A new chapter is finally up! Thank you guys as usual for the amazing feedback. Seriously I could live on reviews, I am not kidding.

I got a few comments asking about Nala and the girls and they will be coming back in the next chapter. I have so much that I want to write hahah, but I'm not speedy enough to get everything out. However, I did get a bit of a start on the case and I also brought Ducky who has been strangely silent...

Also, to any of my reviewers who might be a bit squeamish you might want to avoid the first set of italics. We get to look at a bit of Tony's undercover op that went bad, personally I don't think I went too grim, but I know everybody has different preferences so I wanted to give the warning :). You should be able to follow the story by just skipping over that and into the non-italicized section.

Thank you as usual to my phenomenal beta! Mike

Please review and as usual can't wait to hear what you guys think, bad or good :D

NCIS is not mine :( I just borrow the characters and play with them...

Tim surreptitiously peered across the room in the direction of Team DiNozzo's sectioned off area. He really wished he could pull off the Gibbs sneak attack. Sadly, those were skills he lacked, so wandering over to their side to see what exactly they were doing and how the new "team" seemed to mesh was not a possibility.

It seemed that Team DiNozzo was a source of contention for numerous reasons, beyond the Italian's painful departure and sudden promotion, there was apparently a new Probie, one who used to be in prison. McGee fought back a smirk; of course Tony would hire someone wrongly convicted of a crime, the man had been accused of felonies enough times. The ex-Probie wondered if Tony would share that with his new team member. He also wondered how Tony would run the new team. Would he do those ridiculous team campfires, something Tim was never sure were actually effective. Would he try to be Gibbs, Tim hoped not, the man was incapable of pulling off the grouchy Marine.

The young agent was abruptly pulled out of his musings with a sharp smack to the back of the head, "You're not being paid to daydream, and you may think you only have a half hour left, but you still have numerous forms to file. I expect those done before you leave." Gibbs said and left, probably went for another coffee.

Tim almost scowled at his boss, barely refraining from an indignant response.

"What is that your tenth head-slap today?" Ziva smirked arrogantly.

Tim said nothing, but directed what he hoped was an unimpressed look her way. He could a feel a headache coming on, one that was part head-slap and part stress induced. Certainly he had experienced this amount of work before, he had briefly been team lead and Tony had given him the exact same workload, but, somehow he felt completely overwhelmed this time. DiNozzo had been encouraging, helpful, showed him the ropes. He winced and rubbed his temple, then quickly looked to see if Gibbs had somehow managed to return.

"Looking for someone?" said Ziva with a knowing look.

"Gibbs always seemed to come whenever Tony said something bad or looked bad, and he seems to be doing the same for me," the young agent said, attempting to keep the whine out of his voice.

"Then you will have to stop making mistakes, yes?" the dark haired agent said with an upturned brow. She too was busy typing something.

"Of course that would be the answer you come up with," Tim said with near growl.

"Touchy," she smirked.

He full on glared at the reply. Not that it did much. The only people who glared properly on this team were Ziva and Gibbs. Both had completely different glares and each was effective. McGee knew he had yet to accomplish that. Tim was irked, not only with her response, but the fact that she managed to get the American idiom right.

"I'm going downstairs; I need some information from Ducky." With that McGee quickly escaped the conversation. As he made it to the elevator he attempted to slow his pace, there was already enough gossip going around, no need to confirm how lost he felt, how out of his depth Tim was. Within a few moments he was down and walking into the morgue. The familiar surroundings seemed somehow different than before. All the drawers which may or may not hold bodies, the slab that Ducky was currently wiping down, seemed bleaker. He couldn't explain it.

"Timothy, what brings you down here?" said Ducky, interrupting his thoughts.

"I came for a few more details on the body and wounds, to aid in my write up of the case. Some of the specifics have slipped my mind and of course as SFA I have to have every little bit of detail." He tried to smile when he said this, make it a joke.

"Really, Timothy, wouldn't the phone have taken less time? I know that Jethro has been working the team quite hard since Anthony's departure and you are sure to need every minute," the older gentleman said all of this without even looking up. He didn't sound angry per say, but he was distracted, not really paying attention to Tim.

