Disclaimer in Part 1.
lol. Yes, LLW, the days of the therapy sessions coincide with the days I've been posting. I usually don't post this fast.
Thanks to all of you for sticking it out to the end. Glad you're enjoying the story, and here's the last part, a little bit longer to make up for the short "session" on Thursday.
Why do I feel like a kindergarten teacher? I have resorted to relaxation techniques that result in naptime. Perhaps I should hand out cookies and milk, but first I am sure there would be a debate about whether chocolate milk or strawberry milk tastes better. Then the end result will be decapitated gingerbread men smushed into the sides of the cups, milk in someone's hair, and a long story about a man who died from eating cookies and milk.
I am at my wit's end. If they relax by sleeping, fine. Now I will simply try to get them from sniping at each other. They must surely see good traits in each other: otherwise they would not want to work together.
As annoying as they are, I am sure they all share a sense of honor and duty.
Gibbs is driven by it: loyalty, and honor, and all the nice things they learn in the Corps. I'm sure the rest of the team sees it.
Ducky is the grandfatherly advisor, kindhearted and knowledgeable.
Abby is just as smart, and quirky but welcoming and fun. She is bubbly and enthusiastic - good character traits.
Tony...he can be funny. Sometimes. Rarely. But he can be, I suppose, for those who...enjoy that kind of humor.
Kate is the nicest, most normal person ever - according to her teammates.
See, it's possible to think nice things about this team. It's possible, It's possible, It's possible.
If I can get them to acknowledge each other's good traits, perhaps it will help. They will realize what it is that drew them together as a team and why they are a good team, and perhaps they can find in themselves more patience and tolerance for each other. Yes, I think this will work.
I am hopeful - this may be the most productive session yet! And if it is not, at least it is the last.
"Just give me one nice word that describes the person, and don't repeat each other, please."
"Just one?" Tony asked.
"What's the catch?"
"There is none."
"Just one word to describe the person."
"Snippy, for you," Tony muttered. "It was just a question."
"Let's begin describing" he looks for a safe target "Ducky. Agent Gibbs, you've known him the longest. Wouuld you like to go first?"
Dr. Havsy blinks. "All right...let's try Agent Todd."
"You're just going to let Gibbs off the hook like that!"
"Just 'cause he stares a little bit? Spineless twit," Kate whispered under her breath.
"Only one word, Kate!" Tony trumpeted with a smirk. She gave him a death glare. "Hey Abs, I might not have the Gibbs stare down yet, but I think Kate's coming close. What do you think, probie?"
"I think you're right," Abby said thoughtfully.
"I agree," McGee nodded.
"GO, AGENT TODD."
"Ducky is interesting."
"Code for obnoxious," Dr. Havsy muttered.
"WHAT did you say," Gibbs threatened.
"I happen to find a lot of Ducky's stories funny," Kate said sharply. "I'm sorry if you can't recognize the value of them."
"I'm very sorry, Agent Todd, I did not mean to imply that Dr. Mallard was obnoxious."
"It's not me you've offended," Kate pointed out. "You ought to apologize to Ducky."
"I'm sorry, Dr. Mallard."
Dr. Havsy sat back, relieved to have weathered that storm, and then frowned. Since when did he take orders from his patients? "Miss Sciuto, will you go next?"
"Yes, I understand that's his nickname."
"No, I meant he's ducky," Abby insisted.
"Yes, indeed, the word 'ducky' is sometimes used as a form of address," Dr. Mallard started. "In the States, however, the term is used to mean 'delightful,' and 'fine,' in the sense of - "
"Duck," Tony whispered. "We're trying to get out of here early."
"Oh, indeed. My apologies."
"Agent DiNozzo, why don't you go next?"
"Sure, Doc." He sat back, satisfied, and looked expectantly at the doctor.
There was a long silence. "Agent DiNozzo?"
"One word for Ducky."
"I gave you one."
