Category: Drama, Romance, JAG/NCIS Crossover
Spoilers: Through "One Shot, One Kill" (NCIS), "Crash" (JAG)
Disclaimer: These characters belong to DPB, CBS, Paramount, et al. No infringement is intended.
Author's Note: And now for something slightly different... Tony's POV!
Chapter 20: The Discovery
Tony channel-surfed. The normally light-hearted Abby had gotten annoyed by his constant badgering, so she handed him a remote and sent him to a television set in the corner.
Daytime television sucked. People actually watched this crap?
He voiced this thought, and Abby replied, "Apparently. You're watching it, aren't you?" Tony made a face and quickly changed the channel.
He had been trying to avoid Gibbs all week. He went in to work, did his paperwork, bothered Abby during his lunch break, and left as soon as he possibly could. Without Kate, work was nearly unbearable.
Tony hadn't realized how dependent he had become on her witty banter to get through the day until she had gone to Los Angeles. Tony couldn't even bring himself to joke about it. That would show exactly how strongly he felt.
Oh, he wasn't in love with her--he was sure of that. But he certainly didn't think of her as a sister. Tony wasn't blind--he realized that Kate was an attractive woman. But he did love her. She was a great friend. She had helped him survive the wrath of Gibbs many times, hadn't she?
Tony stopped on ZNN. It must have been a slow news day. For some reason, they were showing a squirrel jumping from a roof. He rolled his eyes. Suddenly, a clip caught his attention.
"The funeral for advertisement mogul William Todd was held today..." The camera panned across the family climbing out of the limousines.
"Son of a..." Tony breathed as the news anchor continued speaking. "Hey, Abby! Come here for a sec." He didn't tear his eyes from the screen. Abby sighed, but walked over.
"In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to Big Brothers/Big Sisters of America."
That was it. Tony turned to Abby. "Did you see it?" he demanded.
"See what?" Abby frowned.
"Kate's lawyer friend was there," Tony said flatly. "A lawyer named AJ," he muttered. "I should've known. Kate doesn't do anything halfway, does she?"
"Wait," Abby said, holding up her hands. "You've lost me, Tony."
He looked at Abby wearily. "Do you know who the Navy JAG is?"
"Of course," Abby replied. "The top lawyer in the Navy. Right now it's Admiral..." She trailed off, realization dawning.
"Admiral Chegwidden. AJ Chegwidden." Tony shook his head. "Gibbs is going to kill her."
AJ turned onto his side. He couldn't sleep.
What had possessed him to fly out to Los Angeles in the first place? Kate had family to be with her. He barely knew the woman, for God's sake. So why had he dropped everything to be with her at the slightest sign of trouble?
He snorted. Barely knew her? He had slept with her. Okay, so maybe he did barely know her. AJ didn't laugh at his own wit.
Grace Todd had been a gracious hostess, showing him to a room adjacent to Kate's. In fact, a bathroom connected the two rooms. She had located a pair of sweatpants and a t-shirt that belonged to her son. The t-shirt was a bit small for his broad shoulders, but the pants fit fine.
The house was large--Kate hadn't been kidding when she said there was plenty of room. AJ had been surprised when he discovered it had three stories--that wasn't something he would have expected in the LA area.
AJ sat up and began pacing the room. Why couldn't he sleep? He had a feeling that something was wrong, and it refused to let him rest.
He heard a noise. He wasn't sure what it was; he only knew it was out of place. He crept toward the door connecting his room to Kate's. The noise became louder. He turned the knob and pushed the door open silently.
Kate stood at the window. Her profile was silhouetted against the night sky. Her shoulders trembled slightly. One hand was over her mouth, stifling her sobs.
AJ walked toward her slowly. The thick carpet muted his footsteps. He stopped just behind her and placed a hand on her shoulder.
Kate turned. Her eyes glistened with tears.
AJ held out his arms, and Kate stepped into his embrace. She rested her forehead against his shoulder and wept. AJ rubbed her back and rocked her as she cried.
Her tears stopped flowing, but neither Kate nor AJ moved. Finally, AJ dropped his arms and took a step back. Kate caught his hand. Her eyes were wide and pleading.
AJ raised an eyebrow in a silent question. Kate's response was just as silent. She pulled him toward the bed and climbed in. She settled in next to him and wrapped her arms around him. She closed her eyes. Her breathing became slow and even.
Why had he come? Because she needed him.
And that was all that mattered.