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PostPosted: Fri Jun 03, 2011 5:42 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 15, 2010 9:31 pm
Posts: 8483
Title: Native Nebraska NCIS fan
Name: Cookie, Lori
Aliases: tigyr
Gender: Female
link: My Story Board stories
link: My Fanfiction.net account
Categories: General, General > Family
Characters: Abigail "Abby" Sciuto, Anthony "Tony" DiNozzo, Jimmy Palmer, Leroy Jethro Gibbs, Original Character(s), Other NCIS Character(s), Sarah McGee, Timothy McGee, Ziva David
Genre: Alternate Universe, Friendship, Hurt/Comfort, Romance
Rating: FR-15
Summary:Gibbs gets to tell Donny a story this time...and find some romance too. Note, this story takes place mere days after Tim's Tale. For those who haven't read that one yet, Gibbs meets Laurie Fields when she comes to deliver some devastating news to his youngest male agent.



Knights of the NCIS Table: Gibbs' Tale


Chapter 1:

It’s been several hours since Leroy Jethro Gibbs has last seen Laurie Fields. The female Navy SEAL has honored his request to talk to him. Three days after Tim McGee buries his parents, Gibbs and Laurie meet in his office.

“Commander, can I offer you some coffee?” He’d had a coffee pot put into the office the minute he’d taken the position as Assistant Director. He might not be in the field that often anymore, but he still demands a good cup of coffee. This way he is assured of having one.

“No, thank you.” He notices that once again she’s out of uniform. Today she’s wearing blue jeans, a peach colored polo shirt, and tennis shoes. Her hair is in its traditional braid and hanging down her back. She’s wearing no make up that he can see, aside from a clear lip gloss or balm.

“Commander, what in the name of hell is going on? Who and maybe more precisely what are you? What is your clearance level and why are you here?”

“Permission to speak freely?”

He nods impatiently wanting answers and wanting them yesterday.

“As for what is going on, I’m not precisely sure. I am or rather I was the last active member of a Special Forces unit. My clearance level is above your own and therefore I’m not supposed to tell you that Alpha/Omega Blue does exist. I’m here to try and answer your questions.”

Her clear gaze meets his head on. She’s not lying to him. He sighs in frustration. Then realizes what questions she had answered.

“What Special Forces units, aside from the SEALs, were you affiliated with?”

“Only one and you’ve never heard of it. It’s due to being in that unit that I have the clearance that I do.”

“Black ops I take it then?”

“In a manner of speaking yes. We haven’t been active though for almost 20 years. I liked being a team player and went back to the Teams as soon as my tour was over.”

“Why does no one know of your existence?”

“Those who needed to be were informed. As I am no longer an active member in any military unit, there was no need to inform you prior to our first meeting.”

“During which you conveniently forgot to mention your affiliation.” His sarcastic comment is met with one of her own.

“I apologize, I was on an errand and forgot that I had to tell someone, that I didn’t know, my entire background story.” She says with just a bit of sarcasm.

He nods his head in acknowledgement. He knows it’s difficult having to tell someone that their relative is dead. Having to tell a friend isn’t something that he wants to do anytime soon. She’d come straight from Hawaii to inform not only her friend but his youngest male agent about their parents.

“How did you get them here so soon? You said at the time that you couldn’t tell me. That you’d have to show me. Well, I’m waiting for show and tell to start.”

She rolls her eyes at the comment, her own irritation finally beginning to show. He has to admire that much about her. For all the badgering he’s putting her through so far she hasn’t faltered in any of her explanations.

She smiles suddenly and he wonders what brought it on. Staring into her eyes, he sees a glint of pure mischief highlight the lavender orbs. She lightly touches his hand and a second later, they’re both standing in the elevator. Before he can say a word they’re back in his office.

“Damn, what the hell are you?” The words are harsher than he might have expected.

“I’m a human the same as you are Jethro. I just happen to have a couple of abilities a normal human doesn’t.”

“Like?

“Like teleportation, and the ability to heal...when I get there in time.” The last is definite self recrimination and he remembers Holly’s comment. ““What happened? Why didn’t you save them?””

“You are that powerful?” His voice is hushed.

She smiles somewhat grimly and nods as she says, “Sometimes, if I can get to the person in time. In the case of the McGees and Breakers it was a straight through and through shot to the heart. I had no chance of getting to them in time. If we’d gotten called in earlier, maybe, but there’s no real way of knowing.”

“We can go to Abby’s lab and put it through a simulation.”

She shakes her head. “We’ve put them to rest, let them lie.”

He doesn’t say anything, and she knows that he’s probably going to have Abby put it through the simulation anyway. Her eyes narrow and she glares at him slightly. “You were a sniper in the Marines. You know a death shot when you see one. Why put your own agent through an emotional wringer if you don’t have to?!”

That tells him that she’s done her own background check in the two days since they supposedly last saw each other. They hadn’t discussed backgrounds when he’d driven her home after the Breakers’ funerals. They hadn’t done much of anything. He’d gone downstairs to start work on a new boat, and she’d surprised him by helping him. He’d shown her the spare bedroom and she’d cooked a few meals in return. They’d gotten up this morning, shared breakfast and left in separate cars.

“Why a car when you can teleport?”

“I can’t see anything when I teleport. I have a clear view in my mind of where I’m going and where I came from. There’s nothing in between.”

“Makes it a bit difficult to plan where you’re landing doesn’t it?”

She nods laughing at some of the places she’s landed in the past. “Mmm…yeah try not to upset a camel when you pop in behind it.”

He can’t help but laugh at the image of a camel turning its head to see what just arrived behind it. His desk phone rings and he automatically sets it on speaker.

“Gibbs.”

“Granpa Jefro? Can you come eat lunch with me and Mommy?”

“Donny, where’s your dad at buddy?”

“He’s with Uncle Tim. They went to cheer up Aunt Holly but I has a cold and mommy wouldn’t let me go too.”

Laurie hides a smile as she sees the conflicting emotions on Gibbs face. He clearly loves to spend time with the youngest DiNozzo, and rarely has the opportunity to. She starts to leave but a soft voice says, “Stop.” In a clearer voice Gibbs addresses his grandson.

“I’ll be there shortly. Shall I bring Miss Laurie with me?”

“Yes please, she can cook for us.”

A/N: I know that there aren't any female Navy SEALs, but hey, we're writing fiction here...lol.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 03, 2011 6:07 pm 
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Title: Native Nebraska NCIS fan
Name: Cookie, Lori
Aliases: tigyr
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link: My Story Board stories
link: My Fanfiction.net account
Chapter 2: Donny tells Granpa Jefro what he wants for a story... :evillaugh:

As Gibbs finishes saying goodbye to his grandson, Laurie struggles to hold the laughter back. She sits in the chair across from Gibbs' desk biting her inner cheek in the effort to keep from laughing out loud. He no sooner hangs up and she’s lost the battle. Tears of laughter roll down her cheeks as she recalls Donny saying that she can cook for Gibbs, Donny and Sarah.

“Sorry, but that was too precious. He takes after Tony I take it?” Her comment makes Gibbs lips start to twitch in his own smile. Donald DiNozzo is almost a mirror image of what Tony could have been like at that age. His manners are clearly a product of Sarah and Tim, but the rest of him is pure Tony.

As he laughs with the woman in front of him it finally dawns on him something she’d said earlier.

“You’re no longer in the military as of when?” she’d been in uniform all day Monday, yet she hadn’t on Tuesday.

Her sad smile confirms his suspicions, “My last official act as a member of the Navy SEALs was the funeral Monday afternoon.”

He can tell that it hit her hard, this particular funeral. “Who was he?”

“My father, well, the man I called father for the last 25 years anyway. He was the one who recruited me, who brought me home to his family, who made sure I had a family when no one else was around. His name was Charlie Cutter and he was one of my best friends. Margie, his widow asked me to officiate the funeral.”

That nails him to his seat. This woman had taken the time to console his agent, brought her friend over for his agent to lean on and then gone on to her second of three funerals, the last two being the most personal. What had he done, taken her to task for not telling him about her military background. He was surprised she hadn’t backhanded him by now.

“Waste of energy, I’d have to heal you again.” She gives him a wry smile as he realizes what that implies.

“You read minds too?” He’s not too sure he likes the sound of that.

“I try not to, but you’re easy to read right now; and no, I haven’t tried to read you since we’ve met. I see it as an invasion of privacy; I only enter when I’m allowed or if the other person needs me to.”

“Speaking of needs, there’s a little boy who needs his grandfather.” He comes around the desk and offers her his hand to help her to her feet. She accepts it gracefully and stands up.

“Granpa Jefro.” Her light teasing brings a mock scowl to his face.

“Just watch it or he might start callin’ you Granma.”

“Now that would be an honor.”

****

The car screeches to a halt in front of Sarah and Tony’s house and Gibbs looks at Laurie with a new respect. In the short time he’s known her, and driven with her, not once has she gripped the door handle or the suicide straps. “You’ve driven with others like me, I take it?”

“You mean mad men who think the speed limit is for sissies? Please, Jethro, I’ve spent the last 20 years in the company of Navy SEALs. One ex-Marine’s driving is nothing compared to that.” She’s also remembering the five years she’d spent with a kamikaze fighter pilot who thought that Mach 1 was a snail’s pace.

***

Donny is waiting anxiously inside for his Granpa Jefro. Gibbs no sooner darkens the porch and the front door is thrown open and Donny is entwined around Gibbs legs.

“Hey buddy, you feeling any better?” Gibbs’ concerned gaze focuses on Donny’s face, taking in the slightly reddened nose and cheeks. He glances sideways at Laurie who understands immediately what he’s asking and gently lays a hand on Donny’s forehead.

“Wow, let’s get you inside, Donny boy. You’ll be heating up the neighborhood if we don’t.”

“You’re funny, Miss Laurie. I can’t warm up the neighborhood. Can you?”

“Me personally, no but there is a person out there who is so warm that she melts snow whenever she goes jogging in the winter time.”

Donny giggles at the image she’s presenting. He coughs a little and draws their attention back to his small body. Laurie frowns as she realizes that he’s warmer than he should be. Gibbs carries him inside and sits on the couch with him. Laurie looks around for Sarah and doesn’t immediately find the younger woman.

“Stay with him, keep him warm, I’m going to look for Sarah.” She steps into the kitchen long enough to come back with some juice for Donny and coffee for Gibbs. “Make sure he stays hydrated.”

She runs up the stairs. Sarah is asleep on her bed, fighting the same flu symptoms that Donny has. Laurie covers her with a light blanket before going into the bedroom and bringing back a glass of water. She has Sarah drink as much as the other woman can handle before Sarah falls back asleep.

Back downstairs, Gibbs has talked Donny into drinking most of the juice. The little boy is cranky due to his fever and wants Gibbs to tell him a story. Gibbs cradles him close and tries to recall something that he used to tell Kelly.

“Granpa? Can you tell me a story about King Jed?” Gibbs blinks in surprise. He hasn’t heard too many of Tim’s stories regarding the fabled King Jed and his knights. He sighs as the little boy leans against him, watching him with fever-laced blue eyes.

“Okay, do you want Thym and Anton in there too?” He figures he might be able to vaguely incorporate them into a story if he needs to.

“Nope, just want King Jed and his queen.”

Gibbs almost chokes in his effort not to spit out his coffee.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 03, 2011 6:31 pm 
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Title: Native Nebraska NCIS fan
Name: Cookie, Lori
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link: My Story Board stories
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Chapter 3:

Laurie chuckles to herself as she hears Donny request a story from Gibbs. When the boy requests King Jed and his queen as the main characters she has to bury her face in a dishtowel to keep Gibbs from hearing her laughter. She can just imagine the look on the former marine’s face.

She finishes preparing some soup and rounds up several water bottles to fill with juice as well as water. She also puts a fresh pot of coffee on knowing that the man will need a refill soon.

***

Donny looks up at his grandfather, waiting for the man to begin his story. Gibbs is deep in thought as he tries to figure out when in Tim’s stories King Jed got married. Donny tells him, “You can tell me how King Jed meets his queen. Uncle Tim hasn’t told me that part yet. I just think that as a King he should have a queen. Otherwise he’ll be lonely, like you are sometimes.”

***

Out of the mouths of babes thinks Laurie wondering how Gibbs will respond. She knows that the food needs to cool before they eat, so she turns the stove off and heads into the living room.

***

Gibbs blinks a few times as he wonders how to respond. Deciding not to dwell on it, especially with this precious one in his arms he clears his throat and starts his tale.

“Once upon a time, a long, long, long time ago there lived a king named Jed. Now King Jed had a lot of knights and other vassals that worked under him, but he didn’t have anyone that lived with him. At least, not anymore. Many years before this story begins, King Jed had been married to Queen Shannon.

Shannon and King Jed were married for several years and even had a daughter they named Kelly. One day, Kelly and Shannon were out in the woods when a terrible black dragon came. He kidnapped them and King Jed went out after them. King Jed found the two, but not before the evil dragon had killed them. King Jed was furious and armed with his mighty sword “Dragonslayer” he killed the black dragon.

***

Donny looks over at Laurie as she sits next to them on the couch. She hands Gibbs a fresh cup of coffee as Donny tells her, “Shannon and Kelly were Granpa’s real wife and little girl. He misses them a lot.”

She says nothing as she caresses his cheek before giving Gibbs' hand a squeeze. He gives a subtle squeeze in reply before returning to the story.

***

Almost twenty years pass and during this time, King Jed has met many fine princesses and wanna be queens, but there was no one who tweaked his interests. Sure there were the few who were as militant as he could be, but they didn’t have much of a feminine side. The others were almost too frilly for his tastes, wanting to tame him or keep him from adventuring with his knights.

One day, he’s out checking on his fields when he sees the friendly blue dragon Thym flying towards him. He waves at the dragon who lands in the closest clearing. The beast then changes to human form, so that the two can talk easier.

“I’m glad that I found you, Your Majesty. Crystal and I were flying over the eastern hemisphere when I discovered what at first appeared to be a body. Crystal managed to create a healing potion for the person, but we’re not equipped to take care of him. Would you mind flying with me so that we can bring him back to your castle where your advisor can care for him?”

“Just tell me where to mount at.”

***

Laurie looks at the little boy finally asleep in his grandpa’s arms. She lightly touches his cheek and is relieved to see that the fever is subsiding. She says as much to Gibbs before standing up to go check on Sarah.

The younger woman is breathing slightly easier and Laurie can tell that her fever has broken too. She takes a small breath and sends a burst of healing energy through Sarah’s body. She hadn’t done so earlier, because she needed the fever to break first. This way, by taking it in small doses, Sarah can heal quickly without worry about her unborn child.

Going back downstairs, she checks on the now cooled food and finds that it’s not as cold as it could have been. She heats up two bowls of soup in the microwave, and brings them out to the living room. Gibbs has lain Donny down on the other couch and covered him with an afghan. He stands upright when Laurie enters the room.

“Thanks, you really didn’t have to prepare lunch you know.” He sits back down on the couch and to his surprise she sits beside him. She turns sideways so that she see him as they eat.

“I like to cook, it’s the main reason I opened the Knotted C restaurants. Being around friends is just an added bonus.”

He finishes off his soup and goes out for seconds. She hears the microwave whirring as he heats his second bowl. There’s a few seconds that pass as he opens the fridge and brings out a fresh bottle of water which he hands to Laurie. She smiles her thanks and they continue eating in companionable silence.

tbc...

