andrea (wickedandcruel) wrote in ship_manifesto,

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NCIS - Kate/Tony

Title: Beyond the Bickering
Pairing: Kate/Tony
Fandom: NCIS
Author: Andréa wickedandcruel
Website: Beyond-Bickering[dot]Net
Spoilers: A lot.
Disclaimer: Me no own, you no sue.
Dedication: Many, many thanks to Tati for helping me out and for putting up with me during all the time I bugged her about the show and the pairing, making her and many other people watch NCIS and become Kate/Tony fans *g* Tiff and dricks for reading the essay and letting me know what they thought of it, Jerilee for the idea (and most of the work) of setting up a Tate fan site. And all the Tate fans around the world for supporting this awesome couple. You guys rock my world.
Author's note: maliza sent me the link to this community, which I loved from the start. Searching for NCIS essays I only found Kate/Gibbs and Tony/Gibbs, which made me very very sad :( so I thought Kate/Tony deserved an essay too and immediately voluntaried to write. I hope this reaches the standards of many wonderful essays here.

The idea of a 'spin-off' from JAG wasn't very appealing to me yeah, I know), so I automatically disliked NCIS (acronym for Naval Criminal Investigative Service). I'm not really sure why, maybe it was the fact that JAG wasn't going as I well as I would have liked, have liked, or maybe because I thought another spin-off was stupid, but for some reason, I just didn’t like it, without ever having seen it. One day, watching JAG, the episode happened to be a crossover with NCIS, and the fact I was already in love with Michael Weatherly from Dark Angel was the only thing that made me sit through it and watch the entire episode.

The result: I fell completely in love with Abby Sciuto. I love Goths, and seeing Abby there only added to list of why I should watch the episode. The first scene in which I noticed any flirting, or maybe a future shipping, was a Tony/Abby scene, which I have to admit was cute, but that was it. Then there was Kate, and I loved her character. With all that, I decided to give the show a chance and started watching it.

Then there was a scene with Kate and Tony (I don’t recall exactly which one, as I missed the first 2 or 3 episodes), and something just clicked. I fell in love with them immediately, and the never ending provocations and flirting from Tony and Kate's *need* to always have to stand up and face Tony equally to show him she wasn't only just another girl, kept me loving them.

The adorable bickering plus the awesome cases (most times), my newest Gothic love, and funny medical examiner, Ducky, made me fall in love with the show, and now I watch it religiously, every week.



The rich boy stereotype, he was raised in a loaded Italian family, which only added to his endless charming and flirting. The typical 'ladies' man', Anthony DiNozzo goes through woman like socks, counting points on his conquests each week, especially if it's to annoy his work partner, Kate, which he seems to have made his personal mission. Although his juvenile behavior is dealt with weekly on NCIS, Tony has a great sense of responsibility when it comes down to his work, and his always present bickering with Kate turns into the best teamwork they have.

Not able -for unknown reasons so far- to stay on the same job for more than two years, Tony worked on Baltimore Homicide for 2 years, Philly PD for 18 months, and Peoria until he apparently found his place at NCIS, having been there for over three years now.

2x10 Chained:
Kate: Cash. Clothes and a car. Everything Tony loves.
Gibbs: Let's hope he's not heading to Vegas.


She went to a catholic school for 12 years, Caitlin Todd was formerly a Secret Service Agent, working to protect the President, constantly flying on Air Force One; she is the complete opposite of Tony. Always serious about relationships and not very good at them, she keeps her personal affairs closed in a box, especially from Tony, who's always trying to pry into her personal life, even resorting to going through her garbage to know her whereabouts. Putting up with Tony has been her main job for two years now, having been on the end of charming shots from day one, never letting a witty remark from Tony go unnoticed, every time adding her own comeback to bring him down, or only to let him know his babbling is of no interest to her.

Kate -known as such to basically everyone- is professional and very serious about her work, having stated to Gibbs once that he had hired her for her knowledge and skill, and is always ready to face her boss and make it clear that she's just as good an agent as any other, not letting the fact of being a woman interfere on her job. A little example is Kate's argument as to why she should go with Gibbs into the submarine:

1x07 Sub Rosa: replace me because I shave my legs and not my face is unconscionable and certainly not in the best interests of the case.
Gibbs: You claustrophobic?
Kate: No
Gibbs: Good.(walks away)
Kate: I'm going?!
Tony: Don't forget to wax.
--- 1x07 Sub Rosa

And of course, a witty remark from Tony, who just couldn't stand by and see an opportunity to tease Kate pass by him.


