Gibbs took a sip of the bourbon sitting on the work table in his basement and rejoiced in the burning sensation as it made its way down his throat. It had been a long day and an even longer week. The case his team caught had been particularly difficult, then again, the ones involving children always were. Tony had really pushed the limits of Gibbs' patience with his incessant ramblings about girls, cars, and movies. Ziva's issues with her father were starting to interfere with her ability to do her job and McGee's insecurities were getting in the way of his productivity.
Gibbs picked up his old hand drill and found his mark on the boat that occupied the majority of his basement. As he carefully drilled out small holes he felt some of the tension from the week dissolve. He thought about his agents and his mind wandered back to an idea he'd had when Ziva first joined them. She quickly gained his trust after saving his life by killing her half-brother but his team hadn't been so quick to warm up to her, especially Abby. Back then he had considered taking everyone on a retreat to allow them some time to get to know each other but as the cases piled in they became too busy.
Gibbs couldn't help but wonder if a vacation was what was needed now to help them clear their minds and refocus on their jobs. They rarely had any time off and he had to admit to himself they all deserved a break. He glanced down at his watch, 5:00. He wasn't used to being home that early but their case had been wrapped up so there was no reason to hang around the office any longer. He put his hand drill away and decided to head for Jenny's house.
Gibbs knocked lightly on Jenny's front door and was greeted by a cheerful Noemi. "Hola Señor Gibbs!"
"Hi Noemi," Gibbs said as he stepped into the house. "Is the director home?"
"Si, the Señora is up in her room relaxing."
"Thanks," Gibbs said with a smile. He slipped his shoes off and headed up the stairs. He opened the door to Jenny's room and found her lying in bed on top of the comforter with her back to the door.
"Oh Noemi, don't tell me it's 6:30 already," she moaned. "It feels like I just laid down a second ago."
Gibbs grinned as he walked quietly over to the bed. Jenny jumped when she felt his strong hands on her shoulders. "Relax, relax," he said softly.
"You scared the hell out of me, Jethro," Jenny said, trying to regain control of her breathing. "What are you doing here?" She felt the bed dip as Gibbs sat down next to her. She let him turn her onto her stomach and felt her body start to relax as he rubbed her neck, shoulders and back. She lost track of where she was and what was going on as Gibbs' strong hands worked skillfully at her tight, aching muscles. "Oh Jethro," she moaned in pleasure.
Gibbs smiled as she relaxed under his touch, squirming only slightly when he came across sore spots. He knew how hard she worked and how little relaxation time she got. Even though he knew she was more than capable of doing her job he often worried about her stress level.
Jenny laid there enjoying the comfort Gibbs' hands were providing her. By the time he was done the troubles of the past week had disappeared along with her muscle aches. "Ok," she said as she sat up in the bed. "As wonderful as that was, I know you didn't come over here to give me a massage. What's going on?"
Gibbs scooted back against the headboard and Jenny moved next to him. "Any chance you could take my team off the schedule next week?" Gibbs asked. "We're going out of town, team building exercise." Jenny's forehead creased as she shot Gibbs a confused look. "They're not focused," he explained. "They're not on top of their game. I think we need some time to regroup."
"That sounds like a very good idea Jethro," Jenny said approvingly. "None of you ever take any time off."
"You know, there's plenty of room for you to come too," Gibbs said as he glanced over at her.
"Oh Jethro," she scoffed, "you know I can't leave the agency unattended for a week."
"Wouldn't be unattended," Gibbs said. "Call Leon Vance, he's looking to sit in the big chair one day. It might be good practice for him."
Jenny sat quietly for a moment while she contemplated the offer. "Where are you taking them?" she asked somewhat intrigued.
"There's this little beach south of El Rosario, Mexico that Mike used to take me to years ago. Back then there was nothing but a shack," Gibbs laughed at the memory, "it didn't even have indoor plumbing. Mike retired down there, now he has a big, beautiful four bedroom house, a swimming pool, a hot tub, a boat. He's got this beautiful open air kitchen and dining room. It's amazing Jen. You'd like it. It's so quiet and peaceful and when you want company there's this little cantina not too far up the beach. It's the perfect place to get away."
As Gibbs talked about Mike's place in Mexico Jenny imagined spending a relaxing week on a beautiful beach in Baja. "That sounds nice Jethro," she said. "Your team could definitely use the time off!" She was always telling him he needed a vacation but so far he'd ignored her. She wondered if she finally might be making some progress.
"What about you Jen?" Gibbs asked quietly. "Are you going to join us?"
"I'll call Leon," Jenny said. "I'll call Ziva and Abby too, I think us girls might need to do some shopping before we go. When do we leave?"
"Tomorrow morning," Gibbs answered, "plane takes off at 0800 hours."
