Once again the plot bunnies came in, sat on my chest and waited with carrot breath until I agreed to write this story. Part of this is due to a challenge on NFA Community where at least one character had to be out of character. I just took the opportunity to change the majority of them…lol. I honestly do not own anything to do with NCIS or Star Trek except of course for my well worn DVD's.

NCIS: An Alternate Reality…

Jimmy Palmer steps out of his office and stares down into the NCIS bullpen. His top three male agents are due to arrive at any time. He can't wait to see what happens when he introduces them to their female contemporaries.

Team McGee is lead by the nearly famous Timothy McGee also known as the author Thom E. Gemcity. His novels have grossed almost ten billion dollars world wide and are written in 27 different languages. McGee's senior agent is former Secret Service agent Tony DiNozzo. Last but not least on McGee's team is the computer expert L.J. Gibbs.

These three men have brought more perpetrators to justice in the last five years than any of their predecessors. It's due to the success of the team that Jimmy is being hounded by Sec-Nav to incorporate females into the team; or at least into the bullpen as a secondary team.

Leading the second team is Jennifer "Jenny" Shepherd. She's well known in covert ops circles. The red-headed lady who always catches her man, rumor has it she has her eye on Tony DiNozzo as her latest catch. Ziva David is a former Mossad agent. Her long dark hair hides the petite form and deadly moves of a ninja assassin. The final person on Jenny's team is a former homicide detective named Caitlin Todd.

Jimmy sighs as he watches the two teams assemble in the bullpen. He knows that the two teams are top notch in their own right, now he has to get them to work as a cohesive extension of each other.

Abigail Sciuto exits the elevator behind Jimmy and gives him a hug. "Hey are they all here?"

Jimmy nods as the forensic scientist expertly runs her hands down the tense muscles in his back. He leans into her embrace as they watch the interaction between Team McGee and Team Shepherd. Donald "Ducky" Mallard steps up on Jimmy's left side. The M.E. hands Jimmy the files he'd requested and Jimmy straightens his shoulders as he prepares to face the meshing of the teams.

Abby and Ducky follow him down the steps and he clears his throat to get everyone's attention. Gibbs is pounding away on his computer; Kate has her ever present sketchpad out. Tony is trying to insult Gibbs but getting nowhere as Tim steps over and smacks him lightly on the back of the head.

"DiNozzo, Gibbs, follow me please." The other two step into place behind Tim as he approaches Jimmy. Jenny has rounded up her agents and they all wait respectfully for Jimmy to speak.

Jimmy clears his throat and tells the two teams that they are working together for the next few weeks. "If everything goes well, we'll start integrating other teams in the same format."

McGee looks at the other team then at his own. He knows that DiNozzo is going to be trouble, so he gives the agent a patented stare before telling Jimmy that his team welcomes Team Shepherd into their midst.

"We're gonna get along like Cats and Dogs." DiNozzo's little quip is met with another smack upside the head.

"Sorry, boss."

Tony rubs his head, smiling slightly as he hears Ziva mutter, "Yes, but who is the cat and who is the hound?"

Kate starts to say something but thinks better of it. She's been on the pointy end of Ziva's knife at least once and doesn't care to repeat it.

McGee has no such qualms. "It's dog, Agent David. Who is the cat and who is the dog."

Ziva tilts her head as she palms a knife, "No, this time I'm not mistaken." She grins ferally at Tony who gives an exaggerated shudder.

Gibbs says nothing as he pulls out his palm pilot and start inputting the data that Jimmy has given them. Kate watches him, wondering why someone that old is that good with computers.

"Marines gave me an excuse to learn something useful. I chose this and sniper training." With that he's back to his typing. That's when she notices that he favors his right hand ever so slightly. The injury would have taken his sniping ability away, but not his computer skills.

McGee looks at Jimmy and asks, "Just for the record which one of us is the lead on this case?" Jimmy gets that "oh shit" look on his face and McGee sighs. Being the gentleman that he is, he offers Jenny the chance to lead.

