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she's a silver lightnin', climbing on my desire

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“Alright everyone, gather around please.”

Every agent in the bullpen turns to face SAC Jane Tennant, who is standing in the middle of the room, briefcase on one hand, the other safely tucked in her pockets. 

“I have an announcement to make.” After making sure she has everyone’s attention, she continues, “The NCIS decided that it was time for you all to undergo a new training.”

Lucy gave the only excited yelp of the entire room, which was soon filled with groans and eye rolls. Tennant lifted her hand and, in seconds, the room was quiet again.

“You know how it goes, as of the next couple of weeks, you all will be divided into two groups that will take turns attending the training.” More groans.

It was Lucy’s second training on NCIS and she really couldn’t understand why people hate it so much. It was fun, they got to listen to super interesting lectures, compete with each other to see who can solve the fake crime first, test new weapons and work to improve their strategy as agents. What is not to like?

“Kai, Jesse and Lucy, you three are also in group A." The three agents high-fived each other, “Everyone whose name’s been called move along to the auditorium, please and thank you.”

Lucy pulled Jesse and Kai along, talking non stop about how fun this week is going to be. Happiness, however, is a fickle thing. Words die in her mouth when she enters the auditorium and sees the devil herself sitting in one of the chairs by the corner of the room. She is talking to some other FBI agent, both sporting a red armband. 

In Lucy’s eyes, hating someone feels disturbingly like falling in love with them. Your stomach twists and flips, your appetite and sleep are shredded and your heart beats heavy and bright, nearly visible through your flesh and your clothes. 

When the FBI agent spots Lucy, she arches an eyebrow and Lucy does the same. They hold each other gazes for a beat, Lucy’s heart hammering on her chest, until the other woman rolls her eyes and looks away.

“What is the FBI doing here?” She asks Jesse who just shrugs his shoulders and moves along the room.

Senior Agent Montgomery, who is apparently in charge of today’s training, throws a bunch of colorful armbands in their direction. “NCIS you are blue. FBI, you are red.”

Lucy picks a blue one and moves to the side of the room where her blue peers are standing. Doing her best to avoid a certain agent’s eyes.

“As you can see, we are mixing things up this time.” Montgomery says, examining the agents in the room, “Throughout this week, you will be competing against each other, Team Blue versus Team Red.”

Whispers spread throughout the room. The rivalry is already there, agents on both teams staring at each other making cut throat sounds.

“Not every assignment is going to be a group one, though. There will be individual tests as well, so an individual leaderboard will be provided by the end of the week.”

“What’s the prize?” Agent Martin asks. 

“Your pride.” Answers Montgomery. Martin grumbles, making everyone laugh. “I also believe that a dinner voucher to Hau Tree is available.”

Everyone cheers.

“But remember, this is a friendly competition. Take it as an opportunity to learn and grow as agents and not just a way to roast each other.”

Lucy’s eyes meet her nemesis’ who is wearing a smug grin that Lucy wants to wipe out.

“Piece of cake.” The woman mouths to her.

Lucy doesn't know exactly how this rivalry between them started. Ok, scratch that. It started because the FBI has the worst manners in all federal jobs. They pop into your crime scenes, steal your cases, your hard work and get credit for it at the end without even saying thank you.

And Kate Whistler? She is the worst of them all. 

For starters, she doesn't smile. Unless it’s her trademark smug grin, ‘smile’ is not part of the woman’s vocabulary.

Kate got transferred to Hawaii a few weeks after Lucy had joined the NCIS. Knowing how nerve wrecking starting a job in a new place could be, Lucy bought the woman a cactus for her new fancy FBI desk. Kate didn't even thank her, just grabbed the vase and walked out.

After that, things had only gotten worse. Everytime they are working on big exciting cases, the FBI comes bursting through the doors ready to steal the cases instead of just helping them. It’s not like they are your regular police department, they are also federal agents. The complex of superiority those feds have is the main reason why there are so many complaints about Kate and Lucy to the HR. 

Usually a confident and brilliant woman with ambition is number one on Lucy's turn on list, but God, Kate Whistler drives her mad. 

If that woman was unpleasant to work with on the few occasions they crossed paths, Lucy cannot begin to imagine the hell this week is going to be. But, she is going to win this competition and spend the rest of her days throwing it on Kate's face. Dinner voucher be damned. 

"You're dead." Lucy mouths back to Kate.

"We'll see." 

***

By the end of the day Lucy is exhausted. The training turned out to be way more complicated than she had unticipated and working under Kate's scrutinous gaze was not making things easier. The only thing bringing comfort to Lucy was that the other woman looked just as tired as she felt. Kate's usual perfect stance was a little curved and the pristine ponytail had lost a few strands of hair.

"Guys, I'm heading out." Lucy says to Jesse and Kai after finally being able to wrap up her task. They bid their goodbyes and Lucy heads to the elevator.

The NCIS Agent almost turns back when she sees Whistler pressing the elevator button. The only reason she doesn't is because the FBI Agent also sees her and Lucy will not be giving her the satisfaction.

"Special Agent Tara." Whistler says, staring at the elevator's door.

"Special Agent Whistler."

Lucy takes a deep breath and risks a look at Kate by the corner of her eyes. She fixed her ponytail, Lucy notices and accidentally lets out a hum.

"What?" Kate asks.

"Nothing."

Kate stares at her for a few seconds and Lucy is sure her peripheral vision is playing tricks on her when she notices Whistler biting her lower lip in an attempt to hide a smile.

The elevator arrives and they both get in. In such close quarters, Lucy can smell the other woman's perfume, it's strong, pristine, like everything Kate Whistler, but not as sweet as she imagined it would be. It's a very attractive scent and it got Lucy wondering, for half a second, what her shampoo must smell like. 

The ding of the elevator's doors opening brings Lucy back to the present and she shakes her head trying to get rid of the unwanted thoughts. 

Whistler gets out first, "Good night, Agent Tara and good luck."

The audacity.

"I don't need luck.” She screams at the woman who is already halfway through the parking lot, “I'm that good."

"Oh, I don't doubt it." Kate says with a wink, just before entering her car, leaving a dumbfounded Lucy behind. 


The next day goes by without great Whistler incidents, but that’s mostly because they spend their whole day going from lecture to lecture and Lucy barely sees her.

They accidently bump into each other during lunch break, Lucy walking into the bathroom and Kate coming out of it. There’s no exchange of words, but Lucy notices that her hands accidentally reached for Kate’s biceps in order to keep her balance and now all she can think of is how ripped Kate is. She clears her throat and makes her way into the bathroom without a second glance at the blond woman.

After that minor inconvenience, she puts all her focus on the lectures and if she feels a pair of eyes watching her ever so often, she knows better than to look back.

On the third day, however, she is not as lucky. 

“Ok everyone, gather around.” Tennant is the one handling the training today. She explains that they are going to have a drill about a very sensitive case involving not only the FBI and NCIS, but the CIA as well.

They are going to be divided into teams and have to work together to solve the case. The first team that solves it wins a hundred points to their individual leaderboard.

“Boone, Garcia, Michael and Thorne. You are team A.” Tennant goes on listing names, “Nguyen, Tara, Walker and Whistler, team E.”

Lucy bites her tongue so hard that she tastes blood. You gotta be fucking kidding me. 

Their team meets at one of the tables and Lucy does her best not to look at Whistler.

Nguyen reads the case over to them and they dive right into work.

It’s a very realistic case and they soon realize they have to actually go out of the auditorium to conduct some interviews with actors and cops pretending to be suspects and family members. 

It feels weird to work on the same side as Whistler and Lucy finds herself not hating it.

Used to seeing only the bossy bureaucratic side of the FBI Agent, it takes Lucy by surprise how driven, resourceful and unexpectedly respectful Kate actually is.

Interesting.

After a couple hours of investigation, Nguyen walks in holding the victim’s phone and hands it to Lucy asking if she can take it to Ernie. Walker then asks Nguyen if they’d like to join him in an interview with one of the suspects and Kate, for some reason, takes that as an invitation to follow Lucy into Ernie’s office. 

Ernie, bless his heart, has headphones on and it’s whipping his head back and forth to the rhythm of whatever music he is listening to. Lucy spares a glance at Kate and has to cover her mouth to hide a smile. In all their time working together, Lucy has never seen Kate look so confused and terrified at the same time.

The man has his eyes closed and Lucy knows that calling his name won’t do any good, so she sneaks up behind him, knocks his headphones off and screams ‘Ernie!’ just because she can.

“God!” He jumps out of his chair in a squeak. 

Lucy chuckles and Kate rolls her eyes at their antics, but Lucy notices a ghost of a smile on the blonde woman’s lips and her heart beats a little bit faster against her will.

They fill Ernie in on the “case” and he promptly cracks the victim’s phone, finding an audio file recorded at the moment of the abduction. There’s no conversation, just a collection of whimpering and rustling sounds. 

"Can you isolate the waves?" Kate asks and with a few clicks they now have six different audio channels. 

Ernie plays them one by one, letting the women make their own assessments without interfering.

"Wait, play that again." Lucy asks, listening carefully. "Sounds like water."

"On an island, go figure." Kate comments and Lucy glares at her in disbelief.

Rolling her eyes, Lucy continues, "Not just water, a waterfall." 

"Again, tropical island."

"Are you going to keep that attitude or do something to actually help the case?"

"I am helping the case by pointing out facts."

"No, you are just pissed cause you didn't notice it first."

"I'm sorry, do I look that petty to you?"

"Yes."

"Alright you two." Ernie raises his voice, silencing them before they escalate things further, "Lucy is correct, yey, it's a waterfall. Waimea Falls to be precise. Now, please, go foreplay anywhere else."

Kate scoffs and walks away without another word.

Lucy weakly slaps Ernie in the back of his head.

"What was that for?" The man exclaims, "I'm on your side here!"

"You know why." 

She then leaves his office and goes find Kate. They need to make a trip to a waterfall and Lucy needs to gloat.

***

They find their suspects with relative ease, but they happened to be two trained cops who beat the shit out of both of them. The women give just as hard as they take and eventually are able to apprehend the couple.

Kate is an excellent fighter and has Lucy’s back the entire time. Another thing that takes her by surprise. It’s somewhat reassuring knowing that even if they clash most of the time, they still have each other’s back when it counts. 

It takes the whole day, but they are the first group to close the case and Tennant gives them, what Lucy began to call, the Mom smile. 

