Title: Not Exactly Spring Chickens
Category: TV Shows » NCIS
Language: English, Rating: Rated: K
Published: 06-08-10, Updated: 06-08-10
Chapters: 1, Words: 1,987
Chapter 1: Chapter 1
It was a bright and sunny Thursday afternoon when the infamous Team Gibbs finally closed their latest case. The case itself was exhausting. The daughter of a Navy admiral was found murdered on the Norfolk base. While it gave the team a little bit of alternate scenery for the relatively short trip, the scene of the crime itself was quite gruesome.
The team took nearly a week before finally tracking down the murder, who was every bit as sadistic in his views as the crime he committed. Only, what they hadn’t known in the beginning that it was the victim’s own brother that they would be locking up, an Admiral’s son.
Gibbs had done his best to keep his own emotions back, to keep the case from getting personal, by his own words, that was the rule he broke the most. Tony saw it and knew. He knew not to say anything and to keep it to himself. Only the looks and exchange of single word comments was all they needed to assure the other was holding up fine through the case; reminding each other to handle it as such with the fact that no one ever discussed, of it most likely to happen again, to another innocent.
They were cleaning up their work areas, putting final touches on their reports, and offering each other encouraging support in attempts to move on. Tony was first to notice, straightening his back as he stood up and raised his head to the skylights of the roof over them; a silent prayer beckoning in his thoughts of inot another one now…/i
Leon Vance, some days the good guy, others the bad. Between Abby and Tony, during their non-publized personal visits to each other on and off the clock, have talked at length about the man. Neither of them could come to the conclusion of the mysterious Vance. Abby couldn’t help comment that he was ialmost/i as magical as Gibbs, in his sneaky appearances. He didn’t quite have the Gibbs-Stare down, but his director one could make a person shiver from the creepiness.
“Director,” Tony greeted, tiredly and with a touch of ice. Perhaps it was uncalled for, but considering the circumstances, the man’s presence wasn’t much welcomed.
“Agent DiNozzo,” Vance nodded in response then looked around at the team. “Miss David, McGee, Gibbs. Good job, all of you. I imagine that you all must be tired…”
A flash of messy pigtails flounced past him as he spoke, interrupting – and very much welcoming for the team. “You have no idea. I don’t remember ever processing so much blood for analysis and splatter patterns!” Abby exclaimed as she dropped down into Gibbs’ chair, earning a ilook/i from the man but didn’t phase her.
“And you too Miss Sciuto,” Vance merely smiled and nodded to her comment. “After closing a case of this magnitude, and so quickly, you all deserve a well earned break for a few days. You all are off until Tuesday.”
That being said, Tony broke out into applause and bowed to the man. “Oh thank you!” he cried. Ziva only rolled her eyes and shook her head in amusement and nodded her thanks, as did everyone else quietly.
“I would also like to inform you that this weekend, you will also be spending it together at a retreat that has been set up for your hard work. Now I know that the last thing you want to do is spend more time with your colleagues, however I feel it would be better for the team to get some bonding time in off the clock, away from any work. Perhaps appreciate each other just a little more.”
“Huh? What?” Tony stopped his bowing and gave the most intriguing, if possible, combination of confusion with horror.
“Director?” Gibbs spoke up, raising an eyebrow.
“I want you all to go home and pack your bags for the weekend. Include warming garments as where you will be tends to get a bit cold at night. I expect you all back here in two hours to depart. Gibbs, here is the location of the site. All the essentials you will need are already there for your team’s use.” He handed the silver haired man an envelope. “I trust you will know what to do.”
Abby was already bouncing in her seat, “Oh! Yay! I can’t wait! I have to be sure to bring my radio of course. And lots of batteries. I’ve heard of retreats that don’t have power and all. I just need my music to unwind and I’ll be happy!”
“No power? Again?” Tony repeated to himself as he shoved his bag over his shoulder and slumped out to do as ordered.
It was after leaving NCIS for the second time that they were officially off on their way. This time, the trip was made in one of the service’s minivans as Jimmy and Ducky had also joined the crew, on notice from Director Vance.
“Are we there yet?” Tony pleaded as he poked his head over the passenger seat to where Abby sat, map open on her lap.
“Relax Tony. We should be there any minute,” she assured him with a smile and a puppy pat on the head. She turned back and peered out the window with her bright green eyes. “Though it is quite dark and woody out.”
“Woody?” McGee, Ziva and Jimmy repeated back in unison as they each turned to look out their closest window.
Ducky chuckled as Gibbs only grinned, finding the whole situation ironically entertaining. “My dears, Vance didn’t tell you everything I suppose. Well, far be it for me to inform you that our Director has set us up for a camping weekend, nothing but the innocence of nature surrounding us. A number of tents have been set up, though it is with the understanding that a few of us will have to share. This should be exciting! I remember as a boy, setting up a tent of linen…”
“CAMPING?” was called out amongst everyone but Gibbs. It was quickly followed up by a flood questions and unsolicited comments of entrapment, trickery, and other avenues of complaints.
