This story is for Aserene, who requested a flashback. This one managed to give me a two-week writer's block...

Death of a Sailor should start going up soon.

Summary: Once, when they were in Europe, Lily had scammed Jenny into leaving the hotel room for a few hours and then interrogated him on his intentions. NonExistent Numbers

In the comfort of his basement, Leroy Jethro Gibbs worked on his new boat. The repetitive sanding motion was calming and allowed his mind to wander.

His thoughts kept returning to the times he was sharing with Jenny off the job. Although they were deliberately avoiding the term 'dating', it was what they were doing. They were determined not to jinx it this time around, rather difficult when they were both stubborn, independent people. They had agreed to take things slowly for now.

He heard the top step creak and glanced up to see the redhead descending the stairs. He wasn't particularly surprised; he had known she would turn up soon.

"Bourbon's on the bench," he greeted her. "Coffee's upstairs."

She fished around for a mug and poured herself some bourbon. Moving to his side, she leant again the rib next to him and took a few sips.

"Are you planning on staring at me all night?" he asked after a while.

"Perhaps," she answered, the first word she had spoken to him since her arrival.

"All right," he put down the sander. "Why are you here?"

"You're dating Jenny again."

Ten years ago

Gibbs stood outside his hotel room door, watching the two sisters search their pockets.

He and Jenny had been sent to London to find a serial killer who was hunting down and killing Marines. Two days into their stay, Lily had shown up. Apparently, the CIA was concerned that the killer might be someone on their radar, and they wanted someone with high security clearance in the loop.

Initially, Gibbs had resented Lily's presence. He had met her before, during an undercover drugs operation, but hadn't spent much time with her. Jenny's twin had 

spent much of the time ignoring him. And with the current mission, he hated her looking over their shoulders every five minutes. After she had persuaded other agencies to leave the case to NCIS and hand over all their intelligence, his views on her had changed.

It helped that the sisters were so identical. They worked seamlessly with each other, and yet made sure that he wasn't the third wheel. They bounced ideas around and came up with some great leaps. But Lily had a ruthless streak running through her, one that had come to the front when they had captured their suspect that morning. Jenny had had to talk her sister out of shooting the guy during the arrest.

After filling out enough paperwork to destroy half the Amazonian rainforest, they had headed back to the hotel together. Once outside the door, Lily had been unable to find her room key, which had lead to the searching.

"I must have left it in the squad room," she complained. "I had it when we got back from the arrest, I know I did."

Jenny shook her head. "I definitely don't have it. Why don't you ask the front desk to open your room and we'll deal with it in the morning?"

"I'm not staying in my room if someone else could have the key. I'd be murdered in my sleep."

"Why did you join the CIA then?"

"Better job opportunities than NCIS. I'll go back and get it; it must be on the desk."

"No," Jenny decided. "I'll get it. You stay here and keep Jethro company."

"Are you sure? You two could be doing other things –"

Jenny punched her sister's arm. "Stay here. I'll retrieve your key and get takeout at the same time."

"Thanks. I owe you one."

"You owe me several."

"You owe me an alarm clock."

"Please, please, please don't start that argument again." Jenny kissed Gibbs' cheek before walking back towards the elevator. "Don't fight," she called over her shoulder.

Gibbs opened his door and they both walked in. It was a small, comfortable room, clearly within the budget constraints. A double bed was against one wall, and a few chairs were in the corner by the window. The table was covered in maps of the surrounding area that had been used to locate their suspect. Lily took a seat by the window after drawing the curtains, while Gibbs sat on the edge of the bed.

"I wouldn't get too settled if I were you," she warned him as he took his shoes off.

He ignored her.

She reached into her pocket and placed a single key on the table.

"Is that –"

She nodded. "I've always been fond of sleight of hand. Pity you didn't check your own pockets."

"Why did you hide it?"

"Because I need to talk to you, without Jenny present."

"What about?" He was suddenly very wary.