“I knew you two would make a good team.” She says after Walker and Nguyen walked away to collect their things. 

Lucy and Kate look at each other rather uncomfortably, but acknowledge each other's hard work with a nod.

***

Lucy arrives home around 8pm. Her whole body feels sore from the fight earlier. She doesn't have any apparent bruises yet, but she is not looking forward to the morning.

She goes through her night routine; dinner, shower, skin care.

Before bed, she makes the rash decision of calling her mom to see how things are going and immediately regrets it. 

“Ma, I promise you, you will not die if you stop meddling in my love life.” Lucy comments after her mom casually mentions that Sophia, one of her friend’s daughters, is single. 

“I am not meddling,” Her mom reprimands, “I am simply telling you what’s going on as you asked.”

When Lucy doesn’t respond, her mother adds, “Ah, that’s fine. I know your heart is with somebody else.”

The last sentence is barely a whisper but Lucy catches on either way. “What?”

“What, what?

“My heart is with somebody else?” Lucy asks, stunned by her Mother’s comment.

“Don’t act like you don’t know what I’m talking about.”

“Please, enlighten me.”

“Whistler,” Her mom says, like it’s obvious, “the one you won’t shut up about.”

Lucy chortles. What other reaction could she have?

“I do not like Whistler.”

“Baby, you mentioned her name five times already.”

“So?” Lucy asks, genuinely, “I like to complain about her!" 

It’s her mom’s turn to laugh.

“I am not sure how praising her with seven different adjectives qualifies as complaining, but whatever you say kid.”

“I’m hanging up now.” Lucy warns.

“Stop fighting your heart, Luce.” Is the last thing she hears before hanging up. 

***

In bed, Lucy tries to get some of her readings done, but her brain keeps circling back to the entire new side of Kate she got to see today. Her mother’s words only added insult to the injury. 

Does she mention Kate’s name every once in a while? Yes. Did Kate surprise her today? A hundred percent. It doesn’t mean Lucy likes likes her.

To prove her point, Lucy downloads a relationship app to try her luck.

She swipes right a few times, gets some matches, starts some conversations, but nothing too exciting, though. Lucy was always more of a face to face type of person. Ultimately, she gives up and decides that her time will be better spent sleeping.

She’s half asleep when she feels a sudden weight on top of her. She opens her eyes and vaguely makes out the blonde strands of hair cascading around her face in the darkened room.

“You know,” Kate whispers in Lucy’s ear right before biting her earlobe, “We do make a pretty good team.”

Lucy is wearing nothing but an oversized shirt, so Kate’s hands have no problem finding skin. Her hand slides up and down Lucy’s thighs, blunt fingernails scratching her gently. Lucy can’t help the moan that leaves her mouth when the blonde’s hand moves to Lucy’s stomach, all the way up her body stopping right below her breasts. Then it moves all the way down to her thighs again and again and again.

Everywhere Kate’s fingers go, they leave a trail of fire behind.

“K-Kate.” 

Kate must hear it as an incentive, ‘cause soon enough her hand is cupping Lucy’s breasts, stealing a gasp from the shorter woman. Kate’s lips meet Lucy’s throat and the noise Lucy makes surprises even herself. 

“You feel so good.” Kate whispers.

Lucy bolts out of bed, falling to the floor with a thud, the very same second Kate touches her where she needs the most.

She looks around the dark empty room, panting.

“Fuck.”


Lucy stands in front of the mirror assessing her outfit. She opted for a striped shirt with a light gray blazer, high waisted jeans that makes her butt look specially good and a pair of white sneakers. 

Despite being a very fashionable person, it's not often that the agent pays this much attention to what she is wearing at work. She prefers to keep it simple. There's a side of her closet reserved for work clothes and all she has to do is pick whatever comes to mind.

Today, however, she wants to test a theory.

Arriving at Pearl Harbor, Lucy makes a beeline to the auditorium. Today they had a few more lectures by the morning and then, everyone was getting the afternoon off. 

"Hot date tonight?" Kate shows up beside her from God knows where. 

The woman is wearing an all navy suit and her signature heels, making her at least a foot taller than Lucy. But instead of her usual ponytail, Kate's hair falls freely on her shoulder and Lucy is surprised to notice that it's wavy today.

Lucy's heart does a flip in her chest that she does not appreciate.

"Not the only one, apparently." Lucy's voice sounds a bit raspy and when Kate licks her lips, Lucy feels her knees cave in.

They actually cave in and she has to reach for Kate in order to avoid falling into her face.

When she feels Kate's arm around her waist, she quickly disentangles herself out of the other woman's grip.

"I'm fine." Her voice is a little squeaky and she feels like that Ross' meme. 

She really though she had fucked the dream out of her system after spending most of her remaining sleeping time with her hands inside her pants and the thought of Kate Kate Kate on her brain.

It feels kind of dirty now and she hates that she can feel the blush creeping into her neck. 

They arrive at the auditorium and for Lucy's misery she can't spot Jesse or Kai anywhere, so she finds the first empty seat and falls into it. In hindsight, she should’ve planned better, because this one has an empty seat beside it that Kate takes as her own. 

Lucy feels like getting up and sitting between Agents Malcom and Thorne even if it means hearing them talk about crossfit and complain about their wives throughout the whole thing. At least Kate wouldn’t be anywhere near.

"So, when and where's the supposed date happening?" Kate asks in a nonchalant tone. 

"You seem very invested.”

"Oh, I’m not." She answers, "Just trying to exercise my team building skills."

"You say like you have any." 

Kate rolls her eyes.

“You know, I worry one day your eyes are going to be stuck in the back of your head forever.” Lucy says as the lecture starts.

“You worry about me?” Kate gasps in mock surprise. “I’m touched.”

“Oh, fuck you.”

“You can certainly try.”

This kind of behavior isn’t atypical for them, they hate flirt all the time. But that comment added with the very real, very vivid memories of last night’s dream has Lucy flinging her pen on the other side of the room. That grants her a few confused looks from some other agents.

“Sorry.” She whispers.

Kate coughs into her hands, certainly trying to cover up a laugh and Lucy hates her. She really really does. 

They eventually begin to pay attention to what the woman in front of the room, Senior FBI Agent Christina Mariano, is talking about.

Sort of.

Strategies to use during different life and death situations are interesting. Lucy likes being alive. What Lucy doesn’t like is why her brain seems to think Kate's mannerisms are more important than a life and death situation survival guide. 

"Staring is creepy, Agent Tara." Kate says without removing her eyes from Dr. Mariano.

"Your blazer is crooked." It's a lie, but Kate looks down so fast you would think Lucy said that she had a spider on her. 

"Ha ha you're so very funny." 

"Skylar seems to think so." Lucy doesn't know what made her say it, she regrets the moment it leaves her mouth, but the damage is done.

Skylar is one of the women she had a brief conversation with last night and to be honest, Lucy can't even remember what they talked about, but her name was the first that popped up on Lucy's mind.

"Skylar, uh?" Kate is staring at her, she's been doing that a lot lately, Lucy notes. 

Someone behind them tells them to shush. 

"We're having lunch at Joe’s" Why are you still talking?

"Oh."

"Oh?"

"I also have a thing at Joe’s today." Kate says, "Guess I'll see you there."

Lucy curses Kate in all the 5 different languages she knows how to speak.

“You’re lying.”

“I am not.”

She's got to be lying.

Lucy focuses back on the lecture, but Kate’s eyes don’t leave her. 

The second the lecture ends, Lucy goes away to the bathroom. Inside the stall she picks up her phone and texts Skylar asking her how she feels about meeting for lunch later today.

Skylar says yes and Lucy texts her the address. 

***

The morning ends and Lucy finds herself standing side by side with Kate in front of the elevator. Kate lost her blazer and her button-up has a cleavage that it lacked this morning. It’s making Lucy’s brain go to places it probably shouldn’t, not in daylight at least.

The elevator doors open and Lucy hurries into it. She keeps her back to the door, to Kate, which doesn’t help much considering that she can feel Kate’s eyes burning holes on her back.

“You need a ride?” Kate says, breaking the silence. Lucy just chuckles at her audacity. “The weather is really bad.”

“That’s what Ubers are for.” 

“We are going in the same direction.”

“You are not driving me to my date .” Lucy stresses the last two words.

When Kate doesn’t answer, Lucy turns to look at her. The taller woman is leaning into the side wall, arms crossed and with a look on her face Lucy cannot quite read. They play the staring game for a few seconds before Kate’s hands reach for the elevator panel and presses a button that brings the elevator to a stop. 

“What are you doing?” Lucy asks, reaching for the panel herself, but Kate catches her hands.

“What are we doing?” Kate takes a step forward. Only a small space separates them and Lucy’s knees feel like they are going to give for the second time just today.

“What do you mean?” Lucy’s voice sounds like how she feels and she hates it. 

“This little schoolyard game that we play.”

“You mean the game where we hate each other?”

“Do you really hate me?” Kate’s voice goes down an octave and it hits Lucy right in the chest.

Lucy doesn't answer, doesn't have to. 

It's a tenue line, you see.

Instead, Lucy tilts her head up, her lips just a whisper away from Kate's. Kate moves her head, her lips brush Lucy's nose while she places a hand on Lucy's lower back pulling her closer. The feeling of Kate’s body pressed against hers is intoxicating. 

Just when they are about to close the only remaining space between them, Ernie's voice on the elevator's speaker works like a cold water bucket forcing them back into reality.

"Everyone alright in there?" In a nanosecond Lucy's on the other side of the cube, pressed against the wall, but the ghost of Kate's hand is still in her lower back tracing gentle circles with her thumb. 

Lucy doesn't dare looking at the other woman. Knows very well that if she does, she is neither going to her date, nor going home alone and that cannot happen. Not with Kate.

But Lucy is not really sure why not anymore.

The elevator arrives at the first floor and Lucy is out of the door.

She pays no mind to Kate or where the other woman ran off too. She focuses all her might into ordering an Uber and not pressing her thighs together.

After five cancellations in less than five minutes and a waiting time of at least 20 minutes for the next ride, Lucy is not above throwing her phone all the way across the street.

"Ready to accept my offer now?" Lucy jumps. Kate appears in her line of vision, hands in her pockets and a faint smirk on her lips. Fuck.

"Has anyone ever told you, you have stalker tendencies?" 

