Title: Good Judgment

Previously on NCIS

Gibbs: I said to wait.

Vance: And I said not to. This is my crime scene.


Tony: We should've tailed her. Ziva...Ziva wanted to tail her.

Gibbs: Yeah. Yeah. Why didn't you?

After attending the memorial service, Gibbs hurried up to the new director's office. Vance seemed to anticipate his arrival because he was standing at the door waiting for him. Vance gestured for Gibbs to follow him into his office.

"What now?" Gibbs asked as he watched Vance sit down.

"I am sorry, Jethro. It is not easy losing a team member no matter who it is or how long that you have known them." Vance offered. Gibbs straightened and gave an impatient look.

"Are you planning to give me another rookie to train to serve as my new senior field agent?" Gibbs said, not hiding his irritation. "This many rookies assigned to one team is dangerous."

"Agent Keating will be taking over for McGee at the Cyber Crimes Unit. McGee will be reassigned to your team." Gibbs gave a sigh of relief but then gave Vance a questioning look.

"Officer David will be taking over the newly recreated Mossad liaison position, starting Monday." Vance added. "Gibbs, you do realize I had no choice but to split up your team. Although I know that Dir. Shepard made it a habit of ditching her protection detail, she did end up killed this time. SecNav wanted me to make some adjustments. It probably did not hurt either, to temporarily break up the team, to help you in the grieving process."

"What!" Gibbs snapped back angrily.

"You had a personal relationship with Jenny Shepard. . ." Vance started to say but stopped when he saw the infuriated look that Gibbs was giving him. Vance then nodded, as Gibbs headed for the door.

"Wait. You never mentioned DiNozzo." Gibbs turned back and headed back to face Vance.

"I have not had a chance to speak to Agent DiNozzo yet. He is supposed to be arriving in D.C. this weekend. I will talk to him then." Vance said. Gibbs eyed Vance suspiciously.

"So, you plan on putting him back on my team, also." Gibbs answered for him but felt Vance was hiding something. Vance noticed that Gibbs was impatiently waiting for him to say something more.

"Gibbs." Vance simply said looking away.

"What. . .aren't you telling me? Because I lost an agent this week, I no longer have a senior field agent even with having Ziva and McGee back. Am I getting DiNozzo back or not? Is he in the middle of a case or something?" Gibbs fired questions back at Vance.

"I can answer your questions after I talk to DiNozzo." Vance offered. "However, I will make sure that you get a senior field agent." Vance stated. Gibbs continued to glare at Vance giving him an extremely impatient look. After a few moments of having Gibbs stare into him intently, Vance finally receding into telling Gibbs the problem at hand.

"All right, Gibbs." Vance stated as he displayed his frustration. He let out a noticeable sigh.

"The reason I need to talk to DiNozzo first is he handed me his letter of resignation the day before Shepard's memorial service." Vance stated. Gibbs cocked his head and glared at him in disbelief.

"He is personally taking the full blame and responsibility for the director's death." Vance said.

"I already talked to him about this. And, I told him this wasn't his fault." Gibbs interjected as he angrily glared at Vance. Vance offered a slight grin and tilted his head indicating that Gibbs' words obviously did not change the fact that DiNozzo still blamed himself.

"Why did you assign him to a Navy ship, he has been totally isolated from anyone he knows." Gibbs complained.

"I talked him out of resigning, Gibbs. In fact, I even shredded it. He was actually in support of being temporarily reassigned there, so that he could decide if resigning was really what he wanted to do." Vance explained as he watched Gibbs who angrily continued to stare into him. "So. . .I need to talk to him this weekend." Vance repeated. "Then, you will have your answer."

Gibbs squinted at him angrily and turned to head for the door. "Oh, he'll be coming back." Gibbs said confidently. as he exited the office, leaving Vance with a grin on his face.

Tony carried his duffle bag toward his apartment door. As he started to key the door, he heard someone approaching from behind. He dropped his duffle bag down and turned to see who was approaching him.

"Tony." Gibbs said strongly with a very serious glare.

"Boss!" Tony said in an excited but weak tone. Tony smiled and gave Gibbs a quick, awkward hug, but then pulled back quickly. He started to feel uncomfortable from the stare that Gibbs was giving him.

"Here let me. . ." Tony started to say as he opened his apartment door and scouted his bag inside with his foot. Gibbs followed Tony into his apartment, which was rather hot and stuffy. All the furniture was covered in plastic.

"Hopefully, the electric company got my call about turning the power back on." Tony said with a nervous laugh as he flipped the light switch. He could now see clearly the strong stare that Gibbs was giving him. Tony turned to meet his serious glare.

"Can I get you anything?" Tony asked trying to distract Gibbs, but Tony turned to face the kitchen trying to remember if he had anything that he could offer him.