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 03, 2011 9:19 pm 
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Title: Native Nebraska NCIS fan
Name: Cookie, Lori
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Gender: Female
link: My Story Board stories
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A/N: this chapter is for the wicked plot bunnies everywhere who deny other authors the chance to develop a terrific story for readers/writers alike. :bwah:

Chapter 4:

A few minutes later they hear Tony’s footsteps outside the door. He’s seen Gibbs car and knows that Donny had somehow conned his boss into coming for a visit. He doesn’t realize at first that Laurie is there too.

“Hey Boss, what are you doing here?” He tosses his jacket into his chair as he comes over to check on Donny.

“Someone needed a story. How’s Tim doing?”

“He’s a little down, but Holly’s been there to help bring him up again. Which is amazing when you consider she just buried her parents too.” He sighs as he sits down. Gibbs runs a practiced eye over the man he considers his oldest son. He takes in the exhaustion, the heavy breathing and knows that Tony is probably fighting the same illness that has taken over his wife and son.

Laurie unwinds herself from the couch and reaches down for Gibbs’ empty bowl. She softly asks if he wants more and at the negative shake of his head, she heads for the kitchen. She pours out another bowl of the soup, and heats it up for Tony. She grabs a cup of coffee and hands both to the half asleep agent.

As their hands touch she’s able to determine just how sick Tony is and what she’ll need to do to keep him from getting to the point that Sarah and Donny were at. The slight, very subtle burst of energy that she gives him, barely registers in his mind. He just knows that he has enough energy to eat the meal in front of him. When Tony finishes his meal he drops off to sleep in his chair. Gibbs gently raises the footstool so that Tony can relax a little bit easier in his sleep.

Laurie puts the food away knowing that the family probably won’t wake up for a few hours now due to the healing powers that she’s infused them with. She’s hoping that when they wake up they’ll all want to eat and will be able to take in fluids as well.

Gibbs watches from the hallway as Laurie works in the kitchen. He’d meant to interrogate her today and instead she’d ended up helping his family. He smiles at the thought of calling Tony family, yet he knows that in a way, the entire team has become just that.

The lady in his current line of sight finishes cleaning up the kitchen and turns to find him watching her. A cautious smile crosses her lips as she steps closer to him. She stops first at the coffee pot and raises it, silently asking if he needs a refill. He nods and she brings it over to him topping off his cup. She places the empty carafe in the sink so that she can wash it, before coming back to stand by Gibbs.

They enter the living room and immediately notice that Donny has moved from the couch to the chair that Tony is asleep in. The little boy has dragged his blanket and his favorite stuffed animal into the chair with him. Gibbs laughs silently at the gray rabbit. He’d given it to Donny when he was a baby and the little boy had latched onto it almost from day one.

Tony told him that Donny informed him one day that the rabbit’s name is Plot. When Gibbs had asked why, Tony just shrugged and said that they’d been watching Top Gun. Due to the theme of the movie, it’s possible that Donny was trying to say “Pilot”. The rabbit has been through many washes and still seems to be asking in silent wonder what it had done to be tormented this way by humans.

Laurie straightens the blanket around both male DiNozzos. She can tell from the slight touch that one more burst of healing will cure the father and the son. She gives Gibbs a thumbs up sign before moving upstairs to check on Sarah.

Sarah is actually starting to wake up, much to Laurie’s delight. She makes sure that the younger woman is stable enough to stand before she heads back downstairs. Once she hits the bottom floor she asks Gibbs to wait for Sarah to come out of the bedroom, as the younger woman might want help descending the stairs.

“She’s awake, but I’m not certain how steady she’ll be once she tries to come down here. I’m going to heat up some soup for her while you make sure she’s okay.”

Gibbs nods and heads up the stairs to wait for Sarah. He’s not going to let her risk the stairs if she’s that weak. Sarah opens her bedroom door and smiles weakly at him. She’s wearing flannel pajamas and a warm robe. He just picks her up and carries her downstairs. He then places her in the other recliner. She smiles at the sight of Tony and Donny sleeping peacefully together.

“That’s one sight I hope I never get used to.”

“You won’t. You’ll treasure these moments, especially these first five years or so. They’re what define the adults they’ll grow into being.”

Laurie stops just inside the doorway as she listens to Gibbs and Sarah. Once she’d hoped to have someone talk to her the way that Gibbs is talking to Sarah; with love, wisdom and understanding. The loss of not just her husband but her unborn child ended that particular dream. Laurie’s husband Rick had been adopted as a child and his foster parents had died shortly before Laurie and her husband had gotten married. Rick hadn’t been able to find out who his real parents were before he’d been killed.

Rather than drown in remorse, Laurie clears her throat and steps into the room, handing the warm bowl of soup to Sarah as she does so.

“It should be just hot enough to warm your tummy without causing junior to jump in circles.”

Sarah dips her spoon in not sure if she’s going to be able to keep the soup down. To her rather mild surprise she is able to and she relaxes as she finishes off the meal. Eating does make her tired again and she falls asleep soon after she finishes. Gibbs looks at Laurie in concern but she shakes her head.

“It’s to be expected, especially considering how sick they actually were. Sleep will help them all heal faster, help them get over this quicker than if they were up all night and I suspect they were.” She’s looking at the dark circles under Tony’s eyes and knows that he’s probably getting the first sleep he’s had in at least 24 hours.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 03, 2011 9:26 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 15, 2010 9:31 pm
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Title: Native Nebraska NCIS fan
Name: Cookie, Lori
Aliases: tigyr
Gender: Female
link: My Story Board stories
link: My Fanfiction.net account
Chapter 5:

By mutual agreement, they leave water and juice bottles on the table between the two chairs, then adjourn to the deck that surrounds the house. They grab the baby monitor that’s in the kitchen as they go, so that they can hear if any of the DiNozzo family wakes up while they are outside.

As they perch on the railing, Gibbs recalls the last time they’d been out here. She’d followed him after Donny had asked him if he missed the McGee’s.

*flashback*

As Donny tells his tale about his grandmother, Gibbs takes the opportunity to walk out the back door. He knows that someone will follow him. He just wasn’t expecting Laurie to be the one to find him.

“You forgot your coffee.” She offers him a fresh cup of the steaming beverage, and turns to watch as a squirrel gets chased by a bird. The bird is chirping in outrage and the squirrel scampers under a car hiding until the bird leaves.

Gibbs takes a deep swallow of the coffee as he ponders what to do or say next. He knows that his team and Sarah understand his sudden need for fresh air, and isn’t quite sure how to relay that information to the woman by his side.

“My husband was killed during the war. We had been married only a few months. I was hit by a drunk driver shortly after I received word about his death. The baby never had a chance.”

Gibbs stares at her. As he thinks back to what she’s told him so far, she’d lost her husband and child almost the same time he’d lost Shannon and Kelly. He steps closer, hooks an arm around a post as he tells her about losing his wife and child and his subsequent steps towards revenge.

“I couldn’t have revenge. War is something that takes without meaning. As for Ricky, yes we’d planned on naming him after my husband; I found out later that the drunk driver ended up losing his own life a few days after I got out of the hospital. Even there I was denied any revenge I might have wanted.”

Tim had come out a short time later, letting them know that the rest of the family, including Holly would be in the living room listening to the latest Knights story.

*end flashback*

Gibbs blinks as he comes back to the present. He knows from experience that one of the DiNozzos will be waking up soon and isn’t sure he wants to get into a battle of wits with Laurie if they’ll only get interrupted again. Aside from all that he has to come up the rest of the story he was telling Donny. And then there’s the matter of how he’s been treating Laurie. He nods to himself as he makes his decision and stands up.

Laurie looks at him as he shifts position. He comes to stand in front of her. He extends his hand and says, “I’m Jethro Gibbs, pleased to meet you.”

“Nice to meet you, Jethro Gibbs, my name is Laurie Fields.”

They shake hands and share a smile of friendship. They both turn when they hear a loud screech coming from above them. Almost like a replay of the weekend, a large gray bird comes swooping down behind the rapidly retreating form of an equally large black squirrel. The bird is once again chirping in irritation and outrage as it chases the squirrel under the neighbor’s car.

“Well we know that Tim isn’t going to be the story teller tonight, should we head in and I’ll start fixing a light meal for everyone?”

“Sure, can we have that Chicken Alfredo thing again sometime?” He almost stumbles as he realizes that he’s just asked her to go out with him. She says nothing as she lightly hops down from the railing and takes his arm, letting him escort her inside.

Laurie knows that the man beside her is almost as reclusive as she herself is. For the man to have offered her the chance to cook for him is almost unheard of; especially since the man is question has been married three times and his trust in women has to be almost nil.

Laurie pulls two chickens out of the freezer as she watches Gibbs retreat into the living room to check on Tony and his family. She starts preparations for some chicken noodle soup, knowing that it should taste pretty good when the family finally wakes up.

After chopping up carrots, celery and onions, she adds some parsley, thyme and bay leaves, covering the mixture with water to create the soup base. She places the chicken in there as well, letting the flavors soak into the meat.

While that is coming up to a boil she pours some flour into a bowl. Adding some eggs, water and a touch of shortening, she soon has a dough ball that she rolls out into homemade noodles.

The noodles sit on the counter drying and Laurie takes her dishes to the sink. Gibbs walks in behind her noting all the preparations she’s made so far. He smiles as he remembers his mother making homemade soups when he was a child. He lifts the lid on the chicken mixture and inhales the aromas.

“Hmm that smells good already. You gonna drain the stock then add the noodles later?”

She nods as she finishes up the few dishes that she’s created. When she turns to face him, he can’t help smiling at the flour on her cheeks. He steps closer, and gently takes the dishtowel out of her hands so that he can wipe the flour from her face. Wide lavender eyes watch as his head dips towards hers.


“Granpa? Where’d you go?”
:evillaugh: :evillaugh: :evillaugh:

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 08, 2011 8:48 pm 
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Title: Native Nebraska NCIS fan
Name: Cookie, Lori
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Chapter six:

Gibbs steps back, but keeps his hand near Laurie's cheek. "We need to talk."

She nods in agreement, relishing the slight contact between them. "Not here, not now. Maybe not tomorrow."

Her light teasing reminder of his words to her just a few days before brings a small frown to his face. "I shouldn't have said that to you, considering everything that had happened."

She puts a finger to his lips, "We will discuss this later. For now consider it water under the bridge. Now go see what your grandson needs before he comes in here and starts asking questions."

For a brief second he seriously thinks about kissing that finger, then walks out of the room to see what Donny might need. The blonde haired imp is sitting on the arm of the chair that he had shared with Tony. The bunny Plot is getting the life squeezed out of it as Donny waits for someone to tell him why his parents are sleeping in the middle of the day.

"Hey buddy, how are ya feeling?"

"I'm hungry; can I have something to eat?"

Gibbs smiles in relief at the request for food. He knows that Laurie would have heard them, and nods. He picks Donny up, noting the sweaty clothes. "How about we go get you into some warm, dry clothes instead of these wet ones? By the time we get back down here, Miss Laurie will have your soup warmed up."

"Do I like soup, Granpa Jefro?"

"You'll like Miss Laurie's soup. Daddy and Mommy ate some earlier and your old granpa here ate two whole bowls of it."

"Are you sure I'll get any?" Donny knows that the soup bowls that his parents eat out of aren't the average small cereal bowl.

Gibbs grins at him, "Miss Laurie made sure to set aside a bowl just for you."

He gets Donny out of his sweat soaked clothes and runs a warm washcloth over the little boy's body. Then he briskly towels him off before dressing him in clean dry sweats. He then carries Donny back downstairs to the kitchen where Laurie is pulling a bowl out of the microwave.

"Here you go Donny. You don't have to eat the whole thing if you don't like it. Just try a bite before you say no, okay?"

Donny nods before dipping his spoon into the soup. "It's good, Miss Laurie. Thank you for saving some for me."

"You're welcome Master Donny. Do you like chicken noodle soup? I'm making a batch for supper tonight."

"Mmm…yummy, in my tummy. This is good too though."

Before too long the bowl is empty and Donny is watching as Laurie cuts up the noodles for that night's supper. She leaves them on the waxed paper to continue drying and turns her attention to the chicken.

"Granpa, what's Miss Laurie doing?"

"She's taking out the chicken so that it will cool. While that's cooling she'll strain the yucky stuff out of the pot and the good stuff will go back in. She'll add more vegetables to it and then add the chicken and noodles to it."

Laurie turns to look at Gibbs, a slightly surprised look in her eyes. He shrugs as he tells them that his mother used to make chicken noodle soup the same way. Donny asks, "Miss Laurie is it true? That you're making it like Granpa's mommy?"

"Possibly with one or two different herbs, but it's possible that the recipe is similar to one that your grandpa's mother used."

"Wow. Granpa, can you continue my story now? I ate my soup all gone." He lifts up his bowl so that Gibbs can see that it is indeed empty. Gibbs nods and tells him to hand it to Laurie so that she can wash it before supper.

Laurie knows that Gibbs is quietly asking her to check on his grandson, before they go back to the living room. She mouths the words, he'll be fine, and tells Donny that he needs to keep a bottle of juice or water nearby. "Just so that you don't get sick again, okay?"

The little boy nods as he picks up his bunny and waits for Gibbs to take him into the living room. Gibbs is looking for his coffee cup when Laurie tells him, "I'll bring in some coffee when it's ready, go tell your story."

Gibbs leans down and swings Donny up onto his shoulder. When he doesn't feel the twinge in his shoulder that he's used to he turns to look at the woman in the kitchen who's currently putting water in the coffee pot. He smiles faintly as he takes Donny into the living room and sits down on the same couch that he'd used earlier.

"Granpa Jefro, are Mommy and Daddy gonna be okay?"

Gibbs cuddles Donny close and tells him, "They're gonna be just fine. You know how you didn't feel well earlier today? Your Mommy and Daddy didn't feel good either. Miss Laurie is actually Doctor Laurie and she gave you all something to make you feel better."

"Okay." Donny's quiet for a few seconds before he says, "Granpa? Do you like Miss Laurie?"

Gibbs freezes for a whole two seconds. He relaxes again as he says, "She's a nice person, why do you ask?"

"I like her, that's all. She cooks good and likes to take care of us." He snuggles closer before demanding that Gibbs start his story again. Gibbs verifies that the child is awake and continues.

***
"I'm glad that I found you, Your Majesty. Crystal and I were flying over the eastern hemisphere when I discovered what at first appeared to be a body. Crystal managed to create a healing potion for the person, but we're not equipped to take care of him. Would you mind flying with me so that we can bring him back to your castle where your advisor can care for him?"

"Just tell me where to mount at."

Two minutes later and King Jed is coming to realize why his knight Anton likes to fly. The sense of freedom that he feels as Thym dips and dives with the currents is exhilarating.

They land at the series of caves that Thym and Crystal share and the small pseudo-dragon comes out to greet them.

Hello, King Jed, a pleasure it is to see you again.

"The pleasure is mine Crystal. Now where is your guest so that I can take him home?"

This way. Crystal flutters over to Thym who has changed form and is trying hard to look nonchalant.

***
"What's non –challenge mean, Granpa?"

"You know how your Uncle Tim likes to pretend he's innocent sometimes; that's what nonchalant is."

"Ohh…I think Uncle Tim musta learned that from Daddy though. Daddy's always looking innocent according to Mommy."

