All These Things That I've Done
Disclaimer: Not mine. If it was, Jeanne would be long gone and Tiva would be popping out Tivalets (okay, maybe not, but they would be together).
A/N Well here's my promised multi-chaptered fic. This is my first time at an actual running plotline. My other fics have been one-shots. Hopefully it makes sense, so enjoy it as much as I'm enjoying writing it.
Rating: T for some adult themes
Summary: It's a trip down memory lane for one NCIS team member when a routine investigation goes horribly wrong.
"We cannot change our memories, but we can change their meaning and the power they have over us." David Seamands
Chapter One: Another Day at the Office
"Why do you look like the cat that swallowed the pigeon?" Ziva asked as Tony walked to his desk. He placed his bag on the ground before bringing the edge of his coffee cup to his lips.
"Canary, Zee-vah," Tony replied, before having another sip of coffee. "It's the cat that swallowed the canary, not pigeon."
"Canary, pigeon, they are all small birds, yes?" Ziva questioned. Tony gave a small nod. "Then what's the problem? Canary, pigeon, they're all the same?"
Tony opened his mouth to reply, but McGee beat him to it.
"Well, actually," he started, "wild canaries are yellowy-green with a brown streak on their backs and are native to the Canary Islands, Azores and Madeira. Domestic canaries, however, can be all kinds of colours –"
"Does it look like we care, McGeek?" Tony cut McGee off before he could go on. "A bird is a bird. Messy, unhygienic, seriously dangerous –"
"Just like someone I know," Ziva muttered.
Tony shot her a look before continuing, "And what makes you such an expert?"
"My dad used to take me bird watching when I was a teenager," he replied. Tony let out a snort of laughter.
"That explains a whole lot, Probie," Tony laughed. "While the rest of us were being, you know, normal and drinking and having mindless relationships etcetera, you were watching birds. No wonder . . ."
"It's a wonder you even graduated high school, DiNozzo." Gibbs strolled out of the elevator and proceeded to wack Tony on the back of the head before opening his top draw. "With all that drinking and all those mindless relationships."
"Err . . . um . . . boss . . . I didn't." Gibbs' glare cut him off.
"Gear up. We have a dead Petty Officer," Gibbs ordered as he pulled his gun from his top draw and secured it carefully. "McGee, gas the truck."
McGee looked at Gibbs.
"Do you need an invitation?" Gibbs said as he walked out of their office and over to the elevator.
His three subordinates looked at each other for a moment before dashing over to the elevator, making sure it didn't close before they got there.
Twenty minutes and twenty movie references later, the NCIS team arrived at the home of Petty Officer Erica Cays. As they exited the truck, a local LEO wandered over to them.
"Officer Hamish," he introduced himself. "We got a call from a neighbour at 0900 hours. When we got here, we found her body in the kitchen. Strangled is what I would guess. We ran her name through our database and she came up as a sailor. Then I called you lot."
"Okay, DiNozzo, I want you to sketch," Gibbs instructed as he headed towards the front door. "Ziva, you bag and tag. McGee, shoot."
"Got it, Boss," Tony replied as the three of them followed Gibbs into the nicely furnished house. "Our Petty Officer has good taste." Tony admired the Italian hall table. "Very nice, I would guess an antique . . ."
Gibbs glared at Tony. "Shutting up now, boss."
"Now that DiNozzo has finished playing Antiques Roadshow, I suggest you get a move on," Gibbs said, disappearing around the corner.
"What is an Antiques Roadshow?" Ziva asked, looking perplexed.
"It's a show where old ladies dig out their old junk and take it to some guy who tells them whether it's worth any money," Tony explained, walking into the kitchen.
"Why would someone want to buy old junk?"
"I ask myself that same question," he replied.
"If you don't do your job, DiNozzo," – Gibbs crouched beside the body – "I suggest you start digging out your old junk."
"Right boss, doing my job." Tony put the pencil to the paper and started to sketch the surroundings, just as Ducky and Palmer walked into the kitchen.
"Who is this poor young lady?" Ducky asked Gibbs, placing his bag on the floor next to the body. "What happened to you, my dear?"
