Special Agents
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“There's been a bomb threat! We're gonna have to evacuate the students.” Allison Davenport struggled to keep her voice calm. “Agent Gibbs, I know this isn't your job...”

“It's okay, Mrs. Davenport.” Gibbs put a reassuring hand on the arm of the elementary school principal. Quickly he turned back to the microphone and looked out at the gymnasium full of children.

“Okay, guys. I'm gonna show you part of what I do at my job. We're going to pretend that we have a bad guy who has come into the school to hide from the police. Now the first thing I would do is make the scene safe and evacuate anyone who this bad guy might want to hurt. In this case, that's you. So I want all of you to get to your feet and line up just like you would for a fire drill, okay?”

The children started to get up and the buzz of their voices echoed through the gym. Quickly, Gibbs got on the microphone. “Okay guys, now if there was a bad guy, we wouldn't want to let him know that anything's wrong. So let's be very quiet, okay? That's it.”

Gibbs made sure he was at the rear of the group of kids as they filed out of the gym. Suddenly a teacher broke away and started running to a door on the opposite side of the gym. Gibbs took off and caught up to her quickly. “What is it?”

“Emily Carsen.” The teacher looked frantically up at him. “She hasn't come back from the bathroom. If this is real...”

Gibbs nodded. “I'll get her. What does she look like?”

“White-blond hair, chin length. Blue eyes. She's wearing jeans and a light blue T-Shirt.”

Gibbs nodded. “Go catch up to the others.” He sprinted towards the door to the hall and looked around, then started running down the hall to the nearest washroom. He was almost there when the door opened and a little girl about eight years old and fitting Emily's description stepped out.

“Emily?” Gibbs called. She nodded uncertainly. “I'm Agent Gibbs, I was giving the talk in the gym?” She nodded. “I need you to come with me, okay?”

Emily frowned. “Why?” Gibbs smiled.

“I'm showing everyone how I would evacuate a building to make it safe.”

Emily bit her lip and looked at him in amazement. “Cool.”

Gibbs chuckled and took her hand. “Yeah. Come on, let's go.”

They'd only gone a few steps when an explosion ripped through the building.


When Gibbs regained consciousness he found himself in a cave-like hollow. He blinked, trying to adjust his eyes to the darkness. For a minute, he wasn't sure how he'd gotten there, but then it came flooding back.

“The little girl,” he whispered. For a second his heart nearly stopped. “Emily?” No answer. He sat up and winced as pain shot through his head. Automatically he brought his hand up to his forehead. He could feel blood but there was no telling how bad it was and he didn't have time to check. “Emily?”

Gibbs realized his head wasn't all that was hurting. Breathing suddenly was causing more pain than it should. He groaned as he realized he's probably cracked a couple of ribs.

Moving gingerly, he felt around, trying to find Emily and/or a way to get them out of their prison. After a few minutes, his hand touched cloth. “Emily? Emily, honey, can you hear me?”

He moved closer to where he had felt the cloth and was able to see her. Gibbs' eyes moved rapidly, trying to assess how bad she was hurt. She was lying on her back with her eyes closed, and a piece of cement pinning her ankle to the floor.

Gibbs groaned. “Oh, no.”


“This just in. A bomb has exploded at Southview Elementary School.”

“Tony!” Ziva jerked her head up in horror at the news report. “Isn't that the school Gibbs was giving a talk at today?”

Tony grabbed his gun and holstered it. “Let's go.”


“Emily?” Gibbs touched the little girl’s face gently. “Emily, can you hear me?” There was no response. Gibbs leaned over her face, trying to tell whether she was breathing and felt the soft breaths on his cheek. Relieved, he put a couple fingers to her throat. Emily’s pulse was weaker than it should be. Gibbs quickly moved his hands over the tiny body, checking for injury. Aside from her ankle, which he suspected was broken, the child’s left collar bone was starting to swell.

Gibbs pulled his golf shirt off, then his undershirt. After replacing his golf shirt he pulled out his knife to cut the undershirt into a triangular bandage, which he fashioned into a sling to stabilize Emily’s collar bone. As he finished tying the knot, the little girl stirred.

“Emily?” Gibbs said gently. “Can you hear me?” Slowly Emily opened her eyes. Gibbs smiled at her. “Hey, there.”

