Title: A Relationship Lost (Jenny Shepard's POV)

Summary: Jenny's POV during a team argument, with a filler scene for Twilight.

Disclaimer: Characters are not mine. I'm just borrowing them.

Message: My first fanfic. Comments welcomed but be nice. I just started reading NCIS fanfic a few weeks ago. Any infringement/similarities on lines or story is not intended.

The meeting with Jethro Gibbs took longer than was expected. It was past eight o'clock by the time we were done debriefing on a current case. One thing I still have to get use to is having authority over Gibbs, although I'm sure it's only because he's letting me feel that way. I may know the insides and outs of NCIS having done administrative work for years, but it's from Gibbs that I learned and experienced field work, including falling in love with him. For a while during our brief relationship, I had hoped that it would be more permanent; however, it was his damned rule #12 that kept coming between us.

In some ways, he's still the same – gruff, abrupt and incredibly handsome, with eyes so piercing, so blue. It's almost as though he can see straight into your soul when his focuses his attention on you.

In a lot of ways, he's different. Aside from him being several years older with hair nearly all gray, he doesn't smile and jokingly tease as he did back then. He's harder – not just his body (and wow what a body) – his perception and views in general are harder now, more closed in and his eyes – it's as though he's tormented. There are times when he looks away briefly – hand in his right pocket fingering something and it as though he's focusing on a memory. It leaves me wondering what or whom those memories are of.

As we head down the stairway, Gibbs and I stop to watch the scene below. His team along with Ducky and Abby are standing in the middle of the desk area arguing. Actually Ziva and Ducky are standing in front of her desk with Agent DiNozzo, Abby and Agent McGee facing them. I whisper to Gibbs, "You better do something to contain and resolve whatever the situation is. Your team has had too many disruptions already."

Gibbs doesn't bother to look at me as he focuses on the argument below.

Ducky's voice has an almost pleading quality to it as he says: "Please, let's calm down and discuss this rationally."

"I agree with Ducky," says Agent McGee with a nod.

Agent DiNozzo and Abby rounded on Agent McGee and yells "Shut up McGee!"

Ziva had her hands on her hips and calmly tells them, "this is now my desk and I will do with it what I please."

Apparently having heard enough, Gibbs finally continues down the stairway and rounds the partition. I remain at the bottom of the stairway to observe and step in if necessary, although I doubt Gibbs would appreciate it.

Gibbs asks sharply, "what the hell is going on?" They all jump slightly and turn to face Gibbs in a semi-circle.

I nearly smiled when I see Agent DiNozzo move slightly behind Abby as though to seek protection and Agent McGee's speechlessness with his mouth opening and closing like a fish.

"Ahh, Jethro. You're still here. Perhaps you can help."

"Well, I would love to Ducky if I know what the hell is going on," Gibbs says impatiently.

I watch Abby take a couple of steps forward to confront Gibbs. Again I almost smile as Agent DiNozzo, realizing he's losing his cover, steps a couple of feet over to stand slightly behind Ducky, trying to take shelter from a man nearly a foot shorter than he.

"Listen Gibbs, we were just letting Ziva know that we didn't appreciate her moving the desk and belongings around. We think it's disrespectful to Kate's memory by changing things so soon."

Agent DiNozzo moves to stand beside Ducky as opposed to hiding behind him. "Ah, Boss? It's Kate's desk. I'm used to having it the way it's set up. I have a direct view to her desk."

"Well, I don't like having a direct line of vision to you Tony. I can feel your eyes glancing at me every minute. Its number 57 isn't it? You're still thinking of it? I'm telling you it's not a myth."

As Agent DiNozzo glares at Ziva, Gibbs eyes narrows slightly. I'm sure he's annoyed with not knowing what number 57 is. He's probably thinking that people have been adding on to his 50 rules.

Although it seems as though Agent McGee wants to avoid directing Gibbs attention to himself, he quietly says, "Boss? We just feel…think…that in memory of Kate…that her desk remain as is." McGee turns to Ziva and mumbles "no offense of course."

"What? Am I suppose to say 'none taken'?" ask Ziva with a subtle sarcasm to her voice.

"Jethro, as you can see, it's taking these Agents a little longer to…accept changes."

Abby turns to Ducky and says, "It's not change that is giving us problems Ducky. It's that it's too soon."

"It's been several weeks already. I'm sure it'll take longer to adjust but I'm here now and I want to be comfortable at my assigned desk. I'm sure Kate wouldn't mind."

I notice as DiNozzo clenches his hands into fists. Anger starting to build even more, but his eyes flashed with hurt.

Gibbs shoulders slumps slightly forward as though exhausted. "It's Ziva's desk now. She can do with it as she pleases," he tiredly and firmly says.

