A/N: This is a little surprise for my amazing friend Bamacrush, who will need no explanation whatsoever as to why it's for her. Forgive any flaws—this thing wrote itself, and I was just trying to keep up as it poured out onto my keyboard.
"And I wonder this—could tomorrow be so wondrous as you there, sleeping?"
-Dave Matthews Band, "Crush"
The tension between them had been building for months. They hadn't even been subtle about it, allowing themselves touches that lingered far too long, prolonged stares during which neither could seem to be the first to look away, and conversations filled to the brim with innuendo and double entendres. They had gone right to the line and toed it. They had stood on the line like children testing their boundaries. But they hadn't crossed it. It was a boundary that was simply not to be breached. There were no questions that there was an unmistakable chemistry—and perhaps more—between them. The question that neither of them had quite found the answer to up to that point was what the implications of crossing that boundary were.
And now, as Leroy Jethro Gibbs lay in a cramped, hot attic, watching his partner—now in more ways than one—sleep, he was so enchanted with her breathtaking beauty that he was barely able to stop to consider the implications of their actions.
They had danced around it for so long that the act of denying themselves had begun to feel more natural than the act of allowing themselves to give in to their desires.
It had been the Bordeaux.
They had been working furiously for months with barely a break, and Jenny was exhausted. She'd worked herself half to death trying to make some headway, and Gibbs had begun to worry that if she didn't slow down, she would become the poster child for burnout. When he had finally mentioned his concern to her that afternoon, Jenny had turned to him and declared with a sly smile that, fine, they were going to have dinner at Le Miramar, overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, after which they would roam the city like the tourists that they never got to be.
His gut had told him right then and there that if he agreed, the line would be crossed and that there would be no going back. But when he looked into her dancing green eyes and saw the smile on her face, all of his resistance fled and he heard himself saying, "Sounds great."
She had worn a strapless black dress that made him ache for her the instant he laid eyes on her. Her pale, milky skin was flawless against the contrasting dark silk of the dress and her long red hair was flowing down her back in a way that made him wonder immediately what it would look like spread out on a pillow beneath him. She had begun to smile when she opened the door, but was stopped in her tracks by the look of smoldering intensity she found in his eyes.
"Hi," she had finally said in a voice that was devoid of her usual boisterous confidence. He had said nothing, continuing to keep his eyes locked on hers. She had hesitantly reached out to finger his tie. "You look…handsome," she whispered, and he finally broke out of his reverie.
"Thank you," he murmured in a low voice. "You're… beautiful." That didn't seem to cover it, but it was the best he could come up with in that moment.
They had gone to dinner at Le Miramar, as she had requested, and it had taken him no time at all to realize that they were both nervous about what the evening held. He had ordered the bottle of Bordeaux—rather than his usual bourbon—in an effort dispel the tension between them, and it had worked all too well. They had polished off the bottle and were laughing, her hand clasped in his, when he threw caution to the wind and ordered the second bottle.
By the time he settled their bill an hour later, they were flushed with both wine and unresolved sexual tension. He had led her by the hand out onto the street, where they had a perfect view of Notre Dame de la Garde in the distance. Instead of hailing a cab, they had wandered aimlessly toward the landmark, bodies pressed together in a way that neither had allowed before. When at last they had reached the plaza beneath the church's tower, he had been unable—and unwilling—to restrain himself any longer, and he took her face in his hands and kissed her under the moonlight, tenderly at first, and then with more urgency as she responded to him. It took only a moment for the kiss to reach a degree of passion that was inappropriate for a public place—and she had allowed her lips to leave his long enough to say, "The attic. Now."
When he had at last opened the door of the steamy attic lookout, he'd shoved her through it roughly in his haste. She had whirled to face him, unrestrained greediness flashing in her green eyes, and he had slammed the door shut and pinned her against it as he assaulted her neck and shoulders with his lips. "God, I want you so badly," he mumbled against her skin. She kicked her shoes off and leaned her head to the side, sighing with pleasure as she allowed him access to as much skin as possible. She yanked simultaneously at his tie and the buttons on his shirt, accomplishing little in her haste to undress him. She grunted in frustration and shoved him back toward the sleeping bags, never allowing his lips to leave her skin as they stumbled along.
Once on the other side of the room, he had stepped back to take her in for a moment. He gave her the half-smile that made her heart stop and began advancing on her once again, pulling his tie off and unbuttoning his shirt as he did so. He tossed the shirt back from his broad shoulders just as he reached her and let it fall on the floor behind him as they sank down and he pressed her back down on the thin sleeping bags beneath them.
The months of built-up tension had heightened their expectations considerably, and they were both more than a little surprised to discover that the actual event not only lived up to their expectations, but exceeded them. They were perfectly compatible as lovers, and Jenny found herself letting her guard down enough to whisper, "I love you, Jethro," in the darkness as he moved within her. For a moment she wondered if it had been too much, too soon, but then she heard him whisper back, "Me, too, Jen."
She had been thoroughly spent and utterly satisfied when it was over, and had fallen asleep quickly within the confines of his arms.
And now here he lay, watching a single bead of sweat slip down her neck as she slept, wondering if tomorrow could possibly be as perfect as this moment. He had no idea what the professional ramifications of this personal entanglement would be, but he also suddenly found that he didn't really care anymore. She had crushed him within her embrace, and he was unable to fight the desire to give every part of himself to her. It had been so long since he had felt this way about a woman, and his partner had awakened feelings within him that he had begun to suspect might be long dead.
Jenny Shepard, his partner—and now his lover—shifted in her sleep as he admired her and Jethro Gibbs let himself to sink down next to her, wrapping her in his arms and allowing her to pull him under.