Chapter 1

Leroy Jethro Gibbs, ('Jethro' to the director and a few select friends; 'Boss' to his crew and underlings; 'Gibbs' to mostly everyone else.), stood beside his car outside of the naval base. He was there to talk to a Daniel Collins, a petty officer third class, who was linked to a car bomb that was attached to a chief petty officer's car. Lucky no one was hurt, being that the bomb blew before the chief petty officer made it to him car. Poor timing, Abby had concluded. But Gibbs was going to drag Collins down for questioning, while he waited for the prints to come back from the Lab.

A charger, identical to his own, pulled up behind him and parked. A woman got out and smiled at him slightly.

Gibbs nodded to her and she started towards the building. He watched her. She was halfway to up the walk when an explosion ripped apart the entrance to the building.

The woman and Gibbs were both blown backwards. Gibbs smacked back into his car, whereas the women hit on her hands and knees, five feet or so back.

Gibbs was up and running towards the women. "Are you alright?" he called, the explosion still ringing in his ears.

The women gave no response.

He dropped to his knees in front of her. She looked up at him. Slowly, she raised her scraped up hands.

'I'm fine' she signed, guessing he had asked if she was alright. She looked away not really expecting him to understand or answer.

'You're deaf?' Gibbs signed back, after grabbing her arm.

'You understand me?' She signed franticly.

'Yes' Gibbs smiled, lifting her to her feet gently. 'Is anything hurt?'

'Not seriously' she signed, turning towards the building. People were pouring out. 'My brother is in there'

Gibbs took her arm and led her to his car. 'Stay right here, please. I'll be back.'

At first she stared at him but then she nodded. He nodded back.

Gibbs climbed through the rumble, noticing that there were three bodies visible. All dead. "Anyone hurt?" he called. When no one answered, he pulled out his phone and dialed.

"DiNozzo" Tony's voice said, on the other line.

"Get down to the naval base. Another bomb. Deaths this time" Gibbs hung before Tony could respond.

As Gibbs was looking around, an armed seaman recruit, barely out of the academy came running into the room. "Hands up. Indentify yourself"

Gibbs obeyed. "Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs, NCIS"

"How did NCIS get here so quickly?" the recruit wanted to know.

"He was Already here" a new voice said. It was a Master Chief Petty Officer. "Is this related Jethro?"

"I don't know yet, Michael" Gibbs said, lowering his arms. He continued with his investigation.

"I think your team just arrived" Michael said a few minutes later, nodding towards the drive. Gibbs stepped over what was left of the wall and headed out.

The women he had left by his car was being yelled at by a petty officer. Gibbs jogged over quickly. "What are going on?"

"Sir, she was hurt by the bomb" the officer said, giving Gibbs in his NCIS garb a once over. "She can't hear me and has at least a few cuts and bruises."

'Tell him!' she signed frustrated. 'Tell him that I am deaf. Tell him, I was born deaf'

"She was born deaf" Gibbs said, "She's fine. I'll take care of her."

The petty officer nodded and ran off to help get people out of the building.

Tony, McGee and Ziva came up on the scene of the women signing something to Gibbs, who nodded. "Boss?" Tony ventured.

Gibbs turned. "Process the scene, send everything to the lab and make sure those bodies get to Ducky ASAP."

"Yeah, boss" Tony said, leading them towards the hole in the wall.

"Where are you going, Boss?" McGee asked.

"I need to talk with…" Gibbs turned to the woman and signed. 'What's your name?'

'Emma Rendall' the women signed.

"Emma" Gibbs repeated and turned to his crew. "I have to talk with Emma. She's deaf and no one seems to be able to sign here"

"Hey, Ziva" Gibbs called, get into his car. "Find anyone who is related to a Emma Rendall." She nodded.

Gibbs pulled out and Emma followed him in her car. She refused to leave it behind. He had her waved into the parking lot, past the annoyed looking security guard and then led her towards the back entrance of the building. He waved a pass at the guard and started to the elevator.

'I have someone I think you'd like to meet' he pressed the up button and when the door opened he took her to the lab. Knocking he called, "Abby?"

Abby turned to him, "Hi ya Gibbs? I don't have anything yet"

Gibbs signed, 'I'd like you to meet Emma.'

"Is she your new girlfriend?" Abby asked, noting that Emma was a redhead.

