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PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2011 2:43 am 
Senior Field Agent
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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 account
Rated: FR13
Categories: General > Family
Characters: Abby Sciuto, Anthony "Tony" DiNozzo, Any NCIS Character(s), Dr. Donald "Ducky" Mallard, Jimmy Palmer, Leon Vance, Leroy Jethro Gibbs, Sarah McGee, Timothy McGee, Ziva David
Genre: Friendship, Romance
Warnings: Spoilers (minor ones for season 6/7)

Letters To Ducky

Letters to Ducky--Prologue

Tim sighs as he looks at the antique roll top desk that’s been sitting there, staring at him for almost a month now. He’s been avoiding it, or trying to ever since it arrived on his doorstep a week after Ducky’s funeral. He glares at the polished surface and can almost see Ducky frowning back at him for not keeping his promise to him, to start writing again.

Tim wipes a tear away, acknowledging how much he misses the M. E. He’s not sure what prompts him, but shortly he’s pulling some paper out of his printer and starts rooting around in some of his old college supplies. A quill pen, still in its wrapper, a gift from an old friend who’d loved his calligraphy writing so much she’d given him not just the quill but new nibs and in the corner of the box…there it is…an unopened ink bottle. Tim shakes the bottle and opens it, verifying that there is still ink inside. He dips the quill in and starts writing.

Dear Ducky,

I'm not sure exactly how much of this applies to you but as you know, "The Celts are a flamboyant people who loved to hear themselves talk and revered the power and magic of the spoken word.”

I may not be the verbal communicator that you were and I’ve always been better at writing my feelings down, so I've decided to write these letters to you so that you'll know we've all been attempting to keep our promises to you...some of us more so than others maybe, but you know, we miss you Ducky and this will be our way of telling you so.

Timothy McGee

Words in this post: 328
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 Post subject: Re: Letters To Ducky
PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2011 2:58 am 
Senior Field Agent
User avatar

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 account
a/n: for this chapter I had to bring in my friend and fellow author Shelbylou...Michelle wrote the entire wedding scene...thanks my beloved British twin. It is still a bit out of canon, and for those who love to cry at weddings, this is probably your

Chapter One: Year One: The Wedding

Dear Ducky…

It’s been only a few months since we lost you, but it seems like an eternity has passed. I know that when we last talked…or when I promised you that I would write, I had every intention of not doing so. But I couldn’t do that …not to you. You’ve always been a source of inspiration to me; I forgot to tell you that. I liked your stories; I wanted to listen to you even when Gibbs would head smack us into next year.

Gibbs…he’s a different man now…it’s hard to watch him. He keeps trying to go down to autopsy and ask you something. Even the director is wondering what to do; how to keep Gibbs or get Gibbs back to our Gibbs. Ohh, I know I’m not making sense but you know what I mean. It’s worse than before when he went to Mexico and then he came back and was so…nice. I almost wish that Dr. Fields would come and head smack him…she’s about the only one that might get away with it.

My parents…wow, what a difference from the Kopfs. I tell you Ducky I still Gibbs-smack myself every day for not being able to tell that something was hinky as Abby would say. Sarah tries to tell me that it was the drugs clouding my mind…but gee whiz…I feel like such a probie!

Tony and Sarah…oh yeah, they’re getting married. I know that he told you so, but it’s almost official now. I don’t know who’s more nervous, Tony or Sarah. Probably Tony as he still hasn’t told his dad, to my knowledge anyway.

Anyway, Ducky, we all miss you Gibbs most of all, *deep felt sigh here* I wish you could tell me how to help him. I’ll write more when I get a chance, probably sometime after the wedding.

Timothy McGee


Tim gazed out of Ducky’s…..Jimmy’s window and watched as the world passed by. It’s the first moment of peace that he’s been able to find this morning and even now, his mind is filled thoughts of the events that have bought him to this point. Ducky would have been proud, he knew that. Tony and Sarah were getting married today and every little detail had been delicately organized so that the day was perfect.

There was always going to be a gap though; a vast chasm that resided deep in everyone’s hearts that just couldn’t be filled and that came in the form of one Dr. Donald Mallard, the kindly M.E. that had everyone’s love as if he were family. It still felt strange not having him there and the fact that his death coincided with one of the most significant, pinnacle moments of Tim’s life meant that no one grieved for awhile afterwards.

As he stood there watching, he saw something that caught his eye; a shimmer, a blur of movement. Something was there but was gone in the blink of an eye. He was so engrossed in trying to catch it again that he didn’t notice the door opening behind him.

“Probie. Well, what do you think?” Tony stood there fiddling with his cufflinks, sporting a huge grin. Tim turned to look at him and couldn’t help but grin back.

“Looking good, DiNozzo. You scrub up well.”

“Gee, thanks, Probie.” Tony chuckled out. “Not looking to bad yourself.”


“So….” Tony said as he tried to assess the look in Tim’s eyes. “You think the girls are having fun?”

“Oh yeah. They’ve spent the night in the penthouse of one of the top hotels in Washington being pampered. I can safely say that they’ve enjoyed themselves.”

This had been one of Tim’s gifts to his sister because he knew that it was the one thing that she would like. She had spent the night with Ziva and Abby, in a suite with plenty of chocolate, champagne and beauty treatments. No doubt, they’d had a girly night playing with the gift baskets that Tim had had delivered to each of them.

“What was in the gift baskets? I mean, I know you spent a fair bit of money on them, but what was in them?”

“Just some stuff that they can play with. All the girly stuff that they like.” Tim thought about Tony’s comment and turned to him with a frown. “And how do you know how much I spent.”

“Molten Brown, Clinique, hell McGee you even paid for Chanel makeup in there….I’m an investigator and have to ask, how the hell did you know what to buy?”

“Well if you already knew, then why ask?” Tim asked softly. “And Mom helped me out.”

“Because McSuspicious, I want you to know that what you did, was special and appreciated. Your Mom? Good thinking.” Tony answered with a deep sincerity. “Anyway, what are you looking at?”

“Nothing. Just thinking.”

Tony cocked his head and grinned broadly as he nodded. “Okay. Hey, you wanna come check out the garden. It’s lookin’ good.”

“Sure, Tony.” Tim followed him out of the door and let the banter roll over him knowing that in a few hours, his friend would finally be legally, a part of his family.

“Oh my…..” Ziva felt her eyes well up at the sight of Sarah McGee standing there wearing her wedding dress. For lack of a better word, it was stunning. She stood there as she tried stop her tears from falling and rolled her Star of David through her fingers. “Sarah, you look wonderful.”

“Thanks, Zee.”

The dress was floor lengthy satin and hung elegantly on Sarah’s slender frame. The sweetheart neckline plunged enough to highlight the simple diamond pendant that Tony had given her the day before. Ziva watched as the sunlight that streamed through the windows, caught the Swarovski crystals in the bodice, making them sparkle.

“The gold looks good on you.” Sarah commented as she took in the sight of the strapless, platinum gold floor length bridesmaid dress. Abby chose that moment to walk through the door making Sarah grin. “You look gorgeous too. I love the hair.”

Abby grinned. “Well I couldn’t have pigtails today, could I? I will admit, the stylist is good.”

“Yeah, believe it or not, Tony suggested him.”

The stylist had been one of the guys at Tony’s salon and he’d seen Antonio working on numerous wedding hair styles over the years. He’d done them all proud, with Sarah’s hair pinned in a sleek net knot, high on her head to allow for the veil and crystal tiara. Abby and Ziva’s hair had been pinned loosely with the loose hair curled in big, bouncy smooth curls that hung perfectly. Sarah had decided against tiaras and had instead chosen a large flower fascinator that was in the shape of a platinum gold orchid.

“I believe it, you know what he’s like with his hair.” Abby giggled. “I have got one question though. How did Tim know what make-up to get? You know, there’s even a black lipstick in there with a note telling me not to wear it today, but it’s a little something from him. It’s Chanel!”

Ziva nodded. “Mine also had a little something in there. It had a bottle of the perfume that I wear.”

“I don’t know.” Sarah chimed in. “He’s shrewd when he wants to be. Look at this.” Sarah held out her hand and watched as the other two women cooed over the bracelet that she wore. “He got me that and wrote me a beautiful note.”

“He is special, dear.” Maggie McGee walked in the room after just having her hair done. She looked wonderful in the pale blue dress and shrug that she had bought specially for the day. “Oh no……” She pulled a tissue out the small clutch back and dabbed at her eyes.

“Mom? What’s wrong?” Sarah said as she picked up her train and moved to soothe her mother.

“Nothing, Sarah. Everything is just perfect. I just never thought I’d ever see my children again, let alone one of them getting married. You’re beautiful.”

“Mom, come on. No tears, okay. You’ll spoil that lovely makeup.” Sarah smiled at her mother warmly.

“Ahh, you see. That’s where the waterproof mascara comes in handy.”

Everyone laughed at the comment and turned when there was a knock at the door. Abby walked over to answer it and grinned at the sight of John standing there.

“Mr. McGee. Don’t you look handsome?” John leaned down and kissed Abby on the cheek.

“Thank you Abby. You’re looking lovely yourself. You girls ready?”

“Girls? John, it’s been a long time since I’ve been a girl.” Maggie joked. John frowned and moved over to her.

“You’re always gonna be my girl, Margaret McGee.” He kissed her chastely before turning to everyone else in the room. “Sarah, my God. Honey you look gorgeous.”

“Thanks Dad. The car waiting?”

“Sure is. Tony was a nervous wreck handing the keys over to the Morgan and told me to take good care of it. I will admit, it’s a wonderful car to drive.”

“I think Ducky would approve.” Ziva added softly. “There is a little part of him, here with us.”

“Ducky’s always with us, Ziva.” Abby said happily. “I know it.”

“Okay, ladies. The other car is waiting for you three.” He nodded at Maggie, Ziva and Abby before holding out his arm for Sarah to take. “As for me and you, my gorgeous daughter, we will be arriving in the Morgan shortly after.”

Sarah stopped to pick up her bouquet of white roses, delicate orchids and Calla lilies. John guided her out of the door but paused for long enough to let the bridesmaids pick up their smaller bouquets of white roses, and follow him out to the car that would take them to Jimmy’s house.


“Hey, Boss.” Tony greeted as the guests settled down in the vast back garden. Gibbs had taken his time looking around and had been pleased to see that Jimmy had kept the garden exactly as Ducky had originally planned it, roses included.

“DiNozzo. McGee. It’s looking great, Tony.”

“Thanks, Boss. You don’t think it’s a bit much?” Tony looked at the wooden gazebo and smiled at the white sashes that adorned it, finished off perfectly with large flowing bow.

“Nope. It looks good. I’m just happy you liked it.” Gibbs had spent months crafting the gazebo that would be used but left the décor in Sarah’s capable hands.

“I loved it. I spoke to Jimmy and he said he’d help move it to our house when we get back. Probie’s being roped in too.”

“You alright, Tim?” Gibbs asked when he saw the faraway, distant look on Tim’s face as he gazed at the roses. Truth be told, Tim had seen the shimmer again, only this time he caught a glint of something familiar in it.

“What?” He asked distractedly.

“I asked if you were alright.” Gibbs reiterated.

“Oh...Um, yeah. I’m good.” Tim said with a smile and patted Tony on the back. “Looks like everyone’s here.”

Tony looked around at the guests and grinned. It was supposed to be a relatively small affair, with just family and close friends but as time went on, the list grew and so, sitting in the white chairs were the Vance’s, Jack, Mike, Jimmy and a whole load of other people affiliated with NCIS, Sarah’s job and some other good friends of the happy couple. All in all, the grand total came to about fifty people. The only people that were missing now, was the bride, bridesmaids and Tim’s parents.

“I think we better move to the front. You ready?” Tony looked at Tim and knew he’d made the right decision in making him his best man.

“Am I ready? You’re the one getting married! I should be asking you that question.” Tim threw back.

“You’re both ready.” Gibbs looked at his watch. “Come on, they’ll be here soon.”

They all moved to the front and Gibbs moved forward to shake hands with the man he’d come to know as his eldest son. “Congratulations, DiNozzo.”

“Thanks, Boss.” Tony pulled Gibbs in for a hug. “For everything.”


