Finally! The last chapter! I really, really hope you enjoyed the story as much as i enjoyed writing it and i thank you all for all your wonderfull reviews. I don't really have any major stories planned but i'll write them as soon as i do! Thanks also to Rinne for betaing. (I'm am really sorry if this last chapter is really soppy, i was in a soppy mood when i wrote it - i also have to say that even though it might sound like it - this story is not slash)
Tony frowned. He recognised that voice from somewhere.
"Have you got any twos?" the same voice asked.
"Go Fish," a second familiar voice replied. As Tony slowly woke he felt movement at the end of his bed. Were Abby and McGee using the end of his bed as a table? As the fog cleared, Tony remembered the events of the past couple of days and smelt something hinky, telling him he was in a hospital.
"Have you got a-"
Tony moaned, catching the attention of his friends.
"Tony?" Abby called as she threw down her cards and wheeled her chair to the head of the bed. She slid her hand inside his and squeezed. "You with us?"
Tony licked his lips and swallowed before speaking. "Who's winning?" Abby smiled widely.
"Who do ya think?" she spoke. Tony opened his eyes slowly and smiled gently.
"How long was I out?" he asked, taking stock of his injuries. The headache he was experiencing reminded him about being hit over the head, looking down he also saw a large bandage covering the length of his left arm. He remembered vividly the pain as Nurse Windsor had sliced the knife through his arm like butter. He was also lying underneath a heated blanket. The cold water must have done some damage.
"'Bout a day, the doctors sedated you while the other drug wore off," McGee answered as he tidied up the playing cards.
Tony scanned the room before asking his next question. "Where's Gibbs?"
"Coffee break," McGee and Abby answered simultaneously.
Tony laughed huskily. "Should have known."
"Should have known what, DiNozzo?" Gibbs asked from the doorway, his coffee sitting in one hand.
Gibbs walked into the room and sat in the spare chair by Tony's bed. "You look like hell."
"I feel like it too, I don't remember much after the water went over my head."
"Gibbs saved the day!" Abby told him, still smiling.
"What happened to the wicked witch of the east ward?" Tony asked.
"Kevin killed her; she'd been seducing him into doing her bidding for years, he finally cracked," Gibbs explained.
"What's going to happen to Kevin?" Tony asked Gibbs with a concerned look on his face. Kevin had been on the secure ward all this time when he'd never even killed Lucy West.
"He'll be re-evaluated and then probably be given extra therapy to undo what Nurse Windsor did to him." Tony closed his eyes. It was obvious that he was in pain. "Abs, McGee, go get a doctor, preferably Ducky," Gibbs ordered and the pair left obediently.
"You gave us quiet a scare, DiNozzo."
"You did good, Tony."
Tony opened his eyes, meeting Gibbs' eyes, checking to see if Gibbs was joking. "Thanks, Boss, that means a lot."
Gibbs nodded. "The West's are finally able to give Lucy a proper funeral thanks to you."
"I want to go… to the funeral."
"I planned on going anyway," Gibbs replied.
"So, when can I get the hell out of here?" Tony asked.
"Oh, they'll want to keep you over night my dear boy," Ducky answered as he walked in the door, Abby and McGee trailing behind him. "Maybe longer," Ducky added as he increased Tony's pain medication for him.
"Aww, come on Ducky, I'm gonna be so bored stuck here!" Tony whined as the pain medication started to take effect.
"How about a game of Go Fish?" Abby asked with a smile.
Tony and Gibbs stood at the back of the church during the funeral and then had stood behind everyone at the grave. They almost felt like gatecrashers. They hadn't known Lucy, they'd never even met her, but the small smile Mary West had sent their way had told them they belonged there.
Tony hadn't been out of the hospital long and his arm was up in a sling, to prevent Tony pulling out all the stitches. Abby had even managed to fashion a sling that matched his suit. They watched behind dark sunglasses as Lucy's body was lowered into the ground and fresh tears from an old tragedy fell down faces.
The cluster of mourners slowly dissipated, leaving only Lucy's parents and Tony and Gibbs. Mary West bent down over Neil West's wheelchair and tucked his blanket in, protecting him from the chill in the air. He spoke to her, but neither Tony nor Gibbs could work out what he had said. She stood up straight and pushed his chair towards Tony.
"He'd like to speak to you."
Tony nodded. Mary pushed Neil's chair towards the nearest bench before walking away. Tony sat down on the bench, unsure what to say to the man. He looked up and met Gibbs' eyes. Gibbs nodded firmly before walking back to the church. He turned back to the frail man.
"I'm sorry for your loss."
"I lost her a long time ago, Agent DiNozzo," Neil West spoke. "I think I lost her when she was still alive."
"Why do you say that?" Tony asked.
"I provided for my daughter, Agent DiNozzo, I gave her a home to grow up in, all the piano lessons and ballet lessons she could ask for, I put food on the table and bought her the best bike for her to ride down the street, better than all the other kid's bikes."
"Lucy was a lucky daughter."
"I was away at sea most of the time, never really saw her grow up. I never understood my own daughter." He shook his head. "I was pushing her into the Navy and she just pushed straight back. The last time I saw her we fought, she told me she hated me." The hardened Navy Captain's face creased up and a tear rolled down his cheek.
"My father wasn't around much" Tony began "And when he was, he was more interested in who was getting his next drink. He had plans for me to follow in his footsteps, become a suit in an office. Drive expensive cars, live in a mansion somewhere, produce an heir to the family fortune. He disowned me when I told him I wanted to be in law enforcement. We barely talk now."
"You and Lucy had so much in common."
Tony shook his head. "Lucy had a father who loved her unconditionally. Sure, you weren't going to be happy with her career choice, but I can see you loved her so much that in the end it wouldn't have mattered to you if she'd become a Navy Captain or a waitress. I've been doing this year for over ten years and my father has yet to get over it. And she did love you, Sir; I read her diary, she loved you so much."
Another tear rolled down the man's cheek. "Thank you."
"You're welcome." Tony smiled.
"You would have gotten along well with Lucy, you have the same spark in your eyes. Both free spirits." Tony laughed. "You should phone that father of yours, Agent DiNozzo. Before it's too late and he's standing at your grave regretting the last words he said to you." Tony nodded. "There's something I want you to have." Neil West dipped his hand under the blanket and pulled something out. He opened his palm to reveal Lucy's pendant. "Agent Gibbs gave this to me but I'd like you to have it."
"I couldn't," Tony refused. "It belongs with you."
"You going to say no to a dying Naval Captain?" Neil asked. "If it weren't for you I wouldn't have been able to say goodbye to my daughter before I die. I owe you so much more than this pendant." Neil West pushed the pendant into Tony's hand and closed it tightly.
Neil nodded. "You're welcome, now, how about you join us at the house for dinner. Agent Gibbs can come too."
"We'd be honoured." Tony waved Mary back over to them to wheel Neil away. As they began to leave Tony stopped them. "Sir?" Mary stopped the chair and spun it round. "When you see Lucy say hi for me."
Neil smiled. "Will do, son, will do."
Tony smiled back as Mary pushed Neil towards the car park.
"Come on," Gibbs' voice called from behind Tony, surprising him. Last time Tony had seen Gibbs he had been walking off towards the church. "We've been invited to dinner and I don't know about you, but I'm starving." Gibbs stepped towards Tony. "You ready?" Gibbs asked. Tony turned back to Lucy's grave and smiled as he felt the cool metal of the pendant in his hand.
"Yeah, I'm ready." The pair began the trek back to the car park. "I can't stay long though," Tony told Gibbs.
Tony smiled before answering. "I've got a phone call to make."