by B. Cavis

This is a sequel to Uncomfortable.

by B. Cavis

Phish Food can cure a multitude of ailments. Hard chocolate fish, marshmallow cream swirls, and thick chocolate ice cream have sutured more than one of Kate’s emotional wounds, bandaged more than one broken heart. When all else fails, she can always depend on calories and the comforting sweetness of Ben and Jerry’s to make her feel better.

She’s worked her way through half a pint already. Never a good sign. She’s keeping her eyes open for the peek of white cardboard at the bottom-- one of the most depressing signs in the world, especially when you have gotten there all by yourself. There is no sound so heart breaking as the sound of the spoon scraping against the bottom of the carton.

Except, of course, for the sound of a man who should have something to say (who, let’s face it, always has something to say) remaining silent and aloof, secure in his all-knowing, smug-ass space.

Kate stabs viciously at a chocolate fish, denting it with the edge of her spoon instead of decapitating it the way she had hoped to. Not nearly as satisfying, of course, but still a small release. She needs to let her anger out in some mostly harmless way, and it may as well be increasing the size of her thighs and ass, she thinks gloomily.

Kate feels something give and raises her left hand with a sour taste in her mouth, contrasting heavily to the chocolate. She broke a nail on the side of the spoon.

This is beyond pathetic. Not only has she ruined her chances at a decent looking manicure, often the only thing that cheers her up after a day like this, but she has already eaten enough of this carton to screw her thighs over long into next week.

There goes her chances of fitting into her leather pants for his sister’s baby shower next week. She had bought them just for the occasion-- if your sister, whom you have always had a little bit of a bitter rivalry with and is a mega bitch without the hormones, is having a a baby, there is really only one thing to do. Show off how much skinnier you are than her, and how you can wear waistbands that aren’t elastic.


It was only fair, after all. Laurie has been such a major pain in the ass since she fell in love. If Kate has that ring waved under her nose one more time, she is going to take out her gun and start wearing it around her finger. After all, diamonds were nice, but 9MM were much more impressive in the long run.

Take that, Laurie.

Honestly, she had been looking for an excuse not to go before she bought the pants. She loves her father more than anything in the world, but her mother was one of those women who left a sour taste in Kate’s mouth, and her sister was the kind of superficial house wife that Kate had sworn never to become. Family affairs were often exercises in So Caitlins.

So, Caitlin, when are you going to get married?

So, Caitlin, how’s that biological clock of yours? Still on snooze?

So, Caitlin, have you decided when you’re going to give up and become a spinster?

She’d complained to Abby about it-- that every time she went to see her family, they ended up making her feel like she was rowing with one oar in the water, going around in circles with a persistence that made her an embarrassment to the family.

To which Abby had replied, “Kate, do you have any idea how much my family absolutely loathes the fact that I dye my hair, wear leather collars, and consider blood pretty?” She shook her head. “What you need to do it play into their expectations. My folks expect me to show up with blue streaks in my hair when I come and see them. So I put purple, white and pink, just to screw with them. Go screw with your family.” And had proceeded to recommend a very fine leather goods store where she bought collars, jackets, pants, and other, less wearable objects.

Kate had taken her lunch break off and gone out and bought herself some “fuck me hard” leather pants. And had actually started to look forward to going down to Florida to see everyone.

Of course, she thinks sourly, Gibbs and his uptight ass made that just a pleasant fantasy now.

She sighs and lets her head drop back against the couch cushions as another mouthful melts down her throat. She's just being a bitch-- in reality, it’ll be burned off by her jog tomorrow morning. Three miles, rain or shine every day will fix a great many things, but until then she isn’t going to think about it. If she starts to think about the massive amount of sugar she has shoveled down her throat, she is going to start to think about the reason for it.

And if there is one thing that Kate is very good at, it’s avoidance.

The television is blaring MXC, and she listens with half an ear to the sound of dubbed over Japanese game show contestants making asses of themselves. Usually, she’s doubled over in laughter by this point in the show.

This is not a “doubled over in laughter” kind of night, though. And she has a feeling that no matter how much ice cream she eats, it is not likely to become one of those kinds of nights anytime soon. When Gibbs ruins a mood, he goes full out on it.

…God damn that man, she thinks, the thoughts she had been trying so hard to keep out of her mind bursting through her chocolate reinforced emotional damn. Would it really have killed him to say “good job”? Would he have fallen down dead of a heart attack and never recovered?

