Title: Fading Thunder

Pairing: Gibbs/Ziva

Rating: FR18

Genre: Het

Category: Angst, Romance

Spoilers: Recoil, episode 5x16

Author's note: This is my first attempt at an episode tag. The bunny had been nipping at my toes since the last time I saw Recoil.

Summary: Ziva is still haunted by the events of going undercover. Will Gibbs be able to ease her torment?

Thanks to taylorgibbs for the beta!!! *hugs*

My smile breaks as I turn away from the window, my momentary glimpse of happiness and peace gone. Yes, a part of me was still happy that Michael would have some closure, that being able to talk with Debbie, Devon, whatever her name was – and yes, I knew it was Devon – would give him some tranquility. But my own peace was gone, as fleeting as the breath of air from a bullet. More haunting was the memory of the killer standing over me, of the bullet scoring my temple, of Gibbs' words 'I don't need to see you again today.' I would live with these for much longer.

Walking out into the night air, a warm breeze lifts my hair, failing to cool my neck. Instead, the trembling wind heats my skin and steals my breath. A storm is coming and soon, the promise of thunder and lighting will stand as an echo in my tormented mind. My car is a few blocks away; the coverage of the serial killer making the bar instantaneously popular, a place to see and be seen. Yet I have no interest in being seen. My purpose in coming tonight was to simply say goodbye and to give Michael the closure to heal. He has helped to give me mine in his way.

As I walk down the street, an eerie calm settles over the air, a false sense of security wrapped in a blanket of pressure, an illusion of safety. The storm is making everyone think it is safe to come out, but soon the downpour will begin.

The first drops fall through my hair as I am a few feet from my car. Heavy, thick drops, drenching everything in their path. My hair is soon in soaked tendrils, sliding down my face, my chest, my back. Reaching up, I pull out my clip that held my hair half up, letting the bulk of my hair free to feel the storm's power.

All around me, people are running for cover, for the shelter of a building or the dryness of a car. I am alone on the street, reveling in the feel of the wind and rain. Holding out my arms, I turn my face up into the storm, letting the power fill me, change me. I feel that if I could just let go, the storm would take me up into her arms, welcoming me, a sister in chaos.

But the storm does not take me up into her bosom. She leaves me on the ground, always separate, always apart from that which would make me whole. In the arms of her strength, I feel my soul beyond my body, the bandage holding the skin at my temple together slipping down my face to fall to the ground. Droplets of blood join with the rain, blood in the water.

In that instant, with the storm swelling around me, the rain plastering my clothes to my body, I know that I will be okay, that my life is not entirely encompassed as an assassin, a killer bred and designed. I know that a part of my life is meant to connect with others, to find the humanity in the human, the life in the living. My time with NCIS has taught me that. The people I work with have taught me that. Gibbs, Jenny, Tony, McGee, Abby, Ducky, Jimmy. Even the ones who were here far too shortly, but have left their mark on me forever. And the ones who have loved me in their way.

Brushing my hands through my hair, I feel the rivers of water dislodged by my fingers, only to be replaced by the storm in her growing fury. The wind in its building intensity is buffeting me to the side, the pounding thunder beating in time with the growing passion in my breast.

'I don't need to see you tomorrow.'

I hear his voice on the driving wind. Looking around, no one is around me, no one on the street, no one to speak the words that had sent a shiver through my body straight to my core. That voice, those gravely tones, have hypnotized me since our first meeting when I came to stop him from killing Ari. And I have followed that voice into the depths of hell and back.

'I don't need to see you tomorrow.'

But I wonder if you would want to see me tonight? What would you do if I came in tonight, driven and drenched from the storm? I cannot stop these thoughts from battering the inside of my mind as percussive sounds of the thunder is battering my body.

The drive to see him is there, the need an almost desperation pushed on by the driving storm. We have danced and flirted and pushed each other since that first day, a trust born from an act that changed the course of my life forever. And it is time to change the course again.

'I don't need to see you tomorrow.'

"But you will see me tonight," I say to the storm, the wind whipping the words from my lips before they have the chance to be freed. Sliding into my car, I start the car, but decide to not turn on any music. The only beats I need are lashing against the window and lashing through my body.

The drive is quicker than I remember, though I maneuver through the streets at a fairly reasonable pace, even for me. But before the doubt or questions can begin to take hold, I find myself in front of his house, my engine off. The house is barely lit, but I know where he is. And I do not need light to guide me.

When I walk into his house, my entrance made stealthier by the sounds of the storm, I can hear sounds coming from the basement; sandpaper on wood, a radio scratching out the news, a bottle clicking on a wooden counter. The sounds of Gibbs in his element. Tony described it to me once using three words: boat, bourbon, basement. He said I would not understand the concept, and I do not. But I do understand the need for a place to let go. When I run, I find such a place. For Gibbs, it is his basement.

As I walk down the steps, the thunder cracks and rolls, shaking the house, covering the sounds of my descent. I stand there for several long moments, watching him work on the boat. This is an unfinished one, the ribs still exposed, only a portion of the side enclosed.

I watch him take smooth strokes along the grain of the wood, an almost unearthly calm and patience going into the creation. The behaviors and rituals he exhibits here are far more relaxed than I normally get to see him. So, I stand here watching him, afraid of breaking the spell. His movements are hypnotizing, enthralling, and I am unable to turn away.

