AN: I promise you all that the action soon will start, I hope that you will bare with me. Again big thanks SO much for all the reviews... Keep them coming.. ;)

Chapter 7

The next morning Gibbs was sitting at the kitchen table with a big cup of coffee and was reading the newspaper.

It was still rather early; he wouldn't wake Tony in another two hours. He had checked upon his senior field agent before he went to bed last night and Tony who was sprawled all over the bed was sleeping hard.

Gibbs watched the younger man from the doorway and some of Al's words came back to him and was going round in his head.

Was he babying Tony? Yeah, maybe a little but that was only because he was still feeling rather guilty over that Tony had gotten hurt during Hodgkins' case and something was defiantly going on in the young man's life.

So back to the real questions that bothered him:

How had Tony gotten those bruises? Were had he been this weekend? And why wouldn't he tell them about it?

Maybe he would go to Abby and ask her to do a check up on Tony's credit, see if the young man had bought a plane ticket or something like that.

Gibbs was still thinking about that as he sipped on his coffee when Al walked into the kitchen. The big burly man nodded to Gibbs, poured himself some coffee and sat down across him.

"Sorry about last night." Al said sipping on his coffee. "They become younger as I grow older."

"Yeah." Gibbs nodded; he could understand Al's feelings especially when he thought back to those times when McGee tried to explain about his gadgets. "How's your case going?"

"Forward. I found some information." Al said leaning back into the chair. "Going to check upon it today..."

They started to talk about other things, a quite understanding between the two men that Gibbs had forgiven him but wouldn't tolerate if Al said something like that again.

When Gibbs went to wake up Tony, the younger man was already sitting up on the bed trying to wrap his injured ankle. The older man walked over.

"Let me help you."

"Thanks." Tony said as he looked thru the window as his boss kneeled in front of him and started to wrap his ankle. His thoughts wandered as he tried to ignore the pain.

"You know that you can talk to me about anything..." Gibbs said as he wrapped the ankle as gently and careful as he could. He kept his eyes on it but could feel Tony's eyes on him. "I'm always going to watch your six."

"I..." Tony opened his mouth but shut it again as memories assaulted him. His mother smiling, her not smiling when he told her about what he had seen, then the crash and heat so hot he thought he would burn.

He opened his eyes, he had shut them without knowing it and he looked down at his boss. He couldn't tell Gibbs about it, if his boss didn't know he wouldn't be hurt we they found him.

Gibbs finished with the wrapping, he could see the inner turmoil inside Tony and he laid a hand on the young man's knee.

"It's alright; we can talk about it when you are ready."

"Thanks." Tony mumbled.

"Let's grab some breakfast before we go to work."

Tony felt a little better as he and Gibbs stepped into the bullpen, his ankle didn't hurt so much and he had put the conversation with Al deep in his mind so he wouldn't think about it.

This morning Ziva and McGee didn't arrive together, Ziva came first and then a tired looking McGee came into the bullpen.

"Did you stay up all night killing those little elves, Probie?" Tony asked him and looked over to Ziva who joined him with a smile.

"No, I didn't." McGee mumbled as he sat down at his desk. Actually he had been up almost the whole night feeling bad for going behind Tony's back and snooping thru the other man's past.

He had called Tony's collage when he had come home but they only had told him which high school Tony had attended. They wouldn't leave him any other information about family or such.

But they did say that Tony had graduated at the top of his class and that he had been there on a scholarship.

McGee would try to contact the high school today and he felt bad about it but at the same time he couldn't stop.

"The world calling the elf lord!" Tony said as he threw a paper ball hitting McGee in the face.

"Uhm, what?" McGee asked.

"You were just sitting there staring at Tony." Ziva said with a smile. "Maybe you are fond of Tony?"

"What?" McGee looked confused but turned red when he understood what Ziva was implying. "No! I... Uhm... I..."

"Take it easy, Tim. I was only yanking your rope." Ziva said.

"Chain, Ziva. You were yanking his chain." Tony said as he shook his head.

"Stop bickering." Gibbs growled, hiding a smile when all of his three agents jumped at the sound of his voice.

"Ah, boss." Tony said with a wide smile. "You can join us if you feel left out."

Gibbs head slapped him lightly before turning to his desk and sat down barely hiding his smile.

Gibbs was standing by the coffee maker in the break room when McGee walked in. The younger man stopped, watched his boss' back and shifted from one foot to the other.

"Something you want, McGee?" Gibbs asked turning around, is voice making the other agent jump.

"I... Uhm... Just..." McGee stuttered.

"Out with it." Gibbs leaned against the counter and looked into McGee's eyes.

"I was just wondering... If you had talked to Tony? About his bruises, I mean."

"Not yet." Gibbs could see the concern in the other mans eyes. "Al is still at my place and as long as we are keeping our eyes on Tony I think it will be alright."

McGee nodded, met his boss' clear blue eyes wondering if he should tell Gibbs about his findings but decided not to because he hadn't really found out something, yet.

Tony and Gibbs stepped into the older man's house when Gibbs cell phone started to ring.


"Hi Jet!" It was Al. "I'm going to be late so if you could save some dinner for me, I would appreciate it."

"I'll do so." Gibbs said hanging up the phone. "Looks like it's only going to be us two tonight."

"Okay." Tony said trying to keep his relief out of his voice. He followed Gibbs into the kitchen to help making dinner but was told to go and rest on the couch.

McGee was sitting in front of his computer screen and looked at the information he had written on it. He opened a new document and wrote two columns, one with the headline:

Anthony Michael DiNozzo

and the second:

Michael Anthony DiNozzo

He looked a while at the two names before starting to type what he knew under each name.

The next day was Friday and they would be free from work this weekend. No cases turned up so Gibbs let his team go home early.

He had talked to Tony, telling the younger man that he wanted him to stay the weekend and after Tony had agreed to it after some persuasion.

When they arrived back at the house, Al was sitting outside on the porch and was smoking a cigarette. He greeted the two NCIS- agents with a nod.

"I'm going inside, to borrow your bath tub boss. " Tony said wanting to be around Al as little as possible.

Gibbs nodded to him, watched him go and sat down beside Al.

"Got any breaks on the case yet?"

"Yeah, got a hold of the kids address and went over there last night but he wasn't home." Al said and he took a deep drag of his cigarette before he continued to talk. "I asked the portiere and he told me that he hadn't seen the kid for a couple of days. I gave him a tip and he told me that he would call me when he saw him."

"Okay." Gibbs said and they sat there on the porch a while longer.