Disclaimer: I don't own NCIS.
Prompt #17: Hinky - If used more than five times a case, said case could get very bad very soon.
The word is only used when something baffles Abby.
With more cases comes experience, and from experience comes knowledge. The more knowledge she has, the less times Abby has to rely on that word to explain the strangeness of a piece of evidence in a particular case. Recently it's become almost obsolete.
But there's always that one case that would warrant the use of 'hinky'...
"This is gonna be a hinky one, McGee."
His eyebrows rose in surprise. "Little early to state that, isn't it Abby? Ducky hasn't even started his autopsy."
"Take a look at this."
He complied, staring down the microscope at...he wasn't quite sure what he was looking at. "What am I looking at?"
Abby shook her head. "I have no idea. Never seen anything like it. But there's a serial number on one of the facets, so maybe I can find out."
"Maybe?" McGee repeated.
"When's the last time we didn't know what we were looking at, McGee?"
He tried to remember - and grimaced. "I see your point."
"We better tell Gibbs."
"Tell me what?" their boss asked as he came in unannounced, right on time, bearing a Caf-Pow.
"It's hinky, Gibbs," Abby admitted, taking the Caf-Pow. "I have no idea what I'm looking at. I need more time to figure it out."
"Please tell me you didn't call me down here to tell me you have nothing."
McGee quickly jumped in. "Actually Boss, we found this in the victim's backpack..."
He was startled at the shout that greeted him as he walked into the lab. Reflex and habit made him blurt out his standard disclaimer. "Abs, I didn't do anything," he said, holding up his hands.
"It's not you, it's this!" she snapped, throwing her hands at the screen of cycling numbers. "It's a code, but I can't figure out how it works or how to crack it! It's hinky, Tim, and I'm getting sick and tired of running into hinky things on this case!"
Okay good, it's not my fault. "I don't think the case is being hinky on purpose, Abby," McGee assured her. "Just take a breath, relax, and let's tackle this thing one at a time, all right?"
She nodded. "All right, McGee. Let's take it down."
"That's the spirit." Taking his place on the other keyboard, he flexed his fingers. "Now where and when did the code pop up?"
Typing on her own keyboard, Abby began running down her last actions.
When something hinky pops up, it's no surprise that Abby gets frustrated. When several hinky things pop up, it's no wonder she gets very frustrated.
So after the case wrapped up, McGee took it upon himself to pick Abby up and take her to her favorite restaurant. Once that ended, they walked through the park by her place to just unwind. By the time he walked her back to her apartment, Abby was noticeably more relaxed.
"Thanks for dinner, Tim," she said with a smile. "It was really nice."
"No problem, Abby."
"You know you didn't have to do that. I know I was a bit of a raging freak today." She had the grace to look sheepish, blushing a little. "It's just that..."
McGee smiled in reply. "I get it, Abs. It was really hinky, and it's been a while since you've dealt with that much hinky."
She looked up at him strangely, looked about ready to say something, but then seemed to reconsider it. With a grin Abby leaned forward and kissed his cheek. "Anyway, thanks Tim. See you tomorrow."
"Bye Abby," he replied, waiting until she got inside before heading home.
Hinky denotes confusion. At least, it does in Abby-speak.
She doesn't use it in relation to cases much anymore. After her long tenure at NCIS, she's seen practically everything.
But there's always one thing that can make her feel awfully hinky.
Every. Single. Time.
This was tough to write, I hope you like it. And as for that season finale...the writers were too cruel. That cliffie, while epic, had me cursing the writers for such a spell.