Hi everybody! New story! Gracie's sleepover coming up, and a proposition for Alyssa. Should be interesting! This story is going to be a little different, though, I think. I've been toying with this idea for a while, and I think this story will be a good time to try it. Basically, it's just like my other Alyssa/Gracie stories, except this story will have flash-backs and also flash-forwards. That's the plan anyways. Haha! Let me know how you like it? Read and review!
"Sleepover! Can we rent movies? I wanna see the Hannah Montana movie!" Gibbs chuckled as Grace rambled on and on about her upcoming party. She had finished the invitations last week, and hand-delivered them to five of her best friends at school. The party was the next night, and it was all she had been talking about for weeks. Gibbs saw (but chose to ignore) Alyssa beside him pretending to gag. "And can we order pizza? Pepperoni! And cheese! And pineapple! Oh! Can we get ice cream? I really like ice cream. We could make sundaes! Sundaes are the best! They're better than Saturdays! And maybe we can make crafts, too. Like pictures frames! And we can take pictures that we can put in them. We'll have a photo shoot!"
"That sounds great, sweetheart, but why don't we narrow it down to one or two of those?"
Grace's jaw dropped and her eyes were wide as saucers. Hurt tears filled her blue eyes. "Just one?" Her mouth closed again and her bottom lick stuck out in an adorable pout. She even sniffled lightly. "But..."
Oh, no. That face was so innocent, so sweet, so precious. He just couldn't say 'no' to that face. "Well, two. Or... Three?"
"Yayy! You're the greatest!" Grace squealed and wrapped her arms around his legs. Within seconds, she was back to her perky babbling and spinning around in circles until her lime green skirt flew out around her. He noticed that she had conveniently forgotten to remove some of the sleepover's activities. "This is gonna be the bestest party ever!" Her eyes widened again with a surprised and concerned expression. "I gotta go clean my room." Grace scampered down the hallway, leaving Alyssa and Gibbs alone in the kitchen.
Alyssa moaned from behind him. "I really gotta learn some of her moves."
He shook his head in disagreement. "I don't think it would work for you."
"But... but..." Alyssa blinked tears into her blue eyes, the color so similar to her sister's. She pouted just as adorably, with a bit more conviction.
He growned. Yep, she was good. He turned his head away from the pitifully sweet sight. "Okay, okay. It works."
"Thought so. You are so unprepared for tomorrow night. Do you seriously think you're ready for this?" Alyssa asked, giggling.
"Sure. How much trouble can a bunch of seven-year-old girls get into, anyways?"
Alyssa laughed. "Are you serious? Boatloads!" He stares down his nose at her, unbelieving. "Well, then. Let me tell you what I did when I was seven..."
Flash-Back: Nine years earlier
Maria Tanner collected the mail from the mailbox and jogged back into the house, wishing she had thought to bring a jacket, even on such a short excursion. Her breath fogged in the cold November air as she rubbed her freezing hands together, trying to warm them. She smiled and waved at her seven-year-old daughter, Alyssa, who was watching her mother from the window. Maria reached up to turn the door handle, but it wouldn't turn. She twisted it again with more force but it barely jiggled, a sure sign that the door was locked from the inside. After thoroughly searching her pants pockets, she remembered leaving her keys in the kitchen the night before.
She briefly thought about calling Daniel, but then realized her mistake. Daniel was still fighting with the marines overseas; he wouldn't be home for months still. Her heart stung with missing him, but she pushed away the tears and tried to concentrate on her dilemma. She tried the handle once more fruitlessly, then kicked the door in frustration. It was the only door to the house, and the windows we're all locked tight against the cold. Her only hope was that Alyssa could unlock the door by herself.
Maria tapped on the nearby window until her daughter turned. "Lyssa, baby. Come open the door, okay?" Alyssa's eyebrows crinkled in confusion. "Crap. She can't hear me..." Maria acted out turning a lock and opening the door, but Alyssa just stared at her as if she were a street mime, fully entertained and not the slightest bit interested in getting involved in the act. "ALYSSA! DOOR! DOOR!" She said, gesturing pointedly to her daughter, then to the door.
