Chapter One: It’s Really as Bad as It Sounds

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Title: Never Them
Series: Never Them Always Us
Series Order: 2
Previous Story: Them or Us
Author: SpencnerTibbsLuvr (Kliqzangel)
Fandom: NCIS
Relationship(s): Gibbs/DiNozzo
Character(s): Leroy Jethro Gibbs, Tony DiNozzo, Leon Vance, Timothy McGee, Ziva David, Abby Sciuto, Trent Kort, Danny James
Content Rating: PG-13
Warnings: Character Bashing, Anti-Abby, Anti-Ziva, Anto-McGee, Vance is on Tony’s Side, A Softer Gibbs, Season 7 NCIS,
Word Count: 13,203
Author’s Note: I honestly never imagined a sequel to the original fic. It was supposed to be a short little thing to jumpstart the musi. However I got an idea for a sequel sometime after I posted it, and I’ve been slowly picking at it ever since. July RT starts tomorrow, and I wanted to get this posted beforehand.

Danny James from Bull is being used because she’s kickass. No knowledge of Bull is needed and I am not connecting the two shows.

Thanks for this getting completed can go to Rivermoon1970. I let her pick something for me to work on and this was her choice.

Summary: Gibbs hadn’t wanted to believe that things were really as bad as Tony said. So, he took a few days to try and look at things from a new perspective. Gibbs knew that one way or another the Marine had to fix things because he couldn’t lose Tony, and wanted time to come up with a plan. In a way he was right, things weren’t as bad as his partner in life, and everything else said. Unfortunately, they just might be worse, and when Gibbs got done kicking asses, Tony might be the only person left.

Chapter One: It’s Really as Bad as It Sounds

Gibbs sat at his desk staring at his screen not seeing the end of the month Case Closure Report in front of him. Instead, he was focused on listening to the two Junior Agents give Tony a rough time about the case reports he was demanding that they finish. Gibbs knew that the SFA was waiting on them so that Tony could finish his own reports, which were needed for Gibbs to complete the report he was currently working on. It’d been a couple days since he and Tony had their talk, and he made sure to pay more attention to what was going on. The fact that the two knuckleheads were so blatantly insubordinate while their Team Leader was right there was a big blinking neon sign warning him how bad things really were. It just made everything worse, now that he was aware there was a problem, to hear exactly what Tony was upset about.

He didn’t know why Tony was even still with him let alone still at NCIS if this is what he’d been dealing with on a daily basis. “Enough!” Gibbs hollered pounding a fist on his desk as he turned his gaze toward the fiasco unfolding at Tony’s desk. The fact that neither Tim nor Ziva looked even a little bit worried and instead turned to gleefully smirk at Tony made him growl. Just how far had he allowed his head to be lodged up his own ass?

“Special Agent McGee,” Gibbs growled standing and moving to stand in the aisle between the desks, “did you sleep through the day they went over the chain of command at FLETC?”

“B…Boss?” McGee stuttered. His shock at being the one called out was apparent.

“Do you not understand English, Special Agent McGee? What about you, Probationary Agent David? They forget to train you in the chain of command at Mossad? With how you’ve been runnin’ your mouth about them over the years, I’d have expected you knew that a Probationary Agent is beneath a Senior Field Agent.”

When McGee just gaped at him, and Ziva stared at him as if she was sucking on a lemon, his frustrations grew even higher. “Speak!”

“Tony is not my superior, and I do not recognize his right to order me around,” Ziva spat lifting her chin in the air as if that would make him see her way, and Gibbs literally growled. He wanted to march over and throw her into the damned elevator with a one-way pass out of NCIS. Gibbs couldn’t believe that this bullshit had gotten so bad and he hadn’t had a single clue. He knew that she was counting on Ari’s death to make him see her way, but Israel should have nipped that bullshit in the bud. Evidently, he was wrong.

“I don’t recall anyone giving two shits what you recognize,” Gibbs spat back and was about to proceed when a voice came from above.

“Special Agent Gibbs, could you come to my office, please?”

