"Everyone down on the floor!"
Tony DiNozzo blinked once, then s ettled on the floor in a crouch. "Paula, do you have a throwing knife?"
"You need to be more prepared," the blonde chided him. "Just because you think he's going to be welcoming, doesn't mean he will be."
"He won't shoot me until we get a chance to talk and bringing a weapon to that sort of..."
"Shut up!" the bank robber snapped. "And get on the fucking floor."
Tony scowled at him. "Excuse me, we're in the middle of an argument here. You want to rob the bank, get on with it." He focused his attention back on Paula. "I am not going to press his good will anymore than I have to. You know..."
The bank robber snarled in frustration, but gestured for his men to continue their parts. "Boss? You want me to take care of the frat boy and his girl?" the stubby one in the blue jumpsuit asked. He sounded like one of the stupider thugs in Tony's father's organization.
"No. Let them fight. Ain't like we have to worry about a DiNozzo in this area." There was laughter from the little man. Tony shook his head. He had been planning to let them live. Disrespectful bastards.
Paula's eyes widened. "Left thigh. And do you seriously think that old bastard isn't going to be armed?"
"I just want to know who shot him and how he's doing."
"You're hiding something."
"No, you know all about me and Jethro." He bit his lip. "Honey," he pulled her close, "I'm not lying to you. I really do just want to know who shot him. He's mine." His hand slid under her skirt and snagged the knife from its sheath.
"He is not yours. He still works for the government."
"Doesn't matter. He's mine in all the ways that actually matter." He palmed her knife. "It's none of your business anyhow. Doesn't affect what we have."
"As long as you remember to use a condom." She scowled at him, but he could see the calculations in her eyes. She knew to keep her head down and out of the way.
He turned and threw the knife, killing the boss first. "First off, I slept with him before I slept with you." He grabbed the falle n man's weapon. "Second, I always play safe." The rest of the men went down like ducks in a carnival game. "And lastly, I don't go armed when I'm visit ing places legitimately."
"Then you're a fucking idiot and I can't believe we still work together." Cassidy straightened her skirt. "And you're going to buy me a new knife. I don't want to be infected with idiot blood."
Tony smirked at her. "Sure. I'll get you a blue handled one to match your eyes."
"You're asking me to authorize the hiring of a criminal, Gibbs." Tom Morrow pinched the bridge of his nose.
"He rescued sixteen hostages today." Gibbs' voice was calm. Tom glanced over at the grainy security footage that showed the bank robbers going down in a blockbuster-movie worthy spray of blood and bullets. The leader went down from a knife to the throat and the rest of the men took two bullets each. Through it all the man in question and his girlfriend never stopped their argument.
"Because they were insulting him and his family." That's what the witnesses seemed to believe. Tom was more of a mind that the man was just annoyed with a delay getting his check cashed.
"He doesn't work for the family anymore. Had a falling out with his father."
"And he's sitting in our bull-pen and lying through his teeth to your newest probie."
Gibbs' lips twitched. "Yes, sir."
Tom sighed with explosive force. "Fine." He didn't stomp out to Gibbs' section, but it was close. His jaw tightened when the man he knew was a for-hire killer smiled with bright, even white teeth.
"Hi, Jethro's boss." His eyes looked more green than blue close up. His hair was disheveled, but that was more from style than stress. He was dressed casually in jeans and a Ohio State sweatshirt.
"Gibbs wants me to hire you."
"That's sweet. Don't qualify for a clearance though. And I've got FBI and CIA wanting priority."
"But I've got something more interesting to offer."
Morrow's head snapped around to stare at Gibbs. The grey-haired man was smirking. His voice had dropped into a teasing purr.
"You calling me a liar, DiNozzo?"
"Nah. Just didn't think that was on the table. Money yeah, but nothing interesting." DiNozzo stepped past Morrow until he was a pace away from Gibbs. "Cute puppy you've got, but are you sure he should be left in the office without a piddle pad?"
Gibbs snorted. "He's not that young. Could do with some training." He raised his brow in question.
"You want me to teach him how to hunt?" DiNozzo's shoulders relaxed. He frowned. "I liked Stan. Why'd he leave?"
"Heart trouble. Don't be rude." He chided.
