Summary: After the events of “Left for Dead”, Kate feels guilty for the death of Suzzanne McNeill and her boss. She goes to a bar, in order to get drunk and punish herself for her mistake, but what she finds instead is sweet redemption.
Pairing: Kate/Gibbs
Rating: NC-17
Spoilers: 1×10 Left for Dead

A/N: This story is for all those princesses out there, who are still searching for their prince, hoping that he will be somewhere out there – and that he will come to save them when they need a hero…

Inspired by the song “Somewhere Out There” by Michelle Nicastro.

Rating: NC-17

Explicit sexual content.

 

Attention
This is one of my older stories written before 2009. My style in this story differs greatly, due to lack of experience. One of these days, if I get the time, I plan on revising these older stories thoroughly.

Until then, please excuse the many flaws, and rest assured, I know better now. ;) (Or at least I hope so.)

 


 

She felt his breath, that smelled like smoke and cheap tequila, on her cheek while his hand moved indecently over the round, tight shape of her buttocks. Caitlin Todd downed the contents of the glass that was standing before her on the counter, and felt the burning of the high-percentage alcoholic drink soothe the pain inside her, drowning her reasonable mind in its deadening toxin.

It was her fault. Everything had been her fault. She was responsible for nearly getting the whole team killed – and mistakes were something that she had never been good at dealing with, because she was unable to forgive herself any imperfection.
She could still very vividly remember the way Tony had looked at her, his eyes full of sympathy, while she had been sitting alone and cold, wrapped in a wool blanket, on a bench while being treated by the ambulance.

Her injuries had not been bad, and except for a few slight bruises, she had been alright. At least physically.
Her mind was unsettled and full of guilt. A look into the icy blue eyes of her boss had told her that not only did she feel responsible, but that he thought her responsible as well.

She knew that he had been against her taking Suzzanne McNeill to her place. He had been the one who had warned her not to trust the woman too quickly. But she had ignored all his advises. And the moment, Suzzanne had triggered the bomb, she had realized just how wrong she had been. But that moment it had been too late to save her and the man she had decided to take with her into death.

There was no redemption, nothing to release her of her guilt. She would have to deal with the responsibility for the death of two people for the rest of her life.

So tonight, she did what she had always done when she had made an unforgivable mistake. She searched for punishment.

It had started out in her first year at college. Whenever she had done something terrible, she had gone to a bar. At first she had simply gone there to get drunk. By her final college year, she had started to hook up with strange guys, allowing them to take advantage of her body, to satisfy their own needs and primal lust, while they left her with nothing but physical pain and emptiness inside.

But she preferred emptiness if guilt and desperation were the alternative. It had become her very own brutal cleansing ritual. And emptiness was what she was searching for tonight.

Kate winced at the smell of the breath of the man next to her, her spirit not yet deadened enough to ignore her own disgust.
He had been all over her ever since she had entered the bar. And she was sure that he would be the one to leave with. He would satisfy his needs by using her beautiful body in a quick fuck, and then he would vanish from her life, just like all the other men had, and leave her alone standing against some cold brick wall in a dark alley somewhere in the streets of Washington.
She had come here to search just for that – and she would be getting it. Just as she always did.

Absently, she grabbed for the glass, the man offered her. She had forgotten his name again. George? Jeremy? Something like that… names didn’t matter. They never mattered. They mattered if you were in love, if you were making love. They didn’t matter if you just let some random guy use your body.

The world started spinning in front of her eyes, and Kate grabbed for the counter to get a steady hold. The tequila was finally taking effect. She knew that in another five minutes, she would not even know who she was anymore. Neither would she care for the nauseating smell of the man; or for the disgusting hands that would greedily take possession of her body.

A soft sob escaped her throat when, for just a split second, she wished to find a way out of the darkness. She always made that wish – and there never was a way. There would never be one. This is what hell must be like, she thought, too drunk to really care or be disturbed by the thought. Sadness would only take possession of her the morning after…

“Hey, babe… wanna dance?” George, or Jeremy, rasped into her ear hoarsely and dragged her tiny body possessively against his own. She could feel his already very present erection pressing into her belly through the firm material of the jeans he was wearing.

No, screamed her mind; that deeply hidden part inside her that wanted to wake up from the nightmare.
“Sure,” replied her mouth, her body paralyzed from the pain of guilt that she carried inside.

He nearly dragged her onto the dancefloor, where the air seemed even smokier than it had been at the bar. On a very small area, couples were nearly brushing each other with their sweaty bodies while they were dancing. Cheesy old music filled the atmosphere, coming from an old jukebox. Two old men were standing in front of it, each carrying a handful of pennies while they were quarrelling over the songs to play. Most people were too drunk to actually care for the insults they threw at each other’s faces from time to time. And everybody was too drunk to actually care for the music – except for the two old men fighting over it.

