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 Post subject: Without ~ for Barbara
PostPosted: Sun Jan 31, 2010 2:32 pm 
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Without
by channelD



written for: Barbara, as a Haiti Relief ficlet. Thanks for your donation!
rating: FR7
characters: the team
genre: drama
prompt: lunch money
word count: 931

A/N: Barbara requested a friendship fic; something uplifting.

- - - - -

“Tony: Shoot the scene. Ziva, McGee: Bag and tag.”

“Sure, boss.” “Yes, Gibbs.” “On it, boss.”

Gibbs stretched. It had been a long day in a long week, and they’d spent far more time in the field in one week than he could remember. That, though, was how the job went: if they needed to work long hours tracing one blood-stained clue after another in the case of the two missing staff sergeants. He cricked his neck toward the blue April sky, and then looked back at the team in time to see Tim drop a shred of cloth before it got into an evidence bag. “McGee!”

“Sorry, boss.” Tim did look apologetic, and Gibbs knew it shouldn’t be a big deal. So it had come from the muddy ground, and returned to it. Still, it shouldn’t have happened. This wasn’t the first time that the team had seemed a little off their game this week.

“Don’t let it happen again,” Gibbs growled.

“I won’t, boss.”

Tony snapped pictures, and then went to the back of the van and rummaged for the bottled water. Gibbs noticed this, and his mind started whirling.

Tony closed the van door, three bottles in hand. He noticed Gibbs’ gaze on him. “Oh, you want one, boss? Have one.”

“No, thanks. You all on some sort of water diet? You’ve raided the van supplies every day this week.”

His team exchanged looks; troubled looks. Tony hesitated, and then said, “You’re right. I’ll just put these back.”

“If you really need them, go ahead and drink them,” Gibbs said, feeling exasperation rising in him like mercury in a thermometer. “That’s why we carry them.”

“I can do without,” Ziva said staunchly.

“I don’t really need it, either,” said Tim.

“All right, then,” Gibbs directed, his eyes back on Tony, who only nodded and put the water back. “Let’s get back to work.”

- - - - -

By 4 p.m. they were back at NCIS. Tony had gone to Abby’s lab with the evidence. While Tim and Gibbs stood and listened, Ziva summarized findings on the plasma screen, clicking from image to image. Suddenly her voice faltered and she wobbled; her eyes rolling up. Tim caught her before she could fall, and though he was able to lay her down gently, he then sat down heavily on the floor rather than getting up.

Gibbs got Ducky up on the run. Nothing seemed to be seriously wrong with his people…but…

- - - - -

“And where is Tony?” Ducky asked, after getting Ziva and Tim to sit up with their heads between their knees.

“In Abby’s lab.”

“Well, get him up here. I want to check on him, too. On second thought, have Abby escort him up here, so he’s not alone if he collapses in the elevator.”

“Why am I out of this loop, Duck? What’s going on?!”

The elevator dinged, and out came Abby, with her arm linked in Tony’s. “Take him,” she said. “He was about to tear my lab apart, looking for cupcakes.” But her eyes twinkled as she said it, and her smile was fond.

“They okay?” Tony asked, gesturing to his teammates.

“They will be. Are you okay?”

“Sure. Never felt better.”

Jimmy arrived, carrying three bottles of orange juice. “Drink these,” Ducky ordered Gibbs’ people. “Now.” Over his shoulder he said, “Jethro, could I have a few moments alone with them? This should be done in confidence…”

Gibbs shrugged and left the squad room, confident that if the matter was serious, Ducky would tell him, eventually.

Once Gibbs was gone, Ducky said to his people, “You’d asked me to keep quiet about it, and I said I didn’t like it, but I would do so if it did not interfere with your work. The time has come, alas. Ships and tacks and sealing wax, cabbages and kings, et cetera, et cetera.”

“Do not speak of food, Ducky, please,” Ziva pleaded, before gulping down some juice.

