The Sulky Prince...ess
Tony walked into work the next morning, giving everyone an appraising look before he regally took his seat, starting his computer with a negligent stab of his finger. McGee looked over at him, frowning a bit. "What?" he demanded.
"You're ten minutes late. Gibbs is already here. I'd duck."
"Why?" He looked at his morning messages, leaning back and getting comfortable while he read them. He was every bit the spoiled DiNozzo prince that he had always been. It was the perfect cover for today's warning. He looked at Gibbs as he came in, giving him an arched eyebrow look, then he got back to reading his morning messages.
"Why were you late, DiNozzo?"
"Traffic was abominable," he said blandly, typing in a reply for a few of them. He watched as two women walked past his desk, staring at their chests.
"DiNozzo!" Gibbs snapped. Tony gave him another very bland look. "Elevator, now."
Tony stood up, smoothing out his clothes. "I hope this won't take long." Gibbs looked stunned. "Well, I do suppose you want me to work today, or was I mistaken about your intentions for wanting me here on time?" he asked dryly, staring him down, his head tipped back just slightly. Gibbs grabbed his arm and led him to the elevator, stranding them between floors within seconds. "Was there a problem? Not even *I* can control the traffic in Washington."
"What has gotten into you?" he demanded.
Tony shrugged. "I'm the same as I was before."
Gibbs stared at him. "I doubt that. Did a hex misfire into you or something?" he demanded. Tony shook his head. He swatted him. "This isn't your normal self, DiNozzo."
"It's who I was before." He smirked a bit and turned back on the elevator. "What case am I working on today, Gibbs?"
"Just get to work," he growled, watching him walk off. He let the doors close and turned it off again, calling Horatio. "I have no idea what's going on but Tony's acting funny. He stared openly at the secretaries walking past the desk, then mouthed off. No more than normal. Is anything wrong with Speedle since I know they were together last night for dinner?" He sighed and shook his head. "If you're sure." He hung up and restarted it, which opened the doors, showing the director standing there. "Needed something?"
"DiNozzo stared at me."
"He did that earlier. I'm not sure if it's in reaction to yesterday or not, yet."
"Maybe you should send him home, Jethro. Again." She glared back at him, then at her subordinate. "If this continues too much longer, you may have to find his replacement."
"No I won't. He thinks he's acting normally." He walked past her but she caught his arm and got them both back into the elevator. "Is something else wrong?"
"Why did you have a lizard-like scale on you the other day and what type was it? You had just been at a scene and it wasn't mentioned in the reports."
"It was a natural death, Director. I shouldn't have to mention finding random scales if there's no cause to look. It probably dropped off some shedding skin in a tree."
"That big and it'd have to be in the rainforest. It didn't come from any known type of snake, Jethro."
"It could've come from earlier in the day. I do know some people are trying to breed a new breed of snakes. We did run into one of them earlier in the day."
"I see." She frowned, looking at him. "I don't believe you."
"That's not my fault."
"I want an answer!" she demanded.
"I gave you one."
"You're hiding something." The power suddenly came back on and the door opened, showing Tony there. "Would you like to answer about the reptile scale that was found on him?"
"No. I'm sure he gave a perfectly reasonable explanation," he told her simply, looking at Gibbs. "We've got a case, injured cadet at Bethesda, wandered in gasping and bleeding with what appears to be a sword cut on his side." He stabbed the button for the garage. "McGee's getting the truck and he's promised not to let David drive."
"Thank you." He got off, following Tony as he walked off. "Cases call," he said, heading after him. "DiNozzo, I drive, get in." He climbed into the passenger's seat while Gibbs got in to drive, starting the car and backing out. "What the hell is wrong with you?"
"Nothing. I'm the same guy I was. Are you sure you're not imagining something?"
"I'm not. You're acting like some rich boy again."
"Well, technically I am one of those," he reminded him sarcastically.
"You were disowned."
Tony snorted. "My father's ready to die, I'm the last in the family, if he keeps me disowned, I'm having him killed and redoing his will." Gibbs stopped the car suddenly and glared at him. "It's only fair. I put up with him and his ideas on the family name for years."
"Now I know you're not right. What ever happened to 'I don't care if get left anything or not?" he demanded.
"Some of that's already mine. I've got a trust that he's been holding away from me from my grandparents. It's mine by law but I haven't pushed it yet. I will be getting it or else I'm going to make his afterlife a living hell," he said firmly, staring back at him. "Now, shouldn't we be heading to the hospital?"
"Headache, dizziness, anything that could point to a concussion?" he asked. Tony shook his head. Gibbs smacked him extra hard this time. "Whoever you're channeling, stop it," he ordered, taking off again.
Tony just mentally smirked. His boss wanted the old him, pre Tony/Speed/Danny trio him, now he was getting his wish.
Tony looked at the cadet. "How stupid are you?" he asked intolerantly. Gibbs gave him a harsh look. "You and your Marine buddy were playing with swords, specifically the one that goes with his dress uniform, and you don't put the blade guard on it? You don't try to block it? You stand there and let him slip a three-inch wide blade into your side, then you have a beer, drive here, and limp in playing the wounded hero?"
"DiNozzo," Gibbs warned.
"It has to be said, boss." He stared at the cadet. "His name? That way we can make sure he's alive and embarrassed in front of his unit for using his honorary sword?"
The cadet swallowed. "If I tell you, you'll get him into trouble?"
"You're both in trouble," Tony assured him. "I can go through and test all the Marine blades in the surrounding area if I have to." The cadet blushed. "His name?"
"Phipps," he said, hanging his head. "I thought we were just playing, I didn't think he'd really take a real swing at me," he defended. "I came here to get treated instead of going back to base because he's running and hiding."
"As he should be," Gibbs agreed, glaring at him. "Midshipmen, go ahead and stitch the little idiot, call his commander to tell him what happened." She nodded, going to get someone to stitch the injury. "You'd better hope for only going on Report for this, cadet." He walked out, Tony following him. "That was a bit harsh, don't you think?" he demanded quietly.
"No, I think he's an idiot, I told him the truth," Tony told him honestly. "How do you not move when someone's swinging a sword at your ribcage or not try to block it if you've got your own, even if you don't have a clue what to do with it. I'm sure even McGee would do that."
"He hopefully would," he agreed, staring at him. He found the boy's commander in the waiting area and nodded at him. "You'll want to sit down."
"No, he's stupid, terminally stupid," Tony told him. "Like use him instead of the robots to find the land mines stupid." The commander glared at him. "He and his buddy in the Marines were using a couple of dress swords to joust. He didn't even try to block or move." The commander gaped. "He's being cleaned up. Also, the nurse ran a check on the substance on his hands under the blood. Mustard and lubricant." The commander's face tightened. "Not saying anything but someone needs to have a talk with the boy for his table manners."
"Oh, we'll be talking," he promised. "Thank you, Agents. Can I see him?" Gibbs nodded. "He'll be on Report for a very long time and he'll be in misery if there was lube for some reason other than an oily hinge."
"It could've been a female Marine," Gibbs noted.