“QUIET!” Gibbs finally called out. “We’re here…” he added more softly.
Sure enough, 4 tents were seen from the van, illuminated by the soft golden glow of a ready- made campfire. “This is going to suck,” Tony grumbled as he pushed the door open for everyone in the back to pile out.
“Four tents, and seven of us…Who’s bunking?” Abby noticed and quickly went to Ziva’s side. “I choose Ziva!” Together they were off to claim their tent as the men stood back looking at each other.
Eyeing Jimmy, Gibbs and Tony, McGee looked over at Ducky. iHis stories should help me fall asleep quicker…/i he thought. “Ducky?” he asked, nodding in query.
“I would love to my boy! This is so exciting!” the good doctor replied as he and McGee went to begin collecting their belongings to put into their home for the weekend.
Gibbs, a man of few if any words, only picked up his bags and went to the farthest unclaimed tent. The light that must have been left inside lit up and he poked his head out and looked around before zipping the door closed.
Tony and Jimmy stood there looking at the last tent then at each other. The older man only snarled with dissatisfaction as he dragged his feet and bags inside. “Oh thank heavens!” his cried filled the campsite. “Air mattresses!”
The next morning, Gibbs, as expected was the first one up. A coffee press of impressive size was already full of the hot dark brew as he sat sipping from his own mug on the side of the fire. “Morning,” he mumbled to each person as they slowly came out from the night of hibernation.
“Such a lovely morning, is it not?” Ducky greeted as he crawled out and stood to stretch. “That was a wonderful sleep I had. It has been quite awhile for such a deep slumber. Didn’t you sleep well Timothy?”
McGee had just come out himself, donning Superman pajama pants and his NCIS sweatshirt. “Nice style McSleepy! Did your mommy get you those pants for Christmas?” Tony asked as he poured himself coffee.
“Shut up Tony,” Tim grumbled as he fell beside Abby and Ziva on one of the wood logs. “What are we doing here Boss?”
Gibbs finished the gulp of coffee he was working on as he stared into his cup, most likely in debate about a refill or not before deciding. He stood up silently and took the press from Tony. After he was sufficiently refilled, Gibbs stretched his back. “We are here to relax McGee. A boy scout leader should know of ways to handle a forest and relax with nature.”
“Oh yea!” Tony sat up, eyes sparkling with new reverie about the ways to tease his friend.
“Shut up Tony,” came the rehearsed response from Ziva and McGee.
“Well – it was something that would help ime/i relax and get something out of this forced time,” he sulked.
“Get dressed. We’re gonna go fishing for our dinners tonight. There is a stream and lake that has some decent trout,” Gibbs ordered.
Gibbs had set the law down that everyone had to catch their own meals, which of course he managed to get the larger of the catches. Ziva and Abby didn’t do a bad job either. The funnier part of the afternoon was McGee trying to reel his catch in, fighting the line all the way just to have an extra soggy boot come out.
Sneaky Ziva was the one to tease the younger agent this time, coming up behind Tim with one of her fish that was still had a bit of a bite to him. McGee was pouting as he eyed the boot while everyone else shared a chuckle then shrieked like a girl when something cold and slimey nipped at his ear.
Everybody let out hearty laughs while the older of the group, Ducky and Gibbs only shook their heads at the childlike antics of their colleagues.
“You know, this really could have been much worse,” Jimmy piped up, for having kept quiet himself most of the time – as he had been dealing with his injuries after every trip and fall he took during the trek to the lake and back.
“Oh? How so?” Ducky questioned, looking over at his pupil.
With the spotlight on the man, Jimmy’s face reddened. “Uh, well, given that we don’t have power and have to live off the land; Director Vance still set us up with enough amenities to make us comfortable. I mean, we have inflatable mattresses and warm blankets and pillows. He could have left us with just sleeping bags to sleep in. Not everyone here are exactly spring chickens and that would end up being worse off in the long run with um physical therapy and err chiropractor visits…sorry.”
“You are half right and half wrong Mister Palmer,” a voice resounded behind where much of the group sat.
“Director?” Gibbs greeted and questioned as he stood up to welcome the man.
After shaking the team leader’s hand, Vance smiled and looked around as he sat. “I couldn’t possibly send you all here and remain back in the comforts of city life. Of course, unlike you, I had to finish out my work week before coming to join the group.”
“Well, no matter the circumstances, welcome Director,” Ziva nodded.
“Yea Leon! Want some fish?” Abby bounced in her seat with added excitement that soon filled everyone at the camp site.