Dr. Havsy blinked. "What? You gave me word?"
"Yes, that's well-noted that you're going to cooperate with - " Dr. Havsy frowned. 'Sure.' Oh, very cute. "Very amusing, Agent DiNozzo."
"I try." He smiled widely.
"You couldn't say 'sure of himself' or 'sure-footed' or something?"
"You said one word," Tony pointed out.
"He does have a point," Kate said, nodding.
Dr. Havsy pressed his lips together, took a deep breath, and counted to ten. And then counted to ten again.
"Actually, Tony," McGee spoke up, "'Sure-footed' is one word."
"Thank you, Agent McGee."
"But it seems so stupid to apply to Ducky," McGee continued. "I mean, it's not like he's climbing mountains or anything."
Dr. Havsy made a face at his sheet.
Tony glared. "I saw that. Are you making fun of our probie?" His eyes narrowed.
The doctor looked up. "You guys...do it all the time."
"Guys...and gals," Kate corrected, "and he's our probie. Not yours."
"Well, I...I'm sorry, Agent McGee. But I hope you all understand that I'm trying to be...part of your family, to help you to - "
"Part of our FAMILY?" Tony exclaimed. "No wonder we need therapy!"
"If we jettison Doc Dork, here, does that count as solving our team problems?" Kate asked Gibbs.
"Works for me," Gibbs growled, narrowing his eyes at the doctor.
"OK! I'm sorry. I'm sorry to Agent McGee, and to Miss Sciuto for not accepting her word, and to Dr. Mallard for offending him - "
Gibbs pointed at Kate.
" - and Agent Todd for...for what I offended her about. Are we happy now? Problems solved?"
"Hey," Tony objected. "We don't have the problems."
"I'm just saying an apology goes a long way," Dr. Havsy replied.
Kate and McGee sucked in their breaths sharply and exchanged looks. Tony shrank in his seat.
"'Never say you're sorry,'" Kate recited. "It's not a rule with a number, and I don't have to crochet that one - " Dr. Havsy didn't understand her grin " - but it's kind of a life rule. SOP."
McGee nodded. "'Don't apologize - it's a sign of weakness.'"
"Whose rules are these? Because I'd say that's not a very - " He gulped when he saw Gibbs sit up.
"Yeah, Gibbs' rules." Tony grinned.
"All right, we're moving on," Dr. Havsy quickly replied. "Uh...Agent McGee, a word for Ducky."
"Intelligent." When the doctor sighed, McGee made a face. "What's wrong with that?"
"Nothing. Nothing. Agent Gibbs?"
"Yes, I'm sure, but Agent McGee said 'intelligent.'"
"And I didn't repeat him."
Dr. Havsy bit back a scream.
"Timothy is...unnecessarily insecure," Ducky said carefully. He ignored the indignant look from next to him. "Very unnecessarily."
The doctor nodded vigorously, writing down the word. "Would you care to explain your choice, doctor?" he encouraged.
"No, he wouldn't," Gibbs replied darkly. "You said one word. Nothing about explanations."
"He does have quite a good point, Doctor," Ducky added, nodding. "But I can afford to be gracious. Agent McGee is an accomplished young man. He has no need to be defensive of his fine work."
McGee blushed a little at the praise.
Dr. Havsy nodded and then turned to Tony, who was waving his hand. "Agent DiNozzo? If you really want to go, we can go out of order. What about Agent McGee?"
"Itchy." Tony grinned.
"What?" Havsy frowned. How was 'itchy' a nice thing to say?
"I'll gladly explain: you should've seen that time he got poison ivy all over his face and body...including in the" he clucked softly and winked at the doctor, then bounced his eyebrows meaningfully. He grinned with then doctor's mouth fell open.
"DUCKY!" McGee nearly shouted, turning to the ME.
"I kept my promise," the medical examiner insisted. "I did not say anything."
"You got it...down there?" Abby exclaimed, then shivered.
