Hetty was sitting reading a magazine at Genevieve’s bedside as she slept. She wasn’t exactly expecting her phone to ring but it wasn’t unexpected either. What WAS unexpected was the fact that Owen Granger was calling her.
“Oh Bugger” she sighed-getting up and walking outside and taking a few steps from the room before she answered.
“Hello Owen” she said as she answered.
“Henrietta” Owen said “How’s Genevieve?” he asked.
“Her recovery is progressing-whatever they hit her with has some unknown properties that’s slowing her healing time” she said.
“I am sure SHEILD is having a field day with that” he said.
“It’s nothing they don’t deal with on a day to day basis” Hetty replied-waiting for Owen to get to the real reason for his call.
“Well something has landed on my desk that I thought you should have a heads up about” he said after he cleared his throat.
“What would that be?” she asked.
“Intelligence thinks Thaddeus is at it again. Some soldiers who were supposed to be dishonorably discharged have disappeared. They have an assignment in the works where either Dr. Ross is our target or Dr. Banner” Owen said.
Hetty looked around to make sure no one could over hear her before she spoke “How much do they actually pay our intelligence people? He barley speaks to his daughter and he will ALWAYS be trying to get Banner” She replied quietly.
Owen sighed “It’s not a finalized plan yet-I just wanted you to be aware” he said. “I was also told by Vance I am being sent to Alaska in two days-I am sorry to have to cut your stay short” he added.
“Yes Leon told me as well-It’s ok Owen-to be quite honest I am going a bit crazy just sitting here” she said. “Thank you for the heads up-have a safe trip and I’ll see you when you get back” she added.
She hung up and walked back to Jen’s room. She was awake and smiling as Hetty inside.
“I was starting to get worried-your tea was still warm” she teased motioning to Hetty’s tea mug that she had been drinking before her call.
Hetty smiled “yes Owen called me and I didn’t want to take it in here and wake you” she said. “I am afraid I am being called back to L.A for a week or two. I’ll check in every day and I’ll make your doctors and Bruce or Gibbs to call me if anything changes” she adds.
Jen smiled “its ok Hetty-really. I am healing-not in any real danger anymore” she said. “I love that you’ve stayed with me-but I know how much you hate being immobile” she adds.
Hetty smiled and patted her hand “Oh I’ve enjoyed myself-catching up on my reading was wonderful. I’ve had a book on my tablet Nell recommended to me 2 years ago that I never have any time to read until now” she said. “If there’s nothing you need I am going to go back to my room and make arrangements to leave in the morning” she adds.
“You will come and see me before you leave won’t you?” Jen asked amused.
“Of course I will” Hetty said coming over and pecking her on the forehead and leaving the room.
When Hetty got back to her room she pulled out her phone-scrolling through her contacts until she found the number she needed and hit dial.
“Russel how are you?” she said when the person answered.
“Henrietta? It’s been a while-How are you?” he replied.
“Very busy as usual-I have a question for you. Do you still head the committee who generates the invites for that Gamma Seminar you have in three weeks?” she asked.
“The S.U.G.A.R.S? Yes I am-Why?” he asked generally confused.
“What if I could get you both Dr. Bruce Banner and Dr. Elizabeth Ross to attend and speak at your seminar?” she asked.
There was a pause “wow- both Dr. Ross and Dr. Banner are legends in the field of course. We tried a few years ago before Dr. Banner’s disappearance. After we tried one other time with Dr. Ross but she declined-understandably” He said.
“Well I have it under good authority Dr. Banner has been researching and is ready to show his many findings to the science community. Why don’t you bring it up in your next meeting and if they agree call me back okay?” she replied.
“Actually Hetty our meeting is tonight. They are in a bit of a panic because a few of the presenters have pulled out last minute-this could really help me out. I can call you as soon as a decision is made if you don’t mind the time difference.” Russel answered.
“Actually that will work marvelously-I am in D.C until the morning-so there won’t be a time difference.” Hetty said.
