NCIS Fan Fiction ❯ Godly Marine: Killed ❯ 4 ( Chapter 4 )
Clarisse didn't think much of the place. It was just like any other bar, gross yet comfortable. Still, she hadn't survived her life by judging by appearance alone.
"Do you smell anything?" she asked Grover.
The satyr discreetly smelled the air. He made a face. "Alcohol, greasy food, some of these guys haven't taken a shower in a while, and the dumpster seems to have seen some unpleasant stuff. Maybe a slight whiff of monster, but that could just be from everything else."
Clarisse grunted. "Can't be too careful."
They walked up to the bar, and the bartender walked over. "Welcome to the Drowsy Owl," he said, and gave them a quick look over, "If you want to drink, I'll need to see ID."
"We're not here for a drink, Mr. Sachs," Clarisse said. She showed her badge. She had to admit, she loved doing that. Not that she'd ever say it out loud. "NCIS. Agent Clarisse La Rue, Grover Underwood."
"Navy? What can I help you with?"
Clarisse showed a photo of Michael in uniform. "Do you recognize this dude?"
"Yeah, heh- knew that haircut wasn't by choice. He came in here quite a lot during the past week or so."
"Did he come with someone or meet with anyone?"
The man shook his head. "No. He kept to himself. Always ordered quickly and quietly. Actually, he never got a drink either. Seemed to really want to keep to himself."
Clarisse nodded in understanding.
"Um," Grover started, "we have to ask, but…"
Clarisse sighed. "He paid in cash, right?"
The barkeep thought for a second. "Yeah. Every time."
"Do you know the validity of the cash he gave?"
"Oh, of course," Mr. Sachs said in realization, "Well, it was mostly tens and twenties, but I always check. Seemed good to me."
Clarisse could accept that. "I'll take your word for it." She handed him her card. "If you think of anything else, please call."
As she turned to go, she stopped when a familiar face walked by her.
"Mrs. Kahale," Clarisse exclaimed.
The woman turned, "Yes?"
"NCIS. You met with our partners earlier today."
"Oh, more agents," the woman smiled politely, "How nice to meet more of you."
"Really? Nice?" Clarisse snarked, "That's not what I heard."
Mrs. Kahale's smile wavered. "What's that supposed to mean?"
"It means I want to know why you aren't with your family. Why are you here, a place that your stepson visited nearly every day for the time he was here, a stepson you don't seem to care much about?"
Grover coughed behind her.
"That boy was nothing but trouble," Mrs. Kahale seethed. "No, I'm not upset about his death, and you won't catch me mourning for him. But my husband is extremely upset, and I would never do anything to hurt him. So, if you are suggesting that I killed the boy or was involved, then you really don't deserve that badge.
"As for why I'm here, there is nothing to it. Why can't I be here? I never saw Michael in this place, so it's all purely coincidence.
"That's all I have to say. Now, if you'll excuse me. I have many things still to do today." With that said, she stormed out.
Clarisse turned back to the barkeep. "That woman, does she come here often?"
"Yeah," the man said, "in fact, she's been coming here for a couple of months. Always meets up with some guys."
"Guys?" Grover repeated, "She's married..."
The bartender shrugged. "She doesn't arrive with them. Doesn't leave with them either."
"What kind of guys?" Clarisse inquired.
"Wide variety, but the most often is this younger-looking dude. He works at some fast food place; doughnuts I think it was."
"Do you have a description of him or a video even? Did you manage to hear what they were talking about?"
Mr. Sachs shook his head. "Sorry. Don't have cameras here. Didn't get a good look at his face either. And I don't get into anybody's business as it would potentially affect mine. Sorry I can't help you more."
"No problem," Clarisse reassured. "Have a nice day."
They finally left the place.
"I don't think it was a good idea to anger Mrs. Kahale, Clarisse," Grover admonished.
"I don't like it," Clarisse scowled, "Michael hangs out for over a week in the bar his stepmother also hangs out in?"
"Well…" Grover hesitated but gathered himself. "We don't have anything to prove, well, anything. Besides, it could just be a coincidence like she said."
"I don't believe in coincidences." Clarisse had made too many mistakes believing in coincidences. "And you shouldn't either."
