When the Bough Breaks

Chapter 13

As Kensi walked inside and scanned the crowd for their target, it didn't take long before she found him sitting at the bar, looking pretty out of it. Despite the fun and excitement going on around him, Portman didn't seem to care. She slowly walked over and took a seat on the stool beside him, then ordered a couple of drinks, one for her, which she didn't actually plan to drink, and one for him.

"It looks like you could use another," she spoke up first, while her partner and teammates listened in through their ear pieces. "My name's Bonnie. You must be Neal. I've been looking for you."

"And why… is that," their suspect asked as he slowly looked over to see who was talking to him, slurring some of his words. "As much… as I wish I… did, I don't… know you."

Kensi moved closer and leaned in as she alluringly whispered in his ear, "I already told you my name. If you want to get to know me better, follow me."

She slowly got up and began to walk toward the exit, though with much less grace as he wobbled on his feet, looking ready to pass out at any moment. He wore a smile on his face as he believed he was going to get lucky. As soon as they both made it outside, Sam and Callen suddenly grabbed a hold of their suspect, while Deeks went to stand beside his partner to let the others do the work.

As soon as they grabbed onto him, Portman cried out, "What are you… doing? Who… are you?"

"Whoa, you my friend, are hammered," Sam responded as he had to turn away from the foul smell of their suspect's breath. "How long have you been drinking tonight?"

"I am… not your friend," Neal answered, still in confusion as he struggled within their grasp. "What… do you what with… me? Who…?"

Callen interrupted, "Just relax before you fall down and hurt yourself. We're federal agents with NCIS. I have a feeling you were in there drinking yourself to death because you've been feeling guilty."

Neal shook his head as he glared at Callen and replied, "I have nothing to… feel guilty… for, least of all… for those people I helped… kill."

"So you confess to killing our friends then?" Deeks asked in surprise, then looked between his teammates. "That was way easier than I thought."

"I didn't… confess… to…" the drunkard began to retort until he suddenly threw up and passed out cold.

As some of the mess got onto his own clothes, Deeks shouted, "Aah man, that's just gross! Did you two really have to hold him in my direction?"

His friends laughed, then Sam responded, "Better you then us. Isn't that right, G?"

"Oh yeah," his partner answered and then grew serious before he began to speak again. "We know he's definitely involved in the bombing, but there's no way we're going to get anything out of him until he sobers up, at least enough so that he can talk again without puking. Let's take him back to the boat shed before he comes to."

"To the boat shed?" Kensi asked in confusion. "I think that our interrogation shed is a little unavailable for at least the next several months or so."

Sam smiled as he replied, "Actually, it's not. Maybe it is technically off limits to anyone while the investigation continues, but the site's only being guarded by two assigned security officers, both of whom we can convince to let us in without them ratting us out. I know them and one of them owes me a favor. The other owes Hetty one. We just have to be careful. A number of others are watching over what's left of our headquarters."

Deeks nodded and then answered, "All right, fine, but if this finds a way of backfiring on us, then I am blaming you and your partner."

Five hours later…

Neal Portman slowly began to come to as he felt the impending hangover that he knew he was going to have since before he began his first drink of the night. He began to dry heave, though he felt like he was going to vomit once again. It took several minutes before he noticed that he wasn't the only one in the unknown room.

"It's about time you woke up," Callen stated as he stared down at the man while he stood in the doorway of their interrogation room. "We were beginning to worry. Do you remember who we are?"

"I've never seen you before," Neal replied coldly. "Nor do I care."

Sam chuckled and then responded, "You should care, Neal, because your life really depends on your cooperation with us. We met last night, you just don't remember because you had one too many drinks. We're special agents, Callen and Hanna with NCIS. You helped kill several of our friends a few days ago and injured several more."

Callen continued, "One of them is a real good friend and teammate of ours and he was one of those that was hurt the most in that blast you created. Believe us when we say that this is real personal, so we don't care anymore if our interrogation of you gets messy."

"Who do you work for?" Sam asked again. "I think that if you didn't have a guilty conscience about your involvement in the bombing, then you wouldn't have had a need to try to drink yourself to death. Or is it that you're just a major alcoholic, who can't help himself. Does it bother you at all that if Hans and Craig learn that you were out being careless with your life, then they would take it themselves in order to keep from getting caught."

"You know who's behind our plans?" their suspect asked in surprise.

Callen looked over at Sam as he smiled, then back at Neal as he answered, "We weren't positive before, but we are now; thanks to you. If you're afraid of them, we can protect you, I promise you."

Portman glared at them as he replied, "You both can go to hell."

"That's where we've been for the last few days because of you!" Sam said angrily. "Now, if you don't want to get the needle for this mess, then you're going to tell us what we want to know. Where are your bosses and what are their next targets?"

"I won't tell you," Neal responded. "You can't do anything to me."

Callen smiled again and then answered, "Maybe we won't beat you after all, but we can invite our colleague in here, who's just outside this room with his partner watching our little talk, to regale you with some of his many stories and jokes. Believe us when we say, when Deeks gets talking, a number of our suspects would prefer to receive a beating, rather than continue to listen to him for another minute. It's worse than nails on a chalkboard. What's the record, Sam?"

The former navy seal replied, "No suspect has made it past forty-five minutes with Deeks. Believe us, his stories and jokes are pure torture. What do you say now?"

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