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Title: Drowning
By: nancy
Pairing: Tony/Gibbs
Fandom: NCIS
Rating: R
Series: 1) Recruitment, 2) Bonded, 3) That Fits The Crime, 4) Home
Note: All thanks to Kya, who came up with the original plot bunny of NCIS as a wolf pack!!
Summary: In an AU where shapeshifters exist. A new face is in town and Tony suffers the consequences when he takes off alone.


Things settled down pretty quickly for Tony, after the 'etiquette' camp. Kate teased him about being a hound-dog, and Abby loved to get her licks in about being housebroken, but he took it in good stride. Gibbs didn't comment one way or the other, which was a relief, since he wasn't sure that he could take that kind of teasing from his lover, as well as his friends.

Life was going along better than he ever remembered them going, when disaster struck in the form of a shy tech agent named Tim McGee.

Abby started fawning over him, flirting shamelessly. Kate's protective instincts came out in full-force. Gibbs took him under his wing, bringing the young man onto the team in almost as short a time as he'd done with Kate. Ducky and Gerald, well, they both liked McGee and had no problems showing it to him and everyone else. All in all, Tony felt invisible and started acting up to get the attention that had been his from the beginning.

It wasn't as though Tony didn't know that he was still valued, but it seemed like the entire team was focused only on McGee. Like he was less than chopped liver, especially to Gibbs. Getting the verbal smack-downs and the swats to the back of the head with greater frequency was a way of being shown that he was still present and accounted for. If it were anyone but Gibbs, Tony would've had no trouble asking for the affection and attention that he was due as Gibbs' lover. Unfortunately, it was Gibbs and Tony had no intention of appearing weak in front of him or the rest of the team.

And besides. Tony didn't know how to ask for what he needed. No one in his past had ever meant as much to him as his new family did. He'd never had to ask for anything before now and didn't quite know how to go about it.

"DiNozzo! Stop staring into space and get me the damn stats!"

Tony flinched at the harsh demand and instantly started typing again.

"Got it for you, Boss."

Barely restraining a growl when McGee walked over to Gibbs and handed him a neatly labeled manila folder, Tony hunched down further in his chair. Gibbs,' "Good work, McGee," didn't help any, either. Having finally had enough, Tony jumped to his feet and grabbed his coat.

"Problem, DiNozzo?" Gibbs questioned mildly.

Tony could smell the danger in those two words but was beyond caring. "No, Sir. Just going to get something to eat, Sir. I'll be back in sixty minutes, Sir."

"DiNozzo! Get your ass back here!"

Ignoring the words, Tony opted for the stairs instead of the elevator, wanting to get away as fast as possible.

*  *  *  *

Jethro growled when Tony exited into the stairwell, fully tempted to go after him and drag the pup back by the scruff of his neck. Keeping that impulse firmly under control, he turned instead to the other new pup of the pack, glaring at McGee, who still stood gaping in front of his desk.

McGee beat a hasty retreat.

What the hell is wrong with him? Jethro thought furiously. It's not like him to just mouth off like that to me! He's been acting weird all month, come to think of it. Ever since...

Jethro just about groaned out loud as he realized that the strange behavior had been around since McGee had joined the team. Tony was obviously feeling threatened by the younger agent and how he'd been so easily adopted into the pack. It was easy to forget that Tony was fairly insecure about his place in the pack, even before McGee had shown up. Now that there was someone new who was doing their best to fit in, and succeeding fairly effortlessly, of course DiNozzo would be even more insecure.

There wasn't much that Jethro could do about it, though, not on McGee's side of things. The kid was a good agent, even if he needed to grow a spine, and everyone liked him. Abby more than liked him, if her smell all over McGee was anything to go by, and she was an excellent judge of character, wolf or human.

Sighing, Jethro moved back to his report, knowing that the sooner he got it done, the sooner he could find Tony and remind him just what his place in the pack was...Jethro's lover and beta.

