NCIS: Jethro's Secret

"John Nettles."

He switched the rest of the neon lights on, making DiNozzo squint. They colorized the blood, making it shimmer, making it look even redder. Tony was in pain. Silky, smooth photographs pinned to a basement wall were reflecting in DiNozzo’s eyes. The wall was covered with thousands of black and white snapshots, like a collage sanctuary. Every movement of the NCIS crew was carefully photographed. He was stalking them.

The lights have unveiled the man’s obsession.

“You’re one hell of an eater, DiNozzo.” The man said drawing a target with a red marker on one of the many photographs of Tony.

“And Kate,” he continued, licking his lips. “She’s a beauty.”

DiNozzo twitched.

“She’d chew you up and spit you out,” he said smiling, clenching his teeth in pain.

“Shut up!” The man yelled, punching DiNozzo in the stomach.

“Kate does it harder.” Tony tried to be sarcastic keeping his silly jokes on a high school level. Trapped in an eerie situation, DiNozzo stuck to his provocative skills.

A smile vanished from Tony’s face, being replaced by repellent looks; grimaces filled with fear and pain. His remark set a demon free; the man punched DiNozzo in the ribs several times, leaving him breathless. The man’s sadistic mind has enjoyed his martial arts maneuvers.

“It’s time to call Gibbs and surprise him with my inevitable comeback. I wonder how he will react when I tell him that you’re gonna die, DiNozzo? Will I leave him speechless? Will he condemn me to hell? What will Jethro do?” The man said tapping DiNozzo on the chest.

He grabbed a cell phone and called Gibbs.

“DiNozzo, I’ll beat the shit out of you when you get your ass back here,” Gibbs shouted, thinking it was Tony.

Kate and McGee were laughing, taking pleasure in Gibbs’s vocabulary.

“Oh, Jethro, it won’t be necessary, I already did that.” The man said quietly.

They both paused for a few seconds.

“Do you know who’s with me?” the man continued, breaking an awkward silence. “Has a little bird told you where’s DiNozzo? How manly he looks being covered in blood, cuffed to the ladder?”

Gibbs looked at McGee with a dull expression on his face, gesticulating violently to trace the call.

“Jethro, I can’t believe you don’t recognize me, you bastard. I stopped by in the morning and left a little gift for you, wrapped in yellow. You even have a card.” The man’s laughter was echoing through the basement.

Gibbs grabbed the envelope that was on his desk, hidden amongst the reports. He ripped it off. Dozens of photographs scattered all over the floor. Duplicates of the photos pinned to the grey basement wall.

Jethro was gazing at the pictures with a scowl. Black and white texture captured his mind; restraining him from thinking rationally. Black and white photos discolored his mind, leaving nothing but a pent up anger.

Gibbs picked up a photo of DiNozzo, swearing at the man on the other side of the line.

“Let me talk to DiNozzo,” he said, looking at the photo.

Kate and McGee’s smiles and happy thoughts were easily swept away. Kate was glancing at Gibbs, not knowing what was going on. Surely, Tony’s date from last night wasn’t chasing him around the block. Her heart was pounding, anticipating any clues.

“Boss…,” DiNozzo mumbled, groaning with pain.

“DiNozzo,” Gibbs shouted.

It was too late. The man moved the phone away.

“DiNozzo,” he repeated.

“Jethro, I can’t believe you cannot recognize your old friend. Maybe it will all become clearer if I say that DiNozzo is about to die. You get it, Gibbs? Do you want me to repeat that?”

Gibbs swallowed, trying to figure out whom he was talking to. He wanted to throw the phone at McGee because he couldn’t trace the call. Something was blocking it.

“The first shot in DiNozzo’s kneecap, second in his chest? Will I leave him like you left me with 2 bullets in my body? Will I let him die like you let me in a cold morgue? Will you make it on time, Gibbs? Will you save a life of your disciple?” The mysterious man was gasping, pointing the gun at DiNozzo’s kneecap; holding back a panic attack.

John Nettles. Gibbs remembered.