Thanks to my wonderful beta Kristen! Final chapter of TOS... The next story is entitled Shadows in the Night, and is my shortest yet (only 11 chapters!). Back to the usual character persepctives. Look out for it soon...

Chapter 13: Epilogue

Lily stood in Arbourne's office, waiting for her boss to show up. She had called him when she was five minutes out and given him notice of her arrival, but it seemed he was too busy kissing the Director's porcelain-filled butt to deal with her.

This could only be a good thing.

It had been twelve hours since the rescue of LJ's team. She had managed to have a shower and drink a few big mugs of coffee, but she had not managed to make it to Bethesda. Jenny had stayed with her agents, mainly LJ. Lily, being the wonderful sister that she could be when she wanted to, had covered Jenny's absence at NCIS without anyone realizing.

She was seriously craving a nice long sleep, and hoped Arbourne would give her a chance to take a few days off. She doubted it, but it was worth a try. Perhaps if he walked in to find her asleep in his chair…

No, she'd done that before. Her best bet was to keel over in the middle of the debriefing and get rushed to Bethesda herself. She couldn't be admitted to a local hospital easily; because she and Jenny looked identical, the doctors automatically transferred her to Bethesda.

Arbourne finally stormed through the door and fixed her with a glare. She had been expecting it, and had plastered her best 'innocent' look on her face.

"Jeez, Lily. You look like death warmed up," he greeted her.

"I feel like it," she admitted.

"Why were you not taken to the hospital yourself?" he asked, sitting down in his chair.

"I'll live," she told him. She held out her hand. "The tech."

He carefully took it from her.

"I have no idea if it's still operational," she continued. "But at least it isn't in the wrong hands."

He gave her a piercing look, trying to see through her. "We can talk about this tomorrow," he decided. "However, I need you to take care."

"I'm only going to go home and sleep," she protested.

"Not that. Whatever it is that you're successfully sliding under the radar."

She was completely unconcerned and it showed on her face.

"Do you have anything to tell me, Agent Shepard, either on or off the record?"

"No," she answered.

He stared at her for a few more minutes. "Go. I don't want to see you until Monday. You'll be on Archives duty if I do."


Lily chose not to go straight home, but to call in Bethesda instead. She didn't want to be checked out; her desire was to visit the others.

She walked down the halls, ignoring the confused looks the nurses were giving her. Evidently, they thought she was Jenny. She had no intention of correcting them as it gave her the access she needed.

She found LJ checking out. From the argument she heard two corridors away, he didn't think he should have been admitted in the first place as he was fine, and anyway the rest of his team hadn't been admitted. The doctor was trying to persuade him to stay, to no avail.

She knew the moment she had been spotted. The doctor stared at her, and started glancing between her and Jenny, who was standing by LJ's side. Lily smiled broadly and walked over.

"Can I steal JL for a moment?" she asked LJ.

"Only if you can get me out of here," he growled.

She reached for her badge and flashed it at the doctor. "This man in under my protection and he needs to be removed from this hospital and into my custody," she lied effortlessly. "If you want confirmation, ring Agent Ellis at the CIA." She scribbled down the number for the doctor and let him leave to call Charlie. Her partner knew the drill and would confirm anything.

Her second job done, she returned to her first and pulled Jenny aside.

"Did you tell him?" she asked.

Jenny shook her head. "I can't tell him."


"You know why."

The doctor returned, confirming that LJ could leave. Lily watched her sister and LJ walk out of the exit and into the big wide world. She hoped they could patch things up, but knew it would take some time. And a big secret needed to come out first…