I've put all my remaining chapters into one because I'm going to finish with this story. I had no idea where to go with it and I'm starting a new story. TheEnding is not what I wanted but it finished okay and without any cliffhangers. If anyone wants to carry on the story or just take the idea and run with it then they are free to do so. My new story Blackout should be up very soon.
Gibbs straightened out his jacket as he waited outside the directors office. He wasn't nervous. So he'd been asleep for the last two years? Didn't mean he didn't know how to do his job. The doctors had cleared him for desk duty and he had been caught up on the latest cases. Even though he knew all that, he still didn't know what had happened to the team. He knew Ziva had left but hadn't been told anything about her replacement and who had taken over from him in his absence?
"Special agent Gibbs? The director will see you now" The young secretary he didn't recognise spoke up. He nodded and stepped towards the door. Opening it without knocking. His old flame, Director Jenny Sheppard looked up from her desk. Last time he had seen her she had cut her hair short. In the space of two years she had grown it to her shoulders.
"Jethro" The director stood up from her seat.
"You don't know how relieved I was when I heard you had woken up. I would have come and seen you but I have been swamped with work. You get my flowers?" Gibbs nodded.
"How about we skip through all the niceties and get to the point. I want to start today"
"Always to the point with you Jethro"
"I'm an impatient man Jenn; can I have my team back or not?"
"I don't know" Gibbs raised an eyebrow.
"What do you mean you don't know?"
"You old team already has a new lead agent who I'm not sure is that willing to give up the job"
"Who?" Director Sheppard didn't answer his question.
"I think you should start by getting reacquainted with the whole team and getting back into the swing of things. Just observation until we can decided what to do. I don't want you back in the hospital because you pushed things too far too soon"
"For how long?"
"Until I deem fit. Now the team is meeting down in the squad room in five minutes. I suggest you wait for them there"
"Yes Ma'am" Gibbs answered in restraint. He wanted to shout at her to give him his team back but he knew she wouldn't give in. Only by doing what she wanted and doing it well would he get his team back from whoever had stolen his team from him.
Gibbs waited at his old desk quietly. He had tried to search the desk for clues as to who occupied it now but it was devoid of any personality. He didn't have to wait long as McGee and two unfamiliar faces stepped out of the elevator and into the squad room.
"Boss! You're back!" Gibbs nodded.
"You gonna introduce me?" He prompted, nodding to the pair standing behind McGee.
"Ah, sorry Boss. This is Special Agents Rita Wilson and Warren Farmer. The newer half of the team"
"So who around here is your team leader?" He quizzed. The two new agents didn't look old enough to have the experience to lead a team let alone the top team at NCIS. No one got a chance to answer his question.
"You're sitting in my chair" A familiar voice from behind him spoke. Slowly Gibbs turned in his chair to come face to face with the leader of his team. Standing in front of him with a coffee cup in one hand was Tony, looking a little irate.
"Gibbs" Gibbs winced inwardly at the omitted "Boss". "My chair?" Gibbs glared at Tony but only received a similar glare back. Gibbs knew instantly that he couldn't intimidate Tony with just a look anymore. He had never thought that moment would come. Tony had always been too desperate for approval, almost desperate for any sign that Gibbs knew he existed, including slaps to the back of the head. Tony just looked annoyed and impatient now. It was Tony's team now, Tony's desk and Tony's people that waited and watched as the two men started each other down. Slowly Gibbs lifted himself from the seat and stepped out of the way.
"I didn't get a visit from you at the hospital"
"You can work over at that desk" Tony ignored Gibbs' comment "You report to me until Director Sheppard says otherwise. Ask McGee for anything you need, don't bother asking probie anything. She doesn't know"
"Hey!" Rita defended herself. Tony smirked.
"I need those phone records"
"On it" She turned to her own desk and began typing at her computer.
"Warren I need those statements from the two Petty Officers, do whatever you have to do Farmer" The young man nodded and left for the elevator.
"McGee get Gibbs up to speed on everything and then go help Abs, she's drowning in blood"
"Literally?" he asked. Tony laughed.
"Figuratively" he answered. "I have a meeting in MTAC in about two minutes with the Sec-Nav so if I'm not out in half an hour start questioning Officer Michaels. McGee nodded. Gibbs just watched the team in amazement as they took orders from Tony with ease and respect, getting straight down to work.
"I guess I was holding you back all those years" Gibbs spoke up as Tony exited MTAC. Tony turned to see Gibbs leaning against the bright orange wall.
