Author's Notes: I recently picked up the first season on DVD (OMG, Michael is SO hot!) and I couldn't help but notice the almost complete lack of bickering on Kate and Tony's part during "Marine Down".. And then, while they're in the plane after Kate sits back down from her aborted bathroom visit, Tony reaches over to help her with her blanket and keeps an eye on her for almost the rest of the scene. There just seemed to be something missing between the storm and when Gibbs wakes up, so I wrote this. Please be kind and review!
Summary: Missing scene from "Marine Down" Season 1. What happened on the plane between the storm and when Gibbs wakes up?
Disclaimer: I do not own. Mr. Bellisario (or, as AeroBoy/AeroGirl of JAG-dom have called him, Bellisaurus Rex), CBS, and Paramount own all rights. I just took them out to play for a little bit.
Lighter Fluid 1/1
Not twenty minutes after they passed through the worst of the storm, Tony felt a weight on his right shoulder. He glanced down and couldn't help the smile that appeared on his face. Poor Kate had finally passed out and the shaking from the residual wind currents had pushed her right over into him. The fact that she hadn't instantly jolted upright and hit him told Tony that she really was as exhausted as she looked. Granted, not that he'd admit it to anyone, but all the bouncing and jouncing around had started to make him a little plane-sick, too.
Tony slowly lifted his right arm and wrapped it around her shoulders, pulling her blanket a bit tighter as he did so. The sleepy murmur she gave as she nestled in a bit closer to him caused another grin to appear on his face.
Come to think of it, they'd actually been getting along lately. Well, besides him being a jerk over the bedrooms in Gitmo… There hadn't been any real bickering; Gibbs wasn't muttering under his breath about putting them in detention; they'd bonded somewhat over the fiasco that was the firing range the other morning. Hmm… He'd have to go see that one girl in Dispersing about getting Kate's new PDA rushed in. Tony used the hand that wasn't around her shoulders to gently flick the blanket open at her waist to confirm that she hadn't yet managed to get her hands on a new one yet.
Tony relaxed back against the bulkhead and felt himself nod off.
Gibbs' eyes fluttered open and he blinked for a few seconds before focusing in on the tableau before him. Despite himself, Gibbs felt his lips twitch up in an almost-smile. Those two had been getting closer every single day. Actually, he hadn't had to slap DiNozzo upside the head for some sexist comment in a few weeks.
The only thing he regretted was what would happen when their emotions got the better of them and they broke Rule #12. Despite his adolescent behavior, DiNozzo was shaping up to be a fine investigator and would be an excellent team leader when the time came. Kate would as well.
What not even Abby and Ducky knew, was that Gibbs had an agreement with the Director. When DiNozzo was mature enough to admit his feelings without running away or doing something equally stupid, he would be mature enough to be given his own team to lead. Gibbs didn't expect that to happen for another few years. But when that day came, Tony would take his promotion and flourish, and Kate would stay assigned to Gibbs himself, and as long as they could keep their relationship out of the office, nobody need know what precipitated the change in teams.
On second thought, they'd already managed to find their groove as a team, maybe he would do a little nudging in the opposite direction until he had enough agents lined up to replace them.
Either way, it would be very interesting to see.
Kate and Tony started to stir, eyelids flickering gently, so Gibbs shut his eyes and quickly dropped off again.
Tony lifted his head and smiled down into Kate's eyes. "Hi. Feeling better?"
Kate flushed a delicate pink and pulled away, flashing a quick smile back at him. "Actually, I am, a bit. Thanks, Tony."
"No problem. Any other parts of me you want to feel up, just let me know." Tony flashed her his patented smile – which quickly turned into a wince when her right fist flashed out to lodge in his ribs. He grunted with real pain and glowered a little when she chuckled back at him.
Their mirth was quickly interrupted when the plane hit a bit of turbulence and they experienced zero gravity for a split second. Tony yelped with surprise. Kate tried to, but her stomach turned and she was sent reaching for her barf bag. Tony winced with sympathy and gently rubbed her back. "All right?" he asked quietly when she sat back again.
"Yeah, thanks." Tony helped her rearrange her blanket more tightly about herself and then they sat back to contemplate their boss. Nothing more was said, and, except for the occasional playful elbow to the ribs, they didn't move.
Both Kate and Tony were slouched in their seats, enviously eyeing the peacefully sleeping Gibbs, when he practically bounced upright with a yawn, a stretch, and a smile. "Morning! Sleep well?" he asked with a quick smile, noting their new positions.
"If you mean violently throwing up all night and bouncing around like rag dolls…" Kate started.
"...Then, yeah, boss, we slept very well, thanks for asking," Tony finished.
"Aw, you get used to it," Gibbs chided gently.
"I hope not," Kate muttered.
They were silent for a beat before Kate seemed to decide something and carefully rose. Keeping one hand braced for balance, she looked around for a second. "What are you looking for, Kate?" Gibbs asked with just the barest hint of amusement.
Kate resisted the urge to roll her eyes. "Uh, the ladies' room?" Gibbs quickly concealed his smile while Tony snorted behind her. "Then the men's room ."
Gibbs, looking a little sympathetic (which Kate didn't believe for a minute), said, "There's no men's room."
Kate was more than a little astonished as she demanded, "Then where am I supposed to go to the bathroom?"
Gibbs wordlessly pulled out the white plastic bag that had once held Tony's sandwich and her bottle of water and Kate gaped for a second. "Forget it, no way." When he realized that Kate was going to sit bak down, Tony reached across and lifted up her blanket a bit so she could wrap it around herself again. She thanked him with a smile and a quick touch on his thigh.
Five seconds later, Tony was stifling a laugh as she went to find some privacy, muttering, "God, I miss Air Force 1."
It wasn't until after they'd got back to Washington that Tony checked his email again and discovered something from Kate. It read, "You, me, Saturday at 6:30am. Bring the lighter fluid. K." Tony grinned and opened the picture he'd taken of Gibbs' boat while staying with him a few months before. A few minor alterations and additions later, Tony hit Send and listened to Kate laugh.