[ncis/sga] Highly Classified and Very Hush Hush
â€œThis is weird,â€ DiNozzo is saying, hands in his pockets.
Kate keeps staring. â€œReally weird.â€
Abby tilts her head to the side, admiring, and grins. â€œGood weird,â€ she purrs.
Gibbs sometimes wonders what he did to deserve these morons, but then he looks through the one-way window at three naked and extremely uncomfortable-looking Marines and figures it could be worse. He could be their boss. At least his idiots are wearing pantsâ€”even if DiNozzoâ€™s are probably made by some nancy Italian.
â€œThis is stupid weird,â€ he growls, and throws his now-empty coffee cup in the general direction of the trash canâ€”the fact that it nails DiNozzo upside the head is incidental. â€œTalk to me, DiNozzo.â€
â€œRight,â€ Tony says, clutching at the coffee cup and clearing his throat. â€œSergeant Harry Norman, staff sergeant Mark Yeoman, and Corporal Edward Harrisâ€”found naked and extremely disoriented in a mall in Bethesda.â€ DiNozzo leans in to Kate, whispering conspiratorially, â€œThey were in that Teavana you like.â€
â€œOkay, there goes one errand for the weekend,â€ Kate mutters.
Gibbs rubs the bridge of his nose and DiNozzo hurries to say, â€œMarines were found with an unidentified piece of techâ€”McGee is down in the lab with it as we speakâ€”and no identification outside of their tags. Even weirderâ€”â€ DiNozzo produces a thin file folder with flourish, and Gibbs has to bite down on the smile that wants to creep across his mouth at that â€œâ€”theyâ€™re supposed to be stationed at a highly classified research based in, get this, Bossâ€”Antarctica.â€
â€œI knew the government was doing something up there,â€ Abby exclaims. â€œI read this fantastic bookâ€”well, not a book, really, kind of an online manifestoâ€”about how thereâ€™s this entire research facility in the ice up there, Gibbs, and how theyâ€™ve got secret alien technologyâ€”â€
â€œThey, Abby?â€ Gibbs asks, because if he lets her sheâ€™ll probably keep going, and then DiNozzo will encourage her and the whole day will go to hell in a hand basket.
Abby grins, sheepish. â€œTechnically, us.â€
â€œDamn the man,â€ DiNozzo whispers.
â€œWhy are they still naked?â€ Gibbs growls. He hasnâ€™t seen that much pasty, embarrassed man since boot camp and he hasnâ€™t missed it.
â€œDuckyâ€™s sending Jimmy up with some spare scrubs,â€ Kate reassures him. â€œHe should be up here any minute now.â€
â€œAnd where the hell is their CO?â€ Gibbs says. â€œHave they even broken any laws?â€
â€œMostly small potatoes stuffâ€”public indeceny, disturbing the peace, etcetera,â€ DiNozzo says, automatic. â€œBut frankly, they seemed pretty baffled by how they ended up naked in a boutique tea shop, too. As for their CO, Boss, even weirder. But Kate can tell you since she lost the coin toss.â€
Kate makes an aggrieved face. Gibbs canâ€™t believe that she used to protect the president, was part of the most elite protective force in the worldâ€”and two years with Tony has reduced her judgment to making professional decisions based on spare change. Gibbs canâ€™t ever let Tony leave NCIS, the man should be qualified as a weapon of mass destruction.
â€œTheir CO is a Major Evan Lorneâ€”also stationed at said highly-classified research base in Antarctica but, and this was made abundantly clear to both Tony and I all three times we calledâ€”â€
â€œIncluding the time Tony called pretending to be Admiral Mullen,â€ Abby adds.
Gibbs shoots DiNozzo a poisonous look.
â€œâ€”that there was no chance in any circle of hell we were getting him on the phone,â€ Kate continues. But before Gibbs can start raising his voice, Tony cuts in:
â€œHowever, the military commander of the entire Antarctic base is apparently on leave and stateside, and heâ€™s been dispatched to come collect his men. Oh, and the base commander? Is Air Force.â€ Tony grins: a million watts, enough to light Times Square for a decade.
Gibbs rubs at his face. â€œI hate Tuesdays.â€
Gibbs actually hears Lieutenant Colonel John Sheppard before he sees him, a irritated voice that snaps out every word, asking, â€œExcuse me? Who hereâ€™s Special Agent, God, what the hell kind of name is Leroy Jethro Gibbs? Heâ€™s got something that belongs to me!â€
â€œOh God,â€ he hears DiNozzo whisper to Kate, â€œthis is going to be the best train wreck ever.â€
Gibbs throws a pen at him and stands up, clearing his throat. â€œThatâ€™d be me.â€
Everything they say about the Air Force is still true, Gibbs thinks, smirking, when he sees Sheppard: red-faced and furious, a little on the soft side and stomping around the office in a CalTech t-shirt and cargosâ€”itâ€™s like seeing McGee ten years older with 30 percent less hair.
â€œColonel Sheppard,â€ he says, trying for gracious. The mirrored looks on DiNozzo and Kateâ€™s faces make him aware heâ€™s fallen pretty deplorably short.
The manâ€™s blue eyes go wide. â€œColonel?â€”oh, um, Iâ€™m notâ€”â€
â€œYou couldnâ€™t wait five minutes for me to park the car,â€ somebody says, disgusted. And when Gibbs turns to spot stranger number two, itâ€™s to somebody who shares a barber with DiNozzo, dressed in jeans and a black t-shirt. If they gave this guy lieutenant birdâ€”the Air Force is in much worse shape than Gibbs had thought.