"I didn't ask to lead the team. I was promoted, I did the best I could with what I had. But I don't need to explain myself to you"
"I'm not joking Tony. You were good earlier"
"Well now that I have your approval," Tony replied dripping with sarcasm. Gibbs just smirked. Tony walked past Gibbs and started down the main staircase, aware that Gibbs had pushed himself off the wall and was following him. "You get caught up?"
"Good, you can come with me to the lab"
"Yes Sir" Tony stopped and turned to Gibbs. "You didn't forget my name while you were unconscious did you? It's Tony or DiNozzo" Tony turned back and moved down the last few stairs. The rest of the journey to Abby's lab was filled with silence. The cramped space of the elevator making it an almost unbearable atmosphere. As the elevator doors opened Tony immediately strode out, grabbed Abby's hand and pulled her into the other room, letting the automatic glass door shut behind them.
"Tony!" One look at Tony's face made her protestations cease. "How's it going?" She asked, genuinely concerned.
"I don't think he likes me as the boss"
"Well that's almost hard to believe!" Abby's sarcasm rearing its head again.
"One minute he has his own team, his team that would do anything for him and the next he has no team. The only thing he still has is his half finished boat sitting in his old basement covered in five inches of dust!"
Gibbs watched from the other room as the pair talked. It was obvious from the way they kept looking over his way that they were talk about him. He watched Tony place his hands on his hips and drop his head. Abby placed a hand on his shoulder and he immediately looked up at her and smiled.
"Does he know about us?" Tony asked after a second to breathe and take in what Abby had said.
"Why was it up to me to tell him?"
"Cos he'll kill me when he finds out I'm sleeping with the woman he thinks of as a daughter! That's why!" Abby pulled Tony out of the sightline of Gibbs and wrapped his arms around Tony, giving him a quick kiss on the lips.
"I'll sort it" Tony smiled and responded to Abby's kiss with a light peck to her forehead.
"Thank you, now, do you have those results?"
Tony glanced at his watch as they left the room to rejoin Gibbs. He winced as he noticed the time.
"Damn, I said I would help McGee with the questioning"
"I'll do it" Gibbs spoke up.
"No, you get the results from Abs, I'll go do it" Tony replied, giving Abby the opening to speak to Gibbs. Gibbs glared at Tony but Tony didn't see it, he was too busy walking out the room.
"He's pissed at me" Gibbs said at the elevator doors shut.
"Don't be silly, he's just…..adjusting" Abby sat down on one of the lab chairs and pulled herself along until she was facing the computers.
"He's had six weeks to adjust!" Abby spun her chair round so she was facing Gibbs who was leaning on the metal layout table.
"He thinks you're here to take his job from him. Yeah, he wasn't exactly thrilled about being lead agent at first but he loves his job now and he wouldn't give it up for the world"
"You seem to know a lot about what Tony's thinking" Gibbs observed, raising an eyebrow at Abby. Abby smirked.
"You wanna come over for dinner tonight?"
"You can cook?" Gibbs looked sceptical at Abby's suggestion. Abby grinned. She couldn't cook to save her life. Last time she tried she ended up cremating the chicken. It looked cool but tasted like charcoal. Tony, however was a good cook thanks to his Italian genes. Which did mean they had pasta a lot.
"Err, kinda. Look the case will probably be wrapped up by seven. Why don't you turn up at seven thirty for dinner at eight?"
"Are you sure?"
"Please, it'll be fun"
"Okay, if you insist"
"We going to stand here and chat all day or are you going to tell me what you found out"
"Ah ha! There's the Gibbs I know and love!" Gibbs just smiled
Gibbs gathered all the information and then went to find McGee and Tony at the interrogation. He slipped into the observation room quietly and stood behind McGee who was watching intently at the scene in the other room.
"You got everything from Abby?" McGee asked without turning round. Gibbs was surprised to find that McGee knew that he was there. Either his stealth skills had gone down hill or McGee had gotten better.
"Yeah" Gibbs took a step forward to stand next to McGee, getting his first look through the two way mirror. "Is that?...Why is Tony in only a vest and boxers?"
"I couldn't get anything out of the guy so Tony's trying. It's a little thing Tony likes to do, makes them think he's one of them, gains the other guy's friendship and then lets him spill everything he needs to know"
"And the lack of clothes helps how?"
"If Tony walked in there in a suit what would the guy think?"
"Fed" Gibbs realised after a second.
"Exactly, He tells them NCIS dragged him out of bed and brought him in without giving him time to get dressed. Who would believe a federal agent would get half naked to get a confession?"
"Only one person I can think of who would be that stupid"
"He's done it a couple of times, always worked" The two fell into a comfortable silence as they watched Tony handle their prisoner.
