence collection bags and tools.
"Fornell is on his way here." Gibbs helped Ziva with the new evidence. "Now we wait."
Chapter 2: Hurry Up and Wait
Chapter 2: Hurry Up and Wait
Gibbs and Ziva sat in the Charger that they had arrived in, waiting for Fornell and whatever team he was bringing along. Vance had also sent a second NCIS team to the scene. Neither had arrived yet. Ziva looked at her phone, and quietly scrolled through text messages from Tony. Gibbs watched her silently. When she was ready to talk, he would listen. She scrolled through her photos, smiling at some of the silly ones of Tony from the past weekend.
"Ani ohevet otcha," she whispered to her favorite picture. Gibbs watched a tear slide down her cheek.
The FBI team arrived at about the same time as the second NCIS team and the flatbed truck to move the Charger DiNozzo and McGee had been using. Gibbs and Ziva went through what they knew and what they had found at the scene. Gibbs and Fornell argued over the evidence collected, but Gibbs put a stop to the argument by reminding Fornell that even the FBI deferred to Abby for efficient and quick processing of evidence.
The Charger was loaded on the flatbed, and Fornell gave the thumbs' up to clear the scene and move the evidence to NCIS.
Tim opened his eyes to bright fluorescent light. His head hurt and he could tell that his hands had been cuffed, in front of his body, thank God. He had shackles on his legs and could feel some sort of collar around his neck. He moved and discovered that his neck collar was attached to a chain. He sat up, his head pounding and followed the chain to the nearby cement wall. Best estimate was that he had about twelve feet of chain connecting his neck to the wall in the ten by ten cell. He had been lying on a tarp covering a pile of hay.
Tim tried to remember how he got here, but the only memory he had was of the white van and then getting hit from behind. Tony? Where was Tony? Tim glanced around the concrete cell. Not much else other than himself, his chains and the pile of hay.
Back at the Navy Yard, the evidence had arrived and Abby was going over everything with a fine tooth comb. If there was anything, any trace of something useful, she would find it. So far, though, NOTHING. Abby had just connected Tony's cell phone to her computer as Ziva entered the lab.
Abby took one look at Ziva and wrapped her in a hug. "We're gonna find them, Ziva. Gibbs is gonna find Timmy and Tony." Ziva nodded, finding comfort in Abby's hug.
"Have you found anything, Abby?" Ziva asked her friend.
"Not yet," Abby was honest with Ziva. "I just started on Tony's phone."
"About that, Abby," Ziva's voice trailed off.
Abby turned to Ziva, and quickly noticed the tears forming in her friend's eyes. "Ziva? What is it? Let me help, please."
Ziva thought a minute about how to tell Abby about Tony's phone. "It is just… um… Abby, you might find… um…I know Tony's password to unlock the phone and…" Abby could see that Ziva was upset, but she didn't know the full extent of Ziva's worry.
"Well, here, unlock it then." Abby handed Ziva the phone.
Ziva took Tony's phone from Abby and spoke, "Abby, there are going to be some very private things on here. Things that Tony and I do not want to have everyone know about. Do you understand?"
Abby looked at Ziva, making sure to establish eye contact, "Everyone knows you two are dating."
"It is more than that, Abby. Please, promise me you will keep certain things, um, private." Ziva watched Abby's reaction. Abby nodded her head in agreement.
"I will keep as much private as I can to help solve this and bring Tony and Tim home." Abby reassured Ziva.
Ziva entered Tony's password into his phone and handed it back to Abby. "Nice picture, Ziva." Abby smiled at her friend. Abby quickly accessed the call log on Tony's phone and found nothing unusual, but noted to herself that about ninety percent of the calls and messages were to or from Ziva. She captured all of the numbers that had connected to the phone into her computer.
"Looks like nothing useful here," Abby disconnected Tony's phone from her computer, and Ziva let out a breath she didn't even realize she had been holding. "I sure hope that piece of gum gives us something to go on."
Ziva thanked Abby and headed back upstairs to the bullpen. She stepped off the elevator, noting the activity in their area with Gibbs, Fornell and the two teams of agents. She walked over to Gibbs, "Abby did not find anything useful so far. She is still trying to extract DNA from the gum."
Gibbs nodded and drew Ziva into a side hug. "We'll find them. Are you okay?" he whispered into her ear. She nodded and he released her, turning back to the other agents. "What do we know so far?"
No one had time to respond as Gibbs' desk and cell phones both rang simultaneously.
Chapter 3: The Calls
Chapter 3: The Calls
Gibbs and Fornell motioned to the tech guys to get traces going on both lines. Gibbs answered his cell and motioned for Ziva to answer his desk phone.
"Gibbs." He listened carefully, trying to hear any background noise to help with location. A synthesized voice came back at him.
"Agent Gibbs, your boys are alive, for now. The lefty is awake. The pretty boy is still out."
"What do you want from me?" Gibbs barked back.
"Oh, you will find out in due time, Agent Gibbs. In due time. Now get on your other line." The call ended.
Ziva had answered the desk phone, "Gibbs' desk."
A synthesized voice responded, "Get him on the line, now. Your lover is depending on you."
Ziva handed the phone to Gibbs, who placed the handset at his ear. "Gibbs."
"Agent Gibbs," the synthesized voice was slightly deeper on this line. "You really must teach your boys to look both ways. They were easy prey."
"Who are you? What do you want?" Gibbs was trying to get any information he could as well as keep the call going long enough to trace it.
"You will find out in due time, Agent Gibbs. Just watch that pretty little girl of yours." The call ended.
"DAMMIT!" Gibbs slammed the receiver down, and looked at the two agents trying to trace the calls. They both shook their heads; traces had been unsuccessful.
"Play the calls back." He demanded. "Everyone, quiet. Listen for background noises, any clues as to where they are calling from."
The two teams listened to the play back. When the caller on the land line made the statement to Ziva about her "lover" eyes shifted to her, but no one said anything when Gibbs moved over to Ziva and put an arm around her.
"Play that part again." Ziva had heard something. "Listen to that thump in the background." Gibbs heard it too and told the tech guy to take the recordings to Abby and have her work her magic.
