NCIS Fan Fiction ❯ Godly Marine: Killed ❯ 2 ( Chapter 2 )
"Staff Sergeant Michael Kahale, aged twenty-one, born on March 15, 1988," said Tim, pulling up Kahale's I.D. on the plasma screen. "Joined the force when he was sixteen. Signed up as a machinist. Clean service record, and absolutely spectacular performance remarks."
"Background?" Gibbs asked.
"Uh…" Tim looked at Tony for help. Tony shrugged at him. Prick. "There wasn't really anything…"
"I think what McGee means to say," Tony said, exasperated, "is that there are barely any records before he enlisted. No high school. No college. Not even a sports club."
"Not even the car was his," Underwood piped up, getting off of his laptop. "I just ran the number of the car. It's a rental. Marko's High-Performance Cars of East Maryland run by a Mr. Marko Tarsibo."
Tony smiled, and Tim prepared to roll his eyes.
"Marko? Ah," Tony tried on his best Russian accent, "'It reminds me of the heady days of Sputnik and Yuri Gagarin when the world trembled at the sound of our rockets. Now they will tremble again - at the sound of our silence.'" He looked around expectantly, grinning, and was about to speak until Lima responded.
"The Hunt for Red October," she said. "Captain Marko Ramius."
Gibbs raised an eyebrow, and Tim smirked as Tony blinked away his surprise. "That's right. 1990. Sean Connery. Directed by-"
"John McTiernan," Lima finished for him.
"Nice," Tony said, "Are you a-"
"DiNozzo," Gibbs said. Tim swore he saw his boss flash a look at Lima that was far from gratifying.
"Right," Tony continued and snatched the remote out of Tim's hand. "The only records we could find were family members and profiles of his first six elementary schools."
Tim raised his eyebrows and turned to Gibbs. "Six schools in five years. Kindergarten to fourth grade. Looks like a troubled kid."
"Or a troubled family life," Gibbs said.
"The changes were definitely not about his grades," Jackson said with a grin, flashing his eyes to his boss who, to her credit, did not spare him a glance.
"Very true," Ziva said. "Kahale passed all of the knowledge evaluations with close to perfect scores getting maybe one or two wrong."
"Passed all of the Military's written exam bars with such great scores he was able to skip some basic classes. Guy's like the next Einstein, Boss," Tony said, "Genius."
Gibbs nodded slightly. "Anything else? Was there a missing child report?"
Tim looked at him, a bit anxious to persist with the bad news. "None, Boss, and it's like I said. No other information at all between his fourth-grade year and when he enlisted. It's like he didn't exist for about six years."
"Well, he had to have been somewhere," Ziva said matter-of-factly.
"And what could he have been doing?" Tim wondered. "Possible that he could have made enemies during this time, Boss?"
"And then went to hide from them by joining the corps?" the burly girl, La Rue, if Tim remembered correctly, asked skeptically and crossed her arms.
Ziva grabbed the TV remote from Tony. "The Sergeant's family lives in Baltimore."
"Mr. Johnathan Kahale, the father, is an esteemed lawyer for the private company, Lowe's Consultancy," La Rue stated, "His salary is two hundred eighty thousand. His step-mother, Patricia Kahale," Tim heard her voice turn a bit bitter, "is a salesperson for an insurance company. They have three kids together."
"Absolutely no information on his biological mother," Underwood said, albeit a bit nervously casting glances to Lima.
"Let's work our way through both of these missing timelines. Clarisse," Lima ordered, "go to the car rental. Get all the info you can, and find who gave him the car."
Tim saw his boss eye the young special agent. "DiNozzo," he said, "go with her."
Lima glanced at Gibbs with careful, calculating eyes. "And Percy, talk to the parents." She looked back at Gibbs, waiting for him to interject again.
He didn't say anything at first, and Tim held his breath for a second. Why is it always so tense?
"Ziva," he stated. Ziva nodded. Nobody moved. "Well? Move!" Everybody started scurrying to their assigned task.
Tim tried not to show how startled he was when Gibbs whispered at him. "Do a background check on them. I don't like not knowing who I'm really working with."
Tim nodded. Of course, Gibbs didn't trust the Long Island team.
"Lima!" Gibbs called, going up the stairs. "Come on."
And so, Tim was left alone with Agent Underwood, who had plopped himself on Tony's desk and was typing on his laptop.
