Gibbs grinned as he heard Tony and Ziva banter enthusiastically back and forth in the car as they argued. It was so good to have them both back. Three and a half months it had taken him but finally it seemed like it was getting back to normal.
They just needed one more person to make their strange little team click.
Tony needed his little brother to pick on and throw paper at. Someone who would listen to his Fugitive speech again and give him tips. Someone who actually knew how to work the facial recognition program. And type.
Ziva needed someone she trusted to correct her without offending her and to vent her Tony frustration on and to play scrabble and practice her intimidation techniques on.
And Abby. Well Abby and McGee were just two vital components of the same Mass Spectrometer. One without the other just didn't work as well.
And Gibbs? Yeah he wanted to know it was McGee covering his back when they were out in the field and McGee's brilliant mind working through all the options he would never consider. It had taken him years to train McGee up to cut through the technical speak and tell him just what he needed to know.
Tony turned to Gibbs and just grinned, his face lighting up. "So we're off to get Probie now Boss? Huh? Huh? Drag him out of that dark and dangerous nest of Dungeons and Dragons? I hope they didn't totally re geek our McGeek? I think I was really starting to wear off on him, he was getting kind of cool there for a while … not that I would say he would ever be totally cool… but you know he wasn't as bad as he used to be."
Ziva smirked "You think McGee is cool?!"
Tony frowned "Hey. Don't you tell him I said that! No Ziva I didn't say McGee is cool. I SAID he was better than he was. Boss tell Ziva that I didn't say McGee is cool!"
Gibb just ignored them and shook his head. Why had he missed this so much?
"Now the Fonz, he was cool"
'What is a Fonz? It sounds like a furry thing you get stuck under your refrigerator?"
"Oh Ziva! Don't tell me you have never heard of Arthur Fonzirelli? Happy Days? The beginning of Ron Howard? Heyyyyyyyy" Tony banged his hand on the side of the seat and looked expectantly at Ziva sitting in the back seat who just shook her head.
Gibbs interrupted the lesson about to begin.
"Yeah I wanted to take you guys over to McGee's place and see if we can get him to leave CCU"
"What do you mean get him to leave CCU? He has got to be busting to get out of Nerdsville. Besides I have all these things I wanted to do to him….. ahhhhh show him.'
Ziva shook her head smirking. "Tony has a journal, Gibbs. He has written in all these practical jokes that he plans to play on McGee. He has diagrams of toilets, the Evidence Lock up, the Bullpen and even samples of plastic wrap. He has used colored pen to represent falling Caff Pow in some sort of flow diagram. He even has a separate section for Superglue. Oh and what could be added into breakfast burritos with a star rating for how disgusting each thing is."
Tony pouted "Since when did I give you a reason to snoop through my personal stuff Ziii vaaa? Besides that dreadful Ship you rescued me from was very boring. My cabin was small and cold and lonely. And so what if sometimes late at night to make myself happy I would think of my old buddy McGee and….."
"The last thing you thought about at night before going to sleep was MCGEE?"
"Hey! You two. Cut it out for a minute. Look there is something I wanted to talk to you about. I always figured that McGee would be the easiest to bring back into the team so I concentrated on you two. But I have to say that lately when I have seen him he has seemed really happy. I mean he has helped me out on the side where he could to get you guys back but I don't know maybe he has found his niche at CCU?"
This news met with stunned silence from the other occupants of the car.
"What do you mean really happy?" Tony asked suspiciously
"What do you think I mean? Happy. You know happy Tony? They have had some new hot shot running the Department lately and it sounds like they have been kicking some pretty big butts in there. Did you know that McGee has picked up two commendations for his file in the last three months?"
Ziva and Tony looked at each other. They spoke to McGee often but he had never mentioned this to them. Then again it wasn't something McGee would really ever brag about.
"So what are you saying Boss?"
"Look I'm just saying that if it turns out that McGee doesn't want to come back with us and be part of the team again then…. Well we need to respect his wishes. Ok?"
"Tony! I know you want him around. And I do too but if he is happy and doing well where he is I don't want you two making him feel bad. I'm sure Abby will give him enough grief as it is. I'm just saying this now as there is a real chance he might say no."
Gibbs knocked on the door of McGee's apartment. Tony's previous enthusiasm had deflated a bit in the car but he had ramped back up to energetic puppy at the idea of actually seeing McGee for the first time in months.
"Hey Boss. What are you doing here on a Saturda…" Tim swung open the door before a huge smile split his face.
"Tony! Ziva! What are you guys doing here?"
Gibbs found himself the recipient of a group hug in the rather small doorway as McGee came forward towards him and Tony and Ziva leapt in from behind.
"Come in.. come in! Oh it's so great to see you guys! Are you here on a holiday or something?" McGee ushered them grinning into his tiny apartment.
Gibbs smiled "Nope. Actually they are back permanently. And we're here to ask if…"
"Tim? Have you seen my bracelet? I thought I left it on the dresser beside the bed but I can't…."
Tony's eyes danced delightedly as a beautiful dark haired woman still wet from the shower and wrapped in only a towel stepped out of McGee's bedroom. Confronted with the sudden crowd she trailed off and suddenly her eyes went wide.
Tony and Ziva just looked at each other as Tim blushed and stuttered. Mystery woman knew Gibbs?
Gibbs just looked at Rebecca and her attire with surprise and then turned to look at McGee who was attempting to put an explaining sentence together and was failing miserably. Gibbs grinned and clapped McGee on the back shaking his head.
