It's another little twist I had planned from the start, so I'll be interested to see people's reactions.
Timothy McGee turned out to be well and truly duct taped to the wall. Eventually however, they managed to cut enough free that gravity took over.
Picking himself up off the ground, McGee finally ripped off the blindfold and then had to cover his eyes, adjusting to the light once more. “That... was not fun,” he managed to say.
“Perhaps you should... cover yourself up, McGee,” Ziva suggested delicately as the last duct tape was pulled off with a jerk.
Tony pulled a face, as he studied the last piece of duct tape in his hands. “See, this is why I never wax my own legs.”
“Enough!” Gibbs said tersely, still standing by the apartment entrance, his eyes sweeping the corridor for any sign of a return. “McGee, report.”
Still wincing in pain, McGee stumbled across to his wardrobe. “Um, came home boss, got ambushed and knocked out by Lehane, and woke up to find them using my computer to break into NCIS servers again.”
Tim looked around at Gibbs, his face serious. “They were using us, boss. Sitting back and waiting for us to come up with a lead on that car their guy stole.”
Gibbs growled. “Those two have been one step ahead of us all the way. That stops now.”
Tony looked over from where he’d been inspecting Tim’s bookshelves. He ran one finger along the top shelf, and pulled it away covered in dust. Shaking his head sadly, he regarded McGee thoughtfully. “So, if that was what they wanted, why did they leave here so suddenly? They’re smart, they didn’t have to answer my call.”
Ziva gazed down at Tim, who was struggling to get a new pair of slacks on. He flushed, and turned away from her. “Your computer made a noise at NCIS,” she said thoughtfully. “I assume that your search was complete.”
“Yeah,” McGee said ruefully, standing up again. “They know exactly where to go.”
Tony moved over to the window area, and stared down at where McGee had his computer set-up. Even he knew enough to appreciate the state of the art stuff there – and the current situation it was in. Everything was now all over the place, unplugged, powered off – and obviously totally unusable right now. “They’re trying to delay us,” he said, staring at the mess, “Forcing us to go back to NCIS to get the address, giving them more time.”
McGee finished pulling on his shoes, and stood up. Casting a last look around his apartment, trying to work out where his cell had ended up, he joined Tony at the computer. At least they’d appreciated his system enough to not destroy it. Though stealing all the power cables would certainly leave him unable to use it for a long while.
“Dammit,” Gibbs barked, “We need to get back there pronto. McGee! Are you ready to move out now?”
Timothy McGee smiled slowly. “It was a nice idea they had, boss. Just one problem.”
“Oh?” said Ziva, one eyebrow raised, intrigued.
“They said the address out loud while I was pretending to still be unconscious.”
~ + ~
On their way to North Bishop Drive, Tony would have put money on Ziva breaking the speed of sound, given the aggressive attitude she was driving with.
Well, until they got close to their destination and the sound of fire engines could be clearly heard, drifting across in the still Washington air.
Tony looked at Ziva. “Coincidence?” he asked.
Ziva snorted. “In this case, nothing is a coincidence.”
She still put her foot down even harder, and Tony found himself pressed deeper into his seat as the car leapt forward along the freeway.
~ + ~
North Bishop Drive was now packed with cars, delaying both Tony and Ziva, and Gibbs and McGee in the car behind them. Ahead of them, a pillar of smoke could be seen rising up into the air. “This don’t look good,” Tony muttered, pulling out his ID card to get past one particularly stubborn driver.
Their cars eventually pulled to a stop in front of 2376 North Bishop Drive. It was thankfully set back some distance from the road and its neighbours, and was almost completely alight. Flames gushed out of the bottom floor windows, and there was the sudden sound of windows breaking from the second story as the heat grew intense there.
“They are taking no prisoners,” Ziva muttered, pulling out her gun as they headed towards the flames.
Tony flashed his ID card at a fireman, who looked like he was going to intercept them. “NCIS, do you know if there’s anyone inside?” he yelled.
The fireman shook his head. “There’s no chance at all that anyone’s still alive in there,” he yelled back. “The heat’s so intense we can’t even get anyone near it. It’s taking all our work just to keep it contained to just this location.”
“Shit!” Tony swore. The house burned before his eyes as he stared helplessly at it, fury written across his face.
Gibbs and McGee joined them, the former’s eyes sweeping around the area. “McGee, contact Vance and let him know what’s going on,” Gibbs snapped. “DiNozzo, David, search the area. We caught up with them too fast for them to pull their normal vanishing act. Find them!”
There was a cough behind them. “Hey, guys.”
All four NCIS agents spun round instantly, guns out and pointed in a second. Buffy Summers and Faith Lehane were both standing there patiently. In the blink of an eye, Tony’s brain processed what he could see; the slight charring on Lehane’s jacket, the fresh cuts and scrapes on Summers’ arms and cheek, and the way both of them stood there unafraid.
“Hold it right there!” Gibbs ordered. “You’re under arrest for assault, trespass and arson!”
“Sure about this, B?” the brunette asked, ignoring Gibbs.
“Absolutely,” Buffy said firmly, and stepped forward, her hands rising into the air.
~ + ~