From Her Perspective
Genre: Slight Romance/Angst/Character Study
Pairings: Jenny/Gibbs minor hints at Jenny/Ziva
Characters: Cynthia Sumner, Jenny Shepard, Jethro Gibbs
Warnings: Minor hints at Jenny/Ziva. General season 4 spoilers.
Word Count: 1,529
Summary: Written for the NFA 'Cynthia Knows' Challenge. Set by ChannelD. The challenge is to:
Tell a story about an item (or more than one item) that Cynthia knows about. The future of NCIS may or may not depend on what Cynthia does, but people's feelings ... reputations ... even their jobs might.
Notes: This is a style of writing that I like to write in. I've been given high praise for other stories I have written in this way. Repeated words and short phrasing are deliberate. The way I have written this is entirely deliberate. The words are supposed to be like they are. I've been told this way of writing is slightly poetic, and I agree. I think it's interesting, I hope you do too. :-) Enjoy the story.
She sits there everyday, watching. She is the middle. Everyone must pass by her to see The Director. She knows the inner workings of this agency. She knows more than most. She knows more about the agents, about the dignitaries. All. Everyone. She knows about them all. She is observant. She sees things which certain people may not want her to see. She knows things certain people would not want her to know. She is the quiet observer. The one who knows more than the rest. For she is the go between.
The levels of interaction vary from person to person. Sometimes she barely says hello, other times she is the central focus. But mostly, she is the quiet observer, in a position of great knowledge. Knowledge of secrets. Secrets about people in this agency. Secrets that if told, would certainly disrupt the workings of this agency. Secrets which could affect their jobs. This is why she says nothing. She respects her co-workers and her boss. She wishes no harm. She sees things not meant for her to see. She is curious. She listens to things she shouldn't. She is sometimes tempted to share this information, but her consciousness and rational thought take over and make her reconsider her actions.
In the beginning she used to try and stop him. He frustrated her. Barging in unannounced, not noticing that she was there. That she was there for a purpose. He just passed her by. Like she didn't matter. She knew why he was there. He doesn't know that she knows. She will never speak this to anyone. She knows what he does. She knows what they do. She can hear them. She knows.
The walls are thin. She has heard them. She has heard them bicker for a while, perhaps a cover? She isn't sure. She has heard complete silence. She has heard faint sounds. Whispers. Sometimes clear. Sometimes not. She has heard thumps. Bumps. Laughs. Discrete screams. Pleasurable screams. She wonders if anyone thinks to think of her. If they know she knows, if they even think she knows. She knows they break his rule twelve. She knows he'll never admit it.
She has seen him come out of her office; clothes ruffled, hair messy. In this moment she thinks he may know that she does indeed know what he is doing here with The Director. Though she never says a word to him. He sometimes looks in her direction, perhaps a way to gauge her reaction? Perhaps as a warning?
She knows of Ziva and Jenny's talks. She knows of their conversations about their past. She knows Ziva and Jenny are good friends. She knows Ziva is a different person around her friend. She sees the emotion Ziva shows when she is around Jenny. She knows this is because of the trust they share. She knows it takes a lot to earn Ziva's trust. She notices the occasional peck on the cheek greeting between the two women. She notices sometimes the 'peck on the cheek' lasts a little longer than it should. She sees the discreet smile Ziva flashes to Jenny when she leaves. She knows when Ziva does this and Gibbs is in the vicinity he sees it, he is jealous. He knows Ziva does it to tease him. He knows it works. Ziva knows it works, which is why she continues to do it.
She knows they have history. She knows it is over between them. But she knows they still care. She knows Gibbs doesn't know, but he suspects something. She knows Jenny will never tell Gibbs. If Gibbs finds truth it will be on his own accord and through his own effort. She knows Ziva trusts Jenny. She knows it is mutual; Jenny trusts Ziva. She knows Jenny is a different person when around Ziva and Gibbs, or Jethro as he is to Jenny. She knows Jenny is vulnerable. She knows she is also strong. She knows she is good at her job. This is why she doesn't tell. She keeps her secrets to herself. Mostly.
