This was just something that was floating around in my head & I had to get it out, so it may not be the most in-character or anything, but whatev. :)

I don't own anything, I'm just taking the characters out for a little joyride.

The Headslap

Tony's POV

Oh My God! This is one of those moments when you wish you could just freeze time and rewind a little and then grab a video camera because you're certain that you'll never see a moment like this again, no matter how long you live. It's one of those moments that will most definitely become an NCIS legend, told again and again for years to come. You're not gonna believe this –

Kate just headslapped the boss. I mean, our boss! Gibbs! She just marched right up to him and did it! It was a loud thwack that resounded throughout the entire room and now everybody's staring in shock, waiting to see what's gonna happen next.

Kate's got a look in her eyes that I don't think I've ever seen before. It's a sort of cold fury. I would not want that look pointed towards me, that's for sure! And Gibbs looks like he's too much in shock to even process the fact that he was just headslapped by his subordinate. It'll only be just a minute until one of the two explodes.

And it's Gibbs.

"What the hell, Kate?" I hear him yell. Well, the entire room hears him yell.

They're staring at each other and I really wish I could hear the conversation that seems to be playing out between their eyes right now, because I bet it'd be good!

"Conference room, now!" I hear him bark, and then she's turning on her heel and heading towards the elevator with him following shortly behind her. I'm fairly certain I'd give my left arm to be a fly on the wall in that steel box right now.

Kate's POV

Look, it may not have been the smartest career move, but I'm so mad right now that I don't even care if he ends up firing me. But maybe I should back up a bit and explain…

Not 5 minutes ago, Gibbs and I were in this very same elevator that I'm headed towards right now. And not 5 minutes ago, he had flipped the switch, stopping the elevator in mid-progression, and then pressed me against the wall and kissed me. That's right, you heard me! Gibbs kissed me! I'm not saying it wasn't good – great, really – but I am not the type of girl that you can just kiss and then walk away from like nothing happened. And that's exactly what he did – he just walked away – with a smirk on his face! A smirk!

I won't say that I didn't want it – because we all know that that'd be a lie. There's been some not-so-sublte flirting going on between us for a while now. But I can't handle him playing table tennis with my emotions. It's all or nothing for me. I can't and I won't have some sort of stupid office fling with him. My heart can't handle that. I'm already too emotionally involved with this man to have a short term thing with him and then be tossed aside like a used piece of garbage. I have to keep my defenses up around him or else I'm gonna end up heartbroken and out of a job. And I guess that's what really ticked me off – the thought that he thinks I'd be okay with some sort of sleazy office affair, that he could take advantage of my feelings for him like that. I mean, maybe I'm getting worked up over nothing. But you don't just passionately kiss someone and then walk away without even saying anything. So here we are, back in the elevator, and I'm turning to him and wondering what the hell I'm supposed to say, and if it's even possible for me to walk out of here with my career and dignity intact.

Gibbs POV

Okay, look, I know I screwed up. You all know how I feel about apologies – refer to rule number 6 – but perhaps I should make an exception to the rule, just this once. I don't want her to quit and I don't want her to bring me up on sexual harassment charges. I just couldn't help it – I let my feelings take over for just a second, and now I have to pay for it. Granted, I think the headslap in the middle of the bullpen goes a fairly long way in paying the debt towards her. Had it been anyone else, there's no telling what I would have done. But I'm not even mad at her. It took balls. This is definitely a woman that can keep me in line, and that just makes me want her that much more. This is dangerous – I'm starting to think that following her back into this elevator was a bad idea.

I was just about to enter Abby's lab when I had overheard her telling Abby that she'd broken up with her latest boyfriend because he turned out to be a jerk. I wasn't really intending to eavesdrop but well, when the opportunity arises… Anyways, I couldn't help but think of how stupid the guy must have been to let Kate get away from him. How could he not realize what he had? And then I started thinking of all the ways that I would have treated her special if I were that guy – and well, we all know that's a dangerous line of thinking to follow. It's only a short jump from that to thinking about what it would be like if I were with her, if we were really together. So when I followed her into the elevator the first time, and she was so close that I could smell the peach scented hand lotion that she regularly applied, well I guess I just stopped thinking clearly. I blame it on the lotion.

I started kissing her. And once I started, I didn't want to stop. Especially once she started kissing me back. And then at some point my brain started working again and I realized that I was standing in the NCIS elevator, kissing my subordinate. And so I did the only thing that I really know how to do well when it comes to women and feelings – I ran. I pulled away, flipped the switch, and walked out, leaving her standing there staring after me. And then I headed back to the bullpen and wondered if there was any way she'd just pretend it never happened and never mention it again. Well, I guess I got my answer.