…Actually, she thinks vindictively, that doesn’t sound too bad. Maybe she could trick him into saying sometime in the near future, just to see.

Of course, with her luck, the stigma only attaches itself to her and his interactions with her. He probably tells Tony “good job” every second of the day when she’s not around. She can just see it now.

TONY: Hey, Boss, I tied my own shoes this morning!
GIBBS: Tony, great job! Seriously, that’s wonderful. Come on, slugger, grab your coat, I’m taking you out for ice cream and then we are going to the batting cages. How does that sound, rocket?
TONY: Yay!

Kate throws her spoon back into the carton and gets up from the couch. Ice cream therapy isn’t working, and she is sick and tired of trying to get it to work. Chocolate doesn’t cover up feelings of inadequacy.

…But alcohol does.

So, feeling more than a little invigorated, full of the promise of another escape from reality, Kate takes a black skirt out of her closet, pulls on stockings and heels. There’s a bar around the corner that caters to the Washington elite-- to those who want to escape for a couple of hours into a drink or five and not be bothered by the outside world. Dwayne had taken her there once, before he realized what a horrible workaholic she was and given up on her and him turning into an “us.”

She wonders if he’ll be there, and rubs some concealer under her eyes. It doesn’t matter-- there are plenty of men in the dating pool right now; plenty of hot blooded, wonderfully uncommitted individuals who would be more than happy to help her burn off the half pint she just ate.

Maybe she’ll take someone home with her, she thinks optimistically. Maybe she’ll find someone to share the evening with.

More likely than not, though, she’ll wake up alone tomorrow morning, lying in bed fully clothed with a hangover that’ll rival the blast of a nuclear warhead.

And she is just fine with that.

Kate licks orange flavored slush off of her fingers as the third Fuzzy Navel the bartender puts in front of her sloshes over the rim of the glass and spills onto her hand. The biting smell of alcohol, almost like soft gasoline, fills her nose and calms her senses. She has a small buzz going right now; not enough to forget all of her problems, but enough to keep her from choking on the thick knot of pain and anger that threatened to lodge in her throat and kill her earlier.

She is calmer, but she is still feeling the weight of her day and the world upon her shoulders, and she sucks down half of the drink with a twist of her wrist to try and correct that problem.

She’s given up on her half-hearted quest to take someone home with her tonight. The second she sat down and took a drink she knew she was not in the right mind set for meaningless sex with a meaningless man. That sort of night requires a degree of looseness that she just doesn’t have right now; a degree that she’s not sure she can achieve with alcohol. Even drunk, she is still Caitlin Todd.

And Caitlin Todd is hurting tonight. Injured. Softly wounded by the carelessness of a man whose opinion she puts all of her stock in. With his silence, he condemned her. And with his eyes he saw her need and ignored it.

She finishes off the drink and sighs. Different poison. The bartender comes over to her with the understanding eyes of one who has seen many women just like her, worn down after a day from hell and looking for a little relief. “Sex with the Bartender, please.” He nods and doesn’t make a joke. She makes a note to come here again when she’s not in such a mood.

She accepts the new drink with a bill and a nod and starts to sip it to soothe her stomach. The dark pit of the bar is cool and quiet, with Lauryn Hill dripping through the speakers at a low volume. There are maybe ten other people in her immediate vicinity and she is aware of all of them. There is a man in the corner who has spent the past five minutes staring at her, trying to build up the never to come over to her and say something charming and debonair. There are two women at the other end of the bar talking in soft voices to each other. Lovers, Kate identifies quickly, and smiles gently as the light catches the matching gold rings they wear.

The air is smoke free and the lights are covered in Chinese paper lanterns, white globes of illuminations suspended from the ceiling. They sway in the breeze from the air conditioning.

Kate takes a deep sip of the drink as the warm body she had a sick feeling would show up eventually sits down next to her. She pointedly ignores the intrusion on her life. The first of many, she fears.

Did she ever have a chance of keeping this man out of her life? Or was this one of those things that, like all of the fate and destiny shit she doesn’t believe in, was decided on the first day she met him? The day she let him have a foothold in her life by accepting his offer-- did she also doom herself to forever being caught up and swept away in his wake?

Well fuck that. She doesn’t believe in that. She is in control of her. She is in control of her.

And maybe, if she keeps repeating it, it’ll become more true than she fears it is right now.

