Based on the TV Show "NCIS"

AN: I am having a great time writing this; it's fun seeing what could have been and I am loving Kelly. I know that she sounded a lot more mature than 13 during her discussion with Jenny in the last chapter but I figured that after all she had been through she would be mature for her age, but she is still a 13 year old girl...


Chapter 3: Thanksgiving

Another Sunday Evening…Two Months Later…

"Ducky, please tell me you're joking!"

The Scottish M.E. chuckled. "Sadly, my dear, I cannot."

"So let me get this straight: You pushed a French policeman off a cliff into a lake 60 feet below; making you and my dad fugitives. Jenny commandeered a boat, rescuing both of your butts; then got the charges dropped…"

"I do believe that sums it up."

She stared at him a moment; then burst out laughing. "You're all crazy!" She grinned at him.

Ducky chuckled. "Pot calling the kettle, Kelly."

"I blame the company I keep," she returned, to which he laughed again. "So," she began as she saw her father enter the kitchen followed by Jenny, "you both do realize that you owe Jenny big time, right?" I owe her big time, she added to herself as she grinned at the woman who had become in many things her fellow conspirator.

"As if she doesn't remind us enough on her own…" her dad pretended to grump as he sat down in his seat. Kelly knew he really did not mind it and was actually quite proud of Jenny as her boss and mentor.

Jenny leaned over and pecked him on the cheek. "Keeps your ego down to size."

Kelly giggled as Jenny joined her in gathering the plates from the cabinets.

Even with the interruption of missions and just plain life in general in their lives, things had begun to settle into something of a pattern for them. Jenny was almost always over at their house when she and Kelly's dad were not working and were in town. Kelly would regularly sleep over at Maddie's house, which she had done before anyway but now it had the intent of letting her dad and his girlfriend have some time alone together. Another slight change in the routine was that every Sunday, when everyone was in town, they had a dinner together which included Ducky; Kelly had the last week or so started talking about inviting Maddie and her family to join them possibly. She had begun to think of it as "Family Dinner Night." She loved it. She loved having there with them the man who was a surrogate grandfather to her and the woman whom she respected, liked, admired and was coming to really care for.

Minutes later they were all sitting in their usual seats around the table and were serving themselves the take-out her dad and Jenny had grabbed on the way home.

"I have been thinking," Jenny spoke up; everyone glanced in her direction in acknowledgement as they continued eating, "Thanksgiving is next week and I was wondering whether you all had plans?"

"Other than trying to keep mother from burning down the house, no," Ducky said.

"It's just me and Dad here at the house," Kelly spoke up; her dad nodded in agreement.

"Well," Jenny began, somewhat tentatively, "if you all are interested I would like you invite you over to my house for Thanksgiving dinner. Including your mother, Ducky," she added.

"Why thank you, Jennifer!" Ducky said delighted. "But are you sure? Mother can be quite a handful."

She laughed. "I think I am actually looking forward to such a change in pace."

Kelly had looked up at her father, hopefully. Ever since her mother died Thanksgiving had always just been the two of them eating the closest thing her dad could find to a take-out version of the traditional dinner. She would really like to have something close to what could be considered a "real" Thanksgiving dinner.

Jenny looked at Kelly's dad, biting her lip nervously but there was a spark of hope in her eyes.

He had the patent watchful Gibbs look in his eyes as he looked at her for several moments before he nodded. "Yeah, we'd like that."

Kelly gave a cheer and Jenny smiled broadly.


Thanksgiving, late afternoon…

Jenny had told them to make themselves at home and, when Kelly asked, that they were free to look around if they wanted; with that permission Kelly felt liberated to indulge her curiosity in Jenny's home. She meandered up the beautiful, ornate staircase. The interior of Jenny's house was about as different from the Gibbs residence as could be. The furniture was antique and almost museum quality, with equally prestigious art. The Gibbs household was full of worn-in, comfortable furniture with childhood artwork, A+ tests and papers on the fridge. Jenny's house had elegant, expensive, cushy carpeting that squished under Kelly's bare feet. The Gibbs house had gorgeous hardwood floors that her father had laid with his own hands and were fun to skid across in socks. The only similarity Kelly could really see in the two homes was the inherent warmth that accompanied real homes.

Kelly wandered the upstairs hallway, looking at the collection of old family photos and portraits on the walls. She stopped at the partially open door at the end of the hall; she tentatively knocked on the door.

Jenny entered the room from the bathroom. "Kelly, come on in."