She trudged to the car. "It should be a rule."
"Come on, wise girl," Percy said as he drove the car in front of the Kahale residence, "Just because Ziva may say something about the knife in the house, doesn't mean Gibbs will think that both it and Michael's are suspicious. She wasn't even aware of it before I brought it up."
"Gibbs is a smart guy, Percy," Annabeth argued. "I just hope that all the stuff Chiron and I did is enough."
"Stop worrying. It's fine. There's no way you didn't think of anything."
Annabeth gave him a look.
"And if you did, which I doubt," Percy said, "we'll just deal with it as it comes up."
Annabeth sighed and knocked on the front door. Sure, they've been chased by cops before, but these were federal agents, federal agents that Annabeth and her friends were impersonating. Percy had no idea what he was getting into, and if she was being honest with herself, neither did Annabeth. The quicker she finished this investigation, the better.
The door opened to reveal a middle-aged man that Annabeth recognized as Jonathan Kahale.
"Good afternoon! How may I-" He stopped abruptly when his eyes locked with Annabeth's. He looked at her in shock, his face visibly paling. Annabeth suddenly felt very self-conscious.
Percy cleared his throat. "Mr. Kahale," he addressed, taking over for Annabeth, "We are NSCI-"
"NCIS," Annabeth automatically corrected, shaking the awkwardness away, "I am Special Agent Anne Lima, and this is my partner, Percy Jackson. I believe you were told of our coming."
"Ah, yes," Mr. Kahale cleared his throat a couple times, "Of course. Please, lead the way."
"Is your wife not coming, Mr. Kahale?" Annabeth asked as the man closed his door.
"No. She is out."
Annabeth opted to drive, if only that it gave her something to do while she was in the car with Michael's father.
"Where is this NCIS building?" Mr. Kahale asked.
"In D.C.," Annabeth answered.
Percy shot a smile at the backseat. "It's not too far. We'll have you back home real quick, Mr. Kahale."
The man nodded, falling silent. Annabeth nor Percy picked up conversation, and an uncomfortable silence settled in.
The man's deathly stillness was such a contrast to Percy's constant fidgeting. He looked lost in thought, which was always a bad idea for a demigod. Annabeth was unused to having someone without ADHD ride with her. It was kind of eerie.
After fifteen minutes, which felt like an hour, Mr. Kahale seemed to have the courage to speak up again.
"So, you two are," Mr. Kahale hesitated, and tapped his tongue on his lips a few times, "demigods?"
Percy froze in the middle of playing with the air conditioning vent.
Annabeth glanced in the rearview mirror to see the older man staring right back at her. "Why would you say that?" Annabeth asked.
"I will never forget what Michael's mother looked like," he said seriously.
Annabeth looked at the road. Oh.
"And, erm, when you misplaced the letters of the agency, Mr. Jackson was it? It alludes to your dyslexia. Also, how when you drive, Miss Lima, you tend to only read the symbols. When you had to change lanes, you did not see the construction signs that told that the right lane was right turn only. You only swapped at the last second when you saw the street arrows. And, you keep drumming your hands on the wheel, constantly moving them around. And although the consistent checking of your side and rear-view mirrors is a great driving practice, it's more likely due to your ADHD. Not that your driving is bad…."
Annabeth grit her teeth as the man kept talking. His nervous rambling wouldn't be so bad if only it wasn't critiquing her driving skills! Percy seemed to notice that things were going downhill and interrupted the man.
"So, did you ever meet up with Michael while he was here?"
"I didn't even know he was here," Mr. Kahale gloomed, "How long was he here?"
"Just under a week."
"Oh, I see." Mr. Kahale slumped further into his seat.
Annabeth felt for him. Michael was her brother, but he was one of many, and she had grown up with the tragedy of heroes she called siblings and friends. But for Mr. Kahale, Michael was his son, and the only tie he probably had left to the goddess he loved.
"I am sorry for your loss," Annabeth said.
Mr. Kahale looked up at her. "Do you know if he was happy at the camp?" He asked.
Annabeth nodded. "I believe so. He got along well with everyone. I only knew him for a year before he left for the Marines, but he always kept in contact and visited."
