Disclaimer: I don't own any characters that appear on the TV show. They are all owned by Belisarius Productions and CBS. Darn! I do however own the original characters that appear in this story!
A/N: The last chapter, I hope you have enjoyed this angst filled story. Please review and tell me what you thought of it in the end! Thanks and enjoy reading, Kandon.
The autopsy doors slid open as Jimmy Palmer wearily walked in. He had been at a conference today, though he was glad to be back. Jimmy knew why he was here; Gibbs had called him. I've got two body bags… Gibbs had started to say over the cell phone, emotion had been evident in his voice. One of them is DiNozzo! Gibbs had finally finished. Jimmy turned and pulled on his scrubs. He walked over to the first body bag and unzipped it; it was Korah. He zipped the bag back up. "He can stink a little longer!" Jimmy said bitterly.
Jimmy walked to the second bag and unzipped it. Tony looked pasty and white, the dried blood around his face, hand, chest making him look worse. "Hey, uh, Tony. I'm, err, sorry about … about all this …" he said awkwardly.
"That isn't me, you know!" Tony walked over and looked down at the body.
Jimmy shrugged, and then spoke to apparition "This is, you know, going to be hard on everybody. You know that, right?"
Tony nodded, walking around the table to look at Palmer. "Yeah, I figured as much. But what would you do … Someone was going to die, so why not the guy with no real attachments!"
Jimmy shook his head sadly. "I think you made the wrong choice."
Tony looked at Jimmy. "I guess we'll never know, will we!" And the apparition disappeared into nothingness.
Jenny Shepard stood and looked out the window. She was holding a glass of whisky in her hand. Musing to herself, she turned to see a white and bloodied Anthony DiNozzo standing in front of her desk. Jenny gasped. "Tony!"
"You satisfied now, Director?" Tony said harshly. "Wish you told McGee and me about Korah now?"
A tear ran down her cheek. "I'm sorry, Tony. I was wrong. I'm sorry you paid the price and I'm going to have to live with it!"
The apparition changed as he lent down on the desk. Tony was now dressed in a suit with his hair slicked back and his handsome features no longer bloodied. He smiled down at her. "You know, if you've learned anything from this, it is that rule number twelve was made to be broken!"
"What are you trying to say?" Jenny said, already catching his drift.
Tony looked towards the door. "He's outside the door, pondering weather or not he should come in, let him in"
"Gibbs" Jenny whispered, and the apparition nodded. She placed her glass on the table. Tony disappeared as Jenny walked quickly around her desk and opened the door. Gibbs' hand was half way up to knock, something that was unlike Gibbs. Jenny wrapped her arms around Gibbs' neck and cried into his shoulder.
Abby sat at her desk, she had the drawing of Tony that Kate had done sitting in front of her. It was a gift that Gibbs had given her earlier on. Her mascara was streaked, her knuckles bloodied and she looked like she was going to cut her throat or something.
"Tony! Why?" Abby began to sob again.
"Hey, Abs!" Tony said, appearing at the doorway.
Abby spun around. "Why, Tony? Why did you have to go and be so selfish?"
Tony walked over to her and looked down. He reached out to place his hand on her shoulder, but she moved away. "Abs," Tony started, his voice was calm but there was pain. "I was going to die either way! The Barbed wire in my wrist was already causing me to bleed to death."
Abby turned on him defiantly. "Oh, so that makes it okay?! Losing you makes me lose another piece of me …"
"Believe me, Abs," Tony began, "if I could be here in the land of the living, I would. You think I want to see Ziva without me, Abs! I loved her!"
Abby burst into tears again, she sobbed uncontrollably. "Oh, Tony! Why?"
"Abs," Tony said, looking down at her, his voice calm and peaceful, "McGee needs you now. He's had a tough time too and he's the Senior Field Agent now. He needs you to help him and you need him!"
Abby nodded, and Tony disappeared as McGee walked into the lab. "Timmy!" Abby leapt off her seat and wrapped her arms tightly around his neck. "I miss him! I miss him so much!" she sobbed.
"Me too, Abs," McGee choked and forced his emotions down. He had to be strong for Abby. He had the feeling he needed to be.
Jimmy had disappeared after the autopsy, which left Ducky alone. He rose from his desk, he felt old and exhausted. He walked over to one of the cool room door. He opened it and slid the tray and body out. He looked down at the now presentable body of Tony DiNozzo.
"My dear boy," Ducky smiled sadly. "I did as you asked. I preformed an autopsy that you would have been proud of."
"Thanks, Ducky!" Tony looked up at him. "I'm sorry it had to be me. But I had to do something; I was betting that I would make it."
"I think everybody did, my boy." Ducky looked down at Tony, "What possessed you to do it is what's troubling me."
"Ducky!" Tony cocked his eyebrow at Ducky. "It was Ziva, I didn't want to lose her to Korah. Besides, I got her into the mess!"
"Ah, I see," Ducky nodded, "star crossed lovers … Shakespeare, a classic British poet!" Ducky paused and looked down at him again. "Let us hope she doesn't decide to do a Juliet!"
"That will be a Gibbs' job, Duck." Tony looked at the doctor, then as if remembering, added, "Thanks, Ducky. I appreciate all you've done for me."
"You're quite welcome, Anthony!" Ducky smiled sadly as he slid the tray back inside the cool room and closed the door.
