This is my first fanfic. Reviews are welcome, but please be courteous. NCIS is owned by CBS and Belisarius Productions.
Chapter One: Hey There, Devil Dog
NCIS Special Agents Anthony DiNozzo, Ziva David, and Timothy McGee sat at their desks on a sunny Monday morning in April. Tim was absorbed in paperwork, as usual. Tony looked up from his computer and noticed Ziva looking at him.
"Something wrong, Ziva?" he asked the pretty, former Mossad operative. "Or are you just unable to resist my striking good looks?"
Ziva feigned a look of disgust and then smiled at her partner.
"I was just thinking, Tony, that it has been quiet around here. Maybe a bit too quiet, yes?"
Without looking up Tim said, "I was just thinking the same thing, Ziva."
"Good for you, McPsychic." Tony snapped and Tim rolled his eyes.
"I'm not psychic, Tony. If anyone here is psychic, it's Gibbs."
Tony smiled and said, "Ah, yes, the fearless leader. I don't think he's psychic. I think his gut has a personality, though. It talks to him, they have conversations. Whenever his phone rings about a case, it's not dispatch calling, it's the famous gut!"
Tony smiled and his eyes shone brightly as his imagination started to get the better of him. Ziva and Tim both smiled at him but before either could reply, Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs strode into the bullpen, coffee in hand.
"Grab your gear. We've got a dead Marine and a dead civilian at Quantico Municipal Park."
His three agents jumped up from their desks, grabbed their bags and got in the elevator. As soon as the door closed Gibbs reached up and slapped Tony on the back of the head.
"Ow, Boss! What was that for?" Tony asked, rubbing the back of his head and looking at Gibbs.
Gibbs continued to look straight ahead and replied, "Not my call, DiNozzo. I just got off the phone with my gut. He told me to do it."
Tony's eyes got wide. He laughed nervously and then shut his mouth, while Ziva and Tim looked at each other and smiled. Gibbs made sure he was the first person off of the elevator, so his agents would not see the smile creeping across his face.
(Quantico Municipal Park, Virginia) "Talk to me, McGee." Gibbs said as Tim began the fingerprint scan on the dead Marine.
"Boss, this is Lance Corporal Philip Citrix. 23 years old, stationed at Quantico."
Gibbs sipped his coffee and asked, "And the civilian?"
Tim finished his fingerprint scan on the other dead man and frowned. "Not a civilian, Boss."
"Military?" Gibbs asked, and Tim held up the scanner for his boss to see.
"What happened, Duck?" Gibbs asked the Medical Examiner with the soft Scottish accent Dr. Donald "Ducky" Mallard as he began his initial examination of the bodies.
"Well, Jethro, as you can see, they were both shot. Based on the significant amount of blood loss from both wounds I can say with certainty that they were both alive when it happened. We'll know more once I get them back to autopsy."
"Do we have a time of death?" Gibbs asked as Ducky began inserting the temperature probe into the dead terrorist's liver.
"Patience, dear boy." Ducky replied. "His liver temperature suggests that he met his demise between 2200 and 0200 hours last night. And as for our Marine," he said as he turned to Measure the Lance Corporal's liver temperature, "It appears that he passed around the same time."
Ducky looked at the wounds of both men and said, "Look at the size of the wounds, Jethro. It appears that our Marine was shot with a larger caliber bullet."
Gibbs looked down at the gun that lay in between the two bodies. "Only one gun at the scene. Tony, Ziva, finish up here. McGee, you're with me."
"Where are we going, Boss?" Tim asked as Ducky and his assistant ME Jimmy Palmer started to lay out the body bags.
"Quantico. We've got to talk to the Lance Corporal's CO and unit." Gibbs replied.
"Get the gurney's ready, Mr. Palmer." Ducky said to his young assistant. "Let's get these two back to autopsy and see what stories they have to tell us."
(Marine Corps Base Quantico) Gibbs and Tim walked into the office at Quantico and again flashed their badges.
"NCIS. We need to know who Lance Corporal Philip Citrix's Commanding Officer was and what unit he was in." Gibbs told the young Marine behind the desk.
"Yes, sir. We heard about Citrix. It's a damn shame. He seemed like a nice enough guy."
"Did you know the Lance Corporal well?" Tim asked.
"No, sir. Just saw him around. he was quieter than most of the guys here, but he would always smile and say hello."
The Marine pulled a clipboard out from his desk drawer and said, "His commanding officer was Captain Lewis Bertram."
"We need to speak with him." Gibbs said.
"He stepped out for lunch about thirty minutes ago, sir. He should be back within the next thirty."
Gibbs sighed impatiently. The young Marine, sensing that Gibbs was not a man who liked to be kept waiting, started shuffling through more papers.
"His unit was number 21, one of our best. They're being drilled by Gunnery Sgt. Hanlon in field seven."
Gibbs asked, "Gunnery Sgt. Delaney Hanlon?"
The Marine nodded. "Yes, sir. They should be breaking for lunch soon. I'm sure the Gunny won't mind you heading out there."
Gibbs nodded his thanks to the Marine, and Tim followed him out of the office.
"Someone, you know, Boss? This Gunnery Sgt. Hanlon?" Tim asked, curious.
Gibbs replied, "Yep. But now's not the time for stories, McGee."
