I wish they were mine as do we all. Alas we only make review, and I am happy enough with those.

For those of you that P.M. me about my story "dinghy" never fear I will not let if die. Right now the next chapter is with my Beta. Lovely lady that she is has her hands full right now and when she gets back to her good old self (not saying she is old) just a bit under the weather. She will send me the next chapter then I will post it.

THis little story should keep you happy (I hope until then." Nine chapters are done working on the last two. this story is not Beta'd. So please be kind. Leigh

He knew his career was over the second the bullets hit him. He heard them first, then he felt them. His thigh and one in his knee, he knew his knee was shattered, and it just had to be his good knee. At the moment the only thing he wanted was a clear shot so he could shoot the bastard. When he heard a shot sing out he knew that Gibbs' aim was perfect, like there was any doubt once a Marine always a Marine.

"DiNozzo." Gibbs says as he squats down to be closer to his agent. Seeing the wounds he starts to apply pressure on both his thigh and his knee. Hearing Tony groan Gibbs whispers softly. "I know Tony."

"Boss. I really could use some coffee and maybe an ice pack." Tony tells him with an other groan.

Gibbs looks at Tony and sees a sheen of sweat across his forehead. " Where's that ambulance?" He yells as he applies more pressure on Tony's knee, and thigh.

"Pulling up now, boss." Ellie answers.

He looks at Tony and frowns. "You still don't have permission, now open your eyes."

"Just concentrating on breathing, in and out, boss." Tony replies then opens his eyes to look at Gibbs with a smile that fails miserably

"Good, you do that." Gibbs tells him softly.

He bypasses the stairs and takes the elevator up to the second floor. He looks down into the empty bullpen knowing that the team is out on a case, he wants one last look for memory sake.

Walking with the cane Gibbs made for him it still took a long time, his knee would never be the same. He was done with field work there was no way he was ever going to be able to go back out in the field, especially with the brace that he had to wear everyday just to walk.

He knew one thing though he would not ride a desk, being a desk jockey was not something that he was willing to do, not now, not ever.

Accepting the offered seat from Vance he stretched his leg out in front of him and grimaced slightly. "Director thank you for seeing me." He reaches into his inner suit pocket and takes out a plain white envelope, then hands it to him.

"I brought you formal my resignation. I'm no good to you as a field agent and I'd drive everyone crazy if I had to jockey a desk. It's better this way."

"I'm sorry to see you go Tony, of course you'll get one hundred percent disability. Liked we talked about. Do you know what you are going to do?"

"No idea, I'll think of something. All I know is that I want to go somewhere green and peaceful. I have a few options before I decide."

"If I can be of any help, just ask Tony."

Standing he exhales slowly as hands Vance his service weapon, ID and badge. "Thank you Leon." he replies as he offers his hand. "And thanks for cutting through the paperwork so I can keep my federal gun license."

"I'd rather not have to bail you out of jail Tony, this way you're legal." He tells him as he firmly shakes his hand, he hands him his license to carry with his retired NCIS ID.

He didn't linger as he walked out of the building, He had talked to Gibbs the night before they had said their good-byes. He told Gibbs that once he was settled he would let him know were he was, in time. Yes he knew it was selfish but he needed time to get over the loss of never being able to work in a career that he loved. His days of being an agent or even a cop were over for good.

Opening the door to his new car, a car he really hated, for he no longer could drive a stick shift. No working knee meant no clutch pedal. He slipped on his sunglasses, tapped the on button for the jazz/ blues station, then put the car in gear.

The breeze felt good the further he drove the warmer and greener it got. Stopping for lunch and the need to stretch it felt good and sad at the same time.

He wanted to put miles between his past and his future. He talked with two of his old college friends one settled in Ohio the other in a small boarder city between Tennessee and Georgia. He liked Ohio but he winters there were harsh, Tennessee's not so much as he could tell from the reading he had done.

It had once been said, that his friend Mathew Clark Jefferson was good ole boy and dumb as a pile of rocks. The last person that said that woke up with three teeth missing, he was as tall as Tony, but thirty pounds heavier all muscle. Matt was so laid back, people had a habit of misjudging him. They had become fast friends at Ohio State they soon realized they were a lot alike. Both smart, played sports and they liked the ladies. They had some of the same classes it was easier to study and bounce things off of each other. Matt had set his dreams on becoming a lawyer, he was well on his way before a twist of fate brought is dreams to a screeching halt. His father was murdered in a car jacking gone bad and because the police work was sloppy they had to drop the charges. It was then he decided to become cop, he kept his major, it would be a good to have but he knew that he would never practice law.

