Ah, here we begin our tale! On with the show.
Oh, and for those of you that wish for a time frame, this takes place some time in between the Harper Dearing Arc and the episode 'Past, Present, and Future'.
Agent of Chaos
Arc I - Genesis
The day outside was beautiful, warm, and inviting. The sun shone brightly through the windows and into the bullpen, where one Special Agent Ziva David sat, glancing down tiredly at the desk before her. The morning had come much too early for Ziva, who had been up late last night. She looked up as a male figure walked into the bullpen and smiled dully.
"Morning, Ziva," said the man, taking his customary seat opposite her.
"Morning, Tony," she replied heavily.
"You seem... tired," said Tony, squinting at her, "up late?"
"Unfortunately, yes," she replied, shoving the file she had been looking at back into its customary place. She grabbed the cup of coffee that was on her desk and gave it a sip.
"You don't usually drink coffee, Ziva," Tony said in a perplexed manner. Ziva suddenly coughed; some of the coffee had gone down the wrong pipe.
"Trying to wake myself up," She said, coughing some more, "I didn't catch a blink of sleep."
"Wink, Ziva. The term is wink," Tony deadpanned, taking a sip of his own coffee. Suddenly, a thought came to him. He turned his office chair to face his right, and noted the odd absence of the sound of hammering keys.
"Ziva?" he inquired, turning his head to face her. Ziva looked up.
"Notice something?" he asked, pointing to the empty desk he was facing. Ziva followed his finger, then took on a puzzled expression.
"Odd," she said, more to herself than to Tony, "Where is McGee?" As if on cue, a younger man half-jogged, half-sprinted into the bullpen, sweating. He arrived just in time to nearly run into an older man with graying hair.
"Boss!" he said in surprise, "I-" he stopped himself in time; he was about to apologize.
"Yeah, McGee?" the older man, Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs, asked.
"I, uh... I overslept." he sputtered out, still trying to catch his breath. Gibbs eyed him for a moment, before nudging him over to his desk. McGee, looking relieved, plopped down into his desk and set his backpack on the ground. A phone rang on Gibbs' own desk, and the man reached to answer it.
McGee looked over at his two fellow agents, who were smiling slightly. Tony feebly attempted to cover his smirk with his own coffee.
"What?" McGee dared, "Haven't you ever overslept before?" Tony looked at him questioningly, as if to say the answer was obvious.
"I wish," snorted Ziva. She then stared longingly at her desk, as if desiring to take a nap on it.
"Think Gibbs will mind?" asked Ziva to the two of them.
"Your funeral." said Tony, taking another sip of his coffee. McGee looked curiously at the two, but decided not to interfere. However, just as Ziva put her head down on the desk to rest, a sharp knock on the desk made her jolt. She looked up at her ear-assailant.
"Plan on taking a nap there, Ziva?" asked Gibbs. Ziva attempted to shake herself awake.
"Um, no, I, ur-" Ziva began in a very un-Zivalike manner. She smiled sheepishly.
"Up late?" she offered. Gibbs smirked, if only a little. He then turned to the rest of his team.
"Grab your gear. Dead petty officer, Quantico," he announced. The team jumped up and grabbed their things.
"Now!" Gibbs hurried them, who was already halfway to the elevator. Their speed increased ten-fold.
Snap, snap, snap.
The body had been cut down from the tree it had been hanging from, and was currently being photographed for evidence by McGee. The sky outside was blue and the sun shone brightly, creating an eerie dissonance with the happenings on below. He looked over to Gibbs and Tony, who were currently questioning the girl and her boyfriend who had found the body. Ziva stood behind him, slightly dazed. She had slept the entire ride over, and was about ready to go back to the car.
"Still awake, Ziva?" asked McGee, taking a few more snapshots of the body. Snap, snap, snap.
"Barely," Ziva spoke, before yawning for what had to be the tenth time. She placed her hand over her mouth to stifle the yawn, but it wasn't very effective. Gibbs walked to the two agents, followed by Tony and the two witnesses. The man had a short, military style haircut and the woman was a small brunette. Gibbs glanced at Ziva and McGee before addressing the two witnesses.
