Author's Note: This is the first drabble in a project of sorts that Mateja (MatteaAM) and I are working on. Mateja's prompt for me was something along the lines of "Jenny is out of town and Gibbs misses her". I hope I did it justice and I didn't go too OOC with Jibbs. I'm a little rusty, I'm afraid.
The usual applies: I own nothing but my words, which may be incorrect, but since I have no beta you can blame it all on me. As far as I know, English still isn't my first language, so bear with me and my mistakes.
It was entirely too early to go home.
The members of his team were probably grateful for the unexpected early night, but, as he drove home, Leroy Jethro Gibbs was still hoping for a late night call, a case to solve- anything. Even paperwork had failed him, and once it was clear that he had nothing else to do at all, he couldn't find any more excuses to delay his return to the dark, quiet house awaiting him.
He sighed as he parked the car in the driveway.
The porch light was on but the house was eerily silent, just standing there, wrapped in darkness; watching and waiting, daring him to turn around and leave.
Refusing to let the house win, Gibbs got out of his car and walked to the front door, unlocking it. A delicious smell came from the kitchen, and he walked in to find a note on the counter, reminding him of the food Noemi had left in the oven.
He sent a mental thank you to the housekeeper for leaving him some dinner and transferred the plate to the microwave, setting the timer to one minute.
He didn't even last thirty seconds.
The atmosphere was just too unnatural without Jenny and - uncharacteristic as it may be - the silence was making him uncomfortable.
It wasn't the conversation that he missed, because they didn't always talk. He missed the rustling of paper when she turned a page, the rhythmic sound of her breathing, the soft footsteps that announced her appearance or the ticking of her heels on the hardwood floor.
She provided white noise and, without it, the silence was simply deafening.
He grabbed the keys and was out the door in no time, and when the timer beeped it was the only sound in the silent and empty house.
Twenty minutes later he was back at his old house, in the basement, working on a finished boat to erase every single imperfection.
The sound of the sandpaper running over the wood was soothing and the familiar movements came easily to his arms, but Gibbs still felt…restless.
Without even thinking about it, he grabbed the cell-phone off the workbench and dialed her number. The fact that it was about four in the morning where she was didn't even stop him.
She answered on the third ring, her voice thick with sleep, "Hello?"
Gibbs smiled, "Hey."
"Good God, Jethro, it's four in the morning! What happened?" She sounded worried, and he couldn't help but smile again.
"Nothing, I just wanted to hear you, Jen."
She cleared her throat and giggled, "It almost sounds like you miss me…" She teased. "Where are you?"
A soft rustling sound followed her question, and Gibbs could just see her, sweeping her long, red hair over her shoulder and rubbing her eyes.
"Back at the house, in the basement." He answered, leaning against the side of the boat, and he heard her yawn, then pause for a moment. With his mind's eye he could see her again, smiling as she prepared to make some witty comment.
She didn't disappoint him.
"Starting a new boat? Are you already replacing me, Jethro?" She sounded playfully outraged and Gibbs just laughed.
"Nah, I'm just looking at the one I finished."
"Why?" Her voice grew softer, sweeter.
He gently traced the letters engraved on the wood, brushing his fingertips over the name over and over again. There was a moment of silence before he answered, and he focused on her breathing, the sounds of her moving between the sheets: White noise.
"Because I miss you." He finally admitted.
As his words finally sank in, Jenny felt her heart simultaneously swell and shatter, and she was almost scared to realise that he was the only one who could make her feel this way.
She really couldn't wait to be back home and in his arms.