"How did you find out!" McGee exclaimed to Tony.
The agent just grinned and tapped his temple. "I'm a seasoned investigator, McGee." He leaned forward, as if ready to reveal a secret, and said, "and I never reveal my methods."
"Thank God," Kate muttered.
"MISS SCIUTO," the doctor cut in tightly. "Please. You're next."
"Squeamish," Abby nodded.
"Abby!" McGee exclaimed.
"What?" Abby shrugged innocently. "I had to tell him the coffin he slept in was a box bed," she explained, as if McGee's reaction had been the most unusual and freakish thing ever.
Tony began laughing. "Oh, come on, McGeek...you have to admit, it's comfortable. Why does it matter if it's not really a box bed?"
Kate and Ducky just laughed, and Gibbs watched in amusement.
The doctor looked from one team member. "This...this doesn't bother any of you?" he asked.
"What?" Ducky asked.
"The...coffin. She...she sleeps in a coffin?"
"She's Goth, if you haven't noticed," Ducky pointed out.
"Don't worry," Kate smiled consolingly. "You get used to it."
"Hold on," McGee suddenly said, sitting up and frowning, and then turned to Tony slowly. "How do you know about how comfortable...it is?" He just got a big grin out of Tony.
"AGENT TODD," Dr. Havsy said, cutting in. "Please. One kind word about Agent McGee. Key word being 'kind'," he added, giving both Tony and Abby a pointed look.
"Hey!" Kate retorted sharply at his look. "That was entirely uncalled for."
"You watch yourself with my team," Gibbs growled.
"Agent Todd, please, a kind word about Agent McGee."
"You said that already, and we said no repeating."
"No, I didn't."
"You said that for Dr. Mallard."
"No, I said 'interesting' for Ducky," Kate replied. "I said 'interested' for McGee, because he is. In his job and what he does."
McGee nodded this thanks.
"And besides, doc," Tony replied, looking the doctor up and down, "You said we couldn't repeat each other. You didn't say anything about repeating yourself."
Kate arched an eyebrow at the doctor expectantly.
"All right," Dr. Havsy said sourly.
"You owe her an apology," Gibbs said pointedly.
"I'm sorr - " The doctor frowned. "Whatever happened to the 'never say sorry' rules?" he said pointedly, almost smugly.
"Oh, those," Tony replied dismissively. "There's an overarching rule. Rule..there's no number, but it's the rule to trump all rules."
"And that is?"
"Don't contradict Gibbs," Tony replied.
"So...let me get this straight," Dr. Havsy said. "He can do whatever he wants."
"Are you going to tell him he can't?" Kate pointed out.
Gibbs grinned ferally.
The doctor pursed his lips together tightly. She had a point. "I'm sorry, Agent Todd. Agent Gibbs. Please. Go ahead and give us one word for Agent McGee. Keeping in mind...MY rules."
Tony winced, and McGee cringed. "That's never going to happen," Abby muttered.
Gibbs glared at the doctor. "Smart."
"I said, no repeating each - " The doctor looked up to see Gibbs glaring down at him. "Never mind."
"Spineless," Kate muttered.
"Let's try to go back to our counter-clockwise order," Dr. Havsy said shortly. "Agent McGee, please go first. Something nice about Agent DiNozzo."
McGee hemmed and hawed, not wanting to say something sappy for which Tony would later tease him. He did look up to the older male agent, and he did see Tony as a big brother and a sort of (demented) mentor...but there was no way in the world he'd let Tony know. McGee finally said, "Italian." It seemed the only safe response.
"Agent McGee - "
"I am, you know," Tony said pointedly. "McGeek is right."
The pencil in Havsy's fist snapped in half. "Dr. Mallard," he said, trying not to seethe.
"He has...joie de vivre."
"Hey! I don't know what he said, but anyhow, it's three words."
