Looking at You

Disclaimer: Still own nothing, making no money, have no money to be sued for because I'm a student…

Tag to Lost and Found; and sequel to Sweet Child of Mine. Just a quick oneshot drabble. But maybe I could be persuaded to extend it…

(Two years working on my physics A level and the most useful thing I learned was how to spell capacitor. Thank you, Doc N.)


Ziva smiled fondly as she watched Carson carried out of the bullpen by his adoring father, his stepmother at their side. Usually, she tried to stay away from small children, but this one had charmed her; it was like dealing with a much shorter DiNozzo. She found herself picturing a son of Tony's, with his brilliant eyes and dimpled smile. Still smiling at the image, Ziva turned to regard her partner.

Tony's expression couldn't have been more different. He looked… jealous. Pain and loss and longing showed so plainly in his face that it tore at her heart to see it.

"Tony? Are you OK?" As she spoke, everyone turned to look at him; and in an instant the expression had vanished, to be replaced by the cheerful, slightly eccentric man she saw every day.

"OK? My high score got beat by a ten-year-old! I'm gonna have to stay late and try again now; I mean, who can actually spell "capacitor"?"

"C-A-P-A-C-I-T-O-R," spelled McGee, smugly. "It's a device used for the storage of electrical charge."

"I rest my case," said Tony.

"Play computer games on your own time, DiNozzo," Gibbs growled. "C'mon; with me. We're going to interrogate Collins."

"On your six, boss," replied Tony, hurrying after him.

Gibbs flipped the emergency stop after only a few seconds.

"You wanna tell me what's wrong, Tony?" He asked.

"Wrong?" Tony asked innocently. "Nothing's wrong, boss; I'm as fit as a fiddle, even after chasing Ziva all day. Kinda a strange phrase if you think about it; I mean, what does a fiddle need to be fit for?"

Gibbs smacked him on the head. "What have I told you about lying to me?"

"That you'll shoot me if I try it," Tony sighed.

"Damn right." His voice gentled. "I saw your face in the bullpen, Tony. Tell me what's wrong."

"It's… nothing important, boss. Just some bad memories."

"Hey; I'm not your boss right now, Tony. And anything that makes you look like that is definitely important."

"I never liked Collins," said Tony seriously. "But I never figured him for a dirty cop either. I just feel like I should've suspected him sooner."

Gibbs gave him a 'don't make me smack you' look. "You and that kid are so alike it's scary; you even have the same expression when you lie."

"We're nothing alike," Tony replied, almost inaudibly. "That kid's got everything. Magnum Ferrari bed, great taste in movies…"

"Mom and dad who'd do anything for him," Gibbs finished quietly, understanding that he'd finally got to the root of the problem. Tony's face had that closed, dark expression he always had when he spoke about his childhood.

"When I was his age, my mother was still stuffing me into sailor suits and making me play piano at her cocktail parties," Tony told him bitterly. "My father never called to say goodnight when he was away at work. I watched movies alone half the night because no one else was home and I was frightened of that damn canopy bed. And I thought that was normal; that every kid barely saw their parents more than once or twice a week."

"You're not alone any more, Tony," Gibbs said gently.

"I know," he replied, with a soft smile in the direction of the surrogate father who'd done so much for him. "But… it just makes me think how much I missed out on."

Gibbs simply placed one warm hand on Tony's cheek, raising his head so their eyes met. He let Tony read the compassion and affection from them for a moment before he spoke.

"You have any plans this weekend, Tony?" He asked.

"Nothing I can't cancel. Why?"

In response, Gibbs produced a ticket from his pocket and handed it over.

Tony's eyes widened as he read it. "You… wanna take me sailing?" He asked, astonished.

"Hired a boat out of Anacostia. Big waiting list; took me some time to get a reservation, even at this time of year. And I've gotta teach you the ropes before mine's finished. Not letting you capsize her, after all the work I put in."

"But… you booked this three weeks ago…"

"Yeah. You up for it, Tony?"

Tony simply looked at him, eyes shining. "Try and stop me," he said, hugging Gibbs fiercely.

"Thank you, Dad," he said, arms around the former Marine. Gibbs only smiled; the look on Tony's face had already made the trip worth every penny.

"You're more than welcome, son," he replied, returning the hug.


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