-Five years later-
"Oh honey, don't put that in your mouth" I said, taking a marker away from eight month old Anthony Donald Gibbs, the second child of myself and Jethro. "Elizabetta, why are you letting your brother use markers?" I asked now five year old Elizabetta.
She looked up at me, her black curls framing her face perfectly. She could be a child model, if her father didn't basically look her up in the house. I smiled at the thought of my husband, Jethro. He was on a ship right now, trying to prevent a bomber. I knew Jethro would do it, he's just that amazing.
"He looked like he wanted to color, mommy." I smiled at Elizabetta and looked at the clock. Lunch time.
"Elizabetta, its lunch time," I said, picking up Anthony and walking towards the kitchen.
"Where's Daddy? He hasn't sung me to sleep in a week" I stopped in my tracks, looking back at her. I kneeled down, still bouncing her brother. I admitted to myself that I was worried about her father, who hadn't called in a week, but I had to be brave for my baby.
"He is on a big boat with Uncle Tony, Uncle Tim and Auntie Ziva. I bet if you're a really good girl, he'll bring you back something" Elizabetta smiled and climbed into her chair. "What does my little princess want for lunch today?" I asked, setting Anthony in his high chair.
"Mac and cheese!" she exclaimed. I smiled.
"Like mother like daughter" I said. I reached into the cupboard and pulled out the box. "Wanna help mommy?" I asked. Elizabetta nodded.
"Get the milk and butter from the fridge okay baby?" I said. As she did so, I poured water in the pan and covered it. The phone rang and I grabbed it, grabbing the things from Elizabetta. "Gibbs residence" I said, then grabbing baby food.
"Jess its Jenny Shepard" Director Shepard said. Just by the tone of her voice I knew something was wrong, but I prayed nothing was.
"Hey Director Shepard, am I needed?" I prayed not again, I never get to spend time with my babies anymore.
"Yes and no," she said. I frowned, looking at my daughter, I turned around.
"Is it Jethro?" I whispered.
"Why are you whispering, Special Agent Gibbs?" She asked.
"I'm with my children, Director Shepard. Cooking," I glanced back at my kids; they were too preoccupied with two pieces of string to notice. I smiled; they were like kittens sometimes.
"I'm sorry to say this but… I should have called you sooner," she started.
"About what Director Shepard?" I asked, nervous.
"Jethro has been in a coma for the past week…" She started.
"And you're just calling me now Director Shepard?"
"He's awake now, Special Agent Gibbs," she said. I sighed, feeling a little more relaxed.
"Is he asking for me and the kids?" I asked.
"Not exactly… He doesn't remember anything… He didn't remember Ducky," Jenny said. "He thinks it's 1991 and Shannon and Kelly have just died" The water started whistling under the pan.
"Mommy?" Elizabetta said. I dropped the phone and the baby food, the glass breaking on my feet. I heard Jenny shouting my name as I turned, stepping on the glass to look at my kids.
"Where is he, Jenny?!" I yelled, not caring that I scared my children. Jen had no right to keep this from me. "Hello, Ducky," I said, handing over Anthony. "Where is he, Director Shepard?" I hissed, looking my Director in the eyes.
"He's in that room Special Agent Gibbs" She said. The tone in her voice and the look on her face made me soften.
"I'm sorry, Jenny. I just… I don't know what I would have done—"
"You're forgiven, Jess," she whispered. I pulled her for a hug and then looked in the room. Jethro was sitting up, face scared, hair grown out. He didn't look like my Jethro. He looked up at me. Unlike most times, he looked at me with confusion, which made this more real.
"Baby," I said, referring to Elizabetta. "Stay with Aunt Jenny and Uncle Ducky while I go talk to Daddy okay? You can come see him when I come get you okay?" she nodded softly. "I'm sorry Mommy yelled. She was upset okay, but not with you" I reassured her, taking the photo album from her. I knocked on Jethro's door, hoping Ducky took her far away. "Would you mind if I came in, Marine?" I asked, not really sure what to call him at the moment. He nodded.
"Who are you?" he asked. I sucked in a breath and pulled the chair up to his bed, sitting with one leg under my bum.
"My name is Special Agent Jessica Warner-Gibbs…" I looked up, hoping this gave him something; it didn't. "I'm your wife…" I said, showing him the ring.
"I married you?" he asked, frowning.
"Yes, Marine. You married me on November 1, 2008; four and a half years ago" I said. "Director Shepard told me you had lost your memory, Jethro… I guess I didn't believe her…"
"Who were those kids?" he asked. I sighed gently. "Ours?"
"Yes. The little girl is Elizabetta Leroy Gibbs; she's four. The little boy is Anthony Donald Gibbs; he's only eight months old… I didn't want Eliza in here to hear that her daddy doesn't remember her… she's a real daddy's girl." I smiled gently. "I brought our photo album" I showed him the binder. "If you want to look at it, I was hoping it would help you remember us," He nodded. I set in on the bed and he opened it.
"The first picture one of us on our third date. We had gone to this restaurant that takes your picture a bunch of times through out your meal and sells them to you. I don't remember the name anymore. You threatened to kill the photographer every time he took the photo," I chuckled, but he didn't find it funny. I pointed at another one. "This one is at a Marine's Ball. I forced you to go because I wanted a reason to wear that dress," I smiled. "You were so miserable; you actually said please when you wanted to leave. You don't say please often," I explained. He smiled slightly and touched the picture.
