This is just a ONE-SHOT.
Also I do not own NCIS or any of it's charcters. They belong to CBS and Bellsario.
Hope you enjoy the story!
Gibbs swore loudly as he punched the wall of the hallway leading from the director's office. He had known it was a lost cause. The agency wouldn't pay a ransom. They never had before and he knew they wouldn't this time. But what other choice did he have than to ask? What else was there to do?
He would gladly pay it himself, but where would he get the money? Fifty thousand dollars is what they had asked for or as they had said they would never see Tony again. At least not alive.
Gibbs closed his eyes as he reached the doors to the elevator and angrily punched the call button. This could not be happening. Not now. Not ever. Not to was something that only happened in those movies and TV shows that Tony always watched.
He slammed his fist into the yet unopened elevator doors.
He was, he would admit, worried..........and scared. And he never felt so helpless. Having one of his agents in trouble and unable to do something about it made him angry with himself. There just had to be something! Something that would help Tony. Something to get him back. And yet he drew a blank.
The doors dinged, signaling their being open and he stepped in hitting the button for to the floor with Abby's lab.
He looked at his watch. They had four hours left until they kidnappers would be waiting for the ransom to be handed over to them. Five hours since Tony had been taken.
He felt the sense of guilt wash over him again. He had been the one to send Tony out there in the first place.
A call had come in this morning from someone claiming to have witnessed a murder of his neighbor who was in the Army. They had been heading out to Quantico to investigate the scene where the body of a Navy Captain had been found. And besides it had sounded kinda shakey, so Gibbs figured it was best to send just one agent out.
They had come back from the scene and when Tony hadn't shown up by lunch, Gibbs had called to see what he had found. Only to find Tony's cell go to his voice mail. He had dropped the sandwich that Ziva had picked up for their lunch break and drove to Elmer street where the man had claimed to live to find the company car Tony had driven, but no DiNozzo. All of the eight houses stood empty except for two. Both of the owners said there was no Charles Kelper or Army Sergeant Chris Calinam who lived on the street. Gibbs had looked around quickly. The only sign of what happened was a scuff mark or two in the dirt not to far from where the car Tony had driven was parked.
Driving back to the Navy Yard at top speed, Gibbs ordered McGee to trace the earlier call to the Navy Yard only to find it thoroughly erased and covered.
An hour later of trying to find a lead with absolutely nothing to go on they had gotten another call from the supposed Charles Kelper, voice different this time, muffled sounding. He demanded fifty thousand delivered to a specific drop off within the next several hours or they would kill DiNozzo.
Their call completely hidden and off grid as before, McGee had babbled something about some expert program and anti tracing mechanism they were using but Gibbs had tuned him out.
The next thing they did was hand over their first case to another team, to put all of their efforts into finding the missing agent, but to no avail.
Gibbs had put off going to the director asking that the ransom be paid because he knew what the answer would be.
And he had just been proved right when Director Vance had given him a firm 'no' and then proceeded to give Gibbs' a lecture on dealing out ransoms to unidentified persons for a single agent. Gibbs left before had really even started. He didn't have time to listen to that bull, he had a man in trouble and had only a short time left to either find the money to pay the ransom or find someway to trace the kidnappers and retrieve him.
Sighing through his nose as the elevator reached it's stop and opened, he prepared himself to be engulfed by Abby who was pretty much inconsolable ever since Tony had been taken.
He was surprised when he reached her lab to find the music blaring, the computers and machines running whatever Abby had set them to do, but no Abby.
With a worried frown, Gibbs went back to the elevator to try Autopsy next.
He reached the designated spot to find all the red lights flashing, signalling a contaminated body in the autopsy room. Except there were no bodies for Ducky to work on, the body they had this morning was handed over to another ME when Gibbs let the case change hands.
Walking up to the doors, Gibbs eyebrows shot up when he not only saw Ducky and Palmer, but Ziva, McGee, and Abby inside all around one of the empty tables.
He knocked on the sealed doors, causing the group to jump in surprise. Ducky walked over, hitting a button on the wall, unsealing the doors and allowing Gibbs to enter.
