Jennifer Shepard was tearing apart her bedroom. It wasn't that the comforter didn't match the drapes or that the sheets smelled too much of bourbon, and she didn't want to think about it. Nor did she have any significant date to prepare for to explain the hurricane damage that was her closet, nor had the house been burglarized. It was merely the fact that she couldn't find her favorite pair of high heels. They were just any high heels, though. They were Milano Blanc signature 1998 heels, bought in France, and she was sure she had left them in her closet.
Upon not finding them in their appropriate place, she'd gone through the rest of her thirty-five pairs of shoes and still came up empty. Jenny searched through the rest of her closet, hoping that in one of her dizzying frenzies to get out of heels, she'd chucked them back there. No such luck. Nor were they under the bed, in the bathroom, under the desk, the chair, in the laundry basket, dresser drawers or chest in the bedroom. The room was a mess, and she wasn't inclined to fix it until she found those shoes. Jenny went through the guest bedroom, the other bathroom, and the linen's closet, still not finding them. Then it was downstairs to the coat closet and still no luck. She'd turned her study into as big a mess as her bedroom, hoping that one night she had simply not brought them upstairs. Still no shoes. It was then the kitchen, the other rooms on the first floor, and her briefcase and purses. Yet, Jenny hadn't found them.
Duke, the dog that Gibbs had let her keep after their undercover op, had followed her around staying out of the line of fire and looking on curiously as she went through her things. When searching her garage and car and coming up useless, she had turned to Duke with a curious look in her eye.
"You didn't eat them, did you?" Jenny questioned the dog. He hadn't touched her shoes yet, but she supposed there was a first for everything. Duke looked on in confusion. "No, of course not, 'cause you're a good boy and wouldn't do that. Maybe I just missed them in the closet."
Jenny went back up the stairs for round two with her bedroom and was quite into her work when the front door opened. Duke had bolted upon hearing the noise, and Jenny had listened to the happy bark that meant Gibbs had come over. They pretty much stayed at her house, occasionally they went to his on the weekends, but she always packed an overnight bag, and the only thing she'd left over there had been some play clothes and such unlike Gibbs, who had changes of clothes and a second set of toiletries over at her place. She didn't mind, but it was more stuff to look through when she could find her heels.
"Jenny?" Gibbs called when he didn't see her in her study. He was slightly worried judging by the mess her study was in that something had happened.
"Upstairs," came the faint reply.
"What's gotten into her Duke?" Duke barked. Gibbs came up the stairs and went into her bedroom, hoping to find her dressed in something short and satiny but instead found the mess she had caused. "Ah, Jenny, what are you doing?"
"Looking for something," came the muffled voice from the closet. Gibbs stepped into her spacious closet and noticed her on her hands and knees, searching amongst the pile of shoes and clothing.
"What are you looking for?" Jenny froze, looking just past her shoulder to find him watching her curiously.
"Jen…you're in the midst of your shoes."
"No, those Milano Blancs!"
"My favorite pair of heels! The black ones with the tassels that are comfortable!"
"Honey, you wear a lot of black heels, that doesn't narrow it down."
"The ones from Paris!" Jenny snapped, still rifling through things.
"Okay," Gibbs nodded, pretending to know what she was talking about. He didn't.
"You haven't seen them, have you? I could have sworn I wore them last Thursday."
"Uh…no can't say I have," Gibbs replied, still looking confused.
"Damn, they're the only pair of shoes that match my favorite skirt and blouse, and I was going to wear that tomorrow! Now I can't."
"Jenny, I can see three pairs of black heels from here, wear one of those," he sighed. He was not dealing with fashion tonight.
"That's not the right shade, black!" Gibbs wisely chooses not to comment.
"Well, maybe you left them in your office." Jenny sat back on her heels, pondering that comment before jumping up.
"Brilliant!" She threw her arms around him, quickly kissing him before bounding off out of her room. "I knew there was a reason I loved you."
"I would hope there's more than that," Gibbs called after her. Usually, that would bring her right back to him, but he heard another door open. "Jen?"
"I'm going into the office real quick, make yourself comfortable, I'll be back shortly."
"I have to find these shoes, Jethro!" She blew a kiss before opening the door. "Don't forget to take Duke out!" Jenny called over her shoulder, shutting the door behind her. Gibbs watched in amazement as she disappeared.
