Author: Shannon/Raindrops on Roses
Category: Humor, Gibbs/Kate
Disclaimer: These characters belong to DPB, CBS, Paramount, et al. No copyright infringement is intended.
Author's Notes: Response to B. Cavis's Halloween challenge on gibbskateff. Sequel to Rally Cry. The idea for Kate's costume came from the redsox LiveJournal community.
THE B. CAVIS PUMPKIN GUTS CHALLENGE
3) A cauldron
4) A very OOC Abby (no vampires, children)
5) Ducky covered in blood
6) "Wanna be mischievous with me, Gibbs?"
"Remind me again why I agreed to this?"
Abby pulled a costume out of the rack and frowned at Kate. "You agreed that, if the Sox won, you'd go to my Halloween party. I checked online--they won. You're going. Now suck it up and choose a costume."
Kate glared at her friend. "I hate you."
"I know," Abby replied. She held up a costume. "What do you think?"
"It's kinda... uh... pink. Very... pink." Kate was at a loss for words. "And... short."
"It is, isn't it?" Abby said with no little satisfaction.
"You just want to shock everyone, don't you?" Kate asked as Abby threw the short, pink cheerleader outfit over her arm.
"Isn't that the point of Halloween?" Abby grinned. "So what are you going to be?"
"I... hadn't thought much about it," Kate said. Truthfully, she had planned on staying home and watching horror movies all night. Costumes hadn't even crossed her mind until Abby dragged her away from her desk two hours ago.
Abby smirked as she pulled another costume off the rack. "How about this?"
Kate looked at the belly dancer's outfit. "No," she stated flatly.
"Aw, come on, Kate--"
"It's my party..."
"No, Abby. Nein. Nyet. Negative. No."
Abby pouted. "I'd like to see you do better."
A white pinstriped uniform caught Kate's eye. She grabbed it off the rack. An evil grin split her face. "Oh, I will. Believe me."
Gibbs gave Ducky his strongest 'I'm the boss, do as I say' look. Unfortunately, the medical examiner was completely oblivious. He blithely continued chattering away, his latex gloves and the front of his apron covered in blood and other bodily fluids.
"Abby has put quite a bit of time and effort into this party, and she would be quite disappointed if her friends didn't have a good time."
"I don't care, Ducky. I'm not going."
Ducky chuckled. "You say that now, Jethro, but you know that if Abby and Kate decide to gang up on you, you'll end up going. May as well concede the fight now." To the unfortunate petty officer on the metal table, he murmured, "You would enjoy one of Abby's parties. She's a wonderful hostess. I remember a Christmas party she threw... oh, five years ago, I believe. She managed to get Agent Burley under the mistletoe with a nice gentleman from the FBI..."
Gibbs escaped before Ducky could return his attention to his living audience.
When he stepped off the elevator and into the bullpen, he saw that Tony was chatting amicably with McGee. This did not bode well.
"...so what are you wearing on Saturday?"
McGee's eyes widened comically. "Uh... wearing? What do you mean?"
Tony smiled. "Come on, McGee. Abby must've told you that her Halloween party is traditionally a costume party."
"Not... not really." McGee swallowed nervously.
"Well, you'd better get your costume lined up pretty soon. Abby will be disappointed if you show up without one."
McGee looked like he was about to run out of the building and to the nearest clothing store. Gibbs barked, "Dinozzo! Quit harassing McGee and get to work!"
"Sure thing, boss!" Tony replied, hiding a grin.
"McGee, you can worry about a costume later. Get that paperwork done and filed."
"Y-yes, boss," the agent stammered.
Kate watched all this in amusement. "So, Tony... do you have a costume yet?"
"Yep. All set."
"What is it?"
"Because I'm not."
"Give me a hint. Please?"
"I'll give you a hint."
"Fine." Tony leaned back in his chair and looked at Kate.
"Opera length gloves, a purse, a tiara, and purple lipstick."
Tony rolled his eyes. "That's not much of a hint."
"It's not supposed to be. That's why it's called a hint, Tony."
"Still not telling you."
"Would you two stop?" Gibbs snapped.
"Sorry, boss," Tony said meekly.
"Sure, Gibbs." Kate smirked and went back to her computer.
