Back in the hospital room, Gibbs has woken and Ducky is doing his best to keep his spirits up. He finds that he can no longer ignore the fear in the younger man's eyes and once again tries to allay his fears.
"There are so many therapies, Jethro, that you'll be back to work in no time," Ducky explains confidently. Gibbs reaches out and grabs hold of Ducky's sleeve. He looks intensely into the M.E.'s face.
"The truth….please," he says slowly and deliberately.
"I am telling you the truth, Jethro. Have I ever lied to you?" Ducky asks, touching Jethro's arm.
Gibbs relaxes slightly. He tries to remember a time when his friend had lied to him. He couldn't recall a single time. He trusted Ducky, always would.
"Actually Jethro, I almost forgot to tell you that Jennifer and Tony and Ziva arrested two people in connection with the attempts on your life. One of them is Kelly's uncle, I believe. They are questioning them now. I know, before you say anything that you'd like to be there but you can't and that's the end of it," Ducky says sternly.
Gibbs smiles and nods, thinking to himself, how well Ducky knows him. He would love to be able to grill Parkinson, to be honest, he'd love to flatten Parkinson, but he knows he can rely on Jen and his team to do the job almost as well as he would.
Back at the sheriff's office, Tony continues his interview with Maitland. He listens intently as Maitland explains how Parkinson and he arranged for Kelly's adoption. It began as an administrative error which Parkinson decided to cash in on. The child was listed as DOA and he knew a couple desperate for a child. He knew they would have to allow the military authorities to continue to believe that the soldier's wife and child had both died in the accident. Maitland and he had been friends since they both started as junior doctors at the hospital. Parkinson convinced Maitland to become involved for a cut of the money and all he had to do was to falsify admission papers. They found out that the grieving father was serving abroad later and that only made it easier for them as he wouldn't be around the hospital wanting to see the bodies or anything.
Parkinson himself dealt with the Stensons, who paid him $30,000. Maitland arranged for some of his student friends to pose as military personnel to break the news to the child that her father had been killed in action. Both he and Parkinson kept a close eye on their investment as she recovered and were glad to see her accept the Stensons as her new family. Falsifying adoption papers wasn't difficult at all and soon Kelly was adopted and nobody was any the wiser. It was so simple. Parkinson called it easy money. That was the first time they had done it. It wasn't the last. Maitland spilled his guts about three other occasions when they stole vulnerable children. He gave names, dates and any other details he could recall. He was going down and he knew it and he was offering up everything and anything he knew to try and save his skin.
By the time Ziva returned to Parkinson, she had the whole story. He sat there, lawyer at his side, totally dumbfounded. He took his lawyer's advice and decided to say nothing as he was charged with attempted murder and kidnapping. Jen was delighted that they had been successful in finding those who tried to kill Gibbs. To make it even better, she now knew the story of Kelly's abduction and couldn't wait to tell Gibbs the news.
After Maitland and Parkinson were locked up, the director and her two agents returned to the hospital to see Gibbs. They met Abby and Kelly in the corridor on their way back from the cafeteria. Jen was delighted to hear that Gibbs was conscious but worried to hear the girls talking about brain damage and possible stroke. As they approach the door of his room, she is almost afraid to go in. The others decide to wait outside so as not to crowd Gibbs. Slowly she opens the door and walks in.
"Ah, Jennifer!" Ducky exclaims as she enters. "Look who's here Jethro."
"How is he, Ducky?" she asks hesitantly, looking over at the pale figure lying on the bed.
"Much better, my dear, aren't you Jethro?" he says, standing out of the way so she can see for herself.
Gibbs is lying, slightly propped up and looking straight at her. He gives her a wink as a sign that he's ok. Jen pulls in a chair and sits beside the bed.
"I have news," she begins, before telling him the whole story of arresting Maitland and Parkinson and of Maitland's admission to the kidnapping and sale of Kelly to the Stensons. "We have agents on the way to the Stenson's house at the moment. We'll need to hear their side of things obviously but it looks like they knew about the whole thing. Poor Kelly, I'm not sure how to break it to her," she tells him.
She sees a tear building in his eyes as the emotion of the whole week sets in. "I'm sorry, Jethro," she says, unsure of what really to say. "It should never have happened but you have her back, don't let your anger cloud your relationship. You've got a second chance. Take it," she says sympathetically.
Gibbs nods and tries to put on a brave face. He squeezes Jen's hand weakly.
"Ask Kelly to come in," he says hoarsely. He wanted to talk to her. He wanted to break the news about the people she had called her parents for the last decade and a half. Ducky and Jen both leave the room and pretty soon Kelly enters alone. She takes up position in the chair at Gibbs' bedside. Gibbs begins to tell her about Parkinson and the Stensons. His speech is slow and deliberate but she is patient and allows him to say what he need to. As he speaks, Kelly allows her tears to flow freely. She couldn't believe what he was telling her. The Stenson's had been so good to her. She loved them. How could they have known about this all along? She wanted to see them but right now she knew where she had to be, at her father's side. He needed her. His recovery would be slow and she wouldn't let him down.
He asks her to come home with him, to live as a family again. She couldn't believe it. She was over the moon and agreed almost immediately. It was time to get back to her life. She no longer wanted to live the lie that was her life for the past 16 years. Her mother would have been so happy to see her and Jethro together after all this time. Who knows, Kelly thought, maybe she had a role in it all along?