Introduction: Did Humpty Dumpty Predict His Fall?

Author Note: Direct spoilers of False Witness (Season 8)

"Did Humpty Dumpty predict his fall?"

Humpty Dumpty was an egg that could easily shatter from a minor trip or fall, so why was he up on that wall?

Was he having an identity crisis?

Was it a lack of self-confidence or even a suicide attempt?

What is considered self-destructive behavior, anyway?

December 2010

Vance's office

"You wanted to see me." Gibbs said directly to Vance as he barged through the closed door. As he sat absorbed in his paperwork, Vance was a bit startled by the surprise entrance.

"Yes, Gibbs I did." Vance said standing up. Presents and a suit case sat on the table near him. He glanced at them before refocusing on Gibbs.

"We are at that point in the year again, Gibbs." Vance said, throwing a bone to Gibbs.

"Yes, we are." Gibbs said looking at him curiously. He sensed that Vance was baiting him with the cryptic statement.

"Do you remember a conversation that we had last year. . .around this time?" Vance asked.

Gibbs glared at Vance, but considered the comment.

Realizing that Gibbs was not catching his clues, Vance made a direct reference to the conversation.

"Your team, Gibbs. . .I think you all should take a vacation, specifically the field team." Vance said.

"No. . .we don't need one." Gibbs defended.

"All right then, let's handle the problem directly then. Do you remember the conversation that we had last year?" Vance said.

"Yeah. . ." Gibbs said sharply. "You want me to bench, DiNozzo. -not going to happen, Leon."

"Then, I'll bench him." Vance said. "It is worse this year than it was last year." Vance said.

"He is not depressed, and he gets the job done." Gibbs said.

"Every year at this time. . ." Vance started to say. "Every year around the holidays, he acts differently, and it distracts you and the rest of your team. It is even worse this year."

"I'll handle it." Gibbs said.

"This needs to be addressed." Vance repeated.

"Thanks. . .for the insights Leon." Gibbs snarled.

"This is even worse this year than last year." Vance repeated.

"How so?!" Gibbs finally shot back at the repeated statement. He was now curious of the meaning.

"You ask him." Vance said. "Despite what he may have led you to believe, he never actually left the building the last two nights."

Gibbs continued to glare at Vance, but he was taken off guard by that information.

"You weren't aware of how he has been acting?" Vance asked. His tone had changed now. He no longer was baiting Gibbs or prepared to argue. Vance showed his genuine concern.

"Did he tell you . . .something?" Gibbs asked, looking at Vance suspiciously.

"He did show a . . .very vulnerable side to me like nothing I have ever seen before." Vance admitted. Vance looked to Gibbs. "Look, like I said, it is worse this year. You have to take my word on that. His behavior does affect your whole team."


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