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PostPosted: Sun Aug 28, 2011 2:25 pm 
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Director's Secretary

Joined: Fri Jul 30, 2010 5:47 pm
Posts: 2382
Location: Southern Tier
Name: Jennie (please NOT Jen)
Gender: Female
link: Blog
link: First Novel
AN: Written for the NFA Irregular Occurrence Challenge. I had always planned on having Josh Cooper (S4, Sandblast) make an appearance in Breathe, but after bin Laden was killed, I nixed the original plan for one I felt was more natural followup to his interaction with Tony in Sandblast. This is set at the end of S8, so about a year after Life Is Made ends. You don't have to have read any other Breathe stories to understand this.

There Is A Time

May 2, 2011

When Josh Cooper walked into NCIS Headquarters, it didn’t look much different that it had four years earlier. No, almost five now since he’d visited here after the terrorists killed his father. He’d thought of stopping by a few times in the years since then, but it never felt right. Tony’s words from that one night always came back to him.

“I would do whatever it takes. But there is a right time... and a right place. And this is not the time. Not for you.”

Josh hadn’t had a comeback, not one before Tony had left his room. But the words never left his head. Not that night, or into the next day. Not until a little while before Tony showed up the second time.

He’d been telling the truth that day — his dad had been a big fan of Princeton. The colonel wanted Josh to have that degree. Without it, Josh wouldn’t have been looking a career in Naval intelligence. He would have been a boot camp with the other Marines, then off to an infantry unit. By now, probably dead or out of the Corps on a medical discharge because he’d had another run-in with a bomb, this time in Iraq.

A week hadn’t gone by since his father’s murder that he hadn’t thought of quitting college and enlisting. Each time, Tony’s words came back to him. When the news came over the air last night, he knew Tony had been right.

The SEALs that had killed bin Laden last night were a special class. He wasn’t SEAL material, no matter how hard he worked. His father wanted Princeton and Georgetown Law because he knew brains were Josh’s strong point. If he’d enlisted, he’d have had no more to do with taking down bin Laden than he had yesterday studying for finals. At least this way, he could go into intelligence, help prevent the next bin Laden from succeeding.

When he stepped off the elevator, the agent accompanying him pointed toward the middle of the room. “Agent DiNozzo’s desk.”

Josh walked over, and saw Tony sitting in the center, file folders on the desk in front of him.

“Tony?”

He looked up, frowned for a second, then smiled. “Josh, right?”

“You remember me?”

Tony nodded. “I’ve wondered about you off and on since the last time we talked, wondered how Princeton was going.”

“Graduated last year, with honors. Just finished up my first year at Georgetown Law.”

“And then on to ONI?” Tony pushed his chair back from the desk.

Josh nodded. “You know, you kept me at Princeton. You were right. It wasn’t my time. Without you, I’d probably be dead now.”

“You knew the answer back then,” Tony said. “You just needed somebody to remind you.” He looked over at the Most Wanted wall. “There are still a lot of names up there. We’re going to need your help to catch them all.”

“You’ll get it.”

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