Hey, everyone! :) So here's the sequel I promised. Sorry it took me so long to post it; I hit some rough patches when I was writing. And as much as I hate to say it, my studying had to come first before fanfiction. :P
But it's here now. Hope you enjoy!
Disclaimer: I do not own NCIS.
"Just tell me."
The youngest member of Team Gibbs sighed, frustrated, her gaze flicking between the two men stationed at their desks on either side of her.
Crossing her arms, she leaned against the row of filing cabinets, looking to Tim. "Come on, McGee, whatever has happened cannot have been thatbad." She pressed, waving to the bright white bandage that covered his hand.
It had been the source of their conversation now for the better part of an hour.
Ever since Ziva had arrived that morning for work and first noticed the new injury.
Her first reaction had been concern as she asked to know what happened.
But it had quickly turned to a worried frustration as the man refused to answer her questions.
Tim had tried to distract, deter, and outright ignore her questions, but she had been insistent.
He had never been more thankful when Tony had shown up twenty minutes later and stepped in, bringing her interrogation techniques to a halt and helping to distract her, garnering some of the focus from Tim to himself.
"It's nothing, Ziva." Tim assured her patiently.
Because while he was tired of the interrogation, he understood. She was worried about him, concerned, and just trying to look out for him, and he appreciated her efforts to protect him.
"If it is nothing, then why won't you tell me?" She asked pointedly.
"If it's nothing, then why do you need to know?" Tony countered, flashing her small grin.
"You two are hopeless!" The Israeli snapped, throwing her arms to the air in exasperation.
"I wouldn't say that, would you, Tony?" Tim looked to his partner, cocking his head as if he were actually considering Ziva's words.
Tony reared back in faux surprise, "Hopeless? Us? No. Never."
Ziva scoffed her frustration at the conversation before pointedly shooting both men a glare.
"I am going down to autopsy; perhaps there I will find some intelligentconversation." She stated, already making her way to the elevator.
"Yeah, because a morgue is always the best place to find an intelligent conversation." Tony rolled his eyes.
Shooting him a deadly look, Ziva responded, "Even if Ducky was not downstairs, still, out of the two, Tony, I would prefer the cadaver's conversational skills over yours." She smirked, teasing.
"Well, now see, that's just a rude thing to say."
Ziva snorted, boarding the elevator and letting the doors shut behind her, ignoring her team-mates.
"Well, that was close." Tony's relieved mutter was cut short as Tim pointedly cleared his throat.
He turned, sending McGee a curious look.
Tim threw him a meaningful look, jerking his head in the direction of stairs, before turning to smile in the same direction, "Morning, Boss."
Eyes widening in surprise, the Senior Field Agent swiveled his chair quickly around to face his boss; he taped at a few keys on his computer, shuffling some papers as he did so, trying to appear busy.
Gibbs nodded his reply and strode into the squadroom, cup of coffee in hand; he had almost made it to his desk when he slowed, stopping a few feet in front of Tim's desk, his eyes locked on the younger man.
"What happened to your hand, Tim?" He asked, curious, nodding to the injured appendage.
"What?" Tim asked a bit shocked; Gibbs narrowed his eyes as Tim's face seemed to lose a bit of color as he glanced at the wrapping before trying to shrug it off.
"Oh, this?" He asked, his voice too nonchalant and breezy for Gibbs liking. "It's nothing. Just a...nothing." He finished, clamping his mouth shut, obviously realizing he'd almost said too much.
Out of the corner of his eye, Gibbs could see Tony slap a hand to his forehead in exasperation.
"Doesn't look like nothin'." He pressed, more curious than ever now, and admitably a bit worried if it was something Tim was trying to cover up.
Tim swallowed thickly, sliding his hand under his desk and out of view.
"It is...it was just...a...accident." McGee stumbled over the words as they spilled out of his mouth, his face growing more red with each word.
His suspicions growing, Gibbs narrowed his eyes, finally moving to walk towards Tim's desk with the intention of getting a better look at the injury for himself.