"It must have been really nice for him to be around family and people who could relate with him about his world."
"Michael was determined not to be held down by the divine world," Annabeth said, "And, although he may have been surrounded by all of the demigods, nothing beats true family."
She would know. No matter how bad things got between her and her family, they were always there. They were the stability in her crazy life. She remembered when her father came rushing in to save the day with his WWI plane. Then again, they could, if they needed to, be just as crazy.
Annabeth parked the car, and before getting out, she turned to look at Mr. Kahale. "Not everyone is a demigod or are even aware of our world," she warned.
"I won't say anything," Mr. Kahale promised.
Annabeth and Percy led him into the federal building. They made their way through check-in. For some reason, Percy insisted on waiting for them on the main floor. Annabeth and Mr. Kahale went into the elevator, going down to autopsy.
The elevator doors shut. Annabeth willed herself not to be affected by this man, as she noticed him staring at her, again. "Michael always looked like me," he finally said, "But you…" he took a breath. Annabeth realized that his hands were shaking. Were they doing that the entire time? "You have such a striking resemblance…" He finished.
Annabeth gave a light, breathy laugh. "Yes. You have no idea how much trouble it has cost me."
"I'm sorry," he said, "You know, I always knew this was a possibility. Michael told me the average age of demigods, but he was safe at camp, and when he joined the force, he was just a mechanic. I always told him to be careful. To be safe." He wiped his eyes. "But, I never understood the weight of the exact danger."
The doors opened up, and Annabeth led him into autopsy. Dr. Mallard had swapped out of his scrubs and was looking very professional in his bow tie.
It was a quick procedure, and they were able to leave quickly.
"It's not your fault, Mr. Kahale. You still have a family. Go be with them." Annabeth said before watching as Percy took him.
She pulled herself together. She needed to see Abby. Where did she say she was going to be again? The garage? She headed off in that general direction, and she was right.
Well, she was pretty sure. She found a pair of legs sticking out of a hole in the battered sports car, but she didn't think anyone else would wear those shoes.
"Abby?" Annabeth called out.
"Agent Lima?" A voice in the car responded. The legs started to swing around, as Abby attempted to escape.
"Yes," Annabeth affirmed, "Are you okay? Do you need help?"
"No," Abby said, "I'm fine. Perfectly-OW!-fine."
Annabeth took that to mean 'No' and started to haul Abby out of the hole by her legs. Except, this concept was a bit harder to carry out than Annabeth had thought.
"Stop kicking," Annabeth ordered, dodging what would have led to a broken nose.
"Sorry-Hey! Don't pull on the boots, man!"
"Gods, stop twisting! Just wiggle a bit."
"Wait, don't pull so fast! Just-just-"
"Okay. Here we go."
Annabeth finally lugged the lab rat out. Annabeth took a step back to catch her breath. Abby leaned on the car to do the same.
"What were you doing?" Annabeth blew out.
"Searching for any DNA samples," Abby panted, "Fingerprints, blood, spit, hair, nail clippings, sp-"
"Nail clippings?" Annabeth repeated.
Abby gave her a look. "You would be surprised where I've found nail clippings."
Deciding she didn't want the full list, Annabeth turned to the surrounding onlookers. "What are you looking at? Get back to work."
Abby looked on in amusement at the sudden scrambling of the NCIS personnel.
"Do you have anything, Abby?" Annabeth asked.
"Well, I am still working on the car. It's a shame, such a nice car."
"What about the phone?" Annabeth queried.
"Where's Gibbs?" Abby asked, obviously avoiding the question.
Annabeth wanted to roll her eyes. Seriously? They were still on this?
"He went to Michael's apartment with Agent McGee."
"Abby, you got the phone to work, didn't you?"
Abby sighed in defeat. "Yeah, I was able to get all the list of contacts he kept on the phone. It was definitely a burner. He only made one call with it, which was to this number. The contact name listed was Annabeth Chase. Unfortunately, the number he called is also unregistered."
"Alright. Thank you, Abby."
"Yep," Abby said, already crawling back into the hole from whence she came. Not exactly the best idea, but Annabeth resolved to come back later to see if Abby needed rescuing again. Now, she had a call to make.
