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Come On, Get Higher

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It's early, so early that the boss isn't even in yet. The bullpen is empty save for the lonely night watchman making his rounds. The silence is shattered as the elevator dings. The doors open revealing a tired looking Tony, his usual attire rumpled from a hasty, middle-of-the-night dressing. He pads softly over to his desk, his expensive, Italian-made shoes barely making a sound on the carpet.

Falling heavily into his desk chair, he sighs and scrubs a fist over his face. The reflection of his movement catches his eye and he stares at the darkened computer screen. Hazel eyes stare back, reflecting the loss he feels inside. Someone once said that the eyes are the gateway to the soul. Maybe they were right.

Shaking his head, he spins away from the reflection. He flicks a switch on the stereo, hoping the music may distract him from his inner turmoil. Unfamiliar music floats from the speakers, showing Ziva had changed stations. Shrugging, he pulls out a small, square pillow from the bottom desk drawer. No one has yet to find the hidden pillow, though he suspects Gibbs may know.

A picture falls to the floor as he lifts the pillow out. It is of her. Kate. The one who is the reason for all these sleepless nights. A new song begins as he picks up the photo and stares at the dead co-worker's smiling face.

"I miss you, Kate," he whispers aloud, hugging both the pillow and the photo close to him.

I miss the sound of your voice,
And I miss the rush of your skin,
And I miss the still of the silence,
As you breathe out and I breathe in.

If I could walk on water, if I could tell you what's next,
Make you believe, make you forget.

The first image that springs to mind is a surprising one.

Kate rubs a sleeve-covered hand round in a circle on the front window, hoping to clear away come of the condensation. She grabs her binoculars and looks through them, watching the house for any sign of movement.

"Oh, God," she mutters, shivering. She turns to Tony who is sleeping in the drivers seat. "Wake up," she says, hitting him.

"I am awake," he replies, not opening his eyes.

"Would you turn the heat up, please?" I'm f-freezing."

"Can't, smoke from the tailpipe would give away our position."

"Great, can't feel me legs here." Tony opens his eyes.

"We could do what the Eskimos do to keep warm."

"What's that?" she asks, still shivering.

"They press their bodies together." He reinforces what he is suggesting by motioning with his hands. He then sits up, looking Kate in the eye. "Of course, the effect is greatly improved if you're naked."

"There's not enough liquor on the planet to make that happen, Tony," she says with a smile. He reaches over to her shoulder, rubbing his thumb round in circles.

"I wasn't suggesting the naked part. But if you wanna freeze," he pauses, "freeze." She shivers and sighs.

He had hoped with all his heart that she would take him up on his offer, but settles for a hand on her shoulder. Her skin warm beneath his touch, even through layers of clothing.

So, come on, get higher, loosen my lips,
Faith and desire in the swing of your hips,
Just pull me down hard,
And drown me in love.

So, come on, get higher, loosen my lips,
Faith and desire in the swing of your hips,
Just pull me down hard,
And drown me in love.

His gesture at forgiveness was a failed attempt when Gibbs let the cat out of the bag.

Kate places a large vase full of various flowers on her desk.

"Wow, those are really pretty, Kate," McGee says, walking up. "Who are they from?'

"Tony," she replies with a big smile. McGee looks at Tony in surprise. Tony tries to brush it off by laughing.

"We had a tough couple of days. Kate pointed out that I'd take one too many liberties. The flowers are mea culpa."

"Tony, I'm blown away. They're gorgeous." She smells the flowers and notices the florist's tag. " And they're from Martha's Garden, my favorite florist! How'd you know?"

"Lucky guess!" he says innocently. Unbeknownst to the trio, Gibbs enters the bullpen.

"He went through your purse and got the phone number off your P.D.A." Kate looks back at Tony and he chuckles weakly. Her eyes narrow and she glares at him over the tops of the flowers.

God, he misses her glare, how pretty she was when she was angry at him.

