Disclaimer:, As always I only own the ones you don't know.
A/N: a small rant here. I know it won't do me any good to 'talk' to the person who left the anonymous review cause they probably didn't even read past the first chapter, and that is fine. Now see if I were still a beginning writer and couldn't handle criticism that review would have had me in tears for hours. I am a sensitive soul and would cry over a dead animal on the side of the road. I kid you not my dad used to hate me getting attached to animals. Not sure of WHO left the review as it was someone under guest, I don't know if it was someone trolling, or a Grammar Nazi, or what.
So to those that aren't aware this is my writing style. First and foremost I start stories for me not anyone else and I continue for those that like the story. If you don't like it then didn't read it and go find something else that fits your style and thank you for giving mine a shot at least. Secondly, I write as an outlet and there is nothing anyone can say to make me quit. I write AU stories so my characters are at times not the carbon copies of the ones that we know from the shows or fandoms that I write in which is why I give small character bios. Rather I am watching a show or writing I am there for the story so if the characters are entertaining to me I will stick it out and see how it goes. I am sarcastic in real life my aunt's influence, so it shows in my writing. I don't really do dark themes unless it's a collaboration with my friend who is way better at that than me, I will write them but it's not a strong presence throughout the story. Yes, I realize that my Grammar isn't really text book. I talk like a person not a robot and so I write the dialogue the same why. Trust me if all I have to worry about is my Grammar mistakes than I am a heck of a long way than where I started. In the beginning, I had atrocious spelling mistakes and other problems. I do appreciate all those that have stuck with me on this story and those that are just finding it and giving it a shot. I know that my updates are few and far between but I do have a life outside of writing for now. Ok rant over I hope you enjoy the newest chapter.
Gibbs watched as a blur of red ran through the bullpen and toward the elevators that led to the lab and morgue.
"Looks like he let her go. Didn't think we would be seeing her today." Ziva muttered.
Tony was looking toward the area that their second forensic scientist had disappeared at.
"That makes two of us. I really didn't think he was going to let her out of bed after he saw what she had on." the senior field agent said with a chuckle.
Gibbs looked back at the two with a glare. "Don't the two of you have work to do?" he asked as he sat down at his own desk. McGee was looking at his two co-workers and friends with an expression of confusion on his face.
The quartet worked in silence for all of five minutes before a throat clearing had them looking over at a smiling Graham Miller.
"Hi Graham. Willow is down stairs in the lab. " Tim told him.
"Hello, Tim. I was actually here to see Tony before I had to go talk to your Director Sheppard."
"Oh, what did you need with me? " Tony asked not really knowing what the other man could possibly want with him.
"Just wanted to return something. Thanks man. " Graham said with a laugh as he tossed a small silver object to the Agent before walking toward the staircase that led to Jenny's office.
Tony's laugh echoed off the walls and followed Graham up the stairs. With a smile still on his face the solider knocked on the office door. He heard a 'come in.' from the other side. There he saw Cynthia, Director Sheppards' secretary.
"Hello how can I help you? " she asked him.
"Graham Miller to see Miss. Sheppard. " he informed her as he tugged on his shirt to get the wrinkles out.
Cynthia nodded her head and pressed the intercom to let her boss that he was there for their appointment. Graham had received a call from the woman the day before and was told that she wanted to speak with him the next day. He really hoped that it wasn't about his relationship with Willow.
"The Director will see you now Mr. Miller." Cynthia told him as she motioned toward the office door.
With a smile and a thank you to the secretary he went in.
"Mr. Miller, it's a pleasure to see you again. Please have a seat." Jenny said as he closed the door behind him.
She motioned to the chair in front of her desk as he walked across the floor. After shaking her hand he waited while she sat down to take his own seat.
"So, how have you been since you've been back?" she asked him.
"Been really good. Just waiting to hear back on if or when I have to go back out." he told her.
With a nod of her head she opened a file folder on her desk.
"Well from what I see you've adjusted to life back from the war rather easily. Do you think that has something to do with how quickly you were reunited with all of your friends and family? " she wanted to know.
Graham thought it over, was his attitude and ability to readjust to life post war due to his friends and family? He honestly wasn't sure.
"I really don't know ma'am."
"Have you been having any dreams about your time away?" she wanted to know next.
He looked at her.
"Is this some sort of evaluation?" he asked.
With a sigh she looked up from the file at him.
"I just want to know how you have been doing. From what I read you don't have the symptoms of a POW."
"Honestly. I did everything I could to keep from going crazy when I was held prisoner. I tried not to think of the negative ma'am. I tried to block out the bad memories and hold on to my good ones. Memories of Willow were pretty much the only thing I would be able to focus on when they were torturing me. I've been back three days and am still just relishing in the fact that I am home, to really let any of the bad take me over just yet."
Jenny looked at him.
"Well it could take a couple of weeks to a month for them to decide if your time as a POW will be considered time served or if you will have to finish out your contract."
Graham nodded his head.
"Until we know something tangible I suggest you enjoy being with your friends and family."
"That I can pretty much guarantee ma'am." he said while beaming at the thought of being with those he loves.
"Also this is the number of a highly qualified therapist for the soldiers that return home and need someone other than friends and family to talk to. Some of them return and think that they can handle it with the help of family and friends and they end up hurting their loved ones and more times than not it's their significant other that becomes their target of release. Please if you find your self needing his services don't hesitate to call him."
Graham took the card she was holding out to him.
"You think I might hurt Willow? " he asked looking up from the card and pinning her with a glance.
