This will probably be a short fic but maybe long I don't know yet. This is the fourth story I've started and haven't finished yet so updates might not be consistent. I'm not necessarily going by the season story lines just the dates. Hope you like it!
It had not been a good week for Director Shepard. There was a serial killer on the loose targeting navy wives. A radical group in the Middle East was threatening to blow up a port in DC. And the SecNav was on her ass about closing a cold case. Stressed was a laughable understatement. She was on the verge of tears. Gibbs was not being cooperative. Sitting at her desk she put her head in her hands. These were her ten spare minutes in the day today and she wasn't about to take them for granted. She was almost about to doze off when the door to her office burst open. Jerking her head up in surprise she saw that it was Gibbs. She tried to erase the very present drowsiness in her demeanor but he had already seen it. "Didn't get much sleep last night Die-rec-tor." He asked more as a statement emphasizing every syllable of the word Director. She sat up straighter and took a deep breath deciding to ignore what he said.
"Something I can do for you agent Gibbs?" She asked trying to make her voice sound even but some annoyance leaked icily into her speech. He shut the door behind him as he walked up to her desk.
"When are we going to do something about the serial killer?" He asked and she narrowed her eyes.
"Agent Gibbs we are doing all that we can! Now unless you or your team has had some epiphany about the case, we are doing nothing until we get more evidence!" She exclaimed angry by his tone that said she was doing nothing for the case.
"Put us back on the case." He stated simply.
"You and your team are already working on a high profile case. Once you finish this one I might consider letting you back on the serial killer case." She said coolly.
"Oh come on Jen that case is going nowhere and you know it. Give it to another team. We can handle the serial killer, they can't!" He argued trying to defend his case. She knew he was right but she didn't want him back on the case. Gibbs was starting to get too attached to it and that always led to trouble. She had taken them off the case for a reason. But she had to think about the benefit of the agency and unfortunately Gibbs was right. His team was the only one capable enough to deal with this case. She sighed.
"Fine I'll give you the case back but one more slip up and you're done." She warned and Gibbs just gave her one of his charming half smiles and walked out. That was as close to a thank you she was going to get. And she had learned to take what she got with Gibbs. She checked her watch. Her ten minutes of free time were almost up. Grumbling under her breath she slumped into her seat and tried to rid her mind of work for just a few minutes. Her phone rang angrily. She shot up and practically ripped the phone off the receiver but answered deathly calm. "Shepard."
"Mommy!" A voice on the other end screamed in delight and immediately Jenny's sour mood was gone and a smile formed on her tired face.
"Hi honey shouldn't you be in school?" She asked confused. It was one in the afternoon. Her little bundle of joy laughed happily and Jenny couldn't help but laugh along with her.
"Mommy it's summer remember? I don't have to go to school anymore!" She exclaimed happily. Jenny cursed her stupid memory. How could she forget? Her daughter was out of school and would be coming home soon.
"That's right how could I forget? So what have you been up to with Grandma and Aunty Heather?" She asked leaning back in her chair casually and twirling a piece of hair on the end of her finger still smiling like a fool.
"We had a lot of fun! I went to the pool yesterday!" She exclaimed squealing. Jenny pulled the phone away from her ear quickly; her daughter sure had her lungs.
"That sounds like fun! Are you having fun with your cousins?" Jenny asked softly.
"Yeah mommy their really fun. Anna plays with me all the time but Jacob has cooties so I don't play with him as much." She said sweetly. Jenny chuckled.
"Well boys won't have cooties forever." She explained. Jenny could hear her daughter making a 'yucky' sound over the phone.
"No he will mommy." She said stubbornly and Jenny decided not to argue but change the subject.
"Do you remember when you're going to come home?" She asked excitedly.
"In two days!" She exclaimed and from the noises she could tell her daughter was jumping up and down with excitement. Jenny could hear her heavy breathing and smiled.
"I know! I can't wait to see you!" She exclaimed.
"Me too. I miss you mommy." She added softly and sadly. It brought tears to Jenny's eyes.
"I know baby I miss you too. But you'll get to spend the whole summer with me!" She exclaimed happily at the end.
"Yay!" She yelled.
"Sweetie can I talk to Aunt Heather?" She asked softly.
"Okay. I love you mommy!" She exclaimed happily and in the background Jenny could hear the patter of her little feet on a hard surface and smiled. It was almost like her daughter was there with her.
"I love you too Lauren." Jenny said affectionately.
"Here's Aunt Heather." She said before the phone was handed off the Jenny's older sister.
"Hi Jenny." She said.
"Hi Heather. How's Lauren is she okay?" Jenny asked worriedly.
"She's fine don't worry. Lauren is a hand full but she's definitely an amazing child." Heather said and it brought a smile to Jenny's lips. But it disappeared when she realized how little she had seen of her amazing child.
