Abby walked into the bullpen and right up to Kate's desk. "I am so up for tonight, Kate," said Abby. This is going to be fun." Turning toward Gibbs and Tony, she said, "You two are coming, right?"
"What are you talking about, Abby?" said Gibbs over a file he was reading.
"Kate, you did ask them over for tonight?" said Abby as she turned back around to Kate.
Kate made a face. "I think I forgot to, Abby," said Kate. 'Like I really forgot to,' thought Kate. 'No way I was asking them over!' "They must have plans already by now," continued Kate.
"Oh, this is so hinkey," said Abby. "All right, let's take a step back and start all over again." Abby took a breath and let it out.
Gibbs put down the file and looked over at Kate. He watched her and could tell that Kate didn't want to ask them to whatever was going on. 'Not playing nice, Kate,' thought Gibbs.
"OK, so what are we missing out on?" asked Tony.
Dr. Mallard entered the bullpen. "Are we all set up?"
"No, Ducky," said Abby. "Kate forgot to invite them."
"Oh, really?" said Ducky. "Well, let's get them invited and over to your place."
"I am," said Abby. "OK, Tony, you remember you told me Kate could dance?"
"Yeah, I do," said Tony.
"Well, I asked her if she knew anything about ballet," said Abby. "She said yes, so I asked her if she would come over to my house and show me some ballet steps. She said yes, and tonight is the night. She is even going to just do a ballet dance for us, too." Abby sounded like a kid on Christmas morning.
Gibbs, still watching Kate, saw that the agent was thrilled about it, too- but wasn't thrilled about having Tony or him around for it. 'I wonder why?' thought Gibbs.
"What time tonight?" asked Gibbs as his smirk appeared on his face. Looking straight at Kate, he could see the slightest bit of fear appear in her eyes.
"Kate's cousin is coming over with some another Marine, and they are going to set up a dance bar at 1800," said Abby. "You can come anytime."
"Digger is coming over?" asked Tony.
"Yeah," said Kate. "He picked up my extra barre last night and will come over with a friend to be my weights."
"Your what?" said Tony with a laugh.
"The barre is mounted into the wall," said Kate. "I don't think Abby wants us to do that to her place. Digger is jury-jigging it so the two of them can stand on it in case we need it, which we will."
"Well, I'm game," said Tony. "So, Kate, will you be wearing a really tight outfit and a little tutu?" The smile on Tony's face was so bright and annoying.
Kate slowly turned toward Tony and controlled her urge to shoot him. "I will be wearing a body tights, but no tutu," said Kate. She smiled at Tony. "I don't want you play with the tutu, Tony. It's hard to get drool off them."
Abby and Ducky started to laugh.
"Kate," said Tony. "I would never drool on your tutu. I don't know why you would say that about me."
"Easy," said Kate. "I've seen you around females."
Tony looked for a second like his feelings had been hurt before he smiled at Kate. She smiled back at Tony.
"So are we bringing anything to this party?" asked Gibbs. Everyone slowly turned toward the man. They had forgotten he was even in the room.
"Bring some side dish food," said Abby.
"Okay. I'll get something from the store before coming over," said Gibbs.
"What about me, Abby?" asked Tony. Now he looked hurt.
"Why don't you bring some drinks?" said Abby.
"I will bring some finger food," said Ducky.
"I will make a main course," said Abby. She smiled as she looked around at her friends.
"Abby, do you want me to bring anything?" asked Kate. "Nah," said Abby. "You're the entertainment. Just bring yourself and the two pack mules."
"That I can do," said Kate.
"Okay, Abby; we'll see you at 1800, then," said Gibbs. He kept an eye on Kate. He could see that she was delighted by the thought of dancing for her friends, but not that Tony or he was going to be there.
Everyone drifted off back to their work. Gibbs spent most of the day catching Kate glancing at him nervously.
Around 1630, Abby came up to bullpen with her coat and bag in hand. "I'm off!" said Abby. "I'll see you later!"
"Sure will, Abby," called out Tony. "Can't wait to see Kate out there doing a toe dance." He smiled at Kate again.
"I am out of here," said Abby. She turned to escape before the shooting or other types of bloodshed started.