"Now, you sure you boys don't need anything?" the bumbling landlady asked for about the fifth time as she led them to apartment Sergeant Kahale rented out.
"No, we're fine," Tim repeated, not missing a beat.
"Alright, then. Well, here we are."
Tim couldn't completely keep in the sigh of relief as they came up to the room.
"This is his room?" Gibbs made sure.
The lady nodded. "Yeah. You guys want-"
"We are perfectly fine, ma'am," Tim interrupted.
"Alright. I'll be in the lobby if you need me. Don't forget to return the key when you leave."
"Jeez," Tim exclaimed when the woman was out of earshot. "If I was staying here, I would do my best to not be in for most of the day either."
"Ah, she's not that bad, McGee," Gibbs lightly scolded, fiddling with the key.
"Well, at least let's hope she's not knocking…woah…"
"'Woah' is right," Gibbs agreed as he entered the room. Tim followed a bit more carefully. He didn't want to disrupt the network of link analysis that littered the room.
It was writing. And lots of it. The wall was layered with notecards, post-it notes, and even pinned up napkins covered in scrawls. The table reminded Tim of his school days when he was writing his thesis for his Master's Degree.
Tim was used to a visual plot having more images, like photographs. The only thing that came close was a map, littered in more post-it notes, rubber bands, tacks, and thread.
"Landlady is not going to be happy about the holes he made," Tim commented.
Gibbs hummed in agreement.
"What are we looking at here, Boss?"
"I don't completely know," Gibbs said quietly, "Most of it isn't in English."
Tim went closer and realized that Gibbs was right. "It looks like Greek to me." He felt rather than saw the deadpan look his boss gave him. "No, I'm being serious. I recognize these characters from the Greek alphabet."
"Is it a code?" Gibbs asked.
"I assume so," McGee said, "Wouldn't know why the Staff Sergeant would know Greek." McGee started to rewrite each Greek letter with the English equivalent. "Although, it's not really good as a code, as anyone can just type it in a trans…" McGee trailed off. Okay, so maybe he was wrong.
"It doesn't translate into anything when I turn the letters into the Latin equivalent. I'm going to have to look at them later, maybe enlist Abby's help."
Gibbs nodded, "Do what you have to. I need to know what he was on to." Gibbs tapped one of the post-it notes. Tim was grateful that it was in English, but immediately wished it weren't after reading it.
"Boss," Tim said in shock, "this… this just got way more serious."
"Could have always been this big, McGee," Gibbs told him, "It's just that we're finding that out now."
"If he was after the Sinaloa Cartel, then this case just got a whole lot bigger," Tim said.
Gibbs said nothing to that and kept observing the Sergeant's laid out thought process. He was pretty sure he heard Gibbs mutter something about doughnuts-wouldn't that be nice- as Tim ventured deeper into the apartment. He was pleasantly surprised that Kahale kept the place nice and tidy. Gibbs's phone started to ring.
"Yeah, what have you got, Abbs?"
Okay. Nice job, I'll let Tony and Ziva know."
Alright, well, who did he call?"
Thanks, Abby." Gibbs ended the call and immediately set into making another one.
As Gibbs waited, McGee figured this would be a good time to let him know what he found.
"Boss," Tim said, catching Gibbs's attention. "I've got his duffle and his gun, standard issue. He didn't take it with him. He's got some clothes in the drawers, nothing fancy but obvious that he was going to stay here for a while. I've got nothing other than that."
Gibbs nodded in approval.
It was obvious that the main focus was whatever it was that apparently had a connection to Mexican drug cartels.
Tim looked around in helplessness as Gibbs calmly waited for Tony or Ziva to pick up. He wished he could act so calm like Gibbs, but the idea of getting involved in the Mexican drug war made him really nervous. It may be wishful thinking, but McGee truly hoped Gibbs would let the DEA handle this.
"No, Tony!" Ziva cried in frustration, "We are not getting into this."
"I am just saying," Tony pressed. "What if-"
"There is no 'what if,' Tony," Ziva interrupted. "It would be a solid 'No.'"
Tony sighed as he drove into the rental car area. Ziva was no fun.
Ziva chuffed. "Fine."
Oh! Hold that thought.
"You wouldn't get past the second date."
