One Month Later…

It was McGee's first day back on active duty. He had a feeling he could have been doing field work after two weeks, but his doctor and Shepard agreed that after a week and a half of medical leave, he should spend another two at his desk. The only upside, he got to spend a lot of time with Abby.

He had been sitting at his desk, checking his email, wishing Gibbs would hurry up and tell them to gear up. He was itching for a case, any case, even if it was a marine's missing dog. Just so he could get away from his desk for a few hours.

"Ya gotta pee, McYansy?" Tony called from his own desk.

"What? No," McGee replied glancing over at DiNozzo. "Why?"

"Your leg keeps bouncing, and you keep looking over at the bathroom. It's not hard to put two and two together."

"I'm not looking at the bathroom…" McGee trailed off, glancing toward the back elevators; they were pretty close to the bathrooms. "Where's Gibbs?" he questioned changing the subject, letting his eyes rest on Tony and Ziva, who had moved from her desk to lean against Tony's.

"Why?" Ziva asked curiously.

"I just…" Tim's eyes landed on Tony. "Quick, do something stupid. He always shows up when you're doing something stupid."

"No, McGee. I'm not getting a head slap because you are attempting to stalk Gibbs."

"I'm not stalking him, Tony," McGee snapped.

"Stalking who?" a voice said from behind McGee. McGee turned, eyes resting on Gibbs coming from the back elevators.

"Nobody boss," McGee said quietly letting his eyes rest on his computer. Gibbs' eyebrows rose, but he didn't comment. He sat at his desk, placing his coffee next to his computer. He picked his glasses up off a stack of papers, slipped them on his nose, and proceeded to read whatever was on the top page of the stack.

Ziva had already wandered back to her desk, opening her desk drawer to search for something. Tony was subtly playing Tetris on his phone, his eyes glancing up at Gibbs every so often. McGee's fingers drummed against his desk, counting the seconds in his head. Then, Gibbs' phone rang…

He snatched the phone from its cradle, answering, "Gibbs." he listened for a second, nodded, and then hung up. "We've got a dead marine. I want Mc…" he said getting to his feet. McGee was the second one up, collecting his bag off the floor, and was halfway to the elevators before he realized Tony, Ziva, and Gibbs weren't following him.

"What?" he said turning to see them all staring at him.

"Come here," Gibbs said slowly gesturing for him to return to the bullpen.

"But the…"


Tim trekked back toward his team, stopping short of Tony's desk. Gibbs spared him one final look before he said, "I want McGee and DiNozzo to head to the crime scene and wait for Ducky."

"What about us, Gibbs?" Ziva asked something in her eyes telling Tim she didn't like the idea of them splitting up. In a way, neither did McGee. Not after DeFeo.

"Conference call in MTAC, we'll meet them there." Ziva nodded, sitting back at her desk.

McGee glanced over a Tony, an unreadable expression on his face. It would be the first time, since DeFeo, that they would be heading to a crime scene by themselves.

"The evidence isn't going to walk here," Gibbs said to Tony and Tim. "Get going…"


The conference call took longer than Gibbs wanted, but he and Ziva did make it to the crime scene about forty minutes after McGee and Tony. The ME van was parked behind their truck, Palmer struggling to get the gurney out of the back.

"Hey guys," he said the moment they got out of the car. "Dr. Mallard and DiNozzo are inside." he nodded toward the small, gray bungalow.

"Where is McGee?" Ziva asked walking past Palmer, following Gibbs toward the house.

"He's around here somewhere," Palmer said absentmindedly, giving the gurney one final yank before it came free from the van.

Gibbs didn't say anything, but he gave Ziva a quick look before entering the house. She nodded, wandering over to Tony. He was standing next to Ducky, snapping photos of the body, and snapped one of her as she stopped next to him.

"Where is McGee?" she questioned looking Tony directly in the eyes.

"He was right…" Tony trailed off, eyes scanning the immediate area. "McGee," he called heading out of the room and down the hall. "Hey, McGee…" Gibbs and Ziva were on his tail, Gibbs scanning open doors for his missing agent. "McGee!"

"What," Tim said peeking his head out from the last room, a computer in his gloved hands.

"Answer me when I call you," Tony said slapping the back of his head.

"Ow, Tony. What the hell was that for?"

"For worrying Ziva," Tony snapped and stalked away from McGee.

"Are you okay?" Ziva asked meeting McGee's eyes.

"Yeah. I just found Melissa Abel's computer," McGee said glaring at Tony's retreating form. "I thought this could help us."

"I am sure it can," Ziva replied following McGee down the hall as he started walking. Gibbs watched them go, shaking his head at Tony's actions. He just hoped that didn't become a regular thing, otherwise they wouldn't get anything done.

With that, he moved back down the hall and joined his team…



And we leave it at that...

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