“What happened?” Emily asked.

“There was an explosion,” Gibbs replied, keeping his voice soft. “You hurt your collar, but you’re going to be okay.”

“My ankle hurts,” she whispered.

“There’s a rock on it. Why don’t I see if I can move it, hey?” She nodded. Gibbs moved to where the rock was positioned and looked back at Emily. “Now when I move this, you try and move your foot, okay?” She nodded and Gibbs tugged at the rock as hard as he could. Emily tried to pull her foot out and cried out at the pain.

“It hurts!”

“I know, sweetie. It’s going to hurt when you move it, but then it will feel better when you get it out. Okay?” She nodded again. “Want to try again?” She nodded again.

Gibbs tugged again at the rock until he finally got it free. “There we go. All done. Now I’m going to try and split this so you don’t injure it worse, okay?” Emily nodded. Gibbs picked up a couple of sticks of wood he found in the debris around them. After wrapping them in pieces of cloth from the undershirt, he used the remainder of the shirt to split them against her ankle. When he was finished, he crawled back up so that he was sitting on the side of Emily’s uninjured arm. There were tear streaks in the dirt on her face and he touched her cheek gently.

“It’s all done, now. You’re very brave.”

“I don’t feel very brave,” she whispered. Gibbs smiled.

“That’s what being brave is. Showing courage even when you don’t feel it.” Emily smiled shyly.

“Thanks, Mr. Agent-man.” Gibbs squeezed her hand.

“You’re welcome. And you can call me Gibbs. That’s what all my friends call me.”


“Gibbs’ phone is still saying unavailable,” Ziva sighed.

“Could be he’s with some of the kids at the hospital,” Tony said hopefully as he parked the car. He flashed his ID at a cop. “Federal Agents. Can you tell us if anyone is still in there?”

The cop nodded. “Two people - a little girl and a NCIS agent who was at the school doing a presentation. We’re trying to get to them now.”


“Gibbs?” came Emily’s small voice. She’d sat up slightly and was leaning against Gibbs with his arm around her uninjured shoulder. “You catch bad guys like Nancy Drew does, right?”

Gibbs smiled at the little girl. “That’s right.”

“Is it scary - chasing bad guys?”

“It can be.” Gibbs’ voice was soft.

“Do you ever get hurt?”

Gibbs nodded. “Occasionally. Not very often though. We take precautions so it doesn’t happen.”

“I saw a TV show once where a detective got shot by a bad guy. He didn’t die though.”

Gibbs chuckled. “How old are you?”


“And you’re watching stuff with people getting shot?”

“Not the really gross ones. But we have a station that shows Father Dowling Mysteries and Diagnosis Murder and I watch them.”

Gibbs shook his head. “Do your parents mind?”

Emily smiled. “No. As long as I watch it with one of them, it’s okay.”

“I’ll tell you what,” Gibbs said. “When you and I get out of here, how would you like to come see where I work?”

Emily’s eyes lit up. “Really?”

Gibbs smiled at her enthusiasm. “Really.”

Emily bit her lip, eyes shining in anticipation. “I’d like that.”

Gibbs gave her good shoulder a little squeeze. “Me, too.”


“Gibbs, I’m sleepy.”

Gibbs was guessing about 2 hours had passed, but it was impossible to tell for sure, since his watch had been broken in the explosion.

“That’s because it’s dark and your body thinks it’s bedtime. But you can’t go to sleep right now. Later, when they get us out, you can.”

“Why not?” Emily’s voice was trailing off and Gibbs tried not to wince. How did he explain to her without frightening her?

“Sometimes when you’re sick your mom gets you to sleep, right?” She nodded. “And when you bump your head really hard, she gets you to stay awake, right?”


“That’s because sometimes when you’re hurt or sick, it helps your body to sleep and other times it helps to stay awake. This is one of the times it helps to stay awake. Okay?”

“Okay.” Emily’s voice sounded weak and Gibbs felt his heart clench. “Can you tell me about one of your cases?”

Gibbs smiled. “Actually, I’m not allowed. But why don’t we make up a case and pretend to solve it?”

“That sounds fun.” Gibbs gave her shoulder a squeeze.

“Okay, first of all, what kind of crime is it?”

