Please Don't Remember Me by DD Agent
I do not own NCIS or any of its characters, or its settings - all belongs to the lovely folks at CBSThis fic was originally two. I had the idea of Jethro losing his memory just after asking Jenny to dinner, and then the idea of Jethro losing his memory and thinking Jenny was his partner [I am so obsessed with pre-series Jibbs]. Rather than write two fics, I decided to mush them into one! Usually with my multi chapter fics I plan them out, so I know the ending well in advance. But for this, I wanted to be free with it. I haven't wrote a fic like this in several years, so we'll see how it goes. And parish news on the writing front - all Lauren Holly fans need to check out my Scream of the Banshee fic. I found it seriously amusing to write. And I have two updates for the '97 Series: Jenny's first case and her first autopsy. They'll hopefully be online tomorrow. Enjoy!
And parish news on the writing front - all Lauren Holly fans need to check out my Scream of the Banshee fic. I found it seriously amusing to write. And I have two updates for the '97 Series: Jenny's first case and her first autopsy. They'll hopefully be online tomorrow.
Jethro was awake! Donald 'Ducky' Mallard smiled as the Neurologist helped Jethro lose his breathing tube. He was struggling against the medical attention, which was so typical of him.
"Welcome back Jethro!" He cried, happy to see his friend awake. They could now finish the case that had thrown the legendary field agent into a coma, and then they could all go out for a hearty drink. Or something along those lines - either way, the trauma that the team had undergone and the constant look in Jennifer's eyes that suggested she was going to cry would now end.
Doctor Gelfand was talking to Jethro, shining a light in his eyes. "You were in an explosion."
Jethro coughed, still struggling a little against the attention. "I remember." A look of fear crossed over his face. "Jenny, where's Jenny? She okay?" He pulled against the medical attention again. He caught sight of Ducky and turned to him, his wide eyes fearful. "Ducky, is Jenny okay?"
He didn't know what on earth he was on about! Of course Jenny was alright…then a thought hit him. Jethro was most likely experiencing some memory loss, and it was only a few weeks ago that Jennifer had been kidnapped. He must have reverted back to that time. The smile that had faltered was now back in force - the rest of his memory would kick in soon enough. But there hadn't been an explosion during that ordeal…
"Jennifer is fine, Jethro. Absolutely fine. Now let Doctor Gelfand do his work and make sure you are too."
Jethro nodded and sat up while the doctor and his nurse looked over him. "Agent Gibbs, can you tell me about the explosion?"
He coughed again. "Me and Jenny were clearing a building; some scumbug was thought to be making a bomb. Next thing I know, it's gone off." He paused. "You sure Jenny's okay, Duck?"
Ducky couldn't move his mouth. The events Jethro was describing had happened in January of '97, just before the partnership of Jennifer and Jethro had become a team, with William and Stanley. He didn't just not remember the events of the last few weeks, but the events of the last decade.
"She's fine, Jethro, I promise."
She wouldn't be for long.
"What are you doing tomorrow, Jen?"
"Same as usual, Jethro. Why?"
She remembered him knocking on her office door, a sure fire sign that something was wrong. But he didn't spit it out immediately, just hovered around her desk with his hands on his hips and a glint in his blue eyes that Jenny had known would have her in trouble before too long. She had been preparing to go to a dinner at the White House, although she would have preferred to spend the evening with Jethro and that smile.
"We're heading off to get the information from our undercover agent, but I should be done about breakfast. Do you want to get breakfast with me, Jen?"
"Is that your roundabout way of inviting me into your…you don't really use a bed, do you Jethro?"
She remembered his smile, the easy banter between them. She loved the way his hand had immediately moved to her hip as she had slunk closer to him. To both of them it felt so natural to be holding each other, to be so close that they shared the same oxygen. Jenny remembered biting her lip; she remembered the way his fingers grazed over her skin.
"I'm talking about breakfast, Jen. Eating in a nice place - pancakes and coffee. I'm talking about giving us a second chance. After you got kidnapped I realised that I…Jen..."
"It's okay, Jethro. Breakfast sounds good." She had kissed him at that point, light and chaste but enough for both of them to realise what they wanted. Like her being held at gunpoint hadn't done that enough. "Second chances sound good."
Then the idiot had to get himself blown up.
Jenny stood up from the harsh waiting room chair, running a hand through her short red locks. She had tried to keep things together the last few days, but it was growing harder. All she wanted to do was rush in and stay by his bedside, hold his hand so tight until she caught sight of those beautiful blue eyes. She appreciated Doctor Gelfand's comforting smiles, and if Jethro hadn't talked to her before they had left that night, she might even be swayed.
But all she wanted was him.
She looked up to see Ducky standing there, looking harassed. Jenny wondered for a moment if Jethro had woken up and started berating the medical examiner for worrying too much. After all, why would Ducky have called her had there not been some sort of news? Unless it was bad. She didn't think her heart could take it if she had lost him again.
"Ducky what's going on? Is Jethro alright?"
He motioned for her to sit down. She followed his instructions, and her eyes started to grow fearful as Ducky reached for her hand, holding it tight within his own. "Jethro is awake. There seems to be no lasting damage to him physically, although he does have some memory loss. It's very typical for this type of trauma."
