The Other Side of the Glass
By Zan 65
Gibbs looked up from his paperwork as Tony's father walked out of the interrogation room and towards the elevator. Dinozzo Senior's face held no discernible expression. He did not even look in Gibbs' direction. Expecting Dinozzo to emerge soon after, Gibbs was concerned when his senior field agent did not come striding out in his usual, cocky manner. After five minutes, Gibbs went to the interrogation room door and knocked softly. There was no response. Quietly, he entered the room and closed the door behind him. Tony was sitting at the table. Gibbs again wished his agent had spent more time at home recuperating from his bout with the plague before coming back to work.
'Hey Boss,' Tony said in greeting. His tone was off-hand but Gibbs could feel in his gut that the younger man was rattled. Gibbs pulled out the chair Tony's father must have been using and sat down.
'Are you okay?' Gibbs asked quietly after several moments of silence during which Tony studied the table's surface. Tony's green eyes met Gibbs' blue ones.
'You know, my father was in here for ten minutes and he never got around to asking me that?' said Tony, his voice shaking slightly.
'Tell me it's none of my business, but what did he want?' asked Gibbs, his voice tight with anger. Tony was still recovering from the plague. Even if Dinozzo Senior didn't know about it, his son still looked very unwell.
'He, uh, he came to tell me that my grandmother has passed away,' explained Tony in the same shaky voice that unnerved Gibbs to his core.
'Nice of him to come tell you in person,' remarked Gibbs carefully.
'He needed me to sign some papers,' continued Tony. 'She was my maternal grandmother.' He was making as little eye contact with Gibbs as he could.
'Were you close?' Gibbs pushed further.
Tony nodded and opened his mouth to speak, but no words came out. He turned quickly away, but not before Gibbs saw his eyes begin to fill with tears.
'I've gotta go,' whispered Tony hoarsely as he stood up, but Gibbs was in his way and drawing him into a fierce embrace before Tony could fully comprehend what was happening. Too upset to be embarrassed, Tony wept against his boss's chest and felt a rough hand stroke his hair.
Gibbs held Tony close and hoped two things: that Tony would ask for his help with family matters, and that Tony's father would rot in hell for his insensitivity.
Outside the room, looking through the glass, Abby held a hand to her mouth. Her own eyes glistened as she watched the touching scene on the other side of the glass.