When the President Calls

Chapter 19

Sunday June 19th, 2016
Paris, France
Disneyland Paris Resort
Disneyland Park
Fantasyland, outside La Confiserie des Trois Fées
9:27 p.m.

Sinking onto a bench, Sara watched as her kids argued about who had the better dessert. She could barely believe their trip of a lifetime, as Pat had taken to calling it, was almost over. They had traveled to forty-one countries in twenty-five and a half months over the past four years. They had returned every August to Maryland to spend the rest of the year there with family, only to take off on January first for another country in their path.

So much had happened in the last four years…Jen and Jethro had married, only to become parents again in December. Patricia Abigail and Tobias Josiah Gibbs had been born the day before Christmas, 2012. Patty was the perfect mix of her parents, Jen’s hair and Jethro’s eyes. Toby meanwhile was the spitting image of his father. The two Gibbs children hadn’t been the only ones born since Sara and the children had gone off to Europe, Annie had a third child, a daughter named Eloisa just the year before. And for the time being it looked like Eloisa would be the only great-grandchild born to Jed and Abbey anytime in the near future…though Sara suspected that Gus had already met his future wife since he had been seeing the same girl since he was sixteen. Though they would probably wait off on marriage until after he finished med school…

“Mom, can we go ride Phantom Manor one more time?” Shanti asked, getting her attention.

“You finished your desserts?” Sara countered with a smirk before all three quickly turned their attention back to the pastries they had gotten from La Confiserie des Trois Fées, a.k.a. the home of the Three Good Fairies who now turned their attention to baking amazing delectable treats since Sleeping Beauty no longer needed their help. At least that was what Sara and Jen agreed was the story.

Jen and Jethro had visited them the spring after the youngest set of twins were born, spending their first vacation together as one rather large family, at Disneyland Paris. Many of the gang had visited them at one time or another during the years away, even Warrick had managed to get time off and join them in Venice. Which somehow made the trip in Venice that much more…magical perhaps…

But now they were headed home, after a final two weeks at Disneyland Paris. Just in time to surprise everyone, who wasn’t expecting them for another month and a half. Only Warrick knew that they were heading home early, in two days time it would be Pat and Kevin’s forty-seventh wedding anniversary; four days later it would be Jen’s forty-fifth birthday. And then in two months her children would be turning ten, two days after Nicky and Ginny’s eighth birthday. She and Jen had already been planning the joint birthday parties, one for the girls with a Disney Princess theme of course, and one for the boys with a Harry Potter theme.

For this moment in time though, she was going to enjoy one last day at the place where she went on her honeymoon with John, with their children. Rising she smiled as all three looked up at her. “Come on then, get rid of the trash and we’ll go for one more ride before the fireworks.”

Yes!


My Life by Jacqueline Peters
May 26th, 2017
Mrs. Robinson’s 4th Grade Class

About Me

I was born, August 17, 2006 at CiVista Medical Center at 11:47 in the middle of the night. My younger sister Shanti and younger brothers Michael and Jonathon were born later that night. My mother named me Jacqueline Patricia Peters after my Aunt Jen and Grandma. I have waist length, curly brown hair that I got from my mother, and jade eyes that I got from my father and grandfather, my father’s father.

My Family

My mother, Virginia Lynn Peters, is a lecturer and my father Jonathon Kennedy Peters was in the Navy. He was a Radio Intercept Officer and flew F-16 Tomcats with my Uncle Mike. My Uncle Mike was married to my Aunt Jen, my father’s twin sister. Both my father and Uncle were killed in an accident at sea, five months before my siblings and I were born. My Aunt Jen lives next door to us, and works for the Naval Criminal Investigative Service; she is the director of the local office. Her second husband, my Uncle Jethro, is a Special Agent for NCIS. Aunt Jen and Uncle Jethro have four children, Nicky and Ginny are eight, Patty and Toby are three and a half.


My Life by Shanti Peters

My Family

Multiples run in my family, both my mother and father were twins. My mother is an identical twin, my father a fraternal. My father’s twin, my Aunt Jen has two sets of twins: my cousins Ginny and Nicky are fraternal, as are my cousins Patty and Toby. Because both of my parents were twins, the odds of them having twins, or any multiples were very high, so it was no surprise to my family when they learned my mother was expecting Quadruplets.

My sister Jacqueline Patricia was born first, then my brother Michael Alexander was second. I was born third, and my younger brother, Jonathon Kennedy the second was born last. I was named Shanti Diane after my Aunt Sha, my mother’s twin. Jackie and I are identical twins, and from what my family has always said, my brothers were identical. Michael died a few weeks before our first birthday to SIDS.


