Disclaimer: I don't own NCIS or its characters…
Author's note: I wrote this a little while ago, but ended up not knowing where it was headed. It was supposed to be contained within one chapter, but I haven't figured out a good ending yet so…apologies for that. Also, apologies for my perverse sense of humor, which many may not appreciate.
"What happened to your finger, Dinozzo?" Gibbs asked, indicating the blood-soaked, formerly white gauze bandage encompassing the swollen index finger. Tony shifted uneasily and glanced at Kate who gave him a don't-look-at-me-you-idiot glare. Blood trickled from underneath the scarlet-stained bandage and down the back of his hand. His finger had refused to stop bleeding since the incident.
"I cut it," he tried. Gibbs looked doubtful and suspiciously examined Tony's face before turning his scrutinizing gaze upon Kate briefly. Turning back to the uncomfortable Dinozzo he spoke again, in his even non-revealing voice.
"You had better at least let Ducky check that out." When Tony failed to move, he barked at him in that intimidating manner of his. "Go now. You're of no use to me bleeding to death! Kate, go with him to make sure he doesn't try to get out of this…or faint."
Kate accompanied Tony to the elevator in the hurried manner they all adopted when being shouted at by Gibbs. The ride down to the morgue was a silent one, which was quite out of the ordinary for either of them. She felt bad enough about the whole incident without Tony giving her the silent treatment. He had never given her the silent treatment before. That meant this was the most severe thing she had ever done to him. She thought he had been okay with the incident. He had teased her about it, insulted her, and basically had acted his usual self. But when they had arrived at work and he realized that he'd have to explain it to Gibbs, he suddenly was angry with her. That was what he was mad about, looking bad in front of Gibbs. And of course, he blamed her for the entire incident, even though it was partly his fault. Part of her argued that it was in fact, totally her fault, but she told that part to shut-up. She watched him as he struggled, where he stood as far away as he could get from her in the elevator, to roll up his shirt sleeve that was being threatened by the growing stream of blood running down his hand from his wounded finger. She moved to help him, but he brushed her off, moving his hand protectively away from her.
"I think you've already done enough," he said coldly. That hurt her more than the silent treatment, much more than the teasing or insults. She stepped back to her side of the elevator and sighed in relief as she felt it come to a halt and the doors slid open marking their arrival.
They found Ducky leaning over a corpse, their most recent victim, mid-autopsy with his back to the door. "How can I help you, Agents Todd and Dinozzo?" came his kind yet probing voice.
"How'd you know it was us?" Kate asked, slightly perplexed. The canniness of his prediction was only slightly disturbing to her, for she was used to the bizarre traits of her "colorful" compatriots.
"The nose," he began. "…is a very interesting organ. Most people think that in such a line of duty as ours we become immune to the pungent odors and suffer a marked deficiency in oral-factory acuity. It's in fact quite the opposite. One finds that one's nose becomes more sensitive to distinctive odors the more one is around the more putrid aromas surrounding the recently deceased…"
"So you smelled us entering?" Kate asked, rather doubtfully. Despite the oddities she had grown accustomed to, she found this to be a stretch for the truth.
"You generally wear a muted floral scent of the begonia variety, while Agent Dinozzo is much less subtle with his liberal use of aftershave," he explained, still leaning over the half dissected cold body.
"You know, you're right, Ducky. Tony does go a little heavy on the aftershave. Anyone could smell him coming a mile away. It's like he has a primal compulsion to advertise himself," Kate announced playfully, trying to get Tony to talk to her again. Instead he just stood there, staring in the opposite direction.
"You may be on to something there, Kate. Many species of animals use pheromones to signal a number of different things. Take, for example, the…" the medical examiner began, but was cut short by Tony clearing is throat markedly, to which he turned around in order to survey the two agents for the first time since they had appeared in the morgue. "Oh dear. What happened to your hand, Tony? You're bleeding quite profusely."
"That's what we were hoping you could help us out with," Kate answered.
