AUTHOR: Ashleigh Anpilova
PAIRING: Leroy Jethro Gibbs/Jimmy Palmer
SUB-GENRE: Established Relationship
SUMMARY: Set after Worst Nightmare. Gibbs wants to know why Jimmy had spent so little time in Autopsy that day.
WORD COUNT: 2,600
SPOILERS: Worst Nightmare
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Written for murgy31: P - 'Please'
DISCLAIMER: I don't own these characters, nor am I making any money from them. I merely borrow them from time to time.
Gibbs let himself into his house, locked his front door behind him, headed for the kitchen and snagged a bottle of beer from the ice-box. He pulled the top off, took two swallows, wiped his mouth with the back of his hand and taking the bottle with him headed up stairs.
He stripped, showered and redressed, trading his office clothing for his more casual attire. As he dressed he thought about the day, the interns, the case, and Jimmy's somewhat odd behavior. Why had he spent so little time in Autopsy? Why had Gibbs seemed to trip over him every other minute? Surely it wasn't because - Gibbs shook his head, no Jimmy wouldn't do that; he wasn't like that.
He would just forget about it, put it down to one of the young man's idiosyncrasies. He went back down stairs and dug through the drawer he kept his take-out menus in; he'd order a pizza, have it delivered, put his feet up and watch whatever rubbish was on TV.
Five minutes later, he pulled his coat on, grabbed his badge, Sig and car keys and headed out into the chilly night air again. Telling himself he was ten kinds of fool, he got into the car, gunned the engine and headed off at speed.
Pausing only long enough to pick up a pizza to go, he headed towards Jimmy's apartment. He hadn't been there before; he always invited Jimmy to his house. They'd mak- have sex and then Jimmy would shower and dress and leave. It was simpler that way.
It also meant Gibbs didn't have to think too much about what he was doing. Didn't have to figure out what the hell he was doing! Didn't have to face the fact that he didn't know if what he was doing was right or wrong. Didn't have to analyze the relationship, if that's what sex once a week could be called, with Ducky's assistant actually was. Didn't have to consider that he was easily old enough to be Jimmy's father. Didn’t have to wonder what the hell people, especially Ducky, would say if they knew. Didn't have to admit that he was beginning to realize that whatever it was he had with Jimmy, it was more than just sex once a week
He pulled up outside Jimmy's apartment and paused before opening the car door. He could just forget about it and go home. But he couldn't. Sighing, he grabbed the pizza, slammed the door shut and jogged towards the entrance to Jimmy's apartment building. Telling himself that him being here meant nothing more than he was just concerned for a member of his team, he rang Jimmy's bell. "Yeah, and if you believe that Jethro Gibbs, you'll believe anything," he muttered as he waited for Jimmy to open the door.
A minute or two went by and Jimmy hadn't appeared; frowning Gibbs rang the bell again. He'd seen Jimmy's car outside and could see a light shining from beneath the door, both things implied Jimmy was at home. He was just about to consider a bit of B&E'ing when the door was pulled open.
"I'm sorry, I was - Jethro! What are you . . ." Jimmy, naked apart from a towel he'd wrapped around his waist, hair dripping, blinking frantically, stood in the doorway.
Gibbs swallowed - hard - and tried to ignore the reaction in his groin. Jimmy was wet, sleek, clean, naked and - He stopped that though, shifted slightly and said, his tone harsher than he'd intended. "Can I come in?" Without waiting for Jimmy to reply, he moved forward, effectively making Jimmy back away.
"What? Yes, of course I - Ooops!" Jimmy in an attempt to move backwards out of Gibbs's way while still holding onto the door managed to let go off the towel and it fell to the ground.
"Palmer," Gibbs growled, hastily closing the front door and locking it. He kept his back to Jimmy for a second or two while he tried to ignore the fact that Jimmy was now completely naked and partially hard.
When he turned back around Jimmy had gathered the towel back around him and was holding it tightly. His face was flushed and he still blinked owlishly at Gibbs. "I'm sorry," Jimmy said, tightening his grip on the towel a little more. "I was in the shower and -"
"Noticed that Palmer." Gibbs deliberately used Jimmy's surname in an attempt to put some distance between them, in an attempt to stop himself from dropping the pizza and instead grabbing Jimmy, yanking the towel off and - He swallowed and looked around him. "That the living room?" he nodded towards a door.
Jimmy stared at him for a moment or two, eyes and mouth slightly parted, he seemed to be having difficulties understanding Gibbs.
Gibbs sighed and spoke again, this time ensuring his tone was softer. "Jimmy," now he used Jimmy's forename.
It seemed to do the trick as Jimmy beamed at him. "Yes, Jethro?"
