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.
"I find that I have quite a bit of time on my hands," Kate replied, placing her wine glass on the table. AJ shot her a look. She met it with equanimity. "It must have been recently, for it to hurt so much."
AJ clenched his jaw. He began, "Why don't we start with Marcella, my ex-wife? She was the daughter of the mayor of Naples. We were both young and impulsive. She didn't realize how dangerous the life of a Navy SeAL was, and left me after less than two years of marriage. She took my little girl with her." He laughed harshly. "Ironically, she married a Mafia mob don."
He stood and began pacing. "You know, let's skip the string of one-night stands. Next... let's see. Laura Delaney, a federal judge. She was separated from her husband when we met. Intelligent, independent, and headstrong--a lot like you, Kate. A man started killing the men on my old SeAL team. Laura ended up dying in my place--stepped on a landmine on my front porch. I watched her die on the operating table."
Kate sat in silence as AJ continued angrily. "Then there was Sydney Walden. She was an urologist. Wonderful woman; well, except for the bit about her drug-dealing son. She refused to believe it. Ended our relationship with a 'Dear John' letter sent via registered mail.
"And then there was Meredith." AJ sighed and stopped by the window. He crossed his arms over his chest. "Good Professor Cavanaugh. Shakespeare scholar. Amateur psychoanalyst. And adulteress." AJ snorted. "No, wait. She wasn't an adulteress. We weren't married yet. We had been engaged for eight months... together a full year prior to that." He turned so he was fully facing the window. "Tell me, Kate, why do you think I don't trust easily?"
She nodded. "I see."
"What? That's it?"
She stood, eyes blazing. "What do you want me to say, AJ? That I think those women are fools? Because they are. That I wish that hadn't happened to you? Because I do. I don't know what to say beyond that."
AJ turned slowly and met Kate's eyes. "That's more than enough."
"Good." She started to sit again, then changed her mind. "You know what? No. I do have more to say." AJ raised an eyebrow when she paused. "AJ, in case you hadn't noticed, I'm not asking for a wedding ring. Hell, I'm not even asking for a long-term relationship, if that's not what you want. I'm offering..." Here she seemed to struggle. "I'm offering... affection. Stability. Intelligent conversation. Companionship, AJ, both physical and emotional. We live in one of the most populated areas in the country, yet most of us are cut off from all human contact once we leave the office. I need someone to talk to as much as you do. I'm not modest. I know my own worth. I can survive without your friendship--I don't need it. But you see, AJ, I don't want to just survive--I want to thrive. That's the whole reason for friendship, for human connection."
AJ gazed at Kate in amazement. "You ever think of becoming a lawyer?"
"Yes, actually," she replied. "I did one year of law school and hated it."
He shook his head. "Too bad. That was one hell of a closing argument."
She refused to let him change the subject. "So what do you say, AJ?"
AJ couldn't help but smile. "You are a bewildering, astonishing, extraordinary woman, Caitlin Todd, you know that?"
"Yes; but feel free to tell me whenever you want." She grinned cheekily, and AJ laughed.
"You have yourself a deal."
She nodded. "Good."
She held out her right hand to shake. AJ took it, then changed his mind. "I have a better idea." He stepped toward her. She smiled and leaned in. Their lips met.
Kate sighed when they broke apart. "Gives a new meaning to the phrase 'sealed with a kiss', doesn't it?" AJ just smiled.