My Life by Jonathon Peters

My Favorite Vacation

My favorite vacation is actually not really a vacation. Between January 2012 and this past June, my mother, sisters, and I traveled through Europe. We spent from January until the end of July in Europe, and August 1st through the New Year at home. Some of my favorite parts of the trips included when we were in Iceland and got to see them make fresh waffle cones not like the ones you see at the local ice cream shop. They put the batter in an iron and it came out this big round waffle, which they then proceeded to shape into a cone. They let it cool for about fifteen minutes and it was still a bit warm when they came over and put like three scoops of ice cream in it. It was the best ice cream I have ever had, Mom says it’s because they use fresh cream from the dairy farm just down the road.

Other things I loved about the trip include when we visited Russia, and were met by my Uncle Jed and Aunt Abbey. Uncle Jed was able to get us into places we would never have seen by ourselves, he’s the former President of the United States, so he has lots of people who know him in Russia. My Grandparents met us in Greece one year, and Sweden another. Greece was really neat, they have this cheese called ‘Feta’, it’s a goat cheese, and it’s very good. They use it on salads a lot and on lots of other stuff. They also have really neat sandwich type things called Gyros.

My Grandparents also met us in France just a few months ago, though it wasn’t our first visit to France. My mom loves everything Disney, and took us to Disneyland Paris twice, the first time Aunt Jen, Uncle Jethro, Ginny, Nicky, Patty and Toby met us there. Mom was really sad at times there that first trip, Aunt Jen said it was because that was where she and my father went on their honeymoon, but the second time we went, just this last June, she was much happier and we all had a lot more fun. My Aunt Jen and everyone also met us in Austria, and we had fun there, well, we did for the most part. Mom dragged us to see the symphony and I think all of us kids fell asleep. But mom wasn’t upset, neither was Aunt Jen or Uncle Jethro, they actually were just laughing the entire way back to the hotel. Sometimes adults don’t make any sense.

Monaco was fun too, Aunt Alicia and Uncle Thomas met us there, and we got to see all sorts of fun things. And we got to try Couscous…I say it’s just rice but Sha and Jackie think its pasta. Then there was Italy, I loved Italy, and they have the best food. Uncle Warrick met us there; he used to work with Mom before she met my father. He’s really cool, and he has a thing for my Mom, but she doesn’t seem to realize it. But Sha, Jackie and I think she has one for him too, but he’s clueless too. Adults are weird, especially when they are moms.


My Life by Jacqueline Peters

What I want to be…

When I grow up, I want to be a CSI like my Mom used to be, and my Uncle Warrick still is. What that is is that they go to crime scenes and get to find fingerprints using powder; Mom’s favorite kind was something called ‘Red Creeper’. Then they go and collect a lot of evidence and use microscopes and other really cool things to make the evidence talk to them. Then they go and catch the bad guys with all the evidence they have.


My Life by Shanti Peters

What I want to be…

When I grow up, I want to be a professional figure skater, every year since I was four, my sister and I have taken skating lessons, though the last four years we only had lessons when we were home between August and the end of December. I love skating, and am already competing in a few minor events. I’ve even gotten first place a few times. Mom says I’m a natural, I don’t know for sure but I know I do love it. I hope to one day be able to skate in Stars On Ice with some of the greats like Tara Lipinski and Sarah Hughes.


My Life by Jonathon Peters

What I want to be…

When I grow up, I want to be a RIO like my father, or else a pilot like my Uncle Mike. It would be just cool to be able to fly in a jet, and being an RIO would be even cooler because you get to be in a jet but also be working with computers. My family has strong military ties, so it would be nice to continue the family tradition.


Thursday June 1st, 2017
Waldorf, Maryland
Peters Residence
6:05 a.m.

“Come on you two!” Sara yelled as she flipped a pancake. Finally hearing the familiar running down the stairs she shook her head before looking over her shoulder to watch her daughters come into the kitchen. Johnny was already at the table, working on something or other in his notebook.

“Morning Mom,” Jackie grinned as she dropped her backpack by her seat before sitting down.

“Morning Mom,” Shanti echoed.

“What were you two doing up there? Trying to drive me insane?” Sara asked as she slid the pancake onto a second plate then walked over to put them on the table in front of the two. “Better make it quick, we got to get your cousins and hit the road in fifteen.”

“Sure Mom,” Jackie agreed before taking the butter from Shanti.

“Sleepy heads,” Johnny spoke up, looking up at his sisters and smirking.

“Smarty pants,” Shanti shot back.

“You two got your homework done, right?”

“Yes, Mom,” they chorused.

“Nothing I need to sign?”

“No, Mom,” all three chorused this time, and she looked back at them just in time to see three sets of identical eyes rolling towards the ceiling.

