Tony Dinozzo, Undercover Marine

Chapter Sixteen

Ziva David exited the elevator and paused in surprise when she saw a man wearing a marine dress uniform standing near Tony’s desk. She couldn’t see the man’s face, he was standing with his back to her, but she had no doubt that the man was military – his posture gave that away. She also couldn’t see his rank insignia, but if he wasn’t an officer then she was meshugah (crazy).

She made her way to her desk and place her backpack on it, before clearing her throat. “Are you looking for Agent Gibbs?”

The man turned around and Ziva’s mouth dropped open in shock. It was Tony.

Which made absolutely no sense. Sure the man looked like Tony, but his posture and facial expressions were off. So were his mannerisms, well the few she had seen so far anyway. Maybe Tony had a cousin?

“Ziva.” The man greeted her flatly in Tony’s voice, but not. Because Tony’s voice was annoying, this man’s voice was authoritative.

Was Tony playing a prank? He did play them a lot. The problem was that there was no way that Tony was a good enough actor to pull this off.

“Tony?” She asked eventually.

“Yes.” Tony looked faintly amused.

“Why are you dressed like that?” Ziva waved a hand towards his uniform. “Does Gibbs know? Is it for a case?”

“We have a meeting in five minutes.” Tony told her. “I will explain everything then.”

Ziva narrowed her eyes at him. Why wouldn’t Tony tell her? “What are you playing with?”

“Playing at.” Tony corrected her.

Ziva grimaced and sat behind her desk. English was a yutzi (stupid) language and Tony was a kolboynick (know-it-all).

She sat silently at her desk and observed Tony wondering how she could have ever mistaken him as a marine officer. The idea of Tony being a marine was laughable – he was a shmendrik (someone with little worth with an overinflated ego).

Sure Tony was standing straighter than usual, and looked strangely comfortable in the dress uniform, but he was still just Tony – the same schlemiel (person who is particularly useless) as he always was.

Which still left the question as to why he was wearing a marine dress uniform. Surely if had been for a case he would have told her, but she couldn’t think why else he would be wearing it. She swallowed down a smug smirk at the thought of what Gibbs would do when he saw Tony defiling a marine uniform.

A half asleep McGee arrived a few minutes later and looked just as confused at Tony’s choice of attire as Ziva was feeling, but unlike Ziva he didn’t have any problems recognising the older man. McGee probably hadn’t noticed Tony’s different posture, McGee wasn’t the most forzikhtik shagetz (observant gentile).

Gibbs stalked in the bullpen at exactly seven thirty, with Abby, Ducky and Palmer trailing behind him, and while he certainly didn’t look surprised to see Tony in the uniform, he did look furious.

Ziva wondered, not for the first time, whether Gibbs had ever heard the saying, ‘Der ka’as un der tsoren farkirtsen di yoren’ (bad temper and anger shorten the years).


Tim’s morning had not gone well. He hadn’t seen Gibbs text, ordering him to be at the office by seven, until he had woken up, which had given him less than an hour to get dressed and get to the Navy Yard.

He’d made it on time, with three minutes to spare even, but he hadn’t had time to shower or grab a coffee – both of which were extremely important parts of his waking up ritual. He felt half asleep and had actually dozed off at one point on his way to work when the traffic was stationary. Waking up to the sound of beeping horns had not improved his mood.

Then he’d arrived at work to see Tony wearing a marine officer’s uniform and Ziva studying him like she studied her crosswords. Tim had ignored them, choosing instead to sit down and lay his head on his arms. Maybe Gibbs would be late and he could get some more sleep.

He must have dozed off, because the next thing he heard was Gibbs’ voice – it was just as horrible a wakeup as the car horns had been. Tim stood up grudgingly and rubbed his eyes as he followed the team through NCIS and into one of the meeting rooms. He needed to wake up, the last thing he needed was to fall asleep in front of Gibbs – maybe he should have risked being late and stopped for coffee on his way.

Gibbs shut the door behind them with a bang and then sat at the head of the table. Gibbs seemed to be vibrating with fury and Tim couldn’t remember a time when he had seen their lead agent so angry – not even when Ari had killed Kate.

They all found seats around the table. Ducky and Ziva sat on either side of Gibbs, with Palmer and Tim beside them and then Abby next to Tim. Tony weirdly chose to sit at the opposite end of the table as Gibbs, which left two seats between him and Palmer and one seat between him and Abby.

Tim looked at Gibbs questioningly. What was going on?

The door opened again and Director Vance entered the room causing Gibbs to glare at him.

