Title: Sarsaparilla

Author: MindyHarmon

Rating: T, adult themes.

Disclaimer: These characters are not mine.

Summary: KIBBS. Gibbs POV/ Kate POV. Undercover gone wrong, but don't look for actual storyline, there isn't one.

Katie looked incredible.

Breathtakingly…Mind-bendingly….Heart-stoppingly ….incredible.

It was a good thing that he was way over the other side of the room and not supposed to interact with her at all – a very good thing. He couldn't blow her cover even if she was blowing his mind.

His job tonight was just to watch her – every move she made, he was to keep an eye on her. It was not an unpleasant job. She looked….good enough to eat.


Gibbs was there.

She felt him arrive, without seeing him. The room had changed. She had changed. She felt his gaze, his presence, his support wrap around her like a protective cloak.

She took a sip of her drink and tried to breathe normally. Her heart had been pounding unnaturally since she walked into the bar. She didn't like playing the bait. She didn't like being without her weapon, without her badge — she felt naked.

She reminded herself that if she got into trouble she could always kung fu her way out of it. She reminded herself that Tony, McGee and a dozen other agents waited in cars outside the club ready to swarm at the right time. She reminded herself that Gibbs sat right across the room from her and wouldn't let anything happen to her. She resisted the urge to look around and actually see where he was.

She knew he was there and that was enough.


He could've been heading the operation from outside. That's what the other agents providing backup had expected. But there was no way on earth that he was sending Kate in there without the best backup. And the best backup was him. He couldn't risk something going wrong and not being able to do anything about it.

He trusted Tony and McGee, knew either of them could've done the job, and both would've looked out for Kate like she was their own sister. But if she were going to put herself at risk, he had to be there, every step of the way.

And she knew it too. He could tell she wasn't even surprised when he said he'd be following her undercover that night – she'd looked at him and nodded silently. Her trust in him was unshakeable.


The bar had been dark and deserted when she'd first walked in. It was a nice place – quiet and sophisticated with rich, wood tables, a long mahogany bar and plush, dark blue carpeting that her heels sank into as she walked. It was low lit, with a small lamp highlighting each isolated table – perfect for shady dealings and clandestine rendezvous.

She'd ordered a drink and sat at the table by the window she was meant to, where the agents outside could see her.

Listening to the faint sound of piano music coming from another room, she'd waited patiently for their suspect to show.

Gibbs had entered shortly after her, ahead of two business men, who broke the hush with loud banter and insisted on buying her drinks. 'No thanks' obviously meant nothing to them, and on her third rebuff, she could practically hear Gibbs grinding his teeth from the other side of the room. She smiled and told the men she was already waiting for someone and he was the jealous type. They'd retreated and left her to concentrate on her mission.

She glanced at her watch: any minute now….


Any minute now; Gibbs brought his glass to his lips and spoke under his breath:


"Nothing yet, Boss," he heard Tony answer in his ear: "We'll keep you posted." There was a pause: "How's our girl doin'?"

"Perfect," he smiled.

She was utterly perfect. She did everything perfectly. She did not look at him — she would not look at him. She kept her head bowed delicately over her drink, one hand curled about the moist glass. She gave off just the right air of aloofness and availability. She'd already attracted a few men to her table, just not the one they wanted.

But Gibbs was sure, when he showed, he wouldn't be able to resist. He didn't stand a chance.

He ran his eyes over her frame, lingering on her legs, one casually slung over the other, the free foot bobbing lightly in a move he'd come to know as a Caitlin Todd tell. He watched as she turned her head and gazed out the window. To anyone else she may look relaxed, pensive -- but Gibbs knew better. She was on guard, on edge and completely alert.


She could feel his eyes all over her. Like he was touching her from across the room.

She couldn't see him, but she could feel him practically drinking her in, eating her up.

His gaze was not casual, not objective and not professional. It made her squirm inside. She wondered whether all women reacted this way to him, or whether only she had this particular reaction to him – a special chemistry, a unique connection.

She had an acute awareness of him in any situation or location that tonight, in the dim, blue bar, was magnified ten fold. It both fueled and relieved her nervousness.


He hoped she could run in those heels, if she needed to….

He'd never seen her dressed quite like this. She'd never get away with those shoes at work. Let alone the skirt – it seemed to have light shards of black fabric falling this way and that, covering her lightly, but provocatively. The red top he'd seen before – it was dangerous. He might need to make a rule about her wearing that.

