Title: Yours at Midnight
Author: Jo. R (driftingatdusk)
Category: Romance, smut, fluff
Dedication: For Amy (Chirugal), our lovely Admin at the Gibbs/Abby Shippers Forum, for everything she does to give us our little shipper haven, and for organising our first Secret Santa exchange. Thank you, Amy! *hugs*
Snow fell thick and fast in the streets outside, covering the roads with a blanket of white no one in their right might would dare tackle until the bright light of day. Abby Sciuto stood at the window and shivered, tightening her hands around the mug of hot chocolate she'd made herself while the owner of the house she was currently in, Leroy Jethro Gibbs, finished up whatever he was doing in the basement.
For weeks, he'd forbidden her from going downstairs, telling her it would ruin the surprise if she saw it – whatever it was – before it was done. Of course, telling her not to do something made her want to do it all the more but she'd resisted, knowing it would be worthwhile in the end.
Gibbs was surprisingly good at getting it right when it came to gifts and presents; her birthday present the year she'd thought he'd forgotten but had somehow managed to sneak it past her in her lab had proven that. Maybe it was due to his having been married so many times, or maybe it was just because he knew her so well.
She shivered as she continued to watch the snow, rubbing her arms to fight the chill. She bit her bottom lip to keep back a smile when she saw him approach in the fogged up glass, unable to fight back a contented sigh as his reflection joined hers, his arms slipping around her waist as he drew her back against him.
"Good job you weren't planning on going home tonight," Gibbs murmured, nuzzling the side of her neck. "Don't think either of us'll be going anywhere till tomorrow."
"Hmm. Can't say I'm complaining about that," Abby replied, tilting her head to the side to grant him better access to the spider web tattoo on the side of her neck. She shivered when his tongue darted out to trace a line of the web, gasped when his teeth grazed her sensitive skin and made a soft noise of protest when he pulled away. "No fair, Gibbs."
He smirked at her in response, taking her hand and pulling her away from the scenic view at the window, drawing her to the fireplace where the fire he'd started earlier still burned. He left her for a few moments, retrieving the small box he'd brought up with him from the basement, switching off the rest of the lights as he went so the room was lit only by the fire and the little fairy lights on the tree he'd let her talk him into putting up.
The flames flickered, casting dancing shadows over the dimly lit room as he joined her on the rug, his knees creaking a little in protest, reminding him he wasn't as young as he used to be. Gibbs watched her eyes move over him appreciatively anyway and enjoyed the surge of masculine pride that he always felt on realising the woman in front of him had chosen him.
She didn't object when he leaned forward, capturing her lips with his. She leaned into him willingly, parting her lips, deepening the kiss before he had the chance to. His hands left the box, which sat on the rug beside him, and he pushed forward, pressing into her, his arms sliding around her to keep her where he wanted her.
After several intense moments, when he felt her fingers at the top button of his shirt, Gibbs forced himself to pull away, taking a second to catch his breath before looking at her. Her lips were swollen, her cheeks flushed, and her green eyes dark and dreamy. Remembering the box, remembering the gift waiting for her in the basement and the long hours he'd put into it, he told himself he could wait a little longer to make good on the promise in her eyes, a promise he knew was reflected in his.
He reached blindly for the box, unable or unwilling to take his eyes off her and miss her reaction. When he held it out for her, a small wooden box that nestled comfortably in his palm, he watched her eyes widen, and then narrow as her sharp mind instantly tried to figure out what it could be.
"It'd be easier if you just opened it, Abby," he told her quietly, amusement rumbling beneath the surface of his voice.
She shot him a quick smile, her gaze dropping to the box as she took it out of his hands. She eased the lid off gently, the confused look that arranged her features when she realised what was inside making him grin again.
As he watched, she picked the small silver key from the black satin it was nestled on, turning it over in her hand as she tried to figure out the puzzle of what it could unlock. She had a key to his house already; he'd given her that a few days after he'd changed the locks, before they'd moved their relationship forward.
"It's for the basement," he told her after several moments, enjoying the sight of her trying to work it out.
Her eyes moved back to his, widening again. Excitement shone from their depths, mingling with an anticipation he felt, too. "I can go look now?"
"It's midnight," Gibbs answered with a shrug, checking his watch discreetly to confirm it was Christmas Day by just over a minute. "You said it was Sciuto family tradition to open one present before bed on Christmas Eve..."
No matter what her reaction to the present downstairs, he knew all of the weeks of hard work and hours logged long after his workday had finished had been worth it to see the smile that lit up her face.
He watched her get to her feet and took the hand she offered him, wrapping his fingers around hers as he stood and let her lead him to the door. She glanced back at him over her shoulder as she turned the key in the recently installed lock, a soft smile of thanks curving up the corners of her mouth even though she still didn't know what was waiting for her.
Gibbs held himself back, watching her precede him down the stairs. He knew the moment she saw it, her steps slowed and faltered, her head whipped back to look at him before she continued forward at a slower pace, an expression of stunned awe on her face.
Her fingertips reverently traced the wooden sides, more elaborately carved than anything he'd made before. She moved slowly around it, her gaze taking every inch of it in, before looking up at him, her eyes suspiciously bright.
"This'll never fit in my apartment," Abby murmured, "and I don't know how we're going to get it out of the basement..."