Tim heard a noise near the door of his cell. The only opening in the door was a flap at the bottom about a foot wide and three or four inches tall. Probably how they would feed him and give him water, he thought. He still had no idea where Tony was or even if Tony was anywhere nearby. He watched as a piece of cardboard with a slice of bread and a small bowl of what looked like watered down oatmeal was shoved through the opening.
He inched his way over to the cardboard, his neck chain just barely letting him reach it. He used his foot to pull the cardboard closer and sat down on the floor to his "meal." As he ate, the thought that the food might be drugged occurred to him. His hunger overruled his need for caution.
Gibbs steered Ziva towards the break room as the others worked on trying to get any information from the two phone calls. He motioned for her to sit and he prepared a cup of tea for her. He placed it and a pack of crackers with peanut butter from the vending machine in front of her. "Eat. You haven't had a thing since this started."
Ziva sipped her tea and opened the package of crackers. She took a bite of one and realized that she was hungry. Gibbs watched her as she ate the crackers and sipped the tea. He would wait for her to talk. Something was bothering her, and he knew if he let her bring it up, he would be much more successful in finding the source.
Tony rolled on his side and opened his eyes to bright fluorescent light. His mouth felt like a desert, and the smell of hay filled his nostrils. He looked at the concrete walls, floor and ceiling of the room that he was in. His legs were shackled, his hands were cuffed in front of him, and he had on a collar attached to a chain that was attached to the wall. His memory was fuzzy, but he remembered being with Tim in a parking lot. He looked around but did not see anything else in the concrete room.
He was on a tarp over some hay and there was a flap on the bottom of the door that looked about a foot long and four inches high. He wondered what had happened to Tim.
Ziva had finished her tea and crackers, and looked over to Gibbs watching her. She knew that at some point he would want her to talk, but she hesitated. Only she knew what and why she was suddenly scared about Tony being missing.
Gibbs phone rang, saving her for the moment. "Gibbs."
"Are you alone Agent Gibbs? Do you miss your boys?" The synthesized voice taunted him. "Would you miss your pretty little girl if she were gone?"
"WHO ARE YOU AND WHAT DO YOU WANT? Gibbs motioned to Ziva to get the tech guys tracing the call as he walked towards the bullpen.
She ran ahead and shouted, "Trace the call on Gibbs' cell NOW!" The two tech guys' fingers flew across their keyboards, as they nodded. Fornell called for quiet, as Gibbs entered the bullpen.
"So impatient, Agent Gibbs. Your boys are still alive and both are awake. The lefty has been fed and will be back asleep soon. The pretty boy just woke up."
Chapter 4: Taunting Gibbs
Chapter 4: Taunting Gibbs
The tech guys had some success in locating the call, but not much more than a city. The calls appeared to be coming from the city of Winchester, Virginia. It wasn't much, but as Fornell noted, it was at least narrowing down their search for the two missing agents.
Abby called Gibbs to the lab. He left the others and rode the elevator. He walked in with a Caf-POW! for Abby, "Whatta ya got, Abs?"
She smiled at the Caf-POW!, and turned to her computer. "This is for your eyes only, Gibbs. It goes no further than this room unless it absolutely HAS to."
"Abby." Gibbs couldn't promise anything if it helped get his agents back.
"So, I connected Tony's phone to my computer to get the call log. Ninety percent of the calls and texts were to or from Ziva. The other numbers, except for one call made yesterday, are all NCIS numbers. The lone number was to a pizza delivery place last night.
"I also grabbed copies of the text messages, photos and links on his phone. That's where things get interesting." Abby looked at Gibbs. She really did not want to share what she had found with Gibbs, since she had promised Ziva, but there was no way around it.
"First, some of the pictures and texts are very personal. To show you the picture I found, you are going to see some of the others. Please, please, forget you saw them." Abby opened the pictures folder and Gibbs immediately saw what Abby was referring to in her comments. The very FIRST, most recent picture was an attachment to a text that Ziva sent from her phone ten minutes before she and Gibbs arrived at the parking lot. He now knew why Ziva was so upset, and he knew it would not be easy to pry anything out of her.
"This is the interesting picture, Gibbs," Abby clicked open the second most recent picture. It had been taken by the camera on the phone as it was discarded by the kidnappers. It was blurry but it showed a light colored or white van and part of the license tag, as well as the legs of at least three people, dressed in black. Abby used her software to enhance the picture. " – 6530 " could be seen on the tag and it appeared to be a Virginia tag. "I'll send it up to the guys in the bullpen." Abby used Gibbs' email.
"Good work, Abs." Gibbs headed back upstairs.
In the bullpen, Gibbs opened his email and asked one of the tech guys to put it on the plasma. "This is what Tony's phone camera captured as it hit the ground." He pointed to the blurry picture. "Abby enhanced it and we have a partial plate." He showed the enhanced picture.
"I will get on the plate search, Gibbs." Ziva started to type on her computer.
"Nope," he pointed at Agent James, from the other NCIS team, "you're on this. Ziver, with me." Agent James nodded.
Ziva followed Gibbs up the stairs to MTAC. Gibbs did the retinal scan and unlocked the door. He motioned for the two MTAC computer operators to leave. Once he and Ziva were alone in the room, he turned to her.
Tony heard a noise outside the door to his concrete cell. He saw the flap move and a piece of cardboard with a slice of bread and a cup of what looked to be watery oatmeal was sliding through. He stood up slowly as his equilibrium and depth perception were still messed up. He inched his way to the cardboard, finding that he could reach it with his foot and slide it to himself.
He picked up the bread and took a bite; stale, but not moldy. He put the bread down and picked up the cup. Whatever was in it had no taste, but he figured if nothing else, it gave him some much needed hydration. The thought occurred to him that the food might be drugged, but he decided even drugged food and liquid was better than nothing.
Tim's captors retrieved the cardboard and cup from his cell after he fell asleep again. They posed his limp body with various weapons pointed at or laid on Tim and took pictures. They even slipped a hangman's noose over his head and snapped a picture. When they finished with the pictures, one of the black clad men kicked Tim's chest and pushed him back onto his side on the tarp.
Next, the same group went to Tony's cell and repeated the process. For Tony, they also pulled his pants and underwear down and took pictures of him draped face down over one of their knees, his back end exposed. They leaned one of the swords against his bared ass; Gibbs would get the message.
