Disclaimer: In the first chapter along with summary, genre, verse, pairings and ratings.

Stepping out of the elevator, Eleni took one last look at her surroundings, noting every person that crossed her path. She always had the dreaded feeling that she was being followed or watched, but now those feelings were on an all time high. Her nerves were shot; there was only so much a person could take after an interrogation, especially under the very scrutinizing eye of Special Agent Gibbs. Eleni was sure that if she had stayed one more minute that man would have destroyed her defenses and tough exterior, making her nothing but putty in his, what looked like, calloused hands.

Thankfully Agent McGee had showed up when he did, she praised as she looked back at the younger, thinner Agent. He didn't look much like an Agent. Sure there was that certain ruggedness displayed across his face that only someone who'd seen years of torment, murder, despair, and anger could have, but he was also sweet and innocent looking. Unlike Tony who, with years of knowledge and growing up with the monstrosity we call Earth, had the hard, stone faced features, McGee looked like he should have been living the simple life with a wife, cottage home, and children running around. All the hatred he dealt with his job was, in Eleni's mind, killing his ingenuousness.

"Agent McGee, if you don't me asking, how long have you been working here at NCYS?" Eleni asked, her curiosity always getting the better of her.

"It's actually NCIS." McGee laughed.

Eleni blushed at the sweet sound of his laughter. "Sorry."

"No. No, don't worry about it. You're not the first to get the acronym wrong and for that matter you defiantly wont be the last." She smiled pleasantly at him, realizing that he was trying to ease her tenseness. "Uh, I have been working here for… Well technically nine years, but I've only been with Gibbs' MCRT for eight."

"What do you mean 'technically'?"

"I was a computer analysis for the first year and then I joined Team Gibbs." He stated, smiling at the memory of his first encounter with his eldest mentor. It hadn't been his best of first encounters, but he sure was glad it happened.

Eleni laughed, "'Team Gibbs'?"

McGee reddened. He hadn't meant to say the popular nickname Abby liked to refer to them by, but whatever Abby said always had a way of sticking in his mind. "Uh, well one of the people on our team once called us that and I… I don't know why I even called us that!" He said swatting his hand against his head, making Eleni laugh even more.

"Don't worry about it McGee… Oh! Uh, it's alright if I call you just McGee instead of adding the Agent considering it's longer and I don't know your first name right?" She rambled realizing that she had just talked to a federal agent as if he was her friend.

She sounds like Abby when she rambles, McGee mused. "Yeah that's fine. And it's Tim by the way. Timothy McGee." Eleni stopped walking at the mention of his name and McGee thought he'd done something wrong until he too stopped and looked back at her smiling face.

"It's lovely to formally meet you Timothy." She said extending her hand. "I'm Eleni LoGreco."

McGee chuckled, "It's nice to make your acquaintance Eleni." She is something else. Never had he met someone, outside of work, who not only shacked hands in a gesture of greeting, but also who called him by the name he was born into; Timothy. Usually he preferred Tim or McGee, but having her say his full name was nice, different. It gave him a sense of home, which he found strange considering the only people he thought to offer that familiarity was his real family or his surrogate NCIS family.

As they started to continue their walk towards the government issued car Eleni steadied her breath, preparing herself for the answer to her next question. "Uhm, Timothy?"

Tim looked down at the petit brown-eyed woman, "Yeah?"

She twisted her shirt nervously, trying to stay in step with the taller man. "How long has Tony been working with NCIS?"

Tim faltered in his steps. What do I say! Different voices of different team members echoed in his head answering his questions. He could hear the voice of Tony yelling at him to shut his trap and the warning of Gibbs' rule about secrets; the best way to keep a secret, keep it to yourself, second best, tell one other person if you must, there is no third. He knew he shouldn't tell or even be talking about Tony with Eleni, isn't it like some sort of code to not talk about your friends behind their backs? He didn't want to betray the trust Tony had given him and him Tony, but he couldn't find the mistake in telling Eleni when Tony started working at NCIS… Was there? It wasn't as if she couldn't find out on her own, all she had to do was ask the security guard, Ron –who'd been working at NCIS possibly longer than Gibbs– when Tony started and then Tim would look like a complete numbskull for not telling her. Deciding to go against the voices of his teammates and talk for himself, for once, Tim spoke. "He, uh, he's been working here for… eleven years? Yeah, he's been working with Gibbs for eleven years."

"What do you mean 'working with Gibbs'? What about the rest of 'Team Gibbs'? I mean I know you only started to be part of the group eight years ago, but you mentioned someone else, no?"