"Jethro, we expected your meeting with the director to be longer." Ducky said, resealing the doors after Gibbs had stepped inside.
"Obviously." he said, glancing around at them.
"Oh, we weren't tyring to keep you out, Gibbs." Abby said quickly, "We were trying to keep Vance out."
Gibbs rose an eyebrow.
"What did the director say about the ransom?" McGee asked.
"No." Gibbs said, still eyeing the rooms occupants.
"As we figured." Ducky sighed.
"Care to explain this?" Gibbs said, gesturing to them and the flashing light.
"We kinda figured Vance would turn down the ransom, so we were trying to come up with a plan and we didn't want him finding out. Chancs our he wouldn't be too happy if he did." Abby said, making a face.
"And you used the contamination signal?" Gibbs asked with a smirk.
"It was Anthony's idea." Ducky answered.
At Gibbs raised eyebrow he went on to explain.
"While you were in Mexico and the FBI were here after Ziva. It was Tony's idea to use this as our.....what did he call it?"
"Curato De Reunion en secreto." Abby supplied. At Gibbs curious stare, she added "It means 'secret meeting room' in Italian."
"Yes, that's what it was. How did you remember that Abigale?" Ducky asked.
"Duck." Gibbs said simply.
"Oh right. Well, anyway, we used the same technique to discuss how to help Ziva without anyone unwanted ears eaves dropping."
With a quick smirk, Gibbs joined them at the table, getting back to the subject on hand, "Come up with anything?"
"We have been trying think of a way to pay for the ransom ourselves." Ziva said.
"Except we only came up with about Twenty thousand. Which isn't nearly enough." McGee finished.
"Twenty?" Gibbs asked, surprised at the high amount.
"Well, I, uh, still had a decent amount in my account from Deep Six and Rock Hollow." McGee supplied, face reddening slightly.
Gibbs gave him a small, proud grin before turning back to the problem.
"We still need thirty thousand. You have any idea how we're gonna get that?"
"No. That's the problem. We don't no where to get the rest." Abby vented.
"We have thought of selling some of our things. But there is not enough time." Ziva said.
Gibbs head snapped in her direction.
"What did you say?" he asked.
"I said we thought about getting rid of some of our things to pay for Tony's ransom." she said, looking confused.
"No, you said 'sell'." Gibbs said, stareing at her a few seconds before striding towards the door.
"Withdraw the money, but then come straight back here. And whatever you do, don't let Vance know what you're up to." he said, hitting the button as he walked by to unseal the doors. "I have an idea."
"What?" Ziva asked, "What is the idea?" But the only answer she received was the sound of the elevator doors, signaling Gibbs' leave.
She turned back to the group who all shrugged, just as confused as she was.
Gibbs rode the elevator, cursing it's slowness. He tore threw the doors after they had barely opened, grabbing his keys off his desk, this time taking the stairs out of impatience with the elevator. He rushed through the parking garage to his Yellow Challenger. Jumping in the seat, he started the car and raced out of the garage at top speed.
He knew just what to do, and he only had three and half hours left to do it. He was not going to lose another agent, not again. He was determined on that. And whoever thought they could get away with taking his agent and threatening his life was dead wrong. Literally. He would make sure they payed for what they were making his people and himself go trough. He would make sure of that.
And when they got DiNozzo back if there was so much as bruise on him, Gibbs swore he was going to make them die a slow and painful death.
No one got away with hurting his agents.
Over two hours later, and with only ninety minutes until time for the drop off, Gibbs hurried back onto the Navy Yard and back to autopsy, a briefcase with the needed amount in hand.
The team was still all there, the only sign that they had left at one point was a duffel bag now on one of the tables.
He knocked on the door again and Palmer hit the button, allowing him to enter. Stalking into the room, hitting the button as he walked in. He dropped the briefcase on the table with the duffel bag.
"This the money you withdrew?" he asked, unzipping the bag.
"Yes, it is." Ziva answered, following the others as the came over to the table with the rest of the team.
Gibbs nodded, undoing the lock on the briefcase and putting the rest of the fifty thousand in the duffel.
"Uh, boss, where did you get all that?" McGee asked.
