Agent WAS Afloat
After being assigned as Agent Afloat, Tony disappears from the ship, leaving behind a suicide note. However, Gibbs's gut is churning.
Huge thanks to my beta Harrytwifan for her wonderful skills and eagle eyes.
Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.
Warnings: Story contains theme of suicide, light guy/guy action, so must be over 18 to read – rated M to be safe due to language and theme.
NOTE: Even though one of Gibbs' rules is – never assume; for the sake of the story length, I have. I have assumed that you know all character descriptions, and are aware of all the major story lines up to Agent Afloat. That being said, in this version of the story, I am somewhat biased, and a definite Tony fan.
Also, please note. I am a fan of 99% the NCIS characters. I am not a Ziva fan, mainly because of what they did to her character. However, for the purposes of this story, most of the main cast are in my bad books.
DC = Washington DC
MCRT = Major Crime Response Team
NCIS = Naval Criminal Investigation Service
FBI = Federal Bureau of Investigation
ME = Medical Examiner
LEO = Law Enforcement Officer
Tony felt lost, cast out in a metal coffin.
The hundreds of men around him might as well have been insects biting away at his fleshy remains. He couldn't even sink into his beloved films. He needed the big screen experience. Watching something on an iPad wasn't the same as going to the movies; not as... liberating. It didn't take the viewer, body and soul, into an alternate universe. It didn't free a person from their earthly confines. He was living a nightmare, where the only person on board that didn't have a bad word to say about him was the captain. Sadly, one in 2,500 wasn't enough to stem the feelings welling up inside Agent Afloat Anthony DiNozzo.
Being on board brought back childhood nightmares of being dressed in sailor suits and getting kissed by lipstick laden aunts and over enthusiastic new mommies. Those led to other memories he hoped he left behind upon joining NCIS. Nevertheless, their faded blueprint always lurked at the back of his mind.
Tony felt as though he was on the USS Claustrophobia, rather than the USS Seahawk. The more he walked the corridors and slept in the closet the captain lovingly called a cabin, the more he felt the walls closing in around him. At times, he could hardly breathe, feeling like the air was being sucked out of him vacuum style.
He needed to be free.
Many times, Tony begged and pleaded with Gibbs to get him home, but nothing happened. Several communications ago to MTAC, he saw everyone was back in DC – except him. All he got from Gibbs was, "Workin' on it, DiNozzo."
Words were all very well, but he couldn't help wondering how Gibbs was workin' on it? Tony tried his own links. Sadly, his reach was limited and nothing came to fruition.
Tony's insecurities crawled to the fore.
Why was Gibbs 'workin' on it'?
Was Gibbs 'workin' on it?
The man had demonstrated he could move mountains - when he had a mind to. Probie McBitsNBites was easy. He only had to move from one desk to another. That was just a click of the fingers in Gibbs's world. For Ziva, Gibbs worked his butt off bending political alliances to get her to DC. Those actions proved he had connections. Yet, Tony was still on a boat, with no visitors, no friends; just acquaintances and a few letters from those he couldn't see on a screen. The correspondence helped in one way, tortured him in another. The words offered support, but they also served to confirm how far away he was.
The more Tony churned over the evidence; he came to the conclusion... Gibbs only seemed to care for the women in his life. Even when the man was blown up, his memory returned at the prodding of a woman. For the fairer sex, he would, could, and had, moved heaven and earth. There wasn't a thing for the man who was his partner for double the tenure. Gibbs's return from Mexico, due a damsel was in distress, was further evidence.
And why should Gibbs work on it? Tony thought. Head slaps weren't delivered to those who were efficient and kept focussed. After all his mess ups, Tony came to the conclusion; the team was better off without him. They certainly seemed happy without him.
In MTAC, there were no messages of, "We miss you," or "Life's not the same." Yada yada yadda. There wasn't even a facial twitch from Gibbs.
When Tony thought back, the teams' apathy towards him had always been there. It came to a head during Gibbs's flight to Mexico, and even more so, since his return. The moment Gibbs walked through the door, with the gofer on his lip, they forgot about Tony. Jimmy and Ducky were the only ones at HQ who took Tony seriously.
Everyone else treated Tony like the eccentric misfit they had to be social with. Placate until the next uncomfortable encounter. They were the children behind the Godfather, loyal to him and only him. Tony was the outcast - the prince to the throne the ambitious siblings finally managed to oust.