Tony shakes his head at McGee's offer. He often thought that the other man was too lenient, and this was just another case in point. He has to admit though, the red haired Jenny is a beauty. He wondered if he could find a way to persuade her to lead him in some other, possibly hinky directions.

Gibbs isn't surprised by Tim's actions. He accepts that the younger man is a gentleman to his core. He will offer the other team a chance, then if it's the wrong decision will take over just in time to save the day. If anyone can take the two teams and make it a working unit, he has faith that Tim will be the one to do it.

Kate gives a silent jab in the air at Tim's offer. She's not too impressed so far with the almost nerdy team leader. Even the ex-marine at her side could be more assertive. Why he's even in command of this team is beyond her understanding.

Ziva has been watching everything and saying virtually nothing. While she senses nothing bad about McGee, she knows that there has to be hidden depths that the outside world never sees. He has a calmness about him, that's rare in this world. She decides that she's going to talk to Jenny in private about keeping a personal eye on Timothy McGee.

Jenny is humbled by McGee's open willingness to work with not just her but her entire team. She'd been prepared to fight for their chance to show what they could do and he's offering it to her on a platter.

Jimmy hides a smile as he watches McGee soothe ruffled feathers without doing much of anything. By offering Jenny the lead, he's paving the way for further negotiations. He's acknowledging the other women as well as their talents and not making lightly of them. In essence, he's being the team leader without being obvious about it.

Abby and Ducky smile at each other. They know how McGee's mind works and how he reacts to the situation that's handed to him. He'll keep an eye on the entire team, both men and women, assessing their strengths and weaknesses. He'll then find a way to collaborate with Jenny, utilizing the best that the teams have to offer and make the situation work to their advantage.

"If everyone will follow me, we'll be able to discuss the case more comfortably in the

Conference room." Jimmy doesn't wait to see if they follow. He heads back up the stairs and sits at the head of the table as the agents all gather round.

He smiles as he realizes that DiNozzo is about to have a field day with his next words. The teams are working on a scenario to see how well they play together. If that works out, then he'll send them out in the field

"Our objective is to find out who took out the Starship Enterprise and her crew. All crew members are presumed lost or killed. She is currently listing sadly to port in Starbase 13. We have the following as a list of suspects…"

Tony stopped listening at the Starship Enterprise. The others aren't too far behind as they all look over the files they've been handed.

"We do not have any eyewitnesses at this time. It is up to the two teams to decide who gets to investigate the Enterprise and who will be conducting interviews with the crew of Starbase 13. We have twenty four hours before the Vulcan High Command comes in to conduct their own investigation. I want full reports from all of you by this time tomorrow morning."

Gibbs looks up at Jimmy, "Can we stay here for a moment to decide who is doing what, sir? I take it you're the Admiralty of this scenario."

"You all have twenty minutes to decide who is doing what. I want to see McGee and Shepherd in my office in twenty five minutes."

Jimmy leaves the room and the others sit in silence for all of ten seconds before Tony starts laughing.

"You realize we have to find and rescue the crew on top of everything else?"

"I guess that means you need to shut up and start profiling then doesn't it DiNozzo?" Jenny's words come out just before Tim can utter them and he shares a small smile with the female before studying the case file more closely.

Two minutes later he's motioning for Jenny to follow him to a corner. The two converse for another five before Jenny nods and comes back to the table. Looking up at Tim for backup if she needs it, Jenny then proceeds to divide the teams up. Tim and Ziva will interview the Starbase crew; Gibbs and Kate will investigate the Enterprise while Tony and Jenny run scenarios on what could have happened.

When none of the others raise an objection, Tim and Jenny head for Jimmy's office to tell him what they plan on doing. Jimmy isn't surprised to see them a full ten minutes early. He would have been surprised if it had taken them a full twenty minutes to decide who was doing what.

They tell him of their plans and he nods in approval. As they turn to leave he stops them.

"I'd like five minutes with first Jenny then you Tim."

Tim nods and walks on out the door. Jenny faces him with a blank expression. Jimmy smiles at the woman before handing her a key. "Use it when you need it." Is all he says before ushering her out the door.