"Oh, come on, Gibbs, we all know that if the director here does hire me, it'll be because of you, not me."
"Who's the woman?"
"Intelligence asset with benefits. This was supposed to be a lazy day."
"She didn't come with you."
"She's good at disappearing. You can't seriously be asking me to be an agent, so what do you need, sexy?"
"See those pictures?" Gibbs pointed to the wall of most-wanted. Morrow crossed his arms and studied the two men.
DiNozzo studied the pictures. "Yes?"
"Fair game. I want capture, or heads, or other confirmation of kill. Photos won't do."
"That a challenge?" DiNozzo's voice dipped into flirtation again. He leaned a little against Gibbs' body. "And you want me to teach your puppy how to start hunting?"
"Agent McGee will not be traveling beyond our borders." Morrow said firmly.
"Of course not." DiNozzo rolled his eyes. "I'd have to leave him in quarantine. He's far too young to separate from his parents."
McGee's jaw twitched. "I am a perfectly capable agent, Mr. DiNozzo."
"Oh, call me Tony. Since Jethro wants us working together. What happened to the pretty girl? Vivian?"
"She went back to the FBI."
"That's a shame. Rumor had it, you bagged a Secret Service agent?"
"And she will not be in the same room with you." The statement was firm. It received a startled laugh from the assassin. God, Tom wished they could arrest him. But the killing of the hostage takers had him labeled a hero. It would be impossible to get him into a cell right now. He considered. If Gibbs really did have some sort of leash on the man? He nodded at the two men.
"Don't offer anything above the bounties." He took his leave. He glanced up at the most-wanted pictures. God have mercy on the poor bastards' souls.
Gibbs let Tony lean against him for a moment. The heat of his body was familiar and the smell of smoke and blood lingered in his hair like one of Abby's perfumes. He wasn't carrying a gun in the building, but that didn't mean anything. Tony's hand brushed his fingers. His fingers twitched as if they'd been burned. Suddenly, the memory of fighting back to back with the younger man was nearly overwhelming.
He felt the sweat on the back of his neck. The smell of mildew and mold caught at the back of his throat. The blue-green eyes of the man next to him were terrifyingly cold. One hand was clenched against his side to hold broken ribs into place, the other was curled around a knife so fine that it could slide between muscle and bone. "I'm going to kill them all," Tony whispered. "And then I am burning this sad excuse for a house to the ground."
Gibbs just grunted. He'd stopped caring about any of his suspects being taken alive when he felt the bones in his left hand snap under Pascal's boot-heel.
"Got any other tricks in your pants?"
The coldness disappeared in a flash a genuine humor. "Why, Jethro, does the Corp know about you? But if you're talking actual non-flesh weapons? Sorry."
"Don't apologize. It's a sign of weakness."
Tony barked a laugh at that. "John Wayne fan? I never would have guessed." He reached out with the hand that had been holding his ribs and brushed them along the side of Gibbs' broken hand. "They'll pay. Let's get out of here. We can talk movies over dinner. There's a great little place by the surgeon's."
Gibbs shook the memory off. "Show McGee how to get started. He has access to the databases. And don't piss off my Secret Service agent."
"She got you shot!" Tony's eyes were furious. "No one's allowed to kill you except me."
The older man blinked, then laughed. "You're pissed that someone shot me?"
DiNozzo shifted until they weren't touching. His eyes darted to rest on McGee. "I'll just get the puppy started. Then we can talk about your inability to accurately judge killers."
"And I want him on the list."
"No. He's protected." Gibbs scowled at that. Tony turned to look at him with wide eyes. The stunned disbelief and gaping mouth made him smile. "Later. You still owe me dinner."
"If you're nice, I won't even try to cook."
Kate Todd frowned at the casually dressed man who was sitting next to McGee. He had his head propped up on one hand, but there was something in his posture that made her want to reach for her gun. She settled at her desk with out looking away from him. He was handsome, she allowed, but that wasn't what was keeping her attention. McGee was frowning at him and arguing something in techno-geek too thick for her to translate.
"No," the man said, "you'll get caught. Go in through the secondary back door. You don't want the pretty little hacker in the basement to find out. She'll go after your balls."
"You know Abby?"
