The delicious slide of her skin against the warm body next to her made Ziva smile. This was her favorite kind of dream, love-rumpled sheets with him strong and sleepy next to her. The dusky rays of dawn fitfully piercing the air tossed dust into the light. Almost like glitter at the end of New Years the tiny particles fit right in to the fantasy her mind created now and then. She turned letting her body drape itself over him, a leg thrown lazily over his, hand tracing his lightly hair roughened chest. Eyes still shut she allowed herself a smile at the clarity of the dream. His hand traced her hip, pulling her closer till his own moan rumbled through both of them. As dreams went this was one of her better ones. Her senses weren't dulled with the lethargy that usually came with her imagined nighttime forays. Underneath her hand she could feel his heart beating a rapid pace that matched the rhythm of their love-play from the night before. When that hand found a particularly interesting hollow she buried her face in his neck hoping to keep the sensation longer than her dreams normally allowed. Her lips tasted the skin beneath her mouth, salt and bourbon always the same. A pleasant familiar she could always count on. Her pleasant haze was disrupted slightly when the window behind her gave way to another shaft of wakening sunlight and the hint of birds in the air. It was an odd way to dream since she lived in an apartment but against his neck she smiled, it just kept getting better and better.
Gibbs had been fantasizing far too often about Ziva; it took up far more of his time than he ever would have admitted. At work he could get the job done, focus on what he was supposed to focus on, mostly. But when he stepped in his door all that focus went to hell, the nights were the best. At night he could slip into a world that gave her to him as lover not a subordinate at work. If he kept his eyes closed long enough perhaps this morning would be like the last and he could slip back into sleep long enough to feel her slide against him one more time. Some dreams were hazy leaving him with just enough feeling to not be able to look her clean in the eye the next day. Running a hand along her hip he figured it was worth it. Smiling even as he refused to open his eyes the dream gave him a vivid dash of color and sound. Her gentle moan and kiss to his neck vibrating through his whole body. He might be late if he kept this up and damned if he cared.
Ziva thought she might have let the dream lead her in to a late showing at work. Any disapproving glance from Gibbs would just lead to the next night's dream and be well worth the silent reprimand. In a move as familiar as fantasy allowed her hand found its way into his close cropped hair. So much softer than the steel it resembled she sighed at the way it tickled her palm like a lovers caress. His sigh of satisfaction sang through her veins like a melody. It was the discordant note of a cat meowing that finally forced her eyes open. Why would she dream of a cat? She blinked, stretched and let her frustration beat its way from her fist into the pillow beneath her. The white pillowcase confused her. Her sheets were blue, the exact shade of his eyes. A silly indulgence that had caught her while shopping and led to many wonderful nights of abandon. For a long moment she stared at that white pillowcase, before her head swung to the very real man lying in bed next to her.
Gibbs had at one time hated cats. They were arrogant creatures that demanded their way, swiped at you when you did something they didn't like and showed little interest in the others around them unless they needed something. All of which was why he'd hesitated to take on the blasted animal waking him up from his rule breaking dream. Still it had shown up on his doorstep half-starved, one can of tuna later and they'd reached a manageable peace. It was moment's like this he regretted his decision. Eyes still closed he reached out to pet the furry beast and instead came into contact with silky soft skin. The following feminine gasp drowned out the meowing cat that darted off the bed, paws making quick time over his bare midsection. His eyes flew open only to close again quickly when the light of morning hit him square in the retinas.
Ziva watched the way Gibbs' hand reached out and ran its way over her thigh in terrified fascination. She must have made some sound that sent both the cat running and Gibbs' eyes startling open. She saw his eyes wince at the bright light and almost laughed. Instead she pulled the sheet tighter around her pretending not to notice the way it slipped lower on his hips and reached over to pull the curtain over the window. For a moment she was back in darkness, could almost believe she was dreaming again. It was the delicious tingle throughout her body that told her this was no dream. Somehow she managed to find her voice, buried in her dream world and yank it out of her enough to say his name. It wasn't the one she expected. "Jethro?"
