Where to Start
All it takes for evil to prosper is for good men to do nothing
He watched her as she walked into the bedroom, his night vision binoculars allowing him to see her clearly though there was no light. She didn't close the curtains, and he waited while her clothes dropped to the floor. When she slid into a sleek negligee he reached to the side and brought the rifle up before him.
She stepped up to the window, her nightly ritual, but this time it was different. This time when she reached out to pull the glass closed, he was sure their eyes locked. Moments later the sound of a gun shot echoed down the deserted street, and a black car sped off into the night.
The elevator opened with a ding and Ziva walked out, her eyes flashing to her watch before looking around the seemingly empty bullpen. Early again. She liked these times; when she could sit at her desk and just appreciate the silence, before Tony came in; a new film watched and ready to be quoted or Gibbs started issuing orders, and there would be no more peace until the case was firmly solved.
Moving across the room, Ziva's eyes slipped closed as she enjoyed the quiet, not needing to see the way around to her desk. Sinking into her seat, eyes still shut, she let out a small sigh.
"Do you always sleep walk?" Tony's voice came out of nowhere and her eyes snapped open, searching and finding him sitting in his own chair; legs up on the desk, and a magazine held in his hands.
"Dammit DiNozzo. You're lucky I didn't shoot you." Tony simply smiled at her, which irritated her all the more. He opened his mouth and she instantly raised her hand. "Don't say anything about me having a sheep."
Tony looked at her strangely for a minute, trying to wrap his mind around what she could mean. At that moment McGee entered the area, slipping a hot coffee onto both Ziva and Gibbs' desks. "Good morning, and it's 'have a cow' Ziva."
Ziva nodded her thanks, and began sipping her drink as McGee moved to his desk. Tony sat silently, looking from Ziva's coffee, to Gibbs' coffee, Tim's coffee, and then back at his empty hand. When he realised no one was paying any attention to him he rose and did a quick search of the room. Not seeing his boss anywhere in sight, he moved slowly over to Gibbs' desk and the untouched coffee that sat there tormenting him.
He groaned in pleasure as the bitter liquid touched his tongue. He couldn't believe he'd forgotten to stop off at the coffee-shop before coming in that morning. Bringing the cup back down, he looked at the others in confusion, they were both watching him, yet neither had said anything about him taking the Boss's coffee. A sly grin slide across his features and he opened his mouth to congratulate himself, but all that came out was a sharp gasp as a hand slapped the back of his head. The coffee was taken from his hand and Tony looked up into the angry eyes of Gibbs.
"Um, hi Boss. I was just testing it, you know, to make sure it was right for you, you know how Pro…er…McGee gets the orders wrong most of the time." Tony spluttered out an excuse, ignoring the twin looks of disbelief on Ziva and Tim's faces.
Gibbs simply stared at him, before holding up the cup.
"Next time read the side DiNozzo." Dreading what he'd find, Tony's gaze moved to where Gibbs was pointing, only to see a list of letters that even he could tell were the accurate specifications for Gibb's drink.
"Sorry Boss." Gibbs glared at him once more, a small huff of air escaping his lips, before he turned towards his desk, and pulled out several files from his drawer. Tony got a good view of the gun that sat there, and he gulped when Gibbs ran his hand over it once before slamming the drawer closed.
"We have a new case. One woman found shot at close range in her backyard. Bullets were run but no known matches found, neither was the gun used found." He threw the first file down onto his desk, giving the others little time to move closer before he started talking again.
"Another woman found with her neck slashed open in her local Park. The authorities didn't find the knife anywhere in the vicinity of the crime scene." Another folder was thrown down, leaving only one still held in his hand.
"And our latest victim; a woman shot dead in the Master Bedroom of her house. Local
authorities pin-pointed the source of the shot as coming from someone positioned outside the house, possibly a parked car." The last folder hit the desk with a slap, and he stepped back slightly, watching as the three field agents each looked over the crime scene photographs of one murder.
