A/N: Oh, general fluff and nonsense.
There was something amiss at NCIS. It was an occurrence that was rare, seldom spoken of, rumored to have occurred only once, and the harbinger of cataclysmic things afoot.
Leroy Jethro Gibbs was tired.
He had barked orders at his team: typical. He had taken Abby a caff-pow! and kissed her cheek: commonplace. He had listened with glazed eyes to Ducky, head-slapped DiNozzo, emergency stopped the elevator, and ordered his colleagues into the field to follow an impossible lead: characteristic, normal, and ordinary.
The only thing he had not done today (that was completely and utterly shocking) was harass the Director, and that was solely because he was too damn tired to walk up the stairs, much less barge loudly into her office.
He was busy glaring blankly at a case file, attempting to not fall asleep on his desk.
He muttered angrily under his breath. He blinked. Damn, he was tired. He was exhausted and this was irritating. Leroy Jethro Gibbs didn't get tired. He didn't need sleep. He was that good.
Although apparently, the past week—consisting of two nights of an excess of bourbon spent working on the boat, three days of heavy duty, high-profile cases, and two days of fighting with one annoying redhead over a media frenzy he happened to have incited—was catching up with him and refusing to let him function.
He could hardly read the tiny black words of this case. They were running all over the page, and squinting didn't help, because that just tempted him to close his eyes and he really didn't want to get busted sleeping by Ziva or McGee. Or god forbid, DiNozzo.
The thought made him want to shoot something.
Frustrated, he gave up. He slammed the case file shut and stood up roughly, storming away from his desk and towards the elevator. He was just going to have to find somewhere to catch a few Zs before the others came back from whatever he'd told them to investigate. He couldn't even remember.
Ducky was doing an autopsy, so that was out of the question.
It was too cold to go lay in the garage.
He highly doubted that, after the shouting match they'd had yesterday, Jenny would take kindly to him crashing on her couch.
Glaring at the metal walls of the elevator, he had almost decided to just shut it off and sleep inside of it when it occurred to him that Abby was at a seminar on DNA sequencing all morning. She'd been rambling on about it for weeks.
In other words, her lab was empty.
No loud music.
Nothing but the pile of pillows and blankets she kept hidden in case they caught a rough case and someone needed a power nape. He could sneak into her office and find a secluded place, just for a minute…
When the elevator doors opened and he stormed into her blissfully empty lab, it couldn't have been fast enough.
Jennifer Shepard found herself increasingly annoyed as she read her e-mail. How many times did Senator Brown feel the need to repeat himself before he got to the damn point? She had read the same sentence at least five times and she was waiting…her annoyance suddenly boiled over as she realized it wasn't the Senator; it was her.
She was so exhausted; she was simply reading the same first line over and over. And over.
The redhead's eyes physically hurt her, thanks to the effort it was taking to hold them open. Her head ached, too, and her neck was stiff. She stared with wide eyes at her computer; anyone to walk in might think she was petrified of what she was reading but in all honesty she was just trying to keep awake.
She dismissed the brief idea that flickered urging her to get another refill of espresso. There was a point, when she'd been up for nearly three days with only an hour of sleep, at which coffee failed to work and she was on her own.
Eating might be a good idea. But so was resolving this issue that the agents in London had mucked up, and that needed to be done. She had to meet with SecNav in two hours, as well, and there were so many other things that had to be pristinely presented by then…
…She started slightly as her head nodded forward and a reflex kept her from falling face-forward onto her keyboard. God, it had been a long week: one of the worst. Media conflicts, gruesome, high-profile cases, dirty politics, political dinners, ass-kissing, ass-kicking (if you included her only interaction with a certain ex-lover this week). She really hadn't had a chance to go home.
She hadn't seen her front porch in four days.
Her head hurt.
She bit her lip hard, attempting to wake herself up with a shock of sharp pain. It worked a little.
She blinked rapidly. The words in her e-mail blurred together into a watery black mass. Her eyes had gone from dry to watery. She couldn't focus.
What the hell, she thought. She threw the towel in, exited out of her e-mail account, and stood up, reaching up to rub her temples gently in hope of some respite from her headache. Her eyes roamed to the couch, and she was acutely reminded of why a short cat nap had been impossible lately.
She had spilled coffee all over it two days ago when she'd been shouting at Agent Gibbs; the cushions were being dry cleaned and were currently out of commission and absent. She narrowed her green eyes, gritting her teeth.
She had to find somewhere to close her eyes for a minute before this meeting with SecNav, lest she fall asleep in his lap.
