A/N: This is yet another LB/SF tag. Consider it me getting into the routine of writing this Jenny again, and this Gibbs, etc. Of an angsty nature (to put it lightly). I couldn't get it out of my head.
Takes place in winter. Kelly and Tim have been married about a month (Tim has adopted Levi) and Jenny and Jethro have been married about 4 months. I suppose I'd reccommend re-reading the Epilogue of LB/SF for clues. This is set before that and before Jenny was given the position of Director.
Kelly Gibbs sighed as she slipped out of the immaculate, impersonal hospital room, exchanging a look with her husband indicating that he and their co-worker Antony DiNozzo should keep everyone's favorite redheaded boss occupied.
Once safe just outside the door, she slipped a cell phone out of her pocket and tilted her head back, shaking her head in slight annoyance at the stubbornness of Jenny Gibbs. The boss lady had taken a nasty fall chasing their latest bad guy, and Kelly was again put in the position of calling said boss's husband and informing him Jenny was hurt. Again.
It was getting harder and harder to inform a man who had already lost one wife that his current one kept getting herself injured. It was getting increasingly awkward, as well considering as the aforementioned husband happened to be Kelly's overprotective, ex-marine father.
She was already dreading the massive fit her father was going to throw when she dialed the number, glancing in exasperation at Kate Todd as the other female agent moseyed up.
"Levi, baby, it's Mommy. Give the phone to Gunny," she instructed absently, glancing back into the room Jenny was being treated in. The redhead snapped viciously at Tony and he scuttled away.
Kelly grit her teeth and looked back ahead of her when she heard her father's gruff voice.
"Hey, Daddy," she began calmly…
Leroy Jethro Gibbs was engaging in a staring contest with a six-year-old. Immature it may be, but he was never one to back down from a direct challenge, and directly challenged he had been.
He had his grandson for the afternoon (and a lot of the night, most likely) because baseball practice had been cancelled due to snow and neither Kelly nor Tim had been able to get away from a heavy case at work to pick the kid up from school, so it was Gunny to the rescue.
He didn't mind one bit; he hadn't realized how much he liked Levi until Kelly moved out and the house was silent. Silent unless Jenny was pissed about something, in which case everyone in Bangkok was going to hear about it.
Levi smacked his hands together suddenly. He did not succeed in making his grandfather blink and glared heavily, crossing his arms. He bared his teeth and snarled.
"Give up yet, punk?" Jethro asked.
Levi narrowed his eyes, careful not to blink.
From the kitchen counter, Jethro's cell phone rang shrilly and obnoxiously and he immediately cut his eyes to it, blinking. Levi gave a cry of excitement.
"You blinked! You blinked, I win!" he cackled excitedly, shooting up from his place on the carpet and dashing towards the phone.
"Hey, does that have your name on it?" Jethro growled, lazily attempting to thwart Levi's attempt to answer his phone.
"No, Mommy's!" he answered, promptly showing Jethro the caller I.D. He punched a button on the cell phone and scampered away from Jethro, giggling. "Hi Mommy, its Levi. I beat Granpa at—"
Jethro looked over when Levi broke off. The boy came pattering back over, silence in place of rambunctious chattering, and handed Jethro the phone obediently.
"Hey, Daddy," his daughter began, and his mouth went dry. Levi looked up at him and he gestured for the kid to go play, moving away a little. He recognized her calm, muted tone. It was usually used when she said something like 'I'm going into labor' or 'Someone tried to kill Jenny…'
"No one is dead and all limbs are intact," Kelly continued in that same irritating tone. "That being said, Jenny's hurt—"
"What happened?" he growled, his heart slamming into his chest. Levi stared at him, instinctively aware that something was wrong.
"Don't freak out, Dad; she took a hell of a fall chasing down a guy who tried to rabbit on us, knocked her head a little," Kelly said slowly.
"Depends on who you ask," muttered Kelly.
"What?" he snapped sharply.
"She's a little out of it, but you know her. Can you just come up here and take her home? She'll go with you. Bethesda Naval—and bring that monkey that I nurture, Tim's going to go ahead and go home with him," she instructed.
Jethro cursed under his breath.
"If Levi heard that, you're dead," Kelly promised cheerily, and a click signaled she'd hung up.
Jethro snapped his phone shut and rubbed his forehead tensely, setting his jaw and taking a breath. He swallowed and turned around, giving Levi a firm look.
"Shoes," he ordered, snapping in the direction of the door.
"Is Mommy or Timmy-Dad hurt?" Levi asked timidly.
Jethro shook his head.
