Title: A (Not So) Horrible Morning
Word Count: ~1800
Pairing: Gibbs/DiNozzo mentioned briefly at the end.
Rating: PG-13
Warnings and/or Spoilers: Character Death. General spoilers for the end of season 5 and season 6.
Author's Notes: The comment!fic that was so long, it was too long to properly post in a comment. Inspired by a string of comments in [livejournal.com profile] kaylashay81's fic, Better Off Floating that expressed the desire that a certain someone would die due to a certain object. Heh. This bunny ran away from me – it's totally not my fault. *cough* Total crack!fic.
Summary: Toothpicks can really be hazardous to one's health.
Disclaimer: I don't own anything except for the lint in my pockets and a bookcase full of psychology and crime books.




Vance glared at Gibbs, eyes hard and glinting, his shoulders tense. His hand twitched at his side.

Gibbs stoically stared back at Vance, eyes cold and assessing, his shoulders squared. His hand clenched at his side.

Tony blinked at the two men standing in the middle of the bullpen, and wondered if he should start constructing a metal cage around them and start asking for an admittance fee. Honestly, who wouldn't want to watch Gibbs and Vance duke it out in a Metal Cage of Death?

McGee was sitting at his desk, his fingers mashing the buttons on the keyboard of his phone furiously. Dollars to doughnuts that he was texting Abby to come upstairs fast, or she'd miss the excitement.

Ziva had her head cocked to the side as she studied the two men. She flicked her gaze to Tony, and a silent bet was set: ten to one that this would be the confrontation that finally degenerated into a fist-fight.

Various agents had poked their heads over their respective dividers; some had their camera phones trained on the two agents, others were whispering to each other and writing down bets, and one agent seemed to have actually procured some popcorn. He was currently fighting over it with two other agents. A janitor rolled a mop and bucket into view, and as he glanced furtively at the two alpha males, no one pointed out to him that the bullpen was covered with carpet.

The elevator pinged, and Abby tiptoed out of it, followed closely by Ducky and Palmer. They would have been insane to stay secluded in Autopsy when something this big was happening upstairs. Ducky told himself that it would be a chance to observe crucial human behavior, which would only expand on his knowledge of the subject. Abby slid a look at him, and then they grinned at each other.

Vance suddenly drew in a breath, and everyone fell still and silent.

“Special Agent Gibbs-”

Gibbs snorted at the use of his full title.

Vance ignored him. “-you obviously do not understand my situation.”

“Your situation, Leon?” Gibbs cocked an eyebrow.

“Gibbs-”

“Seems to me that you want me to split up my team. Again.” Gibbs pursed his lips.

Tony's eyes widened, and he glanced at McGee. McGee paled and likewise glanced at Ziva, who had stilled, her eyes boring into the back of Vance's head. This was the first that they had heard of this; just ten minutes before, Gibbs had stormed out of Vance's office, Vance biting at his heels and threatening a termination of employment if Gibbs didn't stop. They had stopped in the middle of the bullpen, and that was when the staring contest had begun.

“Jethro-”

“Do you have something against my team, Leon? Against me?”

It was true – Vance was practically obsessed with Gibbs' team. He constantly butted in on investigations, he rode Gibbs' ass when it came to protocol and evidence, and he had even went behind Gibbs' back to talk with Abby and Ducky about certain cases. It was almost as if he was waiting for Gibbs to screw up. The whole thing with him leaning against the rail and staring down at them was kind of creepy too.

“How egotistical of you, Jethro, to assume that this is all about you.”

“It's not egotistical if it's true.”

Tony smothered up his laugh behind a cough. McGee raised his eyebrows at Abby, who elbowed Ducky gently in the side. Ziva looked on with a hint of dark amusement in her eyes, her mouth turned up in a smirk. She started to idly twirl a pencil between her fingers, no doubt thinking of ways to stab Vance with it.

Vance dug out a toothpick from his pocket and he popped it in his mouth. Tony stared at the toothpick, and wondered if Vance had some sort of weird desire that made him crave wood – like those people who had the inexplicable urge to eat dirt. Or maybe it was something simpler than that, maybe it was some kind of oral fixation - and then Tony paused and mentally cringed at the images that his brain conjured up, and he resisted the urge to bash his head in with his Mighty Mouse stapler.

“Agent McGee is obviously needed back in Cyber Crimes,” (which wasn't true, because Cyber Crimes had recently acquired a new supervisor that rivaled McGee in terms of genius and sheer geekiness) “Officer David is being asked for by her father,” (also not true, Ziva had just spoken with her father earlier today, and while the conversation had been strained, he had not expressed any desire to see his daughter back in Israel) “and Agent DiNozzo...” Here Vance slid a look at Tony. “He's obviously a screw-up – I would have thought that you would be glad to get rid of him finally.”

