Journey and Dead Air – a Jilly Rant ™

This is me pissed off about people bitching over the way I handled the Dead Air stuff. If you don’t want to read me annoyed, do not go further!

For starters, people really suck for fucking up my fic-finally-finished afterglow.

It takes a lot to get me this upset. And even when I’m upset, I’m usually pretty damned polite, even if do swear a fuck-ton. I’m not much of a ranter. Usually by the time I get the point of ranting, I just say ‘fuck off’ and figure out how to excise you from my life. Or turn you into a house elf named Pickle and mock you terribly and publicly. It’s not pretty.

I’m making an exception for the precious snowflakes who are giving me a hard time about Dead Air, so here’s my rant on the subject.

This falls into two areas, and the first is more forgivable than the second, IMO.

For those who aren’t familiar with NCIS canon, or didn’t watch later seasons (a LOT of people got disillusioned with the show around season 4/5 timeframe and moved on), there’s an episode early in season 8 called Dead Air. There’s a lot going on in the ep, but let me capture the salient points in terms of my rant:

  • Two people murdered while broadcasting live on the radio
  • linked to a domestic terrorist cell
  • they have voiceprint of the killer
  • Tony, Ziva and McGee go to the neighborhood where the cell is suspected to be and Tony runs around doing whatever he can to get everyone to talk to him so they can get the voiceprints
  • After several hours, Tony gets back into the car and after a couple questions, Ziva and McGee reveal they haven’t been listening to him for a couple hours because there’s only so long they can listen to him talk.
  • There’s never anything else said on the subject in the show

That’s canon. It’s not up for debate.

How you internalize and interpret those events… that’s the debatable part. There was a LOT of ranting in the fandom about it. Unsurprisingly, it created a whole sub-genre of NCIS Dead Air consequences fics to get some resolution around the 30 seconds of ugliness in that episode.

So, a lot of people were pissed off. There were also a lot of people who didn’t give a shit. Of those that didn’t give a shit, there seemed to be two camps; those who really didn’t care one way or the other, and those who didn’t want to hear one more damned thing about Dead Air.

Whatever camp you were in… I don’t really care. If you liked it or didn’t like, it doesn’t matter to me. I’m not going to judge you. Unless you’re one of the people whose position was: “It doesn’t matter if they turned off their comms because nothing bad happened to Tony.” I’m not even going to waste my time explaining how flawed that thought process is, and this is me being judgey.

For myself, I found it to be a horrible lapse in procedure that the writers used as a way to poke at Tony, yet never bothered to consider there might be real consequences. It bothered me. Profoundly. Perhaps it’s more personal for me because I have family and friends in law enforcement? I don’t know. But it doesn’t really matter why. That’s my point of view.

For me to write in season 8 or beyond, I have to either make it AU where Dead Air didn’t happen, or deal with what the fallout would have been / should have been. That’s me. If you don’t like it, don’t read my fic.

So, to the folks who wrote me to tell me that Ziva and McGee “wouldn’t do that”… Enough said. They did do it. What I hear you say is that you don’t like that I took it more seriously than the writers or producers did. Well, suck it up.

That, or you aren’t familiar enough with canon to know this was not a figment of my imagination. Either way, chastising me for bad characterization was a poor choice.

Now… to the person who told me I should have warned this was a Dead Air fic because they “don’t read those.”

First, I don’t have to do a damned thing. I warn for certain things out of courtesy because I don’t want people to get triggered. Major things like violence and rape and character death. I sure as hell am not going to run around fandom trying to figure out every little nitpicky thing people do and don’t like so I can “tag my fic appropriately.”

I should stop there, but I’m just going to explore what would have happened differently if I’d chosen to make Dead Air not happen rather than deal with it.

Not much changes. There’s a bunch of Tony’s internal angst that wouldn’t have happened, but the fundamental series of events? THE SAME.

Only one troll is allowed here, and if she trolls me, she gets a cupcake.

Anyone else does it? If you’re lucky, I’m gonna tell you to fuck off. If you’re unlucky? Please remember poor Pickle.


  1. You tell ’em. It’s your world, and you just let us come over to play. If they don’t like it, they can always pick a different fic to read. Please ignore them and resume the awesome after glow of a completed fic.