“This is a private meeting.” Gibbs snapped.

“Then you shouldn’t have held it in my building.” Vance told him calmly, before walking around the table and sitting beside Tony.

Tim studied the director in confusion. Why had Vance chosen that seat in particular? He could have sat between Tony and Abby, that seat had been closer to the door, but instead the director had chosen to sit on the side that left a spare seat between him and Palmer. Tim didn’t doubt that the director’s actions had been deliberate, but why?

“What’s going on, Gibbs?” Abby leant around Tim to ask. “Why are we here so early?”

Gibbs glared at Tony. “Anything to say, Dinozzo?”

Tim flinched at the hostility in Gibbs tone and he eyed him warily, half expected their team leader to shoot Dinozzo.

“Perhaps I should start.” Vance said, pulling out a toothpick and slipping it into his mouth.

Gibbs mouth twisted angrily, but he didn’t say anything so Tim turned his attention to the director.

“Nine years ago there were some rumours circulating about corruption at NCIS.” Vance told them. “The SecNav at the time was concerned by the rumours and so decided to place his own mole in the agency to investigate corruption.”

Tim leaned forward, suddenly feeling alert. There was another mole at NCIS? It had been less than a week since they had managed find the last one.

“This mole was the reason that Director Sheppard was fired and brought up on charges.” Vance continued. “Last night, Secretary Davenport was arrested for arranging the murder of Aabis Sleiman. The arrest was based primarily on the evidence that has been collected by the mole as well as the evidence that you all gathered over the last few days.”

Tim turned to look at Gibbs in disbelief. SecNav had been involved in the murder they had been investigating? Was Vance serious? The majority of the team looked just as flabbergasted as he felt. Tim’s lips twitched at that, flabbergasted? He’d obviously spent too much time writing recently.

Gibbs growled.

“But that’s not why you are all here.” Vance continued. “Due to SecNav’s arrest, the mole has been released from his assignment.”

Tim looked between Gibbs and Vance trying to figure out what was going on. Why was Gibbs so mad? Sure the man hated being lied to, but obviously the mole had done good work and surely Gibbs didn’t expect to be told about every single thing that happened at NCIS. He normally only cared about the details that involved his team. But what did this have to do with the team? Unless the mole had been placed in Gibbs team without his knowledge.

Tim knew he wasn’t the mole, and Ziva couldn’t be either – she had only been at NCIS for three years. Palmer obviously wasn’t the mole and Abby couldn’t keep a secret to save her life, so it wasn’t her. Which left Ducky and Tony. Tim stared at Ducky in shock – he was the mole?

It wasn’t too hard to believe, there had always been something mysterious about Ducky, but Tim had never suspected a thing. Ducky must be an amazing actor. No wonder Gibbs was mad, he had Ducky were friends after all.

“Spit it out, Vance.” Gibbs snarled from his end of the table.

Tim looked over at Vance and was surprised to see that the director was looking at Tony.

Tony sighed. “I’m the mole.”

Tim shook his head to try and unblock his ears. Obviously his hearing was going, there was no way Tony could be the mole. The man was an imbecile!

Unless, they were trying to protect Ducky’s cover. Maybe the assignment wasn’t as finished as Vance claimed it was and this was just another part of it. Tim nodded to himself – that made sense. Tony would jump at the chance to be in the spotlight.

“What?” Abby’s squeaked.

Vance cleared his throat. “Let me introduce you to Lieutenant Colonel Dinozzo of the United States Marine Corps.”

Tim nodded to himself again, well that explained the uniform. Obviously they had been worried that Tony wouldn’t managed to pull of the act without props – a completely understandable concern since Tony wasn’t even managing to pull it off in the uniform.

Ziva laughed suddenly, though it sounded forced. “This is a joke, yes?”

“No.” Gibbs growled, his eyes boring into Tony. “It’s true. Tony has been lying to all of us.”

Tim looked at Gibbs and frowned slightly. Gibbs’ anger looked a little too realistic. But why would Gibbs be angry if Tony was just playing a role? Wouldn’t he be angry at Ducky instead? Or angry at Vance?


Abby looked between Gibbs and Tony feeling a bit as though her world was crumbling around her. What was going on? Tony couldn’t be the mole, couldn’t he? He was her Tony, she’d known him for more than eight years, he was, was, just Tony!

“I’m afraid that I don’t understand.” Ducky said and Abby nodded firmly in agreement, she didn’t understand anymore.

“What’s there to understand, Duck?” Gibbs snapped. “Tony over there has been lying to us since he got here.”