"I don't care! I don't care if he's buggering the entire fleet, you don't disrespect the other uniforms that way, you wash your hands, especially when you have nasty stuff on it, and you sure as hell learn to defend yourself properly." He walked that way, going to yell at his cadet.
Gibbs took Tony's notepad, going to call Abby. "Find me a Marine named Phipps, around twenty-four or so. He was a friend of our cadet. They were playing with his sword." He hung up and looked at Tony. "Car." Tony headed that way, looking calm, cool, and collected. He climbed in. "You don't break news that way! You do not tell a commander to use his cadet as a land mine finder! You do not disrespect someone in uniform that way!"
"He'd be dropping out within the month," Tony told him, shifting to look at him. "His grades are abysmal, he's already on AP his first semester for his midterms. He hates the uniform, doesn't respect it, and sure as hell doesn't respect the others. I wouldn't be surprised if this was a desperate plea to get him expelled for injury instead of his grades. Unless that commander makes him his personal project, he'll be a failed cadet and I'm sure his family would hate that as much as mine would have. Now he'll get the in-depth attention he needs if he's going to be a good seaman. He'll get a hell of a lot of attention from the commander to make sure he doesn't have any other semi-suicidal issues, and he'll be straightened out if the commander thinks he can make it. I'm sure he's seen more than enough to see if the kid has what it takes and either go along with his release or mold him."
"You're justifying yourself?" he demanded. "You just manipulated that commander into taking control of the boy's life!"
"Of course I did, Gibbs. If he's going to be a seaman, he'll need it. As I said, the commander will know while he's on report. He'll be studying him to make sure. Hence my indelicate comments," he said firmly. "I'm sure the commander understood that."
"I doubt it," he growled. His phone rang. "What?" He listened. "Thank you." He hung up and started the car. "I don't know what got into you, Tony, but I don't like this version of you. I don't care why, but you had better straighten up by the time we get to the base."
"Good." He backed out, then hit drive and sped off, his normal speed. "The director was thinking about putting a sexual harassment charge in your file," he growled a few minutes later. "She caught you leering."
"Sorry she caught me, boss, but sexual harassment means I've got a position of power. I don't. Nor can I truly make the office an untenable and sexually charged atmosphere. Well, I could but that would be beyond the boundaries of amorality." He shifted some, buckling up when Gibbs sped around a corner. "If it'd make her feel better, I'll gladly apologize in writing or in person for staring at her push-up bra. By the way, she's going to be cranky later, it's the wrong size and already pinching her by the way she was standing. Also, the thong was probably a bad idea under those pants since you can tell." Gibbs slammed on the brakes and looked at him. "Only the truth. She's going to be in a foul, bad fitting clothes mood later. We've seen them before. That green shirt bunched up on her shoulders and made her cranky that afternoon as well."
"When we get back to the office, Ducky is going to look you over," he ordered quietly. "Then you and I are going to have a long talk in the gym, DiNozzo. Am I understood?"
"Clearly, but you're also causing a break in the traffic patterns and someone else's boss will be pissed because they're late." Gibbs growled and put the car in gear, heading off again.
Tony walked into Ducky's lab. "Get this, the cadet was playing with his Marine buddy's sword and didn't duck."
"Trying to get out of being a cadet?"
"Probably. I told his commander he should use him to find land mines. He'll be watching him and with some proper care he'll mold him if there's anything there." Ducky gave him a long stare. "Gibbs sent me down to have you check me over. He thinks I've had a radical personality shift."
"I heard about yesterday," he admitted, staring him down. "On the table, Anthony." Tony hopped up and swung his legs, staring him down. He fidgeted a bit at the returned staring. "I see. Yesterday was a dare?" Tony smirked and nodded. "Which one?"
"Don dared me to call his swats love taps."
"How many times did he hit you?"
"At least ten. I lost count then. By then I had a splitting headache."
"I'd imagine so," he agreed, pulling out his bag of living people supplies to find his stethoscope so he could look him over. "Any remaining headache? Dizziness perhaps?"
"Nothing that would indicate a concussion or a radical hex."
"Let me decide that, shall we?" He noticed Abby coming in and smiled at her. "Give me a few minutes, Abigail. Jethro wanted him checked over after yesterday."
"That's because he was a bad boy all day," she told him dryly. Tony smirked at her, then ran a very appreciative look over her, making her blush. "Tony!"
"You look very good in that outfit, Abby. Very tiny and elfish."
She blushed harder. "Thank you, I think. That was a compliment, right?" He nodded, smirking at her. She saw the look in his eyes. "I'll let Ducky finish. Meet you beside your coupe, Ducky?" He nodded, smiling at her. She fled.
"That was not nice, Anthony."
"Every woman should feel appreciated."
"Yes, but you made her feel sleazy, not appreciated." He smacked him on the shoulder, not sure he didn't have a head injury. "Are you sure you're not dizzy, have a headache, or nausea?"
"I'm quite sure I don't have a concussion, Ducky. I promise."
"Then why are you acting like a teenager?" he demanded, staring at him.
Tony stared back. "Am I?"
"Are you perhaps one of the others? I read those dreadful books and polyjuice sounds interesting."
"Tastes like crap but no, I'm fully myself, Ducky. Just as I was before."
"Before what?" he asked, catching on.
"I'm the Tony Gibbs wants." He slid off the table. "Fit for duty?"
"Go ahead," he agreed. "Try to tone down the leering, Anthony," he ordered quietly. Tony gave him a very courtly bow and left. Ducky cleaned up the table and put his equipment away again. He considered cluing Jethro in but Tony was obviously proving a point.
Tony sat down at his desk. "Ducky said I'm perfectly normal for being myself and I apologized to the Director since I ran into her in the hallway, boss. Anything else you want besides my report?" He got to work on that, using every bit of slang he knew. Speed hadn't been the only hip little teenager in their year. He finished with a flourish and sent it over, spinning his chair around. He idly wondered how late the local theme park was open. At least until his head was rocked by a hard slap. "Sorry, spaced out there for a minute, boss." He looked at him, looking *very* attentive. "New case?"
"No. Your report," he said, handing over the copy he had printed out. "Do you notice anything odd about it, Tony?"
Tony read it, then looked at him. "I misspelled something." He went back to it and Gibbs grabbed his shoulder, squeezing hard. "Ow," he ground out. Gibbs did know pressure points very well.
"Gym, DiNozzo. It's the day to spar." He walked off, expecting him to follow.
Tony sighed and got up to follow him, expecting to get his ass kicked. Then again he spent some time on his ass at that age for real too. He walked into the locker room, changing quickly into his sweats and a clean t-shirt, then got out his boxing gloves. He looked at his wand then decided that would be going a bit too far. That wasn't really fair to immobilize him, and he had tried to play fair at that age. Try anyway. He walked out pulling on his gloves once his locker was sealed again, magically as well. He saw his boss waiting on him and climbed into the ring to join him, clapping his gloves together. "Whenever you're ready, boss." Gibbs watched him for a second then moved over, taking a swing at him. Tony ducked and hit him, then danced out of range, staring him down. Gibbs attacked again, and again Tony defended then moved away.