Gibbs looked surprised. "No. She's…she was at the bombing. She's deaf"

"Oh" Abby said. 'Hi' Abby shook Emma's hand. 'I'm Abby'

'Hello, Abby' Emma signed. She turned to Gibbs. 'Is it policy to have people who know ASL on staff?'

'No' Gibbs signed. 'Abby's parents were deaf so she was forced to learn'

'Why did you learn?' Emma asked.

'Marine' Gibbs smiled. 'Stay with Abby while I figure out what's going on and find your brother.' Gibbs disappeared.

Emma turned to Abby. 'Is he always so…?'

'With me? Yep. Not with others though' Abby pulled an extra chair over to her computer and sat down, indicating that Emma should too. Then she continued, 'Though the fact that you are deaf and he likes to play hero, might have something to do with it.' She paused. 'That and you're a redhead.'

Emma touched her hair. It was slightly curly and cut in layers just past her shoulders. 'What's wrong with my hair?'

'Nothing! I really like it, by the way-'

'Thank you'

'-But Gibbs has a thing for redheads'

'A 'thing'?'

'He really likes redheads' Abby signed, with a grin. 'All three of his wives were all redheads. And the director is also a redhead. They had a thing.'

'Three wives – Director? He slept with the director of NCIS? His boss?'

'She wasn't his boss then' Abby signed. 'Really, he's not a bad guy. But most people just can't or won't understand him.'

'So how does his current wife deal with all this?'

'He doesn't have one. He had four wives but his first died'

Emma frowned. 'How?'

Abby paused, uncertain, then signed, 'Drug Dealer killed her and their daughter'

Emma's eyes widened. 'No!'

'Gibbs got the guy though' Abby signed, grabbing her drink. 'Gibbs has dealt with it as well as he could. He's really a great guy. He'd never cheat or anything. People just don't see him right. They all think he's a gruff, bossy, ex-marine who get's his kicks by ordering them around. Really, he's just single minded and dedicated to his work.'

Emma smiled. 'He saved me from being dragged to a medic' Emma told Abby the whole story.

'That's Gibbs' Abby signed. 'He's really a sweet old guy'

Emma laughed. 'Abby, are you too-?'

'Me and Gibbs? NO! He's like my big brother or dad or something' Abby smiled. 'I thought you'd just like to know about him.'

Emma smirked. 'Are you trying to set me up, Abby?'

'Just-Kinda-Maybe-well-'Abby started, she turned as Ducky walked in, thankful for the interruption.

"Ducky" said Abby. She signed introductions to Emma.

Emma waved.

"Hello, Ms. Rendall?" Ducky said.

Emma nodded as Abby said, "Yep." Abby turned to Emma. 'You read lips'

'Quite well' Emma smiled, sweetly. 'Tell him, it's a pleasure to meet him.'

Abby relayed to message.

"She's deaf?" Ducky said. "Poor girl. I once-"

Abby cut him off before he could go into one of his stories. "Ducky, was there a reason you can to see me?"

"Oh yes, Jethro sent me to check on Ms. Rendall" Ducky said with a smile. "He said she was a little banged up after the bomb that went off at the naval base."

'I'm fine' Emma signed. "She says she's fine" Abby repeated.

"Let me, as the doctor, decide that, my dear" Ducky said, pulling his bag up and setting it on Abby's computer desk. "Let me see what's wrong." Ducky looked at her torn up palms and knees. He cleaned both and wrapped a loose bandage over her knees. The he looked at her cheek. He cleaned the abrasion there and the one on her forehead. The one on her forehead he put a bandage over. "There, my dear" he said, stepping back. "It's a pleasure to have a breathing patient" Emma just smiled.

"Well, I must get back to work" Ducky gave quick goodbye to both women and disappeared.

'Why are most of his patients not breathing?' Emma asked.

'Ducky's the coroner' Abby signed, watching Emma's eyebrows rise.

'Why do you call him Ducky?'

'His real name is Donald Mallard' Abby signed, laughing.

Emma snorted.

"Yeah, I know" Abby said. Then she added in sign. 'Do you mind if I process some things?'

'Not at all' Emma signed, rolling her chair towards the wall. 'Don't let me keep you from your work'

Abby went to work, while Emma watched her.

After scanning through some computer files, Abby jumped and turned to Emma.

'What?' Emma asked confused.

'I found a print match!'