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18 September 2006 @ 11:21 am
{NCIS // Chemicals React}  
Title: Chemicals React
Characters: Leroy Jethro Gibbs, Caitlin Todd
Pairing: Gibbs / Kate
Prompt: You make me feel out of my element
Like I'm drifting out to the sea
Like the tide's pulling me in deeper
Making it harder to breathe...

Were you right, was I wrong?
Were you weak, was I strong?
Both of us broken
Caught in a moment
We lived and we loved
And we hurt and we jumped
But the planets all aligned
When you looked into my eyes
And just like that
The chemicals react

{Chemicals React - Aly & AJ}

Word Count: 1850
Rating: PG.
Spoilers: Spoilers for the near end of Season 2 (Episode 2.22: SWAK).
Author's Notes: Yay! From the long, long, LONG dry spell commeth some pretty meager looking fanfic, but I'm cool with that. I'd love a beta for this, because I know that it sucks, but I also know that it COULD be really decent maybe. And also, Gibbs is just wonderful.
Disclaimer: I do not own anything from the TV show NCIS, not even a hair from DiNozzo's rather full-bodied bum. I do, however, own whatever words I happen to put beneath this. Respect that, and [Donald P. Bellisario, please] don't sue me.

Kate Todd had made a lot progress in her life. She no longer ate an entire quart of ice cream in one sitting. She'd read The Iliad and The Odyssey in their original Greek. She knew 12 ways to disarm someone without compromising her position, and she vacuumed her apartment every week. Now, why hadn't all of this progress translated into her love life? She was still home alone on a Saturday night, watching The Facts of Life and baking cookies she'd later eat... alone.

Trudy was learning to roller skate when the doorbell rang.

Kate had spent too much time in law enforcement to not be suspicious of late-night knocks at the door; her body tensed as she turned the doorknob.


Gibbs? Kate stared at him in disbelief. She'd have sooner expected a door-to-door rapist than Leroy Jethro Gibbs.

"Gibbs? Wha- What are you doing here?" He rolled his eyes and handed her a cup of coffee.

"They gave me two." His eyes met hers as he took a sip of his own, daring her to question him.

Someday, she would.

"Oh. Couldn't drink it yourself?" She wrapped her hands around the cup, embracing the searing warmth. Gibbs shook his head and gave her a bemused grin.

"No." He paused, looking at her, and startled her when his eyebrows flared. "Well, drink it!" He said, angrily.

Slightly shaken, she took a timid drink, expecting to taste something kindred to gasoline; it was sweeter. This was her coffee, not his.

"No wonder you wouldn't drink it." She smiled at the look he gave her.

After a moment of silence, Kate was at a crossroads. She couldn't possibly invite him in, but... he just kept standing there. Why wasn't he leaving? Did he want to be invited in? Wouldn't he tell her that? Why was he here, anyway... what did he want her to do? Why wasn't he leaving?!

Her smile continued, but his had long since worn off. His eyes were still on her, following her, certain and weighing her down. He knew what he wanted... if only she did.

"You wanna come in?" Her hands were shaking; she couldn't let him see that. This was her boss, and he was here expecting something of her. Was this a surprise evaluation? Gibbs took another swig of his coffee; Kate was amazed that anyone could be so nonchalant.

"Sure." His eyes paused to look around the street before he nodded, signaling that their movement could begin. Kate didn't know when she learned to read him, but at times it seemed like second nature. Wow, she could actually read Gibbs. When he let her, of course.

She kept expecting him to say something, make conversation, remark about the neighborhood or her chair rails, even something at work. Kate had always been uneasy around silence, and she was naturally uneasy alone with Gibbs.

Something was burning. Hydrogen, carbon, oxygen... smoke was filling her nostrils.

"Damn it..." Kate ran into her kitchen to find a thick grey cloud billowing out of her oven. She opened the door and promptly inhaled a face full of charred chocolate vapor. Her hands flailed at the stove in an attempt to quell the steady stream of smoke that was pouring into her lungs. She choked on it, and fell backwards. Her head was starting to spin as she felt strong arms wrap around her and drag her convulsing body across the room.