He worked from the bottom up. He was no one's fool he wanted to learn the right way to do things. He took night classes and paid attention when the older cops talked, he became a sponge. It didn't take him long to move up the ranks, the goal in his minds eye was to go back home and try and make a difference. He didn't want to be the police chief, that was politics. He wanted to be a cop, he wanted to be a detective, a good one.

Tony walked into the police station leaning heavily on his cane, after driving for a few hours he was stiff, the cane helped walking just a little and moving helped too.

"Can I help you?" the desk officer asks as he gives Tony the once over, not being to secretive about it either. The scowl on his face was a dead give-a-way.

"I'd like to see Detective Jefferson please, could you tell him that Tony is here." Tony answered smiling as he gave the man the once over too, only Tony wasn't blatant about it.

"You can sit over there." He tells him motioning over to the wooden bench.

"Thank you officer Costa." he replies smiling the fuck you smile, he saves for the most obnoxious people he comes across. Cops like him are what makes life harder for the rest of them. He thinks as he slowly lowers himself onto the hard bench.

"Tony!" Matt calls out to his friend as he comes closer.

He gets to his feet with the help of the cane and pushing himself off of the bench.

"You look great." Tony says as he offers his hand.

Matt smiles as he ignores the offered hand as he hugs Tony instead. Pulling back he examines his friend. "You look tired. Come on back you can meet the rest of the guys in the unit."

"Detective, we aren't suppose to let anyone back there without the Chief clearing it." The officer reminds him.

"I'll take the heat Joe." Matt tells him then focuses all of his attention on Tony.

It doesn't take long to get to the squad room. Tony looks around, it looks like every other bullpen he has ever been in. "How bad is it Tony?" He asks once he is seated next to his desk

"I'm stiff today, too much driving." Tony answers then groans as he lowers himself into the hard metal chair.

"You carrying?" He asks after seeing the tell tail sign of a shoulder holster

"Yeah, still have my federal license. I'm still on a lot of perps 'I want you dead' list. The bosses thought it was safer for everyone, they let me keep it. So while I'm here I might as well tell you and who ever else needs to know."

"I'll need a copy of your license for our records."

"Not a problem." Tony tells him as he reaches for his wallet.

After all of the paper work is completed Matt brings Tony over to meet the chief.

"So you're Tony DiNozzo? I've heard a lot about you."

"Yes sir, some of it good I hope."

"All of it good, call me Brian. Are you staying around for a while or are you just passing."

"To be honest with you I'm looking for a place to call home. I can't work as an agent or a cop anymore."

After talking for a few more minutes Tony and Matt leave the chief's office, it didn't take long to introduce him to the rest of the squad.

"Let's go eat, I'm hungry."

A nice little restaurant some tables, booths and counter service a good mix. Matt led the way to a table in the diner.

"The foods not bad here, nothing fancy like you can get in DC. Just simple and filling. Except for the Italian now that's just awful, Sarah-Jane uses jar sauce and over cooks the pasta. Makes me miss your cooking all the more." Matt tell him.

"Making a marinara from scratch takes time Matt, maybe she doesn't have the time with everything else she has to cook."

"Still defending the underdog I see, no matter. I was telling my partner that when the cooks would leave for vacation we would have to fend for ourselves in the frat house.

That is until you hit the kitchen sometimes if I close my eyes and think back I can almost remember tasting all that great food."

Tony bit into a piece of potato then blinked a few times, it needed salt.

Matt chuckled. "This place is for sale, there is an apartment upstairs four bedrooms. A large living room lots of good light and the kitchen isn't to bad either."

Tony couldn't help but smile. "Really, tell me more?"

"Her son wants her to move in with him and his family, he has a in-law attachment to his house all ready for her. Her husband died last year and well you know how it is."

He nodded as he took another bite of the chicken. "You don't have to decide right now, look around see if you want to settle down here or move someplace else. It would be nice having you around, the high school could use a coach too, ours is not so good."

"Anything else you want to add to sweeten the offer for me to stay here?"

"My wife's sister is coming to visit, you remember Angela don't you?"