A/N: My muse keeps kickin' my ass – no use trying to resist. And I'm taking it out on you guys, sorry.

Disclaimer: I still don't own these characters, although they feel pretty familiar by now.

X

Kate sat on her sofa, her morning coffee on the table, and picked up the letter she had started to

write to Maria the last evening.

Maria was one of her dearest friends. Although she had moved back to Rio de Janeiro six

years ago, they stayed in close contact. They had developed a habit of writing long letters

serving the same effect as keeping a diary. It helped her to sort things out and gave her the

chance to articulate her feelings. Even though she had felt a great loss, when Maria had left

the U.S., she now thought it was actually easier to communicate long-distance.

She took a sip of her coffee and read through what she had written so far:

Dear Maria,

I know it's been a long time since my last letter. I got yours and I can only say that I'm so

proud of you. You make it sound so easy – bringing up your child and running your cute little

hotel. I don't think Miguel deserves you. (You know how much I like him, do you?).

I'm still living alone. No time for a family and as to relationships – more about that later.

Work at the NCIS is still interesting and sometimes even fun. It's a fantastic bunch of people I

work with.

First, there's Ducky. He's the M.E. Old fashioned in the best meaning of the word. I love the

way he talks, although he can easily need an hour to tell you what someone else would have

said in two sentences. He's full of stories he loves to share. We have to cut him off regularly

and I always feel a little sorry about that. Abby works in the lab too. She's a Goth and she's

extreme. Extremely good at her work, extremely smart, extremely funny and her taste in music

is….guess….extreme. She's completely different from how I am. Maybe that's why I like her

so much.

And then, there's Tony. He's like a brother to me. He's a nuisance sometimes, but he's also

fun to be around. And I know that he'll be right there if I need him. He's still in the "hunter

and collector" stage of his development, but I think he'll be really nice if he lives long enough

to mature.

There's one more person I want to introduce you to. The most important one, I guess. First of

all, he's my boss, and second….wait and see.

His name is Gibbs. Jethro (don't laugh!) Gibbs. He's quite a bit older than the rest of us

(Except Ducky, of course) but, as far as I can tell in pretty good shape. Talking about pretty…

he looks good, as long as you don't mind his haircut, that is. He's very, very good at what

he's doing. An analytic mind combined with good instincts and a vast amount of experience.

He's extremely demanding and won't let us get away with anything but the best we can do.

Not that I mind. I've always tried to give my best at work.

The only problem I have with him is that I start to like him too much. I even don't understand

why. He is impatient, blunt, demanding, taciturn, gruff and sarcastic. He hears everything,

sees everything (although I think his eyesight is weakening) and is the ultimate control freak.

And he has a way of looking at people that makes them talk or shut up – whatever it was, he

wanted, just like that, just looking at them.

Doesn't sound too nice, does it? And yet, there's something…..He's like a rock. If the whole

world would fall to pieces, with everybody freaking out and panicking, he would come up with

a plan. When he tells you, you did good you know you really did good. And when he smiles at

you – I would do almost anything for that smile.

Now, don't worry, Maria. I'm not making a fool of myself. Nobody does or will ever know

about my feelings for him. Nobody, except you and me. And before you ask (I know you…);

No, there's no chance for romance. Gibbs has a rule for almost anything. One says: Romance

between agents never works.

But, as you always said: It's ok to dream, right?

I sometimes feel like I'm back to being a teenager again. Do you remember us day-dreaming

about Mr. Fraser, the geography teacher? I frequently catch myself thinking about Gibbs.

About how much I love his hands. They are big, strong and rough – he's building a boat, you

know. Sometimes, when he comes to my desk he puts a hand on my shoulder. That's enough to

fire my fantasy, silly I would say.

And sometimes when he comes to stand real close to me….enough of that!

Gibbs is the perfect man for me to dream about and maybe it's good they will never come

true. And it's fun to know that he doesn't know….

At that point she had given up and gone to bed. Kate put the unfinished letter in her bag.

Maybe she'd have the chance to finish it in her lunch-break.

It was not before she came home that evening, that she realized how hungry she was. They had been

so busy, working on two equally important cases at the same time that she had totally

forgotten to eat.

She called the pizza-service and went to the living room. She would use the time until her

food was delivered to finish that letter to Maria. She opened her bag to take it out, but

couldn't find it. She searched once more, and them emptied the bag on the floor. No letter!

"Ok, Kate," she advised herself. "Think. When did you open your bag during the day?"

The perception made her gasp. The letter was on her desk at the bureau. She had taken it out

when she looked for an aspirin and never put it back in.

She was in cold sweat. This very, very personal letter was lying on her desk, open for

everyone to see. This…was…not…good!

"Stay calm," she tried to think rational. Tony had left before her and would be in later as she

would tomorrow. He always came in late. Abby and Ducky would leave the lab without going

to the bureau. The only one that had still been there, when she left was… Gibbs. Why did it

have to be Gibbs?

She thought about going back but decided against it. He would have left too by now, and she

would make sure to be the first one in tomorrow. With just a little bit of luck she would come

out of this with no harm done.

This night, she dreamed about Gibbs, sitting in his chair, feet on his desk, reading a letter….

Tbc