*  *  *  *

The hairs on the back of Tony's neck had been standing straight up ever since leaving NCIS, but he still couldn't figure out why. There was nothing out of the ordinary that he could find. People were going about their noon business, getting lunch, running errands, and doing all those normal things. He couldn't see anything wrong with what was going on about him. Just because he couldn't see something, though, didn't mean that it wasn't there. He'd been listening to his instincts for as long as he could remember, and the time he'd spent in the pack had shown him that doing so was only for the best.

Keeping to the more crowded sidewalk, Tony stepped into the café where he usually had lunch and settled in for a calming forty-five minutes of easy flirting and chatter with the cutest waitresses in the area. It was a balm for him, since Gibbs had apparently decided that he was no longer interested in Tony like that. It had been a couple of weeks since they'd done anything resembling intimacy and Tony craved it like a drug. He wasn't going to seek out actual company elsewhere, remembering what had happened all too vividly with Burley, but the flirting was fun and reminded him that yes, he was desirable in his own right.

A petite blonde with sparkling blue eyes, Mina sauntered over and exclaimed, "Tony, my love, you're here!"

Grinning, Tony captured her hand and kissed the back of it. "Where else would I be?"

"Off with that slave-driver you call a boss," she teased.

Tony sighed. "Not much chance of that."

"Aww! Trouble in paradise, hon?"

"You could say that."

She petted his shoulder and asked, "Let me comfort you with food, at least. What do you want?"

"Café latte and a turkey club," he ordered without even looking at his menu. "Got any lemon bars?"

"For you? Of course!" she replied, winking.

He watched her go, appreciating the curve of her ass, and then settled in to wait.

"Excuse me, is this seat taken?"

Startled, Tony looked up to find a handsome, swarthy man with dark hair and eyes smiling down at him. He hesitated a moment, then shook his head. "No, feel free."

The man's smile increased and he held out a hand. "Haswari, at your service."

Taking it with his own smile, Tony replied, "Tony DiNozzo. Good to meet you."

"Thank you for the seat, it's rather crowded here and I do hate to eat alone," Haswari told him. "As well, you looked a if you could use the company."

Startled again, this time that someone he didn't even know had seen that he was upset, Tony said, "Um, well, thanks. I appreciate the effort."

"It's my pleasure, trust me."

And there was no doubt as to the man's intentions, then. Not with the too-warm tone and the familiarity in his eyes roaming over Tony's body. Awkward, Tony said, "Look, I'm sorry if you got the wrong impression, but I'm involved with someone right now."

"You don't look very involved to me," Haswari countered. "As a matter of fact, you look as though your lover isn't paying the least bit of attention to you. There's a sadness to you that should never be. Let me lighten your mood, if only for a little while?"

Mina returned with Tony's food and frowned at Haswari. "Can I get you something, Sir?"

"Whatever Tony's got, is fine by me."

She flashed Tony a mildly disapproving look, but only nodded and walked away again.

"Look, Haswari, I appreciate that you're being nice here, but really, I do have a boyfriend," Tony stated firmly.

Haswari's smile broadened and he said, "That makes it all the more of a challenge, my friend. Come. Tell me all about yourself. I am dying to know."

Tony hesitated, searching the other man's eyes for mockery, but found none. All he saw there was...kindness. Flushing a little under the unexpected attention, Tony began, "There's really not much to tell."

"Oh, I doubt that. Please, tell me everything."

Taking a sip of his water, Tony paused another moment, then shrugged and mentally threw caution to the wind. It wasn't like he was cheating on Gibbs or anything. He was just making a new friend.

*  *  *  *

On minute sixty-three, Jethro was about ready to go out hunting for his beta, but forced himself to stay put. He had, after all, practically forced the other man to go off and get some space or risk blowing up. And since Tony blowing up often resulted in an unexpected Shift, even now, walking away was the better option.

Tom called him on minute sixty-four and he had to go up for a meeting, which took care of any other options he might have had. Grumbling to himself, Jethro headed upstairs to go over budget crap that he never adhered to anyhow. The next hour passed with excruciating slowness and Jethro was barely able to keep his concentration on the dialogue going on around him, which he truly needed to do, if he didn't want all the other teams to get all his money.