“Scotch please,” he motions to her friendly little bartender, who nods and goes off to do the evil one’s bidding. Bastard, she thinks in the general direction of her right, and isn’t quite sure why.

Well, he is a bastard, but ordering scotch is probably the least offensive thing he can do on any given day.

She sips her drink calmly. She is not going to be the one to speak first-- she has nothing to say to him, she tells herself. If he came here because he’s feeling guilty for being a dick or because he feels the need to be next to her, well then, that’s no concern of hers. He is not her responsibility and she is not his, and since he has made it quite clear that she is just his agent and not his friend or equal, there is nothing to talk about when they’re off duty.

She can practically feel the steel infusing itself to her spine. This is absolutely wonderful, she thinks happily. I’ve been sitting next to him for a whole three minutes, and I haven’t crumbled yet or lost sight of my anger.

Or drooled on him. Or pinched his butt.

Hell, she’s only human. And he is most definitely only a male. A very fine… very attractive… very sexy male who she would most definitely like to take home and tangle up in her bed sheets…

But that’s all. Sure, she enjoys him, but simply in the aesthetically pleasing sort of way. A “oh, I can appreciate that for its beauty, but it’s not my type” sort of way.

Only, of course, he totally is her type, which makes it a little bit more complicated, but that’s no big deal. Kate finds lots of guys attractive.

…George Clooney, for example…

“Are you going to look at me, or are you going to pretend you don’t know me for a little while longer?” he asks after a particularly long sip of scotch, and it shocks her so much that she does look at him.

Damn it. Lost the battle.

Don’t lose the war, she cautions herself.

“Oh,” she says into her drink, “I’m sorry. Was there something you needed to say to me? The proper way to do that would be to say ‘hello’ first.”

He sighs and the scotch is refilled. “Knock it off, Kate.”

She sniffs and looks down at her empty glass. She wants another. She doesn’t want to ask for sex with the bartender in front of Gibbs. She pouts and runs her tongue around inside her mouth, searching for some secret stash of liquor that might have somehow sequestered itself behind her teeth or under her tongue.

“We need to talk,” he continues. “Or, I need to talk and you need to listen and not growl at me. Frankly, I don’t care which one.”

“Gibbs, it’s ten at night, I’m sitting in my neighborhood bar drinking my day out the door, and you want to talk? Now? You have the crappiest timing.”

He smirks and takes another sip, the ice in the glass clinking against the fine crystal. “Yeah.”

“Talk. The sooner you finish, the sooner I can go back to my alcohol.” She really wants another drink. Like, right now.

Gibbs takes a deep breath and looks straight ahead at the green glass work wall behind the bar. “Tony is still convinced his finger is going to fall off,” he says, taking the easy way out for now, and Kate lets him because she really can’t bring herself up to full confrontation mode right now.

She smirks. “Yeah? Well, I did the best I could.”

“You should’ve heard him down there-- ‘My finger looks infectious, I think.’ ‘What if it has to be amputated?’ ‘I have gangrene.’” He snorts in the memory. “I was about ready to bite it off just so he’d shut up.”

She laughs, forgetting for the moment that she’s still pretty pissed off at this man for being such a dill hole. “Good thing I got there in time, then. I would have hated to show up and find that you had gone Hannibal the Cannibal on me.”

His lips quirk up. “Yeah. I’m sure Tony’s pretty grateful too.”

She pauses and looks at him full on for the first time since he sat down. “Too? Gibbs, did you just say that you were grateful to me for coming to get you?”

Gibbs doesn’t meet her eyes. He’s not sure he has it in him to be both emotionally honest and straight forward at the same time. He traces small circles of condensation on the bar. “You heard me, Katie,” he whispers.

“Yes, Gibbs, I did. But I’m asking you to actually say it. I won’t tell anyone, I promise. It never has to leave this room. Just… say it. For me.” And she gathers up all of her courage, all of her strength and all of her loosened inhibitions, and places her hand on his arm, firm but gentle.

He looks down at her hand, white and clean against the black of his suit jacket.

She doesn’t move it. If this is what it takes to get him to give her the answer she wants, she’ll stay here and night. Yeah, maybe it’s manipulative. Maybe it’s her using her femininity and his masculinity and his natural inbred desire to protect and nourish her against him.

Maybe it’s manipulative.

And she learned it from the best.

“You did a good job today,” he says softly. “With the case and with Tony and me, you did a good job. You’re a great agent, and I don’t say it enough.”