She frowned, leaving her desk. She wandered into her assistant's office and considered Cynthia's couch; the younger woman was out on her lunch break, but Jenny couldn't bring herself to curl up on a couch that was out in the open like so. Anyone could walk in, and what if her skirt rode up or her hair looked a mess? No. Too unacceptably risky.
She breezed out of her office, standing at the railing of the catwalk. Agents were busy at work; the buzz was quiet. Gibbs' team was out in the field.
MTAC was a no go. They were running a mission with the San Diego office, and it might be bad for morale if she were caught sleeping in the back.
She would never even think of sleeping in autopsy. The thought made her want to shoot something.
Back in the day, she would have had no problem crashing under Gibbs' desk to freak him out, but considering the circumstances (and her elevated position) that would be highly inappropriate.
She smiled slightly as a sudden idea struck her. She'd signed off on Abby's DNA seminar last week, allowing the Goth a day free to attend it, meaning Abby's lab was empty today. She happened to know from previous experience that Abby's futon was incredibly cozy…
One expensive, sleepy heel tapped slowly on the floor as its owner glared with hostile green eyes at the expanse under Abby Sciuto's office desk. It was occupied.
"Dammit, Jethro," growled Jenny under her breath, stomping her foot immaturely.
Her silver-haired former partner twitched in his sleep. He had beaten her to the punch. How the hell had that even happened? Leroy Jethro Gibbs didn't sleep at work.
Or so she thought. This was considerable evidence to the contrary.
Upon resolving to utilize the blankets and pillows and Abby's lab for her own comfort, Jenny had made her way to the Goth's sanctuary only to find Gibbs already asleep in the spot she had been coveting in her mind.
She was miffed. There was nowhere else she could go, and sleep at this point was imperative.
Who did he think he was anyway? She was the director, she got sleeping spot privileges. On top of that, she sincerely believed he did not need the sleep as much. Not when he clearly had enough energy to punch reporters, call her rude names, and generally wreak havoc upon her nerves.
Desperate, Jenny glanced over her shoulder. She grit her teeth.
"I can't believe I'm doing this," she muttered darkly, sinking gracefully to her knees. She crawled forward, careful not to hit her head, and tugged at one of the pillows Jethro was using until he grunted at her in his sleep.
"Stop it, Hollis," he growled at her.
Jenny snorted derisively, whacking him in the head with the pillow she'd just stolen.
"Damn, you really are out of it," she said, arching an eyebrow when he blinked at her, sleepily offended and surprised. "It's me," she hissed, nudging his legs with her high-heel clad foot.
He looked at her suspiciously.
"Jen? What are you doing here?"
"I know you find it difficult to accept, Jethro, but I run this place," she snapped quietly. She nudged him harder with her foot, digging the heel into his thigh pointedly. "Scooch."
He muttered something, half-yawned, and rolled onto his back, moving over as she ordered. Jenny sighed in veritable discontent at this unfortunate event and positioned her pillow strategically, collapsing next to him.
"I'm trying to sleep, Jenny," he informed her, piqued.
"It is not my fault you decided to take a nap in the same place I decided to," she retorted primly, kicking one of his legs out of her way. He put it right back and she opened her eyes, glaring at him. He glared back.
"I was here first."
"I dare you to kick me out."
They glared at each other. She arched an eyebrow after a moment and he rolled his eyes, flopping huffily onto his back, his body angled towards her. Almost unconsciously, she shifted towards him, her arm pressed against his side as she curled up amongst the make-shift bed, relaxing a little.
"Don't act like you don't dream about this," she snapped snarkily, a smirk spreading over her lips at her triumph of forcing him to share with her.
"This is nothing like my dreams," he growled indignantly.
"Hell no. If I were dreaming, you'd be naked," he retorted bluntly.
Jenny kicked him. She moved her head closer to his chest somewhat, her eyes resting peacefully at least, the ache in her head starting to subside. She smiled languidly, and a little wickedly, more content than she'd first thought to grab a quick moment of shut-eye with him.
You could hear a pin drop in the bullpen.
Anthony DiNozzo looked wickedly from Timothy McGee to their little ninja Mossad officer, Ziva David. Silently, he took the Probie's silence as agreement to back him up if his next few antics went horribly wrong.
Tony opened his mouth with a smirk.
"Did I not tell you to keep your map shut or I shall saw your tongue off with a blunt box cutter?" the aforementioned ninja Mossad officer hissed immediately; before he could even completely compose his sentence.
"Correction, Zee-vah," he sing-songed obnoxiously, "I believe what you want me to do is keep my trap shut, not my map. I am not holding a map. In fact, I'm seriously confused—"
"Shut. Your. Trap," Ziva growled seriously.