Gibbs paused, looking over to him a moment.
"Right, none of my business." he said quickly.
Gibbs went back to putting the money in the bag, finishing, he zipped it up.
"I'm going to head out there. I don't want them getting impatient. They might decide the money's not worth it." he said, grabbing the duffel.
"Where will we be, boss?" McGee asked, indicating himself and Ziva.
"You'll be here. With Abby, Ducky, and Palmer." Gibbs said.
"But, Gibbs, what about your backup?" Ziva asked.
"I'm not taking any, Officer David."
"But Gibbs you---"
"If I bring any backup they'll shoot Tony. Do you really want that, Officer David?" Gibbs asked, eyes narrowing.
"No, of course not, but I do not want you getting shot either!" she argued. "I am coming with you!"
"No, you're not. You are going to stay here until I come back. With Tony. Do I make myself clear?" he said in deathly whisper, addressing the room at large.
"So we are just supposed to let them get away with this?!" Ziva asked, angrily.
"Why, yes, Officer David. We are just going to let someone who had kidnapped a federal agent take the ransom and head to Cuba to live it up." he said sarcastically.
"Then what do we do?" she asked.
"Well, if had let me finish you would know wouldn't you?" he asked.
"You have a plan?" she asked, curious now.
He stared at her.
"Of course you had a plan." she sighed.
Gibbs shook his head, exasperatedly. He understood her position, she wanted to help, they all did. But he already had an idea, now they just had to listen.
"Now I want you two to go up to the squadroom and keep an eye out for Vance. I'll call you when I have DiNozzo back, then I want you to call the local LEO's and have them set up road blocks." he said to Ziva and McGee. "Abby, keep a trace on my cell just in case." she nodded quickly, "Palmer, you know anything about computers?"
"Uh...I...a little bit, sir....er, Agent Gibbs."
"Good. Go with Abby, help her."
"Yes, sir Agent Gibbs."
"Ducky, you wait till I'm gone, then you wait with Ziva and McGee in the squadroom. If Vance get suspicious, distract him."
"You'll come up with something." Gibbs said matter-of-factly. "All right everyone, let's go." he said.
Palmer and Abby took the stairs to her lab, while McGee and Ziva headed for the elevator. Gibbs made to follow them only to have Ducky grab his arm.
"Jethro, where did you really get the money?" he asked quietly.
"Duck, I don't have time for this." he said.
Sighing, Gibbs answered, "I sold my car. A couple of car dealerships around here have been tyring to buy it from me. I took one of them up on their offer." he said.
Ducky looked surprised a moment before giving him a smile.
"Well done, Jethro."
"Yeah, thanks Duck. Can I go now?" he asked, raising eyebrow.
"Oh, of course." he said, letting go of his friend's arm.
Gibbs walked out of autopsy and stood by the doors, waiting for McGee to call. A minute later he got that call.
"Boss, it's clear. Vance was here, but Ziva and I got him to leave. He should be busy for at least twenty minutes."
"Good work, McGee." Gibbs praised, snapping the phone shut.
He rode the elevator, stopping at the parking garage, this time taking one of the company cars, heading to the meeting point.
'Ten more minutes'
Gibbs thought to himself, glancing at his watch for the hundredth time that hour.
He had been sitting in the car for at least an hour and a half now, waiting for them to show. He had been wrong about them being early, but it was just as well, this way he knew for sure he wouldn't miss them.
Sighing at the fact there wasn't any sign of life in the old warehouse and no sign of any coming from the open doors at either end.
Taking a sip of his now cold coffee, he said another silent prayer that they would not decide it was too big of a risk and not show at all.
Another five minutes later, his prayers were answered when a two thousand and three Volvo pulled in through the front door, pulling to a stop thirty feet from him.
Two men, both wearing black ski masks, stepped out of the car, but he didn't see DiNozzo.
"Get out of the car!" the man on the right yelled, while the man on the left pulled a gun out of his jacket pocket.
Gibbs opened the door slowly and stepped out, hands in the air to show he was unarmed.
"Well, you're here early, aren't you Agent....?" the man on the right asked, his voice unrecognisable.
