A/N: So this is the Final chapter to my first story! I hope to write another very soon and I cannot believe how far this one has come. So thankful to you all! Now, do enjoy the long awaited outcome! Find out what happens at last!
Leon Vance is still hovering his view over Ziva's unfinished work. He looks quite taken-aback by his misinterpretation on the agents' completed assignment.
He shifts his gaze onto Tony's desk and at his unfinished papers- and then lastly onto McGee's. His face twitches ever so slightly before he simply folds his hands in front of him; his eyes sharp.
Tony holds his breath for what is about to take place before him. Vance's mind was clearly churning upon his next move to the matter.
"Where is Miss Sciuto?" He suddenly demands, and McGee instantly tenses up at the Goth's name. This is it.
Tony shoots a worried glance towards McGee and then towards Ziva. Was Vance actually going to take most of this out on Abby? She had only wanted to help?
"Abs? What's she done?" Gibbs questions from where he stands within the center of the bullpen; his expression clearly wanting answers on the scientist.
"These three told me just last night that they had gotten Miss Sciuto to help them with part of their paperwork." Leon directly begins explaining.
Gibbs only shrugs though with a small grin sliding to the side of his face. "Ehh, I may have suggested it for them, Leon. No big deal." He mutters; however, Leon just holds his ground and his face falls deathly emotionless.
"No. That's not my point, Gibbs. My point is, that Abby tried helping them but ultimately failed and used pen to slap down nothing but incorrect answers on the important files. My important files." He takes a step closer towards Gibbs on his last words- his face still solid stone.
Tony, Ziva, and McGee all watch on in silence as the two authoritative men just stare at each other now.
McGee could feel the temperature within the room clearly rising between them; and he was itching to know what was to become of Abby. He had been fretting for her all night and this was the moment. This would be the moment where Vance would make his call- and not just on Abby, but on the entire Team.
He glances to Tony; who only holds his gaze on his two 'bosses'. What would become of them?
"Just call Miss Sciuto up here Gibbs. Now." Leon finally demands, breaking the small staring contest that had begun between the two.
Gibbs exhales as if calling her would do nothing for the situation, before he simply turns to nod at Tony; this was his cue to call Abby.
The senior agent hurriedly picks up the phone before dialing in a few numbers. When she picks up, all he says is, "Abs, Gibbs needs you upstairs, PRONTO!" Before slamming it back down onto the receiver.
McGee tries to boldly speak out next, his voice rather shaky as he does so. "C-Can't believe she's here this early." he remarks, causing for all eyes to fall onto him.
He swallows before looking at his wrist watch. "I mean, i-it's only..." He trails off though as his eyes connect with the time.
It read '7:06'- which was the standard time for all agents to be here for work.
Real smooth Tim. He thinks to himself before just shrugging. "Err, nevermind. Guess she's here." He mumbles, just as the sound of the elevator dings.
An excited Abby Sciuto comes rushing into the bullpen with her pigtails bobbing and her platforms stomping wildly. "Yay! Did you guys finally finish your pape-..." She cuts herself short however when her eyes come to notice Leon Vance within the room; his stern gaze fixing upon her subtly.
"Oh... hello." She smiles before looking to Gibbs, who only shifts closer to her.
Tony, McGee, and Ziva all just cast her sorrowful looks; and she feels confused as to why.
"Miss Sciuto I'd like to have a word with you on the fact that you attempted to help these three field agents out with their paperwork last night. This true?" He questions; even though he already knew the truth, he wanted confirmation from her.
Her eyes grow big as she realizes what this is about finally. "Oh. Yes I, um, didn't really do such a good job." She lowers her voice tone- as if any wrong word could get her into trouble.
Ziva just watches on rather painfully. She had been the one to give Abby's name away. She was beginning to feel guilty over this fact and so begins fidgeting within her seat.
"I-I used pen by accident." Abby continues slowly next. "But then I left because I didn't want to ruin anything else." Her eyes fall back onto Gibbs, as if wanting to know just how important the papers were. They were just papers, right?
Leon Vance holds his chin up before taking a step closer towards Abby. "I'm starting to question why Gibbs even suggested you work on them files in the first place." He growls at last before turning his gaze onto the marine.
