Tony doesn't remember the first time he called Gibbs 'dad.' He thinks it may have been one of the nights when the elder man held him through his nightmares, or maybe when his boss was teaching him how to work on the boat. Gibbs didn't protest, that much he does remember, instead the ex-gunny had smiled and ruffled his hair, he knows that because Gibbs does so every time he calls the older man dad. It should have had a greater impact on him, the first time he'd ever used the title on anyone, DiNozzo Snr had never allowed his son to refer to him as anything other than sir. But it didn't. It didn't because he knew Gibbs cared about him, accepted him as he was and didn't care about his problems. Gibbs loved him.

Gibbs had insisted on his senior field agent staying with him until the wounds inflicted by Colonel Johnson had healed. Guilt had eaten away at the younger man but his boss had helped him over come it, pointing out that not only had the colonel been about to kill him but had also already murdered someone else and that there was nothing he could have done to save either of them.

Tony had insisted on going to the colonel's funeral, as well as Harvey's, and although reluctant Gibbs had agreed, standing stoically by his side. Harvey had an eight year old little sister who couldn't understand why her big brother would never be coming home. She'd never find out that her brother had been sodomized and murdered by a man who was entrusted with his safety. His mother and father looked heartbroken at the loss of their eldest child and only son. It only served to make Tony feel worse and his nightmares were worse than ever that night. To his immense relief Johnson didn't have any close family or friends. Those who attended his funeral were mostly people he had worked with and none of them seemed particularly put out at his death. It relieved Tony's feelings of self-loathing somewhat, but the special agent still couldn't erase the memories of slitting the colonels throat. Ducky had commented on how well Tony had managed the feat, especially considering the fact he was pinned down. That hadn't helped his state of mind, until he noticed that smile, the proud one that kept him going for five months with the CIA, playing across Gibbs lips. If his boss was proud of him then in his mind he'd done the right thing.

Everything had gotten back to normal relatively quickly this time around. Abby had hugged him, telling him how happy she was that he was alive, and then punched him warning him not to make her worry like that again, but there had been no lasting damage to their friendship. McGee and Ziva, after writing their reports, hadn't mentioned the case again and the new director commended Tony's actions. With his friends, his family, around him Tony was content to at least try and get on with his life. He was happy, he had people who really cared about him, and that was all that mattered.


A/N sorry I took so long to update, I know this chapter isnt great but I struggled with it. Thanks to everyone who reviewed, this and tango-eight.