AUTHOR: Ashleigh Anpilova
CHARACTERS: Leroy Jethro Gibbs & Leon Vance
SUMMARY: Vance has asked Gibbs to think about something he asked him. However, even after a night's thought, Gibbs still doesn't have a definite answer for Vance.
WORD COUNT: 500
DISCLAIMER: I don't own these characters, nor am I making any money from them. I merely borrow them from time to time.
"Well, Gibbs, have you thought about it?"
Gibbs nodded. "Yeah, Leon, I have."
That was the question. Gibbs had spent a considerable amount of time the previous evening thinking about what Vance had asked him and he still didn't have a definite answer. Every time he thought he had, another conflicting thought came to mind.
He pulled a chair out, sat in it and shrugged. "I -"
"It's a simple enough question, Gibbs," Vance said. He sat down in his own chair, put his hands together and looked at Gibbs. "In your opinion, is Agent DiNozzo ready to lead his own team? Yes? Or No?"
"Yes and no."
"Come on, Leon, with an agent like DiNozzo, nothing's straight-forward. Every time I think he's ready, he'll turn round and do something that makes me think he'll never be ready; then the next minute he's back to the highly competent agent I believe in and trust; but then he'll put super-glue on McGee's keyboard or act like a five year old. What do you think?"
Vance leaned back in his chair. "The truth?"
"Nah, Leon, go on, lie to me. That'll help."
Vance gave him a half smile; then his face became serious again. "The truth? No, I don't think he's ready. I'm not sure he'll ever be ready. But," he held up his hand to silence Gibbs. "But, I've been wrong before, which is why I'm asking you; why I'm willing to give him a chance to prove he is ready."
Gibbs met Vance's gaze and held it. He and Vance had had their issues since Vance had been made director; at one point they seemed tight, maybe tighter than they should be; at others it was as if they despised one another; there'd been times he'd thought Vance was trying to get rid of him; and times Vance had thought he was trying to replace him. And yet despite everything, the one thing Gibbs had always had for Vance was respect, even when he wasn't sure he trusted him, he respected him. Again Vance had proved himself worthy of that respect - by telling Gibbs the truth.
"Then give the chance," he said. "The team'll be here for a few months before they take off; give him the chance."
"Because the first month he'll be strutting around letting everyone know he's been given his own team. The second he'll wake up and realize he's been given his own team and he'll be coming to me with every little thing. The third he'll realize he can handle things and he'll settle down and the team will start to mesh. And the fourth, the fourth will show us whether he can handle it or not."
Vance nodded. "Four it is. Oh, and Gibbs, this is his last chance. If he turns this down, he'll never get offered his own team again."
Vance called his assistant. "Ask Agent DiNozzo to come up to my office, please."