A/N: This is a story in response to a "Flash Fiction" challenge. Had to be under 1500 words (good thing author's notes don't count against those), be a complete story (not just a scene) and include someone standing in line.

Disclaimer: I don't own them. I don't think anyone *could* own them. Could you imagine trying to control them? Yikes...


Boy Meets Girl

I don't think I've ever seen this line so long! I've already been waiting for about five minutes. I should have been back to the office by now! There are still at least nine or ten people in front of me, though, so it's going to be a while. If it weren't for Gibbs, I'd probably just cut my losses and abandon ship. But there's also McGee and Ziva to consider. They're counting on me. If I fail Gibbs, we all suffer the consequences.

Well, I may as well make good use of my time. I glance around and spot her, a couple people behind me. A cute little brunette talking animatedly on her cell phone. Sounds like she's wrapping up her conversation, too. Hell, what's waiting a couple more people? I drop back in the line so I can stand in line behind her.

"Hey. That's a camera phone, right?" I ask when a few moments later she hangs up her phone. She gives me a wary 'you're not serious' look. I do my best to look sheepish. "Sorry, don't mean to bother you, but could you do a favor and take my picture on that thing?"

"Um. Ooookay," she gamely agrees as she holds it up and adjusts it so I'm in the viewer. "Smile?" I give her one of my best and she takes the shot.

"Can I?" I ask, holding out my hand to take the phone from her.

She looks hesitant, but after a moment she relents and hands it to me. I quickly punch in my number and set it as a contact (associating it with my picture, of course) before sending myself a message from her phone.

I hand the phone back to her. "Thanks! That was really helpful."

"No problem," she replies, although it looks like she thinks maybe I'm a little crazy.

Boy Gets Girl

As soon as she turns around, I pull out my own phone and retrieve the message, and more importantly, her name and phone number on my caller ID. I save it as a contact and call her back.

"Hello?" she answers.

"Hi, Mikayla. This is the guy you just met in line."

She looks over her shoulder, slightly bewildered. I grin cockily at her. "See, I'm just a little shy and was trying to figure out how to ask you out, so…"

"You're shy?" she replies, hanging up her phone. "Now why do I find that hard to believe?"

I feign sympathy as I hang up my phone. "You've been hurt before," I explain her story. "And now you find it hard to trust men…"

"Excuse me?"

"That's why you're so reluctant to trust men. I understand."

"I'm not reluctant to trust…I don't even know you!"

"Hi. I'm Tony DiNozzo," I introduce myself. My grin widens as I note that this time she's smiling as she turns around to talk with me.

Boy Loses Girl

My phone suddenly starts to ring. "Hang on a second. Sorry, but I've got to take this," I excuse myself as I note Gibbs' name on the display and answer the call. I wince as Gibbs immediately starts growling and snapping. "I'm on it, Boss," I assure him, even though I'm fairly sure he hung up the moment I started to speak. I give Mikayla my best 'kicked puppy' look as I flip the phone shut.

"Wow. So that was your boss? What is it that you do for a living?" she asks.

"Why? Are you unemployed? Trying to find out if I could support you?"

"What?! No! I have a job, and I make good money!"

"Oh! Fantastic! I like a girl with money. You do make enough to support both of us right? 'Cause I've always wanted to be a kept man. And hey, with my training I could be like a Neighborhood Watch guy. You know, keep an eye on the house, the TV, the couch. You know, to make sure nobody breaks in and steals anything. Sound good?"

"No! I'm not going to support you!" she protests, though I can see the amusement in her eyes.

"Huh. Well, then I'm afraid this isn't going to work out. You've spoiled my plan of marrying you and divorcing you a week later and taking off with half your money. I'm breaking up with you."

"You can't break up with me; I'm not your girlfriend!" she laughs.

Make Up Sex

"We could change that," I suggest, leering just a little bit. "And look, we've already survived our first fight. You know what that means…"

Her jaw drops slightly before she recovers. "Are you always this forward?"

"It's part of my charm."

Meet the Parent

"Mikayla?" I hear someone calling out.

"Over here, mom," she says, waving to an older woman who has just entered the shop.

"Only known you five minutes and already meeting a parent? And you imply I'm the one who moves fast…" She gives me an exasperated look, and I can see her silently pleading with me not to say anything inappropriate in front of her mother. I wag my eyebrows and smirk as I see her cringe just a little bit.

"Oh, God…"

By the time her mother reaches us, though, I'm in perfect gentleman mode. "Hi, I'm Anthony, a friend of Mikayla's," I introduce myself. "Those look heavy." I motion to the grocery bags she is awkwardly carrying. "Can I hold onto some of that for you?"

The woman smiles warmly and takes me up on the offer, much to Mikayla's chagrin. "Thank you. I'm Edna."

Over Edna's shoulder, I can see Mikayla dying a thousand deaths as I chat up her mother for the next couple minutes while the line continues to move ever so slowly.

"Mom, it's just going to be a couple more minutes," Mikayla finally breaks in. "Why don't you go get the car and I'll meet you out front."

Edna smiles as she agrees. "It was so nice to meet you, Anthony. It's always nice to meet a young man with manners!"

That's me alright! "You, too, Edna." I can't help but grin as I catch Edna giving Mikayla a look before she turns to leave.

The Break Up

Sadly, all good things must come to an end and before I know it, it's Mikayla's turn in line.

"Let me," I propose, but she quickly shakes her head.

"No, really, I couldn't," she insists as I raise my eyebrows, silently repeating the offer.

I nod amicably and turn to the second cashier who is now waiting for my order. "One black, one hazelnut mocha 2 cream, 3 sugar."

Once we have our orders, she offers to carry my coffee while I lug her mother's groceries out to their waiting car.

"So…" I casually start to segue into actually asking her out.

"I have a boyfriend," she stops me softly, looking guilty.

Well. There goes that. Oh well. At least she actually sounds slightly disappointed.

"So you've just been using me then?" I accuse.

"No, I--!" I cut her off with a grin. She smiles more genuinely as she realizes that I wasn't serious. She returns my coffee and I return her groceries.

"It was never meant to be. Ah well, we'll always have 'Cool Beans'," I lament lightly, gazing up at the coffee shop's awning.

"I'll treasure the memories always," she 'agrees' dryly before she gets into the car.

"Could've been the beginning of a beautiful friendship," I paraphrase one of my favorite flicks as I watch the car pull away.

"About time, DiNozzo," Gibbs snaps as I set his coffee on his desk a few minutes later. "Where'd you go? Columbia?"

"I wasn't gone that long," I protest.

"Tony, you have had entire relationships that have not taken that long!" Ziva refutes my claim.

Touché.

I smile wistfully as I flip my phone open, and delete Mikayla from my contacts.


A/N: Thanks for reading! And thank you whoever nominated my fics Dear Abby and Honey and Almonds to the NCIS Fanfiction Awards. Edit: Although it appears those have now been cancelled. Thanks anyway! )

Reviews, comments, and constructive crit is always highly welcomed and appreciated!

For those of you reading Acquired Tastes, the next chapter is almost ready...(See, now *that* was a shameless plug.)