A/N: No copyright intended for Leslie Fish's 'Banned from Argo', Dope's 'You Spin Me Right Round' or any other author who has used Fish's song as a story for inspiration. There is no such town in DC called Argo (as far as I know); this is purely for fun and entertainment.
Gibbs stifled a groan and placed the icepack over his eye. The coolness of the ice immediately offered a measure of relief to his sore orbital bone. He winced reflexively as his bending forwards put pressure on his bruised ribs; the low groan that escaped his throat wasn't nearly as quiet as he would have liked.
Fornell looked down on the man in both an amusedly and pitiful way. "Would it be intruding of me to ask just what the hell happened to you last night Gibbs? I mean apart from getting banned from an entire town?"
"Tobias," the ex-sniper groaned again, "if I had the time, energy and patience to explain to you what happened, don't you think I would have done so already? Just leave me with my icepack, a bottle of aspirin and about a gallon of coffee."
"You know, I've never heard of anyone getting banned from a whole town before."
"I mean yeah sure- there's that little bar in Arizona that I'm forbidden from coming within a hundred yards of after that unfortunate shooting incident but an entire town?"
"Tobias, I'm warning you right now- don't start with me."
"You're branching out your boundaries Jethro; you keep this up and you might just find a couple of new hobbies other than staring at your agents and shooting things with your rifle."
Gibbs glared up at the FBI agent. "If I could focus my attention on you for long enough without having a huge migraine rip through my head, you'd have been dead times ten times over by now."
"Right now I get the impression that you feel you just died ten times over."
Gibbs merely groaned in pain again. After the whole fiasco and whatnot over Somalia and Ziva's rescue, the whole team including the non-field personnel had felt the need to relax and kick back after the experience. So they hit upon the small and virtually unknown town of Argo about thirty minutes outside Washington; a typical American style small town with a local atmosphere and very little notable about it- until the Naval Criminal Investigative Service decided to roll up and select it for their time away from the office.
Perhaps in hind sight it had been a bad idea to let them all out at the same time to run wild all over the town but he had thought that they could act like the responsible federal agents they were supposed to be. Responsible- that was a hoot. He'd forgotten that without him to act as principal, his team may have well been immature grade school students. Plus the fact that they were all wired over the African mission, brimming with joy and excitement over the fact that they had survived a mission which probably could have ended much differently- and fatally- for them. Add that to the fact that they were all legal adults and you had yourself a situation.
More specifically, he had himself a situation. The vans had stopped, bars had been sought out and now he was stuck in Fornell's small motel room with an aching body and an entire missing team out doing God-knows-what.
As he readjusted the icepack over his eye, Fornell commented dryly, "You look like crap."
"I feel like crap." Gibbs responded in the same manner. He remembered only to well the shock he got when he looked in the bathroom mirror and saw what was left of his face; a black eye, a busted lip, a swollen nose and a busted cheekbone. Not to mention his aching ribs and the massive headache that exploded every time he turned his head.
"What the hell happened to you last night?"
"I'm not entirely sure of that myself." Actually that wasn't completely true; he did have brief flashes of the night before. He was almost certain it involved a number of different redheaded women. How many had there been? Three? No, wait- there was also that Irish accountant. And that punk Japanese girl with the nose ring and the dragon tattoo on her back. That had been in addition to the three others. While he couldn't remember specifics, he was almost certain they were all of a different age and race. Damn, is that a first for small town America? He couldn't remember where he'd slept- or even if he'd slept at all. All he remembered for certain was waking up in this motel room minus his favourite shirt and belt with an array of new injuries, a hangover the size of America, and a disapproving Fornell gazing down upon him.
Fornell raised an eyebrow and crossed his arms. "Really?" He said unbelievingly. "You don't remember me having to beam your ass out of that bar because you were knocking out all those local cops?"
Oh yeah- he'd subconsciously pushed that memory to the back of his mind. Perhaps it was for the best; an ex-marine beating on the local law enforcement wasn't entirely the kind of thing he wanted to be reminded of.