Alyssa's mouth opened in a perfect circle, and she nodded her head as if she finally understood. She disappeared from Maria's view as she climbed down from the couch, and Maria sighed in relief. Finally, she was going to open the door. But her emotions quickly changed to confused as Alyssa returned, wearing a mask. Maria stepped closer to the window, trying to make out what her daughter was doing.
Alyssa was jumping up and down on the couch, wearing a lion's mask across her face and making clawing hand motions. She pressed her ear against the window and could just make out Alyssa's loud noises. "ROAR! ROAR!"
"Oh, no. 'Door', Lyssa, not 'roar'!"
"Yep. My mom had to go to the neighbor's house and call the fire department. They came and kicked down the door."
"Why does that story not surprise me?"
"Anyways, like I said, trouble. And that was just me being seven and not understanding what she meant. I was a lot worse when I wanted to be."
"I'm sure you were a terror. But Grace isn't like that."
"You're being very naive about this!" She argued. "Little girls are trouble, whether you admit it or not."
"But you and Grace are entirelty different. And the biggest difference between you two, is that Grace is a good girl."
A smirk spread across her face. "Good girls are just bad girls that don't get caught."
Flash-Forward: Ten years later
It was around two in the morning when Grace began to ease open the door of her home. All the lights were off in the house. She tiptoed inside, slowly closing the door behind her. She cringed as it creaked shut, but relaxed slightly when she heard no other noises. She had laid silently in her bed for hours, waiting for her dad to fall asleep, but there were no guarantee that he would stay that way. Any noise could be the that woke him up. She began to creep slowly across the rug, then froze.
"Good morning, Gracie." She lightly stomped her foot on the floor, kept her head down. She mouthed a word she knew he wouldn't approve of her using. "Watch your mouth, Grace Elizabeth."
How did he see that? "Right… My bad."
"I'd say so."
Grace stood silently for a moment, deep in thought. "So... I don't suppose anything I say right now is going to help me out of this."
"Not a bit."
"Great," She said sarcastically. She watched as Gibbs rose from his chair and walked over to her, looking eerily calm. She felt her heart beat speed up and nervously shoved her hands into her back pockets.
"Did you have a good time?" He asked her, looking like he expected an answer.
She considered lying but figured it wouldn't help her case any. And she knew what happened when she lied; it wasn't something she would choose of her own free will. "Yeah."
"Good. Because I'd say that's the last time you will for a while." She winced, but he continued. "You're grounded. Home, church, school, NCIS. That's it."
"Fine, got it." Grace nodded, trying to be as agreeable as possible, and slowly eased to her right before he grabbed her arm and pulled her back to stand in front of him.
"Didn't say you could move."
"Got that, too." She squeezed her eyes shut.
Grace groaned inwardly, but knew better than to voice it. She dropped her car keys into his extended hand. "Can I go now?"
"Look at me." Grace moaned quietly, didn't open her eyes. "Grace…" His voice trailed in warning and she opened her eyes, but kept them down to the floor. "Better. Now look at me." She sighed deeply and looked up at him.
Grace had figured out all her older sister's tricks. The sweet little girl she had once been had grown into a rebellious teenager who could push his buttons with just a look. He had been up for hours worrying about her, but she all she was worried about was getting out of this without getting into trouble. It was unlikely. Very unlikely.
His posture was calm, his arms crossed across his chest, but his eyes were flashing fury. "Where were you?"
Gibbs tightened his grip on her arm slightly. "Don't even think about avoiding the question again, Grace."
"I went to a party." Grace rolled her eyes.
She shrugged. "Yeah, there was some there, but I didn't drink any."
"You sure about that?"
"I didn't have anything to drink, okay?"