She knew it had been too good to be true. Of course, now that things were finally going right for her and Jethro, something would have to come along and screw it up. Memory loss. He wouldn't remember the night of the explosion, wouldn't remember their sweet kiss and the promise of breakfast. Still, it wasn't all lost. Maybe he would remember the feelings of when she was kidnapped, and he'd ask her to breakfast in a few more weeks. God knows she had waited long enough for both of them to be ready for their relationship; she could wait a few more weeks for him.
"Jethro is okay, that's the main thing. How much doesn't he remember?"
She could see Ducky swallow, and Jenny started to get worried again. How much time had he lost?
"Do you remember the time you and Jethro were caught in an explosion back in the late nineties?"
Jenny nodded, not liking where this was going. "I do, Ducky. Jethro…he grabbed me around the waist and forced me down. The explosion didn't get me, but I hit an iron rod as I went down. Was in hospital for a week - Jethro never let me. Kept muttering about how it was his fault." She felt her side burn with the memory, and her heart ache at the image of Jethro holding her hand as she slept. "Please tell me you're going through all the instances we've been in hospital over the last decade?"
Ducky shook his head. "I'm sorry, Jennifer." He paused. "Jethro has lost his memory of the last near decade. He thinks you two are partners. The first thing he asked was whether you were alright."
She stood up from the chair, looking down the corridor to where Jethro was. Jenny bit her lip, trying to get her emotions under control. He had no idea about their breakfast date - he didn't even know she was Director! The real loss hit her next. They were still partners when they had gone into that building. They hadn't become lovers for another six or seven months after that. Jethro had no clue about Paris, about Marseille, about every happy moment they had shared; and the letter she had written as she left him.
Somewhere, she realised Ducky was talking to her. "He needs you, Jennifer. I could explain things to him, but I think it would be better coming from you. Your relationship back then was incredibly strong, you had an amazing bond. I also think your presence would stop all his ideas about how I'm lying to him about how you are."
Jenny snorted. "Lying to him?"
Ducky risked a pale smile. "He thinks you're lying on an operating table somewhere and I'm trying to spare his feelings. Go to him, Jennifer, try and ease him into this. Amnesia is a very complicated thing; he needs someone who he recognises to help him through it. He needs you."
"I can't, Ducky." She sighed. "Too much has happened between us for me to think of Jethro as anything other than my…I love him, Ducky. I've never stopped, and to go back and pretend I don't have any feelings for him is…I can't do it."
Ducky gave her a glare and she sat back down like she was being told off by a rather patient parent. The medical examiner put an arm around her in an attempt to comfort her. She leaned into his chest and he pressed a kiss to the top of her head. She hadn't let herself be in this position since she had become Director, hadn't allowed Ducky to take on his usual role as a surrogate father. But at that moment she needed him, and more so, needed the pep talk she was sure to get.
"Jennifer, I've known you and Jethro for a long time now. Ten years, in fact. I know when you started having feelings for each other, and I know that both of you never stopped, as much as you both tried to tell yourself you had." He smiled at her. "Jethro told me a few days ago he wanted to reconcile with you, that he missed you. The man you fell in love with is still there, just a few steps short of being completely besotted with you. I'm not asking you to deny how you feel, Jennifer. I'm just asking you to go to him, and love him as you've always done."
She smiled at his words and turned down the corridor again where Jethro was waiting for her. She needed to do this. He had been there for her when she had needed him, and she needed to do the same now. It would hurt, but she couldn't let him go through this alone. So what if he didn't remember that night in Marseille, or their first kiss, or when he told her he loved her for the first time? He was still Jethro, and he still loved her. He just didn't remember he did.
"If something bad happens, I'm blaming you," Jenny whispered as she squeezed Ducky's shoulder and headed down the corridor to see Jethro.
As she walked away she could hear him whisper to thin air: "Don't you both always?"
The nurses and the doctors were looking at him a little strangely. When they had left the room for a brief moment, he'd took a glance at his chart. The date was all wrong - and that's when he worked out the explosion had made him lose almost a decade of his life. Leroy Jethro Gibbs was pissed to say the least - what had he missed out on in those nine years?
He closed his eyes, needing to rest his head. The doctor told him not to get himself worked up, which was easy for him to say. He wasn't stuck in the nineties and lying in a hospital bed after being blown up, not sure of the man he was now. A flash of red passed his door and he called out her name, but it wasn't Jenny. There were two redheads who kept walking past, but neither were his partner who he was desperate to see.
Jethro rolled on his side, or as much as he could do without being in too much pain. Jenny was obviously safe and unharmed; unless they were still partners and she had been caught in the blast too. He wondered whether they were still partners after a decade working together, or whether his cute little redhead had moved up in the world. He wondered if he had married again - he found no trace of a wedding ring on his finger but they could have removed that. Something big was happening soon, quite soon, that was as much as he could recall. Maybe he was getting married - that sort of felt right.
A woman's voice he recognised called from the door and he shot from his side to face her. He grimaced in pain, and suddenly her hands were covering his own, calming him down. He looked up and there was Jenny. She looked beautiful, had grown up in that decade from a probie to a beautiful woman. He reached up and stroked her hair - what was left of it at least.
