Out of Exodus
Leon Vance knew it was going to be a bad day when his wife and kids wouldn't look at him as he left for work. He had told them the night before that they were moving. What they wouldn't let him explain was that the family in and of itself wasn't moving, just the NCIS teams out of one building and into another.
He finished his coffee and drove to the current facility where all the teams were busy trying to get files boxed up and pertinent equipment moved over to Quantico. To his immense surprise, there hadn't been too much of an uproar over the move so far, just a quiet raising of eyebrows.
The one person he'd expected to complain had just swallowed another sip of his never ending cup of coffee and continued working. Then again, no matter how much he might think otherwise, Gibbs was a professional and a Marine to boot. Moving was part of a Marine's, heck of any military life for the most part so Leon chalked that up as the reason why Gibbs had pretty much kept his silence.
The rest of Gibbs' team tended to follow the team leader's example and in so doing, were fairly silent about the move. They all went about their business, working cold cases when necessary as to eliminate unnecessary paperwork, going out on new cases whenever there was a call out. Typing up their reports in a timely manner and then starting the new day.
Leon waved to the guard as he entered the building. As they were moving a lot of not just personnel but top secret information, security had been tightened just in case some idiot tried to ferret out said information. It was one reason he'd asked Gibbs about making sure that Tim McGee and Abby Sciuto were the ones responsible for the computers being moved.
Despite their squabbling the two computer gurus were the best at NCIS and he wanted to make sure that their talents were put to use locking away files that didn't need brought into the open by some hacker; he didn't mind going to Quantico, but it didn't mean that he trusted their computer geeks as much as he trusted his own.
And speaking of computer geeks, there was Tim McGee now, just exiting his vehicle. That particular young man was lugging two boxes with him and Vance frowned as he watched Tim enter the elevator. They were supposed to be taking stuff out of the old building not bringing more stuff in. He headed up to his office and stopped at the conference room to find Tim setting the boxes on the table.
"What are you doing Agent McGee? We're supposed to be moving out of the building not bringing more stuff in."
Tim didn't bother turning as he continued working on getting the contents of the first box out and set on the nearby counter.
"Sorry Director, but I remembered this last night and we're going to need at least one of these if not one or two more before the move is completed. Especially since all the shops in the building are closing down before we're out of here."
Vance frowned as he headed up to his office, clearly not understanding what Tim was up to. Tim sighed in relief and then headed back down to his car and pulled out several more boxes. He piled them into the elevator and pushed the button that will take him down to Autopsy. Jimmy is already there and the two men worked together piling the boxes into a corner of Ducky's office.
"Wow, McGee did you buy out Wal-Mart?" Jimmy's quip was met with a small smile and shake of the head.
"No, just anticipating what Gibbs would do. I know we'll have plenty of these at Quantico, but with the shops here closing down and the fact that we're still going to be here for a while until our new offices are finished, I don't want to take any chances."
Jimmy nodded in agreement and then beamed when Tim told him what the boxes were really for. Jimmy agreed to help Tim and Ducky with their plan for them and then Tim headed back to the elevator and the last of his packages. By this time the rest of the team was starting to arrive and Tony couldn't help sauntering over and greeting his partner.
"Hey it's McShopper. Don't suppose you have breakfast in there do ya Probie?"
"As a matter of fact, I do Tony; it's sitting on the front seat if you want to grab it." Tim says as he placed one bag on the floor and hit the elevator button. Ziva offered to hold the elevator doors and Tim gave her a grateful smile.
"Thanks Ziva; I do have your bagel in there as well."
"Thank you McGee. That was very thoughtful of you."
"Yeah, McSuckup, what's the special occasion anyway?"
A smack on the back of the head had Tony wincing as Tim replied, "Hey boss, and it's nothing special Tony. I had to stop off at the store and thought I'd get breakfast; it is my turn to buy after all."
Tony looked at his boss as he rubbed his head with one hand and continued holding the container with their breakfast with the other. Gibbs was holding a tray with their drinks on it and the two older men strode off the elevator at the squad room, while Tim and Ziva continued to the next floor.
Ziva once again held the doors open while Tim unloaded the packages in his arms. Ziva giggled at the bags that have specific labels on them and Tim smiled in response.
"You really did go out of your way this time, McGee."
Tim chuckled as he put the bags under the counters and then proceeded to wash out the coffee maker before plugging it in. Once the coffee was perking he then set up a separate coffee maker with just water in it and Ziva frowned wondering at his actions. Tim opened up the last bag he'd put away and handed her a small box making her smile in delight.
"Where did you find this?" She said as they left the room.
"I'm an investigator Ziva; I can find almost anything on the internet." He said smugly and she smacked his arm just as Gibbs came out of the director's office and gave them both gentle smacks on their heads before leading them down the stairs.
As they entered the room, Gibbs told them, "Cold cases for today, and that means all of us DiNozzo."
Two hours later had them all looking up when Gibbs phone rang, "Yeah, Gibbs." He gave them all the high sign and they reached for their packs, badges and guns. When they finally returned to the office, Vance was waiting for them.
"How'd it go?"
"We'll know more after Ducky and Palmer do their thing; right now it's a homicide." Gibbs replied as they all sit down and started inputting their information to the computers. After a few minutes Gibbs stood up and headed for Vance's office.
"You looked like you had more you wanted to say down there. What's going on Leon?"
"Nothing Gibbs, but I did have a question for you pertaining to Agent McGee."
Gibbs frowned and started to flip open his cell phone. Vance stopped him with a shake of his head.