"Gibbs." he said simply.
"Agent Gibbs, then. Do you have the money?" the man asked.
"Yup." Gibbs stated simply. They were crazy if they thought he was going to hand it over without even seeing DiNozzo first.
"Well, where is it?" the man with the gun snapped.
Okay, they were crazy. But then they must be to kidnap a federal agent. Especially one on Gibbs' team.
"In the car." Gibbs told them, gesturing to said vehicle.
"Well, get it!" the armed man snapped again.
"Not without seeing Agent DiNozzo first." he said in reply.
"Just get the money!" the man yelled.
'He's definitely got a short fuse. I'll have to be careful with him' Gibbs mused.
"Not without seeing my agent first." he said.
The man stared at him a moment before looking to his partner and gesturing his head to the Volvo. The other man nodded, going back to open the door to the back seat while the gunman kept his aim and eyes on Gibbs.
Gibbs' eyes, however, were on the second man as he pulled Tony from the back of the car and shoved him forward. He stumbled the entire way until the man dropped him to the ground between the two cars. Tony's hands were bound behind his back and there was a gag in his mouth. He eyes kept flickering open and closed every few seconds as he fought to stay conscious, there was a large gash that had bled slightly on his forehead where he had he had been hit with what Gibbs was guessing to be a bat or the butt of a gun.
Gibbs' eyes darkened at the thought of his agent having been hurt by these two morons. They were definitely going to pay for this, he would make sure they suffered painfully for it. They had no idea what they had gotten themselves into when they decided to kidnap and injure one of his agents.
"The money?" the gunman asked again.
"Trunk." Gibbs explained, motioning to the back of the car.
"Get it out, and if you try anything smart, I'll put a bullet in his skull." the gunman said nastily, aiming his gun at the now unconscious Tony on the ground.
Gibbs eyes narrowed at the man briefly as he again threatened his agent's life.
He slowly made his way around to the back of the car, opening the trunk and pulling out the duffel and walking back to stand in front of the two criminals.
"Now what?" Gibbs asked them, holding the bag up so it they could see it.
"Now, you're going to throw it to us, we're gonna get back in our car and leave. You're going to wait until we're out of here before you make a move. Otherwise we will kill him." the gunman said, waving his gun at Tony again to prove his point.
Gibbs nodded to show he had understood before tossing the bag so it landed in front of them. The first man rushed forward, grabbed the bag and got in the car.
"Not one move, or he's a dead man." the gunman said, still aiming for Tony as he slowly backed up and got in the car.
Gibbs eyes followed them as they drove at top speed, tires squealing, out of the warehouse. As soon as they were out of sight, Gibbs rushed over to Tony's still form.
"Hey, DiNozzo, wake up." he said, taking the gag from his mouth. "Come'on wake up. Tony. DiNozzo. Tony!" he yelled, giving the senior field agent a shake.
Tony mumbled something, his eyes trying to open, but again they closed as he was unable to regain consciousness.
Gibbs pulled his phone from his pocket and the knife he had hidden in his belt. He hit speed dial five for McGee's cell number, then held it in place with his shoulder so he could cut the rope around Tony's wrists.
After the third ring, McGee finally answered.
"McGee, call the LEO's, tell 'em to put up the roadblocks."
"On it boss. Is Tony okay?" he asked quickly.
"He's got a gash on his head. I'm gonna take him to the hospital." He said, putting the knife back, and untangling the ropes from around Tony's wrists.
"He got hit on the head, Gibbs is takeing him to the hospital," McGee said to someone else, "Okay, boss, we'll ---hey!"
"Gibbs," Abby's voice came through the line.
"Abby, give me my phone! Ow!"
"Be quiet, McGee, I'm talking with Gibbs." she said, "Which hospital are you taking him too?" she asked.
"George Washington's closest. Why?"
"We'll see you there." she said quickly
"Abby, you can't all leave, Vance is---"
"Oh, you don't have to worry about Vance. Ziva and I took care of him. He'll be gone for a long time."
Gibbs smirked, "I would ask what you two did to him, but with a combination of your mind and Ziva's Mossad skills, something tells me I don't really want to know, Abs."
