Disclaimer: I don't own anything except the plot. Though if anyone wants to give me a really lovely birthday present, Gibbs is still at the top of my list...
A/N: I know that there have been multiple undercover stories written about Gibbs and Kate, and there will be more written yet. Such is the nature of life. Yet still I have the audacity to present my humble offering (or at least the beginnings of it) for your perusal. Please be kind and let me know what you think. Also, I am in the throes of finals at the moment, so chapters may be a bit slow coming up. Have patience with me. And, as always...enjoy. :)
This cannot be happening.
There is no way in hell that he just walked out of MTAC with a dull ache behind his eyes, a persistent buzzing in his ears, and the nagging feeling that he's got "I'm cooperating with the FBI" tattooed across his forehead. Which reminds him that Fornell is gonna love this one. Really love this one. Damn.
He's never bucked the Director on a direct order yet. Tom Morrow's a smart man, smart enough to play the political games required of an agency head, and smart enough to let his agents work their cases on their own. Until now, that is. And what makes it a hundred times worse is that Morrow was the one who actually suggested this harebrained plan, this asinine scheme that's going to get them all killed, or worse. All things considered, he's not entirely sure that he, Special Agent Jethro Gibbs, is still operating in the world of sane and rational thought. Because if he is, he's seriously considering quitting NCIS altogether and selling newspapers on the street for a living. Maybe he'll actually get to spend some quality time with his boat.
But since for a Marine quitting is not an option, he knows he's going to have to do it. Walk down those stairs, go over to that desk, look in those big brown eyes, and tell her. At the moment, he thinks he'd much rather eat glass, walk over hot coals, take a bullet in the arm—anything rather than walk up to Kate Todd and announce that this afternoon, the two of them are going to go undercover for at least three or four days.
As husband and wife.
She has her head bent over the paperwork that is currently taking up a good three-quarters of her desk, filling out one of the innumerable reports in her neat, precise printing. She feels him approaching—she's developed a sort of sixth sense where he's concerned—but she doesn't say anything and doesn't look up. She'd really rather he didn't know the guilty secret that's been bugging her for nearly six months now.
He hired her with the expectation that she'd be a professional. He knew why she'd left the Secret Service, why she felt she'd betrayed herself and the people who depended on her. He knew about her secret affair with Tim and the way that that affair had unfocused her mind and clouded her judgment. And when he'd offered her a job, he'd told her that she couldn't pull that crap at NCIS. She believed him.
So there is absolutely no way that she can ever admit to the growing attraction between the two of them. It's not just her, she knows. She's seen the little glances he gives her, the way his eyes slide over her when he thinks she's not looking. She's gathered from Tony that he's never this nice with newbies, that his patience with her blunders and mistakes is unprecedented. But he's never actually crossed the line between personal and professional, and neither can she, no matter how much she may want to. Which is why she keeps her eyes on her work and her brain occupied with minutiae as she feels him walk up to her.
She doesn't really know what to expect—a comment on the case she's currently writing up, a question about her report, even an observation about how she handled the investigation—but what she certainly doesn't expect is his hand on her arm and his blue eyes staring intently into hers as he says in a low, husky voice, "Kate—with me."
Stunned into docile silence, she follows him to the elevator and waits for him to punch the button for Abby's lab or the garage or autopsy. There really isn't another reason to get into an elevator with Gibbs. But he pushes a button for one of the top floors, one of the floors that they rarely visit except in cases of necessity, and then as the elevator begins to move slams the "Stop" switch beside the door.
Eyes wide, she turns to look at him, wondering what is behind this extremely strange behavior. His face is set, unreadable, but she thinks she detects a glint of something like anger in his eyes. She can't figure out what she's done, but it must be pretty bad. Butterflies start swirling in her stomach and her head begins to pound as she mentally reviews anything remotely stupid she's done in the past week or so.
She's jolted abruptly out of her reverie when he starts to speak, his voice a low rasp in the silence of the small space. He's not looking at her, his eyes fixed straight ahead and a distinct tension visible in his big frame.
"Kate, we've got a new case."
Almost without conscious thought, her eyebrows go up in surprise. A new case is not a big deal. Being informed of the existence of said case in a stopped elevator alone with Gibbs is more than a big deal. It's sort of like an enormously big deal.
His eyes flick sideways to her face and then back to the blank silver doors of the elevator, his shoulders tensing as the silence spins out between them. Finally he takes a deep breath and turns to face her, reluctance apparent in every line.
"We're going undercover. As Lieutenant Colonel and Mrs. Patrick Moore."
And that's when Kate's world abruptly tilts on its axis and starts whirling in dizzying circles around her head.