Some take out from that new Italian place, a glass of champagne, and a nice hot bubble bath is all she really wants. After a long day on the job, putting up with Tony's constant yammering without even the benefit of McGee to gang up on or with, Kate just needs to get away from all that. So when Dinozzo jumps up and heads her off just as she's about to get into the elevator it's really all she can do to not blow him off completely.
"What do you want, Tony?" She says as she hits the button frantically.
He leans nonchalantly against the wall but there's an unusual tension in the way he smirks. She's too damn grateful to be leaving for the day to care. "Just thought you might wanna grab some dinner, someplace quiet, you know. Relax." Tony looks down nervously, "it's been a long day."
She can't help the inelegant snort as the doors open and Tony follows her into the elevator, "That's it? No jokes about a ride on the Dinozzo express? You're loosing your touch."
Tony chuckled and turned so he wasn't facing her directly, "yeah, that was a little lame, huh?"
"I mean, I think I'm a little insulted, at least you're usually creative. That was almost like you were actually asking me out."
Kate grinned up at Tony, waiting for the retort she'd left him wide open for. When he caught her looking he turned up the fake smile as high as it would go, "yeah, yeah, 'cause that would be, you know. Ah, look at that. I think that's my stop."
The doors were opening on the ground floor. It was her stop, actually, since he'd only followed her on and she was the only other person there. The ball dropped when he turned to make a hasty retreat.
"Shit. Tony!" She called as she caught up with him, "I just meant- you wouldn't. I mean, you aren't. Are you?"
Kate knew there was more to Tony than a boy pulling on her pigtails but most of the time that was the only level she ever acknowledged, the only level he ever seemed to want acknowledged. If this was him offering to let her in deeper, to give more of himself, she didn't think she had to strength to say no to that.
Tony was rubbing the back of his neck nervously, "well, only if you- Yeah, if you want."
This was so weird, so un-Dinozzo-like. She'd seen him around plenty of women, flirting and cocky. She'd also seen him more like he looked in front of her now, a little unsure, embarrassed, but sucking it up to get the job done. The two had never crossed paths before, but then again she'd never seen him actually go after a women. It was always about the case, or his image, never true interest. If this was him honestly putting himself out there could she possibly turn that down? Especially when it had become an almost pathological need to push him, just to see if she could coax him a little more out of that superficial, artificial shell he so desperately clung to. She was a profiler, she'd always known what she saw wasn't all there was. Now it was crunch time, and even if she had no clue where this could possibly go, she knew she had to find out.
Kate reached up and tugged lightly at the base of Tony's neck, pulling him, unresisting and a little surprised, down to her level.
It was a short, chaste kiss but she could feel him come out of his stupor near the end. Could feel his lips curl against hers before she pulled away.
"Yeah, Dinozzo, I think I'd like that."
There was a happy, awestruck look on his face, and it made her think that maybe it really was true that there was an uncertain little boy in every man and it made her unreasonably delighted to think she'd put that smile on his lips. She put her hand on his chest and pushed him away again.
"But not tonight."
Because nothing had changed, really, she was still exhausted, and had spent all day with Tony at his most annoying, and it would never matter what he meant to her, she would always need time way from that.
"Oh, right. Ok, so tomorrow maybe?" Tony calls as she turned back around to head into the parking garage. "I'll just see you later, then."
"Yeah. Bye, Tony." She calls with a wave over her shoulder. It's not the most romantic start to whatever this may be, and there's really no telling how long it will last, but it's something she has to see through to the end.