Those Better Days…Tigerlily1221

A/N: Yes…this is one of the many fics about the spoilers for Season 5. I've used my opinions and the facts that I've gathered from watching NCIS. I don't know if it's close to the real thing but I don't really care because this was spinning in my head and driving me mad. Enjoy my suffering!

Disclaimer: So, I don't own NCIS, though I wish I did.

It was rocky on the edge. Broken and jagged. Torn pieces of rock, all different types but broken all the same. The rock weathered down to the very stony soil and foundation it was deposited upon was gone. Thick, large shards of rock were missing, just like his soul.

He was torn, just like the rock, only in a metaphorical sense.

The whole undercover assignment had taken its toll on his body and mind. It was pulling…no, yanking…at him. It gnawed at his soul, screaming at him to work harder to find and get evidence to put La Grenouille away for good.

Funny, it had the Director's exact voice.

It seemed that it hadn't gone down the way she wanted. The truth and what she believed were very different, and of course the reality of the situation wasn't getting handled very well either.

She might as well have taken to whipping him. She yelled and screamed. She practically shrieked at him. It was misplaced anger.

She had calmed down after the mini mushroom explosion and he left the room dazed. Cynthia had smiled seemingly unfazed by whatever had happened in the office.

'The advantages of having a soundproof office' he thought to himself.

His ears burned from the humiliation. He was disappointed in himself, she was disappointed…Jeanne was dead…nobody trusted him. It was a long and exhausting list.

He walked numbly through the maze of NCIS operatives and fellow agents. They sparsely glanced at him, the braver agents giving him a small uncomfortable smile and the rest chancing quick glances at his rumpled and rather bloodied form.

He knew what they were looking at. He wore the same clothes as he had on Friday. Friday, he had been well groomed; nicely gelled hair; clean shaven; clean ironed clothes and the all together appearance of a perfect agent.

Until, he got an unexpected call at 6:03 pm. Then he almost slipped out of the perfect agent skin and into something less intimidating and comfortable.

It wasn't a bad phone call but a flirty call from the one and only Jeanne Benoit. He had escaped from the office with intentions of spending a wonderful night with her.

He had had an action packed weekend planned, a peaceful Friday night. A long, relaxing evening full of kisses and mind numbing sex after a hard day of work had turned hectic from one measly phone call from her papa.

He didn't even know what it was really about. Jeanne hadn't mentioned anything until the next morning, involving a trip to her father's cottage and a keg full of the best and most expensive beer after he came back.

Saturday was chaotic but normal. A simplistic day concerning a walk through the park and then a mesmerizing drive through some part of Virginia.

He should have stayed at work. He should have never gone with her, or agreed to go. The day, the weekend, the week had worsened and dropped into a ditch as quickly as the good part ended.

The long sleeved blue and white striped shirt was destroyed. It was beyond a simple bleaching and most likely all of the torture of a dry cleaner. The large blood stains, dirt and a mixture of other bodily fluids were spewed on the shirt ultimately ruining it.

Some of the blood was his but the majority of the other blood was hers. It coated his shirt. At first making it feel slick and wet. The thick bright red substance soaked the soft cotton fabric staining it to a point of no revival. Then it hardened turning dark red to black.

He could barely remember what actually happened. The entire operation had sped by and in one swoop became a nightmare. Bits and pieces were filled in, others, from the drugs he involuntarily had taken, created a hazy backdrop for the scenario.

Both of the Benoit's had played him. Mr. Benoit had shown his daughter the many pieces of evidence linking him to NCIS and destroying his web of lies.

She had lashed out. A nice long gash divided his right cheek into two pieces with plenty of blood that fell in drops onto his shirt.

But that was only one of the many injuries and pain she had inflicted on him, the pain being both physical and mental.

They were rushed and furtive punishments. Angry red burns from his French cigars, small pear shaped bruises littered on his cheeks from her ring, and the many other various injuries counting the emotional bearings from plain and simple psychology 101.

She ridiculed him and with her father's encouragement, slapped and sliced him.

It was painful and in the end, didn't seem worth it.

Jeanne was a beautiful girl, lovely and smart. She was caring and gentle. She was the epitome of perfection.

He never thought he could feel that way about someone. It wasn't like the loving feelings you had for your parents or even the fake feelings you had for your first crush. They were so strong that the reality of what could actually happen in the future was frightening.

He had actually dreamt of getting an apartment with her. It would be a small but cozy home. Rich and decorated beautifully.

Even the prospect of marriage was almost on the horizon. They both loved each other and had been together for almost a year and a half as Jeanne had pointed out many, many times. It was quite a stretch to see itty bitty DiNozzos—no, wait DiNardos—running around but she had hinted that she wanted children too.

