Relative Strangers

Jethro had finally gotten around to reading his mail, or as McGee so eloquently put it: snailmail. He got enough email at work, thank you very much; he didn't need one of the stupid machines at home as well so he could be bothered by them after hours.

He flipped through pile. Bill, bill, junk, junk, junk, postcard from Mike Franks, more junk mail, another bill, and a plain white letter.

He frowned at the unknown letter before he skimmed the postcard from Mike. Afterwards he flipped the letter, and in a neat, clearly female, hand was the name 'Faith Lehane' followed by 'Northern Californian Woman's Facility, Stockton, California'. His eyes narrowed. Why would one of the inmates there write him a letter? And who the hell was Faith Lehane?

Giving in to his curiosity he ripped the envelope open and pulled out a single sheet of paper. The handwriting was the same as the address, and when he turned it he saw that there was no writing there.

Leroy Jethro Gibbs,

Hello, my name is Faith Lehane. You don't know me, but you might remember my mother. Her name would've been Christine Rodriguez back then, and she lived in Boston. She was eccentric if you want to be nice, but mostly she was just a crazy bitch too busy getting drunk to give a fuck about anything. Including me.

Jethro stared at the text. What the hell was this?

If you don't remember her then you're probably seriously confused right about now, but let me put it in plain text for you: According to Christine you're my biological father. Of course she said the same thing about several other men, so don't put too much stock in it. However, given that the other "candidates" are criminal low-lives I hope you're the real one. Not that it matters, but at least someone in this fucked up family should be sane and it wasn't her and it certainly isn't me.

He put down the postcard he had still been holding before he went downstairs to his basement, where he rummaged around a little until he found the scotch and a glass. After emptying the glass of its contents and quickly rinsing it, he poured the scotch in and swallowed it all down in one go before he refilled it.

Mom met a nice man named Sammy Lehane when I was five and married him shortly after. He adopted me, which is why I have his name instead of Rodriguez, or, I suppose, Gibbs. Sammy disappeared when I was nine. No one told me anything, but mom graduated to the hard drugs four months later so it's safe to say it didn't end well. My life just got worse and worse after that.

In short: I recently admitted to two counts of murder and torturing a man using the five basic torture groups, and was subsequently convicted for my crimes. I'm currently serving a life sentence, and might get out after 25 years.

Jethro downed the glass and closed his eyes. This was not what he had expected to deal with so shortly after a difficult case. He was exhausted, but his mind wouldn't let him relax and this little bombshell wasn't helping. He sighed deeply and picked up the letter again. There was nothing to do but finish it.

Don't worry G-Man, I'm not asking for any favors. I don't need money and I don't want you to pull any strings to get me out of here or reduce my sentence. I'm exactly where I'm supposed to be.

The prison shrink suggested that writing to someone would help me deal with both my past and the enforced solitude in here. To be honest I'd rather send a letter to Sammy, but he's probably dead and in any case I wouldn't know where to send it even if he's somehow alive somewhere.

Not that I have an exact address for you either, but I'm taking a chance that your full name, 'US Marine' and a general D.C. address will make sure it reaches you at some point.

If it doesn't, well. At least writing this filled a few hours where I could look at something other than my three walls and the cell door.

In any case, feel free to ignore me. I'm killing time instead of people now, and you have no obligations to me what-so-ever.


He has a daughter who is serving 25 to life in prison for torture and a double murder. His eyes were staring unseeingly at the letter in his hand.