“Wonderful I’ll call you as soon as we make a decision-which honestly there shouldn’t be ANY opposition from anyone. Thank you again Hetty-you’ve probably saved me once again” Russel gushed.
“Anytime Russel-I’ll talk to you later tonight-Goodbye” Hetty said then she hung up.
Hetty called Owen after Russel had called her back with the Okay. She briefly explained the partial idea she had in her head. They needed to somehow get BOTH Bruce Banner and Betty Ross to that seminar. She knew Thaddeus always had a head hunter at those seminars-looking for new talent. Once the head hunter saw that Bruce and Betty were at the same event-she knew it would be no time before the General found out. She hoped that would push Thaddeus to react- and they could stop him before something bad happened. She figured she could persuade Banner-they just needed someone to persuade Dr. Ross.
“Hetty let me deal with that-there will be a folder on your desk when you get in tomorrow” Owen said.
In the morning as promised she come and sat with Genevieve and to her luck Bruce was there as well. She spent that time before she had to leave asking Bruce questions about his job-his career-whither he ever thought about furthering it. As she climbed into the cab afterward she hoped she had planted the idea and Banner would say Yes when Russel asked him to be a presenter. If not she always had whatever Owen had cooked up for Dr. Ross
Later at the NCIS LA Offices
Hetty was sitting on a sofa drinking tea when Nate Getz came in.
“Hello Hetty” He said in greeting.
“Hello Nate-I have a new assignment for you if you are interested” Hetty said nodding to an envelope that sat beside her.
Nate sat down opened it and started to read.
“So I am supposed to get close with the General’s daughter-in order for us to finally be able to get enough evidence to take the general down?” he asked.
“Yes” Hetty said staring at him. “There is a physicist’s seminar in two weeks-I am pulling some strings- both Dr. Ross and Dr. Banner will be asked to be speakers” she added.
“Dr. Banner?” Nate asked.
“He’s Genevieve’s boyfriend” Hetty said with a small smile. “Dr. Banner and Dr. Ross have an intimate history and there is bad blood between him and Thaddeus.” She added.
“Wait why do you want him to speak there then?” Nate asked.
Hetty looked back at him “This would be very good for his career-he’s been traveling and soul searching for many years now.” She paused thinking. “I might know from one of my sources that Thaddeus gets extra antsy when those two are in the same room-and I am hoping that this pushes him so we can catch him” she adds.
Nate pulled out another piece of paper and read it. “Am I supposed to talk to Banner as well?” he asked.
“This isn’t exactly an undercover assignment-so that’s up to you-I suppose” Hetty said.
Nate nodded then left to pack nodding to Callen and Deeks who had been loitering and listening,
“I hope you know what you are doing Hetty” Callen said.
Hetty looked over at him “Whatever do you mean Mr. Callen?” she asked.
“You are using Bruce as a pawn-without his knowledge for one” G stated. “And two you are keeping Jen out of the loop” he adds.
“Plus doesn’t this guy have like EVERY reason to hate this General guy? Deeks asked. “Wouldn’t he have helped if you had just asked?” he adds with a shrug.
“Dr. Banner shies away from ANY confrontation –I know he would have said no if I had asked. But I was serious about this helping his career-he needs something to call his own. As for Genevieve if she were able I know she would go with him-but that’s probably not going to happen. This is about catching Thaddeus so he can’t hurt anyone anymore.” Hetty declared to the two men.
Nell cleared her throat to announce her presence.
“Yes Nell” Hetty asked.
“I wanted to let you know both Dr. Banner and Dr. Ross have been contacted by the S.U.G.A.R.S committee and invited-and to our knowledge neither have accepted yet” Nell said.
Hetty nodded “Yes well they didn’t say no either so that is something. Thank you Nell. Keep me informed if you could” she said.
“Of course” Nell said then turned and walked away.
“So what exactly is your back-up plan if this doesn’t work?” Callen asked.