"Can you believe it? It's freezing in here!" Tony pushed the chair back harshly and stormed up to the mirror. "Hey! Can you hear me in there, someone bring me some goddamn clothes before I die of hypothermia!" Tony banged on the mirror "Hey!" Tony turned around to face Michaels. "Can you believe it?" He exclaimed again. "Nobody's in there, they've just left us here"
"How can you tell no-one's in there?" The young Officer asked.
"Please, you can hear 'em. Shuffling round, talking about us, I've been enough of these places to know"
"Why would they just leave us?"
"Who knows man, You tell 'em anything?" Michaels shook his head "Good for ya, don't tell that scum anything that's what I say. Us guys have to stick together, be a force against the creeps that think they own the country" Michaels didn't reply. "You military?"
"I couldn't handle the Navy myself"
"You were in the Navy?" Tony scoffed.
"For all of two seconds kid, I don't take orders from nobody"
"Hey, it has its perks. Who expects an officer in the Navy to be selling drugs?"
"You're clever, I like you"
"Maybe when I get out of here we talk some more"
"My guy on the outside was unfortunately relegated to the past tense if you know what I mean. I have goods that need to be moved, just need someone to move them, can I trust you?"
"What have you got in mind?" Tony smiled, secretly laughing at the poor sucker who believed he was getting out of here.
Tony watched from the side as two agents came into the room to arrest Michaels. The officer struggled against the handcuffs that were placed on him and shouted at Tony.
"You bastard! I'll get you for this!"
"Yeah yeah! Tell that to somebody who gives a damn!" Tony replied. Michaels was dragged out of the room giving McGee an opportunity to enter.
"Nice job" McGee remarked.
"Thanks, you got my clothes? I've been freezing my butt off in here for the last hour. Someone really should turn the heating up" Tony fell into the nearest chair as he waited for McGee to come back with his clothes, not noticing Gibbs standing in the doorway. As McGee handed them over he noticed Tony shivering.
"Are you sure you're okay? You want me to get Ducky to take a look at you?"
"I'm just a little cold McGee nothing a hot drink and some central heating won't fix"
"Okay" McGee and Gibbs waited for Tony to place his pants and shirt back on, leaving his tie hanging loosely around his neck.
"What are you looking at?" Tony asked as he buttoned his shirt. How he knew Gibbs was staring at him when he wasn't even looking in his direction he would never know. Gibbs shrugged. He still didn't know what to say. He had watched Tony become friends with the officer and once they had gathered enough information from him Tony's eyes immediately transformed from easy and credulous to cold and hard in one second flat. It was easy to forget that a lot of Tony's outgoing persona was an act. One he obviously knew how to turn on and off on a switch.
"Looks like it's just paperwork now" McGee remarked.
"Get everything in order and I mean everything. The forensic evidence, Ducky's report, the phone logs, everything. I don't want this scumbag getting off on a technicality. I'll let you off early if you get it finished this afternoon" McGee smiled at the incentive Tony had offered.
"Thanks boss!" McGee practically skipped out the room.
"That means you to Gibbs" Tony added as he brushed past the older man and towards the elevator.
Abby had hoped that Tony would have arrived home early to cook the meal she had planned with Gibbs but after a phone call to enquire about his whereabouts she discovered he had been hauled into a NCIS meeting he really didn't want to be in. Gibbs arrived at 7.30 exactly leaving Abby with no food and no-one to cook for them. She left Gibbs in the living room before rummaging in the freezer. Tony had always left a tub of leftovers just in case either of them were too tired to cook properly or if he wasn't around to cook for her.
"Aha!" She exclaimed after finding an old ice cream tub filling with some kind of pasta dish.
"You need any help in there?" Gibbs called from the other room.
"I got it!" She answered, dumping the tub into the microwave for a hasty defrost. As she waited for the food to thaw out she joined Gibbs in the living room.
"So who's the guy?"
"Guy? What guy?" She asked, picking up a glass of a dark red wine she liked.
"The men's shoes at the door? The sports magazines on the coffee table?"
"Oh that guy! Yes well I'm married…well not married married cos there wasn't a wedding or a white dress. Definitely not a white dress, you couldn't get me in a white dress if my life depended on it but there is a guy and we say we're married but really it was just a ceremony thing a Wicca friend thing did for us that's kinda like a promise not to cheat and to love each other for all eternity thing which is like a wedding without the certificate at the end cos I'm not a wedding kinda gal and he is definitely not the wedding kinda guy so this is the only kinda commitment we could agree on and we love each other so it seemed like the right thing to do-"
"I'm happy for you"
"Thanks Gibbs" Abby smiled, taking a large gulp of the wine.
