AN: So this definitely came out waaaay later than I wanted it to. Especially after I got all those awesome reviews! Life got in the way and for that I apologize. So I made it extra long. I really hope you like it! So parts are a little wacky, but it just reflects my personality and how I interpret the characters. Also, I think I need a beta. Looking for grammar mistakes is time-consuming especially after I just spent like 2 hours writing/typing. So if anyone is interested, just mention it! :) Enjoy!
Disclaimer: I own nothing that you recognize! :)
"I don't look for trouble, it just always seems to find me!" she said in rapid Japanese. "You can't even blame me for this one! I stumbled on to the man by accident!"
She heard nothing over the phone. She could imagine him mentally sighing and pinching the bridge of his nose. But never anything physical. That wouldn't be proper in one of such high station! Only an expressionless face would do. So everything was done mentally.
"Despite the fact that you did not seek out trouble, you seem to be able to sense it. And instead of staying away, like you should know to do by now, you manage to find yourself in the middle." he said in a dry tone of voice.
She sighed heavily into the phone. "Now you know that's not tru-" she started, unconsciously going into the lecture mode with her right hand on her hip, while her left held the phone to her ear. Her foot wasn't tapping yet, but it was a near thing.
"Unfortunately, I am too far away to be of much good." he interrupted as though she hadn't said anything. "However, I think I know someone close by. I will let you know in a few moments. May I reach you at this number?"
She heaved another sigh as her hand moved from her hip to brush her hair out of her eyes.
"Yes. Just ask for Special Agent Gibbs. He will be asking me questions."
With that said, she glanced sideways at said Agent, who seemed to be staring at her very intently. The others seemed to be standing further back, talking amongst themselves, only looking at her occasionally.
"And Sesshomaru? Please hurry. I do not know what to tell them." she whispered into the phone as she used her hand to cover her mouth. There was no way she was letting them hear her say that! Even if they didn't understand Japanese, she was sure they could tell that she was up to no good! That Gibbs man seemed like an expert on human behavior and like he could tell when little girls were about to doing something bad.
"Hn." was the brief reply she received through the receiver right before the dial tone began to echo in her ear.
Bringing the phone down from her ear slowly, she checked to make sure that he had really hung up before handing the phone back to Agent Gibbs. He had allowed her to use the phone at his desk since the international call would be billed to the agency instead of a personal account.
She turned to Gibbs and performed a perfect bow.
"Thank you very much for allowing me to phone my friend. I believe that he will be calling soon with information for me. I would appreciate being allowed to talk to him again." she finished with another bow.
All she received from Agent Gibbs was a grunt that she really didn't know how to interpret. So, like any girl who practically grew up around not talkative, she took it to mean 'yes' or at least some kind of affirmative.
"McGee will notify me when you get the call. In the meantime, I have a few more questions to ask." he declared after staring at her for a few more minutes.
As she came out of her bow, her gaze locked with his and while maintaining eye contact she smiled and nodded.
"That is acceptable and I thank you again."
Agent Gibbs nodded to her and gestured with his arm to precede him down the hall. With another smile at the other three, she walked in the direction he indicated.
"I'm telling you, there is something froggy going on here." Ziva said while crossing her arms across her chest. Since she was watching Kagome Higurashi walk toward the interrogation rooms with Gibbs, she missed the looks of confusion from McGee and weariness from DiNozzo.
"Fishy. You mean there is something fishy going on here. Though I have to agree." DiNozzo stated as he too crossed his arms across his chest.
All he received in return was a noncommittal grunt.
"Everything seems fine to me." McGee offered as he walked to sit back at his computer. He still had to find the files on Lokens and more on Miss Higurashi. As he turned to start typing on his keyboard, he made sure to keep one ear tuned into the conversation.
"And that, probie, is why you're still a probie." DiNozzo pointed out smugly.
"And what is that supposed to mean Tony? She seems like a nice girl who was just trying to do the right thing! She doesn't sounds like she's lying!" McGee replied as he stopped typing to give DiNozzo a quick glare. He wasn't a probie anymore! Hell! He had been there longer than Ziva! Well...longer at the agency anyway.
With those thoughts, he turned to see what Ziva was doing and noticed that she was still turned in the direction of the interrogation rooms with a thoughtful look on her face, her body posture completely tense.
"Think about it probie! Why else would Gibbs want to talk to her more unless she's hiding something? No reason, that's why!" DiNozzo gestured as he leaned back in his chair as he propped up his feet on his desk. As he laced his fingers behind his head, his grin became wider, and smugger, though McGee would have thought that would be impossible. He continued.
"Which makes you a probie for not figuring it out!"
