Rating: T
Disclaimer: Still not mine...still never will be. The author, though, is still a wishful thinker, and is hoping for Gibbs to arrive on her doorstep this Christmas.
Spoilers: Little ones for 'Split Decision', 'Yankee White' and 'Enigma'.

Notes: All inspired by me, finally learning to tie a tie. Fascinating huh:P Please review and tell me what you thought!

Gibbs sighed and shifted on his feet, aching to tug at the tie around his neck. Damn thing felt extremely uncomfortable, and he found himself wondering if he had put it on right. It had been a long time since he had worn a tie, and as the night continued to drag on, he was getting surer and surer that the piece of cloth had a mind of its own, and had decided on slowly killing him.

He sighed and took another sip of the scotch that he had grabbed from the bar. This was his eighth 'Agent of the Year' award; this was also the first time that he had ever been to one of the ceremonies. Kate heard from a source, his guess being one gothic lab rat, that he had never actually picked up his awards, and cornered him one night as they were both leaving.

It didn't take a lot of convincing, actually. The thought of getting to see Kate in a formal, and, if the fates liked him, very sexy dress, appealed to him the moment that she mentioned the fact that the whole team would go with him. He sighed and tugged at the tie again. Note to self: don't listen to Kate. Listening to Kate had bad repercussions.

When he swung by Kate's apartment, Abby came to the door and smiled coyly at him. "She's uh…not quite ready yet." She told him, giggling softly, as Kate shouted something to her that Gibbs didn't quite catch. "She says that she'll meet you there in about a half hour." And then the door shut.

Gibbs sighed again and glanced down at his empty glass. Tony had run off with Paula, and he didn't know where the hell McGee and Ducky were. Kate and Abby had yet to turn up. The only people he had talked to all night had been Director Morrow and his wife. He thought that everyone else was scared by the rather surly man standing by himself in the corner.

"What did I tell you about being a gloomy gus, Gibbs?" Kate whispered in his ear. Gibbs smirked and slowly turned around.

As Gibbs faced Kate, he realized that Abby really should have warned him about her dress. Or someone should have at least. Because seeing her in something like this couldn't be good for his considerably older heart. She smiled and did a little spin. "Like it?" She asked innocently, her face glowing.

To say that Gibbs liked it would have been an understatement. The neckline of the burgundy dress dipped down, giving anyone just a peek of what lay underneath the silken fabric. Her back was bare, the dress came back into view at the small of her back. It clung to her in all the right places, and Gibbs was fascinated by the woman before him. Her hair was gathered on top of her head in a messy bun, with random strands of hair falling out. He finally worked up the guts to look her in the eye, and forced a smile. "You look…" He cleared his throat. "You look beautiful Kate."

"Yeah, isn't she a babe?" Abby bounded up behind him. He laughed and kissed her lightly on the temple. Abby was wearing a simple black dress that combined her two favourite things, black and sparkly things. "Have you seen McGee?" She asked, looking around eagerly for her on-again-off-again boyfriend.

"You look great too Abby, and the last time that I saw him he was over by the punch." Gibbs smiled as he told Abby. She quickly muttered her thanks and was gone as soon as she had appeared. He turned back to Kate, who had a soft smile on her face.

She stepped close to him, invading his personal space. The scent of her perfume suddenly attacked him and he resisted the urge to throw her up against a wall and claim her for his own. He figured that it wouldn't have gone over to well with her. "Gibbs…" She murmured, looking up at him and smiling. "I think that you tied your tie wrong." She giggled softly and began untying it.

"You know, I kind of figured that out…" He said quietly, glancing down at Kate. She was sucking in her bottom lip, putting all of her concentration into fixing his tie. She stepped back a few moments later, smoothing her hands over his coat.

"There. Fixed it." She turned to him, a huge smile on her face. He smiled back at her, briefly, and offered his arm to her.

"It looks like they're about to start seating people. You wanna head over to the table?" He asked, hoping that she wouldn't think it was strange that her boss was offering her his arm. She studied him a moment, but then her smile returned and she slipped her arm through his.

"Lead the way Agent Gibbs." As they walked to the table, Gibbs couldn't help but notice the stares directed their way. His name and face were legendary within the agency, or so he was told, and Kate's was becoming more well known the longer she was on his team. People stared after them, wondering how the pretty brunette on his arm could cause an easy smile appear on his face.

They got to the table reserved for the team fairly quickly, and Gibbs held out Kate's chair. She looked up at him, surprised and oddly pleased at the chivalrous gesture. "Thanks." She murmured, gracefully easing into the seat.

