When she saw him again, everything came back.
Images from her past, their past, came rushing in the forefront of her
mind. Memories of what had been, of Paris, of that farm in Serbia.
Memories and images that she had buried in the deepest parts of her
mind years ago.
She knew when she accepted the job that she would see him again. She
had expected it. But it still didn't mean that she would feel nothing
upon seeing him. When she turned to face him on that day, the day she
became director of the NCIS, it had been like going back in time, when
they were partners. He hadn't changed, or at least, not much.
She could see the surprise in his eyes, surprise at seeing her here,
surprise at seeing her again after she decided to leave him both
professionally and personally. But she had done what was the best for
her and her career. And she knew she had been right. Now, she was
Seeing him now, after all these years, she realised that she still had
the same feelings for him. She had pushed them away when she left him,
but they were coming back full force, now. It was strange what feelings
the mere sight of him provoked. But she shouldn't be that surprised;
the very first time she met him, it had been quite the same. She should
have guessed that setting her eyes on him again would renew her
feelings for him.
She observed him as he processed the thought that she was here, and it
was her and not just someone who looked like her. She saw his eyes
change just a bit, just enough for her to notice, and she knew that he
was thinking of their time together. She knew because she knew him.
"Should we skip the 'You haven't changed a bit' bull?"
"Why start lying to each other now, Jen?"
'Jen'; he was one of only a few people who called her that.
"Any problem taking orders from me?" she challenged.
"As director, or as a woman?"
"That was six years ago. The past won’t be a problem."
He had stood up and she watched him as he was now descending the
stairs. She held his eyes and he stopped only a few feet away from her.
Neither of them broke the gaze, and she could see a little something in
his eyes that told her he would soon be teasing her.
And she hadn't been mistaken.
"You were a damn good agent. Especially under cover."
She could hear the double-entendre in his words. She knew that he
wasn't only talking about their work, but also about their personal
"Jethro," she warned him, not wanting him to go too far, not when other people were watching and listening to them.
She smiled at him, and he returned it. It was at that moment that she realised that he really hadn't changed a bit.
She always had a thing for his voice. He had a deep, rich voice.
She remembered their times together in Paris when he whispered words in
her ears. They were undercover and no one could hear them talk. But she
also remembered him saying her name as they were making love, both in
Paris and in that farm in Serbia. She really loved his voice.
But there were also times when she hated it. There were times when they
would fight because she voiced her disapproval of a decision he had
been making. They would shout at each other, and his voice would take
an angry edge.
Though there had been only one time when she was really hurt by his
voice. It had been the day she had told him she was leaving both his
team and him. His voice had stayed calm, or so she thought at first.
Soon enough, she had realized that it wasn't calm. No, it was cold;
there had been no feelings in his voice when he spoke. And to this day,
she could still remember it, and the words he had said to her.
Right now, though, she listened to him as he told her about one of
Tony's first missions with the NCIS. They were sitting on her couch, in
her office, eating the dinner he had brought for them when he realized
she would work late once again.
"He did not!" she exclaimed.
"Yes, he did end up in the hallway in nothing but his boxer shorts," he
repeated, chuckling as he remembered the sight. "Superman ones, I might
add. But he deserved it with the way he had treated her, all day long."
"He should have known that even while undercover, there are just some things you don't say to a woman."
"Yeah, but you and I both know how he can be."
A comfortable silence fell upon them, as they finished eating their dessert.
"Thank you for the dinner, and the good laugh, Jethro," she said, when
she realized it was high time to put a stop to this. "It was great but
I should go back to work."
"No. You should go home, Jen," he retorted.
"I know, but the work of a director is never really done. There's
always a report to read and sign, and hundreds of other things to
do…," she trailed off, knowing that, despite what she might say,
he was right.
"They never told you all this when they offered you a job, and you signed up for it, did they?"
"Do you still resent me?" she couldn't help but ask the question she had in her mind since the day she saw him again.
"For leaving, for taking the position here," she said, knowing that was the two things he could blame her for.
"You did what you had to do, Jen," he replied.
His voice was calm, but she wasn't fooled by it. She could hear that he
still didn't approve her choices. She didn't like hearing his voice at
times like these.
"You were a damn good agent, Jen, but you wanted more. I can understand that."
"You told me you were leaving just the day before you did! I felt like
you didn't care anymore, like your job, our partnership, didn't mean
anything to you, anymore."
"I didn't know how to tell you," she admitted for the first time.
