Don't own NCIS but there're some original characters I hope you like.

Places and names are all invented

Enjoy the story!


TIMELINE

Chapter 01

His first crime scene. Despite the bad karma of the situation, caused by the death of a person, Collin Tank couldn't help but be fascinated and feel some misplaced joy for what was happening around him. He tried to look serene, almost contrite, although this gesture of respect was useless when his neck was stretched over the shoulder of his police partner, in a vain attempt to see something more than the yellow tape which separated them from the body. They were supposed to take care of people who come close to the scene out of curiosity, but at this late hour and in the middle of a park, the few people who could be there were of dubious intentions and had disappeared when the first beam of light swept the area.

He had been on patrol for two weeks by now and so far the most interesting thing that had happened to him was the pursuit of a pickpocket whom he handcuffed and proudly escorted to the station. When he had been assigned the night shift, the young agent thought he was going to get a taste of blunt action, but apart from seeing the bitter side of the city he only had had to deal with gang members and prostitutes. His partner, Nathan Kernighan, a veteran patrolman with blond hair and a prominent belly hanging over the buckle of his belt, had assured him that he wasn't going to get bored, although things wouldn't be as he had imagined. True enough.

Tonight the only call they've got has been for some disturbances and by the time they had arrived all the counterparts had fled the scene. To make the shift shorter they'd stopped at almost every snack bar they knew, Collin drinking innumerable amounts of cokes and Nathan teas. It had been the younger agent who had grabbed the micro when it made its call for a 1-87 on Union park. Despite being too far away and ignoring the murderous look on his partner's face, Collin hadn't hesitated a bit when he answered that they were nearby and coming. They had found all the stuff in position upon arrival at the scene and the officer at charge had instructed them to monitor the area, most to the chagrin of the rookie who had contented himself with observing the making off of the agents, thinking that one day he would be on the other side of the tape.

They had been there for an hour and Collin began to feel the effect of both, drinks and cold, taking the toll on him. He needed a toilet right now. He began to fidget from one foot to another, trying hardly not to think of anything that have to do with fluids or hissing sounds.

"What's wrong?" Nathan asked watching the strange dance his partner was performing.

"I need to take a leak," Collin whispered somehow ashamed about the situation.

"Well then. Go," Nathan replied nonchalantly, shrugging his shoulders and turning his gaze over the agents working on the square of grass.

"Where?" Collin asked between greeted teeth.

"You're kidding, right? Come on! This is full of trees," the veteran agent said with amusement in his voice. He raised one hand and pointed to a remote area. "Go find one you are comfortable with and raise your leg".

Collin muttered something about the salubrity of that statement, but nonetheless, he struck on to a side gravel path with short, quick steps.

He walked several yards from the main road until he couldn't take it anymore and stepped into the bushes looking for a little more privacy. Collin had no problem with peeing in a park, if necessary, but he didn't considerer it appropriate when there was a corpse nearby. He threw a quick glance around to be sure he was safe from unwanted eyes and let out a moan of satisfaction as his bladder released its load.

When he was buckling his belt and straightening his coat, a movement caught his attention. He turned with a jerk as he heard the sound of branches letting something pass through them.

"What the ...?"

Collin leaned closer, squinting his eyes as if that would allow him to see better into the bushes. His imagination began to project scenes from horror movies in his mind. Those moments when you wonder why the main character opens the door if it's damn obvious that the bad guy is at the other side. He extended an arm to remove the branches, but remained at a safe distance in case something, or someone, decided to jump at him and, just as a precaution, he kept his other hand firmly pressed on the butt of his gun. "It will be a bird," he reasoned in his head. "A harmless bird, so there is nothing to be scared of." He couldn't suppress the gasp that left his throat when a coal-black bird fluttered terrified mere inches from his face. Collin lifted one hand to his chest, making sure that his heart hadn't left the building and then smiled, despite himself.

"A real hero" he chastised just to hear his own voice over the silence.

