A/N: Dedicated to Aly to try and make her feel a little better :)
Contrary to popular belief, bugs apparently did attack Leroy Jethro Gibbs.
She'd ordered him to leave the Navy Yard after he'd practically collapsed from a coughing fit, with DiNozzo appointed as his escort home seeing as he was the only one Gibbs had allowed to help him from the building. Jenny wasn't sure if they shared the same common ground considering Tony had gone through the plague but it made her feel a little better knowing he hadn't had to drive himself home.
Hours later, she'd received a very short, abrupt phone call from Jethro telling her he had bronchitis, that the antibiotics he'd been prescribed were intoxicating and that his doctor had been a redhead. Assuming he was now holed up in his basement, Jenny knew he wouldn't be leaving for a good few days. She'd already made the decision to visit him once she'd left the office, to maybe keep him company for a few hours.
She felt as though she needed it just as much as she hoped he did.
"Boss, it's DiNozzo. Again. Look, I know you don't need me bugging you every five minutes because I'm the senior field agent and I should be able to handle the team, and you know I can because I did it when you went off to Mexico. Anyway, I just wanted to make sure you're ok. Some advice though, don't try to stop yourself coughing, it just makes it worse. I know you love honey too, so try a few spoonfuls of that instead of bourbon so you don't put yourself in a coma." Tony scoffed, shaking his head at the image. "Feel better soon, ok boss?"
As he hung up, Tony's gaze drifted across to McGee, who'd fallen asleep on his keyboard. Grinning at the plan forming, he rose from his chair, to be hit, extremely accurately, with a rolled up paper ball to his groin.
"What was that for?" he yelped at the slight twinge, glaring at Ziva.
"Let him sleep. He has worked hard today."
"Spoil sport." he mumbled, settling back into his chair. "I got voicemail again."
"Did you want to take phone calls when you were sick?"
"I was in isolation so that's a bit different. And does Gibbs ever really want to take a phone call when he's at home?"
"He has spoken to the Director." Ziva told him, smiling at the look on his face. Rendering Tony speechless made her day, although if she heard his quiet mumble of 'crazy Mossad chick', she chose to ignore it.
Gibbs couldn't get comfortable.
The aching in his chest and persistent urge to cough took care of that. His fever spiked 100 and he'd spent the majority of the day taking his favourite red hoodie on and off depending on whether he had the shivers or not.
Tony's voicemail had made him smile and was also the reason the half-empty tub of honey sat within reaching distance, as well as a bottle of bourbon and his cell phone. The antibiotics must have been doing funny things to his head though, because all Gibbs wanted to do was hear from Jenny again.
The sound of her voice was enough to soothe him more than a spoonful of honey or swig or bourbon had been capable of.
So in a desperate need to find comfort, he'd taken shelter in the one place that never ceased to make him feel better.
Lying underneath his half-finished boat, he ran his fingers slowly along the curve; the smell of the wood and honey enough to relax him, reminding him of the night Jenny had snuck in while he'd been working on exactly the same place he was now…
"Jethro?" She called, pausing at the entrance to his basement.
"New perfume?" He called back; the site of his leg hanging out from under the boat enough to make her chuckle.
"Not exactly." She smiled, taking her time down the stairs, aware of the noise her heels were making against them. She contemplated removing them but was in no mood to have to go the ER for a tetnus shot if she accidentally stood on a nail. She heard him sanding from underneath the sheer and helped herself to a sip of his bourbon on the side.
His hands had been one of the many things she'd fallen in love with. The strong, assertive way with which he held a gun or pulled her closer into his body while they kissed made her spine tingle. Then, there were the careful gestures he signed to Abby, or the soft caresses he lazily occupied himself with after their love making. The affection and care poured out into his woodsmanship; the smell of his labor one that she indulged herself in.
"Drink?" he interrupted her thoughts, appearing at her side. Raising the mug she already held in her hands, she watched him pour himself another drink. From the slight tinge to his cheeks, she guessed he'd been working down here a while. "Is that honey I smell?"
She nodded, unable to move. She waited. And watched.