Sometimes she lives to tell someone of what she knows. She finds the behaviour of the people in this agency predictable. A routine. A routine they are set in. Sometimes she wishes to tell someone her knowledge to break things up. She knows she wouldn't be employed if she did. This is why she keeps quiet. She likes her job. She likes her secret authority. She likes her position. She likes knowing all.
Sometimes she wishes she was like them. Included in the action of their jobs. Included in the mystery. The mystery beyond the walls of her office. She has her own authority. It is not an obvious authority. It is silent. It is secret. It is her secret. She knows of Tony's visits. She knows he is keeping a secret, like she is. She knows Jenny is proud of Tony. She knows it takes courage to keep secrets. She does it herself. She knows Jenny has many secrets. She knows Tony does not know of them. She knows them. One can learn a lot from observation. She has perfected the art. She knows how it works. She knows of Gibbs's disapproval of Tony's secret missions. She knows of his uncertainties. She knows of Jenny's trust in him. She knows Gibbs has tried to get Jenny to talk about it. Gibbs is a curious person, he likes to solve mysteries. He is good at solving mysteries. A reason for him being such a good agent. She believes he will one day find out. He is persistent. She knows Jenny is stubborn. She knows she learnt that from Gibbs. She knows Jenny likes hiding things from Gibbs. She knows it gives her power. She knows it is a way of getting back at him for not telling him his secrets in Paris. She knows about Paris. She knows what happened. She has heard them speak of it. Argue about it. Remember it. Re-live it.
She knows of Jenny's feelings. She sees it in her eyes. She knows Jenny misses Gibbs. She knows she has regrets. She knows Jenny. She understands her. She has gone to her for advice. She has developed a friendship with her. She knows Jenny respects her. She won't break that respect. She knows respect and trust are very important traits to Jenny. She has seen Jenny break down. She has seen her cry. She has seen her lonely. She knows her heart longs to be captured by someone again.
She knows Jenny is afraid. She knows Jenny's once in a life time was Gibbs. She knows she's practical. She knows this is a common trait between her and Gibbs. She knows they are two peas in a pod. She knows Jenny is Gibbs's protégé. One of the few that succeeded in capturing his heart. The one that broke his heart. The one he loved. The one he still loves. She knows of this. It is in their eyes. In their gestures. She is observant. She sees. She knows. Their interaction is like an open book to her. She is intrigued by it.
She sees the way the other agents act nervously around Jenny. She sees the slight fear in their eyes. She sees Jenny's authority shadow over them. She knows Jenny has the right words to say. She knows how to use them. She herself has a 'right words vocabulary' for use in different situations. She knows how to speak to people.
As she shuts her computer down and switches it off, she smiles. She gets up and walks over to her boss's door. She knocks. She hears Jenny say 'enter'. She enters. She smiles at her boss. She says goodnight. Jenny says the same back. She feels proud to be apart of this agency. This team. She knows their secrets. She knows how they work, how they get along. How they disagree. How they meld together to create a great team. She goes to the parking lot, to her car. She drives home. Leaving the world of secrets behind and entering a different world, where she is not hiding anything. One where she is herself. Where she has no problems. Where she is allowed to be imperfect. Where she is allowed to relax and think only of herself. She spends her day doing things for others, she likes having this time to herself, where she can be selfish. Where she is the one who matters. Her life is separate from her work. She loves her job. But she loves her other life. The life which is not dependant on other people's wishes, only on her own. Her name is Cynthia Sumner, her importance may not be obvious, but she matters. She knows Jenny values her work. She knows Jenny values the way she works. She knows Jenny appreciates her ability to keep secrets secret. She is happy to. She likes this trust. As she lays down at night, she smiles to herself. She knows she is valued. Even if it isn't always obvious. That is what matters to her: she is valued.
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