Kate makes a sound that can only be defined as a giggle and Lucy just stands there trying to digest the fact she just made stone cold Kate Whistler giggle and fuck if it isn't the most beautiful she's ever heard.

"You want a ride or not?" A smile is playing on her lips and Lucy couldn't say no even if she wanted to.

***

The car ride is silent. If life was a comic book there would be little lightning bolts radiating out of them.

Everytime the car stops at a red light Lucy can feel Kate's eye on her.

"You look beautiful," Lucy cannot believe the words actually left Kate's mouth. God, she must be mortified. 

But in reality, when Lucy risks a glance to the other woman's direction, Kate looks unapologetically truthful and Lucy doesn’t know how to react to this version of Kate.

When Lucy doesn't respond Kate just gives her a small, some might even say sad, smile, "This is your stop."

Lucy was so distracted by Kate that she didn't even register that they didn’t stop because of a red light and yes because they were in front of the coffee house where she is supposed to meet Skylar.

"Right." Lucy nods but makes no mention of opening the door. "Wait. Didn’t you say you had something here as well?”

"I asked for a rain check. Didn't want to crash your date."

Lucy searches for traces of lies, but Kate’s eyes are so honest that something catches on her throat and all she can do is nod. 

Still, she makes no mention of opening the door.

A few minutes goes by before Kate finally breaks the silence, "You need help opening that, or?" 

"Shut up." Only then Lucy exits the car. She spares one last look at Kate, who nods at her and, without so much as a thank you, walks into the pub.

***

Skylar, it turns out, was a pleasant company. She complimented Lucy, saying she looked gorgeous, she was funny, smart and they had quite a lot in common.

Lucy's heart might not skip a beat everytime she looks at the short haired woman and her stomach might feel weirdly settled in place, but Skylar is nice and Lucy had a good time. 

After lunch, Skylar walked her home and in any normal situation Lucy would've leaned in. Would've pulled the woman close by the small of her back and sealed the date with a kiss. Instead, Lucy offered her hand in a pathetic excuse for a handshake and Skylar looked at her like she grew another head. She was kind enough not to comment about it, though.

The rest of Lucy's day goes pretty uneventful. She takes the afternoon to relax and catch up with some of her favorite TV shows. 

Skylar texts her a few times, but Lucy puts her phone on mute.

She feels like shit. The date was ok, she could see herself being friends with Skylar. Friends. 

And like 90% of her problems, it's Kate Whistler's fault. 

Kate is an attractive woman. She might be up Lucy’s ass half of the time, but Lucy isn’t blind. Kate is objectively hot and if this was another life and Kate walked into a bar, Lucy would’ve never missed the opportunity.

Her personality was the problem, or so Lucy thought.

Lucy had this established version of Kate in her head, a stone cold mean blondie who doesn’t smile, doesn’t know the meaning of fun and probably doesn’t even have a life outside the office. However, if this week is teaching her something is that she might not be the best at profiling people. 

“Stop fighting your heart, Lucy.”

Her mom’s words flood her thoughts. Lucy has never allowed herself to feel anything other than loath towards the other woman. But now she wonders if there’s some big ulterior motive as to why.

“Do you really hate me?” 

The horrifying thought that maybe, all this time Kate actually thought that this hating game was just that, a game.

Lucy closes her eyes and tries shaking the messy feelings fighting each other inside of her. Shake the memory of the elevator out of her mind, but knowing what Kate’s hands felt like touching her, even through layers of clothing, is going to be her undoing. 

Afternoon blends into night and for what it feels like the millionth time just this week, Lucy goes to bed with only Kate Whistler in her mind.


Lucy is filling her to-go coffee mug, debating with herself whether she should bring up the elevator incident to Kate or just wait for her to say something, when her intercon rings.

She checks the clock hanging over the kitchen sink and wonders who in the world is at her door at 6:30am. 

"Hello?" She answers. 

"Delivery for Miss Lucy Tara."

"Oh, come on in." 

She opens the doors and sees a 20 something man, holding a bouquet of flowers walking towards her.

Oh shit.

The man hands her the flowers, asks her to sign a document and he's off to his delivery.

There's a card attached to the flowers, ' You’re always beautiful. x'.

Oh God. 

Don’t get her wrong, getting flowers after a date always makes Lucy’s heart go a little bit frantic. Paired with such a cute note, Lucy was supposed to be melting right now. But all she can do is type a quick text to Skylar, thanking her for the flowers while she simultaneously concocts a plan to let her down gently. 

Thank you! 🌹🌹🌹

Skylar replies with a meme with goats and the word ‘psych!’ that Lucy can't understand how it fits into the conversation, but she lets it go. She doesn't have the time to deal with that now. 

Lucy places the flowers in a vase at her dinner table and leaves for work.

She arrives at Pearl Harbor and finds Kate pacing back and forth at the entrance, phone glued to her ears.

"I don't care, I-, oh my God. No!"

Kate's voice is in that clipped tone she uses when Lucy does something to piss her off at work. Whoever is on the other side of the line, Lucy sends them her best regards.

"You know what, I can't deal with this right now." She hangs up with a groan.

"Geez, I thought I was the only one capable of pissing you off like that." Lucy says approaching the blonde, "Should I be jealous?"

Kate’s usual response would be somewhere along the lines of ‘no darling, you’re still my number one’ , then Lucy would pretend not to blush and give her a smartass response that would get Kate to roll her eyes and stomp out of the room.

Instead, when Kate turns to look at Lucy, she is wearing nothing but aloofness to her features. She looks exhausted, her shoulders are slumped and the make up doesn’t quite cover the dark circles under her eyes, nor the healing bruise on her chin from Wednesday's shenanigans. 

“Are you ok?” Stupid question, but she asks anyway.

“Fine.”

“You sure?”

“Leave it alone, alright?” Her voice has a bite to it that Lucy hasn't heard in a while. It makes her take a step back.

Before either of them can say anything else, Agent Slate interrupts them saying the training has started and they better get moving. 

Kate doesn't look at Lucy. She squares her shoulders, clasps her hands and walks away without another word.

***

The day flies by.

They had another complex team activity. This time however, it’s NCIS vs FBI, which means NCIS getting a case and FBI trying to steal their investigation, as usual.

Kate and Lucy almost bite each other’s head off, but something feels different this time, almost fun? She doesn’t know what to do with this information.

It turns out that at the end of the day, they only managed to solve the case when both parties realized that the other team had information they needed and if they wanted to finish this and go home, they had to work together. 

“We learned something new today, uh.” Tennant jokes when she arrives at the room with Agent Curtis at her heels. Every agent in the room just grumbles to themselves.

Tennant then proceeds to announce that the NCIS and FBI will be organizing a team building activity outside the headquarters on Monday and they now are taking suggestions. They want something fun where everyone can relax and get to know each other a bit more.

When no one suggests anything, Lucy raises her hands and offers bowling as an option. There’s this bowling alley downtown she always wanted to go to that offers thematic Saturdays and this one is going to be Rock ‘n Bowl. There are a few appreciative comments, Tennant thanks her for the suggestion and says she would love to go bowling with them. 

Garcia then lifts their hand and suggests an Escape Room activity. There are some excited  ooh aahs in the room.

Kate is the third to raise her hand and considering that she has been sporting a frown ever since Tennant said the words team building activity, Lucy is quite surprised by the development. She offers the beach as an alternative, and says they could all bring some food, play some beach volley and those who surf can catch a few waves together.

“Fresh air could do some good.” She adds.

If she is being honest, Lucy thinks it’s a stupid idea. The beach, seriously? Don’t we all live on an island? There’s a tropical beach at every corner. The rest of the agents however, seem to think it’s a fantastic idea.

“Alright, ok. I hear you.” Tennant says with a chuckle, “The beach it is.”

Kai notices the disgruntled look on Lucy’s face and pats her back.

“Don’t be a sore loser, Luce.”

“I am not! The beach is just a stupid option.”

“Oh c’mon. It will be fun,” Except it will not, because Lucy hates water, the beach and everything related to it. But Kai continues excitedly, “Besides, I’m sure Kate would love to teach you how to surf.”

Lucy’s brain short circuits. Kate surfs? 

But wait a minute.

“How do you know she can surf?”

“What?”

“You said she can teach me how to surf. How do you know she surfs?”

Kai opens and closes his mouth like a fish, but doesn’t say anything.

“It’s a simple question, Kai.”

“Ok fine, we met at the beach one day and I don’t know, we just started hanging out.”

“Just started hanging out?” She mimics Kai’s voice.

Jesse, who is watching this entire interaction like it’s a tennis match, adds, “They are just friends, Lucy.” 

“You knew about this?” 

Now it’s Jesse’s turn to gawk at her.

“Ok, listen,” Kai starts, “I’m sorry I didn’t tell you, ok? I know that you two like to play this hating game, but she’s actually a pretty cool person and even entertained my dad when he started telling fishing stories.”

Lucy’s brain doesn’t know if it overheats with the thought of Kate in a bikini, surfing or if it crashes at the thought of Kate knowing Kai’s father. 

“I’m sorry. This is just too much for me to take in right now. I’m gonna take a walk.”

And because God has a sense of humor, she bumps into Kate in the hallway. 

This time it’s Kate who reaches for Lucy’s arms for balance and Lucy wonders if Kate is thinking the same thing she thought when it was her hands on Kate’s arm the other day. Lucy doesn’t have much time to dwell on the thought, because Kate pulls her hands away like she’s been burned. 

It feels a little like a kick to the gut. 

“Sorry.”

“You don’t have to apologize.”

“For this morning.” Kate’s voice is weak and Lucy is surprised yet again by another side of Kate she had no idea it existed. “I had a bad phone call, didn’t mean to lash out on you.”

“I’m sorry, I got hit on the head the other day. Did I just hear Kate Whistler apologize for lashing out on me?”

Kate rolls her eyes, but the corners of her lips tug upwards and Lucy is going to consider that a win. “It’s hard for me to be–”

“Human?” Lucy meant it as a joke, but it comes out more like an accusation and Kate visibly shrinks. Well done, Lucy. “I didn’t mean it like that.”

Kate just nods. 

“Have a nice night, Agent Tara.”

Before Lucy can utter another word, the blond walks by her, disappearing at the first corner. Lucy groans. 


Monday comes sooner than Lucy would've liked and to make things better she wakes up with a crushing headache. Part of her wanted to call Tennant and say she wasn’t feeling very well, which wouldn’t be a lie, but when her eyes open, they land on the small two piece swimsuit she spent hours searching for last night and that’s all the boost she needs to get out of bed.

