Playing House

Summary: A prince in black leather and a princess with a Sig-Sauer attached to her hip. A conventional love story.

Disclaimer: Not mine, never will be. Hmmm……not to rain on anyone's parade, but who do they belong to, now that they're both dead? DPB still have claim? Cuz if not, I have an Ari-shaped sarcophagus….So many fandoms, so little time.

Rating: T (Despite the title, nothing dirty happens…..I suck at writing that kinda stuff.)

Spoilers: Since Ari's in it, I suppose that 'Bete Noire' and 'Reveille' are fair game.


Kate opened her door carefully, prepared to take out her weapon at a moment's notice. Some people would call her paranoid. She preferred the term cautious; it had less of a crazy vibe. She took a glance around her apartment and didn't notice anything out of place, and let her guard down. But then she noticed something that definitely wasn't there when she left this morning.

She stared at the bottled of white wine on her kitchen counter and sighed. Only one man had a key to her apartment (although she was sure Gibbs could get one if he wanted to) and only one man would leave her white wine. And this could only mean one thing. Ari was back.

She didn't know why she did it. The first time it happened, it had been a few weeks after he kidnapped her and she had come home to find him sitting on her couch. She had whipped out her gun but found that she wasn't really afraid of him.

He chuckled and turned to look at her. "Caitlin, put your gun away. I don't wish to harm you." When she didn't relent, he laughed again and got up, and began to walk towards her. "Caitlin, if I wanted to hurt you, I would have done so weeks ago, or when you walked in. I'm no threat to you tonight." He gripped the barrel of her gun boldly, and took it out of her hands. He laid it on the table and smiled at her.

"Now wasn't that easy?"

That night, as she recalled it now, was the first time she had seen Ari, not Haswari. He had visited her a multiple times since then, with each time ending the same way. But there was something in him that made her tell herself that it was okay. That he was okay.

But in the back of her mind, there was a little voice telling her Gibbs would be disappointed if he ever found out who kept her bed warm at night. That he'd die if he ever found out that his protégé was #$ the one man he hated most in the world. But on nights like this, she silenced that voice for as long as he was there.

She went into her bedroom to change out of her work clothes and came back out in sweats and a t-shirt. Her girlie side thought that she should put on that new red dress she bought impulsively a few weeks ago. But the more practical side told her that she wasn't sure when he'd come back, and there was no use to dress up if he wasn't even going to come back tonight.

So Kate settled down in her sweats, with a glass of white wine, and waited for her dirty little secret to come to her.


He entered the apartment quietly, and scanned the room quickly for Caitlin. He'd really prefer to not get shot by her tonight. A small smile appeared, and the tender look it brought to his face probably would have sent his enemies and his allies screaming. He moved stealthily through the room, and squatted beside her.

An empty wineglass was on the table beside her, and he was glad to know that she enjoyed his gift. He reached out and gently tucked a piece of hair behind her ear, and the small movement woke her instantly, although her eyes still held the vestiges of sleep. A small smile spread across her face when she saw it was him, and he felt a little bit of joy, knowing that she was happy to see him.

"Ari." She murmured, her voice deeper than usual. She brought a hand up to rest her head on, and she smiled coyly at him. "You know that Gibbs would kill you if he knew you were here."

He smirked, and leaned in close to her. "Why does he always have to come up in our conversations?" She laughed and leaned into him, kissing him hello. It had been months since his last visit, and as he felt her lips on his, he wondered how he went so long without her. His hands ran through her hair, tangling in the nicely combed brown locks.

"How long are you in town?" She asked breathlessly, once they finally broke apart. She scooted over to the other side of the couch, and patted the space next to her invitingly. He smirked, and lay down on the couch beside her. Kate rested her head on his chest, and entwined her legs with his.

"Only a few days, maybe less. I just need to meet with a few people and keep the FBI apprised of what's going on." He said, lightly stroking her hair. "I couldn't be in D.C. without seeing you Caitlin."

"Mmm…" She murmured, lightly nuzzling his chest. "Okay. I can work with a few days." She leaned up and captured his lips in a kiss, one that was meant to seduce. "Why don't we go get reacquainted lover?" She murmured playfully.


Kate rolled over the next morning, seeking out the warmth of her lover's body. She hadn't spent the night with someone in so long that the thought of someone actually there with her was nice. She sighed though, finding nothing but a cold empty bed instead of a nice warm body.

She picked her head up and looked to the pillow that he had used last night. This was their routine. Whenever he had to leave before she woke up, he always left a note. And she wasn't disappointed today.

