A belated birthday/Christmas gift-fic. Everything you recognize I don't own, everything you don't recognize, I likely own. I swear, the other chapters will be longer than this.
Changed My Mind: Chapter One - It begins.
He really should repaint the walls. They did nothing for the looks of anyone. Hmm – Leon Vance shook his head, pulling his mind away from the bright orange walls and focusing instead on the girls in front of him. It was politically correct to call them young women, or ladies, instead of his chosen 'girls' he supposed. They were all seniors at Georgetown, and would resent being called girls: would make them feel he was treating them as younger than their early twenties. Admittedly, the Director of NCIS didn't really care how the newest interns would think of him. They were the ones who had chosen the internship with his agency; they'd have to put up with everything he would throw at them.
He steepled his dark boxer's hands below his chin, thinking. Like as not they were tough enough to handle what he was going to throw at them. Gomez had given him flip. Morris seemed to have the art of humorous yet polite comebacks down, Rizzio seemed to just ignore his comments, or turn them for her benefit. Watson took enjoyment in by turns ignoring him and turning the comment back on him: she'd done the best with any of the illegal questions he threw at her, giving a sardonically raised eyebrow while mentioning that her lawyer uncle was only a phone call away if he wished to continue with such questions. Yes, these four would fit right in where he wanted to put them. They'd give Gibbs just as much of a headache as the agent regularly gave him.
He stood, the four in front of him doing the same; Rizzio with slight difficulty, wobbling until Watson and Morris on either side of her grabbed her elbows, keeping her upright and preventing her from falling back into her seat. Quietly he adjusted his cuffs as they settled themselves all upright, waiting until all four were looking at him. Inwardly he was gleeful with the variations on mulish exasperation all were giving him with his current act, proved fully that they could go toe to toe with their, ahem, "internship leader" and come out fine with it.
"Ladies, welcome to NCIS."
It had been a boring morning. A really, really boring morning. They weren't currently assigned a cold case, they had no active case… they had nothing. Or, Timothy McGee realized, he had nothing. His teammates had something. Ziva David was effectively leading Anthony DiNozzo on, the Israeli-descended newly made American citizen taking great pleasure in teasing and tormenting the man about her 'friend' in Miami. He knew they liked each other, it was clear to him (but then again, not everyone had the luxury of listening to Tony pour out his heart under truth serum: and of the three that had been in the room, he was the only one who hadn't been drugged or dead, since he hadn't told Ziva, and it was unlikely Tony remembered anything), the whole liking-each-other-thing was probably back on square two, rather than square four as he last remembered it being. Pity. Square four was infinitely more interesting from his perspective than square two.
The brunet quietly sighed, scribbled a note on a piece of paper and lobbed it at Tony, hitting him on the side of the head. The Italian man scowled, lobbing the note back and continuing his conversation with Ziva. They'd devolved into nitpicking about how there was no way she could like someone who constantly wore Hawaiian shirts.
"He doesn't wear Hawaiian shirts!" Tim chucked the paper back at Tony again on Ziva's remark, hoping to either stop the conversation or at least get Tony to pick up the hint that there was something on the paper. He'd take whatever they glared at him, at this rate. No glares, they just ignored him, and the note.
"So what if he wears sunglasses, Tony! You do so as well!" Tim swiveled his chair aimlessly. Perhaps he'd given up too easy, but clearly Tony wasn't in the mood to listen to his suggestion, even if the suggestion was given in an odd manner. He just wasn't up for dealing with – waitaminute! Green eyes widened in shock as Tony stood, rounding his desk and marching over to Ziva's, the metal seeming not much of a barrier as he leaned across it, hands braced over her stapler and the stack of paper she had been trying to read. Probably a good idea about the stapler, Tim mused absently, quietly waiting to see how it would all play out. Sure, she had all her knives, her gun and the entire box of paperclips. But at least the stapler wasn't in easy access. God, would they just kiss already, or something?
Any chance of that happening (which would be shocking in and of itself, what with them being in the middle of the bullpen) was cut short by the sound of the elevator and a headslap. Gibbs, being Leroy Jethro Gibbs, had come upon them without their noticing. Ow! Tim rubbed the back of his head as his boss kept walking, looming beside Ziva's desk, Tony and Ziva too busy engaging in their staring contest to notice him. Tim had to grin at the dual thwack that rang out, a giggle escaping at Gibbs' growl.
