I've been promising a new fic for awhile, so here it is! A little team bonding to offset all the Post-Aliyah fics. I'm not going to say how long I think this will be, because I always end up being wrong! Enjoy the first chapter - and please review!

Disclaimer: I don't own NCIS or any of the characters.


"Your own team. Rota, Spain."


Jenny Shepard leaned on the balcony, surveying the squadroom that housed so many of her federal agents. She often did this, when she had the time, looking at all the work these people did, sacrificing so much to serve and protect their country and their people.

However, this time her focus was fully on one area – that of her top Major Crimes Response Team. In past times, she would have gotten a smile on her face from watching all the antics that went on down there, watching the team that was really so much like a family.

But over the last several months, things had changed. First Gibbs had left, completely changing the whole dynamic of the team. All of a sudden, the 'big brother' became the 'father', and it took everyone a while to get used to it. And then Gibbs had returned, again shifting the dynamic.

But now things had changed, and the team hadn't really returned to the dynamic they had once had. And it seemed that Tony bared the worst brunt of it. It seemed like the rest of his team couldn't stop teasing him about his 'demotion', but, unlike the friendly teasing that usually permeated the bullpen, some of these exchanges were beginning to border on malicious.

She had no idea why Gibbs, despite his incredible instincts, couldn't see what all this was doing to the senior field agent, when she found it so obvious from observing from afar.

She couldn't help but wonder if Tony regretted not taking the Rota position when it had been offered. She guessed that he did miss having the chance to be somewhere where his skills would be acknowledged rather then just being passed over because he liked to enjoy life, and his job.

Jenny was frowning as she watched the current conversation in the bullpen, knowing from the way Tony's shoulders were tense that they were, again, attacking his performance as a team leader.

She couldn't help but wonder what they would have done if Tony had taken the Rota position. Knowing that age old adage, 'You never know what you've got until it's gone.' She wished that Tony had at the very least told them about the promotion, so they would know how close he had come to leaving, but he had insisted on keeping it a secret.

She pushed herself off the balcony and walked briskly back to her office. She had told Tony that she wouldn't tell anybody, and she had no intention of breaking said promise. But, they did work at a federal investigative agency after all, and eavesdropping and scuttlebutt flew around like wild fire…


Special Agent Justin Cameron yawned as he bounded up the steps to the Directors office. She had asked him to come in slightly earlier to discuss the latest undercover op his team was running.

He smiled at Cynthia in greeting, receiving one in return as she said, "You can go on in, she's just finishing off something, but she'll only be a few seconds."

"Thanks, Cynthia," Cameron responded easily, opening the door to the Directors office and closing it behind him. He waited at the door for her to acknowledge him when he realized she was on the phone. He did try not to listen, but it was what he was trained to do, and when he realized what she was talking about, he couldn't resist.

"Yes, well, the Rota position is desirable," Jenny said into her phone, laughing at something the other person had said. "Yes, I'm sure Special Agent DiNozzo would appreciate that. You've met him, haven't you?"

She paused for several long seconds before laughing again, "You're right, of course. Anyway, I'll have to call you back later. Alright, bye." She turned to Cameron, who was trying not to stare in surprise or to even make it noticeable that he'd been listening in on her conversation.

He greeted her and walked over to the chair, sitting in front of her desk. However, he went through the whole conversation on autopilot, thinking about what he had just heard.

The situation with Agent Gibbs' team had been a major source of scuttlebutt over the past several months. First, right after Gibbs had 'retired'. That one had fueled a lot of rumours, from him finally pissing off the wrong person and being fired, to him being the target of an assassin and having to go into hiding to him getting married and wanting several months of uninterrupted alone time.

Of course, with Gibbs gone, all eyes were on the top Major Crimes team in the agency, wondering what was going to happen to it. There were mixed reactions when it was discovered that Gibbs had left Agent DiNozzo in charge. Some thought it was a good decision, others thought the ex-cop wouldn't be able to handle it.

Cameron could still remember when Gibbs had first hired the pretty boy ex-cop. Bets had abound about how long the rich ex-cop would be able to last under no-nonsense, tough as nails, former marine Gibbs. Most of them thought he wouldn't last a week.

