I don't own NCIS, I just like to take the characters out for a joyride every once in a while. :)

I usually stay in denial about the whole Twilight thing, but this was floating around in my head, so here it is.

I'm reuploading this story b/c as one astute observer pointed out, the plane was called Alpha Foxtrot 2900 not Yankee White...which I knew b/c I've seen that first ep like a thousand and ten times and yet I still wrote it wrong. lol. Anyways, my thanks to that reader!

How Long?

2 years, 1 month, 3 weeks.

That's how long it's been since Kate entered his life on Air Force One - or rather, Alpha Foxtrot 2900 as she reminded him, since the President was no longer on board.

That's how long it's been since she told him she was destined to shoot him.

9 months, 1 week, 2 days.

That's how long it's been since they shared their first stolen kiss in MTAC after he ordered everyone out but her, no longer able to stand the way she was driving him crazy with the smell of her strawberry shampoo as she stood just a little too close.

8 months, 2 weeks, 3 days.

That's how long it's been since he went to her apartment one fateful night and told her how he couldn't get her out of his mind even though he could think of a dozen different reasons why they shouldn't be together.

That's how long it's been since he learned she reciprocated his feelings.

That's how long it's been since they decided to give the relationship a chance.

8 months, 2 weeks, 2 days.

That's how long it's been since he found out how she took her coffee - 2 sugars and a splash of cream - when he ordered her a coffee the next morning along with his usual black, starting what would become a tradition of bringing her coffee every single morning.

8 months, 2 weeks, 1 day.

That's how long it's been since the rest of his team started noticing an upswing in his mood and an increase in his patience.

7 months, 1 week, 5 days.

That's how long it's been since they spent their first night together in heated passion, declaring their love for one another both verbally and physically, in a way that still blows his mind to think about.

5 months, 3 weeks, 4 days.

That's how long it's been since they announced their relationship to the rest of the team, laughing at the look of shock on Dinozzo and McGee's faces, while Abby and Ducky congratulated themselves on having figured it out long beforehand.

3 months, 2 days, 19 hours.

That's how long it's been since he asked her to move in with him.

That's how long it's been since she ran home to start packing.

7 days, 16 hours, 24 minutes.

That's how long he's been carrying an engagement ring around in his pocket.

6 days, 8 hours, 52 minutes.

That's how long it's been since he lost her.

6 days, 5 hours, 11 minutes.

That's how long ago he stopped drinking black coffee and started taking it with two sugars and a splash of cream just to cling to the memory of what she tasted like when he kissed her in the mornings.

The rest of his life.

That's how long it will take before he stops loving her, forgets her, and moves on.