Tony had been told to drive Gibbs home by Director Shepard and so he had. He had opened his front door and said "Here we are home sweet home boss."
Gibbs nodded. "You can go Dinozzo, I'm fine."
Tony replied "Jenny thought you looked a little pale boss."
Gibbs looked at him. "Just how good of friends are you now to call her Jenny Dinozzo?"
Tony swallowed for a minute. "Sorry leftover from when you were in Mexico boss, my mouth overrode my brain."
Gibbs said "If you're sticking around be ready to put sandpaper in your hand and come downstairs. If you want conversation it's not happening right now."
Tony nodded. "Got it." His cell phone buzzed then. "Yes Madame Director, Gibbs is home safe and sound. No he is not discussing what made him look off at work today. Well with all due respect I suggest you ask him. Now I am heading back to the navy yard since I don't feel like sanding any wood at the moment, is that all right?"
"I'll be there in a half an hour. I don't want to be team lead we discussed this. If Ziva and McGee didn't respect me while Gibbs was gone, who says another team would."
Tony exhaled. "Sometimes I get tired ma'am nothing personal, I take a lot for the team and get zip in return. I am the one as Senior Field Agent who has to put up with bear with a sore ass stubborn Gibbs and nobody else does. I could use a week on the beach in Jamaica, honestly right now. It would be a nice reward for the Le Grenouille fiasco and losing my Camaro, god I loved that car."
"Understood I am not to mention the frog again ma'am."
Tony clicked off the phone. "Boss I am going to have to take a rain check on the sandpaper and wood working lesson. Director wants me to come back to the navy yard ASAP. "
Gibbs nodded. "I'm fine Dinozzo. Get one stiff neck and everybody goes mother hen all of a sudden. See you tomorrow morning."
Tony sighed. "Bright and early boss as usual."
Then Tony left and Gibbs headed to his basement to work on his new project.
Tony's phone rang again as he walked out to his car. "Yes Director, I am just leaving Gibbs' house. I am getting in my car right now. No I would say he's not in a sharing mood. He went to his basement to work. You found what? Those were not intended to be seen by anyone. Yes they were true. Maybe you need to have a sit down with Officer David and Agent McGee without me in the building ma'am. "
"I know what insubordination is and I also know that my ass was hung out there to take the abuse and keep the team together while Gibbs was drinking cervezas with Franks on the beach. But hey that's ok nobody takes Tony seriously and he doesn't hurt. No I don't expect an apology, I just want a little respect. Will do, I will take a few days off. Let Ziva and McGeek deal with the grizzly bear. I have enough overdue vacation time for a month. "
"Yes starting now. No I won't have my phone on so don't think of having anyone track it. Yes I know Rule 3. "
"Dinozzo's rule 3 is when you have been backed into a corner either lay down or come out swinging. I'm kind of in between right now."
Then he hung up and switched his phone to silent. He drove home to his apartment and felt lighter.
His mind went back to when Gibbs had left. "You'll do." What the hell was that? Not you're ready and everybody should respect your authority is that clear. He had left him with Abby who had called him trainee for god's sake when she wasn't totally on a caffeine and sugar rush from hell and plastering Gibbs' pictures all over her monitors in her lab... Then there had been Ziva who had just sat there and looked at him while cleaning her knives and her gun. She had come in late and left early even if case reports were not done.
And then there was McGee. He out and out refused to do anything Tony asked. "I'm a Senior Field Agent, not your probie to kick around anymore. I can do what I want whenever I want and you can't stop me. You don't seriously think the Director is going to make you permanent team lead if Gibbs stays gone do you?"
Tony heard it over and over again in his head like a broken record as he drove. He arrived home and opened up his apartment and then a cold bottle of beer. He locked his door behind him and sat on the couch slowly. Yesterday's pizza was still good and so was the day before that's Chinese. He pulled his container of Kung Pao chicken out and put it on a plate to microwave for himself. He sighed and thought home sweet home. My haven and my sanctuary. Then he opened a drawer with a business card in it and looked at the number. Tobias C. Fornell. He had made an offer to come over to the FBI if Tony ever got tired of taking head slaps from Gibbs.
Maybe it was time to think about it, he had heard something about profiling and since he was working on his masters in forensic psychology, he could be qualified for the unit. He opened a blue folder from his corner safe after taking a bite of his Chinese. This was his real file. Director Morrow at Homeland had the only other copy. Even Jenny Shepard had never seen it. It was time to open it and use it.
Authors Note: Took someone's advice to write whatever came to mind so Dinozzo's Probie this is for you, thanks also dusty tiger who listens when I ramble...