John pulled up behind the white limousine that Tony and Sarah had organized for the bridesmaids and Maggie. He glanced over at Sarah with a smile. “You ready, honey?”

“As ready as I’ll ever be.” She replied and watched her father step out of the car before moving round to open the door for her. He helped her step out but moved aside to let Maggie and the girls fuss over her dress.

“Maggie, you go on and let them know we’re here. Tell the band to start the march in about 10 minutes.”

“Band? John, honestly. It’s a small string quartet. One day…”

“Yeah, yeah. You’ll have me educated.” He chuckled and kissed his wife. “Scoot.”

Maggie looked at her husband standing there in his full regimental dress uniform and sighed. “You look handsome in your uniform. I’ll give you that.”

“Mom!” Sarah chimed in with mock disgust. “Jeez, there are some things a daughter should never know about their parents.” She left out the ‘especially when you’ve only known then for a short time’ knowing that it would hurt the couple deeply.

“Sarah McGee, one day you will understand.” Maggie giggled as she kissed her on the cheek and walked through the gates to the back yard.

“Okay, let’s go and get you married, shall we.”

John let Sarah take his hand and they walked towards the house waiting for the music that would signal the start of a lifetime of happiness for Sarah and Tony.

The string quartet had started to play soft music just before the wedding party arrived and Tony watched as the four very talented musicians let their nimble fingers fly across the violins. Tim was busy talking to Tony, but saw his Mom walking over to them with a huge grin on her face.

“Oh, you boys look lovely. Just lovely.” She said before leaning over and kissing Tim’s cheek. “Well, your bride is waiting round the front, Tony.”

“She’s on time!” Tony said with a glance of his watch. “I thought it was tradition for the bride to be late?”

Maggie laughed heartily at that and shook her head. “That’s only for the dis-organized ones. Sarah has been so excited that she got up extra early to make sure everything was ready. Tim, I want to thank you for last night. It was lovely. From what I heard this morning, the girls felt as though they were in a spa with all the treats you gave them.”

“You’re welcome, Mom. Did you and Dad like the presents?” Tim couldn’t help but smile at the look of contentment on her face and knew that he’d done right by booking them into a suite at the same hotel that Sarah was at. He’d also arranged for them to have a meal at one of the high end restaurants in town before going to watch a show.

“They were wonderful. I don’t think your dad’s ever going to take that watch off. Now, what I want to know is, how did you know what perfume I wore?”

“Trade secret, if I told ya…..”

“Hmm. Oh….” She turned briefly when the wedding march started to play but managed to give Tony a quick hug before moving to sit next to Gibbs.


“Yeah, Probie.”

“Take care of her for me?”

“Always….Bro.” Tim shook his head and stood next to Tony as they watched Sarah float down the aisle, arm in arm with John.

Tony couldn’t keep his eyes off of Sarah as she moved down the aisle with an elegant, graceful beauty that seemed to shine. This was it, the one moment in time that he’d waited so long for. As they neared, he pulled back her veil and gazed into his bride’s watery eyes.

“You’re the most beautiful woman ever, Sarah McGee.” He quipped and watched her face melt into a smile. “And I love you.”

“I love you too, Tony. We’re really doing this.”

“Yes we are.” Tony leaned down to kiss her but parted as the priest cleared his throat. “Sorry.” He muttered as the crowd behind him laughed loudly. The priest simply nodded with a small smile on his lips and opened up the book that he carried………….

“Dearly beloved, we are gathered here to witness the union of Anthony DiNozzo Junior and Sarah McGee in holy matrimony. I would like to get the formalities out of the way, so if there is anyone here who doesn’t think that this man and woman should be lawfully joined together, speak now or forever hold your peace.”

Silence reined over the crowd and Tony couldn’t help but let a small breath of relief cross his lips. He hadn’t been expecting anyone to stand up and stop the ceremony, but it wouldn’t surprise him if his father turned up at that exact moment to cause problems. He glanced up at the priest and watched as the kindly clergyman smiled at the response.

“Who gives this woman away to be married to this man?” He gently asked and waited for John to step forward.

“I do.” John took his daughters left hand and placed it in Tony’s before placing his own hand on top and closing his fingers briefly to hold them both. “With all the love I possess.”

Sarah let a tear roll down her face at her father’s last words, but offered him a warm smile. Tony reached over and wiped the tear away from her cheek with a smile and adoration in his eyes. He was torn back to the ceremony when the priest started to speak once again.

“Do you, Anthony DiNozzo Junior, take Sarah McGee as your lawfully wedded wife? Will you love, honor, comfort and cherish her from this day forward, forsaking all other, keeping only unto her for as long as you both shall live?”

Tony grinned as he gazed into Sarah’s eyes. “I do. Forever and always.”

He watched as Sarah’s eyes welled up with happiness once more and cocked his head slightly. His attention was drawn back to the celebrant as he started to ask Sarah the same question.

“Do you, Sarah McGee, take Anthony DiNozzo Junior as your lawfully wedded husband? Will you love, honor, comfort and cherish him from this day forward, forsaking all others, keeping only unto him for as long as you both shall live?”

Once again, the bride and groom were gazing at each other with nothing but complete love and happiness. “I do. Forever and always.”

Tony felt his own eyes fill up as she mirrored his words exactly.

“Sarah and Tony have both chosen to use the traditional wedding vows, but they have both asked that they be able to say a few words at this point. Tony?”

Tony nodded and turned to Sarah.

“Sarah, I want you to know how happy you have made me. There was always something missing from my life before we finally got together, but now I’m complete. I know things have been hard for you, but I want you to know, that no matter what happens I will always be by your side. You are my heart and my soul and I promise that I will still love you when we are both old and grey.”

There was a collective sob from the audience and Tony turned to see Abby, Ziva and Maggie wiping their eyes. He grinned when he saw Tim wiping at his own eyes before turning back to Sarah.

“I love you, Sarah.” That one sentence was filled with so much love and joy, that Sarah had to fight the urge to kiss him there and then.

“And Sarah….” The priest prompted.

“Tony, I know things haven’t been easy and the things that have happened have been hard. You were there for me when I needed you. You are my rock, my heart and my reason for living. You have given me so much and for that I thank you. I love you and nothing will ever change that. You have stolen my heart and kept it safe with the warmth that you gave. I want you to know, that no matter what happens or whatever life throws at us, there will always be ‘us’. We will always have each other and I will be there with you every step of the way. I love you Tony.”

“Thank you, Sarah and Tony. And now for the vows.” He turned the page and looked at Tony. “Tony, repeat after me, please.”

“I, Anthony DiNozzo Junior, take thee, Sarah McGee, to be my lawfully wedded wife. To have and to hold, from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love, honor and cherish, ‘til death do us part, and thereto I plight thee my troth.”

As Tony repeated the vows loudly, Tim glanced up with tear filled eyes and saw the shimmer once again, only this time, it was slightly more distinct in its form. With a smile, he reached over his parents and tapped Gibbs’ hand. Gibbs glanced at Tim and followed the short nod that he gave, only to be overwhelmed with emotion by what he saw. When he turned back to Tim, he reached out and grasped his youngest son’s hand briefly as the tears flowed. They turned their attention back to the wedding ceremony where Sarah was saying her vows.

“I, Sarah McGee, take thee, Anthony DiNozzo Junior, to be my lawfully wedded Husband. To have and to hold, from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love, honor and cherish, ‘til death do us part, and thereto I plight thee my troth.”

The celebrant grinned broadly as the couple’s entwined hands tightened slightly. It was a small move, but one that exuded nothing but love.

“Timothy, the rings.” He said to Tim and held out his bible for Tim to place the rings. Tim stepped forward and placed Sarah’s platinum and diamond ring on the bible. “May this ring be blessed so he who gives it and she who wears it may abide in peace and continue in love until life’s end.”

Once the blessing was done, he held out the bible for Tony to take the ring. “Tony, repeat after me, please.”

Tony held the ring at the tip of Sarah’s ring finger and waited for the priest to finish talking. He turned back to his bride and smiled.

“With this ring I thee wed. Wear it as a symbol of our love, commitment and devotion to each other.” With that, he pushed the ring down onto Sarah’s hand and pulled it up so that he could kiss the band, giving it his own blessing.

The blessing was repeated with Tony’s ring and once she said the exact same words as her groom uttered moments before, she pushed the ring on his finger. The quartet started to play Ave Maria softly as the celebrant gave his final blessing.

“May this couple be prepared to continue to give, be able to forgive and experience more and more joy with each passing day, with each passing year. Anthony DiNozzo Junior and Sarah McGee, are now beginning their married life together, we hope that they may have loving assistance from their family, the constant support of friends, and a long life with good health and everlasting love.

In so much as Anthony DiNozzo Junior and Sarah McGee have consented to live forever together in wedlock, and have witnessed the same before this company, having given and pledged their troth, each to the other, and having declared same by the giving and receiving of a ring, I now pronounce them husband and wife.”

Sarah and Tony grinned broadly at each other and Sarah finally gave up her tenuous hold on the tears that she’d held back. Tony reached up and wiped them away with his thumb. “Tony, you may now kiss the bride.” Tony leaned down and kissed Sarah chastely and smiled into it when he heard the priest make announcement that was guaranteed to make his heart soar. “Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you the loving couple, Mr. and Mrs. DiNozzo.”

The applause that followed was loud, but Tony and Sarah heard and saw nothing but each other as their love flowed strongly between them. Tim watched with pride as his new brother-in-law kissed his little sister with tenderness and turned back to the shimmer that had been there throughout. He felt Gibbs’ hand clamp down on his shoulder and knew that Gibbs was watching the familiar figure as well. With a smile and slight bow of his head, Ducky turned and faded out, content in the knowledge that his family was happy.

a/n: at the time this chapter was written Flesh and Blood had not yet aired, which is another reason for the slightly out of canon feel.

Words in this post: 4250
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 Post subject: Re: Letters To Ducky
PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2011 3:21 am 
Senior Field Agent
User avatar

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 account
Chapter 2: Year 2: Changes

Chapter Notes
There are some losses for which there is no consolation. -

Dear Ducky,

It’s only been a few months since the last time I wrote but I just had to tell you about the current events that are going on around here. The pen and ink that I’m using are from an old friend of mine. She gave them to me when I graduated out of MIT and I emailed her the other day to let her know that I found a use for them. She emailed me back saying that she felt honored that I wanted to use them as a way to keep my promise to you. She also asked that when I finally start writing again she’d like me to start autographing my books with them.

Tony and Sarah just got confirmation that they’re going to be parents. They have decided to wait until Sarah’s further along to find out what the baby’s sex is going to be. And with that announcement, my parents have decided to put off moving to Hawaii until after the baby is born just in case Tony and or Sarah need the extra support. Personally Ducky, Tony will need the support more; we both know the reason why.

On the NCIS front, we’re at our wits end here Ducky. Gibbs is either way too quiet or way too mad and none of us know what to do or say around him anymore. Vance even suspended him for two weeks starting today. I understand Gibbs is grieving Ducky, that he misses his best friend and confidant, but we need our team leader back. I just don’t know the best way to bring him to his senses; how to make him see that we still need his input and support.

Well, it’s getting late and Tony wants to start with a campfire in the morning. I promised to bring the coffee and donuts so I’d better close for the night. Oh and Abby asked me to tell you that she has named her water buffalo Beatrix yes after the author and Jimmy wanted to mention that he’s going to keep the house for visiting NCIS family and friends. My parents are staying there actually and Mom says she’s envious of the rose bushes. Good night Ducky.

Your friend,

Timothy McGee

Tim enters the squad room and places the coffee container on his desk as he sets up the small round table that the team is using again for the campfires. He places Ziva’s tea near her chair and Tony’s hazelnut with three sugars on the table next to the folders that they’ll be using this week unless they get a call out. Tim then sets up his laptop and starts typing wanting everything to be ready for Tony when the current lead agent comes out of the meeting room with Vance.

Tony leans over the railing looking down at his senior agent with fondness and respect. Tim has really stepped up the past few days, picking up Tony’s rhythm with ease…almost like he had when Gibbs had journeyed to Mexico.

“He’s doing well, DiNozzo. Not that I expect anything less from this team, but you two really do work well together. I have to admit that this team continues to impress me even with Gibbs in absentia.”

