Title: The Prettiest Thing

Author: MindyHarmon

Rating: M.

Disclaimer: So not mine.

Summary: Kate/Gibbs. The morning after.

A/N: Title is inspired by the Norah Jones song which has very little to do with this story.

The prettiest thing he ever did see was the naked semi-silhouette of her form in the early morning half-light, the day after he'd made love to her for the very first time.

He really felt that the vision should be set against the background of an awe-inspiring waterfall or a rich red velvet curtain -- not the drab interior of his dreary bedroom. But he was in no way complaining.

His sleeping form had vaguely registered her slipping out of his arms and tiptoeing to the bathroom. Through his contented slumber, he had hazily listened to the sound of the shower and had enjoyed the presence of someone else getting ready for their day in his usually silent home.

He'd drowsily wondered where she might be going so early on a Sunday, as his unconscious threw images at him of their previous nights love-making, causing his body to ache for her warm presence back in his arms.

He'd only really started to awaken when he heard her creep back into the dim bedroom, stopping every few steps to retrieve the clothes and possessions they had dispensed with so carelessly mere hours earlier.

He roused as she made her way to an arm chair in the corner of his room and dropped her things in it with a barely audible sigh.

He cracked his eyes open just in time to see her peel his borrowed towel from around her body and drop it to the floor.

And there she stood, like a masterpiece of ancient art, posed exclusively for him, and without her knowledge. She was flesh and blood artistry in his presence.

She leaned over, fishing her bra from the pile of belongings in the chair, wrapped it around herself and fastened it deftly, adjusting her generous flesh in the little black cups.

He'd once heard a theory that you could judge a man's character by the way he dressed or undressed himself. Everything about him apparently could be easily determined by whether he took off his shoes first or his tie.

Watching Kate through sleepy but rapt eyes, he is not sure whether the same can be said for women, or if he bought into such modern psycho-babble, but he watches nonetheless, with avid interest. She's certainly the most tantalizing thing he's had to investigate in a very long time.

He'd learnt an awful lot about her last night, when he'd had her flushed and naked in his bed. Like how truly beautiful she was, how incredible when she came for him, like how joyous and fun a lover she was and how a man could get so totally lost in brown eyes that looked at him, like they'd never seen another man that they'd liked quite so well.

He'd leant all this and more. But, he thought with an inner grin, he didn't mind a little further study.

Her back remained to him, sleek and elegant, as she rifled through her belongings, looking for something. She took her stockings and rolled them into a ball, stuffing them in her handbag and continued searching. Then he watched as she stepped into her straight black skirt and pulled it up over her naked bottom and thighs. Twisting to the side, her hair falling in her eyes, she fastened the side clasp and smoothed it into place.

He kept his eyes almost closed as she turned and began examining the floor for something she'd apparently lost. He smiled internally.

She checked over the other side of the bed and, looking puzzled, retrieved her green sweater from the end of the bed and slipped it over her head. From her handbag she pulled a small hairbrush and she brushed out her hair quickly and fastened it up into a ponytail with a band.

"Where are you going?" he asked suddenly, his voice crackly in his throat.

She turned and looked at him, surprised: "I didn't want to wake you," she whispered. She stepped over to the bed, looking almost presentable except for her slightly wrinkled skirt and bare feet. "Church," she whispered, and she sounded a little nervous: "I'm meeting my mother."

He nodded and looked up at her as she stood just out of his reach. She stepped closer and sat down next to his prone body on the bed: "Good morning," she smiled, leaning over him and bestowing on his lips a soft, sweet kiss.

"Morning," he rumbled happily and kissed her back, the sensation of his new lover making his belly burn.

Her small hand, smelling of his soap, stroked his cheek, then slipped slowly down to his chest. She wove her fingers through his chest hair as their tongues began to mate in dance that they'd invented the night before.

His body was immediately awake and instantly starved for her. One of his hands curled around the nape of her neck, anchoring her mouth to his, while the other slipped over her knee, fingers brushing the inside of her thigh and inching slowly upwards.

She pulled away from him, eyes closed and breath shallow. "Hold that thought…" she panted, dropping three perfect kisses on his chest before moving to disentangle herself from his wandering hands.

"Katie…" he whispered in place of begging her to stay.

She caught his unspoken plea without him having to utter it: "Can't, Gibbs – I've gotta go," she moaned.

"Need to confess your sins?" he questioned quietly, hoping that she held no regrets about their new involvement.

"If I did," she murmured: "I should be taking you with me." She offered him a sly little smile and leaned back in, kissing him quickly, like she couldn't stand to leave.

Then she rose, moved to the chair, stepped into her shoes, slung her suit jacket over her arm and shouldered her bag.

She paused and glanced over at him momentarily, looking every bit the cool and composed career woman, he knew her to be by day.

Only he knew that the passionate and vivacious woman she became by night, like last night, had left something behind in his bed. Something that this daytime version might need.

She was heading out the door, when he fished out from under his thigh a pair of little blue panties and held them up.

"Kaaate, you might need these…" he said.

She stopped and looked at him, appalled, then pouted and strode back to the bed.

"Mine, Gibbs," she ordered petulantly and put out her hand for them.