The man bit his lip and looked a bit embarrassed. "Walked in on her at Gibbs' once. Took me far too long to get the images out of my head. My ears rang for a week when Jethro stopped yelling." He rolled his eyes.
McGee's lips twitched into a quick smile. "She is unforgettable."
The brunette blinked. "I may have misjudged you, puppy-geek. That took balls."
"And a tattoo."
"Distinguishing marks are not your friend undercover. Just remember that. "
Kate cleared her throat. "Caitlyn Todd. And you are?"
"Not allowed to touch or talk to you. I'm pretty sure I'm not supposed to be in the same room, but we'll wait until his grumpiness gets some caffeine into him. I'm Tony."
She gave him a professional smile. "Hi, Tony." Her brain ticked through the Tonys in her memory banks. "Tony DiNozzo?" She sat up straight until her back felt like an iron rod. "Aren't you banned from DC?"
"Nah. Just the White House, the Pentagon and the Executive Building. And I think I heard a New York congressman whimper in terror when he heard my name, but he doesn't have to worry. He's a democrat." He shrugged. "The Secret Service gets twitchy. Don't understand why. Do you seriously believe that I've never been contracted to hunt your suspects?"
She snorted. "Suspects are supposed to come back still able to talk."
"That's why I don't like law enforcement. So inflexible."
"You kill one of my suspects, you do the paperwork, DiNozzo," Gibbs stated as he strolled in with a fresh cup of coffee. "And what did I tell you about my agent?"
"Okay. Okay. I'll focus on getting Tim here up to speed. No, Tim, find the unique identifier. Although, I want that picture algorithm. It's sweet."
Tim preened under the praise. Kate felt sick to her stomach. Every agent on the presidential detail had a picture of DiNozzo in their briefings. He was protected by an executive order, but that didn't mean they had to like it or that he was trustworthy. He wasn't allowed within site-distance of the president. Now he was sitting in the NCIS office as if he had every right to be there.
"Mr. DiNozzo?" The FBI agent that stood uneasily at the mouth of their section shifted from foot to foot. "If you could come with me?"
"Finally done with all the witness statements? See you later, geek. Email me that search program and I'll set you up with a few more resources." He blew a kiss in Gibbs' direction. "See ya, handsome."
"Don't get killed before you pay up on that dinner."
DiNozzo laughed. He clapped the FBI agent companionably on the shoulder as they left the bullpen. Kate stared at Gibbs. "Tony DiNozzo owes you dinner?"
"Lost a bet." Gibbs shrugged. His injured shoulder moved a little more slowly than his good one. He didn't elaborate.
Gibbs sat on his bed. His wire-rimmed reading glasses caught the light from the bedside lamp. He was reading the latest Lincoln biography. He heard a noise on the ground floor. His lips curled up into a grin. Tony was obviously still friendly. He was perfectly capable of moving so quietly that he could even sneak up on Gibbs. He'd only done that once; to prove he could. The front hall closet closed. Footsteps jogged up the stairs after a quick tour to the kitchen. Gibbs readied his gun.
"Hey, gorgeous." Tony lounged against the doorframe. "That a gun in your pocket or are you just glad to see me." He held his hands out and open. "I come in peace."
The older man snorted. He put the weapon on the bedside table. Tony dropped his bag on the other side of the bed. He toed off his sneakers. He crawled onto the bed and dropped his head onto the mattress. He stared up at the ceiling. Slowly, he edged his hand over until it lay on Gibbs' now free hand. "You scared me."
"You scared me. You got shot. I don't like the idea of it."
"So quit running around the world and become my agent."
"NCIS would never go for it." Tony grimaced. "Neither would the DoD."
Gibbs grunted at that. He turned his attention back to his book. Tony didn't say anything for a long moment.
"Tell me, as a sniper, did you ever feel bored with it?"
"Hell yes." Gibbs marked his place and dropped the book onto the table. His glasses went into the top drawer. He left the drawer open. Just in case.
"Oh good. I mean for family and country and all that jazz, but really it's getting a little dull. Want to tell me who shot you now?"
"He's an undercover agent and I've been told to leave him alone."
Tony snorted. "Don't give me that sh... crap."
"Your girlfriend making you clean up your language?"