"You're avoiding hits."
"It hurts. Sue me, I'm human, most of the time." He attacked this time, doing stuff he hadn't done since he was younger and Danny had taught him better.
"What the hell!" Gibbs demanded, doing a hip throw to put him on his back. He stared down at him. "What is wrong with you?" he demanded quietly. Tony just stared up at him, one arm going up to cushion his head. "This isn't a fashion shoot."
"Thankfully. I'm not exactly my best in these sweats," he shot back, smirking at him. "I'm still the same guy I was, Gibbs."
"The sudden moves?"
"Uh-huh." He hauled him up, looking at him. "Danny has too much street in his background to let you get away with that bullshit move, DiNozzo. It's clear where his roots lie." He looked him over, staring into his eyes, seeing the amusement. "You having fun?" The amusement started a thought in the back of his head, letting him put together some clues. The little bastard was doing this on purpose for some reason. He only needed to know why so he could cure this issue. Because if this princess came back again he'd have to kick his ass for real.
"A lot actually. You're not as pretty as those I usually stare at, I tend to like my objects of attention to be a bit more stacked than you are, but you'll do."
"I'll do?" he demanded.
Tony nodded. "You're handsome in a very rugged way. You're well built. You're very wiry in your strength instead of being ropy or body builder hard. You're use hard instead of gym hard and your body shows it very well. Of course you don't dress to show it, boss, but you are. You're also not playing up to your eyes." He shrugged and backed off. "I make no secret of who I am."
"You're not Tony."
"I am Tony. Have you seen me taking hourly drinks?"
"You could do what you did to Stan," he hissed.
"You wanna strip search me and run a metal detector over me?" he countered. "Go right ahead, but fair warning, I'm ticklish in certain areas." He continued to stare him down. He hadn't backed down from a challenge in two decades and he was having way too much fun proving to Gibbs he didn't want what he thought he did. "Think the theme park will be open after work? I haven't had fun in a while."
"You go to the theme park?"
"Of course I do! Doesn't everyone?" He shrugged and waved him on. "Come on, you wanted to spar."
"I want to figure out what's wrong with you," he said coolly, still staring at him. "Ducky said you're fit for duty?" Tony nodded. "I should call him."
"Go ahead. He'll tell you I gave Abby a compliment and that he didn't find any reason to suspect a head injury after yesterday."
"You brought that on yourself," he reminded him, walking out of the ring. "Stay."
"I'm not a dog!" He looked around, then checked the cameras, muttering the obscuring spell before changing down to his pure black cat form. He padded off, heading to listen in on the conversation.
"Ducky, me. DiNozzo was fit for duty? You're sure it's him?" He listened to the proof he had found. "That can't be replicated somehow?" He grimaced, looking around. He could feel someone watching him. No one was in there so he checked the cameras. One had been moved. "You didn't find anything? No, he's still acting oddly. He tried a new move on me and claimed Messer taught him it. No, total bs. Messer's too street to let that go." He nodded once, looking around again. He even looked up again. "Have Abby get into the security system and see where the camera in the dressing room in the gym points." He hung up and stood up, looking around again. He knew which direction it was coming from. He had no idea what it was though. He got up on a bench to look in the shadowed corner, finding a small camera. He pulled it down and yanked the wire until it broke off from someone's locker. He'd report that later. He walked out, not finding Tony anywhere. "DiNozzo, quit playing!" he called.
Tony walked out behind him. "I was in the stall, boss. Thought we were taking a break." He headed back to the ring, putting his gloves back on. "You want to go again?" He smiled. "This is more fun than reports."
Gibbs stared him down. "Before what?" he asked finally.
Tony just smirked at him. "Wish granted," he said, then he pulled out the wand he had retrieved and disappeared. He landed in Abby's lab, looking around before heading back to his desk. He froze the cameras and other spy gear in the elevator so he could change his clothes on the way back, but unfroze it when he got off, strolling over to his desk.
"I like that outfit, Tony," McGee offered, smiling at him. "Gibbs said to sit your ass down. Now. That was a direct quote." Tony sat down and put his feet up, going back to his internet surfing since his report was done. "He also said to fix the report and 'before when' was asked." He got up and walked over, picking up Tony's report, then at him. He burst out in giggles. "He asked for that," he agreed. "Please, please, don't use the book on me?"
"I hadn't planned on it," he said, staring him down. Then he smirked evilly. "Be prepared for anything," he hissed. "Isn't that his motto?" He printed off a new version with the old slang he used to use, handing it to him with a smirk. "There ya go, mini-boss. Put it on his desk for me since you're up?"
McGee did that, then went back to his desk to hide and watch.
Tony tipped his head back. "Pertra! Gibbs found your spy cam!" he called. "Pity about the wire!"
"Next time don't have it pointing at his locker!" He went back to his typing. He was IM'ing Calleigh about a new ballistics test he had read about. Gibbs came off the elevator. "Boss, new ballistics testing equipment just came out. I saw the article and I'm talking to Horatio's expert about it. It's pretty neat. They've got one. Abby will probably be pouting soon, and you know how good she is at it." He smirked at him and then got back to work.
Gibbs took the keyboard and typed in a message then closed the window on him, staring at Tony. "What wish?"
Tony smirked at him. "You're smarter than that, boss."
Tony stared him down still smirking. His princely side was in full force now. "Boss, have you ever thought about hiring a secretary part time for the unit? It'd give McGee someone to flirt with."
"I'd never do it," McGee offered. He squeaked at the glare Gibbs sent his way. "Not that someone to file would be a bad thing, but we can keep up with it. As a matter of fact, let me go find some to do." He got up and hurried off.
Gibbs glared at Tony, who just smirked back. "She could make coffee for you so you're calmer. Even get the good stuff. She could help with the filing and check reports for grammar and spelling without making you deal with it. That would leave you to sign stuff. Plus, if the Director heard about it, she'd probably implant someone she liked and you could train in the future."
"DiNozzo," he said quietly. "What is going on?"
"I already told you, Gibbs." He was still smirking, just a bit more evilly now. No one had ever accused him of being a *nice* prince in his youth. He had been the king of pranks in his year.
"Give me your wand."
"I don't give up my wand or my sidearm."
"No, I won't be. You can fire me first."
"Is that what you want?"
"No." He continued to stare him back, letting him see deep into his eyes, the stuff he usually shielded from him. "Anything else, boss? The elevator's about to stop on this floor." Gibbs straightened up, still staring him down. "I fixed the report as ordered. McGee put it on your desk." Ziva came off the elevator. "You missed a case."
"It was unfortunately necessary," she told him, nodding at Gibbs and handing over her excuse. "From the Director." She glanced at Tony, then at him. "She's wondering what's going on," she said quietly. He nodded. She sat down and turned on her computer. "What are we doing today?"
"Well, you also missed sparring day," Tony told her. "Gibbs and I went a few rounds in the gym."