"She can't be serious," Gibbs muttered, waiting five minutes sure she would come running back in the house, but she didn't. "Un-fricken-believable."
He figured he might as well make himself useful while hanging out there and put some water on for the pasta before going to straighten out her bedroom. He'd have to be insane to consider touching the study or the closet, but the bed and bathroom he could handle. An hour and a half later, Gibbs heard the door open and slammed closed and bolted down the stairs. The upset look he wasn't expecting.
"I see you didn't find them."
"Oh, it's awful! They're not there at all!" Jenny threw her arms around him. "I loved those shoes!"
"I know you did," Gibbs comforted. "But Jen, they're shoes, we'll get another pair later."
"I know, but…I had an emotional attachment to them. Had some fun times in those shoes," she lamented. He shook his head from the images of his fun times with those shoes. "Now, I can't wear that outfit again."
"You could wear it with your boots or something," Gibbs suggested hoping that sounded right, and not too interested, he did love those boots.
"Yea, I guess," she agreed. "Oh I didn't mean to leave you here, do you want anything to eat?"
"Already taken care of, c'mon." Gibbs led her back to the kitchen, where they enjoyed a nice quiet dinner and dessert upstairs. He thought that would be the last he heard of the shoes, but when he came over the following night, he found her again buried in her closet going through a large pile of clothing that had come off the shelves and hangers. "Jenny?"
"Have you seen my favorite black skirt and that pale lilac jumper I like?"
"Uh, not today, why?"
"Cause I can't find them anywhere."
"Maybe they're at the dry cleaners?"
"I checked it already. Jethro, this is just plain disturbing, first my shoes, now my clothes…" Jenny faded off. "Could someone have broken in?"
"They'd have to be as good at computers as McGee and Abby, and get by Duke."
"Perhaps Noemi moved them, but she said she didn't." Jenny glanced at her closet again. "All my favorite stuff."
"Jen, you have other clothes," Gibbs reminded. She studied him for a moment; she could understand he wouldn't be devastated over her clothing or her shoes. Still, he didn't even seem remotely concerned about how they went missing a very curious anomaly. Before Jenny could question him, he had kissed her, hello, and that was all she could think about till the following day. The next morning she felt the light kiss on her forehead as he left to jump-start on his investigation. Jenny kept her eyes closed, listening to the sounds as he grabbed a bag off the floor. She wasn't sure what was in the bag but figured it was clothes or something.
Jenny got up and went about her morning routine down into the kitchen, her favorite coffee mug was sitting under the coffee pot as always, but her favorite travel mug was missing. She searched all the cabinets and ran out to the car positive she had brought it home the night before. It wasn't there, and she knew she couldn't keep looking until later, or she'd be late for work. Noemi had come in her rush to get ready, and she had asked the woman to look around and see if she couldn't find the missing items. Duke had barked at her as she bolted to the town car waiting for her.
Work had gone as smoothly as possible when Gibbs and his team caught a case that attracted media interest. Jenny had spent the better part of the morning on the phone with reporters and SecNav before warning Gibbs to lay off the media. He had seemed to listen to the warning as best he did and had kissed her cheek on his way out to collect a suspect. It was an action they'd both grown accustomed to, as they had picked up their relationship. Things could happen, and a smile sign of affection was all they could use as good luck token, 'please be careful' action without attracting unwanted attention. This time though, Jenny had left before he'd come back, and when she got home, she'd quickly moved to change into something more comfortable. Jenny went straight into her closet and froze on the spot. Half of her clothes were just missing, nothing look rummaged in, just like she'd picked them up and moved them. Half her dresses, suits, play clothes, all just not where they were supposed to be. She looked at everything confused, Duke sitting beside her, letting her absently pat his head. Her favorite evening gown was missing as well, the one that she was planning to wear to the dinner function the following week.
"This is not happening," Jenny snapped aloud, grabbing her cell phone.
"Jethro, I think you should come over here."
"What's wrong, Jen?"
"I think someone broke into my house," she said, trying to sound appropriately scared. Jenny had a feeling she knew who had 'broke' into her house, but she wasn't positive, and if it wasn't her idea, then she was going to be seriously scared.
