Nobody's Home

Rating: T

Spoilers: Big time for Heart Break

Disclaimer: The characters and the song aren't mine, and I don't pretend that they are. Please don't sue, all you'll get is my pocket change!

Author's Notes: It's the clichéd after Heart Break fic…I couldn't help myself when I heard the song. It's a little…okay…a lot OoC, but that's okay, right:P A big thank you to Amanda, my beta and bud! You're the best!

Summary: Kate after 'Heart Break'. Kate's lost, and she just needs someone to help her find her way back home.

Suicide by cop...suicide by cop.

The phrase kept on running through her head. She had killed a boy, an innocent boy. She knew, somewhere in the back of her mind, that she was just doing her job, she was just covering Gibbs. Then why did she feel so…dirty?

She was sitting at her desk inside the bullpen, late at night. Gibbs looked over at her, kicking himself. He had been short with her, and he could see now, that it was the wrong decision to make. She looked so lost, so broken, just sitting there.

He could imagine what she was feeling now. He had gone through it in the Marines, the first time that he had to take a life. But his own life was in danger when it happened, and in Kate's case, he was harmless. A threat to nobody, except himself.

He couldn't put into words how much he wanted to go over to Kate, take her in his arms, and soothe her. But he was her boss, and it wouldn't be appropriate. But the fact that the thought had even crossed his mind was a little bit inappropriate in itself.

He gathered up his coat, preparing to leave for the night. He approached her desk, and her head came up, startled. His heart broke at the lost and broken look in her eyes, but made himself keep an unemotional expression on his face. "You need to go home Kate." He said, his soft tone belying his concern, even if she didn't realize it.

She nodded, and put on a fake smile. "I will, just as soon as I finish up this file."

Gibbs had been watching her, and knew that she had had the same file in front of her for about two hours, and hadn't worked on it at all. It took all that he had not to pull her up, put her in her coat, and drive her home. He just nodded, and said, "Okay. See you tomorrow Kate."

She nodded, and watched as he walked out of the bullpen. Tears blurred her vision as she turned back to the file in front of her. Couldn't he see what she was going through? She just wanted something, anything from him that told her that he cared. She wiped at her face, trying to pull herself together. She'd just have to get through this. She would just have to deal with this, just like she had dealt with every other crappy thing that had happened in her life.

'Well, I couldn't tell you
Why she felt that way
She felt it everyday
And I couldn't help her
I just watched her make
The same mistakes again

What's wrong, What's wrong now?
Too many, too many problems
Don't know where she belongs
Where she belongs'

When Gibbs got in the next morning, he looked around and saw something out of place. There was a body slumped over Kate's desk, and for a moment, he was panicked. But upon closer inspection, he saw the slow movement of her back, up and down, and breathed a sigh of relief.

But then it kicked in, as to what this meant. Kate had never gone home last night. "Damn it." He murmured under his breath.

He went over to the drawer where everyone kept an extra set of clothes, and pulled out Kate's. He set the clothes down on her desk, and lightly shook her shoulder. Her head popped up, and she looked around, confused for a moment. She rubbed her eyes gently, and then looked up at Gibbs, even more confused.

'Why is Gibbs in my bedroom…and why does my bedroom suddenly have fluorescent lighting?' Kate thought to herself. And then it kicked in that she wasn't at home, in her nice comfortable bed. Kate had fallen asleep on top of her desk at NCIS headquarters. 'This will be interesting to get out of.' She thought.

She ran a hand through her messed hair, and Gibbs stifled a smile. She was a beautiful woman, and secretly he had always wondered what she would look like when she woke up in the morning. He didn't mind finding out, he just wished that it didn't mean that she had fallen asleep at work.

She glanced at the clothes next to her, and then up at Gibbs. "Thanks." She said quietly. She avoided looking up at him again, hoping that he would let it pass that she hadn't gone home. She got up, stiffly since sleeping in a chair doesn't come without repercussions, and grabbed her clothes, and headed for the bathroom.

Kate sighed, taking one more look at her reflection. She had grabbed her spare makeup kit that she kept in her desk, and had changed in the bathroom. She smiled wryly at the dark circles under her eyes as she attempted to cover them up with her concealer.

She wondered if anyone could tell. If they could tell by looking in her eyes that she had killed someone. She examined herself in the mirror, trying to find a conclusion to her question.

After a few seconds, she just shook her head, and pushed away from the bathroom sink. Time to go face the real world again.

'She wants to go home
But nobody's home
That's where she lies
Broken inside
With no place to go
No place to go
To dry her eyes
Broken inside'

Gibbs was watching the hallway leading from the bathroom like a hawk. He knew that he was being over-protective, and that should have bothered him but he didn't. He wrote it off as being concerned for a member of his team, and didn't think about it anymore. He couldn't think about it anymore.

