Rating: K+ I guess
Spoilers: None as far as I know of...
Summary: The team's luck has finally run out, and they are forced to attend a sexual harassment conference.
Notes: For sammie28, who suggested that I finally send the team to a conference. :P It skips around a bit, but I'm rather happy with the final product. Hope you enjoy!
Disclaimer: The characters of NCIS do not belong to me. But Theodore Nicholas, along with Brad and Brenda are creations of my own mind. Scary huh?
"I can't believe we're actually going to one of these." Tony groaned, dragging behind the rest of the group, fiddling with his tie. "C'mon boss, there weren't any cases?" He waited a second for an answer and then prompted Gibbs again, "ANY?!?!"
"No DiNozzo." Gibbs snapped, not bothering to turn around. "The Director saw that we haven't attended a sexual harassment conference in three years and decided to yank any and all cases off our workload so that we could have the privilege of going to one of these things." His nose wrinkled in distaste at just the thought of the conference.
"They really aren't that bad." McGee piped up from between Gibbs and Kate. Tony and Gibbs both sent him death glares, and he looked at Kate for support.
"Lighten up you guys!" She laughed slightly. "You act like it's the end of the world."
Tony gazed mournfully at the door, looming in front of them. "It is." Kate rolled her eyes and shook her head. "Honestly Kate, have you even been to one of these?"
She pursed her lips, "No actually I haven't. I was sick the day that we had one in the Secret Service. We only had that one in the entire time I worked there. Sexual harassment wasn't really a problem I suppose…probably because I didn't work with pigs like you Tony."
Fixing her with the best puppy dog expression he could muster, Tony replied, "Well then you truly don't know the torture that is a sexual harassment conference." Gibbs shot him a look to promptly shut him up, as they reached the door to the conference room. There were rows of chairs lined up, all facing a large projection screen. The team quickly took four seats in the back, as Tony sighed heavily. "You know Gibbs; this is an eternity of my life that I will never get back."
"Shut up DiNozzo." He growled as a short stubby man with glasses approached the podium.
"Hello Special Agents of NCIS. I am Theodore Nicholas, and we're here to discuss a very grave and serious problem in the workplace." He paused a moment to push up his glasses and fiddle with the remote for the projector.
"Does he realize that grave and serious mean the same thing?" Tony muttered, slinking farther into his seat. All he received were glares from the agents around him, including his own team.
"Sexual harassment." Theodore continued as if there hadn't just been a monumentally large pause in his speech. A slide flashed up on screen with the words 'Sexual Harassment' in large, daunting letters. "Now for those of you who are sitting there, wondering what exactly sexual harassment is, let me enlighten you." He clicked the small remote in his hand, and another slide popped up. "Sexual harassment can be defined as unwelcome advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature, when submission to or rejection of this conduct explicitly or implicitly affects a person's employment, unreasonably interfered with a person's work, or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive working environment."
Tony yawned loudly which garnered another rounds of glares. Gibbs just rolled his eyes and Kate attempted to listen, but found her eyelids kept falling. Every so often McGee would nudge her, and she would jolt back up, flashing him a grateful grin. "Now, why don't we see what an example of sexual harassment might look like." Theodore continued in his monotone voice, changing the slide once again.
A video clip appeared on screen, with a pretty blonde woman standing at a photo-copier. A man in a goofy looking blue suit and yellow tie came up behind her and began talking. "Hey there Brenda."
Brenda turned around to find this man, soon to be named Brad, standing much too close to her. "Hello Brad."
"You look really sexy in that skirt." He flashed a lecherous grin in her direction, as Theodore paused the clip.
"Now see, Brad's first mistake was standing that close to Brenda." He pointed to the space between the two up on screen, just in case no one got what he was talking about. Tony snorted. "His second mistake was the very inappropriate comment that he made, referring to Brenda's skirt."
Kate tilted her head and appeared to examine the screen. "That's who he reminds me of!" She exclaimed quietly.
"What, old boyfriend Kate?" Tony asked, grinning.
She turned to him and smiled sweetly, "No, you Tony! Did you know that they were going to use you as an example?" Gibbs smirked as Tony stuck his tongue out at Kate.