Tony's POV

They're in the elevator now. And once the doors closed, I followed them over and pressed my ear against the steel doors, hoping that I could hear something – anything really. There's nothing but silence and I'm cursing the thick metal doors preventing me from hearing what's going on. I can just imagine the kind of argument that'd happen when you combine Kate's feistiness with Gibbs' stubbornness. And I'm wondering if I'll still have a partner when they're done or if I'll have to break in someone new. It's a shame, because as much as we get on each other's nerves, I really like having Kate for a partner. And as much as I look up to Gibbs as a boss, I'm wondering if maybe I should head on up to the director's office right now and ask for a few personal days off so that Gibbs can cool off a bit before I have to see him again.

Gibbs POV

We stood at opposite sides of the elevator, our backs pressed up against the walls, arms folded in front of our chests, staring each other down, waiting to see who would make the first move.

"Look, Kate –" I started, but she cut me off.

"I'm not that kind of girl, Gibbs."

That left me rather confused. "Wait, what? What kind of girl?"

Kate rolled her eyes, and sighed. I could sense her irritation at having to explain it to me. "I'm not the type of girl that you just kiss and walk away from. I'm not the type of girl that has office flings with her boss and then pretends like nothing's happened. Maybe you got the wrong impression when you found out I was dating Tim while in the Secret Service, but I don't just sleep around. I want to have a meaningful relationship with someone. I think I deserve that. I'm not the type of girl that can have sex with someone and then not be emotionally involved. And besides, you're the one with rule number 12."

I stared at her then, trying to process the fact that she thought I just wanted to have a fling with her. Granted, I've always played my cards close to the vest, but is it possible that a woman I'm this in love with doesn't have the slightest idea of how I feel? And having my own rule thrown back in my face – ouch! It's not that I haven't told myself the same thing a dozen times a day, but I'd willingly break that rule for her, if she'd be willing to do the same. But it doesn't sound to me like she is. Maybe it would be better to just concede the point, apologize and get out. But still, I have to make her know that I didn't just want a fling with her – I'd never treat her like that, like someone I could just use and throw away. I couldn't hurt her like that. And I want so much more than that with her. But letting her know that means I have to reveal a lot more of myself, of my emotions, than I'm really comfortable with.

By this point she wasn't even looking at me anymore. She had averted her eyes to the floor, a slight blush of embarrassment coloring her cheeks, waiting for me to reply to her declaration that she wouldn't get involved in an office affair. I unfolded my arms, pushed off from the wall and took a few steps towards her until I was standing right in front of her, intent on making her look at me.

"Kate." I said her name and got no response.

"Katie." The rarely used nickname in a soft voice got her attention, and when she finally met my eyes I could see the surprise and the wariness in them. I hate that I made her feel like she had to be on her guard around me now. It wasn't what I intended or wanted.

Kate's POV

I could feel him moving closer to me, but I didn't really want to look up at him and see the rejection or the anger on his face. But when he said my name like that – with a tenderness I've never heard from him before – all bets were off and I couldn't help looking into those clear blue eyes. But if that surprised me, then his next words threw me completely.

"Katie, I never wanted to have a fling or a one-night stand with you. I kissed you because I overheard you talking to Abby about the jerk you just broke up with and I wanted to prove that I could be better than that, better than him for you."

"What?" Is he saying what I think he's saying?

"I don't want just an office romance. I want a relationship. With you." I couldn't say anything, and I searched his eyes for the truth. Could he possibly want what I've been wanting for so long now? I think my non-response worried him, because he kept talking.

"I want to take you out to dinner and have it be the best date you've ever gone on. I want to kiss you and know that there's no one else you'd rather be kissing back. I want to hold you and know you feel safe in my arms. I want to… I want to tell you that… I want you to know that I love you. And I want to know if you love me back."

It was almost too much to process. This isn't the Gibbs that I know – this guy who's laying his soul bare for me to see.

"Katie?" I could see the worry in his eyes and feel him starting to pull away and put his guards back up. So I did the only thing I could think of doing. I kissed him. And after a long moment that was filled with heat, passion, and intense desire, I pulled back so I could look him in the eyes when I told him.

"I do. I do love you back. I have for so long now."

He smirked. Again. But as I leaned in to kiss him again, I realized I now have a better way of wiping that smirk off his face than headslapping him.