Kate felt herself pulled against the man’s body. He was in his thirties, maybe a couple of years older than she was. And he looked as if he had a family back home, his wife probably having started to tire him some years ago, which was why he went to bars to have a quick fuck with younger women he hooked up with there. He didn’t even bother to take the ring off his finger before hitting on women.

Normally Kate would have been repelled by his behavior, but tonight she didn’t actually care – in this state she was far from any moral thinking. She had become used to the disgust she felt, and had learned to take it as her punishment.
She could feel his round belly pressing into her taut stomach, when his hands moved to the small of her back to press her into him. His face was buried in her hair, but his stomach-turning breath did still reach her nostrils. Fortunately, the alcohol was lulling her mind more and more into a state of indifference and numbness.

“What do you say, babe?” the man whispered, while his hands moved greedily under her skirt and over the naked skin of her thighs. “Shall I show you a good time somewhere? Just the two of us?”

“Mmm…” she nodded affirmatively, knowing where this would lead and already hating herself for it. It was an eternal spiral that went further down with every men she hooked up with. Guilt, Pain and afterwards emptiness and hatred, which would slowly subside after two or three days, leaving her to feel dirty and unworthy.

“I know an alley right behind this bar, where the police never drives by…” he informed her huskily, his fingers grabbing her firm buttocks while her pulled her up against him, his fingers grazing her inner thigh intimately.

“Take me there,” Kate murmured, her eyes closing. She never looked at them. That way she could prevent herself from starting to hate them – or memorizing their faces. She could just let them fuck her and then vanish – like demons in the night that would take pain and guilt with them.

One silent tear made its way down her cheek, falling unnoticed by the persons in the room to the ground.

That was the moment when she felt another presence behind her, a familiar presence. She didn’t know what it was that made her notice him. Maybe it was his warmth, maybe it was his scent, or the way George – or Jeremy – suddenly tensed up. When his low voice reached her ears, a deep part inside of her felt relieved. He had come to save her.
Reality set in only seconds later when she corrected the track her romantic thoughts had taken. He would never come to safe her. He was way to absorbed in his own pain to even recognize hers. Way too professional to see her as somebody else than a coworker, a member of the team he was the boss of.

“Kate, what are you doing here?” his sharp voice cut through the noisy surroundings of the bar.

She half-turned to look at the silver-haired man, whose eyes bore into hers with an indefinable expression.

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“Go away, Gibbs,” Kate murmured and pushed at his chest softly to make him disappear. Wasn’t it enough that he haunted her dreams? Did he have to show up in her nightmares as well?
The fact that she was drunk made her lose balance and she nearly stumbled against him. Gibbs managed to catch her before she could land on the ground. Firmly he held her body in his arms, steadying her.

“Damn, Agent Todd, what are you doing in a place like this?” he growled, half-relieved that he had found her, but also furious about the state he had found her in.

He had wanted to visit her in the hospital, realizing that the events of the previous day must have eaten her up. He had tried to warn her about getting too emotionally involved with their Jane Doe – but she had done so anyway. He had not stepped in, because he knew that the most valuable lessons were those taught by experience. He just regretted that her lesson had turned out to be that bitter.

So he had decided to give her a ride home, and talk to her about it, planning to assure her that he did not hold a grudge against her for acting against his orders. She had done what she had believed was right – and she was willing to take responsibility for it. That was all that he expected of the members in his team – that was why he had hired her in the first place.

When he had seen her sitting on that bench, wrapped into the black wool blanket, he had felt that her world had been shattered. He had read the guilt in her eyes – and he had started to worry about her.

When the nurse at the hospital had later informed him, that she had left against the advise of the doctor, he had suspected something. And when he had not been able to reach her on her cell phone, he had become really worried.
He knew that she was a strong person, but he also knew that she shouldn’t be alone in a moment like this.

So he had driven to her apartment to make sure that she was alright. She had not been there, which had caused him to drive aimlessly through the night.

After one hour of driving through the streets of Washington, he had spotted her in front of a bar, just when she had been about to enter. He had waited in the car, planning to talk to her once she came out, but after half an hour he had decided that it was probably wiser to go in and check on her.
And obviously that had been a good idea for she wasn’t alright at all!

He scanned her appearance, a short skirt and a white blouse and her hair slightly disheveled. Her decent make-up managed to hide the bruises on her cheek, which, he was sure, must still hurt.

He was dragged out of his thoughts by George, who tipped his shoulders. He had, by now, realized that his possibility to have sex was literally slipping out of his arms, and wanted to prevent that from happening.

“Excuse me, man, but I think she asked you to leave!”