Tim walks back in and laughs as he sees the expression on Jenny's face. He's used to Jimmy's eccentric methods of helping a case resolve itself. By the confused look on Jenny's face, he'd done it again. Tim looks at his boss who shakes his head and hands him another key. Again just those six cryptic words and he's sent on his way.

Tim and Jenny show the others their keys and Tony says, "There are no keys in Star Trek. It's all keyless entry with either palm print or eye scan."

And there is the first clue for the teams to follow. Jenny starts to divide the team up but Tim subtly shakes his head. For some reason he believes that Jimmy wants them to split up and Tim doesn't like it. They agree to try MTAC first since they are closest to it.

Gibbs starts inputting the information given to them so far, including the bit about the two keys. Tony sits down, recalling every detail he can from the recent Star Trek movie. Kate sketches the room, trying to find any anomalies that might have been introduced. Ziva paces the room, counting softly to herself. She knows from previous trips just how many steps it should take her to go from one corner to another.

Jenny and Tim stand back and watch as their once separate teams start to slowly gel together. Kate hands her sketches to Gibbs who scans them into the computers. Tony remembers that aside from Captain Kirk not being able to hang on to his weapon, the red shirts, or engineering/security are usually the first ones to die.

Ziva spots a newly painted section of wall close to where Tim and Jenny are standing. She throws her knife, seemingly at Tim who doesn't flinch as it whizzes past him to thud into the wall behind him.

Ziva nods her approval when she sees Tim's reaction. He trusts her already and they haven't even known each other for that long. Tim looks at the others as they finish gathering their information. He's not going to try to find out what Ziva "killed"; instead he tells the others that the only other section of NCIS that has the palm panel or eye scan is the evidence garage.

Tony and Gibbs look up at him when he says it. Gibbs states, "We need two keys for the lockup, boss. One for the outer door, and one for the inner."

By unspoken agreement the team moves as one and heads for the garage. Tim and Jenny both use their keys to gain entry to the lockup and find…Ducky waiting for them.

"I must say, you didn't take that long at all. Looks like Operation Lucky Duck was a success. This reminds me of a story, oh thank you my dear, of a time when I was in Great Britain…"

The team heads back upstairs with their newly freed hostage. Tim glares at Jimmy as they walk back in the room. "You forgot to tell us there might be a hostage involved!"

"Yeah, about that, he wasn't supposed to be in it, but insisted."

Tim hangs his head as he struggles not to laugh. The wily old M.E. has a way of getting things his own way especially if he has a captive audience. He holds out his hand to Jenny, who shakes it then gives him a hug.

He blushes for almost ten seconds before recovering his composure. He doesn't need DiNozzo to come up with still another quote about someone being red. He turns to Kate but she's hanging over Gibbs, listening to the older man as he describes some of the scenic places he's been as a former Marine. Jenny has moved on to Tony, who pulls out of his desk drawer a red tie of all things.

Tim grins as he imagines just how that tie might end up getting used. That leaves Ziva and as he looks around, he doesn't immediately see the Mossad assassin. A soft touch at his right side has him looking down into a pair of bright brown eyes.

"You did good tonight McGee. I was not sure you could pull it off, but you did."

"Because I'm too quiet and not forceful enough to lead this team?" He laughs slightly at the look on all the women's faces.

"It's not force, it's trust. That's what makes this team work and will keep it working. These two men are like brothers to me. We trust each other with our lives everyday. We trust that you want to do the same."

Before he can do anything more, she puts a slender finger on his mouth. "No one has ever trusted me the way you did tonight. You know I could have killed you with that knife and no one could have stopped me, yet you didn't even flinch."

He smiles as he mouths the word trust against her fingertip. The softness of his lips against her finger is like the most precious of kisses and she has no doubt that this man could teach her more things; including how to love.

Jimmy Palmer smiles as he closes the door to his office. He has no doubts that the team below him can become something great if time and circumstance allow it. Tonight's little test proved that they could work together, tomorrow he'd throw them out in the field.