Leon Vance stares at the object standing in the corner of his new office. For the life of him he cannot remember it being there at any time in the past. He walks up and examines it, marveling at the fact that it is there. He slowly runs a hand over it; there are no cracks in it, and the head seems to be intact if a little flat.

There is no dust on it to indicate it's been there for any length of time, so why is it in his office and why would anyone including his predecessor would need one of those in these offices anyway? After all, the rooms up in this side of the building are carpeted and vacuumed. Don't say someone is actually dusting this thing!

He sighs as he picks up his phone to summon Cynthia Sumner to his domain. The lady in question is quick to respond, knocking on his door before entering to his absent-minded


Cynthia clears her throat several times, clearly still upset over Jenny Shepherd's unexpected demise.

"You…you wanted to see me sir?"

Vance slowly turns and Cynthia can see a question in his eyes as he points to the corner. She looks at the corner and for the first time in ages she smiles.

"I take it you know why that's standing there?"

Cynthia starts giggling and Vance has to wonder if the woman has lost her mind. Has the sight of that object thrown her over the edge?

"Hem…ahem…uhm, I sorry…I …" she starts laughing again and this time tears do come, but they're definitely tears of laughter at some unknown story. Vance waits, amazingly patient for the first few seconds then lightly taps his desk.

"Miss Sumner? Your attention, please on me and what that is doing in here?"

Cynthia smiles one more time, this time bittersweet as she calms herself down and recalls a day in the not too distant past.

Three months earlier:

"Eeek!" The loud shriek permeates through the oak door and Cynthia is on her feet and opening the door asking Jenny Shepherd what's wrong.

"Kill it! Kill it!" Jenny exclaims as she dances around the office desk. Cynthia looks to where Jenny is pointing and starts to move forward when Jenny shouts to her,

"Go! Find a broom and kill it!"

Cynthia shakes her head as she heads for the maintenance room. She's never seen Jenny so out of character before and has to wonder what is making her boss so jumpy. She grabs a broom, still not sure what she's supposed to be killing and why.

Upon her return, Jenny grabs the broom and starts jabbing it at the walls, and the ceiling softly shouting as she does so

"Close the doors. Don't let it escape!"

She whaps the broom against the floor, the door, and the walls for several minutes, slapping at something that Cynthia can't see or hear.

"Watch out, it's coming towards you!" Cynthia ducks as the broom flails around her and Jenny vaults over the desk after her opponent. That's when Jenny stops and throws the broom into the corner, swearing lightly when she does so.

"Sorry about that. I thought it was on the wall."

Finally Cynthia sees what Jenny had: the shadow of a spider on the far wall.

"It was just so funny sir. No matter how many times she tried to kill it, it just kept moving and then to find out it was out on the outside of the window…"

The fading sun had provided just enough light and shadow so that every time Jenny moved the spider appeared to do so too. The spider incident had embarrassed Jenny to no end and she'd sworn Cynthia to secrecy especially where Gibbs and the MCRT were concerned.

"DiNozzo or Gibbs either one would have a field day if they knew I was afraid of a spider." Jenny had kept the broom in the corner from that day forward, just in case a real spider would enter her domain. Cynthia swallowed her laughter at watching her boss chase a shadow on a wall and quietly requisitioned a new broom for the maintenance crew.

Present day:

Vance smiles at the thought of his predecessor being afraid of anything. He'd known Jenny Shepherd for several years and it's hard to think of her as being afraid of something as little as a spider.

Then he looks at the wall where the shadow had started. Another spider is reflected there and he chuckles at how the image could have grown. Cynthia quietly leaves, wiping her tears from her eyes as she grabs the broom and takes it back to the maintenance closet, smiling at the memory of Jenny stabbing valiantly if ineffectively at the spider's shadow on the wall.

A/N: This story is in no way trying to poke fun at anyone who actually does suffer from arachnophobia. It was just a random story that was generated by three prompts: Leon Vance, Cynthia Sumner and broom