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Out of the Shadows

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D'Arcy sat on the front row in the courtroom, bouncing the one twin on each leg in an effort to keep them quiet. Adoption hearings usually didn't take quite as long as Gibbs and Sam's was but adopting six children at once was rare.

"When can we go?" Lucas asked resting his hand against D'Arcy's cheek.

"Shh, we're almost done, Baby, then we'll go," D'Arcy whispered.

"But this is boring," Milo whined.

Gibbs turned in his chair and looked at his boys. "I need you guys to be quiet for a little while longer, please."

"Psst, can I sit on your lap, Daddy?" Lucas whispered loudly.

Gibbs nodded his head and lifted Lucas over the partial wall that was separating them. Lucas busied himself twisting the ring on Gibbs' finger and poking the calluses on his hands. Sam ran her fingers through the little boy's hair while they listened to the judge.

After talking to Jaycee, D'Arcy and going through D'Arcy's progress reports and recommendations, the judge finalized the adoption of all six kids. They officially belonged to Gibbs and Sam. Ducky, Jimmy, Tony, Tim, Ziva and Abby all cheered as soon as the judge sounded the gavel. The kids didn't really understand exactly what was happening but they cheered too, just because the adults were. Hugs and kisses were given before they filtered out of the courtroom so the next case could be heard.

"Thanks for coming, guys," Sam said as she hugged the team again. "We'll see you all tomorrow."

"Congratulations again," Ducky said before the group headed off. Gibbs and Sam both had the day off for the adoption hearing and to get things ready for their wedding the following day but the team had to go back to work.

"I realize this is a crazy question," D'Arcy said, "but I need to ask so I can update your file. Are you guys interested in taking on any more foster children?"

Gibbs glanced over at Sam. They were pretty good at reading each other and neither wanted to make the decision without the other's approval.

"I think if you have a child that needs emergency placement for a night or so we could definitely open our home to them," Gibbs said watching as Sam nodded her head in agreement. "I'm not sure it'd be fair to any of the kids to try to take another child long term. We've got a lot going on and we definitely don't want any of the kids to be shorted on their time with us or the activities they want to do but, as Sam likes to say, there's always room for one more. We'll make it work."

"I'm marrying a wonderful man tomorrow," Sam said, smiling proudly at Gibbs.

"You're both wonderful people," D'Arcy said. "I wish I had more of you. I wish the foster children of DC had more of you."

"Thanks D'Arcy," Gibbs said. "I need to get to the airport and pick my dad up. What are you planning on doing this afternoon?"

"I've got some things around the house to do," Sam said.

"Jaycee, do you have to work today?" Gibbs asked.

"Yeah," Jaycee said. "Marcus said if the trial thingy gets done and I feel like coming in that I could. I'm gonna go home and change and then go over to Ty's and ride in with him. I should have enough time."

"Sounds like a plan," Gibbs said. "Sam, do you wanna take the boys with you and I'll take the girls?" The twins running around the airport terminal wasn't exactly something Gibbs wanted to deal with. After sitting in court all morning he figured they'd be happier running around the house anyways.

"I can do that," Sam said taking Brady from Gibbs. "Lucas Gibbs, Milo Gibbs, Brady Gibbs, Jaycee Gibbs, into the van.

"What 'bout us?" Gracie asked.

"Gracie Gibbs and Kylee Gibbs, you guys can get in Daddy's car. You're gonna go with him to pick Grandpa up at the airport."

The kids all scurried off to their assigned cars, Gibbs and Sam kissed goodbye then they went their separate ways.


Jaycee parked her Jeep in front of Ty's house, got out and hurried to the door. She couldn't wait to share the news with him. She knocked on the door and Ty answered.

"It's official," Jaycee said with a smile. "My name is Jaycee Rose Gibbs. I'm a Gibbs!"

Ty wrapped his arms around his girlfriend and swung her through the air. "I'm so happy for you!"

