Tony Dinozzo, Undercover Marine

Chapter Fourteen

Timothy McGee looked from Tony’s empty desk, to the clock, to Gibbs with a sort of excited anticipation. He knew it was childish of him, but it wasn’t as though Tony’s behaviour wasn’t childish all the time.

He turned his attention back to his computer monitor for another few minutes, before looking at the clock again before exchanging a smug smile with Ziva. It was nearly nine o’clock and Tony was fifty four minutes late and counting. Gibbs was going to be so mad!

Tim honestly didn’t know why Gibbs continued to keep Tony around. Sure the older man was a decent investigator, but there were plenty of other agents at NCIS who were just as good and much less annoying. The problem with Gibbs was that he didn’t seem to like change – the man had lived in the same house for over twenty years!

Tim thought that Gibbs’ aversion to change was the reason for the lead agent’s rocky relationship with Director Vance. Sure they had all been shocked when Director Sheppard had been arrested, but Vance was a competent director and Gibbs’ dislike of the man was petty.

Not only that, but Gibbs’ resistance to change was the only reason that Gibbs’ hadn’t made Tim his Senior Field Agent – he was certainly more qualified for the job than Tony was. Being under Tony in the hierarchy, regardless of how theoretical it was, was embarrassing and if working with Gibbs’ hadn’t been the quickest way to promotion he would have asked for a transfer years ago.

“You’re late!” Gibbs snarled suddenly, and Tim couldn’t help but flinch at the sudden noise.

“Sorry, boss.” Tony’s tone was flippant. “I was upstairs talking to Cynthia – she is looking especially fine this morning. She asked me to tell you that the Director would like to see you.”

Tim couldn’t help but curl his upper lip in disgust – Tony was such a pig.

Gibbs glared at Tony and then stalked out the bullpen, towards the stairs, slapping the back of Tony’s head as he left.

“Yes, boss, sorry, boss.” Tony said with a wince. “It won’t happen again.”

Gibbs ignored him and stalked up the stairs towards the director’s office.

“You are late.” Ziva said unnecessarily. “Very late.”

“I was here before either of you.” Tony told her with a grin. “So technically, I was on time.”

Tim grimaced. “Flirting with Cynthia doesn’t count as being at work, Tony.”

Tony shook his head as though disappointed. “Ah, McFuddy Duddy, you have no idea the information I have procured through my conversations with the lovely Cynthia.”

“Like what?” Tim asked challengingly.

Tony looked flummoxed for a moment, before smiling slyly. “Like the fact that when our esteemed leader returns we will be assigned a new case.”

“We’ve already got a case.” Tim pointed out.

“Somehow, I don’t think Director Vance cares all that much about our workload.” Tony pointed out.

Tim couldn’t help but bristle at that, it hadn’t sounded like an insult, but Tony never mentioned Director Vance without throwing in something scathing.

Tony’s cellphone rang loudly and Tim couldn’t help but sneer when he saw the agent almost fall off his chair in shock.

“Very Special Agent Dinozzo speaking,” Tony answered smugly, when he had righted himself in his chair.

“Well, hello there.” Tony smirked salaciously and Tim couldn’t help but feel sorry for the poor woman on the other end of the line. Then again, any woman stupid enough to date Tony deserved him.

“I’m glad to hear that you enjoyed it.” Tony said, his smirk becoming smug. “I miss you already.”

Tim exchanged a disgusted look with Ziva, why did they have to work with Tony? He turned his attention back to his computer, trying to ignore Tony’s innuendo filled conversation. If Tony was right, and, as much as it pained Tim to admit it, he usually was about these sorts of things, then they were about to have a new case. Which meant that he needed to finish going through the financial details of Petty Officer Turpin, who had been found murdered two nights earlier, as soon as possible.

14-14-14

It was another twenty minutes before Gibbs returned from his meeting with Director Vance. Tim didn’t see him until he was standing angrily in the middle of their section of the bullpen and he wished, not for the first time, that his desk faced the staircase.

“With me.” Gibbs growled before striding towards the elevator and Tim almost tripped over himself in his hurry to catch up with his boss.

“Where are we going?” Tony asked curiously as they all crowded into the elevator.

