Title: I'm Alive
Word Count: 1,280
Summary: In all practicality, Kate was most likely talking about earlier today. Gibbs was seeing the double agent kiss his lover gently.
Author's Notes: Spoilers for 1.23 – Reveille and 2.23 - Twilight. LDT can be found HERE
Disclaimer: All characters belong to Donald P. Bellasario, CBS and others. I own nothing.
Her lips slicked over his skin, drawing a moan of pleasure from the man. She nipped at his throat while he ran his hands through her tousled hair, before clutching at the strands and pulling her head back. He reached out with his other hand, brushing a thumb over her lips, smirking when she shivered at the touch.
The blood from her split lip still felt warm to the touch and he let it collect on his thumb before bringing it to his mouth and sucking it off. He hovered over her, hesitating for a brief moment before moving forward, his lips meeting hers firmly. She responded to the kiss eagerly, banding her arms around his neck. When his hands slid over her body, she moaned, his name slipping from her mouth in a sultry whisper.
With a strangled gasp, Gibbs sat up in bed, eyes wide. The whisper echoed in his head and he looked at the space next to him, stiffening when he found it empty. 'Just a dream, Jethro, it was just a dream. She wouldn't do that, not with A – not with him.' His eyes adjusted to the darkness in the room as his breath hitched. The drapes in the room blocked out the moonlight, shrouding it in darkness.
His hands fell to the sheet next to him and the irrational fear sparked again when he found the sheets cold. 'Wasn't real, didn't happen, not Katie, not with that bastard'. The mantra in his head did nothing to alleviate the fear. He slipped out of bead, striding towards the door. He refused to acknowledge the skipped beat of his heart when he saw the light seeping from the kitchen doorway.
She was still here.
He leant against the doorway, seeking her out. She was sitting on the bench top, staring out the window. The moonlight that bathed her face would normally have accentuated her beauty. Tonight, it merely emphasised the blankness in her eyes and the blossoming bruise on her temple. She would have a matching one under the shirt she wore, he knew. He looked at her searchingly, all too aware of how close he'd come to losing her that day – twice. He crossed over to her, placing his hands over hers, gripping tightly.
She spoke, her voice hoarse as she continued to stare at the moon. "It almost ended tonight." The waver in her voice was understandable, but if she cried, Gibbs wasn't sure he would be able to stop his own tears.
She could've died.
"It didn't." He hoped that it would suffice, but knew it wouldn't. Kate persisted.
"It might have." She hesitated briefly. "The first time, I thought here we go, this is it, this is how I'm going to die."
Gibbs looked at her sharply then, his gut starting to twist. "You knew you had a vest on." She didn't reply, didn't look at him, and it became a knot. His hands pulled at her until she was facing him. "Kate?"
She sighed, and her dark eyes, normally so expressive, were veiled. "I forgot."
His fingers curled around hers tightly before loosening them quickly, remembering that she still had scrapes from where her hands had grazed across the rough concrete.
"You forgot?" She flinched at his tone (one that he had never used on any of his team, no matter how badly they screwed up). His eyes drilled into hers and he didn't need to be a psychic to know that she'd be the first to look away. She is. When she spoke, her voice was so soft that he could barely hear it and she suddenly had a vulnerable look on her face.
Vulnerable was not a word that Gibbs had ever associated with Caitlin Todd.
"I forgot that I had a vest on."
He inhaled sharply, the image of Kate diving into the path of the bullet behind him thinking she had no protection flashing though his mind. His back had been turned, but it hadn't stopped him from imagining it.
"You jumped in front of a bullet thinking that you had no vest?" His knuckles turn white while she meets his disbelieving stare squarely, firm in her convictions.
"I had to protect you." He gritted his teeth at that, everything essentially male in him protesting against the idea. He was the one who was supposed to protect her, not the other way around.
The conviction in her voice fades away as she turns back to the window. "The second time, I didn't even know."
The knot tightens. "You never know."
"You think you do. There'll be a moment where you stop and you realize that this could be it." She turned back to look at him, eyes wet with unshed tears. "I could have died today, Gibbs."
"But you didn't." His relief coloured his voice, and she smiled weakly at him.
"And I have DiNozzo to thank for that." Her smile faded. "If he hadn't sneezed Jethro, I woul –"
"I know." He didn't want to think about it. Not about how, for a second, Kate's life had probably depended on whether or not DiNozzo sneezed. On the rooftop, he had felt a brief pang of jealousy at the speed at which Kate had stepped towards Tony, concern etched on her face because she knew, like he did, how quickly a cold could set Tony's progress back. When the bullet had flown past his face, ripping through Kate's hair, he had frozen in horror. Kate's startled shriek had had both men springing into action, guns aimed at the fleeting figure in black.
"Jethro?" Kate's voice brought him back to the present. She was looking at him curiously, head tilted. "What are you doing up, anyway?"
"Couldn't sleep." The question brought the dream back to him, and he twitched ever so slightly. Kate's eyes narrowed.
"Nightmare?" He wanted to laugh. Nightmare so didn't even begin to cover it. He didn't reply. "Ari?"
Her tone of voice takes him to the coffee house a year ago. She'd implied he'd been attractive, sexy, someone under different circumstances she wouldn't mind sleeping with. He gritted his teeth at the memory, Kate taking it as confirmation of her theory.
"He didn't hurt me Jethro." In all practicality, Kate was most likely talking about earlier today. Gibbs was seeing the double agent kiss his lover gently. The growl that left his lips had Kate looking at him searchingly. "But that's not what your dream was about, is it?"
She could always make him spill his thoughts when she looked at him like that, so he told her while he stared at the moon, not wanting to see the ridicule on her face. Or worse, the guilt.
The touch of her palm on his face had him turning back to her, though his eyes remained focused behind her.
"Jethro? Look at me." The quiet command in her voice, rarely used around him, drew his eyes to her. She pulled him closer to her, framing his face with her hands. Leaning forward, she placed a feather light kiss on his lips. "I love you." She kissed him again. "You're the only one I want to be with, the only one I've wanted to be with for a long time."
He didn't say anything, just continued to watch her. Her hands moved down his face, coming to a rest on his shoulders. He moved into her, his own arms slipping around her waist.
He's holding the woman he loves in his arms and there's moonlight shining down on them.
Kate had never kissed Ari.
Kate could have died in the day.
He held her tighter.