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Where did all the people go?

They got scared when the lights went low...

He had no description of the woman in interrogation, so when he stepped inside the room and found a leggy redhead, he was surprised, to say the least. Her striking green eyes cast an annoyed glance at him and he had to remind himself that this was a witness—and potential suspect—in their current case. He threw the casefile down on the table and sat down in the chair facing her.

"What am I doing here?"

"We need to ask you a few questions about Eli David." It was his job to notice things. And he noticed the way her eyes hardened.

"A simple call would have sufficed. I don't appreciate being taken out of class for all my students to see," she bit back, crossing her arms.

"That's not my problem."

She scoffed and looked away. "Go ahead and interrogate me then, Agent Gibbs," she spat and he almost winced.

"What is your relationship with Eli David?" he asked, getting right to the point. She could appreciate it if she wasn't being interrogated.

"He's the father of my child. Next question," she replied breezily.

"I control this conversation, Ms. Shepard," he said, eyes hardening.

"Do you now? Because if I'm not mistaken, I don't have to tell you anything. I have no idea why I'm here." She leaned back and uncrossed her arms. She pushed her chair a little back and slung her arm over the back of it while crossing her legs. He couldn't help but notice her pencil skirt creeping higher up her leg.

"Have you had any recent contact with him?" Jethro powered through.

"Define recent."

He sighed and and frowned, noticing how she smirked at his irritation.

"When was the last time you spoke with him?"

"Five months ago."

"What was the subject of this conversation?"

"Personal," she spat. Her arrogance was briefly gone. "What does it matter?"

"Why did you leave him Ms. Shepard?" Surprise crossed her features.

"Who says I did?" she replied almost caustically.

"Okay. You didn't. Are you hiding a fugitive, Ms. Shepard?"

She stood up so fast, the chair turned over behind her. He could almost enjoy the fire in her eyes as her voice dripped with venom. "I'm done answering your questions, Agent Gibbs. And no, I'm not harboring a fugitive. If we're done I have a child to pick up from karate class, and when my name is cleared I expect a nice little apology from NCIS."

He didn't get up and follow her but watched her go, knowing he couldn't do a thing to keep her there.

He did like the fire in her eyes, though.

And when her name had been cleared, like she said, he didn't call her.

I'll get you through it nice and slow,

When the world's spinning out of control.


Jethro turned to the cry of Tim, getting up off the parkbench and striding over to them. Tim was standing next to Tony and a brown-haired girl.

"What happened?" he asked, crouching down to be at their level.

"She kicked me!" Tony said, pointing at the girl.

Just as Jethro was turning to the girl, a shadow was cast over them and a voice said, "Ziva, why did you kick Tony?" He noticed the girl was rubbing her elbow.

"He pushed me off the swings, momma," Ziva said, frowning at Tony.

"Tony, did you push the girl off the swings?"

Tony looked down at the ground and scuffed his shoe in the sand. "It was an accident! I was trying to push Timmy." Jethro motioned his head at the girl and Tony turned to her, wilting at her glare. "I'm sorry I hurt you."

"Ziva," the female voice said strongly. The girl huffed.

"I'm sorry I kicked you," she offered reluctantly.

"You guys go on and play nice!" the voice said, but the kids were already halfway gone. "Well it's nice to know you at least raise your sons to apologize," she commented, and he finally stood to face her. He did a double take when Jennifer Shepard stood in front of him.

"Ms. Shepard."

"Agent Gibbs," she said, arching an eyebrow. "We're out of office. Call me Jenny."

"Jethro," he said gruffly. "Your daughter?"

She knew what he was implying and simply nodded her head, offering him just an "Mhm-hmm." She then turned to him. "Your sons?"


"How old are they?"

"Tony is five and Tim is three and a half."

"Ziva's four," she said, not waiting for his question.

"She's beautiful," he said. "Shame she doesn't have your hair."

She was surprised by his words, and turned to look at him. "I'm not sure if that's a compliment in disguise or not."

"It is."

She found herself smiling and looking away.

"So, Jen—," he started but she cut him off.

"It's Jenny."

"So Jen, what do you do for a living?"

She gaped at him. "You're kidding. You know damn well what I do for a living, since you interrogated me."

