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Three Snow Days: #3 - 2010

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"Two and a half feet of snow at BWI, and we have to come to work on a Saturday."

"You think the criminals are gonna take a snow day, DiNozzo?" Gibbs asks as he goes by on the way up to Vance's office. "Murder takes a snow day?"

"No, boss. Of course not, boss." Tony rolls his eyes, very slightly, at the others -- behind Gibbs' rapidly retreating back -- and sinks into his research.

Abby's been waiting for Gibbs to hassle her about being upstairs, but he hasn't; maybe he knows through his special, tingly Gibbs senses that she can't do anything more useful on the case until her newly tweaked fingerprint matching program finishes running. So she sits down on the edge of Tim's desk. "What are you looking at?" she wants to know, because it's obvious, to her at least, that not every window on his screen is work-related.

Tim looks up from his computer, glances around for the very absent Gibbs and then says to the room at large, "Guys, they're having a snowball fight in Dupont Circle in twenty minutes."

"Who's 'they'?" Tony asks, without looking up from the files he's sorting through.

"Where is Dupont Circle?" Ziva chimes in, but at this point she's lived in the city for five years and she is clearly attempting to wind up one or both of the men. Neither of them takes the bait, however.

"'They' is pretty much the entire city." Tim heaves a sigh and gazes sadly at the screen. "And we're missing it."

Tony snorts. "Hate to break it to you, McSlacker, but if we fail to shorten our list of suspects because we're out throwing snowballs at bohemian co-eds, Gibbs will have your head on a pike."

"Whose head on a pike, DiNozzo?" It's Gibbs, of course, descending the stairs.

"The perp's head, boss," Tony says promptly, burying his nose in a file.

"And you know who that is?"

"Working on it, boss."

Gibbs swings into his chair, reaches for a stack of files and, as he does it, says, "Well, finish finding him after your lunch break. I'd better see all of you back in an hour."

Four heads swing to stare at him. Ziva is the first to speak for them. "Did he actually say 'break'?" she asks, directing it vaguely in the direction of her teammates.

Tony leans forward out of his chair. "Are you feeling all right, boss? Running a fever?"

Gibbs doesn't look up, but without looking, he tosses something that flashes bright and shiny as it arcs across the room. Tony snatches it out of the air, and Abby glimpses a set of keys. "Roads are terrible. If you're driving anywhere, better take the truck."

"The ... NCIS truck?" Tony says, staring at the keys.

Gibbs raises his head, sweeps the room with a mild gaze, and observes, "You're all still here."

A minute later, the room is empty.



Abby is soaked to the skin, and once again has entirely forgotten to wear practical boots for the weather, but she doesn't care, because she just managed to shove a very large snowball down Tony's collar. She flees, squealing, just in time to get a faceful of snow from Ziva -- a very flushed and happy-looking Ziva, with her hair straggling in her face and all the strain, for the moment, gone from her eyes.

Abby goes down in a helplessly laughing heap, and Ziva extends down a hand, helping her to her feet.

Tony has vanished in the crush of wet coats and flying scarves, but nearby Abby catches a glimpse of three laughing young women pelting Tim with snowballs.

"We are going to be late," Ziva says, her chest heaving as she gasps for air, her eyes sparkling.

Together they locate and extricate a very reluctant Tim and Tony from the melee. It's a long walk back to the nearest spot they'd managed to find to park the truck, and Ziva's right, they're going to be late getting back to the office (not to mention very wet for the rest of the afternoon) -- but Abby doesn't care, even slithering along in her slick-bottomed shoes. There are no cars in the churned slush of the roads around them, just small clusters of shrieking, giggling Washingtonians chasing each other with fistfuls of snow. For just one precious moment, this city -- this dirty, crazy, corruption-laced city; her city -- is at a standstill, clothed in frozen white beauty.

Abby manages to slither fast enough to catch up with the others, and she flings her arms around the nearest ones she can catch -- one arm around Ziva's neck, one around Tim's. Tony looks over his shoulder, frowning a bit, and that brief pause is enough time for the three of them to catch up -- for Ziva to hook her arm through his, and Tim to lean on his shoulder, lacing them all together into an impenetrable knot. Abby buries her freezing nose in the back of Tony's soaking-wet jacket, and for a moment, she's so full of joy that she could fly.

Dupont Circle snowball fight (AP photo, cropped slightly to remove a person's face)