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Getting to the Bottom of It
by: NCISfan (Send Feedback)
Series: - No Series - #1
Chapters: 001 Word Count: 1919
Pairing(s): - No Pairing -
Summary: Gibbs takes Ziva and Tony in hand to end their feud. Based on Season 5, episode 2.
“Because you know everything, about everybody don’t you, Tony?” Ziva retorted.
“Do I need to send you two back to the men’s room?” growled Gibbs.
“She started it” Tony shot back.
“That’s only because you wouldn’t talk to me!” shouted Ziva.
Tony caught the glare from Gibbs. It was hard to miss. McGee and Abby saw it, too, and were smart enough to say nothing.
“It’s not my fault, Boss..” Tony’s response trailed away weakly.
“That’s enough!” snapped Gibbs. “When we are done here I will see both of you upstairs!” With the director away, Gibbs was free to make use of the office anytime he needed. This would be a good time.
Abby took swabs from the car while McGee finished with pictures. Tony and Ziva wordlessly bagged and tagged. The process completed, they headed to the director’s office. During the elevator ride up, neither spoke, but their fuming towards each other was mutual and obvious.
At the ding the doors opened and Ziva launched towards the office door. She was going to tell Gibbs exactly what the problem was and see if he could talk any sense into Tony, since her attempts at persuading him went nowhere.
Gibbs was seated at the director’s desk reviewing files. He looked up at the two agents as they entered, Ziva striding purposefully, Tony lagging behind. Neither appeared pleased to be there. Gibbs closed the folder and looked at them with a grim expression. “We are going to get to the bottom of this before anyone leaves here” he said gruffly. “Tony, outside” he commanded with a nod of his head toward the door. “Boss?” Tony asked quizzically. “Go outside and wait, Tony!” Gibbs ordered exasperatedly. “Right, Boss. Wait. I’ll go do that.” Tony bumbled out the door and sat on the leather bench.
Gibbs rose and closed the office door without even a glance in Tony’s direction. Ziva stood in front of the desk still, glad for an opportunity to explain. Gibbs leaned against the desk with his arms crossed. “I’m waiting, Ziva” he prompted impatiently. “Oh, right, well, to start with, Tony won’t listen to me! It’s obvious he is disturbed about Jeanne, and he needs to talk about it. I have tried to comfort him, and support him, but all he wants to do is mope, like a turtle with its head in the sand…”
“Ostrich”, replied Gibbs.
“Ostrich?” Ziva asked in her thick accent
“An ostrich puts its head in the sand, not a turtle.”
Though ill-timed, Ziva’s occasional misspeak of the English language was always amusing.
“Has it occurred to you, Ziva, that perhaps Tony doesn’t want to talk about this with us? In your attempts to help him, you have sown discord among our team. I will not let that happen.”
“But Gibbs! You don’t know what he said…” Ziva’s reply was halted by Gibbs’ raised hand.
“I don’t need to know. I do know that your attitude has hindered our investigation, and worse, caused tension on the team. There is only one way to deal with this, Ziva, and that is to change your attitude.”
Ziva smirked. She was a moosaud agent, for Pete’s sake! Gibbs thought he could change her attitude? Hah! He didn’t know her very well.
Gibbs observed her flippant reaction. “And that is my point exactly, Agent David.” Ziva sobered at his formal tone, and grew uncomfortable at the seriousness Gibbs was exhibiting.
“And how do you plan to do that exactly, Gibbs?” Ziva asked in a softer tone than her heated defense moments ago.
“There is only one way that seems to be of any lasting effect.” With that Gibbs strode around to stand beside Ziva, and began to unbuckle his belt. A million thoughts raced through Ziva’s mind, and none of them were good. “Surely not!” she thought, but it was obvious what he had in mind as the belt swished out of the loops. Gibbs curled the belt in his hand and nodded towards the desk. “Bend over the desk, Agent David.” Ziva hesitated, her mouth dry as cotton. “But…” she uttered. “Now, Agent David! That is an order!” Ziva had no choice but to follow orders, so she bent herself over the director’s desk, her elbows resting on the polished hardwood top, her ass in the most prone position. “This is ridiculous,” she muttered. “What was that, Agent David?” “I said, this is ridiculous! Not since I was a child have I been treated in this manner!” Ziva protested. “And therein is the problem,” muttered Gibbs. And with that he began to land the blows, the belt rapidly lighting a fire on Ziva’s posterior. Ziva was determined to let Gibbs’ ass whipping have no effect, but as the heat in her bottom grew, her resolve lessened. The rapid-fire random lashes became deliberate, firm straps. Soon Ziva could not contain herself and cried aloud, eventually sobbing as the pain intensified. Eventually the cries became sobs as Ziva resigned herself to the pain. She cradled her head on her arms and sobbed with all she had. Her sobs continued after the whipping ceased. Gibbs let her cry it out long enough, then cleared his throat. “Ziva. Look at me.” Ziva turned her head to look at her mentor, the senior agent she respected so much. “For the moment we are done here. Go outside and sit on the bench.” His tone was firm but not angry. Ziva stood up and wiped her eyes and face with her sleeve as she opened the door.
