A/N: I have an over-adundance (yes, that's redundant) of plot bunnies lately. Hence, this.
Jennifer Shepard groaned as she heard the knock on her front door. She glared sullenly into her mug of steaming hot chocolate and muttered a curse as the knocking came again. There were very few people who had the nerve to bang on her door at midnight on a Saturday, and even fewer people who she would open it for.
Actually, there was only one.
Jenny took a sip of her hot chocolate, ignoring the louder knocking, deciding if she just didn't answer the door, her visitor would go away.
Silence fell, and she smiled. Evidently, her genius plan had worked.
Then, a loud bang echoed through her front hall, causing her to startle slightly, her eyes going wide. She lowered her mug and turned her head slowly, narrowing her eyes. How dare he kick her front door.
Jenny placed her mug down carefully and picked up her gun from the kitchen counter, turning and marching out of the kitchen in her bare feet and cotton pajama pants. He wanted her to come to the door, fine, she was coming—and she was armed.
She glared at the mass she saw standing outside from the side windows, already seething.
She yanked the front door open and pointed the gun at his head, cocking it menacingly just for good measure.
"Jethro--" she snapped. She broke off suddenly, her glare melting into a confused look as she realized she was pointing her Glock directly into the wide-eyed, fluffy face of a puppy that happened to be suspended at eye-level.
Jenny lifted an eyebrow and tilted her head a little.
The puppy barked at her joyously and wriggled in its captor's hands. The captor, lowering the puppy just slightly, peeked over the floppy puppy ears and smirked. Jenny lowered her weapon and glared into the devilish blue eyes of one Leroy Jethro Gibbs.
She stared at him. She wasn't sure what to say. It wasn't often she found Leroy Jethro Gibbs standing in her doorway holding one of the most adorable puppies she'd ever had the good fortune of seeing in her life. She was finding it difficult not to squeal with delight, and even more difficult to continue glaring.
"I don't remember inviting you over," she said coolly.
"I don't need an invitation," Jethro retorted, stepping over her threshold and holding the puppy up close to her nose. It stuck its pink tongue out and touched it to her nose, sniffling excitedly. "I have a puppy," Jethro justified proudly.
Jenny gave him a suspicious look. She slowly swung her door closed and crossed her arms.
"It's midnight, Jethro," she informed him with a glare.
He nodded, supporting the puppy in his arms and preventing it from jumping out of them.
"I was going to wait until tomorrow to bring 'im over," Jethro explained, his features going dark, "but he chewed on the boat."
Jenny was beginning to get less annoyed and more interested. She stepped up closer and stuck her hand out, letting the puppy sniff her knuckles before she rubbed its ear gently.
"Why do you have a puppy?" she asked, tilting her head at it.
She had that annoying urge to squeal again.
"Ducky's corgi had them," Jethro said.
"Uh-huh," Jenny murmured, waiting for the rest. She put her face close to the puppy's and wrinkled her nose at it, starting to smile. He whined at her and scratched at Jethro's arm, trying to climb over to her.
"He sold them all but this one. It needs a home."
Jenny straightened up a little, still looking at the puppy. It was a tiny, furry little thing, with wide brown eyes and triangle, floppy ears.
How dare Jethro tempt her so.
"Why would you bring it to me?" she asked in exasperation, looking up at him.
"It reminded me of you," he informed her.
Jenny cocked an eyebrow dangerously.
"Oh?" she asked, eager to hear this.
He nodded solemnly.
"It bit me," he said with a shrug.
Jenny smirked. She wasn't sure exactly what memories he dredged up when he thought of her biting him.
She reached out and scratched the puppy behind its adorable ears, pursing her lips in a small kiss at it. Her girly side taking over, she stole the puppy from Jethro and held it up to her face, burying her nose in its soft fur and hugging it.
The puppy wriggled and whined softly, rubbing its head into her jaw.
"Awww!" Jenny squealed, wrinkling her nose again. "Look at you," she cooed, holding him up and looking at his pretty eyes. "He's so cute," she sighed.