Fornell was at his wits' end. His team and the NCIS team were getting nowhere fast. Abby had still not had any DNA match for the gum, and the partial plate had generated nearly thirty five hundred possibilities that would each need to be checked. He had the two teams split into two groups, making sure the needed skills were represented on each half. One group he sent home to rest for five hours, the other he put back to work.
Added to his frustration was the feeling that Gibbs and or Ziva were hiding something from the rest of them. The protective father in Gibbs had kept the others from asking about the "lover" comment made to Ziva by the voice on the phone. The warnings to Gibbs about his "pretty little girl" were also not questioned, but should have been.
Gibbs looked at Ziva, putting his hand under her chin and forcing her to look at him. "What is it, Ziva? What are you not telling me?"
She looked back at him, tears in her brown eyes. "Gibbs, I…" She put her head on his chest and sobbed as he held her in a hug. Even though Gibbs knew the answer to his question, he needed to hear it from Ziva. He hated to push her, running the risk of her shutting down completely, but this was important. Somehow he had to make sure she knew that HE knew.
Fornell was the one who received the call from the lobby security guard around 2200 about a courier packet that had been dropped off for Agent Gibbs. He sent Agent James to find Gibbs and headed down to the lobby.
The guard handed him the packet, "Guy just dropped it off about ten minutes ago. He seemed legit but in a hurry. I have the security footage pulled up for you." Fornell looked over the security video; and took the packet in a gloved hand.
"Save the video feed; I'll have the team capture it from the server." Fornell headed back to the bullpen.
Agent James had run up the stairs towards MTAC, and nearly ran into Gibbs coming out of the Director's office. Gibbs had taken Ziva there so she could get some sleep on the couch. He didn't want her leaving the building without protection, preferably by himself. She still hadn't said anything, but after her crying, she looked exhausted and he was determined that she get some rest.
"Agent Gibbs, Agent Fornell sent me to find you. There is a courier package for you downstairs."
Gibbs followed the young agent down the stairs and into the bullpen as Fornell stepped off the elevator with the package in hand. Gibbs turned Tobias around back into the elevator, "Let's get this to Abby's lab NOW."
Abby looked up as Gibbs and Fornell walked into her lab with the packet addressed to Gibbs. It had already been passed through the x-ray scanner in the lobby, but Gibbs wanted a more thorough look before anyone attempted to open it.
Abby determined that the packet most likely held photographs and paper, and Gibbs carefully slit the end of the packet with his knife. He dumped the contents onto the stainless steel lab table. Abby took one look and gasped. Gibbs turned to her, "If you can't handle the images, I need you to step away, Abs. Got it?" She nodded and took the packaging over to process for fingerprints and any other trace she could find.
Gibbs and Fornell picked up the photos one at a time. There were thirteen photos of Tim with various weapons; thirteen of Tony in the same poses. Three additional photos of Tony with his exposed posterior. Gibbs was slowly fuming; what the hell did the kidnappers want from him and his team?
Chapter 5: The Games Begin
Chapter 5: The Games Begin
Gibbs had read the typed note included with the photos more times than he cared to count. Just about everything in it was cryptic and he was determined to find out the true meaning of the kidnapper's words and symbols.
"Lefty needs a new look. Which one do you choose? Perhaps the sniper's bullet in the forehead, or the machine gun fire riddling his body?
"Pretty boy is much too pretty to just kill. Perhaps we should enjoy our new toy first? Or make him the sharp end of the spear?"
He was glad Ziva had not seen the pictures. She wouldn't see them if he had any say. It was bad enough that Abby had seen a glimpse of them.
Shit, they seemed to know about the team. He was sure 'the sniper' referred to his Marine days. 'Machine gun fire' could be any one of dozens of possible references. The 'sharp end of the spear' reference was to Eli David and Ziva. Who the hell were these people? Gibbs wracked his brain trying to make a connection.
Tony was half-conscious on his pile of hay. A noise at the door had him looking in that direction. The door opened and three black clad figures entered his cell. Two of them grabbed his arms and pulled him vertical. The third one loosened the chain at his neck and replaced it with a leash. Because he was still drugged, his body was limp, unable to support himself. The two dragged him down a hallway and into another concrete room. Another chain was attached to his collar, and the leash removed. His hands were locked into cuffs on the wall so that he was facing the wall with his arms out and slightly above his shoulders. His legs were put into cuffs on the wall as well so that his feet were slightly further apart than his shoulder width.
The wall felt cool to his face and he rested against it until he felt the two sets of hands tugging at his pants and boxers. The third set of hands cut his shirt off him exposing his back and chest. The same one cut his pants off his body, but left the boxers around his lower legs.
He heard one of the men say something that sounded like "camera time," and heard them move behind him. He heard them picking up things and then he heard the distinctive sound of a leather whip being snapped.
'OH, SHIT,' he thought. The first lashing was across his shoulder blades, and stung so sharply that the tears fell involuntarily from his eyes and a loud scream left his mouth. He lost count at seven when his mind kicked into self-preservation mode and he disconnected from reality.
The next thing he remembered was being thrown onto his tarp and hay, the rough tarp aggravating the injuries to his back, buttocks, and legs further. He looked down towards his waist and thanked whatever gods of karma were still on his side that his boxers were intact.
The video streamed into Gibbs' and Ziva's computers as the teams were discussing the lack of leads and of information. Ziva was back in the bullpen, sitting at her desk when she let out a loud gasp. Gibbs quickly moved to her side and tried to turn off her computer. She sat watching the abuse to Tony, her mouth opened but no sound coming out. To Gibbs, she looked about to scream. Her eyes were locked on the screen and she pushed Gibbs away as he tried to move her away from the monitor.
The tech guys moved to Gibbs' computer and captured the feed as it streamed in. Fornell looked at Gibbs, and then at Ziva. What in the hell was going on here? Why were Gibbs and Ziva being toyed with? Why were DiNozzo and McGee being tortured?
The video zoomed in on the bleeding wounds on Tony's back and a maniacal laugh was heard as the feed went dark. Ziva sat staring at the screen, not moving, not reacting, just staring. Gibbs knew that she was probably having flashbacks to Somalia.
