Where I belong

Chapter 9

"Derek Johnson, 34… Layla's brother's best friend." Tim started

"Andrew Somers and Derek Johnson went to George Washington University, Andrew Somers graduated and joined the Marines and is still in active service and Derek Johnson did not graduate, he dropped out. Andrew chased him away after Baltimore PD caught Derek carrying drugs." Tim continued.

Tony noticed that throughout Tim's speech he had not looked at any of the information on the plasma and that he had recited the whole thing from memory. He was not the only one.

"You got anything up there that's useful too Tim?" Gibbs asked pointing to the screen.

"Er… Yeah." Tim shook his head and focused. "Derek was running with the Franco Mateo."

"Lil Frankie?" Tony said shocked as Both Ziva and Gibbs turned to look at him.

"Er. Boss, Lil Frankie is a high level Enforcer for the Lentino Crime family in Baltimore." He told them as Tim nodded to confirm that was the right man.

"So Derek is involved with them?" Gibbs asked.

"I remember Layla saying something, about Franco meeting Derek one day when I went to pick up Trey, I was the one day she let me have him overnight." Tim said.

"So pick him up." Gibbs ordered, "We need to talk to him."

All three of them grabbed their gear, "Not you!" Gibbs said to Tim, who dropped his bag and sat at his desk.

After they had gone, he turned to Tim, "Do you know what Operation Lightning is?"

Tim looked at Gibbs with a guilty grin, "Yes, Boss."

"You better, fill me in."

"I can't…. You don't have clearance." Gibbs glared at him, but Tim stood his ground.

"No Boss, but we can ask the director if he will read you in. Although it was one of Director Morrow's projects back when I started at NCIS in Norfolk."

Gibbs and Tim walked up to the director's office.

Leon looked up as they both entered.

"Sir, I need permission to read Agent Gibbs in on Operation Lightning." Tim asked.

"McGee, that's a classified operation, how do you know about it?" Leon asked suspiciously.

"I created the parameters for the program. It has become a central issue in a case we're working on." Tim said.

Leon looked impressed, "I never realized you were responsible for that. Very well, you may read Agent Gibbs in only." He leaned over his keyboard and typed a file number in "Your eyes only Gibbs," he said, Tim leaned over and transferred the information to the plasma in Vance's office.

"Operation Lightning was the Navy's early warning cyber hacking defense system, the then SECNAV had been plagued by other countries, most notably Israel and Eastern European countries hacking into our database to get top secret information on troop deployments, weapons specs. Etc. He found out that I was working in Norfolk and had looked up my Jacket and found out about my computer abilities and some rather…. er…. Dubious hacking I had done myself whilst at MIT and asked me to help. Boss if anyone got their hands on the information it would be worth a fortune to foreign intelligence communities." Tim said and waited while Gibbs caught on to how important this was.

"So how did Johnson find out about it?" Gibbs asked.

"Itoldhim." Tim mumbled.

"Sorry?" Both Vance and Gibbs said at the same time. Tim looked at his feet and shuffled a bit.

"I told Derek, the first time he and Layla… the first time they…" He could not say the words, "I didn't mean to Boss." Tim implored him, "I was just so shocked. I mean he was my friend and she was my girlfriend I loved her; I was not prepared for it. I had gone after work to see Layla and Trey and they both attacked me, She told me if I told them about what I was working on that they wouldn't hurt Trey… He was a week old Boss! Helpless and my son." Tim figured this was it. "I only told him the name of what I was working on, that was it after that they were obsessed with getting information on it. I moved in with her to protect Trey, when Derek wasn't there she was always sorry and I thought there was hope but every day she started."

Gibbs and Vance looked at each other, Yes, McGee had broken protocol, but technically, apart from the name he had not, at any point divulged any pertinent information.

"I found out later that this was the information that Derek had told Franco that he could get his hands on and I think this is what he was trying to make Layla get for him." Tim said.

"We need to get Layla back into interrogation." Gibbs said.

"Boss, I'm sorry but it's getting late and I need to take Trey home. I've got him enrolled in daycare as of tomorrow, but no one to have him for tonight and he's been with Abby and Ducky for hours." Tim told him.

Gibbs nodded, "You're right, I can't expect Trey to keep the same hours we do. Go get him and we will go home. DiNozzo can put Johnson in lock up for tonight and we'll get started with fresh eyes tomorrow."

Tim walked into Abby's lab, which was unusually quiet.

"Shh!" Abby hissed as he walked in, "Trey's asleep, it's so cute." She said, showing him the pictures she had taken of the boy, glasses askew asleep face down on his laptop.

Tim smiled lovingly at his son. It was the first time in years he had felt safe enough to fall asleep anywhere but his bed, and he told Abby so, "You must have been doing a good job with him," He said.

Abby beamed, "You really think so? I mean we got off to a rocky start, but he's an awesome kid."

"You really think so?" Tim said he was so used to Layla putting them both down that the compliment was unexpected.

Abby hugged Tim "You make a great dad Tim, and Trey is just like you."

Tim grinned and started to pack up Trey's stuff. He slipped the laptop out from under Trey's head, put it away, and finally lifted his son into his arms.

"'Wasn't hackin' dad. Honest." Trey's sleepy voice floated up to him.

"Yep." Abby reiterated, "Just like you."

"Come on." Tim said and walked to the elevator to meet Gibbs,

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