The Lost World by DD Agent
I do not own NCIS or any of its characters, or its settings - all belongs to the lovely folks at CBS.
Well I haven't updated this series since June, but thats because I was waiting for Season 9 to begin [TVGuide keeps confusing me - they need to decide who is coming back and stick to it!]. On holiday I got a new idea that would change my plans for season 9, but spin the series in a new, and hopefully good, direction. Let me know what you think!
He was a dead man from the moment he opened his eyes.
"What have you told the Agency?"
His mind tried to work out where he was and any possible escape routes even though his body told him he wasn't getting out of this alive. He could feel rough rope digging into his wrists and feet. His shoulder wound was itching his skin, and he could feel that his clothes were soaked with blood and sweat and urine. He wrenched open his eyes, making him more aware of the pain he was feeling.
"What have you told the Agency?"
He recognised that voice, but his mind was still catching up with the situation. He coughed and looked around, trying to remember where he was. The ground was rocky under his bound feet, and he came to the conclusion that he was on a boat. There was no identifying marks, no port hole to look through. Just an empty bottle of bourbon on the floor. And the person behind him. He felt their breath tease his ear, and he swallowed.
"What. Have. You. Told. The Agency?"
He managed to swivel his eyes in the direction of the person holding him hostage. His brain tried to connect the dots, tried to attribute the features to a person he knew. But it was impossible. The red hair, the green eyes, that determined smile. He had worked with several Agency Directors before, but he had never liked Jenny Shepard. He had raised a glass when he had heard she'd been burnt to a crisp. Yet here she was, in the flesh.
"Do I need to repeat the question a fourth time?"
The fog over his brain started to shift, and he remembered walking away from his girlfriend's house, heading down into town. He'd bumped into what he thought had been a tourist. But it had been Shepard. Then pain - so much pain. He chased her, and her companion. He'd found them eventually, arguing behind a house. Then Shepard had pulled a gun and shot him in the shoulder. Now he was here, waiting for Jasper Shepard's bitch of a daughter to murder him.
He licked his lips. "I didn't call it in."
He should have said he had, should have said that back up would be on them soon. But Shepard was smart, one of the smartest politicians he had ever met. Which made her dangerous. She would know if he was lying. He'd wanted to make damn sure it was Shepard before he called it in, not wanting to make a mistake. He realised that he had done so anyway. He risked a look into Shepard's expression, saw that she was smiling. She reached to her waist and pulled out a knife. He blinked furiously but she just cut the bonds around his hands. Shepard handed him a phone.
"What are you waiting for?"
He wondered what her game was, whether this was a test or not. What could she honestly hope to gain by allowing him to call in the knowledge that Shepard had fooled all the intelligence community and she was actually alive? Fear won in the end, and he started to press the numbers into the phone. He was calling his partner, thankfully a man who would check up his statement rather than see it as a hoax.
"D…Dean, it's me, Jack. Dean, I just saw…Jesus Dean, Jenny Shepard is fucking alive! I'm w…watching her right now, it's true. The bitch is still alive."
That was when she shot him in the forehead.
Two Days Earlier
The location was perfect, the weather was fantastic and the company was phenomenal. Leroy Jethro Gibbs could not think of a better way to spend his summer vacation as he pulled into the dock in the early Corsican sun.
They'd been travelling around Corsica for the last three days, the French island being a great place for them to travel. Jenny could use her expert French to good use, and it was so out of the way that no one would think that the beautiful redhead was actually the deceased NCIS Director who had 'passed away' three years ago. Only two people knew that Jethro's former and now present lover Jenny Shepard was still alive. One was returning to the makeshift bed at the bottom of the boat where his lover was. The other was dog sitting in Washington DC.
"Looks a pretty little place. Some sand, some shops. We can send Ducky a postcard from this stop."
Jethro crawled into bed with Jenny Shepard, leaning on the menagerie of pillows they had created as a bed. The boat was one he'd taken as scrap and fixed up in the bereavement time Vance had ordered him to have after Mike's death. She didn't have a name, but on all the paperwork she was called 'Jenny'. He had wanted to build a boat for her, but usually his boats were only for one. This one was for two, like his life was gradually becoming.
Jenny shifted in his embrace, looking up at him. He stole a kiss, brushing his thumb over her nose. Every moment together he treasured. They were always in short supply.
"You know…" Jenny started as she sat up and leant against the hull of the boat. "There are tons of websites with sightings of Elvis, or Jimmy Hoffa, or Princess Diana."
Jethro could think of more romantic ways to start their morning together. "Okay…" He nuzzled her neck. "Care to fill me in on the relevance of that, Jen?"