Gibbs looked up and glared just barely holding back words that would get him reprimanded. When he turned his attention back to Ziva, he could see her gleeful smirk and knew she believed that the Director was calling him to heel. Her expression changed, however, when Vance continued.

“Special Agent DiNozzo, I would appreciate if you can fill out a verbal warning reprimand for both Agents McGee and David for insubordination. It sounds like they both have plenty to do to keep them occupied until I get done with Gibbs. Then, I need to see Probationary Agent David in my office. Gibbs?” Vance turned and walked back without waiting for anyone to respond.

Ziva was staring up at the upper walkway with apparent disbelief as Gibbs headed toward the stairs. “DiNozzo, if they give you any further hassle you can add Written Reprimands to those Verbal Reprimand forms too. McGee and David, I expect whatever reports Tony’s been ordering you to finish to be completed and on my desk when I return. If they aren’t, you can expect another write up. This bullshit stops now.”

Gibbs heard Ziva’s curse in Hebrew, and before he could comment, heard Tony’s return reprimand also in Hebrew. Smirking, he left things in the capable hands of his SFA and Life Partner as he headed down the walkway and toward Vance’s office. Nodding to Cynthia as he walked past her desk, Gibbs headed in and took a seat in front of the Director’s desk waiting for the other man to speak.

When the younger man just shoved a toothpick in his mouth, Gibbs lifted an eyebrow and took a drink of his coffee. He wasn’t the one to call this meeting, and he was more than happy to sit there for once and wait for the other man to get to the point. It better damned well be what the Marine wanted to hear once he did so, too. Otherwise, he’d be more than happy to go straight to SecDef. He wasn’t even messing around with Jarvis, whose ethics and loyalty he already questioned. The man seemed more bureaucrat than Military Leader. It was why he hated when people were appointed to SecNav that didn’t have Military leadership experience.

“I hate you,” Vance gripped, and Gibbs almost snorted coffee out his nose. Quirking an eyebrow at the man, he didn’t even bother trying to hide his amusement. They had both done an excellent job of screwing the pooch on this situation. He might have had his hands in the pot, but he certainly wasn’t the only one and was not going to take the blame for it all. “I did a thorough review of DiNozzo’s complete file, not just the edited and condensed version that I had reviewed previously. I also took your advice and called Morrow, who was happy to chew my ass from one end of the East Coast to the other and back. I then called Retired Admiral Chegwidden and Commander Rabb the former and current heads of JAG and got my ass reamed by them both as well. I didn’t appreciate being called out like that, even if it was my own damn fault.”

“If you’re expectin’ sympathy from me, Leon, then you’re gonna be waitin’ a long-damned time,” Gibbs gruffed before taking a sip of his coffee.

Leon rolled his eyes as he took out the toothpick and tossed it into a nearby trashcan.  “Between that and the things that I have overheard recently, combined with input that I got from the other team leaders, it’s apparent that we need to make some changes. Ziva is going to be given the choices between being moved to one of our Counter Intelligence Teams and put under heavy monitoring, or taking a spot with the CIA. I doubt very much that she will take the second option. Eli and CIA Director Marshall detest each other, and

I am fairly certain that DiNozzo is right and there’s something hinky going on between her and her father. I have a review of her computer history going right now. If they find she’s accessed something that she didn’t need to for one of your cases, then she’s going to be arrested.”

“Doubt that she’s that stupid,” Gibbs drawled easily as he frowned thinking about the whole Ziva mess. “I agree with Tony that she’s up to something though. Just don’t know what it is. What are you going to do with McGee?”

“I have no clue,” Leon admitted running a hand over his forehead before settling back into his chair more comfortably. When he smirked suddenly, Gibbs tilted his head to one side in silent question, which Vance readily explained. “It seems that your boy really has gotten fed up. When the grumbling didn’t stop when you left, he assigned some creative, busy work for McGee and Ziva to do once they’re done with those reports. McGee is to be working on a report about the requirements for the SFA position and then comparing his qualifications to Tony’s. Ziva has to submit a report on her official job duties and the areas that she is lacking in. He also told them he’s monitoring their NCIS Messenger communication and they aren’t allowed to use it for personal chatter.”

