Series: - No Series - #1
Chapters: 001 Word Count: 2593
Pairing(s): - No Pairing -
"Forget it, Jen." Gibbs tossed a crumpled memo on the Director's desk. "I'm not wasting my time on this crap."
"It's not up for discussion, Special Agent Gibbs." Shepard stood, meeting Gibbs's eyes coolly. "Unless Bin Laden himself shows up on Navy property, your team will spend the next four weeks on this assignment."
"You mean this waste of time." Gibbs's jaw tightened. "It didn't work in 2000 and it's not going to work now."
She sighed and crossed her arms. "Look, Jethro, I'm not happy about it either. You don't have to tell me that your team could be put to much better use." She gestured to the pile of red folders on her credenza. "Everything's a priority and we can only stretch so far. But this is coming from the top."
Gibbs swore softly. "Two weeks."
"Two weeks, Jen." Gibbs turned toward the door. "You figure out how to get us out of this." He paused and held Shepard's gaze for a moment. "Two weeks."
"Okay." Gibbs paused in front of the plasma screen in the bullpen. "Anybody got anything that can't be put on hold for two weeks?"
McGee spoke up. "I've got to testify in the Pratt case on Thursday."
Abby was sitting on McGee's desk, examining a circuit board from a CPU. "Let's see, I'm running DNA on... oh, about eleven different cases, pulling trace from all those stupid garbage bags." She held the circuit board up to the light. "Oh, and? In our spare time, McGee and I are trying to figure out how you managed to fry your motherboard. Again."
"I'm following up with Agent Eutaw on that arms operation out of Pendleton," Tony said, shuffling through papers on his desk. "Plus, I've got a couple of leads on the Fayette case."
"Officer David?" Gibbs turned to Ziva.
She swallowed the last of her burrito and wiped her mouth. "Nothing that can't wait, Gibbs."
"What's going on, Boss?" Tony asked.
Gibbs sat down at his desk. "Check your email."
For a moment there was no sound but the clicking of keyboards.
"This is a joke, right?" Tony asked, then caught the look from Gibbs. McGee frowned in confusion and turned to look back at Abby, who was peering over his shoulder. If Ziva had a reaction, she didn't show it.
"Forget it, Gibbs!" Abby yelled. She stalked over to his desk. "I won't."
Gibbs held Abby's angry gaze. "You don't have a choice, Abbs." He looked away and rubbed a hand over his face. "Neither do I."
"Is that so?" She straightened up and turned smartly on her heel. "I'm going to see Ducky."
McGee looked from Abby's retreating form to Gibbs and then back again. "What does she think Ducky can do about it?"
"I think Abby's feeling a little--under the weather." Tony coughed theatrically. "I think I might be getting a touch myself, Boss..."
Gibbs stood up, slowly.
"Right, Boss! On it, Boss!" He looked at Ziva and McGee, then looked down at himself. "I'll be in the gym." He stopped and eyed McGee critically. "And Probie--you may want to join me."
McGee was spotting DiNozzo as he benchpressed, while Ziva straddled the bench next to them, studying a case file. "I still don't understand, Tony."
Tony raised the barbell slowly, exhaled and held it for a two-count, then lowered it home gently. "Which part?"
"All of it!" Ziva responded. "Why is the major case team assigned to investigate little-time drug dealers?"
"You mean 'small-time.'" Tony raised the barbell again. "I don't know, Ziva. It is kind of like sending the SWAT team out to be meter maids."
"I thought your country's war on drugs was no longer a priority."
"You might want to point that out to your friend, the Director." Tony huffed a little after he set the barbell down. "Look at the target list, Ziva. This isn't about some lance corporal peddling E."
"And that's the part I don't get," McGee said. "I did tech support for drug stings around base at Norfolk, but never in civilian bars."
"These are nightclubs, discos." Ziva read from the folder. "Chaos, Cobalt, and"--she paused momentarily--"Velvet."
Tony let the barbell land with a noisy clang and sat up, wiping his neck with a towel. "Think about it."
McGee took the folder from Ziva and flipped through it. He stopped and his eyes got wide as he turned to Tony. "Are they...?"
Tony sighed and headed for the shower. "Don't ask me, and I won't tell you."
"I look ridiculous." McGee muttered under his breath, shifting uncomfortably on the barstool. "And how come Tony didn't have to get his hair cut?"
Gibbs's voice came in loud and clear through his earpiece. "You're supposed to blend in, McGee."
He sighed. "I am so not right for this job."
"Talking to yourself, or do you have an invisible friend?" The man leaning on the bar next to him moved a little closer. He was tall, well-built, and dressed almost exactly like McGee: fitted white t-shirt, fatigue pants that were way too tight to be regulation, and black combat boots. And he was smiling at him. Showtime.