Kate blinked and he'd jumped up again and ran back to the oven. He reached into the smoke and pulled out the cookie sheet, tossing it into the sink. Kate shot up after she heard a shout of pain; he'd grabbed the damned thing barehanded. She hurried over to him as he was turning off the oven.

"Gibbs?! Your hand!" Kate shouted; her voice rang out into the silence, and she choked again.

He said nothing, but turned to the window and opened it. Suddenly a gust of cold air entered the room and the smoke began to dissipate. Kate took a step back as he advanced until they were up against her kitchen table. He was cradling his hand, and she looked down at his hand, afraid of what she'd see. It was a dark orange... the same color as her kitchen towels. He chuckled as she gaped at his hand in disbelief.

"When did you put that...? You scared the hell out of me, Gibbs!" Her voice rose in anger as his laughter intensified. She slapped him in the chest. "That's not funny." Her voice had adapted the serious tone she used with Tony. Gibbs' sparkling eyes met hers, and she shook her head. "That was so... that was 'DiNozzo stupid'."

Gibbs' face slackened. Tony was still in the hospital, recovering from the Numonic Plague he'd been infected with earlier that week. Sure, he was going to be fine, but that brush with death had affected everyone at NCIS. Everyone was realizing how much team members meant to them, and frail they all were, how close they were to death every day. It had even sobered up DiNozzo.

Suddenly, Gibbs looked up at Kate with an intensity that made her squirm. He reached out and rubbed his thumb against her cheek.

"You put your cookies too close to the edge. Overcrowding the pan."

She tilted her head, and his hand slipped behind it to rest on the top of her neck. She wasn't moving anymore, wasn't speaking, wasn't thinking, wasn't breathing. She was just waiting...

- - - - - - - - -

He had no clue what he was doing. Had he learned nothing from Jenny, nothing from himself, nothing from all of the mistakes he'd made? This was a prescription for disaster, and yet he was still walking towards her door with two coffees in his hand. He was still rehearsing what he'd say. He was still thinking about her, still finding ways to completely ignore every rational thought in his head.

He shook his head as he climbed her stairs; this was the first time he'd wanted to slap his own head. Even DiNozzo wouldn't be this stupid.

He could tell he'd surprised her when she opened the door. Her eyes widened, glanced to the left, to the right, the settled on him. She had no idea what he was doing here. Then again, neither did he.

"Hey." Gibbs hoped this wasn't going to be one of those nights that he critiqued every word that came out of his mouth. The Corps. had taught him how to mask his anxiety, his nervousness, his self-conciousness, but they'd never told him how to eradicate it.

"Gibbs? Wha- What are you doing here?" He rolled his eyes and handed her a cup of coffee. She was flustered; he loved her when she was flustered. She'd tilt her head a certain way, and her eyes would get so wide and deep...

"They gave me two." He held her gaze, and took an automatic swig of coffee. He knew she wouldn't believe him, but he knew she wouldn't say anything to the contrary. He acted like he knew everything, she acted like she knew nothing, and they both walked away with the same amount of knowledge. He loved the game; he could avoid all of that sappy crap and still get his point across. It was a good system.

"Oh. Couldn't drink it yourself?" He glanced at her hands, watching as they wrapped around the cup. How could she make holding coffee so damned attractive?! Gibbs shook his head and grinned amusedly at her.

"No." He paused, looking at her.

Damn it, he'd lost it. What was he saying? What was he thinking? Why wasn't she drinking the coffee?

"Well, drink it!" He said, angrily. He groaned inwardly; the grumpy old man had to come out sometime.

He watched her drink it, and couldn't contain his smile. He knew it was a smile he'd only given to her; she was the only person who could make him smile that way.

"No wonder you wouldn't drink it."

A second passed; nothing happened, they just stared at each other in the silence, but he'd be content to spend a million more just like that.

"You wanna come in?" Did he? Of course. Should he? Of course not. Gibbs took another swig of his coffee; the indecision swirled around in his gut, making even the familiar brew taste bitter.