It’s a simple bikini, it’s in a nice dark shade of salmon that compliments her skin beautifully and it’s a bit smaller than the old one Lucy has shoved somewhere in the back of her closet. If she is being forced to spend her day at the beach, she might as well use it for her advantage.

Kate’s been acting weird.

By weird, she means communicating with short, preferably monosyllabic answers, not biting any of Lucy’s bait and not quite meeting Lucy’s eyes. Everytime their arms or hands brushed, Kate shrinked like she touched a livewire. 

It’s confusing and frustrating and Lucy is just trying to get to the bottom of her feelings for the woman without completely spiraling. 

It was never like this. I mean, was Kate cold, distant and annoying? Sure. But she was also outspoken, charming and confident. She never shied away from any confrontation. Lucy missed the innocuous arguments, the playful banter and occasional flirting remarks. 

Lucy misses her Kate and she wants her back. 

God, what has this week done to her?

Lucy adds a jeans short and a half opened aloha shirt to her outfit, picks up her pre-made beach bag and leaves the door.

It doesn’t take long for Lucy to find where they are staying. There’s a volley match already happening and everyone present is cheering and screaming.

She feels a little out of breath, which is odd considering that she lives 10 minutes away from this area of the beach. She brushes it off, blaming the heat. 

"Lucy!" Jesse greets, opening his arms for a hug, which Lucy veers from.

“You are wet. Get away from me.” Jesse laughs and Lucy moves past him to greet Heather who is adoringly rolling her eyes at her husband.

Lucy asks her how she’s doing, how are the kids, are they here, did Jake bring his pokemon cards with him? 

After a couple of minutes of conversation, she moves to join Tennant under one of the beach umbrellas. She takes off her shorts and shirt and drops into one of the free chairs, grateful to have something to support her weight.

"Are you ok?" Tennant asks, "You're looking a little pale."

"I'm fine. Just a headache.” Lucy answers.  

They make some small talk but Lucy’s eyes keep roaming the beach, looking for a very specific someone. 

Jesse, always the attentive big brother, notices and points to the ocean with his chin.

“Has been in there with Kai since 6am.” Jesse comments, “I caught three waves and I’m exhausted, no idea how they can do this for hours.”

Lucy tries to find Kate in the big blue monster, but they are as far away from the water as possible, which Lucy’s logical side is thankful for, the lesbian one, on the other hand, is whining like a spoiled baby. 

There’s no need for drama, however. Kai and Kate walk out of the water a few minutes later and Lucy doesn’t miss the wink Kai throws at Kate, nor the appreciative smile playing on Kate’s lips.

But as soon as Lucy’s eyes wander to Kate’s body, she feels herself choking on her soda. Her brain loses all higher cognitive functions and all it can muster is fuck fuck fuck shit fuck fuck .

Kate is wearing a black bikini and though it’s not as little as Lucy’s, it still doesn’t leave much to imagination. 

She can hear Jesse chortling behind her and it doesn’t take long for Heather, Tennant and Kai to join him. Lucy hates all of them.

"Lucy!" Kate exclaims freezing in place like she forgot Lucy was supposed to come, "You're here."

“Hi. Yeah. Weird.” She gives Kate a little wave, then looks at her hands wondering what the fuck was that.

When her eyes move back to Kate, she notices the woman checking her out. Oh right, I’m also in a bikini that I bought for this exact purpose. Lucy feels dizzy all of the sudden.

Kate’s eyes linger on Lucy’s abs and there’s the tiniest flicker of her tongue wetting her lips that makes Lucy want to turn into a puddle. But as soon as she realizes Lucy’s watching her, she adverts her eyes to the sand.

"You, uh, you?" Kate breaks the silence, pointing to her surfboard.

Lucy can’t help but notice that Kate’s eyes still aren’t meeting hers. 

"Oh no. Thank you." She is not sure who she is thanking. God? Does she even believe in God? She can't remember.

Kate lays her board on the sand next to Lucy’s chair and sits on top of it. The motion seems so surfy to Lucy that she almost dissolves in giggles. Thankfully, she still has some control over her body.

They all engage in a conversation, talking superficially about nothing and everything. But when the topic switches to football, everyone gets a little heated. By everyone, Lucy means she and Kate, obviously.

“Oh you did not just say the Cowboys suck to my face.”

"They just lost their second game in a row and now against the Giants? I mean, c'mon." 

"They are having a bad week!”

"Didn't know you were a cowboy." And for the first time in the past few days, Kate looks Lucy in the eye. Lucy’s breath gets caught on her throat and all she can do is nod.  "Eh, nobody is perfect."

Lucy is pretty sure Kate didn’t mean for her to hear this last part and that thought alone makes Lucy go red. 

When she regains her speech ability, she asks Kate, "What is your team then, oh mighty Whistler."

"That is not the point, we are talking about the Cowboys."

"Deflection doesn't look good on you, darling." 

The pet name comes out by accident, but the way Kate flushes and flumbles with her words, it's worth some extra teasing from Jesse and Kai. 

When Kate doesn’t give her an answer, she presses again, "Still didn't tell me your team." 

"Why do you want to know?"

"You just said the Cowboys suck. Those actual words came out of your mouth just now, so I might as well know which team has Kate Whistler's heart."

“You just want to take the piss out of me.”

“Well, obviously.”

Good to know that their staring contest didn’t get rusted.

Kai begins to hum the Winnie the Pooh theme song and Kate smacks his arm, giving him her best ' I'm gonna drown you' eyes. It takes a few seconds for the penny to drop, when it does Lucy almost falls into the sand while doubling over with laughter. 

"Oh my god!" Lucy wipes her tears, "Are you a Chicago Bears? I cannot believe you just sat there saying shit about the Cowboys. Oh, you have some guts.”

Kate clenches her jaw, "I was just stating a fact."

Lucy doesn't answer, just bursts out laughing again. Once she finally recovers, she looks at Kate who doesn't seem to be as pissed to be mocked as Lucy would've guessed. She even looks pleased?

Eventually Kate gets up to put on a shirt, much to Lucy’s chagrin, and points to the impromptu volleyball court with her head.

“Wanna play?”

Lucy really doesn’t feel like playing, her muscles feel like jelly and her head is starting to throb again, but she nods either way and follows Kate. Unlike the other woman, she doesn’t bother with a shirt.

Kai and Garcia join Kate’s team, Jesse and Walker join hers. 

Kate is unsurprisingly good at volley. Her height gives her an unfair advantage as she lifts her arms easily to catch Lucy’s serve.

The other team scores and Lucy mumbles, “How are you good at everything?”

After Kate’s team scores two more points, Lucy asks for time. Dark spots are beginning to cover her vision and the headache is almost unbearable now.

She starts to walk towards her bag, intending to take some more pills, but her wobbly legs give out two steps in. The moment she hits the sand, Lucy is acutely aware that her whole body is in pain.

She feels two hands on her arms, holding her steady and asking what's wrong. Lucy shakes her head, she is ok. Everything is fine.

"Fuck, you're burning up." Lucy's brain focuses on Kate's face.

"Wow, you are so beautiful." It's all Lucy says before throwing up all over Kate's shirt.

***

"I'm alright." Lucy says, opening her front door. "Seriously, you don't need to do this."

"I know. I'm offering to." Kate answers walking into the apartment and closing the door behind her. "Besides I promised Tennant I was gonna keep an eye on you." 

“So you’re not pissed?”

“That you threw up? Why would I be pissed?”

“Because it was on you?”

Kate chuckles, “I’ve been thrown up on before.”

“It is kinda gross though.”

“I volunteered at a hospital once. Vomit doesn’t affect me anymore.”

“You volunteered at a hospital?” Lucy asks, too tired to try to keep the shock out of her voice. 

Kate just shrugged her shoulders like it’s no big deal and ventures into Lucy’s apartment.

Her eyes land on the flower vase on top of the dinner table and linger there for a second, and Lucy’s pretty sure she sees Kate’s lips turning upwards. It must be the headache playing tricks on her.

Kate moves on to Lucy’s pokemon collection, she picks up Raichu. For the first time, it doesn’t bother her that someone is grabbing her collection. 

“So,” Kate begins, pointing Raichu at her, “you evolve your Pikachu?”

Lucy stares at Kate with wide eyes and mouth agape.

“What?”

“You know Pokemon.”

“Is that a question or a statement?” Kate asks, placing Raichu back on his spot at the shelf. “Oh my God, you have an Arceus.”

Yup, Kate just became 10 times more attractive. 

Before Lucy is capable of raving about Pokemon with the other woman, her stomach gurgles and she has to run to the bathroom. 

Kate is right behind her and doesn't hesitate crouching on the floor to hold Lucy's hair.

"Fuck my life." Lucy says after emptying the remaining contents of her stomach. 

The smaller woman sits back on the floor and drops her weight on Kate, too tired to feel bad about it. Kate doesn't flinch, she just positions herself so Lucy can rest more comfortably in her chest. 

She doesn't know how long they stay like that, but at some point she must've fallen asleep because when she opens her eyes again, she is tucked into her bed with a glass of water and some pills over her bedside table.

“Hey, you’re up!” Kate walks into her bedroom with a taller man shadowing her. “This is Noah, he’s a doctor.”

"Hey Lucy." His voice is kind and so is his smile.

“You are her brother.” Lucy states the obvious. He looks exactly like Kate. 

“Good observation skills. Ever considered becoming a detective?”

Lucy laughs.

“I like him more than I like you.” She jokes looking at Kate. The woman laughs, but it sounds forced.

“Yeah, you and everybody.” Noah rolls his eyes in good nature.

"Can I sit to take a closer look at you?" He asks, pointing to the bed and Lucy nods.

He gives her a full appointment, apparently she caught this new bug that’s been going around, but it’s nothing major. It will probably go away in a couple of days. He writes her a prescription and tells her to call him if she feels anything else. 

“You know, Lucy, I heard a lot about you.” Noah says while gathering his things.

"All horrible things, I'm sure." She answers, making both siblings laugh.

Noah shakes his head. “You are good for her.”

“Ok.” Kate interrupts, grabbing him by the shoulders. “Time for you to go.”

“She’s even cracking a smile every once in a while.” Says Noah, unfazed by Kate’s attempts to push him out of the door.  “Especially when she is complaining about you.”

“Don’t you have a shift to go to?”