McGee's eyes widened a fraction as he shot Tony a pleading look, asking for help.
In his peripheral vision he could see Tony hesitate for a few seconds, unsure of what to do, before practically shooting up from his seat with a yell of, "Boss!"
Stopping, the lead agent turned to face the younger man, barely containing rolling his eyes at the man's abruptness.
Subtly was never DiNozzo's strong suit.
He quirked a brow at his senior field agent in response, silently asking what he wanted, though he already knew that whatever the younger agent was about to come up with was most likely a lie.
Tony faltered for a moment, unsure of how to proceed now that he had his boss' attention.
"Uh, Boss, could you, uh..." His eyes flew over the mess that was his desk top, searching for something, anything, to distract Gibbs with.
His eyes landed on a yellow post-it note, and he smiled triumphantly, "Could you call Agent Wayne, Boss?" He snatched the note and held it out with a grin.
"I've tried calling him half a dozen times. Man just does notwant to give us the case details. FBI, huh?" He sent Gibbs his best smile and used his most flattering tone as Gibbs gave him a suspicious, disbelieving look even as took the note from his agent, glancing down at the number that had been hastily scribbled across it, before glancing up to look at Tony again.
"And you think I can convince him to hand it over?" He asked, his tone skeptic, knowing a distraction when he saw one.
"Of course." Tony answered without hesitation, "You could just, you know, give him the whole scare and glare tactic." He answered with a small huff of laughter as his own joke.
However, after catching the hard stare of his boss, he tried to retreat. The smile slid of his face, "Not that I'm saying you're scary, Boss. Of course not."
Gibbs raised a brow and Tony reddened.
"Of course, you can be...if you want to be! But that's not a bad thing, you know, with our job...Gotta scare 'em some times, right boss?" He tried to smile again, but wavered when his boss only leveled him with a glare, "Well, you know what I mean. Gotta scare 'em...show 'em they can't jerk people around...show 'em who's boss...And who better than you, Boss?" He rambled, tripping over his own tongue in his attempt to remove his foot from his mouth. "I-I'm just...just saying that..."
"That Gibbs is better at getting the information than you are." Tim spoke up, bringing his partner's flounderings to an abrupt halt.
"What?" Tony demanded as he swiveled his head to look at Tim, offended by the remark, until he caught the look on the younger man's face and his raised brow. I'm giving you an out here - Take it.
"Right. What he said." He jerked his head in Tim's direction, sending Gibbs another, more confident, smile.
Gibbs flicked a gaze between the two agents; from Tim's cautious smile to Tony's wide grin.
They were definitely hiding something.
Shaking his head with a sigh, he turned, allowing the two men to share a relieved look behind his back as he made his way to desk.
Taking his seat, he kept a watch on his two agents out of the corner of his eye for awhile.
Tim was pointedly focusing on his computer screen, fingers flying as he typed, albeit a bit slower than normal with his bandaged hand, - which he did his best to hide behind his screen and keep Gibbs from getting too good a look at - while Tony's gaze was stubbornly focused anywhere but his boss.
The two men stayed determinedly silent. Gibbs wasn't sure if he should be grateful for the lull in the chaos, or worried that the two of them had managed to stay quiet this long.
He was almost relieved when Tony finally spoke again.
Tim's head swiveled up and over to look at Tony, eyes wide in surprise at the suddenness of his yell.
"Yeah?" He asked warily.
"Run these reports to Mackles in IA, will you?" Tony's tone really didn't hold much room for argument as he held out the stack of folders.
Gibbs narrowed his eyes as McGee stood, walking over to Tony's desk to accept the files without complaint and, after sending Tony a look, left.
Because it was obvious what they were doing - Tony was giving Tim an out.
Gibbs sighed, scrubbing a hand over his eyes as he stood to leave - noting that Tony sent him a wary look until he started walking in the direction opposite the one Tim had taken.
He needed coffee.
Tim couldn't help but sigh with a little relief at the opportunity to leave the bullpen - the tension had been thick enough to cut with a knife.
