thehappyfangirl: (gibbs/abby)
[personal profile] thehappyfangirl
Fandom: NCIS
Title: It's a Dog's Life
Rating: PG,
Category: A splash of angst with a dash of humor
Genre: Gen
Pairing: None
Summary: A colletion of drabbles about man's best friend and their places among the team
Spoilers: Slight for Dead Man Walking
Disclaimer: These characters belong to DPB, CBS, Paramount, et al. No copyright infringement is intended.

"In the incident report, he claimed that his dog ate it."

"Yeah, didn't work for me in the sixth grade."

"You're a late bloomer, Gibbs. Didn't work for me in the second."

--UnSEALed


He was walking home from a friend's house when he saw the Winslow's car stop on the other side of the field, then take off again. He crossed the field to see a garbage bag where the car had stopped, and would have ignored it if it hadn't started to squirm and squeak when he got close.

"She's gonna need to be fed every couple of hours by hand, Leroy. She might not even make it. Maybe you should let the Doc take her."

He named her Annie, the only orphan he knew.

She stayed small. She stayed brown and the books he looked in said she was probably some kind of spaniel. All he knew was she slept at the foot of his bed, walked him home from school and liked to chase birds out of the long grasses so he could pretend to shoot them.

She didn't mind that he didn't talk much, and didn't tell anyone how often he cried when his mother died.

They were walking home from a 'hunting' trip when Annie yelped and shied away from something on the ground. He killed the copperhead with a stick and a shout and stroked the dog's velvet-soft ears as she died.

Since then, the SPCA has received Christmas donations from Gibbs and his father. Gibbs never knew until he got Jack's thank-you card from them by mistake.

*******************

"Oh, that's Tyson."

"Because he thinks he's a boxer?"

"Because he bites."

--Meat Puzzle


It takes at least two hours to get his mother washed and settled in to bed, and once she's there, it's another ordeal to get her to sleep.

First she insists that she hasn't had dinner yet. When he reminds her she had dinner two hours ago, she insists that she hasn't used the bathroom. When he reminds her she used the bathroom a few minutes ago, she insists that he's going to kill her in her sleep, and Tyson snarls and shows his teeth at him.

It's that baring of teeth that settles her down, and within ten minutes her snoring is enough to wake the dead. Contessa stretches along her pillow, eyeing him balefully as he makes his way back downstairs to finish his own dinner.

When he's cutting his last bite of chicken he hears the click-click of claws and paws on the floor behind him, and he holds the morsel just out of Tyson's reach.

"Come on, Tyson. Kill you in my sleep."

Tyson bares his teeth in a menacing little grimace, and takes the chicken with a bounce as Ducky pats his head. "Good boy."

Once the dishes are done, he picks Tyson up and carries him to his room; the dog's back legs have been getting weaker, and the stairs have become a bit more daunting for both of them as the years have gone by.

As they both settle to sleep, the older dog's weight warm against his legs, Ducky tries to think of which of the younger dogs he'll have to teach the trick to next.

*******************

"What were you driving when you were ten?"

"A red 47 Ford half-ton pick up with four in the floor and Bubba riding shotgun."

"Bubba?"

"Best damn Coon dog in Jefferson Parish."

--Kill Ari


Abby shifted into second and popped the clutch, loving the roar of the engine and the baying of the dog riding shotgun.

She was running away. It was the fifth time this summer and she knew she'd make it this time. She remembered extra sandwiches, bottles of water, even the extra gas can in the back of the truck.

Oh they'd so pay for a curfew at Mardi Gras. She'd show them they couldn't keep a Sciuto from Bourbon Street--

Bubba was quiet. When had he stopped howling? She looked back to see his head buried in her backpack and the sound of his jaws working as fast as they could.

"BUBBA!" He didn't even move when she slapped his sleek black flank. "Get OUT of the sandwiches!"

She sighed and downshifted back to first, turning the nose of the truck back towards home. She might be going back this time, but next time...

Maybe next time she'd make sure Bubba had his own sandwiches.

*******************

"Good dog. I think I'll call you Tony."

"It's a bitch, Kate."

"I know."

--Caught on Tape


The sound of tearing cloth got her out of bed this time, and she came into the living room just as a shower of stuffing softly blanketed the carpet.

"TONI!"

The terrier didn't even look up from her destruction of her couch. Of course she wouldn't. She doesn't know it's even her name yet. What the hell was I thinking?

Toni tore another scrap of cloth from the couch cushion and sent a fresh flurry of stuffing into the air, and after the poop on the carpet and the chase to retrieve her wallet from the creature's jaws and now this destruction on less than two hours' sleep she couldn't take it anymore. "God-DAMMIT!"

As if someone had held up a biscuit, Toni turned to her, mouth agape and tail awag. A scrap of cloth still dangled from her lower fang.

"You're kidding me."

Another wag.

"Your name is 'dammit'?"

She barked and jumped off the couch, trotting over to sit at her feet. She knelt down and laughed, ruffling the dog's ears. "How about I just call you Tammy?"

*******************

"That dog tasted my blood and I think he liked it."