"Okay, you're loss." she said in a sing-song voice, her usual cheerful attitude back now that she knew her friend would be okay.
With another smirk, Gibbs snapped the phone shut, tossing it back in his pocket. He looked down at Tony; his attempts to wake the agent had been unsuccessful. He had considered a headslap, but he more than likely had a concussion and he wasn't about to risk the younger man's health.
So instead Gibbs went back over to the car, opening the door to the back seat and grabbing the blanket that had been in the trunk and throwing it over the seat to make it more comfortable. He walked back over to the other agent and carefully lifted him off the ground and carried him to the back of the car and layed him across the seat.
Jumping in the front seat, the car already on, he headed for the hospital. He inwardly smirked when he thought of how DiNozzo would react to him only driving at forty miles an hour to prevent further injury to the younger man. Best not tell him, Gibbs decided, he would never hear the end of it.
The ride to the hospital taking three times as long as it usually did for Gibbs, he finally pulled into the parking lot. Going around to the backseat, he picked Tony up and carried him in through the automatic door leading to the ER.
Grateful when one of the nurses rushed over, while yelling to one of the doctors about a gurney, Gibbs explained Tony's condition and that he hadn't been able to wake him. Within less then a minute, they had Tony on the gurney and were taking him back for X-rays. The nurse saying he would be able to check on Tony after X-rays had been taken, which shouldn't take long.
Finally agreeing to wait a few minutes, Gibbs took a seat in view of the doors to wait for the rest of the team.
Ziva must have driven because in less than five minutes the rest of the team along with Ducky, Abby, and Palmer filed in through the doors.
"Gibbs!" Abby's squealed upon seeing the senior agent, rushing to give him a hug, "Where's Tony?" she asked, looking around.
"In X-ray. They'll be done soon." he promised.
"Ah, boss. The LEO's called, they caught the kidnappers." McGee said."They're being transferred to one of our interrogation rooms as we speak."
"Good job, McGee." Gibbs praised, nodding.
"Well, there is one thing, boss. They, uh, they already put the money into an account and transferred it. We might be able to trace it but there isn't any guarantee. Sorry about your money, boss." he said, apologetically.
"Don't worry about it, McGee, it's just money." Gibbs assured, shrugging and McGee nodded.
"Jethro, did Anthony have any other injures than the blow to his head?" Ducky asked.
"Not that I could see, Duck." he said.
"If the kidnappers hit---" Ziva started to say before promptly shutting her mouth when one of the white-clad nurses walked up to them. Gibbs raised a questioning eyebrow to her when he recognized her as the nurse who had assisted them when he had first brought Tony in.
"We took the X-rays and there was no fractures to his skull, but he does have a mild concussion. If he has someone to stay with him, he'll be able to go home tonight. Which I'm sure he would enjoy." the nurse spoke to Gibbs.
"He is awake?" Ziva asked.
"Oh yes, and already trying to charm his way out of the hospital without permission. He almost had Carla, his assisting nurse, convinced. Until Doctor Bradley caught him and exchanged nurse Carla with nurse Jason." she replied with a smile.
The team all had a good chuckle at that, including Gibbs
"Can we go back and see him?" Abby asked with excitement.
"Of course you can." the nurse smiled at her, "Follow me." she said leading the way.
"If you know of any family or friends he may have to stay with him, I'll have someone fetch the realese forms." she said, leading them through a set of white, double doors.
"He'll have someone." Gibbs assured.
"Good. I'll have Jason retrieve the forms." she said.
Gibbs smirked again at the thought of the male nurse and DiNozzo's probable reaction.
She opened a door for them that led into an examination room. Tony setting up on the examination table, several stitches and a bandage covering the cut on his head, eyeing the nurse Jason with a wary look. Jason for his part was standing across the room, looking as if he was resisting the urge to laugh at the patient's reaction.
"Behaving ourself, Mr. DiNozzo?" the nurse asked.
"Of course, nurse Emily, when haven't I?" he asked with true DiNozzo grin and giving her a wink before noticing the team coming in behind her.
