Summary: Final chapter in the Growing Series. What happened after dinner?
Pairing: Shouldn't have to tell you.
Disclaimer: If I owned them I'd be writing this in the show. Considering that it hadn't happened, I don't own them. Thanks for asking.
It wasn't supposed to happen like this. He wasn't supposed to give in and she definitely wasn't supposed to encourage it. Then came the reminder that this wasn't a perfect world and time reasserted itself in the alarm that startled her awake on his chest. She looked up at him and jumped, slapping herself in the head. Quickly she turned her back, the back of her neck turning bright red. It wasn't her style, one night stands.
Well, at least she could cross 'do the boss' off of her list.
She resisted the urge to run.
He'd started berating himself as soon as she jumped. He shouldn't have stayed, he should have let her believe it might have been a dream or some trick of her tired mind. He still had to work with her. It wasn't his style, one night stands.
Now, it was too late. The words that came out of her mouth though, surprised him.
"This wasn't a mistake."
She made up her mind. She would tell him the feelings she harboured for the bastard in him, for the agent in him, for the protector in him, and for what she still needed to learn. She decided that it was now or never.
Though, she decided, he has ruined me for every other man out there.
She took a moment to remember his hands, how they'd played her body, an instrument an its musician, bringing her to her peak more than once. It was a feeling that wouldn't just go away, that wouldn't just let her be during lonely nights. Now that she knew, there was no forgetting what it felt like to lay in his arms, to allow herself to get lost in what was Jethro Gibbs.
He knew he sounded like an idiot, hell, that was one of the stupidest questions he'd ever asked anyone in his life. He watched her shake her head, still not looking at him. After a moment, she squared her shoulders looking straight ahead.
"It wasn't a mistake."
He took a moment to think, really think, about where he was. He was lying on his back, in Caitlyn Todd's bed, she was sitting naked beside him, her flawless back open to his roaming gaze. Then he realized what the clenching in his stomach was at her statement. Hope reigned supreme in his chest as he fully took stock of his position and hers.
"It wasn't a mistake."
She spun to face him, her nakedness in the back of her mind at his admission. She blinked at him.
"What?" He sat up facing her. She didn't think he'd said what he did, she didn't expect what he'd said. She expected him to contradict her, for an argument to break out, for one of them to say something stupid to ruin any relationship they may have had. But he'd agreed with her.
"It wasn't a mistake, Katie," he repeated. She looked at him, really looked at him, and noticed a few things. In reality, she should have seen them before, the crow's feet, the long lines, the tiredness, but what had caught her eye, what had assured her that everything would be okay in the end, was the look in his eyes when they looked at her. Sure, she'd had men in her time, and sure some had stayed around longer than others, but with Jethro Gibbs, it was something completely different. With Gibbs, she ended up letting her guard down, whether she wanted to or not. With Gibbs, she ended up saying things she didn't mean to say.
Like that she was out of line.
She'd told him the truth, that's all, told him that she thought he was an insensitive bastard. Then he'd turned around and changed her perspective all together with one, hard, guilt-ridden look.
He knew he was a bastard.
She gave him credit for that and she cut him some slack. After all, being a member of the offending species, she could see how Gibbs would protect himself after three divorces. Not to mention the hell divorce was to go through. However, he needed to figure out when someone was different and wasn't going to intentionally hurt him. Yes, dating in the office generally wasn't a good thing, but at least that person knows what kind of a job you lead, that you may not be home because something came up in the office…
He watched her as she thought, could almost see walls crumbling around her heart and allowed himself a moment of hope. Maybe, just maybe, she'd seen past the bastard she accused him of being, past the insensitive boss and into the man who just wanted to hold her, who wanted to chase away all of her demons and the hell she'd been through.
He wanted to love her.
He'd spent the better part of her time at NCIS battling back that feeling. Love involved too many things that just weren't to be sacrificed doing the job that they were. With love came overprotective-ness, a feeling of sacrifice to make sure the other was safe. Those were feelings that you just couldn't give up. A threat was always around the corner, someone who committed a crime got out and maybe you were responsible for them being in there, maybe they would come after your family. After all, hadn't a mobster told him he'd break apart his family one by one? The relief that had washed through him at that moment, hidden behind sarcasm and the jab about three ex-wives and being more than willing to fax him any and all information, was a sensation he was ill-equipped to describe. He'd been glad she hadn't been part of his family, someone who, in someone else's eyes, was dispensable.
He'd sat there after the conversation just staring at her desk, knowing that she would be safe for a little while longer. She was safer without him loving her, he thought, but with the way things had turned out tonight, he wasn't so sure.
"Katie? What are you thinking about?"
She jolted at his words.
"You," she admitted, much faster than she would have liked. She heard and saw him sigh and braced herself for some sort of painful revelation.
"Kate, I want you to do me a favour." He paused and waited for her nod of agreement before continuing on.
"I need to tell you a few things…"
"Wait." He met her eyes, shock shining there. "Let me go first.
"I don't know what you did, Gibbs, I don't know when it started, but between you and I, there has always been a slight tension. Right now, I'm not so sure I can say I don't care what you think it might be, but I do know that, on my side, this isn't a professional tension and I know that after tonight I don't think that it will change. If anything, that tension is just going to grow. There's something that needs to be set straight. Maybe after tonight I'll have to transfer out of the DC office because of differences, but…" she trailed off, knowing she was ranting, and not sure if she was making much sense. He was about to speak, about to ask her what she wanted to say.
"God, Gibbs, I love you. That tension between us has had me wanting to jump your bones for a while and…" she was cut off by his lips. He kissed her hungrily, plunged her mouth for every taste he'd found at the beginning of this night. They pulled away, Kate less than coherent and Gibbs more than smug. When the fog receeded from her gaze and she met his uncertainly, he knew he had things to say to her too.
"I know exactly what you feel, Katie." She looked at him, if anything more uncertain and confused than she had been.
"I love you, Katie."
Let me tell you, like most of the other things about my last couple of stories (though this one is a sequel of Grown Out and Grown Up) it hasn't turned out the way I'd planned it to. My fingers tend to take on a mind of their own and the next thing I know something like this has popped out of nowhere.
I hope you're okay if this is the finale…