When Kate emerged he breathed a sigh of relief. Kate gave him a small wavering smile, it was too early in the morning for her shields to be fully up, and he could see the pain in her eyes. 'Damn it, why can't I just tell her that it will all be okay?' Gibbs thought to himself. But he just upturned the corners of his mouth, offering as much of a smile as he could.

She sat down at her desk, and ran a hand through her hair again. Back to the job. She didn't look up at Gibbs, afraid of what she would see. Disappointment in her for breaking like this? Pride in her for doing her job? Nothing? She didn't want to face whatever she would see.

Tony strode into the bullpen with a little less enthusiasm than normal. He immediately came up to Kate, laying a comforting hand on her shoulder. "You okay Kate?" He asked sincerely.

She looked up at him, a soft smile on her face. "I'll be fine Tony." She almost wanted him to turn into his normal self; this new sincere, concerned Tony was playing with her already jumbled emotions. He nodded, and went over to his desk, and greeted Gibbs with a 'Hey boss.'

McGee arrives a few minutes later, and sits down quietly at his desk. He's never had to deal with anything like this before, and doesn't know what to say to Kate, and so he doesn't say anything.

The team goes about their daily routine, when Gibbs gets a call. "Get your gear! McGee, get the truck, Tony go get Ducky and Jimmy. We have a scene." Kate got up, preparing to follow Gibbs, but he grabbed her arm lightly as she went past him.

"I want you to stay behind and help Abby with some forensics." He said quietly.

Rage flared in Kate's eyes. "I can do my job Gibbs. I'm going out on that scene with you."

"I have no doubt that you can do your job Kate. But Abby needs help today, and I told her that you would go down and help her." He said quietly. "I'll keep you apprised of the situation down at the crime scene. It's just for today Kate." And before she could protest more, he was gone.

'Open your eyes
And look outside
Find the reasons why
You've been rejected
And now you can't find
What you've left behind

Be strong, be strong now
Too many, too many problems
Don't know where she belongs
Where she belongs'

It wasn't that Kate didn't love Abby, she just wasn't cut out for an entire day of forensics when her team was out in the field. She usually loved working forensics, but it wasn't where she belonged, especially when she knew that there was somewhere else she was supposed to be.

She relied on an old stress reliever, working out. Whenever the job, or her personal life got to be too much, she would go down to the nearest gym, and focus on a workout. Usually after that, she could think with a clearer head. And she never needed a clear head more than she did now.

Kate threw another punch at the bag. "Dammit….you BASTARD!" She yelled, not caring who heard her. Granted, she was in the NCIS gym, and at any point someone…hell, Director Morrow could walk in, and she just…wouldn't care.

"Suicide by cop Kate, get over it!" She mocked, throwing another few jabs at the punching bag. "Gibbs." She muttered, aiming a kick towards the bag that now had Gibbs face on it. "You're such a…bastard!" She screamed again, collapsing against the bag.

This was how Gibbs found her, sitting on the floor, clinging to the bag. He walked over to her, throwing aside all thoughts of protocol, three ex-wives, and rule #12. "Kate?" He murmured.

She didn't even bother turning towards him. "Go away Gibbs." She said, standing up. She began grappling again, seemingly renewed.

"Now, I can't do that Kate." He said softly, coming up to stand behind her. She still refused to turn around, keeping her focus on the bag in front of her. "Have to make sure that you're going to be okay."

Kate kept up the fight that she was having with the bag, keeping her eyes on her goal. "I'll be fine Gibbs." She laughed mirthfully. "Besides, why would you care? I should just get over it right Gibbs? Just pretend that it never happened!" She stopped punching the bag, and turned around to finally face him. "Isn't that what you want me to do? What the perfect little NCIS agent should do?"

Gibbs kept his tone low, and took a step towards her. "Kate, you know how I am on a case. I don't always think before I speak, and what I said to you came out a lot harsher than I wanted it to."

"Yeah, whatever Gibbs." She said, turning back around to the bag, taking out her anger on it instead of the man in front of her. "Look, just go away, okay?"

Gibbs came up behind the bag, and held on to it. "I told you that I can't do that Kate. Now, just accept it, and talk to me. Because you need to talk to someone Kate, you have to open up to somebody before you explode."

"Gibbs…" She said, a quiet rage in her voice. "If you don't get away from that bag, one of my punches might just miss it…" She threatened.

Gibbs didn't budge. "Dammit Kate, I'm not leaving you alone. Talk to me." He said, his hard blue eyes keeping her still.

She stopped punching, and just looked at him. "Do you know what it felt like Gibbs? All that was going through my head was, don't let him hurt Gibbs. Don't let him hurt Gibbs. He got up, and I saw the gun, and I saw you….and I couldn't let him do it. I couldn't let him even try. So I pulled the trigger…And it was done, and…" Tears welled up in Kate's eyes that she couldn't hold back any longer.

Gibbs came out from behind the bag, and cautiously wrapped his arms around Kate. His mind was screaming at him, warning him against this, this feeling, waved Rule #12 in his face. But his heart…his heart just quietly calmed the woman in his arms, and bound and gagged his mind.