He was certain he was no longer dreaming, the cat's less than gentle claws had made quick work of that. Yet she was still in front of him looking decidedly well-loved. Her eyes were wide a reaction he was sure to the use of his first name. It didn't surprise him as much as it should have; she said it every night, in every dream. Still he knew he wasn't dreaming any longer, the air held the faint hint of a chill, her perfume and their lovemaking. "Ziva?" he watched her flush when her name came out rough and full of need. The color washed over her body in a wave of entrancing color. He followed that color as it made its way down her thigh to where her knee brushed his. Her voice finally broke through what was left of the dream splashing down like cool water.
"I am in your bed Jethro." Ziva heard the bald words and wanted to reach between them and grab them back. That wasn't what she'd meant to say at all.
"Kinda hard to miss Zi." The sheet she was holding slipped just a bit at the endearment, revealing a bit more golden shoulder. The blush renewed itself slipping over her cheeks and staying there as she looked at him from beneath long dark lashes. A flash of something made him think of those eyes looking up at him from an entirely different position.
Ziva let one hand run through her hair, twisting a lock around her finger as she tried to find the right words this time. She opened her mouth to speak, then closed it when no words would come. He shifted in the bed his hips inching ever so slightly up on the sheets as he propped himself up against the pillows. Her hands clenched tighter into the fabric she was holding.
Gibbs watched in fascination as her tongue made a slow lazy trip across her lower lip, before her teeth nipped at the same. He had to take a deep breath as his mind filled with the image of her mouth doing the same across his cock. That memory was real, not the slide show from a dream. He was even more sure when his body reacted and her gaze snapped to his hips, mouth parting slightly. Then those lovely brown eyes were sweeping their way back up to meet his filled with need.
"We played poker." Ziva heard the inane words slip form her mouth and wondered what had happened to her fluency with languages. His soft chuckle ran through her where their bodies still touched, causing a shiver of pleasure to walk its way down her spine.
"Did more than that. But yeah we played poker." It was hard to remember the night before had started out so simple, just cards with the team. She shook her head gently, her mahogany colored tresses dancing around her shoulders.
"I just need a moment, to remember." Ziva was fighting the way the dreaming she was used to warred with the reality she couldn't but wanted to believe. Had last night really happened?
"I don't take advantage of drunken women Zi; you were sober when we walked up here last night." She blushed again and he tried to think of any other way he might cause that rosy color to taint her skin. Last night it had been far too dark, but he was fairly certain if he placed a kiss just on the inside of her knee he might see it again. Instead he settled for teasing her. "Though you probably can't call it walking as much as stumbling. I'm pretty sure most of our clothes are on my stairs." He knew the reality of why she was still stumbling over her words. The way she'd pounded out her frustration into his pillow told him all he needed to know. It was a faint memory from just before coming full awake but he understood it. He hadn't been the only one dreaming lately.
Ziva felt a rush of desire push through her lungs escaping with a rush of air. She remembered the feel of his heartbeat beneath her fingertips from just moments ago. Looking down at the hand that had released the sheet in shock she was reminded of the feel of him in her hand, in her mouth. The dreamlike state slid away and she was thrown back to the night before.
Ziva rinsed the last of the dishes and loaded them into Gibbs' dishwasher just as he stepped back into his kitchen.
"Hey, you didn't have to do that." Gibbs watched her wipe down the counter with the same efficiency she did everything else.
"I know I did not but you were walking Ducky to the car so I had the time." She threw a few bits of trash away then leaned against the counter. "The guys did most of the work."
"Only because you lectured them about last time." Gibbs grinned, moving to the coffee pot he poured himself a cup and lifted the carafe in silent question.
Ziva nodded in acceptance. "Yes thank you, unless I should go?"
Gibbs watched her eyes skip away almost hiding the fact she wanted him to ask her to stay. By way of answer he poured her cup of coffee and carried it into the living room. As she had when she'd come in earlier in the night she gave it a good looking over. "Something wrong Ziva?"