Gibbs’ eyes shot from Kate to the man, and he eyed him up and down in a silent threat. He looked clumsy, his face reddening with the upcoming anger of having his prey for the night taken away from him.
Gibbs wondered for a moment if the young woman was blind or just too drunk to realize whom she had practically allowed to make out with her. Or was that kind of chubby, half-bald guys her type?

He decided not to pursue that thought, but focused his attention back on the unbalanced woman in his arms. “The doctors told me they wanted to keep you in the hospital for one night, but you just vanished! What were you thinking?” he accused softly, realizing that arguing with her in her state would get them nowhere.

“Leave me alone, Gibbs!” Kate mumbled once again and pushed his arms, that were lying softly on her waist to prevent her from falling, away.

The elder man’s face hardened when she turned back to George, who shot him a sufficient, almost triumphant smile and silently requested him to leave.
But Gibbs was too much of an alpha-male to be intimidated by a man like George, therefore he just held his glare in a silent warning. The younger man obviously decided that fighting was just a waste of time, therefore he simply dragged Kate through the dancing couples towards the back exit. At the other end of the bar room, out of Gibbs’ reach as he thought, he pulled her against his body to spill once again hungry kisses over her neck, his palms running up to greedily cup one of her breasts through the blouse she was wearing.

Kate squirmed slightly, her body writhing out of his embraces to keep their physical touches to a minimum. Her hands were lying on his shoulders without really wanting to touch him, but she accepted his caresses, her mind getting lost once again in the touches, forgetting the guilt and the pain.

She became totally oblivious to her surroundings – until George was dragged away from her by a forceful grip.

“Hey, what’s your problem?” the man snapped at Gibbs, whose face expression didn’t exactly signal friendly feelings.

“My problem is your attitude! This lady is obviously drunk and doesn’t know what she is doing, and you are planning on taking advantage of that! I am going to take her home now.” Gibbs replied dryly in a tone that didn’t allow any contradiction and made a step towards Kate who was leaning against the wall, observing in a haze the happenings in front of her.

“You are what?” George asked and laughed ironically. “Oh no, I think you are going to leave now – ALONE – before I punch your face, old man!” He gave Gibbs a forceful push with his arms. He couldn’t have done Gibbs a greater favor…

Even through the nearly oblivious haze, her mind was in, Kate realized that this had been the wrong thing to say to her boss – not to mention practically attack him. She knew it before she had even seen the expression in Gibbs eyes. But her reactions were too slow to actually stop things from happening.

Before George knew what was happening, he felt himself flying to the ground, his nose stitching with pain and his mind for a moment lulled into confusion and shock.

“Gibbs, no!” Kate exclaimed and stumbled against the elder man, grabbing his arm. “Stop it… just leave, please! I’m fine! I want this!”

He just looked at her, and then, without wasting another word he grabbed her wrist and dragged her out of the bar through the back exit into the cool air of the night. It was long past midnight and the usual noise of the city had subsided to a minimum. A slow rain had set in and the streets were wet and slippy.
Kate stumbled on the cobblestones of the dark alley, having difficulties to keep up with the man’s speed. Forcefully, she hit his arm to free herself from the involuntary trip out of the bar. Tears were streaming down her cheeks.

“Leave me alone! Let me go!” she screamed nearly desperate.

And then, with a forceful pull of her hand, she managed to free her hand from Gibbs’ grip. But there was too much alcohol running through her veins for her to correctly measure her force, which resulted in her falling backwards down onto the hard, wet ground. She shrieked in shock, barely noticing the pain that shot through her right wrist when it made contact with the hard, uneven stones. It took her a moment to realize what had happened, several seconds which she just sat there on the ground, not making any sound.
Then she started to sob unabashedly, making no attempts to get up again from the dirt.

It seemed like an eternity, before she felt a warm hand on her shoulder and Gibbs’ soft voice filled the night air. He had never been good with crying women, but he could feel that his young coworker was feeling deep pain. That kind of pain that was just too familiar to him…

“Kate, I’m sorry… I didn’t mean to… are you alright?”

Kate refused to look at him. She didn’t deserve this! She didn’t deserve his kindness and his concern. This was right were she belonged tonight, into the dirt. For endangering her colleagues, for not trusting the judgement of the man she usually trusted the most. For nearly having him killed. This was what she deserved.

“Just go,” she pleaded again weakly with a broken voice, while the rain poured down on them, soaking through her thin blouse and skirt. She didn’t want him to see her like this, didn’t want to cry in front of him.

“I won’t,” he simply replied. For moments they just remained silent. It seemed like hours passed by. The rain became stronger, and mingled with the tears that silently streamed down her cheeks.

Then, eventually the young woman lifted her head – only to find that her boss had come to sit on the street next to her. She was shivering from coldness that didn’t reach her consciousness, her make-up completely ruined and her hair hanging in wet strands around her face. But she was not sober enough to care yet.

