The time of year Tim dreaded the most, Halloween, was here again.
Abby was in her usual element as it was without a doubt her favorite holiday. Tony could take it or leave it, but even he knew McGee got most uncomfortable around Halloween.
"Spooks and Spells McScary!" Tony said breaking into McGee's thoughts.
"Sorry?" Tim looked up from his computer confused at Tony's comment. He'd been looking into a cold case and not listening to Tony DiNozzo's ramblings.
"Are you ready for the big day?" Tony asked again, "Spooks, spells and trick or treating. The dead will rise." Tony joked in a spooky voice.
"Yeah awesome," he replied flatly.
Tony had tried, in all the years since McGee had joined the team, to get him to spill why he hated it so much; but Tim would always deflect and move onto another subject.
Gibbs, Agent in Charge of NCIS' Major Case Response Team walked in, "We've got a dead lieutenant, Rock Creek Park," he announced and both men picked up their bags to follow him.
"They should put a government health warning on that place," Tony joked as they walked towards the elevators.
Tim rolled his eyes and shrugged his shoulders; this was going to be a long day.
Tony yawned as he got out of the truck. He hadn't been sleeping well since Ziva David had left for Israel.
Although his team might disagree, Tony was adamant that it was his apartment getting shot up and not Ziva's departure that was the reason for his insomnia. He grabbed the camera and walked up to the body and started snapping pictures.
Gibbs walked over to them as Tim took the deceased man's fingerprints.
"Shit!" he swore under his breath.
The man's picture had come up in the Navy database along with a small pentagram in the bottom right hand corner; it was very small and did not show up on the normal thumbprint scanners.
"What we got?" Gibbs asked.
"Lieutenant Junior Grade, Judson Stillwell, 35. He is assigned to the George Washington that put into port yesterday." Tim replied looking at the fingerprint scanner but also scanning the surrounding area with his peripheral vision.
NCIS medical examiner, Dr. Donald 'Ducky' Mallard and Jimmy Palmer arrived and taking their bags over to the body proceeded to look it over for the cause of death.
"I can't see a cause of death Jethro, unless he had a heart attack." Ducky said his Scottish brogue apparent in his voice.
"Time of death?" Leroy Jethro Gibbs asked
"About 3am." Ducky replied.
"So an hour after The G.W. got into port." Gibbs affirmed nodding his thanks at his friend.
"Boss?" Tony asked walking over to them. "Why would he come here? It's an hour's ride from the naval yard. He would have had to have gotten straight off the ship and headed here?"
"That's what we need to find out DiNozzo," Gibbs snapped.
Tim looked up darkly at the figure he could see lurking just inside the nearby tree line.
He turned and grabbed evidence bags, "I'm going to see if I can find anything," he said to Gibbs who nodded and allowed him to walk off.
Just out of sight of the others he stood and leaned against a tree.
"I know you're here," he said aloud keeping his voice hushed so the others couldn't hear.
A tall, thin man in a trench coat with a black fedora stepped out of the shadows.
"You always could tell when I was near." He smiled, which on him looked more like a grimace.
"Did you take him?" Tim asked nodding towards the group dealing with the body.
"Yes." The man replied, without any emotion evident in his voice.
"Was he alone when he died?" Tim asked.
The old man sighed, "Timothy…" If he could express emotion he would have said that the fact the boy used that name rather than his given name irked him. "You asked to have this chance of a mortal life. You cannot expect me to reveal everything."
"I'm not asking," Tim responded.
The man sighed and shifted he seemed to melt into the shadows, "He was not alone…but he was not killed by a mortal, he was killed by one of us."
"Crap!" Tim swore.
"You know who he was?" The old man asked.
"Stillwell…one of Mabs' children?" Tim asked. That would explain everything.
Mab was known in Arthurian tales as the Mother of Nimue lady of the lake, a water based spirit. It would make sense one of her children would join the Navy.
The old man nodded, "You need to deal with this. You are best placed to do so."
"I can't cover it up! My boss won't let it drop. Was it one of my brothers?" Tim asked.
The man nodded, "He said it was Rage. Stillwell said he was involved in an altercation with him aboard the ship and he went to report to his family. Rage followed him off and they fought."
Tim's shoulders dropped. Of all of his brothers Rage was the worst. "Are you sure it was him? I can't bring him in, you can't contain him…"
Tim stopped and looked at the man, "What was Rage doing on a ship? The waters are Mabs domain, we don't interfere, except for….you know, the usual."
"He was summoned."
Tim looked up surprised. "Who? How? No one nowadays knows how to summon us."
The man looked at him, "Well someone did Timothy. I won't have your brothers or our society exposed with this."
