A clean, standard passenger-elevator with brushed-chrome-looking walls. The air, stationary and climate-controlled, is the typical musty scent of recycled air mixed with a lingering floral perfume from the pretty secretary from the previous floor.
Chime dings. The doors to the elevator slide open.
It is a bi-level area, with the base as a workspace divided by short cubical walls and the upper-level a perimeter walkway over-looking the work-area. Doors lead to offices, hallways, secured areas.
Within the cubical walls are desks with teams situated together. Windows overlook the harbor and one wall is lined with head-shots (photographs) labeled NCIS' Most Wanted. It is an international criminal lineup.
The office is incredibly orange in color. There is the low murmur of constant conversation, the sounds of metal filing-cabinet drawers opening, closing, and jambing stuck. Papers shifting. The pitter-patter of dress-shoes on carpeted floors, the clickity-clack of fingers on a computer keyboard. It smells of air-conditioning and stale, over-brewed coffee.
This is routine. This is home.
You've been dreaming of here more than any other place since arriving in Anatole.
Leaving the elevator, you--ANTHONY DINOZZO--pass a handful of work-spaces before dropping your backpack beside your own desk. The desk area beside yours is already taken. Across the way is a desk with a little Israeli flag in the cup-holder. You frown, noticing the chair belonging to the desk is unoccupied.
The empty seat leaves you with a sense of worry, a twinge of longing, and general curiosity.
TIMOTHY McGEE--a young-looking man in his mid-thirties, who occupies the neighboring desk, looks up from where he is typing avidly at his computer. He smirks a little at your annoyance and goes back to his typing.
You feel just the slightest annoyance laced with a brotherly fondness. Magoo really knows you too well sometimes.
No. But I asked you a question, McGoogle. Or in your language I guess that'd be a search-query--?
You don't sound too sure of your use of that term; it's awkward, almost like it has left a sour taste on your tongue, even though you're trying to make it a snarky comeback. McGee looks torn between laughing at you and congratulating you on your advancement in technology-lingo.
(mildly impressed, sarcastic)
That's pretty high-tech for you.
In the end, it appears he settles on a little mix of both. McSassy's feeling sarcastic today, it seems.
(looking mock affronted)
Hey, you're not the only one studying, Poindexter.
Apparently not enough if you don't know how to track Ziva yourself yet. Maybe you should give up on tech and try studying the migratory patterns of--
You can tell ZIVA DAVID's name is on the tip of his tongue when she walks up behind him, catching him off guard as she so often does. At least it's McGee this time and not you.
The migrations of what, Mcgee?
She looks at him like she's caught Mcgee with his hand in the cookie jar. You're not sure if you feel sorry for him as you watch him struggle like a rabbit in the talons of a hawk. Poor poor McAwkward. You thrive on his pain.
Moving over to the end of your desk, you lean against the edge and watch the show, arms crossed over your chest.
Ah! Ziva. Uh--
After a moment, you take pity on him.
Ziva looks at you, now, amused, brow raised. She's somewhere between knowing you're full of shit and wondering if there's a joke being played on her. The cultural divide can be a fun thing to explore.
(a tilt of her head)
And since when are either of you interested in the migratory habits of rabbits?
The lie is almost too easy.
Since McBunny over there decided he was going to get one for Easter. And not of the chocolate variety.
It's then that ABBY SCIUTO--a dark-haired woman with her hair in two girlish braids, dressed like a goth--has just arrived from the direction of the elevator. She approaches and overhears.
(as she walks up)
Aww! Mcgee! Why didn't you tell me you were getting a bunny?
But McSassy has settled for his patented defensive-McPout, having been the butt of the joke for long enough.
Because I'm not getting a rabbit!
(he waves a hand, gesturing at you)
Tony was wondering where Ziva was--
So you suggested he study the migratory behaviors of rabbits?
I was suggesting he go track you down. He added the rabbit part.
Ziva turns back to you. Her smile is classically Ziva: sly, like she's snared you into a trap of you own making, slightly challenging, and almost flirtatious. It's a slow smile, giving you time to appreciate the intricacies of it.
But it's her eyes, really, more than her smile, that has you captivated.
Afraid I've turned into a rabbit and hopped away?
You let your gaze assess that expression of hers for just a heartbeat longer before giving a slight, flippant shrug and a grin.
Maybe more a disappearing act. Magicians, rabbits--
Well, I would hardly say I am at all the most rabbit-like. If there is anyone, among the three of us, it is Mcgee.
And now...it's two against one. Poor little rabbit.
Lighten up, McBunny, I'll buy you a carrot.
And then your attention is on Ziva as different bunny-related thought occurs to you--one that should never involve McGee (amusing as it would be...and oh, it would be amusing)--and you have to try your damnedest to not picture her in that fitted leotard, with cuffs and ears and cottontail. She would never go for it, but it's a fun thought to entertain nonetheless.
Your grin betrays your thoughts before they even leave your lips.
But if you ever get the inkling to change into a bunny, I know a costume rental place in Alexandria--
You don't get a chance to appreciate Ziva's reaction. The back of your neck tickles in anticipation of something, then SMACK. There it is--a slap to the back of your head. Your teeth clack together. You flinch even though you know another probably isn't coming. JETHRO GIBBS walks past, smelling of coffee and sawdust.
Boss! We were just discussing resources for future undercover--
sweet dry as always)
Save it, DiNozzo. Now hop-to. What have you got for me?
Hop. Like a rabbit. You chuckle.
(Gibbs gives you a Look.)
Right. Hopping. Now.
You busy yourself with looking busy with the notes you've collected on your suspect.
It's funny you should mention rabbits-- You'll never guess what those hairs on Petty-Officer Wilson's coat came back as--
The rest feels like a blur and the next thing you know, you're grabbing your gear again and stepping up the pace to catch your team in the elevator. The door slides shut behind you as you slide into place between Ziva and McGee.
The elevator chime dings.
Your alarmclock is going off.