Trial by Gibbs
So lots of people have stories explaining how Tony came to work for NCIS. But has anyone eplained what happened on his first day? Small plot bunny that took over after McGee was clumsy around Gibbs in 'An Eye for an Eye' but no spoilers for the episode. Unless I'm missing it completely, I couldn't find who actually worked with Stan Burley, so creative licence was used to tell the bigger story.
No infringement intended, but reviews are welcome!
"And this is what you will come to call your home away from home, Probie." Special Agent Jason Thompson said with a wave of his arm. The tall and chiseled Senior Field Agent looked back at his newest Partner with an innocent grin. "It's not much, but it works."
Newly Instated Probationary Field Agent Anthony DiNozzo scanned the room, barely keeping the surprise out of his face. He expected the office space to resemble something out of a James Bond movie with Secret Agent gadgets and gizmos to catch the bad guys and impress the girls. Special Agencies always looked so… special in the movies. This is just a glorified Precinct. And who picked the color in here?
"Your desk is over there," Thompson pointed. "Across from the Boss."
"The better to spy on you, my Dear!" The Woman sitting to their left spoke up, turning her attention away from the paperwork on her own desk. "I heard we got a Sparkly Clean new Agent while I was away. You must be Anthony. I'm Sarah Mandell, pleased to meet you." Sarah extended her hand in greeting.
"Tony. And the pleasure is all mine." He smiled and accepted her hand, a glimmer of un-gentleman like thoughts flashing in his eyes.
"But seriously," Sarah laughed, tight blonde curls framed her face and bounced as she moved. "It's his strategy to put the Newbies directly across from him so he can get you with his Gibbs-Glare if you become a liability.
Tony shrugged his backpack off his shoulder as he made his way to his new desk. Heavily he sat down, allowing the chair to roll slightly before turning his attention back to his Teammates. "He can't be that bad… Well… I mean, he was pretty gruff when I still a Baltimore Cop working for him. But he requested me, offered me this job personally. That must mean-"
"It means he needed a third underling and you were the most tolerable candidate for the position." Thompson took a seat on the edge of his desk, his long legs barely making it off the floor. "And he probably was playing nice 'cause you were helping with the investigation. Once you belong to him he stops pulling his punches." Thompson said. His eyes sparkled with recognition of being in Tony's very same predicament not that long ago.
"People never seem to get the hang of Gibbs." Thompson continued. "Stan Burley, he's the guy you're replacing, he holds the record of working with Gibbs the longest at five years. Heck, we all strive for a record like that, but few make it anywhere close. Most have mental break downs before the ink is dry on their employment papers."
"All you really need is to not piss him off," Sarah said. "Long enough to get a promotion, anyway. If you can survive your 'Trial by Gibbs' you'll be a God in your pick of departments here." She gathered the papers on her desk and tapped them into order before putting the back in their folder. She knew it was a lost cause at this point. "But no worries, that's what we're here for."
Tony swallowed hard, worry knotting in the pit of his stomach. He had always thought he could handle just about anyone and anything. He'd survived childhood with his Father, Fraternity Hazing, and two separate police departments who could never understand his 'riches to rags spunk.' His last encounter with Gibbs, what turned out to be his interview, hadn't been a complete picnic, but he thought there had been some respect between the two, even when he was on his worst behavior. However, if Gibbs had been playing nice so that he could get through the investigation, Tony would be lucky to survive the next few minutes, let alone long enough to be promoted out from under Gibbs' command. Everything in him was screaming for him to turn the other way as quickly as possible.
Thompson stood and crossed to Tony's desk. He put a hand on each shoulder and forced Tony out of his thoughts. "Relax, Probie. Did Gibbs teach you any of his Marine Rules?"
"Like 'always carry a knife?" Tony asked.
"Exactly!" Sarah said. "We here in the Major Crimes Unit have a few Rules to Survive, but we have a lot fewer to remember than our Fearless Silver Haired Fox. Basically, it's how to not piss Gibbs off."
"Rule number one:" Thompson drew himself up straight, giving his best impersonation of a College Professor. "Don't mess with Abby. You know the Goth Lab Rat in Forensics?"
Tony couldn't keep the grin off his face. He met the girl during the shared investigation that brought him to NCIS in the first place. Those gorgeous green eyes, the fantastic body. What he wouldn't give to investigate where she was hiding all those tattoos. He wondered how many were on her-
"We haven't even finished explaining and you're already breaking rule one." Thompson interrupted. "Has Abby given you the talk about how she could kill you over one hundred different ways with just a paper clip and leave no forensic evidence?"
