Disclaimer: I don't own anything except; Dr. Hale, Julian, Lydia, Alexis and Faith.
It was another four weeks before Jenny was able to leave her room under her own power, the drugs she was injected with once a week finally beating back and destroying the disease, so she was able to undergo strengthening physio. Jethro and Mike had brought the twins down into her room as soon as Dr. Hale gave them the 'Ok', so Jenny had a goal in sight during the physio; to get out of bed, walk to her daughters' incubators and pick them up. There were many false starts and failed journeys, where Jethro had to carry her back to bed. She had been very angry during this time; she hated that she couldn't walk and had to rely on other people to carry her around, and for an independent person like her, it was practically torture. With nothing better to do all day, she constantly worked on her stamina so she could make it all the way across the room and back to her bed, before trying to pick up one of her daughters. She accomplished this goal before the end of the fifth week, and now that the drugs were out of her system, she was finally able to breast feed her girls. Since the twins were eight months old, they had finished developing a stomach and digestive tract so they were able to eat. Faith and Alexis were perfectly healthy according to Dr. Hale, everything was developing as it should and there were no foreseeable problems for later life. They were getting bigger too, though they would always be smaller than other children. This knowledge seemed to put the entire 'family' on edge around them, knowing as they did that the girls would be weaker for a time too.
Lydia helped Jenny to hold the babies' correctly while they were eating, as well as showing her how to burp them, and answering all of Jenny's questions about motherhood and the problems babies and first time mothers usually went through, which was mainly the first baby illness, which was usually a cold or an ear infection. Jenny knew she could probably ask Jethro about all of that, but something in her didn't want to look so helpless around her own girl's in front of her fiancé. This was supposed to be instinctive to her, but she found that missing the pregnancy had given her an emotional distance from the twins, which scared her. What if she stopped caring? What if she stopped loving them? What if they weren't really hers? Intellectually she knew that no one would play such a sick joke on her, put emotionally she couldn't help but worry. Bonding with the babies during breast feeding was helping her to get over it, but she was realising that she didn't want to miss anything else about them. She wanted to experience it all, the first word, the first crawl, the first bout of crying that nothing seems to calm them from, everything.
Two months passed since Jenny woke up and the girls were born, before they were able to leave the hospital. They had decided to take a boat to America to try and avoid the media that would be guaranteed to be milling around at the airports, so they drove to the German coast. They wanted Jenny and the girls to stay a secret for a little longer so they could settle in. Mike and Jethro rented a boat and they said goodbye to Julian and Lydia, whose time with the hospital was not over yet, since Lydia had a one year contract. Mike's goodbye with them was the most heartfelt of all, since without them he would never have been able to save Jenny, let alone the babies.
"I'll see you soon, hopefully before your contract is up. We can go back to the USA together then." He hugged Lydia and shook Julian's hand. "Thank you both; I couldn't have done this without you. You were my rocks throughout these past eight months and I know the only reason I'm still sane is because of you." Julian wrapped an arm around his wife's shoulders and pulled her to his side, the both of them grinning like fools because Mike was being mushy with them. Lydia spoke up when Mike stopped talking.
"You're welcome Mike, it was a pleasure. You would have done the same for us; you have already demonstrated that with Dilly. We owed you, and we'd do it again." He nodded sharply, a strange prickling at the back of his eyes at their words causing him to drop into his normal Mike-ness.
"Get going you two, can't have the hospital security accusing us of abducting you." They smiled at him and Lydia wiped her eyes. "Go on, get!" the two turned from the marina and walked back to their car, waving at the group as the boat pulled away from the jetty and sailed swiftly away from Germany and towards the USA; home.
