"All right, Special Agent Gibbs. I will give you one more Psi. But this is your last chance. If you can't keep him, you'll just have to do without," Elizabeth Hayden, Director of the PCIS, stated. "Agent DiNozzo will be in your office at 8 AM Monday morning. Here is a copy of his file," she said, handing over a rather bulky manilla folder.
Gibbs raised an eyebrow at the size, but didn't comment. He knew he was on thin ice. It had taken Director Morrow calling in a personal favor for him to even get this Psi agent. After the last one had left in tears after only half a day, PCIS had blacklisted him, much to the displeasure of his superiors. "Thank you, Director."
Elizabeth narrowed her eyes, but Gibbs had managed to keep his tone just this side of sarcastic into blandly neutral. She still wasn't sure she was doing the right thing, but it didn't hurt to try. Agent DiNozzo had already stated that he wished to leave PCIS, and it had taken some persuasion for her to convince him to try one more placement. She watched the NCIS agent leave the room before sinking back into her chair with a sigh. She wasn't sure if she'd just made a perfect match or set in motion something that could blow up in everyone's faces. With both Gibbs and DiNozzo involved, however, she was betting on the latter...*****
Gibbs scowled as he flipped through the file he'd been given. It seemed that DiNozzo had been through a number of placements already, and the longest he'd lasted at any of them was 2 years... and one place was a matter of months. Well, if DiNozzo was the last Psi he was going to get, then he was going to keep him, by God. He paused as he came to the documentation for the man's last posting--Baltimore PD Homicide Division. The most worrisome thing about it was the number of medical reports included. He scanned them quickly, but was frustrated by the technical jargon that was used throughout. Time to talk to Ducky.*****
Sighing, Tony closed his eyes, mentally bracing himself for the deluge of negativity that was sure to hit him as soon as he entered the building. He'd been the new Psi often enough to know that people, and those involved with law enforcement especially, weren't exactly welcoming to those with his... talents. Sure, they all wanted a Psi on their team in theory, but the reality was much different. He was still disgusted with himself for giving in to Director Hayden's pleas to give it one more shot. After Baltimore... nope, not going there, not right now, at any rate. It was time to put his game face on...
Tony flashed his brightest smile and his ID at the guards at the door and was directed to the elevator. From the file he'd been given, he knew he was to report to Special Agent Gibbs on the fourth floor. He'd already heard some things about Gibbs, but he was trying to keep an open mind until he actually met the man. Even as the elevator neared his floor, Tony could feel a rise in tension, similar to the calm before a storm.
As soon he stepped out of the elevator, however, he was immediately hit by a wave of hostility so strong that he almost stumbled. Wincing a bit, he managed to keep a friendly expression on his face and continue forward. 'Well, it's no wonder Melinda didn't last the day here,' he thought to himself wryly. He retreated even farther behind his shields as he headed unerringly for Gibbs' desk, ignoring the dark looks he was receiving from almost everyone in the vicinity.
"Special Agent Gibbs? I'm Tony DiNozzo," Tony introduced himself, standing up straight with his hands clasped behind his back.
Gibbs' eyes narrowed as he looked up at his newest agent. The first thing he noticed was that the photo in DiNozzo's file failed to do the man justice. The second was that DiNozzo had no trouble meeting his eyes. Most of the Psi agents he'd worked with tended to avoid his gaze. Although, if he was honest, he'd have to admit that it wasn't just those with Psi abilities that did that. Finally, he grunted and then nodded toward a desk across from his. "There's your desk. Special Agent Todd will give you the tour." Gibbs then returned to the file he'd been studying.
With a mental shrug, Tony walked over to the indicated desk and shrugged out of the suit jacket he'd worn, draping it over the back of his chair. When he turned around, he found a petite brunette in front of his desk, scowling. "Special Agent Todd? Tony Dinozzo," he introduced himself with a quick smile. If anything, her scowl deepened, and Tony sighed internally. 'I swear to god, this is the last time I'm doing this,' he promised himself. He'd give NCIS a shot, because he'd told Elizabeth he would, but if it didn't work out, he was going Corporate. It paid a hell of a lot better and didn't have half as many headaches.
"Come on, DiNozzo. I've got better things to do than chaperone you all day..." Special Agent Todd muttered as she headed back towards the elevator.
Tony followed after her, his long legs having no problem keeping up with her quick strides. He was aware that everyone except Gibbs was staring at him, but he was used to that. Gibbs, however, intrigued him. He hadn't sensed any overt hostility or fear from the lead agent. Instead, Gibbs' gaze had been weighing, almost as if he were the Psi trying to get a reading.*****
Tony thought it was slightly ironic that Autopsy proved to be a haven from all of the hostility he'd endured during his little "tour" of NCIS. And after the lab, where Ms. Scuito had practically been screaming 'I want Stan' into his brain, it was a welcome reprieve. Especially when Dr. "call me Ducky" Mallard informed Special Agent Todd that her presence was not required while Ducky got to know the newest member of Gibbs' team.
"Tea?" Ducky asked.
"Yes, please," Tony answered, and followed the ME back to his office.
"Have a seat, my boy. This will take just a moment," Ducky said as he bustled about preparing the tea and a tray of cookies.
Tony sank down into the chair and closed his eyes with a tired sigh. Keeping his shields so thick was wearing him out quickly.
"Here we are," Ducky stated as he returned, placing the tray between them on the desk and then pouring the tea.
Opening his eyes, Tony gave older man a genuine smile, rather than the practiced one he'd been giving everyone else. "Thank you, Ducky."
"Oh, it's no trouble at all. Be sure to have a cookie, too. You could do with the sugar," Ducky said.
Tony had to agree with that assessment and reached for a cookie. He moaned in pleasure as the shortbread melted in his mouth. "Ducky, I think I love you," he stated.
Chuckling, Ducky ate his own cookie. "This office is equipped with psi-dampeners, so it should be safe for you drop your shields a bit. Stan spent quite a bit of time in here."
"Ah, Stan... Ms. Scuito has made her preference for him quite clear," Tony said, rubbing his forehead.
"Abigail is quite resistant to change, but I think she'll come around," Ducky assured him.
Tony cocked an eyebrow dubiously. "Even if she does, I don't think Agent Todd will. She seems to have a lot of hostility towards Psis."
"Yes, our Caitlin has always been resistant to the presence of a Psi on the team. She was trained as a profiler and was in the Secret Service prior to joining NCIS," Ducky said.
A non-Psi profiler, lovely. In his experience, non-Psis with training in the the field of psychology often resented people with Psi talent--probably because of how often those talents had proven those so-called "experts" wrong in many of their conclusions. Tony sipped at his tea, mentally cursing himself for accepting the position. His last posting within a hostile environment had nearly killed him.
"Anthony, the team may be less than welcoming, but they will not harm you," Ducky said softly.
Meeting the ME's kindly eyes, Tony knew the man believed what he was saying, but that didn't mean that he was right. He got to his feet. "Thanks for the tea and cookies, Duck, but I think I'd better get upstairs. I get the feeling that Agent Gibbs isn't a patient man."
Ducky chuckled. "You're not wrong. But, please, feel free to come down any time. Even if I'm not here, the office is open to you," he said.