Disclaimer: Not mine.
Note: I adore Kensi so much that I'm surprised I'm writing this from Callen's point of view. It just came out that way. I know this chapter is short, but it's to the point. It's a... complicated romance in the works. They're complicated people with enough ghosts to make angst for a lifetime :)

Reviews would be beyond loved :)

1: after hours the ticking clock is ticking home.

He had been a little surprised to learn they weren't that different, after all.

Caring for someone was the oldest weakness the human being had the unfortune of possessing; it made you vulnerable to everything and everyone. The more you cared, the less your life was your own. They had both learned that the hardest possible way.

The lights had been dim, almost too weak for the moonlight filtering through the high windows, but it had been still too bright, enough to feel exposed even in the silence of an empty late night office building.

The green bobble head doll was still on the empty desk; a warning sign of their mistake. He didn't know if the doll had been kept there as a reminder of a life they lost, or simply to torture them all; no matter the reason nobody had the courage of taking it away, maybe give it a home next to Kensi's trash bag full of her useless belongings.

It was a funny thing, how after everything that happened, of so many facts more important than that, he still remembered Kensi gingerly picking up the doll from the desk and holding it to her chest, closing her eyes as if to remember its owner, the innocence of a man still too young to be there.

Or the way the doll had dug into her back, and how she had flinched, laughing, even under the circumstances, as she reached back to push it out of the couch as she laid back. Thinking about it now, maybe it had been a warning; like the doll staring at them day after day from the desk, maybe it had been Dom's way of saying 'Don't'.

Maybe he should have paid better attention. But then, her skin had been too warm and soft against his touch, and the way she had wriggled under him to remove her pants had been a little too much for his brain. It had been a little too hard to think when her fingertips marked her way up his back and her lips refused to leave his. If he had to be honest, he'd admit that, in the heat of the moment, he hadn't wanted to think at all; just feel.

It hadn't been all entirely his fault, though. He may had started it, but she didn't stop, she never as much as protested. It takes two to dance, wasn't it how the saying went? The second kiss had been hers.

Maybe if he hadn't sat next to her on the couch he often claimed as his bed when Hetty didn't argue he find somewhere else to stay for the night (more preferably a place of his own), and hadn't tried to give Kensi the comfort she needed so desperately, things wouldn't have happened the way it did.

She had been seating there, hurting and vulnerable and he had taken advantage of it, in some way. But she had smiled at him; she had been in his arms, snuggling into his side as if she had always belonged there, smiling up at him with those big unmatching eyes of hers, so he had done the only thing he could think of: he leaned down and kissed her.

The kiss had been neither gentle nor deep; only long enough not to be mistaken for the wrong intention. When he pulled back, she moved forward; it had been the wrong direction, but he hadn't complained.

Maybe if she had slapped him, or yelled at him, or maybe if she had been so furious to just up and leave him altogether he wouldn't have had pushed her down onto the couch, tugging at her clothes, and she wouldn't have giggled when the bobble head dug into her back, and it wouldn't have happened.

Maybe, maybe, maybe. He may try to look at every possible scenario, everything they could have done differently, all the things they could have said to change the outcome of things, but the fact was: nothing at all would change now what happened.

And the fact was simple: they had had sex on the couch, right there in the NCIS office, exposed to anyone that would have come in, and she had left afterwards; pulled on her clothes and left in utter silence, maybe too exhausted to say anything, or maybe just lacked the right words.

He had learned three things about Kensi Blye during the encounter that felt more like an old film noir: she giggled in bed, she was ticklish in funny places, and sex with her was extraordinary.