Warnings: Slash, het, violence, gore, Papa!Gibbs, Family!Team, and McNozzo.
Pairings: Tony/Tim, OMC/Ziva (maybe), Jimmy/Abby (implied), Gibbs/OFC (maybe).
The Twelve Secrets of Timothy McGee
"There are no secrets better kept then secrets everybody guesses." - George Bernard Shaw
Considering the contingency plan was called N7, after the elite ops in the Mass Effect, it was not hard to come to the understanding that it was designed and run by geeks. Tim had help come up with it yet still when a black van had stopped him late Friday evening mid walk with Jethro, and for all intents and purposes kidnapped him, he'd been a little startled.
Until he saw a pajama clad Stacy Weinheimer, neon green bath robe and monkey slippers included, blinking sleepily at him from the seat over. Stacy – affectionately known as Freaks (short for her handle FreaktheGeek) – was one of the best in the computer world and the best in her subfield. He gave her a small smile and accepted the folder and small bag shoved into his hands.
N7 was the baby of the NSA but outside of their handlers, it was being handled by the CIA. Tim had free lanced with both for a little bit before going to work at NCIS. N7 had come about after a rather embarrassing incident when a pair of North Korean hackers had run circles around a major company and pretty much caused mass chaos for some rather important campaign donators. It only took a half hour to get to the safe house where the operation was being ran but by the time they arrived both he and Stacy had memorized the packet handed to them.
It was sobering news. One of their own, a hacker who gone to MIT with Tim but was several years his senior and went by the name Dizzer, was leading an attack on the National Defense network. He wasn't alone (they suspected the Chinese, though his NSA handlers would neither confirm nor deny it verbally) and so far was leading a very well thought out digital assault.
Dizzer was a celebrity in the hacking world. He was utterly brilliant, cutting edge. And so was his attack. He left backdoors open everywhere – allowing any wannabe hacker into the system to cause mischief. So on top of dealing what was probably just several really retarded teenagers and college kids fucking around, they also had what seemed to be three or four hardcore who were with the rogue hacker. And they were intently searching.
For what, they didn't know. But it didn't matter, because Tim wasn't going to let them get it.
They arrived at decrepit looking warehouse but a short elevator ride took them into a well maintained loft room the size of Tim's old apartment without any walls. About a dozen people sat hunched at desks and the room was lit and filled with the sound of almost double that number of computers and monitors. As Team Lead, Tim was given a desk slightly away from the group, with three monitors and two large pcs already booted up and logged in. The blonde had been mobbed by eight people almost instantly – the rest were too busy to leave their desks.
Alan1 was a joke – an old handle assigned to him when he first drew up the taskforce by Willie Johnson – after the main programmer of Tron in the Tron movies. It wasn't the same name Tim had hacked under, but he accepted with grace anyway. Tim took control almost instantly, spitting out orders that left his CIA escort blinking at him in confusion before he settled into his workspace. As he'd specified years ago when he agreed to head off N7, the desk was facing away from the others. Tim knew himself well enough to know he'd not perform at his best if was in the middle of the chaos.
It was the same reason that first thing the blonde had done when he had sat down was pull a pair of large, slick over-ear headphones from the bag he'd been provided. They were attached to a small Ipod nano, fully charged and filled with solely Daft Punk songs. The bag also held a change clothes, as well as six Mars Bars, a handful of Jelly Belly candy canes and a plastic bag of Bazooka Joe. Everyone on the team had one. They were called 'stress bags' and were supposed to help them handle what was mostly likely going to be forty-eight and up hour days of staring at computer screens.
For a split moment he wondered if the agent that had taken Jethro off his hands had gotten the dog home okay and locked up properly. He wondered if Sarah had still been at the house and if she'd been startled by the random man's appearance. Knowing his hot headed brothers, things could easily escalate if Sarah didn't remain firmly in control. His quirky sister probably would have flirted with him – Tim could admit the red head had been pretty hot. The thought that he should probably call Gibbs came up but he pushed it away. Hopefully this wouldn't take past Sunday.
