Spoilers: Ice Queen Meltdown

A/N: NavyNCISFF Episode Challenge.

The Song is Ended

By Lizabeth S. Tucker

The military flight back to D.C. was extremely uncomfortable for Vivian Blackadder and it wasn't just the hard seats. Gibbs still wasn't talking to her. Even Tony's support was minimal beyond his statement in Tunis that he still liked her. She pushed her unruly red hair back from her face, wondering how to speak to the senior agent. She kept leaning forward, darting glances across Tony DiNozzo at the silver-haired agent across the aisle, working on building up her courage to speak.

"Viv, just sit back and enjoy the trip."

Despite his closeness, she could barely hear Tony's voice over the roar of the plane's engines. "I just want to…"

"Don't even try. You'll tick him off."

"But I need to explain what happened." She was shocked when Tony grabbed her arm and shook it.

"You may be a rookie with NCIS, but you were an agent long enough with the FBI to know better than to pull what you did." He leaned even closer, his usual flirtatious and handsome face almost frighteningly cold. "You could've gotten us killed. We were all that stood between that bomb and another Cole. Whose brother would've died then?" Tony released her arm, leaning back against his seat.

She swallowed painfully, still feeling the imprint of his fingers on her arm. Vivian rubbed at the tingling flesh. "I'm off the team, aren't I?"

Special Agent Tony DiNozzo sighed, fatigue oozing from every pore. "Viv, drop it."

"Please, Tony. Tell me. You know Gibbs better than anyone else. I need to know."

Tony looked across the aisle at Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs, seemingly sound asleep. He knew the former Marine probably was sleeping, but would be awake instantly if he felt or heard anything off. Grimacing, he leaned closer in an effort to keep the conversation private. "If you asked him right this minute, I'd say you would definitely be feeling his boot up your ass all the way back to the Feebies."

Vivian winced. "And by the time we arrive home?"

"Who knows? Don't expect to stay on Gibbs' team."

"I made a mistake, okay, but everyone does once in their careers."

"A mistake in our job can mean lives, Viv." Tony blew his breath out. "But in this case the mistake wasn't only yours."

"What do you mean?" She asked the dark haired man.

"I made the decision to bring you with me. That was my call."

It never occurred to Vivian that Tony could be in trouble with Gibbs. "I'm sorry, Tony, I didn't think…"

"That's exactly the point, Blackadder, you didn't think." Gibbs didn't open his eyes as he spoke. "Take DiNozzo's advice and leave it until we get back to D.C."

Frustrated, she finally flopped back into her seat and closing her own eyes.

Sometime later after Vivian Blackadder was fitfully asleep, Tony quietly and carefully moved to sit beside Gibbs. He waited for Gibbs to acknowledge his presence, not wanting to tempt the older man to rip him a new one.

"You really want to keep her with us?" Gibbs asked softly, opening his blue eyes to stare at Tony. "Can you trust her to watch your six?"

"Honestly?"

"Wouldn't have it any other way."

Tony glanced over the aisle at her before shaking his head. "No. She's just too much a suit. She can't think out of the box. Don't get me wrong, I feel for her, losing her brother and all, but frankly, she's a liability we can't afford. Especially since we'll be losing Dobbs on Monday."

"Hawkins is back from sick leave?" Gibbs asked, referring to Special Agent Dobbs' actual team leader.

"Yeah, he caught up with me as Viv and I were leaving the Navy Yard."

"We'll be shorthanded if I cut Blackadder loose." Having only two people on a team meant the brunt of work would fall on Tony.

Tony's grin showed his lack of concern. "We've done it before, Gibbs. We can handle it until we find someone else to join the best team in NCIS." Tony slumped down in his seat, a teasing smile on his face. "Told you not to pick a redhead."

"Yeah, yeah. Go to sleep, DiNozzo." Gibbs shut his eyes and immediately drifted off himself.

With a snort of laughter, Tony pulled his cell phone out and began playing Tetris. It was a long flight back home.

February 2009