Gibbs tries not to choke on his laughter as he continues.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 08, 2011 9:03 pm 
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Chapter Seven

Thym waits for Crystal to land on his shoulder before leading King Jed to their guest. The pseudo-dragon is hissing in Thym's ear the entire length of the journey, and while Jed doesn't know what Crystal is saying, he can take a pretty accurate guess. When Jed sees exactly what their guest is, he knows he was right.

The dragons' guest is a female and from her clothing appears to have been a warrior at one time. Looking at her armament Jed can't immediately place what kingdom she might have come from. She has no identification marks and no noticeable tattooing.

"Where did you say you found her?" His questioning glance is met with a sudden agitation from the blue dragon. Jed stands up, walks over to the dragon and stares at him.

"Thym, where did you find this female?" His voice is soft yet imminently dangerous. The dragon swallows hard and averts his gaze.

"Onthecontinent thatdoesntborderus." Thym speaks so fast that Jed isn't sure that he'd heard him correctly. He glances at Crystal who nods serenely.

"You brought her here, away from her own home, from another country? Are you nuts?"

The dragon doesn't answer; instead he runs out and changing into his dragon form flies away. Jed looks at Crystal who shrugs eloquently.

He knows that you're lonely and wanted to bring you someone who might become a companion to you. This little one has no home. She's been on her own for a long time. I have watched over her for many years.

Jed sighs knowing that his anger wasn't so much directed at Thym but at the circumstances that had brought the woman to his domain. As he takes in the information that Crystal has given him he looks up at the pseudo-dragon wondering why she would have stayed with the woman for so long.

She has a good heart, and a nurturing one. She found some wolf cubs a few years ago. Their mother had been killed by poachers and she saved them from becoming pelts.

"She have a name?"

Her name is Tandel.

Laurie hides a smile as she knows how Gibbs came up with that particular name. He'd looked around the room and his eyes had lighted on the two computers that were in the room. One of the computers is an old p.c. made by the defunct Tandy Company that Donny plays games on and the other is Tony's new Dell laptop.

Gibbs lazily reaches out and head slaps her for the smirk. Before she can even think of retaliating, Donny exclaims, "Wow, Granpa must like you Miss Laurie! He only head slaps those he likes."

***
Jed leans over the still form of Tandel, and finds himself facing a dagger. Rather than try and take the weapon away from her, he sits back on his heels as the injured woman slowly sits up. She blinks several times, as if trying to clear her eyes.

"Crystal? What happened, where am I?"

Crystal flutters closer uttering a peculiar sound. Jed realizes that the dragon is making sure Tandel knows where Crystal is at. When Crystal speaks to Tandel, she also sends the telepathic message to Jed.

You were injured in your last battle. Thym found you on one of his journeys and brought you to the kingdom ruled by King Jed.

***
"Granpa Jefro, whatcha gonna call King Jed's kingdom?"

Laurie mutters "Sinkorswim."

Jethro gives her a mock glare and slightly raises his hand. It's met with a hand at the back of his own head.

Tony almost jumps out of his chair when he sees the slightly tanned hand connect with Gibbs head. He's been listening to the story and realizes that even though his boss hasn't been around children for a good many years, he hasn't lost his touch when it comes to telling a story. He waits for Gibbs to do something to retaliate, but the boss surprises him by chuckling and returning to the story he's been telling Donny.

***
"My apologies Your Highness for greeting you in such a bad manner. I offer you my knife as penance."

Jed can see that there is a thin film covering Tandel's eyes. She's looking straight at him, even if she's unable to see him. She flips the knife in her hand so that the blade is now pointed at her, and the hilt is extended towards him.

"Keep it, you might need it eventually. I have no problem with you being able to protect yourself. I would like to know how you came to be in this state."

Tandel shrugs and –

***
"Where you going?" Donny isn't sure why Laurie is standing, and heading into the kitchen.

"I have to check on the noodles, don't worry I'll be right back." She smiles reassuringly and true to her word is back within a few minutes. Gibbs hasn't continued the story yet, wanting to make sure that he won't be interrupted if she has to finish the meal.

"It'll be another half hour." She sits down next to Gibbs and Donny once again, handing Gibbs a fresh cup of coffee as she does so. He stares at the spot where his coffee cup had been. She'd managed to snag it without his noticing on her way out to the kitchen.

***
Tandel shrugs and as she does so, Jed sees for the first time the shape of her ears. He sits down and looks at Crystal in surprise. The pseudo-dragon tells him that Tandel is an elf. She'd been wandering the woods on Nacrines for at least a day before Crystal realized that Tandel was there.

The elf isn't totally blind, she can see shapes and images and her hearing almost rivals that of Crystal and Thym.

"Had you been able to see before you ended up on Nacrines?"

Tandel nods, "Yes, it's just another test that Corellon, my god, is putting me through. Although I do hope he lets me stay longer than a few years this time."

Not sure how to respond to that Jed asks if she will let him bind her eyes.

"Thym flies pretty fast, and we don't need your eyes to get worse."

Tandel nods at his logic and sits passively while he wraps a cloth around her eyes. He'd found the cloth in her backpack. It has many things that Jed himself uses or had used prior to his marriage to Shannon. Rope, candles, extra rations, and to his surprise some herbs are in there too. When he finishes, he looks for Crystal and asks her if she'll find Thym so that they can take Tandel back to Senrinca and his home.

The harsh ring of a cell phone interrupts the story. Four pairs of hands reach for their phones and Gibbs realizes that he's had more than just an audience of two. Gibbs glares at his phone briefly before he answers.

"Yeah, Gibbs. No, I won't be back in tonight." He rolls his eyes and they can hear an excited Abby chattering in the background.

"Abbs. Abbs. Abby! I'm not coming back in tonight. Give the machines a rest and go home."

He hangs up and they all look at him. In an effort to kill the silence, Laurie stands up, stretches and announces that the soup should be ready by now. Tony sits up and asks if he can help her with anything. She looks a little surprised by the offer, but declines and tells him that he should get cleaned up first.

"Go on, you and Sarah go wash your hands and faces. I'll have everything ready when you come back."

Tony barely refrains from sticking his tongue out and saying, "Yes Mom."

Gibbs walks up beside him, gently cuffing the back of his head. "Behave, DiNozzo, she's been here all day, as have I."

Tony groans at the implication. He knows that Gibbs had planned to interrogate Laurie that day and instead had come here to help Sarah and Donny. The fact that Laurie stayed, when she had no reason to, finally hits home.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 08, 2011 9:15 pm 
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Chapter 8:

Supper is eaten in relative silence. The only words spoken are "pass the noodles" or "thank you."

Donny finishes his soup before the adults do, and smacks his lips. "Yummy in my tummy, thank you Miss Laurie that was good."

"You're welcome Master Donny, would you like more?"

Donny shakes his head and looks at the four adults. Tony has been silent the entire time, making those who know him wonder what's going on inside his head. Sarah sends a questioning look to her husband who avoids her gaze for the first time in their marriage.

"If it's all right with Master Donny, I'm going to have to take my leave." Laurie stands up to go kneel by the little boy.

"Is it because I did something wrong?"

At the innocent question she smiles and says, "No little one, but if you want to be able to see me more often, I need to say goodbye to a few friends first."

"You will come back, won't you?"

"Of course I will, we have to let Granpa Jefro finish his story don't we?" she looks up at Gibbs who nods his agreement. He too stands up and picking up Donny out of his chair whirls him around.

"I need to take Miss Laurie to the airport so that she can come back to us sooner. You stay here with your mom and dad. Watch over them for me, okay?"

Donny nods gravely and holds out his arms to Laurie. She gently extracts him from Gibbs and gives him a bear hug. Gibbs can almost see an invisible bubble surround the boy and knows that Laurie is finishing her healing on him.

Tony stands up and extends his hand. "Thank you for helping my family today. You didn't have to, and I do appreciate it."

Laurie shakes hands with him, "Tony, it was a pleasure to spend time with all of you. I'm not just saying that either. You take care and I'll see you in a few weeks."

Sarah comes over by Tony, shakes Laurie's hand and says, "You're welcome here anytime. Especially when you can cook like that."

They all laugh and Donny breathes a sigh of relief that three of his all time favorite people are happy again. He hasn't determined if Miss Laurie is a favorite yet. She and his Granpa Jefro did seem to get along better today than they had a few days ago but he's not sure if she's gonna be his Granpa's Queen.

Sleep overtakes the boy and he slumps in Laurie's arms. She reluctantly hands him to Tony who gives her a hug before taking Donny to his room. Sarah smiles at the gesture that her husband has made. Whatever had overcome him before supper is gone, which means that she can stop worrying about him. She too gives Laurie a hug before going upstairs to check on her sleeping son.

Gibbs leads Laurie outside and they both lean against the porch for a moment. He looks at her profile and comes to the realization that for whatever reason, she means a lot to him. He's not sure what to make of it just yet, and taking her by the hand leads her over to the car.

Once they're on the road to his house she says, "You've got a nice family there, Gibbs."

"Yeah, I do."

"Hey look we agree on something." Her voice breaks off as she leans back against the seat. He doesn't say anything as he takes her hand and holds it for a few seconds, before turning his attention back to his driving. He knows that she could have teleported away by now, and is glad that she's decided to at least accompany him back to his house.

They arrive at his house and he escorts her inside. She immediately heads to the fireplace. He watches her for a moment, taking in her body language, the tilt of her head, the posture which all tells him that she doesn't want to leave.

"So don't, don't leave. Stay another night." The words are out before he can prevent it.

"I—I Damnit, Jethro, it's not that simple. I just—I have to go."

"Can you tell me why?" He's asking this time, not demanding.

She sighs and turns to face him. "It's nothing against you, I just need to go and say goodbye."

"Who is he?" He knows now that it's someone that she's either in love with or close to it.

"My adoptive father. I haven't been back to his compound for almost ten years. His top black belt, Joe, called me to let me know that Master is on his deathbed. Joe asked that I come and pay my respects. According to Joe, he doesn't have more than two weeks to live."

Another funeral, of yet another father figure. "Do you want some company?"

Oh, how she wants to say yes, but knows that if Master Takezawa sees Gibbs, he'll immediately want to know when they got married, how many kids they have etcetera.

"I don't think I want to put you through that kind of interrogation."

"Hey, consider it an undercover investigation. We go make father happy and leave again."

She stares at him. "This isn't a funny matter Jethro. My master will be expecting a ring on my finger. Loving glances, sly innuendos, the whole freaking love is in the air works."

"Yeah, so?"

"The last time I went on a mission like you're describing, I joined the SEAL's for twenty years."

"Hey, not asking you to join NCIS. Just partake in a mission that can make an old man happy. Who knows, maybe by the time we get back, you'll be able to tell me all your secrets."

"Shoulda just gone to the principal's office and taken my lickin like a good girl." Her mutter shouldn't have been heard by him, but it is.

"I can still lick ya if you want." His slow, sexy smile coupled with the teasing look in his silver blue eyes almost, almost melts her.

"Damn, turn it off already." She laughs as she agrees to let him accompany her to Japan.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 08, 2011 9:43 pm 
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Chapter 9: (Time for some ghostly visitors and a bit more background on Laurie)

Gibbs yawns as he enters the room that he'll be sharing with Laurie. As he takes off his shirt, he thinks about the day that's passed. The trip itself had taken mere minutes by teleportation. The greeting at the gate by a full troop of ninjas hadn't really impressed him either.

No, it was the waiting, after they were announced that had annoyed him. He knows as a sniper that waiting is long and boring, that it can take hours before your target is lined up so you can take that perfect shot. They'd been waiting for almost two hours before Laurie was finally allowed in to see her ailing father.

The man on the bed might have been made of leather, his skin looked that tough. Grey hairs were perfectly combed and chocolate brown eyes were watering when Laurie approached. Laurie had taken advantage of the two hour wait to change into a deep lavender ninja uniform.

"Why?"

"It's tradition, at least in this compound for the sons and daughters to show respect by wearing this uniform. We don't have to wear compound colors, just the uniform."

He had to admit, she'd looked pretty hot in that thing. It snuggled up against her curves, and the color deepened her eyes while accentuating the highlights in her hair. He admitted to being a little startled when she started pulling weapons out of drawers like they were socks. Knives, throwing stars, a set of well worn nunchuks, all lined up on the bed before being meticulously placed in secret pockets. The final weapon was her katana.

"Wait, that's not a ninja weapon."

"I'm not strictly a ninja." At his confused look she explains. "Several decades ago, five of the top compound masters took it upon themselves to explore the similarities and differences between a samurai and a ninja. Using that as a base to work off of they created what is now called a Ninja/Samurai or an N/S.

"When I was a small child I was in a car accident on the island of Okinawa. The master and his son took me in until my injuries healed. As they were an all male compound, Master Yamaguchi didn't think it safe to keep a female child so he asked the other compound masters if any of them could take me in."

"I take it that Takezawa is the one who took you in?"

"Master Takezawa and yes, but not right away. Child services came and put me in an orphanage. I was there for two weeks before Master Takezawa adopted me."

"Why so long?"

"He'd been out of the country, and returned two weeks after child services picked me up. His wife had wanted to adopt a daughter, so he did."

"I don't see her here."

"That's why he was gone. He'd taken her body back to the States for burial."

They'd stayed with her father for the better part of the day, not even leaving when Joe brought in Takezawa's supper. Instead, Laurie had insisted on sampling everything on her father's plate, to all three men's amusement. Gibbs made sure that he was by her side the entire time.

Joe watches too as Gibbs and Laurie put on their show for the master. He knows that Laurie isn't married as he's kept in touch with her for the past twenty years. They've been friends this entire time and she wouldn't have gotten married without either telling him or letting him be the best man.

The one thing he can tell is that there is a connection between them. One that they aren't aware of. Gibbs is hovering almost protectively over her, while she sits and converses with Takezawa in the old man's native Japanese. She has her left hand resting comfortably on the back of Gibbs right leg, keeping a connection between them. Every now and then Gibbs will run his hand over her braid.

Joe smiles when he sees that particular contact. She hasn't told him about her weakness which means that they aren't lovers. At least not yet. Deciding not to reveal his best friend's one peculiarity, Joe leaves the room so that Laurie can talk to Takezawa in private.

Gibbs watches Joe leave and decides to follow the other man. He wants to find out more about the woman he's followed to Japan.

"Hey, Joe, can we talk?"

"Sure, come on in the kitchen." He'd taken the tray with him so that he can wash up the last of the supper dishes.

"What's on your mind Gibbs?"

"She is." The ex-marine is back to short answers as he tries to figure out what he wants to know.

"Best way to tell you is to show you." Before Gibbs can respond, Joe leaves and then reappears with two books.

"You can look at these and learn about the child she was and the woman she is. They might help clear up a few things."

"She'll be with him for awhile I take it?"

"He hasn't seen her for over ten years, his choice by the way. She's going to spend whatever time she can with him."

Gibbs nods, knowing what that feeling is like too, considering his estrangement then reconciliation with his own father. The main difference is that he'd been the one to break away, not Jackson. The other difference is that Jackson is still alive and Takezawa is dying.

He looks up to thank Joe but the other man is gone. There's a thermos full of hot coffee sitting on the table in front of Gibbs. He picks it up and carries it and the photo albums back into the room that he and Laurie will share.

As he finishes undressing and sliding under the covers he yawns again. He tries to look through the first photo album but soon the book stays open on the first page as his eyelids droop and he finally dozes off.

