Disclaimer: Not mine, but I would like Gibbs as a present this Christmas. Wrapped up. In shiny paper. With a bow.

Spoilers: None

Summary: Kate contemplates her life one morning.

Author's Note: This one's been stewing for a while now and I've just gotten it to a stage where I'm happy with it. It's fluffier than the things that I usually like, but I'm in a fluffy Kate/Gibbs mood.

More stories in the pot, but none are finished to the standard that I want them to be, so if anyone has time on their hands and doesn't mind reading over them and giving me some suggestions, I'd be very grateful.

This story isn't beta'd so all mistakes are mine.

I often used to wonder about what it would be like to wake up next him. While he displays the characteristics of a territorial alpha male, he also has the tendency to distance himself from those around him. So does that mean he would keep me in his arms throughout the night? Or would he demand his own space and sleep facing the other way?

Well I can tell you that Jethro Gibbs is definitely the possessive type in bed. Every night we've spent together, he has always had a brown, brawny arm wrapped around my waist. He nearly made me late for church one Sunday morning as I tried to slip from his grasp – with very little success – and so had to do the dangerous task of waking the sleeping lion.

Even so, it's comforting sleeping so close to him, to feel his chest rise and fall, to hear his heart beat and be surrounded by his smell. I really like the way Gibbs smells. It's part saw-dust, part coffee and then some. I've taken to wearing his clothes as much as possible when we're at home together.

Home – it's been just that since we started living together about six months ago. It was apparent that Gibbs driving in the middle of the night to reach my apartment was becoming a real hazard, more so for the few people on the roads at that time of night. He seems to think it's ok to turn up at my place at any hour, clutching a cup of coffee in one hand and looking as if he hadn't stayed awake for two days straight. Unlike him, I need my sleep but when he looks at me like that… Well I can't just turn him away!

He always tells me to 'expect the unexpected', but in reality, he loves seeing the look of surprise on my face, be it for a good or bad reason. His work persona is one that is distant and harsh. We all know he has issues with getting close to people, that's why he works on his boat – alone - and rarely joins the group for drinks or dinner after a long week at work. That is why I never thought Gibbs would be the kind of man who would, in simple terms, woo a woman. What surprised me most was the amount of thought that goes into the little things he does for me. He knows I don't need huge bouquets of flowers or expensive jewellery, so it's just a gesture here and there, like bringing me coffee when we're at the office late at night or spontaneously deciding to cook me dinner.

Take last weekend for example. We'd just wrapped up a tough case aboard an aircraft carrier, where a petty officer was found stabbed to death in the engine room. No one 'saw' or 'heard' anything. The victim 'kept to himself' and was 'a loner'. Like we hadn't heard those excuses before. Anyway, we stayed on that ship from Sunday until late on Friday afternoon, and everything took twice as long because we had to ship all the evidence back to the lab. Finally, we cracked it. The murderer was a smart bastard, but like Abby says, we're smarter.

So we get back to HQ, we're satisfied but exhausted. None of us want to look at the paperwork we have to do for this case. However, to my great surprise (as well as Tony's and McGee's), Gibbs tells us to go home, enjoy the weekend. And that he expects the finished report on his desk by Monday morning.

Not one to question his good fortune, Tony was the first out of that building, muttering a quick 'have a good weekend!' before vanishing into the elevator. McGee was next, I knew he had plans with Abby that weekend, she'd told me so. I stopped her after the first 30 seconds because quite frankly no one needs to know that about their friends and co-workers.

Then it was just us left. He looks over at me and smiles, the one that makes me wish I was sitting down so he wouldn't know that my legs are buckling and are in danger of failing to hold up the rest of my body.

"Let's go home." He holds out his hand and I take it. It feels warm and calloused, but most of all, it makes me feel safe and happy.

With a hand on my lower back, he guides me out of the bullpen, but not before dropping off a note to the director. I don't know what he wrote, but he certainly seemed very pleased with himself. I think that was the reason why we weren't called out on a single case for the entirety of the following two days.

That night, I expected him to take me to bed and thoroughly ravish me - it had been a long week and I know he did not appreciate the looks that I got from the crew; he made that very clear. I was disappointed to discover that he had no such plans and instead chose to use me as a life-size teddy bear, falling asleep pretty much immediately. And all because of the lack of ravishing going on that night, I lay awake for a long time wondering what had gotten into my silver-haired fox, I'd even go as far as saying I was little angry that he didn't seem to be interested in me at all.

I soon found out the reason behind his mysterious behaviour. The following morning, if you can call it that, the sky was still dark when he coaxed me from my sleep, helped me dress and ushered me from the house. At this point, I was still groggy from the lack of sleep but even so, I could help but be a little mad at him. He knows I need sleep, especially after sharing quarters with three men for over a week (Tony snores, McGee sleep-mumbles and Gibbs… well he just speaks for himself).

He drives us somewhere, again I couldn't say where because my brain still refused to function, think of it as a protest if you will. Looking back, it was definitely worth being woken up at that ridiculous hour. My anger dissipated when I realised that we were somewhere high up, surrounded by tall trees and small wild flowers, just as the sun began to make its presence known. The previously dark sky was now a burnt orange, fanning out over the city and bathing it in its warm light. It picked out the tops of buildings and shimmered over windows. It was truly breath-taking. Needless to say that I forgave him then and there. The man even packed extra blankets and hot coffee (with milk and sweetener for me) because he knows that I don't like the cold.

He looked amazing in that light and suddenly, nothing existed but the two of us. No NCIS, no guns, no death, no crime. It was like we were suspended in a moment in time, like magic. It was perfect and I would have happily stayed there forever.

