AUTHOR'S NOTE: Well, it's been awhile since I thought of this fic. I started writing the epilogue a while ago, but I didn't finish it until recently. I'm sorry for those of you who have been waiting for this; hopefully it's worth it. I have to warn you, it's a rather long chapter, with many subsections…and there's WAY more Jibbs in this than I planned, but it's my favorite ship…so, yeah. I just wanted to give one big thanks to everyone who's read this, reviewed it, alerted/favorited it (or me)…if you've done anything, thank you. So, here it is, enjoy!
DISCLAIMER: I don't own any of the NCIS characters, places, themes, plots, etc. Only the plot and original characters are mine.
Drinks and Returns
It was late at night when Ducky, Gibbs, McGee, Tony, and Ziva made it back to NCIS headquarters at the Navy Yard.
"You're back!" Abby squealed as she ran into Gibbs' open arms.
"We weren't gone that long, Abs."
"I know, Gibbs. But it felt like forever." She said as she pulled back and hugged everyone else.
"You didn't have to wait up, Abby." McGee said as he led her to his desk and started putting his gear away.
"I know! But I drank a lot of CafPow…"
"And the Director just let you stay?" Tony asked curiously.
"Yeah. She was very nice about it. Actually, I don't think she left either." Abby said, shrugging, as she sat on McGee's desk swinging her legs back and forth.
Gibbs sighed at that.
"Yes, well, I do believe she just wanted to make sure we all got back safely." Ducky said as he watched the four agents put up their things.
"I'll have to talk to her about that." Gibbs said as he ran his hand over his cheek. "Team, you did good. Take tomorrow off."
The team sat in shock.
"It's just…you haven't said that in a while, Boss." Tony said as he looked in wonder.
Ziva shook her head, the first to break out of the trance. "Shall we go to the Lucky 7 for drinks?"
"Ah, yes. I'll join you as soon as I leave my equipment back in Autopsy."
"I'll help you." McGee offered.
He followed Ducky to the elevator, and Tony and Ziva were quick to follow. "Bye Gibbs!" They called as they left.
Abby, however, stayed seated on the desk, feet still swinging freely.
"You should come with us, Gibbs. Drinks…it'll be fun."
"Abs, go." Gibbs said kindly, coming to stand in front of her.
"Aw, come on Gibbs!"
"I'll be there later. I promise. I just need to brief Jenny on case details."
Abby rolled her eyes as she hopped off the desk. "Riiiight."
Gibbs shook his head and rolled his eyes. "Have fun. And Abs, good work."
"Jethro." Jenny acknowledged as he walked into her office.
"Abby told me you were still working." He said almost accusingly as he leaned against the edge of her desk.
Jenny looked at him from under her glasses and then took them off, sighing, "I had work to do."
"And Abby informed me - informed everyone - that you're team would be back today."
"What does that mean?"
"We solved the case." He said, ignoring her question.
"I knew you would." She said, crossing her arms and leaning back in her chair.
"Go home, Jethro. Get some sleep."
"I could say the same for you."
"I have work to do." She said, gesturing to the open files on her desk.
Gibbs flipped them closed. "It'll wait."
Jenny sighed. She hated when he could get to her like that. Jethro was pretty much the only one she would stop work for. That had proven true throughout the years.
"Come on, Jen. The gang's all down at the 7, you should come, too."
"That usually means you're about to give in."
"Nuh-uh!" Jenny protested childishly.
"Your right eye always twitches when you're lying…" He reminded her. "I'll drive. Didn't see your car out front so that means you took the Subway to work."
Jenny threw her hands in the air. "Fine!" But a smile was tugging at her lips.
Gibbs smiled as he waited for her to lock everything up.
Jenny, however, frowned. "Oh no. You do NOT get to say 'I told you so'."
"Wow, look who it is!" McGee said, surprised.
"Abby smiled upon seeing Gibbs and Jenny walk into the bar. She waved at them and turned back to McGee. "I told you so."
Six Months Later
"Bill. Bill. Bill." Tony said as he flipped through his mail. He sighed. "Whatever happened to good ole' fashion letters?" He asked, sitting on the edge of his desk. "I mean, there's just something about the drama…Waiting months until your overseas lover got the letter…of course, by then, the 'lover' probably already found someone a little closer to home, if you know what I mean…and somewhere in there an illegitimate child is thrown in…"
"Sounds like a movie." McGee commented as he typed away on his keyboard.