She gave the Italian American a demonic, threatening glare with her dark eyes.
"I would shut up, Tony," McGee piped up.
"Speak only when spoken to, McUninvited," barked Tony brightly. He turned a smirk on Ziva and grinned. "Seriously? You want me to just ignore this? We finally know what the great warrior princess fears, and you want me to just let it go?"
"Yes," Ziva ground out pointedly. She still glared at Tony in complete hostility.
"I don't think she's kidding about the tongue thing."
"Aww, come on, McGee, back me up! It was a butterfly! Not a spider, not a rat, not an icky sticky gross mass of maggots, a butterfly," Tony informed gleefully. He smiled winningly at Ziva.
"I do not like butterflies, Tony," she said calmly, with a fiercely dangerous edge to her voice.
"You 'don't like them'? You tried to shoot it! It's not like or dislike! You, Ziva David, killer of many, are terrified of butterflies!"
Tony cackled. McGee gulped at the look on Ziva's face and made himself inconspicuous, busy tapping away on a case they needed to solve ASAP. Out of the corner of his eye, he watched Ziva prowl over to Tony's desk. His cackling stopped and he let out a squeak.
McGee flinched, but Tony's girlish scream of imminent death never came. Instead, soft clinking took its place and everyone's favorite lab rat darted into the bull pen, her effervescent smile in place. A stylish dog collar complete with a tag made itself evident as the culprit of the clinking.
"Hello, all! Where's Gibbs? I missed him! I missed you all, but Gibbs most, because at my seminar I heard a story about a technique and—wow, it was way cool, and I think I can use it to solve the Druce case but I need to talk to him—TIMMY! Where is Gibbs?" Abby demanded breathlessly, her pigtails swinging excitedly.
Abby stomped her platform boot impatiently.
"Er, we don't know where he is, Abs," Tony spoke up, rescuing the stuttering McGee.
Ziva moved stealthily away from Tony's desk towards Abby.
"Know that you have just saved DiNozzo from a very slow, painful death," she informed the Goth calmly. Abby sucked in her breath and glanced at Tony suspiciously.
"I'll find out what he did later," she said to Ziva, earning an outraged squeak from Tony at being assumed the instigator. "What do you mean you don't know where Gibbs is?" she asked, her brow furrowing worriedly.
Three mouths opened to answer, and then suddenly, they were staring at each other in confusion.
"Well, uh, he sent us to do follow-ups on the Druce interviews—" Tony said, pointing to himself and Ziva.
"And he told me to get the bank records directly from the president of the bank—" McGee said slowly, looking at the other two.
Abby looked at all of them expectantly.
"And…he stayed here," McGee mused.
"He was going over the statements again," Ziva said, turning and looking at Gibbs' desk. They all turned to look. Then they all looked at each other. Ziva pursed her lips. "This is odd."
"Good observation, Ziva," Tony said seriously. "We've all been back for almost two hours. He hasn't shown up to demand answers, slap heads, yell, and/or growl. Et cetera."
Abby gasped and covered her mouth.
"Call Ducky," she ordered worriedly.
McGee shook his head this time.
"Ducky finished an autopsy and gave me the report. He said," McGee's eyes widened suddenly. "He said he called me because Gibbs wasn't at his desk."
"Oh no!" Abby shrieked. "Someone kidnapped el jefe!"
"Take a chill pill, Abs, it was probably the director," he snickered, nodding suggestively up at the office and wiggling her eyebrows.
Ziva looked even more confused at this.
"Cynthia said she thought Jenny had left."
Abby dashed over to McGee's computer and shoved him out of the way, chair and all. She began typing in numbers.
"What are you doing?" hissed McGee, annoyed that someone was using his computer.
"Tracking Gibbs' cell phone!" Abby answered earnestly. She stared anxiously at the screen until a fixation popped up and she straightened triumphantly. "AHA! Found you, elusive bossman!"
"Where is he, Abby?" Ziva asked interestedly.
Abby narrowed her eyes.
"He's-!" She paused, tilting her head and raising an eyebrow in intrigue. "In my office?" she finished, a bit confused.
The four looked at each other. All at once, they all turned and ran for the elevator, intense curiosity consuming them.
"I hope he isn't trying to run the tests himself, I don't want him to get hurt…" Abby worried, hugging herself as the elevator doors closed on them and they waited for the mystery of Gibbs lengthy and uncharacteristic absence to be revealed to them.
Timothy McGee stared blatantly at the sight in front of him. He stood in Abby's office, in front of her desk, while the others poked around her lab attempting to find Gibbs—or at least the cell phone that claimed it was in the lab.
He blinked. Just to make sure he was actually seeing right.
