Thanks, so much, to you guys for wanting more and for your suggestions. I couldn't remember all those while I was sitting at work trying to write this. So they are much appreciated.
Besides being dirty and tired, Tony just wanted to go home. He approached his desk, and then stopped seeing it was occupied.
Gibbs made his joke. He then looked at Tony. "McGee borrowed your desk since you weren't going to be here today." Gibb could see how tired Tony was. "Go home, Tony, get some rest. Things will be back to normal tomorrow."
Tony nodded, smiled and headed to the elevator.
Episode 9—The Missionary Position
Gibbs looked at Ziva David not sure he was believing what he was hearing.
"I want to know what you mean by that, Ziva." Gibbs said, calling her out in front of her team mates and the visitors.
Ziva looked at Gibbs, a little surprised. "I do not…."
"What did you mean, Agent David?" Gibbs said harder, demanding an answer.
Gibbs waited but an answer did not come.
"Special Agent Anthony DiNozzo is not useless on this mission, Agent David." Gibbs tried to hold his anger in check. "DiNozzo is going because you need someone from NCIS to watch your six."
Ziva started to speak.
"I know you trust your friend. But I don't know her. I know Tony." Gibbs paused. "This is an NCIS mission, Ziva. That means I'm in charge. I get to say who goes where. You may not appreciate the skill set that DiNozzo has. But he does have skills. He knows things you don't."
Ziva looked at him and opened her mouth to protest.
Gibbs shook his head. "Tony is a valuable member of my team, Ziva, not dead weight. Being Mossad doesn't make you superior to anyone. All three of you will go or none of you will go. I will be writing you up for insubordination. And then you can go and explain to the Director…. Tony has gotten many commendations and has been on my team for years. But you can explain to Director Vance how he made such a huge mistake keeping DiNozzo on the payroll."
Episode 10—Dead Men Talking
Gibb waited until Tony had left. "That's enough, Kate."
Kate just looked at Gibbs, her chuckles quickly dying away.
"Tony picks at you. He makes fun. He jokes with you." Gibbs said. "But he would never say anything that would intentionally hurt you."
Gibbs then headed to the elevator, not giving Kate an opportunity to reply.
Gibbs looked up at his SFA. He was soaking wet and breathing heavily. Gibbs moved his hand to touch Tony's knee.
Tony looked down at him, and their eyes met.
"You…okay?" Gibbs mouthed.
Tony nodded, unable to speak.
"…thank…you." Gibbs mouthed again.
Tony nodded and smiled, having recovered a little.
Tony was able to walk with Gibbs' stretcher to the ambulance by the time he was loaded.
Gibbs took Tony's hand just as he was getting in the ambulance and wouldn't let go.
"…lungs…going…!" Gibbs managed to say.
"Gibbs!" Tony said, trying to gently pull away. Gibbs just held on tighter.
"Now!" Gibbs demanded.
Tony sighed and got into the back of the ambulance after they loaded Gibbs in.
Episode 12—Bury Your Dead
I remember it was around this time, I think this episode or the next were Tim makes a disparaging remark about Tony's undercover work. He said he should have gotten that op. I think Gibbs would have a very…interesting and effective way to help him see the error of his ways.
"Okay, I have a little test for you. Your cover is Kevin Brooks. And every time Kevin hears the key word he needs to respond with the phrase "That's right". And he needs to respond in a southern accent." Gibbs stated.
Tim looked at Gibbs like he was nuts. "I don't see…."
"Just do it, McGee, humor me." Gibbs cajoled.
Tim nodded. "Okay."
"The word's reconsider." Gibbs replied.
Tim nodded again, preparing himself. "Okay, I'm Kevin Brooks, with a southern accent, and my word's reconsider, to which I respond 'that's right'. Got it!"
Gibbs and the team went back to work. They were soon called out into the field. Tony and Ziva played their parts, testing Tim at various points, both inside and outside the office during the day.
Tim was beaming by the end of the day. He had done well, or so he thought. He was about to power down his computer and leave for the day when Gibbs called him over to his desk.
"I see you believe you did well." Gibbs started.
"I only messed up once when you called me Kevin and I didn't answer." Tim admitted.
"There is no margin for error here, Tim, not when you're undercover. One mess up will get you killed. You missed a cue once with me, your name, that's right. But you completely missed Tony's and Ziva's cues." Gibbs stated.
"But they weren't…you didn't…." Tim started. He had no idea Tony and Ziva were even a part of the experiment.
"When you're undercover, McGee, everybody's 'involved.'" Tony replied. "If Jimmy or Ducky had said the word 'reconsider', you were supposed to react to it. When you're working undercover you become that person. You become, in your case, Kevin Brooks, and you practice your southern accent until you have it down perfectly."
"Your op would have been over in 3 hours, Tim. Tony stayed under for months." Gibbs replied. "You couldn't do it, not many people can. It takes special skills to pull it off, especially the long-term covers."
Tim looked at Gibbs in surprise. He nodded. His comment about Tony's undercover work was what started all this.
"I just…I guess…I'm sorry, Tony." Tim said. "You made it look easy… and kinda fun."
Tony began to grin. "That's what we 'pros' do."
Thanks to everybody who suggested 'episodes' for me to write. I appreciate all your suggestions and I have tabled a few of them. (I have to rewatch the ep first.) Thanks for all your help and your wonderful comments and reviews. JackiLeigh