"Well, perhaps so, but 'joie de vivre' is quite a common phrase and a descriptive one. But Dr. Mallard, please, try to stick with the languages we know."
"Hold on a minute," Tony sat up indignantly. "First of all, you can't just go back on your rules. You said one word. That was the rule. And Ducky can say whatever he wants in another language, because that wasn't a rule."
"Yeah, and are you saying we're stupid?" McGee said pointedly. "You saying we don't know foreign languages?"
"In case YOU didn't understand Ducky," Kate said pointedly, "he said Tony has a particular enthusiasm and delight in life itself. 'Joy of living'. 'Joy to live.'"
"I didn't mean to imply - "
"Tony speaks German and Spanish fluently, and I know French and Latin, and Gibbs speaks and reads Chinese and Japanese and worked in Russia for six months - and this just what we know. Shall we continue with Ducky? It might take awhile. And Abby and Gibbs both know" she signed "A-S-L."
As if on cue, as Kate smiled at the doctor, one eyebrow arched, Abby signed to Gibbs, who chuckled and signed back.
"I'm sorry, I didn't mean to imply that any of you...were...uneducated. Can we...go on? Agent Gibbs?"
Dr. Havsy gritted his teeth. "Agent Gibbs. Please. Choose another word."
"Thanks, boss!" Tony smiled happily.
"Pig." Kate crossed her arms and sat back.
"Agent Todd, we're trying to be positive."
"I can go worse, if you want."
"And...and why do you think Agent DiNozzo's a pig?"
"Wait until you get a Puerto Rican two-piece bikini as a gift."
"Hey! For the thousandth time, Gibbs was the one who wanted to see you try it on!"
"See?" Kate straightened. "Pigs."
"You do have a point," the doctor muttered as he scribbled frantically.
"C'mon, doc, don't tell me you don't want to see Kate in a - OW," Tony winced as Kate retracted her arm. "Abby, there's a reason you're sitting between us!"
The lab technician shrugged. "Sorry, Tony."
"Miss Sciuto, please, give us a word for Tony."
"You...you're using the same word you used for McGeek?" Tony asked in a tone of mock hurt.
"You wouldn't let me put the GPS locator in your neck! You realize it would've been so much easier for us to find you if I'd been allowed to do that."
Dr. Havsy felt queasy.
"Abby is..." Tony stopped and sighed. "Doc, look at her. It's ABBY. You want me to describe her? Abby is...Abby. 'Genius' doesn't quite cover it. Awesome' doesn't either. 'A lot more fun than uptight McGee and Miss Tighty Twisty Pants Kate' fits best, but it's more than one word. It's Abby. How else are you going to say anything?"
"Aw, how sweet," Kate cooed from her seat, and smirked at Tony.
"Thanks, Tony," Abby said cheerfully. She looked at McGee. "Be nice, McGee."
"Abby is...brilliant," McGee nodded.
"Abby is...full of life," Dr. Mallard nodded. "Lively. There. One word."
"That's...what you said for Agent DiNozzo."
"No, I said Tony had joie de vivre."
Dr. Havsy clenched his teeth and comforted himself with the thought that they had managed to get through three people with little protest. He might just pay Miss Sciuto for...making her turn go so fast. "Agent Gibbs? No, I know. Smart."
"Saves me the time."
The doctor rolled his eyes at his notes and turned to Kate. "Agent Todd?"
Kate grinned. "Female."
"I can see that for myself."
"Hey," Kate said pointedly. "Until you work on this team, you have no idea how absolutely essential and comforting that fact is."
Abby nodded in agreement.
"Female?" Dr. Havsy heaved a huge sigh.
"Well, yes, but I was going to say awesome."
"Thank you, Abby."
"She gives the best shoulder rubs."
"Abby, you really need to stop drinking all that caffeine crap. That's what's tightening your muscles."
"Aw, but Kaaate," Abby sounded almost like a little child. "I looove that caffeine crap." She sipped up the last of her second Caf-Pow! that morning, and tossed it neatly into the trash can.