"You're lucky I got there when I did; those local boys were organizing a lynch mob to string you up. I actually had to say you were in the Witness Protection program for the FBI in order to get you out of there alive. Although," he added with a slight grin, "that lynching might have been something to see firsthand."
Gibbs stared at him, which didn't have nearly the impact it usually did since his eyes kept having trouble focusing. Instead he asked pointedly, "And why the hell are you so damn chipper and cheerful? What the hell are you doing in Argo anyway?"
"Oh I was in the neighbourhood and thought I'd drop in. Biggest surprise of my life to see you and your team here. I just came here for a day or two of R&R. Didn't expect to see you out causing trouble Jethro."
Gibbs merely grimaced and tossed the icepack to the side; he had come to the conclusion that rather than dulling the pain of his bruises, it was merely giving him a bigger migraine. "Speaking of trouble, since you're probably the only one who can tell me what's going on, give me a sit-rep. Where the hell is everyone? You said they only gave us until fifteen hundred hours to get out of here. I haven't seen any of my team since last night."
Fornell cleared his throat dramatically, "Well, since you asked so nicely…" Gibbs ground his teeth at the FBI agent's blatant taking of time. "From what I've heard so far, Agent McGee is currently at the town hall…"
"What the hell is he…?"
"…Agent David is out collecting a bounty and…"
"Ziva's not a goddamn…"
"…Dr. Mallard and Miss Sciuto are currently enjoying the luxury of the city jail."
"What?" Gibbs jerked his head towards Fornell and immediately regretted it as another wave of pain went shooting through his skull.
"Oh yeah, your team's pretty much broken every one of your rules Jethro." Fornell grinned. "They've become real favourites of the locals in the past few hours."
"Just start at the goddamn beginning, Tobias." He rubbed his aching temples in an attempt to sooth away his migraine. "What the hell happened?"
"I have no idea why you allow DiNozzo and David to lay into McGee the way they do; that tech specialist of yours has one mean streak, especially after a few drinks. You know that little karaoke bar near the east side of town? The way the patrons tell it, I think he took it as an insult when you started singing 'You Spin Me Right Round' and managed to charm away that redheaded Japanese girl from him."
"Aw, Christ." Gibbs muttered. When the hell had he ever been drunk enough to try his hand at karaoke? Karaoke! He could bet every head slap he'd ever given that video was probably all over YouTube by now.
"Yeah, McGee didn't take it so well. How does that song go again? 'You spin me right round, baby, right round'…"
"Yeah I get the picture. What happened with McGee?"
"As I understand it, he got blind drunk in another bar on the other side of town. Out-drank seven firefighters one after another. Seven! Then an entire Italian construction crew! McGee finally left after two hours. Now he and an ATV are stuck on the roof of town hall."
Gibbs stared. "How?"
"I'm actually considering it to be one of the better outcomes of the evening. If you were the one driving, there wouldn't be a building left standing in this whole town."
The team leader glared at him. "That's real funny, Tobias. Alright, what's this about Ziva and a bounty?"
"Pure luck, as it turns out. No one else was around to collect it. You remember Chris Archer?"
"Chris Archer? Wait, wait… Pvt. Chris Archer who we discovered to have stolen precious Navy artefacts and killed his CO to cover it up but ended up escaping before we could catch him?"
"Not to mention the fact that he's now a bank robber with a fully fledged crew wanted in at least six states. Or at least he was until last night."
"You mean he's dead?"
"If not, he soon will be. He and his crew came into town looking to rob the bank and shoot up the whole place. Said he was going to start killing everyone in sight if the police didn't, and I quote, 'back the fuck off before the whole damn town starts burning'. Well, he was just standing there in the town square, assault rifle in hand, belting out his fiery monologue when David charged him like a pissed off buffalo and head-butted him. Knocked him right on his ass like an NFL linebacker."
"…Ziva head-butted Archer? You're jerking me around, Fornell."