Was it him, or did his paperwork triple since yesterday? The director groaned, pulling a hand over his face, and glanced at a packet that had something to do with the FBI. It was huge, and it was just one packet in a mountain. His secretary swore that she has no recollection of it coming into his office. Leon glared at the pile conspiringly. Honestly, she probably had such a traumatic experience just by looking at the amount that her brain wiped the memory of the entire moment to spare itself. He hoped this was just some nightmare, but no…
Not to mention, he got a late notification this morning telling him of a joint assignment with the NCIS branch of Long Island. Which meant they were paired up with Gibbs. Which meant Gibbs was going to barge into his office like he owned the place and throw a hissy fit. Which meant his headache was going to get 10 times worse! Maybe Gibbs wouldn't drag in the Agent in charge of the Long Island team, so Vance didn't have to mend another relationship between agencies.
And just like that, his door was thrown open, and Gibbs sauntered in. "Speak of the devil," the director grumbled. At the corner of his eye, he saw a notification pop up on his computer screen, most likely his secretary apologizing again about Gibbs's intrusion.
"Good morning to you too, Director Vance," Gibbs said with a smile.
Leon Vance felt the blood leave his face. It was still morning? Aw, he swore it had been hours since- wait, Leroy Jethro Gibbs calling him by his given title? Oh no. And then he saw her. Blonde, lean, professional, young…a bit too young. He straightened up and looked her in the eyes, a startling grey. How interesting.
"Director Vance," the girl nodded in greeting.
Leon returned the nod, taking a side glance at Gibbs's fake smile, and offered his hand. "Yes, and you are?"
"Special Agent Anne Lima," she replied as she shook his hand, firm, meeting his eyes, confident, determined.
"Ah, from Long Island, yes?"
"Director," Gibbs said, "My team can handle this case."
Blunt as usual. "Well, Agent Gibbs," Leon quipped, "Extra hands are always a help and appreciated."
"Why wasn't I notified about this when I was told about the case?" Leon saw Gibbs's eye twitch.
"I just got the e-mail this morning, and unfortunately, wasn't able to see until later. But Gibbs, working with the Long Island branch opens a way to connect to our other fellow agents," Leon said sternly but kindly shot a smile to the girl. She raised an eyebrow.
Gibbs took that as a sign to interrogate the poor girl. "Why is Long Island interested in the Staff Sergeant?"
"Michael was stationed at a ship currently docked in Northern New Jersey. He also had other matters that had him in Long Island," Lima replied smoothly.
Gibbs was ready to grill her some more, but his cell phone rang. 'Thank God.'
He gave Agent Lima another distrustful glace before glancing at the caller ID. Gibbs opened his flip phone. "Yeah, Abbs?"
'Yes,' the Director thought, 'Leave it to Ms. Sciuto to save us.'
"Yeah, we'll be right there." He clicked his phone shut and headed for the door. "Come on," he ordered Lima. The girl glanced at Leon with an unimpressed look, before heading out the door Gibbs was holding open.
Leon stopped Gibbs before the man could leave. "I didn't appreciate you turning my office into an interrogation room; don't do it again."
Gibbs tilted his head in response and left.
Alone again, Leon allowed another sigh to escape him as he rubbed his temples. Gibbs was being Gibbs, and although he had to admit the toughness of Agent Lima to yet be unmoved by the man, Leon worried that her stubbornness would be too much like Gibbs. Just added stress…
Speaking of stress, Leon looked at the mountain of files on his desk. Gathering himself up, he picked one up. He opened it, made a face, and put it back down.
"I need a coffee," He muttered, 'Or something stronger.'
Ziva decided that Jackson had a very likable personality. The two rode together to visit the Kahale family, and Ziva had opted to drive, receiving no argument from Jackson. However, she had not been able to get much information on the NCIS Long Island branch than what Lima had already told them.
"Well, I think your mother and I would get along very well," Ziva laughed as she walked up to the door of the house, locking the car behind her with the remote key. She knocked on the door, quickly assessing her surroundings. She saw Jackson casually glance through a window. She caught the grin he sent her way. No visual problems from the front door, then.
A couple seconds later, a woman's voice came through the door. "Who is it?"
"NCIS!" Ziva shouted through.
'So,' Ziva thought, 'this woman is one of those.' She and Jackson brought their Federal IDs to the peephole. They heard the click of a lock turning, and the door opened to reveal a young woman. Ziva recognized her from the rundown on the dead Sergeant. "Patricia Kahale?"
The woman stared at them through the parted gap of the doorway. "What do you want?"
"I am Agent Ziva David, and this is Agent Jackson. We are here to inform you about your son-er-stepson, Staff Sergeant Michael Kahale."
"What about him?" Mrs. Kahale asked tersely.
Ziva resisted an urge to sigh in exasperation. "If we can converse indoors, Mrs. Kahale," she said politely.