When it was finally over and he returned to his desk, Jethro's heart skipped a beat to find Tony's desk still empty. He couldn't smell any trace of the other man, which meant that he hadn't come back and left during the time Jethro had been in his meeting. Pulling out his cell, he dialed #1, but all he got was Tony's voice mail. After checking his own to make sure that there were no messages, he turned to Kate and demanded, "Did DiNozzo check in with you?"

"Not me," Kate answered. "Why? He didn't with you?"

Jethro didn't bother to respond, instead calling Ducky from his desk.

"Dr. Mallard speaking."

"Ducky! Is DiNozzo down there with you?"

"Why, no, Jethro. Why would he be? Is there something..."

Hanging up on the ME, instinct told him that something was seriously wrong. As pissed with Jethro as he might be, Tony would never just take off without letting someone know. He called Abby next, but got a similar, confused, and negative answer. Hanging up, he turned back to Kate and said, "Go to his café, I'll run home and see if he's gone to ground."

"Ah, what should I do, Boss?" McGee questioned, looking very much like the young pup he was.

"Put DiNozzo under house arrest if he shows up while we're gone," Jethro snarled, heading for the elevator.

He ignored the muttered, "He couldn't really mean house arrest, could he? I don't have that kind of authority," from McGee and stabbed a finger at the call button.

Inside the small enclosure a few moments later, Kate said, "You know, it's probably nothing. He probably just lost track of time. That happens. Or, maybe he accidentally shifted and can't get back without you or Gerald around to snap him out of it."

Jethro paused at that rational explanation, realizing that it was entirely possible. It was one of  the few things that Tony still had problems doing, though they hadn't quite figured out why. Pulling out his phone, he called McGee.

"Agent McGee speaking."

"Check all the local shelters and see if any wolves have been picked up in the last two hours."

"All of them?"

"Did I not just say that?"

"Y-yes, Boss!"

Jethro hung up, ignoring Kate's knowing smirk for at least ten seconds before snapping, "You have something to say, Agent Todd?"

"No, not at all," she replied easily.

Jethro grunted, not believing her, but not wanting to make an issue of it. There was too much going on right then in his head anyhow. They parted in the parking lot, and Jethro tried to drown out the insistent voice inside that said if anything happened to Tony, it would be his fault. That he'd driven the younger man away with his actions, or lack-thereof. He'd known, of course, that Tony was insecure, but he hadn't anticipated it running to this extent. Maybe he'd been a little standoffish lately, but they were insanely busy with case after case, each seeming more horrifying than the last. When he got home, all he wanted to do was fall into bed and not have to worry about pleasing Tony, who of course, had a twenty-year younger sex drive.

That doesn't mean that you couldn't have dragged him into bed with you, instead of letting him roam around alone in the house. Or given him some extra attention at the office where he's the most insecure, that voice insisted.

"Fuck off," he snarled.

The voice went silent, but only because Jethro was already immersed in the guilt of what he had, and hadn't, done for Tony in the last month or so.

There was no sign of him at home and Mutt was droopy enough that he knew she'd felt the problems between her masters. Dogs were so perceptive to human moods that even if he hadn't noticed Tony's problems, he should've noticed Mutt's. Scratching her head, Jethro crouched down beside her and said, "He's going to be fine and this time, I'm going to learn my God damned lesson about leaving him alone, emotionally or physically."

She yipped at him and licked his face, bringing up a small smile, and Jethro stood. He'd just taken out his cell to call Kate when it rang. The caller ID was blocked, and he frowned, even as he answered, "Gibbs."

"Are you missing something, Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs?"

It was an unfamiliar voice, but the smug tone was more than enough to make him stiffen in alarm. "What have you done with DiNozzo?"

"Nothing," he was assured.

Yet, hung in the air.

