I will travel, but not for a mission. Just for me.
He scribbles his signature on the dotted line, then shuts the case file. “What?” he asks, reaching for another one.
Abby smacks his hand with a little more force than strictly necessary.
"Ow!" Tony withdraws his arm, cradling it to his chest. "Jeez. What the hell do you want?"
"McGee and I are going out for drinks," she says. "Wanna come?"
He glances at the paperwork strewn across his desk. While not appealing in the slightest, it somehow seems like a more desirable option than socializing with his teammates, who have taken to asking how are you? and are you doing okay? quite a bit lately. A mere month has passed since he returned from Israel. The answers he gives to these questions- fine, yes, thanks- are blatant lies.
Of course, the others see right through him.
"I need to finish this up, you guys," Tony says. "But thanks."
Abby opens her mouth to protest, but McGee cuts her off. “Gibbs told you those could wait until Monday,” he says firmly.
"Well, I’ve got time now."
"Would you just stop moping and come get a damn drink with us?"
McGee’s borderline harsh tone renders everyone speechless. Tony fixes his partner with a hard stare. In another surprise move, McGee does not back down. Abby looks back and forth between them, her eyes wide as saucers.
"Look," McGee says finally, more softly. "I know Ziva leaving affects you the most, ‘cause you guys had the… whatever you want to call it. But it’s been hard for all of us, too."
And maybe it means he’s a selfish, narcissistic bastard (in all honestly, there are plenty of people in the world who would put that label on him) but this is something of a revelation to Tony. He has been so caught up in his own pain that he has barely noticed that of those around him.
But of course they’re hurting. This team is a family, always has been. And they- not he, but they- have lost a member.
Tony gathers his files into a single stack, positions it in the center of his desk, and stands. “I’m coming.”