Series: - No Series - #1
Chapters: 001 Word Count: 1110
Character(s): Jethro Gibbs, Caitlyn (Kate) Todd
Category(ies): Unresolved Sexual Tension
Summary: Not everyone at NCIS liked Gibbs. But Kate did.
Not everyone at NCIS liked Jethro Gibbs. They may have respected him, deferred to him, even admired him for the champion investigator and resident legend that he was. But few actually liked the man.
Some disliked his methods; some took exception to his manner. Some just didn’t like his type on principle. But Kate had always liked Gibbs, from the very beginning. Despite his methods, despite his manner.
Even when he confounded her, she liked him. Even when he irritated her (especially when he irritated her), she liked him. Even when, on occasion, he upset or scared her, she still liked her boss, more than she perhaps should.
He was simply her type of man.
Also, she had always suspected that beyond that impenetrably hard outer shell of his which so many were fooled by, Gibbs was, in actual fact, a big softie. While she had very little proof to back up her theory, she was secretly convinced that, at heart, Leroy Jethro Gibbs was a teddy bear.
Over the years, she’d watched him with interest show a gentle understanding to children, staunch loyalty to his peers, compassion for many they came across in their case work and even a healthy affection for four-legged creatures.
What she had observed today only confirmed the notion in her head. His thoughtful gesture was small and seemingly inconsequential. Many had missed it; Gibbs himself made little of it. But Kate had noticed and filed away the good deed for later study.
She’d seen how their latest case had affected her boss in a way that few did. Families seemed to hit quite close to home for him and the profiler in her suspected that he related very strongly to the father whose daughter had been stolen from him for an excruciating couple of days. Not that he would ever let any personalemotion seep through to the surface. Again, it was just Kate’s feeling.
But as she sat at her desk, watching her boss curiously, she felt compelled to acknowledge the energy he had exhausted on this case, and also let him know, that his act of kindness had not gone unnoticed -- despite the fact that she knew he expected no such recognition for either.
The sun had set outside about half an hour prior as the buzzing squad room gradually emptied. One more harrowing case had been successfully resolved. Tony had left for his customary Friday night date. McGee was downstairs helping Abby finish up.
And instead of finishing her report, Kate had spent the last twenty minutes considering her boss’ qualities and watching his eyelashes and fingers as he read silently at his desk. Resting her head in her hand, she absently wondered whether she preferred him in the blue shirt or the black he was wearing today ….it was a very close call.
She was caught off guard when Gibbs turned and met her indolent gaze, staring at her over the frames of his glasses which glinted brightly in the lamplight. She quickly redirected her gaze past him to the screen behind him, pretending that it was the photos up there that’d had her so engrossed. His sharp eyes tracked her movements as she rose from her seat and moved towards the screen, studying the faces on the glowing display.
After a few minutes of feigning deep thought, she turned back to the face which truly interested her, watching Gibbs adjust his glasses as he bent over his work in concentration.
“What?” he finally grumbled crossly, unsuccessfully disregarding her intense scrutiny. He tossed down his glasses and turned to face her, glowering darkly.
His tone was meant to scare her, his look was supposed to intimidate her. It was her cue to mumble ‘nothing’ and scuttle back to her desk to finish her work like a good little special agent.
Kate smiled quietly – he didn’t scare her. She knew his big secret.
Gibbs was a teddy bear.
Slowly, she stepped forward, knowingly invading his fiercely-guarded territory, and moved to stand right behind his chair. Only hesitating for a moment, she leaned down and wrapped her arms around him from behind, tucking her head into his shoulder.
“What are you doing?” Gibbs demanded, his tone slightly unnerved. His hands reached up to tug at her arms resistantly.
Kate squeezed him tighter and turned her head to look at him: “This,” she told him simply and leaned in quite deliberately to place a big, wet kiss on his cheek.
His hands stopped trying to untangle her hold on him as he stared at her in obvious confusion. She stared back warmly for a long moment, a small smile on her lips. Then slowly she withdrew, never dropping her gaze from his swirling blue eyes.
She walked around his desk and back to her own, feeling his gaze on her again as she packed up her report to take home for the weekend.
“Any particular reason,” he finally spoke: “you did that?” he asked in a gravelly voice.
“Oh, Gibbs…” she sighed patiently as she slipped on her coat and put her bag over her shoulder.
She could tell him that she’d at last uncovered his big secret, that she had witnessed what he did today for that lost little girl. She could tell him that she’d hugged him simply because she liked him and always had. But she doubted he would ever understand that.
She turned to face him, her hands tucked into her pockets and her eyes gleaming with humor.
“Does everything have to have a reason?” she replied liltingly.
She smiled at his bemused expression and started to leave, hearing him mumble softly behind her back:
She wasn’t sure whether he spoke to her or himself, but she turned back, meeting his gaze over the partition flanking her work station. He swiveled in his chair to face her fully, leaning back lazily in the seat with a softly smug smile playing about his lips.
“‘Night,” she murmured quietly, then quirked an eyebrow at him and added impishly: “You’ve got lipstick on your face by the way.”
She strode to the elevator, a satisfied smirk lighting her features. Looking back as she boarded, she caught a glimpse of him brushing a hand over his cheek and staring at the color that adorned his fingers. Then she saw him glance around nervously for fear that someone might have witnessed their furtive little exchange. But the squad room was entirely empty.
Kate smiled to herself as the doors closed – the kiss she had given her boss would be their little secret.