"It was almost pathetically easy to draw him out, you know. The old phrase, 'throw a dog a bone,' comes to mind," the man continued. "Though really, do werewolves chew on bones?"

The clenching of his stomach grew tighter and Jethro denied flatly, "I don't know what you're talking about."

"Oh please. I've got your man here and he's wandering around on all four legs, instead of just two. I knew he would be the weak link to flush you out, I just didn't realize how weak."

Teeth grinding together, Jethro demanded, "What do you want?"

There was an agonizingly long pause before the kidnapper taunted, "I'll let you know," and hung up.

The only reason that Jethro didn't smash the phone against the wall was because he needed it for when the kidnapper called back.

*  *  *  *

Kate knew something was wrong the second that Gibbs stalked through the door. Standing, she asked, "What happened?"

"Someone took DiNozzo," Gibbs answered, clearly holding it together by a thin thread. "They're going to call back with demands."

Shocked, Kate asked, "It couldn't be money, could it? His father's disowned him, so it isn't as though Tony's got a pot to piss in."

"It's not money."

"Then what..."

The cold look Gibbs flashed her let her know exactly what this was about and she sat back down, but only because her knees had given out. Someone knew. They were all in danger, but especially Tony. Some nutjob, or maybe religious fanatic, had Tony and knew that he was a werewolf. Anything could be happening to him and her vivid imagination conjured up nothing good.

Gibbs was on the phone to Abby with, "Abby! I need a trace on my cell phone, the call is probably going to be scrambled, multiple relay maybe, put your best stuff together. Yeah. Yeah, it's Tony. Thanks, Abs."

McGee hovered by Gibbs' desk as he asked, "Wh-what should I do?"

"Get back to your desk and work, Agent McGee. There's nothing else to do, until the bastard calls back," Gibbs ordered.

Kate had recovered enough to get back on her feet and walk over to his desk, stopping McGee with a look, and saying, "We should go to the café and look for witnesses, forensic evidence, something that can tell us who took him."

But Gibbs shook his head. "You will do nothing, Agent Todd, until we find out what this lunatic wants."

"But Gibbs..."

Eyes flashing pale fire, Gibbs snarled, "I said, nothing! Back to your desks, now!"

Part of her wanted to instantly drop to her belly at the lashing of Gibbs' order. It was sheer willpower that kept her upright. McGee actually sank a couple of inches before catching himself and stumbling backwards. She'd never felt Gibbs truly use his position before and, now that she had, Kate felt like whimpering her submission to him. Making it back to her desk without doing anything embarrassing was difficult, but she managed it. Once there, she didn't even pretend to work. Her hands were shaking too badly to do anything, anyhow.

It hadn't ever truly occurred to her, but Gibbs was alpha of a good sized pack and would eventually inherit a far larger one. It wouldn't be just their field team when Morrow stepped down. NCIS was huge, of course, approximately eight hundred employees in their building alone. Given the one in twenty-seven chance of having a werewolf, that meant there were roughly thirty present at any given time. While that didn't seem like a big number, it was huge in pack terms, where ten was a seriously large pack.

For Gibbs to be alpha of so many required enormous strength of will and character. Kate had never actually thought about the power that lay in the man who ran her life. He had to have dealt with challenges to his authority before, younger betas wanting to be alpha. As far as she knew, Gibbs had been in charge of NCIS' lead field pack for almost a decade and had been Morrow's heir-apparent for years before that. The kind of strength that took boggled the mind.

And now, finally, she'd had a first-hand glimpse of the power. Even just that slight brush with it told Kate that there was no way anyone would be dislodging Gibbs any time soon.

*  *  *  *

Haswari watched the pacing wolf in amusement, leaning against the wall outside the cell in which the other had been dropped, unconscious and sedated. The man had changed in the car, just after Haswari had pulled a gun on him and forced him inside. It had been surprisingly easy to convince DiNozzo to go with him to the car, insisting that he wanted to pay for the cleaning of the shirt that he'd so clumsily spilled his cocktail on.

