Chapter 1: Crash (Into Me)
Gibbs sees an accident, and rescues a woman, and her child.
Gibbs is forty years old in this, and Harper is twenty six. Timelines are a thing? Not here! Gibbs has been married only twice in this. (So far.)
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.
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.
"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.
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.
"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."
"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."
Chapter 2: How We Got Here
Backstory anyone? Reference to noncon, as in non consent for sexual intercourse. Sorry if this upsets anyone. I follow the muse, and sometimes she makes things complicated! Also, suicide of a Harry Potter character. You have been warned!
Check chapter summary.
WARNING: Discussion of noncon, and suicide of background character. Bad language.
At the Hospital, Gibbs was quickly released. Harper, however, was protesting.
"I can't have surgery on my arm, until my friend gets here. I have a small child to consider. Waiting until later cannot matter that much in the scheme of things." Harper argued with the Orthopaedic Surgeon.
"Miss Black, you have an open fracture. The bone is sticking out of your arm. I don't know how you are handling the pain without meds, but that adrenaline will wear off soon, I'm sure. You could develope a severe infection, and your bone could heal incorrectly. Your daughter will be perfectly fine in the Pediatric ward. No arguments. They will be by to prep you soon." The surgeon said, then left.
"Fuck." Harper muttered. If it wouldn't take obliviating around thirty people, she could fix her own damn arm.
Keaton had been settled next to her, as she had not needed to be admitted. They had told her, however, that someone would be by to take her to the children's ward while they operated on her arm. The numbing charm she had set over her arm was wearing off, and she didn't know what to do. She refused to take pain meds until she knew her daughter was settled. They made her stupid.
Maybe coming here was a mistake, but she had to get away from the toxic environment in England. She had gotten dual citizenship, likely because of her fame, but hey - whatever it took. It had taken almost a year to get everything settled, and the restraining orders in place. She was finally here, and she just realized how very alone she was. Luna was coming to join her next month, but this accident had moved up the timetable.
How had it all come to this?
Harper looked at her daughter, fast asleep, yet gripping her gown for dear life. Her little mouth was moving, and her eyelids fluttered as she dreamed.
Whatever else had happened, she made everything worth it.
19 months ago, London. The night that started / ended it all.
It had been six years since the Final Battle. Six years since Fred died, and had taken all her hopes and dreams with him. It was still painful seeing George, but she was trying. George and she had not exactly avoided each other, but the other represented a connection to Fred that couldn't be duplicated, and it was still so raw.
For Harper, seeing George was like a punch to the gut, every time.
She had always been able to tell them apart, and the differences were ever more pronounced now. George only had one ear, and Fred had died in the Battle of Hogwarts. The resemblance was obviously still there, and it shook her to the core every time.
At that time, she still wore the ring Fred gave her, right before the horcrux hunt started. A promise. After Voldemort was gone, they would marry.
It wasn't to be.
That day in London, George had come to Grimmauld Place to plan his and Fred's birthday celebration. He wanted to honor Fred when their birthday came around this year, so he had enlisted her help planning the party. It was supposed to be on April first, and showcase a new product for Wheezes': Fred's Frantic Fudge.
After sitting for an hour in front of her dead fiance's doppleganger, Harper brought out the Firewhiskey. (She would use this as a reason to blame herself, later.)
Her and George toasted Fred. They toasted the twin's birthday, they toasted the victims of the War-Hell, they toasted until the bottle was empty. Harper was incoherently smashed. So drunk, she was unable to walk.
She was a bit of a lightweight, and Fred and George had always teased her for that. George was buzzed, but mostly fine. Firewhiskey had been a frequent companion since his other half died.
George had been in a constant depression, and only his acting had ever gotten better. George felt a gaping wound where his brother once was, and he felt as if he did not fit in a world without him. He also felt guilty.
George had betrayed his brother, even if no one else knew it. He had fallen in love with his brother's girl. It had been a gradual thing, and he hadn't planned it, but it was hard to know Harper Potter, and not love her.
Harper still wasn't sure what happened. She had no memory of the actual act.
Later, George would say that she had started calling him Fred, and begged him to kiss her one last time.
It was no excuse for what happened next, and he knew it.
Slightly drunk, depressed, and being offered a kiss from the girl he had loved for years, he took advantage. One kiss wouldn't hurt, right? She would never know, never remember.
The kiss had been sloppy, and desperate. Harper was barely participating, and had started to pass in and out of awareness. She drunkenly tried to raise her arms, and pull her jumper off. It was hot, and she was uncomfortable.
The next thing she knew, she was waking up in bed with George. Her head was pounding, and her vision was blurry. Once it cleared, she took stock of the situation. She was nude from the waist down, and the tank top she had been wearing under her hoodie was pulled up, above her breasts.
