Fallen Angels: Chapter 1-Opening, part 1
Disclaimer: I still don't own anything having to do with NCIS. I just borrow them every once in a while and see how much they'd like to do something that's not canon.
Summary: a senior JAG goes missing in Bahrain. A junior pilot falls from the skies under suspicious circumstances. As Tony DiNozzo is still trying to find his way as team leader and Gibbs is getting used to a new team, they realize that these two cases may not be as unrelated as they first thought.
A/N: This falls in my previous series of stories (the most recent of which was The Price of Honesty), which means that yes, this is a story with an established Tiva relationship. I recommend you read those stories first, for this to completely make sense. I've been busy, which was why writing has been slow (I also dabbled in original fiction over on fictionpress; I haven't been completely checked out), and writing will probably continue to be slow. I'm probably not going to be giving summaries at the beginnings of chapters like I've done recently (or, if I do, not frequently), but I will give you a brief run down of the other stories in series.
Deep Lacerations: A former Army medical examiner joins the NCIS team temporarily, and almost immediately, the MCRT has a case that makes them realize that there is more to her story than they previously realized.
Of Jews and Gentiles: The murder of a Navy lieutenant and attempted murder of his active duty, Jewish girlfriend gets the attention of the MCRT. As they look into the case, they realize that it is only the most recent of a string of attacks against Jews and their non-Jewish significant others. Tony and Ziva go undercover as a couple, and in the process of running down leads and figuring out who is responsible, their relationship becomes much less undercover than they ever planned.
Truths and Covert Lies: Ziva's father is hospitalized in Israel and requests for Ziva, and by extension Tony, to fly to Tel Aviv. What Director David asks of her is so appalling that she fails to realize what is happening right in front of her eyes, and after the director is murdered, it is up to her, and the rest of the MCRT, to figure out why.
Consequences of Love and War: A Navy physician is abducted from her office in Afghanistan, and her husband, a former Marine scout sniper, calls the only person he could think to call: his former gunnery sergeant, Leroy Jethro Gibbs. The investigation takes them through the underground world of the Taliban and those who finance the organization, making Gibbs realize that there is more to his team than he previously thought.
Lethal Fractures: Dr. Sonja Gracy is back from Hawaii, and her first case is actually the latest in a series of her old cases, the most recent murder of a serial killer she had been following throughout her career. This time, the killer made a mistake and killed a Marine sergeant, and the MCRT is determined to figure out who it was and why. The why, however, proves to be too close for comfort for Dr. Gracy.
The Price of Honesty: NCIS Special Agent Stan Burley is murdered in his apartment in Bahrain, and Director Vance assigns Gibbs and the rest of the MCRT to the case to figure out why. After they solve the case, Vance promotes DiNozzo to Burley's former position, and the director of Mossad reassigns Ziva to join him.
I think that's pretty much it (and yes, I do realize that those were very, very brief run-downs. I didn't want to ruin too many endings for people who hadn't read the stories). Oh, and this story isn't a cross-over; it's more a nod to the fact that NCIS and JAG are in the same universe in canon. Despite the appearance of a few characters from JAG, they don't play major roles. And the first two chapters are both opening chapters; don't get too nervous by the fact that our friends don't make an appearance until chapter three.
I hope you enjoy, and don't hesitate with any reviews/thoughts/questions/feedback/suggestions/etc.
Sarah MacKenzie Rabb gave a frustrated sigh, not needing to check the clock as she adjusted the toddler on her hip to know that they were running late. "Harm!" she shouted up the stairs. "If you aren't down here in two minutes, I'm calling Ensign Drewe and having him drive you to base!" She smiled slightly before adding, "I heard he met a new girl over the weekend!" Ever since Drewe started his position in July after graduating from the Naval Academy, Harm came home almost every day complaining of the ensign's endless monologue of the desirable features of the latest 'woman he was going to marry', each of which lasted about a week.
"Just a minute!" her husband called back—for the third time—and she rolled her eyes as she again hefted her daughter further up on her hip. The girl was getting entirely too heavy to carry for extended periods of time. Ninety-fifth percentile for height on her last well-child check; she was obviously taking after her father.
In Mac's defense, when she picked up her daughter ten minutes ago, she thought she was just taking her to the car, not standing around in the kitchen first.
Switching tactics, she called out, "Elliot! Hurry up or you're going to be late for school!" As anticipated, the sound of ten-year-old feet running down the stairs filled up the townhouse. When her blond-haired adopted son rounded a corner to come into view, she shook her head. "Backpack."
