Hello everyone! This story is for Skyjadeprincess. She approached me a few months ago with a challenge. The challenge was to write a multi-chapter story about one of Tony's pranks back firing in a major way!
Skyjadeprincess – this is my answer to your challenge! I am sorry I made you wait, and I hope this story meets your approval! Enjoy!
To everyone else – If you would like to compete in Skyjadeprincess's challenge I am sure she wouldn't mind.
As always, I hope you enjoy!
Gibbs was sitting at his desk drinking coffee and going through witness statements. The team was working a cold case and some new information came in on the tip line that morning, about the drug ring they were looking for. The case had gone cold after a drug bust the MCRT made a month before. All the members and suppliers were arrested except for the leader of the drug ring and his second in command. After the tip came in Gibbs had sent McGee and Dinozzo out to the location the tipster had called in with to check it out. Nobody really had any faith in this tip panning out but, protocol dictated they follow up on it.
Gibbs took off his reading glasses and rubbed his tired eyes. Then, he glanced around the bullpen. A smile had crossed his lips as he thought of the agents that made up his team, his 'kids' as every other agent called them. With his forced retirement less than a decade away, Gibbs and Director Vance have had several meetings about them, and what paths they should start taking in their careers to prepare for that inevitable day.
Looking to his right he saw Ziva sitting at her desk and chatting away on her phone. She had been on the phone with Metro for the past hour trying to get the updated police report sent over on their fugitives and to expand the BOLO. She had come a long way from the cold assassin she was all those years ago. Over the years he had come to think of Ziva as a daughter and wanted nothing but the best for her. The Ziva of today was a much more toned down version of the one that first joined the team. She had acquired a host of new skills to go along with her fighting capabilities that made her one of the best field agents of NCIS. In his conversations with the Director, Gibbs saw Ziva leading her own team one day and thought she should start taking the appropriate training courses to get a head start on that. Although the Director was not opposed to it, he felt that it was a narrow view. He saw Ziva potentially taking over the Intel Department and felt she should start getting her feet wet with how they do things and with her international contacts she was sure to succeed. Gibbs just shrugged and said either way the choice was hers, he knew that Ziva loved being in the field and heading up Intel didn't come with many chances to go out into the action, on the other hand he knew the young woman wanted to settle down and have a family of her own and might jump at the chance to have a stable job where the risk of injury was lower. Gibbs chuckled at the thought of Ziva being a mother, not because he thought that she wouldn't make a great mother, it was just the opposite. What made Gibbs chuckle was the fact that he knew Ziva was in a relationship and was deeply in love, even if she didn't know he knew. He saw the secret glances and gentle touches and actually approved of her relationship. But, he never in a million years would have thought that she would have fallen for McGee. Gibbs shook his head and thought about how Abby and Tony had not realized their co-workers had fallen for each other yet.
Thinking about his Senior Field Agent Gibbs turned his eyes to the man's not so neat desk. Tony's desk always had clutter on it but, Gibbs didn't begrudge him that because the man always did great work. Gibbs had long thought of DiNozzo as his son and in many ways he was. Despite the obvious differences the two men were a great deal alike. Both were men of action, men who did not shy away from danger. Both men had a fear of commitment, brought on by heartbreak from their first true loves; in Gibbs' case his was murdered and in DiNozzo's his had left him standing at the altar. After that neither man wanted anything permanent, it just hurt too much to be reminded of the past. The men also shared a stubbornness that was unmatched by anyone. Both men were completely set in their ways and wouldn't change for anything. And, much like Gibbs, Tony had no love for politics. It was for that reason that Gibbs and the Director agreed that DiNozzo would go no higher in the chain of command than that of a Team Leader on Major Cases. Despite his personal feelings about the man, the Director had to admit that DiNozzo was an exceptional agent and was more than capable of leading his own team. However, neither the Director nor Gibbs knew if Tony would be willing to step up before Gibbs retired. They had just decided to wait and see. Gibbs took a drink of his coffee and smiled. Yes, Tony was his surrogate son, his protégé, and his heir and Gibbs had absolutely no worries about leaving the team in Tony's capable hands once he was gone.