***
Three familiar faces look down on him with love and affection. The two females lightly touch his face while a gruff old man smiles. A few seconds pass and the trio is joined by a fourth ghostly figure.

"How is your mother doing Ricky?" Shannon had insisted that he check on Laurie before they have their intervention with Gibbs.

"She's tired, but happy that he wanted to see her again. I don't think she'll be in here tonight." The young male ghost drifts closer to the other three.

"If she missed him half as much as I miss my dad, I wouldn't be surprised if she stays there for the next two days." Kelly's staring at her dad, watching the lines slowly fade from his face.

"She did, but it was his choice and she honored his decision. Mom's always been like that." Ricky's voice is tinged with pride.

"I must say Richard; you're not much like your mother in coloring." Even in death, the dear old doctor insisted on calling everyone by their full name.

"No, I'm afraid that I look like my dad. Speaking of dad's, how did you manage to convince him to go to sleep?" Curiosity laces Ricky's voice.

"Oh that's easy my dear boy. I just had Joe put a sedative in Jethro's coffee. He drinks it so strong that he'd never be able to detect it. I have to admit it worked rather quickly." Ducky gives himself a ghostly pat on the back.

"Which one did Joe give him? THAT ONE? Holy cow, Ducky, he'll be out for at least the rest of the night. Mom developed those for a friend of hers who can't sleep at night. He still has nightmares from when he was a POW. They aren't addictive, but they'll knock you ass over teakettle out."

"Oh dear me. Well, if nothing else we—what have we here?" At Ducky's question they all turn towards the doorway.

Laurie's in the room, checking Gibbs' pulse. She pulls a needleless syringe out of thin air and injects him with the contents. She checks his pulse again, smoothes the hair out of his face and leaves the room again.

"Ricky, what just happened?" Kelly's confusion is matched by Shannon and Ducky.

"Mom just pulled a sleep-walking medic on us. The dosage must have been too much, or she wouldn't have left Takey's room." Ricky is slightly shaken as he knows that his mother only pulls the sleep-walking medic when someone she cares about is in grave danger.

Shannon runs a ghostly hand over her husband's chest. "It would have killed him. I can feel his heartbeat coming back to normal. How many of those did Joe give him?"

"Two, I think." Ducky's normally jovial voice is subdued as he realizes that his best friend had almost joined them.

Rather than cuss out the former M.E., Shannon sighs. She knows that Ducky genuinely cares for Gibbs, and that he would never do anything to intentionally harm him.

"Let's just see if we can get him to pay attention to us. We might want to wait until tomorrow night if he's that far under." Shannon sighs again as she realizes that despite his well meaning intention, Ducky had indeed delayed the conversation they needed to have with Gibbs.

"Why don't you just talk to him mentally? I mean, don't do it as a ghostly dream; go up to his mind and talk to him." Ricky looks at the others who are staring at him in various stages of surprise and wonder.

"How do you mean dear boy?" Ducky has no idea what Ricky is talking about.

"Well, we're ghosts now, but when we were solid, we had what mom and her friends call mental figures. They're like our mental miniatures. They protect our minds from bad things while cataloging the good."

"And how do we go about getting to Jethro's mental figure?" Ducky's getting intrigued.

"Well if it were mom going up to him, she'd knock and if he refuses to answer she'd sit down and wait for him. However as the three of you are not only ghosts but family, he might be open enough for you to slip inside and talk to him."

Shannon smiles at the youth's wisdom. She doesn't really know that much about this young man, other than the fact that he'd been Laurie's child. She gives him a ghostly hug which he returns. She sees the wistful look on his face and knows he must miss getting hugs from his real mother.

"We never really knew each other. She was only a few months along when that drunk driver hit her."

"Then how'd you-?"

"Divine intervention. I think that dad pulled one of those Marine maneuvers like Gibbs does. Glared real hard at everyone until I had a somewhat solid form." He laughs and the others laugh too at the thought of Leroy Jethro Gibbs staring down God.

Shannon is the first to sober up. She's been watching the women come and go in her husband's life. She thought he might have been serious about Colonel Hollis Mann but apparently she'd been wrong. She sees something more in his unusual relationship with Laurie than she'd seen with any of Gibbs' wives, or girlfriends.

He's almost patient with her. She knows how impatient he can be. She's been watching him for almost 20 years now. And yet he is showing compassion, sympathy and understanding to someone that he's known less than two weeks.

As for Laurie Fields, Shannon likes her. The young woman has spunk and knows how to go toe to toe with Leroy Jethro Gibbs. Best of all, she's not a redhead, so Jethro won't be comparing her to Shannon.

"Mom are you coming?"

Shannon looks at Kelly and Ducky as she stands up and floats towards the door. "No, you go on; I need to talk to our other client."

Kelly knows immediately what she means and races over to her mother. "It has to be you who talks to him, not me. He loves me because I'm his daughter; he'll listen to you because of that soul bond you've told me so much about."

Shannon looks over her daughter's head and Ducky nods his agreement. "Alright, you and Ricky go talk to Laurie then, while Ducky and I get Mister Stubborn to listen to us."

The two young adult ghosts head off down the hall. Shannon takes a deep breath and walks up to her beloved's mental walls. As Ricky had predicted, the door opens slightly when Jethro senses Shannon nearby.

"Shan? What are you doing here?"

"I'm here to talk to you. To make sure you give yourself a chance with her. That you don't throw her away."

Gibbs blinks at his beloved first wife. Shannon, the only woman he'd ever really given his heart to; the mother of his only child is standing in front of him. He reaches out to touch her and frowns as his hand passes through her.

"Why won't you let her love you Jethro Gibbs? She has the potential to become your life mate and more if you let her."

"That is precisely the reason, Shannon. I'm not sure that I can take losing another person the way I lost you and Kelly. The way Jenny was lost to our team. It hurts Shannon."

"She hurts too, Gibbs. She's been hurt just as much as you have, worse, because you at least got to spend some time with Kelly. Laurie never got to feel her son's heartbeat, or hold him or anything. There were no bedtime stories, no scraped knees, no band-aids."

"She's holding back on me Shan."

"Oh for pity's sake Gibbs. The woman has attended three funerals in the past week, officiating over one, and on the one day that she could have explained everything or nothing, it was your adopted grandchild that interrupted you.

"You could have told Donny that he'd have to wait until you got off work to see him. Instead you dragged her to the house with you, where she went to work, healing not just Donny but Sarah and Tony too. A normal person wouldn't have done that Gibbs. They'd have waited for you to focus on Donny and left. She stayed, not just for them, but for you."

"Shannon's right Jethro. That lady in the other room cares very deeply for you. Like you, however she's afraid of getting burned." Ducky wanders in and Gibbs blinks to get rid of the unwanted tears.

"Duck? I-." Gibbs can't continue, as grief overtakes him.

Down the hall two young ghosts are just about to enter Master Takezawa's room when the door is opened and Laurie goes running down the hall.

"Damn, that's never a good sign." Ricky sighs as they follow her back to where Gibbs is sleeping.

"Why what's wrong?" Kelly's afraid that after all this time, she might actually have her father in heaven with her and she knows that it wouldn't be right. She's talked to St. Peter and St. Michael and knows that her father isn't expected up there for several more decades.

"Mom only runs when it's necessary. Like an emergency."

They both pick up the pace as they follow Laurie. The blonde doesn't waste time as she opens the door and sits on the bed, pulling the grieving man into her arms. Her mental figure darts through his rapidly closing mental door and she skids to a halt as she sees Shannon Gibbs and Donald "Ducky" Mallard.

"Laurie?"

"I'm here, Jethro, I'm here."

"I can see them but I can't touch them. I can hear them but nothing's there."

"You're not going insane. You just have a few loving friends and family who wanted to see, and I'm guessing, talk to you. More than likely about us." Laurie dares the others to try lying to her. "Well, what happened?"

Ducky starts to say something when he's interrupted by Ricky. "We just wanted you two to take a chance with each other, that's all."

Kelly comes out from behind Ricky's back. "We worry about you, Daddy. We want you to be happy."

Laurie knows that all Gibbs wants right now is to be able to hold his family one more time. Ricky looks at her silently asking if she wants his help to solidify Kelly and Shannon. At her equally subtle nod, the mother and son pair clasp hands. Ducky knows immediately what they are attempting to do and places his ghostly hands on theirs.

For the first time in over 20 years, Leroy Jethro Gibbs hugs his wife and daughter.

Ducky smiles as his best friend hugs his family. Tears are running unchecked down Gibbs' face as he holds his beloved Shannon and Kelly to him. Questions run through the former Marine's mind and are just as quickly shoved aside.

Minutes pass and Ducky can tell that the exertion of keeping Shannon and Kelly solid is starting to tax the energies of both Laurie and Ricky. He can feel the energy draining out of his own form and knows that he has to be the one to break the chain. He takes his hands off the joined hands that belong to Laurie and Ricky.

The young ghost reluctantly releases his mother's hands, relishing the touch that has so long been denied him. Laurie smiles sadly as her son's hands slowly leave hers. They embrace one last time and whisper their goodbyes.

Gibbs makes one frantic attempt to keep Shannon and Kelly in his embrace. Shannon gives him one last hug, telling him to trust this new woman in his life, as he'd trusted Shannon. "She'll be good for you Gibbs. Trust me in this if you won't trust yourself."

Kelly puts her two cents worth in as she whispers in her dad's ear, "I like her Daddy, she can make you happy if you let her."

The two Gibbs women stand aside to let Ducky have one last conversation with Gibbs.

"Damnit, Duck, it's not fair."

"Life is seldom fair Jethro, you know that. Look at it this way; you have a chance, a real chance to be happy again. This young lady may not look like Shannon, or have red hair, but she's got a good heart. Give her and yourself a chance my friend. You may not get another one."

With that last piece of advice, Ducky, Shannon and Kelly give Gibbs three ghostly hugs and fade away.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 08, 2011 9:49 pm 
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Title: Native Nebraska NCIS fan
Name: Cookie, Lori
Aliases: tigyr
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Chapter 10:

With the departure of the ghosts, Laurie and Gibbs finally succumb to sleep. Gibbs wakes up early the next morning, feeling an unfamiliar heartbeat next to his own. A quick glance shows him Laurie's purple clad form. Her blonde hair is still braided and he wonders how she can sleep with her hair bound like that.

He runs a hand down her back, feeling the muscles underneath the uniform. Her left hand is lying on his chest and he picks it up to study her palm. Aside from the normal calluses he expects to see, there's a small scar in the center. He lightly traces the scar and her fingers contract around his.

"That tickles."

Her eyes open and she looks up at him. Concern for his well-being is there along with the knowledge of what they had gone through the night before. He lightly caresses her face, silently thanking her for her part in his being able to hold Shannon and Kelly again. She sighs and closes her eyes again, relishing the closeness, knowing that it might not last.

A knock at the door brings her attention back to the reason they're in Japan. She bows her head against Jethro's chest, laughing at the irony of the whole situation.

"Miss Laurie, Master Joe says that breakfast is ready."

"Thank you; please tell Master Joe that we'll be right there."

"Yes, ma'am."

Gibbs rises from the bed, extends a hand to her. She accepts it and he helps her to her feet.

"I didn't think you had any servants."

"We don't, that was probably one of the students. Part of their chores include making breakfast, and informing guests when meals are ready. We have a time table here just like we did when we were in the military."

"So eat now or go hungry until noon?" he asks as he shrugs into a clean shirt; she's already changed into another uniform, this one a light grey.

"No, but you have to put up with cold oatmeal and warm applesauce." The tone of her voice tells him that she's actually serious about the dishes.

"Yummy." The droll tone brings a smile to her face and she leads him back to the kitchen.

Joe walks over to them from the black belt's assigned table. Gibbs has to admit that he'd worried the other man might have feelings for the woman he's with, but the younger man is clearly seeing Laurie as a sister, nothing more.

"Hey, I talked to Tanaka; he said you had a restless night, you two alright?" Tanaka is Master Takezawa's personal physician and had been there when Laurie had left not just once but twice. The fact that she hadn't come back the second time, had worried the elderly physician.

Laurie just nods and says, "We had a few celestial visitors that neither one of us was expecting. It was a good visit all in all, just unexpected."

Joe nods and goes back to the other black belts. Laurie and Gibbs grab their breakfast trays and sit down. Gibbs has to admit that they make a fairly decent cup of coffee and asks Laurie about it. Laurie grins as she remembers asking Takezawa that same question.

"According to father, it was all his wife's fault. She was from the U.S. originally and the one thing she insisted on bringing with her was her coffee."

"You mentioned earlier that she is buried on U.S. soil. Will he be buried here or back there?"

"That's what I have to find out today." Her voice is low, and he knows that it's not a topic she wants to discuss. He reaches across the table and puts his hand over hers. She looks up at him tears in her eyes. That's when he realizes that she knows she can't save Takezawa. She's known it since their admittance to the master's chambers.

"Care to show me around a bit?"

She nods, knowing that he's doing his best to take her mind off of Takezawa's impending death. They walk outside and Gibbs takes a deep breath. The air is fresh, and clean with the recent rains. Laurie takes him to the far right corner and Gibbs indrawn breath whooshes out of him at the floral garden that opens up in front of them.

"Wow, it's beautiful." He watches as a butterfly drifts by on the faint breeze. He can almost touch the insect's wings, it passes so close. There are benches laid out in several different areas of the garden. As they go farther in, the flowers gradually fade and are replaces by various bushes that graduate into their taller tree cousins.

She leads him across a small path of stepping stones. When he looks down, they've crossed a small stream, and are in the deepest part of the garden. There is a small bench here too and Laurie sits down, waiting for Gibbs to comment.

As the peace and serenity surrounds him, Gibbs takes a moment to look down at his companion. She is completely relaxed, her eyes closed and her hands resting loosely by her sides. She's crossed her ankles and let her head rest against the back of the bench.

At first glance she appears to be asleep. Gibbs knows that she isn't; her left hand is slowly clenching and unclenching, the only sign of her worry.

He slowly sits down beside her, taking her left hand in his and lacing his fingers with hers. They say nothing as they watch the sun rise higher in the morning sky. Gibbs looks at their entwined hands, and for the first time, in any relationship, he doesn't feel like he's cheating on Shannon.

"You okay, you didn't eat much at breakfast." They'd left shortly after they'd gotten their trays. He knew he'd be okay, after all he had his coffee, but she hadn't touched anything.

"Lost my appetite."

"Tell me about him?" He's not sure if she'll respond when she doesn't answer right away. Silent tears are running down her cheeks and he gently brushes them away with his thumb. She takes a deep breath and bursts into loud sobs. Gibbs pulls her into his arms, letting her cry, knowing that she needs the release.

He holds her for several minutes after her body stops shaking, she sniffles once, twice and he hands her a clean handkerchief. She thanks him as she wipes her eyes and blows her nose. Before he can respond, they hear the rustling of leaves as someone comes towards them.

A black clad form is making its way towards them, not bothering to hide its presence. That tells them that whoever it is, is actively seeking them out, letting them know he is coming. Laurie can tell that the ninja is a trainee by the fact that he's wearing black. All their graduate students wear colors after finishing their training.

"Miss Laurie, the Master is requesting your presence."

