‘Well I can’t tell you specifically about it until you sign all the necessary paperwork, just for them to be able to talk to you about this job. You can still say no, you just can’t tell anyone.’ Tony took a deep breath. ‘As Agent Afloat, or a cop, that depends on how you look at it. I was asked if there was anything that I needed. I told them, yes there was. I needed help. I didn’t necessarily need someone full time, but because of where we are based you can’t actually use temps. I was asked what I actually needed and did I have any suggestions. I would need help for anything big, and I suggested you because you could, at the other times you could help train and prepare the marines, sniper duty, missions etc. We have scientists but no one who looks at it as a criminal investigation. Now, the reason they called you now was because I also suggested Abby, and I need you to talk to her. Gibbs, you have to make her understand that she cannot tell, hint, sign, play charades, send smoke signals or anything about this job. I am not kidding you think McGee is good, the people I work with would run rings around him. If you said anything, they would arrest you without hesitation. You both would have to give up everything here completely. You don’t know if or when you would ever come back to Washington.’
Gibbs just stared at him. ‘This secret is actually that valuable?’
‘Yes it is. For me, it was what I needed. I was tired here, it was slowly destroying me. Jenny was trying to use me for an undercover mission; I got no respect just sarcastic comments from my team-mates. I needed to start fresh, somewhere new. I wouldn’t change what I am doing now. I love the people I work with; I love what I am doing. If you sign the paperwork, you’ll see what I am talking about.’
‘Is there anyone you are uhhhh interested in there?’ Gibbs looked away as he asked.
Tony smiled brightly at him. ‘Gibbs, the only person I want is you.’ His face paled as he realised what he had just admitted.
Gibbs smiled back at him. He had no idea if he were going to take the job, but there wouldn’t be any harm in listening. It did have one positive thing about it already, Tony was there.
Just then Gibbs’ cell rang to life. He grinned as he looked down at the name. Abby. ‘I think she might have just got her call as well.’ He grabbed his phone and answered it. ‘Abby come round. Don’t call or tell anyone.’ Gibbs paused. ‘Abby you can keep asking random questions, or you can come here now. Ok, see you soon.’
‘I guess she’s coming around then?’ Tony asked, actually knowing what the answer was.
Tony enjoyed just sitting with Gibbs. The just talked about random things, including cases that Gibbs and the team had been working on. Tony even made suggestions with current cases.
‘This is what we are missing in the team.’ Gibbs turned and looked at him.
‘You would always come up with something that had been missed. No one else is trained as you were with the police. I don’t have any actual investigators, no one that was trained before they joined NCIS. I have no one that thinks outside the box.’
Tony opened his mouth to respond when there was a knock at the door, and in walked Abby.
‘So, this mysterious phone call we received?’ She asked straight away.
‘Sit down Abs.’ Gibbs ordered, and waited as she sat next to Tony and cuddled into him. ‘This is something you need to understand if you go to this meeting and sign the paperwork, you cannot tell anyone. I mean it Abs, from what Tony can say is that there are people far better than McGee, you or me working here. We’ve been called in because Tony suggested us. You have to make sure that you truly appreciate when they say you can’t tell anyone they mean it. That also means no trying to get around it with playing charades or signing. They will lock you up and throw away the key, and they will have the right to because of the paperwork you would have signed. You don’t sign it, you get told nothing.’
Abby turned and looked at Tony. ‘This is for reals, I mean really reals. Pinky swear.’
Tony grins. ‘It’s for reals, pinky swear.’ He locks his little finger with hers. ‘Listen to Gibbs; if you can’t keep this quiet, please don’t go. There is nothing we could do to help you.’
‘I can keep it a secret; I want to see what this is all about.’ Abby whispers. ‘I promise I can.’
‘I can’t wait to talk to you afterwards.’ Tony just sat and grinned at them.
Tony sat on a couch and drank a cup of coffee as he waited for Gibbs and Abby to finish with their interviews. He remembered what it was like for him when he had been shown where he would be going. Tony hoped that they said yes, he desperately wanted Gibbs to move to Atlantis. He had missed the older man so much; his feelings had grown the longer they were apart.
The door opened, and Tony looked up. He couldn’t help chuckle at the look on Abby’s face.
‘Oh my god.’ She whispered breathlessly. ‘That is where you work? That is what you do?’ Abby looked around. ‘I can talk here right?’
‘Yes, Abs you can talk here. It’s remarkable isn’t it?’ Tony laughed again. ‘I know it’s a lot to take in, and they need to know fairly quickly.’