He could tell, at the time, that DiNozzo had been on edge, looking around all during the rather pleasant lunch they'd shared. But it had been equally as obvious that the agent hadn't considered the threat to be right in front of him. Fortunately, one of his people had a tranquilizer gun at the ready and had shot the wolf before any kind of equilibrium had been established.

Haswari had chosen well, when he'd picked DiNozzo to unravel the NCIS branch. His surveillance had shown that despite the man's place in the pack, beta and possibly more to Gibbs, there was a great deal of distance between him and the others. Insecurity regarding the newcomer and uncertainty about what he was, to the alpha and the rest of the pack. He knew, from his research, that this particular incarnation of the NCIS pack was relatively new, only about a year in formation. He also knew about DiNozzo's attack on Gibbs' ex-lover and the subsequent punishment. NCIS pack could expect little-to-no help from the DC Council, treading on thin ice as they already were.

It was absolutely perfect.

DiNozzo snarled from behind the bars, regaining Haswari's attention. Smirking, he walked over to the cell and crouched down at eye level. "If you wish to speak with me, you're going to have to change back to where you've got a civil tongue in your head."

There was another snarl and vicious fangs came inches from sinking into Haswari's arm.

"Ah, ah, ah, Agent DiNozzo. If you want to speak with me, you must change back," Haswari insisted firmly.

Rather to his surprise, since DiNozzo seemed the sort to disobey out of spite, there was a ripple of something in the air and...fur retracted, limbs elongated and a naked man appeared on the floor in front of him. Intrigued, Haswari watched as the man took a few seconds to orient himself, muscles shaking in the aftermath of the change, and then fierce hazel eyes glared up at him.

DiNozzo stood, completely unselfconscious of his nudity, and snapped, "What the fuck do you want with me?"

"Now now, none of that, Agent DiNozzo," Haswari scolded. "You'll find out in due time. Until then, I suggest you make yourself comfortable. You're not going anywhere for quite a while. Consider this...your home away from home."

"Fuck off."

More amused than offended, Haswari informed him, "Dinner will be served in a couple of hours. Do you require anything in the meantime?"

"For you to eat shit and die."

Smiling outright at that, Haswari said, "I'm afraid that I can't oblige. Enjoy your stay, Tony."

"Haswari! God damn it! Get back here! I want some fucking answers!"

Haswari ignored the furious shouting and firmly closed the door behind him. Turning to the guard, he ordered, "Food and water in three hours. No one is to speak to him except for me."

The man nodded understanding and Haswari headed slowly towards the room that he'd taken for himself, thinking. He had been going to simply use DiNozzo to get to the others but now...the possibilities really were endless.

What would it take for a human to bring a werewolf truly and willingly under command?

*  *  *  *

The first person Jethro called after Abby, was Tom. He explained the situation and agreed, however reluctantly, that Chegwidden needed to be informed. He felt a little bad about leaning so hard on Kate and McGee, but had no extra energy to dwell on it. All his guilt was saved for losing Tony to some mysterious, unknown kidnapper right on his own watch.

"Admiral Chegwidden's office, Yeoman Tiner speaking."

"This is Special Agent Gibbs at NCIS. I need to speak with Admiral Chegwidden immediately," Jethro replied grimly to the cheerful greeting.

There was the slightest pause before Tiner questioned, "And what is this in regards to, Special Agent Gibbs?"

"Terra firma."

"Yes, Sir."

He was on hold for only about twenty seconds before Chegwidden picked up with, "What did he do this time?"

"He's been kidnapped, Sir," Jethro answered.

Jethro could almost hear the other man stiffening in his chair.

Chegwidden demanded, "Ransom?"

"No, Sir. We don't know what the perpetrator wants in exchange for Tony, just that it has nothing to do with NCIS or his family money."


"Yes, Sir."

"All right. Keep me informed."

"Yes, Sir."

"And Gibbs?"

"Yes, Sir?"

"How are you doing?"