He didn't really want to miss a moment of his boy's leave, but…work was work.
Then the rhythmic sounds of Technologic was blaring in his ears and all thoughts but the code in front of him was gone.
"Where is McGee?"
Tony and Ziva exchanged a quick, nervous look but neither offered their irate boss an answer. After a few seconds (when that little tick to the left of Gibbs' right eye started to go off) he let out a strained laugh.
"Wish I could tell you, but McScrewed never showed up for work."
The fingers holding the coffee flexed, pushing the cardboard inwards ever so lightly. "Then find out where the hell he is."
He tried McGee's cellphone and was unsurprised when it rang through to voice mail. Again. A disgruntled sound from Ziva's cubical seemed to imply she too was being ignored. Honestly, Tony was kind of worried. It was unlike McGee to not show up to work without calling. Maybe he was still hung over? The last he'd seen of Tim, he'd been booking it home to hang out with his cousins. Maybe they'd gone out drinking and McGee had overslept. Or maybe he'd meant to call off and forgotten to call it in or something equally stupid. Tony didn't have Sarah or any of the boys' number, so the next option was Abby.
He was in mid-dial for the lab's extension when Ziva sat straighter in her seat, eyes narrowed. Confused at what could have caused such a reaction, Tony sat taller and peaked out over the cubical walls.
There was a virtual parade of suits exiting the elevator. They split into two groups, one heading up the stairs to Vance's office while the others head directly towards them. Hanging up the phone he barely managed to give Gibbs a heads up before they had stormed into the bullpen. They were all pretty unspectacular and generic. Same haircut, same ear piece, same blank stare. FBI? Nah, something in the way they held themselves was weird. CIA maybe.
"Special Agent Gibbs?"
"Can I help you?"
"Special Agent Statts, CIA." Tony couldn't stop the smug smirk. Goddamn, I'm good. "I need you and your team to come with me, immediately."
The tick under Gibbs' eye grew more pronounced. "Care to tell me why?"
"This morning at 0300 hours the Team Lead of our current operation was injured. He's requested extra muscle for the rest of the mission's duration." Statts' voice was level, without any inflection. Tony decided instantly he didn't like him.
"And I suppose you won't be telling us what you're investigating."
"We need extra security, not investigators."
Blue eyes flashed dangerously and from where he sat, Tony winced, exchanging another long look behind the groups back with Ziva. He had some choice words for these assholes but held his tongue. Gibbs would rip him a new one if he acted out in the middle of an agency dick measuring contest.
"My people aren't rent-a-cops, Agent Statts. I'm sure you have enough men to fill your needs."
"You and your team were requested by name."
"Requested? By who?"
"The Team Lead, Timothy McGee."
It was about a handful seconds after that everything went to hell.
However it was they were expecting to find McGee, this was not it.
Well, Tony hadn't been sure what to expect at all, but certainly not the spitting image of the one (and only time) he'd shown up unannounced at McGee's house and interrupted something called a LAN party. When they told them Tim had a head injury, Tony had half expected to show up and find him with a Band-Aid on his cheek. After all, how much trouble could McGee get in? But even from where they stood on the other side of a long, glass wall that kept the hallway separated from what could only be described as a small army of nerds, Tony could see the large white bandage that was wrapped around McGee's head and the padding over his left eye.
Despite the painful looking injury the blonde was still working diligently, hands flying over the keyboard as a single eye, colored white by the reflection of the computer screen, moved frantically side to side. His head was framed almost comically by a pair of large, blue headphones and there was a small pile of fast food wrappers and empty red bulls peeking out from the two different keyboards that were being used simultaneously. The anger that had been growing ever since he'd learned of McGee's injury flared to life once more. Tony turned to glare angrily at the dark haired woman who identified herself as Special Agent Quinn of the NSA, Tim's handler of all things, like he was a good damn spy or something.
