Jenny Shepard, Director of NCIS, desperately fought the urge to yawn and rub her eyes. It felt like days since she had been out of MTAC and saw daylight. Even if it was just through a large glass window in her office. She had been running an op most of the night and then had a morning meeting with Sec-Nav about the NCIS budget. She had been running off coffee for longer than she could remember and really needed to sleep, but she still had to get through the whole work day before she could even consider going home, let alone get some sleep.
"Goodbye, Sir." She finally managed to say before turning to one of the technicians and slicing her hand across her throat, indicating for them to cut the connection. She let out a large sigh before walking up the ramp out of MTAC. The light from the catwalk stung her eyes as they adjusted to the brightness. She looked down at the bullpen to see Gibbs' team only to find they were all on their lunch break. They didn't have a case at the minute so spent their time at work catching up on paperwork. Just like almost every day of my life now, Jenny thought to herself.
At that moment she heard the ding of the elevator and saw the doors slide open to reveal Leroy Jethro Gibbs. He held two take away cups of coffee in his hands and was looking directly at her. He indicated his head towards his desk and then walked towards it himself to sit down. He took a drink from one of the cups and set the other down on his desk. Jenny did as she was told and walked down the stairs towards Gibbs' desk. She stood directly opposite him.
"That mine?" She asked indicating the extra coffee on his desk.
"Yep," he replied.
"You have no idea how much I need this." She sighed as she picked it up and walked over to sit at Agent McGee's desk opposite Gibbs'. "I feel like I have been in MTAC forever."
"That's what you get for choosing politics over field work Jen," Jethro smirked.
"Whatever Jethro. How's your team?" She asked.
"Fine, although Tony and Ziva are dangerously close to breaking rule 12." He replied. Jen just laughed. "It's not funny Jen. I have rules for a reason."
"I wasn't laughing! It's just a bit hypocritical, isn't it? I mean we broke rule 12." Jenny said with the remnants of laughter in her voice.
"Rule 12 came after us." Jethro corrected her.
"Ok then. Whatever you say, Jethro." Jenny smiled.
What the two ex-lovers were oblivious to, however, was that Hollis Mann, current girlfriend of Gibbs, was standing in the corner listening to the entire conversation. She decided to surprise Gibbs with lunch but instead when she got to the Navy yard she had found her boyfriend and his ex chatting, laughing and flirting with each other. She was just going to leave but she eventually decided to eavesdrop and see what they were talking about.
"You know I still wear the necklace you got me for our anniversary in Paris," Jenny said while she reminisced about the happier times she and Gibbs had.
"Really?" Gibbs said disbelievingly
"Everyday. Remember that photo Ducky took of us outside the Louvre Pyramid in Paris." Jenny asked. She got up and went over to Gibbs taking off her necklace as she walked. She opened the heart shaped locket and handed it to him. He looked down at the photo in his hand and his head was filled with memory's of wonderful times with the woman he loved. No, he thought to himself, I can't be having thoughts like that anymore, I'm with Hollis now. Oh, I don't care, he thought, right now my focus is Jen.
"If I remember correctly we were too wrapped up in one another to notice. He surprised us with a load of photos that evening after he spent most of the day stalking us. We were too busy looking at the artwork and snogging each other to even notice he was following us." Gibbs laughed.
"I know, it's a good job it was only Ducky and not somebody we didn't want following us, or we would have been dead before we could even draw breath," Jenny smiled.
"Well, you always were very good at distracting me Jen," Gibbs smirked.
"Ditto Jethro." Jenny's eyes sparkled with the love she still felt for her old flame and Gibbs' eyes showed the same emotion.
Just as Jethro was about to say something else Jenny's phone rang. She sighed deeply.
"Shepard," she said down the phone without looking at the caller ID. A habit she had picked up from Gibbs years ago. "Oh hi, Abby." She smiled at the familiar sound of the goths voice "what's up? . . . . Oh yeah, that would be great. I'll get Cynthia to move my appointments to later in the day and meet you down in your lab. . . . . see you in a minute Abs." She finished the call and turned back to Gibbs.
"What did Abby want?" Jethro inquired.
"She wanted to know if I was free for a late lunch. What are you having anyway?" She asked out of concern for her, well, she didn't really know what Jethro was to her at the moment.
Jethro just held up his coffee in reply.
"You can't just live off coffee Jethro." Jenny scolded.
"Says you. When was the last time you had a proper meal?" Jethro asked smirking, knowing he had her.
"Point taken. You coming out with us all tonight?" Jenny and the rest of Gibbs' team were all going out for a drink tonight. It was Friday and nobody really cared if they had a hangover tomorrow or not because they didn't have work. Plus Abby's friend had a grand opening of a karaoke bar tonight and had convinced everybody it would be fun.
"Yeah, how did they persuade you to come?" Gibbs knew that Jenny was always really busy with work and rarely let her hair down anymore. He thought it was a shame. The Jenny behind the Director mask was one of the best people you could meet, kind, funny, beautiful, not that she wasn't always that, and a great dancer if you ever got the opportunity to find that out, which he had on several occasions in Europe.
"Abby, I swear you should use that girl in your interrogations. She would crack suspects quicker than you. Plus I need a night off. I'm sick of spending my evenings with nothing but paperwork and a glass of bourbon for company." Jenny's phone then rang again but this time she checked the caller ID before answering. Abby again. "I better go before she sends out a manhunt because I didn't come down when I said I would. See you later Jethro."
"See you tonight Jen," Gibbs smiled as she began to walk away.
"Oh, and Jethro," Jenny started turning around "try not to piss off any sister agency's or the media today, please. I really don't need the paperwork."
"Got it" Jethro smiled as she carried on her walk to the elevator.
Hollis saw Jenny walking in the other direction to the other elevator that takes you down to Autopsy and the lab and started her own journey to Gibbs desk. At the sight of Hollis, Gibbs found himself wishing he wasn't with her, but with the red headed beauty that had just left. He still loved Jenny and he wasn't stupid enough to not notice that she was in love with him too.
He just didn't know how to approach the subject with either woman, to either break up with Hollis or get together with Jen. Why was he such an idiot when it came to love? He then realised that Hollis was standing directly in front of his desk and peering at the jewellery in his hand. He didn't give Jenny her necklace back, he realised.
"What's that?" Hollis asked spying the heart shaped locket in his hand.
"Nothing," Gibbs replied quickly closing the necklace and putting it in his pocket to give to Jen at the bar later. "What are you doing here Hol?"
"Thought you might like lunch as you don't have a case." Hollis replied, "You don't do you?"
"No, where did you have in mind?" Gibbs asked not really wanting to go out for lunch. He would much rather just sit at his desk and finish his work while listening to Dinozzo and Ziva at each other's throats as a cover for fancying each other, or he could go down to see Abby and listen to her talk at ninety miles per hour while McGee stared at her behind her back thinking nobody was noticing.
"Don't mind. Anyway, I chose what we had last night, so it's your turn." Hollis replied.
Gibbs couldn't be bothered to argue with her so just agreed. He just wanted the day to go as quickly as possible so he could see Jenny at the bar later. His mind flashed back to Europe and the nights when he and Jenny would go for a drink and dance and just get lost in each other. The nights where nobody else mattered but them. He missed those nights, and he desperately hoped that he would have more of them one day.
"Come on then," Gibbs said wanting to get this over with. He got up, grabbed his coat and stormed off towards the elevator with Hollis trailing close behind.