"Yeah, the phone would have been the logical choice, but I wanted to chat with you for a bit," said Tim with hesitancy in his voice. He looked around the room again, trying to find a reason for the cold feeling he had in his chest. It looked the same: bare walls, metal covering most surfaces, ugly mottled floor to hide any blood stain. If someone could read his thoughts they would probably laugh and remind him that it was a coroner's office, thinking that was the reason for the ominous feeling in his chest. But that was the problem: it had never felt like that before, even though it was a morgue.

Finally Ducky's voice rang out in the mostly quiet room, "I spoke with you earlier today about the details of the corporal's stab wounds."

Tim stiffened. Was Dr. Mallard angry? In all his time working here he could only imagine a few moments when the good natured doctor grew frustrated and that was usually at either Gibbs or DiNozzo for avoiding medical care. Ducky's ire had never been directed at himself. He couldn't figure out what to say, should he ask straight out?

"Ducky, I came for a bit of company," he paused, "it's been a tough couple of days." stated the young agent softly.

Finally the old doctor looked up from his work, "I'm sure it has been. You have a lot of responsibility on your shoulders now."

Tim listened to the words and wondered if he had misread the anger. During those times that Ducky grew frustrated with DiNozzo or Gibbs he had never been outright angry. It was impossible to know what an angry Ducky would act like, the short clipped responses could be anger and now that he thought back to the weekend of work, Ducky had been fairly quiet. Tim didn't think that he had heard a single story, then again, it wasn't like he had really been paying attention, the entire team had been short a member and everyone was a little distracted.

McGee looked over to the short doctor and saw that he had returned to his work. Maybe he should just ask him.

"Umm, Ducky, are you okay?"

"Now, why would you ask me that, Timothy?"

"You just seem a little off today. I don't know, maybe I'm just being dumb. I could be reading you completely wrong. It's just you aren't really talking that much and usually you talk a lot." Tim cut off the babble that could go on forever. He looked at the coroner and saw the man still had his eyes focused on cleaning; he had moved on from the table and seemed to be aimlessly wiping things down.

Finally, Ducky stopped the cleaning and looked up, "You are correct, I have been a little bit off," the older gentleman paused and seemed to collect his thoughts. "I'm rather unhappy, Timothy. I am very displeased about the way things turned out for Anthony."

"You-" Timothy went to speak up, but was cut off by Ducky's hand.

"No, I do not refer to his job. He deserved the new position and I am extremely happy to hear that he was promoted. What I am so upset about is the way he left this team, the hurt that he experienced and the fact that his entire team cornered him like thugs and then proceeded to throw insults like punches." The coroner grew quieter as he spoke, but the underlying anger was easily evident.

McGee stiffened at the last comment and tried to defend himself, "But, Ducky, he didn't even tell us he was leaving, he just up and disappeared. Don't you think he deserved the response he got?"

"Timothy. All four of you-Jethro, Ziva and Abby along with yourself-how could you jump so quickly to anger? Maybe it is my old age that makes me slow to anger, but youth is really no excuse. Anthony was your teammate and your friend, didn't you question his decision, why weren't you guys worried? Why wasn't your first response concern?" The usually quiet doctor finally raised his voice as he concluded the defense of Tony.

McGee stopped the defensive argument he had waiting the second Ducky's voice changed in tenor. He felt his shoulders droop and the somber mood in the morgue suddenly seemed that much clearer. It wasn't the area, it was the person.

"Ducky…I…" Tim let the silence linger after those first few words. He had no idea what else to say. The older man was no longer looking at him. McGee walked a bit closer, leaving his position just inside the doorway, and putting a hand on Dr. Mallard's shoulder. He tried to express with his eyes that he was sorry. McGee had a feeling the words would mean little.

"You don't need to apologize to me," said the doctor more kindly then before; gripping the younger man's shoulder in turn. "And, Timothy, you may quite possibly find that if you make things right with Tony he will help to relieve the stress you are under."

