“Tony!” Timothy McGee called across the bull pen, his tone flustered.
When Tony DiNozzo looked across the space that separated their desks, he saw his little probie (ah, he's all grown up) looking as wide eyed and frantic as he did the first time he’d ever faced Gibbs. Ah, good days. Except the boy had grown a pair, so what could have him reverting so severely?
“What's wrong, McGeek?” Tony called back. The nick name should have earned him a glare. Instead, frantic beckoning drew him past the plasma screen to the computer genius' desk.
“I ... uh ... well,” Tim stuttered, his eyes still fixed to his monitor.
“Can the nervous twitch, probie, and spit it out,” Tony snapped in that tone that had done the most good over the years. He leaned in over the desk until he was nose to nose with the computer genius, and smirked as Tim jumped and leaned back, his eyes finally flicking to Tony's.
“You'd better look at this,” Tim finally said, his cheeks reddening as he pointed at his computer screen.
With a put upon sigh, Tony sauntered around the desk, leaned over with a hand on the back of Tim's chair, throwing the younger man off balance, and looked at the screen. His own eyes widened in surprise (ok, and maybe a bit of lust) and he let out an impressed whistle. “Where did you find that?” he finally asked.
“Well ... umm ... you see,” Tim began, then froze again. Tony snapped him out of it with a slap to the back of the head. “It’s been slow of late,” Tim said, snapping out of his funk enough to shove Tony's arm off the back of his chair. “I figured it wouldn't hurt to pass some time ... I was checking out the word on the fan sites.”
“Which fan sites?” Tony asked pointedly, his eyes scanning the URL at the top of the screen. “Your fan sites?”
“Well ... um ... actually, more like the fan sites devoted to LJ Tibbs,” Tim stuttered. “It's good to keep track of how the fans react to the characters with the new book and all ...”
“And where does this come into the equation?” Tony asked, waving at the computer screen.
“Where does what come into the equation?” asked Ziva David as she charged into the bull pen, dropping her bag at her desk.
“That's what you get for heading out to lunch without the rest of us, Zeeeva,” Tony said teasingly.
“I get more of you than I can take when I am in the office,” Ziva snarked back. “I needed a nooner.”
Tim began laughing at Ziva's error, the overall tone a bit hysterical, but under the circumstances Tony couldn't blame him. He was fighting back laughter too. “You went out and had sex over lunch?” Tony asked between bursts of noise from Tim.
“No,” Ziva said, her brow furrowing in confusion. “I went out to lunch, alone. That is not the meaning of nooner?”
“No,” Tim choked out. “Not at all. Sorry, it's just … the timing.” He waved at his monitor, and Ziva let curiosity take over and stalked over for a look. The Mossad officer froze as the image came into view.
“This is real?” she asked, eyes wide. “That did not come up when I was compiling my dossiers.”
“We don't know. But someone posted it as proof that LJ Tibbs would never have had a relationship with Lieutenant Colonel Holly Lann and I got it wrong in Rock Hollow.” Tim gulped as his eyes froze again on the image before him.
“Something from one of you insane fans again, yes?” Ziva asked, her eyes studying the picture again, looking for possible flaws that would indicate it was a forgery.
“Seems that way,” Tony said dryly. “Except ... where the hell would they get enough information to fake something like this?”
“I ... I don't know,” Tim said uneasily. “It's not commonly known that I am Thom E. Gemcity, or who you all are.”
“And yet your barista managed to figure out enough out to go after Abby,” Tony drawled. “So maybe it's not as unknown as you think.”
“That is not a comforting thought,” Ziva commented. “And ... I am not sure it is a fake.”
“Has to be,” Tony said. “Even if the boss would do something like this, he sure as hell wouldn't let it get caught on film.”
“So sure about that, DiNozzo?” Leroy Jethro Gibbs said, stalking into the bullpen, a fresh cup of coffee in his hand. His team straightened reflexively at his voice, then froze in panic. Everyone was rather expecting a slap to the back of the head.
Instead, Gibbs stepped around the desk, nudging Tony over with a hip as he leaned forward to look at the screen. “Won't swear to it without my glasses but that looks like one of the photos Diane threw at me at the divorce. Tried to prove I was cheating more than she was.” Gibbs snorted and stood up. “Judge bought it, even though we both testified the relationship and photo were from after she served the papers. Don't know if she tried anything similar with Fornell. Results were the same,” he added as he stalked to his desk.
Behind him he left three flabbergasted agents glancing between their hard-nosed, four times married (three times divorced) boss and the picture on the computer of the same man in a passionate embrace with another man (both basically nude). Who knew?