A/N Just something I came up with while listening to 'Lost' over and over again. I love that last scene of Heartland. Actually, I loved the whole episode.
Disclaimer: I own nothing. Except a computer, various hair clips and a bottle with ladybugs in it.
Gibbs had been driving around for nearly two hours now. Coming back to Stillwater had brought back memories for him, and everywhere he looked he saw Shannon.
He stopped as yet another train passed.
They took their seats, facing each other. They were silent until the train was in motion again.
"So your dad is the man who runs the general store. Jackson," Shannon said.
Gibbs stared at her for a moment.
"Yeah," Gibbs replied. He wasn't exactly a good conversationalist, especially when sitting right near a very pretty girl. He was quite proud of himself for the small talk they'd had while at the station. "Yeah, that's my dad."
"I thought I'd seen you in the store."
"I've seen you around too" Gibbs countered, trying to hide his nervousness.
Shannon laughed slightly.
"What do you parents do?" he asked, trying to keep the conversation going.
"My dad's a mechanic in the next town over. Mum's a teacher"
Gibbs didn't reply. He was thinking about his mother now.
Shannon's expression changed. "Marion Gibbs was your mother, wasn't she?" she asked, even though it wasn't really a question.
"Yes," Gibbs replied, shifting uncomfortably in his seat. "You knew her?"
"My mum talked about her a lot. I think they saw each other often." Shannon could tell this was a difficult topic for him, but maybe, just maybe, they could establish a strong trust between them by talking about it. "I went to the funeral as well."
Shannon smiled. "I'm pretty sure the whole town did. Everyone seemed to like her. A lot."
Gibbs smiled in return.
Driving around again, Gibbs thought about that train ride discussion. She'd been frank, honest, and open about his mother's death. From the moment they met, Shannon had proven herself to be the best friend he needed.
He drove past the icecream shop and park.
"Try this," Shannon said, sticking her rapidly melting dessert under his nose as they walked. "Go on, try it."
In the six months that they'd been dating, Gibbs had become a different person. Shannon had changed him. He was no longer as petulant towards his father, and he'd taken her advice – he'd stopped fighting with Ed and Chuck.
He was in the Navy still, but returned home every opportunity that he could, just to see her.
He bent forward and tasted her icecream. He pulled away, trying to hide his disgust. "Nice."
Shannon turned to face him and tilted her head to one side. "Really. You think so, do you?" she grinned.
He didn't answer; instead he turned away.
She pushed her icecream in his face.
"Oh, nice, Shan, nice," he laughed. He picked her up and put her over his shoulders, spinning around and listening to her squeals of laughter.
Eventually they collapsed on the grass, both still laughing.
He wiped the remaining icecream off his face and looked at her. She'd managed to get some on her face too.
He reached a hand out to wipe it off, but instead ended up pulling her in closer. Without thinking, he closed his eyes and kissed her.
After a moment, he pulled away to see Shannon still smiling. He leant in and kissed her again.
Gibbs grinned just thinking about it. Smiling. She was always smiling. She made everything brighter.
He'd rarely seen her upset. One time stood out the most.
He rang the doorbell for the third time. He knew she was home; all the cars were there and she'd told him to meet him there for their date.
The door opened slowly and she poked her head out. "Jethro?"
She'd begun calling him that soon after they began dating.
"You almost ready to…" He saw that she'd been crying. Her face was blotchy and her long hair looked rumpled. "What's wrong?"
Strangely enough, Gibbs still thought she was beautiful. No matter what the situation, she always managed to amaze him.
Shannon stepped outside and shut to door behind her quietly. "Mum…she had to go back to the hospital this morning…"
Gibbs understood. Her mother, Katherine, had had health issues for many years. "Okay…"
"She…she…died. She died this morning. My mother is dead. She's gone." Shannon began crying, tears falling thick and fast down her cheeks.
Gibbs pulled her to him and wrapped his arms around her, letting her cry into his chest. Shannon had been very close to Katherine.
He remembered how he had felt when his mother had died. Angry. Upset. But mostly angry.
He wondered whether Shannon would be angry about Katherine.
An hour later they were still outside, except now they were sitting on the steps, her head resting on his shoulder. For a while he'd thought she was asleep, but then she would mutter to herself every once in a while and tighten her hold on him.
He was glad that he could be there for her. They had discussed his past, his family, and she had been there to support him, but nothing had ever really happened that required him to be there to this extent.
DiNozzo rang Gibbs after a few hours, wondering where the boss had ended up. Gibbs simply replied that he'd be there soon, although he had no intention of ending his drive down memory lane.
He rarely discussed Shannon around the team. There were a few occasions; when Ziva had first come to NCIS, when Jen had been with him in the hospital after his second coma, and when Ducky had been mad at him.
He wasn't the kind of person to talk about his personal life. To explain it he would need hours. Shannon…he couldn't even think of where to start describing her.
"Are you going to tell me where we're going?" Shannon asked. After they had finished dinner he had taken her by the hand and walked her around town.
"We're nearly there," he said, just managing to keep his excitement inside.
They'd been dating for a few years now. Shannon had had her 19th birthday a few months earlier, and Gibbs was 22.
Finally they stopped walking. Gibbs stared at her. "You don't remember?"
"Remember what?" Shannon replied, looking around. "It's the train station."
Shannon still looked confused.
"We met here," Gibbs said, a little disappointed that she didn't think of that immediately.
Now his nerves were kicking in. He had it all planned out. He just had to begin.
He knelt down on one knee.
"Oh my God," Shannon breathed. "Jethro."
Gibbs paused for a moment, considering his plan again. He didn't need the whole speech. She knew why he loved her. She knew everything.
He pulled the little green box out from his pocket and opened it. "Will you marry me?"
Gibbs laughed out loud at that memory.
He continued driving around, passing the church where they were married, and the house they had lived in before they moved to Washington.
Finally he drove onto the highway and left Stillwater, returning to Washington.
No-one could replace Shannon. No-one could even come close.
A/N Please review!