Title: Porcelain
: R
: None
: Gibbs sees Abby as a porcelain doll. Abby disagrees. One-shot, written for the April Monthly Gabby Challenge on NFA.

She's always been bubbling with sexual promise, but underneath the flirtatious bravado, she's vulnerable. He sees it whenever her emotions get the best of her; sees it in her wide eyes, shining with unshed tears, and the jerky restlessness of her movements. Now's not one of those moments, but nevertheless, he can't forget.

Though she's convinced him with her clever tongue that pinning her against the living room wall is a very good idea, that doesn't mean he can be anything less than careful with her. Her height's lost a couple of inches without the boots, and it's rare that he's able to look down at her this way. Her slender frame seems fragile under his hands, and he's wary of gripping too tightly.

These are peripheral thoughts, secondary to the blood pulsing through his veins, demanding that he touch, taste, take. He keeps her fragility in mind, but as his lips meet hers for the first time, a rush of heat sears his mind and skin, enticing his body to press just a little harder against hers, his tongue to seek entrance to her mouth, encountering hers along the way.

She's desire and urgency and sensuality personified, but he reins in his inner fiend, never more aware that this is Abby, the one person above all others that he refuses to break. His instinct is to dominate, to command, to possess her, but he subconsciously shies from the thought, unwilling to move into dangerous territory.

He'll take what she offers – the kisses, the caresses, and everything beyond – and he'll relish every moment, every sensation. But there's a part of him he keeps caged, and no matter what, it can't break free tonight. It might snarl when she moans, and batter itself against the bars when her nails scratch down his chest, but with Abby, his will is iron.

It has to be. She's as delicate as porcelain, and he'll handle her with care, or not at all.

She's never been shy about what she wants, and right now, she'd trade oxygen for Gibbs' touch. His lips are tentative at first, but he requires only a split-second's reassurance to become confident, snatching control from her grasp. She's always imagined this is how it would be, and her mind spins dizzily, savouring her victory over his gentlemanly restraint.

They both know that kisses won't be enough – not tonight, or on any other night. It's a foregone conclusion that they'll end up in her bed, gasping and writhing and stroking and moaning until their energy is exhausted.

What surprises Abby is that he's holding back. She has an instinctive sense of him, and his restraint is clear in the way his grip tightens on her waist, then slackens again just a fraction. His kisses melt her brain and his body drives her crazy, but there's an absent piece of the puzzle at the edge of her thoughts, and it's not enough to have ninety-nine per cent of him.

Her nails scratch over his skin, and he swallows a growl; her teeth nip at his lips and elicit an almost imperceptible shiver from him. When he draws back, she glimpses the shadows that lurk just beyond her reach, the ones that call to the corresponding darkness within her.

Give him time to regroup, and the opportunity will be lost. She seizes the moment, kisses with a violent hunger, then meets his eyes in a wordless challenge.

The one thing she never wants him to protect her from is himself. Her gaze is simultaneously steel-strong and butter-soft; defiance mingled with a whispered plea; desperate craving fused to oh-so-nonchalant playfulness; a tangle of demand and hesitance.

Moments pass – brief, yet eternal. The corner of her mouth twitches upward in the beginnings of a smile, and his self-control shatters in one swift movement. His hand fists in her hair and pulls, dragging her head back, and his teeth sink into the soft flesh of her throat, grazing and nipping and marking her as his. She rewards him with a breathy cry at the heady pain; he grinds against her, trailing kisses and nips over skin so tempting that it destroys his argument for restraint.

She's warm, vibrant, willing and joyful, whereas porcelain is cold, expressionless, unresponsive and numb. She doesn't do things by half-measures, and he's done holding out on her. If she breaks, he breaks with her, and he'll glue her back together piece by piece.

After all, he's nothing if not good with his hands.