The fact that Ducky walked out and didn't say a single word more showed that he was probably a lot more troubled then he appeared. Tim pondered that, did Ducky know why Tony left? What would make Ducky this angry? Sure the fact that they all, "cornered him like thugs", which Tim thought seemed rather harsh, was worth getting upset about, but angry enough to just walk away, to raise his voice? There had to be another reason. What could it be, what could Ducky know that they didn't? Tim left the morgue closing the door on his way out and stood in front of the elevator.

He continued to think as he walked. Ducky had known Tony longer than both himself and Ziva, but not any longer than Gibbs. Gibbs was just as angry, so the knowledge so the knowledge that Ducky had was beyond Gibbs as well. Tim knew Ducky was Tony's medical examiner, meaning it could have something to do with Tony's health. However, that wouldn't really make any sense: if Tony had an illness of some sort then he wouldn't be the team lead, Ducky wouldn't allow it. Maybe it simply came down to personality? Tim didn't think personality alone would inspire such, such-loyalty. "Loyalty" was definitely the right word now that Tim thought about it.

The elevator opened with a ping. He stepped in trying to figure out what to do about this new information. Technically speaking he had two choices: he could let whatever was going on with Tony just pass by or talk to Tony. Tim could simply go on with his life, but that would mean losing someone he considered a good friend. Beyond the fact that as Ducky said, Tony had experience and could help him, there was the problem of Ducky's anger. If the anger was rightly placed then he didn't want to look back on this with regret or shame; Tim did not want to let Tony down. In the end there really was only one choice.

The elevator went up to the main floor and who should get on, but agent DiNozzo. Tim thought he was going to jump out of his skin. Tony didn't even blink, he didn't smirk or laugh he just stepped on and hit the button for the parking lot. Tim watched as the doors to the floor he should have stopped at closed and he stayed silent as they went to the ground floor.

He tried desperately to make sense of his muddled thoughts-what the heck should he say? The lights above the elevator doors glowed and then lost their light. Time was ticking down like a bomb and he had a feeling that if he didn't speak soon the words would explode from him in a mess.

"Tony-" he burst out.

"Agent McGee?" Tony replied, lacking any warm familiarity. The old DiNozzo would have most certainly found the words for him, but this new person-pod person as Tony might say with a reference to some funny movie-was not giving him any help whatsoever.

The silence was loud in his ears and Tim quickly tried to pull himself together. He was a Senior Field Agent, a successful writer and he was capable of speaking to his co-worker.

"Tony, I mean, Agent DiNozzo, could we speak, if now isn't a good time I can talk any time. I just would really like to have a conversation."

Tony stopped the clipped pace he had begun out towards the parking garage, pivoting to look at him. "Are you sure you really want to talk, agent?"

"I'm positive," stated McGee very firmly. "I don't want things to end between us and I don't want to lose the friendship we had."

Tony appeared to look around the area. There was nobody around, however it was the official closing time and agents from various ranks and teams would likely be making their way to the parking garage. Tim wondered if the older agent would invite him to his house. That seemed rather personal.

"We can chat in my car. I'll drive around a bit and you can speak."

The two men silently walked to the car, Tim a little bit behind the other, following because the destination was unknown to him. He tried not to gripe in his head about the fact that once again he was the one following. Sometimes Tim felt like a well-trained pet and he desperately wanted to chew off the leash holding him back.

Finally they made it to the car and swiftly found their seats. Tony pulled out and exited the parking garage, turning down a residential side road. Once they had been driving for a few minutes, the creepishly solemn Tony gave him a nod to begin speaking.

Tim bit back his ire at once again allowing Tony to lead. He needed to make things right and pride would only lead to his frustration and that would not make for a nice conversation.