Laurie goes from a sobbing, almost inert body to fully alert soldier in two seconds flat. Gibbs finds himself teleported into Master Takezawa's room and almost dragged to the ailing man's side. The old man on the bed smiles weakly when Laurie appears with Gibbs in tow.

Takezawa motions the couple closer and they sit on the side of the bed. Takezawa reaches out to Gibbs, who sees the shaking in the other man's hand and meets him halfway. Takezawa then drags Gibbs' hand to Laurie's and puts his own hand over both of theirs.

"Take…care…of...my…daughter." The old man's breathing gets more strained as he gazes into the eyes of the only woman he'd given his heart to after his wife died. His daughter who had stayed true, not just to him and his beliefs, but to his compound even during her exile.

"Be…happy…my…child."

Laurie watches numbly as Takezawa encloses her hand and Gibbs in both of his wrinkled ones. He chants softly in Japanese and then in Okinawan. Startled, Laurie looks at Gibbs, doubting that he knows that Takezawa is reciting a marriage ceremony. She starts to say something but Gibbs subtly shakes his head, letting her know that he's okay with what is going on.

She tries again to get Gibbs' attention, but he just puts a finger on her lips and the old man on the bed smiles as he finishes his chanting. His daughter might not have been married when she arrived, and according to most Westerners, she still won't be. In his eyes however, due to the small chanting, she's now bound to the man by her side.

Gibbs on the other hand does know what was being said. As a former marine, he's traveled to enough countries and witnessed several marriage ceremonies. He knows that the one being chanted isn't legally binding. It's just a way to make an old dying man happy.

"You…may…kiss…the…bride."

Laurie blushes a soft shade of pink and Gibbs gently turns her to face him. He brushes the hair out of her eyes and leans in for their first kiss. He can't help but think of all the times he's tried kissing her and now he's doing so in front of her dying father. The irony of it does not escape him. As their lips meet, both Gibbs and Laurie wonder why it took them so long to get this far.

A self-satisfied sigh emanates from the lips of the dying man, bringing their gazes back to him. Takezawa is pleased by the way Gibbs treats Laurie. He's had reports from all of the students since the two arrived. He knows that Laurie cares deeply for Gibbs or she wouldn't have immediately sensed his imminent danger the night before.

As for the daughter of his heart, he knows that it's because of the exile he'd put her through that she was able to find the man by her side. At the same time, he regrets not letting her come home sooner. She's proven her innocence many times over the years. The ceremony was just his way of letting her know that he approves her choice of mate.

"You…may…explain…to…him." Takezawa is giving her permission to tell Gibbs why she hasn't been home for over 10 years.

"Now, or would you prefer I wait?" She's asking permission to tell before he passes away.

"Now. Let him …know of… your honor, your…courage." He looks at Gibbs and gives him one of those dad to son-in-law looks. The one that says, hold her, protect her, and love her.

Gibbs nods and shifts on the bed so that he can pull her into his arms. She's startled at first by the action, but soon relaxes into his embrace. Takezawa smiles at the picture they make and mentally tells Joe to make sure he gets a picture. Joe agrees and goes off to find a camera.

"Many years ago, and by that I mean almost 30, my father asked me not to journey outside the compound. There had been several murders in the area and he was trying to protect me. The problem is that I can't always control when my powers tell me to help someone."

"Like last night." He's referring to the speed in which she'd entered his mind. She nods and takes his hand, has him caress the scar on her left hand. He knows he's going to find out just how she received that scar.

"I told you that before the war I wasn't a ranked N/S, but that afterwards I ended up ranking 6th in the world. About two years before the war started, the founding compounds decided to hold what they called a round robin tournament. The top students from all the compounds could come and learn about each others compounds during the two week exercise.

"It was the same time as the murders. Father vetoed my going at first, but one of the other compound masters asked if I could come and help in the healing tents. Just before I was supposed to leave, this compound came under attack. We managed to survive but not before one of the assailants had thrown a burning brand. I managed to intercept it before it connected."

Gibbs exchanges glances with Takezawa and realizes the brand had been meant for the master, not the student. Takezawa gives him a slight nod, confirming his belief. Gibbs caresses the scar, knowing now that it had come at a terrible price.

She left without telling anyone of her injury. She grabbed some ice to cool it down, and teleported to the Yamaguchi Compound. She changed route mid-teleport; ended up in the Stormwind Compound. She healed the youngest son, who had been severely wounded and headed once again for her destination.

"Did you know he'd been wounded?"

She shakes her head and continues. After the round robin was over, she went home and told her master all that had occurred, unintentionally leaving out the stopover at the Stormwind Compound.

"They came over to thank you and you had no idea what they were talking about."

She nods and looks at her father/master. The old man's eyes are glistening with tears as her story unfolds. At first he believed her; that she hadn't known about healing the youngest Stormwind. After all, she'd been caught up in the excitement of the round robin tournament.

"Then came the ranking tournament. It took place only six months after the round robin. Once again, I was excited about participating and once again, I was denied."

The murders hadn't stopped and fear was starting to grip all of the compounds. The murderers were targeting only female students and that was her master's arguing point. She'd acquiesced and consoled herself with being to participate in the next tournament.

Again, the tournament directors had asked for her assistance in the healing. Master Takezawa had reluctantly given his approval, on the condition that she not reveal her compound status. The murdered students had all been wearing colored uniforms, with compound designation on them.

She'd managed to stay with the healers during most of the tournament. Then came the top ten and she'd been unable to stay away. She'd made several friends at the round robin and all of them were in the top ten.

It was coming down to the final three when it happened. The tug to help someone in need. She teleported without realizing what she was doing. She arrived in time to see the attacker leave; she hadn't been in time to save an aging master.

"Dawes felt him dying and was unable to leave the tournament or she'd have lost any rank she'd already gained. I stayed with him until he passed." She'd also taken an oath to protect the only daughter of the Miyagi Compound and swore not to tell anyone she'd done so. Not even her own beloved father and master.

Ten years ago, she'd finally told Dawes about her part in the war. Why she'd taken part in the forming of MB-1, and why she'd fought so hard to keep her commanding officer alive. Dawes had stared at her in shock and then cuffed her alongside the head. She rubs her head in remembrance.

"She didn't hit as hard as you can, but hers had a touch of heat in it." She smiles at the memory. Dawes had then insisted that they go and tell Master Takezawa what has been going on. Laurie had protested but Dawes was insistent.

"One of the few times she listened to me when I should have been listening to her." The speaker is female with golden brown, waist length hair. At her side is a mountain of a man, who easily stands 6'5". He gives her a hug as they continue to listen to the story.

They'd come to the compound and been granted entrance. Once inside, Dawes had thanked Master Takezawa for his daughter's protection. Takezawa had stared at them both and said nothing. Instead he'd turned and told Joe to inform their guests that his daughter is not to return to this compound until she is invited.

"Joe told me later that one of the other students had betrayed Master Takezawa and been found out just days before we arrived. It was the straw that broke the camel's back."

Even then she doesn't reveal who the real traitor was. She doesn't elaborate on what was said. As far as she is concerned, she's home now and the past is water under the bridge. Takezawa's eyes shine with tears of pride and joy. He reaches out and touches Gibbs and Laurie's linked hands.

"Sorry…love…you."

"I love you too, father." As she leans down to kiss his cheek, he breathes his last breath with a smile.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 08, 2011 10:18 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 15, 2010 9:31 pm
Posts: 8483
Title: Native Nebraska NCIS fan
Name: Cookie, Lori
Aliases: tigyr
Gender: Female
link: My Story Board stories
link: My Fanfiction.net account
Chapter 11:

Laurie brushes a tear away as her father smiles at her for the last time. The short time she has had with him is small consolation for the years spent apart. She can feel Gibbs as he continues holding her. His slow and easy breathing is a living reminder of what she still has.

"You all right?" The question reminds her of the dead man's form on the bed beside them.

"No, but she will be." The voice isn't familiar to Gibbs who stiffens slightly and tightens his embrace. Laurie knows the female immediately and smiles through her tears.

"Dawes, I should have known you'd be here."

Tabitha Norris, formerly known as Dawes and her husband Tom walk into the room. They'd been listening in the hallway, waiting for a chance to make their presence known. When Gibbs looks them over he sees a blue clad female almost as tall as the woman in his lap, maybe an inch or two shorter. The dark haired, dark eyed warrior standing behind her is much taller and built like the proverbial "brick shit house."

Laurie extricates herself from Gibbs embrace and walks over to where her former C.O. is standing. Tom eases further into the room and extends his hand to Gibbs who shakes it.

"Tom Stormwind, they," he nods at the two women, "call me Stormy."

"Jethro Gibbs. Most people call me Gibbs, nice to meet you."

Gibbs watches as Tom brings forth a small dish of water and gently brushes the dead man's lips with it. He tells Gibbs that before they entered the house, he and Dawes had closed up the small shrine that was in the middle of the flower garden to keep out the impure spirits.

Dawes gives Laurie a hug then hands her over to Gibbs. Dawes steps out into the hall, brings in a small table and together, she and Tom place a small vase of flowers, some incense and a candle on the table. Tom then walks over to Laurie and asks if she has a preference of knife to rest on Takezawa's chest (to keep the evil spirits away). To nobody's surprise, Laurie hands over the knife at her waist.

They all exit the room and head towards the dining hall. Joe has already called the few students together, letting them know about the master's death and to tell them that if they wish to continue learning at the compound they are more than welcome to do so.

One of the students who hasn't been there for long asks, "Will the master's son take over our training?"

Dead silence fills the room. Gibbs isn't sure what is going on until he remembers there had been a traitor. One that had betrayed the master's trust. He looks to Laurie for confirmation and for the first time since he's met her, she's wearing what he calls a poker face.

No emotion, nothing is showing in those expressive eyes of hers. He looks at the others in the room. Dawes is looking at the floor and Tom has the same confused look in his eyes that Gibbs is feeling.

The silence is broken by Laurie as she states in a matter of fact tone that "the master's son passed away several years previously. Joe will be the new compound master. If any of you have a problem with that we will give you references and you may apply to another compound to complete your training.

"For the next two weeks, the compound will close so that the few remaining family members may be contacted and pay their last respects to Master Takezawa."

"Will the compound be closing?"

Laurie smiles and shakes her head no. "The only closing will be for the duration of the funeral. The compound will reopen two weeks from today for those who wish to continue their training. If any of you wish to pay your respects to the Master, you may do so at this time."

Some of the students start to protest until Joe stands up. "It is the Master's wish that only family be allowed after today. He has left specific instructions for Miss Laurie and me; the first is that you all be allowed to say goodbye. The second is that we close the compound for two weeks after which time we will reopen and start training again."

The students all nod and file past to say their goodbyes to Master Takezawa before leaving for their homes. Several of them are muttering as they leave and Gibbs wonders just how many will actually be coming back.

The student, who had asked about Takezawa's son, stops in front of Laurie before going to pay his respects. "Did I say something wrong, Miss Laurie?"

"No Steven, you didn't know that the master had lost his son, so there is nothing that you did wrong."

"Umm…I don't have a home to go back to, where shall I stay?"

Tom steps forward and tells him that he can come back to the Stormwind Compound if he so chooses. Steven smiles his gratitude and heads down the hall. Minutes later, Gibbs and the others hear the sound of students leaving. Joe goes down the hall to verify all the students have gone and to pay his own respects to Takezawa.

Gibbs looks around for Laurie. Dawes points wordlessly to the kitchens and Gibbs heads inside. Laurie's poking indifferently at some poor hunk of meat. He watches silently as she pours several different sauces over it, covers it and returns it to the fridge. She then pulls a bag of potatoes out of the pantry and starts peeling them. She covers the peeled potatoes with salted water and looks around for her next target.

Dawes steps around Gibbs and puts an arm around the other female, leading her back out to the dining room.

"Stormy, call the Guys in. She's gonna need'em."

Tom says nothing just nods and heads outside. Within minutes, there's the sound of men's voices. Nine men of all shapes and sizes come into view. Dawes counts heads and calls out mentally, *"Mo, Cat, Kitter, we need you guys too. Takey's compound, main courtyard. Rick quit moping and get your ass over here."*

Tom gives a silent chuckle at his brother's summons. Rick has tried for years to get Laurie to see him as something other than a good friend. Personally he thinks that the blonde might have accepted if Rick hadn't tried to make her give up the SEALs.

As it is, the man beside her now is a lot more accepting of what makes up Laurie Fields. Gibbs has taken all of the N/S in stride so far, and even now is shaking hands with the former men and women of Dawes' Guys. Laurie leaves the room and only two men see her go, Tom due to his height and Gibbs.

Gibbs waits for a full minute before he follows her out to the gardens. He knows immediately where she's heading; the same grove she'd taken him to earlier. He says nothing just sits beside her for a second before pulling her into his embrace. She doesn't cry; just sits there content to let him hold her.

Tom looks at Dawes who's finding the floor mighty interesting. "We have a story that needs spilled so spill it Hotstuff."

"I can't, she swore me to secrecy years ago."

"You let a junior officer swear you to secrecy?" Mo is slightly surprised that the fiery tempered woman would let the blonde do something like that.

"No, I let our friend swear me to secrecy." She gives them all a slight glare to emphasize her point.

Joe comes in from the kitchen, hears the conversation and sighs, knowing that it's time someone told the story of how the master lost his son and his daughter all in the same week. He mentally tells Laurie that if she wants Gibbs to know the truth, she needs to send the other man inside.

Gibbs can tell when she gets the message as a deep sigh resonates throughout her trim body. He gives her a hug telling her, "I take it that means story time is starting. We don't have to go in. I can make my own conclusions just based on what was said in the old man's room."

She shakes her head as she carefully extricates herself from his embrace, "No, Joe only knows part of the story. If we're going to tell it, it needs to be told in its entirety."

Gibbs knows now why the old man was so proud of this woman. He was proud of her too and he wasn't entirely sure why. He gets to his feet and takes her hand as they walk back into the dining room together.

More than nine jaws drop when Laurie walks back into the room holding Gibbs' hand. Mo, Cat, Kitter and Rick all stop what they were doing to stare at their former teammate. Laurie walks over to Brian "Mo" Morrison and gently puts a finger under his chin, prompting him to close his mouth.

Since the room is already quiet, she doesn't have to whistle to get their attention.

"Joe will start the story while I finish up supper. I will finish the story. This story goes no further than this room and these people, am I understood?"

"Copy that, boss." Gibbs is the one who says it and it's echoed by the others in the room.

"Good, Jethro I advise you to stay out here to hear the whole story." She hands him a fresh cup of coffee before saying, "Tabby can you come help me please?"

Once again jaws drop and Gibbs hides his smirk behind the coffee cup, obviously the lady has shown a side tonight that these men and women have seldom if ever seen. He makes sure to take a seat on a table where he can see the kitchen window.

"Jethro, off the table please." He does chuckle at that remark. He sits on the nearest chair and Gibbs soon finds himself surrounded by N/S and Dawes Guys.

"Hey, it's story time not interrogation time. Or do I start throwing skillets?" Gibbs is slightly confused by the immediate dispersal and files away the skillet remark for future use.

Joe stands up and starts explaining what had happened all those years ago. By the time he's finished most of the guys are either pacing or staring off into the gardens. The mysterious murderer had been at this compound the entire time. No one had suspected the master's son. There was no reason to.

"Until the night of the assassination attempt." Gibbs finally knows what she'd seen that night; who she'd defended the master against.