He stood and approached the bar, ordering another drink. While the bartender poured it, he leant back against the bar and watched his agent, his girl keep her cool. It was quite a luxury to be able to look at her this way – one he wouldn't ordinarily indulge in. But tonight, he was obligated. And besides, every man in the room, including the bartender, had taken a good look at the brunette in red by the window. It would be odd if he didn't as well.


She heard Gibbs order a sarsaparilla and hid a smile in her drink. She'd know his voice anywhere and it was good to have proof of his exact location. She knew exactly where he was now.

She showed him her profile, lifting her eyes from the tabletop and tipping her chin up in a slow, minute nod that acknowledged his presence. She smiled to the shadow of his figure in the corner of her eye.


Gibbs smiled back and toasted her silently.

He returned to his seat, glancing towards each door and checking each shady corner. He looked at his watch and started to worry. All of a sudden, something didn't feel right; he could feel it in his gut. Kate's back had stiffened and he knew she sensed something too.

"Dinozzo?" he muttered, edgily.

"Ah, Boss, we might have a situation here," he heard the other man reply.

"What's going on?"

There was a short silence then, some movement: "Get out of there now."

He was on his feet in a shot, hand on his weapon. Kate caught the movement, turned towards him and for the first time that night, their eyes met. He didn't need to say a word and she was by side as he ushered her towards the back door and into a narrow passageway, heading for the emergency exit.

"Tony, what's happening?" he demanded over the wire.

"We've got a whole posse on our hands here, Boss. Don't take the emergency exit. Repeat: don't use emergency exit!"

Gibbs grabbed Kate's arm, altering their course and pulling her into a side door that found them in the kitchen. It was dark and empty, lined with steel pots and pans. Kate's heels echoed hollowly behind him as he led them towards what he hoped would be safety. This should lead them out the rear of the building and then he could worry about what the hell was going on out front.


They burst out the kitchen door and onto a dark alleyway. Kate nearly toppled on the step and before she could right herself, she heard Gibbs curse and turn back towards her, pinning her against the door they'd just come from.


"Ssshhh," he hissed: "Keep still."

She held her breath and obeyed, her eyes darting from side to side, as she realized they were not alone in the alley. Gibbs reached around her stealthily and tried the door handle.

"Locked out," he whispered and cursed again under his breath. "Tony, talk to me," he muttered: "We're in the back alley and we've got company."

"Stay put," she heard from the earpiece: "We'll be there as soon as we can."

She felt his hand tighten on his gun which he had pointed down, pulled in close, resting against her thigh. The voices from the end of the alley raised and Kate struggled to catch snatches of their conversation. A gun cocked and Gibbs pressed in a little closer.

"Put your arms around me," he ordered, lowly and she tentatively slipped her hands inside his coat and around his waist.

"Stay close," he whispered, and ducked his head to the side, burying his face in her neck. Her breath hitched and her mouth dried up all of a sudden. She leant into his shoulder, the scratchy material of his jacket brushing her cheek as she peered down at the men blocking their exit.

"Five of them," she mumbled.

"Don't look," he growled and actually nipped her jaw lightly.

She averted her eyes and swallowed: "They're packing some serious heat, Gibbs."

"Don't," he said more forcefully, switching to the other side of her neck and thereby blocking her view.

Her hands clenched on his waist and she was relieved to feel he had a bulletproof vest on for once. She didn't, of course, but she had Gibbs covering her head to foot. At least if she got shot, she'd die happy.


He forced himself to relax. He didn't aim well when he was tense. The thugs at the end of the alley had either not noticed them in the shadows or thought that they were a pair of lovers so eager to get it on that they'd do it in the alleyway.

They were safe. Well….nearly. He had his gun drawn, he had his girl covered and Tony would have them out of there in no time….

He remained close, keeping Kate sheltered in the doorway and protected by his body. His head swam as his cheek grazed against hers, his nose breathing the soft scent of her hair.

He pulled back a little to look down at her – her chest was rising and falling heavily, her breath coming in sharp pants. She licked her lips and swallowed, her eyes wandering vaguely over his chest. There was nowhere else for her to look. But meeting his gaze, he saw her eyes were wide, still registering surprise and a little embarrassment. She held his eyes for as long as she could then bit her lip and glanced to the side, trying to maintain her cool.

It wasn't working, he could tell -- she was as aroused as he was.


Oh….God….he felt….Incredible….

He felt amazing, pressed up against her, warm and protective, his body solid and strong and vast. Her stomach turned over nervously, and she resisted the impulse of her eyes wanting roll back into her head and close over.