"OK. Sometimes, you have to look at the reality in front of you and just accept it. You are taking Jethro. Accept it. McGee, Jethro, shake."

"Jethro you're gonna have to be the bigger man."

--Dog Tags


"Ready to play the find-it game, big guy?"

Jethro barked and bounced on his front paws as the thick leather collar came out, practically shoving his head through the loop and prancing in anticipation.

The handler's class that Gibbs had gotten him and Jethro into once he found out about the new arrangement had been a godsend, especially after a week of frustrated working dog and at least three coffee mugs swept off the low table by an eagerly wagging tail threatened his wary friendship with the shepherd.

Armed with packets pseudo-drug powder and an attitude enhanced by the classes, he and Jethro set off through the park to 'find drugs!'.

So when the dog sniffed and snuffed and headed for a young family instead of the garbage can where he'd hidden the packet he raced to catch up with him. "Jethro!"

"What the--"

"Get your goddamned dog away from--"

"I'm sorry, I'm sorry!" Tim said as Jethro scrabbled at the man's jacket, barking and leaving muddy pawprints all over it. "He's--"

"You're gonna fucking pay for my dry cleaning! Your stupid mutt ruined my coat and scared my kids! I'm a lawyer--"

"And I'm a federal agent working with a certified drug detection dog," Tim leaned in and showed him his badge. "How about you take your credentials and your coke and back off."

That earned Jethro an extra burger at McD's on the way home. "Good boy."

*******************

I did two summers as a veterinary assistant during college.

--Dog Tags


"Wow, this is a pretty bad break. You said he got it shut in the car door?"

"Yeah, kids, you know. How much is this gonna be?"

"Well, he's going to need a cast for a few weeks and painkillers for a few days. He'll need to be watched pretty carefully while he gets used to the cast--"

"How much?"

Jimmy handed him the estimate while the dog, Roscoe, whimpered under his hand.

"Nah. Put him down."

"But sir, he'll be fine--"

"We'll tell the kids he got infected or something. Put him down. That's only a hundred, right?"

He whispered a soft apology to Roscoe as the doctor pressed the plunger to stop his heart.

It was easier in Autopsy. He could have sympathy for the humanity here where he'd had absolutely none for the 'caring' people he saw after two summers at the vet clinic.

*******************

I'll take him! I always wanted a dog...

--Caught on Tape


"Oh he's gorgeous! Can I pet him?"

Tony loved and hated the weekends he had Rain or Shine with him. Shine liked to pull and made him go a little faster than he'd like, and Rain kept him from falling into the running 'zone' because he had to watch for squirrels and rabbits that he knew the dog couldn't resist.

"Sure can. We're both suckers for pretty women, aren't we Rain?"

It had been Christine who suggested the idea after hearing how far Tony ran in the mornings and on weekends. She volunteered as a dog walker for rescued racing greyhounds, and mentioned that they could always use someone who ran to take some of the more active ones on their runs.

The bonus, of course, was the women. Chicks dig dogs, Rain was a beauty, he ate up the coos and the praise for doing something so selfless.

The hard part was that neither of them had been placed in over a year, long after Christine moved away and even longer after they'd stopped seeing each other. Shine was too energetic for a family with kids or an older couple, and Rain's predatory drive kept him from a home that had any other pets.

He didn't have the schedule, stability or landlord to adopt either of them, so after the requisite flirting and fawning when the ladies stopped to pet him, he sat with Rain for a while, just stroking his head.

They were two well-bred aristocrats who found themselves in situations not of their own making, but where he'd managed to find someone who understood him and knew how to keep him in line, Rain didn't have anyone.

So he petted him and, before they headed back to his car, gave him a soft, "Atta boy."

*******************

Two weeks after Roy died, Ziva spotted the dog.

Dark-furred, bright-eyed and rangy, he loped with her just at the edge of the trees. She knew there were feral dogs that lived in the park, but usually only came out at night to forage for trash dropped during the day.

He kept pace with her for the whole route. He never came close, just enough to keep a watchful eye on her. Only when she reached her car and turned to look at him did he melt back into the trees, to return the next day as if he was waiting for her.

A few days later, she started bringing a sandwich with her. She'd stop in the middle of her route and eat half of it at one of the tables, leaving the other half for her companion. As she resumed her run, she smiled when she heard the scrabble of paws on the table.

For over a month, she and the dog ran together. He never came close enough to touch until the last day she saw him, when he jumped up onto the table when she was still eating her half of the sandwich and regarded her, the puffs of his breath lingering in the wintry air.

She lay his half of the sandwich on the table, and instead of taking it he moved in to snuffle at her collar, then her ear, swiping a gentle lick across it before nuzzling at the bright orange hunting cap.

She managed a brief caress to his neck before he grabbed the sandwich and loped back into the trees.

She never saw him again.

Like Gibbs, Ziva didn't believe in coincidences or ghosts, but on the fifteenth day of looking for her silent watcher, the realization stopped her on the bridge she and Roy usually passed each other.

She smiled, reaching up to touch her cap; maybe they finally did get to run together.
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