A Day of Recollection

As a catholic, she had never believed in ghosts.

There was never a doubt in her mind, not one bit. Even so, all of her beliefs shattered to pieces in the split second the bullet entered and exited her skull.

Am I dead? Of course she was. She'd felt the burning pain at the back of her head as the bullet exited, and the same pain as it entered. Within .2 seconds, not even that, she was beyond hope. Then... Will I go to Heaven..?

It was a juvenile question, but she couldn't help but ask herself that. There was a part of her mind that wondered how she was still capable of thought of course, watching as Gibbs aimed his gun towards where the shot had come from, her boss falling to pieces mentally as her body lay on the ground. Yet for some reason, she couldn't make herself question that fact. She simply was, there was no denying it at the moment. She was... Dead. ...Or perhaps I am damned and am going to hell...

She wouldn't doubt it if she was. She had indeed killed an innocent man, suicidal or not. And she could still remember quite clearly what he looked like, when she had shot him. The image was burned into her mind, even with all of the confessions and prayers she had made. He probably deserved a position in Heaven. She... Did not.

Idly, she watched as her body was placed in a black bag, and lifted onto a gurney, Ducky's face grim and Palmer's normal smile replaced with an image of confusion and pain. She crossed her arms, ignoring the fact that she no longer had any. Why... If she had just killed him that night...

Ah... But then, you definitely would be going to Hell now... She was... In terms of the past tense... An NCIS agent. Of course she had killed... What made taking a guilty man's life any different? ...It was still murder, that was what... To kill an innocent, to kill a guilty one, it was murder, and may God have mercy on the souls of those who made the executions.

It took her a few minutes to realize she was alone on the building. It was all so... Surreal really. The sun was shining brightly, not a thing standing out of place on the building except for the fragments of her skull and bits of brain matter scattered across the roof... And the blood. She couldn't forget that.

McGee was probably being briefed on what happened now... Tony and Gibbs looking for the bullet that killed her. Why was she still here, she wondered to herself. She was dead... There was no doubt about it. And yet, here she was, hovering about the location of her murder as clouds slowly began to roll in on the skies above. She didn't believe in ghosts... She told herself this even as she gave an empty, echoing sigh and floated down the stairs, taking in her appearance in a dusty glass window. Faded.. Yet flawless, as though there had been no bullet to take out the entire back of her head. She glowed... Blue though... This took away from the normality considerably.

She didn't believe in ghosts...

So why did she come back as one?

The next few days would be filled with misery. As she sat... Stood... Hovered, she supposed, in her old desk, she watched as each member of their team coped with her passing... Barely. Tony was spacing out and talking to himself... Not that McGee was any different, though really, the sweet McGee had much nicer words than Tony did. Amusing as it was when the Mossad agent arrived to catch the latter in the act.

Abby sat in tears, but eventually pulled herself together. Ducky, who was to autopsy her corpse no matter what he felt, held his usual conversation. Smiling half-heartedly as she sat on a table laden with surgical tools, she sighed. Ducky always spoke to his 'patients'... Maybe, he could really hear her?

"I appreciate you keeping me covered in front of the others." The smile felt bitter to her, but she still held it, if not for the appearance of herself. "Especially Tony."

To her surprise, he seemed to answer. "Yes, I know how modest you are."

She chuckled; even in this situation, it was oddly humorous Dark humor, in light of the current situation, but humorous nonetheless. "Were." The smile disappeared, and she crossed her transparent arms with a guilty frown. "I'm dead now, Ducky. Shouldn't be. Could've killed Ari right here, in autopsy..."

But why hadn't she..? It seemed Ducky also wondered, stuttering slightly as he usually did before asking a question. "Yes, Why did you hesitate?"

"His eyes." It came out with out her meaning to, but nonetheless, she continued with a sigh, turning and floating away. "There was something in his eyes that made me not want to kill him..."

