Whatever Happened

By Formidable Opponent

Midday approaches and they remain in a tangled heap of flushed limbs.


"You think the boss needs our help? He's been down there for a while now," McGee questions, an honest touch of concern published in his tone.


A shifty palm brushes against the superior of her calf, just below the bend of her knee. Its adjacent forearm lingers in the same position as the motion comes to a halt, and she giggles at the flighty contact.


"Nah, Probie. The boss' a big boy. He can handle whatever she throws at him. Though I hope he's wearing something dark beneath that coat of his, 'cause Caf-Pow is red, and red doesn't come off of polyester without one hell of a fight. I should know." Tony smirks at his own remark, the red he refers to being the various shades of lipstick his shirt collars so often encounter.


He feels her weight shifting above him; he squirms his own body to conform. Her head sits solidly below his right scapula, mouth pressed against his back. He feels a low rumble coming from her throat, but the pressure between his dorsum and her lips prevents any noise from escaping.


"I am sure Gibbs will be fine. He seems to be able to handle her better than any of us. Maybe he will come out of this will only minor injuries," Ziva adds in Gibbs' defense. Many a time before, she has seen him defend himself, but those situations had never been as dire. She sincerely hopes he lives.


Sweat on her brow impels him to look at her and sneer. The idea was hers and now she's the one getting tired. He watches her consider her next move. Thinking triumph is at hand, he lifts an arm to wipe the perspiration in a mocking gesture. Before he realizes it, his back crashes to the ground, with her over him. He must have slipped.


"I fear for Jethro. He's not as virile as he once was, nor, if I may add, as stubborn as he wants us to believe. I do hope dear Abigail doesn't harm him too badly," Ducky interjects, adding aspects of a psychological profile for good measure.


He was pushed. Her hands on either of his shoulders and his on her hips, they steady one another. With a grin, wide from ear to ear, she looks down on him. He can't resist the look and he, too, smiles.

"Give up, Gibbs?"


"It has been nearly thirty minutes. He must be dead."

"Would now be the time to see if he's okay?"

"He told us to stay here, McWorry."

"With every passing minute, I dread the worse. Perhaps we should investigate…"

"What would be left to investigate? Abby can obliterate Gibbs without leaving any forensic evidence, remember?"

"Then, surely, Jethro is a goner."


Looking into her eyes, he sees the genuine delight--a sight that makes him want to smile for an eternity. It has been an exhausting exercise for both of them. Her arms above either side of his head give out and she falls flatly against his chest, his arms spreading outward as if the force of her weight shoots them away from his torso. They both heave in tune, until he decides to break the rhythm in order to speak.

"You cheated, Abs." He reaches for a length of black hair that has fallen over her face, removing it to reveal a deathly glare.

"Cheated? If anyone cheated, it was you! Moving unless you're told is a big 'no-no,' Gibbs. I was merely reinforcing the rules." She lets her chin rest on his sternum, poking his chest with a stout finger.

"By knocking me to the ground. Way to play nice." His energy replenished in their few minutes of rest, he spins her over on her back, his body now atop.

"It's my day. Well, was my day. Rules don't apply to me. Get to do whatever I want, remember? You promised." She wiggles beneath him in feigned defiance to his trapping arms, provoking him. She succeeds.

Her struggling is followed by the tightening of his grip, her light giggling by the descending of his face. "That so?"


"Alright. The suspense is killing me. I've gotta see what they're doing. Who's with me?"

"We have been waiting to do so for the past half hour."

"Yeah, yeah. Probester! You first. Boss'd never hit a girl."

"Funny, Tony. How about you, Ducky? You've known him the longest."

"And I've also learned to know never to stand between Jethro and a woman, or between Abigail and a man, for that matter, unless you don't mind lying unconscious on the floor with a nasty lump to the skull."

"I will go. My training will not fail me if the situation requires it."

"Whether she's brave or just plain crazy, I can't tell."


They arrive, single file, to Abby's lab. The door is wide open and the Mossad liaison courageously peeks in. From what she can see, there is no sign Gibbs or Abby, or anything else suspiciously out of place, either. No blood, no broken equipment, nothing. But that was precisely the problem: nothing.

She signals to her teammates that the coast is clear. They walk slowly in, cautious of anything and everything. Quiet. The lab is strangely quiet, not a sound of Android Lust from the speakers scattered about or the soft hum of any of the machines. The eerie, silent ambience does not bode well.

"Looks like our two lovebirds have flown the coop."

"Wonder what went on."

"Whatever happened, they must have took it outside."

"Abs probably wouldn't have wanted her lab in a wreck like last time with that Chip nut. Chip nut. Haha…"

"Yes and this would have been twice as worse."

"He had it comin' to him. You don't go forgetting our forensic scientist's favorite holiday."

"Her birthday."

"Yikes. I wouldn't want to be him right now."

"Poor Jethro…"

"Guess we'll never know what happened."

They leave the lab, heads down, in disappointment at their lack of findings and in grief for their dear friend and boss. Unbeknownst to any of the them, the key element in this birthday charade lays hastily stuffed under the desk in Abby's office: a large white map of approximately fifty-three by seventy inches, painted on one side with twenty-four red, blue, yellow, and green circles.