  2. Oh dear. *hugs* I’m so sorry that happened. I was just happy that you posted Journey Home and so quickly. I’m with you on the Dead Air things. It should have been dealt with differently in canon and certainly addressed in later episodes. But then there are certain other things that should have been addressed differently or better in canon. I’m at the point that I watch for lovely moments and totally ignore the things that could make me frustrated or angry. I do that because otherwise I would simply use too much energy. It’s not worth it. I hope you get in the afterglow very quickly again because it was SO good to read the story in almost one go. I hadn’t read it earlier so I was in for a treat. I love your characterization and story lines. The big ones and the small ones. Loved the fact that you brought Martin in the mix, because I just loved him in Without a Trace. Can’t wait to read mor of your stories. *feeds your bunnies*

  3. Go you!!! You write however you want. It is your story; we just get to play in your headcannon

  4. IMO, you write “fiction” and to me that means you can write the characters any way you want. The story is about Tony and ‘sentinals’ so to me that says that its “AU” meaning you have free reign to write the story however you want. You are a wonderful writer and I absolutely enjoy how you weave the characters together. You did the “Dead Air” episode justice and I think you should still feel that wonderful accomplished feeling of posting the complete story. Major kudos to you!

  5. OMG!! Why are there sooooooo many stupid people in this fandom!!

    Go Jilly!!!! I’m with you 100% .

    Just finished re-reading Journey Home not long ago (had read it when originally post on RT)….need to tell that I have been waiting for you to post it and have enjoyed it the second time just as much as the first time!

    So often writers are taken to task by people who read their work and then feel “obliged” to let them know how much they disagreed with their creative writing choices…. IMHO…don’t like it – use the back button – that’s what it’s there for!

    I have never been brave enough (or talented enough lol) to write, but greatly admire those that put their work out there for all of us to enjoy. So Jilly please know there are many readers out there, like myself, that really appreciate what you do and what you have written. Thank you! Looking forward to reading (and re-reading) anything you put up.

    Carr 🙂

  6. Jilly, please don’t listen to the idiots out there. I love The Journey Home and thought you handled the events of Dead Air very well. The idiots who complain about every little thing that upsets them piss me off! It’s like they read fan fiction so so they can bitch and complain. Well I wish they would do all of us a big favor and disappear. Thank you for all your hard work and dedication in writing some great stories and sharing them with us. Enjoy the afterglow of completing your story and ignore the idiots. There are a lot more people out there who support you than there are idiots.

  7. I love how you dealt with the aftermath of Dead Air. Once that episode aired, I was beyond pissed with the writers because they treated the whole situation as a joke. I love reading Dead Air fic that provide a resolution to a really horrific situation. People might consider it Ziva or McGee bashing, but they deserve everything they get for what they did to Tony.

  8. I actually just watched that particular episode last week, and I agree with you. Even if TPTB left it ambivalent as to whether or not they turned off the radio, they still stopped listening. Sweetie, you write awesome stories and I have a file on my kindle just for you.I appreciate the fact that you share your stories with us. A pox on the douchebags who dared to take away your end of story buzz!

  9. It’s your story, your website, and you can do whatever you damned well please with them. Frankly, whatever self-entitled twat left that comment should be banned from ever breathing your air again. You’ve done a fabulous job with this story (and all your others, natch)! As for Dead Air… I watched that episode, and was horrified that there were no consequences – every LEO, from small town cop to federal agent, gets back-up. When that back-up fails to do their job, regardless of their health and state of living, someone gets punished. That’s just the way it is. Tim and Ziva didn’t get so much as a hand slapped over this, and it pissed me off to no end. I was quite pleased at how you addressed this, for however much it matters. Also, rant away! It’s cathartic, it’s healthy anger, and it’s probably saying what over half of us want to say to dumb shits like your most recent troll. *bearhugs*

  10. Well said. Love the story. well written

  11. The precious snowflakes need to get the hell over their entitlement. It’s your fic! I’m pissed on your behalf because they ruined your happy feelings.

    That ep shocked me right out of any suspension of disbelief. As for show ignoring the possible consequences to Tony there’s a history of that already with that photo Abby & Kate doctored way back when.

    You rightly nailed the characters for their actions (i love fics that punish Z & M appropriately for it). and I know back in the RT posting I enthusiastically agreed, and commented on, with the description of Abby as an ’emotional terrorist’.

    I’m way behind on my reread because you’ve put this up way faster than I thought. Tomorrow night it’s me and a nice glass of wine with 22 chapters of fanfic to love.

  12. You go girl!!!! Authors don’t have to apologize for anything they write. That Fanfiction isn’t canon is kinda the point. If I want canon I will Watch/read..etc the original.

