For madpsychogirl, as I can't remember which one of us came up with this idea, but I do remember cackling over it (and you providing research for me).
Tony DiNozzo whistled cheerfully to himself and ignored the death glares a certain Mossad ninja was shooting him. He knew the expression that appeared on her face just before she tried to kill someone and he hadn't driven her to that yet today. Until then, he would happily stay in the squad room rather than hunt for the nearest bomb shelter or assassin-proof room (usually Director Shepard's office, unless he'd succeeded in pissing her off too, in which case she would gladly encourage her pet assassin).
Today was a good day. After a fashion, anyway. No dead bodies, no grieving families demanding justice – a day to catch up on paperwork and forget the evils of the world. Even Gibbs seemed to realize his team needed a break of some kind, and el jefe had spent most of the morning with an even more hyper than usual Abby.
Which in part had led to the current prank war.
Had their fearless leader been in the squad room, watching over them all and glaring at any thought of mischief, no one would have dared to do anything but keep their noses to the grindstone, especially given Gibbs' mood as of late. El jefe had bypassed his usual 'bear with sore head' mode and was in the more 'will kill anyone who so much as looks at me without complete and utter respect' end of the scale. But with Gibbs gone and the team desperately wanting to relax, a minor war had broken out.
To Tony's amusement, Ziva seemed to think she could stay out of this. She was the only one who was actually working properly, but then she did have the most work to do since one of their suspects had taken a swing with a baseball bat at her and it had taken all three of her teammates to get her off him.
But McGoo was relatively on top of his paperwork, as he normally was, and he seemed willing to slack off a little without their slave driver glaring at them all. The pranks had started off small: salt instead of sugar in coffee, tampering with chairs, and superglue on keyboards. Until McGee had crossed the line by telling Agent Smullen about the time he had accidently (definitely accidently) tongued a transsexual.
It was now all out war.
It had taken Tony two hours to come up with a suitable form of revenge. The Herpes Alert website clearly needed an addition in the form of Timmy McGee's innocent face. Abby helpfully sent him the perfect image less than a minute after he requested a photo ("for his personalized birthday card, and I know it's four months away Abs, but I like to be prepared").
To see how these things were supposed to look, he decided to check a few pages. A few pages accidently turned into ten. And then, after one page took several minutes to load, he froze in shock.
Gibbs was on the Herpes Alert website.
Someone had put Gibbs' picture on the Herpes Alert website.
Tony's first thought was he had to be hallucinating. He slapped the back of his head to wake himself up. Oww. Definitely not hallucinating then. He shot a quick glare at Ziva for giggling at his behavior before staring at his monitor again.
If he wasn't hallucinating, perhaps it was someone who looked suspiciously like Gibbs. But it had the right name and, although it took him a few seconds to remember, he knew where the photo had been taken. Just before Gibbs had left with the Director for the last Marine Birthday Ball, supposedly as an escort but Tony suspected it was more of an opportunity for Gibbs to stare at Jenny's butt. Abby had snapped a photo and managed to coax a rare, genuine smile out of the ex-marine.
So if this was real, who had posted it? Not Abby, the obvious suspect since she had taken the photograph. She would never harm her silver-haired fox, her bringer of Caf-Pow! She might tease him and occasionally pull his leg, but she wouldn't post his photo on this website for the world to see.
He crossed his teammates off the list in his head for the same reason. Gibbs rarely went online and they wouldn't be so cruel to him. To attain revenge on Gibbs, they would do something he would actually notice, like siphoning the gas from his car (Tony suspected Ziva) or breaking into his basement and putting superglue on his hand tools (not Ziva's style, and since Tony hadn't done it he knew the culprit was McGee).
An ex-wife? Jenny? Hollis Mann? From what he'd heard, the ex-wives would happily perform such an act. After the screaming argument in her office last week over whether or not Gibbs was flirting with the redheaded ZNN reporter that the entire squad room had heard word for word (luckily it had been after hours and the place was virtually empty), Jenny was certainly in the running. Perhaps not Hollis Mann, however their relationship had ended – she wasn't really the type to strike back in such a way.
Tony wasn't sure what to do. Tell Gibbs? Not if he wanted a relatively painless death. Ask his teammates for advice? They would immediately ask why he was on the Herpes Alert website in the first place and then he would never be able to get McGee back for his slip to Agent Smullen that was no doubt currently making the rounds of all the lovely ladies in Legal. And asking Abby was out of the question if he didn't want her to work herself into a state.
Could Gibbs actually have herpes? Tony knew they joked about no germ being brave enough to attack Superman, but this was different. He opened a new tab n his browser and rapidly searched for the symptoms of herpes.
He winced and shifted in his seat. Blisters in some very painful places. Wait, blisters that would burst to leave ulcers. And recurrent infections, where the virus was reactivated from time to time? Tony began to feel unwell. Oh, this was not good. He was going to have to top up his condom supply just in case.
Was it worth putting an alert out if Gibbs had herpes? Some sort of warning to all redheads in the tristate area? Or maybe he should just pretend he hadn't seen it…
He glanced up in time to spot Gibbs storming back into the squad room, looking beyond furious. Something must have happened between him leaving Abby's lab and stepping off the elevator, otherwise Abby would have rang McGee in tears if el jefe had shouted at her. Most agents took one look at him and immediately left to find work in another part of the Navy Yard. Unfortunately his agents were stuck with him.
Tony observed closely as Gibbs sat down in his chair and swiveled to look at his computer screens. Did Gibbs wince when he sat down? Was he in pain?
"You know boss, there is cream for –"