"Elevator, DiNozzo." He handed over the note she had given him. Tony looked at it and snorted then balled it up and set it on fire, then swished his wand in that direction, making her food turn into worms while she was eating. He gave him an evil look. "What was that?"
"Part of the greater plan, boss. Why?" Then he smiled sweetly. "Did you know she asked if I had MPD?"
"No, but I'm starting to wonder myself," he admitted. "Elevator." He got up and headed that way, his wand back in the holster. He looked at Ziva. "Hold it down, call me if we get a case, find where McGee is hiding." He walked that way, letting Tony quit holding the door open for him. He flipped the switch once they were between the first floor and the garage. No one would be able to hear from either side and no one should be near either side. "What the hell is going on!" he demanded.
"Wish granted, boss. You wanted me to be my old self."
"I wanted the less flighty agent I had before the convention, not this princess of evil you've got going now!"
"Ooooh, that's gonna cost you, boss. Princess of Evil? Is that the best you can do? Even Danny got more creative than that. Hell, he called me a Willy Wonka on LSD flavored chocolate a few times. Couldn't come up with a better one?" Gibbs glared at him so he leaned in the corner. "I'm the same guy I was before, Gibbs."
"No, my agent is a lot less unstable. He didn't take days off for no reason."
"I had a good reason. We had things we needed to clean up."
"You also have days off."
"No I don't. We're always on call." Gibbs looked like he had been slapped. "When was the last time we had a day off?" he demanded. "Outside of what we did at Alex's, because that wasn't a weekend off for either of us."
"Point," he ground out. He counted back, it had been months. The last time they had an active spell, it had been nearly as bad. "Do you need a few days off, DiNozzo?"
"No, I think you do." He stared him down. "I'm the same guy I was before."
"Before when?" Tony just stared at him. "Before you met Danny and Speed?" Tony nodded, smirking now that he had gotten it. "I wanted the agent I had before you three got so intense again."
"I was miserable, Gibbs. They were my sanity. Multiple times. I'm the one who tied Danny down when shit got too bad after Speed died. I'm the guy who held him when his fiance died. We're so tight, even before the bond, that there should've been no separating us. Yet, something did. College. Now that we've fixed that tragedy it'll never happen again. So either get used to the real me, the happy, sated, content me with the backup and support I need and crave, or don't, Gibbs." He stood up straighter again. "This is me. Playful nature and all. Kate saw plenty of it, boss. Maybe you never paid attention, but she saw plenty of it. I played plenty in the office. It's been a while, since before she died, but I did used to play all the time. This is me. I'm not changing who I am to suit you." He saw the struck look again. "Or don't you remember Kate complaining because I was playing?"
"I do," he agreed quietly. "Were they there for you then?"
"Danny was. Speed was dead by then."
"I'm sorry." He leaned against his wall. "I remember you being playful but you never skived off duty like you have since they came back into your life. You never took an unannounced day off."
"We needed that stuff cleaned, boss. The one was a shelter for those in the school who were working at inter-house cooperation, which they'll need to survive the purge. The others were our personal storage and play areas. Where we left part of ourselves. If someone had found those, they could've used them against us. There was enough residue in there of our lives to make sure that someone could've tracked us and used it against us. Plus, Speed and Danny needed their old lives back. Danny's about to go through hell again. It happens about every other year. Speed needed reminded of his old life so he can heal and move on. Plus he needed his bike back. His former one got sold by his mother after his death." Gibbs nodded at that, letting him explain. "Plus, I wanted my old life back. Now that I don't have to hide who I am every day of my life, I don't have to act like I'm undercover all the time, I get to be myself and I wanted my things. I wanted my brooms. I wanted my wizarding cards. I've got a complete set for eight years running. Hell, I've got stuff in my apartment that you've never seen and never will that's part of me because I couldn't let you know. Sorry, but I'm sick and tired of hiding who I am! I'm in my thirties and it's not making me happy. This is me, Gibbs. Yeah, I'm a bit of a prince now and then. Welcome to my life. You'd be one too. It doesn't keep me from doing my job. Yes, I've grown more tact than I had at twelve. Not much but some."
"You'd better have more than you showed this morning."
"I explained my comments to the commander. I'd have done the same thing, just not in front of you before."
"Maybe, but you'd still have found a better way to express it than 'use him to find land mines'."
"Not really." He looked him over, then into his eyes. "This is me, Gibbs. All me. Danny's still got uptight and thug tendencies. I play pranks. Bad ones at times, and I'm an annoying bastard at others. Kate saw plenty of that and so did McGee." McGee popped in. "What?"
"Director," he panted. "She was going through your desk, Tony." He looked at him. "I went to the bathroom. She was looking for drugs supposedly."
"She doesn't have a clue about this stuff," Gibbs noted quietly.
"Yeah, but she's sure he's using, boss. She told Ziva that. I was in the next row over, in those unused cubicles under the stairs. She told Ziva you're using drugs and that you're going to be fired if she finds any."
"No drugs in my desk," Tony admitted. "Plus the cocaine's no longer in my system, not really. It's been long enough to weed it out. She can drug test me," he offered, shrugging a bit. He flipped the switch, looking at McGee. "Accept who I am."
"Sure. You always played with Kate. I'm happy to have it back." The door opened and he hit the button for their floor. "I'll back you up in whatever you do."
"She might find a Playboy," Tony admitted, considering it. "One of the more tasteful ones. I go for artistic instead of brutal nudity." He shrugged as they got off. "Boss?"
"We're good," he promised quietly. He led the way back into their row. "Director, needing an antacid?"
"Doing a search for drugs," she said, glaring at Tony. "I know you're on some."
"No I'm not. You can have me tested if you want." He shrugged and crossed his arms. "Also, you need a warrant for that. The Supreme Court said so. You don't have probable cause." His Playboy was put down. "Yeah, and? Airplane reading." He shrugged again. "I'm a guy, I like looking at the more tasteful and artistically nude ones instead of blatant, brutal nudity. Be thankful I'm not like Pertra who likes to look at pussy cams." She gave him a horrified look. "At work since your spyware doesn't work very well." He glanced at Ziva. "Didn't you catch him at that again?" She nodded, grimacing. "Was it the pierced one?" She shuddered and nodded. "Yeah, I've caught that one a few times while I was filing. Boss, we really have to get his seat switched away from the filing cabinets. Please? It's disturbing."
"It is," he agreed. "I've told him to turn the shit off more than once." He looked at the director. "Do you have a warrant?" She glared at him. "That is the law, Military and not, Director. He has offered to take a drug test. It's been long enough, statistically, that a urine test wouldn't pop for the accidental cocaine exposure he got on that smuggling case. I'll give him the time off if you want to have someone called to administer one today."
"I will be." She slammed Tony's drawers. "Then you'll be gone."
Tony looked at her. "For what, Director? Herbal tea? Decent food with my friends?" He sneered, stepping closer. "If you've got proof, present it."
"You're a blight."