"Movie? Movie…movie…nope. Sounds more like something out of the Boss' life."
"What about my life, DiNozzo?" Gibbs asked as he walked into the Bullpen.
Tony sat up from the desk. "I was just saying how you seemed to have a…uh, well…um…I got nothing, Boss." Tony admitted as he squeezed his eyes shut for the head slap.
But it didn't come.
Gibbs walked to his desk, going through a similar stack of envelopes like Tony had moments ago. "Tell me, DiNozzo. Why do I have a letter addressed to you and Ziva…and right below that it says 'Tom' and 'Lisa'?"
Ziva jumped up and snatched the letter from Gibbs' hand. "Tony, it is from them!"
Tony laughed and came to stand behind her. "Ha! I knew it!"
McGee and Gibbs looked at each other - confused.
"When did he shoot the question?" Ziva asked as she tore open the envelope.
"Pop the question. And a few days ago. Read it!"
Ziva opened the envelope and read off of the stiff, light purple paper. It was a generic invitation. "You, Ziva David and Tony DiNozzo, are cordially invited to the wedding of Gracie Smith and Mark Sullivan on Saturday, December 5th, 2009, at 7:00pm, at the Casa Hotel at-" She read but was interrupted by Tony taking the envelope.
"Look, there's another piece of paper." He said as he shook out the written note. "How are y'all (and by that I mean Tony, since you're probably the one reading this)? I know, I know. It's happened. Sully and I are about to get married. Annie is coming as well; we still stay in touch with her. Please come, and please feel free to bring all those Agents friends we heard so much about. After all, we probably wouldn't have met if it weren't for the tornado, and those friends seem interesting. Thanks again, and please RSVP by phone or email." He read.
Gibbs smiled. "Those your friends from the case few months back?"
Ziva nodded and bent down over her computer to send an email to Gracie. "And that means that you, Abby, McGee, Ducky, and Jenny are invited as well."
"Oh, and we need time off to travel to Florida…that being where the hotel is." Tony added.
Gibbs sighed. "I'll talk to Jenny about it."
A cheer went up from the team, and even Gibbs had to crack a smile.
"A wedding! McGee, that is so sweet! Are these the Tornado friends that Ziva and Tony talk so much about? That's great! I love meeting new people-"
"Yes, McGee?" Abby asked innocently as she continued typing a report.
"I know you're excited, but don't you want to know where-"
"Wear? Oh my gosh, McGee, what am I gonna wear? I have to go shopping…you think I could go with Ziva…or maybe Director-"
"It's in Florida," McGee began quickly, "And Gibbs hasn't even cleared it with Jenny yet, so don't get too excited."
"Florida! I had a boyfriend from there. Whoever said long distance relationships don't work was wrong…one time we went on a camping trip and -" Abby turned away from her typing. "McGee!" She called to the empty room. Finally she shrugged. She had a dress to find.
"Jenny!" Gibbs called as he barged into the Director's office.
Jenny took off her glasses and sighed. "Maybe I should get one of those motion sensors…or a camera…or guard." She mused aloud.
"Hilarious, Jen." Gibbs said, rolling his eyes. He came in and sat in the chair in front of her, leaning towards her over the desk. "I need a favor. Two favors. Actually, well, one favor leads into the other favor -"
Jenny interrupted him. "Leroy Jethro Gibbs. Listen to yourself, you sound like Abby." She said teasingly. "If one didn't know you better they'd say you were nervous."
Gibbs chuckled. "Mhm. Really, Jenny?"
"What do you want, Jethro?"
"Tony and Ziva got a letter from a friend inviting them to a wedding in Florida."
"They want a week off..."
"They deserve it."
"Everyone was invited…McGee, Abby, Ducky, me…you."
He looked in her eyes. "I want you to come, Jen."
"Yep." Here it was… "As my date."
"We've got to expand your vocabulary."
A pensive frown formed on her face. "I guess Vance could take over for a few days…He's pretty capable. All right, Jethro. It's a date." She said, smiling.
"It's a date." Gibbs repeated, flashing her a smile. He leaned across the desk and kissed her cheek. "I owe ya, Jen."
