To This Day
Leroy Jethro Gibbs was not a man easily felled by emotion. He prided himself on being able to keep his emotions in check. The only time anyone could remember Jethro Gibbs revealing his emotions was after he had been in the explosion. His memories alone could bring even stronger men to their knees.
He stood outside the tattoo parlor in the rain, watching the flickering neon light. He was debating going inside. While it was true that he had gotten tattoos for his other fallen agents, tattooing an outline of a bullet did not seem appropriate enough to commemorate the memory of his fallen lover and friend. Finally making up his mind, he pushed open the door and walked inside. The bell above the door chimed, and with the chime brought a small, pixie like girl from the back room.
"Can I help you?" she asked, clearly confused by the older man's presence.
"Is Jim here?" Gibbs asked, naming the tattoo artists that had done his previous tattoos.
"No, his wife just had a baby, he'll be out for at least another week," the girl replied. "But I can help you." Gibbs thought about it for a moment and then nodded his head.
"I want to get a tattoo, in memory of someone special," Gibbs said.
"You're wife?" the girl guessed as she pulled a binder off of a shelf. A small smile involuntarily spread on his face.
"No, thank God," Gibbs said.
"Why do you take a look at this book, and I'll be back in ten minutes," the girl said as she handed the book to Gibbs. Gibbs took the book from her hands and she disappeared behind the curtain leading to the next room. Gibbs opened the book and began looking through. The tattoos in the book were obviously designed to be memorial tattoos. Graves, roses, and calligraphy adorned the worn pages. Finally spotting a design that he liked, he stopped looking. A few minutes later, the girl reappeared.
"Did you find something?" she asked and Gibbs nodded.
"Just one thing," Gibbs said. "Can you replace the roses with orchids? They were her favorite flower."
"Sure, just give me a couple minutes to draw this out," the girl said, taking the book to the counter with her. After a few minutes of drawing she looked up at Gibbs.
"What name do you want in it?" she asked.
"Jenny," Gibbs said, swallowing the lump that had grown in his throat just by saying her name. A smile crossed the girl's face.
"That's a nice name," she said as she continued drawing. "What happened to her?"
"She was murdered," Gibbs said simply. There was no need to use the cover up that NCIS had fabricated to explain Jenny's death. The girl didn't know who he was referring to.
"That's horrible," the girl said. Gibbs didn't reply.
Twenty minutes into his tattoo the girl started talking again.
"Tell me about her," she said. "She obviously meant a lot to you."
Gibbs began talking. He told her how they met, how she broke his heart, how her smile could make him weak at the knees. He talked about how he admired how headstrong she was and how he couldn't even bring himself to look at her broken body.
When the girl was finished with the tattoo, she instructed Gibbs on how to care for it and then hugged him tightly. Taken by surprise, Gibbs awkwardly returned the hug.
"Thank you," was all he said, and it was all he needed to say. The girl smiled.
To this day, if you're lucky enough to see Jethro Gibbs with his shirt off, you will catch a glimpse of an elaborate tattoo on his shoulder, opposite of his bullets. It is an image of a gravestone surrounded by orchids and a single name inscribed in the middle; Jenny.
So what did you think? I was reading some of my older one shots and realized that since the death of Jenny, he would need to get a new tattoo. Please review!