“What are your thoughts on Gibbs Director?”

“Honestly DiNozzo, I don’t know what to think other than he needs a firm head slap.”

Tony grins at the image of anyone smacking Gibbs upside the head. Then he frowns as he wonders just what they can do to bring Gibbs back to the fold. Tony sighs as he contemplates his future with NCIS and that of his friend, mentor and almost father figure, Leroy Jethro Gibbs.

“Director, is there a position open at all where Gibbs would still have some form of command yet not be a field commander?”

“What are you thinking DiNozzo?”

“Gibbs is used to going down to autopsy and talking to Ducky about what we’ve found at a crime scene. If there was a command position, similar say to yours, where he was more administrative yet still had access to the MCRT when he needed us or we needed his advice and input, then maybe he could accept Ducky being gone a bit easier.”

Vance nods thoughtfully and tells Tony that he’ll see what he can come up with. “In the meantime, tell your team what I’ve told you DiNozzo: you’re all doing a good job and keep up the good work.”

“Thanks Director, I’ll relay the message.” Tony can see Ziva arriving and heads downstairs to inform Tim and Ziva about the day ahead and what Vance has said. As they gather for the daily campfire, Tony thanks Tim for the coffee and the younger man asks how Sarah’s handling her pregnancy.

“She’s doing better than I am actually. Kinda scares me to think of being a father at my age.”

“You don’t give yourself enough credit, Tony, but if you want to talk about it, why don’t you talk to my dad or Gibbs?”

At Tim’s question all three agents stare each other in the face and share a group head slap. If anything might bring Leroy Jethro Gibbs out of his doldrums, hearing that Tony’s going to be a father might just do it. Then again, since Gibbs had entered his current funk just after Tony and Sarah had gotten married. Tony sighs and looks up at Tim.

“I don’t suppose you have any ideas in that McBrainiac head of yours do you Probie?”

“If you mean in regards to Gibbs, the only other thing I could think of was calling Dr. Fields in. Gibbs seemed to respond to her the few times she was here. If you want I can call my dad and see what he thinks.”

“Yeah do that. We need El Jefe back even if it’s just in advisory mode.”

The other two look up and Tony tells them of his conversation with Vance. “Gibbs would be forced into retirement in a few years regardless. This way we keep him in our court so to speak. Vance didn’t confirm or deny, but he did look kinda thoughtful when I asked him about giving Gibbs more administrative duties.”

“Keep him out of autopsy but still team involved; that’s good thinking Tony.”

“Thanks. Okay you two, so far the day is clear, let’s work a few cold cases and then see what happens.”


Gibbs sits back on his porch with a beer in one hand and a picture in the other. It’s one of the few pictures that he has of himself and Ducky. They’re both smiling at something and Gibbs tilts his bottle in a silent toast to his absent friend.

“Oh Jethro what are you doing?”

“Trying to figure it out Duck. You managed to come back for Tony’s wedding; Tim and I both saw you there. Why would you be there and not here?”

“Be reasonable Jethro. I’m only allowed so many visits and then the duration is limited. Would you rather I miss the birth of Anthony and Sarah’s child so that you may talk to me? Or miss the opportunity to be there when Timothy finally starts his writing career again? And you really need to talk to him about that Jethro. He needs to start writing again and not just to me.”

“What do you mean Duck?”

“Why he’s been writing me letters Jethro, letting me know just how you are doing. Why else do you think I’m here?”

“Oh I dunno Duck…figured you could be a figment of my imagination. Too many beers, too many memories, not enough answers.”

“Ohh Jethro, the answers you seek are arriving shortly. Please promise me you will not take out your frustrations on her.”

“I’ll try Ducky. That’s all I can promise at this point.” Gibbs eyes close as the heat of the day coupled with the amount of alcohol he’s consumed lull him into sleep. That’s where Laurie finds him an hour later. Rather than move him inside, she takes some lounge chair cushions and placing them beside him, eases him onto them with little effort. Then she starts cleaning up the beer bottles.

Gibbs wakens to the smell of freshly brewing coffee and steaks on the grill. He blinks and suppresses a small groan at the headache he has given himself by drinking so much on such a warm day. He rolls to his feet and sways. A firm hand under his elbow steadies him and he looks at his companion.

“How do you always know when I need you?”

“I’m still figuring that one out. For now, take these and drink your coffee the steaks are almost done.”

Gibbs takes the offered aspirin and sips at his coffee, letting the brew calm him when nothing else can. He watches as she pulls the steaks off the grill and brings the meat over to the counter. She then pulls a platter out of the cupboard and pulls two foil wrapped packages off the grill before shutting the grill off.

Gibbs opens the closest foil and finds warm buttered bread. The next one yields potato spears in a garlic and butter sauce. Filling his plate, Gibbs leads the way into his living room and sits down on the couch pulling the coffee table close. Laurie walks in with her own plate and a glass of water.

Gibbs is mildly surprised when she sits on the floor across from him instead of beside him on the couch.

“I haven’t bitten a human in several years and certainly not when there’s food in front of me.”

“Really? I heard you were biting heads off at work, and decided not to take any chances.”

“I-” he ruefully shakes his head. He has to admit he has been a bit more aggressive towards the team lately.

Laurie waits and continues eating letting Gibbs choose the pace of the conversation. When the meal is over, Gibbs clears the plates and refills their drinks. Laurie changes places to sit on the couch and Gibbs smiles when he sees that she’s inhabiting the seat he’d just vacated.

When Gibbs starts towards the window Laurie looks at him. That look, so similar to Shannon’s, the one that says talk to me brings him back to her side.

“Why do I still expect to find him there? It’s been almost a year since we lost him and I still find myself going there to talk to him. It’s just…it’s frustrating, for me and the team.”

Laurie says nothing for a few minutes then asks, “Is it just after a case where you go out into the field?”

“Usually and no, I’m not retiring.” Gibbs is adamant about that.

“Then don’t; just find something that will take you away from the field work for a while but still enable you to work with your team. Some sort of administrative consultant where you’re still an active part of their lives, but you’re not continually disappointing yourself when you come back to base and your friend is no longer there to talk to.”


“Or something similar after all you have the experience to take over as the director which I know that you’ll never willingly do; so find a position that exploits your skills without you having to face mandatory retirement in a few years.”

“Is that your master plan too?”

She shakes her head at him. “You never did investigate me, did you?”

Gibbs has the grace to admit that he never has. “You just always show up when I need you; I never thought it would be necessary. I know that you’re black ops and as such I may never find out much information on you.”

She has to smile at his logical reasoning even if part of her is disappointed that he never took the time to look into her background. She sighs and tells him about several new opportunities that have been created for other agencies whose agents can’t participate in field work anymore, yet are still working actively as consultants for the agents in the field.

She stands up and he catches her hand in his. “I’m not leaving Jethro; I just need a trip to the head.”

When she comes back out he’s waiting for her in the hallway. Taking her once again by the hand he leads her to the porch swing then he sits beside her and asks,

“May I ask how long you are here for?” he’s hoping it’s not her usual two or three hours in-between tours of duty.

“Well, providing nothing comes up, would you mind putting up with me for a day or two while I’m here I can arrange a meeting with SecNav and see if we can get a position created for NCIS’s newest consultant.”

“You’re taking it for granted that I want the position.”

“The way I see it you currently have three options open to you the first of which is going back out to the field could lead to you getting permanently suspended or fired and you don’t need that on your record. Your second option is early retirement and I just don’t see you doing that anytime soon. The third option is trying to get this position for you so that you still have an active hand with your team just not as much field work involved.”

“You left out just plain quitting.”

“I don’t see you as a quitter Leroy Jethro Gibbs. I could be wrong, but the man I’ve come to know isn’t a quitter. He gets down sometimes, maybe even knocked for a loop, but the man you are today isn’t one who wants to quit even if it seems to be the only other option left to him.”

“I did once before.” he’s thinking about the time he went to Mexico for over four months.

“Did you really or was it more running away from the memories that were too hard to face after the trauma you’d just been through. Memories that needed time to be properly sorted and put back into place so that you could face reality and the real world again.”

“Is that what I’m doing this time?”

“No, Jethro. This time you’ve lost someone close to you. How long did you grieve?”

“What? You were there for most of it.”

“Yeah and two even three days isn’t near long enough to get over the loss of a close friend. Especially someone who managed to penetrate that wall of muscle called your heart. I suppose you and your team were thrown right back into active duty within a week of Dr. Mallard’s funeral.”

“Something like that yeah.”

“How many times did you tell the team to pack it in early or go home and get some rest early during that first month and how many times did you stay at work finishing up their reports for them? When you were granted weekends off did you encourage them to spend the time with their families? And out of those weekends, how many times did you allow yourself the luxury to mourn the loss of your friend? Or is it just beer binges like the one I walked into earlier?”

“I don’t binge…or at least not that often. But you’re right in that I haven’t allowed myself to think about him being gone. I forget until I go down there and then he’s not there but Palmer is and my friend is supposed to be there, Damnit!”

The tears, the deep heartfelt cry for the loss of his friend surface and Laurie just cradles him in her arms. Running her hand through his silver hair she waits for the emotional breakthrough to finish its course. When his breathing calms she keeps an arm around him and her hand in his as she suggests moving inside. Gibbs nods and leads the way upstairs to his bedroom where he lies down on the bed. He pulls her into his embrace not wanting to let her go. Needing her warmth and the contact he has with her he spoons up against her, cradling her to him.

“Tell me a story about him. Tell me about your friend.”

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 Post subject: Re: Letters To Ducky
PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2011 3:36 am 
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Chapter 3: Year 2: Hello Donny

Dear Ducky,

I don’t know how it happened but wow…talk about a complete turn around. Okay maybe not a complete turn around but a happier Gibbs. The last time I wrote to you we were all worried about him and the fact that he’d been suspended etcetera. Turns out that Vance only said it was suspension; maybe to snap Gibbs out of his funk or whatever, but it worked. Well sort of. Gibbs still took two weeks off and then when he came back Vance offered him a job as a consultant. How weird is that? We didn’t even know we had consultants but Gibbs is now one of Vance’s Assistant Directors. And he’s consulting not just with our team but all the NCIS teams around the country. Vance has suggested that he (Vance) might be moving but thankfully Gibbs is still based here which is awesome.

If I seem really exuberant you’ll have to forgive me, this is the first time that I’ve beenmade an uncle. Yep, Tony and Sarah had their little boy about three weeks ago around the same time that Gibbs went on vacation, and Ducky they named me his godfather! I hope you don’t mind but they named him after you. They’re going to call him Donald, Donny for short while he’s growing up. Sarah’s doing just fine too.

OH I almost forgot…Tony’s our new Team Leader! The only downside to the whole thing is that when spring hits Mom and Dad are going to be moving to Hawaii. It’s almost too cold now, but they want to make sure that Tony and Sarah are going to be okay with the new baby. Dad and Tony have really been hitting it off lately and they’ve even gotten Gibbs to come over and spend Sundays with them.

What’s really neat is that Donny’s birthday actually did fall on your birthday, Duck. The only thing that would have made the day more special is if you were still with us. Oh I know that you are in spirit, (and I think I saw your spirit there that day) but we miss our storytelling medical examiner.

Good night Ducky

Timothy McGee

“DiNozzo, call the team together; meet me in conference room two in ten minutes.”

“Yes sir.”

Tony turns to Tim and Ziva who are just arriving on the elevator. Tony takes a hurried sip of the coffee Tim hands him before telling the others that Director Vance wants to talk to them in the conference room.

“How did he sound, Tony?”

“What do you mean Tim?”

“Did it sound like he’s going to disband us or did he sound, I don’t know, okay with our current team standing?”

“I can’t really say, Probie. He just requested we all meet him in the conference room.”


“Don’t worry, Tim, I won’t let him disband us. We’re a team; a strong team and we have proven ourselves to him.”

Still Tony had to admit that he was worried. It was rare that Vance called the entire team upstairs. Rarer still when he included Abby and now Jimmy into the mix.

“Before you all start jabbering at me; no, I am not disbanding the MCRT. I do however have an announcement to make.” Vance enters the room and motions for everyone to sit down. Once they do, he looks at the trio that currently compromises the MCRT.