The old Team Leader then let his eyes fall on the desk of Timothy McGee. Looking at that desk made Gibbs swell with pride. If Tony was his heir, then McGee was legacy. Because there was no such thing as limitations when it came to Timothy McGee. When Gibbs first met the young man he was greener than green. For the life of him, Gibbs couldn't understand what had made McGee choose this path in life, the path of a protector. And to want to be a field agent above all else, was another puzzle. With his intelligence, McGee could have had any number of postings not only in NCIS but any of the other agencies too. Not to mention, the success he could have achieved in the private sector. But, when Gibbs looked into the kids' eyes he saw nothing but fire and determination. Even to this day that look had not left those expressive eyes. Way back then Gibbs knew that kid was going all the way to the top. McGee was destined for the Director's chair and it was only a matter of time before he was sworn in. It had surprised Vance, when the pair had gotten on the subject of McGee, when Gibbs had recommended that he be cross trained with the other teams and departments and be allowed to participate in their operations. Vance just got a funny smile on his face and asked "Why?", All Gibbs said in response was, "Because that kid is going to be taking your job. It's just a matter of time." The director just laughed and Gibbs smiled. He knew that Leon was thinking the same thing he was, hell anyone who worked with the kid knew he was going places. Yes McGee had evolved into a damn fine agent over the years, like a caterpillar shedding its cocoon and turning into a butterfly. Over the past year McGee had been a major part in countless operations, had been trained on so many things, he even went undercover a couple times and performed with flying colors. The kids' growth was so great that, just yesterday, McGee had been presented with the Agent of the Year Award. Gibbs had actually showed up to watch as McGee accepted it. Ziva had glowed with pride at Tim's success but Tony pouted and sulked wondering why he hadn't received the award instead of McGee. All Gibbs said to the depressed agent was, "He earned it." Once again Gibbs looked over Tim's desk and smiled again. He really couldn't wait for McGee's induction ceremony. Gibbs had a slab of oak in his basement, waiting to become a desk for when the kid took office.
The ringing of Gibb's cell phone brought the old man out of his thoughts but, didn't take the smirk of his face. However, the voice on the other end did.
"Boss…I…need help…bleeding real bad."
"McGee?! What happened?" Any warm thoughts were instantly gone from his mind. Gibbs snapped a couple times at Ziva and started gathering his gear. Ziva was already on her feet when she heard Gibbs say Tim's name and had her phone out to send back up and an ambulance to Tim's location.
"The tip….was a trap. They…were waiting…for us. We were…searching…split up…can't find Tony."
"McGee! I need you to stay with me ok? Metro and the paramedics are on their way." Gibbs ordered. "Ziva and I are twenty minutes out." Gibbs and Ziva had made it to the garage at this point and Gibbs had tossed her the keys.
"I…try…Boss. Getting…sleepy." McGee's breathing had slowed down and his voice was getting softer.
"MCGEE! YOU DO NOT CLOSE YOUR EYES YOU HEAR ME? YOU STAY AWAKE! YOU DO NOT HAVE PERMISSION TO DIE! YOU HEAR ME?" Gibbs shouted into the phone.
McGee responded with a stronger voice, though it was still weak. "Yes…Boss!"
"We are almost there McGee, just hang on!"
Gibbs kept talking to McGee while Ziva drove faster than usual to the warehouse. Ziva was quiet for the entire trip trying to keep her emotions in check. The man she loved was dying on the phone and the man she saw as her older brother was missing. On the outside the only sign that Ziva was affected by what was going on was her white knuckles from gripping the steering wheel so hard. When the pair reached the warehouse they were greeted by flashing emergency lights from the cop cars and the ambulance. Metro had already cleared the building and McGee was being wheeled out on a stretcher. Both Gibbs and Ziva ran to the stretcher.
"McGee! Are you alright?" Gibbs asked. The only response he got was McGee weakly mumbling in to the oxygen mask.
Ziva leaned in close and caressed his cheek. "Tim, baby, can you hear me?"
McGee turned her but his eyes lids were drooping.
"You are going to be ok honey. Don't you even think about leaving me!" She said with tears in her eyes.
McGee smiled and started whispering to her, Ziva had to lean close to hear him. "I'm not going anywhere. But, you have to find Tony. He might be hurt."
The medics waited as long as they could. "Ma'am we have to get him to a hospital now. I'm sorry but there isn't enough room for anyone to ride with us."
Ziva just nodded then kissed Tim's forehead. "You are taking him to Bethesda?" when the medic nodded she leaned into McGee again. "I will see you at the hospital Tim. Don't worry, we will find Tony. You just focus on getting better."
With that McGee was loaded into the back of the ambulance and took off. Ziva wiped away her tears and turned to find Gibbs talking to the officers getting a SITREP. Ziva walked over in the middle of their conversation.
