Again, so sorry, busy life. Not sure when the next chapter will be up, hopefully on time but I can't be sure. Thank you so much to everyone for reading, special thanks goes out to Smush68, Agent Striker, Mellonmarshall and DS2010.
Until next time, enjoy
Gibbs and McGee arrived back at McCormack's Fiancés house in Alexandria to a much different scene to when they had been here just two days ago. The massive storm that had made its way through Washington DC the night before had well and truly taken its toll on Charlotte Williams house.
Far from the obsessively neat house and garden they had seen when they first came here, the place was now a bombsite. The storm had brought strong winds, hail and thunder and lightning, and had left a path of destruction through half of DC. A mixture of tree branches, leaves and debris from houses covered the front yard of every house in the street, however this could be easily cleaned up. What couldn't was the 23m tree that had fallen through the white picket fence with roses, across the immaculately cut front lawn, over the flowerbed with perfectly cut roses and the porch and had lodged itself in the side of Charlottes house.
Charlotte and her brother Justin were in the progress of a clean-up. Justin had rolled up the sleeves of his sweat shirt, donned heavy duty gardening gloves and was hacking into the larger branches of the trees canopy. He was working frantically to remove the tree from the side of the house and had managed to accumulate quite a large pile of cut branches. Charlotte meanwhile was raking the lawn, and in the time it had taken her brother to hack of a third of the branches of the tree, she had managed to rake the size of a square metre. This said, the raking was meticulous, in the mess that was the entire front yard to Charlotte Williams's house, there was a small raked patch of its original meticulous neatness.
McGee and Gibbs got out of the sedan and Charlotte and Justin both stopped working to come and greet them.
"What's wrong?" Justin asked, skipping normal pleasantries and cutting straight to the chase. He took off his gardening gloves and tucked them under his elbow as he walked towards them.
"Wait, OxyTech?" McGee asked
Justin looked down at his sweat shirt and nodded towards McGee, "Yeah, that's where I work, why?"
"OxyTech has a… PE shirt?"
"Fitness initiative, we have a company gym so we have a company shirt. I bet NCIS has the same" Justin retorted
"Yeah but its OxyTech"
"So? What do you want?" he demanded
"We just have a few questions, that's all" McGee replied
"About what?" Justin asked crossing his arms impatiently, Charlotte placed her hand his arm, holding him back.
"Would you mind letting us speak to your sister, alone?"
"Whatever you have to say to her, you can say to me"
Charlotte finally stepped forward "It's alright, its fine, he's just being…" she sighed and begun to fiddle with her watch
"We need to talk about your drinking"
Charlotte looked up at him and shyed away into her brothers arm "Yeah? What about it?" She asked timidly
"Are you having a problem with alcohol?"
"Yes she is, but I don't see how it's relevant to her fiancés murder."
"If you would let her talk" McGee asked, both NCIS agents getting fed up with the interruptions
"Nick was never really here, so I may have drunk a bit more than usual when he was away. But it wasn't a problem okay."
"It was more than just alcohol, we have records of you withdrawing large amounts of money for gambling and a hospital admission for a suspected drug overdose."
Justin stepped forward towards Gibbs and McGee "My sister was in love with Nick, and for him to be taken from her so soon took its toll. Yes, Okay, she had a few problems dealing with him not being there but so would anyone who got proposed to the day before their fiancé got deployed, again. I told you before, okay? My sister has always struggled with OCD, okay yes, she got depressed when he went away, yes she turned to alcohol. But that isn't her fault. And now he's dead that's gotten worse and she is very upset, but now she doesn't have to worry about him disappearing every time she gets to spend a few days with him. But she's never going to see him again and that is tearing her apart. But don't you dare for one second come in here and accuse her of anything, she has had a very hard time recently dealing with the death of Nick. So leave us alone and let us clean up our house and you find the man who killed her fiancé, find the bastard who killed Nick so that she can have some closure."
McGee inhaled sharply and was about to start to reply, before deciding against it.
"You have my number, give me a call if you think of anything" Gibbs asked Charlotte, giving up, turning around and walking back towards their sedan.
"What sort of things would I think of?" Charlotte asked. Gibbs turned around to face her and gave her a small smile
"Anything that might help us find your fiancé's killer." He replied, continuing walking towards the car. Still standing in the front yard, Justin and Charlotte both hugged before slowly returning to their work.
Meanwhile on the USS Seawolf, Ziva and Tony were encountering a similar situation. They stood in the hallway of the sub, Tony had his hand on the door but was hesitating to open it.
"You ready Ziva?"
"Yes Tony" she replied with a sigh.