"Nah, son, they're okay—Red bumped her head, we're going to get 'er," he explained shortly. He grabbed his keys and a coat and snatched Levi's up as well, unable to follow Kelly's advice and not worry incessantly until he saw with his own eyes that Jen was safe.
Levi didn't hurry enough for Jethro's taste, so he picked his grandson up and dragged him into the emergency room, ignoring Levi's outraged protest that he was too old for such rude treatment.
He didn't have to look half around the room; Kelly was waiting at the front desk, tapping a pen boredly against a sign in sheet. She waved him over, and Levi practically kicked him in the shin wriggling to the floor. He threw himself at Kelly's legs and she hugged him expertly, able to make it look like he had her full attention while she really focused on her dad.
"She fell down half the stairs at the Navy Memorial metro stop," she informed him bluntly. "I don't think she hit real hard until she met the landing, but her hands were bleeding and she was dizzy. Tony ended up catchin' the suspect," Kelly hesitated, looking down and smiling briefly at Levi. "She's pissed at us all for making her come here, but she called Tony 'Jim', and she doesn't remember that. I think she's hurting more than she'll let on."
Jethro sighed, rubbing his forehead again. He looked at Levi blankly for a minute, tired of getting calls about Jenny getting cut by some guy with a knife or getting herself thrown in front of a taxi. She had scary self-destructive tendencies, and he'd thought it might stop once they got married.
He muttered under his breath and then straightened up, giving Kelly a look. She turned and pointed, leaning forward a little. He could make out Kate Todd lurking in the doorway of a room and nodded, patting Levi on the head and heading that way.
"Please send my geeky husband to me," Kelly requested, and he heard her strike up a conversation with her son.
Jethro gave a brief nod to Kate as he turned into the hospital room. He touched Timothy McGee's shoulder and jerked his thumb over his shoulder.
"Kell wants you," he grunted, his voice immediately drawing the attention of Tony and his own invalid wife. Only the doctor kept his head down, his eyes narrowed at a swollen red and blue bruise on Jenny's wrist.
All it took was a ferocious glare at Tony, and the younger man scampered out, leaving Jenny and Jethro alone, except for the doctor.
"Honey," she quipped, throwing a wry smirk at him. "Forgot to duck—or rather, forgot to tuck and roll, apparently."
He made it clear he didn't think it was funny and moved closer, looking over at the doctor as the physician gently placed Jenny's hand in her lap.
"It isn't sprained, it's only banged up badly," he decided, touching her shoulder gently. "Bruised almost as badly as this and your collarbone, so you need to take it easy. Elevate it if there's pain, keep ice on it, over the counter painkillers will do wonders," he said. He looked at Jethro.
"Husband?" he asked in a business-like way. Jethro nodded curtly. The doctor nodded, removing a stethoscope from his ears and holding Jenny's chin up gently. She gave him a threatening look as he squinted into her eyes and held his finger up, making her follow it.
"She's okay," he informed Jethro, turning away and leaning against the table. "Knocked her skull pretty good—"
"Believe you me when I tell you I have knocked it harder against his headboard," Jenny remarked smartly.
"—so I'm marginally worried about a concussion," finished the doctor, attempting to hide a small smile at the comment. "Best if she doesn't drive until tomorrow, and rests up for the remainder of the day."
"Just had to put that in his head, didn't you, you over-educated bastard?" Jenny asked bluntly, lifting a shapely eyebrow at the doctor. He just smirked and shook his head, removing gloves from his hands.
A majority of the doctors knew Jenny or had worked with her on cases before and put up with her personality relatively well. This one was no different. Jethro gave the doctor a gruff thanks as he exited the room and prowled closer to Jenny, ignoring her warning, cagey look.
He ran his palm gently over the swollen wound on her wrist and then peeled back her crisp oxford to look at the bruise on her shoulder. That one was really something.
"Dammit, Jenny," he swore, pressing his palm soothingly against the bruise and looking at her to see her reaction. The flicker of discomfort in her eye was clear, but it was gone just as quick and she rolled her eyes.
"Dammit, Jethro," she mimicked brightly. "'Tis but a flesh wound," she scoffed.
He gave her a sharp look and studied her face for a moment. She looked paler than usual, and her eyes were a little dull. He pushed a bunch of tangled red hair back over her shoulder and pressed his lips briefly to her forehead.
"I'm taking you home," he informed her, brooking no argument.
"I am in general disagreement with that statement."
"Tough luck," he growled, pulling her shirt over the bruise and giving her a hard glare.
"Oy, Red," Tony poked his head into the room. "McFather took Levi home, so Kelly and I are going back to book the guy and let Kate evaluate him, capiche?"