When had he lost control of these people? McGee practically fell on his face every time he walked into the room, and Tony and Kate bickered constantly. Abby called it banter, but Gibbs knew better. It was like what he and his second ex-wife had done just before the divorce.
Gibbs's stomach turned as he thought of Tony and Kate as a married couple, though he couldn't say why.
Gibbs looked at Tony. "A vampire, Dinozzo?"
Tony grinned, showing pointy rubber fangs. "Yup! Wha' d'ya sthink?" The fangs caused him to slur his words slightly.
Gibbs rolled his eyes behind his mask. "I think Abby's going to laugh in your face."
Dinozzo's face fell, but he gamely rang the doorbell. "We'll see."
They waited in silence. A few seconds later, a golden-haired cheerleader opened the door. The two men stared at the woman. "Come on in, guys!"
The gravelly voice jolted them out of their confusion. "Abby?" Gibbs asked incredulously.
"Yeah! You like?" She twirled, making the pink skirt flare.
"Very nice," Tony replied in a strangled voice. Gibbs bit back a smirk. He looked completely thunderstruck.
They stepped inside, and Gibbs did smirk this time, as a football-uniformed McGee watched his girlfriend with the same amount of disbelief. He glanced around the room. Didn't know him... or her... or her... or...
"Hey, Gerald," Gibbs greeted the young man. He was dressed in a nurse's uniform--a female nurse's uniform. He was even wearing a wig. Could this party get any more bizarre?
"Hey, Gibbs. Come to make your short appearance?" Normally, Gibbs would glare or growl anyone who asked such a question into silence. However, he couldn't bring himself to do so to Ducky's former assistant.
"I'm going to get a drink, then I'm outta here." With a swish of his cape (borrowed from Ducky), he made his way through the crowd, toward the punch bowl. Punch cauldron, he mentally corrected as he arrived.
He brushed away a few fake cobwebs that were perilously close to the cauldron, then poured himself a drink. He made another mental notation--find whoever spiked the punch, and give him a raise.
He had finished his first glass, and was halfway through his second, when a piercing shriek split the air--soon followed by laughter. Gibbs looked around for the source.
He had never known Tony could screech like that. Score another one for...
He looked closely at his glass. What was in this stuff?
He looked back, and stared. Kate turned, as if she could feel the weight of his gaze on her pinstriped shoulders. She grinned and waved.
Her lips were purple.
Gibbs forced his way through the crowd. "...are you supposed to be, anyway?" a still-dumbfounded McGee asked the latest arrival. Tony grumbled something about spiders and made a quick exit.
"You can't tell?" Kate asked. She lunged forward into a running position, holding one arm out, her hand up as if she was pushing something away. Gibbs assumed this was supposed to mean something.
McGee's brow furrowed, then cleared. "Oh, my God. Oh, my God." He stared at Kate in horrified amusement.
Gibbs raised an eyebrow. He was still unsure what Kate was supposed to be--but he was damned if he would ask.
"Kate... you do realize that there are Yankees fans here, don't you?" McGee asked nervously.
"Yeah... so?" she asked. "As if they've never made fun of the Sox. Besides, isn't A-Rod such a pretty, pretty princess?"
Gibbs took in the entire outfit. Pinstriped Yankees uniform. Opera-length gloves. Yankees hat with a tiara on it. Nice black purse. Sequined sneakers.
He supposed that Kate wasn't about to destroy Abby's floor with cleats.
"Princess A-Rod." McGee shook his head. "Does Abby know about your costume?"
"Yeah. She helped me find all this." One gloved hand gestured to her outlandish outfit.
"Very nice, Agent Todd," Gibbs murmured. Disturbing as hell, but nice.
Mental Note Guy was starting to get on Gibbs's nerves.
Kate turned. "Thanks," she grinned cheekily. She took in Gibbs's costume. "Very nice, Gibbs. I always liked the Phantom of the Opera."
"Yeah, well, it was the only costume I had," he muttered gruffly.
"It suits you."
Gibbs hated feeling unsure of what to say. Fortunately, Abby made it to their little group in time to save him from replying.
"So... everything set, McGee?"
"It's been set for three hours." A strange look of... complicity? ...crossed the lovers' faces.
