Disclaimer: I own nothing related to NCIS or the characters therein. Just having a little fun.

Guns, Knives, and…Staples?

By: Vanessa Sgroi

"Yeah, yeah, I got it—Petty Officer First Class Ryan Cody, Y85MB-A," NCIS Special Agent Anthony DiNozzo muttered the name and number back into his phone in confirmation. "Now keep looking for that other one—OW! Dammit!" He stared in dismay at the staple that had completely pierced through the meaty tip of his index finger. He cradled the headset of the phone and dropped the recently-assembled report he'd been trying to staple together while he'd been talking.

"DiNozzo!" Leroy Jethro Gibbs' familiar growl echoed across the bullpen.

"Yeah, Boss?"

"What's your issue over there?" he asked without looking up from the paperwork he was completing.

"Uh, nothin', Boss…it's just…" Tony bit his bottom lip, loath to say anything else.

"Just what?"

"I…uh…I kinda put…uh…a staple through my finger." Tony held up the recently assaulted finger.

The silver-haired man sighed, tossing his pen to the desk. Looking over at DiNozzo, he held up his hand and wiggled his fingers. "Come here."


"What—did I just speak some unknown dialect? Come here."

Feeling ten kinds of an idiot, Tony stood and started around the corner of his desk, only to be blocked by Ziva David who'd returned to the bullpen just in time to hear the tail end of Tony's unpleasant plight.

"Aww," she singsonged in a high voice, "did you put an itty titty staple through your poor little finger?"

"Bitty." The senior field agent shot her a glare as he sidestepped.

"Biddy?" Ziva exclaimed and moved in front of him once more. Her dark eyes flashed in indignation. "Is it necessary for you to resort to calling me names? I was merely teasing."

Tony smiled a rather feral smile. "No—it's itty bitty."

"Oh. An itty bitty staple then." She smirked, tossed several strands of her long, dark hair over her shoulder, and stepped out of his way, watching Tony halt in front of their boss before she sat down at her own desk and began typing away on her keyboard.

Tony stopped in front of Gibbs' desk and waited, resisting the urge to squirm as his boss stared up at him. By now he was fully expecting a patented slap to the back of his head instead Gibbs held out a hand.

"Lemme see."

DiNozzo reluctantly produced the injured digit.

After a moment of contemplation, Jethro opened his top desk drawer and pulled out a pair of small forceps like the ones Abby had down in her lab. He firmly grasped Tony's finger. "You ready?"

Tony sucked in a breath and squeezed his eyes shut. "Um, no, I mean…yeah…I guess." Despite himself, he tensed.

Gibbs glanced up at his agent. "Relax, DiNozzo, or it's gonna hurt worse coming out than it did goin' in."

"Right, Boss." He did his best to relax the muscles in his hand. Tony felt the staple move as Gibbs anchored the prongs of the forceps on either side of the thin strip of metal, and he swallowed hard.

A quick yank and the staple was out, blood welling from the two holes it left behind. A couple of crimson drops splattered against the desktop. Jethro grabbed a napkin, emblazoned with the stylized words Old World Italy Pizza, a remnant from some long ago lunch, and wrapped it around his senior field agent's finger.

"You current on your tetanus booster?

Gibbs' tone and glare indicated he better be. DiNozzo nodded. "Uh huh. Just had it six months ago after that perp got a little knife happy."

"Good. Now go down to Ducky and get some antiseptic on that finger."

"On my way, Boss."

Gibbs couldn't suppress a half smile as he watched Tony head for the elevator. His senior field agent could face down guns, knives, baseball bats, and hell, even bombs without hesitation, but a sliver of shiny metal through his finger left him a little gray-faced and shaky. He shook his head and dropped the bloody staple into his trash can.

DiNozzo stepped through the doors into Autopsy, finding Dr. Mallard sitting at a small desk against the wall dictating some notes into a machine. The doctor looked up as he entered and hit the "Stop" button on the recorder.

"Anthony, my boy, what brings you down to my humble Autopsy abode?"

Tony held up his napkin-wrapped finger and grinned sheepishly. "Staple through my finger. The boss man sent me down to get antiseptic on it." He perched on the edge of one of the gleaming silver autopsy tables.

Ducky stood and moved to a cabinet to his left. "Oh, good call. You know, most people casually dismiss puncture wounds. But puncture wounds can be insidiously dangerous and are not to be messed with. Why, I remember a fellow, many years ago now, who pricked a finger on a thorn on one of his prize rose bushes—I think it may have been his Gertrude Jekyll bush or was it his A Shropshire Lad?" Ducky tented his fingers and tapped them against his chin, lost in thought. "No, no. I'm almost sure it was his Climbing James Galway bush. Anyway, he pricked his middle finger—thought nothing of it at the time—and…"

"Uh, Ducky," Tony waved his hand with the throbbing finger. "Antiseptic?"

"What? Oh, oh yes," Dr. Mallard retrieved a bottle from the cabinet and poured some amber-colored liquid into a small metal bowl. "Here—soak your finger in this for a minute while I find you a bandage. I trust you're up-to-date on your tetanus vaccination?"

DiNozzo stuck his finger in the cold antiseptic and nodded in affirmation.

A few moments later, the doctor stepped back into his line of vision.

"Here you go, my boy, this should fix you right up," Ducky's eyes danced with mirth, "unless you'd like me to call Abigail and have her come and kiss it to make it better."

Tony grinned, knowing the enthusiastic goth lab tech, one of his staunchest supporters and good friend, would indeed rush over to do just that if asked. "No, no. This'll be fine, Doc."

He dried off his finger on a clean portion of the napkin and wrapped the Band-Aid snugly around the tip of his finger. When he was done, he, he looked at the medical examiner and winked. "Guess I better get back to work before Gibbs thinks I'm off filing a worker's comp claim. Thanks, Ducky."

"You're welcome, my dear boy, always my pleasure to help. Oh, and Anthony…"

Tony paused, cocking his head to the side. "Yeah?"

"Stay away from those vicious attacking pieces of office equipment." Ducky chuckled delightedly at his own joke.

DiNozzo smiled and saluted with his now-bandaged finger. "I'll keep an eagle eye out, Doc. Trust me."

A couple of minutes later, Tony was back in the bullpen, heading toward his desk.

Ziva glanced away from her computer screen. "So, did Ducky kiss your booboo and make it all better, Tony?"

"Too bad it's not my middle finger, Ziva, or I'd hold it up and give you a nice salute to show you."

Gibbs cleared his throat. "Do I have to send you two to time out corners?"

"No, Gibbs."

"No, Boss."

The answers were simultaneous.

"Good. Then I think we should all get back to work. Right, DiNozzo?"

"Right, Boss."

Relative quiet once again descended over the bullpen as the agents settled in to their respective tasks. Until, that is, Gibbs' telephone rang a half hour later. He hung up after a couple of seconds and barked, "Grab your gear. We've got a dead Chief Petty Officer in East Potomac Park. Ziva get McGee from Abby's lab. DiNozzo—"

"Gassing up the truck, Boss!"