"Oh yeah. Well the person I was referring to before is Abby; she's our forensic specialist, I believe she was with Gibb's for eleven years as well, possibly more. Then there's Ducky and Palmer who work in autopsy, Ducky was with NCIS for longer then I know, but Palmer only really started to work for us about seven years ago. The three of them consist of the half of team Gibbs that isn't out in the field. Then there's myself, Tony, Gibbs and Ziva. Ziva's been with us for seven years, and for half of those years she wasn't even an NCIS agent she was our Mossad Officer Liaison."

"Mossad?" She asked quizzically.

"Oh, uh, Israeli special intelligence… It's… Well, it's complicated." He sputtered, finally realizing that he had told a suspect in their current murder investigation more about his team in less than five minutes then he'd told his father since starting at NCIS. "There's the car!" Tim said, glad that he was able to stop their conversation before he told her anymore than she needed to know.

Eleni opened the blue Dodge Charger, hesitating before she sat down in the passenger seat. Tim's revelation that Tony had been working with NCIS for eleven years still made her mind reel. Tony had been working for a government corporation for eleven years and from the way Tim talked to her, Tony hadn't mentioned her once. Eleven years and he hadn't looked for her, checked to see if she was doing O.K.? Sonavubitch! She swore as she thought about all the hard work she'd put into finding him when she didn't have any form of government gadgets.

Eleni spent her whole first year after Tony's disappearance calling him, trying to find out where he'd gone or if something had happened to him. The following four years she'd spent physically looking for him. Making stops at his house, talking to relatives in the DiNozzo family, but it was on the forth year when she'd finally got up the nerve to call Anthony Sr. that she found Tony. She spent five years looking for him, only to find out that a few states over he were attending Ohio State University, OSU. She was glad he'd gotten into the school of his dreams, but she was mad that he hadn't told her.

She tried calling the dorms, asking if she could talk to him, but he was always busy; either with friends, girls, and fraternity parties, or football and basketball.

"Why don't you just go see him?" Fourteen-year-old Jim Damacos suggested as he looked at the girl who was slowly becoming his best friend.

"With what car and license Jim!" Eleni exclaimed. With a sign she dropped her head mumbling, "Besides, he probably doesn't want to see me. Why else would he not talk to me for almost six years?"

"Hey. Look at me." Jim said easing her chin up to look at him with his thumb and index finger. "You don't know anything yet. For all you know something bad did happen."

She signed. Jim was right, he usually was right, but it still didn't solve their problem. "Either way Jim, there's no way I could get there and there is no way my uncle would let me leave the state."

"Just tell him you're staying at my house for the weekend." He said casually. Eleni scoffed at the notion of telling her conservative bastard Uncle that she was sleeping over at a boy's house, not only would he beat her, but he'd probably try and kill Jim for inviting her. "No. No, hear me out. Tell him that you're coming over to my house to do homework and that you're going to sleep over because my sister wanted you to stay over."

"Jim, you don't have a sister…"

"Yeah, I know. But he doesn't." He said, trying to rationalize. "Common 'Leni, I know you really want to go and I'll be right beside you. We'll take a train and spend the night there. No one will be the wiser… You've waited practically six years for this. Are you really going to let this once in a lifetime chance pass?"

No. She didn't want to miss out on the opportunity to see her cousin. She knew that deceiving her uncle could come back to bit her hard on the ass, but all the consequences in the world were worth Tony.

A sly smile graced her lips as she looked at her official best friend, Jim. With a quick peck on his lips Eleni got off the bench and extended her hands towards him, "Common Jim-boy we got a lot of planning to start!"

They had spent that weekend planning, finding the perfect excuses for why they wouldn't be home until the following Monday, their parent's and guardian, like Jim had said, not the wiser about their real plans. When the Friday to leave for OSU came Eleni was practically jumping in her seat. She wasn't even scared to see Tony again because she knew –thought– that the only reason he wasn't contacting her was because of something seriously bad. Tony was her best friend, one of the men she could say she loved more then anything and she knew he felt the same. So there was no doubt in her mind that he would willingly lose contact with her.

Walking into the USO basketball stadium Eleni clung to Jim's arm. There were so many people crowding the bleachers she could barely move until Jim had, thankfully, found them a seat.

"What number do you think he is?" Jim asked.

Eleni laughed, "if he had any say in it he is defiantly jersey number 13."

