Caitlyn Todd had been with NCIS for almost six months now. She groaned as she hoisted the pack of equipment onto her shoulder and followed her partner Jethro Gibbs out of the van. They were in a Baltimore back alley and Gibbs was going to start another turf war. She watched him stalk over to the tall, dark-haired young man who was leaning against the wall, a badge hanging out of the pocket of a well-cut suit that hugged his body in all the right places. She took a moment for aesthetic appreciation before pitying him for having to face Gibbs.
Gerald and Ducky arrived a moment later. She smiled in welcome, then glanced back at Gibbs. She was shocked to see Gibbs smiling at the young detective. The young man gave Gibbs an almost shy smile in return. She blinked, shaking her head. A curvaceous young woman in a neatly tailored suit and a neat bobbed haircut called across the alley. "Hey, DiNozzo, stop flirting and get over here."
"Jackson, get away from my evidence," Gibbs snapped at her. She looked up so quickly that her hair kept moving in a gentle swing when her head stopped. She picked her way across the scene. Then, she very calmly formed two fists and punched each of the men in the upper arm. That gained her twin yelps from the men and Kate laughed softly to herself. She drew closer to take a look at the scene. "My scene, my body, my evidence."
"Ours," the woman snapped. She glared at her partner. "You could be more helpful you know," she informed him.
"Hey, you're the brains, I'm the pretty one," he informed her. Gibbs smacked him across the back of the head. "Hey!"
"She's prettier than you are. Fill me in, DiNozzo."
"Who's the new cutie?"
"Agent Caitlyn Todd." The detective smiled at Kate. He opened his mouth, but Gibbs caught him by the chin. "I said 'fill me in.'"
Something flashed in the young man's eyes. "Back off, Gibbs. Just because you're an unfriendly bastard, doesn't mean the rest of the world is. Hi, I'm Anthony DiNozzo. Nice to meet you."
"Hi," Kate said awkwardly. Gibbs physically turned DiNozzo to look at him again.
"God, you're such a charmer, Gibbs," the young woman said. "I'm Sarah. Tony's my partner. I'm sorry you're stuck with Gibbs." Sarah punched both men in the side. "Break it up. We're not giving over jurisdiction on this one, Gibbs. That body out there may be a Marine, but he's also probably involved in this nasty little gang war we've got going on." She batted her blue eyes at Gibbs.
"I've still got an opening, DiNozzo."
"I've still got reasons to stay right here. One of which. . ." DiNozzo sighed. "Rookie! Get your ass over here. Kids," he shrugged. "We've got the bodies, but they don't have the experience. You know I would, but I can't."
Gibbs snorted. "Won't."
"Your bastard ways saved my life. For that you get extra points. Let me fill you in on the details. Report, kiddo."
Kate followed Sarah Jackson to the body. "My advice for dealing with Gibbs is just shoot him and be done with it. There's plenty of us who'll testify that he deserved it."
"You've worked with him?"
"Just once. That was more than enough. Tony though, he actually enjoys it."
Kate looked over her shoulder where Gibbs and DiNozzo were interrogating another man in an ill-fitting brown suit. "You should get him a psych eval for those masochistic tendencies."
Jackson laughed. "You're alright, Todd. No eval. This way I can keep him on a leash and he doesn't bitch." The former Secret Service agent did a double-take at that. Jackson shook her head at her raised brow. "Tony and I will be partners until one of us dies or retires, but I am never sleeping with that slut-puppy. Feel free to take him for a ride. According to Shanika down in Evidence he's the best she's ever been with. Okay, this well-built young female Marine is known as Jane Schimelwitz. Fills out her uniform well, but she's been buying and running steroids for a gang-banger known as Tino. Tony's got three of his snitches to confirm that. We've got uniforms looking for Tino. We didn't call a full CSI team, so you want to work it feel free. We started numbering evidence. Tony did some sketches." Jackson paused. "Here's my card. We're not going to stop working this case. We've got dealers and runners dying all over the place this week. My too-pretty partner is convinced they're connected and we're running with it. I expect a copy of Dr. Mallard's report and anything Abby finds for you."
"You know Abby?"
"Tony calls her every two weeks and they talk like twins who were separated at birth. It's almost creepy." Jackson's smile belied her words. "Take care of Gibbs." The other woman left Kate blinking down at the body. Jackson touched DiNozzo briefly on the hand and he broke away from his conversation to focus completely on her. He nodded at whatever she said. He turned back to Gibbs with a smirk.
Ducky gave DiNozzo a wink as he passed. Kate found herself studying the detective again. Abby liked him. Ducky liked him. Why the Hell wasn't he on the team. "My body," Gibbs stated firmly.
"Dinner. My choice. You get the body," DiNozzo shot back.
Ducky chuckled as he started his preliminary work on the body.
"So who is DiNozzo? And why is Gibbs so chummy with him?"
"Tony is a lost opportunity. Due to circumstances out of his control, he didn't feel he could take the job Gibbs offered him."
"Later, Caitlyn, over a cup of tea."
She nodded and got back to work.
Ducky offered Kate a cup of tea as they settled in the break-room with dinner. Gibbs was on the phone and from the scowl he wore it wasn't good news. "So, who is DiNozzo?"
The doctor chuckled. "Anthony is unique. He came to us one Baltimore evening in pouring rain with his partner in tow and a chip on his shoulder to rival Gibbs in a mood."
"I didn't think that was possible."
"Oh it was a sight to behold. Anthony and Jethro stood toe to toe and yelled at each other for nearly twenty minutes while the rest of us simply did our jobs. Eventually, Jethro caved and allowed the two to work with us as opposed to turning over their case." Ducky smiled into his tea. "Anthony found the crucial clue by flirting shamelessly with a waiter. Jethro offered him a position here."
"But why didn't he accept? He seemed to be willing."
"Did you hear about the shooting at the Baltimore PD? It was just about three years ago."
"No. I was working on a senator's detail in Iowa."
"A madman stormed into the Baltimore police station and started firing. He killed all but one of the officers in the room. Anthony and Sarah were with Gibbs when they got the news. They and two other officers survived unscathed. The officer who had been in the station was paralyzed."
Kate swallowed. "Oh."
"Jethro took care of both of them in the aftermath. He and Anthony became especially close. I had hoped that..."
"Kate, whatever you can find on Tino Suarez. Baltimore. DiNozzo emailed you everything they have access to."
Kate nodded and went to her work-station. Ducky looked up at his friend. "And is Anthony joining you for more than dinner, Jethro?"
Gibbs just smirked.
Sara Jackson dropped into her chair. "Are you actually going to sleep with him this time?"
"What?" Tony looked up at her, eyes bleary with lack of sleep.
"Oh, maybe. He still wants me at NCIS. I told him no again, though. I can't leave with all the cute little rookies not grown up yet."
"Oh, shut it," growled one of the "rookies", Carl Schlager. He'd been in Homicide before transferring to Burglary. Tony grinned at him, unrepentant.
Jackson rolled her eyes. "Okay, Tony, what's the real reason."
He was quiet. "Because if I go to NCIS, I don't get the chance. And I really want that chance."
She nodded. "So we'll make it happen." She held out her hand. "Deal?"
"What's the latest word from your little birds."
Tony groaned and rubbed his eyes. "Oh, it's a war alright. If we're not lucky, then we're going to see drive-by's starting.