Buckeye

Kate was furious. Yet again she had been the victim of one of Tony's juvenile pranks. He'd posted a bogus ad on a singles network with one of her email accounts as the contact. She supposed she should be grateful that he didn't post a real picture of her but the scantily clad bimbo he had used was leading to some emails that were seriously making her blush. Enough was enough, It was time to get him back and she had just the way.

Last Christmas, when she was hunting for Buckeye memorabilia as a gift for Tony, she had come across a very interesting item. At the time she had almost felt guilty for purchasing it. Almost. Once she received it she put it away for a rainy day, secure in the knowledge that she now possessed the ultimate weapon in the ongoing war between herself and Tony. That day had now come and it was time to fire up the color copier. Tomorrow she was going to have some fun.

***************

When Tony walked into headquarters the next morning he was happily humming under his breath. He paused his musical reverie to greet the receptionist, as he did every morning.

"Well, hello there," she replied in a somewhat suggestive tone that made Tony wrinkle his brow in surprise.

He continued towards the elevator but he could feel her eyes remaining on him. He did his best to ignore this but when the door opened he fairly leaped inside. As soon as the doors had closed he looked down and felt for his fly. Zipped. He removed his jacket and turned it around. Nothing. He peered behind himself in search of a toilet paper tail or random stain ... and the door opened onto the bullpen with Gibbs standing right in front of him.

"Problem, DiNozzo?" asked Gibbs when he saw his senior agent's strange posturing.

"Uh, no Boss. Thought I might have sat in something."

"You'll definitely be sitting in something if you don't get to work. You're late."

"Yes, Boss. Sorry, Boss."

Tony hurried towards his desk, the incident in reception fading from his mind. He went to work on the background check of a person of interest in their current case. It was mindless work, part internet search and part phone calls, that left his attention free to wander about the bullpen. He was looking up as two female junior agents came walking down the hall. They were whispering excitedly to each other while casting occasional glances in his direction. As soon as they caught his eye their chatter stopped but as they walked past they erupted into giggles.

Jeez, thought Tony, what was it with everyone today. He turned off his computer and peered at his faint reflection in the blank screen, twisting and turning as he tried to determine if he had food in his teeth or a mark on his face. Seeing nothing he gave up and turned to McGee.

""Hey, Probie, everyone keeps looking at me funny. Have I got food on my face or something."

McGee gave him a sly smile and said, "No Tony, there's absolutely *nothing* on you at all."

Kate burst into a fit of laughter as soon as she heard McGee, causing Tony to swivel her way and gaze at her through narrowed eyes.

"And what is so funny, Agent Todd," he asked as he glared at her.

"Just laughing at an email," she said as she tried to school her features into a neutral expression.

"Since when does little Miss Perfect read personal emails at work?"

"Ever since you put me online at ."

Tony didn't believe her and continued to stare suspiciously but she gave nothing away. In fact, she looked like butter wouldn't melt in her mouth. Tony's phone rang, and Kate breathed a sigh of relief, she wasn't sure how much longer she could have held up under Tony's gaze.

"NCIS, Agent DiNozzo speaking ... ... sure, I'll be right down." He rolled his eyes as he hung up the phone. "Idiots," he muttered under his breath.

"What's the matter," asked McGee.

"Baltimore PD's evidence from the Prescott case just arrived, unfortunately they delivered it to reception. I'm going down to collect it and bring it to Abby."

Tony headed for the elevator with relief. There was definitely something going on and he hated not knowing what it was. Perpetual curiosity was just part of his nature and he was so busy scheming ways to uncover what was going on that he almost missed holding the elevator for the woman who had hurried in behind him. He gave her a quick glance. She was stocky with tightly permed hair in that odd shade between grey and brown and her tweedy business suit looked like it had once been chair upholstery. Tony thought her name was Madge but wasn't sure enough to risk a greeting so he merely nodded and went back to planning his investigation.