Jethro blinked in surprise, then replied, "I'm fine, Sir. I'll be better when we get him back, but I'll manage until then."

"Good. Carry on."

"Yes, Sir."

Hanging up, Jethro pointedly did not look around the office, knowing that the others had heard every word of the conversation. Now it was time to wait for the bastard who had Tony, to call him back.

Jethro glared at the cell phone sitting in the center of his desk.

*  *  *  *

Stupid, stupid, stupid!

Tony couldn't stop that refrain from going through his mind as he paced the confines of his cell. It was about eight by ten, held a cot and a toilet with sink, just like any other jail. It was cleaner than most, though, so that was a bonus. He could smell that there had been work done in this room, a lot of it from the fresh plaster and paint, despite the effort that had gone into making it look old and established.

Score one for the heightened senses, he thought bitterly. Now if only they'd kicked in when it mattered!

He kicked futilely at the bars the comprised his cell, then winced. They were definitely solid and not going to be kicked down by bare feet. Abruptly losing his anger, Tony slumped onto the cot by the wall, dejected for so many reasons that he couldn't even begin to count.

None of this would've happened if you'd just listened to Gibbs and stayed put. But no. You had to run away instead of dealing with things like an adult. God, you're pathetic.

The internal rant did nothing to soothe him and Tony flopped back to stare at the ceiling.

I should probably get used to this, since I'm here 'til I die.

Don't be so friggin' melodramatic. Gibbs is going to track you down and the team's going to kick kidnapper ass to get you back.

Well they would, if I wasn't such a pussy. Face it. I whine and bitch and act like an idiot all the time.

And they don't even care. Kate looks forward to it, because it gives her someone to look after.

Gibbs doesn't like it.

But he loves you.

Does he?

It was on that depressing thought that Tony curled up into a ball and closed his eyes, determinedly thinking about nothing, rather than the possibility that Gibbs might not love him.

*  *  *  *

The cell phone didn't ring until midnight and Jethro jumped a little when it did. He let it ring twice before picking it up with a terse, "Is he dead?"

"Oh no, Tony is very much alive," the kidnapper replied.

"I want to speak to him."

"You don't get to make demands, Special Agent Gibbs."

"Then we don't talk."

And Jethro hung up.

"Gibbs!" Kate exclaimed, horrified.

Jethro looked at her and promised, "He'll call back."

Please call back.

It was a few minutes later, but the cell phone rang again.

"You have balls, I'll give you that," the man greeted.

And then... "Boss? I'm sorry. I shouldn't have..."

Jethro barked, "Tony!" when the words cut off.

The kidnapper replied, "There. You've been satisfied that he's still alive. And he's sorry, isn't that nice?"

Voice lowered, Jethro vowed, "If you harm one hair on his head, you'll beg for death when I find you."

A soft, warm chuckle echoed over the line and the man said, "I have no intention of hurting Tony, Special Agent Gibbs. No, I have something much mind than pain or degradation. You see originally, I was going to pick you off, one at a time. But Tony is so...delightful...that I've changed my mind. I'm going to keep him. How does it feel to know that your beta is going to submit willingly to someone else? Because he will, eventually. I'm a very, very patient man. Sleep well, Special Agent Gibbs. We'll chat again, one day."

"No!" Jethro shouted to the empty line.

Pale and shaken, having heard every word, Kate asked, "What do we do now?"

Refusing to give in to the agonized panic inside, Jethro snarled, "We find him, Kate, what else?"

His desk phone rang and Jethro picked it up to an excited Abby saying, "I got him! Just barely, but I've got a location! Sneaky little bastard, too, using..."

"Where is he?" Jethro interrupted harshly.

"1165 Fell Street, Baltimore. It's a warehouse owned by..."

Jethro hung up on her, already reaching for his drawer, clipping on his gun and ordering, "1165 Fell Street, Baltimore."

Kate opened her cell phone, ordering a tactical unit to meet them at the address in the kidnapping of an NCIS agent.

