Last Friday Night by DD Agent
I do not own NCIS or any of its characters, or its settings - all belongs to the lovely folks at CBS.
Well people wanted a sequel. To be honest, so did I. This took me ages to write because of the ending to the first one, so I really hope you enoy it! A big thank you to missjaynefor giving me the initial idea and to calliatra for reading it over.
Enjoy! And part two will be up tomorrow.
"Hey, DiNozzo, ya miss me?"
Tony DiNozzo looked up from playing the new online game he had discovered to see Jenny Shepard standing right by her desk. She was definitely a sight for sore eyes. He couldn't believe she was back from her bereavement leave so early. The slightly too high heels, the dangerously low blouses. The battered leather jacket and bright smile with her red hair curled over her shoulders. God he had missed her.
He stood up from his desk and made his way over to Jenny. She wrapped her arms around him and he gripped back. They held each other, trying hard not to get too emotional in the middle of the bullpen. They had known each other since Gibbs had brought him on to extend their partnership; and they had been close since. He had stayed at Jenny's when his relationship with Wendy had ended. She had stayed at his the night after Gibbs had left.
"Nope, not at all Jen." They broke their hug and exchanged slight smiles. "It's good to have you back."
Tony went back to his desk, and Jenny slid around hers. Everything was pretty much as she had left it. Old files stacked in her inbox. Post-its stuck to her computer. There was a photograph of her and Lucas standing dustily on the corner. She hadn't wanted to remove it until after the divorce. Until after she had told Jethro.
The redhead looked up to see that Ziva had come into work. They reached over the divide and hugged, clinging on tight. She had spoken to her friend a little over her bereavement leave, but she had mostly kept to herself. Now she was back, and better than ever. As Ziva went to sit by her own desk, Jenny realised she was still holding the photograph of Lucas.
Turning around, she stared at her small framed collection. The other photographs there were of the team, both Gibbs' and the NCIS Bowling Ninjas. Unlocking her bottom drawer, she recalled the photograph Lucas had made her lose off of her desk. It was one of her and Jethro in Paris, one that she had treasured. She hadn't thrown it out, hadn't dared take it home. So into the bottom drawer it had gone. She touched his face through the glass, shivering a little.
More welcomes came as Tim landed on their floor. He practically ran over to her desk. They hugged, Tim squeezing her just a little too tight. Oh she remembered dealing with Tim for the first time. Gibbs had taken Kate onboard the submarine so they could work on their relationship and she was to use her role as Senior Field Agent to make sure Tony didn't completely break the Probie. He had come so far from that young, scared agent. They broke the hug and Jenny stroked Tim's face, trying to reassure the poor man.
"Don't worry; I'm back for good, Tim."
Tony let out a very loud sigh of relief from his side of the office. "Thank God, Jenny! I mean, we've really missed you."
As she sat down, she saw Ziva and Tim nod from their appropriate desks. Oh she missed her family. "It can't have been that bad, DiNozzo!"
All three of the junior field agents turned to her and nodded. What had their boss been like dealing with his grief by himself? They all grouped together in the space in front of the monitor to talk to Jenny and complain about what had gone on while she had been absent.
"He was a nightmare. I mean, your job as Senior Field Agent is to provide a middle man between crazy Gibbs and us!" Tony stated very loudly, not taking the time to wonder where their boss could be.
She knew it was her first day back and she should be nice to Tim, Tony and Ziva as she had missed them. But she couldn't bear to tell them that their boss and her best friend and partner had been descending the stairs with the Director when Tony had shouted his remark.
The three agents paled and turned around to watch as their boss glared at his team. Then Director Decker looked behind him and gave them a wide grin under his hat.
"Well there you have it, Gibbs, your team is back together again," Decker waved a hand at Jenny. "Just don't break any of them!"
The Director squeezed Jenny's arm as he went past, whistling something. Jethro glared at his three junior agents until they sat in their seats and decided to be quiet. He walked over to Jenny, his hands fumbling. She just smiled at him, trying to put aside her own awkwardness. Friday had…both of them were unsure how to define Friday apart from unsuccessful.
"Welcome back, Shepard," Jethro whispered before moving over to his own desk and throwing himself down in his chair.
Jenny smiled, feeling like she was home. "It's good to be back."
