NCIS Mavericks Page 3This is a featured page

THE GYM, NCIS HEADQUARTERS, FOUR DAYS LATER
The last few days had been uneventful. The girls had been instructed in the use of the agency's computer system by Agent McGee, and had their driving skills checked out. A lot of their time had been spent familiarising themselves with NCIS procedures under Gibbs' tutelage. More than once, each of the girls had felt the sharp edge of his tongue.

Amaia and Ros sat working out on rowing machines. Across the room, Sam was punching the heck out of a punching bag.

Left, right, left, right, Sam's gloved fists pounded into the bag. She was brooding. What the hell is wrong with me? I cannot believe I let Gibbs get to me to the extent that I blushed. Three times! And why? Because I want him to be proud
of me. Because he's the first man in authority in years that I actually respect. And I want his respect. I'm not going to get that blushing like a teenager. The gloved fists slammed faster into the bag.

Across the room, Amaia and Ros rested and looked across at Sam. "Has Sam said anything to you what happened on Saturday night?" Amaia asked.

Ros shook her head. "No."

Amaia frowned. "My memories are hazy. I do not remember getting home from that bar. I seem to recall Gibbs being in the bar. But when I asked Sam, she just looked straight through me and shook her head."

Ros looked thoughtful. "Something happened, because Sam has shut down on us. She simply refuses to talk about Saturday night, except to say we got home okay. Apart from that, nada!"

Amaia slumped forward. "I vaguely remember being sick outside the bar. There was another man there. And I am sure there was somebody else in the house. The DVD we watched before going out? It was in a different place on the table. Not where we left it."

Ros frowned. "You could be right. There were two used coffee mugs in the kitchen sink on Sunday morning. I think we need some answers." She got up off the rowing machine. "And I think Sam should give them to us."

Across the room, Sam continued to thump hell out of the bag. The girls know I'm keeping secrets from them and they're getting shirty about it. Not that I blame them. But telling them what happened would wreck us as a team before we even start. If we're not already wrecked. And I'll have wrecked it because it was my idea to keep quiet. Even if Gibbs' did think it was a good call. Sam smiled ruefully. Evil sense of humor, that man. I swear that comment about that actor was only to make me blush... AGAIN! Actually, Ros is right, he does look like an older version of that actor. Her fists continued to pound into the bag. She didn't hear Ros and Amaia cross the floor towards her. And now he knows he can make me blush, he seems to enjoy taking every opportunity to do so.

It was Ros that spoke, "Sam. We need to talk."

Sam turned towards her friend. "What about?" Here it comes.

"Saturday night. Amaia and I need to know what happened."

"Nothing happened." You're not much of a liar, girl.

"Something happened all right. Otherwise you wouldn't have shut down on us. Neither of us remember getting home, and Amaia is sure she saw Gibbs in the bar."

Sam stared at Ros. Ros stared back. "Well? Was he?"

Sam looked away, "It's none of your business Roslyn."

"I think it is."

The two women regarded each other coldly. Sam looked away. "It's semi classified, Ros."

"Oh really? A night out for three friends semi classified? Says who?"

"I say." Gibbs voice cut across their conversation. All three women jumped, not having noticed him enter the gym. Gibbs’ eyes swept from one to the other. "You almost fouled up an FBI operation. Samantha is aware of the details. You two do not need to know."

Ros opened her mouth to argue. Gibbs cut across her. "I expect my second team to be as professional as my first. That's what you are. Or will be. If the lead agent on the team says something is semi-classified, you accept that."

Wait a minute. Lead agent? Sam looked at Gibbs. "Lead agent?"

Gibbs nodded. "One of you has to be senior. To lead when I'm not there. That's you Sam."

"Why me?"

Gibbs gestured to her to join him out of earshot of the others. He was blunt. "You're the best choice." Gibbs saw the expression on her face and guessed the cause. His voice became gentler. "This isn't the AFP. This team is not going to stab you in the back. That's what the others did when they refused to testify. We're different here."

Sam started and stared at him. Then she smiled, a little shakily. "Special Agent Fornell has good informants."