"I beg to disagree," he stated, holding them out of her reach.

"You can beg all you want--" she began to retort, before he grabbed her arm and pulled her back down to the bed, rolling her onto her back. She laughed at him, loud and belly-deep as he covered her body with his and began to attack her neck with eager lips and teeth. Her neck arched, her arm stretched out above them, hand grasping for the panties, but he pinned her wrist easily, kissing down over her green-encased breasts.

"Don't," he muttered. "Want," kissing her all over. "You," pulling her closer. "To," breathing her in: "Go."

He looked up at her, flushed and giggly under him, eyes pleading for her release. And suddenly her eyes sparkled – a momentary warning – before she grunted with the effort and flipped him onto his back in one of her best Secret Service moves.

What a woman.

She smiled down at him, smugly and adjusted her seat on his hips, carefully. He hummed and reached for her, smoothing his hands up her thighs and over her hips. She tucked some loose strands of hair behind her ears and leaned down to kiss him, her mouth taking control of his in an assertive kiss.

"Believe me, Gibbs…" she muttered, straightening slowly: "the last thing I want to do right now is go to church with my mother…"

"Then don't," he grinned, pressing his hips up into her and letting her feel his naked arousal. He watched her eyes flutter closed fleetingly and her tongue come out to wet her lips.

"I have to," she huffed, unwillingly: "If I don't, she'll want to know why. If I lie about it, she'll know. If I tell the truth…"

He raised an eyebrow at her and she raised hers back.

"…I'll never hear the end of it. You have no idea what she's like."

He sighed deeply, resigning himself to her departure. If there was one thing that three marriages did teach him, it was not to meddle in the relationship between a woman and her mother.

"I won't be long, I swear," she assured him, as she bent over him and nipped at his ear lobe: "And, later… I will make it up to you."

He felt her grin as she dragged her cheek along his, her warm breath coating his ear.

"How you gonna do that?" he wondered, already thinking up ideas to assist her.

She pulled back, tossed her ponytail over the opposite shoulder and leaned down to his other ear.

"When I come back…" she whispered there, voice over-flowing with mischief: "I will bring for you…the biggesthotteststrongest coffee you've ever had in your life."

She met his eyes with a naughty grin and he chuckled lowly. She knew him too well.

While the prospect of good coffee did not outweigh his desire to keep her in his bed, to explore unhurriedly and thoroughly with eyes, mouth, body and soul – her proposal had a certain appeal.

If (if) he let her go to wander around in the big wide world outside his bedroom, she would be returning and that assurance comforted him. She would be back -- soon and with coffee.

And he could do with some alone time. It would give him time to fully wake up, to really digest the events of the previous night, maybe spend some quality time with his boat and of course, gather his strength again. He wasn't twenty years old anymore and Katie Todd was a demanding and energetic lover.

He would miss her but he would anticipate and relish her return with pleasure. Because when she did come back, he would make sure she did make up to him for this early departure. Repeatedly, if necessary.

"I'm going to hold you to that," he warned her, hands sweeping over her back and pulling her down to his mouth once again.

"I'll look forward to it," she whispered against his lips.

Suddenly, she pulled back, stole the blue panties from where he'd dropped them and hastily backed off him, grinning slyly. He propped himself up on his elbows and watched with a smoldering gaze as she straightened the skirt that had hiked up around her thighs, retrieved her handbag from the bed and shoved the panties inside, turning towards the door.

"You're not even going to wear them?" he asked, turning on his side and watching her with disbelief.

"Nope," she smiled, over her shoulder at him: "I just wanted them back."

"You can't go to church without panties, Kate," he protested, wondering if this was a habit with her, if she'd ever walked around at work, sans underwear.

"'Course I can," she shrugged: "Who's gonna know?"

Well, he would for one, he thought, picturing her sitting demurely in church, looking all innocuous and perfect, right next to her mother, listening to the priest, while underneath her little black suit the most beautiful, the most sacred, the hottest, sweetest, most feminine part of her was free of restraint, open to the air and juicy in anticipation of his inevitable ravishment. Her pretty, pretty thing perfectly unadorned and uncovered.

He groaned a tortured groan and dropped his head back to the bed as she headed out the door, telling him she'd see him soon.

"Kate?" he called her back, without knowing why. He sat up on the bed, covering himself with a sheet – did he fear that if she left the room he might once again wake alone, to find her only a figment of his imagination and desperate longing?

"What?" she breathed, popping her head back around the doorframe.

'I Love You,' he thought, looking at her silently for a moment. In the little pause, he watched as she read his thoughts and smiled softly.

"Don't forget my coffee," he ordered grumpily. She snorted and rolled her eyes, disappearing from the doorframe again.

He flopped back to the bed, smelling her scent trapped in his sheets and casting his mind forward in eagerness of when she returned to him, with a fervent body, open heart and big smile.

Let's get this show on the road, he thought, smiling to himself as he shucked off the sheets and got up from the bed, heading to the shower with a definite spring in his step.

This fine morning was not one to be wasted lazing about; for as it had dawned, it had brought with it the opportunity for him to witness the prettiest sight he could ever have imagined. And he could now live in hope of many more to come.