Disclaimer: I'm not Bellesario or CBS, so I don't claim to own them.
Word Count: 1,183
Note: Episode Tag to 06x25 Aliyah. This was written for taylorgibbs's February 2012 prompt.
Beta: azraelz_angel, who also gave me season six on DVD as a Christmas present and it allowed me to rewatch that scene again.
Summary: When she said she couldn't work with Tony anymore, Gibbs took care of it.
"So... you ready to tell me why you dragged me out to see on a boat named Kelly without letting me tell anyone where I was actually going?"
Tony sighed as glanced at Steve. He knew he was going to have to talk sooner rather than later, but he still didn't want to think about it. However, Steve had given up his summer plans to take an unplanned trip with him. Tony owed the man an explanation.
"It all started when Kate died," he huffed out.
"It's been around four years, hasn't it?" At Tony's nod, Steve gave a soft chuckle. "Kate was something else, man. Still can't believe how mad she got when she found out I was telling you about our dates."
"She was soft on you. I was the one that caught hell over that. Things changed so quick after she was gone."
"Ziva," Steve stated with a knowing sound to his voice. "Is she the reason that arm is in a sling?"
"Not completely. But it's a fucked up, tangled mess that ends with me killing her boyfriend less than a week ago."
"What the hell?" Steve sat up quick. "Don't tell me I'm part of your get away plan, Sex Machine. You know I couldn't withstand that boss of yours when he catches us."
"Don't worry," Tony waved a hand dismissively. "It was a killed or be killed thing. And if someone was going to pin me for it, it would have been Ziva's dad and Mossad while we were in Israel."
"Israel... Damn, when you do something, you go all out."
"Won't argue with you on that one," Tony agreed. "Basically, her boyfriend was a Mossad operative who was not on the up and up. I went to talk to Ziva about what I had and she wasn't home, but he was. It went downhill from there."
"Let me guess, she's saying you didn't just kill him to protect yourself. Right?"
"In a nutshell. And I managed to get her dad to say some things that he otherwise wouldn't have while I was being interrogated by him."
"They actually took you to Israel to be interrogated? I'd be rethinking that whole government job thing if I were you," Steve advised.
"Yeah, but..." Tony trailed off and Steve knew exactly what he was thinking.
"Can't leave him, can you?"
"Not in a million years," Tony admitted. "Don't think he'd let me leave either."
"Then what are you doing out here instead of back at your desk driving everyone crazy because you can't do anything?"
"Remember me telling you about him building a boat in his basement?" At Steve's nod, Tony gave a nostalgic smile. "You're sitting on it."
Steve glanced around and let his hands roam over the wood. "Wow. This is..."
"Yeah. We set something up before we left Israel. Me, him and the director."
"Let me guess, this is your safe house while whatever is going down, goes down."
"Pretty much," Tony said with a sigh. "While we were in Israel, Ziva took the offensive against me. We knew that the two of us wouldn't be able to work together after what happened and Vance was planning on terminating her liaison status since it wasn't officially supposed to exist anyway. Got Jenny to thank for that one."
"So how'd it go from leaving her Israel to you hiding out on a boat?"
"After Ziva threw me to the ground and drew a gun on me, I had a talk with Vance and Gibbs."
"She did what?" Steve responded in outrage. "Why isn't she dead? I've only met the man once, but I know that Gibbs wouldn't have let that lie."
"Believe me, he was ready to tear apart all of Mossad and probably start World War III while he was at it. So we hatched a plan instead. Vance informed us of a little tidbit about the fact that Ziva's father ordered her to kill her own brother after he took out Kate and was gunning for everyone else Gibbs cares for."
Tony took a breath, "They are angling for something by having Ziva gain Gibbs' trust and getting her foot in at NCIS. Vance thinks it has ties to getting an operative in a position to filter US military information to Israel. To what ends, we don't know. But we figured Ziva would know her position was on rocky ground. So instead of just telling her to take a hike, Vance wanted to do this by the book and actually catch her on something."
"So," Steve picked up, catching on to the plan. "When it came time to leave, Ziva inevitably told Gibbs to pick you or her. Gibbs made it look like he chose her and she gets her place and you're out the door and out of her way for advancement."
"Pretty much. Since I can't do much of anything for another few weeks, we decided to just make it look like I took a new assignment. Officially, I'm an Agent Afloat right now. Which, technically, is true."
"So why Mexico with Gibbs' boat?"
"It's a gift for his goddaughter who's down there. He wanted to deliver it himself, but he needed to stay and see this fiasco to the end. Plus, him taking off at the same time wouldn't have worked in the grand scheme of things. I told him I'd been okay going it alone, but that didn't fly. You're the only one that had the time to spare and wouldn't have thrown a flag as to my actual whereabouts."
"For now," Tony continued, "we just head to Mexico as planned and once we get there, I'm going to have Franks check in on the situation and see if I get the all clear. If not, I'm doing the beach bum thing for a while."
"Hopefully that won't last too long. Wouldn't want you and Franks trying to kill each other, from what you've told me."
"Yeah, Gibbs wouldn't be happy."
"I bet getting you back home would make him all kinds of happy," Steve ribbed. "Have you actually shown him why you got the nickname Sex Machine?"
Tony laughed for the first time since they boarded the boat. "Believe me, he knows precisely how I got that name. But enough about me and Gibbs, how about you, man? Do I need to find you a date? Maybe you can pick up a hot Mexican babe while we're down here."
"So," Gibbs asked as they held each other close after a long bout of sex, "how was Mexico?"
"Warm, sunny, sandy, Franks and no you," Tony whispered. "Glad to be back."
"Glad to have you back," Gibbs responded as he gave a light bite to the junction of Tony's shoulder and neck.
"You still haven't told me what happened to Ziva in the end," Tony said as he drifted towards sleep.
"On her way back to Israel claiming diplomatic immunity. I'll tell you more about it tomorrow."
"After coffee and more sex," Tony acquiesced before slipping into a peaceful sleep.