Ashleigh Anpilova


Sometimes Jenny feels she is the servant of two masters.

In this universe Jenny never became sick and didn't die, thus Vance did not become director of NCIS.

An established relationship AR story.

Written: February 2012. Word count: 1,175.



"Director Shepard. Here is today's itinerary."


Jenny takes the piece of paper Cynthia has printed out for her and glances at it. She sighs silently to herself as once again it seems that every hour has been filled with meetings, interrupted only by a working lunch and an early evening cocktail party for all agency directors. Yet again it's unlikely she'll get home until after midnight.


"And Agent Gibbs is waiting outside. He says he needs to see you. I told him you were busy but . . ." Cynthia trails off.


Jenny smiles at her assistant. "I suppose we should be grateful that this time he asked rather than just barged in, shouldn't we?"


Cynthia looks dubious; Jenny doesn't blame her. She's about to tell Cynthia to show Gibbs in, when Cynthia speaks again. "Oh, and a Mr. Kieran Travis called. He said it was a personal matter?" Cynthia looks at her questioningly. Like any good assistant she regards it as part of her job to know everything not only about her boss, but also about the people who contact her boss.


Jenny hides the smile that'd threatened to appear when Cynthia had mentioned the name. "Thank you, Cynthia," she says, taking the note Cynthia has written about the call. "I'll call Mr. Travis back later. Now please show Agent Gibbs in."


Cynthia hesitates for a second; Jenny knows she wants to ask more about Mr. Travis, but also knows she won't. She is that good an assistant. "Very well, Director," she says with only a faint hint of regret in her tone. "I'll show Agent Gibbs in."




Jenny rubs her temples, closes her eyes and leans back against her chair. She has approximately fifteen minutes before she has to leave for a meeting of agency directors - she really thinks having to get together with them all twice in one day is too much.


The meeting with Gibbs had gone, as it always went these days, badly. He'd demanded; she'd refused his demands. He'd got angry; she'd got angrier. He'd threatened to resign; she'd called his bluff. He'd slammed the door on the way out of her office. Even now she has to admire the fact that he can slam a heavy, metal door, but then he's Gibbs.


Standing up to him has left her drained, as it always does. But she'd done it because it was in the agency's best interests that she did so. She was the director, not Gibbs; his team, the other agents, the entire agency needed to know that. It was in the agency's best interests that she was a firm director. It was in the agency's best interests she did what the SecNav insisted she did.


She sighs again. Everything she does these days is 'in the agency's best interests'. At one time she had thought that once she'd got past being the green junior director that the job would get a little easier, that she'd have time for things other than 'the agency'.


However, that has not happened; if anything it has got worse rather than better. And now she feels her entire life is being dictated by the desires and demands of a federal agency not that many people have even heard of. That her life is NCIS.


Except that isn't true; that is only part of it. She isn't just committed to NCIS, not any longer. Now she has someone in her life, someone who also demands her time, her attention, her affection; someone who is growing weary with always being second best, tired of having his wishes always put behind those of the agency's.


She smiles as she thinks of her lover. The man who literally swept her off her feet; the man who only has to call her 'chérie' to make her melt; the man whose British accent is so sexy it makes her shiver; the man who now goes by the name 'Kieran Travis'; the man who the CIA wants back; the man who doesn't want to go back.


Trent, because no matter what alias he goes by he'll always be 'Trent' to her, loves her; of that she has no doubt. He tells her and he shows her, every day; he is always there for her when she returns home each night. No matter how late she is, he always stays awake to take her briefcase from her hands, her coat from her shoulders, he's ready to turn on the shower or run her a bath for her, he's ready to pour her a bourbon, ready to massage her back, ready to kiss her, hold her, make lover to her, ready to show her how much he needs her, desires her, how much her wants some of her time.


She is being pulled in two directions: duty or love. She sometimes feels she is going mad trying to serve them both; is it even possible to serve them both? She's no longer sure. At one time she had believed she could have it all. Now she knows she can't.


She can't run NCIS and love Trent Kort. She cannot give the time she wants to give to the man she loves and run NCIS, at least not in the way it needs to be run. She wonders, not for the first time, how Tom Morrow managed it. He had a wife and a family, he played golf and bridge, he had a life outside of the agency. He wasn't still at his desk at nearly midnight - at least not every night. He had it all, why can't she?


Maybe it's just timing. Maybe it's just the era they are in. Maybe things have just got tougher, maybe there are more threats to national security, maybe naval and marine personnel spend more time on things outside of their jobs, things that involve the agency more than they had done before. Maybe budgets have got tighter, maybe -


Maybe she just isn't cut out for the job. Maybe she never has been. Director of NCIS, a job she's spent her entire career working for, climbing ladders, walking all over people, running along the fast track to achieve. Has it all been a mistake? All for nothing?


NCIS needs a director. Trent needs her. NCIS doesn't love her. Trent does. She doesn't love NCIS; the agency is just a duty to her. She does love Trent.


Duty or love?


She can't have both. She smiles as she finally not only realizes that fact, but also accepts it. In that instant she makes her decision and reaches for her phone. "Cynthia. Please call the SecNav's office and make an appointment for me to meet with him as soon as possible." Before Cynthia can answer, she disconnects the call and instead picks up her cell phone and presses a number.


It rings twice. "Hello, chérie."


She smiles at the sound of the voice. She glances around the office. Yes, she'll miss NCIS, but what is duty when compared to love?



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