"You have him locked in a box, for christsake! How did you manage to let him get hurt?" It came out more pissed then sarcastic but the brunette couldn't help himself. He hadn't expected the small mountain of bandages wrapped around his probie's head.
Next to him, Gibbs turned away from the special in front of them. The sharp worry that had ruled his features were gone, leaving only a cold anger that turned his blue eyes grey. "A good question."
Their boss was still furious at the fact that people had gone over his head. The fact that Ziva had been forced to remain with the car for 'reasons of national security' had only served to further strain the already precarious control his boss had over his temper. From where she stood, Quinn snorted. An older woman around Gibbs age, she was the last person that Tony would have pegged as being computer savvy enough to lead a crypto-strike force. Dark hair streaked with grey was pulled up into a loose pony tail and clad in only a grey cotton sweat pants and matching zip up hoodie and uggs, Quinn looked like a suburban mom fresh from the mini-van than a highly trained woman with three masters and a PHD.
"Trust me, it's a question I asked as well." She threw Statts a dark look. "A homeless man on crack broke a bottle over his head when he stepped out to get some 'fresh air.' He was trying to call you, I think, little sneak." Something like affection flashed over face, "Timmy was always one of my wilder boys."
"Tim? Wild?" Tony didn't mean to sound as bewildered as he had but it sent Quinn into a series of soft laughs.
"Remember the personality types we're dealing with, Agent DiNozzo."
"Still doesn't explain why my man got hurt." Gibbs voice was unforgiving.
The woman just sighed. "Perhaps you'd like to explain, David, since it was one your agency's better moments."
From where he stood Statts visibly bristled. "All due respect, ma'am, Agent McGee was given specific instructions to stay in the upper levels. If he'd done ask we'd ask he would never have been harmed."
"And if your man hadn't been asleep he'd never have made it outside of the safe room, would he?" Quinn asked voice level. "Don't even get me started on the fact that your people allowed a clearly delusional homeless man into a locked down area. He should have been utterly safe, even if he did step out for a moment. You're lucky he's going to recover fully. Timothy McGee's head is probably worth more than everything you own."
"I want to speak with him."
"Not till the ops over. It won't be long, they've already secured the network. They're at a crucial moment and Tim's leading the charge." The NSA agent said with a sigh. "I understand your frustrations-"
Tony almost winced at the poor woman's choice of words as Gibbs rounded on her.
"Oh you do, do you?" Damn, his boss's voice was downright evil. "Then you can understand when I say that if you ever pull a stunt like this again, I'll-"
"You'll what?" Quinn interrupted, brown eyes flashing angrily. "Tim McGee was ours before he was ever yours, Agent Gibbs. And, God help me, if I get my way he will be again."
Tony started slightly, a cold sensation building in his stomach at the thought of McGee leaving for one of the agencies. He had always known McGee was a genius, but to actually here it acknowledged so bluntly –
"Why he wastes his potential with someone who can't recognize it, I'll never know."
"It's called loyalty," Gibbs snapped, "and don't ever presume to tell me what I think about my agents again."
Tony watched the developing shit storm with wide eyes. The CIA and NSA agents in the hallway were all watching with an equal amount of fascination. It was like watching a train wreck – something, or rather someone - was going to end up decimated before it finished. But before the fight could truly explode in all it's glory, a short girl wearing a brightly colored monster hoodie, fuzzy sleep pants and converses slammed the glass door open and rammed into Statts, sending the agent stumbling backwards in surprise.
"Mighty Leader! Oh, crap! Sorry, dude, you cool?" If this kid was eighteen, Tony would eat his tie. Then she seemed to remember something and perked up again, "We've got their network open – somewhere in the Netherlands - and are gonna try and take back what they got. They're damn good though, so I dunno."
