Title: Memories

Fandom: NCIS

Author S J Smith

Rating: K

Written for The Bechdel Fest Comment Fic-A-Thon for the prompt: NCIS, Ziva and Abby, talking about Kate

Disclaimer: Donald Bellisario owns all.

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There is a subject that no one brings up, her predecessor. The woman whose desk she sits in, the one who makes the rest of the team pause, at least for a split second. As a trained Massad officer, you recognize this. You know pain for what it is; can read a mask and a flinch and the way eyes slip past you sometimes.

There is a photo on Tony's hard drive - you weren't snooping, it was there because his screensaver shows all his saved photos eventually - of a pretty brunette, smiling as boys poured beer over her shirt. The dedication in McGee's second novel is to Kate Todd, Patriot. Ducky and Jimmy were chuckling at something she'd said one day when you came into Autopsies and Gibbs, well, Gibbs never says anything about her.

Abby is a little more forthcoming, as is Abby's way. "She was Kate. Funny. She and Tony fought a lot. I mean." Abby considered. "Kind of like you guys fight. But different. When Tony got so sick, when we thought he was gonna die? She totally stayed with him. Even in the quarantine unit."

"So," you say, slowly, thoughtfully, "she loved him?"

Shrugging, Abby chews on her thumb for a second before answering. "Maybe? I mean, she loved all of us. We were a team then, like we're a team now. Kate was strong and funny and she wanted a family some day. I feel bad she didn't get that."

"But she did." You smile at Abby's tilted head, her dog ears sliding sideways. "She had all of you."

And Abby smiles, just a little bittersweet, and ducks her head. "Yeah. Yeah, you're right.

"She did."

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