"Yes well... His eyes were ice to me..." She hadn't been there to hear him clearly; the ghost had left through the doors, head hunched over as she passed through Gibbs into the elevator. Had she really been speaking to Ducky, she wondered?

Or was it just chance..?

She watched as Abby was shot at; another piece of Gibbs falling apart as everyone was ordered not to leave. She heard Ziva speak over the phone to a voice she recognized with astounding clarity, a voice that made her very being shake with rage as the woman walked right through her. Still, they hunted him, Ari. And then a call came to autopsy... Asking for an exchange. They were ordered not to leave. But Ducky did leave, and she followed behind him, watching with fear. Only watching; it was all she could do.

He survived. And she continued to watch, watching over her team rather than following her killer out of spite. The team followed Ziva as well, unable to accept the words of the new director. The hunt continued... McGee came down to visit her body. He looked.. So guilty, so miserable, and yet it seemed as though he didn't know what to feel with the sudden absence of her being there. She listened as both Tony and McGee spoke. She watched as they both left, her floating, invisible form curled up into a ball as she watched them both leave.

"...I liked you too McGee. And you Tony..." She floated back up the elevator, familiar enough with the empty, black shaft to pass through it without much of a surprise. She stayed at her desk, watching the team for the rest of the day. And then...

She over heard a plan from Gibbs. And saw a flicker of an expression other than the confident smile, or the serious, no-nonsense stare on Ziva's face while she received the instructions of this plan. Cover him... Cover him...

She followed Ziva, instead of Gibbs. She heard Ari as he prepared to shoot her former boss, and then, as she looked at Ziva's shuddering form realized a few things... The bullet was fired... Ari fell...

She looked at Ziva as she went down the stairs, breath hitching as she spoke to Gibbs. Something had to be said... Even if it couldn't be heard. "...I'm sorry..." She felt weak enough to say this at least.

It was time for her funeral. She watched as her friends came, along with the Director and many others. Her family... Everyone... Except for Gibbs. She sighed, sitting above her coffin, before turning as a pile of flowers were one by one placed on her coffin. There he was... A smile. "You're late for my funeral, Gibbs."

"Sorry, Kate." Was he apologizing for being late? Or was it because she had died? Slowly, and silently, she watched with a light smile as they left, jazz music playing from Abby's tape player.

"...Don't apologize." She found herself saying, ignoring the fact that no one could hear her voice. "It's a sign of weakness..."

She had had enough, she told herself shortly after that. She wanted to help, in some way, rather than simply watch as her former team faced case after case with their lives in danger; especially when she could often follow their leads and find out just what was happening... Only to find herself unable to warn the others.

There had been no others 'like her'. Following the team, no matter who it was, there were no other 'ghosts'. Even around criminals who had killed multiples rather than single people, there were none. Part of her worried about this. Was it a punishment of sorts? Was the real hell simply existing, unable to truly live and interact with the world, but unable to truly leave it? Or was her situation simply a mistake even, not worthy of heaven or hell.

Finally... She found someone. She was just a little girl, with her mother, solid, living beings who breathed and felt as most among the living did. They had no names, or so they said. But they could see her, and that was enough to startle the ghost. Questions poured forth instantly, what she was, why she was here, how they could see her...

In the end, it all lead to one answer. "Go to Japan, Ms. Todd. Look for another who can see you, and talk to them. They can help you- I guarantee it. However, we ourselves cannot help you in any way other than this advice."

And so she had come. Tokyo, Japan, a difficult to reach location when able to pass through the walls of the plane. She had seen so many things, finding herself beneath the sea for a while. Sharks passed through her as though she was never there, and whales sung a song that vibrated throughout her entire being. Closer to the shores, smaller fish made their homes, caught in nets and cages to be cooked and eaten. However, she had made it. And finding someone who could help her was only a matter of time after that.

