AUTHOR: Ashleigh Anpilova
SUMMARY: Set after Extreme Prejudice. Tony acts on a decision he made some weeks before.
WORD COUNT: 500
SPOILERS: Till Death Us Do Part & Extreme Prejudice
DISCLAIMER: I don't own these characters, nor am I making any money from them. I merely borrow them from time to time.
Tony stared around the squad room letting his gaze come to rest on McGee, then Ziva, then Gibbs and finally on Palmer and Abby. It had become the custom for the whole team to meet in the squad room for a few minutes each morning; except it wasn't the whole team, Team Gibbs was still one man short and Tony wondered if Ducky would in fact ever return.
Whether he was going to or not, Tony couldn’t wait any longer. He'd put off acting on the decision he'd made weeks ago until Dearing had been caught. But now that Dearing hadn't just been caught, he'd been killed, he couldn't wait any longer.
Straightening his jacket he stood up, took an envelope from his desk, paused for long enough to look at McGee, Ziva, Abby and Palmer again before he headed towards Gibbs's desk where he stood and waited for Gibbs to look up at him.
"Well, DiNozzo?" Tony held out the envelope; Gibbs took it. "What's this?"
"My resignation." Tony heard gasps of surprise come from the others. Gibbs didn't make a noise, nor did he blink, nor did his expression change. He just sat with the envelope in his hand staring at Tony.
"But why, Tony?" Ziva asked standing up.
Tony looked at her. "I've been thinking about moving on for some time now," he said. It wasn't a complete lie; he had thought about it more than once over the years. "But nearly getting you killed proved it's time."
"How did you nearly get Ziva killed?"
Tony didn't look at Abby to answer her question instead he locked eyes with Ziva. "It was my idea," he said quietly, "to break protocol and take the elevator. Ziva tried hard to persuade me to be sensible. I didn't listen; just as I never listen. I could have got her killed."
"We risk our lives every day, Tony."
"Yes, Ziva, I know. But we should be able to rely on our coworkers not to risk our lives."
"No. There's nothing you can say, any of you." He looked around at all of them his gaze finally coming to rest on Gibbs who still hadn't spoken or as far as Tony could see changed his facial expression. "I've decided. I'm going. This is it. I'm saying goodbye to all of you, to NCIS and to DC. I'm going back to New York."
Finally Gibbs spoke. "Hope you're going to go and see Ducky and say goodbye before you go."
Tony swallowed hard. "Yeah, of course I am." He stared at the man who had been like a second father to him. "You knew," he said softly, so softly he knew the others wouldn't hear.
Gibbs didn't answer; Tony didn't need him to. "Goodbye, bo- Gibbs," he said holding out his hand.
Gibbs stood up and shook it. "You take care, Tony."
Tony swallowed. "You too. All of you." And he left Gibbs to go and say his goodbyes to the others.