"If you don't believe me, you can just ask around or check the morning paper. Honestly Gibbs, what would possess me to make up something like that? For such a small person, she packs one hell of a punch; especially considering she shattered his nose with her forehead and probably cracked his skull as well."
"Why the hell would Ziva head-butt someone? Her time in Somalia make her forget her Mossad skills?"
"I think she was much too inebriated to piece together the exact specifics of any skills that she may have. Anyway, the rest of Archer's men fled and then Archer himself started heading for the high ground. David took off in pursuit since she recognized that there was a reward out for his capture; she publicly declared herself a bounty hunter in the middle of the town square, announced she would bring back his head and nothing more of him and then took off following the trail of blood he left behind. You know, if she terminates her position with Mossad and decides NCIS is no longer for her, there may be a future in the mercenary business for her."
"That's not going to happen, Tobias; not when I catch up with her." Gibbs retrieved the icepack and pressed it against his aching back. "Okay, what happened with Ducky and Abby? They start performing illegal autopsies and experiments in an alleyway for the few hours I left them alone?"
"Not quite." Fornell smiled. "Dr. Mallard paid a visit to the town brothel last night and incited the workers there to start protesting."
"Of course- Ducky made the whores riot. I should have seen this coming a mile away."
"From what I've gathered, he went there after hearing about the brothel's dismal record on health and protection against STDs. The workers agreed with his arguments and started refusing to take johns. Then either a team of security guards or a security guard and the brothel madam- it alternates depending on who's telling the story- came along and tried to throw him out; Dr. Mallard grabbed a tin plate off a table and smashed it over a security guard's head. The workers rallied around him and then the whole damn building started rioting."
Gibbs could barely hold back his grimace. "How badly was he injured?"
"Actually not at all! The only casualty he suffered were his glasses being trampled and smashed in the chaos. But I've never known of a man his age fight like he did. Did some things with broken chair legs that I didn't think were humanly possibly!"
Gibbs stared at him. "But…are you trying to tell me… what the hell is… alright, you know what? No. I don't even want to know what you mean by that! I suppose Abby was his little cheerleader during this episode?"
"No- she was picked up in an underground Goth club about four hours ago."
"You know, it's very scary to admit it out loud, but that seems like one of the sanest and most logical things my team's done since we got here. Oh, she's still going to get hell for getting arrested but I don't think it's anything completely wrong…"
"She was arrested along with about a dozen other naked Goths and was carrying a strange vial of liquid. I'm not entirely sure what was in it, but she was missing her dog collar, was wearing a smile that even she's never worn before and was walking like a pointed stick was keeping her legs about a yard apart."
Gibbs stared in shock. "I think I might just review my policy of never giving her a head slap." He murmured.
"She's not the only one who deserves it. Jimmy Palmer was busted, uh… getting to know a young medical intern in the bushes of her own house about an hour ago."
"…Palmer was screwing a medical intern in a bunch of plants?"
"Yeah. Apparently he thought it would be a nice place to seduce her. Worked until her father and brother came out to water the shrubs and found them. The brother soaked him with the hose while the father raced into the house to get his shotgun."
"And I suppose Palmer either high-tailed it out of there or is now blow to pieces on the intern's front lawn?"
"Actually no! It seems the boldness of his success at seducing a beautiful young woman sparked a fire in him. He managed to disarm the brother of the hose and subsequently turned it on the two other men until they retreated. Last I heard, he and the intern were heading to the nearby forest to, uh… continue getting to know each other."
"Sure- everyone else is acting totally insane; why not have Palmer be tough and beat two other men in a fight? What about DiNozzo? Or do I even want to know?"
"He was in the middle of chatting up a young bartender last night… you know come to think of it, I haven't seen him with his jacket since… but decided to skip out when he noticed the bartender slip something green into his drink. He's passed out in the Charger right now- should be none the worse for wear. Probably for the best since I heard there were a gang of thugs outside in the alleyway ready to rough him up."
Gibbs gave another sigh, leaned against the side of the bed and pressed the icepack to his lip. Fornell looked at him sympathetically. "Yeah, it hasn't been the easiest night for you. Well, you'll be happy to know that I at least thought of your needs when you woke up." He held out a cup of coffee to the ex-marine.
