When he brought her coffee the first time, she was curious. When he gave her a real smile for the first time, she was flattered. When he worked so hard to rescue her from Ari, she was touched.
When he called her Katie, she knew.
"Kate, conference room," He barked.
She followed him into the elevator.
He threw the switch, his face lit eerily with the blue emergency lights.
"Don't you ever do that to me again, Katie, you understand?" he demanded.
"Gibbs, I… I was only trying to chase him down. I know how much you want to catch him."
"Me, Katie. I will catch him. You will never- never- try to go after him by yourself again," he said fiercely.
"Fine," she replied curtly.
"Kate," he touched her shoulder. "I was scared for you. I don't want to lose you, Katie." There was a tenderness in his voice that Kate has never heard before.
Gibbs did the thing she least expected then. He pulled her into his arms and hugged her tightly. Then he released her.
"What would I do without you, Katie?" he asked.
"You'll never have to find out, Jethro," she replied. And she believed it.