SPOILER ALERT: Season 2-Episode 22, and anything from Seasons 3 and 4 could show up in here.
A/N: Hi there (;
To those of you who have read one or more of my stories, welcome back!
To those of you who are new… YAYYY (: -these are some of my favorite things EVER.
Anyway, I got the idea for this fic while watching 2x22 "SWAK". I thought to myself, what if there was another envelope with plague, or another virus thought to be eradicated and it was opened? Hmm… My muses kicked in (Astrid and Anya-they made up, finally) and decided that I was going to write this story… don't know how well it will work out, but I'm gonna try(:
Disclaimer: I do not own NCIS; it would make for a great Christmas present. *hint*hint*
Note: All the events in the original SWAK happened. Everything in seasons 3-4 occurred as well. Gibbs retired, etc. This takes place sometime in late season four, but I'm not exactly sure when; probably before episode 4x19 "Grace Period". This will loosely follow the same plotline as "SWAK", but there will be many differences.
NCIS-Squad room-0815 hours
Tony DiNozzo wadded up another piece of paper and tossed it at Timothy McGee, who was busily working on his report for their latest case. McGee paused for a second, glaring, but quickly resumed working. Smirking, Tony crushed another unused piece of paper and chucked it at the probationary agent.
"Tony, could you please stop?" McGee asked politely through gritted teeth.
"No can do, Probie,"
Sighing, McGee went back to typing. He'd been up late last night; he was trying to finish chapter six of his next novel. Ziva had so far ignored Tony's childish "game" but McGee figured she'd eventually crack and threaten Tony in order to make him quit. Gibbs, who was still out on his coffee run, would end it if Ziva didn't. McGee willed himself to be patient and continued working. Ziva had finished her report last night, and was merely sitting at her desk browsing the web, whereas Tony was being juvenile, once again. The mail carrier, Ben Campbell, came through the bullpen, setting a thick stack of envelopes on Ziva's desk.
Ben was new to the job; he'd only been working it for a week or so. He smiled tentatively at the agents as he exited. Tony quirked a grin back at him, and he quickly moved on. Chuckling softly, Tony got up to go paw through the mail. Ziva eyed him as he stepped closer but said nothing.
"Ziva, McGee, McGee, Gibbs, Gibbs, Ziva," Tony muttered, flicking through the stack as he searched for his name. "Tony!" he crowed victoriously as he found a packet bearing his name. Ziva rolled her eyes at his antics. Tony continued searching through the pile.
"Ooohh. This looks special," he announced, then proceeded to read aloud, "Special Agent Anthony DiNozzo Junior. Senior field agent of an NCIS major case response team. Fancy title," he sauntered back over to his desk to open the mysterious letter. He reached for his letter opener.
"What is that?" Ziva inquired, leaning forward slightly.
"A letter," Tony answered with a huge 'Why yes, I am a smart ass' grin on his face. Ziva glowered.
"Not the envelope. What is on it?" she scrunched her eyebrows slightly. "It is a lip print." She realized. That caught McGee's attention.
"Tony, you got a SWAK letter?"
Realization dawned on the senior field agent's face. "Yeah… yeah I guess I did. But that was forever ago Probie… Besides, I recognize this return address." Tony replied slowly, reading the outside of the envelope. The address printed in the top left hand corner was that of Jeanne Benoit.
"What is a SWAK?" Ziva inquired. Was this another American thing?
"It stands for 'Sealed with a Kiss'," Paula Cassidy answered as she entered the bullpen. "Ben accidently gave me one of your letters, Ziva," she handed the slim envelope to the Mossad officer. Ziva smiled softly to show her thanks.
"Sealed with a Kiss? So you kiss the envelope to seal it? How does that work?" she wondered. American customs were so strange…
"Well, the kiss doesn't actually seal the envelope, but after you seal the envelope normally, you kiss it. It's usually reserved for love letters," Paula smirked at Tony, who rolled his eyes at the woman's suggestiveness.
"Tony, you got a love letter? Might I ask from whom?" Ziva leered, a smirk playing on the corners of her lips as well.
"None of your business Officer David." Tony replied curtly and reached for the letter opener again.
"Tony," McGee cut in, "I really think you should wait for Gibbs to come back before opening that. I know it's been a good couple of years, but… still,"
"What happened a couple of years ago?" Ziva wondered. She hated being out of the loop.
"Tony brought a disease back from the dark ages; plague. A letter was sent to NCIS containing it, and he opened it and he and Agent Todd were quarantined at Bethesda because they were both the most susceptible to it. Tony was dying and then he recovered. Damn shame," Paula explained and winked at Tony to show that she didn't mean the last part.
Ziva, her interest now particularly piqued, got up from her desk and walked over to Tony's desk. "Do you think that that letter could contain an eradicated disease?" she questioned.
"No," he replied shortly and proceeded to slice open the envelope, just as the elevator dinged, signaling the Boss's arrival. Tony reached in and withdrew the paper that was inside. A fine white powder came along with it, and coated his desk. Ziva reached out a forefinger and touched the substance. She lifted the dust to her face as if to inhale it, but Tony caught her wrist and stopped her. The shock of Tony restraining her saved him from a broken hand.
Gibbs entered the bullpen at that moment and was met with McGee, eyes wide and afraid; Paula, mouth agape and backing as far away as she could from Tony and Ziva, who both had a fine, light dusting of white powder on their clothes; and Tony who had a grip on Ziva's wrist and both were staring at each other in horror.