"Why do you sleep here at night Gibbs?" the question slipped out before she could stop it. When his eyes widened in surprise she almost apologized but the words stuck in her throat.
Gibbs was thrown by her boldness. "How do you know where I sleep Ziva."
Ziva felt the heat of a blush crawl up her neck, hoping he would attribute it to the fire she sat so close to she bit her lip. "Pillow, blanket does not take a trained agent to figure it out. I apologize it was a rude question I have no right asking." She both hated and loved the fact he slept on the couch. It spoke to a loneliness that made her ache for him but that same loneliness told her he didn't share his bed with anyone.
Gibbs saw it was more than just a random question for her. It had meaning and as he watched her look into the flames he wondered just what kind of meaning. "Sleep doesn't come easy, I clean my guns, read, whatever till I think I can sleep. Sometimes I make it up stairs sometimes not." He left out the part the nights he made it to his bed he dreamed of her and slept the best. The pillow and blanket on his couch hadn't been used in a long time. "And an empty bed is a lot bigger than sleeping alone on a couch." He should have left off that last part. But the risk was worth the reward when her eyes shot to his desperately trying to hide a wanting he hadn't expected. She wanted him, as much as she tried to hide it the blatant truth of it flashed at him like a neon sign. His hand clenched tighter on his coffee cup. He hadn't seen it, had chalked up everything he'd wanted to see as her friendship. He hadn't entertained the thought any of the subtle glances or soft touches could mean she really wanted him.
Ziva sipped her coffee slowly watching it dwindle nearly to the point she would have nothing left to do with her hands. His response had made her entire body come to attention, every nerve ending sparked at the confirmation he slept alone. She feigned a laugh, "I doubt Gibbs that you have to sleep alone unless you choose too." Ziva hadn't been blind to the occasional way Gibbs would let his eyes linger on her, the way his hand would trace the back of hers as he handed her something. Still watching the calm way he sat back against his couch she found it very hard to believe he saw her as anything other than the woman he worked with. It was inevitable to flirt with the people around you as much as breathing for some people.
Gibbs chuckled "Ziva I am not Tony I don't go out hunting for women. I'm not exactly young either; women aren't knocking on my door." He took another risk setting his coffee down and moving to crouch next to her. "Except you that is."
Ziva looked away from the red-orange flames to the icy blues eyes that followed her into sleep at night and saw questions, questions she was afraid to answer. She stood up moving quickly toward the kitchen "I want more coffee." She stopped only when his hand encircled her wrist tugging gently.
Gibbs turned her to face him setting down her cup next to his, the gently clink of ceramic startling her. Beneath his touch he felt her pulse jump, his finger stroked gently and the beat pulsed again. "Is that all you want Ziva?"
Ziva almost forced her way free from his gentle touch, but his question was so heavily laced with desire she was forced to look at him. There in his eyes she could see the same agonizing need she fought every day. Later she would wonder how she had missed it all this time. "No, I do not want coffee. I want you."
The admission that whispered from her lips was obscenely loud to his ears, shocking him with its truth. He wanted to say something, respond with words that would ease the slight uncertainty he saw there. Instead, he found himself pulling her into his arms mouth claiming hers.
The curtain drew back on the rest of the memories of the night before. He was watching her waiting for her to respond to his words. For a man so sure of himself so much of the time he looked at her with just the faintest hint of uncertainty.
She bit her lip, watched his eyes darken before she could continue. "I thought…I was confused when I woke up. I did not mean to imply you had taken advantage of me. I have no regrets about last night."
Gibbs felt relief, sighed it out on a yawn that was well earned. "Glad to hear it. I don't either." She still sat across from him holding the sheet against her skin. Whether conscious or not her free hand traced small circles on the exposed skin of his knee, a small shiver of pleasure raced up his thigh.
Ziva felt her own relief at the resounding truth in his words. "It has been a long time since I have woken up in a man's bed." She saw something smug and primal cross his face and almost laughed. "It was….." she frowned unable to find the right word.