Abby paced the living room at the Gibbs household impatiently, waiting for the new family to walk through the door. She couldn't wait to see their faces! The renovations had been not as expensive, but a little more extensive than first planned; the electrician had had to put large holes and troughs in the wall to hide the rewiring for the sconces, the new light fittings, the new plug sockets in the kitchen and the electric shower. They had consequently had to get a plasterer in to go over all of the holes, so they had been forced to repaint the rooms. The plumber, whom they needed so they could put in a new shower, sink, toilet and bath in the bathroom and the new taps in the kitchen that the washing machine and dishwasher required, had taken a whole week longer than necessary to actually turn up. Abby had been reduced to tears, thinking that they wouldn't be done in time for the arrival of Gibbs, Jenny and the babies. Tony, Ziva and McGee had in the end gone down to the local plumbers and removed him bodily from the shop, bringing him to the house under threat of paying only half of the money the work would need, since he had been messing them around for so long. Work had commenced very quickly after that. 150 colleagues from NCIS had been able to help them intermittently, so the actual painting and decorating, which included putting down carpeting, had been done in four days. Getting the furniture and setting it all up in the correct rooms had taken only slightly longer, since Abby had wanted everything to be perfect.
From the outside, the house looked much like it had always done, but that was just for the surprise. They had a replacement front door waiting to be put in once Gibbs was home. His word on whether he wanted it was crucial, since they knew this was the house he had shared with Shannon and Kelly. They didn't want to destroy or move all of his memories of them, so they were prepared to take the door back if that was what he wanted. The back garden had been cleared of little pieces of debris and weeds so they could take the girls' out back once they were old enough to crawl. A few of their colleagues were good at horticulture, so they had planted some raised beds of pretty and bright flowers and a few evergreens to brighten up the outside. No one touched one of the flower beds, the one that Gibbs had instructed Abby to not touch, to not even sneeze at. She was sure he was joking, but had warned everyone just in case. It looked beautiful out there, and they had held a little 'It's done' party when it was sunny.
"Abs, sit down. They'll be here soon, don't wear yourself out." McGee walked into the room from the kitchen, holding a tray of coffee cups for everyone and a tea for Ducky. They were using the old coffee machine, since they didn't want to use the new stuff before the people it was intended for had the chance.
"I can't Timmy; this is the moment we've been waiting two whole months for. I can't wait to see Gibbs. I can't wait to see Jenny again. I can't wait to see the baby Gibblets!" She stopped pacing and began jumping on the spot excitedly. McGee shook his head and smiled, placing the tray on the coffee table and then turning to take Abby in his arms. She stopped jumping and hugged him back fiercely, burying her head in her lover's chest. She sighed and then pouted, recognising the calming effect he was deliberately having on her. "Oh alright. I'll have some coffee." She pulled from his embrace and sat on the couch next to Ziva, casting a mock glare at McGee. Ziva chuckled and curled further into the hold of the unusually quiet Tony.
"What is eating you, Tony?" she asked gently, whispering in his ear. He looked at her and kissed her forehead distractedly.
"You are all I have ever wanted for so long now, and almost as soon as we hear Jenny is alive, that Gibbs is going to be ok and everything will be going back to how it was before, our relationship developed. I guess I'm just hoping I'm not going to wake up. I mean, this all seems so perfect." Ziva smiled and took his face in her hands, forcing him to look in to her eyes.
"Perfect is not a bad thing Tony. It is only short lived in the movies, for the sake of drama and ratings. There is no higher being directing us to destroy our lives here; our perfection will not go away unless we want it to." She smiled again and stroked her thumb across his lips. "Do you want this to go away?" He shook his head vigorously and mirrored her actions by cupping her face in his hands.
"No. Never. I'll never let you go." They kissed softly, aware of the others in the room, but not letting that fact affect their expression of love. Ducky looked on, smiling happily for his friends. They all seem to have found their perfect other. He sighed contentedly and reached down for his cup of tea, wondering how long it would take for them to become hyper again. Suddenly Abby sat bolt upright and stared towards the front door, just as a car door slammed outside.
