When the Bough Breaks

Chapter 7

Kensi and Deeks pulled into a parking garage and drove up to the top, which was now mostly vacant due to the hour of the night, then waited for their teammates to arrive. It wasn't long before they did and as they all got out and came together, the female agent and her partner were both surprised to find Nell standing there with Callen and Sam.

"Nell, we didn't expect to see you," Kensi said as she looked over at the young computer analyst. "Are you… are you all right?"

"No, I'm not," she answered coldly. "But I'm here to work. I won't just stay behind and wait to be questioned by the agents SECNAV are sending down to talk to each of us."

Deeks looked between Nell, Sam, and Callen, as he asked, "SECNAV is sending agents down to investigate us?"

Sam nodded as he replied, "That's right. They're pulling every agent from the field and putting a hold on all cases until our agency has been cleared and the traitors are found. That's why we're meeting here."

"SECNAV will be busy for awhile while their interrogating everyone else," Callen continued. "That gives us time to do our own investigation, at least until Hetty can no longer hold them off. We need to solve this as soon as possible."

"Sounds good to me," Deeks responded coolly. "Where do we start? Kensi and me didn't find anyone home at Cosgrove's except for his sleepy wife. Let me tell you, that woman was hostile, but not because she has problems with cops. In fact, she begged us to arrest her 'no good for nothing, lying, cheating bastard of a husband.' Those were her words, not mine. She suggested we try looking for him at one of the more expensive hotels in town, as she was pretty positive that they're where he likes to take his 'skanky whores.' Again, those were her words, not mine. Talk about a woman scorned."

Callen spoke up again saying, "Yeah, well she might not be totally wrong. He probably isn't off with just some other woman, but he may be at a hotel with Mikkelsen and others who are involved in the bombing. A hotel would be a great meeting place."

Kensi asked, "What do you suggest we do, search every expensive hotel in town, on our own, without help? We don't even know if our scorned woman knows what the hell she's talking about."

"If we were at our headquarters, then Eric and I… we would… track our suspects down… using their cell phones… and credit cards," Nell could barely answer. "Perhaps we could find someone… who…"

"That's a great idea," Kensi finally cut in when Nell could no longer finish her thought.

Deeks replied, "That's right. It just so happens that I've got a few friends still in the LAPD, one of whom owes me a favor. He'll be more than willing to help us out, I think, but we'll have to be fast if we're going to go down there. Surely, the LAPD know that NCIS has called in all of its agents. We won't be welcome there for long."

Sam asked, "Will we be able to get in?"

"Yeah, that shouldn't be a problem," the LAPD liaison responded with a grin.

"Why does that not sound very reassuring?" Sam asked.

As the others walked back toward their cars, Kensi quickly pulled Nell aside to talk to her alone, and said, "I couldn't help but notice how stressed out and worried you are. Are you doing all right? Is it Eric?"

Nell looked at her and nodded, then answered, "Yeah, he's hurt real bad, Kens. He's fallen… He's fallen into…"

"He's fallen into a coma?" Kensi finished for her once again.

"Yeah, just please don't try to tell me everything's going to be okay," Nell replied angrily. "I have heard enough from everyone one else. I don't want to hear it again and I don't want to talk about Eric. I'm here to work."

Kensi nodded as she responded, "I understand. Just know that if you need someone to talk to, I'm here for you."

Nell smiled and answered, "I know you are. Thank you, Kensi."

Meanwhile…

"I suspected that you would want to have this talk," Hetty spoke up wearily as she walked into her home and noticed a shadow sitting down on the couch inside her living room. "However, I was not expecting that we would be having it here. It has been a long day, Owen. Surely, this can wait until tomorrow."

"I'm afraid that that won't be possible," Granger replied calmly. "You and I both know that your head team is out there somewhere looking for answers on their own, despite the orders from SECNAV. I also know that you are going to do everything you can to support them because that is how you are."

Hetty nodded and then responded, "If you know all this, then I don't understand why we're talking."

Owen shook his head, then answered, "We're talking because I wouldn't be doing my job if I didn't try to convince you to order your team to turn themselves in."

"All right, you've done your job," the small woman replied smugly. "Is that all you wanted to talk about?"

"Yeah, I guess it is, but know this, Henrietta, if your team isn't able to find evidence that proves whoever the traitors are without a doubt before they're discovered missing, then they will most likely become SECNAV's newest suspects and will be in serious trouble," Granger responded in frustration. "There won't be much either you or I will be able to do to help them at that point."

She nodded, then answered, "Yes, I am very much aware of that point. However, I have faith that my team will find out the truth, not SECNAV."

Owen crossed his arms and replied, "Oddly enough, so do I. I have been with all of you long enough to know that there's something very special about how your team operates."

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