And she did mean that.
Will Decker was a happy man. Jenny's first day at work had gone off without a hitch, and Gibbs' team were still writing up paperwork so there were no fires to put out. He had made Cynthia blush after noticing that she had taken an inch off of her hair. And now he was wrapping up the last of his paperwork ready to go back home for a long hot shower and a re-run of Battlestar Galactica.
"Will, do you have a minute?"
He looked up from signing off his last case file to find Jenny Shepard standing in his doorway. She seemed nervous about something, which was unlike the fiery redhead. "Sure, take a seat Jen."
While Jenny settled herself, he walked over to his cupboard and tossed Jenny a bottle of water. It was a mirror image of where they had been only a few days ago, with Jenny pleading to come back to work. And asking if she should tell Gibbs she had feelings for him.
Will had no doubt in his mind that their esteemed silver haired colleague was the reason behind this conversation.
Jenny looked at her hands, not sure exactly where to start. She decided to jump right in. "Will…we've known each other a long time."
Groaning, he clutched his head in his hands and looked over at Jenny. "Don't start a conversation like that. Please don't. Conversations like that usually make me want to kill myself. So you and Gibbs slept together, it doesn't have to be a big deal."
Jenny looked up into Will's eyes, his rich brown mixing with her sharp green. Her hands were moving over each other furiously, she couldn't sit still. Finally, she leant back in his chair, trying to unnerve him. What was going on with her and Jethro had to be a big deal. Fifteen years of friendship couldn't just be thrown down the drain.
"We didn't sleep together. We didn't even kiss," Jenny looked down at her hands. "We talked. About Lucas, about Hollis…even about Mike. And then he asked me to stay the night."
Will swallowed some water. When Jenny had left his office on Friday night, he had expected her to go to Jethro, for them to talk and just cross that line in an instant. He knew their chemistry, knew that both of them really wanted something more. Will had expected both of them to come in Monday morning feeling awkward. But he had expected it to be more oh-my-lord-I've-seen-my-best-friend-naked rather than this reluctance to cross the line now they had both admitted there was one.
He needed to lock them in that elevator they were both so fond of.
"So what happened?"
"You can borrow one of my shirts."
Jenny looked in through Jethro's doorway and watched as he started pulling apart the bed. Her heart was in her throat. Her legs were shaking, the adrenalin pulsing quicker than any fire fight. She couldn't believe she was standing in Jethro's bedroom with all the thoughts of what they could do in there able to be formed without feeling like she was betraying something. Or someone.
She grinned. "Thanks, Jethro."
"No problem." She watched as he swallowed. She was so glad he was just as nervous as she was. She was almost on the verge of throwing up.
He walked over to his dresser and pulled out a shirt from near the bottom. Jethro handed it to her, brushing his fingers across hers. She took the shirt with a grin. "Thank you. I'll-I'll go get changed."
Jethro nodded and she blushed as she headed over to the bathroom across the hall. She should have suggested that she undress right in front of him, but she wasn't that bold. Unbuttoning her shirt and bra, she slipped the baggy t-shirt over her skin. It smelled like Jethro. It smelled like everything she associated about coming home. Pulling down her jeans, she left herself in her panties. She couldn't believe this was actually happening.
Moving back into his bedroom, Jenny smiled at Jethro. He was wearing a shirt and boxers. He looked so good. She just wanted to slip into his arms and let him hold her. He had always been able to read her mind and Jenny soon felt his arms around her, holding her close. He felt her kiss her forehead and Jenny looked up at him and felt safe. Like she always did.
"Is that it?"
Jenny frowned over the desk at her old friend. "We talked a little more, but we fell asleep together. Then Saturday we went over to my place and it was just like usual. Except there was this energy…this awkwardness. I thought maybe it would be fixed today but it wasn't."
Will leant back in his chair, wondering how best to comfort her. "I could say I told you so, but I know I'd get parts of my anatomy stapled to my desk," Will muttered. He could see Jenny's eyes flash dark and he decided he was very glad there was a desk between them. "Jen, I don't want to sound disheartening but did you ever wonder if things just wouldn't work? Maybe the time for you to work is gone. Maybe your time was in Paris."