The puppy promptly licked her in the nose.
Jenny glared at him around her new puppy.
"Do you like him?" Jethro asked, lifting an eyebrow.
Jenny narrowed her eyes and lifted her nose, responding with one of his trademark come-backs:
"I haven't decided yet,"
She dodged past Jethro back into her kitchen, carrying her fluffy friend with her. Jethro followed her slowly, watching from a distance. He smiled as Jenny buried her nose in the puppy's head again.
"He's so soft," Jenny murmured, leaning against her counter.
Jethro watched her silently and smiled to himself again, glancing down at the stacks of paperwork spread over her kitchen table, broken only by a plate of half-finished strawberries in the middle.
"Something wrong with your study, Jen?" he asked mildly.
"Hmmm?" she murmured absently, still entranced with the puppy. She looked up. "Oh, er," she mumbled, looking at the stuff guiltily. "I ran out of room in the study."
He looked at her in disbelief and then narrowed his eyes.
"You do too much damn paperwork, Jenny."
"Shh!" she hissed, covering the puppy's ears. "He's a baby," she protested, pouting at the puppy.
Jethro snickered, unnoticed by his puppy-occupied redhead. Jethro wandered up to the kitchen table and flicked through a few papers, curious. He was just flipping open a file labeled 'FBI' when Jenny's hand smacked him. Out of no where.
"No touching," she snapped, "I have a system."
She glared at him, still managing to look fearsome with a ball of tiny fluff in her arms.
"If you orchestrated a plan to infiltrate my house and sabotage my paperwork using a puppy, you will be shot."
He gave her an innocent look.
"I brought you the puppy out of the goodness of my heart!"
She raised an eyebrow.
"And I'm out of bourbon," he relented. Jenny smirked.
"Sounds more plausible, Jethro," she said knowingly. The puppy squirmed and she turned to it with a mock stern look. Proving more strong-willed than it looked, it leapt out of her arms onto the table, sending a few papers flying.
Jenny gasped in distress.
"Puppy!" she cried in agony, just as the puppy opened its mouth wide and began shaking the file labeled 'FBI' viciously, all while growling in a cute, Simba-like way.
"Good dog," Jethro said seriously.
"No!" Jenny squeaked, diving forward and popping the puppy very lightly on its little nose. It dropped the file and yelped, obviously offended, and looked up at Jenny with wide, liquid eyes.
"Oh," she said softly, scooping him up and holding him close. "I'm sorry, puppy," she apologized, kissing its head.
"Jen, you can't keep calling him 'puppy'," Jethro informed her, looking with pride at the bitten FBI file.
"You have a better suggestion?" she asked.
"Name him?" Jethro offered, rolling his eyes.
Jenny looked at the puppy.
"I think Mr. Gibbs would be less grumpy if we gave him his damn drink," she said loudly.
"You cursed. In front of the puppy," Jethro reprimanded her solemnly.
Jenny stuck out her tongue at him and stalked past him towards the study, throwing a glance over her shoulder to make sure he was following. He did follow, watching the puppy climb up Jenny's shoulder and peek over at him.
It barked. He glared at it. It whimpered and ducked its head.
"JETHRO!" Jenny yelled, whirling around. "What did you do to him?"
He just looked at her innocently. Jenny glared at him suspiciously and crouched down, releasing the puppy onto her study floor gently. It pounced over to Jethro's shoes and attacked them, nipping at them and batting them with its paws.
Jenny giggled, slipping to her knees and tilting her head to watch. The puppy caught one of Jethro's laces, rolled onto his back, and untied Jethro's shoe, proceeding to gnaw contentedly on the string. It growled happily up at her.
"It's been a while," Jethro said mildly. Jenny looked up at him from her knees and pursed her lips.
"Since…?" she asked.
"I've seen you like this," he said gruffly, his eyes glinting slyly.
