This story is my view on how Tony got into NCIS and how he met Gibbs. I don't own any characters, except for Baltimore's ME (who could be Ducky's cousin *chuckle*) and Officer Lawrence Burke. If you would like to use them, please ask :) Also, please review. I would love to know what you think of this take on Tony's past :)

So please enjoy "Baltimore"


"GET DOWN!"

Without a second thought Anthony DiNozzo dropped to the ground as the house in front of him exploded. He gasped for air as the shock wave blew the air out of him. He felt the heat wave singe the hairs on the back of his neck as it blew past him. He cursed under his breath as he felt his hat blow away in the blast. That was my new hat, damnit...

He couldn't help by lay there for a few moments after the blast subsided. He just lay there breathing - in, out, in, out - until each breath wasn't pained and labored. He'd been in the Narcotics Division long enough to know when a house exploded you didn't get up until your body wanted to get up - you'd need all your strength to struggle through the aftermath.

Slowly his breathing returned to normal. Instead of gasping for breath while pancaked into the pavement, he was simply lying their for the all-go signal from his body. Simply waiting, watching, observing, listening. He saw people running around him as the moment of shock from the explosion vanished and adrenaline kicked in. Within a moment he received that signal and joined them, standing up and looking around. The air had a charred scent to it. It reminded him of burning plastic - that sickening chemical smell that burned your nose.

"Detective DiNozzo!"

Tony spun around and saw one of the officers running up to him. Officer Burke laughed as he saw Tony wincing as he stretched his muscles. "Good thing you're okay. That blast blew out the bottom half of the house. Five of our guys didn't hear the 'get down' and were clear knocked off their feet." He smiled as Tony brushed off his pants. "I take it you did," he chuckled.

Tony grinned and shook his head. "Yep. I heard it. The only casualty is my hat..."

The officer laughed and shook his head in disbelief. "You can't keep a hat safe, now can you? It's been twenty-two months since you joined and you still can't keep a hat for more than a few weeks? Don't know if dispatch is gonna let you have another..."

Tony chuckled. "Yeah don't think i'm going to ask for one... Though saying I lost it in a meth lab explosion may generate some sympathy for my case."

"Wouldn't waste my time, DiNozzo."

He grinned. "You're probably right." Tony looked around and saw that the panicked chaos that ensued after the explosion had calmed down significantly. He started walking up to the house, followed by the officer. "So what have we got here?"

The officer shrugged and looked around. "Well like you said, it looks like a meth lab explosion. The owner of the house has been charged with possession of meth amphetamines, but was never convicted. His neighbors had been reporting suspiscious activity and chemical-like smells over the past couple of weeks. That's when we were called in." He looked up at the cavernous hole in the side of the house. "Apparently that's also when this guy had apparently too much of a good thing and blew himself sky high."

Tony chuckled and examined the hole in the house. "Who else was called in after the explosion?"

"Fire department, some of the special ops guys from the homeland division. The usual. Why?"

"All of Baltimore's finest..."

Burke chuckled. "Could be worse. At least the Feds won't be poking their nose in."

Tony chuckled and shook his head. "Gah, so true. Come on." He grabbed some latex gloves from his pocket and put them on as he walked into the smoldering remains of the basement.

...

Everything was blackened and charred. It reminded Tony of meat that had been that had been cooked for too long. The two men walked around the room, careful not to disturb anything. Overturned lab tables and spilled beakers littered the room. With one glance, they donned masks, reluctant to take any chances. Their initial suspicions were correct: this was indeed a meth lab that had "gone kaboom."

Burke looked at the detective with a funny look on his face. "Tell me you just didn't say 'kaboom.'"

"I didn't just say 'kaboom.'" Tony grinned and gestured around him. "Look at the job. You got to keep a light heart and a good attitude somehow."

The officer just shook his head and looked around. "You'll never get far in law enforcement with that kind of language."

"At least I don't have a sailor mouth," he pointed out.

Burke poked around some debris in the corner. "Good point. Though that's because you don't know any sailors and never will."

