A/N: Takes place roughly three weeks after KillAriPrt1. Thought this up in my Shakespeare class; not sure where it came from. Warning: SMUT.

Jennifer Sheppard wanted to go home.

She had been burning the candle at both ends all week. She couldn't explain why all the marines in the Washington, D.C. area had, all at once, tapped into their murdering dark sides or succumbed to a closet need for hard drugs. She didn't know why one of her trusted overseas units had become dangerously sloppy with their deep cover case. Nor did she comprehend why exactly SecNav was using her personally as a target for his frustration.

What she really, really didn't get though was why every single one of her agents had suddenly decided to turn in their case reports tonight. At twenty-one hundred on a Friday.

She wanted to go home; take a hot bath, read a book, curl up in bed and dream, preferably good dreams. But she even more so did not want to be faced with this paperwork when she came into work tomorrow. Not when tomorrow promised an oh-so-fun conference with the director of the FBI over a certain agent's inability to communicate like a civilized adult.

So, after a day of placating SecNav over the ungodly amount of crimes that had taken place this week that still remained unsolved and leadless, yelling at four overseas agents who had seriously jeopardized a long-running mission, assessing a terrorist threat Mossad had read her in on and then attempted to read her out of, and finding out the coffee shop had not put two shots of espresso in her mocha, she was stuck in her office reading case reports.

Reading them, growing increasingly annoyed at the handwriting of her supposedly intelligent employees, evaluating them, and signing them.

She was now contemplating setting the files on fire. Because at twenty-three hundred, the pile of case reports looked suspiciously the same size as it had two hours ago.

Her eyes were starting to hurt from the strain put on them by the single desk lamp she had trained on her papers, which explained why she had to blink at least five times at the cupcake that appeared on her desk.

She looked up slowly, leaning back a little, stretching, and lifted her hand, twitching her pen slightly between her fingers.

"Jethro," she greeted coolly, concealing her considerable surprise. "Is that," she pointed to the cupcake with her pen, "to make up for what you explicitly told that FBI Agent he could do with his gun today?"

"It's your birthday, Jen," he responded, as if he was informing her of something she wasn't already aware of.

Jenny looked down from his shadow-hidden face to the item on her desk and lifted an eyebrow ever so slightly. Pink icing. Blue and purple star sprinkles. A heart shaped candy stuck in the middle. She looked back up at him.

"And you brought me that?" she questioned suspiciously, seriously wondering if the entire world had gone to hell without her noticing.

If he was responsible for this cupcake, she was either going to laugh out loud, or cry uncontrollably and then quit her job. She was just not in the mood.

"No," he drawled, pointing at the cupcake, "that is from Abby. This," he held up the tumbler in his hand; she hadn't even noticed it was there. "is from me."

Jethro slung a chair around from her conference table and placed it in front of her desk. He leant forward, placed the tumbler full of deep amber liquid in front of her, and sat back, lifting his own to his lips.

Jenny flicked her pen with her thumb again and then set it down, relenting. She ignored the bourbon and picked up the cupcake, looking it over. She glanced at him over it.

"Is this chocolate?" she asked.

He nodded slowly, pulling his tumbler down from his mouth. Her eyes fell from his eyes to his lips, lingering, before she shook herself out of it and glared at the cupcake instead. She peeled back the wrapping a little and dipped her finger into the icing, tasting it.

"Miss Scuito is getting a raise," she commented approvingly. She leaned back in her chair and set the treat down, reaching for the tumbler instead.

After this week, she could use it. A lot of it.

Before she could closer her eyes and enjoy the sensation of it burning her troubles away, she stopped and held it back a little, looking from the glass to him, curiously.

"How long have you been in here?" she demanded, realization dawning. He'd have entered, poured them both glasses from the decanter across the room, and placed Abby's gift on his desk before she'd noticed his presence.

"Long enough," he answered cryptically.

Jenny rewarded him with a glare.

"And why were you sneaking around?" she asked slowly.

"I don't sneak," Jethro answered, rolling his eyes just slightly. "I thought you were ignoring me."

"It must be a subconscious reaction now. To ignore you."

He made a noise in his throat, somewhere between blowing her off and laughing. But he shook his head and leaned forward, his expression somewhere between displeasure and concern, finger tapping against the file laid open on her desk.

"You're burying yourself in work, Jen."

Another glare.

"Perhaps I wouldn't have to if you and your team weren't constantly finding ways to piss off sister agencies instead of doing your paperwork."

She caught the quick flicker of annoyance in his eyes and felt an immature glow of satisfaction.

