Mac Taylor drummed his hands on the steering wheel as he waited for the traffic to clear in the medium-sized mountain town a dozen miles away from the cabin. He'd agreed to make a food run before the snow started falling. It seemed West Virginians were all stocking up on necessities and supplies. The old beer, milk, bread, toilet paper, and battery runs were familiar to him.
His first stop had been Sears and Roebuck, where he got a couple more heavy blankets. The fireplace was great, but the heat never quite reached them and nights were cold. He got some heavy socks and slippers as well.
As he walked into the grocery store, he smiled and nodded at the people he now recognized after two weeks in town. Mac and Jet were heading out to Chicago soon to see his folks for Thanksgiving, but they had this weekend to hunker down and ride out the storm this weekend before making the drive.
Mac grabbed bread, milk, cold cuts, a few thick steaks and some salad fixings. Oatmeal, cereal and fruit went into the cart next and he collected some chips, pretzels, ice cream, beer, soda and chocolate.
As he scanned the aisles, a shelf of paperbacks grabbed his eye. Yeah, he could use a good book, or two, or a half dozen. He grabbed a couple of science fiction books and a bunch of James Bonds, a Playboy and a few other magazines and plopped them and the food on the counter to be rung up.
Mac hummed the song playing, something that'd been a hit when he was at Annapolis, by...was it Smokey Robinson? The song perfectly described how he felt about Jethro Gibbs. Mac didn't care about anything else but being with him.
"You and your woman snuggling down?" the clerk asked.
"Yeah. We're going to ride the storm out with good food and some books for me."
The man nodded. "Hey, wouldya do me a favor? You know Leroy Gibbs? He's a Marine just like you. Got injured over there in Beirut."
"Yeah, we served together, got injured together."
"Could you check up on him? Kid is alone at his house, or maybe the family cabin." The clerk wrote out directions, but Mac didn't need 'em.
"Will do," Mac said, handing over the money and loading the paper bags into the cart. "Stay warm!"
"You too, bud."
Mac made the drive home and was gingerly carrying bags in just as the snow started falling. Neither of them could hack any wood down, so Mac had purchased a bunch when they'd first arrived. He unpacked and put the food away before looking for Jet. Sure enough, Jethro was snuggled up in bed where Mac had left him.
"Hey, Gibbs. Got food, a couple more blankets, some books for me. How is your carving going?" Jethro had been carving the Marine symbol for Mac's folks. The shapeless lump of wood they'd found had taken on depth and Mac knew Jet was damn good at this, even one handed.
"Want something to read? We've got Playboy, Omni, Scientific American, Popular Mechanics, Sports Illustrated, Newsweek...Got a bunch of magazines and some books."
He leaned over, kissing Jet fully on the mouth.
"Hey babe, did you have fun in town?" Jethro had stopped by a couple of places to say hello to old family friends, but he had no desire to be in town every day or even every couple of days. He couldn't drive well one-armed anyway. But he knew that Mac was fascinated with the small town and how everyone seemed to know everyone else. It was certainly different from Chicago, which was really the only thing that his lover knew outside of the insular society of Lejeune.
"Yeah, the guy at the grocery store, Norm, right? He wanted me to come and check on you, so consider yourself checked out."
"Old friend of my parents, they all grew up here." Sometimes he missed the small town he grew up in, but then other times, like knowing that even though he was an adult, but no one else thought he could take care of himself, it got old. "I'm really surprised he hasn't been here. When I did our initial shopping, I told him I was fine, but really needed some quiet time. Small towns don't tend to honor your privacy. Guess I must have looked pretty rough and scared him off."
"You can't do a lot one-armed. He seemed to think you were at the main house rather than this cabin,. I didn't know you still owned the house as well, Jet. Take me by there sometime, please? I want to see where you grew up, the place you and your dad fished, your tire swing."
"You're getting sentimental in your old age of twenty-one. We can drive by if you want, I kept it more for sentimental reasons then anything else. Thought about maybe renting it out, but I haven't been home sine I left for boot camp. I need to do something about it, should probably ask Norm or any of my dad's other friends to keep an eye out for potential renters for me. It's paid off, and the taxes aren't horrible. I've got some of the money left from my dad's insurance. It will pay for the taxes until I figure out what I want to do with it."
"Sentimental old fool for you, Gibbs. Only for you."
Stretching out his legs from the curled position he'd been laying in Jethro stood up, trying to get circulation in his legs moving. He should know better than to spend the whole day sitting the way he had been. "I guess things are changing, you used to not be able to find Playboy in the stores here, at least not out in the open. But then again, I'm sure you bought it for the articles, right? I'm fine for now, I really appreciate you going down there, though. I enjoy being back, but having to say hello to every old family friend or second cousins once removed gets tiring. Small town, and everyone knows you, even if you don't live here anymore. I visited with everyone I wanted to and even answered a ton of Shannon questions, and I think I've done my duty."
"Hey, every red-blooded guy has to read this stuff," Mac teased. He settled down on the bed, pulling Jethro back down and rubbing his legs. "Pins and needles or full numbness, baby?"
"Pins and needles, that's actually not as bad as it could be. But I could use a little help."
One thing led to another and soon he had Jethro on his stomach, delivering a complete back, shoulder, and leg massage. He genuinely loved touching the other man, not just sexually. His favorite part of the day were those sleepy times when they were cuddled under a mound of blankets, him with a book or a magazine, Jethro sometimes reading, sometimes working with his hands. They didn't speak for hours, but Mac felt closer to anyone alive then.
He had to face it, he was falling hard for Jethro Gibbs.
He leaned in close, lips against the back of Jet's neck. "I love you, sweet boy. You've gone and made me fall for you."
Jet arched up before rolling over so he was facing Mac. "Love you too, baby. This has been so wonderful, this time away from everything. I know we can't stay here and I want to meet your parents. But if I could, I don't think I'd want to leave here. We could go AWOL and no one in town would rat us out, there's something to be said for the idea."
Mac cupped Jet's cheek. He hadn't expected to hear those words and his response caught in his chest, his emotion rising. "I know." They were healing each other with every touch and moment spent together, and as long as they could be together, any way possible, they'd be okay.
Summary: Two marines get to know each other as they recover from the Beirut bombings. Second in the Firestorms universe.