Tagged to Episode - Royals and Loyals - Season 8

Disclaimer - I don't own NCIS or any of its associated characters or intellectual properties. Donald Bellisario owns them.

Authors Notes

Plain text inside "quotes" is obviously someone speaking - Italic text is someone thinking

A big THANK YOU to Bryhthelm, who was kind enough to beta read this story for me. He also helped me better understand NCIS policies and procedures.

Thank you also to ShelbyLou, whose story - BITTEN - inspired me to ask a slightly different question.

There is some bashing of Abby, Gibbs and Tony, but (in my opinion) it is nothing less than what they deserve for their attitudes and actions. If you like these characters or don't like bashing, then please do not read, and don't complain.

The Beginning of the End...

Gibbs - "Fish him out."

Tim - "Um, Boss. This really is a hazmat situation. You know, they did red-tag this hot tub for mosquito larva. I think we really should call..."

Gibbs - "Get in the hot tub, Tim."

Tim put on the knee high boots and went to insert one leg into the stagnant water.

Tim - "Ah… Archimedes' Theory, boss. My foot mass is going to displace enough liquid to breach over the top of the boots."

Palmer - "It's more than a theory, it's a proven scientific fact, McGee."

Gibbs - "Swim, Tim."

He took the road less travelled by, and that has made all the difference. (Robert Frost - paraphrased)


As soon as he heard those words from Agent Gibbs, "Swim, Tim", Timothy McGee was furious. If anyone had been looking, they would have briefly seen a look of pure rage playing across Timothy's face, but that emotion was quickly masked. Once again (and not for the first time) Tim's life was being put in jeopardy. Agent Gibbs clearly was acting in a very callous manner and had no concern, about his junior agents health and safety whatsoever. Not even after Tim had pointed out the dangers.

Tim's anger and rage had been slowly building up over the years, and today he decided that enough was enough. He lifted his booted leg out of the water and stepped back down on the ground.

"Sorry Boss, This tub has a HAZMAT warning. We have to wait for the HAZMAT team."

Gibbs was shocked. "We don't have time, McGee, the clock is ticking..."

"I know that Boss, but I am still not going to get into that tub. The HAZMAT warning is there for a reason."

Gibbs was getting pissed by now. No-one had ever said NO to him before.

"Do you want me to fire you, McGee? I can make sure that you never work in any NCIS office again."

Tim was feeling something he had never felt before. He wasn't sure what it was, but it was a wonderful feeling. "You do what you feel you have to, Boss, but under health and safety rules, I am NOT getting into that tub."

Gibbs turned to his Senior Field Agent, who was also starring at McGee with a shocked look on his face.

"DiNozzo. You put on those waders and get into that tub. I want that body out, now!"

Tony recovered enough to stammer. "Me Boss? Not me Boss. That's the Probie's job."

Gibbs got into Tony's face. "He's refusing to do that. So either you get in there or you make him get in there. Capiche?"

"On it, Boss." Tony didn't know what was going on, but he couldn't move fast enough. He stepped into Tim's personal space and in his face, while endeavouring to use his larger frame to intimidate the Probie into endangering himself.

"Probie, what is wrong with you? As the junior agent, it is your job to get into that tub and fish that body out."

Tim took two steps backwards, moving himself out of Tony's personal space. He was no longer scared of Tony, or Gibbs. He cast Ziva an apologetic look, and started speaking.

"Actually Tony, I am no longer the Probie. That is now Ziva's position so you should be asking her to get into that hot tub full of stagnant water that may be full of disease ridden mosquitos... It has been labelled a hazard and we should be calling a HAZMAT team..."

Tony turned his head and stared at Ziva.

"No way, Tony. Not me." Ziva backed away from the tub with her hands up. "Like Tim said, I am not getting into that hot tub. We have to wait for the HAZMAT team..."

Gibbs reached over to Tony and gave him a headslap, since he was clearly ineffective. Then he spoke up with a very angry tone of voice.

"McGee, you're fired. Go on, get out of here, and don't let me see your face again..."

Turning to Ziva, he continued.

"Ziva, you get into that tub or you will also be fired."

Ziva shook her head. "No Gibbs, I will not. This tub has been marked a hazard for a reason."

Gibbs closed his eyes and then came the explosion.

"Oh for God's sake, you are all scared of a little water? Fine. Ziva, you're fired too. You can both go now. Go on. Get. You're both fired. And don't let me catch either of you on any NCIS property again."

Tim looked at Dr Mallard. The Doctor just stood by and said nothing which was most uncharacteristic of him. Palmer was standing there, with his mouth open, clearly in a state of shock.

Tim removed the waders from his feet, put his shoes back on, and then he and Ziva both grabbed their backpacks and left the crime scene.

Authors Notes.

This is an entirely different AU starting during the 8th season episode - Royals and Loyals. Everything up until that episode stays exactly the same. During and after that episode...is a whole different story. Things at NCIS will be different, as you will find out in the following chapters, and in future stories.