Title: Mile High Club
Rating: T, sexual references.
Disclaimer: You know it.
Spoilers: Not really.
Summary: Kibbsness all the way. Plane travel can do strange things to some people.
Author's Note: MY 40th FIC! I want to thank all those who have responded with such a wonderful energy to my stories, and especially those who have stuck with me from the very beginning. You know who you are and I adore you! M.
Kate sighed impatiently at her reflection as the airplane rocked gently with turbulence. Leaning forward, she peered critically into the little mirror, inspecting her appearance for the fourth time in two minutes.
While her left hand grasped tightly onto the sink, her free hand combed through the dark locks that framed her face and her fingertips skimmed beneath her eyes, examining the delicate lines which seemed to have appeared overnight. She took out a wand of lipstick from her pocket and briefly considered reapplying the color to her lips -- but there wouldn't be much sense in that.
Gibbs would be there any moment.
She glanced at her watch reflexively, not really checking the time, just feeling her mind and body throb with the anticipation of his arrival. There was a short, quiet knock on the door and she jumped at the latch to allow him entry.
"What took you so long!" she hissed as he slipped inside the cramped lavatory. As soon as the door was shut and locked behind him, she had him shoved up against it, her small body pinning his big one as she attacked his shirt with frantic fingers.
Gibbs shrugged defensively, his hands out at his sides. "You said wait two minutes," he muttered, watching her assault with an amused and pleased sort of detachment: "and then follow you."
Kate grabbed his tie and pulled his face down to her level: "That was not two minutes!" she protested hotly.
Gibbs smirked, eyebrows raised: "Were you timing me?" he teased smoothly.
Kate glowered up at him warningly, her sharp eyes in clear contrast to the warm, softness of her body brushing his. "It didn't feel like two minutes," she amended, peevishly.
"Oh, I see--" he murmured, promptly grabbing her ass with both hands and pulling her body more fully into his: "And what does THIS -- feel like? Hmm?" he dipped his head, attacking her neck with eager lips and teeth.
One hand drifted down to tug up her skirt while the other slipped up over her breast. Kate's body yielded against him, happily receiving the attention it so openly demanded and he took the opportunity to lift her and swiftly reverse their positions. Her eyes closed and her legs slithered round his waist as her back landed against the bathroom door with a soft thud.
"What does that feel like, Katie?" he murmured again, drinking in her ecstatic expression as he pressed his eager stiffness into the juncture of her legs.
She whimpered and bowed her head, her open lips landing on his in a warm, hungry kiss. He drank greedily from her mouth, relishing her muffled moans and her soft body writhing against his, driving him insane. Her hands were in his hair and stroking his cheek, then fiddling with his belt and inside his shirt, holding him hostage as her mouth invited him ever deeper.
She threw back her head, gasping for air and breaking their kiss. But their hands continued to rove over one another relentlessly, tasting heated skin beneath rumpled clothes, as their eyes locked in an intense gaze.
They hadn't touched each other in so long. They hadn't felt this heat, this connection in what felt like an eternity. They'd been so good, so patient -- waiting and wishing for their time to come again. And now the desire that ignited between them felt like the very first time they'd been together. Life simply wasn't complete without their special sort of fire.
"It feels like…" Kate sighed, trying to control her breathing and locate her reason as his hands pinched and stroked and explored her flesh. "Feels like exactly what I've been waiting for," she told him softly, her eyes dark and deep, staring into his.
"Me too," he murmured, clutching her head with one hand and bringing her lips back to his. "I've missed this, baby," he whispered, between kisses, their bodies melting together in pure bliss: "Missed you so much…."
"Uncle Ducky?" asked the little boy in the seat beside him.
Ducky lowered the medical journal he was perusing and looked over his spectacles at the earnest, young face turned towards him. Beneath his unruly dark hair, his eyebrows were creased in confusion.
"Yes, my boy?" he replied, softly.
"When they at home," he began with a little hiccup: "my Mom an' my Dad, they never go to de bathroom together."
