Series: - No Series - #1
Chapters: 001 Word Count: 892
Character(s): Jethro Gibbs, Tony DiNozzo
Category(ies): Angst/Drama, General
Episode(s): 4-03 Singled Out
Summary: When Jenny hands over orders for Rota, Tony doesn’t know whether it’s meant as a prize or a punishment. Tony-centric, with intimated, one-sided Gibbs/Tony.
Thanks muchly to stellastars and dark_rolling_sea for the beta!
A Piece of Home
The word flows eagerly across his tongue, a faintly exotic taste, like mangoes, or pheasant, or baklava. Tony’s never been to Spain. When Jenny hands over orders for Rota, he doesn’t know whether it’s meant as a prize or a punishment. He wonders if maybe it’s a little bit of both. He’s never heard of Rota, and is only marginally aware of the naval station there.
But as tantalising as the promise of Spain is (and Spanish senoritas, a tiny voice in the back of his head slyly adds), Tony’s guts clench at the thought of leaving here, leaving his team, leaving this life he’s so carefully built. Eight years… He’s never been somewhere long enough to really feel settled, to put down careful, tentative roots. He’s never been anywhere long enough that it bothered him to leave.
And Gibbs, supplies the voice in his mind. Don’t forget Gibbs.
As if Tony could forget him. Even when Gibbs retired (quit, added the voice, rather snidely) Tony couldn’t – try as he might -- forget the glares and the headslaps and the endless parade of coffee cups that made up his boss. He’d tried, he’d tried to put it behind him, to box it up and pack it away. He’d tried to excise Gibbs with everything but a damned scalpel, and it had proved maddeningly impossible.
Especially when Tony found he did like coffee after all, at least when copiously laced with sugar. It was soothing, somehow, to drink cup after cup after cup of the stuff, simply because it smelled (like him) so oddly comforting, like (Gibbs) a piece of home.
So he drank the coffee and growled at the team, and pretended the same as the others did, that he wasn’t missing a certain grouchy ex-team leader so fiercely that it actually, physically hurt.
I could go to Spain, he thinks miserably.
When Gibbs had returned, it wasn’t for Tony at all, but for Ziva, and for Fornell. Gibbs, Tony muses bitterly, probably would have come back for the damn paperboy before he came back for me. And after a bit, Tony found he didn’t mind so much being shunted to the sidelines, as long as it meant he and Gibbs were working together again.
In Spain, Jenny had said, he’d have his own team. He’d be the boss again, and face it: Tony had liked being in charge, liked being the one to bark the orders, make the decisions, give the assignments. He could have that again – in Spain.
And would there be, he wonders bitterly, a DiNozzo-shaped hole in the team if he left? He doesn’t think so. Eventually, they’d come to forget him, forget Tony had been there, been one of them, that he’d worked and laughed and struggled alongside them for years. McGee would finally come out of his shell and find someone to call probie -- except for the part where McGee would never do that; it’s not his style, calling nicknames. Ziva would turn her smirks and sultry stares on someone else, anyone else, and not think of him again, like shelving a book she’d already read. Abby, of all of them, would stay in touch the longest, but even her rambling, chatty, Caf-Pow-infused emails would, in the end, become fewer and fewer, and finally stop altogether.
And Gibbs. What would Gibbs do? Nothing, and Tony knows it; that’s the worst part. Gibbs would do absolutely nothing, knowing that agents come and agents go, and job transfers, much like secrecy and death, are just routine. Gibbs would only wish Tony well, and move on, case closed.
I should go to Spain and forget myself too. The walk to the director’s office never seemed so long before, and it’s long past the time he’d told Jenny he’d make a decision. I should… just go.
But Tony doesn’t want to forget, doesn’t want to put behind him all the headslaps and growls, the glares and the orders. He doesn’t want his own team half a world away; he wants his team. And while it’s perhaps not his team anymore, it’s where he feels most alive, most needed, most at home.
Home: that’s the key. His team, he realises, is home. Gibbs is home. Because home is where the heart is, after all, though Tony very much doubts that Gibbs realises that, if he asked, Tony would give him his heart without question.
I’m not going to Spain, he thinks, one hand on the knob of Jenny’s office door, then whispers it aloud. “I’m. Not going. To Spain.” He licks his lips, as though the phrase has left behind some lingering tang. Spain hasn’t got a certain pair of forthright blue eyes, nor the rare grin that crinkles them at the corners, nor the warmth of a certain strong, calloused hand upside the back of Tony’s head. Spain might have a lot of promise, but it hasn’t got the one thing Tony needs most.
And as far as Tony’s concerned, Spain can wait.