Evening at Gibbs' home

That evening at around 8:45, Gibbs' doorbell rang and then Tony entered, since it was always unlocked and he was used to having to go down to the basement. He froze in his tracks when he saw Gibbs on his couch, next to a burning fireplace, sitting in front of his television.

"Boss!" Tony was visibly startled. Gibbs watched him walk in and react to his sitting on the couch.

"Want a beer?" Gibbs asked as he watched Tony.

"Uh, sure. . .sure. Thanks Boss." Tony said as Gibbs went to his fridge and grabbed a drink for Tony, relieved that Tony had arrived at all. Right before giving him the beer, Gibbs stopped. He looked Tony over head to foot, making sure that Tony noticed this before giving him the beer.

"Boss?" Tony asked confused.

"Tony?" Gibbs said as he returned to the couch.

"It's been a bad week, Boss." Tony sighed as he relaxed on the couch.

"Yeah." Gibbs agreed as he flipped off the television.

"Ziva. . .Rivkin. . .It all ended very badly." Tony said. "I never meant for any of it to happen." Tony confessed, staring off into space.

"It is all my fault." Tony added. "He was right. I am Agent Meatball." Tony continued with a haunted look. "I never. . .I mean I should have. . ." Tony stuttered over his own words.

"You need to stop going solo." Gibbs interjected. "We are a team, you know." Tony lifted his eyebrows and shook his head in agreement.

"You were right about Rivkin though. . .And, you were right to be suspicious of Ziva, as much as you were." Gibbs stated. "I should have paid closer attention."

After Gibbs' small confession, Tony turned in concern and confusion. "Boss? This was all my fault. How is this your. . .?"

"You shared with me your concerns. I didn't take them seriously enough. . .and. . .I left you on your own."

"Boss!" Tony sharply started to argue with Gibbs' comments.

"Tony." Gibbs said so sharply that Tony went quiet. "I have spent the last year watching Vance's every move. I was suspicious of him, so, in the process, I have been . . .ignoring. . .the meaningful signs. Signs that my gut should have known were significant.

"There is nothing wrong with your gut." Tony argued in shock of the statement.

"We need to work as a team, Tony." Gibbs restated.

"We do." Tony said softly, worried where this discussion was going.

"Boss, nothing has changed." Tony redirected the conversation in a light tone.

"Your gut." Tony emphasized. "Is just as good, if not better, that it has always been."

"I think you just trust your team more now than you used to." Tony added. "And let's face it, we are the best. Especially, your senior field agent." Tony said as he sat up straight tugging at his collar. After hearing Tony's words, Gibbs grinned and turned to look at the agent still sitting straight up on the couch fixing his hair, looking as though he were posing. With some reluctance, Gibbs finally nodded in understanding and agreement. Gibbs continued to watch Tony, until Tony realized that Gibbs was just staring at him.

"Is there are reason for all of these dates?" Gibbs finally asked directly. "Does it have something to do with Ziva?" Tony finally slouched and waved his left hand at Gibbs, indicating that he wanted Gibbs to let this go.

"Wait didn't you have a date at 8:00?"

"I accidently called her Ziva. I think I did it three or four times too. Oops." Tony responded.

"Tony!" Gibbs shouted. "Talk to me, DiNozzo, what is up with Ziva?"

"Ziva is Ziva. If she hadn't gone back to Israel those few months last year, we wouldn't even be having this discussion right now." Tony said with assurance. "And. . .I do think she will come back. . .or call anyway." Tony added but with uncertainty and worry. Gibbs continued to stare at Tony not satisfied with any of his comments.

"Ziva found a grey hair!" Tony shouted back in defeat. Gibbs cocked his head as he continued to stare at Tony.

"It was right on top too." Tony said as he pointed to the top of his head where the grey hair once laid. "I named it Tom Selleck. Anyway. . .I pulled it out, but I feel like the grey hair is internal this time too. Yeah. . .Anthony DiNozzo is growing up way to fast." Gibbs laughed and finally relaxed from the statement. Now, his concern was just on Ziva.

~The End