The Night Watchman
by B. Cavis
The Night Watchman
by B. Cavis
His heart beat is strong and steady underneath her ear, and she listens to the sound of him breathing as the clock slips the world into one of the hours he calls “ungodly.”
Two A.M. and all is well.
She lies sprawled on top of him when he sleeps, and he won’t let her move because “You’re not heavy, my dear.” He is warm and firm underneath her; his strong arms are wrapped around her waist protectively, while his hands rest gently on her skin and soothe away all of the pain she could ever feel. No part of her system could have the audacity to so much as twinge while his hands rest upon her skin, and when she told him this he had raised his eyebrows.
“That’s my responsibility towards you, Abigail. If I can keep you from feeling pain, I do it.”
She had laughed at him, sweetly but loudly, and called him chivalrous and old fashioned, and he had simply nodded. “Yes, but ‘old fashioned’ as I may be, I still know how to turn you on.” And proceeded to make her retract all of her teasing with quick movements of his tongue and teeth, and the strong, sure touch of his hands.
He has never made her feel suffocated-- never made her feel like she had to get free of him to breathe deeply the way that McGhee used to. The younger man would hold her in a strangle hold in his sleep, tight and unforgiving, and she would wake up in the middle of the night pressed up against every inch of him, feeling like her body was holding so much tension that it was going to burst through her skin and break her ribcage in half. She remembers how she would escape to the bathroom and wonder what the hell was wrong with her that she could sleep in a coffin and feel safe or sleep in the morgue and feel comfortable, but that sleeping in the arms of a man who was more than half in love with her made her feel… trapped. Claustrophobic.
The man holding her like she is made of spun glass, air, and fairy wings has never made her want to tear his arms off to have her own space. She wonders if that is a result of his age and greater experience than that of her previous lovers, or if he is just… special. Maybe he was created just for her and her body. Maybe she was created for him. The thought is undeniably appealing, if a little unrealistic, and she lets herself indulge in it because she feels safe enough to do so here.
Only this man could turn her into a romantic, and she chuckles at the idea. His arms tighten in response to her movement-- her own restlessness is transferring into him, and she knows that she can’t go back to bed just yet, so she untangles herself from him and quietly slips out of bed. His brow furrows at the loss of her warmth, and she soothes the worry away with a soft kiss on his forehead.
She’d learned his body quickly, the same way he had learned hers, and she knows what has to be done to incite the reactions she needs from him.
Her feet make no noise on the thick white carpet as she pads naked out of the air that smells of his cologne and her perfume. The living room’s bare wood floors are cool on her soles, and she lets the shadows of the room play over her skin as she moves in and out of their arms. She is painted a hundred different colors when she passes through the stained glass window someone gave him in gratitude for some miracle or another. The street lights shine through it to let green be her lover for a moment before she walks on into the kitchen.
She puts the kettle on for some of the sweet Russian tea he has gotten her hooked on, preparing the white tea pot one of her artist associates sculpted for her as a birthday present to him. The little (authentic) Chinese tea cups are in the cabinet next to the (fake) Arabic spice jars, and she gets two out from habit before remembering she didn’t wake him up and putting one back.
She’s become domestic. Who woulda thunk it?
Kate teased her cheerfully the other day about her “feminine glow,” and Abby had blushed for the first time in years before tossing back a comment on her “feminine hickey,” and laughing as the older woman’s hands had run over her neck guiltily. Both of them had shared a grin and moved onto the question of where they were going to have lunch, but the thoughts had remained in the back of Abby’s mind as they grabbed up their coats and went out in search of sushi.
She is acting like a woman in love.
Of course, they’ve never said it to each other. For the first few weeks, they seemed to be in a state of half denial they were even sleeping with each other. It was like “Oh, would you like to come over this afternoon to watch that movie you were telling me about? And have great sex on the couch during the boring parts? Great, see you at four.”
The sex had felt almost natural-- like it was the next step in their relationship as friends and coworkers. It had just seemed to happen; no catalyst and no sudden emotional catharsis that made it start-- it just… did.
One day, sitting in the office, she had asked him to come with her to the new Indian place down the block. Sitting in the Indian place, he had asked her to come to his apartment for coffee and desert. Sitting at his kitchen table, laughing with each other and eating tiramisu, she had asked him to come into his bedroom and make her stop thinking about whether or not it was wrong to do this.
And he had followed. Quickly.
The following morning hadn’t been awkward at all, which was, in and of itself, the most awkward thing ever. Why wasn’t she unable to meet his eyes? Why wasn’t he stumbling over his words? Why could she still smile at him without it being a sexual come on, and why could he still come into her lab at lunch time with a Big Gulp without it being some covert flirting type thing?
Why could she still look at him and see a friend, not just the man who had melted when she had licked the inside of his thigh the night before?