"I know Kate. I know, and you didn't do anything wrong. You're right. He could have shot me, and you were just doing what you were trained to do. You protected me." Gibbs whispered into her hair.

Suddenly, Kate seemed to get her wits about her again. She pushed away from Gibbs, wiping angrily at her eyes. "I'm sorry Gibbs. I shouldn't have….I need to go." She whispered, shaking her head, and ran out of the gym, not even bothering to grab her stuff.

'She wants to go home
But nobody's home
That's where she lies
Broken inside
With no place to go
No place to go
To dry her eyes
Broken inside'

Kate curled up on the couch with a blanket. She sighed heavily, clutching the fleece in her hands, desperate to have something to hold on to. She was loosing it, fast, and she knew it. She knew that she should take Gibbs up on his offer, talk to someone, but she couldn't think of who. She loved her co-workers, but she wasn't sure if any of them could really help any.

A shrink was out. Kate was a strong person, and didn't like asking for help, especially from a stranger. She'd rather talk to Tony than some company shrink.

But she could feel it building up inside of her. She could tell what would happen if she didn't open up. But she couldn't. If she just…ignored it, maybe it would get better over time. Maybe the ache she felt would subside if she just waited long enough.

When she was younger, whenever she was faced with a challenging situation, she would pray. It was what was instilled with her, ever since she was young. The feel of her rosary beads, the sound of them knocking together, had always comforted her. She pulled them out of her jewelry box, expecting at least something to stir within her. Nothing.

That was probably the thing that hurt the most. Something that she had put her faith into, something that she thought would always work, hadn't. She didn't know what to do.

'Her feelings she hides
Her dreams she can't find
She's losing her mind
She's falling behind
And she can't find her place
She's losing her faith
She's falling from grace
She's all over the place, yeah'

She didn't want to answer the door when he came to her. But he just kept at it, and she figured that she should do something before the neighbors called the cops. She unlocked the door quietly, and cracked open the door. She didn't say a word as she went back to the couch to sit down. Gibbs entered the apartment, and dropped her bag next to the door.

Kate expected him to go, but what he did next surprised her. He turned back to the door, shut it, and locked it. He then turned back to Kate, who was staring up at him in surprise. "You're going to talk to me Kate…now." Gibbs said quietly.

She shook her head, and turned away from him. "I don't have to do anything Gibbs. I can handle this on my own."

He sat down on the opposite side of the couch. "I don't care what you think that you can do Kate. You need to talk to someone, and if you won't take it upon yourself to find someone, I'm finding someone for you." He scooted closer to her. "Katie…" He murmured.

"I shot an innocent man Gibbs…" Kate said quietly. She mentally hit herself, she really didn't want to divulge anything to him. But once it started… "I shot him…and…how do I make up for that? I took someone else's life, and how do I make UP for that?"

She finally broke down. What happened at the gym was minor compared to this. She began shaking violently, and Gibbs immediately took her into his arms. She sobbed into his shoulder, and clutched at his shirt, desperate to hold on to something.

Gibbs just whispered softly into her hair, letting his soft side come out. He figured that she deserved it, he had been such a bastard to her the past few days. "You'll be all right Katie…you didn't do anything wrong."

She looked up at him, tears blurring her vision. "But I did Gibbs! I did, I took a life!" She shook her head, trying to get the memory of the boy's bleeding body out of her mind.

Gibbs, for once in his life, didn't know what to do. So he just sat on the couch, comforting the woman that meant so much more to him then just an agent on his team.

'She wants to go home
But nobody's home
That's where she lies
Broken inside
With no place to go
No place to go
To dry her eyes
Broken inside
she's lost inside, lost inside
oh oh
she's lost inside, lost inside
oh oh oh'

She woke up the next morning, somehow under the covers of her warm bed. She looked up, and was met with Gibbs' blue eyes. She smiled softly, and looked down to see that he was lying on top of her comforter. She glanced back up at him, curious. "You wouldn't let go of me last night. I figured that we'd both be more comfortable on your bed." He said simply.

Kate nodded. "Thank you." She whispered. They both knew that she wasn't just talking about moving her to the bed. "I think that I'll be okay now Gibbs."

He nodded, "I'm glad."

"There's just one more thing that I need to do." She said quietly. "Will you go with me?" Gibbs nodded, knowing that he would follow her anywhere.

A few days later…

Caitlin Todd stood off to the side of the gravesite, almost out of sight of others that were in attendance. Jethro Gibbs stood next to her, a comforting hand on the small of her back.

After the service, she looked up at him. "Thank you again." She said, smiling sadly.

He nodded. "No problem Kate." They turned to walk out of the graveyard when Gibbs' hand slowly slipped into Kate's. She looked up and smiled softly at him. She could finally go home.

Author's Notes: HA! Finally done…you would not believe how long it took me to finish this story. Hope you enjoyed, please review and tell me what you thought!