“But, but, he’s Tony!” Abby protested, she turned to Tony pleadingly. “You’re our Tony!”

Tony looked uncomfortable. “I’m afraid not, Abby.”

Abby shook her head to try and get rid of the tears in her eyes. “Yes, you are! Just because you’ve been the mole doesn’t mean you’re not our Tony!”

“This cannot be real.” Ziva exploded suddenly. “Tony is schlump! He cannot be a marine.”

Abby narrowed her eyes at Ziva. She had no idea what ‘schumup’ meant, but it didn’t sound like a compliment. She noticed that Director Vance was also looking less than impressed with Ziva’s outburst.

Abby looked over at Tim to see how he was taking it. She knew that Tim didn’t think much of Tony, it was something they had argued about when they were dating. Tim was staring at Tony like he had never seen him before. If the situation hadn’t been so serious, Abby would have taken a picture of McGee’s dumbfounded expression to tease him about later.

“I am sorry for having lied to you all.” Tony said eventually and Abby’s eyes filled with tears when she realised that he sounded completely different – nothing like her Tony. “It was a necessary part of my assignment here.”

“And now that it’s over you’re just going to leave?” Gibbs accused him.

Tony looked uncomfortable. “The Tony Dinozzo that you all know is just a role that I played and my assignment is over.”

“So we’re never going to see you again?” Abby asked, wiping angrily at the tears on her cheeks. “You’re just going to ignore eight years of friendship.”

Tony’s expression softened. “I’m sorry, Abby. I never meant to hurt you all, but the Tony you know doesn’t exist.”

“But he could!” Abby argued desperately. “You’ve been that Tony for eight years, couldn’t you just keep being him?”

“I’m married.” Tony told her. “And my wife is eight months pregnant. I have a doctorate degree and prefer reading books to watching movies. I joined the marines when I was eighteen and never even considered going into law enforcement until I was given this assignment. I am not the person who you were friends with. I’m sorry.”

Abby wrapped her arms around herself and closed her eyes tightly, trying to stop the tears. This couldn’t be happening.


“A PhD?” Tim couldn’t help but exclaim in disbelief. Because really? There were times when Tim doubted that Tony had managed to finish his Phy.Ed degree without resorting to cheating, let alone a doctorate. “What website did you get that from?”

Tony rolled his eyes. “Stanford.”

Tim stared at him. Tony had gone to Stanford? Stanford?! Stanford was one of the top universities in the country. This couldn’t be real, it just couldn’t be. The data just didn’t add up.

It had to all be a prank. Tony was just joking with them and had somehow managed to get Vance and Gibbs to go along with it. It was a cruel prank though. Tim was surprised that Tony hadn’t stopped it when Abby started crying – but then Tony never had been very good at knowing where the line was.

“Don’t you think that’s enough?” Tim asked. “Look at how upset Abby is. You can stop joking around now, Tony.”

“This is not a joke, Agent McGee.” Director Vance told him with a disapproving frown. “Colonel Dinozzo is telling you the truth.”

Tim studied the director carefully, looking for the signs that he was lying. He didn’t find any, but then what did he expect? Vance had been an agent for years, he’d probably learnt to hide his tells years ago.

“This cannot be true.” Ziva said, sounding confused. “Tony is a cop. He is not a soldier.”

“He’s not a soldier, Ziva.” Gibbs sneered. “He’s a spy!”

Vance looked pissed. “He’s a United States Marine Officer, Gibbs.”

“Wait,” Tim frowned, looking between Tony and Gibbs. “Let’s say this is all true, does that mean that Tony outranks Gibbs?”

“Agent Gibbs is no longer in active service.” Vance answered slowly. “He and Dinozzo are not in the same chain of command.”

“But Gibbs is always saying that there is no such thing as a former marine.” Tim pointed out.

“At least not when in suits him to be a marine.” Tony commented dryly.

Gibbs stood up so fast that his chair fell over. “What did you just say to me?”

Tony looked unimpressed. “You heard me, gunny.”

Tim looked between them again, feeling a little as though he was at a tennis match, and for the first time started doubting his conviction that it was all a lie. Gibbs looked as though he was about to leap across the table and strangle Tony, and Tony, well, Tony looked exactly like McGee’s father did when he was dressing down an inferior.

“Gibbs, sit down!” Director Vance snapped.

Gibbs sneered at them, but righted his chair and sat down hard.

Tim stared at Tony who was watching Gibbs with an expression of distain. Tony would never look at Gibbs like that! Never! Tony was Gibbs’ loyal Saint Bernard – he always looked at Gibbs with an expression of awe.

