Notes: Written for the NFA "Hit Me With Your Best Shot" challenge. I had too much fun writing this… I hope it's a fun read!
It was the longest Monday in the history of Mondays. There hadn't been a call out yet that day, so Gibbs assigned them to file cold cases appropriately. Tony was alone with Tim in the squad room. Gibbs had gone on an extra-long coffee break, and Ziva was out to lunch with Ray. The cold case he'd been working on wasn't getting any warmer, and he was getting antsy. He was dying for a call out.
Tony glanced over at Tim, silently going through a cold case file and filling out a report. It's time to have a little fun, he thought, suppressing a grin. He reached into his drawer and took a rubber band from the tray he kept there. Quietly moving his chair to face Tim, he snapped the rubber band. It went flying, and hit Tim on the side of his face.
"Ow! What the hell was that for!" Tim shouted, glaring at Tony.
"I'm bored," Tony whined, flicking another rubber band at Tim.
"Didn't Gibbs give you a pile of cold cases to work on?" Tim said irritably.
"Yeah, but I'm still bored. These cases are cold for a reason, Probie."
Another rubber band flew toward Tim's head. He ducked, and it bounced off his monitor.
"I've got a lead on the Robertson case, and I don't need distractions right now."
Tim turned away from Tony and picked up the phone to make a call. He wanted to talk to Colonel Robertson's widow again. He felt as if Balboa had missed something on this one. As it rang, he felt another rubber band hit him on the back of his head. He hung up the phone and turned to look at Tony, who was innocently reading a case file. It was time Tony had a dose of his own medicine. He needed a plan, and it had to be executed perfectly.
~Two Hours Later~
The afternoon was winding down, and there was still no call out for a fresh case. Ziva and Gibbs had returned, and Tony reverted to behaving himself again. There was silence between the group as everyone went over cold case files. As Tim opened up a fresh case report to add to the file on his desk, he heard Tony's desk phone ring. He couldn't help but grin as he heard Tony pick up the phone.
"DiNozzo," he said cheerily. "Oh, hello Agent Green—um—all right, I'm on my way." Tony went to hang up the phone, and was shocked to find his hand was glued to the receiver. "What in the hell?"
"You might need this, Tony."
Tony looked up to see Tim standing over him, holding a bottle of nail polish remover. He snatched it and put it down on the desk.
"Don't mess with the master, McPrank. You won't win."
"We have a body in Anacostia," Gibbs announced, practically jumping out of his chair. "Grab your gear."
"Boss, I'm a little stuck right now," Tony said as he put some of the polish remover onto a tissue and scrubbed at his hand.
"If you're not downstairs by the time I start the truck, we're leaving without you, DiNozzo."
Tim snickered as he walked past with his backpack. Gibbs head slapped him.
"Get your ass into that elevator before I glue you to your chair, McGee."
Tim boarded the elevator without another word. Gibbs followed, and Tony was left behind in the squad room, scrubbing at his hand.
Probie is going to get it, bad…
Tim's prank had forced Tony to stay behind at the office while his team processed the body of a dead Lance Corporal. He had plans for Tim's return. No one played a prank on him without getting something back in return.
Glancing around, he sneaked over to Tim's desk. Not only did he layer Tim's keyboard with super glue, but he also made some adjustments to Tim's desk chair. It was one of his usual pranks, but pulling them on Tim never got old.
~Two hours later~
Tony didn't look up when the elevator finally dinged. Gibbs stormed past his desk, looking more upset than was necessary.
"DiNozzo, I want you on phone records for Lance Corporal Carl Schamburg. I want to know who he was talking with in the last two weeks."
"On it," he said, turning to his computer. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw Tim setting down his bag next to his desk, and he waited for the inevitable. Tim's screech, followed by the thunk of his chair sinking down to the lowest setting possible, made Tony break into a grin. He chanced a look in Tim's direction, and almost guffawed at the sight before him. Tim was sitting in his chair, almost on the floor, his keyboard hanging from his fingers.
