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The Way

By Gina Mae Callen

Scifi / Thriller

Chapter 1

Five years ago

"Strike force command, this is Red leader one do we have a go for insertion." A voice came over Tim's ear piece.

"Affirmative, we have a go, repeat we have a go." Tim said and stopped as a noise from his door disturbed him,

"Hang on," Tim said and got up. He opened the door to find Agents Tony DiNozzo and Kate Todd trying to pick the lock on his door.

'Damn, I forgot that was today.' Tim thought to himself, it was his first full day at NCIS and both agents had offered him a ride in.

He left the computer screen running not wanting to draw attention to it although both the other agents had spotted it and DiNozzo grinned, 'Geek probie playing computer games' he laughed to himself promising to store it up for future teasing use.

"Just getting my weapon," Tim said and headed into the bedroom and closed the door, he quietly knocked on the bathroom door. "Sarah?" he whispered

"Who's out there?" Sarah asked realizing Tim didn't want her overheard.

"Just Tony and Kate from my new job. Listen Sarah, Dave's still running the Op in Guatemala. Can you take over for me, I can't blow my cover."

Sarah smiled at her brother, "Sure I'll probably do a better job anyway."

Tim rolled his eyes, "Just wait till I'm gone, I haven't told them about you and we can't afford the down time to answer questions."

"Good luck." Sarah said and shut the bathroom door as Tim left the bedroom.

Tim grabbed the last of his stuff and walked out of the door ushering Tony and Kate in front of him.

Sarah heard the door go. "Tim?" She called to make sure he was gone.

She sat at the desk and heard Dave's voice over the earpiece, "Marvel Denali ….?"

She placed it in her ear, "This is Aqua Luna…Requesting Status report."

Present day.

Tim came in early and switched on his computer, he loved this time of the day when no one, with the exception of his boss was in.

It was a time where he could go through his emails pick out what was important and what was classified without anyone looking over his shoulder, on those rare occasions Gibbs was looking over his shoulder he really didn't know enough about computers to know what he was seeing, so Tim never worried about that.

They had been on cold cases for a week which gave Tim a chance to relax as he hadn't been able to write for a week as he had been working his 'other job' with Sarah for the past month and it was now getting to a crucial stage. So sleep was becoming a rarity.

Tim dozed off at his computer screen the next thing he knew he was awoken by the smell of coffee being put beside him.

"Tim. You okay?" Gibbs asked his youngest team member as he gently put the coffee on his desk. He had noticed the dark circles that had gotten heavier over the last few weeks, but his work hadn't suffered and Tim hadn't come to him with a problem so he'd left it. But walking in today and seeing him asleep at his desk even though it was early gave his gut cause for concern. So he figured he'd buy him a coffee and use it as an excuse to get Tim to talk to him.

"Yeah, Thanks Boss, just been writing late." Tim lied but really hoped Gibbs went with it.

Gibbs narrowed his eyes as his 'gut' told him he was being lied to, but knowing Tim was a private person he nodded and sat at his desk. "Well as long as your 'writing' doesn't interfere with the job I won't press you, but try and get some sleep Tim, you look tired." Gibbs said.

Tim nodded and breathed a small sigh of relief, He straightened up as the elevator dinged and Tony and Ziva turned up for work. They had exited the elevator followed by two men in dark suits who made their way up to Director Vance's office.

Tim glanced at them and as soon as they were out of sight got up and started to leave the bullpen.

"Got a dead Marine in rock creek, park, grab yer gear." Gibbs said.

They all picked up their backpacks and followed their boss out of the building.

The Marine had been found by a family walking their dog; they stood off to one side with the local LEO's as the team arrived. The marine himself was posed leaning up against a tree as if asleep.

"McGee, Bag and Tag, Tony, photo's and sketch, Ziva, witness statements" Gibbs said and turned to Ducky as he went to the body.

Ducky looked at the Marine and took out his liver probe.

"What have we got Duck?" Gibbs asked.

"Looks like our Marine was garroted." Ducky said and moved the young man's hand.

A small piece of paper fell out and Gibbs picked it up. "Time of death?" He asked as he opened the piece of paper.

"Approximately four hours ago." The older man said and nodded to Jimmy Palmer to help him move the body to the gurney for transport.

Gibbs looked at the paper in his hand, "Aqua Luna captured. Mission compromised, contact Marvel Denali. Red Leader in danger." Gibbs' eyebrow shot up wondering what it meant.

"Tim, bag this." He said and Tim walked over.

He handed Tim the paper as Tim read it he looked over to the body and blanched. He dropped everything he was carrying and ran to the car.

Gibbs chased him and caught him in a few strides.

"What the hell are you doing?" He yelled at him and everyone stopped and looked at them.

"Back off Gibbs!" Tim snarled as he picked up the phone.

Gibbs backed off surprised.

"This is Marvel Denali in Rock Creek park, will need immediate extraction…. What? Already at the office….fine, I'm on my way in."

"Tim?" Gibbs asked worried by what he just heard.

McGee took a deep breath, "I will explain Boss, but not here, come with me,"

Gibbs nodded and turned to Tony and Ziva, "Finish up; I'm heading back with McGee."

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