"Toe dancing?" said Kate. "You know, I expect that out of Gibbs with his taste for cowboy movies, but you, Tony, should know better."
"Hey, what do you mean by that?" asked Gibbs. He was smiling but he was sounding hurt. Really, he couldn't figure which one to be.
"I have to go home," said Kate. "I have to meet up with Digger and Chase to go over to Abby's. I also need my dance stuff." Kate got up and grabbed her stuff and got the hell out of there.
Tony looked over at Gibbs. "What was that all about?" asked Tony.
"Not sure," said Gibbs. "But I'm sure we'll find out tonight. Let's go now and get our running around done." Gibbs shut down his computer and put the files up.
"I am with you on that one," said Tony as he shut down his computer. "Hey, boss-who's Chase?"
"Don't know that, either," said Gibbs. "We'll find that out, too." The two men got up and left the building. ~~ The buzzer rang, and Kate picked up the phone to answer it. "Hello," said Kate.
"Hey, Kite," said Digger.
"I'll be right down, Dig," said the younger cousin.
"Okay," said the Marine.
Kate turned and picked up the two bags on the sofa and headed out the door. Locking it behind her, Kate was outside with Digger and his Marine friend in a couple of minutes.
"Hey, beautiful," said Digger as Kate came out the door.
Kate looked up at her cousin. If she had come down in a ratty bathrobe and curlers in her hair, he would have still said that to her. "Hey to you," said Kate. "You two can follow me over to Abby's house."
"Kate, why don't we go together?" said Digger.
"Because in case I have to leave for an assignment," said Kate, "I would like to be able to get home again." Kate turned to the tall, blond younger man. "So, Chase, do you want me to tell you how to stay on Douglas' good side?"
"Yes, Ma'am," said the Marine.
"Say nice things about Jean or his kids," said Kate. "Or me. I've never figured out why me, but it does work." She smiled at the man as they walked her to her car. Kate turned off the alarm and unlocked it. She got inside and started it up.
Digger and Chase walked back to Digger's truck.
"Doug," said Chase. "Your cousin's as pretty and funny as you said she was."
"Yeah, I know," said Digger. "Just watch out for the two guys she works with. One of them is going to hurt her bad. I haven't quite got it figured out which one yet."
The two vehicles arrived at Abby's house in good time. Gibbs got out of his car before Tony. Walking around to the other side of his car, Gibbs opened up the passenger side and pulled out a bag.
Tony did the same at his car, and pulled a rack of bottled water and a rack of Pepsi. The two men meet up and walked to the door together. Tony put the Pepsi down and rang the doorbell.
Ducky opened the door for Abby. "Greetings, Jethro and Tony," said Ducky. "I am the official greeter. Abby is warming up with Kate in the family room. Come into the kitchen and put your stuff down." Ducky led them through the front room, which had a lot more furniture in it than the last time they were there. The dining room was next, and the table had been set already. The next room was the kitchen. The smelling coming from this room was heaven. "Tony," continued Ducky. "Why did you bring the 24 packs of drinks?"
"The rack of water is Abby and Kate, they will need it after they are done." asked Tony, putting down the water and the Pepsi. "You never know how much Pepsi I am going to drink. What's Abby cooking?"
Gibbs opened the refrigerator. He placed a macaroni salad, a green salad, and a Jell-O salad inside.
"She won't say," said Ducky. "She booby-trapped the oven so we can't even look." The NCIS men looked at the stove and saw the Goth had set precautions up to keep people out of the oven. Even the glass was covered from the inside.
"Abby's a tricky little thing," said Tony.
"Yes," said Ducky. "She is a lady with many talents." Ducky paused for a second. "Shall we go watch the ladies warm up?"
"Sure," said Tony.
"Lead the way, Ducky," said Gibbs.
Ducky led them through a doorway. This room was nearly empty except for a pool table on one side and a boom box on the floor. Abby and Kate sat on the floor as well, stretching
Kate had her back to Gibbs and Tony. Digger and another man were stood against the back wall watching the women. Kate and Abby were both wearing sweats. Tony was disappointed by that.
Ducky moved to one side of the cleared room. Chairs were lined up along the wall. Tony and Gibbs followed him.