"You give back rubs for caffeine-tight muscles?" Tony asked, raising an eyebrow.
"You're never getting one, Tony, so I'd lay off on the coffee."
"Weelll...I MYSELF don't drink enough coffee to do that, but..." Tony bounced his eyebrows at her meaningfully as his eyes drifted towards their boss. "But someone ELSE does. A lot. And maybe it's 'cause his muscles are so caffeine-tightened that he's grumpy. A niiiiice back rub would go with your, uh, dream about - OW!" Tony rubbed his head where Kate whacked him good. "Do that again, and you're going to be wearing your coffee. You're not Gibbs."
"Agent DiNozzo, one nice word about Agent Todd."
"After that? I'm supposed to come up with something nice to say after that?" Tony said indignantly.
"She's got a good right arm," Tony grumbled. "One word for Kate...uptight."
"I am not!"
"Oh right, there was that Panama City contest in which - "
"I knew it! You STILL have that photo!"
"Thank you, McGee."
"It's one word, and it's a nice one," McGee retorted.
"Ah...Caitlin is quite beautiful."
"Thank you, Ducky," Kate laughed softly, smiling.
"If I were a younger man," Ducky chuckled.
"That...that didn't prevent you from asking Viv out on a date," Tony pointed out.
"Well, yes, but the lovely Miss Blackadder didn't have a stink of a claim upon her from the day we met," Ducky replied, looking at Tony meaningfully, his tone loaded. "He was like the early European explorers staking out their territory," he muttered under his breath.
Tony nodded understandingly.
"'Stink of a claim'?" The doctor asked puzzledly.
"We were speaking English that time, doc," Tony replied. "No explanations." He carefully avoided Gibbs' suspicious look at him and Ducky.
The doctor sighed. "Agent Gibbs, should I even bother asking you what word you want to use for Agent Todd, or should I just write 'smart' down again?"
"You still have to ask?"
L. JETHRO GIBBS
"Finally," the doctor sighed. He really couldn't help the huge wave of relief that washed over him. His week was over today, and he would be free...to recuperate. "One word for Agent Gibbs, Agent Todd."
"Agent Todd," the doctor said warningly.
Gibbs just chuckled, looking amused.
"Agent Gibbs, you're not disturbed by this description?" The doctor said pointedly.
Gibbs shrugged. "What's wrong with it?" he asked, entirely unbothered.
"It doesn't hurt you in any way?"
There was a long, shocked silence, and Ducky began to chuckle, as did Abby and Kate.
"You...mean...'hurt'...like...feelings?" Tony asked in a horrified tone, as if he had just been given a plate of slugs to eat.
"You're...you're asking Gibbs how he feels about it?" McGee asked in the same tone. "You...want Gibbs to talk about his feelings?"
"I said it first, probie."
Kate was nearly crying, now, she was laughing so hard. "Good luck, doc. You're going to need it."
The doctor turned to Gibbs. "Agent Gibbs, why don't you share how you - " he stopped at the ice blue stare looking down at him, and shivered a little from its coldness. "Never mind."
"Told ya," Kate and Tony chorused.
"Well, let me ask you," Dr. Havsy tried again, looking to the others. "Has he ever given off any signals when you've called him 'bastard'?"
"How should we know?" Tony replied. "Only Kate calls him that." He paused, then corrected, "Only Kate dares call him that." The others murmured agreement. Ducky just chuckled.
Dr. Havsy frowned. "Agent Todd is the only one allowed to call him that?"
"Hey! I prefer to think I'm the only one with backbone enough to call it as it is."
"Kate spilled his coffee once," Tony mused thoughtfully. "Then chewed his butt off the next day. And she's alive."
Abby gasped, and her eyes widened as she stared at Kate. "You spilled his coffee?" she asked, horrified. She reached out a hand to touch Kate. "You're certainly alive."