Lucy can’t help but laugh at their antics, adding another side of Kate to her endless list of this week's discoveries.

She doesn’t know if the flutter in her stomach is because of the little piece of information Noah just gave her or because she is going to get sick again. 

Kate succeeds at pushing Noah out of the door and the man screams from the hallway wishing Lucy sweet dreams. 

“Thanks a lot.”

Kate says and Lucy can hear Noah laughing.

“You’re welcome, sis.”

There’s a rattling of keys and the noise of the front door opening.

“Are these the flowers you got her?”

Lucy’s heart stops for half a second. Certainly, Noah cannot be talking about–

“Yeah.”

“Romantic.”

“Shut up.”

Kate Whistler sent her flowers. Kate Whistler sent her romantic flowers. Kate Whistler sent her romantic flowers and a romantic note.

It’s a delayed reaction, but Lucy melts.

“Hey, about next weekend,”

The sudden change of subject brings Lucy back to reality.

“Noah, please, don’t.”

"About next weekend, why don't you ask Lucy to go with you?"

"No."

“Why not?”

There's no answer, at least none that Lucy can hear.

"I'm sorry I invited them."

"Don't. They are your parents." Lucy doesn't miss the way Kate phrases this, and neither does Noah. 

"Kate,"

"Noah, it's ok. Really." There’s silence for a while. “You are going to be late.”

Lucy hears the door shut and Kate's footsteps coming back to the bedroom.

Not wanting to get caught eavesdropping, Lucy turns her back to the door and closes her eyes. 

She feels the bed sink slightly with Kate’s added weight and shortly after, Kate’s fingers are threading gently on her hair.

Lucy loses herself in the sensation and lets sleep take over her body. 


It’s morning when Lucy wakes up again. Her eyes struggle to focus, her brain still a bit froggy from yesterday’s medication.

She gets up slowly, her muscles feel worse now than when she beat up the couple earlier this week. Her first stop is the bathroom, her mouth feels like sandpaper, and she desperately needs a shower.

Her legs are still struggling to hold her full weight, so she makes sure not to take too long at it. 

When she is all done, she tiptoes to the kitchen and is surprised to find Kate still in her apartment. The taller woman has her back to Lucy, and it's doing some dishes. She is wearing Lucy's old Jonas Brothers' concert shirt and some sweatpants that look a little too short on her. 

"Good to see you raided my closet." 

"Jesus, Lucy!" Kate yelps, almost breaking a plate. Lucy chuckles and perches herself on the table. "How are you feeling?"

“Like shit, but better than yesterday.”

"Mm, I got you the pills Noah prescribed, they are on the shelf over there along with the timetable you are supposed to take them." Kate finishes up with the dishes and moves on to cleaning the counter.

“Oh,” Lucy is taken aback by Kate’s action “thank you.”

Lucy sits there for a while, just admiring the woman in front of her. She truly shouldn’t get surprised anymore about how different Kate is from what she originally imagined. And yet.

"Staring is still creepy, Tara."

"Did you clean my apartment?" Lucy deflects.

"Yea." Kate says. "Not that it was dirty, I just needed something to do with my hands."

Jumping off from the desk, Lucy loses her balance for a second and Kate's beside her in a nanosecond.

"You should still be in bed." Kate scolds her, but her face is soft. 

"It’s 8:15, and besides I’ve been sleeping for the past 16 hours or so.” It’s only when she tells Kate the time that it downs on her. “Fuck. It’s 8:15, Kate!”

“Ah ah,” Kate pulls Lucy by the shirt when she begins running to her bedroom to get ready for work. “You are not going anywhere.”

“We have the training!” Lucy exclaims, shaking her body in an useless attempt to free herself from Kate’s grip.

"I called Tennant and she gave you today and tomorrow off.” Kate explains, finally releasing her grip on Lucy’s shirt.

“What? But I’m gonna miss so much.” Lucy pouts.

“You can barely stand, Lucy.” Kate argues, “Besides, there will be other trainings.”

“But I wanted this one!” Lucy is fully aware that she is sounding like a spoiled 5-year-old, but she is sick, so give her a break. “Besides, I know I’m so close to winning!”

“You are certainly a solid second place.” Kate teases.

Lucy rolls her eyes, “Why aren’t you there, by the way?”

“I was just waiting for you to wake up.”

“Why?”

“To make sure you weren’t going to drown in your own vomit.”

“Jesus, woman!” Lucy shakes her head and tries to ignore the images that comment conjured up. “Morbid much?”

“I’ve seen it happen.”

“Oh yeah? From your time volunteering in a hospital?” Lucy teases, but there’s a hint of curiosity in her voice. “Did you volunteer because of your brother?”

“Something like that.”

“Something like that? C’mon you gotta give me more than that.” Lucy bats her eyelashes, aiming at Kate’s soft spot.

“I went to med school.” Lucy feels her jaw hit the floor.

“I’m sorry, what?”

“I come from a family where everyone is a doctor or expected to be one, so yeah. I was two years in before I switched to criminology.”

“Why did you?” 

“I don’t like hospitals.” Kate offers, but sounds more like a question. “And I never liked medicine. Don’t get me wrong, it’s one of the most noble professions, but I just- I don’t like it. It’s not for me.”

Lucy nods, she understands completely. If it was up to her parents, she would be running a company and just the thought of it makes her gag.

“The closest I wanna get to a hospital is if Lauren Bloom shows up at my doorsteps.”

Lucy gaps, firstly because same and secondly, “Oh, I see I have some competition.”

“Competition?” Kate asks, “Know your place, babe.”

Lucy whistles lowly, “Is that how it’s gonna be Whistler? Alright.”

Kate laughs and the familiarity of it does something to Lucy’s insides. 

“What’s happening this weekend?” Lucy asks even though she knows it’s not a good idea. Kate freezes.

“How do you–”

“I overheard you and Noah last night.” Lucy admits, “Didn’t mean to. Sorry.”

Kate is silent for a very long time, pondering if she should tell Lucy or not. The shorter woman can see the gears turning on the blonde’s head.

“Noah’s wedding.” She finally says.

“Oh, I love weddings!” Lucy exclaims, “Can I come?”

The question comes out before Lucy can fully process what she just said. Before she is able to backtrack, Kate replies, “I don’t think that’s a good idea.”

“Yeah. No, you’re right.” Lucy agrees, nodding vehemently. But her heart breaks a little.

“Sorry, Lucy. It’s just–”

“No. I get it. It’s fine, really.” Lucy says. “I didn’t mean to ask.”

The air gets heavy and awkward and Lucy's stomach rumbles and she doesn’t know if she wants to throw up or inhale 5 pancakes.

“Thank you.” Lucy breaks the silence at last. Kate’s confused look prompts her to explain, “For the flowers. They are beautiful.”

“Oh.” Kate looks down, but Lucy catches the faint blush on the woman’s cheek. “You’re welcome.”

Kate looks up and they stare at each other for a few minutes until Kate excuses herself to go change.

After Kate leaves for work, with a short and quick goodbye, Lucy drops herself on the couch and calls her mom. 

“I think you were right.” It’s the first thing she says when her mom picks up.

“I usually am.” Her mom answers matter-of-factly, “But about what?”

Lucy spills the beans. She tells her everything from the last conversation they have until the events of this morning. Doesn’t hide the confused feelings she’s been dealing with, Kate’s hot and cold attitude towards her and also this stupid bug that is making mope around the house with a stomachache and headache that don’t go away. 

Her mom listens to it, asking a few questions here and there.

“I don’t know what to do.”

“Be honest with her.” Her mom asks like it is the most simple thing in the universe.

“Are you crazy? I cannot be honest with her!” Lucy exclaims, sitting up too fast and letting out a whine when everything spins. “What if she thinks I’m weird and she doesn’t like me back?”

“Are you 17?” Lucy can always count on her mom to pull the rug under her feet. “Rejection sucks, but living in this constant stage of not knowing sucks even worse. Especially when you are aware that you might be missing out on something incredible.”

Lucy grunts stuffing a pillow into her face.

“Besides, there’s no way she doesn’t like you back.” Her mom adds, “You’re pretty great.”

“I am.” Lucy answers and they both laugh. She is really really thankful for her mom. “Thanks, mom.” 

“Anytime kiddo.”


Lucy feels a lot better today. Not at her 100 yet, but getting there. Her day is spent binge watching Hacks on HBO and concocting a plan on how to talk about her feelings for Kate with Kate. Ugh

It’s 6pm when the doorbell rings. Lucy grabs her wallet and walks to the door.

“Oh, you are not my tacos.” Kate Whistler stands on the other side of the door, worrying her bottom lip with her teeth.

“Sorry.”

“It’s alright, it’s probably on the way already.”

“No. Not about the tacos.” Kate says, “About yesterday?”

“Are you asking me?”

“Can I come in?”

Lucy nods and steps aside.

Kate walks towards the couch and sits, her posture giving away her nervousness. Lucy walks slowly and sits beside Kate, not doing any sudden moves so as not to scare Kate away. 

“I’m sorry.” Kate tries again, this time she looks Lucy in the eye while saying it. “About the elevator, about yesterday, I–”

Ooh shit, we are doing this.

“What about it?” Lucy’s voice weaver.

“I don’t know why I did that.” Something inside of Lucy breaks. “I’m not good with people or feelings, but I thought I-, I thought we-”

Kate takes a deep breath.

“I never meant to make you feel uncomfortable.”

“Wait. What?”

“At the elevator.”

She probably notices Lucy’s puzzled look, because she continues.

“The little cat and mouse game we play. At first I swore to God you actually hated me, which I can’t blame you honestly, so I kept my distance. But then, Kai and I became friends and he started saying some shit that led me to believe that you might kinda like me back, or at least be attracted to me. So I started trying to flirt every now and then to see how you’d respond and you started doing the same. I got my hopes up, I guess, but I still didn’t know how to talk to you. When the training started I saw a chance and I took it, but that day I- I shouldn’t have done what I did. I shouldn’t have pushed my feelings onto you like that, shouldn’t have pushed you to reciprocate. I knew you had a date with someone else and I still- I’m sorry Lucy. Really.”

Lucy is speechless. Millions of thoughts are running through her mind, every piece of the puzzle was beginning to fit together, all the hot and cold attitudes Kate displayed clicking effortlessly now that Lucy had the whole context.

