Title: Rhapsody in Chanel
Character/ Pairing: Jethro Gibbs, Jenny/Gibbs
Rating: PG-13 for some swearing.
Summary: Her right eye twitches, the green twinkling a slightly deeper shade, and then he's sure... hate isn't what she's feeling. She stops short, wafting her scent to him again. Jen is rhapsody in Chanel-- heady, sensuous, and utterly intoxicating. This is set during Kill Ari... there be spoilers, and ye be warned.
Disclaimer: These characters belong to Donald P. Bellisario, CBS, and a bunch of other folks who certainly aren't me, I'm just borrowing them for a bit. They will each be given a chocolate chip cookie, an espresso, and a free puppy, and will be returned shortly. I earn nothing from the use of them, except some practice in my writing skills and some relief from undergraduate boredom.
This is un-beta'ed, all mistakes are my own.
Movement in the darkened room brings him back to the here and now in MTAC. A female figure in the front row stands amidst congratulatory words. Gibbs' mind charges through names and identities as he attempts to place the woman who feels irritatingly familiar. Tom speaks, "He's your problem now, Director."
The words are nearly lost to Gibbs as she turns and snaps into sharp, almost surreal, focus.
Chanel No. 5 hammers his senses his mind blanks for an instant before thoughts flood in. Not the first of which is how screwed he suddenly feels.
Mostly, he's having a hard time believing that two nights from almost six years ago are about to ruin his life. Two fateful nights in Marseilles.
Two sexy, sweaty, exciting nights in Southern France.
Forty-eight, lousy, yet glorious, hours are about to ruin the life he's spent the intervening years carefully constructing.
Sure it had taken two to tango-- he had been as guilty as she-- but she hadn't had to leave the way she did. Hell, by the time he'd gotten her letter, she'd been nearly six time zones away. She had been the first woman in a long time that had left his things (and his more importantly, his money) behind, taking a chunk of his heart instead.
And yet she made him think of, and miss more keenly after her departure, a red headed girl from home.
Shannon had had an easy smile, a good sense of humor, and had loved him more than he thought he deserved. To this day, there were times, particularly in the summer, when he recalled the smell of her skin; sunshine, roses, and rain wet earth. The smell is still elusive and intangible, not something he can recall on command. It's a scent that sneaks up on him, takes him by surprise... and brings him to his knees. Shannon's scent is still impossible for him to define as anything other than her.
Unlike Agent (now Director, he reminds himself) Shepard. Jen's fragrance had been painfully easy-- Chanel No. 5-- it had a name, and a timeless scent. Six years, and still he thinks of her. Sees her face in his bourbon... smells Chanel in the sawdust of the boats he loves so much... hears her name in each pass of the rasp on wood.
Jen-ny, Jen-ny, Jen, Jen, Jen-ny.
For six years he has smelled Jen everywhere. It had only became bearable months after she left, when he only found her scent in his mind and not on his pillow or in his hair, although it still torments him in his dreams.
As his mind comes slowly back, he feels green eyes burning into him and he feels his former partner in his arms, her body around his. In that instant, he hears his name on her lips as it had been numerous times during their European assignment and he can swear he feels her body move with his as the room swims around him. The memory is a one-two punch in itself, but Jen has one more weapon in her arsenal.
"Hello, Jethro." Her voice is smooth, even... she sounds unruffled. He tries to keep his face neutral as he absorbs the information about as well as he used to take her right cross to his jaw. It's vicious, and apparently hasn't been replaced as her last resort. Six years has either dulled his ability to read her, or someone has taught her how to keep her poker face.
"Should we skip the 'you haven't changed a bit' bull?" She continues her offensive, Gibbs realizes how much she has changed and how much she's stayed the same. Maybe the important things are the same for the most part... but there are subtle changes. Her hair has more blonde highlights to it than it did six years ago, which he thinks looks good on her. She's got a set to her brow that he hasn't seen in a long time, although now there are more lines than there used to be. He finds her angelic as the big screen puts a fluorescent halo around her.
Not that he'll say any of that to her. Instead, he opts for something safe, yet just barbed enough that maybe she won't see how she's shaken him up.
"Why start lying to each other now, Jen?"
For a moment he's afraid it doesn't work. When her brow falls fractionally, he sees that his words have hit home, and for a split second, he longs to take his words back. She moves on with a snap, and he loses his opportunity.
'Too little, too late old man,' he thinks, wondering if they're doomed to dance like this forever. When they leave MTAC a few minutes later, she gets him riled in a nano second... another one of those things that apparently hasn't changed. He slips and calls her Jen during a conversation about work (excuse him for being angry because she's helping protect the person Gibbs' gut tells him is responsible for Kate).
"Special Agent Gibbs!" she snaps, bringing him back up the steps to right below her level, "On the job, it is ‘Director Sheppard’ or ‘Ma’am.’" she warns heatedly. He can't seem to keep his words in his head today, blurting, "Okay, what about off the job?"
He means it as a smart-ass comeback, but surprises himself when he realizes that he means it.
Jen... Director Shepard... shuts him down without a second thought, "There won’t be any ‘off the job,’ Agent Gibbs."
And just like that, he sees his remaining days, weeks, months, or years at NCIS slowly becoming a living hell. Backed into a verbal corner, he does what he has always done best. He puts her on the spot with a second well placed comment.
"That’s too bad," he shifts his voice to a carefully calculated whisper, "I missed you, Jen." Something darkens her gaze, for a moment he can't decide if it's hate he sees, or if it's... lust? Her right eye twitches, the green twinkling a slightly deeper shade, and then he's sure... hate isn't what she's feeling. She stops short, wafting her scent to him again. Jen is rhapsody in Chanel-- heady, sensuous, and utterly intoxicating.
"Don’t make this difficult, Jethro," He's the one making things difficult? Who breezed in here after leaving whom? It certainly had not been him who left her a 'Dear John' letter, or requested reassignment without even telling her. He doesn't give a shit about a "five year plan," he's just as happy being who he is, although he admits he could have handled three fewer alimonies.
"Fair enough," he nods absently, "Won’t happen again. Director." He lets her pass him as she continues down. He can't help but let his eye quickly wander up the clean line her leg makes as it swells gently to form her hip, then from her hip up her back to her shoulder and her neck. She speaks and brings him out of his thoughts.
"We will continue with this conversation in private." He hopes the setting is much more private... he's looking forward to persuading her to see his side of things.