Gibbs however just raises an eyebrow; clearly unphased by Leon's shifting target. "I suggested her because she normally helps Ducky with his papers. If you didn't know, Leon, Ducky had also pitched in with the paperwork assignment for them." Gibbs explains coolly before simply taking another sip of his coffee.
Abby just bites her lip at the tension between the men. She hadn't known the papers were that big of a deal. Clearly though, they were.
Vance then just turns back to Abby. "Miss Sciuto, I think you should-" he is cut off however by a sudden and abrupt input of Tony DiNozzo.
"Uhhh, Director?" The senior agent rises to his feet. He had planned to cut in whenever Vance intended to give Abby her verdict. He just couldn't let Abby take the wrath for the team.
Be a man. He tells himself firmly as both McGee and Ziva look to him with rather taken aback expressions.
Vance turns hot on his heel towards DiNozzo, his eyes already burning with annoyance for the senior agent. "What." He snaps.
Tony clears his throat.
This is it. I'm gonna risk it all... He decides.
He then just glances towards the fax machine; the same machine that held the capabilities of faxing, shredding, and copying- all in one. This was where Ziva had accidentally shredded his papers- his first completed papers for that matter.
His plan would be to take the spotlight off of Abby. And the only way to do that would be to distract Leon from her mess-up. Tony would have to reveal his own incident with his screwed files in order to come to Abby's aid.
Ziva however immediately catches on to where this was going and she wasn't about to let Tony take the blame for her stupid mistake of shredding his papers instead of faxing them for him...
"Some of the oh so 'important' paperwork accidentally got a little... um, damaged." He finally reveals at last, while McGee just fidgets majorly within his seat. He too wasn't wanting for Tony to take the blame for the shredded files.
We all deserve punishment, if this is what Tony has in mind. He thinks to himself as both Vance and Gibbs strut towards the machine to take a look into the trash bin below it.
They both were wanting to witness this evidence for themselves.
They throw their gazes downwards and into the bin.
The shredded paper bits were such a beholding sight.
Tony holds his breath for the Director's reaction, tensing for his punishment, simply waiting for the words 'FIRED'; but not before Ziva suddenly jumps to her feet next.
"I-I did it, sir. It was me. I shredded the files." She instantly confesses, and Tony feels his skin crawl with anger for the woman. They were his papers!
He is glaring at her and is about to open his mouth when Ziva just hurriedly adds, "A-And if you do not believe it was I, then ask McGee. He is a witness." She states confidently.
All three- Gibbs, Vance, and even Abby turn to look at both Tony and then to Ziva.
McGee is watching on in shock and he waits for the reactions.
Abby comes to place a hand over her gaping mouth. She had no idea the two had accidentally shredded some papers. And they had never bothered to tell her!
Gibbs is speechless; emotionless too. He then just takes another sip of his coffee- clearly unruffled from the news.
Vance however is vexed, and his eyes are struck with disbelief at the two. Some of his finest agents! Shredding important files?!
"WHAT is the meaning of this?! Agent DiNozzo? Agent David?" He feels complete outrage come to swamp his emotions. He nearly didn't know how to handle this.
He didn't want to fire them, they were too good.
Suddenly though, Gibbs speaks, and his voice is rather dull and practically calming. "Ahh, come on Leon. Shredded papers are just as screwed as incorrect ones?" He gestures to Abby before taking another sip of his coffee.
Vance blinks at him irritably before coming to the conclusion that perhaps he is right.
Ziva just lowers her head though. She didn't like being on Leon's bad side- nobody did for that matter. "It was an accident sir. One, that will never take place again." She assures him, and Tony only nods. "Yeah. Even though, they were my papers sir. I should be the one to blame." He remarks with a cross look towards Ziva.
The Israeli just frowns at this though. "No. You weren't the one responsible for the actual shredding." She flashes back, and with this Vance has had enough.
"Quiet!" He demands, before he turns on his heel towards Gibbs.
"This is unacceptable from your team Gibbs. Shredding file papers in my building is not a thing I take lightly." He roughly remarks before he then just turns to give Tony, Ziva, and even McGee one last look.
"Meet me in my office Gibbs. Now." He finally demands, before stalking off angrily; his posture swift and fast as he rounds the corner to begin ascending the staircase.
