Disclaimer: I do not own any of the characters or anything.
This is my first NCIS story. I have only seen about 3 episodes of the show, but I have read enough fanfictions that I know what's going on and how the characters are. Correct me if there is something wrong. Please review! Tell me if I should continue.
Gibbs knew he would need to keep a careful watch over Tony the minute he saw the girl's body. There were bruises covering almost every inch of her body, some visibly from fists and shoes. Ducky confirmed her COD as internal bleeding from the brutal beating. The main suspect was the father, a petty officer, who unfortunately was nowhere to be found.
At the scene, Tony unfailingly played it cool. The mask was on. He ribbed 'Zee-vah' and 'McGeek' as usual, but Gibbs could definitely tell something was up. He had a pretty good guess what it would be.
When they made it back to the office, Ziva and McGee seated themselves at their respective desks, trying to look busy when really just waiting for a tip to come in about the suspect. They had attained all the information they needed for a successful investigation. Someone would report the guy and they would have him in no time. It was an easy, by the book case.
Except for the whole Tony issue.
Gibbs watched petulantly as Tony headed straight for the elevator after popping some Tylenol from his desk and unceremoniously dry swallowing two tablets. He was hesitant to follow; Tony might be seeking out Abby or Ducky, or maybe both, probably not to confess to his troubles, but just for their company. He did so often when the work was light. The work wasn't particularly light for Abby or Ducky, processing the scene evidence and performing an autopsy was hardly light. Out of respect for his agent, Gibbs waited at his desk, watching McGee and Ziva continue their current not-work intently. He felt his heart swell with pride when both his agents would glance worriedly at Tony's empty desk and then right back to their computer screens, swallowing the uneasy feeling that Tony wasn't okay.
Gibbs kept a check on the time, waiting a full hour exactly from when Tony stepped onto the elevator. He followed suit, pressing the button for Abby's lab. He was disappointed to find Abby blasting music… alone. The scenario was the same at autopsy, sans the excruciatingly loud music. Gibbs got back into the elevator and sighed, looking at the numbers of the floors, trying to think where Tony would go. And then it hit him. The gym. He sighed again, knowing it was where he should have gone first a long time ago. He reluctantly pushed the button, worried that he would find his agent exhausted.
As always, his gut feeling was correct. The sound of the treadmill could be heard before Gibbs rounded to corner into the room. Gibbs stopped at the entrance and leaned against the wall, thinking his agent would notice and stop. Tony was running at an inhumanly fast pace and sweating profusely, eyes closed, head slightly bent forward with the effort. From Gibbs's angle, he couldn't see DiNozzo's torn hands from where he had earlier beaten the punching bag mercilessly, without gloves.
Tony opened his eyes after sensing he wasn't alone and he saw Gibbs but decided to pretend like he didn't. The running felt good to his lungs and his legs, and he needed some time to think about nothing. His boss's stare wasn't helping much. After several minutes of being watched, Tony began to get impatient.
"DiNozzo, it's time to stop." Gibbs's voice was calm, but loud enough to be heard over the working machinery.
Tony ignored him with a practiced skill, ready to take on any head slaps that would be coming his direction. He pushed a little harder, knowing his energy was quickly being drained by the flat out running he was condemning himself to.
When Gibbs noticed Tony's cold shoulder, he decided to intervene. He walked to the treadmill, gave a pitying 'Tony', and turned the machine off. Tony stopped running before he fell off the machine and then let himself fall into a sitting position on the ground next to it, breathing heavily, and closing his eyes. His workout clothes were almost completely drenched and he found it difficult to catch his breath. When he opened his eyes again, Gibbs was crouched next to him, gazing concernedly down at him.
"Sorry, Boss." He said guiltily between pants for breath. He picked his hands up off the ground and unconsciously began to rub the raw spots on the knuckles, forgetting his boss's hawk-like eyes.
"Don't apologize. Let me see." He took Tony's hands gently into his own, his fingers brushing lightly across the open skin. Tony didn't even wince at the interaction, staring off into space. "Do you have to do this every time, DiNozzo?" Gibbs sighed, falsely frustrated, and truly worried. Truth be told, Tony didn't always run himself to death after a difficult case. Sometimes, he didn't eat. Most times he didn't sleep. Every time, he guilted himself into a depression. Those things were normal reactions, but the way Tony handled them was disturbing.
As Gibbs spoke gently, Tony turned his head away, not wanting his boss to see the look in his eyes that he knew would betray his feelings. His breath hitched in his throat, and he coughed into the palm of his hand, slightly regretting going all out. He hadn't even thought about the fact they he probably wouldn't get to go home until at least one or two in the morning. He would be exhausted when he finally got home, and probably in a lot of pain after the exertion he subjected himself to.
"Let's get you cleaned up," Gibbs used his softest voice once again, standing and offering a hand to his sitting agent. Tony grasped his gratefully and lurched onto his now sore feet. He winced, missing the adrenaline already, still barely catching his breath. Gibbs turned toward the locker room and listened for Tony's footsteps. They came slowly, and he turned around to make sure Tony was still behind him. As he turned, Tony lost his battle with gravity as his overworked muscles gave out and he fell quickly toward the floor. Luckily for Tony, Gibbs still had fast reflexes and caught him just in the nick of time. He eased Tony to the ground and noticed his agent's pale face and still closed eyes.
"Guess I'm just tired, Boss." Tony coughed again and Gibbs frowned. He was supposed to be okay for physical activity. But who wouldn't be coughing and falling after that sort of run?
Tony reopened his eyes and slowly got to his feet again, keeping his arms out for balance. "I'm good." He faked a smile that came out more as a grimace.
Gibbs put an arm around Tony's shoulder, leading him to the locker room and waiting patiently while he changed back into a suit. Tony followed him loyally to the elevator and rested gingerly against the wall. Gibbs pressed the button for Abby's lab and Tony remained silent. Abby's music was down to a tolerable roar when they entered, and Gibbs cautiously gauged Tony's wince at the music.
There was a quiet 'Hey, Abs' before Gibbs ordered Tony to lay down on the futon. Making sure his agent was settled, he turned back to Abby. "Please, Abby, make sure he stays here for a few hours. He needs the rest. Don't let him go until I come back for him." Abby nodded with wide eyes and returned cautiously to her work after a quick hug from Gibbs. She glanced around when Gibbs didn't leave and turned just in time to see Gibbs pulling a blanket over Tony and patting him gently on the head. She smiled and faced her computer once more, knowing that Gibbs had just made Tony's day.