“You have lunch money still, right?”

“No Mom, I bought the answers to tomorrow’s test so I’m broke,” Jackie answered, her expression completely serious.

Sara simply stared at her daughter until Jackie cracked and began to giggle. “Jackie dearest, you need to work on being able to pull that off for longer than a few seconds,” she teased. Her eldest had the driest sense of humor. Around the table the rest of the kids were snickering into their milk. “Alright, eat up already, I’m going to check my e-mail and call your Aunt Jen.”

“Oooo, gonna see if Uncle Warrick emailed you…” Shanti teased

“Uncle Warrick and Mom sitting in a tree…” Jackie continued

“K-I-S-S-I-N-G!” the two girls chorused.

“First comes love, then comes marriage…” Johnny grinned.

“Then comes Mom with another baby carriage!” all three sang together before ducking as a paper napkin flew over their heads.

“Save me from precocious ten year olds,” Sara groaned, leaving the kitchen to the sounds of their laughter. Once at her desk she grinned,

Aladdins_Pheonix: The kids were just talking about you.

LV_Piano_Man: They were, were they?

Aladdins_Pheonix: Yes, they were, and what are you doing on? Day off or slow day at work?

LV_Piano_Man: Day off, last one until time for vacation. Made a deal with Cath to let me just work straight through so I can get a full two weeks in time for Jen’s birthday. She know about the plans for her party yet?

Aladdins_Pheonix: Nope, far as I know she’s clueless as can be. Still not sure how exactly we’re going to get her out cold for the flight down there…I think the running plan is getting her drunk off her butt the night before…

LV_Piano_Man: Girl, I’m not helping with that, you’re on your own there…

Aladdins_Pheonix: LOL hey, I’m not getting involved there. It’s Jeth’s job to make sure she ends up unconscious (hopefully to la la land) so we can get her down to Orlando and in the house without realizing what’s going on.

LV_Piano_Man: She’s going to kill you when she wakes up…

Aladdins_Pheonix: Nah, she’s going to squeal and then drag all of our butts to MK so she can see Cindy.

LV_Piano_Man: Well, that’s going to be interesting…

Aladdins_Pheonix: Nah, tradition lol

LV_Piano_Man: True...so what were your kids saying about me?

Aladdins_Pheonix: They’re on my case about you again…are we sure they didn’t see anything in Venice??

LV_Piano_Man: Baby, the only things they could have seen is one kiss.


Aladdins_Pheonix: True…

Smiling, Sara thought back to that day in Venice….

Flashback

“They’re crazy,” Sara chuckled, letting her head rest on Warrick’s shoulder as they moved down the Grand Canal. When they headed towards the Gondolas, the kids had insisted on riding in one by themselves, where Johnny was pretending to be Jack Sparrow and the girls were the daughters of the Governor who he had kidnapped.

“They’re just like their mother,” he countered with a smile.

“Nah, they’re just like their father,” she countered gently.

“From what I’ve heard, I have to agree with you,” he agreed before sitting back so they could just enjoy their gondolier as he sang another Italian song. When Sara sort of hummed happily for a moment, he looked down, just as they started to go under a bridge. And she looked up at him. Dropping his head the last few inches he gently kissed her.

Pulling away a few moments later he looked in her eyes for any anger, ready to apologize. Instead she reached up to brush her fingers against his cheek, smiling softly.

End Flashback

Hearing the sound of dishes being washed, Sara snapped back to reality, before looking back at the Instant Messenger screen.

Aladdins_Pheonix: I got to go, Rick, time to get the kids, Ginny and Nicky to school.

LV_Piano_Man: Okay Baby, have a good day. Love you

Aladdins_Pheonix: You too, Love you too

Disconnecting, she rose and put the computer in standby before grabbing her purse, smiling softly at their familiar send off now. After the kiss in Venice, they had talked, and realized they both had feelings for the other. But with the fact that he was in Vegas and she and the kids still had some time left in their trip…they decided to try things long distance, see how things went with trips to see each other whenever possible. Thank God for instant messenger…

“Alright you guys, bags and coats…lets go,” she called, stepping outside to see Ginny, Nicky, Patty and Toby heading over, Jethro watching from the doorway. Giving him a wave she turned back to hustle her three out the door before locking it and heading towards the SVU.


Wednesday October 18th, 2017
NCIS Headquarters
1:35 p.m.

“Hey you,” Jen greeted, having looked up when she heard her office door open. “How goes the investigation?”

“Abby and Ducky are having a rough time with pinpointing the time of death,” Jethro said sitting down on the opposite side of Jen’s desk.

“But we’ve at least identified him as Lance Corporal Dwyer right?” asked Jen.

