I own nothing from NCIS and make no money from this story! If I did own them there would be some massive changes! I am simply borrowing them for a bit and returning them happier and in better condition than when I found them.
A huge thanks goes to my most excellent Beta-Amy- without whom this would not be as polished! Kudos to her for her great work and wanting to work with a nut like me! Trust me! There is much love to her! She also feeds the bunnies some massive happy food since they keep appearing.
Come by my facebook page- always a riot! Sometimes great eye candy as well! Facebook./gibbsandtonysbabe Always happy to have you drop by!
Tony looked at Ziva trying to figure out if she was going to tell Gibbs what she and McGee had ascertained through their covert investigation. He willed them both to tell Gibbs because he sure as hell wasn't. They went off on their own and opted to leave him out and even if that stung a bit as well as pissed him off, he intended to keep it that way.
He hadn't forgotten the last time Ziva went rogue and had he no desire to walk that rocky path again; he still carried the scars. He watched as Ziva's eyes went to McGee and then to Gibbs and McGee's as they followed the same path. This was ridiculous.
Finally Ziva stood and walked over to stand before Gibbs, unfortunately she seemed to have lost her voice and stood there floundering.
"What Ziva?" Gibbs prompted.
"I would like permission to travel to Europe to find Bodnar. I have been trying to locate him with help from McGee and various contacts."
Gibbs cocked an eyebrow. "I know."
Ziva looked at the man with an incredulous expression. "You have known all this time, then why-?"
"You needed to be ready to tell me." Pausing for a moment, "He's in Rome."
"That's what I thought to."
"What are you waiting for?" He gestured toward Tony. "Take DiNozzo. Go."
Ziva looked up to the next level and saw Vance standing there watching. He caught her eye and nodded before returning to his office. Ziva turned and left with McGee following behind. Tony waited until they disappeared in the elevator and turned towards Gibbs.
Tony stared at Gibbs as if the man had grown two heads. "You can't be serious Boss."
Gibbs glared at the younger man. "Do I look like I'm kidding DiNozzo?"
Tony stood to his full height, his green eyes narrowed as he stepped in front of the older man. "You're seriously going to let her go off like this?" Rubbing his hands down his face, he tried to get his wording right and himself under control. "She's been sneaking around, hunting the man down on her own. You know damn well she has no intention of bringing him back to face charges."
Tony held up a hand to stop the older man from speaking. "I get it, I do, but this is not the way to do this. It's going to come back and bite us all in the ass. I want justice for Jackie believe me I do, I want them to pay for what they did to a family. But not this way. I've already been down this road with Ziva once, or have you forgotten Rivkin? I'm not doing it again. I can't. There are better ways."
"You're questioning me?" Gibbs snarled. "You sure that's the way you want to play this?"
"Yes. Just like I have done for years when you start to step over the line. You already overlooked the fact that she had found out her father killed that Marine and said nothing, she withheld information again. This time it resulted in an innocent person's death, because if Vance had known, do you think he would have had Eli in his home?"
"DiNozzo!" Gibbs' voice was sharp with an underlying threat.
"What? I'm not supposed to know, or am I supposed to ignore that?" Tony shook his head as he looked at the stranger in front of him. "I know that this brings up one hell of a painful memory for you Boss. And you more than anyone else feels Vance's pain, but in that respect you also know that the revenge that Ziva is looking for won't make that pain less or change the facts. Look what it cost you. Don't let them pay that price, it's too high."
"You're going to go with Ziva and watch her back, do I make myself clear?"
"Crystal." Tony unhooked his badge and removing his Sig from the holster, placed them on Gibbs desk. "I won't be a part of this." Turning towards his desk, he grabbed his coat and a few personal items and headed to the stairwell leaving a stunned Gibbs sitting at his desk, staring at the gun and badge.
Tony stared at the drink in his hand as if it held all the answers. How the hell had everything gotten so screwed up? Where the hell was the Gibbs he knew? Raising the glass to his lips, he was surprised to find it was empty. When did he finish that one?
Gesturing to the bartender, "Peter, another drink please, this one appears to be empty." He smiled as Peter set down a full glass.
"Maybe you should slow down a bit, sir?"
"Maybe later when I don't need to get drunk."
"Yep, that's me. What brings you out here tonight?" His voice was just starting to slur.