Jenny sat up quickly, suddenly feeling a sense of urgency to get her phone calls made, shopping done and bags packed. A little over 12 hours didn't leave her much time. "Wait a minute," she said suddenly stopping, "you just asked if your team could have them time off and there was no way you could've known I would agree to go with you. How is it you already have the plane tickets?"
Gibbs smiled as he stood from the bed. "Leon's expecting your call," he said. He turned and winked at her before leaving her room.
Gibbs parked the sedan in front of Abby's apartment early Saturday morning. He left Tony and Tim in the backseat while he went upstairs to get his forensic scientist.
"Ok McGee," Tony said once they were alone, "do you have any idea what's going on?"
"Not a clue," Tim said with a confused look on his face. "Boss just told me to pack enough summer clothes for a week and not to forget my bathing suit."
"Told me the same thing," Tony concluded. "It couldn't be anything bad, could it? I mean, it could. Maybe he's going to abandon us on some deserted island. He was pretty pissed at us last week."
"He's not going to abandon us on some island," Tim said confidently. After thinking about it for a minute he started to feel unsure. "Boss wouldn't do that, would he?"
"Do either of you know where Gibbs is taking us?" Abby asked sounding slightly frustrated as she slid into the passenger seat of Gibbs' car.
"Not a clue," both of them answered in unison.
"Come on Gibbs," Abby pleaded.
"Director didn't tell you?" he asked.
"No, her and Ziva came over last night and picked me up to go shopping. The only thing she told me is you were going to pick me up this morning because I live closer to you and that she is going to pick Ziva up. She made me buy a bathing suit, a bathing suit Gibbs! Have you ever seen me in a bathing suit?" Gibbs smiled as he pointed his car towards the airport. "Stop undressing me with your bedroom eyes back there, Timmy!" Abby scolded.
Tony high fived Tim in the back seat earning both of them a glare from Gibbs in the rear view mirror.
"It's not that I'm embarrassed about my body because I'm not. It's just the sun, you know I don't like the sun Gibbs and whenever bathing suits are involved that usually means the sun is too."
"Relax Abs," Gibbs said, "you don't have to wear the bathing suit if you don't want to."
"Will you at least give us a hint about where we're going Boss?" Tony asked desperately from the back seat.
"Oh I'll tell you where going," Gibbs said. "We're going to the airport." Gibbs grinned as his passengers moaned.
"If we're going on a plane can I sit by you, Gibbs?" Abby asked. "'Cause I'm feeling a little uneasy about this whole thing and it would just make me feel better if I could sit by you."
"Sure Abs, shouldn't be a problem." Gibbs reached over a gently tugged on her pigtail. When she looked over at him he smiled at her.
"So, how long are we going to be on a plane?" Tony asked, hoping for another clue to their final destination.
"When we get to the airport I'll tell you guys what's going on. Until then relax, it'll be a nice surprise, I promise."
Tony and Tim exchanged worried glances in the backseat. Gibbs was definitely acting strange. The rest of the car ride was fairly quiet with everyone looking out their window imagining what the coming week might have in store for them.
After parking his car in long term parking Gibbs grabbed his and Abby's luggage leaving Tony and Tim to carry their own. They headed for the airport and met up with Jenny and Ziva. While Gibbs and Jenny checked the group in and got their boarding passes, Tony, Tim and Abby compared notes with Ziva, wondering if she knew what was going on. They were all a little disappointed to find out she didn't know any more than they did.
As soon as Abby saw Gibbs and Jenny approaching she jumped out of her seat. "Are you going to tell us now?" she asked impatiently.
"Sit down, Abs," Gibbs instructed. He and Jenny took a seat across from the group. Gibbs was enjoying keeping them in suspense but now that they were all together he decided it was time to tell them.
"Years ago, when Mike and I were at NCIS, he would take me down to Mexico and we would spend a week fishing. It was a nice way to escape for a little while and clear our heads so when we came back we were better focused on our jobs. I've noticed some of you have really started showing signs of stress…"
"McGoo!" Tony interrupted playfully punching Tim's arm.
"Tony," Gibbs said firmly. Once his senior field agent refocused he continued. "I'm going to take you guys down to the same the little beach in Mexico that Mike used to take me to. He built a very nice house there and has agreed to let us stay with him for the week."
"Alright!" Tony said excitedly. "Vacation!"
"What are we going to do?" Ziva asked.
"Relax," Gibbs said, "enjoy ourselves, have a little fun." He turned to Abby, "and don't worry, Abs, there's plenty of shade."
Author's Note: I gave Mike Franks' house a serious makeover to fit my purpose in this story. No more shack on the beach for him [although I must admit… the shack suits him]!