“That much we do know for certain. Abby ran the DNA this morning and it came back as Lance Corporal Dwyer,” Jethro confirmed. “Ducky was also able to confirm blunt force trauma as the cause of death.”

“So we have a suspect and now we have the victim but without a positive time of death we have no way of tying the victim to the suspect,” observed Jen.

“Abby wants to bring someone in to help,” Jethro said.

“Gina? She knows she can call…”

“It’s not Gina,” Jethro said interrupting her.

“Not Gina?”

“Not Gina. Do you remember that forensics seminar you approved for Abby to attend at Quantico?” he asked.

“Of course, she bugged me for over a week to let her go,” Jen said.

“Apparently the person she wants to bring in is one of the presenters. She thinks he’ll be able to help her and Ducky pinpoint time of death,” he explained.

“And why’s that?”

“According to Abby he’s one of the top experts on bugs.”

“Bugs?” asked Jen.

“It’s why they’re having trouble with the time of death because the body’s too desiccated due to being eaten by bugs. Apparently this presenter knows everything there is to know about bugs and about their effect on a crime scene. She says he’s one of the top experts in the country. She’s already called him to come in, I was just coming by to give you a head’s up,” Jethro explained.

“I see. I want to be there when he arrives,” Jen said.

“Jennifer…”

“Don’t Jennifer me, Jethro, I’m not like my predecessor. I’m not trying to stick my nose into your investigation, even though I do have that right,” she smiled.

“Then why do you want to be there?” he asked curiously.

“When you said this guy was one of the top experts on bugs, I just got this strange feeling like I know who this person might be,” admitted Jen. “And if it is who I think it is, then I want to at least have an opportunity to prevent things from blowing up in our faces.”

“Jennifer…”

“Jeth, please. I don’t want to say more until I know for sure who this person is. I could very well be over reacting but deep down I don’t think I am,” Jen said just as Jethro’s cell phone rang.

“Gibbs,” he said answering the call. “We’ll be right there,” he said a few minutes later hanging up the phone and returning his attention to Jen. “That was Abby, he’s here.”

“Then let’s not keep him waiting,” Jen said as she stood up and walked around her desk, Jethro joining her as they made their way from her office towards the elevator and on up to Abby’s lab.

“You wanted to see me Abby?” Jethro asked as he and Jen walked into the lab a few minutes later.

“It’s about time Gibbs,” Abby snapped, causing Jen and Jethro to share a confused look.

“You called me two minutes ago Abby, I couldn’t get here any faster unless I was right outside the door when you called,” Jethro pointed out.

“That’s beside the point Gibbs,” Abby argued.

“Abby!” Jen snapped in irritation, getting the other woman’s attention.

“Oh hey Jen,” Abby smiled.

“Hi,” Jen said. “You said your expert was here?”

“Oh! He is,” Abby said as she walked over to her office and led a gentleman out. “Gibbs, Jen, I’d like to introduce…”

“Dr. Grissom,” Jen said with a small sigh, cutting Abby off as she recognized the gentleman next to Abby.

“Agent Garrison,” Gil said holding his hand out towards her. “Good to see you again.”

“I had a feeling Abby’s expert would be you,” Jen said, shaking his hand before wrapping her arms around her waist in what could be considered a protective gesture. “How are Catherine and the others?” she asked, not because she really wanted to know but because it was the polite thing to do.

“They’re fine,” Gil said, as he watched Jethro step up behind Jen and put his hands on her shoulders reassuringly.

“Wait, you two know each other?” Abby asked in confusion.

“You could say that,” Jen said as she turned and walked over to the lab windows where she stopped and stood looking out.

“You can help us pinpoint a time of death on our Lance Corporal?” Jethro asked, turning the conversation back to the case at hand.

“The order in which bugs reach a body and the length of time it takes them to lay eggs and hatch are the one constant that never changes no matter the situation. By examining the bugs on the body I can determine how long your victim has been dead. I can help you pinpoint time of death,” Gil said. “It will depend on the types of bugs that were the first to arrive whether it was an open and bleeding wound or not.”

“Well then, I suggest we let you get started,” Jethro said. “If you’ll come with me Dr. Grissom, I’ll show you to the morgue.”

“Lead the way,” Gil said, throwing a look over to where Jen still stood looking out the window before following Jethro from the room.

“Who knows about this Abby?” Jen asked a few minutes later, once Jethro and Gil were gone, turning from the window to face Abby.

“About what?” asked Abby in confusion.

“About Dr. Grissom being here,” Jen clarified.

“Oh, well only you and Gibbs, and Ducky since Gibbs just took him to the morgue,” replied Abby. “Why? Did I make a mistake in asking for his help?”