Gibbs snorted before hiding his smile behind his coffee cup as he took a drink. He made a mental note to back up Tony’s orders when he went down. They were both creative solutions that Gibbs hoped would help at least McGee pull his head out of his ass. When Vance started back in on their conversation, the Supervisory Agent pulled turned his thoughts back to the present meeting.

“I find McGee a complete disappointment. I’d like to think that he’ll shape up once Eli’s little girl is gone, but then I thought he was smarter than to let his ego override his common sense. Since I’ve been told numerous times now that DiNozzo is the one I should really be eyeing to take my spot someday, what’s his opinion on McGee?”

“Tony would like a chance to get McGee’s head back on straight but thinks it’s gonna take something big to extract his head from his ass before that can happen. He also is of the opinion that it would be impossible with Ziva there and equally impossible until Abby is brought around as well. Tony questions whether moving her to CI is a good idea given she’s already passed info before. He pointed out to me that their cases and information are probably even more sensitive than ours.”

“Abby is not my damned fault,” Leon shot back pointing a finger at Gibbs. “That one is all on you. Tony has a point about Ziva, damnit. He have an opinion on what to do with her, then? If she isn’t passing information to

Eli that we can prove, then the agreement that she signed said we’d take her back.”

“Yeah,” Gibbs admitted knowing that he was right and already having admitted such to his partner. “I don’t know what I’m gonna do about Abby, to be honest, but I told Tony that I would do it. He pointed out that it won’t work coming from anyone else. He thinks that I need to encourage her to take one of those offers she gets all the time.”

Shaking his head, Gibbs forced away his melancholy at the thought remembering what Dr. Harold told him about Abby. The day after their argument, Gibbs made an appointment with Dr. he trusted to help him get himself straightened out. He couldn’t risk losing Tony, and his partner was right. There wasn’t room in their relationship for Tony and his grief too.

“Tony did some checking with Legal, and one of his contacts at the State Department, and both said that her agreement did not specify NCIS. It just said that we had to give her a spot with a Federal Intelligence Agency. I’m pretty sure that he’s already talked to Tom, too. The two of them are pretty close. Morrow thought a lot of Tony and would love to have him at Homeland. I say don’t give her an option to stay here. Tell her that the MCRT is being restructured and refocused. We’ve been getting into too many terrorism cases lately that should be going to CI or Counter Terrorism. I ain’t saying that I don’t wanna do those, ‘cause I don’t mind. I just think, and Tony agrees, that it isn’t what the MCRT was created for. She has never fit on a purely investigative team, and she won’t now if we realign our cases back to what we’re supposed to be getting. Tell her it’s Homeland or the CIA or she can head back to daddy.”

“Tom’ll chew her up and spit her out the first time she mentions how much better Mossad is or what an idiot Tony is,” Leon chuckled. “I really like that idea. So, I’m gonna take it, and to take pressure off you and Tony I’m going to present it as my idea. I don’t need her coming after either of you. The cover story will actually work well with my plans for the team. I want to promote Tony to a Lead Agent position and make the two of you Co-Leaders of the team. How you distribute responsibilities will be up to you. You’ll then get a new SFA, one new veteran agent, and one rookie. I’ll let you two pick the new agents, but I want at least one of those people to be chosen purely by Tony. I’d like to see what kind of agent he thinks that we need.”

Gibbs cocked his head to one side as he thought about the offer. “I’ll do you one better. I already know who I want for the rookie. I just have to pry her away from the NSA. I’ll let Tony pick the SFA and the veteran agent. The team’ll be mostly his picks then. He’s the one who wanted McGee. Did you know that? If I had my way, he’d a never come from Norfolk. He was a green stuttering mess, and I couldn’t understand half the shit that came outta his mouth.”

“I didn’t know that,” Vance murmured absently as he considered the new information. “I assumed that you asked for McGee. Does Tim know that he is where he is because of Tony? If not, you might consider filling him in on it.”