"Great." Abby gave a decidedly devious smirk.
"What are you two planning?" Kate asked warily.
"Oh, don't you worry about a thing, Kate. Just remember that you were a big, big help in this."
Kate shook her head. "Uh... look at the time! I gotta get home. I'm expecting a phone call." She backed away from Abby and bolted for the door.
Or she would have, had Tony not decided that this was the right time to return with two full glasses of punch.
Fortunately for Tony, the punch missed Kate.
Unfortunately for Tony, the punch soaked Gibbs.
The partygoers fell silent. Only the pounding of some unidentifiable music was left.
Gibbs glared at Tony, who said nothing after the single syllable. He extended a hand and helped Kate onto her feet, then removed his cape and shook it out. The heavy cloth reeked of alcohol.
"You're paying for the drycleaning bill, Dinozzo."
"Sure thing, boss," the prone man squeaked.
With that, the massed group let out a sigh of relief, and conversation continued.
"Don't worry, Gibbs--he'll get what's coming to him," Abby whispered in his ear. Gibbs smiled in response.
He didn't want to miss this.
"He's going to kill me."
"No, he's not."
"He's going to kill me."
"Tony, calm down."
"He's going to kill me."
"No, he's just going to revel in your utter humiliation!" Kate exclaimed in exasperation.
Tony's eyes narrowed in thought. "How do you know?"
Kate rolled her eyes and removed her sparkling baseball cap. "Because it's Gibbs, Tony."
"Yeah. Yeah." He didn't seem too relieved by this. "I think I'd rather he kill me."
"I don't." Kate smiled sweetly.
Tony glared. He made a concerted effort to relax. "So... Princess A-Rod?" he asked casually.
"I thought it was fitting."
"Why not your savior?"
Kate shrugged. "There was a run on Red Sox stuff after the ALCS. I couldn't find anything with Johnny Damon's number."
"Attention, everyone!" Abby shouted after cutting off the music. "We have a very special presentation for you tonight!"
Cheers and applause. Kate and Tony joined in.
"Listen as a talented entertainer serenades you in song! Maestro, if you will?" Abby continued, gesturing flamboyantly toward her partner (in crime). McGee turned down the lights and flipped on a projector. A very familiar scene came into focus.
Kate couldn't help it. She started to giggle.
"Kate!" Tony yelled in outrage as his image began to sing.
"Tessie is the Royal Rooters rally cry; Tessie is the tune they'd always sung..."
"Oops! Gotta go!" Kate squeezed her way through the mob, using her smaller stature to escape.
"I'm so gonna get you back for this!" Tony shouted after her as the partiers held him back, all laughing hysterically.
Kate didn't respond, dashing through the conveniently open front door. The strains of 'Tessie' followed her into the darkened street. Her laughter died quickly as a gloved hand grabbed her elbow. She wheeled around, ready to hurt her attacker.
"Jesus, Gibbs! Don't do that!" she exclaimed.
The still-masked face was further hidden by shadows cast by the streetlights. "That was a... fascinating... display back there," he said.
Kate smirked. "Wasn't it?"
"You make very interesting bets, Kate."
She shrugged. "I usually lose. Why not lose big?"
"Most people wouldn't bet big if they always lost."
"I don't bet often, Gibbs. And it was worth it to see Tony's face." She savored the memory.
He shifted his weight slightly. "Tony's going to come looking for you tomorrow. I doubt you'll want to be at your place."
"How do you know?"
"Because it's Tony." Huh. Same answer she'd given Tony about Gibbs.
"Bet you there's one place he wouldn't look for me."
"Yeah? Where's that?"
Kate swallowed. She was definitely taking a gamble here. "Your house."
Gibbs's eyes glittered behind his half-mask. "What would you bet?"
Well, he hadn't immediately rejected the idea. She made a show of thinking. "Hmm... what do you have to offer?"
He grinned wolfishly and leaned down to whisper in her ear. She pulled back and grinned. "You wanna be mischievous with me, Gibbs?"
"There are a lot of things I want to do with you, Agent Todd. Mischief is only one of them."
"Really? You've intrigued me, Agent Gibbs. What are some of these other things you want to do with me?"
"I'll tell you at my place."
"I'll be there in an hour."