AUTHOR'S NOTES: After my success with my HP/NCIS crossover I decided to try a straight NCIS story.
Story summary: Gibbs gets personally involved when a navy Lieutenant is murderd and her 10-year-old foster daughter, Kellie Gibson, is left alone. As he tries to solve the case, Gibbs finds out that sometimes people really do get another shot to get it right.
NCIS: Second Chances
"Grab your gear!" NCIS Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs said to his team as he entered the squad room.
As the team grabbed their things, Special Agent Anthony DiNozzo asked, "What do we got, boss?"
"Navy Lieutenant was found dead this morning by her neighbor," Gibbs said simply as the rest of his team joined him in the elevator.
"Murder?" Former Mossad Officer Ziva David asked as Gibbs hit the elevator button for the parking level.
"Not sure," Gibbs said, succinctly. "The neighbor just said she went to check on her and saw that the lieutenant was sprawled on the floor and not moving."
10-year-old Kellie Gibson was hiding in the bushes when she saw the NCIS team pull into the driveway. Hugging her knees closer to her chest, she didn't sniffle or make any sound as the agents started towards the house. She just wanted to be alone. After her father had died of a drug overdose and her mother left, Kellie had been shuffled from foster home to foster home.
Until Lt. Bree Martin had offered to take Kellie in.
The two had formed an instant bond and Kellie had been happy living with Bree for the past two years.
But now… Kellie hugged her knees tighter as a tear rolled down her cheek. Now what would happen to her? Hearing voices nearby, Kellie looked through the bushes and saw a woman with a black man Kellie recognized as her social worker, Greg Wilson.
"Lt. Martin was a foster parent?" Ziva asked, making notes. After a moment, she detected movement in the bushes by the house but turned back to Wilson as he continued talking.
"The lieutenant was one of my success stories," Wilson said, sadly. "Her parents were killed when she was 5. Got passed around different foster homes all her life. After high school she joined the navy. She was a good person, Agent David," Wilson insisted. "She and I were meeting for lunch a couple years ago and I told her about Kellie. Bree wanted to meet Kellie and the two hit it off instantly."
"I have not seen any children around," Ziva said, raising an eyebrow. "Did you have someone else pick up the child?"
Wilson shook his head. "Kellie called me a little bit ago but I haven't seen her."
Hearing the faintest rustling, Ziva glanced over at the bushes and gave a slight nod towards the house. "Excuse me a moment."
In the bushes, Kellie froze when she saw someone walking towards the bushes. Trying to be a still and quiet as possible, she tried to become invisible… non existent…
"You comfortable down there?"
Kellie leapt to her feet when she heard a voice and not looking, she bumped heads with a man with graying hair. "Sorry!" Kellie said, rubbing her head. "Oww…"
Gibbs rubbed his own head and looked at the young girl. She had strawberry blonde hair and blue-gray eyes and she looked scared. "You okay?" Gibbs asked, as he looked at her.
Kellie nodded. "Yeah…" Sniffling, she said, "You're with NCIS?"
"Yeah," Gibbs replied. "We're going to try and find out what happened to Lt. Martin." Giving Kellie a smile, he asked, "You want to come out of those bushes?"
Kellie looked at the ground and shook her head. "Not really." Sitting on the ground again, she looked up and asked, "Who are you?"
"Special Agent Gibbs. What's your name?" Gibbs asked, lightly leaning on the tops of the bushes.
"Kellie… Agent Gibbs? Can I ask you something?" Kellie asked, quietly.
"Sure," Gibbs replied. "What do you want to know?"
"What… what's going to happen to me?" Kellie asked, sniffling again. "I don't want to go to another foster home…"
Gibbs sighed. "I'll talk to your social worker. See if there's somewhere else you can stay."
"Bree was the first person to put up with me," Kellie said, hugging her knees again. After a moment, she said, "I tried to get her to hate me… to yell at me… She didn't… She understood, Agent Gibbs. She helped me…"
Gibbs looked down at the scared little girl and the agent side of him said to just call child services and have the kid sent to another foster home.
But the part of him that was once a father rebelled against that… and his gut told him his parental instincts were right. Gibbs smiled at her and waited until Kellie looked up at him. "What do you want to do?" Gibbs asked.
"Can I stay with you?" Kellie asked in a small voice.
"What do we got, Duck?" Gibbs asked as he walked up to NCIS's medical examiner, Donald 'Ducky' Mallard who was crouched over Lieutenant Breanna Martin's body.
"No stab wounds, no gunshot wounds… Until we get her back to autopsy, I'm afraid all I can give you is time of death…" Ducky said, looking at the liver probe. "… which I'd say was roughly 3am this morning." Looking at Gibbs, Ducky whispered, "The lieutenant's foster daughter? Ziva told me you were going to find the poor child."
"Kid's hiding in the bushes by the house," Gibbs replied, looking around the living room. There were numerous pictures of Lt. Martin and Kellie Gibson and it looked like the two had been very close. Walking through the house, Gibbs went to Kellie's bedroom and noticed several drawings of pirate ships which were beautifully detailed.
"She's got a good eye," Greg Wilson said as he entered the room behind Gibbs, looking at the drawings on the walls. "Kellie has a lot of talent. Bree saw that… encouraged it…" With a laugh, he added, "Despite the fact she couldn't draw to save her life."
Gibbs smiled as well as he grabbed a Pirates of the Caribbean backpack off of the floor. Putting a few shirts and some of Kellie's belongings inside, Gibbs asked, "Did Lt. Martin have any close friends?"
"Nope," Wilson said, shaking his head. "Bree and Kellie… all they had was each other." Looking at the senior agent, he added, "Catch this bastard, will you? Kellie needs to know what happened."
