An Embarrassing Injury

By Arress

Summary: When Tony receives an embarrassing injury while McGee and Ziva should have been listening, how funny is it really? Alternate ending to "Dead Air". Rated for language. This story contains Ziva and McGee bashing, (a little Vance bashing too) so if that's not your thing don't read this story. Please, no flames.

A/N: Thanks, little_janie, for your encouragement and support.

This story is not betaed and all mistakes are mine.

Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.

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Gibbs hated leaving his agent in the hospital right after he had surgery, but he was sleeping, and it couldn't be avoided. He called Abby to come and sit with Tony so he could go back to the office and get some answers. Once she arrived, after he calmed her down, he left the hospital and headed to the Navy Yard.

Gibbs was seething in anger as he got off the elevator on the third floor of the NCIS building. He needed to find out how his senior field agent had been injured and Tony had been too out of it from his recent anesthesia and pain medications to fill him in.

He snuck up on his two healthy agents out of habit, but what he heard made his blood run cold.

McGee and Ziva were standing in front of Ziva's desk and they were both laughing, then McGee said, "He's not going to be able to sit down for a month."

Ziva chuckled as she said, "He will never live it up."

McGee corrected her, "Never live it down."

"Up, down, whatever," Ziva replied. "Maybe we should get him one of those inflatable donuts to sit on, yes?"

"Either that or a whoopee cushion," McGee laughed.

"Only Tony could go on such a simple assignment and get shot in the ass," Ziva said with a smile.

Gibbs took the long way around the bullpen as his two junior agents continued to laugh and joke about Tony's injury. Once he was on the back side of the partition behind Tony's area, he reached behind the filing cabinet and grabbed the old cane Tony kept there in the event he sprained his ankle again. He then snuck up behind Tim and Ziva, making sure they didn't see him, which posed him no problem; he'd had plenty of practice over the years.

They were both still laughing about Tony's 'embarrassing' injury when Gibbs jabbed each of them in the ass in quick succession with the tip of the cane.

They both yelped loudly as they turned, rubbing their butts. They both opened their mouths to speak, but quickly closed them again when they saw a very angry Gibbs standing there holding a cane in his hands.

Gibbs said coldly, "Nothing to say? I would have thought you would find that funny, since you seem to think Tony getting injured in that particular area was something to joke and laugh about."

McGee stuttered, "W-We didn't m-mean anything by it, Boss, we were j-just-"

"Just what?" Gibbs interrupted angrily. "Laughing at your partner's pain? Making fun of the fact that the bullet broke his hip and he has weeks of painful physical therapy and rehab to look forward to?"

Ziva actually looked a little ashamed of herself as she said, "Gibbs, we were just trying to find the humor in the situation."

Gibbs replied, "You find humor in the fact that your partner's body was pierced by a bullet?"

McGee said, trying to diffuse Gibbs' growing anger, "You've got to admit, Tony getting shot in the butt is kind of funny."

"No, I don't think it's funny at all," Gibbs growled. "What I find 'funny'," he continued, obviously using the word sarcastically, "is how DiNozzo got injured in the first place. What I find 'funny' is why he had to crawl into some bushes to hide and then call me for help when both of you were right there in the neighborhood."

When neither of the junior agents answered and wouldn't look him in the eye, Gibbs continued, "Where were you two? You were supposed to have his six."

McGee and Ziva both shifted uncomfortably and avoided Gibbs' gaze and remained silent.

Gibbs asked again, his voice menacingly soft, "Where were you?"

Ziva finally looked up briefly and answered, "We were in the car."

When no more information was forthcoming from either Ziva or McGee, Gibbs asked, "And neither of you heard anything unusual to let you know DiNozzo was in trouble?"

McGee still wouldn't look up as he mumbled something unintelligible.

"What was that, Agent McGee?" Gibbs asked. "I didn't hear you."

Tim finally looked up and said more loudly, "We turned the sound off."

"We were tired of listening to his voice," Ziva elaborated.

Gibbs thought he had been angry before, but now he was absolutely livid. He realized he had let Ziva and McGee's disrespect for Tony go too far. He had always made it a policy to not interfere in how his agents interacted with each other, as long as it didn't affect the job. While Ziva and McGee didn't seem to respect Tony very much, Gibbs thought they were just teasing him. He never thought it would lead to Tony being left without backup in the field.

The team leader now understood why Tony hadn't bothered to call Ziva or McGee for help on his cell phone. He had called to them over his hidden microphone and when they hadn't come to help him, he must have thought something had happened to them too, so he had called his boss.

He couldn't believe Ziva and McGee had quit listening in on Tony. Not only did they break one of Gibbs' most important rules, it was also a serious breach of NCIS protocol. And while the younger agents may not have been able to prevent Tony from getting shot, they sure as hell could have prevented him from being scared and bleeding and in pain while hiding in some bushes as he waited for Gibbs to arrive. By the time Gibbs had reached Tony at the scene, any hope of finding the shooter was long gone.

Gibbs angrily tossed the cane he was still holding behind Tony's desk. He was afraid he might beat his junior agents to death with it.

He thought for a minute, then made a decision. What Tim and Ziva had done was unforgivable. There was no way Gibbs was even going to contemplate asking Tony to work with either of them again. Hell, Gibbs didn't want to work with either of them again. He held out his hands and said softly, "Both of you, hand me your badges and guns. You have no place on my team or in this agency."

Ziva and McGee looked at each other in shock. They never believed that something they had done lightheartedly in the spur of the moment would lead to them losing their jobs. They never thought Tony would get hurt.

Gibbs was still standing in front of them with his hands out. "I didn't stutter. Give me your guns and badges and get out."

McGee finally found his voice, "You can't do that, Boss. Vance-"

Gibbs got in McGee's face and said, "I don't give a shit what Vance would do or say. I'm high enough in the hierarchy of this agency to make hiring and firing decisions, especially when it comes to my own team; and agents who don't cover their partner's six have no right to be on it."

He stepped back and held out his hands again expectantly, glaring angrily at Ziva and McGee in turn. They reluctantly handed Gibbs their guns and badges. Then they stood in front of Gibbs uncertainly.

McGee said apologetically, "We never meant for Tony to get hurt."

Ziva tried to explain, "He was just getting voice prints of people in a residential neighborhood. We didn't think he was in any danger."

Gibbs replied heatedly, "That's just it. You didn't think. We were on the hunt for a possible domestic terrorist cell; someone who murdered three people in cold blood; someone who was possibly traced to that neighborhood! And you didn't think there was any danger?"

McGee and Ziva didn't have an adequate reply to that and looked at the floor, unable to meet Gibbs' eyes.

Gibbs continued, "Now I have a senior field agent in the hospital who'll be off work for the foreseeable future and two junior agents who don't work here any longer. I also have to get this investigation turned over to another team since my team no longer exists. Do either of you still find this situation in any way funny?"

Gibbs looked at them with disgust and then went to his desk and locked their guns and badges in his top drawer. He looked up when he was finished, "You still here? Do I need to call security?"

"That will not be necessary, Gibbs" Ziva answered as she and Tim headed to the elevator.

McGee turned back, "What about-"

Gibbs interrupted, wanting both of them out of his sight as soon as possible, "Your things will be shipped to you when someone gets around to it." He pointed to the elevator and shouted, "Out!"

As Gibbs watched the elevator door close in front of Ziva and McGee, he couldn't decide what pissed him off more; the fact that the two of them left Tony with no backup in the field or the fact that neither of them had bothered to ask him how Tony was doing.

Once his former agents were gone, Gibbs headed to the director's office.

TBC