Disclaimer: Of course NCIS… characters… and such belong to the powers that be & not ME! Story created for purely entertainment value.

You know the drill… The character of Kathleen, the 2nd Mrs. Gibbs, is complete fiction and has no connection to actual show history. Other original characters include: Doug & Julie McGee, Stacey, Tiffy, and the Commander.

A/N: I'm leaping into the arena of crossover (NCIS/White Collar)… Her name is Kate, how could I resist?

Tony is 18 (freshman at Ohio State); Kate is 16 (a very new 16… Junior in HS); Tim is 13 (freshman in HS)…. I think this covers background.

A/N: Sit back, suspend belief and enjoy it as the fiction it's meant to be.



The harder she tried to fight the nerves welling up inside the more rapidly they seemed to rise. Ocean tides roaring could render less havoc then her own stomach. They were back home and away from any witnesses that could actually stop her murder from taking place. Sure Stephanie and Tony were home, but neither had any real inclination to come between Leroy Jethro Gibbs and his target.

Kate's explanation had been received with an uncharacteristic calm during brunch. She strategically neglected details that included 'borrowing' a golf cart; hijacking a cabana; Stacy's less than appropriate wrestling match in said cabana; and the word champagne never got uttered. The dog chasing story got a few strained laughs, but Kate knew the gunny failed to see the humor deep down. He also didn't buy the story anymore than Mr. Burke or the Commander. Pulling out some of his best interrogation techniques Gibbs questioned the teens at rapid fire pace until the women all agreed it was enough. They were willing to except the no harm version of the story, dole out a mild reproach and be done with the entire incident.

So the afternoon continued with the event seemingly behind them. Elizabeth and Stephanie got the grand tour from Tiffy after helping to schlepp things back to the kitchen. Gibbs and Peter disappeared into the Commanders study leaving the teens to hang out on the enclosed porch.

"When will I get to see you again?" Neal wanted to know.

"I have no idea. I don't see my dad bringing me to New York for a visit anytime soon. We'll talk, and e-mail, and text, and... and... well, everything except meet I guess."

"Then I won't be able to do this," he said leaning over and kissing her full on the lips.

Tony, ever the bucket of ice water, added "doing that is what probably started this in the first place. I don't know about your folks, but I've been dealing with the gunny for years and he didn't buy any of that story. Believe me."

"Must you ruin everything?" Stacy reached over and smacked him on the arm hard. "They'll be fine as long as 'Confessing-Connie' here sticks to the story.

"I know. I got it. Ten minute walk; lost track of time; didn't go far. I'm not an idiot."

"Dude by breaking dad's rules one would have to draw the conclusion that maybe a little bit you kinda are." Tony was laying flat with his eyes closed, but remained perfectly in tuned to the conversation.

"So not helpful."

"Didn't you say you were taking a phone call?" Neal asked.

"No. I said I was taking a call. Okay, no more talk about this. We're just going to confuse each other and end up saying something wrong. We're done. I'm going to get my iPod to play some music."

"Tony why don't you go with her." Kate prodded.

"Do I look like I want to move? She doesn't need my help."

Stacy yanked on his arm. "Come anyway."

His groans could be heard half way to the stairs.

"I can't believe we've only known each other for 24-hours. It seems like forever. I don't want to think about days on end without seeing you." Neal had clutched onto Kate's hand. She was gripping his back neither looking to let go.

"I guess it was foolish of us to think we'd be anything more than pen pals. I did have fun. Maybe we can ring in the new year together again next year." Kate thought aloud wistfully.

"Oh, my darling Katie girl I will definitely see you again before the next new year."

Her eyes filled in the unasked question of how that was going to be pulled off, Neal brought her fingers to his lips and kissed them ever so gently. "You let me worry about that. I've pulled off much more complicated capers."

"Yeah, but how did they end?"

"Oh, Kate it isn't about the destination. It's absolutely about the journey." Sliding in closer Kate moved so her head rested on his shoulder. A respite taken from any pending doom.

The adults came around to collect their respective offspring almost an hour later. Kate and Stacy both tried for the extra night sleep over, but the Commander was a lot more curt than usual saying they had plans early in the morning and that it wasn't a good night. Gibbs was going to plain veto the request. As the girls hugged they agreed to text later that night.

Neal and his parents were off to the airport. He was thankful for crowd coverage. There was no way he wanted to worry Kate with the details, but his father had promised him serious additional consequences if he did not get satisfactory truthful answers at brunch. He'd only escaped with a handful of heavy swats to his backside the night before because of his mother as it was. It was his hope that the flight, and subsequent cab ride to Brooklyn would give the old man even more time to cool off.


Stacy had to do some answering of her own when Tiffy mentioned her misplaced keys later in the evening. Things got even more weird when the sweater she lent her daughter wasn't put back in her closet. She wasn't one to sweat the details or make a fuss, but Tiffy had always played the angles. Walking into her daughter's bedroom without knocking she surprised the teen with her presence.

"Just so you know my missing sweater and keys leaves me with a lot of questions too." Stacy was poised to answer. "Don't bother with the answers now. I'll just expect the same sort of discretion the next time the Commander has one too many questions for me to answer. Night sweetheart." Tiffy blew her daughter a kiss and breezed out of the room the same way she breezed in. Falling back on her bed Stacy hoped her friend was fairing as well.


"Last chance," Gibbs called from her doorway. Kate turned around only slightly startled. It wasn't like she hadn't expected his arrival at some point.

"For? I already apologized to the Commander, Tiffy, Mr. and Mrs. Burke, who else is left?"

"Oh, the apologies were a nice touch, but I'm much more interested in the facts not the 'I'm sorries'."

"There's nothing left to tell dad."

"Peter said Neal came back from your walk all rumpled. Your make up less than perfect."

"I got cold and borrowed Neal's jacket. Tony always says I'm too rough when I wrap up in his sweaters or jackets too. And between me and you I don't think Mr. Burke is really a make-up expert. I'll have you know I was told how beautiful I looked all night."

"Humphf, and if I tell you you're grounded?"

"It isn't going to change my story."

"If I spank your butt for this out and out lying you're doing?"

"You'll owe me a free pass for when I really do something. The truth is the truth daddy. We all had a nice time nothing more. Nothing less." She walked over and hugged him tight around the waist. He held it for a moment then pushed her back holding her by her shoulders. The patented Gibbs' Glare was in place and fixed on her. God she wanted to melt. She knew she had to hold it. Years of practice told her if she so much as blinked she would be sunk. Prayerfully her shaking couldn't be felt through his hands. Five seconds, ten, fifteen, twenty, deep breath, break. Pulling her back in Gibbs spoke softly above her head.

"Alright, Kate, you win. I'll accept this story, even with all the holes, but know the only reason why is because that Burke boy won't be within a two hundred mile radius of you anytime in the near future. He's bound for trouble Katie. Peter and Elizabeth seem like great parents, but I know the Neal's of the world and they're always looking for the next thrill with no thought to the consequences. I don't want you mixed up with anyone like that, period. Let this little friendship fade into the background sweetheart."

She pulled away herself at that. Letting Neal just fade out of her life was the last thing she wanted and Gibbs saw exactly that when he looked into her eyes. Turning her to the side he popped her bottom with enough force to leave a lingering sting. "You and your backside will regret it if you don't."

"Yes, daddy." Kate answered as she rubbed. She was saying the right words, but neither of them believed they were anymore truthful then the fiction she'd spun earlier in the day.