"Not," Tim could just make out, "on my time." Tony did his normal groaning-grumble at being head-slapped while walking back to his desk. The three agents quickly resumed doing a whole lot of nothing, while Gibbs continued his walk out of the bullpen. Tim looked quizzically at the still full (he knew it was still full, he had replaced it on his last stop to the breakroom, and Gibbs hadn't been in the bullpen since then!) coffee cup, wondering just where his gray-haired boss was going. Not to visit Abby, he'd already gone down today. Then what was he doing?
It was the sound of crutches that first alerted him to something being different. He looked up from his computer at the Gibbs-sounding throat-clearing. It was Gibbs clearing his throat, but it certainly wasn't Gibbs on the crutches. Not that they were even crutches, he hastily amended, more like canes. They belonged to the girl standing beside his boss, or so it would seem, since she was leaning on them. The sight of the girl caused him to blink. To see her flanked by three other girls caused him to blink again.
"Boss?" Tony asked, seemingly having come back to his senses as Tim was staring, "who're they?"
Gibbs' eyes seemed to almost dance. Now that was just not normal. Not normal at all. It wasn't a malicious 'gotcha, dirtbag' or triumphant 'we saved them!' or even the terrible 'if I had my way, you'd be dead' look. It wasn't even the vaguely paternal look Tim had seen cross Gibbs' face when he looked at them every now and again. No, Gibbs just looked pleased, happy and just the tiniest bit teasing. Since when did Gibbs tease?
"Our new interns, Tony," Gibbs said, a slight grin playing about his features. He gestured to the canes-girl, "this is Victoria Rizzio," Tim winced at the light in Tony's eyes at that. Victoria was Italian and pretty; he could only hope she had enough common sense not to fall for any of Tony's lines. "Rose Watson," turned out to be the short blond, hair done sharply in a braid down her back – all the way down her back. Long hair, that girl. "Skylar Gomez," was a tall Hispanic girl, Tim mused, who didn't dress at all like a girl, but looked good (what, he was a male) for that. "And Nicole Morris," this tall African-American girl was a good bit more colorful than her fellow interns, pink popping from her shirt while her hair was almost… tiger striped? Tim looked again. Yes, sort of, brown and orange, tiger striped-ish. Hmm, he frowned, tiger striped-ish wasn't really a word, and here he was a published author using it. Not good. Truthful, but not good.
Another Gibbs-throat clearing. Tim looked up again. What? Oh, right, he had to introduce himself, "Oh, Timothy McGee." Well, that was awkward. No more awkward than anything else he'd done in the past, though. The introductions were over, and Gibbs – Gibbs! – led them on a tour of NCIS. Woah.
It was warm in the house, warm and somewhat welcoming, if one ignored the lack of pictures and other mementos. The only sounds were pots bubbling in the kitchen, one full of water and pasta boiling strongly, the other some sort of sauce. Gibbs didn't know what it was, only that it was going to taste good.
Sure, no one knew about the biweekly meeting between NCIS and the FBI. No one would, likely. Or well, no one who didn't already know. Tobias Fornell puttered around the kitchen, looking strange in a pink frilly apron over a suit. Gibbs merely lounged at his kitchen table, sipping at a beer.
"We coulda done steak," the NCIS agent mentioned, "woulda kept you out of the apron." Tobias merely rolled his eyes, stirring the sauce.
"Emily gave me this apron for my birthday, I would've been stuck wearing it over your fireplace, and that would get it caught on fire," the FBI agent commented, "and as I can't lie to Em, I would've found myself explaining that I burnt it on purpose, because it's well…"
"Pink," Gibbs supplied, "pink and frilly." Tobias merely sighed in response and attempted to change the subject. "So, what's new on the ocean?"
Tobias Fornell looked at Gibbs silently for a moment before chuckling. "Interns? You have interns? And you haven't killed them yet? How come, only got them for two hours once a week or something?"
"Nope," the word was somewhere between a growl and an exasperated sigh, "for the entire day, two days a week, and weekends if we're on call. And before you say it, I agreed to have them. Need to keep the team on their toes, and well, they seem like a good bunch."
"Really?" Tobias sounded unsure as to how serious Gibbs was being.
"Hmm." Tobias stirred at the water for the pasta, "We'll just have to see if you're right."