"They'd had no proof, until that night, that it was him. The authorities never found a weapon, linking him to the murders." Laurie's tone is matter of fact.

"The brand?" Gibbs's thinking of the scar on her hand, how the tissues had formed that particular shape.

Joe looks at Laurie who nods. Joe brings forth a branding iron, shaped like a heart with a jagged line through it. Gibbs takes in a deep breath at the thought of that touching young Laurie's flesh.

Mo and Rick both inhale too. Rick had been the recipient of the impromptu healing at the Stormwind Compound. The attack had been a diversion, but Rick had still gotten seriously injured and would have died if Laurie hadn't intervened. She'd forgone her own injury to save him.

Mo remembers cussing her out when she arrived two hours after she was supposed to. She hadn't said a word as he assigned her a room, the only one that was left, next to his own. He remembers hearing slight whimpers and how disgusted he'd been that such a crybaby had to participate. When she'd told him she was only there as a healer, he'd been ecstatic, and ignored her the rest of the time she'd been there.

"Back then we only had four people who knew where the branding iron was: myself, Joe, Master Takezawa and his son."

Aside from the brand though, there was still no proof that the son was the killer. Until the last mission she'd taken part in as a member of Dawes Guys.

That was the mission during which Rick told her to stop being a warrior and start being a homebody. The mission during which she'd thrown herself between Rick and yet another brand. The one in which they'd been captured for six weeks, and unable to tell anyone due to the psionic dampeners.

That mission was the one in which she killed Hiroshi Takezawa when he'd tried to rape her. It was the one where she'd had to tell her father, his only son was a murderer and she'd killed him while defending herself. It was the one that got her thrown into exile.

Cat and Kitter are staring at her in disbelief. The twin sisters had been in Okinawa at the time, Kitter attending Cat's wounds, helping her regain her strength after being held captive for almost four years during the war.

The men that make up Dawes' Guys know about the mission. They'd been there when Rick and Laurie were finally rescued. They hadn't known, however that Laurie had been exiled due to the extenuating circumstances.

Dawes comes over and hugs her former cook/medic. "She knelt before him, and after she brought in the body, handed him Hiroshi's katana and told him the facts... The facts were conclusive. When his room was searched, they found the evidence they needed to prove Hiroshi was the culprit. Her final piece of evidence was on her back and her palm. Even now, years later the heart remains. Takey forbade her to tell anyone what had happened. Swore her to secrecy, and made her promise to never tell anyone what had happened. He then exiled her."

Rhett Shuman, the former Green Beret still called Taz(manian Devil) due to the speed in which he travels, speaks up. "How do you know all this, Dawes."

"Because, I helped her bring Hiroshi's body back. She wouldn't let me fry his ass or anything else. She insisted that she take his body back to his father. So we did. Six hours after we rescued them, we were in the anteroom waiting for admittance."

Laurie finishes the meal she's prepared and has them all come eat. Steaks, mashed potatoes, brown gravy, mixed vegetables and rice for those who prefer it. Gibbs stares at the meal in front of him, knowing somehow that the steak will be a perfect medium rare, and that the bottle in front of him is a real beer.

He looks at Steven "Cowboy" Laramie and shakes his head in wonder. Cowboy just laughs at the expression on Gibbs' face. "She gotcha wondering how she does it? We just accept it as part and parcel of who Cookie is."

"Cookie?" he hadn't been told her nickname until now, but he realizes that it fits her to a T.

"Mmm, best damn cook/medic in the war and she knew it too. Not that she bragged about it, that's not her way. She just showed up, did her job and let you wonder."

"Still does."

"Maybe, but she let you close enough to put a ring on her finger. She wouldn't let any of us that close."

"Her father was dying."

Cowboy snorts in his beer. "Yeah, like that's gonna make her jump into a wedding ceremony! We tried that for almost five years and it didn't happen. She trusts you man, don't lose that."

Gibbs says nothing as he finishes eating. He notices that Laurie stays in the kitchen until the very end, not bringing her plate out until the others are almost done. As he thinks back on the times she's cooked for Tony and his family, he realizes that she never waited to eat with them.

Brett "the Kid" Lawrence sits down on Gibbs left. "Don't let her manners today confuse you. She's in what I call battle mode. She's letting the troops eat and then she will, that way if she gets sick no one else will see her."

"She do that often?"

"Not really, you have to understand, she couldn't leave the camp like we could. She had no stress relief aside from cooking and poking needles in us. So if one of us got severely injured all she could do is patch us up. There she goes. And there he goes, oh yeah he's hooked." The Kid grins as Gibbs heads into the kitchen, following Laurie and closes the door behind them.

The Kid looks at the others who are all staring at him, "What? I just said that she might not be feeling well."

The others shake their heads imagining what the real conversation was like.

"Hey, you okay?"

"I'm fine, Jethro, just a little wrung out with all the drama today."

"The Kid said you might be sick."

She smiles at her tough old marine falling for one of The Kid's well-meaning jokes. "He wanted you to follow me. They're protective of me and wanted to see if you'd measure up."

He stares at her stunned that he fallen for the younger man's trick. He hasn't had anyone try a stunt like this on him in simply ages. After all, he's so used to DiNozzo's little tricks he hadn't thought someone else might try something.

She comes closer, loops her arms around his neck and kisses him. "Just be glad it wasn't Josher. His jokes last for days."

He settles back against the counter cradling her against him, "If this is my reward, I'm game."

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 08, 2011 10:38 pm 
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Title: Native Nebraska NCIS fan
Name: Cookie, Lori
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Chapter 12:

Joe looks at the others and grins, "You realize that they don't have to get a room now, don't you?"

The kitchen with doors shut and window closed is completely shut off from prying eyes. Several hands reach out and smack the Kid upside the head. "Hey, not my fault she went back in there."

Mo looks at Dawes and asks just why they were brought in. She takes a deep breath before saying, "I thought it would be nice if we helped her with Takey's funeral arrangements, the wake, etcetera."

The door to the kitchen opens and Gibbs steps out carrying an unconscious Laurie. Jack "Mad Dog Mike" Callihan, the team's back up medic, steps closer to see what's wrong.

"What happened?"

"She fainted."

"She pregnant?"

Gibbs glares at him, and the younger man backs down. Gibbs lays her down on a quickly cleared table. Mad Dog checks her pulse and finds out it's a little slow.

"She eat much today?"

Gibbs shakes his head, "Not much of anything. I was hoping she'd at least eat supper as she skipped breakfast."

The guys all look at each other, none of them recall seeing her actually eat anything, just push her food around before heading back into the kitchen. Mad Dog asks Joe if they have any orange juice in the kitchen. Joe comes back with a glass full of the fruity beverage.

Gibbs looks around and grabs the first thing he sees: Dawes' drinking flask. He opens it, and smells it, almost gagging at the aromatic brew before waving it under Laurie's nose.

"Eww, god, Dawes I thought I told you never to use that on me."

The men all chuckle at the protest. Of all the women, she's the one who despises the smell and taste of sake. Laurie sees the full glass of orange juice and starts sipping at it.

She peers up at Gibbs, knowing she had to have scared him.

"You gonna be okay, Jethro?" Gibbs is stunned. She's the one who fainted and she's worried about him. She keeps sipping her juice, trying hard not to cry. It's difficult, being around this group, all of whom care about her.

Hawk, Cowboy, Mad Dog, Magnum, Blue Eyes, Warrior, Josher, Taz and the Kid are the nine men who made up Dawes Guys. Mo, Cat, Kitter to a lesser extent, Rick and Stormy were all part of the advisory board. Giz hasn't been seen since her marriage to Stormy's top black belt almost 25 years ago. That just leaves Laurie the last one allowed into this tight circle of friends.

Mad Dog gives Dawes a high sign and she tells Gibbs to take Laurie to their room.

"You rest and start eating. We'll take care of everything else, you got that?"

Laurie nods still clutching the orange juice. Gibbs leans in and picks her up. He takes her to their room and sits her on the bed. She watches him with wide eyes as he strips down to his skivvies and then joins her on the bed. He looks at the uniform wondering how to remove it.

"Touch the seams, here and here."

He looks on in amazement as the uniform peels off in one easy movement. When she leans forward to lay it down, he sees the scarring on her back. Scarring not just from the branding iron but from knife cuts and smaller, oval shaped like from a ring.

"Sweet Jesus, how did you survive?"

"Mo and Cat survived four years of torture way worse than this. I just retreated to a far corner of my mind and waited for him to screw up."

He's caressing her back and she lays fully on her stomach to give him better access. He looks at her braid, remembering the knives he'd seen Dawes play with earlier.

"Relax Jethro, I'm not the crazy ninja chick that she is. I'm the crazier one but don't tell her that."

"Will you let me take it down?" he realizes that in the entire time he's known her, he's never seen her with her hair down. She nods and tells him that there's a brush in the bathroom. He presses a kiss on her shoulder as he heads into the bathroom.

When he comes back out, she's sitting up, downing the last of the juice.

"Before I let you do this, I need to let you know that I'm trusting you with my life."

He frowns slightly, not quite sure what she's getting at.

"I only let people I trust, those I know to have my back, do this. It …for lack of a better word, it puts me to sleep."

"None of the others know?"

"Only Joe knows and he's the one who found out, when we were kids."

That's the bond he senses. The trust between two friends who've had each others backs for years. He nods his acceptance of what she's saying and she slowly starts combing out her braid. He scoots around behind her on the bed.

"How long has your hair been this color?" he can tell she's never had it chemically altered.

"Since I was six."

"That's a long time to be white haired."

"Made it easier to get into places sometimes." She grins at him as she takes out the last of the braid. He smiles back and slowly starts running the brush through her hair. It dawns on him as he's sitting there, brushing the white locks of hair that Shannon had never asked him to do this. Not once in all their years of marriage did he brush Shannon's hair.

He'd brushed Kelly's on the few occasions that she'd let him, and of course when she'd been an infant. But he's never been asked to do this by any other adult female. He gently strokes the brush down and without meaning to, brushes against the scar on her back.

Her quickly indrawn hiss of breath tells him that he'd inadvertently hurt her and he starts to apologize when he sees the look in her eyes. She knows he didn't mean it, and some part of her probably forgot that no one has brushed her hair out since the scars were inflicted.

"Longer than that, my husband was the last one to brush my hair out. Just before he was deployed."

"No one else brushes it? How do you manage not to put yourself to sleep then?"

"It's a weird thing as when I brush it nothing happens. Only when I allow someone else to brush it does it affect me."

"And then only those you trust?"

She nods sleepily, "Mmm…like I'm gonna hand my brush over to my enemy. Please kill me sooner." Her sleepy sarcasm is met with a light slap to the head.

"I think I figured it out Gibbs. *yawn* those are really love taps. You're *yawn* engaging in foreplay and seeing if anyone responds."

Her sleepy smirk is met with a loud burst of laughter as he thinks about what she's said.

"You are a goof, Commander."

"Mmm, you wuvs me anyways."

He smiles at the sleepy vision in front of him as he keeps a steady rhythm with the brush. Two minutes later and she's completely relaxed, sleeping peacefully in his arms. He finishes brushing out her hair and as he places the brush on the table, turns out the small lamp.

Out in the main hall, the others are getting things ready for Takezawa's funeral. Mo and Cat, Kitter and Rick join Dawes and Tom at the main table. Mo looks at his best friends and asks Dawes, "What in the hell is going on? I've never seen her that stressed out, not even when we were in the war."

Dawes reply isn't what they want to hear, "I'm not sure, that's why I called you guys in. I could sense she was in the area and so I made Stormy bring me here. That's when we heard Takey saying the wedding ceremony."

Cat pipes up, "what wedding ceremony and who the hell is that guy anyway?"

Stormy looks at Kitter and Mo, the two resident computer geniuses, "His name is Gibbs, Jethro Gibbs. And it was the binding one, the mental, emotional soul binding one. Gibbs only understood part of the ceremony. He might not be too happy to find out he's soul-bound to her."

Joe steps closer with several cups on a tray and two bottles of sake. "It might not be that big a deal. They had some ghostly visitors last night. It's part of the reason that she's so weak."

All eyes turn to the top black belt. "Tanaka came to me when Laurie belted out of Takezawa's room a second time. As I rounded the corner, I could see at least two spirits following her. One of them looked like a female Gibbs."

"Poor kid." No one knows who says it.

"The other looked like young Stormwind here." All eyes turn to Rick who shakes his head in denial.

Mo thinks for a minute. "Laurie said once that when she finally saw Rick without his mask, she almost fainted because he looked like her dead husband. It's possible that it was him, or their son."

The others nod in agreement. Kitter asks Joe about his computer and he shows her his laptop. She grins when she sees it, the newest in top of the line technology. Yeah, she knows who made sure this was here. She quickly inserts Gibbs name and whistles when she pulls up his record.

Two minutes later she's pulling up Laurie's latest personnel file and her eyes widen as she realizes just what their friend has been going through.

"Oh my God, guys, this is bad." She turns the screen around and heads for Hawk. She sits in his lap not caring what the others think and pulls his arms around her. None of the N/S are prepared for the information on the screen.

Tom looks at Dawes, mentally asking her if she's been told any of the information on the screen. At the slow shake of her head, he turns to Mo and Cat. Mo is already contacting some of his former comrades in the SEALs and he gives a sad nod when they confirm the death of Charlie Cutter.

Cat calls in a few favors and gets the specs on what happened in Hawaii. She turns to Dawes when she's finished and Dawes takes an instinctive step back when she sees the anger in the shorter woman's gun-metal gray eyes.

"Twenty minutes, that's how long she was stateside before they pulled her to Hawaii. Were they trying to kill her off too?"

Rick can feel the tension building and knows that if they don't do something soon, Laurie will be back in the room demanding to know what's wrong. Together, he, Tom and Brian put a psionic bubble around the room, after sending two of the other guys out to watch Laurie's door.

***
Gibbs wakes up slowly, not immediately sure what woke him. The warm body by his side assures him that Laurie is still there. He eases out of bed and into the restroom, taking a quick shower. Coming back out, he sees Laurie starting to wake up, and knows that she's sensing whatever is wrong too.

"Stay here, I'll check it out and be right back." His tone brooks no refusal and her eyes pop open. He shakes his head at her stubbornness and tells her to shower first if she's coming with him.

"When you come with me, we won't be leaving the bed, much less this room." She says saucily as she enters the bathroom. He snags her hand before the door closes and pulls her close for a kiss.

"I'm holding you to that, Commander." His blue eyes are gleaming with promise as he holds her for a few seconds before swatting her on the ass and shoving her towards the bathroom.

Five minutes later, she's out and her hair is in a wet braid. She cautiously opens the door and quietly starts laughing. Taz and the Kid are stationed outside, making sure none of the others come close.

"Morning fellas, want some breakfast?"

The two men are both startled as they'd been so intent on watching the corridors that they hadn't noticed Laurie opening the door. Taz immediately starts off on one of his tirades.

"Damnit, Cook, how the hell are we supposed to protect you when you sneak up behind us like that. You know damn good and well that -."

Gibbs starts forward, intending to give Taz a piece of his mind when Laurie gives him a subtle nudge and shakes her head. She knows the guys were worried about her, especially after the little fainting episode she pulled the night before. These two are the closest in age to her and while they were the last to accept her, they've been her staunchest supporters ever since.

"Rhett, I'm okay, let me prove it by making breakfast." She puts an arm around the former Green Beret and they head for the kitchens.