The words "STAY BY YOUR CELL PHONE, AGENT GIBBS" flashed on the screens. Gibbs slammed his hand on Ziva's desk.
"DAMMIT, I want answers and I want them NOW!" The two teams scrambled to work on the newest taunt as Gibbs took Ziva's hand and led her up to Vance's office.
Tim was awakened by three sets of hands roughly carrying him to another concrete room. They sat him in a chair and strapped his chest to the back so he would not fall over. His hands were cuffed to a bar on the back of the chair. Hands grabbed his hair and pulled his head up. The black clad figure in front of him let out a maniacal laugh and then slapped Tim's face with his gloved hand. Tim saw stars.
"Your friend has told us all about you. He is helping us to destroy Gibbs." Tim had to resist the urge to spit in the figure's face as it came within inches of his own. Tim said nothing. "The Pretty Boy is getting to be our new toy for his cooperation. Are you going to cooperate too or shall you die?
Tim continued to stare ahead. He would not answer and give his captors what they wanted. He would not give in. He and Tony would get out of here alive or die trying.
The captors tried for thirty minutes to get Tim to talk, but he continued to say nothing. With each round, they tightened his cuffs and the strap around his chest, but he still remained silent. The captors finally gave up and dragged him back to his cell, reattached his collar to the chain, and threw him on the tarp.
Tim's whole body hurt and he suspected that they may have fractured a rib or two from the pain in his chest. His face stung, as if he had an open cut. He had no way to check, though. He finally fell into a fitful sleep.
The second video, of Tim's torture, streamed into Gibbs' computer about six hours after the first one. Anything coming into Gibbs' or Ziva's computers was set to automatically capture and record as well as signal alerts to the teams. Fornell and the two teams watched in horror as the restraints around McGee were tightened. They could see the pain on his face. Gibbs was up in the Director's office with Ziva, making sure she ate some food.
Vance came into his office from the bullpen."Gibbs, they need you downstairs now. I'll stay with Ziva." Gibbs looked at Leon and the look on his face told Gibbs it was nothing good.
"What now?" Gibbs wondered out loud.
"Go see for yourself." Vance shooed him out.
Abby had pulled a partial print off the inside of the packaging that the photos had arrived in and it did not match any of the known handlers of the package. She was currently running the partial through AFIS, waiting for a match. The DNA from the gum had not matched anything in US records, so she had called in a big favor and had Interpol and Mossad looking for matches in their databases.
She hated to have to wait for any hits, but especially with the two missing being their own, and with the information only she, Gibbs and Ziva knew. She grabbed Bert and hugged him, trying to ease her worries.
Gibbs watched the video of Tim without comment. When it ended, he sat in his chair and said nothing. Fornell looked at his friend, and was genuinely worried. Gibbs usually did not go quiet like this. He was concerned that perhaps Gibbs needed to step back because of his personal involvement in the case, but saying so never even crossed his mind. He valued his life too much.
Gibbs motioned to Fornell to follow him. They went into the elevator and Gibbs hit the switch. "Tobias, what in the hell is going on? Who are these kidnappers? What do they want? Why are they picking on my team? Why are they duplicating things from the past?"
Tobias let his friend rant. He had no answers, and he knew the frustration Gibbs felt. Maybe if he let Gibbs talk, he would get something out of the man about the information Fornell was sure had been withheld from the whole investigation.
Chapter 6: Brother Versus Brother, Round 1
Chapter 6: Brother Versus Brother, Round 1
Tim was awakened by a kick in the ribs. 'Shit that hurt,' he thought as his captors grabbed his arms and roughly pulled him vertical. A hand gun was placed between his hands and duct tape was used to hold it in place. They forced his trigger finger onto the trigger, and taped it in place also. His leash was attached to his collar, and the wall chain released. The three black clad figures pushed and dragged him through the hallway. He said nothing, even when they tried to taunt him and goad him into speaking.
He heard a noise ahead of them and they turned a corner to see Tony with another group of black clad figures. Tony had been whipped awake and then roughly dragged vertical. His captors had placed a hand gun between his cuffed hands and used duct tape to keep it in place. His trigger finger was forced onto the trigger and taped in place.
Tim could see the open wounds on Tony's back and that the only clothing on his body was his boxers. Tony was barefooted, and the shackles at his ankles had rubbed his skin raw. Tim was now relieved that he had been allowed to keep his socks.
The two men were taken into the same room as they had been before for the video beatings and torture. Their collars were chained to the wall on opposite ends of the concrete room, the chains too short for either to go more than about a quarter of the way out into the room from their respective walls.
The black clad captor that seemed to be the leader indicated to the two groups to seat their captives on the concrete pillars at each end, facing each other. Then, one from each group brought a stand to the captive, and the two NCIS agents had their hands shackled to the stands, guns pointed at each other.
Tim's eyes opened wide in horror as he realized the potentially deadly game they were about to play. He looked towards Tony, who seemed to be just staring at nothing. That freaked him out even more. What had these assholes done to his brother?
Two of the captors started video cameras, and from what Tim could see, it looked like they were doing a live feed to somewhere, probably NCIS. He stared directly into the camera pointed at him and mouthed 'SAVE US.'
Gibbs' and Ziva's computers alerted to a new incoming video feed. The tech guys got on the other computers and started trying to trace the feed. Ziva had been sitting at her desk, sorting through the license tag leads, trying to narrow down the pool from the thirty five hundred. She also had the enhanced picture of the back of the van and was trying to determine make and model, and maybe even year, of the van. Gibbs had wanted her to stay away, but she convinced him that staying busy was better for her than sitting and doing nothing. He conceded but reminded her that she was not to leave the building under any circumstances.
The teams, Fornell, Gibbs, Ziva and Vance watched the video feed on the two computers. Gibbs pulled a chair over to Ziva's desk and wrapped an arm around her. Fornell stood behind them next to Vance. The rest watched on Gibbs' computer.
They saw Tim mouth something at the camera that looked as though he said 'Save us,' and then watched as the black clad figures tightened Tim's restraints in retaliation. Tim winced in pain; he was sure he had several broken ribs. Tony stared vacantly at the camera pointed at him. Ziva let out an audible gasp at the sight of Tony's face and nearly naked body. Gibbs pulled her closer.