"This isn't funny, Tony," Tim said, attempting to pull himself to his feet.
"I think it's hysterical, McGeek." Tony said, grinning like a fool.
"Know what's not funny, DiNozzo?" Gibbs said, rising from his chair. Tony caught his Boss glaring at him.
"You not finding Corporal Schamburg's killer. Get back to work!"
"Yes, Boss." Tony turned back to his computer and continued to search phone records. He couldn't help but snicker at Tim, stumbling as he got himself to his feet. Gibbs went to his junior agent's desk and unplugged his keyboard from the back of the computer.
"Go have Abby get that damned thing off you, then get your ass back up here. Understood?"
"Yes, Boss." Tim stalked off toward the back elevator, his keyboard cord dragging on the floor behind him.
If it's a prank war Tony wants to start, he's totally got one…
~ The Next Morning~
Corporal Schamburg's killer was apprehended in record time, leaving the MCRT with another day of cold cases to work on. Tony strutted into the squad room and sat down at his desk.
"Good Morning!" he said cheerily to Ziva as he sat down.
"Good Morning, Tony," she said with a chuckle. "You seem quite, chopper this morning."
"It's chipper, and yes, I'm awesome this morning!" He shook his mouse around to make his monitor appear. When his login screen appeared, he typed in his password. He was dismayed when it bounced back incorrect. "What the hell?" he muttered. He tried it again, and it bounced back incorrect. He turned to Tim's desk. The Probie was working diligently on a case report.
"Did you change my password. Probie?"
"Nope, haven't touched your computer Tony," Tim said without missing a beat.
"I don't believe you for a second, McLiar. Get over here and fix it."
"I'm busy right now. Can't you reset it with the link there on the login screen?"
"If I could do that, I wouldn't be asking you! It's frozen!"
Tim sighed and pushed his chair back.
"Fine, I'll fix it for you."
Tim made short work of resetting Tony's password.
"You're welcome." Tim went back to his desk, hiding a grin. Seconds later, Tony yelped and jumped out of his seat. Tim turned to him as he reached his desk. "What's the matter?"
"You know exactly what the matter is!" He said angrily. "You have no right changing my computer background!"
"You didn't like my choice of photos?" Tim asked.
"Not when it's a picture of me making out with the hot chick from legal, in the copy room," Tony said. "If Gibbs sees this on my computer, he'll kill me."
"Sees what, DiNozzo?"
Tony turned around. Gibbs was standing in front of his desk, glaring.
"My excellent case report, Boss."
"Right. McGee, get rid of that picture on DiNozzo's computer, now."
Tim didn't have to be told twice. He went over to Tony's computer and changed it back to a standard background.
"There, happy?" Tim snapped at Tony.
"Very. Thank you, McPhoto."
"Whatever." Tim went back to his desk and resumed typing his report. Gibbs was glaring at them both. It was best they cool their jets for the time being.
~Two hours later~
Tony stretched and got up from his chair.
"I'm going on a coffee run," he announced. "Anyone want a cup?" Gibbs glared at him, essentially giving his answer.
"I'll take a cup," Tim said, holding out five dollars for Tony to take. Tony collected Gibbs' money as well, and left to get the coffee.
He went to a coffee shop that was a favorite of Gibbs, as it was within walking distance. He was glad Tim accepted his offer for coffee. He had plans for Probie's coffee.
When he got back to NCIS with the coffee tray in hand, he stopped outside the front doors. Looking around to make sure no one saw, he took the coffee he'd had the barista label with a black marker, and carefully removed the lid. He reached into the flowerbed by the door and took a bit of top soil, to taint Tim's coffee. He carefully replaced the lid and continued on his way to the squad room.
As soon as he came out of the elevator on the squad room level, he bumped into Gibbs, who immediately reached for one of the coffees on the tray. He picked up the one with the black marker on the side, to Tony's terror.