“Kidnapping,” Emily suggested. “Then our victim doesn’t die.”

“I like that idea. And is it a boy or girl?”

“Girl. And her name is...Amanda. Amanda Davis.”

“All right. And is Amanda in the Navy or Marines?”

“You’re a Marine, right?” Emily asked.

“I was.”

“Marine then.”

They kept going, Gibbs helping to explain what information they would need or could discover and Emily coming up with information. Gradually, the time between her answers started to get slower, and Gibbs found himself getting worried and hoping rescue would come soon. He’d searched the small area, hoping for a way out, but they were too deeply buried.

“So, Lt. Parker has an alibi. Now what?” Emily didn’t answer. “Emily? Now what should we do?”

When she still didn’t respond, Gibbs looked and saw her eyes and closed. He gave her good shoulder a little shake. “Emily? Emily, wake up!” Her eyes remained closed and Gibbs checked her pulse. It was gone.

Quickly, Gibbs laid the child flat on the ground and started CPR, carefully counting the breaths and compressions. After a minute he stopped to check for a pulse again. Still nothing. He started CPR again.

There was a noise of rock sliding and voices from somewhere above them. “Hello, can anyone hear me?” Gibbs shouted as his hands continued in compressions. “Can you hear me?”

“We hear you buddy! Just hold on!” Gibbs gasped with relief.

“I’ve got a child here who’s not breathing and no pulse!” Gibbs called. “She needs a medic, now!”

A rock pulled aside and someone shone a light in. “Are you able to do CPR?”

“I’m doing it right now!” Gibbs shouted back.

“All right, sir. We’re just pulling some rocks away here. How about you? Are you hurt?” the woman holding the light asked.

“Don’t worry about me. This child needs help!”

A moment later more rocks were pulled away and paramedics climbed into the hole, which Gibbs could now see was only five feet deep. Gibbs sat back and let them take over the CPR, watching anxiously. “Her name is Emily Carsen,” he told them.

Another paramedic came up to Gibbs. “Sir, are you hurt anywhere besides your head?”

“No, he replied absently, watching the other EMTs trying to resuscitate Emily. The EMT next to Gibbs pressed some gauze to his forehead, then taped it in place. She flashed a light in his eyes.

“How’s your vision? Do you feel dizzy?” the EMT asked.

“No, I’m okay,” he replied.

Just then, one of the EMTs working on Emily called out, “I’ve got a pulse!” Gibbs felt weak with relief. An oxygen mask was strapped to Emily’s face and the EMTs began transferring her to a stretcher.

“Sir, do you feel up to climbing out of here with me?” the EMT with Gibbs asked. Gibbs nodded and started to get to his feet, then gasped as pain shot through his chest.

“Sir?” The EMT put a hand on his arm. “Just sit still, tell me what hurts.”

Gibbs tried to draw a deep breath and winced again. “My ribs,” he muttered. He’d forgotten then while he was trying to resuscitate Emily, but now that the adrenaline had faded he was getting a painful reminder.

“All right, just sit still for a minute and we’ll grab you a gurney.”

“No...I can make it...” Gibbs managed to get to his feet and stagger over to where a rope ladder had been positioned. There were a couple arms there ready to help him up and onto a stretcher, which he gratefully collapsed on. Then he looked up at the EMT. “How’s Emily?”

“Emily’s doing okay, now just relax.” She pushed an oxygen mask on his face. Gibbs allowed himself to relax slightly, and carefully breathed in the pure oxygen, a welcome change from the dusty air of the hole he’d been trapped in the last few hours.

“Gibbs?” Ziva appeared on one side of the stretcher. Tony and McGee were right behind her. Quickly he pulled off the oxygen mask.

“Ziva, Tony. That little girl - Emily Carsen. Find out where she’s assigned to and how she’s doing for me.”

“You got it, boss,” Tony replied.

“Tell her I’ll be by to see her as soon as I can.” The three agents nodded as the EMT pushed the oxygen mask back on Gibbs’ face.

“We’re taking him to Memorial,” the EMT said. “The little girl’s already on her way there.”


It was a couple of hours later and Gibbs was being pushed in a wheelchair by a nurse on his way to the pediatric ICU.

