Title: Getting To Know You
Author: CruorLuna (Alison)
Rating: T, for now. May change later!
Category: NCIS: Naval Criminal Investigative Service
Genre: Humour, slight romance
Pairings: At the moment, none, as such, but probably Jibbs (Jen/Gibbs) in later chapters, and slight hints of Abby/McGee
Characters: Gibbs, Jen, Tony, Ziva, Abby, McGee, Ducky, Jimmy
Summary: Abby wants the team to spend some 'quality time' together. Abby being Abby, this results in the investigators and co playing a truth telling game in Gibbs' basement. The past will be revealed, truths told, and surprises are in store for everyone concerned.
Disclaimer: I don't own NCIS or the characters. Shocked? You really, really shouldn't be. I'd start worrying if I were you …
A/N: This is just a bit of nonsense that floated up from my subconscious, and I thought I'd write it down and see how it looked. It's really just my thoughts on the characters' pasts, and if anyone's slightly OOC, then I apologise – just how I see it. Anyway, it's all meant in good fun, and I admit I've borrowed a small section in this first chapter from s3ep1 'Kill Ari – Part I,' but it's not intended to be plagiarised. I just loved that scene and thought it led in well to the rest of the fic, and I changed it very slightly. Reviews are always appreciated if you enjoy my madness, and feel free to make suggestions too! Enjoy :)
"This is so cool, Gibbs. I mean, seriously. Couldn't you just sleep in here?"
"I have done," Jethro confessed with a laugh. Abby Scuito always amused him with her quirky ways, and tonight was no exception. The team had gathered in his basement, the only room in his home he could feel relaxed, for some off-the-record bonding time. Abby had been pushing the idea for months, and now that Kate was gone and they had a new team member to welcome, she insisted that now was the best time to do it. Jethro wasn't generally the most sociable of men, but he couldn't deny that it made sense to make Ziva feel comfortable around them. What he didn't understand at first was why it had to be in his home, but then it hit him: the others had probably all been to one another's houses many times already.
"Where are all your tools?" Ziva David, the newest recruit to their NCIS team, asked with a frown, circling the framework curiously.
"Over there." Jethro pointed to his workbench where the majority of his tools were laid out, and Ziva followed his gaze. He knew she was unaccustomed to American ways, and he with his eccentric habits probably wasn't helping things. But it was fun for him.
"Hand tools?" Jimmy Palmer quailed under the look Jethro shot him across the room. Ducky had dragged his poor assistant along in an attempt to integrate him into the group, but Jethro found teasing him too entertaining to stop, and it seemed DiNozzo enjoyed doing the same, so the poor bloke really had no chance.
"I think it'd be so cool to sleep in a boat," Abby enthused, repeating her sentiments for the tenth time in as many minutes. "Well, in a framework, I mean."
"Yeah, but you sleep in a coffin," Tony DiNozzo pointed out. Abby threw a potato chip at him in response. She, Tony, Tim McGee and Ducky were all seated inside the framework, leaning against the wooden beams for support, and Ziva and Jimmy stood outside it, watching them all as though they were crazy. Leroy Jethro Gibbs himself also sat under his canopy of wood, at the head of the group. Surrounding them were empty beer bottles and chip packets, despite the fact that they'd only been there half an hour.
"Did you hear that?" McGee asked suddenly, sitting up straighter. Jethro cocked his ear, having clocked the disturbance upstairs as well. He heard the clicking of shoes, presumably ladies' heels, across the kitchen tiles, followed by the sound of the fridge opening and then closing a moment later. The footsteps then grew closer, and he didn't even have to turn around to know the surprise guest had appeared at the top of the stairs.
"Still don't lock your door, Jethro?"
"And the beer's still in the same place, as you've obviously discovered, Jen," he responded. He ignored the stunned glances of everyone around him, excluding Ducky, as the newly appointed Director of NCIS descended Jethro's basement staircase, beer bottle in hand. Jenny Shepard greeted Ziva with a brief hug, the two being old friends, and then climbed easily between two beams to Jethro's side. He was mildly surprised to see her in jeans and a t-shirt, but didn't let it show. She met his eye and smiled slightly, before shooting a displeased look at Tony, who was sitting just to Jethro's right.
"DiNozzo!" Jethro barked, knowing exactly what her point was. The younger man looked up at him, surprised, and Jethro jerked his head. "Move."
"What?" Tony asked, appearing bemused and half-laughing. Jethro raised his eyebrows.
"Move," he repeated more slowly, as if DiNozzo were dense. "That's Jen's seat."
"Oh, sorry, Madam Director," Tony apologised, still looking utterly perplexed as he got up and moved around to sit with McGee and Abby. Jen shot Jethro an amused glance and a wink as she settled herself at his right hand, between him and Ducky. The others all looked between themselves, seemingly shocked into silence at this new development, but Jen barely seemed to notice, or if she did, she ignored it.
"Is this the same boat you were building six years ago?" she asked curiously, cracking open her beer bottle and looking up at Jethro. He took a swig of his own and shook his head.
"Nope." He was in no mood to share.
"What happened to it?" Apparently, she wanted him to share.
"Why?" Jen asked, looking surprised. DiNozzo and Abby also shot him stunned looks, but Ducky merely shook his head and looked at his feet. Jethro glanced sideways at Jen, and saw her eyes light up with realisation. "You named it after an ex-wife." It wasn't a question. "Which one?"
"You know damn well which one," he snapped, uncomfortable with the fact that Tony, McGee, Abby, Ziva and Palmer, of all people, were all listening in on this conversation.