“Are you three content to stay as you are; that is a three man team? No, I have not fired Gibbs nor has he retired. He is on a two week vacation effective immediately. No, Miss Sciuto, I will not explain more until Gibbs comes back from said vacation. That being said, I do not want to find out that the lot of you decided to go and pay him a visit.”

He glares at Abby, Tony and Ziva for added effect. Tim and Jimmy glance at each other and nod their compliance to Vance’s decree. Tim raises his hand and Vance sighs.

“Yes, Agent McGee?”

“So the question you asked us, regarding our status as a three man team? I take it that you don’t want an answer for the next two weeks?”

“That is correct. Take this time and decide if you want to stay a three man team, or if you want me to have Agent Wilson brought in full time.” Vance leaves the room and the team stares at each other in confusion.

“If Gibbs is not fired, why would the Director want us to decide on a three man team, Tony?”

“I don’t know Ziva. Maybe he’s found a way for Gibbs to stay with NCIS and yet not be running down to Autopsy for Ducky’s advice. I just don’t know.”

Tim looks at Tony and says thoughtfully, “You told Vance though about our thoughts about an administrative position. Maybe he’s been able to come up with one.”

Abby stares at the two men not believing what she’s hearing. “You’re telling me that you’re putting Gibbs out to pasture? You’re making him decide between what, retirement or administration? Gibbs would kill you if he found out!”

“Abby, we as a team talked about this. Gibbs is too used to going down and talking to Ducky. You know that when he tries to, he gets frustrated and angry; not so much with us as with himself. We had Tony talk to Vance about a position that would allow Gibbs to still interact with us, and yet he wouldn’t be so apt to head down to Autopsy.”

“You guys talked! I said that Gibbs wouldn’t go for it! This is Gibbs we’re talking about. He’s just grieving!”

Jimmy puts up a hand before the others can say anything more. “We know Abby, but he’s not healing from the grief. Every time that he comes downstairs, that room is empty and his questions are going unanswered. He won’t talk to me because I’m not Dr. Mallard.”

“So, he still comes and talks to me!”

“Abby, that’s enough. The decision has been made. Tim, Ziva, I think we can all agree that for now we stay a three man team and bring in Wilson when the caseload gets too high for us to handle.” Tony looks at his friends, his teammates for their approval.

Tim and Ziva both nod their agreement. Abby stews for a few minutes then stomps out of the room and down to her lab. Jimmy looks at the other three.

“I’d like to request an assistant of my own if at all possible. I know that right now we don’t need one, but I’d like to start training someone if you three don’t mind.”

Tony has the grace to look chagrined. “My apologies, Jimmy, we forgot that you were Ducky’s assistant and therefore don’t have one of your own. I’ll mention it to Vance and then I can have Tim look up some files for you if you want. You don’t mind do you Tim?”

“No, not at all, I should apologize as well for not thinking about it sooner. We’ll get you set up Dr. Palmer.”

Jimmy grins at the doctor status that Tim awards him. He leaves the room, a smile still gracing his features as he heads downstairs. Ziva looks at her male contemporaries and asks what she can do to help. Tony grimaces as he thinks about Abby and her reactions to what they had discussed.

“Normally Ziva, I’d have you go talk to Abby. Right now, I’m not sure that even Gibbs could calm her down. I…you wouldn’t want to go check on my wife would you?”

Ziva brightens visibly at the thought of spending time with Sarah. The younger woman still has a few weeks left before she’s due to deliver and is home under doctor’s orders to stay off of her feet.

“I would feel honored Tony. Do you need me to get any groceries for you on the way?”

“I think we’re all set. I picked up her pickles and peanut butter last night as well as the jalapenos and rocky road ice cream.”

Tim grimaces at his sister’s cravings but knows that it won’t last for too much longer. Ziva laughs at Tim’s expression and heads out to visit Sarah. Tony stares at his partner, his brother-in-law, his best friend and now Tony’s senior agent.

“Can we actually do this McGee?”

“Do what Tony?”

“A three man MCRT? We haven’t done one of those for almost five years and you know what our caseload is like.”

Tim stands up and comes to stand next to Tony. “We can do it Tony for three very good reasons all of whom just left. Once Abby comes around that is. In the meantime, I’ll go look up some files for Jimmy and maybe you can call Gibbs. You know, see if he’ll come talk to us since Vance said we can’t go see him.”

Tony blinks as he realizes what Tim just said. “You’re going behind Vance’s back.”

“No, I’m manipulating what he told us so that we can all get some answers.” Tim leaves the room and Tony stands there for a few minutes before chuckling at Tim’s logic. Tony pulls out his cell phone and hits his speed dial for Gibbs.

“Yeah, Gibbs.”

“Vance just gave us some news. We need a team conference is it okay to come over tonight or would you rather come here?”

“I’ll meet the team at your place 20:00 hours.”

Tony hangs up and heads downstairs.


Gibbs turns and looks at Laurie. “What did I just agree to?”

“You’re letting your family know that you’ll be back in two weeks. This way you can answer some of their questions and let them know; let them see that you are healing.”

He pulls her close. “I’m not sure that I want to tell them. It still sounds like I’m quitting or giving up.”

She gives him a soft whap on the head. “Hey, you’re not quitting and you’re definitely not giving up. So stop thinking that way. There is nothing wrong with being a consultant.”

“For you maybe, I’m not the consulting type.”

“Oh whatever…you’ve been a consultant for years, if you just stop and think about it. Why else does the team come and sit on the steps if not to ask your advice. That’s what a consultant does. They give valuable advice to others. The main difference is that while you could still be based here, you would probably be doing more traveling.”

“Based here? Still at NCIS?”

“Sure why not? You’d be a junior assistant, and therefore wouldn’t necessarily be needed out in California.”

Gibbs sits down on his porch swing, still holding her as he takes in what she’s telling him. As much as he hates to admit it, her idea of being a consultant is starting to appeal to him.

“You know, you could discuss this with Tony and Tim and the others. Ask their opinion and see what they think. You still have a full two weeks to finish making your decision regardless.”

Gibbs nods and sets the swing in motion with a kick of his foot. Laurie stays still, content for the moment. She knows better than to force Gibbs into anything, but she does think that Gibbs could be happy as a consultant, if he would only give himself the chance. Laurie closes her eyes, snuggling closer to this man of contrasts.

As for Leroy Jethro Gibbs, he leans back and lets the events of the past few days float through his mind. From the suspension to Laurie’s arrival and now her assertion that he could become a consultant and not just for his team but for other teams as well. He rests his chin on Laurie’s head, thinking about the teams that are ranked lower than his own. Would his team be number one if they hadn’t had his guidance? Surely if he can do that for one team he can help others become just as well qualified as Tony, Tim and Ziva.

Sleep overcomes the couple, neither of them waking until it’s almost time for Gibbs to show up at Tony and Sarah’s. Gibbs starts to shift Laurie so that he can leave when she opens her eyes and gives him a mock glare. He grins back at her, letting her know that he’s going to be okay going to Tony’s on his own.

Laurie says nothing as she watches him leave. Much as she’d like to go with him, he needs this time with his family and for the moment, that family does not include her. A beeping horn brings her attention back to Gibbs who waves at her to get in the Charger.

Two hours later and the entire team is gathered at Bethesda waiting for news on Sarah and Tony’s new son. Gibbs paces, stopping only long enough to sip at the coffee that someone handed to him upon their arrival. Soon a nurse comes out and tells the small family that mother father and son are doing fine. Gibbs watches as the team he calls family hugs each other in quiet excitement.

A movement to his right brings his attention to the woman responsible for Sarah and Donny’s safety. Both Gibbs and Laurie had sensed something amiss when they’d pulled into the DiNozzo yard and both had been running when they’d hit the porch. Gibbs had called for an ambulance while Laurie and Ziva coached Sarah through the birth. Laurie is smiling through tear-misted eyes as she hands Gibbs his grandson.

“Here you go Grandpa; meet Donald DiNozzo.”

a/n: I figure that Tim’s parents are either on their way or in the room with Tony and Sarah already. At the time of the original story, season eight hadn’t started yet and therefore we hadn’t seen the healing starting between the two DiNozzo men so Tony Sr. won’t be making an appearance.

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 Post subject: Re: Letters To Ducky
PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2011 3:45 am 
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Chapter 4: Year 3: Granpa Jefro

Dear Ducky,

Well another year (almost two) has come and gone. During this time, we’ve had a few changes at NCIS. Probably the most noticeable is Vance leaving. He and his family moved back out to California. Although, now that I think about it, Jimmy and Ziva are dating now and Gibbs as I told you in the last letter is doing so much better Ducky. He’s starting to interact with us more and honestly I think that’s more to Donny’s credit than the rest of us.

Donny…are kids supposed to grow this fast Ducky? Honestly he was already crawling and standing at only 8 months and do you know what his first word was? Not mom or dad…no it was Gwampa. I think that’s when we finally got Gibbs back. He had a reason to start living again and his reason is Donny DiNozzo.

Now don’t tell Gibbs this but when Donny starts really talking we’re and I mean Tony, Sarah and I are going to have him start calling Gibbs Granpa Jefro. We decided that Donny is probably the one person that Gibbs won’t lay a hand on…at least when it comes to head slapping.

I know that you’re probably disappointed that I haven’t started writing my LJ Tibbs series of stories again but honestly Ducky, I’m just not sure that I want to go through that kind of emotional turmoil again. It was bad enough that Landon focused on Abby and those two soldiers. What if someone else did the same thing and this time hurt Sarah or worse Donny? I just can’t do it Ducky. I can’t risk their lives for my writing career.

All that aside, I have started telling Donny some stories. Sarah’s trying to tape them for any children that she and Tony might have in the future. Or so she says; knowing my sister she’s probably getting them transcribed and I’ll find I’m a children’s author or maybe even a fiction writer on one of those fan fiction websites. That would be weird.

My parents came back to visit us for a few weeks; they’ll be leaving again next Wednesday. Hang on a second Ducky I have someone that wants to say something to you… (One full line of indecipherable scribble) that line there is from your namesake.

We miss you Ducky

Timothy McGee

Tim smiles as he lifts his 20 month old nephew up into his arms. Donny pats at Tim’s face as he jibbers in his own toddler language. Tim sighs almost content with his lot in life. He’s not sure just yet why he’s still the odd man out at work…the only one who isn't dating anyone aside from… well no Gibbs has started seeing Abby much to Tim’s surprise.

“I always thought that your grandpa would settle for that doctor lady. Guess I was wrong on that account too, huh big guy?” Tim cuddles Donny close and the toddler lets him, sensing that his uncle needs the contact.

“Tim, Tim...”

“Yes, Donny?”


Tim pretends to think for a moment and Donny seeing the feathered quill on Tim’s desk lightly touches the writing instrument. Instead of getting mad at the little boy on his lap, Tim shifts so that he’s helping Donny guide the pen across the page. Donny then sees the letter that’s in a corner of the desk.

“What that?”

“That…that’s a letter to a good friend of mine.”

“Mine fwiend?”

“Yes, I think that we can say that he was everyone’s friend.”

“Fwiend stowy?”

Tim slowly takes the nib off of his quill and caps his inkwell pondering what kind of story to tell. He sets his current letter just off to one side of the others that he’s been writing so that the ink will continue drying. Seeing Donny’s fascination with the feather, he lets the little boy hang on to it and starts his tale.

“Once upon a time, in a faraway land there lived a mighty mallard named…what shall we call him?”


“Duke it is…now Duke the Mallard lived in a marshland. That means that it has a lot of shallow water surrounding it, as well as plants and herbs and grasses and moss.”


“Not too many trees because then it would be a swampland. So Duke decides one day that he wants to fly west to visit some cousins.”

“Mine cousins?”

“We don’t have any yet, but I’m sure we will given enough time.”

Sarah leans against the kitchen door, tears running down her face. This is the time that she both loves and dreads. When Tim tells his stories he pours his heart into them and listening to him tell Donny that they don’t have any cousins…Sarah blinks back the tears and softly steps into Tim’s bedroom, closing the door behind her.

Picking up her cell phone, Sarah hits a speed dial, not realizing just who she’s calling.

“Yeah Gibbs.”

“I—oh, I’m sorry Gibbs I didn’t mean to.”

