Tony Dinozzo, Undercover Marine

Chapter Three

Set two months after “Getting To Know You” (six months after they met).

“Dinozzo!”

Tony raised his head from his desk to look sleepily at Gibbs. “Boss?”

“What’ve you got?” Gibbs snapped at him.

“Um,” Tony sat up and yawned. “What?”

“What. Have. You. Got?” Gibbs enunciated angrily.

Tony shook his head to wake himself up and wiggled his mouse to wake the computer up. “Not much, boss. There are no connections between the four victims besides them all being marines in their early twenties. I checked their credit card records and the only cross over is that the first and fourth victim shopped at the same liquor store. But even then, the fourth victim shopped there five days before the first one.”

Gibbs snarled at him and turned his attention to Ziva. “David?”

Tony droned out Ziva’s excuses for having found nothing and searched his drawers for some kind of food. Anything to wake him up. He’d been here all night looking through the victims’ records and by the time he had finished he’d gotten less than an hour of sleep before Gibbs, McGee and Ziva had arrived.

Tony finally found a chocolate bar at the back of one of his drawers and opened it quickly. He really needed to restock his drawers. The last two weeks of late nights and all-nighters had all but wiped out his entire stash of snacks. Tony took a bite of the chocolate bar and chewed it quickly in case Gibbs decided to make him chuck it out. Gibbs had been particularly unreasonable that week.

It wasn’t as though Tony didn’t understand the man’s frustration, he was frustrated too. Four men were dead and whoever had killed them was smart. They had no trace evidence, no witnesses, and no connections. They had been investigating the case for two weeks now and were still at square one. The difference between Gibbs and Tony was that Tony dealt with his frustration differently. Gibbs got mad and began snarling at everyone, Tony pulled all-nighters.

Gibbs’ phone rang and the older man broke off from abusing McGee to answer it. “Gibbs!”

Tony watched Gibbs for a moment before having to answer his own ringing cellphone. “Dinozzo.”

“Tony, it’s JJ.”

“Hi,” Tony glanced at McGee and Ziva and were relieved to see that their attention was focussed on Gibbs. “How are you?”

“I’m good. How are you?” JJ sounded worried. “You sound tired.”

“I’m alright.” Tony assured her. “Just lacking in sleep. And missing you.”

“I’m missing you too.” JJ’s smile was audible. “Which kind of relates to why I’m ringing.”

“Oh?” Tony watched Gibbs’ slam his phone and storm up the stairs towards the Director’s office.

“My team has been assigned a new case.” JJ told him. “Your Director called our Director and asked for some assistance with the case you’re currently working on.”

“What?” Tony hadn’t even considered that this might happen. N.C.I.S and the F.B.I. didn’t exactly get along. He stood and walked briskly to the stairwell, away from prying ears.

“Yeah.” JJ’s laughter was strained. “That’s what I said.”

“What are the chances of your team not noticing anything?” Tony asked quietly.

“Not good.” JJ sighed. “Even if I was used to lying about things, which I’m not.”

“And you can’t tell them that we’re dating.” Tony pointed out. “No woman with any self-respect would date Special Agent Dinozzo.”

JJ chuckled. “I have to admit, I’m kind of looking forward to seeing you like that. I can’t really imagine you being a jerk.”

Tony thought quickly. “How about this, we had a fling in college. You went to Pittsburgh and I went to Ohio State. They’re only three hours’ drive away from each other. You played soccer, right?”

“Yeah.” JJ answered slowly.

“Did you ever play at Ohio?” Tony asked leaning against a wall. “Or go to a football game where Ohio State were playing?”

JJ paused. “Probably.”

“Great.” Tony grinned. “What kind of freshman were you? Would you have had a fling with a senior you met a football game?”

JJ groaned in obvious embarrassment. “Yeah.”

“Excellent.” Tony pushed himself off the walls and began to pace. “How did we end it?”

“Probably with you never calling me.” JJ pointed out dryly.

“Yeah.” Tony chuckled. “Sorry about that.”

“So I’m mad at you?” JJ asked. “What if I can’t pull it off?”

“You don’t have to be mad at me.” Tony explained. “You can pick any emotion you like. But it’s really hard to pretend you’ve never met someone. This gives us an excuse to recognise each other. I’ll do my best to distract your team.”

“Okay.” JJ took a deep breath. “I can’t believe I’m going to lie to my team.”

Tony grimaced. “Sorry.”

“It’s fine. They would understand.”

“JJ?” Tony asked gently.

“Yeah?”

“Whatever you see today, however much of a jerk I am, remember that it’s not me.” Tony said. “I hoped you’d never see me like this.”

