Heartland continued….Thanks for the reviews :)
The previous chapter has small changes, but nothing big
In need of an Beta
“There’s something familiar about the name of this town. I just can’t remember where I know it from,” Dawn frustratingly commented as the car rolled to a stop along the street.
“Maybe Gibbs mentioned it in the past,” Ziva replied to the new teammate.
“No, that’s not it,” Dawn said, nearly growling in annoyance.
“It will come to you eventually,” McGee told Dawn, trying to calm her irritation.
“I know it’s just frustrating that I can’t remember. Oh, incoming,” Dawn warned as she spotted a police car coming towards them.
“Well, that didn't take long,” Gibbs mumbled, closing the car door as the police’s siren sounded for a moment.
As the vehicle pulled to a halt next the team an old officer with a grey moustache got out of the car.
“You know, if you had a little tennis ball buzz cut instead of that salt and pepper, you'd remind me of this skinny little wise-ass I used to know,” The officer said to the team leader, which caused Gibbs to smirk a little. “Why didn't you tell me you were coming?”
“Not sure it's worth your trouble,” Gibbs simply answered back.
“Heard you was a Fed now. Never imagined we'd end up on the same side, huh?” The officer said as he moved forwards towards Gibbs.
“No. No, never,” Gibbs replied, laughing. “How you been, Ed?”
“After 30 years? Well, let's see, um...Remember Debbie Leonard? Knocked her up. Married, kids. My kid had a kid, calls me Pappy. You know how it goes.” Ed told Gibbs. “Anything I can help you with? Far as the police work goes.”
“I’ll let you know,” Gibbs simply replied.
“You do that, Leroy.”
As the team were walking down a road that was surrounded by suburb houses and plant life, Gibbs said to Ziva,
“Check with DiNozzo. Find out how LaCombe's doing.”
“Boss, there a reason you didn't call ahead?” McGee question Gibbs as they left Ziva at the end of the driveway, whilst they headed towards the house.
“Of course there is. If someone around here had a grudge to settle with Ethan LaCombe, why let them know we're coming?” McGee answered himself as Gibbs gave him a look and knocked on the door.
“Janet LaCombe?” Gibbs questioned as a middle-aged woman opened the door.
“We need to talk to you about your nephew,” Gibbs replied.
“About Ethan? He's dead,” Janet LaCombe told them.
“Uh, no, Miss LaCombe. We didn't mean to give you that impression. Ethan is still alive,” Dawn quickly said to the woman in front of her.
“He was badly injured in an attack. He's in a hospital in Virginia currently,” McGee added at the end of Dawn’s statement.
“Ethan's in a hospital? Oh, my Lord. I can't believe it. I thought he died four years ago. Ethan's alive!” Janet said, surprise in her tone in voice which caused Dawn and McGee to share a look.
“Miss LaCombe, we need to ask you a few more questions before you head to the hospital,” McGee told Janet as they followed her to her car.
“I'm sorry. I'm just... Ethan,” Janet said with a smile on her face. “His mom, my sister, she was a wild child. We knew she'd die young.”
“Where was his father?” Gibbs asked.
“Who was his father? Not exactly easy to narrow it down, if you get my drift,” Janet told them. “Boy took after his mother regardless. Got into all sorts of trouble.”
“What trouble did he get into?” Dawn questioned the Aunt as Gibbs help put Janet’s bags into the car.
“Got in some fights, stole a car. Did some time for that,” Janet explained to them, sounding familiar to the trouble Dawn got into after her mother's death.
“Blew out of here not too long after he got out,” Janet said, getting to her car.
“He have any enemies?” Gibbs asked.
“From around here? Don't you get it? The whole town thought he was dead,” The aunt replied as she drove off.
“Boss, you think maybe we've taken something of a wrong turn? Everyone in town thought he was dead already,” McGee commented.
“Maybe he wanted it that way.”
“Sounds like he had a traumatic experience,” Dawn replied to McGee and Gibbs, who stared at her for further explanation.
“I did some bad things after my mother’s death. Similar to LaCombe’s story,” Dawn told them, ignoring McGee’s shocked face.
As they walked down the drive they saw Ziva with an elderly man, causing Gibbs to pause slightly.
“Word travels fast,” Gibbs said as the man turned towards the trio.
The elderly man was about to respond when the team’s youngest employee stepped forward and whispered,
“Dawn,” Jackson, the man, said in shock.
“Oh Jackson, I haven’t seen you in years. No wonder Stillwater sounded familiar,” Dawn said, shaking his hand.
“What are you doing here?” Jackson questioned.
“I joined NCIS as a Civilian Employee. I would like for you to meet my team leader, Leroy Jethro Gibbs,” Dawn informed Jackson, smiling, but that smile soon turned into a frown at her uncle’s surprised face.
“We already know each other,” Jackson told Dawn, smirking slightly.
“He’s my father,” Gibbs answered Dawn’s question.
“Really? Oh. Oh,” Dawn gasped at the realisation as McGee and Ziva stared dumbfounded.
“Well, this isn’t awkward at all,” Dawn sarcastically said as Jackson and Gibbs stared at each other.
With McGee and Ziva located in Jackson’s General store, Gibbs and Dawn were able to talk a few feet away. Well, Dawn wouldn’t say talk. More likely she was being interrogated.
“How do you know my father, Dawn?” Gibbs asked Dawn, with an emotion behind his voice that Dawn couldn’t identify.
“Erm…well…you see,” Dawn stuttered, trying to think of an explanation. “He used to work part-time at the company by sister runs. But that was before our time. I’ve only met him a few times when we need some help from an experienced person.”
“Did you know that I was his son?” Gibbs questioned.‘Oh I get it now. He thought I had betrayed him,’
“No, I didn’t. If I did I would have told you. We never knew his full name, for confidentiality reasons I believe and the fact that we only met him in passing,” Dawn explained to Gibbs.
“We did chat to Jackson though for a few minutes. That’s why the name of this town was so familiar. Me and Buffy thought it was just his old hometown, we didn’t think he still lived here.”
“What was his job at the company?”
“Just a bit of security and protection strategies, like Giles’s job,” Dawn told Gibbs.
Although she had Gibbs a half-truth, Dawn knew Gibbs wouldn’t believe her that was the story. He would know that there was more to the story. After all he was Leroy Jethro Gibbs, the team leader, for no reason.
Whilst Jackson stared at Dawn when Gibbs and Dawn entered the store, McGee and Ziva stared at Gibbs in wonder. The team leader’s reaction was to spread out his arms as a way of saying ‘What’.
“I-Is that the, uh, gun you learned to shoot with?” McGee asked, pointing at a gun on the room, trying to the change the subject.
As Gibbs gave his response, Jackson had made his over to Dawn, unnoticed.
“Does he know?” Jackson questioned quietly into her ear.
“No he doesn’t. Not yet anyway," Dawn whispered back, staring at the man.
Jackson stared back at the young lady with understanding eyes. He knew what Dawn was silenting asking,'What happens next?'
And for the first time in his life Jackson didn't know what to do next.