A/N: So this is something I've always wanted to write ever since I saw the episode Singled Out. I've always thought that the team should have found out about him being offered his own team, especially because of the way he was treated. Anyway, this takes place somewhere around season 7, so it's been a while since he was offered but hopefully it pans out nicely with the story. Enjoy! :)
Disclaimer: Nope. Nada. Too bad though, isn't it? God, the fun you could have with these characters!
It was quiet in the bull-ben. Or well, as quiet as it could be with one Special Agent Anthony DiNozzo sitting behind his desk, happily chatting away about the new suround system he had just bought. Not that anyone was really paying attencion. McGee was staring intently at his computer, his fingers flying over his keyboard, not at all aware of the things going on around him. Gibbs was working quietly at his desk, ignoring his Senior Field Agent as usual. Ziva though, was the one having trouble contentrating with her partner just a few feet away babbling away about things she didn't really care about. Finally she had had enough and slammed her pen down on her desk.
He stopped mid-sentence, suddenly suprised. Seeing her frustrated expression he couldn't help the smile spreading across his face.
"Will you stop talking for just a second?" She was loosing her patience, and his careless smirk did nothing to ease her frustration.
"Why, do you find my talking distracting you from..." His next words were suddenly interrupted by a presence standing awkwardly in the entrance to the bull-pen, right between Tony and Ziva's desks. Now Gibbs and McGee were also looking up from their work, interested in knowing who the new-comer was.
"Hi," came the almsot nervous reply to the silence suddenly overtaking the bull-pen. He was good-looking, in his mid-forties and looked as if he'd just come from a long and sleepless flight. He was also very tanned.
"Hi," Tony replied. "Can I help you with something?"
The man smiled now, offering his hand for Tony to shake.
"Special Agent Nick Carson. I think I have you to thank for my job." Tony blinked, shaking the man's hand uncertainly.
"I'm not quite sure I know what you're talking about."
"Oh, that's right," Agent Carson replied, suddenly realizing his mistake. "I forgot to tell you. I'm Senior Agent in Rota, Spain." Comprehension dawned on DiNozzo's face.
Carson shock his head.
"I never did understand why you turned it down, but I guess I should be grateful, since it went to me instead."
Gibbs had been quiet the entire exchange, so far only watching from behind his desk. But now he was rising himself out of his chair coming to stand next to Carson. Tony knew as soon has the words "Rota, Spain." left the Agent's mouth that he was screwed. He looked up at his boss with an innocent expression.
"I have no idea what he's talking about boss."
Gibbs just stared at Tony, making him shift uneasily.
By now, McGee and Ziva were also coming to stand by Tony's desk, both curious as to what was going on. Carson looked around uncertainly, suddenly aware of the tension in the room.
"Maybe I'm just gonna... yeah, I'm just gonna go." He quickly slipped out of the bull-pen, not wanting to be anywere near the disaster that was sure to come.
Looking at his team-mates, Tony laughed a shaky laugh. His eyes came to rest on his boss though.
"Honestly boss, he must've had me mistaken for someone else. I don't know what he's talking about."
"When?" Gibbs said.
"When what?" Tony asked innocently.
"When," he leaned down, staring DiNozzo in the eye. "were you offered the Rota assignment?"
Tony shifted uncomfortable in his seat before admitting defeat and softly replying.
"When you cam back from Mexico."
From the corner of his eye, Tony saw McGee's eyes widen at the admisson, probably remembering the hard time he gave him for only being a "Temporary Team-leader". Tony was focusing on his boss though. But what he didn't expect, was the barerly hidden suprise he saw there. Gibbs quickly schooled his expression though and asked softly.
"Why didn't you take it?"
Still slighlty taken of gard, Tony wasn't sure what the best way to answer that was. But he knew lying was out of the question though. Especially if it was Gibbs asking the question. He decided on an answer not quite the truth, but not altogether a lie either.
"Wasn't ready for it, I guess."
"Bullshit." Gibbs answered, clearly telling him to try again.
Tony just stared at him for a long moment, the silence almost becoming overwhelming. Finally he broke away though, his eyes instead landing on Ziva. She was staring at him with an unreadable epression on her face, one he wasn't quite sure how to interpret. He sighed, looking down at his hands.
"I just.. I didn't wanna leave okay?" He looked up at his boss again, his eyes begging him to leave it at that. To not make him explain why he felt so strong about them that he couldn't leave them for a higher, better job in the sun of all places.
Gibbs kept staring at him, probably trying to figure out the truth to that statement when he suddenly leaned back, looked away and smiled a rare smile. He then turned around and headed out of the bull-pen, yelling over his shoulder.
"Going for coffe."
Ziva and McGee were quiet, both staring at Tony with an expression of pure disbelief. He smiled up at them, suddenly in a much better mood.
"You two better close those pretty little mouths of yours, and go back to work before Gibbs comes back from his coffe-run."
Good? Bad? Awful? I'm not sure, but I might add some additional chapter to this later, let me know if you'd like to see something more on this.