We did the same thing again the morning after, although we very nearly missed the spectacular sight because we were both worn out from making up for not being able to be together intimately for a week. (The sex was great by the way, absolutely mind-blowing.)

I couldn't wipe the grin from my face at the office that Monday morning. Tony's been getting more and more suspicious every week.

"Good weekend, Kate?" He asked me casually the second I stepped into the bullpen.

I knew he was fishing for information, he always is, and when he doesn't get it, he snoops through my PDA. That's Tony for ya, no respect what-so-ever for other people's property or privacy.


He knew I was lying, but quite frankly I couldn't care less.

"Hot date?" He raised his eyebrows suggestively.

I didn't answer.

Perhaps realising that I wasn't going to talk, he changed tactics.

"Wanna know what I did this weekend?"

I rolled my eyes.

"Your paperwork?" Came the voice of our grumpy boss, but even he had a bounce in his step and I knew that it wasn't due to the omnipresent cup of coffee in his hand.

"Uh, yeh boss." Tony was quick to hand over his section of the report.

Feeling his gaze on me, I turned to look into those blue eyes of his. "It's on your desk."

Of course he knew I'd already done it, he was sitting next to me on the couch. And proving to be a huge distraction I might add, reaching over to run a hand down my arm or to squeeze my knee every now and again. I reminded him that if I didn't get it done in time, I'll have hell to pay because my bastard of a boss…

I only got that far before he tackles me, and in between the kisses, the two remaining working brain cells told me smugly that buying the rug two weeks ago was definitely a good idea.

I glance over at the clock again. 9:50 exactly. It's strange to be the one watching him sleep because he usually wakes up long before I do. I must have really tired him out last night, I smile wickedly. His voice startles me from my thoughts.

"What's so funny?" His voice is thick from sleep and his hair is tousled.

"Nothing. I was just… I was thinking." I trace an invisible pattern across his chest. He's in great shape, even compared to some younger men.

"How long have you been awake?"

I relish the soft kiss he drops onto my forehead. "Well, I woke up at six."

Chuckling slightly, he tells me that I'm turning into him.

"I fell asleep between then and now." I reply indignantly, "A little anyway."

Propping up his head, he turned slightly so his body was facing mine. Then he just looks at me. He does that a lot, especially when he thinks no one else is looking. I take the chance to study him. Every line on his weathered face, the piercing blue eyes, all of this make up the image that I am not used to waking up without. He really is too gorgeous, but hey, I'm not complaining!

I'm beginning to believe that he is The One. The thought terrifies and thrills me at the same time. We've discussed marriage and children but we've decided not to rush into anything, after all it's taken us long enough to get here, no point in wasting all of our hard work. He's dubious of taking another wife (with his track record, I'm not surprised) but neither of us are getting any younger. He knows I want a family and although he doesn't say it, I know the thought scares him. In our line of work, every day is filled with danger, we never know what will happen. He's still haunted by the past, I can tell. That's why he was so reluctant to get involved with me. Shannon and Kelly were the centres of his universe and I don't think he has, or ever will get over their deaths. But I'm alright with that, as long as he has enough room in his heart for me, I'll be happy.

For once, he is the one to break the comfortable silence that has descended on us.

"Are you… ah…" A look of worry crosses his face. "Are you OK?"

I blink in surprise. "Yes, of course. Why wouldn't I be?"

He shifts under my scrutiny. "You never wake up early. And you have been doing that a lot lately."

"Well…" I roll onto my back. "I…"

I was never very good at lying to him, and he knows it. There's no point in even trying because the truth will come out anyway.

"I found the test."

I freeze. God, I thought I'd gotten rid of it as soon as the results came up. I don't look at him, even though I feel his eyes burning into me.

"When were you going to tell me?"

I swallow thickly. I've been sitting with my little secret for over a week now, not knowing when to tell him, if I would tell him at all. I have mulled over his reaction time and time again and it ranges from joy to… somewhere I'd rather not go right now.

I feel him move and a second later, the back of his hand hesitantly touches my stomach.

I had a whole speech planned out, two in fact, each designed to tackle a different kind of response. But I can't apply either of them to this situation. Gibbs just lies there, running his palm over my skin and his eyes over the rest of me. He is absorbing this affirmation to something he has probably known for some time.

"Do you think that… maybe we should get married?"

To say that I am shocked would be the understatement of this century and the last.

"I don't need a ring on my finger, Gibbs." I manage to stutter out. "I just, I need you to trust me. I need you," I take a breath. "I need you to be honest with me."

He nods. "Always."

"I want a lasting relationship, you know that. I'd rather not force you into marrying me if the only reason why you want to marry me is that I'm having your baby."

"Our baby." He quickly corrects.

And in that moment, I realise that everything is just perfect. Despite his flaws, Gibbs is the man that I want to spend the rest of my life with. He is stubborn and difficult, but not without charm. He told me early on in our relationship that he was likely to forget birthdays and anniversaries, and that if it bothered me, I should just step away and end it. But he forgets that I am just as stubborn as he is and no less difficult.

We also talked briefly about NCIS and the implications our relationship. We'd have to be split up, which is exactly why everything has been under wraps. (The only person who knows is Abby, who happened to come by my place one Friday night just as I was greeting Gibbs at the door.) And regardless of what we might say, the job will always come first, and that's OK because we both know where we stand in this. We would have to go and see the director, but not right now. Right now, I just want to enjoy this moment for what it is.

"You know Abby is going to want to help decorate the nursery?" Gibbs peers at me from under his brows, a serious look on his face.

A pause, and then I reply, "Don't get me wrong, I love the girl… But she sleeps in a coffin."

His deep laugh rumbles through my entire body and at 10:26 on a bright Saturday morning, there is no where else I'd rather be.


Author's Note 2: Feedback is l o v e. )