“Running it by me first might not have been a bad idea, Abby,” Jen sighed. “Does Gina know he’s here?”

“Not that I know of,” replied Abby. “Why? What does it matter if she knows? It’s not like they know…each…Wait a minute…”

“They know each other Abby,” Jen said quietly. “He’s part of the reason she’s here.”

He’s the creep who hurt her?”

“One in the same,” admitted Jen. “Look Abby, don’t say anything to Gina, okay? Let me do it.”

“Of course,” Abby agreed.

“Thanks,” Jen said as she made her way out of the lab and back to her office to think about how to tell her sister Gil was not only in town but in her office and working with her husband and his team.


Wednesday October 18th, 2017
NCIS Headquarters
Parking Lot
4:15 p.m.

Parking the SVU, Sara looked over at those gathered in her car. Her own children were eleven now, and in sixth grade with Liz’s son Tommy. Interesting enough, all of the children attended the same school who lived in Maryland, the kids from Waldorf, all seven of them, Liz’s three kids and Zoey’s two. The Woods Academy in Bethesda was one of the best private Catholic schools the families had found, and provided enough of a jumping point to some of the best private high schools in the state. As well as gave a good starting point for both Nicky and Toby who wanted to go to Fork Union Military Academy in Virginia, both intent on following their Dad into the military.

Jen’s eldest, Nicky and Ginny, were nine and in forth grade, while Patty and Toby would be five in December and were in Kindergarten, their last year at Maria Montessori School there at The Woods. The rest of the children in the ‘family’ were spread out, Leo Young was in third grade with his cousin Becky Faison while his sister Nancy was in first. Liz’s eldest, Erin, was in eighth grade. Every day Sara would take the group from Waldorf to school and pick them up, meeting with Liz and Zoey in the morning for Starbucks, then the three would meet again in the afternoon before school got out for another Starbucks run.

“Okay guys, we’re only here to say hi to your Mom and Dad, and to see if they want to join us for dinner if they aren’t busy with a case or other job-related things, all right?” she asked looking around the car.

“Yes Aunt Gina,” her four nieces and nephews chorused, her own children just looking up at her innocently.


Jen sat at her desk, her head in her hands as she stared at the phone in front of her trying to figure out exactly how to tell her sister that her former boss and one time love of her life was not only in town but in the building.

"Madam Director, you have visitors," her secretary said, poking her head into the office.

“Who is it Melissa?” Jen asked, never lifting her head.

"Your sister and the kids, should I send them in?"

“Sure,” Jen sighed. /-/I need to get her out of here./-/ “Do you know if any of my husband’s team are down in the pen?”

"I think they might be, I can find out..." Melissa trailed off waiting to see what Jen asked.

“Find out for me and if any of them are down there, can you have one of them come up and get the kids so I can talk to my sister in private for a few minutes,” Jen instructed finally looking up.

"Sure," Melissa agreed before disappearing, a moment later the door opened to reveal all seven kids, Sara behind them.

"Afternoon sis," Sara smiled.

"You want to have dinner with us?" Ginny asked immediately.

“Hey Gina,” Jen replied as she suddenly found her arms full of happy nine year old. “I would love to have dinner with my girls and guys,” Jen said as someone knocked on her door.

“You wanted to see me, Boss?” Tim asked sticking his head through the door.

“Hi Tim,” Jen greeted. “Can you do me a favor and take the kids down to the pen and watch them for a few minutes.

“Sure, Boss,” Tim said.

“Ginny, take your sister and brothers with Uncle Tim,” Jen instructed as she gave Ginny a little push towards Tim.

"Poor man...I hope there are some others down there to help him with our brood," Sara mused once Jen's four and her three had left with Tim, all seven going on about their day at once. "So, why the disappearance act of the kids?" she asked sinking into a chair across from Jen.

“Can’t I spend a few minutes alone with my sister,” Jen stalled, still trying to figure out what to say.

"Well yes, but normally we have those moments at home," she agreed. "You okay? You look a bit...peeked."

“I’m fine,” Jen countered.

"Jen...what's going on?" Sara frowned, not believing her.

“How would you feel if you saw a ghost from your past?” Jen asked cryptically.

"Well, that would depend on the ghost I suppose..." Sara shrugged. "If it were my dad, I'd be calling Abby to get me a good exorcist. If it were my mom, I'd be pretty happy..."

“And if it were someone from Vegas?” Jen asked quietly.

"Well, obviously if it was Rick, no problem. Jim I don’t think would be stupid enough to come see me without apologizing ahead of time so...as for the rest...Nick I'd be stressed for you, but the others...I have to face them sometime sis, they're Rick's friends, they're going to be a part of his life, and if I'm going to be a part of his life..." she trailed off with another shrug.