Thank goodness for Tony and his distractions, otherwise he was pretty sure Gibbs would have drug the truth out of him by now.
It wasn't like Tim actually likedlying to his boss. But he just couldn't afford for Gibbs to find out - not about this.
Tony's reaction and threatening words had been enough; he didn't want to imagine how Gibbs would handle the information.
And he knew half-truths wouldn't cut it - not with Gibbs.
Even if he did tell Gibbs how he'd come to injure his hand, Gibbs would be able to know there was more than he was saying - he always did.
And if Gibbs knew, he wouldn't stop until he had the whole story.
It would just be better to keep quiet and hope this all just blew over.
He turned his head to glance back over his shoulder towards the squadroom, bumping into the shoulder of another solid force as he did so.
"Oops, sorry. I wasn't watching where I was going." He winched, pulling up short in front of the person that now stood before him, glancing up as he spoke.
He jerked back in surprise as he locked gazes with the man that stood in front of him.
"Dad!" He shouted, surprised.
Richard McGee paused in front of his son, looking him up and down for a long moment with a critical eye, and at first Tim wasn't sure he was going to answer.
"Timothy." He finally acknowledged; he sent Tim another look before pointedly glancing around at the brightly painted walls of the hallway. "Don't tell me you work on this floor." He said, not bothering to disguise the disdain in his tone.
"Uh, yeah, actually I do. Down the hall." He jerked his head in the direction of the bullpen.
"Well then?" His father demanded, "What are you doing here?"
Tim bit his lip, fighting the urge to answer; trying his best to ignore his father's biting tone and just walk away.
After all, that's what his father had done, wasn't it? Just walked away?
But years of having to obey that commanding tone spurred him to answer.
"I'm dropping off files for a case." He held up said files, showing proof of his statement.
Not that his father ever believed him either way.
As expected, the older man scoffed. Though in disbelief or in disgust, or perhaps a mixture of the two, Tim wasn't sure.
Biting back a sigh and clearing his throat, he attempted to change the subject, "So, what're you doing here?"
His father scowled angrily, "Well, I'm not here to see you, if that's what you're thinking." He snapped.
No, that was the last thing Tim was thinking.
The older men stood a little straighter, elevating his height to tower over his son before he answered, "I'm visiting a friend of mine. He holds a position here as an Intelligence Analyst." He responded, his tone filled with superiority.
Tim rose a brow, but otherwise didn't respond. He knew what his father was doing.
Just trying rile him up again, as always. Trying to prove his point by pointing out that his friend had done the 'right' thing and had been a naval officer first, and an NCIS employee second. Like Tim should have done.
"We crossed paths on the U. S. Tacoma." His father continued, "He's a good man." He added with a glare at Tim, as if daring him to say otherwise.
Not that Tim would disagree with him - for once he agreed with him on something. Michael Varvatos was a decent man and an even better IA.
But he didn't dare tell his father that he knew Varvatos. He'd crossed paths with the man on several cases; and his father was right, he was a good man.
He had always been kind and helpful to the Gibbs' team whenever possible and, after realizing Tim was the son of his former military buddy, he never hesitated to strike up a conversation with Tim.
He had asked about his father on a few occasions at first, but - after realizing Tim and father weren't on the best of terms - quickly dropped the subject and stuck to less sensitive topics.
Tim appreciated that.
He was certainly allot different than most of his father's other friends.
He had met several of his father's old Navy buddies over the years; most of them had just ignored him. The few that did pay him any mind usually shared his father's opinions and weren't very fond of him - something they made pretty clear.
Michael was different. He wasn't sure how his father had managed to strike up, and keep a friendship with someone as open-minded and accepting as Agent Varvatos - but he had.
He didn't tell his father this though. He knew as soon as he did, his father's opinion of the man would change, quickly.
And Michael didn't deserve that. For whatever reason, he got along with Richard McGee and considered him a friend, albeit not a close one, but still.
"Right. Well." He started hesitantly, "I need to get back to work." He winched even as he said it, knowing how his father would respond.