"It's weird," Jaycee said. "It's just a last name but it's like it implies so much. I'm still not theirs by blood but they gave me their last name. That's like the ultimate gift you could give somebody."

"I'm gonna give you my last name someday," Ty said. "I can't wait to make you Jaycee Sherwood."

"I can't wait to be Jaycee Sherwood," Jaycee said. "This is the best day of my life."

"We should celebrate," Ty said.

"I don't know if I can tonight," Jaycee said. "Jack's flying down from Stillwater and I'm helping cook for the wedding tomorrow and there's so much stuff to do."

"You guys aren't getting it catered?" Ty asked.

"They got the cake professionally made but that's it. Gibbs is grilling steaks and I'm making some stuff to go with it. I asked if I could."

"You're better than any caterer anyways," Ty said.

Jaycee smiled at the remark and gave him another hug and he kissed her cheek.

"We better go or we're gonna be late," Jaycee said.


Gibbs parked the car in short term parking, got the girls out then they all headed for the airport. The girls bounced and skipped while Gibbs held their hands and kept them out of danger of moving cars and hurried passengers. Dulles Airport was huge and always busy. They headed to the correct terminal, checked the monitors to see the flight had just arrived then waited.

"When is he coming?" Kylee asked.

"Should be soon," Gibbs said. He knelt down, wrapped an arm around each child and lifted them up. "See that big plane out there?" Both girls nodded. "That's Grandpa's plane. He should be coming out of those doors right there any minute."

"I hope he hurries," Gracie said.

"Me too," Gibbs said before kissing both girls on the cheek.

"Daddy, is Jaycee gonna have a baby?" Gracie asked.

Gibbs froze. "What do you mean?"

"Mommy had lots of boyfriends and lots of babies and Jaycee has a boyfriend but no babies," Gracie explained.

"Jaycee and Ty are gonna wait until they can take care of a baby before they have one, Sweet Pea."

"The baby could live with us and then Jaycee can stay there forever," Kylee said.

"Jaycee's always going to have a home with us, girls, but there's gonna come a time where she moves out and starts a family. Then you guys are gonna be aunts."

"Hello everybody," Jack said.

"Dad, hi," Gibbs said. He hadn't noticed the passengers deplaning.

"Grandpa!" Gracie said stretching out her arms to Jack.

Jack took Gracie and hugged her tight. He leaned in and gave Kylee a kiss and Gibbs a one armed hug then they headed for baggage claim. Kylee disappeared back into her shell while Gracie talked on and on about staying in a hotel recently, her pretty new dress for Daddy and Mommy's wedding and her morning in court.

Gibbs rubbed his nose against Kylee's and smiled at his little girl. "Whatcha thinking about?" he asked softly.

"Nothin'," Kylee said.

"I don't believe you," Gibbs said with a smile.

"I don't want Jaycee to go away and have more babies and forget about me," Kylee said.

"Jaycee's never gonna forget about you, Kylee. She'll still visit and you'll still have Mommy and I and your brothers and sister and Grandpa will still come to visit and Tony lives right down the street and Abby, Tim and Ziva will still come over. We'll see Jaycee lots and have lots of fun with everybody else too. Everything'll be okay."


Gibbs could tell Kylee didn't believe him. He hugged her tighter and kissed her again. It was going to be a big adjustment for all the little ones when Jaycee went away to college. He helped his dad grab his bag off the carousel then they headed for the car. They'd missed lunch and Gibbs knew the girls had to be hungry because he was getting hungry.

"Have you had lunch, Dad?"

"They gave us pretzels on the plane," Jack answered. "That's all I've had."

"We haven't eaten either. If I know Sam she'll have something waiting for us."

"How'd it go at court this morning?"

"It was long," Gibbs said, "but it's done and the kids are ours."

"Congratulations, Son. I'm happy for all of you."

"Congratulations to you too, Dad. You now have six grandkids to spoil."

"In that case take me home, Son. I better get started right away."