Going into the box where they locked their mobile phones, Jenny brought out the new blackberry she had bought herself. She was using it to keep in touch with Ducky via Twitter. After switching it on and cursing at its slowness, Jenny pulled up what looked like a miniature internet page. Gibbs took Jenny's offered glasses and he looked at the page entitled: "Shepard Arises". It was a page filled with conspiracy theories over Jenny's death and sightings of her alive and well.
"This is not good, Jen." This was worse than not good - if someone started following these sightings then they could discover Jenny. With her help, he managed to scroll over to recent sightings which included her at her father's grave leaving roses and shopping in Paris. Jethro knew that one of those was true. If the other was, he'd have to have severe words with his love.
Jenny wasn't saying anything. She stood up, reminding Jethro that they had gone to bed naked the night before. She pulled on the nearest shirt and turned around to him. She didn't look overly worried, just mildly concerned. "I had my laptop out last night and checked some of the IP addresses." He looked blank. "I found out where the people posting on the site are from."
"Abby?" Jethro whispered, hoping that she wasn't wrapped up in this. But it was too good to hope.
Jenny joined him again on the bed and pressed her forehead against his. "I'm sorry, Jethro." His arm pulled her close to him. "I'm thinking we need to tell Abby. She's not getting any closure for my non-death. It'll be easier on her if she knows."
It wouldn't be easy on him if he lost Abby due to his lies. Things had been calm since Mike's death. 'Penny' had been welcomed by Abby; Ducky had even gone to visit 'her'. And even though things still weren't the way they were before, he was enjoying the peace. Telling Abby would ruin all that. Telling Abby could mean he would lose both his girls.
He didn't want to think about it. So he just kissed Jenny on the forehead, smiling at the woman he loved. "We'll talk about it later. Let's just go to the beach, get some ice cream and make love on the boat again."
"Sounds good to me," Jenny whispered before pulling Jethro under the sheets with her. The world was back to just the two of them again.
There was chocolate ice cream on his chin but Jenny didn't want to say anything as she found him too adorable for words.
"Damn this is good," Jethro groaned, digging into his mint choc chip with gusto. She had never met a man who liked ice cream as much as Jethro did.
After making love on the boat, they had walked into town and purchased ice creams. Jethro was holding her incredibly close, which was how Jenny believed her chocolate truffle ice cream had ended up on Jethro's chin. The scene was ridiculously domestic, and Jenny realised she didn't want anything more. She didn't even want to return to NCIS if it made her lose the wonderful relationship she now had with Jethro. She was in heaven.
"I love you, Jen," Jethro whispered into her hair. She grinned back, choosing that moment to lick the ice cream off his chin. He chuckled and kissed her again. The locals watched and shook their heads, but neither Jenny nor Jethro minded. They were enjoying the moment too much to care.
They turned a corner into the less touristy parts of Propiano, still kissing. Jenny turned away for a moment to blush and accidently bumped into a man walking past. She sent her ice cream flying over his shirt, and she cursed in English before apologising rapidly in French. The man looked up to see his afternoon nemesis and they both froze. She didn't know his name, just his face. Jenny recognised him as a CIA Agent who had worked for his Director when she had been one too. She also recognised the shape of the gun enclosed at his waist.
"Son of a…"
Before he had a chance to right himself, Jenny head butted him. The man fell to the ground, and Jenny grabbed Jethro's hand and started leading him away. They started running up the slopes of Propiano, heading away from the port and into the industrial areas. As they ran, Jenny's mind went into overdrive. Jethro had his NCIS phone and ID on the boat; she had her fake passport and fake phone. If the man figured out what boat they were on, both their lives were over.
They passed a Peugeot dealership and a car park. They were going past beaches and holiday makers, all of them oblivious to the previously happy couple running for their lives. Turning up a road, they hid behind a house buried in trees. Jethro turned on her immediately, his hands clasping her face.
"Jen, who is that guy?" He asked, fear invading his voice. He was so scared for her.
She held his hands on her skin, interlocking them. She was scared too, but more for Jethro. "He's…he's CIA." Jenny turned away from him and cursed. "Jethro, I'm so, so sorry for dragging you into my mess again. You should just lea-"
Jethro pressed his lips to hers, forcing his love on her. Their hands were still entwined, and Jenny didn't want him to ever let her go. "I'm not accepting any of your self sacrificing bullshit this time, Jen. We're in this together, you and me. Whatever we do, we'll do together."
Jenny nodded and they shared another kiss. "Okay, well then we need to figure out what to do."
Jethro pulled out the gun he had concealed at his side. It was loaded. "One shot, you're safe. He's CIA, Jen; you know he'll kill us in a heartbeat."
That wasn't what she was thinking now they had stopped running. She remembered the agent had made some rather disgusting remarks about her father; she had no qualms about killing him. But a part of her saw the chance in this, saw the chance that Jethro didn't want to because he was too afraid of losing her. She was afraid of losing him too, but she was growing tired with the lost look in his eyes at all the lies he told for her. Enough was enough.