Fornell looked at the younger man trying to recall any time that he'd seen him drunk. He could recount only three and one was after Kate's death. What the hell had happened?
"Long, tough case finally over. How 'bout you?"
"Didn't want to repeat history, so I quit. Didn't wanna do that either. Sucks."
Shocked, Fornell took another look at the man this time noting the air of dejection and his body language. What the hell had they asked of the man this time? Gesturing for drinks, he looked back at Tony.
"So spill. What happened? Tell Uncle Toby all about it."
Tony snorted. "Why would I want to do that?"
"Because I listen better than the drinks you've been staring and may interject a pithy remark or two."
Tony tilted his head and looked at Fornell before drunken logic took over and he shrugged. "Your bestie thought I needed to traipse over to Europe to find Bodnar with Zeeevah."
Tony gulped his drink. "Yes. Not with finding Bodnar, but the way it's coming about. Already played whipping boy to the Queen and I'm not interested in that role again." Taking a deep breath, "Rivken and the whole hiding facts and punishing me for living…don't want to play her game. Never ends well for me."
Fornell nodded as he waved down the bartender. He glanced at Tony knowing there was more to the story and he didn't really like where it was going. Shit, the man barely made it through the whole Frog debacle alive. It seemed as if this agency was intent on placing him in the line of fire.
"So what happened?"
"Rivken went rogue and Ziva hid the fact that he was in the US." He looked at Fornell through bleary eyes. "He was also her lover…didn't know that though." Taking a deep breath, "Went to her apartment to warn her about Rivken after I found out about LA and the fact he was here…she wasn't there. He attacked and I lived. She never forgave me for that."
"Jesus Tony! You were defending yourself. What the hell did she think you were doing?"
Tony laughed bitterly. "She thought I was jealous. That I wanted her." Swirling his drink, "She never could believe that I have no interest in her…never have." Tony shrugged. "The Emperor decided that I needed to go to Israel and face Director David for killing a Kidon warrior. Thought it would be like a lamb to slaughter and he'd get rid of me."
Tony turned to Fornell and smirked. "I turned the tables on David though. Yep…got him to admit that he controlled Rivkin and that he eventually lost that control. Zeeevah didn't like that one bit. Not sure which thing made her madder; that I took down her Kidon officer or that I got the better of her daddy."
"Did give her the excuse to throw me to the ground and point a loaded gun at me. Already had a broken arm from the fight with Rivkin and some bruised ribs. Hurt like hell." Tony shook his head out of the memory. "Don't want to play their game anymore. Tired Fornell…too damn tired."
"None of that should have happened Tony, you know that, right?"
Staring at his glass Tony just shrugged.
Fuck! What the hell had they done to the man? Didn't matter now; he'd quit and never let it be said that he didn't know a gift horse when he saw one. Those job offers over the years may have been made tongue in cheek, but they were real and he was determined to snap this man up. Hell most people would be fighting for him if they knew he'd left NCIS.
One thing was certain, if he did get Tony to come over to his side, he damned well was going to make sure he knew his value even if it killed him. But for right now, he just needed to take care of the man and watch his six. The first thing to do was take him to his house, no one would look for him there and he knew without a shadow of a doubt when word spread at NCIS, the usual suspects would come hunting and he was going to make sure Tony's head stayed firmly attached to his body.
Taking a deep breath, he put his glass down, "Come on DiNozzo. Time to get out of here."
"Not going home. Not a fool. They'll come to drag me with them or shoot me and then drag me with them."
"You're coming home with me."
Tony looked at the man through narrowed eyes. "Why'd you wanna do that?"
Fornell chuckled. "Be honest with you, DiNozzo, I got two reasons. Won't bullshit you, I want you on my team, always have. I may have a shot at that if you're ready and willing. And the other is simple. You're right, this Bodnar fiasco stinks, and you need to be as far away from the epicenter as possible."
Watching the younger man visibly lose some of the tension in his body as his words hit their mark Fornell allowed himself to smile inwardly at his inadvertent good luck for walking in this bar.
Tony let out a deep breath and looked at Fornell. "Thanks."
"Come on." Smirking as he looked at Tony. "I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship."
Groaning as he walked out the door. "You did not just quote 'Casablanca' to me."
"Hey…I know some movies."
Tony laughed for the first time since this whole mess started.