Jenny Shepard, NCIS Special Agent and daughter of Jasper Shepard, knew she was in trouble with her agency. She'd lied to her director, and her superior officer. She'd endangered the lives of her team mates, and risked her mission.
Not only that, she'd risked the life of a civilian, and not just any civilian; a civilian in the form of an at the time unborn baby. Her baby, her little boy.
She looked down at the tiny baby bundled up in a blue blanket that lay, sleeping in her arms. Already Jenny could see elements of the baby's father showing up in the tiny boy's features, and Jenny couldn't help but wonder if the resemblance would grow stronger as her child grew. Would people guess whose child it was? No-one knew that she and her child's father had been together, liaisons between NCIS agents during missions were frowned upon by the establishment, and she feared what would happen to his career if word got out that they'd been together, and that he'd fathered her child. Her little boy's father valued his career at NCIS above all else, he lived for his job.
When she'd found out she was pregnant, only a few weeks after he had left to return to Washington D.C. Jenny had been frightened, and had contemplated the idea of handing over her new command in Europe to go back to the States and be with him, but her pride had decided that she could do it herself, He'd been unwilling to jeopardise his career and stay in Europe with her, and she was unwilling to risk her career and go back to America with him, so she'd imply disguised her pregnancy. Her colleagues had been concerned by her changing behaviour, her unwillingness to engage in close combat, her moodiness, her preference for desk jobs, rather than being out in the field, but Jenny had brushed them all off. Her superior officer had queried if she was alright health wise, but Jenny had waved off his fears. She'd done the same the last few times Tom Morrow had called her.
Then, a mission had come up, involving Marines going missing during their shore leave in Southern France, and Jenny had known that she needed to go out their and investigate, despite being thirty two and a half weeks pregnant.
Jenny had felt in her gut that something wasn't right from the moment she first started the investigation, but she had brushed off the feeling. Her gut instincts weren't known for being reliable, not like those of her baby's father. She supposed that she had forgotten that maybe her baby had picked up that certain trait of his father's.
However it had happened, Jenny was ambushed on her way from the hotel to the police complex that she and her team were utilising as their temporary base, and kidnapped. She remembered being taken into a large villa in the countryside, facing down the group of men responsible for the marine's disappearances, a group of people smugglers kidnapping people to be sold off as slaves in the Middle East. Jenny had kept quiet, something that was out of character for her, but at that moment she was terrified for the safety of her baby, with good reason. The beating that had accompanied Jenny's interrogation had been fierce, and the men had laughed when Jenny's swollen stomach had been revealed, and her pleas for her child's protection laughed away. Jenny had then been thrown down the stairs into the basement dungeon of the villa, to be kept with the missing marines, and be sold off as a slave with them. The fall, in combination with the beating, had left Jenny near unconsciousness, clutching at her stomach and whimpering.
A few hours later Jenny had gone in to labour in the basement of the villa, surrounded by marines who knew next to nothing about childbirth, and People smugglers who smirked and laughed at her begging for medical assistance.
Jenny had been convinced that she was going to loose her baby, the tiny being that had kicked and pulverised her insides so strongly in the last few months, the one that had grown within her for the last seven or so moths, the one that she and his father had created together during their short lived romance. She'd only been Thirty three weeks along at that point, still almost two full months short of her due date, and in the hostile environment she was in, Jenny was certain that a premature baby wouldn't survive.
Her waters had broken and she had been near exhaustion when a commotion broke out upstairs. Their guards had gone to investigate, and had obviously been overcome, because down the same set of stairs Jenny had fallen down came the rest of Jenny's team, guns up and vests on, as well as several of the local police officers. Jenny had been rushed to hospital, and many hours of hard work, blood, sweat and tears after, her tiny baby boy had entered the world, crying loudly.
Now though he laid quiet, content to sleep in his mother's arms. Jenny smiled, bending down to kiss his dark blonde hair. Although he was small, only 4 pounds 7 ounces, the doctors had been pleased with how developed his lungs were, and were happy for him to be held by his mother, although he'd have to sleep in a humidicrib in the special care nursery at night.
"Not many can claim to have almost been born, during an undercover operation," Jenny said softly to the little boy, "it just proves how special you are:"
"Or how stupid his mother is." Jenny's superior officer Harry Walters said from the doorway. Jenny swallowed.
"Seriously, Jen, you're lucky one, or both of you, didn't die in that basement. The marines have told me what you went through down there, and we've got security footage of the main room where you were beaten. The kid's lucky to have made it to be a few hours old, let alone to have survived being born."
"Yes sir," Jenny said, looking from the man in the doorway to her son. Her son, she loved how that sounded.
"The directors been informed, he's not pleased."
"What I want to know is what you were planning to do after he was born. Were you just going to ditch him, or had you organised to drop him off at an orphanage or something, because, really, Jen, I never realised you were that heartless."
Jenny sobbed, "I…I didn't know Sir. I...I wanted to keep him, but I know that's not possible, not with my job the way it is. Don't make me give him up, please."
"Who said anything about us making you give him up? Director said to offer you a year to get your head in the game, call it suspension with pay, maternity leave, long service leave, whatever you like. After that, we'll negotiate. You never know, there might be a long term job in one of the permanent offices for you, or at least something that's nine till five."
"Thank-you Sir, I know that you put a good word for me…I appreciate it."
"Let's just not make a habit of it. Next time you get knocked up, tell me."
Jenny smiled weakly, "Yes sir."
"Good. Now, what were you going to call this little guy? Nurses tell me that despite everything he's got a good set of lungs."
"Only when he's hungry." Jenny laughed as Harry came into the room and sat down in the chair beside her bed. Jenny shifted, and carefully passed the little baby into Harry's arms. The baby stirred, yawning, before he fell back asleep. Harry smiled.
"Cute little guy. You gonna say who the father is?"
Jenny shook her head, "I'd rather not, sir."
"I thought you'd say that. Does he know?"
"The father? No sir, he doesn't know, and I'd rather it stayed that way."
"Your choice, but if it was me I'd want to know."
Jenny frowned, "I know sir, but it's not you."
They both were quiet, watching the sleeping baby in Harry's arms. Harry cleared his throat.
"So, you never said, did you pick out a name?" He carefully passed the baby back to Jenny. Jenny cuddled the little baby close to her chest, looking at his face and taking in his features, already similar to those of his father. She kissed his softly on the head once again, inhaling his rich, baby smell.
"Anthony. Anthony J.D. Shepard"
"I like it, Anthony, baby Tony, and J for Jasper, your Dad. I'm sure he'd have been honoured. What's the D for?"
"Dominic, he was an old friend of mine at college, got killed in the line of duty his first year out from the FLETC."
Harry nodded and reached into his bag, pulling out a soft teddy bear and giving it to Jenny, "Congratulations, Jen."
it stayed that way." y who the father is?"down in the chair beside her. Jenny shifted, and carefully passed the little
"Thanks Harry." Jenny smiled as Harry got up and left the room, closing the door behind him. Jenny looked down at Anthony and smiled, showing the sleeping baby his first teddy bear.
"And the J isn't for Jasper, Tony; it's for your Daddy. It's for Jethro."