Little White Lies by DD Agent

I do not own NCIS or any of its characters, or its settings - all belongs to the lovely folks at CBS

I decided to make the world created by "Puppet Strings" into a series [the California Series]. This story is set after Puppet Strings. Any suggestions on what Jenny could call her dog would be greatly appreciated! And as always, I hope you enjoy!

He hummed a little as he got on the elevator. He took a sip of his coffee, grinning as he thought back to the wonderful weekend he had spent with Jenny. After a week reminiscing of Kate, he had needed to be with her. She had cooked, and they had spent the evenings on her newly finished deck, drinking a bottle of wine that Jenny's winery friend had given her.

"Morning Jethro," Ducky greeted as his friend made his way into the bullpen. He was glad to see Gibbs; he wanted to check that they had definitely received the autopsy report of last week's case. "Good weekend?"

"Wasn't half bad, Duck."

His collar was up; trying to hide the hickey Jenny had given him the night before. He had retaliated by making finger mark bruises on her hips that she would no doubt feel for a few days. Jenny hadn't minded, she loved being marked by him and Gibbs was a very possessive man. He considered himself the real injured party though; he looked like damn a teenager. Or DiNozzo.

As his team made their way into work, concerned to see their boss look so chipper, Gibbs' phone beeped with a message. He grinned as he answered it, happy to see Jenny thank him for the weekend and for the breakfast he had left her in the fridge. His heart twanged a little at having left so early, but he had needed to if he wanted to make work on time.

While Ziva, Tony and McGee were checking their emails and doing their usual bickering, Jethro decided to do something risky to alleviate the dull ache he felt. Before getting on the flight to see Jenny, he had dug through some old photographs that he had wanted to bring her, as all her belongings from her old life were crispy. He had found the perfect one of the two of them in the process, cuddling each other in a little fountain in Verona, the sun making Jenny's hair glow.

Jethro took the picture out of his pocket and found a pin to place it up with the other photographs next to his desk. He looked at the precious photograph, running a finger over Jenny's face. Despite only leaving her a few hours before, he missed her.

Unfortunately there was not much time to indulge in his feelings for her as his phone rang and a dead petty officer meant his team had to throw themselves into action. As they all headed out, Jethro glanced backwards at the photograph once more and smiled.

X

Abby was running lab tests, thinking once again about Kate. And from Kate she thought about Jenny, and how she did miss the redheaded former Director. She didn't like to mention Jenny, none of them did. They kept quiet and tried to hide their own grief to spare Gibbs' feelings. However, something McGee mentioned this morning had her concerned. Gibbs had put up a photograph of himself and Jenny when they had been partners, which was so unlike him. He never even talked about her.

They weren't near the anniversary of her death, but maybe there was some other anniversary that made Gibbs think of her. Maybe it had been the dredging up of Kate's memories that made him remember her. Abby frowned as she continued on running the tests and worrying about their fearless leader. But hopefully, if he was thinking about her, then Abby could finally have a conversation about Jenny with him.

"Any luck, Abs?" Gibbs asked, coming in through the door just as her computer beeped with a result. He pushed the Caf Pow down on her desk, still smiling.

"Well I got a positive match - the petty officer's fingerprints are all over the room. The other set belongs to Sergeant Dana Beckett. Still trying to analyse the blood though."

"That's good work, Abs. I think we need to go talk to Sergeant Beckett."

Gibbs made his way to leave the lab when Abby gripped his arm tight. She needed to talk to him now, get it out or otherwise she was going to never say what she needed to.

"There something else, Abby?" He looked concerned for her, and eventually she managed to make the words stumble over her lips.

"I miss Jenny." He didn't say anything, so Abby decided to elaborate. "I know it's been three years, but she was like our Mom, you know? Well not your Mom, considering you two were kinda into each other but our Team Mom, right? I miss her coming down to see how I was and you guys yelling at each other but not really meaning it, not like what you do it with Director Vance as you both kinda do mean it when you yell at each other. I just…" Abby paused for a moment, noticing that Gibbs face was contorted in pain. "I'm sorry, Gibbs."

She had made the wrong choice. She should have never brought it up, what had she been thinking? After her speech ended she threw her arms around Gibbs, squishing him tight. Still he didn't say anything, just patted the top of her Caf Pow when she was through hugging him and left.

She would bet the rest of her daily Caf Pow's that the photograph would be gone by lunch.

X

Her daily routine always went to hell when Jethro visited. They would eat at odd times, would usually never leave her house and instead spend it talking, drinking and making love. It was a wonderful time, and Jenny longed for his visits. She became so lonely in her isolated house. So lonely, in fact, that she was considering getting a dog.

