A/N: My first and probably only NCIS fic, due to the reason I only do Tate fics. And that's hard considering Kate is dead. Just meaningless fluff. Enjoy it!
Disclaimer: Don't own it. Never will.
I watched him sip on his overly large cup of coffee before he slammed the door, locking it securely behind him. I shook my head, trying to wake myself from the nightmare. It was going to be such a long night. I didn't know how I was going to survive. Not with him here, anyway. What was Gibbs thinking? Me and Tony, together in a room, for the entire night? Hell on earth, I tell you. Hell on earth. I cracked open one eye. No, not a dream. The musty smell of the basement drifted into my senses, alerting me and making me scrunch up my nose in disgust. Why here of all places? Why this particular night? Any other night and Gibbs would have dismissed us both with only a sharp slap upside Tony's head. But no, Gibbs had to be creative tonight. Of all nights…
"Somewhere you got to be, Kate?"
I turned my head, very slowly, around to meet his expectant gaze. He lay with his back against the far wall; his legs crossed one over the other. He was completely content where he was, and he didn't have a care in the world about our little predicament. Typical.
"No, Tony," I began sarcastically. "I'm only supposed to be on a very romantic date with a very romantic guy at a very romantic restaurant. But no, I have to be here with you don't I?"
He stretched back his neck and yawned. "Yeah, I guess that completes your fantasy. How long has it been going on for now, Kate? Two, three years?"
"Dream on, Tony," I retorted as I turned up my nose slightly. "If you think you're going to score tonight, think again. We're going to sit this thing through until Gibbs opens that door tomorrow morning."
Tony shrugged and yawned again. "Do we have to sit? I was actually thinking of sleeping, I'm kind of tired…"
"Do whatever you want," I cut him off just as he was drifting away, "I don't care."
Tony crossed his arms over his chest and pouted ever so slightly. "I'm pretty sure you do, but we'll leave that for another day."
I ignored him. I wasn't in the mood for this. All I wanted to do was go home and sleep. Without Tony snoring next to me. I walked a couple of paces, drifting unconsciously over to the sprawled Tony. He had his eyes closed, but I knew he could sense I was walking over to him. He had like a sixth sense for that kind of thing. Unless Gibbs was the one sneaking up behind him. He had no hope when it was Gibbs. Juts a smack on the head for his stupidity. I chuckled under my breath as I remembered all the times Tony had copped it for being…well…Tony. It almost made me feel sorry for him. Almost.
I looked around me and noted for the first time how completely bare the basement really was. Old cartons lay strewn about the floor in an unceremonious fashion, some of them overturned and some of them upright and taped up. There were a few wooden desks dotted around with incomplete papers on them, some of them maybe from years ago. It was easy to overlook something as trivial as paperwork in this line of work. There was a glass case for weapons that lived next to the far wall on the left, though most of those weapons were just on display, as they were outdated many years ago. All in all, the basement was pretty boring. Except maybe for the smell of must. It reminded me of being a child again and searching for hidden treasures in cupboards or old rooms. That innocence always overwhelmed me because I knew I could never go back to it.
Tony let out a snore from his small corner. I knew immediately it was fake and rolled my eyes. Then came a splutter of laughter and I just stared at him and his childish ways. He opened his eyes and gave a small grin. I felt the smile tug at my lips but quickly pulled back, my eyes attempting to glare at him. It amazed me how innocent Tony could be at times, even when he was acting like an oversexed imp.
"You're an idiot, DiNozzo," I quipped spitefully and I watched as his smile grew wider.
"Come on, Kate," he teased slowly with his childish grin. "You know you love it."
I inhaled sharply, my comeback forming in my head. "Only if it entails you getting smacked over the head by Gibbs."
Tony laughed his juvenile laugh. A shiver ran up the base of my spine when I flirted with the thought that it was seductive. "But Gibbs isn't here, is he."
I closed my eyes and backed up against the closest wall, sliding down to the ground. The cracked tiles were cold but I didn't care. My muscles ached from the tiring events of the day and all I wanted was a release. And if that meant getting a cold ass, then so be it. My eyes were tightly shut but somehow I felt Tony watching me. If I had a sixth sense, that's what it was. Sensing not just anyone, but Tony DiNozzo watching me.
Tony shifted in his corner and I opened my eyes, my spine tingling and the hairs on the back of my neck pinching my skin. He was only switching which leg lay over the other. I relaxed again and pressed my back harder against the wall. I kept my eyes open however, just in case. I watched him out of the corner of my eye, partly because I didn't want him to try anything. Not that he would, though. You wouldn't know it but he's a pretty decent guy as far as that goes. And the other reason I watched him was because I couldn't not. There was just something so magnetic about him, and you just wanted to watch him. Well, at least I did anyway. You people playing at home may not feel that electrifying shiver I do every time he enters the room. Maybe it's just me, then.
"Wish there was a heater in this place," Tony voiced his thoughts loudly. "I'm freezing."
I shrugged as best I could from my position against the wall. "I'm sure if you look hard enough, you'll find one. There's got to be something buried deep underneath those boxes."
Tony shrugged. "No thanks."
I frowned. "But you said…oh, never mind. I'll never understand you."
He placed his hands behind his head and leaned further back. "You don't have to. As long as I do, then we're all fine."
I studied him for a second. His light brown hair was unruly and sprawled about his head, parts of it sticking up and other parts pressed flat against his scalp. I smiled quietly at that. He wore black pants that fell down past his ankles, covering the tops of his black shoes. His white shirt had the first two buttons undone, revealing the equally white muscle shirt he had on underneath. I touched my hair impulsively, tucking a few strands behind my ear.
"Tony," I began to say in a subdued tone, "can I ask you a question?"
His head flopped to the side and his eyes held a teasing glint. "How many women I've slept with? The exact number?"
I ignored him. That side of him was just a play. An act. "Are you afraid?"
Tony nodded slightly, his finger pointing in my direction. "Two hundred and ninety three, since my early college days. Ninety two not including you."
I gave him a look of mock frustration. "Tony, please. Are you afraid?"
He shrugged and pouted his lips. "Of what?"
I found his eyes easily and tired to be serious. "Of what we do here every day. Putting our lives on the line to protect our country, to dig up the secrets buried by the guilty…that kind of thing."
Tony shifted forward with a small smile. "Why should I be? I have a great team to protect me, just as I protect them. No harm's going to come to us, Kate. We're team Rambo."
I raised an amused eyebrow. "Another movie reference?"
"Top movie," Tony said excitedly. "He kills people. Not that we…kill people. But, he was invincible."
"That's comforting," I said under my breath as I smiled and shifted closer to him. "Have you really slept with that many women?"
Tony took a breath and smirked at me. "Well…not yet."
"Never going to happen, DiNozzo."
I was close enough to rest my head on his shoulder. Something I had never really done before. It was just something I never really thought of doing with Tony because he was…well…Tony. But, I guess that's just part of the mystery. The mystery that is Tony DiNozzo. A man who no one really understands, but a man who claims to understand himself. Yeah, right. One of his arms fell across me and he wrapped it around my waist securely. His other hand rested on my shoulder as he leaned forward and kissed my hair. It was still going to be a long night but somehow I knew we were going to make it. Together.
Moments passed and not a word was spoken between us…until…
"Hey look, I found a heater."