"Are you alright?" He asked his voice, taking on a tone that she knew he couldn't fake. He was worried.
"Half of my clothes are gone, Jethro! Some pervert broke into my house! Even Duke is acting weird."
"Okay, okay. I can't imagine why anyone would want your clothes, but okay. Let me just finish up. Go to your study and just do some work, keep your gun close and Duke too."
"It better not be more than two hours."
"It won't be, okay, just stay in one spot." He hung up the phone. Jenny went back down to her study just in case there was someone.
Gibbs closed the phone and smirked slightly. Being Director had made her paranoid, but then again, she had every right to be. It made him smile somewhat that she had enough of the agent in her to be worried and concerned and, at the same time, had no clue what had happened. He yelled at DiNozzo to work faster so that he could wrap up the case and leave.
"Boss, you got somewhere to be?" Tony inquired.
"Yes, actually, DiNozzo!"
"And does it involve our lovely Director?" Abby questioned, bouncing down the aisle.
"Oh, yes do tell!" Tony exclaimed.
"Your lovely Director will have your badge if you don't finish this case, do I have to go up there and get her to come down and hit you personally?"
"No…that's quite alright, Boss."
"I thought the Director left," Ziva said. Gibbs said nothing but gave her a good Gibbs' stare, and she shut up. Fifteen minutes later, the reports were on his desk, and he was walking them up the stairs to keep appearances. The team left, and he quickly followed. Gibbs got in the car and drove rather leisurely over to her house, speeding up as he got there. He had to seem concerned since he had been when she'd first called. He entered the house, hand on his gun, Duke guarding the study door barked at him.
"Jen, you okay?"
"NO, I am not okay!" She snapped, coming out of her study in a flurry of movement. Gibbs held out his arms, and she went to them instinctively. "Jethro, this is not normal. It has to be someone who knows the house well."
"Well, maybe Tony is pulling a prank on you or Ziva."
"You think DiNozzo would do something like this?"
"Not without Ziva's help."
"I'll kill them both."
"Yes, well, let's get out of here," Gibbs suggested. "I'll take you home, get you steak on the way."
"Jethro, on the off chance that this isn't a prank…" Jenny trailed off as he helped her into her coat.
"Then we'll catch this guy. I'll even get that nice fluffy pillow you like so much from the store," he said, wrapping his arm around her as they went out the door.
"You make pillow talk sound so sweet," she replied, teasingly kissing him on the cheek before they left the house. The car ride was comfortably silent, with Duke's breathing in the background. Jenny guarded the steak, including the raw one they'd picked up for Duke. The Restaurant Hostess loved the dog, and since they were so regular, there was always a special treat for their pooch. When they got back to his place, Jenny went to put her overnight bag in the bedroom.
"I'll get it," Gibbs said, meeting her at the trunk. "Why don't you set up dinner?" Jenny nodded, moving into the kitchen with Duke following. Gibbs came down moments later to dinner being on the table. He kind of liked this change in his life. It was nice to have company for dinner and to eat something other than Chinese take out, though he was pretty sure they owned stock in that. "Duke enjoying his treat?"
"On the newspaper, finally have him trained, so he doesn't make a mess all over the floors."
"Jenny, the dog whisperer."
"Cute Jethro, real cute." Gibbs kissed her hand affectionately, and she smiled the smile he loved to see.
"Reports are on your desk."
"DiNozzo had some encouragement," Gibbs replied vaguely.
"Jethro," she sighed exasperatedly. "Really." Jenny felt like she should protest and, on the other hand, felt Tony deserved everything he got. He just smiled at her, his usual grin. They were still smiling at each other when Duke came over for an ear scratch, Jenny absently scratched his ears, and the dog sniffed her arm. "Duke." The dog went running out of the kitchen at that moment, and Jenny and Gibbs looked at each other.
"Wonder what's gotten into him?"
"Maybe he's looking for his toy," Jenny suggested getting up and clearing the plates.
"Maybe," he answered, wrapping his arms around her, kissing her shoulder gently. "I'll take him for a walk, wanna come?"
"Sounds good to me." She turned in his arms, enjoying the feel of him just holding her gently. "And then, dessert?"
"Fixed the pipes, bathtub works."
"Yep," Gibbs assured. They heard barking from upstairs, and Jenny looked up.