The Kid looks at Gibbs who is staring in confusion at what just happened. He motions for the older man to walk with him as they follow the other two down the hallway. Taz finally calms down enough to start lightly pulling Laurie's braid, making her retaliate by softly punching him in the arm.

"What just happened here?"

"Love for lack of a better term. That woman in front of us is, in many ways, closer than our sister for those of us who have one. She's the one who threatened us with cold oatmeal and warm applesauce if we messed up her dining hall. She's the one who saved our asses when we came back to camp shot to shit. She's the one who cried over us when we were on deaths' doorstep. She's the one who challenged us to overcome our grief and sense of despair when we lost Cat and Mo to a POW camp for almost five years. She's -,"

"Your heart and soul." Gibbs says softly.

"Might sound cheesy, but yeah, that's who she is to us. I have to admit all of us were a little shocked that no one knew about her master's death, but she's always been a little closed mouthed when it came to her private life. Of course, the fact that she has a boyfriend was a shocker too."

"Why is that so shocking, she's a beautiful lady."

"Hey I agree with ya, but she never looked at any of us the way she looks at you. And she spent five years with us."

"More than five from the sounds of it."

The Kid smiles at the slightly jealous tone.

"Down boy, she's all yours. Like I said, she's never looked at one of us that way. Not even Mo and he was a SEAL like she is."

"Was, she retired the same day Charlie Cutter was buried."

The Kid stops in his tracks. "What do you mean the day Cutter was buried?"

Gibbs turns and stares at him, "This is the fourth funeral she's planned in less than two weeks. The third one of someone she knew and the second one of a man that she loved like a father. "

"Who were the others?"

"One funeral was for the parents of my youngest agent, Commander McGee and his wife. They were killed the same day as Holly Breaker's parents. That lady there made all the funeral arrangements for both couples, attended both funerals and officiated at Cutter's funeral."

"How she holding up?" Gone is the playful friend, now it's the concerned brother watching his sister.

"Honestly, she's a strong lady. I admit she surprises me with that backbone of hers. I don't know of many who could go through this many funerals and walk around like nothing is wrong."

"Fainting last night, that's not a normal Cookie thing. I've only known her to do it twice in the 20 some odd years I've known her. The first was the first time she met Stormy's brother; apparently Rick looks like her dead husband. The second time, she'd just come out of surgery, having spent over 48 hours working on Cat and Mo. I can't really say that she fainted more like she passed out from sheer exhaustion."

"You always call her Cookie?"

"It's her nickname, she earned it. In a way, it describes her…you know a real tough cookie. Had to be to put up with our lot."

He continues telling Gibbs about the former unit of women haters as they walk into the dining room. Gibbs smiles faintly as he thinks about the night she'd smacked him in the head. Obviously she's had a bit of practice in keeping men in line.

Breakfast passes quickly and Gibbs can tell that although the unit is now defunct, they still care deeply for one another. Someone is always by Laurie's side, talking and joking with her, making sure that she knows she still has a team to fall back on if she wants them. Watching Laurie, he sees the easy camaraderie as she falls back into the team's dynamic. These aren't just friends or co-workers. Like his NCIS team, these guys are family.

A buzzing at his hip reminds him that he hasn't spoken to his own team in several days. He pulls out his cell phone and sighs when he sees the name on the caller i.d.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 12, 2011 11:16 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 15, 2010 9:31 pm
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Title: Native Nebraska NCIS fan
Name: Cookie, Lori
Aliases: tigyr
Gender: Female
link: My Story Board stories
link: My Fanfiction.net account
Chapter 13:

“Yeah Gibbs.”

“Care to tell me just when you were going to inform me that you were going to Japan, Gibbs?”

“Hadn’t planned on telling anyone, Leon. I had a few days off coming to me so I took them…or didn’t you get the memo?” Gibbs grins as he can almost hear the ever present toothpick grinding between Vance’s teeth.

“Evidently you forgot to send the same memo to Miss Sciuto. She’s been calling my office every hour on the hour wanting to know when you are coming back.”

“I’ll take care of Abbs. Who told you where I was?”

“Somebody named Dawes paid me a visit. I expect a full report when you get back here Gibbs.”

“Oh, don’t worry Leon, you’ll get one.” he hangs up and as he looks round the room, nine pairs of eyes are watching him. Laurie has evidently gone back into the kitchen. Hawk gives a sign to the one called Mad Dog who nods briefly and heads back to check on the woman.

“What’s up guys?” He knows they are curious about him, and his relationship with Laurie. While he expects to find a little suspicion, he doesn’t expect what happens next.

“We want to know what we can do to help Cookie.” It’s Taz, the youngest of all the guys on the team. Concern is shining in the man’s hazel eyes and it’s echoed in all of their faces.

“Being here is the biggest help you guys.”

“Yeah but why didn’t she call us and let us help her sooner?”

Before Gibbs can reply Laurie does, “Because I wasn’t thinking about much of anything by the time this occurred.” She explains about the events that led up to meeting Gibbs and the NCIS team. The consequential burials and then the telepathic call about her father.

“I was simply overwhelmed by the time I arrived here. I barely had time to say goodbye and he was gone.”

They can all see she’s getting depressed, so Hawk once again gives a silent nod and this time Taz comes over and drags Laurie to her feet. “Come on, I challenge you to try and beat me in hand to hand.”

She smiles at the tactics, knowing they are doing their best to keep her spirits up. “I’m not sure you can handle me, after all you are just a slacker Green Beret and a retired one at that.”

Taz puts on his best fake snarl as he growls, “Go get changed pretty girl, we’ll see who beats whom.”

Laurie looks at her hands, “I don’t know, I might break a nail.”

The guys laugh when she holds up her hands, they are scuffed and her fingernails need clipped. She leans down to Gibbs, tipping his chin up so that she can capture a kiss on her way out the door. Catcalls and whistles resound throughout the hall and Gibbs can almost feel a blush coming over him.

Hawk and Cowboy sit down on either side of Gibbs and give him the lowdown on their plans to keep the woman in good spirits. Gibbs nods and then frowns when his cell phone buzzes yet again.

“Yeah, Gibbs.” he holds the phone away from his ear as the tirade begins.

“Gibbs, Gibbs, Gibbs, when are you coming home Gibbs? You can’t just leave me here for days on end without at least a phone call. Is that woman with you, is that why you left for the weekend? You never take a weekend off, Gibbs. And you never leave without telling me first. Well except for that time when you left us and went to Mexico. But that was a long time ago Gibbs and you’ve never been gone this long.”

On and on she goes. Gibbs puts her on speaker phone and lets her rant, knowing that she’s concerned, yet he’s slightly irritated too. When she finally pauses for breath, he picks up the phone again.

“Abbs, I’ll be home as soon as Laurie’s business is finished here in Japan. Don’t interrupt me Abby, I said, I’ll be home soon. Now put DiNozzo on, I know he’s hovering beside you.”

Abby hands the phone over to Tony who grins at his absent boss. “Hey boss, how’s the weather?”

“Calm at the moment. While I’m not expecting Hurricane Dawes to strike anytime soon you never know. Have Tim keep an eye on the weather reports for me. We should be heading out of here in the next few days. Hey DiNozzo, tell my grandson I’m still planning on finishing that story we started.”

Tony smiles as he answers, “On it boss.”

When he hangs up, he’s all seriousness. He tells Abby not to worry, that Gibbs is planning on coming home soon. He then sprints to the elevator, dialing McGee’s cell as he goes.

“Yeah, Tony what’s up?”

“Calling a campfire as soon as I get there.”

McGee looks over at Ziva and tells her what Tony said. They both edge their chairs to Tony’s desk, waiting for the senior agent to arrive.

They both look up as Tony exits the elevator. “Just had a cryptic message from Gibbs; Tim he wants to check all records on a person named Dawes, and let him know via text what you find out.”

Ziva looks at him confused, “Tony, why do we want to know about this Dawes person?”

“I don’t Ziva, Gibbs does. He wants whatever information we can come up with and we have two days to find it. It’s something to do with Commander Fields and why he went with her to Japan.”

***

Cowboy looks as Gibbs as he hangs up and shakes his head at the older man. “You won’t find much. Our missions aren’t declassified yet. For the most part, neither are we. Prior to 1980-something, none of us exist.”

The warning in his voice tells Gibbs all that he needs to know. These people may be retired black ops, but they were still considered black ops. Cowboy taps Gibbs shoulder and asks him if he wants to watch Taz and Cookie spar. Gibbs is slightly surprised that they weren’t just play-acting. Cowboy leads him outside to the fighting arena. This is an area of the compound that Gibbs has yet to see and he’s surprised that the entire team of Dawes Guys is there. Even Dawes and Stormy have left the dining hall to watch Laurie take on Taz.

***

As the afternoon passes, tensions once again start rising as everyone knows that the funeral is forthcoming. Per Takezawa’s request, there is no wake, making the funeral arrive that much sooner and Laurie asks Dawes if she will take care of the cremation of Takezawa’s body. The other woman nods and asks if she has any particular urn she wants the ashes in. Laurie hands her two urns of equal size before leaving the room and Dawes nods in understanding.

“Why two urns?” Gibbs asks no one in particular. Cat looks up from her corner of the room and tells him that Takezawa had requested part of his ashes be scattered over his wife’s grave back in the States; the rest would reside in the family grave. Gibbs nods his thanks at her reply and heads outside to find Laurie.

Somehow, he knows that she’s in the small garden, her sanctuary as he calls it. Sure enough, she’s stretched out on the bench watching the clouds roll by. She turns her head when she hears him approaching, and then goes back to watching the clouds. Gibbs says nothing as he sits on the ground beside her, offering her quiet companionship.

Her hand drifts down to his shoulder; gently squeezes it as she acknowledges his presence. When her hand stays there, he brings his own up to cover it, lightly pressing it to let her know he’ll listen when she’s ready to talk.

Instead of talking, she swings her feet to his side and silently extends her hand to him. He takes it and follows her to an even more remote part of the garden. The bushes and trees are thicker, the air pungent with the piney smell of the evergreens. Soon they reach what can only be the Takezawa burial site. A stone monument has already been erected and Gibbs can tell that at least one name is on it, by the grey lettering on the front. Laurie touches some red lettering that’s beside the rest, and Gibbs instinctively knows that it’s Takezawa’s name.

“Once he’s buried, I’ll remove the red as is tradition.”

“The other letters are his wife?”

She touches the letters to the left of Takezawa’s name. “Her name was Susan, and while she’s not buried here, he still acknowledged her presence in his life.”

“Why didn’t he bury her here if he loved her that much?”

“Her family insisted on the body being returned to them. They said that father was nothing more than a heathen and didn’t deserve to have her lying next to him even in death.”

“He was an honorable man, like you are an honorable woman.”

She reaches out and lights a small piece of incense that’s lying in a crevasse. She blows out the flame, letting the smoke drift over the gravestone. When she does that, Gibbs also notices the cutouts for water and flowers which will be filled later that day when they bury Takezawa’s ashes.

Two days after the funeral and burial, Gibbs and Laurie return to D.C. and the NCIS team.

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 12, 2011 11:22 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 15, 2010 9:31 pm
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Title: Native Nebraska NCIS fan
Name: Cookie, Lori
Aliases: tigyr
Gender: Female
link: My Story Board stories
link: My Fanfiction.net account
Chapter 14:

Two hours ten minutes fourteen seconds, that’s how long it’s been since Gibbs last laid eyes on Laurie Fields. When they’d returned from Japan, the first place they’d stopped was NCIS. Vance had been there, as well as the MCRT. It’s late enough in the day that Sarah and Donny are there waiting to give Tony a ride home.

Abby gives Gibbs an enthusiastic hug. When he doesn’t respond with his usual Caf-Pow, she frowns at him. Gibbs ignores the frown and follows Vance upstairs to his office. Once Gibbs is out of sight, Tony motions for Laurie to follow him to one of the interrogation rooms.

“What do you want Tony?” Her voice is as exhausted as she looks.

“Nothing actually, just thought you’d like some privacy for a while. I have someone here who’d like to see his Granpa and figured he might be able to cheer you up too.”

Laurie shakes her head no. All she wants right now is to decompress. The last two weeks are catching up to her fast. She looks at Tony who is eyeing her with concern.

“Can you get me to Holly’s apartment? I just really need to see my friend right now.”

Tony nods and gives a signal to the window for Tim to take her to Holly’s. Tim is waiting outside the interrogation room with Donny and together the three escort Laurie to Tim’s car.

Donny climbs into his car seat and waits for Tim to buckle him in. Once Tim has started the car and they are on their way to Holly’s, Donny starts asking questions.

“Miss Laurie, what’s Japan like? Where is Japan and why did Granpa Jefro go with you? Can you take me to Japan sometime? Will you come visit me again?”

In the front of the car, Tim glances over at Laurie who has closed her eyes. Not knowing if she’s actually asleep or merely faking it, Tim tells Donny that Laurie will answer his questions another time.

“Okay Uncle Tim. Uncle Tim are you gonna marry Aunt Holly? She’s really nice and I like her a lot.”

Tim blushes and a quickly hidden smirk tells him that Laurie heard the question too.

“I don’t know yet, Donny. I –I don’t really know Holly that well yet. Umm I might eventually ask her out on a date providing her friend approves.”

Laurie doesn’t bother hiding her smile this time.

“I’ll approve the date Tim. You’ve already shown yourself worthy of her.”

In the back seat, Donny gives Tim a thumbs up and starts asking questions again. “Miss Laurie, why did Granpa go with you to Japan?”

Laurie thinks about her answer before replying, “The last time I was at your house, I said that I had to say goodbye to some people, do you remember? One of those people lived in Japan. Your grandpa came with me so that I wouldn’t have to make the journey alone.”

Donny nods and soon they are at Holly’s apartment. Laurie thanks Tim for the drive and as she leaves the car, she hears Donny asking Tim for another story.

***

Back at NCIS, Gibbs is getting the run around from Vance regarding his latest journey. Gibbs lets the man rant before opening the door and saying, “I’ll send you my report.”

Vance stares at him and Gibbs glares right back. Deciding not to press the issue, Vance backs down and starts down the stairs. Abby is heading up and Vance knows that Gibbs is about to get yet another earful of reprimands. Vance decides that the visit from Abby will be punishment enough and that he doesn’t need to implement any other reprimands on his assistant director.

Gibbs is sitting on the edge of his desk waiting for Abby to show up. He knows that the lack of Caf-Pow is going to irritate her, but since Laurie had teleported the two of them directly to NCIS’s main gates, he didn’t have time to give her his usual offering. Well, he could have but he knew that Laurie was tiring and wanted his team to make sure that she made it home all right.

Abby quietly shuts the door behind her. Gibbs is still sitting on the edge of his desk, arms folded over his chest as he waits for her to speak.

“Gibbs, why are you still hanging out with that person? She isn’t worthy of you. She doesn’t even exist prior to 1984. What do you know about her?”

“Abbs…” she ignores the warning tone in his voice as she continues.

“Seriously Gibbs, not only does she not exist, but it’s like the information on her is all prefabricated. If you want to date someone else, I can understand, but not her Gibbs. She’s not all that she says she is.”

“You done?” Steel and anger are lacing his voice and icing his eyes, yet the Goth ignores it as she continues.

“No, I ran her DNA and she comes up as Classified, Top Secret. So does that person you asked Tony to investigate…that Dawes person. What kind of person is that Gibbs? Not someone you can trust if she’s out of your clearance range.”

