Once a Marine
Summary: Sarah McGee introduces her new boyfriend to her brother's family. Part of the 'Future Perfect' universe.
Disclaimer: Caitlyn and Leigh are mine; the rest belong to other people.


A/N: This is part of the 'Future Perfect' universe, which features Katie and Leigh, the twin daughters of Tim and Abby.

Warning: for language, and references to off-screen drug use.


'...she's named after two good friends of ours who were both killed in the line of duty. And this is Leigh Anne, who is named after someone at work who's like a father to us...'

Abby's voice drifted into the kitchen, and Tim half-listened while he arranged cups of coffee and a plate of cookies on a tray. Sarah had stopped by to see the twins, and had brought her new boyfriend with her to meet the family. Tim wasn't overly impressed by the long-haired journalist, but he was determined not to start another argument with his sister about her choice in boyfriends. He could put up with Steve for the couple of months that he was likely to be in Sarah's life.

'...and this is Jethro. He's named after the same person as Leigh is...'

Tim stuck the carton of milk back in the fridge and set the small jug he'd filled on the tray next to the sugar. He was reaching for a handful of small spoons when all hell broke loose in the next room.

'BARKBARKBARKBARKBARKBARKBARKBARKBARKBARK'

'Jethro!'

'BARKBARKBARKBARKBARK'

'Stop it!'

'BARKBARKBARKBARKBARKBARKBARK'

'Don't worry, he won't hurt you...'

'BARKBARKBARKBARKBARKBARK'

'I don't know what's gotten into him, he's usually...'

'BARKBARKBARKBARKBARKBARKBARKBARKBARK'

Tim grabbed the tray and hurried into the living room. Sarah and Steve were sitting on the couch, each holding one of the girls. Steve looked decidedly uncomfortable; whether it was about having had a four-month-old baby thrust into his arms or about the hysterical elderly German Shepherd wasn't entirely clear. Jethro was standing about a foot from Steve's right knee, looking very determined and showing no sign of letting up, despite Abby's hand on his collar, trying to drag him backwards.

'BARKBARKBARKBARKBARKBARKBARKBARKBARKBARK'

For a few seconds, Tim wondered what on earth had gotten into the dog. Then his expression darkened. He set the tray on the table and wordlessly took Katie from Steve.

'BARKBARKBARK'

'Jethro! Break! Good dog!'

Jethro immediately stopped barking and sat down, staring fixedly at the pocket of Steve's leather jacket, which he'd unzipped but not removed.

'Steve, I think you should leave now, before I have to arrest you.'

'Tim! What the hell do you think...'

'Do you remember how I got Jethro, Sarah?'

'Yeah, it was some case, he was owned by a Marine you...'

'Sailor, actually. He's a retired Navy drug dog, Sarah.'

Tim was relieved to see her eyes grow wide as she turned towards Steve in surprise. He passed the baby to Abby, who had let go of Jethro.

'Steve?!'

'Why the fuck didn't you tell me that your whole damn family's feds?! Even the fucking dog is a cop!'

'I didn't know you planned on bringing...'

'Let's go.'

Steve started to stand up, grabbing Sarah's wrist. She wrenched her hand away, her eyes flashing with anger.

'I can't believe you! If you even think that I'll...'

'Baby, I...'

Tim stepped between the angry young man and his sister, who was still holding his daughter.

'Get out. Now.'

The two men glared at each other for a few seconds. Finally, Steve spun around with a final muttered curse and stormed towards the door, slamming it behind him as he left. Jethro kept his eyes on him until he was out of the apartment, then looked up at Tim who gave him an affectionate pat and handed him an oatmeal cookie from the tray.

'I don't believe this...'

Now that the heat of the moment had passed, Sarah slumped on the couch, fighting back tears. Abby sat down next to her and draped one arm around her shoulders, still holding Katie with the other.

'How'd you know why Jethro was so upset, Tim? It's been years since he...'

Sarah interrupted Abby's question, giggling more from the draining adrenaline than real amusement.

'Once a Marine, always a Marine, huh?'

'Navy,' Tim corrected automatically, not really sure why he bothered. 'And he's going with you on your next first date!'