When Gibbs came back from his run, Tony was sprawled on the couch, channel surfing and talking on the phone to someone called 'Michelle', he caught in passing. It did not sound like an amicable conversation.

Heading down the hallway, Gibbs wiped the sweat from his brow with his sleeve. In his temporary bedroom, he ripped the shirt over his head, flinging it in the direction of the bed and entering the adjoining bathroom.

Before it even registered that the door was shut (not how he'd left it) and that there was a low hum of music coming from within, before it even occurred to him to wonder where Kate might be, he knew exactly where she was.

She stood, naked, in the middle of his bathroom, half-turned away from him, planted on the lime-green mat, her slim body glistening and bent slightly at the waist as she massaged her hair dry under a burgundy towel.

His immediate reaction was to swing the door shut and slam the portal on the memory of the vision he'd just seen as well. She wouldn't even know he'd been there.

But he remained -- fixated.

Her gym clothes were in a heap on the floor, a bathrobe lay across the sink, the bath was full, and the whole room swirled with steam and Kate's private fragrance.

She continued rubbing her hair and he could hear her humming under the towel, as her feet tapped against the mat in time to the Latin music coming from the radio. The pink polish on her toenails was peeling, he noticed.

His lungs breathed in her scent as his eyes trailed up legs that were smooth, tanned, strong and long for her height. Atop them, turned towards him on the side of one perfectly pert butt cheek was The Tattoo.

He knew she had one, he'd read that much in her personnel file when he'd first hired her. But the details were only to be used as an identifying feature in death. He had to admit when he first found out, he was a little shocked. She didn't seem the type, but then Gibbs had stopped believing in types a long time ago. Anyone was capable of anything in his mind.

It opened up the possibility for him that not everything about conservative little Caitlin Todd was cut and dried. There were surprises in store.

For a week he'd thought about what kind of tattoo this woman would get.

The following week, he focused more intensively on where she might get it.

He wasn't obsessed or anything, but he decided it would be wisest to simply scratch the idea from his brain completely.

Gibbs was good at that.

He'd forgotten all about the hug he gave her in the bathroom of Air force One…..

He'd practically forgotten about the feel and smell of her pressed up against him when the Philadelphia surfaced….

This -- he wasn't so sure if he could forget this.

His mouth turned up examining the swirling blue, yellow and green illustration of a seahorse. It was quite small, a circular design, the seahorse set against the shape of an open lotus flower. It was delicate, sensual, intriguing.

He liked it because it confused him. Why a seahorse?

The fact it was a marine animal appealed to him though.

His eyes swept over her sleek back, rippling with her movements, and over shoulders still dripping with water and oil from her bath. He got a brief glimpse of the side of one white breast before, ducking his head, he retreated out of his own personal Garden of Eden, closing the door behind him softly.

He stood, motionless by the door, his hand still holding onto the handle, his face heated and his eyes unblinking. He gulped and looked at the carpet. He could still smell her. Jasmine…?

And if he closed his eyes he could still see her. So much for sleep that night. Or any other night for the foreseeable future…..

He strode, dazed, down the hall, grabbed a bottle of water from the fridge and drank deeply. He planted both hands on the counter for support….why a seahorse….?

Tony had finished his phone conversation and turned around to look at his boss:

"How was your run?"


"O-kay," Tony turned back to the tv and continued flicking channels: "Hey, don't go in your bathroom, Kate's in there."