Tony DiNozzo was sick of it. Completely pissed off. On a number of levels. And the level was high. He figured pretty soon he'd reach the top floor and have no more options, but to jump out the nearest window.
He couldn't even think in full sentences competently in his anger. How could they treat him like this? They were supposed to be his family, they were supposed to care about him. Then again...His father had also fit both 'supposed to's'. NO! They weren't like his father.
In Tony's experience people used you until they no longer needed you or cared to bother with you and then you were shown to the door. Had he not done a good enough job while Gibbs had been away? Tony wondered that for the thousandth time since the older man had returned. Tony had yet to call him 'boss'. Was that why they all treated him like crap? Because he hadn't done well enough and didn't deserve their respect? Dammit...Could his father have been right? No. No, god dammit he was nothing like his bastard father, and shoved the thoughts of self pity away.
You disgust me, he thought angrily, staring at His- Oh wait, that's right, not his anymore. Gibbs's temporarily unoccupied desk. The man had unemotionally dumped all of Tony's belongings and memoirs onto his old desk, not bothering with Ziva's or McGee's- he could leave that to his pathetic Senior Field Agent. All he'd need was his old desk back. Worse...He's thrown Lee out. DiNozzo's agent. The only one that, throughout his entire time as team leader, had respected him.
Tony could still remember the look of devastation on the young woman's face as she stood uncertainly in the middle of the hallway. She was probably wondering what she had done wrong.
Everything was wrong. And it was mostly Gibbs's fault for hurting him like this.
How come Gibbs of all people suddenly turned and treated him like he was a disappointment? Like he wasn't worth his time?
This, of course, invited McGee and Ziva to do the same. It was killing him slowly. Tony knew it would eventually break him, but for some reason he was still trying to convince himself that he was okay with it.
People use you until they get what they need and no longer want to bother with your useless ass, Anthony.
He shook his head, trying to clear his angry thoughts.
Gibbs would soon be on his way down from MTAC with the director probably-
Jenny. He'd had a job offer for almost a day now. Why the fuck didn't he just say, 'Yes Director Shepherd, I wanna fucking blow this popsicle stand more than anything. I just can't because I have no spine!'?
He knew why. NCIS had been the only real place to call home in his entire lifetime. And he'd have to leave Jeanne.
NCIS had managed to become more of a jail for Tony now.
McStuck-up coughed obnoxiously from the desk next to Tony's. Not the desk across from Tony's because Tony was no longer sitting at HIS desk. HIS desk was now Gibbs's desk...Tony had been demoted. Forcing himself to turn his head, Tony faced a smirking Tim McGee and inwardly winced. Something was coming and Tony couldn't deal with it right now...He'd probably break. Or worse.
Tony heard the door to MTAC open and close almost silently above them as his co-worker began speaking.
"So it must kinda tick you off that Gibbs is back huh?" Tim teased. He waited for a response, but Tony just stared right through him, so he continued. Tony could hear two sets of footsteps coming down the stairs. No doubt both the director and Gibbs could hear the conversation. Tony wasn't about to give anybody the satisfaction of snapping at the junior field agent.
"You know, Tony, I'm actually glad Gibbs is back. So is Ziva obviously. She would have called you if she needed your help, but who did she call?" McGee left the question unanswered. Ziva was sitting at her old desk as well, silently watching the exchange. She said nothing. Tony already knew the answer to McGee's question as hurt flashed across his expression too fast for Tim to catch.
"You need to get over yourself. You're. Not. Gibbs- Never were and can never hope to be. You're wasting your time if you think that now we'll listen to you. Obviously there was a specific reason Agent Gibbs was brought back." Tim smiled cruelly. Tony didn't move. Didn't react.
" If you deserved to be in charge you'd have your own team by now To-ny."