A third feed came up, appearing to be from a camera overhead. A synthesized voice spoke, "One of you will die and one of you will gain freedom by shooting the other." Neither Tim nor Tony reacted. The black clad figure who seemed to be the speaker walked to Tim. "Are you man enough to kill, Agent McGee? Will you save yourself?" Tim glared at the figure. "Give me your answer, Agent McGee."
"NO, he's my brother. I will not kill him." Tim spit out the words with venom.
A maniacal laugh was heard on the video feed and within the chamber.
The leader walked to Tony, kicking his legs. "Hey, Pretty Boy, are you going to die or kill today?" Tony stared vacantly ahead, not moving. "Agent DiNozzo, are you going to die or kill today?" He pulled Tony's head up by the hair and turned it to try to force him to look. Tony closed his eyes.
Gibbs noticed that Ziva was quietly crying, and handed her his handkerchief. She took it from him, and dabbed at her eyes.
The leader again yanked Tony's hair, and then slapped his back. Startled, Tony opened his eyes. He looked at Tim and shouted, "Kill me, Tim. Save yourself, my brother." He then closed his eyes and tried to slump, but the hand in his hair kept him upright.
The leader took a whip from another one of the black clad figures and snapped it next to Tony's ear. Tim's face looked horror-struck. Tony didn't even flinch. Tony met Tim's gaze and Tim drew strength from his brother. He resolved to remain silent; the captors were trying to get him to break by whipping Tony.
Snap; another blow across Tony's back. Tony seemed to be out of it. He stared forward blankly and didn't react to the blows. Tim struggled, but kept his tears at bay and held his tongue.
Ziva choked back a sob and Gibbs tried to get her to leave. "No, Gibbs, I cannot leave. He needs me. He will know that I am here for him."
After about twenty minutes of no reaction from either Tony or Tim, the leader gave up. The video feed ended as abruptly as it had started. Gibbs took a shaken Ziva up to Leon's office.
Tony and Tim were taken back to their cells, and then the leader changed his mind and put both of them in Tim's cell, but did not give Tony enough neck chain to reach the straw and tarp. They made sure the two could not touch or reach each other. Tim was thrown roughly onto the tarp and Tony was thrown into a corner. He crumpled to the floor as Tim watched. Tim vowed that he would kill every last one of these bastards for hurting Tony.
The captors brought each man a cup of dirty water. Tim sipped his and emptied his cup. Tony did not even look at the cup he was given. Tim suspected the water was drugged, but he didn't care. He wanted to close his eyes and wake up to find this all a bad dream.
Chapter 7: A Breakthrough
Chapter 7: A Breakthrough
The entire video feed had been captured at NCIS and analyzed. Abby was able to trace the IP back to a five square mile area of Winchester, Virginia. The kidnappers had made their first mistake.
The other team members started picking apart the isolated area, trying to find anything that might be housing the concrete cells.
Gibbs had one of the staff get a sandwich and tea for Ziva. She needed to eat, and she needed to sleep. He doubted that she would sleep, as the video most likely awakened memories of Saleem and her captivity. He worried that she would fight sleep to avoid the nightmares returning. He wasn't sure he would be able to help. Only Tony had been able to calm the nightmares. Gibbs had witnessed it first hand, and marveled at how Tony knew instinctively how to calm Ziva.
Ziva sat at Vance's conference table, staring at her hands. She had her phone and there was a picture of Tony on the screen. "Ani ohevet otcha." Ziva whispered the Hebrew phrase over and over. Gibbs wasn't one hundred percent sure, but he'd bet she was telling the picture of Tony that she loved him.
The food arrived and Gibbs thanked the agent that brought it up. He opened the sandwich wrapper and placed it in front of Ziva. "Eat, please, for both of you."
Ziva looked up at Gibbs at the word both. 'What did he know?' she wondered. 'How did he know?' She took a sip of the tea and then a bite of the sandwich. She ate the entire half quickly. Gibbs had a sandwich as well. Ziva reached for her other half and bit into it. She did not even realize that she had been that hungry until she started to eat. Gibbs watched Ziva as she ate. Her eyes were red and she looked exhausted. She sipped the remainder of her tea and smiled at Gibbs.
"Thank you for the meal. I did not realize that I was even hungry." Gibbs handed her one of the chocolate chip cookies that was in the food bag. Her eyes lit up as she spotted the treat.
Abby had isolated background sounds in several of the phone calls, as well as in the videos. The thumping sound that Ziva had picked up on was most likely some sort of pump or ventilation unit kicking on. The thump was followed by a low hum, and Abby would bet it was an HVAC unit running.
Ziva's search for the make and model of the van had produced three possibilities, which narrowed the thirty five hundred tag hits down to only one hundred eighty three.
Just as Abby was getting ready to call Gibbs, her fingerprint search had a hit. She looked at the name and her first reactive thought was to scream. She couldn't scream, but she knew it was bad; very bad.
She dialed Gibbs' cell.
Tony looked at the cup of dirty water in front of him. He looked at Tim, who appeared to be sleeping. He slowly picked up the water cup in both hands and lifted it to his mouth. He sipped the water, trying to ignore the taste. To him, it tasted like blood. He moved slowly, trying to assess his injuries. His back was stinging, and he put it out of his consciousness. He knew that he could shut out the pain by retreating from reality. He had been good at that from a very young age. His ankles were raw from rubbing on the metal shackles. He could feel the swelling in his lip where the leader had backhanded him. He was also fairly certain that he had a black eye from getting an elbow in the face from one of the black clad grunts.
He moved to get as comfortable as he could in his concrete corner, and tried to sleep. Hopefully, the water was drugged and he would slide into a drug induced sleep soon.
While he was trying to sleep, he pictured Ziva in his mind. Her hair blowing in the wind and her smile as they rode horses last weekend brought a smile to his face. His ninja was so beautiful. The morning of the day he and Tim were kidnapped, Ziva had stepped off the elevator as he and Tim left to go to talk to the suspect's mother. Ziva had told him that she had a surprise for him. He wondered what it was, thinking maybe she was going to cook one of his favorite meals. He pictured her cooking, and him helping, and maybe getting in the way a little bit, kissing her as they worked together to fix a meal. He pictured himself whispering into her ear, "Ani ohev otach." He drifted into a drug-induced sleep with thoughts of his Ziva in his mind.