“Calm down Sarah. What’s wrong?”

“Nothing—I just…”

“We’re on our way.”

Gibbs shuts his phone and motions for Tony and John to come with him. All three men had gathered for a Sunday football game, leaving the McGee siblings at Tim’s place as well as Maggie.

“Sarah okay boss?”


John smiles as Tony starts chuckling. “Sarah always gets emotional whenever Tim starts to tell Donny a story.”

John looks at Tony as Gibbs drives them to Tim’s place, “Maggie’s the same way; she can’t listen to a story without getting all emotional.”

Tony exchanges glances with Gibbs in the rearview mirror. When the older man gives a subtle nod, Tony says, “Tim hasn’t written a story in almost five years. Right now, the only stories he’s telling are the kiddie ones that he relays to Donny.”

John frowns, “What happened?”

Tony explains what happened in regards to Rock Hollow and Tim’s rabid fan. By the time he’s finished John is rubbing his chin and Gibbs is pulling into the parking lot at Tim’s apartment complex. Tony runs up the stairs while Gibbs and John hang back. John places a hand on Gibbs arm and the former Marine turns around.

“I don’t know what all happened, but thank you for being there. Tim and I’ve spoken often of you in this last year and he says nothing but good things. That’s an indication of how much he respects you and your opinions. Maggie and I can’t thank you enough for keeping him safe all these years.”

“It’s been my pleasure.”

They reach Tim’s floor and are almost at the door when John says, “Tell me something…why didn’t you adopt Tim and Sarah when you had the chance?”

He knocks and walks inside leaving Gibbs standing there, coffee cup spilling to the floor as he wonders just what John McGee means by the question.

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 Post subject: Re: Letters To Ducky
PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2011 4:01 am 
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Chapter 5: A Question and a Nightmare:

Hey Ducky it’s me, Tony.

I should probably apologize to Probie for borrowing some paper, but I’ve learned some things tonight and wanted to talk to you about them. I know that you’re gone, but you were always there to listen and I figure you still are; just not in the same capacity. You know what though, that's okay with me, because as long as you're still listening, then that's all that matters.

Ducky, have you ever…did Gibbs ever tell you about wanting to adopt Tim and Sarah? I didn’t mean to overhear but he and Tim’s dad were talking and I was waiting by the door for them to show up. Once I heard footfalls on the landing I started moving further inside Tim’s apartment but then I heard Commander McGee asking Gibbs, “Tell me something…why didn’t you adopt Tim and Sarah when you had the chance?”

It totally floored me Ducky. I mean, when would Gibbs have met Tim prior to our meeting in Norfolk? He never even hinted back then that he knew him. Oh, well yeah he did know about him graduating from MIT and Johns Hopkins but still…and the thing is, he still treats me more like a son than he ever did Tim! I just don’t understand it Ducky. I need to go make sure that Sarah and Donny are okay. I’ll be right back…

Tony pads over to his son’s crib, the one that had been lovingly handmade by Gibbs and watches quietly as Donny sleeps. Tears come to his eyes as he watches Donny sucking on his thumb and he feels the pride swelling in his heart as well as sheer joy that his son is alive and strong.

“I’ll make sure that you never doubt my love for you. Between me and your mommy you’ll be the best loved little boy this side of the Appalachians.”

“He already is Tony and believe me he knows we love him. That’s why he toddles over to you and says, Dada when you get home from work.”

Sarah slides her arms around his waist and Tony leans back into her embrace. Sarah can feel him trembling and has a feeling that she knows what lies beneath it. She tugs gently on his hand and he follows her back out into the living room where Tony’s letter to Ducky is still lying on the coffee table. Tony sighs as he realizes that she’d probably read the letter before coming in to get him.


“Shhh…you need to hear a story. This one started a long time ago. Long before Gibbs even knew that Ducky existed. But before we do this understand one thing: Gibbs is not to blame. Not now, and definitely not for what happened almost 20 years ago.”

“You’re starting to sound like your brother, you know that?” Sarah sits him down then plunks herself into his lap. Tony’s arms close automatically around her and she sighs with contentment. Leaning her head against her husband’s chest, she prepares to tell him a story that previously only a very few people knew about.


Earlier that evening:

Gibbs looks down at the ground where his coffee is slowly sinking into the floorboards. He absently picks up his cup and walks over to Tim’s door, letting himself inside. Tony and Sarah are conversing in a corner; Tony obviously upset about something. As the Lead Agent of the MCRT had been just slightly in front of John McGee and himself, Gibbs knows that it’s all too possible that Tony had heard John’s question and was now questioning what he’d overheard. Tim is still holding Donny; the child had fallen asleep while listening to his uncle tell him a story and Maggie McGee is sitting on the couch next to her husband, silently asking him what is going on.

Gibbs whistles just loud enough to get the adults attention and yet still quiet enough so as not to wake the sleeping child. He motions for Tony and Sarah to come closer and when they do so, Gibbs addresses his next statement to John.

“You asked why I never adopted Tim and Sarah…they were never…I couldn’t legally do anything while you or whatever passed as their parents were still alive. As it is, Shannon and I were lucky not to be jailed for impersonating their parents when we saw the accident.”

Sarah’s intake of breath tells Tony that she knows exactly what Gibbs is talking about while Tim is still looking more than slightly bewildered by the turn of events. Before Gibbs can say more, Sarah stands up and tells Gibbs that she’ll explain it to Tony in the privacy of their home.

“Sarah? Tony, what’s going on guys?”

“Tim, I’m sorry but you need to hear it from Gibbs; and you need them here too.”

“But Tony’s family too, he should be here.”

“Not at this time Tim; this is between you, Gibbs and our parents.”

That’s when Tony knows that whatever it is; she doesn’t want Donny to possibly misinterpret any of the other adults’ actions or reactions. He silently finishes dressing Donny in a warmer sleeper and together the DiNozzos head for home.

Tim stares at the closed door wondering just what the hell is going on. He looks from his parents to Gibbs and finally blurts out, “What is going on here? Why did my sister just shove my brother-in-law out the door? And just when was Gibbs supposed to have adopted us?”

Gibbs sighs and John looks at him, “You never told him?”

“I tried…years ago…but we had a case come up and it took precedent. After that, I…there just never seemed to be an appropriate time.”

Tim looks up at Gibbs comprehension starting to dawn in his green eyes. “This is about that case file you showed me; the one just after we saved Maddie Tylor. I came to you about…”

“About a picture that you couldn’t remember; three little girls all around the same age; one was Sarah.”

“What’s going on boss?”

“It’s time to remember Tim. I’ve never forgotten what led me to you; it still haunts me to this very day.”

Gibbs closes his eyes as he recalls the nightmare:

It was the green eyes that alerted him to something being wrong. Fear-filled emerald green eyes as they stared in shocked horror at the bus in front of them. A bus filled with school children; a bus that contained his daughter and a white car careening into the bus’s side.


Gibbs wakes up from the nightmare to find Shannon leaning over him.

“What is it Jethro?”

“Bad dream. I thought I saw Kelly on a bus and a car, out of control, heading straight for her.”

“We take her to school every day and pick her up again, remember? Just a dream Gibbs, go back to sleep. There’s nothing to fear, Kelly will be fine.” Shannon sighs and runs her hand over his chest before lying back down beside her husband. Gibbs waits until her breathing evens out again then silently slips out of the bed and pads quietly down the hallway to their daughter’s room. Seeing the smaller redhead sound asleep does much to quiet the sense of foreboding that had overcome his dreams.

What was really disquieting was the fear in a pair of young green eyes that Gibbs has never seen before. After watching her sleep for another five minutes, Gibbs goes back down the hall and slides back into bed with his sleeping wife. Shannon snuggles up to him and murmurs, “Glad you’re home for a few days, I missed you.”

They both fall asleep again, and are woken a few hours later by an excited Kelly bouncing on the bed. “Daddy! You’re home! Yay, how long are you staying?”

“For a few weeks sweetheart, then I have to go back. We will have all weekend though to catch up…would you like to go see Grandpa Jack?”

“You mean it? Really? Does this mean I can skip school today?”

“No, it means you go to school like usual and then when school gets out, your Mom and I come get you and we drive to Grandpa’s house.”

Kelly droops for a second then brightens up again and goes racing back down to her room. Gibbs and Shannon exchange amused smiles and he’s leaning down for a kiss when Kelly comes back into the room. “You could pick me up after our field trip.”

Both adults freeze. Gibbs slowly turns to face his daughter and asks “Field trip? What field trip honey?”

“The one that my class is taking in honor of veteran’s day; it’s a yearly tradition. Our classes go to Arlington to pay homage to our veterans like you.”

Shannon vaguely remembers signing off on a sheet of paper for Kelly’s field trip. She exchanges worried glances with her husband who is uncharacteristically pale. Knowing of his dream from the night before, she can only assume that he’s playing every known scenario in his head to decide if he needs to pick up their daughter from the cemetery or the school. Gibbs shakes his head and smiles then ushers the two of them out to his truck.

Kelly chatters excitedly about the new girl in her class while Gibbs and Shannon watch the roadways for any possible reasons that a car might try to take out a bus. Kelly squeals with excitement when she sees a dark haired girl standing by the curb.

“There’s Sarah now!” she grabs her pack and kisses her parents who smile at the redheaded whirlwind that is their daughter. Her friend and their neighbor Maddie Tylor is there as well as the new girl Sarah.

“Never have to worry about her making friends do we?” Shannon laughs as they pull away from the school then considers her husband’s words.

“No, she definitely has a way of pulling people to her.”

“Like her mother.”

“Like her father when he cares to admit it.”

They turn the corner and that’s when Gibbs sees it; a white Z-28 camaro. Just like the one in his dream although this one is driving rather slowly. Gibbs lets out a deep breath. The car in his dream had been out of control and this driver was definitely watching his mirrors and the road. The ride home is equally uneventful. Gibbs helps Shannon get some deep cleaning done and furniture moved around. They even manage a quick trip to the store to get new bedding for Kelly’s birthday.

It’s on their way out of the store as they head towards Kelly’s school that it happens; as if in slow motion Gibbs and Shannon watch in horror as a car racing down the street pulls out in front of another driver. Two police cars are in hot pursuit of the speeding vehicle, but the second driver, the one in a white Camaro, is the one in danger. Gibbs can tell that the driver has lost control of the vehicle and is trying desperately to get it under control. A school bus full of laughing children pulls out just as the white car starts fishtailing. From their vantage point both Gibbs and Shannon can see the young driver panicking when he sees the newest danger in his path. With a desperate twist of the wheel, and pressure on the gas, the car swerves around the bus and hits a tree.

Gibbs is running before he knows what he’s doing. The bus pulls over and the bus driver as well as the teachers on board calms the students down before opening the doors to see what happened. Shannon slips back inside the store and tells the clerk to call 911, that there’s been an accident with possible injuries. Then she races to her husband’s side to see if there is any way she can assist him. Gibbs is amazed by the fact that the owner of the vehicle had had the foresight to have an airbag installed. It’s possibly the only thing that had kept the kid from being killed instantly. As it is, he knows that the kid might have at least one broken rib, just from the impact.

Shannon looks over at the school bus and is shocked to see that it is indeed the one Kelly is on. Not only Kelly but her friend Maddie and the new girl Sarah are there. Sarah is looking panicked and scared and Shannon has to wonder why. She makes her way to the bus and asks quietly to talk to Ms. Trask. The teacher comes over and tells her that Sarah won’t calm down; that she’s saying something about her brother being killed.

“Let me talk to her, please.”

Shannon follows the teacher to where Kelly and her friends are sitting. Kelly is holding Sarah as she sobs and looks up at her mother with a mixture of relief and fear. Relief to see a calm voice of authority and fear that Sarah’s brother really was killed.

“Hey there, Sarah? My name is Shannon Gibbs, I’m Kelly’s mom.”

“I…I know who you are Mrs. Gibbs…”

“Good I want to let you know that my husband Jethro is right outside the bus and he’s talking to your brother. What’s your brother’s name?”

“It’s Timmy…Tim. he hates being called Timmy.”

“Okay, now Sarah, from what I can see, Tim is alive. He might have a broken rib or two but Jethro is talking to him. I can see him through the windows.”