Kelly tugged on the cuff of the right sleeve of the brown sweater she was wearing; Jenny had noticed that this was a nervous habit of Kelly's. "I didn't mean to bother you." The young girl shuffled into the room.

"You're not," Jenny assured her, watching as Kelly began to look around the room, she definitely had her father's curiosity, though she did not have half of his restraint.

Kelly stopped in front of Jenny's vanity; she reached out and gently fingered the bottles that lined the surface. "You have a lot of stuff here."

Jenny bit back the laughter that wanted to erupt at the teen's way of putting things and how much she sounded like Jethro at that moment. "Well," she began as she moved to stand next to Kelly, "some of that is actually my mother's."

The girl looked up at her. "You kept some of your mom's stuff?" There was a hint of ache in Kelly's tone.

Jenny nodded, pulling out the small bench and sitting down; motioning Kelly to join her, which she did. "My mom died when I was a little younger than you; I kept bottles of her perfume, bubble bath and other things so that I would better be able to remember her. Our sense of smell is very strongly linked to memory."

Kelly bit her lip, running her fingers over the brush and comb set. "I – I kept my mommy's favorite perfume…I found a bottle in Mommy and Daddy's bathroom and I hid it in one of my drawers." She placed her hands in her lap and looked up at Jenny. "Daddy doesn't know I have it."

There was a troubled note in her voice that tugged at the older woman's heart; she gently reached out and brushed a lock of hair over Kelly's shoulder. "I know your father wouldn't mind you having it to help you remember your mother."

Kelly watched her for a moment before looking back at the items on the vanity; she picked up a compact of base powder, inspecting it curiously. "Do you wear all of this makeup all the time?"

Jenny laughed. "No, I usually only wear a little; on special occasions I might wear more, but I certainly don't wear all of it ever."

Kelly nodded seriously. "Maddie's mom said that when Maddie and I are in high school she'll take us out to get makeup of our own." She scrunched up her nose as she set the powder back down. "I don't know if I like that idea or not."

Jenny continued to run her fingers through Kelly's hair, tilting her head to the side curiously. "What does your father say about all this?"

Kelly shrugged. "Dad mostly let's Mrs. Tyler handle the 'girl stuff.' I don't think he really knows what to think about it, but I'm sure that the first time I he sees me in makeup or my first formal dress he'll make his opinion loud and clear."

Jenny chuckled, nodding. "I'm sure he will." She watched Kelly continue to inspect the makeup and other items on the vanity for a few moments. "Kelly, would you like to try some makeup?" Kelly looked at her with raised eyebrows. "Just so you can see what it's like, and we'll wash it right off because you are still far too young, and far too beautiful to need it."

Kelly bit her lip looking at the objects in front of her again; Jenny could see her debating but she could also see the young girl's curiosity winning. Finally Kelly turned to her and nodded. "Ok."

Jenny grinned. "Alright." She pulled a hair tie out of a drawer. "Let's pull your hair back so that it doesn't get in the way." Kelly nodded, turning in her seat so that her back was to Jenny to make it easier to pull her hair back. Jenny ran her fingers through Kelly's hair, gathering the long, soft, unruly curls back in a pony tail. Just as she was about to pull the hair through the hair tie she noticed something on the girl's neck; she looked closer. A long white scar ran across the back of her neck, disappearing under the collar of her sweater; there were a few more just peaking out of the collar, particularly around her right shoulder. Jenny swallowed hard, trying to hold back the tears she could feel burning at the back of her eyes. She turned her attention back to pulling Kelly's hair up. "There," she said when she was finished.

Kelly patted her hair, turning back in her seat; looking at Jenny. "You're a lot better at that than Dad."

Jenny managed a smirk. "Women generally tend to be better with hair than men."

Kelly nodded, looking back at the makeup. "So, what do we use first?"

Jenny reached out, and picked up a light pink blush, deciding to forego the base. "First a little color on your cheeks." As she expertly applied and blended the makeup she began to notice other scars on Kelly's face: a semi-X-shaped one near her hairline; a faint one that cut diagonally beneath her right eyebrow; a crescent shaped one on the left side of her jaw.

What had happened to her?


Jethro headed upstairs in search of Jenny and Kelly to let them know that dinner was ready. He had been to Jenny's house before but Kelly had not and he knew that his curious cat daughter could not resist looking around. He heard laughter coming from down the hall; from Jenny's room. He silently approached the door and stopped just in the opening, watching the pair inside.

