I know there will be errors and Englishisms, but I write because I love it and I hope you enjoy reading it.

Tony shivered. It had been snowing for the past week and he was miserable.

This was the third case they had caught in as many days. Sometimes being the team with the best clear-up rate in the agency sucked. He was cold, tired, hungry...

'DiNozzo, get moving.'

'On your six Boss.'...and in trouble.

He rubbed his hands together before grabbing his kit and camera and heading out to the remote woodland spot the latest killer had chosen to dump a body. The Petty Officer had been brutally beaten, and McGee looked decidedly peaky at the sight. Tony headed over to his favourite probe.

'Mcprobie, go take statements, I've got this.' He said indicating the camera. Tim let out a sigh of relief, and headed off to talk to the local PD.

'You vying for my job DiNozzo? 'cuse the last I heard, I was in charge here.'

'Sorry boss, just trying to speed this up.' There was a familiar grunt form their grouchy superior before he turned and headed for Ducky. Although, Tony did note there was no countermand of his order therefore he figured he'd dodged the bullet this time.

Several hours had passed by the time they were ready to pack up and go, unfortunately the officer assigned to secure their crimes scene was nowhere in sight. It was getting dark and Gibbs had lost whatever patience he had (which really wasn't much to begin with).

'Where is he?' Gibbs barked at McGee who was the last one to see the officer in question.

'I..I..mmm.. he said he needed to check in with his boss, err boss, and...mmm... that was 30 minutes ago.'

Tony sighed as he ended his call. While Gibbs was yelling at McGee he had made himself useful by giving the precinct a call. Turns out their young colleague had decided it would be better to head back to his nice warm office to check in rather than wait in the freezing cold with a bunch of pissed off feds. While Tony could understand the kid's sentiment, he did not relish being the one who had to break the news to Gibbs.



'Our officer is back at the station, it'll take him half hour to get back.' Gibbs glared at McGee like it was his personal fault for not stopping the guy leaving.

'DiNozzo, you wait for him, McGee get in the car.'

'We only brought one vehicle boss.' McGee pointed out

'I'm sure DiNozzo can call a cab, right DiNozzo, you can manage that can't you' Tony knew when the battle was lost, but apparently McGee did not.

'But boss...'

'What, you want to be in charge to now McGee, is that it?' Gibbs said rounding on the young agent.

'No boss.' McGee replied his eyes searching out Tony's by way of apology for leaving him there. Gibbs had already stalked off towards their vehicle.

'Don't worry about it Tim, I'm used to it. Although do me a favour, when you see Ziva and she starts bitching about being stuck on that training course, remind her how lucky she was to miss all this fun.'

McGee smiled at the senior agent, pulled off his gloves and handed them to Tony. They may not have been as stylish as the leather ones he was wearing, but they were a hell of a lot warmer. No words were exchanged before Tim headed for the car, but the smile that lit up the older man's face said more than words ever could.

Since losing Kate, Gibbs moods had become darker and Tim knew Tony had done his best to protect him from the worst of them.

As much as Tony teased and generally annoyed him, he had never been scared of Tony...Gibbs on the other hand, well... he didn't know how Tony did it. He not only shielded the two younger agents but on several occasions had actually managed to make Gibbs smile...well grin at least...Tim really wanted to learn how to do that. A skill he could really use right now.

He had felt bad leaving Tony alone in the snow. Ever since the plague, McGee had been hyper aware that Tony getting cold was a bad thing. Mostly this was because Abby reminded him every 10 seconds but also because he had visited the senior agent a few days after his release from hospital and if he looked that bad then, he couldn't imagine how bad it had been.

Tony was passed frozen and it had only been 10 minutes. It was now dark and the temperature had dropped dramatically. He was stamping his feet trying desperately to stay warm when he heard it. It was quiet, but it was there, and it set Tony's gut into overdrive.

Slowly drawing his gun, Tony turned and walked into the tree line.