Soon, all the team was seated, and dinner was served. Throughout the meal, they made easy conversation and Gibbs found himself entranced with Kate's laugh and smile. She was in rare form tonight, glowing and happy. So many times in the past few years, he had seen her worn down and unhappy, so this was a nice change of pace.

All too soon, the meal was over, and Gibbs was assuming that the awards would start next. He managed to catch Kate's eye and they exchanged small smiles, her eyes dancing happily.

Someone came on through the speakers, interrupting their moment. "We're currently having some complications with the awards tonight, so if you wouldn't mind waiting just a little longer to proceed with the ceremony, we should be starting in an hour or so. Sorry for the delay."

Music began playing, and a few couples took to the dance floor. Tony had dragged Paula, laughing all the way, onto the dance floor, and Abby and McGee had taken off onto the balcony. Ducky had found someone that he knew and began to exchange stories with the poor man, which was really no surprise.

Kate began swaying to the music in her seat, a light smile on her face. Gibbs couldn't resist smiling back at her. He got up from his seat suddenly, knowing that if he didn't do it now, he'd probably lose the courage as the night progressed. He came to stand in front of Kate and held out his hand. "Would you like to dance Kate?"

She looked up at him, her eyes sparkling and a broad smile appearing on her face. "Gibbs, you never cease to surprise me." She placed her hand in his, and stood. "I didn't know that you danced." She murmured, as they made their way onto the dance floor.

"C'mon Kate, I've had three weddings. You had to have known that at least one of my wives made me take dancing lessons with her." He laughed as he pulled her into his arms. She smiled and tittered quietly, ducking her head into his neck briefly.

They indulged in a comfortable silence throughout the first dance. When the song ended, Kate began to pull away. Gibbs pulled her back in, quickly, holding her closer than before. "Stay." His voice was soft and enticing in her ear, and she nodded, resting her head on his broad shoulder.

He indulged in holding her close, his hand straying from the middle of her back, to where the material of her dress started up again, down near the curve of her bottom. His thumb stroked the skin there absently, and she shivered involuntarily. Gibbs smiled and whispered to her again. "Cold Katie?"

She lifted her head for a moment, her deep brown eyes sparkling. "Not at all Gibbs." She smiled alluringly, and returned her head to its previous position. "You look nice tonight by the way." She said softly, running her hands lightly over the material of his coat.

He smiled and unconsciously pulled her closer. "So do you."

Kate sighed happily, and in the back of her mind, wondered if it was bad to be wandering into this territory with her boss. But, she defended herself; he was the one that pulled her back in. He was the one that didn't want her to leave. So it wasn't really her fault that she didn't want to leave either.

"So how come you've never actually gone to one of these things Gibbs?" She asked quietly, trying to make this situation a little more normal by some conversation.

"Never really found the need to. I hate getting dressed up, and I really don't like all the attention. I like getting my job done quickly and quietly…I don't like to do these political things." Kate laughed and nodded.

"I've kinda noticed that Gibbs." She smiled up at him lightly. "I'm glad that we all came tonight. You deserve recognition for all that you do. Not to mention putting up with DiNozzo and McGee's bickering." She smirked.

"I just do my job Kate. I don't need praise for it." Gibbs said, briefly looking around before he turned his gaze back to Kate.

Kate shrugged. "None the less…I'm glad that you showed tonight. I'd hate to have Tony give another speech on your behalf." They both cracked smiles at that, knowing of Tony's tendency to go overboard.

The song ended and people began filing back to their seats. "I think the awards might be starting." Kate whispered, reluctantly pulling away. They held each other's gaze a little more than what was usually considered even platonic, the air that they had created during their dance still hung thickly around them. Kate was the first to break away, and began heading back to the table. Gibbs' longer strides caught him up to her soon, and she smiled at the familiar pressure of his hand at her lower back. They returned to their seats and they both ignored the rather inquisitive stares that they were receiving from both Ducky and Abby.

Agent of the Year was always the last award to be presented (or so they heard), and so the team had to sit through a half hour of applauding for their colleagues, and listening to sappy speeches that seemed to go on and on. Finally Director Morrow stepped on stage. "It is now my honor to present one of the highest honors any NCIS agent can receive. This year, the NCIS Special Agent of the Year award goes to Special Agent Jethro Gibbs, who is actually here for once to accept." Gibbs rolled his eyes slightly, and looked over at Kate with a look. She just smiled sweetly, and then turned her attention back to the director. He motioned for Gibbs to come up on stage to accept, and he begrudgingly made his way up.