"Have to call Nonna this weekend. If I don't want her to fly out from Italy and wash my mouth out with soap, I've got to get into the habit." Tony's fingers tensed slightly. "She's not my girl. Just an asset."
Gibbs leaned his head back to rest on the wall. "How long are you going to be in town?"
"Well, I'll give your puppy a few weeks of training. Get a line on my prey and leave. So, give it four weeks? Can I crash here?"
"Don't have a hotel room?"
"Of course I have a hotel room. Hotel rooms don't have you."
"Flirt. Guest room's free if you want privacy. And I'm not dating."
"That is a damned shame, Agent Gibbs. A man like you not getting action is a tragedy."
"I'm old, Mr. DiNozzo."
"Never. Besides, it 'll take me four weeks to wriggle out of whatever Ducky decides to use on me. Get one scar you can't remember and the man's got the grip of a terrier."
"Go to sleep, Tony. It's late."
Tony stole a pillow from behind Gibbs' back. He settled his gun under it. He curled up under the comforter fully dressed. He wrapped his fingers around Gibbs' wrist loosely. "Night, Jethro."
"Tony," a voice called softly. Tony was surrounded by the smell of coffee, sawdust, and gunsmoke. Safe. Safe, his brain murmured. "Tony," the voice chided again. Tony blinked his eyes open. Gibbs very carefully cupped the side of Tony's neck. He was squatting down next to the bed so that they were eye to eye. "Coffee's in the kitchen. I'll lock the door after me. Wear a suit when you come into the office."
Tony smiled at him. "Sure." He should have been worried about sleeping through Gibbs getting up and making coffee, but he wasn't. "I'll see you in a couple hours. Need to get my suit out of the car."
Gibbs quirked up one side of his mouth. "And no weapons."
Tony's eyes narrowed. "Oh, come on. I'll wear my shoulder holster. I think I've got some sort of formal badge somewhere."
"Pretending to be a cop again?"
Tony snorted. "Right. I think it's actually in the system, so it's not pretending so much as the captain I'm assigned to has never seen me."
"That is disturbing." Gibbs kissed the young man's forehead. "Don't go snooping in my safe this morning. And remember, no torturing my agents."
"I have to go see Ducky and Abby or they'll lock me in a closet."
Gibbs shook his head. "And no playing adult games with Abby. She's got enough bad habits without your help."
"You are no fun some times." Tony sat up, the warmth of the comforter sliding down his side. He fished his gun out from under the pillow. He took Gibbs' coffee from his hand and took a sip. It was dark and bitter and disgusting. "Tell me there's creamer."
"In the kitchen. With the coffee. I left you some bacon even."
"Sweet." He stretched, eyes closed. Gibbs left without actually saying goodbye. Tony took his time poking through the bedside tables and the dressers before taking a trip out to his car for his suit.
Formally dressed in Armani with a blue shirt and matching tie in watercolor tones, dark shoes that cost far too much, and a little bit of product in his hair, he looked like a businessman. He fixed his holster to his hip. Carrying openly was a sign of respect. He fished out the carry permit for DC and the ID that would let him into the Navy Yard. He arranged the spikes on his head roughly, then nodded once to the mirror. It was time to play nice guy.
Dr. Donald "Ducky" Mallard was more than a medical examiner. He had too many years of life experience behind him to not be completely aware of his surroundings. He looked up from his current guest just as the doors opened. His hand tightened on his scalpel. "Anthony."
"Hi, Doc." Anthony crossed the room and hopped up on the empty table. "Mind if I watch?"
Ducky smiled. "Of course not. And you can tell me of you latest adventure."
"The bank robber thing? Not interesting. They took the bank hostage. I killed them. What's wrong with this poor bugger?"
"I heard a rumor that you would be staying for a few weeks?"
"I told Gibbs a month. He wants me to train his puppy-agent. Seriously, isn't he a little young?"
"You were young once yourself." Ducky paused. "Granted, never quite so innocent. And I am in the midst of discovering just what caused our poor Seaman here to die. What would you guess?"
"Looking from over here? That's no fair." Anthony chewed on his lip and cocked his head to the side. "On a bet?" He narrowed his eyes. "Drug overdose. Cocaine busted his heart. Or Ritalin maybe. Something that messes with your heartbeat like that. Something you snort."