Jenny laughed. "Yeah. You know how much I hate weddings."
"After three wives you seriously think this is a good idea, Boss?" Tony asked as he, McGee, and Gibbs walked toward the mall following the three ladies.
"I have to agree, Boss…" McGee said nervously.
Gibbs' eyes narrowed as he stared at the big building. "Didn't say it was a good idea."
"You can say that again." Tony said under his breath, receiving a head slap in the process.
"Let's just get this over with." Gibbs said before walking up next to Jenny.
"Jenny, throw the green dress over when you are finished with it." Ziva called over the stall wall.
"If you give me the brown one."
"Come out and see how this one looks on me!" Abby called a stall down.
The two stalls opened and Jenny and Ziva smiled at Abby's dress.
Abby twirled around and looked at herself in the mirror. "Do you like it?"
The dress was a dark purple; not too long, not too short. Just knee-length, with the bottom jagged. There was a piece of black cloth around her waist that came down her front.
"It's beautiful, Abby!" Jenny said sincerely.
"Really, really pretty." Ziva agreed. "Go show McGee."
"You think he'll like it?" Abby asked, chewing her lip.
"Of course he will!" Jenny said giving her a push toward the door.
"McGee? You ready?" Abby asked, peeking around the doorframe.
McGee was sitting next to Gibbs as Tony paced, bored. HE snapped his phone shut (he'd been playing solitaire) and nodded. "Come on out."
She walked out in front of them, almost shyly. "What do you think?" She asked.
McGee could only stare, but he reached behind himself and instinctively head slapped Tony for staring.
"I was um, thinking I could uh, put my hair up in a bun, ya know?" She said hesitantly.
Gibbs stood and head slapped both McGee and Tony. He smiled at Abby. "I think what McGee's trying to say is that you look beautiful, Abby."
Abby hugged McGee. "Timmy! You always know what to say."
Gibbs chuckled. "You ladies find something you like?"
"Hold on, Jethro!" Jenny called out angrily.
Gibbs sighed. "You want me to zip it up for you?"
Jenny opened her stall door and peaked out around the doorway. She had a pouting look on her face and nodded.
He walked into the front of the changing room sand was taken aback by Jenny in the dress.
It was a chocolate brown dress that had a silky look to it. The dress was strapless and had a hem that was slightly ruffled and started off shorter, then became longer as you went from left to right.
Jenny smiled and turned her back to face him. Gibbs finally snapped out of it and stepped forward, running his rough hands across her smooth shoulders. She shivered slightly. Gibbs chuckled and zipped the dress up. "Perfect." He whispered in her ear.
She turned around and twirled in front of him. "Really?"
"I'm going to show them."
Gibbs nodded and wrapped an arm around her waist.
"-So, the other nuns were the ones with the advantage, but we still-" Abby broke off when she saw Jenny and Gibbs. "Jenny!"
Tony and McGee turned around. "Director!" They said in unison.
"It's beautiful, Jenny." Abby said as she grabbed Jenny's hand and spun her around.
Jenny grinned. "Then it's a keeper."
"Ahem." Ziva said, clearing her throat. "May I join?"
Everyone turned to look at her.
Ziva was also in a strapless dress. It was an almost olive-y color, and it was scrunched around her knees. Tony smiled and held his hand out to her.
"Very beautiful." He said as she took it.
Ziva blushed. "Thank you." Then she turned to Abby and Jenny. She gestured toward the changing room. "Shall we?"
"Maybe it wasn't a horrible idea." Tony said, as he looked their way.
"Thanks for taking us shopping!" Abby said as she hugged Gibbs in the parking lot. "Timmy's gonna take me home."
"You're welcome, Abs. See you Monday."
"Me and Ziva are heading out, too." Tony said as he fumbled for his keys. "Night."
"Goodnight, Tony. Ziva." Jenny said as Gibbs nodded at them.
Jenny walked a few steps ahead of Gibbs, boots crunching on the gravel. "This was fun." She said as she turned to walk backwards.
"Shopping's always fun for women."
Jenny smiled. "Exactly."
They reached the car when Jenny turned to stand in front of him. "Jethro, thanks."
He smiled and kissed her cheek, understanding exactly what she meant. "Let's get you home."
"What?" It was her 'I-want-something' voice.
"Can I drive?"