She was sore, and there was a small smear of blood, and other fluid between her thighs. George was staring at her in mute horror. He was naked, and she looked away. She had never seen Fred naked, and this was all so wrong. She grabbed a blanket to cover herself, and sat, dumbly, in shock.
"I'm sorry! I'm so, so, sorry! I didn't know! Oh, Gods! Fred will kill me. Oh my God, Fred! I'm so sorry, Fred." George sobbed. He couldn't believe what he had done.
Harper had been blackout drunk, and only semi-conscious when he had taken her. Taken advantage of her. Taken the virginity he didn't know she still had. He remembered the feeling of her barrier breaking, and his shock. It hadn't stopped him.
After he came, he remembered coming to awareness, almost like a fog lifted. Harper lay under him. Half dressed, and completely unconscious. He didn't want to use the word, but he knew. He had raped her. He was disgusted with himself.
He had stayed, out of some since of decency. He wouldn't let her wake up alone. Not with the evidence of what happened trailing down her thighs. Not in her confusion, her not having any idea what had happened.
Harper cried as she realized what had occured. George apologised again. He had tears trailing down his face, and devastation was plain for her to see. George dressed himself, clumsily. He rambled, promising her he would 'make things right', and that this was all his fault. He looked at her for a moment, and she thought she saw longing through his tears, but he turned away, and left.
Harper would never see George Weasley again.
Three days later, George Weasley was found dead, by his own hand. He had left a written confession behind, and it somehow made the papers.
WITCH WHICH WON, RAPED BY DEAD FIANCE'S BROTHER. George Weasley Confesses, Kills Himself in Shame!
Full confession, pg. 3
History of Harper Potter, pg. 4-6
What Does This Mean For The Weasley Family? Pg. 9
Three weeks later, Harper had found out she was pregnant. Even under the circumstances, she wanted her baby. She had always wanted a family of her own, and this was her child.
The Weasley's, blamed Harper for everything. George's death, the rape, everything. Molly decided to file for custody of the baby, while Harper was still pregnant.
The custody battle was a media circus, and sent her into pre- term labor. Keaton Azaelia Potter Black was born a little over a month early. Harper was awarded full custody.
The harrassment started almost immediately. People were talking about her daughter like she was tainted. A 'product of rape', not a child. Never an innocent child.
The remaining Weasley's, and Hermione, had cut her off completely. She didn't know what she would have done without Luna, Neville and Susan. They had become her sole support.
It was when the Daily Prophet started calling for Keaton to be disqualified as her Heir, that she decided to leave.
They were not happy when she emptied her various accounts of money, transfering it all to a muggle bank. Heirlooms, except for some jewelry for herself and her daughter, were left in the vaults. Everything else, was moved to Gringott's sister bank, Lloyd's of London.
Harper sold all her property, except for Grimmauld. She was done with Wizarding Britain. Done with all the judgements, labels and lies. They would never leave her or her daughter alone if she stayed. It was an easy decision.
She hoped it was for the better.
Gibbs had listened to Harper through the curtain of the emergency room stall she was in. He couldn't imagine the position she was in, and he felt for her.
Dinozzo had picked up his car, and brought it here, but Gibbs had been given the day off due to the accident. He heard the little girl stir, and Harper start to sing, lowly.
"Lavender's blue, dilly dilly
When I am King, dilly dilly
You shall be Queen..."
Gibbs smiled at the sound, and quietly knocked at the divider of the curtained area.
"Come in." Harper said quietly.
Coming in, Gibbs saw that she had a line of stitches at her hairline, right above a faded lightning bolt scar. Her hair had been gathered in a messy bun, and she looked pale, and wan.
"I'm sorry to bother you, Miss Black..." Gibbs started.
"Harper. Please call me Harper, Mr. Gibbs."
" Only if you call me Jethro. I couldn't help but overhear your dilemma. I would be happy to stay with Keaton, until your friend shows up. She did ok with me earlier, and I am somewhat familiar to her, now." He offered awkwardly.
Harper was surprised, and slightly wary.
"Why? It is very nice of you, but I don't really know you." Harper said.
Gibbs swallowed. He felt almost a compulsion to help them, but he could not say that, it would sound disturbing and strange.
"You both remind me of my family. I was married, with a daughter once. They both are gone, now. Kelly looked very like your baby, when she was little. It hits close to home. I promise to take good care of her. Here, I'll even show you my badge." Gibbs said, deciding to be honest. He was slightly shocked at how open he was being, but he could not expect her to trust him, if he wasn't open about it.