How was she supposed to handle this? How was she supposed to endure this, and not let it show on her face? Did he expect her just to stand there, silent and still, with him all over her, his whole body flush with hers in the most delicious way, his breath, his mouth caressing her neck, her shoulders, her cheek – did he kiss her ear? -- when she knew it was all a ruse, a cover, a fake?

She groaned inwardly; she had to look this man in the eye at work knowing what incredible sensations he inspired in her without even trying.

Gibbs cleared his throat very softly and shifted slightly. She could feel him relax in his body a little and look down at her. She tilted her head back against the door and met his eyes, remembering a similar position on a sub that found her in her boss' arms, staring into his blue eyes.

Even having experienced it before, she was amazed again at the sight and at the effect it had on her. Her body thrummed and her breathing became even more erratic. She had to look away; she was sure he could see how this was affecting her – she was so aroused that she could scream with it. And she only wanted more.

Those crooks at the end of the alley could stay there as long as they wanted as far as she was concerned. This just felt too good to be believed.


Gibbs had never felt such a sense of gratitude towards suspects before. Whoever these guys were behind them, after this was over, he should shake their hands and thank them. At the very least, he'd give them a cool beverage to sip when he charged them.

No one who allowed him the pleasure of feeling Caitlin Todd up against him, especially in that outfit, her face turned up to him, almost in invitation, could be all bad.

He'd been coveting the nubile skin of her neck, the glisten of her lips, the softness of her hair for over an hour, sitting still in that quiet bar. He'd wanted to holler with the frustration. And now it was all – she – was under him, against him, surrounding him and for the first time in a long time, Gibbs really loved his job.


"I like your shirt, by the way," he whispered, glancing down at where she was pressed up against him.

She looked up at him, astonished and gave a tiny shake of her head. What was he doing? Was he flirting with her? Now! Their lives were in danger and he was commenting on her attire? She never thought he noticed such things on ordinary days, let alone a time like this.

Well, these situations tended to bring out something very weird in Gibbs. She'd actually seen him smile at the prospect of a hostage situation – if there was danger to be faced, he always looked like there was nothing he'd rather do with his day. He got a high off it, she reckoned. It was some kind of release for him.

It actually didn't surprise her that only with a gun at his back could Gibbs give her a compliment, especially a personal one.

But before she could cultivate a response to this surreal situation, a voice from behind them called out and footsteps started in their direction. She met Gibbs' composed gaze with panic and heard a couple of cars screech suddenly into the mouth of the alley.

"NCIS!" they announced, before gunfire broke out and suddenly Gibbs' body buckled, slumping against her for a moment, before arching back, and collapsing.


'Ouch' didn't cover it.

"Agent Gibbs, do you know where you are?"




"Where are you, Agent Gibbs?"

"Where's Kate?"

"Right here, Gibbs. I'm right here," came her voice.

He felt her squat down next to him and decided that was worth opening his eyes for. Tony, McGee, two EMTs and Kate were gathered around him, looking down at where he lay on the ground, feeling like he'd been thumped in the back with a battering ram. Twice. His lungs heaved, desperately pulling in oxygen. He was pretty sure he wasn't bleeding though, so that had to be good.

He lifted himself up onto his elbows and Kate reached out to loosen the vest on him.

"Two rounds scored your vest, but you hit your head as you fell," she said, leaning over him, her eyes full of concern: "You'll probably have a bad headache for about a week."

She smiled softly, as the wind lifted her hair off her shoulders briefly. 'Goddess' he thought, looking her over. There was not a scratch on her – she was perfect, she was fine.

My work here is done, said his brain and slipped towards unconsciousness. He vaguely registered the EMT and Kate reaching for him to stop him hitting the ground again and then everything was just….black.


It was a few hours before they left the crime scene. With Gibbs carted off to the hospital as a precaution, she was the agent in charge and no one left until everything was bagged, tagged and photographed to her approval. She and Tony had dropped off the evidence in lockup and she yawned as she rode the elevator back up to the bullpen, alone.

After all the excitement, she was not quite ready to go home. The place was deserted and hushed as she wandered to her desk.

She paused, and, taking a few more steps, stood looking around at Gibbs' little corner. She hesitated only a second, before sinking carefully into the seat, with a long sigh.

She ran her fingers over the edge of the desk and turned her head picking up his smell from the chair. Tipping her head towards the ceiling, she allowed her eyes to slip closed. She would only sit here for a moment, she promised herself; she would just have a little rest and then...she would…she would…sleep.