Hello! This came about due to a fic I read about the sexual harassment seminar at the beginning of Driven. Also, I'm trying to like Vance more, and maybe, if I write him as an okay guy he'll become one.
Disclaimer: Own nothing and no one.
"So what you're saying is…"
"Exactly!" the woman responded vehemently. "I'm glad you understand."
Vance shook his head. "I'm not understanding anything, Miss Parker," he explained. "Can you start over, please?" The woman sighed and rolled her eyes, as if struggling to explain herself to a wayward toddler. Vance noticed the movements but didn't comment.
"I'll start over, shall I?" she began, sitting in front of Vance at his desk, lips pursed primly. "What I have observed while watching your 'number one team'" her fingers made air quotes, causing Vance to raise a brow "is that they are a group of unstructured, undisciplined sexually repressed juveniles, not fit to be crossing guards, much less federal agents."
"Is that right?" Vance asked.
"That is right," Miss Parker replied, missing the sarcasm in the director's voice. "What's more, you shouldn't even bother with probation or suspension. They should be outright dismissed for multiple violations of federal labor policies."
"And you came to this conclusion how, Miss Parker?" Vance asked.
The woman sighed again. "This group, your 'Team Gibbs'" again the air quotes, though this time used incorrectly as they actually were called Team Gibbs "repeatedly missed sexual harassment seminar after seminar. When they actually did attend, they usually interrupted the proceedings, sometimes with merely silly jokes, but usually with inappropriate and often offensive comments and innuendos aimed at the content of the seminars, the other attendees, and the presenters."
"I can just imagine," Vance allowed, dryly.
"Therefore, after the last time they managed to slip away on some flimsy excuse, I worked with NCIS security to monitor their actions and have a complied a detailed report of over a year's worth of bad behavior," Miss Parker beamed.
That made Vance sit up. "Let me get this straight, Miss Parker," he began, his voice still and calm. "You've been monitoring my people? For a year?"
"Yes, sir," she nodded proudly. "I verified with Human Resources that I could, and have compiled…"
Vance cut her off. "You didn't clear it with me, Miss Parker."
Another sigh. "Director Vance, I didn't need your permission," she explained. "I report to HR, and if they said I could, then I could."
Vance let that pass for the moment. "So, Miss Parker, what did you find?"
"As I said before, Director." She rose from the chair, taking a DVD from her bag and walking to the player attached to the plasma screen. "Repeated violations of federal standards of behavior." She flipped on the plasma and picked up the remote, coming back to sit in front of Vance's desk. "So many violations."
Vance resigned himself to the demonstration and turned toward the screen. The snow ref-ocused and the NCIS bull pen became visible. He watched as DiNozzo and David came into the area, moving to their desks…
Tell me, Zee-vah
Tony, you do not need to know what I was doing last night.
Sure I do.
Why must you know everything about everyone?
Because I'm a detective. And I detect you're lying about your date.
The camera angle changed to one directly over DiNozzo's desk. David was now leaning on the desk, her chest area pushing into DiNozzo's line of site, the cleavage very visible.
Well, I was lying, but not the way you mean.
The video paused. "Direct sexual innuendo, Director!" Miss Parker accused. "Totally inappropriate in the work place." The DVD played again, this time showing Abby Scuito's lab. "But the innuendo is totally out done by the actual demands for physical gratification placed on the employees."
Vance now watched scene after scene of Gibbs and Abby kissing, hugging and generally touching each other as much as possible.
"Then there is this," Miss Parker continued. The scene shifted to another day in the bullpen, this time McGee was at his desk as well as DiNozzo and David. A ball of paper sailed through the air from DiNozzo's desk, hitting McGee in the head.
You can stop any time now, Tony.
Oh, I don't think so, Probie.
Just because you solved the case does not mean you can use me as target practice.
Say again, McGoob? I did what?
Solved the case. I'm man enough to admit it.
Another paper wad hits McGee in the head.
Okay, DiNozzo, it's on!
Vance shook his head as he watched McGee pick up the already thrown paper wads and lobbed them back at DiNozzo. The scene erupted into a paper throwing fight of huge proportions until the ding of the elevator could be heard and Gibbs came into view. He walked through the papers on the floor, ignoring what had happened and shouted to his team.
Another pause as Miss Parker turned toward Vance. "Juvenile, no, infantile behavior between grown men, federal agents, Director." She tisked loudly. "This one, this DiNozzo person, is, in my opinion, one of the worst offenders. Constantly degrading his co-workers with either sexual innuendos or outright insults!" She turned toward the screen once more. "His main target seems to be Special Agent McGee," she explained.
Another click of the remote and a montage of DiNozzo played.
"Repeated insults, Director." She turned again. "And it's not just between your agents, Director, but down in Autopsy, too." The video now played a scene between Dr. Mallard and Jimmy Palmer.
I'm sorry, Dr. Mallard, but you did have the map.
And I'm telling you it was the wrong map!
How could it be the wrong map, doctor?
Are you implying I am mistaken, Mr. Palmer?
Well, sir, you do tend to not read maps very well.
Then why do continue to give them to me, you silly boy?
Because you'll get angry at me if I don't.
I only get mad when you give me the wrong maps.
It wasn't the wrong map. Can't you just once admit you made me turn the wrong way?
For admitting you turned the wrong way!
"I counted at least twelve occasions where the two would argue about who got whom lost, each argument more and more acrimonious," Miss Parker explained.
"I'll take your word," Vance agreed.