Jenny woke up on the back seat of Gibbs' car, the girls both strapped in to a carrier each, which were strapped into the car on either side of her, Mike and Jethro both in the front. Faith and Alexis were both asleep, their little fingers clenching and then dancing as they dreamed, the car journey obviously having a wonderfully calming effect on them. Jenny groaned softly, the beginnings of a headache forming from her slight dehydration. The last thing she remembered was feeding the twins, and then she must have fallen asleep before she could have a drink of water herself. Mike looked back in the car and smiled at her.
"Hey sleeping beauty. You ok? You look a little ill." His concerned voice made Jethro look up sharply into the rear-view mirror, his eyes raking over her for a moment, before flickering back to the road. She smirked back at Mike and shrugged.
"I'm fine, just thirsty." Mike nodded and then gestured to behind his seat.
"There's a fruit juice by your feet. We stopped at a gas station and I got some supplies." She nodded gratefully and bent down to grab the bottle, opening it and making short work of the contents. Mike's eyebrows disappeared into his hairline and he let out a short laugh.
"I guess you were really thirsty. Well we're almost there now, so sit back and enjoy the ride." He winked and she rolled her eyes playfully.
"That's what Jethro said nine months ago." Mike guffawed up front and bumped Gibbs' arm with his fist. Jethro glared at Mike and then Jenny.
"At least what I said was coherent." He said smartly. Mike bent double with laughter, until he found it difficult to breathe and he had to take deep breaths. He couldn't look at either of them without breaking into a chuckle. "Alright, we're here." Gibbs parked the car and then they all looked up at his house. It didn't look any different, but Mike and he knew that the team had changed the inside, Jenny didn't. Gibbs and Mike got out and then helped to get the girls out of the car, each taking a baby carrier and giving Jenny a hand to hold. They walked slowly up the driveway and up to the front door, pulling Jenny between them and then pushing her to go through the door first. She raised an eyebrow at their behaviour, but turned the door handle and pushed open the door, gasping at the sight that met her eyes.
The hallway had been repainted, the walls were a soft biscuit beige colour, with a honey kick, and the floor was both wood and carpet. The wood was pine, heavily varnished so it shone a honey colour and extended four feet from the door, where a mocha carpet began, running all of the way down the hall and up the stairs. Several pairs of shoes were already lined up on the farthest edge of the wood, so Jenny pulled off hers and wandered down the hall. The first room she encountered was the kitchen.
The floor had a soft dark forest green carpet covering it up to two feet from the kitchen counters, there the varnished, honey coloured pine once again made an appearance, so that spills would not fall on the carpet. The heavy varnish also filled in the grooves so that the wood was smooth. Three walls in here were white, with a feature wall which was a lighter forest green than the carpet, and a honey kick and crown. The cooker, dish washer, microwave, coffee machine, washing machine and fridge freezer were all a shiny black colour, and pine counters with black slate counter tops separated them, and there were white blinds over the windows. In the carpeted area there was a large honey pine table and six matching chairs, plus two white baby high chairs, with green coloured padding to match the décor. Jenny was amazed. She would never have expected anything like this; she had been anticipating moving old things around to fit the girls and herself in the house. This was all so wonderful. Mike wandered in with Faith, and he looked around impressed. Tears ran down Jenny's cheeks and she threw herself into Jethro's arms once he appeared by her side. He chuckled and hugged her tight.
"Do you like it?" she nodded into his chest and pulled away to take the baby carrier from his hands, careful not to wake Alexis. She looked around again and then turned back to him.
"How?" she asked softly, not sure how he could have accomplished all this, when he had been with her for the past two months.
"The team. They're all in the living room waiting for us." He gestured to the hall and she threaded her arm through his, pulling him towards her extended family. They walked quickly through the kitchen and back out into the hall, then they rounded the corner to the living room and saw the most wonderful sight. The team were all watching them, huge smiles on their faces and barely restraining Abby, who had tried to jump up and crush them in a hug the moment they had walked through the front door. They were trying to give Jenny and Gibbs time to take in all of the changes before swamping them in hugs.