"I wanna meet this guy though, make sure he's good enough for you"
"Oh he is trust me"
"I do trust you"
"So what's his name and when am I going to meet him?" Abby didn't get a chance to answer. The front door opened and then slammed loudly.
"Sorry I'm late Abs" Abby and Gibbs heard from the hallway. "The meeting was a bitch. Sheppard kept me afterwards to talk about-" Tony turned the corner and came face to face with Gibbs. "-Gibbs" He finished.
"Abs this isn't what I meant by you tell him" Abby just shrugged apologetically. Suddenly Gibbs rushed forward at Tony and pinned him against the wall.
"Gibbs!" Abby shouted but he didn't listen.
"You think you can just treat Abby like you do those other girls who sleep with and then discard?"
"Have you been working out?" Tony croaked, finding it hard to breathe with Gibb's strong arm across his chest. Gibbs pushed again, making Tony's head hit the wall.
"You think this is funny?"
"Gibbs!" Abby tried again. Tony took the opportunity to turn the tables. He brought his arms up and used them to push Gibbs off him, twisting him around and pushing Gibbs against the same wall, holding his arms tight behind his back.
"Now how about we try this again" Tony told him, pushing him harder against the wall. "I knew you'd be pissed at me but I will not tolerate you pushing me around in my own house. Now you have no leg to stand on for three reasons"
"Name them" Gibbs replied.
"Firstly, I'm the one holding you against the wall so you better be nice, secondly, Abby is a grown woman who can make her own decisions about who she wants to be with and thirdly, I love Abby and would never hurt her. If we had just talked about it instead of all this pointless fighting you would have found that out. Now I'm gonna let you go now but if you want to keep fighting, I'll happily oblige, but I'll win" Tony let go and stepped back, giving Gibbs the space he needed. Gibbs turned around and rubbed his wrists where Tony had held him. The awkward silence was filled by the beeping of the microwave.
"Dinners ready!" Abby called out.
Tony, Abby and Gibbs sat round the dinner table quietly. The only sounds that could be heard were the scrapes of forks against the plates and the occasional munch. After Tony and Gibbs' minor altercation the trio had fallen into an uncomfortable silence. One that Abby was getting tired of.
"So" She began. The two men looked up at her with blank faces. "How's the boat?"
"Fine" Gibbs answered curtly.
"Good……..how was your first day back then?" Gibbs shrugged. Abby watched Tony out of the corner of her eye downing his second glass of red wine.
"Are you up for seconds?" She asked Gibbs, he nodded silently. Abby lifted herself up off the seat and reached across the table to spoon some more pasta on to his plate. Tony lifted his own empty plate up to her but she ignored it. Tony sighed, reaching over for the pasta himself. Abby nearly thanked a god she didn't believe in when the phone began to ring. She got up from the table and went to answer it, leaving the two boys to play nice. After a couple of torturously silent minutes Gibbs cleared his throat and spoke.
"Good thinking today"
"The interrogation, I would never have stripped down for a confession" Tony shrugged nonchalantly.
"I'm best at undercover work, who says you have to be in their territory to be undercover?"
"Well it was good work anyway"
"Thanks" Tony pushed his uneaten pasta around his plate. "You weren't too bad yourself today" Gibbs snorted.
"I didn't do anything"
"Yeah you did, you kept up with the fast pace even though it was your first day back in over two years" Gibbs smiled at the first nice comment from Tony since he had woken up.
"McGee shaped up well" Tony nodded.
"He has a lot more confidence now" Tony replied, "It took a while but I kicked the probie out of him" Gibbs laughed.
"I bet you did" Their conversation paused as Gibbs took a sip of his drink. "What happened to Ziva?"
"Decided to go back to Mossad, She told me it was time" Tony dropped his eyes to the table. "She told me what happened that night"
"Well I'm still pissed off that you couldn't trust me enough to tell me what happened"
"Ziva asked me not to Tony, she had just killed her brother and didn't want the news reaching her father. The less people that knew the better"
"I know that now" Gibbs opened his mouth to speak but was distracted by Abby re-entering the room. "Anything important?" Abby shook her head.
"Just Timmy wanting some codes I wrote today, told I'd email them to him later"
"Ah, geek-speak at it's finest!" Abby punched Tony's arm playfully and laughed.
"Funny boy!" Abby replied.
"You ready for desert?" Tony asked between laughing. Abby gasped.
"Tony! Not in front of Gibbs!" Tony laughed again at Gibbs' horrified face.
"I'm talking chocolate mousse here Abs!"
"Geez Abs!" Gibbs added. The two men pushed their chairs away from the table and walked into the kitchen together.
"They're back!" She sung to herself, watching the two men bicker like the last two years hadn't happened.