My thanks to toomuchfandom for allowing me to use her idea in respect of Abby; and also to periwinkle27 for giving me permission to change and post my part of the story as a stand alone story.
TITLE: Getting Rid Of Madam Director
AUTHOR: Ashleigh Anpilova
PAIRING: Leroy Jethro Gibbs/Donald 'Ducky' Mallard
SUB-GENRE: Established Relationship. Humour
SUMMARY: Abby is fed up of Jenn Shepard's interfering ways, so she decides that for the well being of the team to get rid of her, to poison her. Except she only knows how to do it theory, so she tries to enlist the help of Ducky.
SPOILERS: Nothing major.
PROMPT: philosophy_20 04 - Inertia
WORD COUNT: 3,200
WARNINGS: None (unless you're a Jenn fan)
DISCLAIMER: I don't own these characters, nor am I making any money from them. I merely borrow them from time to time.
Abby was bored and irritated - never a good combination.
She was also fed up; fed up of Madam Director, except they weren't meant to call her that - not that Abby cared. For two pins she'd call her it to her face and see what the woman did. What could she do anyway? Fire Abby? Oh, yeah, like Gibbs was going to let her do that.
Except . . .
Except maybe Gibbs wouldn't be able to stop her. After all he hadn't been able to stop Chip from being foisted on her. That had only been solved when Chip had tried to frame Tony and kill Abby herself. Nor had he been able to do anything about Office David being inflicted on him and his team. He hadn't liked it, Abby knew that. But he hadn't been able to do anything about it. So maybe he wouldn't be able to stop the Director from firing Abby. On the other hand, he had managed to get his way over the stupid dress code the Director had tried to impose on Abby.
None of them had ever liked the new Director, well except for Ziva, and she didn't count, and maybe Tony these day, but Abby tried to ignore that. She saw his new allegiance as a temporary aberration, brought about by Gibbs quitting and Tony getting a taste of power. Maybe that was it; maybe he’d ‘switched sides’ because he was still pissed at Gibbs for coming back and taking his team back. Not that Tony would have been capable of running Gibbs’s team on a permanent basis - at least not yet; in fact, as far as Gibbs’s team went, maybe never. Yes, that was it! Tony still felt some resentment towards Gibbs for coming back, and he felt it even more deeply because he’d been forced to face the truth about himself and his abilities. And he blamed Gibbs for making him do that, so he’d bonded with the enemy.
Tony might not ever be able to head Gibbs’s team, but his own team, however, was a different matter. Abby was sure that one day Tony would be able to run one, although probably not in DC. Somehow she couldn’t see Tony running a team in the same office as Gibbs. He’d have to go elsewhere within NCIS; Abby would miss him when that happened. She didn’t like changes to the team, she liked it just the way it was. And that was part of the problem with the arrival of Madam Director; the team had changed - beyond recognition.
None of them respected her, well not really, but none of them had ever done anything about it. They'd all just put up with her. It was almost as though none of them could be bothered to try to do something. They'd all been lulled into a sense of inertia where she was concerned, and Abby didn't like that.
The woman had been there for over a year now, and Abby's impression of her hadn't changed. She still blamed Jenny for Gibbs leaving, blamed her for not doing anything to make him stay; for not wanting him to come back. For treating him as though he was just another employee, just anyone, which he wasn't.
For over a year they'd put up with her, done nothing about her. Now it was time that someone did do something about her. To be pro-active rather than inactive. To get rid of her for good. But it had to be done in a subtle way. In a way that couldn't be traced back to anyone; so shooting was out, as was stabbing, or anything else that involved hands on contact.
No, the only safe way was poisoning. That could be done at a distance, and Abby knew that there had to be some untraceable poisons. She just didn't know what they were or how to find them. But she knew someone who almost certainly would know. Because he knew something about just about everything.
So all she needed to do, was to persuade him to tell her about a suitable poison and she could take it from there. She could act and the team would be saved. All she had to do was to figure out how to get Ducky to tell her what she needed to know. She couldn’t ask him outright, that would be too obvious. Instead she decided to ask him to go to the library with her and help her with some research. Once they were there, she could casually bring the conversation around to poisons. Ducky would help her; she was sure; her Duckman would do anything for her.