Doing her yoga routine out on the deck, she was considering what type of dog to get, and also thinking through names. She remembered the adorable dog that Abby had wanted to save, and she thought about getting a dog like that. Warm, cuddly, and overprotective. It could possibly help Jethro stop worrying about her so much, living on her own. She didn't know why he worried, the last time she had been in a fire fight she had taken four men down. Of course she had been put in intensive care in the process and almost died.

Maybe she should get a dog.

The phone started to ring, and Jenny scrambled from the deck to the phone which was just inside her study. Picking it up, she recognised the number as one Leroy Jethro Gibbs and answered the phone with a smile.

"Missing me already?" Jenny questioned, teasing him. She was glad he had called; as soon as the house had become quiet it had become cold. His voice made the place warm.

"I am. But that's not why I called."

Jenny moved from the deck and went to sit on the chaise longue that was in her study. She leant back, one of her hands resting on her stomach. Her fingers moved the fabric of her shirt up, revealing the collection of bullet scars that marred her otherwise smooth skin. She grinned as an idea came to her.

"You after phone sex, Special Agent Gibbs? Pretty risqué, you'd be at the office now, right?" Jenny moved her hand up over her stomach. "I'm in a vest top and shorts if that helps get you in the mood."

She heard him laugh over the other end, but it wasn't playful, he was serious. "So tempted, Jen. Believe me." He paused and a few people went past before she heard the elevator doors close shut. Suddenly there was a loud noise and Jenny knew he had shut the elevator down. "Abby misses you. Really misses you, and I don't know what to say to her. When you 'died', they all kept quiet for my sake, and I appreciated it. But, now? I hate lying to them, especially Abs."

Jenny shifted her legs underneath her, wishing she was there in the elevator to console her lover. Hell, she would prefer to be down in Abby's lab to hold the young woman close if she had any choice in the matter.

"I know it's hard, Jethro. If you want to tell her I'm alive, I could definitely enjoy the company." Jenny thought for a moment about having Abby over the house, maybe to help her choose the dog, but the thoughts eventually turned sour. "But it's a hard secret to keep; it's bad enough you're struggling with it. You can't put that on Abby." Jenny thought for a moment, throwing her long legs over the chaise and looking out over her view, trying to find a solution. "Tell Abby the truth, or as much as you can. It's just semantics, Jethro."

"Still need to get a hand on that dictionary, Jen."

"Well when you come up this weekend I'll make sure I've got one for you," Jenny laughed before drawing a breath. She didn't want to force another visit on him so soon. She missed him, missed him terribly but she also knew that their distance was stopping any cracks from forming in their relationship. The silence at the other end of the phone made Jenny realise that she was pushing him, but hopefully not away.

"I'll see if I can't get off work early on Friday and get there to tuck you in. I miss you, Jenny. Job isn't quite the same without you."

She could feel him smiling over the phone, and Jenny had to resist cheering at his response. She was going to be seeing him again in just less than one hundred and twenty hours. She couldn't wait. In the end she danced around in a circle, red hair spilling and shimmering over her shoulders.

"You doing a happy dance, Jen?" Jethro asked with his usual level of teasing.

"So what if I am?"

"No objections here, I think it's cute. So…what were you saying about phone sex?"

Jenny collapsed on the chaise, laughing. Despite her restricted existence, for the first time she felt like she was truly living.

X

He was waiting for Abby in her lab when she got in the next morning. The case had been solved fairly quickly the day before, and no doubt they would soon get another one but for the time being it was just paperwork. He was leaning against her computer bench, holding onto a Caf Pow.

"Gibbs, is everything okay?" Abby asked timidly. He never waited for her in the mornings, and he sighed as he looked over her. He presented her with the Caf Pow and then moved over to hug the young woman that was essentially his daughter. She clung onto him, tears resting in the lid of her eyes when he broke away from her. "I'm sorry for mentioning Jenny."

"It's okay, Abs. You can talk about her if you want, its okay." He smiled, and touched her cheek. "I miss her, Abby. I miss Jenny every day. I love her, and I miss her." Abby clung onto him, and as he held onto her, Jethro sighed. This would have to do for now.

They hugged for a while longer; before Tony and McGee came down to find Gibbs. Ducky needed to see them in the bullpen - something had come up about the case.

After the medical examiner had proved that the man who had confessed to the murder hadn't actually done it, Gibbs looked around and saw his entire team looking to him, and Vance watching from outside MTAC. One day, he would have to tell them all that Jenny was alive, even if it was just to alleviate his own conscience. But he had always shared Jenny with the job, with the pain of her father's death. For once he had her all to himself, and that was a feeling he was quite enjoying.

Every day it grew harder, the lies thicker. He was caught between two worlds, and he was slowly falling more in love with the one where honesty was as natural as breathing. He was falling in love with Jenny Shepard all over again, and he knew in his heart that that was worth every lie he had to tell.