TITLE:A hard bargainer FANDOM: Navy NCIS RATING: So G DISCLAIMER: Navy NCIS is the properties of Belisarius Productions, Paramount Network Television, DPB (The second greatest being in the cosmos) and CBS and Crossfire Trail book Louis L'Amour.

Monday morning and people were filtering in. Gibbs had been there very early like any other day. He had his coffee and so far it was good, but of course DiNozzo nor Kate were in yet. He still hadn't figure out how he was going to treat Tony yet. The boy most likely did a lot of partying since he had the weekend off. There were women and more women for him to...

Tony walked into the bullpen area and sat down. He was flashing his megawatt smile. The man got more then his share of females. Now he would try to tell Gibbs the war stories. The grand victories. the memories were better then the actual acts, Gibbs always thought.

"Hey, Boss," said Tony. "So how was your weekend off?"

Gibbs' blue eyes looked at the younger man, still debating on how to handle this and keep Tony from telling him about his weekend.

"Hey," said Kate as she put her briefcase down on her desk.

"Hey, Kate," said Tony. "So what did you do this weekend? Anything illegal or immoral?"

"Depends on how you look at it," said Kate as she smiled and looked at Gibbs. "I was over at my cousin's house helping with some family research." Leaning over to get the briefcase, Kate opened it up and pulled something in a brown wrap. "We were going through some old pictures of my Mom's family." Moving toward Gibbs, she continued "Gibbs, remember how you told me you were from a long line of horse traders?" Kate's smile grew.

"Yes," said Gibbs.

"Well," said Kate, "I think we are almost related."

"WHAT?" said Tony as he got of his chair.

Kate undid the brown wrap and handed a picture frame to Gibbs. Tony came around Gibbs desk to look at it.

In the picture were a man and woman. The man was a dead ringer for Gibbs. The woman was a beautiful blonde. The man was sitting and the woman stood next to him.

"The woman is my Grandmother, Anne Rodney Covington; the man is her second husband, Bruce Barkow," said Kate. "That picture was taken while they were still engaged. Her third husband is my Grandfather."

Gibbs stared at the picture and it was like looking at some ghost from the past. Was this man who Gibbs looked like a member of his family? What kind of man was he?

"So was he a good horse trader or a bad one?" asked Tony.

"Bruce Barkow was many things," said Kate. "Horse trading is about the only thing I didn't hear him doing." Kate leaned on Gibbs' desk. "Let me start with that the man was a cad-and that is being nice." Kate looked at Gibbs, and then the picture. "He does look a lot like you, Gibbs. We could slick your hair back like that real easy."

Tony started to laugh. 'That would be so funny to see Gibbs hair slicked back,' thought Tony. 'The women wouldn't get near him on a bet!'

Gibbs gave the younger man one of his 'you want to lose your job today?' looks. Tony stopped laughing quickly.

"So what do you know?" asked Gibbs.

"All I know is what I read in Grandma Anne's journal," said Kate. "He was responsible for the death of her first husband. He got in her good graces and got engaged to her, but was really after her land. She was a schoolteacher and wasn't living out on the land. She was in town some place in Wyoming. She didn't know there was oil on the land. My grandfather, Rafe, came to her rescue, sort of."

"What do you mean?" asked Tony.

"He moved onto the ranch and started to take care of the place with some friends, and then when all broke loose they went to town to save her when Bruce forced Anne to marry him," said Kate.

Gibbs watched Kate. There was something the woman wasn't saying. Something much worse then stealing the land.

"So the marriage wasn't legal?" said Gibbs.

"Technically, no," said Kate. "But it didn't matter. Bruce was killed in gunfight in the middle of town."

Gibbs was still watching Kate. There was something else Kate wasn't saying again.

"Could I borrow the picture, Kate?" asked Gibbs.

"Actually I made a copy of it for you at Kinko's," said Kate as she moved back to her deck. "That picture is the only one we have Anne and Bruce." Kate removed a bag out of the briefcase and moved back over to Gibbs.

Gibbs handed the framed picture back to Kate and pulled out the other picture. He looked at it for a couple of seconds. Then, opening the drawer, Gibbs put the picture back into the bag and put inside the drawer. "Can we get to work now?"

Kate and Tony moved back to their desks and started on the endless paperwork.

Gibbs pulled up the email and started to type.