He didn't disappoint. He gave Tim a revolted snort, narrowing his eyes further, "Work." He scoffed. "So, is that all you agents do? Paper runs? 'Dropping of case-files' for everyone else?" He asked, raising a brow in challenge.
Feeling his temper rise at a rate that his only his father seemed to inspire, Tim responded with a snap, "You know, I know you don't respect me for working here. But do you really think that's all they do? That the agents here don't make a difference?"
"I thought I told you last night - you don't get to talk to me like that." His father growled, advancing a step in Tim's direction.
Sighing and tamping down on his temper, Tim held up his hands in a surrendering gesture, though he didn't back away even as he let the argument drop.
The last thing he wanted was to fight with his father, again, in the middle of NCIS.
There was just no point in trying to argue.
Last night he had let his temper get the better of him, but that wouldn't happen again. He wouldn't give his father the satisfaction.
Besides, he didn't need this.
He had his NCIS family and that was enough.
"Never mind." He sighed, "Just...forget I said anything." He shook his head, ignoring the glare his father sent his way and making his way around the older man and down the hall, leaving the argument behind him.
McGee Senior scoffed his annoyance, sending his son's retreating back a final look of contempt before he left to find Michael's office.
Neither McGee had noticed the silver-haired man watching the scene with narrowed ice-blue eyes.
Gibbs was furious.
He hadn't exactly started off his day in the best of moods, after coming in and finding one of his agent's injured; receiving no answers on the subject either.
He'd made to go for a cup of coffee - something to calm his nerves.
He'd even taken the longer route to the opposite end of the floor, walking off some of his frustration only to find the elevators on that end of the floor broken and in need of repair.
With an irritated growl, he'd turned, back tracking in the general direction of where he'd come, intending the use his normal route.
That's when he'd heard it.
A surprised, very familiar, yelp of "Dad!"
Curious, he'd followed the sound of the voice around the corner to see McGee and an older man, clearly Tim's father, facing off.
He'd watched the scene play out before him, eyes narrowing, jaw clenching, the more he heard.
It was obvious Tim and his father were on anything but good terms.
And even more obvious that it was more do to the older man's attitude than anything McGee had done.
And then what happened next had sent his already bad mood plummeting into anger.
He hadn't heard exactly what the elder man had said to Tim, but whatever had been said wasn't good.
Tim had snapped back. "You know, I know you don't respect me for working here. But do you really think that's all they do? That the agents here don't make a difference?"
Gibbs couldn't help the proud smile that flitted across his face for a moment as he watched the younger man stand his ground in defense.
The smile quickly dropped away from his face, however, replaced by the need to hit something as the older man advanced on his son.
"I thought I told you last night, you don't get to talk to me like that!"
Gibbs clenched his jaw angrily at the thought of the harsh words that had been fired at his agent.
He'd waited until they'd went their separate ways, waited until he was sure Tim wasn't anywhere near the man, before he turned on his heel and left, coffee forgotten, as he stalked off in another direction - not quite sure where he was headed, just needing a direction to travel in, to give himself some time to cool down.
Before he went back and pummeled the man.
But it had done anything but calm him town.
It had only given the time to think. To go over what happened, to replay the words.
It had been then the pieces started to fall into place: The shock and that quick flash of fear when Tim had spotted his father, the way McGee Senior had advanced on his son, Tim's injured hand, how desperate he had been to keep the truth about what had happened a secret.
It all started to add up, and Gibbs did not like the picture it formed before him.
Tim and his father had met last night and obviously things hadn't gone well. And the next morning Tim showed up with an injured hand.
He'd clenched his jaw, tightening his hands into fists.
The question was how many injures had come before the one to Tim's hand.
It was on that thought he had turned on his heel and made his way back the way he had come, searching for the elder McGee.
How much he knew was hard to tell, but he obviously knew enough if the way he was helping Tim to cover up for his injury was anything to go by.
He'd considered asking DiNozzo about it, find out what the younger man knew; but it was unlikely he'd get very far with him.
