Distress

Chapter 15: Phone Call

~Sometime not too long after they are together~

"Gibbs."

"How come you always know who is about to walk in your front door but you never check to see who is calling?"

"..."

"Not going to tell me, huh?"

"What do you need, Dinozzo?"

"...Is that a trick question?"

"I did not mean it like that."

"If you say so—"

"Tony you—"

"ANeeWAY, boss, I was calling because even though we talked earlier about what the team would be doing tomorrow while you are still away at that fascinating conference in Boston probably living the high life, going out, eating fancy dinners, smoking cigars, dressing up, using the hotel pool and gym—"

"Dinozzo…"

"Okay, okay, fine. Even though we talked earlier, I was just wondering if when you said that we should look at cold cases from 1995 to 1996 whether that meant one year's worth of files or two year's because you know it could mean either since some people would start counting at January of 1995 and then go right up to the beginning of 1996, meaning again January—"

"Dinozzo…"

"What? I can hear you sighing, boss. Are you feeling alright? You aren't getting a cold are you?"

"..."

"Boss?"

"Two years, Dinozzo. Is there anything else?"

"Nope. That was it. Are you going out to a fancy dinner later?"

"Dinozzo…"

"Tony."

"What?"

"Tony, Jethro. I was calling because I wondered what you were doing. In case you wanted to know. Which you obviously didn't."

"I didn't catch that last part...Tony."

"But you heard the first part, then?"

"I...did...I...am going to have a drink later, but I didn't go to the dinner. Had enough."

"You get out a little?"

"Yep. Went for a walk. Fed the ducks."

"You fed the ducks?"

"You want to make something of it?"

"No, no. I love ducks. What kind of ducks were they?"

"Boston ducks. You are seriously scraping the bottom of the barrel, Tony. Is there something you want to say? I don't do well with small talk."

"Naw, I know that, boss—"

"Jethro."

"...Jethro. Right. I know you don't do small talk. But…"

"Spit it out, Tony. I'm 400 miles away, can't head slap you from here."

"Well, I have been surprised, I guess, at how much we talk outside of work. I am not sure I realized how much til now. I missed it, I guess."

"...Just a sec."

"Jethro?"

"..."

"Jethro?"

"Okay, I'm back. Go ahead."

"What?"

"I had to move, get comfortable. I'm ready now."

"You're ready? What do you think this is, The Tony Show?"

"A little bit, yeah."

"Are you laughing at me? You are laughing at me."

"No more than usual. All that talking we do, Tony? It's mostly you—"

"Hey! Sometim—"

"I like it."

"What?"

"I like it when you talk. So...go ahead."

"Jethro, I can't just talk on demand."

"Why not?"

"I just can't. ARGH!"

"Isn't that what Scooby Doo says?"

"No, pirates say argh, the meddling kids in Scooby Doo say Zoiks."

"And Zowie. And Scooby Doo doesn't say anything because he is a dog."

"You were listening to me and Abby in the lab that day! I knew it."

"Do you know that McGee has something called a 'live feed' on his computer?"

"Oh, probie, you are in such trouble."

"Not the kid's fault. I asked him for it."

"I know but you're the boss. I can't make trouble for you."

"Never stopped you before."

"Only some kinds of trouble. And thanks for noticing, by the way."

"I always notice, Tony."

"..."

"You still there?"

"What are you wearing?"

"You did NOT just ask me that!"

"You're laughing aren't you?"

"...yes, I guess I am. Tony?"

"Yes. Jethro."

"I'm glad you called."

"Me too."

"Well…"

"Yeah, well you should go. Get that drink."

"I'll do that. You?"

"Probably hit the sack pretty soon. Maybe watch the end of the game. See you Monday."

"..."

"Gibbs? You still there or have you hung up on me as is your way?"

"I'm still here."

"Oh. Okay. Well, talk to you later, I guess."

"Want to come over for dinner Friday night? Train gets in around 4."

"Yeah, that would be great. I'll bring some beer."

"Good. See you then."

"See you then. ...Jethro?...Now you hung up on me, right?...Gibbs?...Jethro?..."

"..."

"I knew it. How many minutes of my life have I spent talking on the phone to you when you have already hung up. At least ten. And that's a lot of times when you add up all the seconds...Why yes, Jethro, I would love to come to dinner on Friday night. Since you have been away, shall I bring the salad? Excellent. Do you like tomatoes in your salad? Okay, just cucumbers. You've got it. Well, it has been a pleasure talking to you, so much so that I feel like talking some more. I think I'll call Abby. Yes, it is a good idea isn't it? Of course I'll say hello for you. See you Friday. You know, Gibbs, this is a little bit of a surprise to me, but I think I miss you. I like it better when you are around."

"Miss you too, Tony."

"Gibbs!"

"That was fun. Now I am hanging up."

"Okay. I'll see you Friday."

"See you then, Tony."

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