The Quiet One

Title: The Quiet One
Author: Keira Marcos
Big Short Prompt: Fury
Fandom: NCIS
Genre: Gen, Semper Fidelis tag
Rating: PG-13
Word Count: 743
Summary: Fornell does what Gibbs should’ve done.


* * * *

The file was sitting on his desk when he sat down. Tobias Fornell was known for a few things among the people in his life—he was loyal, honest, and even tempered. Very few people had seen him truly lose his fucking mind so when he stood from his desk, paper crumpled in his fist and shouted for his second in command, the entire division scrambled out of their chairs.

“Sir?” Sacks appeared in the door. The man had his weapon drawn which would’ve amused Tobias on any other day.

“Very Special Agent Anthony DiNozzo is at Bethesda. Go there and take a full team with you—guard him like he’s the fucking President. Once he’s released, bring him to me. Don’t let anyone interfere.”

“Is he hurt?”

“He was nearly murdered by a fucking Mossad agent and apparently NCIS and the fucking SECNAV are about to toss one of our own at the feet of Eli David!”

Sacks mouthed dropped open. “What?”

“Right,” Fornell said icily. “Secure him. Don’t let anyone from NCIS near him—it’ll be your job if you do.” He picked up his phone and started dialing. “Now!”

Sacks darted out of the doorway shouting several names—at least two of the heaviest hitters in the division were plucked for the assignment. Tobias wasn’t surprised. Sacks was an asshole, but he was a smart asshole. A voice answered his call as he tucked the phone between his shoulder and ear. “I need to send you something.”

“Am I going to like it?”

“That depends—how would you like to arrest Eli David’s precious little girl for espionage?”

“Don’t fuck with my emotions, Tobias,” the voice warned.

“Go stand by your fax machine,” Fornell ordered and hung up.

* * * *

“Where the hell is DiNozzo?” Gibbs demanded as soon as he entered Fornell’s office. “If you’ve arrested him, Tobias, I swear…”

“No, he’s in protective custody,” Fornell leaned back in his chair. “In a cushy safe house actually with a selection of really attractive people to take care of him. I let him pick his security detail—obviously, not a wise move, but he was real pouty about being in custody.”

“Why do you have him? We need to get on a plane. Vance is—”

“A sorry mother fucker,” Tobias interrupted. “I always knew that asshole was more politician than he was anything else but I thought better of you.” He glared at Gibbs when the man opened his mouth to speak. “Going to throw your boy to the wolves?”

“Tony can handle himself.”

“He certainly can,” Tobias agreed. “But right now? I’m taking care of him, and I’ll be damned if he’s going to Israel to be interrogated by a foreign spy agency for doing his fucking job. Get out of my office, Gibbs, before I have you arrested.”

“You can’t just hold my people hostage,” Gibbs snapped.

“He’s not yours—not anymore. How many times, really, did you think you could screw him over?” Tobias opened a drawer and pulled out a badge. He tossed it at Gibbs and the former Marine caught it. “He said he gun was taken as evidence. His resignation from NCIS was sent registered mail to Vance directly.”

“You can’t…”

“Done,” Tobias said shortly. “It’s all done, and he’s already signed an employment offer with us. We take care of our own, Gibbs. I thought—well hell—I thought you did too until yesterday.”

“This isn’t over,” Gibbs warned. “He’s my agent.”

“Whatever you say,” Tobias said.

Gibbs stormed out, and after a few minutes, Tobias stood to leave.

His phone rang. “Fornell.”

“You didn’t let Tony keep his cell, right? I’ve been asked to try to find it.”

“His cell is sitting in my desk drawer,” Tobias said. “I take it this call is secure, McGee?”

“Of course.”

“Why did you do it?”

“I gave myself a line I’d never cross,” Tim said. “A line I never thought I’d have to worry about getting anyway near. I can’t ignore treason for anyone, Fornell and Tony didn’t deserve to be sacrificed as a distraction so they could protect her.”

Fornell realized in that moment that no matter how angry he was—his fury was nothing like what was brewing in Tim McGee. “You have a job here when you want it.”

“Just take care of Tony,” Tim said shortly and hung up.

“It’s always the quiet ones,” Fornell murmured wryly.