Meanwhile, Tony sat anxiously waiting his fate. Another lecture from the boss was not what he needed today. He looked towards the door as it opened and was surprised to see a humble Ziva with puffy, red eyes emerge. Ziva did not look at Tony but went directly to the bench and sat – gingerly so – as she was instructed. Tony was incredulous.
“Ziva!” he whispered . “What did Gibbs –“ Tony’s question was cut short by an abrupt “DiNozzo! Get your ass in here!”
Tony wasted no time, not even for a second look at Ziva, before leaping to his feet and entering the office. “Shut the door, DiNozzo” growled Gibbs. Tony had a knot in his gut. This was already not going well. He shut the door and stood in front of the desk where Gibbs sat with his chin resting on his intertwined fingers. “Tony –“ Gibbs paused to make sure Tony was hearing him. “You have been a jerk – to Ziva and to the team. And it is going to end now.” With those words Gibbs rose from his seat and pulled a strap from the desk drawer. “Oh Boss,” Tony groaned. The look from Gibbs shut him up. “Assume the position, Agent DiNozzo.” Tony reluctantly bent over and grabbed his ankles, a position not unfamiliar to him through much of his earlier years. Unbeknownst to the rest of the team, this was not Tony’s first encounter with Gibbs’ strap. Although outwardly Tony was compliant, inwardly he was pissed. This was unfair, unmerited, and a crappy way for Gibbs to get over his bad mood. The strap swished through the air before landing on Tony’s butt with a spectacular smack. “Oh,” Tony groaned, despite his best intentions not to. The blows landed in rapid, deliberate succession, and the heat in his butt grew fierce. Tony grimaced and moaned with each lash. He refused to cry, but Gibbs could sense his defenses slipping until finally the tears came. Satisfied that Tony would actually hear what Gibbs had to say, he se the strap on the desk. “Up, Tony.” Tony slowly straightened up. He tried to casually brush away the tears from his eyes. “Look at me, Tony.” Tony hung his head, not wanting to be confronted by his boss and friend. “DiNozzo!” snapped Gibbs. “Yes Boss”, Tony answered, his voice gruff from his ordeal. “Sit!” Gibbs pointed to the chair. Tony sat. He had no desire to argue or resist.
Gibbs opened the door to find Ziva sitting on the bench, her hands under her bottom trying to squelch the heat that remained. “Agent David!” Ziva needed no prompting to enter the office and sit next to Tony as Gibbs instructed. Tony and Ziva looked at the floor, each of them suddenly having a newfound interest in studying their footwear.
“This is finished now. You two will not be a distraction to this team anymore. Next time you’ll be out on your ass instead of me beating on it. Is that clear?” Gibbs left no room for misunderstanding. “Yes Boss,” was the quick reply from DiNozzo. “Crystal clear” was Ziva’s soft reply.
Gibbs studied them carefully. They were both damn good agents, but never in all his years as a superior had he encountered such stubborn and headstrong personalities. “You two work this out. Don’t come out until you do.” Gibbs left the agents to talk and returned to the bullpen for a status update from McGee.
They sat in silence for several minutes until Ziva spoke. “Tony, I…this is hard for me to say….” Ziva’s voice was softer, revealing a side of her that was foreign to Tony. It was so different from her usual boisterous and loud self. “Tony,” she resumed, “I am sorry. I meant to help, but it turned into a battle of wills and hurt you and the team. I am sorry…” Her voice trailed away quietly as tears appeared again in her hazel eyes. “No, Ziva, I’m the one…” Tony cleared his throat and tried again. “I’m the one that is sorry. I was a jerk. Gibbs helped me see that.” They sat in silence a few minutes more, each digesting the mutual apologies and all that had occurred.
Ziva’s eyebrow raised as she saw the strap on the desk for the first time. “Did he?” She looked at Tony in amazement. “Did he use..that? On you…?” Ziva couldn’t help a smile from creeping to her face as she watched Tony squirm uncomfortably in his chair. “Well, yeah, he used that to help me change my attitude…” Tony’s explanation was ended by Ziva’s gales of laughter. “Oh Tony,” she gasped, laughing uncontrollably, “I can just see that.” Tony didn’t see the humorous side. “And I suppose he just sweet-talked you into an obedient disposition?” Tony replied, this time his eyebrow raised at her. Ziva composed herself. “Well, no, not exactly…but he was easier on me…” Tony gave Ziva a playful smack on the back of her head. “Yeah, this time. Just you wait. Next time won’t be so easy.” The pair rose from their seats. “We are done with this now, yes?” Ziva asked, her hand waving toward the desk, the strap, and Tony. “You bet your sorry ass and mine.” With a hearty laugh they left the director’s office and headed down the stairs.
From his seat at his desk, Gibbs could see the restored relationship between them. “I knew we would get to the bottom of it,” he said to himself as he sipped his coffee. Seeing the director return to her office from her trip, he thought to himself “guess the head slaps will just have to do for now…”
MTAC - NCIS Fic