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Mcgee knew that he was in for it this time. This was it. He was not going to let her talk him into another thing. He was serious this time. His inability to say no to Abigail Sciuto had landed him in hot water once again. When she had come, practically begging him to help her, he had held off for a record 27.3 minutes.

Hacking without a warrant was bad. Even if it was for one of her charitable programs. He was only supposed to reroute some satellite time for just a few minutes. Just help along a rather large donation. Then he had gotten caught in a random sweeper program.

In his defense, he really shouldn't have gotten caught. Wrong place, wrong time. He never got caught. It had to be this time. Now he was in the director's office waiting to see if Vance was going to get him out of trouble. Gibbs had heard about the incident, taken no time to put together what had happened and had punted him directly to Vance.

Gibbs didn't do technology. Especially not when it involved no cases but did include several hazy areas involving his rules and forensic scientist. Gibbs could put two and two together to figure out why Mcgee had done it. His agent wasn't getting his help out of this one.

Vance hung up the phone and Mcgee started counting the seconds until he was out a job, or until the federal marshals arrived to transport him to his probable arraignment hearing. "I've convinced the Secretary that you made a mistake working on Gibbs' case. You never meant to be there and you're very sorry and it won't happen again. Right, Agent Mcgee?"

Relief. He really wouldn't do well in prison. "Absolutely, Director. Won't happen again."

Vance was staring evenly at him. Out of all the agents who had direct contact with Leon Vance, Mcgee knew that he was the closest to being considered a friend. Unless you counted Gibbs, who actually was probably something closer to a nemesis.

Mcgee was ready to pack it up and leave the office. Just because he didn't hate Vance like the others didn't mean he wanted to be scrutinized by him for longer than necessary. That wasn't happening. Maybe no good deed went unpunished after all.

"Pretty sure the Secretary doesn't believe the story but he's willing to look the other way. To make amends, I have to write up an incident report, if there's not another incident for six months, the report will disappear."

Mcgee nodded. Don't get caught for six months. He could handle that. If nothing else, he'd make Abby do the really questionable "visits" Gibbs wanted for awhile. She owed him.

Vance was still staring at him. "Anything you'd like to add, Agent Mcgee?"

Borrowing a page out of Gibbs' book, Mcgee went with almost monosyllabic. "No, sir."

"Funny thing is, I didn't know you were so passionate about endangered animals that you'd risk something like this. For pandas, was it?" Mcgee shrugged. He knew the real question: anyone you'd like to take down with you.

He knew that Vance knew exactly who really wanted to save the little bears. The same one who wanted to save just about everything she saw. The director had looked the other way in enough of Abby's escapades. He would keep her name out of this one. "They're cute."

The director sighed. "Right. We're off the record now, Mcgee. You're not going to get in trouble. But, you don't have to take the blame for her. I'm sure pandas are cute but you didn't come up with the idea for an international money exchange for a panda relief fund on your own."

No he didn't . But Vance didn't need to know that. He kept to his silence. He was going to tell her no next time. He really was. No amount of puppy dog eyes would work after this. There had almost been an international incident.

"Well if you're insisting on keeping her out of this, pass along the message that Navy equipment is not for her personal use, no matter how worthy the cause. A message she's conveniently forgotten, from the last time I told her."

Mcgee couldn't help but laugh a bit on the inside. He knew Vance thought the message would do almost nothing. Abby really was too good at her job. If she wasn't they'd have thrown her out years ago. "I'll tell her." Vance looked appeased.

He did like being in the director's favor, had plans of staying there. He'd been the only one who didn't really have a personal relationship with Jenny. This time he was closer to the inner circle. It did come with perks.

"Mcgee, just stop letting her talk you into it. She won't kill you. Apparently, needs to keep you around to do her dirty work."

"Easier said than done, Director." Vance smiled at him, a little too knowingly. "Miss Sciuto is a force to be reckoned with. I know that you two have some kind of history but I don't want to have to end up firing you over a future problem."

Assured he wasn't getting in any real trouble, Mcgee was already reflecting on the humor of the situation. Maybe he was going a little crazy. "Abby is Abby but it won't be an issue." They were at least in agreement about her uniqueness. Also, more than likely both aware that Mcgee wouldn't be likely to actually turn down her pleas for help the next time either. For this time at least, he was dismissed.

Upon returning to his desk, he was met with Abby, waiting on him and looking properly abashed. "I'm really sorry, Timmy! Vance wasn't mad was he? You didn't get in trouble, did you?"

"No, Abs, but several countries and the Secretary of the Navy are all a little up in arms. Vance says to remind you that your babies aren't actually yours."

"I know. I'll keep the extra work out of the lab for awhile." That statement probably wouldn't be in effect for more than a few days. Mcgee glanced back over at her, "and no more pandas." She nodded and quickly agreed. He collected his things to go as she got ready to accompany him to the elevator.

Right as they got in he noticed the slightly wicked smile Abby had going. "Have you seen Polar Bears? The little ones are adorable. I love a bear that swims. And they're so white and furry…"