If you recognize it, it belongs to someone else. I make no profit from the following.
Agents Tim McGee and Tony DiNozzo sat at their respective desks, bantering back and forth about a stakeout they had shared last night. Their suspect had not shown up, but there had been a group of co-eds having a roof top party on a neighboring building. While McGee had managed to stop DiNozzo from slipping over to it, on the pretext of it offering a closer view of their suspect’s apartment, by pointing out what Gibbs would do to the other agent when he found out about it, it hadn’t stopped DiNozzo from spending every spare minute commenting on what was happening. McGee was hoping he had managed to get all of the extraneous data out of the spare camera, he doubted Gibbs would be amused to find stuff that would not be out of place on a ‘Girls Gone Wild’ DVD admitted into evidence. Ziva David, their fellow agent, was sitting at her desk studiously ignoring her teammates as she was typing up her report on Gibbs and herself following. He was junior dispersing clerk who was suspected of double issuing the last check of anyone who was leaving the Norfolk Navy Yard and cashing the second check himself.
The three of them heard the elevator ping, and a second later they heard a gasp and what sounded like a quart sized container hitting the floor and splattering liquid everywhere. Jumping up from their desks the three NCIS agents saw Abigail Sciuto, their forensics tech and friend with both her hands to her mouth, staring at the elevator. Shifting their gaze Tony and McGee also gasped. Standing there was a woman that looked exactly like a long dead teammate.
Kate Todd looked at the other members of her team and how pale they were, not to mention Abby’s reaction to seeing her, “What’s the matter? You guys look like you’ve seen a ghost.”
“This isn’t funny DiNozzo!” The woman who was a dead ringer for Caitlin Todd yelled at the two way glass. DiNozzo winced at his pun.
“It sure sounds like her” Timothy McGee remarked, studying the woman on the other side of the glass.
“I saw her shot, McProbie,” DiNozzo hissed, “she was standing right beside me. You don’t come back from having a 7.62mm round slapping into your forehead and exiting out the back of your head!”
Ziva didn’t know what to think, it was commonly believed that her half-brother Ari had killed Kate Todd to cause Gibbs pain. He had also attempted to kill Abby Sciuto and the then director of the NCIS Jenny Shepard. He had even confessed to killing her and trying to kill the others in a plot to kill Gibbs. Ziva had shot and killed him after hearing the confession. If he hadn’t killed Caitlin Todd, who had died? She knew her team mates, While it’s possible that Gibbs could have faked the cold rage that he had been in on that first case she had worked with him; there was no way Tony could have and McGee would not have been able to fake the emotions now, let alone then. She stared into the room, if Caitlin Todd was dead, then, who was this?
Gibbs sailed in to Abby’s lab ignoring the music that was blaring in the lab. She was hovering over one her instruments waiting for it to spit out data. “Well?” he asked sharply.
Abby jumped, whirling on Gibbs she slapped across the front of his chest, “Don’t scare me like that!”
He didn’t even have a Caf-Pow as a peace offering.
“What have you found out?” He repeated in a cold voice.
This was bad; Abby thought to herself, she couldn’t remember the last time Gibbs had been this intense. No, she could, it had been when Kate had been shot.
“All the data I have now shows that’s Kate sitting in Interrogation One,” Abby said, cringing as she said it.
Gibbs was not amused, “That can’t be KATE!” He all but roared.
Abby actually backed up a couple of steps, “I know THAT Gibbs, but that woman has the same blood type as Kate, and her finger prints match, every marker. I was going to take a scanner down and grab a retinal print to check that. Her DNA is working through the system. It will take less time because we are checking it against a known source, but it’s still going to take a couple of hours. The only thing that is anomalous is her service pistol. Kate’s was buried with her.” Nodding at the pistol sitting on her work table, “But, the serial number on this one indicates it should be sitting in our armory, waiting to be issued, it wasn’t even made until a year and half after Kate died. I’m having an inventory done now; they should be getting back to us soon.” Pausing, because she knew he really didn’t want to hear it, she said, “The pistol aside, I think we need to take into consideration that this is Kate.” Her voice was quiet, like she didn’t want to believe herself, because is she was wrong the pain would be too much to bear.
“She’s dead, Abby. I was standing there, I held her as her body started to cool. I was talking to her when it happened. Kate Todd is dead,” he finished in a voice that bore no doubt to the statement.
Going on he said, “Could someone have hacked our data bases and replaced whoever it is we are holding prints with Kate’s?” He asked, grabbing onto any theory.
Abby shook her head and gave him a look, “I already thought of that. And, unless you want to assume they had managed to penetrate my lab and replaced Kate’s prints that I held in case I had to eliminate her, and also penetrated the Secrete Services Secure Data Bases, and the FBI’s, then who ever is cooling her heels in Interrogation One has the same prints and blood type as Caitlin Todd, no matter how impossible it is.”