The warm, thick heat that fills her at him giving voice to what she needed to hear-- to be told something she already knows-- makes her whole body shiver for just a moment and her eyes close. The smile she can feel spreading across her lips isn’t checked or minimized because of his company.

If anything, it’s increased.

And she doesn’t take her hand off his arm.

Gibbs watches the joy break over her, coating her features in a smile of satisfaction and removing the worry from her eyes and mouth. She takes a deep, shaky breath of air and he watches her revel in her own windfall.

He can feel her hand warming him through the sleeve, and her smell is coming for him again, taking his brain away and sweeping him into the land of instinct and illogical thinking. She gives his arm a quick squeeze, opens her eyes, and smiles wide.

“Now that’s a good day,” she concludes with a laughing lilt in her voice. “Thank you, Gibbs. Barkeep,” she calls out cheerfully, “give me a Slow, Comfortable Screw Against the Wall, please.”

Gibbs chokes on his scotch, waving a hand. “N-No, she doesn’t. She’s drunk-- Kate, are you drunk?” The bartender places the glass in front of her, and Gibbs looks down at it. “It’s a drink.”

“Yes, Gibbs, it’s a drink. Breathe, okay?” She shakes her head and picks up the glass. “I’m not inviting sexual partners in a bar to do me up against the wall.”

He swallows and looks away from her. He can feel where some of the scotch went up his nose.

“That’s what my bed’s for,” she finishes coyly, and laughs at the look that blooms anew on his face. “Oh, chill out, Gibbs. Come on, I’ll make you a cup of coffee.” She slaps a tip down on the counter and stands, straightening her skirt out as she dumps the final drink down her throat and swallows. He takes in the sight of her legs and the heels the showcase them so nicely before swallowing down the rest of the scotch in his glass and following suit.

The air outside is warm and sweating compared to what they had inside, and it hits them like a battering ram, dulling their skin. He sighs and shoves his hands in his pockets. “Where’s your apartment?”

“Block away.” They walk in an companionable silence, and he keeps a careful eye on her to try and judge how drunk she might be. His arm goes out to steady her when she stumbles, and when she laughs it sounds just a little bit too affected for him to take her at sober face value.

“Why’d you go out drinking?” he asks, wondering what exactly they are doing right now. Is this friendship? Or just an expansion of their professional boundaries?

“It beat sitting in my apartment and gorging on ice cream,” she answers. “See, I have this pair of pants. And my sister has gotten really fat, and-”

“On second thought,” he amends as they walk up the stairs of her building. “Never mind.”

“Why did you chose my gin joint to walk into, huh?” She giggles, and it occurs to him that he’s never really heard her make that sound before. It’s not entirely… unpleasant.

“Wanted some scotch. It had scotch,” he sums up simply, and she tells herself that no, she’s not disappointed that he didn’t deliberately seek her out and follow her in to try and make amends for acting like an asshole.

She unlocks her apartment door and they step inside. He checks the corners automatically, searching for enemies, and she flounces in cheerfully, kicking off her shoes and laughing as they thunk against the couch. “It’s hot in here,” she complains.

“No,” he reasons back. “You’re just drunk.”

She throws a pout over her shoulder. “I don’t get drunk, Gibbs,” she purrs, and the mere fact that she’s purring makes him certain that she’s either drunk or stoned or brain damaged.

He wonders how she would react to him asking her to allow him to check her for a concussion, decides not well, and moves on. Oh well. It’s not like she’s in danger around him, after all. He’s not going to take advantage of…

“You need to get some sleep,” he chokes out. “Go get some sleep.”

Kate reaches behind her, unhooks her bra, and takes it off without removing her shirt, pulling it by the strap out of the arm hole as she makes her way into the bedroom. He has just enough time to see the hint of lacy red fabric before she nudges the door closed with her foot and calls out, “I’m not sleepy.”

He stands in the middle of her living room, not moving, not breathing, and swears that his stomach has just dropped down to his knees at the same time as his cock jumping up to his stomach.

Kate just took off her bra.

In front of him.


“Did you say something?” She hollers through the door.

“No,” he calls back, and goes into the kitchen. Coffee. Coffee will fix everything. Just like it always does.


He works quickly, answering her voice with noncommittal grunts on the rare occasions when she calls out a question or answer to him. He’s not listening. He’s half afraid of what he might say if he wasn’t using the uniform grunt system.

KATE: Are you okay out there?
GIBBS: Can I come in there and sniff your panties? Please?