“Grissom’s here.”

"Here, as in here at the office?" Sara asked, glancing around the room as if to see him come out of the corner. "What the heck is he doing at NCIS?"

“You can thank Abby for that,” Jen sighed rubbing her face. “She was bugging me for over a week to let her attend a conference at Quantico. Apparently Jeth and his team have hit a brick wall in their investigation and Abby decided to call in one of the presenters from the seminar. One of the country’s top experts on bugs.”

"A.k.a. one Doctor Gilbert Grissom..." Sara sighed. "Well, that must have thrown you for a loop."

“I had my suspicions when Jeth first told me but it wasn’t until Abby went to introduce him that I my suspicion was proven true. Jeth realized seeing him upset me so he got him out of the lab as quickly as possible,” Jen said.

"Great," she agreed softly. "Well, I should probably go say hi, establish the whole hello you exist, I exist thing for Rick's sake since this chance has presented itself..."

“Jeth took him down to see Ducky in the morgue about half an hour ago,” Jen said. “You can go down or you can take the kids and leave, Jeth and I will meet you for dinner later.”

"Maybe I'm taking the cowards way out, but I just picked up seven children and was on the phone all day with Tammy, she's bugging me for an update on the book about John and Mike..." she trailed off. While they had been in Germany, Jen had been approached about a biography being done about their husbands; Jen had firmly said no and contacted Sara. As soon as they got back for the year she and Sara had gone to the publishing company wanting to do the book and sat down to talk with them. They came to the agreement that the publisher's would have sole rights to the story under the condition that only a writer they approved of would write it. In the end Sara herself had decided to write it, the story could be told their way and it would be something their children and grandchildren could have once they were gone and couldn't tell the story anymore.

“Gina, if you want to just take the kids and run go for it,” Jen said. “I’m all for it. It’s why I wanted to be the one to tell you he was here.”

Sara nodded, mulling over her possibilities. "He never has to know I was here, besides there will be other chances to bury the hatchet as it were...I think I'll just get the kids and run. Just the same I don't think it would be the wisest decision in the world for me to talk with him in the middle of the NCIS building with our seven running around."

“Then I suggest you might want to consider leaving as quickly as possible and Jeth and I’ll stop by on our way home for dinner. I plan on dragging him out of here as soon as I can. Being Director does have its perks after all,” Jen smiled.

"Actually meet us at Lonestar, I'm not up to cooking tonight," Sara countered as she rose. "Don't stress, Sis, he'll be heading home A.S.A.P. and then we can let things settle down for the most part and bring Vegas into our lives on our terms."

“Sounds good, now get going before our timeline gets moved up on us. I’ll give Jeth a call and tell him to stall Grissom if he can to give you time to get the kids and get out of here,” Jen said.

"Alright, love ya Sis," Sara countered before heading towards the door, stopping to give Jen a quick hug before disappearing in search of the kids.


To: [email protected]
From: [email protected]
Subject: Little witch!
Date: 20 October 2017 1153 EST

You are in trouble Ms. Peters!

And why does something tell me you are sitting laughing at the computer screen just after that one sentence? But still, you're in trouble!

My birthday gift arrived yesterday afternoon and I was finally able to open it this morning. What were you doing getting me something like that? I have half a mind to fly out there and smack you, not that I don’t love it, you know I do (and knew I would) but for crying out loud, Gina…I think you just gave me something worth more than my apartment!

And yes I’ll stop complaining now and simply enjoy the gift…still going to smack your butt when I get there but yes…

Anyway, as promised I said I’d tell you how things are here since your scare with Griss being there. Sometimes knowledge is a bit dangerous you realize? Knowing all this stuff about everyone before you meet them may be your downfall ;-) (Okay yes, I’m exaggerating, accept it. I’m also dead tired so I may pull an “Abby” as you put it and ramble.)

As you know, Cath and Griss are married (of course), and she’s still A.D. Griss as you know is still head of nights over yours truly, Nicky, and Greggo. Though there is talk about him retiring in the next couple of years…still in shock over that image myself. Linds is at Yale still, kinda scary that one going into politics…but she’s happy and loving it there.

Emmy’s going to be three in December; she’s got half the lab wrapped around her little finger. Still hard to believe sometimes that our Greggo just isn’t married, but a father, bad enough that he got a ‘babe’ like Lai in the first place. That reminds me, we both know your little girl dreams of being an ice skater, should I bug Lai for an autograph? Had I told you she competed as a skater? Though not sure if Sha has even heard of her…Lai only made it as far as National. Emelie’s already got her first pair of skates as it is…Lai says she’s a natural, (sounds like your’s ;-) ). She looks more like her mom than her dad, but she’s got Greggo’s eyes.