“I’ll remember.” JJ told him. “I love you, Tony.”

“I love you too.” Tony replied before hanging up the phone.

-

Gibbs was back when Tony returned to the bullpen and he was mad.

“Where were you?” He snapped.

“Uh,” Tony held up his cellphone. “I had a phonecall.”

“What the hell is wrong with you?” Gibbs snarled. “Four marines are dead and you’re off chatting up girls?”

“Sorry, boss.” Tony rushed to sit behind his desk. “Any news, boss?”

“Tell him, McGee.” Gibbs instructed as he strode out of the bullpen.

“Yes, boss.” McGee called after Gibbs quickly before turning to Tony. “Vance has decided that we need help. He’s asked the F.B.I.’s Behavioural Analysis Team to help us with the case.”

“What?” Tony exclaimed loudly. “The F.B.I.? Are you kidding me? We don’t need their help!”

McGee and Ziva didn’t say anything, but their expressions gave away their agreement.

“When are they coming?” Tony asked.

“Gibbs said they would be here at nine.” Ziva answered.

Tony glanced at his watch. “So they’re fifteen minutes away then. That gives me enough time to get some breakfast.”

McGee and Ziva shot him dirty books.

“I take it you don’t want anything?” Tony asked them with a smirk.

“You could actually do some work for once.” McGee grumbled. “All you do is sleep and eat.”

“And talk to women.” Ziva added.

Tony rolled his eyes, it was painful how unobservant the two of them were. Did they honestly not notice that for the last two weeks he had been the last to leave and the first to arrive? If he left at all. He was even wearing the same suit as yesterday.

“So nothing for you then.” Tony concluded standing up and heading towards the elevator.

“Tony!” Ziva called him back. “I’ll have a coffee.”

“Me too.” McGee added.

“Fine.” Tony stood at the elevator and tried to decide whether he had time to buy some salt to put in their drinks.

- -

By the time Tony got back with the coffees, JJ and her team had already arrived and were all standing in the middle of the bullpen looking at the big screen.

“Where the hell have you been?” Gibbs growled when he noticed Tony walking towards them.

“Coffee run, Boss.” Tony held up the coffees in explanation. “I got one for you.”

Gibbs accepted the coffee with a glare. “Agent Hotchner, this is Dinozzo the fourth member of my team.”

Tony handed the other coffees off to McGee and turned to grin at the man Gibbs had spoken to. “Special Agent Anthony Dinozzo.” He introduced himself.

“I’m Agent Hotchner.” Hotchner replied with a nod. “These are Agents Rossi, Morgan, Prentiss, Jareau and Doctor Reid.”

Tony looked each of the FBI agents over with a grin, ensuring that his gaze rested longer on the female agents. “It’s good to meet you all.”

“Tony Dinozzo?” JJ was staring at him with very believable surprise. “You’re a federal agent now?”

Tony looked at her for a few seconds, feigning confusion. “What did your boss say your name was again?”

“Agent Jennifer Jareau.” JJ replied with a frown.

“Jennifer…” Tony mused. “Jennifer Jareau. Oh, Jenny…from Pittsburg right?”

JJ raised her eyebrows in obvious disdain. “Right.”

“You two know each other, Dinozzo?” Gibbs asked coldly.

“Yes, boss. Sort of, we, uh, kind of dated a few time in college. ” Tony answered with a salacious grin. “We were from different worlds, but still we clicked. Like the movie ‘Love Story’, except we didn’t get married, and she didn’t die, and we didn’t actually go to the same college and…”

Tony winced as Gibbs slapped the back of his head.

“You lot can work in the conference room.” Gibbs told Hotchner. “Agent David will show you the way.”

“Thank you.” Hotchner nodded to Gibbs. “If possible, we’d like to see the locations where the bodies were found.”

Gibbs grunted in agreement. “McGee and Dinozzo can show you around.”

“Thanks.” Hotchner turned to his team. “Rossi, you and Prentiss go to the first two crime scenes. Morgan, take Reid to the more recent ones. JJ and I will get set up here.”

“McGee, go with Agents Rossi and Prentiss.” Gibbs ordered.

Tony rescued his coffee of McGee’s desk and sauntered up to Morgan and Reid. “Guess that means that you’re with me. Do you guys want to leave now?”

The two agents exchanged a look.

“Sure.” Morgan eventually nodded. “Maybe on the way we can pick up some more of that coffee? It smells good.”

“Great.” Tony moved to his desk, took his gun from the drawer and grabbed his backpack. “Let’s go.”

The walk to the coffee place was awkward, neither F.B.I. Agent seemed in the mood to chat which left Tony two options. He could either monologue it, or be silent – unfortunately for him, Agent Tony didn’t do silence.

