Hi, everyone! I am SO sorry for the lack of the final update! But life got in the way and was just crazy for a while, and being overwhelmed tends to shut down my imagination and inspiration completely. On the other hand, I am now a college graduate. Besides that, nothing else to report, other than working a dead-end job cashiering at Walmart...
But I have been recently inspired on just what to do for chapter 7 and it has finally presented itself in my head, with some help. I don't own any references to, quotes, etc. from Dragonheart, Pirates of the Caribbean, Flashpoint, or any other sources. But you might catch some references and stuff anyway.
I'd like to dedicate the first scene in this chapter to Sadie Revere, who so looked forward to this chapter in the parent story, but alas, the story didn't allow it to be written then. But that's because it fit so much better in this story, the sequel. So here's for you, Sadie! :)
It's 2026 and Sean and Lily are seventeen years old, turning eighteen in December. Sean is solidly built and very tall, like his father. Lily, like her mother, is petite and slender. Both teenagers' eyes were vivid green, like their mother's, although Sean's possessed hints of hazel, like his father. Lily had also inherited her mother's long light brown hair.
The twins enjoyed staying busy and active. One of the things they enjoyed doing was sword fighting, which Gibbs had taught them how to do. While they had grown up practicing with padded and wooden swords, they now practiced with real aluminum swords, which were lighter than metal, and dulled for safety reasons.
Gibbs eyed Lily steadily. Though she stood still and quiet in front of him, she quivered with anticipation of the match.
"Steady," Gibbs said, seeing her hands shake, making the sword bob ever so slightly.
Lily took a deep breath and composed herself and the sword stopped shaking.
Lily swung left, then right, then left and right again. Gibbs met her every advance.
"Never be too eager to rush your opponent."
Lily swung at Gibbs again, and he knocked the sword out of her hand.
Gibbs swung at her head. She dodged and he barely missed. She grabbed another sword and blocked a blow from above, before swinging at his groin area.
"Game over," Lily said, smiling.
Gibbs smiled. The match was over.
"Your turn, Sean."
Sean stood up.
"You let her win," Sean said, as he took Lily's sword from her and went to stand in front of Gibbs.
"Maybe, maybe not," was all Gibbs said in response. "Prepare yourself."
Sean took a breath, then held the sword up over his head, primed.
Sean swung right, then left, then over his head. Gibbs met his every blow, then reached in and grabbed his shirt collar, spun him around, and held Sean against him, sword held to his chest.
"Not bad. Not good enough to live."
Sean freed himself, faced Gibbs, then advanced on him again. Gibbs tripped Sean and he went reeling into the ground. Landing in the dirt, he rolled onto his back and blocked Gibbs' strike at his chest. He strained against Gibbs' weight, then threw Gibbs over his head.
Gibbs quickly rolled and stood up, before Sean could attack him again. He blocked a few blows and made his way over to a chair.
"Mind if I sit down? I don't have your energy."
Then, after a few sips of coffee, Gibbs suddenly spun and swung his sword underneath Sean's arm. "Ha. You're still dead."
Gibbs sat down again and began to pour himself a cup of coffee, as Sean swung blow after blow at him.
"Purpose, not passion," said Gibbs, blocking Sean's advances without even looking.
They circled, exchanging blows. Finally, Gibbs swiftly sank to his knees, aiming his sword at Sean's midriff.
"Well done," said Gibbs. "You're getting better. With more practice, you'll be able to beat me."
"Come on, let's go get something to eat," Gibbs said, clapping Sean fondly on the shoulder. Sean was an inch and a half taller than Gibbs, equal to his father in height. With the fights over, they went inside.
The rest of summer passed in a blur of gardening with Ziva and Abby, horseback riding, and going to the beach. Autumn arrived, and with it came Sean and Lily's senior year of high school. Lily was already planning to attend college at the Art Institutes of the District of Columbia, to major in photography.
On one particularly hot day, Sean knocked on Lily's bedroom door.
"Hey, can I come in?" he asked.
"Yeah, of course," said Lily, moving over on her bed to make more room for him. "What's up?"
"Man, it is a thousand degrees in here," said Sean, sinking next to his sister on her bed. He looked over at her. "I wanted to tell you something."
"Uh oh," said Lily, "what?"
"I've decided that I want to be a cop."
Lily's eyebrows rose. "Um, what? Oh man, no you don't."