Sam pulled the twins' bedroom door closed after putting them down for their nap then heard Brady fussing. She headed back down the hall to the nursery and saw him standing in his crib holding onto the rail.

"What are you doing up, Sweet Boy?" she asked. "It's nap time."

"Ma. Mama. Mamamamama."

"Come here, you," Sam said as she lifted him out of his crib. "You can help me clean until Daddy gets home. Maybe he can get you to sleep."


"Yeah, Daddy."

Sam took Brady downstairs and started in on the kitchen. With Brady tucked under one arm she started some dishwater and loaded up the sink. Brady grabbed onto her lower lip and she nibbled on his fingers making him squeal. She wiped the countertop off and then the table and chairs.

"We're back," Gibbs said.

"Did you miss us, Mommy?" Gracie asked.

"I always miss you when you're gone, Sweetie Pie. Are you guys hungry?"

"Starving!" Gracie said.

"Hi Jack. We're so glad you could come."

"Happy to be here!" Jack said.

"What's going on with you, Little Miss Kylee? Why are we being so quiet?"

Kylee shrugged.

"We'll talk later," Gibbs said kissing Sam. "What's going on with Brady?"

"He slept for about five minutes and then decided it was time to get up," Sam said, "or maybe he was just faking me out. I don't know."

"I take it you haven't been able to get much accomplished?"

"You took it right. You guys sit down. I'll get you some lunch."

Gibbs took Brady from Sam and she got the fish sticks and fries out of the oven. She washed the dishes while the others ate then the girls talked Jack into playing Chutes and Ladders with them and Gibbs took Brady upstairs to try to rock him to sleep so Sam could do the things she wanted to do.


"Jaycee, come here!" Ty said. He grabbed his girlfriend's hand and hurried her off to one side of the kitchen. It was the end of their shift and Ty had waited all afternoon to surprise her.

"Ty, what're you doing?" Jaycee asked with a giggle.

"Nothing, come on. I have to show you something."

Ty opened a box lid and revealed a small cake with decorative frosting that was a little sloppy but perfect in Jaycee's eyes. It said 'congrats' and had a heart on top.

"You made this?" Jaycee asked.

"I had a little bit of help but I did most of it, including the frosting. Hopefully it'll make up for not being able to hang out tonight."

"Thanks, Ty! I love it so much and I love you!"

"Welcome. I love you too."

"Wanna share it with me?" Jaycee asked. "We could eat it right now."


"I wanna take a picture of it first."

Jaycee snapped a picture of the cake with her phone then she and Ty alternated between feeding each other and feeding themselves, teasing and giggling the whole time. Once they were done with their treat, they got in Ty's car and headed home.

"I'll see you tomorrow," Ty said. "I can't wait for you to see me in my suit. Not braggin' or anything but Tony says I look good."

"I'm sure you do," Jaycee said with a giggle. She let Ty kiss her goodbye then got into her Jeep and headed home. Ty watched until her taillights disappeared into the darkness then headed inside.

"Look at you two being all cute," Tony teased.

"Stop," Ty said with a shy smile.

"Go get changed," Tony said. "You and I are going out."


"Dinner. I'm starving and I don't feel like cooking and I want something more than pizza. Maybe we'll pick up some hot chicks along the way."

"I already have a hot chick," Ty said.

"Well maybe I'll get lucky."

"Should I drive separate? Are you gonna ditch me if you meet someone?"

"No way but just so we're clear right now, you do know that if there's ever a sock on my doorknob that pretty much means do not disturb."

Ty rolled his eyes and laughed as he headed up the stairs to change his clothes.


Sam stood at the back sliding glass door in her sundress, looking out at the others. There was trail lined with beautiful flower arrangements leading through a couple rows of chairs where the kids were sitting with Jack, Ty and the team. Gibbs was standing at the end of the trail by the preacher they'd hired. Everybody was ready, it was time.

Sam stepped out the back door and made eye contact with Tony who was waiting to play a classical piece on his guitar while she made her way to her groom. The music started and Sam followed the path through the chairs to Gibbs. She was all smiles, waving back when the little ones waved to her and winking at Jaycee and Ty who were holding hands as they watched.