Kelly was laughing as she took a lipstick Jenny handed her and applied it. Jenny grinned as she reached out and gently wiped off the excess from around his daughter's lips. Kelly picked through the different tubes of lipstick; then handed one to Jenny, who applied it to her own lips; showing Kelly how to properly apply it. The 13 year old then took the tissue Jenny offered her, wiped off the lipstick and then applied a different one, slowly and carefully; doing a much better job.

It was a strange mixture of emotions Jethro felt as he watched his daughter and lover together. He was happy to see them enjoying spending time together and it was definitely good to see Kelly joyfully accepting the mentorship that Jenny had begun offering, teaching her things that mothers teach daughters. At the same time it was hard. These were the things that Kelly should have had with Shannon. It often seemed like his relationship with Jenny was all conflicting emotions like in this instance.

From day one he had liked Jenny.

"Agent Gibbs."

Gibbs looked up from his desk at Director Morrow's voice; he came to stand in front of Gibbs who stood up to put away a file he had just finished working on. "What can I do for you, Tom?"

"I'm here to introduce you to your new probationary agent."

With his back turned to Morrow as he put the file in the file cabinet Gibbs sighed, rolling his eyes; once he closed the drawer he turned around to face the new agent.

He was not prepared for the bombshell of a redhead who came to stand next to Morrow. She had raised an eyebrow and was wearing a knowing smirk; he did not know it then but he would become very familiar with that look, so characteristic of Jenny.

He made sure that his reaction was not obvious, struggling but managing to keep his expression unreadable.

"Jethro this is Agent Jennifer Shepard; Agent Shepard this is Special Agent Gibbs, your supervisor."

She stepped forward, her hand extended; meeting Gibbs head on. "Nice to meet you, Agent Gibbs."

Gibbs stepped forward, keeping his eyes locked on hers; having him this close with his unreadable expression intimidated all but a handful of people, which included his daughter, Ducky, Morrow and his father, Jackson Gibbs, but Gibbs was not going to think about him.

Jennifer Shepard kept her eyes on his, level, unwavering, unfazed. He felt the beginnings of real respect for her and could not help but like her for the gumption she was showing.

He accepted her handshake. "Same, Agent Shepard."

It did not take long for that liking to become something more. At the time he was still married but that had already been deteriorating months before he ever met Jenny, and when his wife had hit him with the golf club the week before Jenny was assigned to work with him, that had been the end of it. He had still waited until the divorce was finalized before he asked Jenny out.

He did not know when it happened but somewhere in the months since then Jethro had fallen in love with Jenny, and was falling more so all the time. He knew that all too easily he could come to love and care more for her than either of his ex-wives; possibly as much as he had loved Shannon, if he let himself. The scary thing was that he was very tempted to let himself, but at the same time he felt that in doing so he would be betraying Shannon.

He decided to stop thinking about it because if he kept doing so it was going to drive him mad and he just was not ready to think about it.

Jenny noticed him in the doorway. "Jethro."

Kelly turned, and grinned at him bright red lipstick a stark contrast to her white teeth. "Hi, Daddy!"

"You two look like you're having fun." He entered the room, moving toward them. "You've got something on your mouth," he told his daughter motioning on his own mouth.

Kelly rolled her eyes, accepting the tissue Jenny handed her to wipe the lipstick off. "Very funny, Dad."

He just smirked.

Jenny looked at him with a raised eyebrow and a smirk. "Here for something, Jethero?"

"Yep." He nodded shortly. "Dinner's ready."

"Let's go!" Kelly jumped up, running out the door. "I'm starving!"

Jenny and Jethro shared a grin. She stood up and headed toward the door, once she reached his side Jethro turned and, placing his hand at the small of her back guided her out the door.

Neither of them said anything but both felt a pure rightness in the gesture.

"Mother!" Ducky's voice shouted from downstairs. "Put the fire extinguisher away! It is not a party favor!"


And there we have it! I have to say that the whole thing with Kelly and Jenny has been in my head for a very long time; it was one of the first scenes that I came up with and it is so vivid in my mind. I couldn't wait to write it and I had fun doing so. It was also interesting getting to write so much from Gibbs' perspective; I had not really planned it so, but it worked out in a way that I liked. This chapter ended up being a lot longer than I had originally planned but this is how it came out. That last line for Ducky…it is something else that came totally out of the blue but when it did I just had to throw it in. :P I hope you enjoyed it! Thank you so much for reading! Please let me know what you thought; as always praise and constructive criticism and treasured, they help me write better!

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