"Good, someone on my side!" He cried with another grin, "Please tell me you've come to spring me otherwise they threatened to keep me." he said.
Abby flew around Gibbs and Ducky who had been in front and tackled Tony with a tight hug nearly knocking him off the table only to be caught by nurse Emily who, after making sure her patient was in good hands, left with nurse Jason to get the release forms as promised.
"Good to see you too, Abs." he choked out.
"Oh, you had us all so worried!" she exclaimed, not releasing her hold, "Every one was so freaked out, even Gibbs!" she told him, still hanging on tightly.
"Okay, Abby, you're gonna choke him." Gibbs said gently, taking hold of her arms and loosening her grip.
Tony coughed once, muttering a: "Thanks, boss."
Gibbs just gave him a small grin in response.
"It is good to see again, Anthony. Abigale was right, we were all quite worried about you." Ducky said, patting his arm fondly.
"Thanks, Duck." Tony smiled.
"You are just lucky you did not get yourself hurt to badly, DiNozzo, otherwise......I would have killed you." Ziva said, glaring at her partner, but the sparkle in her eyes giving her away.
"I will definitely keep that in mind," Tony said, jokingly leaning away from the Mossad officer.
"I think she means the kidnappers are lucky. Because if you had been hurt worse, they would probably been the ones dead." McGee added.
"You got 'em?" Tony asked, looking to McGee, as he slipped an arm around Abby who had settled herself beside him, keeping both arms wrapped around his neck in a much looser hold.
"Yup. The local LEO's caught 'em at one of the roadblocks headed south."
"The LEO's?" Tony asked, with a confused look, "Didn't you guys catch them?" he asked.
"No, we did not." Ziva said.
"But then how did you find me?" he asked, his confusion getting worse.
"We didn't actually, uh, find you. More like your kidnappers found us." McGee said.
"Okay, you lost me." Tony said, shaking his head only to wince when it caused him a headache.
"My dear boy, Jethro got you back after he handed over the ransom. We didn't find you. The kidnappers gave you back after they got the money."
"Ransom? You're kidding me right? I heard them, they said something about fifty-thousand. The agency won't pay fifty dollars much less fifty thousand!" he exclaimed.
"Who said the agency paid it?" McGee asked.
"But you didn't......No......No, fifty thousand.....I mean that's......that's allot of money!" he said incredulously.
"Indeed it is, my boy. But you are more important than the money." Ducky said, patting his arm again.
"But you.......I mean.....You shouldn't've had to.........I mean all that money.......what if you never get it back?" he asked, his face still shocked that his friends had payed such an amount.
"Well, then we will not get it back." Ziva said with a shrug.
"I....I....I'll make sure you get it back.......I'll....I'll pay you back if----" Tony rambled only to be cut off with a slightly softer version of the normal headslap.
Tony looked up the meet the glare of his boss.
"You are not going to pay us back, DiNozzo." he said forcefully, "You don't have to worry about it."
"Yeah, I do, guys payed all that money just for me....."
"Of course we payed that for you!" Abby exclaimed as if what he had said was a personal insult, "You're family, of course we payed to get you back." She said giving him a hug and burying her face in his shirt.
"Indeed. We would have payed whatever they asked. The money is certainly no where near as important as your life, Anthony." The ME assured the still shell shocked agent.
"Look, DiNozzo, if one of us had been in your position, would you have helped pay to get us back?" Gibbs asked, cutting off the younger man.
"Well, of course I---"
"Exactly. Now, it's been payed. Don't worry about it." Gibbs said in his usual to the point manner.
"Where did you guys even get that much?" Tony asked, still a little thrown by the lengths his friends would go to for him. Sure he knew that they would give their life for them, just like he would for them. All partners knew that. But this was different, that was part of the job. This time they had overstepped those boundaries of work into personal to help him.
"Well, I still had some money left from the royalties of my books." McGee answered.
"Huh, guess I shouldn't've knocked your books. Sorry about that, Probie."
"Don't worry about it, Tony." McGee said with a smile.
"I had been saving money for a trip to Israel." Ziva answered, then upon on seeing Tony's guilty expression she added "My father's wish. I had wanted to spend my vacation time here. So it is no big loss."