Ziva had dropped by a half hour before and let him know about Emily. Her collar bone and ankle were broken, and she’d also sustained a severe head injury that had not been apparent during the time she and Gibbs were trapped. The doctors expected her to recover, but she would be staying in Pediatric ICU for at least the next few nights.

Gibbs’ own injuries - although not as severe as Emily’s - were worse than he’d thought as well. Although a CAT-Scan had revealed only a mild concussion, he’d actually broken two ribs and cracked a third. He’d also come very close to puncturing a lung while applying CPR - a decision he didn’t regret for a second. He would also be spending the night in hospital for observation.

When they reached Emily’s single room, the nurse knocked before entering.

“Come in,” Emily’s mother called. The nurse pushed Gibbs’ wheelchair inside.

“Mrs. Carsen, this is Special Agent Gibbs,” the nurse said with a smile. “He was trapped in the explosion with your daughter and wanted to come by and see how she was doing.”

“Yes, your partner told us you would be stopping by and I’m so glad, because I wanted to thank you personally for saving my little girl’s life, Agent Gibbs.”

Gibbs smiled. “No thanks necessary. And please, call me Gibbs.”

“Angela. And this, at least, is necessary.” Angela got to her feet and gave Gibbs a gentle hug, which he returned.

After Angela had sat down, she touched the hand of her sleeping daughter. “Emily,” she said softly.

“Oh, don’t - I can come back,” Gibbs started, but Angela shook her head, smiling.

“Emily made us promise we’d wake her up when you came.” She gave Emily’s arm a little shake. “Emily, wake up.”

The little girl stirred, then opened her eyes as her face crinkled into a sleepy smile. “Gibbs.”

Angela pushed Gibbs’ wheelchair up so he could hold Emily’s hand. “Hey there, kiddo,” he said, softly. “How’re you feeling?”

“Better. Am I still going to be able to come to NCIS headquarters?”

Gibbs face broke into a broad smile. “Absolutely. As soon as your ankle is a little better, you’ll be on the schedule for the grand tour.”

Emily’s eyes lit up. “Will you sign my cast?”

“Sure.” Angela handed him a pen and Gibbs moved towards the end of the bed. As he did so, he noticed the Nancy Drew novel on the nightstand, Mystery of the Brassbound Trunk. “Good book?” She nodded.

“My favorite. The whole thing is set on a ship.”

“Cool.” Gibbs thought for a minute, then printed on the cast: For Emily Carsen, a brave young lady and a truly Special Agent, from her friend Jethro Gibbs.


A month-and-a-half later, Gibbs was doing paperwork at his desk when the call he’d been expecting came over his phone.

“Gibbs, it’s Amy from the front desk. There’s a young lady here to see you, by the name of Emily Carsen.”

“Great, I’ll be right down.” Gibbs pushed his chair back from his desk. “She’s here,” he said, smiling.

Tony got to his feet. “I’ll be in Interrogation.”

Gibbs stood up as well and took the elevator down to the lobby. Emily was waiting for him, a huge smile on her face.

“Gibbs!” she called, running up.

“Hey there, Emily.” Gibbs bent down and hugged her. “How are you?”

“Great. I got my cast off.”

“So I see. Well, come on, let’s start the tour.”

Gibbs led her upstairs to the third-floor squadroom. “This is the squadroom, where we work when we’re at our desks.” Emily stared, her eyes wide.

“Which one’s yours?” she asked.

“This one,” Gibbs replied, showing it to her. “And these are two of my partners, Special Agent Ziva David and Special Agent Timothy McGee. McGee, Ziva, this is Special Agent Emily Carsen who’s on loan to us for the day.”

McGee grinned. “Hello there.”

“Welcome, Emily,” Ziva said warmly as both she and McGee took turns shaking the little girl’s hand.

Emily’s face was lit up like a Christmas tree from Gibbs’ introduction and she replied shyly, “You were at the hospital.”

“That’s right, good memory,” Ziva said with a smile.

“Why don’t you have a seat behind the desk and Ziva’ll take your picture,” Gibbs suggested.

“You mean your desk?” Gibbs nodded and Emily shyly sat down.

“Smile.” Ziva snapped a photo, then said, “Want one with Gibbs, too?” Emily’s eyes widened and she nodded. Gibbs slipped around the desk and squatted down beside her, his arm around her shoulders and Ziva took another shot.