"Let him tell the CIA, Jethro. Let them all know. They'll search in Paris, Barcelona, Prague - they'll never find me in Madison, California." He was shaking his head, and Jenny squeezed his hands tighter. "Three years, Jethro. Three years of living like I'm dead. Hoping and waiting and living for one more weekend with you. I don't want them to find me; I just want you to come home to me more often." She ran a hand down his face. "If they know, you can. It's my risk to take, and as long as you're safe, I'm taking it."
She kissed him again. "We have to work quick, and I don't know when you'll be able to see me again. But, Jethro, we can have our family back. Isn't it worth that?"
One Week Later
Navy Yard - NCIS Office
"Run it by me again."
Ray Cruz looked up from the conference table and watched as NCIS Director Leon Vance clicked his pen continuously in his hand, appearing nervous. Cruz looked over the files again. "Agent Tyler's body was found washed up in Palma one week ago. He had been working there for the past few months, but was taking a few days off to see his girlfriend. Her location is unknown."
Vance nodded, and turned to Cruz with a harsh gaze. "Get to the part where my predecessor, despite me checking her pulse, is actually alive?"
Cruz coughed. "He made a phone call outside Palma where he claimed to his partner that Jenny Shepard was alive. Soon after, the boat he was being held hostage on exploded; although an autopsy revealed cause of death to be a single gunshot wound to the head. The boat itself was bought by a redhead matching Shepard's description in Palamos the day before."
He slid over the files, and Vance looked over the evidence that the CIA had collected. He snorted as he realised that the CIA had been working on this case for a week without NCIS even being informed. They had found Jenny Shepard's fingerprints on the parts of the boat that had washed up. Her handwriting was identified on the boat purchase papers, the name she had used being her alias during the European operations. Then there was the transcript of the call from Agent Tyler.
"Those higher up have officially declared that Jenny Shepard is alive. We'd like to talk to your agents, see if they've been in contact with her."
Vance shook his head. "You're not talking to any of my agents. They've been through enough. If any of them know about Shepard being alive, then we'll find out soon. But not now. We've got other problems to deal with." He closed the files. "If you find her, you better bring her back alive. We NCIS Agents don't like it when one of our own gets murdered."
Cruz stood up, hands gripping the edge of the table. "Neither do we."
Vance escorted Cruz out of his office, and watched as he descended the stairs. He passed Gibbs as he exited, but Cruz didn't make eye contact. Gibbs had returned from his vacation a few days ago, and now DiNozzo was hacking into his computer to see if their recent present of a digital camera had been used. Sure enough, Vance watched as a picture of Gibbs in Europe with a gorgeous brunette came up. They looked happy together - must be the legendary Penelope.
Vance tapped the banister of the stairs, and hoped that three years of isolation hadn't turned Jenny Shepard against the family that despite everything, would still welcome her with open arms.
"DiNozzo! What are you doing?"
Tony turned away from the monitor quickly, but not quick enough for the head slap. Gibbs had seen him accessing his holiday pictures, and he was not impressed. However Ziva, McGee and an excited Abby were. Abby jumped over to his side and pointed at the woman in the photograph.
"Gibbs, is that Penelope?"
He nodded. "Yeah, that's her."
In truth it wasn't. But his team didn't need to know that. She was just some random woman he had got talking to in Palma while waiting for Jenny to destroy the boat she had bought in Palamos. His own boat, registered as The Jenny with passengers Jethro and Penelope was docked in VilleFranche. Jenny had killed the man who had seen them; he had just stood back and covered his own ass.
"She's a looker, boss!" Tony declared, and Gibbs smiled. He guessed she was, but he wasn't interested in her. He was more interested in the redhead whom he loved more than life itself.
He had pulled her out of that water, tired and exhausted from swimming away from the explosion. She had been pale, her eyes full of tears. She had looked like a Probie again, the same Probie that didn't kill Svetlana. He could understand why - Jenny had thought she was done with that world. What she had done had nearly killed her.
"Can you honestly tell me you still love me?"
Jethro thought about Jenny and smiled. "Now, it was my understanding that we have a case, right DiNozzo?"
His team turned away to get back on with what they were doing, and Jethro took a sneaky look at his phone. He hadn't seen Jenny in over a week; and their last goodbye, that fleeting kiss on the lips, was not enough to hold him. Every Federal Agency would be searching for her now, especially NCIS. It had taken the CIA a week to tell Vance, but now the games would begin.
"I will always love you. To hell and back, Jen. I will not lose another person I love."
God help those who tried to get between him and Jenny. He had lost her once, almost lost her a second time. There wouldn't be a third.