"Whatta ya got, Abs?" Gibbs entered Abby's lab with a Caf-POW! in hand. She ran up to him and hugged him.
"Gibbs, this is so not good. So bad; you gotta save them, Gibbs." Abby was getting more agitated. Gibbs put a hand on her arm.
"Settle down, Abby. Tell me what you found."
"Okay. The thump that Ziva noticed in the calls is most likely a heavy duty HVAC unit kicking on. That may help narrow our possible buildings down.
"The van is probably an early to mid 1990s Ford cargo van; most likely a 1992 or 1993 model from what we can see of the shape of the tag area and the light above the tag.
"Finally, we got a hit on the fingerprint inside the envelope from the pictures and on the DNA from the gum. Pedro Reynosa, Paloma's son and Pedro Hernandez's grandson. Gibbs, tell me you are going to get him. Don't let him hurt Tim or Tony. Please Gibbs; I need to know they will be okay."
Gibbs pulled Abby into a hug. "I can't promise Abs, but I will do everything I can to get them back. Good work, Abs." He kissed her forehead and turned to go upstairs and share the news with the rest. He thought about it, and turned around, "Come with me, Abby, and show the others what you found."
Abby finished showing the agents her discoveries and looked around for Ziva. She really wanted to give her friend a hug, knowing that Ziva was probably worried sick about Tony. She caught Gibbs' eye and signed to him, "Where is Ziva?" Gibbs pointed to Vance's office, but shook his head, letting Abby know that she should leave Ziva be. "She is sleeping," Gibbs signed to Abby. "Let her rest." Abby nodded and headed to the elevator.
Chapter 8: Brother Versus Brother, Round 2
Secrets come out in this chapter...
Chapter 8: Brother Versus Brother, Round 2
Gibbs went up to Vance's office to check on Ziva. He opened the door quietly, and saw her lying on her side with her phone under her face. She seemed to be asleep. He tiptoed over to her and covered her with a blanket he kept in his desk. He also put DiNozzo's NCIS jacket over her shoulders, hoping it would bring her some comfort.
"Toda, Gibbs," Ziva murmured and pulled Tony's jacket closer so that his familiar scent was near her face. Gibbs smiled; now to get her to stay asleep long enough to get rested.
Tony and Tim were awakened by the sound of the cell door opening. Two bowls of rice and water were placed where they could reach them and the black clad grunt left as quickly as he entered. Tim sat up on his tarp. He eyed Tony, noting that although Tony's eyes were open, he did not seem to be focusing on anything. He was breathing, which Tim was glad to notice. Tim got up and reached for his bowl. He sat on the floor and took it in both hands and lifted it to his lips. Rice and water, no flavor at all, but still something to eat and drink.
Tony waited until Tim went back to his tarp and hay before he moved. He crawled to his bowl of rice and water. He raised the bowl with his hands and drank from it. He scooped the rice out with his fingers and put the grains in his mouth. When he was done, he put the bowl back on the floor, and turned to Tim.
"Hate to eat and run, but thanks for the dinner." His voice sounded raspy.
Tim looked over at Tony; was he out of his mind? Tony flashed Tim a quick grin and crawled back to his corner.
"Tony?' Tim looked at his friend, crumpled into the corner again. "Are you going to be okay?"
Tony looked at Tim, his green eyes lacking their usual life and shine. "I… I… don't know." He barely whispered loud enough for Tim to hear. "You?"
"I won't give up. We can't let these bastards win, Tony." Tim was shocked at what sounded like resignation and defeat in Tony's voice. Tony was the one who was the wild card of the team. He was the one who held out hope until something happened to change the situation. Tony just couldn't give up, could he?
"The only thing keeping me going right now, Tim, is Ziva. When I shut out the pain, I see her face. I see the love in her eyes and I know she is with me. I am not giving up, Tim. I will see Ziva again."
"You know you guys aren't hiding anything? We all know you two are dating, Tony." Tim was glad his two friends, no his brother and sister, were together. "Tony, you two were meant to be together."
Tony looked at Tim. "Yeah, we know," he barely whispered. "Tim, I love her so much. I asked her to marry me last Sunday, or the last Sunday we were out of this." Tony gestured to mean the current surroundings.
Tim looked up in surprise, "What? What did she say?"
"She said YES, Tim. She said yes." Tony sighed. He wanted to be with his ninja now. He needed her soothing presence. He needed to feel her hugs, NOW.
Gibbs brought some breakfast up to Vance's office for Ziva. He handed her the scrambled egg and bacon burrito and a cup of tea. She ate part of it and then made a beeline for the rest room. Gibbs found her sitting on the floor, head over the bowl puking her insides out. He held her hair back off her face and wiped her face with a wet paper towel. She smiled at him weakly.
"I should have brought you some crackers or something bland." Gibbs watched for her reaction. "Morning sickness is no fun, is it?"
Ziva started to protest, but then decided to come clean, "Not at all. Does it get better?"
Gibbs nodded. Then a thought occurred to him, "Ziva, does Tony know?"
"He knew I was going to the doctor and that the home test showed positive. It was confirmed and the text message with the sonogram that I sent was the morning of the kidnapping. I do not think he ever saw it."
Ziva had tears in her eyes now. "Gibbs, I am scared." He pulled her to him and wrapped his arms around her. He rubbed her back with his hand.
"It's going to be okay, Ziver. He'll come home." Gibbs whispered in her ear and repeated it twice. She let her tears fall as her Abba of the heart hugged her and wrapped Tony's jacket around his Ziver.
Their quiet was interrupted by Vance coming into the office to tell them both to get downstairs as another video feed was coming in.
The video feed showed Tony and Tim in the large concrete room again, each with a hand gun taped between his handcuffed hands. They were chained to a stand and partially locked into pointing the guns at each other. The leader taunted them and badgered them about which one was going to be the one to shoot the other and go free.
The leader took up the whip. He cracked it next to Tony's left ear. "Aim your weapon at him, Agent Pretty Boy." Tony didn't move. CRACK! The whip placed a new stripe on Tony's back. Tony still didn't move. CRACK, CRACK… two more stripes on Tony's back.
