Summary: Follows the "you're learning" scene of "Terminal Leave". What happens when Kate gets a break from babysitting
Disclaimer: Very much not mine, no characters, just the idea of the continuation.
Author's Note: I was sort of disappointed in the loss of any sort of scene, either Kibbs or Tate but we can all dream, right?
The words haunted her as she made her way back to the office, more than ready for the break that McGee was providing her. She didn't like this case, not one bit. Not because she disliked the family – sure they were a bit dysfunctional, but not without reason – but because she was losing sleep and she was losing her patience. What she didn't expect when she got back was Gibbs, seating in his office chair, staring blankly at her desk.
He didn't know why he told her that. True, he was as proud as hell of her and her instincts. She didn't like the FBI any more than he did and she caught on quick. She was learning.
She was growing up.
He didn't know when he realized it, really, didn't know when he really noticed that she'd changed. For better or worse, he had yet to decide. He admired the progress she'd made in the time she'd spent with them. He admired her work, he admired her spirit and he admired her determination. Basically, he admired her.
But he'd never tell her that.
Which is why he sat staring at her empty chair, thinking about the brunette agent that was off doing goodness knows what protecting a family. He was about to get up, about ready to pull her out when he stopped himself.
Actually, she stopped him.
He'd looked like he was ready to get up, ready to leave, and she belatedly berated herself for the stupidity of the move. If he was about to leave, why should she stop him? It wasn't like he got enough sleep as it was. That agent was really getting to him.
"Are you on your way out?" He met her eyes, though only briefly, dragging his eyes down her body and making her shiver with emotions she had effectively suppressed for the many months she'd been working at NCIS. It wasn't something she could do, break one of his rules, and until that moment, she had thought the same of him. In fact, she would have been the first to venture that the FBI agent was charmed by him.
In some twisted way.
He couldn't stop himself from looking her over from head to toe. Here she was, standing in front of him in one piece. He wouldn't tell her how relieved he was to see it, how he looked forward to seeing her come in the office every day. He said the first thing that came to his bewildered brain.
"Shouldn't you be at the house?" She rolled her eyes at him and he knew it was the wrong set of words to choose. He had long since come to terms with his tendency of foot in mouth disease that she seemed to bring out in him.
"McGee and Dinozzo are there. I know, lethal combination, but Gibbs, I'm exhausted and I have a killer migraine. I'm just going to go home and sleep. I'll be back at the house tomorrow, I promise," she rattled off to him. He glanced at his watch.
"Have you eaten?"
She was surprised by the question. Here he was, basically asking her to dinner, right after he'd bulleted her about not being at the house, protecting the targets. She blinked a couple of times.
"Neither have I."
"Is that your round about way of asking me to dinner, Gibbs? Because honestly? I don't have the patience to play games." He rewarded her impudence with a half grin.
She really was growing up. She had gotten to the point where she was blunt, straightforward with him. She had gotten to the point where she wasn't going to take any crap.
And he had to admit, he liked her like that.
Suddenly, the pressure in her brain lifted slightly. She hadn't realized how much he affected her, how much his mood turned her day good or bad, how a smile from him turned her world upside-down.
If this was a new beginning, she had to admit, she liked it.
Most likely will be another chapter to this with dinner… just have a whole bunch of things going at once. This one pretty much wrote itself after "Terminal Leave"