One year anniversary of Jenny's death
It had been Ziva's idea really. It seemed it was a Jewish tradition to have a memorial service not at the time of the burial but one year later, on the anniversary of the death. She had talked it over with Abby, who thought it could be like a wake and together they'd set it up. Gibbs wasn't too sure about it but together the two of them were an irresistible force.
Now he sat in a dining room chair dragged into his living room, looking at the people around him. Abby sat next to Ducky on the sofa, her animated features radiating pleasure as she remembered the Director coming to the lab sometimes just to talk to her. How real a person she'd been. You could tell Abby had liked Jenny and admired her. Ducky interrupted her to ask if anyone knew that Jenny had been a long-time fan of cricket? Everyone else in the room groaned and threw various pieces of paper goods at Ducky.
Gibbs smiled. They were all here tonight. Abby and Ducky of course. And McGee sat on the floor, leaning back against the couch near Abby, touching her legs with his shoulder. Always he was near Abby. Tim had turned into a fine agent. In fact, he could be senior field agent on any other team. Gibbs had offered to get him a transfer but had been turned down. McGee preferred to stay near Abby even though he wouldn't admit it. He had admitted to Gibbs, however, that he'd started writing down all the rifffs Tony made off his name. He was going to incorporate them into one of his books.
Jimmy Palmer sat in the love seat across from the couch, his arm draped around Michelle Lee. Like the others they had grown too. Ducky thought Jimmy would make an excellent ME someday, maybe even take his place at NCIS when he retired, which, of course, he did not intend to do for quite some time. Michelle was a rising star in the Legal Department, moving up the ladder fast. He wished them well.
Last of all he looked at Tony and Ziva. Tony too sat in a dining room chair and Ziva stood slightly behind him, her arm draped over his chest as she leaned on the chair. Even as Gibbs watched Tony took her hand and pressed a kiss on her wrist, then kept her hand, folding into his. She leaned closer and kissed him on the cheek.
So far. So good. They'd been together since he'd come back from the Reagan. They'd mostly kept it out of the office to his relief although there'd been that week when they had only communicated by using McGee as a go-between. He'd had to send them home with orders not to come back til they had worked it out. He had alo noticed an added ferocity in Ziva if something or someone threatened Tony. And Tony, Tony still flirted occasionally but anyone who had known the old Tony knew his heart wasn't in it. He mainly did it to make Ziva jealous.
They still played their little one-upsmanship games. Tony still tormented McGee and corrected Ziva's idiomatic mixups. Ziva would still make dire threats if someone got in her way. But on the whole life was good with them. He'd see Ziva looking at Tony sometimes and his heart would ache at the love he saw in her eyes. And sometimes he'd see Tony and he'd just be sitting at his desk, smiling at nothing. At moments like this Gibbs could see how good it was for them.
Often when that happened his thoughts would turn to Jenny and what might have been. Then he'd go home and open the bottle of bourbon he kept in the basement and work on his boat. In fact…he stood up quietly and left the room in the middle of one of Ducky's stories. He found his way to the basement steps and went down in the dark. He walked to his worktable and turn on the light. He emptied out the old coffee from the cup he used down here now, a 20-ounce cup, and poured it full of Maker's Mark. Taking the cup in his hand he walked over to the boat. He ran his fingers over the painted name gently – Jenny. He walked on around until he stood at the foot of the stairs again, remembering her smile, her hair, her way of cuddling up in a chair like a little girl. He lifted his cup "To you, Jenny. I miss you so much." And he drank.
He heard someone behind him.
"Gibbs," she said and rested her head on his shoulder. "I miss her too."
"I know," he said.
He heard footsteps on the stairs and then felt rather than saw Tony come and stand right behind him. No one saying anything. Just being there for him. Both of them just being there with him and for him.
He sent a thought toward Jenny, "They're good, Jenny. They're making it work. I think you must have something to do with it. You must be their guardian angel."
He raised the cup again and took another drink. Then he turned and set the cup down on the counter. He put an arm around Ziva and a hand on Tony's shoulder and said, "Let's go back up before the others miss us."
They got up a couple of steps and he stopped. They stopped with him.
"Thanks," he said.
Ziva kissed him on the cheek and Tony said, "No problem, Boss."