"Like you said, we're out of office," he said cheekily, a grin adorning his face.

She scoffed and rolled her eyes. "Explain to me the situation with your sons, seeing as you're not married."

"How did you know?"

"No ring," she pointed out.

"That doesn't mean their mother is not in the picture," he retaliated.

"During the situation earlier, Tim called out to you."


"So that tells me he's accustomed to you being there and not the mother. Usually the mother would be the first one called out to," she explained.

It was his turn to stare at her in surprise. "How do you know that?"

"I'm an anthropological researcher. It's what I do, Jethro."

He tried to process the whole situation in his head but was too distracted by how good his name sounded falling from her lips. He found himself looking at her lips and she noticed, nervously passing her tongue over and licking her lips.

"See something you like, Jethro?" she asked, emphasizing his name.

"Maybe I do," he said, looking her up and down teasingly.

"If I've heard correctly, you've closed the David case," she said, and he was taken aback. Her tone was sultry, but she was talking about the case that he had interrogated her in.

"Yes, it is."

"So, that no longer makes me part of the investigation."

His eyes brightened, understanding where she was going with things. "Correct."

"Okay. Because I think we'd have fun together, Jethro."

"We sure will, Jen."

She wasn't sure if she shivered from anticipation or the cold.

Afraid of what they might lose

Might get scraped or they might get bruised.

She felt kisses on her shoulder but burrowed her face deeper into the pillow. He leaned closer to her and she hummed, liking the heat of his body against hers. She knew that as soon as she got out of bed intense cold would hit her because he had a thing against sleeping with the heater on.

He wrapped his arm around her waist and pulled her into his body, nuzzling his nose in her neck.

"Jen," he hummed against her skin.


"Merry Christmas," he said and intense warmth filled her. She couldn't stop the smile from covering her face, but chose to try and hide it by burying her face deeper into her pillow.

"We should get up before the kids start jumping on us," she suggested, her face muffled by the pillow.

"I'll go turn on the heater," he said, pressing a kiss to her bare shoulder before climbing out of bed. She raised her head from her pillow to watch him walk across the room completely naked to turn on the heater for her. He turn and grinned at her and she blushed, caught. He pulled on a pair of boxers and tossed his shirt at her.

They were dressed not even five minutes before three little kids were in the room.

All three stood expectantly in the doorway and both parents were on the bed looking at them. Jenny patted the space between her and Jethro and all three kids ran to the bed, clambering to get on it.

"Merry Christmas!" Tony shouted and the kids made their rounds hugging both Jenny and Jethro.

It was all very cozy and nice in the warm bed with the three kids. There was a lot of laughing and giggling.

Tony and Ziva, who were fierce fighters but still protective of each other, started tickling Tim, and Jenny intervened on Tim's behalf, to which Jethro reacted by tickling everybody.

At one point Jethro was tickling Ziva, who was gasping for air, until she shouted, "Daddy stop!"

He froze and so did Jenny, but the kids kept going.

Jethro looked at Jenny and saw the panic in her eyes, and sure enough, "Come one, kids, let's go have breakfast."

He hadn't seen her leave so fast before in his life.

Later, when the kids were playing with their Christmas gifts, he found her packing Ziva's clothes into a bag.

"Where do you think you're going?"

"Home," she said brusquely.

"I don't think so," he said, crossing his arms.

"I'd like to see you stop me!" she replied indignantly.

"Well seeing as we're snowed in, I don't think I have to." She seemed to deflate at that, and sat down on the bed.

"We're moving too fast, Jethro," she said, not looking at him.


"You can't say it's not true."

"You're just scared of getting attached," he bit back.

"I don't want Ziva getting hurt, Jethro."

"And you think leaving won't do that?"

Her eyes flashed fire, and this he could deal with. He knew how to fight with her but couldn't handle a defeated Jenny.

"Are you implying I don't know what's best for my daughter?"

"I'm implying that your last relationship didn't end so well."

She stepped back, a little hurt at his comment. "That wasn't nice."

"It wasn't."

They both stood there, staring at each other.

"Jen, it's been a year," he said softly.

"A year is nothing, Jethro."