They sat in silence as more basketball fans crowded the bleachers overlooking the basketball court. Eleni was a huge fan of basketball, mainly because of Tony, so when the crowd stood to cheer for the home team she too jumped and screamed in excitement. "Yeah! Go OSU! Suck it Michigan!"

"I didn't know you liked basketball that much?" Jim said, baffled by her excitement.

"Yeah, well stick with me and you'll find out a l– Oh my God! There he is! Look Jim! Jim, look there he is! Just like I said, number 13..." She smiled, her voice dropping as she looked at the young man she'd known who, even though grown, was still unchanged. "Same old Tony."

Jim smiled at Eleni. Her eyes were filled with awe and excitement. He'd never seen her like this and he could honestly say he'd never seen anything more beautiful in his life. Grabbing her hand to intertwine their fingers, Jim squeezed them reassuringly. She gave him another one of her heartfelt smiles and Jim swore that was the moment he fell in love.

Throughout the game, Jim would see Eleni jump with the other spectators at a basket or yell at the referee for his lousy call, but as the game came to a near finishing he saw the happiness and excitement that once graced her face dissolve into sadness. "Hey… Is everything all right?"

Eleni cleared her throat, trying to ward away the tears that threatened to fall. "Uh, yeah… Uh, do y–you mind taking me back to the hotel? I–I can't –can't be here."

"Sure. Come on." Jim said as he led them off the bleachers and into the hallway of the large University. He wasn't sure what set her off, but he knew not to push her for answers. He watched her as they made their way to the hotel; a stray tear falls every so often. Nevertheless, she held in the worst of it in, until they reached their hotel room. With the door locked, Jim turned to see Eleni crumble against the bed, finally braking down and no longer able to hold back the immense sadness that overwhelmed her when she realized how happy Tony was… without her.

Gasping sobs and wet shirts was how Eleni remembered her first ever train trip without supervision. She signed at the remembrance of why she stopped looking for Tony. She had put time and effort in looking for him and he didn't even try tracing her cell phone or locating her house to see if she was all right. The realization hurt; made her feel unloved…

Eleni's silence worried Tim; he thought it was a little weird, out of her character. Sure she seemed the mysterious type, but she also seemed like the kind of person who enjoys the company of others. Taking a quick look to his right Tim noticed the creases that formed around her puffed out lips. Figure she was thinking about Tony, considering it was the last thing she talked about, Tim thought of taking her mind off him by asking her about Corporal Jim Damacos… And possibly getting more information that Gibbs couldn't get. "So, tell me about your relationship with Corporal Damacos. In interrogation you mentioned that he was your boyfriend?"

Tim's soft voice helped bring Eleni fully out of her nightmarish thoughts and although she knew he was fishing for more information on Jim she couldn't help the smile that tugged on her lips as she thought about their relationship. "Mhm, Jim was my first boyfriend, the love of my life. We met in our first year of high school, but only really became friends in the beginning of our second." She said as she thought back to that OSU basketball game he'd taken her to. "But it was only in our third year we made it official. We spent most of our time together…" She laughed, "His parents had even mentioned once that we were 'glued to the hip' because we were always together… And when he found out a little more about my living situation we just… well there was barely a moment we were ever alone…"

"'You're living situation'?" Tim questioned, wondering if her parents treated her in the same way Anthony Sr. had treated Tony.

"Oh, uh… I shouldn't have said that I didn't mean–"

"Eleni. I'm here to listen. Whatever you tell me, unless you tell me otherwise I swear I wont tell… Anyone." Tim clarified and there was no doubt in his mind that he wouldn't break his promise to a woman he'd only known about for roughly seven hours. Her eyes hide secrets Tim didn't wish to open, because he knew that some secrets were best left unsaid, but if she were willing to share then he'd be there to listen. "Only if you're in danger and I absolutely have to, then I promise I wont tell anyone." He said once more, turning to look at her as he stopped at a red light.

"Not even Tony?" She asked gently, at the shake of his head eleni signed, "My mother… Uh, died during childbirth so I never had her and my father, Tony's uncle, didn't really want much to do with me. So my mother's grandparents brought me up, God rest their souls. They, uh…" Her throat felt constricted, she'd only ever told Jim about her grandparents and that was year's back. Her old wounds were resurfacing. "When I was eight they passed away… So child services put me in the care of my mother's brother, Giuseppe LoGreco–"

"Wait! You're not part of that LoGreco family?" Tim's high pitched shriek was amusing, all law enforcement officers reacted as such when she told them who she was related to.

