Jillian awoke, startled by the crashing thunder. Another storm was rolling in – she hated storms, had hated them since she was a kid. Oh the rain never bothered her, but the crashing of the thunder and flashes of lightening always bothered her. She clinched the extra pillow on the bed hoping that if she squeezed it hard enough it would keep her safe – it wasn’t working.
She ventured from her room and down the hallway – it was still early but the clouds had made everything dark prematurely. She found DiNozzo sitting on the couch watching an old movie. He turned to see her as she walked into the living room.
“Hey there sleepyhead, how are you feeling?” DiNozzo asked, using his charm to make light of the situation they were in.
“I’m okay but you promise you won’t laugh if I tell you something?”
Tony sat up on the edge of the couch; he was intrigued at what he had in front of him – a tough as nails litigator who looked like a small child that was scared. “Yeah, I promise – are you ok?”
“I really don’t like thunderstorms…can I sit next to you on the couch? I don’t want to be in the room by myself.”
A large grin began to appear across Tony’s face, “Sure – come on over here and sit down. I’ll see if I can protect you from the big bad rain storm.”
Jillian knew she sounded like an idiot but she couldn’t help it. She was sure that the thunder was just a metaphor for the turmoil in her life. She couldn’t help that she had been so scared over the threats; she hated that she didn’t ask for help sooner. She hated that she had not trusted to call Jethro in the beginning and she hated that she needed his help now. She was confused – did she need him or didn’t she?
She sat down on the couch next to Tony. She sat as close as she could without literally crawling on his lap. If it bothered him as to how close she was sitting, he didn’t show it. Matter of fact, he reached over and put his arm behind her and pulled her a bit closer.
“Now don’t get any ideas…I am just doing what I am supposed to and protecting you.”
“Actually Tony, I appreciate it…it is reassuring and it is sweet. I promise I won’t get any ideas.”
Jillian and Tony sat on the couch and watched the remainder of the movie while the storm ravaged away outside.
Gibbs unlocked the door to the safe house; he could hear what sounded like static coming from the living room television. He slowly walked into the house, gun drawn, not sure what he would find. As he cleared the threshold into the living room he found them – Jillian and DiNozzo snuggled on the couch together – sound asleep. Gibbs slowly holstered his weapon and took a moment to watch the two as they slept. He slowly walked over the television and turned it off; the noise it made as it shut off startled Tony.
“Hey, what is going…oh…hey, boss” Tony said sheepishly.
“Keep it down you’re going to wake her.”
Tony slowly looked down and noticed he had been in an embrace with Jillian; she was still sleeping.
“I swear it isn’t what you think…it is innocent, I mean it.”
“Just what do you think I am thinking DiNozzo?”
“Well….I bet you are thinking that I tried something with her or that there was more to us just sleeping.”
Gibbs tried to suppress a smile, “Tony, I am going to trust you didn’t do anything with her.” Tony felt relieved for a moment, but as he noticed Gibbs walking toward him he knew that couldn’t be good. “Tony, because if you did, you will be answering to me for it- do I make myself clear?”
Tony swallowed hard, “yes sir, crystal.” With those words he slowly moved and let Jillian rest on the couch alone. He stood up and followed Gibbs into the kitchen where they could talk but still keep an eye on Jillian.
“Any luck on finding out who did this to her?”
“McGee found some stuff on her computer that makes a few people really good suspects. Has you told you anything or said anything that can help?”
“No, we got here and she went to bed, the storm rocked her a bit and she came into the living room because she was scared. I haven’t been able to ask many questions.”
“What exactly do you want to know?” Gibbs and DiNozzo turned to find Jillian standing in the doorway. “I am assuming that you wanted Tony to interrogate me a bit Jethro? Sorry didn’t give him the chance…been a bit tired with all this recovering I have to do.” Jillian was being short and sassy in her remarks – she didn’t really want to play nice.
Gibbs took a deep breath before turning and walking in her direction. “I had no intention of DiNozzo interrogating you – but I did intend for him to at least make an attempt to discuss your attack and see if you could remember anything else.”
“Don’t you think I would tell you if I remembered anything? You might not realize this but I am pretty damn good investigator in my own right and I don’t need you to ‘show me how it’s done.’ I know what information you need and why you need it…if I could remember it I would tell you.”
Tony stood back and watched the two argue – he was amused. She seemed the perfect match for him. If it wasn’t for the fact that she looked quite a few years younger, he would swear she could be one of Gibbs’ ex-wives.
“You know Jillian you are just too stubborn and you are in over your head. Maybe if you would have asked for help a little earlier in your investigation we wouldn’t be taking a detour to look into your beating.” Gibbs was furious – furious that she put herself in this position in the first place and even more furious that she didn’t want help now.
“Jethro, I am a big girl and I have survived many a year without you…I am pretty confident I will survive many more.”
DiNozzo noticed the intensity of the words escalating and he noticed how Jillian and Gibbs were slowly staring to walk towards one another. He figured he should step in now before things got any uglier. “Hey, look I know emotions are running a bit high here…let’s just step back and take a breath – maybe sit down and discuss this calmly…what do you say?”
Jillian nodded first and slowly walked over to the kitchen table. Tony was right; nothing was going to be solved by yelling at one another. She sat down and waited for Tony and Gibbs to join her at the table. Gibbs reluctantly took a seat next to Jillian, he was afraid if he sat across from her she really would feel like she was being interrogated.