"You sure? We are implicating the Commander of involvement in a murder"
"Yes and…?" Ziva shrugged confidently
"Right. Let's do it" Tony smiled, pushing open the door and walking into the Commanders room. He was the man from the MTAC call they had had with the USS Seawolf just two days ago, an older gentleman, rapidly greying and rapidly balding. The Commander was sitting at a desk, reading through a file in a manila folder. Tony entered first, leaving Ziva behind in the hallway. Commander Sharp shuffled the pages in the folder and placed it down on the table. He slid his reading glasses down on his nose so he could look at the agents in focus.
"What do you want this time? I hope it isn't more conference time, I've told you once, I'll tell you again, 25 minutes tonight is all we can spare! Stuff to do, things to blow up!" he joked.
Tony laughed and self-consciously looked over his shoulder at Ziva, "That's not what we're here for."
"Then what are you here for?" He asked, turning around fully to face the agents. When he saw Ziva, he breathed in deeply and sat up straight, peeling the reading glasses of his face and folding them in his hands. "What do you two want?"
"We have a few questions, that's all." Ziva replied.
"Questions? About what exactly?"
"Your involvement in the death of Petty Officer Nick McCormack"
"I'm sorry?" Sharp asked surprised. "What are you implying?"
"We need to know where you were around the time of his death." Tony asked him, taking a seat across the small room. Ziva stood leaning against the wall next to him eyeing his reactions suspiciously.
"I was here, working. I retuned here after helping break up the fight and I was reading until Locks came and told me what had happened."
"Is there anyone who can verify your alibi?" Ziva asked
The commander stared back at her "Ask any of my officers, I was here. Now I don't have time for this, I have better things to do. If you would kindly let your selves out."
"We have a few more questions" Tony replied
"I'm not going to tolerate being questioned about the murder of one of my crew. Now excuse me I have some work to do." Commander Sharp told them, he placed his glasses back on his face and picked up the same file that he had been reading when Tony and Ziva arrived.
"We have a witness that says he heard you say that you would 'do anything to get McCormack off your sub' What do you say to that?" Tony asked
"Well I…" The Commander started, but he was interrupted by a commotion outside, there was a loud thud followed by shouting. All three of them looked towards the door.
Ziva pushed herself of the wall and went to investigate. She opened the door slowly and stepped out of the room, closing the door behind her. A little way down the corridor, there was a scuffle between two crewmen. From here she couldn't tell who they were, and she slowly approached.
"Ziva! Ziva!" came the call from behind her, she turned to see Palmer running awkwardly down the corridor towards her, ducking and weaving through the maze of low hanging pipes and narrow doorways.
"Not now!" she hissed back and continued to approach the pair fighting. She could now see clearly the two participants, and they didn't surprise her. Steven Locks was holding Matthew Tucker up against the wall with his forearm and laying into him with his other hand.
She walked quickly towards them "Break it down, get away from each other" She told them calmly
Steven looked at her strangely, ignored her and continued to punch Tucker. Ziva sighed, grabbed his shoulders and pulled him back. He turned around and took a swing at her; she managed to doge it and use his temporary lack of balance to swing him around and press him up against the opposite wall. Tucker used this opportunity push Ziva off of Locks and take his own turn.
Ziva stumbled and launched herself back into the tussle, this time pulling Tucker off Locks. She managed to hold them apart, standing between them and pushing them away from each other. "Stop it, step away" She told them, but they still didn't comply.
Considering her options, Ziva took on Locks and pushed back while using her back to keep Tucker away. "Jimmy!" she called. He looked back at her with wide, frightened eyes. "Jimmy!" she called again more urgently as Locks and Tucker were still attempting to fight each other. "Palmer, come and hold Tucker!" She yelled at him.
Palmer reluctantly came and pulled Tucker off Locks and Ziva and dragged him back up the corridor and the two began to calm down. Having heard Ziva shouting, Tony and The Commander came out of the office.
"Nice work Jimmy" Tony smiled, seeing Palmer holding Tucker back.
Ziva pushed Locks up against a wall "What was this about?" she demanded
"He killed Nick didn't he, he's the bastard who did it isn't he!" Locks shouted back.
Still holding Locks against the wall, Ziva turned around and looked at Tony who nodded in reply. Tony walked over her and took Locks of her hands, pushing him down a corridor towards their temporary quarters. Ziva went over to Palmer and took Tucker off him.
"Good work Palmer, Thank you" she told him leading Tucker back towards the Commanders room.
"I figured it out!" Palmer called after her "I figured out how he was killed, McCormack was definitely murdered"
She continued walking, pushing Tucker past the Commander and into his room. "Thankyou Palmer." She smiled, turning to Commander Sharp "I would like to ask this man some questions and I am going to use your room if you don't mind." Without waiting for a reply, she followed Tucker into the room, closing the door behind her.
The Commander stared at the door blankly, then looking up at Palmer, "Is NCIS always like this?" he asked crossly.
Palmer chuckled and ran his hand through his hair "Yeah, just wait until you meet their boss"