Gibbs sighed. She knew that at one point or another, they were going to
have that conversation, but she hadn't been ready for this.
"You should go home, Jen," he repeated his previous words, as he stood up from the couch.
She watched as he gathered the remainders of their dinner, and threw them away in the trash.
"Jethro?" she called, as he was about to open the door.
"We're fine, don't worry. It all happened a long time ago."
She'd recognized his odor anywhere. It was a mix of coffee and sawdust. It was kind of unique. What was making him Gibbs.
Even when they were in Paris, and he couldn't possibly work on his
boat, he still smelt like sawdust. She had never uncovered that
mystery, and she probably never would.
It was a constant in him, and it reassured her. It meant that even if
he tried to sneak up on her, she would know he was there because she
would recognize his odor.
"Will you finally tell me what you do with them once you're done?" she asked him from the top of his basement stairs.
He didn't give away that he heard her or not, but she knew he did. He
just kept on working on his latest boat. She descended the stairs,
waiting for an answer, but when one didn't come, she continued.
"And how many times do we have to remind you? You shouldn't leave your front door open. Anyone could enter."
"So, I am anyone to you, now?"
"I came here to fix things between us. Nothing more," she said, holding her hands up that she wasn't here to fight for him.
She watched him as she was waiting for him to say something, anything.
He was working with his plane on his boat, sawdust falling at his feet.
This explained one part of the mix that constituted his odor. The other
part was sitting on the bench behind him. Walking towards it, she
picked it up and took a sip. Her face contorted at the taste.
"It's been sitting here since I came back."
"I'll go make one for myself. Do you want another one?"
He just shrugged his answer, and she took it as the yes it probably was.
His kitchen was as clean as she suspected it to be; she knew that what
little time he spent at home, he was spending it in his basement. But
she immediately spotted that his love for coffee had called for not any
coffee-maker. Instead he had a percolator sitting in his kitchen.
Grabbing two mugs from one of the cupboards along with an unopened
packet of coffee, she quickly worked on fixing some fresh coffee for
the both of them, before going back to the basement.
"Here you go."
Putting the plane down, he took the cup she offered him.
"This is a really good coffee you have here. Where did you find it?"
"Mike," was his only answer between two sips. "So… What did you come here for?"
"I told you. I wanted to fix things…"
"There's nothing to fix, Jen," he interrupted her. "We argued about a work matter, it happens."
"I guess… So will you tell me?"
"What?" he asked and she couldn't help but roll her eyes at him.
"What you do with your boats once you're done with them. You know we're quite a few who wonder."
"I know. But where would be the mystery if I do tell you?" he replied with a smile.
She returned his smile with one of her own before taking another sip of
her coffee. It was a really good one, she should have Mike send her
She watched as he took the plane and continued his work as if she
weren't there. He was concentrated on what he was doing. She knew that
the boats meant something for him, though she had never found the guts
to ask what. It wasn't her place anymore to ask, and she wondered if it
"Where did you learn to construct boats by the way?" she couldn't help but ask.
"My father taught me, a long time ago."
"It looks like a good way to relax."
"It is. You want to try?" he asked, handing her the plane.
"You'll have to show me what to do. I wouldn't want to ruin all your work."
"Come here," he said, gesturing for her to come and stand between him
and the boat. "Now put your hands like this, and move the plane slowly."
His hands were on hers, showing her what she should do, but she wasn't
registering it. Her back was pressed against his chest and she could
smell him more clearing than before. That scent that was unique to him.
It had been years since the last time she had been so close to him.
There had been a reason why she didn't allow herself to stand so close
to him since she saw him again. But right now, she didn't want to think
She just wanted to be so close to him that she could identify every single layer of his odor clearly. Just like before.
From the balcony, she watched as the team took their places at their
respective desks. It had been just a matter of minutes. If they had
stayed just a few minutes more, they would have been caught in the
When she had received his phone call, she had been so relieved that a
few tears had escaped. And now, as she exchanged a nod with him, she
felt more welling up in her eyes. She walked quickly to her office,
ignoring Cynthia's concerned voice, and took a few deep breaths to keep
them at bay.
She had been about to manage the task when the door opened and closed
quickly behind her. She didn't need to turn around to know who it was.
Only he would enter her office without knocking.
She was expecting him to talk, to tell her what happened there, but she
certainly hadn't expected him resting his hands on her shoulders.
Without saying a word, he made her turn around, and something must have
shown on her face, because the instant she was facing him, she was in
Despite her best resolutions, she let herself cry in the safety of his
arms, knowing that he wouldn't judge her. One of his hands was running
circles against her back, as the other was buried in her hair. His
touch soothed her and soon her tears stopped falling.