Kate apparently takes Lucy’s silence as something bad, her hands fall limp beside her body and she makes no motion of getting up, but Lucy knows she wants to if the stiffness of her body is anything to go by.

“To be fair, I did hate you.” Lucy speaks after a few more moments in silence. 

Kate nods sadly and begins to rise from the couch, but Lucy holds her by the wrists. 

“Or at least I thought I did. You are a pain in my ass and you drive me crazy most of the time.” Lucy continues, but Kate isn’t looking at her. Her eyes are fixed on the opposite wall, her jaw is clenched and her hands are shaking slightly on her lap. “I had this preconceived notion of who you were based solely on how you acted at work.”

Kate is so still beside her that Lucy begins to worry if the woman is still breathing. 

“Don’t get me wrong, you’re still very annoying, but I know you’re just doing your job, but I shouldn’t base the entirety of you in this one small part.” Lucy’s hand reaches out for Kate’s and when the woman doesn’t pull away, Lucy keeps going. “Working with you this past week, made me realize a few things, one of them being that you, Kate Whistler, are so much more than I could’ve ever imagined.”

Kate finally looks at her and Lucy almost breaks when she notices the tears begging to fall from her eyes.

“I mean, I threw up on you and you still took care of me.” That makes Kate’s lips tug upwards. Progress. “You also had my back at that fight in Waimea Falls, even though I spent the entire drive throwing in your face that I was right about the location.”

“Yeah, that took some divine intervention.” Kate mumbles and Lucy laughs. 

“You were also fenomenal in that case. Made me realize the Tin Man does have a heart after all.” That earns Lucy a well deserved eye roll. “You’re also pretty funny when you want to be and who would’ve seen that coming, uh?”

A tear falls from Kate’s eye and Lucy wipes it with her thumb. 

“I know that I barely scratched the surface of finding out who Kate Whistler is. But,” Lucy shifts her position on the couch, angling her body so it’s fully facing Kate’s. “If she gives me a chance, I would very much like to get to know her better.”

Kate looks at her, really looks at her.

“What about Skylar?”

“Who? Oh, oh, yes, she. Yes, no, it’s done. Don’t worry about it.”

Kate nods, but she still looks like a scared cat one movement away from flying through the door.

“So I didn’t make you uncomfortable?”

“No, and you didn’t force me to do anything. I don’t even know how you jumped into that conclusion.”

“And you don’t hate me anymore?”

“I do not.”

“But,” Kate’s voice breaks, “do you like me?”

“I really do.”

She doesn’t wait for Kate to make the first move, unsure if the woman would even dare such a thing. In a second, her lips are on Kate’s.

It takes a few seconds for Kate to react, but when she does, her hands find Lucy's hair and she pulls the shorter woman closer. Lucy licks Kate's bottom lips and the blond opens her mouth, welcoming Lucy's tongue. 

The kiss is everything Lucy’s imagined it would be and yet, it’s completely different. She can feel it everywhere on her body. Her hands roam free on Kate's arms leaving goosebumps at its wake.

Kate tastes like chocolate and mint and Lucy loses herself to the feel of it.

A strident sound breaks them apart and Lucy curses under her breath. 

“Your tacos?” Kate asks, liking her lips and making Lucy’s head spin even more. 

“My fucking tacos.” She runs to the door, pays for the tacos, throws them on the counter and runs back to the couch. “I’m sorry, where were we?”

Kate giggles and pulls Lucy into her lap.

“Lucy?” Kate asks, breaking a kiss. The brunette just hums, lips already chasing Kate’s again. “Mm, do you, mm, want to go, mm, to Noah’s, mm, wedding with me?”

“Are you sure?” Lucy asks, putting some distance between their faces so she can look into Kate’s eyes for any sign of doubt. She doesn’t find any.

“Yeah.”

“I’d love to."

They smile at each other before kissing again.


Thursday arrives and she is officially feeling 100% like herself again. 

She walks into Pearl Harbor with a smile on her face and a skip to her step.

“Hey!” Kate appears behind her and Lucy almost has a heart attack.

“We really need to stop sneaking up on each other.”

Kate laughs and Kai chooses that moment to walk into the room. He eyes them suspiciously, but doesn't comment. 

“How are you feeling?” Kate asks, hand brushing the small of Lucy’s back.

“Pretty good, actually.” Kate hums and gives her a knowing smile.

They take a seat next to each other and Agent Curtis begins the training. 

“Good to see you back on your feet, Agent Tara.” Lucy smiles kindly at him. “Alright, today is the last day of training and I know you are all so devastated about it.”

The agents laugh and cheer.

“So let’s get into it so I don’t have to see your faces again until Monday.” 

It’s FBI vs. NCIS once again, but this time there’s no interaction between the teams. They each have to come up with a plan of action in case of a building lockdown in the presence of an active shooter.

Lucy is happily surprised to notice that all the kisses and make out sessions last night didn’t change her and Kate’s work dynamic. 

The NCIS cuts corners and, some people may say, cheat and use a premade model that Agent Fontes has sketched from a previous training and the barking starts.

The FBI accuses them of cheating and demands that they get immediately disqualified. The NCIS retorts by saying that Curtis never mentioned any rules against using old materials.

Curtis is forced to side with the NCIS.

“You can’t play fair once in your life, can you?” Kate grunts, falling into the chair beside Lucy. 

“Aw, the big bad feds don't know how to lose.” Lucy mocks, Kai and Jesse laugh besides her. 

“You are the ones who don’t know how to play.”

“Oh, I’m sorry, did you miss the part where we beat your asses? How is that not knowing how to play?”

“Because this is what you always do! You cut corners and don’t give a shit about consequences. The day one of you gets hurt, don’t come crying to my office begging for help.”

“But babe, you’d be so good patching us up.”

“I hate you.” She says, but the smile cracking up on her lips tells Lucy otherwise. 

“I know you do.”

“You know,” Jesse says, “You two are very weird people.”

***

After lunch, Curtis and Tennant gather everyone around to announce the winners.

Lucy is brooding in the corner, complaining to Jesse how unfair it is that she needed to step out for three days. He pats her back and tells her that she doesn’t need to prove anything to anyone and while that warms her heart, it does nothing for her competitive streak. She really wanted to win.

In the group category NCIS won with a difference of 60 points. That makes Lucy feel a little better.

“Alright, now for the individual leaderboard,” Tennant introduces, “Congratulations Agent Nguyen.”

Lucy feels her chin hit the floor. She wasn’t counting on her win, but she was counting on Kate’s. 

She looks over to the woman beside her and she would seem peaceful if not for the clench of her jaw.

Nguyen gets up to pick up his voucher and everyone gives him a round of applause. 

“I did not see that coming.” Lucy comments when everyone stops cheering. 

“It’s your fault, you know.” Kate says between her teeth.

“What? How?”

“You got sick!”

“Yeah. Me. Not you.”

“Well, I got worried!” 

Lucy doesn’t answer right away, taking a minute to stare astonished at Kate. 

“What are you saying?”

“I’m saying that my brain couldn’t focus properly these last few days because it was too busy worrying if you were ok.”

Lucy wants to make a snarky comment. It was a bug that left her feverish, tired and with her stomach a little too sensitive, it was hardly malaria. But Kate huffs and crosses her arms, slumping further into the chair and Lucy is in way too deep to do anything other than melt.

***

Lucy goes home to pack. Noah’s wedding is happening in Lanai and Kate got them both tickets for a flight later tonight.

She feels giggly with anticipation, she wasn’t lying when she told Kate she loved weddings and the prospect of spending the whole weekend in a hotel room with Kate was a very very nice bonus. 

Once she packed all the essentials, she sent Kate a quick text saying she is good to go and Kate is at her doorstep in 30 minutes.

“Hi.” Kate smiles at her.

“Hi yourself.”

They arrive at the airport with an hour to spare, so they decide to eat a little something. While they wait they play twenty questions and Lucy is so delighted with a few answers that her cheeks are hurting because of all the smiling.

“So wait a minute, are you telling me that Scream became your favorite movie because Noah used to run around the house with a ghostface mask to scare you and you decided to watch it by yourself at 9 years old until you weren’t scared anymore?”

Kate nods, “It made sense in my 9 year old head. And it worked, I ended up loving it.”

They laugh and talk all the way to Lanai, only stopping to trade a few kisses here and there. Every little information Lucy gathers about Kate makes her heart go pitter patter. She feels so happy right now that she is suddenly terrified that something will happen and burst her bubble.

The hotel they are staying in has a rustic vibe that vaguely reminds Lucy of Dallas. God, she can’t wait to take Kate to Dallas. Her mom is going to be insufferable, but she is gonna love Kate.

Their room is spacious and Lucy’s mind goes to several different places when she sees that they have a king size bed.

“Mind of the gutter, Tara.” Kate whispers in her ears, her arms hugging Lucy from behind.

Lucy turns to face Kate, a seductive smile playing on her lips.

“I have no idea what you are talking about.” 

Kate leans down to kiss her, but before either of them can deepen the kiss, someone knocks on their door.

“I swear to God, next time someone interrupts us I will be using my gun.” Lucy says, making Kate laugh.

“Sis!” Lucy hears Noah exclaim at the door. “Why didn’t you tell me you were here yet? I had to find out by the receptionist.”

He ventures into the room, despite Kate’s protests that she is busy and stops at his tracks when he spots Lucy sitting at the bed. She waves at him.

“Hi Noah.”

His mouth forms the perfect O shape before morphing into the biggest grin Lucy has ever seen. 

“Lucy!” He turns his gaze to Kate, who arches an eyebrow at him, daring him to say something. “Very busy indeed. I’m gonna go.”

And he does.

When the door closes behind him, both women dissolve into laughter.

“Kinda takes me back to when my brother walked in on me and Francis Santiago making out in my room with no shirts on when I was 17.”

Kate snorts, “We are hardly teenagers nor do we have our shirts off.”

“Not yet.” Lucy says, pulling Kate into her lap. “Did Noah ever catch you in the act?”

“Oh no, I never brought anyone home.”

Lucy lets the implications of what Kate just said sink in.

“My sorority sister on the other hand…” Kate adds and it’s Lucy’s turn to snort out a laugh. 

“God, I still can’t believe I’m into a sorority girl.”

“You’re into me?” Kate asks, a mischievous smile on her lips. 

Lucy’s response is pulling her in for a kiss. It’s desperate and hot and messy and it makes her head spin. 

Lucy realized pretty early on that kissing Kate Whistler was addictive.