When she made it to the front Gibbs took her hands and smiled brightly at her. His eyes were twinkling and he looked genuinely happy. Tony stopped playing, put his guitar on the stand then went to sit and enjoy the ceremony. The preacher went through the vows with Gibbs and Sam, led them through exchanging rings then let them close the ceremony with a kiss. It didn't last long. Neither Gibbs nor Sam wanted a long, drawn out, formal ceremony.

As Gibbs and Sam walked back down the aisle, the kids tossed rice then chased after them. Ty and Jaycee stood and Jaycee hugged both her parents.

"Congratulations, Dad and Mom," she said.

Gibbs and Sam both pulled back and looked at her.

"That's my wedding present to you," Jaycee explained. "From now on I'm gonna call you Dad and Mom."

"That's wonderful if that's what you want, Baby. Jethro and I would be honored but we don't want you to feel like you have to call us that."

"I know and I don't," Jaycee said. "I want to. You guys are like real parents. You're the only people who've ever been parents to me."

"We love you, Baby," Gibbs said pulling her close enough he could kiss the top of her head. "And I don't think I've told you yet today that you look beautiful. Save a dance for me, okay?"

"Thank you," Jaycee said shyly. "I will."

Gibbs and Sam got hugs from the team and photographs were taken. The preacher filled out the paperwork to make everything official and Gibbs and Sam signed it then he left and Gibbs got the grill going. Sam brought a radio outside and everybody danced. Gibbs watched Ty and Jaycee dance and knew their wedding wouldn't be too far down the road. The teenagers were madly in love. While he waited for the coals to burn white, Gibbs headed over to where the two were dancing.

"Mind if I cut in?" he asked.

"Sure," Ty said.

Gibbs took one of Jaycee's hands in his and rested his other hand on her hip and the two danced. "Pretty soon you're gonna be dancing with your husband and you and I will be doing the father daughter dance."

Jaycee smiled brightly up at Gibbs. "You think so? Feels like we've been dating forever."

"Try not to rush through life, Baby. You've been through so much. You grew up so fast but there's still lots of time for teenager things and lots of time for adult things."

Jaycee wrapped her arms around Gibbs and hugged him as they continued dancing. Gibbs kissed the top of her head and enjoyed the moment. When the song ended he waved Ty over and handed his daughter off then headed inside to prep the steaks.

Sam followed Gibbs inside and stood behind him. She wrapped her arms around his waist and kissed the back of his neck.

"You know what that does to me," Gibbs growled.

"Mm-hmm," Sam hummed, a hint of sneakiness in her tone. She leaned in and kissed him again and Gibbs moaned.

"If you keep doing that, nobody's gonna get lunch."

"Okay, I suppose I can wait until tonight," Sam said.

Gibbs wrapped his arm around her waist and pulled her in front of him. He smiled as he leaned in to kiss her.

"Eww!" Milo said.

"Get a room," Lucas said.

Gibbs pulled back and both him and Sam glared at the twins.

"Where did you hear that?" Gibbs asked.

"From Tony," Lucas said.

Gibbs just shook his head as he looked out the back window at where Tony was dancing with Kylee.

"Is there a reason you two came in here or are you just spying?" Sam asked.

"We came to see if you leaved," Milo said.

"We wouldn't leave without saying goodbye to you guys," Sam assured them. "Daddy and I aren't leaving for a couple hours."

"Okay," Lucas said. Both boys were satisfied with that answer and hurried back outside with the others. Gibbs and Sam weren't actually going anywhere. Instead of traveling they'd opted to spend the money on a very fancy hotel in the city. They didn't want to leave the kids for too long but it would be a special getaway for them.

While Gibbs put the steaks on the grill, Sam got the salads that Jaycee had made out. It wasn't long before Jaycee was in the kitchen helping. There was potato salad, pasta salad and garden salad. Jaycee chopped and sautéed some mushrooms and onions to go with the steaks while Sam made some punch to drink.

