...I love NCIS :) This is just something I did forever and a day ago, and finally decided to post. Enjoy.

"Boss?" a soft voice called, tentatively, as if worried about startling the person being spoken too. It wasn't something the speaker should have been worried about. He had known she was coming long before any words left her lips.

"Agent Cossgrove," he muttered by way of greeting. His pale eyes didn't turn to acknowledge the woman, he knew her well enough that he didn't need to see her to be able to picture her current expression; one of worry over disturbing him, mixed with fear that he might react badly to the interruption, and of course, a smidgen of un-disguisable curiosity. But she always looked a little bit curious. It was why he had hired her. She reminded him of…

"Do you like dogs, agent?" he asked suddenly.

"Uh, dogs, sir?" Agent Cossgrove stuttered in surprise, obviously thrown by the unexpected inquiry.

"Yes, dogs," he said patiently as a small smile tugged at the corners of his lips. He quickly swept it away. "Well?" he asked when she didn't answer right away, tilting his head so that he could see her face from the corner of his eye.

Agent Cossgrove was looking at him with an expression that showed clearly her uncertainty, as she attempted to decide whether or not her boss's question was serious. She jumped a little when she noticed him watching her, waiting for an answer.

"Umm, sure," she said, nodding. She clutched the folder that she held to her chest a little bit tighter. "Why do you ask?"

"Curiosity," he said simply. "I have a dog," he added conversationally. "He's a German shepherd."

"I know, sir," Cossgrove said, watching her boss warily now. "I-I've seen the picture of him on your desk." He nodded, a small smile ghosting his face.

"He's a good dog," he said idly. "And smart," he continued, looking fully at his agent. "I mean stupid smart. I think I could get him to cook me dinner, if I knew the right command."

"Uh, yes sir," Cossgrove agreed after a moment of silence. He could tell that she wasn't entirely sure where the point of this conversation had gone. He didn't really care all that much. His team was used to his ramblings, after all. It also kept them on their toes, always listening for when he would finally give them that bit of information they actually needed from him.

Learnt that one from you, he thought to himself, heaving a mental sigh as he leaned forward on the small wooden bench. His fingers reached out to brush the small bronze plaque set into the granite square, sunk down into the ground in a row with two other bronze-and-granite markers.

"Umm, sir?" Cossgrove mumbled nervously. His eyes narrowed at her stutter, and he turned to face her.

"You know, when you do that, I get the strongest urge to slap you in the back of the head."

It was a struggle, but he was able to keep his face perfectly blank as his agent gapped at him, her mouth opening and shutting as she tried to come up with something to say in return.

"What do you have, agent?" he asked, nodding his head towards the folder still clutched tightly to her chest, so save her the effort of responding.

"Oh, uh, yes," Cossgrove said, nodding as she held the manila folder out to her boss. "It's the lab report on the wine we collected. You were right about it being drugged."

"Of course I was," he said as he snatched the folder, flipping it open and thumbing quickly through the papers there. "Did she get any DNA from the second wine glass?"

"She was still testing it when I left," Cossgrove explained. "She said she would have the results around—" she cut off abruptly to look at the small black leather case at her hip, which had suddenly begun to vibrate. He raised an eyebrow at her as she pulled her cell phone from its case.

"Agent Cossgrove," she said. Her eyebrows rose as her caller responded. "Uh, yes, he's right here. Do you want to—okay, I'll hand you over. It's for you," she added, as she held her phone out to her boss. He smiled knowingly as he took the phone from her outstretched hand and held it to his ear.

"What have you got?"

"Where are you?" the voice on the other end demanded loudly. "I've asked all of your team, and not one of them could tell me where you'd gone! And you know how I hate having to deliver amazing news to them and not you."

"I was visiting," he said simply. There was a beat of silence on the other end.

"Oh. Say hi for me?"

"I already did, Abby." He could hear the smile in her voice when she replied.

"Thanks Tony." There was another moment of quiet, and then—"Okay, now you need to get back here so I can show you what I've found."

"You matched the DNA?"

"Ah-ah!" Abby admonished. "Not telling until you get back."

"Alright Abbs. I'll be there soon."

"You'd better be."

Tony snapped agent Cossgrove's cell shut and handed it back to her, along with the folder of lab results. "Abby's got something for us," he said. He saw Cossgrove's eyebrows slowly rise when he didn't elaborate.

"What does she have?" she asked curiously.

"She'll tell us when we get back," Tony explained. Cossgrove breathed a soft 'oh'. She then stood still, waiting to see what Tony would do. He raised an eyebrow at her.

"You go ahead," he told her, waving his hands as if he were shooing away a small child. "I'll be right behind you." He could tell by her expression that she didn't quite believe him. He rolled his eyes.

"Abby won't tell us her results unless I'm there. I'll be right behind you." His agent didn't seem entirely convinced, but she did as she was told, turning on her heel and heading back to her car, which was parked along the street only a few feet behind her boss's.

Tony waited until she was in her car and pulling away before he turned his attention back to the markers sitting side by side in the rocky soil.

"She's a good agent," he told the granite blocks. "The whole team is. You'd have liked them." He watched the markers for a long moment, and then sighed. "I have to go now," he said softly. "Abby's threatening to withhold information until I get back."

Slowly, Tony pushed himself to his feet, shoving his hands deep into his jacket pockets. "I'll try and come back tomorrow," he said. "Maybe I'll get Abby to come." He then hesitated a moment longer, reading over the words engraved deep into the trio of bronze plates—words he had long ago memorized—before turning towards his own car.

Ziva David, 1979-2009

Timothy McGee, 1977-2009

Leroy Jethro Gibbs, 1951-2009