By May, Ziva comes back creating an odd friction for the team. Sloane never meeting her, is less than enthusiastic about the return, simply because she is worried about how it will affect Ellie. Once Ziva leaves again, Sloane becomes doubly concerned. Thankfully, Vance asks her to assess the morale of the team, and is thankful when she corners Ellie by the stairs to finally talk to her, especially after McGee explains how worried he was about her. A few days later, with all three members talked to and nice talk with Gibbs, Sloane is surprised to find the only female agent of the team in her office doorway.
"Can I talk to you?" Ellie asks. Standing from her desk, Sloane answers, "Of course."
Walking away from her desk as Ellie takes the seat offered to her, Sloane shuts her office door.
"What's bothering you?"
"Ziva," Ellie states quickly adding, "Well, not Ziva exactly. She left again, which is good. I bet she wants to see her daughter, but it makes me wonder if my mom," She pauses and takes a breath, "my real mom ever wanted to see me."
Her face softening, Sloane carefully states, "I'm sure she did. Did you every find out what kind of adoption it was?"
Having had two months to finally speak with her parents, Ellie shrugs.
"I'm still too angry to talk to them about it."
"Ellie, it's been two months," Sloane deadpans. With a rather dramatic sigh, Ellie states, "I know! I just still hate that they never told me! Honestly, I should have connected the dots. I'm the youngest by a good amount of years. My brothers teased me, but that's normal sibling stuff. I never fully felt like I fit in."
"Honey, that's normal. None of that necessarily means your adopted."
"But, I am," Ellie pushes.
"It sounds like your family loved you," Sloane remarks thinking how lucky her daughter is to have a normal upbringing instead of one with an absent father and single mother.
"They do, I just feel like I need more answers. Nick said I'd find them, but I've been trying to do some investigating on my own for a month and nothing!"
Secretly pleased her sleauth of a daughter has found nothing, as a professional, Sloane advises, "Talk to your parents."
Rolling her eyes, Ellie teases, "Yes, Mom."
Sloane simply shakes her head willing herself not to cry as she plasters on a teasing smile, "Go. Gibbs has work for you."
Walking Ellie out of her office, Sloane immediatly crawls into the safety of the walls which now hold an elephant painting, and cries. Not for her decision all those years ago, but for the pain that it is going to cause sooner or later.
After work, Ellie ends up walking out of the building with Sloane who teases, "Is Nick not with you tonight?"
Rolling her eyes, the agent answers, "We aren't joined at the hip like you and Gibbs."
Immediately catching her slip up, Ellie starts to back pedal on her words when Sloane teases, "You'd be surprised about the history we have."
Ellie wants to reply, but Sloane says her good bye and walks away. Driving home, the agent's thoughts are filled with her counceling session from that day and finally, she decides to call her parents. In the safety of her apartment, Ellie dials the familar number and waits for an answer. One ring and her mother picks up.
"Ellie!" Her mother exclaims before calling her father to the phone.
"Hey guys," Ellie answers uneasily. "I'm sorry I haven't called. I've just been upset."
With a reassurance that they understand, the family catches up on everything happening in the family before Ellie finally asks, "Do you know anything about my mom or my adoption?"
Silence covers the other line and Ellie is almost sure they hung up when her mother answers, "We actually went to D.C. to pick you up. There was a call about a young woman who was giving her baby up for adoption, and our case worker told us to fly out as soon as possible. We never met her, but were told that the mother wanted to call you Ellie."
Smiling at the thought of her parents keeping the name for her, Ellie asks, "Was it a closed adoption?"
"Yes. We thought to tell you, but most of the time, we would forget you weren't biologically ours. I know that doesn't make up for anything, but I'm glad you called."
"I am too," Ellie replies still surprised that she was born in D.C., and asks, "Do you know what hospital?"
She is given the name, and soon eases into a more relaxed conversation. After hanging up, Ellie does a search to find the hospital, only to find it is demolished ten years before.
Telling what she finds out to Nick as they head up to the bull pen the next morning, Nick remarks, "It's kind of crazy that it burnt down."
"I know! It was too late to call for records, but I figured I'd try if we get some down time today."
"We already working another case?" McGee asks coming in at the end of the conversation. Shaking her head, Ellie answers, "I'm doing some family research, and a hospital I was given burned down about ten years ago."
"Oh," McGee answers adding, "I didn't know you had family here."
Shrugging, Ellie answers, "I didn't either."
Actually time for research, in the middle of the day, Ellie tracks down the hospital records, and is soon on hold. Pacing the break room, Ellie smiles when she sees Sloane come in. Taking the phone away from her ear, Ellie announces, "I talked to my parents last night! They told me the hospital I was born in!"
"Oh," Sloane asks, her eyes going wide. Nodding, Ellie adds, "I'm on hold to track down my birth records now."
"Good for you," Sloane manages thankful for Ellie's phone call to begin again. Smiling a good bye, Sloane quickly heads to her office bracing herself for any drama that may begin.