“Nope,” Gibbs said then paused to consider it before shrugging. “Least I don’t think he does. That’s a good idea though. Maybe I’ll have a little chat with him while you’re giving Ziva her walking papers. Balboa has been asking me to lend him Tony for a couple days to help with a cold case. I’ll send him over there to get him out of Ziva’s path after you’re done with her. Plus, I know that he’ll watch his back if she goes looking for him.”

“That’s a good idea. Just don’t have this talk in the elevator, Gibbs.” Leon glared at his Senior Lead Agent who didn’t look even the least bit repentant about always tying it up. “We have conference rooms for such things.  I will leave Abby to you for the moment. If she doesn’t change some things though I am going to have to have a talk with her, and I won’t be nice about it like you will.”

“Maybe it’s time that I’m not nice about it either,” Gibbs acknowledged before standing sensing the meeting had come to an end. “You gonna tell Tony about the changes, or am I?”

“I’ll let you tell him first, and I’ll have a formal meeting with him tomorrow or after he’s done helping Balboa,” Leon informed as he turned his attention to some folders on his desk. “I don’t want to pull him off of the case if he manages to get something out of it. I am pretty sure that I know what case it is, and it would mean a lot to Ron if they could get it closed.

“I have a couple things I want to do before my meeting with Ziva. So, I’ll send you a message when I’m ready for her. Once she comes up, you can put the fear of you into McGee, Gibbs, and sent Ziva up to me for a reality check. Shit’s about to change around here even if I gotta shove my shoe up some people’s asses.”

After throwing Vance a nod and a smirk, Gibbs turned and headed out. Vance was right. It was time that Tim’s feet met the ground again.

~*~~*~ ~*~~*~ ~*~~*~

Tony decided that he wasn’t going to even try to hold in his smirk of pleasure at the frustrated growl his reprimand in Hebrew drew from her. He wasn’t going to let her insult him any longer though, even if it was in a language that she thought he couldn’t understand. The SFA hadn’t said anything before now because Tony hadn’t wanted to lose his strategic advantage. Thus far though, he hadn’t learned anything significant and didn’t want to give her any more avenues for insubordination.

“I suggest you both finish up those reports. Then, when you’re done with those, you can start on a cold case.”

“Nice try, Tony,” McGee threw back with an eye roll that Tony totally saw. “Gibbs didn’t say anything about you being allowed to give us more work to do. I don’t know what’s going on, but don’t get a big head. You’re not any better than the rest of us.”

Turning his body toward Tim, Tony glared at the Junior Agent who was staring at him stubbornly and seemed determined to hold onto his mistaken belief that Tony had no power over him. Tired of being nice about the whole thing, the Senior Field Agent decided to just be frank and not worry about hurt feelings. “You know, McGee, for someone who likes to remind all of us constantly how smart he is, you sure are stupid.”

Standing from his chair, Tony glowered at the younger man, and when he went to talk, the SFA held up a hand. “If you make one more crappy comment, Special Agent McGee, I will add a Written Warning to the list. This whole schtick where you get to do whatever you want with no consequences is over. I get that Gibbs let it go on up until now, but he isn’t any longer. It’s time that you became a real agent, McGee. You know what, forget the cold case files, I want a report submitted to me by the end of the day on the requirements for becoming a Senior Field Agent and what the job duties entail. Then, I want you to look at my agency profile and compare how I qualify for the position versus how you don’t qualify. I expect both reports done before you leave for the day.”

Turning around, he headed to stand in front of Ziva’s desk who was growling at him softly. “That ends, right now. I am not putting up with your issues. I’ve been relatively sympathetic up to this point, but my give a fucks are gone. Your report better not have one word of Hebrew in it. If it does, it’s coming back to you. I won’t be correcting your reports any longer. In fact, when you’re done submit it directly to Gibbs. As far as I am concerned, he can deal with the mess you call reports.