I miss the sound of your voice,
The loudest thing in my head,
And I ache to remember,
All the violent, sweet, perfect words that you said.

He remembers the teasing she gave him...

The elevator dings and in walks Tony with a big, cheesy grin on his face.

"Good morning, Kate," he says happily to the woman sitting at the desk across from his.

"That grin can only mean one thing," she replies.

"And what is that?" He grins.

"You're in love. Again."

"You are so right," he says, sitting down.

"What's this one's name?"

"She's Swedish," he says evasively.

"You don't know her name. How can you be in love with someone and not..." Kate pauses. "I forgot, it's you we're talking about." A seductive female voice on Tony's computer interrupts the two.

"You have mail," it says.

"Let's see who misses me, today." Tony taps on the keyboard. Kate begins rattling off names.

"Tiffany. Crystal. Fanny. The girls down on the farm." He looks up worried.

"You hacked into my computer?"

"No. Ever since you used mine, all I get is porn spam." Tony laughs.

"Like you never opened an X-rated site."

"Never," Kate replies sincerely.

"You know, that's sad," he points out.

"Why?" Kate is confused.

"'cause I believe you."

If I could walk on water, if I could tell you what's next,
Make you believe, make you forget.

So, come on, get higher, loosen my lips,
Faith and desire in the swing of your hips,
Just pull me down hard,
And drown me in love.

So, come on, get higher, loosen my lips,
Faith and desire in the swing of your hips,
Just pull me down hard,
And drown me in love.

... And all the teasing he gave her.

Tony walks in from the elevator, eating from a small tub of ice cream. He stops at Kate's desk and perches on the edge of it.

"Mm. I love Filomena's ice cream," he says, licking the spoon.

"Filomena's in Georgetown?" she asks.

"It's my standard first-date place," he lies. Truthfully, his tastes are pretty different but they do serve good ice creams.

"I went there on a first date Saturday night," she admits.

"Yeah? After dinner, I like to stroll the lucky lady down Wisconsin to this pretentious art gallery called Impressions. Boy, they really eat it up."

"That's where we went after dinner." Tony's eyes light up.

"Really? Huh." Realization dawns across Kate's face.

"You've been following me," she accuses.

"Me? Following you on a Saturday night?" He laughs. "Not that desperate, Kate."

"I don't believe you." She folds her arms.

"Well, on my mother's life I was not following you."

"You're mother's dead," Gibbs points out, walking in.

"I didn't follow her, boss." Turning back to Kate. "I do know her boyfriend, Steve Adler."

"He's not my boyfriend. I don't believe this." She stands up in annoyance.

"Did you tell her about you fraternity brother yet?" McGee asks, standing behind Tony.

"I was just getting to the good part there, McGee." McGee laughs.

"Steve Adler is your fraternity brother?"

"I'd show the secret handshake," he lowers his voice, "but then I'd have to kill you."

"He told you about our date?" Kate whispers after a quick glance around the room.

"Well, not the intimate details, until I asked, and then he had to. Goes with the oath." Tony walks over to his own desk.

"Gibbs!" Kate cries, annoyed.

"DiNozzo!" Gibbs warns. Inwardly, Tony smirked. God, she was so pretty.

I miss the pull of your heart,
I can taste the sparks on your tongue,
I see angels and devils,
And God,
When you come on,
Hold on, hold on, hold on, hold on.

"Thirteen, fourteen, fifteen, seventeen, nineteen," Tony counts, moving up and down in a sit up motion.

"Did you lose something down there, DiNozzo?" Kate asks, looking over the top of the desk.

"Ninety-nine, a hundred. Just doing my morning exercise."

"Right." She glances at McGee. "So how old's this one?"

"Why does it always have to be about a woman, Kate?" he asks, moving to sit in his chair.

"Uh, 'cause we're talking about you." She walks over to her own desk as McGee pulls out everybody's breakfast orders.