Once she did... Time passed alarmingly quick. She could remember the meeting of course- she doubted it would ever be possible to forget, physical mind or not. It had started with a flier. She wasn't sure why it caught her attention, but it did. 'Spirit Detective Agency: For Those With Problems with the Undead and Demonic'. She was dead... But all the same, not dead, she supposed. So she had located the address on the flier, having memorized it, and finding herself at a cellar entrance.

Inside... There was only a small girl. A girl who could see her. The girl offered her a seat, and introduced herself as 'Kira'. Sitting down, she found that the couch was solid beneath her, and that this 'Kira' was smiling. "Now then... Since we are settled... What seems to be the problem?" They spoke. At one point, she was offered food, though she refused; how could she eat after all? But in the end, they sat in silence, Kira's voice breaking it after what seemed to be hours.

"You wish to help them," she said, voice low. "Yet you already hold the form of a pure spirit..." The girl did not explain further, even with questions. Rather, she stood, and smiled. "Very well then. I will take your case; I will travel to this 'NCIS', and in your place, judge the capabilities of your former friends. Should they be lower than par, I will do what I can to make sure that they are below no longer. However... There is a price." Had she been able to breath, it would have been caught right that moment as Kira leaned in with a grin. "After the case is over... You will work with me... It has been some time, after all, since I have found one with an ability such as yours."

She wanted to refuse. She could get help elsewhere, but there was no point in her 'working' when she could help... Or at least watch over her team.

But what did watching accomplish other than guilt?

What did watching do, other than force her to wallow in her misery as the people she had come to know and love gradually moved on?

A pale and transparent hand had reached out, and managed to take a solid grip on the small girl's, shaking it. A candle was carved with her name, apparently solidifying the contract. Weeks later, after a return from the USA, that candle would be set a flame, while Kira began to refer to her as a different name. It was all so surreal... Had she been told that this would happen after death just a few years prior, she would not have believed a word of the message...

Todd became 'Kitsu', as it, like 'Todd', meant fox according to Kira, who was slowly using less and less english in her conversations or requests each day. Caitlin, which meant pure, became 'sei'. The girl refused to call her anything other than 'Kitsusei', and by this point, she supposed it would be best not to argue. She had, so literally, sold her soul. If she tried again, for she had indeed tried once to simply leave Kira, a blinding pain ran through her body. The deal was done- Heaven could very likely have been an option before, but it no longer was.

No more Heaven... No more Hell. Her 'eternity' would now be spent acting as a guide for a small girl who could see only her transparent and blue being, while the rest of the world passed through it. She believed in God... She had been, she was, Catholic after all. The faith had never wavered...

Until now.

As a Catholic, Caitlin Todd had never believed in Ghosts. There was never any doubts on that fact. Though she was now bound to Japan, she watched from the limits of her charge as, slowly, her team recovered from the last 'battle'. Two who would forever be changed would be replaced, but not forgotten. Even she herself, she believed deep down, had not faced the punishment of oblivion. As she guided the girl she had made this deal with around the city, through her school building, she caught sight of her reflection. It was something she had not looked at for a good number of months, and she could not help but stare. Stare at her near colourless form, which caused her eyes to appear blind and pupil-less, stare at the simplified version of the clothes that she wore when killed. She stared... And she wondered...

If ghosts did not exist... If she was the only 'being' who remained completely invisible to the world, alive but not alive, dead but not dead. If she was, in Kira's words, a 'pure spirit'...

Why did she become one?

AN: Inspired when I was listening to some Origa music, while reading a fanfic where Kate didn't die. :'3 Made me remember 'hey.. I never tied that end off...'.

This is where I get to watch all of you spit out whatever you were drinking, because until this point, I was playing it up as though Kira was completely insane.

BUT SHE WAS RIGHT ALL ALONG. Or something. Who knows eh? You'll find out... Eventually. Not in this fic, or in 'The White Castle' though. -w-

Reviews are nice. :3 I really appreciate the alerts guys, but it's nice to know what you're thinking when you add it to the alert. So please review~