Author's Notes The first in a series of post-eps from Requiem to Judgment Day focusing on a budding relationship between Tony (the bachelor) and Maddie (the bobbysoxer)

Why, you may well ask. 1.) The first time I watched "Requiem" I was struck by Tony's line about wanting to get to know Maddie. The line was supposed to be leering and obnoxious, but Tony has grown a lot the last year and I thought it would be interesting if there was a relationship between them. By the next morning, I'd talked myself into being a huge Tony/Maddie shipper. Granted it is a dingy surrounded by aircraft carriers in the NCIS shipper's ocean, but I'm always up for a challenge. 2.) My parents had a nearly twenty year age difference and were the happiest couple I ever knew, so I believe it works and like to explore it in fics.


"Agent DiNozzo?"

Tony looked up at the sound of the voice calling his name. In that moment she looked like a still from an old Grace Kelly movie – all beauty and elegant and color – framed in the door of his hospital room. For a moment he was struck dumb thinking about the close call that almost sent her to the angels and what a shame it would have been to waste that beauty. Clearing his throat, he found his voice and smiled, "Miss Tyler."

She returned the smile, three fold, as she walked into the room, "I think, Agent DiNozzo, that since you nearly died to save me you could call me Maddie."

"Well, Maddie," he winked at her and immediately wanted to Gibbs-smack himself, "I think you better call me Tony."

"Okay, Tony. How are you feeling," she curled herself into the chair next to his bed.

"I'm fine."

"Lair."

They blinked at each other for a moment. Somehow the exchange felt natural, normal. Not at all like to virtual strangers and certainly not like two people who had never spoken before.

"Sorry," the moment was broken by her apology and they were strangers once more. "Um… what's her name? The lady with the tattoos?"

"Abby," Tony supplied with a small chuckle.

Maddie's fingers snapped, "Abby, right. Well, Abby told me that you are being watched for pneumonia. That your lungs are damaged."

For the first time since she entered the room, he looked away from her, "Abby's got a big mouth. My lungs were damaged long before I went into the Potomac today. I had the plague a few years ago."

Her non-reaction startled him. Normally, people were shocked to meet someone who had had the plague, but she just said there staring at him. Finally, her head tilted to the side.

"Then why did you do it? I'm sure even if your doctors didn't tell you not to jump into polluted water in November and stay under long enough to pull two people out of a car and then do mouth to mouth, you could have figured out how that would have been a bad idea."

"Sure you ain't a Gibbs? That was snarky enough," Tony joked. Her silence was enough to tell him that smart comment or no, she wanted an answer. He sighed, "It's my job."

Her curls bounced as she shook her head, "No, it wasn't. That had nothing to do with NCIS. That was Jethro trying to right the wrong of not being able to save Kelly."

"Doesn't matter. My job is to watch my boss's six. And that is what I did. And I'd do it again. No matter what."

She nodded, "Well, thank you, Tony. For saving me and for watching out for Jethro. I'm sure Kelly would be grateful to know that people love him and that someone was looking out for her dad."

Even as he flashed her his most charming smile, a small blush rose on his cheek, "Don't mention it. I just love playing hero."

She laughed and rolled her eyes, "Get better, okay?"

"Will do. You stay out of trouble."

"I'll try. Maybe I'll see you around sometime," she stood and headed for the door.

Before crossing the threshold, she turned and strode back to his bedside. Suddenly her lips were on his, kissing him hard. He hesitated for a moment, before returning kiss. Her hands landed on his shoulders as his arms wrapped loosely around her waist.

When the kiss broke, she winked and smirked at him, "Didn't want you to think I always kissed like a drowned rat."

She scooted out of the room and he was left breathless for a second time.