A/N: Here's the second/last chapter. Thank you all so much for your great reviews.


The drive to his house was not nearly as nerve wracking as she would have expected it to be. She suspected that were the circumstances surrounding this visit different than they actually were, she would have felt decidedly uncomfortable with the entire thing: facing long-standing feelings, entering his home, his private space.

However, such feelings of nervousness did not last long in the face of his decidedly sweet and romantic gesture. She had always suspected that he was capable of such behavior despite his otherwise stern demeanor and she smiled happily at being proved right.

A gentle grin firmly in place on her lips, she pulled her car into his driveway, stopping at the walkway to the front door. Extracting her keys from the ignition and depositing them immediately in the pocket of her jeans, she grabbed the large, white bear from the passenger's seat and headed up the walk.

She honestly wasn't sure what to expect from this journey, but the note that she found taped to his door was not anywhere on her list:

"Kate: In the basement. Come on in."

Her smile widened at his intuitive knowledge of her behavior and opened the door, taking care to shut it firmly behind her – though not before she had pulled the note off the wooden door.

She didn't make her way immediately downstairs, instead taking the rare opportunity to inspect the private side of his life. She had never before had the chance to do so, though she sincerely hoped that this would not be her last entry into his life outside of work.

The first floor had a distinctly lived-in and homey feel to it; an alluring pairing of professional design aspects and the day-to-day clutter of real life. Stepping out of the short entry way into the large, open living area she smiled at the décor. Several medium-sized landscape photos hung in dark, wood frames providing a sharp contrast to the rather large collection of personal snapshots which lined the fireplace mantle.

The same dichotomy existed in the kitchen, where a wide array of professional – and very clean – appliances formed a back drop for the pair of dirty coffee mugs in the sink and the white refrigerator door which was barely visible under a coat of everything from an old team photo to a child's drawing with 'To Uncle Jethro' written across the bottom.

Continuing further into the house, she found the door to the basement open and she hugged the teddy bear in her arms one last time before stepping out on to the landing.

Despite the fact that she was sure he was aware of her arrival, he continued to sand the wood rib in front of him until she stopped on the bottom stair.

The light smile that graced his features only intensified as he turned to her and saw his last gift clutched tightly in one arm and widened even further as she brandished the note from his door at him and spoke.

"You knew I'd show up, huh?" Her grin let him know that she didn't mind his presumption.

"I hoped you would." His voice was gentle and sincere as he gestured her further into the basement.

Moving into the space, Kate took full stock of the work in progress before her and the man himself as he moved comfortably around his space. Walking to the workbench against the wall furthest from the stairs, she set down both the note and the bear – taking care not to get his white fur dirty. She questioned Gibbs silently with her eyes when he turned to face her and waited for his nod of approval before hopping up to sit on the table.

As he continued to work on his boat and she sat and watched, they both considered just how comfortable they felt in each other's presence. Neither felt particularly compelled to talk, though both knew that eventually they were going to have to have some kind of discussion. Nothing had really happened to force the subject, but for some reason they both suddenly felt ready to face the attraction that they'd pushed to the back of their minds and hearts over the previous two years.

Almost half an hour passed without either saying anything. Gibbs steadily worked away at the frame of his boat as Kate watched, subconsciously stroking her hand over the fur of the bear next to her. When he finally stood away from the boat to look at her again, she spoke, her tone tender and honest.

"Thank you." She half expected him to shrug it off; to act as though he hadn't done anything worth the thanks, but – as was so often true – he surprised her.

"You're welcome."

Moving out from behind the boat frame he leaned up against the rib opposite her waiting for her to speak the thoughts that he knew were on her mind. He didn't have to wait long.

"Why?" The single word was spoken in a steady tone, but she couldn't seem to bring herself to look at him, instead focusing on her feet hanging before her in the air.

"You told McGee that you hated Valentine's Day." His tone of voice suggested that that should be all the information that she needed as explanation, but when she looked up at him with a vaguely confused frown he continued speaking. "When we were driving back from a scene a week or so ago, we passed a shop front covered in pink hearts and flowers, and when McGee noticed you scowling at the display, you told him that you hated Valentine's Day."