Harper looked at the badge, then into Jethro's eyes. She had always been a good judge of character, and the badge was legit- she had heard him giving orders to a coworker who had picked up his car.
"Thank you." Harper said. A Nurse came in, and started to inject something into the IV in her arm.
"This is pain medication. Dilaudid, 2mg. There is also an antibiotic I am adding to your drip." The Nurse said, adding the medication. She left quickly, as Harper started protesting the Narcotic.
"You must have a high pain tolerance." Gibbs said. He knew there was a bone underneath that bandage, that was sticking straight out of her arm. He had caught a glimpse of it in the Ambulance. It must hurt like a bitch. He'd seen Marines cry over less.
"Hmmm? Oh, yeah. Comes from being tortured. You're pretty, you know? Very fit. Take care of my baby. I'm all she's got. Can't have strawberries. Why is it blurry? Am I drunk?" Harper started babbling, as the medication quickly took over.
"What?!" Gibbs said, not sure what to react to.
"He's taking her till Luna gets here. He's hot, isn't he?" Harper said to the orderlies who came to get her for surgery.
"Yes, Ma'am. I'm sure he is." One of the men said, humoring her. "Can you take the child, Sir? The surgery shouldn't take more than a couple of hours."
"Of course." Gibbs said, shaking himself out of his stupor. He gently picked up the baby, and cradled her against his chest.
She was wearing a purple sleeper, and she burrowed into his warmth. Keaton's red hair had dried into chaotic loose curls, and they flopped around her head like a halo.
Gibbs stared at her for a minute, and revelled in the feeling of holding a sleeping child. It had been one of his favorite parts of Kelly's babyhood. He hadn't realised how much he missed it. A few minutes later, he made a call.
"Abby? I need you to pick up a few things for a young child. I need some toys, some snacks, a change of clothes in size twelve months..." Jethro started ordering from memory.
If he was going to do this, he wanted to do it right.
Chapter 3: The Kindness of Strangers
Harper is forced to keep relying on the kindness of strangers, but we all know they won't be strangers for long. ;)
WARNING! Discussions of sexual assault, bad language. Cinnamonroll!Gibbs. (When around Harper, or Keaton especially.)
Harper woke up swiftly, much quicker than the nurses expected. As soon as she woke, she sat up in the bed, startling the nurses and the surgery assistant pushing her bed into the recovery room.
"Woah, Miss Black! Lay back please. You just came out of surgery, and we are entering recovery, now. Please don't re-injure yourself, Ma'am." A stern Nurse said, pushing her shoulder towards the stretcher.
"My daughter, where is she? Is she okay?" Harper asked, voice rough.
The Nurse grinned at her. "I don't know where she is, exactly. However, last I saw her, she was playing patty cake with that man you were brought in with, and drinking a cup of apple juice." The Nurse said, chuckling at the adorable sight they had made.
The tension that had been seizing her body, released at knowing her daughter was safe. She bet they looked super cute together. They gave her another dose of pain meds, and she drifted back to sleep, thinking how handsome Jethro Gibbs was.
Harper came awake at the feeling of her stretcher moving down the hall.
"Where are you taking me?" She said, mouth dry.
"Your room for the night is ready, Ma'am. That's where we are headed." The man pushing her bed, said.
"I am not staying here overnight!"
"That's between you, and the Doctors, Miss."
Before her argument with the attending Doctor, she hadn't truly known her full situation. Luna had had to take a plane, in order to show proof of entering the Country, because she had opened her mouth without thinking. Again. Harper had told the rescue crew, and Jethro inadvertently, that Luna was still in England.
It had taken awhile for Luna to find a flight, and then that flight had been delayed. It seemed that cold, icy weather was everywhere right now - which was weird, as it was only early November.
She had been in her room with the Doctor, Keaton and Agent Gibbs when Luna had called. Her flight was expected not to be able to take off until tomorrow morning.
Which really sucked arse, because her release was contingent on Luna getting in town, and being with her overnight. His exact words were;
"Ma'am. For God's sake! You have a mild concussion, bruised ribs, a cut on your face that required 13 stitches, and just had surgery to put the bone back in your arm! It's dangerous to you, and your daughter both, to be alone right now! No arguments!" He'd ranted.
Ok, maybe she gave the guy a little bit too much grief. Maybe.
Anyway, she knew he was right- if she didn't have Magic, that is. She would be a right bitch to argue more, but she would have a panic attack if she had to stay in a Hospital overnight. The last time she had, it was being treated for shock after George- well, after George. Before that, it was waking in the Hospital Wing, the day after the Final Battle. So, yeah. Keaton had been a home birth for this very reason.
Gibbs could tell that Harper was about to be in a panic, or anxiety attack. She must have legitimate issues with Hospitals.