"She didn't say it to me, personally, but I did hear it." Tony said. He'd been left in Abby's charge for a short time while he was sleeping off a small concussion. As he was just coming back to consciousness the last time, an Agent, a plump computer geek who's breath reeked of Nacho Cheese Doritos, had come down and was more than a little inappropriate. There had been such heat in her voice there was no doubt in Tony's mind that given the motive and opportunity that she would have followed through. However, when Tony tried to bring it up a little while later she dismissed the idea and refused to talk about it. Maybe this rule was the reason why.
"Well if Gibbs ever caught wind of anything hinky between you and Abby, he would find wherever Abby disposed of your body just to dig you up again and bring you to life just to tear you limb from limb with his bare teeth."
"So don't even look at Abby, check." Tony said.
"Rule number two:" Sarah picked up. "Don't interrupt Gibbs when he's in interrogation. Ruins his Mojo. Now if it's for a really good reason you might be able to get away with it."
"Like if you've cured cancer or something," Thompson couldn't help but chime in. "You might get away with just a 'Severe Injury' or 'Bodily Harm Glare' rather than a full out 'Death Glare', but I wouldn't risk it."
"Don't block the Mojo, got it." Tony nodded. "So far these don't seem that bad. I think I can handle that.
"Good, 'cause this last one may be the most important. Never," Thompson lowered his voice and leaned forward, propping his hands on Tony's desk for dramatic effect. "And I mean never. Spill the Man's coffee."
"Really? Don't spill his coffee? He gets-"
"Super pissed? Yeah, that's a mild way of putting it." Sarah said.
Tony had noticed the constant cup in the Former Marine's hand. Vaguely he wondered if he even held onto it when he slept, like a child's teddy bear. Suddenly, he pictured the tough Marine Gunnery Sergeant, the man who probably caused more soiled pants in the interrogation room than the sum of the entire Soviet Union, curled up on his side in bed, a styrofoam cup tucked under his arm. A grin spread across his face as Imaginary Gibbs shifted to put his imaginary thumb securely in his imaginary mouth.
Tony shook himself out of his daydream. "What happens if it's an accident, like a complete fluke. He has to show some compassion for a mistake, right?"
Thompson and Sarah looked at each other before turning back to Tony.
They both laughed.
"Oh, you're real funny there, Tony." Sarah said between gasps for air. "I can see why the Boss wanted you around."
"So what happens? What would he do?"
Thompson regained his composure, wiping the tears from his eyes. He took a deep breath, his face turning completely serious. "He'd pretty much eat you, Probie."
"C'mon, Thompson," a new voice came from the direction of the elevator. Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs walked with purpose toward his desk, the ever present cup of coffee in his hand and a manila folder under his arm. "Don't give the kid a coronary on his first day."
Tony felt his heart lift with that statement. A smile tugged on the corners of his mouth. Maybe his teammates were wrong. Gibbs really did care about him and wanted him to succeed. That had to be the only reason he would stand up for the Young Agent.
"Makes 'em all tough and gamey when you play with them first."
Immediately the smile disappeared. This called for a new tactic. Tony sucked in a deep breath, rummaging in his backpack for the folder with his official orders in them. He stood and stretched out his arm to hand them to his superior. "Hiya, Gibbs! I have some paperwork for you, I was told to give it to you immedia-"
Tony was cut off as he swung around, papers in hand. He didn't see Gibbs stand and walk over to his desk, nor did he see the cup of coffee still in his hand. He did, however, see his hand connect with the cup and watched as the coffee spilt down the front of Gibbs' shirt. Time stood still as he looked in horror, open mouthed at the mess he had just created.
Gibbs's eyes flashed in anger. In his head, Tony spewed apology after apology, promising to fetch another cup, offering his first born child, anything to keep him alive at that very moment. However, his mouth did not cooperate and all his pleading was heard as a stuttered mass of sound.
Resisting the urge to roll his eyes, Gibbs stalked back toward the elevator without another word.
For a few minutes, Tony stood still, holding the now empty cup. So much for not pissing Gibbs off.
"Well," Thompson broke the silence with a hand on Tony's shoulder. "Nice knowing you, Kid."