Disclaimer - I do not own NCIS.
Warning - Contains spanking, don't like, don't read - Step away from the story now!
Tim McGee's face paled progressively as he stood in front of Gibbs getting the mother of all dressings down for not following through on a lead as quickly as Gibbs wanted him to.
"While you are sitting on your God-damned ass, playing with hard drives and crypto whats-it's, there's a Petty Officer lying on a slab downstairs and his murderer is walking the streets, looking for their next victim!"
McGee's mouth flapped, "B..boss, it's just taking a little longer than I expected to cross-check the algorithms and create a referencing match to the data from the hard drive, when I've done..."
"I don't care, McGee! I want that information and I want it before you leave here tonight or you'll regret it!"
Gibbs stormed off towards the elevator, heading towards the lab, to deliver a similar stinging verbal attack to Abby about DNA results.
Tim's shoulders sagged as Gibbs left and he let out a huge sigh, "We have to do something Tony, we really do. It's getting really, really difficult to cope with him, when he's like this."
Tony narrowed his eyes with discomfort as he lifted himself from his chair and instinctively rubbed his backside. He had pretty much been keeping himself quiet after his 'meeting' with Gibbs earlier that morning. The boss hadn't taken too kindly to his 'shooting hoops' with items of stationery into Ziva's trash can and had intercepted what was going to be a direct hit with a stapler just as he bounded back into the bullpen, coming from the coffee shop. One spilled coffee cup, one stained shirt and one bruised elbow later, Tony had found himself in the all too familiar position of closely inspecting the shine on the conference room table while Gibbs let his belt explain difference between a place of work and a basketball court.
"I know, Probie. I think the time has come for us to consider drastic action" he winced.
"Uh...drastic action...what are you talking about here?"
"My gut instinct says something about drugging him and packing him off to Mexico to spend a few weeks with Mike Franks, let him sort him out. On the other hand, my head, which really would like to remain attached to the rest of my body, says, why don't we have a word with Ducky about him, see if he can talk some sense into him and get him to calm down."
Tim furrowed his brow and then nodded in agreement, "Ducky it is then."
They headed towards the elevator and as the doors swished open, they were met by a furious and frazzled Ziva, who ran straight into Tony.
"Urrghhh! Sorry, Tony" she snapped.
Tony smiled, "Hey! It's okay, what's up?"
Ziva took a sharp intake of breath and placed her hand on her brow.
"I swear if we do not do something about Gibbs, I might kill him instinctively!"
Tim chuckled, "We, were just discussing that very problem, Ziva, and we've decided to speak to Ducky."
Ziva closed her eyes momentarily to calm herself down before replying, "I will accompany you."
The three agents stepped into the elevator and silently headed for autopsy.
"Hey Ducky!" Tony beamed as he led the way.
"Anthony my dear boy...oh...a delegation indeed, what brings you three down here?"
Tony sighed and looked cautiously at the others, a raised eyebrow from Tim signalling that he was happy for him to take the lead in speaking to Ducky.
"We're looking for a favor, well actually it's kind of stronger than a favor, in fact it's sorta like a life or death thing, basically, when you think of favor, this doesn't..."
"Oh for goodness sake, Tony, spit it out!"
Tony swallowed hard, "It's Gibbs."
His shoulders sagged at the very mention of his boss's name.
"He's getting really difficult to work with. He's like Gibbs but only ten times worse, you know how the Incredible Hulk is like mean guy times a hundred, well Gibbs is like a Hulk Gibbs...only not green...but still mean...and angry."
Ducky smirked, "Tony, is there any conversation you can have where it doesn't involve a cinematic reference?"
Tony shook his head and shoved his hands lazily in his pockets and sighed.
"He is intolerable Ducky, he is causing us all to have nervous shakedowns," Ziva snapped as she placed a hand on her furrowed brow.
"It's a breakdown, Ziva," Tim corrected gently.
Ducky placed his hands on his hips and frowned.
"Jethro does seem rather out of sorts and has been short with me on a couple occasions. His voice does tend to wield a rather fractious and sarcastic tone these days."
Like a concerned grandfather, Ducky smiled gently as he eyed his three 'grandchildren' eagerly awaiting his solution to sort all their troubles.
"We...were...uhm...kinda hoping that you could have a...word...with him," Tony said quietly.
Taking a deep breath, Ducky pondered Tony's request for a moment.
"Is there an alternative?"
Tony chuckled nervously, "I thought perhaps drugging him and shipping him to Mexico to Mike Franks would do the trick, but as that is out of the question we thought of you."
Ducky raised an eyebrow, "Well, as you say, yes, drugging Jethro is rather out of the question, but your premise of a vacation with Mike isn't entirely unsound Tony."
Three sets of eyes frowned in confusion, not entirely sure what the medical examiner was leading to.
"Jethro's problem, is that he is tired. The man never takes a vacation and there is only so long that the body can sustain the constant pressure of modern day living before it has to be given time to recuperate and regenerate."
Tony frowned, "Regenerate...he's not a zombie is he?"
Ducky laughed, "You see, vacation time is part of good employment practice because it gives employees time to get their brains and their bodies in shape to meet the demands of their job. Even marines and sailors have leave, don't they? They need that time away from their jobs to heal their minds and bodies."
Ziva folded her arms and pouted, "Gibbs will not take a vacation just because we ask him. How can we get him not to come into work if he wants to?"
"Enforced vacation, my dear, enforced vacation. We must ensure that his hand is forced into taking some time out; otherwise he may end up doing himself a serious damage."
"Or us," Tony winced.
Tim frowned, "But Ziva's right, we know we need to get him take a vacation but how do we actually do it?"
"Timothy, you are a science fiction fan aren't you? Did you ever see Star Trek and in particular how the character of Bones would deal with a stubborn Captain Kirk when he needed medical attention?"
Tim pouted, "Uh...he'd normally say something like doctor's orders...but...I...uh."
Ducky continued to grin, "That is exactly how we are going to tackle this problem my dear boy, I shall speak to the Director and order Jethro to take some vacation time." Ducky replied in a matter of fact tone.
"You're kidding, right? You can do that?" Tim chuckled nervously.
Ducky nodded his head, "I'll simply point out as his physician, that Jenny has a duty of care to comply with."
"You're really serious, aren't you?" Tony said in quiet disbelief.
"Special Agent DiNozzo, would you rather have Gibbs forced to have a vacation or spend another ten minutes with him in the conference room?"
Tony paled and then narrowed his eyes, "Okay, on behalf of my rear end and the rear ends of my co-workers we are eternally grateful."
To be continued...