Category: AU, angst, romance, general
Spoilers: Through "Twilight"
Disclaimer: Don't own 'em, never will.
She squares her shoulders and prepares for battle. She's faced off against Jethro Gibbs before. The man is clever, and knows how to keep her on her toes.
He bursts into the interrogation room. Her client startles, and she rests a hand on his arm.
The agent's scowl slips for a moment when he notices the woman at his suspect's right. "Miss Todd. Protected any hitmen recently?"
She smirks. "Agent Gibbs. Imprisoned any innocent sailors lately?"
Blue eyes meet brown. Kate ignores the stirring in the pit of her stomach, and opens her briefcase.
She retches for the third time that day. Exhausted, she hauls herself up from the bathroom floor, rinses her mouth, and shuffles back into the living room.
She hates being sick. "Damn you, Tim," she mutters. The Marine was the one who gave her the flu. She almost smiles at the memory, but the room spins, and she sits before she collapses.
She fumbles for the remote. Maybe she can find something on TV to distract her from how horrible she's feeling.
She stops on ZNN. Air Force One is lit up by hundreds of lights. A reporter stands by what is obviously a blue screen, a microphone in her hand. Kate pales as she listens.
She'd tried to convince Tim to take one more day off. The doctor would've been more comfortable with it. But no, his damn Marine pride got in the way.
Kate vomits again, tears running down her face.
"Romance between agents, Kate." A pause. "It never works."
"You speaking from experience?" She stands her ground, despite the piercing glare.
He scowls. It's an expression that would send most agents running, but she just raises an eyebrow. She didn't back down when he wanted to take over her investigation (even though he eventually did anyway), she's not going to do so now.
"Yeah. I am."
The words are terse, as always, but there's something behind them--some infinitesimal pause, some shadow in the face--that makes her simply nod and accept the answer. For the moment, anyway.
"Tony, don't be an idiot. Give me the letter."
"Oh, come on. You know it's for me. It's sealed with a kiss." He grins, and she resists the urge to slap him upside the head. No wonder Gibbs does it so often.
"There is no return address. It could be dangerous. Give me the damn envelope..." She trails off, and his grin starts to falter. "...Before I sneeze on you."
He grimaces and drops the expensive envelope. "Fine. Take it." He returns to his desk, muttering about germ warfare.
She snaps on a pair of latex gloves and carefully slides a letter opener under the flap.
As the letter slips out, she notices white powder coating the shiny inside of the envelope.
"Gibbs!" She sends her boss a stricken look. He pauses for a fraction of a second, then starts yelling for everyone to get the hell out of the office.
"I just got shot at point-blank range, Tony, how do you think I feel?"
Damn, her chest hurts. She wouldn't be surprised if she'd bruised a couple of ribs.
"You did good, Kate." Praise--from Tony? Has the apocalypse arrived?
"I hate to admit it, but... DiNozzo's right." The smile on his face makes the pain worth it. God, she'd been so scared she wouldn't make it in time.
She grins back happily. "You know, I thought I'd die before--"
Her words are cut off as Gibbs jerks like a puppet pulled on invisible strings. Only, instead of strings, it's a single bullet through his skull.