“Oh my God.” Kate pants, breaking the kiss.

"What?"

"The noise you just made." She says, before diving in tongue first into another kiss.

Lucy breaks the kiss moments later, and her mouth begins to trail hot wet kisses on Kate’s throat and collarbones.

“L-Lucy.” She doesn’t need to say anything else.

Lucy grabs Kate’s thighs and lifts them both out of bed. Kate accommodates her legs around Lucy's torso and looks down at the brunette with an astonishing look on her face.

"What? I work out."

"But you are just so tiny."

"I will drop you." Lucy threatens, but Kate just wraps her arms tighter around Lucy's neck and plants a kiss to her lips.

Lucy spins them around and drops Kate carefully on the bed. Kate giggles and Lucy is not sure how she can be so sexy and endearing at the same time, it's disturbing. 

Kate’s giggles die when Lucy places herself on top of her, a knee on each side of Kate’s hips. She takes a moment to admire the view. The pristine and stoic Kate Whistler Lucy's used to, looks quite honestly like a mess. Her lips are swollen and red, strands of hair are sticking out of her ponytail in every direction, her button up shirt is untucked from her pants and half unbuttoned. She looks like a fucking masterpiece.

They take turns undressing each other. Both taking their time to explore the newest discovered skin with hands and mouths. 

Lucy takes off Kate's bra and once again takes a moment to appreciate the view and thank however is listening for bringing her to this moment right here. 

She cups Kate’s left breast with her hand and teases the right one with her tongue and teeth, taking her sweet time and giving each breast its deserved attention. 

"L-Lucy." Kate whines.

Lucy guides her fingers down Kate's body, stopping at the rim of her underwear. "Can I?"

"Yeah." 

Lucy slowly pulls the lacy underwear (because of course she came prepared) down Kate's insanely long legs, making a trail of kisses as she goes.

With the last piece of clothing out of her way, Lucy doesn't waste anymore time and gently and slowly opens Kate's legs.

"If I go into cardiac arrest, you could save me, right?" Lucy asks, because Jesus fucking Christ and all of his palls on the bible.

Kate starts to laugh. "I could certainly not."

"Eh, what a way to go, though."

Lucy climbs on the bed and positions herself on top of Kate again.

"Hi." She says.

"Hi yourself."

"Are you having fun?"

"So very much. Are you?" Kate asks with a chuckle.

"The time of my life."

When Kate smiles at her, her eyes beaming and nose squinting. Lucy is hit with the realization that she is very much falling in love with Kate Whistler. 

"What do you like?" She asks, changing her focus before she does something embarrassing like starting to cry before even touching the woman.

"Everything? Just start off slow, it's been a while." Kate then proceeds to nod and it's all the reassurance Lucy needs. Her fingers trail down finding Kate's folds and both women moan at the same time. 

"Jesus fuck, Kate." Lucy lets her head fall into Kate's shoulder.

Lucy's fingers move up and down Kate's entrance, her hips buck with every stroke. Lucy allows herself to get lost on Kate, exploring every last corner. Except where Kate wants her the most.

Kate is burning up under her, her chest and neck covered in a delicious blush that Lucy has to kiss and nibble and bite. 

"L-Lucy." Kate pleads and Lucy considers if she should take pity on the woman and just go for it. But she did ask Lucy to go slow and her wish was Lucy's command.

Lucy pulls back her hand and Kate whines.

"What are you doing?"

"Taking it slow."

Lucy moves her mouth to Kate's right breast, she kisses all of it before taking it into her mouth. Her tongue swirls Kate's nipple and Kate's back arches. 

"You are so good." Lucy says, moving her kisses to Kate’s stomach.

She makes sure to leave a mark here and there just because she can, before moving her kisses to Kate's inner thighs. She kisses all the way down to her knees and up again, then moves to the other thigh and repeats the process. Kate has one hand on Lucy's hair and the other grabbing the sheets for dear life, Lucy can feel her squirming. 

She positions herself and looks up at Kate, before she can utter the question Kate is already nodding violently.

The first flicker of her tongue is almost enough to send Lucy over the edge and Kate isn't faring much better. 

Lucy, throughout these last weeks, often wondered if Kate was more of a quiet or loud type in bed and is ecstatic to know that answer is loud.

"Lucy. Fuck. God. Fuck. Shit."

Kate makes the most delicious sounds Lucy has ever heard and vows to herself to never stop conjuring them up. 

Lucy's tongue finally moves to Kate's clit and all it takes is one gently suck to make Kate fall apart on Lucy's mouth. 

Lucy keeps her tongue moving, coaxing, guiding Kate throught her orgams, only stopping when she feels Kate patting her head.

She moves up on the bed and sits on Kate's stomach. She still has her underwear on, but Lucy's sure Kate can feel how soaked she is.

"Hey gorgeous." Lucy says, tucking a strand of hair behind Kate's ears. Kate reaches up to wipe Lucy's chin. "Are you ok?"

"Mhmm, never better." 

Lucy smiles at her and leans down to kiss her. The movement applies friction on Lucy's clit and she moans on Kate's mouth.

Kate perks up with the sound and spins them around effortlessly.

“Why are you still in your underwear?”


Lucy wakes up with the sun creeping in through the blinds. She stretches her arms, stifling a yawn, and finds an empty bed beside her.

The sound of the shower alerts her of Kate's whereabouts and Lucy smiles to herself like she can't quite believe her luck.

Yesterday was the most fun Lucy has had in a very long time.

After staying up until almost 4am exploring each other's bodies, they had a late morning and ended up ordering room service. They traded stories, had sex, watched a couple of movies, skipped Noah's rehearsal dinner to have more sex – Kate assured her that she’d planned on skipping it anyway. It was a perfect beautiful day. And despite having just opened her eyes, Lucy had a tingling feeling that today was going to be just as good. 

Stretching one last time, Lucy throws the covers on the floor and tiptoes to the bathroom. 

She sneaks behind Kate, who has her back to the door and is humming a melody Lucy doesn't recognize, and wraps her arms around the other woman's middle. To Kate's credit, she doesn't scream. She merely tenses up before relaxing again.

"I'm gonna buy you a bell for Valentine's day."

Lucy laughs, her heart summersaults inside her chest at Kate’s mention of Valentine’s Day, "Good morning to you too."

Kate turns around to face Lucy and plants a quick kiss on her mouth, "Morning." 

Lucy's hand wanders down Kate's back, but the blonde holds Lucy's arms, stopping her from going further south, "You continue that and we are going to be very late."

"I prefer calling it fashionably late."

All Lucy needs to do is arch an eyebrow and bite her lower lip to Kate to give in.

Oh, she is so going to use that next time they butt heads at work. 

***

Surprisingly, they are not late. And considering that the moment they set eyes on each other all dressed up they lost every little sense of control they had left, it's a goddamn miracle they are even here.

Lucy opted for a navy suit with a white button-up shirt and a pair of suspenders, and Kate, by complete accident, matched Lucy with a navy low cut party dress. Lucy's hair was tied back in a half braid and Kate's fell freely on her shoulder.

They arrive at the venue where the wedding is taking place exactly 30 minutes before the wedding begins.

Kate begins to lead her to their seats, but an older woman blocks their path.

"Kate!" she exclaims, clearly surprised to see Kate.

"Laura." Kate answers monotonously. She tries to go past the woman, but Laura, also known as Kate's mother, holds her by the shoulders.

"You look tired." Kate rolls her eyes at the comment. Laura's eyes find Lucy and she examines the NCIS agent up and down. "I'm Laura. You are?"

"Lucy. Kate's—" She stops herself, unsure if she should say anything. Lucy is aware that Kate is out to her parents, and that they don't really care, as long as she finds someone suitable to fit the family. But Lucy is also aware that Laura and Kate have never seen eye to eye. The last thing she wants is to add fuel to the fire.

"Girlfriend." Kate quickly jumps in.

"Oh." It's all her mother says before diving into a conversation about why Kate is wasting her life playing cop. Lucy is a little uncomfortable with the way the woman talks to Kate, reducing her to all of her failures. 

Kate, on the other hand, just stares blankly at her mother. 

Eventually Laura remembers Lucy’s presence and begins asking her a bunch of questions. Where is she from, where did she study, what does she do for a living. The answer to that last question seems to mute Laura's interest in Lucy. She sighs in a disappointing manner only mother's know how and moves on to greet some other, more interesting guests.

"Well, that was something." Lucy mutters.

"Sorry." Kate says. Lucy looks at her and notices that her cheeks are tinted in a light shade of red. 

"Are you ok?"

"Yeah. Fine." Kate says, forcing a smile. "Let's go sit." 

Lucy wants to push, but she learned early on that family topics are a sensitive matter to Kate and she knows better than to poke the bear.

***

The wedding is beautiful.

Lucy gets teary eyed more than once, and when Kate reaches for her hands during the vows, the knot on her throat gets a tiny bit larger. 

Afterwards, Kate and Lucy go talk to Noah. He introduces Lucy to his wife Mindy, who seems to be a lovely woman. Mindy teases Kate for finally getting the girl and Noah joins in the fun until Kate shoves a shrimp dish into his mouth to shut him up. 

The siblings step aside to greet some childhood friends, leaving Lucy and Mindy alone to talk.

"How did you meet Noah?" Lucy asks.

"Through Kate actually." Mindy chuckles in a way that lets Lucy know that there's more to the story, "Kate and I dated for a whole week in the old college days."

"I'm sorry, what?"

"Yeah, we had a mutual friend who set us up. Didn't take long to realize that we'd be way better off as friends, though. Then, one day a few years ago, she decided to set me up with someone. I didn't really want to, I had just broken up a relationship, but Kate begged me to give it a chance and here we are." 

Lucy doesn't know what to say. Mindy chuckles and pats Lucy's shoulder affectionately.

"It’s way less weird than it sounds, I promise.” She adds. “You have a good one there. Don't let her go."

Mindy smiles at her before leaving to mingle with some other guests.

Kate finds Lucy exactly where Mindy left her. She's probably still wearing a shocked expression, 'cause Kate's brows furrow. 

"What's wrong?"

"Nothing. Just speechless over the fact that you were the one who introduced your brother to his wife after dating her for a week."

Kate opens and closes her mouth, then settles for, "Did I forget to mention that?"

That breaks Lucy out of her stupor and she snorts a laugh.

"I'm really glad it didn't work between the two of you, though." 