He looked at Gibbs again, then at Vance, before turning his attention back to Tony. It had to be true. Tony was a marine, a lieutenant colonel of all things! What were the other things Tony had said about himself? He preferred reading to movies, he was married, and…

“You’re married?” Tim exclaimed in a strangled voice. “But all the phonecalls…”

“Were faked.” Tony answered him seriously. “Most of them were actually JJ, my wife.”


Ziva wasn’t sure what she felt. She knew it had to be true, the Tony she knew was not so good of an actor that he would be able to lie to them about this. If he was lying, she would know it. The problem with that, was that it meant that he had been lying the whole time she had known him. All their conversations, all the cases they had worked on together, all the pranks he had played on her and McGee, they had all been lies!

It was embarrassing! She was supposed to be one of Mossad’s best and she had been taken in by a kholerye shagetz (good for nothing gentile). How her friends at Mossad would mock her when they found out, she would be a laughing stock. The spy who was too much of a putz (someone easily tricked) to notice when someone she worked alongside every day wasn’t who he claimed to be.

The whole situation was a fercockt (FUBAR). Not only had Director Sheppard’s departure two years ago made it practically impossible for her to send any useful information back to her father, but now this!

Ziva shook her head in disgust. Tony was a momzer (untrustworthy bastard)! Though maybe with him gone, Gibbs would make her his Senior Field Agent. It would be a small victory, but it took her one step closer to being in a position at NCIS that would be useful to her father.


Leon looked around the room taken in the different expressions. Gibbs still looked furious, and Miss Sciuto’s tears certainly weren’t helping calm him down. McGee, Ducky and Mr. Palmer all looked as though someone had pulled a rug out from beneath their feet. Leon could sympathise, he imagined that he had looked similar when Secretary Moore had first told him of Dinozzo’s identity. Officer David looked as though she was contemplating something and it worried Leon. Maybe Dinozzo was right and he should sent her home, having a David in his agency was practically asking to be spied on.

Dinozzo was looking uncomfortable and Leon didn’t blame him. Normally when people did undercover work they disappeared without having to face the music. Leon wasn’t sure whether or not he agreed with Gibbs’ demand that Dinozzo explain himself to the team, though it had been Dinozzo’s choice to comply.

“So you’re just going to leave?” Miss Sciuto asked suddenly, sounding lost.

“Yes.” Dinozzo nodded. “My assignment is over.”

“And that’s all we were to you?” She looked as though she was going to cry again. “An assignment?”

Dinozzo looked uncomfortable again. “I’m sorry.”

Miss Sciuto burst into tears and turned to bury her face in McGee’s shoulder. McGee put an arm around her and glared at Dinozzo.

“Well, I must admit that I will be sorry to see you go.” Ducky said slowly, “I have very much enjoyed working with you.”

Dinozzo inclined his head towards the doctor. “Thank you, Ducky. I wish you all the best.” He looked at his watch and then stood up. “I need to go. I am due for another meeting at nine.”

None of Gibbs’ team would look Dinozzo in the eye, except for Gibbs who was still glaring at him, and none of them said anything.

Leon stood and followed Dinozzo out of the room and towards the elevator. It wasn’t until they were at the elevator that Dinozzo stopped and turned to face him.

“Thank you for your assistance, director.”

Leon accepted his thanks with a nod. “Thank you for the years of service you have given NCIS, colonel. I have been reading your reports and want to assure you that I will take your recommendations under advisement.”

Dinozzo looked pleased. “Thank you, director.”

“Tony!” Miss Sciuto’s voice called loudly and Leon turned around to look.

Miss Sciuto ran towards them, in ridiculously high platform shoes, and threw herself at Dinozzo who looked very uncomfortable.

“I couldn’t let you just leave without giving you one last hug.” Miss Sciuto mumbled into Dinozzo’s uniform. “But don’t think this means that I’ve forgiven you, because I haven’t!” She pulled away from him and Leon winced when he saw streaks of black on her cheeks from where her makeup had run.

“Goodbye, Abby.” Dinozzo told her gently. “Have a nice life.” He nodded briskly to Leon and then entered the elevator and pushed a button for the doors to close.

Leon sighed and turned to Miss Sciuto who was staring at the closed elevator doors with a devastated expression. He envied Dinozzo’s ability to leave – Leon was not looking forward to having to clean up this mess. Though the thought of assigning Gibbs a position as agent afloat was particularly gratifying. It would give him the opportunity to place Agent McGee with a different Team Leader too, it would be a shame for all the young agent’s potential to go to waste because of Gibbs.

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