"I'll take it apart, put it back together again." He joined her at ground level, standing beside the solid wood bed frame, the nearest thing to a coffin he could ever make with her in mind. The varnish he'd used was darker than any of the boats he'd made and the ornate carvings of roses and crosses had taken him three times as long as anything else he'd attempted but her reaction made it all worthwhile. He wrapped an arm around her middle, drawing her against him, and kissed the side of her neck before speaking softly. "I thought it could go upstairs, in the master bedroom."
She turned her head, glancing at him out of the corner of her eye. "You mean it'll stay here...?"
"I mean you should stay here with it." He shrugged a shoulder when she moved just far enough away so she could turn to fully face him. "You're here most of the time anyway, Abs. Might as well make it official."
Her lips quirked upwards and her eyes danced. "Leroy Jethro Gibbs, such a romantic way with words." She moved closer despite her teasing, winding her arms around his neck. The kiss she gave him was answer enough, long and lingering and ending with her pressed up against the side of the bed.
Drawing away, Abby glanced over her shoulder at the bed, complete with mattress and dark, deep red sheets and matching comforter. She smiled again and took his hands, leading him to the side of the bed.
Sitting on the edge of the bed, she looked up at him, a glint he both recognised and loved appearing in her eyes. "Want to help me test out my present?"
She was right about the bed being too big for the bedroom in her apartment but Abby wasn't about to complain. She wasted no time once he joined her, taking her time in unbuttoning each of the buttons on his shirt in turn, kissing every new inch of skin revealed to her hungry gaze. Gibbs sat patiently through her ministrations though his hands weren't completely idle, his calloused fingertips tracing patterns on the smooth expanse of her skin beneath her top.
The solid bed frame supported them as they slowly divested one another of their clothing, their exploration slow and thorough, as if it were the first time they'd seen each other stripped bare. She kissed her way from his lips to his chest, smiling against the smattering of hair she found there as she felt his body tense beneath her as she started to move lower still.
His hands fisted in the sheets either side of him as she found her goal, her breath warm against his sensitive skin just seconds before her mouth closed around him, her tongue and lips teasing and tormenting him. His hips arched and he heard – and felt – her answering chuckle.
She pulled away before his restraint snapped, knowing him well enough to sense when he was nearing his limits and gave him a smug smirk as she crawled up his body to settle herself over him, pressing her breasts against his chest, kissing him hard and hungrily.
Sliding his arms around her, Gibbs used the kiss as a distraction, rolling them over on the ample bed so she was beneath him. He took hold of her hands and lifted them above her head, pinning her arms as he kissed her thoroughly before pulling back to look at her. "My turn," he murmured, stealing one last kiss before taking his turn in exploring the canvas that was her body.
He took his time, ensuring each area of skin was lavished with attention, each line of black ink kissed and tasted and committed once again to memory. He cupped her breasts with his hands, teasing her nipples into taunt peaks before replacing his thumb and finger with his mouth, licking, nibbling and sucking at each in turn. He smiled against her flesh when she moaned, when her fingers moved through his hair and her body arched against his.
He parted her legs, settling himself between her thighs as he kissed his way down, lavishing attention at the tattoo on her hip before placing a trail of soft kisses along her inner thigh. He glanced up at her, smirked at her flushed cheeks and panting breaths, and turned his attention back to the task at hand.
He teased her with his fingers first, pushing first one, then two inside her, curling them as she moaned and shifted her hips restlessly. He took his time, enjoying the sounds she made as he continued his assault on her senses, smirking when she cried out as his thumb passed over her clit seconds before he replaced it with his tongue, teasing and tasting her, bringing her to the brink of climax and pushing her over the edge.
As her body continued to tremble as a result of her orgasm, Gibbs kissed his way back up to her mouth, cradling her body against his as he nuzzled her neck affectionately, waiting until she caught her breath.
After several moments, Abby moved away, sitting up and drawing him with her. She straddled his hips as he sat in the middle of the bed, leaning against the headboard, his blue eyes watching her intently as she lowered herself down onto him, a soft sigh escaping her. His hands moved to rest on her waist as she started to move, rocking her hips gently at first. His own hips surged up when she quickened the pace, meeting her thrust for thrust.
Capturing his mouth with his own, swallowing her cries, Gibbs slipped a hand between their joint bodies, caressing her, his well-timed touch sending her careening over the edge once more. The feel of her body clenching and tightening around his own coupled with a few more thrusts was enough for him to join her, a low groan escaping him as his own orgasm struck.
Abby collapsed against him, the occasional tremor still going through her body as she let her head rest against his shoulder, her breath leaving her in short pants. Gibbs moved his hands to her back, stroking his fingers along her spine, catching his own breath as the room around him gradually shifted back into focus.
A few more minutes later and they moved beneath the sheets and comforter, pulling it up and around them to act as a cocoon against the world outside. Drowsily, Abby pressed a kiss to his chest above his heart. "Thank you."
"You're welcome," he murmured, stroking a hand down her back before letting it settle over the curve of her hip.
He listened to her breathing grow deeper and stared up at the ceiling, remembering all of the times he'd lain there in the shell of whatever boat he'd been building, looking up at the same cracks and lines. On those nights, even during his marriages, he'd wondered if he'd ever feel the way he had done when Shannon and Kelly had been alive, satisfied with his life – happy.
Holding Abby close, listening to her breathe as she slept, he realised he finally did. And that, he thought sleepily, was the best gift, Christmas or otherwise, anyone could have given him.