Title: Simple Silence

Author: Tearsofamiko

Rating: K

Disclaimer: I borrowed the fluffiness, but only briefly.

Spoilers: None, really, except for a brief mention of Twilight.

Summary: Warmth and comfort are sometimes all that's necessary.

A/N: I'm in a Jibbs kinda mood tonight. So, I took a break from my normal Kibbs-ness and wrote this. :) Simple fluffiness.

Damn, but the bourbon wasn't doing it tonight.

It'd been a long day, a tough case, and the comfort he needed just wasn't coming. He glared across the room at the bottle on his workbench, as though a dirty look could make it stand up and do its job. Of course, there was no response from the bottle and he leaned his head back against his boat, staring at the ceiling.

"God, I miss you, Jenny," he whispered to the rafters, picturing her as she'd looked in Paris, all those years ago. She'd been so innocent then, so full of life and laughter. The woman she was now was so far removed from that girl he'd known, he barely recognized her anymore. And, while the change thrilled him just as much as her laughing eyes had years ago, sometimes he needed the lightness she'd been, simply to banish the memories.

He pulled a tired hand down his face, trying to wipe away the exhaustion, the pain that pulled at him. Cases involving widows and/or small children always did this to him, always brought the old memories into biting focus. Normally the bourbon was enough to dull the edge, enough to mellow him out enough to allow sleep to take him. And, if that didn't work, he'd work on his boat, smoothing and shaping the wood, controlling his creation even though he couldn't control the memories. Rarely did both fail him.

So, he sat there in the coolness of his refuge, feeling out-of-place and restless. Finally, as a last resort, he snatched his keys and cell phone off the workbench and vaulted up the stairs, out into the cold night.

He drove for a while, letting the monotony of the moonlit scenery lull him. It wasn't quite the same effect as the alcohol, but it came close. And, though he didn't believe in coincidences, he wasn't surprised when he pulled to a stop outside her house.

Despite the late hour, a light still burned within the house, testament to the long hours she pulled, even as Director. He really wasn't sure what he was doing here but as he saw a shadow pass in front of the window, he turned off his car and pulled himself out into the night. Feeling no remorse, he snapped open his cell phone and dialed the number. She was up and he needed her and, for once, maybe she'd listen. He watched the single lit window as he leaned against his car and listened to the ring-tone in his ear.

"A little late, isn't it, Jethro?" her silken voice questioned.

"Oh, I don't know," he replied in a low voice, "what's late when you can't sleep?"

"If your insomnia's bothering you, Jethro, there are other things you can do besides calling me."

"What, paperwork, like you?"

She paused for a second, her pacing shadow centered in the window. "How do you--?"

"Look out the window, Jenny."

He watched her shadow turn, then the curtain split and he could see her. Her hair was down around her shoulders, one tendril curling against her collarbone. Even from where he was standing, he wanted to follow that curl with his fingers.

"Don't you have other people you could stalk, Jethro?" she asked, a hint of exasperation threading through her voice.

"None quite like you, Jen," he replied. "None quite like you."

He saw her rest a hand on the windowpane and heard her sigh echo in the phone. "Come on up, Jethro."

He snapped his phone shut and went to the door. A minute later, it opened, spilling out light and warmth. He stepped in as she closed it behind him and pulled her robe tight around her. They turn at the same time and head for her study. As she poured two glasses of bourbon, he made short work of lighting a fire in the fireplace and they both sit on sofa. In the quiet darkness of her study, he watched the flames leap, simply holding the glass he'd been given, no longer restless. Glancing over at her, he saw her regarding him with dark eyes over her glass. As their eyes meet and hold, he felt the tension of the long day, the hard case, fade and morph into tension of a completely different sort.

"It's been a long time, Jethro," she murmurs eventually, her voice like a drug to him, and he lets it pull him under, pull him back to Paris, when things were so much better between them. She watches him, her eyes knowing, and she shifts a little closer to him on the couch. He leans into her warmth, feeling something unclench in his chest, a release he'd not felt since long before losing Kate on that rooftop. He'd forgotten what it was like to be with her, not as her employee, but simply as a man. And after a long day, the comfort she offers is more than welcome. He lifts an arm and wraps it around her, pulling her close, and she comes, willingly. Here, in her home, there are no games to play, no rules to follow; there are only the memories of what once was and the hope of what could be.

They sit in silence, taking comfort from each other, content with just that. He doesn't volunteer his reasons for coming and she doesn't press for an answer. They simply hold each other, letting loose the emotions, holding them back at the same time. There are no declarations of love and no vows exchanged; simply warmth and comfort and old affection.

And, he realizes, that's all he needed: simple silence, in the same room with her.