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“Happy Vag Day,” Ellie says slowly. Her words are slurred; her voice is liquid. She has despised the expression ever since she first heard it, but glass raised, she repeats it nonetheless then finishes her drink.

When she attempts to refill, a calloused hand stops her.

“I think you're drunk enough now, Bishop.”

“Maybe. But I feel better. Much better.”

“Yeah? Wait until tomorrow.”

Ellie shrugs. “Tomorrow be as it may. Today, I need to get drunk. And I need a friend.” Her eyes meet the steel blue of Gibbs's. She smiles, and he smiles back. “Thank you.”

“Any time.”