Disclaimer: I don't own NCIS or the characters portrayed on television. The story is mine.
A/N: Thank you to my wonderful beta ncismom.
Thank you to all those who have read, reviewed, favortied and follow this story. You guys are awesome. Hope you enjoy the latest installment!
If McGee and David thought that what Tony had done to them on the day that Gibbs laid down the law about their behavior was bad, they quickly discovered that it was just the beginning. The next two weeks were a clear demonstration to everyone in the bullpen why it was not a good idea to piss off Anthony DiNozzo.
The random playing of annoying music was just the beginning. The computers would shut down for no apparent reason, or they would start beeping and nothing would stop the noise. One day, Ziva found all of her desk drawers had been saran wrapped; she had also found all of her paperclips looped together in a chain, super glued so that she couldn't break up the chain. Tim's computer was infected with a virus that caused a cartoon "Elf Lord" to pop up randomly, taking him and the IT guys two hours to clear it off the computer. Every time they thought they had it eradicated, the virus would come back.
All of this provided a great deal of amusement to the rest of the agents in the bullpen. They decided to help by humming or singing the annoying songs whenever Ziva or Tim passed them either in the halls or the bullpen area.
The pranks were bad but the paperwork was worse.
Ziva found out that she hadn't been filling out the paperwork correctly when Tony placed a stack on her desk and said, "I've marked all of the mistakes that you've made on this paperwork. You need to do it over and make the corrections. I won't be doing it for you anymore. If you have a problem with this, see Gibbs."
She blinked a couple of times before standing up to angrily reply. "There is nothing wrong with the way I fill out the paperwork. You are trying to get me in trouble!"
Gibbs interrupted her tirade. "I asked DiNozzo to hand me your paperwork without making any corrections to it. I've recently become aware of the fact that he has been fixing it for you to meet my demands. That stops now. DiNozzo has orders to pass back any paperwork that needs correcting. If you don't fix it the first time he gives it to you than he will give it to me as is. If he has to do this, I will place a reprimand in your file for failing to complete your work, and for insubordination. Two of those will see you kicked off this team."
David stared at him in shock. This could not be happening. She had not really believed that the Lead Agent had been serious about needing to respect Tony. He probably made up the mistakes on her paperwork just to get her in trouble. She would show both men that she was the better agent.
Tony had dumped a stack of paperwork on McGee's desk one day and said, "Since you think you should be the Senior Field Agent, here's the paperwork that needs to be done by the end of the week. Good luck and don't ask me any questions; ask Gibbs."
After looking through the stack of papers, McGee did as Gibbs suggested and looked up the requirements for a Senior Field Agent, discovering that the position required a Master's Degree and at least four years experience in law enforcement as an investigator*. Tony had a higher education and ten or so years of experience in law enforcement and at least five of them had been at NCIS. It would be sometime before he could become a Senior Field Agent since he would need to get a Master's Degree.
Tim did more research and discovered that his Master's degree was in criminology. It shouldn't have mattered what kind of education the older agent had; he was the most senior agent after Gibbs on the team.
DiNozzo may have mocked him, bestowed him with silly nicknames, but when he needed someone, Tony had been there. When had he become so arrogant that he looked down on a man who had been like a big brother to him? McGee figured that it started with the publication of his books and the success and praise he received for writing them. Ziva's disdain for Tony added fuel to the fire. Taking a long hard look at the person he was now compared to the one who started at NCIS, McGee didn't like the ass he'd become. So he tore down the pomposity and let the eager to learn agent out of his self made prison of self-importance. Losing the haughtiness was helped along by the pranks Tony played using computers; the older man was not the computer novice by any means.
Timothy apologized to both Senior Agents for his poor behavior. He also worked on improving his attitude so that it was natural to follow Tony's lead. He must have been judged as being sincere because the pranks directed at him stopped after the virus.
Ziva refused to believe she was wrong about Tony and was resentful that she would have to obey him. She found the pranks to be evidence of his childishness instead of a form of punishment. Unlike McGee, she did not check the requirements for Senior Field Agent; it was not necessary in her mind.
Officer David wanted to stay with Gibbs' Team at NCIS, so she tried to hide her attitude by playing the role of a good little Mossad Officer, but underneath the façade, Ziva seethed and plotted. She was looking for proof that DiNozzo was incompetent and should be kicked out of NCIS. David did not understand why she had been unable to find anything so far, but she would keep looking.
Gibbs and DiNozzo had been pleased with the return of the McGee that both men had liked and admired. On the other hand, they were disappointed, but not surprised, with Ziva's lack of attitude adjustment.
They talked about removing her from the team. The two men were concerned that she couldn't be trusted to back Tony up in the field if Gibbs wasn't present to keep her in line. She had to go. The issue came to a head sooner than either man thought it would when the Lead Agent had been shot in the arm during their last case and had to wear a sling and was placed on desk duty until Ducky was satisfied the wound was healed.
Gibbs sat at his desk pulling out the paperwork to request Ziva David be transferred to another team when his phone rang before he could even put her name on the first page.
