Disclaimer: I don't own NCIS. Or Harry Potter. Or maybe I do. No, I totally don't.

Spoilers: This section becomes complicated and bizarre. The main spoilers are from my long series of fics, but there may be things up through the current season of NCIS and the Harry Potter books. The latter is really only quasi-spoiler-y, general HP-verse knowledge and nitpicky non-plot details only.

Summary: A young boy retreats into a fantasy world after his parents are murdered. Story immediately follows Feeling Better?, which is in turn the continuation of many, many things, the gist of which gives us established Tiva. Full details and order of series in my profile.

He peered through the slats of the closet door, too scared to remain completely in the dark. It had started with a knock on the door and a man shouting at Daddy. The shouting had moved into the living room and Mommy had picked him up from the sofa in the den where they had been reading together to carry him to her bedroom. That had been the thing that had really told him something was wrong – he was a big boy, almost seven and a half years old. He wasn't a baby who needed to be carried, but the loud shouting made him glad Mommy had.

She had also set him down gently in the closet, handed him Go Go Bear, who he now was clutching tightly in his small hands, and told him that he had to be quiet no matter what happened. When he had asked her why, she had said, "Because I love you and I know you're very brave." Confused, he had crouched down as she had closed the door, leaving him in the dark, surrounded by the smell of his parents' clothes.

The shouting from the living room was getting louder and Mommy was dialing the telephone. She whispered, "I need the police! There is a man in my house. He has a gun. He's arguing with my husband and I think…" A loud bang made her jump. "Oh my God! Please, you have to send them right away! I don't want to…"

The phone dropped from her hand as a man shoved the bedroom door open. Staying very quiet in his hiding spot, he watched the man wave a shiny black gun in the air. "Call the cops, huh?" He raised his foot and stomped down. "Won't matter. Too late for you."

"What did you do to Greg?"

"Same thing I'm gonna do to you…Joanne, is it?"

"You bastard." Mommy said it like it was a bad word.

The man just smiled. "I saw a kid in the pictures out there. He here?"

"It's one in the afternoon. He's in school," she lied. He bit his lip. He had stayed home from school because he had a tummyache and threw up after breakfast. Lying was supposed to be wrong, but it didn't feel that way right now. His tummy was starting to hurt again, though.

"Good. He take the bus?"

"In the morning. His grandmother picks him up in the afternoon." She wiped her hands under her eyes, but didn't stop crying. "We…we're usually…working." She fell against the bed. "Please…"

The man tried to drag her up from the floor by the elbow. "Stand up. Die with dignity."


"Have it your way." A bang and a flash ended Mommy's sobs and she collapsed to the floor. She was staring directly at the closet. Her eyes were frightening. The man looked around the room and left. A loud car engine started outside the house and quickly faded away.

The boy waited for what felt like forever before pushing open the closet door. "Mommy?" He had been trying to say Mom lately so the boys in his class wouldn't make fun of him, but no one could hear him now. "Mommy?" Not even her. She continued to stare at the closet with her scary eyes. He tried once more, reaching out to touch her. "Mommy, say something." She was warm and…different. He tried not to cry. Dead people weren't supposed to look at…


He ran. He didn't even look for Daddy. There had been a bang right before Daddy had stopped shouting. A bang like the man's gun had made when… He ran out the back door, Go Go Bear still firmly grasped in his hands.

He needed to find somewhere safe.

Go Go Bear fell to the ground.

Somewhere safe.