"Not complaining over here." Tony gently stepped over some charred tables. "Don't know why anyone would want to join the Navy. Spend years at sea or at some desk. Besides, nothing exciting ever happens to the Navy. Now the Air Force, that's where its at." He grunted as he picked up some debris in a corner. "Flying around in planes going supersonic speed - Now that's the life. Pilots get the women too."

Officer Burke chuckled from the corner. "Navy has women too you know."

"Yeah but seriously think about it. Chicks dig guys who fly planes and blow stuff up. That simple."

Burke rolled his eyes. "Can't argue with that logic."

"Oh! Got a body over here." Tony was crouched over the burned remains as Burke radioed in their find, carefully stepping over debris as he joined the detective.

"Our home chemist?"

"Probably. Unless his legs are chopped off and the extra weight vanished in the explosion, I'd say he fits the height and weight description of our guy." Tony grabbed a pen out of his pocket and probed around the body. "This is weird..."

"What?"

"He lying down flat." Burke shot him a look. "No seriously, look at him. No cowering from the blast, no attempt to protect himself." Tony used the pen to lift up a finger from the floor. "The floor is barely fried under there..."

Static came in on the radio and Tony and Burke listened carefully. "ME on its way?"

The officer nodded. "Yep. Pulled up just now. They got the call to come out once they heard about the explosion."

"Good." He stood up and moved away from the body. "Tell them to come up here - we got a body. I want to know when we have clearence from the ME to look for ID."

Burke nodded and spoke into the radio. Tony looked around the room. "I hate explosions. I'm gonna need a beer and a night out to calm my nerves after this one..."

The officer laughed. "I thought you wanted to be a pilot. You know 'get the girls and blow stuff up?' How does hating explosions fit into all of that?"

Tony glared at Burke. "It's different. When you're a pilot you cause the explosion - you're not actually in it or near it - and you don't have to look at the aftermath."

Burke looked at the detective carefully. Tony was standing by the hole in the wall, watching the ME and his assistant make their way up to the scene. The officer noted how quiet he was - unusually thoughtful was his diagnosis. Very few jokes had come out of his mouth today. Something was bugging him and he was being very cautious to keep it to himself.

"I just got a bad feeling about this..." Tony muttered.

Burke looked up at him. "This is your first dead man, isn't it?"

Tony didn't say anything, but kept his eyes on the ME and grimaced. "So what if it is?"

Burke shrugged. "Nothing to be ashamed about. I nearly pissed myself the first time I was in a gun fight." He chuckled. "If you tell any of our boys that I'll deny it ever happened and enlist you in the Navy."

Tony grinned slightly. "You're secret is safe with me." He turned to where the body lay. "Nah, its not my first dead man. I've seen enough OD's and shot up victims that I've lost count. But there is something about this one that doesn't make sense."

"Lot of things here don't make sense. Building a chem lab in your basement is one of them..."

"I would agree with you Mr. Burke. I could never understand why someone would want to partake in chemistry. One of my least favorite parts of education." The ME walked into the basement, reminiscing while he went. "Now physics, that was a class I could adore..."

Tony stepped back to let the ME do his job. He rolled his eyes and turned to Burke. His voice lowered. "What I wouldn't give to have an ME who didn't talk so much. Sometimes I feel like I'm losing my mind!" he murmured.

Burke chuckled. "Just be glad he does that job and not you."

"Amen."

"Detective DiNozzo?" Tony looked up. "Thank you for waiting. You may search the poor man for identification if you wish. Just be sure you're-"

"Wearing gloves, got it." Tony searched through the man's burnt clothing but found nothing. No wallet. No ID. Nothing. "This man's a nobody. No ID here."

"DiNozzo."

"What?"

The ME waved him over. He was hunched over the body's neck, pulling something that looked like a necklace away from the burnt remains. DiNozzo swore under his breath as he recognized the stamped metal on the chain. "Dog tags." He turned to Officer Burke. "Call in the Feds," he sighed. "We got one of theirs."

...

The NCIS caravan pulled up on the scene about an hour later. Tony watched as the Special Agents seemed to swarm onto the house and immediately take over - in fact they were taking over; there was no "seemed" about it. As it turns out, the dead man was a Marine. Unlike the Navy and Army, which have their own investigative services, there is no Marine Criminal Investigative Service: the Navy sweeps them under their umbrella. According to the department's ME, the man was stabbed in a fight in the basement, and then was left there during the explosion. A knife wound was found in the man's chest before the NCIS ME arrived. Once he did, the two men began their thorough observations. Tony almost gouged his ears out as he heard them reminiscing up a storm.