The End

Author’s Note:

The Big Short is a short-form writing challenge hosted on Rough Trade’s forum, The Workshop. The prompts come in two forms — a word challenge (the theme) and a single character challenge. I post my responses to the prompts on the forum first and eventually they’ll make it to my website. Each is a stand alone piece with no potential for expansion.

These short works are NOT prompts! These are my responses to the forum prompts. No, you cannot use them as prompts. No you cannot continue my short work with a longer work or write a sequel. For fuck’s sake.

Keira Marcos

In my spare time, I write fanfiction and lead a cult of cock worshippers on the Internet. It's not the usual kind of hobby for a 40ish "domestic engineer" but we live in a modern world and I like fucking with people's expectations.


  1. I love these short stories. It is such a skill, telling a complete, satisfying tale in few words. I don’t know when I will get to see the new McGyver, but it didn’t matter at all for enjoying that one. It was also lovely to find out the twist at the end of The Quiet One; nice turn of events for that character.

  2. Damn, accidentally pressed the button too soon!

    I of course meant to add Thank You!

  3. I’m still watching NCIS, but the fanfic has been better than the show by MILES for years now. Through Fornell and McGee, you NAILED what I hated about that episode. Thanks!

  4. Great. Thank you

  5. You should know that I’m giving you star filled, sparkly, anime gleeful puppy eyes right this very minute….


  6. Thank you another wonderful story

  7. Excellent! I’m still pissed about how Tony was thrown under the bus in that episode. I thought Vance had a lot of nerve saying Tony had to take one for the team and then getting pissed off when Tony got Eli to slip up. Vance is still a dick.

  8. Go Fornell! I love how Tony doesn’t even appear in the story and you can still feel so much for him. So wonderful!

  9. Oh, you go, McGee!

  10. Wow. The Tim part surprised me. But what an awesome surprise! Thank you

  11. Oh…I’m so used to not liking Tim these days… Nice twist!

  12. Take that Vance and Ziva!

  13. I mostly(almost totally stopped…though I have seen a few after she left) stopped watching when they brought Ziva in and nothing I have seen since made me regret that. Gibbs is an ass on the show. I just read fic when Gibbs is not an ass and Tony gets the respect he deserves. Good to see Fornell stepping in where Gibbs should have. Thanks

  14. I’m Squeeing!, I love aggressive McGee!

  15. Kickass Fornell and McGee protecting Tony is very good thing!

  16. Oh cool! Tim grew a spine. That is awesome. And Tony picking out only attractive people for his safe house made me laugh out loud. Very cool story!

  17. I agree with Alison above. Such short stories take a tremendous skill.
    Thank you for sharing it with us.
    Daisy x

  18. A bunch of new stories all at once. It’s like Christmas! Thank you so much.

    Reading the comments above about the show makes me happy to stick to the fanfic versions of the characters. Though I’m probably heavily in the minority by reading fanfic for many shows I don’t actually watch. It’s interesting piecing together the actual plots by seeing what elements appear in multiple stories.

    • I’ll join you for hot chocolate and reading, because I’ve got several shows right now that I stopped watching or have actually never watched. At this point, I think watching the shows would be a disappointment because I see a lot of evidence that the canon character treatments would really piss me off. 🙂 I adore how talented writers give us all these new universes to play in.

  19. YES!!! Love this! Finally somebody is taking care of Tony! Rock on, McGee!

  20. Stopped watching show ages ago but still enjoy reading the fics where Tony is respected & Gibbs 2nd “B” is only for the enemies, not the people under him who deserve better. Love how McGee & Fornell do what Gibbs should have. Leaving a team member to hang is wrong especially after Ziva’s actions. Short but fulfilling fic that really makes one wish it was true.

  21. Fornell is such a great character in canon already, you made him more awesome, i love that.

    Protect Tony, hell yes, i hated how they treated him, a senior agent. My dislike for Ziva is huge.

  22. So good and the episode is truly fucked up.

  23. This is very well done. Thank you.

  24. Pow !!! this packed a hell of a punch. Fantastic from the first word to the last.

  25. greywolfthewanderer

    nice one!! I miss the way the early seasons showed Gibbs and Tony. this is a tasty little morsel!! *doffs his hat*

  26. Yes. Tim finally got it! Thank you. And now back to my fun of reading your lovely new offerings…

  27. OMG, all the new Keira fic, it’s like Christmas come early. Thank you for sharing. I hope life is treating you as well as you do your minions.