"I feel so bad Heather. I never see her. I feel like I just abandoned her." She said sadly.
"Don't do this to yourself Jenny you had no choice. With your lifestyle raising a kid is next to impossible." Heather said trying to make her sister feel better.
"Heather I only see her during the summer! I feel like I don't know my own daughter!" She exclaimed sadly.
"Well maybe we can figure something out so you can see her more. But for now you should take what you can get." Heather said reminding Jenny of the judge that had ruled her lifestyle unfit for raising a child. That was when she was an agent traveling all around the world on classified missions. Now she was settled down and could raise a child. At least she liked to think she could. Some nights she didn't even go home though. And she was always working. But still she liked to think that one day her child would be home to stay. The judge she had when Lauren was a baby was retired and they had been waiting for four years for a judge to hear their case again and in that time Jenny has tried to settle down more and more. Get home before midnight and keep her house clean, things like that.
"Yeah." Jenny said distracted by her thoughts.
"Remember Lauren will be landing on Saturday at ten am at Dulles terminal 4C. Be there or human resources will have a fit." Heather said reminding Jenny of the one time she had been late to the airport. They had taken her daughter for three days while Jenny was hysterically trying to sort out the mess.
"Yeah I'll be there." Jenny promised.
The next day was busier than the last. Finally team Gibbs had caught up with the serial killer and was on his heels so to speak. They were a hair away from catching the guy. Jenny was down in the bull pen with the team. She only had a few meetings today and decided to check up on their high profile case. The team was working furiously and Gibbs had just left to go get coffee. "How close are you?" Jenny asked suddenly. Tony looked up at her.
"Close enough to taste the bastard's nervous sweat." He said and Jenny laughed.
"Okay well I want to know when you have something." She said to the team and walked into the elevator. As soon as she was alone and away from work her wonderful daughter slipped into her thoughts. It made her smile just thinking about the spitting image of herself. But she was nervous. This was the first summer Lauren would be here while she was Director, well full summer. She started as Director in august of 05 when Lauren was already gone. Summer of 06 the string of judges she was reasoning with were too discombobulated and refused to let Lauren spend the summer with all the paperwork and background checks that needed to be done. So for a week she was in DC. Only a week and it was Christmas week which Jenny bought all kinds of gifts for to try and make up for the lost summer. Then fall of 06 came and no Lauren during the school year. Now it was fast approaching summer of 07 and Jenny was nervous. She had been Director for almost two years and nobody knew she had a lovely daughter who was only six years old, almost seven. She needed a friend's advice without giving away her secret. She would be too ashamed. So the elevator stopped at autopsy. She got out and walked in taking comfort in the whooshing of the automatic doors. Ducky was sitting at his desk looking through a file when Jenny came up behind him. He heard her heels clacking on the cold floor and smiled.
"Well hello Director what can I do for you today?" He asked politely, turning around. Jenny smiled genuinely.
"I'm here as a friend Ducky, call me Jenny." She clarified and he smiled and offered her a chair. She thanked him and sat down.
"So what brings you down to autopsy?" He asked curiously. Jenny sighed and didn't speak. Ducky, seeing her distress, got up. "I think I'm going to make some tea." He said and Jenny smiled warmly.
"Thank you Ducky." She said quietly. They sat in a comfortable silence while the tea was being made. And when it was ready Ducky poured two cups and waited for her to start talking. She took a sip of the tea and smiled. "This is really good." She said trying to change the subject. Suddenly she had lost her nerve and the tea topic was her way out. Ducky saw right through it though. He sighed.
"Jennifer, don't try to change the subject. What's wrong? I can see it haunting your gaze." He said in a warm Scottish accent. Jenny looked down into her tea not wanting to meet his eyes. How had she even thought she would be able to do this?
"I don't know where to begin Ducky." She said quietly.
"Start at the beginning." Ducky suggested smiling. She took a deep breath. Maybe it would be a good idea to finally get this out.
"Ducky, my daughter's staying for the summer." She said as quickly as she could. Ducky didn't catch most of it she said it so fast.
"My daughter is staying with me for the summer." She said slower this time but refused to look at him. So many questions flew through the good Doctors head but he started with the most obvious.
"Why didn't I know about this before?" Jenny took a deep breath and started to wring her hands.
"It happened after Paris and since we all lost touch after Paris I didn't think it was a big deal to tell you. I thought I wouldn't see you again. I never knew how to tell you let alone Jethro or the team. It never seemed like the right time." She said shyly still unwilling to look at him. Ducky was shocked. The next question was inevitable and was burning on his tongue.
"Is the child Jethro's?" He asked and Jenny looked up at him with tears in her emerald green eyes.