“If they could penetrate to the armory, they could penetrate here.”
“Except that I also have Kate’s prints on paper sheets Gibbs,” Abby told him. “They are serialized and in the correct order and they match what’s in the data bases. They would have had to have penetrated us completely. Why would anyone go to that kind of trouble to plant someone on us that we’d never believe could be who she looked like?”
Gibbs frowned, “Go get her retinal patterns, take DiNozzo into the room with you.”
Kate Todd was fuming, a joke was a joke, but this went too far. She knew she had been late. There must have had a power failure last night, because her alarm was blinking at her when she woke up this morning. Then her phones hadn’t been working, and her cell was dead, even though she had just charged it yesterday. Thankfully her car had started on the first try, and when she saw how late she was she headed right in without even stopping on the way for a muffin and coffee. With the day she was having she’d expected a hassle getting through security. She’d been right, only the hassle started not when she got in, thankfully she didn’t know anyone on duty so there was no temptation to stop and talk, but when she got off the elevator. First Abby, DiNozzo, and Tim had looked like they were going to faint, then everyone was suddenly pointing their guns at her, even a black haired Mediterranean type she didn’t recognize. They’d frisked her, took her stuff, and then thrown her into Interrogation One, taken her fingerprints and a DNA swab. Without anyone answering what the big deal was. No one talked to her at all, they’d seemed angry, no furious. They didn’t even give her a mug of coffee. Turning back to the two-way mirror she said, “I swear Tim, if I’m not out of here in ten minutes you just wait for our next self-defense class!”
“That really sounds like Kate,” Tim muttered to himself.
Abby stuck her head into the observation room and said, “Tony, I’m going in to get her retina prints and Gibbs wants you in the room with me.” Tony nodded and headed out of the observation room.
Kate looked up as the door opened and Abby and Tony came into the room, “All right, fun’s, fun, but this is getting old Tony.”
Tony glared at the other woman, “Would you give it up? It’s not going to work!”
“What are you talking about?” Kate asked, truly perplexed, wanting to understand what the game was.
“Pretending to be Kate, I don’t know what you hope to gain, but, you can’t be Kate Todd!”
“Pretending? I am Kate, Tony. Use your eyes and what passes for a brain for God’s sake!”
“Caitlin Todd has been dead for four years!” Tony all but screamed, starting to loose it.
“What are you talking about? I went home last night to get some sleep because Ari was back in town. I got up this morning and I came in, okay I was late, but this reaction is ridiculous.”
“Kate,” Abby was getting tired of the argument and was starting to think that Tony might take a swing at the other woman.
”At least someone believes me,” Kate muttered.
“Not yet, not fully I don’t” Abby replied. “I’m just willing to consider it.”
“You think I’m dead too?” Kate asked.
“Considering I went to your funeral and looked over your autopsy results and stopped by the morgue for a chat with your body, yeah, pretty much,” Abby confirmed in a colder voice.
“Autopsy? How did I supposedly die?”
Tony looked like he was about to explode again so Abby held up her hand to forestall it, “Ari shot you, through the head with a sniper rifle, you were standing between Gibbs and Tony.”
“It wasn’t me,” Kate said in a small voice, “how could it be, I’m here.” Wait, four years?
“That’s what I hope to find out,” Abby said, holding up the scanner.
“My parents think I’m dead? Four YEARS?” Kate said in a lost voice, ramping up to almost a scream at the end. She stood up, “I have to call them, let them know I’m all right.”
Tony reacted, “Sit down.”
“Dammit Tony, my parents are out there thinking they buried me, I have to let them know they’re wrong.”
“Caitlin Todd died four YEARS ago, and I am not letting you open those wounds again on the Todds just so you can carry on some sick charade.”
“IT’S ME!” Caitlin screamed at Tony.
“YOU CAN’T BE!” Tony came right back, if anything more intense.
“BOTH OF YOU SHUT UP!” Abby bellowed at the arguing agents. Considering how those two acted around each other, this argument was doing more to tell Abby that this was Kate Todd, no matter how impossible, than any physical test she had done.
They both stared at the Goth lab tech. “I’m going to take Kate’s retinal scans, if they check out, and the DNA comes back a match, however impossible it is I’m going to state that this is Kate. Until then, Kate, I’m sorry but you are going to have to stay here.
“Tony, go stand by the door and shut up,” so saying she set up the scanner and motioned for Kate to place her eye at the reader. A bar of green light went up and over Kate’s face.
“Okay, I’m going to go and plug this in to the computer and see what it says, the DNA test should come back in an hour or two. Until then, you,” Abby said staring at Kate, “sit there and behave. At this point your parents aren’t going to be hurt any more by holding off notifying them for a couple of hours. Tony, come on.”
Kate Todd sat back and stared at the ceiling trying to figure out how her world could change so much in one night.