"Uh huh," responded Ducky, waiting for him to continue.
"But on de plane…" he noted, rolling his eyes a little: "they always go together."
Ducky smiled slightly and glanced down the row of seats toward where both Kate and Jethro had disappeared only moments after their plane had soared into the sky. A stewardess passed, giving him a knowing smile.
"Well, Leo…" he murmured evenly: "Plane travel can do strange things to some people," he explained with a nod.
Leo nodded in return and turned back to the Gameboy Tony had given him for his birthday.
They were all flying south to attend the wedding of Anthony DiNozzo. The long-time playboy was finally getting hitched. Like his former boss, he'd eventually fallen hard and fast for a woman he worked with -- a smart and spunky redhead named Jessie who even Gibbs had to admit fitted Tony's unorthodox personality perfectly and made the man extremely happy.
Abby and McGee had flown out a few days earlier for the Stag night, but Gibbs had been detained by work so Ducky had arranged to catch a later flight with the Gibbs family.
"I remember," Leo announced, kicking his dangling feet against the plane seat: "I went on a plane for a first time…" he went on, sticking out his tongue as he played with his new toy: "I got, um, all dizzy…and started screaming. My Mom had to hug me the whole way."
"Yes," replied Ducky with a small grin, hearing a soft cry and muted thud from the bathroom down the aisle: "that's kind of the same thing that happens with your Mom and your Dad…"
Leo looked up at him again, his bright blue eyes filled with concern: "Maybe you should check on 'em, Uncle Ducky. Maybe they's sick."
"I'm sure they're fine," he murmured soothingly, patting the small boy's arm. "Actually--" he began, with a light in his eyes: "it probably has to do with how your parents met. Have you heard that story?"
Leo nodded, emphatically: "Yeees."
"Well!--" declared Ducky, excitedly, holding up one finger and preparing to launch into the entire tale: "Wait 'til you hear my version!"
"Kate," Gibbs groaned, scrubbing at a very incriminating stain next to the zipper on his pants: "I realize this is your favorite fetish, but," he grimaced and gave up, chucking the paper towel into the sink: "do we have to do this every time we get on a plane?"
He glanced at his wife in the mirror then turned back to examine his untidy image. He hated this part – now they would have to make the long walk down the aisle, enduring the amused expressions of the crew and the disapproving mumbles of the passengers. He was much too old for this.
Kate raised an eyebrow at him as she finished adjusting her stockings and stood up from the closed toilet lid where she'd been sitting. She briefly considered reminding him that her "favorite fetish" as he put it, was all his fault. He'd started it, after all, when he shoved her into that bathroom aboard Air Force One all those years ago, initiating a wealth of fantasies, which she still hasn't nearly expunged.
Fiddling with his tie, Gibbs watched his wife slip into her black high heels, looking practically perfect once more, except for the indecent flush augmenting her cheeks. Meeting his appreciative gaze, she slipped in front of him, sliding back so she was perched on the narrow ledge of the sink.
"If I didn't know better, Jethro Gibbs," she murmured, looking up at him from under dark eyelashes and stealing the necktie from his hands: "I'd say that was a complaint."
With her small, deft hands, she began to loop his tie into the neat knot that he could never achieve as well as her. He smirked, running his fingertips up the outside of her legs as he moved between her knees.
"Hey, with you--" he murmured softly, leaning in to kiss her nose: "I'll take every chance I get."
Kate smiled wanly as she tugged the red and navy tie into place, her eyes falling away from his. She did know better than to doubt Gibbs' love or desire for her but the truth was they'd had precious few opportunities to be together recently. And the separation was wearing on her.
She'd always known that she married a workaholic, but the last few months had been the hardest of their short married life. Gibbs had been working the biggest case of his career. Kate had been prepared for his moods and his silences and his relentless obsession. But what she hadn't anticipated was the long trips, the interminable absences, the sleepless nights, the loneliness of not having him beside her in bed.
On top of which, she had just returned to work herself, in a limited capacity, when Leo had started school that year. She was madly striving to create a life which fulfilled all her responsibilities while her heart was stretched to breaking, trying to support and care for both her beloved men.