Things always happen with Team Gibbs. Yet they somehow also manage to keep their jobs... He thinks infuriatingly as he reaches the door to his office.
Gibbs' gaze never leaves Leon's figure until the man is out of sight. Once he is gone, Gibbs then just turns to Abby. "I think you'll be fine, Abs." He mutters, which only causes for her to bring him into a tight hug.
"Thanks Gibbs. But I seriously didn't mean to ruin any papers!" She whines, and Gibbs just kisses her cheek. "Nah, you're alright Abs."
She slowly smiles brightly and he then just turns his gaze back onto his team.
McGee is still staring at Tony and Ziva though. They had really stuck up for each other... and in front of Leon Vance too. Did they like, plan that? Or what?
"Why did you say that?" Ziva questions Tony now, her eyes sternly upon his as she places her hands on her hips. Tony only frowns. "Because, they were MY papers!" He defends before returning his attention back onto Gibbs and Abby.
Gibbs just continues staring before blinking slowly; as if completely bored from the scene.
"Are ya done?" He questions.
He then turns to McGee. "Shredded papers, incorrect papers, sleeping on the job... what all happened last night, McGee?" He asks incredulously and McGee just holds his breath before looking to Abby. At least she had gotten off pretty easy, right?
But Leon Vance still awaited Gibbs in his office...
It was funny how Gibbs didn't make it his first priority though. Only he had the guts to pull that move.
"Well Boss... we were all focused on getting the paperwork done." He replies at last with justifiable honesty.
Tony however is feeling baffled from how smoothly Gibbs was taking this. Wasn't Gibbs going to explode like some time-bomb? Where was the rage? Where was the biting remarks for not completing their work on time?
"Y-You aren't mad Boss?" He forces the question out as if it were something bitter in his mouth. Gibbs though just shrugs.
Ziva, McGee, Tony, and even Abby waited to hear his response...
"Nope. Not really." He plainly scoffs; and Tony starts to believe he is still asleep or something. He furrows his eyebrows at his boss.
"You're not?" He can't help but push.
McGee and Ziva both hold incredulous expressions as Gibbs simply then just states, "Sure, the ruined papers aren't too good. But hey, you three had all week to finish that paperwork."
With this, Tony's mouth falls agape and Ziva scowls at the baffling news.
"What?" She snaps in disbelief; and McGee is practically shell-shocked. "B-But, boss, you told us we had to finish last night!" He remarks with a gesture towards his monstrous piles of work.
Gibbs loosens his stance before throwing his arms out. "It was only a suggestion." He states briefly, and Tony is still feeling as if he were dreaming.
We didn't HAVE to complete our paperwork?! W-Well why weren't we informed of this! He complains within his painfully spinning head.
"Yeah, but boss!" He whines now before holding an outstretching finger at his paperwork. "We worked all night! Why didn't anyone tell us?" He groans dramatically. But before Gibbs has time to reply to this agonizing question, Tony just throws another question at him. "And what about the shredded papers? Aren't you at least a little angry with that?"
Gibbs drops his gaze to his coffee cup for a split second before returning his gaze to Tony's.
"Well, DiNozzo, to be honest..." He begins with the smallest of chuckles. "I accidentally shredded some paperwork myself at one time." He simply admits.
McGee's eyes widen while Tony cracks a small unbelieving smile at his boss. Ziva just stares at him. He'd really shredded important files before?
"Yeah." He continues. "That's exactly why I don't do it anymore." He finally releases a toothy smirk before heading for the stairs that would take him to Leon- the lion's den for that matter.
All agents just stare after him- admiration for their boss coming to settle on them like never before.
"I-I never thought..." McGee tries to begin while trailing off. They didn't have to complete their paperwork all at once...
Tony just couldn't believe that they had gotten off of the hook like that. After all that hard work. After all of those hours toiling away on nothing but paper. Yes, he knew some sort of grave punishment would come from Leon Vance, and a whole lot of chastising... but at least they'd get to keep their jobs perhaps.
And Gibbs?... He has shredded paperwork before? When? He questions to himself- feeling complete astonishment filter through him. He had way too many things on his mind with this.
