1. Rule 12 by floot
The ping of his computer and a simultaneous swift exit by Kate and Dinozzo were a combination that piqued Gibbs' interest, but the picture of Tony in what he could only hope was a photoshopped compromising position with another guy was nevertheless enough of a surprise to cause an involuntary grin.
Naturally, he'd opened Kate's email first, but Tony's email, once he clicked on it, turned out to be the more rewarding. A young Kate - the worry and uncertainty that so often marked her features missing - in a wet t shirt that took the images he'd tried so hard not to let linger in his imagination and made them all too real. The material clung to her slender body and displayed her attractive curves to good effect.
Gibbs breathed out, hard. It was bad enough trying to keep his hands off Kate on a daily basis when she was cocooned in the buttoned up, almost prudish outfits that he'd always suspected were the last hangover from her Secret Service days. He'd been so careful over the last few months not to get up close and personal, after the effect she'd had even when he adjusted her rappelling gear. The baggy red overall should have rendered her about as sexy as a triple homicide, but he'd had to push her off the platform before he'd given in to the urge to pull her close and kiss her breathless. Somehow he hadn't thought that allowing his long held desires free rein in front of Tony would be a wise move. Even in the midst of being shot at this week, he'd been painfully aware, when he tackled Kate to the ground, of the scent of her hair and how good it felt to have her underneath him.
Keeping his mind on the job now he had an insight into how Kate looked when she wasn't stressed, was letting loose, and, much more unhelpful, wasn't even wearing a bra, was going to be a hundred thousand times more difficult.
Kate tried to keep her mind on the paperwork she was filing, but the awareness that Gibbs could appear any moment, and that he had seen THAT picture, was something beyond mortification. She'd tried to impress him with her hard work and professionalism, buried her attraction deep inside where she hoped it wouldn't show. And now, no doubt, he'd think she was just some bimbo who used her body to get ahead. She could hardly even admit to herself that part of the problem was that, if she'd wanted Gibbs to see a compromising photograph of herself, she'd have come up with something far more attractive than a stupid spring break snapshot.
Suddenly she was aware that someone was standing behind her. She composed herself and swivelled herself around in her chair. She didn't even realise till she turned around and saw Tony that she'd been holding her breath. The swoosh of air out of her lungs was half disappointment and half relief.
"Gibbs in yet?"
She shook her head.
"So... Maybe he hasn't checked his email yet?" Tony rarely got fazed no matter what, so seeing him looking genuinely nervous was the opposite of reassuring.
"And you'd expect us to be that lucky based on what?"
He shrugged. "OK... Yeah, you have a point. I guess however much of a dinosaur he is with technology, he's still-"
Tony stopped mid thought, and Kate winced.
"Hi, Boss." Tony's tone was the false cheer of someone who knew that delaying the inevitable wouldn't make it any better. Kate could almost feel Gibbs' eyes boring into the back of her head.
"Grab your gear. Dead body, Quantico." Gibbs' voice was dispassionate, and Kate span around in her seat just in time to see him stride away.
Gibbs breathed a sigh of relief. Finally the last few witness interviews were done, and while the accidental death case seemed open and shut, he'd still be relieved when Ducky's autopsy was over and they could close this case. It was becoming more difficult to concentrate the longer he spent around Kate without making a move, and it wasn't helping his investigative skills any. He usually took any excuse to team up with Kate, but he'd been trying to avoid her as much as possible today, making her work the crime scene with McGee, driving a car down to the base so he wouldn't risk her being pressed up to him in the close confines of the truck's cabin, and blanking her every chance he got.
What was even less helpful was her reaction - he hadn't honestly thought she would particularly notice or care that he was being more than usually terse and uncooperative, had thought she would just chalk it up to him being a grumpy old bastard, but after a few hours she had started to look like someone had killed her puppy. In front of her. With a hatchet. He could hardly bear to see those big brown eyes filled with emotions he couldn't decipher. Half the time he was feeling guilty, and the other half the time he was trying not to hope that the effect he was having on her meant something more than just being upset by her boss. Both thoughts were distracting him enough that he had borrowed McGee's dictaphone, reluctant to rely on his memory not to miss clues and connections in the case.
He'd been relieved to get back to headquarters - now his problem was that even routine paperwork and email kept being interrupted by unsolicited thoughts of very Special Agent Caitlin Todd in sad puppy mode... in his arms... in his bed...
He sighed. One way or another, this had to be sorted out soon. Before they had a real murder case on their hands.
Kate had gotten so absorbed in her case report that till Gibbs stood in front of her desk and coughed softly, she hadn't realised how late it had become, or that they were the only two left in the bullpen. She looked up, startled, and then rendered speechless by the intensity of his gaze.
"Kate. You're tired. You need to go home. Get some sleep."
The words were everyday, but Kate was disarmed by the unexpected gentleness in his tone. Sometimes he'd looked at her in a way that made her think he cared a little more than was necessarily professional, and occasionally his voice softened when he spoke to her, but she'd never seen or heard him be so tender with anybody. She stared at him, realising too late that her mouth had fallen open.