"Is that the living room?" Gibbs nodded again towards one of the doors.
He was surprised to see Jimmy's flush deepen. "Er, no, that's my, er, um, er. That's my bedroom," Jimmy finally managed to get out.
"Oh," Gibbs said, groaning silently and again pushing away an image of him taking Jimmy's hand and leading him into the bedroom, pulling off the towel, tossing Jimmy down onto the bed, stripping himself, flipping Jimmy over- He shook his head; that wasn't why he'd gone to see Jimmy.
"Um, that's the living room," Jimmy said, clutching the towel with one hand and pointing towards another door.
Gibbs nodded once and began to head towards it. "Go and get dressed," he called. "I'm brought dinner."
"You want me to get dressed?" Jimmy's voice was heavy with surprise.
Gibbs paused and turned around. "Yeah, Jimmy. I want you to get dressed. Please," he added.
Jimmy's mouth fell open again and he looked at Gibbs as if he'd never seen him before. He shut his mouth and opened it again and finally said, "Okay. I'll get dressed." And then giving Gibbs a puzzled look, he gripped the towel even more tightly and hurried off.
Gibbs groaned as he went into the living room, tossed his coat onto a couch and looked around him. The place was clean, tidy, uncluttered, apart from shelves and shelves of books, the furniture looked nondescript and functional, but also comfortable, the décor was plain, the drapes equally so, but it felt like a home. He had no trouble at all envisaging Jimmy living there. The place felt like Jimmy's.
Navigating around a pile of medical text books that threatened to fall over, he headed for what he guessed was the kitchen; it was. For the next few minutes he busied himself with finding plates, silverware, paper napkins and beer. He turned the oven on and stuck the pizza in it to keep it warm. Then he opened both bottles of beer and took them back to the living room.
He took a long swallow from his beer and just stood in the middle of the room, before sitting down on the couch, crossing one leg over the other and settling back to wait.
It was only a minute or two before Jimmy hurried back into the room. He was dressed in sweatpants and a loose sweater; his feet were bare. His hair was still damp, his skin glowed and he was wearing his glasses. He looked at Gibbs and waited.
Gibbs held out a bottle. "Here," he said. "Helped myself, hope you don't mind."
Jimmy hurried towards him, took the beer and retreated again. "Of course I don't mind, Jethro. You're welcome to anything I -" He broke off, flushed and took a long swallow of beer.
Gibbs watched him; he seemed far more nervous in his own home than in Gibbs's. "Hey," he held out his hand. "Come here."
For a moment he thought Jimmy wasn't going to. But then Jimmy was there, his hand hovering over Gibbs's own, the tips of his fingers just touching Gibbs's palm, before flittering away. Gibbs caught Jimmy's wrist and pulled him down.
His intention had been to pull Jimmy down next to him, but whether Jimmy had chosen that moment to be more klutzy than usual or Gibbs's sense of direction hadn't been good, he didn't know. But one second Jimmy was standing over him, the next he was sitting on Gibbs's lap.
"Oh," Jimmy stammered. "Jethro, I -"
Gibbs's intention all along had been to kiss Jimmy, so even though the positioning was different to what he had envisaged, he put a hand behind Jimmy's head and tugged it down so he could kiss him. As always Jimmy tasted sweet, pure and innocent, even the beer didn't diminish his usual taste and without meaning to Gibbs found himself deepening the kiss, one hand was tangled in Jimmy's damp hair and his other was holding him firmly around his back.
After several minutes of kissing Jimmy, of nibbling his lips, his tongue of tasting him, Gibbs with more reluctance than ever before broke the kiss. If he didn't they'd just end up in bed, assuming they got that far, and his intention to have a meal with Jimmy and to talk to him would come to nothing.
Gently he pushed Jimmy off his lap, stood up wincing slightly as his erection brushed against his shorts. "I'll get the pizza," he said, his tone slightly harsh. "You stay there," he added, when he saw Jimmy was about to stand up.
They ate off plates balanced on their laps; Gibbs used his fingers, Jimmy a knife and fork. They finished the first bottles of beer and Gibbs had fetched a second one for each of them. They talked, well Jimmy talked, Gibbs listened. To Gibbs's surprise he felt at ease, content, relaxed, at home. They hadn't talked much before; in fact other than the odd sentence or two, the entire conversation had been of the physical kind. Gibbs learned more about Jimmy in that half an hour than in the four months they'd been sleeping together and the seven years Jimmy had been on his team.
Finally, when the plates and silverware were in the sink and the empty pizza box in the trashcan, they settled back down with another bottle of beer. They both sat on the couch, not close enough to easily touch, but near enough to be aware of the other.