"Yet I've got one of the better records in this whole agency. My records are *impeccable*." She backed off a step. "I think you're jealous because you're doubting something. What, did you think I was hitting on Gibbs? I may think he's cute in some outfits, but *really*. Do you have anything showing that we're dating or doing anything inappropriate?" She stomped off. "I'll be here, at my desk, when you're ready to pop me for the test, Director," he called. Then he pointed his wand at her and muttered a curse, making her trip once she was in full view of the floor. She glared back at him and he sat down, blatantly putting his feet up on the desk. He looked at Gibbs. "Tell me no."
"No. You can't hurt her," he ordered quietly.
"How would he?" Ziva asked.
Tony looked at her. "Did you think this was the first place I went undercover, Ziva?" She nodded. "Then you never did a thorough background on my employment history. Isn't that against your training?"
"Gibbs said it wasn't necessary. That he had one."
"He did undercover work at two of his other jobs," Gibbs told her. "He's got friends who got out of New York's underground community as well."
"Yeah, too bad Sonny's dead. I could blackmail him into shit out the ass," Tony agreed dryly. Gibbs raised an eyebrow. "Someone had to stop him from going after Danny somehow."
"Point." Two agents came in. "DiNozzo."
"Me?" he asked them. They nodded. He stood up. "Let's go. I had a soda for lunch anyway." He walked off with them. "I've got to admit to an accidental cocaine exposure a while back. Unfortunately the tape wasn't sealed as well as it should've been and the package broke open while I was doing a count. I came down within an hour and it should be out, but you might find a trace of that." They nodded, marking that on the form. "Gibbs can give you a report on what happened if you need it for proof." He walked into the bathroom. "Drug test going on. Clear out! Director's back in her office!" Everyone ran out, going back to their desks. He smirked at them. "She hates me. She thinks I'm taking her spot with Gibbs. She wants his cock badly." He unzipped his pants and pulled out his dick. "Cup?" One was unscrewed and handed over. "Full-full, half full, partially full?"
"At least to the line, Agent DiNozzo." He watched him fill it, then took it back and capped it, putting it into the sealed container, which Tony signed once his hands were cleaned off. He initialed it as well. "Thank you for not being belligerent."
"No reason to. She's the jealous one who went through my desk." He dried off his hands. "Need hair or anything else for a secondary test?" They shook their heads and walked out, going down to the lab to run it, making Abby wait in the morgue for them. He walked back to his desk and sat down again, smirking at his boss. "I admitted to the case and said you could give them a report on it." He waved it. "Thanks, boss."
"I know you're not using, DiNozzo. Thinking back, you were worse than this with Kate at times." McGee nodded at that. "You done now?"
"Mac's the only one who hasn't figured it out yet. Don's got an idea but not about why. You can't tell him. It's to prove that you guys didn't want what you thought you did."
"Fine. I can agree to that. How is Speed dealing?"
"Better. He's back into a more comfortable spot he can work from, but...." He smirked at something coming from Speed, swearing mentally about Ryan. "Ah. Wolfe is very good, boss. If we ever get another opening, we want Wolfe." He smirked at him. "He figured out everything, including Danny and them," he said quietly, barely not mouthing it. "He's a chaos person. He just proved it to Speed." Gibbs smirked at that. "Seriously, boss. If you need someone, you want Wolfe. He's good according to Speed, but his nature's not all that friendly some of the time."
"I'll keep that in mind. How is Standa doing?"
"Just fine. She'll be back tomorrow from that visit home to her ex and from the trial." Gibbs shuddered, that had to be one strange conversation. "Stella's not bad, not that good either." He winked as the agents came back. "Did I pop?"
"The test for cocaine came out barely registering." Gibbs handed over the report. "Blood work that day?"
"After we got back. There was a bomb. We let him sleep it off in the truck. It's included. Ducky's got the official results."
"Thank you, Agent Gibbs." He nodded, pointing at the number. "That is consistent." He went to get that report, leaving his partner there until he came back. "The blood work report backs him up on that. At that rate of dispersal, his body's working very well." He looked at Gibbs. "No other hints of anything, except the one that usually picks up the flu."
"I was exposed to the plague a few years back," Tony told him casually. "Would that count?" That got a horrified look and a nod. "Someone sent me Y Pestis."
"I'm very sorry, Agent DiNozzo, but at least you could come back to work." They walked off, going to tell the director. She stormed out, making them air it in front of everyone. "Madam Director, the only test that came up positive was the one for cocaine and it was noted that he did have an accidental exposure to it on a recent case. By the blood work reports, it is at a reasonable level for that exposure. A follow up test would be advisable in another week to give it time to fully work its way out of his system. His test did contain some alcohol but not a chronic level. More of 'I had beers with the game last night' level that the statistical majority of people pop positive with." She glared at him and he continued. "His other tests were completely clear with the exception of the one that registers the flu and with his exposure to Y Pestis a few years back that will always pop positive. So, if you wish we can restest him in a week. If not, he's totally clear." He handed over the reports together. "That's a copy of the report on the accidental exposure and a copy of the bloodwork report from his medical file the ME keeps on him."
"I see. Nothing else?"
"No, Director," the other man said. "I ran two separate tests. The second one didn't even pop for cocaine. It's almost fully out of his system."
"Director, if you continue to discuss my private life in a public forum like this, I'm suing," he noted calmly, his voice just loud enough to be heard. She glared. He dialed his phone, getting his attorney. "Get here, now." He hung up, staring her down.
"DiNozzo," Gibbs warned.
"No, this is wrong, Gibbs. She's discussing my private life, my drug tests, which are supposed to be eyes-only, and my work record in public. That is against the law." He looked at him. "I don't care." Someone came off the elevator and he nodded at him. "Thank you for coming across the street."
"Not a problem, Tony. What's up?"
"She made the agents who just popped me for a drug test discuss it up there," he noted, nodding at it. "Including the case that got me an accidental exposure, my exposure to Y Pestis, and other things about my private life."
"Wonderful," he agreed with a feral smile. "There's a suit against her already by three other agents." He walked up there. "Ma'am, I'm Mr. Howell Halliburton, Attorney." He pulled something out of his jacket and handed it to her. "That's your notice of being served with a command to appear in court in regards to a class action suit against you for doing similar things as what you just did to my newest addition. Do have a nicer day, Director." He walked off. "By the way, that is backed by the Senate, ma'am." He nodded politely at Tony. "This burns that favor," he whispered as he walked past him.
"Done," Tony agreed. They shared a smirk and he walked off. Tony looked up at her. "Is there any other part of my life you'd like to discuss, Director?" He looked at Gibbs. "You can give her all the ammunition she wants."
"I'm not like that. If I have a problem with you, I take it up in private."
"In my office," she bellowed.
"Not without my lawyer or my boss," he shot back, glaring at her. "On the advice of Counsel." She stomped off. He looked at Gibbs again. "I will go through with it. Ziva, I'm very sorry, they probably cited you." She nodded, she knew that. "You knew?"
"I spent the morning being debriefed by him and a senator. She went outside the guidelines to appoint me to the team without the team leader's permission." She looked at Gibbs. "The senator said it was up to you if I stayed."