Gibbs made an angry noise and pulled her towards him, sat her on the couch. He sat down across from her and the coffee table. "Drugs?"
Alyssa shrugged again. "I didn't see any."
"When did you leave?"
"When. Did. You. Leave?"
"I don't know. After you fell asleep. Maybe one?"
Gibbs glanced at his watch then back to her. "You've been gone about five hours…"
"I mean, yeah. Yes. Yes, sir." He was sure she was just doing that to irritate him.
"Go upstairs. Now."
Once upstairs in her room with the door shut, Grace pulled out her phone out of her pocket. She considered herself lucky to have gotten out without having it confiscated, but that didn't mean she wouldn't later. One unread message. She clicked it open and read a text from her sister. You get caught?
Her fingers clicked quickly over the keys. Yeah, totally. Such a b******. As soon as the message was sent, she deleted it from her outbox.
The phone dinged quietly with a reply message. Yikes, good luck! Told ya not to get caught.
Grace thought back to what her sister had said to her a few years ago, before she left for college. "Good girls are just bad girls that don't caught." But that had been when she was still a good girl...
Gulping, Grace slipped her phone under her mattress and listened to the footsteps like thunder coming up the stairs...
Alyssa spun around in her chair, looking thoroughly bored. Her eyes skimmed over the full bullpen, bustling with people she could talk to. But she stayed in her chair, looking at, not reading, a textbook. She'd already been yelled at twice by Gibbs for distracting his team, and she was trying not to push him too far. Yet.
Gibbs was sitting beside her, typing something into the computer like he was angry with it. Alyssa thought about asking for some money to hit up the vending machine, or going down to Abby's lab to see Grace, but had just decided not to bother him, when the most bothersome of people (in her opinion, anyways) came down the stairs.
"Gibbs." Vance said courteously.
"Leon." Gibbs looked up from his computer briefly.
"Alyssa." Vance said uncomfortably.
Alyssa's eyes widened when he spoke to her. It was the first time he had since, well, ever. But she wasn't interested in being 'best buddies' with the director of NCIS. "Vance." She said, glaring.
"Can I speak to you in my office, Alyssa?"
Alyssa turned to Gibbs, blue eyes confused. "Uh, sure?" She said, asking like it was a question.
But Jethro was not looking at Alyssa. He was instead glaring at Vance. "Anything you need to say to Alyssa you can say in front of me." He briefly wondered if she had pulled some kind of prank, or caused some kind of trouble around NCIS, but surely she wasn't that stupid. Right?
"Fine. My office."
Alyssa followed close behind Vance, but kept peeking over her shoulder to look at Gibbs. She looked a bit terrified, which made him worry that his assumption may have been correct. By the time the group had reached the director's office, Alyssa had regained her composure. She fell into a chair in front of the desk, arms crossed over her chest. "Did I do something wrong?" She asked, arrogantly, as if she couldn't care less about the outcome.
Jethro jumped into the conversation before Leon did. If he could get her to confess, things might turn out better for her in the end. Well, officially, anyways. That didn't mean he wouldn't deal with the incident personally at home. "I didn't know, did you?"
She appeared to be in deep thought for a moment, then finally answered. "I want a lawyer."
"Alyssa..." Gibbs ground out, practically growling.
"Chill, Gibbs! Jeesh! No. I didn't do anything." She corrected her statement, frowning. "I don't think I did anything. Though I might have forgotten."
"No, Alyssa hasn't done anything." Vance had been watching the exchange silently, moderately amused, before finally freeing Alyssa from the forthcoming interrogation.
"Thank you!" Alyssa said dramatically and sarcastically, barely glancing at him. "Told ya I didn't do anything."
Gibbs resisted the urge to roll his eyes, or better yet, headslap her. He kept his eyes on the director.
"No, this is not about what Alyssa has done. This is about what we want Alyssa to do... for NCIS."
DUH DUH DUH! Nice cliffy, huh? Leave me reviews, please!