"Thanks, DiNozzo," he said with a smile, and turned to walk away. Tony slowly walked to his desk. He wanted to open his mouth and say something, but he was too terrified. As he handed Tim a cup of coffee, Gibbs jumped out of his seat, coughing and sputtering. Tim shared a look with Tony.
"Was that—" Tim asked softly.
"Yeah—I'm sorry, Probie."
Before Tim could respond to the apology, Gibbs was standing right in front of Tony, holding the tainted cup of coffee in his face.
"This your idea of a joke, DiNozzo?" he asked angrily.
"I—I uh, it wasn't meant for you, Boss. I'm really so—"
"You're past an apology at this point, DiNozzo."
Tim tried to turn his chair away, to avoid Gibbs' tirade. Gibbs noticed this, and came around the desk. He grabbed the back of Tim's chair and spun it around to face him.
"Did I tell you to look away, McGee?"
"You're in just as much trouble as DiNozzo. Don't think you're getting off easy."
"But I had nothing to do with the coffee!"
"If you think it's just about the coffee, you're not as smart as you appear, McGee. Get up."
Gibbs pulled him up by his arm.
"You two want to screw around and pull pranks? You're going to learn that there will be consequences. Both of you, come with me."
Both of them followed Gibbs to the elevator, terrified of what was about to happen. They boarded and rode in silence. The first stop was Autopsy. They followed Gibbs until he stopped just short of Autopsy.
"DiNozzo, you wait out here. McGee, with me."
McGee visibly gulped and followed his Boss into Autopsy.
"Jethro! To what do I owe your presence? We don't have a body."
"Since we're slow upstairs, I thought McGee could help you out down here today and tomorrow doing odd jobs."
"Wait a minute, Boss, I—"
"Shut up, McGee."
Ducky looked from Gibbs to McGee, and deduced that Gibbs was trying to punish him for something. He gave Gibbs a look of understanding.
"I'm sure I can find something for Timothy to help me with. He'll be quite occupied."
"Great, thanks Duck." Gibbs turned to McGee. "If I see you upstairs before Ducky lets you go for the day, you're not going to like what happens. Are we clear?"
"Yeah, we're clear."
"Good." Gibbs stalked out of Autopsy. His next victim awaited him in the hall. He found DiNozzo sitting against the wall, his knees up to his chest. He had a guilty look on his face. As soon as Gibbs came into view, Tony jumped to his feet.
"Follow me, DiNozzo."
Tony nodded and followed him back to the elevator. They got off at evidence lockup. Agent Tom Grady was sitting at his desk, typing away. He'd been around the agency as long as Gibbs, if not longer. After retiring from field work due to a busted knee, he was reassigned to evidence lockup, and he enjoyed his work.
"Hi Tom, got a minute?" Gibbs asked politely. Tom looked up, and when he saw DiNozzo standing there looking like a kid following the school principal, he knew what Gibbs was going to ask him.
"Sure, what can I do for you, Jethro?"
"You have any extra work that Agent DiNozzo can help you with today?"
"I sure do! In fact, I've got a few hundred boxes of files to catalogue. I could use an extra hand."
"A few—hundred?" Tony asked, eyes wide.
"DiNozzo doesn't mind doing it all himself, do you?" Gibbs asked, glaring at his SFA.
"I'd be glad to do it for you, Agent Grady."
"Great! When can you start?"
"Right now," Gibbs said, clapping him on the back.
"Excellent! Come on back, Agent DiNozzo!"
Gibbs grabbed Tony by the arm as he passed to go into the restricted area of evidence lockup. "Don't you show your face in the squad room without permission from me or from Agent Grady. Are we understood?"
"Good. Get to work."
Tony glumly went into lockup with Grady. Gibbs turned and walked to the elevator, grinning. He could live with them super-gluing each other, but messing with a Marine's coffee was pushing it way too far. The joke was on them now.