Gibbs took a long swallow of his beer and looked at Jimmy. "What's going on, Jimmy?" he asked.
Jimmy blinked. "I don't know what you mean, Jethro."
Gibbs frowned slightly. "Don't you?"
Jimmy shook his head and took a small swallow of beer. "No, Jethro. What have I done?"
Gibbs shrugged. "Just wondered why you spent so much of your time today out of Autopsy. Why you kept appearing in the squad room. Why you were -" He broke off as Jimmy's cheeks turned a dark red and he looked at anywhere but at Gibbs. Gibbs frowned. "Tell me, Jimmy," he ordered. And then something came to him. "You weren't just -"
"No!" Jimmy said, looking at him, his eyes were hard, his chin was trust forward. "I wouldn't do that, Jethro. I told you I wouldn't. I -"
Gibbs cut into his honest denial. "Then what were you doing, Jimmy?" he spoke more softly.
Jimmy's flush increase and he began to fiddle with the knee of his sweatpants, folding the material over and over, smoothing it out and starting again. "It doesn't matter," he said finally, looking down at his lap.
"Jimmy, tell me. Please," Gibbs added for the second time that night.
Jimmy's head came up and he stared at Gibbs. "It's just that . . ."
"Just that . . . ?"
"I didn't like her."
Gibbs frowned. "Her?"
"Dr. Mallard's intern, Sarah Knox."
Gibbs blinked. "What didn't you like about her?"
"Everything. She . . . Dr. Mallard . . . He took her to a crime scene - two. And he was singing with her and -
Jimmy nodded. "Yes. A Scottish song. And she . . . I felt . . . She made me feel . . . I think Dr. Mallard prefers her to me." Jimmy said the last few words at high speed and very quietly.
Nonetheless Gibbs heard them. "Course Ducky doesn't prefer her to you, Jimmy."
"He does. He kept giving her things to do. Just because I'd been to the dentist and - I felt . . . I didn't feel needed. I thought . . . I thought I could maybe . . . That's why I kept getting under your feet. I wanted to -"
"Make yourself needed?"
Jimmy nodded. "Yes. I like my job. I like working with Dr. Mallard and the team and I -" He stopped abruptly and blushed. "I just want to feel valued," he added.
Gibbs was certain that wasn't what Jimmy had been about to say. "You are," he said.
Jimmy's eyes widened and he just stared at Gibbs. "I am?" he asked.
"Yeah. Yeah, Jimmy you are. Duck values you, I know that."
"Do you? Has he told you so? Sorry, forget I asked that."
Gibbs shrugged. "Yeah, he has. But he doesn't need to. I see how he treats you how he talks to you. Course he does."
"But he seemed -"
"Want me to have a word with him?" Gibbs asked the question before thinking about it.
Jimmy shook his head. "No. No. No, please, Jethro. No. Promise you won't. Please, Jethro, please promise me you -"
Gibbs held up his hand. "Okay, okay, I won't." He was glad Jimmy had asked him not to, as he wouldn't have known what to say to Ducky. "You do believe me, don't you?"
Jimmy looked at him for a moment or two. Then slowly he nodded. "Yes, Jethro. I do."
"Good. And Duck's not the only one who values you, you know, Jimmy."
Jimmy stared at him. "He isn't?"
Gibbs swallowed. What had he just said? He shook his head. "No," he said softly. "He's not. I," he paused, drained his bottle of beer, put it down on the table and looked back at Jimmy. "I do too." The look on Jimmy's face told him he'd just given Jimmy the best present he had ever received. Devotion, happiness, joy, contentment and something Gibbs wouldn't identify - not yet - shone from Jimmy's face.
He patted Jimmy's leg and stood up. "Guess I'd better get going," he said, reaching for his coat.
Jimmy stood up swiftly and caught Gibbs's arm. There wasn't even the slightest bit of klutziness in the movement. "Stay," he said his term firm. "I mean, please stay, Jethro." Gibbs just looked at him. "Stay with me tonight, Jethro, please. Spend the night with me." Jimmy gripped his hands together, bit his bottom lip and stared unblinkingly at Gibbs. "Please," he finally whispered softly. "I -"
Gibbs pulled Jimmy into his arms and crushed him lips with a kiss, pushing his body forward, until it pressed against Jimmy's. The kiss went from zero to sixty in a blink of an eye and when Gibbs finally broke away in order to breathe, he knew he wasn't going to walk out of Jimmy's apartment any time soon.
Still he shrugged and said, "Have to get up early, earlier than you normally do. Need to get home and change and -"
This time Jimmy, taking the lead for the first time ever, silenced Gibbs with a deep, hard, passionate kiss. "I've got a spare toothbrush," he said, finally breaking away and grinning at Gibbs.