"Know this guy?" he asked. The woman shook her head, but the man's eyes filled with recognition.
"I do," the man, Bradley Barrett, began, "His name is Logan. Logan Eldridge, sir. He's a friend. Or, was."
"Know anyone who'd wanna kill him?" Gibbs asked, taking a closer look at the dead man before him.
"No, sir," said Barrett, almost defensively, "Logan was very well-liked. Never fought, never- actually, he was in a fight recently. With his roommate, Cole Derricks. They, uh... had a dispute over a girl. Or so I was told." Gibbs looked up at Barrett.
"Do you know where Derricks is now?" Gibbs asked, staring intently at Barrett.
"Haven't seem him since yesterday. After their fight, Derricks left their bunk and disappeared," the girl, Jean Dickinson, offered. Gibbs nodded and turned to Tony.
"I want you to find Derricks. Credit cards, phone, anything. Find him," Gibbs ordered. Tony seemed to straighten up.
"On it, Boss," Tony said, and he jogged back to one of the NCIS cars. As Tony began to drive away, another NCIS vehicle pulled up, this time the Autopsy van. Doctor "Ducky" Mallard and Jimmy Palmer exited the van in near unison and walked up to the crime scene.
"Good Morning, Jethro," Ducky said pleasantly. Gibbs turned to face him.
"I wouldn't call it that, Ducky," Gibbs replied. Palmer began to set down some tools beside the corpse.
"Yes, well," Ducky began as he kneeled next to the victim, "they never are, are they?" Ducky immediately set out to work, putting a liver thermometer into the late Eldridge.
"And who do we have the unfortunate pleasure to meet?" asked Ducky while waiting for the thermometer to get a temperature.
"Name's Logan Eldridge, Petty Officer. Got a time of death?" asked Gibbs, looking around for McGee, who had suddenly disappeared. Ziva had taken the liberty of leaning on the tree from which the dead petty officer had hung, slumbering serenely.
"Jethro?" Ducky asked, snapping Gibbs out of his distracted state. Gibbs turned to his friend.
"Got distracted. Time of death?" Gibbs repeated, now gazing down at the body. He leaned over to get a better look at the man's face. The sticky note that was plastered to his face was still on his forehead. Palmer peeled it off and put into a bag for Abby.
"Anywhere from 11 to 12 o'clock last night," stated Ducky, before showing Gibbs the man's hands.
"These bruising indicate a fight, very recently, in fact." Ducky said as Palmer took the thermometer from him.
"Fighting off his attacker?" asked Gibbs.
"Most likely," inserted Palmer, "Though, it looks like these stab wounds here," he pointed to the wounds, "killed him."
"And then the guy hung his corpse from the tree," Gibbs finished.
"Crime of passion?" suggested Ducky.
"Or he wanted the body to be found," said Gibbs, straightening himself up. He walked over to the slumbering Ziva, and knelt down next to her. Her face was so peaceful; Gibbs needed to change that. He lightly slapped her face, and Ziva's eyes fluttered open.
"Sleep well?" Gibbs asked. Ziva grimaced and, reaching back behind her, gave the back of her head a slap. Gibbs nodded.
"Where's McGee?" he questioned. Ziva opened her mouth to answer, but a voice stopped her.
"Over here, Boss!" the voice yelled. Gibbs and Ziva looked over to McGee, who was standing in front of some bushes near the side of the bar. Gibbs walked over to where McGee was.
"I went to the bathroom round back. I was walking back and found... well, this," McGee said. Gibbs looked to where McGee pointed and widened his eyes in dull surprise.
Another dead body was lying behind the bushes, looking more bruised than the other. His nose was clearly broken, and blood was gushing out. He too, had stab wounds across his chest. However, unlike Eldridge, he had five separate stab wounds. He was probably mid 20s, with a military style haircut. Though, oddest of all, he too had a sticky note on his forehead. This one bore the letter 'H'.