“What are you doing here Gibbs?” she muttered softer now, and crawled towards him, mumbling “You’re getting all soaked. You should go home!”

“So should you,” he replied dryly, amazed that her primary concern was obviously for his health instead of her own. His eyes were still resting on her. When she didn’t speak, he gave a sigh. “You wanna talk about it? Or at least explain what this is all about?”

“What?” Kate asked and she could read in his face that he was slowly loosing his patience.

“This!” he gesticulated with his hand, indicating the surroundings of the bar. “You.” His eyes locked with hers. Kate shook her head slowly and lowered her head.

“This doesn’t concern you…”

“You’re nearly blown up and then flee the hospital only to visit the worst bar in Washington to get laid by one of the ugliest guys I’ve ever seen? Since you’re one of my agents, it is my concern, whether you like it or not. What were you trying to do in there? Having cheap sex?” he asked rudely, his tone being almost cold when he faced her with the reality of her actions. Usually he didn’t care for the privacy of his colleagues – but somehow Caitlin Todd was different. He always liked to chat with her, although he was not a very talkative man. And tonight he somehow felt that he had a right to know what was going on with her.

“Stop it,” Kate whispered weakly, almost soundless, suddenly feeling dirty and cheap. But Gibbs continued.

“Or were you just too drunk to realize what you were actually doing?”

“Stop it, please!” The voice of the young woman was louder now, more insistent.

“Or is that kind of man just your type and you were looking forward to have him touch you with his dirty hands?” Gibbs snapped back, unable to hide the anger in his voice. In retrospect he didn’t know why he had to make that last comment, maybe it was out of jealousy, he couldn’t exactly define his motifs.

Kate’s head snapped up and with a furious scream she started to hit his chest. “Stop it! Stop it, you damned bastard! Go! Leave me alone!”

He grabbed her wrists and pulled her face close to his, staring into her drowsy eyes. “I want an explanation!” It was neither a request, nor a suggestion, but an order for her to tell him exactly why she had been acting the way she had.
Of course, he already knew what she had been trying. Find some kind of cheap redemption – a way to get rid of the guilt and pain in her heart; just the same way as he had tried to get rid of those same emotions with scotch after his wife and his daughter had died.

But he wasn’t willing to let her make the same mistake as he had and bury those feelings inside her. He wanted her to say it to his face – or yell it, if that was her choice.

Kate tried to wiggle her wrists out of his hands, soft sobs escaping her throat, but there was no way she could escape his steel grip. She cried out in frustration, while tears of rage made their ways down her cheeks.

“Tell me!” Gibbs nearly yelled into her face, and Kate started to tremble. Her body was shaking with her soft, silent crying while she tried to evade his eyes, his body – his presence.
When she realized, that it was futile, she returned his stare; putting on her last defense: a mask of rage and anger.

“You want to know why? Because I nearly got you killed! And two people died. It’s my fault, because I wouldn’t listen! Those two people will never have a chance to come back. I don’t deserve to be treated well! I should be treated like shit… like a damned…” The rest of her sentence died, but Gibbs was pretty sure that she had wanted to say the word ‘whore’.

“So this is your solution? Having your body abused?” he asked, softer than before, but still a certain sharpness lying in his tone.

“You don’t understand the reasons… I wouldn’t expect you to…” she countered and wanted to free her hands, but Gibbs was still holding her firmly. He wanted to tell her that he could understand better than she probably thought – yet he didn’t.
Kate let out a frustrated scream, which caused Gibbs to tighten the grip on her wrists again. “I won’t let you go before you promise not to run back in there!”

“Why do you care? This is none of your business!” Kate screamed at him. “If I want to go in there and have the next best man fuck me against this wall, why won’t you let me?”

Gibbs chuckled somewhat bitterly, but didn’t give her an answer. He had realized that discussing the matter reasonably with her was obviously not leading anywhere – at least not as long as she was drunk. If she had been Dinozzo, he would have given her a good hard slap to bring her to his senses. But Gibbs had never become violent against a woman – and he would never do so.

After a moment of staring at him, she gave up fighting him. Instead she let her body sink against his chest in exhaustion. She was tired of quarrelling. She was tired of lying. And she was tired of darkness. If she just knew where the light was…

When he felt that she had given up resistance, Gibbs slowly let go of her wrists and hugged his arms around her small body. He got up from the ground and pulled her up with him. “It’s alright, Kate! Come on, I will take you home.”

She just stood there in the darkness, pressed against his body with her arms hanging loosely down to her sides. For a moment Gibbs was afraid that she would turn and run right back into the bar – but what she did then was far from anything he would have expected.