Jenny nodded, clinging onto the chair so hard her knuckles went white. "I don't want to believe it, Will. After everything that's happened with me and Jethro…three marriages down the drain!" She hissed before breaking off. She didn't even want to think about Lucas, about how their marriage had failed because she couldn't admit her feelings about Jethro. It couldn't all be a waste.
As she rested her head in her hands, Will squeezed her shoulder. She looked up at her friend. "I want this so much, Will. I can't even imagine this not working."
Will kissed the top of her head. "Then jump over the line. Ruin everything, see where it takes you."
"And if I end up with nothing?" Jenny asked, the worry seeping into her voice. Every voice declaring her to be a fool was now louder than ever.
Will smiled sadly at Jenny. He had been her friend almost as long as Jethro had been. She was grateful that of all the people who had come into her life, he was one of the few who had stayed. "You'll still have me."
Doctor Donald Mallard was packing up to leave for the day, planning a lovely evening with a glass of brandy and a good book. However, when he came out of one of the cupboards he found that Jethro was laying on one of the autopsy slabs. His old friend looked worried. Ducky didn't know why - especially since Jenny had returned to work today. The two were exceptionally close, and the ME had hoped that the return of the redhead would have lifted Jethro's spirits. It seemed that he had been quite wrong.
"Jethro, are you alright?"
The former marine continued to lie on the slab until Ducky went over to his small drinks tray and poured him a healthy measure of bourbon. It was only then that his friend sat up and tipped some down his throat. Jethro sat there, holding the glass in his hand, not sure where to start with his friend.
"Me and Jen…we had a 'moment' on Friday night," Jethro revealed, looking at Ducky who had pulled his chair over to join his friend.
"What sort of 'moment'?" Ducky asked; not wanting to know any specific details but needing to know just enough so that he could help his friend.
He had always wondered exactly when Jenny and Jethro would wake up and get together. There had been pools on them for as long as they had been partners. They had stopped when Jethro had married Stephanie, but started again almost to the day that the divorce papers had been signed. For a few years they had been hot and heavy, money exchanging even when Jenny had started dating Lucas. It wasn't until they had actually signed the wedding register that people had given up hope of winning the jackpot.
But Chris Pacci, who had taken over all pools from Stan Burley, had still kept it going in the knowledge that the marriage would fail soon enough. In the last year, when everyone but Gibbs had noticed that things were off between Lucas and Jenny, the money process had begun again.
Ducky wondered if now knowing what he knew was considered insider trading.
Jethro bowed his head. "Jenny came over, told me that she and Lucas were getting a divorce when he was killed. We ended up talking about why we had never got together, and then I invited her to stay the night."
Ducky nodded, and urged him forward with another pour of the bourbon. Jethro swallowed the tumbler and continued. "We got ready for bed and then we…oh god Duck, it all went wrong."
Jethro pulled back from Jenny and looked at her. She was beautiful. He'd always known it, had seen that face in his dreams. But the possibility of…of so much tonight was getting him very hot. He wanted to kiss her, wanted to press his mouth to hers and push her down on his bed. He wanted, possessively, to make her forget all about Lucas.
He had respect for the dead, but Lucas was a son of a bitch. A son of a bitch who had never liked him because he knew his wife loved him more than she had loved her husband.
"We should get to bed," Jethro whispered. It was getting late. They were planning to go to Jenny's early that morning to sort out her place now she had moved back in. That's if they got there at all. Jethro would happily spend the entire weekend in bed with Jenny, satisfying every fantasy he had ever had about his partner.
Jenny nodded. "Sounds good."
Jethro watched as Jenny walked around to get in his bed. They had slept side by side before. He had held her in bed while she had cried, the only one she would let herself break down in front of. But this was something completely new. His t-shirt barely grazed her thighs, revealing the red panties she wore. He swallowed as she pushed over the sheets to his bed and curled under the covers. Her hair flowed over her shoulders, and Jethro watched her breasts rise and fall as she exhaled.
He didn't know how they were going to start this. Maybe with closed eyes and a light kiss before all the pent up passion of fifteen years crashed onto his bed springs. He kept eye contact with Jenny as he slipped under the covers, ready to reach for her. That was when he realised he was in no fit state to do anything with Jenny.
"So you were…you're…"
Jethro gripped his forehead as he tried not to head slap the ME. "I couldn't get it up, okay!" The tumbler broke in his hand. "Don't need to find a fucking euphemism for that."
