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Paperback Writer

by: taylorgibbs (Send Feedback)

Series: - No Series - #1
Chapters: 001 Word Count: 1011
Rating: TEEN
Character(s): Jethro Gibbs
Category(ies): Character Study
Pairing(s): - No Pairing -
Episode(s): 5-18 Judgment Day
Summary: Gibbs discovers a new hobby.

Author Notes: Thanks to Cat and Hilde for the beta.

Chapters: 1

Paperback Writer

Gibbs looked at the typewriter and sheaf of paper, inhaling and exhaling slowly and evenly. He could hardly believe he was doing this, it was so unlike him. But The Kelly was almost done and he’d promised himself he’d take a couple of weeks off. His hands were bothering him in a way they hadn’t before and his grip on his Sig was suffering. He wasn’t about to talk to Ducky about something so trivial, but common sense told him to try something else for a while, before his hands got worse.

Problem was, he needed to completely lose himself in something. With the whole LA mess, Jenny’s death, and Vance splitting up the team, Gibbs needed something very hands on. Reading wasn’t good enough and he limited himself to a five mile swim in the morning and a five mile run at night.

A few months back, he’d overheard McGee talking with Ducky, explaining how relaxing this free writing thing was for him. Gibbs had read McGee’s book before it had released, using his gut and connections to follow a hunch. He’d known McGee was writing for a while and when an advance copy crossed a fellow NCIS agent’s desk, Gibbs snapped it up.

He’d enjoyed the book. Yeah, he’d seen it for what it was, but he quietly admired McGee’s talent. Would have liked it even more if the hero of McGee’s books wasn’t a flinty eyed L.J. Tibbs, though. Part of him had been shocked when he’d read the books, part of him outraged, but then he’d read between the lines. It was impossible to miss how much McGee respected and even admired him.

Reading Deep Six had put the germ in his head. Could he actually put a story down on paper? When Kelly had been a baby, Gibbs had told her elaborate stories about the princess and her kingdom. He’d made up all sorts of characters and creatures and she and Shannon had been spellbound. When he’d been on deployment, he’d saved up things to put in letters, but that had all died when his family had been taken away from him.

Gibbs knew he wasn’t that guy any more. He couldn’t write something that would appeal to children, there was no way he could recapture that time in his life. Not yet. Maybe some day, as a tribute to his girls.

He’d given this idea thought on and off for a while, usually when working on the boat, those quiet nights when his mind wandered and he pushed cases aside and let his though processes work in a different way. It’d become relaxing, laying out the ideas for a story, but he’d never taken it further. Until this week.

He looked at the typewriter, which hadn’t been used since he got his Masters degree ten years ago. Everyone had graduated to computers even then, but he’d preferred the feel of the keys striking the paper, even on the electric typewriter. It wasn’t the same as the older manual ones, where sheer force brought the keys in contact with the letters. He couldn’t spend time and energy trying to find one of those machines that was in good working order, and he suspected they’d be rising in price anyway. Nostalgia items always did. Maybe restoring an older typewriter would be a project for later.

Gibbs wandered into the kitchen and poured himself a coffee, knowing he was stalling but unable to help himself. This was a different Gibbs than his team saw. The new team or the team he considered his real team. He missed them, but he couldn’t let on. Tony was doing okay afloat on the Regan and Ziva was probably readjusting to life with Mossad.

Gibbs wondered how they might take the idea that he was writing. Somehow, he knew McGee would understand and he had the feeling that DiNozzo might as well. And Abbs. But Abbs understood him more than most.

Finishing his coffee, Gibbs walked back into the den and to the small desk tucked away in the corner. He knew what he wanted to write, could see the story unfolding in bits and chunks in his head. It was an adrenaline rush completely different from chasing down suspects and solving crimes.

Gibbs mentally headslapped himself and got down to business. Stalling time was over. First, he needed to instal the new typewriter ribbons. He loaded them quickly, this piece of machinery not at all foreign to him. Its quiet hum soothed him as it warmed up. Then he opened the pack of paper and arranged it in a neat stack at his left side. Finally, he loaded the first piece of paper into the machine and took a deep breath.

He could do this.

They were three thousand klicks past the Huglin nebula when it all went to hell. Captain Gary Tyler grabbed hold of the controls as his transport bucked, the metal screaming. This was it!

Three hours later, Gibbs came to awareness to realize his knee, back, and bladder were protesting. He hadn’t sat this still in ages, he realized, blinking rapidly and trying to reorient himself. Even the feel of the wood of his boat under his hands hadn’t taken him away like this in years. He stood slowly, looking at the untidy pile of pages and making the stack absolutely perfect. He counted each page out, shocked to realize that he had written nearly three chapters and had twenty five pages in his hand.

Gibbs exhaled slowly, nodding, very pleased with his progress. He might never share this story with another person, but he couldn’t help thinking that he was a real writer now.

Gibbs shut down the typewriter, exhaling slowly, knowing he was smiling. Gibbs hummed Paperback Writer, knowing he’d found a new hobby that fit him like a glove.

Chapters: 1

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