â€œYou were taking forever,â€ the first man argues, flustered. â€œAnd God only knows what theyâ€™ve done withâ€”â€
Gibbs interrupts, saying, â€œYour men are fine, Lieutenant. Naked and a little embarrassed, but fine.â€
The blond one makes a dismissive noise, flapping a hand. â€œPlease. My name is Dr. Rodney McKayâ€”Iâ€™m the lead scientist on the Antarctic project and I could give a damn about the Marines, Iâ€™m here for the experimental technology they had with them.â€
â€œI,â€ the dark-haired one says, wry, â€œon the other hand, am here and giving a damn about the Marines.â€ He gives Gibbs a bemused smile, extending a hand. â€œLieutenant Colonel John Sheppardâ€”Iâ€™m sorry about all this mess.â€
Lieutenant Colonel Wearing Ratty Jeans is, admittedly, pretty hilarious with his men, all three of whomâ€”thankfully now wearing scrubsâ€”nearly crap themselves when he walks into interrogation.
â€œHoly shit, sir!â€ Yeoman says. â€œWe thoughtâ€”â€
â€œThat Major Lorne would be coming?â€ Sheppard asks, wry. â€œYeah, me, too. Turns out, the dubious pleasure of springing you three from NCIS fell on me. During my leave.â€
The trio wince in tandem, and Gibbs wonders if there isnâ€™t anything else to Colonel Ratty Jeans. Marines donâ€™t usually respect anyone unless theyâ€™ve earned itâ€”and Gibbs canâ€™t imagine many jobs babysitting scientists crop up that many opportunities to do so.
â€œSorry, sir,â€ Harris says. â€œWe really donâ€™t know what happened.â€
Sheppard shrugs, helping himself to a free chair in the room and making himself comfortable, feet kicked up on the table. Heâ€™s loose in the shoulders and unconcerned, and Gibbs thinks that if he had to call this guy his CO, he might die a little on the inside.
â€œMe,â€ Sheppard starts, too casual, â€œI personally donâ€™t care. It was only killer breakers and California sun and sleeping, after all.â€
All three marines wince.
â€œNow McKay,â€ Sheppard continues, and the Marines pale, â€œMcKay was furious. Went off on one of his very special screeds from Reagan all the way over hereâ€”about how he was going to kill you and send you to study sand or manage Parrish or hang out with the geologistsâ€”but me.â€ Sheppard smiles at them all sweetly. â€œMe, Iâ€™m totally cool.â€
â€œSir!â€ they plead, in perfect unisonâ€”just as the door to interrogation is flung open and a furious McKay storms in, face bright red, clutching some sort of flashing remote control in his hands.
â€œYou!â€ he shrieks.
Sheppard clears his throat. â€œRodney?â€ he says, and raises his brows in the direction of the one-way glass.
â€œOh, forâ€”â€ McKay starts, and turns to the mirror, pulling another gizmo out of his pocket and dropping it onto the table before he turns backâ€”waving his hands like a flight controller. Except heâ€™s perfectly mute doing it, and Gibbs can see his mouth moving.
â€œDiNozzo!â€ Gibbs snarls and in the background Tonyâ€™s saying, â€œItâ€™s not on our end, Bossâ€”nothingâ€™s off, none of the mikes are reading anything. Itâ€™s like heâ€™s sucked all the sound out of the room and hey why donâ€™t I just stop while Iâ€™m ahead hereâ€”Kate?â€
â€œThat door was locked,â€ she insists.
Gibbs glares at her. â€œThen how did he get in?â€
â€œMaybe he picked the lock? Real fast?â€ Tony offers, and before Gibbs can reach over to slap him silly heâ€™s saying, â€œOn it, boss,â€ and out of the roomâ€”headed toward interrogation.
On the other side, just as Tony opens the door, Sheppard has neatly collected McKayâ€™s trinket from the table and gathered his three shamefaced and slightly-ill-looking Marines, corralled a still frothing McKay, and just as Tony opens his mouth, the noise suddenly switches back on, in time for Sheppard to say: â€œSorry about thatâ€”highly classified, very hush hush.â€
â€œOh screw that,â€ Gibbs growls.
â€œApparently,â€ he mutters, one hour and one conference call from the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the president later, â€œItâ€™s highly classified and very hush hush.â€
Abby looks at McGee who looks at Kate who looks at DiNozzoâ€”whoâ€™s looking into the other end of the room where the three Marines are still cowering before a still-red McKay, whoâ€™s being compelled to stay seated by Colonel Sheppard, one firm hand on McKayâ€™s shoulder holding him down. Sheppardâ€™s talking into a cell phone, smiling as he says, â€œYes, thanks General Oâ€™Neill. Noâ€”no need to worry, but itâ€™s one of the hazards of a scientific expedition. No, weâ€™ve got our own ride, Rononâ€™s services wonâ€™t be necessary.â€ A pause. â€œAlthough. Heâ€™s actually a better driver than McKay.â€
â€œHey!â€ McKay snaps.
â€œThis is still weird,â€ Kate says.
Tony nods. â€œThis is still very weird.â€
Pouting, Abby says, â€œSadly, this is no longer naked weird.â€
â€œI watched a TV show like this,â€ Tony says.
â€œWhatâ€”military themed porn?â€ Kate mutters.
â€œHah! But no,â€ Tony retorts. â€œI meant the shadowy government conspiracy and snazzy ultra-secret technology part, Kateâ€”not the nudity. It was called Wormhole X-Treme andâ€”â€
Gibbs cuffed him upside the head.
â€œâ€”Right,â€ Tony says. â€œThank you, Boss.â€
â€œI hate Tuesdays,â€ Gibbs says, and reaches for his coffee.