Ducky smiled at him. "A good hypothesis. How would you prove that?"
"Um, check his nose for evidence of the drug and for evidence of the damage that comes from long-term use?"
"Put on a pair of gloves and I'll let you help with the swabs. Don't give me that face, young man. I know you aren't squeamish. When we're finished here, we'll take the samples down to Abigail."
The younger man stuck his tongue out at the ME, but went to find some gloves. He held the sample bottles open for each sample. Ducky sealed and signed them. "Set those in the freezer for now. I'm going to start the Y incision. I'll have more to add to the pile."
"Yes, Doc." Anthony stripped off his gloves and hopped back up onto the table. "So, what have you gotten into lately? I heard there was an incident in here."
His sharp eyes swept the area looking for the evidence of blood that was long gone. Ducky sighed. "It was ingenious. He came in disguised as a dead body, set the room into quarantine. He shot my assistant. Gerald won't be returning to my autopsy room. He's been helping take care of Mother while he recuperates and has found a liking for the work. I'm attempting to convince him to apply for nursing school. He may end up back in his family's business, however. Mortuary work, I think you know."
"Can you give me a picture of him?"
The question was innocent, but Ducky looked up in time to see the calculation in the sea-shaded eyes. "Now, Anthony, you know that I cannot authorize any sort of action in revenge for the damage done to Gerald."
"He shot Gibbs. He shot Gerald. I really don't care if I get paid for it."
The ME stilled in the routine action of opening the chest. "Anthony, I understand that your family and your training has instilled a certain preference for revenge, but I will not assist you in this endeavor. Please do not try to trick the information out of me."
"That's no fun. Fine. You have my word."
"Good. Now, then, what physical characteristics would you be looking for within the chest if our dear young man here were using drugs on a regular basis?"
The walls seemed to throb in time to the bass line of the music. Abby bobbed her head along with it. She was working on fingerprints at the moment. The shimmer of motion was reflected in the monitor and she turned to see if it was Gibbs with her afternoon libation of Caf-Pow. She squealed and jumped up. She wrapped herself around Tony's body. He rocked with her in time to the music. "Hi." She grinned up at him.
"Hi." He tweaked her nose. She relinquished her hold. "You still don't get a night. Gibbs would string me up."
"Hm, that could be interesting." Her eyes narrowed.
Ducky chuckled. "Samples, Abigail."
She took the evidence and filed it while the two men waited for her. "So, where were we?" she interrupted their argument over the worthiness of John Cleese as a replacement for Morgan Llewellyn.
"I do believe you were about to proposition young Anthony about the possibility of an illicit and kinky night with you and Gibbs."
"Ducky!" Tony pinched the doctor's shoulder.
Ducky simply chuckled. "I shall see you for a full physical before the end of the month or else I shall set Jethro on you until you agree."
"Yes, Doc." Tony rolled his eyes. "I'm fine."
"Then allow me to satisfy my own worries." He gave them a shallow nod and left to return to his preliminary report.
Abby bounced to her seat and pointed to the lab stool. "Sit. Talk to me while I work."
"So, you and the puppy? Seriously? Isn't he a little, I don't know, sweet for you?"
She smirked over her shoulder at him. "All the better for early training. He doesn't have too many bad habits to unlearn. So, you and Paula Cassidy, hmmm?"
"You know Paula?" Tony perked up a bit. "Any chance of a threesome?"
She laughed. "Sweetie, you know she's straight."
"Yeah, well. So how'd you meet her? I didn't think she was stationed in DC?"
"I was out in LA to work with their new lab-tec h. She was there. We went drinking. Girls have to stick together in this place."
Tony's smile softened. "I don't think the director or Gibbs knows her name."
Abby shook her head as she started to separate the samples for proper testing. "No reason they would. Well, the director maybe. But she never worked with Gibbs. You are taking me to dinner right? Tonight?"
"As you wish." He winked at her. "I better get upstairs before Jethro decides to put a leash on me."
"If he's smart, he'll do that anyway."