"I, well, I need to say a few things. First, I want to say congratulations on gaining the opportunity to lead your own team. I guess in the confusion I never got the chance to say so and that was very wrong on my part. I know that if I ever received any type of commendation you would probably throw some kind of silly party, or do something to praise me. And umm, I think I should be apologizing, but I don't really know what for, but I know that something went wrong, or I did something, or we did something. Because, Tony, you are clearly upset or hurt by us. And I know that you are always in a good mood and optimistic, at least on the surface, and you aren't any more so we must have royally screwed up. So I'm sorry about that. And well. I think that is all." He paused, but then realized he wasn't quite done, "I mean you have certainly pissed me off numerous times with your pranks and nicknames, but I can handle that and I know you are just trying toughen me up. And maybe we just never were meant to be that tight, we are very different. I'm the geek and you're the cool kid. But I still remember you coming to my house that day I shot that guy. You were there for me. I owe you one and this apology that I don't really understand I hope it begins to cover that."

Tim had held his chin up through the conversation and focused on watching Tony's reaction. The dark haired agent had his eyes on the road and Tim saw very little reaction on his face, though there was a slight tightening of his hands on the steering wheel initially. The car was filled with the noise of acceleration and nothing else: no cars anywhere close.

Suddenly, in a very Gibbs-like maneuver Tony made a U-turn. Tim grabbed the door and his arm rest. By the time he righted himself and looked to Tony with a little indignation Tony seemed to have stopped being a pod person. There was a hint of a smile, not the bright Tony smile, but at least the expressionless face was no longer present.

"Tim, thanks for following me out to the parking garage and thanks for the congratulations and the apology. Both mean a lot. Also, congratulations on becoming Senior Field Agent. And well, as for the rest, I think I'm going to give you a bit of time to try and work it out. But, if at the end of the month you still feel amicable towards me, knock on my front door and I will explain to you exactly why I left without keeping many of the details from you."

Tim nodded at the odd response, "Okay. I will be here in a month, Tony. Good luck with your new team." And that was that. The entire encounter was a little stilted, but they ended on peaceful terms and he felt like he had chipped away at the wall between them.

"Also, you might wanna rush back to your paperwork, Gibbs will find extra work for you as punishment if he finds you skipped out for too long."

Tim gulped at that, but screw Gibbs. He would never say that out loud. However, his thoughts were safe from Gibbs, actually that probably wasn't true either, but, the truth of the matter was that he had to talk to Tony and he didn't see it happening at work, or at the man's house. And it needed to happen sooner rather than later. Gibbs would have to deal, or maybe Tim would just accept the paperwork and keep his head down for the next day or two.

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Tony tried desperately to control the minute flinching of his body. His arm muscles were twitching ever so slightly from the strain of holding his body up for numerous hours. The weight of his own body rested on his wrists and upper arm muscles. It was easy to keep a straight face, to fill his expression with contempt and rage, but the body was hard to control. He had a firm grip on his emotions, but as each blade cut open more of his flesh he had to hold onto his resolve much more firmly.

The questions asked of him were but a blur in the background. He could no longer focus on anything but the pain and the anger. His abdomen muscles were persistently tensed against the methodical carving. The slices were going a little bit deeper than before and seemed to be crossing over old wounds, blood was everywhere. None had been life threatening as of yet. It was obvious that the interrogator was practiced and despite the burning pain that seemed to come from everywhere, he knew that none of the wounds were overly deep. Tony took breaths to still the panic that he could feel encroaching on his mind. He needed to focus on something else, maybe the numb feeling in his arched feet.

He heard a wet smack and accidentally breathed in through his nose at the surprise of a hand hitting his body. Salt, blood and sweat filled his senses and he fought back the urge to vomit at the smell of his own blood. Just as quickly he snapped out of the suffocating bitter smell when a wet hand slapped his face hard enough to draw his attention back to the scene at hand.

The blow turned into a caress and as he focused on the hand he realized that the man was rubbing Tony's blood onto his face.

"Antony, if that is your real name, why do you look so beautiful dripping in blood? I didn't imagine such a well-kept body lay under those baggy shirts and ugly torn jeans you had on. You are quite the little deceiver. You're obviously not quite as bloodthirsty or as heartless as you appeared to be, giving yourself up for that pathetic whore."