"You had that all the time we were here and you didn't tell me?" Gibbs snatched the cup from Fornell's hand and downed at least half of it in one go.
Fornell smirked. "I figured you would need it most when you had learned everything that went on last night."
Gibbs suppressed a biting insult and instead sighed again. "Okay fine, whatever. Can you just hold off on the gloating at my misfortunes until I get everyone either un-arrested or dragged back here?"
"Sure, but first you'll need to check your e-mail. Director Vance, I believe, sent you a video message."
"Vance sent me a video message? What the hell for?"
Fornell shrugged. "Hell if I know. All I can tell you is that it's urgent. You obviously didn't bring any way of getting onto your account with you; luckily, I brought my new laptop with me."
He nodded to the device in question on the table across from the bed, which was already booted up and running. "Just got it directly from our cyber unit; apparently it has a really interesting voice feature. You issue commands to it and it tells you whether it's possible and what's happening."
"Great. A damn machine tells me whether I can or can't do something." Gibbs griped.
"Just give it a chance. It's even programmed to have a smooth, sleek female voice. I find I'm more likely to listen to it just because of that feature. Don't worry; it's already recognized your voice."
"It happened while you were doing all your yelling and griping during the last few hours."
Gibbs gave another grumble and then shuffled over to the table. "Okay fine. Uh… Computer- can I access my NCIS e-mail account on this machine?"
"You bet your ass you can, Agent Gibbs." Somehow the cool female tone didn't seem so sleek after all.
"Oh yeah- I knew I was forgetting something." Fornell murmured as Gibbs gaped at the laptop.
"I haven't quite figured out what's up with that yet. The cyber unit that sent it to me is at a loss to explain it as well."
"You taught this damn thing how to swear?"
"It's rather amusing, but it wasn't intentional. It must have happened as I was personalizing the settings the night I got it. Hmm," he stroked the underside of his chin. "Maybe I shouldn't have had that last bottle of brandy before setting it up."
Gibbs stifled a grumble and said tersely, "Computer, access my e-mail account and open up the new message from Director Leon Vance; probably has a video attached to it."
"I am searching for that message the way a sexy ass assassin hunts her intended target, Gibbs." Fornell audibly snickered; Gibbs resisted the urge to smash the computer into pieces by taking a big sip of coffee.
"Agent Gibbs, need I remind you that your actions these past weeks have been completely…" Vance's voice penetrated the room. The video was a regular taped recording, even though it was the first time the director had done this to him, and given the nature and speed of the message it would have been completely normal for the director- except that the video was portraying Vance's entire body and there was not the slightest trace of clothing on him. Gibbs jerked upright, spraying a mouthful of coffee all over the screen; coughing and choking, he frantically started punching random buttons in an effort to close the video, finally settling for slamming the lid down.
"What the HELL?"
"Ah, yes." Fornell said. "That would be the main reason that Argo doesn't want us in their town anymore. McGee did that."
"I believe it had something to do with a little bet he had with an IT specialist in the bar last night about how skilled he was with algorithms and matching things from different human body databases or something of that kind. I'm sure once he gets down off the roof of city hall, he'll be thrilled to hear he's won. Course, the problem is that he not only sent this altered video to you, but to everyone in Argo as well- including the mayor and the police chief."
"When I get my hands on him…" Gibbs started before wincing in pain as his ribs twisted the wrong way again.
Fornell grinned. "Considering your current condition Jethro, don't expect to be laying out the heavy punishment any time soon."
"Don't count on that. I have half a mind to leave him here. In fact I have half a mind to leave them all here and flee back to Mexico!"
"Well, look on the bright side; at least the town won't be quick forgetting us. When you go anywhere Jethro, you and your team tend to leave a trail a mile wide. No, more than a mile; a whole damn country wide!"
"Just get us the hell out of here."
A/N: Well, how's that for a one-shot? Any good? Please review! Again no copyright of any kind is intended.