Vance's Office

"Nice work today, Gibbs." Vance said leaning back in his chair, as Gibbs stood in front of him. "This has been a tough few months." Vance shared with him once again how frustrated he has been since he was shot. "Is Agent DiNozzo okay?"

"I haven't talked with him yet, since this happened. Why?" Gibbs asked suspiciously, not liking how DiNozzo's name was specifically mentioned again.

"He looked like he needed a drink after all this took place today." Vance shared with him his suspicions on Agent DiNozzo. "You know he feels responsible for Agent Barrett's death."

"But, it isn't his fault." Gibbs shot back.

"No it's not. You are right." Vance agreed with him. "But, try convincing him of that."

Gibbs glared at Vance. "He is my responsibility. I'll take care of him." Gibbs shot back at him.

"Your team-your rules, Gibbs." Vance repeated his earlier line.

"Am I going to lose my team, Leon?" Gibbs shot back at him angrily.

"No, I would say that your team is secure, especially after you prevented NCIS headquarters from being blown up." Vance answered, with a partial grin. Gibbs nodded, returned a grin, and went to leave the room. Standing just outside Vance's office were DiNozzo and SecNav.

"I am still not interested, sir." Tony managed to answer before noticing that Gibbs was standing right there. Embarrassed, Tony quickly looked down away from Gibbs. Gibbs approached them.

"Is everything all right, Tony?" Gibbs asked, as he saw the way Tony ducked away from him.

"Yes, Agent Gibbs. Everything is fine here." Secretary Jarvis answered for Tony, as he gave Gibbs an irritated look, but then refocused his attention on DiNozzo.

"Tony?" Gibbs said again, trying to get DiNozzo to look at him.

"Everything is fine, Boss." Tony said softly, with an uncomfortable smile at Gibbs. Although there was a part of him that felt he should let this go, Gibbs also wanted to get his point across with the SecNav.

"Are you messing with my team, Mr. Secretary?" Gibbs shot back at the SecNav.

"Boss!" Tony tried to intervene, even waving his arms in the air to get Gibbs to stop.

"Excuse me?" Secretary Jarvis said.

"You said I would get DiNozzo back when you were done with him. I think you are done with him now, aren't you?" Gibbs asked very bluntly.

"Gibbs." Vance tried to intercede before Gibbs said something he would regret.

"Let's go, Tony." Gibbs said. Tony looked around at all three of them.

"Go ahead." Secretary Jarvis said to Tony also, as he continued to stare down Gibbs. Gibbs watched as SecNav joined Vance in his office. Vance treated Gibbs with an irate glare.

"Come here." Gibbs grabbed Tony by the back of the arm and pulled him into the conference room.

"Boss." Tony said quickly, but Gibbs interrupted.

"You have to put your foot down, so he stops bugging you about Rota, Spain. You say no, so he knows you mean it, Tony."

"Yes, I mean-I know. You are right, Boss." Tony started to explain. "However, we weren't talking about Rota, Spain. Jarvis asked me if I needed some time off. He offered me up to a month paid time off."

"Oh well, yeah, you should take it Tony." Gibbs said, starting to join an already laughing Tony.

"I thought you heard the whole discussion, with your super-superior hearing and all." Tony said with a smile. "Honestly, I probably could have used the time just to clean up that mess at my apartment."

"Why didn't you just say yes then?" Gibbs asked with a smile, as they headed toward the elevator.

"Ah, I was worried I would just spend it . . .you know." Tony's demeanor changed.

"Drinking?" Gibbs added, giving Tony a critical stare, as the elevator started down to the garage.

"Yeah." Tony nodded in agreement.

"Boss?" Tony started to say. Gibbs turned to look at him, sensing Tony's serious tone.

"Thank you, Boss." Tony said. Gibbs smiled and nodded, as they headed for the parking lot.

~The End