Tony was loyal to a fault; and if he thought that he was helping Tim by keeping this from Gibbs, then that's what he'd do.
He found the elder McGee soon enough, in the break room pouring himself a cup of coffee, oblivious and apparently unconcerned with what had happened between his son and he nearly an hour ago.
Gibbs paused outside the doorway, deliberating for a moment on if what he was doing was the right thing. On how Tim would react if he knew Gibbs was going to talk to his father.
When Tony's father had shown his face the first time, he'd tried to play nice at first, for Tony's sake.
The younger man still wanted a relationship with him, and if that's what he wanted, Gibbs wouldn't screw that up for him.
So, as much as he had wanted to deck the man, he'd refrained, kept his cool and let the man be (mostly).
But Tim obviously had no such reservations - it was obvious he was anything but happy to see his old man.
And besides, as much of a jerk as DiNozzo Sr. had been, he didn't quite reach Admiral McGee's level.
Clenching his jaw in determination he walked into the room to stand by one of the tables across from the other man.
The former Navy Admiral paid him no mind; though whether he simply didn't notice him, or he was ignoring him, Gibbs wasn't sure.
He bided his silence for a few moments longer before speaking up, not bothering with preamble, "Why're you here?" He demanded of the other man.
There was no need to beat around the bush.
The elder McGee looked up, taken by surprise only for a few seconds before he turned to meet Gibbs' stare with one of his own. "Excuse me?" He asked, raising a brow, already taking a dislike the man in front of him.
Gibbs remained silent, keeping his eyes locked on the other man.
Narrowing his eyes angrily, he spoke "Look, I don't know who you think you-"
McGee Sr. sent Gibbs and annoyed look. "Well, I don't see where it's any of your business, Agent Gibbs."
Gibbs tipped his head in acknowledgment, seeming to consider the man before him, before he answered, "Expected to see you before this, Mr. McGee." Gibbs said, forcing his tone to remain conversational.
"How did you-" The man paused as the realization settled. "Timothy." He said, his tone one of irritation and exasperation. "You know Timothy." It was spoken as a statement, not a question.
"Works on my team." He admitted with a bit of pride.
"Does he, now?" McGee Sr. raised a brow, his tone feigned interest.
"You stop in to see Tim?" He pressed, though they both knew full well that was not why Admiral McGee was at NCIS.
McGee Senior narrowed his eyes at the agent dangerously before answering, his tone holding a note of superiority, "It's none of your business."
"My agent – makes it my business."
Richard snorted, sending Gibbs a look. "So," He drawled, a smirk playing at lips, "he has you sticking up for him now, I see." The man shook his head, disgusted. "Timothy never could fight his own battles, always had to have someone else do it for him."
"Oh, I don't know." Gibbs said, doing his best to keep his voice calm. "I'd say he did a pretty good job standing up to you, didn't he?"
McGee Senior's face colored slightly at the barb. "What did he tell you?" He demanded.
"Nothing." Gibbs shook his head to emphasize his point. "He didn't have to." And he hadn't. But it was obvious enough by the way the younger man had stood his ground earlier that no matter how much his father tried to intimidate him, Tim wasn't easily frightened by him anymore.
Admiral McGee was glaring at him coldly now, his jaw set in defiance, "Why does it matter to you why or why not I may be here? If I came to see Timothy, I don't see why it's any of your business!"
"He's my agent." Gibbs growled.
"Yes, well, he's my son." Admiral McGee snapped back and Gibbs bit back a growl.
He could care less about Tim; he just wasn't about to be bested in an argument. If that meant using his son, he obviously wasn't adverse to that.
"From where I'm standing, Admiral, doesn't look like you can call him that anymore." He shook his head, denying the man's statement, "You don't get to take credit for what Tim has done."
The other man snorted, "And just what has he done, Agent Gibbs? Besides screw up?"
"He's a good agent!" Gibbs growled angrily in defense, "He's knows his way around a computer better than half the techs here! He can hold his own in the field, and he can work things out faster than most of our intelligence crew."