It had taken her weeks to settle the issues in her head, and in between the first time and the first time they actually confronted what they were doing, they had more sex than she had had in months, with more laughter thrown into those few weeks than her entire relationship with McGhee had had.
She feels comfortable being goofy with him, and she knows that she can be serious when she needs to. He refuses to sleep in her coffin (bad for his back, he claims) and she doesn’t push him on the issue. He is the first man she has ever felt the desire to… be girly and normal for, and if it wasn’t for the fact that he doesn’t want her to be, she would probably have gotten rid of the coffin all together and started wearing pink lipstick and brushing her hair out.
She once asked him if he wanted her to be more normal-- to try and play the girlfriend for a while. “I’m not promising anything,” she had said, hands twisting her skirt hem into sweaty wrinkles, “but if you want me to try and stop being so… weird, I’ll give it a shot.” She could feel her world closing in and her definition of herself blurring. She had a sudden flash of herself as a blond in a pink sweater set, and bit her lip to keep from screaming and taking it all back.
And in one of those moves that made her love him, he had put his hand on her stomach, firm and warm, and smiled.
“I am pretty weird myself, Abby.” And that was all he ever said about it.
She takes the steaming kettle off the burner before it can whistle and wake him up, and pours it into the pot. The leaves swirl free and wild in the water, and she puts the lid on to give it time to steep and herself time to think.
She listens to his music and he listens to hers, though both of them are a little bit wary of getting into the hard core stuff of either genre. When she had found Incubus mixed in with the classical music and opera that littered his CD collection, she had smiled, gentle and secretive, with a warmth building in her stomach.
Last month he took her to see Aida, and she had freaked out for weeks before hand. Tattoos and opera don’t mix well, and she had no idea what to do with herself and her wardrobe or her obvious goth-ness. She had been on the verge of going to him and telling him that she couldn’t do it when her good karma had kicked in.
Kate, who Abby promised to see as “the cool” older sister figure from that day on, had taken her home to the apartment that was way too big for anyone on a government salary and showed her the closet full of designer, thousand dollar dresses. They’d found something (“Kate, I can’t wear this-- this is Gucci!” “Oh. Sorry. Did you want to try the Versace one?”) that would gently cover up most of her tattoos without looking like a sack cloth, and Kate had taken a couple of pins and made it fit in a way that Abby hadn’t known possible without having a heroin addict’s body and no ribcage.
With a quick visit to Sephora, they’d found a concealer used for heavy duty blemishes, and Kate had shown her how to put it on the spider web crawling up her neck without looking like there was a heavy bruise underneath. Hot Topic had provided the black lingerie she put on underneath, and Kate had approved a pair of Abby’s shoes to go underneath.
When she was done she had felt like a made up Barbie doll, but it was a nice feeling to have every now and then. When he had swung by to pick her up, his jaw had dropped at the dark curls spilling down her back and the soft silver eye shadow.
She’d enjoyed herself more than she thought she would. And when they had gotten back to her apartment, he had quickly undone her and thrown her squealing on the bed before following her up to the head board on his hands and knees.
“You are absolutely stunning in anything you wear, to me, Abigail.”
She had unknotted the bowtie and smiled at him. “And you, Dr. Mallard, are very handsome in a tux.” Her teeth had found his earlobe. “But I think I’d like you better out of it.” She’d called him James Bond for a week, and he’s flushed, quietly pleased.
Abby pours herself the first cup of rich orange tea and takes it into the living room. The window seat under the stained glass is soft underneath her bare skin, and she wiggles her toes in the upholstery as she sips at the hot liquid. Who would have ever thought she’d been sitting in Ducky’s apartment, naked, at two thirty in the morning?
Not where she pictured herself when she graduated from high school. But, then again, she has to admit-- this beats said previously held picture of being a world famous surgeon by day and Marilyn Manson’s girlfriend by night.
She takes a sip of tea and tilts her face up to let the blue fragment of the glass color her before dancing into the red and purple again. The metal and glasswork angel has always fascinated her-- it reminds her of the Catholicism she rejected after she left her parents’ home, and the beauty that is intertwined with the memories of conformity and Bible brainwashing.
There’s a strange sort of contentment filling her now-- some new bloom of peace that has come over her and swept away the restlessness. Sitting here, drinking tea, naked in the home of her lover and friend as the world sleeps and spins around her, she has found her zen state, and she wallows in it.
There is nothing wrong with her world right now. She doesn’t think there ever could be.
Of course, there are problems with what they’re doing, not the least of which is their professional status. Gibbs politely looks the other way as long as they are not blatant about their relationship, but the higher ups might not be so nice if they ever take a step out of line.
