Disclaimer: Anything and everything related to NCIS is not mine. I do own all original characters in this story.
AN: New story, hope its up to par, will be original character centric but the team will be intermingled...should be Kibbs eventually...hmmm, like always let me know what you think...suggestions always welcome...enjoy. dark rolling sea.
Cat and Mouse
Gibbs squatted next to the body, surveying the crime scene. DiNozzo was busy snapping photos of the outlaying area, while McGee drew up sketches. Kate was busy bagging evidence. Gibbs heard the crunching of feet behind him and looked over his shoulder to see Ducky and Palmer making their way towards him. He sighed and looked down at the body again.
The young Marine was laying face up; his eyes opened and glazed over in panic, as he stared lifelessly at the sky. The blood that had spilled from the hole in his heart was the only thing marring his other wise pristine uniform. His hands showed the signs of a struggle, skin and dirt caked under the nails. Ducky kneeled down beside the leader of the NCIS team and sighed audibly.
"So young," he said lowly as Gibbs could only nod. Ducky proceeded to examine the body and stick the temperature gauge into the dead soldier's liver. Gibbs stood and moved away from the body, scanning the area as he went. He came up beside Kate.
She stopped what she was doing when he came up next to her. His attention shifted to DiNozzo snapping the flash in McGee's face. He could tell the younger agent was annoyed. Kate smiled at the scene before looking up at Gibbs.
"Need something?" she asked as she dropped an evidence bag into her kit. He looked at her before he scanned the area.
"Just the basics so far. Might be nothing, might be anything."
Gibbs walked away from her, brushing closer than necessary, as he headed over to separate Tony and McGee. He came up behind the older agent and gave him a swift smack on the back of the head. Tony almost dropped the camera before he recovered.
"Sorry, Boss," he quipped lightly before scurrying off to take pictures of the crime scene. McGee returned to the van and started to unload a second kit. He then went off to help Kate. Gibbs made his way back to the body just as Ducky was rising to his feet.
"Got a time of death yet, Duck?" Gibbs asked.
"Ten to twelve hours ago, Jethro," Ducky replied. Gibbs glanced around.
"Ten to twelve hours? This is a high traffic area; he had to have been dumped at some other point."
"Most likely. Looks like the body has been moved. Will let you know the results when we're done with autopsy," Ducky replied before helping Palmer remove the gurney. The team packed everything up into the truck as Gibbs climbed into the driver seat.
Once back at the lab the team set to working on the case. Abby was sitting at her computer watching the prints fly by. She sipped at her Caf-Pow, waiting for the computer to finish. She felt the hair on her neck raise just before she heard his voice behind her.
"Got anything?" Gibbs whispered into her ear. She let out a squeal as she swung her chair around.
"Why do you do that?" she asked with a glare. Gibbs smiled at her and pointed to the screen as it beeped and held still on a print. Abby held her glare for a moment more before she turned to the computer.
"Got a match to a print?" Gibbs asked.
"Looks like it," she replied as she read through the information. "Lt. Zachary Quinn. He's assigned to Norfolk."
"Not to far from DC. Where'd you find the print?"
"It was on the body, Gibbs," Abby said turning to face him. Gibbs smiled and nodded as he left the lab heading up to the bullpen. He walked in and grabbed the remote for the plasma screen. He tossed it at McGee.
"Bring up Lt. Zachary Quinn's file," he said as he looked at his desk. McGee brought the image on the screen as Tony and Kate looked up from their desks.
"Who's Lt. Quinn?" Kate asked.
"Don't know. Found his print on the body," Gibbs replied squinting up at the screen.
"Says here he's stationed in Norfolk," Tony offered. "You want us to pick him up?"
"You and McGee go get him," Gibbs said as he read through the file. Tony and McGee gathered what they needed and hurried out the door. Kate walked up next to Gibbs and looked at the screen. Their shoulders brushed and Kate felt the goose bumps rise on her skin. Gibbs looked down a moment before reverting his gaze to the screen.
"Any connection to the Gunnery Sergeant yet?" Kate asked.
"Just got the name from Abby. Get on it, find something that connects them," Gibbs replied. Kate nodded and moved back to her desk, turning to her computer and digging into Gunnery Sergeant Mark Corbett's past.
Grayson Wilson sighed as he sat in the chair by the window. He looked at the scenery trying to distract his mind from all that was going on. He heard movement to his right and looked back over his shoulder at the woman lying in the bed. She had slightly shifted in the bed but was still unaware of her surroundings. His time with her had been so short, in comparison to what it should have been.
Six years wasn't long enough for him and now the strain of her weakening condition was taking its toll on his mind. He pushed up from the chair and walked the short distance to her side, his hand resting gently over hers. He sucked in a breath and closed his eyes to control the tears he felt brewing.
His normally strong exterior was succumbing to the tension and stress of his inner being. Those that knew him would have been surprised to see him crumble. The layers and layers of stress he had experienced in the last two years was more than anyone could imagine.