Gibbs didn’t say anything, but the button he pressed answered for him – autopsy. They were all silent as the elevator moved, even Tony which was strange, and then they followed Gibbs out of the elevator and into autopsy.

Tim couldn’t help swallowing heavily when he saw that Ducky and Palmer were in the middle of an autopsy and Palmer was actually holding some kind of organ.

Ducky looked surprised to see them, while Palmer looked nervous – as he always did around Gibbs. Tim really hoped that Palmer’s nervous didn’t make him drop any body parts on his shoes.

“Jethro!” Ducky greeted them cheerily. “What can I do for you this lovely morning?”

Tim didn’t think he would ever get used to talking to someone whose hands were inside a dead body.

“We need to talk, Ducky.” Gibbs answered brusquely, before eyeing Palmer. “Privately.”

Ducky frowned slightly, but nodded. “I suppose it can’t wait? Very well then, how about you fetch us some morning tea, Mr. Palmer. I have to admit to feeling quite peckish.”

Palmer looked resigned as he put the organ he’d been holding in an evidence bag and then stripped off his gloves. “Yes, doctor.”

Tim couldn’t help but feel sorry for the man.

Ducky pulled another organ out of the body as Palmer left and Tim looked away uncomfortably.

“The director has assigned us a new case.” Gibbs told them, practically growling the word ‘director’. “Earlier this week a man named Sleiman was murdered in LA. The director would like us to investigate it.”

Tim frowned, both at the vagueness of the information and Gibbs’ distain for the director.

“Do we have a body?” Tony asked curiously.

“No.”

“Do we have a timeframe at least?” Tony asked.

“Before Tuesday night.” Gibbs answered. “Mostly likely Monday or Tuesday.”

“That’s it?” Tim couldn’t help but ask. “What’s the connection to the Navy?”

Gibbs’ expression twisted angrily. “The director did not share that information.”

“So we have a dead guy with the name Sleiman, who died at least three days ago somewhere in LA?” Tony asked incredulously. “What does the director think we are? Magic workers?”

Gibbs ignored him. “Ducky, any chance you could help us track down the body?”

Ducky’s hands were still buried in the body. “I can certainly talk to a few friends of mine, Jethro, but I can’t promise anything.”

“Do we know how he died?” Tony asked.

“Apparently it was made to look like a mugging.” Gibbs answered.

“Ah,” Ducky nodded. “Well then, that should certainly make things easier. It will be quite the treasure hunt, I’m sure. It reminds me of a time when I was young and one of my older cousins arranged a scavenger hunt for us younger children.”

“Not now, Ducky.” Gibbs interrupted. “Dinozzo, Ziva, I want you on the first flight to Los Angeles. McGee, try and figure out which Sleiman is dead and why.”

Tim grimaced, did Gibbs have any idea how many Sleimans there would be? He supposed he should be glad that the victim’s name wasn’t Smith.

“Yes, boss.” Tony answered Gibbs. “I’ll go book us some flights.”

“Guess this means you won’t be able to make your date.” Tim couldn’t help but comment in an undertone.

Tony’s disappointed expression was almost comical

14-14-14

In the end it was easier than they had thought it would be to find the body they were looking for. Ducky’s contacts had come up with a list of three people who had been murdered in the forty eight hour period that Gibbs had given them, only one of whom had been mugged. The fact that the mugging victim was a john doe only solidified their case.

Ziva and Tony somehow managed to convince the local police department to turn the case over to NCIS and were back in Washington, with the body, by midnight.

Tim’s own task had not been quite so successful. He had been right, there were a lot of Sleimans in America, and while six of them had been reported missing, none of them matched their victim. The biggest problem was that there was no way of knowing whether their victim was American were just visiting, which basically left Tim with nothing. He hated coming up with nothing!

Tony was his usual smug self and, within an hour of returning and joining Tim’s search, proceeded to make Tim look incompetent by finding at match. How should Tim have known to look through NCIS’s list of suspected terrorists?

Aabis Sleiman was a thirty five year old Egyptian national who was suspected of having been one of the masterminds behind the bombing of an Egyptian restaurant that had killed three American Tourists in 2007.

