DISCLAIMER: I obviously do not own NCIS or anything similar to that...except, you know, the DVDs and that kind of stuff...but none of that producer-y stuff.


AUTHOR'S NOTE: I know I've been gone for a while. I also know that this is a very short chapter with none of the NCIS people in it...give me a break, I've got writer's block. Be happy! Be happy! (That would make more sense if you had watched TekkonKinkreet...)


Three Years Ago

The power and the theater and the thrill of the Church called to Saul like polyester to an Osmond.

He could not resist it.

From the day that they arrived in Joshua, Ethan and Kenneth began to help the Reverend and his wife. The more work they did, the more that Kenneth felt like they were doing something wrong. However, he also seemed to notice something about the Reverend's wife.

Flora would do anything the Reverend Peterson asked, but she always seemed to be so depressed. She never had a smile on her face. Kenneth thought she was beautiful and could not imagine why such a wonderful person could be so depressed at all times.

Slowly, she began to change. At first it was just a small change; her eyes would sparkle a little when she talked to Kenneth. Gradually, the changes became bigger and more obvious. Flora would spend more and more time with Kenneth. She would whisper things in his ear and smile and laugh.

Completely oblivious to all of this, the Reverend schooled Ethan in the business end of running a church. Of course, it was not like he was telling him 'and this is how you take their money'; it was never in so many words. It was the little things that the Reverend could do to fill up the collection plates each and every Sunday.

"Jesus is here. Right now. Welcome...welcome Jesus!"

Everybody welcomed Jesus. They yelled and waved and wept and rattled their walkers. Saul thought if the Holy Carpenter of Nazareth had walked in on this bunch of wailing nutjobs, he would have been terrified, but he kept his thoughts to himself and welcomed Jesus along with everyone else.

It was a show. Everything about the church was a show. There were no tickets, but the people; who showed up like moths to a flame; emptied their pockets each and every Sunday morning for something as simple as jumping up and down behind a pulpit or shouting out that Jesus was sitting there on the front pew. Can't you see him? Can't you see Jesus right there? No one ever could see Jesus on the front pew, but they would be damned; literally; if they told the Reverend that. So everyone just sat there and shouted out "Amen!" and "Hallelujah!" as if there were a tangible human being on the front pew.

It was there in that church that Ethan looked over and saw the looks that Flora was giving his brother and realized that Kenneth was screwing the Reverend's wife.

It was there in that church that Ethan realized that his brother's charm and good-looks could easily get them the money to make it to Washington.

It was there in that church that Ethan realized that he had total control over Kenneth.

It was there in that church that Ethan realized that he could take Kenneth a lot farther than Washington.

It was there in that church that Ethan questioned, 'Who needs a father when you're swimming in cash?'.

It was there in that church that Ethan lost sight of his goal.