Tony waited to see what would happen next, it was the first time the boss had shown up since the interrogation began. He didn't say a word in response.

"Ohh, cat got your tongue?" He grabbed Tony's chin firmly in his crimson painted hand, "He tells me you haven't said a word, but don't worry, we're just warming up. I so love the smell of blood, don't you? I think it's a nice way to start things."

Tony was unable to wrench his chin from the man's beefy hands so he stared him down nonchalantly. This would leave lovely little finger bruises on his face.

He suddenly felt his head whip to the side as another wet smack struck him. DiNozzo coughed as he swallowed blood and smiled realizing his teeth were bloody and the red handprints on his face were probably quite gruesome looking given the flinches of two of the grunts.

"Antony, Antony. Why must you put up such a front? We all know you are cringing on the inside."

Tony spit out some of the blood, "Lorence, Lorence, don't you know you will have to do better than that if you want me to actually get close to inspiring any fear?" he rasped out, mouth dry except for the blood.

Tony watched as the man slowly took a step back and began to crack his knuckles, his sneer turned into a snarl.

"Well I guess we will just have to make things a little more painful."

Tony smirked, whatever that man thought he could dish out, Tony could handle.

However, as the man took both hands and drew his nail tipped fingers down Tony's chest, said nails caught themselves on the ridges that now made up his flesh. All of his muscles began to cringe and Tony choked back a scream.

He forced his eyes to open and tried to keep the blackness at bay that encroached on his lids. Anxiously, he tried to draw in air-

Abruptly he realized his arms were no longer bound above his head. He blinked and saw darkness. Tony tried to breathe in deeply, but he could still taste blood. Coughing severely he brought one hand to rub at his throat. He needed to figure out where the hell he was. Clearly he wasn't tied up, but his thoughts were a mess in his mind. It felt like there was blood drenching his body. The Italian brought a shaky hand down to try and wipe away at whatever coated his unsteady form. Quite quickly he discovered that he was covered in sweat.

It was a dream.

He could still taste blood, he could still smell Lorence's dirty oily body, but the comforter was on top of him and he knew he was in bed. Tony got up, peeled back the sheets and slowly walked closer to the door so that he could turn on the lights. Lights improved the situation. The straight planes of his dressers and the frames on his wall were all familiar. Looked down to his body, for a brief moment the sweat looked red; his eyelids opened and shut frantically. A shower would be necessary. He looked over at his bed sheets, those would need to go.

Almost manically he strode over to the bed yanking the comforter off and tossing it to the floor, ripping the sheets from their corners and bunching them into one messy ball. He shook out the pillows from their cocoons and soon had a messy pile of fabric. Grabbing an armful he attempted to carry it all down the hall, tripping on the dangling pieces. Soon he had them tossed into a pile near the front door, they could be brought to the laundry room later. He wasn't in any state to go outside and possibly run into someone at-he paused to look at the clock in foyer, but couldn't seem to focus on the numbers.

Tony strode into the living room and wiped a hand over his eyes, eluding sleep, wiping sweat and frustration away. It was 4 a.m. A shower was necessary.

The nightmares weren't a surprise at all, nor were the vividness of them. He had been forced to see a department shrink for a few weeks after the case and she had even said that he would probably have them on and off for months after-big surprise there. Pausing in his mad stomp through the hallways to the bathroom he tried to calm his rage. The frenzied temper was expected, he always woke from these in the same mind frame as the dream and the indignation he had fixated on then took time to ease in the now.

Yes, a shower was required, and sleep after…well, that was never a sure thing.

Oh well, at least they would be put on the case roster today. That should be distraction enough, hopefully.

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"'Kay, guys, we have our first case. Bradley you have the keys, lets head out. I can brief you guys on the way since we have a half hour drive. Let's go." The team quickly got together their stuff and Tony tossed the keys to Brad.