Her frown of confusion didn't lessen any at his words. She couldn't understand why her dislike of the sappy, Hallmark holiday would cause him to go to as much trouble as he had. He had stopped speaking and was shifting uncomfortably against the wood behind him. She had a feeling that his discomfort sprang more from the fact that he was having to explain his actions than his physical position, but just when she was going to ask for a little more reasoning, he spoke again.

"I know I'll never win any awards for being a really romantic sort of guy, but I still like the idea of Valentine's Day. It's an opportunity to let the people we love know just how much we care about them." He made no attempt to sensor his words and his expression suggested that he knew he'd used the usually dreaded four letter word and that he'd meant it. He closed the distance between them with just a few short steps. Still staying for the most part outside her personal space, he rested his hands on her knees. "I didn't want a couple of bad past experiences or a string of lousy boyfriends to stop you from enjoying the day."

Her eyes had begun to well with tears when he'd implied that he loved her, and his heart-felt admission that she should like Valentine's Day sent a few trailing down her cheeks. Looking up into his eyes for the first time since he'd started speaking, she was surprised by the level of adoration and affection they reflected. Running her mind back over his words, she suddenly felt the absolute necessity to tell him how she felt as well. Keeping their eyes locked she spoke.

"An opportunity to let the people we love know just how much we care about them, huh?" He nodded silently, a slight tinge of worry taking up residence in his eyes, but it was quickly dispelled as she continued. "I should have gotten you something then."

Her smile seemed to light up the entire room and was echoed by a large grin on his face before he responded. "You're here now, that's enough for me." Leaning in slowly, he brushed his lips against hers, the brief contact still managing to send a jolt of electricity through him. When he pulled away enough to look in her eyes, a look of desire and love that he was sure mirrored his own was evident on her face and he stepped forward between her legs, sliding his hands up to her waist as he did so.

With just a few inches separating them, she spoke again, her voice light and airy despite the underlying worry. "I still feel I should have gotten you something."

Pulling his upper body away just slightly, a mischievous smile crossed his face. "Well there is one thing I can think of." Leaning to the side, he gave the teddy bear's paw a squeeze and as the music filled the basement, he let himself be pulled back to her.

Baby let me be your lovin' teddy bear

Put a chain around my neck and lead me anywhere

Oh, let me be

Oh, let him be

Your teddy bear

She smiled brightly as the first verse of the song drifted through the air around them and he barely had time to return the grin before her hands looped around his neck and pulled his lips back against hers.

I don't wanna be a tiger

'Cause tigers play too rough

I don't wanna be a lion

'Cause lions aren't the kind you love enough

The kiss was slow and heady; the scent and taste of Gibbs enough to make her dizzy and Kate was suddenly very glad that she was sitting down. One of his hands stroked up and down her back lazily while the other kept its position on her waist. He tasted of vanilla and root beer and had her mind not been wholly occupied by the sensations of his lips and hands, she would have found it funny to think of the stern man she knew eating a root beer float.

Just wanna be your teddy bear

Put a chain around my neck and lead me anywhere

Oh, let me be

Oh, let him be

Your teddy bear

Her arms were wrapped around his neck and he felt absolutely sure that there couldn't possibly be any better feeling in the world than the one he was experiencing at that moment. She tasted of coffee and the mix of his two addictions into one package threatened to destroy every ounce of mental capacity he had left.

Baby let me be around you every night

Run your fingers through my hair and cuddle me real tight

Oh, let me be

Oh, let him be

Your teddy bear

He pulled away slowly and reluctantly as oxygen became a problem, managing to get in one last closed mouth kiss before they were fully separated. Resting his forehead against hers he spoke in low, rough tones.

"Would you like to have dinner with me?"


Oh, let me be

Oh, let him be

Your teddy bear

I just wanna be your teddy bear

Gibbs' voice blended with the recording as he leaned in to kiss her again. "Happy Valentine's Day, Katie."


A/N: So that's it. I hope everyone had a very Happy Valentine's Day. Reviews are adored. I love to know how you guys feel about my writing.