(Written: 5th March, 2009)
Unlike some fandoms NCIS is a very open to all and every pairing fandom and that
is one of the many reasons I love it so much. ( At least it is here on LJ, from
a few comments I have heard over the years I've been involved sadly it isn't
quite the same on some lists).
So I don't see Gibbs/DiNozzo as a couple (the main pairing) but that doesn't matter, no one shoots me down or even tells me I'm wrong or anything like that, it's just accepted. I see a father & son, boss & subordinate relationship, I see respect, I see hero worship on DiNozzo's behalf, I see fondness, liking, a would kill for or die for, but I don't see romance or sex.
And the same is true for many people who don't see Gibbs/Ducky. They see friendship (I have never met any NCIS fan who has denied how important Ducky is to Gibbs and their extremely close friendship), fraternal love, but not romance and/or sex.
And similar things can be said about all pairings in NCIS. Some people see A/B some B/C some A/C some D/B some C/D, etc. etc. etc. And some don't see the pairings as romantic, just as friendship, some don't really even see any connection at all. Some folk just love the show and ship no one at all. Some folk ship all and every pairings, some a handful, some only one, etc. etc.
But none of that matters in LJ NCIS fandom. We co-exist happily, we can play in our own pairing sandbox, but just as happily we can play in multi-pairings sandboxes.
I've been involved now in NCIS fandom since June 2005 (which is when I wrote my first story and admitted it was a fandom).
To date I have written:
460 - Gibbs/Ducky stories
052 - Abby/McGee stories
072 - General Series stories, which includes a mixture of gen, het and slash
584 - Stories in total
And I still have a lot of WIPs and bunnies hoping around.
So how did I get to where I am today? Well if you're bored, read on.
In May 2004 a good friend sent me an email which included 'Speaking (in a roundabout way *g*) of David McCallum, do you watch Navy NCIS, or is it shown over there?' (We had been discussing The Man From U.N.C.L.E. and Sapphire & Steel - another two shows in which he stared).
I emailed back to say no and she kindly offered to send me some episodes - which she dutifully did.
For one reason or another (and I really don't know why, but I think it was because I was heavily involved in watching MFU episodes) I never got around to watching them at the time she sent them.
In December 2004 I made a post here on my then brand spanking new LJ saying: 'Well I've finally [sheepish grin] got around to watching my first ever episode of Navy NCIS and I already love it. And am now so happy that I have lots more to watch.
Isn't Ducky just wonderful [sigh].
In February 2005, when we were living in rented accommodation and house-hunting post our 'big move', I posted about it again. What I said is, four years later, highly amusing.
I have also been watching several (I refuse to say how many) NCIS Season Two episodes. I am, in fact, beginning to think of offering them my services, having spotted the perp as soon as they appeared to in most of the episodes.
I do not see any slash in NCIS, none at all. I am aware that there are several couples - some slash, some het - but I personally do not see any pairing. If someone held a gun to my head and demanded that I came up with a slash couple, it would have to be Gibbs/Ducky. The reasons for this being: Gibbs is less unpleasant to Ducky - well apart from not letting him finish his stories - than he is to anyone else; Ducky calls Gibbs Jethro and they have a relationship that goes back many years, and they are clearly very comfortable with one another.
However, this doesn't, for me at least, constitute a slash relationship in this show, but it would be the pairing I'd go with if absolutely forced to. My main reason for watching NCIS is Ducky, however, I do also like Gibbs.
Okay, have you all stopped laughing yet? Good. I shall continue.
In May 2005, I did a Fandom Meme which asked about current fandoms and most recent fandom. NCIS did not appear - The Man From U.N.C.L.E. was listed as my 'most recent fandom'.
Then in June 2005, as a result of a discussion on a YH MFU list where people were discussing the 'is Ducky Illya' and saying how they didn't like the idea of Illya with anyone other than Napoleon, and having seen 'The Meat Puzzle' I wrote my very first NCIS story - well a crossover with MFU. It was called Brothers In Love.
A week later I posted my first sole Gibbs/Ducky - Death Changes Everything. And the rest, as they say, is history
In July 2005 I did a OTP meme and Gibbs/Ducky appeared - but in third place (behind Napoleon/Illya and Bodie/Doyle).
Also in July the abovementiond friend and I set up an LJ Rare_Pair, a community for rare/minority pairings (both slash and het) as we both had at least one minority pairing. My main one being Gibbs/Ducky, which was at the time very rare indeed - make that pretty much non-existent.
And from then I on I continued to post at least one Gibbs/Ducky story, usually more, each month and I was getting feedback from a handful of people and finding out there were other people out there who saw and loved Gibbs/Ducky.