Yeah. That might not be the best course of action right now. He should probably just stick to grunting.

After a while, she stops making noise. He leaves the coffee alone and slowly creeps back through the living room, stepping over her shoes, and gently edging the door open.

She’s collapsed on the bed, eyes closed, breathing evenly. He watches her back rise and fall with the even rhythm of her life, and as he stands there he is reminded of all of the reasons he is captivated by her.

Feeling foolish and romantic (which for him, are often the same thing) he grabs the blankets at the end of her bed and pulls them up to cover her full clothed form. She stirs as the quilt touches her cheek and blinks fuzzily at him.

“Am not tired…” she whispers.

“I know, Katie. But get some sleep. For me, okay?”

She looks up at him like he’s not really there and nods jerkily as him as her eyes flutter unevenly. “M’kay. Would do an’thing for you, Gibbs.” Her eyes slip closed once again, breath evening out once more, and Gibbs stands there watching her with the feeling in his chest that he was just told something important, but unsure if he should give the words of a drunken, half-asleep girl as much weight as he would like.

She probably has no idea what she said. She probably isn’t even going to remember this in the morning. Probably… he’ll be regarded on Monday with a not entirely trusting gaze (because not remembering what happens means that she won’t remember what she or he did to each other) and after a few hours of awkwardness, it will be forgotten.

But that won’t stop him from having this memory for the rest of his life. The image of her taking her bra off, of her curled up in bed, of her whispering a promise of devotion… These are the reasons he loves having a photographic, permanent memory.

He brushes a dark smudge of hair our of her face with the back of his pointer finger, feeling like he’s performing some large, unspeakable blasphemy, and quickly darts out of the room to the relative safety of the living room. His knees give way and dump him on the sofa, and he stares up at the ceiling as his air is once again filled with her scent and his head swims.

Just for a minute, he promises himself as his eyes slip closed. Just for a…

“Gibbs?” comes the cautious groan from the other room, and he jerks awake guiltily, grabbing his head between both hands and squeezing. “Are you still out there?”

“Yeah,” he groans. “What time is it?”

“Ummm…” he hears cautious shuffling. “Around ten.” Silence builds again. “Hey, Gibbs?”

“Yeah?” So articulate.

“Do you, uh, think you could make some coffee? I think I really… really… really need some. Really.”

He feels the smirk come on without his consent, and indulges in it while no one can see. “Yeah.”

He wanders into the kitchen and dumps out what he left in the coffee pot the night before, going through the motions for the second time in ten hours. The sunlight breaks through the windows, and he pulls the blinds shut, wondering idly when he became so considerate of others. When he became so considerate of Kate.

He hears her door open and her groan softly. “God, I should have known better than to have all those drinks. My fact acting metabolism is not happy.” He smirks and searches through the upper cabinet for two mugs as her bare feet slap the floor gently.

“Serves you right,” he scolds. When he turns around, he has two cups in hand, and when he catches sight of her he clenches his fists around them desperately.

Kate is sitting there in her bathrobe.

…Please can I sniff your panties?…

“Comfy?” he croaks out and she takes one of the cups from his hand and pours herself a cup of coffee, adding a spoonful of sugar.

“Extremely,” she responds without a hint of nervousness or awkwardness in her voice. How the hell does she do that? He’s sitting here hard as a rock because of the sight of her naked neck and collar, fascinated by her bare skin and the thought of what she might not be wearing underneath her fluffy white bathrobe… and she’s drinking coffee.

Gibbs quickly busies himself by pouring his own cup and sitting back down. He drinks quickly, scalding his tongue. It hurts, but if he’s drinking, then he’s not speaking, and that’s the best case scenario right now.

Kate raises an eyebrow. “Desperate for caffeine much?” She waves a hand. “So why are you being so… compliant with everything.”


“You made me coffee, you slept on my couch, you aren’t demanding that I go inside and don the ‘agent’ gear and become a professional, aware of threats around every corner and the fact that I am not safe anywhere with anyone.” She smiles softly, and when she speaks, he’s not sure what kind of meaning to attach to her tone of voice. “Not even you.”

He wishes he hadn’t drank the coffee so quickly. Now he has nothing to keep his tongue busy with.

“Can’t I be friendly?” he challenges, and now both of her eyebrows are up.

“Friendly? Gibbs, half of the time I’m not even sure if you like me.”

“Of course I like you,” he says quickly. “Katie, I’ve always liked you. You know that.”