Abby then says to Gibbs, "Gibbs, Kate was your agent but she was our friend and…"

Gibbs turns to Abby and glares at her – stopping her from continuing what she had intended to say.

"Jethro, Caitlin…"

"I don't want to hear it Ducky." Gibbs angrily cuts him off. "I don't want to hear about how Kate was like a daughter to you." Then looks to DiNozzo and says "or how she like a sister to you", to Abby "how she was your best friend", to McGee "or how she was your mentor." Finally he turns to Ziva and growls, "And stop saying what Kate wouldn't mind. You didn't know her."

I think about stepping in until Gibbs next words stop me. "You all think that Kate was just an agent to me. Kate…was more… important…to me. All of you don't know." He reaches into his right pocket and pulls out a compact flash card. He hesitantly hands it to McGee, looks at everyone briefly, says commandingly "resolve your issues now!" and turns away – walking towards the elevator. As Gibbs passes by me, he glances at me and quietly mumbles, "I'm sorry Jenny."

Sorry? About what?

"Play it McGee" Abby instructs him. They all look at me and I nod for him to do so. As McGee inserts the card into the computer, we all turn and move closer to the giant plasma screen – curious to see what was on it.

The information on the bottom of the screen shows Breakroom 11:45pm. On the left side of the screen Gibbs is standing at the counter waiting on the coffee maker to finish brewing. With his back to the door, a beautiful petite dark haired woman walks in determinedly.

Upon seeing the woman, different reactions come from the group. Abby lets out a small gasp and reaches out her right hand to DiNozzo who reverently whispers "Kate". McGee standing on Abby's left stares fixedly at the screen. Standing to DiNozzo's right side, Ducky's eyes begin to shine brightly – a small sad smile on his lips. Ziva and I are standing off to the side. She glances at me and quietly states "so that's Kate."

I turn my attention back to screen. They make a striking couple. Gibbs: ruggedly handsome looks, tall, older, tougher and imposing. And Agent Todd: subtle beauty, small stature, youth, gracefulness and determination radiating.

"You should get some sleep Kate, especially since you, DiNozzo and McGee refuse to go home," Gibbs says to Kate, somehow knowing it was her that walked through the door.

"Gibbs, what's going on?"

Gibbs turns to face Kate and leans back against the counter. "What do you mean Kate?"

"Don't give me any crap. I want to know why you are being so cooperative with having protective detail."

"What?" Gibbs asks attempting to look innocent. "Director Morrow gave me instructions and I'm complying."

"Since when have you started to be so cooperative? There's something you're hiding. I can tell." Kate replies suspiciously.

"Oh, so now you know me well enough to know when I'm hiding something?" Gibbs asks with a lift of his eyebrow.

A frustrated sound comes from Kate. "Tell me Gibbs. Be honest with me. If you know something that will deter me from protecting you from Ari then I need to know. Your safety is my concern."

"And so if yours" Gibbs mumbles. In a firmer voice, "It's nothing Kate."

Gibbs and Kate stand a few feet away from each other – staring into each other's eyes. Suddenly Kate's eyes widen and she asks, "You're protecting me, aren't you? Ari said something to you at the coffee shop about me, didn't he?"

Gibbs' eyes narrow slightly - refusing to acknowledge anything.

"I need to know Gibbs. If he's said something about me, I'll need to know to protect myself as well."

"Kate, don't do this. Ari is after me. But I'll be damned if he'll take you again. I won't let him touch you. He did it twice – I won't let him do it again. If having protection detail ensures that you stay close to me, then fine. I won't argue with it."

"I'm also concerned about how this will affect the others' safety -."

Gibbs cuts in with "The others – DiNozzo and McGee will be fine. They are smart and can take care of themselves. Ducky and Abby will be here in the building. They'll be very well protected."

They stare intently at each other when finally Kate takes a couple of steps closer to Gibbs. "I just don't want anything to happen to you…" she says quietly as her voice trails off.

Gibbs then takes a step forward and slowly reaches out his right hand towards Kate's face – not once breaking eye contact and as though giving her the opportunity to move away from his touch. Kate stands completely still. Gibbs fingertips slowly brush her hair away from her eyes, trailing his fingers to the left side of her face finally cupping her left cheek. After a moment Kate turns her head slightly and places a gentle kiss on Gibbs' palm.

"Kate, when this over, I want more, I want you." Gibbs says tenderly.

Kate reaches out her right hand and places it over Gibbs heart. She gives Gibbs a small smile. "About time. Two years is a long time to wait for you to finally admit it. But what about rule #12?" she asks teasingly.