In October 2005 I wrote an LJ Ship_Manifesto essay about them entitled Old Friends And Lovers.
And in the same month I embarked on my first LJ Fanfic Challenge - Fanfic100 for Gibbs/Ducky - and by that time I had already written twenty-one stories. Twenty-one stories about this pairing, twenty-one stories in a fandom where, a mere eight months earlier I had publicly stated: I do not see any slash in NCIS, none at all.
In October/November/December 2005 I was posting theories and writing meta posts about the show, writing about the character ranting about things, etc.
And then on 5th December 2005 I posted to say that I had set up NCIS_Gibbs Ducky saying Given my current
obsession interest, I guess it was
only a matter of time before I gave in and created a Community dedicated solely
to Gibbs/Ducky. (It's actually my first LJ-Anniversary present to myself *g*)
It's all right, I'm not going to document the next three and a bit years month by month, you will no doubt be relieved to know. Suffice to say during that time I went on writing stories, I started to make wallpaper, banners, icons and other graphics (graphics aren't my skill, but I enjoy making them - which is the important thing, right?).
I wrote an LJ Idol_Reflection essay on each of them More Questions Than Answers (Gibbs) and Older Not Dead (Ducky); took up more challenges, began writing episode reviews, which started off as pure G/D squee and have now evolved into so much more and lived, breathed and slept NCIS - well Gibbs/Ducky.
I had always been a slash fan and only a slash fan, and I never dreamt I'd venture beyond writing slash, certainly not in a fandom where I wrote slash. However, NCIS (which is a first in so many ways) once again proved me wrong. I had always seen Abby/McGee as a couple (well they were canon) and I had for a while wrote them a sub-pairing, or simply mentioned them, in several G/D stories, but one day my bunny demanded more.
So in April 2007 I wrote my very first Abby/McGee story. Of course it had to be a death story (for the romantic I am, I write a lot of death stories) and had to imply G/D as a couple, but nonetheless G/D didn't appear (they were dead) and the story was an Abby/McGee story.
And then I started to include Abby/McGee in several of my LJ 12_Stories fanfic challenges.
Then in December 2007, I took up my first sole Abby/McGee challenge when another friend started her LJ fanfic challenge comm - Drabble 123.
Thus, by the end of 2007, it was safe to say that I now had two NCIS OTPs - and my first serious het OTP ever.
And by March 2008, I had written at least one Abby/McGee story for each letter of the alphabet.
But it was still all OTP stuff and whilst many of my stories, in particular my Gibbs/Ducky ones, included the team either in full or in part, I was still only writing pairings and as it's been my way for the ten years I've been in fandom, I never expected anything to change.
And then Judgment Day aired. And suddenly there I was at the end of May 2008 writing ten (yes, I don't do things by halves) gen drabbles, based on the final scene and my take on events thereafter.
Less than three months later I started to try my hand at more General Series stories, thanks (again) to the same friend who had some time earlier resurrected the LJ comm NCIS Drabble 100 and was coming up with some wonderful weekly prompts.
And suddenly I found myself not only writing gen, but also writing femmeslash (Jenny/Ziva - a couple who I had always seen right back to the airing of 'Kill Ari', but whom I had never cared about enough to want to write) and a variety of DiNozzo based het (DiNozzo/Jeanne, DiNozzo/Ziva and, thanks to another LJ friend who in effect 'invented' this pairing DiNozzo/Maddie Tyler).
And if that wasn't enough I undertook two LJ fanfic challenges for NCIS General Series 50 Ficlets (which I completed recently) and my own 100 Tri_Drabbles.
And now, nearly nine months after I wrote my first NCIS General Series story I have written at least one gen story for all the 'main' NCIS characters, gen stories that involve more than one character, several Jenny/Ziva stories, and a fair few DiNozzo/with one of the above-mentioned three women stories. Oh, and I have also written at least one story for every letter of the alphabet.
But still I wasn't writing outside of my OTPs, well not entirely. However, I do have three stories in which Gibbs/Fornell (a pairing I really do see and were it not for Ducky I fully believe they would have become my OTP) 'feature': One Shot (Fornell is dying and kisses Gibbs); You Bastard (for reasons unknown to either Fornell or Ducky Gibbs kisses Fornell knowing that Ducky will see - note to self: you had intended this to be a series, get on and explain why Gibbs did what he did!) and most recently Finally At Peace (Gibbs takes Fornell to bed because he is dying). And I realised that all three of them have one theme in common: Fornell's unrequited (at least up until one final night) love for Gibbs. Nonetheless all the stories were also Gibbs/Ducky stories.