"Honestly I would be lying if I said I hadn't thought about it a time or two over the last few days." she confirmed.
"I would never hurt her." he told her with a bit of a defensive tone.
"It's just a precaution. I know you wouldn't hurt her intentionally. I would be untruthful if I say I don't worry about her safety. Look at it from my perspective. You lost your temper with your own grandfather and ended up breaking your hand. I can't risk my second best Forensic Scientist" she chided him.
"I didn't lose my temper to the point where I hurt him. I broke my hand on a pillar in the attic, could I have punched him if I wanted? No, cause I would never lose my temper enough to put my hands on anyone, let alone on the woman I love. I understand you are concerned about Willows safety but you really don't have too." he retorted.
"For Willows benefit I hope you are right." she said.
With a shake of hands they Graham wished her a good day and left. Jenny sighed as she leaned back in her chair. That chat had gone a little better than she had thought it would.
Graham had left the NCIS building and gone for a walk through the park that was down the road. He thought of the conversation that he had just left. Was he capable of hurting the one person that meant the world to him? If he were in his right mind then there was no way he would hurt her, but the symptoms of PTSD could override his normal sense of control.
His phone ringing from his pocket brought him from his thoughts. Glancing down, he saw his brother's name splashed across the screen.
"Hey little brother what are you doing? " Dales chipper voice came over the line.
Grahams eyebrow rose a little out of curiosity. Dale had never been one for casual phone calls there was always a reason behind his calls.
"Nothing, why what's wrong?" the marine replied.
"I have an hour for lunch and I was just wondering what you were up too."
"I need some advice, can we meet up? " Graham inquired of his big brother.
He was relieved when he heard his brother say 'sure. ' So fifteen minutes later Dale and Graham were sitting at a restaurant that Dale frequent, waiting for a waitress to bring their drinks.
"So what did you need to talk about? " Dale asked glancing back from watching a waitress two sections over.
Grahams eyes followed where his brothers own blue eyes had been and took in the brunette woman who was smiling at an elderly couple. Her brown hair hung down her back in light curls that ended just above her waist. She was about five feet and 3 inches tall if he was averaging right. It didn't take a genius to know why his brother came to this specific restaurant.
"She's cute." the solider said turning back to the older man.
Dale's own eyebrows went up. "Who's cute, you better be talking about your girl, little brother. If she finds out, you're checking out other women it might ruin the whole 'planning to marry her' thing."
Graham shook his head. Their waitress brought their drinks and asked if they were ready to place their orders. After ordering an appetizer of fried asparagus, Dale ordered a Salisbury steak and steamed vegetables, while Graham ordered a burger and onion rings. Once their server was gone Graham saw his brothers gaze slip back to the brunette waitress that was now in the next section over. With a slight chuckle Graham shook his head, it seemed his big brother had a crush.
"Ask her out." the Marine said taking a sip of his water.
Dales head snapped back to look at his brother so fast Graham was sure he would have whiplash.
"W..w...I can't." Dale stuttered with a sigh.
"Why not? Is she taken?" Graham wanted to know.
Dale glanced back at the woman then back at his brother.
"No, she's single. It's just... I can't talk to her."
"Restraining order?" Graham asked with a raised eyebrow at him.
"No." Dale laughed.
"Then why the heck can't you talk to her?"
Dale shrugged his face had a slight pinkish tint to it that had Graham gaffing at his older brother.
"Oh my god, you're embarrassed to talk to her. Almighty self proclaimed smooth talker is afraid to talk to a girl. This is probably one of the best moments of my recent memories." Graham teased as he laughed at Dales ever growing blush.
"Ah, shut up." Dale said reaching over and lightly shoving him. "We are not here to talk about me. You're the one wanting advice so as you guys used to say 'What's the dish? ' little bro."
Graham sighed, "I met with Willows' boss this morning."
Dale gave a slow nod while just as slowly replied with, "Okay."
"Do you think I'm violent? " Graham asked of his brother.
Dale raised an eyebrow at him. "Of course not. Why would you ask that?"
Graham sat up straighter and laid out the conversation that he had been apart of with Jenny. Dale was shaking his head for most of the tale, but his face was a mask of shock and disbelief.
Their waitress brought their food out and the two men took a second to take a few bites of their food before continuing their conversation.
"Do you feel like you could be a danger? " the older sibling asked after swallowing a fork full of Salisbury steak.
That was a question he wasn't sure if he knew the answer to. Thinking on his life so far post-hostage, he would have to say no because he wasn't a violent person. However, looking down at his broken hand and the thought of his return home and reunion with his grandfather had him wondering if he wouldn't at some future moment snap and his anger or rage or the feelings in that instant would take him over.
"I want to say no, but..." Graham replied with a defeated shrug while looking at his big brother for the help and advice he so desperately wanted.
"You are the only one that can make the choice to actually go to someone to get help you might or might not need." Dale answered.
Graham nodded his head. He knew that his brother was right, he was the only one that could make that call. The two them finished their meal in silence.
After paying their bill, which Dale said it was his treat, the siblings left the restaurant.
"You know, maybe you should have a talk with Willow, little brother. She is the one that would have to put up with your violence if you were to go off the rails. I'm not saying you would hurt her or anyone but what's that saying mom used to say. Better safe than sorry? " Dale said turning to his brother.
Nodding his head, the siblings bid each other goodbye and went their separate ways. Graham walked back to Willows car and got in. He had told her on the way to the Navy Yard that he wanted to go see his parents. She told him to take the car.
Maybe his mom or dad would have some advice for him on his situation.