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Running Empty

by: amokima (Send Feedback)

Series: - No Series - #1
Chapters: 016 Word Count: 9346
Rating: TEEN
Warning(s): Violence
Character(s): Tony DiNozzo
Category(ies): Angst/Drama
Pairing(s): - No Pairing -
Summary: He woke, everyone is trying to kill him and he has no idea who they are or why.

Chapters: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16

Previous Chapter

Missing

SEVEN MONTHS AGO

The elevator door slid open and FBI Agent Fornell strode out into the NCIS bullpen. The team watched covertly as he came over and stopped in front of Gibbs’ desk.

Gibbs raised his eyes from the report he was reading to glare at Fornell, raising one eyebrow as if to demand answers.

"Conference room. Now."

Gibbs glared at Fornell for a few more moments, stood up, then walked back to the elevators with the other man. As the doors closed behind the pair, Kate and McGee looked at each other, then turned their eyes back to the lift.

The elevator stared to move but shut down when Gibbs pressed the emergency stop button and stared at Fornell. Fornell stayed silent, staring at the closed doors in front of him with a frown on his face. After a minute of increasingly frustrating silence, Gibbs grew even more impatient.

"Tobias?"

"Jethro."

Gibbs paused at the tone of voice coming from Fornell. "What's wrong?"

Fornell look intently down at his shoes, sighed, and then turned his gaze back to Gibbs.

"Jethro." He stopped and took a deep breath. "We've lost him."

Gibbs blinked. After a pause he demanded, "How?"

"I'm not sure."

A glare. "When?"

"Around three weeks ago."

"THREE WEEKS AGO!?!?" The shout echoed around the enclosed space. "Dammit Tobias. Tony DiNozzo is my agent. And you're only telling me this now?"

"Jethro, I only found out myself this morning. I came straight here as soon as I was able to chase up some information about what happened."

"So what did happen? And how could you not know? You were the one that borrowed him."

"He was undercover. I wasn't his handler. Agent Rudderford was. Apparently, when DiNozzo missed his scheduled contact with her she knew it wasn't because he was just running late. I was at my daughter's school play. She knew this and didn't want to interrupt it so she contacted the FBI Director instead, who was secondary contact if she couldn't get a hold of me. He told her not to bother me with it, that it was probably just one missed contact and he would turn up for the next one. He said that DiNozzo was a reasonable undercover agent but had the reputation of being irresponsible and sometimes not turning up for contacts.

"Yeah, I know, I know," he quickly interjected when Gibbs opened his mouth to argue with him. "That's not true of DiNozzo. But that's what the director told Rudderford.

"He told her that I was busy with other cases at the moment and didn't need to be disturbed with this until something concrete was known. She wasn't quite sure about that, but he is the Director.

"So she stayed in her position and waited a few days for the next contact time. DiNozzo was a no show again. Rudderford called the Director like he'd told her to. He told her I was swamped with a situation here in D.C. and that he would handle it from now on. The director ordered her to stay in the field just in case DiNozzo showed up and tried to contact her, and the Director would let her know what was happening about it from our end.

"Meanwhile, the Director was piling more and more work on me here. He told me he'd assigned the operation off to someone else and kept me too busy to check in on it.

"A week ago Rudderford's motel room was blown up. Luckily she'd left the room a few minutes earlier to get some dinner from across the road. She made her way quietly back to D.C, staying under the radar and she came over to my house as soon as she arrived here this morning. The only ones who knew where she was and why were myself and the Director, and she wasn't sure she could trust him anymore."

Gibbs scowled at Fornell. "You said you needed Tony because there were no FBI agents available that you trusted to be able to pull off this kind of undercover operation. That he was supposed to discover who was selling dangerous top-secret information to terrorists. Now it sounds like you're saying it could be the director of the FBI? Did you really want Tony because there was no one to do the job or did you just not trust anyone in your agency? You neglected to mention this Tobias."

"I thought it might be a possibility that it was someone high up in the agency. There was also the same possibility it was a person or people from other agencies. But I never even thought of Director Peterson."

"Hmph."

“Rudderford told me this morning that during their last contact, DiNozzo said he thought that a few of the people involved were FBI and that one of them, maybe even more, were highly placed. He said he was going to try and get evidence of this as well as the information being sold. That was the last time she spoke to him. Over three weeks ago. Rudderford would have tried to find him, except she was supposed to be laying low herself and the Director said he'd handle it. He ordered her to stay put.

"She said she didn't suspect him at first, only that she felt that something was slightly not quite right. That feeling grew over the past three weeks and once I told her my side of things, well, now we both have strong suspicions about our dear Director. But without this evidence DiNozzo mentioned we can't do anything about it."

"This is not good Tobias."

"Tell me about it. To make matters worse, DiNozzo said there might be more than one highly ranked FBI traitor. Who knows who they could be? Conceivably they could even be higher up the food chain than Peterson, so we can't inform any of our other superiors about our suspicions. The only thing we can do is search for DiNozzo and hope we find him alive."

"I want that search handed over to my team Tobias, we can't...."

"Oh, you can have it. There's no way I'd be able to do the job on my own. Rudderford will have to disappear for now and I have know idea who I can trust this with in the agency. I came over specifically to let you know what's happened and to give you the search. I'll help every way I can." Fornell pulled a flash disk from his pocket and handed it to Gibbs. "Here. After I talked with Rudderford I went to the office. On that disk you'll find copies of every piece of information we have about the operation and anything else I could find even remotely connected. I didn't think it would be wise to bring the original files."

"Thanks."

Fornell nodded and pressed the emergency stop button to restart the elevator. "I'd better get back. Keep me informed Jethro. Good luck."

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