"You're staying." She smiled at him. "Until you screw up."
"Thank you, Gibbs. I do try not to." He nodded at that. "I did mention why I was appointed as well. That whole mess is being looked into, but your part was being called reasonable by the senator and he's on the intelligence committee." Gibbs smirked at that. "They knew you wouldn't give it up and no one expected you to listen to anyone advising you to stand down. He congratulated you on fixing it." She stood up. "I'm going to see if Abby has anything for me on my cold case yet. She was doing a new DNA sweep." She walked off, going to do that. She saw a mouse and glared, trying to stomp on it. "Mouse!"
"Leave it," Tony yelped. "It's a pet!" She grimaced but quit trying to stomp it to death. "Thank you!" She took the stairs, shuddering a bit. He glared at the mouse. "McGee!" He ran under his desk and came out in human form. "Thank you!"
"Sorry, boss. Hiding." He sat down and got back to work.
"Can you do that?" Gibbs asked Tony, who only smirked at him. "You'll show me."
"Tonight, DiNozzo. Or else."
"If I must." He stretched and grinned at him. "You almost caught me earlier, boss." He winked and got up, going to talk to Ducky. "Heading to see Ducky and get a story."
"Fine." He glared at his retreating form.
"That won't work with me," Tony called, smiling and waving from the elevator. "Don's little shirt-diving friends are scarier than you are at this moment." The elevator came and he stepped on, smirking as the doors closed.
"I didn't consider Keelian very scary," McGee said thoughtfully. "What other one is there?"
"Someone mailed him an egg," Gibbs muttered, shaking his head. "Get back to work, McGee." He found the report and looked at it, then picked up a red pen and started circling things, printing very large over the thing 'fix these or else I'm suspending you to your desk for the next month'. Desk duty drove Tony insane.
Gibbs stopped Tony's hand from closing his apartment door, walking inside and closing it behind him. Tony gave him a smirk. "I said you'd be showing me."
"Must I?" Gibbs nodded. "Would you pet me?"
"Depends on what you become. If you become slimy, no." Tony smirked and changed down, smirking at him from his kitty cat form. "I knew that smirk would transfer somehow." He picked the cat up and scratched his ears. "Your eyes stayed too." He flipped him over, working on his stomach. "Remember who's the true tom of this team, DiNozzo. Even if you're not fixed, I'm still top tomcat." Tony purred and swished his tail, then scratched him and jumped down, changing back. "Feel better?"
"You messed up my stomach fur. I'll have to bathe it down later," he complained.
"Have Don pet you," he complained, scowling mildly at him. "We gonna have any more problems with you?"
"Depends on you, boss." He leaned against the back of his couch. "Are we good?"
"We're fine now that I understand. As long as you don't pull more stupid shit this year." Tony smirked at that. "Anything else you'll need to clean out?"
"I hope not. Though, Danny's bi-yearly issues usually give us only a little bit of warning. See, his dad knew he'd never be a true thug since he didn't like violence like the rest of the family so he cursed him to be tested every few years to bring out the violent streak. The last time I had the sudden 'tripping while running' problem for four days? That was the last one. It's about to happen again."
"Can't you get Dumass to remove that?"
"No. I'm not sure it can be removed by anyone but his father, who won't. He hates him, Gibbs. He turned his back on his entire family and not even the Vinese can make him quit."
"The oldest, most powerful female graduate of the Venetian school. She's appointed when the last one dies. Any of the old pureblood, Italian families has to listen to her. She's actually my godmother." Gibbs blinked at that. "She loves my father like a son, boss. No hope of getting her on my side about my inheritance."
"What you said this morning....."
"The truth. He's got stuff he's holding away from me. She didn't agree to me getting it back yet. Said I'm too immature."
"You definitely were today," he noted dryly. "What would make her change her mind?"
"A marriage of some sort. Preferably into a better family. Which won't happen. I hate the other girls in my social circle. Plus most of them are already married. Purebloods tend to marry young and try to breed a better society."
"Can she keep it from you after he dies?"
"She can try but if she does, I can and will take her to the Wizard's Court in the Italian Ministry. Danny's father tried to get her judgement annulled about their exile and return home. The Ministry Court found it to be valid. They do on most things. So unless she dies, I'm pretty much screwed at the moment." He slid over the back of the couch and stretched out. "What're we gonna do about her, boss?"
"I'm not sure yet," he admitted, walking over to sit in the recliner. "I'm not sure what we can do."
"All I know is that she takes these jealous bitch moments about you and anyone who might come near you. It's getting distracting. She's trying to run your life for you."
"She's tried to make suggestions on the boat too," he admitted. "I have no idea what to do about her or who they'd appoint after her."
"Deputy Director Hartret would be the likely choice. He's handling all the other offices but ours and the overseas ones. He's not a bad guy from what I've heard, but he's also not very supportive. He's a real hand's-off sort. Unless it's a crisis, he's not there." Gibbs nodded. "Before you ask, I did know about the suit and that they were mentioning Ziva. I figured if you wanted to, you could protect her. If not, she'd be moved to another team that had the first opening. The director terrorized a few of the people in HR, one of the secretarial pool, and another female agent. She's been interfering in her team's work as well. She's in the German office I think."
"Good to know." He stood up. "We'll do whatever we have to do," he offered. "For now, just endure, make sure everything's book perfect, and hold onto the secrets. You and McGee both."
"Boss, he's not going to do anything that stupid in the office again. Ziva wears scary shoes."
"She's scarier when she's got bloody bandages on her feet." He walked off, heading home. He found Ducky waiting on him. "What's up?" he asked as he got out of his car.
"I got told right before I left that I'm transferring to the other coast. The Northwest office."
"You can't move your mother like that."
"I know. So does she. That was her intention."
"Join the suit, Ducky, or pull strings." He moved closer. "You heard what she tried to do to Tony earlier."
"I did, is Anthony all right?"
"Pissed. He's suing her based on how she made the agents discuss the drug test on the catwalk by MTAC." Ducky groaned, shaking his head. "Three female staff members were already going there, Ducky. Join in. You've got a valid reason and I doubt you requested a transfer."
"She claims I did, that she's got paperwork."
"Go to the SecNav," Gibbs ordered quietly. "Present the problems, the suit, and all of it. Tony thinks she's jealous."
"She is. It's rather apparent, Jethro. Also, she's inside."
"Bet me," Jethro said firmly, heading up to open the door. "I didn't invite anyone over tonight! Leave, now!" He left the door open and walked back there. "Go to him, now," Gibbs ordered quietly. Ducky nodded and got into his car, driving off. His boss came onto the porch. "What are you doing in my house?"
"I came over to talk to you."
"I don't wanna hear it. Get off my porch, go home, Director."
"What're you going to do, Jethro, shoot me?"
He pulled out his phone and dialed the local police department's dispatch office. "This is Special Agent Gibbs. I'm reporting a trespasser in my home. Come get her before I take her up on her order to shoot her." He hung up and stared at her. She sneered back, crossing her arms over her chest. He moved closer. "You won't win."