But he didn't bristle or react to her goading.

"Nah," he said, lifting the tumbler to his lips and drinking, patronizingly shaking his head as he stared at her "that's not it."

His words got under her skin. She sighed, not up for this game, tired of his cryptic words. She rubbed her temples and picked up the cupcake, opting for a sugar rush instead of an alcohol burn.

"Why are you still here, Jethro?" she asked, her voice sounding harsher than she'd meant it to.

She didn't care. She'd been struggling through this whole week; no sleep, trouble from the other agencies, and this constant sparring with him was starting to get to her, nettle her, affect her like it used to. Break her.

"Why are you?" he returned.

She sighed.

"Are we really going to play this game?" she snapped, breaking off part of the cupcake and putting it in her mouth.

"You're the one playing games, Director."

The suddenly cold tone of his voice hurt her; she looked up, found his eyes hard where they had been lazy a moment ago. She stood up, placing both palms firmly against her desk and leant over it, looking at him harshly.

"I don't have the time, Agent Gibbs, to put up with you," she snapped, "I've spent two hours trying to clean up your mess with the FBI, and that's on top of the week from hell. I'm not in the mood for this. If you think I won't hesitate to shoot you now to make myself feel better, I beg you," she dug her nails into the desk, hating the way he was just looking coolly at her. "try me."

He stood up. He had always hated when she had higher ground. Setting his tumbler next to hers on the desk, he leaned forward, matching her stance.

"If you're expecting pity, Jenny, then you've got another thing coming."

"What have I done to piss you off, Jethro?" she demanded, slamming her palm on the desk in frustration.

With horror, she felt tears spring to her eyes. She didn't want him angry with her; she didn't want to face the cold emotionless look in his eyes. She already stared at it enough in her nightmares, in the impersonal atmosphere of her office during the day. But the last thing she ever wanted to do again, especially now, was cry in front of him--and here were her emotions betraying her.

"What have I done?" she demanded again, louder, covering the tremble in her voice.

Why did he do it? Did he spend all his free time thinking up ways to dredge up her guilt and light her anger and make her ache with latent desire?

His eyes fell to her mouth from where he was standing and she felt her skin flush red; she knew where his eyes drifted after that, tracing the path of her blush. His blue irises lifted back to her demanding, angry eyes after a moment and he looked at her differently.

He knew her too well for her to be able to hide the verge of crying.

"You torture yourself," he growled suddenly, leaning forward again, intoxicatingly close to her face. "You bury yourself in this office, in this job, you never relax. You never smile, Jen."

How was she supposed to smile when she was working with the one torment in her life? The biggest mistake she'd ever made? Of course she buried herself in work. She learned it from him.

Numb it when it hurts and bite at anyone who tries to make you feel. Well it hurt now, it stung. It hurt to tell him 'no off the job', it hurt to see the pain in his eyes when he didn't know she knew he was watching her, it hurt.

"You're a hypocrite," she tried, her voice dangerously low.

"It's your birthday, and you're here. Abby wanted to throw you a surprise party but she was afraid you'd be angry with her. Why do you do it to yourself?"

It was getting harder and harder to maintain the block against the tears. Did everyone she worked with think that of her? That she was frigid, opposed to any fun, austere? When had the job of her dreams, her crowning achievement, turned so sour?

She glared hard into the icy eyes before her.

Oh, right.

"It's just another day, Jethro," she said, throwing words he'd once said to her right back in his face, hoping viciously that they would sting.

She made her mistake, right then. She flicked her eyes downward and blinked, wetting her eyelashes, and accidentally looking back up. His eyes searched hers and softened a little, the lines in his forehead easing.

"I don't want to see you like this," he said, the growl still there in his voice, though hidden.

"Then get the hell out," she snarled, her green eyes flashing. "I can torture myself alone."

She stressed the words sarcastically, malevolently.

Jenny slapped a file shut and placed it in the finished file, looking down, cursing the slight tremble in her hands.

"No, Jen."

"Then say what you came to say," her voice rose suddenly. She straightened up, stepped back, shoving her chair violently under her desk.

"Tell me what I've become, call me a bitch, berate me for the way I handle the agency, dredge up every bad memory and mistake, anything—just stop standing me and staring at me with judgment in your eyes!"

She was yelling at him now, advancing forward, putting her hands on him and shoving backwards.

"Say it!"

How she managed to keep her eyes dry she didn't know. He took her wrist and held it, staying her arm, cerulean eyes darkened and calculating.

"Happy Birthday, Jenny," he said deliberately, and she wanted to slap him.