"I just wondered what all the fuss was about earlier today in the conference room. Why the extra coffee maker?"
Gibbs chuckled as he headed out of the door. "Do you really want to see me or my team without coffee Leon?"
Vance thought about it and shook his head. Knowing what happened at home the last time his own coffee pot had broken and how his meek and mild wife had become this raging three headed dog from hell, he shuddered to think what would happen if the MCRT didn't have their daily dose of the hot beverage.
And since all the coffee dispensing machines are due to be moved within the next twenty-four hours…Vance sighed as he realizes that a broken coffee pot could have been a mild thing if Tim hadn't had the foresight to check the schedule for the dispenser removals. He smiled and headed for Autopsy to check on the status of the victim of team Gibbs' latest case and stared in astonishment at the stack of coffeepots in the corner of the room. Ducky chuckled as Vance pointed to the pile, "What the hell is all that Dr. Mallard?"
"That my dear director is a plan of action."
"Timothy knows, in fact we all do, that Jethro is almost a bull in a china shop when it comes to his early morning coffee. He's anticipated having to replace the coffee makers until we actually get moved. As you've indicated that we will be the last ones out, Timothy is making sure that Jethro still has a steady supply of java whiteout having to run to the store."
"What on a weekly basis?"
"Mm…it has been known to happen." Ducky murmured with a twinkle in his eyes.
Vance stared at the man who stared right back at him with a mild amusement in the wise blue eyes.
"You're teasing me."
"Just a bit. Most of these are being donated the local homeless shelters. I asked Timothy to pick them up for me so that I could take them around when I do my weekly check-ins. It was easier for him to bring them straight here. I do apologize for not clearing it with you."
At Ducky's explanation Vance's lips started twitching. "You really had me going there. Thank you, I needed a bit of humor today."
"I take it the family misunderstood what you were trying to tell them?"
"Yes and then I saw McGee come in with two other coffee makers, but I didn't stop to ask him what was going on."
"Yes, that would have been the wiser thing to do, I must admit. However, as he was probably trying to get everything out of his car before the team arrived and he had even more questions to answer, he might not have replied to you right away."
Vance thought back to that morning and his own attitude. He headed for the elevator after thanking Ducky for the information. Once he was inside he hit the button that would take him to the squad room and one special agent in particular.
Tim looked up when the director walked over to him. Vance motioned for Tim to follow him and Tim glanced over at Gibbs who gave a small nod, ready to back up his agent if he needed to, but clearly not worried about what the director of NCIS had to say to his agent. Tony waited until the other two were out of earshot before saying, "Boss?"
"I'm not worried about it DiNozzo. The director just wants to apologize."
Tony exchanged glances with Ziva who held up her tea cup in reply. As comprehension dawned he nodded and then Tony went back to his sketches adding what details he needed in order for them to finish up the case.
Vance led Tim to the conference room and looked at the two new additions. "One for coffee, one for tea. I should have known you wouldn't create more work on purpose. I do apologize McGee."
Tim nodded, "Or one for coffee and the other for hot chocolate. I figured the family might stop in occasionally and you might need something hot for them as well. So I have a bag here just in case."
Vance shook his head at the younger man's foresight. "How?"
Tim smiled at him. "I have one younger sister whose friends visit her all the time. I keep a pot of hot water on just in case she drops by needing to escape. I figured that with the exodus so to speak your family might be stopping by more often as you'll probably be having to do more supervisory work here as well. This way you can spend some time with them if they do drop by."
Again he's impressed at the insight of the thoughtful man, Vance dismissed him and Tim left the room after showing him the bag with Vance's name on it. Looking at the variety of teas and cocoas that were within, Vance chuckled at the young man's initiative in trying to keep a family together that wasn't even his.
Downstairs Gibbs looked over the information they have gathered before telling the team to go home. They have done what they can for the day; it was up to the computers in Abby's lab as well as Ducky's final observations to wrap up the case but Gibbs was fairly certain the case was all but closed. He looked at Tim who was smiling slightly to himself and knew that the younger man was very well satisfied with his own day of work.
Ducky called him and he headed downstairs laughing when he heared how Ducky led the director into thinking the coffee pots were all for him. He helped carry two up to Ducky's car and the M.E. thanked him as he drove over to the first shelter for the night. Gibbs then headed for his own car, smirking as he imagined Vance's look upon seeing all the coffee pots.
"Oh stop it already Gibbs!" Vance growled as he stepped towards his own vehicle and Gibbs laughed.
Vance then headed for his own house where the lights were on in anticipation of his arrival. Jackie opened the door and kissed his cheek and he raised an eyebrow in surprise. Jarrod and Kayla came over once he was in the living room and both gave him hugs.
"Sorry Dad." They both said before scampering off to their rooms. Vance looked at Jackie who gave him a hug as she led him into the kitchen. A warm plate of beef stew was waiting for him as was a hot cup of coffee lightly laced with brandy.
"What happened?" He asked his wife who kissed his head in reply.
"We had a phone call about an hour ago. One of your agents, a Timothy McGee, told us what was really going on. I'm sorry Leon. I should have known you wouldn't just up and tell us we were moving without discussing it first."
Again, McGee, and this time he had saved Vance's fat so to speak. He nodded as he explained to her what they've been going through and what Tim himself had set up so that they can actually spend time together. Jackie smiled and told him that one day soon they would have to get Tim to come over for supper and Leon agreed. For now though, he had a hot meal and a loving wife to look forward to which was something he hadn't had that morning. Tipping an imaginary hat to Tim McGee, Vance sat back in his chair and began eating.