"…we checked the whole place Agent Gibbs. There is no sign of your other man. The only people that were in there when we got here were Agent McGee and the two dead guys in the back office. Also, your Agent's car isn't here. It looks like whoever took him took the car too."
Gibbs nodded then looked at Ziva.
She could see the question on his face and answered it. "There was not enough room for me to ride with him. They are taking him to Bethesda. He wanted us to find Tony, Tim thinks he might hurt."
"Ok. McGee will be alright Ziva. He is strong." He said. Then he turned to the officer, "Show what you got so far Officer Alberts." The officer nodded and led the two Agents into the warehouse.
On the way to the back office Gibbs got on his phone and put a BOLO out on Tony's agency car. With any luck whoever took Tony would be stupid enough to keep the car long enough for them to track its GPS. When they walked into the office Gibbs and Ziva were taken back by the sight. There was blood everywhere. Splatter was all over the walls and all over the floor. The two dead bodies on the floor just so happened to be the two fugitives they were looking for. Once Gibbs recognized them he spoke. "That must be what McGee meant." When the Metro officers and Ziva looked at him he continued. "When he called he said that the tip was a trap. One of these guys must have called it in, hoping to eliminate anyone that was still on their trail."
Ziva was silent but Gibbs saw that her fists were clenched and shaking. He knew that she was thinking the same thing he was. They both wished that these men would come back to life so they could kill them all over again for what they had done to McGee.
Officer Alberts continued with his SITREP, "From what we can tell Agent McGee was in this room alone when these two jumped him. The only gun we found was Agent McGee's service weapon. Leads us to think that the two knives belong to them. Now, from what we gathered so far, it looks like Agent McGee knew something was wrong because he was able to draw his weapon and put three rounds into that guy over there; all of them center mass. Then this guy," he said motioning to the guy on the floor with a knife in his throat, "Must have knocked the gun away and a fight ensued. Agent McGee was able to get control of the knife and planted in the bastard's throat."
Albert's partner, who was silent the whole time, spoke up. "That's one tough bastard you got working for you. From what the paramedics told us, he was stabbed at least four times and lost a hell of a lot of blood." He then looked at Gibbs and Ziva. "I really hope he makes it."
The two agents just nodded, still lost in thought.
Gibbs was getting ready to dish out orders until he heard something that made his blood run cold. "PROOOBBBIEEE!"
Gibbs and Ziva looked at each other and the two Metro cops went for their guns. Gibbs just waved them off and walked out of the room with Ziva following close behind. Walking down the hall they saw Tony DiNozzo looking in perfect form without a care in the world eating a cheeseburger and swing a Happy Meal. Both Gibbs and Ziva instantly saw red and looked like they could kill someone.
When Tony saw his team mates he smiled. "Hey Boss, Ziver! What are you guys doing here? Let me guess, McAgentoftheYear was scared of being alone and called you guys in? Geez what a baby! I swear he needs to grow a pair! You play one innocent prank on the guy and he falls apart like a sand castle at high tide! Well, my little Probie can dry his eyes; the Senior Field Agent is here! Look I even got him lunch!" He said with a smile as he lifted the Happy Meal box. Tony then took a bit of his burger and said with his mouth full, "So, where is McWhiner anyway?"
The answer he got was Ziva's fist smashing into his face. The force of the punch was so powerful that it blew Tony off of his feet and split his lip. Tony groaned in pain before looking at Ziva, "What the hell is your problem Ziva!" Anything else he might have said died on his lips as he got a good look at Ziva's face. Tony would never forget that look. It was the same look she had when she held a gun to his chest back in Israel a few years ago after the whole thing with Michael Rivkin. "Ziva?" Tony asked softly.
Ziva had her fist clenched so tightly they were shaking. Without answering Tony, Ziva looked over her shoulder at Gibbs. "I am going to the hospital Gibbs. Tony can assist you with the crime scene." Gibbs nodded and Ziva stormed out of the warehouse.
As he picked himself up off the floor Tony looked back and forth between Ziva's rapidly disappearing figure and Gibbs. "Boss what does she mean crime scene? Where's Probie?"
Gibbs just shook his head in disappointment. "Grab the gear out of the car and get to work DiNozzo." Gibbs then turned around and walked back to the crime scene while cancelling the BOLO on Tony's sedan. After Gibbs put his phone away he took a moment and prayed that everything would be ok.