And also looking through my somewhat large NCIS WIP folder I realise that I have two WIPs that, again are primarily Gibbs/Ducky stories, but will include Gibbs/McGee (another pairing I can oh so easily see - especially in the more recent seasons).
So have I stopped being a hard and fast OTP person?
In truth, given Gibbs's four marriages, I guess to an extent I have had to depart from the strict limits of OTP, as unless I was going to write totally AR and/or AU stories, one cannot ignore the four wives, Jenny Shepard and Hollis Mann. And as such at times Gibbs/female character has appeared in stories, not in any depth, but at least referred to and in some cases Gibbs/woman has played almost as large a part as Gibbs/Ducky.
I don't have an instant answer to the above question,. It is something I shall have to ponder, but for me it's very interesting and somewhat surprising.
Anyway that is the writing side of my NCIS journey.
The reading side, oddly enough is considerably shorter - but not without it's surprises.
As a hard and fast OTP person in the old fashioned sense of the word, I don't read outside of my pairing. Nor do I tend to read gen - for me fanfic is about something different. It's not about hot sex, not at all, but it's about what I can't get from mainstream fic and thus I tend to only stick to slash. So for most of the time I only read Gibbs/Ducky slash.
Then another LJ friend started to write her wonderful Abby/McGee 'Lola' series (that did include Gibbs/Ducky as a pairing). This not only got me into reading her Abby/McGee stories it got me to read and enjoy kiddy-fic. And from then on I was reading the odd Abby/McGee story, but primarily I was still only reading Gibbs/Ducky.
And then I signed up, on LJ, to drive the NCIS Crack_Van van which I've now done three times and have signed up to do for a fourth time). The first drive was pretty much all Gibbs/Ducky (although it did include one of the abovementioned AbbY/McGee writer Abby/McGee Gibbs/Ducky stories and the cross-over was Gibbs/Ducky & Fraser/Vecchio [Due South] written by another dear friend of mine.
In my second drive I departed slightly (as as well as the Gibbs/Duck, Aby/McGee/Gibbs/Ducky, and another Gibbs/Ducky/Fraser/Vecchio story) it and included a wonderful Gibbs & McGee gen story (oh, it was death - yes, I do have this penchant for death stories, it seems). So we had a slight departure from the 'norm'.
But it was in my third round that I really 'branched out. As well as my 'usual' Gibbs/Ducky and Abby/McGee stories I recc'd:
- A DiNozzo/Maddie het story
- A Ducky & Abby gen story that had a teeny bit of Jimmy/Michelle het
- A Gibbs & Fornell gen (death) story
So really none of these were 'shocking' I was now writing DiNozzo/Maddie, I love Gibbs & Fornell and Ducky & Abby.
However, then I managed to shall we say stun quite a few of my flist (see comments) as I recc'd
- A Gibbs/McGee story
But it was a one-off, right?
Well that is until fairly recently.
To begin with one of my favourite Gibbs/Ducky writers branched out and started to write the occasional Gibbs/Fornell and Abby/Ziva story - and I found myself reading them. The former isn't that surprising, not really - I do love the pairing - the latter more so I ship Abby/McGee and when I write femmeslash it's Jenny/Ziva. But I like Ashley's writing, so I read them. But the writer is a good friend, so . . . (me thinks the lady doth protest too much).
Anyway a week or so ago I had gone to The NCIS Fanfiction Archive actually to see if I could help out someone who had requested on NCIS Fic Find some DiNozzo/Jimmy stories (I would venture to guess - but I may be totally wrong - that the request arose from the most recent episode 'Bounce').
However, upon getting there, rather than go to DiNozzo/Other I found myself going to Gibbs/Other and searching firstly for 'Fornell' and then 'McGee'. Sadly I only found one G/F story, which I not only read, but saved but . . . I found several Gibbs/McGee stories and I then tracked the person to LJ and spent quite some time reading her superb series of Gibbs/McGee stories, and then also reading her Ducky/Fornell story! And giving feedback and asking for more.
You can look out for some non-G/D recs when I next drive the NCIS Crack_Van van.
And that is my NCIS reading journey, as I said much shorter than my writing, but maybe in some ways more shocking.
So what has happened? How did Nikki go pretty much over-night from being a hard-core OTP person in both writing and reading to a teeny 'slip', to actively searching out stories that 'break' her OPT?
Maybe it was inevitable given how intense my involvement has been/is in the fandom. Also that fact that whilst Gibbs & Ducky are my favourite characters I love them all and it really is an ensemble show where the team are very much family.
If there is anyone who has made it through this meander - thank you *hands out virtual cookies* - and I hope you enjoyed it.
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