'Carrie, Jethro here. I wanted to know if you're still doing the family history. Have you run across someone with the name of Bruce Barkow? Someone I work has been doing her family history and found a picture of Bruce and the woman that became her Grandmother. The picture was taken in Wyoming. Jethro.'

Closing down the program, Gibbs went to work on his paperwork.
~~ Gibbs sat down with his lunch and reopened his e-mail. He found an e-mail from his cousin.

'No. it can't be Jethro; he doesn't know how to type! So who is this really? LOL!

Jethro, It's good to know that you are still among the living!

As for that Bruce Barkow, yes, we had an uncle by that name. He died in Wyoming in a gunfight. I don't have the year with me, but if that is how this guy died, then it's our family.

He was Grandma Sophie's brother. From what I understand, he wasn't a nice guy, either. Would have stolen the fillings out of your mouth. He stole, robbed and shanghaied his way across the country. There is a rumor that he would marry women and steal their land.'

Gibbs looked up from the email. 'Oh, great,' thought Gibbs. 'Kate's Grandmother was almost cheated by my Uncle. Wonderful news, Kate. We are almost related.'

'Would love to see the picture, Jethro. I wonder if any of us look like that side of the family?'

'Oh, yes, Carrie, I do look like that side of the family. It is such an honor!'

'If you can get me a copy of the picture, I would love it, Jethro. It would be great to have a look at the guy.

Well, take care and write more often; the family wants to know when you are getting married again. You always have such great weddings. and divorces.

Your loving cousin, Carrie.'

'Wonderful,' thought Gibbs. 'I can make a copy of the picture and send it to Carrie. Now I have to find out what Kate didn't tell me.'

"Kate," said Gibbs. "How is your lunch?"

Special Agent Caitlin Todd slowly turned toward her boss. She was about to take a bite of her sandwich when he asked the question. "Fine. What do you want, Gibbs?" Kate just watched Gibbs. She could almost see the wheels working inside his head.

"I was wondering what else you could tell me about good ole Bruce?" asked Gibbs.

"Too bad Kate didn't bring in her Grandma's journal and you could read it yourself," commented Tony from his desk as he ate his lunch.

Gibbs looked at Kate and saw that she flinched a little on that comment. She had the journal.

"Yes, it would be nice to read what the woman had to say about the man," said Gibbs in a tone that should have the book in his hand in a couple of seconds.

"I wish I had it to give to you, Gibbs, but I don't," said Kate. She said it very softly.

Gibbs let it drop for the moment. He continued to eat his lunch, all the while smiling at Kate. He knew how it would get it.) There was more then one way to cook a cat.

~~ Kate sat back in her chair and stretched. She had been working on the damn paperwork all day and it was already 1900 and she was ready to get out of it. Now she had just had to get Gibbs to agree.

"Hey, Gibbs, I am tired," said Kate.

"You ready to leave?" said Gibbs without looking up from his paperwork.

"Yeah, that sounds like a winner," said Kate.

"Okay, you two can get out of here," said Gibbs. He finally lifted his head.

"All right," said Tony. "I 'm out of here. I have just a little to finish up tomorrow, but that will be great for me." Tony got up from his chair and grabbed his coat and slipped it on.

Kate stood and picked up her coat.

"Kate," said Gibbs. "I want to see the journal. I sent my cousin Carrie an email and she said we had a Uncle by that name."

Kate stopped dead in her tracks. "You are related to this guy?" asked the woman.

"Could be," said Gibbs. "But I want to know what you didn't say earlier."

Kate was looking a little nervous. "Gibbs. it's not good," said Kate.

"How bad could it be?" said Gibbs.

"That your maybe Uncle tried to rape my Grandma and then she shot him in the back," said Kate.

"Oh," said Gibbs. "That was not what I thought you going to say. I still want to read it."

"OK," said Kate. "I will bring it in tomorrow and let you see it."

"How about I come over to your place and read it tonight?" said Gibbs.

The look of surprise was on Kate's face. "Sure-you can come over and see it," said Kate. "Better then letting Tony find out that your ancestors are a worse ass then you are." Kate smiled at Gibbs.

"Agent Todd, you are coming very close to getting my dander up," said Gibbs with a smile.

"Oh, please; like I am scared of that, Agent Gibbs," said Kate.

"Come on, Kate," said Gibbs. "I want to read it tonight."

"Yes, sir," said Kate. "No, sir, three bags full, sir!"

"Funny," said Gibbs. "I will get you back for the sirs."

"Can't wait," said Kate.