Gibbs crossed the distance between them by simply leaning forward. "Surprising, disconcerting, pleasurable? If you're asking me any of the words fit. Morning Ziva." Her eyes dilated as his hand wrapped around her waist pulling her into his lap. His body was already rock hard ready for her, even through the sheet her warmth threatened to scorch him, much as it had the night before. When her head fell against his shoulder he was taken back into that fevered trip up the stairs.
The kiss had left them both breathless, short broken breaths piercing the night air. She'd looked up at him need and confusion warring in her eyes.
"Perhaps we should think this through before we go any further." She moved away from him walking toward his door moving as though the devil himself were nipping at her heels. He'd pulled her back to him just as the door had opened.
Wrists trapped in his hands he turned her to face him. "If the answer is no Ziva, then feel free to leave, but if you think waiting is going to make this easier or make it go away… I've fought it for long enough I can tell you that it ain't going away."
As he pushed her up against him his body told her he spoke the truth, it hadn't been just her wanting, needing. "I thought it was just me….I did not know." Her words faltered when he let one hand slide along her hip pulling her impossibly closer.
"Didn't know I wanted you too?. Did a better job of hiding it than I thought. But damn if I didn't think about this a lot. Almost embarrassed myself a few times thinking about touching you, tasting you wondering what you would feel like underneath me." His words must have been the last thing her control could take because in an instant her mouth was taking his, a demanding response to his statement. Equally as demanding he moved her backward. His hands pulled at her shirt tossing it behind them as they moved closer to the stairs. Not one to be left behind she had his hitting the first step in only seconds. The slid of skin against skin had him pressing her against the steps halfway up the staircase. Shoes, socks and belts were lost as he made a gentle assault on her shoulder with his tongue. Making no apologies for his lack of patience he yanked her up and pressed her against the wall. "Hold still."
She looked down as his mouth trailed searing kisses along her stomach till he reached the waistband of her slacks. He intended to go slow, work the buttons free in a way that drew out the moment, but the strangled cry from her throat rid him of that notion. Hands against skin the fabric of her pants slid away from her even as he kicked off his own. Somehow they managed a few more steps before it was his turn to be pushed against the staircase. Only two more steps and they would have at least made it to the wood floors of the landing. Even the rough curve of wood biting into his back would not have made him move just yet. Ziva above him was placing kisses just behind his ear as though by magic she knew that was just how he liked it. With a flick of his wrist her bra fell apart in his hands and he tossed it behind him. Her laugh vibrated between them and made his own, make an appearance.
Gibbs moved his shoulders, a gentle flexing of muscle and grinned. Ziva pushing him roughly down on the steps had left its mark but he couldn't find any reason to complain. He let his mouth slide over her jaw felt her tremble as his teeth grazed the soft skin in the hollow of her throat. Pulling the sheet free from her hand he let his head search lower till one tight nipple rested in his mouth. Her hands landed roughly in his hair as his mouth and hands worshipped each breast in turn.
"Jethro…" his name was a prayer a whisper of sound released on a sigh.
"Yes Ziva?" When she didn't answer he made his way slowly back up her body until he was once again staring in to her eyes.
She blushed, "I do not, I think I just needed to say your name." Ziva let her hands slide down his back, when he winced she pulled back.
"Say it all you want. You said it a lot last night, almost screamed it once if I remember correctly." And there was the blush he'd become addicted to seeing.
"Stop it…..what is wrong with your back?" His eyes sparkled with mischief and he just shrugged, wincing again as he did so.
"You're impatience Ziva it bruises. Thinking I like it." Her eyebrows shot up shock and desire showing itself in the way her hand trembled as it touched his shoulder.
Ziva turned him ever so gently till she could see his back, there between his shoulder blades was a long flat bruise. "I did not realize…"
Gibbs used a roll and flip to pin her underneath him and the blankets. "Worth it Ziva," for the next hour he showed her just how grateful he was.