Gibbs sighed and threw her the keys. "Sure, Jen." He said, rolling his eyes.
It was pretty late at night when Jenny parked in front of her house. "Naomi must already have left." She mused aloud. "Never mind though, I can make us coffee…and the liquor cabinet is full." She said, eyes lighting up.
"Lead the way."
"Right, like you've never been in my house before."
Gibbs chuckled. "Come on."
They sat across from each other in the study, sipping bourbon as the fire crackled next to them.
"I remember doing this," She said, gesturing to the bourbon opened on the table in front of her, "In the evenings when we weren't on the job. We would just sit - in silence - and drink together." She said, whispering. It seemed appropriate for the moment.
Gibbs smiled. "You used to hate bourbon."
"I liked rum." She said, turning slightly and crossing her legs. "You still don't know why I changed to bourbon, do you?"
Gibbs shook his head.
"I kissed you." She said simply. "At the Atkins' dinner party…and you'd been drinking bourbon."
"Really?" He asked, smiling that lopsided grin of his.
She laughed. "Yeah."
"Now I love the stuff."
"Don't you 'huh' me." She said before staring out at the light rain. "I'll be right back." She said, standing and going up to her room.
Gibbs stared after her in mild confusion. She came back with a book in her arms; he recognized it to be a scrapbook (second wife, long story). It was old and worn; leather by the looks of it.
She sat down next to him; legs crossed, and opened the book in her lap. Gibbs leaned closer to her, curious as to what was in this "scrapbook".
Pictures. Lots of pictures of the times before, when they were agents together. They spent practically all night looking at pictures of Paris, Moscow, and Serbia. Gibbs laughed at the picture of Ducky on a particular cliff.
They were nice memories, and the two of them just sat there, going through them while the rain slowly intensified.
Gibbs woke up somewhere during the night. His arms were wrapped around a sleeping Jenny, as she lay curled against his chest. The book was open at her feet.
He smiled and repositioned himself, closing his eyes and going back to sleep.
"It really is a nice dress." Ziva murmured as she placed the garment bag into the trunk of Toy's car.
"I like it." Tony said as he unlocked his car.
"I'm happy for Gracie and Sully." Ziva said as she slipped into the passenger's seat.
"So am I, Sully mentioned that he might ask her a few weeks ago."
"When did they move to Florida?"
"About a month ago. Annie moved with them. Susie did, too. I think that Annie's going to be the nanny."
"And why did I not here about this?"
"I don't know. You're the agent, you tell me."
Tony pulled up to his house at around 10 at night. Ziva was curled up on the seat, her head on the armrest between the seats. Tony's arm was around her shoulders, and she was loosely holding on to his hand.
Ziva stirred. "Where are we?"
"My lace. Flooding closed the main road that leads to your place."
"Mmmm." She said, stretching slightly. "I am staying here then?"
"Yep. I'm sure you can find something of mine to wear…actually, I'm sure you could probably find something of yours."
Ziva chuckled. "Shall we then?"
"Come on. We have a plane to catch in two days, and packing to do."
"I will help you if you help me."
Plane Rides and Peanuts
"What do you mean I can't bring my perfume?" Jenny asked the man at the carry-on checkpoint.
"Ma'am, this bottle is 3.6 oz. The Federal Aviation Administration clearly states that no bottles containing such liquids shall weigh more than 3 oz." The man said in a monotone and clearly bored voice.
"The hell it does!" Jenny said as she dug around in her purse for her badge. "Besides, the bottle isn't even FULL!" She flashed her badge and the man took a moment to inspect it. "And DON'T call me ma'am."
Gibbs came up next to her and looked at the inspector. "Is there a problem here?"
"I was just explaining to your wife here -" No one corrected him, " -That 3.6 oz is over the limit for items in carry-ons. But, seeing as she is the Director of NCIS, I'm fairly certain that this can be looked over. Please Miss, just go through. We're holding up traffic."
Jenny gave the man another glare before grabbing the bag and walking away.
"Jenny, was that really necessary? I mean, I could've gotten you another bottle."
"I didn't want another bottle, I wanted that bottle." She took the bottle out to show him as they walked. "Look. It's not a regular perfume bottle. It's a special one my dad picked up years ago. You simply refill it with the perfume, but the bottle has a special intricate design. It…it means something to me, okay?"
