Germs

Disclaimer: Not mine, sadly, otherwise Kate would still be alive and she and Gibbs would be… oops, the rating doesn't extend to that. )

Spoilers: None

Summary: She was the one that suggested they sleep in separate beds, and in their respective residences. He didn't see why that had to happen. Light-hearted KIBBS

Author's Note: Mmm yes, one of the many fics I have on the go. You see, I have lots of plot bunnies that pop into my head but I don't have enough time to write all of them in full. So I write as much as I can and then leave it for next time. So more to come, yes?

A HUGE thank you to everyone who's been reading and reviewing. Thank you so much for your kind words and encouragement, I hope you all enjoy this; it's sillier than the fics I've done before, but I hope I've done the characters justice. (I'll admit that they are a little OOC)

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


Stealthily, he lets himself into her apartment with the key she had given him.

He knows she would be angry with him, but he'd gotten used to having her around and to be honest, he feels a little lonely and lost without her. He never thought he'd miss someone like that after Shannon and Kelly were killed. He didn't even miss his three ex-wives like that when either he or they went away on trips. But somehow, this little brunette has wiggled her way past his insecurities and now he just can't get her out of his system. Not that he would want to, but Leroy Jethro Gibbs has learnt not to be dependent on relationships and women, and to feel this… whatever this is, is somewhat disconcerting.

He can't remember the last time he felt this way about a woman. This all consuming need to be near her, to hold her, to smell her… They had spent the last few nights apart, due to work and the cold she seems to have developed. She was the one that suggested they sleep in separate beds, and in their respective residences. He didn't see why that had to happen. He fought her hard, pointing out that he in fact hadn't ever suffered from a cold and that no amount of germs hovering around her could change that fact.

But still she held her ground and in the end, he conceded to her wishes. And so suffered severely from lack of Katie in his life. And his bed.

Her reasons for keeping him away were purely those of vanity. The red stuffy nose and watery eyed look isn't something she would like him to see, ever. She wanted him to think she was pretty, to have him look at her in adoration and lust. Not to have him recoil in disgust as she sneezed and blew her nose for the umpteenth time.

So all in all, Kate was quite pleased with this little arrangement. She had been off work for a day and even before she decided to take a day off, they didn't interact much at work because it was that time again. (Yes, paperwork. Chasing up missing reports and re-processing the ones that hadn't been processed properly in the first place. Needless to say that the pile of papers on Tony's desk was bigger than Kate and McGee's put together.) And she didn't have to see him when she got home. Although she did catch his worried glances washing over her intermittently and it warmed her heart to think that he cared.

Thus, Kate slumbered on, completely carefree, safe in the knowledge that her silver-haired man would never have to see her in the state that she was in.

Oh little did she know…


It's four in the morning when Kate wakes. She suspects that it has something to do with the fact that she can no longer breathe through her nose.

So, congested, tired and disgruntled, she throws on a loose jumper and sweatpants and shuffles towards the kitchen, where she plans to make herself a nice hot cup of tea with lemon. Her usually sharp eyes don't even notice the feet sticking out from the end of her couch, a sure sign that an intruder had entered her domain.

To say that she is shocked when she feels a warm presence behind her is probably the understatement of the year. Barely managing to stifle a scream, she grabs the closest object to her (her treasured mug) and turns quickly, planning on whacking her attacker hard on the head. But the stupid cold has slowed her down and she doesn't quite move as fast as she would have liked.

"Lucky for you I'm not a baddie." Whispers a very familiar voice in her ear while a hand curls around her wrist.

She blinks. "Gibbs?"

"Mmmmmm…" His face is buried in her hair and he is happily sniffing out her scent and wrapping a large hand around her waist.

"Gibbs."

"Mmmmmmmm…"

"GIBBS!" She feels outraged that he ignored her wishes, and embarrassed to be caught looking less than attractive.

"Missed you baby." He signs into her neck, following this with a series of soft kisses.

"I told you not to come over." Her dismay still shows in her voice. Her feeble attempts at trying to push him away come to naught as he holds her fast. "I'm a mess. And you'll get ill."

He straightens up to his full height and peers down at her. Messy hair, red nose. Embarrassment. He frowns. "I never get ill. And I don't care if you're a mess."

"But I do. And anyway, you're just saying that." Kate folds her arms over her chest.

"I don't care. So you look like hell. So what?"

"Gee, thanks Gibbs, you really know how to flatter a girl."