"Yeah, Gibbs." The agent grabbed his pad and recorded the information, growing increasingly angry as he listened to the voice on the other end. "DiNozzo!" he barked as he slammed the phone down.
"Yes, Boss!" The younger agent jumped up and rushed to his desk.
"Two dead marines found on the shore of the Potomac just south of Quantico." The Senior Agent held out the information for his Second, frustrated because he couldn't go. He really didn't want Ziva part of the investigation but with him on desk duty there was no choice.
DiNozzo frowned as he took the note looking him straight in the eye. The older man conveyed with a look that Ziva's transfer would have to wait, this case was more important. The Senior Field Agent tipped his head slightly, acknowledging that the message had been received. "On it Boss!" Turning he gave orders, "Grab your gear! McGee, gas the truck. Ziva, call Ducky and tell him I'll send directions to Palmer. Let's hope he doesn't get lost."
Under other circumstances the older man might have smiled, but two dead marines ended any humor for him. He made sure to catch Ziva's eye glaring at her. "Do your job, David."
The Liaison Officer nodded with obvious reluctance before heading for the elevator.
"If you have problems, call Patterson or Balboa, DiNozzo."
Tony smiled slightly. "Gotcha Boss. I'll call when I have their names. Abby can start looking up their information, save us some time."
Gibbs nodded. He could do some of the research, but it would be faster for the Goth to do it since his left arm was still in a sling.
Tony arrived in his agency sedan and didn't see the truck yet. Gibbs must be rubbing off on him. Of course, he'd given the keys to McGee; he wanted the younger man to get here in one piece. Once he parked, he put on his NCIS cap, grabbed his notebook, and got out of the car. The Senior Field Agent looked around, taking in the two cruisers and the four military vehicles. He looked for and found the highest ranking Marine and headed straight for him.
DiNozzo looked at the Marine's name tag and introduced himself. "I'm Special Agent DiNozzo from NCIS, Major Schaffer. Were they your men?"
The Major reached out to shake Tony's hand. "Yes they were. The one on the right is Gunnery Sergeant Harris and the other is Gunnery Sergeant Peters. They were good men. Both men worked in TBS*. Harris was in charge of rifle/pistol qualification and Peters was one of our best combat hunter instructors. I want whoever killed my men caught and strung up, Agent DiNozzo. I'll make sure that you get all the cooperation you need."
"I'm sorry for your loss, Major. You can be sure that we'll do our best. My boss is a retired Gunnery Sergeant and drives us hard to solve all our cases, but cases involving Marines makes us work even harder."
Schaffer tilted his head before asking, "Your boss wouldn't be Gunny Gibbs would he?"
The Agent realized that the Major was probably about the same age as Gibbs. "Yep. Did you serve with him?"
Nodding, the officer answered, "Desert Storm. Good man, Gibbs. Why isn't he here?"
"He was shot in the shoulder during our last case and his arm's still in a sling. He's on desk duty for the next week, otherwise he'd be here barking orders and demanding answers." Tony noticed the NCIS truck pulling up, so he pulled out a card, wrote Gibbs number on it and handed it to the Major. "Here's his phone number if you want to talk to him. It will help us if you can have the names of other personnel they worked with, and any problem recruit's files ready for us when we check out their offices at Quantico. We'll also need to be able to talk to as many of the people I mentioned as possible at Quantico. Actually, if you could send the information on the men, and the others to Gibbs, he can start digging up information while we work here or at Quantico."
Major Schaffer took the card, nodding. "Efficient. Gibbs taught you well, Agent DiNozzo. I'll call TBS to have the information you requested taken care of and have a room set up for you to use."
"Thank you, Major." The men parted ways.
Ducky and Palmer were just pulling up when DiNozzo reached the truck. "The victims are Gunnery Sergeants Harris and Peters. Major Schaffer is gonna have their information ready for us at Quantico and sent to Gibbs. The bodies are over there." Tony pointed towards part of the shore that couldn't be seen from the road. "Hey Duck, when you get a look at the bodies, can you try and confirm whether they were killed here or not? I could see that they had been beaten, but I didn't see any blood as I walked by the scene."
"I will be sure to let you know what I find. Come Mr. Palmer, we have work to do," the ME spoke genially as he headed for his patients.
"I'll just need to get the bags ready, Dr. Mallard." Jimmy headed to the back of the truck.
DiNozzo focused on his teammates. "McGee, sketch and photos. David, bag and tag."
He turned to leave when Ziva's snarky voice stopped him. "And what will you be doing while we do all the work?"
The Senior Agent turned back briefly to reply, "Do your job David and don't worry about what others are doing." He resumed heading for the LEOs to question the witness who found the bodies.
DiNozzo smirked when he heard his Probie snap at the Mossad Officer, "Knock it off, Ziva. You do know that Gibbs is ready to kick you off the team, don't you?"
The smirk died and he shook his head at her answer. "He will not do that to me. I am far too valuable to this team." Damn the timing of this case. He was really worried now. Maybe he could convince Gibbs to get a TAD or maybe they could borrow an agent from Patterson's or Balboa's team.