Despite the fact that it was one thirty in the morning, Tony seemed positively jubilant over the results and Tim started to get suspicious. Had Tony put superglue on his keyboard again?

Ducky finished his autopsy of the body at eight that morning and they all met down in autopsy to hear his results, even Director Vance who kept looking at Tony out the corner of his eye. Which wasn’t unusual, except that Vance’s looks didn’t seem to be suspicious or disdainful, they were almost admiring.

“How did he die, Duck?” Gibbs asked once they were all there.

“He was suffocated.” Ducky told them. “See these marks? The killer seemed to have used a garrotte. It was cleanly done, the killer certainly seemed to know what he was doing.”

“And the bruises?” Gibbs asked.

“They were inflicted post-mortem, I believe.” Ducky answered.

“Someone wanted it to look like a mugging?” Tony asked.

“So it seems.” Ducky agreed. “The question is why?”

Gibbs spun around so he was facing them. “McGee, look into Sleiman’s financial statements. Ziva, I want you to go over the files from LAPD again. Dinozzo,”

“Compile a list of people who wanted him dead.” Tony finished for him. “On it, boss.”

Tim shot Tony an incredulous look. Their victim was a terrorist, the list of people who wanted him dead was probably endless.

14-14-14

It wasn’t until mid-afternoon that they caught another break in the case. It was Ziva who found it, something that pleased Tim immensely – it was much less embarrassing to be outdone by Ziva than Tony.

“Look.” She pointed to a photo that was on the large monitor. “There is a camera.”

Tim leaned forward and squinted. “Is it pointed in the right direction?”

“Never hurts to ask, probie.” Tony chirped annoyingly from his desk.

Amazingly the camera was pointing in the right direction and the store owner sent them the footage without any fuss. Tim couldn’t believe that the police officers who had investigated the scene had missed it. It just went to show how incompetent the police were. No wonder Tony was so mediocre. He didn’t buy Tony’s excuse of how police detectives worked multiple cases as once, if they were more competent they wouldn’t get such a backlog.

The camera footage was awful. Not only was the quality of the image terrible, but the killer knew how to stay in the shadows. They sent it to Abby without much hope of her finding anything and turned their attention back to Tony’s painfully long list of people who had reason to kill Sleiman. Tony, being the idiot that he was, had put NCIS on the top of the list.

Tony received another phone call from his latest fling at five and Tim couldn’t help but be relieved when Tony went to get coffee while talking to her. He’d been up for thirty five hours and his patience was wearing thin – the last thing he wanted to hear was Tony being his usual disgusting self with his girlfriend.

Tony returned fifteen minutes later bearing coffee for each of them. Tim gulped down his first mouthful of coffee thankfully, before gagging when all he could taste was salt. Tony was such a bastard!

Gibbs, whose temper had been steadily getting worse since Vance assigned them the case, snarled at Tony and made him give his coffee to Tim.

Tony’s coffee was disgustingly bitter, but Tim drank it with a smug smirk anyway – just to see Tony glare at him.

It looked for a moment as though Gibbs was going to let them go home around half past six, but then Abby called to let them know that she had managed to isolate their murder’s face and it was all go again.

Once they had the face it was easy and Abby’s computer spat out a name within an hour.

Lieutenant Evan Wright of the United States Navy. No wonder Vance had assigned them this case, but how had he known?

Gibbs assigned them all the task of finding the location of Wright and then stalked his way upstairs to talk to Director Vance.

Tim focussed on his search for the Lieutenant, frowning in frustration when all his searches were blocked due to the information being ‘classified’. What was Wright involved in? He considered hacking his way to the information, but decided to wait until Gibbs got back. If all their meetings in autopsy were anything to go by, Director Vance and Gibbs didn’t want to draw unwanted attention to the case.

Gibbs was gone for over half an hour and when he returned he looked furious. “Go home!”

Tim stared at him in surprise.

“What?” Tony asked. “But what about Lieutenant Wright?”

“Home, Dinozzo!” Gibbs snapped, before retrieving his gun from his drawer and stalking towards the elevator.

Tim exchanged confused looks with Tony and Ziva as they slowly stood up and began preparing to leave. What was going on?


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