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What The Water Gave Me

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Leroy Jethro Gibbs, was guzzling coffee at an astounding rate. Thank god for huge cup holders. He had closed a Case, late last night. Yet here he was, at Seven a.m., on his way to work to do reports!

The road was very slick, and the black ice was invisible to the naked eye. There was another car driving slowly in front of him. He was not driving too close, but he could see the top of a toddler's head, covered in a purple, knit cap, peaking over the back of a car seat.

Who would be out with a small child, on a morning like this? It was colder than a witch's tit out there, and there was ice on the roads!  At least they were driving safely, Gibbs thought.

A mile up the road, he regretted having thought that.

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Harper Potter regretted going out, but there was really no choice. Her and her daughter Keaton, had arrived at their new home late last night. The cleaning company was supposed to stock the fridge, but they did not. Last night, Keaton had eaten what was left in her diaper bag - mainly a couple of small jars of food, and a handfull of Cheerios.

They had awoken two hours ago, and had nothing in the house to eat. Luckily, Harper had curbed her baby's hunger by nursing her. She was still fractious, being used to eating Cheerios and yogurt, with half a banana, and a cup of pumped breastmilk for breakfast.

Harper Potter would never, deny a baby food, especially not her own. So she had bundled them both up, and went to the grocery. 

Harper had shopped as quickly as she could, and grabbed enough for a week or so. It was so cold out there! And the roads were making her nervous. She was afraid she had missed her turn, and was not willing to look at her phone while driving. She had decided to pull over at the next Gas Station for directions, when she hit a slick patch, and her car went out of control.

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"Oh, shit!" Gibbs exclaimed, when he saw the car slide on an invisible patch of ice. They were in a horrible place for that to happen, and he slowed down, as safely as he could. The Mercedes in front of him was spinning, the driver was smart enough not to slam the brakes, but as they smashed into the guard rail, he could tell they were going down into that cold, Lake water.

Jethro grabbed his phone, just as the car started teetering on the edge of the bridge.

"911, where is your emergency?"

"On Stout Rd. By Route 1120. A car just spun out on the bridge over Holt Lake. There is a small child in the car. I am about to jump in, and attempt a  rescue." 

Gibbs said into his phone, as he shoved his coat back into his car. He had taken it off, to make swimming easier. He left his car running, so they could keep the baby warm until an ambulance arrived. He started running towards where the car went off.

"Sir! Do NOT attempt a rescue, Sir! Stay in your car, where it is safe. Do not attem-"

"I'm going in. If you don't like it, get some Goddamn help, here!"  

Gibbs said, then sat his phone on the side of the bridge, by the guard rail. He took his sweater off, and left it near the phone. He took a deep breath, then jumped into the icy, freezing water.

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Harper was staying as calm as she could, which really wasn't much, considering her baby's safety was at risk. When the guard rail gave under the weight of her car, she undid her seatbelt. She knew that that was stupid, and almost suicidal, but she needed that extra time unhindered, so she could save her Daughter.

Harper also pulled the keys out of the ignition, even as her car crashed into the deep, fridged waters. She would need them to break a window.

She and Keaton both screamed. The groceries in the car, were pelting them both as the car landed upside down in the water. Harper saw stars as she smashed hard, into the roof of her car. The sight of the murky water outside the windows, made her scramble into the backseat, quickly.

Keaton's little hat had fallen off, and she was red-faced, and crying. 

"It's okay, Kit. Mummy's here. I will get you out, I promise." Harper said, trying to stay calm for Keaton. She was pretty sure, her arm was broken. It would be very hard to swim to the surface that way, with one hand holding the baby.

"Mum mum, up!" Kit said, reaching for her. 

Water had started flooding the car, and it felt heart -stoppingly cold. She got Keaton out of the seat, just as water rushed in from the driver's side, rear window. There was a man out there, that had broken her car window. He was making motions with his hands, as the water flooded the car.

Their eyes met, and he looked a little spooked. Harper had no time to think anymore. She kissed her baby's cheek, and handed her over to their rescuer. He gently cradled her, covering her nose and mouth. He swiftly swam to the surface, and burst out of the Lake, crawling onto the shore one handed.

Gibbs heard yelling, as he tried to catch his breath. The baby in his arms was screaming, reaching her hands out to where the rear tires of the car could be seen.

"Mum mum, up! Mum mum, up!" She cried, hiccoughing, and coughing up water.

"It's okay, Mummy will be fine." Gibbs said, his breath creating a fog around his head.

"Sir? Sir!" Gibbs heard a man yell, and he noticed that the sloping bank of the Lake was covered by rescue personnel. 

"Her Mother is still in the car! Please help h-" Gibbs started, only to be interrupted by a general outcry. He turned around, and saw the woman struggling to shore. A Fireman ran into the water, picking her up, bridal style.

"My baby? Where i i i i is my b b b b b baby?" She asked frantically as her teeth chattered.

"She is safe, Ma'am. Calm down, we need to get you both warm. The Fireman handed her off to two more people, and another was walking behind him on the steep bank. 

He had refused to hand over the baby in his arms. She looked just like Kelly did, when she was little. The baby had beautiful, dark red hair, and blue eyes that looked like his. Really, he could have sired this baby himself.

