"You okay, Katie?"
She blinks up at him owlishly, looking a bit more than half asleep, but valiantly trying to keep her eyes open. "'M fine."
All bundled up and curled into a ball this way, she's very... it's not a him word at all, but the best adjective Gibbs can come up with is 'cute'. He figures as long as he doesn't say it out loud, he's probably safe.
Sitting in a car in a DC winter, in the dead of night, and not being able to put the heat on because this is supposed to be covert? Not the most fun ever. He feels slightly bad for roping Kate into the nighttime shift, but she's by far the most appealing member of his team when it comes to sharing an enclosed space for twelve hours, so she drew the short straw - or rather, was handed the short straw - and for his punishment, Gibbs is now forced to watch her shiver.
"'M cold," she mumbles. Aw, hell. He reaches over and picks up her chilly hands in his, chafes them lightly. She makes a grateful noise which most definitely does not penetrate straight to his gut, where it absolutely doesn't throw a party with his mingled feelings of guilt and affection. Nosir.
Why isn't she wearing gloves, anyway?
"Where are your gloves, Kate?"
She shoots him an embarrassed glance from under her eyelashes, and no, it's not adorable, damnit. "In my desk."
"Why are your gloves in your desk and not on your hands?"
"'Cause... 'cause I forgot."
Oh, fuck, it is adorable. He bites the inside of his cheek hard so he doesn't give in to the various temptations he's faced with right now. Never date a coworker. Romance between agents never works. She's too damn young for you, Gunny.
Brushing her bangs off of her forehead and shaking his head down at her with an involuntary smile he's already chastising himself for, he tries to figure out how to survive the rest of the night without Kate freezing or him improperly propositioning her.
They're hunkered down in the back seat for extra inconspicuousness, if that's even a word, and Gibbs isn't 100% convinced it doesn't look more suspicious, if anyone were to notice their figures back here, to have two people in the back seat who aren't - well, making out, frankly. But orders are orders, and if he and Kate were to start making out, he's pretty sure the surveillance part of this exercise would be so very compromised it wouldn't matter if it seemed more believable to passersby. Assuming she didn't just slug him in the mouth, but even if she did... it would pretty much screw up the operation anyway, just in a different way.
She's still shivering.
Against his better judgement, he sighs and holds his arm out invitingly. "C'mere." He tries not to read too much into the eager way she slides over and snuggles into his side. She's cold, that's all.
And hey, snuggling? Might not be as convincing as making out, but probably more so than sitting stiffly on opposite sides of the car. The fact he can feel her hair against his cheek, the warmth of her cuddled up against his chest? Just a bonus.
"'Nks." She mumbles it into his jacket and he can't help but smile.
Suddenly, he really, really hopes nothing comes up and they stay on stakeout all night.
All. Damn. Night.
~ fin ~