“He was coming back to pick me up. He promised Mom and Daddy that he’d take care of me while they were off base this weekend.” Sarah starts crying and Shannon picks her up and holds her close while she cries.

Shannon strokes Sarah’s hair and motions for Kelly to come over. When she does, Shannon whispers, “Kelly go find your father and bring him here. Sarah needs to know that Tim is going to be okay.”

Maddie and Kelly race to the front of the bus and let Ms. Trask know what Shannon had requested. The teacher frowns but agrees to let Kelly go talk to her father. Maddie starts to leave but the teacher holds her back. “I have both of Kelly’s parents here Maddie; I need you to stay on board as you don’t have yours present.”

“Yes Ms. Trask.” Maddie walks back to where Sarah is and takes up the girl’s hand patting it awkwardly in an attempt to comfort her new friend. “It’ll be okay Sarah. Kelly’s dad will know what to do. He’ll get Tim some help.”

Sarah looks at Maddie who smiles and gives her a loose hug. “Gibbs always helps us out Sarah. Never forget that.”

Sarah sniffles and Shannon hands her a Kleenex that Maddie pulls out of Kelly’s backpack. Sarah smiles a watery smile, “Is Gibbs a boy scout like Timmy? Timmy’s always telling me to be prepared. Of course I never am, but Timmy tries to be. He even followed the bus in to school so that he’d know where to pick me up at.”

“Sounds like a good Marine tactic. I’m Gibbs and your brother is going to the hospital. He has a broken leg and a concussion; maybe a broken rib or two. Your dad did a good job putting that airbag in; it saved your brother’s life.”

“Daddy didn’t do it; Timmy did. He insisted on it, said that there are too many drivers who lose their lives because of chest injuries.” Gibbs is impressed and Shannon can see the gleam in his eyes when he asks Sarah if she’d like to ride with Tim to the hospital. Sarah looks up with hope in her eyes and nods as she follows him to the ambulance.

Shannon can tell that the two siblings have a tight bond despite the distance in years. Shannon looks at Ms. Trask who nods at the nonverbal question; she’ll make sure that Kelly and Maddie get home okay. Kelly asks one more question before Shannon leaves, “Can Sarah stay with us if Tim can’t go home right away?”

“I’ll have to check with your father, as well as Tim but I’m sure we’ll have room for her.”

Shannon follows the ambulance carrying Tim and Sarah as well as Gibbs. If there is one sorrow that Shannon Gibbs has it’s that they never had any children after Kelly was born. Still, her little girl is able to collect friends like butterflies and that’s the important thing. Hopefully the two siblings will stay in town for a while longer and Kelly can be the friend that Sarah seems to need. As for Tim, Shannon is afraid that the young man might be in for a rough road considering the injuries that Gibbs mentioned.

In the ambulance, Gibbs is quietly rocking Sarah while she watches the EMT work on her brother. “Mr. Gibbs? Your daughter fell asleep; sir if you want you can put her down here, beside your son.” Gibbs is startled and starts to reply that the children aren’t his when a panicked pair of green eyes opens briefly then closes again. Not quite sure why he does so, he tells the technician that he’ll hold Sarah if it’s okay.

“Sure, I just wanted you to be aware that she had fallen asleep sir. Strange isn’t it; how we can see or hear our loved ones are alive and it allows us to relax. Just like your son did upon hearing his sister is okay.”

They reach the hospital and Gibbs is almost flustered by the hospital admission forms when Sarah rouses enough to hand him her backpack. Two files are in there; one for Sarah and the other for Tim. Gibbs silently copies the information from Tim’s file and hands the admission forms to the nurse.

“That’s a good idea, keeping spare forms where the kids know they are. Not many parents would think of that during a field trip, not even military ones like yourself; it saves time when parents think that far ahead especially if your daughter hadn’t had a parent around. We could have at least gotten a start on the forms then called you if we needed more information. Good job all the way around.”

Gibbs can feel Sarah trembling and asks the nurse where the nearest bathroom is. Shannon comes in just then and seeing the greenish tint to Sarah’s face, hurries her off down the hallway. Gibbs waits until the doctor comes back out then asks the man to give him a few minutes so that the entire family can hear what he has to say. The doctor blinks but nods his head. He’d seen the closeness and appreciated the fact that the father seemed to want to keep his daughter informed, but he was worried about the effect it might have on the young girl’s psyche. Gibbs steps back out and the doctor can tell that the young girl needs to know what her brother’s condition is in order to relax.

“I can honestly say that you saved your son’s life by making sure that the airbag was installed and not just that but installed properly. Tim has a cracked rib and a minor concussion as well as a broken leg. I am going to recommend that Tim stay overnight but I’m almost certain that he’ll be able to go home with you tomorrow. Your field training did you well today, Gunny. I’ll trust him in your hands; just give him a few hours to wake up.”

Gibbs turns to Sarah who is sagging against Shannon. Gibbs kneels down beside the girl and takes her hands in one of his. “You two are coming home with us, just as soon as your brother wakes up. Why don’t you and Shannon go sit with him while I get this paperwork finished so we can get out of here?”

Sarah gives a small smile and lets Shannon escort her down the hall to Tim’s room. Then Gibbs turns to the doctor. “Give it to me straight, how bad off is he?”


Sarah looks up at Tony, tears in her eyes. “We…I spent the next two weeks with Gibbs and his family. Tim’s injuries were bad enough that the doctors put him in a coma so that he could heal faster. Aside from his broken leg and ribs he did end up with a slight skull fracture and minor whiplash just due to how the car spun when it fishtailed out of control. He also broke his left arm; they say it was instinct to protect his face when he impacted against the tree."

Tony tightens his grip on her, knowing as a former cop just what kind of terror Tim must have faced. Not just one car but three speeding around him, two with flashing lights and sirens. If the kid hadn’t had the foresight to put in an airbag…Tony shudders not wanting to think about how Tim could have ended up; or what the trauma could have done to Sarah.

“Gibbs was sent back overseas and Shannon and Kelly went to California to finalize the sale of their home out there and buy some new clothes for school. I wouldn’t leave Tim, and so I was given permission to stay with Maddie’s family until Shannon and Kelly returned. Then, one day Tim finally came out of his coma.”

Tony stares at her, not daring to imagine what happened next. Sarah’s next words confirm his worst fear.

“It was the same day that Shannon and Kelly were killed. Don’t you see Tony? Gibbs couldn’t adopt us. He didn’t remember us due to the grief of losing his real family.”

a/n: and I was reading this and then reading Rising Knights and realized...darnit I changed my own story...minorly but still... :gah:

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 Post subject: Re: Letters To Ducky
PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2011 4:10 am 
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Chapter 6: Burnt Offerings

Hey Duck

Now I know that I’m truly going off the deep end; I’m writing to dead friends. It still hurts you know; not having you here to talk to. Maybe Laurie was right and I need to do this … even if it’s the first and last time that I’ll ever write you a letter. I’m confused Duck; I feel like I let my youngest agent down all those years ago, but…the hate and anger that I felt back then, it wouldn’t let me see past my need for revenge. I needed to kill, not hurt or even maim…I needed to kill the bastard responsible for Shannon and Kelly’s deaths.

I know it’s too late now to look back and wonder how or if I would have handled things any differently and honestly, I don’t think I would have. As much as I … as much as I cared for Tim and Sarah, they weren’t mine. God! I’m not sure I’m even explaining this to you right and you’re dead! I need your guidance old man, and you’re not here to give it to me.

If not for that bastard killing my family, I might have been able to prevent the circumstances that led to Tim and Sarah getting kidnapped. I never told you or anyone else this, but that was the first time. It was also the last time that I ignored my gut. If only I’d known then what that particular feeling meant. As it is I took two antacids and woke up on the side of the road the next morning.

By the time I finally remembered Tim and Sarah not only were they gone, but so were any traces of them.

I know that Tim’s been writing to you and I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if Tony does too (if he hasn’t already). You know, you were right all those years ago; this team really is my family now. Tony and Sarah have given me a grandson. Granpa Jefro…it’s really cute hearing it come from little Donny’s lips, but I won’t tell them that; hell, they’ll think I’ve gone soft sayin’ things like ‘cute’, but that little boy is the sunshine in our lives right now.

I’m an assistant director. How in the name of all that’s holy did I let myself be talked or charmed into that? Oh I know what started it…DiNozzo and McGee all concerned about my mental health. And then that lady came back into my life and for almost two weeks I was content Duck.

I can almost hear you asking “what did you do Jethro?”

“Nothing, Duck.” Sighing here, because the lady is black ops and even with my current security level I’m unable to access her file. Who is she Duck and why is she so important? How can she know every time that I need her and yet…she’s not here now Duck! The one person who might be able to explain why I couldn’t help my agent and she’s not here!

Ahh, forget it Duck…I can’t do this…I can’t keep up with this psychobabble bullshit… I’m sorry old friend but I just can’t…

*the letter is crumpled up and thrown into the fireplace where it joins the ashes of several other attempts to communicate with an old friend.

Back at Tim's apartment:

Tim and Gibbs along with John and Maggie McGee are trying to figure out why it took so long for Gibbs to find Tim again. Gibbs is saying, “I let you down, by not remembering, the Kopfs were able to take you and …”

“No, you were there. In segments of my memories, I could still hear you calling me Son, telling me to stay alive. I remember a pair of blue eyes staring into mine, daring me to stay alive, to not give in to the pain.”

“And I didn’t remember until it was too late. You were already gone and I had no trace whatsoever.”

The two older McGees smile at the bond between the two men. Obviously Tim had made an impact on Gibbs all those years ago. John asks to see the files and after closer inspection steps over and pulls a highlighter out of Tim’s desk. “That’s why you couldn’t find them.”

Tim and Gibbs step over to the desk and Tim shakes his head as he hands the file to Gibbs. The older man is flabbergasted by the one error that the hospital had made and no one had thought to correct…Tim was listed on the hospital forms as Timothy McGibbs.

Gibbs groans as he thinks about his conversations not only with the EMT but later with the doctor in the hospital. Everyone had thought that Tim was his son. Even the nurses had commented on how the forms had been filled out before hand. All they’d done is put in Gibbs next to the Mc and then Gibbs himself had signed the admittance forms.

Maggie looks up at Gibbs in confusion. She knows by now that Gibbs had told the team upon first meeting Tim again that her son had gone to MIT and Johns Hopkins. Gibbs tells her that as team leader he was often called upon to go and observe FLETC candidates without being detected.

“I watched a young man with an obviously years old injury struggle through an obstacle course. This young man didn’t balk at anything he was told to do. He didn’t have the fastest time there, but he did have the determination to finish the job.”

Gibbs had been about to turn away when a flash of green had caught his eye. He’d turned back and pulling his sniper’s scope out of his pack looked into the face of someone that he’d thought lost years ago. Gibbs looked down at the name on the list in his hand and made a note to dig deeper into the background of Timothy McGee.

Gibbs frowns as he turns to his agent. “Your forms were in Sarah’s backpack. Yet neither of you could have known what would happen that day.”

“I wasn’t just picking up Sarah that day. I was planning on taking her to our grandparent’s house. Mom had always said that if anything felt wrong to take Sarah and wait for them until we were given the all clear.”

“Then when you were heading back to the school…”

“I really did panic. I thought at first that the cops were after me; that somehow I’d screwed up and left some clue at the house as to where we were going. Then I realized that the brakes were gone and that the bus was there and Sarah had said she was going to be going to Arlington and there were no busses coming from Arlington other than the ones from her school.”

John and Gibbs exchange looks. John’s clearly asking, “Does he always talk this fast?”

Gibbs just nods. He’s processing the fact that Tim just said that the brakes were gone on the Camaro. Not liking where his thinking is taking him he asks Tim if it’s still possible to pull up any police files relating to that period of time.

Tim pulls out his laptop saying, “Not highly likely from that long ago but we can check. It all depends on how long ago the department…okay, I stand corrected. There is an incident report; actually there are two. The first one details what happened after I missed the bus. The second one…”

Tim’s voice trails off and he goes into the kitchen. Tim sits down on the floor between the fridge and the counter, and wraps his arms around his knees as he struggles to regain his breathing. Jethro the dog pads into the room and paws at Tim’s hand. Tim automatically starts petting the animal letting the action soothe him and his troubled mind.