  13. Hey lady. I’m super sorry to hear that people were hassling you. There’s no call for that, and I’m genuinely disheartened that someone would do that to you. If it’s any consolation, I loved your story. I’ve loved everything of yours that I’ve read so far, actually. I’ve been reading fic for years, and Emergence is the first story to get me emotionally involved enough to post a comment, and Journey was the first fic I have ever read while it was still WIP and being posted (waiting and I are not friends, but well-written Tony/Jack? Hell yes). For what it’s worth, I think you handled the Dead Air issues really well, and in a way that made logical sense and worked for your story. I hope that the people who loved Journey–and I bet there are WAY more of them than there are haters–let you know how they feel, and that it can perk up your afterglow a bit. Also, I hope you have access to cupcakes or similar, because you definitely deserve one, both for having to put up with obnoxious bastards as well as on general principle. Thank you for your hard work on this and all your other stories; they’re wonderful, and you can be proud of your accomplishments!

  14. Sorry that even here people can be nasty, I thought it was a wonderful story, for the time frame it was set in Dead Air was the perfect back drop story, highlight the level of disrespect TIM AND Ziva had for Tony, yes lots of “Dead Air” stories but your story was so much more then that. You brought together characters from different shows and blended them seamlessly. The story was original, engaging(made me late for work a few times) and very well plotted and written. I know easy to say ignore them, but I know how one negative comment can throw your day off and seems to overshadow all the great comments. I think you gave a lot of fans out there, I for one Look forward to more of your work, sending you a virtual hug, a virtual wand to blast the flamers, and a big thank you for writing and sharing an amazing story with us. LAG

  15. Personally, I liked the way you handled the whole issue in the story because damn straight there should have been consequences, just because nothing happened to Tony in the episode, doesn’t mean that turning off comms shouldn’t have had bad things happened to his back up team. IMO, they got what they deserved in your story cause frankly IRL they would have been reprimanded or fired for not following proper proceedure and risking a member of their team by not doing so. But the primary thing to remember here is that this is JILLY’S fic, and what she wants is gonna happen because it’s her take on the story so that’s all to be said other than don’t like it, don’t read it so you have nothing to comment. I loved the story, could care less about the episode this came from, I happen to love the way it was done and thank you muchly for taking the time to write such a lovely fic and can’t wait for more from you. Thanks to you and your betas for taking time out of your lives to fulfil my need for stories to read. 🙂

  16. The website clearly says Jilly James. Meaning it’s your stories. That you’ve slaved over, probably crying and yelling and throwing things at your laptop when something happened that you weren’t expecting. Like Sam was actually projecting because she doesn’t understand what the hell she was doing.

    If you don’t like an author’s take on a story, come up with your own damn story and write it the way you want.

    Don’t complain to how much you hate it the author’s idea when they’re the ones that actually sat down ( took the time to sit down) & typed it out, the time and effort to have somebody read over it for an edit it, searched out some one who would be honest yet mesh with their writing style, and then screw the courage up enough to post it live – for other people to read and enjoy.

    It’s not for you to troll. Honestly, if you don’t like it stop reading. Turn around and go back where you came from.

  17. Jilly,

    You are perfectly right. I’m sorry people are hating on you and your fic. I liked how fair you were to everyone. To McGee and Ziva and especially Abby. But also Jimmy and Ducky and Gibbs. It is crazy talk to ask for warnings about this fic based on canon events (that aren’t major triggers for people). Serious major crazy talk. It’s utter bullshit and you should not have had to deal with this. Also, what Ziva and McGee did by turning off the Tony’s mic…I would have never trusted them again if I was put in the position. I mean, why was Tony the only one to canvas that entire neighborhood talking to hundreds of people in just a few hours. How boring but also completely exhausting. Erg. I have a bad taste in my mouth.

    It sucks this ignorance and stupidity was vented towards you. You made my week posting Journey. So thank you for that. 🙂 Thank you for sharing this story with us. Its unique pairings were fun and enlightening. Continue to rock on and move those haters to the left as you walk on by.

  18. Brava! Excellent rant! I for one absolutely adore the Journey Home. I’m currently having major withdrawal symptoms which means I’m most likely to reread it in one go on a03 (where I will review under my ID heniki and then kudos it and then bookmark it). I was preparing to beg for moooorrreee Tony/Jack when I got to your site tonight. This was disappointing; I hate people who try to rain on parades, and yours is a brilliant parade.

  19. I love your writing and I’m sorry you have to deal with self-entitled asshats who think you should bow to their whims. Keep up the good work.

  20. Not sure if you want comments to this or not, but I’ll write one anyway. When I woke up to the notification of this post (I believe we live in different time zones), my first reaction was huh? It took me a moment to connect how Journey and Dead Air belongs in one sentence because Dead Air is (imo) such a minor factor in this fic. I am (like very likely most Tony fans) a big hater of that episode for obvious reasons (I’m not going to list them, because a) you’ve already mentioned a lot and b) most people (besides the weirdos you mention) know what’s wrong with that episode. Actually, I had a whole bunch of things written here that I’ve deleted again, you’ll get it in a comment when I come to that particular chapter where it belongs, it doesn’t belong here (just short: I thought it was both a brilliant use of that particular pile of crap in connection to this story AND a fantastic way to address the issue).