"A year with you is everything." Her eyes filled with water because she knew what he was getting at. He took a step closer to her. "Since you've been here, the ache left by Sharon and the girls..." he trailed off, not finishing his sentence.

She stepped away from him. "Girls? You said she was pregnant with one baby, Jethro," she said warily. "Kelly."

"Our one-year-old baby was with her," he confessed.

"You had a daughter?"


"Jethro," she said softly, now knowing what to tell him.

"And Ziva is such a sweetheart. And you, God, Jen." She had moved closer to him and pulled him into her arms.

"I'm so sorry Jethro."

"You've been so amazing," he said, pulling away so he could look into her eyes.

"I'm not taking Ziva away from you," she said, and he heaved a sigh of relief. "I'll stay. But—."

"We'll take things slower," he interrupted.

She smiled and nodded, and he took the opportunity to kiss her.

They were interrupted by giggles from Tony, Ziva and Tim.

You could beg them, what's the use?

That's why it's called a moment of truth.

He could feel eyes on him from all the women in the parents' bleachers. Tony, Ziva and Tim were still playing in the in-house playground and Jethro was watching them. The baby cooed in her carrier and Jethro removed the strap and picked her up, cradling her against his chest. Grinning at the little girl, he lightly tickled her and squeals of delight filled the room, most women looking on affectionately. The woman sitting on the other side of the stand he was sitting on scooted closer to him.

"Your daughter is precious," she commented, and he knew she was fishing for information.

"Thank you," he said, and turned to the girl. "Say hi to the lady, Abby?" The girl's eyes lit up and she waved at the woman before squealing and burying her face in Jethro's chest.

He noticed a lot of women were watching the exchange with interest.

A redheaded woman walked into the playground building. Some mother glared at her as she strode over to the coffee machine. Her stiletto's were impossibly high and he liked the way they made her legs look. While waiting for her coffee, she zipped open her winter coat and shook her hair loose from the elastic holding her ponytail together. Her hair tumbled down her back in soft waves and his hang ached to run through them.

The woman who had spoken to him had shuffled back over to her original spot and when the redhead had retrieved her drink she sat right between Jethro and the other women.

She sipped from her coffee and winced at the taste. When he reached out and took it out of her hand, she smiled at him and took the baby over.

"Hi baby girl," she talked to Abby. He looked around the room over the rim of the paper coffee cup and could see several of the women looking jealously at Jenny.

The girl cooed at Jenny, making her smile even wider.

"Mommy missed you, honey."

"Daddy missed mommy too," Jethro whispered in her ear, almost making her blush.

"Mommy!" a girl's voice screeched and Jethro quickly set down his coffee on the floor and took Abby out of Jenny's arms. The brown-haired girl flung herself at her mother, who hugged her back equally as tight. "I missed you mommy."

Jenny ran a hand over Ziva's braided hair and held her close. "I missed you too, Zee."

The two boys had reached them and when Ziva finally let her mother go, the two of them hugged her at the same time.

"I thought you gone longer, mommy," Tim said and Jenny pressed a kiss to his head.

"Daddy said you would be back 'til Friday!" Jenny pressed both Tony and Tim closer to her.

"I love all of you," Jenny said with Tony and Tim still in her arms and looking at Ziva.

Abby noticed all of them getting affection and wanted some to, so she clambered out of Jethro's arms and into Jenny's.

"You guys want to go home and spend time with mommy?" Jethro asked, to which the three eldest nodded. In a matter of moments they were ready to go.

Jenny had Abby, who refused to leave her side, on her hip and was walking alongside Jethro when he stopped her.

"I love you, Jen," he whispered in her ear and she looked at him, eyes sparkling.

"I love you too, Jethro."

They walked a little further, until Jethro stopped her.

"Hey Jen," he said casually, and her eyes narrowed at him. "Look up."

And sure enough, a sprig of mistletoe hung right above them.

With a twinkle in her eye, she grabbed his shirt with her free hand and pulled him closer, pressing a deep kiss to his lips.

When they parted, he couldn't contain his grin.

She smiled devilishly at him and winked, before leaning up to whisper in his ear, "To be continued."

When you heard what I told you,

When you get worried I'll be your soldier