Disclaimer: I own NCIS, but only if we're counting the third season DVDs, which we totally should.
Spoilers: Everything through the end of the fourth season, straight up to the final phoof.
Summary: This picks up where the season finale left us, for all intents and purposes. In terms of plot? The title and the fact that I'm a Tiva shipper should really tell you where it's all going. It's crack!fic! so don't get hung up on the OOCness. It's just some post-season venting. McGee is the only sane one left, but, among other things, I'm sure we can all agree that Ziva isn't normally a drunken six-year old. My justification is if you're going to do it up crazy, you owe it to yourself to do it up crazy. The sheer ridiculousness of the blimp really provided the inspiration for the insanity.
Unlike everything else I write in multi-chapter form, this fic is complete and will be posted one chapter per day for seven days, assuming I remember to post each day.
McGee trudged up the hall toward his apartment, exhausted from his long night of shady activities. Hacking with Gibbs hovering in his general vicinity had been enough to shake his nerves for the next month at least. He was looking forward to sleeping into the afternoon and working on the ending of Rock Hollow over the rest of the weekend.
He wasn't even sure he'd have time to hit the Burberry store for a stylish new undershirt to wear to his polygraph. He didn't quite understand the appeal of the plaid, but it would be worth the investment, just in case he needed a jumping off point for a conversation with an attractive young polyographer. She would say, 'Nice undershirt. Is that Burberry?' and he would reply, 'Yes. Would you like to go to dinner with a guy who wears high-end undergarments?' and she, naturally, would shake her head and claim to be married, engaged, or deeply engrossed in plans for washing her hair.
He arrived at his own door with a grateful sigh. Things would be back to normal after a good few hours of…figuring out why his door was unbolted. Instantly on alert, he drew his weapon and stepped carefully into the apartment. Treading carefully, he cleared the kitchen and living room, working his way toward some odd noises emanating from the bedroom.
A suspicious trail of red led from the sofa to the closed door. He shuddered at the thought of what he could possibly find in his bedroom – a crazed fan who'd acted out a crime scene in his hero's residence? A homeless person who'd somehow gotten in and vomited on the carpet before crawling off to the bedroom to die? McGee glanced over the couch to confirm the odor and saw that someone had indeed befouled his living room rug.
He took a deep breath and pushed the bedroom door open, aiming his gun and shouting, "I'm a federal agent! Whatever sick…" He stopped abruptly as he saw a gun was pointed back at him.
"Why the hell are you in my apartment, McGee?"
He kept his weapon leveled, not sure that this was a safer turn of events than finding a maniac sleeping in his bed. "Ziva?"
"Not so loud!" she moaned, tucking her own gun under the pillow. She reached for a bottle lying on its side in a red pool beside the bed and took a long swallow.
McGee grimaced as he realized it was the Chianti he'd been saving for a special occasion. "What are you doing in my apartment?"
She sat up, looking at him curiously. "Your apartment? Well, that would explain why my keys weren't working. And the cheap red wine."
"Overpriced stale grape juice? Tell me about it." She swung her legs over the side of the bed, placing her bare feet squarely in the damp red stain. "Yeah, just send me the bill for the carpet cleaners."
He was unable to formulate an appropriate response as she sauntered past him, offering him a swig from the bottle she was toting as she did so. He followed her to the kitchen, where she turned on the tap in the sink and leaned her head under it. He scratched his head uncomfortably. "Are you feeling all right?"
"Timmy, you know the best cure for a hangover?" She whipped her hair around, smacking him in the face with heavy wet tendrils.
She held up the half-empty wine bottle. "Get drunk again!" After a few healthy swallows to finish it off, she dropped the bottle on the floor and threw her arm around his shoulders. "Unless you're hiding something good in your cabinets, let's hit some bars!"
"It's nine in the morning, Ziva," he said, quietly extricating himself from her grip, lest her Moussad training kick in and cause her to snap his neck for opposing her suggestion.
"Oh. Well, liquor store, then. You can drive." She grabbed the set of keys on the counter and tossed them in his general direction. "My car is…parked somewhere. It'll turn up, I'm sure. Now what did I do with my gun?"