Gibbs made no apology. "There was information missing from your personnel dossier. The Director doesn't even know." His tone was flat, "The Director doesn't need to know."

"And you needed to know."

"Yes." Gibbs' tone was firm.

Sam thought about it for a moment, and nodded acceptance. She opened her mouth to speak just as Tim McGee came crashing into the gym.

"Boss! Boss!" He ran up to Gibbs. "Tony says he needs your help. We've had a homicide called in. A Marine, his wife and one kid killed, along with their neighbors, one of the kids is missing. The crime scene is three houses and yards. Tony says it's too big for the three of us to work alone."

Gibbs nodded and turned to the girls. "Go and get changed. McGee, give me the address details and go back to
DiNozzo. Tell him we'll join you there. Ducky's been informed?"

Tim nodded, "Yes, boss. On it, boss." He scribbled the address on a sheet from his notebook, tore it out and handed it to Gibbs, and then raced out of the gym.

Gibbs turned around, the three women had already disappeared into the change rooms. He grinned, and leaned against the wall to wait, one eye on his watch. Less than 4 minutes later Sam and Ros came racing out of the change room, Amaia just behind them. Gibbs raised his eyebrows. That was quick. He headed for the door, the trio behind
him.

ENROUTE TO THE CRIME SCENE
Sam kept a firm grasp on the notes DiNozzo had left on Gibbs' desk for them, and was trying to ignore Gibbs' driving. In the rear seat, Ros and Amaia had no such distraction. Gibbs' driving didn't seem to worry Ros, who was staring out the window and whooping every time Gibbs cut someone off or changed lanes without indicating. Amaia had her eyes closed and was muttering something that Sam thought might be a prayer of some sort.

"What have we got, Sam?"

Sam concentrated on the notes in her hand. "Lt Michael Balfour, US Marine Corps, aged 43. Wife Maria Balfour, government employee, 38. Denise Balfour, aged 14, all deceased. Missing is Joey Balfour aged 10. Also deceased are Simon Henry aged 68, retired and his wife Emily Henry aged 66, retired, and from the third house, Susan Williams, aged 74, widow, also deceased. Apart from their being neighbors, no points in common. Michael Balfour was found on the kitchen floor, shot twice in the head. Maria Balfour was tied to a kitchen chair and shot twice in the head. Denise Balfour was shot twice in the head whilst she was in the shower. One shot each took out Simon Henry, Emily Henry and Susan Williams. All three were found in their respective back yards. Appears that the primary target was the Balfours, and the Henrys and Mrs Williams were witnesses and therefore eliminated."

"Who called it in?"

Sam flipped through the notes. "A 911 call was made by Adele Johnson from the house across the street from the Balfour's. She reported gunshots. Police came to investigate and found the bodies. Once they realised Lt Balfour was a Marine, they disposed of the case to us ASAP. One of the cops mentioned to Mrs Johnson that there were three
bodies in the house, she that told them that there were two kids."

Amaia looked puzzled, "Why would the police pass this case onto NCIS? I would have thought they'd be keen to work it themselves."

Ros laughed, "Nope. This has the potential to be the sort of case that totally screws an officer's career. Too many victims and too much manpower needed. Too much chance of something going wrong. Much easier to flick it to the feds and let them take the crap."

Gibbs frowned, "Does it say what Mrs Balfour did? Apart from 'government employee'?"

Sam reread the notes. "No. Just government employee."

Ros sighed, "Well that could mean anything and nothing."

"According to Mrs Johnson, the late Mrs Balfour never said what she did for a living apart from saying she worked for the government."

THE CRIME SCENE
Sam looked up from the notes as Gibbs braked heavily outside a suburban redbrick house. Incident tape marked off three almost identical houses. McGee stood outside the middle house, briefing other NCIS agents, he looked up as they approached.

"Tony and Ziva are clearing the main crime scene, boss. I've sent other agents to clear the other two houses. Just in case the killer is still around." Gibbs nodded. From inside the house came the sound of a gunshot. All five of them spun towards the door. Gibbs, McGee, Sam and Ros drew their weapons and headed towards the house. Amaia reached for her cellphone. As they approached, the door opened and Ziva and Tony came out. Tony was leaning heavily on Ziva, his face a mask of pain.