It had to be soon; she wasn't sure if she could stand the atmosphere around the place any longer. There was far too much secrecy for Abby’s liking. Secrecy that had never existed before Jenny Shepard had returned.
Deciding that today was as good a time as any to get Ducky to help her, Abby grabbed her bag and coat, left her lab and headed for Autopsy.
Seeing Gibbs and Ducky deep in conversation, she paused for a moment outside the automatic doors and just watched them. They were her two favorite men and she loved both of them with a fierce passion; she would willingly fight for both of them. She also loved their intense, caring friendship, the kind that you might, if you were lucky, see once in a lifetime. In some ways they were complete opposites, in others very alike. On the face of it their friendship shouldn't work, but it did, and woe betide anyone who maligned, hurt or upset the other.
She also loved the 'more than just good friends' aspect of their relationship; but she wasn't meant to know about that. No one was, but everyone did. Occasionally she pondered whether or not she should send Gibbs an anonymous email telling him that he and Ducky weren't fooling anyone. Except, if she did that, knowing the bossman as she did, Gibbs would probably get her to find out just who had sent it, and then where would she be? No, sadly she would have to go on being silent, rather than do what she wanted to do: tell them how delighted she was that they had one another, and how right they were for one another.
She was content to just watch them talk, when Gibbs's 'all seeing, all knowing' sense clicked in and he glanced up towards the door. Not wanting to let them know that she'd been standing there just watching them, she hurried into Autopsy.
"Hey, Gibbs. Hey, Ducky," she called, bouncing across to them.
"Abigail, how lovely to see you." Ducky's eyes twinkled as he called her by the name he knew she hated. "What may I do for you?"
"I wondered if you were free for lunch. Oh, you too, Gibbs," she added swiftly. After all, surely Gibbs would be in favor of her plans for Madam Director. Wouldn't he? He hated her as much as everyone else. Didn’t he?
"That would be very pleasant, Abby. Sadly, however, Jethro will not be able to join us. He has a previous engagement."
Abby turned to Gibbs. "What?" she demanded.
"Jenn," he said somewhat ambiguously, in a flat tone.
"You're having lunch with Madam Director?" Abby was stunned.
Gibbs shook his head. "Not if I have my way. No, she just scheduled a meeting. Another meeting," he added grimly. He did not seem happy. "In fact, I'd better go. See you later, Duck." He squeezed Ducky's shoulder and touched Abby's hand, before turning and striding out of Autopsy.
Ducky watched him go, his usual ‘fond just for Gibbs’ look on his face. "Therefore, my dear, I am afraid that you will have to put up with just me."
"There's no 'putting up', Duckman," Abby chided, slipping her arm through Ducky's and leading him to the door. She paused long enough to let him grab his hat and coat before they left the room.
"Now, Abigail, tell me exactly why you wished to go to the library before we ate," Ducky said, as he unloaded his tray. He had been surprised when Abby had tried to drag him off to 'carry out some research', and had had to resort, somewhat sneakily, to bribing her with promise of large doses of chocolate and caffeine in order to get her to go and eat first.
She unloaded her own tray, pulled her chair closer to his, looked around her, before whispering, "I want to look up poisons."
"Poisons?" he exclaimed, pausing with his fork halfway to his mouth.
"Ssh," she said. "Yes."
"But why on earth do you wish to look up poisons, Abby?" Then it dawned on him. "Ah, are you assisting Timothy with research for his next book? In that case, I believe that I will be able to help you without resorting to a trip to the library. During my travels, I came across many poisons, some of them," he chuckled to himself, "are quite untraceable. Unless one knows what one is looking for."
Abby shook her head. "No. That's not it. I'm," she broke off, looked around again, moved even nearer to him and hissed, "It's for the Director."
Ducky blinked. "What on earth does Jennifer need poison for?"
