Tony was sitting at his desk, contemplating his existence, when he heard a strange noise coming from above his head

Tony was sitting at his desk, contemplating his existence, when he heard a strange noise coming from above his head. He looked up, but could see nothing out of place. He felt the first stirrings of fear in his heart, but tried to ignore them, squeezing his eyes tightly and shaking his head frantically.

"DiNozzo! Stop…whatever the hell it is you're doing."

"Yes, Boss." Tony looked back at his computer to avoid Gibbs' Stare o' Death. He had almost forgotten the strange noise until it happened again. He looked up involuntarily, cringing slightly.

"I never realized the ceiling was so fascinating, Tony." Ziva smiled as she strolled into the bullpen. McGee was behind her, and joined Tony in his examination of the area above their heads.

"I'm hearing voices again."

Tony's words brought a halt to all activity in the immediate vicinity. Gibbs rose slowly. "Are you sure?"

This time there was no mistaking it. A loud peel of laughter burst forth from over their heads. It was brief, but maniacal, with a tinge of desperation.

The reaction was instantaneous. McGee dove under his desk, Ziva pulled out her knife and crouched in a defensive position, Gibbs threw his phone across the room, and Tony –

Tony just sighed in resignation. "Again?"

His comment was addressed to the ceiling, which was odd, but even odder was the reply he got back from said ceiling.

"Sorry. Did you miss me?"

"About as much as I miss the plague." Tony heard a gasp from Ziva, and remembered to whom he was talking. "Oh, crap. I didn't mean that. You're not going to use that against me, are you?"

"Hmm…it's a good idea, but a bit overdone. No, I think you're off the hook for plague."

The entire bullpen relaxed into a collective sigh of relief. Tony looked annoyed as he gazed on his team. "I don't know what you're so happy about. She never goes after you."

"That's not true! McGee almost died that one time."

"He was a footnote! I actually did die!"

"Oh, yeah. You didn't die in the other one, though."

"I had to watch Tom Selleck dance with a skeleton. There is no greater pain."

"Stop being such a grouch. You know I love you."

"If you love me, why do you torture me?"

"Ooo…torture. Haven't done that with you, yet."

"Stop getting ideas! Don't you remember what happened last time?"

"I certainly do." A new figure stepped into the bullpen. He was tall, dressed in fatigues, and was wearing a rakish grin. "John Sheppard. Nice to meet you."

"Hey! Crossover, I like it."

"Oh, so you're actually going to write something for me again?"

"I just did a one-shot!"

"What about us?" Two more people had joined the small crowd that was now forming. They looked nothing alike, but introduced themselves as brothers. "Don and Charlie Eppes."

"What do you want?"

"You stopped writing after Don's funeral. You can't end it there!"

"I did? Oh yeah. I forgot about you guys."

"That was obvious." The shorter one had picked up Ziva's calculator and was muttering something about fractals.

"Seriously, what about me?" John asked. "You haven't written anything about me in months."

"I have a huge story planned for you. It's not my fault that last episode pissed me off. I can't write about you without getting angry again. I'd probably just kill you."

"Why are you spending time with these people when you could be writing about your favorite?" Tony was getting annoyed. Who were these people? And how did they get here?

"Magic. Anyway, are you sure you want me to write about you? I do have a couple ideas, but since you were complaining about the last ones…"

"What, am I dying again?"

"Well…I haven't actually decided yet."

"Can I put in a vote for 'no'?"

"Sure, but you don't have much say in the matter."

"Hey, what about what iggywaffle wanted you to write?"

"Oh, the crossover with Bones? Yeah, I can just picture Abby meeting up with Hodgins – but I can't write it because I haven't been keeping up with Bones. And in all honesty, I'm only halfway through season two of Numb3rs, Don. So you're just gonna have to stay dead for now."

"Okay, so back to me." Tony wasn't trying to sound like an annoying four-year-old – "Hey!" – but ancientmaverick was getting tired of his whining.

"Fine. I'll finish your story. But I still haven't decided whether you live or die."

"I'm still voting for-"

"Living, yeah, got that. Either way, I'm throwing in an extra seizure."

John clapped a hand across Tony's mouth to keep him from digging himself into a larger hole. "What about the rest of us?"

"I actually have some more one-shot ideas for you. And I'm thinking about writing something for Lorne. He's been pretty lonely lately. Don, Charlie, I'll get to you when I can. I've got finals coming up, so you can distract me then. Tony, you need to be patient. I'm thinking three weeks before I have enough to go on. Now go to lunch and bitch about me elsewhere. I've got work to do."

The crowd slowly dwindled, leaving in twos and threes. Tony and John hit it off right away and were already talking about a new club they wanted to check out. Charlie and McGee were jabbering away about formulas and equations as Don looked on in pain. He was rescued by Ziva, who made him brighten considerably after she whispered something in his ear. Gibbs disappeared.

For the next five minutes, the only sounds that could be heard were quiet cursing as fingers danced across the keyboard. The quiet was disturbed by the ding of the elevator and a loud popping noise. A tall boy with messy hair glanced around as he was joined by an older man with glasses and a desperately handsome face.

"Did I miss the meeting?" asked the older man. "I'm Daniel Jackson. I have a sudden urge to drop dead."

"Er…" answered the boy. "Sure. I'm Harry. Harry Potter."

"You've got to be kidding me!"

AN: I know, I know. Here's my problem. Can't decide what to tackle first. It figures, I get some extra time, and the muse deserts me. Oh well.