Tony parked the car and looked at his partner. "A lot could happen in two dates."
"She would only go on the second for the food," Ziva taunted and slammed the door.
Tony winced. Ouch. He stroked the dashboard, apologizing for Ziva's rough behavior, before joining Ziva outside.
"Now, don't go growling at the man," Tony said, referring to the businessman, "I've had enough of that."
Ziva chuckled, "Yes, as you told me."
"Well, it made a better story than what happened with you and Jackson- which am I the only one curious if Gibbs thinks of his father because of that?"
"Oh, come on, Tony. It is a simple, common name. I'm sure it hasn't even crossed Gibb's mind."
"Gibbs is a man with some deep-reaching thoughts," Tony informed, "You can never know what goes on in the deep abyss of the Gind."
"The Gind?" Ziva questioned.
"Gibbs's mind. 'The Gind,'" Tony explained. "I was thinking about 'Mibbs,' but that didn't-"
"Oh, stop!" Ziva demanded. "Just- just keep that to yourself. Honestly, who thinks of stuff like this?"
Tony was about to retort, but Ziva waved her hands in front of his face to stop him.
"No! Don't speak! Marko Tarsibo!" Ziva called.
There was some ruffling in the office before the man swaggered out. "Ah, agents! How good of you to stop by, again. Is the case sorting out?"
"We are making progress," Ziva answered.
"Oh, I am sorry," Mr. Tarsibo said, "But I do not believe we have been introduced. An Agent La Rue accompanied Agent DiNozzo before."
"Ziva David," Ziva said, "Nice to meet you, Mr. Tarsibo."
"Please, call me Marko."
Well, wasn't he just delightful?
"We are going to need to see the video recordings of the time Michael Kahale was here," Tony said. He smiled. "Marko."
Something passed over the man's face. "Ah." He said. "I see. Unfortunately, policy does make me ask to see a warrant."
"If you insist," Tony said, "We can easily obtain one."
"We will also need to see video recordings of previous weeks," Ziva said.
Tony shot a questioning glance at her but played along. "We are trying to follow a couple of leads."
"Ahem," Mr. Tarsibo coughed, "Of course. That would be no problem. However, again, I will need to have a warrant."
"Alright then," Tony said, "We will be back with that for you."
He and Ziva made their way out.
"Boss isn't going to be happy about this," Tony groaned. He hated getting warrants.
"That's true," Ziva said.
Tony gave her a worried look. "Why did you ask for old video recordings?"
"I believe Agent La Rue's gut feeling was dot on."
"Spot," Tony corrected.
"It's 'spot on,'" Tony educated, "not 'dot on.'"
"Oh, whatever!" Ziva rolled her eyes.
Hey! Not whatever! This was very important knowledge!
"Anyway," Ziva continued, ignoring Tony's mental rant, "He is definitely hiding something. Hopefully, we can find something useful on those tapes."
"Hold up," Tony said, stopping them in the middle of the parkway and bringing out his ringing phone, "It's Gibbs."
"Alright," Ziva consented.
Tony hesitated in answering. "He knows about the warrant. He's displeased."
"He cannot possibly know, Tony," Ziva said. "Now, answer it."
Tony prepared himself.
"DiNozzo, the car we found at the scene," Gibbs said.
"The beautiful, luxurious, red Maserati," Tony remembered. "What about it, Boss?"
"It was tampered with."
Tony frowned. "How do you mean?"
"The engine was modified so the car couldn't go as fast as it could."
Tony pressed the phone on his ear as the squeal of a car's tires sounded off nearby.
"Which means that our resident car renter tampered with the car that our dead Marine used."
"Bring him in," Gibbs ordered.
"Tony!" Ziva yelled. She tackled him, yanking him off the street. "Look out!"
As Tony stumbled and fell backward, he saw a black sports car speed past the spot where they were just standing. It screeched onto the main road and sped off.
Tony looked over Ziva to make sure she was alright. "I think your suspicions were just confirmed," he panted.
"DiNozzo!" The sound of Gibbs's voice came from the phone clutched in Tony's hand. "What's going on?"
Tony grimaced. There was going to be a lot of explaining to do.
"DiNozzo! Answer me!"