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[ bless you ]
by kHo

“Bless you, Cap´n.’

Jack frowned at his first mate. “Stop saying that, man.’

“But ya sneezed.’

Jack rolled his eyes as he turned to face him, leaning back against the wheel. “I´m aware o´that, Gibbs. I´ve sneezed five times in three minutes, now stop saying it.’

“But I want God to bless ya, Jack,’ Gibbs said, frowning back at him.

“It´s annoying me,’ Jack whined, turning back around and sniffing harshly, cringing at the sound. “Stop it.’

“Your heart stops when ye sneeze y´know,’ Gibbs said, standing and walking over to Jack. “Tis dangerous.’

Jack laughed, rolling his eyes again. “It´s a sneeze, Gibbs. Many a men do it, and hardly any of ‘em die from it.’

“Just the same,’ Gibbs said, nodding and turning to look out at the ocean. “I want God to bless ya.’

Jack sighed, throwing an arm around his first mate. “That´s sweet of ya, Gibbs…’

“Well don´t touch me, Cap´n,’ Gibbs said, looking at him as if he´d lost his mind.

Jack frowned, leaning down and peering at him. “I´ve touched ya many times, Gibbs, why would you choose now--’

“No sense in me catchin´ your death,’ Gibbs said. “Could be contagious you know.’

Jack laughed. “My death, aye?’

Gibbs shrugged. “That´s what they say, y´know. Catch your death.’

Jack shook his head. “It´s just a sneeze.’

“Could be a cold. Could be pneumonia. One can´t be too careful Cap´n.’

Jack rolled his eyes again. “M´not sick. Just sneezing.’

Gibbs looked at him. ‘Jack, you´re sweating, your nose is running, your voice is--’

“My voice is nothing,’ Jack scoffed, waving him off. “My voice is just fine, mate.’

“Sounds as though someone´s pinched your nose,’ Gibbs said, a smile creeping through. “And you´re irritable as well.’

“I´m not irritable,’ Jack muttered.

Gibbs´ eyebrows rose. “You´re not?’

“I´m not damn irritable, Gibbs,’ Jack growled at him, sniffing once again.

“Alright, Cap´n,’ Gibbs said, turning away from Jack to conceal his grin.

“I´ll have you know, Gibbs, that I am fit as a fiddle. Nothing plaques me at all, I am a finely tuned man and—“ The sneeze interrupted him and it rocked his torso forward with such a force that his forehead smacked against the wheel. “Ow! Blasted wooden piece of--’

“Bless you, Cap´n.’

Jack sighed, shaking his head. “Alright,’ he said finally, his frown deepening. “Perhaps I´m a little under the weather.’

“Perhaps I should take the wheel,’ Gibbs asked, smiling at him.

Jack´s mouth opened in protest but paused as his face screwed up as he fought off the next inevitable sneeze. “Oh, shut up, old man,’ he groused after another sneeze, stepping back from the wheel and shoving Gibbs toward it. “Happens to the best of us.’

“Aye, Cap´n, it does,’ Gibbs said, smirking to himself as he watched Jack make his way to his sleeping quarters, holding back a laugh as Jack accidentally kicked his shin into the table on the way. “And for all the times I´ll miss… God bless ya!’

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