Jethro called Tom and told him they had a hot lead and were following up. He asked the other man to call Chegwidden to update him and got an amused affirmative in response. Not that he really minded. He'd rather deal with Tom's amusement than anything Chegwidden had to offer. By the time he was in the car and driving towards the address with all speed, lights, and sirens, Jethro had almost convinced himself that Tony was going to be there and fine.


*  *  *  *

It wasn't the first time that Tim had been in this kind of situation, with a tactical team moving into position to storm a building. It was, however, the first time that someone he knew was on the other side of the wall. He and Tony hadn't hit it off at all. Tim was pretty sure that the other man thought he was after Tony's position, both in NCIS and the pack. The problem was that Tim couldn't quite figure out how to tell him that he wasn't. Every time he tried to talk to Tony about it, the other man changed the subject or cut him down.

Or, to be honest, he stammered too much to get the words out.

Gun in hand, he followed Kate and Gibbs towards the entrance where tactical waited to burst in, on the order. Snipers were on the roof. The back and side entrances were covered. Agents stood with tear gas guns to be deployed. Everyone was ready to go.

"Do it."

The tear gas ordinances crashed through the windows set high in the warehouse. Three seconds later, the front door was battered down. Agents poured into the building, shouting and looking for the kidnappers.

All they found was an empty warehouse.

It had been occupied recently, there was no doubting that. And once the tear gas dispersed, Tim could smell Tony's scent in the back room where a jail cell had been constructed. They'd missed him probably by ten or fifteen minutes. And since the streets were a veritable rabbit warren, they could be anywhere by now.

"...track down the serial numbers. These don't come off a shelf in some hardware store," Gibbs was ordering Kate, glaring at the bars.

"Got it."


Jumping a little, Tim hurried over to them and answered, "Yes, Boss?"

"Work with forensics. I want you to go over every square inch of this place. You find anything, you bring it directly to Abby and report to me," Gibbs ordered.

Tim nodded. "On it, Boss."

As he turned away, he heard Gibbs say to Kate, "This bastard is going to count on us chasing after our tails to get to Tony. Be thorough, but don't linger. He's going to move fast and we need to be just as fast to catch up to him. I'm going back to talk to Abby about what she found on the owners of this place. Do not go anywhere alone. You're going to have a protective detail at home, too."

"Gibbs, come on!"

"No argument." Gibbs' voice raised to continued, "That's you, too, McGee!"

He called back, "Yes, Boss!"

Then Tim was involved with the lead forensic tech and couldn't hear any more of the conversation. He did see Gibbs leave a few minutes later, though, and the way he walked guaranteed that Abby would have her work cut out for her, keeping that temper in check. He definitely didn't envy her.

*  *  *  *

Rubbing at tired, gritty eyes, Jethro made a face at the cold coffee left in his cup. He knew that he should get some real sleep, but couldn't face his house alone. It was too depressing. McGee had promised to feed Mutt for him and he knew that the kid would give her some extra attention, what with both masters away from home for so long.

Abby's information about the owner of the warehouse had led to a foreign corporation with ties to the Moussad, of all places. That had brought this kidnapping into an entirely different realm, than some psycho with a jones for a pet werewolf. Paula Cassidy was running down possible agents in the US, but Jethro didn't expect her to find anything.

He didn't expect to find anything at all. This bastard was way the hell too clever by far. There had been no forensic evidence left behind at the warehouse. There was no one stateside to question about who might have been using the building. The cell materials had been purchased under a false name and stolen credit card number. The lone witnesses at the café where Tony had been taken had given them a sketch to go on, but her memory hadn't been all that great. McGee was running it against a facial recognition program, but none of them were hopeful it would yield anything.

It went against everything inside Jethro to admit it, but all they could do now was wait for the next move to be made, and then respond.

And if the fucker just disappears with Tony, never to be seen again? Jethro followed that thought up with a vicious, Then I hunt him down the old fashioned way.

Pack justice was swift and brutal, and Jethro would be more than happy to administer it.


Next story in series - Descent.