Title: The Janitor
Disclaimer: hey absolutely do not belong to me...but I wish they did.
"My name is Vinnie Braun, I'm a janitor. My current employer is the Naval service, currently I take care of the crimes unit, otherwise known as NCIS. This is a story of a day at work that I will never forget."
The elevator slid open and out walked Tim and Ziva, both engrossed in a conversation about a movie they had gone to see together over the weekend.
"He is so handsome McGee and he has that body. You know the rock hard body that has the muscles on the belly." she smiled as she described Sylvester Stallone.
"Ziva, Stallone is older than both of us put together, he's old enough to be your grandfather." McGee returned as he placed his bag down on his desk and took a seat, quickly turning on his computer.
"Older men are excellent lovers." Ziva came back, wanting to see the reaction on Tim's face, as she too took her seat at her desk.
"Is that right Ziva? I'll have to remember that ." Gibbs stated as he came around the corner, a file in hand.
"Gibbs, I meant that I have heard that they are better in bed, not that I have had any experience." she was stammering, embarrassed by her earlier comment.
McGee couldn't help but to laugh quietly at his desk, she had been caught and it was funny to watch her squirm under Gibbs stare.
But Gibbs was never one to take down a lady, so his attention turned quickly to McGee. " Is it that funny McGee? I suggest you both forget about the movies and get to work, we have a full day ahead of us." the point had been made that the conversation was over and there was work to be done.
"Got the point boss. Back to work boss." McGee replied, feeling as though it wasn't fair that Ziva always got away with things with Gibbs. She and Abby were the favorites.
Gibbs took a seat and started to open the file in his hand, a new case, a missing Staff Sargent.
Tim focused on his work again, ignoring Ziva's smug look from across the room, his hands started hammering the keys of the computer, pulling up his email.
Within a few minutes Tony came around his desk, threw down his bag and cursed under his breath as he took off his wet coat and slung it to the floor, "I hate rainy days!" His words were more than dramatic and his mood was less than happy.
" Get to work DiNozzo, we have a busy day ahead of us." Gibbs ordered his senior, tossing a file towards Tony's head.
Tony caught it with open hands and took a seat, he reached underneath his jacket and retrieved his gun, securing it away along with his badge. He then reached both hands into his wet, dripping hair and came away with his hands soaked, he needed a quick run to the bathroom.
"Gotta go to the head Boss, be back in a minute." Tony stood and was met with the glare coming from his boss's desk.
"Really boss? I have to go." he lied, he just needed to fix his hair and dry off a bit but looks were definitely important enough to tell his lie. The blow drier in the bathroom would do the trick.
"Five minutes." Gibbs responded in a voice gruff, as he returned his focus to the file he had opened earlier.
Tony hurried away before the man could change his mind.
I had arrived later than usual, my kids had been sick the night before and had to be taken to the emergency room, so now I was finishing my cleaning duties as the agents started to enter, I couldn't help but to notice how the older man could make his men get to work with only a stare or a harsh word, he must be one mean son of a bitch, I thought to myself as I emptied the last trash can.
As I walked towards the elevator with my cart I heard a loud commotion in the stairwell, then the door opened with an explosive force, and a man with a gun appeared.
"Gets your hands up! All of you" The younger looking man, with military fatigues on yelled with an angered tone of voice. The gun he held was a semi automatic, I recognized it immediately from my days on the streets when I was younger and very foolish. It also looked like he had plenty of extra rounds hanging around his neck.
The man was dressed in marine browns and he wore three black stripes on his arm, the kind you wear when one of your own dies. The man seemed to be scanning the room, looking for someone in particular.
"I'm looking for Leroy Jethro Gibbs!" The angry man shouted out again, he was wanting to get our attention, wanting to invoke fear in the room, and that he did.
That's when the older man stood, arms raised above his head, and walked toward the man. He didn't look like the kind who would be a martyr, but he didn't look like a man who could be reckoned with if someone messed with his team either.
It was still early enough though that the office was still quiet empty, more empty desks than filled ones and the man with the gun started waving it for everyone to come to one side of the room, away from the older man and himself.
"Been waiting for this day for a long time, didn't think it would be this easy." The younger man spit out as he waved for the us to sit on the floor with our hands above our heads, the agents guns locked away, agency policy. Then sirens were starting to scream throughout the building. The man must had been seen before he arrived or at least he had pissed off a few, his presence was known. It was only a matter of time before they would have a SWAT team or whatever the military have to secure a scene come to the rescue, but it would be a while.
I too, found myself following the others, cooperating, not making a threatening move or gesture, thinking about my family and how this might be a moment that could change not only my life but the lives of my loved ones forever. I was afraid.
"You are going to die to today Mr Gibbs. I've actually been looking forward to pulling the trigger that would blow your head off for a long time." The man smiled, maybe he even laughed as he uttered the words loudly.