"Yeah... And believe me, he was worse before he became Pennsylvania's infamous serial killer." Shit! She hadn't meant for that to slip out. Mentally slapping herself, Eleni tried bringing the subject back to Jim. "Either way, when Jim found out I wasn't in the ideal living situations he… He was just always there for me. Helping me get out of having to stay the night at my uncles or even sneaking in so I wouldn't be alone at night with the guy… Jim is my real life Romeo. Not a bad bone in that mans body." She laughed, "when I was getting my first tattoo I remember he was so angry because God forbid we 'ruin our bodies' he didn't talk to me for two days. But right when I was about to give in he came practically begging me to forgive him. Saying: I couldn't be mad at anyone for just a little ink." She said trying to mimic his voice while laughing at the fond memory. She had some of her best memories with Jim… But for every two good memories, there came one bad one. Her smile soured, "We, uh, we continued to date throughout University, but… Uh… Well, around the end of my second semester I had gotten mixed in with drugs."

"How?" Tim asked, before apologizing, " I mean, if you don't mind me asking. I don't want to seem like I'm prying…"

Eleni smiled at Tim, wondering how he had no wedding band on his hand; Tim was possibly one of the sweetest men she'd met since Jim. "Stress. It just got to me." She said, knowing that, although she didn't want to lie to Tim, she couldn't tell him the truth.

"You're a worthless slut! You don't think I didn't know about your late nights with that boy of yours? You're a dumb slut, so there's no point in even arguing with me!" Giuseppe screamed.

"You sick bastard! I wont do it just so you could get money. Fuck, get a job!" Eleni retaliated.

"So long as you live under my roof, you'll abide by my rules and if not then I'll make sure you're not… in the right state of mind to choose for yourself." He laughed evilly.

"God… You're crazy! I'm leaving. Don't expect me to come back." Eleni said before quickly backing away from the man she'd once called part her family.

When she saw the anger flare in his eyes at her final statement Eleni knew she had no other option but to run for safety. Quickly pivoting in the direction of the door Eleni ran towards it not looking back. Trying to unlock the many hinges and bolts as fast as she could before–

BASH! She felt her body slam against the metal rectangular doorframe. She let out a pained scream, hoping her neighbor's would hear and call for the police, but they were quickly muffled as Giuseppe squeezed her throat. She struggled at first, trashing at him, trying to ease his hands off of her, but she was becoming weaker as he continued to cut of her air passage way. She was loosing feeling in her legs and arms and she the worst was she knew this wasn't going to be the end. She knew that he would stop just before she passed out, but while she was still to weak to even move, that way she'd be unable to resist him… or anyone else.

When he finally let go she fell to the floor, struggling to even sit up. Before she knew it her face was being push up forcefully and her uncle was shoving what she could only assume were pilled drugs down her throat, forcing her to swallow.

"He'll be here in twenty minutes." Giuseppe said as he lifted his niece off the floor and carried her into her bedroom that was still filled with all her girly stuffed animals and pink wallpaper. "Stay there. The drug should start taking effect." Seeing as she was unable to move after her brutal attack Giuseppe walked towards her bedroom door turning to address her one last time, "Oh. And you better be good."

Yes, anything was better then telling Tim the truth about how and why she became addicted to drugs. Unconsciously rubbing and clearing her throat, momentarily believing she was back with her uncle, Eleni looked back at the side view of Tim's thin face. "Anyways I was the one who broke up with him… I didn't want to get him mixed in with my messed up life and even though he knew almost everything about me, even the drugs… There were something's I could never tell him at the time."

"So you guys ended up staying friends…?"

Scrunching up her nose in a disapproving manner Eleni clarified, "Actually, no. He was really mad at the time and we just stopped talking and seeing each other for… six years." She laughed, "I ended up running into him at a train station on my way to DC. It was nice seeing him. We ended up talking and sharing stories… You know when you don't see a friend for a long time it's good to just… let loose and be your old selves again?" He nodded at her question. "Well that's what happened. He was only dating Loraine at the time and I didn't want to get in the way so we remained friends ever since."

"Did Jim know you were still on drugs when you two first started seeing each other again?" Curious, wanting to know if Jim would take her back even if she wasn't on the straight and narrow.

"Uh, no. Not for the first two years at least." She hesitated.

"What happened?"

"Let's just say there was a small hospital incident." She said, not wanting to go into great detail. "He was a prince though. Ended up being the only person willing to help me out. He got me into rehab and away from… bad people… He's my knight in shining armor." She smiled before realizing what she'd just said.