"I, uh..." Kate stumbled over the words, and felt blood rush to her cheeks. As if she weren't already flustered enough, Gibbs leaned toward her over the desk, those blue eyes of his intent and full of concern. She swallowed, tried again to reply, and once again, failed.
"Katie, this case? It's done. The report'll wait. We need to get you to bed."
Kate's automatic protest at the nickname died on her lips as her mind derailed. For a second even Gibbs looked startled by his own words. What had clearly been entirely innocent in his head - what indeed would have seemed entirely innocent in the middle of the day, with people milling about and noise echoing throughout the room - had somehow become charged in this twilight encounter. She swallowed the lump in her throat, but still couldn't seem to force any words out.
He coughed and stood up again, then more gruffly added, "Tired agents miss stuff. Tired agents make mistakes. Tired agents get killed."
His voice actually broke on the last word. A note she'd rarely heard in his voice - the kind of emotion he never allowed himself on the job. She'd assumed he didn't allow it at all, but her gut told her she'd been badly mistaken.
Leaning over once more, he gently took hold of her writing hand and removed the pen from her grasp, then tugged gently till she was on her feet, still breathless.
Gibbs wasn't quite sure how he'd gotten into a situation where he was leading Caitlin Todd by the wrists towards the elevator. It seemed surreal. He couldn't grab her hand instead - he felt like the invisible line separating work life and personal life was already being stretched way too thin, and he was pretty sure holding her hand wouldn't help - but he couldn't quite bring himself to let go, either.
With his free hand he thumped the call button, then tried not to fidget with impatience as the 30 seconds the elevator took to arrive at their floor seemed to stretch to hours. He all but pushed Kate in, then followed after her.
The thing had never seemed to move so slowly, and though he turned his back on her, he couldn't escape how the distinctive scent she wore filled the confined space. As the numbers counted down, the tension in the air became unbearable. Without conscious thought, he reached out and flipped the switch which had so often turned this metal box into his own private interrogation room.
"Kate." He managed to get her name out before realising that he didn't even know what he wanted to say. "I, uh..." He turned to look at her. Her eyes were wide, her pupils dilated, he noticed absently. Whether it was fear or arousal wasn't something he could begin to figure out. She licked her lips nervously, and he couldn't stop staring at her mouth.. "Katie..."
"Katie," he'd said, again. No one, but no one was allowed to call her that, so why did it make her spine melt and her knees give way when Gibbs said it? She couldn't seem to force any air through her vocal chords, and although every ounce of common sense was screaming at her to stop what was happening before it could happen, she stood there and watch him come closer. She suddenly understood how an animal could stand still as if hypnotised and wait for a predator to kill it - Gibbs looked like a tiger on the prowl, and she found herself aching for him to pounce.
A few long strides and he was so close, invading her space, so close she could see the lines of his face, smell the coffee he'd been mainlining all day on his breath. So close. Breathing so hard, as if he had been running. Or as if he was trying to control himself.
"Gibbs," she whispered, finally finding her voice.
"Yeah, Katie?" He leaned over and murmured the words, into her ear, his breath tickling her neck, and she moaned.
It was apparently all the encouragement he needed. His head dipped and he dropped a feather light kiss on her throat. Rational thought ended, and Kate slid her arms around his neck, sighing with pleasure as he expertly teased her with his lips. Emboldened by her reaction, he reached out and pulled her close, stroking her back gently but firmly, reaching down to caress her butt, then slipped a hand into her hair to cradle her head as his trail of kisses moved over her jaw and finally, blissfully, to her waiting, hungry mouth.
Kate had always figured it was a sure thing that her boss, given the right conditions, would be a great kisser, but the reality was beyond anything she could have imagined. He tasted of coffee, and strength, and raw sexuality. No longer capable of rational thought, she responded as if she hadn't been touched by a man in months.
Eventually they surfaced, breathing heavily, neither willing to break apart, their bodies still entwined.
By he look on his face, Gibbs was almost as surprised by his behaviour as she was. "I'm sorry, I..."
Kate realised, with a certain amount of pleasure, that he had now been rendered incoherent. She reached up and smoothed the creases out of his brow.
"Don't apologise, it's a sign of weakness."
It took a moment to register, and then he chuckled, a low, growly laugh that Kate felt as much as heard. It sounded as if it were creaky from misuse. He let his forehead drop down to rest on hers, blue eyes locked onto brown.
"I've wanted to do that since Air Force One," he confessed, a grin pulling at the side of his mouth.
"Don't you mean Alpha Foxtrot 2900?" she snapped back, cocking an eyebrow, and was gratified to pull another, somewhat less rusty sounding laugh out of him. She noticed, in a way she never really had before, how his eyes crinkled with his smile, his whole face lighting up as he gazed at her.
She was almost afraid to ask, afraid to ruin this magical moment when fantasy had become reality. But before anything else happened, she really needed to know.
"What about rule 12?"
She wasn't sure quite what she'd expected, but the deep, passionate kiss hadn't been it. He pressed her up against the wall of the elevator and explored her mouth with an intensity that set her body fizzing.
Panting, he drew away just far enough to look her in the eye, and a slow, lopsided, and terribly satisfied smile spread over his features.
"Well, see, the thing about rule 12, Kate, is that it's really more of a guideline..."