"What do you think you're doing with my team?"
Jenny barely looked up from the file on her desk as Gibbs stormed into her office. "Close the door Jethro."
He reluctantly followed her instruction before sitting stiffly in the chair opposite her.
"First of all, it is not your team." Jenny closed the file, folding her hands on the top of it before she met his eyes. "It is mine. And I will use NCIS resources as I see fit. You will receive a replacement agent if that is what you are worried about."
"You know that it isn't," Gibbs replied, rolling his eyes. "Jen, he barely recovered from his last UC detail. Do you really think this is a good idea?"
"It's time for him to get back on the horse." She locked eyes with him. "Do you think that Tony isn't up for this, Agent Gibbs?"
He shrugged. "Honestly, director, I don't know. But I would like to be there to back him up if he isn't."
"Leave that to me."
Gibbs stood and regarded her with a stony glare. "Considering the history here, you'll understand if I don't find that particularly comforting."
She stood as well, meeting his gaze with equal intensity. "This is not up for debate. Starting at 5pm, DiNozzo is on special assignment. That means no contact."
"I'm aware of what that means." Gibbs started for the door, but turned abruptly when she called his name. Had his reflexes been any slower, the folder she tossed him would have fallen to the ground in a shower of papers. He, however, caught it easily and squinted at the label for a long moment before giving up. Silently cursing his eyesight, he looked up at her expectantly. "What's this?"
Jenny cocked a smile. "Special Agent Kennedy Spencer. She reports Monday at 0700."
Gibbs rolled his eyes and reached for the door handle with his free hand.
"Don't worry, Jethro," she added quietly. "It's only temporary. You'll get Tony back."
"I'd better. I've almost got him trained," he called over his shoulder.
"I don't get it," McGee called across the bullpen, relaxing back in his chair as he watched Tony stash the contents of his desk in a crisp cardboard box. "Why you?"
Tony shot him a quizzical look. "Thanks for the vote of confidence, probie."
"I'm just saying-"
"McGee has a point," Ziva interrupted not looking away from her computer screen. "The last time you went under cover, it blew up in your face. Literally."
"Ziva," Tony stated in a cautioning tone, fixing her with a glare that went unnoticed.
McGee shifted his gaze between the two for an uncomfortable moment before he spoke up again. "That, Ziva, was not my point. What I meant was you've already gone under cover, twice in fact. Isn't it someone else's turn?"
"Turn McGee? This isn't red-rover," Tony said, adding his stapler to the box.
Ziva furrowed her brow "Excuse me? This isn't what?"
"Red-rover," McGee repeated. "It's a children's game where – You know what, forget it. Tony, my point is, don't you think that the director should select someone else for this assignment?"
"Like who, McGeek? You?" Tony shot back, mobbing in front on McGee's desk.
Tim rose from his chair and set his jaw. "And why not?"
Just as Tony was about to respond, Abby burst from the elevator and latched onto his neck so tightly that he could barely breathe.
"You can't go," she said firmly.
"Abbs," Tony managed to choke out. "Can you ease up a bit please?"
As the death grip on his neck loosened, Tony took a deep breath, but froze before letting it out. He was suddenly aware of the feeling of cold metal on his wrist and a smug smile on Abby's face. She triumphantly held up her left hand, now firmly attached to Tony's right by a sturdy pair of handcuffs.
"Abby," Tony started patiently, staring at their joined hands. "Tell me that you have the keys."
"Swallowed 'em," the scientist deadpanned. McGee chuckled over Abby's shoulder, but was silenced by a glare from Tony.
He sighed, his voice heavy with frustration as he uselessly pulled his hand against Abby's.
"I appreciate that you're going to miss me, Abbs, but this didn't work with Gibbs. What makes you think that-"
"Oh, but it did," Abby interrupted. "You'll notice that Gibbs is still here."
"Abbs," Tony began to whine. "You gotta let me go!"
Abby narrowed her eyes. "Give me one good reason."
To illustrate her point, she held up her left index finger, jarring Tony's arm painfully.
"How are you planning on showering?" Gibbs asked as he passed the two of them on the way to his desk.
A disgusted look came over Abby's face and she hastily produced a key from her lab coat pocket, releasing Tony's hand.
"Thanks boss," he murmured, returning to his desk.
Abby reeled on Gibbs. "Can't you do something about this?"
"Nope," Gibbs said simply. The phone on his desk began to ring and he scooped it up easily.
"Couldn't you talk to the director? Tell her-"
"Abbs," Gibbs interrupted.
"I have a phone to my ear."
Abby looked defeated and pulled her lips into a tight frown.
"Besides, I already tried," Gibbs added before turning his attention back to the phone.
Hanging her head, Abby headed back to the elevator, only looking up to give Tony a sad smile.
Tony watched her disappear, pulled out of his stouper only by Gibbs bolting passed his desk.
"Grab your gear," he called, attaching his gun to his belt. "We have a dead marine in Quantico."
"On it, boss," Tony replied, reaching for his gun.
Gibbs stopped short in front of Tony's desk. "Not you."
"But boss, I don't debrief with Jenny until tomorrow. I can-"
Gibbs held up his watch. "It's 17:22 DiNozzo. Do you know what that means?"
"5:22?" Tony offered with a cheeky smile, which earned him a smack on the back of the head. He hung his head with in defeat. "I'm off duty."
"You are no longer a part of this team, Agent DiNozzo. Go home."
"I know, boss, but I can-"
"Go home, Tony. We can handle this," McGee added, appearing at Gibb's elbow. He held out a hand for Tony to shake. "Take care."
Tony looked at the hand and smirked. "Save it, Probie. I don't leave until tomorrow. There's still time for goodbye."
Tim gave a curt nod and started for the elevator, Ziva following quickly in suit.
"DiNozzo-" Gibbs started anxiously.
Tony shook his head and spoke softly. "Go boss."