Lunch was eaten outside then the cake was cut and passed out. Gibbs and Sam danced together then they danced with the kids. Tony and Abby took it on themselves to clean up after lunch and Jack rocked Brady. Gracie wasn't taking naps anymore and Gibbs and Sam had decided the twins could skip their naps but Brady was young enough he still needed to be put down.

After dancing, the group played a game of charades. The adults helped the kids wanting everyone to be able to join in the fun. Once Brady woke up from his nap, Gibbs and Sam said their goodbyes and headed out while the others got ready to go swimming. Gibbs grabbed their overnight bag, took Sam's hand and led her out to the car.

"I don't know how we're gonna function without kids barging in on us, messes, screaming, crying, two little boys jumping on the bed, baby food flying…"

"I'm gonna miss 'em too," Sam said with a smile as she patted Gibbs' hand.

"Are you happy?" Gibbs asked.

"I've never been happier," Sam said. "My life is complete is a way I never thought was possible."

Gibbs smiled as he took her hand in his. He was so happy with the way everything had worked out. He thought back to the night he'd found the kids at the market; all of them wet and cold from the rain, dressed in rags and underweight. When he'd piled them in his car that night, he had no idea how much they'd change his life. Sam coming alongside him and agreeing to be his partner in the new adventure gave him a confidence he wouldn't have had if it was just him trying to raise six little ones. She was a natural mother and Gibbs had seen such a difference in her after the children had come into their lives. Despite the insecurities that still crept up on rare occasions, their family felt natural. They all had a place, they all belonged and even with as many of them as there were, if one were taken from the equation they would surely be missed.

Gibbs pulled up in front of their hotel and got out. He opened Sam's door for her and helped her out while the bellboy got their luggage out. While the valet parked their car, Gibbs and Sam checked in. The two were given their room key, Gibbs thanked the bellboy and tipped him and took their bag up himself. He wanted Sam and the room all to himself with no interruptions.

"I've never stayed in a honeymoon suite before," Sam said as they rode the elevator up. "I've never stayed in a hotel this nice before."

"I haven't either," Gibbs said. He was a simple man who enjoyed the simple things in life but both he and Sam were excited about their weekend of luxury.

They stepped off the elevator and found their room. Gibbs opened the door and let Sam go in first. The room was beautiful. It was very spacious with a large comfortable bed. There was a Jacuzzi, an inviting sitting area and a balcony with a nice view of the city. On the table was a vase with flowers, a bottle of champagne in an ice bucket and a tray of hors d'oeuvres. The two looked around and picked at the hors d'oeuvres. Gibbs popped the champagne and they toasted to their future.

"I would say this room is definitely worth the obscene amount of money we paid for it," Sam said. "It's beautiful."

"Not as beautiful as you," Gibbs said with a grin.


"No. It's the truth," Gibbs said, "and before we slip into these oversized, fluffy robes and order room service, I'm going to show you how you beautiful you are."

Gibbs took Sam's empty champagne glass and set it next to his on the table then led her over to the bed. He wrapped his arms around her and pulled her body to his. The two shared a passionate kiss and let their hands explore each other's bodies. It had been months since they'd truly been alone.

"I love you," Sam said when the kiss broke.

"I love you," Gibbs said as he started pulling her dress up. As beautiful as she looked in it, he couldn't wait to get it off of her.

Sam pushed Gibbs' suit jacket off his shoulders and draped it over the chair then started in on the buttons of his dress shirt. The two took their time undressing each other and exploring their bodies, kissing and touching. There was no rush, no fear of being walked in on, nothing that needed their immediate attention and they took full advantage of it.

It was a celebration of the beginning of their new life together; of how far they'd come and how much they'd overcome. Despite living together as man and wife with all their little ones for so many months, everything was finally official. They were truly a family now, not only in their hearts but also on paper. Nothing and no one would ever be able to separate them.

The End