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: ANGST warning for the next few chapters!
Chapter 17: The Catastrophe
"Good morning, Kate!" Tony grinned as Kate sat at her desk. "How was your weekend?" His face was alight with unholy glee.
"My weekend was... quite enjoyable, Tony. How was yours?" Kate refused to let Tony spoil her good mood.
This threw the other agent. He was expecting snarky banter, not polite conversation. He blinked. "Who are you, and what happened to my sarcastic colleague?"
Kate smirked. "She needed a rest after her weekend. She'll be back shortly, though." She turned on her computer and took a sip of coffee. After it had booted up, Kate logged on to her e-mail account and started going through messages.
Tony grinned broadly. "You had a very good weekend, huh?"
"What?" Kate asked quizzically. Tony tapped his neck and flashed her his million-dollar smile. Kate's hand flew to her neck. She grabbed her purse and began digging through it. She pulled out a compact and flipped it open. She turned crimson as she realized her makeup job hadn't worked too well. There was a large discoloration on her neck--also known as a hickey.
"So... who is he, Kate?" Tony leaned back in his chair, ready to interrogate his co-worker.
She glared at Tony as she put the compact back in her bag. "That's none of--"
"--My business. I know. That's not gonna stop me from asking, Katie, my girl. Come on. I won't tease you about him. Scout's honor."
"You weren't a Boy Scout."
"How do you know that?" Kate only gave him a skeptical look. "Okay, so I wasn't a Boy Scout. Won't you tell me anyway? Please?"
"What's going on?" Gibbs asked as he walked by, a cup of coffee in his right hand.
"Kate's got a boyfriend," Tony replied in a singsong voice.
Gibbs glanced at Kate. "I can see that." Kate blushed again. "What I fail to see is why it's any concern of yours, Tony."
"Aw, come on, boss--I was only playing."
"Well, stop playing and get to work." Gibbs shot him a patented Gibbs Glare.
"I think I'm going to go down and visit Abby." Kate stood.
Tony perked up. "I'll go with you!"
Gibbs just waved the two away. Kate rolled her eyes as Tony followed her to the elevator. "I'm going to bug you until you tell me who he is, Kate," Tony declared.
"That's nice, Tony." She smiled at him, and he gave her a pleading look.
"One hint. Come on, Kate. Pleeeeease?"
Kate sighed. She really did not need a whining Tony on her hands. "Okay, one hint. He's a lawyer."
Tony frowned. "Aw, come on, Kate--this is Washington. My dry cleaner has a law degree." She smirked and stepped off the elevator. They made their way through the labs to Abby's area. Kate opened the door and shouted over the music blasting from the stereo. "Abby. Abby! Hey, Abbs!"
The technician turned down the volume and smiled at her visitors. "Hey, guys! Come to keep a lonely girl company?"
"Yeah." Tony commandeered a chair. "And to see if you'll help me interrogate Kate on her new boyfriend."
"Kate's got a boyfriend?" Abby turned her eyes to the female agent.
"Yes, Kate's got a boyfriend. Though I wouldn't call him a boy." Kate smirked.
"Oh, so he's older? Good for you, Kate!" Abby said. "So what's his name?"
"You guys! Can't I keep my personal life... well, personal?" Kate exclaimed in exasperation.
"Of course, Kate," Abby agreed amicably. Tony still looked at her with wide, pleading eyes.
Kate sighed. "His name is AJ, and that's all you're getting out of me."
Tony smiled. "A lawyer named AJ, huh?"
"A lawyer? Nice." Abby grinned. "Of course, there's an overabundance of those in DC."
"That's what I said! So... what did he say about your tattoo?" Tony asked. "He has seen it, right?"
Kate blushed as she recalled that particular memory.
AJ traced Kate's hip in fascination. "Didn't this hurt?"
"Hmm?" Kate murmured, her eyes closed.
She sighed as AJ's fingers continued tracing the coils of the snake inked on her skin. "Yeah, it hurt--but it wasn't a bad kind of hurt." Kate smiled. "Besides, I was drunk at the time, anyway. What about you? I didn't see any tattoos... or did I miss it?"