"Oh, yeah." He immediately reversed directions, running back up the stairs to his bedroom, and when he reappeared, the green bag was firmly on his shoulders.
"Go ahead and get in the car," she instructed, returning her attention to the staircase. "Harm, I'm taking the kids into school. I'll give Drewe a call from the road." Not a second later, his heavier footsteps boomed on the wooden stairs, and Mac didn't bother hiding the smirk on her face.
"Sorry," he said, giving her his best charming grin as he came down the stairs. "I thought I had everything I needed, and then I remembered that they're still wearing summer uniforms in Bahrain, so I had to pack my whites."
"The Navy has far too many uniforms."
"Saying that to me multiple times isn't going to change anything."
"Daddy…" Kenzie started squirming in her mother's arms, and Mac gave up trying to hold her in place and passed her off to her father.
"Kenzie, be careful with Daddy's uniform," Mac cautioned the two-and-a-half-year-old when little fingers went immediately to pins and buttons. She gave Harm another look as she picked up her briefcase and headed to the car.
"Do you have court today?" Harm asked with a frown in his voice as he followed her to the garage, where Elliot was already securely fastened into the backseat.
"New client," she informed him, standing by the driver's side door as she watched him belt their daughter into the car seat. He stowed his garment bag in the trunk before sliding into the passenger-side seat, which, in this England-purchased car, was on the left. "A British record label is suing their US distributor for loss of revenues," she continued as she merged into traffic. At the loss of the coin flip that marked both the beginning of her and Harm's engagement and the end of her career in the United States Marine Corps, she took a position with a legal firm in London that specialized in trans-Atlantic legal matters, mostly business law, but with the occasional child custody case and criminal trial thrown in. Licensed to practice law in the States—and, six months later, in the United Kingdom—she was a natural choice for the position. And the income she brought in was more than twice as much as Harm's pay as a Navy captain, which more than made up for the fact that she had to don a horsehair wig on occasion. "How long is this trip?"
"Should only be about a week," Harm answered. "I'm flying down to Bahrain to meet with the NCIS Special Agent in Charge, Special Agent Anthony DiNozzo." He frowned before turning to his wife. "Why is that name so familiar?"
"I have no idea," she answered promptly. "It could have been on any one of a countless number of cases."
"Yeah," he said thoughtfully. For some reason, he didn't think he knew that name from a report or a quick meeting with an NCIS agent while preparing for a case, but he still couldn't place it. "The trial's in Kabul and should only be a few days," he continued. "If I still have time, I was going to return by way of Moscow and see Dmitri."
"You're going to see Uncle Dmitri?" Elliot piped up from the backseat. "Is he coming back with you? Are Alexi and Sasha going to visit? Is—"
"I don't even know if I'm going to see him, Elliot," Harm interrupted with a chuckle, turning in his seat to face the boy they adopted five years ago. "And even if I do, I'm sure he's pretty busy. He probably can't drop everything just to come to London to see his favorite nephew." Elliot gave a large grin at that. "And your cousins have school, too."
"Oh, yeah," the ten-year-old muttered before returning his attention to the Nintendo DS in his hands, instantly back in his own world, and Harm chuckled again before righting himself in the seat.
"So you're presiding over this trial?" Mac asked, still trying to figure out what was so urgent about this case—another captured Taliban leader, being tried for war crimes—that required the highest ranking JAG officer in Europe to leave an already packed work-load and go to Afghanistan for the trial.
"Actually, I'm prosecuting," he replied. "Admiral Radel is presiding." At that, Mac's eyes widened even further in surprise—Rear Admiral (Upper Half) Gerald Radel was the Deputy Judge Advocate General, the second-ranking lawyer in the United States Navy.
"So who's defending? General Thomas?" she demanded, naming the current JAG. "What's with all the heavy-hitters?"
Harm chuckled again. "It's nothing that dramatic," he assured her. "Actually, Sturgis is defending. I wonder if there'll be a basketball court nearby. I'm demanding a rematch." Knowing how involved both her husband and former co-worker got when they were on a case, she was pretty sure that they would forget that they were actually friends, and doubted the two would even be speaking to each other, much less shooting hoops, until the case was decided.