Jim is busy as always with Carey, currently everyone’s getting ready for Carey’s tenth birthday party (the 29th). He’s calmed down a lot, I think having Carey to take care of is good for him. Carey’s every bit like his mom though from the few times I met Ellie, he’s got his grandfather’s eyes though, and I think the black hair comes from his father’s side (whoever that may be). But he’s got the attitude that pops up every now and again, likes to push the edges and barriers. I got him into baseball and basketball as an outlet for him though. He’s smart too; Jim says Ellie was just as smart, she just went another path after all.

Last but not least is Nick, huh? Well, he’s good, enjoying married life. Well, as much as possible with his wife being away at a conference this past week, she went back up to give a lecture at her alumni – the University of British Columbia. Bit interesting that he married a psych, but she’s good for him and all, he’s dealt with a lot of stuff, not just the kidnapping but the thing with Crane and other stuff from his past. And between you and me, Girl, I think that when the truth does come out about Ginny and Nicky…Carrie’s going to be able to help him with that if he is upset in any way. (He probably will be of course, but you know what I mean).

Anyway Girl, I have to run, I need sleep before work tonight. Have a good day and don’t stress too much all right?

Love,

Warrick


Saturday October 28th, 2017
Waldorf, Maryland
Gibbs Residence
8:15 a.m.

“Can I help you?” Ginny asked the strange woman on the other side of the door.

"Hello Sweetheart, is your mom home?"

“Ginny?” Jen called when she stepped out of the kitchen to answer the door and noticed her daughter standing at an open front door. “Ginny, what I have I told you about answering the door?” she admonished lightly as she stepped up to her daughter.

“I’m not to answer the door unless I’m with you, Daddy or Auntie Gina,” Ginny replied.

“Exactly,” Jen said before turning her attention to the person at the door. “Can I help you?” she asked before she realized exactly who it was standing on the other side of the door. “Ginny honey, would you go get your Daddy for me, he’s in the kitchen, then go join your sister and brothers.”

“Yes Mommy,” Ginny replied before running off back into the house, her cry of Daddy could be heard as she entered the kitchen.

“What do you want?” Jen asked.

"Just a few answers," Catherine smiled innocently. "See I had the most interesting conversations just this past week...first my husband comes home and I find out he worked with you, well for you I suppose you could say. Then my daughter called to tell me she had seen this little boy who looked like the spitting image of Nick Stokes, and he was in the company of a woman who bore a resemblance to Sara Sidle...true Linds only knows Sara really from pictures from before Sara left but still...that raised just a few questions in my mind."

“Jennifer, everything all right?” Jethro asked stepping up behind Jen in the doorway, his hands going to her hips.

“Jeth, do me a favor, take the kids over to Gina’s. Catherine and I have a few things to discuss that I don’t want them hearing,” Jen said turning to look at Jethro.

“You sure?” he asked, picking up on the stress Jen had placed on Catherine’s name. “Ginny can see her brothers and sister over to their aunt’s house if you’d like me to stay.”

“I’d feel more comfortable if you’d take them. Can you take Gina her pruning shears back while you’re at it please? They’re at the back door,” Jen said, hoping he picked up on why she stressed the word that she did.

“Of course,” he agreed, kissing Jen on the forehead before heading back into the house.

“You’re not welcome here Ms. Willows,” Jen said once she was alone with Catherine again.

"I'm not leaving without some answers though Ms. Garrison," she countered.

“Gibbs,” Jen said.

"Fair enough Mrs. Gibbs, and it's Grissom," Catherine smiled sweetly.

“I don’t owe you any kind of answers to any questions you may have Mrs. Grissom and don’t think you can intimidate me because I’m not the woman you met in Vegas years ago and I don’t think you want a pissed off Marine on your ass,” Jen said, crossing her arms as she leant against the door jamb, hearing Jethro and the kids at the back door.

"I thought you were in the Navy," Catherine scoffed.

“I am, but my husband was a Marine Sniper, and he’s still an excellent shot,” Jen smirked as she thought about the story Jethro told her about taking out a kidnapper with a shot to the ass.

"Even your connections with our former President couldn't get you or your husband off for murder in that case," Catherine smirked back. "Look, either you and I talk, or I'm going next door, cause I know it's one of the houses next door thanks to you sending your husband and children away, to find Sara. Either way...I'm getting my answers Mrs. Gibbs."

Jen stepped back to allow Catherine to enter her house. “You can try but there’s no guarantee I’ll answer or if any answer I do give will be the one that you want to hear,” she said as Catherine stepped into the house past her before leading her into the kitchen. “You have five minutes before my husband returns and I call the cops for harassment.”