Caitlin,

Sorry I had to leave so soon this morning, but I had a breakfast meeting with one of my contacts. I have a few errands to run throughout the day, but I should be back in time to fix you a nice dinner. Hope that you have a nice day at work 'darling'. I'll be seeing you.

Ari

Kate laughed at the endearment that he chose to use in the note. It was some nice irony, the nice normal phrase being used by a couple that was about the farthest thing from nice and normal as you could get.

She smiled as she saw his duffle bag sitting on her chair, looking as if it belonged there. Like he belonged in her life. She smiled as she walked past his bag, lightly skimming her fingers over the zipper.


Kate went through the day as usual, just smirking when Tony inquired as to why she was wearing a turtleneck on such a warm day. There weren't any cases to work, so Gibbs had decided today would be a paperwork catch up day, which she always enjoyed.

Not really. She was pretty sure that she'd take out her gun at any moment and shoot…someone. When Abby came around, she jumped at the invitation to get out of the office. With a smile, she told Gibbs that she'd be back in an hour or so, and exited out of the report she was typing. She grabbed her purse and before she could hear Gibbs' response, she was out the door, Abby in tow.

She was indulging in getting out of the office with Abby when she felt the hair on the back of her neck stand up. She didn't want to alert her friend to anything, but looked around carefully, wondering what could possibly get this reaction out of her. She smirked when she found her answer, and turned back to Abby.

About two tables down and five tables over, Kate had spotted a man wearing a nice leather jacket reading a newspaper. Nothing out of the ordinary to most people, but Kate knew better. It appeared as if Ari had a lunch appointment that he didn't bother mentioning in his note.

This was one of his favourite little games, following her around and seeing how long it took her to notice that he was trailing her. He seemed to enjoy playing with high stakes, choosing moments when she was with other members of the team to observe her. It made her feel…sexy, to know that her lover was watching her, but couldn't do anything to her. She smirked as Abby told her some story about her transvestite friend hitting on a drunken McGee, and tossed her hair playfully behind her shoulder, just for his benefit.

From behind his paper, Ari smirked. Caitlin enjoyed this game of theirs too much sometimes. He hadn't planned on playing today, but there was an unexpected pause in his schedule, and he decided to track her down. The fact that Abby Scuito was with her just made it all the more fun.

He loved watching her. His favourite time had been when she was 'out in the field' working a case. He watched as Gibbs stood next to her, asking her opinion on something. Ran scenarios through his head as to what would happen if one of the team happened to spot him, and came to the conclusion that in his own interest, he should probably move farther away. But he was entranced with Caitlin, the way she moved, the way she looked, how she was every bit the NCIS agent that Gibbs had trained her to be.

And then he laughed, seeing in his mind's eye the look that Gibbs would have on his face when he learned his little agent was romantically involved with the man that he so desperately wanted to kill.

Today was less of a threat. If Abby saw him, he could be out of sight by the time it took her to tell Kate what, or more precisely, who, she had seen. But it was fun nonetheless.

Right before they left, he raised his glass, as if in a toast to her. She giggled and nodded back , making sure that Abby couldn't see. She knew that when he came home that night, she'd have to warn him about their game. But she knew that her warning would fall on deaf and knowing ears. They were both well-aware of the dangers in this relationship.


Kate came home that night to soft music, low lights, and humming coming from the kitchen. She smiled as she toed off her heels and tossed her things onto the couch. She walked into the kitchen and smiled as she saw Ari maneuvering around the pots and pans with ease.

She walked up to him and silently wrapped her arms around his waist. He stopped clamoring around her kitchen and stilled as she began tracing patterns on his stomach, through the cotton of his shirt. This was comforting. Domestic. Loving. Everything that they couldn't be in the real world. She sighed and placed a kiss between his shoulder blades. "How was your day?" She asked quietly, letting go of him to jump up on the counter.

"Same as always. Made plans to kill infidels. Then met with said infidels to make sure that the plans fail." He said, a wry smile on his face as he threw some spice she didn't even know she had, into one of her pots. "What about you?"

She sighed again, swinging her feet back and forth innocently. "It was okay. Gibbs gave us mountains of paperwork. Lunch was interesting though." She smiled as he looked up at her and winked.

"Yes, mine was as well. Found an attractive woman where I ate. I think she might have liked me." His all too familiar smirk came into place as he came to stand between her splayed legs. His hands came up to her hips and his fingers flexed against the material of her pants. "I should have gotten her number."

Kate laughed and hit his chest lightly. "You're a bad, bad man Ari." She murmured into his neck.