Tony flinched, his hands clenching into fists. McGee narrowed his eyes, and Ziva's face had darkened, the pencil between her fingers dangerously close to snapping. Gibbs – well, Gibbs looked positively furious, but Vance didn't seem to notice.

Tense silence descended on the bullpen, broken only by the sound of bets being frantically scrawled on paper and the squelch of water as the janitor absently mopped a soaking section of the carpet, his real focus on the drama unfolding before him.

“The only person around here who needs replacing, Leon, is you.” Gibbs blandly stated.

A chorus of “ooohs” broke out across the bullpen, and Vance swallowed in anger as he chomped down viciously on his toothpick.

Then, something curious happened.

Vance started to choke.

Everyone blinked at the director as he clutched wildly at his throat, his eyes wide in disbelief. McGee stood up at his desk and leaned forward, and Gibbs cocked his head to the side. Ducky rushed forward and started examining Vance, whose arms had started flailing.

“Hmm,” Ducky stared at Vance. “He seems to be choking.”

“Really, Ducky?” Tony asked.

“Most definitely, Anthony.”

“Someone really should help him then.”

“Yes yes, someone should,” Ducky started to rub his elbow. “However, my joints are acting up rather fiercely this morning, and I am unable to perform the Heimlich.”

Palmer started to rub his wrist. “And I sprained my wrist this morning, and as everyone knows, the Heimlich requires a lot of intense wrist action – I would only make it worse.”

“Well, I would do it, but I haven't passed my Heimlich certification test this year yet.” Tony's lower lip jutted out in mock thought as he glanced at the rest of his team. “Don't think you guys have either.”

“Isn't that test only for CPR?” An agent popped up a couple cubicles to the right of Tony. Tony stood up and pointed a terse finger at him.

“You, little Probie! Every agent knows that there's a test for the Heimlich Maneuver.”

“But there isn't-”

Shut up, there is too.”

The agent gulped and sank back down in his seat. Tony straightened his suit and looked at Vance, who had sunk to his knees and was glaring at everyone the best he could.

Tony looked around the bullpen. “Is there anyone here certified to perform the Heimlich?”

Several agents blinked at him, then simultaneously everyone started whistling. Tony shrugged his shoulders.

“Well, Leon,” Gibbs looked down. “Seems you're out of luck – maybe there's someone else in the building who can help you.”

Vance started to crawl towards Gibbs, and then he stilled, his eyes bugging out of his head. He gave a couple more vain gasps for air, and then he slumped to the ground.

Silence.

Then Abby shuffled forward and toed Vance with her boot.

“I think he's dead.”

“Oh really?” Ducky looked mildly concerned.

Abby nudged Vance with her boot again. Then she kicked him. Vance jerked from the force of the kick, then stilled again. “Oh yeah, definitely dead.”

More silence.

Abby then shrugged and stepped over Vance. She grabbed him by his ankles and started tugging him to the elevators. “I'll hide the body.”

“And we shall help Abigail in this endeavor,” Ducky provided while Palmer nodded enthusiastically and moved to help Abby.

McGee sat back down at his desk and started typing at his computer. “I'll erase the video tapes.”

Ziva stood up. “I will collect all recording devices.” A collective groan rose up from the other agents, but one dark glare from Ziva shut them up.

Tony blinked at the body that was currently being manhandled into the elevator (unsuccessfully, because Palmer kept dropping the head - “I really did sprain my wrist this morning!” - and the elevator doors kept trying to close on them), and then he sidled up next to Gibbs.

“So, boss...”

Gibbs glanced at him.

“We're gonna need a new director.”

“Yeah.”

“Do you think-”

“No, Tony.”

“Oh, come on boss-”

“You would burn down the headquarters in a day, DiNozzo.”

Tony pouted. “Would not.”

“DiNozzo.”

Tony rolled his eyes and snorted. “I was only kidding boss.” He looked up at the ceiling. “Wonder if Morrow would come back.”

“Maybe – I heard that he wasn't liking his new position.”

Tony grinned. “Maybe he just misses your unique charm.”

Gibbs allowed a small smile to tug at his lips. More silence.

“Say, boss...”

Gibbs raised an eyebrow.

“Want a victory fuck?”

Gibbs seemed to contemplate that for a moment, then he shrugged. “Sure.”

“Awesome.”

Gibbs glanced at the elevator. “We'll have to help Abby and Palmer with the body before we can get out of here, or else the elevators will be backed up.” Tony had to suppress a laugh as the elevator doors closed on Vance's head with a sickening thud. The doors continued to close on him again and again, and the bullpen watched with morbid fascination as their former director's head was slowly being crushed.

Abby stared for a moment, and then she yanked the body inside the elevator, allowing the doors to close properly. Everyone would go back later and pick out the bits of skin, hair, and brain.

...and Abby would finally be able to fully demonstrate her skill of hiding a body and leaving no forensic evidence behind.


The (cracktastic) End.
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