"I've got your favorite here. Bacon-sausage-cheese breakfast burrito." Tony sniffs at it longingly and McGee raises an eyebrow.

"I'll pass. Too much fat."

"Must be really young," McGee comments.

"Oh, she is," Abby says, walking to join the trio.

"I don't think they need to know about it, Abs." Abby ignores him.

"She's 5'10", blond hair, long legs, and gianormous headlights."

"That last part was really necessary?"

"That's what you called them," Abby insists as Kate rolled her eyes. "She broke down by the navy yard last night, and Tony helped her out," she adds, informing the others.

"Aww, I bet he did," Kate mocks.

"She's a junior at Georgetown."

"So that would make her what, about 20?" Kate asks.

"Actually, she could be younger," McGee points out. "I was 18 when I was a junior at MIT."

"When we need clarification, we'll ask for it, probie. Thank you."

"Oh, I'm asking." She turns to the forensic scientist. "How old, Abby?"

"Well, she was old enough to turn Tony down. Said she only goes out with guys in their 20's," Abby replies. stroking Tony's head.

"Oh, poor baby," Kate mocks.

"She wasn't my type anyway,' Tony deflects.

"Well, that's a good thing, 'cause I think it's time that the 'Sex Machine' hung his spurs up." Tony looks up, shocked.

"How do you know about that?"

"Your collage nickname? Let's just say that dating you frat brother had it's advantages," she says with a smirk.

"Grab your gear," Gibbs orders, walking in. "We're going to Georgetown. Petty officer was attacked last night." He tosses the keys to Tony. "You're driving, Sex Machine." Tony looks up, first at Abby, who is smiling, then at Kate, who is laughing.

Truth was, he wanted her. Even if she did give away all his secrets.

Singin' shalala la,
Singin' shalala la,

He misses the way she first looked in the morning, or after a long night working.

Gibbs walks into the bullpen, coffee in hand, to see his senior field agent asleep in his chair, foot up on the desk, head laying on the shelf behind him. A half-eaten, open box of pizza sits on the desk. He chooses a slice and takes bite.

"DiNozzo!" he yells with a mouthful of cold pizza.

Without opening his eyes, or even moving, Tony replies, "You're gonna have to speak louder boss. I haven't been able to hear anything since that explosion yesterday."

"Find Kate. I want a full briefing in 20 minutes," Gibbs tells him, walking off, still eating the pizza.

"You got it." He stands up and spins around looking for his female co-worker. "Kate?" he asks. "Kate!" he yells. Kate gasps and sits up, revealing her own napping spot on the floor beneath her desk.

"What!" she exclaims.

"It's time to wake up," Tony replies, sitting down then pulling out a cup of water and a toothbrush. Kate stands up and stretches, moaning.

"I feel like hell," she whimpers.

"Yeah, you don't look too good, either," he says wittily, pulling the toothbrush from his mouth. Kate merely blinks and stares at him. He smirks and continues brushing his teeth.

Come on, get higher, loosen my lips,
Faith and desire in the swing of your hips,
Just to pull me down hard,
And drown me in love.

So, come on, get higher, loosen my lips,
Faith and desire in the swing of your hips,
Just pull me down hard,
And drown me in love.

She always knew just how to back his play.

Kate walks up to Tony who's filing in paperwork.

"You writing my name right?" she asks in an accent.

"What?" Tony barks. Kate shakes her head and plays with the gum in her mouth. "I just want to know if it's mine." He turns to the registrar. "She kinda sleeps around a lot, if you know what I mean."

"If I did, it's 'cause he ain't any good in bed."

"At least I didn't sleep with my cousin," he accuses.

"You slept with my sister," she points out.

"I thought it was you!"

"She weighs 300 pounds.'

"She was wearing your earrings!"

"That's enough! If you two can't be civil, I'm gonna have to ask you to leave," the registrar interrupts. Kate pushes Tony away. She leans over the counter top.

"Look, is there anywhere that I can wait away from him, please? I'm begging you," she asks, quietly.