This last time, Gibbs had been in Boston for over a month without reprieve. He usually tried to make it back for a day or two to be with them, always assuring her that the case and the subsequent trial would not last much longer.
In the meantime, she had practically moved in with Ducky. The elderly medical examiner, who looked on them both as family, relished the company, particularly after the death of his mother. He was wonderful with Leo, picking him up from school when Kate couldn't and reading to him at bedtime.
Kate feared that she relied on him a little too heavily, but Ducky would hear none of it. He saw the way she stared into the fire for hours on end or jumped every time the phone rang. Gibbs always tried to call in the evening, rarely missing an opportunity to tell her and Leo how he missed and loved them. On the nights that he didn't, Ducky would simply pat her hand and reassure her that he would no doubt call the following morning instead.
She'd been more excited than her son at the prospect of a whole weekend in Peurto Rico, with friends and family. She'd never, in all the time she'd known him, been more grateful to Tony DiNozzo. She'd barely slept the previous night, her heart straining and her hormones raging, awaiting the morning when she would finally get to see her husband again.
But Gibbs' flight had been delayed so they'd had to meet him at the airport, just in time to catch the plane out to Puerto Rico for Tony's nuptials. They'd scarcely had time to say hello and kiss each other before rushing through the gate. Once the plane was in the sky and the seatbelt sign off, she'd decided she had waited long enough. Her body was running her brain at present -- which was another reason she needed to be alone with him.
"You okay?" Gibbs asked, tilting her chin up with one finger and examining her expression.
"Yeah," she sighed, giving his tie one last pat: "I just…." she smiled sadly and shrugged: "I don't like all this…. waiting."
"You made that more than clear," he muttered with a devilish little grin.
"No, I mean…" she sighed again, her emotions an unexplainable jumble: "You know what I mean."
"Yeah, I know, Katie," he whispered softly, taking her into his arms: "I know."
She slipped her arms around his shoulders, her head resting on his shoulder as he held her for a long moment. She listened to his breath and savored the smell of his clothes, clutching him tighter as his hands smoothed over her back in random circles.
He kissed her forehead and let out a long sigh as he held her close. There was not a day that went by that Jethro Gibbs did not wake up in the morning and thank The Powers That Be for Katie Todd, his walking, talking, breathing, loving second chance. She'd given him a new lease on life, a new belief in love, another chance at family life. She'd given him everything he'd always wanted but had begun to doubt existed.
Spending time away from her and their son was fast becoming unbearable. At first, he'd been able to concentrate, slipping back into his old habits, his familiar autonomy.
But as much as he believed in the importance of his work, falling asleep at his desk or in a slimy hotel room amongst stuffed files and gruesome glossies, while he stared at a photo of the two most important people in the world, was not the reason he became a husband again. Saying goodnight over the phone just wasn't good enough.
He'd sworn to Kate that this time he'd do it right. He'd sworn it to himself.
Professionally, he'd more than paid his dues and proved his worth and loyalty. And in doing so, he had realized that it was absolutely meaningless to preserve life and protect his country, if he didn't treasure the time he had with the people he loved.
He'd spoken to the Director that week, told him the score. He'd earned the right to dictate his terms and his terms were that he was not setting foot out of DC again, unless he had his wife and son with him and they were all taking a well-deserved holiday. He loved his job and would perform it to the best of his ability until he was too old to fulfil its requirements. But NCIS was no longer the only love in his life and he had better things to do with his time and energy than apprehend scumbags.
"Katie," he sighed, pulling back and taking her by the shoulders: "I spoke to the Director, there are plenty of agents that can wrap up this case--"
Kate looked at him with a furrowed brow: "But --"
"Just a week or two, to get them up to speed…" he promised, stroking her cheek and smiling at her: "And the first thing I'm gonna do is take you both away. We'll go somewhere quiet and warm where I can take Leo out in the boat everyday and make love to you every night."
