So this is the end of this collection of stories. To everyone who's read, reviewed, added this to their favorites or story alerts, thank you, you guys have been awesome! :)
Spoilers: 5x01 'Bury Your Dead', 5X07 'Requiem', 6x08 'Cloak', 7x22 'Borderland', 7x23 'Patriot Down', 7x24 'Rule 51'
All recognizable dialogue comes from 7x23 'Patriot Down' and 7x24 'Rule 51'
"I'll find Gibbs."
Tony had given up all pretense of trying to find Gibbs ten minutes ago, now he was just waiting.
"Sorry, I'm late," Jimmy said as he arrived in the evidence garage, "couldn't get away."
"S'okay, Jimmy," Tony said in a low voice.
"So what's up?" asked Jimmy curious to see what the cause of the urgent text from Tony was.
"Something's going down," Tony told him bluntly.
"What's going down?" asked Jimmy is an equally low voice.
"I don't know but I have a feeling that something big is about to go down."
"What makes you think that?"
"Abby and Gibbs."
"What about them?"
"They've been acting weird ever since Abby came back from Mexico with the body of Pedro Hernandez."
"Now that you mention it Gibbs was acting a bit weird after he learned the name of Abby's cold case down in autopsy, he practically bolted out of autopsy when Doctor Mallard dropped the bullet in the evidence jar," Jimmy said thoughtfully.
"What's up?" asked Jimmy the minute he entered the evidence garage.
"Rule forty," Tony said immediately.
"That's…not good, is it?" asked Jimmy as he wracked his brain trying to remember what rule forty was exactly, Tony had mentioned the rules in the forties to him years ago when he had asked what they were but he never mentioned them again—until now.
"No, Jimmy, it's not," Tony said confirming his suspicions. "If Gibbs mentioned rule forty then something unspeakably bad is going down," he said echoing what he had said in the elevator to Ziva and Abby.
"So what's the plan?"
Tony was silent, he didn't have a plan, and he didn't even know what exactly was going on. How could he have a plan?
"Tony?" prompted Jimmy dragging his friend from his buzzing mind and back to the situation on hand.
Tony frowned as he grabbed his gun and badge and made his way to the motor pool to go sign out a car. Gibbs may be back on US soil but he wasn't saying much and that had Tony worried; the last time Gibbs had kept things to himself he and Ziva ended up getting beat up by some very big guards with live ammo, before that Tony had taken an unscheduled swim in the cold Potomac River. Whatever Gibbs was keeping to himself could not be good, that was for sure. Once at the car Tony shook his head to clear those thoughts from his head, it would do no good to be distracted when they went to apprehend Jason Paul Dean, the guy and his associates were dangerous, all Tony had to do was look at Agent Macy's case report to see how not having his head in the game could cost him.
Once back at NCIS Tony joined Ziva and McGee on the couch while they waited for the director. They had been waiting for about five minutes now and so far Tony had managed to contain his nervous energy but if the director didn't appear soon they might have another case on their hands if Ziva got annoyed with his nervous fidgeting like she tended to. Thankfully the director appeared soon afterwards and Tony wasn't in any danger of Ziva killing him out of annoyance.
"Ceremony?" he asked Ziva.
"First thing in the morning," she replied.
"Then we'll debrief second thing. It's late, go get some rest," he ordered them and the trio headed towards the door. "Agent DiNozzo, I need a minute," he said effectively stopping Tony in his tracks. McGee shot his teammate a questioning look before he disappeared and Tony stood a little bit straighter as he waited to hear what the director had to say.
Jimmy hurried up Tony's front steps, he was running a bit late and picking up Tony before the ceremony was going to cut it close. If they were late there was a very good chance that Ziva would kill them and personally Jimmy liked being alive too much to chance pissing off a woman trained by Mossad. Jimmy didn't know how Tony could do it on a daily basis. He knocked for a second time after he didn't get an answer.
"Come on, Tony, open the door," Jimmy grumbled as he knocked louder. "You wanted me to come pick you up and here I am."
"Hey Palmer," Tony's voice greeted him.
"Hey, Tony, what's up?"
"Can you swing by my place tomorrow morning on the way to Ziva's naturalization ceremony? My car's in the shop."
"Yeah, crazy thing about cars, seem to always have problems when you need them to not have them."
Jimmy chuckled, he could definitely relate to that. "Yeah, sure thing, Tony, I'll be there at eight."
"Thanks a bunch, Palmer."
Now annoyed Jimmy reached in his pocket to grab his key ring and then proceeded to use his key to get into Tony's house.
"Tony, If you're still asleep and make us late I will kill you and get Abby to help hide your body," Jimmy said loudly as he headed up the stairs to Tony's room. Upstairs Jimmy saw no one and immediately headed back down to the living to see if his friend had crashed on his couch like he sometimes did when he was too tired to make to his actual bed. Seeing no one Jimmy frowned and headed towards the kitchen and spare bedroom; nope, no Tony there either. Back in the living room Jimmy was beginning to get nervous, the last time Tony was missing they though he had gotten blown up. His hand was already reaching for his cellphone to call Agent Gibbs when out of the corner of his eye he saw a note in Tony's handwriting on the coffee table.
Sorry I wasn't here when you showed up, something came up. Give Ziva this pin for me, will you? And then take everyone out for drinks to celebrate, get some margaritas on me.
Next to the note Jimmy found a small American flag lapel pin and some money. Jimmy frowned as he tried to figure out what Tony's message meant because Tony wouldn't just leave without somehow letting them know why or at least where he went. At that exact moment Jimmy had a light bulb moment, margaritas meant tequila and tequila meant one destination: Mexico.
"Whatever you're doing, Tony, I hope that it's not overly dangerous or stupid and I really hope that you told Abby good bye before you left because she'll kill you otherwise," Jimmy said to Tony's empty living room.