  28. I love this McGee. Truer to the character than the show and just awesome. Also, Tobias Fornell is one of my spirit animals.

  29. I love these short stories. Fornell is a favorite character who doesn’t get used very often. I like the way you can get everything across in very few words. Go Tim!

  30. Perfect! 😀

  31. If Vance/NCIS isn’t going to protect its people, McGee’s not taking that crap lightly. Go Time!!

  32. Brilliant! There is no more to be said!

  33. Another awesome fic I’ve stopped watching NCIS when Ziva arrived couldn’t stand and didn’t understand why she was there at all. Totally loved that Tim and Fornell had Tony’s back awesome work thanks for sharing

  34. I love how you used McGee in the fic, it’s beautiful and understated, it doesn’t take much but it speaks volume. The amount of story you can convey with so little writing as truly a talent. IT takes skill to give us just the right amount of information in the just the right order that our imagination can fill in for so much. These might be short little one shots, but there’s a breadth of storytelling in them. Well done, if you ever choose to expand any of them, you have some richness to work with, and if you never do you’ve given us some fun snippets and way the think what might have been. Thank you.

  35. Wonderful, and again superb last line.
    McGee would be like that, people forget he did also inherit his dads asshole admiral genes. I think if someone hit the right buttons, Tim would explode and be really scary.

  36. Very nice! I always disliked where the plot went with that episode. I like yours much better. McGee and Fornell taking care of Tony when Vance and Gibbs protected Ziva never sat right. Thank you for sharing.

  37. That was… intense!

    Sometimes I want to bitch-slap (not Gibbs-slap, that won’t cause enough pain) the writers on that show, they can be so slip-shod. You fixed what they broke!

  38. Oooh, really like pissed off Fornell, and the ‘informant’ made me all warm and fuzzy. Excellent turnaround!

  39. Yes, how it should be. The whole idea of Tony being taken to Israel like a lamb to the slaughter was astonishing and there was not even a blink at an injured man flying long-distance.
    You right so many wrongs with just a few words, an amazing skill.
    And the attractive people line is inspired.

  40. I just wanted to say thank you for sharing this and the other short pieces you have written, they encapsulate so much in so few words.

  41. Ooh, very interesting take on Tim here.

  42. Just a soupcon of Superb!
    Thank you!

  43. I really, really love this one. Fornell is great and that episode is truely fucked up.

  44. Ooh, nice! Unexpected ending, and so very good.

  45. Thank you so much!
    You make the wrongs right.

  46. I’ve read this a couple of times. I just fucking LOVE IT!!!

  47. Aww, okay can I just say that I love that Tim stuck his neck out and helped Tony like this. I love, love, love this Keira. Seriously this is a good one. I love that you made it clear just what kind of an asshole Gibbs really is, thank you for that. I used to love him, but after awhile I realized that he really was a total jerk and now I hate Gibbs with the passion of a thousand burning suns. LOL

  48. Fornell, I knew I liked you.
    And MC Gee, not under Ziva’s thumb. Interesting.

  49. … I like this Tim. I’m surprised as heck by that. Awesome short, thanks for posting!

  50. How I wish this had happened on the show! The writers of fan fiction are far superior to the show’s writers

  51. Oh finally, common sense and competency, honesty and loyalty all come into play.
    Nicely done
    Thanks for the story.

  52. Yeah it’s always the quiet ones indeed. And nice to see that Tim had Tony’s back when he needed it.

  53. Bravo Fornell! And bravo, Tim!

    I love Fornell, and this is the McGee I wish we’d seen in the show, instead of the lily-livered toady we got.

    I’ve always wondered what canon Gibbs would’ve done if Tony had “disappeared” somewhere between the airport and Mossad headquarters.

  54. I’m surprised to say that who informed Tobias surprised me, but also pleased me. This was the Tim we could’ve had based on how different he was while Ziva was gone.

  55. This is f***ing brilliant. Thank-you.

  56. This. So much this. In Fornell, Tony would have the kind of boss and friend he thought he had in Gibbs.
    Tony grew up with physical and emotional abuse and neglect, and the incredibly damaging “I love you if…”. It’s no wonder he fell into the same relationship, the same dynamic, with Gibbs.

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