As McGee opened his mouth to argue the point, Ziva quickly interrupted.
"Actually McGee, Tony has a point this time. But it only happens once in a blue noon. So do not worry." she smirked.
With that comment, even McGee looked at her in exasperation.
"Do not tell me I messed up an idiom again!" she grimaced as she threw her hands up in the air. She finally turned away from the direction that Gibbs and the Higurashi woman leaned against Tony's desk, waiting for him to go to the interrogation room.
"Yeah. Ya did." DiNozzo said as he leaned further back in his chair while closing his eyes.
"But don't worry, I'm sure you'll learn eventually." he smirked again.
Even he wasn't prepared as his chair fell backwards from being tipped over while Ziva cackled in the background.
Kagome shifted. I don't think these chairs were meant to be comfortable for anyone. She shifted again while grimacing. Her hands were folded in front of her on the table. Agent Gibbs sat across from her with a folder in his hand. His arms were across his chest as he leaned back in his chair, looking at her with a probing stare.
"Ano, is there something the matter, Agent Gibbs?" she asked tentatively, shifting this time from nervousness. His look was so intense that she felt he could see all bad decisions she had ever made. Which were quite a lot. Well. Not necessarily bad. They just...sometimes ended badly! And they were mostly not her fault! She was startled out of her thoughts by Agent Gibbs' response.
"There is something that you aren't telling me. And I want to know what it is." he said tersely.
"I really do not know what you are talking about." she giggled nervously.
"There is nothing funny here!" he suddenly yelled. "There is a dead marine and you are hiding something! Tell me what it is!"
She cringed, completely taken aback. She stared at him with surprise and guilt, but no fear. Her eyes saddened as she clenched her hands into fists. She knew he was only doing his job and trying his hardest to look for the murderer. And she could not help him. How could she tell him that a demon killed his marine? Even if he did believe her (not likely), he probably would not be able to find the demon. Even more than that, if he did find the demon, how could he ever hope to defeat it?! He was a human with no holy powers to aid him in taking down such a foe!
Only she was capable of the task and she couldn't do that while she was being kept here. The only hope she had was that Sesshomaru would figure out something. With that thought she glanced at the door. He should be calling soon. All I need to do is stall.
Agent Gibbs misinterpreted her glance.
"You won't be leaving until you answer my questions, Miss Higurashi. And you will answer my questions." he smirked.
She puffed up indignantly. "I'll have you know that I wasn't thinking about leaving! I am expecting my friend to phone back soon."
"My people will notify me when your call comes in. Until then, answer my questions." he said.
She expelled a sigh.
"I need to talk to my friend before I say anything." she replied.
"Are you going to try and make up a story? If so, then you won't be talking to him or her." he said.
"Actually, I do not know the legal system in your country. So I do not know my rights and how much I am required to say. My friend is a lawyer and knows your country's laws, so I do not want to say anything before I discuss things with him." she commented dryly.
He merely raised his eyebrow.
Why do I feel like I'm in the room with another Sesshomaru?
"Ha! See that? Typical Gibbs interrogation technique!" Tony said while taking a sip of his diet soda. He was watching his weight after all.
"Mmhmm." Ziva agreed as she continued to watch the scene in front of her. Her drink was forgotten in her hand as she concentrated on the two occupants in the room beyond.
"However, it does not seem like she is going to croak. Gibbs might need to try a new tactic. I do not know what it is about her, but I feel that something is different." she continued, not taking her eyes off Gibbs and the Higurashi woman.
"Hopefully she won't be croaking since I believe we would be liable. As for cracking, we'll see." Tony grinned as he took another swig of his drink.
Ziva merely took a quick glance at him out of the corner of her eye.
"Yes, we shall see."
McGee sat his desk researching everything about Kagome Higurashi and Zack Lokens. He had given preliminary documents to Gibbs for his interrogation but couldn't seem to find much other than that she missed a lot of school in high school. So he was doing more in-depth research to see if he could uncover anything else. He was also pulling up info about Zack Lokens. So far, the Lieutenant had a pretty clean record. Good service, but nothing that really stuck out. He seemed to be an ordinary marine and citizen when he was alive. The only thing making him stand out so far was his death.
He was an only child who had gone right into the Marine Corps after high school. Recruited from some little town in Pennsylvania. Shipped out multiple times. Nothing really drew his attention. Never went to Japan so he couldn't have met Miss Higurashi there. Had been back from Iraq for about 2 months. Was set to ship out again in another 3. Not married. Not even a record of a girlfriend recently. Had a small flat near Norfolk that he had rented when he got back from his last shipment. No big medical history.