"You cut your hair."
She grinned. He remembered that grin; she had had the same monkey grin the other day when she had switched his coffee. He smiled back at her, despite his injuries. "Yes I did. You like it?" She was biting her lip again. She only did it when she was nervous around people she knew - especially him. He found the whole thing adorable, not that he would dare say that to her face. His girl had a mean streak.
"I do, I really do. Makes you look all professional." He shifted in his bed and propped himself up. Jenny was sitting on the bed next to him, and her hands were still resting over his. He looked over her hands and found no trace of an engagement ring. Obviously if he was getting married, it wasn't to her.
"You scared us all, Jethro. Getting yourself blown up like that."
Us all? Ducky, Jenny, the guys from the office surely. But things must have changed in nine years, there would be different guys in the office, different people handling evidence - maybe Morrow had left and there was even a new Director.
"The last thing I remember was pulling you down." He coughed. "Then I'm here, having a Marty McFly moment."
She frowned for a brief second, obviously realising he had figured out what was going on. "That was January of '97. Its May, 2006, Jethro." He nodded, hating that it was now official that he'd lost a decade of his life. "You saved my life that day, Jethro. Doctors say that if you hadn't have pulled me down, I'd have been caught by shrapnel."
He ran a hand over her face. There were a few lines, but she was still beautiful. His hand fit around the curve of her neck, and he wondered how many times he had done that before - had he ever pressed his lips to hers, ran his hands over her other curves?
"Couldn't have that pretty face getting ruined now, could we?" He groaned as he reached for a glass of water. Her hands hit his as she tried to help him. Once he sipped some cold water, he turned back to his partner. "Fill me in, Shepard. Nine years is a long time to lose."
Jenny nodded and moved her legs underneath her. He was tempted to ask her to lay beside him, but that would just be too tempting. "Okay, what do you want to know?"
He thought about things for a moment. History and major world events could wait for a similar discussion with Ducky. He needed to know the big things of his own world first. "Okay, do I still work for NCIS? Is Morrow still Director?" He paused. "Are we still partners? Have we lost anybody?" He looked at her hands again and noticed that there was no wedding ring there either. She hadn't married in the nine years that he had lost. He wondered why. "Am I with anyone?"
The last question brought pain to her face, and Jethro wondered if he was missing something big. But Jenny was a pro, and covered her face with a smile almost instantly. "You still work for NCIS; you took over from Carter and now run the Major Case Response Team. We're not partners; I'm not on your team either." Her breath caught for a moment. "We lost a few people. Chris Pacci died a couple of years ago, but you caught who did it. As for being with anyone…you got remarried and divorced a few years back. I…I don't know if you're dating anyone at the moment."
He took the information on readily. He was glad he was working for NCIS, and he was even happier that he had his own team now. Carter shouldn't have been running MCRT anyway. Pacci's death was a great loss - he had been a good friend. The fact that he had been remarried and divorced in the nine years didn't surprise him. He'd had three wives in the nineties alone, two of them in a vain attempt to move on from his first wife Shannon.
"You didn't mention bout Morrow," he stated, and realised that he also wanted to know what Jenny was doing now. If she wasn't in his team, was she stationed somewhere else? Had she flown out to be with him? He'd find out soon enough.
She laughed, a sound that seemed alien in the harsh walls of the hospital room. "Morrow left last year for Homeland Security. We have a new Director."
"They any good?" He frowned for a moment. Something stirred in him when Jenny mentioned the new Director. What sort of relationship did they have together? It was 2006, there was a good chance the Director could be a woman. Maybe that's why Jenny was reluctant to say anything - he was involved with the new Director.
"I really couldn't say." She smirked. "Never been the type to big myself up."
The words took a little while to register, and then he looked at Jenny with a weak smile. His probie was now Director of NCIS. She was looking at him with eager eyes, waiting to hear his approval over her new position. To him, he couldn't see the progression. The Jenny he had worked with yesterday didn't like politics, played her own game and was more than happy pulling pranks on their co-workers with him. This Jenny was the NCIS Director with her fancy suits and smart haircut. A lot had obviously changed in nine years.
"Congratulations. I bet that went down well with me."
"You stopped arguing about me being a field agent a couple of months ago. Well, arguing about it properly at least."
He laughed and looked up at her, those green eyes sparkling. There was one more question he needed to know, was desperate to find out. He reached for her hand and entwined their fingers. "Did we ever-"
He liked the blush rising on her cheeks. "Did we ever get together?" He chuckled at her. "Nine years is a long time, Shepard. Man's gotta ask."
She bit her lip again. "No, never. Rule Twelve, remember?"
Jethro nodded, and they talked for a little bit about what NCIS was doing now. She hugged him before leaving so he could get some rest. He was incredibly disappointed that now they weren't partners they hadn't even hooked up for one night, or even kissed. His head hurt, and as he laid down on the pillows, something came to him. He had lost nine years, but he did remember Jenny's tell when she lied.
Her right eye had twitched. Something had happened.
He went to sleep smiling.