She jerked her wrist from his grip, ignoring the jump in her pulse, the burning spots on her hand and palm where his fingers had rested briefly, holding her so securely.

"You bastard," she whispered, angry.

Angry because he was pushing her, and he knew exactly what he was doing. She'd leapt at his throat the moment he came in and he lashed back, and now he was retracting his claws, and her only way of dealing with the way she was feeling was to attack, draw insults out of him, and make him say something to hurt her so she could hate him.

No, never hate him. But anger. She wanted the anger at him, and not the longing.

"Feel better yet?" he asked hoarsely. He sounded injured, the particular tone sending her careening through memories of a gunshot in Positano that had stopped her breath.

"Go to hell," she snarled. She moved, brushing past him, but he moved his arm out and blocked her, shifting, stopping her bath. She shoved his arm away and he took her arm, gently but firmly still. Tight.

"What do you want from me?" she demanded, desperate to get away from him now. Before she lost it, before she did something stupid, before she fell into his arms sobbing and told him everything. She hated him for knowing exactly how to dig everything out of her still.

"Tell me what you want," he breathed sharply, hand inching up slightly on her arm. She jerked against him.

"Jen," his voice was harsh, loud, he stopped her. "I didn't come to start a fight,"

She wrenched out of his grip, spinning to the door. She had it half open when it collided with his hand and he held it, pinning his other against the cool metal of the unopened side of the door, her head trapped at his raised shoulder.

"You damn well got one," she hissed. "What the hell is wrong with you, Jethro?"

Even he recognized the desperation in her hoarse yell now. She had lowered her volume; Cynthia wasn't present but neither of them knew who else was working late, and she sure as hell wasn't risking drawing attention to herself.

"Who's playing games now?" she snapped, shoving against his strength, he didn't budge, but his eyes were on her, boring into hers, flickering to her heaving chest and her lips, down to the base of her neck and back to her irate eyes.

"Get out," she ordered, "get out or let me have it. Hurt me Jethro. Hurt me like I hurt you."

Her voice broke and the damned woman kept a straight face, reaching up and pushing against the arm that braced against the door.

Maybe then it was that she realized what game they were playing. Who could suffer it silently the longest. Who could resist, who could hurt the other more. He was winning, she hoped he was happy he was winning, because all he had to do was look at her and she was sorry.

He let his arm fall and then slid his other down the cold metal of the door he was blocking and took her at the elbow, pulling her out of the way. He slammed the door shut; she cringed at the sound, and then…

…he pushed her back against it.

Jenny lost her breath. She automatically brought her hand up to his shoulder, intent on pushing him away and giving him hell—but one touch against the firm muscles of his bicep and she was pulling him closer by his shirt, lost in the familiar cobalt of his lust-filled eyes.

His mouth covered hers before she could blink, attacking her lips violently. His rough hand tangled into her hair, tilting her head where he wanted it, pulling her mouth closer.

Through the dizzying rush of blood to her head, all she could do was fumble behind her and lock the office door and succumb. She gripped him at the waist and pulled him closer at his belt, holding him to her firmly, mind spinning in the way he still fit against her so perfectly.

His free hand fell from her shoulder to the buttons at her blouse, working them expertly. His tongue slipped into her mouth, met with hers, tasting her again; Jenny moaned into his lips, surrendering, her head falling backwards lightly against the door.

Jethro pulled slowly away from her mouth, drawing demanding lips down her jaw, kissing her neck, tracing the dips along her collarbone with his tongue. Jenny curled her leg around his and moved him closer; his hands pushed her shirt back off her shoulders, letting it fall to the floor, exposing pale skin. Her hand fell to his belt and she worked it loose, pulling it through the loops and dropping it to the floor; she tilted her head forward again and faced him, her hand fumbling at the button of his jeans, on his zipper.

She fluttered her eyes as his hands ran over her bare skin, rough against smooth, his fingers grazing teasingly over her bra, sliding the straps down; Jenny jerked his shirt upwards, pulling it sharply over his head, arching against him as he leaned into her, her breath caught in her throat.

"I want you, Jen," he growled against her throat, answering her long-forgotten question, the vibrations of his words sending shocks down her spine. His hand drew a trail down her abdomen and over the front of her skirt down to the hem; he yanked it up her legs, his warm hands brushing against the inside of her thighs.

Jenny whimpered, licking her lips, as his hand cupped against her, unbearably teasing, sliding away the thin silk of her panties. She reached down to grab his hand, digging her nails into him angrily, annoyed by the smirk on his face when he looked at her. She pressed the tips of her nails into his neck and pulled his mouth against hers, running her tongue along his lips, aching for his touch.

