DISCLAIMER: I make no claims to NCIS or the random, variously-inserted moments of Monty Python's Holy Grail. Also, it's entirely possible that I make no claims to this story at all, because it's rather embarrassing.
- - - - -
Gibbs cuffed the suspect, who was busy yelling that Tony's father was a hamster and his mother smelt of elderberries, and Tony was beginning to wish that he had never left Baltimore.
He gingerly touched his scorched eyebrows. The suspect had switched to singing about how he was a lumberjack, and he was okay. Gibbs had never, ever warned him about this. Tony began to feel slightly betrayed and decided that if he had to look like he'd been struck by lightning, he was at least allowed to whine about it in a manly fashion.
"Why the hell does this always happen to us?"
McGee said something in geek about statistical probability that loosely translated into a huffy, "Why does this always happen to us?" and also, "Dammit, I have scorch-marks on my shiny new tie. I knew I should have stayed home and played Dungeon and Dragons."
Gibbs said something in Marine that meant, "Would the two of you shut up for once and act like federal agents instead of twelve-year-olds?"
Oh, wait, that was actually what he said.
Marine was relatively easy to translate.
Suspect: "It's only a flesh wound!"
"Listen, we get it," Tony said. "We do. You like Monty Python. That's cool. I have the special edition of Holy Grail, too. But if you don't shut up, I'm going to let the nice man with the bad haircut break your jaw. See, he's never really understood British comedy."
McGee stared at him, which Tony equated to, "Oh my God, this is almost as cool as that time I saw The Matrix in IMAX."
"I wish I could have seen The Matrix in IMAX," Tony said wistfully.
Kate said something in smug. Tony was rusty in smug, but he thought it came out to approximately, "Men can't resist movies with leather and guns. Also, your new hair gel makes you smell like a wet Labrador and your shoes aren't as shiny as usual. I, on the other hand, look perfect. And I will never, ever sleep with you."
He thought that was unfair. His shoes were just as shiny as hers.
Gibbs managed to indicate that Tony was right about him not understanding British comedy by bringing his face an inch away from the suspect's and essentially saying, "I respect our differences of opinion in entertainment, and while I do have the ability to forcibly restrain you, I choose instead to only ask you to cease your entirely irrelevant Monty Python quotes, because I am a reasonable man."
Only he yelled it, and he yelled it in Marine. It was a lot scarier in Marine.
He could take a course in Marine and scare McGee - - nah, too much work. He was managing perfectly well at keeping McGee on his toes in English. Besides, he needed to walk the fine line between a McGee who feared/respected him and one who just hated him. It was difficult. It required finesse. And also shiny shoes.
McGee had shiny shoes, too.
"McGee," he said, "you have shiny shoes."
McGee frowned at him. "It's okay, Tony," he said soothingly.
Wait, he couldn't have gotten that one right. Maybe something about a Star Trek convention? Seven of Nine? McGee had an authentic Empire Strikes Back movie poster?
Tony was still trying to figure out of he'd misheard geek as English when Gibbs came back into view, looking very un-Gibbs-like. He inquired after Tony's health in Marine by pointing at him and raising his eyebrows, and Tony tried to reply back in Marine (because it was only polite to use someone else's native language, if you could) by shrugging, but his shoulders didn't seem to be working at his command.
Also, the world was kind of flipped over.
Maybe the world was speaking Monty Python, like their suspect. It was a valid theory.
"Hey, boss," he said. "The world's gone all . . . slidey."
"You got hit on the head in the explosion, remember?" Kate said, in what was surprisingly English, just like McGee, and her voice was soft, and she didn't seem to be implying that she was never going to sleep with him. "We called an ambulance. It'll be here soon, but just rest for right now." She hesitated, looked as if she might pat him on the shoulder, and then sighed and added in smug, "I dislike your sexist attitudes and the way you stare at my legs whenever I wear a skirt."
"You have nice calves," Tony said.
She blinked at him. "Gibbs, I think he's delirious."
"What, you didn't get that when he was talking about the Matrix and shiny shoes?" McGee said irritably. He switched over to repressed male for a minute so Kate wouldn't understand and muttered, "Anyway, you do have nice calves."
The suspect shouted something about strange women lying in ponds, distributing swords.
"I want to go back to Baltimore," Tony said in a small voice. "People just got shot in Baltimore. And most of them spoke English."
Gibbs sighed. "You're right. He's out of it."
Tony tried to respectfully suggest that he felt just fine in Marine, but Kate told him to watch his language. He tried geek, even though he didn't usually like conceding to a working knowledge of McGee's particular dialect. Still, if he got his point across to McGee, McGee could convey it to everyone else.
"McGee," he said carefully, not wanting to screw up his pronunciation, "tell them that I might have cleared my hard-drive, but there's still the imprint of everything underneath and full system recovery is starting." He thought about karma and added an "I wish you good health" in geek: "I hear the latest ComCon tickets are cheap on E-bay."
Gibbs and Kate looked at each other and said, "Definitely delirious," just as McGee said, "Hey, that actually kind of made sense! . . . Or, um, not. Delirious. Right."
This was bad. He was losing his language facilities. Maybe he was dying.
The least he could do was say goodbye.
"Hey, boss," he said, "I'm sorry about that time I spilled your coffee. Kate, I'm sorry about all the times I looked through your purse. McGee, I'm sorry about . . . pretty much our entire working relationship. Anyway - - semper fi, go with God, and live long and prosper."
Then he kind of blacked out.
- - - - -
"So how did you know that I was delirious?" Tony asked, eating Jell-O. It was blue-flavored, but still managed to taste vaguely lilac. "I mean, did I start talking about seeing Santa Claus or having embarrassing childhood flashbacks or something?"
"You told McGee his shoes were shiny, cursed out Gibbs, and said you liked my calves." Kate took a bite of his blue Jell-O and made a face. "Then you talked to McGee about a comic convention and made some kind of speech that no one understood."
"But you seemed sincere," McGee said.
"Oh yeah," Gibbs said, raising his eyebrows. "It was very impressive, Dinozzo. I really liked some of the remarks you made about my mother."
"Oh. Sorry, boss."
Gibbs only looked at him, which could have meant anything. Still, didn't he remember that Gibbs had been worried about him being delirious? They hadn't really been communicating all that well, what with Gibbs speaking Marine and Tony speaking head injury, but he thought he could distinctly recall that Gibbs had been worried.
McGee and Kate had been worried, too.
He felt unexpectedly mushy and coughed to cover it up. "You know, this explains a lot. The whole time, I thought there we had this cuffed suspect yelling Monty Python quotes."
"Oh, there was," Kate said.
"You got him to shut up, though," McGee said. "Twice, even. The second time, he was yelling while we trying to get you into the ambulance and you woke up, shouted something a moose and credits, and passed out again."
"And when Abby came to see you earlier, you talked to her for fifteen minutes straight about the history of Vlad the Impaler."
"Are you saying that I got hit on the head and started speaking in tongues?"
"Granting the interpretation, yes," Kate said.
"And there was a suspect that kept quoting Python."
"And I got blown up."
"There was a bomb in this fake Holy Grail," Kate said.
"And that was pretty much our day, right?"
"Seemed to be it, yeah," Gibbs said.
"God help us," Tony said, and took another bite of not-quite-blue Jell-O, but he was smiling, and kind of glad that he hadn't stayed in Baltimore.