"Better go find out what that is." Jenny went to the stairs where she spotted Duke at the top, one of her Milano Blanc heels in his mouth. "Duke!" Duke turned and bolted back into the bedroom. "Damn, dog! Jethro!" She shouted, running up the stairs.
"What?" She didn't answer, and so he went up the stairs to find her wrestling with the dog. "Duke, drop it!" The shoe hit the ground, and Jenny grabbed it, studying it.
"I thought I would've noticed if he brought it someplace," Jenny sighed. "Maybe I left them here." Gibbs said nothing just watched her sit on the bed. "Guess I forgot to check here."
"I didn't notice them either, Jen," he said. "Guess Duke's still got a good nose. He just drooled on them; little washing will be okay."
"Dog has the most expensive chew toy in the world," she muttered.
"I suppose you want me to take him out." Jenny nodded, mourning her shoes.
"I still can't find the mate."
"Well, one was here, maybe the other is." Gibbs got Duke to follow him outside, and they went into the backyard for Gibbs to toss a ball. Jenny sat on the bed, staring at her shoe. She looked up for a second and noticed something different. Jethro's closet looked bigger to her. She approached the doorway and felt her breath leave her. On one side, there were shelves halfway and a bar and shoe rack. It would have been one thing if it had been empty, but it was full of her clothes. All the clothes that had disappeared from her house were neatly organized just as they had been in her closet. Her shoes lined up on the rack, his underneath. She checked the drawers; the top two had her stuff in it. She went to the bathroom, finding hairbrushes identical to hers and her hair stuff and bath wash.
Jenny bolted down the stairs checking the cabinets and found her favorite travel coffee mug along with a couple of her large ceramic mugs that she liked to drink hot chocolate from. There was a stash of chocolate in what had once been an empty drawer and that lovely smelling hand soap she liked, instead of the everyday generic brand he usually had. She could feel the tears in her eyes, and she glanced out on the porch to find Gibbs tossing a ball out in the yard for Duke. Jenny ran out the doors and threw her arms around him from behind, staggering him.
"I found my clothes."
"Did you now?"
"And my shoes."
"And my travel mug, ceramic mugs, a chocolate stash, all the other luxuries I like, stashed somewhere around your house."
"Go figure," Gibbs replied, glancing over his shoulder at her. He felt her stand on her tiptoes, supporting her weight by leaning on him and kissing his cheek.
"I like it, but you're going to have to explain it."
"I have no idea…"
"Jethro... don't make me get your team to process my house. I'd have a tough time explaining your fingerprints on my headboard."
"Well, it was to conserve resources."
"Well yea, I mean it didn't make sense for you to keep packing an overnight bag every weekend, and this way you don't have to get up at an ungodly hour Monday morning to go back to your place because you forgot work clothes or something."
"And the nightgowns in the drawer?"
"It's not like you wear them at your place."
"What makes you think I'll wear them here?"
"Well, I wouldn't want that, but it's nice that you have options, right?" Jenny moved to stand in front of him, her arms looped around his neck. "Besides, you gave up half your closet, only fair, right?"
"It's not even a third of my closet," she reminded. "You didn't have to give up all that space, and those shelves are new."
"Well, I thought you might like a similar setup." Jenny kissed him gently.
"It's probably the sweetest thing anyone's ever done for me," she kissed him again. "And I'm sure it has nothing to do with the fact that you missed me while I was gone last week." Gibbs looked surprised for a minute before the expression disappeared.
"I told you I missed you…" He began.
"Hm…and you spent the whole time at my house."
"Well, I missed you and…had a lot of free time on my hands."
"I see. It saves me all the trouble of moving, funny how I never noticed the bottle of bourbon from my place disappear, and there's an unopened one there in its place."
"Well, I figured bourbon is one thing we should have doubles of."
"And taking my favorite stuff first?"
"I thought you might be a little more receptive to the idea."
"I'm very receptive to the idea," Jenny assured. "But right now, I'm cold, and Duke needs a real walk."
"And I'm the lucky dog walker," Gibbs sighed. "Duke, heel!" He kissed Jenny on the forehead. "I'll be back in a bit."
"I'll be here," she replied. Gibbs turned to lead Duke out to the street. "And Jethro." He turned back. "I do like the idea, love it actually."