McGee sighed. Gibbs is not going to be happy. There was nothing that indicated this man was special or that he had any problems. But he obviously did. Otherwise he would still be alive, or at the very least not dead because of being shot on American soil. No matter how many times he saw it, he still thought it was horrible that these marines fought for their country only to come back and die in their homeland. Especially since they gave their all in the war zone. They should have a place to be at peace, where they didn't have to worry about being shot in broad daylight. He was just a computer geek but even he could understand that something was wrong with that.
Since he was lost in his thoughts, he almost missed the results that suddenly popped up on his screen. Although he was hoping that something on Lt. Lokens had been discovered, he was only slightly disappointed to see it was more information on Miss Higurashi.
It was a news article from a small paper in Tokyo about a shrine girl who had been sick with multiple deadly diseases in the span of 3 years and managed to survive them all. There was a picture to accompany the article, a school photo of Miss Higurashi. The article explained that the girl had everything from tuberculosis to rheumatoid arthritis. His eyebrow rose as he read a list of a few of the diseases she was reported to have. They would definitely explain the reason that she had missed so much school, but he didn't think it was physically possible to survive that many illnesses.
With that thought in mind, he searched the medical databases in the Tokyo area for Kagome Higurashi. All he found were some old files from her childhood from when she had chicken pox and one case of when she had come in a year ago with a bad case of cuts that they reported looked like slashes. She had had these cuts on her back, which were somewhat deep, and down her right thigh. Which didn't sound like illnesses. So he widened his search to all of Japan. While waiting for that search to get back, since it would probably take a bit longer, he searched for the shrine she had lived at for most of her life.
There wasn't a website for 'Sunset Shrine' since it was one of the smaller Shinto shrines in Tokyo but on some tourist websites there were pictures and short descriptions. One in particular caught his attention.
"Sunset shrine is one of the more small shrines in Tokyo, but it's size in no way compares to its history. The history of the shrine is long and fascinating, but the most interesting feature is the so-called "God-Tree" that stands in the middle. This tree has been standing for around a thousand years, surviving a world war and many battles of the old days. There is even a legend about a half-demon named ? who was trapped to the tree by his love. This shrine is also the supposed birthplace of the infamous Jewel of Four Souls which came about after a priestess expelled her and her opponent's trapped souls from their bodies after fighting for three days. As you can tell, this shrine has a rich history that is rife with many legends and myths, a fabulous place to experience the old culture of Japan!"
McGee was somewhat intrigued by the description of the shrine though slightly frustrated that there wasn't more information. And why wouldn't the name of the one stuck to the tree translate? He had the best translation software available to prevent things like that from happening! Ugh. Oh well. It probably wasn't important anyway. But that jewel thing sounded interesting too. It kinda made him want to go to Japan to experience it for real, so the website did its job. But still. Not a lot of hard information which was what he needed. Just as he was about to conduct another search for the shrine, he noticed that his scan of the medical records was complete.
When he clicked over to see the results he was mildly surprised to see that other than the files he had already looked at, there were no records of any Kagome Higurashi checking into any hospital or doctor's office in the whole of Japan for ANY kind of illness, let alone the ones she was supposed to have had. And most would have required extensive hospital care and many medications. There was no way that she could have been sick like that without there being any record. So that meant that she had lied about being sick. But why?
He needed to tell Gibbs. It might not be important, but it was still an inconsistency and if there was anything that Gibbs wanted to know about, it was inconsistencies. Inconsistencies meant secrets. And secrets typically yielded more secrets. Which could lead them to the answer they were seeking. He didn't know if Miss Higurashi being 'sick' had anything to do with the lieutenant, but he wasn't going to take that chance.
As he stood to walk to the interrogation room, Gibbs' phone rang. He hestitated. Was he supposed to answer? He knew that Miss Higurashi had said that someone was going to be calling back, but it WAS Gibbs' phone. He was NOT looking forward to the head-slap that would result if he made a mistake. As the phone continued to ring, McGee straightened his shoulders, made a decision and took a step.
Kagome had started tapping her fingers to her own internal rhythm when it was apparent that Agent Gibbs was not going to talk. She was a talkative creature by nature and had a tendency to babble when she was nervous, like now. However, she was afraid that if she started babbling, she would say something that she would regret later. So she tapped her fingers. It gave her something to do with all the excess energy that allowed her to not start babbling like crazy.
Even so, her energy was slowly building up and if something didn't change soon she was probably going to start talking anyway. Though knowing her nature, it might be in Japanese. Then she would look like an even bigger idiot. That thought amused her for a moment, but even that couldn't distract her for very long. She was boiling over with energy and as she opened her mouth to ask Agent Gibbs if he really had any questions or just wanted to stare at her all day when the door opened.