"I used to ice skate," said Abby. "But that was forever ago."
"Well, you should be okay," said Kate. "As long as you warm beforehand, then you should be good to go."
Kate spread her legs into a "V" shape. Abby followed her actions. They stretched on the right side for several minutes, then moved to their left. Moving her legs out a bit wider, Kate bent over until her torso touched the floor between her legs.
Tony just smiled at how flexible Kate was. That could come in handy if one was going to... Tony looked up and saw Digger glaring at him. Scratch that thought for a bit.
"This one is a bit tricky, Abby," said Kate. "If you don't think you can pull it off, don't worry about it."
"Okay," said Abby as she watched Kate move her body forward and her legs end up behind her body.
Kate moved her hands and arms so they were in front of her. Placing them like she was going to do a pushup, Kate moved off her toes and placed her feet down as flat as she could. Then she moved her arms back so she was standing on her feet. When her body was totally bent, Kate wrapped her arms around her legs. Then she saw Tony and Gibbs- upside-down to her. "Hey, Gibbs and Tony," said Kate. "Been here long?"
Tony cleared his throat. "Ummm," said the youngest man.
"I just let them in," said Ducky. He had been watching with some amusement at Jethro and Tony as Kate stretched. Tony was the easiest to read. Young men and their... well, never mind. Ducky didn't want to go there again- not even for a friend like Tony. Gibbs wasn't as easy to read. He did have that smirk of his planted on his face. After that, Ducky didn't have a clue.
"Hey," said Abby as she turned around to her friends. "Can Kate make this stuff look easy or what?" Abby just smiled at them.
Yeah, yeah," said Kate. "Tony DiNozzo and Jethro Gibbs, this is Gunnery SGT Chase Sinclair-and of course you remember Douglas?" Turning to Abby, "Which reminds me, I have a gift for you." Kate walked over to the two bags that she brought with her. Picking up the smaller of the bags, Kate turned back to Abby. "Every dancer has a dancing bag. I got this one for you with some toys in it."
"Kate," said Abby. "You didn't have to do that, but think you very much."
Kate unzipped the bag and reached in and removed a long thin box. "These are a pair of ballet slippers," said Kate. "They are made out of fabric, so you can have them dyed to black if you want."
Giving the box to Abby, the woman opened it up and held a pair of white slippers. Abby smile grew bigger.
"I also got you this book on ballet," said Kate. "In case you want to look up anything. You will find that will come in handy when you are trying to remember a where the placements go." Kate handed the book to Abby. "The bag is your too."
"Thank you Kate," said Abby. "I love it all." Abby sat down on the floor to put the slippers. "Hey Kate your slippers have seen better days."
"When dancers get a pair of slippers that feels good on them," said Kate. "You wear them to death and beyond. They will buy news one for a performance but they stick with the old faith ones. Let me show you how to loosen them and break them."
Abby handed the slippers back to Kate. The woman started to bend the slippers and hit them on her hand.
Gibbs got up and shook both of the men's hands. "Hey, Douglas," said Gibbs. "Nice to meet you, Gunny. I am Jethro Gibbs." "It's good to meet you, Gunny," said Chase. "Doug told me you are a Gunny in the Reserve."
"I'm Tony DiNozzo," said Tony to Chase. Tony had followed Gibbs to shake Chase's hand. "Hey, Douglas. So are you settled in yet? Is your mom done yelling?"
Digger smiled, "Yeah, she's done yelling at me about going to see Kate first," said the Marine. "But Kate isn't invited over to the house for a while because of it."
"Like I care," said Kate. Straightening herself out, she moved toward the dance barre. "You two want to earn your meal?"
The Marines grabbed a hold of the barre and stood on the end of two bars that ran from where it was attached to the wall down to the floor. "Let's find out if we're stretched out enough," said Kate as she walked over to the barre. She put her right hand inches over the barre and put her heels together so her toes faced in different directions. Kate bent her knees and went down slowly, keeping her body perfectly aligned. She made it look so easy. As slowly as Kate went down, she came back up. "Well, that felt good for me," said Kate. "What about you, Abby?"
"You want me to do that?" said Abby with a huge smile on her face.
