A/N: Yes, I know it's a bit unrealistic to have your boss' boss show up in your apartment one day when you get home. Yes, I know Tony isn't often sentimental. But, for the sake of poetic licence, humour me.

This is my take on all this Jeanne-Grenouille-DiNozzo monkey business. There are no spoilers for next season, just theories. There are spoilers galore for the fourth season finale of the show, though, so for you non-North Americans who probably haven't gotten that far in the series yet, you might want to duck in cover. Or at least avert your eyes.

Haven't written for NCIS before. Hope it's okay. Reviews always appreciated.

Cheers.


Tony DiNozzo closed the door to his apartment and leaned against it, eyes closed. He sighed, swallowed, and summoned the energy to take off his shoes and coat. He managed to put his gun and ID on the table before sitting down heavily on the sofa. Sighing again, he leaned back and let the drain of the day wash over him.

He didn't like it when drug dealers beat him up.

He liked it even less when people were already in his apartment when he got home.

"So what do you want to know?" Tony asked tiredly.

Director Jenny Shepard stepped out of the shadows and sat down timidly across from Tony. "How did you know I was here?"

"Come on, after I texted you about La Grenouille? How could you not be here?"

"As far as you knew, I was in Europe an hour ago."

"And as far as you knew, so was he." Tony lolled his head in order to look at the Director and giggled without humour. "I'm not stupid, Jenny. Don't play games."

Jenny waited a moment with pursed lips, but soon decided she couldn't wait anymore. "How was he?"

"I gather the stocks didn't do so hot today though, so he was a little cranky about that, but otherwise he sounded pretty upbeat."

"You know what I mean."

Tony put his head back again and closed his eyes. "He was calm, collected, and plotting ways to get me out of the picture the entire time we were talking. He might be elusive, but he can't lie worth--"

"Why does he want you out of the picture?"

"I'm in love with his daughter."

"Are you sure it wasn't more than that? Could he know something?"

"I wasn't answering your question. I was telling you. I'm in love with Jeanne."

The Director's eyes were cast downward. "I thought you might be."

"I quit."

"You can't quit, Tony."

"I quit anyway."

"DiNozzo..."

"Oh boy, guess it's all business now. She's calling me by my last name."

"Think of all the time you've put in..."

Tony's features sprung to life instantaneously as he stood. "All that time I spent being undercover at your command?"

"Don't pin this all on me. I offered you your own team and you refused, just for the sake of staying on this case."

Tony laughed hollowly and sat back down. "That was before I was running the risk of hurting the woman I love. If I arrest her father... "

"Goddamnit Tony, there's more at stake here than a white picket fence!"

"If catching La Grenouille meant removing Gibbs completely from your life, would you do it?" Tony asked quietly, voice shaking with anger. He watched the Director carefully for her rebuttal, but she came up short; instead, her mouth hung slightly open and she simply stared. "You're not quite as subtle as you think you are," he informed her more calmly.

"Oh, grow up, Tony. You got yourself into this. You recognized Benoit's name when Jeanne used it, and you came to me with this knowledge."

"And then I opted out."

"You were too far in. We had to get him. It would have taken months to integrate another agent into the operation. You said as much yourself."

"Before I became a liability."

"I'm not stupid either, Tony. Even if you do love her, no one will do this job better than you."

"Flattery's not getting you anywhere tonight, Director. It's been a long day, and I'm not so easily swayed when I'm being used for someone else's personal gain."

"You know what La Grenouille is capable of just as much as I do."

"Yet I'm not driven into a craze about catching him like you are."

"It's not a craze."

"Gibbs is worried, and he's suspicious. If you don't want him to know the history you and La Grenouille have, stop being so conspicuous about this. And by the way, you can't leave the continent for a week, put him in charge, and leave him out of the loop."

The redhead didn't have a response for that. Instead she leaned back into the chair. "Do you really quit?" she asked Tony after a moment.

"No," he said in a husky voice. "But the second Jeanne is taken into the equation, I'm out, and I'm taking her with me."

A new pause filled the room. Tony took this as acceptance of his terms and collapsed back against the sofa, relieved.

"Do you think he knows?" the Director asked eventually.

"He's La Grenouille, Jenny. What do you think?"

Jenny decided against clarification. Instead they both just sat in silence.