Ziva is simply glad all seemed to be working out well. She had hated receiving the news on the paperwork though. They had worked and stressed all night over them files! On the other hand however, at least they had escaped the worst from Vance. Hopefully they'd get to rebuild their relationships with Vance soon. She cares for it and wants her authorities to trust her here in America.
The agents are still staring after their shocking boss. Neither one of them knowing just what to say upon the tremendous news that had been revealed before them.
It is then though that Abby breaks the silence. The three agents had practically forgotten she had still been standing there.
"Sooo..." She begins. "Which one of you told on me?" She grins.
Gibbs flings open the Director's door carelessly before turning to close it gently- acting like a half-decent man on the matter. He had no time for this; in fact, he sort of pitied his team for having to stay at the office all night.
And for what?
Paperwork. He scoffs to himself. Next time they'd hopefully be earning a call and gaining a case...
To be perfectly honest, he never recognized the big deal in paperwork. And he probably never would. Heck, his team had actually attempted to complete all of that work within one day. What more did they deserve other than a break?
"Go ahead. Let's hear it." He mutters now as Director Vance stood before him, practically looking as if he were ten feet tall within standards. "Do you have ANY idea of how delicate those files were that your so called 'Team' shredded up, Gibbs?" He begins at last, his fists clenching and his eyes set as hard as granite.
Gibbs just shrugs. "Hey, I've been there. I know what it's like." He mutters.
Vance just twitches his face a bit. "Exactly. I remember that time too. No wonder there's the term that 'People tend to take after you'. Well Gibbs, you're proving that worthless saying to pieces!" He roars with his thunderous voice; though Gibbs doesn't even flinch.
He's known Leon Vance far too long. He knows Vance wouldn't ever fire him. All the man needed was time to cool off simply...
"Well, what do you want me to say, Leon? They really tried." He throws his arms out before letting them fall to his sides.
The Director just scoffs. "Oh they tried alright. Tried to get themselves fired." He mutters.
And with this, Gibbs just shifts impatiently. "I get it. Hopefully they've learned and it won't happen again. Find them a decent punishment and just be done with it." He suggests before simply taking his leave. He throws the door open leaving Vance irritably staring after him.
He knew Gibbs was right though. This would probably help them learn from their mistakes. But it still irks him at how they have to mess up on some important files.
Perhaps I can get SecNAV to get them files back. Or maybe that can be Miss Sciuto's punishment- and I can get her to piece them back together again.
He tries to think of something worst for the forensic specialist but in the end he just sighs and lets it go. He needs to find his ground and gain his patience back anyhow.
Only way I'm gonna do that is if I quit thinking about this and just move on. He tells himself.
Suddenly though, as if right on cue, one of his assistants comes hurrying into the room; the door still hanging open from Gibbs' recent departure.
Leon shifts on his feet to greet his assistant, his temper still askew. "Hello, Henry. What can I do for you?" He asks, his hands going to his pockets.
He tries to calm himself down.
Henry is holding a clipboard and he seems almost out of breath. "Well, sir, I just came to inform you that you still have that makeup work to do from last week's previous hours off. F-For you know, your family time. Which is completely alright with me." he explains.
Vance only nods; remembering the choice he had made last week to gaining more time with his family at home. He almost smiles at the thought of seeing his kids at the moment. They'd really help him cool off...
"Alright, thank you for the reminder. I'll get on it." He finally nods, and Henry only nods as well. "I left it on your desk, sir." And with this, the man is gone within moments.
Vance goes to close to the door behind him, his mind still on his family; before finally turning to look at his desk.
Suddenly all hopes of calming down slips away from him.
Huge stacks of none other than sheets of paper sat perfectly atop his desk. He couldn't even see his chair from where he stood because the stacks of paper were that high. He blinks at his newly assigned work. The price of being Director.
A/N: Well, thank you for everyone who has stayed and followed along throughout the story! Hope you enjoyed! In the end, Vance has his own paperwork to do, haha!
What I was going for was something simple and fun and I hope I met the standards.
Hope I also answered all questions as well and I hope my writing skills aren't as rusty as I left them.
I will write another story soon so I hope you may tune in and check it out whenever you'd like!
Thank you again for everything! Love the reviews!