McGee swallowed hard. "I--uh..."
"Introduce yourself." Gibbs's voice was calm, like an air traffic controller talking down a nervous pilot.
"Hi." He wiped a sweaty hand on his pant leg. "I'm Tim."
The man's gaze travelled unhurriedly from McGee's razored military haircut to the polished toes of his boots. "Mike." He took a sip from a long-neck beer bottle. "I haven't seen you here before."
"Tell him you're new in town."
"I'm new in town." McGee parroted. "Uh, so...do you come here often?"
In the surveillance van, Gibbs winced.
Less than half a block away, Tony leaned against a pillar and surveyed the room. Ziva whispered in his earpiece, "Do you see anything you like in there, Tony?"
DiNozzo smiled at a man in a Gordon tartan kilt and nine-hole Doc Martens, then held his glass up to his mouth as if to take a sip. "Well, there's a guy at the bar in a killer pair of Gucci wingtips."
"And nobody has expressed an interest in you, yet?"
Tony scanned the room, his glance lingering on a Taye Diggs look-alike who was headed his way. "The night is young, Officer David."
McGee started to relax. This was not unlike one of his RPGs. He was playing a part. He could do this. Mike was actually kind of nice. McGee had let the guy buy him a beer and they had moved to a table in a dark corner of the bar so Mike could fill him in on the DC hot spots.
"I don't mind it here on Thursdays," Mike was saying. He leaned in so he could be heard over the music, and his lips brushed McGee's ear lightly. "But the Friday night crowd is kind of intense. I usually end up on the duty roster all weekend anyway."
Duty roster? McGee tensed a little. This meant Mike could be a viable target.
"He's military, McGee. You know what to do." Gibbs spoke quietly.
"Listen," McGee leaned forward. "Uh, do you know anyone who's got some, uh, Ecstasy?"
"What?" Mike moved away from McGee and stared at him in confusion.
"You know," McGee mimicked popping a pill and raised his voice. "Ecstasy. E. The Hug Drug."
Mike got to his feet and backed off, glancing around at the other patrons who had caught McGee's performance. "You got the wrong guy for that, Tim."
"Wait, Mike, I just wanted to--" But it was too late. "He's gone, Gibbs." McGee watched as Mike made his way toward the exit.
Gibbs looked at the feed from the camera trained on the club's door. "Yeah, McGee. I can see that."
"Sorry, Boss. I guess I came on too strong."
Almost Taye Diggs smiled at Tony. "You want to dance?"
"I don't even know your name." Tony let his eyes linger on the man's tight leather pants.
"Anthony." He moved in closer, taking Tony's glass and putting it on the shelf behind him.
"No kidding? Me too." Tony smiled. "You can call me Tony."
"Must be a sign." Anthony slipped an arm around Tony's waist and urged him toward the dance floor. They moved together in time to the music for a few minutes.
"Having fun, Tony?" Ziva whispered. "It's too bad we couldn't get a video hookup. Your friend sounds kind of hot."
"Hey." Anthony eased in behind Tony, hands on Tony's hips, mouth grazing the back of Tony's neck. "Do you like to party?"
DiNozzo tilted his head, offering more of his throat to Anthony as they swayed together. "Yeah. I like to party. What did you have in mind?"
Anthony pulled Tony in a little closer. "You look like the kind of guy who knows where to score."
This was too easy. Tony turned to face Anthony. The warm smile of a few minutes ago had been replaced by a calculating look that Tony knew all too well. He leaned in as if to whisper in Anthony's ear, and there it was. Tony had never understood why they only made these earpieces in Caucasian "fleshtone". He let his hands rest on Anthony's leather-clad ass for a moment before pulling back. "FBI or CID?"
Anthony went still. "What?"
"Special Agent DiNozzo." Tony grinned, speaking in the general direction of Anthony's belt buckle. "NCIS."
"Shit." Anthony sighed and ran a hand over his smooth head. "Williams. DC Narcotics."
"Congratulations, Tony." Ziva laughed. "You look like a...what is the term? 'Meth head'?"
"No problema, Detective." Tony gave Williams a light slap on the ass. "You get full marks for good taste."
McGee wandered to the club's second floor. He'd have to try at least one more time before Gibbs would call this off. He leaned on the railing and looked down at the dance floor.
McGee turned around, wearily. By now he could sense eyes on his ass at twenty paces. "Hi."
"McGee?" The man fished a pair of glasses out of his jacket. "Tim! That is you!"
McGee took a good look and recognized one of his former colleagues from Norfolk. He had no idea how to handle this.
"Don't let him blow you, McGee," Gibbs cautioned.
McGee's eyebrows shot up in alarm, until he realized that Gibbs was talking about his cover. "Uh. Hey, Barry."