Her head snapped around and her brows snapped down as Agent McGee walked in muttering to himself. He hardly paid her any attention as he walked straight to Agent Gibbs and leaned over to whisper in his ear. She frowned at him as Agent Gibbs first raised one eyebrow then the other as Agent McGee continued to speak. When McGee was done he turned away to walk out of the room without ever once making eye contact with her, closing the door softly behind him.
As the door closed, she turned to look at Agent Gibbs, raising an eyebrow of her own at his expression. It was a mix of amusement and suspicion. What an odd combination. Sighing with exasperation as his continued reluctance to talk, she rested her chin in her hand as she set her elbow on the table and blew her bangs out of her face.
"Well, Agent Gibbs? Did my friend call?" she said while rolling her eyes.
"Yes, he did." was all he said as he continued to stare at her with both eyebrows lifted.
She waited a second to see if he was going to continue before asking expectantly, "Well, what did he say?"
His eyebrows finally lowered as he rubbed his chin contemplatively. "Agent McGee said your friend asked for you and when he was told that you were being questioned, ordered McGee to relay the message that a friend will be picking you up as soon as you are done here. Then he hung up."
Her chin slipped out of her hand as it hit her forehead.
"Still so arrogant." she muttered. "I would apologize and try to make excuses except that he is always like that and treats everyone the same, so Agent McGee should not feel offended."
As she finished, she smiled a slightly sarcastic smile even as she rested her head back in her hand.
"So does that mean I can go?" she asked hopefully.
Agent Gibbs merely gave her a look that said she was being silly so she settled back into her chair ready for another silent half hour. A few minutes later as she was testing how far she could lean back in her chair while still maintaining her balance, Agent Gibbs asked her question.
"Why did you lie about having illnesses in high school?" he asked in a matter-of-fact manner.
The only answer he received was the chair banging against the ground as Kagome lost her balance. For a second, all that she did was lay there with her arms stretched out to either side of her, staring at the ceiling. Then she started to laugh. Not a giggle, but a full-on belly laugh. She couldn't even stop long enough to lift herself up. Tears were running down her cheeks before she managed to establish some control over her laughter. She hadn't moved since she fell.
As she wiped her tears away, she noticed that Agent Gibbs had come around the table and was squatting down next to her with that damn eyebrow raised again. He reminded her so much of Sesshomaru right then that her laughing fit started again and this time she curled on her side holding her stomach. She just couldn't stop even though it was starting to hurt! It was such a random question that she was totally unprepared for it. She hadn't even thought of the excuses her grandfather had used from her excessive absences in so long!
But man, had NCIS done a good job! There were no records of doctor visits so how did they find out about her 'illnesses'? Even the school hadn't registered anything, merely marking her as absent after a certain amount of time. Well at least they were thorough.
After a good 5 minutes of laughing quite loudly, she managed to get it down to gasping breaths. When she finally managed to get complete control of herself, she sat up before climbing to her feet and righting her chair. Agent Gibbs had already reclaimed his chair across the table from her. As she ran her hands through her hair to make sure it was in place, she cleared her throat.
"I apologize for that. It was completely unexpected and it caught me off guard." she said with mirth still coloring her voice. Her sunny smile was back and even her eyes twinkled in amusement.
"I don't understand what was so funny concerning my question." Agent Gibbs said, his eyes completely serious.
At his statement, some mirth leaked from her eyes though her smile didn't lose one watt of brightness.
"Ano, I just had not thought of that in a while and was wondering what that could have to do with the investigation." she stated.
"It tells me that you lie. Which means you could lie in other areas, like with my dead marine. I want to know what really happened that caused you to miss so much school. Now." he said coolly, his eyes remaining steady on hers.
Her smile slowly slipped from her face as her face became serious at his demand. Her own face became haughty as she replied. "Agent Gibbs, I have cooperated as much as I am able with this investigation and do not appreciate being treated as a suspect when all I wanted to do was help. Some things in my life are personal and have nothing to do with this investigation and so I will not share them. If you wish to pursue these issues further, I feel I must have a lawyer present before we continue this discussion. Until then, you may ask questions that are relevant only to the case."
Her voice continued to get colder with every word until the folks behind the glass were surprised that there wasn't frost on the mirror in front of them.
"Damn that was cold! And apparently she knows something about our legal system to demand a lawyer. Still, it's weird that she refuses to answer about something like that. Maybe she was doing something illegal?" Tony commented as he waggled his eyebrows with a leer at the woman on the other side of the glass.