He dutifully shook Morrow's hand and held the plaque as if it would bite him at any given moment. "I don't really deserve this; there are a lot of agents that do my job just as well. I'd just like to thank my team for finally dragging my butt to one of these things. So uh…thanks." He spoke gruffly and quickly into the microphone, and quickly stepped down from the podium.

Tom was smiling as he stepped back up. "And with that, the awards ceremony for this year is over. I'd like to thank the entire agency for their hard work. Have a nice night everyone!" With that, the chatter resumed, the noise level steadily increasing.

Gibbs appeared at Kate's elbow, and as she looked up, he beckoned her to follow him with a simple wag of the finger. She quietly stood, and followed him out to the balcony, where Abby and McGee had disappeared to just a few hours before. He had set the plaque down on a bench, and she picked it up, brushing a finger over his name. "It's a nice award."

"Yeah." He muttered gruffly. She set it back down again, and came to stand next to him, leaning on the railing. "Thank you for coming." He murmured.

She smiled brightly. "I can't exactly force you to come and then not go myself." She lightly bumped against his arm. "Besides, I like getting all fancied up every now and then."

Gibbs grunted and shook his head slightly. "That damned dress will be the death of me." He muttered under his breath, hoping that she didn't hear that, but knowing that she did.

"What, you don't like it?" She raised her eyebrow, remembering back to the beginning of the night and his reaction when he first saw her. "Because if I remember correctly, you told me that I looked beautiful in it."

He sighed and ran a hand through his hair. "Of course you look beautiful in it Kate. You look beautiful in those god-awful red NCIS jumpsuits we have to wear in the evidence garage." He turned to his side, and slowly dragged his gaze up her body. She blushed faintly under his scrutiny, but refused to back down. "And in this…" He waved his hand up and down her body, "You're absolutely stunning. Which is starting to wear on my self control." His voice dropped for that last part, still trying to hide what she was doing to him.

But his attempts were half-hearted, and she heard anyway. "Maybe that's what I wanted." She murmured, knowing that she was putting her heart out there. Now it was his choice to take it or throw it back in her face. He turned to her and she began to panic, what if it was the much less attractive second choice?

"You'd really tempt me like that Katie?" He murmured lowly, encroaching on her personal space. "Of course you would." He answered his own question, shaking his head, and continuing to move closer to her. Her breathing began to speed up and she looked up into his clear blue eyes.

"I just thought that you'd like it." She whispered. He lifted his lip in a smirk, and nodded slightly.

"Oh yeah…I like it." He murmured, stroking a hand down her arm slowly. "I like it a lot…" He whispered as he lowered his head closer to hers. Their lips met slowly, sweetly, as Kate moved closer to him and slid her hands up his chest and around his neck. His arms wrapped themselves around her waist, tracing the skin left open to the air and his touch. "You know," He whispered against her lips as they broke apart, "I think that I'm starting to like awards ceremonies."

She giggled and leaned back slightly. "You do know that you don't have to get me all fancied up to kiss me. I'd just as gladly do it in the…god-awful red jumpsuit?" She giggled again as she repeated his earlier words. They shared a laugh as she rested her head on his shoulder. "And rule 12?" She muttered into the skin of his neck.

"We don't necessarily have to call it dating. We could be old-fashioned and call it courting. Or we could see each other" He chuckled slightly as his breath ruffled through the strands of hair that fell around her face.

"And my promise? That I wouldn't pull the same 'crap' here at NCIS?"

He shook his head, and gently lifted her chin so that she was looking at him. "I wouldn't say that you're pulling 'crap' right now, would you Katie?"

She shook her head, placing a light kiss on his lips. "Whatever the hell this is," She smirked, looking up at him. "It's a lot more than any other relationship I've had." She whispered into his neck, her breath sending shivers up his spine.

"Me too." He murmured, placing a soft kiss on her forehead. She looked up at him for a moment, her eyes curious. "I loved my ex wives, at one point or another Kate, don't get me wrong. But I've never felt this…spark, with anyone else before. You're different. And I think that's what is going to save me." He leaned down and brushed a kiss across her lips. "You saved me."

"You really know how to flatter a girl." She murmured, capturing his lips again. She nipped and sucked at his lips teasingly, before finally slipping her tongue inside his mouth. He moaned as she riled up the feelings that he didn't think existed in him anymore. Her fingers tangled in the hair at the nape of his neck, while his thumb slipped just underneath the material of her dress, to brush against the smooth skin just above her ass.

She pressed herself further into him, and they both groaned as their bodies were flush up against one another. "Kate…" He groaned, as they finally broke apart.

She looked up at him mischievously, a playful gleam in her eye. One hand drifted down his body and began fiddling with his belt buckle. "Yes Jethro…?"

"I think that it's time to call it a night."