"Now let's see what Brad should have done…"
The team was bored out of their minds by the time that Mr. Nicholas was finally done with the slideshow. Gibbs was nodding off, Tony was fiddling with his tie, Kate was routinely checking her PDA for anything, and McGee was shifting around in his seat uncomfortably. "Now then, why don't we put what we've learned into action?" He droned on. He made a gesture for the crowd to stand up.
"What are we doing now?" Kate hissed over in Gibbs's direction. He just smirked as Tony groaned.
"We're practicing what we learned Kate." McGee looked like he was going to cry. Tony turned pleading eyes to Gibbs. "You sure that there isn't any way to get us out of here Boss?"
"I could shoot you DiNozzo." He growled, straightening his coat. "But then we'd be leaving Kate and McGee here."
"Never let it be said that Gibbs doesn't believe in team unity." Tony grumbled, getting to his feet.
"Now, turn to the person on your right, and pretend as if you are Brad and they are Brenda." Tony glanced at McGee, who was sitting to his right.
"Great, just what I needed, the image of McGee in a skirt."
Kate sighed and turned to Gibbs, who was to her right. "Hi Brenda." She said sarcastically, shifting her weight from one foot to the other.
"Hi Brad." He replied, an odd spark of delight dancing in his eyes. She laughed, struck by this extremely odd situation.
"So…are we supposed to be doing what we're not supposed to be doing, or what we are supposed to be doing?" Kate tilted her head to the side, knowing that what she had just said didn't completely make sense, but hoping that Gibbs could decipher what she meant.
"Well, if you look at DiNozzo there…" Gibbs muttered, casting his glance over Kate's shoulder to their co-worker, who had an extremely evil look on his face and at poor McGee who was extremely red in the face. Kate could only imagine what Tony was saying to make the poor Probie so uncomfortable. "Actually, never use Tony as an example...for anything."
Kate giggled and nodded. "I think that if we were actually look up the definition of sexual harassment, it wouldn't be what Mr. Monopoly read us," Gibbs snorted, realizing that their dear Mr. Nicholas did uncannily look like the Monopoly man, "It'd be a picture of Tony." She smiled and managed to get a grin out of Gibbs. "So uh…Brenda. You…look nice today." She muttered, blushing for a reason that she didn't quite know.
"We're not standing far enough away from each other." He commented off-handedly and Kate rolled her eyes.
"Well if I move even a step back, I'll bump into McGee, and he's already going through enough." Kate replied, jutting her thumb back to her fellow agent.
"Why don't we switch roles? I'll be Brad, you be Brenda." Gibbs suggested. Kate nodded, and smiled as Gibbs sighed heavily and continued with their simulation. "Hello Brenda."
"Hello Brad. You're still standing too close to me." She remarked, a glint in her eyes. Gibbs glared at her, but she could tell that he didn't really mean it. He glanced behind and shrugged, turning back to her.
"If I scoot back anymore I'll run into the wall. Besides this is how close I always stand around you." Kate nodded, agreeing with the statement. But then her eyes lit up as she realized what he had just said.
"Although Gibbs…you don't stand this close to Tony or McGee unless you're intimidating them. But you always stand this close to me…" She trailed off, waiting for Gibbs to respond.
As if taking her statement as a challenge, Gibbs took a small step forward. "You smell nicer than Tony or McGee." He stated simply, as if his reply explained everything.
Kate smirked and took a cue from her boss, and took a small step forward herself. "I think that comment might have been considered sexual harassment Gibbs…" She murmured, smiling brightly.
Smirking, Gibbs shook his head and fixed his gaze on the petite brunette in front of him. "Was it unwelcome?" When Kate just smiled in reply and shrugged, while Gibbs' smirk grew. "Then it wasn't harassment."
"Um, excuse me?" Kate and Gibbs simultaneously rolled their eyes, as they heard the all too familiar nasally tone coming from behind Kate. They both turned their attention to Theodore, who they seemed to grab the attention of. "I think that you are standing too close to her, Special Agent…" He squinted at the name tag that they were all required to wear, "Gibbs."
"We're demonstrating what shouldn't be done." Kate quickly answered, turning briefly to Gibbs and smiling.
Mr. Nicholas nodded, but the confused expression on his face belied his true thinking. "Well…perhaps it might be more productive to practice what we learned in the video, not what we shouldn't be doing." He suggested uncertainly, as if he wasn't really sure himself.