Her hands moved up to his neck and pulled his face close to hers, while her lips sought his mouth in a firm and desperate kiss. Her fingers threaded through his hair, then started to travel down over his chest and his firm stomach, while she kissed him fiercely.

“Kate… Kate!” Gibbs managed to mumble in between two kisses, and caught her hands before she could fumble at his pants. Damned, this was what he had always wanted. Her touch had an impact on him that made him feel as if his body had come alive from a long sleep. Yet, he knew that it was wrong. It was wrong with her, and it was especially wrong due to the state she was in. Resolutely, he broke the kiss, fighting to regain control over his voice. “You don’t know what you’re doing.”

“I do…” she whispered against his lips, her tongue darting out to taste his salty skin. “I want you to fuck me!”

“No, you don’t!” he contradicted sharply and softly pushed her away. That alone took all of his mental control. It would have been a lie to claim that he did not want to have sex with her. Part of him had wanted to drag her against him and shag her little body until she was screaming his name ever since he had first met her on Air Force One, when she had stood up to throw cheeky comments into his face instead of just succumbing to his control and taking his orders.
But serving as an instrument in her masochistic way to seek redemption was not what would lead their relationship into a hopeful future.
And as long as she was touching him, seducing him with her kisses and lulling him into her female scent, he knew he would not stand a chance to win this battle against his own body.
He ran one of his hands through his hair, trying to push aside the feelings that their intimate contact had evoked inside of him.

Kate looked at him with somehow empty eyes, then she turned away abruptly. With insecure steps, she stumbled back towards the back entry of the bar.

Gibbs reacted immediately and started after her. He managed to catch her arm and bring her to a stop before she could touch the doorknob. “Kate!”

The young woman turned to face him, tears dwelling in her eyes. “What the hell do you expect from me?”

Two customers, who left the bar just at that moment, shot them a suspicious glance, but then walked them by without interfering. When they were out of reach, Gibbs looked at the young woman in front of him.

He could read in her eyes that she was determined to go through with it and there was nothing he could do to hold her back. Nothing, except…
He pushed the idea aside. There was no way he would give her what she wanted.

The door opened and another drunken man left the bar. He did obviously belong to the two customers from before, for he tried to call after them. Then his eyes were caught by the beautiful young woman and, winking at her, he stumbled against the nearest wall. “Hey, sweetie… wanna take a short walk with me?” he slurred loudly, accompanied by a dirty laugh.

It was the way she looked at the drunk men what finally caused his decision. There was no way that he would let her give herself over to one of these heartless idiots, who would use her body as if she were a whore and then just leave her alone. If she wanted to have sex, she could as well have it with him – that way she would at least be save.

His logic was flawed, he realized that, but logic did obviously not help at this point anyway.
Gibbs didn’t let her turn away from him, but shoved her up the nearest wall and closed her mouth with a firm, fierce kiss.

“If it’s either me or one of them, then me it is!” he informed her gruffly in between two kisses.
Kate sighed when his lips sought her neck and nibbled at the skin right underneath her ear. She closed her eyes and allowed him full control over her body, succumbing to his wild caresses and possessive touches.

Not even aware of her longing to feel more of his body, Kate grabbed his shoulders to pull him closer. Usually, she kept body contact to a minimum, but his warmth felt so good, so safe. Her fingers buried in his hair while his lips worked their way down over her chin and her neck.
Then, all of a sudden, he changed his caresses to slower, more languid. His kisses became more tentative, more seductive, and his hands brushed in butterfly caresses over her body.

Kate whimpered slightly, trying to urge him on by moving her hands down to his pants, but Gibbs grabbed her wrists to hold her steady.

“Too fast!” he whispered hotly against her skin. “I will not just fuck you against this wall!”

“Why not?” she asked hoarsely against his chin. She breathed in his fresh scent, a mixture of rain and coffee, something that evoked images of wildness in her brain. “Isn’t that any man’s dream? Sex without commitments…”
Her hand cupped his erection through his pants and he couldn’t help but moan.

“Katie!” he warned, fearing to lose control over himself. But the woman didn’t listen. She gave a throaty little giggle, while her hands fumbled to open his pants, and when she had succeeded, she bit his lower lip harshly. The wave of pain that rushed through his body made him lose it. With a low, primal growl, he closed her mouth with his, lifting her body up against the wall with strong arms. She steadied herself by slinging her legs around his waist and for a split second he thought that she was way too familiar with this position, wondering how often exactly she had punished herself this way.

The rain was still pouring down on them, their clothes being completely soaked through by now, but neither of them cared.