"We all pitched in." Abby told her friend, "But Gibbs put in the most. We didn't even have half of what we needed until Gibbs added his money." she said.
Tony threw a curious look to his boss who was now glaring at the Forensic Scientist.
"What? It's true." Abby defended against herself to Gibbs.
"Remember me telling you I would start smacking you like I do DiNozzo?" Gibbs asked, and Abby quickly mimed locking her lips and throwing away the key.
"Where'd you get the all the cash boss?" Tony said with a frown. He knew his boss wasn't exactly poor, but he didn't understand where Gibbs got such a large amount or why he would spend it all on him.
"Never mind, DiNozzo." Gibbs said with a glare.
"Well, Mr. DiNozzo, are you ready to go home?" Emily asked, walking back in, papers and clipboard in hand.
"Yes!" he exclaimed quickly, accepting the pen and papers from her and quickly filling them out.
He quickly handed the papers back to her and made to stand but nearly fell on his face only to be stopped by Gibbs catching him around the waist and Abby grabbing his arm.
"Sorry." he said with a slight blush, "shouldn't have stood up so fast."
"Don't make me change my mind about letting you stay, Mr. DiNozzo." Emily said, narrowing her eyes.
"Oh, no, no, I'm fine! See, Ta'da!" he exclaimed, now standing on his own.
Trying to keep stern but with a smile tugging at her lips nurse Emily shook her head.
"You take care of him." she told the room's occupants, "And you stay out of trouble." she told Tony, shaking a finger at him before leaving.
"Sheesh, she reminds me of Margret Houlihann."
"Who?" Ziva asked, curious.
"Marget Houlihann from the 1970's TV show M*A*S*H staring Alan Alda, Loretta Swit, and Jamey Farr. She can be all nice and friendly when she wants she wants to be, until you break protocol." he said winching.
With a roll of his eyes, Gibbs grabbed his elbow to keep him steady as he tripped over his own feet. On the way to the parking lot Abby and Ziva filled Tony in on their, as they called it, 'master plan' to get rid of Vance. Apparently they had sent him an 'offical' note from the SecNav telling him they needed to meet in person over a highly sensitive matter. He was now probably sitting at the designated meeting place waiting for the SecNav to show.
Tony burst out laughing, tears of laughter sliding down his face as were they all really. Even Gibbs couldn't remember the last time he had laughed as hard as he was now picturing Vance sitting on a bench somewhere probably checking his watch for the millionth time.
"Sure he won't be able to trace it back to you?" Tony asked, chuckling a few more times.
"Tony, please, you insult me. I am a professional forensic scientist. There is not a single print, hair, or marking on that letter that can prove a thing!" Abby said with an evil smirk.
Tony laughed again, the laugh interrupted by a loud yawn.
"Man, didn't realise how tired I was." he said, shaking him head.
"Well, it has been a very stressful day." Ducky pointed out.
"True enough. I can't wait to get home in my own room and my own bed and get some sleep."
"Close, DiNozzo." Gibbs said, opening the passenger door for Tony now that they had reached the car.
"What do you mean 'close'?" Tony asked with a bemused look.
"You heard 'em. You're not supposed to be by yourself. You can park it in my guest room." Gibbs said, starting to get inside the car.
"Boss, you don't have to---" Tony started, stopping as Gibbs froze and got back out of the car to glare at him over the hood of the car.
"Okay, forget I even stupidly started to say that." Tony amended and Gibbs smirked.
"But can we at least make a pit stop to my apartment, these clothes leave something to be desired." he said, looking down at the once clean jeans and shirt that were now covered in dirt and dust.
"Ah, Tony." Palmer spoke up for the first time that evening. "I already got you some stuff."
"You did?" Tony asked, blinking in surprise.
"Well, when Agent Gibbs said you'd been hit on the head I figured they'd tell you to stay with someone. So I stopped at your apartment and got some of your stuff." He said as he went to one of the other two cars the team had driven there and pulled out a duffel bag.
"Uh, thanks, Jimmy." Tony said, accepting the duffel from his friend.
"No problem." the ME assistant replied with a smile.