Ziva, who had gotten up from her resting place, walked over to Gibbs and stared at the other body. Not long after, Barrett and Dickinson had walked over as well. Barrett's eyes widened in horror, and Dickinson placed a hand over her mouth and began to silently cry. Barrett draped an arm around her, and she buried her face in his shoulder.
"You know him?" Gibbs asked quietly. Barrett's eyes watered.
"Yes, sir," he began, and taking a deep breath, continued, "He's my brother."
Tony, meanwhile, had just driven up an alley way and parked his car. He exited the vehicle and crossed a busy street to get to a restaurant on the other side, Café Riot, a small coffee shop. Tony had tracked his credit card to this place, where he had purchased a cup of Joe and a doughnut not ten minutes ago. Tony walked into the small coffee shop and looked around the beige room for a man matching Derricks' description. The place was so packed, he could barely make out anyone.
He decided to go straight to the girl attending the cash register, a college girl with a blonde ponytail. He walked up to her nonchalantly, turning on the patented DiNozzo charm. The girl smiled warmly and said, "Welcome to Café Riot, how may we serve you?"
"Hi, Special Agent Tony DiNozzo, NCIS," he said, flashing his badge, "I'm looking for this guy, seen him around?" Tony handed her a picture of Derricks, which the girl gazed at.
"Yeah, he's right over there," the girl said, pointing over to a table near the emergency exit. A tall gentleman sat there with a cup of coffee in his hand and donuts. He had a brown hair and hazel eyes, which were hopping around the room, paranoid.
"Thanks," Tony said, putting his badge and picture back in his pocket. He walked calmly over to the table where Derricks sat, who spotted him and began to rise. Tony reached the table just as the man took the lid off his coffee.
"Hello, NCIS, I need to ask you a f-" Tony never finished his sentence, as Derricks threw the cup of coffee at him, spilling it all down his front. Tony's mouth opened wide in shock and silent pain, and Derricks bolted out the emergency exit. Sirens blared overhead and the denizens of the Café looked around in panic. Tony, regaining himself quickly, bolted after Derricks.
Derricks had taken off down the alleyway of the exit and quickly turned onto the sidewalk beside the street. Tony sprinted after the suspect, turning onto the same sidewalk. The people walking on the path looked to be picking themselves up when Tony ran past them, turning them to the side as he ran to clear his path.
"Federal Agent! Federal Agent!" he cried, and more people moved out of his way. He was gaining ground on Derricks fast, who was a mere fifteen feet in front of him now. Derricks glanced back and, seeing Tony on his tail, quickened his pace tenfold. Tony growled and ran faster as well, but Derricks continued to remain just out of reach. Derricks turned into another alleyway, and Tony followed.
Tony saw the end of the alleyway and mentally jumped for joy; a large, chain link fence stood between them and the road ahead. Derricks continued to run, but without the obstructions, Tony was gaining fast. Derricks reached the fence and, with impressive strength, leaped onto the fence. However, it was too late; Tony had reached him. He grabbed Derricks by the belt and yanked him off the fence. Derricks landed on his feet, then fell onto his back with a loud thud.
"Argh!" cried Derricks, but Tony showed no sympathy. Tony quickly flipped him onto his stomach and brought his hands behind his back.
"Gotcha," Tony muttered to himself. He put the handcuffs onto Derricks, then inspected his shirt and tie, now sopping wet with coffee. He then noticed something.
"This is my favorite tie," Tony muttered, then louder, to Derricks, "This is my favorite tie!" Derricks struggled under him.
"You son of a bitch!" Tony cried.
Tony tightened the cuffs. Derricks grimaced.
Hm... Who is this mysterious killer? Why did Derricks run away? And why is Ziva so tired?
All these questions shall be answered! Except for that last one, maybe. I still haven't come up with a reason yet. Do leave a review, if you would. Until next time!
(Oh, FYI, 'Arcs' in this story are like episodes, and 'Acts' are the bits in between the gray-scale flashes. Just lettin' ya know.)