A/N: Round 3 of NCIS:LFWS at LiveJournal. Prompt was boring day.

Hero (Unplugged)

By Lizabeth S. Tucker

Very Special Agent Anthony DiNozzo sighed as he stared around at Team Gibbs. There were no active cases, no calls for assistance from fellow agents or other agencies. Gibbs was stuck in meetings all day. Unlike former Directors Morrow and Shepard, Director Vance demanded that Gibbs attended the monthly staff meetings unless he was in the hospital or dead. No longer would Tony be the designated representative from MCRT.

His dull green eyes landed on fellow agent Timothy McGee. At first Tim had worked on cleaning up his computer, defragging and generally making the machine work faster and more efficiently. Since he usually did that regularly, it didn't take long to complete. Based on the ear buds firmly pressed into his ears and the intense look in his eyes, the younger agent was probably listening to his usual self-help programs on his iPod.

Mutters in two languages came drifting across the room from Probationary Agent Ziva David. She had a selection of books spread across her desk, all dealing with her pursuit of American citizenship. Tony had made the mistake of offering to help her only once. The threat of a knife thrust into his gullet, and where exactly was a gullet, he wondered, soon had him rethinking any further offers.

Normally Tony would be playing one of his many computer games, from solitaire to Tetris to Trivial Pursuit, but it just wasn't the same if he couldn't try and sneak it past Gibbs. He chuckled softly. As if he ever really did fool his boss. Plus his heart hadn't really been in his usual game playing.

There was always YouTube or movies streamed to his computer, but that didn't appeal either. And it was disconcerting to not want to watch LOLCats or the latest films. He was really, really bored.

Tony pulled his desk drawer open, fingering the items contained within. He had already done his winter cleaning, so there was nothing in there worth playing with, no new discoveries.

Pulling up his computer's Instant Messenger program, he poked Abby Sciuto deep in her lab.

*Hey, Abs, watcha up to?*

*Tony! I'm making a scale model of the Battle of Gettysburg. Wanna help?*

*Uh, no thanks. You know me and the Civil War.*

*Oh, that's right. Sorry. Catch you later. I need to finish modeling Seminary Ridge.*

He closed the IM feature and slumped back in his chair, staring up at the second level of the office. Usually when he was this bored, Tony would saunter down to Autopsy, have a cup of tea with Ducky and listen to some of the older man's many tales. Unfortunately Ducky's presence had also been required in the mandatory meeting called by Vance.

Not even Jimmy Palmer was available to help alleviate the boredom since he was only at NCIS when his medical classes weren't meeting.

His heart wasn't in reviewing cold cases, although they were always worth giving second, third, and fiftieth looks. That was something he preferred to do late in the night when everyone else was gone for the day. There was just something about working in a dimly light office on a night he was experiencing insomnia that seemed to kick start his investigative skills.

A soft ding from his computer announced a new email. Mildly curious, he glanced at the sender's address. Not recognizing it, but bored enough to not care, he clicked to open the message.

A satisfied smile spread across his face as he realized it was from Josh Cooper, soon to be graduate of Princeton University. He had met Josh under horrendous circumstances four years earlier when Josh's father, Colonel Frederick Cooper, USMC, had been killed by a booby trapped bunker at a golf course frequented by military personal.

Tony had helped Josh decide whether to join the Marines or go to Princeton as his father wanted. Ever since then, they had kept in touch, even during some of the worst moments in both their lives. Emails, IMs, funny cards, and the occasional letter flew between the two over the years.

Josh was still planning on law school, just as he had told Tony so many years ago. But before that came, he would be completing his Undergraduate Studies. And to Tony's surprise, he was invited to the graduation ceremony as a member of the family. He felt his heart swell at the thought. He quickly accepted, printed out the particulars, and started the paperwork needed to get leave on the necessary dates.

In a better mood than he had been the whole boring day, Tony began searching for the perfect graduation present on the internet, something funny and tacky and totally outrageous. Josh wouldn't expect anything less from Very Special Agent Tony DiNozzo!

February 2010