"Please tell me all ME's aren't like this," he pleaded to Burke.

"They're all not like this."

Tony shot him a glare. "At least the two docs can keep each other entertained for now." He looked at the street, filled with the NCIS vans. "Look at all these agents... They just came out of nowhere."

"That's what the feds do. They come in, take what's theirs, and never give you anything in return."

"Their title is pretty cool, you got to admit. Special Agents. Has a very Bondfeeling to it, wouldn't you say." Burke tried to hid a smile as the detective's voice picked up a very iconic Sean Connery lilt. The two men watched the team of agents scurry around the house. Soon one in particular started walking over to the pair. "I'll bet he's their leader. Tall, handsome - bet he was tall, dark, and handsome at some point in his life. Now he's got that silver fox look going - umfff!"

Tony grimaced as Burke lifted his foot off of Tony's boot, leaving a nice impression in the shoe. The agent walked up to them and flashed his badge. "Detective Anthony DiNozzo?"

Tony nodded.

"Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs." Tony barely kept a solid face after hearing that name, but allowed himself a smile. "I have a few questions for you about Midshipman Lewis."

"The man in the basement? I thought he was a marine." Tony wished he held his tongue when he saw the look Agent Gibbs shot his way.

"He is a marine." The man's voice was level, yet irritation was visible under the surface. "Why did you report to this home?"

"We were about to perform a drug bust in house." Tony shot Burke a thankful glance as he grabbed the agent's attention. "Officer Lawrence Burke. I work with Detective DiNozzo."

Tony nodded. "We had reason to suspect this man was creating meth in a homemade labratory in his basement - turns out we were right. The place blew as we were about to go inside. Thankfully no one was close to the explosion to be injured." Tony shrugged as Burke attained a surprised expression. The humor and foolishness was gone from Tony's persona. Something about being in this agent's presence had snapped him into shape. "When we went inside, we treated this as a crime scene. We called in the ME and followed the normal procedures for a meth lab explosion-"

"What makes you so sure it was a meth lab explosion?"

Tony looked the agent straight in the eye. "It was a meth lab and it exploded. We went over the scene before you came in and determined the cause of the explosion to be an accidental mixing of components. Two tables were knocked over before the explosion and the mixing of their contents caused the elephant size hole over there."

The agent nodded. "And did you mess with the body at all?"

"At all our crime scenes we wear gloves to preserve the chain of evidence. Once we found a body we called in the ME and didn't touch him until he gave us permission to do so. It wasn't until he found his dog tags on his neck that we knew he was one of yours."

Gibbs nodded and turned back towards the house. "Thank you Detective, Officer."

The two men nodded as the agent left. Tony shook his head as they turned back to their squad cars. "Did not know that there were such things as Navy cops."

"Me neither." Burke chuckled as he noticed the detective's eyes never left the agents. "The chief is probably going to want a liaison for this case. Our crime scene, their body..."

Tony nodded. He opened the door to his car and got in. "I'll see you at the station." Burke nodded and soon Tony was left alone as he slowly pulled away from the scene. He noticed the gray haired agent watching from the gaping hole in the house. Tony swallowed and nodded and pulled into the street, but not before the agent nodded in return. "Agent Gibbs..." he reminded himself. "Name is Agent Gibbs."

...


Message Sent at 2200

Detective Anthony DiNozzo.

Status: Temporarily reassigned to NCIS under MCRT Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs as liaison officer for Baltimore PD. Effective Immediately.

Please report to the Navy Yard, Washington, DC at 0730.

-Chief Moore, Baltimore PD

-Commisioner Parke, Baltimore PD


Message Sent at 2330

Welcome to NCIS.

Bring that smile and I'll kill you.

-Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs, NCIS

(typed by FS Abigail Sciuto)


Fin.

A/N: Please Read and Review! I really want to know what you think! So just tell me if you like it don't like, if there is something wrong or if something's good. :) Please let me know what you think!