"What happened, DiNozzo?" Gibbs barked.

It was Ziva who answered. "We had cleared every room, except the missing boy's bedroom. Tony went in to clear. He called all clear and went to leave the room. A gun muzzle came out from under the bed and..."

Tony cut across her, "The little bastard shot me in the ass!"

Ducky came across, "Amaia has called an ambulance. Now, let me have a look Tony." Ziva and McGee lowered Tony face first onto the lawn. Ducky carefully inspected Tony's behind. "Looks like birdshot. You'll live."

"You don't need to sound so disappointed, Ducky," Tony grated out.

Ducky chuckled and patted him on the shoulder. "Think about all the pretty nurses at the hospital, Tony."

Tony brightened momentarily. Ros sniggered, "Think about all the fun they're going to have picking birdshot out of the Waco Kid's ass!"

Amaia giggled. Sam turned away to hide a smirk, she noticed that Gibbs, McGee and Ziva were all doing the same. Of course, if the injury had been serious, it would be a different story.

McGee suddenly yelled out and ran towards the truck. Turning towards the truck, they could see a man casually relieving his bladder against the rear wheel. McGee grabbed his shoulder. Sam looked at Gibbs, "Agent McGee wasn't a cop, was he?"

"Nope. Came into NCIS straight from MIT."

"That figures."

Amaia looked puzzled. Ros was grinning evilly. "First rule of street policing, Amaia, if you're going to arrest someone for urinating in a public place, let him finish first!"

Amaia giggled, "I hope those pants are drycleanable!"

Tim was standing staring down in horror at his extremely wet lower right leg. Ros had been taking photos of the incident, and now sauntered across with a nasty grin. She took an evidence kit out of the truck and knelt beside Tim. Ostensiously, she drew on a pair of gloves and began to squeeze the urine from his pants into a jar. "Never know, Agent McGee, we might need it as evidence!" McGee had an almost overwhelming desire to headslap Roslyn. Knowing my luck she'd punch me into the middle of next year!

The ambulance arrived for Tony, accompanied by a black car, which disgorged several men wearing jackets proclaiming them to be FBI, and a man that Sam instantly recognised. Agent Fornell! What is he doing here?

"Boss, we've got company!"

Gibbs looked around. Now what?" Gibbs strode across the lawn to intercept Fornell.

Ros and Amaia came up to Sam. Ros spoke quietly. "I think I know who the person was who shot Tony." Sam looked at her. "The missing kid, Joey. Ziva said the shooter was under the bed. Where else do little kids hide when they're scared?" She looked Sam square in the eyes. "I've worked a lot with scared kids. I can get him out."

Sam raised her eyebrows. Ros interpreted the look. She grinned. "I heard Gibbs. You're in charge of us when he's not here."

"He's across the lawn, Ros."

"Yeah. But he's not here!" Ros pointed to her feet. Sam laughed. "You think you can do it?"

"I know I can do it."

"Then do it."

Ros took her gun and shield off and handed them to Sam. Sam gave her a startled look. "I don't want anything to scare the kid." Sam nodded and watched Ros start into the house. "Amaia," she said softly. "Follow Ros. Cover her back. But don't let her see you."

"Why me?"

Sam grinned, "You want to stay here and explain this to Gibbs?"

Amaia drew her gun, "I'll stick to Ros like glue."

Sam watched them both go. How am I going to explain this to Gibbs?

Gibbs had stopped Fornell's progress across the lawn. "What are you doing here, Tobias? This is an NCIS case."

"Not anymore, Jethro. Maria Balfour was one of ours."

"A FBI agent?"

"Civilian administrative employee, but still one of ours. We take care of our own, Jethro."

Gibbs nodded. That was a sentiment he could appreciate. "We share jurisdiction." Fornell looked at him. Gibbs smiled grimly. "We've three crime scenes, six dead and one missing. It makes sense Tobias."

"We share jurisdiction, then." Fornell nodded to his men, who split up and went to join their NCIS counterparts. "By the way, the barman from the Franklin has been found dead. Murdered."

