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Fic: Bouncing Ideas (NCIS)

Title: Bouncing Ideas
Author: kaylashay
Rating: FR13
Disclaimer: I'm not Bellesario or CBS, so I don't claim to own them.
Genre: Gen
Setting: Post-Hiatus; However Contains References to 06x16 Bounce
Character: DiNozzo
Written For: xanthe
Beta: triskellion
Word Count: 1,000

Note: Companion Piece to Rebound

Crossposted: ncisfanfic; ncis_fic; ncis_haven; tonydinozzo

Summary: His first case without Gibbs behind the reins went by in a haze...

Tony tossed his gun and badge on the little end table just inside his door. Normally, he would have taken the time to lock his gun in the special lock box that Gibbs had given him for Christmas several years back, but his heart wasn't in it. He just wanted the beer that he knew was sitting in his near-empty fridge.

Once he had the cold bottle in hand, he sank down on his couch and scrubbed his free hand over his face. The last few weeks had taken its toll and Tony was at his wits end to make things right again.

Their first case had started the day after Gibbs' departure and Tony had felt the pressure for a quick resolve. The Director was breathing down his throat about performance evaluations and how his leadership was just temporary until proper procedures were followed. In a way, Tony figured she was taking out her anger and frustration over Gibbs leaving on him. He didn't like it, but he had to live with it.

The team was even worse. McGee barely listened to him, spending most of his time in Abby's lab. Abby had taken to calling him "Not Gibbs" and had turned her lab into a shrine that gave Tony the creeps.

Ziva spent the moments she wasn't glaring at Tony on the phone in her native tongue. Tony was beginning to think she might leave the United States since Gibbs was no longer present. He had never heard the full story of what happened in the boss' basement the night Ari died, but he knew from the reports that he read that there was no way Gibbs had shot the bastard. Ziva's only tie to the U.S. was something between her and Gibbs, so without Gibbs around he figured it was only a matter of time.

Ducky was the only one that appeared normal, but that was only if you didn't mention Gibbs' name around him. Something had transpired when Ducky had driven Gibbs home that final night and Tony was sure it had deeply wounded the older man.

In all honesty, Tony didn't begrudge Gibbs leaving the way he did. Gibbs wasn't the kind of man to do retirement parties or speeches. Tony had always figured Gibbs would find a bullet before he accepted retirement as an option. Tony was also aware that Gibbs' memory was still Swiss-cheesed. The older man still wasn't fully aware of who was who in the current setting. He had only placed names with faces by process of elimination. Knowing that the Gibbs Tony knew and respected wasn't mentally intact hurt Tony deeply.

That first case without Gibbs had passed in a haze. Embezzlement was not the same as murders, kidnappings or any of the other horrible things people did to one another. However, it was still a crime and the person who committed deserved their day in court. Renny Grant had been found quickly and Tony didn't want to look a gift horse in the mouth.

McGee had argued every idea that Tony had through the case and Ziva hadn't even waited for instructions before doing her own thing. And every free moment Tony had to look up from his computer showed the director leaning over the railing from the second floor looking at him with this strange glint in her eyes. Every look he received from her made him rush faster for a resolution to the case.

As soon as he found a credible witness, he closed the book on Renny Grant and left it to the court to decide. He had signed off on all the paper work just a few hours before and now he was left with a feeling of emptiness.

Life had gone on without Gibbs, but it wasn't the same. Nothing seemed to be the same. He had received a compliment, however, when Director Shepard skimmed the final case reports. It was more than Gibbs usually gave him and it left him feeling even more off kilter. Tony had spent years learning when Gibbs was pleased with his work as an agent, even if nothing was said out loud. With the director, he couldn't be sure what was genuine and what was just humoring him.

Tony was aware that something would have to give in terms of both the team and the director. They would not be able to handle a high profile case the way they handled the embezzlement one. Tony knew it was up to him to bring them back together, but he had no idea how.