Jenny and Jethro's eyes widened at what had happened to the living room. It had a TV. An actual physical silver flat screen TV. The walls were white with a sky blue feature wall behind the TV. The kick was still a honey colour and the carpet was a deep navy blue. The walls had silver wall sconces dotted around, giving the room a lovely, homey feel when the main light was off, which it was. There were navy blue curtains with white swirls on them at the window, tied back with white cords. There was a honey varnished pine coffee table in front of, and surrounded by, a black three piece suite (A couch and two chairs) and a photo album was laid on the coffee table, with 'Renovations' written on it. Tony had taken many pictures of each stage of the renovations and he had put them all in the album. Others that had taken pictures had then added their own to it and they had quickly filled the album. There was honey pine cabinets lining the far white wall, containing a small collection of DVD's and books, and a few picture frames were on the shelves, showing various pictures of the team. The TV was sitting on top of a honey pine cabinet, with doors concealing the DVD player and space for other consoles that they would more than likely get when the girls were older, or if the team brought one round.
Rendered speechless by the enormity of the task the team had undergone for them, Jenny and Jethro simply opened their arms, and Ziva released Abby, who ran shrieking happily into their arms. Mike took Alexis and brought her and Faith over to the coffee table, where he and Ducky admired them, whilst the rest of the team jumped up and rushed to get into the huge family embrace.
"I- I can't believe all this! Thank you all, so much. When you said you were going to renovate the place I never expected anything like this!" Gibbs said astounded by what they had managed to accomplish in his rundown, dirty old house. He pulled Jenny closer to him and she wiped her eyes, temporarily unable to speak. The team laughed happily; surprised they had rendered her speechless and very glad that they liked it. It was incredible to see her alive, especially for Tony and Ziva, who had been the most affected by her death, because they blamed themselves for it. They had found her dead body; they were supposed to be her protection. Jenny seemed to read their thoughts and opened her arms to them, taking them both in a tight hug, holding them fast to her. She kissed their cheeks and whispered to them.
"I'm sorry. I never meant to hurt you, but I know you've been hurt. I survived the trip to Germany by boat, but if Mike hadn't taken me away, you would have found me alive. You would have saved me." They tightened their hold on her and then released her, joining hands and smiling. She grinned back, taking in their new, closer stance and biting her lip, waiting for the explosion from Gibbs. It didn't come. He simply hugged Jenny to his side as McGee pulled Abby to him and then looked around.
"I guess rule 12 was kind of impractical." He decided. Jenny nodded emphatically.
"I preferred the first one; 'Always carry an extra gun clip'. It made more sense."
"You haven't seen the rest of the house yet!" Abby giggled, nervously tugging her pig tails.
"No time like the present." Mike said, making shooing gestures at them, making Faith laugh. All eyes turned to the baby that had managed to pass by their notice, and then they spotted the other one. They all converged on the tiny little angels and started to gush over them, allowing Jenny and Jethro to slip away unnoticed and see their new house alone.
The last room on the ground floor had been a junk room, but now it was a study. It had a wooden honey pine floor, with two desks facing each other by the window, so both Jenny and Gibbs could work there and both have the same view. There were a few book cases and a drinks cabinet, as well as some drawers, to store paperwork and other things. Both desks had room for a computer, but only one had one, since they hadn't wanted to spend all of the money on electronic equipment. There was a sound system on one of the drawers, so they could listen to some music while they worked, and gold wall sconces on the walls. The curtains in this room were solid burgundy, with gold cords holding them open. It was incredibly reminiscent of the study from her house, so much so that she closed her eyes and imagined she was back at home. This house was a big transition for her, but she knew she could make it. They turned around and walked out, taking the stairs up to the top floor. The hall was the same as the one downstairs, and there were four doors up here.