"They won't arrest me."
"They will. I can and will press charges." Two marked police cars drove up and stopped. "Evening, boys." He pointed. "My trespassing boss. I'm filing harassment charges against her tomorrow and she came to try to talk me out of it." She looked stunned. "It was pretty clear, Jen. Have fun with that." They walked past her and walked her off. "Anyone else in here?"
"Me, I was hiding," Abby said as she peeked out. "I was under the boat."
"You're always welcome, Abby. You know that." He walked up onto the porch, waving. "Thanks, guys. I will press charges if necessary." They smiled at that and waved back, heading off with her.
She walked down to stand beside him. "I'd hate to be her when the SecNav hears about this and the lawsuit. Think they'll make her a figurehead and appoint a deputy director?"
"Tony said we've already got one."
"Yeah, but he doesn't handle the international stuff. He said it's too much work." She looked up at him. "You're really thinking about filing a sexual harassment suit?" He nodded. "You think it'd stand up?"
"If it helps, I will. We may've had a past relationship but that's it. That was over long ago." He walked her inside, shutting the door behind them. "Why did Ducky drop you off?"
"So I could keep you calm while Ducky ranted. Did you send him to the SecNav?" He nodded. "Oooh, hate to be him then and *really* hate to be her when he's done with Ducky."
Gibbs nodded, making her grin and hug him. "Thanks, Abs. Want dinner?"
"Please. So tell me about this date."
"The historian. The one you went to the museum to see."
He grinned at her. "Believe it or not, DiNozzo hired her to fix me dinner and give me a shoulder rub, nothing further. She's still very young, working on her Masters in Ancient History, but she was very nice. She just put up a Civil War weapons exhibit." She squealed at that. "I'll take you this weekend if we're clear." She beamed and nodded, bouncing a bit. His phone rang. "That was fast. Ducky doesn't usually drive that fast." He answered it. "Gibbs." He listened. "He told me you figured it out. Yeah, a few hours ago. Can Speed change shape like Tony can?" He listened to Horatio hum and ask him that, getting a quiet 'no comment' in the background. "Ask him what he is? Tony's a pure black cat."
"That might cause problems with the little McGee mouse," Abby said, hopping up to sit on the counter. She swung her feet a bit and he swatted her. "I won't dent the cabinets with my heels."
"I'm going to be putting food there, Abby, I don't want you sitting on it." She sighed and hopped down, shaking her head. He cleaned off the counter with the dish cloth. "What is he?" He laughed at the 'he won't tell me' Horatio answered with. "I'm told we're not allowed to tell Mac, that they were proving a point. No, I got Princess of Evil Tony. Imagine what Mac got," he snorted. Horatio laughed loudly at that. "Yeah, Messer was a jock and a part-time thug. What was Tim when he was twelve? Yeah, it was from before they met and got tight with each other. Ooh, brooding, hip, tit staring. Figures. Not much has changed on either of them then. I guess Danny's the only one who really changed." He smirked. "You too. Yeah, next time we can, just pop by to get me. No, we're having problems with the director. Apparently she's jealous. She's trying to have Ducky transferred. She popped Tony for a drug test. Oh, heard about Wolfe. Next opening I get I was advised to come recruiting."
"Timmy's picture of the team showed him being a hottie," Abby told him, looking very serious. "But for some reason I like Harry, even though I usually date older guys, Gibbs."
"Sorry, Horatio, but he could date Ziva. Or Tony's got more cast-offs than you think Delko has. Tony said he figured it all out. How long did it take him?" He nodded. "Not bad. How's he on cases?" He smirked at the 'friends don't poach' comment. "Come on, you can't tell me you've never poached from another department." He smirked at his 'of course I have'. "So, I may be down to poach Wolfe. With a bit of training under myself and DiNozzo, he might make a good field agent. Don't warn him, just keep me informed of how good he is. Sure, this weekend's fine probably. We're not on weekend call. Pending how the lawsuit against the Director goes, I might have all weekend off. No, I came home and found her in my house with Abby hiding, Horatio. After today, I had her arrested for trespassing." He smirked at his comment of 'not very politically correct, Jethro'. "I don't play politics, Horatio. I'm a fairly straightforward guy."
"That's why he pisses off so many other agencies," Abby called, smirking at him. "They hear it's him and turn over jurisdiction immediately so they don't have to deal with us."
"Works for me, less headaches having to explain myself to people who refuse to understand simple, straightforward, uncomplicated plans." He listened to Horatio laugh. "After the way she did Tony and now Ducky, there's no way I'm standing behind my former trainee. Yeah, sure. I'll let you know. Later." He hung up. "They just got a test result back on a murdered child case."
"Poor guys," she offered, pouting a bit. "I hope they get him and then someone lets the cells know what he did."
"Someone always does, Abby," he promised, looking in his freezer. "Cow or chicken?"
"Chicken." She came over to pull out the bag of chicken quarters and then a baking dish, getting them ready to be put in the oven. "Simple and easy."
"It is. Thank you." He got out drinks and helped her fix dinner. "I wonder what Danny is."
"I don't know. It's based on who you are, deep down. I wonder if an animagus can change to a different form if they've had a radical personality change." Gibbs looked at her. "I am."
"You're wondering what Harry is," he snorted, taking the dish from her and putting it into the oven, then turning it on.
"No, he's a hawk." She beamed. "He showed me and I got to scratch his neck ruff." She hopped up onto the counter again. "Can we pet the Tony cat?"
"He let me until I pointed out I was the top tomcat on the team." She giggled at that. The door slammed and he looked that way. "What's wrong, DiNozzo?"
"I just got a call from Ducky. SecNav's pissed, boss. He wanted you warned. He's coming over later."
"Not the first time. Then again, I did have her arrested for trespassing."
"He didn't mention that," Tony said hesitantly. "I'll change Abby and we'll hide in the stairway so you won't get hurt if he tries something."
"That's fine. Staying for dinner?"
"Already ate, but thanks anyway."
"Meow Mix?" Abby asked, smirking at him.
"No, eww! Tuna." He smirked back. "I'm a purebred cat, thank you. Dry is for alley cats."
"Make sure I don't have to have you fixed," Gibbs ordered dryly.
"There had better not be baby DiNozzo's unless someone took some from the sperm bank! I mastered the three contraceptive charms in my third year, thank you."
She giggled and hugged him around the neck, pulling him over to kiss him on the cheek. "Do hormonal methods work with you guys?" He beamed and nodded. "Just asking in case it comes up."
"It does and Harry's still a virgin, Abby. He's been hunted by women but never wooed or courted. Remember, if you treat him wrong, Ron and Alex will make your life a living hell and then Dawnie will finish you off." She smiled and nodded. He kissed her on the forehead. "Good girl." He heard a knock and moved her out of sight, pulling his wand to change her into a small black dog. Then he changed down, giving her tail a nudge with his cold, wet nose so they could hide on the stairs so Gibbs could answer the door.
Gibbs shook his head. "Don't do that, she'll like it." He walked out, opening it. "Sir."