"Sure," said Kate. "It's really easy."
"All right," said Abby. "Show me." Abby moved over to Kate and stood in front of the woman.
"Okay, I am going to show you the first position," said Kate. "Shut up, Tony." She didn't even need to look at the man to know the look on his face.
Tony just laughed. Gibbs shook his head. Ducky just sat there smiling. Digger looked over at Tony and the younger man stopped smiling quickly.
"You saw how my feet were?" asked Kate to Abby. "Let's see you do that."
Abby placed her heels together, but her hand was on the barre. She tried to remove her hand but started to fall over.
"Just keep your hand on the barre, Abby," said Kate. "I've been doing this for so long that I could do it in my sleep."
'My,' thought Gibbs. 'That statement could make me think of things I shouldn't think about with someone I work with.'
Kate had moved to the back of Abby and placed her hand on Abby's back. "You need to keep your back straight and head up high," said Kate. "Try to keep from looking at your feet."
"Okay," said Abby. She knew all of this from her training as an ice skater. As she went to bend her knees, Abby held on to the barre for all she was worth.
Kate stayed behind Abby in case she needed help. Abby went down and back up. Abby started to laugh.
"You ready to learn the second position?" asked Kate. "Shut up, Tony."
This time Tony laughed out loud. "You are going to keep that up, aren't you?" asked Tony when he stopped laughing.
"We know you that well, Tony," said Kate. "I might as well tell you, there are five positions. So all together now."
Abby started to laugh, "Shut up Tony!"
"Shut up, Tony," said Gibbs.
Ducky smiled and looked at the dear boy, "Shut up Tony!"
"Yes, please, shut up Tony," said Digger with a smile.
"I am so staying out of this one," said Chase. He smiled at Kate.
"Smart man," said Kate, looking back at the big Marines. Turning to Abby, she asked, "Ready for the second one?"
"Sure," said Abby.
Kate moved in front of Abby and faced her. She put her right hand inches over the barre and put her feet so her toes were facing different directions; there was a space between the heels. Kate bent her knees and went down slowly, keeping her body perfectly aligned. Then she came back up. This time when she did it she moved her left hand down and up as she moved. "You want to do it?" asked Kate.
"Sure," said Abby as she mimicked Kate's position. Abby bent her knees and went down slowly, keeping her body perfectly aligned. Then she came back up. The arm movement wasn't as smooth as Kate's, but it didn't bother Abby for a first try. She smiled at Kate, then at the guys. They smiled back at her.
Kate looked at Digger and saw that smile from him. 'Oh, he was remembering the 'danse du non formé.' If he was the sneaky as he used to be, then that story would come out later. 'Lord, have mercy!' Kate tried to send the message 'Don't you dare!'
He just gave her the look, 'Who, me?'
Kate just shook her head at him and knew she was going to die of embarrassment tonight. Well, really, he was and Kate was going to enjoy it.
"OK, we are off to position three," said Kate as she moved back in front of Abby. "The last three are the worst, but we all seem to make them work."
Kate turned her feet so her toes were facing different directions, but this time the right foot was in front of the left and the side of the heels touched. Kate bent her knees and went down slowly, keeping her body perfectly aligned. She slowly came back up, moving her arm this time.
"You have got to be kidding," said Abby.
Kate laughed at Abby. She slowly turned her head as she went back down again. The looks on the three guys' faces were priceless. They were having trouble with it, too. When Kate came back up, she moved away from the barre and repeated the move, this time adding a few steps to it.
The group was very surprised by it. Kate laughed and did a few more steps. She moved back to the barre and did the move again.
Digger laughed and then looked over at the other men. He thought the same thing the first time he had seen Kate do that when she was little. He had such a time with the thought that they weren't torturing the girl. Now it looked so easy for her or anyone else who really wanted to do it.
"Does that hurt, Kate?" asked Chase.
"It did at the beginning," said Kate. "But not anymore." She did a third arabesque and moved back into the original position. "You have to get the body used to being wound up in strange positions."
"It does look painful, Caitlin," said Ducky.
Kate just laughed and speaking to Abby. "You want to try it, or do you want me to just show you the other two and you can change your mind about learning any more?"