    What belongs here is the following: Please don’t let morons like that stop you from writing!! And, being a little selfish: Please don’t stop sharing your writing! You have an amazing gift and I for one am grateful that you’ve chosen to share it with us and I hope very much that weirdos and haters don’t make you stop the sharing. I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one willing to go down on her knees and beg you :).

    I don’t even know how to comment on the fact that someone commented that’s something the characters wouldn’t do. It’s fact, people. Actually, they’d probably answer “it was just a joke”. Yeah, right. Bugger off. I often wonder if certain people search the internet specifically for fic they know they’re not gonna like just to comment on that in a hateful way. Which is pretty sick in its own way not to mention who has the time to do that? If I don’t like something, I just keep it to myself. It’s not like I’m gonna change the authors mind. But, I believe that the safety of the internet (in the way that you’re not meeting people face to face) let’s people forget how to be behave politely (if they knew how to begin with) and limits their inhibitions. Or, you know, they just like to offend.

    Well, I don’t even know if this makes sense or you care, but I repeat my plead for you to not let morons, weirdos, idiots and (fill in more less child friendly characterizations of people) stop you! I love your fic and am sure there’s enough who share my opinion out there!!

  21. I’m so sorry people are being arseholes. For me, finding journey was finished and up was like a little valentines day fandom present for me (I know it wasn’t, but I’m going to pretend).

    congtalations on finishing!!

  22. Perfectly said. If they have problems with others interpretations of how Dead Air should be handled, they should just go write their own fic. I completely enjoy your stories and look forward to every new addition you create.

  23. Hey I’m sorry you had this experience. You know I personally love this story. I just hope that if it ever puts you off writing where everyone can see you’ll give me the secret knock/password so I can carry on reading. I do find it weird in ncis when characters don’t make a bigger deal out of things. I mean I recently watched dog tags and don’t think there are enough reaction fics to that ep. Hope you have a good day.

  24. I just wanted to say how much i really enjoyed your story. I am totally looking forward to the next chapter 🙂 To hear that you encountered such hostility is saddening indeed. I feel i have been remiss in not actually saying how much in enjoyed it….selfish of me just to take what you offered and repay it with nothing but silence. I am sorry.

    Thank you again.

  25. Sorry people are being idiots Jilly!!!! I love your fics. Please keep on writing whatever you feel like, and I think it’s perfectly fine to turn people into Pickles. Let the mockery begin!

  26. People should just be extatic that you post your awsome fics for us to read! It really annoyes me we people conplain when a story dose not go as they thought it would. I realy enjoy the fact that your stories are not formulaic and that I never know what will happen next. Furthermore, I like how you handled it, actions should have consequences! Tv shows seem to always gloss over end result of shitty behavior of their main characters e.g. the falsification of feild work on The Big Bang Theory. Your interpretation seem so much more realistic and less 2 dimensional. When trust is broken in such a way that could mean your job or your life you could never fully trust that person again.

    PS The person that said you should warn for dead air is crazzy! If you hade to worn for stuff like that your warnings would be longer than your fic lol.

  27. OMG You really got bad luck with people picking up on your stories. And they are such beautiful stories too. I think you should treat such comments as a badge of honour. Only writers who create great stories get people riled up (see Keira) due to jealousy or small-mindedness or some such. I love this story. I missed it first time and heard such good things about it, so really regretted not reading it on RT. And I was so happy you started to publish it again that I’ve been checking your website, for new parts several times a day (and night) – and happily there were new parts, too. Loved your premise for this story, characterisations were totally superb, Tony and Jack and rest of the teams spot on (Daniel’s various Jaaacks LOL). The AAA part made me laugh so much, that was so them. So thank you for another great story, ignore the morons 🙂

  28. See I’m with you… I was pissed that the show didn’t do anything about the fact the comms were turned off.

    I loved Journey, and I can’t wait to read the eventual sequel.

  29. Go Jilly Go Jilly. Whether Dead Air, Better Angels or any other episode where the NCIS advisor must have been off the set during filming (my opinion anyway) I don’t feel that anyone should leave a flaming review. Thank the author with kind words if you like the story, and I LOVE yours btw, or leave construction comments otherwise be silent and read something more to your liking. I never leave a bad comment, tempting as it is at times, because it is my fault that I continued to read a fic that clearly I didn’t like. As far as I am concerned, If ya can’t say something nice…

  30. Good for you! Can’t believe people can’t see how dangerous and unprofessional their behavior was. But the writers were continually abusing Tony and promoting Ziva and Tim’s nasty, childlike behavior. I think the writers were severely lacking when it came to any sense of what is funny and what is derogatory. Glad things are much better these days. Sorry you have to put up with those kind of comments. People can be ungrateful and obnoxious. Thanks for all you write and share.

