Gibbs and Jenny-Five months after the events of 'Requiem'.
Gibbs picked up the slick sheet newsletter set atop the mail just deposited on his desk. He half smiled when he saw the headline. The smile very quickly became a frown as he scanned the photos and text on the front page. He looked diagonally across to see his senior field agent engrossed in something on his computer screen. He picked up the newsletter and headed up the stairs.
Gibbs entered Director Sheppard's office, slapped the newsletter down on her desk and stabbed it with an index finger.
"You need to have somebody explain this."
Jenny picked it up and glanced at it briefly before placing it back on her desk.
"It's only the fifth time you've missed out in fifteen years, Jethro. You can't expect to be chosen as a finalist every time."
"You know damn well I couldn't care less whether my name's on there or not."
"Then why did you barge in here breathing fire?"
"Why isn't DiNozzo on there? None of them come close to doing what he did."
"I don't remember you submitting his name for consideration."
"I knew you would."
"The nominations were open, Jethro. If you thought he deserved the award, you should have nominated him yourself. Did you ever mention to him you thought he should get it?"
"No. He knows I don't believe in it."
"Then why are you so upset he's not in the running?"
"Because he deserves it!"
"Yes, he does," Jenny agreed.
"It doesn't bother you that he's getting screwed over this way?" Gibbs asked.
"What bothers me is that you're standing there raging over something that you claim is meaningless."
"It's meaningless to me because I'm not a glory hound."
"And, Tony is?"
"You know what I mean, Jen."
She smiled and nodded.
"I did try to nominate Tony. I had everything ready to go-the scene photos, my recommendation typed, the forms all filled out. Only one thing kept me from sending it on. All submissions have to be accompanied by witness affidavits. I'm sure they would have interviewed you at some point as part of the selection process. But, Tony was the only witness to everything that happened. I asked him to type it up and turn it in but he kept putting it off. Right before the deadline, I cornered him and told him I had to have it that day or I couldn't submit his name for the award. He shrugged, said 'Maybe next year.' and walked away. He essentially blocked his own nomination."
"He knows how you feel about attention and awards. Maybe he wants to be like you when he grows up."
Gibbs scowled and Jenny smiled.
"I don't know, Jethro. Speaking solely as Director, I was relieved the whole incident wasn't going to be put under a spotlight. It would have been awkward for both the agency and you personally. You're right. Tony should have won this year. Which would have meant the Meritorious Civilian Award would go to one agent for saving a rogue fellow agent from his own pigheaded st-"
"I don't embarrass easy, Jen," Gibbs interrupted her. "Both I and the agency could have taken the heat if there even was any. Tony knows that."
"I'm sure he does. As I said, I don't know why he did it. Why don't you ask him? You two can have a nice long talk about it. I'm sure you've already discussed the whole incident at length. Admitted that it was your decisions that put you all at risk. That you've eloquently expressed your appreciation of Tony going above and beyond, risking his life to save yours." She paused.
"In two words or less."