"Well then we'll, have to make these five minutes count," Catherine agreed. "Now, how can there be a boy the spitting image of Nick with Sara? Obviously, it can’t be Sara's child seeing as she and Nick were never together...or else there is some really weird conversation the two of them forgot to tell all of us...so that leaves me with only one logical theory. And that then begs to be said...when were you going to tell Nick he had a son?"

“Nick doesn’t have a son,” Jen said with a shrug as she leant back against the counter, her arms crossed over her chest.

"And yet there is a little boy running around Washington D.C. who is the spitting image of him...and I know it can't be any of his siblings' children because I met them all when he and Carrie married..."

“Nick’s married,” Jen nodded. “Good for him. I hope he makes her as happy as Jeth makes me.”

"She's good for him, they're very happy," Catherine agreed. "Still doesn't mean he shouldn't know about his son," she continued, not letting the subject go.

“And he should, if he actually had one,” Jen said.

"Look Jennifer, I'm not stupid. It's bad enough that my husband saw you and worked for you while here...I'm dealing with that. But this is Nick, he's a good friend of mine, I'm not going to sit by and just walk away knowing he has a kid out there. I'm not betraying him like Sara did."

“I never said you were stupid, Catherine, and your husband working for me was not exactly my idea if you must know. My forensics expert called him in on a case without informing me of who she was bringing in first. And as for Nick, I don’t know why or even how you think Gina betrayed him but what happens between them is their business, as is anything that may or may not have happened between Nick and I. My sons are the son of my first husband Michael and my current husband Jethro. Their birth certificates will attest to that as will the adoption papers making Jethro the legal father of my first born son and daughter,” Jen countered.

"As you wish Mrs. Gibbs," Catherine nodded. "I'm not accepting this as the end, I'll just let it go...for now," she warned.

“Well if you want to sit and stew over something that doesn’t exist, that’s your right. Now if you don’t mind, you’ve overstayed your welcome and I’d like you to leave and forget how you got here,” Jen said standing up.


To: [email protected]
From: [email protected]
Subject: URGENT!!
Date: 28 October 2017 0908 EST

Hey babe,

Okay part of me needs to vent, part of me needs to warn you…I think I’ll start with venting, get that out of the way, then warn you, then send this and page you to tell you to check your e-mail…

You won’t BELIEVE who showed up on Jen’s doorstep this morning…I’m seriously thinking I’m going to kill someone now, not sure if it will be Catherine Willows-Grissom herself, or her husband… (I know, that just answered the who showed up on the doorstep question didn’t it?) But yes, Catherine showed up on Jen’s doorstep at 8 a.m. this morning. I know this because less than two minutes after she showed up, I had Jethro and the kids on MY doorstep with my pruning sheers…poor Jethro was looking at me going do you know why you needed these back? I mean I understand she wanted me and the kids out of the house but why did she insist I bring these? (At which point it finally seemed to have clicked into his poor coffee deprived brain just who Catherine was and why Jen wanted him to bring my sheers that were at the back door…)

Of course then we looked out and saw her coming my way and against Jethro’s wishes I sent him and the kids back to the house through the basement entrance once I let Catherine into the foyer, course I did notice it was a bit odd when I saw Jen’s car turn out of the court through the window a moment later…but I figured she was going to get coffee right. Anyway though, so Catherine comes over and proceeds to tear me a new one about how Lindsey saw this kid who looks just like Nick with a woman who looked like me. (Who knew going on a field trip with my niece and nephew’s class to the MNAH – speaking of which they got a few new exhibits, they actually have a ‘kit’ from that show a few years back about CSIs. The big hit…the one that belonged to the supervisor we used to swear someone followed Griss around to model after…surprisingly accurate for a CSI’s kit.)

I kept her in the foyer, (and had to thank God I don’t have any pics of the family near there) – she wasn’t exactly happy I didn’t rise to her challenges, and it would appear she A) didn’t get the answers she wanted from Jen and B) was exceptionally pissed. She also didn’t get them from me and I’m afraid that things might not be as nice and easy as we were hoping they would when I started talking to everyone there in Vegas again…I may not have to worry about keeping myself from killing Jim… she’s just gone to the top of the list….

Cath left eventually (after about 20 minutes of going back and forth repeating the same thing). Immediately thereafter I got a voicemail and found out that my dingbat sister had a flight at 8:40 bound for the land that never sleeps. (And I have one very pissed off brother-in-law pacing around my library upstairs while all of the children are busy watching their morning cartoons.).

So, here is my request, Jen is on her way there. I did some quick hunting online and found out her flight is landing at 11:05 your time, do you think you can keep an eye out for her? I suspect she’s headed for Griss…

I’ll call soon to talk.

Love,

Gina


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