  31. Well, damn…. I definitely fall into the category of fans that did not like ‘Dead Air’ and the lack of follow-up/consequences for McGee and David. Please don’t let the idiots ruin your ‘afterglow’ – your story is superb and even better now that you’ve reposted it [I read it on Rough Trade and here in daily [or mostly daily] parts and then a reread as one beautiful fic!]. I can emphasize with the pain of less than reasonable or polite feedback [first story I ever posted on a fic list got NO feedback for nearly a week and then only got like three total feedback on a list known for great feedback both positive and constructive…. that hurts….]

    The problems I’ve encountered in NCIS fandom is the fans who have complete blinders on in regard to their favorites — i.e. Gibbs is a bastard with a heart of gold and always does what it ‘right’ [Gibbs is truly anything but perfect even if I do love the character there are aspects of him I detest]; Tony is a class clown with virtually no intelligence except for what he has retained from watching years of movies and tv [he could NOT be an official SFA if he did not hold the proper higher education degrees and Gibbs would never keep an idiot on his team for this length of time]; McGee is a McGenius with a heart of gold and has for more qualifications to be a SFA than Tony and will one day be the Director of NCIS [McGee can be casually cruel and vicious in his supposed teasing and he does not have the innate talent as an investigator that Tony has AND truly intelligent people do NOT need to shove their degrees and qualifications in everyone’s face]; Ziva David is a highly trained and intelligent Mossad-Princess-Assassin than can kill with a paperclip and can claim Gibbs has her stand-in daddy [Ziva with all her supposed assassin training cannot ‘blend in’ to save her life AND cannot hit the side of a barn with a gun in each HAND and her anger management issues have issues! along with her obscene and digusting manipulation of Gibbs via that Daddy issues, combined with her deep belief in her entitlement in everything!]; and Abby is just the best forensics expert ever AND Gibbs’s stand-in daughter [for all that she started the series as a mature woman who loved Goth attire and was ‘fun’ and has turned into a spoilt baby!Abby who stamps her foot and manipulates Gibbs and everyone else by being demanding and expecting everyone to do things to placate her]. The thing is I LOVE Gibbs, Tony and Abby and yet I don’t like how they’d been written during Brennan’s run as showrunner. Too many fans cannot accept that there are issues with their favorites…..

    Again thank you for this story and how it deals with ‘Dead Air’ and thank you for writing a world that is so much more believable than what has been shoved down our throats in canon. Keep up the great work!

  32. First, thank you *SO* much for re-posting The Journey Home. I enjoyed it tremendously on Rough Trade last year and missed it when it was taken down. You’ve taken existing characters and woven an intensely believable AU that remains true to the originating series (if I’ve articulated that well). One sign of an excellent story is that it’s one that compels people to want to re-read it to revisit the characters in that setting. Your story more than delivers this. I’m really looking forward to the sequel when you have a chance to write it. Thank you so very much for sharing your creativity and talent with us.

    Second, ignore those who bitch about how you handled Dead Air. They’re idiots. It’s canon that was handled poorly and you have used it well in your universe. This takes skill, creativity and empathy. There are some readers who want characters to be “perfect” — and none is perfect on NCIS. Mark Harmon himself has been quoted as saying he was attracted to the Gibbs role because Gibbs is flawed. I would love to read follow-up with Gibbs, Martin, Paul and McGee, Ziva and Abby — but if your sequel focuses only on Jack and Tony, that will be a great read, too, I’m sure.

    Thank you, again, for providing some enjoyable diversion for me on snowy afternoons…

  33. You did an amazing job with this story, and I’m looking forward to the sequel. Here, have some virtual, chocolate-covered Colonels. 🙂

    As for the rant – Agreed! I hated the way that “Dead Air” was just brushed under the carpet, and people who just shrugged it off got my friggin’ goat! So says someone who has brothers who are cops and soldiers.
    What were the writers thinking???!!!

    As for the troll brigade… Ugh! Crawl back under your bridges, and stay there!