DiNozzo strolled into the bullpen. He greeted Gibbs with a nod. He took over the vacant desk chair and rolled it over to sit nestled next to McGee. Kate's fingers twitched. She wanted to yank him away from her partner. "Did you find the discrete pattern?" There was no reason she should want to separate them. No actual physical reason and nothing in his manner indicated that he was going to hurt Tim in any way. She took a steadying breath and turned to her background research. "You aren't actually planning to go running after someone with stitches in your shoulder." Tony's voice was mild.
Gibbs stared at him for a long moment. "I'm field cleared."
DiNozzo's mouth pulled down into a petulant frown. "With these two as your guards? She got you shot because she hesitated."
Her eyes narrowed. "Excuse me?" She thought her voice came out fairly steady.
"You heard me. You got him shot because you hesitated. Ducky said you had a weapon and you didn't use it. It's not hard. You just stab up and under the ribs or you cut his throat. One quick swipe." The man didn't stand up, but he turned to face her. The gun on his hip made her pause.
"Who let you in here with a weapon?"
"Got a permit that says I can carry it. Even here. And you know what? That's a good thing if the two of you don't have the good sense to shoot an armed suspect before he shoots someone else."
"Enough." Gibbs snapped.
"Leave it. With me. Now."
"No, we'll do this here. I want them to hear it."
"That sound like a suggestion?" Gibbs was on his feet now. How he turned his back on the younger man without flinching made Kate's gorge rise. You don't turn your back on a predator.
"You giving me orders now, Agent Gibbs?"
"You trying to air dirty laundry in public, Mr. DiNozzo?" Gibbs' voice dropped. "Come. Now."
"Now." The bark was pure command and DiNozzo reacted to it on an unconscious level. He was a step behind Gibbs in the time it took to blink.
"Damn it, Gunny!"
Gibbs smirked as he walked past. When the two men were safely in the elevator she heard McGee's breath hiss out between his teeth. "Are you okay?"
"I'm fine. I've just never seen anyone argue with Gibbs before."
Well there was that. She nodded. Maybe Gibbs was right. McGee did need some more training if he wasn't scared of DiNozzo.
"Lose the attitude with Kate."
Gibbs hemmed the younger man into the corner of the elevator. Tony had a few inches on him, but it didn't matter. Tony's shoulders bunched and his head dropped. He looked up through his lashes. Gibbs stared at him until he got the small nod of capitulation. He didn't let Tony move from the corner. "I am a fully capable agent. I can protect myself."
"The bullet in your shoulder claims otherwise."
Tony bit his lip. "I don't like it. I don't like you getting hurt. And I don't like you out in the field with a puppy too young to leave without newspapers on the floor and a woman who claims she didn't kill a terrorist because of his kind eyes."
"Should I have killed you in Germany or Russia?"
The younger man scowled. "Maybe. I don't know. I don't do it for kicks. I do it for money."
"And how is that better?"
"Because I don't take contracts contrary to the country." The assassin crossed his arms. He pouted like a teenager and Gibbs batted the side of his head. Tony stuck his tongue out, but dropped the pose. "Okay. Fine. I won't pester the woman about not being a killer. But are you seriously going out in the field with McGee? I see the possibilities in him, but do you really think he's got the edge to be able to kill?"
Gibbs eased back slightly. Tony straightened up. "I think he's got the possibility, but I don't want him to every have to find out for sure."
"Ah, Gibbs. You can't keep him innocent forever. And Abby really slept with him?"
The older man held up a hand. "No speculating."
"So, um. You really don't mind me staying at your place for the month?"
"Nah. Long as you pay for your own groceries. I've learned my lesson about feeding you."
"Oh, come on. Your wife thought I was very sweet."
"Knew she was an idiot."
"No, she just didn't have enough force to her swing. Her aim was perfect. Just like we practiced on the course."
"Did you just admit to teaching my wife how to kill me?"
"No. Never. I taught her how to defend herself with household tools. Why did you divorce Susan anyway?"
"Because we made better friends than spouses." Gibbs studied him. "Make it look like you've been getting a lecture."
"Not a make-out session?"
"Don't push your luck or I'll make you sleep on the couch."
DiNozzo laughed at that. "Bastard."
"Hey, that's a good one. Where'd you learn that?" Tony asked. Tim sm iled. He liked Tony. He didn't know why Kate was so freaked out by him.