Somehow, though I do not make a sound, he knows that I am here, the something that makes him uniquely Gibbs: his gut. Slowly, he raises his eyes, seeing me dripping relentlessly onto the wood of the stairs. I continue to watch as his eyes narrow and he puts the sander down.

Going down the final two steps, I wait at the bottom of the staircase, not quite sure what to say. The need has brought me into his home, the need to fulfill some basic, primal command. Only the words to make that desire clear to him were failing me now.

Something in my eyes must have told him why I am there. He stalks towards me, a panther after his prey. And the prey, this time, is me. Every step he takes echoes in my body. Gibbs stops in front of me, his gaze hard on my lips. My breath is shallow, coming out in short gasps, the anticipation freezing my body.

His hand brushes over my wet hair, the drops of water hitting the concrete, a gentle beat to the fury of the storm. I feel his finger caress over my neck, the heat of him searing through the coldness of my skin. He leans forward then, the faint brush of his lips along my throat, ending at the base of my neck where my pulse beats intensely underneath my skin.

I can feel his hands ghosting up my arms before they settle at my shoulders. In that instant, he presses his lips firmly to my skin, his tongue flicking out to taste the rainwater. The moan escapes from my lips and I'm unable to stop it. My breath stops in my throat, need building beyond my control, an echo to the fierce storm outside.

As his mouth moves up my throat, I can no longer hold my head erect, and it falls back, my eyes sliding shut. The desire to feel him under my hands is almost overwhelming, so I push my hands under his shirt, the heat from his skin searing me. When I start exploring his body, my nails gliding lightly over the ridges and dips of his body, I can hear a growl start low in his throat.

In retaliation, he nips at my skin, before sucking it into his mouth, laving it with his tongue. My moan is drowned out by a crack of thunder that shakes the panels of the basement. As I pull at his shirt, he moves away for a moment to allow me to take it off of him. In that moment of his disorientation, I push, my hands moving over his muscled shoulders, my mouth nibbling along his collarbone.

He growls again as I torment his flesh, his hands pushing and pulling at my blouse, popping buttons in his haste. Our clothes soon pile up on the floor as our growing passion drives us frantically to that final exploding moment. We both kick the bundle to the side, intent on each other but not on tripping over the scraps of clothes.

He pulls me against his body, and I come up forcefully against him. As I open my mouth from the unexpected pleasure of feeling his hard cock pressing into my stomach, Gibbs captures my mouth with his own, devouring me as we stand, neither one of us caring about the chaos hammering the outside of the house. The pounding storm only serves to heighten our need for each other.

Reaching down, he lifts my leg and wraps it around his waist. Quickly after, I can feel the tip of his length teasing my throbbing entrance. Turning me, he drives my body backwards, towards the boat. I come up hard against the side of her, gasping in a combination of pain and pleasure.

As I cling onto his body, his hand travels down my own, flicking and pulling at my sensitive nipple before moving lower. His fingers tease the curls at the juncture of my thighs before slipping one digit inside. The finger dances around the sensitive nub hidden inside my slick folds, teasing and tormenting me, driving me beyond conscious thought. Another finger slips inside my drenching folds, adding friction to the already mind-numbing pleasure.

In the moment he drives the fingers inside me, he sucks in one of my breasts, and I break apart, screaming, arching in my climax. Taking advantage of the shattering of my body, he pulls out his fingers and drives in his cock deeply, no longer teasing me, but thrusting his way, my body opening up and absorbing him fully.

Lifting my other leg, I encircle his body, limbs wrapped around him and ankles locked behind his back. He holds onto my hips as his motions move my body hard against the study vessel. Harder and faster he drives into me, impossibly deep, over and over. My walls clench around his heat, causing a long moan from him. I cry out for him, my nails raking across his back in the wildness of the moment. The storm outside grows in her own intensity, parallel in her growing sounds to our own cresting bodies. I scream and gasp with every thrust, he grunts and groans.

Higher and higher he drives us both, each of us racing towards the end, yet hanging onto every pleasure for as long as we can. Finally, finally we can no longer hold ourselves apart, and with a scream and a groan, our names on each other's lips, we break apart together. If my ankles hadn't been locked together, I would have collapsed onto the ground. As it was, his legs must have felt the same. Slowly, we slide down the side of the boat, still wrapped in each other's arms.

Opening my eyes, I look at him stunned, and I find the same look in his eyes. He leans forward to kiss me deeply, and I return his kiss, our mouths gently seeking each other. Our bodies are cooling in the darkness of the dimly lit basement. As the storm rages outside, her own passion not yet spent, we struggle to stand. My knees are too weak to hold me. So, in an amazing show of strength, Gibbs picks me up and walks up the stairs. How he is able to do so after what we had just shared, I cannot guess.

We make it unsteadily to his bedroom and he lays me out gently on the bed. Stretching out next to me, he pulls the covers over us, a cocoon of warm enveloping our bodies. Wrapping his arms around me, Gibbs pulls me closer and I nestle into his body. And for the first time that evening, we speak.

"I told you I didn't want to see you, Ziva," he reminds me, the gruffness of his voice heightened by what had happened.

"Yes," I respond, not easily out done, even by him. "Yes, you did. You said you did not want to see me tomorrow. But you said nothing about tonight." And I drift off to the rumble of his quiet laughter and to the rumble of the fading thunder.