By Lizabeth S. Tucker
Timothy McGee dropped blindly into his seat, his face as pale as the paper he had been reading. A choked cough barely escaped him.
"What's up, McGoo?" Anthony DiNozzo glanced up with a smirk on his face, only to have the smile disappear. He got to his feet and looked around the room for a sign of danger. "What's wrong?"
"One…one of us…"
"One of us what?" Tony asked, moving closer to where his teammate sat.
In answer, McGee held the magazine out to him, the pages shuddering.
Tony took it, still looking at McGee in puzzlement. "What is got you all a flutter? Did the Enquirer reveal your lack of love life?"
"Just read it, Tony."
With a shrug, the older agent complied. It wasn't long before he came to the reason behind Tim's panic. He leaned against the desk, swallowing with effort. "I hadn't heard anything? Are we certain about this? I mean, this guy isn't usually that reliable."
"Yeah, that's what my first reaction was, but here's another paper with the same basic report."
Tony took the newly offered magazine and quickly scanned the contents. "Geez, not again." He looked up, two pairs of green eyes meeting. "Who?"
"I don't know. Doesn't look like anyone does." McGee looked across to where Ziva David was hard at work, used to ignoring the bickering and banter that went on between the two men unless she was in a mood to join them. "It has to be one of us. Are you sure you hadn't heard anything?"
"No, not a word." Tony ran his hand through his hair, the spiky ends becoming mussed. "Okay, okay, let's think about this. Based on what's here, we can limit the possibilities to about, what? Seven of us?"
"That's the way I see it. Yeah, it could be Palmer, but he's not out there, if you know what I mean."
"Sure, he's busy at medical school and stuff, so he's not always with Ducky." His eyes widened. "Oh, God, you don't think it could be Ducky, do you? I mean, there's his mother and everything."
"I…no, no, I hope not."
"What has got you two in a dizzy?" Ziva finally took note of the men.
"Dizzy?" Tony almost laughed. "Tizzy, not dizzy."
"So?" She slowly looked from Tony to Tim and back again. "Why are you both so upset?"
"Someone's leaving," Tim said.
"One of us is going to die," Tony said at the same moment.
"Yes? You knew?" Tony leaned forward, his eyes narrowed in suspicion.
"I cannot say. It is not my place to tell you."
"Ziva! C'mon, you can't keep this kind of thing a secret."
"If you were meant to know, you would. Since you do not, it is not my place to tell you." She flung her hands up before returning her attention back to the computer.
"Ziva knows, but we don't? I don't get that." Tony glared at the Israeli.
"She doesn't seem upset, so I don't think it could be her." Tim's mind was working, calculating the odds of each member of their team leaving.
"Okay, that's a good point. What about Gibbs? We almost lost him once before."
"Yeah, but wouldn't that be kinda like a repeat?"
"True. And I'm sure I heard him say something about looking forward to next year, that things were gonna be even better. So that has to mean that he's not…going anywhere."
"Unless he doesn't know."
"Oh, c'mon, something like that happening and Gibbs doesn't know about it? Never gonna happen." Tony reached over and popped McGee on the back of his head.
"Ouch." Tim rubbed the offended spot as Tony pulled his chair over to the desk.
"Let's consider Ducky. Would he really be killed off? I don't think the Autopsy Gremlin is ready to take over for Ducky, do you?"
"Not yet. But he is getting more and more like Ducky every day."
Tony chuckled at that fact. "Abby?"
Tim shook his head violently. "No way! She leaves and we don't have anyone to do the forensics stuff."
"She's not the only one down there. Is she?"
"No, not really. I've heard that there are others, but I've never actually seen them. There's no way she could do everything for all the agents here." They both popped up from their chairs to look at all the various special agents in the partitioned room. "Could she?"
"Well, she is Abby. And she does drink an awful lot of Caf-Pow!, so maybe she is the only lab rat."
Tim choked on a laugh. "You better make sure she doesn't hear you call her that."
"Are you kidding? Not a chance!" Tony's demeanor turned serious again. "So we're pretty certain that it's not Abby."
"I don't think it could be. She's hardly ever out of the lab, anyway."
"Doesn't seem to stop her from finding trouble."
"Well, you're right there, but I think we have to eliminate her from the hit list."
"So that leaves you, me, and…"
They exchanged relieved smiles. "I think we're safe, don't you?"
"Considering all the crap she's been doing the last couple of years, I think you're right. We don't have to worry about anything." Tim nodded confidently.
Their hearts lightened, the two men returned to work, unaware of the amused and very knowing smile on Ziva David's face.
A/N: After all the teasers and the like about what is going to happen this season, I kept having this story worming its way into my brain and refusing to leave.