A/N: Not mine, they belong to CBS and Don Bellisario, I'm just borrowing them.

So this is my first NCIS story and it's set pre-series and my version of how Tony got hired. For the past six season neither man had ever really talked about how they met and how Tony got hired so I was wondering if it's because they are not pleasant memories. Also I was wondering about Tony's anger towards Agent Lee in 'Dagger' I mean he had every right to be angry with her but he seemed very angry at her and I wondered if it was his first encounter with a mole/traitor in a job that he worked at.

So I really hope that all the characters are not too ooc and any mistakes are mine since this is un-betaed. Also, there is some coarse language.

"Agent Gibbs, I thought that you would be halfway to DC by now."

"Just wanted to pay my respects, Daniels was a good cop."

"One of the best," replied Simmons sadly. The Baltimore police captain looked liked he had aged ten years in the past two days but Gibbs couldn't blame him, losing an officer in the line of duty due to a dirty cop would do that to a man. "Damn good teacher too, his former rookies are now some of my best officers thanks to him."

Gibbs nodded his agreement. He had never worked with the veteran detective before but he saw the way the man worked and taught his junior partner on the job. Glancing at the captain's desk he noticed a badge and service weapon sitting in the middle and one look at Simmons' face told Gibbs that they weren't his. Gibbs was pretty sure he knew who they belonged to.

"Did you really think he'd stay?" asked the captain confirming Gibbs' suspicions. After seeing him at Daniels' funeral Gibbs knew immediately that he wouldn't stay, he'd seen that defeated look more times than he cared to remember on fellow soldiers, if they survived the combat they took their exit the first chance they could.

"So what happens to Mallow now?" asked Gibbs choosing to ignore Simmons' question.

"Internal affairs has already opened up an investigation, it's too early to tell if there'll be a trial but one thing's for sure, his career is effectively over. By the time this is done there won't be a precinct in Maryland or anywhere else that'll hire him, he's dirty and no precinct would be willing to put its officers at risk by hiring him. I doubt that there would be a federal agency willing to hire him either."

The nod in the affirmative from Gibbs answered Simmons' unspoken question. "And DiNozzo?"

"Won't be the last to hand in his resignation, he's just the first, there are others who will probably quit and more who will request a transfer. Daniels was well liked by everyone, Agent Gibbs, and his death hit everyone pretty hard but it hit DiNozzo the hardest. No one's holding his leaving against him, losing a partner because of dirty cop is something no one is ever prepared for. If it wasn't for Mallow's involvement I think that we could have stood a chance but that bastard's involvement in Daniels' death just tainted all the memories of Baltimore for DiNozzo."

"What makes you think you had a chance at keeping him here after Daniels' death?"

"Oh I knew all about DiNozzo's wandering feet but I also saw the potential the kid had and so did Thom so he asked for the kid to be his partner. They got along great, really bonded, and Daniels had been working on convincing DiNozzo to stay here even after he retired. You know, before all this shit went down I'm pretty sure that DiNozzo would have stayed but now there's not a snowball's chance in hell that he'd stay. It's a damn shame too; the kid has a lot potential that can't be developed if he changes jobs every two years. All he needs is someone to convince him to stick around and for us that person was Thom."

"Sounds like you've got the kid all figured out."

At that the police captain chuckled. "Not by a long shot, but I saw bits of myself in him. When I was younger I changed jobs a lot trying to find that right fit and the one person willing to take a chance on me, I was hoping that Baltimore would be that right fit and as far as I know Thom was the first partner of his that was willing to take a chance on him." Simmons took a file out of the cabinet behind his desk and then handed it to Gibbs. "Maybe he'll find the right fit with you."

At first Gibbs was stunned but then gave Simmons an appreciate smile and handshake; he always knew that he liked the Baltimore police captain for a reason. Just as he was about to leave Simmons' voice stopped him.

"Just one more thing, take care of him, will you?"

Gibbs nodded before shutting the door.


Gibbs found the now ex-Baltimore detective sitting on a park bench ten minutes from the station. The former marine took a minute to study the man before him Mark was right, the events of the past two days had tainted DiNozzo's memories of Baltimore. Even though the two had met over a crime scene that had personal connection for the young detective DiNozzo had tried his hardest to keep up appearances, even flashing Gibbs a small smile when he had all but demanded jurisdiction but now the other man didn't even acknowledge Gibbs' presence. Anthony DiNozzo gave off the air of someone knocked down by life one too many times and considering the past three weeks Gibbs couldn't argue with that. For a long time neither man said anything, Gibbs noticed that he was still wearing the same black suit he had worn to his partner's funeral and he wondered if the kid had been home at all seeing as it was now close to six in the evening.

"Thought you'd be back in Washington by now Agent Gibbs," said Tony breaking the silence.

"Had some loose ends I had to tie up," he replied before letting the silence return again. "So I heard you quit," he continued after the silence had stretched to five minutes.

"I can't stay here anymore, Gibbs," the other man replied in a voice that betrayed the battle he was waging to keep his emotions in check.

"Never said you had to. Have you given any thought to where you'd go next?"

"Dunno," he said shrugging. "Miami's nice and so is Boston. Right now I don't want to think about it."

"Fair enough but when you do start to think about it you should think about being an agent," Gibbs said as he handed Tony his card. "I think you'd like it, maybe you could find where you fit with us."

"That's one of the first things Thom ever told me after the captain said we'd be partners."


Silence reigned again and Gibbs wondered if he should say something comforting. He didn't do emotional stuff and trying to find out what to say to someone who just lost their partner because of some asshole on the force definitely counted as emotional. He sorely wished that Ducky hadn't gone back to DC right after the funeral; Ducky would know what to say in a situation like this. Tony wasn't giving him any hints but then again Gibbs wasn't expecting him too, from what he could glean from watching the two interact Thom had to needle a bit to get anything of substance out of the young detective. Finally deciding that it was silly for him to just sit there in silence he moved to throw his empty coffee cup and gave DiNozzo's shoulder a gentle squeeze before he started back to the station. He had barely made it two feet before Tony spoke.

"I'll think about it, okay?"

"That's all I'm asking for, Tony."


"Ah Jethro, welcome back. How was your meeting with the captain?"

"Good Duck, how was the drive back?"

"Fine. How is detective DiNozzo coping?

"Ex-detective now, Duck, DiNozzo quit but other than quitting he's doing as well as can be expected."

"So what will the young lad do now?"

"Dunno yet, he hasn't really wanted to think about it but I offered him a spot here."

"Do you think he'll accept?"

"Oh yeah."