Sequel to my story Tails. Which is a sequel to my story The Flip of a Coin. Now part of the Coin Toss Series.
Big thanks to my wonderful beta, VanishingP2000. I don't own NCIS.
Apparently their new director was a slacker. He wasn't in his office. Cynthia said that he had already left for the night and it was barely seven pm. He gave the letter to Cynthia, slightly disappointed that he couldn't deliver it to Vance in person, but maybe it was better this way. This way he wouldn't have the opportunity to strangle Vance.
Gibbs was still there. He hadn't been at his desk when Tony had entered the bullpen, but he knew that his boss- his former boss- was still there. The light at his desk was still on and his computer was still on. Gibbs was at his desk when he left the director's office again and Tony could feel his eyes following him along the catwalk and down the stairs. Instead of continuing on to the elevator he turned into what had, earlier that day, been his team's workspace. His workspace. Not anymore.
He stopped in front of Gibbs' desk and finally looked at the former Marine. He was surprised to see that he wasn't angry, but rather there was a small, uncharacteristic smile playing on his face. Maybe Gibbs did have a bottle of bourbon in his desk drawer. Intoxication was the only way to explain this strange behavior.
"Hey, DiNozzo," well, he didn't sound drunk. But that didn't mean that he wasn't.
"Hey, Boss," Tony said, wincing internally at his automatic use of the nickname which no longer really applied. He was so used to calling Gibbs 'boss' that it didn't really matter that Gibbs was no longer his boss. Screw applicability.
"What are you doing here, Tony," Gibbs asked softly and Tony shrugged. Telling Gibbs that he was joining the FBI wasn't exactly his idea of a good time. It was, in fact, right up there with having a second tussle with the pneumonic plague.
"Come to see our new director-" he practically spat the word out, his disdain for the man obvious, "and I have discovered that he has a terrible work ethic. Cynthia said that he left over an hour ago. He's only been the director for, like, a week and he's already slacking off. I mean-" he had started rambling and he knew it. And Gibbs knew it, too. He was grateful that Gibbs put his hand up to stop him.
"DiNozzo. I asked you why you were here, not to give me yet another thing to add to the list of reasons why I hate Vance. That list is plenty long enough already, thanks," Gibbs said with an unusually tolerant air.
"Well, uh, about that Gibbs… I, uh…" this was not something he wanted to do and he didn't even have a clue of how to go about telling Gibbs. He hadn't expected to run into Gibbs here. He'd had a fantastic speech all ready for Vance, but that wouldn't really work for Gibbs. Somehow he didn't see his telling Gibbs to stick a toothpick up his ass ending all that well.
"Spit it out already, DiNozzo," Gibbs was finally exhibiting the air of impatience and annoyance that Tony knew so well. Simply spitting it out would probably be the best approach- any further stalling on his part would only serve to irritate Gibbs even more.
"I quit NCIS Boss," he said quickly and was surprised when Gibbs didn't even blink. The ex-Marine rarely showed much emotion or surprise, but Tony thought that he would have had some reaction. The lack of one was more than a little disconcerting. "And I took Fornell up on his offer to join the FBI," he added and once again Gibbs didn't show any surprise whatsoever. This was getting insane; he didn't expect Gibbs to be all over dramatic and faint or anything, but he didn't even get an eye twitch or anything. "You already knew," he said slowly, watching Gibbs carefully and the small smile that appeared on Gibbs' face (well, he could identify it as a smile; others might simply consider it not frowning) confirmed his suspicions. He should have known that Fornell would call Gibbs the moment that he hung up.
"Yep. Fornell wanted to make sure that I wasn't going to kill him over it. I think I gave him a heart attack when I actually told him that I thought it was a smart move," Gibbs smirked and Tony had to laugh.
"I bet he did. He's having a pretty interesting night," Tony said, still wondering why Gibbs was so okay with his going over to the dark side, but figuring it was better not to question it. Never look a gift horse in the mouth.
"He is. He was pretty damned shocked at you wanting to leave NCIS, let alone joining the bureau. He was convinced that you hated the FBI as passionately as I did."
"And then you were happy about it and he must have thought that he fell through the looking glass," Tony finished, still smirking. Curiosity got the better of him and he finally asked "Boss, why are you so happy about this? I mean, you hate the FBI."
"DiNozzo, you a far too good of an investigator to have your talents wasted on a damned boat. Much as I hate the FBI, Fornell won't let your skills go to waste. Not like Vance would," Gibbs said seriously and Tony looked down at his feet, unsure of how to respond to Gibbs' pronouncement. "I'm also holding out hope that you can bring a little bit of common sense to the general blatant stupidity," now that was that Gibbs that Tony was used to.
"I'll try, Boss," he said, smiling as he finally met Gibbs' eyes.
"You do that, DiNozzo. Just don't get too comfortable over at the Hoover building. One way or another, Vance isn't going to be director for too long and when he finally gets replaced by someone with a brain cell or two, I'm going to need a senior field agent," Gibbs told him as he come around the desk so that he was standing next to Tony. "I meant it when I said that you were irreplaceable, Tony," he said softly into his ear.
"Gotcha, Boss. Just don't take too long to overthrow the evil emperor. I don't know how long I can stand working in a building that's named after a cross dresser," Tony said, his trademark smart ass grin on his face and Gibbs snorted. Leave it to DiNozzo to spew something like that out in the middle of a conversation as serious as the one they were having.
"Come on, DiNozzo. We're going to the bar. I'm gonna buy the FBI's newest Special Agent a drink," Gibbs said, ushering Tony towards the elevator and flipping his computer and desk lamp off- if McGee ever found out that he had turned off his computer by turning of the power strip and not actually shutting it down properly, he would have a cow.
It was a good thing that McGee didn't have a good reason to be anywhere near his computer for the foreseeable future and therefore would not have the opportunity to stare at him as Bambi would the hunter who had shot his mother. Maybe there was an upside to Vance splitting his team. But then he remembered Ziva, being sent back to Israel and Tony practically being forced into quitting NCIS and joining the FBI. This was a shitty situation. There wasn't an upside to any of this.
Tony had to admit that this was not the way that the Gibbs in his head had reacted to his choice (well, his coin's choice, but that wasn't really the point, now was it?). In his head, Gibbs had been pissed, had berated him for giving up so easily, for running away with his tail between his legs. But he hadn't and for that, Tony was grateful.
Now he just had to figure out how to break it to Abby.