Back in the living room, Gibbs watches as his agent lurches into the kitchen. When the dog follows his master, Gibbs finishes reading the report, swearing slightly when he reads that Stacy Kopf had been the other driver. He looks at John and Maggie McGee both of whom are pale when they find out that at least one of their children had been a target that day and it had only been Tim’s driving skills with Gibbs’ later intervention that had prevented the younger McGees from dying.

John stares at his wife not comprehending why anyone would want to kill a child, let alone Tim or Sarah. Maggie is equally bewildered. Gibbs looks at them for several seconds then states, “Control…they made it so that they could control you. They didn’t succeed in killing Tim and I’m guessing he was the target; if Tim had died, they could threaten to do the same to Sarah. Sarah going on the field trip was something they didn’t plan on.”

Maggie looks at John, “We had planned on Sarah coming with us to Florida that week until the school announced the Arlington trip. Then we couldn’t drag her away as so many of her friends were going. Tim had just gotten his scholarship. He said that he could tour MIT that day and volunteered to stay on base with her and then they were going to join us for the weekend. We got the call later that day saying that if we didn’t comply the Kopfs would finish what they started.”

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 Post subject: Re: Letters To Ducky
PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2011 4:24 am 
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Chapter 8: Year 4: From One Doctor to Another

Dear Dr. Mallard,

Another year has passed and we’re settling in to our roles even better than before. Gibbs even seems to enjoy being a consultant now that he’s adjusted to the fact that it also made him an assistant director. Vance comes to visit about once a month but he never stays too long. Usually just long enough to rile Gibbs which he could do with a phone call but I think they enjoy the squabbling face to face. Almost like brothers; okay maybe not real brothers but…you get my drift.

Tim’s parents retired and amazingly enough are living only a few islands away from my mother. My mom is still living on Maui and Tim’s parents moved to Oahu. I guess, from what mom has said, she and Mrs. McGee are starting some sort of bridge club. Your mother used to play bridge didn’t she?

I hope you don’t mind that I made your house a sort of bed and breakfast for visiting NCIS dignitaries. Well, so far we’ve had Tim’s parents there and Tony’s dad even came once. He didn’t stay too long though…I get the feeling that the troubled waters in that relationship won't smooth out as quickly as the ones between Agent Gibbs and his father.

Is this considered gossip if no one else sees it?

I started dating…gosh I’m blushing even as I write this. Ziva’s been great and yes, she’s the one I’m dating at the moment. I didn’t think she’d ever see me as anything more than your assistant or now as the chief medical examiner. I did apply for and get an assistant by the way. I had asked Tony for one and he and Tim were great at helping smooth the waters with Vance at getting someone in here.

Abby and Gibbs…I’m honestly not sure what is going on there doctor. At times it seems like they are a couple and at others it’s more like they’re a father and daughter. Maybe it’s just because he’s known her for so long and she reminds him of his lost daughter. I guess that could be it.

Tony’s little boy Donny…he’s such a cutie. For all that he looks like Sarah, he’s definitely Tony’s son and he loves spending time with his Unca Tim. I know that you were concerned that Tim might not write again, but I think that given enough time, he’ll start writing even if it does end up being children’s books.

As for Tim and his personal life, honestly Dr. Mallard can the man never catch a break? This last girl seemed perfect…until the day Tony and I sent him home sick and he found his girlfriend in his bed with another man. From what Ziva said, she went with him to make sure he made it okay, he even sicced Jethro on them.

Well, I have to get to work. Our caseload this week hasn’t been too bad and I need to finish up some reports before I hand them in to Gibbs. He usually just glances at them before forwarding them to Vance but he does look at them now.

I remain respectfully yours,

Jimmy Palmer

Jimmy sighs as he reads his letter and carefully deletes it from his computer. He’ll never admit to writing the letters. At least not to anyone at work and the only one he might admit it to would be the currently absent Tim McGee. Tim is still out sick and Jimmy sighs again, wondering if anyone or anything could be done to help raise the other man’s spirits after this latest blow.

“Hello Dr. Palmer.”

“Oh, hi Judith. Can you take over for a few hours? I need to go check on a patient of mine and then I’ll come right back.”

Jimmy smiles at his assistant as she nods her enthusiastic agreement and they head into the other room neither of them noticing the computer screen as it flickers for a moment then turns off again.

Tim McGee’s apartment moments later:

Jethro McMutt McGee raises his head briefly then lowers it again as he senses the presence of an old friend. When those same ghostly fingers scratch him behind his ears he sighs his approval and goes back to watching his master sleeping.

Tim is tossing and turning, but calms down as if he can sense the presence of a comforting hand on his forehead.

“Ah, Timothy, you have gotten worn down a bit haven’t you my friend? Never fear, I have it on good authority that help is being sent your way. Not the one that usually comes, as she’s still deep undercover. For her to break that cover now would be to the detriment of her mission and too many lives are at stake. I need you to relay that message to Jethro when you wake up.”


“Shhh…rest easy dear boy. Here is your help and remember Jethro’s message.”

“Mission undercover…lives…”

Tim’s voice trails off as his faithful companion leads Jimmy Palmer into his bedroom. Jimmy sighs as he sees the condition that Tim is in and picking up his cell phone dials NCIS.

“Autopsy, Judith speaking.”

“Judith, it’s Dr. Palmer. I’m not going to be back today. Can you finish closing up our current guest and we’ll proceed again tomorrow?”

“Of course Dr. Palmer; do you need me to tell anyone else?”

“No, but thank you for asking.”

Jimmy hangs up then dials Tony’s number.

“DiNozzo here, what’s up Black Lung?”

“Tim’s still really sick and if he doesn’t improve I’m going to insist that he go to the hospital Tony.”

“How bad is bad Jimmy?”

“His current temp is 102 degrees. I’m staying with him over the next few hours to see if I can get him cooled down.”

Tony looks at Ziva and agent Wilson both of whom are listening in on the conversation with concern. Tony hangs up and smiles when he sees Wilson is already dialing Balboa bringing the other team leader up to speed. Tony runs upstairs to Gibbs office, letting the other man know what’s going on. Gibbs doesn’t hesitate; he’s out the door following Tony who is already on the phone with Sarah.

Gibbs heads for the elevator telling Tony that he’ll call him. Tony watches him go a thoughtful look on his face. Ziva comes up to him asking, “What does Gibbs think he can do that Jimmy cannot?”

“Head smack him into believing he’s still wanted Zi…”

Ziva nods an angry look crossing her eyes as she recalls walking into Tim’s apartment just yesterday and the scene that had greeted them: Tim’s supposed girlfriend making out in Tim’s bed with one of the agents from the Cyber-crimes unit.

Tim’s anger had been such that he’d looked at the dog on the floor and said two words, “get’em.” Jethro had started barking and growling and both intruders had hastily donned clothes before running out of the door Jethro snapping at their heels. Ziva had shut the door behind them but the damage to her friend’s psyche had already been done.

Gibbs drives like a madman over to Tim’s apartment. He’s grateful at times like this that he’s not a team leader anymore; that he has the added excuse to be out driving as a consultant. Worry for the young computer genius puts an extra bit of lead into his foot as he speeds towards his destination.

Arriving at Tim’s he sprints up the stairs and doesn’t bother knocking; just lets himself inside. Jimmy is applying a fresh washcloth to Tim’s forehead and looks around when Gibbs comes in.

“His fever is starting to break; but he has been asking for you.”

Gibbs steps closer to the man on the bed. Tim is starting to toss and turn again and Gibbs silently holds out his hand for the washcloth. Jimmy hands it to him and walks back into the bathroom to get another cloth ready to go.


“I’m here, Tim. Calm down…”


“Shhh…it’s okay, Tim. Ducky can hear you just fine.”


“Tell me what Tim?”


“Okay Tim, I get the message. Rest now son, let Jimmy help you.”

Gibbs stays there for several minutes helping Jimmy change out the washcloths. Jimmy comes out of the bathroom at one point and looks at Tim who is finally sleeping. Gibbs is sitting there, a poignant look on his face as he sponges Tim’s neck and chest and Jimmy has to wonder if Gibbs is actually seeing Tim in front of him or someone else.


“Yeah Jimmy?”

“He’s asleep now; and his temperature has dropped. Did you want to stay or shall I call Sarah?”

“I’ll stay with him Jimmy. We still need to call DiNozzo though.”

“Okay. I’ll be in the other room if you need me.”

“Jimmy? Thank you.”

“You’re welcome.”

Gibbs sits there, wondering about Tim’s words while he was feverish. Did Ducky Mallard actually leave him a message about Laurie Fields? If so, how would he know that she was still undercover? Gibbs runs a hand over his face finally admitting to himself that he misses the blonde haired doctor.

He hasn’t missed anyone this much since…Shannon. Oh God, he wasn’t falling in love again at his age…he couldn’t be!

“Lives at stake…Ducky said…undercover…”

“Shhh…” Gibbs runs a hand over Tim’s forehead. It’s still a bit warm but not to the extreme it has been.


Tim sits bolt upright and Gibbs grabs him. Jimmy comes running back into the room and helps Gibbs get Tim laid back down.

“Timothy, you did good lad. Now, rest and let Jethro and Jimmy help you recuperate.”


“Jethro understands lad; go ahead and sleep now; you’ve done your duty for the day.”

Tim finally relaxes and Gibbs looks at Jimmy who smiles wearily.

“It’s a restful sleep Gibbs. He’ll be fine.”

Jimmy pats Gibbs on the shoulder as he heads back to the couch and drops down on it intent on a few minutes of shut-eye before heading back into town. That’s where Gibbs finds him, sound asleep half an hour later. The former agent smiles and drapes a blanket over the sleeping doctor before heading into the kitchen to make a fresh pot of coffee.

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 Post subject: Re: Letters To Ducky
PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2011 4:30 am 
Senior Field Agent
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Title: Native Nebraska NCIS fan
Name: Cookie, Lori
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Chapter 9: Year 4: Merry Christmas

Dear Ducky,

I’m sure that you know by now, all that’s transpired over the past few years. Gibbs advanced, Tony and I did too. Jimmy and Ziva are still dating, but I’m not sure how much longer that will last; nothing bad between them, but I just don’t see sparks between them Ducky. Not like I always imagined being in love with someone anyway. The way I still see sparks flying with Tony and Sarah and even little Donny; the happiness of knowing that you’re loved and give that love fully in return.

Gibbs still has an occasional day where we know he’s missing you. He’ll step out of the office and Tony will give us the high sign that he’s going for coffee. You know I used to be jealous of their friendship; I thought that Gibbs was too lenient on Tony but I see now that they lean on each other for friendship and in a way that father/son bond that neither of them really had when they were growing up.

Yes, I’ve had a few heart to hearts with Jackson Gibbs. He’s almost as full of stories and information as you were. He’s also been great in helping me define my relationship with not just my own parents but Gibbs and Tony too. I still can’t help shaking my head at the irony of finding my real parents the same day that you passed away. I’m almost certain you’d have a story for that too.

As for Gibbs and Abby, we’ve all decided that we’ll use the da/dt theory for now…it’s safer all the way around. No one has heard from Laurie Fields and I don’t think Gibbs wants us looking anymore. I know that you told me when I was sick that one time that she’s working undercover, but it’s been a long time Ducky. In a way I almost think Gibbs has forgotten about much as he’s able to.

You see Ducky that was a relationship with sparks. I’m almost certain they were meant to be together, but I suppose it’s another case of que sera sera…whatever will be will be. I –

“Unca Tim?”

just a second Ducky, your namesake needs me…

Tim puts his pen and quill down and looks at the child who is tugging on his pants leg. Donny is visiting his uncle while Tony and Sarah go Christmas shopping. Tim doesn’t mind as he sees this as a bonding time with his nephew. He picks Donny up and sits him on his lap.

“What’s up Donny?”

“Who you write to?”

Tim sighs and ponders how to tell a five year old that he’s writing to a dead man. Donny in the meantime carefully traces the letters at the beginning. He purses his lips and cocks his head as if he’s listening to something or maybe someone that Tim can’t hear.

“D...e...a...r…Dear...D...u...c...k...y…Ducky...Dear Ducky. Unca Tim? Who is Ducky?”