For a moment, the woman didn't move and only observed both of them. 'A suspicious woman?' Ziva noted. After supposedly deeming them trustworthy enough, she allowed them in her home. The dwelling was telling of an upper-middle-class family. There were pictures of the Kahale family among the house for display. They featured mostly of Patricia's and Johnathan's three kids, two boys and the youngest, a girl. Not one showed the face of Staff Sergeant Kahale. As Mrs. Kahale led them into the living room, Ziva found the house to be impeccably clean and organized. She remained standing, and so did the two NCIS agents. "What is it you wished to tell me?" the woman asked.
Ziva made a show of turning her head as if looking about. "Where is your husband and children, Mrs. Kahale?"
"Out," she said curtly, "Johnathan took the kids on a visit to the beach."
"Do you know when they'll be back?" Jackson asked bluntly.
"No," The woman eyed him, "Aren't you a little young to be a federal agent?"
Ziva caught Jackson stiffen. "Just look like it."
Ziva tried not to frown. Mrs. Kahale didn't seem to believe it.
"You never answered my question. Why are you here?"
Ziva sighed. "I regret to inform you, ma'am, that your step-son, Michael, was found dead this morning."
Patricia Kahale closed her eyes and took a deep breath. "Michael? Michael is dead for sure?"
"We are sorry for your loss," Ziva consoled, even as Mrs. Kahale was shaking her head.
"I didn't really know him. I didn't even know he joined the corps. I haven't seen him for years."
Jackson nodded. Ziva stared at him to see if he was going to ask any questions. She internally sighed when he remained silent, looking just a bit awkward- and kind of dumb, too, just standing there.
"We noticed that your step-son disappears on record for a period of nine years. May you explain why that is?"
"I think that is a question for my husband."
Ziva raised an elegant eyebrow at the quickness of her response. "Oh, why is that? Does your husband know where his son went?"
"No." Mrs. Kahale started to head for the door, "He ran off years ago, now I think you should leave. I don't have anything more to say about the boy."
Ziva took the hint but took her time to rattle off a couple more questions, "There was no report of the disappearance."
"We did report it, we were never contacted," the woman responded, as she held the door open for them.
"We will also need someone to confirm the identity of the body, Ziva said as she went back outside.
"Call us," Mrs. Kahale all but shot back.
As Jackson passed the lady out the door, he said, "Thank you for your time."
The woman grunted and shut the door. The lock clicked back into place.
"What a nice lady," Jackson lamented.
Ziva scowled at him, "What was that?"
"Looks like she didn't like us much."
"Obviously. No, I'm talking about you. You weren't much help!"
Jackson had the gall to look surprised, "You had it!"
"Well, someone had to," Ziva shook her head, feeling disappointed. "Anyway, I have a feeling that Mrs. Kahale does not care much about her step-son, and from the way she threw us out- it seems she might be hiding something."
"Did you see the knife?" Jackson asked, acting nonchalant.
Ziva was thrown off guard, "What? Where?"
"The table by the entrance," Jackson said, "It's probably nothing, just forget about it."
Ziva wasn't deterred, "Really? On the table?" Ziva tried to remember. She may have seen something shine in the light, but she must not have noticed it. Was she getting rusty? "What is it doing there?"
"Nothing, probably just a fancy envelope opener."
Ziva sent a look at him.
Jackson shifted on his feet for a bit. "So, what do we do now?"
Ziva sighed, thinking about what she had to tell Gibbs, "I must report back to Gibbs and then call Mr. Kahale."
"Let's go then, I'll drive."
Ziva's brows furrowed into a small frown as Jackson practically raced to the car. He was hiding something. But what? And what was the significance of the dagger? She had a strong feeling these agents from Long Island were not telling them everything.
Clarisse did not enjoy her car ride. Her first opinion on this 'Very Special Agent Anthony DiNozzo' was that he was a complete doofus. And he was, but it was made clear why he had gotten to be a top agent. His tactic was to play the completely dumb chatterbox, and boy could he talk like a daughter of Athena in a museum, but that was just a ploy to get others to talk to him as well. This was an interrogation. And Clarisse had gotten pissed off. She did not like being interrogated by some snobby, stuffed up Agent. And she especially hated how he had done it. If Clarisse La Rue was to be interrogated, then let it be straight up. No descendant of the Ares was going to tolerate such a petty approach.
So, she had told him to 'shut up or else.'
Ah, sweet silence.
DiNozzo broke that with a whistle of appreciation as they finally drove into the Rental estate. It wasn't hard to figure out why. Rows of high-performance sports cars were displayed for customers.
"Wow!" Agent DiNozzo exclaimed as he parked the car. Clarisse rolled her eyes as she saw him slide on some sunglasses dramatically and walk up to a sleek, red Ferrari. "Wow!" He repeated. He checked his reflection in its tinted windows. Clarisse frowned slightly as he pulled his phone out to take a selfie.