Ducky went to find a dustpan and brush to clear up the glass that Jethro had broken. "Obviously I do, Jethro. I know things didn't obviously go your way with Jenny, but maybe it was the wrong time."
He shook his head forcefully. "It was the perfect time, Duck. Jenny was standing there in one of my…Ducky, I have spent a lot of nights thinking about Jenny like that."
The glass put in the trash, the ME with a psychology degree returned to his friend with a possible solution. "Maybe that's the problem. Maybe you've had too many fantasies involving Jenny to even possibly consider the reality."
"Duck…" Jethro rubbed his forehead. The whole situation was giving him a headache.
The Englishman reached over and held his wrist in an effort to comfort him. "Jethro, you and Jenny have been dancing around each other for fifteen years. Both of you have no doubt wondered what it would be like. There were, no doubt, times both of you considered how perfect it would be to be together. It's natural that you would feel anxious about it not living up to your fantasy, and one moment of passion ruining everything you have. After all, if this doesn't work out then not only have you wasted fifteen years on a fantasy, but also destroyed the best relationship you've ever had."
Jethro nodded. It made sense - how else could he not get turned on at the sight of Jenny in his bed? But Ducky's words were making him nervous - he didn't want to lose everything. He didn't want to lose her. "What should I do, Duck? Just ignore the fact that I'm attracted to her? That I love her?"
Ducky rested a hand on his shoulder before tapping the poor man's face. "Start slow. Don't jump in to a full blown relationship. Just ask her to dinner."
After coming up from Ducky's, Jethro slammed himself into his desk and downed the remainder of a cold cup of coffee. His gut was acting up - he was worried. But, despite him wanting to be with Jenny more than anything, Ducky's advice made sense. Slow would have its upsides. He could finally feel able to look at her with all the longing he felt. He could finally hold her hand; maybe even kiss her if the moment took them. And really, after fifteen years what was a bit more waiting?
He looked up to see that Jenny was still in the office. All thoughts about waiting went out the window just looking at her smile. "Hey, Jen." He needed to be less awkward. This was Jen. His best friend. Any awkwardness between them had disappeared within one year of being partners. "Would have thought you would have headed home already."
She shook her head and leant against his desk. She put her hands behind herself, close to his. "Wanted to talk to Will about some things. Plus I haven't been here for a while; it's nice to be back. Why are you still here?"
He shrugged. "No one to go home to." Jethro risked looking up at Jenny. He knew what he wanted, had been spending all weekend trying to deal with the knowledge that she wanted it too. It was time to take the second half of Ducky's advice. Jethro gained his confidence back with the knowledge that it was only Jenny. He pushed some hair off of her face and watched her grin. "Jenny, would you like to have dinner with me one night?"
It wasn't a 'do you want to grab some dinner' question. He didn't want burgers in his basement, Chinese at their desk, pizza in her study. This was a restaurant suggestion: him in a tie, her in a dress. This was Leroy Jethro Gibbs asking his partner and best friend if she wanted to go on a date with him.
The breath he didn't realise he was holding was let out when he watched her eyes light up. "I'd love to. When?"
Jethro wiped his hands on his trousers, his brain trying to keep up with the pace of his heart. He shrugged his shoulders and tried to think about when it would be best to completely reboot his relationship with his best friend. He wanted things to be a little special; he didn't want to go out in the clothes he was now in. But then he didn't want to give either of them time to really think about what they were doing and back out of it. They needed to take the next step.
"How bout tomorrow night? I'll make reservations for somewhere nice," Jethro suggested, his hands still ridiculously sweaty. "Somewhere nice."
"Sounds good." Jenny reached over and rested her hand over his own. Her fingers curled around his and Jethro closed his eyes for a blink. They had spent time huddled in foreign trawlers; they had slept in the same bed. She had straddled him more than once. And yet this simple touch was more intimate than anything they had ever done in the last fifteen years.
Apart from that one moment in Marseille when they had almost kissed.
"I'll pick you up at, say, eight?" Jethro suggested, opening his eyes to look up at Jenny. She was smiling at him.
"I'll be waiting."
Jethro watched Jenny break their contact and head off home. It would be a long twenty four hours until he finally got his chance with his best friend.