AUTHOR: Ashleigh Anpilova
CHARACTER: Anthony DiNozzo
SUB-GENRE: Alternate Reality
SUMMARY: Set back in the days when Gibbs met DiNozzo for the first time and DiNozzo has to make a decision.
WORD COUNT: 700
DISCLAIMER: I don't own these characters, nor am I making any money from them. I merely borrow them from time to time.
Tony stood outside the Navy Yard staring up at the large, strangely imposing building. The day was bright and sunny but not overly warm, and as he looked at the place he could soon be calling 'home from home' he shivered slightly.
He glanced at his watch; if he was going inside he should hurry up and go in. He was due to meet Gibbs in ten minutes and he'd already learned that one thing you didn't do was to keep the Navy cop waiting.
He knew Gibbs was going to offer him a job and he'd already decided to take it; after all that's why he was where he was, wasn't it? He would quit Baltimore PD, join NCIS and become a Navy cop. He'd walk away from a partner who was a dirty cop and start a new life. After all it was time, he'd been with Baltimore for almost two years and two years was the longest he stayed in one place. So it was time to move on and Danny had made it easier. He could just leave, say nothing about Danny, start again with an if not totally clear then not unclear conscience.
He'd go inside, submit to whatever search or set of questions he'd get asked by the Security Guards, tell them he had an appointment with Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs and then when Gibbs offered him the job, he'd accept it.
He took a step towards the building and then another before he stopped and sighed. He couldn't do it; he couldn't walk away from Baltimore PD and he couldn't walk away from Danny. Yes, Danny was a dirty cop and there were few things he hated more than dirty cops. He knew that; he'd seen it with his own eyes. He knew his friend and partner was a dirty cop; he knew it.
And yet despite that, despite what he knew about Danny, despite what Danny had done something nagged at Tony. Something said there was something more to it than what he was seeing; what he was meant to be seeing. It didn't add up; his instinct, his gut, almost two years of working with Danny, of all but living in the other man's pocket told him there was something more to it.
Danny and he had been friends as well as partners; they'd been closer than brothers in some respects, they'd looked out for one another, watched the other's back, cared in the way only two cops can care for one another; in the way no one other than another cop who had a partner could understand. He knew Danny - he thought he knew Danny - they'd got drunk together, they'd worked together, they'd spent hours on stake-outs together, he did know Danny. There was more to it than what he'd seen.
And if he walked away now, if he left Baltimore, left Danny, he'd never find out what it was and he knew that would niggle at him until it drove him mad. He couldn't just leave without knowing; he had to stay; he had to find out if his gut, his instinct was right; that while Danny might be a dirty cop, he wasn't the dirtiest. And once he'd found it out, one way or another, maybe then he could quit Baltimore PD and join NCIS.
His decision made, he took one more look at the large building, sighed softly, before pulling out his cell phone and dialing a number. "It's Tony DiNozzo," he said when Gibbs answered. "I'm sorry to leave it so late, but I just thought I'd let you know I've changed my mind. I won't be meeting you today. I'm -"
He stared down at the phone and blinked as he pushed it back into his pocket. Just before Gibbs had hung up on him he'd said, "Know that, DiNozzo. Good luck." So that was that; the end of his career as a Navy cop before it had even started because he knew now he'd never get a second chance.
But he'd made the right decision; he knew he had. Straightening his shoulders, he nodded, turned on his heel and walked away.