AJ shuddered. "No. I don't have any."
Kate opened her eyes and looked at AJ incredulously. She smirked. "Is my big bad SeAL afraid of an itty-bitty needle?" she cooed.
AJ scowled. "I am NOT afraid of needles!" he barked.
"Suuuure," Kate drawled.
"You'll pay for that, darlin'," AJ husked.
"I hope so," Kate breathed.
"Yeah. He's seen it." She grinned.
"What'd he think?" Abby asked. She winked at Kate.
"I'm not sure. He never really said."
"Ah." Abby smirked and nodded sagely.
"What is your tattoo of anyway, Kate?" Tony asked. She just smiled. Her cell phone rang at that moment, saving her from having to reply.
"Agent Todd," she answered cheerfully.
"Katie! Katie, I--it's your mother."
Kate swallowed. It had to be bad--her mother hadn't called her Katie in years. "Mother. Mother, calm down," Kate said. Her mother only cried harder. "Mom, what is it?"
"It's... it's your father," her mother choked out. "He... he's..."
Kate paled. "What happened to Dad?" Tony and Abby exchanged concerned looks.
Kate heard murmuring in the background. "Mom, give me the phone." She heard the telephone change hands. "Katie?" a familiar deep voice asked.
"Yeah, Jeff. I'm here. What's happened?"
"Kate... Dad had a heart attack last night. He... he didn't make it."
Kate's vision blurred. Her grip on the phone loosened. It fell to the floor with a clatter... one she didn't hear. Her knees buckled. She reached out to catch herself on the desk--only to find Tony right behind her, supporting her. "Kate? What's wrong?" he asked gently. Abby picked up the phone and began speaking into it.
"My... my dad..." Kate stammered. She took a deep breath and gathered her strength. "Can I have my phone back, Abby?"
The woman's ever-present smile was noticeably absent. "Here's Kate." She handed her the cell phone.
"Jeff? I'm sorry, I..."
"I know, Kate." And Jeff did know. Kate had been daddy's little girl.
"I'll go tell Gibbs," Tony said softly. Kate nodded absently.
Abby picked up her handset and dialed a number. "Yes; I need a seat on the first flight you have to Los Angeles, please."
"Is Mom still there, Jeff?" Kate asked.
"Robin's sitting with her. The kids are still in school; we're planning on telling them when they get home."
"Tell her I'll be there as soon as I can, okay? Have you called Lisa yet?"
"Not yet--I'm calling her next. I just hope she'll come."
Kate sighed. "I know. Do you think she'll forgive Dad for siding with Mom?"
"I hope so, Kate. I'm inviting Kelly, too. I don't care what Mom says; Lisa needs her loved ones around as much as the rest of us do."
"Yeah. Look, I need to go home and pack, okay?"
"I'll see you soon, Katie. I love you."
"I love you too, Jeff. Say hi to Robin for me."
"I will. See you soon."
"See you," Kate echoed numbly. She pressed the 'off' button on the telephone. She stood in the middle of the lab for a moment, then shook herself.
"First things first--plane reservation," Kate muttered.
"Already taken care of," Abby said, startling Kate. "You have a 2:15 flight out of Dulles."
Kate swallowed past the lump in her throat. "Thanks, Abby. I'll pay you back--"
Abby waved it off. "Don't worry about it."
Kate nodded. Tony came back into the lab. "Gibbs gave me permission to take you home, then to the airport. And don't argue," Tony said seriously.
Kate bit her lip. "Thanks. I appreciate it, Tony."
"Good. And this way, you'll owe me one." He smiled, but it wasn't his usual cheerful (or lecherous) grin. Kate shook her head. A small smile graced her lips. He handed Kate her purse and coat and led her out of the building.
Kate dialed her cell phone and waited for the line to pick up. "JAG Ops, Admiral Chegwidden's office. How may I help you?" a bright voice chirped.
Kate cleared her throat. "May I speak with Admiral Chegwidden, please?" she asked in a tight voice.
"May I ask who is calling?" the yeoman asked.
"One moment, ma'am." Kate waited to be connected.