"Oh allow me to do the introductions. Special Agent Anthony DiNozzo, Officer Ziva David allow me to introduce you to Rebecca Wylde, Head of Operations for the Cyber Crimes Unit."
Gibbs smiled at Tony and Ziva and just to make sure they understood the situation spelled it out nice and clearly for them.
"This is McGee's new Boss"
Tony's jaw dropped and he gave McGee a punch on the shoulder "You dirty dog you!"
Rebecca blushed and adjusted her hold on her towel so she could shake Ziva's hand.
"Um Hi. It's nice to meet you. Tim talks a lot about you guys"
Rebecca stood there for a moment awkwardly as everyone looked from her to Tim and waited for someone to break the silence.
"Please excuse me. I think I might go put some clothes on." Rebecca with a blush ducked back into McGee's bedroom and quickly closed the door. Gibbs, Tony and Ziva rounded on McGee who stepped back until he was pinned by the edge of his kitchen counter.
Tony grinned delighted at McGee's embarrassment.
"Oh you have been a bad boy Timmy, haven't you? How long have you been ….you know…. With THE BOSS?" Tony wiggled his eyebrows and made an obscure shape with his hands and McGee turned an even brighter shade of red.
Gibbs just stood back and smirked. Well it would explain why McGee had seemed so happy lately. And she was a very attractive woman, smart too. Still he wouldn't have picked McGee as the type to have an affair at work.
Ziva elbowed Tony and smiled encouragingly at McGee. "Tony! Stop teasing him and let him speak."
Tim took a deep breath "Well actually about 24 hours BEFORE I knew she was going to be my Boss."
The other three considered that for a moment before Gibbs interrupted with a frown. "Wait 24 hours before? So that would make it …"
Tim bit his lip nervously "I picked her up in a bar the evening of the Directors Funeral."
Tony laughed while Gibbs glared at him for the inappropriateness of it. "Damn McGee. You seem to do well at funerals don't you?"
Tim wished the floor would open up and swallow him. He knew everyone would find out eventually but still.. why now? In fact what were they doing in his apartment on a Saturday?
"Can I ask what you guys are doing here anyway?" Tim attempted to turn the tables.
"Oh no you can't get out of this that easily. So you have been dating your Boss this whole time?" Tony stuck his finger repeatedly into McGee's chest.
"Actually…. We have been anti dating" Rebecca came out of the bedroom dressed in jeans and a smart blue shirt. She crossed the room and wrapped her arms around McGee and smiled up at him, making it clear that she wasn't going anywhere.
Ziva frowned "Anti dating?" Perhaps she had misheard?
Tim laughed and even Tony could sense his delight.
"Yeah. Well given the situation we didn't want to like each other so we tried to find reasons it wouldn't work. Let's see there was the ice skating….. the Monster Truck Rally……the Hat Making Class……..the Croquet Tournament …. The Poison Concert….."
Tony interrupted "Wait Monster Truck Rally? Poison? Since when did you like Poison Probie?"
McGee gave Tony one of his patented sighs "That's the point Tony. I don't like them… or well I didn't… but I do now. Becky got picked out of the crowd… when they did that song She's My Cherry Pie? They put her up on the big screen. It was so cool."
Rebecca and Tim laughed together as they stood in their embrace and they could all see that this was no casual fling. Ziva even looked a little envious at their relaxed familiarity.
"Here. Look." McGee reached over and picked up a picture frame and showed it to Tony. It was a picture of Rebecca looking gorgeous in skin tight jeans and tiny Monster Truck Rally tank top with her hair wild and loose next to the lead guitarist.
"Rwwwlll" Tony made an appreciative growling sound and Tim glared at him and instinctively tightened his hold on Rebecca before Tony put the picture down and backed away his hands up.
"Easy there big fella!" Tony laughed
Gibbs figured the Probie torture had gone on long enough and thought he should step in.
"Look McGee we didn't come here to ruin your weekend plans. And if you don't want us to say anything about you and Rebecca that's ok too. It's none of our business. We just wanted to know if you would be interested in coming back across into the team and being a field agent again."
Gibbs didn't miss the way McGee's eyes lit up and he knew his answer before he even said anything.
"Yes! That would be great!" McGee grinned stupidly at everyone.
"Oh man. I was hoping this would happen. You would not believe what I have learnt the last couple of months! Oh…. Oh you know what this means?" Tim turned to Rebecca and picking her up whirled her around in his arms forcing everyone to step back.
"You won't be my Boss anymore!"
"No more Anti dates!" Rebecca laughed delightedly
"We can go to dinner in a normal restaurant…." Tim was excited at the prospect. He hated sneaking around and was a terrible liar at the best of times.
"I don't have to watch what I say to you at work all the time…" Rebecca felt the relief wash over her.
"I don't have to pretend that I don't love you."
A sudden silence fell over the group as Tim suddenly realized what he had said. Tony's eyes grew wide as he watched. Woah.
Rebecca took a deep breath and suddenly launched herself into Tim's arms and kissed him passionately.
"Uhmmm" Gibbs cleared his throat which was ignored by the couple it was directed at who simply continued the kiss.
Tony couldn't wipe the smile off his face. Damn McGee.
"Ok people you've seen enough. Move it along." He herded Gibbs and Ziva out of the apartment with a grin.
Just as he was about to close the door Tony stuck his head back in. "So we will see you Monday then Probie?"
McGee still in mid kiss in the middle of his apartment gave Tony a thumbs up. Laughing Tony shut the door behind him.
Damn it was good to have the team back together again.