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PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2012 6:09 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 Scars challenge at NFA. I have a second entry for that challenge that's not nearly so morbid, but it's also not done. :) I have another one-shot coming for another NFA challenge either today or tomorrow and I'm hoping to get another Patience chapter up in the next day or so before that story switches to weekly posting.

Scars of a Lifetime

Ducky looked at the body, which he had just finished cleaning in preparation for the autopsy. The man had been strong, his muscles defined, despite being older than many of the bodies that had lain on this table. Starting at the feet, he catalogued the body for the file, the final record of this man's life. The feet were in good shape, toenails the natural color, skin healthy. Moving up the leg, he paused to note two scars on the gastrocnemius of the one leg. One was ragged, likely a shrapnel wound that didn't get medical attention until after the battle. The second was neat, sewn up by a doctor. The knee of the other leg was abducted, the slight angle enough to cause problems later on had the man lived until a natural death, but not enough to sideline him from an active life, with proper precautions, of course.

The quadriceps showed more scars, including a long gash that had required 33 stitches at the time. A couple of places along the line were not so neat. "Popped his stitches, the stubborn ass." Ducky frowned as he made a note.

He continued his notes, moving to the hands. The right index finger was marred, the place where a bone had popped free of the skin marked forever. Smaller scars on each arm, the remnants of cuts and bullet grazes.

The right shoulder's skin was unmarked, but as Ducky palpated the joint with gloved fingers, he could feel the scar tissue beneath the skin from dislocations and years of absorbing the recoil of gun battles.

The left shoulder had a round scar on the front, and Ducky knew without turning over the body that the bullet's exit wound would have left more marks. Nine years had allowed the scar to fade from pink to white. He looked across the room at the spot where the blood from that shooting had spilled, young Anthony putting pressure on the wound as that bastard had escaped. The same way Anthony had put pressure on the wound this morning at the warehouse where the team had been caught by the sailors smuggling drugs on the Eisenhower.

Ducky swallowed, and moved toward the head, noting the small scars around the edges of the hairline, remnants of the two explosions, 15 years apart. Finally, he moved to the neck, where the bullet hole had nicked the carotid artery. The edges of the hole were neat, far more so than the exit wound, the bullet's downward trajectory sending it through the trapezius, just above the edge of the bulletproof vest.

The medical examiner set down his clipboard, the form filled with his handwriting detailing a lifetime of scars. He picked up the scalpel, prepared to make the Y-incision in the chest. That was one section of skin that had few surface marks. No, the scars in this section of the body lay below the surface, invisible even to his own trained eye. The memories of his "girls," of Mike Franks, of Caitlin and Jenny, of Langer, Lee and Cassidy — all left marks far deeper than even Ari's bullet wound.

As Ducky sliced into the skin, he swallowed. "You had a good run, my friend. And you would be proud of them today." He looked toward his tea kettle and reminded himself to make sure all the children stopped down to visit, so he could patch them up. They would carry the scars from today all their lives, but Ducky would do what he could to make sure they were neat, not ragged.

He turned his face back to the familiar one on the table. "It is the least I can do, Jethro."

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