(Incidentally, Abby has the feeling that if Gibbs wasn’t flat out disregarding that line on a regular basis with Kate, he wouldn’t cut them the slack he does now. The relationship her boss and her friend share is nice for everyone-- Gibbs has been mellowed by Kate’s influence, and he doesn’t yell or bite nearly as often as he did before. Tony is talking of bringing her roses every Friday.)
Abby rests the cup of tea on the windowsill and closes her eyes, taking one large breath. And then, of course, there’s the age difference.
It doesn’t bother her. Of course it doesn’t bother her-- Abby is nothing if not open minded to every and any possibility. She loves older men the same way she loves younger men-- if there’s the right filling, the outside shell doesn’t matter. She can look at Ducky and see the man who brings her lunch and holds her up against him at night. She doesn’t see the years between them. She doesn’t know how to.
He’s another story. Unconventional Ducky may be, but he is above all else a gentleman. When they had started to analyze what they were doing, his biggest fear was that he had somehow taken advantage of her youth and was taking advantage still by not breaking off their relationship and forgetting it had ever happened. It had taken her a long, long afternoon to cure him of that idea. A long afternoon accompanied by a long, long session of making him throw his head back and babble out words in that (oh so hot) accent of his. She would like to think that she has seen the end of it, but she knows that one day when he feels the weight of the world coming down upon him, he will pull that thought back into his head, and she will again have to rid him of it.
She’s looking forward to it, actually.
A soft breath is her only warning that there’s someone else in the world, and she smiles to herself and lifts her back off the wall. He slips into the space vacated, and she leans back against his chest as his hands come around her waist and fold over her pubic hair calmly.
“Bad dreams?” he asks softly into her ear.
“No, no dreams at all. Sorry, didn’t mean to wake you.”
“I find that I don’t sleep well when you’re not next to me.” She smiles, knowing he’s furrowing his brow to mock himself and her. “Most disconcerting.”
They sit in the thick, peaceful quiet of the early morning, watching the stained glass and breathing in time with each other. His hands over her are warm and just out of where she wants them to be. Teasing without substance, touch without contact; she shifts back against him, trying to arch forward to press his fingers against her, and finds herself pressed into his lap. One of his legs is bent up to her right and the other one dangles off the side of the seat, free and careless. She loves how relaxed he is when he’s with her. It makes her feel like an influence on his life; like she makes him want to be a different, more intense person than he is when he’s around everyone else.
Maybe it’s true. Maybe it’s not. Either way, she loves the feel of him on her.
Her bottom rubs up against the erection she missed earlier, and his quick intake of breath is accompanied by her insistent moan.
“Ducky,” she whispers, “I want you to touch me.”
His breath comes back in as he recovers from the momentary lapse, and his hands slip down her body to edge her thighs apart. “I am touching you.” His thumb traces the soft crease of her, already laced with the damp evidence of what he can do to her. She doesn’t need to see the smile to know it’s there.
“Tease,” she accuses, and the smile grows larger.
“My dear, I learned from the best. And you know that I am getting old and feeble-- if you want something you’re going to have to ask for it in detail, so I know exactly what you’re asking for.” He puts on his “daft” voice. “It’s so hard for a man my age.”
She laughs happily. “You are very good for someone who’s old and feeble.” He chuckles in agreement, and she stretches her arms up to wrap around his neck. He looks down at her as she tilts her head up at him and smiles that wicked grin that has undone more than a few people. “I want you to touch my clit.”
His brow raises. “Oh. Why didn’t you just say that in the beginning, Abigail, dear.” His hands, formerly running gentle patterns over her inner thighs, slip up and spread her apart with a wet sound. One pointer finger plants itself over the center of her being and starts to move in small, tight circles. Her lips part open.
“Is that alright?” he asks, concern dripping from his wicked, evil voice. She would smile if she wasn’t so focused on the movement of that finger.
“T-That’s fine,” she whimpers, pushing towards his hands to increase the pressure. “Maybe a bit ha-harder.”
“Harder?” he asks curiously, and presses down with his whole hand behind it as he moves her towards the edge. “Like that?”
Her head lolls back, eyelashes fluttering against his jaw. “Peeeeerfect,” she moans. Her tongue slips out and draws a line of ownership and adoration on his throat, and he practically purrs under her touch. He loves it when she does that to him-- makes him feel like a man ten years younger and twenty years less experienced. Like he is just about three steps away from exploding like a teenage prom king, and she is his queen.
She has him in a constant state of arousal and need, and the fact that she doesn’t seem to realize it just makes him want her more and more. It’s a never ending cycle of want, and she is just so oblivious to the whole thing it would be a little bit funny if this desperate desire for her didn’t frighten him just a little bit.
He is in love with a woman half his age, and she makes him feel like his skin is electrified and his insides are being pricked with a thousand pins and needles.
