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Never Stop Singing

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The first NCIS agent on the scene was a hardass (and also, unless Debby totally missed her mark, the most foul-tempered retired Marine she’d ever met), so Officer Debby Zygler was taken momentarily off balance when the other three agents entered the scene together, arguing loudly and accompanied by the cutest Goth Debby had ever laid eyes on.

They were also repeating the syllable “Mah?” at one another as if it was a question as they spread around the crime scene.

“Are you drunk?” the senior agent – Gibbs – demanded.

“No, Boss,” replied the younger of the two male agents. “Not even Tony.”

“Hey!” protested the older man, whose name was apparently ‘Tony’.

“And why do you all smell of peanuts?” Gibbs demanded. He turned to the Goth. “Even you, Abby.”

“That’s because today is Thursday, Gibbs!” Abby replied enthusiastically.


“It’s Thursday. We were watching The Voice at Ziva’s.”

‘Ziva’ had to be the female agent; she ducked her head at the mention of her name.

“Well, that explains the smell of Bamba.” Gibbs paused. “It doesn’t explain why you were watching a show that ended two weeks ago on the wrong day of the week.”

Debby added another tick to the list of reasons she was never going to complain about her boss ever again.

“Not that one, Boss, that one’s boring,” Tony called out from where he was busy snapping photos.

“We were watching the Israeli one, Boss,” Agent Nameless explain.

“Since when do you understand Hebrew, McGee?”

“It so doesn’t take knowing Hebrew, Boss,” Tony said earnestly. “Israelis are just naturally hilarious.”

“Thank you, Tony,” snapped Ziva.

“You’re welcome, Ziva.”

“Anyway, this was a really unfortunate time for –” Tony glanced at McGee.

“Petty Officer James Higgs,” McGee supplied.

“– Petty Officer Higgs here to be reported murdered,” Tony completed.

Gibbs slapped Tony upside the head.

Debby didn’t dare to facepalm.

“Thank you, Boss,” Tony said automatically, and continued: “We barely started on the first audition. Seriously, Boss, you would love this show. So there are those two guys, they’ve been in a band together since they were twenty –”

Abby took over the narrative. “– they’re totally like Fornell and you, Gibbs! Well, if you’ve been working together since you were twenty, and if you were practically married instead of sharing –”

“Abbs!” Gibbs snapped.

“So anyway,” Abby continued blithely, “Shlomi, that’s the guitarist and the songwriter, he wants to hit the button for this guy. But Yuval, that’s the singer, and he’s really cool, Gibbs, though not as cool as you –”

“– I think she likes the nerd glasses,” Tony supplied. “You should totally get big clunky glasses, McGee.”

“Tony!” McGee said, at the same time that Gibbs snapped: “DiNozzo.”

“Guys!” Abby said loudly, drowning everyone else out. “So Yuval moves Shlomi’s hand away –”


A set of screen captures


“– and then Shlomi kicked the button. Like, seriously kicked it, Gibbs.”

“Who kicked what button?” asked an elderly gentleman making his way to the scene. He was followed closely by a younger man carrying a big kit. Medical examiner, then. “Are the Machina boys at it again?”

“Well, we don’t know, because Petty Officer Higgs here was murdered,” Tony said.

“We still don’t know –”

“He’s dead in a ditch, McGenius,” Tony pointed out.

“Seriously, Duck?” Gibbs demanded. “You too?”

“It’s quite an entertaining show, Jethro,” ‘Duck’ said as he knelt next to the dead body. “One could all the entertainment that one can get, in this world of ours, I dare say.”

“Or we could make it a better world,” Gibbs replied.

“We could do both?” the ME’s assistant offered.

Gibbs glared at him. The ME’s assistant quelled.

Gibbs rounded on the woman who had, so far, said a total of three words and was collecting residue off the scene with meticulous precision that made Debby’s skin crawl. “Ziva?” he demanded.

“They invited themselves, Gibbs,” Ziva replied exasperatedly. “Tony in particular.”

“Thank you, Ziva. See if I ever tell Abby again what your favorite flavor of Bisli really is.”

“Well, now I know Ziva secretly like the pizza flavor, so you don’t need to tell me again, right?” Abby said reasonably. Then she frowned. “Unless you lied. Did you lie, Tony?”

“All right, that’s enough.” Gibbs put an arm around Abby’s shoulder – the woman was nearly as tall as he, it was incredible – held her elbow and showed her to the tape. “Off the crime scene, Abbs, we’ll bring you your evidence, don’t you worry.”

“I never worry when it’s your case, Gibbs,” Abby assured him, so sweet that Debby kissed her tentative plan goodbye, but then Abby kissed the old bastard on the cheek, and the man’s expression turned fatherly before he turned and walked away, back to his team.

Debby was still arranging her words when Abby noticed she was being stared at. “Is there a problem, officer?”

Oh, to hell. It wasn’t like these NCIS people were big on propriety. “No,” Debby replied. “I was just admiring... you.”

Abby’s face scrunched up, and for a horrible split-second Debby thought that she’d miscalculated and oh, this was going to be bad, but then Abby lit up like Debby was a whole basket of kittens.

Suddenly, dealing with the infamously insane NCIS people didn’t sound like such a bad way to spend a night.