"Alright everyone, let's go home." Gibbs yelled to the others.
"On it, bossman!" Abby yelled with a mock salute, hopping in the car.
"Tony, try and stay out of trouble for tonight at least will ya' ? McGee joked following after Abby.
"What trouble could I get into at Gibbs place?" Tony yelled back.
With a chuckle McGee, soon followed by Ziva, got in the same car as Abby while Ducky and Palmer went to get in the other.
"Hey! Palmer!" Gibbs yelled out the window causing to younger man to jump a mile and nearly hit his head on the roof of the car he had started to get into.
"Yes, sir! Agent Gibbs, Sir?" he asked, a blush creeping up his face now.
"Good job." Gibbs said in a much softer tone.
Palmer's face registered shock a moment before he stumbled out a 'thank you' and then getting in the car with Ducky.
Gibbs smirked to himself as he started the car and started to drive back to his house while Tony prattled on about some movie or another. Things were getting back to normal.
Tony clutched the door handle for dear life as Gibbs tore around another corner, cutting off yet another driver. They were only going to work but that didn't stop Gibbs from driving like he was on race track. He was thrown forward slightly, stopped only by the seat belt as Gibbs pulled to a stop at the gate to the Navy Yard. Tony swore he could see a smirk on his boss's face as he handed over both their id's for the guard to inspect. He tightened his grip as the guard handed them back and Gibbs stepped on the gas again and flew into an available space in the parking lot.
"Glad to be back, DiNozzo?" Gibbs asked, as he got out of the car and Tony still sat shell shocked at the near miss with a parked car.
"Yeah, boss. As always." he said, shaking his head and following his boss.
He paused after a few steps, something was missing. He looked around but didn't see it anywhere. Then it suddenly all clicked into place, he felt his mouth drop open in shock.
"Something wrong, DiNozzo?" Gibbs asked, stopping when he realised his agent was no longer behind him.
"Your car. It's not here." Tony said in a shocked voice.
"You figure that one out for yourself?" Gibbs asked sarcastically but with no real heat behind his words. He knew what Tony was getting at.
"You were driving a company car yesterday. And it wasn't in your garage, I thought you must have left it here." Tony said, looking around again to make sure he had not missed it.
"Your point?" Gibbs asked.
"That's where you got the money isn't it? You sold your car." Tony said, finally turning to look at him.
"Tony....." Gibbs started, he knew Tony was going to have a hard time with this. It was bad enough getting him to accept the fact that his friends had payed the ransom.
"Boss, you shouldn't have sold it." Tony cut him off with a shake of his head.
"And why not?" Gibbs challenged his subordinate.
"Your dad gave you that car! And it was your dream car! And you finally got it and then you sell it? You shouldn't have sold that car, love that car! It was important to you!" He exclaimed as if it was the most obvious thing in the world.
Gibbs looked steadily at agent for a moment before replying. "There're some things I love more, Tony." he said quietly, "And listen because I'm only gonna say this once, you're way more important than that car." he added.
Tony stared at him wide eyed and Gibbs smirked to himself as he saw the different emotions running through the agent's eyes until he finally settled on pure gratitude and understanding.
"Thanks, boss." he said, voice hoarse.
"You're welcome, DiNozzo." he replied with a small smile, "Now, come'on, if we're not there in under two minutes Abby'll think we've both been abducted."
Tony smirked and hurried to catch up with his boss. They went up to the squadroom in a comfortable silence. Finding McGee and Ziva already at their desks Tony easily slipped back into the good natured teasing that usually filled the squadroom. Gibbs kept silent, occasionally smirking to himself as a particularly good comeback was said by one of the agents. Taking a sip of coffee he looked around at his three agents, glad things were back to normal and every one of them was safe. It was a good day.
Out of the corner of his eye Gibbs noticed Vance stalk through the squadroom and up the steps to the directors office, in a particularly fowl mood and not even noticing that the missing agent had returned.
He leaned back in his chair with a smirk and taking another sip of coffee. Oh yeah, definitely a good day.
Ppppppllllllllleeeeeeaaaaaaassssssseeeeeeee reveiw! Please?