"Petty Officer Erica Cays," Gibbs replied. "The local LEOs reckon she was strangled. I think they're right. You'll let me know."
"Of course, Jethro," Ducky answered. "Now, Mr Palmer, if you could please pass me my liver probe."
"I know this must be hard for you, Ms Bennett, but I need you to tell me everything you can remember." Gibbs was sitting in the living room with Rachael Bennett, the unfortunate young lady who had discovered PO Cays' body.
"I . . . um . . . came over to see Ricki . . . Erica because I needed to borrow, you know, a cup of sugar," Rachael started, her voice faltering. "I am . . . was baking cookies. My niece and nephew are coming over this afternoon and I wanted to have something for them to eat, but I ran out of sugar. So I came here, I knew Ricki would have some. She always does, she's like that, organised. Or she was . . . "
Gibbs placed a hand on Rachael's shoulder. "I'm sure she was a lovely person, but I need you to tell me everything you remember when you entered the house. The more you can tell us, the better chance we have of catching this guy."
"I . . . knocked on the door," Rachael continued, "but Ricki didn't answer. I . . . I thought it was a little strange so I let myself in."
"The door was unlocked?" Gibbs questioned.
"No," Rachael replied, twisting her hands nervously. "I kinda . . . kinda used her key."
"Yeah, she . . . um . . . hides it in the plant with the purple pot," Rachael explained. "I use it to feed her cat when she's deployed."
"Does anyone else know where this key is? Family? Boyfriend?"
"I'm . . . I'm not sure. Maybe? She doesn't have a boyfriend and her family lives interstate."
"Okay, what happened when you entered the house?"
"Um . . . I called out to her, but she didn't answer. I thought maybe, you know, she was asleep or listening to, you know, her Ipod or something like that."
"What happened next?" Gibbs pressed gently.
"I . . . walked into the kitchen." By now Rachael's voice was filled with tears. "And . . . and I saw her. Lying there. I knew . . . she was d . . . dead. I screamed, I think. I don't really remember what happened next. I think I called the police, maybe, I'm not sure."
"Do you remember seeing anything out of the ordinary?" Gibbs asked. "Anything that looked liked it didn't belong."
"No, just . . . just Ricki's body." Rachael buried her face in her hands, tears running down her cheeks.
"Is there anyone you want us to call?"
"Not really," Rachael's muffled reply came. "Oh, god, her parents. What am I meant to tell them? They were so worried that she was gonna be killed in, like, a terrorist attack in Iraq, but . . . but instead she gets . . . killed her own home. It's not fair."
"Don't worry, we'll take care of it," Gibbs said reassuringly. He turned towards the door. "ZIVA."
"Yes, Gibbs?" Ziva asked as she walked into the room a few moments later.
"I want you to check out the back," Gibbs answered. "There was no sign of forced entry from the front, so unless our killer used a key –"
"He came in from the back," Ziva finished. "On it, Gibbs."
Ziva turned and walked out the living room door, leaving Rachael Bennett's cries behind.
Walking out the front door, Ziva turned her head and spotted a side gate. Hoping that it led to the backyard, Ziva wandered over to it, unlatched the hook and pushed it open.
Stepping out onto a brick path, Ziva followed it until she reached the patio. Ziva walked over to the sliding door and examined it. There were definitely signs of forced entry. The lock had been picked and it was broken. Ziva pulled out her cell phone and was about to dial Gibbs' number, when she heard a noise coming from the small garden shed.
Pulling out her gun, she carefully made her way over to the shed, keeping her eyes and ears open. Reaching the shed, she listened for movement inside. She heard something topple over.
Ziva pushed open the door, positioned her gun and yelled, "NCIS. Stay where you are." There was nobody there. That was until she felt something rub against her legs. Ziva immediately pointed her gun at the offending creature and nearly laughed out loud when she saw the small, grey cat.
"Just a cat," Ziva said to herself as she turned around. "If it had been Tony he'd –" She was cut off as a brown blur rocketed towards her face. Connecting with its target, Ziva stumbled backwards into the shed, unconscious before she hit the ground.