Disclaimer: I do not own any of the characters in this story. Should the rightful owner wish to contact me and demand I cease and desist with this story, I will certainly do so. Additionally if these owners wanted the rights to any portion of my stories, well, I'm sure something could be arranged.
In other words, Characters and histories aren't mine. Any new plot devices are.
“Here’s your new team”
The words echoed like a judge’s gavel. The bald-faced insult to the team Jethro Gibbs had put together and worked with for the last few years torn away from him. First Caitlin Todd, then Jenny Shephard, not even a week ago, and he already felt the loss of Jenny more acutely than he had three of his ex wives. He refused to allow himself to think about Shannon
“You three are dismissed.” The new director of NCIS ordered everyone but Gibbs out of the room. Once the door had closed, Vance cut off Gibb’s intake of breath. “Don’t even try it. I can’t let you quit or retire yet. Your team broke protocol over and over on this case, and I had to clean up the mess somehow. You are needed here now more than ever before. I know you think I’m an idiot, but I’m doing what’s best for every member of your old team, and what’s best for this agency. And what’s best for you.”
“You took a group of misfits, and made them into a crack team: one of NCIS’ best. Now you’re going to do it again. Only this time, you’re going to do it with people who can keep up with even you. Pick a file.”
As furious as Gibbs was, he couldn’t throw this back at Director Vance without letting his curiosity get the better of him. He opened a file.
Calleigh Duquesne. Until recently she was a CSI in Miami. Retired after, a detective committed suicide in her gun range? Well now. Assuming she recovers from that, the notes in the file make her out to be an exemplary member of the team, minus the whole clearance issue. Gun specialist, CSI trained, yeah, Gibbs could work with her.
His glare at the Director wasn’t as intense as before. He opened the next file.
Alexander Harris. A blacked out file thicker than most, with no military or police background stared back at Gibbs. A single piece of paper was the only page without most of the text blacked out. An Accommodation from an active black ops unit, with a “Render any and all aid” note stared up at him. Anyone with that note from an active black ops unit sounded either like CIA or black ops himself. But he’s a civilian. One wearing an eye patch, that couldn’t be good.
Gibb’s curiosity was running full force. He didn’t even glance at the Director before opening the last file.
Willow Rosenberg, technology consultant, with a similarly blacked out file, the same render aid message, and a note about “hands on experience with multi-leveled network security. So, a hacker, good, someone to get the data needed through any means necessary, he could work with that. And flipping to the photo, he froze. Staring back at him was a smile that he hadn’t seen in years. Not since Kelly had died all those years ago, killed by that drug runner. It was her smile, and her eyes. But not her cheeks, his daughter had always been a bit on the heavier build, but this woman was built lighter.
“Who is she?”
“Hmm? Miss Rosenberg? Newly out of college, top grades from University of California, good with computers, I thought you could use a techno-geek. You seemed to get along well with the last one. She’s supposed to be the best. She’s already got a few pieces of software on the market, supposedly, although that’s not in the file. Next of kin is Alexander Harris, also on your team. They’ve been working together for a few years now. I wasn’t able to find out exactly what they were working on, but when the President takes notice of someone and asks them to be kept together, well, I do what I can. Why do you ask?”
“She just looks familiar; I’ll try to figure out where I’ve seen her before.” No reason to share with Vance the ins and outs of his history. “I’m supposed to take one LEO CSI and two almost unknowns, and see what I can do with them? I had a team.”
“Your old team did work well together. Unfortunately, they forgot who they were supposed to be working for: the US government, not one of its representatives. Gibbs, you’re too much of a loose cannon for me to be able to cover for you. Hopefully, by giving you a team to start from scratch with, I can avoid having to give you a bad review, get three talented workers to a level they can be a credit to this agency, and still learn enough of my job to be able to cover for you when you need it. So don’t go stepping on as many toes as you can. Believe me when I say that everyone’s going to be looking over our shoulders trying to take a slice of our pie. I want it to be the same slice as when I took over, when I hand it off to my successor, if not bigger and better. But I can’t do that if the other agencies follow through on some of the thinly veiled threats they’ve been making. I need time to get them to calm down, and results to get them to shut up. Get me those, and I’ll get off your back. Annual reviews are coming up in eight months. Get them up to an acceptable level by then, and I’ll see what I can do to get off your back and to get the other agencies off both our backs. Fair enough?”
It was the best offer Gibbs was going to get, and he knew it. “Eight months, and I get to pick my own team, from whatever pond I choose to fish from? It’s a deal.” He knew he was misinterpreting what the director said, but, wanted to get whatever he could.
“Close enough. Now, two of your new agents are in orientation now, and Ms Duquesne will be stepping directly into the job tomorrow. They’ll be in the office at 0800, and I expect you to get them armed, up to speed, and ready to work by the end of the week. Whatever you do, remember that two of these agents came on the request of the President. How you work with them will likely get back to him eventually, so stay on your toes. If there’s nothing else?” pausing briefly to wait for a non-existent reply, “Dismissed, and thanks for not making this any harder than it already is.”
“Jenny was a good boss. I don’t want to spoil her memory by ending my career the same month she left. I’ll keep my nose clean.” His almost grin faded as he left the office.
Gibbs affixed a look of frustration and hidden rage onto his features. He had to go say goodbye to a great team. He would have liked to keep them around, but even he could see how the Director needed to change his team. It still didn’t sit well, except for the fact that his new team was going to be interesting to work with, at least.
He intentionally walked heavily down the stairs, putting on a show for the department and his old team. The looks on their faces seemed to expect gunshots from him in the director’s office. He paused to look at them one last time. He walked over to Tony’s desk, opened a drawer, and pulled out Tony’s Camera. He shoved the camera into a passing agent’s hands, and gathered his team. A sign of both their professionalism and their understanding was that they all straightened their clothes and gathered around Gibbs. The confused agent readied the camera and took the picture. Without a word, he set the camera back on Tony’s desk, and continued on his errand.
“Ziva, it’s been an honor serving with you. If you ever need a reference from a washed up American agent, feel free to put me down.” His voice didn’t crack, thankfully “Tony? You’re a great agent, and if your Captain of your new ship doesn’t realize it, just let me know, I’ll come over there. Get that picture to each of us. MacGregor, keep your chin up, and your head down. Remember to get out from behind those computer screens every once in a while. If you need someone to remind you that there’s more to life than those computer games, and your novels, I’ll be happy to remind you. I wasn’t able to change the director’s mind, and had the choice of being fired or accepting the new situation. I’m sorry it turned out this way.”
The agents spent most of the afternoon packing their desks and saying their farewells. Gibbs spent an extraordinary amount of time on the phone, making notes on what appeared to be an investigation. The remainder of the team thinking he was already assigned a new case, no one but Gibbs and the Director knowing any differently. Every few minutes he’d look over the best team he’d been a part of.
Gibbs shook each of their hands and said a few more words of farewell to each agent as they left, and went back to his desk to continue his own investigation.
Yes, MacGregor isn't McGee's name. It's the name of the agent in Tim's book. I felt that even a stiff upper lip guy like Gibbs would have put a bit of humor in there for Tim, helping him keep it together a bit.
Yes, I intend to give him a team made up of those three characters. I spent a long time trying to find someone other than Willow for the third, but then this plot bunny caught my mind, and I had to do it.
Enjoy it, and review.