They're perfect for each other; they make sense. They compliment each other and that's why, no matter how annoyed and upset or exasperated they get with each other; they work so well together. They’re the opposite sides of a same: cold and heat, up and down, winter and summer. One just cannot live without the other; they need one another to keep things on balance. They count on each other, lean on each other when it's needed; they trust each other -not only because of their job but also because there's a friendship bonding them, something that was born from a nasty bickering to the fun of upping each other. Tony gets pleasure from making Kate's life his personal playground, annoying the life out of her and picking on her like a sixth year grader always being a pig to the girl he has a crush on. And Kate is always ready to return his comebacks smartly, using her brains instead of mouth or looks to show Tony who's the best there.

Tony's flirtatious nature and games mainly, but not always, directed at Kate and her retorts keep the tension -many times stated as 'repressed sexual tension'- a funny and interesting focus in the show. While Tony wants to prove his charm and looks work with every woman, Kate wants to prove that she's immune to this kind of guys, that she can very well live through without falling for them. It's a ball being thrown from one side to the other, without ever entering the goal. But sometime during their back and forth table tennis game, Kate and Tony will fall in love with one another –if they haven’t done so already. This kind of attitude from two people of the opposite sexes will only lead to one thing: love

The hostility between them only doesn't seem ugly because of the hilarity in it. And the chemistry between them is so thick, it is absolutely undeniable.

Kate: I had to wear a skirt today.
Tony: D'you say something?
Kate: Y'know, you realize what would happen if I dropped this knife, Tony?
Tony: Yup. I'm still deciding whether it's worth it or not.

K: If we screw this up, I have a suggestion.
T: What?
K: We break into Gibbs’s basement, and we set his boat on fire.
T: That’s cold, Kate. I knew there was a reason I liked you.
---- 1x09 Marine Down

Now it shows how comfortable Tony is around Kate, well, enough to dare reaching his hand between her legs with the excuse of looking for his fork, always knowing that a physical response from Kate was most likely to happen -and with Gibbs -their boss- right there!

(The car hits a bump and McGee falls back)
Kate: You know we really should get a seatbelt back there.
(Tony reaches between Kate's legs)
Kate: Hey! What the hell are you doing?
Tony: Looking for my fork.
Kate: (Hits him) Well, I can guarantee you it's not there.

Kate: Last time I'm gonna tell you...Tony, Don't answer my phone, use my computer, read my mail, look through my purse, scan my PDA, or touch my cell phone ever!
Tony: And an extra side of hash browns. Just so we're clear, Kate, I didn't do any of those things. Zero, Zip, Nada.
Kate: Then how do you know where I went to breakfast?
McGee: Logo on the coffee cup in your waste basket.
Tony: Anyone invite you into this conversation probie?
Kate: You looked through my trash!
Tony: Did you say it was off limits, huh, did ya?

(Tony is catching peanuts in his mouth)
K: You are so....
T: Coordinated?
K: Adolescent
T: I prefer the term fun loving. (throws a peanut at her)
K: Oh...
T: Haha
K: (Throws a carrot stick at him)
T: Oh...Hey!...Food fight. (they throw things at each other.)
-------- 2x14 Witness

This scene is hilarious and sweet. Their interaction inside the car while they're on watch shows so much of both their personal and professional sides, because as soon as a gunshot is heard they immediately leave their playing to once again turn into the great team. And as always, stop himself from flirting with and teasing Kate:

K: Wake up
T: I am awake
K: Could you turn on the heat? My butt's freezing
T: We could do what the Eskimos do to keep warm
K: What's that?
T: They press their bodies together. Of course the effect is greatly improved if you're naked
K: There isn't enough liquor on the planet to make that happen Tony
T: I wasn't suggesting the naked part, but if you want to freeze... freeze
--------- 2x17 Eye For An Eye

This quote is definitely one of my favorites because it says so much more in between the lines that it's too obvious:

K: As disturbing as this sounds, I think you may be right about this sexes thing.
T: It's Biology 101
K: Would you say I'm attractive?
T: Sure
K:'ve never....
T: I know you.....
----------- 2x15 Caught on Tape

First off, he *knows* her. In my opinion, it means that with her, it wouldn't be just one night stand like Tony's used to with the girls he meets. He admits she *is* attractive, so what exactly is stopping Tony from getting at it with Kate? Kate. Tony constantly is saying things to Kate that would make any other woman go weak in her knees, but with Kate it doesn’t work. Her constant denial and her ‘it’s not gonna happen’ line to Tony stop them from facing their feelings.