Gibbs nodded in understanding. "Okay."
He put an arm around her waist. "Everyone else is already on the plane…except for Ducky. He had a stop to make. We're all in first class."
Jenny nodded and then grew quiet, thinking about her father and the times before he died.
"Oooh, look, they have wine." Abby said as she riffled through the packet that contained information on the plane…such as the menu.
"And they'll be playing some old classics. Oooh, maybe even Magnum P.I." Tony answered back.
Ziva and McGee shook their heads, and whipped out their laptops. "And they ask why we never take them anywhere." McGee whispered to Ziva, who was in front of him with Tony.
Ziva nodded in agreement. "I have paperwork to do instead of watching movies and drinking wine." She said sensibly.
"Hey, McGee. Will you come with me and get something to drink?"
"Abby, we haven't even taken off yet." Gibbs said as he and Jenny walked on board.
Abby looked up and gave him her 'innocent' expression. "But I want something to drink."
"Then McGee, get the stewardess to get her some water."
"Gi-ibbs!" Abby protested, but Gibbs was already walking with Jenny to their seats across the aisle.
"Hey. Hey Ziva." Tony whispered as he read through the movie times.
"Yes, Tony?" Ziva asked, annoyance creeping into her voice.
"What do you think is bothering Jenny?" He whispered.
"Tony, do I look like a mind reader?"
"You look like her friend." Tony said softly.
Ziva sighed. "I think she is remembering things."
"We all know how that can be." Tony said softly.
They looked across the aisle. Jenny was by the window, though she was pressed close to Gibbs. He held her and was whispering something in her ear.
Tony sighed and buckled his seatbelt. Ziva closed her laptop and turned to Tony. "Maybe the paperwork can wait."
"Sorry I'm late." A familiar voice that belonged to Ducky Mallard was heard saying as he boarded the plane. "I was picking up a friend. My, how serious everyone is…"
"A friend!" Abby said excitedly. "It's Dr. Jordan, isn't it!" She squealed, and, sure enough, the good doctor came aboard.
"Morning, Duck." Gibbs said softly. It seemed that Jenny had fallen asleep on his shoulder, and that she'd been crying.
"Ahhh…Jennifer." He debated saying something, but decided against it. "Do we sit behind you?"
Tony and Ziva were playing an alien game on her laptop and laughing.
Tony smiled. "Glad you showed up, Ducky."
Ducky smiled back. "After you, m'dear." He said, turning to Jordan.
After landing in the Sunshine state itself, introductions were quick to be made.
"Annie, this is the Leroy Jethro Gibbs we've been telling you about." Tony said, pushing Gibbs forward.
Gibbs glared at Tony, then turned to Annie and smiled. "How do ya do?"
Annie smiled and shook his hand. "I've heard a lot about you."
"Hopefully good things."
"Yeah, there were some of those, too." She said, laughing.
Gibbs chuckled. "My team, quite the charmers. Let me introduce you to those you haven't met. This is Abby." he said, lifting his arm as she ducked under it.
"Hi!" Abby squealed as she hugged Annie, Sully, and Gracie.
"And this is McGee." He said, nodding over his shoulder. "This here is Jenny," He said as he pulled Jenny closer to him. She smiled and shook every one's hands. "And -"
"And I'm Donald, Donald Mallard, but you can call me Ducky." Ducky said as he stepped forward. "I hope you don't mind, I brought a guest. This is Dr. Jordan."
"Hello." Jordan said, nodding.
"Mind, of course we don't mind! The more the merrier." Annie said before Gracie and Sully could say anything.
"Annie! Annie! Aren't you gonna introduce me?" A woman asked as she walked up. She was wiping her hands on the apron in front of her; she looked almost exactly like Annie.
Sully chuckled. "Everyone, this is-"
"-Susie." The woman introduced.
"Ahhh, Annie's-best-friend-Susie." Abby said knowingly.
"Mhm. Now, it's time to go. Gracie, ladies, time to get dressed."
"Hello everyone." A pretty, petite blonde who looked like Gracie said as she came near. She was holding little baby Lily in her arms. "I'm Lucy, Gracie's sister." She said as she shifted the baby into one arm, and shook everyone's hands with the other. "Guys, I laid out Sully's suit in the back room, you all can get dressed there, too."