"Good to know." Jenny watched him walk off with Duke trotting along and dashed back up the stairs rifling through the drawer. She found what she was looking for and the matching item to go with it. Jenny changed quickly before going back down the stairs and slipping her feet into her favorite heels. She waited under the street light just in front of the house and watched as Jethro and Duke came back around the block. Duke must have spotted her because he came galloping over, Gibbs coming quickly behind. "I thought you said you were…" His voice stopped mid-sentence as he came into view of her.
"I was wondering what took so long." Gibbs nodded, opening and closing his mouth, trying to get the words past it. She had on a satin robe over a satin nightgown that he knew from experience showed more skin than it covered, accompanied by his favorite pair of heels. He was almost positive he'd walked into a fantasy. "Jethro?" She called after a minute of his starring and no response.
"I was asking you if you were planning on coming in or going another block?" Jenny repeated.
"Was that a yes you were coming in, or yes, you were going for another block?" Gibbs nodded his head before shaking it, and she looked at him, confused again. "Jethro?" He had enough of this, and it wasn't that warm out, it wasn't right for her to be out in the cold. Or at least that's what convinced him to do his following act.
Gibbs moved closer to her, wrapping both arms around her and lifting her and kissing her at the same time. Her legs wrapped around his waist to hold on as her hands gripped his clothing. His lips attacked hers with a passion that startled her momentarily before she responded with equal enthusiasm. Jenny barely realized that he was walking back into the house until she heard the slam of the front door and his muffled command to Duke to go to bed. He pushed her against the front door, his lips launching an attack on her sensitive throat as his hands slid from her waist to her bottom, supporting her even more and barely caressing her in a way that sent flames up her entire body. Gibbs then pushed away from the door carrying her up the stairs to his bedroom. He had pushed off the robe somewhere on the stairs, and Jenny had kicked off her heels at about the same time as she ditched his button-down shirt. His lips had found hers again their tongues dueling for dominance as he lay her down on the bed, covering her with his body. Her legs pulled his hips to hers, his jeans rubbing against the satin that barely covered her skin. His hands went back to her thighs, reaching for the hem of the gown and pulling it off in her one quick movement before his lips again found her skin tracing paths down her neck to her collarbone and then to her breasts.
Jenny had managed to slip her hands between them and was fighting with his belt and jeans using her feet to push them off him as they came undone. He had pushed himself up slightly to get rid of his clothes; boxers included before lying back down with her and wrapping his arms around her as she tried to pull his hips again closer to hers. Gibbs didn't resist, and they came together with a low moan issuing from them. He had barely got settled when he felt her buck up and flip them over, so she was on top. They rolled on the bed before he finally won the struggle, and she surrendered with a soft sigh of pleasure. He quickly brought them both over the edge, and he collapsed on top of her, enjoying the feel of her body wrapped around his. He had nuzzled her neck affectionately before rolling them again and letting her settle on top of him, still joined. They kissed softly and whispered endearments and teases in between butterfly kisses. They were just drifting off when a thought occurred to Jenny.
"I still think someone broke into the house, my evening dress wasn't there, and it's not here," she explained. Gibbs laughed, contently holding her just a bit tighter.
"I know where it is. You're not wearing it out," he assured, kissing her lightly.
"Hm…it struck my fancy. I think I'll throw a very private party and you can wear it then." Jenny sighed.
"Jethro…you were going to be my escort anyway …it's not like anyone else would have gotten to touch. I thought you would like the dress."
"Honey, I love the dress, I'm sure you look drop-dead gorgeous in it, but I would rather not drop dead at whatever shindig we're going to."
"Cute. Real cute." He kissed her frown away. "Fine… I'll wear a more conservative dress. I wouldn't want you to drop dead when I have such big plans for you after this shindig as you aptly called it."
"Oh, do tell!" Jenny placed her mouth next to his ear and began to whisper in a tone that made Gibbs groan and ready himself for round two as she squirmed on top of him and continued to detail all of her thoughts for the evening after the event.
They never made it to that event the following week. All of her gowns had mysteriously disappeared, and Jenny had been forced to wear the black dress Gibbs had taken. Only her escort had had other plans once he saw her in said gown, and they didn't make it past the living room of his house. Miraculously all the dresses showed up in her half of his closet the following afternoon.