Episode Description/Prompt: Gibbs is worried about Tony's ability to handle his job when Tony's father turns out to be linked to their newest investigation, an assassination attempt on a foreign prince.
“DiNozzo! With me!” Gibbs demanded as he stormed towards the elevator while putting on his coat.
Dreading the conversation, but knowing it had to happen sooner or later – preferring later, of course – Tony quickly grabbed his gun and coat. He jogged towards the elevator, and with a little burst of speed, he managed to make it inside just as the doors were closing.
Just after the elevator began its descent, Tony saw Gibbs move to flip the emergency switch. Tony, who was standing to Gibbs’ right, chose to remain staring at the elevator doors as a form of self-preservation.
Even out of the corner of his eye, Tony didn’t miss it when Gibbs turned to face him and begin glaring. It was as if his boss thought that after all these years, it took only one glare to get his senior field agent to fold so easily. Tony attempted to resist by continuing to face forward even as Gibbs’ stance shifted him forward a bit until Tony could feel the older man’s breath on his neck. Even his glare had seemed to get more intense.
As the seconds went by, it was getting more and more difficult to resist the glare – especially when it was this intense, this insistent, and this powerful.
It was inevitable really.
The only course left to Tony was to preempt Gibbs talking and refute all of the reasons why he shouldn’t work this case.
“I know what you’re going to say, Boss. And, you’re wrong,” he began, then grimaced when he realized what he’d just said. He quickly forged on ahead.
“Did I say wrong? You’re not wrong because you’re always right, but maybe, just this one little time, you might listen to what I have to say before you make a decision?
“Yes. Biologically speaking, he is my family and, as such, my working this case would normally be considered a giant conflict of interest. But, aside from the DNA we share, in no other way, shape, or form has he even remotely acted like a father to me for longer than I can remember. In fact, legally I’m not even considered his son anymore since he disowned me when I was twelve years old.
“There has been absolutely no communication between us personally since I turned eighteen, although you could say we haven’t communicated since long before that time. In fact, my father wasn’t even the one to tell me I’d been disowned. He had his lawyer at the time do it.
“I know that if my father is prosecuted the defense will try to bring up our, uh, imperfect relationship and say the investigation had been compromised as a result. A check of my records would show our lack of contact over the last twenty plus years.
“So, to sum up – wow, I feel like one of those great movie lawyers, maybe Paul Newman or Tom Cruise, giving his closing arguments to the judge – anyway, uh, I believe that I will have no conflict of interest working this case. My loyalties are with you, Gibbs and NCIS – not my father.
“If you or Vance still consider it a potential problem, then I can limit my part of the investigation to anything not directly related to my father or his business interests. I figure that to be a reasonable solution. And, besides – you need me.”
He stopped babbling – it couldn’t really be called anything else even though to him it all sounded perfectly rational – and tried to catch his breath. After a long moment, he finally had the courage to turn and look at Gibbs.
His boss simply continued to glare at him as he had been doing the entire time.
Then, after a moment or two, Gibbs smirked and turned to flip the emergency switch again. The elevator continued on towards the parking garage.
Tony closed his eyes and sighed in relief.
The pain to the back of his head really shouldn’t have been a surprise.
“Ow!” he exclaimed and opened up his eyes while rubbing the back of his head. “What was that for?!”
Gibbs smiled a little and said, “That was for not letting me get a word in edgewise.”