"Oh, are you?"

"So very glad." Lucy gets on her tiptoes and steals a kiss from the blonde.

The clinks of glasses bring their attention to the center of the venue. Noah is standind beside Mindy with a huge stupid smile on his face. His parents, the ones clinking the glass, announce that it's time for the toast.

Kate asks if she can start and Lucy doesn't miss the eye roll her mother gives her. 

Lucy has seen Kate command a room more times than she can count and even back when she considered Kate her arch nemesis, she was always fascinated by the way the woman moved. She didn't need words to ask for your attention, her posture did the job by itself. All she needs to do is walk into a room and everyone stops and gives her their full attention. It's really impressive and Lucy can only wish to hold such a presence one day. 

She tells everyone the story Lucy just heard, making everyone laugh and cheer. She congratulates the bride and groom, demanding they bring her something from their honeymoon, except a nephew. She is not ready for the responsibility yet, she jokes. 

When she is done, Noah and Mindy tackle her into a hug. 'I love you' s are exchanged and soon Kate is hurrying back to stand beside Lucy. 

Their mother goes next. 

“I always expect a great deal for my son,” Her mother starts, pointing at Noah, “and he’s never disappointed me.”

Lucy feels Kate stiffens beside her, so she curls her pink finger around Kate’s.

“Excelled in med school and became a very fine physician.” She looks at Kate while saying this. Asshole. “It’s been a privilege to watch him grow into the man he is today. A kid a mother can be proud of.”

Lucy’s hands are shaking and if that woman opens her mouth to say another jabbing word, she will throw her champagne glass at her. 

For Laura’s luck, she decides to turn her focus to Mindy and welcome her to the family.

She risks a glance at Kate and disturbingly enough, she seems calm. Her posture is still stiff, but everything else seems to be at ease.

“Are you ok?” Lucy whispers to Kate, who nods in response. “Are you sure?”

“Yeah. I’m used to it.”

“That makes it sadder, though.”

“Does it?” Kate sounds so genuine that Lucy suddenly feels like crying, or punching someone in the face. Or both.

Noah interrupts, calling for his sister, picture time he says. Lucy is glad to notice that he takes her to the other side of the venue, far away from their parents

Lucy takes that moment to wander around. She bumps into a blond woman, that at a quick glance could be mistaken by Kate.

"I'm so sorry." The woman says, putting her phone in the inside pocket of her blazer. She seems to be arriving late to the party. "Hi, I'm Alex."

“Lucy,” she says, accepting the woman's handshake, “Nice to meet you!”

“Alex!” Lucy turns to see Kate approaching. “I didn’t think you would make it.”

Alex hugs Kate, placing a kiss on Kate’s head.

“Lucy, this is my aunt Alex.” Kate says with a smile on face. 

“We’ve met.” Alex says with a sly smile on her face. “This is the Lucy then.”

The Lucy?” 

“Where’s Olivia?” Kate jumps in, trying to switch the focus of the conversation.

“Held up with a case. And yes, the Lucy,” Kate groans and hides her face with her hands. “My beloved niece here has been talking about you for months. Says you make her a better agent by always keeping her on her toes.”

Lucy laughs shyly. It was one thing hearing about Kate’s affection from Noah, another completely hearing from Kate’s Aunt. 

“And we’re leaving.” Kate says, tugging Lucy by the hand.

“But I was just about to show her some of your baby pictures!” Alex screams and Kate flips her off.

“Well, that’s unfair.” Lucy comments, “I want to see the baby pictures.”

“I was very cute and that’s all you need to know.”

The rest of the reception goes surprisingly well. The food is delicious, Kate asks her to dance, they make out in the bathroom until Kate’s grandma walks in and catches them in a very compromising position.

“Just, uh, helping her with her makeup.” Kate offers.

“Is this what the kids are calling these days?” It’s all she says before she walks into a stall and Lucy almost dies of embarrassment while Kate doubles over laughing. 

They sit with Alex, who tells Lucy a bunch of baby stories. Lucy’s favorite being 2-year-old Kate getting her head stuck inside of a pressure cooker and her family needing to call the fire department to get it off of her.

A brown haired girl, Stacy, if Lucy is not mistaken, appears behind Kate and asks Lucy if she can steal Kate really quickly for some pictures.

Lucy uses the alone time to go to the bathroom.

When she comes back, she notices that Kate somehow ended up at a table with both her parents flanking her. She wears a bored, unaffected expression on her face.

“If you ask me it’s a goddamn waste. We gave you a spectacular education and for what?” Paul says, “For you to run around playing cop all day? You are not 10 anymore!" 

She sees Noah, who was hovering around the table, taking a cowering step back and that’s when Lucy takes a step in.

“This little phase needs to end and you need to put your head back in the game." It's Laura's turn to speak. "I'm sure your father could talk to the dean and Harvard would take you back in a heartbeat." 

Kate laughs and shakes her head. That seems to infuriate her parents even more.

"You were such a good kid." Her mother says, forlornly. "When you entered your rebellious phase, I thought kissing girls and dying your hair blue was the further you'd go. But of course you wouldn't be happy with just these small things, you had to go and quit med school. And to what, criminology? I don't know why you insist on hurting us so much."

"Oh my God!" Lucy's mouth utters before her brain can stop her. Suddenly there's a dozen of eyes on her, and you know what, fuck it. "Her life is not about you. Who she chooses to date, her career, the way she uses her hair, or the clothes she wears are not about you."

Laura glares at her but she is not nearly as intimidating as her daughter is. 

"Everything you did since we arrived here was pointing out all the ways Kate is not meeting your standards.  You didn't even ask her how she was." Lucy chuckles in an attempt to ease her anger. "You wanted her to be a doctor? Well, my parents wanted me to run a company. Were they upset when I got into law enforcement? Yeah, but they didn't stop supporting me. They understand that I am not a puppet on their string.

This little talk about Kate being a disappointment because she didn't follow your dreams, doesn't reflect on her capabilities. Only reflects the fact you are a horrible mother who cannot look past her own nose. 

Your daughter is an incredible woman and the best FBI Agent I've ever had the pleasure to butt heads with. And if you can't see that, I am truly deeply sorry for you, because, really, you are the only one missing out on this relationship.”

Lucy takes a deep breath.

Everyone in the venue is looking at her now. Some people whisper things in each other's ears and Lucy has to fight the urge to apologize for the scene. 

She risks a glance at Kate and her heart can’t help but do its little summersault routine when she sees Kate looking at her with teary eyes and an awesomely smile.

Lucy doesn't think twice, she extends her hands in Kate's direction, and once Kate takes it,  she begins to lead her to the exit. 

She notices Noah, nodding and raising his glass towards her with a grateful smile on his lips, that she doesn’t return. Right now, she is mad at Kate's entire family for just standing there while her parents used her as a punching bag.

Kate jolts into a stop the second they get out of sight and pushes Lucy into the nearest wall. She doesn't kiss her, just presses her body against Lucy and looks down at her with an expression that Lucy can't quite figure out.

It reminds her of their elevator moment.

Kate stares at her for a very long time. Her expression turns troubled at one point, then soon morphs into shock which makes her back away from Lucy.

"Are you mad?" Lucy asks, worrying her bottom lip. "Because I'm sorry if I crossed a line. I really am. I know you can handle yourself and don't need saving or someone to speak up for you, I just got so mad with the way she was talking about you."

Kate has her back to Lucy and there's a slight up and down movement on her shoulder that makes Lucy suspect she is crying.

Her heart begins to break into a tiny million pieces, “Kate?”

Kate turns around and there are tears in her eyes, but not from crying. Kate’s laughter is so contagious that even though Lucy has no idea what is going on, she can’t help but laugh along. 

Once their laughter subdues, Kate closes the distance between them.

This kiss doesn't feel like the ones they've shared so far. It feels heavier. Heavier with something Lucy is not quite ready to say out loud yet. 

They break the kiss to get some air and Kate leans down, touching Lucy’s forehead with her own. 

"I don't think anyone ever stood up against my mother like that." She says with a giggle.

"Well, that explains a lot." 

"Thank you." Kate is looking at her like That again. “I might not need the defense, but it felt good.”

“In that case, you are very welcome.” Lucy makes sure to give Kate her biggest brightest smile.

Kate holds Lucy’s cheek between her hands and places a kiss on her nose. “You are the most amazing woman I’ve ever met.”

“You’re pretty amazing yourself.”

“Careful, Tara. That might stain your reputation.”

“Never.” Lucy says, intertwining her fingers with Kate’s. “You should know I will still fight you for cases.”

“And you will lose like usual.”

“Excuse me! Remind me again of how many of your cases have I solved.”

“That’s because you don’t know how not to stick your nose in other people’s business.”

“It was my business first!” Lucy argues, “If it involves the Navy it’s an NCIS case!”

“Not when it evolves national security!”

“That doesn’t even make sense! We have the same clearance!”

“No, we don’t!” If looks could kill, Lucy would be six feet under. “Besides, there are rules.”

“Yeah, fucking stupid rules.” Lucy mutters and Kate takes a long deep calming breath.

“How are we still arguing about this? It’s been over a year.”

“Because it’s a valid argument and if I see a chance to complain about the Big Feds I’m taking it.”

“You are a Fed too, you know that right?”

“Oh, so now we are equals?”

“God, I hate you.” Kate says, but there are mirth in her eyes.

“I’m pretty sure it’s the opposite, actually.”

“That’s pretentious even for you.”

“You gonna tell me I’m wrong?”

Kate doesn’t respond, instead she begins to walk towards their room.

“See, you can’t deny it.”

“I am going to take a bath.” Kate says instead, opening the door.

“Can I join?” Lucy asks, wiggling her eyebrows.

“That is going to depend on how you’re going to behave.”

“I solemnly swear I'm up to no good.”

Kate rolls her eyes and begins to strip down from her dress. 

“Kate?” Lucy asks.

“Mm?”

“I opposite hate you too.”

Kate looks up at her from the bathtub and bursts out laughing,  “You’re an idiot.”

“Yeah, yeah. Now scooch so I can get in.”

Kate does and Lucy places herself between Kate’s thighs, her back pressed against Kate’s front. The blonde plants a kiss on Lucy’s temple, and she sighs happily.

“If this is how all of our arguments end from now on, I think I’m gonna have to piss you off more frequently.” Lucy comments.

“Or you can just ask nicely.”

“What’s the fun in that?”