Gibbs pressed her against the wall with his hard kisses until she was left panting – whether it was due to arousal or due to lack of oxygen, he couldn’t exactly say.
One of his hands reached down between them. She was not wearing panties.
Damned, if he had still been reasonable enough, he would have yelled at her, but right now he was delighted to find easy access to her female core. His fingers moved over her folds, pinching her clit sharply.

It drew a small whimper from her and she let her head fall back against the wall, her lips forming a silent ‘oh’. One of his fingers dipped into her, and he felt her hands grip his shoulder.

“Yes,” she whispered desperately. “More, please!”

God, she was beautiful like this. Better than in any of his dreams. Gibbs groaned into her hair, that was still smelling of smoke and her peach-shampoo; a weird combination, but an incredible turn-on for him at that moment.

“Come on,” she whispered into his ear. “Do me!”

She was manipulating him to get what she wanted, he knew that – but at the moment he was too lulled into her scent, the feel of her body and the sexy sound of her voice to stop.
Part of him was aware that she wasn’t physically ready yet, but her encouragement drove him crazy. Impatiently he freed his erection from its prison in his pants, and pushed himself into her slender body with a deep strong thrust, groaning into the skin of her shoulder.

Instantly, he felt her whole body tense and her hands fisting on his shoulders, and realized at that moment that he must have hurt her.

“Yes, that’s it…” Kate whispered with a shaky voice against his cheek, slowly getting accustomed to the pain, and leaned her head back so that the cold rain hit her face. Gibbs leaned his forehead against the cool stone wall next to her head, his breathing uneven.

“God, Katie, I… I’m so sorry…” he murmured and wanted to let her down instantly, but she held him in place.

“It’s alright!” she whispered. “Please, finish! It’s what I want!” Her lips moved along his cheek and sought his in a hot open-mouthed kiss, which he soon turned into a slower one, his tongue slipping into her mouth and starting a seductive game with hers.
He started a series of slow, sensual kisses, and all the while kept their lower bodies, which were still joined, still.

She was supposed to enjoy this, and damn, he would make her do so. He was determined to make her writhe against him in need and pleasure.
Slowly, sensually, he mimicked with his tongue the movement their lower bodies would soon perform until he felt her sigh into his mouth.

He knew she was searching for redemption, some way to release the guilt inside her, but he would not help her do so by hurting her. Softly, he bent to her ear, nibbling at the lobe while he felt her relax against him more and more.

“It’s not your fault.” He whispered shakily into her ear, running one of his hands through her dark hair. “Suzzanne deluded you, there was no way for you to know that this woman was going to kill herself and her boss.” A soft sob reached his ear and she moved her hands to his neck to pull him closer. “She killed herself, Katie. It was not you who killed her…” His lips bit her neck and she moaned sensually.
“Yes, that’s it.” His voice was hoarse and soothing. “Stop punishing yourself. Let me love you instead, Katie.”

Her body gave a soft, involuntary jerk against his, when his teeth scratched her collarbone, causing him to slip deeper into her wet folds. They moaned in unison, and with a triumphant smirk, he repeated the caress.
Weakly, Kate tried to thrust against him with a prolonged moan of arousal, but the fact that she was pinned between him and the wall didn’t exactly give her much room to move.

“Please,” she pleaded hoarsely and buried her face in his wet hair.

The man took up a slow and sensual rhythm, enjoying the weak moans that escaped her throat and mingled with his own. Only when she picked up the pace, he allowed himself to thrust into her faster. He noted with delight, that her breathing became shallow, and this time it was with certainty not due to pain.

“That’s it, beautiful,” he whispered hotly against her lips, capturing them in a short, deep kiss.

“Gibbs… more…” she panted, and it was the first time that she whispered his name, her whole being willing to remember tonight and this man who could evoke those wonderful emotions inside of her.

“More?” he asked playfully against her skin and reached between them to pinch her clit. She gave a soft scream when her body jerked involuntarily at the unexpected pleasure. “Like that?” he asked hoarsely and she moaned in reply. He kept up his rhythmic caresses of her clitoris while he thrust in and out of her, enjoying her increasing moans, that soon turned into needy little whimpers.

Eventually he lost control and thrust into her hard and fast, unable to keep up a steady pace. But the way she writhed against him told him that it was just what they both needed. He supported himself with his arms against the brick wall left and right to her head, while she had slung her arms around his shoulders. They were as close as they could get with their clothes on, and only seconds later, he came hard, spilling his hot semen inside of her.

When she felt the warmth filling her, she lost it as well, and climaxed with a surprised whimper, her walls convulsing rhythmically around him.
They were both panting heavily, when they came down from the heights of their orgasms, both reluctant to move their bodies.

Slowly, their sexually drugged minds became aware of their surroundings again. The rain was coming down hard now – not that either of them really cared……

Eventually, Gibbs pushed himself away from the wall, carefully setting the young woman down, making sure she was standing safely before he loosened the grip around her waist.