He picked up his hands as much as the chains allowed, and aimed his gun as requested. Tony's hands shook. "Aw, Agent Pretty Boy is shaking. Is the big bad NCIS man scared?"
The leader spun around to face the camera, and looked into it. Gibbs had been quiet so far. "BASTARD!"
The maniacal laugh set a resolve within Gibbs to end this and take down the bastards that were torturing his boys. The grunts were taping Tony's hands in place with the weapon aimed at Tim.
The leader turned to Tim. "Aim your weapon at Agent DiNozzo." Tim glared at the man, trying to make eye contact. He remained still otherwise.
"I SAID, AIM YOUR WEAPON, AGENT MCGEE." The leader was in Tim's face. Tim spat at him, earning himself a slap across the face. "Perhaps if we whip your Pretty Boy friend, you will cooperate?" The leader turned sharply and walked over to Tony. He cracked the whip in the air and then sent three quick lashes across Tony's back. Tim watched Tony stare at nothing, detaching himself from reality.
Tim aimed the gun taped to his hands at the leader and pulled the trigger. Click, nothing. Shit the guns weren't even loaded. The two grunts assigned to Tim knocked him to the floor and yanked the hand gun from him. Tim felt something snap in his wrist. It was probably broken. The grunts kicked at his back and ribs. Tim curled up into a ball, trying to protect himself.
The leader, now angry, had lashed Tony's back in his anger, striking nearly twenty hits across Tony's back. Tony slumped forward onto the floor.
The video feed was stopped as the last images showed the grunts picking up the two limp bodies onto tarps and dragging them out of view.
Ziva and Gibbs were silent. They had watched the video feed at her desk with Tobias and Vance. The rest had watched at Gibbs' desk, Abby included. Abby was crying. Vance walked over to her and put an arm around her. Abby turned and hugged him and cried on his shoulder. He wrapped both arms around her, trying to provide some comfort.
Fornell barked orders to the two teams, getting them busy on tracing the IP and pinpointing a location. He was determined to end this within the next twenty four hours, the sooner, the better. He glanced over at Gibbs and David. Neither one had moved nor spoken.
Ziva had only moved to draw Tony's NCIS jacket around herself, feeling the need to have a reminder of his arms around her.
Tony and Tim were taken back to one cell again. Tim was allowed to use the hay pile and had been rolled off the tarp he had been dragged in on to the hay pile. Tony was left in the same corner as before, crumpled on the tarp that had been used to move him back to the cell.
Tim was the first to come to, opening his eyes to see that he was back in the cell. He turned and looked over at Tony's curled up body. His back was covered in long, red marks, some still bleeding. His heart went out to his brother. His own pain was nothing compared to the pain Tony must be feeling. Tears rolled down Tim's face.
Chapter 9: Closing In
Chapter 9: Closing In
The next major break in the case came from the Winchester PD. Two patrol officers had stopped a white Ford van for running a red light. When they checked the tag, the BOLO came up. They took the driver into custody and had the van taken to their impound yard. Gibbs was contacted at NCIS.
Fornell listened to the caller with Gibbs. "We'll have a team there ASAP." Vance pulled some strings and called in a favor to commandeer a chopper to take Fornell, two team members and Gibbs and Ziva to Winchester. The group arrived within forty five minutes of the call.
Ziva and Gibbs inspected the van, finding several hairs in the back cargo area. They bagged each strand and also some dirt from the driver's foot area. The bags were put into a pouch and the chopper pilot flew the evidence back to DC for Abby to analyze.
The van's driver was sitting in an interrogation room. Fornell was hammering him with questions, getting one word or no responses.
The two team members were working with Winchester officers to learn details on the buildings and structures within the pinpointed five square mile area. Three good possible locations emerged.
Tony opened his eyes to see Tim watching him. Tim's face was a mass of bruises, in varying shades. His clothing was dirty and torn, but at least he had clothing.
"Hey," Tony could barely speak, his voice almost a whisper. "Tim, are you okay?"
"I think I have several broken ribs. Plus I think my face is bruised and swollen. I'm also thirsty and hungry." Tim was brutally honest in his self-assessment.
"How bad do I look?" Tony asked.
Tim hesitated, but then decided telling Tony the truth would be best. "Your back is a mass of welts, in varying shades of red. Some were bleeding earlier. Tony, I need to ask you this. Did they, um, do anything, um, you know, to you when they stripped you?"
Tony shook his head, "No, no one raped me. I think they thought about it though. Mostly the leader has hit me with the whip. You?"
Tim also shook his head. "Most of what they have done to me has been trying to break bones. I am almost certain I have several broken or fractured ribs and that my right wrist is broken. My face must be a mess."
Tony nodded. He shifted slightly to sit against the corner walls. "I hope Ziva is okay. She was supposed to go to the doctor the morning we got sent out to that Marine's mother's house."
Tim blinked, "Is she sick? Why did she have to go to a doctor?"
"The home pregnancy test was positive." Tony grinned at Tim. "I may be a father soon, Tim!"
"Wow, Tony. Congratulations. We all knew that you two were dating." Tim was genuinely happy for the couple. They deserved to be happy together and to have a family.
Abby processed the hairs and dirt quickly. The hairs matched Tony and Tim and the dirt contained concrete dust that matched to one of the concrete plants in the city of Winchester. Abby sent the information to Fornell and to Gibbs.
Fornell sent two agents out to the concrete plant, along with stills captured from the video of the concrete room. The manager at the concrete plant recognized the preformed concrete structure and gave the agents the delivery address and directions to the location.
Back at the Winchester PD offices, Gibbs and Ziva had gotten the van driver to give them a location. The driver had told what he knew and confirmed that DiNozzo and McGee were indeed hostages at the location. He told them how to find the entrance to the underground network of bunkers.
Gibbs and Fornell called their teams together and also the Winchester PD SWAT members who would be assisting in the take-down. Plans were made to raid the complex at dusk. At first, Gibbs didn't want Ziva taking any risks, but when she reminded them of her stealth and marksmanship, he had to agree that she should be part of the raid. "You make sure you have proper protection over the baby, and the rest of you," he whispered in her ear. She nodded.