Gibbs raised his eyebrows. "Your inside man?"

Fornell nodded. "Tell your girls to be careful" Fornell looked across, "Speaking of which, only got one of your trainees here today, Jethro?"

Gibbs spun around, his eyes scanning the scene. Sam stood, her attention on the Balfour house. She was holding something in her hands. It looked to Gibbs like a holstered gun and a shield. What have they done now? He strode across to her, his expression grim. And I felt like a high school principal when I had to deal with Tony and Kate bickering. Sam saw him coming and stood her ground, even though her initial reaction was to find somewhere to hide.

"Gibbs."

"Where are they, Samantha?" Gibbs tone was deceptively soft.

"Roslyn thinks that the missing boy isn't missing. That he's the person who shot Tony. She's gone in after him. Amaia is covering her back." Grey eyes locked on blue. "Ros has worked with traumatised children, Gibbs. If anyone
can get him out without further blood shed, it is Ros. It was my call, Gibbs. You were a little busy." She nodded towards Fornell, who was standing just out of earshot. "Someone had to do something."

The ambulance carrying Tony to Bethesda drove away. Gibbs watched it go. He looked down at Sam, his face a mask. "It was your call. If it's a bad one, you'll have to live with that."

Samantha half smiled back. "I've done that before. As I am sure Special Agent Fornell has told you."

INSIDE THE BALFOUR HOUSE
Ros moved gently into the little bedroom at the rear of the house. Racing car posters dotted the walls. She walked into the middle of the room, in full view of the bed, and dropped down onto the floor cross-legged.

"Hello. Joey? My name's Ros. I'd like to talk to you." Of course, the poor kid might have run away by now and I could be talking to myself. Not that that is anything new.

There was a slight movement under the bed. A pair of brown eyes peered out at her. Ros smiled gently at the boy. "Joey?"

A head poked out from under the bed. It nodded.

"I'm Ros. I want to talk with you. I want to catch the people who hurt your parents and your sister. Will you help me?"

The little boy considered this for a moment, and then nodded. Ros rummaged in her hip pocket and brought out a chocolate bar. She pushed it across the floor to Joey. "I guess you haven't had any breakfast this morning."

The boy took the wrapper off the slightly squashed chocolate bar and nibbled at it, his eyes never leaving Roslyn's. "Can you tell me what happened, Joey?"

Joey's eyes filled with tears. He shook his head violently and made as if to scoot back under the bed. Ros leaned forward. Poor kid is traumatised to hell and back. "It's okay Joey, we've got all sorts of fancy science things to help find the truth. It's okay. We'll look after you. I promise." Ros found her own eyes clouding with tears.

Joey looked up at her. The adult was crying. Adults don't cry! He pushed his shotgun, a present from his dad for his tenth birthday, aside and wriggled out from under the bed. He came to Ros and put his arms around her, tears flowing down his face. Woman and child held each other and cried silently. Without words, Ros got to her feet and taking Joey's hand, they walked out. From her hiding place, Amaia watched them go. She smiled gently, holstered her gun and slipped into the bedroom to retrieve the boy's gun, after all, it was evidence.

OUTSIDE THE BALFOUR HOUSE
Sam watched anxiously as Ros came out of the house, holding Joey's hand. The little boy was trembling violently and tears were rolling silently down his face. Gibbs approached the pair. He knelt down in front of the boy, his eyes not leaving the child's face. "Joey?" Joey looked up at Ros, looking for assurance that it was all right to speak to this man.
Ros smiled encouragingly. Joey looked at Gibbs and nodded.

Ros spoke softly. "He's traumatised, boss. Can't or won't speak. I promised we'd look after him."

Gibbs nodded. "McGee will take you and Joey back to headquarters. We'll look after him there until other family members can be found. Oh, and Danvers...."

Ros braced herself for the rebuke she felt was coming. "Yes boss?"

Gibbs face was expressionless. "Well done."