Still trying to measure her breathing back to normal, Kate leaned back against the wall, stroking a wet strand of hair out of her face.
When the afterglow of her release subsided, she felt not only her body sober up, but also her mind. Thoughts about the consequences of her actions washed over her.
Damned, she had practically coerced her boss into having sex with her in the cheapest way there was. She gave a tortured moan and held her hand to her forehead. How should he ever respect her again?
Nearly running a few meters away from the wall, she brought distance between them.

“Hey, you alright?” Gibbs asked worried after he had rearranged his clothes. One look into her eyes when she lifted her face to him made him understand that she had just realized what she had done – what they had been doing.

“Oh God,” she whispered and turned around embarrassed. “Gibbs! I didn’t mean to…” she rearranged herself, desperately searching for her professional self, but it seemed gone. “I am… This was…” She stopped talking in lack of a decent apology for her behavior.

“Incredible,” he offered, suddenly determined to not let her get away that easily. He had wanted her since they had first met. And now he had had her, and he still wanted her. It was not, as he had always thought, a childish longing to possess something he couldn’t have. It was more.

“What?” Kate asked almost soundless, hesitating to turn around. She felt deeply satisfied from her orgasm. But also scared to her very core. This was exactly why she never slept with men she knew when she wanted to seek distraction.
Now she had slept with her boss – and behaved like a slut. “Oh God!” she moaned, and her voice betrayed that she was close to crying. “Gibbs, I can not say how sorry I am. I wasn’t… I mean… you were not meant to… oh!”

She gasped in surprise, when she felt her back pulled against his body all of a sudden. “You are trembling,” he whispered against her hair. “Your clothes are soaked, you will catch a cold.” He pulled off his jacket and placed it tenderly around her shoulders. It was somehow futile since his jacket was just as soaked as her own clothes were, but the simple gesture warmed her heart. She turned around and looked at her feet insecurely.

“Thank you,” she whispered.

He placed his hand under her chin and lifted her head so that she was looking at him. The expression in his eyes took her breath away. There was no arrogance, no triumph, no disgust and no anger. Just softness and concern.

“Come on,” Gibbs murmured and rubbed her arms to keep her warm. “I’ll take you to my place and brew you a hot, strong coffee.”

Their glances melted for a moment, when Kate realized that he was not regarding her as a cheap slut. She didn’t know how he could possibly still respect her, but decided to try and trust him – just because she always had.

“Alright.” She affirmed softly, and followed him as they strolled towards the main street. Silently, they walked side by side, their hands brushing accidentally every now and then.
Eventually, Kate hesitantly touched his fingers with hers, her hand seeking for the warmth of his. And, very softly, he captured her hand in his, holding it while they were walking. A silent promise to catch her whenever she was going to fall again…

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

It was already noon when Kate woke up the following day, lying on a king sized bed, wrapped into soft sheets that still carried the scent of the previous night. For a moment she did not know where she was, before the happenings of the previous night returned to her mind.
She was lying in his bed, naked. More and more details from the previous night returned to her conscious mind.

After they had reached Gibbs house, he had taken her inside, and while she had been taking a long, hot shower, he had brewed her a hot, strong coffee. She had drunken it, sitting in one of his ‘go-marine’ shirts that was too large for her in his kitchen, while he was taking a shower as well. By the time he returned, she had sobered up completely.

Since they had left the alley, they had not spoken one word, just looked at each other and very tentatively sought the closeness of the other.
Kate didn’t know what had gone through her mind, but when he had entered the kitchen, she had gotten up and ran her hand through his still wet hair. The scent of a typically male shower gel was still surrounding him and all she had wanted to do was to touch him to feel his warmth.
And then, all of a sudden they had been standing in his kitchen, kissing languidly.

One kiss had led to another, and then to a series of hot, open-mouthed explorations. Kisses had led to touches and clothes being discarded. And eventually, they had made love again in his bed, this time soft and very slow.
They had taken hours to explore the other’s skin with their lips, their teeth, their hands. And when they finally collapsed on the bed, both sweaty, exhausted and incredibly satiated, he had made her come two more times.

She didn’t know how it had been possible. She had not been aiming on repeating the experience of having sex with her boss when she had agreed to come with him to his place, but then it had just happened, and neither of them had fought the emotions.

Kate stretched her sore muscles and yawned with relish.
Then her eyes fell longingly on the empty place next to her on the bed. He was gone; of course, he was an early bird. She doubted that he ever slept more than four or five hours – he most likely couldn’t, due to all the coffee he drank during the day.

