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The Games We Play (To Deny We're in Love)

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“I’ve gotta go home,” She stands slowly from the bed, mindful of her exhaustion, one handcuff still dangling from her wrist. 

She’s quick as she searches for her clothes, knowing better than to take her time when they wanted her to grab her clothes, change and leave. She wondered if they’d care if she crashed on the couch instead, her legs feeling like jelly, her eyes heavy.

“Not a booty call tonight,” Gibbs mutters from the bed, his voice relaxed in his post-orgasm haze. “Sleep here.”

“But you did call my lab to tell me to meet you here,” She fires back quickly, trying to ignore the weird twinge she felt hearing Gibbs use the term booty call.

“Come back to bed, Abby,” Jen’s voice is more casual, her tone soft as she laid back against the pillows beside him, as if she hadn’t just fucked her younger subordinate into a near sex-coma. “At least let me help with the handcuffs.” She bites her lip before turning back to them, uncertain; when this had first started, she would’ve jumped at the chance to stay over. Now, she wasn’t sure. Jen beckons her with a finger, a knowing smirk on her lips, “Come here.”

She drops her clothes with a huff, sliding onto the bed beside the redhead. Jen unlocks the cuff, and it falls to the floor with a clank . She mutters her thanks, not bothering to protest as Jen strokes her hip, and she curls into the redhead’s side; she’s only slightly jarred when Jen moves over her and she’s left in the middle. Only slightly because she was used to being in the middle when she frequented their bedroom. One of Gibbs’ hands finds her hip, his fingers playing absentmindedly, and she suppresses the shudder that runs through her body. She could handle the random sex, handle whatever fantasy they wanted to delve into for the night, but she couldn’t take the way they were just now acting like she was more than a plaything to them, as if they hadn’t had her handcuffed to their bed, begging for release, not even ten minutes ago.

“I should still…” She starts because even if this was nice, she shouldn’t be there. She should be home or at the very least, putting on clothes.

“Shhh,” he interrupts, pulling the blankets over them, “Sleep, Abbs.” She’s falling asleep before her head hits the pillow, her exhaustion taking its toll.

She remembers the first night it had started. Jen had been the one to extend the invitation to come over, but Gibbs hadn’t objected to her being there. It had been a Friday, a few months ago, January. She remembers because it had been freezing when she was walking to her car. The short drive to his house from the Navy Yard had barely warmed up her hearse, and they’d sat her in front of the fireplace, letting her warm up before even approaching the subject, laying out a set of rules if she chose to accept.

It could only happen on the weekend. There couldn’t be anything going on during the work week because they wanted to keep their work lives and private lives separate, couldn’t risk a call that would interrupt their playtime. That had initially sounded like a jab at her before she realized that it wasn’t.

 It was strictly no strings attached. They were only doing this to scratch an itch, explore a certain fantasy. They were very much happy with their relationship, just wanted to spice things up. That one had stung a bit but she’d ignored it.

Under no circumstances could there be any feelings. She had to treat it like a business deal, act like her heart wasn’t breaking. She compared it to Rule 10 “Don’t get personally involved in a case.” She just had to pretend that she wasn’t falling deeper for them after each meeting; she knew she was failing miserably.

There was to be no sleeping over. This rule went back to the reasoning behind strictly weekends. If there was a case or someone had to come over, they didn’t want anyone to know she was there. She hated feeling like a dirty little secret, hated even more that she just went along with it. She hated that she accepted that it was her role in their not-relationship.

What had started out nearly every other month had become a once-a-week affair. as much as she wanted to say no, to tell them that the arrangement wasn’t working anymore, she knew she wouldn’t. She wanted to lie and say she’d found someone at a club, just to see their reaction. She knew it wouldn’t go over well; she knew it was exclusive between them, that there was a silent rule she was meant to follow.

She wanted to pour out her heart and soul, to tell them that she had already gotten attached, had already developed feelings for them, but she knew she couldn’t. Because then they game would be over, and she’d become too accustomed to the way they felt and tasted; she’d already fallen too hard to let it all go now.

She wasn’t sure why she accepted in the first place. She doubted they would’ve faulted her for saying no. Or maybe that was what they’d wanted all along? She wasn’t sure. Now though, she couldn’t say no whenever they called her. And maybe that had been what they’d wanted all along, what they’d already had before the game had even started: her unwavering submission to them.

She laid awake between them for a long time the second night they’d allowed her to spend the night. They blamed it on the storm and her lack of wardrobe (though really, if they hadn’t interrupted her clubbing night, she would’ve been fine). The storm is loud, the thunderclaps wild and the lightning holding a dangerous edge to it. The rain beat loudly against the windows. It was relaxing, yet she couldn’t sleep.

She wasn’t sure how much longer she could do this. They slept so peacefully on either side of her, turned towards her, the blankets tucked around the three of them to keep them warm. And yet she still felt the chill against her skin. It was like they were oblivious to her pain, to her yearning.

