Simple Valentines

Kate rolled her head tiredly as the elevator doors closed. It had been a long weekend, no one on the team had had a break since late Thursday. Now it was… she glanced at her watch. After three on Monday afternoon. At least the case was wrapped up. What an ugly way to spend a weekend, investigating a murder/suicide. And right before Valentine’s Day, too.

Her hand flew to her mouth as she realized she hadn’t had a chance to get anything for Tony. Not that she’d figured out what she wanted to get him, but she didn’t even have a card. As the doors opened, she exited the elevator and strode to her desk with purpose. Maybe she could get to a card shop and find something left in the picked over displays.

She rounded the corner to her desk and stopped short. Sitting in the middle was a small vase with three perfect roses, one white, one pink and one red. There was a card propped up in front of it. She picked up the card and looked around, but there was no one in sight.

Slipping a finger under the flap, she pulled out the card, a lovely abstract rose on it’s front. Inside the sentiment was hand written in Tony’s bold scrawl.

One white rose for your pure heart and soul.
One pink rose for your blush and beauty.
One red rose for the love I have for you.
Be my Valentine, Caitlin Todd.

With all my heart,



Kate blinked at the tears that threatened and was startled to hear his voice suddenly soft in her ear.

Can I take you to dinner tonight, Kate

She smiled and turned slowly, fighting the urge to wrap her arms around him in an inappropriate display of affection for the workplace. That depends. What exactly did you have in mindOnly your favorite Italian restaurant. He leaned close and whispered in her ear. Followed by dessert at home.

She grinned and slipped past him to sit at her desk. It’s a date.

Gibbs watched Tony and Kate from several feet away. He didn’t want to interrupt their moment, he knew Tony had gone to great lengths to get the roses and sneak them in to surprise Kate. If anything he felt a twinge of jealousy. Oh, he heard from Leah. Occasionally. She was doing well, she was happy. And he missed her; more than he wanted to admit.

As Kate sat down, he walked up as if he’d just arrived. Lovely flowers, Kate.Thanks Gibbs. Have you… Her voice died out; he could supply the rest of the sentence easily. Heard from Leah’ He had to give her credit, though. She covered admirably.

Finished going over those reports Only the slight flush on her cheeks gave away the fact that those were not her original words.

Just about to do that. He carefully looked down at his desk, not wanting to see the look that he knew would pass between his colleagues. He was distracted however by the chime on his computer alerting him to incoming e-mail.

Figuring it to be related on one of the many bits of bureaucratic nonsense, he gave it a cursory glance and was shocked to see the sender was not some internal pain in the ass, but Leah. For a moment his blood ran cold, thinking something was wrong, something had happened. She only e-mailed on Wednesdays, and usually only once or twice a month. He opened the missive scanning it, looking for the damage to her, then stopped when he realized what she’d written. He went back and started at the top.

Hey Jeth,

I know you’re not expecting this. I guess I wasn’t expecting to write it. But it’s a beautiful day here and somehow all of that and the of it as well just infected me. I decided it was time to tell you a few things.

First, I’m sorry I left. I needed to, but I never wanted to. I miss you like crazy every day and the Denver blue sky is no comparison to the blue in your eyes. I hope like hell there’s still a place for me when I’m ready to come home.

You’re the only man I’ve ever loved. Oh, I tried to get you out of my head. Many times. But I’ve never met a man like you, Jeth. You’re everything I’ve ever wanted and I fell so hard for you, it scared me. I was never prepared for someone like you. And I’ve never wanted anyone else.

I know that I’ve been rather harsh about not wanting you to contact me while I’ve been gone. But I know that you can understand what I’ve been going through. You’ve done undercover work, you know what it’s like to immerse yourself in a different persona. The only difference with me is I’ve been living mine for nearly eight years, and it was almost identical to my own. I just needed to breathe some air that wasn’t crowded with other people. Even the ones I love.

I think I’m finally beginning to remember which parts are me and which parts aren’t. I still keep my gun in my room at night, but I don’t sleep with my finger on the trigger anymore. When I wake up, I can appreciate the morning sun, not just the fact that I lived through another night to see it. And, while I’m still dealing with slime working for Jack, at least I don’t suspect the kid with the twelve piercings at my coffee shop of dealing in drugs and weapons. Progress, Jeth.

Anyway, all this is a really long and rambling way of saying Happy Valentine’s Day. E-mail me sometime. Oh… and I love you.

Gibbs blinked and looked at the last sentence again. She had been very clear on the fact, when she first e-mailed him, that she wanted no return contact. She wanted him to know she was fine, she’d keep him up-to-date, but she wanted to be left alone. Now she was telling him she was ready to hear from him. And the emphasis on the word I. He remembered her letter when she left, and as the realization sunk in, he couldn’t stop the smile that slowly spread.

He started to type a response and then stopped. Instead he pulled out his hated PDA, in which he’d stored the lawyer’s address in Denver where she now worked, then he picked up the phone. He gave it a fast second’s thought, then swallowed his pride and called quietly over to Kate for some help.

Kate, shocked by the request, paused a moment, then quickly found the information her boss requested. Here you go. Are you sure…Kate, why don’t you and Tony go ahead and go. It’s after four, you’ve been here for four days straight, the case is closed. Go.

The couple in question looked at each other and shrugged. As they started toward the elevator they overheard their boss on the phone.

Yes, Becky’s Florist? I’d like to have some flowers delivered this afternoon please. Violets if you have them, they’re her favorite…

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