Saints And Sinners by ceilidh

A/N: Hello, everyone, and welcome to my long promised sequel to Heroes And Demons. If you haven't done so already, you might like to read that story first, since it really sets the scene for this one.

I've set this story at the start of season four. As Gibbs and the team try to adjust to his return, they take on a case which strikes a very personal chord for Tim. Yes, for all of you who have waited so patiently - Jay Clark is back!!

As always, I hope you enjoy. Now, let the angst begin...


Saints And Sinners

Chapter One – In Death I'll Still Find You

Staring down at his hands, he blinked. He'd never imagined that killing someone would be so easy. Even as he stared at the bat in his hands, then down at an equally bloodied body, it astonished him.

He'd expected to feel something, even if he couldn't define, or identify, what that something was. Fear? Satisfaction? Pleasure? The need to find something else, or someone else, to kill?

Still studying his hands, mesmerized by the slight tremors within them, he then smiled. Killing made him feel good. It made him feel powerful. Invincible. And – hungry.

To eat, of course, you needed money, and – well, who cared where that money came from? Besides, his needs were far greater than those of the figure who lay, broken and bloodied, at his feet. And such worries over where his next meal was coming from didn't matter to this PO Dale Whelan now.

Unlike the figure who now riffled through his pockets, he'd never need to find another meal again. The full force impact of rock hard wood against the side of his head had seen to that.

In cruellest irony, he'd be treating his killer to lunch, dinner, and – yeah, tomorrow's breakfast too.

The only resistance he could offer was the silent accusation in already blank, lifeless eyes. And when it couldn't find his killer's conscience, it set to work on his memory instead.

When he was a kid, during some junior high school camp, he'd seen the same blood. The same helpless terror. Out of a brutally bloodied face, eyes every bit as wide and desperate as these had pleaded for mercy.

Some geeky kid had dared to defy him, and – yeah, he'd made that pathetic little runt regret it. Now this puffed up poster boy had made the same mistake – and paid an equally painful, permanent price.

Now, as he'd done then, Jay Clark didn't give the consequences of his actions a second thought. His brutality had meant nothing to him then. That same brutality meant nothing to him now. And while he'd felt puzzled by the images which now flitted through the deepest corners of his mind – no, the terrified eyes of that geeky, gawky kid still meant nothing to what remained of his conscience.

Through the brutal neglect of his childhood, that conscience had been beaten out of existence – leaving behind the equally brutal adult who now stared down at his latest victim with emotionless eyes.

Damn idiot. Yeah, he'd deserved it, he deserved to die. This was his fault, and… why the hell had he fought back? If he'd just spared a few dollars, from a salary that wouldn't even miss it, there'd have been no trouble.

Only when he'd refused, shoving him off so roughly, had the red mist of his killer's temper descended. He'd needed money to find his latest fix, to make his hellish life at least briefly more bearable. One way or another, with or without his trusty baseball bat, he'd been determined to get it.

He'd just never expected so much blood to come from a single punch, a wildly random swing – just as he'd never expected the rush of dizzying excitement that this, his first kill, would give him.

Better than booze. Better than coke. Better than the purest H on the streets. Better than all of them.

The rush he'd felt when that bat had connected, when he'd heard that pretty boy's face crack apart – hell, nothing could beat the surge of power, the invincibility, that had coursed through him. And like all the other addictions which had consumed his body, the thrill of the kill was overwhelming.

He'd taken on the US Navy and won, and – hell, if he could beat the US Navy, he could beat anyone. He was invincible. He was a god, who could control everything, and everyone, that he wanted.

Well, almost anything. To his rising frustration, he couldn't control his own mind, his own memory. Or maybe it was its desperate need for a fix that was making his mind play these freaking tricks – because Dale Whelan's eyes were suddenly alive again, transformed into piercingly accusive green.

Staring straight up into those of his killer, those eyes sent out a silent, nightmarish promise.

'I'm coming. You're mine.'

More freaked out now than the most hellish trip he'd been on, Jay Clark retreated, turned, and ran – those damning eyes drilling mercilessly into the back of his head, into the now terrified mind beyond.

'You can run, Jay, but you can't hide-'