"What the hell is going on here?" he demanded.
"SWAK letter, Boss, with an unknown-" Tony began, but Gibbs cut him off by standing up on Ziva's desk and announcing, "We have opened a letter with an unknown white substance. You know the drill," he stepped down and set a look at Tony that said, 'Damn it to hell, DiNozzo. How do you always manage to get into trouble?'
The rest of the floor hurriedly evacuated the building. Gibbs looked at his agents for a few seconds before, "What are you waiting for? An engraved invitation? Come on, let's hit the showers,"
Scrambling to stand from their chairs, the agents all but ran to the biohazard showers. Once the water was running full force, and soap was being lathered generously all over their bodies, the agents began discussing what it could be.
"The post office should have eradiated our mail, correct? There is no worry then," Ziva said simply after McGee had rattled off a long list of potential diseases.
"Yeah, key word is should have. Damn. This is exactly what happened last time." Tony griped as he practically scrubbed his skin raw. Ziva decided not to push the matter.
"I'd like to think the post office would be more careful after last time," Paula mused.
"Same here, but…" McGee trailed off.
Before anyone could say anything else, they heard the distinct opening of the door leading to the biohazard showers. All four agents, save for Gibbs peered cautiously around the showers' edges to see who had dared to enter, when there was a contamination risk. All four were shocked to see Jenny Sheppard standing there, her high heels clacking against the ground and she tapped her toe impatiently.
"What are you four doing?" she asked accusingly.
"Um…? What? Come again?" Tony was the only one brave enough to answer with such audacity.
"Aren't you supposed to be showering? Why are you staring at me?" she conjectured, eyebrows raised high.
Slowly the four shrank back into their showers and resumed scrubbing themselves clean of whatever virus that powder may be. Jenny quietly made her way to Tony's partition. The senior field agent jumped slightly upon the sudden appearance of his boss.
"Shit, Jen." He murmured, so as not to alert the others. It only slightly bothered him that she could see him in the nude, full-on, due to the lack of shower curtains. The fact that it didn't really bother him that his boss was seeing him naked disturbed him quite frankly.
"You have a date with Jeanne tonight." She whispered back, equally as quiet.
"I have isolation tonight." Tony responded agitatedly.
"The post office eradiated the mail. It's nothing. I know about last time and the odds of that happening again are-"
"I know the odds. But people are going to overreact and quarantine us until it's proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that I'm not infected with some dark-age disease like plague," he scoffed.
"Tony. You blew off the last date with Jeanne so you could grab a drink with your team. What is your excuse going to be this time? Anything too weak and she won't' trust you again," Jenny spoke softly yet fiercely.
"We'll think of something," Tony assured.
NCIS-Autopsy- 0945 hours
Paula flinched slightly as Ducky injected the syringe into her arm. Tony noticed, and did not fail to comment on it.
Afraid of a little needle?" he joked.
"Shut up Tony. It's the only thing I'm afraid of, so it's allowed to be slightly irrational," she justified her fear and sighed with relief when Ducky withdrew the needle.
Ziva rolled her eyes and handed Ducky her vial of blood. Ducky began to thank her and then did a double take. "Ziva, I hadn't gotten to you yet…"
"I did it myself. You had an extra syringe." She shrugged and drew herself up onto one of the metal slabs and swung her legs back and forth. Every except Gibbs stared; even Jenny, and she'd seen some pretty weird things in her life.
"Well then, that's all of them. Mr. Palmer, if you would- put them on ice so that they're ready to go when the team from Bethesda gets here." Ducky ordered and handed the five vials of blood to his assistant.
"Why are you here again, Director?" Gibbs inquired, trying to understand at least one thing.
Jenny turned her steely gaze on him. "Maybe because you all could potentially be infected with a disease from the dark-ages? Maybe because you could all be infected with a rare strain of a virus from a random tropical forest? I will not abandon my team, Agent Gibbs,"
Her icy words were clearly a reference to Gibbs leaving to go to Mexico. After he'd left, she'd had a mini break-down and Tony had been there for her. She trusted Tony with her life and at times, Jenny wondered if she trusted Tony or Gibbs more. So there was no way in hell that she was going to sit in her office and play politics while her team sat in autopsy waiting to hear if they were going to die or not.
No one said a word after that, and Gibbs and Jenny all but set each other ablaze with the flames they were shooting each other with their eyes. Thankfully, it wasn't long before the medical team from Bethesda arrived and entered the negatively pressured room.
"Which one of you opened the letter?"
Reluctantly, Tony raised his hand. "That'd be me,"
"Did you in-"
"Yeah I probably inhaled some of the powder. I've done this before," he explained when he was given questioning looks from the medical team.
"Alright, well let's-"
"Wait! Someone else probably inhaled the powder too!" Tony exclaimed suddenly as the realization hit him. The rest of his team was confused, except for Ziva who shot him a death glare.
"Officer Ziva David, actually touched the powder and had it within a foot of her face," Tony smirked. No way am I going to isolation alone.
"Alright, both of you. Let's go,"
Ziva slid off of the autopsy table and strode over to Tony and the two began walking towards the exit.
"I will kill you this time, Tony." She seethed.
A/N: Okay, I know it wasn't that exciting, but please review? I've got this story perfectly planned out (as opposed to my other stories, that are very... shall we say impulsive) so it will be easier to update.
Forewarning – someone dies. Any guesses who?
Reviews make me happy! (:
Back to my Math homework now… :P