She glared at him, not for a second missing the double entendre of his words. She stood up from her position and turned, taking a bottle of bourbon from the liquor cabinet and poured two crystal glasses of it. She turned around to give one to him, and furrowed her brow.
Setting the glasses down, she leaned onto her desk and peeked over it, looking for Jethro. He was sitting on the floor, messing with the puppy with a smirk on his face. He kept darting his hand into the puppy's legs and jerking it back. The puppy was going wild looking for what was going after him.
Jethro looked up, feeling her eyes on him.
"You are antagonizing my dog," she said darkly.
"So you've accepted him?"
"Is there a catch?" Jenny asked suspiciously.
Slowly, Jethro shook his head.
Picking up the glasses and coming around the desk, Jenny settled next to him on the study carpet and crossed her legs, handing him one.
"Yes, I accept him."
She took a sip of her bourbon and set it on the ground firmly, holding her hands out.
The puppy bounded towards her eagerly, tumbling into her lap onto his back and squirming around excitedly. He nipped at her fingers and growled playfully, yapping his mouth open and shut.
Jenny giggled and picked him up, touching her nose to his.
Jethro took a slow drink of bourbon from his glass, pleased to see Jenny relax. She already looked less stressed, and it made him happy to be the reason for it. In a roundabout way, of course.
Cuddling the puppy close to her cheek, Jenny clicked her tongue in its ear and nuzzled it with her nose. Jethro set his bourbon glass down next to Jenny's knee and reached out to scratch his ears, secretly allowing himself to think cute thoughts about the puppy.
The puppy opened its eyes, looked at him from between locks of Jenny's curls, and howled, lunging forward and barking ferociously at his hand. It bit him. Again.
Jenny burst into laughter, holding the puppy closer and cooing at it.
"Good boy!" she murmured, stroking its back.
Jethro glared at the dog. It growled at him menacingly and then leapt up from Jenny's shoulder and licked his face, wagging his tail excitedly.
Jenny lifted it back to her, laughing, and looked it in the eye.
"I love you," she informed the puppy gleefully.
Jethro scowled indulgently. Much as he would prefer Jenny's tongue on his mouth, he didn't have the heart to be angry with a tiny Welsh corgi.
"Got a name for him yet?" Jethro grumbled, lifting his glass and taking another sip. He watched the puppy suspiciously. He wasn't sure he trusted it anymore. Although, it seemed to feel the need to protect Jenny—which was good. The bad part was, it seemed to think Jenny needed protecting from him.
"Precious," Jenny informed him sweetly.
Jethro gave her a look of disgusted outrage.
"It's a BOY DOG, Jen," he almost shouted.
"Relax," she soothed patronizingly, "I was kidding," she gave him a sly look and kissed the puppy's head. He made a soft purring noise, almost like a cat, and snuggled up to Jenny's neck comfortably. Jenny sighed.
Jethro reached out and rubbed the puppy's nose with one finger. It wagged its tail and barked loudly at him.
"Woof," Jethro replied sternly.
The puppy whined.
"If you two are going to get territorial…" Jenny warned, letting the sentence hang. She took a drink from her own glass and swallowed, looking at it thoughtfully. She turned to Jethro with a wicked smile, her eyes sparkling.
"I thought of a name for the dog," she informed him brightly.
He gave her a suspicious look. The teasing tone did not bode well for him. He made a mental pledge to take it away if she tried to name it Diane or something.
He waited for the announcement.
Jenny whispered something in the dog's ear and it wriggled at the sensation, whining. It licked her nose again and stretched, looking pleased.
"He likes it," she announced, picking, kissing his head again.
"He likes what?" Jethro demanded.
Jenny smiled. Devilishly.
Jethro stared at her like she'd grown a second head.
"What the hell?" Jethro asked bluntly, unable to react from shock. Tobias? Of all the godforsaken names, she named the puppy Tobias?
"Yes," Jenny said childishly, scrunching up her petite nose at the puppy. "Little Tobias," she purred, "Mmmhmm!" she murmured when he whimpered at her, his ears going up adorably and his paw nudging her shoulder.
