“I’m sorry, Jethro,” Dr. Mallard said as he climbed out of the M.E.’s van. “I’m afraid that Jimmy got lost. Again.”
“Sorry, Agent Gibbs,” Jimmy said, wistfully. “It really is my fault.”
Gibbs gave him a dark look, pointing. “The body’d s there.”
Jimmy carried the equipment off the road and down toward the body, lodged in a ditch. The stench was overwhelming, but he’d grown accustomed to it over time. Besides, he was still halfway lost in Dr. Mallard’s story of his childhood, and King Arthur being his hero, and how he’d broken his arm using sticks to swordfight with his older cousin. Not that he’d ever tell Agent Gibbs why they were late. The story had been so sweet and funny, and Dr. Mallard seemed to get such enjoyment out of relating it, Jimmy didn’t have the heart to stop him just because there was a body waiting for them. The body wasn’t going anywhere, and with the rest of the team on site, he knew any evidence would be preserved one way or another.
“Oh,” Dr. Mallard said, peeling up the ankle of the body’s dress whites, “look, he has a Celtic knot tattooed on his ankle.” He leaned back on his haunches, looking up at Agent Gibbs. “You are aware the proper pronunciation is ‘kel-tic’, not ‘sel-tic’.”
Agent Gibbs didn’t quite sigh. “Anything else, Ducky?”
“Mmm, it seems he has an affinity for things Celtic,” Ducky said, pointing out a somewhat unusual cross around the man’s neck. “I dare say he may be of Irish or Scottish ancestry. Hmm. Do we know the young man’s name?”
“Not yet,” Gibbs said. “McGee’s toy isn’t working right.”
“Working on it, Boss,” Tim said.
At least he wasn’t the only one in the doghouse, Jimmy thought, getting to work.