If he tried hard enough it didn't have to be only an undercover operation. He could successfully pretend that it was real and Jeanne was his long time girlfriend of 18 months. He never bragged about his many girlfriends or one night stands that he had met, Jeanne was the real deal.

Now, there was no question about their relationship. It was over. Jeanne was angry, pissed actually, and her father told her everything.

Trent Kort liked the French a lot better. He had fed Mr. Benoit everything about his position in the operation down to his true name.

Seeing Jeanne with a rather sharp machete like knife in her hands was a bit too much too bare. Fortunately, her time possessed with the knife was cut short by the arrival of his back up.

They rammed into the luxurious cottage, guns out front to where Jeanne was slicing and dicing his shoulders, leaving some intricately designed slashes on his skin and Mr. Benoit was chatting and drinking Scotch watching the sight with amusement.

Within a few seconds, Jeanne had a round of bullets in her.

The sight of the woman he came to love with plenty of bullet holes in her body was shocking.

He was freed from his bindings and bending down he held the bleeding and broken Jeanne Benoit. As much as she hurt him he couldn't shake of his feelings for her.

He left soon after and without a glance to anyone, or regard to driving rules, he returned to NCIS. His short "disappearance" must have scared a majority of the agents. They regarded him with unsure and wary looks.

He was completely unTony. He was snappy and bitter. He barely paid attention to anyone, even the team.

They were all there. Even Abby and Ducky. The team had had weekend duty and had stayed and continued their case into the morning. It really made him wonder what lies and excuses the Director had told them; she had to be very creative with her answers if she didn't want to make Gibbs suspicious.

His short, curt answers to the questions weren't very informative. He sidestepped Abby's awkward attempt to hug him, ignored Ducky's effort to find the source for all of the blood, even brushed off McGee's half-hearted persuasion to tell them the reason he hadn't been at NCIS.

The director was in for trouble. She had to deal with an angry and left out Gibbs plus about twenty bullpens full of baffled agents.

What,oh, what was she going to tell them?

He didn't stay to find out.

And there he was, now. Sitting in his mustang, his achy body hurting and creaking with effort not to split the makeshift stitches over some of the slices.

He didn't move to turn on the car or to get out. He slumped against the soft leather, the familiar fabric comforting and welcoming.

It shouldn't have ended that way. Everyone and everything had gone wrong in a matter of hours, minutes even.

He let personal feelings get in the way, ruining the point of the investigation. It was his fault she was dead, his fault that so much of the evidence was going to be compromised because of his supposed dealings with the French.

It was a very real nightmare.

He wasn't sure how he got to his apartment. He went through lights and broke just about every traffic law there was.

His hands shook. The weekend's events taking hold of the small portion of his brain that was still sane, making him wish that it wasn't so bad.

But it was.

The cabinet that held his liquor was the smallest draw. It didn't hold much, a couple of Jack Daniels, maybe three bottles of whiskey and even a few bottles of finer wines.

He opened the bottle of whiskey and drank almost the entire bottle in one swallow. It fell down his throat involuntarily, feeling pleasing to his aching mind. He was too out of it to notice the enjoyable burn.

Drinking was either to numb the pain or to cause others pain. It just depended how he thought it out and right now, sitting in his kitchen with enough guilt and resentment to be locked up the whiskey was looking great to numb his pain.

He opened the bottle of whiskey and took another gulp. The whiskey in his throat was forced down but he didn't feel any better. It burned causing tears to rise to his eyes.

That started another roller coaster of feelings. He ruined lives by his investigation. Jeanne was dead…


The teammates who didn't have sticks up their asses were suspicious of him…


Any other chances of going undercover once again had shrunken by huge percentages…


It was only a matter of time before he was accused of treason…no hints to where people would get that idea…

He was most likely fired from NCIS…

He took another sip of the whiskey, directly from the bottle, a long swallow of the glistening golden liquid.

Drinking wasn't going to help anything. His injuries would probably lessen from the intake but in the end he probably had some form of organ damage that surely his insurance didn't cover. Maybe if he drank enough maybe it could numb the pain, for some form of a drunken stupor.

It seemed like a fair trade, a night of bliss for the death penalty, the equivalent for eternal peace.

He was so screwed.

Yeah...I hope this is good and if it isn't that i don't really care! I just needed to get this out of my head and tried writing what my head forcing into my writing. It may not be what really does happen but I'm not one of the writers for NCIS (though I wish I was!) so y'll have to live with my meager comparison until September.

Anyway, I would just love to thank my super wonderful beta sharkysheep. I bothered her with this even though I have another story--that you all should read-- that she's beta-ing plus her upcoming vacation.

I would love some review love...I hope you liked!

Luvs, Ari