A/N: It's raining, here in my lovely hometown. And, being the wonderful literary inspiration that it is, spawned this. There's no happy ending in this one. Simply memories.
'Tears for you that will not dry' –Josh Groban, 'Remember When It Rained'
'Let it rain down and wash everything away' –Creed, 'Rain'
Jenny Shepard didn't mind the pouring rain, if she was being honest.
She sat in her middle of her backyard, knees under her chin, as the rain fell around her. Her cotton, long-sleeved black shirt was soaked, along with her old pair of blue jeans, and her feet were bare, toes digging into the wet grass. Her chin rested on her knees as she stared into space, her long crimson curls loose and heavy with rainwater. She tucked the strands behind her ear, sighing quietly.
Her thoughts were miles away; 3839 miles away, to be exact.
It was still raining, but she wasn't alone, in this memory. A pair of strong arms were wrapped around her waist as she struggled to get away, giggling. Walking through the pouring rain, the man she was head over heels for close by, his breath warm against her cool skin.
She sighed again, closing her eyes against the emotion that was oh-so-close to the surface. She'd let down a lot of barriers, here in her backyard. This was one of her few places where she was just plain Jenny Shepard. Not Director Shepard, who seemed to be taking over more and more aspects of her life.
Director Shepard had made Jenny Shepard lose the best thing that had ever happened to her. Director Shepard had made sure that Jenny Shepard would never be completely happy ever again. Director Shepard was ruining her life.
When she'd been a little girl, she'd wanted nothing more than to just be happy when she grew up. Sure, she wanted the happy family, a great husband, kids that ran throughout the house, making a mess, and the dog that jumped on the couch. But all she'd really, really wanted was to be happy. And she was far from it.
There were days that she had a mere grasp at slight contentment. Days when a certain agent did something that reminded her that she was human, and deserved to spend a day out of the office.
Then, there were days that she wished she were far away. Miles away. Not merely a floor above the man that meant everything to her- but didn't know it.
Letting out a frustrated sigh, she moved her dripping hair out of her eyes, throwing it over her shoulder. The rainwater ran down her back, making her eyes close as another memory washed over her.
He had her pushed up against a brick wall in a secluded alley, her legs wrapped around his waist as he kissed her, one hand pushed into her hair, the other gripping her hip. The rain fell around them, the cool water dripping down her back. She shivered, and he clutched her tighter, his kisses heating her from the inside out.
She came out of the memory, a lone tear trailing down her cheek, the salt water mixing with the fresh water on her face.
It was so hard, keeping the façade in place daily. To not just break down and let the barriers she'd created for herself just collapse. To admit to him that she was in love with him- and that she had never stopped. But she knew she couldn't.
So she let the rain feel her emotion; her pain, her sorrow- even her love.
She knew that come tomorrow morning, Director Shepard would be back in place. Director Shepard would once again take control, shoving Jenny Shepard deep, deep down. Director Shepard would go back to her 'professional' relationship with one Leroy Jethro Gibbs.
And all Jenny Shepard really wanted was Leroy Jethro Gibbs.
So Jenny Shepard was letting the tears she'd repressed for so long out on this cool August night, in the rain in her backyard. She let the tears for a future she'd never get fall, the tears for a man who would never know how she really felt leak out, and tears for the life she should have had drop, mixing with the drops that were falling from the sky. Like the earth was crying with her.
After a few long moments, she wiped her eyes, sighing quietly.
It was only there, in the pouring rain, that she'd felt something; anything. And for a second, that scared her.
But she shoved it away, attempting to put Director Shepard back in charge. She closed her eyes, trying to get Jenny Shepard to go back into hiding- at least until the next rainstorm.
"Why are you sitting in the rain Jen?" she looked up, pulled from her thoughts by a deep male voice. Jethro stood over her, his hair dark from the rain falling around them.
"It makes me feel." she replied honestly, her voice a soft whisper above the pounding raindrops.
"Feel what?" he asked, raising an eyebrow at her somewhat cryptic answer.