DISCLAIMER: NCIS and its characters are the property of CBS, no infringement intended.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
SPOILERS: "Hometown Hero"
Something for the Weekend
"What's better than a spa weekend?" Kate asked, the smile on her face implying she already knew the answer.
Abby pretended to think, tapping one finger against her chin. "Hmm... perhaps a spa weekend paid in full by your boss?"
Kate laughed and nodded, tapping her hands on the wheel. "Yes, indeed. Ahh, I cannot wait to get to those baths Copeland was talking about."
"Oh, totally," Abby said. She thought a moment and then said, "Hey, you know when she was telling us about this place? She mentioned she came down here with a girlfriend."
"Yeah," Kate said. "So?"
"So," Abby said with an emphatic shrug. "Come on, Kate. Do you think she... you know..."
Kate smiled. "You think she meant girlfriend as..."
Kate shook her head. "No, I don't think so."
Kate shrugged. "Let's just say I have a feeling."
Abby sank back against her seat and watched the scenery pass by the window. She had another question, but there was no way she was going to ask it now. She'd pulled those purple panties out of the bag Kate had packed for their first trip. What had she been planning? Those panties weren't just underwear. They were underwear that was meant to be seen. She wouldn't pry; that would make her as bad as DiNozzo. But she would make an effort to keep out of Kate's hair for the weekend, just in case she had other plans...
On the other side of the car, Kate had to restraint herself from looking over at Abby. She'd almost had a heart attack when Abby had pulled those panties out of her suitcase. And in the middle of the squad room! Fortunately, they'd had a case and DiNozzo had been too distracted with his car to really give her the ribbing she deserved.
She had been dreading the drive, praying the subject of her underwear wouldn't come up. There was only one reason someone wore underwear like that to a spa. She glanced over at Abby, saw that she was staring out the window. Hopefully, this weekend would be the one where she finally got up the courage. This weekend would be the one where she admitted to Abby what she'd been feeling for the past two years.
Where it went from then, well... that was up to Abby. But she was prepared for the best-case scenario... just in case.
They pulled into the parking lot marked "Serenity Retreat" and Abby threw her hands up, flattening her palms against the roof of the car. "Whoo! Thank you, Gibbs!"
"It's thanks to you finding that piece of plastic," Kate said, pulling into an empty space. "I'm just lucky I was part of the deal."
"Hey, I'm not gonna come to one of these hoity-toity places by myself!" Abby said. "You're my back-up." She got out of the car and, when Kate joined her at the trunk, added, "Not that I'm going to be in your hair all weekend. I mean, we can go our separate ways, it's just..."
"I get it, Abby," Kate laughed. She pulled one of her suitcases and one of Abby's out of the trunk, leaving their other bags for later. "I'll probably spend some time with you."
Abby smiled. "Cool."
They walked together up the cobblestone path that led to the reception area, each of them trailing a suitcase behind them. About halfway up the path, Abby gasped and pointed across the lawn. A crystal-clear, completely calm stream ran alongside the main building. "Can you check in for me?" Abby asked.
"Sure," Kate said. "Let me know if you see any ducks!"
"You like ducks?"
"I'm... no... just tell me if you see any."
Abby tilted her head with a question, but just handed Kate her suitcase handle and hurried off. Kate pulled both of the suitcases into the lobby and put them aside, walking up to the counter with a smile. "Hi."
"Good afternoon and welcome to Serenity Retreat. How may I assist you?"
"I have a reservation for two... under either Sciuto or Todd," she said.
The woman typed a moment and then said, "Abigail Sciuto and Caitlin Todd?"
Kate nodded. "That's right."
"Okay, we'll..." She glanced to the right and sighed heavily, rolling her eyes. "Just a moment, Miss..."
The clerk turned and touched the shoulder of a coworker. "Alan, call the groundskeeper. They're back."
Alan looked out the front doors and sighed, putting down his clipboard. "Unbelievable."
"What is it?" Kate asked, watching as Alan headed to the house phone. "Is it ducks?" she asked in a worried voice.
"No, it's these... troublemakers who show up every few weeks and set up camp out in the woods."
Kate looked out the door and saw Abby standing on the edge of the stream. She was wearing her typical plaid skirt, knee-high black boots and black t-shirt. "Wait," she said. "Are you talking about that woman? In the boots and the t-shirt?"