"You know you love it. I look good in the leather." He muttered into her hair. "Now Caitlin, my carrots are behind you, so if you wouldn't mind…" He trailed off and chuckled as she rolled her eyes. She reached behind her and searched briefly for the veggies.

She handed him the carrots and laughed. "Just like you Ari Haswari, using me to get what you want."

He smirked again and placed a light kiss on her lips. "You wouldn't expect anything else from me." She giggled and turned back to the pot of boiling something. "Now get out of the kitchen Caitlin." He actually smiled this time. "Dinner will be ready soon."

They had finished their meal, and were now lounging on the couch, watching the fire in the fireplace burn. Kate sighed contentedly as she buried her face further into the space between his shoulder and his neck, and ran a hand up and down his chest. Randomly, they would start talking, with Kate muttering questions into his neck, and Ari murmuring his answers into her hair. But then the comfortable silence would fall over them again, and they'd just be.

Ari sighed, figuring that he'd have to tell her eventually. "Caitlin…" He said quietly into her hair. She turned her face up to him, and it took all the willpower he had to not throw her over his shoulder and carry her into the bedroom. He swallowed noticeably and ran a light hand down her arm. "I have to leave tomorrow."

A cloud of confusion and sadness flooded her eyes as she sat up a little to look him in the eyes. "I thought that you said you could stay a few days?"

Ari shrugged. "That was a rough guess. Turns out that I didn't need that long. I've accomplished everything that I was sent here to do." He shook his head and placed a gentle kiss on the top of her head. "I am sorry Caitlin. You know that I would stay if I could. But al-Queda gets nervous when I'm away for too long, you know that." She nodded knowingly. "I'll be on a plane by the time that you wake up tomorrow."

She sighed sadly, wanting to protest, but knowing that she couldn't. It was duty, and if there was one thing that she understood in life, it was that very concept. She kissed him lightly, and pulled away after a few seconds, a mischievous gleam in her eyes. "Then let's make the best of the time we have left."

"I always have liked the way that you think Caitlin." Ari murmured as he hooked his arms around her and carried her off into the bedroom, a prince in black leather and a princess with a Sig-Sauer attached to her hip. A conventional love story.


He awoke the next morning at two a.m., and was careful not to wake Caitlin as he slipped out of bed. He quickly packed up his bag and retreated into the bathroom to freshen up. When he walked back into her room, he smiled as he saw her sitting up in bed, her eyes blurry and her hair messed. "You shouldn't have gotten up Caitlin. You have to go into work today."

She shrugged. "If I can't get back to sleep, there's always coffee." She threw the covers off, and grabbed her robe that was on a nearby chair. "I had to say goodbye to you. What kind of girlfriend would I be if I didn't?"

Ari chuckled softly, and brushed a stray piece of hair out of her face. He cupped her cheek gently and skimmed his thumb over her soft skin. He then lightly kissed her forehead, and went to collect his bag. She silently followed him, the two of them walking out into her apartment, stopping right before the door.

"I'll keep in contact." Ari said softly. Kate nodded and wrapped her arms around him. She laid her head on his chest, and placed her hand above his heart.

"Stay safe." She murmured. He sighed and placed a soft kiss on the top of her head.

"I always do Caitlin."

They had never actually said 'I love you' to each other. Neither was quite sure why. It was obvious that the feelings were there, or else they wouldn't risk their lives to be together like this. Maybe neither of them was brave enough to say it. Maybe one was waiting for the other. Maybe the words themselves, weren't needed.

Ari lifted her chin gently, and she smiled as his lips descended on hers. Kate tried to make the moment last forever, knowing that it could be months before she saw him again. She breathed him in, memorizing the sensation of his body against hers, his tongue caressing her mouth. She never wanted to let him go.

But she knew she had to.

They separated reluctantly, and Ari gave her a wry smile. They were never ones for big goodbyes. "Till next time Caitlin."

Kate just waved as Ari opened up her door, and stepped out into the hallway. Kate shut the door and locked it, and only then did she hear Ari start walking away - protective to the last. She walked calmly over to the window and watched as he attached his bag to the back of his bike, and quickly hopped on. He looked up to her window, briefly, before he put on his helmet.

And then, before she knew it, he was gone. No sign that he had ever spent the last few days in her home. She trudged back to bed, wanting at least another hour of sleep before she had to go into the office.

She smiled as she hopped into bed, and carefully curled herself into a ball, tangling in her sheets. There was still one sign that he had been there. His scent, dangerous and spicy, still clung to her sheets. She sighed, and closed her eyes, falling asleep almost immediately.

No one would ever know.


Please review and share your thoughts, good or bad! Keep in mind that this is a completely different universe from 'Twilight'!