Title: Echoes of the Past.
Warnings: Rape (happens off-screen as it were)
Spoilers: None. Set between seasons 1 & 2.
Summary: When a young Naval Cadet is murdered events from DiNozzo's past come back to haunt the team.
Echoes of the Past.
"Let's go people."
Caitlin looked up from the report she was reading over as Gibbs came down the stairs from the Director's office. "Where?"
"Naval Academy Prep, Newport." Gibbs stopped at his desk to pull on his jacket and grab his weapon.
"Why isn't the local field office dealing with it?" She began gathering the pages of the file up to lock them in her desk.
"Seems there's been a few things happening at the Academy that the instructors aren't happy and when the local office looked into it they decided it wasn't worth investigating. Now a Cadet is dead and the Academy has asked for an outside investigation team. The Newport office aren't happy but will give us their full co-operation." Gibbs smirked, making his opinion of inter-office co-operation clear and started moving towards the elevator. "Flight leaves at 16:55 that gives you 2 hours to get your stuff and meet us at the airport. I'll get Ducky, you find McGee."
The doors slid closed before she could ask anything else. Sighing she lifted her phone to page the younger agent, when he walked through the stairwell door eating a sandwich.
"McGee!" Kate dropped the receiver back into the cradle, grabbed her purse and weapon and started towards him.
He looked up, startled at the shout, almost dropping his lunch. "Yes?"
"We've got a case. We fly to Newport in a couple of hours. Go pack, I'll pick you up and take you to the airport. No point, all of us taking cars there."
"Um.. OK." McGee finished his sandwich and grabbed his backpack and started to fill it. "Ahh, should we leave a note or something for Tony. He's supposed to be back tomorrow isn't he?"
Kate glanced at the desk usually occupied by the sometimes aggravating DiNozzo. "The Director will tell him where we are and why, and either send him after us or keep him here until he catches up on his paperwork."
McGee gave her a quick grin as he closed the bag then glanced at his desk to see if he missed anything before accompanying her to the elevators.
"Can I help you sir?" A sentry approached the first of two rental cars stopped at Gate 1of Newport Naval Base.
"I'm Agent Gibbs of the NCIS this is Agent Todd." Gibbs handed both their ID's out the window for the guard to check while Kate leaned forward in the passenger seat for the guard to see her in the glow of the over head light. "The other car has Agent McGee, our M.E. Dr. Mallard and his assistant in it."
"Yes Sir. We were told to expect you and ask you to report to the Field office on Meyerkord Ave." The guard handed the ID's back along with a map of the base he produced from his pocket and permits for both cars then to motioned for the gate to be raised, stood back and waved both cars through into the base.
It was quick drive across the bridge to the Coddington Point area of the base where the Academy was located and a simple matter to find the NCIS office there opposite a large sports field.
Gibbs parked the car in a visitor space at the front of the building and got out as McGee pulled into the next space and waited for the others to climb out.
The group turned to face the doors of the field office to see a young Asian man walking towards them.
"I'm Agent Li. The Director asked me to escort you to his office he want to speak to you before you start."
"Alright." Gibbs gestured for the man to lead the way.
The young agent led the team into the building and up to the Director's office where he motioned for them to enter without him.
A quick glance into the office showed Gibbs a suited man and an uniformed officer sitting at a small conference table to one side of the office, both rose as the team entered.
"Agent Gibbs I presume." The suited man looked at Gibbs. "I'm Director Adams, this is Commander Wood the NAPS Executive Officer."
The Commander nodded at Gibbs then glanced at the others standing behind Gibbs.
"Agents Todd and McGee and Doctor Mallard and his assistant." Gibbs quickly introduced the team.
"Doctor Mallard, perhaps you would like to get a start on the autopsy? The body is down in the morgue."
"It's not at the crime scene?" Ducky frowned.
"No the previous investigating agent had it brought to the morgue before we asked for you to be brought in. The waterpolo coach found him in the water early this morning when he opened the pool for an early training session for the waterpolo team. He removed him from the water before realising there wasn't any hope of reviving him. The scene has been preserved as well as it could be but it was thought best to bring the body to the morgue rather than leave it in the pool where it was found."
"In that case I think I will get started, if someone will show us the way?"
Adams picked up the phone sitting on the end of the table and spoke into it before looking back at the M.E. "Agent Li will take you and your assistant down to the morgue. Our own team will give you any assistance you require."
"Thank you." Ducky turned to leave the office. "Come along Ryan."
When the door shut behind the pair Adams waved the remaining agents to take a seat at the table.
"I apologise for you having to come all this distance for this." Adams sighed tiredly and scrubbed a hand through his thinning hair. "It seems there have been a few recent problems at the academy, intimidation between students, nothing for us to get involved in so the MP's handled it mostly but they noticed that some of the "pranks" where becoming more serious and focused so when it escalated into vandalism of personal property during break-ins, they requested we look into the matter to give a new perspective. The team I had looking into the matter wrote it off as some bad taste pranks going a bit far and nothing more happened until a week ago when our victim, Nicholas Evans, had his room vandalised, wall defaced and personal effects burned. His roommate's belongings remained untouched. Then this morning the coach found Cadet Evans in the pool. It's looks like he was assaulted in the locker room, blood splatters, damaged contents, graffiti daubed on the walls and it's unlikely his death was suicide so we're looking at either a murder or manslaughter investigation."
