A/N: I don't really know why I started to write this story, but the thing is I had to get it out of my system! It's not really a case fic and there will be lots of angst! And I feel it's somehow different from my other stories!
I've tried my best, but at some points people may look a little OOC! I had no choice but to write them a phrase that may not sound like the real character, but then again, I think we've seen enough of those moments in the real show, too!
All mistakes are mine, my Beta-Reader is really busy and I couldn't find someone else! So, forgive me for any mistake!
*Ah, and this one doesn't happen in season 9. It could be sometime around the end of season 7 or the beginning of season 8.
It meant to be just a prank; and it was. It might have been a cruel one, but it was a prank nevertheless. They just happened to choose the worst day to play it on him and the problem was that they didn't see the lines of pressure and stress around his eyes and the extra effort he was making in order to hide his internal conflicts.
The whole thing had been McGee's idea; he'd thought it'd be fun to play Tony for a while and they all knew how he'd get if they ignored him.
Abby was reluctant, at first, but she finally accepted after a long talk with Ziva and McGee.
The plan was to ignore Tony for one full day, exclude him from everything and every conversation. It wasn't really easy for Abby, but she could just close her lab's door and avoid him as much as possible.
It wasn't the brightest idea, though. Seemed like the universe was kinda against them, or against Tony, depending on how you looked at things; because that day Tony was in a really bad mood.
The night before, he'd woken up with his phone ringing and as he answered it, assuming that they had a case, his father's voice had filled his ear.
It took his drowsy mind a few seconds to register the words he was hearing, but it was clear that his father was drunk and he likely wouldn't even remember a word he was saying to Tony at that moment.
Tony'd remember, though. How could he forget? Those hateful words weren't something anyone could forget easily. Especially now that he thought he'd started to rebuild some bridges between himself and his father; when he thought things were getting better between the two of them and that his father was regretting his actions towards his son at his early ages. But who was he kidding, old habits die hard; or do they die at all?
He didn't even get the chance to really ask what was bothering his father; he'd received the hurtful words and before he could wrap his mind around his father's words and his apparently 'very low' opinion of his son, his father had hung up on him and he was sitting there on his bed, staring at his cell with shock.
He hadn't been able to get any more sleep that night and since it was 0230 in the morning, he didn't really feel like watching a movie; so he took a shower and left for the navy yard; hopping for a busy workday so he could forget his father's words. He thought seeing his teammates, chatting and arguing with them over some stupid stuff would change his mood for better.
As if it wasn't his day at all, Gibbs was in one of his worst moods, too. He showed up at work around 0600 and for some unknown reasons he was cursing under his breath as he entered the bullpen.
A meeting with the Director in the MTAC was all he needed to lose it completely and of course, as everyone expected, Tony turned out to be the target of his anger.
Sighing, Tony shook his head and once again wished for a case to turn up.
"Morning to you, too." Tony said as he saw Ziva and McGee arriving and taking their seats. They murmured their hellos and didn't even glance his way.
"What? You didn't get your coffees, either?"
"Can you just shut up for one day?" Ziva said heatedly as she looked at him sharply.
Taken aback at her anger, he raised his palms up in surrender and turned his attention back to his computer.
The day just got worse for Tony; he once found Abby, McGee and Ziva talking quietly by Ziva's desk when he got back from the bathroom and to his surprise, they suddenly stopped talking as they noticed him and murmured a few words, exchanged a few nods and everyone went their ways. Tony blinked in confusion and sat at his desk, trying hard to remember what he had done the last day that had irritated his friends so bad.
At one point, Tony went to the autopsy to talk to Ducky about the forms he was filling and found out that even the old ME was in a bad mood.
'What's this? 'Let's-hate-Tony' day?' he thought as he almost fled from the autopsy to avoid the old man's wrath. He couldn't remember the last time he'd seen the old doctor so impatient and agitated. He made a mental note to talk to him when he was calmer.
Back at the bullpen, he found McGee and Ziva looking at something on Ziva's computer and he couldn't resist asking what it was they were working on, the answer was a mumble from McGee ordering, yes ordering, him to mind his own business for a change.
On any other day, he wouldn't have rested until he found out about their secret, but today he couldn't care less. Their behaviors were slowly, but deeply, getting under his skin and he couldn't help thinking about all the times he'd seen the same disrespect and received the same hurtful comments from his teammates; or from everyone else for that matter.
The lack of protest from him made Ziva and McGee wonder a bit, but they brushed it off and continued with their plan.
It was around afternoon when Tony finally had had enough.
"OK, what have I done?" He asked when he saw Ziva and McGee got back from their coffee break, bringing back a coffee for Gibbs and nothing for him.
"What?" Ziva looked up.
"Come on, spill it; what have I done? Why are you mad at me?"
Ziva and McGee exchanged a meaningful look and turned their attentions back to their works.
"What's going on here? You could at least tell me what I've done; 'cause I seriously have no idea and if I don't know anything, I can't fix it."
"You mean you do not know?" Ziva asked with an angry tone.
"That's what I just said. You think I'd ask if I knew, David?" Tony was losing his patience.
"That is... That is just-"
"Unbelievable." McGee helped Ziva and gave Tony a disgusting look. "I don't understand why they keep you around."
Ziva's eyes widened, it wasn't in the plan, but she didn't say anything, because apparently it had the result they were waiting for; Tony's head snapped up with a look of anger in his eyes. They both missed the look of hurt in there, though.
"What the hell?" Tony exclaimed but wasn't able to add anything else as Gibbs strode into the bullpen, anger radiating from him.
"Yes. What the hell, DiNozzo? I asked for that damn report like two days ago and here you're wasting my time with your stupid antics. Give me one reason why I shouldn't send you away as an Agent Afloat." He barked.
The last sentence caught Ziva and McGee's attentions and they looked up at him with open mouths.
Gibbs was regretting his words as soon as they left his mouth but he wasn't one to apologize, so he just stood there and kept staring at Tony as numerous feelings crossed his feature, the last three could be hurt, determination and anger; or was that disappointment?
Tony slowly stood up from his seat and looked Gibbs in the eyes. "I don't have any, Boss." he spoke in a quiet but kind of dangerous tone.
Gibbs was a little shocked by those words and in his mind, he started to go through different ways of making it up to him as Tony spoke the next words.
"The report you've asked for, two hours ago, is already on your desk. You would've found it if you had taken a look at your desk instead of -" He fell silent. "Going to the head." He said and left the bullpen.
... TBC ...
A/N: So, what do you think?