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.
Chapter 21: The Advice
"Hey, Kate! Glad to have you back!" Abby exclaimed as she passed by Kate's desk.
Kate smiled warmly. "Thanks, Abby."
Ducky soon followed. "Caitlin, it's good to see you again. I'm so sorry about your father, my dear."
"It's good to see you too, Ducky. And thank you." The two continued on their way, and Kate turned back to the sketchpad on her desk. She penciled in a few more lines and smiled.
"Good morning, Kate!"
Tony was far too cheerful. Kate narrowed her eyes. "What's going on, Dinozzo?" she asked suspiciously.
"I have no idea what you mean, Kate," Tony replied. He set a fresh cup of coffee on her desk, sneaking a peek at her drawing. "I'm just glad to have you back. Gibbs has been extra edgy this past week."
Kate softened. "Oh. Thanks for the coffee, Tony."
"No problem. Just don't expect this kind of treatment every day."
Kate rolled her eyes. "I wouldn't dream of it."
Gibbs walked in, a stack of files under his arm. He dropped them on Kate's desk as he passed by. Kate raised an eyebrow. "And good morning to you, too, Gibbs."
"Doctor was found dead in his office. Ducky thinks it's poison; Abby's running tests. Those are patient files. Sort through them and get back to me. Dinozzo, you're with me." Gibbs said all of this without once looking at Kate.
Before Tony followed Gibbs, he leaned over and asked, "Hey, Kate? You busy tonight?"
"No; I thought I'd just relax with a good book. Why?"
He shrugged. "Wanna hit the basketball court later?"
Kate blinked in surprise. "Sure."
"Great." Tony grinned and trotted after Gibbs.
"Huh." Kate opened the first file and got to work. "Welcome home, Kate."
Tony passed the ball to Kate. "Your turn."
Kate dribbled the ball a bit. She took her shot. It hit the rim and bounced away. She wrinkled her nose as Tony laughed. "I'm glad you find me so amusing, Mr. First String Varsity."
Tony took his place on the foul line. He shot the ball. It swooshed cleanly through the net. He smirked smugly as Kate passed the ball back to him. He kept taking shots until he missed one. "Finally!" Kate exclaimed in exasperation.
"What can I say?" Tony replied. "I'm good."
"And humble," Kate said dryly.
"That, too." He grinned. Kate rolled her eyes.
"I know you had an ulterior motive to this, Tony, and it wasn't just to show off your basketball skills. So ask your question." She smiled as the ball went through the hoop.
"I saw you on TV the other day," Tony said, tossing her the ball.
Kate sighed. "Damn reporters. Jeff had to threaten them with a lawsuit to get them to stay across the street."
"I saw your lawyer friend." Startled, Kate missed her next shot. Tony took the ball and began tossing it in the air. "AJ, huh?"
"Yes. AJ," Kate replied defensively. "What's it to you?"
He caught the ball. "Are you sure you know what you're doing, Kate?" he asked gently.
Kate sighed and sat on the bleachers. Tony followed her. "Not really," she said. She propped her elbows on her knees and leaned forward. "I like him, Tony. I mean I really like him. He's intelligent and articulate, he has a decent sense of humor, he isn't arrogant..." 'Not to mention the sex is great,' a voice in her head whispered. "He flew out to Los Angeles to be with me, Tony. He listens to me. I trust him."
"It sounds to me like you are sure," Tony stated.
Kate smiled slightly. "I suppose it does. We've had our share of fights... spectacular ones."
"But you kiss and make up, right?" Tony smirked. Kate whacked him on the arm and laughed.
"You are such a pervert, Dinozzo! But yes, we do 'kiss and make up.'" Kate sighed. "I don't know how it's going to work out, though," she continued. "AJ has a jealous streak a mile wide. I need my independence, and I don't like men questioning my every decision. We've talked about that, and he is trying. Not to mention our careers." Kate snorted. "Gibbs would kill me if he found out, huh? Conflict of interest and all that."
Tony nodded. "Yeah, he probably would. But you're going to have to tell him sooner or later. Preferably sooner; you know Gibbs doesn't like to have things hidden from him."
Kate scowled and glared at Tony. "Why should I tell him? My private life is just that--private. I don't need to tell him who I'm seeing."
Tony shrugged. "I'm just saying that it would be easier to let him know now than for him to find out by himself. And he will. Especially since you left your sketchpad on your desk."
Kate looked at him in alarm. "I what?!" She dashed out of the gym at breakneck speed.