"Show me the other two," said Abby.
Moving back to the barre, Kate turned her feet so her toes were facing different directions, but this time the right foot was in front of the left and there was a space between them. Kate bent her knees and went down slowly, keeping her body perfectly aligned. Slowly, came back up and she moved her arm. Kate looked at Abby. The woman was looking very nervous. "Don't worry, Abby," said Kate. "It won't kill you. I'll show you the last one."
Kate positioned her feet so her toes were facing different directions, but this time, the right foot was in front of the left, and the toe of the right foot was even with the heel of the left foot. Kate bent her knees and went down slowly, keeping her body perfectly aligned. Slowly, came back up and she moved her arm with the movement.
"You have got to be kidding!" Abby repeated.
"Nope," said Kate. "Look, why don't I just dance for you, and you think about whether you want to try it or not?"
"Okay," said Abby.
Kate moved back away from Abby. She nodded to Digger. The Marine leaned down and turned the boom box on. "I should tell you that this dance would be called an abstract ballet, a dance without plot," said Kate. She pulled off her sweats and underneath was a full body tight. Only the top didn't cover everything; it looked like a tank top. The CD was turned on and a rock and roll song started to play.
Tony's smile got big again. Gibbs smirk reappeared and even Ducky was smiling.
Kate moved her feet into the third position. Her arms went up, and she fell into the movement of the music. She moved about, then changed legs. The tempo of the music changed, and Kate changed her leg once more jumped back to the other leg. She did a few bright and brisk movements with her legs and arms. She did several spins and ended up in front of Tony.
"Hand, Tony," said Kate.
"What?" said Tony in bewilderment.
"Give me your hand," said Kate.
Tony held out his hand to Kate. She took it and went back up en pointe. She went up on her toe of the one foot and lifted the leg into the air. Bringing her leg down, Kate let go of Tony's hand and moved away from him.
Tony just smiled. He just helped in a ballet. Now that was cool. Gibbs and Ducky both looked at the younger man. They both knew he would be hard to handle for several days.
Kate moved back toward Digger. He placed his hands around her waist and lifted her just off the floor. Then he placed her gently back onto the ground. Kate moved across the floor and bowed slightly in front of the men. Then she slid to the floor.
Kate began to laugh. She pulled herself into a sitting position. "Well, that was that," said Kate.
The group started to applaud to Kate.
"Kate, that was great," said Abby. "That was why I wanted to know how to dance like this."
"Yeah," said Tony. "I'm sorry that I called it toe dancing, because that was pure beauty in motion."
Digger moved over to Kate and handed her the sweats.
"Thank you, Tony," said Kate as she pulled her sweatshirt back on.
"That, Caitlin, was just wonderful," said Ducky. "You could be at any ballet company; why aren't you?"
Kate slipped the pants on and looked at Ducky. "Well, Ducky," said Kate. "There is a reason I am not dancing professionally." Standing, she moved to the barre. She picked up a bottle of water and uncapped it. "Do you how much a ballet dancer is suppose to weigh?" Kate started to drink the water.
"Caitlin," said Ducky. "That has changed in the last couple of years."
"Yes, it has, Ducky," said Kate. "But when I graduated from high school, all ballet dancers had to be less then a hundred pounds."
"WHAT?" said Gibbs.
"I chose to be healthy than go with dancing and make myself ill," said Kate. "No matter how much I love to dance."
"Wait, Kate," said Gibbs. "They wanted you to be so thin... why? People would die being so underweight."
"Yes, they have," said Kate. "Ballet companies started to get sued over the deaths, and things started to change."
"Well, I'm glad you didn't go on to be a dancer, Kate," said Tony. "You're a great agent."
The group turned to face Tony. They were a little surprised by the compliment from him. "Thank you, Tony," said Kate. "So... could we eat now, or I am going to die here?"
"The roast should be done," said Abby. The tech moved toward the kitchen. A loud sound pierced the building. It took three seconds to be turned off. Abby could be heard laughing in the other room. "We can eat," yelled Abby. "We can finish setting the table now."
"Looks like dinner is served," said Kate.
Everyone moved off toward the kitchen to help put the food on the table.