"Yeah, I do," said Sean.
"Have you told Dad any of this?" Lily asked.
"Hey, keep your voice down," Sean hissed. "No, I haven't told Dad yet."
"You need to talk to him," said Lily.
"I know, and I will. I just haven't figured out how to say it yet. But when I do, you got my six?" Sean asked.
"I'm second-born, Sean. I've always had your six," said Lily, smiling.
Sean smiled and hugged his sister.
"Come on, Sean, Dad and Johnny won't be home for an hour."
A week before school was to begin, Anna's parents and Johnny had come to Washington to visit McGee and the twins for the weekend. They had walked around a street fair for part of the day and hiked around Roosevelt Island.
Now the adults had gone into town to have a few drinks, and the twins had been left to their own devices.
"No! Absolutely not."
"For me?" Lily asked, batting her eyelashes.
Sean narrowed his eyes at his devious sister.
"OK," he sighed, grinning. "Let's do it."
Five minutes later, they had backed the Chevelle out of the driveway and were speeding along the highway.
"Oh, my God, I so want this car!" Lily yelled, as she pressed the accelerator down further, pushing 80. "Woo hooooo!"
Sean laughed gleefully, the wind whipping his long hair in his face, as Lily passed the car in front of her, squeezing between it and a car going the opposite direction.
They continued cruising fast down the highway, but a moment later, red-white-and-blue lights flashed behind them.
"Uh oh..." said Lily, looking over at her brother with dread.
Sean grimaced. "Always the colors of freedom until they are flashing behind you," he groaned, as his sister pulled the car over to the side of the road.
Lily looked up from cradling her head in her hands, as her father came storming over. All three of them were at the precinct. McGee had just finished talking with the officer who had pulled them over.
"Don't 'hi' me, young lady," McGee snapped. "I want to get out of here. Now!"
"OK, fine!" Lily snapped back.
"And don't think you will get off any easier for riding shotgun, young man," McGee growled, as they made their way out of the precinct, Lily holding a pink speeding ticket in her hand. "Do you know what it's like to pick up your kids at the police station? Especially in my line of work? Do you know what this looked like? Whether you think they do or not, appearances do matter. And don't think that you're getting off easy for riding passenger, young man," he added fiercely to Sean, who blushed and didn't meet his father's glare.
They arrived home and entered the house. But instead of parting ways, Sean and Lily knew to sit down in the living room. Their father wasn't done with them yet.
"Now," said McGee, sitting in a chair in front of them and making them feel like they were in interrogation, "the officer told me you've been fined and have lost almost all the points on your license, Lily. You're gonna have to attend driving classes to make them up. You could have gotten your license revoked. You could have gotten killed."
"But we weren't, Dad," said Lily. "I had the car completely in control."
"That's not my point," said McGee. "Look, have I ever told you guys about my first day behind the wheel?"
Both twins shook their heads. McGee sighed and ran his fingers through his hair, before beginning to recant his story.
Just about every young human being, male or female, wishes for a car for their sixteenth birthday.
Young Timothy McGee wanted one more than anything, maybe even more than he wanted a computer. And he liked computers a whole hell of a lot.
"Be careful today," said Commander McGee, clapping his son on the shoulder.
"Congratulations. Love you," gushed Mrs. McGee, hugging Tim, who squirmed awkwardly out of her grasp.
Tim started the engine, then put the gearshift into reverse and backed out of the driveway. Despite that it looked like it was going to rain, he was in high spirits. Having a car all to himself meant one word: freedom.
Tim hit the freeway and coaxed the car up to sixty miles per hour, enjoying the feel of the wind whipping through his hair and the car purring happily all around him, vibrating his body from his very toes all the way to his ears.
A short while later, he changed direction and headed back to town. When he hit the city limits, it started raining. Tim exited off the interstate and headed toward home.
He was two blocks away when it happened. The rain reached pouring pitch and Tim took his eyes off the road and looked down, trying to figure out how to operate the wipers. He didn't realize he ran a red light.
Next thing he knew, he heard an enormous BANG and felt excruciating pain in his right leg.
The car had drifted a few feet to the left and he had collided, head-on, with a bus.
"I got a student bus pass, the day I got out of traction," said McGee to the twins. "So you can understand why I'm concerned, don't you?" They nodded. "As such, I think it's only fair, Sean, that you pay the fine, since Lily has to contend already with points deducted and driving classes."