The bathroom was the first room they came to on the top floor. It was mainly white tile, with teal patterns on some of them that were scattered between the normal white. The bath, sink, toilet and shower cubicle were all white, with teal soap, towel rail, toilet roll holder, toilet brush, baby bath and bath carpet. There was a honey pine cabinet in there which held toiletries and different sizes of towels in each drawer. Most towels were white, with a few teal interspersed between them. There were a few silver wall sconces, casting a relaxing glow over the bathroom. The brighter, normal light was still there, which would be useful for waking up in a morning. They moved on to the next room.
The guest bedroom was the second room on the top floor, and it had a yellow feature wall, the others were white. The crown and kick were honey pine as was the wardrobes and chests of drawers that lined the wall. The bed was honey pine, with white pillows and a white quilt cover with yellow swirls covering it, the direct opposite of the curtains, which were yellow with white swirls, tied back by white cords. The carpet was a honey colour to match the kick and crown. This room was quite bare, although that was to be expected of a guest room. They walked back out and closed the door behind them.
The girls' room was the third room on the top floor. Two of the walls were white, while the other two were lilac, the walls of the same colour were opposite each other, so the colour was split up and the room looked bigger and brighter. The kick and crown was white, as were the cribs in the centre of the room and there were silver wall sconces, which would come in very handy in the next few months especially, for putting the girls' to sleep. The carpet was a lavender colour, as was the curtains, which had white circles on them and they were held back with white cords. The bedding in the cribs was lilac and the cabinets in the room were honey pine. The nappies and baby clothes and supplies were all hidden away in those cabinets. There was a honey pine changing table, with a lilac and white covering standing by the door, next to the cabinets. Both cribs had white mobiles hanging over them and a large white teddy bear lying on top of the bedding. There was a twin pram and a couple of baby bouncers in a corner, waiting to be put to use. Jenny had to cover her mouth to stop herself from bursting out in tears again, this was all so beautiful. They had thought of everything. She walked to one of the drawers and opened it, looking at the little tiny outfits lined up in there.
"I don't believe it." she said, shaking her head in amazement and then wandering back to Jethro.
"Yeah, they did good." He agreed, picking up one of the little white teddies and waving its paw at her.
"I was half expecting pink in here." She grinned, wincing at the thought of an entirely pink room. Gibbs rolled his eyes and kissed her cheeks.
"Abby has taste, Jen." He mumbled against her lips before pulling her in for a deep kiss. She chuckled at him when she pulled back and then took his hand, leading him out of the twins' room and down the hall to the last door.
Jenny and Gibbs' room was the last room on the top floor. Three walls were white, with the last being a feature wall of deep red, with honey kicks. The carpet was crimson as were the curtains, which had white loops on them and white cords holding them tied back. The bed was honey pine, with white pillows and a white quilt cover, with red loops covering them. The honey pine wardrobes covered one wall, which didn't matter too much as this was the largest room, and there were a couple of chests of drawers on the other two walls and a vanity by the window. There were silver wall sconces in here too, which would cast a sultry light on the seductive red of the room. Jenny sighed, it was the perfect house. She couldn't imagine much more that could make it better. She walked over to the wardrobes and opened the doors, staring in shock at the brand new women's clothing hanging there, new shoes sitting at the bottom in a line. They had even thought of getting clothes for her. It was the final blow to her control and she sank to the carpet in a tearful puddle, happiness overwhelming her so completely that she couldn't stop crying to tell Gibbs she wasn't upset. He cuddled her on the floor until she could speak, which took a few minutes.
"It's incredible; I don't know what to say to them. This must have taken so long to do. It's perfect." She shook her head and wiped her eyes. Jethro picked her up off the floor and carried her to the door. She had slept during the way here, but she was getting tired again. The pleasure of seeing what they had done to the house was taking its toll, and she felt drained.
"Let's go down and be with our family." She nodded against his neck and wriggled so he would put her down. He did so and they walked out of the bedroom and then down the stairs to the living room. Two new visitors had arrived while they had been upstairs, Leon Vance and the Sec-Nav. They turned as Jenny and Jethro approached them and the Sec-Nav walked over to give her a hug, while Leon gave Gibbs a handshake.