"I can't cover it up!" Tim exclaimed, he looked behind the man and saw Judson's spirit standing forlornly behind the man. "You haven't taken him over?"
"I needed to find out what happened, so you could deal with it."
"Dad!" Tim sighed with exasperation. "This makes things complicated, I don't know if I can hide this from my boss."
"Talk to your Uncle", his father said. "He may be able to help you."
"Uncle is mom's side of the family; he doesn't show me any special favors."
"Your mother was special." His father looked off to the distance wistfully.
"And she was off limits. You knew that and you broke the rules. Uncle risks his mother's wrath everyday by employing me. We are outside the elements, you should have heeded Gaia's warning."
"Her daughter was special. She knew I wasn't a monster."
Tim's face softened, "You aren't a monster, you're my father…you are a natural part of life. You may not be an elemental, but you are part of the eternal circle. And I love you."
Death looked at his son, "Love…wasting your time with love, that's your mother talking. I won't hear of it."
Tim shook his head, "So, are you going to deal with Rage, or shall I get Uncle to apply to the council for his punishment?"
Death looked at his youngest son, "Do what you need to."
"And my boss?"
"Council rules apply Timothy. If you wish to…no, if you need to include them, have Uncle contact the council. You know they won't talk to you."
Tim scowled at his father, but nodded his understanding. "I will talk to Uncle when I get back."
Death turned and walked towards the specter of Judson standing behind him, "It is nearly All Hallows eve, and if I need to talk to your co-workers it would be easiest then."
Tim nodded and watched as his father passed over the threshold from his world to the ne'er world of his family.
Turning to go back he picked up a few bits and pieces to look as if he'd been gathering evidence and walked back to his team.
Tony looked up as Tim walked back out of the woods.
"You alright there 'McFreakedOut' ? You look like you've seen a ghost," he teased.
Tim scowled at him and carried on walking to the van.
Arriving back at the bullpen Tim bypassed it and walked upstairs to Director Vance's office.
"Director, we have a problem," Tim announced walking into his Uncles office.
Vance looked for Gibbs, "You have a problem Agent McGee?" he asked.
Tim locked the office door, "No we have a problem Uncle. Our latest case, it's a family issue."
Vance stopped and put his pen down.
"I saw my father at the crime scene today," he told his Uncle.
"So the victim was alive when you got there?"
"No, the victim was one of Mab's children, he told my father that he thought Rage was his killer."
"God, Tim!" Vance sighed and ran a shaky hand over his face, this could go bad really quickly.
"Rage is.... well he's... Rage, but he's not a killer. He will cause things, but the Lieutenant was one of Mab's children. There's no way he'd cross that line." Tim reasoned.
"Is there any way you can investigate and throw Gibbs off? I'd rather not have to approach the council." Vance said.
Tim looked at him and raised an eyebrow, "You're an idiot sometimes," he replied with a grin.
Vance looked at him, "You say that to the director of NCIS?"
Tim smiled, "Nope, but to my Uncle. You're one of the few I like. and you know Gibbs, he's not going to let this go."
Leon Vance sighed, "You're certain there is no way we can avoid this?"
Tim shrugged, "Not that I can think of....short of killing Gibbs. I don't think either of us want to do that."
Vance sighed, "Then I'm going to have to contact the council."
"We can keep the knowledge to a minimum and Dad said he'd meet with them and talk to them."
"Is that safe?" Vance asked incredulously. "You know the rule, if your father appears someone must die."
"He wouldn't kill off my team." Tim said surreptitiously crossing his fingers.
Vance noticed and chided him, "Tim, that's for mortals, you don't need to do that in here." Vance sighed again "I don't want your father taking any of my other agents in the building either."
Tim looked down abashed. "If Rage was responsible he needs to be held accountable, but I can't have the team going in without knowing what they are up against."
Vance nodded. "Go downstairs little one. I will contact the council and give you their decision."
Tim gave a weak smile. Soon the team would know about him.
Walking out to the mezzanine he looked down at the normality in the bullpen. He hated the fact that he was about to turn their world upside down.
He smiled to himself. Abby will love this.
But he loved his Uncle. Ok, apart from his mother, who had had to disown him when he was born, although he hoped he had felt her presence once or twice?
He was the only one of his 'species' with emotions of his own. His brothers; Rage, Lust, Envy and Chaos thought him a weakling, but he felt himself stronger for having them.
He was jolted out of his reverie as Gibbs shouted up to him. "McGee! we disturbing you down here, or are you planning on earning your paycheck today?"
"Yes Boss; Coming Boss," he called and rushed down the stairs.