Sunday, August 18, 2013

Shards To A Whole: Chapter 174

McGee-centric character study/romance. Want to start at the beginning? Click here.

Chapter 174: Nothing Lasts Forever

Dinner had wrapped up an hour before. Jimmy, Breena, and Molly had gone home. Which meant Gibbs was alone with his core team, sitting around the McGees' living room, and it was time to have a serious conversation.

"We know I'm leaving in January." Gibbs said, and looked to Tim.

"I don't know when, yet. I have to talk to Vance, let him know I want Cybercrime when it's open."

"Is it going to be open?" Ziva asked.

"I've heard enough rumors about Jenner not being happy to think it will be, probably in the next year. And I think if I tell him I want it, Vance will give it to me. He offered Okinawa when it opened up, and that's actually a better team than DC. I don't think he'll have a problem with me taking it when Jenner leaves."

"So, in the next year you're going to make me break in two probies?" Tony asks.

"That's the question, isn't it?" Abby adds.

"We can start bringing in new people now, see who fits. Make sure you don't end up with a new team all at once," Tim says.

"Dornaget." Gibbs says.

"Yeah, I know he's been waiting five years for a spot on our team," Tony said. "And… look, he's not bad, but I'm not sure I want him. He's been in the evidence lock up for years, getting rustier and rustier. I'd rather have someone who took a field assignment than waiting around for us."

"You sure it's not just that he caught you out on the Probie crap?" Tim asks, smile on his face.

Tony gives him a little glare, trying to figure out how to recover from losing half his team is something that keeps him up at night. "I'm losing my tech specialist, half of my precision shooters, my sniper, my connections to three quarters of every organization with initials, my interrogation specialist, my hacker, my only person who speaks Marine, my Gunny, my 'Gut', half of my intimidators, and two men who have my back in any and every situation, can read Ziva and I with a glance, will back any play either of us comes up with, and have been there for me every single day for the last decade. Dornie fills none of those holes."

Gibbs nods, feeling a whole lot better about Tony being in charge of the team.

"You've given this a lot of thought," Tim adds.

"Yes. At a bare minimum I need tech and an interrogator. Precision shooting and intimidation are my next highest skills. Quick enough on the subtle clues to back Ziva and I no matter what comes next. I'll give Dornie a shot, he's earned that, but I don't think he's got what we need."

"Between the two of us, Tony and I have charm, evidence gathering, questioning skills, fighting, leadership, explosives—"

"Two-thirds of my explosives team, too. Forgot about that."

"Lock-picking, precision driving, intuition, and tactical planning. We're short a lot of skills if it's just the two of us."

"I can find you your hacker," Tim says. "Either out of Cybercrime or fresh out of FLETC."

Tony looks at Ziva. She nods a little. "FLETC. Get me someone young, who hasn't been around long enough to learn anyone else's bad habits. Filling your shoes is going to be almost impossible, but I've only got two slots, and I can't have someone who's just a desk jockey."

"They graduate in May. One of my classmates is an instructor now, I'll see who he recommends."

Gibbs smirks at Tony, and Tony turns to him, "What?"

"You'll be twenty, maybe twenty-five years older than anyone out of FLETC. Same difference between me and Tim."

Tony winces. "Oh God."

Gibbs nods, looking really smug.

"Were you really Tony's age when I started?"

"I was four years younger."

"I thought you were older than God," Tim said, shaking his head.

"And I was. And if you don't want just Probies on the team, ask for the rosters on the Agents Afloat. One of them might want a land based assignment."

"Burley," Ziva said. "Where is he stationed?"

Tony's eyes lit up. He knew they worked well together, they'd all come out of the Gibbs school of criminal investigating, and Burley knew what they were doing.

Gibbs shook his head. "Running his own team out of Pearl. Don't think he wants to come back here and take a demotion. Really don't think his wife wants to move."

"You could ask him if he's got someone who wants to be on the mainland. Borin's moved up at Coast Guard, maybe she can give you a lead on someone who's not happy there but would be a good fit," Abby suggested.

"Maybe, but if you're not a good fit there, you're probably not going to be a good fit for us, either," Tony says.

"Are you kidding? I'd have been miserable with the Coast Guard, but I'm happy as a clam at NCIS. We do really well with round pegs, go ask her who they've got that's not fitting into their square holes."

"Fornell could give you some names from the FBI as well. Guys who don't quite fit in there might work really well for us," Tim suggests.

"So, you're scouting the best and brightest FLETC has to offer. We're headhunting Coast Guard, NCIS Pearl Harbor and Agents Afloat, and the FBI for talent. And for either side, I'd prefer someone who was a Marine or Sailor," Tony said.

"Monday, I'll make the appointment to talk to Vance about moving on, and send Geoff the email about who we want out of FLETC. Hopefully by June I'll have some people who we can start working with.


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