Kate held back a scream as the woman disappeared into thin air. She did scream as the bullet--her bullet--tore through flesh. Gibbs shouted in pain and dropped to the ground.
Not caring that she was leaving herself open to attack, Kate sprinted over to Gibbs. "Oh, God. Oh, God, no," she whispered.
Gibbs was pale. Kate wasn't sure if it was from pain, shock, or just the moonlight shining on them. "Gibbs, I'm so sorry," she said as she yanked her sweater off. She pressed it to the wound in his side. Gibbs gasped in pain.
"I'm sorry, I'm sorry," Kate repeated. She didn't realize tears were rolling down her cheeks until Gibbs raised one hand and weakly brushed them away.
"Hey. Never say you're sorry, remember?" he said. That damn smirk of his appeared, even through the excruciating pain she knew he was going through.
"Shut up, Gibbs. I just shot you, damn it. Shouldn't you be pissed at me right now?" 'If not for shooting you, then for letting the suspect escape?'
"Nah," he smirked again. "You warned me when we met that you were destined to shoot me--remember?" They locked eyes. Memories flooded Kate's mind.
"You ever worked a crime scene, Agent Todd?" He raised an eyebrow.
"I am a Secret Service agent," she replied hotly.
"I thought not." He smirked.
"Look, don't dismiss me, okay? I earned my jockstrap."
"Yeah? Does it ever give you that empty feeling?"
She blinked. "What?"
"No. Like some species of frogs, I grow what I need."
He shook his head and turned away. "Tony--escort Agent Todd off the aircraft and close the hatch."
"You're not serious," she said incredulously. When Dinozzo took her arm, she shook it off and followed the silver-haired agent up the stairs. "Wait. Okay--okay! Your team. But only because I don't want to delay us further by having to shoot you." He smirked. That smirk was already beginning to get on Kate's nerves.
He held out his gloved hand. She took it--and shivered. Even through the latex, she could feel the electricity when they touched. His smirk grew as their eyes met. She got the strangest feeling that he was trying to read her mind.
She followed him through the airplane, listening to his excited remarks about the similarities to a movie. Finally, she interrupted him. "I can't risk those plans getting out on the Internet." She really couldn't--it wouldn't only mean her job. It would mean her career in law enforcement. Not to mention jail time.
"NCIS does not leak. These plans get out... you can shoot Dinozzo."
God, this man irritated her to no end! "No, I think I'm destined to shoot you," she snapped. The ever-present smirk turned into a crooked grin. Kate ruthlessly suppressed the wave of desire that washed over her.
Kate smiled slightly. "Do you know how many times since then I've wanted to follow through on that threat?"
Gibbs shrugged. "I don't know. Every day?"
Kate laughed hollowly. "Just about." She applied more pressure, trying to keep the blood from seeping through her fingers. She winced at Gibbs' groan of pain. "I'm--"
He placed a finger over her lips. "Stop apologizing." Kate gazed into his blue eyes. The intense light that usually blazed there was starting to dim.
"Gibbs," Kate whispered brokenly. Where the hell were those Aurors?
"I knew she wasn't you."
"What?" Kate asked, confused.
"I knew... she wasn't you. The other woman."
She knew she should tell him to rest, to save his strength, but she needed to know... "How?"
He smiled softly. Kate knew he was losing too much blood, but was helpless to stop it.
"She didn't smell like you." Kate sniffled at the quiet response.
His eyes closed. "No. No, Gibbs. Don't fall asleep on me. You gotta look at me. Open your eyes, Gibbs," she said, terrified. "Please," she choked out.
His eyes opened slightly and fixed on her face. "Don't worry 'bout me, Kate. I'll be fine."
Distant pops registered in the back of Kate's brain, but she was focused on the man on the ground. "Just look at me, Gibbs. Keep your eyes on me. Don't close your eyes."
Footsteps running toward them. "My eyes have always been on you, Katie."
Shouts of 'Over here!' "Good."
"We need a stretcher! And two men--no Mobilicorpus!"
Kate was jostled out of the way in the rush. She let go of the sweater. Two burly men in Aurors' robes gently lifted Gibbs onto a conjured stretcher and disappeared.
She looked down at her hands. They were a crimson color that she was sure would never wash out. She dropped to her knees and wept.