Permission to archive: yes
Genre (general, hetero or slash): Slash
Rating: PG, so far
Summary: All roads lead to . . .
Bye, Bye, Love
Glaring at the man got him nowhere; the fool never even realized that Gibbs was looking at him at all. How could he use his patented death stare on a subordinate when said subordinate was too ignorant to feel eyes drilling into him? DiNozzo would have been on him like a duck on a junebug to find out what his problem was, but not Torrance. Gibbs was sometimes surprised that his new agent found his way to the office in the mornings. How someone so dense could ever make it into NCIS, much less remain there for the last five years, was beyond him. Apparently, Torrance's father had enough influence to make that happen. It insulted Gibbs, really, to serve alongside someone so unqualified to protect the interests of the country. And it shook his faith in the organization, right down to the core.
Come to think of it, though, his disillusionment had started in earnest the day Tony left. Ever since then, something had been off-kilter in his world and in particular his work. The place just seemed empty without DiNozzo's humor and colorful presence to fill it up. Not even working on the boat in the evenings could compensate anymore. It had been a long time since woodworking couldn't soothe him, right around the time he lost Kelly, actually . . . .
"Agent Gibbs, a moment of your time, please?" Director Shepard's voice broke into Gibbs' thoughts, tearing him back to the present. Glancing up at her, he could see the gleam in her eye and resigned himself to spending some "quality time" fending off her advances. He wished he could remember what ever attracted him to her so many years ago. Maybe he really had been shallow enough back then to overlook her shortcomings and see only the red hair and good body. 'Shallow' he could live with; 'stupidly taken in by her' was something else all together. Shaking away his thoughts, Gibbs pushed back from his desk and headed up to Jen's office.
"Jethro, please have a seat."
Jen 's voice seemed very deliberately calm, immediately raising red flags in Gibbs' mind. What was she trying to pull now? Dropping into one of the chairs opposite her desk, Gibbs braced himself for whatever foolishness she was about to offer up. It was getting harder every day not to roll his eyes every time she opened her mouth.
"What can I do for you, Jen?"
"Jethro, I got a call from a friend of mine in the FBI." She hesitated before continuing, "It appears there's been a bombing, and - "
"Terrorist? I'll get my team together and be out there ASAP. Where -"
"Jethro, stop. You didn't let me finish. They don't believe at this point that it is terrorist in nature."
"So why are you telling me then? Are there Marines involved?" Gibbs was confused. Case assignments normally came directly to him rather than through the Director. Clearly, her inter-agency contacts were screwing with his traditional case protocol. Just as he was about to lambaste her for this bureaucractic time-wasting, she continued speaking.
"Apparently, a bomb went off in an empty office building in Houston, Texas. The building is located next to the Houstonian assisted living facility. This, I'm given to understand, is where your mother currently resides."
The news fell like a ton of lead into Gibbs' stomach, dropping it down to his lower extremities. "Oh, my god. Is she all right? I've got to get out there." Rising quickly and heading to the door, Gibbs was stopped by a gentle hand on his arm.
"Jethro, she hasn't been found yet. She's one of three people still missing. Apparently, they have one of the best search-and-rescue specialists in the South looking for her and the other two victims." Walking back to her desk, Jen retrieved a sheaf of papers and returned to hand them to Gibbs. "Here's a ticket into Houston Hobby; I know that's the closest airport to the location of the center. An agent from the FBI field office in Houston will meet you there and get you to the site immediately. I'm sorry, Jethro. I hope everything works out. Please keep me apprised of the situation."
A knock on the door sounded before a stunned Gibbs could thank her. "Come in."
"You wanted to see me, Director?" McGee's confused face appeared in the doorway.
"Yes, Agent McGee. Please take Agent Gibbs home to pack and then to the airport. He has a flight to catch in less than two hours."
"Um, certainly, ma'am." Turning to the older man, McGee looked at him expectantly. "Boss, you ready to go?"
"Yeah, McGee. Just - thank you, Jen. I appreciate this. I'll let you know as soon as I find anything out."
"Be sure you do. Until then, your team will stand down from field duty and you'll be on personal leave. Now you'd better get going."
Nodding briskly at her, Gibbs pushed past a curious McGee and headed for the elevator. "You coming, McGee?"
"Uh, sure thing, Boss. Right behind you."