Tim was silent for the rest of the walk to the field. He wondered to himself if Gibbs knew the Gunny in a good way or a bad way. When they got to the field, they stopped at the edge and saw the young Gunnery Sgt. running her troops ragged. Gibbs recognized her immediately. He smiled and continued to watch silently. Tim smiled in surprise when he saw the rare smile creep across his boss' face.
"I guess he knows her in a good way." Tim thought to himself.
27-year-old Gunnery Sgt. Delaney Hanlon did not notice the agents watching, and continued drill her soldiers. Gibbs and Tim listened as she spoke to one of the soldiers who was having a tough time with the course.
"I understand that you're mad about Citrix dying, Corporal. It's ok to be mad, Marine. We're all mad about it." She did not break eye contact with the Corporal, but spoke loud enough for every man in her unit to hear.
"But you cannot, under any circumstances, let your emotions affect your performance. That will put you and the entire unit in jeopardy. You've got to stay focused! Am I clear, Corporal?"
"Yes, ma'am." he replied.
"Good," she said, still not breaking eye contact with him.
Gibbs knew how important eye contact was to drive a point home, and he smiled again. She was a damn good Marine.
"Let's do this until we get it right" she told him.
"Ready Corporal? Go!"
He struggled through the obstacles and she shouted, "Again! You've got to push harder, Marine!"
He ran the course two more times and continued to struggle.
"Again! I love field seven! We've got all day, Corporal, and you're not stopping until you show me your best or pass out from exhaustion!"
The young Corporal furrowed his brow and ran toward the course again, this time plowing through each obstacle.
"Corporal Paulsen, front and center!" she shouted at him when he finished.
He stood at attention before her, exhausted, but with a satisfied look on his face. She smiled at him before turning to the rest of the men in her unit.
"I hope you ladies were paying attention to that." she said and then turned back to face the Corporal.
"That was a perfect example of how to make field seven your bitch."
He grinned when she said that and replied, "Oorah." "Alright," she said, "Let's break for chow. I'll see you on artillery field Delta at 1400. Nice work, guys."
She smiled at them as they passed and then sighed, her mind immediately going back to Lance Corporal Citrix. It wasn't the first time she has lost one of the guys in her unit, but, as she was learning, it didn't matter how many people she lost in her life, because the heartache always felt the same. She tried to rub out the knot that was forming in the back of her neck and sighed again. It was going to be a long day. She picked up her backpack off of the ground and suddenly heard a familiar voice behind her say, "That was a hell of a good drill, Gunny."
She grinned when she heard him and said, "No freakin' way..."
She turned around and saw her hero. He had a quirky half-smile on his face and his blue eyes sparkled.
"Hey there, Devil Dog." he said. She dropped her bag back on the ground and threw her arms around him.
"Oh, Gibbs..." she said as she hugged him and happy tears ran down her cheeks. "I missed you, Gunny." she said to him and he replied,
"I missed you too, pretty girl."
She pulled away from him and he used his thumbs to wipe away her tears.
"Marines don't cry." he said smiling at her.
Tim was surprised at the amount of affection Gibbs was showing. He remained silent, not wanting to ruin their moment. He watched Delaney as she hugged Gibbs, and was almost instantly taken with her. Her auburn hair was tied back neatly; she was petite and fit, and dressed in her desert fatigues. Tim thought she was the most beautiful thing he had ever seen. Gibbs saw him staring at her smiling, and knew immediately that Tim was attracted to her.
"Gunnery Sgt. Delaney Hanlon, this is Special Agent Timothy McGee." Gibbs said, and McGee just stood there smiling at her until Gibbs smacked the back of his head.
"Ow! Oh! It's nice to meet you, Gunny." Tim said blushing.
"Nice to meet you too, Tim." She replied and then turned back to Gibbs.
"Let me guess, you guys are here about Lance Corporal Citrix?" she said and Gibbs nodded.
"I'll tell you everything that I know about him."
"So will I." said a voice approaching them.
Gibbs and Tim turned to see a tall, older Marine Officer.
He extended his hand to Gibbs and introduced himself, "Captain Lewis Bertram."
"Captain," Delaney said, "This is Special Agent Gibbs and Special Agent McGee. They're with NCIS."
"I can see that, Gunny." Captain Bertram snapped at her.
Gibbs immediately shot him a look, and seeing it, the Captain's tone softened.
"Why don't you go eat lunch?" he said to Delaney. "You can't run circles around those boys on an empty stomach."
Gibbs shook his head at Captain Bertram and said,"I still need to speak with her, Captain."
"I understand that, Agent Gibbs, but unfortunately a Marines job doesn't stop because someone dies. She is on duty and has a grieving unit to attend to."
Gibbs decided not to argue with him. He had a bad feeling about Bertram since he came out, and now Gibbs was much more interested in speaking with him.
"Understood, Captain." He turned to Delaney and handed her a card out of his wallet.
"Stop by headquarters when you get done, Devil Dog. We'll talk then." he said to her and she nodded,
"Yes sir, Agent Gibbs."
"Go get some chow, Gunny." Captain Bertram said to her as he put a hand on her shoulder and squeezed just a bit too hard.
"Yes sir, Captain." she said. She shot her Captain a dirty look and then smiled at Gibbs and Tim as she walked towards the mess hall.
Gibbs looked at the Captain and said "Ok, Captain, let's talk about Lance Corporal Citrix."