"Gibbs." The Secretary of the Navy walked in, closing the door behind him. "What the fucking hell happened, Jethro?"
"Apparently she got jealous, sir. It started a few weeks back when I had a date. I saw a car lurking outside my house that night. Earlier today she came down on DiNozzo for being playful and looking at her fairly obvious push-up bra." His boss gave him a long stare. "Even teenagers don't stand up like that, sir. I'm cooking, come back to the kitchen so you can sit." He walked him back there so he could check on the chicken. "After I talked to DiNozzo in the gym and got him straightened out, she had him popped for a drug test. He had an accidental exposure during a drug count a few weeks back when a package opened under his hand. We had everything to back him up so they called it clean. When I got home, I found her standing in here and Ducky waiting on me. I had the cops come get her so I didn't have to deal with her. DiNozzo and I both think she's jealous of the young lady who made me dinner."
"Made you dinner?" he asked, looking amused.
"DiNozzo found her for me. That's all we did, all she wanted to do and all I wanted to do. Then I went to see her Civil War rifle exhibit."
"I know her. Pretty young redhead?" Gibbs nodded. "I've seen her on the arm of a few generals who wanted to have a pretty young woman on their arm. That's all she does? Dinner?"
"That's all she does. She's a very upright and proper young woman. Said she carries mace for those who want more of her than her conversation. She's a great conversationalist and I've asked her out to a real dinner without the payment since then. She's fascinating to hear talk about her exhibits. We talked for nearly an hour about the rifles that night."
"Well. That's a good thing, Jethro," he agreed happily. "Seriously thinking about dating her for real?"
"I'm not sure. I'm taking it very cautiously. It's not like I'm going to rush into a fourth marriage."
"Good point. After the last one I wouldn't either." He looked around then back at him. "Okay, who is it?" he called. The cat came back and sat at his feet, staring at him. He looked down. "DiNozzo. Those eyes are very identifying. Do you wear contacts when you go undercover?" Tony changed back, giving him an odd look. "I was Horatio's mentor, kid. What's going on?"
"She's a jealous bitch, sir, to put it bluntly." He pointed his wand and Abby squealed. "Sorry." He made her clothes reappear. "We'll stay in here until you're redressed." He looked at their boss again. "After she had me tested, she made the agents tell her the results on the catwalk. Including my exposure to the plague and about the accidental exposure. I knew about the suit and I told the lawyer I'd join today. I can't allow anyone to get into my privacy that way."
"Okay, I agree with that. That was wrong." He sat down, looking at him. "Jethro, your dinner's burning." He went to rescue the brown chicken. "Can we resolve this without it?"
"That depends, sir. Have you talked to the other three claimants? Who, by the way, are all redheads?" He groaned. "Ziva was also mentioned and she said her debriefing today came with the lawyer and a senator."
"I heard. I got the transcripts." He looked at him. "If I can guarantee your security and I can guarantee she can't do it again?"
"Make her a figurehead? Put the DD you already have in charge."
"We'll need two. It really is too much work."
"Morrow handled it," Jethro offered, handing Abby a plate when she came in. "Want some, sir?"
"No, that's all right. I was eating when Ducky stormed in and threw his fit. He agreed with your idea, DiNozzo. The only person we could put in would be a bit more stand- uppish. Hartret doesn't want to appear to meddle and doesn't want to let anyone think he's playing favorites. He takes it a bit too far. I seriously wish Morrow were still with us. I knew he had your back."
"So ask his recommendation, sir," Abby pointed out gently. "Who else would know what was needed?"
"You can turn down any nomination of my name immediately," Gibbs assured him. "I'd rather be staked out on an anthill in midsummer in Saudi."
"Again?" Tony teased. Gibbs glared at him. "Sorry, boss. Would that be an again?"
"No." He ate a bite. "You sure you don't want any, sir?"
"I'm certain. Seeing Ducky that huffy and upset turned me off food for a while."
"That's fine." He ate another bite. "I could get behind the plan, the other agents would get behind it because it'd mean she'd have to leave us alone, and the daily running would go to someone who wanted to do more than paperwork and work on terrorism."
"That is what we're being told to work on."
"Sir, I've got plenty of cases without terrorist cells. Someone's got to do the normal cases as well. That's what we do. The CIA and FBI deal with terrorist cells. We deal with dead Sailors and Marines. We deal with those who're doing other things wrong. We don't deal with terrorist cells unless they're involved. Hell, let her run that part. She's good at it."
"You should know, you trained her." He got up to get himself some water. "What about Officer David?"
"She's doing okay. Still some friction there."
"She needs driving lessons," Tony said firmly. "I've never met anyone who made me fear for my life more than you did, boss, but she needs driving lessons. She taught herself how to drive." Gibbs moaned at that. "Please. Before she gets one of us killed in a car crash. Remember the case with the kidnaped woman? She did sixty through the mall parking garage and expected me to identify cars. Please! Have *someone* teach her, boss! Even defensive driving! I'm not sure she's got an American license."
"She doesn't. She's using her Israeli one," Abby said before taking another bite. "She does need it, Gibbs. Even McGee's come in pale, shaking, and puking."
"I didn't need that image."
"Ducky's had to give me medicine for nausea too," Tony admitted. The SecNav smiled at that. "Really. She's got nothing on the defensive driving coaches at the academy, sir. The problem is that she does it all the time."
"I'll have her sent to be checked out," Gibbs relented.
"Think we can get Fornell to do it, boss?" Tony asked with a bright smirk.
"Princess of Evil is back," Abby quipped. "Only took you a few hours, Tony."
"Abby, please," Gibbs moaned. The SecNav laughed at that. "He was having a playful day earlier."
"I heard. Something about lack of tact?"
"This way, his commander can watch him, mentor him if he's got any chance of making it in the Navy, and if not, he can figure out how to weed him out. The kid didn't duck when his friend swung his ceremonial sword at him, sir. I'd call it a way to get out of the Academy without disappointing his family."
"Possibly true. The commander did want my opinion and I told him to watch him. He could overcome stupidity with training if the kid had it in him. If not, well, he had a reason to kick him out."
"See, told you so," Tony told Gibbs.
"It was still blunter than you should've been, DiNozzo. Tact is a good thing sometimes. Even I have to use it now and then."
"I do most of the time."
"You do most of the time," Abby agreed.
"Thankfully," Gibbs agreed, staring at him. He looked at their boss again. "I'll gladly drop mine if you get her out of my face, sir."
"I will be, Jethro." He stood up and put his glass in the sink. "You'll see me within a few days." He clapped Tony on the back. "Try to hide it better. The worms was interesting."
"Alex Dumass let one of my friends copy his copy of The Big Book of Dark Pranks." The SecNav moaned. Tony smirked evilly. "I'm just warming up, sir."
"I'll have her put on as a figurehead to save her sanity," he told him. He walked out shaking his head. He wondered how Jethro put up with the insanity on his team. He was closing the door when he heard the head smack and Tony's complaint. Ah, that's how he did it.
Tony appeared at Speed's that night...
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