"Well it's the truth."

Kate feels her vanity smash to pieces at her feet. She tries not to let her disappointment show. Sensing the tension in her body, Gibbs puts two fingers under her chin and coaxes her face up wards him.

"You know I'm not good with words, Kate. I don't mean it like… It's not a bad thing."

Her chin wobbles a little. "How is it not a bad thing?!"

Because as much as Kate is a strong, independent woman who carries a gun and wears pant suits, she's still a girlie girl at heart. Those childhood dreams of a knight in shining armour and pretty dresses and white horses have faded but the desire to look pretty has stayed. She doesn't get the chance to dress up or have much time to do her makeup, but she wants men, this man, to think that she's at least above average. Plus, she's feeling low from the cold and rational thoughts aren't exactly her priority.

"What I meant to say." He's doing damage control now, she tells herself. To try and dig himself out of the hole he's just dug himself into.

"It's fine. It doesn't matter." She tries to get past him, but he's bigger and stronger than she is. He doesn't let her go.

"What I mean is that you're always beautiful. It doesn't matter that you're ill, or you haven't slept well for days. Hell, you even look good in those god awful red jumpsuits." His voice is softer now, gentler. "You don't ever have to hide yourself away because you think that I don't find you beautiful. Because I do. Always."

The sincerity in his words make tears spring into her eyes. She blinks rapidly to stop them from falling.

"Oh, this is all I need." She wipes at her face, a hint of humour in her voice. "Blocked nose, headache, now I can't stop crying."

It's official. She's pathetic.

Gibbs doesn't think so though, because he's reaching behind her for the box of tea she abandoned when she turned to defend herself from her night time visitor. He makes her tea, gets her lemon and hands it all to her in the blue mug. She offers him a weak smile and accepts the hot beverage.

She lets him lead her back into the bedroom. She lets him tuck her in. She even lets him clamber in beside her and she can't help but smile when she feels his arm circle her waist and his lips drop a soft kiss into her hair. Within minutes, she's asleep.


A few days later, Kate's feeling much better. For one, she can breathe through her nose, a massive bonus in itself. Her symptoms have mostly disappeared and this is the first morning that she's woken up feeling relatively healthy.

She stretches as much as she can without waking the sleeping figure beside her. Gibbs has been extremely attentive (when he can) and despite her initial reservations of having him there, she decides now that his company lifted her spirits and put her in a better mood. She giggles quietly. So they really are right about happiness being the best medicine.

A low growl alerts her to the wakening of her bedfellow. But this isn't a good growl. No, this is an Annoyed Gibbs Growl. Something isn't quite right. She wonders what she's done to provoke such a reaction. Kate levers herself onto her elbows and looks down on the silver head beneath her. She can feel him breathing in fast. She panics.

"Acchoooo!"

For a moment, neither of them move. But she can't help the laughter bubbling up inside her and her whole body shakes as she tries in vain to suppress the giggles. Soon, her side of the bed is shaking in time with her as giggles turn into full blown laughter.

Now Gibbs usually likes it when Kate laughs, but not this time. His head is pounding, his nose is blocked. He feels lousy. But he still doesn't want to admit it. It can't be true. He's never been ill.

He directs his less than amused gaze at the woman beside him. "I'm not sick."

Her cheeks are flushed and her eyes sparkle. "Of course not… You never get sick."

He sulks silently into the duvet. "You gave me your germs."

"Don't say I didn't tell you… Come on grumpy, I'll get you some hot tea."

"…Grumpy?!" He is out of bed and after her like a shot. "I'll show you grumpy!"

Her squeals can be heard in the hallway and he tackles her around the middle and throws both of them onto the couch. He tickles her mercilessly.

"Truce! Truce!" Tears are streaming down her cheeks and she hiccups once or twice. She pants softly as he re-adjusts his position so he isn't crushing her. "Y'know Gibbs, since you've never been ill… How do you know you won't enjoy it?"

He frowns. She thinks it's adorable and reaches up to soothe the line between his brows. "How can being ill be fun?"

Kate just grins and winks at him.

On second thought… An identical grin crosses his face. The prospect of Nurse Katie is definitely something worth exploring.

"So will you wear the uniform?"

The only answer he gets in a swipe on the arm as she tries to look offended and wiggles out from beneath him. His eyes run down the length of her bare legs and smiles in satisfaction.

Yep, definitely getting the uniform.

FIN

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