"I'll stay with them." He said. Apparently he had a habit of speaking without thinking, too. "I mean, if that is preferable to being here, Ms. Black." He finished.
Harper knew she probably looked like a ninny, but her jaw actually dropped as she stared at him.
"Can we have a few minutes, Dr. Stone?" Harper asked, giving him a fake smile.
After the door closed behind him, she turned back to Gibbs. Harper pinned him with the sharpest look he'd ever received, and he was a Marine! He could feel her trying to figure him out, and he felt like he was being weighed, and found wanting.
"Ok, Agent Gibbs. What is your angle? Men very rarely do anything without an ulterior motive. Do you see the 'pale, injured, single Mother'. A delicate flower that you can grind into paste? Trust me, I am not that girl."
Gibbs was shocked to his bones. First of all, she sounded like some victims he had interviewed. Women who had been abused as children, or in a romantic relationship. Women who were raped, were even...more...defensive. Oh God! Please, no. Gibbs thought, as some pieces fell into place. He took a deep breath, before looking her straight in the eye.
"I sincerely just want to help you. You seem so alone in this Country, and you remind me of the family I lost. I may have entertained the idea of asking you out once you've settled in more, but there was no nefarious motives, I swear. I don't see you as too delicate, or anything like that - but you have to admit you are both vulnerable right now. I don't want you to be preyed upon by anyone. I...I just want to help." Gibbs said, burrying his face in his hands.
Harper felt like the veriest bitch. Agent Gibbs had been nothing but kind, to her and her daughter. In fact, she had cooed at how Keaton and the Agent had looked together, when they entered her hospital room.
First of all, Keaton was fast asleep, her bum in the air, against his chest. She had looked quite comfortable, too. She had been changed into a pink and white striped pair of flannel pajamas, and fuzzy pink socks. Most of her was covered by a Disney Princess, fleece blanket with what looked like Cinderella on it. None of which she had before. There was also a new, overflowing diaper bag, sitting on the other chair.
Yeah, she thought. She was a bitch.
"I am sorry, I- I have been particularly careful around men, lately. Some...something happened almost about nineteen months ago, and I don't feel like I can trust most anyone at all right now." Harper said, rubbing her eyes.
She was exhausted, completely rung out. All the events of the day were making her feel quite raw, and useless.
"What happened? If you want to talk to someone, I am willing to listen." Gibbs said, earnestly.
Harper swallowed, and reached for a cup of water. After taking a large sip of her drink, she turned her back on Gibbs, and he thought she wouldn't say anything.
"I met Fred, my fiance, when I was eleven. He was thirteen. We started dating when I was fourteen, and he gave me a promise ring when I was seventeen. I know that's young, but we were being targeted by terrorists, and we never knew if one of us would die tomorrow. He died before I turned eighteen." She said, trying to suck back her tears.
Terrorist Attacks? She was a child at the time! Gibbs thought.
"We were so close, yet so far away from marrying. Fred had a twin, G- George." She continued, voice stuttering over the name.
Gibbs' investigative instincts perked up at that.
"We were friendly, but rarely saw one another after Fred's death. It was almost five years later, when he came to visit me. The twins' birthday was April Fool's Day, and George said he wanted to honor Fred. He needed me to help him plan the party.
After staring at the very image of Fred for an hour, I pulled out a bottle of whisky. The twins had iron stomachs, and held their liquor like you wouldn't believe. But I was a lightweight. They used to tease me constantly about it, so he knew that well."
Harper paused to take a sip of water, and Gibbs was glad she couldn't see his face. He thought he knew where this was going, but he truly hoped not. If he ever met this 'George', the man may leave with a gunshot wound.
"So, I drank a few shots. He drank many more. He wasn't drunk though, he admitted that later. I only remember flashes. Not being able to walk, and him helping me upstairs. Wanting my jumper off, because I was hot. The next thing I remember, I was waking up, almost naked. G- George was fully naked, and I turned away immediately. I could only think that I never saw Freddie like that- and then it hit me what had happened."
Gibbs stared at the hospital floor, hands clenched into fists.
"He started babbling immediately; 'I'm sorry, I didn't know you were a virgin'. (As if that made a bloody difference) and, 'oh my God, Fred!' He left in a rush after that. They found him dead a few days later, and he left me a suicide note explaining why. His entire family blamed me, for the rape and his subsequent suicide. They were the only family I had, even if not by blood. I found out I was pregnant three weeks later." Harper finished, sobbing.
"Jesus Christ." Gibbs mumbled, looking at the baby still asleep on his chest.
God, what a mess! Jethro thought, pulling Keaton closer.
He would protect her, them both, or he would die trying.