Once the team was finished with the scene he gave further instructions. "David, take the evidence back and log it in. McGee, you're with me. We have people to question and computers to dig through."
"Okay, Tony," McGee answered as he secured the camera equipment.
Ziva stepped in front of the sedan door stopping him from opening it. "Why don't you take the evidence back and let McGee and I do the important work?"
DiNozzo saw McGee stop what he was doing and stare at the Liaison officer in disbelief. "The senior agent is in charge of initial questioning*. That is policy, Officer David. You are not an agent and McGee is a junior agent. Since Gibbs is desk bound, I am the senior agent. I won't allow an investigation to be compromised because you don't like the assignment you've been given. This is the second time that I've had to tell you to do your job, David."
He glared at her until she moved out of the way with obvious reluctance, returning his glare and headed for the truck grumbling in Hebrew. "I really don't think that's anatomically possible, but it is creative. I have a gift with learning languages or didn't your profile tell you that?" He smirked at her shocked expression as he climbed into the car.
Gibbs phone rang. "Yeah, Gibbs."
"Boss, McGee and I are headed to Quantico to question some people. I spoke with their CO, Major Schaffer."
The Lead Agent interrupted his second. "Jack Schaffer?"
"The one and the same Boss. I gave him your number so he could contact you. He's going to make sure that we get all the cooperation we need. He said the two victims were good men. You should also be receiving information on the victims, other instructors, anyone else they worked with regularly and any problem officer recruits. They were instructors at TBS." Tony sighed before continuing, "Boss, there was trouble with Ziva."
Irritated the Marine asked, "What kind of trouble?"
"Well, she wanted to know what I was doing while she was bagging and tagging and McGee was on photos and sketches. Then she wanted me to take the truck back to the Yard so that she could do the important work with McGenius."
"I'll take care of it. Don't bother calling again unless you have something important. The two of you can do your jobs without me looking over your shoulders." He snapped the phone shut before his friend could answer though he could picture a surprised but pleased look on the younger man's face.
Over an hour after he hung up the phone, Gibbs was looking over the information that he'd received on the dead marines. He'd sent the names to Abby, asking her to do a quick background check on the victims. The preliminary information he had on their records was exemplary. Just as he was closing the file on Peters, Ziva entered the bullpen. He looked at her, noting the anger and frustration clearly displayed on her face. Why was she in the bullpen already? The evidence should have taken at least a half an hour to log in and the drive from Quantico was about three quarters of an hour, even for him*. "Is the evidence all logged in, Ziva?"
The Mossad Officer shrugged as she sat behind her desk. "Tony can do it when he gets here. It should be his job, not mine."
The Senior Agent was ready to strangle the woman. He asked in a very dangerous voice, "Are you telling me that you have broken the chain of evidence by leaving it unattended, Da-veed?"
"I asked one of the guards to stay with the truck. The evidence is fine."
The Marine stood up and walked around until he was standing in front of her desk. Glaring at her he said, "You were told to log in the evidence by the Senior Field Agent, Officer David. You will go back to the truck and do the job you were given."
"I do not understand why Tony cannot do it. My time would be better used in helping you with the investigation," the woman responded, her body language displaying irritation.
"We don't need to explain ourselves to you, David. Now do as you're told!" He headed for the Director's office with a long angry stride. Gibbs paused on the steps when he realized she was still sitting at her desk. "David!" Ziva jumped looking up at him. "Move your ass!"
As the agent watched her, his ire grew as she walked towards the elevator with reluctance. Once the elevator doors closed he continued on his way. Damn. He wanted her off the team now, but he'd learned earlier that there weren't any TAD's available to take her place for at least a week. If they didn't have this case, she'd be gone. At this rate, he would do it anyway even if it made the team a man short.
The Lead Agent barely kept himself from storming into Director Shepard's office. His former partner looked up as he approached the desk. "When this case is over, David is off the team."
"What happened?" Shepard asked.
So he told her about what had happened so far that day, trying to remain calm, but he was still furious over David's attitude. She would get someone killed with her arrogance and lack of respect. Gibbs also made it clear that he would be choosing a replacement.
Jen sighed heavily when the Senior Agent had finished. She had heard the rumors that Ziva was still causing problems. How could an officer in Mossad ignore the chain of command? Well it didn't matter. Gibbs was right; he didn't need someone who displayed such disrespect for a fine agent like DiNozzo. She had hoped that Ziva would have cleaned up her act after being dressed down by Gibbs. She was certainly doing her own job better since she'd been chewed out.
"You've made your point, Jethro. I'll take your team off rotation so that once this case is closed and you can begin looking for a replacement." She watched as her former partner left her office without acknowledging her response. Now she had a difficult call to make. Eli David would not be please with his daughter's behavior.
* TBS is the The Basic School where all newly commissioned Marine Corp officers are sent to learn the art and science of being an officer of the Marines. Information found at Wikipedia.
* I have no idea if this is fact but I chose to use it for my story.
* I have no idea how long it takes to drive from Quantico to the NCIS offices so I guessed. If I'm wrong, I'll be happy to correct it.