"Why rule out suicide before the autopsy?" Kate asked.
"The physical evidence tend to lean that way and it's been my experience most suicides don't go to the bother of tying themselves up Agent Todd. There is one other thing Commander Wood has just brought to my attention. It seems there are several similarities to an old case. We are currently trying to track the file down but it was over a decade ago, before either of us" Adams nodded to the Commander "where assigned here and most of the General Crimes agents from that time have either retired, relocated or don't remember the case so it may take some time to find the information. In the mean time you have full access to all our resources and the full co-operation of the agents involved. Now I suppose you'd like to see the crime scene before anything else."
"I'd also like to speak to the coach and those first on scene." Gibbs said.
"That can be arranged, I'll send them over to you at the pool building. They can talk you through what they did earlier." Adams reached to the empty chair beside him and lifted a stack of files on to the table. "These are several copies of the preliminary scene report from this morning and the reports from all the earlier incidents you can look through them at your leisure. We've arranged rooms at the BEQ for your stay."
"Thank you." Gibbs lifted the files and handed them to McGee. "If someone would give us directions, we'd like to get started."
"I'll take you over there myself." Wood offered getting to his feet.
"Appreciate that Commander." Gibbs pushed away from the table. "Director." Gibbs gave a curt nod to the tired looking man left at the table.
The short ride to the training pool had been mostly silent with the three agents each reading parts of the preliminary reports, taking notes of any details they'd need to double check and anything else that needed clarified. They where met at the door by the swim coach and the MP's that had been first on the scene. Gibbs left Kate and McGee with them going over their earlier actions, half listening to both discussions as he made his way into the taped off area of the men's locker room where he agreed with the assessment that Evans had been assaulted there. Opening the file to the appropriate page he glanced though the crime scene report, noting that the Newport team had been very thorough in their observations. He methodically made his way around the room and the attached showers reading bits as he went. After looking through the initial forensics report and deciding they'd covered picked his way across the floor, stepping over dried patches of blood and broken bits of bench he made his way out into the pool area avoiding smaller blood splatters and streaks on the tiles.
As he left the locker room door Gibbs could see graffiti painted on the walls, various homophobic slurs. Gibbs turned his attention to the pool and looked for the right page in the report.
"The body was about 10 feet out from this end and roughly in the middle."
Gibbs looked over to a door beyond the locker rooms leading to the entranceway to see a blond man in his mid 30's leaning against the frame. "And you are?"
"Agent Jeffrey Shaw. I'm..."
"The agent that compiled the report." Gibbs closed the file as Shaw took a couple of steps further into the room and let the door swing shut.
"And you're Agent Gibbs from DC." Shaw gave Gibbs an odd smirk.
"Hey," Gibbs held up a hand. "I'm not trying to step on any toes, we're all working on the same side here."
"Sure." Shaw shrugged pale grey eyes locked on Gibbs.
"It's good work." Gibbs walked towards the younger agent. "Think you covered everything possible."
"Thank you sir. If there's anything at all you need while you're here let me know." Shaw gave him an odd little smile.
"Agent Shaw?" Commander Wood opened foyer door and stepped in. "Agent Todd would like to speak with you now."
"Of course. Agent Gibbs." Shaw nodded at Gibbs then walked past Wood and out the door. Gibbs and Wood both watched the door shut behind him, Gibbs with a slight frown.
"He can be a bit odd at times I'm told. Likes to be the best at everything apparently, his team like him, he gets the jobs done and it reflects well on them but he tends to rub some of the other agents the wrong way, stepping on toes that sort of thing or" Wood smirked slightly. "So I'm told."
Gibbs raised an eyebrow at the tone.
"Ah, my wife works in the secretarial pool at the Field Office, she doesn't like him much. Wood admitted a bit sheepishly.
"Adams mentioned you knew of a similar case?"
"It may not be relevant I don't even know how similar it was. The incident happened the year before I transferred here so I only heard bits about it."
"Tell me what you remember anyway, we're not going to get much further on this tonight and we'll see how relevant it might be when Adams finds the file."
"Thirteen years ago a kid was beaten half to death for being "a faggot"." Wood motioned his head towards the wall with the graffiti. "I can't even remember the kids name, if I even heard it, apparently he was a good student one of the best that year, good grades, athletic, was on several of the sports teams. Coach Wilson found him alive locked in a basement storeroom in the auxiliary gym, building 302, late on graduation day, most of the students and their parents had already left so there weren't many people about to question. I don't remember anything else other than he backed out of going to Annapolis, some of the instructors though that was a shame. As far as I know the case was never closed I'll ask some of the other staff if Adams doesn't find the file and see what I can find in our own records but I'm not sure who'd remember anything more
"What about the coach. Wilson?"