"I want to know what you plan to do with my sister."

He stared at her for a moment. What was she on about? They'd been together for six months, and Lily was quizzing him like a concerned parent. Well, a concerned parent whose impulse control wasn't very good and had at least three guns on her person at that particular moment in time. He had a terrifying thought that she could kill him and be gone before Jenny returned, and slowly reached for his own gun.

She pulled a clip from her other pocket and put it next to the key on the table. "I wouldn't bother if I were you," she told him.

He checked his gun. She'd stolen the clip without him noticing. Now that took some doing.

"So, LJ, what are your intentions with my sister?"

He decided to try the truth. "I love her."

"And yet you've been married three times." The look on his face was priceless. Evidently, he'd never been interrogated before.

"I've been divorced twice," he tried to correct her.

"Marriage number one: she was murdered. Marriage number two: you found her in bed with another man and divorced her. Marriage number three: she filed for divorce and left after clearing out your bank account."

He continued to impersonate a goldfish.

"I'm CIA," she warned him. "I know how to do a thorough background check on someone."

He forced himself to speak. "You don't think I'm good enough for your sister?"

"I think that with three marriages under your belt, I should be concerned. So, what do you plan to do with her?"

"To do with her?"

"Is this a fling, or a more serious relationship?"

"I love her," he repeated.

"Is she aware of this?"

"I've told her."

"When you weren't in bed together?"

He stared at her again. Was she a mind reader? How did she know?

"I'll take that as a 'no'," she continued.

"I want to tell her… but the words keep sticking in my throat," he admitted.

"I don't see the problem. If you love her, tell her."

"It's not that easy."

She glared at him; he fought the urge to shudder.

"I'll tell her," he promised.

"You'd better. Where do you see this relationship going?"


"It's not that difficult. Marriage?"

He shook his head. "Not because I don't love her, but because I do. I'm not making her an ex-wife."

"Better," she praised. "You want a serious relationship with her then."

"Yes," he concurred.

"But, and correct me if I'm wrong, she's your agent? You're her boss? How do you see that playing out?"

He wondered whether it was too late to hire a hit man. Deciding to avoid the CIA completely if all agents were like this, he answered, "She's got a lot of potential."

"I know. I also know that she's not sleeping with you to further her own career. What would you do if she accepted a transfer somewhere else?"

"I wouldn't be happy with it."

"But you'd accept it?"

"If it made her happy."

She turned her attention back to the table for a moment, giving him a chance to relax. She picked up the key and toyed with it. "She ever tell you her five point plan?"

He considered. "I don't remember her mentioning it."

"Don't worry about it then. If you knocked her up, what would you do?"

"She isn't –"

"I know she isn't. It's a hypothetical situation. If you knocked her up, what would you do?"

"I'd talk to her."

"If she wanted a ring on her finger?"

"I'd give her one," he answered instantly, before his brain kicked in. 'Did I say that out loud?'

"Good." She stood up and moved over to his side. "I'd hate to have to kill you."

"I'd hate for that too," he quipped.

She put her mouth next to his ear before she continued. "If you ever hurt her, in any way, shape or form, I will hunt you down to the ends of the earth and you will live to regret it."

He gulped. He could deal with child molesters, murderers and rapists with one hand tied behind his back, but this woman made him want to beat a rapid retreat.

She lowered her voice. "Am I clear?"

"Crystal," he replied.

She stood back and observed him for a moment. "Good." She walked out of the room, her key in her hand.

He sat on the bed, still in shock. What just happened?

Back in the basement, Lily took another sip of her bourbon. "Do I need to repeat that talk again?" she asked, her eyes dancing with amusement.

"I think I remember it."

"I meant what I said then," she reminded him.

"I know."

She put the mug down and started back up the steps. She paused on the top step and looked back at him. "LJ? Just so you're aware, I've been practicing castration."

Lily laughed as she swept out of his house. Maybe this time her sister could have a fairytale ending…