Quinn nodded, throwing a curt order for them to stay in the hall before stepping into the room. The dark haired woman paced the line of computers, stopping to speak every now and then. The only sign that something big was going on was the intense look on their faces. There was almost a scheduled group sigh and almost as one, they leaned back from the workstations wearing matching frowns. From his more isolated desk, McGee stood, running a hand through blonde locks in frustration. Quinn made her way over to him, resting a soothing hand on his back. The two spoke, Tim gesturing somewhat wildly while Quinn's movements remained soothing, comforting. The dark haired woman gestured behind them and Tim looked over, single green eye widening as his face shifted from surprise to relief before finally settling on dread. Quinn gave him a smile and pushed him in their direction before sitting down at his work station.
And suddenly McGee was in the hallway with them, leaning against the frame of the glass door, lips tilted in an awkward half smile. He looked downright boyish, clad is light jeans stained slightly over the left knee with what seemed to be mustard and a slightly crinkled t-shirt that read 'The Cake is a Lie.' It seemed like years had been stripped away. If it wasn't for the pile of bandages around his head Tim could have easily fit in on any college campus.
"McGee." That tone from Gibbs were never good.
Tim winced and gave them a sheepish smile. "I can explain, I promise-"
" – just not right now. I can't be away from the computer that long, but, I promise. When this is over, I'll explain everything that I can."
"Everything that you can." The Boss' voice was dry.
McGee was pale under the strength of Gibbs' stare and Tony frowned, glancing between the two of them. Gibbs was beyond furious, practically glowing, he was so angry. The blonde let out a sigh, drooping like a flower, before gesturing down the small hallway.
"The canteen's down there. It's got coffee and snacks and…well, it may be a while." Tim mumbled. Gibbs brushed past him, all but storming down the small space without
Tim looked so young and so tired and hurt. Maybe that's why Tony stepped forward, a reassuring smile on his face as he clasped his probie's shoulder. "He's just worried."
The blonde look startled. "Huh?"
"It was a hell of a surprise, you know. First you don't show up to work and then these suits come storming in saying you were injured and then wouldn't tell us anything else. After what happened last month, well, Gibbs is just feeling a little protective methinks. Apparently," Tony tightened the grip on McGee's shoulder, hazels eyes flashing slightly, "you're like a toddler. We can't let you out of our sight for a second. Does it hurt?"
Tim blushed, a hand going up to ghost over the padding covering his eye. "…a little." He admitted quietly. "They gave me pills for it, but I didn't want anything to slow me down on the computer."
Tony sighed. "McGee."
"This is important work, Tony." Tim said seriously, single green eye burning with determination. "I know the boss is upset, but I can't talk about it. I signed a page-thirteen back when I did some consultant work with the NSA. But this is important."
"If you can't tell us anything, why did you call?" Tony snapped, more than a little annoyed by the lack of information.
"Because," Tim snapped right back, "I got hurt. And if I could get hurt then so could anyone of them on my team. Shit, Tony," the probie's voice was completely level, but the pitch had been rising with each word, "most of these kids are under twenty-five. I trust Collie – Agent Quinn – but everyone else is CIA and I trust them just about as far as I can throw them." There was an indigent sound from one of the suits standing in the hallway. McGee sent the agent a rather impressive, one-eyed glare. "Oh piss off."
The older agent let out an inelegant snort at the exchange. McGee was a little cranky, apparently. Tony let his grip on the probie's shoulder loosen, sliding his hand up and down over his bicep in what he hoped was a comforting gesture. He didn't miss how Tim leaned ever so slightly into the contact, looking absolutely ragged. "You look exhausted. When was the last time you slept?"
Another weak grin. "Uh, I took four hour on Saturday."
Tony shook his head in disapproval. "McGee–"
"I have to get back, Tony."
"Alright, Tim. Do what you need to do. We'll make none of your geek friends get hurt."
The blonde gave him a tired smile, followed by a soft, "I'm glad you're here" before excusing himself to take his place back at his desk.
Tony followed his movements, unaware of the intense look on his face as he did. The agent in the hallway let out a snigger and hazel eyes snapped over to stare at him. "Can I help you?"