"It is suspicious. It makes it seem as if she WAS doing something she was not supposed to when she refuses to answer like that." Ziva said.
McGee still had a scowl on his face as he looked through the glass with his arms crossed.
"There is something wrong with this entire situation. I couldn't find a lot of information on her. Like at all! And there were no hospital records except for when she was a child and for a year ago when she came in with deep cuts on her back and thighs. They had to be sewn together with stitches. They were very severe and she wouldn't tell where she got them. Everything this woman does is extremely suspicious." he muttered angrily.
Ziva and Tony exchanged glances that showed their surprise.
"Probie, what has your panties in a twist? You were the one that was gunning for her innocence earlier! What changed?" Tony questioned with a smirk.
McGee shot him an angry glare as his scowl deepened. "That was before I did research on her and saw all the holes in her history. And then her friend called." he said shortly.
"McGee, I do not think I have seen you this angry before. What did her friend say?" Ziva inquired with curiosity apparent in her eyes.
McGee started muttering with contempt before he answered them.
"First he demanded to know where Miss Higurashi was. When I told him that she was in interrogation, he ordered me to get her. All the time speaking with a very arrogant tone. When I told him that I couldn't, he asked me if I was always so incompetent. Then he proceeded to ask me if I was intelligent enough to communicate a message to her. The nerve! I mean seriously!" he barked out as he clenched his hands at his sides.
Tony looked at him for a few moments before bursting out with laughter while both McGee and Ziva looked at him with frowns on their faces.
"That's rich! That's just like in 12 Angry Men when-" he cut off with a frown of his own. He glanced quickly at Ziva who had a smug look on her face with her hand stretched out. He grumbled as he pulled out his wallet, ruffling through it before coming out with $5. McGee watched in confusion as money changed hands with Ziva stuffing the cash into her back pocket.
"What's going on? Why does Tony have to hand over money?" McGee asked as Tony continued to scowl while putting his wallet back into his pocket.
Tony whipped his head around and with a glare and snapped out "Quiet probie!" before turning back to the action happening in the interrogation room.
Ziva merely leaned back and told McGee, "I bet Tony that he is incapable of not making movie references for a week. Every time he does, he has to give me five dollars." she said, full of smug satisfaction.
McGee nodded. "I had wondered why he wasn't spouting off about some movie that we've never seen before."
With that comment Tony hit McGee up the back of his head.
"Watch the proceedings probie. You might learn something."
Their previous conversation had devolved into a staring contest, neither willing to yield. Kagome was leaned back in her chair with both her arms and legs crossed, never breaking eye contact with Agent Gibbs. He had assumed a similar position across the table and wasn't blinking. If I blink I lose. I can't lose to a wannabe Sesshomaru! We shall be victorious!
With that thought, Kagome widened her eyes to try to prevent the need to blink and stave off the eye-watering sensation that told her she needed to blink.
After a few minutes, she was getting desperate. I HAVE to blink. It buuuuuuuuuuuuuurns!
Just as she was about to blink, and end the one-sided staring contest, there was a knock on the door of the room. Both occupants turned slowly to look at the door, one with displeasure, the other with a pleading expression.
A nervous looking mana stuck his head into the room, zeroing in on Agent Gibbs. If anything, his look became more nervous.
"Uh. Agent Gi-Gibbs, there is a p-p-person here to pick up Miss Higurashi." he stuttered.
Agent Gibbs answered with a scowl and a slow nod. Kagome gave a wide smile. This must be the person that Sesshomaru was talking about. Now she could get out of here. Well. If Agent Gibbs let her.
She turned to look at him.
"If you have no other questions pertaining to the investigation, may I leave?" she asked coolly.
He stared at her for a few more minutes before nodding again, standing up from his chair. She followed his example and stood up, pushing the chair back in after she had stepped away from it. She turned to leave the room and noticed that Agent Gibbs had yet to leave and was even holding the door open for her. She attempted to be graceful as she walked by him, nodding her appreciation for him opening the door for her.
She could hear him close the door, as she walked down the hall. Just before she got to the end, a door opened in front of her, letting out Agents David, DiNozzo and McGee from another room. She got a quick glance at some equipment before the door closed behind them. She nodded at them as well as she continued down the hall. As she turned the corner, she could hear them start to discuss something behind her, but she was completely focused on getting out of there, so she wasn't paying much attention.
When she finally got back to their desks, she approached Agent Gibbs' to get her purse. As she pulled the straps over her shoulder, she heard a yell.
She turned around with a smile and a 'hello' on the tip of her tongue when she got a good look at who had called her name.
"Shippo?" she whispered. Raising her hand to her forhead.
Thanks for reading! Hope you review!