Title: Romance Between Agents
Author: Raindrops on Roses
Personal website: Heroine Addict
Spoilers: through season one
Written: November 10, 2004
Edited: February 28, 2006 (links updated)
Gibbs: Romance between agents, Kate. It never works.
Kate: You speaking from experience?
--"Minimum Security", NCIS 1.08
Okay, okay, I admit it: I'm a forbidden pairing junkie. Sam/Jack on SG-1, AJ/Mac on JAG, Severus/Hermione in Harry Potter--I just have a thing for 'ships that will either: a) never happen, or b) go down in flames.
So it was only natural that I latched onto Gibbs/Kate in the very first episode of NCIS. Mr. Donald Bellisario is a master of the forbidden 'ship, the kind that makes the most dedicated fan watch and tear her hair out for years.
But we'll get to that later. Right now, let us meet our intrepid heroes.
Leroy Jethro Gibbs is an ex-Marine gunnery sergeant who leads a team of NCIS investigators. NCIS, for those unfamiliar to the acronym, stands for Naval Criminal Investigative Service, an organization that is responsible for investigating crimes connected to Navy and Marine Corps personnel. Gibbs (known as Jethro to those close to him) is the one who brought Kate into NCIS and onto his team when she tendered her resignation from the Secret Service. Gibbs, though willing to bend the rules to get the job done, expects the people under him to follow his orders without question. Gibbs is fiercely protective of his team, and returns their loyalty to him in spades. When a terrorist infiltrates NCIS headquarters and holds three of his friends hostage--and subsequently evades Gibbs's capture--Gibbs spends the next three months hunting him down.
Caitlin Todd--known as "Kate" to most everyone--is a former Secret Service agent. She served on the Presidential detail, which is where she met Gibbs and his team when the ball carrier on Air Force One died after having lunch with the President. When it's discovered that Kate had a relationship with the regular ball carrier, Marine Major Timothy Kerry, Kate resigns from the Secret Service. The season one premiere ends with Gibbs offering Kate a job at NCIS. Kate is willing to die for her country, which is shown in the season finale, when she is kidnapped by the terrorist that escaped from Gibbs. She is sarcastic, loyal, and is considered by fans to be "the most normal member on the team".
Reason number one I ship these characters:
The staaaaaaring. There have been hundreds of intense looks between Gibbs and Kate. Just look at this picture from the first episode:
Yankee White (1.01): Gibbs and Kate meet. Sparks flare; personal space is invaded. Gibbs admires the way Kate stands up to him.
Kate: You gonna lecture me about sleeping with people you work with?
When Kate gets up to answer a call from her boss, Gibbs starts to chuckle for no apparent reason.
I say, "He liiiikes her! *squee!*"
Sea Dog (1.03): We learn Kate is an artist. And that her latest portrait is one of Gibbs. See?
Shippers everywhere squeal like little fangirls.
The Immortals (1.04): Gibbs knows that Kate is Catholic. (Gibbs seems to know quite a bit about Kate. Hmm...) He's quite concerned about how she took the case.
Gibbs doesn't show concern often, so this is notable.
Kate receives a "Puerto Rican" two-piece bikini--bottoms and a hat--from Tony, the lecher-slash-colleague.
Gibbs: You going to try that on?
Kate: You first!
Sub Rosa (1.07): Two words: Emergency. Blow. (Or, to be more precise--the submarine Gibbs and Kate are on has to release its air because it's suspected that someone's trying to kill the crew with nerve gas. They make an emergency blow--rushing to the surface to release the air. Neither Gibbs nor Kate expected it, and Kate falls against Gibbs, who holds onto her until they can stand again. I still say it's just an excuse to up the UST. Not that I'm complaining.)
Gibbs: Yeah, that's what they all tell me.
Ah, the UST. It warms the cockles of my heart.
Minimum Security (1.08): The angst of this 'ship rears its ugly head with "Romance between agents, Kate. It never works." 'Shippers everywhere screech at the evil that is DPB.
Marine Down (1.09): Kate's artistry shows itself again with sketches of Tony and Abby. Tony tries to find a sketch of Gibbs; Kate panics and grabs her sketchbook before it's revealed.
My Other Left Foot (1.12): Kate gets jealous when Gibbs flirts with the (redheaded) sister of a murder victim.
We learn that Gibbs's three ex-wives were all redheads.
