Fear To Tread
by Mauzi

Fear To Tread
by Mauzi

[…fools in love / gently hold each others hands forever / fools in love / gently tear each other limb from limb…] – Fools In Love, Inara George

[last night]

She smiles into the night and lets the silence wash over her. She knows she won’t hear him when he comes. She hopes though, and so the room stays dark and quiet. The cup she grips burns her hands, heat permeating through cracked china, but she isn’t quite ready to face her wine glasses yet. The scent of the coffee wafts towards her and she remembers the coffeehouse morning again. She still thinks she was right about the kind eyes (so dark a brown that they were almost black) but she knows better than to say that to Gibbs, especially after that fiasco.

She smirks, and then feels the quick bite of guilt. After all, Gerald is still in rehab and Gibbs sometimes presses his hand to his shoulder when he thinks no one is looking. He still has bandages on. The doctor in him wars with the bad boy who scowls at the indignity of the white gauze. He doesn’t sleep on that side anymore (but then again, maybe he had never slept on that side in the first place). It’s not like she has a basis for comparison.

The stars smile back at her and she almost laughs at her own foolishness. Kate Todd doesn’t spend time wondering about how the men in her life sleep (though, there had been the odd thought about Gibbs back when she’d still been Secret Service), and even less time on those of them who had the potential to ruin her life.

Ari Haswari has the power to ruin her career (she wonders if it’s sad that her career is her life). She has spent years cultivating that career, and she was still dealing with the fallout from Tim’s death. Sleeping with the spook that had become the current bane of Gibbs’ career within the space of an hour and two bullets isn’t conductive to a long and productive career.

She sips at her coffee and scalds her tongue. The curse is bitten down and the silence in the room remains unbroken. The man has held her hostage, put bullets into her friends and kidnapped her. It doesn’t stop her from growing wet when his hands slide over her skin. She tries not to dwell for too long on that. She has enough to worry about at the moment, because Tony’s words have started to take hold.

She still doesn’t think that you could identify with your captor after only an hour, but she isn’t sure if that applies to the latest incident. Four hours in the presence of the man with kind eyes who offered her champagne and called her Caitlin. She frowns, because it occurs to her that this could be some form of Stockholm Syndrome – even though she can count on the fingers of one hand how many people she knows whom had slept with their captors, and still be left with four to spare.

She thinks of the way he says her name, the cultured tones with the surprising lilt. When she hears him speak from behind her, she isn’t surprised. He says her name and she closes her eyes for a second. She turns around and her eyes meet his. Kind eyes, she reminds herself. She fights the urge to rake her eyes over his body and compromises by resting her gaze on the hollow of his collarbone. She itches to trace the stark dip and if his smirk is anything to go by, he knows it. She doesn’t mind his smugness overly much – it’s kind of cute in a way. She should probably be more upset with herself, but he’s practically sex in Armani, so her reaction is perfectly reasonable.

He moves forward, relentlessly invading her personal space. She smirks, and makes no move to stop him.

After all, she has never been one for denying herself pleasure.

[love entered]

Much later, while she’s lying hot and sweaty in her bed with his arms resting across her hips, she waits for him to fall asleep. Her own breathing is slow and steady, her eyes closed as she feigns sleep. She doesn’t do this every time, but tonight is different. She isn’t entirely sure how, but it is. It will just take her a while to think of it, and her task will be all the more difficult if he is awake.

She feels him stir next to her and remains still, body pliant. His arms tighten around her and it is all she can do not to smirk (would Gibbs find it as funny as she did that the big bad Mossad agent was cuddling?). His face is nestled on her pillow and when he sniffs at her hair, she freezes instinctively. It is a surprisingly intimate act, never mind the fact that they had just had sex. She isn’t stupid enough to equate intimacy with sex, not where this man is concerned.

His breath on her neck is ticklish. She doesn’t squirm, but her stomach does a little twist as realisation hits her.

It’s him who is different.

Her breath remains steady as she ponders this latest development. All along (if the last week could be classified as ‘all’), she has thought that it would be her who would get attached. She knows her own shortcomings – and falling for men she isn’t supposed to is a major one. So she has guarded her heart with a brick wall.

He is near sleep, as best she can tell. The hand on her waist is warm and heavy. When he whispers into her neck, she thinks she has misheard.

But in three words, he has sent the bricks crumbling into dust.

[my dreams]

She is at work, and Tony is playing Super Mario on his computer. Gibbs is standing behind him with the ever present coffee in his hand and a smirk on his face. In a second, Tony will realize that he has been caught again, and will duck in anticipation of the slap to the head.

She smiles to herself and continues to work on her report. She has to have it finished if she has any hope of cajoling Gibbs into letting her have a long lunch. He is coming back today, and she hadn’t realised how much she’d missed him.

Tony yelps, and moves further into his chair. Gibbs moves towards his own desk, and nods at her before moving to glare at his computer. Ten minutes later, she is sighing happily as she signs the report with a flourish, and Gibbs is eyeing the flowers in Ari’s hands suspiciously. She grins and sets the file on Gibbs’ desk, looking at him hopefully. He waves his hand, resigned, and goes back to shooting suspicious glances at the flowers.

Ari smirks at DiNozzo and leads her towards the elevator. When the doors close behind her, she smiles up at him.

“I think they’re getting used to you.”

[and then]

She smiles into the night and lets the silence wash over her. The smile is bitter, but she doesn’t worry overly much. The room is dark, the dim light from the table lamp struggling to keep it at bay. She craves caffeine and accepts that maybe Gibbs has been rubbing off on her.

She sighs, and gives up on waiting. Turning from the window, she casts her eyes around the empty room.

It’s been four weeks since he’s stood in this room, and tonight is no different.

[it was morning]



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