McGee sat in the corner of the elevator. The lab had received a call from Gibbs for McGee to return. McGee now sat in a shutdown elevator. He was feeling the extra weight of not being Tony and being the new Senior Field Agent. "I can't do this, I'm not Tony."
"Probie!" Tony jeered at him. McGee jumped as Tony's apparition appeared in the elevator. "I said you were going to be a better then me. I know you can do this Tim!"
"Don't go all nice on me now, Tony!" Tim snorted at the apparition. Then he nodded at Tony. "But thanks. I appreciate the fact you think I'll do better!"
"Hey, McGeek … that was a confidence building thing!" Tony grinned at him. "Your way is different to mine, so there is actually no better way…P-r-o-b-i-e!"
McGee rolled his eyes. "You're still the same old Tony, even in death!" McGee smiled softly as he climbed to his feet, squared his shoulders and took a deep breath. "I-I'll miss you, Tony."
"Please don't go all touchy feely on me, McGee," Tony snorted, but soften as he saw McGee was trying not to cry. "You'll do great, Tim. I know it. And guess what? You'll get your own probie to tease, now won't that be fun?
"I guess," McGee murmured.
"Good," Tony nodded his approval. "That's what I like to hear! I didn't tease you for nothing, you know, Probie." Tony turned and disappeared as McGee flicked the switch. The elevator jolted, the door dinged open and McGee said, "I won't let you down, Tony. I promise…"
Ziva paced the evidence locker in the garage; it was the only quiet place in the building where she could let it all out and not have anyone bother her. Ziva stopped pacing and sat down on a crate.
"Why Tony?" Ziva whispered quietly as a new set of tears ran down her face. "Was I not so much more important?"
"Of course you were!" Tony said, walking towards her. "You think I wanted to die!"
"No" Ziva shook her head, not wanting to look at him.
"Hey, look at me!" Tony said softly as he stepped right up to her. "I didn't want you to die. I was willing enough to give up my own life to save yours!"
"Well, you shouldn't have," Ziva muttered, her eyes still diverted. "I am not worth dying over, remember?"
"You are the one person that I would die a thousand times over for, Ziva," Tony responded gently, lifting her face so that they were eye to eye.
"But…" Ziva began fresh tears forming. Tony reached out and wiped them with his thumb.
"No buts, Zee-vah." Tony bent in and whispered into her ear. "Just know this … I love you and I always will, sweetcheeks!"
Another tear trickled down her face as she looked up at Tony. "I think I do also … I-I …
"I know…" Tony blew her a kiss as he disappeared, leaving Ziva alone once again.
"I-I love you too …"
Gibb sat in the empty bullpen. He had left McGee with Jenny as they finalised his promotion. Gibbs had found it hard, but like Tony, he knew McGee would do a great job. He had every faith in Tim McGee, his other son. Gibbs grinned and pulled his small flask out of his pocket. He unscrewed the lid and held it up as he looked at the writing. Jethro, for good luck. Love Shannon and Kelly.
Gibbs gave a small smile. "You'll love our adopted son and brother, you guys!" Gibbs saluted the empty desk diagonally opposite. "Semper Fi!" He swallowed a mouthful, savouring the taste.
"Thanks, boss!" Tony suddenly appeared at the desk. "You know, I have a strange feeling that you never did want me to leave even when I did annoy you!"
Gibbs grinned at the apparition. "Ya think, DiNozzo!"
Tony grinned at him. "You'll miss me, you know!"
"That I will, Tony!" Gibbs nodded. "But at least I won't be frustrated to the eyeballs anymore."
"Thanks, boss!" Tony replied sarcastically. Then he smiled at Gibbs again. "I'll be sure to tell them hi from you. How does that sound?"
"I would like that Tony and please keep an eye on them" Gibbs said as the smiling apparition disappeared. "Goodbye, my son"
The funeral had taken place two days earlier, Gibbs had been asked to speak about Tony and he had done a great job. Gibbs thought he had seen DiNozzo senior at the back of the church but he hadn't been sure. Gibbs now sat at his desk, McGee was down in Abby's lab with Abby and Ziva hadn't yet arrived. Gibbs was willing to cut her some slack.
The door to the elevator opened, Lucas Survage walked out carrying his backpack. His nose was bruised and he looked like he'd been in a prizefight. He walked into the bullpen and straight up to Gibbs. "Well what can we do for the Federal Bureau of Idiots today?" Gibbs looked up sarcasm dripping from his voice.
Lucas silently pulled a slip of paper and slid it onto the desk. "That is my request for transfer. I've officially joined NCIS and ... I'm on your team!"
"Like hell you are!" Gibbs snarled and walked quickly and steadily up the stairs towards Jenny's office.
Lucas stood awkwardly for the next fifteen minutes. Ziva looked surprised to see him, "Lucas what are you doing here?"
Gibbs appeared seconds later before Lucas spoke Gibbs, shoved the paper into his chest. He stood nose to nose with Lucas. "You go behind my back or even think about it! You're ass is mine! Clear!"
"Crystal" Lucas said his mouth dry. Then he turned and sat down at Tony's desk.
"Hey!" Gibbs barked, Lucas looked at him. "That's Tony's desk!" Gibbs stated loudly and openly at him. Gibbs pointed to the desk at the far end of the bullpen, "Yours is down there!"
A/N: The story has ended. I wasn't expecting to end it here, but I have. Thanks for reading and thanks to those people who stuck with me and reviewed. Kandon