After a fortnight, they were seriously surprised. After two months, a grudging respect for the ex-cop started to surface. After a year, a promotion to senior field agent status and several weeks of working with Gibbs alone, jealousy and awe began to surround the young agent.

When DiNozzo had been promoted to supervisory special agent, both emotions had been heightened. However, most people had agreed that he deserved the position, particularly after seeing the success Tony had in managing to keep their teams case closure the highest in the agency.

But then Gibbs had returned, and the team had reverted to their previous positions. This time, awe felt for DiNozzo had faded and the jealousy had turned into scorn. Most people felt that Gibbs had returned because DiNozzo couldn't cut it as team leader. The last four months had been virtually forgotten as people compared notes about how many times DiNozzo had screwed up and what might have gone down for Gibbs to come back from his retirement.

But now, it seemed like there was a whole other part of the story that nobody knew about.

"Thank you for your time, Agent Cameron," Jenny interrupted his thought process, hiding a smile at how easily her ruse had worked. "Oh, could you please tell Agent DiNozzo that I need to talk to him, when you return to your desk?"

"Of course," Cameron replied immediately, shaking her hand and walking out the door. Cynthia wasn't there, so he just walked straight out, bounding down the steps and stopping at the bottom to pass on the message to DiNozzo, who was working quietly at filling out some forms. "Hey, DiNozzo, Director wants to see you."

The dark head looked up, giving Cameron a surprise at how different the kid looked. He looked tired, and stressed, the exact opposite of how he usually looked.

Cameron walked past and turned into his own area, getting joined by his own senior field agent; Mick Johnson.

"Why does the director want to see Tony?" Mick asked him, looking slightly worried. With only three major crimes response teams operating from the Navy Yard, the senior field agents were quite close and tended to go out for drinks and exchange advice for dealing with team leaders and probies. Mick and Adam, the other senior field agent, were two of the few people that continued to defend Tony and try to stop him from having to deal with some of the more vicious scuttlebutt.

Cameron hesitated a moment, but then relented and said to him quietly, "heard something about the Rota position."

"Rota?" Flora piped up from her desk, as the two senior agents walked into their area. "We know whos up for that? I've been dying to know for ages, it's one of the most desirable positions in the agency. Heck of a lot of people are vying for it."

"You think it's been offered to DiNozzo?" Mick exclaimed, brightening slightly. "That would explain why Agent Gibbs is back, they'd need someone to lead the team when Tony leaves for Rota."

"Lucky bastard," Flora sighed, leaning back in her chair. "I'd love to work in Rota. What do you think his team will be like?"

"Who's working in Rota, now?" Agent Balboa asked curiously, leaning over the partition that separated their two bullpens.


By morning, the scuttlebutt was on fire and had spread throughout the majority of the agency.

When Abby walked in the next morning, everyone seemed to be talking about something, and she wondered what scandal had occurred now. She usually loved to listen to scuttlebutt and take parts in the 'underground' bets, but since Gibbs had left, she'd been avoiding it, knowing what she'd likely be hearing.

She hit the button for the elevator, trying to tune out what everyone was saying. However, by the time she got in, her curiosity got the better of her. The gossip hadn't been this strong since Gibbs had left, and she wondered what kind of news was able to cause that kind of a furor again. She edged closer to the two agents at the front of the elevator, trying to hear what they were saying.

"…going to be running the whole operations up there," one was saying, who Abby vaguely recognized as being from the legal department.

"Wouldn't surprise me, after all, Gibbs left him in charge of his team," the other responded. At this, Abby immediately started paying more attention. What were they saying about Tony?

"Well, apparently, the Director asked him to do that so she could see what he'd be like as a team leader before she offered him the Rota position," the first responded, continuing to talk as he and his friend left the elevator, leaving Abby behind in shock.

Tony in Rota?


I hope you enjoyed that opener, let me know what you thought of it, or what you think will happen... (For the record, this is post Faking It, so Tony did turn down the Rota assignment, in case there was any confusion).