"I found him," he announced. He could have tried to be quiet, but it didn't occur to him. He was too caught off guard. He tilted his head.
Tony, Ziva, and Abby looked his way and dropped what they were doing, immediately scampering into Abby's office.
"Er, them," McGee corrected. "I found them."
"Them?" Abby asked, tilting her head quirkily, her brow furrowing again. She sidled up next to McGee and peered in the direction he was staring.
She gasped and covered her mouth to muffle a squeal.
"Awwww!" she cooed, smiling as she clasped her hands under her chin.
"Gibbs is doing something cute?" Tony demanded in shock, barging up. He clamped his mouth shut the minute he noticed his boss was sleeping, having had one too many experiences waking Gibbs up unexpectedly.
Tony broke into a gleeful grin, smirking lewdly.
"Cynthia was wrong, Zee-vah. The director didn't go home. She's right here."
"What?" Ziva asked sharply, ducking under McGee's arm next to Abby. She pursed her lips and raised her eyebrows, staring as unashamedly as the rest of them now. Abby sighed happily.
"This is adorable," she announced.
Gibbs and Jenny were snuggled up together with Abby's make-shift bed materials under the Goth's desk. Jenny was sharing a pillow with Gibbs and her legs were all tangled up in his. Her red hair was splayed out over his chest and he had a tight hold on the arm she had wrapped around him.
"This is what they do when the kids are away?" Tony grumbled, somewhat disappointedly. "They're boring," he whined.
"I think it's sweet," Abby said.
McGee backed up slowly.
"Let's not wake them up," he muttered cautiously, lowering his voice. He was very impartial to the idea of an angry Gibbs-Jenny duo.
"Wait!" Abby whispered, grabbing McGee. "Someone get me a camera!"
"Are you crazy?"
"Oh, hush, Timmy—Ziva, do you have your phone?"
Ziva immediately handed over her cell phone; squirming up next to Abby and peering down at her redheaded friend and boss with a smirk. Jenny would throw a royal fit if she knew what were going on, but if she chose to sleep so deeply under Abby's desk like this, she sure as hell was asking for it.
Abby giggled and held up the camera, positioning it to capture the best shot.
"Abby!" hissed McGee desperately.
"Quiet, McScaredy-pants!" ordered DiNozzo.
Ziva glared at them both.
Abby sucked in her breath suddenly and froze. The others followed her lead and stopped moving until it was completely silent and they were as still as the inanimate objects around them.
Jenny stretched, wrinkling her nose and forehead unhappily and cuddling up to Gibbs more. She muttered something almost inaudible and moved her hand lazily until her fingers brushed his neck. Abby looked like she would melt when Gibbs shifted towards her and buried his head in her hair.
Stealthily, Ziva plucked her phone from Abby's hand and, with all the finesse of a graceful and perfect assassin, snapped the picture without hardly moving a muscle. She snapped the phone shut silently and triumphantly and gallantly presented it to Abby.
Abby took it with a flourish.
"Let's wake them up," Tony hissed impishly.
"God no," McGee groaned under his breath.
"You will do no such thing, Tony," snapped Ziva.
"It'll be fun," he coaxed, almost whining.
Abby shook her head and motioned sharply for them to start leaving, her hands on her hips and her eyes stern, particularly when she looked at DiNozzo.
"Let the sleepyheads cuddle in peace," she said earnestly. Tony made a face at the fluffy language, and resigned himself to being ushered out by an insistent Goth. She marched the three agents to her laboratory door and waved her hands.
"How come you get to stay?" Tony asked sulkily, craning his neck.
"Because it is my lab," Abby answered primly. She smirked. "And I want to see their reactions when they wake up and find me running tests on the Druce case."
Tony gave her an outraged look as she shut the door gently in their faces.
Abby pranced over to her beloved equipment and got the running. Poor Gibbs, he was so tired. Poor director, too, she was clearly beat if she had resorted to sharing a make-shift bed with Gibbs. They were mad at each other right now, and Abby doubted they wanted to be sleeping together.
She glanced towards her office, where the fox and the foxette slumbered away, snuggled up all cute and comfortable, and smirked, arching her eyebrow.
That is, they may not want to be 'sleeping' together in the most literal meaning of the phrase, but when it came to the vernacularly accepted, more intimate meaning…
Abby giggled. Connotation and denotation of the phrase aside, she found it precious that Jenny and Gibbs liked to secretly snuggle up together when they were tired. In fact, she considered it her personal duty to make sure their much-needed sleep was uninterrupted until the two of them decided to wake up and comically freak out.
No. I do not know where these ideas come from. I just go with them. :D