Okay, so tonight's episode finally gave me a launch point. Thank you to anyone who still wants to keep reading! Also, I so called this adoption arc a year ago! Who's been reading fanfiction NCIS writers? I kid. Mostly.
After thirty five years away, Jack Sloane finds herself back in D.C. in the middle of a storm. Fitting after the last few months of torture and PTSD sessions. Hearing Vance mention a familiar name over the phone before she comes into the city, Sloane immediately looks him up. Standing in the rain outside his house, Sloane starts second guessing herself, but then the door opens. Part of her finds humor in the fact that Leroy Jethro Gibbs does not remember her, but decides to focus on the case Gibbs is given. By the next morning she cements herself into the life of the NCIS office. Learning about all of the agents becomes a full time job for her, and Sloane relishes the chance to read people again. Seeing Gibbs as she goes back to her office, Sloane notices McGee and decides to formally introduce herself. Getting around to Nick, then Bishop who comes up recently from the lab.
"Bishop, this is Sloane," Gibbs introduces. Ellie holds out her hand and greets her.
"Eleanor Bishop," The younger woman begins. "But, everyone calls me Ellie."
Hearing the nickname she is so fond of, Sloane tries not to let her emotion show. Instead, she finds a viable excuse to leave and quickly goes to her new office. Closing the door, the analyst tells herself that Ellie's name is merely a nickname. To occupy her mind, Sloane picks up a file from the top of her stack to read over the lives of other NCIS agents. Taking a break from the files once words start to run together, Sloane sits back in her chair. Finally deciding to look into Gibbs' team, Sloane starts with the senior team member first. Finally she gets to the last file.
"Eleanor Bishop," She says to herself unwilling to say the woman's nickname. In no way will she entertain the idea that the blonde agent is her daughter. However, once she scans the first page of the file, she is immediately surprised by the agent's birth date. Taking a deep breath, Sloane continues to read the file absorbing all its information thankful that her supposed daughter has a good home. Unable to focus on any other agent, Sloane closes the file on her desk ends up stalking Ellie's social media. As the weeks progress, Sloane obsesses over Bishop's personnel file and even begins to question each member of team Gibbs under the guise of research.
Realizing she is being obsessive as she goes over Ellie's facial expressions and mannerisms one afternoon, Sloane closes her eyes and takes a deep breath. Finding solace in her office, Sloane grabs the darts that sit in a cup on her desk knowing the game will calm her down. As she throws dart after dart against the board on her office wall, Sloane barely registers the knock on her office door until an agent walks in and clears his throat. She turns to find Gibbs staring at her with an authoritative look. Dropping her last two darts in the basket on her desk, the analyst asks, "Can I help you, Agent Gibbs?"
"It's about my team. I need you to stop profiling them."
"Profiling?" Sloane questions. Gibbs nods adding, "A few of them think you are here as a shrink."
Sloane laughs at the notion explaining, "No, I just like to do my research. Like you were a Marine before you worked here. Nick was undercover, Ellie worked with the NSA."
"You could have just read our files," Gibbs replies. Sloane merely nods not wanting to explain that his team's files are the only ones she looks at the closest. Studying the analyst, Gibbs asks, "Sloane? You okay?"
"Yeah, yes," Sloane stammers before quickly composing herself adding, "Stop researching your team. Got it."
She breathes a sigh of relief when he gets a cell phone call from one of his team.
Sitting back at her desk, Sloane picks up Ellie's file again.
As the months pass, Sloane remotely keeps tabs on her daughter and becomes closer to Gibbs. At least, until the John Ross and Sweeney case drives her over the edge. After telling Ross her backstory and the fact that she is a POW and carries the guilt of not saving her crew, she is equally upset when she finds out he has a daughter that he never met. Watching Ross talk to his daughter on the street outside the post office, Jack feels jealous. She knows exactly where her daughter is, but cannot get the courage to approach her. Noticing John get back in the car, she asks with forced cheer, "How did it go?"
"Great! She wants to meet with on her day off next week."
"Well, that's exciting," Jack replies as she starts the engine. Driving back to Ross' house, the blonde listens politely at the man's rambling before leaving him at his home. Turning on to the main road five minutes later, Jack drives to a familiar house. Parking outside, she debates entering the home knowing she is not invited. Deciding she needs a friend, Sloane turns of the ignition and steps out of the car and up to Gibbs' front door.
Walking inside, the blonde easily takes the stairs to the basement.
"You really need to get a lock on the front door," Jack admonishes before making her way to the bourbon. Pouring a glass, the blonde sits on one of the chairs.
"Ross got to meet his daughter tonight," Jack states as she sips her drink.
"Yeah?" Gibbs asks not looking up from his woodwork. Instead he waits for her to speak. Even a therapist needs a therapist sometimes. After a moment, Jack asks, "Is it wrong to feel jealous?"
"Of Ross?" Gibbs asks.
"That he got to meet his daughter, and I don't."
"What's holding you back?" He asks not knowing until now that she even has a daughter. Jack sighs before answering, "I don't want to ruin her life. She doesn't even know she's adopted."
Turning away from his work, Gibbs asks how she knows.
"I've been keeping tabs on her since I started working here," The blonde reluctantly admits. Neither talks for a while until Gibbs asks, "Do I know her?"
Startled from her thoughts, Jack asks Gibbs to repeat himself.
"Do I know her?" He reiterates. "I figure she works in the building."
Deciding not to lie, Jack nods.
"You know her."
Pouring herself another glass, the analyst asks, "You know she's the reason I was loyal to my team? I mean, I don't regret my decision to give her up. I wasn't ready to be a parent at twenty."
Jack scoffs at her own comment adding, "I couldn't be a parent now. It's just, that team was mine. I had this protectiveness over them, and then I messed it up."
Gibbs watches as Jack takes another swig of his bourbon and soon realizes his almost full bottle is now half empty.
"Jack, how much have you had?" Gibbs asks. She shrugs.
"Two? Three?" She wonders aloud. "I used to be a fun drunk. One time I got a guy to play darts with me in a bar. That was fun."
With her rambling, Gibbs guides a now drunk Jack Sloane upstairs to the living room. Placing her in front of the couch, he watches her sit down.
"Stay," He orders before grabbing water from the fridge and a trash can. Jack sends Gibbs a confused glance in regard to the trash can.
"You'll need it," Gibbs states before heading toward the stairs.
Somehow her coming to his house becomes a regular occurrence after that night. One night, Sloane watches Gibbs a moment as he works on his boat.
"You gonna stand there all night, Jack?" He asks not looking up from his sanding. Descending the stairs, Jack makes her way to the stools.
"Which seat is taken?" She asks causing Gibbs to stop his work. His mind flashes back to a fuzzy memory of a bar, but he shakes his head. Instead, he replies, "Neither."
Jack nods before sitting down and pouring herself a drink.