Fairly efficiently, they made their way out through the maze of desks and short dividing walls that led to the elevator. There were some awkward bumps into each other as they attempted to get their stuff off their desks and leave, but Tony just grinned watching the team's efforts to interact successfully and coordinate their moves. Alexa scowled when she ran into Brad, but Brad did not respond, meanwhile Shyama stood still waiting for everyone else to leave only to have Tony purposefully stop in front of her causing her face to collide with his back. She turned red and glared at him.

Once outside near the car again came an uncomfortable pause as they tried to figure out where to sit. Eventually they settled with Shyama and Sam in back and Tony in the passenger seat.

"So, what's up, Head Honcho?" said Sam sarcastically. He just grinned happily to her chagrin.

"Okay, getting down to business, Brad just follow the GPS system," Tony says while putting in the address. "So, team, we have a dead marine, big surprise there right. Private Mark Drey was found by some friends slash coworkers-Private Brang and Coreus-back in his room. He died from alcohol poisoning. On first glance he appears to have drunk himself well past intoxication before he lost consciousness and eventually asphyxiated on his own vomit. We are going in to verify accidental, suicide or murder. Apparently his friends think it was murder so we will get more on that once we get there. Now, time for some team trivia. What is your favorite thing to do at the crime scene and why?"

The responses he received were priceless. Brad quirked his eyebrows and stared. If the gleam in his eye said anything, he was torn between confusion and anticipation. Shyama appeared startled and thoughtful, the good little book worm. Alexa just scowled some more. She would be a tough egg to crack. Although, he reminded himself, she called you Head Honcho.

"Okay, Lexy, you first," he tapped Sam on the arm, to which she responded by stiffening and narrowing her eyes.

"First, seriously, Tony? Lexy, really? You said you wanted honesty, well I do not like being called anything but Sam. I hate the name Lexy more than Alexa in fact. And my favorite thing to do is sketch the scene, I don't enjoy asking people questions, I dislike having to wade through their crap, despite the necessity of it."

"Thank you for your honesty, and well, we shall see about the nickname." Tony grinned, "Bradley?"

"I don't really know yet, they are all jobs that need to be done, and well, in combination they solve our case for us. Each is necessary and I don't think I favor one over the other at this point," was his thoughtful reply.


She smiled and responded quietly, "Listening to what people have to say is my favored choice. I feel that their thoughts are so crucial to our investigation, despite their biases. And I enjoy wading through what they are saying and what they should be saying."

"That's quite the mix of thoughts."

"What about you, Tony?" asked Shyama after the vehicle had been silent for a few minutes.

He was startled out of his thoughts. DiNozzo smiled, saying, "My favorite job is sketching and taking pictures of the crime scene. I like to make certain that I have all of the evidence exactly as it appears, that way when I start playing out scenarios and coming up with ideas I always have that to go back to and to keep me on track."

Shyama nodded and smiled in agreement, whereas Sam seemed a little taken aback by his serious response. Brad smirked at Sam and she frowned at him.

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Silence filled the large utility vehicle. All four members had a decent amount of space. The two ladies had their hands in their lap. Shyama looked at their leader furtively, his eyes appeared slightly glazed over. Next, she noticed that Sam was avoiding eye contact by looking out the window at the passing scenery. Brad too avoided the others and kept his eyes on the road or GPS. Tony unconsciously seemed to be tapping a rhythm on his leg while glancing at each of his team mates respectively. He caught her eyes once and the two smiled recognizing their mutual desire to observe.

Shyama was trying to get up the nerve to talk again. She felt bad for the guy. Things were slightly stilted amongst the team. This was mostly Agent DiNozzo's doing. It was because of his fairly blunt and odd leadership style. At the moment Shyama was unsure how to define it verbally. He asked for respect, rather than demanding it, and he was not overbearing. While many of the other leaders at NCIS were not quite as terrifying as Jethro Gibbs, she did not know of any that were quite as welcoming as Anthony DiNozzo. Her teammates didn't know how to handle it. They weren't insubordinate yet, but at the same time they were actually more willing to voice their thoughts, which was what he was probably aiming for. But, it was just plain difficult to work as a team when there was this uncomfortableness between members.

