Disclaimer: I do not own NCIS!


We'll work on it

Tony: You remember when I stayed with you that time, when it didn't go so well?

Gibbs: Yeah, I remember, DiNozzo.

Tony: Well, listen, I was younger then, immature. A little unfocused.

Gibbs: That was six month ago, Tony.

Chapter 1-MOAH – Mother Of All Hangovers

The first sensation that registered with him was the complete, desert-like dryness of his mouth. It felt like a mouse had died in there or a cotton wool plantation. Before he could make his first futile attempt to swallow and gather a little saliva, the second sensation that hit him, was in form of a raging headache.

He woke and found he wasn't alone. Apart from the giant hangover festering within him, there was the limp body of a brunette girl sprawled half over him. It was still early, barely dawn. It was that strange twilight hour where you wake up after drinking your head off, and just for a moment before turning around to go back to sleep, that you begin to realise the outcome of the night before. The moment when the alcohol has worn off enough to let go of its hold on your consciousness, to leave you with a mean kick back in your guts and you lean the full effects of your antics the night before.

Suddenly, somewhere an alarm went off and the girl startled awake. With a moan and a silent curse she got up picked up some of the clothes that were sprawled all over the floor and vanished into the bathroom.

Normally, in this situation, he would take five minutes to roll over to the side of his bed to the nightstand, down some painkillers and then collapse again. But this was not his bed.

The brunette came out of the bathroom again, fully dressed and in quite a hurry, "Ahhmm – Pete?! I've got to go to work, be nice and pull the door shut when you leave, okay?" and left. He was a little hurt that she forgot his name, but realized that he didn't know hers either, so he let it slide. She might have mentioned that she was a physician or a lawyer, or something in that line, though.

It was quite an effort for him to get himself up and to the bathroom. Looking in the mirror he frowned. Oh hi! You fucked up old man! The sex had been good, but this kind of solution to his problem would definitely kill him soon. After taking a shower, which was pretty much his only option, and dressing, he left the unfamiliar apartment and headed to work as well.

He had to take the bus, his car was still parked in front of some bar downtown and he was not fit to drive yet anyway. He would get into work late and in a sorry state, wearing yesterday's clothes and nursing a hangover. Sure thing to piss Gibbs off. Awesome! Maybe, he could sneak in and change into the spare clothes he kept at work and fake being fine. There was a very small chance to fool the all knowing boss, but he'd try anyway, using his well practiced and well honed humours façade.

He arrived at NCIS headquarters 45 minutes later, put down by the means of public transport and rather cranky. His salute to the security guards were somewhat more subdued than normal and his heart fell when he saw his boss heading in his direction, probably on his morning run for coffee. Legendary luck.

He failed to put on a believable smile, when Gibbs stopped short seeing him and giving him an eye up. He probably looked as disgusting as he felt. He dropped his gaze, not meeting the glaring eyes of the man he regarded to be his mentor. He would not be able to make this look good or spin a tale to get his way out somehow, deciding that he was doomed to disappoint Gibbs anyway, he thought he may as well do it with a little DiNozzo style.

Putting on his most cocky grin, the one that would get him a head slap on any day, and faced the other man right on. "Hey, boss! How you doin'? You may bring me a big black one too; last night was kinda exhausting, rewarding, but exhausting, if ya know what I mean. Right? Right?" The colloquial language and the slightly obscene gestures added were enough to push the senior agent over the edge.

"DiNozzo!" he barked sharply, the no-nonsense tone aimed to reign him in. The way he called out the name enough to convey the reprimand for coming in too late; having a hangover at work in the middle of the week, where just having a hangover at work itself was inexcusable, and acting in a completely disrespectful manner towards the woman he had had sex with and Gibbs himself.

No one could stand up to the glare of Leroy Jethro Gibbs. It affected Tony, but he just let it slide. He would not be able to change what he'd done, or what he would have to do, so decided to just live with the consequences; it wasn't like he had a choice anyway. For now he just turned, gave his boss a weary wave. "See you later, boss, be sure to be caffeinated, please!" and headed off to the bullpen, leaving a fuming Gibbs behind.


Author's note: This story is supposed to take place six month before "Left for dead". It will deal with Tony's issues without having him cry or panic. Have fun! And please REVIEW! I'd like to hear your opinion so I can improve, change what needs to be changed and keep what is good.