"Sure." The word left his mouth before he realized it. He looked around the street; well, he could just test the waters. Just see... nothing had to happen. Nothing was going to happen. It was just... going into her house. He nodded, and followed her in, basking in the silence they shared.

"Damn it..."

She smelled it before he did; by the time the familiar scent reached him, she was sprinting forward, and he was following her. Gibbs loved the smell of smoke, and he paused as the rich carbon warmed his chest. It took him a moment to realize that this intoxicating scent was out of place. When he saw Kate run into the black cloud, he darted behind her and felt the gentle weight of her body against his before he could get his bearings. This was when his training kicked in, when he didn't have time to think about it.

He pulled her close to him and shuffled out of the smoke, letting her down gently before grabbing a towel and running back to the oven. He grabbed the cookie sheet and thrust it into the sink behind him, cleverly slamming his wrist down on the edge of the counter.

"Agh! Damn it, damn it!"

He was turning off the oven when he heard her yell something, and he'd opened the window by the time she'd reached him. The air rushed in and thinned the smoke, but some of it was being forced into his face. He walked forward, cradling his throbbing wrist, and stopped when he'd bumped up against her.

Kate was looking at his hand in shock, and he watched her face flicker with realization. He couldn't help but laugh.

"When did you put that...? You scared the hell out of me, Gibbs!" The anger in her voice tickled him. She slapped him in the chest. "That's not funny." Her voice had adapted the serious tone she used with DiNozzo. Gibbs looked up to see her face. "That was so... that was 'DiNozzo stupid'."

Gibbs stopped laughing. No, he thought, DiNozzo isn't this stupid.

Ever since the envelope showed up, Gibbs couldn't stop thinking about Kate. When they'd thought that she was infected, all he could think was that he'd missed his chance. He felt lost, powerless, worthless. What was the point of all of this, of nearly losing her, if he was just going to continue to ignore his feelings? He couldn't take this anymore. He said the first thing that came to his mind as he reached up to wipe some soot off of her face.

"You put the cookies too close to the edge. Overcrowding the pan."

She looked at him, and tilted her head sarcastically. His hand slid across her face; he was careful to remember every inch of her skin.

And then he kissed her.
Current Mood: creativecreative
Current Music: Chemicals React - Aly & AJ
stalking cote de pablo and certain f-listers...: no lifesmackalalala on November 11th, 2006 08:23 am (UTC)
Awww. Cute. I like how you showed the story from both Kate's view and Gibbs', but kept the 3rd person narrative. Nice. The only "concrit" I really have is that you spelled Pneumonic wrong, lol. And did they actually refer to it as the pneumonic plague on the show? I know they said Y Pestis, but....Anyway, I don't know myself. Nice fic. And that's saying something because I don't normally read Kate/Gibbs. :)
i am jack's broken heart ★: [Kibbs] Together.already_used on November 11th, 2006 09:57 am (UTC)
That was amazing. Loved this story very much. ♥
Characters are very in character and I liked that you wrote the story from Gibbs' and Kates point of view. Great work.

Can't wait to read more Kate/Gibbs stuff. ;D
Thanks for sharing.
dani101dani101 on November 11th, 2006 11:38 am (UTC)
AWESOME story!Loved it-thanks a lot for sharing-can't wait to read more Kate/Gibbs stuff by you.:D
katewallacekatewallace on November 11th, 2006 02:34 pm (UTC)
Very nice and right in character, especially the coffee scene. Small point, technically at this time in the show, we didn't know "Jen"'s name...all we knew was that the rule said (can't remember the number) "Romance between agents never works." But otherwise, this is spot on and I liked that we got both Kate and Gibbs point of view. You should write more. Please.
Math // you gave me a life I never chose: icons_kibbsmathhhh on November 11th, 2006 03:26 pm (UTC)
That was very good, a great Kate/Gibbs story !
I can't wait to read more from you !
sister moon: devilmelanie_anne on November 16th, 2006 12:22 am (UTC)
This is a fabulous fic! I love the double POV's, and the uncertainty and hesitation on both their parts.

You'd better keep writing, or I'll have to stalk you or something ;)