"This one?" he asked, pointing to the picture of us on a lake.
"That's in Georgia, where I grew up. I took you down there for a weekend to go fishing" I smiled. "We sat out there for five hours and didn't catch a damn fish," I laughed and he chuckled. "You were so damn pissed by the end of it. I had to force you to smile for that picture. My grandma took it. She owns that lake" I said. We looked through the whole thing, until we got to the pictures of our wedding.
"Is this our wedding?" he asked.
"Yes. You looked so well, Jethro," I said. "See the rose in your suit?" I asked, pointing to it. He nodded. "It matches the beading on my dress see? Abby forced you to wear that and you fought it for a while" I said, turning the page, to where our vows were written down. "We chose our own vows… I told the story of how we met and then went into the gushy stuff. You told a little bit about your first four marriages… and then said mushy gushy stuff. You said 'damn' in church," I said. He looked at me weird. "It's true. If you're feeling well enough to come home soon, you could watch the tape… I forced my cousin to tape it"
"I wish I could remember" he admitted, looking at me. I reached up sheepishly and took his hand, letting him see the ring.
"I wish you could too Jethro," I whispered. He turned the page, a picture of me, him, Elizabetta and his dad at the hospital. "This is shortly after Eliza was born. You were so good to me that day. We thought I had broken your hand from the contractions," I smiled gently, weakly. I took the book from him and shut it. "Do you think seeing your kids might help you?" He shrugged. "I think it would… do you want to see them?" He nodded gently. "Okay… I'll be right back, Jethro,"
"He wants to see them," I said to Ducky and Jenny, coming in the room. Elizabetta and Anthony were in the corner playing with the hospital toys.
"Do you think its good idea?" Jen asked.
"I think it might help him Jen," I said. "Elizabetta" I said, getting on my knees with her.
"Is Daddy okay?" she asked.
"Yes and no, baby," I said. She looked at me oddly. I pulled her on my lap. "Daddy is awake and talking but… He… you know how Granddaddy Jackson has Alzheimer's?" I asked. She nodded, I was proud that she remembered what it was called. "That's kind of what Daddy has right now, except its temporary. He doesn't remember us baby" I admitted.
"Any of us?" she asked.
"Neither of us… but he's trying to remember… really hard… and I think it would help him if he saw you… would you like to see Daddy?" I asked. She shook her head no. I sighed. "Okay… if you change your mind… have Uncle Ducky or Aunt Jenny bring you okay?" I asked, she nodded. I kissed her head.
"I have a very special delivery for very Special Agent Gibbs," I joked, coming in with Anthony.
"Who's that?" he asked.
"This little tiger is our son, Anthony Donald" I said, sitting next to him again. "He is a momma's boy, but he loves his daddy at the same time. "Would you like to hold him?" He nodded, but before I could hand him over, Ziva came in.
"Jess, could I speak to Gibbs?" She asked. I stood up with Anthony and nodded at Ziva.
I lay on the couch with Elizabetta and Anthony, my eyes falling slowly. Elizabetta was snoring and I could hear Anthony whimpering, I knew he was about to wake up and start screaming. I heard the door snap open and I jumped, the sound scaring the crap out of me. I looked up and saw Jethro, still in his scrubs.
"Jess" he whispered. I stood up and hugged him hard, squeezing him, sobbing. Jethro put his arms around me gently. "I love you" he said over and over again. I turned to wake up Elizabetta but he stopped me. "Come with me" he said, motioning to the bedroom.
"Let me cover them up and I'll join you" I said. He nodded and went upstairs. I looked out the window, Ducky in his car. I frowned; what was he still doing her? I covered Elizabetta and ran upstairs; Jethro was packing. "Where are we going?" I asked.
"You're not going anywhere," he said. I frowned.
"Where are you going Leroy?" I asked, shaking.
"Mexico," he said. I shook my head.
"I retired. I'm moving to Mexico," he said, standing in front of me, one suitcase in hand. I slapped him.
"And you didn't think to call and say anything? How can you just move to Mexico?" I cried. Jethro started down the stairs. "Leroy Jethro Gibbs!" I yelled, the tears falling down hard. I ran down after him. "Do you except us to meet you there?" I asked.
"No," he said, stopping on the stairs.
"Jethro!" I cried. "How can you leave us?"
"I have to, Jess. You're not safe. You'll do great without me" he said, calmly and with no emotion.
"What did I do, Jethro? Did I do something wrong?" I asked. Jethro shook his head. "Then why are you leaving me?" I cried. He didn't respond; he went for the door. "You aren't going to stay goodbye to your daughter?" I asked, looking at our kids. He shook his head, I grabbed his shirt.
"You owe her that Jethro!" I yelled.
"Don't make this harder"
"You are not leaving with saying goodbye to your daughter!" I screamed, waking up Elizabetta.
"Mommy, what's going on?" she asked, groggily.
"Tell her Jethro. Tell her why her mommy is crying and screaming at her daddy" He shook his head and opened the door, leaving.
"Daddy!" she yelled, running after him. I grabbed Elizabetta and pushed her inside.
"Jethro!" I yelled, standing on the steps. He was getting in Ducky's car. "Jethro, if you leave you won't see them again! Do you want to lose another family? Another daughter!?" He slammed the door.
"You son of a bitch" I cried, sliding on the ground. Elizabetta came outside and sat next to me, hugging me.