NCIS HEADQUARTERS, 3 DAYS LATER
Ziva sat at her desk, a disgruntled expression on her face. McGee was staring at his computer screen, seeing nothing. Sam was perched on the edge of Gibbs' desk, arms folded. Tony was seated at his desk on top of a large pile of soft, fluffy pillows provided by Amaia, who was hovering around him almost protectively. Ros was prowling up and down like a caged lioness. Gibbs was nowhere to be seen.

Three days of frustration had forged bonds between Gibbs' team and his trainees.

McGee voiced what they were all thinking. "Three days and we've got nothing. No suspect, no motive, and very little real evidence!"

Ziva growled, "Nobody saw anything. Nobody heard anything. Are they blind and deaf?"

Sam grunted. "It's suburbia Ziva. 'Desperate Housewives' territory. Don't get involved incase your own dirty little secrets get exposed."

McGee agreed. "Like one of the women I interviewed. Didn't want to tell me anything. Turned out she was terrified of her husband finding out she was screwing the next door neighbor after he'd left for work."

Amaia frowned, "Have the child psychologists been able to get anything from Joey?"

Tony shook his head. "No. The kid hasn't started to speak yet. They don't know when and even if he will."

Sam grinned wryly, "So he's no longer a little bastard in your eyes Tony?"

Tony looked across at the brunette. "He stopped being that when I was told what happened. Though I would like to know why he shot me and not Ros."

Ziva looked up sharply. "That is a very good point. Why shoot Tony when he turned to leave, not when he came in? And why not shoot at Ros?"

Ros stopped pacing. "Those are good questions." She frowned and began pacing again. "The key is Joey. What did he see?"

Ziva frowned, "You mean apart from dirt bunnies?"

"It's dust bunnies, Ziva." Tony informed her.

Ros stopped again and then turned and flung herself down on the floor between Gibbs’ and Ziva's desks. "I'm Joey under the bed. McGee, you're Tony," Tony made a gagging noise. "... you've cleared the room and walking out."

McGee got up from his desk, holding his hands as if reholstering his gun, pushing his jacket back on both sides in the process. Ros raised her head slightly, squinting upwards. "I'm watching from under my bed. I look up to see you leaving and I see....CRAP!"

"Not unless your pet isn't housebroken," Tony joked.

"I'm serious Tony. The only thing Joey could have seen to make him respond like that was your badge!"

They all looked at each other in horror. Ros closed her eyes and dropped her head onto her arms. Sam voice was hollow. "The killer is one of us. A LEO. We've still got no motive but we've got a suspect pool of several hundred thousand!"

"That's if the killer was genuine, " McGee pointed out. "You can buy fake police badges on ebay."

"Make that a suspect pool of several million," Ros said gloomily, eyes still firmly closed. "God! It could be any five-star nutjob. Hell, it could anyone... up to and including the boss." Everyone went quiet. Ros noticed the silence. She opened one eye. A pair of brown shoes stood not one inch from her nose. She sighed. "Hello boss."

"Comfortable down there, Ros?" Gibbs stepped over her and sat at his desk. Sam hastily evacuated her perch.

Ros sat up. "We think we know why Joey shot Tony. He saw Tony's badge. We think the killer..."

"Was a LEO," Gibbs finished.

"Yeah, but as McGee pointed out, you can buy fake badges online. So the killer was either a cop, or masquerading as one. So we've still got nothing to work with."

"Not quite." They all looked over to where Abby was standing with a broad smile on her face.

Gibbs got to his feet. "You've got something for us, Abs?"

"I do. The killer was kind enough to leave some skin cells on the rope he used to tie Mrs Balfour to a chair."

"You've got a match?"

Abby grinned. "Yup."

"Don't keep us in suspense, Abby," Tony begged.

Abby's grin got wider, "Got a match with the guy who peed on McGee."

"WHAT?" Gibbs yelled.

Abby laughed, "The urine sample was in the evidence, so I ran it for DNA."

Sam spun around to Ros. "The photos you took. Did you erase them?"

Roslyn's grin matched Abby's. "No. I downloaded everything that was on the stick."

Amaia let out a whoop. McGee rapidly found the photos and put them up on the big computer screen. Flicking through them quickly, there were several excellent shots of McGee's face contorted with embarrassment, along with the cause of his distress.

