AUTHOR: Ashleigh Anpilova
CHARACTER: Anthony DiNozzo
SUMMARY: Set after Stake-Out. DiNozzo makes a decision.
WORD COUNT: 735
DISCLAIMER: I don't own these characters, nor am I making any money from them. I merely borrow them from time to time.
Tony sat in his semi-dark apartment, a barely warm congealing pizza was on the table in front of him, a bottle of warm beer sat next to it, the television screen was flickering with images from one of his favorite movies, but he wasn't eating, drinking or watching. Instead he was thinking and trying to forget.
Blindly he reached for the beer and took a swig, grimacing at how warm it had become. He thought about getting up, going to the fridge and getting a cold one to replace it, but that seemed like too much effort. Instead he forced himself to take another swallow of the warm beer and told himself it was payment for what he'd done earlier to Ziva.
He closed his eyes and tried to forget the sound of Ducky's voice telling him quite plainly how foolish, irresponsible, idiotic, reprehensible and outright dangerous he had been. He tried to forget Ducky telling him that an eight year old knew better than to fix a chair so that it would break when someone sat down on it. He tried to forget the detailed description Ducky had given him as to what could have happened to Ziva. How she could have hurt herself very badly, how she could even have been paralyzed for life.
The thing was Tony hadn't meant to hurt her, not at all; he hadn't even meant to bruise her - and he knew he'd done that; he'd watched her try not to limp her way out of the squad room. He'd just done it as part of the practical jokes they'd been playing on one another during the case. He hadn't thought; he'd even said as much to Ducky which had earned him Ducky's parting shot 'that's the trouble, Anthony, you never do'.
Tony wanted to be angry with Ducky, who really had no right to talk to him as he had done; Ducky wasn't his boss, he wasn't in the chain of command; he had no right to berate Tony; if Tony told Gibbs what Ducky had said and how he'd said it . . . Yeah, right, like he'd do that, because he knew full well if he did tell Gibbs that Gibbs would take Ducky's side, after all it was in effect a medical matter, well it could have been, and where medical matters were involved Gibbs always supported Ducky. Yes, he wanted to be angry with Ducky, but he couldn't be angry and not just because Ducky was Ducky and no one got angry with Ducky; a bit irritated, maybe, but not angry.
Plus, with hindsight Tony knew full well that every word Ducky had said was true. He had been an idiot, a fool, irresponsible, it had been a stupid thing to do, a dangerous thing to do. What if Ziva had hurt herself badly? What if she had have ended up paralyzed? What would he be thinking and doing now? Where would he be?
Silly pranks that hurt no one were one thing; this was something else. It was time he stopped not thinking; time he actually thought before he acted. He'd turn over a new leaf; from now on he'd think before he played a prank on someone; he'd think about the possible outcome of his actions and if it was in any way dangerous he wouldn't play that trick, he'd think of something else.
Of course if he really wanted to be mature he'd give up playing pranks completely, but then he wouldn't be Tony DiNozzo if he did that - and he rather liked being Tony DiNozzo, even if it got him into hot water at times. But one thing was certain: he had played his last dangerous practical joke.
He would show them; he'd show them all; the boss, Ducky, Ziva, McGee, Abby even Palmer that he could grow up a bit; that he could be something other than immature all the time.
Decision made he turned the lights on, grabbed the cold pizza and warm beer, threw the former into the trash and poured the latter down the sink before dialing for another pizza and opening a cold bottle of beer. Once the pizza arrived he'd put his feet up and start the DVD from the beginning.
A new leaf; that was what he'd done. He had turned over a new leaf and he was proud of it.