"Rule 12 has nothing to do with us," Gibbs says firmly.

Once again, they stare intently at each other for a moment. Slowly, Gibbs leans down towards Kate and gently lifts her face to him. Their lips touch lightly, briefly, barely touching. Gibbs lifts his head and stares searchingly into Kate's eyes. Kate lifts her right hand from over Gibbs heart to place it on the left side of his face. "Again…but more please," Kate says in a voice that has a softly pleading quality to it.

Gibbs leans down as Agent Todd lifts her face to him. This time when their lips touch, they engage in a more passionate kiss - filled with meaning, filled with want and filled with promise that you can almost feel the rightness between them.

The kiss ends slowly – each unwilling to release each other yet. Gibbs finally lifts his head and presses his lips against Kate's forehead.

They stand there quietly for a couple of minutes, arms around each other. Kate, with her arms wrapped around Gibbs waist, has the right side of her face pressed against Gibbs heart while Gibbs lays his cheek on top of her head – one arm around her shoulder and back and the other hand at the back of her head as though trying to absorb her into his heart-his body. Both have a look of such contentment and love.

Hesitantly, they each take a step back, suddenly seeming unsure of what is to happen next. Kate is staring at Gibbs' chest while Gibbs is staring intently at Kate's face. "Katie?" When she doesn't reply, Gibbs reaches out again placing his fingers underneath her chin to lift her face to him. "When this is over, I do want more - you. I want it all – everything." Gibbs whispers softly with a small tender smile.

Kate then gives him a small gentle smile of her own, nods and says, "When this is over, come to me."

Once again Gibbs places a tender kiss against Kate's forehead and whispers "Go get some sleep Kate. We have a long day tomorrow."

"What about you? Are you coming?" Agent Todd asks curiously as she turns to head towards the door.

"I'll be right along Kate. I just need to make a stop at security." She misses the determined look that Gibbs shoots upwards towards the hidden security camera in the vent.

As the footage ends, absolute silence fills the air. I look over towards the group and see that McGee, his eyes shiny with a slightly lost look on his face, had place his right arm over Abby shoulders who was leaning into his side, with tears streaming down her face. Abby's right hand is still locked with DiNozzo, except its more tightly gripped. DiNozzo had tilted his face to the ceiling, eyes closed tightly – face distorted with grief. Ducky had placed his left hand over DiNozzo's shoulder in compassion to the young man's pain. But Ducky's face doesn't show confusion, or remembered loss, or sorrow. He looks concerned – probably about Gibbs as he knows more about Gibbs then the rest of us.

I turn to Diva as she looks at me, giving me a questioningly look will I ever fit in?

After a few minutes, the team gathers themselves together and separates. McGee retrieves the flash card and puts it into the lap drawer of Gibbs desk. Abby wipes the tears from her face, exchange glances with DiNozzo and McGee and gives them each a nod. DiNozzo steps forward and says to Ziva, "we were planning to stop by for some pizza tonight. Would you like to join us?"

McGee then inserts in "there's this restaurant that Tony likes to go to. The food's greasy but good."

Abby also takes a step forward with an attempt at a friendly smile and says, "Come along. Join us. You haven't seen anything yet until you see grease dripping from Tony and McGee's faces."

Ziva stares at each of them briefly, giving them a small smile – appreciating their attempt at finally trying to accept her. "I would love to. Thanks".

"Your welcome to join us Ducky, Director?" says McGee as they all turn to gather their belongings.

"I'm not finished for the night. Enjoy your dinner". I turn to walk away as I hear Ducky reply "no thank you. I've got a stop to make on the way home".

More than likely Ducky will drop by Gibbs' house to check on him - to alleviate his concerns with Gibbs and what he just witnessed on the screen.

As I continue on my way up the stairs and as the others are waiting on the elevator, I hear McGee make a comment about DiNozzo's eating habits. In reply DiNozzo lightly slaps the back of McGee's head while Abby and Ziva chuckle.

I know that this team will work, that it will take time to adjust to the changes. But they are a dynamic group. They'll make it work, especially with Gibbs as their leader.

I shut my office door and tiredly seat myself behind my desk. I lean back and let two tears slip down my face.

Gibbs. I now realize why Gibbs was apologizing to me with his "I'm sorry Jenny". He knew that I was in love with him, that I was hurt by his rule #12, which I always thought prevented us from being together. I finally understand the difference. What we had was a "romance" – it was never a relationship. I also now understand the torment I see in his eyes. What he was slowing building and could have finally had was a relationship with Agent Todd.

Even though I feel envious of what I had seen on the screen, I feel regret that Gibbs and Kate had been denied the "more" and "everything".

The End.