Vance pressed the button to get on the line with his secretary.
"Yes, Director Vance?" She answered.
"Whitney, I need Agents Gibbs, DiNozzo, McGee and David to report to my office, along with Miss Sciuto, Dr. Mallard and Mr. Palmer."
"Yes, sir. I will get them for you right away."
"Thank you, Whitney."
"You're welcome, Director."
Vance hung up and waited for the team to arrive.
"We're all being fired," Tony said as the team headed upstairs. "I can feel it."
"It is probably indigestion from the four tacos you at at lunch," Ziva replied.
"No. We're definitely being let go. We somehow screwed up big time."
"Even Gibbs?" Tim whispered.
"He's not being fired. He's just there to meet his new team."
"DiNozzo," Gibbs called as he walked a few steps in front of them.
As they reached the top of the staircase, Abby, Ducky and Jimmy all exited the elevator.
"What are you guys doing here?" Tim asked.
"Vance called us," Abby replied.
"Oh God, it's a mass firing!" Tony exclaimed.
Abby's eyes widened, "It is?"
"No," Gibbs replied and continued walking to Vance's office.
Gibbs walked past Whitney, who didn't even seem surprised that he was entering Vance's office without knocking. The rest of the team followed in after him.
"Please, everyone have a seat," Vance said, already sitting at the table in his office. He had moved in just enough chairs for everyone to have a place to sit.
They all sat down quietly, and Vance began. "I know you are all probably wondering why you're here."
"Are we being fired?" Tony asked, unable to keep wondering about it any longer.
Vance smiled. "No. None of you are being fired."
Although no one but Tony "admitted" to believing they were being fired, there were sighs of relief heard all around the room.
Vance picked up some papers that were in front of him. He handed some to Ducky and some to Ziva, who were both sitting closest to him. "Pass these down," He said.
Once everyone had the papers, Vance continued. "There is a place in Maryland where co-workers can go on a retreat for a week. It's so they can get to know one another better- as well as connect with themselves and nature."
"Was there a murder there or something?" Tony asked, hoping that was the case.
"No," Vance replied, "It's where the seven of you are going to be spending next week."
What's, huh's and one cool- from Abby- was heard around the table.
Gibbs leaned forward in his chair. "Are you serious, Leon?"
"As a heart attack, Gibbs."
"But, we already know each other very well," Ziva pointed out. "Probably too well."
"You can never know someone too well, Agent David. Listen, you guys have been through a lot together, and lately it seems that every time I see some of you, you're arguing."
Tony shrugged, "We've always done that."
Vance sighed. "You don't have to like it, but you do have to do it. It's a mandatory seven days at one of Maryland's finest camping grounds. Originally I only had this set up for the four agents, but the seven of you spend the most time together, so I pulled some strings and made it so you could all go."
Tony sighed. "See, the thing is, I'm pretty sure I'm allergic to nature, so if I could get a doctor's note-"
"DiNozzo, you're going. Deal with it."
The team all looked around at one another. None of them were sure what to think. One thing was for sure, no one was excited about it… besides Abby.
"And, before any of you start fighting me over this," Vance continued, staring directly at Gibbs, "My decision is final. One hundred percent final."
"Well, how do we get there? Are the directions on one of these pages?" Ducky asked as he began looking through the papers he had been given.
"No, and you don't need directions. On Monday morning you will arrive here at NCIS Headquarters at exactly 5am. A bus will be here and will take you to the camp grounds."
"Now you're kidding," Tony replied.
"No, I'm still not kidding. Make sure you all pack enough things for one week, and have a good time. You're all dismissed."
The whole team slowly got up and walked out of the room, with Gibbs making sure he was the last one out.
"What? Not even gone try and fight it, Gibbs?" Vance asked as Gibbs held onto the door handle to leave.
He turned back around to face Vance. "Would it matter?"
Vance shook his head, "No. But it's not like you to not try."
"My team and I have a murder to solve, and apparently we have a new deadline, so I'm gonna skip the arguing and go right to finding this eighteen year old's murderer before I am forced on a vacation."
Without letting Vance get in another word, Gibbs left out, loudly shutting the door behind him.
Day 1- 5:00am
The whole team, besides Abby and Jimmy, seemed extra irritated as they arrived at the "bus stop" in front of NCIS Headquarters.
"This is so freakin' stupid," Tony mumbled as he took his three suitcases and two overnight bags and set them beside the others.
"What? The amount of luggage you have?" Ziva questioned. "I agree."
Tony glared at her. "No, not that. The fact that we have to be going on this stupid "find yourself" retreat."
"It's not just about finding ourselves, but also our co-workers," Tim pointed out.
"You're a nerd, Ziva's a ninja, Abby's a happy girl who dresses in black but claims to not be goth, Gibbs is silent but deadly, Ducky likes to tell stories, and Jimmy shouldn't be in the sun for long periods of time. What more do I need to learn?"
"Yes, you should tell all that to the counselors that will be there," Ziva replied. "I am sure they would let you leave early then."
"Wait. There's going to be counselors there?"
"There's going to be quite a few actually," Jimmy replied, bringing himself into the conversation, "It was all in the papers that Director Vance gave us."
"You didn't read it?" Tim asked.
"Of course I didn't read it. I actually have a life."
Ziva leaned forward so she could see past Tony and look at Tim and Jimmy, "There was a Magnum marathon on this weekend."
Both Tim and Jimmy nodded in understanding.
Abby, tired of listening to Ducky tell Gibbs a story that she had heard three times before, walked over. "Aren't you guys excited?" She asked, smiling widely.
"No," They all replied.
"Oh, come on! It'll be fun! One week of us all hanging out together, getting to know each other more, and I don't have to worry about if any of you are going to die! This is gonna be great!"
Before any of them could reply, the bus showed up. It was very small… Enough room for no more than ten people.
"Oh my God," Tony said, "This is gonna suck."
"I think we finally agree on something, Tony," Ziva replied.
The bus driver parked, opened the door, then stepped out. "Hello, soon-to-be campers!" He said with a much-too-perky smile on his face. "I'm Joe, one of the main counselors at Happy Endings Camp, and your bus driver for the day. Just grab your things and climb aboard and we'll get started!"
They all went to their luggage and picked it up, then started piling into the bus.
Tony sighed. "Yup. I'm officially in hell."
I honestly have no idea where the idea for this story came from. It just popped in my head the other day and I started writing it down. I'm glad to be taking a break from all the heavy drama I've been writing lately, and I'm glad to be writing a story that isn't just Tim (or Tim/Abby) centered. It's my first time doing that so I hope it doesn't suck.
Just a couple of things. Besides this being a humor/friendship story, it is also a family one, with teeny tiny bits of drama here and there, but not a huge amount.
Lastly, I get asked a lot if my stories will contain McAbby or Tiva. I am not a Tiva fan, I like their banter, but that's it. I just don't see them as a couple. However, there will be slight Tiva and McAbby, but no heavy stuff. It's just a group story. I know this seems like a lot of stuff for an A/N and I promise it won't be like this every time I post, but I just wanted to answer questions before they're asked.
Thanks for reading and reviewing!