YAY! Here's the last chapter! Thanks to everyone who reviewed and favorited this story! It really came out of nowhere, but I had such a great time writing it! I've loved reading all your kind words, and sadly this story must end. I do think this is my favorite chapter though!
A big thanks to ELODIE, MWALTER, HAZMATT, VIKTORIJA, FALLEN ANGELS OF LOVE, MISS NITA GIRL, TROMANA, CATERINA CARMELA, WILD DAISIES, PENELOPE LOUISE, LISBON69, and JELLOFANATIC123. I hope y'all have all enjoyed this story!
Ellie grinned as she listened to the story of her parents' wedding day. Lost in memories, she wondered why she had never taken the time to sit and talk to her parents before. They were practically heroes and had so many interesting stories to tell. She knew that her dad was enjoying the happy memories. His eyes lit up as he described his nerves and the jokes his friends played on him. He recounted the various arguments he shared with her mother and all the times she bailed him out of trouble.
Sliding the album over to his lap, they continued to flip through the pages. There were pictures of the team during holidays before Grace and Wayne moved away. Some of her favorites were some candid shots of Grace and her mother-both pregnant. The next few pages were filled with pictures of the growing Jane family: baby pictures, school pictures, family vacations, and snapshots of memories long forgotten preserved forever in one little book.
She could hear her mom banging around in the kitchen downstairs, pots and pans rattling. Her father just smiled and shook his head before reaching for the box the album was in. He smiled fondly as he pulled out copies of old newspapers proclaiming solved cases. Setting them aside, he lifted out a stack of Christmas cards signed by Wayne and Grace each containing a growing family portrait of their own. He laughed when he found the old deck of playing cards and a menu from Marie's Donuts.
"Was it love at first sight?" Ellie asked with a romantic swoon as he burst out laughing.
"Your mother hated me, but she couldn't resist my boyish charm," he said with a waggle of his eyebrows.
"How sophomoric," a voice from the doorway called. Patrick and Ellie both jumped, one looking slightly guilty. Teresa leaned against the doorway with a smug look on her face.
"Your father was childish and immature, and I can't even count the number of times he got me in trouble," she said with a wry grin. Her features softened as she locked eyes with her husband. "He was worth the wait, though."
"Sir, we really don't need any extra help. He'll just get in the way," she practically begged her boss as they walked down the hallway.
"Teresa, think of it as a compliment. I need to put him with a team I can trust," Minelli replied. "He has a lot of baggage, but no one else has been able to handle him in the other departments." She sighed as they neared his office.
"Probationary period?" she asked firmly. Minelli stopped and turned to face the senior agent.
"It's an order, Teresa. Do the best you can…as a favor to me." He pushed open the door and ushered her into the room and she glared at the figure sitting in the bright room. Tall, blond, and handsome-just her luck.
"Well, you're not quite what I was expecting," the blond man commented casually as he eyed her. She felt herself bristle at his appraising glance. "Feisty, but then again you need that to succeed in a man's world." She took one stepped towards him and smacked him upside the head while Minelli tried to hide his amusement.
"I'm not taking any of that crap," she said with a scowl. "You'll listen to me or you'll be out on your ass."
"Agent Lisbon-meet Patrick Jane," Minelli called out as he watched the brunette storm out of his office with the consultant on her heels. Shaking his head, a smile crossed his face as he reached for his phone.
"They just met," the director said with a small grin. "I bet they'll be married in less than 2 years," he stated before hanging up the phone.
Teresa rolled her eyes and gestured for Patrick and Ellie to come down to eat. She watched as her husband carefully set the album aside and dusted himself off. Reaching for her hand, they headed down the stairs. Ellie watched them with a smile as she put the cards and letters back into the box. She paused as she regard the book laying closed on the bed and she was determined to dig through the boxes of pictures she had packed away. She really needed to capture the moments of her life more often and she vowed she would start to carry her own camera.
Her fingers brushed against a bit of cold metal and she grabbed the item with a frown. Opening her hand, she grinned as she stared at her mother's old badge. Holding it tightly, she set it on top of the album before quickly standing and rushing downstairs. Making a quick pit stop in her room, she dug through a freshly packed box before triumphantly emerging with her digital camera. Maybe she could sneak in a few pictures before she left for school. Creeping closer to the kitchen, she watched her parents for a few minutes.