As he expected McGee was the first to notice something odd in the reports.
"Er, Boss? I mean Gibbs; these women were all found in England, and according to this file the first woman didn't have any connection to the US Navy." Tony and Ziva came to the same conclusion almost instantaneously, and both nodded their agreement.
"None of the women have any obvious connection; method and location where different in all three cases, which is why until this latest victim they weren't even connected with each other, let alone an American agency. That was until a photograph was found in the unopened mail of the last woman, a Miss Eileen Walker, known in her field as…"
"FiFi Flagrante." Tony interrupted. At the silent looks from the others, he tried desperately to defend himself. "It's here in the file." Still the others didn't look convinced, but Ziva broke the silence.
"So she was a Porn Star?"
"Yes, the first victim was a Teacher, and the second owned a small business in London."
McGee spoke again, remembering what Gibb's was about to say.
"So the photograph connected them?" Gibbs smiled slightly before looking at his watch.
"According to the London Metropolitan Police, the photograph showed a number of women, with 'X's across the images of these three. On the back was a list of names and a message stating that the murderer was after the person who ruined their career, and that they wouldn't stop until they had found and killed the person that had reported them. In the same envelope was a Navy issued Medal for Bravery. Our guy was a Marine and the people in London think he's headed back to US soil for his next victim." Gibbs took back the files and placed them once more in the top drawer, removing his gun before locking it.
"Miss Walker's body, the latest crime scene evidence and the photograph in question were shipped over from London yesterday, and should be arriving in our Morgue…" He paused checking his watch one last time. "Now." No one moved and Gibbs gave the team an angry sweep with his eyes. "Why are you still here?"
Several mumbles later and he stood in the centre of an empty bullpen. With a satisfied smile he brought the coffee cup up to his mouth and swallowed down the contents. He loved starting the day with caffeine and orders.
Dr Mallard; Ducky to those who knew better, stared down at the poor woman on his table. It was rare that he be asked to perform a second autopsy, especially on someone that was not, by any definition, naval personnel, and most definitely not on someone who had had as many cosmetic operations as this woman had. He could count at least five from a simple preliminary examination; the nose, both breasts, her mouth, and some stretching of the skin around her eyes.
"The things people do to look young. But I'm afraid, my dear, that your age is still visible to me."
Hearing the slide of the Morgue doors opening, Ducky turned and pointed straight to the large box that stood in the corner of the room.
"That came with our lady, I believe it is what Jethro has sent you down here for." Tony approached the box first, while Ziva and McGee moved to stand beside him, looking at the woman.
"The cause of death was most certainly from the gunshot, from the position of the entry wound, right here above her left eye, I would say that death was instantaneous, she would have been dead before she knew she'd been shot."
The door opened once more for the entrance of Gibbs and Ducky turned away from the body once again.
"Jethro, I was just telling your young agents that our victim would have been dead before she knew anything was wrong. She actually reminds me of a woman I once knew in England. She was quite partial to cosmetic surgery herself, kept asking me if being a doctor I could perform a few operations for her, she was very persistent, offered quite a lot in return, but still I couldn't…"
"Ducky save that story for another day, one where we do not have an International murder investigation on our hands. Tony, why has this box not been passed down to Abby already?" Tony looked up from where he stood, bent over the open box of evidence.
"Boss, I think you should speak to the Director before anyone else sees this." As he said it, Gibbs noticed the evidence bag Tony held in his hand, the one containing the photograph.
"And why Agent DiNozzo, do you think I should do that?" Gibbs' voice was hard as steel, and just has sharp. He didn't like being told by his agents what he should and should not do.
Tony looked at the others quickly, hoping to draw some strength from them, he knew he was right on this one but still, he hated when his boss used that voice.
"Because she's in it Sir."
: tbc :
Chapter two is written and ready to post...all I need is a little indication that people are reading...so go press that review button ;)