  34. Let em have it!!!!!!. That was the nail in the coffin episode for me with NCIS and I adore the way you handle it in this magnificent story. The dead air aspect was such a small part of Journey but essential to the plot…it’s fiction people and the author can interpret it any damn way she pleases…and because JJ got it right is a most pleasant bonus!! Some rabid fans are delusional and can’t stop smoking the Ziva crack pipe…I can’t stand the character and wish she would of got her head blown off in the first episode she appeared in;) So every time I read a story showing her selfish, arrogant traitorous lying psychotic true colors I smile and an angel gets their wings. (And if I hear one more POOR widdle Timmy, Tony is so mean to him….. oh Boo f*cking Hoo)… Tim is an arrogant little sh*t and needs to go back to cyber crimes where at least he will be of some use. I can’t believe somebody actually told you they were out of character because they wouldn’t do that…Seriously it is part of canon LOL. Off to read Journey again because YES it is THAT amazing and gets better every time I read it!!!!

    • I LOL’d at your phrase “Smoking the Ziva crack pipe…” YES! She’s been a grating character since day one, and I wish she’d just died in Somalia (or wherever the terrorists had her locked up. By that point in the show, I wasn’t paying as much attention…)

  35. Hi!
    First I like to tell you how great your stories are and how much I love them.
    Second: I’m with you with your comment about the “Dead Air – Thing”! I cant understand how people can rant about stories they dont like and sometimes make the autors so angry that they dont want to write anymore. They should shut their mouth and stop reading fanfictions and let the others enjoy.
    I post to you, to say that there are people out there who love to read fanfictions and appreciate the job you do!
    I hope you will write many more stories. You are great!!!!


  36. AngelicInsanity (KliqzAngel)

    The stupidity and intolerance of some people amazes me. It sucks that they ruined your groove… haters don’t deserve that kind of power. It never fails to amaze me when I find the faction of crazies when I delve into a fandom. A writer doesn’t owe a reader shit. I agree warnings for triggers are polite… everything else is up to an author. It would NEVER occur to me to warn I was dealing with Dead Air when putting warnings on one of my fics. For what its worth, I loved the final version of The Journey Home, and I look forward to the next fic. Just as I am looking forward to your final version of Emergence. I think you’re an amazing writer, and I hope these morons don’t ruin your flow.

  37. Okay, *I* gave up on NCIS when Mike Franks murdered the man who killed his son and Gibbs just stood there and let him do it. I don’t like it at all that Gibbs killed the guy who murdered is family, but I cut him slack because he did it while still actively grieving and it was a long time ago. Still, he should have stopped Franks. Could have had a nice “revenge will not make your kid any less dead and I don’t want to send you to jail” speech. But I’ve heard about Dead Air, and yes, something should have come out of that. It was grossly unprofessional, potentially fatal. How the hell was he ever supposed to trust them again.

    But even if I agreed that making Ziva and Tim pay for their bad behavior was a bad idea, I would never write you and say something like that. It’s YOUR BLOODY STORY. If I just can’t stand it, I used the damned back button. That is what it is for.
    I accept concrit from people I know, not strangers. I understand your annoyance, but don’t let them get you down. My favorite Larsen cartoon shows God in his workshop, with the earth on the bench in front of him. There are jars of animals and trees and such behind him. He is holding a large jar and shaking the contents onto earth. The jar is labeled “Jerks”. The caption is “This ought to stir things up.” Jerks are everywhere and it’s God’s fault. The best way to deal is either ignore them or Pickle their asses, depending on how egregious their jerkiness.

  38. Just wanted to echo everyone else’s support for you over this issue.

    I have to admit that when Dead Air, um, aired, I didn’t really register the relevant incident. I tend not to watch TV without doing something else as well (eg knitting) so don’t always catch every moment, and as you said, they sort of brushed it under the carpet. So it was something of a surprise to find the fics which dealt with the incident more seriously, but I immediately realised that, as often happens in fan fics, the audience had made a better job of constructing a scenario than the original writers. Some of the best stories I have read have dealt with Dead Air. Journey is no exception.

    BTW, episodes 11 & 12 of season 11 (introducing NCIS New Orleans) aired in the UK on non-satellite telly last Friday, the first time I have seen any of that season. Might be my imagination, but the writing of Abby seemed a bit less…..childish.

  39. People are assholes, unfortunately. “Journey Home” is fantastic, it’s one of the best (or even the best) Sentinel crossover/fusions that I know. I actually thought you dealt with “Dead Air” in a very logical, even restrained way – you didn’t go overboard, you didn’t make it a Dead Air Angstfest, like some authors do (and even if you did, your choice). Actions have consequences, and you showed that. In your version, there were at least some mitigating circumstances for Ziva and McGee, which, while they don’t excuse their behavior, at least provide a logical explanation as to how it even came to that – there is no such thing in canon. I think that’s what makes people that care about things like continuity, character development and you know, common sense so angry about the casual way this incident was just swept under the rug as a joke. It would have been a joke if Ziva and McGee hadn’t actually turned off the radio and had just claimed before Tony that they did – the joke still would have been in poor taste, but it wouldn’t have been a dereliction of duties.