The Admiral stared at him for a long moment, and briefly Gibbs wondered if the man was actually considering his words before the man spoke again.
He huffed a quiet, disbelieving sound, before he added, "You've deluded yourself, Agent Gibbs. Timothy is hardly agent material. He's weak."
Gibbs clenched his fist to his side, struggling with the urge to deck the man in front of him.
"You're a Marine aren't you, Agent Gibbs?" The elder McGee asked with a scoff and Gibbs narrowed his eyes suspiciously at the abrupt change in topic.
"It's really too easy to spot a Marine." He continued with a shake of his head, "Your stance, the hair," his eyes traveled over Gibbs in turn pointedly, "the 'better than thou' attitude."
Gibbs glared, clenching his jaw to keep back his response to the snide remarks.
"Well, I don't know how you Marine's do things." He sneered, showing his obvious distaste, "But in the Navy the first thing you learn is that there is no room for weakness, Agent Gibbs. You are taught to accept the best and nothing less."
"And if you would get your head out of your back end, you'd realize that's what you've got!" Gibbs snapped back.
The Admiral huffed an incredulous, humorless laugh and Gibbs narrowed his eyes at the man.
He drew himself up, eyes scanning the lead agent critically as he considered him for a moment before shaking his head.
"Do you defend all of your agents so….vehemently, Gibbs?" He asked with an air of disdain.
"If they need defending." He responded without hesitation.
The elder McGee raised a skeptic brow, clearly showing his disbelief.
"So what is it, then?" He asked, "Do you feel sorry for him? Or is one of those Marine things? Semper Fi and all that?" He pressed, his tone carrying heavy distaste.
Gibbs narrowed his eyes dangerously, slowly drawing a breath as he fought to control his temper.
"Why do you care, Agent Gibbs?" McGee Senior continued, not bothering to wait for an answer; his tone, though angry and still heavy with distaste, held an honest curiosity.
"Rule five." Gibbs answered, "You don't waste good. And he's good. If you're too stupid to see that, then that's yourproblem." He growled.
"He's a screw up!" McGee Sr. snapped, losing his patience with the Marine. "He's a worthless little-"
Gibbs tried to control his raging temper, he really did at first.
But when the image of Tim's bandaged hand, the way the elder man had advanced on his son earlier during their argument and the look on Tim's face when he spotted his so called father, flashed in his mind's eye, there was no stopping what he did next.
Without so much as a forethought, Gibbs fist flew out, connecting with Senior's nose with force.
The man's head snapped back, and there was a sickening thud as his head bounced off the wall behind him; not hard enough to cause damage, but he'd definitely be feeling it later, Gibbs noted with grim satisfaction.
The man groaned, hand flying to his nose, as he stared at Gibbs in wide-eyed anger.
"You hit me!" He exclaimed, incredulous rage coloring his tone.
Gibbs didn't respond, only tipped his head in acknowledgement, even allowing a small grin to slide across his features.
"This isn't over, Gibbs." He snarled, dabbing at the blood that was already starting to flow steadily from his nose. "Not by a long shot." He added in a low growl, stalking away and out of the room.
And maybe it wasn't, but knowing that, at least for now, he was away from Tim, Gibbs was okay with that.
He'd deal with Admiral McGee later, so long as Tim was safe, that's what mattered.
Because not matter what, if it was the last thing he did, Gibbs would always protect his team.
PLEASE READ: Okay, everyone, we're not quite done yet. This is only chapter one. There will be one more chapter to this story.
I wrote this, intending for it to be a one-shot, I really did. But I kinda got carried away and ended up writing about 18 pages worth of a one-shot. :P
So I split it into two pieces.
I only have a paragraph or two left to write to finish up the ending on the next piece, so it'll be posted in the next day or two.
Also a note, what McGee Sr. was saying about the Marines is NOT how I feel. I have the upmost respect for all branches of the military, Marines included.
But as I was writing McGee Sr. I could easily picture him as a man who would look down on other branches of the military over the one he had served for.
So, yeah... :P
Anyway, leave me a review, yeah? :) Let me know what you think!