“I shoot him myself” Hetty said straight forward.
Kensi chuckled “ok I walked into the wrong part of that conversation-but I pretty sure you aren't supposed to admit to shooting someone in our presence” she said.
Hetty turned and looked at Kensi “Don’t worry Kensi it hasn’t happened yet.” She said then turned to Callen. “Thaddeus will try and either kill Banner or Genevieve to get to Banner. Hence why I would shoot him myself. I just hope this plan works out and I don’t have to” she added.
Hospital in D.C
Bruce was reading his mail when Jen was rolled back into her room from x-ray.
“What are you reading?” she asked once she was situated back on the bed,
“My mail-get this. I have been asked by S.U.G.A.R.S to be a presenter” He said.
“What’s SUGARS?” she asked.
“State University Gamma and Radiation Seminar” he said then shook his head and went to throw it away.
“Why are you throwing it away-that’s a high end seminar right?” she asked.
“Well yeah anyone who’s anyone in gamma and radiation will be there” he said.
“Why don’t you go-It’ll be good for you” she said.
“Honey” he said laughing.
“No I am serious this would be great for your career. This will help you gradually get back into the science community. It’s only for two days- all I am doing is laying around-waiting for the doctors to let me go home” she said.
He nodded “I do want to write a gamma research paper-it would be nice to get someone else’e backing and perspective other than Tony. I’ll go only if you call me twice a day and to listen to the doctors. If I find out the second I leave you sign yourself out AMA-me AND Hulk will be VERY upset with you” he said warningly.
She smiled “you forget I kind of like you when you’re upset” she said coyly.
They stared at each other for a second then burst out laughing. Bruce leaned his head against the side of the bed trying to stifle his giggles. Jen just started to run her fingers through the hair on the back of his head-causing Bruce to groan softly. She cocked her head to the side then decided to add slight pressure-she expanded her scratching and ended up rubbing his temples-he was acting like a big fluffy cat-rubbing his face against her hand and practically purring.
“Have you had any headaches lately?” she asked softly.
“Yes” he said.
“I am probably the cause of them-I am sorry” she said leaning down and kissing his head.
“Just within the last two weeks” he said with a smile.
She laughed and kissed him again. “Okay go-you need to pack and get your research together-and girl talk with Tony about the seminar. WAIT what about your research? Do you need to go back to New York?” she asked.
Bruce smiled and shook his head “No that’s the best thing about JARVIS-he can download it to any computer or tablet” he said. “But I might need to for clothes-well I’ll talk with Tony about that. Maybe I’ll let him buy me clothes for once” he adds as he laughs –and leans in for one more kiss before he leaves.
Gibbs decides to visit Jen the day after Banner left for the seminar. Outside her room he knocked softly and when he didn’t get an answer-slowly opened the door and peeked in. Jen was asleep with a fleece blanket over her. He just watched her sleep for a few minutes-in true Gibbs fashion Jen must have felt him watching her-because she started to stir.
“Hey” she mumbled still half asleep.
“Go back to sleep I was just checking in” Gibbs replied softly.
“You sure?” she mumbled.
“Yes” he said.
“You never just check in” she said.
“Go to sleep” Jethro said smiling.
She smiled and closed her eyes and was out cold. It suddenly hit him how much she looked like Mac. Jethro just sat there lost in thought. He should be angry at finding out Jen was his daughter-he should go to SHEILD and Hetty and scream until he got answers. But what would that do? He had the chance to be her family before this and he barely did that. But he thought he had lost the opportunity when Kelly died-made sure of it if he was honest with himself. Now that he knew the truth-he owed it to her-to himself- Mac-hell even Kelly-to try again. The problem was he had no idea on how to do that. He couldn’t go from nothing to family man-she’d push him away-hell he’d do the same thing if the roles were reversed. He figured the best way was to try and be her friend first-then see how it progressed. He smiled-he always did like when he had a plan.