After the photos, Gibbs brought Emily into Forensics. Abby was there, bending over her microscope. “Hey, Abby,” Gibbs called, and she turned around.

“Hi, Gibbs. And this must be Special Agent Carsen.”

Gibbs nodded, smiling. “Emily, this is Abby, our lab technician.”

“Hi, Emily replied.

“Hey, Emily. I was just running a blood sample through the microscope, want to look?”

“Sure.” Emily followed Abby over to the table. “So what does this test do?”

“There are four different blood types - A, AB, B, and O. We can use that to tell who’s blood we find at a scene - which helps if that’s all we have. We can also get DNA from it - which is individual for everyone, and can be used to identify people,” Abby explained.

“Cool.” Emily leaned over the microscope. “So what blood type is this?”

“That’s type A,” Abby answered.

Emily slid off the stool. “Thanks for letting me look at it.”

“Any time.”

“Abby also tests samples of other things we find at a crime scene - cloth, plant material, contents of someone’s stomach. Just about anything can help,” Gibbs told her. “For example, we were able to use a sliver of a sycamore tree found in a victim’s sock to prove the victim had been at a suspect’s home - even though the suspect denied it. We matched the sliver to a tree in the suspect’s yard.”

“Neat,” Emily replied. She looked up at the wall. “What’s that?”

Abby and Gibbs exchanged looks. “Oh, I was fooling around, thought it would be cool to do a human spine in neon colors,” Abby said quickly.

“We’d better go, Abbs. Ducky’s expecting us,” Gibbs added.

“You too. Where are we going now?” Emily asked.

“Down to Autopsy,” Gibbs replied. Emily’s eyes widened.

“I’m going to see a body?”

“Uh, no, we don’t have any down there right now,” Gibbs answered. He wouldn’t dream of taking her down there if there were. “But there is something else you’ll like.”

When they entered Autopsy, Ducky met them at the door. “Ah, our newest recruit,” he said smiling. “Pleased to meet you, my dear.”

“Emily, this is Dr. Mallard,” Gibbs explained.

“Ducky, please. And I understand you’re here to see some X-Ray photos from some of their more interesting cases.

“This shot here is what a broken collar bone looks like after it’s begun to mend,” Ducky said. “I understand you had one of those recently.” Emily nodded. “Over here is a man’s ankle with a metal plate in it after his ankle had been crushed.”

“Neat.” Emily pointed to another picture. “Is that a bullet?”

“That is correct,” Ducky replied. “And here is one you’ll find very interesting.” He lit up an image of a man’s stomach with several small objects inside. “What do you think these are, my dear?”

“Kidney stones?” Emily guessed.

“You’re close. They are stones.” When Emily shook her head, Ducky replied. “Emeralds. The man swallowed them to smuggle them out of Cuba.”

“Ew!” Emily exclaimed. “How could he do that? That’s disgusting!”

Ducky shrugged. “I don’t know,” he admitted.

“What did he die of, stupidity?” Emily questioned. Both men laughed.

“Basically. One of the emeralds sliced a hole in his stomach,” Gibbs explained.

“Can’t imagine why. What an idiot,” Emily declared. “It sure looks cool though.”

“Yes it does,” Gibbs replied.

“Thanks Ducky, for showing me these,” Emily said smiling. “They were awesome.”

“You’re welcome, Emily. And I have a piece of evidence for you to look at.” Ducky brought over a sealed evidence bag with a dark-colored object inside and a clipboard with the evidence log on it. “Sign this, please.”

“It maintains a record for who all has had possession of it,” Gibbs explained. “It’s used in court.” Emily wrote her name in careful student cursive and Gibbs handed her some latex gloves. “Never handle evidence without gloves,” he told her. Emily nodded and put them on. Then Gibbs handed her the bag and a pair of scissors.

Emily carefully cut the bag open and pulled out an NCIS cap. “Oh, wow!”

“It’s an official NCIS cover. We all wear then when we’re investigating a crime scene,” Gibbs told her. Emily hugged him and then Ducky.

“Thank you,” she said, her eyes shining.

“You’re very welcome. And now it’s time for our last stop, Duck.”

“See you later. Nice meeting you, Agent Carsen.”

