Six months since Tony's return from his stint as Agent Afloat and he was different; everything was different. Gibbs was troubled by it, because if Tony had been one of the best agents he ever worked with before he was now the best agent he had ever worked with. Tony never missed a beat, always finding the missing link in a tough case. He still let Ziva and McGee find leads, but if they were stumped, he would step up and discover that missing link in the case and run with it. Just like the case they were working right now.
Tony was already at his desk when Gibbs got into work.
“Hey, boss. I got a lead on the case. I was just double checking on it before everyone got in.”
Gibbs just raised his eyebrows and waited for Tony to start talking again.
“Well, I’m pretty sure that the boyfriend did it. Our suspect's name is Thomas Patterson. He had motive, opportunity, and I found his phone number in a disposable phone that was in the lieutenant’s car.”
Gibbs blinked in confusion at Tony’s statement, but before he could ask his next question, Ziva and McGee arrived, and he asked Tony to continue to explain his theory to the others. When Tony was done, it was McGee that asked what Gibbs and Ziva were thinking.
“So, the Lieutenant found his wife’s other phone and started looking for her boyfriend. The boyfriend found out and decided that he would what, take out the competition?”
“No, the boyfriend doesn’t belong to the wife. The lieutenant was seeing this guy on the side, and I think that when our good lieutenant decided to break it off, he got pissed and went after our victim,” Tony replied patiently.
“Um…Tony how did you come to that conclusion,” McGee asked while Gibbs and Ziva just looked puzzled?
Tony tried to stay calm, he knew even if no one else did that this was his last case. He kept repeating the mantra in his head; last case, last case, this was his last case. He took a deep breath before he began to explain his theory to the team.
“Okay, I ran the location on where he called the lieutenant from, all the calls originated from either his apartment or a gay bar that he frequented. I went to the bar and questioned the manager and bartender just to make sure that Patterson didn’t work there. They both confirmed that both Patterson and the Lieutenant were both at the bar on numerous occasions. Then I showed them a picture of the Lieutenant’s wife, but neither had ever seen her. I have Patterson’s address and work schedule, and I called legal for a search warrant for both his car and apartment. I’m just waiting for them to get back to me.”
When Tony looked up from his notes, he saw Gibbs, Ziva, and McGee all blinking at him. He knew that Director Vance had walked up behind him during his explanation, so he was not surprised when he spoke.
“DiNozzo…I’m impressed. When did you find time to work this theory?”
“Oh, hey Director Vance,” Tony pretended to be surprised by him “I worked on it yesterday, and I went to the bar last night.” Tony wanted this case solved so he could quit; he had a new life waiting for him.
Before Tony could say anything else, his phone rang, "DiNozzo," he said answering his phone. “Got the warrant, Boss” Tony said after he hung up.
“Let’s go pick him up. DiNozzo you’re with me,” Gibbs snapped, irritated that he could not puzzle out Tony's new behavior. Tony was a good agent, always had been, but now he could be a one-man team.
“On your six, boss” Tony replied as he grabbed his gear and headed to the elevator; hopeful that they would wrap this case up soon and he could go home.