‘I’ve made my decision.’ Gibbs stated.
Abby and Tony turned to look at him. ‘You have?’ She squeaked.
‘Are you sure boss; I mean it is a monumental decision to make? You’d have to leave everyone behind.’ Tony didn’t want him to make any rash decisions.
‘I’m sure Tony.’ Gibbs started to pace as he tried to get his thoughts together. ‘I’ve been thinking about retiring. The cases are getting longer and harder. They seem to stick with you more.’
‘That’s because Tony isn’t here.’ Abby added, and grinned as the man she admired most smiled at her.
‘Maybe.’ Gibbs muttered. ‘I’m thinking maybe it’s not retirement I need, but a change of scenery. A huge change in scenery.’
‘Does that mean you’re taking the job?’ Tony just wanted to make sure that he wasn’t making it up in his own mind.
‘Yes Tony, I’m taking the job.’
Tony jumped up and hugged Gibbs tightly. He suddenly realised what he had done and started to pull back. Gibbs wrapped his own arms around Tony’s waist and held him tight.
‘I’m glad Gibbs.’ Tony whispered into Gibbs’ ear, he couldn’t help smile as he felt a tremble in the older man’s body.
‘Aww so cute.’ Abby’s voice interrupted them.
The two men finally broke apart and turned to look at her.
‘Any thoughts Abby? I know it’s going to be a crucial decision for you. You have your family, the nuns, and McGee. This is a decision you’ll have to make on your own though.’ Tony reminded her.
‘I kinda feel like Gibbs, things aren’t the same without you Tony. Ziva and I never truly mixed, not like Kate, and I did. Tim, well he’s got his books, and he never seems to have time for me. I think the place I am going to be happiest is with you two.’ Abby held up her hand, and stopped both men from speaking. ‘I know it’s not a decision to make lightly. I just feel it is the right one for me, and I mean come on. I’ll be working in a place called Atlantis, in another friggin’ galaxy. I’ll get to meet and work with real life aliens. How can I say no to that? I’ll have to wear a science uniform for work, I know. The positives so far way outweigh the negatives.′
Tony looked at them and grinned. ‘Boys and girls, Atlantis here we come. I’m meeting up with Rodney for dinner tomorrow, would you two like to meet him?’
‘Rodney is who?’ Abby asked.
‘He’s one of the scientists on Atlantis. He’s a genius, genius. He’ll also tell you how smart he is. Rodney’s not a people person, once you get past the gruff exterior he’s a good guy. One of my best friends actually.’ Tony explained.
‘A gruff exterior huh, well Tony you have experience there.’ She turned and looked at Gibbs and laughed.
‘Oh madam director is just going to love this.’ Tony muttered. Gibbs and Abby both stared at him. ‘She’s upset because her pay grade is not high enough to know about this, neither is SecNav’s. Jenny tried to get me to tell her about it yesterday, and now you two are going to be doing the same thing.’
‘She honestly does hate not knowing everything.’ Gibbs’ smile just grew.
Jenny just stood there and stared at her three employees. First of all Abby and Jethro called in and explained they had a meeting to go to. Which she couldn’t find out anything about, and now they stood there with Tony, and told her they were transferring to the same ‘undisclosed place’ that he was working at.
‘I haven’t said yes yet.’ Jenny’s voice was cold.
Gibbs smirked at her. ‘I don’t believe you have the security clearance to stop us.’
Jenny started to hate that phrase. That was all she got whenever she asked about DiNozzo.
‘Get the hell out of here. I’ll talk to you when and if the appropriate paperwork comes through.’
McGee stood at Ziva’s desk as they watched Gibbs, Abby and Tony walk down the stairs. As soon as they were near the bottom, they both walked across to the trio. They knew something was going on when neither Gibbs nor Abby had come into work; both had stated that they had an appointment to go to. One that no one else knew about, no one apart from Tony obviously.
’So is everything ok?″ Tim asked.
Gibbs looked at Tony, then Abby before he turned back to Tim and Ziva.
‘Let’s go down and see Ducky and Palmer. It’ll be easier to do this all at once.’ With that Gibbs turned and headed towards the elevator.
Ducky, McGee, Ziva and Palmer stood and waited.
‘Well Jethro, what is it you wish to tell us?’ Ducky finally asked.
‘Abby and I are leaving here, and going to work with DiNozzo.’ He replied bluntly.