Title: Rhapsody in Blue

Author: Shannon/Raindrops on Roses

Rating: PG
Category: General

Disclaimer: I do not own any of these characters. They belong to DPB, CBS, Paramount, et al. "Rhapsody in Blue" belongs to George Gershwin. I'm just borrowing the title.

Spoilers: A bit for "Sea Dog", but not major.

Author's Notes: I was watching "Sea Dog" again a few days ago, and I got the inspiration for this little piece after seeing Kate drawing a sketch of Gibbs.


"Hey, Gibbs, what's your favorite color?" I look up from my computer as Tony asks this.

"What?" Gibbs asks in exasperation.

"What's your favorite color?" Tony repeats slowly.

"Why do you want to know that?" Gibbs replies. I resist the urge to laugh.

"Just curious," Tony says innocently. "I've known you for two years, and I still don't know what your favorite color is." To tell you the truth, now I want to know the answer.

Gibbs is still glaring at Tony suspiciously. I shake my head and smile. Those two are too funny together.

"Blue," he says eventually.

"Ah," Tony nods slowly. "Not green? 'Cause I would've thought--" Gibbs throws him a glance, and Tony, eyes wide, turns to me. "How 'bout you, Kate? What's your favorite color? I'll bet it's pink, right?"

I roll my eyes at him. "No. Actually, my favorite color is blue as well." I turn back to the monitor.

"Why is everyone's favorite color blue? Personally, I like red." Tony begins to explain the reasons behind his choice.

Blue, huh? Tony's right--I would've thought Marine green. I shrug and go back to my report. I try to focus, but my mind is racing. Blue...


A month later, I sneak into the office early. My heart is pounding wildly. Whatever possessed me to do this?

I love to draw. I always have. Granted, I'm not very talented, but it's just so... visceral. Capturing life on paper is so appealing to me. Tony would probably rag on me endlessly if he ever found my sketchbook--particularly that portrait of Gibbs. God! Where the hell did that come from? I should've just stuck with still lifes or landscapes--like the picture I'm placing on Gibbs' desk right now.

Ah, the joys of computers. The day after Tony's inane 'favorite color' question, I ran a database search to find out Gibbs' birthday. Okay, I know it was an invasion of privacy--so shoot me. He certainly wouldn't have told me.

That weekend, I drove out to my parents' place. They have a great place in Pennsylvania--a bit long of a trip, but worth it. Mom was delighted to see me. When I pulled my sketchpad out of my duffel bag, she asked if she would ever get to see one of my drawings. I answered, "Maybe someday." My drawing is for me.

I hurried down to the pond behind the cabin. It shimmered and sparkled in the daylight. I knew it was beyond me to get that on paper--but I tried. God, how I tried. I must have gone through ten sheets of paper that day. Finally, around dusk, I got my final draft down in pencil. The sound of crickets chirping was loud as I made my way back to the cabin.

When I got home, I pulled out my oil pastels. My hands shook at first, and I took a deep breath to calm down. I closed my eyes, bringing to mind the serenity of the gently rippling pond.

Have you ever tried to create a picture using only one color? You have to be so careful of shading, of nuance, to get the right feeling across. But, of course, you have to do that with every painting. Blue. I used so much blue in that picture, my fingernails were stained blue for days. Tony asked me what I had been doing. I just ignored him.

Now, I'm sneaking into the office to put this brightly wrapped gift on my boss's desk. Not too brightly wrapped, though--Gibbs doesn't seem the type to appreciate that sort of thing.

I carefully set the picture down--don't want to break the frame. I glance around to make sure nobody has seen me. Good. I casually walk away, and go down to the cafeteria to grab a cup of coffee.

Half an hour later, I take the elevator back up to the bullpen. Tony is at his desk.

"Hey, Kate, who'd you think left the big man a present?" he greets me.

"Good morning, Tony. It's nice to see you, too. How are you doing today?" I say sarcastically.

He grins at me. "I'm doin' great. How 'bout you?" I roll my eyes and sit down. "So... who do you think left the gift?" he presses, gesturing at Gibbs' desk.

I shrug--casually, I hope. "I don't know. Is it his birthday?"

Tony gets a panicked look on his face. "Oh, crap! I can't believe I forgot!"

"Chill out, Tony. He probably doesn't want to be reminded anyway," I tease.

"Who doesn't want to be reminded of what?" a voice behind me interrupts.

I freeze. "Oh, nothing. Just having a little fun messing with Tony." He scowls at me.

Gibbs says, "Well, quit messing around and get to work. We have three reports due today..." he trails off. He looks at his desk confusedly. I find that I am unconsciously holding my breath, and let it out slowly.

"So... who's it from?" Tony asks, standing behind Gibbs.

"I don't know," he says absently. He carefully tears open the wrapping paper. I covertly watch out of the corner of my eye. My heart almost stops. He actually smiled. Gibbs almost never smiles.

"Oh, wow," Tony says as the paper falls away. "Look at all the blue. I think I'm getting dizzy. Who gave you that, Boss?"

"Like I said, I don't know." Gibbs raises an eyebrow at me, and I quickly look away. Damn. Caught.

He carefully places the picture against the filing cabinet. "Let's get to work. It's Friday; I'm sure you don't want to be stuck here until midnight tonight."

Tony smiles. "You got that right!"

I just shake my head. Some things never change.