Gibbs and Jenny were directly behind Tony's cubicle now. Tony waited for a good 5 seconds for Gibbs to say something. Even for Ziva to say something. Anybody to tell him Tim was wrong and he wasn't just needed as an asset (which seemed debatable anymore), but also wanted ...as a friend. Nothing. That was their last chance. There was nothing holding him back now. It was over. It was like God himself just told him, Hell, you're teammate's right kid.
Suddenly, Tony saw it and he realized something.
He didn't care.
Obviously McGee was wrong. He did deserve to be in charge. The director had told him herself. Even Jenny was using him, and worse- she was forcing him to use Jeanne. It caused him more pain than she could know and Jenny would probably continue to use him until she no longer needed him and then shun him. Just like everyone else.
But strangely enough, he could tell she truly cared.
And Jeanne? He had no intention of leaving Jeanne. And that house she wanted? She'd get it. By god he'd make sure she was the happiest woman in the world after what she'd done for him. Everything was clear now.
He was done.
Without so much as blinking or turning away from Tim to meet the director's eyes Tony said in a calm, loud voice, "Jenny- I accept."
He heard the director's almost relieved, but sorrowful sigh. Relieved that he finally figured out that he didn't need them. They'd torn him apart for his rarely shown dependence on his team. Tony never showed he was ever attached to anyone. It always led to pain.
But not with Jeanne. Jeanne accepted him. He would tell her everything. He would tell her how much he truly adored her and loved her more than life itself.
The director would understand. Abby would be too preoccupied removing Gibbs's pictures from her precious computers for a couple weeks before she noticed Tony's absence. McGee would be happy that he got promoted to Senior Field Agent. After all, that was what Tim despised him for at that moment, right? Ziva obviously never cared from the start and seemed to have lost her ability to speak English unless she was mocking him. Maybe, they'd finally realize how much extra paperwork he'd done on their behalf and how much time he'd put into making their jobs easier?
Palmer and Jenny would miss him at least...
Tim's words were definitely said out of spite and Tony knew that the younger, less experienced man was only letting his anger out on Tony. But he'd let it out on Tony one too many times. Even Gibbs's 'loyal Saint Bernard' could only be kicked so many times before he bit back...and decided he was going to leave.
Tony turned coldly from McGee's confused stare, stood up straight and flipped his ex-boss the bird. The speechless look on the older man's face was beyond satisfying. The great Leroy Jethro Bastard Gibbs had been struck speechless...As well as everyone else in the facility who'd been watching.
After quickly retrieving his badge, gun, pack and coat he opened his bottom right drawer and lifted a tin box filled with an assortment of things.
Tony straightened, walked over to Gibbs's desk and proceeded to empty the contents of the box onto his desk. They were the awards Tony had so carefully kept for his boss. Dump my shit on another desk? I think not.
Tony turned and gave them all a cheery wave. Jenny shot him a knowing look that said 'I'll call you'. Tony nodded.
"Later McFuckery, See you Miss 'lost in translation', Oh! And Gibbs?"
The shocked older man shifted his gaze from Tony's/Gibbs's desk to meet Tony's eyes.
"I just want you to know...You were the closest thing to a father I ever had." It had to be said. Tony let all the pain he was feeling show in his eyes. His hurt for the way they'd all treated him. The pain of their betrayal and the crushing weight of the memories...The good times they'd all shared. There was no anger in his voice now, just remorse and sadness at what he was doing.
"And I hope I never have to feel abandoned the 3rd time around."
With that, NCIS very special agent Anthony DiNozzo left the building. He didn't turn around once.
..Should have learned the first time, he thought as he flipped open his cell phone. It rang once before it was hurriedly snatched up from wherever it was lying and answered by a beautiful, sweet voice. Belonging to the most beautiful woman in the world.
"Tony? Are you...okay? You sound...Are you crying, Tony?"
Tony smiled a bright, genuine smile as he waltzed onto the DC sidewalk, feeling freer than he'd ever felt.
"Yeah Jeanne...I was thinking- Maybe, yeah-What do you think about Rota, Spain?"
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