“When you’re done with that, I want a report on the official job duties and requirements for your current position. Then, I want you to list all of the things you are deficient in. If there is one single reference to Mossad or you are not completely honest in the areas you are lacking in, it’s getting rejected, and you’re getting a Written Warning. Just so we’re clear, you are a Probationary Agent. I no longer care about how rough you may have had it while you were gone, or even before you joined NCIS originally. That’s your mess to deal with. You’ve worn out any sympathy I had for you with your bullshit comments. Frankly speaking, you are in no way qualified for your current position, and only have it because the current and former Director was friends with your father. Instead of being grateful for the opportunity you’ve been given though, you decided to be a hateful, arrogant, bitch. Your reports are also due before you leave for the day, or you will receive a Written Warning.”

Moving back to his desk, Tony looked first at Ziva and then Tim before sitting down. “And just to be clear, I can and will be monitoring your communication via NCIS Messenger. Any bullshit there will be treated as if it was said verbally. That is an agency owned communication system, and you have no rights to privacy while using it. If you are not using it to discuss a case, then you don’t need to be using it. You’ve proven that you don’t deserve the privilege of using it to chat on personal topics. Now, get to work. You both have plenty to do.”

When he got nothing but silence, Tony opened the monitoring portion of his Messenger program, and then turned his attention back to his own busy work. He’d much rather be working on his school things, but he was on company time. If Gibbs was around, he might have asked for permission, but since he wasn’t, Tony decided to start on his next month’s reports early.

Caught up on his various tasks, Tony didn’t notice Gibbs storm back into the area. “McGee and Ziva, are you done with your reports yet? You better have them submitted and be workin’ on those reports Tony assigned you. McGee, I want yours submitted to me as well as Tony when you’re done. You better hope we’re both satisfied with your work.”

Tony lifted his head in time to see Ziva stand up with an outraged expression on her face. “Surely you are not supporting this child’s work, Gibbs! We are Federal Agents. We should not have to do the task of a school child.”

Tony watched amused as Gibbs marched over to her glaring at her fiercely. “Busy work or child’s play, Ziva, You and I both know you butcher that shit on purpose. It stops now. If you don’t wanna be treated like a child, then don’t act like one. Team’s off rotation for a while. Tony, Balboa needs your help on a case. So, you’re gonna be workin’ with him for a little while. I’m gonna make sure he knows you may need time to finish up your thesis work or meet with your advisor. When’re you scheduled to argue that again? I know you told me, but I keep forgettin’. Gonna put it on my calendar this time.”

“Ah, the 23rd,” Tony murmured as he tried to figure out what was going on. It was obvious, at least to him, that he was being gotten out of the way. He just didn’t know why. “I have a meeting tomorrow with Dr. Reid that I can’t get out of. I put it on your calendar this morning. He’s across the campus here though since he works for the BAU. So, I’ll just ask him if we can meet here or there instead of at campus. I sent you an email on the reports that I assigned to both Ziva and McGee. Ziva was ordered to submit her case report directly to you, as well. McGee’s is finished, and I have signed off on it.”

“Tony is doing thesis work?” McGee interrupted incredulously, “on what?”

“Abnormal Behavioral Psychology,” Gibbs growled as Tony watch him stalk over to loom over McGee from the other side of the younger man’s desk. “One of the profilers on the BAU team is personally acting as his advisor. Told him that he didn’t usually get involved in such things because he didn’t have time, but that for Tony he’d make it. Said he was that excited to see Tony’s thesis. You got a problem with that, Junior Agent McGee?”

“I… I… I…” McGee stuttered looking frantically between Gibbs and Tony. Eventually, Tony just snorted and cleared off his desk. He wasn’t sure how he felt about his school work being broadcast to the floor, but it wasn’t like he was ashamed of it.

“I’d finish that report I assigned you, McNotAsSmartAsHeThinks,” Tony threw out as he stood with his backpack over one shoulder, and his personal computer bag over the other. “I think you’re gonna find out that you’re not as qualified as you think you are for my position. I’m off, Boss. If you need me, you know where I’ll be.”

Knowing that his lover would fill him in on whatever was going on, Tony headed toward the staircase down to the cold case room on the floor just above Abby’s lab. While he was incredibly curious about what was happening, he could see that things were changing, and still had enough faith in his partner that Tony knew he’d get his answers in due time. At the moment, he had a cold case riddle to solve and would give Balboa his full attention.

 

Next Chapter

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