“F.B.I. huh?” He asked as they exited the building. “Why would you want to work there? It seems like a really stuck up place to work if you ask me. Unless you worked in a department that chased down aliens and stuff. Is there a department like that? I promise I won’t tell anyone.”

“Aliens?” Reid sounded scandalised.

Morgan put a hand on the other agent’s arm as though to soothe him. “No.” He answered Tony shortly.

“Are you sure?” Tony asked. “I guess if there was a department, you guys wouldn’t really be in the know. Unless you were called in to profile the aliens. But then they probably think really differently to us humans so your profile wouldn’t be very accurate. Have you ever considered that maybe some of the bad guys that get away from you might be aliens? Maybe you need an alien expert on your team.”

Reid looked like he was going have a fit. “An alien expert?”

“Yeah,” Tony nodded seriously as they joined the line at the coffee cart. “You know, someone how has spent a lot of time with them. Someone who would be able to help you profile an alien bad guy. Actually you probably need a supernatural expert too, just in case your bad guy is actually a ghost with a grudge.”

They ordered their coffee and then began walking back to the N.C.I.S. building.

“Shall we take my car?” Tony asked.

“If you want.” Morgan replied cautiously. “We could always just take one of our SUVs.”

Tony shook his head vehemently. “No, thank you! I have spent way too much time in one of those things already.”

“When?” Reid asked.

“Well, first there was the time that Gibbs and Fornell were fighting over the body of a Navy Officer who died on Air Force one.” Tony began. “Gibbs had me hide in the body bag so that Fornell would take the body bag with me in it and Gibb’s could take the actual body.”

“You what?” Morgan stared at Tony as though he was nuts.

Tony shrugged. “When the boss says jump, you jump. Anyway that was just the first time. Last year, I was framed for serial murder and got arrested by Fornell. It was very annoying.”

“Who framed you?” Morgan asked.

“A crazy lab tech assistant.” Tony shrugged. “They got him in the end.”

They walked in silence until they got to the car. Tony figured that his alien conversation had probably given them plenty to think about – there was no need to overdo it.

“So,” Morgan began from the front seat of the car after they had been driving for a few minutes. “You know JJ?”

“JJ?” Tony feigned confusion. “Oh, you mean Jenny?”

“Sure.” Morgan shrugged.

“Yeah.” Dinozzo grinned at him. “We dated a few times in college.”

“You said you didn’t go to the same college though.” Reid put in from the back.

“No. I went to Ohio State, she went to Penn. We met at a soccer game. I can’t remember who was playing, but we met at the hotdog stand and it was love at first sight.”

“Right.” Morgan sounded unconvinced. “How far away is this place anyway?”

Tony shrugged. “It’s just another fifteen minutes. Let’s talk movies. What’s your favourite Robert de Niro movie?”

JJ rubbed her eyes for the fourth time in as many minutes and stood up to stretch her legs. She had been staring at the information in front of her for hours and she wasn’t getting anywhere.

She looked across the bullpen and had to school her face to prevent a grin when she saw Tony pouring something suspicious into McGee’s coffee. Tony was so different here, in fact if she hadn’t known it was her Tony she would have passed him off as a lookalike – there was no way they could be the same guy. Except they were, which said a lot about Tony acting abilities. He was amazing.

But as amazing as he was, he seemed to be reaching the end of his rope. The day before Gibb’s had thrown out Tony’s lunch and for a second JJ had been sure he was going to lose it. She knew that her team had noticed the sudden coldness in Tony’s expression, a coldness that was very unlike Tony’s undercover persona. Tony had recovered by throwing a temper tantrum that any three year old would be proud of. And her team, filled with Grade A profilers, had fallen for it hook, line and sinker and had thrown Tony disgusted looks.

JJ couldn’t help but grin as she watched an unsuspecting McGee take a sip of the coffee, before spitting it out.

“I still can’t believe you dated him!” Emily said as she came to stand next to her.

“Neither can I.” JJ laughed.

“What were you thinking?”

“I was young.” JJ defended. “And he was different – sweet.”

“Sure.” Emily raised her eyebrows in disbelief before turning her attention to the desk JJ had been sitting at. “Are you making any progress?”

“No,” JJ sighed. “There’s nothing.”

“I think Hotch has a new plan.” Emily mentioned. “He wants you to arrange a press conference.”

JJ nodded. “Did he say when?”

“I think it’s probably a matter of the sooner the better.” Emily suggested. “But you should check with Hotch.”

“Is he in the conference room?” JJ asked, even as she began walking in that direction.

“Yeah.” Emily told her.

“Jenny!” Tony called out, even as he jogged towards her.