Kate looked at them, entirely puzzled.
"Doesn't this bother you?" Dr. Havsy asked.
At that, they all sat up and glared at the doctor. "You accusing Gibbs of playing favorites?" McGee asked sharply.
"Who are you to say?" Tony replied, eyes boring into the other man's.
Dr. Havsy gulped. Better to leave that go. "Miss Sciuto?" he asked meekly. "Do you have a word for Agent Gibbs?"
"Cranky," Abby nodded. "That's on a good day."
"Yes, I can see why," Dr. Havsy muttered.
"Hey," Tony sat up, as did McGee and Kate, all three frowning darkly at him. "What's that supposed to mean?"
The doctor looked from one to another. "You...have a group that is so different, it makes sense that you would have troubles."
"Our only trouble is you," Kate retorted. "We were fine until we got dragged into this inquisition."
Gibbs smiled to himself.
"Agent Todd, I'm sorry if I've offended you, but such hostility is really unnecessary, don't you think?"
"You're the one who made her come back after she followed your orders and discussed her tension!" Abby protested. "Talk about unfair."
"Am I really supposed to believe all that Kate Todd said in that session?"
"Are you calling my agent a liar?" Gibbs straightened so he was looking down at the doctor.
"Ooh, you roused the hibernating bear," Tony whistled. "I thought you would know by now not to accuse us of stuff."
"Hibernating bear indeed," Ducky agreed.
"No. No, I now do not think Agent Todd is lying. You know what? Now that I've seen the rest of you, I think Agent Todd is on to something. You're insane."
"We could've been done with this on Monday?" Tony exclaimed.
"I told you this wasn't my fault," Kate grumbled.
"Well, pardon me if I thought you might object to being labelled 'hopeless'!" the doctor screamed.
"Who's the one who needs therapy," Tony protested.
"He does look rather stressed," McGee agreed. "Maybe he needs a long nap, like we had yesterday."
Tony laughed and held out a fist, which McGee met with his, knuckle to knuckle. "Nice one, probie."
"I DO NOT NEED A NAP!"
"That's crankier than Gibbs," Abby said in surprise. "Did you get up on the wrong side of the autopsy t - bed?"
"NO. I slept fine. I had a nice breakfast. I had a nice drive to work. And then you came in. You know what? Your therapy's over. Over! Just get out of my office."
"Yes!" Tony shouted. "Hey boss, can we go to Nemo's and get pizza to celebrate?"
"Pizza at 10 am?" Kate said disapprovingly.
But Gibbs nodded, and Tony whooped, punching the air as he jumped over his chair and ran for the door, his teammates trailing behind.
As they left, Kate leaned over to the doctor. "Oh, by the way...Gibbs, for himself, he wants to put down 'smart.'" She smiled sweetly, patted the doctor on the shoulder, and left.
THE NEXT MONDAY
Dear Director Morrow:
Dr. Andrew Havsy will submit his final report in two weeks, after the Bethesda psychiatric ward deems him ready to leave his padded room. (His straitjacket makes writing difficult, and his oral dictation is somewhat jumbled and non-sensical at this moment.) He regrets greatly his complete inability to write coherently at this time and hopes that the Director can see from his notes the lack of progress made.
Mina Taylor, secretary to Dr. Andrew Havsy
P.S. Agent DiNozzo has not returned my calls.
Director Morrow folded the note attached to the copious binder of notes - some of whose pages had been apparently crunched in a fist in frustration - and walked out onto the small walkway by MTAC.
He could see McGee with a big grin on his face as the younger agent and Tony got together to tease Kate, who was giving them the evil eye as Abby just laughed. Ducky smiled from his seat, and Gibbs was watching with an amused expression.
The director just chuckled. He'd have to remember to put in some bonus for Havsy.
Well, that's it:-) I hope y'all enjoyed it... I needed a laugh after "Twilight" and the season premiere, and I thought someone else might too. ;-)