He longed for the days when it was just him and Gibbs pulling the long hours with takeout boxes littering their desks as they ran down leads the old fashioned way. Even when Kate had joined the team, there had been a camaraderie between all of them that hadn't really been there since her death. Instead of working the leads separately, they had talked things through. It had always been fun stealing bits of Kate's Chinese while they talked with Gibbs around her desk.

Tossing the last of the beer back and down his throat, Tony realized what he needed to do. Logically, he knew Ziva and McGee would make fun of the idea and of him, but it would work in the end. They would be able to work together to solve the cases. McGee and Ziva could at least connect over ridiculing Tony's idea. It wasn't the best way to get them working together again, but it would do.

Settling back into the couch and flicking on the Bond movie that sat waiting in his DVD player, Tony let his mind drift over names for his little idea. He needed something that was corny, something the others would scoff at but in the end it would work.

Sometime later, he whispered the word, "Campfire," just before his eyes drifted shut. It would be a new start for a new team and a new leader.

Comments

( 29 Campfires — Leave a Comment )
spoonyriffic
Aug. 31st, 2009 05:07 am (UTC)
I adore insight fics - and yours is lovely. I liked that each character got their own paragraph, and how their actions were told through Tony's eyes. And you made me want to read/write a fic about what really went down between Gibbs and Ducky on the drive to Gibbs' house.

And I have to say - you've renewed my distaste of Ziva and McGee, and how they took no responsibility in the Renny case. That's still a sore spot for me. Even Abby - she's being Abby, but when seen through Tony's eyes, her actions really sting. It makes me feel so bad for Tony - he's just trying to do the best he can, and no one had any faith in him, not even from the beginning. It's rather disheartening, and I felt that you portrayed that in the story well. Great job!

I just want to hug Tony and never let him go! *hugs him* Everyone's always so mean to him!
kaylashay
Aug. 31st, 2009 05:16 am (UTC)
donutsweeper and I came to conclusion that there needs to be a "Hug the Tony" post somewhere. Then, anytime Tony is physically or emotionally whumped, we could all smush him with hugs....

How about this... we'll lay the blame for Renny being put behind bars on Pin Pin Pula? If it wasn't for Gibbs going all 'splodey, then everything would have been right and the case would have been solved properly. Hmm... Now it make *me* want to write an AU where Gibbs didn't run for Mexico and with shoddy memory came back to work after only a week or so off and *he* was in charge of the Renny case and reached the same conclusion Tony did as leader.... Hmmm....
spoonyriffic
Aug. 31st, 2009 06:35 am (UTC)
I think that's a fantastic idea!

Photobucket

...I couldn't resist. *cough*

Yes! Blame Renny for everything - the perfect way to deal with it! *g* And that would be a very interesting AU. I'd love to read it, should you write it... ;-) It'd be interesting to see the fallout.

ETA: Multiple edits due to banner fail...

Edited at 2009-08-31 06:45 am (UTC)
xanthe
Aug. 31st, 2009 07:55 am (UTC)
LOVE IT! LOL! We really should do this. How about I start a comm? And people can leave hugs for old eps, and when the new ones come out we can do hugs there whenever he needs 'em too! LOL!
xanthe
Aug. 31st, 2009 08:06 am (UTC)
Okay...created the comm here: http://community.livejournal.com/hugthetony/

Come join! You two wanna be co-mods? I'm crap with graphics and stuff and you two are good at it - you could jazz it up a bit! LOL!
shayasar
Aug. 31st, 2009 01:39 pm (UTC)
*joined*

he needs all the hugs he can get :)
xanthe
Aug. 31st, 2009 02:02 pm (UTC)
COOL!
spoonyriffic
Aug. 31st, 2009 04:07 pm (UTC)
Heeeeeeeeeee! Yay! *joins*

Sure, I'll be a co-mod! I'll get to making graphics and such soon. *g*
xanthe
Aug. 31st, 2009 04:16 pm (UTC)
CCOL! Have added you as co-mod!
xanthe
Aug. 31st, 2009 04:18 pm (UTC)
Forgot to say to you both - just do whatever you like with the look of the thing! You're both a zillion times better at that than I am!
kaylashay
Aug. 31st, 2009 04:09 pm (UTC)
Yay from me too! :-)

I have some ideas, but it will have to wait till I'm home this evening. I could set us up the rotating banner deal too and then we could get different Tony hugs all the time.