The above quote can only make it even more obvious with the line Tony said to McGee, obviously directed at Kate:

"McGee, the best way to know about them, is to know them."

Wanting it or not, Tony's unconsciously giving Kate's hints. Lots of them. And as much as Tony is a big flirt with anything that walks in a skirt, what he does to Kate is completely different. The way he plays with Kate is the kind of thing you do when you like a person, differently from Tony's weekly girlfriends, which is only the I-want-to-get-in-your-pants game.

In many episodes (that I'm not going to name or get into all of them because there are so many I'd have to write an endless list of moments) the bonding shared by Kate and Tony was constantly referenced, especially during season 2 when the nasty hostility between them grew into something much deeper and sweeter.

Their connection is strengthened by Kate’s confidence in Tony, the flowers he gave her as an apology, their familiarity, and their constant teaming up against new agent McGee. Either of them could very well have teamed with McGee against the other, but they didn’t choose to do so. It came naturally; they simply stuck together against the newbie. And Kate got a dog and named her Tony; exactly, a female dog named Tony. And she looked very pleased to tease Tony about it.

Now if she got Tony's insinuations already or not is a whole other issue and, personally, I think Kate's is as much into it as Tony.

Gibbs: Kate, you're with me.
Tony: Uh....boss, what about me?
Catherine: Conflict in the workplace?
Tony: You have no idea
Catherine: I have a theory. That most of it results from unresolved sexual issues

Ahem, the unresolved sexual tension was again stated.

In the episode, Terminal Leave (Season 2 episode 6), while the team is sleeping in a house in order to catch the guy they're after, Kate is showering when Tony -knowing very well Kate was there- enters the bathroom to brush his teeth, catching Kate singing in the shower. Again, he feels comfortable enough -and a little of a player- to enter the bathroom, not caring she was inside *showering*. When Kate realizes he's in there, her automatic response is to yell and Tony's to flirt/make fun of the situation:

Kate: How long have you been here??
Tony: Long enough to know you can't sing and you haven't shaved your legs in a week. (Kate throws the sponge at him) Outrageous.

Another great moment was in season 1, Minimum Security, when Tony, waking up to find an iguana on his bed, gets up and yells, pointing his gun at it, making Kate and Gibbs run inside the room with their guns drawn. When Kate sees Tony naked, she doesn't blush or anything; she stares right at him and winks, trying to keep a tugging smile away. Now, this scene is completely contradictory to the line of "sister/brother relationship" Kate said she and Tony had.

While Kate was dating Tony's fraternity brother, both tried to get as much info from Kate's boyfriend as possible. Tony learned a few things about Kate, and Kate got hold of the college nickname Tony had, as ‘sex machine.’ She used this nickname to tease Tony as a way to get back at Tony for blackmailing her with a picture of her winning a wet t-shirt contest that had been taken back in a contest on spring break in ’94 and framed for posterity in a bar in Panama City (Bikini Wax and Conspiracy Theory, 2x18 and 2x19). Of course Tony just had to make a copy of that picture and use it against her.

Tony: I love brunettes. I bet she was beautiful. --- Eye for An Eye 2x17

Now this quote should explain itself, considering that Kate is a brunette.

In this same episode, Tony is told to pick someone to go with him to Paraguay, and even with McGee begging and whining that he loved Paraguay and always wanted to go there, who does Tony pick? Kate. Why not McGee? He's an agent too and wants to go, but Tony picked Kate because he'd rather spend the time with her instead of McGee. Just he and Kate with no Gibbs to annoy them, as Kate had put it.

In Pop Life (2x16), Kate and Tony seek help for their never ending bickering, finding 'rescue' from Ducky, the Medical Examiner, who said their sessions would be like marriage counseling and that they were 'sexually charged'. Through the whole episode they each kept a journal on the other's attitude, noting down every thing that they felt annoyed them about the other. Marriage counseling, exactly what it seems. And what they need, apparently.