"Come on," she huffed at him, "We're supposed to interview why Michael was here, not take selfies of cars we can't afford." She looked at a description of a Lamborghini, "Besides, what are you going to do with 600 horsepower, go from one red light to the next red light?"
"Ah, it's about the display, the comfort, the thrill on the highway, the style." DiNozzo lifted an eyebrow and grinned at his phone, most likely looking at his newest selfies. "Besides, you got to learn how to take a break from time to time."
Clarisse scowled and led the way into the dealership building, leaving the older Agent to trail behind her at a slow pace still taking in the sights. She entered the building and breathed in the cool air. Though once the door closed behind her, she tensed and didn't move a muscle.
DiNozzo charged through the door still talking. "You know, taking breaks during work is suggested. It can be a stressful job and-"
"Sh!" Clarisse snapped.
DiNozzo blinked in surprise. "You know, I think we started off on the wrong foot," he began.
"No," Clarisse whispered, "It's not that."
DiNozzo frowned, "Why are we whispering?"
"Do you hear that?" Clarisse asked.
Clarisse's ears rang a little as DiNozzo took a couple seconds to listen. "I don't hear anything."
"Manager could just be in his office?" DiNozzo mused, but even still, he nodded.
"Hello?" He called out. "Mr. Tarsibo?"
Clarisse moved towards a glass window, facing the street. They were right by a busy street intersection, too.
An office door opened as a man pushed his way out and quickly shut the door behind him. "My apologies, I had a customer to attend to."
Clarisse's senses prickled, "A customer?" she asked, glancing around the empty building.
The man smiled, "Yes, he was otherwise engaged and did his business through call. I am Marko Tarsibo, by the way," He held his hand out, "How may I help you?"
"Mr. Tarsibo," Agent DiNozzo replied as he shook the proffered hand, "I am Special Agent Anthony DiNozzo from NCIS, and this is Agent Clarisse La Rue."
"Federal Agents," Tarsibo acknowledged, his shake strong and confident, "What seems to be the issue?"
"Unfortunately," DiNozzo explained, "Your car was found in a crash site."
"Crashed? How horrible! But no worries, I have procedures in place for such a situation. The renter does sign a form and all that jazz. Come and sit, and I can give you any additional information you want."
He directed them to the front desk.
"Yes, thank you," DiNozzo said, "We would like to confirm the lessee of the car."
"Of course, I hope the person was not critically injured by the crash. Do you have a plate number or anything I can go by?"
DiNozzo brought the plate number and other such identification numbers up on his phone.
As they sat there, Clarisse observed the area of the main desk. It was pretty bland except for the assortment of mini flags. She was able to identify the American flag as well as the French and even the Greek flag. There were a couple more she really didn't recognize- maybe that one was Finnish. She saw another with a horse and rider. She tilted her head a bit. Did that one have Greek words on it? Before she could read it, Mr. Tarsibo exclaimed, "Yes! Here we are. A Mr. Michael Kahale was the client. I remember him. Yes, a marine, was he? Is he alright?"
"He did not make it," DiNozzo responded.
"We are currently investigating his death," Clarisse added, "How did you know he was a Marine?"
Mr. Tarsibo directed his smile to her, "We have a discount for members of the service and veterans here. Proper ID is required."
"Can you tell us about your interaction with Staff Sergeant Kahale, Mr. Tarsibo?" Agent DiNozzo asked.
"It was very brief," Mr. Tarsibo said, "He was simply looking for a quality car for his time here. Nothing out of the ordinary at all."
"When was he here?"
"Two days ago. Sometime in the afternoon. Let me give you the time from the sale."
Mr. Tarsibo quickly printed out a log and handed it to them. "Will there be anything else today, agents?"
"No," Agent DiNozzo said with a smile of his own and offered his card. "Thank you for your time, and please don't hesitate to give us a call if you remember anything."
"It was no problem, and if you ever need to rent a car, I would be happy to offer discounts to federal agents as well."
Mr. Tarsibo's warm smile led them all the way out.
The blast of noise when Clarisse stepped outside was welcoming. She took a deep breath of fresh air.
Agent DiNozzo walked up behind her. "What was up with you and Mr. Smiles in there?"
Clarisse glared at him. "I don't trust him. He's slimy. I don't know what it is; maybe he's not sharing everything or something.
"I understand the distrust. But he is a car dealer. It is natural to feel that, but maybe try not to be so aggressive next time."
"Whatever," Clarisse growled. She snatched the car keys out of his hands. No way was she just going to sit in a car for another two hours doing nothing.