"We're going to do what we can," Gibbs promised. Starting to leave the room, he stopped when Wilson held out a brightly wrapped package. "Give this to Kellie, will you? I was going to give it to her for her birthday tomorrow."
Gibbs took the package and nodded. "Sure."
Back at NCIS, Gibbs left Kellie sitting under his desk while he went down to the lab with McGee to take the evidence collected at the Lieutenant's home down to Abby Scuito, the forensic tech.
After a few minutes, Tony DiNozzo went over to Gibbs' desk and knelt down by the scared girl. "Can I get you something?"
Kellie hugged her backpack and shook her head. "'m okay," she mumbled.
Tony sighed and pulled the chair away and sat down on the floor. "You and Lt. Martin were close, huh?"
Kellie sniffed and nodded. "My third night at her house… I hid in the bushes out front. When Bree couldn't find me she had the police out looking for me… When she found me…" With a sound that was halfway between a choked sob and a laugh, she said, "Bree… Bree told me afterwards that she would have hid in the neighbor's bushes." After a moment, Kellie leaned forward and hugged Tony, crying. "It's not fair! She was really nice! I really liked her!"
Tony put his arms around the girl and patted her back. "Kellie… I promise we will find who did this and we will put them in jail." When Kellie pulled away a bit, Tony went on, "If we don't… you have my permission to punch me in the nose."
Kellie nodded, sniffling. "Okay."
"Now…" Tony said, smiling. "How much do you know about movies?" Tony's smile grew when Kellie gave a knowing smile back even though her eyes were still red from crying.
Down in her lab, Abby was going through the evidence and frowning. "Bree Martin was a foster kid?"
Gibbs nodded. "Yeah, since she was 5."
"Then something's missing," Abby said, looking over everything. "Most foster kids keep a memento of some kind… a favorite shirt… a toy… Something they can take with them from foster home to foster home."
"There were no signs the house had been searched," Gibbs said, thinking about the house.
"Then either the killer knew where he was looking or she gave it to him," Abby replied.
Walking into Autopsy, Gibbs asked, "Anything, Duck?"
"The lieutenant did not die from asphyxia, carbon monoxide poisoning, or blunt force trauma," Ducky replied as he started the Y-incision. "Beyond that I haven't the faintest idea what killed the poor woman."
"Poison," Gibbs guessed.
"Most likely," Ducky replied. "I'll have blood and tissue sent to Abby for analysis." Looking at his friend, Ducky asked, "How are you doing, Jethro?"
"Lt. Martin was a foster parent," Gibbs replied. "Kid's name is Kellie Gibson." Pacing the room he added, "She likes to draw… pirate ships, mostly." Leaning on the autopsy table, Gibbs asked, "You know I don't believe in coincidences, Duck… But this time… I wish I did."
"And why is that?" Ducky asked, curious.
Gibbs shook his head and straightened up. "Call me when you got something," he added, turning to leave the room.
"I can tell you one thing, Jethro," Ducky said, making the senior agent stop and turn. "What ever happened to Lt. Breanna Martin, she was trying to protect Miss Gibson."
"How do you figure that?" Gibbs asked.
"No signs of a struggle, no defensive wounds…" the medical examiner replied. "Whoever killed her left no trace and from what I saw of the crime scene the child's bedroom was untouched."
Up in the squad room, Kellie looked over Tony's shoulder and read the question on the screen. "'Name the 2006 creature flick in which Samuel L. Jackson did NOT die.'" Looking at Tony, Kellie grinned. "Snakes on a Plane. Also starred Julianna Margulies, formerly of the NBC show 'ER'."
Tony gave her a look as he typed in the answer. "Never met someone who was as good at 'Box Office Trivia' as me," he said.
"When I couldn't sleep Bree stayed up with me and we watched movies," Kellie said, sadly. "The scarier, the faster I fell asleep." Sitting on the floor, she sighed. "I guess you'll send me to my mom, huh?"
Tony closed down his game after logging Kellie's score and asked, "Do you want us to call her?"
Kellie shook her head. "Dad… he was a drug addict… but he took care of me. When he died, Mom left for… somewhere."
"DiNozzo!" Gibbs shouted as he got off the elevator. Looking around the room, he asked, "Kellie still under my desk?"
"No, she's right here, boss," Tony replied as Kellie stood and grabbed her bag.
"We need to talk," Gibbs said, leading the 10-year-old to a conference room and handing her a soda as she sat down. "Lt. Martin have any friends?" Gibbs asked as he sat down and took a drink from his coffee cup.
"No," Kellie replied, popping the top of her soda can and taking a sip. "I mean… some of the people she worked with in the Navy offices would come by… people she served with… Mostly it was just us."
"Tell me about last night," Gibbs said, quietly.
"I went to bed around 10," Kellie replied. "I didn't hear anything. I didn't even know…"
Seeing that Kellie didn't want to think about Lt. Martin lying dead in the living room, Gibbs asked, "Anyone ever make any threats against her or you?"
"No…" Kellie trailed off when she heard Gibbs' cellphone go off. After he had a quick talk with someone, he went to the door and said, "Stay with Agent DiNozzo. I'll be right back."
In Abby's lab, Gibbs found the forensic scientist looking at the toxicology results. "What do you got, Abbs?"
"GHB," Abby said, her tone dower.
"Date-rape drug," Gibbs said.
"I've gone over the lieutenant's clothes and found no signs that she'd been raped," Abby reported. "But I did find evidence of sexual activity."
"The lieutenant's bed hadn't been slept in," Gibbs replied.
"Maybe she was out and came back," Abby suggested.
"Leaving her foster daughter alone in an unlocked house at night?" Gibbs asked, giving Abby a doubtful look.
"It's possible," Abby replied with a grin. "If Bree Martin didn't want Kellie to know she was seeing a woman."