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What Really Counts

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Summary: Gibbs and his NCIS team go to investigate a murder in Sunnydale, California. Its a guess who is in for the biggest surprise when everything comes into the open. Title changed to prevent spoiler.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
NCIS > General(Past Donor)renatriaFR1511,2641246,3201 Jul 071 Jul 07No
Alright, I've been playing with this one for a few weeks now, and I guess its time to start considering posting it. It actually has a storyline, unlike my usual drabbles, and is an answer to my own challenge #2471 on Twisting the Hellmouth. I don't own anyone, not even my cats :) All the NCIS people belong to CBS etc and BtVS belongs to the grr argh people.

Gibbs was injured in the '83 barracks bombing in Beirut rather than the Gulf War, and he lost his wife and daughter at that time. No other changes to canon prior to the start of this story, for either series (except of course my own mess ups :) ) not beta'd


"Petty Officer third class Michael Wells." As soon as Gibbs spoke, his agents turned away from their work paying attention to their team leader. "found dead three days ago at his parents home while on leave. DiNozzo, take a look at the police report, see what they've done so far. Ziva, McGee, look into PO Wells life, why would someone want to kill him? I've sent a copy of the autopsy report to Ducky."

"Boss, aren't we going to visit the scene." DiNozzo asked what everyone had been thinking.

"Absolutely, our flight is at 0645 tomorrow morning." Gibbs looked around at the confused faces. "Didn't I mention? His parents' home is in Sunnydale, California. I'd suggest packing for a week. " The room went silent. " Is there a problem? No? Then what are you waiting for?"

"Gibbs." Now all heads turned to the director, standing at the top of the stairs. "My office."

"Yes, director."

"Please, close the door behind you, Agent Gibbs. Have a seat. Please explain to me why we have just arranged for six people to fly to Coronado Naval base, in California?"

"Its for a case Director, a sailor was found dead earlier this week."

"I see. No doubt a horrible tragedy for the Navy. What I fail to understand is why one of my NCIS teams is taking on a case that San Diego should be handling. Is there not enough crime in the DC area? Since I've seen your teams' overtime expenditure and am still waiting on a number of reports, I would answer very carefully. "

Gibbs shrugged "We just handle the cases we're assigned Director."

"Hmm. I'd never heard of Sunnydale until today Jethro. I did a search, it seems NCIS has only been called there twice before, and both times you were involved in the investigation, despite being assigned on the East coast. I found this intriguing, so I looked for any other cases outside of our usual area you've been assigned to. I found four cases in Cleveland, one in Cairo, one in South Africa, two in Europe, and three in mainland China. I didn't realize we were on such good terms with China that military personnel would be allowed to conduct a criminal investigation. And one of those cases was during your first year with NCIS. Beyond that, every one of those cases was assigned directly to you by the Pentagon."

"I close cases, Jenny, and assure that those responsible for the death of Navy and Marine personnel are brought to justice, if it is within my power. It seems someone at the Pentagon sees that."

"I want an answer Agent Gibbs."

"You have one Director Sheppard."

"Fine. Ducky and Abby don't need to go."

"Sunnydale doesn't have the resources or the training that my team does and doesn't notice things that my people would. Palmer can take care of the morgue for a few days, and CID can lend us a medical examiner if needed. Abby is part of my team, and I cannot trust the local forensics lab."

"Fine, Abby can go, but Ducky stays. " The director sighed, holding up a hand to forestall the argument "I'll authorize transporting the body here for examination, and the expense of shipping it back for burial once there has been a determination of cause of death and the family has made arrangements, but I will get my answers Gibbs."

"Understood, Director."


"Boss, I've got the police report and things don't add up." Tony said " They don't have anything reported, not anything about how the body was found, no interviews with any family members, but the investigation had a very specific conclusions that PO Wells was the 'victim of an attack stemming from an initiation of a gang member on PCP' No links to similar cases, no forensic evidence was even gathered. As far as I can tell, they never even spoke to the man's parents even though he was found in their home. They did however exclude a younger brother, Andrew Wells as a suspect, as he was being held in the city jail at the time of the murder."

"Jethro, the medical examiners report reads much the same way. The cause of death was heart failure due to blood loss, but the only noted injury was a two inch incision here, across the brachial artery" Ducky indicated the inside of his own upper arm "However, there were no notations of toxicology screens, or even whether or not there were signs of struggle. Normally in a homicide evidence or lack of evidence is mentioned since both can give ideas to the investigators. The medical examiner doesn't mention any bruising, ligature marks, so there is no evidence shown that indicates how a man of his size and training could have been overcome."

"Ziva, McGee"

"Petty Officer Wells was a communications specialist with an excellent record with the Navy. He recently re-enlisted, he has been on emergency leave for five days, listed as an unspecified family emergency. I spoke with his commanding officer, who approved the leave, the emergency was the arrest of a younger brother. PO Wells intended to take responsibility for his brother, if released, and had set up tentative counseling for him. His commander also mentioned that Wells often spoke to his brother, but avoided returning to Sunnydale, preferring to go elsewhere on leave, arranging for his brother to meet him. He did not mention anything about his relationship with his parents, or any other personal relationships. He did take compassionate leave just two years ago, when another younger brother, Tucker Wells, was killed by a pack of wild dogs."

"It's very odd, Boss," McGee interrupted "I looked into his family, and I couldn't find any news reports about Tucker Wells' death. I did however find his obituary." McGee turned to his keyboard, projecting a copy of the page containing the obituary onto the large office screen. " Notice this is an obituary and memorial section rather than a page. This is a weekly paper, but even so, there are seventeen deaths, and twenty six memorial notices. Most of the memorial notices are for missing persons rather than anniversary of death. Also, out of the forty-three listings, only one is for a person over the age of sixty. I did also get information on the family of PO Wells. His father owns a store, his mother is a teacher at Sunnydale Elementary school. He was the oldest of three children, with Andrew Wells being the youngest. Andrew was being held awaiting trial for attempted armed robbery with two other young men, but has since been released for turning over evidence on another charge against a Warren Mears. Mears is wanted for murder of a Tara McClay, 23, and assault with a deadly weapon against a Buffy Summers, 22. "

Gibbs frowned. "We won't be able to find out much more until we get there."

The End?

You have reached the end of "What Really Counts" – so far. This story is incomplete and the last chapter was posted on 1 Jul 07.

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