At work, they acted like nothing was any different, expecting results and miracles from her, rewarding her with cheek kisses (mostly from Gibbs because the places Jen kissed were decidedly for private times only) and Caf-Pow; they both already had her under their spell; they weren’t stupid; they had to know that every string she had was already attached to them.

The dinner invitation she’d received was a bit of a shock. For one, it was a Thursday. They didn’t do things on Thursdays, least of all have dinner. And yet, like with all things involving them, she couldn’t say no. So she’d gone home and gotten changed, let them pick her up. (In a way, it was reminiscent of her birthday dinners with Gibbs).

Dinner had gone well, despite her fears that it might not. It wasn’t like they did a lot of talking in the bedroom, after all. But it was a nice evening out, and the conversation flowed steadily enough. She expected to be dropped back off at her apartment, so maybe it was a bit of a surprise that Gibbs and Jen brought her back to their place. (She really wasn’t sure why Jen had her house in Georgetown other than for show). At the same time, she should’ve expected it. Maybe it was just another fantasy they wanted to explore. Either way, she was already unzipping her dress by the time they’d joined her in the bedroom.

“Not tonight,” Jen’s voice was loud in the silent room, “Get changed and come to bed.”

She blinked, obviously confused. Why even bring her back here if they weren’t going to indulge themselves in a night with her? Isn’t that what she was here for?

Gibbs rummaged through a couple drawers for extra clothes, holding out the green Marine shirt she always wore and the sweats she occasionally wore, “Change.”

Oh, this was definitely part of their fantasy, right? They were just pulling her leg. She finished removing the dress and took the offered clothes, pulling them on and letting her hair fall down her back; when she steps back into the room after removing her makeup, she shivered, cold in the otherwise warm room, feeling their eyes on her once again. 

She watches them from beside the bed as they change into nightclothes, feels her nerves take over as they step closer to her. It reminds her of her first time with them, unsure of anything, but willing to let them take the lead. But it seemed that they really didn’t want to play tonight.

“Let’s get some sleep, Abbs,” Jen’s voice is gentle yet commanding, and she crawls onto the bed, sliding under the covers obediently.

They reach out for her almost hesitantly, and she closes her eyes as they touch her, wondering if this was the game they would play tonight. She almost wants to ask but doesn’t want to break the quiet spell. She waits, wondering if their hands will travel lower, if their lips will leave marks along her collarbone and neck, if she’ll have to cover those up like the others they’ve left before, but they don’t move from where they touch her hips, stroking over fabric and the barest hint of skin as her shirt rides up. It was relaxing and she felt the call of sleep draw her in.

Maybe it was the wine, but she could’ve swore she heard them start to speak as the haze of sleep fell over her.

When she wakes in the morning, it’s to kisses along her hips, trailing the line of black roses she’d gotten as a dare when she was 18. It’s too early to be getting up, her internal clock not set to go off for a few more hours, but if they were awake, then there was no use fighting it.

She fell into their morning fantasy, fell into the role that she was expected to play. Somewhere along the way, she’d accepted it, her place in their lives. During working hours, she was the one that everyone went to for breakthroughs and undiscovered evidence, bubbly and caffeinated and ready for the challenges of the world. But here, in their bed, she was theirs, broken and needy and starved for their touch, desperate for it, willing to do whatever she had to for them to touch her, to love her the way she imagined they would.

The nights out become more frequent. The sex becomes more sparse. She wasn’t sure which she liked more. Obviously they were losing interest if all they wanted to do was wine and dine her. Right? She missed the mindless sex, even if the way they touched her now was gentler compared to the lustful way they’d done before. But she’d liked how much easier the conversation flowed, how much she looked forward to the nights out.

Gibbs is out of town on a case when Jen comes down to the lab and invites her over, five months into their arrangement. She accepts before her mind catches up to her. Why was she inviting her over when Gibbs was gone? She wanted answers but didn’t want to question it, didn’t want her to change her mind.

Companionship is the game Jen plays that night, a need for a warm body next to her in bed. When Jen kisses her that night, three fingers deep inside her while she begs for release, it felt different, less dominating, more open. She kisses her back, coming around her fingers as she rides the shock waves slowly, returning the favor until Jen is just as breathless as she is, as they allow their bodies speak as one. 

Jen doesn’t kick her out like she was expecting her to, and she lets the redhead hold her closer than she ever did with Gibbs there. 

When she wakes in the morning, Gibbs is back, wrapped around her and holding her close, sleeping peacefully. And like all the times before, she falls into her own fantasy as sleeps claims her again, wishing that one day she’d wake up to this being the normal: with them as her lovers instead of her as their dirty little secret.

Jen is in Paris when Gibbs calls her over. It’s been six months since their arrangement started, and like all the times before, she doesn’t refuse. Had she even wanted to, she doubted she could’ve. And this time she doesn’t question why he’s inviting her over with Jen not being there, knowing it was the same reason. They didn’t sleep alone, not like she did every night she wasn’t with them.

Unlike with Jen, Gibbs’ kisses are still demanding, and from the moment she walks through the door, his mouth is on hers, his body pinning her against the door. Not that she would complain, too in love with being his submissive.