“It’s JJ.” She frowned at him as she continued walking towards the conference

“Right.” Tony fell into step beside her. “How’s it going?”

“Fine, thank you.”

“Tilt your body away from me slightly.” Tony muttered to her. “And keep frowning.”

JJ did as instructed. “Why?”

“Body language says a lot.” Tony explained. “If your body is tilted away from me, it says that you don’t want to talk to me. And make sure you don’t mirror my movements.”

JJ nodded slightly. “How are you?”

“Tired.” Tony answered, still grinning annoyingly. “I’m starting to lose it. I don’t know what I’ll do if we don’t wrap this up soon.”

“Punch Gibbs probably.” JJ said as they came to the conference room door. “Yesterday I thought you were going to lose it.”

“Oh, you noticed that, huh?” Tony said with a strange laugh.

JJ stared at him for a moment in concern, before realising that the laugh was Tony’s undercover laugh. It was amazing how he could have a conversation with her, and yet ensure that an observers would see and hear a different conversation.

“Yeah, your team didn’t seem to notice.”

Tony grinned. “Your team did.”

“Yeah, but then you all but threw a temper tantrum and they just ignored you.” JJ pointed out.

“Yeah, I needed to cover my screw up.” Tony shrugged. “I really need some time out, I’m slipping.”

“How about I come over to your place tonight?” JJ asked quietly.

Tony considered that before shaking his head. “It’s too big of a risk. Thanks though.”

“You’re welcome.” JJ was sure her smile probably looked a bit worried.

“Frown.” Tony ordered her quickly.

JJ’s obeying frown was real, she couldn’t believe she had forgotten. How did Tony do this?

“See ya, Jenny.” Tony smirked at her before sauntering off.

JJ sighed as she watched him go – they really needed to catch this guy.

- -

It took them another three days to catch the unsub, and JJ couldn’t help but sigh in relief as she and her team left the Navy Yard – leaving the unsub in N.C.I.S. custody.

Once back at their office she spent a few hours finishing up her paperwork before heading home – Hotch had given them the rest of the day as well as the weekend off. The first thing she did when she got home was ring Tony.

“Dinozzo.” Tony answered after three rings.

“How are you?” She asked worriedly.

“Tired.” Tony sighed. “All I want to do is sleep.”

“Why don’t you?”

“I’m still at the office.” Tony answered. “I haven’t really had time to do my SFA paperwork in the last few weeks and Gibbs wants me caught up before I head home.”

JJ frowned. “You’re at the office?”

“I’m on a coffee run.” Tony told her. “I really needed to stretch my legs.”

“Do you want to come over tonight?” JJ asked. “I’ll make pancakes in the morning.

“I can’t.” Tony sighed. “I doubt I’ll end up leaving before ten, and I’m working tomorrow.”

“That’s ridiculous.” JJ said in horror. “You’ve been working for two weeks straight, surely you get the weekend off.”

Tony chuckled darkly. “I wish.”

“You should take some time off.” JJ told him. “Call in sick.”

“I can’t.” Tony sounded exhausted. “Vance would nail my ass to the wall.”

“You can’t keep going, Tony.” JJ told him seriously. “You should call the Colonel and tell him you need a break.”

“I can do this, JJ.” Tony told her. “I’ve been doing this for years.”

“But not with me there, you haven’t.” JJ argued. “I know that it must have been a lot worse with me there. You haven’t had a good night’s sleep in two weeks, you’re looking like crap, and you’re beginning to lose focus.”

“JJ.” Tony sounded tired.

“No.” JJ shook her head determinedly. “Either you ring the Colonel or I will. You’re not thinking clearly.”

Tony was silent for a while before sighing. “I feel like I should be angry at you for this. But I’m just too tired.”

“So you’ll call the Colonel?” JJ pressed.

“Yeah.” Tony nodded. “I’ll let you know what he says.”

“I love you, Tony.”

“I love you too.” Tony sighed.

When JJ hung up she wondered whether she had done the right thing. Sure Tony was tired, but was it really her job to force him to do this? She was sure he had needed it, but couldn’t help but feel guilty for bullying him into it.

She laid her phone on the table and decided to change into something more comfortable – she was definitely in the mood for a pair of sweatpants.

JJ had just curled up in her favourite chair with a novel when Tony rang.

“Hey.”

“Hey, JJ.” Tony sounded happier than he had in days.

“Good news?” JJ asked.

“Yeah. Ructen is going to kill off one of my fake relative so I get bereavement leave.” Tony sighed. “I should get the call in a few hours. Is the invitation to come over still valid?”

“Of course it is!” JJ told him, rolling his eyes. “It always is – you know that.”


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