Author: Shannon/Raindrops on Roses
Category: Episode Reaction
Spoilers: "Left For Dead"
Disclaimer: These characters belong to DPB, CBS, Paramount, et al. No infringement is intended.
Tony lay on the bed and stared up at the ceiling. He couldn't sleep. By the sound of rhythmic pounding coming from the basement, Gibbs couldn't, either. This case was hard on all of them. Not just physically--though being in the direct path of an explosion wasn't exactly easy on the body. There had been a moment of relief when they had realized that there was no threat to a Navy ship, but then...
Tony sighed and sat up. He stood and quietly made his way into the kitchen. He helped himself to a glass of water and sat at the kitchen table.
The case had been hard on all of them... but hardest on the female part of the trio. Kate had trusted that Suzanne woman, and that trust had been turned on her. God. When Tony closed his eyes, all he saw was a brilliant explosion... and then Kate's ashen face as the EMT patched her up.
He absently noted the pounding had stopped. He didn't know whether to be annoyed, angry, or worried. Kate had endangered them all by bringing that woman by... but who was he to judge? He would have done the same thing.
"Dinozzo? Why aren't you sleeping?" a familiar voice interrupted his thoughts.
Without looking up, Tony replied, "I'm worried about Kate." He took a sip from his glass.
Gibbs opened the refrigerator. "She's a big girl. She can take care of herself."
Tony slammed his glass down on the table in a rare display of anger. "Damn it, Gibbs! Yes, Kate is a strong woman--but she's a human being, just like the rest of us!" His irritation grew when Gibbs just raised an eyebrow and tossed a dishtowel at him.
"It sounds like you're not just worried about Kate," Gibbs said evenly.
Tony rubbed his forehead. "You know how you asked me earlier if I've ever made a mistake?" Gibbs nodded and joined him at the table. "My first year with the Baltimore PD, I was on this case where a man killed his wife in a fit of rage--at least, that's what we all thought. He protested his innocence, even after his son said he--the father--was guilty. Eventually, we got enough evidence for an arrest warrant--couldn't just go with the son's testimony, after all. We went to his house to arrest him. He reached into his pocket for something. I told him to put his hands up, but he didn't listen." Tony paused to collect his thoughts. "He didn't listen, and I... I shot him. He died, Gibbs, reaching for a cell phone." Tony laughed bitterly. "And the worst thing was, he wasn't guilty. It had been the son, all along."
"Like you said, Dinozzo, you didn't know," Gibbs said brusquely.
"That's not the point, Gibbs! I killed an innocent man. And I can't help but wonder how Kate feels, trusting a killer..."
"Like you did?"
Tony nodded wearily. "Yeah. Like I did." He finished his water and placed the glass in the sink. He rested his elbows on the counter and put his head in his hands.
"Tony." He turned around to see Gibbs toss his jacket at him. "C'mon."
Tony smiled slightly. "Thanks, boss," he said, using the nickname he'd been using since the first time Gibbs said 'Don't call me sir.'
Gibbs shrugged. "If it keeps you from getting all weepy on me..." Tony shook his head. Some things never changed--and Leroy Jethro Gibbs was one of them.