"He died about two years back about a week after he retired."
"Thank you Commander. We'll give Adams a chance to find the file before you need worry." Gibbs made his way back out to the entranceway to see Agent Shaw leaving with two other young agents, Kate and McGee staring after them in frustration. "Helpful bunch?"
Kate made a face before replying. "Coach Leeson and the MP's were. They're furious this happened and want it solved as soon as possible. Our colleagues" She put emphasis on the title. "Remind me of kids who've had their favourite toy taken away, they weren't very talkative but I think we did cover most of it."
Gibbs rubbed the bridge of his nose and squinted at his watch. "It's almost ten we'll call it a day and start interviews tomorrow." He turned back to the XO. "I trust it won't be a problem talking to the students?"
"None at all. You can use one of the empty offices in Nimitz Hall. If you don't mind I'll show you to your rooms at the BEQ now."
After a quick stop at the Field office to collect Ducky and Ryan, Commander Wood led the way down a corridor in the BEQ leading to the rooms reserved for the agents.
"It'll be quiet here, the students can only get access to the rooms at weekends. There's plenty of places for you to get something to eat on base without resorting to the students galley, there's a pizza delivery place, a McDonald's and a couple of decent snack bars and deli's at the NEX and it's annex." Wood stopped outside a door near the end of the corridor and fished in an envelope he'd picked up at the Field Office for the right key. "We put some stuff in one of the rooms to give you an office space for you to work in and Director Adams provided a computer." Wood pushed the door open to reveal a large table with chairs around it, a whiteboard, a computer and an all in one printer on a separate desk and a coffee pot on a second desk, then handed the key and envelope to Gibbs. "The other keys are for the two rooms on either side of this one and the three across the way. If you need anything else don't hesitate to contact either Director Adams or myself. Goodnight." Wood nodded to them and made his way back down the corridor.
Gibbs moved into the room and dropped his over night bag and the files on the table before slumping in the closest seat.
"What did the autopsy give us Duck?"
The others moved into the room each taking a seat while Ducky fished out his notes.
"The toxicology results won't be ready until tomorrow but the cause of death was drowning. He'd been beaten by some instrument heavily enough to cause broken ribs a ruptured spleen and internal bleeding. He'd probably have died within a few hours without the dip. I'd put the time of death at around 3 this morning."
Ducky grimaced. "Not by a person, however there was considerable bruising and tearing to the anus and surrounding area. I'd say they assaulted him using some wooden implement." At McGee's look of confusion he added. "It left splinters."
"The bench slats."
"Hmm?" Ducky turned back to Gibbs.
"Some of the bench slats had been broken off. They'd be about an inch and a half square."
"Sounds likely, I'd need to compare samples of course." Ducky set the pages on top of the files.
"Tomorrow. Kate, McGee you take the rooms either side of this one. Duck, you and Ryan take the two across the way nearest the corridor end." Gibbs tipped the keys out of the envelope onto the table letting everyone find their own while he took the stack of files to the computer desk to lock in the drawer listening to the others head to their rooms. Pocketing the drawer key he turned back to lift his bag and the keys for his room and the makeshift office when there was a knock at the open door. Looking up he saw the young Asian agent from earlier standing in the doorway an old file clutched in his hand.
"Agent Li, what can I do for you?"
"Director Adams asked me to bring you this file. He thought you might find it interesting." Li walked into the room and handed the file to Gibbs before turning to leave. "Goodnight Sir.
"That the other case file?" Kate stuck her head back in the door.
"Yeah." Gibbs flipped it open to the front page and froze.
"Gibbs?" She moved into the room in concern as Gibbs paled. "You OK?"
"Uh.. yeah, fine." He shut the file before she could look at it. "Just tired." He gave her a tight smile that did nothing to reassure her. "Night." He stuck the file in the top of his bag and left the room before she could question him again.
Following his out she found him standing unmoving outside his door.
"Here." He turned pulling one of the keys off the ring for the office and handing it to her. "Lock the door when you're finished." Then pushed his own door open and walked in.
"Gibbs?" Kate frowned as he kicked the door closed behind him without answering.
She looked round to see Ducky at his own door with his collar unbuttoned and bow tie hanging loose about his neck.
"Agent Li just left over a file of an old case that has some supposed similarities to this one. Gibbs took a look at it and went pale then wouldn't let me see it or talk to me."
"Odd but he'll tell you if it's anything to do with the case. I wouldn't worry too much about it." He patted her on the arm and gave her a quick smile. "Now I'd get some sleep. He'll probably have us up at some God awful hour of the morning."
"True. Night Ducky." She moved across the corridor to lock the office as Ducky closed his door. At her room she paused and frowned across at Gibbs' closed door before stepping inside and locking her own door.
End Part 1.
I hope this has uploaded correctly this time if not the formatted version is at my fic journal, thi link is in my bio.