Chapter 17

June 14, 2013

Kyle pulled his hat onto his head, quivering with anticipation. After all these years: revenge would finally be his!

He had spent years planning a way to get this job done without getting caught.

It might have been carried out sooner, but he had been arrested several times for drug possession, and a series of petty crimes. Luckily, no one had recognized him from his major "achievements" of the late 20th century.

When the McGee kid became a federal agent, Kyle thought it would be difficult to carry out any form of kidnapping or torture without risking harm to himself.

But after some minor observation of the NCIS employee, he found that the kid was the gentlest of his team- that he was just the same as he was at 16.

Whether Tim was a skinny young man or a professional wrestler, Kyle wouldn't have cared. He was determined to make Kristen Macheer and Timothy McGee suffer.

He picked up the old pizza box and straightened his delivery uniform. Macheer would be home at this time, he knew. Everything was falling right into place.

Tony arrived in the bullpen, fashionably late. Actually, he was only ten minutes behind the appropriate time, but since Gibbs came in around five in the morning and McGee was always an hour early, he was late by comparison. Ziva could come in anytime between Tim and Tony, depending on how her morning run went.

The thing that piqued DiNozzo's curiosity was Tim. He was speaking into his phone and facing away from Tony, leaning back in his chair. McGee's voice was set at a tone Tony had never heard before from the junior agent- it was teasing and relaxed.

"Yeah, you're right, you're right!"

The SFA sat at his desk. Tim hadn't noticed him yet.

"Sure, I'll visit. That's actually a great idea. I haven't been back in...years. Since...then...are you serious?"

Tim sat up in his chair and turned just slightly, enough to notice DiNozzo. His eyes widened and he blushed in embarrassment.

"Yes...uh...I've gotta go, We'll talk tonight."

He hung up and tried pretending like it didn't happen, moving to type on his keyboard. "Morning Tony-"

"And good morning to you, McRomeo! What special lady were we talking to? And better yet...visiting?"

Tim rolled his eyes, secretly embarrassed. Kristen would be hysterical with laughter if she could hear this. "It's not a 'special lady' Tony."

"Special man?"

"No! No, DiNozzo, she's just an old friend."

The older man studied his face, looking for signs of a lie; Tim was a horrible lier. "Ok..." He said, slightly dubious.

Ziva joined them just then, eyebrow raised. "What is ok?"

Tony jumped in before his friend could respond. "Tim's placing mysterious calls to women behind our backs, Z."

Ziva's eyebrows raised again, this time in delight. "I am happy for you, McGee."

"It's not like that!" Tim insisted.

"What's not like that?"

Tony and Ziva quickly returned to their own desks. "Gear up!" Gibbs said.

And the day went on from there, no problem. It was truly an open and shut case, a depressing suicide incident. The reports were turned in by six o'clock. Usually when a case was solved so early in the evening the team would go out and celebrate with drinks, but given the nature of the investigation, it didn't seem right. There was no caught criminal, just a victim. So instead Tony proposed a low-key movie night. He would, of course, supply the movie. Ziva would bring popcorn, and Abby volunteered to supply take-out of some sort. Ducky and Jimmy were both busy that night, and politely declined the invitation.

"How about you, McGee? You coming? I've got good beer," DiNozzo cajoled.

Tim glanced up to see Ziva, Abby and Tony all looking at him as they headed towards the elevator.

"Uh, yeah, I'll be there a little later. I have to do something first," he replied unenthusiastically.

Tony gave him a 'I knew it!' look before pressing the down button.

"See you there, Timmy!" Abby called.

Tim grinned as the doors closed. He then dialed the now-familiar number. After the second ring, the sarcastic voice greeted with "thank god you called, I've been sitting by the phone all day awaiting your message!"

He smirked. "So when should I schedule my flight for?"

"Uh..." Tim heard a ruffling of papers as Kristen checked through her planner. "Well, I'm gonna want to show up the day before the...anniversary...so that I can visit all the places. But I don't want to stay too long, I'm assuming you don't want to either?"

"Of course not," Tim responded hoarsely, knowing that one or two days would be taxing enough on him. Nevertheless, he was ready to make the trip. He saw it as closure, which might help with his nightmares and anxiety.

"Right, so the day before? Do you wanna book the flights for us both so we can be on the same flight?"

"Sure," Tim agreed. "I'll text you about times and prices when I make the flight reservations."

"Prices? Aw, you mean I have to pay for myself?" Kris mock-pouted.

"Sorry," he chuckled.

"Fine. But you're paying for the diner food!"


Tim hung up and smiled, heading towards the elevator, suddenly glad he was heading for beer, takeout, and a movie with the team.

Kristen smiled as she put the phone in its receiver. Her boyfriend walked through the front door of the apartment, and she got up to hug him.

"How was your day?" he asked as he returned the embrace.

"Great!" she replied. "Oh...uh, when you go on tour again next week, I'm going on a trip."

"Good for you, babe. You need to get out more."


"Where are you going? Visiting your dad?"

"I might stop and say hello. But no, I'm going to visit a place I used to spend my summers at."

"That's cool. Take lots of pictures."

"Uh...I will!"

Her boyfriend, Nick, shuffled uneasily for a minute. "Are we still on for tomorrow night?"

"No, sorry." His head whipped around to look at her in surprise. "I've got a date," she smiled.

He laughed, relieved that she was just joking. "Well I'm sure he's a lucky guy."

"We don't go on dates enough. Do you wanna stay over-" she began.

"Sorry, babe, I have to run some errands. I'll just stay at my place tonight."

"Oh, ok." They shared a quick kiss and she walked him to the door.

"Love you!"

"Love you too."

Her heart warmed as she closed the door, an involuntary smile on her lips. Kristen was about to head to bed when a knock came on the door.

"What did you forget?" she giggled as she reopened it, but to her chagrin it wasn't Nick. A disheveled and older man stood there, pizza in hand.

"Oh, sorry, I didn't order that," she said.

He stared at her for a moment. "I know."

He threw the empty box in her face, startling her, and tackled her to the ground. He covered her mouth and nose with a sickly sweet smelling cloth. Try as she might, Kristen couldn't hold her breath forever, and passed out. She was strong and athletic, but she was heavy and unnaturally powerful for someone his age. The chloroform was a bonus for her attacker as well.

Kyle Carroll stood up, satisfied. "Well, that was easier than I thought it would be."

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