Tony glanced at McGee trying to decide just how worried they should be. Gibbs couldn't always be counted on to answer his phone which was why they were headed to his place. Ziva on the other hand never failed to answer. When he'd left Gibbs' last night after poker Ziva had been getting ready to leave he drove just a bit faster hoping to hell something hadn't happened.
They were supposed to have had the weekend off, but a nasty case of food poisoning had the other team at home in bed. They hadn't caught a case yet but the chance was there. Not being able to reach either of their teammates had been out of the ordinary. They'd tried all the numbers available to them for both Gibbs and Ziva, when after a good hour of calling had gotten no response they'd decided to head to Gibbs' place.
"Tony, look" McGee's face was grim as they pulled in front of Gibbs' house. His and Ziva's vehicles were still parked in the same spots from the night before, that might not have been a bad thing but the slightly open front door had them both pulling their weapons as they approached the house.
Gibbs had managed to untangle himself from Ziva long enough throw on a pair of jeans. She watched him perched on the edge of the bed, sheet wrapped around her looking decidedly satisfied. He almost couldn't make himself move, even just having been sated by her he wanted more. "Not sure how often we'll leave this room this weekend Ziva."
"Except for Coffee. Rule twenty three. Yes?" she watched him smile and almost pulled him back to her.
"Something like that. I'll be right back, maybe I'll even make breakfast I'm sure you're hungry."
Tony took lead into Gibbs house. As he stepped in the coolness of the living room the temperature told him the door had been open for some time. Looking down he saw Ziva's jacket from the night before lying on the floor just shy of the door, her keys lay haphazardly next to it. Indicating silence he had McGee follow him as he took quiet steps further in. Glancing at the coffee table he saw empty coffee mugs, but the pillow and blanket on Gibbs' couch were still folded. He hadn't slept there last night. Hearing a sound on the steps he turned gun turning with him. His feet almost slid out from underneath him as they hit something soft. A noise on the stairs had him looking back up, gun in hand.
Gibbs came down the stairs picking up bits of errant clothing as he did. Straightening he found Tony watching him gun at the ready.
Tony heard McGee clear his throat and whisper even as Gibbs entered his line of sight. "Ah Tony doesn't look like a break in I'm thinking we should go..like now." He'd come to the same thought as he'd registered more clothing was littering the stairs. Shock hit him even as he holstered his weapon. He was even more shocked when Gibbs looked at him, froze and cast a nervous glance behind him.
Gibbs heard Ziva behind him before he could voice a warning. The shuffle of the sheet wrapped around her gave her away. Looking at Tony he saw the other man knew he had a guest but hadn't registered just who that guest was yet.
Gibbs felt Ziva use her considerable skills and the advantage of having caught him off guard, suddenly he was pressed against the wall of the stairwell. "Just coffee Jethro, I am hungry but not for food." Only as she moved her mouth from his jaw to his neck did Ziva catch a flicker of movement at the bottom of the stairs. Slowly she looked down and caught sight of Tony and McGee.
A sheet wearing Ziva was enough to leave Tony speechless on any day. As she nearly slammed Gibbs into the wall informing him of her not so innocent breakfast plans he wasn't sure he could breathe right. Next to him McGee seemed to be having similar difficulties.
Ziva clutched the sheet she was in real danger of losing around her. Beneath her hand on his shoulder she felt Gibbs straighten and place his hand atop her own. It was a gesture of solidarity, one that wasn't missed by Tony. He looked at her, then back to Gibbs mouth opening and closing with unspoken words.
Tony watched as Gibbs gave him a warning stare and turned back to Ziva. He whispered something to her that had her glancing over towards him and McGee. She shook her head then bit her lip and nodded. Glancing at them again she tightened the sheet around her and headed back the way she had come.
Gibbs finished grabbing the rest of the clothing as he descended the stairs. Still silent trying to hold back anything ugly he might say he dumped the pile into a chair and threw on the shirt he'd been wearing the night before. "Kitchen."
"Jethro." Her voice wafted down the stairs, his name startling all but one of the men in the room. "I have a problem."