"Let's get this show on the road."
It didn't take long for everyone to get dressed and ready. The ladies all looked beautiful, and even little Lily was dressed up in a cute little dress.
"Sis, I can't believe this is happening." Lucy said as she put the veil over Gracie's head.
"I know, I can't believe it either."
"You really do look gorgeous." Jenny said as she handed her the bouquet of flowers.
The music played and everyone walked out to the lovely dinning room of the Casa hotel. Even the weather had decided to cooperate. The day was perfect. It wasn't too hot, or humid as was often the case in Florida.
The small crowd of NCIS agents and a handful of family from both Sully's and Gracie's sides were the only ones who filled the dining room; it was all that both Gracie and Sully wanted. Ducky played a beautiful wedding march behind the piano, and Ziva volunteered to sing later.
The priest stood at the altar, and the service began.
Gracie walked down the aisle gracefully, no pun intended. She was just radiant. And, while everyone else was looking at her, she was looking at Sully. The look on his face was one of pure adoration. He loved her.
"Mama!" Lily giggled from Lucy's arms. This broke everyone out of their reverie. Smiles and laughs were exchanged in the crowd.
The Priest started speaking.
"…Do you, Mark Ethan Sullivan take Gracie Rose Smith to be your lawfully wedded wife?"
"I do." No hesitation.
"And do you, Gracie Rose Smith take Mark Ethan Sullivan to be your lawfully wedded husband?"
"You may now kiss the bride."
"I now pronounce you man and wife."
Tony whistled. And Ziva slapped his arm. "Tony! It's a wedding for crying out loud."
"Oh shut up and go sing!" Tony said teasingly.
"Only if you come dance with me."
"Fine. But only if Abby and McGee come."
Abby heard this. "Okay, but Gibbs and Jenny have to come, too."
Gibbs looked at Jenny and smiled mischievously. "Alright…if Ducky and the Doctor come."
Ducky laughed. "Fine." He looked up at Gracie and Sully, who were watching with amusement. "But then I must request that the newlyweds dance with us."
Gracie laughed and grabbed Sully's hand. "Hit the music, Susie!"
The rest of the night was spent laughing and dancing; everyone was enjoying their time with family and friends.
It'd been a long, fun day, and in the end, everyone was sitting in one of the guest rooms (The family was in another guest room). Sully and Gracie were sprawled out on the couch, playing with Lily between them. Annie and Susie were talking at a table in the corner with Lucy. Ziva and Tony were on the bed with Abby and McGee, and Jenny and Gibbs were on the floor with Ducky and Jordan.
Everyone was plenty full of celebratory wine and champagne (except for little Lily), and they were all laughing and joking around.
"I'm really glad that you all came." Sully said when a silence fell over the room.
"We're really glad you invited us." Jenny said, yawning. She was sitting next to Gibbs, playing with the hem of her shirt. The dresses were already packed in the suitcase, done with for the night.
"Dear me, look how late it is. Everyone, we should be going to bed. We have a long day ahead of us tomorrow…Florida offers a lot of attractions." Annie said standing and taking Lily.
"How many rooms are there?" Ziva asked.
"For all of y'all NCIS agents…4."
Gibbs stood and helped Jenny up. "Well, that's a no brainer how they're going to be split." Gibbs said with a sigh.
Abby laughed. "We're that easy to read?"
Ducky stood, too. "Yes, m'dear. Apparently we are.
The hours and days went by. They had fun in Orlando and Miami…Tampa and Jacksonville. There wasn't a theme park they didn't visit; no museum was left unexplored.
But it wasn't the sights that made those days special. It was who they were spent with.
These weren't the type of people you met once and forgot. And Tony and Ziva certainly never did.
After all. If it weren't for them, they would've never been together. Jenny and Gibbs may have never gotten back together. If it weren't for them, things would be different.
But we can't give them all the credit. Some of it has to go to nights like these.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Okay, I guess it was a cheap-ish ending…but it was all I could do. I was getting tired of it. And besides, this whole chapter is like, 9 pages long. I really hope you have enjoyed this fic, and thank you all for sticking through it with me. Thanks to everyone who has favorited/alearted it. And a special thanks to those who have convinced me to extend this from the original one-shot into…well, into this. Thank you.