Following are just some thoughts from fans (at the ncis board ) about Kate and Tony (No names mentioned because, honestly, I forgot who said what =/) that I found so absolutely true and revealing that I thought were worthy of posting:

"Tony is most likely to fall in love first, and I don't think he would know how to act around her. I get the idea from his actions that he never really wants to feel anything too deep in a relationship with women. Look at how he seems to automatically go for the ones who don't want anything but a mild flirtation. Look at how he seems to almost deliberately upset and anger Kate whenever they get beyond a surface friendship. I am mainly drawing on Vanished, but it seems like the second they started talking seriously, he would do something to annoy or embarrass her.

Kate responds to what she sees as complete immaturity by closing herself off. Just as Tony's defense mechanism is humor, hers is the pre-emptive strike. She tries to hurt people before they can hurt her, and then she tries to isolate herself with words. This is at least my explanation for the end of last season. This season, she is more secure in her place on the team, and she has dropped some of her defense mechanisms, especially around Tony."

This one and the following are absolutely from Gibbsgirl (known as GG too):

"There was some very leading dialogue at the beginning of that, and they deliberately panned into the scene. You knew it had to be innocent, but since you couldn't see them... The whole bit with them sitting there eating together had a slightly intimate feel about it.

I felt the same way in Enigma, when they were trying to draw the crispy critter from the cabin. Both times the bullpen was dimly lit and they were sitting together at one desk, talking in lowered voices. Even if they were teasing each other, same as during they day; even if nothing was going on -- just the lighting and voicing made those scenes seem as if they were closer... friends, colleagues, whatever."

Red Cell - (2x21)

First, Kate and Tony showing up together at McGee's apt. at 7:30 in the morning? Really. So what time did Tony pick up Kate? (or vice versa) After a Saturday night? Yeah.... tell me you're all not thinking what I'm thinking now, too.

Next... when they had to go pick up the student activist, Tony said to Kate, "Turn that frown upside down, Sweetie, we're going back to college." Kate's comeback? "Tony, your problem is you never left." Oh, okay, so she has no problem with Tony calling her Sweetie. Moving on...

Once on campus in a conversation about what Kate did or did not do while in college, Tony reveals that while he doesn't have it on him, he does still have a copy of Kate's wet t-shirt photo. And she doesn't even say anything more about it or hit him. Nothing, zip, zilch, nada. She just lets it go. Sure.

So... anybody drawing any conclusions from this? I'm connecting the dots... they're starting to look a lot like a bedroom from where I sit...

Just my opinion...

In the same episode, there is another scene worth mentioning. While Kate and Tony are watching McGee desperately digging for a body that he discovered buried on a construction lot, it starts to lightly rain. Kate opens her umbrella, and both she and Tony step under it, close, and Tony’s hand is over hers for a moment.

Also in that episode, when they’re arguing about the wet t-shirt pic, they are standing extremely close—something they do a lot, consciously or not. (it looks like they're gonna kiss, doesn't it? =D)

Now, probably the best episode of all, SWAK (stands for Sealed with a kiss - 2x22) made it completely clear that Kate/Tony is officially canon! <3 Tony opens a letter, which he thinks is for him, releasing a white powder. This powder is later determined to carry the Pneumonic Plague

First: Kate - It's a cold 'Dony'
'Borning' - Kate with a cold is rather funny ;)

Everything was just awesome and sweet. When Kate learned only Tony was infected and the look on her face? It was so caring and worried. And how she lied to Tony so she could stay there with him? That just made me melt. I was either aww-ing or biting on my nails the whole episode!

"Let's hit the shower, Tony" Of everyone, she said Tony. -Tony- I'm sorry, but excuse me while I go giggle for a while. I love how they keep bickering even under such circumstances.

"If I said what he said you'd have..."
Kate elbows him
"...elbowed me"

It amazes me how they know each other so well, how they can predict the other's actions or lines. And how Kate started arguing with him to keep Tony.. well being Tony and not worry about the plague, kind of keep him fighting. And she lied to stay with him. I can't get over it.