The suit just shook his head, shit eating grin still present. Rolling his eyes, Tony headed down the hallway towards his boss. If they were going to be here for a while, something was going to have to be done about Ziva.
It was late or very early, depending on how you looked at it and Tony's lower back was killing him from sitting in the crappy plastic chairs they'd been provided with. Gibbs was still silently fuming next to him, blue eyes roaming over the crouched figures. Tony gave a loud yawn, arms stretched above his head. He was settled in for the long term. Prepared to wait for however long as McGee needed them. That didn't mean he was partically happy about it. Outside of handful of Clash of the Titans moments (which was what Tony had taken to calling any time Gibbs and Quinn had to interact) it had been pretty quiet. Just when Tony was debating about taking another walk about the lock down site, just out of sheer freaken' boredom the room in front of them suddenly burst into action.
Fingers flew even faster over keyboards, heads snapping this way and that as the hackers called to each other. Tim had even removed his headphones. The Ice Bitch (what Tony had begun to call Quinn) was pacing long strides from end of the room to the other, stopping occasionally to lean over a shoulder and peer into a computer screen. There was a general feeling of something building, something important. The CIA had all gathered in the hallway watching with barely concealed looks of excitement. Then, rather anti-climatically, whatever it was over.
Quinn let out a wide smile then, patting each hacker on the shoulder as she made her way down the rows. She stopped at Tim, laughing slightly as she listened to whatever the blonde was saying. Her face grew serious as she gestured to him and Gibbs, tilting her head ever so slightly in surprise to whatever McGee had said in response.
Less than fifteen minutes later and Tim was standing in the hallway, a small bag over his shoulder, and declared he was ready to go if they wouldn't mind driving him home. To Gibb's irritation, the blonde was still not able to tell them much of what had happened, outside of the fact that he'd done extensive work as a free agent for the NSA and the CIA and it was all listed in his job history if anyone needed to take a look, and that he was apparently the head of some top secret cybercrime until that was only called together as a last resort.
Gibbs was less than satisfied with the answer. The boss' hands tightened around the steering wheel. "And will you be taking her up on her offer?"
"Huh?" Was McGee's ever so elegant reply. Then green eyes seemed to focus sharply and he shook his head vehemently. "Oh no, Boss. I told her the same thing I tell everyone, I'm pretty settled in at NCIS."
Tony felt his eyebrows rise slightly. "Everyone? You mean you've gotten job offers before?"
Tim ducked his head slightly, clearing his throat awkwardly. "I, uh, have been for years."
"From who?" Gibb's voice was icy.
"You know, the usual folks."
The grip on the steering wheel tightened even further. "Enlighten me."
"You know. The NSA, the CIA, the FBI. The Army, the Airforce, they're actually pretty insufferable about it, just won't stop calling. Uh, the Marines…a few other governments have made some offers – France actually had a really good package but I'm terrible at the language and it's too far from the kids. There were a couple of Universities as well. Let's see, Yale last Christmas. Brown sent me something twice. Hm, Harvard. MIT, of course-"
And the list went on.
Tony found himself glaring hatefully at the back of the truck in front of them, feeling undeniably threatened and slightly stunned. At first, he thought it was jealousy. Lord knows he wasn't pursued like that. Tony knew just how much some of those places could afford to offer the blonde and they probably made McGee's paycheck from NCIS look like a joke. But as the rambling in the backseat switched directions with Tim now repeating rather clumsily that he wouldn't leave NCIS, Tony realized that wasn't it at all.
The thought of not seeing McGee everyday had somehow become completely and utterly unacceptable. The brunette leaned back against the seat, hazel eyes wide in surprise as he realized what it was he was feeling. Tony wasn't jealous, he was scared. Scared that his probie would leave NCIS. Would leave him.
Tony let out a heavy exhale, ignoring the sharp look Gibbs sent him.
What the hell did that mean?
Secret 9: Timothy McGee is kind of a bid deal to those in the know.
Ah, good old emotionally stunted Tony. I enjoy making him slowly, painfully, begin to understand his emotions.