"But these issues are nothing compared to the violence heaped on all the agents by their 'leader.'" Again with the air quotes as the DVD showed Gibbs in shot after shot, hitting his agents on the back of the head. Even Dr. Mallard was the recipient of one of Gibbs head slaps, causing Vance to swallow a chuckle. "The only one of the team immune to these repeated assaults is Ms. Scutio, and we know why that is, don't we?" she ended snidely.
"Miss Parker," Vance began.
"I'm not finished, Director." The DVD spun fast. "Perhaps you can ignore the sexual innuendos, juvenile behavior and violent tendencies, but this may be the worst offense of all."
Vance watched as Gibbs and David entered the elevator, then the screen stilled. "And?" he asked.
"Look at the elevator, Director," she explained. "It's stopped."
"And?" Vance asked again.
"Special Agent Gibbs is in the habit of taking his subordinates into the elevator and stopping the car between floors," Miss Parker explained. "There are no cameras in the elevator, Director. God knows what he's doing to them in there."
That was enough. Vance rose from behind his desk, come to stand by the woman and taking the remote from her hand. "Miss Parker," he began. "What did you do before you joined NCIS?" Vance asked, his tone deceptively soft.
Miss Parker squared her shoulders. "I am, by training, a behavioral psychologist, specializing in family dynamics."
Vance nodded. "That's what I thought," he said, leaning against his desk next to her. "But now I am questioning why we hired you in the first place, as your sense of perception seems to be lacking. Perhaps I should re-check your qualifications,"
"Me?" Miss Parker sputtered. "My qualifications!" She rose from the chair. "I can assure you, Director, that I am skilled in my profession and have total confidence in my findings."
"And yet," Vance said, "you completely miss the dynamic right in front of you." Vance clicked a few buttons on the remote. Up popped a live feed of the bullpen onto the plasma. They all were there, gathered for an impromptu meeting, or just because they liked each other's company.
"That," Vance said, moving toward the screen, "is a family."
Miss Parker made a skeptical sound. "That is not a family, Director," she scoffed. "It's not even a 'team,'" she said.
Vance fought the urge to shove her and her air quotes her out of his office. Instead he began to explain his statement, using the remote to isolate DiNozzo and McGee. "Here are the siblings," he began. "Older brother—cocky, self assured, and continually picking on his younger brother."
Vance zoomed to McGee. "The younger brother, who idolized his older brother. But just as equally the older brother adores his younger one. Woe to anyone who would pick on McGee, Miss Parker." He isolated the two together. "DiNozzo would fight Hell and the Devil himself for Timothy McGee, as McGee would for DiNozzo."
The camera moved to Ziva David. "This is the neighbor girl." Vance zoomed in onto Ziva's face. "Lost to her own kin, this new family has taken her in and given her a place to belong." A long shot as Tony walks over to Ziva's desk, lounging negligently in front of the other agent. "Lots of sexual tension, yes. But if there is something between DiNozzo and David, it is none of my or your business."
"Director…" Miss Parker began.
Vance cut her off. "I'm not finished." The camera panned to Dr. Mallard and Palmer. "Here we have the doddering uncle that every family has." Vance chuckled. "But no family has an uncle like this. Brilliance and guile mixed together. Dr. Mallard can work with a mutilated body one minute and pour you a cup of tea the next, and does so on frequent occasions for all the team. He's the sounding board they come to, Miss Parker."
"But his assistant, the way he treats him," she complained.
"Ah, Mr. Palmer." Another shift of the camera. "Our distant relation. A cousin thrust into the mix, always worried about treading too hard, always looking for acceptance, only to know he's finally found it with Dr. Mallard. You see only the disparity between them, Miss Parker. But I see the dedication by both of them toward each other, regardless of Palmer's driving skills or Dr. Mallard's map reading deficiencies."
Miss Parker sniffed. "And I'm assuming Special Agent Gibbs is the father of this dysfunctional family?"
"You assume correctly, Miss Parker," Vance agreed, focusing the camera on Gibbs and Abby as they sat on Gibbs' desk, watching the play between McGee, DiNozzo and Ziva. "He's what holds them all together. The lynch pin that ties them to this job and each other." He froze the camera on Gibbs and Abby, watching Miss Parker roll her eyes as Gibbs kissed the girl on the cheek before leaving the bull pen, head slapping both McGee and DiNozzo along the way.
"And her?" Miss Parker asked, indicating Abby.
Vance smiled. "She's what holds Gibbs together," he said simply.
Vance walked to the DVD player and removed the disc. Instead of handing it to the HR rep, Vance took the disc in both hands and broke it in half. "If I ever hear of you, or anyone from human resources spying on any of my agents or staff, you will not appreciate what happens."
Miss Parker turned on her heel, gathering her brief case and walking out the door. Vance followed, watching as she passed Gibbs coming up the stairs, glaring at the agent as he moved beside her.
Gibbs stopped next to Vance on the balcony, his brow raised in question. "Something I should know about, Leon?" he asked, following the unknown woman's movements toward the elevator, shaking his head as she dodged a rubber band that had gone off course from DiNozzo's aim.
The Director shook his head. "Got it all under control, Gibbs." He nodded the group below. "How's the team?"
"They're fine, Leon," Gibbs replied, glancing downstairs to see that Abby had joined the rubber band fight. "That what you wanted to see me about?"
Vance shook his head. "Not at all," he said, moving toward the door of his office, Gibbs following behind. "SecNav wants a manpower report on…"