Abby shook her head again. "No, it's not for her. Well, it is. But not in that way. You see, Ducky, I want to give her the poison." She sat back in the chair and beamed at him.
Ducky blinked and shook his head, certain that he couldn't have heard Abby correctly. "You wish to poison the Director?"
Abby nodded, still beaming. "Yes."
"But, Abigail. Why? Oh, ignore me. The why does not matter. What matters is that you cannot do it."
"Ducky, I hate her. You hate her. Gibbs hates her. We all hate her. Well, obviously not Ziva, and I'm not even sure about Tony anymore. He seems to have gotten a lot closer to her since Gibbs . . . you know. But she makes our lives a misery. I just want her to die."
For a moment Ducky was speechless, and against his will his mind moved to the sight of Jennifer lying on his table, with him about to . . . He would make sure his scalpel was particularly sharp, and he would take great care of her, he would treat her with respect. He would . . . He shook himself, pulling away from his daydream; it wasn't the first one he'd had of Jennifer no longer being around to upset people. He was a little ashamed that he had allowed himself to think such thoughts, especially as so often they were lovely and very vivid daydreams, but daydreams were all were. No matter what the woman did, she was a human being, and as such deserved to live. It was just that when she upset Jethro, as she was wont to do quite often, his own hackles rose and he tended to slip into 'defend and avenge Jethro' mode. However . . .
Pulling himself from his reverie, he put one hand over Abby's, and then, using two fingers from his other hand, tilted her chin back until she was looking at him. Speaking in his firm, authoritative voice, the one with which even Jethro did not argue, he said, "I am sorry, Abigail, but you cannot kill the Director."
"But, please, Ducky, I -"
"No," he said firmly. "You cannot. You must not," he corrected himself, knowing full well that if Abby put her mind to it, she could.
"Oh, Ducky. That's not fair." She pouted. "You do hate her, don't you?"
He sighed. He didn't wish to lie to Abby, but . . . "Jennifer Shepard is not my favorite person, Abby."
"Gibbs hates her."
Ducky sighed again. "I think that hate might be too strong a term, my dear. Jethro -"
"What did happen in Paris, Ducky?" Abby suddenly asked.
Ducky paused for a moment, as more memories flooded into his mind. "Let us just say," he spoke quietly, "that none of us behaved exactly like the adults we were meant to be. Now, Abby, eat your lunch and forget all about poisons and killings. Will you please promise me that you will?"
Abby stared at him. "Ducky, I -"
Her eyes widened at the sternness of his tone, and she seemed to turn paler under her already pale makeup. "But she upsets people, you, and especially Gibbs."
"I know she does. But, Abby, think how much more upset Jethro and I would be if you did go through with your plan, and ended up getting caught. Jethro would never forgive himself, or me," he added.
"But I wouldn't get caught. You just said that you knew . . ." She trailed off as he continued to stare at her. "Okay, Ducky. I promise," she said, still pouting.
"Good girl," Ducky said, patting her hand. Then added, once again using his gentle voice, "Now how about that hot chocolate fudge cake I promised you."
"Hey, Duck. Good lunch?"
Ducky was surprised to see Jethro once again in Autopsy when he returned from his lunch with Abby. He let Jethro help him off with his coat, and said, "Yes, thank you, Jethro. But more importantly, how was your meeting with Jennifer? What did she want to discuss with you; assuming, of course you are able to tell me."
"I'd tell you anyway, no matter what she said. It was about DiNozzo."
"What has Anthony done now?" Ducky moved across the room and sat down at his desk. Gibbs followed him and perched on the edge.
"Nothing, as far as I can tell. She was just pointing out that she is the Director; therefore we are all her staff, for her to direct. 'And that, Agent Gibbs, includes your team. And your team includes Tony'." Gibbs managed a pretty good impersonation of Jennifer. "And yes, she did call him 'Tony' and me ‘Agent Gibbs’."
