Two Truths and a Lie
"Never missed a shot with a rifle. Never puked from drinking too much. Never kissed a man."
Kate has no idea how the hell she ended up holed up in a corner of this dive playing two truths and a lie with Gibbs, but it's not actually the weirdest thing that's happened to her since she joined his team, so she's doing her best to go with the flow. "Um. Third one."
Kate blinks. "You what?"
"You were wrong. Drink up."
She really doesn't know how to ask when and where and why he ever kissed another man. She keeps thinking she has Gibbs figured out, and then he throws her a curveball and she's back in the dugout wondering what happened. She takes a sip of her drink and shrugs.
He levels a faux-stern (she hopes it's faux) glare at her. "Your turn."
She's reasonably sure this is at least in part Abby's fault. Because look, if Abby hadn't twisted Gibbs' arm, he probably wouldn't have come out for a celebratory drink with them in the first place, and the silly games were definitely Abby's idea. And Abby somehow starting a silly game and then dragging Tim and Tony off on the thinnest pretext imaginable?
Kate's starting to think that this is Abby's not-very-subtle way of trying to make Kate do something about her stupid, wildly inappropriate crush on Gibbs. Gee thanks, Abs, leave me to make a complete fool of myself.
"Um." She's running out of things to say that aren't gonna make her blush. Because look, Leroy Jethro Gibbs might be absolutely fine with admitting he's kissed a guy (her mind's a little blown about that, if she's honest), but Kate's still pretty gun-shy when it comes to spilling her own secrets.
"Um... I have a rose tattooed on my hip. I hate the dentist. And I'm allergic to cinnamon."
Gibbs laughs, properly laughs, throws his head back and laughs at her.
"It's not a rose." He winks. "And it ain't on your hip."
She frowns at him for a moment, then blushes so hard she thinks she's gonna burst into flames. Oh God, she always thought he was pulling her chain, but now she has Gibbs grinning at her, eyes twinkling and crinkling with his amusement (which, by the way, is far too attractive), and oh God oh God oh God, he knows. He's... seen? Mortification sweeps over her in an implacable wave. "Oh, God." She buries her face in her hands.
Gibbs chuckles, nudges his shoulder into hers in a friendly sort of a way. "Hey, could be worse."
"I could be Tony."
She can't help it, a giggle bursts out of her and she nudges him right back. "Okay, you're right, it could be worse." She peeks out from between her fingers. "How do you know?"
He cocks an eyebrow at her. "You sure you want the answer to that question, Kate?"
There's a moment where their eyes lock, and Kate has to swallow hard. Gibbs' expression is a blatant challenge, she's pretty sure he'll really tell her if she pushes, she's got liquid courage right here, and for a second she honestly considers it. Then she tears her gaze away. "I, um... I'll cherish my ignorance," she says at last.
For another long moment, there's silence between them, and it somehow seems much louder than the background noise. Kate still doesn't dare look up, but eventually manages to say, in a voice that's hardly shaking (a minor triumph), "I think it's your turn again now."
Gibbs merely shrugs, his shoulder bumping hers again, then continues like there's nothing weird going on. "I love silent movies, I'm gonna burn my boat soon as it's finished, and about once a week I consider sending DiNozzo back to Baltimore PD before one of us loses it and does him permanent damage."
Kate laughs, and the tension is broken. Maybe that's why he said it. "Okay, I'm sure the third one is true," she says.
"I love Tony, don't get me wrong - and don't you dare tell him that - but I've gotten seriously close to pulling a gun on him."
Gibbs smirks, but doesn't confirm or deny.
"No one else would burn a boat they spent so long making, but you might just be crazy enough. Honestly, Gibbs, that's a whole lot more believable than you watching silent movies. That has to be the lie."
He smirks harder. "Wrong. Dead wrong."
"Really?" Kate can't keep the scepticism out of her voice.
"Kate, do you have any idea how relaxin' it is after a day of you and Tony and McGee bickering to watch a movie where no one says a damn word?" Gibbs nudges her again in that friendly way. "Bit of peace and quiet. Worth its weight in gold."
She scowls at him, although she suspects it's not a very effective scowl, and takes another mouthful of her drink. "I swear you're cheating, Gibbs."
"Just good at seein' bullshit." He winks. "And sellin' it, so it seems."
Her scowl really doesn't seem to be working. He's way too entertained. "So which one isn't true? The boat? It must be the boat."
"Ahh, that'd be telling."
He smirks. Insulting him is so... unsatisfying.
(It occurs to her he might be more insulted if she called him something nice. If she told him he can be really sweet occasionally, then... well, that wouldn't fit in with his whole hardass image, right? What if she made one of her truths 'I think you're a nice guy under all the machismo'? How would he react to that?
She might end up saying something more than she means to, though, so she reluctantly shelves the idea for consideration when she's stone cold sober and less likely to make an idiot of herself.)
Play it safe. "Um. I..." She almost says 'I really like the colour of your eyes,' but that might be even worse than the nice guy comment. She clears her throat. "I love cats, I wanted a pony when I was a kid and I carry a gun even when I'm wearing a really short dress." The last one tumbles out without thought, and then she hears what she just said and wishes she could rewind time thirty seconds. She didn't mean to avoid complimenting him by putting that image in his head.
