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Written for choc_fic, based on the prompt NCIS, Gerald Jackson: episode fix - Gerald came back to work after "Kill Ari".

Title: Belly Full of Molten Crabs
Author: voleuse
Fandom: NCIS
Rating: PG
Disclaimer: Not mine.
Summary: Flesh and bones holdin on with a python's clutch.
Notes: Set after 3.02



A year and a half after he was shot, the department psychiatrist asked him to take another month off.

Gerald refused, despite the temptation. He'd been spinning his wheels for too long in rehabilitation, in therapy, in nickel-and-dime autopsies at Quantico. He needed to be where he belonged, back in the lab.

Besides that, an extra month wouldn't be enough to blot Ari Haswari's mad grin from his memory. An extra decade wouldn't be enough.

*


Gerald walked up to the very doors of the morgue before his feet rebelled. His breath caught, and he closed his eyes, and told himself it was a room full of dead bodies and authority figures. Nothing to fear at all.

The doors slid open, and he startled back, just a half step.

"Gerald."

"Doctor Mallard." He settled his feet and didn't attempt to smile. "I'm back."

"I see." Doctor Mallard's eyes tripped over Gerald's stance, as if he was already lying on one of the slabs beyond.

They stood, until Gerald wanted to step forward. He couldn't, but he wanted to.

Doctor Mallard did, instead, and walked briskly past Gerald, out into the hallway. "Abby needs us to collect the victim's belongings for analysis." He paused and looked over his shoulder. "Mister Palmer isn't horrible with a scalpel, but I wouldn't trust him to sort out his own wallet, let alone key evidence."

Gerald took a last glance at the morgue's doors, sliding shut, and let his breath out in tandem.

Not today. He couldn't do it today.

But maybe soon.

Doctor Mallard's heels clicked against the floor, steady as a heartbeat.


###

A/N: Title and summar adapted from Tish Benson's No Parts Spared.

Originally posted on choc_fic.

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