"You can run, you bastard," Ros said softly, "But you can't hide."

Gibbs turned to Abby. "Can you get an ID on him from these photos?"

"If he's on file somewhere, I can find him." Abby left the squadroom, heading back to her lab. Fornell and another FBI agent arrived just after she had left. The team all had their eyes glued to the screen.

"Gibbs, " Fornell spoke, "How is your end of the investigation going?"

They all turned towards Fornell. As one, they all gaped. Ziva, Tony and Ros all drew their guns, training them on the agent accompanying Fornell. They were the only ones with a clear line of shot. FBI Special Agent Thomas Delaney looked startled. He looked at the guns and then up at the computer screen. "Hey, take it easy. Since when is peeing on an NCIS officer a federal offence?"

"So you admit that is you?" Gibbs asked.

"Jethro, what the hell is going on here?" Fornell looked up at the photo of the screen, and then back at Agent Delaney. "What the hell is this Delaney? That is clearly you in that photograph. Where was it taken?"

McGee's voice was cold, "At the Balfour crime scene. He was urinating on our truck, and on me." Delaney snickered.

"That was your second mistake," Ziva said coldly.

"We recovered DNA from the skin cells in your urine and matched them to the skin cells left on the rope that tied Maria Balfour to her chair, " McGee said.

"Not wearing gloves was your first mistake," Ziva informed him.

"Care to tell us why you murdered six people? Because I am sure it will be a great deal of comfort to Joey." Roslyn's tone was glacial.

Delaney moistened his lips. He looked at Fornell who was standing close to Gibbs who was quietly and quickly filling him in on the details. Delaney drew his gun. Tony fired. A single shot ripping into Thomas Delaney's ass. Delaney screamed in agony, dropping his weapon on the squadroom floor, and pitching forward onto his face.

"That's got to hurt more than birdsh*t," Ziva observed.

NCIS HEADQUARTERS, 2 DAYS LATER

The team sat around the squadroom listening to Tobias Fornell fill them in on Thomas Delaney.

Fornell took a swig of his coffee. "Thomas Delaney was having an affair with Maria Balfour. Lt Balfour was due to ship out to Pendleton, taking the family with him, so Maria broke it off. Delaney didn't take rejection very well."

McGee looked at Sam, "You were right when you said it was 'Desperate Housewives' territory." Sam nodded, her expression sour.

"He intended to go in, kill and get out, but his plans went wrong. Mrs Williams saw him so he shot her, the shot disturbed the Balfour household. He shot Lt Balfour first. Tied Maria to the chair and went after the children. He killed the girl, couldn't find the boy, but by now he knew he was running out of time. Delaney went back to the kitchen and killed Maria. As he was leaving, the Henry's saw him, so he killed them too. Police responded quickly and he hid and then tried to sneak away when NCIS arrived. He took his badge off. He was trying to sneak away when McGee saw him, so he decided to act drunk. Urinating in public is something a lot of drunks do, and nobody ever really remembers a drunk. Later he dumped the gun in the Bureau’s cold case evidence locker. It wasn't his gun. He bought it using fake ID."

The team just sat there, trying to absorb what Fornell had just told them.

Fornell looked at Gibbs. "How's the boy, Joey?"

"Still not talking. He's going to his grandparents in Iowa."

A woman wearing an NCIS visitor's badge was standing by the elevator holding Joey by the hand. Ros got up and walked towards them. She looked back at Gibbs, "I promised Joey that I'd go out to the airport with him to see him off."

Gibbs nodded. They all watched Ros walk towards Joey, who dropped the social service's woman's hand and ran to Ros and hugged her hard. She ruffled the boy's hair, and the three of them walked into the elevator.

Continued on page 4



MargyW
MargyW
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think1959 NCIS Mavericks 3 Oct 28 2008, 2:25 PM EDT by MargyW
Thread started: Oct 27 2008, 11:39 AM EDT  Watch
Margy GREAT JOB!!! could see this happening on the screen if Jenny were still with us. A+ in my book.
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