Sam was definitely acting out of character. In their years working together Shyama would sum her up as confident, capable and loyal. Currently the blonde didn't seem to know what to make of DiNozzo. It was clear the loyalty part hadn't quite set in, but on top of that, her confidence seemed to be ever so slightly shaken. Shyama had a feeling that the two, possibly three-if Brad were included, would talk over drinks tonight. Every couple of weeks Sam and herself would get together to chat. It was nice, she thought reminiscently. Sometimes they spoke about work, and at other times the two made small talk. Sam opened up a lot more and became slightly boisterous, a word that Shyama would not normally use to describe her.

Their old leader had never accompanied the duo, though they had invited her a few times. Shyama knew that Tony would certainly accept an invitation and in fact would love it, but that wouldn't be happening for a little while if ever. Sam would be the one to extend it, because in Shyama's opinion Sam was the most suspicious of their leader. Shyama on the other hand felt good about DiNozzo.

This past week had been fun. Yes, they had been stuck reading over case files, but DiNozzo livened things up infinitely. His silly airplanes amused her to no end. The man had excellent aim. Shyama really liked him, but then again she liked everyone, and though most would consider that a strength, she knew that it was also a weakness. Still, DiNozzo had gained her respect, which was more than a simple "like".

He was good at his job and had worked diligently on their cases, digging up more evidence for some and drawing ideas from herself and her coworkers. As a team they had managed to solve two cases based on input from everyone. The fact that he noticed her lack of defensive skills and then actually reached out to help her had really touched the young woman. Shyama thought back to his words yesterday morning.

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"Shyama, you have so much to offer this team, I know you are devoted to your job and amazing at what you do, but I was wondering if you would want to work with me on your outward strength?" Shyama felt really embarrassed; of course he would notice that she was weak there. She wondered if he saw her as the weakest team member, however, he stopped her thoughts from progressing.

"Shyama, don't take this as an insult, everyone on this team has weaknesses and strengths, everyone. I know that I can help you with this and I know the fact that you have less field experience probably bothers you. Soon enough you'll be like Sarah Connor in Terminator 2."

Shyama looked at him in confusion.

He sighed exasperatedly, "First scene of the second movie she beats the crap out of some orderly with a freaking broken broom handle. Believe me when I say she didn't start out like that in Terminator 1."

She grinned a little at that comment, "I don't think that I desire those kinds of skills."

"Yes you do! Anyways…"

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He had then gone off on a tangent about the woman's ridiculous skills with weapons and crazy breakout of an asylum despite being in a strait jacket. Eventually they managed to make plans to meet twice a week at six a.m. to train for an hour before work. Tony had seemed excited and it was contagious. Apparently, he already had some great ideas to simply show her how her small size could and would be an asset.

Agent Anthony DiNozzo was truly a better person than many gave him credit for. She wondered what depths were hidden under the many layers. Shortly after, she heard the staccato tappity-tap of his hand against his pants increase into a rapid drum solo.

Shyama glanced at the clock's red numbers: about ten minutes had passed while she thought, and the silence seemed to be killing the young man. It was impressive that he had held himself back long enough. Their boss could speak faster than a reprimanding Italian Grandma. She sat in her seat waiting for someone to open up, when of course Tony broke it, interrupting the monotonous sound of the outside traffic, their car AC and of course his tapping.

"Soo, I'm thinking we either chat our way through these car rides or listen to music. All in favor of music today say aye."

"Aye," smiled Shyama.

"Aye," muttered Sam.

"I'm all for that; what kind of music do you guys listen to?" asked Brad. The team quietly conversed on this subject for a bit and came to the conclusion that they would try out a variety of stations and switch them up seeing as none of them really listened to a great deal of music and thus didn't appear to have any favorites.

Finally they made it to the crime scene.

Tony established who was doing what and they set about their tasks. The group was paired up, he would be with the Probie and Alexa and Shyama would continue to work together as a team for the moment. They would sketch the scene and he and Brad would interview the friends of the dead private.

Hope you liked it! please review... nudge nudge. :D

xoxox Kalvinanne