She lets out a breathy moan followed by his name as he leaves their clothes everywhere, as he sinks deep inside her. He fucks her against the door, and she claws at his back, trying to get her bearings, to not lose herself in the way he fucks her. He’s like an animal, hungry and insatiable, running on pure instinct. It drives her wild, making her beg for more. More because she couldn’t stop her desire, because she was far too needy for just the one quick fuck, because she needed him.

And when he leads her upstairs into the bedroom, she falls even deeper under his spell. He knew that she would never tell him no, knew that he’d have to be the one to watch her boundaries, to make sure she didn’t overdue herself. Later that night, exhausted, she let him pull her closer, maybe still slightly surprised he was letting her sleep over, his body wrapped around her as she fell into sleep.

Today had been such a stressful day. It was rare that a Tuesday was stressful, but the day was just wearing on her. The evidence was odd and the blood work was taking forever (make that way longer than normal) and she was going stir crazy. She felt like she was going cross-eyed with the evidence. And her lab, while generally a comfort to her, was too much today. At this moment, she just needed to take a break. 

Now, she didn’t normally take breaks outside of her lab since she didn’t want to disturb anyone and she didn’t like being outside much, as she didn’t do well in the sun. But this was one of those moments where being in her lab was too much. Which is how she found herself in the rarely used break room not far from the squad room. The candy bars weren’t bad (except the ones with nougat) but the coffee was horrible. Not a lot of people came in, so she was relatively alone.

She just needed to think. That was all. Five minutes out of her lab, five minutes where she didn’t have to think about work or the evidence waiting in her lab. Which turned into a bad idea because not thinking about work led to her thinking about Gibbs and Jen and the entire situation. The next time they called, she decided, her answer would be no. No more booty calls, no more dinners, no more ways for her to be strung along, getting her heart broken along the way. She was done, over it, totally and completely…

She sighed, running a hand over her face. In reality it didn’t matter what she decided in her head. She was already theirs whether they wanted her or not. She just wished they would see that.

The text comes in as she’s packing up for the night. She grabs her phone and seeing that it’s Jen, she opens it immediately. 

Come over

It shouldn’t make her body ache the way it does, desire pulsating through her. And she wants to tell her no, to push aside her desire and be stronger. But she can’t because she’d already fallen way too hard. She texts back her confirmation and finishes with her nightly preparations before realizing that it was Tuesday. First the random Thursday dinners, now a call to come over on a Tuesday? 

She doesn’t stop by the squad room on her way out like she normally would, just gets in her car and drives to Gibbs’ house. It doesn’t surprise her that Jen is already there. 

Jen meets her at the door and ushers her in with a smile; it’s such a soft smile that it makes her falter just slightly, her heart beat a little bit quicker.

“You okay?” Jen brushes her fingers along her cheek.

She melts into her touch, “Yeah.”

Standing there just inside the door, she felt butterflies and wished, not for the first time, that this wasn’t just some game to them.

“Yeah?” Jen pulls her closer, and she feels her breath catch.

“Jen,” She starts, but then the redhead closes the distance between them, and she loses herself in the kiss. She moved with the older woman as she’s led to the living room, let Jen pull her onto her lap as they continued to kiss. 

Jen’s fingers barely brush her hips, urging her to deepen the kiss, leaving her lips slightly swollen. That’s where Gibbs finds them when he gets home a few minutes later. It’s his hungry gaze that alerts her to his presence, too wrapped up in Jen to have heard him come home.

A series of conflicting emotions seemed to overcome Gibbs as he approached them, and she shuddered as he ran his fingers through her hair, even as she preened at his attention. Their eyes met, and she felt a significant shift in the air.

He sat beside them, reaching out a hand to her cheek, much like Jen had done earlier, “Already broke all the rules, didn’t we, Abbs?” She nodded along as he kept speaking, “Shouldn’t have had them in the first place. Should’ve just asked.”

“What?” she questions, a bloom of hope spreading in her chest slightly.

“We shouldn't have been using you like we have been,” Jen continues, ignoring her question for the moment, “You deserve more than that.”

She makes the realization before either of them say anything, “So you started breaking the rules.”

“But you didn’t react the way we thought you would,” Gibbs replies.

Of course she hadn’t, “I thought it was part of the game.”

“And we thought you weren’t interested,” Jen acknowledged, “that you just wanted to scratch an itch.”

Oh, there were several itches she wanted to scratch right now.

Gibbs kisses her tenderly, and she feels tears in her eyes, “Let us fix it.”

“Mmm,” she whimpers, kissing him back.

She’s barely begun to kiss him when Jen kisses her again, stealing her breath, “We’ll do better.”

Had she truly just been blind to it all along? The more she thought about it, the more she could see the signs. They’d broken the sleeping over rule first; the weekends only rule fell second, and with it, the mindless, no strings sex crumpled; they finally let their feelings out by calling her over without the other there, know that their love for her would be enough. 

“Be ours, Abbs,” Gibbs said, pulling her from her thoughts.

“Please,” Jen added.

She nodded, feeling the tears she’d been trying to hold back start to fall, “I’ve been yours forever.”