Kate's lips turned up in a pleased smile as he leaned in to kiss her, both his hands cupping her face as he savored the taste and feel of her mouth. His touch, his kiss was so soft and tender, in comparison to their earlier, heated enthusiasm, but it still had the same effect on her sex-starved, hormone-addled body.
"Well, it better be soon…" she murmured as she nipped at his lips in return. "Otherwise…" she pulled back and looked at him, her hands skating down his arms: "you'll be booking that holiday for four and your wife will not be able to fit into that black bikini you like."
She gave him a sheepish little smile as she watched the cogs in his brain turning over. His initial reaction was speechlessness --he opened his mouth, but nothing came out. His hands went back to her shoulders as his eyes traveled down her body to her abdomen, then slowly back up to her face again.
"How long?" he finally whispered, in astonishment.
She bobbed her head and swallowed, saying softly: "Six weeks -- apparently."
She saw him smirk slightly, remembering the last time they'd been together. She'd jumped him at the door -- they hadn't even made it to the bedroom for their first round. It'd been quite a night – she actually blushed when recalling it – and their unrestrained lovemaking had obviously resulted in the unplanned conception.
"Why didn't you tell me?" he muttered gently.
Kate shrugged, vaguely and mumbled: "I was waiting for the right moment."
She'd hardly got her head around the idea herself, her emotions making such a complete mess of her thoughts. She'd spent a few weeks wondering why she felt so strange, before she finally figured out what was happening in her body and bought herself a home pregnancy test.
She'd received the final confirmation from her doctor last week but had kept the big secret all to herself. She hadn't wanted to break the news to Gibbs over the phone. She'd been feeling slightly shaky about it herself and not entirely sold on the idea.
She'd just gotten her body back, just resumed her career, having forgotten how much she missed working at NCIS. She was still learning how to be a mother to Leo, and now she was expecting again. But peeking through all the confusion and apprehension was the discernible joy and love and awe she'd felt when she'd first found out about Leo.
She and Gibbs had only been together for just over a year when that unexpected bombshell had hit. They both still spent more time at work than in each other's arms anyway, so their relationship hadn't progressed very far, before the shock arrival jumpstarted them into action.
She'd been scared witless by the prospect of her taciturn boss' response -- but she was also a woman in her thirties who knew she wanted children. In her gut, she'd known her decision, before her mind had even considered all the possibilities or ramifications. She'd sat with her secret for three days, becoming increasingly tense and distracted at work until Gibbs finally demanded what was the matter with her.
Abruptly, she'd stood up at her desk: "I need to talk to you," she'd told him firmly, watching him and Tony chomp on their respective lunches. She nearly hurled at the smell of food, ducking her head for a moment and breathing deeply.
"Now?" Gibbs demanded sternly, not at all impressed by her tone.
"Yes," she'd answered, quieter but still adamant: "Now."
He'd dropped his lunch and followed her to the elevator, flicking the switch once the doors had closed over. Tears threatened to cloud her vision as the elevator stalled and the lights went down.
Gibbs started to tell her that if this was about them, they shouldn't be discussing it at work. They had a case to conclude, he'd chided her – and part of her agreed with him.
She'd replied in as calm a tone as possible that after their current case, she would be requesting a transfer to another team and, soon after that, she would be taking extended leave. She remembers how her hands were shaky and her voice weak, how her heart had ached at the possibility of this finishing them for good. She really wasn't sure that their fledgling relationship would be able to withstand the pressure.
Up until that day, she'd never heard panic in Gibbs' voice -- it was faint, but it was there. He'd taken a step towards her, tentatively grasping her hand.
"What--? What's going on?" he asked, perturbed: "Kate?… Why are you saying this?"
"Because…" she breathed, steeling herself: "because we're going to have a baby."
Gibbs looked like he'd been winded. He took a step back, looking at her with a stunned expression for a long moment.
"You're…pregnant?" he asked with a strangled voice.
She finally looked at him and nodded: "I'm pregnant."
He gulped and asked quietly: "You sure?"
