DISCLAIMER for all chapters in this story: I still own nothing. Dammit.

A/N This is something that came into my head while was I listening to 'Can't Take The Honky Tonk Out Of The Girl' by Brooks & Dunn. It was really random. I hope you like it!

Chapter 1 – Falling Pencils

The squadroom was silent except for the occasional rustle of paper.

Jethro Gibbs was going through his files, trying his best to ignore the nearby distraction.

Anthony DiNozzo was sitting at his desk, throwing paper balls into the bin, his aim perfect.

Tony had spent two and a half years aboard the USS Ronald Reagan before returning to Gibbs' team. The replacement team had since been reassigned to another team leader, and in the six months that he had been back, Tony couldn't remember the last time he had valued working in this office so highly.

Timothy McGee was also at his desk, trying to organize his hard drive. After nearly two years in the Cyber Crimes Unit, McGee had somehow managed to get himself reassigned back to Gibbs' team.

The whole team detested Director Vance beyond words. They didn't have much to do with him, which was mostly Gibbs' doing, but on the rare occasions that Vance was in the vicinity, the tension in the air escalated to breaking point.

Tony stopped throwing paper and looked at the empty desk opposite him. Ziva David hadn't been heard from since she had been sent back to Israel three years ago.

Tony missed the now ex-Mossad liaison officer more than he thought he would, and he could only think of one reason for it; he loved her.

Not that it was the big of a surprise for him when he worked it out. Every time she was even near another guy Tony would bristle and become either jealous or overprotective. She was a big girl. She could take care of herself, but still he cared for her.

Tony redirected his gaze to the stack of nowhere near finished letters that took up and entire corner of his desk and sighed. He could never get the words right.

McGee looked over at him. "You alright Tony?"

Tony picked up a pencil and balanced it on his nose. "Why do you ask this question?"

McGee shrugged. "No reason. You just seem preoccupied."

"I'm fine Probie."

McGee looked back at his desk as his phone began to ring and answered it. "Special Agent McGee."

Tony kept all his attention on his pencil, wanting to break his previous balancing record.

"Uh, Gibbs?" McGee asked tentatively. Even though he had been back the longest out of himself and Tony, he was still not used to Gibbs' new, colder personality which had appeared after the funeral of Jenny Shepard.

"What McGee?"

"Downstairs reception just called. There is someone coming up to see you."

Gibbs got up and went over to the elevator. Tony still had the pencil perfectly balanced, only seven seconds short of his record.

The elevator door opened, and Tony heard Gibbs' exclamation.


The pencil fell to the floor.

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