For a fleeting second, Ducky wondered if he had been a little too quick to dismiss Abby's suggestion that . . . He pushed the thought away, angry at himself; more angry at Jennifer. Why could she not just leave Jethro to run his team as he always had done? Things had gone much more smoothly under Tom Morrow. Had he been Director at the time Jethro had been blown up, everything would have been much different. Maybe Jethro might not even have resigned.
"Duck." Jethro snapped the name in his fondly exasperated tone. However, this time there was an edge to it; it was more 'exasperated' and less 'fond' than usual.
"I am sorry, my dear Jethro," Ducky said, touching Jethro's hand as he swiftly pulled his attention back to his friend. "I am listening to you. Really I am."
"Oh, yeah? What did I just say?"
"That you were concerned as to how close Anthony and Jennifer might have become, and you were wondering if -"
"All right, all right. So you were listening. Do you think they're up to something?"
"Most certainly. However, what that 'something' is, I am not entirely certain. I know that Jennifer is not your favorite person, Jethro, but -"
"She’s not yours either." Jethro cut into his words.
"Indeed. However, she is intelligent, and as much as I find her morals not always, shall we say, as good as they might be, I do not believe that she would embark on an affair with someone who is her junior."
"She tried to get me back into her bed, more than once."
"That is different, my dear. You were, at one time, her boss. In some ways, ways I am certain that Jennifer would not wish to admit, I believe that she still feels that she is under you."
"I doubt that, Duck. Never was her favorite -"
"Sorry." Jethro had the grace to look slightly abashed. "So if you don't think they're sleeping together, what do you think they're up to?"
Ducky opened his mouth, but at that moment Jethro's cell phone began to burble. "Shit." Jethro tugged it out. "Yeah, Gibbs . . . ? Okay, DiNozzo. I'm on my way." He snapped it closed again. "Sorry, Duck. It'll have to keep for another time."
"That's all right, Jethro. I shall be here until quite late tonight. Mother has the Ladies' Circle coming round."
Jethro smiled at that. "Are they now? You maybe looking for a bed for the night?" He brought his hand up and quite deliberately let the tips of his fingers flirt with Ducky's cheek.
Ducky hid a shiver of pleasure. Damn Jethro; he knew exactly how to excite Ducky, even at the most inappropriate moments. The twinkle in the suddenly unhidden dark blue gaze, told him that his lover had read the reaction he'd tried to hide. "As a matter of fact, Mrs. Patterson has offered to spend the night with Mother."
"Good. That's settled then. You can come and spend the night with me.” Jethro smiled, clearly very happy at the prospect of having Ducky in his home and bed; Ducky echoed the pleasure. “I'll catch you later." Jethro squeezed Ducky's shoulder, stood up and began to stride towards the door. Suddenly he stopped, turned around and moved back towards Ducky. "Why did Abby suddenly want to go out to lunch with you?"
Ducky stood up, began to remove his jacket before putting his white coat on and meeting Jethro's gaze. "Oh, she simply wished me to suggest an untraceable poison."
"A poison? Who does Abby want to kill?"
Ducky smiled. "Jennifer," he said calmly and waited. As Jethro's mouth fell open, he added, serenely, "But do not worry. I made her promise to forget all about it. I told her that no matter how we felt about the Director, we could not, indeed we must not, kill her." Once again he pushed the beautiful image of him holding a razor sharp scalpel and sliding it into Jennifer's body from his mind.
"We couldn't?" Jethro asked, after a moment.
"Jethro, really," Ducky said. "I am surprised at you. Of course we cannot. Now, my dear, haven't you somewhere else you need to be?"
Jethro sighed. "Yeah. Guess we can't," he said. However, his voice didn't carry quite so much conviction as maybe it should have done. "Oh, well. I'll see you later, Duck," and with a half wave he again turned and left Autopsy.
As he watched his closest and dearest friend depart, Ducky made a mental note to invite DiNozzo out to lunch. Maybe with a little careful questioning or rambling stories, he might even find out just what DiNozzo and Jennifer were embroiled in.
But in the meantime . . .
In the meantime he let his mind turn to more pleasant things, like how early he and Jethro could leave the office, and the hours they would then be able to spend in Jethro's home and bed.