“Bye, Ducky.”

Gibbs led Emily to the hallway of interrogation rooms and opened a door to one of the observation rooms. Ziva was already inside, holding a file and two Starbucks cups. “These are the rooms where we hold interrogations,” Gibbs explained. “The conversations are recorded in here, and an agent stands watching the person’s body language.” He led her over to the window, allowing Emily to see into the adjoining room. Tony sat inside at the table.

“Who’s that?” Emily asked.

“That is Otto August. Remember him?”

Emily nodded. “From Mystery of the Brassbound Trunk.”

“That’s right. After he got out of jail he went to work for a Naval Base under an assumed name. While he was there, we believe he stole some classified documents and kidnapped Nancy Drew and Nelda Detweiler. We’ve brought him here to question him. And you’re going to conduct the interrogation.”

“Me?” Gibbs nodded.

“I’ll be in there too, but you’re going to be in charge of the questioning. I’ll be taking notes.”

“This is the file on what we have about the case.” Ziva handed it to Emily. “And this is for you as well.” Ziva gave her one of the Starbucks cups.

“Lemonade,” Gibbs explained. “It helps to have something to drink when you’re questioning a suspect. It makes it look like you’ll be there longer, which they don’t like.” Emily nodded in understanding. “Now when we go in there, the first thing you’ll do is read him the sheet of paper labled ‘Article 31 Rights.’ He will say he understands and might waive them. Whatever the case, you’ll get him to sign it and then start the questioning. Okay?”
Emily nodded seriously. “All right.”

Gibbs smiled. “Let’s go.”

Gibbs and Emily entered the interrogation room and sat down opposite Tony. “Mr. August, I’m Special Agent Carsen, this is Special Agent Gibbs.” Tony nodded gravely.

“Mr. August, you are suspected of committing the acts of espionage and kidnapping. You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court martial. You have the right to legal representation and you can either choose your representation or an attorney will be appointed to you by the convening authority.” Emily delivered the words in a stern tone that was so incongruent with her delicate, angelic features that Tony struggled to keep a straight face. “Do you understand these right?”

“Yes I do.”

“Sign here,” Emily said brusquely as she pushed a piece of paper across to him. Tony signed it, making a mental note to ask Gibbs just how much of his interrogation techniques he had taught this kid.

After he’d given her back the sheet, the girl said, “Mr. August, several years ago you took a ship from Holland to the United States. At the conclusion of this trip you were arrested on charges of smuggling and espionage.”

“I’ve turned over a new leaf since then,” Tony interjected.

Emily smiled wryly. “Really.”

Tony offered her a smile of his own. “Really.”

“Mr. August, do you remember a Nancy Drew or Nelda Detweiler from that trip?”

Tony rolled his eyes. “Agent Carsen, it’s pretty hard not to remember someone who assisted in your arrest. But I haven’t seen them since. Now, I don’t know what you’re imploying...”

Emily took a leisurely sip of her lemonade and sat back in her seat, leveling her blue eyes with the man in front of her. “I don’t imply, Mr. August.” Gibbs just about choked on his coffee. “I’m being straight with you and that means I expect the same courtesy.”

Emily leaned forward. “We know about the classified documents you stole. We know that you kidnapped Nancy Drew and Nelda Detweiler. What we don’t know is whether we’re going to be charging you with murder as well.” Emily stood up and leaned over Tony. “So, where. Are. They.”


“Agent Carsen, you did a fantastic job in there,” Gibbs said with a smile after they were back in the squadroom. “You have a very real potential as an interrogator when you get older.”

Emily blushed. “It was fun, getting to question that guy like they do on TV,” she admitted.

“Before you go, we have a couple more things for you.” Gibbs handed her an envelope. “The pictures from your visit, including some from your interrogation. And,” Gibbs pinned a small brooch in the shape of an NCIS badge on her shirt. “Your very own NCIS badge.”

Emily’s face lit up and she hugged Gibbs tightly. “Thank you so much for this.”

Gibbs smiled as he returned the hug. “You’re very welcome.”

After Emily had left, Ziva said, “You know, you made her day today, Gibbs.”

“Ah, nah,” Gibbs shrugged off the compliment before offering her and Tony a quick grin. “Anyone want more lemonade?”