"You have two beautiful little girls." Leon said, a genuine smile gracing his features, reminding them he had two children of his own. He nodded to them and then stood aside so the Sec-Nav could speak to them first.
"It is so good to see you two, especially you, Jennifer." He gave her a once over and noticed she seemed tired, but healthy. "Well, you seem to be in good health now, has your illness been defeated?"
"Yes, it's gone. The treatments were rather harsh on my body but it was worth it." he nodded and then leaned forward in a conspiratorial whisper.
"So when do you think you will be returning to work?" Jenny's eyes widened, she hadn't thought she would still have a job at NCIS; in fact, she had become very used to the idea of staying home with her children.
"I'm not sure if I will be sir. I've just started recovering from being shot, having twins and being in a coma, never mind the fact that I was dying of a disease and the treatments to save me were rather radical and experimental. I'm not sure if I would feel up to it for months, but more importantly, I'm not even sure if I want to. I missed the entire pregnancy, feeling them grow inside me, feeling them move, getting used to the thought of having a family, all of it passed me by. Now I have the chance to watch my girls' grow, to see their first crawl, to hear their first words, to bond with them in the way that was denied me before. I don't want to miss that, I don't want to miss anything." His eyes widened slightly before a smile formed on his lips. He understood, his wife had the same mentality when their children had been young.
"Rain check?" he asked gently, not about to tell her what to do with her own life, especially not now she had something to go home to, someone to love, a family. She agreed with his question, not at all sure she would change her mind, even after a few months.
"In six months." She said, watching him accept her words, and wondering if he would bother. Leon could have grown on him, shown him his worth as Director and he may not want her back. Well that was fine to her, if she became restless; she could always get a home job. The Sec-Nav nodded and then shook their hands again, before taking his leave of the gathering, his schedule not allowing a longer stay. They watched him leave and then turned to Leon.
"I come in peace." He said, holding up his hands and walking forwards. "I also came to give you this." He passed her an envelope and watched her open it, telling her what it was while he did so. "Once I learned you were alive, I enquired with your insurance company about if your house was insured against accidental fire and arson, since I was made to do so when I became Director, amongst other things. It was and they are prepared to pay out that amount." He said pointing to the number printed on the cheque. "It is less than what your house and contents were worth at your last valuating though, so I asked the Sec-Nav if he would approve something else." He gestured to a second piece of paper under the first. "Since it was NCIS Agents that burned down your house, NCIS will make up the rest of the amount from that valuation." Jenny looked at him owlishly, her mouth working, but nothing coming out. Jethro squeezed her hand and she finally found her voice.
"Leon… I don't know what to say… thank you." he grinned at her and then walked to the door, toothpick magically appearing in hand.
"That's all I need to hear. Good luck with motherhood Jenny. I'll see the rest of you at the office." he walked out of the house and the silence from the team was broken.
"Oh my god, I can't believe Vance has a heart." Tony said loudly, causing everyone to laugh.
"Anthony." Ducky admonished and tony put up his hands up in surrender.
"Sorry Ducky, but did you ever even suspect he would do something nice for his rival?" Ducky shook his head and then tickled Alexis' tummy, making baby laughter sound through the house. Faith joined in as Mike tickled her and the family all crowded around the twins. Ziva and Tony cuddled up on the couch next to Jenny and Jethro, while Abby and Tim sat on the floor. Ducky sat in one chair with Alexis and Mike sat in the other with Faith. Ducky looked up at the Gibbs family unit and sighed happily.
A.N.: The end! I hope you have all enjoyed reading this story, as much as I enjoyed writing it! Thank you so much everyone who has reviewed this story and thank you those who voted in my poll. badprobiemcgee; I hope this is open ended enough, although I'm not sure if I will write a sequel. I don't want to write a sequel for the sake of writing something; I'll want to wait until I can think of a plausible story arc. I will consider it though!