His fingers grazed against her and she tightened her nails into his wrist, warning him, her muscles tensing, heat settling in her stomach. He pushed her back against the door harder this time; she drew her mouth away from his when he slipped a finger inside her, arching her body tightly against him.

"God, Jethro," she moaned, gripping his arm tightly.

She threw her head back against the door, losing her ability to stand up on her own. He brought her thigh to his waist with one hand and pulled it tight around him; she nodded, her eyes half-closed and he lifted her up, pinning her against the door so her back was flat against the cool metal.

Jenny wormed a hand between them and pushed against his jeans, getting them out of the way, relieving him of his boxers, digging the heel of her shoes into the small of his back to force him closer to her. He groaned, bowing his head against her shoulder, his breath coming short against the skin of her neck. He removed his hand, bracing it against the wall behind him, his other wrapped around her thigh, securing it at his waist.

"Take me now, Jethro," she demanded, her voice throaty and thick with a haze of lust.

She lifted herself up and he thrust into her; Jenny's head hit the door again and she gasped.

His shoulders shook and he looked at her, holding her still; she reached behind him and threaded her fingers in his silver hair, jerking his head forward to her, her lips against his ear.

"Hard," she whispered hoarsely, pressing her open mouth to his jaw, digging her heel into him again.

Jethro shifted his hand up the back of her thigh, supporting her better, and drove into her again, eliciting her half-suppressed cry. She tightened her grip in his hair, holding his head against her, arching towards him, the back of her head pressed against the door.

He whispered her name into her ear huskily, lips touching her skin, his pace hard and urgent.

Jenny moaned, her voice hitching, scratching her nails down his back, tightening her legs around his waist. He recognized the sounds in her throat; the noises she made when she was trying to keep quiet, because neither one of them knew who might be listening.

"Dammit, Jethro, harder," she rasped, silk lips caressing the corner of his mouth. He lifted her at the back of her thigh and slammed her back against the door, ignoring the loud thud. Her pupils were dilated, eyes clouded smoky with desire.

Jethro's arm shook where it was braced against the door, his fingers whitening is he pressed them against it, he lifted his head and met her dark emerald orbs, her name escaping his lips in a desperate groan for her to pull him to the edge with her.

Her mouth took his once again and she cried out against his lips, sharp this time; her muscles tightened around him, back stiffening, and he bent his forehead against hers, breaking his lips a fraction away,"

"With me?" he managed, checking. He felt her nod and he kissed her hungrily, wanting to taste her screams as she came undone in front of him. He thrust into her again, deep, hard; her body shuddered around him, her mouth opened against his and she yelled for him, eyes closed tightly.

His muscles loosened with her as he brought her down slowly from her high, his breathing ragged against her lips, forehead pressed against hers, their sweat mingling. Jenny's head spun as her shoulders slumped, relaxing backwards, her skin jumping at the cold touch of metal on her back. His fingers slipped over her hot skin as he let her leg down; she eased her hold in his hair gently as she steadied her feet back on the carpet, relying heavily on the support of the abused door and Jethro.

Jethro's hand fell from the door to the back of her neck, lacing into her damp hair, pulling her head against his neck. She felt his erratic heartbeat beneath her cheek, matched his irregular and harsh breathing.

His lips pressed warm against her temple, muttering her name in her ear, a whisper tinged with satiated longing.

"Want you," she said, her voice thin as she forced herself to talk, words unsteady in her mouth.

She answered his long-forgotten question, his angry demand.

Maybe that's what he wanted to hear, that quiet admission. His hands were between them again, caressing her ribs, sending chills all over her sensitive body. Closing her eyes half-way, she leaned into him, molding her body against him, ignoring the sticky feel of sweat and heat as their skin cooled together. Steamy flashes of her last birthday with him flashed before her eyes and she moaned softly.

She shifted her head, tilting her mouth up a little, all strength and resistance gone, the reason why she'd firmly resolved not to get involved with him again completely lost to her.

"You don't listen, Jethro, you bastard," she said quietly.

His hand slipped lower on her abdomen again and she drew in a sharp breath, hissing, her head rushing again. She wanted him to take her home, to bury herself in him and his scent, wanted him to make love to her in a slow burn this time, let her scream where no one could hear her.

"Wrong, Jen," his voice was still low and hoarse like hers, his repressed and powerful lust no doubt only as momentarily satiated as hers. She could hear the triumphant smirk.

"We aren't off the job,"

Mmmhmm, what do we think? Review!