She sighs. “Yeah, I guess I do.”

The silence thickens and congeals, becoming uncomfortable because they both know what they’re not saying. He looks down at the bottom of his mug and wonders how she keeps everything so clean. His kitchen looks like a group of second graders were sent in and told to go nuts.

This is intolerable. This isn’t what he wants.

“Go ahead,” he allows, “say whatever it was you were going to say.” He waves a hand. “I can take it. Honest.”

She takes another gulp of coffee and grits her teeth, forcing her words out to compensate for her lack of courage. “It’s just sometimes hard to tell with you, y’know? I mean, you’ve spent so many years becoming this unapproachable legend-- the great Agent Gibbs. Sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference between your bark and your bite.” She wraps both hands around her mug and shrugs, running out of words.

He looks down at his own coffee cup and searches for a bit more honesty left in him. “I… When it’s with you, Kate, it’s just bark.” He shrugs helplessly. “It’s… Don’t take it seriously. I don’t mean to make you feel nervous around me. It’s just not something you can turn off around some people and still have up for everyone else. People just… adapt.”

She offers a small smile, made hopeful and a little bit bolder by all of the truth he has given her. She’s gotten more information out of him in the past ten hours than she has in the past year. “So, you think that maybe one day I’ll adapt?”

He looks up at the same time that she does, and this time neither one of them look away because, hell, dancing around the issue just hurts one’s feet after a point.

“I have no doubt,” he whispers, and the smile she gives him is uncertain, but it’s wide and honest and bright.

“I’m glad. Come watch TV with me. If I drink anymore coffee, my hands will start to shake.”

They sit on the couch and she flips on a CSI marathon. They snicker and point out all of the inaccuracies in procedure and technique, and she leans back and starts to relax in his company. He doesn’t comment when her head comes to rest against his arm, and she doesn’t move away when his hand rests on her knee, playing with the terrycloth.

“Grissom is hot,” Kate announces about an hour after the alcohol has completely left her system.

Gibbs squints at the man on the television. “He’s a geek.”

“He’s hot,” she argues. “He’s distinguished, and he’s full of information and learning.”

“Useless trivia.”

She feels the urge to stick her tongue out at him, but refrains quickly. “You’re just jealous of him and the never ending love I have for his cute little butt and funky hair.”

“You make fun of my hair,” he mumbles back, and tries not to think about how her own hair has gotten very close to his nose and that scent-- that evil, malicious scent that got in all of his nooks and crannies last time has once again infiltrated his defenses and made its way into his nose.

She smells like brown sugar and lemon, and he closes his eyes as it overwhelms his senses. Does she know how good she smells? How tempting her skin is?

God, what is that smell?

She looks up at him. “New shampoo.” He swallows. Speaking aloud without realizing it. This is just too romantically clichéd to be believed. This is the kind of thing all three of his wives wanted to inspire in him and never did.

Best not to think about that.


“Do you like it?” She touches her hair. “It was a gift.”

“It’s… different.”

She scrunches up her nose. “Different? That’s not a good answer, Gibbs. When you sat ‘different’ it’s the same as saying ‘that’s so incredibly weird that all I can come up with is… different.’ Different how?”

He swallows. “It’s different from how… from what you normally smell of.” He shrugs and hopes she can’t hear his heartbeat increasing. “Just… different.”

She ponders this for a moment, wrapping her hand up in her hair and playing with the dark strands. “Different…” she muses.


“I have a normal smell?”

He really had been hoping she had brushed over that point. Maybe he should go home and work on his boat. Have some breakfast. Jerk off in the shower.

Hell. These are his options.

“Well,” he explains, “it’s just a new smell. I recognize the other one as the normal one.”

“Oh,” she says again, trying to sniff her own hair. Her forehead wrinkles, and she tilts her head towards him. “But it’s not weird, right? I mean, it’s not a bad smell?”

And he knows it’s trouble. Knows she is trouble. Knows that he is doomed and fucked and oh so very screwed and doesn’t really care. Because he leans forward and buries his nose in her hair, hand going around the back of her neck and tangling in the thick dark snow as she gasps a quick breath.

He closes his eyes and takes one, deep, full breath in.


“You smell beautiful,” he whispers roughly to her. Her hands are on his arms now, as if trying to steady herself, and hey, when did the television turn off?

What did this situation just become?

“Oh,” she whispers back, and he groans as she lets out a shaky breath against his throat.

