Rating: FR15 - FR18
Summary: She knew she shouldn't be interested in him, but there was something about him that she just had to discover.
Notes: This is completely AU and was inspired by a Saula fic I read. :D I also used their real age difference (Lauren's and Mark's - Mark is 12 years older than Lauren.) In this story Jenny is 20 and Gibbs is 32 and it is set in 1983. Their ages are how old they would have been then.
And because I'm me and I have to justify anything that may come off as OOC or whatever, my justification for the reader believing that Gibbs could be a teacher is that we know from Ducky that Gibbs used to be like Tony and we also know that Tony went undercover as a teacher. . .so it could make sense.
Chapter 1: From Your Smile
Jenny looked at her watch, 'Five minutes, damn.' she cursed. She was running late to class, she had missed the first bus so she had to wait around for the next one, consequently making her late. She knew the Professor would be mad, that's if he let her in. She nervously approached the classroom door, she hesitated for moment before opening the door. As she did she felt every set of eyes (including the Professor's) trained on her. She felt herself go red in the face as she walked in.
"May I ask why you're late Miss Shepard?"
"I- I missed the bus, Sir."
"That's not a very good excuse now is it? Go and sit down."
Jenny shyly walked over to a desk near the back of the classroom and sat down. She hoped she wouldn't be called on to answer any kind of questions today. She hadn't done much preparation for this class, she'd been too busy. It had been tough on her, moving away to come here. Her parents had been supportive of her decision but it was still hard on her. Being late to class nearly every day didn't help either, even if the lateness wasn't always her fault.
The class seemed to drag on forever, Jenny wished she could leave, but she knew if she did that more attention would be brought to her and she really didn't want that. She glanced around the room, her mood seemed to be shared by everyone else, though most were trying hard to seem interested. Jenny wasn't even sure what the professor was talking about. Then it happened. Just what she didn't want, he called on her, "Miss Shepard? Are you going to answer or just stare into space?"
She felt her face go red, 'Great,' she thought, 'like I needed that.' The class was all focused on her, hanging to see if she had actually heard the question - as it was quite obvious from her reaction that she hadn't, then she did it, she confronted the fact that she hadn't heard and hadn't even been paying attention, "Can you repeat the question?" She asked nervously.
"Looks like someone hasn't even been paying attention. . .that wouldn't have happened if you had actually arrived on time now would it, Miss Shepard?"
Jenny sank into her seat. She now knew this year was going to be tough. Especially if she kept missing busses. The Professor eventually turned his attention to other students (probably the only ones who had been paying attention) and Jenny was finally left to her own thoughts.
When class was over, Jenny quickly began packing her books back into her bag. She made her way to the door; following everyone else, until she heard a voice say, "Miss Shepard, I'd like to talk to you." She recognised it straight away. She turned around.
"We need to talk about your attendance record. Something needs to be done about it. So far you've only attended four out of the eight classes this term, care to tell me why?"
"I told you, Professor Gibbs, I missed the bus." Jenny replied, rather flatly.
"That may be true for today, Miss Shepard, but not the other times."
"Well, I don't have an answer, you can't help being late sometimes, Sir. Now I really have to go."
"Late, are you?"
'I don't need this today.' Jenny thought as she left the room. Truth be told she really didn't have to be anywhere, she just really needed to get away from Professor Gibbs. He frustrated her a lot of the time, and it annoyed her that she let him get to her like this. But there was something oddly intriguing about him, something Jenny really wanted to discover . . . Then there was his smile. . .
She couldn't even believe she was thinking these thoughts, it was insane. But every time she caught a glimpse of the emotion in those sapphire blue eyes, she just wanted to know more. . .then when she managed to catch him smiling she just knew she had to know more. . .
'All of this,' She thought, 'From a damn smile. . . What have you got yourself into Jenny?'
Later that day, when it was time for her to leave, Jenny made her way out of the college and back to her apartment as she walked she looked around at the fallen leaves on the pavement, they had been walked all over many times, and had lost their charm. A charm and colour that was so striking there was no way you could miss it, it was piercing. She looked over at the other side of the road, there was a park there filled with trees, dressed in their autumn colours; piles of leaves surrounding the base of their trunks. Jenny saw the beauty, though surrounded by the beautiful still green grass, it wasn't hard. She looked back to the crushed leaves beneath her feet. Something so beautiful, had been lost in these leaves, just by altering their surroundings. The difference between the rich colour the leaf used to have, and the harsh grey pavement on which it now sat, was obvious. They were like night and day. . .so different yet there was still something, something that hadn't been lost from the harshness of the pavement. The story behind the leaves was still there, it would never go away, it was just there, waiting for someone to discover it.
She found her thoughts drifting from the autumn leaves to something - or rather someone - who she could easily relate to these golden leaves. Professor Gibbs. 'Damn that man.' Jenny thought. She was frustrated that he was so easily able to creep into her thoughts, she found herself thinking about him a lot lately. . .ever since she'd seen him smile. When he did his whole face lit up, the emotion in his eyes changed from the harsh sternness to a pure state of joy. Though she couldn't remember any other time she'd seen him smile. . .She wondered why, but then, she really didn't see him as being the 'smiley' type of person. There was too much history there. . .a history that intrigued her, about which she had to know more.
She was still a few blocks away from her apartment, she noticed the sun was starting to set, which made the colours of the trees all the more beautiful. She smiled to herself and pulled the collar of her coat up as she felt the chilled breeze rush through her. She continued walking, being careful to avoid the puddles which dotted the pavement and the many leaves encased in them.
When she arrived at her front door, she took her key out of her bag and slid it into the keyhole, and soon she was safely inside, where it was a little warmer. She dropped her books and her bag on the table, she would deal with them later, right now, she needed some coffee.
Jenny sat down with her coffee, she was trying to work on her paper. It wasn't working, not surprising though, since it was for Professor Gibbs's class. They had been instructed to write a short story, they could choose the genre. The idea was to be creative and original. It sometimes surprised Jenny that Professor Gibbs was a teacher of English. . .he was a man of few words, and he always liked to get to the point, he was also impatient. Yet the subject he taught was all about words. Which made him even more of an enigma to Jenny, and even more interesting. She had been staring at her blank page for a little over twenty minutes, she had yet to decide on a topic. . .which was a problem since the draft of the paper was due the next day. She sat there tapping her pen on the table for a few minutes until it hit her: she had an idea. And it was, inspired by the very thing that frustrated her, Professor Gibbs. . .
She began writing.