Jenny's eyes flashed and she looked about to kill her partner for suggesting such an idea, but Jethro ran his hand down her shoulder gently and warningly and she swallowed, turning her eyes on him. She threw a curt nod in Tony's direction and slipped off the table, wincing as she straightened her shoulders.
"I resent you."
He snorted, shaking his head in amusement. Jenny gave him a suspicious look and moved away, tossing her hair back. In the next second, she'd flung her arm out against his chest and grabbed him, stumbling forward.
Effortlessly, Jethro caught her, giving her bent head a protective glare and lacing his fingers thorough her petite ones while she caught her breath.
"Who put the floor there?" she muttered sarcastically, glaring in front of her. She sighed and straightened up, giving him a chastised look.
"I stand corrected. I want to go home."
"Looked more like you fell corrected," he quipped. She pinched his fingers meanly. She gave him considerably less trouble, though, following her less-than-graceful attempt to dance with the hospital floor.
Jenny felt sluggish. Her head was pounding, her shoulder hurt like hell, and she just felt sick. It was a rare occurrence for the redhead, and she loathed it. Her relatively new husband kept glancing at her suspiciously as he drove, as if he expected her to start screaming in pain any moment.
She'd had worse.
She didn't like how she felt right now, though. She had a bad feeling. It just lurked in the back of her mind, niggling her. She thought it had to do with the case, but it was worse now. She closed her eyes briefly.
"Jen," Jethro asked gently after a moment, and she realized the car was parked and they were home—his home, the place she now called home. She blinked at him, swallowing shakily. He leaned over, concerned. "You sure you're okay?"
She nodded, sitting up. She winced, reaching up to rub her neck, and gave him a small smirk, unbuckling her seatbelt. She reached for the door handle and compressed her lips.
"There is a distinctly high possibility of me vomiting," she warned him bluntly, and quickly shoved open the car door and proceeded to do so.
Leroy Jethro Gibbs was not enough of a fool to suggest to his wife that she was acting weird, but she was.
She seemed to be feeling okay. She had eaten dinner as if she was hungry, but she was quiet, and while that didn't necessarily mean something odd was afoot, this quiet struck him as peculiar. Jenny seemed to be concerned about something.
He had left her in the living room watching news coverage of an event in the Middle East while she went over some case files while he retreated to the basement to work on his latest woodworking project.
He had changed into pajamas and was fumbling covertly with her alarm clock late into the night; he planned on refusing to allow her to go to work tomorrow. Jenny was in the bathroom, showering or bathing and generally getting ready for bed. The door was cracked.
He poked around in her drawers for the massage oil she kept in there, intending to knead out the tension in her bruised muscles before bed so she'd sleep better. He stretched out on the bed, his back propped against the headboard, and was capping and uncapping the top when she called out.
That was all she said, and he tilted his head, looking towards the ensuite bathroom. She opened the door and braced her arm against the doorframe. He lowered his hands and looked at her, sitting up some. In this light, she really did look pale; ghostly. She was only half-dressed, in a simple bra and shorts and a robe. She held a wet towel in her hand.
"Jen?" he asked.
She moved the hand with the towel in it unconsciously.
"I'm bleeding," she said coolly, in such an odd way that he was unsure how to respond right away. She had been complaining of cramps earlier, so wasn't that—?
"Women do that," he remarked hesitantly. Jenny shook her head. She made a noise of disbelief and he sat up, swinging his legs off the bed and looking at her closely. He narrowed his eyes when he focused on the towel. There was a lot of blood.
"I need you to take me to an emergency room," she said dully, her hand sliding down the doorframe slowly. She came forward, dropping the wet towel on the bathroom floor. He tensed up; if Jenny was asking him to take her to a hospital, something was beyond wrong.
He stood abruptly, abandoning the massage oil. He ignored the flashing late hour on the alarm clock and strode over to her, taking her arm as she opened her bureau drawer for a pair of jeans.
"Jen," he said curtly, running his hand over her shoulder.
She pulled the jeans out and shoved her damp hair behind her ears, kneeing the drawer shut with a wince and leaning forward on the bureau.
"I think I'm having a miscarriage," she said hollowly.
Jethro tightened his grip on her arm, nodded shortly, and went for his keys.
'Honey, I forgot to duck': The worlds Ronald Reagan said to his wife Nancy after he was shot upon seeing her for the first time. He, in turn, had stolen the phrase from boxer Jack Dempsey, who said it to HIS wife the night he was beaten by Gene Tunney. Little history lesson. Enjoy.