Whatever It Takes

Chapter 5


Gibbs and Tony made it back to the base just as many of the agents were leaving for the day. The ride back was much livelier than before. They talked more about the case and about the three week vacation that Gibbs went on after the whole Mexico fiasco. The vacation was actually a suspension without pay. Vance had to do something to punish Gibbs for going AWHOL on them once again.

Gibbs stayed in Stillwater with his father in order to make sure that he was all right after being kidnapped and nearly killed. Jackson was happy to have his son stay with him for awhile and though Gibbs may not admit it, he was happy to be there too.

As Tony and Gibbs walked into the office, they took the elevator down to Abby's lab to find out if she had discovered anything from the evidence. Both McGee and Ziva were down there as well.

As soon as they walked into the room, Abby ran over to Tony and wrapped her arms around him as she cried, "Oh, Tony! I heard that you were shot. Are you ok? I was so angry at McGee and Ziva for not telling me right away. You could have been killed."

Tony smiled as she hugged him and replied, "Abs, I am just fine. You know me, I'm tough. I'm like the terminator; practically indestructible and macho."

"The keyword there, DiNozzo, is practically," Gibbs said. "The terminator was destroyed every time, which means that you can be as well. What do you have, Abby?"

"There wasn't much to go on, Gibbs," she responded. "I mean, the sheets from the bed show no evidence of sex taking place. Chances are that housekeeping had already changed the sheets before the body was dumped. I've run the bullets that were fired at Tony and you guys through my babies and there was one match. We found fingerprints on a few of them. The guy's name is Gary Finch. Here is a picture of him. He has a record for spousal abuse, rape, and assault. He was also accused of killing a man, but no one could prove that he did it."

Tony chuckled and said, "My guess is that he did. The agents who took the case must have been pretty angry that they couldn't get him."

Gibbs responded, "I wouldn't blame them. Good work, Abs. Ziva and McGee, I want the two of you to go pick him up. I want to know why he killed the petty officer and why he was stupid enough to come back and shoot at us."

"What about me, Boss," Tony asked?

"I want you to go home and get some sleep tonight and do not come back to the office," Gibbs said. "If I find that you have, I will put you on permanent desk duty. Do I make myself clear?"

"As crystal, Boss," Tony answered.

Ziva leaned over to McGee and whispered, "What does that mean, McGee?"

Tim replied, "Gibbs asked Tony if he understood what he was saying when he asked if he made himself clear. Because crystal is clear, it means that Tony understood. It's hard to explain."

She nodded and said, "I understand. Another American idiom, I suppose."

A few minutes later, Tony walked out of the building and to his car. Ziva and McGee walked out behind Tony and went to go pick up Finch as Gibbs told them to. Gibbs kissed Abby on the cheek and took the elevator down to Ducky, hoping that he had some information about the cause of death of the Navy officer.

As he walked in, he found Ducky washing the instrument which he used during his autopsy. When Ducky heard Gibbs come in, he stopped what he was doing and explained that Palmer had gone home for the evening.

Gibbs asked, "Did you find out who our officer is, Duck?"

Ducky answered, "Indeed, Jethro. His name is Shane Winters. The poor lad was on shore leave for a few days. His wife had contacted the police saying that he was missing since yesterday afternoon and eventually, the report came to us. Ziva and McGee talked to her while you and Tony were gone."

"Did you figure out the true cause of death," Gibbs asked next?

"The boy did indeed drown," Ducky replied. "I found bruises and handprints on the back of his body and neck that showed signs of a struggle. My guess is that the young man was attacked from behind and had his head pushed down into a bit of water. If he was a guest in the motel, the killer may have used the sink or even the tub to drown him in. Perhaps our victim had just gotten out of the shower. It would explain why he was naked. Then, the killer put him on the politician's bed and left. This is my best theory."

Gibbs nodded and responded, "It is probably what happened. Good work, Duck!"

Ducky asked, "Did you ever find out what was troubling Anthony?"

Gibbs went on to explain his conversation he had with Tony this afternoon while driving to Maryland. Ducky listened intently and told Gibbs to just work on trying to make Tony feel like he was not blamed for everything that had happened to their team lately. He explained that Tony was just looking to feel like he belonged somewhere and that his job was not in jeopardy.

Gibbs thanked his friend and walked back up to the bullpen. He sat at his desk and waited impatiently for Ziva and McGee to come back in with their suspect. In the meantime, he made a few calls and looked over the paperwork, which came with this case.

Meanwhile…

Tony arrived at his apartment around quarter after seven o'clock. On his way home, he stopped by the restaurant, which made his favorite pizza and ordered one for take-out. As he walked inside his apartment, he moved over to the coffee table in the center of his living room and put the pizza down. Then, he took off his firearm, pulled out his badge, and placed them inside the top drawer of his dresser, which was next to his bed. He pulled out his cell phone and placed it on top. Finally, he walked over to the fridge, pulled out a beer, and walked back over to the couch near the coffee table.

Tony was about to sit down to put his feet up, until suddenly an arm reached around his head from behind him with a cloth in hand, which was shoved over his nose and mouth. He was overwhelmed with the thick smell of chloroform. However, Tony struggled against his attacker. He pushed the man backward into the walls and the furniture in the room, until they finally crashed into the coffee table. The man had to let go. He was out of breath and sore from the fight. Tony struggled to stand, as he was not only in pain as well, but also woozy from the chloroform, which was quickly overpowering his senses.

Tony picked up one of the broken legs of the table and knocked his attacker out by hitting him over the head with it. Then, he staggered over to where he had placed his cell phone and was about to call Gibbs, until he was also hit over the head by someone else, who had entered his apartment.

Once Tony was unconscious, the second attacker went to wake up his partner, in order to get help carrying Tony out to their car that was parked further down the road. They threw the agent into the trunk and drove off, leaving Tony's apartment completely trashed.

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