Sean nodded. "Yes, sir," he said resignedly.
Lily slapped the ticket into her brother's hand, though she wasn't smiling.
"So what now?" Lily asked, looking over at her father.
"Well, my lecture is over," said McGee, "so is there anything you two would like to say? Anything you'd like to add? Anything you want to ask?" Lily elbowed her brother. McGee looked at them curiously. "What?" he asked.
"Dad," Sean blurted out, "I want to be a cop."
McGee's eyebrows rose. Unsure of what to ask, he simply said, "Go on."
"I want to help and protect people. I want to save lives. I'll go to college and get the degrees I need. I'll do whatever it takes," said Sean.
"Sean, you can't even begin the process until you're 23," said McGee. "You have to pass a 1600 question exam. You have to go to police academy. You carry guns and you are trained to fire those guns. Then you're trained not to fire those guns. But it's not just about the guns, the hours, the gear, the glamour, the girls— this job is about getting into a dirt bag's head. It's about listening to what they have to say. Hundreds apply, few make it in. Psych tests, multiple choice, "What Kind of Cop are You?", "What Kind of Human Being?" You get through that, it's fitness tests and drills."
"I know, Dad," said Sean.
"We specialize not only in marksmanship, but in tech," said McGee. "Bombs, computers, psychology, negotiations. You're expected to perform to your absolute limit at all times and constantly push that limit. So you can handle the job when the job gets tough. Because the job does get tough, but you work hard, you do your best, you do what you think is right, and you'll find peace in whatever it is you choose to do."
McGee finished and looked at his son, a stubborn, yet gentle young man who stared fiercely back at him.
"Sean, you're my only son. I won't lie and say I'm not nervous about you choosing such a high-risk career," said McGee. "But if it's what you want to do and what you think will make you happy, then I know there's no stopping you." He smiled.
Sean smiled back.
"So," said McGee, and without warning, he reached forward and cuffed his son around the back of the head, "welcome to the team, Probie."
Sean's mouth fell open slightly in surprise. "No way," he said, "you wouldn't." McGee frowned at him. "You would?"
"Oh yes, I would, and I will," said McGee. "You won't be getting any special treatment, just because you're my son."
Sean grinned impishly at his sister.
"Your mother would have been so proud of you."
Sean smiled. "Thanks, Dad," he said, extending his hand and shaking his father's hand. Somberly, his eyes wistful, he added quietly, "I miss her."
"So do I, Sean, every single day."
The twins turned eighteen in December and graduated from high school the following spring. Sean passed his entrance exam and entered the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) in Washington, D.C. in the fall of 2017, where Gibbs himself had received his training before joining NIS. Lily, on the other hand, chose to pursue a more humanitarian lifestyle and was accepted into Julliard School of Music, with emphasis in voice and piano.
On their last night together before Lily was to move to New York City, McGee stood at the bottom of the stairs.
"Sean, Lily, will you come down here, please?"
The twins came downstairs together and joined their father in the living room.
"Tonight's our last night together for a long time," said McGee. "I wanted to show you something. Abby and I made it together with your mom."
From within some green packaging, McGee produced two scrapbooks of them, him, and their mother, before she had died.
"It's pictures and stills from all the videos Abby and I and your mom took, while we were dating, engaged, our wedding," said McGee. "It goes on to... to..." His voice shook and died. "To when she got sick. Then when you guys were born. Even once she died, there's more." He wiped tears sparkling in his eyes and went on. "Abby and I have scrapbooked your whole lives."
"Wow, Dad, these are beautiful," said Lily, smiling at her father. "I bet Mom loved them."
"She did," said McGee, smiling. "She loved you both very much. She didn't want to leave you. She would have stayed, if given a choice."
Sean nodded. "We know, Dad."
"I love you both so much," said McGee, holding them close.
"Love you, too, Dad," they said together.
And they settled down into Anna's large Ottoman chair and continued to look at photos and still frames, as a family, together.
It is finished. Please forgive me for the downtime between updates. I hope you enjoyed this final chapter. Please review, as always, to tell me what you thought.
Thank you to all who enjoyed A Special Bond so much and After Anna and who have stuck with me since the beginning. You're all the best.
Until next time, lots of love,
horseaholic (a.k.a. Renthead07)