    Sorry, now I’m babbling. I’m so sorry that the jerks of the internet came crawling out of their deep, dark and smelly hole to ruin your posting afterglow. Just so you know – there are a lot more people who really loved what you wrote and who will appreciate everything you post, always.

  40. Jilly, don’t listen to people who just like to whine about everything. You can’t take it at face value, they will moan at the stupidest things just to rile you up. Either they have no better thing to do, no common sense, no manners or they are plain mean. Whatever the reason this is your story and you should do whatever you like with it whether we approve of it or no.

    To the moaners:
    If you do not like how characters are portraited or how the author uses the cannon, don’t read the fic. Leave and find something that will suit you more. You don’t have to make life miserable for the author. I myself am against Ziva-Tony fics, but it doesn’t give me a right to go and criticise every single author who wrote such fanficiton. I know there are plenty of people who are fans of Ziva-Tony and this ficiton will be great for them. I just stay away from it most the times. Maybe you should do the same?

  41. Love all your stories and i hope you keep writing! I can’t believe people would treat you that way. Thanks for sharing with us

  42. Dead Air bothered me deeply for the same reasons. I almost stopped watching the show over that episode. You never leave your partner with out back up and that’s what they did by turning off the radio. It doesn’t matter that nothing happened, it could have at any time while Tony was canvassing the neighborhood. I makes me crazy when people try and justify or minimize Tim and Ziva’s actions. The way is was just a throw away laugh that Tony is so annoying that no one should have to listen to him made it even worse. If it had been a real incident Tony should have reported them and they should have been removed from the team and a disciplinary actions taken, (demotion, leave with out pay, suspension, no longer able to work in the field or with out supervision). I personally think they should have been fired.
    I’m sorry that you got such backlash from your story because you addressed something that has upset me since it first aired. Thank you for writing this story it helped me work through some of my issues with Dead Air.

  43. Dead Air is where I got disillusioned. The thing about a long running show like NCIS is coming up with more drama. The writers had a huge opportunity here and blew it on a cheap joke. Meanwhile, a daytime soap (which I dislike) would have milked that for YEARS!


  44. So I may be a little behind the times here, and I normally don’t review the stories I read. Slack I know. However having just read the rant about Dead Air I decided that I need to say something.

    I agree with you. Dead Air did happen. It must have been a breach of protocol. Something should have been done about it. If other “fans” are too… Thick? Stupid? Brainless? to get that, then screw’em.

    I actually rather enjoyed the way you handled it.


  45. Good writers sometimes get flack from some idiots who can’t find anything else to complain about. Who knows?! But…After watching NCIS off and on for 13 years (didn’t watch much during those years where Tony was written as a clown) I firmly believe the show’s writers intent to write illogical scenes and leave gaping plot holes, etc. to increase the amount of fan fiction. Why else would professional writers …write in such a manner? F.Y.I. If there is ever another writers strike, I have my proposed list of replacement writers – you, Ladyholder and Marcos are on my top ten list.

  46. You’re preaching to the choir honey. I too have friends in law enforcement, fire and ambulance service. Leaving your partner with no back-up, no matter what the reason, is ok only in one circumstance. You are already dead, so dead you can’t even reach for your radio with your dying breath. That nothing happened to Tony was a blessing and just damn good luck. The fact the writers didn’t deal with it doesn’t make it right. As for those with negative comments… grow a pair and get the hell over it. Don’t like it then get off your lazy ass and write it your way. Believe me I won’t read it but you do have the right to try and seduce lame brains over to your dark side.

    What a minute did I just hijack this post? If I did sorry *blushes and hangs head at thought* but the fact that you had to defend yourself against nimrods just got the better of me. You keep writing the good stuff and those of us with real brains will read it.

  47. Thank you so much for writing your views of Dead Air (and everything else of course). I know I’m providing feedback on something from a long time ago, but I stumbled into this fandom late and have been working on reading everything I can find. (And then re-reading the stuff I really love like everything from you and Litgal and Keira and Ladyholder and Xanthe and others.)

    This essay was really helpful in clarifying what happened on the show. (I’ll ignore the idiocy and obnoxiousness of people whining to you about your portrayal since so many others above have covered that beautifully.)

    But I hadn’t actually watched the show when I started getting into reading fanfic of it. And for a while I wondered if maybe I should, but then the more I read the more I became convinced that I would be disappointed by the show’s portrayals of the characters after having been immersed in the excellent worlds and deep characterizations I’ve seen in so many of the stories I’d read.