He was her knight in shining armor. Past tense. No longer a continuous figure in her life, nothing more than a memory in her mind. Realization started to dawn on Eleni; Jim was dead. And she had inadvertently killed him. She couldn't even protect the one man who had practically devoted most of his life to protecting her. The one time he'd needed her and where was she? Getting fucked by a man she'd only known for a week. She was selfish and undeserving, worthless. He shouldn't have risked his life for her; he should have just left her to die when he had the chance. Then maybe everything would be O.K., he'd be with his wife, loving her and possibly making a family. Instead he was in a government's autopsy lab with limbs torn from other limbs. Jim was dead.

There were going to be no more late night movies; throwing popcorn at the people who talked too loud in the theatre or stealing sips of each other's soda. No more Wednesday lunches where they'd meet at the café near his base where they'd talk about the plans for their future. Only twenty-nine and Jim was already dead. What about the three children and twelve grandchildren he'd dreamed of having, where was his white picket fence and red-doored country home he wanted to retire in with the whole family running around?

Jim is dead. Eleni was trying to calm herself, to bring her back to the false sense of security she'd been under only two minutes ago, but she couldn't. The knowledge of Jim's death finally took an effect on her and she found herself not breathing. Hyperventilating Eleni shook Tim's arm, "Stop the car."


"McGee! Stop the car." She said hurryingly, trying to take in as much air as her tightened throat would allow her.

Once the car rolled to almost a complete stop on the side of the street Eleni rushed out. Pasting the gravel grounds she found herself raking her fingers through her hair as if it helped set her head straight; it didn't. "Oh God… Jesus Christ!" She said breathlessly.

Tim rushed out of the car towards Eleni, worried. What just happened? "What's going on? Are you O.K.?" He knew it was a dumb question, but he didn't know what else to say; he honestly had no idea what this mysterious women had been thinking before her panic attack.

"Oh God… Oh God! He's gone. Jim's really dead!" She said as she turned to stare at Tim, her breathing still labored.

Watching as her eyes glazed over and her chest heaved, Tim finally understood her sudden hysteria, softening his expression. "Hey, hey. Don't worry it'll be all right."

"Jim's dead! The one man in my life who never left me willingly is dead and you're telling me it's'all right'! How is everything going to be O.K.? Tell me Timothy!" She yelled. "Tell me!" She screamed, stomping on her foot. When all she got was silence as a response, the knowledge that she still couldn't breath came rushing into her mind. "Oh God, I can't breath." She startled, pasting again, desperately trying to get oxygen back into her lungs.

"Eleni… Eleni!" Tim said forcefully as he walked close enough to grab onto her shoulders. "Look at me." When she looked up he could see the panic in her eyes, unknown to him that she was thinking about the many times Jim had said those exact words to her. "Everything will be all right, O.K.? I don't know when or how, but you'll get through this. In the short time that I've known you, I could tell that you're tough, not one to give up. Don't give up now… We'll get the people who did this… Just… breath... In. Out. In. And out." He repeated. Seeing hers eyes well with unshed tears he cupped her cheeks and gave her a reassuring nod. "You'll get through this." Was his final statement before stepping away from her, continuing his chants to breath. Tim watched as Eleni's eyes roamed from anything and everything, never being still for more then a moment. She was scared and he wished he knew what to do. Instead he stood there hoping her attack had at least lessened.

Eleni's slow breaths were becoming ragged again and before he could react and reassure her once again she rushed into his arms, holding on as if he was her lifeline. Tim stood there, momentarily dazed by her suddenness, but then, realizing she only needed some comfort and a person to cry on, Tim held her close. Wrapping one arm around her to steady her quivering body and his other to stroke her hair as he whispered reassuring words over and over again.

Author's Note:

O.K. it's official: you guys are crazy spoiled by me. You know what I did when I probably should have been sleeping? I was writing this chapter. Be grateful. No, I'm joking. Even if you are or not grateful, I am the only one to blame for choosing to write this instead of sleep. To tell the honest truth, I've been studying like crazy these past few days, but at the same time my story muse wouldn't shut up. So whenever I'd finish my work I'd write, making me stay up till four in the morning and waking up at six for my classes. So my sleeping pattern is officially messed up.

I'm going to try getting back into the straight and narrow of sleeping. And unlike my previous chapter's, when I say it might take a while for the next chapter I mean it.

So, what did you think of this chapter? It was fun writing it in the beginning, but now I'm just nervous. I'm not sure if you guys, my readers, are as enthralled with the story's progression... Are you? What did you think of Eleni and Tim's interaction? Eleni and Jim's relationship and her late reaction to his death?

Comment, Question, Critique.