“I should go,” he mutters. He hasn’t moved.

“Probably,” she agrees, and doesn’t shift away from him.

They breathe in and out, warming each other.

“I don’t seem to be moving,” he whispers, and she works her head up, loosening but not removing his hold in her hair. He swallows thickly as she makes eye contact with him, and her lips are parted because she’s afraid that if she closes them she won’t be able to get enough air into her lungs to keep from passing out.

It’s never happened before, but there’s always a first time.

“No,” she answers back, “you don’t. Might as well go with it.”

He pulls her forward with a grunt, and she closes her eyes as his tongue traces her bottom lip with a gentleness she wouldn’t have thought to credit this man with. She had expected to be crushed to him. To have him fuck her mouth with his tongue while grabbing her and pulling her to him. Not this tenderness. Not this…

He pulls her around to straddle his lap, her bathrobe hiked up around her waist and draping over the both of them. She settles her knees on either side of him, and she can feel the bulge that she hadn’t seen before pressing up against her. She shifts and her clit comes into contact with the heavy rolled seam over the zipper just as she opens her mouth up to him and wraps both arms up around his neck.

Someone is moaning. Neither one of them can recognize who.

His hands are growing gray matter of their own, and suddenly his fingers are no longer content with the soft cushion of terry cloth and fluff. He pulls at the tie keeping her together, and when she is spread open to his hands, he runs his fingers over her bare flesh for the first time in his life.

She is warm and thick, and he pushes her firmly down into his lap as he takes her tongue and bites the tip.

The smell of her, God, the smell… He pulls away from her mouth and shoves his nose up against her neck because wherever that smell is coming from, he has to find it and take it all in for himself. He has to make sure that no one else can ever experience this, because if she can do this to him with nothing but the scent of her skin, than everyone else is just going to be trapped by her.

“You are…” his endearments die, and he swallows down mouthfuls of her as she digs her nails into his back to keep herself steady.

“Gibbs,” she breathes, “you have too many clothes on.”

He gulps and pulls his face away from her throat. Leave it to Kate to brush over his broken sense of romance with a blow of air on his scalp.

He can’t remember how they do it later. Maybe her skin heats up to burn through the fabric of his pants. Maybe he tears through all barriers between them and sheds all of the things keeping them apart. Maybe, in true romance novel fashion (not that he’d know from romance novels) his pants and boxers just… vanish in the heat of passion.

He doesn’t know. And that loss of control will scare him later, when he is in control enough to think about it.

Her mouth is on his again, and she is not content to be as gentle as he was. Her tongue takes stock of all that he has as his hands grab her around the waist once more and hoist her up over the tip of his cock. She takes one hand away from his neck and skims down his chest, like a child’s hand on the surface of the water, and when her hand wraps, cool and firm around the base of him, he jerks away from her mouth because it feels just way too hot, too good, too perfect to be kept inside.

This is what he was made for. This is what she was made for.

“Kate,” he groans.

“Hm?” Her tongue has found the sensitive spot underneath his jaw, and he takes a shaky breath. She really is too good at that for his own good.

“D-Did you, uh, want to talk about this or… something?” She is killing him-- that must be it. She must have gotten it into her head that he is evil and in need of death, because instead of the pleasant teasing feeling this usually instills in him, his skin feels like it’s being sucked dry-- like she’s robbing him of breath and life and energy, and all he can feel is the low burning in his stomach and the pressure of his cock as she holds him in her fist.

Kate snickers against his Adam’s Apple. “Talk?”

“Or, uh, something?” God, is this going to happen every time he gets near her?

Her hand tightens around his cock and he feels his eyes roll back as she tightens the muscles in her thighs, lifts herself up high over him, and slowly, slowly, slowly lowers herself on top of him and takes his mind away in a wash of warm breath against his face.

“Uhhhm,” she moans, and he forces his head back up to look at her because, hell, you only get one first time. Her hands link behind his neck once more, and she pushes her chest forward as her eyes fully open and her gaze meets his.

“No, Gibbs,” she whispers, “I don’t want to talk.”

“Good,” he growls as he pulls his control back on and grabs her ass in both hands. “Neither do I.”

She is wet and hot and thick with all of the things he never thought he’d inspire in her, and when she drags herself up, agonizing inch by agonizing inch, he holds her eyes with his to gather as much information as possible. If this is his body lying to him, his mind playing some cruel kind of trick, he wants to make sure he remembers each and every part of the farce. Just in case he never gets to do this in real life.