She didn't move though, not wanting him to see her tear-streaked face.
But after a while, he grabbed her by the shoulder, and pushed her away
from him. She thought he would leave, but instead he took her hand and
guided her to the couch. He sat down beside her, and put his arm around
her shoulders. She let her head fall against his shoulder, and just
enjoyed the feel of him beside her.
Biting her bottom lip, she took his free hand in hers and let her thumb
run on the back of it. They didn't speak for a long while, they just
stayed there, thinking about what had almost happened.
In the end, Gibbs was the one to break the silence.
"You should go home, Jen."
She sighed in answer, but didn't move nor release his hand from hers.
"Jen…," he started, getting ready to insist.
"I know, I know. Just give me a few more minutes, Jethro."
Silence fell upon them once again.
Outside, the sun was setting, the sky taking its red-orange hue, but
they weren't really noticing it. She was pretty sure that aside from a
few people, they would soon be alone in the building. She should leave,
go home, have a drink and rest, but like she told him, she didn't want
to, not just yet.
"I truly thought…," she started. "I tried, Jethro."
"Stop thinking about that, now. We're all here and we're all fine."
"It was just a matter of minutes."
"Stop it, Jen," he said, more forcefully this time.
She looked at him as he released her hand and stood up. He turned to look at her.
"Go home, rest, and stop thinking about what ifs."
Before she could answer, he bent down and kissed her forehead. She
closed her eyes at the touch, and only opened them again when she heard
the door closing behind him.
The skin of her forehead was tingling where his lips touched her. Her
own lips slowly stretched into a smile, the first one of the day.
If she suspected it before, now she knew for sure; she was not over him. She still loved him.
She was screwed.
As their lips met in a passionate kiss, her mind couldn't help but
register that even if many years had gone by, he still tasted the same.
Kissing him was familiar territory, it was like coming back home.
It had been another close call, and this time she refused to take no
for an answer. But as she felt his hands holding her head in place, she
knew he wasn't going to resist. They both wanted this so much.
If someone told her when she became director of the NCIS that this was
how it was going to end, she wouldn't have believed them. She had been
so sure that she was over him, had been for years. But she had been
wrong. The feelings she had buried deep inside her came back full force
after she had found out about he and Hollis.
She had hoped she could control them, control herself, but if the present moment was any indication, she had failed miserably.
"Stop thinking, Jen," he whispered against her lips.
She was about to answer when she felt his lips descend on her neck,
nipping and kissing the skin he found there. A moan escaped her lips,
and she couldn't think clearly anymore.
"That's better," he chuckled against her skin.
"Jethro…," she moaned his name, before bringing back his lips to hers.
When they parted for air, she grabbed his hand, and tugged him towards
the stairs. As they began their ascent to her bedroom, they resumed
kissing. Her hands attacked the buttons of his shirt, but before she
could unbutton them all, he stopped her. She questioned him with a
look, but he didn't say anything. He just grabbed her at the waist, and
brought her closer to him. To prevent from falling, she wrapped her
legs around him, and he carried her the rest of the way to her bedroom.
They fell on the bed, resuming their kisses, and taking each other's clothes off.
Afterwards, she lay beside him, her head resting on his chest,
listening to his heartbeat. She kissed the patch of skin above his
heart, before rising on her elbows to look at him.
"So what now?" she asked, biting her bottom lip.
"You tell me. You were the one seducing me, after all."
"I beg your pardon?" she replied, her mouth hanging slightly open. "I
seduced you? I don't think I heard any complaints coming from you!"
"There wasn't. What do you want, Jen?"
"I think I've made myself pretty clear," she said, kissing his lips. "But…"
"But…?" he prompted when she didn't continue.
"I'm the director, you work for me."
"That didn't stop us, before," he reminded her, referring to the
previous relationship when he was her superior. "If you're thinking
about what other people might say, and how this could affect our
"It won't. Affect it, I mean. We both know better. You and I being a
couple doesn't mean you will finally obey my orders without questions,"
she said, laughing. She paused, sighing, before looking into his eyes.
"What about you?"
He didn't answer her verbally.
Instead, he rolled them over until he was on top of her, and kissed
her. She didn't need him to say anything; she knew his answer.
Sight, hearing, smell, touch and taste, all her senses were attacked at once by one Leroy Jethro Gibbs. And she was enjoying it.