He was about to turn away when he saw something of the corner of his eye. Pushing aside the branches he found a small clearing at the other side and a piece of plastic protruding from the ground. He looked over his shoulder, to where the other agents were. It could be nothing and in any other situation he would have thought it was just a trash bag, but there was something that prevented him from not giving importance to the fact that the earth seems to be removed and that the size of the area was enough to fit the height of a person lying down.

"I'm paranoid" He said to himself; however he stepped into the clearing.

There was no way somebody has come from the same way as him, but on the other end he could see marks of someone who had broken through the brush. Bordering the small area he get close to the space where the grass seemed to be crushed and several branches were cut short. He crouched beside the rough path, searching with his eyes anything of relevance. He didn't know if he was trying to find an excuse to get out of there or to pull that piece of plastic out. He hung his head between his shoulders and sighed. It doesn't make sense to prolong the doubt. He couldn't leave the place not knowing what was beneath that layer of soil.

He adjusted his gloves and started digging. He pulled at the plastic several times, but whatever was there, it was way too heavy. Despite the cold, Collin felt drops of sweat running down his face. He didn't know how long he had been digging when he finally managed to expose part of the bag. He felt the content with his hand and almost fell back when he could discern the shape of a toe straining the plastic as if it was asking for him to take it out. Collin felt the air get trapped in his lungs and he needed a few seconds to remember how to breathe. He shakily straightened himself up and he walked away from the tip as far as narrow clearing allow. At this time his radio crackled and Collin gave out yell that would have been the delight of any horror film's director. He took two steadying breaths before taking the device with trembling hands.

"Huh ... Ta- Tank here," he stammered.

"Hey kiddo, are you done drowning the plants? 'Cause I'm freezing my ass" The voice of his partner dissipated some of the sinister aura that had taken over the place. "How about we get ourselves out of here and grab something to eat."

Collin took the radio to his lips, but when he tried to say something his throat didn't work and it let him gaping like a fish out of water. At the other side Nathan waited for a bit before trying again.

"Hellooooooo, Is anybody there?"

"A body," Collin managed to blurt out.

"A what?"

"A corpse, I found a co-corpse. Good Lord," Collin began to pace the small clearing, staring at the plastic that was unearthed. "Here is a person, in a garbage bag and it's dead, for sure it's dead".

"Calm down," Nathan replied, sensing like the hysteria was giving a high-pitched tone to his partner's words. "Where are you?"

"I don't know, I went into the bushes. I must be near the fountain".

"Don't touch anything. Wait for me on the path."

"Got it," Collin whispered to someone who wasn't listening anymore. He dropped his arm and gave a last look at the covered foot before entering the bushes.

He was still struggling with the branches that had been caught in his jacket when a hand grabbed his arm. Collin turned with a jerk, searching for his gun.

"Easy Tiger" Nathan exclaimed, raising his hands in the world known gesture of surrender. "It's me, your dear and beloved partner."

"Jesus" the young man said in a whisper. "You almost scare me to death".

"Brave police you are. Ok, where's the corpse?"

Collin pointed a thumb over his shoulder.

"Over there".

"All right, there we go".

The blond policeman made the initial movement to get into the woods, but seeing that his partner remained at the same spot, he stopped the motion, leaving one foot into the bushes.

"Today better than tomorrow kid," he said with both arms stretched towards the plants.

"I've just been there!" Collin replied exasperated. The last thing he wanted was to return to the clearing, let alone see the plastic bag with its distinctive content. "Why not call the sergeant and leave him to take care of it?"

"Look kiddo, someone has to stay with the body. Unless you want to be that person, you're going to tell me, exactly, where it is". Nathan needed to see the corpse to believe there was one and pop the fireworks. It wasn't that he didn't trust his partner, but he was still a rookie and for that very easy to impress.

Collin couldn't deny the logic of his partner's words and right now he felt like a coward. It was a primal instinct, a protective one; you saw a death body, you run. But he was a policeman; this kind of things went with the job, although he didn't expect to find a body this early on his career. He also had to consider the fact that this would be a story to tell in the locker room and he didn't want to look like a scaredy cat in front of his partner.

"Let's do it", he finally said while walking pass the other agent.

TBC