(A/N: I hadn't intended to write another story with Samson in it, but you know how pushy cats can be when they want their own way…lol. There will be at least one more story with Samson in it, hopefully by this weekend. As usual, I own nothing to do with NCIS whether it be the show, the actors, the franchise…etcetera. Tigyr)

The big black cat sighs as he watches the house that he considers his. He knows that the owner is away, but he watches for signs of life until the owner arrives. The man is greyer now, his silver blue eyes don't smile as often as they used to, but he appears to be the same human that Samson has watched over these many years.

There's something new going on in Gibbs' life. The doors on the house are still open for the ones he considers his adopted family, but there's more. Gibbs is spending less and less time in the basement. Samson purrs as he remembers the first time he'd seen the basement, and the way he'd been able to rest on Gibbs' chest as a tiny kitten.

Samson also remembers the pain he'd seen when Shannon and Kelly no longer lived with Gibbs. Samson didn't know what exactly had happened, but he knew it had deeply affected Gibbs, to the point that the man had cried while clinging to Samson like he was afraid of losing him. Later, Gibbs had gently shut the pet door that Samson used to go in and out of. Samson had also seen several of the wood pieces that he'd once had the pleasure of watching Gibbs create become ash as Gibbs threw them on a bonfire.

Samson shakes his graying black head as he watches Gibbs escort a female inside. This one is different from the others that have tried to enter Gibbs heart over the past years. This one is blonde and among other things, tall enough to stare Gibbs in the eyes. Gibbs actually smiles at something the woman says as he leads her to the back deck.

Samson lets out a startled yelp as the branch of the tree he's in breaks off. Gibbs doesn't hear the meow of pain, but the female immediately knows something is wrong and cautiously walks towards Samson.

Gibbs says nothing as his companion kneels down and softly starts talking to Samson like he's a normal human being, all the while running her hands along the cat's body.

"Jethro, can you help me here?" There's a small purple bubble surrounding the cat. Gibbs looks at the cat then at his companion who smiles up at him.

"I can save him, but we need to take him inside. Can I use your shirt?"

"Is he wearing a collar?"

"Yes, and a small wooden tag says –"

"Samson." Gibbs is on his knees beside her now, his eyes caressing the cat while Laurie gently wraps the animal in Gibbs shirt. Gibbs reaches out a hand and Samson lifts his head up so that Gibbs can scratch under his chin.

"He'll be okay, Jethro. We got here in time." Her quiet reassurance is matched by her steady hands as she waits for Gibbs to stand before handing the wounded cat to him. Gibbs gently carries Samson into the kitchen where he lays the animal on the table. Laurie says nothing as she hides a smile. If she ever needed proof that Leroy Jethro Gibbs was indeed a human, it's being presented to her now. The big black cat is almost asleep when Gibbs wanders out of the kitchen and up into the attic.

Laurie stays with the cat, knowing instinctively that Gibbs needs this time alone. She puts her head on the table next to the cat, as she keeps a protective hand on his head.

"You'll be okay, handsome one. Me and Jethro will see to that, okay?" the cat licks her palm and she smiles. Ten minutes later when Gibbs comes back downstairs, he finds the two inhabitants of his kitchen sound asleep.

In a way, he's glad that they're asleep. He knows that Laurie can guess why it took so long for him to return from the attic and is grateful to the woman for her tact and caring. The small act of taking care of the cat while he tucks away the last of his past is yet another reason he's starting to care for her.

Gibbs sighs as he briefly wonders at the reappearance of the black cat. If Abby were here, she'd probably claim it was an omen of some sort. The fact that Samson is here and Laurie is too, oh yeah, Abby'd have a field day. Rather than dwell on what his forensic specialist might think Gibbs turns his attention to the woman who is starting to occupy a part of his life that he'd thought would never be filled again. For the first time in years, that empty space in his heart is healing, as he slowly accepts Laurie Fields into his life.

He lightly touches the hand that's never lost contact with Samson as he says, "I can carry you in or would you rather walk?"

"I can walk, you carry Samson." She straightens up, accepting Gibbs steadying hand at her elbow. By mutual silent agreement, they head for Gibbs bedroom.

"He's not going to stay, Laurie, he never does."

"He's going nowhere for the next two days. He needs to heal and he knows that he can trust you to help him."

"What about you?" She waits until he's placed Samson on the old cat bed that he's found, covered with a pillow case and set on the floor before she answers him. As he stands up, she loops her arms around his neck, drawing his head down to hers.

After exchanging kisses she says, "I'm going nowhere, unless it's to work. I have finally settled father's estate, and that of Holly's parents. This means that for the first time since we met, I'm all yours." She smiles at the comprehension in his eyes and nods at his unspoken question. She's staying, for good, as long as he'll let her stay.

"You know that last "b" in Gibbs stands for bastard, and I'm not ashamed to admit that I can be one every now and then."

"Male PMS…you all suffer from it at some point in your lives." She giggles at the look on his face.

"Damn I hate to think what Jack's gonna say when he finally meets you." He can just imagine his dad's delight in meeting her actually. Which reminds him, "Would you like to meet my dad this weekend?"

He knows that with all the losses she's had the past few weeks, that she might not be ready to meet his father. On the other hand, Jackson Gibbs might be just what the doctor ordered. He tosses her on the bed as he pulls out his cell phone and speed dials his dad's home phone.

"Well, Leroy, this is a surprise. To what do I owe the honor?"

"Dad, I'd like to introduce you to someone this weekend. Someone, who's becoming very special to me."

"Well, by all means boy, bring her down here. It is a female isn't it?"

"Yeah, Dad, she's a female. Kinda reminds me of Mom." He grins down at her as he says it and she retaliates by finding the one ticklish spot on his body. "Gotta go Dad, see ya Friday night." The cell phone clatters as it hits the bedside table.

In a small house in Stillwater, Pennsylvania a white haired, blue-eyed gentleman wipes tears from his eyes as he realizes what wasn't said over the phone. His son is finally letting someone into his life without fear of what could happen in the future.

Over in the corner, Samson raises his black head and smiles a feline smile. His human is happy again, or on his way towards happiness. The black cat tucks his head under his paws and goes to sleep.