She nodded again. "And, Gibbs, before you say anything…" she withdrew her hand from his, smoothing both her palms down the front of her jacket. She began to recite the words she'd rehearsed repeatedly in her mind: "I want to tell you that… whatever you decide," she murmured, her voice much more composed than she felt: "I… I love this child. And I'm going to keep it."
After another long silence, Gibbs seemed to start breathing again, moving closer but not touching her. His head bowed over hers and she could hear his brain carefully constructing his sentences.
"I'm glad you told me," he murmured slowly, his big body hovering over hers. "Kate?" he whispered, in that tender tone that always got her attention.
She looked up, one tear slipping down her cheek, unchecked.
"Trust me," he told her softly, wiping away the lone teardrop with his thumb: "We'll work it out."
Then he'd leaned down and kissed her in a way she'd never felt before -- so delicate, so reverent. Kate never forgot that kiss.
He'd assured her that they would talk about it, but they never did.
Their relationship remained a well-kept secret at NCIS. Kate repeatedly delayed her reassignment and debated whether to tell Gibbs about her doctor's checkups. They continued working together and seeing each other in their rare time off. They still talked about everything and nothing, laughed a great deal and couldn't keep their hands off one another.
But their lovemaking had taken on an entirely different tone. Gibbs had always been an incredible lover but he suddenly became much more gentle with her, more attentive. He was endlessly fascinated and engrossed by her body. And whenever they were in bed together, neither could be unaware of the fragile little being growing incrementally inside her.
She'd catch him looking at her too, even at work, as though sifting through some great mystery in his idiosyncratic brain. She was determined to let him process for as long as he needed, give him all the time he wanted. She'd made her wishes quite clear and was only waiting for him to do the same.
Then, some four months later, without warning, he'd turned up at her door one night at around midnight. It was her last week at NCIS before she took leave and her mother arrived to help her start preparing for the baby.
She'd rolled out of bed, shuffling to the door in her blue, silk pajamas, and opened it for him, with a bewildered expression. Gibbs had simply pecked her on the cheek as he passed:
"Got coffee?" he asked, moving into the kitchen.
Kate had rolled her eyes and followed him.
He'd sat down at her kitchen table without a word, watching as she pulled out his favorite brand of coffee and the mug that he always used at her place. She could feel his eyes on her, proudly examining her prominent baby-bump beneath her pajamas, as she waddled from cabinet to counter.
When she turned to him, his requested coffee in hand, there on the bare tabletop in a small, dark blue box was an antique diamond ring.
Her mouth dropped open as she blinked at it; then she raised her eyes and blinked at him. Gibbs looked back at her cool and calm, still not saying a word. Gingerly, she slid into the seat across from him and pushed the mug across the table towards him, her eyes still on the unexpected offering.
"Thanks," he muttered, accepting the coffee and taking a quick sip.
She raised her eyes to his face, licking her lips and reminding herself to breathe. Finally, she whispered warily: "You don't have to do this."
Gibbs' eyes gleamed at her, and he replied steadily: "I know I don't."
"What I mean is…" she shifted uneasily in her chair, glancing at the ring again and continuing quietly: "I don't expect you to marry me just because of the baby." She leant forward a little and told him, gently: "I would do fine on my own."
Gibbs leant forward too, a sad little smile on his lips: "I know you would."
"Gibbs…" she sighed, clearing her throat and looking away: "I don't believe in marrying for the wrong reasons."
"Neither do I," he replied, decisively. He took another sip of coffee and leant back in his chair. "What's the matter, Kate?" he asked lightly, his eyes cast to the tabletop and the marooned jewel: "You don't like the idea of being the fourth wife of a grumpy old marine?"
"Actually," she replied calmly: "I like it a lot."
He looked up, a fire burning brightly in his blue eyes: "Then say yes," he responded, urgently.
She looked at him, her eyes searching his face purposefully. "Why," she asked after a long pause: "do you want to marry me?"
Gibbs was silent for a moment then he leaned forward, his eyes intent on hers: "Because we fit together, Katie," he replied, softly, his voice both anxious and confident: "And because I love you."