Tim gazes into the youthful and innocent blue eyes of his beloved nephew feeling his heart melt at the trust he sees inside those blue orbs. Donny reaches for the team picture that Tim keeps in the corner of the desk and points to the man dressed in slacks with his shirt tucked in, and a bow tie sitting neatly at the collar. Tim smiles wistfully at the picture remembering the way Ducky would take off his glasses to clean them on a handkerchief when he was talking to them.

“Is this Granpa Duck? He helped me with the letters.” Donny thinks for a few seconds then adds, “He misses you too Unca Tim.”

Tim’s eyes mist at the thought of Donny communicating with the beloved missing member of Team Gibbs. He’s not surprised by Donny saying that Ducky helped him with his letters. That is, afterall just another way that Ducky would try and help his friends, and Tim has no doubts that Ducky has been with the team even after his death.

“He comes sometimes, when I’m not always awake and talks to me or strokes my hair. I likes him Unca Tim; he reminds me of you or daddy or Granpa Jefro.”

Tim gives Donny a hug that the child returns wholeheartedly. “He makes you feel safe and secure then?”

“Uh-huh.” Before either of them can say anything more there’s a knocking at the door and Tony, Sarah and surprisingly enough Gibbs come walking through. The oldest man has his arms loaded with wrapped presents and Tim puts Donny on the floor so he can assist Gibbs in placing them under the Christmas tree.

“Hey Probie and where’s my little man?”

“Daddy!” Donny launches himself into his father’s arms and Tony laughs as he spins him around. Tim, Sarah and Gibbs watch with fond smiles as father and son spin around Tim’s living room. Tim and Sarah exchange glances as they turn their attention to Gibbs who has a slightly wistful look in his eyes.

Donny whispers something in his father’s ear and Tony nods before sliding over in front of Gibbs and handing Donny to him. Gibbs gathers his grandson close and all the adults get slightly choked up hearing the child say, “Merry Chwistmas Granpa Jefro, I wuvs you.”

Tony clears his throat and looks at the picture sitting on Tim’s desk. He smiles fondly at the memory of the day they’d taken it; it had been the day before Tony had gone Agent Afloat. The entire team was still in partial shock over Jenny Shepherd’s death, and Vance separating the team, but they’d put on their best smiles that day. Tim glances back at him and nods towards the missing team member.

“Well, and did my little man have fun with his Unca Tim?”

“Uh-huh…he was gonna tell me about Granpa Duck.”

Gibbs tightens his arms around the precious being he’s holding. Donny squirms a bit and says, “Granpa, you’re squishing me!”

Gibbs loosens his embrace and murmurs an apology that only the child can hear. Donny lightly bumps foreheads with his grandfather, and wraps his small arms around Gibbs' neck letting him know that he’s okay, before asking politely to be put down.

The four adults gather around the picture and Gibbs traces the figure of his friend. Donny races into Tim’s bedroom and within seconds is handing a small photo album to his father. Then, taking both his father and grandfather by the hand the child pulls them over to Tim’s couch and sitting down between them asks them about the pictures within.

Sarah comes over to where Tim is once again sitting by his desk and places a hand on her brother’s shoulder. “The team photos?” She softly asks, knowing by looking at the unadorned cover, that it’s not one of the family’s albums.

Tim nods and the siblings watch as Tony and Gibbs tell Donny about some of the photos within. Not too far away a shadowy figure smiles as old wounds continue healing, through the questions asked by a little boy and the spirit of Christmas seeping into their souls.

Words in this post: 1187
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 Post subject: Re: Letters To Ducky
PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2011 4:47 am 
Senior Field Agent
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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 account
Chapter 10: Welcome Knights

Dear Granpa Duck,

How are you? I am fine. I miss my daddy and my Unca Tim too. I love my Granpa Jefro. I love my mommy. I love Aunt Ziva and Unca Jimmy. I think Aunt Abby is silly but I love her too. I got puppy dog kisses from Unca Tim’s dog Jefro. That was fun but mommy said it was yucky. I will have Unca Tim tell me a story about a knight and a dragon when he gets back from where he and Daddy went. Granpa Duck? I love you.



Sarah smiles as she watches her son sleep. Seeing the tow-headed child asleep at Tim’s desk she gently raises him up and tears spring to her eyes as she reads her son’s letter to a man he couldn’t possibly have met. She carries Donny to the couch and covers him with the afghan on the back. Lightly caressing Donny’s blond locks she remembers the few times she’d met the kindly old man. He’d been there for her and Tim when few others had been.

Sarah’s breath catches on a sob when she thinks about Tim and the misfortune he’s had in the romance department. The bad thing is that Sarah knows who she wanted him to pair off with but, as fate would have it, the woman Sarah thinks would be good for Tim is currently dating someone else.

Then there’s Gibbs. A man of contrasts if there ever was one, he’s been the perfect Granpa to little Donny. In a way, a lot of the team thought that Donny was the one to bring Gibbs back to the land of the living after Ducky had passed away. The little boy just charmed his way into Granpa Jefro’s heart and the older man has been improving ever since.

Snuffling at her feet brings her gaze to the slowly aging German shepherd that has been Tim’s main companion these last several years. His tail doesn’t thump as swiftly as it used to, but the animal is still a good protector for her and Donny which is why they stay at Tim’s when he and Tony are away on overnight missions.

Sarah sighs as she contemplates getting a dog for her son. She and Tony have discussed it several times and the main factor that holds them back is the space. They have no real room for any animal much less a dog. Their current housing allows pets, but the rooms just aren’t big enough if they want to have more children and Sarah’s thinking that Donny’s little brother or sister isn’t too far away. Yawning, Sarah sinks down on the couch beside her son, pulling him into her arms. It won’t be long now before he’ll start denying her this small contact if he’s anything like his father or his uncle. So for now, she’ll cuddle with him while she can.

None of the room’s occupants see the grandfatherly figure as it glides across the floor to read Donny’s letter. The spritely form smiles at the childish letter that tried to emulate his uncle’s flowing script. Clearly Timothy has been teaching his nephew how to properly use a pen and quill and the elderly man can’t quite hide a tear at how even those childish words touch his soul.

“ Oh my dear children, you do make an old man proud."

Ducky sits down at the antique desk remembering how proud he’d been when he’d owned it. knowing that Timothy and now little Donny are using it, even if it’s just for a letter, he cant help feeling that pride once more. Still, he does wish that he could convince Timothy to start writing the LJ Tibbs novels again. He’d enjoyed the funky mysteries for what they were…a tribute to the friends and co-workers of Timothy McGee.

Sighing the ghostly figure reads all the letters that Tim’s written to him over the years. From the first one written over five years ago to the one written…oh my…the day before Anthony and Timothy had left on their last case…

Dear Ducky,

I know that this is silly and I’m hoping that I’m wrong but if you actually see this letter can you please send someone to rescue us? No one believes me, Ducky, but it feels like a trap and I believe it is a trap. Please, Ducky, find us…or find someone who can. We’re being sent to the Florida Keys and I have a feeling that we’re being set up. Gibbs is out of town or we’d have never gotten this call…I feel it in my gut.

I’m trusting you Ducky

Timothy McGee.

As a mission gone south, this one certainly had. The team had been set up from day one and Tony was cursing for all that he was worth. He should have trusted Tim who’d tried valiantly to get Tony to stop the mission or to give it to an actual military team. Tony hadn’t listened to his second in command and for the life of him he still didn’t know why. He’s always trusted Tim to have his six. He should have trusted the younger man’s gut the way he trusted his own and before that the way he trusted Gibbs. It just didn’t make sense that he wouldn’t trust Tim now.

“Mind control…Damnit, probie…you said it was possible…hell we saw it happen with you…”

Tony’s words are slurred as he struggles to regain consciousness. He Tim and Ziva had arrived two days ago and promptly been abducted. He hasn’t seen or heard from either of them since. Tony tests his bonds, he’s securely tied to a chair and there’s no way he can reach the knife in his belt.

“I see you figured it out Agent DiNozzo.”

“You’re Steve Kopf. You’re the slimy bastard who denied my partner and his sister 20 years with their parents! How the hell did you get out of jail?” Tony’s anger is clearing his mind as is fear for his family back in DC.

“It wasn’t easy, but we managed. We even brought you a present.”

Tony watches, horrified as he sees Leroy Jethro Gibbs, bound and gagged being thrown into the room. The former lead agent of the country’s top MCRT is unconscious and bleeding from a head wound. Tony can see that Gibbs hands are tied behind him, but there are scrapes on the knuckles so the boss man went down fighting. The fact that Gibbs hadn’t made a sound when he landed is Tony’s primary concern.

“What the hell did you do to him?”

“We beat the holy living crap out of him; he wouldn’t talk however, so we brought you in.”

“Talk about what?” Tony honestly has no idea what the Kopfs want with him and his team.

“Where is the current location of the bitch he was hooked up with? You know…Laurie Fields. We have a score to settle with her.”

“Federal Agents! FREEZE! Did you get enough evidence Agent Sacks?”

Ron Sacks strolls in, nodding in the affirmative. “Oh I’d say that confessing to the abduction and bodily harm of a federal agent is plenty of evidence. Also intent to do bodily harm to a member of the US Military…yeah they’re going down for a long time.”

Tony smiles when he sees the look of unbridled rage that crosses Steve Kopf’s face. The smile fades as he realizes he still hasn’t seen Tim or Ziva. Ron Sacks glances over at Tony and says, “We managed to get the rest of your team out safely. You and Gibbs were the only ones we hadn’t found and we had no clue just who was behind it. We received an anonymous tip saying that we’d find at least one of you here. How’re you holding up?”

“How’s my boss?”

Ron finishes cutting Gibbs out of his bonds and checks his vitals before coming over to Tony and cutting him free of the chair. “He’s alive for now. I’m putting a call in for a doctor to be standing by when we get back.”

“I’ll do it. I want the best on staff and I know just who to go to in order to get her. Can I borrow your phone?”

Sacks hands over his cell and the Italian wastes no time dialing a long distance number.

“Dad…it’s Tony…no time to explain…I need you to use whatever military pull you have left to get Laurie Fields pulled off of assignment and sent back to Bethesda. Gibbs is seriously injured possibly critical and I want the best…thanks Dad.”

Tony tosses the cell phone back to Ron who is staring at him in wonder. “It helps sometimes to have a Commander in the Navy as your father-in-law. Let’s go and don’t hold back.”

Four long hours later Tony follows his boss’s gurney into Bethesda. A familiar blonde figure steps forward and Tony gives her the rundown on what he knows for certain happened. Laurie nods and starts to follow Gibbs form inside when Tony’s hand on her arm stops her.

“They were looking for you; they were using him to try and get to you. They almost succeeded in getting Tim and Sarah again. Who the hell are you?”

“The one that got away… I’ll have a file on your desk in the morning. Do with it as you please; for now, I’ve got one chance to save your boss.”

She did Duck…I don’t quite know who she was, but she saved my sorry ass when no one else could have. There’s a blank spot during that time period, certain memories that seem to be frozen or forgotten. I still remember the team and my grandson and I can remember her coming in to assist when we needed a doctor for Tim but aside from that, I don’t remember her. Tony says he read the file she left for him and told Tim to shred it. I have no doubt that McGee did so.

Tim McGee takes the flashdrive he’d loaded the file onto and hands it to the blonde in the elevator. “Are you sure you want to do this?”

“The file doesn’t exist, therefore I don’t exist. Are you sure you want me to block their memories?”

“If this is the best way to protect our family then please, block what you need in order to keep them safe.”

“Very well.” Sorrow and understanding are in both sets of eyes.

“He loves you, you know that right?” Tim’s question brings tears to her eyes.

“I know…and if we’re meant to be, maybe one day, we’ll find a way into each other’s lives again. Have Tony call the campfire, it’ll be easier that way.” She thinks back to the day Gibbs had told her about the campfires and how Tony referred to the new team as his knights.

A faint smile plays around her lips as Abby and Jimmy join Tim, Tony and Ziva at the campfire. Laurie gives one last sad smile, “Welcome Knights of the NCIS Table.”

a/n: The End of Letters to Ducky...the beginning to Knights of the NCIS Table

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