Magic in Her Arms

Chapter One

She didn't know what wakes her up; possibly the breath that tickles the back of her neck Maybe it's the feel of unfamiliar arms around her waist. She slowly opens her eyes, knowing that somehow her life is changing. The hand at her waist drifts up, cups her breast, and plays with her nipple. Her breath catches at the unfamiliar sensation.

Her soft exhalation makes the man behind her open his eyes. They are a peculiar shade of blue, almost icy yet, soft in the early morning light. His hair is a silver grey and his hands have calluses from years of work. His face is rugged, whether from experience or something else, she doesn't know. She also has no idea who he is.

She tries to leave the bed, but the arms around her tighten. She knows instinctively that he's not going to hurt her; he just reflexively restrains her. Her lavender eyes are confused as she looks up at him. She knows that he's trying to talk to her, but so far, nothing he's saying makes sense.

For his part, Leroy Jethro Gibbs seldom wakes up not knowing what is going on, especially in his own bed. He hadn't been drinking the night before, no more than usual anyway, and he'd gone to bed alone. That much he is sure of. The woman in his arms is slender yet not too skinny. She has white blonde hair, and her eyes are the deepest lavender he's ever seen. He smiles at her to reassure her that he means her no harm and she relaxes somewhat. He tries to ask her what her name is and is met with a question in her eyes.

"Gibbs. My name is Gibbs." There are times when he wishes he had the gift of gab, like his junior agents Tony and Tim. Today is one of them, then again, he almost wishes that whoever this is had woken up in one of their beds.

"Tandel." She points to herself then repeats his name and points at him. He smiles and nods. He mimics eating and she nods in reply then looks around the room. There is no sign of her backpack or her clothes. She sighs in exasperation wondering what she's done wrong now to get thrown into this place. Gibbs hands her a shirt and she watches as he pulls another one over his own head before he dons a pair of sweatpants. She follows his lead and soon the feel of soft cotton is against her flesh. Gibbs smiles faintly when he sees the shirt falling almost to her knees.

As Gibbs turns to enter the bathroom, she sees the fading bruises on his shoulder and arm. She automatically reaches out to heal him, but he enters the bathroom and shuts the door before she can touch him. Her hand drops back to her side and she wonders if she has any powers at all in this world.

"Why Corellon? Why have you sent me here? I was almost happy again." She doesn't receive an immediate answer and she doesn't really expect one. And she had been happy, almost. Still Corellon, the one god that Tandel has worshipped these many years, has seen the underlying unhappiness in his favorite follower. Somehow he knows that what she needs isn't on the world he'd brought her from, so he's sent her to the one place that she still might be able to find what she is looking for.

Gibbs showers and as he steps out he finds himself wondering about the female in his bedroom. He picks up the spare cell phone that he keeps in a drawer near the sink and dials a familiar number.

"McGee." Tim's voice is husky and sleep laden.

"Hey, McGee I need you to get to my house ASAP. No questions just get here." Gibbs hangs up before the sleepy agent can respond. Gibbs finishes drying off, and opens the door. The woman, Tandel, is sitting on the floor with her hands around her knees. He can see her shoulders shaking with silent tears, though he doesn't know what is making her cry.

"Tandel? Are you hungry?" Again he mimics eating. She dries her eyes and nods. She follows him downstairs to the kitchen and sits down at the table while he prepares his morning coffee. Once the coffee's perking, he scrambles some eggs and fries up the last of his bacon, wondering idly what is keeping his agent.

While he waits for Tim he finishes cooking the breakfast, dishing up two meals. He hands a plate to Tandel who nods her head and wonder of wonders Signs thank you. Heaving a sigh of relief at being able to communicate with the silent woman, he asks her if she'd like to have coffee with her breakfast. She smiles and accepts the steaming liquid adding a liberal amount of cream and sugar.

Halfway through the meal, Tim McGee knocks once and walks in the door. "Boss, I'm here."

"In the kitchen, McGee, grab yourself a plate while you're up."

McGee does as he's told, nodding in acknowledgement to Tandel's presence. The three finish eating and Gibbs tells Tim what has happened so far. Tim turns his forest green eyes on Tandel who meets his gaze head on. Tim turns back to Gibbs.

"Boss why did you call me and not Tony?"

Before Gibbs can respond, Tandel takes a fingerful of hair and tucks it behind one long, graceful, Elfin ear.

"Anymore questions, ElfLord?"