She looked like her Mother, except her eyes. When he had seen her through the window of the car, he had been shocked. She looked very much like Shannon, only her face was sharper, more regal. And those eyes! 

"Sir? Come this way, into the ambulance. Your daughter needs to be taken out of those wet clothes, and so do you." The Paramedic walking with him said, steering him towards the only ambulance on scene.

"Mum mum?" The baby asked, laying her head on his shoulder, and looking up at him with wet, pleading eyes.

"Mum mum is right in there, sweetheart." Gibbs said, as he reached down to pick up his sweater and phone. 

The shock blanket that had been wrapped over them started to shift, and he wrapped it more securely around them. As he got closer to the side door of the Ambulance, he heard raised voices.

"Ma'am, please! Your daughter is coming. You are seriously injured, please sit still."

"If someone doesn't bring me my daughter, immediately, I will kick your arse, and not bother taking your name! If you think me incapable, I will enjoy proving you wrong!" Harper said, a deadly serious tone in her voice.

The Paramedic leading him smothered a laugh, and opened the door.

As Gibbs entered the ambulance, eyes the color of fresh, spring grass, pinned him. 

"Keaton! There you are! Hand her to me, please." Harper said. It wasn't a question, it was a demand, but she tried to be polite about it.

The baby girl - apparently named Keaton - squeeled with happiness as he gently handed her over. The woman, was wearing some kind of make- shift splint, and she had a bandage around her head. They had undressed her, and had her covered with blankets.

"Ma'am. You have at least two cracked ribs, a head injury, plus a severe cut at your hairline. Not to even mention, that you have a bone sticking out of your arm! You cannot hold her!" The EMT said, exasperated. It was like the woman had no sense of self preservation!

"Ma'am? We really need to check her for injuries, and warm her up." The female paramedic said, calmly.

 Harper reluctantly handed Keaton over,  as Gibbs was instructed to remove his clothes. 

"We are sorry we are so crowded, here. With the roads what they are, we are stretched too thin." The EMT said.

"Ok, I need some information. How old is this little Princess?" The Paramedic asked.

"Eleven months." Harper said.

As she started answering questions, Gibbs started stripping off, taking the scrubs he was handed. He happened to look up, and caught the woman's eyes. She blushed, and turned her head, becoming flustered while finishing the info. This both surprised, and flattered him.

"Ok, you next. Name and age?"

"Harper Black, twenty six." Harper said.

"Married?"

"No." She said.

"Is the baby's father allowed to be notified of your accident, or conditions?"

"He is deceased." Harper said, watching the man who rescued them, be checked out. He seemed startled by that, and he looked over at Keaton, eyes looking sad.

"Next of kin?" The Paramedic said, after clearing her throat.

"I have no family."

"Who should we contact in case of emergency?" The woman asked, looking at her with pity.

"Luna Lovegood. She is still in England. Her number is..."

Gibbs was horrified by how little support this lady had! No family, no husband, not even a contact in the country? They must have finished up, because Keaton was layed down next to Harper, and started rooting around at her Mother's chest. She pulled down the blankets and the cup of her bra, and helped her daughter latch on. Gibbs was shocked how nonchalant she was about it.

"Your daughter is in good condition. That snowsuit actually kept her body dry. Just her head and feet were wet. There are a couple of bruises, but nothing serious."

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"Thank you, for saving us. I do not think I could have swam to safety while holding her. We both may have died." Harper said, as they rode to the Hospital.

Gibbs swallowed at the thought of them drowning. "I am glad you are both ok. Can I ask why you were out? Were you on your way to work?" He couldn't help but be curious.

Tears sprang into her eyes, and he felt horrible for asking.

"We only arrived from England last night. The company that got the house ready for us was supposed to stock the fridge, but they didn't. I fed her what was left in her carry bag for dinner last night, but I had nothing to give her for breakfast, except breast milk. That wasn't enough to tide her over, so I had to get groceries. Now they are in the bottom of the Lake, along with my purse that has my cards, ID, and cash in it. I don't know what to do about everything, now." Harper said. The near miss had finally hit her, and she was overwhelmed. She started crying, and turned her face away.

Gibbs put an arm around her shoulder, awkwardly.

"Hey, hey. It'll be alright. I can help you with all that. I work as a Federal Agent, it won't be hard to get replacements. Hell, they might get your purse out of the car when they pull it out of the water. Don't worry about anything, except you and your little girl." Gibbs said.

Harper was mortified, but she couldn't stop the breakdown that had been a long time coming. "I, I couldn't possibly impose in such a way. I can handle things, it's just... I think the fact that Kit almost died, is why I can't stop crying. I'm sorry." She said, blowing her nose on a tissue the EMT provided.

"It's ok. I understand. Let me help you, please? It isn't an imposition at all." Gibbs said.

"What is your name?" Harper asked, after calming somewhat.

"Jethro Gibbs. It is an honor to meet two such beautiful ladies." Gibbs said, trying to gently flirt.

Harper looked down at herself, covered in bandages and blood, wet hair sticking up everywhere. She also knew she had left the house in sweats, hair in a messy braid, and not wearing a stitch of makeup. She looked at him like he was crazy, then told the paramedic.

"You might want to check his head, as well."