Team Gibbs was being treated like royalty. On a Navy ship. It was pretty weird how one Anthony DiNozzo can convert a whole crew of 'meddling kids' haters into NCIS lovers. As soon as Gibbs's heel hit the deck the team was practically jumped.
Ziva, Tim and Gibbs weren't in uniform. They'd come as a casual visit to see their team mate. So maybe that was why the crew didn't verbally attack them? The crowd of Naval personnel were standing in a line facing them, grinning. "Uh...Boss?" Tim whispered. Somehow anything louder than that seemed sinful. Like the creeper crew would snap and bite their heads off. "You sure we're on a Navy ship?" Gibbs didn't reply, but Ziva looked at Tim and shook her head. All three of them shared a brief 'What-the-crap?' look.
Suddenly a man burst out from the deck doors and sprinted toward the line, pushing through to meet them. This was unusual on so many levels. Usually the Navy wanted to say 'goodbye' not hello. And their idea of goodbye was hoping to get the opportunity of stuffing the agents into a cannon and blasting them overboard. To make it obvious: They were liked about as much as George Bush. Most of the time NCIS was hated with a burning passion, but apparently today was an exception.
"Hey!" The tall, sandy- haired man said. He was the one who pushed through the line to get to the befuddled team. They were all wondering when the apocalypse was going to start...Any second now. He held out his hand and Gibbs took it. "I'm Chuck-And you must be Jethro!" Chuck said, shaking Gibbs's hand like he was stuck on vibrate. 'What the fuck are they putting in the food here?' Gibbs thought. "That's me." He replied. Pulling his hand away before it could could fall off. "And you two are Ziva and Tom right?" Chuck proceeded to attack their arms as well. "Well actually it's Ti-" Tim began quickly, but Chuck cut him off. The man was a little too open. His eyes gave away too much and he acted a little too happy to see them... Like he was about to perform the nut cracker sweet in a Tu-tu...That kind of way too happy. It was funny, but weird.
"I'll take you guys to see Tony." He said. He was already half way across the deck and 'Tom', Ziva and Gibbs were dragged mercilessly through the cramped ship. "What is the dude smoking?" Tim mumbled to Ziva. Ziva genius of all american idioms that she was, answered him with a blank look.
"You know this man, McGee?" Tim ran along side her through the endless hallways. Confused by her answer Tim decided he would quip with something intelligent. "Huh?"
"Well, you must know him if you know he smokes, McGee." Ziva said as if it were the most obvious thing in the world. Go figure. 'Whatever it is, it's gotta be pretty damn strong,' McGee thought to himself. Finally, three collisions and a small head injury later, they all arrived at a metal door. "Hey, Tony!" Chuck roared, slapping the palm of his hand against the door like it personally offended him at some point. It was official, this man had hit his head one too many times on the low doorways of the 'Sea Hawk'. The heat on board was pretty bad and Ziva decided to take a sip of water which her body violently rejected at the sight of Tony.
He flung open the door at mach 5 and got a hand in the face from his buddy Chuck. Ziva's healthy gulp of Aquafina went down the wrong pipe and she started to cough. After a while Chuck looked at her, concerned. "You okay Ziva? Do you need me to perform the Heimlich maneuver?" He sounded genuinely worried, but Ziva managed to choke out, "Heimlich me... and die."
Just then Tony started to laugh and Chuck looked at him like he was surprised. "Hey guys!" He rushed forward, hugging the entire team until their ribs began to cry out for help. His Tony-esque 1,000 watt grin was contagious and they all smiled back at him. He'd lost weight, but looked more...built almost. A lot happier than when he'd left NCIS after the late director's death. "I see you've met my friend Chuck." He gestured to Chuck, who bowed and waved enthusiastically. And so the visitor's tour of the 'Sea Hawk' began.
For the rest of their time on board the 'Sea Hawk', Tony gave them all the grand tour. He was constantly chatting and laughing with everybody they met throughout the day. Especially Chuck. He insisted that Chuck come with them for some reason. This made Ziva and Tim a little uneasy. Tony was really friendly with Chuck it seemed. He was their team mate right? Then why was he so warm with this guy that he'd only known for, what? 6 months? He and Tony were inseparable and all the shipmates they saw were grinning and saying hello. Tony was so happy here. This naturally bothered the hell out of everyone on Team Gibbs.
He didn't laugh and smile this much before he left. Had he? Oh no.
All the sailors met in passing gave DiNozzo a smile and a pat on the back and treated the three visitors with welcome glances. One even greeted them formally and told them "Any friend of Anthony is a friend of mine!". Like he was one of them, but no. He couldn't be one of them, Tony belonged with them at NCIS right? Ziva, Tim and even Gibbs shared quite a few nervous glances. Apparently Tony didn't just like it here, 'Here' seemed to like him too... Why was he so damn happy on the 'Sea Hawk'?
When the day was finally over team Gibbs was led away from Tony by The Great Chuck. Tony's new best friend, apparently. Their hearts felt like lead. It looked like Tony loved it there...What if he wanted to stay? There was no stopping him if that was what DiNozzo wanted and it looked like he really, really wanted to stay. They hadn't realized how much they'd missed him and his sarcastic remarks.
"Hey! Wait?" Chuck called. Gibbs and co. steeled themselves and turned to face Mr. McFriendstealer. Chuck reached them and smiled warmly. Again. Which made it really hard to hate his guts. And they wanted to hate his guts. "Thanks so much for coming to see him, you guys! I haven't seen Tony this happy in well," He stopped.
"I haven't seen Tony this happy~ and he actually laughed today..." Chuck finished in wonderment.
He shrugged and held out a hand to Gibbs again. Ziva and Tim looked at each other and a huge grin spread over their faces. Gibbs was stunned. So he was only that happy because they were there to visit him? They meant that much to him? But Chuck wasn't finished delivering his share of shockers for the day. "It was a pleasure meeting you Mr. DiNozzo!" Chuck told Gibbs, still holding out his vacant hand. Which looked awfully lonely. Gibbs was terrified of this man's handshakes. It was almost like Chuck believed pumping his hand up and down was going to achieve flight.
All of team Gibbs looked at each other, eyebrows raised. If this was a joke it was an odd one to play. Chuck and his over emotional features showed confusion. Almost as if someone had just informed him that he had an octopus growing out of his forehead. "Aren't you his father?" Chuck asked.
Gibbs's eyebrow almost jumped off his face as it threatened to elevate into his hairline. Chuck blushed bright red. "Oh, uh- I'm s-sorry sir. And I take it you're not related to him either?" Chuck stuttered. Looking to Ziva and Tim. They'd all been jokingly informed by Tony that Chuck stuttered when he got nervous. "It's just...Tony was real excited and when I asked him what for he shouted something about a family reunion? S-So I just assumed-" His train of thought crashed as Gibbs shook his hand, surprising him.
A large grin was hiding the older man's face. Ziva looked a little surprised, but smirked. Tim just smiled, big and wide in a way that would make DiNozzo proud. 'Family Reunion' huh? They both stepped forward and shook Chuck's hand. "Thanks." They said. "No -n-n-no problem?" Chuck managed. Ziva and McGee looked to Gibbs. He nodded and they walked off the Sea Hawk. Their hearts were lighter than before and all wearing the same knowing smile. They all knew Chuck hadn't misheard their friend.
Family. That's what they were.