"You could have just changed the name," Jen pointed out, seeming to be enjoying herself far too much. He rolled his eyes.
"Wouldn't have mattered. Every time I went out on her I would have thought of Diane."
"Why not sell it, then?" she pushed. He scoffed a little at that one.
"And watch someone else sail off on her? Not likely."
"You didn't care who sailed off on Diane," she bit back. He laughed aloud at that one – he could hardly deny it, after all, and he had missed Jen's sense of humour. Ducky also let out an appreciative snort, and everyone else just looked confused, and also slightly impressed by Jen's daring.
"Fair call," Jethro admitted, raising his beer bottle. Jen clinked hers against his with a laugh.
"Cheers," she replied. "So, any particular reason we're all here, then?"
"Well, everyone else was invited," he said pointedly. "You, I don't know about."
"Gatecrashing," she countered smoothly. "I overheard that this was where you were all congregating and I thought I'd join in the fun. You know I always like to surprise you. That said, it looks like 'fun' was a little too hopeful on my part."
"Stick around, maybe it'll be my turn to surprise you next," he teased.
"I won't hold my breath."
"Oh, I have an idea!" Everyone turned towards Abby, who sat up on her knees, looking even more pleased with herself than usual. She gestured for Jimmy and Ziva to join them inside the boat, which they finally did after much shuffling around and muttering.
"All right, Abs, what's your idea?" Jethro asked eventually, once everyone was settled.
"Why don't we play a game of 'getting-to-know-you'?" she asked smugly. She was greeted by blank faces all around, and she rolled her eyes. "You all need to get out more," she informed them tartly. "All right, well, it's sort of like playing Truth – you know, as in Truth or Dare? – except it's much more fun, and you learn more about each other. We all take it in turns to ask a question and then everyone has to answer it, including the person who asked it."
"Sounds like torture," Jethro commented dryly.
"Sounds like fun," Jimmy said, looking excited.
"Yeah? All right, Jimmy!" Abby grinned and high-fived the nervous man. "Okay, so we have two so far – who else is up for it?"
"Count me out," Jethro said, leaning back.
"What?! Come on, Gibbs!" Abby pouted. "It'll be great!"
"What if we each get a free pass?" Jen interjected. Seven pairs of eyes swivelled towards her, and she raised her eyebrows. "What?!" she demanded defensively. "You don't think I've ever played Truth before? Directors were young once too, you know."
"I'm intrigued," Tony said, his tone mischievous. Jethro and Jen shot him identical warning looks, and he blanched. "Sorry, boss, sorry, Madam Director."
"Don't call me Madam," Jen said, rolling her eyes. "I'm not that old yet."
"So, what's a free pass?" McGee asked, looking between Jen and Abby, clearly as lost as Jethro felt. At least he could use his age as an excuse.
"Oh, sorry," Abby grinned. "It means if we really, really don't want to answer a question, we get to skip it. But we have to answer everything else. One free pass each sounds fair, but I will not agree to more than one. No fun."
"All right, I'll play," DiNozzo shrugged. "I'll probably be using my free pass on your question, though, Abs."
"Don't be so boring, Tony!"
"I'm in too," McGee said with a brisk nod, obviously not wanting to lose face in front of Abby. Jethro smirked to himself, wondering how long it would take for him to admit how deeply he cared for her.
"I'm always up for a laugh," Jen agreed. Once again everybody stared at her, and she rolled her eyes. "This could get tedious really fast."
"All right, Director!" Abby smirked, reaching over and wringing Jen's hand. Jen half-smiled, looking a little surprised, and shot Jethro a questioning look. He half-laughed and shrugged slightly, taking another drink.
"Ziva, you in?" Tony pressed the Israeli, who was still surveying them all with one eyebrow raised. Obviously she thought they were absolutely mental.
"I am not sure I completely understand the rules," she said slowly. "But I will try."
"Ducky?" Abby grinned, turning to the older man. He sighed a little, looking around him at all the grinning faces.
"Oh, all right, why not?" he conceded eventually. "I suppose there's no harm in it."
"What doesn't kill you only makes you stronger, Doctor," Jimmy pointed out, and Ducky shot his assistant a withering look.
"Very encouraging, thank you, Mr Palmer," he said dryly.
"So, Gibbs, that just leaves you," Abby said somewhat ominously. Jethro felt every eye in the room turn towards him, and he made a great show of looking at the join in the wood above his head. He would have to plane that down later.
"Come on, boss, what could it hurt?" DiNozzo added.
"Yeah, boss, it could be fun," McGee chimed in. Jethro looked first at him then back at Tony, and they both clamped their mouths shut. They had learned well.
"Is there something wrong with the game, Agent Gibbs?" Ziva questioned uncertainly. He continued to examine his handiwork silently, but then of course she felt the need to join in the ambush.
"Oh, come on, Jethro," Jen said persuasively. "No secrets between colleagues. Besides, unless you have something to hide, it shouldn't matter." He shot her a sideways glance, and she smirked almost imperceptibly. She knew he could never resist a challenge.
"Fine," he said shortly, and Abby and Tony let out great whoops of approval.
"All right!" Abby exclaimed. "All right, uh, who wants to go first?"
A/N2: Ooooh, wonder who's going to go first?? Okay I don't wonder at all, because I know ... any guesses? :P
So what did you think? Absolutely crazy, really random, just plain ridiculous? I'd love to know. I'd also like to hear your suggestions for some of the mad questions and answers we could get, as I'm nowhere near finished them all yet! Thanks loads for reading, and let me know if you liked it!