He only smiled a little. “What you are doing for Agent Alma Reyes is most generous…donating first your lunch money and now your breakfast money, also, but—”

Tim broke in. “Ducky, she lost her home in a fire last week. They lost everything. She’s a single mom with two little kids. They’re now living in a shelter. That’s no place for a family.”

“I know, Timothy, but—”

“It is a small enough thing for us to give up what we would spend for ourselves on breakfast and lunch, to go to the fund that NCIS has set up for her,” Ziva said.

“We figured we each spend about $12 a day on those two meals,” said Tony. “So that’s what we’re contributing. We can go without, for the sake of someone who is doing without.” He smirked a little at the slight play on words; not entirely willing to admit he had a heart.

“But you still must take care of yourselves enough to do your jobs,” said Ducky. “At least, I insist that you drink enough water in your fasts. You are each to bring a bottle of water to work, every day.” With minor grumbling, they agreed.

- - - - -

The next morning when they got in, Gibbs’ team found a large, plump muffin on each of their desks, atop a printed napkin.

“ ‘Stone’s Bakery’,” Ziva read. “That is near Gibbs, yes?”

“How did he know?” wondered Tim, smiling at the gift.

“He’s Gibbs. He always knows,” said Tony, taking a bite.


-END-

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 31, 2010 3:00 pm 
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How sweet of them go give up their lunch and breakfast money, and how nice of Gibbs to buy them some sort of breakfast!

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 31, 2010 3:08 pm 
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I like having the team do good deeds. I picture them making their donations anonymously, too; just slipping cash in a plain envelope into a donation box. :)

And of course Gibbs will reward good behavior. Or else, he has an ulterior motive in having them stay healthy. :)

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 31, 2010 3:19 pm 
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Oh, this was really nice. Particularly seeing as it's for Haiti relief.

Neat idea! Loved the muffins at the end!

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 31, 2010 3:55 pm 
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Well, I'm glad you liked it. :)

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 31, 2010 4:58 pm 
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Such a sweet story! And what a wonderful team, giving up their lunch money like that, going without themselves to help others...and Gibbs noticing a slight drop in his team's performance and correcting it with the muffins, just perfect!

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 31, 2010 5:58 pm 
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Gibbs was a teensy bit slow on the uptake here, but he did finally figure it out. Good ol' Gibbs. :)

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 31, 2010 7:03 pm 
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Oh, that was a nice story to read! :)

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 31, 2010 7:24 pm 
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Thanks, Andi! :)

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 31, 2010 9:54 pm 
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Oh, that was so nice! I almost cried. (LOL, I say that for like every story. I'm so emotional. :P But it's true!) That was just such a sweet thing for them to do. I wasn't sure why they weren't eating, but then you said that and yeah. That was so nice. And very appropriate, as Barbara said. Lovely little story. :)

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 31, 2010 10:23 pm 
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I wasn't even thinking of Haiti when I wrote the story; it just worked out that way.

But somewhere, there's always someone in need...and it behooves us to help our fellow man whenever we can. I guess that's the moral of this story. :)

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 01, 2010 12:25 am 
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Oh, that was very sweet :flirtysmile: And of course Gibbs would know! He is Gibbs afer all ;D

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 01, 2010 12:37 am 
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That he is. ;D

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 01, 2010 1:34 am 
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It was nice. I like it! All-knowing Gibbs. ...although I wondered a little why they didn't tell Gibbs what they were doing. Being a functional mute and all, it's not like he would have blabbed about it. ;D

But it has a nice feel to it and I like what they were doing.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 01, 2010 6:40 am 
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They didn't tell Gibbs because they felt (probably rightly) that he would have forbidden them to do it. No matter how generous they wanted to be, he still can't have them functioning off-peak. Performance has to be his number 1 concern.

Besides, there's also probably a desire to do a good deed anonymously.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 01, 2010 8:01 am 
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Ah, I hadn't considered that possibility. ...because if it was only anonymity, I would bet that Gibbs wouldn't say anything. ;D

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