Abby thrusts her hips forward, and he drags his other hand away from her stomach to join in his careful building of her fall. Two fingers slip into her, a poor substitute for what she actually wants, but it works well enough to make her breathing jagged and rough against his skin. He moves them in and out, slowly giving her everything she needs, while his fingers continue to move in the circles of her disintegration on her clit.
“That’s it,” she whispers encouragingly. “Oh, that’s just it…” She’s close, and he knows it because he knows her and her body as well as he knows his own. He rubs as hard as he can on her clit, abusing the swollen little bundle of nerves and sensation, slipping a third finger into her warm and willing body.
Her eyes squeeze shut and her muscles tense at the promise of release. There’s a light that’s swelling towards her, red and beautiful, and when it comes for her she straightens her throat out and wails at the ceiling and him and the angel in the glass.
Perfect, perfect, perfect, and how did she not jump him the first day she met him and how did she do McGhee for so long and how did she not know that this man could make her scream his name and God’s name and oh oh oh oh…
Ducky withdraws his fingers from her body as she laughs quietly against his throat. He sticks one in his mouth, swirling his tongue around his pointer finger, relishing the taste of her on his skin. She picks her head up and watches him do the same to his middle finger, before taking his hand in hers and pulling his ring finger into her mouth.
He smiles at her when she finishes, and she grins back widely. “That,” she says, “was very, very good.”
“Why thank you.”
“That was, in fact, so good, that you deserve a reward.”
His eyebrow goes up teasingly. “A reward?”
“Yes. Most definitely, a reward.” She turns in the cradle of his legs, onto her stomach, and presses a soft kiss against his lips. She tastes like the tea she was drinking and the juice she sucked off his finger, and there is sin there.
Sin tastes like her mouth.
She shifts, dragging his mouth with hers until his back doesn’t permit him to follow her any farther, and she smirks at him from in between his legs. Her clean pink tongue peeks out of her lips, licking each one slowly and teasingly, and he settles himself in for what she laughingly calls “The Torture of Tongues.”
When Abby is the owner of said tongue, the title is apt. She can hold him on the edge until time ends and nothingness begins, and they both know it. He’d wondered, once upon a dreary, Abby-less night, where she had learned to decalcify bones with her mouth upon another’s skin, but had quickly shaken the thought from his head.
Some things are better left unknown.
She takes him in hand, and presses a kiss to the head of him in prelude. His hands settle on his thighs and he holds on tight, because if he lets go he is going to grab her head and simply use her mouth for release in the quickest way possible, and that is not acceptable. Abby is not a one night stand and she is not some fling. Abby is… something different.
And he treats her as such.
He jerks when she slips her mouth over him. Her hand tightens around the base of him momentarily, making sure his release isn’t immediate, before releasing her grip and starting to bob on him.
The suction she applies is perfect and she speed of her mouth is slow and easy. She is working him towards limbo-- half out of his mind with need for her, half aware of what she is doing to his body. She loves getting him to that perfect place where she owns him, and he knows it.
Tonight, however, he is not going to last long enough to reach that place. “Abby,” he warns softly, and she starts to move faster, her hand jerking what she can’t fit into her mouth. When she moans, the vibrations travel through him and up his spine, and he groans at the feeling of her words becoming a part of him. So hot. So… perfect.
One hand comes down to cradle his balls, rubbing his skin with soft fingers and just the right amount of pressure. She loves that she can do this to him. She wants to always be able to do this to him.
I am the undoing of you, she tells him with her eyes, and the dark swell of emotions there take him and send him spiraling. I am your everything.
He hollers out her name when he comes, eyes closing because he just can’t keep them open anymore, and she takes all he has to offer and then tries for more. Her hand and her mouth and her touch are all that matter in the world, and her heat and her fire are all he ever would need to warm him.
She nuzzles her way up his body, inserting her body into the bend of his lap, and he shifts to make them both more comfortable. His mind is still working on autopilot, so it takes him a moment to realize that she’s talking to him.
“I’m sorry, what was that?” he asks breathlessly.
She smiles. “I asked if you wanted some tea. There’s a pot in the kitchen.”
“That implies movement by one or both of us. I think not.” Her head rests under his chin perfectly, her ear against his chest, and he finds it strangely lovable that she listens to his heartbeat. “Do you think you can sleep now, my dear?”
She snorts. “I don’t think that’ll be a problem, Ducky.”
“Good. Staying here all night would reek havoc on my hips and on your neck.”
“I wouldn’t want your hips damaged, Ducky. They do so much for me.” He wraps her legs around his waist and slowly stands on the bare wood floor. She shakes her head and slips down his body. “I don’t want Fabio, lover. Don’t be a cliché-- just come to bed.”
She takes his hand in hers and pulls him towards the bedroom as he chuckles and wonders what has become of his will power.
The stained glass angel waves the flaming sword in farewell.
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