After a moment he got that skin crawling feeling that meant she was looking at him intently. He risked a glance sideways and saw her running her eyes up and down his body. Then when she got to his face she winked. Tony nearly jumped out of his skin. For crissake, she had to be fifty if she was a day and unless he was mistaken she had pretty much been undressing him with her eyes. Tony averted his own eyes and stared fixedly ahead but there was no missing the secret smile she gave him as she left the elevator a floor ahead of him.

As soon as she was gone Tony shivered in disgust. Was there something in the water? Had someone spiked the coffee machine? He had no idea but this was getting really creepy. He grabbed the evidence box and headed for the basement and Abby's lab as fast as he could.

"Abby," he called as he barged through her door, "You'll never believe what just happened..."

"Hi Tony, you're looking dapper today," she interrupted him as soon as she saw him.

"Abbs, you need to run some tests or something, everyone is..."

"Although I must say that in your case it's not the clothes that make the man."

"Has it gotten to you too? I'm trying to tell you about this strange behavior that keeps happening and you're talking about my clothes."

"Or lack thereof."

"What?!"

"Nothing. Nevermind. What were you saying?"

"I was trying to tell you that I was just in the elevator with that Madge woman from accounting and.."

"Marge."

"Who?"

"Marge not Madge."

"Whatever, I'm telling you, she was looking at me like I was naked."

"Maybe she likes you Tony."

"She's fifty, for God's sake, and she looks like my fifth grade teacher."

"Doesn't mean she's dead. Although, come to think about it, that pancake foundation she uses does sometimes make her look like she belongs down in autopsy."

"Abby focus! It's not just her. Everyone keeps looking at me or making strange comments. It's been happening all morning. I want to know what's going on, and I want to know now!"

"I promised not to tell."

"Abby, tell me or I"ll sabotage the Caf-Pow machine."

"I can't, I promised Kate ... whoops, I wasn't supposed to tell you that either."

Tony grabbed the huge cup of Caf-Pow that was sitting next to Abby's computer and tipped it as if he was going to pour it on the floor.

"You wouldn't," said Abby with a horrified look on her face.

"Oh yes I would. And I'll make sure you can't get any more too."

With a shake of her pigtails, Abby finally capitulated. She reached for the remote control, pointed it at the flat screen and clicked. The image that appeared was the front cover of a beefcake calender. BUCKNAKED BUCKEYES: THE MEN OF OHIO STATE was in bold print across the top followed by twelve thumbnail images of the men inside.

"Oh no!'" moaned Tony.

"Look on the bright side Tony, at least you were a really hot Mr. November." Abby clicked again and there on the screen was Tony in all his glory, nothing between him and the camera but a strategically positioned basketball.

"How did Kate ever find this? You'd think they would all be gone by now, it's over ten years old," lamented Tony.

"Thirteen years old to be exact," said Kate as she entered the lab. "I can't believe you gave in to him Abby. I was having fun watching him squirm."

"He took my Caf-Pow."

"Has everyone seen this?" asked Tony.

Kate held up a color copy. "Pretty much. I made fifty copies and handed them all out."

Tony thought about this for a moment then blushed clear up to the roots of his hair. "Oh God, did you give it to Gibbs?"

Neither Kate nor Abby answered. The silence went on for several beats before Tony caught on.

"He's behind me isn't he?" he whispered.

Whack. Tony flinched as Gibbs administered a solid headslap.

"Thank you Boss, but shouldn't you give one to Kate too."

"Why, she pose for naked pictures too?" Gibbs chuckled when Tony blushed yet again.

"So I guess that means she gave you a copy."

"Nope," said Gibbs as he held up a sheaf of Xerox sheets, "They're all over the office." He reached over to Kate and plucked the copy out of her hand. "Only twenty seven more to go. You know Tony you ought to thank me for saving your ass." He chuckled to himself. "Literally and figuratively."

Tony waited until Gibbs had left before he voiced the thought that had crossed his mind. "Saving my ass," he said in a strangled voice, "Do you think that means he's going to *keep* them?"

The End.