    And reading various “Dead Air” fics (which I generally love) really cemented that fact for me. I don’t think I’ve read things in any fandom with such wildly divergent views on the basic personalities of all the main characters. It’s fascinating and it seems that there must be a fair bit of inconsistency in how these characters are scripted to lead to this, which would probably drive me crazy if I watched it. But from a reader’s standpoint, it’s awesome having such a wealth of different perceptions and interpretations and ways of fixing what seem to be obvious script omissions and defects.

    I think I had a point when I started this, but then it wandered off. Mostly thank you for everything you do and share with us. You are awesome and don’t let the stupid people get you down. But I am going to end with one of my favorite quotes from a button I saw somewhere that often seems to come to my mind in stories where Tony finds himself having to finally walk away from Gibbs:

    “I will always cherish the initial misconceptions I had about you.”

    • Thanks for taking the time to provide such insightful comments. I had left a few comments on my site unapproved to come back and reply to later, and then life got crazy and I forgot!

      In any case, I think you’re spot on about the show being all over the place in terms of characterization, and that being the reason why the characters are portrayed across such a huge spectrum in fanfiction. It’s one of the things I liked least about the show. Characters—be it in books, film, fanfic, whatever—need to have some internal consistency. There wasn’t a single main character on the show that had any kind of consistency about them. Also, as the show progressed, several of the characters wound up being more like caricatures of themselves. Particularly Abby and Tony. Gibbs, too, but it wasn’t as noticeable. Tony was particularly bad because when he was “on” he was a wonder to behold, and then in the next episode he’d be an idiot. You never knew from week to week if you’d wind up with characterization whiplash.

      That said, it’s often a show with a character I really like that has a lot of problems that drives me to write fanfic. If the show was really solid and I was satisfied with the canon, I’m not sure I’d have so much creativity brewing. Fixing stuff is my jam 🙂

      Which is why I’ve written so many stories that feature Dead Air. The events in the show leave so many avenues for exploration. Almost any outcome, to me, is better than the betrayal of your partner being laughed off as funny. So I get to fix fix fix!

      Anyway, I adore that quote. I may have to have Tony at least think that some day!

      Apologies for the long delay in responding. Thank you for dropping by! I hope you have a happy and safe 2017.

  48. I was one of those viewers who barely even noticed the “canon” bit when the show aired, because ever since the show started to shark-jump, I’ve been only half-paying-attention. (I usually watch shows while doing things like embroidery or knitting — did 25 PussyHats for regional Womens’ March participants within the last month! — or reading things, like checking e-mail. The shows where I’m only watching to have the canon backstory for fanfic I like, I tend to read while watching, because reading’s more distracting… and “NCIS” since about Season 5 has been the latter. If it were scheduled opposite more than one other show my partner and I both like, it’d be off the DVR recording schedule entirely, especially now Tony’s gone…)

    As soon as you, and others in the fandom, started writing “Dead Air”-based stories, though, and brought that throw-away line to my attention, my reaction was pretty much like yours: “WTF??? What’s the point of having your back-up in the car if THEY AREN’T LISTENING AND BACKING YOU UP???”, so the idea that ANYone would be complaining about you (and others) writing fic which lays out exactly WHY McUseless and Ziva the Diva deserve to have Hell rain down on ’em for this is ludicrous. I *love* stories like yours which tear apart and then set right all the fuck-ups in canon!

  49. I am always appalled at the amount of backlash authors get from readers. I try to be a decent human being and leave feedback when I enjoy a story, even if it’s a general comment of appreciation and thanks. Maybe I’m just lazy, but I don’t get it. It takes effort to comment, so if I don’t enjoy what I’m reading, I click the back button and move on with my life. Click. Done. Easy. Just because I don’t like a writer’s subject matter or style doesn’t mean I have the right to spew all over their hard work. And again, I’m lazy. I just don’t generally make the effort to rain on somebody’s parade and can’t understand the people who do.

    Sometimes I think there ought to be an option to warn authors about asshat readers so they can ban them preemptively. I feel a little guilty that I enjoyed your rant when I know it was caused by a ton of frustration. The last two lines made me laugh out loud. Hopefully, you take that as a compliment on your writing. Thank you for all the amazing work you have contributed to your various fandoms!

    • I’d probably pay for a reader/troll reporting system for authors. LOL

      Sorry for the protracted delay in approving/replying. I had a bunch of comments around the same time I wasn’t going to approve and didn’t want to deal with and a few legitimate comments got mixed in with them.

  50. I completely agree with you… to be honest I watched a few episodes after “Dead Air” thinking the breach would be addressed in some way but when I realised it wouldn’t I stopped watching NCIS for about 3 or 4 years ….

    P.S. I love your stories

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