Within a few minutes, Ducky had his medical supplies out and was starting to tend to Tony's injured finger. As the agent sat on one of the cold metallic autopsy tables, the medical examiner delicately unwrapped the blood-soaked layers of medical gauze. Tony winced as the doctor dabbed at the wound in an attempt to clean it up enough to get a good look at the damage. Kate stood pensively by, overcome with guilt for Tony's pain and fear that the truth of the incident would be discovered.
"How did you manage to sustain this sort of wound to the base of your right index finger?" Ducky asked upon examination of the injury. Tony finally made eye-contact with Kate again, only for them to discover that each was as nervous about the situation as the other.
"I cut myself," he offered after several seconds.
"On what?" Ducky replied. "These look like teeth-marks."
"Right. I cut my finger on a dog's teeth," Tony explained quickly before looking at Kate with another nervous expression. "A neighbor dog bit me. A really mean dog. I always ask them to tie him up, but they never listen to me and this is what happens. Maybe I should sue them…" He let himself trail off when Kate gave him a look that told him he had gone too far.
Ducky twisted the finger around in his hand, trying to get a better look at the wound, and causing Tony to wince in pain again. The medical examiner seemed to reach a conclusion and straightened up to look Tony in the face. "They don't appear to be canine teeth marks, but human ones."
Tony didn't have another explanation to offer off the top of his head, so when he hesitated, Kate jumped in. "He bit himself. He's just too ashamed to tell you. I watched him do it. I'm not sure why he would do such a thing, though."
Tony shot her a glare for the crappy excuse. Now that she was blaming it on him being entirely insane, he was starting to really become angry with her. After a moment of silent argument, they turned their attention back to Ducky, who wasn't buying it.
'The wound was made by much smaller teeth than yours, Tony," he said. "Probably a woman's." He shot a glance at Kate. "Would you like to try another excuse?"
Ducky began to stitch up the wound, while Tony gritted his teeth. He'd take the temporary pain over a doctor's bill any day. Besides, Ducky did a nicer job stitching a man up than those ER interns. The doctor was surprisingly silent as he worked. He would usually be rambling on about some bizarre fact or story. That meant that he was hurt or angry with them for not telling the truth. Tony glanced over at Kate again. She was shifting from one foot to the other nervously. The silence was worse than the pain. It began to eat away at Tony's delicate psyche. He finally snapped.
"Kate has a tendency to put things in her mouth during sex," he blurted out, then continued on without a breath. "Normally you'd think that was hot, right? But she also has a tendency to bite down on-"
"Thank you, Tony," Ducky said rather hurriedly, cutting off the rambling man. "But I think I'd rather not know."
Kate stood there staring at them as Ducky proceeded to put the final stitches in Tony's finger. Her mouth didn't close for several seconds in shock over what Tony had revealed to the medical examiner. When her brain finally concluded that this was not a horrible nightmare, she closed her mouth and fumed silently. She considered ways to dispose of his cold dead body.
Ducky dressed the wound with fresh gauze, silence filling the morgue again. And again, Tony found he couldn't stand the silence and made an effort to fill it. "I think she does it because she's actually a screamer."
"Tony!" Kate yelled at him, hitting him roughly on the shoulder. She was beginning to regret ever letting the man touch her. Ducky gave the pair an astounded yet not completely puzzled look. They always seemed to quarrelling. He had tried counseling the two before, but only for their working relationship, never for something like this. He finished his work fixing up the special agent's non-work related injury.
"There you are, Tony. As good as new," Ducky said, trying to distract at least one of the pair from their brutal staring contest, which was making him feel uncomfortable.
"Thanks, Ducky," Tony responded without breaking eye contact with Kate. Ducky wasn't eager to see who would win this stare-down, or whether it would ever end. "If I might suggest something…"
Both Tony and Kate turned to look at the medical examiner. Ducky knew that they liked him, but the look that they gave him was one of pure hatred and annoyance. He assumed that it was meant for each other, not for him. "A friend of mine is a very renowned couples' therapist. Perhaps I could mention something to her on your behalf?"
A/N: Suggestions for an ending would be helpful…