Gibbs smirked and replied with a quick, "Perhaps." Mr. Nicholas moved away, and Kate and Gibbs waited until he was out of earshot to begin chuckling.
"Oh my God, I can see why Tony hates these things! It's absurd…" Kate managed to get out in between bouts of laughter. "I mean, probably half the things that they say are harassment is just normal behavior to us!" Gibbs just nodded as Kate continued. "But the thing is, we have the highest solve rate out of any of the teams here at NCIS. If you changed anything that we did…you'd be changing the team, and maybe what makes us work so well!"
Gibbs just nodded and chuckled. "I've been telling the Director that for years." Kate smiled and nodded, waiting for Gibbs to continue. "Why don't we just get this over with, maybe it'll make the time pass quicker."
"I want to thank you for your cooperation Agents. You've been a wonderful audience, and I hope that what you've learned here will help you create a great working environment here at NCIS." With that last statement, the team was finally released from the seemingly unending purgatory that they had been stuck in for the past five hours.
As they walked out the door, Tony gave a loud cheer of excitement, pumping his fist into the air. "YES! I wasn't sure if we'd make it out alive, but we did." He slapped McGee on the back and turned to Gibbs. "And now it's five o'clock, so I'm out of here Boss. See you tomorrow!" Kate just shook her head as Tony bounded down the stairs, and gathered up his things.
McGee shot a look over to Gibbs, silently asking him if it was alright that he left too. Gibbs nodded, and McGee made a detour to the elevator, no doubt heading down to Abby's lab. This left Kate and Gibbs walking down to the squad room on their own.
Kate gathered her things at her desk and was about to leave when she felt Gibbs approach her from behind. "You know," Gibbs intoned from behind her, his low voice rumbling quietly in her ear. "I've been meaning to tell you all day that you look really nice in that skirt."
She giggled at first, but then realized just how close he was to her. She bit her lip slightly and straightened, bringing herself into further contact with the man standing behind her. "Thanks Gibbs." Bravely, she turned around and looked up at him, cocking her head to the side slightly. She brought her hands up to rest on his coat, smoothing his lapels slightly. "I've been meaning to tell you that this is my favorite coat on you."
He smiled softly down at her, and her gaze focused up on him. Slowly, she leaned up and into him, bringing their lips almost together. He moved the scant inch that still stood between them, closing the oh-so-small gap, and began kissing her softly. She sighed softly, something that didn't escape Gibbs' attention, as he pressed against her with just a little more force. Eventually though, they both realized that they were still standing in the squad room and slowly separated.
Kate licked her lips, and dared a glance up at Gibbs. She smiled softly up at him, and slipped away from him, grabbing her purse and coat. He turned and watched her move around and the corner of his mouth lifted as she turned to him once more. She placed a gentle hand on his arm, and a soft but lustful kiss at the corner of his mouth. "Night Gibbs."
With that she made her way towards the elevator, leaving Gibbs standing in front of her desk. He chuckled slightly to himself, bringing his hand up to where her mouth was just seconds before. "Night Katie." He murmured, as he went around to his own desk, gathering up his things.
"I can't believe that we had to go to another one of these things Boss. Didn't we just go to one?" Tony complained, trailing behind Gibbs, with McGee beside him.
"There was one six months ago Tony, but we were working on the Tomlinson case. The Director ordered us to this one. So we haven't been to one in a year." Gibbs replied, striding towards the conference room door once more.
"Yeah, you just don't mind going after what happened at the last one." Tony mumbled, making his comment to McGee. A slight smirk appeared on McGee's face before realizing what was coming. He quickly shook the expression away just in time to see Gibbs spin around and slap Tony across the head.
"Shut it DiNozzo." He growled.
Tony and McGee continued to follow their boss to the conference room. They were about to ask the boss-man why the fourth member of their team was lucky enough to skip the conference, when she suddenly appeared by Gibbs' side. "Sorry I'm late, caught in traffic. You know how I just love these sexual harassment conferences." She muttered, the biting and sarcastic tone obvious to even the most clueless person.
Gibbs smirked and just continued to walk, to what Tony still viewed as their impending doom. Kate tossed a saccharine sweet smile at Tony as they reached the door to the conference room, and Gibbs opened up the door, taking a glance inside before reluctantly walking in.
Tony grumbled and made a face as he walked part Kate, who was holding the door open. Her engagement ring sparkled as she stepped inside the room.