She smiled at him warmly, her heart swelling in her chest: "I love you," she replied in a whisper.
Gibbs grinned and nodded: "I know."
Rising slowly, she picked up the little blue box and moved around to sit in his lap. Gibbs groaned at her increased weight and adjusted himself so that they were both comfortable. Then she handed him the box.
"This was my mothers," he told her as he took the ring out of its case and picked up her left hand.
"It's beautiful," she smiled as she watched him slip it on her ring finger.
"Perfect fit," he murmured, looking up at her face with a tender smile.
"As always," she'd replied smugly, then gasped as she felt the baby in her belly kick for the first time. She giggled as she guided Gibbs' hand to the spot so he could feel it too.
"That reminds me," he'd murmured, as he'd stroked her belly with his big hand: "I thought of a name for our boy."
"How do you know it's a boy?" she'd asked curiously.
"My gut," he'd shrugged, then added slyly: "That, and I saw the ultrasound pictures that you've been hiding from me in your desk."
Kate grimaced slightly and asked: "Alright then, what's his name?"
"Leo," grinned Gibbs.
Kate raised her eyebrows: "As in 'Law Enforcement Officer'?"
"Cute, don't ya think?" he mused, lifting up her pajama top and stroking the skin beneath.
"I'll think about it," she murmured, rolling her eyes and hoisting herself off his lap.
She held out a hand, leading him into the bedroom, and slipping back into bed. As he undressed and climbed in next to her, Gibbs offered up more reasons why he wanted to marry her. He kept adding to the tally throughout the night.
When she laughed, he said he wanted to marry her because they made each other laugh. When she mentioned their current case, he told her that he wanted to marry her because she understood him, understood his work.
When he slipped inside her willing body, he whisppered that he wanted to marry her so that they could sleep in the same bed each night and make love untill the early hours. And when he held her sleepy body in his arms, he mused that the name was an additional inducement.
"Katie Gibbs," he mumbled fuzzily: "Mrs Caitlin Gibbs. Pretty, huh?"
His incessant and uncharcteristic chatter prompted Kate to point out that she had already accepted and to threaten that she would never give him coffee before bed again. Gibbs didn't take it as a threat so much as a challenge, rolling her over and proceeding to rob her of further sleep with another bout of prolonged lovemaking.
Like everything else in their lives, their wedding was planned around their work. Leo was born premature but it wasn't until he was two years old that they finally got around to making it official in a small, but intimate gathering with their most valued friends and family. They'd now been together for nearly seven years and married three. And, thanks to their continuing infatuation with one another, shortly Leo would have a sibling.
Kate smiled softly, watching her husband's face with tenderness. She needn't have worried, she thought with relief, feeling all her reservations disperse with the look in his eyes.
He was her rock. In his absence, she'd almost forgotten how deeply she'd come to rely on him and how very much family meant to Gibbs. She watched him reach out and touch her belly, stroking her just the way he used to during her first pregnancy. Love welled in her soul and she knew, that this second child of theirs would be just as loved as the first.
"Love you so much," he murmured, lifting his eyes back to her face. He leaned in and kissed her hard, his arms clutching her close again. He smiled against her hair and pressed fevered kisses over her cheek then down her throat. "I'm gonna take you on every damn plane in the damn country…" he rumbled teasingly, making her giggle, giddily.
Her hands smoothed over his chest, as she felt her cheeks burn with happiness and laughter: "Just this coutry, dear?" she countered, liltingly.
Gibbs looked at her frankly. "For starters," he nodded, his voice rasping, his eyes twinkling. "You'll be President of the Mile High Club, before I'm done with you," he vowed fervidly, his hands gliding up and down her body in warm, deliberate strokes.
"And you'll be my favorite captain," she added laughingly, throwing her head back as he nuzzled her exposed cleavage.
"Your only captain," Gibbs corrected, firmly as he met her eyes.
"My one and only," she whispered, stroking his cheek and drawing him close for another breathtaking kiss.