Here is what used to be the second half of the last chapter, but is now just a short, fluff-ridden chapter that I just felt compelled to write after how angst-ridden the last chapter was.
Chapter 14: Dreams
Christmas Day Night
Jenny felt that they could say Christmas had been a success. She, Jethro and Kelly had spent the morning with just them, exchanging gifts; Kelly had yet to let the copy of The Complete Works of William Shakespeare Jenny and Jethro had given her out of her hands. They had then invited many of the agents who had come to Thanksgiving for Christmas dinner. The affair had been joyous and rather noisy. But that was earlier; the last of their guests had cleared out about twenty minutes ago. Now, Jethro was taking care of the last couple dishes before they settled in for one of Kelly's favorite traditions: watching The Muppet Christmas Carole. Jenny was sitting on the couch, her feet curled up under her; her arm was wrapped around Kelly who had snuggled up to her. Soft strains of Christmas music continued to drift out of the speakers of the stereo. Jenny could not help but smile. This was something she had always secretly dreamed of, a quiet cozy Christmas evening, lounging with her family.
"Mmm?" she responded to Kelly's query.
"I wanted to ask you something."
Jenny could hear the nerves in her voice; she began to soothingly stroke Kelly's hair. "What is it, Kel?" she gently prompted.
"I-I talked to Dad earlier, and he said I could ask you…" Kelly bit her lip. "I was wondering…Can I – can I call you 'Mom'?"
Jenny went still, her heart racing.
Kelly looked up at her nervously. "Jenny?"
Jenny swallowed back the tears that wanted to leak out and smiled. "I would like nothing better if you want to call me 'Mom', Kelly."
Kelly grinned broadly and nearly tackled Jenny with a hug. "Merry Christmas…Mom," she whispered happily.
Jenny squeezed her eyes shut to block the tears. "Merry Christmas, Kelly." She opened her eyes to see, over Kelly's shoulder, Jethro standing in the doorway to the kitchen, with that half-smile of his. He nodded to her, and she smiled in return.
Jethro cleared his throat; Kelly released Jenny to look back at her dad. "Movie time?" she asked hopefully.
He rolled his eyes and grumbled, something rather unflattering about "singing and dancing puppets", making his way over the couch, "Guess we'd better get this over with."
Kelly squealed and rushed over to pop the movie in.
He sank down next to Jenny who raised a knowing eyebrow at him, which he returned with his own look.
Kelly came running back to the couch and plopped back down in her seat; they all settled in to watch the movie.
Yes, Jenny decided, this was definitely the best Christmas yet.
Just a fluffy, short bit. Probably sweet enough to cause cavities. And I defy anyone who says a 14 year old would not want to watch The Muppet Christmas Carole; it is one of mine and my siblings' favorite Christmas movies and we have watched it every year since it came out (the VHS eventually wore out and we had to get the DVD) besides, it was too much fun thinking of Gibbs sitting through such a movie annually for Kelly. ;D I hope you still liked it even though it was so short. We might be heading back State-side in the next chapter, but we'll just have to see what the characters decide to do…