Tony and Tim were each given another cup of rice and water. The grunt that brought the food in placed the cups near to both men so that neither had to move much to get to them. Tony thanked the guy.
"Cheers, Tim!" Tony raised his cup of rice and water in Tim's direction. "Let's eat our gourmet meal!"
Tim raised his cup to Tony. 'The Tony I know is coming back,' Tim thought as he sipped the tasteless mix.
When the two had finished their measly portions, Tony asked Tim if he ever thought about having a family. "Someday, yeah, I would like that." Tim replied. "What do you think about a family?"
"When Ziva first thought she might be pregnant, I was scared, Tim. I mean, that's a kid. What do I know about kids? Not much. But the idea that this baby is something Ziva and I created from our love, that is really growing on me. Soon there will be a little DiNozzo ninja terrorizing our NCIS family. I like the idea of being a father, Tim, and of Ziva being a mother. We've talked about it some, since she did the home test. We want to have a few more after this one.
"You know, Tim, Ziva once asked me if I believed in soulmates. At the time, I joked about it. But now, I realize that she is my soulmate. She is my 'Shannon.' I can't even imagine what my life would be like without her, and I don't want to.
"I feel her near, Tim. She is close by here, wherever 'here' is. You know the first thing I am going to do, when we get out of here? I am going to find Ziva and let the whole world know how much I love that woman!"
The NCIS team, Gibbs, Ziva, the FBI team, Fornell and the SWAT team headed to the target destination. Each group had specific orders and parts to the raid plan. They got into position as the SWAT team prepared to breach the door to the bunker complex.
Tony and Tim had been dragged to the large concrete room again. Tony had been shackled to the wall with very limited motion allowed. He arms were straight out with his hands about level with his shoulders. His legs were slightly splayed to about shoulder width. He was facing Tim.
Tim had been attached to a shooter's stand. The leader had loaded the handgun in front of both agents, and then taped it into Tim's hands. The gun then was aimed to fire into Tony's heart and Tim's hands were taped in place.
The leader told Tim to shoot Tony. He refused to move, and did not acknowledge the command. The grunts tightened his restraints around his chest and back. Tim winced at the pain, but said nothing.
"SHOOT HIM," the leader shouted in Tim's ear. Tim looked straight ahead and refused to move or react. The leader nodded and the restraints were made even tighter.
"SHOOT HIM!" The leader again shouted in Tim's ear.
"NO. He is my brother, I will not shoot him." Tim had had enough. He didn't care what happened to him, but he prayed that Tony would get out alive for his child and Ziva.
The leader slapped Tim's face. "SHOOT HIM, DAMMIT!" Tim met his glare and locked eyes with the leader.
"NEVER." The two stared at each other in silence. Tony passed out from exhaustion and his limp body hung on the wall.
"DROP YOUR WEAPONS, NCIS! FBI!" Gibbs' voice was music to Tim's ears as the door was rammed open.
The grunts all looked to their leader. They had no weapons, and really did not care to die here.
"KILL THEM," the leader barked at his grunts.
"DOWN ON YOUR KNEES, HANDS BEHIND YOUR HEAD," Gibbs yelled back. The grunts all dropped in surrender.
The leader ripped the loaded gun from Tim's hand and spun around. Ziva was slightly behind and to the right of Gibbs and fired a single shot into the leader's forehead. He dropped to the floor.
The NCIS and FBI teams moved to the grunts, patting them down and cuffing them. Gibbs moved to Tim and loosened his restraints as Ziva moved to Tony's limp form. Gibbs then ripped the hood and mask off the dead leader. Pedro Reynosa was as dead as his mother and grandfather.
Ziva saw Tony hanging on the wall, and at first thought the worst. Then she noticed his chest moving with his breaths. Through her tears, she smiled and leaned forward to kiss Tony on the lips. "Our baby needs his or her Abba," she said softly. "Ani ohevet otcha."
Tony opened his eyes to the most beautiful sight he had ever seen; his ninja was standing in front of him, with tears and a smile. He grinned at her, "Kiss me again. Ani ohev otach." She planted her lips on his.
Tim, Gibbs and Fornell were behind Ziva. Fornell turned to Gibbs with a questioning look.
"Let them be, Tobias. They have my blessing."
Tony heard Gibbs' comment, "Thanks, Boss!"
Chapter 10: Epilogue
After Tony was freed from the wall, both he and Tim were taken to the nearest hospital and examined and then admitted. They were stabilized and then released to Ducky for transfer to Bethesda.
Tim had four fractured ribs and his wrist needed surgery to place pins for it to heal. He joked that he was lucky it was his right arm and he could still write and function, being left handed.
Tony had several infected wounds on his back and a dermabrasion was done to slough off some of the dead skin. It was a painful process, but Ziva was by his side the whole time. His back would be scarred for life.
Ziva wore her engagement ring proudly. While Tony was still in the hospital, Leon arranged for a Navy Chaplain to marry them at their request. Tim was Tony's best man; and Abby was Ziva's maid of honor. Gibbs cried when Ziva asked him to be father of the bride. Jimmy, Leon and Ducky were witnesses (and had also brought the cake and other food for after the ceremony.)
Tim and Tony each met with a counselor two days each week for coping with the trauma and Ziva went with Tony. She became his "wellness" coach, having been through similar with Saleem in Somalia. The counseling process benefitted both of them, and Ziva had no more nightmares. She even joked that she and Tony had matching backs now!
Both Tony and Ziva went to her doctor appointments and cherished every moment of their baby's development and growth. They found out the baby was a girl around the fifth month.
Over the time they were healing, Tony and Tim strengthened their bond of brothers. Both of their psychologists agreed that the bond of brothers played an important role in their mental and emotional healing. Four months to the day after the kidnapping, both Tim and Tony were cleared for return to work. Physical and psych evals were all positive. A week after Tony and Tim returned Ziva moved to desk duty only.
Six months to the day after the rescue, Ziva and Tony welcomed Talia Elizabeth DiNozzo into the world. Baby Tali captured her parents' hearts when they first laid eyes on her. She had her Grandpa Gibbs wrapped around her pinky by the time she was a day old. The entire team was smitten with the new life.
Thanks for all the kudos and reviews! More TIVA in the works!