disclaimer: I don't own NCIS or its characters...

Author's note: I was going to try to put this all in one chapter, but I got distracted, and here is what is done. If it doesn't make sense, I'm sorry, and stick around for later chapters. Eventually this should make some sort of sense...I hope. Or not.

"I'm bored," Abby whined. She felt rather light-headed, too. They all did. They also all shrugged it off as doing too much work. Gibbs had sent them all down to help Abby process the evidence from their latest case, and there was a lot. It was the entire contents of a dentist's office, where their victim was found mysteriously dead in a dentist's chair. After several wisecracks about dental care and the bedside manner of dentists, they had gotten down to business processing the evidence. They were currently sitting around a table covered with dental supplies and equipment, not doing much work at all.

"Me, too," agreed Kate. "But what are we supposed to do about it? Gibbs will kill us if we don't get this evidence processed."

"Yeah," they all agreed, looking disappointed. They sat in silence for a little while, just staring at the table strewn with various "torture instruments" as Tony referred to them. He was so bored. He was also feeling very flighty. Maybe he was just hungry. It had been a while since lunch, but not too long, even for him. He just couldn't concentrate on the task at hand. His mind began to wander.

"I got it!" Tony shouted, startling the others out of their own dazed wanderings of mind.

"You know what killed the petty officer?" McGee asked, surprised and bewildered by Tony's exclamation. If Tony had, then McGee felt that he definitely had missed something. He just couldn't seem to focus on the case at all.

'No, Probie!" Tony snapped, and then began laughing. "Cards...we can play cards!"

"Yeah, Tony," Abby agreed as she began laughing as well. "Only, we don't have any!"

"That's okay," Tony replied. "I've got some in my desk upstairs."

"Except that's where Gibbs probably is," Kate pointed out. She could feel a headache coming on. She paused for a moment, and then started laughing hysterically.

"What?" Tony asked her, as she seemed to be directing her laughter towards him. Her laughter must have been contagious, because he began chuckling, too.

"I can just picture you trying to sneak around Gibbs," she supplied in between fits of laughter. "You'd so be busted!"

McGee and Abby began laughing as well as they conjured up the mental image of Tony crawling around the office on his hands and knees, hiding behind desks, making his way to where he kept his cards, only to be busted by Gibbs as he pulled the deck of cards out of the desk drawer.

"I'm insulted at your lack of confidence in my covert ops skills," he pretended to be hurt but couldn't help laughing with the others. When they failed to cease their merriment at his expense, he really did become indignant. "I bet I could beat you all at evading detection."

His tone caused the others to stop laughing, except for Kate who only laughed harder and more sardonically than before. He glared at her hatefully, finally putting an end to her mocking fun. "Is that a challenge?" she asked trying to make a serious face. She couldn't, and again began laughing. She couldn't figure out what was so funny, only that it was.

"Maybe it is a challenge!" Tony snapped at her. Her laughter was beginning to give him a headache. She continued to laugh, pausing only to catch her breath. McGee and Abby exchanged a look, a silent comment on the interplay between Tony and Kate, and then proceeded to burst out laughing as well.

"Wait! I have an idea," Kate offered bemusedly, after calming down slightly. "I'll close my eyes and count to thirty. Then I'll see if I can find you. That'll be a good test of your skills!"

Tony rolled his eyes at her. Why was she behaving so childishly? And why was he tempted by her offer? And why was it so difficult to think straight?

"What? Is the fearless Anthony Dinozzo afraid that he'll lose?" Kate teased him horribly. "I never thought I'd see the day when you'd turn down a proposition from a woman!"

Abby and McGee chortled at the comment, trying to suppress the laughter for Tony's sake. Tony couldn't take it anymore. That was an insult to his manhood. He'd show Kate. "Fine," he agreed. "I accept your challenge."

Kate closed her eyes and began counting between giggles. She found that closing her eyes made her slightly dizzy and it was difficult to remember what number came after twelve, but it was still all very amusing to her.