Their first stop was Elliot's school, where his mother took his handheld gaming console before reminding him that Nadya, the nanny, would be picking him up; Harm wished him a good day at school and told him to behave for his mother and Nadya and not pick on his sister while he was gone. From the school, it was only a few more minutes of driving before they arrived on base, the bird symbol of the captain rank on the car's base stickers getting that much more attention from the guard as he accepted their IDs. "Have a good morning, sir, ma'am," the seaman said as he handed the two cards back to their rightful owners. They nodded their thanks as they continued onto the JAG building.
"Be careful," Mac instructed her husband as she slowed the car. "Just prosecute the case and come home."
Harm chuckled as he unbuckled his seatbelt. "I know how to do my job," he replied.
"I'm serious," she said, and she was. "Leave the investigating to NCIS and the covert operations to the CIA."
"I will," he promised. He leaned across the center console to give her a quick kiss. "Don't worry about me."
"I wouldn't have to if you didn't have a tendency to get into trouble," she called after him as he stepped out of the car, getting another chuckle in response before he appeared at Kenzie's door.
"Bye, Kenzie," he said, kissing his daughter on the top of her head. "I'll see you soon."
"Where you going, Daddy?" she asked in her small voice.
"Bahrain, then Afghanistan." She was more interested in the doll in her hands than the foreign-sounding words her father just spoke, making him smile and kiss her head again. "I'll bring you something when I get back."
"A baby doll?" she asked, now interested.
"I don't think you need another doll, sweetie," Mac said, giving her husband a meaningful look. He grinned at her before returning his attention to Kenzie.
"We'll see," he said. "I love you, Kenzie."
"Love you, Daddy."
He made his way to the driver's side, where Mac had her window rolled down. "I'll be careful," he promised before she could say anything.
"I know," she replied. "I love you."
"I love you, too. I'll give you a call when I land in Bahrain."
She nodded. "Good luck," she said. She smiled before adding, "Put Sturgis in his place for me." He smiled and nodded before giving her another kiss, and then he was off.
Captain Harmon Rabb, Jr. spent the flight down to Bahrain re-reading the case file and wishing he were the one flying. As he jotted notes to himself in the margins, he kept searching his memory for where he could possibly know NCIS Special Agent DiNozzo, but nothing quite seemed to fit. After an entire legal career with the Navy and working with NCIS on criminal cases, he had met quite a few agents, but he still felt like his interaction with DiNozzo, whoever that was, was something out of the ordinary.
Apparently not so much out the ordinary that he remembered, though.
It was a smooth landing in the C-17, followed by a long taxi before they came to a stop. Rabb collected his notes and returned them to his briefcase before rising to exit the plane. Standing right next to a non-descript sedan off the airstrip was an equally non-descript man in a non-descript suit, making the captain frown. In all his times working with NCIS agents, he could probably count on one hand the number of times he had seen one in a suit outside of the courtroom, and the October heat beating down on him in Bahrain made it look even more out-of-place.
He mentally shrugged away the discrepancy and continued forward. "Agent DiNozzo?" he asked.
"No," the man replied. "There's been a change of plans, Captain Rabb. I need you to come with me."
He frowned and shook his head. "Not unless you tell me what's going on."
"We don't have time for that, Captain."
"You have time to tell me your name."
The man hesitated. "Let's go with Agent Brown," he finally said. "Like I said, Captain, time is of the essence. I need you to come with me right away."
Rabb spent enough time around CIA agents to know that's who he was dealing with. "I don't work for the Company anymore, you know that." He moved to work his way around 'Agent Brown', but his exit was blocked. "I have a trial to prepare for."
"Your trial can wait," the CIA agent replied. "This can't." He hesitated again before continuing. "There's a Marine Hornet squadron currently running carrier drills in the Indian Ocean. We have reason to believe they're about to come under attack."
"Then you need to talk to the squadron leader or the NCIS agent aboard the carrier, not a lawyer."
"We can't do that, Captain. The attack's going to come from within. In the form of a sabotaged plane, rigged to explode at altitude." He let that sink in for a moment. "We don't need you as a lawyer, Captain. We need you as a pilot." He gave another dramatic pause. "These are fighter pilots, Captain."
Rabb knew exactly what the CIA agent was trying to achieve with that statement, and knew that it worked. When you're up in the air and people are trying to shoot you down, all you have is the people around you, the other pilots in the squadron. He knew what it was like to depend on someone completely, and the idea of one of them turning on another, on a brother in arms who literally turned his life over to his squadron every time they went into the air, was enough to get his attention.
It took only seconds to make his decision. "Let's go."