It was a scenario Tony was used to. He was always on the outskirts, never part of an actual family. He was a tool to be used when required, then shoved in a chest to rust away.
Tony felt tired – worn.
The more he analyzed his relationships, the more he was convinced. The team he'd once considered his family no longer wanted him. He'd outlived his usefulness. Being on the ship gave Tony distance and time to reflect. He realized Ziva rarely treated him as anything that wasn't stuck to her shoe. And when she did, the superior smirk on her face made Tony feel like she was throwing him a Scooby snack. It was as if the words, 'I am Mossad', trumped everything, and everyone should bow down in thanks. The same went for McGee with his MIT education. Every time he got the chance to demean Tony's academic qualities, he did. As for Abby, the girl was brilliant. But, she was from the school of 'All hail Saint Gibbs'. Anyone who dared do anything different to her hero was banished to the class below sidekicks.
Tony was from the school of BITBFFA – Been In The Business For Fucking Ages. He had his Harvard qualifications, too. Unfortunately, no one seemed to have looked them up.
From where Tony stood, his expertise was only good enough to have him stationed on a floating casket, where the inmates saw him as the Grima Wormtongue of the Navy world.
On board, the cases he was called upon to investigate, in general, were not what he'd call difficult. There was a ready-made suspect pool. After that, it was a process of elimination. He loved the investigative part of the job, and the mission of the men aboard was an important one. It was his duty to solve the wrongs and help the Captain keep a bunch of lion-hearted individuals on the straight and narrow. Not that they appreciated it.
Their scathing attitude towards him dulled everything Tony loved about the job. In the beginning, he fought back. He took the attitude, 'if they didn't like him, he was doing something right'. Though, day after day, a constant barrage of verbal missiles was aimed at him. Eventually the words started to hit their mark, and his defences began to wane.
What Tony craved was some respite from feeling like he needed a can opener to breathe. Every day, he could feel the claustrophobic effects of darkness closing in on him. It wasn't something he'd consciously considered himself to suffer from. That being said, he supposed there were different forms of it. There was the physical stuck in a box type, classically demonstrated during his time in a shipping container. Was his need to move his job every two years another kind, or was that just itchy feet? One way or another, the debilitating effects of something was moving in on him.
Sadly, the job he loved so much, the one that freed him from his emotional agony and let him fly, had been taken from him. The agency didn't want him. They'd thrown him into the nightmare. Bad dreams plagued his sleeping hours. Short words and condescension plagued his waking ones.
The man he'd secretly loved for years... didn't want him. Well, no one could ever class insults and head slaps terms of endearment.
It was the final nail in a coffin whose lid had been closing for a long time.
During his last two connections with the mainland, Tony didn't see the point in voicing his desire. Every previous request fell on deaf ears. Tony delivered the information required, then cut the feed and returned to his hell hole. He'd lost the will to fight. Lost the faith he had in those he held dear. Lost his self-worth.
Tony couldn't even pretend to be Leo or Kate and fly. The design of the carrier wasn't right. Though inside, Tony had already hit his iceberg and was sinking.
At rock bottom, Tony felt there was only one course of action left to him. One way that would free him from his incarceration, free him from the hurt and disappointment. Free others from the shackles of having to deal with him. Tony entered the final words in his diary, left a note in his boots, and put the letters that tried to help in his pocket. He wouldn't leave them for others to paw over. He wouldn't subject their writers to interrogation. Tony left his quarters during the appropriately known graveyard shift. Barefoot, he walked to the flight deck and through the line of aircraft. There were people about. An aircraft carrier never totally slept. Tony was thankful, they only afforded him queried looks, no words.
Seeing his goal, adrenaline took over. In the dead of night, Tony ran towards freedom. He sent a silent 'Sorry' to the stars, and swan dived off the side.
The sea quickly claimed Tony's body. The rush of loud, watery bubbles invaded his senses. He battled to swim deeper, away from the churning propellers of the carrier. Eventually, he heard nothing but peaceful silence and the caress of cold freedom. His lungs burned, and he knew the end was near. Tony went limp in the water, and let it consume him.
Then, something hard hit him and all went black.
Though I am not a stranger to writing, this is my first NCIS story. It is complete on my laptop. Enjoy. Sorry the first chapter is short, but it was an appropriate place to cut.