I wanted to do a Father's Day fic. I think this works…I'm honestly not quiet sure. I wrote this on a plane at six in the morning so I may slip up a little bit in places, but I tried my best. I hope you like it. Please review. Oh and don't try and fit this into the time line of the show…it won't work well…
Disclaimer: Not mine.
Dedication: Happy Father's Day to my dad!
Slowly Jenny descended the stairs to Gibb's basement. She knew he was there; even from the top of the stairs she could smell the characteristic mix of bourbon and sawdust. She did not try to conceal her footsteps on the unpolished wooden steps, but he did not look up or acknowledge her presence in any way.
"Jethro," she said quietly. She knew why he was down here.
"What do you want Jen?" he asked her gruffly.
"I was just checking in," she replied, "To make sure everything was okay."
He looked at her, considering her presence and her intentions, but he did not currently possess the energy or, honestly, the desire to reject her. "I hate this day," he told her.
"I know," she told him, "but you shouldn't."
"I failed her," he said setting down the piece of sandpaper in his hand and sitting down.
"You didn't," she argued, sitting down next to him.
"I wasn't there," he said, his voice a mixture of pain and anger.
"It wouldn't have mattered," she pointed out. "You being there wouldn't have changed a thing, except maybe you'd be dead too."
"That would have been better," he replied bitterly.
"You don't mean that," she said.
"What if I do?" he asked.
"You don't," she told him firmly. "I know you think you failed Kelly, but you didn't. You didn't fail her because you survived, and you helped save other people. You helped save the people that could be saved, and she would have loved you for that."
"I was just doing my job," he said.
"I'm not talking about your job," she told him, "I'm talking about your team." He looked at her. She pointed to a dark spot on the concrete. "That's where Ari died, isn't it?" she asked him.
He nodded, thinking back to that day. He could clearly see Ziva there leaning over her half-brother's body. He could see the young man's blood spreading over the floor, and he could hear Ziva's soft song filling the room.
Jenny's voice pierced his thoughts. "Do you remember what she was like back then?" she asked him, "because I do. She was a capable agent, but she was a broken person. She'd never let you see that, but she needed what you gave her. She needed the stability. She needed to be able to trust people again."
Gibbs sat silently, thinking about her words. He thought she was being a little dramatic, but she did not think so. "Do you remember what Ziva told you when you first met?" Jenny asked him, "That most good Mosad officers are dead by the time their our age."
"Yeah," he said.
"Well Ziva is a phenomenal agent," she said, "and Eli usually handpicked her for the most dangerous missions." Gibbs eyes narrowed. He had never liked Eli David much. "You saved her. If she weren't with NCIS, she probably would be dead."
"Kate is dead," he pointed out.
"Yes she is," Jenny agreed, "but I doubt she'd hold that against you. I think she'd be telling you pretty much what I'm telling you. You don't have the power to stop death, and so failing to do so does not constitute failure on your part. The fact that you were there for her while she was alive was more than enough."
Gibbs looked at her, and for a long time he did not say anything. Finally he spoke. "They are my second chance," he said quietly. He had never admitted that to anyone before, not even to himself.
Jenny smiled. She had known that all along. "And you're theirs," she told him, "Tony, Ziva, Tim…none of them had a good relationship with their father, but you gave them a chance at that. You have formed a family."
She smiled, and Gibbs felt himself smile back. Some of the grey fog he had felt that morning had lifted, and the world looked like a little happier place. Reaching out he took Jenny's hand in his. It was an uncharacteristic action on his part, but it felt right.
Jenny did not say anything else. She did not have to. Every Father's Day since Kelly's death had been very much the same for Gibbs. He would wake up in the morning hating himself, and Jenny, if she were around, would try to talk to him and make him see reason. Usually he was too drunk to remember anything that happened, and he would just sleep it off. This year was different; maybe things were changing.
At that moment, Gibbs' cell phone rang.
"Gibbs," he answered it in his usual gruff tone.
"Hey boss," McGee said a little nervously, "We, I mean Tony, Ziva, and I, we were sort of wondering, I mean thinking that perhaps if you weren't—"
"We were wondering if you wanted to meet us down at Bobby's diner for dinner," Ziva's calm voice finished. It was clear that she had lost patience with McGee's ramblings and taken the phone away from him.
"What time?" Gibbs asked as an indication of assent.
"We were thinking six," Ziva said, "but we can change that."
"Six is fine," Gibbs said.
"The director's welcome to come too," Tony's voice chimed in. Ziva hissed at him to be quiet, and from the noise Tony made it was clear that Ziva had hit him. Then the phone line went dead.
Gibbs turned to Jenny. "Did you have something to do with this?" he asked her.
"No," she said shaking her head, "their idea." Her cheeks were a little pink from having blushed when Tony alluded to her presence.
"But you knew about it?" he asked her, suspecting he already knew the answer.
"I did," she confirmed, "They asked me if I thought you'd appreciate it. I said you would."
"You were right," he said looking at a picture of Kelly that stood on his workbench, and they both knew that he was talking about more than the dinner.
I hope you enjoyed it. Happy Father's Day!