Just in case he’s not actually doing it right now.

“Talk to me,” she whispers as she pushes herself back down on him, her skin shivering.

“Thought you didn’t want to talk,” he grunts out, watching her take him into her body once more and coat him in fire and boiling oil.

“Yeah,” she whispers as he starts to move her faster. “But I want to hear you.” She leans forward to take his earlobe between her teeth, and when she pulls it out with a little, teasing moan, he knows that he doesn’t have a hope in hell of refusing her whatever she’s asking him to do for her.

Besides. He likes to talk. Silence is… awkward.

He pulls her up and lets her drop again, his cock vanishing back inside of her, and she grunts as all of the air in her is pushed out by the simple motion. “You’re tight,” he groans softly. “Like you’re… constricting around me and… God, milking me…” He swallows and tries to keep his tongue forming words.

“You feel like… heaven. Like I never… want to leave here ever…” His fingers are tightening around her waist, hard enough to bruise, and he will kiss the black and blue marks her leaves later. Her fingernails dig into the back of his neck, and the pain mixes in with everything else he is feeling to blend into a hodgepodge of sensation.

“You were made for this,” he forces out. “For me to… do this with. Your… tight, little body is made… for me. All mine.” He feels himself losing his grip on his control, and his hips are bucking up into her, bouncing her as she fishes for air and stability. “You are the most… incredible woman, and you… are all mine.”

She pushes a hand down between them to dig for her clit, and he slaps it away firmly to replace it with one of his own. “My job,” he groans out as she starts to shiver.

“Keep…” her voice dies off, but he understands. He doesn’t need her voice to know what she’s trying to say anymore.

The pressure in his stomach is spreading over his skin. There is a tingle, a dull bite in his toes that tickles and freezes and burns at the same time. The noises she is making are filling his head and swelling up in his ears. The scent of her is taking him once again and making him her slave.

“Gibbs,” she gasps.

“You’re close?” he growls out in the voice that leaves no room for argument or refusal to answer. Her muscles jerk and her throat tries to form the air into something resembling a word.

“Uh ye… yeah… God, so cuh…”

He squeezes her ass, that perfect, beautiful ass, and there is nothing more amazing that the acid trip she is sending all five of his senses on right now, and if there is he never wants to find it. This is enough, this is all he wants, this is all he needs, this is all his, his, his…

“Kate,” he grunts as the bite of her nails grows more and more ferocious, more and more violent, and her throat is exposed and milky white as the sound of her surrender is given up to the air.

He remembers the feel of her up against him in an Air Force One bathroom. The sight of her lying out on that couch, hands behind her head with vomit and mouthwash fresh on her breath. The smell of her hair, pressed up against his nose in that sub as she wiggled up against him and clung to him as a stabilizing presence. The taste of her skin, soft and covered in sweat, as he pressed a kiss to her forehead after her second Ari incident, her mouth caked with blood. The sound of her voice, coming from behind that door yesterday; salvation with a gun.

He remembers all of it. And he adds this to his list of memories.

She tightens, she wails, and her head tilts back as she comes, squeezing tighter and tighter on him until she is making a soft, pathetic little sobbing gasp with each breath. Her hair spills glorious and thick over her shoulders, dark and perfect and fragrant, and he is overcome by her once again as his skin tightens and his stomach flexes and he throws his mouth forward to smother her name against her breast.

She slumps into his lap, boneless and heavy, and he shifts subtly under her to keep his legs from falling asleep, surprised that he has enough brain cells left to remember he has legs. She is shaking, subtle but there, and he can’t seem to control his breathing.

There is sweat. Everywhere.

And it occurs to him, in this half aware state, that he is once again pressed up against her hair. That she is once again owning him with her scent. And that he is once again… completely helpless.

And loving it. Did he mention loving it?

“Do me a favor?” he gasps out, and she swallows to wet her throat.

“Yeah?” She sounds like she gargled with sand, and he feels ridiculously pleased that he has been able to do this to this woman.

He has her in his lap, panting against his collar as she struggles to form words.

This is the stuff wet dreams are made of.

And it is with that parting thought that he decides that hell, if this isn’t real, he doesn’t care what is. He drags his hand up to her head and tugs on her hair affectionately. “Don’t use this shampoo before a work day again. Ever.”


Feed me. It stops the voices and soothes the hunger. Really... Okay, not really. But it helps.

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