Gibbs wonders what the Goth will say if he tells her that he’s married to Laurie. A small quirk of a grin tugs at the corner of his mouth as he imagines the scene. Rather than give in to temptation, he stands up and escorts the Goth to the door shutting it firmly behind her. He no sooner locks the door behind Abby when Dawes teleports in.

“Didn’t Hawk tell you that we’re beyond your clearance level? Why is NCIS still investigating my cook/medic?”

Gibbs stares at her confused. Aside from when he’d told Tony to check up on Dawes, he hasn’t asked for any other information on Laurie. That’s when he realizes that Abby’s gone too far. Dawes sees first the confusion then comprehension as he figures out what’s been going on behind his back. Before either of them say more, there’s a soft tapping at the door and a childish voice asking for entrance.

Gibbs opens the door and Donny walks into the room. Dawes has teleported out again, and the former marine breathes a sigh of relief. He picks up his grandson and carries him over to the desk where he sits down with Donny in his arms. Two minutes later, Donny is sound asleep, and Gibbs isn’t too far behind.

***

Down in her lab Abby is tapping away on her keyboard, ignorant of the pissed off female standing behind her until she’s shoved to the side. Her indignant, “Hey!” is cut off when she sees Laurie standing between her and Dawes.

“Move aside, I want to take her down.”

“No, Dawes. I can’t let you do that. Jethro relies on Abby’s skills as a forensic pathologist. He needs her in the work force. It’s a skill I don’t have and don’t want to learn if you end up killing her.”

“I can kill just as easily as she can and leave less trace than she can.”

“No. This is between Abby and me. I’m a big girl Dawes; I can fight my own battles.” There’s a silent communication between the tall blonde and her darker haired friend.

The shorter woman nods, and looks over at Abby who still isn’t certain what Laurie’s trying to protect her from. Seeing the trashcan in the corner Dawes lifts her sunglasses and glares at the unsuspecting object. It explodes and Abby finally understands that the trashcan could have been her if Laurie hadn’t intervened.

***

The sounding of the fire alarm wakes Gibbs from his light doze. He looks at the little one in his arms, marveling at how some children can sleep through anything. He carries Donny down the stairs, meeting up with Tim, Tony, Sarah and Ziva as they head for the exit. Outside in the lot, he looks around for Abby and doesn’t immediately see her. He’s heading for the stairs when Laurie and Abby appear beside him.

Abby starts towards him but he’s moving towards the blonde, checking her over for signs of injury. That’s when the Goth knows that Gibbs is serious about Laurie. She sighs when she sees the tender way he touches the other woman’s face. She can’t remember ever seeing that particular expression on his face when they were together.

Donny wakes up, and sees his grandfather touching Laurie. He reaches out to the woman who calmly takes him in her arms. “I likes you, Miss Laurie. Can we go home now?”

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PostPosted: Sun Jun 12, 2011 11:38 pm 
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Title: Native Nebraska NCIS fan
Name: Cookie, Lori
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chapter 15:

Once the fire department has given the okay for the agents to return inside, Gibbs makes sure that the building is once again secure before sending everyone home. Abby runs down to her lab and surprisingly nothing was damaged when the fire system went off. Somehow she knows that Laurie and Dawes had protected the equipment from the foam and water. She doesn't know how they did it, but her precious computers and mass spectrometer are safe and none of it needs replacing.

Gibbs knows that the team wants filled in on what happened while he was in Japan, so he invites them all over to his place for supper. He looks over at Laurie who gives a subtle nod in agreement. Donny secure in his mother's arms looks from Gibbs to Laurie and back again. His grandfather is at peace and a smile is lurking even now at the corner of his mouth. Tim lets everyone know that he's going to meet them at Gibbs house. He's going to stop first and pick up Holly. He asks Donny if he wants to go with him but this time Donny refuses. The little boy asks Gibbs to take him home instead and Tim tells his boss that he'll transfer the car seat over to Gibbs car.

Considering how they arrived, Gibbs is about to refuse when he remembers that he can always take one of the Dodges that are part of the NCIS fleet of cars. Tim nods his understanding and leaves the room. Tony and Sarah head out after offering Ziva and Abby a lift. Both women refuse, for different reasons. Ziva prefers to drive by herself and Abby's not sure she's going to be welcome there.

Seeing the doubt in Abby's face, Laurie takes Ziva aside and asks Ziva if she minds watching Donny for a few minutes while she and Gibbs talk to Abby. The dark haired woman smiles and nods, knowing that if Abby's ever going to accept the new woman in Gibbs life, they need this conversation. Ziva extends her hand to Donny and asks him to demonstrate his throwing skills for her.

"Are they going to fight, Aunt Ziva?"

"I do not think so Donny. I think that your grandfather and Laurie want to talk to Abby, so that they can all be friends."

Donny nods, clearly thinking about the presence of Laurie in his grandfather's life. Ziva lifts him up, bringing him to her eyelevel.

"What is on your mind, young Donny? You may tell me, I will not tell anyone else."

"I was watching Granpa Jefro earlier, and he was smiling Aunt Ziva. He never smiled that much before he and Miss Laurie took their trip."

"Maybe he was able to resolve the differences between them, making him like and trust her yes?"

That's when it occurs to the child that his Aunt Ziva has always trusted Laurie. He gives her a look that is pure Gibbs. "You've always known who she is, haven't you? You didn't tell Granpa either."

Ziva stands him on the bench so that they are of almost equal height. "When your grandfather first met my friend, she had to bring him sad news, yes? I was not there that night, it was not until later that I found out she was there and by then your grandfather had already started to form an opinion about her."

"Still, you coulda said something to Granpa." He sticks out his chin, just as stubborn as Tony does when he knows he's right about something.

"Yes, I could have, however I did not and now they are friends. That is all that matters, yes?"

Donny nods his agreement and they start his lesson in knife throwing.

Upstairs Abby is pacing as she tries to figure out just what Gibbs and Laurie want to tell her. Gibbs finally sits her down at Tony's desk. He draws in a deep breath, still not sure what he wants to say. Laurie sits down at Abby's feet; she knows what she's going to say.

"Abby, look at me, and understand what I'm telling you." Laurie waits until those dark eyes raise enough to look into her own lavender colored ones before she continues.

"I know why you are concerned, I feel the same way about my own team; both of them are of major concern to me. I will admit that I conducted my own investigations into the MCRT after we were introduced. How-ev-er…" she deliberately draws out the last word, "I never conducted a DNA search. I do know that Jethro was involved in several missions that he will never talk about and I will never ask him about."

"Abbs, as a special forces unit there are things we can never know about, you should know that by now. The fact that you ran her DNA, even after we found out that her team was black ops, I admit to being disappointed."

"But Gibbs, her clearance level shouldn't be above yours. She's not old enough to have that high of a level. She's as old as Tony is for cryin' out loud."

"Older, but only by a couple of years. The fact is Abby, I know who she is, I trust her, and now you need to trust her too."

Abby nods slowly and extends her hand to Laurie who smiles as she shakes hands with the Goth. Laurie looks up at Gibbs to make sure he approves as she invites the Goth to dinner with the rest of the team. Abby shakes her head no. she needs some time to accept all that's happened in the past few hours. They don't pressure her into accepting; instead Gibbs lowers his head to kiss Abby on the cheek, as Laurie stands up. The couple heads for the elevator and Gibbs dials Ziva's cell so that she knows they're on their way to get Donny.

Dinner is an easy affair, as Tim and Holly pick up the meal from the newly opened Knotted C. Tony and Sarah pick up extra soft drinks for everyone and Gibbs stops off for his favorite coffee. During the meal, Gibbs and Laurie lightly touch upon the fact that Laurie had buried yet another friend and that is why Gibbs had accompanied Laurie to Japan. Holly looks shocked at the news and knows instinctively that Laurie had kept the news from her.

After the meal, Donny talks Gibbs into finishing the story he'd started. Tim looks up startled as he's usually Donny's story teller. Tony tells him not to worry, he's sure that Tim will be back on the best teller list before the week is out. Both Gibbs and Laurie head slap him for that remark as they head into the family room.

Tony rubs the back of his head, grumbling good-naturedly about the head slaps. Sarah tells Tim that she has a taping of the last time Gibbs was the story teller if he wants to listen to it.

As they head into the family room, Tim and Ziva are surprised to see Gibbs and Laurie sitting side by side on the couch, (as they hadn't been present the last time Gibbs told his story). Donny is sitting on Laurie's lap, showing her his bunny Plot. Once everyone is sitting down Gibbs asks Donny where they'd left off in the story.

"Umm...King Jed is wrapping Tandel's eyes so that they can fly back to his castle."

***
Jed asks Tandel if she will let him bind her eyes.

"Thym flies pretty fast, and we don't need your eyes to get worse."

Tandel nods at his logic and sits passively while he wraps a cloth around her eyes. He'd found the cloth in her backpack. It has many things that Jed himself uses or had used prior to his marriage to Shannon. Rope, candles, extra rations, and to his surprise some herbs are in there too. When he finishes, he looks for Crystal and asks her if she'll find Thym so that they can take Tandel back to Senrinca and his home.

When Thym enters the cave, King Jed looks at the blue dragon and offers an apology to the beast. "I realize that you were just trying to look out for my best interests. Thank you."

The dragon gives him a bashful smile before heading towards the cave entrance where he transforms into his dragon form. Crystal hovers near Tandel, not sure if she wants to go with the others back to Senrinca. Jed looks at the little pseudo-dragon, and says one word, "Please." The little dragon nods and wraps herself around Jed's proffered arm.

The flight from the dragon's cave to Jed's castle takes less than ten minutes. As they land in the courtyard, Jed starts yelling for Abdiel and Zavad, as well as Jamie to help him with his guest.

***

Tim looks at his boss in awe. He hasn't realized until now just how much attention Gibbs has paid to the stories he's been telling Donny. His green eyes reflect his pleasure that the older man thought enough of the stories to remember even the minor characters.
***

Thym waits until the others have dismounted to change form and follows King Jed into the throne room. Abdiel and Jamie are waiting for Jed as he strides into the room, carrying the still form of Tandel. Jamie quickly examines the elf, noting the bandage around her eyes and looks up at Jed for clarification.

Jed repeats what information he knows and Jamie gently cuts the bandages off so that he can inspect the elf's eyes. The wizard's medical skills are almost as great as his magical ones and he quickly ascertains what needs to be done to cure Tandel's eyesight. He has Zavad bring him some water and Tandel herself tells him of the herbs that are in her pack.

Jamie crushes the herbs and mixes them with the water, then gently sprinkles the mixture into Tandel's eyes. Tandel says nothing as the herbs touch her eyes, and Jamie has King Jed help him replace the bandages.

"Leave them on until the next sunset. I'll inspect them again at that time. Crystal, if you're here, I'd like your assistance tomorrow too. We might need to create a stronger potion if these herbs don't work."

"They'll work." The tone of Jed's voice doesn't leave anyone in doubt. They know that the king has the power of suggestion or something equally powerful. Tandel smiles under her bandages at the king's arrogance. She knows that it's up to Corellon if the herb mixture works, not King Jed, but likes the idea that he thinks he can influence a god.

***
"Wow, he really is like you isn't he Gibbs?" Tony cringes as everyone else in the room, except Laurie, turns to glare at him. Laurie just smirks and dodges the hand that pretends to smack her.
***

As night becomes day, Tandel asks King Jed if he will "show" her around his castle. The king is slightly surprised but agrees. The elf places a hand on his elbow and he takes her through the separate rooms, describing the kitchens, and the dining areas. He leads her up the stairs to the many guest rooms and even his den.

They go back downstairs and he takes her out into the gardens and she smiles as she recognizes some of the herbs that are growing by their scent. She frowns at some and when he asks her what the matter is she tells him that some of the herbs are deadly and poisonous if used incorrectly. Among them are elderberries, wolfsbane and belladonna/nightshade.

***
Gibbs looks around not sure if the herbs he's mentioned really are toxic or if he's just repeating something from Harry Potter. Laurie catches his eye and gives a slight nod, indicating that he's on target with the herbs and their toxicity.
***

Jed thanks Tandel for the information as he escorts her back inside and makes a mental note to ask Jamie and Abdiel about the herbs. He knows that some of them are used to make poison for the arrows that they use, but he wants confirmation now as to what the exact use is for all of the herbs.

On their way back inside, Tandel trips over one of the stepping stones. When Jed steadies her, he notices the small heart shaped scar she has on her shoulder. He asks her about it and she tells him about her brother who'd been taken in by evil clerics and how he'd branded her when she'd tried to save him.

***
Laurie knows immediately where that reference came from and Gibbs silently takes her left hand in his. Donny follows their linked hands and sees the scar on Laurie's palm. He reaches out and caresses the scar as his Granpa continues the story.
***

Jed says nothing as he touches the scar on Tandel's shoulder. The price of loving someone, of caring enough to try to save them. He thinks of his own scars, ones he obtained when trying to rescue his wife and daughter. He has much in common with this elf. He wonders again why Thym would have brought her to his kingdom and realizes that Thym might not have been the only factor in Tandel coming to Senrinca.

Leaving Tandel in the capable hands of his squire Zavad, King Jed heads towards his chapel and a confrontation with a god. He implores Corellon to communicate with him and explain why he brought Tandel to this land.

Surprisingly, Corellon descends and grants him an audience. He tells Jed that the cleric called Tandel is as precious to him as Jed's daughter had been to the king. She'd lost a lot of good friends and he wanted one last chance for his cleric to be happy. "Give her a chance, you can both be happy."

"I will if you will." Jed's tone is brooking no refusal. He's seen the cleric's unhappiness at losing not her eyesight but the skills that had made her a cleric/magic–user. Corellon blinks at the king's perception and nods in agreement. He'd hoped that Tandel would find someone worthy to be her soul mate and he has a feeling that King Jed is that man.

Corellon tells King Jed that when Jamie takes the bandages off Tandel will not only have her sight back; her cleric and magic-user abilities will be restored as well. Jed refrains from telling him that he'll believe it when he sees it.

After the evening meal, King Jed waits for the arrival of Thym and Crystal before allowing Jamie to remove Tandel's bandages. He knows the dragons are concerned for the elf and want to be there if anything goes wrong. The bandages come off and Jamie carefully washes the herbs away from Tandel's eyes.

The elf blinks against the slight sting as the water washes the last of the herbs away. She takes in the muted blue form of Thym the dragon/man and his companion Crystal the purple pseudo-dragon. Beside the two dragons are Jamie, the gentle wizard, his hands full of the water bowl and Abdiel his black locks hanging straight down his back. Zavad is sitting beside her, looking up at her with hope in his youthful eyes and face. Finally her eyes light on King Jed.

The silver-blue gaze meets with her lavender one and she knows that she's found her home, her heart and her soul. Their hands meet and Tandel feels not only her healing powers revive, but her magic-user ones too. As for Jed, he feels complete for the first time since his Queen and Princess had been killed. When Tandel winds her arms around Jed's neck and they exchange their first kiss they both know they have found their soul mate.
***
Gibbs looks at Donny who nods his approval. He'd asked for King Jed to meet his Queen and Granpa had done just what he'd said he would. Best of all, in Donny's eyes, Granpa was giving Donny a new Granma, even if Granpa didn't know it yet.

end...of Gibbs Tale anyway... :bubbles:

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