Disclaimer: NCIS belongs to CBS and Don Bellisario. I'm just borrowing them.

Hello, it's been a very long time since I've written anything. I know. Life happened and since I haven't regularly watched TV in years NCIS has slipped further and further from my mind. I did recently watch 14x13, which inspired this tag. I also recently watched Tony's final episode and while I know Michael Weatherley has closed this chapter of his life I don't see Tony the character not being part of the NCIS universe even after leaving. Since in my personal Tony/Jimmy friendship universe I've given Tony the character very compelling reasons to return to the US (a strong support system made up of chosen family as well as a house in DC) he will return and I'll probably write something for that.

I also plan to go back and finish my season 9 tags and will see about creating some tags for seasons 10-13 but that will most likely be the end of multi-chapter tags for the Tony/Jimmy friendship universe. Depending on what happens in Abby's final episode I will write some sort of tag for that episode but outside of that episode and the series finale I don't see more multi-chapter friendship tags coming out of NCIS since Tony isn't there anymore. There might be more stand alone tags such as this one though.

I know that the episode that they say that Jimmy has taken the ME test three times but I've changed that a bit. Jimmy's first test attempt was not for the ME test but rather for the USMLE Step 3 exam, which is taken either right before residency or sometime soon after starting it, my reasoning is that when we last left Jimmy in my season 9 universe he was in the early stages of his residency program. His remaining two attempts are for a separate certification exam completed after residency so that Jimmy can be a certified medical examiner, something that I think would look good on his resume to get him actually hired as an ME for NCIS.

Spoilers: 13x24 'Family First', 14x13 'Keep Going'

Jimmy made sure the door was locked behind him before collapsing on his couch with a grateful sigh.

Today had been a long day.

Shortly after he and Ryan got back into the warmth of building and back at NCIS Jimmy made time to call Breena and tell her the news. Perhaps the news of his actions would stay local but on the off chance it did not he would rather his wife heard it from him first. After telling him that running after Ryan without thinking or telling anyone was incredibly foolish of him Breena told him that she was proud of him and that even if he did not think so she thought he was a hero and Victoria agreed too. An eager Victoria then regaled her father with everything she did today, at least Jimmy thought it was a complete run down of her day, sometimes it is hard to tell with toddlers. Now Jimmy just wanted to decompress before he called it a night. Unfortunately for Jimmy his phone rang at that exact moment robbing him of his wish to relax.

"Hello," he called wearily in the general direction of the speaker.

"Bad time?" asked a voice he had not heard in nearly a month. Jimmy sat up in surprise before grabbing his phone and his headphones.


"The one and only."

"Not that I mind the phone call but isn't it really early where you are? Where are you anyway?"

"Yes, it is very early but Tali didn't agree with that sentiment. She's been up for the past half hour, which means so have I," Tony said as he stifled a yawn. Jimmy nodded in sympathy even though no one was a round to see, he could relate. "As to where we are, we're still in Israel but I'm booking us plane tickets to Paris later today. I think I've found as many answers as I'm ever going to find," he continued and Jimmy could detect a hint of bitterness and sadness. Jimmy wished that there was something he could do or say to make this truth easier for his friend but he was unsure if there was anything to say that has not been said already.

"Yeah, kids are like that, their internal alarms always seem to be set for before the sun rises."

"But enough about me and my lack of sleep, I leave and you are off talking would be jumpers off the literal edge? Palmer, you are full of surprises."

"I didn't know that local DC news made it onto Israeli broadcast or online Israeli news sites."

"It doesn't, Abby emailed me a link and then also gave a behind the scenes play-by-play."


"Does Breena know?"

"Yeah, she took Victoria up to visit her aunt in Syracuse but I told her when we got back. I don't know if DC news reaches that far north but I'd rather she hear it from me personally either way."

"Good call. Abby also told me that now everyone knows you are now a certified medical examiner."

"Well, I don't know if they know that I'm a certified medical examiner, I think only Doctor Mallard is aware about that difference, but they know that I'm officially a doctor now."

"Remind me again why you don't want to tell anyone?"

"I don't want to jinx myself."

'Jimmy, you'll be fine."

"You don't know that."

"Okay fine, I don't know that for sure," Tony conceded, "but I know you, and you've been studying your ass off for this certification exam. Look, I know that it was a really big blow to not pass it the first time but you've studied really hard since then and have been preparing for months."


"No buts Jimmy, You've. Got. This," Tony told him firmly.

"See, it wasn't that bad."

Jimmy was still unsure; he told Ryan the truth when he said he was happy where he was. He knew that eventually he would have to leave because eventually it would be time to move on but for right now he was content where he was. Jimmy knew his friends and colleagues would be proud of his achievement but he was worried that they would start asking him what would be next and Jimmy had no answer for that, at least not at the moment.

"Stop thinking so hard, I can hear the gears turning all the way over here in Israel," Tony said breaking the silence. "If anyone starts asking you what your next move is you don't have to answer them. You know that, right? You've earned this, enjoy this. I'm sure Ducky would agree with me."

That was true, Doctor Mallard told him so soon after they returned.

"I always knew you had it in you."


"My dear boy, I have watched you grow from an ambitious young man taking your first tentative steps towards a chosen career into the confident, capable, and knowledgeable doctor you are today. I know that I will be leaving this morgue in your able hands, Doctor Palmer."

Jimmy opened his mouth to protest. He knew that his mentor was starting to think of his plans post-NCIS but he had assumed that there would be more time, he still had more to learn and there were more stories to hear.

"While it's true that you are still learning you have also worked hard and should enjoy the fruits of your labor. I will have no doubts that when the time comes you will be a brilliant ME for this institution."

"Thanks, Tony."

"Any time, Palmer." A sound in the background that sounded suspiciously like something falling made Tony give a defeated sigh.

"You should probably see what mischief Tali is getting herself into," Jimmy said, "it's when they're quiet that you need to worry."

"Yeah, guess I should but before I go, you should know that you're a hero, Jimmy, and I owe you a drink when I get back."

'I'll hold you to it."