"Tony, what did I tell you about resigning?" Gibbs asked him directly. Tony stiffened from the question.

"That I better be serious about it because there is no coming back." Tony repeated the Gibbs' rule robotically. As Tony answered him, Gibbs came closer to him. Tony could almost feel the anger radiating off Gibbs as he continued to glare.

". . .I was serious about it, Boss." Tony finally offered, nervously looking down.

"Yeah." Gibbs said strongly.

"Vance is reassembling the team. And I want you back on it." Gibbs said. Tony looked up from Gibbs in surprise at the announcement that the team was back together already and that Gibbs actually wanted him back.

"Yes, I want you back." Gibbs said, in an angry and irritated tone, as if he could read Tony's thoughts. "I already told you that this was not your fault." Tony gave him a surprised look, which changed to guilt, as he then looked back down.

"DiNozzo!" Gibbs yelled slowly. "Do I need to make up for all the head-slaps that you missed?" Gibbs barked at him, as he started to become a little worried about Tony's atypical behavior. Tony gave a small grin with a snort, barely looking up at Gibbs.

"Tony?" Gibbs said as he closed in the gap between them. "Do you have any idea how many times Jenny called off her protection detail?" Gibbs asked him softly, as he tried to get Tony to look up.

Tony gave a short nod, as he continued to avoid Gibbs' gaze.

"You know that she was trying to protect me. She had left some loose ends from Paris." Gibbs explained, wondering exactly what it was that Tony needed to hear. Tony continued to nod shortly, still looking down at the floor as he listened.

Gibbs looked at him curiously. "You know that she was dying. She was diagnosed. . ." Gibbs noticed the very visible nod from that, which really was a surprise for Gibbs. Gibbs then wondered how he knew about that and for how long. Although Tony's reaction to that comment was something that Gibbs was particularly interested in, it was not relevant at the moment. Gibbs let out a loud sigh, as he no longer knew what direction to lead this discussion in.

After a few minutes of silence, Gibbs watched as Tony looked up at him. "Boss. . .Boss, I am so sorry. I really screwed up." Tony started to say in a tone that was so serious and practically in tears.

Gibbs pointed at him indicating that he wanted Tony to stop. "I don't want to hear that from you Tony. This was not your fault." Gibbs said forcefully. Tony looked back down as he said that.

"No one is blaming you for this." Gibbs added, as he watched Tony's reaction.

"I don't blame you." Gibbs offered, as he watched Tony's entire body visibly relax. Gibbs turned his head in realization. "You thought I blamed you for this, didn't you?" Gibbs asked watching as Tony tensed and nervously stepped away.

"No." Tony said with a nervous laugh, while backing away from Gibbs. Gibbs leaped towards him, grabbing his arm, forcing Tony to face him.

"I told you from the start that this was not your fault. I would not lie." Gibbs stated slowly with his normal impatient and irritated Gibbs-like manner.

"As my boss, you said it. . ." Tony nervously started to say. "But, in Paris, you two were together and. . ." Tony stopped knowing that Gibbs' past relationship with Jenny was none of his business.

Seeing where this discussion was going, Gibbs shook his head in slight irritation and strange relief. "DiNozzo, I will repeat myself. I do not blame you. This was not your fault." Gibbs said firmly as he managed to maintain eye contact with Tony for the first time.

"I may have been a little upset with you at the time, though. This was for not contacting me, when you and Ziva felt there was something wrong with the way the director ordered you off your protection detail. This was also for the way you didn't tell me over the phone that Vance was already there and had ordered you to process the scene." Gibbs stated forcefully, as he addressed Tony with his angry stare. "You have been keeping things from me ever since that La Grenouille ordeal."

Tony winced as he took in Gibbs' angry tone and words. Tony shifted nervously but never broke eye contact, as his boss addressed him. "Boss, I am sorry. . ." Tony started to say, but Gibbs waved his pointer finger at him for using that word twice now. "It won't happen again, Boss."

"Good." Gibbs stated with a smile. Tony noticed that Gibbs was giving him a new, unrecognizable stare, which included a smile.

"Boss?" Tony said wanting to know what Gibbs was thinking.

"Come on. I'll drive." Gibbs said gesturing for Tony to start heading for the door.

"What, where are we going, Boss?" Tony asked in confusion as he was directed toward the door.

". . .to Vance's office." Gibbs stated with confidence. "You are going to tell him that you are accepting your old position back." Gibbs ordered.

"Yes, sir." Tony said with a soft chuckle.

"Don't call me sir." Gibbs said quickly, as they exited the apartment.

"Yes, Boss." Tony said looking back down at the floor. Gibbs reached over and gave him a light head slap.

"Welcome back, DiNozzo!" Gibbs added.

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