:-)
xanthe
Aug. 31st, 2009 04:17 pm (UTC)
Excellent!!! I've added you as co-mod if that's okay!
xanthe
Aug. 31st, 2009 07:55 am (UTC)
THANK YOU! I love this - it's spot on. And it's so sad that Tony knows he'll be ridiculued but that he's trying to recreate the team atmosphere that worked so well in the early days. I can totally believe this is how it came about. And Tony just makes light of it and jokes around about it but one day I'd like him to *say* this. To turn around to Gibbs and/or the team and say, "the team was falling apart, I was trying to find a way of getting them working effectively again - and this DID work". I am SO glad you write this up!

And I am TOTALLY in favour of the "Hug the Tony" idea!
kaylashay
Sep. 1st, 2009 03:35 am (UTC)
You're welcome... :-)

And guess what... It spawned a sequel today: http://kaylashay81.livejournal.com/118843.html

:-)

I blame your comment on that sequel spawning by the way. And yes, Tony knew he would be ridiculed but he did it anyway because the team needed it. *hugs Tony*
kaylashay
Sep. 1st, 2009 03:37 am (UTC)
Umm... LJ ate my comment. *kicks LJ*

Anywho, you're welcome and guess what?!

It spawned a sequel: http://kaylashay81.livejournal.com/118843.html

:-)

I'm glad I wrote it too. And Tony does know ridicule is coming his way, but he did it anyway for the sake of the team... *hugs Tony*

ETA: And now they are both there... *sigh*

Edited at 2009-09-01 03:37 am (UTC)
shayasar
Aug. 31st, 2009 01:41 pm (UTC)
really loved this little piece :) Great idea as to where the campfires did come from.

I always have the urge to smack McGee and Ziva and even Abby and Ducky when they tell Tony that he is not Gibbs... No, he isn't, he is Tony and he is very capable *grumbles*
kaylashay
Sep. 1st, 2009 03:39 am (UTC)
I was trying to think of a good movie reference for campfires and came up short. But I made it work anyways...

Yeah... Tony has to have a complex by now because of how many times he's been told, "You're not Gibbs."
weird_fin
Aug. 31st, 2009 01:48 pm (UTC)
Aw. Great insight to how 'campfire' came about.

And "hughthetony" community! ^^ Awww
kaylashay
Sep. 1st, 2009 03:40 am (UTC)
Hee! Yay for hugging Tony!
spae
Aug. 31st, 2009 03:54 pm (UTC)
\o/ ... I think I could repeat almost everything spoonyriffic said, except for wanting to write the scene between Gibbs and Ducky! ;)

Good job!
kaylashay
Sep. 1st, 2009 03:40 am (UTC)
Thanks! If I had a better handle on Ducky, I would... but me and Ducky don't always mesh with the muse. :-)
fredsmith518
Aug. 31st, 2009 05:50 pm (UTC)
enjoyed this 'filler in', as ever, your ideas for 'possible/probable' make sound sense
kaylashay
Sep. 1st, 2009 03:41 am (UTC)
Thanks! I love doing tags... :-)
ami_ven
Aug. 31st, 2009 08:29 pm (UTC)
This is great- I love how you write Tony's thought process.
kaylashay
Sep. 1st, 2009 03:41 am (UTC)
The inner workings of Tony's mind is such a fun (and sometimes scary) place to play.

:-)
azraelz_angel
Sep. 1st, 2009 01:24 am (UTC)
Awww *huggles Tony tightly* Poor baby!
kaylashay
Sep. 1st, 2009 03:41 am (UTC)
Lots o' hugs for Tony... :-)
sasha1600
Sep. 1st, 2009 03:08 am (UTC)
Awwww... *hugs Tony*. Only Tony would turn being ridiculed into his leadership style! *hugs him again*
kaylashay
Sep. 1st, 2009 03:42 am (UTC)
Very, very true... *hugs Tony too*
( 29 Campfires — Leave a Comment )

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