"I can't believe you're here, Tim." Barry Weinstein cocked his head and took in McGee's attire. "I never thought you..."
"Barry!" A plump man in purple night camo hung over Weinstein's shoulder. "Who's your friend?"
McGee stood stock-still, unable to think of anything to say, as Barry explained to the purple camo guy--and everyone else in earshot--how Tim had been a Technical Agent with him in Norfolk and was now working Major Case at the Navy Yard.
"Wow." Purple camo guy eyed McGee. "A real-life secret agent, huh?"
"Get out of there, McGee." Gibbs sighed. "Unless you and Barry have some business to take care of."
Shepard crossed her arms and eyed Gibbs's team. "This is unacceptable." She paced in front of the darkened screen in MTAC. "You've been running this operation for three nights. So far, Agent McGee has managed to have his cover blown twice, and entrap three phys. ed. instructors from Boise." She glanced at the report in her hand. "Agent McGee, how is it you don't know the difference between offering a suspect the opportunity to commit a crime and luring an otherwise unsuspecting civilian into selling you his prescription Tylenol 3?"
From the second row of seats, McGee swallowed audibly. "Well, uh, Director Shepard, it was like this--"
"Save it, McGee." She turned to Tony, who was in the front row next to Ziva. "Agent DiNozzo, perhaps you can explain to me why I have a complaint from DC Narcotics about 'inappropriate physical contact' between you and one of their detectives?"
"Believe me, Madame Director." Tony smiled. "If I'd done anything like that, he wouldn't be complaining."
"DiNozzo--" Gibbs warned.
"Sorry, ma'am." Tony bowed his head to hide his grin. "Won't let it happen again, ma'am."
"You may all find this amusing." Shepard tossed the report on the table. "But I have to account for this in my report to SecNav."
"Account for what, Jen?" Gibbs leaned against the back wall. "McGee's never been undercover before. And it's not DiNozzo's fault that the only guy who came near him was another cop."
"Wait a minute, Boss," Tony interjected. "Lots of guys came near me. They just...kept going."
"I told him his cologne smelled like bug spray," Ziva murmured under her breath.
From her seat next to McGee, Abby raised her hand.
"You have something you'd like to add, Ms. Sciuto?" Shepard asked. "Nice to see you've fully recovered from your 'illness,' by the way."
"Thank you, and yes I do, Madame Director." She took a sip from her CafPow. "This sucks."
"You heard me. Yes, you nearly got me killed by bringing Destructo Chip into my lab, but I know you're not stupid."
"Abby--" McGee hissed, laying a restraining hand on her arm.
"No, McGee! She has to hear this!" Abby took a deep breath. "Madame Director, with all due respect, you can't ask a cop like Tony, a gee--good person like McGee, and a--a-- boy scout like Gibbs to break the law."
"Actually, I was an Eagle Scout," Gibbs observed, mildly.
"Really?" Tony looked at Gibbs and grinned. "Never made it past Cub Scout, myself."
"I lived in a kibbutz every summer until I was seventeen," Ziva offered.
"Do you mind?" Shepard snapped at Ziva and Tony.
"Do you know how easy it is to get dishonorably discharged for violating 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'?" Abby continued. "Just asking another guy to dance is all it takes. Dance!"
"Abby, this was a narcotics--" Shepard began.
"Cobalt is a gay club. Chaos is a gay club." Abby counted them off on her fingers. "And Velvet is a really gay club." She paused for a minute. "Right, Ziva?"
Ziva hesitated for a nanosecond and then returned Shepard's stare with a shrug. "They have a really great DJ."
Abby handed her CafPow to McGee and stood up. "You sent Tony and McGee into those bars to pick out military-looking guys and entice them into violating the policy. It wouldn't matter if they were selling drugs or not. If they hit on an NCIS agent, that agent would have to file a report with the guy's CO. Oh, and? Whoever came up with this brilliant plan conveniently forgot that sending NCIS agents out as gay bait is also a violation of the policy."
"That was never the intent of this operation," Shepard responded quietly.
Abby crossed her arms and eyed Shepard disdainfully. "No, of course not. It was just gravy, right?"
The room was silent for a moment. Shepard glared at each of them, then gathered her paperwork from the table. "Agent Gibbs, I'm pulling your team from this operation."
"Uh-huh." Gibbs stayed leaning against the wall.
"I'm afraid this is going to mean a reprimand in your personnel file, Jethro." Shepard headed for the exit.
"Okay," Gibbs said evenly.
The door closed behind her. After a minute or two, Tony stood up, stretching and yawning. He followed Ziva, Abby, and McGee as they filed out the door. He paused and looked at Gibbs. "Tough break, Boss. This might mess you up for Agent of the Year."
Gibbs smirked. "Ya think?"