"Figured it out two years ago." When I was hacking, he didn't bother to add. He had back doors into a lot of systems he shouldn't.
"Maybe Gibbs has a point. We might make a hunter out of you yet. Now, why would it be important when hunting to follow vehicle servicing?"
Tim froze. "Um. So you know what vehicle the suspect is using?"
"Come on, Timmy. Give me more." Tony sounded like his third grade teacher. Tim winced.
"You know if it's in good condition. And if he has a regular pattern?"
"Getting closer. We know that he takes his car to the same place every three months. That means?"
"We can stake it out."
"And possibly get a tracker on it?"
Tim's chest puffed up.
"We've got a case. McGee, get the truck. DiNozzo, stay out of trouble."
Tony's jaw worked for a few minutes and his eyes narrowed. Gibbs stared him down as if they were a pair of dogs. "Fine. Do not get yourself killed or I will not be responsible for my actions."
Gibbs' eyes narrowed. "You will not hurt anyone on my team or in NCIS. Is that understood?"
"But I will destroy whoever killed you. And since you'll be dead, who's going to guilt me about it?" Tony's voice was faux-sweet. McGee escaped with the car keys and Kate.
"I'm beginning to understand why you're leery of him."
"Finally? It took you four hours to catch on?"
McGee looked at her. He frowned. "You're scared of him, aren't you. I thought it was just the fact that Gibbs would give him a job and you'd have to work with him, but that's not it." Her lips tightened. "You're worried he's going to hurt Gibbs?"
"No." She waved a hand in the air.. "The whole nice-guy act and him training you, no, I'm not worried he's going to hurt you or Gibbs. But I know what he can do. I know what he's done and I can't even tell you about it because you aren't cleared to that level. He's dangerous, Tim. Very dangerous. And I don't like him lounging around the bullpen like a pet. It's not safe and it's not a good habit to get into. And I don't like his relationship with Gibbs."
He kept his face neutral. "So what are you worried about? If he's not going to hurt me or Gibbs. Are you worried he's actually going to go for you? After Gibbs dressed him down."
"He didn't." Kate's voice was a mere whisper. "He let us assume. They both did. But he didn't yell. He wouldn't. They obviously know each other too well." Her hands fisted. "And I have it on good authority that he's going to be living with Gibbs for the duration."
McGee bit his tongue until he tasted blood. Kate was a prude sure, but she couldn't be that out of touch, could she? Even he knew that Gibbs was bi and he hadn't even had to have Abby tell him.
The phone on the desk Tony had taken over was ringing. He ignored it. He purused another database that Paula normally searched for him. It rang again. He stared at it. His cellphone started to ring. He looked between them with a strange twist in his gut. He answered his cell. "If you have this number, you know who this is."
"Answer the goddamn phone, DiNozzo."
He picked up the desk phone and hung up the other with his thumb. "Hi, sexy."
"Run down these suspects. Send me their current locations."
"You do remember that I'm not one of your agents, right?"
"This is me not caring."
"Right." Tony scribbled down the names in his favorite notehand. "You want full backgrounds and addresses?"
"My level or just what I can get through your systems?"
"Keep it legal and keep a list of what you're searching so it can be followed up on. And if you actually find one of them, call me immediately. Clear?"
"Don't get caught if you do do anything you shouldn't."
"Oh thou of little faith."
Gibbs hung up. Tony set the phone down. He stared at it for a few minutes. "There a problem, Mr. DiNozzo?" Director Morrow asked. He leaned against the desk.
"Gibbs has people he needs to track. I don't have my own login. I'm not sure if there's a reasonable way for me to get the information he wants and still have it be legal when it gets to the lawyers."
"I'll get you a guest login. Use Agent McGee's for the moment. I'll leave instructions for him to change his password to something a bit stronger."
Tony's lips quirked up. "Yes, sir." He gave the man a quick salute and logged onto the system under McGee's ID instead of Gibbs'.
Kate frowned at the information that was scrolling across her phone. "DiNozzo seems to have found some information. He's sent me two addresses."
Gibbs' phone rang a moment later. "Gibbs," he barked. He nodded though the person on the other end of the phone couldn't see that. It had to be DiNozzo. Her gut clenched hard. "McGee, control the scene until Ducky's ready to move the body. Todd, with me."