"McGoo, your fans are crazy!" Tony ran his fingers through his already disheveled hair. "Seriously, nuts! Have you seen some of the crap they post online?"
McGee shot him a look, his fingers never slowing on the keyboard. "What are you talking about? And why were you searching for stuff about my books? I thought you were filling out paperwork."
"I'm just taking a little break," Tony said, leaning back in his chair. "But I've got to tell you, I'm a little sorry that I did. Do you know the stuff they put up on their fan pages?"
"I usually just look at the critics' blogs, Tony. I don't have time to waste looking at fan pages. No one regulates that stuff." He finally pushed back from his computer and interlaced his fingers behind his head. "Why? You find something good?"
"Good? Good, McGee? Do you know the kind of psychos who read your books?" Tony could practically feel his blood pressure skyrocket.
"Well, yeah—remember Abby's stalker? But most of my fans aren't psycho," McGee protested.
Tony raised an eyebrow with a disbelieving snort. "Au contraire, my friend. They are. And if you don't think so, you need to spend more time on the Internet."
"What did you find that's got you so riled up? Someone dare to say they liked Agent McGregor better than Agent Tommy? People do like my character, you know. The critics say he has depth."
"And you tried to tell us that they weren't us!" Tony said, pointing his finger triumphantly. "But no. This is so much more unbelievable, and so much worse."
"Oh, stop being melodramatic and spit it out already," McGee said. "I've got tons of paperwork to do."
"Okay, Elflord. You're a grade-A geek. So I'm sure you've heard of fan fiction."
McGee chuckled. "Yeah. I had a girlfriend who used to write Star Wars fan fiction in college; she took it to a conference once, and apparently people really liked it. I try not to read any of the stuff based off my book, though-I'd rather use my own ideas than pick up bits and pieces from others. Why?"
Tony rolled his eyes. "You've never read it and you still defend your fans? Honestly. Your naivety would be amusing if they weren't so deranged."
"That's a strong word over something like fan fiction, Tony-"
Tony shook his head. "No. It's not. If anything it is too mild. Do you know what your fans have put me through?"
"Enlighten me," McGee challenged. Tony stood and began to pace the space in front of their desks, ticking things off on his fingers
"Thanks to your fans, I've been kidnapped. Beaten by suspects. Drugged. Raped. They love to hurt me. All kinds of accidents-car, boat, hell, even an exploding toaster. If I'd been concussed half as much as your fans think I have, I'd be fit only to weave baskets at a convalescent home. Every bone on my body has been broken. Twice. I fall into water. In ways that someone with my athletic prowess never would—"
"Not that you think highly of yourself our anything," McGee muttered under his breath.
Tony ignored him, continuing to rant. "My lungs stop functioning properly at the drop of a hat. A few of them have killed me off, in an exploding car, or a fall of a building, or shot and killed by a suspect. One had me eat my gun! Do I seem suicidal to you?" Here he paused for an answer.
"Of course not," McGee said dismissively. "But it's fiction, Tony!"
Tony took a deep breath and shook his head. "I'm just getting started. That's not the worst. Oh no. then they attack my mental health. I'm crazy-schizophrenic, depression, anxiety, OCD. Some have me slicing my wrists like a fifteen year old girl. I have more mommy issues than you can shake a stick at. They think my father is the devil incarnate. And apparently think Gibbs should adopt me. As a grown man, half the time!"
He stopped in front of McGee's desk and put his palms flat on the top before leaning into McGee's personal space. He dropped his voice into a hissed whisper. "And when he adopts me, things get uglier. Do you know how many times your fans have had the boss spank us? And often for the stupidest things ever, like messing with his coffee. He might kill me for that, but I really can't imagine him beating my ass for it. They are twisted!"
McGee tried to interrupt, but Tony plowed right over him in that same hushed croak. "And even worse than that, they are all obsessed with sex. And not just normal sex-no, they've got me doing some of the weirdest stuff. According to your fans, I've slept with Abby. With Ziva. With both at the same time, which was kind of hot, actually. With you, which made me throw up in my mouth. With GIBBS, for God's sake, which is so disturbing I don't have words. Or an orgy involving all of the above! One ambitious person had Palmer and I sleeping together! And not just sex-whips and chains, dog collars, pretending to be a puppy, dressing in girl's clothing! Where the hell do these crazy ideas even come from? I mean, seriously? Not the fetishes thing-Abby's told me more than I ever wanted to know about that, although I bet some of this stuff would be too strange even for her. But the gay thing? Everyone knows I'm a ladies man, McGee."
"You did tongue a tranny," McGee managed to point out as Tony took a breath.
"He looked like a she. How was I supposed to know the plumbing didn't match? And don't distract me. They are crazy! You can't possibly defend that kind of weird"
Tony took a deep breath and stood upright, crossing his arms over his chest and waiting for an explanation. McGee threw his hands up.
"Okay, some of them are a little crazy. But I never insinuated you were gay, or into...uh...weird stuff. Their imaginations aren't my fault! You read the book-nothing like that was in there!"
"You portrayed Palmer as a necrophiliac," Tony said.
"It was a nightmare, Tony!"
"Yeah, well this is my nightmare! There's got to be something you can do!"
WHACK! "Got an idea," Gibbs said as Tony rubbed at his head, feeling the blood drain from his face. "Get back to work before I borrow ideas from McGee's crazy fans."
Tony's eyes widened like saucers. "How long were you listening, Boss?" he asked, trying to sound nonchalant. In front of him, McGee looked like he wanted to disappear. He was trying to shrink into his chair, staring very intently at the top of his desk.
"Long enough," Gibbs said brusquely. "Back to work
"Right. On it." Tony said, practically sprinting for his desk. Gibbs sat at his own desk and started typing.
"And McGee?" Gibbs said quietly, his gaze intent on the screen in front of him.
Tony heard McGee swallow. "Yes Boss?" he squeaked.
"If any more of your books come out, leave my romantic relationships out of it. If I ever see another piece of trash about me and Jenny with the four of you as kids, I'm gonna be ready to eat MY gun."
The silence was profound. Finally, McGee managed to stutter,"Yes, Boss. Er, no Boss. I mean, I won't."
Gibbs nodded. "Work," he commanded. Both men became extremely engrossed in their computers.
Tony brought up his Team-Chat screen. The boss never used it, saying he saw no point when he could just yell across the bullpen, so it seemed safe enough. McGee do you really think the boss reads fan fiction? he typed hastily.
An answering window popped up almost instantly. I can't imagine it, it read. I didn't even know the boss liked to read!
"Abby sent me a link," Gibbs said aloud. Both men stared at him. "She thought it was "cute." He sounded irritated "Now get off the Team-Chat and do your paperwork!"
"Yes Boss!" they said instantly.
As Tony began filling in the lines on the fifth of dozens of forms, he decided that he and Abby really needed to have a chat about things to never, ever show the boss. And as far as he was concerned, fanfiction(dot)net made the top of that list!