Gibbs glanced up the stairs and then both mentally and physically head-slapped himself. Grabbing the pile of clothing he ran upstairs long enough to give them to her.
Ziva took the clothing from him, seeing the worry in his face. "It will be ok."
Gibbs found only a half-grin to offer her. "That's supposed to be my line."
"Go make coffee they will have questions. I will be down shortly." Ziva watched him leave and headed into his bathroom.
Gibbs entered his kitchen to find Tony making coffee and McGee cracking eggs into a skillet. They watched him and he watched them, for a long moment he couldn't speak. Finally he managed some semblance of conversation. "Is there a problem at work?"
Tony wanted to point out the obvious topic that needed discussing but bit his tongue. "Tanner's team got food poisoning. We're back on call. We tried calling you…both of you but nobody answered."
Gibbs turned behind him there on the counter sat his and Ziva's phones. As he looked at them he saw various missed calls. Sighing he ran a hand through his hair.
McGee rinsed his hands in the sink. "When we pulled up to your house the front door was open, you leave it unlocked but not usually open had us worried."
Gibbs thought back to why that door was open and grinned, only McGee's fumbling his fridge door open had him snapping back to reality.
Tony watched Gibbs think for a moment saw a smile he'd never seen before light his face. He wasn't sure what to think of that. "Would've knocked first if we'd known…" Tony didn't finish his sentence when Gibbs almost glared at him.
Gibbs leaned against the counter a loud sigh leaving him. He accepted the cup of coffee Tony handed him. "We haven't been hiding anything." Gibbs had to force the words out. He didn't explain himself to other people, it wasn't in his nature. Had it been anyone else he would have slammed the door in their face and told them to mind their own business. But, this was his team and whether he liked it or not he owed them an explanation. "Last night was the first…" Gibbs took a long swallow of coffee watched McGee and Tony look at each other. He couldn't finish his sentence no matter how much he wanted to.
Tony raised an eyebrow and couldn't fight the small smile. That explained the clothing thrown everywhere. He bit hard at his lips saw McGee turn around and focus hard on the eggs he'd started cooking.
"Something funny Tony?"
"The door was wide open and neither of you noticed kinda figured it was…unexpected." Tony watched Gibbs almost grin. Before either of them could comment further Ziva entered the kitchen.
Gibbs had expected Ziva to be hesitant to join them. Instead she walked in as comfortable as she had been last night. He cocked his head when he saw she was wearing one of his shirts. He wanted to ask but refrained when Tony handed her a cup of coffee. She tugged at the collar of the shirt, it was then he noticed the hints of pink color on her skin. She blushed and stopped fidgeting.
Gibbs had to fight back a growl as he noticed the whisker burn along her neck and jaw. His frustration was less at the actual marks and more that the other men had seen them.
"You should stop glaring, I like it better when you smile." She watched his mouth drop open and then the smile she'd been hoping for.
"Behave." It was all Gibbs could manage in mixed company.
Ziva lifted an eyebrow, fixed him with a stare then laughed "Maybe…for now at least."
Gibbs wasn't used to an openly flirting Ziva, even less so in front of the guys. He was more than grateful when McGee's voice broke through.
"Breakfast, people." McGee set the food on Gibbs table.
"Who knew you could cook probie." Tony had to look away from Gibbs when he flushed at Ziva's teasing. It was so not like the bossman instead he stared at the pancakes, fried potatoes; eggs and bacon McGee had put together and wondered how the hell he'd missed so much.
"That's a lot of food McGee." Gibbs refilled his coffee cup before grabbing a seat next to Ziva at the table.
"Why are the pancakes shaped like hearts?" Ziva watched both Tony and Gibbs look at the perfectly formed stack of cakes on the plate, then back to McGee.
McGee served himself up a plate then fixed both Ziva and Gibbs with an amused look. "It's Valentine's Day, figured you knew."
Tony watched Gibbs head snap up, his eyes found Ziva he glanced at his watch then back to Ziva. As one Tony watched the two of them grin at each other. Then Gibbs slid a plate toward Ziva. "Sure could use the protein."