FOR A WHILE
DiNozzo ponders on why he turned down the offer of his own team.
A DiNozzo-centric gen story.
Written: August 2008. Word count: 384.
For a while he told himself it was because of Gibbs. Yes, he was back, but he wasn't back, he wasn't Gibbs; not really. So he told himself Gibbs needed him – that was why he'd said no.
For a while he told himself it was because of the case. He'd put in a lot of work, and although it hadn't amounted to anything yet, it seemed foolish to waste the work he'd done. The case needed him on it – that was why he'd said no.
For a while he told himself it was because of Jenny. She was behaving oddly over this case; it had almost become personal to her. She needed someone to watch her back – that was why he'd said no.
For a while he believed the things he told himself. But only for a while.
Then in the middle of the night, a night spent alone, he sat up in bed and accepted what he'd always known.
It was true Gibbs wasn't quite Gibbs. But he had McGee and Ziva to support him in the field and Ducky, Abby and Palmer in other ways. He didn't need him.
It was true he had put a lot of work into the case. But he could die tomorrow and Jenny would have to replace him. The case didn't need him.
It was true Jenny was behaving a bit 'off'. But then, was she? He didn't really know her. And if she was, Gibbs would be the one to sort it. She didn't need him.
No. The reason he, Anthony DiNozzo, had turned down the offer of his own team was down to one reason and one reason alone. A very simple reason: he wasn't ready for it. Not yet. He would be one day, at least he hoped he would, but that day hadn't arrived yet.
Yes, he'd led Gibbs's team, but that had been simple because – Well because it was Gibbs's team.
And as he accepted that, accepted the real reason he'd turned Jenny down, he also accepted something else: he, Anthony DiNozzo, had finally taken the first steps towards growing up.
With a smile on his face and a feeling of genuine peace, a peace he hadn't felt since the day he'd left High School, Tony fell into a dreamless sleep.
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