Jenny Shepard stared at the footage playing on her large flat screen TV with narrowed eyes, hatred evident in her icy glare. As the scene progressed, she muttered, "Oh, you think you're clever, Mr. The Frog, but I will get you. You can't hide behind costumes that don't fool anyone. It's only a matter of time before you make the wrong move or your snotty pig girl gets sick of you and turns you in. Enjoy your singing and dancing while you still can."
She continued to mutter under her breath as Cynthia delivered a fresh cup of coffee. The intensity with which she watched the screen prevented her from thanking her assistant. She increased the volume, writing rapidly as she wrote down some of the details of the plot unfolding on the video.
For her part, Cynthia closed the door quietly behind herself and returned to her desk. After completing some interagency memoranda, her fingers automatically dialed a number on the phone. After one ring, the line connected. "Good morning, FBI Director Simpson's office…"
"Hey, Melinda, it's Cynthia."
"Oh, hey. How are things over at NCIS?"
"Shepard's mumbling to herself and watching The Great Muppet Caper again."
"She's still on that crazy frog obsession?"
"Yeah. I'm not going to worry unless she stops signing my timesheet. So how was your date last night?"
Gibbs followed two bobbing pigtails down the sidewalk, increasing his pace to catch Abby as she arrived at the door of DC Blend. "You working today, Abs?"
"Gibbs!" She gave him a rib-crushing hug before entering the shop. "More like all night. The Director had me in analyzing dead people's fingerprints on bottles of Scotch. What are you doing here?"
He gestured to the long line of customers they had just joined. "I could tell you, but I'd have to kill everyone in here that overheard me."
She gave him a happy grin. "Aw, it's sweet that you changed the way people usually say that. I can wait til we get back to the elevator, I suppose."
"It's a date. We can go Dutch – you can tell me what you were up to for Jen."
"Consider it done, oh yet-to-be-caffeinated one!"
He bowed at the waist. "Now all we need is for this line to move faster."
Tony smiled uncomfortably as the sleek black limousine sped through the streets with Jeanne and her proud papa chatting merrily on the rear bench seat. He'd tried to unobtrusively reach into his pocket to send a text message to Jenny several times, but each time he had been thwarted by a poorly timed question from one Benoit or the other. Why did an arms dealer even have an opinion on Bertolucci?
Apart from films, the conversation vacillated between Jeanne's wistful recitation of the selling points of the hideous home she was so dead set on buying and her father's none-too-subtle hints about the potential for marriage and grandchildren. Whenever her father spoke, Jeanne would look pleadingly at Tony, as if begging him to propose right then and there. His only rational thought was, Not in this lifetime, lady.
He tried not to absorb the words and smile as La Grenouille asked his daughter questions. "This house, does it have a yard where the children can play?"
"Oh, papa, Tony and I haven't even discussed how many children we want! I suppose we'll have to move after the second baby, but the little house has a wonderful, sunny room that we could convert into a nursery for the first one."
"But you will not have children until you are married, of course."
"I hope not, Papa, but surprises do happen!" She gave Tony a wink and a thin-lipped grin.
He felt like he was on the verge of having to claim he was carsick when the limo turned into the gate of a private airfield. His fingers tightened around the phone in his pocket as he tried to spell out a coherent message. Trying both to distract from the activity of his busy hands and obtain information, he asked, "Are we going somewhere by plane? Because I didn't pack any clothes and I have a class to teach on Monday."
La Grenouille chortled. "Oh, no, no, no, Professor. You have nothing to worry about. I merely thought we would all go for a pleasant ride in my new airship."
He pointed out the window and Tony turned and saw a massive silver dirigible, with a giant winking frog emblazoned on the side. Jeanne laughed loudly. "Oh, Papa, how charming! Maybe we can fly over the house Tony's so reluctant to buy for me!"
"Anything for you, my dear," her father replied, following her out of the car as it stopped alongside the blimp.
Tony stepped out of the limo last, wondering if he should ask if they were going to the Super Bowl.