Jethro took the mug from her hands, placing it on the counter behind him. Keeping his eyes on hers, he took a step forward, forcing her to take a step back. He did it again, until her back touched the boat. Fortunately, he'd layered over the one half of the ribs, meaning the surface was flat.
Kissing a trail from her lips to her neck as she worked the button of his jeans, Jethro knew one thing for sure. Honey dust tasted better than any new perfume he'd been expecting.
There were days when Paris clouded his ability to think straight; but also enough to question Jenny's commitment. Despite the fact she'd been right and their feelings had clouded their judgement, it didn't change how he felt about her. Or how much he needed her. Or even how different things were now she was the Director instead of his Probie.
Another bout of coughing caught him off guard, the ache in his chest slightly duller than before. He'd definitely be thanking Jenny for making him leave for the Navy Yard next time he saw her.
Almost like a de-ja-vu, Jethro lay under the curve of his boat, hidden by the panelled ribs that he'd been sanding the last time. His foot even stuck out at the same place, although the bottle of bourbon, jar of honey and cell phone on the floor were new additions. Having removed her shows and left them at the door, she'd brought along a pair of thick socks to keep her feet warm.
She guessed he already knew she was there; ever since that night, she'd made sure she wore the same sweet perfume to remind him. If she had to put up with the arousal that hit her after the aroma of coffee whenever he invaded her personal space or even in the middle of Starbucks, so did he.
Plodding softly down the stairs, she noticed his red hoodie simply draped across his chest. From the sweat on his t-shirt and the occasional shiver of his foot, she knew he was suffering.
"Jethro." she whispered, kneeling next to him. He grumbled loudly in reply. "Jethro." She kissed his head.
"Jen…" The antibiotics had obviously been working wonders. The grogginess in his voice was something she hadn't heard in a while. "I missed you." he reached out for her, finding her leg. He gently wrapped his fingers behind her knee, slowly raising his hand.
"Jethro," she lowered her tone, warning him. "You should be in bed."
"This is good enough. Especially now you're here to keep me warm."
She watched the smile grace his lips, although it quickly faded as he started coughing. Jenny pulled him up so he was sitting, letting her hand rest on his back; possibly for her own comfort than his.
"Come on, I've got an idea." She announced as soon as he'd calmed. "Get up."
A string of groans and the odd curse came as her reply but if it was because of how ill he felt or that he'd been told to move, she didn't care. She knew the perfect way to help him relax.
"A bubble bath?" Jethro made no attempt to hide the surprise in his voice.
"The steam and hot water will help you." He raised an eyebrow, not convinced.
"Do I look like McGee?" Pulling the t-shirt over his head as the water ran, she kissed him, letting her hands trail along his bare chest. Resting his forehead against hers, he whispered that he loved her.
An hour later, Jenny sat on the edge of his bed, towel drying her hair. Jethro had practically dragged her in with him, claiming it would relax him a lot faster. Truth be told, she was glad he had. The feel of his arms wrapped around her, warm water and flicker of light from the candles were so romantic that she hadn't wanted the water to cool.
Jethro had filled the bath with as much warm water as possible until it ran cold. Accepting defeat, Jenny had jumped out first, giving him some privacy. The frequency of his coughing had calmed and even his fever seemed to be lower - for now.
"We should do that more often." Jethro chuckled, tensing slightly at the twinge in his chest.
"Lie down." Jenny told him, smiling.
He obliged, intrigued to find out her plan. Still fresh from the bath, Jethro wore a grey pair of sweats and nothing else. As he lay on his stomach to look up at her, she watched the muscles flex across his bare shoulders as he carefully lowered himself down. His eyes watched her move to her bag; focused on her legs.
Dressed in a pair of his boxers and an NCIS t-shirt, her appearance challenged that of the long red cocktail dress she'd worn at their last event. Gorgeous.
"Stop staring, Jethro."
"It's kind of hard to when you look that good."
Making her way back towards him, she made no attempt to hide the body cream in her hand. "There was something I never got to show you in Paris." Again, his blank expression made her laugh. "I can give one hell of a massage, Jethro."