One of two sequels I've written for my story The Flip of a Coin. You should read that one first, otherwise you'll probably be very confused. The other is called Tails. Spoilers up to Judgement Day.
Big thanks to my wonderful beta, VanishingP2000. And I still don't own NCIS.
He threw the coin up into the air and watched its descent to the floor and then watched as it spun around for a painfully long time before finally coming to rest with George Washington staring up at him.
Well, to the USS Ronald Reagan it was. He really did hate ships, but he hoped that Gibbs would somehow manage to get the team back together.
If worst came to worst, he would at least only be stuck on the ship for a few months. Agent Afloat positions were short and rarely occurred twice in a row. He was almost guaranteed a land based assignment after this one. He would wait it out. Tell himself that it was only temporary. And hey, he'd been getting sick of this apartment anyway.
He'd been in DC for too long and he was starting to get bored with the place. At least, that's what he told himself. He was glad for the change in scenery. Even if it was a whole lot of blue. And a little land every now and again. And with the land would come drunken sailors and a whole lot of stupid little piss ant complaints to deal with. No, damn it, he needed to stay positive.
He was positive that he was going to hate this assignment because he was positive that he hated boats. It occurred to him that he really sucked at being a positive person. At least he did right now. Because honestly, he had very little to be positive about. He was going to be stuck on a ship out in the middle of the ocean with his friends thousands of miles away. McGee was sulking that he was being stuck in cyber and that at least Tony and Ziva still got to work in the field, but really, McGee was the lucky one. He would still be in DC; he'd just be in a different department. He'd still be inside the NCIS building. He'd still be able to see Gibbs, Abby and Ducky every day. He could still go out with them for drinks on Friday nights. Ziva was being catapulted back to Israel and he was getting sent to a ship. McGee was the lucky one. And did it escape McGee's mind that breaking up fistfights between drunken sailors wasn't really field work?
If he was honest with himself, he resented McGee right now. McGee would still be doing something that he enjoyed. McGee liked to play with computers; he reveled in the art of the cyber chase. In fact, Tony was fairly certain that he liked to chase bad guys in cyber space more than in real space. Not real space as in the stuff outside of the atmosphere, but rather in the real world. McGee would be fine, he would adjust to the fact that he would be in an office all day eventually and while he might miss field work, he would still enjoy what he was doing.
Tony was never going to enjoy being stuck on a ship.
He wondered how Gibbs was going to manage. Gibbs always- always- handpicked his team. Ziva had been forced upon him, but he had allowed her to stay, really. He could have gotten rid of her if he had really wanted, but he didn't. Ziva was good. She was an excellent agent and had grown into an excellent investigator. McGee had grown into a great investigator as well. As Gibbs had known they would. Gibbs picked who he worked with, he didn't like having agents forced upon him. Tony almost pitied the three agents who would be forced to work with Gibbs now. But he envied them as well because they were exactly where he wanted to be. He wanted to be on Gibbs' team.
But that still wasn't an option so he might as well stop harping on it. Wishing that he was back on Gibbs' team again would only make this more painful. More difficult.
As if it wasn't hard enough already.
He grabbed his bag from the closet and dropped it on his bed before opening his closet and scanning the designer suits and shirts. He wasn't going to need them on an aircraft carrier. He grabbed a pair of good slacks and a few nice shirts before turning his attention to the other end of the closet where his more comfortable clothes resided. He grabbed several pairs of jeans, a dozen shirts and a few sweatshirts and dumped them all into the bag followed by several pairs of shoes. Underwear, socks and a few hats followed. Then the toiletries went in along with a few other staple items, such as all his Magnum DVDs, several other movies and the miniature Bert the farting Hippo that Abby had given him after Gibbs had gone to Mexico.
His laptop and required documents went into his messenger bag along with several other odds and ends.
Then he had to choose which pictures of the team, if any, he would take. In the end he settled on shoving every picture (at least the decent ones) that he had of the team into the skull and crossbones photo album that Abby had given him for Christmas several years before. The photo album went into his messenger bag as well- he wanted it close by.
He looked over at the clock- not quite midnight yet. Packing had taken longer than he had thought. Six hours, almost. It didn't seem like that long, though it was probably the pictures that had taken much of the time. He had gotten lost in memories more than once as he went through them. His flight wasn't until noon the next day. He could get some shut eye and then have time to go and see Abby, Duck and Gibbs before he left. He had already said his goodbyes to Ziva and McGee and he knew that Ziva's flight was early- 0600 or so and she had to pack up all of her things. Everything that she owned had to be shipped back to Tel Aviv. She wouldn't have time for a second goodbye, hell she had hardly had time for the first goodbye. She had run down to the lab and had a five minute combined farewell with Abby and Ducky and her goodbyes to the rest of the team- himself, Gibbs and McGee- had been almost as short.
He would say goodbye tomorrow morning and then he would get on his flight and leave.
It was time for him to start over again.