"There's an empty exam room behind you, two doors on the right," the registrar answers.

"Thank you." Pulling the gum from her mouth, Kate throws it at Tony as she passes. The registrar motions for Tony to sit as Kate leaves.

"I'm sorry," he says, sitting in a kiddie chair at the kiddie table. Determining to have the last word, he says aloud to the rest of the patients, "She slept with my brother, and my best friend, and the same time."

(Come on get higher, loosen my lips) It's all wrong,
(Faith and desire at the swing of your hips) It's all wrong,
(Just to pull me down hard and drown me in love) It's all right.

The sound of her voice in the shower, hell, the sound of her voice in general. Especially when she sang. God, he misses talking to her.

"Sexy as I wanna be/Got these fellas chasin' me/Let's go with this freak show/Outrageous/ When I move my body/Outrageous/ When I'm at a party/Outrageous," Kate sings while she showers. Unbeknownst to her, Tony is brushing his teeth and dancing to his singing.

"Outrageous," he sings, joining in. Kate's head pops around the shower curtain and she glares at her co-worker.

"Tony! Out of here. Now!" she orders.

"What? I'm just brushing my teeth," he says innocently. "Oh, hey, don't use up the hot water 'cause you've been in there forever.

"Tony, how long have you been in here?"

"Long enough to know you can't sing..." He looks down her body through the shower curtain and adds, "And haven't shaved your legs in a week." He laughs and Kate throws the wet sponge, hitting him straight in the face. She glares again and shuts the shower curtain. "Outrageous," Tony mutters and growls.

So, come on, get higher,
Come on, get higher,
'cause everything works, love,
Everything works in your arms.

Tony stares off into space, letting his mind wander. At some point in his memories, Kate appears, leaning up against her desk. He realizes she is talking and focuses his attention on her.

"Your mother should have washed you mind out with soap," she is saying. "Gibbs leaves with a woman, and your only thought is, 'nooner'."

"Was not," he retaliates.

"Was too. I've always known what you were thinking, Tony." Tony ignores the comment and leers at her. "What?" she asks, confused. "What are you up to?" She looks down, to realize Tony is picturing her in a schoolgirl uniform. "Tony! I just died, and you're having a sexual fantasy?"

From no where, a wind starts up, causing Kate's skirt to blow up at the front.

"I can't help it," he replies, unapologetically.

"DiNozzo!" Kate yells, desperately trying to keep her skirt down.

"Sometimes I used to picture you naked," he continues. Kate screams...

… Just as the elevator dings, revealing Gibbs with his infamous cup of coffee in his hand. Tony hurriedly hides the pillow but Gibbs doesn't comment. Instead he throws a set of keys at the younger man.

"Go," he says, eyes flicking towards the photo of Kate still on the desk. Tony looks up in surprise and Gibbs jerks his head. "Go," he says again.

"Thanks, boss." Tony grabs the keys and the photo, jogging towards the elevator. Once there he hesitates, turning back to the older man.

"Tell her I said, sorry," Gibbs calls. Tony nods and step into the elevator.

"I'm coming, Kate," he says aloud.

He stands at the grave stone, reading the familiar words of his beloved friend and partner. He kneels at the base of the grave, placing the single red rose in front of him.

"I miss you, so much, Kate," he whispers. Two tears slide down his face, landing upon the red petals. "I love you." A breeze picks up, carrying the scent of salty tears and fresh roses through the cemetery.

"I miss you too, Tony," a voice whispers softly. Tony looks up. There, in the faint light of the sunrise, Kate is standing, as beautiful as always. She is saying something and he strains to hear the words.

"I love you, too" she says, blowing a kiss. Tony smiles, and stands. Blowing a kiss at her grave, he turns and walks away without a backwards glance.

He knows it will be hard but he also knows he will never forget her, no matter how many others who will come in to his life. For Kate will always have a place in his heart. Always.