Agent Patrick Clarke had been an NCIS field agent for eight years before he garnered a position in D.C. He was getting settled at his desk when a cheerfully grinning man in a suit too well-cut for an agent's salary appeared. "Hi. You must be Clarke. I'm Tony DiNozzo."
They shook hands. He was surprised by the steadiness of the shake. "Nice to meet you."
"So I hear you were in San Diego. Why give up the beach for this?" Tony gestured at the cubical walls.
"The best agents are here."
The green eyes' focus sharpened. "Who are you working with?"
"He's good. I'm better, of course." Balboa punched DiNozzo in the arm as he passed. "If you need anything just, well, ask Balboa."
"DiNozzo!" a sharp voice called. Tony was gone in an instant.
"His master's voice," Ricky Balboa intoned. "He's a good guy. Acts like a kid, but a good man at your back. He's Gibbs' second."
Patrick blinked. "And Gibbs puts up with childish behavior?" He'd heard stories of Gibbs and his teams. The man was a legend, but the agents who worked with him counted their time with him in weeks.
Balboa looked thoughtful. "Just watch them when you can. I can't explain it, but they just work as a team. I wouldn't be against them. They found Pacci's killer. I'll give them a lot of leeway for that."
The mention of the dead agent made Clarke wince. It was the only reason there was a space available in D.C. after all. "Okay. So where's the coffee?"
The other agent chuckled. "Follow me. Don't touch the coffee in the dented pot. Tony makes it for Gibbs just in case they can't run to the store."
"You're Balboa's new partner." The woman in front of him ran her hands through her hair, smoothing it back into a ponytail.