Disclaimer: I do not own NCIS or any recognizable characters. I make no profit.

A/N: I thought that Tony was a bit mean to McGee in this scene from Kill Ari (Part 1) so I thought I'd write out a possible reason why. I suppose this is based on that old saying 'it's not what you say, it's the way you say it'. Don't usually do angst, this was my first attempt that I abandoned and came back to so please review it would be helpful. Thanks, Ange.

Nice Just Doesn't Cut It

He was too harsh. He knew that now. He had stood right in front of the man he considered to be his little brother and sneered at him and hit him and glared at him until his voice broke and his eyes teared up.

"How's he know it's a full metal jacket?" Probie had asked him with hesitance and curiosity evident in his tone, obviously trying not to think about what that Lapua .308 full metal jacket did.

"Didn't you see Kate?" he said it quietly, looking away from McGee's face and then flickering his gaze back for the answer of his question, even though he knew very well that he hadn't.

"I didn't want to."

"Her head was intact," again he said it quietly, baiting the kid in a way, just waiting for a reason to snap at him and be snide, even though he didn't really want to.

"Oh, so she didn't look bad?" McGee whispered in a hopeful kind of tone, the poor bumbling little Probie, took the bait hook line and sinker and gave him the exact opening he needed.

He waited for a second, ashamed at the way he was thinking, knowing that Kate would have never approved of the way he was treating the guy they considered to be their younger brother, and knowing that if anyone else was saying these things to him, that he'd shoot them right there on the spot.

"No. No, not at all Probie. In fact, a little mortuary putty right here and she'll be good as new," he poked the kid right in the forehead and watched his face crumple a little, eyes shining a little brighter with what he expected to be tears as his tone became harsher, "Of course, she was having a bad hair day, though, right back here. Cause a full metal jacket will put a hole the size of a grapefruit right about there."

First he waved a hand behind his head and then he slapped the back of the kids, watching with a malicious sort of grim expression as a tear threatened to fall from the mans eye and he wiped it away quickly, "Tony. Please."

"Sorry, kid," he whispered quietly, never imagining that his voice could sound so…so fake when he meant something so much, I really am sorry, Tim, he wanted to say, but he couldn't.

Probie's time would come for that, but the boss had to be dealt with first. Nice just wasn't cutting it in this situation, Tony found. Not with the boss, and not with McGee. Harsh would get these things done. Harsh was necessary. But he had been too harsh. He knew that now.