A/N: I own nothing to do with NCIS or its affiliates. Mild spoiler warnings for all the seasons to date.

My Best Friend

It's hard to imagine that we'd ever become friends, the way he was always picking on me and calling me names. From day one, it was Mc—whatever he could come up with as a nickname. As much as he annoyed me, it kinda warmed my heart, that someone wanted to pay enough attention to think of a nickname for me.

When I became his Probie, and he wouldn't let the name drop it was both a blessing and a curse. A blessing because once again, he'd come up with a nickname for me and a curse because he never dropped that particular nickname.

I was extremely glad that he was there when Kate died. I really really liked her, and I think he knew that I had a small crush on her. If we had been kids, I probably would have turned to him and cried on his shoulder; as it is, I wanted to but refrained, not wanting to embarrass either one of us.

When Ziva arrived we didn't really change too much. At least I don't think we did. I admit that I wanted to make her feel welcome when we had just lost Kate; I wanted to know that I had another friend in the bullpen.

The day that Gibbs left us for his stint in Mexico, is the day that I'll never forget: my best friend had just lost the one person that he'd always been able to look up to. That's when I stepped up my game and became the person that he could depend on.

I admit that I wish he'd have told me about the situation that Director Shepherd put him in; the one where he almost lost his life due to dating Jeanne Bennoit. If nothing else, I could have been a sounding board. Then again, considering how it's almost impossible for me to keep anything secret from Gibbs, Abby or Ziva, I'm not really surprised that he didn't come to me.

Then there was the situation where we lost Director Shepherd. He still blames himself for listening to her; for following her orders. I don't think he knows about the lab report. I accidently found out when I wandered into autopsy one day and found the report on Ducky's desk. I never told anyone about it, not even Tony; I think one day I will tell him so that he knows that the director wanted to go out in a blaze of glory. He'll like the song reference if nothing else.

We were all a little lost when Vance separated us for his mole hunt. Getting back together was a celebration for all of us at the time. The excitement in my friend's voice when he came home and then later when he found out that one of our cases would take us to Gibbs hometown, definitely a sight to see.

And then he fell in love; this time with Ziva. I could only watch as they danced around each other; neither admitting their feelings, knowing that it could only lead to Gibbs head slapping them and reminding them of Rule #12. The heart doesn't always listen to the rules though. I watched again as my friend went through agony; listening to her accuse him of murder and then when we all thought she was lost to us due to Director David sending her on that suicide mission. I never want to see that devastation on his face again.

Rescuing Ziva brought my friend to life again and soon we were back to being the adult children we have always been. And then we met his father. I could have cheerfully throttled Mr. DiNozzo when he was here. My friend went from a self-assured agent to needy child in sixty seconds. Then he found out that his dad was almost bankrupt. I've done a lot of hacking in my time with NCIS but that was the first time that I felt almost comfortable doing so; helping my friend bail his father out, so that his father could save face. I have to admit that the quiet "thanks Tim" was an unexpected bonus.

"What are you doing Tony?" Ziva's question brings his head up from the computer screen.

"Oh, ummm, nothing, just reading an email from a friend." Tony's quick reply is met with a searching look as Ziva heads for her own desk.

"On McGee's computer? Does he know that you are doing this?"

"I would hope so Ziva, he left me his password." Just like a trusting friend would. Tony smiles as he switches off the computer and heads for his own desk. His friend will be home in a few days; Tim had taken some time off to visit his family and given Tony his password in case they needed to use his computer for a case. Tony had immediately gone to McGee's computer and found the last entry, dated just that morning.

When Tony gets to his own desk, he finds an email from Tim.

"I meant what you read. You really are the best friend I've ever had. Take care of yourself while I'm gone and don't get into any trouble without me. Tim."

Tony smiles as he sends his reply. "Thanks Probie. I needed that."


End note: No immediate plans for a follow up on this but I might consider writing more if anyone is interested. I would ask that if you want more to please let me know which two characters you'd like a follow up on.