DISCLAIMER: NCIS and its characters are the property of CBS, no infringement intended.
SEQUEL/SERIES: Second part of the Baby Steps series, following Filters are for Coffee.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
Kate's desk at the Secret Service was pathetically easy to clean out. Her good-bye party was even sadder. Most of the people who showed up called her Cathy, the other half didn't even pretend to know who she was. Never underestimate the draw of free cake. She'd dumped her things into her new desk in the NCIS squad room and took a seat, taking a look around to get her bearings.
Special Agent Anthony DiNozzo walked in, glancing down at her desktop before going to his own seat. "Special Agent... I want to say Theodore, but..." he said with a smile. "How're you finding things? Rest room, break room, super-secret arcade room... oops..."
Kate smirked. "I'm finding everything just fine, Archie."
"Most people go for the Jughead reference," Gibbs said, not breaking stride as he headed for his desk.
"You like Archie comics, boss?" DiNozzo asked. "I always thought of myself more like Reggie."
"Reggie was an asshole," Abby said, walking in and leaning against Tony's desk.
DiNozzo lifted a finger. "Ah, but he was a rich asshole. Who'd you see yourself as, Abby?"
She grinned. "Mr. Weatherbee." She looked at Kate and said, "I just wanted to invite Kate down to my lab so she could observe a little forensics in action."
"Couldn't hurt," Gibbs said. "I'll ring down if we get any calls."
Kate pushed her drawers shut and stood, gathering her cell phone and sliding it into the pocket of her blazer. She aimed a finger in DiNozzo's face. "If anything is out of place on my desk when I get back..."
"She's working here ten minutes and she's already threatening me," Tony whined.
"Not like it's a record," Gibbs muttered.
Kate followed Abby to the elevators and stepped into the car with her. When they were alone, Kate said, "Mr. Weatherbee. Really?"
Abby chuckled. "Nah. I always wanted to be Archie."
"Betty and Veronica, man. They were hot." Kate blushed slightly and reached out, pushing the emergency stop button. "Ooh, cool," Abby chuckled, looking around in the dim emergency lights. "I get to see the conference room."
"Okay, look, Abby... I really like you, but the jokes... I'm begging you."
Abby tilted her head to the side, the left ponytail sticking up like an antennae. "Jokes...?"
"About... you know... being..."
"Why would you be offended?" Abby asked. "I'm bi, you're..." Lights danced behind Abby's eyes and her teeth appeared in a wide smile. "Oooooh. I get it."
Kate shuffled her feet and said, "It's not that I'm embarrassed, but from what I've seen of DiNozzo..."
"Right. Best if it's kept on the Q-T, right?"
"No problem, Caitlin. He doesn't know about me, either. I like to throw a couple double entrendres his way, just to perk up the days." She reached around Kate and started the elevator again. When the lights came back on, Abby clasped her hands in front of herself and watched the numbers count down.
After a minute, she glanced over at Kate and said, "So, you want to have coffee or something after work?"
Kate glanced at her. "Like a date?"
"Date, meaningless sex between coworkers, I mean, whatever works for you."
Kate cleared her throat. "Coffee would be good. We... can see about the other stuff."
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