A/N: Thanks so much for all the reviews, and the support that this story has been given. This turned into something huge-and you've all been a part of it. If you haven't dropped your opinion off, feel free to either review or send me a message! I'm sorry this one is so short, but it felt right to end it where I did.
Also, I also posted a one-shot, as per the request of the lovely Jibbsgal1, that details the relationship between Jenny and Gibbs between her kidnapping and his leaving, and then her dealing with his hiatus. It's called 'Falling', and it is rated M. I'd love it if you all checked that one out as well :)
This is my birthday present to myself-so Happy 17th Birthday me! :)
Disclaimer: I own my OCs and the plot.
"Something always brings me back to you, it never takes too long. No matter what I say or do I'll still feel you here 'til the moment I'm gone," –'Gravity', Sara Bareilles [I am a little bit in love with her. Just a little.]
He looked up at Jenny's voice, raising one eyebrow in question.
"Yeah Jen," he replied, looking up from the case file he was finishing at his desk. The team had left to get something to eat after they'd cracked the case because of Abby. It was only four-still light outside, and the sky looked clear. "What's up?"
"Are you finished?" she asked, and his eyebrows rose at the question. She seemed to notice, and she sighed, relaxing her shoulders slightly. "I have someone I'd like you to meet."
"Oh," Jethro said, and Jenny could hear the question in his voice, but she shook her head.
"C'mon. I'm fairly certain she's been waiting awhile to be introduced," Jenny said, but her smile was a sad one. Jethro frowned, confused, but stood, grabbing his coat and shutting his desk drawer. Rounding his desk, he dropped one hand to Jenny's lower back as they walked out of the bullpen towards the elevators.
"Gonna give me a clue Jen?" he asked when she remained silent in the elevator, her green eyes far away. Slowly she turned, a sad smile still lingering on her lips.
"I'm taking you to meet my best friend," she answered softly, and while Jethro was still confused, he was more than willing to just go with it.
When they reached the parking lot Jenny led him to her car, and he got into the passenger side while she drove. His confusion mounted, however, when twenty minutes later she pulled in the parking lot of the cemetery.
"Please Jethro, just let me explain once we get there," Jenny pleaded, and he closed his mouth, nodding. She got out of the car and started walking, and he followed her. When he caught up to her, he reached for her hand, linking their fingers. She looked up in surprise at him for a moment, but she didn't remove her fingers from his, and he knew she needed his support.
She led him to a light-colored headstone, but he couldn't distinguish the name until they got closer.
Lizzie Nicole Evans
Taken from us too young.
"Jethro, I'd like you to meet my best friend, Lizzie," Jenny said, clearing her throat and gesturing to the headstone. "You've already had the pleasure of meeting her mother, Patricia. Some day, I hope that you can meet her sister, Ashley, and her beautiful family. But for now, I think it's time for me to explain a little bit about my past that you don't know."
Jethro watched her, and nodded.
"I met Lizzie when we were four, at preschool. She had the two biggest blonde pigtails I had ever seen, and shiny pink sneakers that I instantly wanted. I sat down next to her on the first day, and from then on we were glues at the hip. We were the best of friends, all the way through high school," Jenny explained, a fond smile touching her face at the memories. "But, in high school, some pretty bad things happened. I met a boy by the name of Bobby Austin. Everyone called him 'BA' Bobby because he had a bit of a tough-guy reputation."
At this Jenny shuddered slightly, and Jethro stepped closer, one hand brushing her arm gently. She looked up at him, offering him a half-smile.
"A few weeks into our relationship, Bobby turned abusive. Lizzie could see it; there were bruises to prove it, and emotional scars that still haven't healed, all these years later. His actions drove me to cut-that's what the scars are from. They're the marks from the pain I suffered through from the time I was fifteen until I was seventeen. The final straw was when Bobby slammed my left hand in his car door, breaking four of my fingers," Jenny said, flexing the fingers reflexively, remembering the damage. "My dad took me to the police station, and we got a restraining order."
Jenny took a deep, shuddering breath, preparing herself for what came next.
"I thought that everything would finally be right, and I would be able to try to pick up the pieces to my life, maybe even stop cutting and hurting myself. Then, only a week after the order was filed, Lizzie came to my house crying. Bobby had raped her," Jenny said, her green eyes glazed with pain. "It went to trial, but before there was a definite verdict, Lizzie committed suicide."
Jethro inhaled sharply, his heart hurting for Jenny. But there was more to the story, he could tell, so he let her continue.
"In her note, she revealed that she'd learned she was pregnant because of Bobby. You have to remember that in the 80s, abortion was a complete taboo. You didn't have an abortion, not back in those days. But Lizzie couldn't have Bobby's baby. Her rape completely destroyed her; she was a shell of her former self, not wanting to live, and that's why she killed herself," Jenny said, swallowing hard. "After that, Bobby was sentenced to 25 to life, and I haven't heard of him since he went in. Personally I hope he rotted, but I'm not crossing my fingers."
Jethro watched as Jenny's green eyes glowed with hatred; he'd never seen her look so disgusted by the thought of a person. But, her past showed why this case had affected her so much, and it fit together pieces of puzzles he hadn't understood until that point.
"Cutting urges are very difficult to make go away," Jenny continued softly, her eyes dropping to her arms, and she pulled up on of her sleeves, revealing the scarred skin. "I finally got them under control during my junior year of college, and then I didn't cut again until 2001."
He did the math. Wait…
"Yes, it was after I left," Jenny replied softly, answering his silent question. "And I left for cowardly reasons that I regret so much. I hate it admit it, but…moments would remind me of Bobby; things you did or said, and…I was so nervous that you'd turn out just like he did. Because in the beginning, Bobby was kind and sweet and gentle, and then he turned into a monster. And…I ran before I could make that the image I had of you. I know you hate apologies, but I'm sorry Jethro. I'm sorry I judged you the way I did."
"Jen, from what you've told me, you survived Hell," Jethro said, his voice slightly hoarse. "I don't blame you, and I forgive you for leaving. We have right now Jenny-let's take it."
Jenny nodded, wiping at the few tears that had fallen. Jethro's hand caught hers, and stilled her motions, taking over to wipe at the tears and brush back her hair. Then, his hand slipped to her cheek, running over the skin.
His next move was to pull her close, and press his lips to hers. And there, in the middle of the cemetery, next to her best friend's grave, she kissed him back.
Finally, she felt safe.
"Your love is mending my blisters and, my bruising shame. Now I, I'm not ashamed. Here with you, I am safe." –'Safe', Natalie Grant
And with this, I finish the most intensive story I have ever written. I thank all of you that followed this story through the peaks and valleys (looking back, there's a lot more valleys than peaks…). There will be a sequel, which will be posted in a few weeks (after I pick up the pieces of my life and try to put them back together):
'Torn'- Jenny and Gibbs are struggling with their newfound relationship and dealing with flashbacks and urges when suddenly, Bobby's back. It can only get worse from there. Same warnings as 'Broken'.
I hope you'll read that as well! Thank you! :)