This day started out all wrong. Maybe it had something to do with the fact that he hadn't been able to sleep worth a damn last night. He'd spent hours tossing and turning until he'd finally given in and taken a damn sleeping pill. Now, here it was, 7:00 AM and he was late for work.

Wait! 7:00 AM? Is this for real? Damn it! Man, Gibbs is gonna kill me! He gets so pissed when any of us are late. Damn it, to hell, don't even have time for coffee or a donut!" Tony grumbled to himself as he stumbled out of bed and somehow managed to get dressed, despite the fog that seemed to be hanging low over his brain this morning.

Strong insistent banging was heard from the vicinity of his apartment door, so his goose was cooked now. Trying to locate his long silent phone, he spotted it on the floor under his bed and scooped it up as he half-walked, half stumbled to the door before whoever it was had beaten it down. As he looked at the phone, he mentally gave himself a good chewin-out., Good goin' DiNozzo! Kinda hard to be on time when you forget your phone on vibrate! How's anyone supposed to call your ass up outta bed that way?!

Looking through the peep hole, he wasn't really surprised to find it was McGee coming to get him from whatever excuse Tony would lay at Gibbs' feet. He was, however, relieved, since this meant he'd still be able to get coffee and a donut out of the deal.

"Hey, Probie! Come to to rescue me from being too terribly tardy this morning?" Tony asked glibly.

"Uh, No, Tony. Came to get you for our stakeout . Something wrong with your phone? You forget? The crime scene from yesterday? We're on watch; keeping an eye out for Johnson til backup arrives." Tim answered somewhat calmly.

"No, I didn't forget, McPain in the ass." Tony grumbled.

"You okay? You don't look so hot." Tim asked in response as he ignored the grumpy attitude Tony was dousing him with. Something had been nagging at him from the pit of his stomach all morning. For some reason he couldn't explain, Tim felt a sense of doom hanging over them this morning and it left him unwilling to do anything to make the day worse. It had obviously already gotten off to a rough start for Tony, as it was.

"Thanks, McRomeo." Tony snarked back.

"Tony, look, I just meant that you look like you don't feel well." Tim explained patiently.

"Sorry, Probie. Rough night," Tony admitted humbly. "Had to take a sleeping pill to get some z's. Guess it's still hangin on."

"It's okay, Tony. Lets' go get you some coffee before we plant ourselves onsite. But, we need to hurry." Tim said sympathetically.

"Thanks, Tim." Tony offered in an apologetic tone.

"No problem. C'mon." Tim was just relieved Tony wasn't sick. He felt bad when the other guys on the team weren't feeling well and still had to carry on with the job.

The ride to the coffee shop and even the ordering and waiting went by in silence. Tin knew Tony needed time to bring his brain on target and it wouldn't help forcing him to have a conversation before the guy had his first cup of coffee of the morning. Besides, the companionable feel to this silence was nice.

After downing half the cup, Tony began to finally feel awake enough to focus. As Tim drove to the warehouse they were on tap to stakeout, Tony finished his coffee, for once grateful for Tim's penchant for pleasing people. His compassion didn't hurt on mornings like this either and right now Tony was so thankful for both, he was damn near ready to hug the Probster. Well, maybe next time. Right now, they had a perp to watch out for. Where the hell was their backup anyway?

Patiently, they held their position; although Tim was in much more of a patient mood than Tony was at the moment.

"Probie, this guy's not here. Let's just go in and secure the scene. Let the LEO's get him on their turf." Tony suggested in frustration.

"Tony, Gibbs said wait for backup, so we wait for backup." Tim answered with more backbone than Tony had heard from him in a while. "Besides, we've only been here for a few minutes. It shouldn't be long before backup arrives."

"Let me get this straight. we're stuck babysittin' this bozo just because he's a rat for a crook?"" Tony asked in complaint.

"Who just happens to be a former Petty Officer responsible for the theft of over a million dollars from the Navy Procurement Office where he worked." Tim patiently reminded him.

"Why the hell can't the crooks behave for just one damn day?" Tony grumbled

"I hear ya, Tony." Tim said sympathetically.

"Damn. We're gonna be stuck sittin here all day. Damn perp's not even here. Probably won't even show. Who's backup any damn way?" the older man complained.

"Balboa's team. They're supposed to be here in thirty minutes." Tim answered. "Front or side?" Tim asked as he held out a pair of binoculars for Tony.

"Side." Tony conceded with a sigh of resignation as he took the seeing-eye tools and looped them over his neck before looking through them.

Twenty minutes later

"NCIS Agent Down! I need an ambulance NOW! 1221 Dock Street, warehouse facing the water! Hurry!"