I saw it all, even if I did not want to. I took in all of the sights; saw all of the smiles and tears. There were good times, times that made my face break out into a smile, and times where I wanted to reach out to those I saw and wrap them into a hug.
I watched the entire team so thoroughly. I laughed when the goofy man quoted from some movie, and smiled when the other two rolled their eyes. I scratched my ragged head when the other man talked about his computer and its programs. And I longed to hug the hyperactive woman whenever she hugged someone else.
However, there was one man that I watched more than any other. He was tall, his face stern, and smiled rarely. Yet, I could not stop gazing at him, wanting him to be happy. I followed him to every crime scene, hiding behind a tree or a bush, though it was pointless. I knew that neither he—nor anyone else from the team—knew that I was watching. But I wanted to be close to this man, to make him happy once again. My desire to enlighten his life was what I lived for, so to speak. All he needed to do was smile, and I would brighten up a little inside.
Following the man through the crime scenes, listening in on the interrogations, and glancing at the evidence: this was how I spent my days. No one could tell that I had been there—no one would ever know that I was part of the investigations. There were times when I wanted to put in my opinion or express my feelings on the case, but I knew that that was not possible; I could not show myself, so I stayed hidden, in my own world.
Today was like any other. I was standing outside of the window, staring in at the scene that was unfolding.
"So why would he drive all the way up there when Damon was going to come down here the next day?" the goofy guy asked. I had learned his name once—I had learned all their names, but they left me easily. I did not need to know them.
"Maybe he was impatient?" offered the woman, the one with the knives hidden in her desk.
No. You are going about it all wrong. Couldn't they see that? It was right in front of their faces, too.
"How 'bout he did not kill Officer Damon," said the man.
There you go. Of course, he would find the answer; he always did. I had watched countless cases and they were all solved. The man—that man—was good at what he did. Then why was he always so stern? He should be rejoicing in catching yet another killer. I would.
The days passed by for me quickly—they always have, at least for the last few years. The next thing I knew, the team was catching the killer, slapping handcuffs on his wrists and pushing him into the cop car. Smile, I told the man. Do it.
He did not.
The team congratulated each other, and offered the man to come to a restaurant with them. Politely, he declined. Now was my chance. I was going to show myself to him when he got home. It was not as if I was going to go to my own home anyways; I would still be following him. Tonight was the night, I decided. Maybe then, if I did this, he would be happier. He would smile and all would be well.
As the front door to the house swung behind him, I slipped in through the closing crack. The house was a mess, but I expected it to be. Some things never change. The man went into another room, and, slowly, I followed after. He opened a door—leading down to the basement, I saw—and clambered down the stairs. Keeping to the shadows, I followed, surprised to see a large, wooden boat in the middle of the room. I tried not to gasp as I ran my hand over the finishing. It was beautiful.
The man rattled through a cabinet that was on the workbench, pulling out a bottle of alcohol. Staring at the boat, he sighed, took a deep swing, and returned the bottle back to its place. Walking over to the boat, he ran his own hand over it, and grabbed a rag from the workbench. While he rubbed the smooth wood, I inched closer.
He stopped and lifted his head up, as if he had felt some strange breeze coming through the basement. I came over and touched his hand, letting my hand move up and down with his.
"Shannon?" he asked.
I giggled. No.
He sighed again and I wondered if he could really hear me. We still rubbed the side of the boat together.
"Why are you here?" His voice was soft.
You are not happy.
"Of course, I am," he said, and his voice was so quiet I could barely hear.
But you never smile anymore.
"That does not mean I am not happy. I have my work and my friends—the people I work with. It is a different kind of love, but you could call it that…. How long have you been here?"
Since I died. I could not tell if you were happy; you did not look it. I could not leave you if you were so sad and lonely. I miss you.
"I miss you too, Kelly, more than anything. But I've become content with my life, even if I miss you and Shannon. I know that I may not look it, but I truly am happy."
I pulled away from the boat and enveloped him in a hug. He shivered, as if he could not believe what was happening. Are you sure?
"You never believed me when you were younger," he said. "I could tell you the truth and you would think that I was leaving a detail out." He turned back to face the boat. "You would look right at me and say, 'And…?' as if you were waiting for more."
What I am waiting for now, has been accomplished. I have been watching you for years, but now is the time for me to go. Before I pulled away from him for the last time, I planted a kiss on his forehead. I must go see Mom, now.
As the presence that the man felt drifted away, he glanced at the name carved into the back of the boat. And he smiled.
This had been my first NCIS fic. I have always wanted to write a short story in the point of view of Kelly's ghost. I hope that you have all enjoyed it!