"Pick a different name," Jethro growled.
"No," Jenny said sternly, narrowing her eyes. "He picked it, Jethro. He bit Tobias's name right off that file."
"Pick. A. Different. Name."
Jenny shook her head slowly.
Jethro gave her a dark glare, setting his bourbon glass down slowly next to her thigh again.
"Jeeennnn," he whined, resorting to childish tactics.
"Jethro is jealous," Jenny whispered mockingly to the puppy, her eyes sparkling. She giggled at the displeased look on her former partner's face. "Ohhhhhh, he's vewy jealous," she cooed, approaching baby talk.
It was all he could do not to cock his eyebrow and laugh hysterically.
"I am not jealous of the dog."
"Then why are you so concerned about his name?" Jenny asked innocently.
Jethro groaned, glaring at her. How could she not figure this out?
"You named it Tobias, Jen!" Jethro said in frustration. "I'm going to have to hear 'Come, Tobias,' and 'Good boy, Tobias'—you're going to sleep with 'Tobias' and cuddle with 'Tobias' and I'm going to have to remind myself that it's not Fornell you're talking about—"
Jenny interrupted his tirade with a small giggle that she tried to muffle in the puppy's fur. She gave him a solemn look.
"What if someone hears you?" he whined. What would DiNozzo think if he heard Jenny purring at Tobias?!
"So," Jenny began slowly, holding back a smirk, "You're jealous."
He glared at her.
Jenny settled the puppy down in her lap and scratched his head rhythmically, tilting her head and looking into Jethro's distressed blue eyes. Tobias the Puppy snuggled into her lap comfortably and poked his head out, resting his wet nose on Jethro's thigh.
"Tobias is snuggling with you, Jethro," Jenny whispered.
"I'm taking him back to Ducky," Jethro growled, deadpan.
"Jethro!" Jenny whimpered, pouting. She widened her eyes and put on a puppy dog face of her own. It completely trumped the dog's.
"Aww, Jethro," Jenny sighed, looking sympathetic, "are you worried I'll start preferring Tobias to you?"
His glare did not budge.
"He is much softer and nicer," she sighed, "and he cuddles better."
"You better be talking about the damn puppy," Jethro growled, starting to get a little paranoid.
NCIS and the FBI had been getting along more cooperatively lately. He glared more ferociously at Jenny. Her eyes sparkled.
"He might even be a better kisser," she taunted, lifting an eyebrow.
Jethro narrowed his eyes and reached across Jenny's lap to grab her arm. He pulled her forward and she gave a small squeak of surprise. Tobias the Puppy lurched forward paws-first into Jethro's glass of bourbon as Jethro pressed his lips to Jenny's firmly.
Jenny closed her eyes as Jethro kissed her, starting to smile a little. She reached out and curled a hand into his shirt, kissing him on the floor of her study like nothing had ever changed between them.
Tobias yelped excitedly.
Jenny pulled back slightly and smiled softly, biting her bottom lip to hold back too ridiculous of a grin. Jethro leaned in and kissed her again, a soft, butterfly kiss.
"Jen," he murmured.
"Hmmm?" she asked, pressing her forehead against his.
He nudged her head away and nodded down at the furry little puppy. Jenny's brows went up in amusement and she smirked, watching as Tobias, wriggling like a Mexican jumping bean with his ears sticking up joyfully, eagerly licked up the bourbon Jethro had spilled in his haste to kiss Jenny.
"Good dog," Jethro informed him proudly, patting his head.
Tobias snapped playfully at Jethro's hand and growled.
Jenny smiled and drew Jethro's attention back to her with her hand on his cheek. She ran her fingers over his lips and kissed him again, slowly. Jethro wrapped an arm around her, content to let Tobias clean up the bourbon if it kept Jenny on the floor with him.
This results from my viewing of a picture of a Welsh Corgi puppy, which almost gave me a heart attack due to cuteness. Therefore, I decided to share the fluff:]