One Shot, One Kill (1.13): Gibbs and Kate go undercover as Marines. Hurray for role-playing!
He just can't keep his hands off her, can he?
"You mean, did I get to boss him around? Make him salute me? Call me 'ma'am'?"
Enigma (1.15): Aaaand more forbidden 'ship confirmation:
Gibbs: And that would be the reason for rule number twelve.
Kate: Rule twelve?
Gibbs: Never date a co-worker.
Bete Noire (1.16): Ducky, Gerald, and Kate are taken hostage in autopsy. The terrorist gets away. The need for revenge drives Gibbs for the next three months.
The Weak Link: Kate tests out rappelling equipment for a case. Again, Gibbs can't keep his hands off of Kate. *grin*
But my favorite example is in the season one finale Reveille (1.23). Kate is kidnapped by (what the team thinks is) a terrorist. When Gibbs figures this out, he says, "He's got her. That bastard has got her." The quiet fury with which he says this is more frightening than his usual voice barking orders.
Though many other Gibbs/Kate 'shippers hold up the opening scene as a shining example. Gibbs has a nightmare in which he is in autopsy. The room is dark, except for one light spotlighting a body bag on a table. Ari (the terrorist) lurks in a corner, laughing. When Gibbs steps up to the body bag, we see that Kate is in it. (And 'shippers everywhere alternately scream in joy and curse in torment as we go to credits.)
And, of course, there's the entire coffeeshop conversation, which has to be the longest scene with Gibbs and Kate in the entire season. Gibbs certainly has a tendency to get in Kate's personal space. :-)
(Thanks to ctorres for this cap!)
Why I Ship These Characters (In a Nutshell)
Well, I'm a sucker for May/December romance, as well as superior/subordinate. And the UST between Gibbs and Kate was obvious from the first episode. But there's no way I could enjoy this 'ship as much as I do if Kate wasn't a strong female lead. That's what Gibbs needs, I think--a woman who won't back down from a fight... but also won't try to brain him with a baseball bat and/or a nine-iron (as ex-wives numbers two and three attempted).
Oddly, this is the first pairing that I enjoy that seems to have canon support. Unlike some of my peers, though, I rather enjoy the endless UST. (And if Bellisario has his way, it will be endless. The bastard.) It just gives me oodles of ideas for fanfic.
And with that, we come to...
By far, the best Gibbs/Kate author in NCIS fandom is B. Cavis. Beka is my idol. I want to write hot hot smut like hers when I grow up. I particularly recommend her fic Procrastination, which is set a few years in the future. (Beka's fic is mostly NC-17, so if you're a minor, don't read it, 'kay?)
My favorite Gibbs/Kate angst fic is by Kerlin. Angel of the Morning is a short piece, but it tears your heart out and stomps that sucker flat. I just about died when I read the last line.
Red, one of the goddesses in my fandom pantheon, wrote an NCIS/SVU crossover called Shaitan. The Gibbs/Kate is subtle, but there. Just the way I like it.
(Okay, okay, I like it any way. I'm easy.)
The goddess Red made three Gibbs/Kate music videos. They're available for download here. My personal favorite is her first one, On Fire.
FanFiction.net. The Pit of Voles. It started out great (if I do say so myself), but soon became... how should I put it? Horrendous sums it up nicely. But if you're willing to wade through the sludge, there are a few gems here and there.
gibbskatefic and gibbskateff. The former is for G through R rated fic only; the latter accepts all ratings. gibbskateff, of which I am the list mom, is the more active of the two.
The CBS site. There's the basic character and show information, of course. However, recently it's been discovered that someone over at CBS has a sense of humor. Hilarious character profiles (in the form of employee assessments) have been added. Don't consume anything while reading.
Beka's site. My favoritest author evar. You might want to turn on a fan while reading Beka's fic.
Heroine Addict. My personal site. I've written a good chunk of the Gibbs/Kate fic out there, as well as archiving a few pieces.
NCIS Fans. This is mainly a site focused on Tony DiNozzo/Michael Weatherly, but they have an extensive collection of screencaps, as well.
NCIS Files. This is a French-language message board.
NCIS Special Ops. A message board for general NCIS stuff. They don't seem too Gibbs/Kate friendly, but it's a good place to meet fans and find information about the show.
Rosefern. A mostly Kate site, with transcripts for all season 1 and 2 episodes and screencaps from my old site.