(It's just as well Tony isn't here; she'd never hear the end of it.)
Gibbs smirks again, eyes bright with amusement. She tilts her chin up defiantly. There's no way in the world she's going to admit she wishes she could take it back.
"Too easy, Katie," he says. "Come on. Know you better'n that. Second one." He winks. She blushes. She's so bad at this. "Drink up."
She decides not to query the nickname, and not to think too hard about why she's not querying it. "Gibbs, are you trying to get me drunk?"
He grins, one of those rare, heartfelt grins with no sarcasm in it, the ones that take a decade off his face and remind Kate he's a really attractive man. "Nah. Tipsy, maybe." He blinks slowly. "You can let your hair down a little, Kate. Ain't gonna tell," he adds, in a voice as smooth and dangerous as the bourbon he somehow goaded her into trying.
She swallows. "Oh." If she were having this conversation with anyone else she can think of, she'd be sure it counted as flirtation, but this is Gibbs, so she has no idea what to make of it. Especially since she apparently knows much less about him than she thought, whereas he seems to have her so neatly pegged with so little effort.
"I'd never take advantage of a lady with a thigh holster," he continues, in that oh-so-dangerous tone. God, he really is flirting, isn't he? Or else she should give in her profiler credentials, because she's truly terrible at this. She stares at him in silence, mouth gaping open, and he looks way too pleased with himself. She doesn't trust it an inch.
Eventually, after a much longer pause than Kate is at all comfortable with, he gets a more serious expression on his face. "My turn again?"
There's another long pause; Kate tries not to actually fidget. Gibbs is studying her face like he's memorising it. She's both self-conscious and kind of... spellbound by his expression.
Then in a low, warm voice, he says, "Katie... you are one of the most beautiful women I've ever met, I've wanted to kiss you since Air Force One, and... I think I'm in love with you."
Kate just stares at him. "What?"
He doesn't explain, doesn't take it back, doesn't move out of her space. Just... waits.
Kate's mouth is as dry as the Sahara. She clears her throat a few times; she can't seem to catch her breath, and if Gibbs would just back off a little maybe she could think, but he doesn't, and she can't make herself want to push him away. "I- I have no idea which one of those is a lie, Gibbs. Um, maybe the third one?"
He's still looking at her, intense, intent, way too far into her personal space and making her want to hide and want to throw herself at him. Eventually he opens his mouth. "I fucked up." His voice is soft still, despite the curse.
"How?" she breathes.
He moves in even closer, reaches out a finger to push her hair behind her ear; when he speaks again, she can feel the exhalation against her skin. "'Cause all those things are true."
She would swear her heart actually skips a beat. "Oh," she says.
His eyes flicker down to her mouth, and she can't help but lick her lips, in nervousness, in anticipation. He smiles slightly, meets her gaze again.
Kate can't take the tension, can't take wondering, can't take waiting for him to do something, so she doesn't. Instead, she leans in, tilts her head up and insistently presses her lips against his.
He laughs, but the kiss is warm and firm and tender, and he slips a hand into her hair. He doesn't push, and she doesn't either, but still, it makes her heart thrum in her chest like it's trying to catch up on that beat it missed, and she lets out a needy sound when he pulls away.
It takes her a second to open her eyes again, but Gibbs' are still closed. He has a smile on his face she'd almost characterise as serene. When he finally blinks his eyes open, his smile widens, and she wants... well, she wants to climb into his lap and eat him alive, for starters.
They stare at each other. Kate's kind of... relieved that the sexual tension simmering between them all this time wasn't just in her imagination after all. She's (almost) sure; no one kisses like that unless they mean it, right?
Then he says, "I should go," and Kate is wondering (not for the first time) what she missed.
"What?" Okay, so she is a self-confessed failure at reading men, but even for Gibbs, isn't it a little weird to disappear after a kiss like that?
"Don't wanna be a regret," he says, and his voice is quiet and gentle, a voice she doesn't often hear from him. "Don't wanna be something you wake up and wish you'd left well alone."
"You won't be."
He rests his forehead against hers and touches his thumb to her bottom lip for a second. "Better safe'n sorry. Giving you time to think." His smile turns into a slightly cheeky grin. "Some things're worth being patient for."
He draws back slowly, gets up, hovers. He looks like he's having an internal debate about doing the sensible thing.
"I meant what I said, Katie."
She blinks up at him.
"'M not screwing around."
"So maybe I can give you a call tomorrow?"
Kate can't help giggling despite herself. Gibbs, on a phone call, discussing feelings? She can't imagine anything less likely. "Or you could maybe just come around?" she suggests.
He searches her face. "Yeah?"
Another smile, one that lights up his whole face. "I can do that."
"'M gonna go. 'Fore I change my mind and do somethin' stupid."
Or we could go together, and you could do me. She thinks it, but she can't quite say it.
"Tomorrow? Come early."
He laughs and leans in to press a soft, fast kiss to her mouth. "Can't wait to find out if you have any other tats," he says with a smirk, and then he's turning and walking away like his butt is on fire.
Kate watches him go, then buries her face in her hands to cover up the blush and laughter and disbelief. She kinda sorta has a date with Gibbs tomorrow. She might even get to find out what tattoos he has...
She may owe Abby a thank you after all.
~ fin ~