I couldn't help but to notice the two younger team members, the ones whose banter I had enjoyed listening to earlier. I too had seen the movie,the Expendables, over the weekend. Actually the over the top , all the refills you can have on popcorn and coke had been the culprit of my kids sudden and mysterious illness which brought about all the nausea, vomiting and diarrhea one could ever want in one evening. It was a bad night!
" Let them go, this is between you and me Travis." The older, gray haired man seemed to want to protect the others, us. He wanted to get us all out alive.
"Wouldn't that be all nice of me." The man let out a gutteral laugh, one that would make one's hair stand on edge, mine sure as hell did, and probably will for a while.
" I don't think so Mr Gibbs, I've learned from the best not to be a fool, because fools die, just like my brother. He trusted you and you screwed him. You got him killed, actually your teamed killed him, shot him dead." The man seemed more and more agitated, the more he talked about what was bothering him, the more it seem that he was getting angrier. It was like he was letting out the steam but in actuality the anger was building up a bigger storm inside of him.
"He decided to take the deal Travis, he wanted to to screw us, and he died for doing it. My team didn't have a choice but to shoot him, he would've killed a lot of people that day." The man continued talking but he also seemed to be edging closer to the threat before us, attempting to get as close as the desperate man would allow.
That is when I saw him, the man who always dresses in fancy suits, the one I have, well. use to actually, always thought of as arrogant, self centered, and narcissistic. The fancy suit man had returned and he had taken a position behind the back desk, his brown shoe barely visible to me but I recognized it, Gucci shoes are too expensive for my budget but I always admired them in the windows of the fancy shoe stores.
The angry man raised his aim at the older man, his finger resting heavily on the trigger. I knew we were only moments away from seeing the white haired man dead but then it happened, things changed in a split second.
Fancy suit man had changed the inevitable, he had made it back to his desk somehow and had retrieved his gun, a shot rang out and the once angry man was now lying on the floor. He was dead. But the once angry man had gotten off one round of bullets before he died. But the only shot that really mattered that day was the one to the man on the floor.
Fancy suit man had taken a bullet, the blood oozing out of his wound now was staining the same boring carpet that I cleaned every night. Everything that day took on a new meaning, even the carpet and the man's Gucci shoes.
I watched as the older man ran to his agent's side, calling for someone to call an ambulance, the others in the room scattered, running to their desk and they were pulling out their weapons, ready for another assault if it happened, everyone except the older man, who went straight to his bleeding agent and he bent down over him, assessing him.
The beautiful woman, who always pulled her hair back in a pony tail picked up the phone and was telling the operator she needed an ambulance immediately, her partner had been shot.
I moved forward, wanting to see the train wreck, it is human nature of course, but what I saw was the opposite. I saw the older man pull his agent into his arms, place a hand over his wound and with the other he reached back and gave the man a small whack to the back of his head.
"What were you thinking DiNozzo?" His voice was gruff, but the expression on his face told a different story, it was one of worry, concern, the one I use for my children when they get hurt, the one that says I love you and I don't want anything to ever happen to you.
"Was thinking you were about to get your ass shot off boss." The man replied between gut wrenching coughs, his pale face and shaking body showing signs of pending shock.
"The paramedics are on their way boss." The tall thin man spoke up, his voice was just above a whisper. There it was again, that look. He was worried too, more than a friend kind of worry, more like a brother type of worry.
I felt as if I was intruding suddenly on something more personal, something more akin to what I have with my family. I was intrigued, scared and humbled all at the same time.
The woman joined them, muttering something about a Duck and then her hands were aiding , assisting in staunching the flow of blood for the man's wound.
The older man spoke softly, words that I could not hear but the words had to be encouraging. I could tell, because fancy suit man started to make jokes and the feeling of doom was fading. I was amazed at the transformation before my very eyes, it was if they were breathing life into him,
I stood there with tears in my eyes, wondering how these people had connected, how they had grown into their own sort of family. I was amazed.
The ambulance came and took the man away. The blood was easily cleaned away after pictures and samples had been taken. But the memory of those moments I experienced that day still live inside me.
Today as I work in the office, I am reminded again of the family feeling I experienced that day. I watch as they welcome back one of their own, the smiles on their faces, the laughter they are sharing with each other.
I can not help but to feel part of something bigger now.
"Good morning Vinnie! Did you watch the Redskins play last night?" Tony DiNozzo, aka, Fancy suit man, asked the man as he walked into the bullpen. It was his first day back after being shot.
"Hey Tony! Good to see you back man!" I greeted the man whom I now have developed a closer relationship with since that day. We watch football together now, me, Tony and my son. We have a friendship, and it is the best. It's a family thing.
He even gave me a pair of his Gucci shoes, I wear them every day. Now that's friendship! Well, maybe more like family.