Slightly awkward, she sat up, covering her nakedness with one of the sheets, while she looked around in his bedroom. Finally she had a chance to take a closer look at it. It was decently furnished and didn’t look as if he made use of it very often.
If she could believe what Tony had once said, then he was sleeping most of the time down in his basement on some work bench anyway. He probably was down there working on his boat right now, she thought remorsefully. She guessed there would just never be a way for a woman to take the place of his boat.

Kate got up from the bed and went to the small bathroom that was connected to his sleeping room. After she had thoroughly brushed her teeth and combed her hair, she returned to the bed.

She was just thinking about how to leave his house discreetly, when the door opened. With a hint of surprise openly displayed in her eyes, she looked at Gibbs entering the room with a glass of water and a box of aspirin in his hands. A soft smile played around the corners of his mouth when his eyes fell on her.

“Morning.”

“Hi,” she returned and smiled almost shyly. Before she could think of an appropriate thing to say, he had leaned down and kissed her softly on her lips. It was the most intimate gesture she could think of in a moment like this.
She felt as if butterflies were set free in her body, when her whole stomach started to tickle. With an appreciative ‘mmm’ sound, she closed her eyes.

“Hangover?” Gibbs asked softly against her lips after he had thoroughly rediscovered her mouth with his tongue. She nodded slightly embarrassed, and he handed her the glass of water and the box of aspirin.

“Thank you,” she whispered. “Just what I need now.”

“Good,” he smiled and returned to the empty place on the mattress, stretching out next to her. Kate swallowed the pill and emptied almost the whole glass of water, then she turned her head to him, realizing that he had obviously been watching her. His hand reached out and moved languidly over the naked skin of her arm and her back, tracing her spine. Kate shivered slightly, much to his delight.

“You’re not working on your boat?” she asked throatily, more a statement than an actual question.

“Nope.” He answered and eventually pulled her down against his body. “How could I, with such a beautiful woman in my bed?”

Her heart made a jump when she heard those words. Kate closed her eyes, and rested her head on his warm chest. His arm wrapped around her naked body tenderly to keep her close to him.
Lost in her thoughts, her fingers played with the soft hair on his chest, before she lifted her head to look into his blue eyes.
He let one of his hands run through her tousled hair, and she smiled dreamily.

The sun warmed her naked back as she laid back down on his chest and closed her eyes peacefully.

“Thank you,” she whispered softly. “For not just leaving me there last night.”

“I could never do that,” he replied seriously, “Especially not to you.”

For a long time they both remained silent, just reveling in the other’s touch and the feeling of the other’s skin against the own. Then, all of a sudden, Gibbs broke the silence.

“How often have you done that before?”

She knew what he was referring to; and she had already expected the question to come up at one point or another.
She wanted to tell him that it had been different with him. That he meant something to her and that, contrary to other nights, she wanted to remember their night forever – but she couldn’t. Not before she knew how he felt about her.

“Kate,” Gibbs requested, softly forcing her to look into his eyes, when she didn’t answer his question. “How often?”

“I don’t know,” she finally admitted almost soundlessly, embarrassed to have this conversation with him. “Maybe ten or fifteen times…”

“Why?” he asked, shocked that he had had no idea. That he had not been there those last time to protect her from hurting herself. All those times in the office she had seemed so strong, so tough. And yet she had buried all that pain inside of her.

“Because I… it… it eased the guilt inside of me.” She murmured finally and evaded his eyes. “It made me feel as if I had paid for my mistakes.”

“Did I make you feel like that?” he asked, almost afraid of her answer.

Her soft hazelnut eyes met his when she shook her head. Her hand went to his cheek and softly touched his skin.

“No… you made me feel as if it was okay to be flawed. As if it wasn’t that bad.” She admitted lowly. For an endless moment, he just looked into her eyes, fascinated by her admittance.

Then, out of the blue, he flipped them around abruptly, claiming her lips in a hot kiss full of promises.

When they parted a few moments later, they were both breathing shallowly.

“Next time,” Gibbs started, while he nibbled on the skin of her cheek and her jaw line, “you feel guilty of something, don’t go to a bar. Come to my house.”

She squirmed when his teeth scratched the sensitive spot under her ear and her hands flew to his hair.

“I will… I definitely will,” she promised, her voice hoarse with uprising desire.

“And not only if you feel guilty,” he clarified, biting her softly and enjoying the soft sighs that she made. “Whenever you feel like it…”

“Does that include tonight?” she asked and he lifted his head, his eyes expressing the mock-professional threat that she had become so used to when they were in the office.

“What exactly made you think I would let you leave my bed before the weekend is over?”

She laughed, and it was light, full of relief and joy, as she realized at that moment just how much she loved him – how much she had always loved him.

When his lips reclaimed every part of her body, she closed her eyes, enjoying his touches, his closeness and the warming light of the sun.

The darkness was gone.

~ End ~ (July 18, 2007)