When they were put into isolation, the doctor said they could pick a bed and they automatically got beds next to each other before the doctor said they should stay separated. Kate tried to be sarcastic saying, "Thank you, Doctor!", and Tony picked a bed on the other side. There were five beds in line and each took the one in separate corners. They could have picked any bed in there, any one, but they automatically went to the same side and chose beds right next to the other.

I loved when Kate was talking to Nurse Emma while Tony’s discussion with Doctor Brad about games was annoying her about games was annoying her. During her talk, she says, “You don’t know Tony.” The first thing that came to my mind was, “Holy crap, that’s just because you know him." She knows him!! (I couldn't stop aww-ing, honestly), just another line that means a lot, because Kate is unconsciously admitting she knows him.

Then she learns she's not infected, only Tony is, and goes to him to argue and fight. She seemed clearly upset that he was sick, it seemed like she was trying to blame him for being the only one infected. Even Tony noticed, asking her just why she was upset. That's just a natural reaction, hide fear behind anger. And she lies to him.

Kate says, "But I'm going to make your life HELL", while they're (surprise) bickering and they start counting how they can annoy the other and all these little facts they knew about each other highly amused me. And she stood up against the doc to stay in there, even if she was risking being infected. Honestly, you don't do that for someone who's just a 'friend'; you don't risk your life for someone you care as a 'brother' or simply as a friend. There is more to it than just friendship.

"You realize what that means?" The doctor said when Kate refused to leave the isolation area. That means she stayed against doctor's orders and SHE IS WILLING TO DIE FOR HIM. Again, you don't do that for someone you consider sexist, juvenile, and annoying, or your friend.

I almost cried with Kate when she had to leave after Tony got really bad. She started crying in there, but held her tears until she was outside, taking her mask off and really crying. When Ducky showed up, she hugged him, crying, saying, "He's dying"

There was nothing sexual or anything to it, but they did get closer (hell, how can they not??), and I think they way they wrote the episode and Kate and Tony's relationship was perfect, brilliant. There was nothing there, yet, everything.

The ending was just perfect, so sweet! She asked if she could sleep inside with him, and she leaned down on the bed next him just to stay in there with him. When all the lights were turned off, there was only Tony's This reminds me of the end of Alien,” and Kate’s chuckle, the episode ending there. The light off, the silence, only Tony's voice being followed by Kate's chuckles, it all made the ending sweet and showed their close closeness. Those aren't the two agents who were always nasty to each other over a year ago. year ago. TPTB are sort of making a point that now, two years later, there is more to Kate and Tony's relationship than just the working partnership.

As I mentioned before, I'm not going to get into every scene, every moment, because there are just so many that the essay would never end but I'm moving on to the best part: visual. It was mostly with pictures that I got people to love Kate and Tony like I do. The staring, the smiles, the physical closeness and talk, all that so obvious on a picture that it only show a tiny bit of how it is on screen. A picture is worth a thousand words

The pictures are kinda dark, though :( unfortunately.

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Stealing food from Kate's plate :D

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And a couple from SWAK, as Kate leaves the isolation room and cries:

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Last, but not least: Fan guide!

Beyond-Bickering[dot]Net --- Kate and Tony fansite
Forever Tate
Kate/Tony Yahoo Group
NCIS Fans --- You can find Kate/Toy shippy vids here
Vanessa's stories
NCIS Special Ops - where you can find a Shipper section to discuss Kate and Tony.
Kate/Tony fanlisting
NCIS fic at Fanfiction.Net
On the couple's board at, there is the Kate/Tony thread ;)

Following are my personal favorites:

Strings by me^^
Save Some Of That For Me An amazing romance/angst written by Blondevor
Follow Through by WhisingOnPlasticStars, that, IMO, is one of the best Kate/Tony fanfics out there =]
Warmth An awesome stand alone post the car scene from An Eye For An Eye, by Hermione-2113
Literary Effects Maybe the BEST Tate fanfic ever, written by the awesome Spikey the Neon BlowFish
Don't Make Me Come Back There a very funny short piece by Commodore Norrington
After Hours a cute WIP by Totie
NMW by Blurby an amazing piece post SWAK where the episode left off.

General Kate/Tony authors:

Wolf Jade
Jennifer Paris Morgan
Moon's Tear
Megan's passion
Tony DiNozzo Freak

Tags: ncis

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