last chapter alert! this is technically an epilogue. i'm not going to keep you from the story more than i have to, so:


3 days later, the word 'Binx' appeared twice in the daily paper's obituaries. Once for Janice Binxson, 9 years old, whose cause of death wasn't listed though her killer had died in an explosion at Arlington. The second one for Sarah Emily McGee-Binx, age 24.

Both their funerals were held next to each other. Janice's entire soccer team came to place flowers on the small casket, and to pay their respects for the investigator's sister, who'd died at the same place and time that their teammates' killer had.

The McGees had understood when their eldest son had finally admitted their real last name, only to be able to put it in the paper under a death notice. They'd also understood when he changed his legal name.

The entire NCIS MCRT came to the funeral, as did Danielle Dennison and her brother Max, her sister-in-law Allison, and her niece Emily. She was given civilian honors for sacrificing herself for her brother and the team he belonged to.

The only person missing was Sarah McGee-Binx's older brother, Timothy Thackery McGee-Binx, who had disappeared the day before after saying something about a suitcase in his old place.

Just as the line of people laying roses on Sarah's coffin ended, he made it to the end, breathless and holding onto a small bundle of brown cloth and a rusty steel helmet.

The men hired to lower the coffin were stopped so he could have a final word, by a certain ex-Marine, who sort of scared them both after the younger tried to protest.

Ok, not sort of. He did scare them.

"Almost didn't make it," he breathed. "Flights to Salem were delayed because of a storm. It'd be kinda hard to play without these, huh Sar?" McGee laid the Pocahontas costume and the John Smith helmet on the wood. "Just hold onto that for me for now. I'll get it back when I see you again, promise."

A breeze gently shook the trees surrounding them, bringing a noise that sounded suspiciously like a girl's giggle to the NCIS team. "I'll hold you to that." McGee wasn't sure if he was imagining it, or if he actually heard it, but that was definitely Sarah's voice. "Love ya, big bro."

McGee swallowed, fighting back a single tear. "Love ya too," he whispered, standing again.

Both funerals ended at the same time, but the procession coming from Sarah McGee-Binx's, headed by Abby, Gibbs, and McGee, filled the air with jazz music.

The same song she'd played at Kate's.

couldn't resist putting that last part in.

by the way, dreameralways has brought up an excellent point in a review, if you've read it. i actually took some liberties for the first case: McGee doesn't want to disturb the graves of Civil War soldiers because it was the first MAJOR war after the Revolutionary, which he'd had to live through and see firsthand. anyone who'd had to watch-or hear rumors of, there were no battles north of the Carolinas- the descendants of families that were once united to fight off England tear themselves apart would want to respect those who died. couldn't've helped that it was the bloodiest war in American history either.

as for the Arlington situation, the National Cemetery was actually established on what used to be Robert E. Lee's land during the Civil War. since the Binxes lived 200 years before it, they were buried just outside of what would turn out to be the Army and Air Force's main cemetery without ever knowing it.

hope that clears things up.

thank you to EVERYONE who reviewed and favorite and alerted and all that good stuff, i 3 you all.

this is the end of the world as we know it, and i feel ok, really. (longest A/N ever, sorry!)