"With the... dog collar," the clerk added. "Yes. I'm terribly sorry, I'll make sure she's..."
"That's Abigail Sciuto! That's the friend who is staying with me this weekend."
Alan looked up from his phone call and glanced at the clerk. "Surely you're joking," he said.
"Your weekend was paid for by a government-issued account," the woman pointed out. "You're..."
"I'm a federal agent. So is she. We work for NCIS."
Alan made a face. "National Technical Information Service?"
"Naval Criminal Investigative Services," Kate explained. "Is this going to be a problem?"
"I'm sorry, ma'am," Alan said. "But Serenity Retreat does have a reputation to uphold. Our guests come here to escape... well..."
Kate could barely contain the desire to jump across the desk and throttle the guy. "Abby is a scientist. She could run mental circles around the two of you."
"Alan," the female clerk said, putting a hand on his arm.
"No, I'm not done," Kate said. "The fact that you want to kick her out just because of how she looks is absurd. She's brilliant, she's funny... she's a better person than either of you will ever be. Because she doesn't judge. She doesn't judge people who are a little more uptight than she is, she doesn't make assumptions about people just because they happen to be of a certain religion. Abby sees a person, not a clothing label. She doesn't see what fits in. And if you would have her change that, any of that... it would be a crime."
"Ma'am," the female clerk said. "You're making a scene."
"Will we be able to get our boss' deposit back?" Kate asked, keeping her voice calm and even only through sheer will.
"Yes," the woman said in a cold voice. "We'll make sure to refund the price."
'Anything to get you out of here' was unspoken.
Kate grabbed her bag and Abby's and turned... to see Abby standing in the doorway behind her. She froze, unsure of how much she'd overheard. Abby walked over, taking the handle of her own bag and easing it from Kate's hand. She looked at Kate for a moment and then turned on her heel, moving quickly out of the lobby.
Kate closed her eyes and followed, dreading the car ride home. Outside, Abby was leaning against the trunk of the car, staring at her boots. Kate stopped in front of her, searching for the right words. Finally, she said, "I'm sorry, Abs. I should've asked you if..."
"No, Kate," Abby interrupted. "I heard enough. I knew what was going on." She fiddled with her studded wristband and kicked a pebble across the ground. "Thank you."
"I blew my mouth off..."
"You stood up for me. Not... a lot of people do that."
"Everyone who knows you loves you," Kate argued.
"Not a lot of people take the time to know me. How many people besides you, DiNozzo, McGee and Ducky do you see hanging out in my lab? How many people besides your team do you see talking with me in the hallways? People at NCIS don't like me, Kate. And you guys only like me because of Gibbs."
"I won't deny that," Kate said. She released her suitcase and stepped up, hooking her finger under Abby's chin and lifting it to look her in the eye. "But Abby, you're the closest friend I've had in a long time. I might not have said that before Gibbs introduced us, but now... I'm giving everyone I meet the chance to prove themselves before I judge them. You've changed me, Abby."
"You changed me, too, Kate," Abby said.
"What are we going to do with our weekend?"
Abby smiled and shrugged. "Did you pack those panties again?"
Kate blushed. "Abby...!"
"I really like you, Kate," Abby blurted out. "I was really looking to spending this weekend, just us, and really... getting to know you."
Kate looked at their suitcases and said, "We're still packed. We have a car full of gas. And we have two days worth of clothes in these bags."
"What are you suggesting, Kate?"
"Something I would never have thought of before I met you," Kate said. She took Abby's hand and guided her to the passenger door of the car. "Get in. Let's drive."
She hurried around the car and got in the driver's side. Abby reached across the seat and clutched Kate's hand before she could start the ignition. "Let's just not end up like Thelma and Louise, okay?"
"Don't worry. Bedding Brad Pitt will not be a part of my plans for this weekend."
"I was talking about the cliff thing."
"Oh. Well, that would be just as bad." She squeezed Abby's hand and started the car. They pulled to the exit of the parking lot and Kate hesitated. "Okay. East or west?"
Abby pointed in a random direction and Kate followed it. They had the whole weekend ahead of them. No plans, no direction, nothing but themselves and a few changes of clothes.
It might as well have been a lifetime for all the possibilities awaiting them.
Return to NCIS Fiction
Return to Main Page