The door creaked as it opened slightly. Grayson looked in that direction, finding his Aunt Janie standing in the doorway. She gave him a smile, the sadness in her eyes radiating out to him. He wondered if she could read him as well. He dropped his hand to his side and looked down at the floor, waiting for her to break the silence.
"You got mail today," she said softly. When he looked up at her he noticed the letter resting in her hand. He slowly nodded and moved towards her, the pain in his left leg still evident with each step. She watched him wince and drew towards him but he didn't falter. His left shoulder creaked as he reached out for the envelope, popping slightly as he took hold of his prize.
"Thanks," he mumbled as he glanced over his shoulder one more time at his grandmother lying in the bed.
"I'll sit with her for now, go on and get some rest," came her reply as her hand touched his right shoulder gently. He looked up at her once more before nodding and moving out of the room. He found his way to the front porch and sat down on the swing. The biting wind was whipping at his skin as he fingered the envelope in his hands.
He finally ripped open the side and slid the letter out, unfolding it carefully. He smiled as he read the words his younger brother had written to him, telling him of the details of his life. Zack was a naval officer, on his way to a career in the United States Navy. Grayson had tried to talk the kid out of it, pushing him instead towards the Army, and the route he had taken.
But Zach held fast and was accepted to Annapolis. Outside of his grandmother, who was now at the end of her long life, and his Aunt, Zach was the only family that Grayson had left. He read the letter three times before he folded it back up and placed it into the envelope once more.
His mind drifted back to their childhood and he closed his eyes to shut out the memories. He didn't want to revisit the past; it had taken him a long time to get over the sting of his youth. He knew that this was his second chance at life, but even recently he seems to have been screwing it up. Nothing ever went right for him, his life story a tale of mishaps and catastrophes.
In this time he had to heal his body after the explosion, he had found he lacked any kind of comfort. His family was thin, and until the last couple months living with his Aunt and ailing Grandmother, had been almost non-existent. Up until six years ago he had letters to and from Zack, and a stranger that had taken him in as an unruly runaway teenager.
Levi Brown rocketed into his mind then, and he couldn't contain the small smile that graced his lips. Brown had been his savior when he rolled into Los Angeles a hungry, messed up runaway. When everyone else just wanted to lock him up in Juvenile Hall, Brown took responsibility for him and brought him into his home. Lee helped Grayson deal with the mental anguish of the trauma he had endured just a few years before.
Once getting his head on straight he excelled in school, and joined the Army shortly after his eighteenth birthday, taking a route into the Rangers. At twenty-four he went through Delta selection, earning a spot on a team. He didn't have anything to lose, making him a good weapon to send into dangerous situations. Six months ago he barely managed to come home alive. After spending three months in an Army hospital he returned home to his Aunt and Grandmother.
He had found them six years ago when Levi and his friend Dusty Wells suggested to Grayson he look for his father. Grayson had been reluctant at first; afraid to unearth some of his path, in fear that it would drag up the painful memories of the family he left behind. But in the end the two older men convinced the young man that he should seek out his family.
They had been right. Although he never found his father, he found the man's family. His father had died in 1991 serving in the Army. Grayson met with his grandmother and aunt and formed a relationship with them as he was attending Ranger school, making a bond that would last him a lifetime. Now everything seems to be crashing down on him.
He mindlessly fiddled with the letter in his hand as he stared out into the mountain vastness that wrapped around his grandmother's house. Grayson fought hard to keep his mind on the present, but flashes of that day continued to snap through his mind. His body was healing, with time, physically, but he wasn't sure how long before he mentally recovered from all that happened.
With the new mental anguish, the old was dragging itself to the surface begging to be released. His audile sigh was enveloped by the wind and he pursed his lips. He pushed up from the chair and made his way back into the house, standing a few feet from the room his grandmother was wasting away in. His aunt came out, quietly closing the door behind her. She looked up at him with a sad smile.
"It won't be long now," she said softly. He nodded slowly. "How is Zack?"
"Good," Grayson replied with a smile. It was one of the very few bright spots in his life.
"And your mother?" she asked. Grayson flashed hard eyes at her before looking away.
"He didn't say, he knows better," he ground out.
"Grady, you should consider reconciling," she sighed out. Grayson felt the pain and anger well up again.
"She sent me away. She is the one that shut me out. She is the one that doesn't believe what happened," he spat angrily.
"It was a long time ago, Grady," she tried again. "Try talking…"
"Don't try to fix something you don't understand. To her, I'm dead," he replied harshly before walking away from her. His grip on Zack's letter tightened. Flashes of that day ripped through his mind as he ground his teeth together to make the pain stop. He needed space and air.
He knew his aunt meant well, but sometimes things need to just stay buried. He's still not sure how she knows as much as she does about his past, but he's sure aside from looking it up, she had talked to Levi. Grayson decided he needed to call his mentor and ask him.
He didn't need more pressure on top of what he was already dealing with. It seemed that no matter where he went, death and torment were soon to follow him. He walked away from the house and onto the mountain path, escaping into the quiet wilderness.