Wow, how long has it been? Anywho, hope ya enjoy this, thanks to everyone who's read it and/or reviewed it ^^ Don't think I did very well with this chapter :S
After a few more days in the hospital, the young man had been given the go ahead to escape. He'd been going crazy, forever fidgeting and playing with the little tubes and whatnot going into him. Gibbs was constantly giving him light smacks on the back of the head, but if anyone else was in the room, they could tell his heart wasn't in it. The news about Tony's father had shocked him. He knew that DiNozzo hadn't had the easiest childhood, but who had? Obviously Gibbs had, in comparison to Tony's. He'd been woefully ignorant about it all, not knowing what had been haunting Tony all these years. Of course, it was extremely hard to see, but when you knew someone as well as Gibbs knew Tony, you'd have to have been blind to have not seen what was wrong.
But he'd put it all behind him. He'd simply put a veil over it all and acted as though he couldn't see the slump of Tony's shoulders when they had a child abuse case, or the haunted look in his eye when they pulled in a kidnapper. He realised now how stupid he'd been, how he now had to step up to it all. He'd done that the next time Tony had awoke in hospital.
"Listen Tony, I know that we're not supposed to look in your personnel files, but..."
"Not you," Tony had murmured hoarsely, "Just McGeek. I trust you." Gibbs' heart swelled with pride. That was the kind of thing he strived for 24-7 with his agents. At the end of the day, he didn't care whether or not they liked him, just as long as they trusted him, he couldn't give a damn of how else they felt about him. The thing was though, he knew how they felt about him. He was the kind of man who could instantly tell. And he knew how Tony saw him, but he couldn't bring himself to tell the kid how he felt in return.
"Trust with what Tony?" He'd asked,
"My past Gibbs. Whatever you see, it's... confidential... and complicated..."
"Ah, the hell it is DiNozzo," Gibbs had said, anger flaring up inside him, "There is nothing complicated about child abuse. It's illegal and sick. Period." Tony shook his head frantically and hastily argued,
"It wasn'tchild abuse, it was punishment. I deserved it, he - wait, none of that should be in my personnel files. How d'you know whoever told you just made it up?"
"'Cause you just admitted it DiNozzo. Now, start from the top. Why do you think it was punishment and what did he do?"
"Why do you want to know?" Tony had wailed miserably. Gibbs just gave him a look. Tony had then sighed and started, looking into his lap, fiddling his fingers around. Once or twice he had started to sob weakly, still telling Gibbs what had happened, not stopping, as he had been ordered to tell. That didn't stop Gibbs going next to his bed and putting a comforting hand on his shoulder, letting Tony put his own hand on top of that, going so far as to rest his cheek against it, making it wet with salty tears. Eventually, he'd felt better, but then, he asked,
"Why did you suddenly want to know about it all Boss? I don't understand." Gibbs shook his head,
"Never thought I'd hear you say that DiNozzo," Tony stuck his tongue out, and reeled back, thinking he'd be head-slapped. However, that didn't even occur, and he looked up at his boss, puzzled, "You've got a bit more on your mind than usual Tony," Gibbs explained, softly, "You don't need that as well."
Tony shrugged but looked up, waiting to be told why there was the sudden interest in his past,
"When you had a fever, it was really bad. You were hallucinating and all sorts. At first it wasn't too bad. You just started talking to Kate and asking her why she was the only female smurf in the village, then referring to me as Papa Smurf," He paused, enjoying the redness creeping onto Tony's face, "But then you were in bed, and you started to thrash out, yelling for your dad to get away, and for your mum to save you."
Tony paled, and whispered,
"I remember. You told me before, but I can remember some of it... Mum..." He raised a shaking hand to his mouth, as if all the years he'd had to mourn were wasted, so he'd had to do it there and then. Then the tears came. Torrents of water just kept coming from Tony's eyes,
"Tony, hey it's ok, come on. I know how you feel, I've lost members of my family too." Tony looked up at him with big watery eyes, but upon seeing the small look of grief in one of his boss' eyes, he just curled up into a ball and sobbed, as if carrying both of their grief.
"Oh Tony." Gibbs had murmured, before sitting on the bed and gathering him up, holding him in his arms and rocking him up and down, letting the younger man cry on his shoulder, feeling both depressed at the state of his agent, and elated that he would pick Gibbs of all people to cry on, trusting him even at his most vulnerable.
"Are you sure you're ready to do this Tony?" The young agent looked up at his boss with the spark gone from his green eyes and a pale shade to his face and nodded. Gibbs sighed, recognizing the determined set of his jaw. After the whole, 'curling up and crying incident' Gibbs had been very hesitant to tell Tony about his father. He had no idea how his senior field agent would react. Even though he'd told Gibbs this horrid stuff about his dad, would he still love him under that?
He'd gotten the answer when he'd said, hesitantly,
"Tony, about your dad," Tony had instantly stopped fidgeting and sat to attention, "I was trying to locate him, to knock some sense into him," Tony smiled at his boss' protectiveness, "But, we had a bit of trouble..." Tony cocked his head and looked confused,
"That's weird. He's never moved house. We've always had this family compound, and he loves it there. Why couldn't you find him?" Gibbs took a breath and looked deep into Tony's eyes,
"He's dead Tony. Early last month." Tony nodded, his teeth gritted, as if he was in pain,
"Are you... ok? Do you want to be alone?" Gibbs asked, about to stand up. He'd just taken his hand off the other man's when he whispered,
"Don't go. I just... need some quiet time. Just, promise me you won't leave?" And Gibbs had promised. Staying there until Tony had fallen asleep, and after that, until he'd been dying from lack of coffee. When that moment occured, he waited until one of his team was visiting.
This brought them to present day, with Tony now discharged from hospital and bouncing around quite happily, a mask over his true feelings, which was only fully penetrated when Gibbs suggested he went to visit his father's grave,
"It might make it all clearer for you Tony." Tony hadn't understood what that mean, at all, but was finally persuaded to go. The mask on his face still stayed where it was, even with just Gibbs there, he couldn't let his feelings be known. The screwed up kid who still missed his dad, despite the fact he was used as a punching bag on a daily basis for more than 8 years. Even just thinking it made his eyes prick with tears.
With Gibbs' father-like hand on his shoulder he approached the grave, which overpowered his nostrils in the sickly scent of flowers, and crouched down in front of it, so he could read what they'd put on it,
Anthony DiNozzo Sr,
Loving husband, father and uncle.
With tears dripping down his face, he looked up into Gibbs' concerned face and said,
"See what they've put Boss? 'A loving father'. I feel so... it's just..."
"Just take your time Tony, and say it when you're ready." Tony took some deep breaths and said,
"It's just, when it's put there, I remember the good times. When he was too drunk to hit me, and when he helped me ride my bike 'cause he didn't want to buy me a car in the future."
"Well I think, it's better to remember the good times, that way your memory of him isn't sullied too much." Although Gibbs thought these were pathetic good times to remember, but he couldn't blame the kid for thinking they were actual moments of affection.
"And, there's something else..." Gibbs waited, letting the kid take his time to explain himself, "I feel... guilty. Whenever I... whenever you praise me, about my work, or when you pat my shoulder, or even when you slap me in the head. It's like, it's like it's his memory that I'm kind of, washing away, y'know? Like, I'm trying to replace him as quickly as possible, or taking the small things you do as a kind of huge improvement on whatever he did." Gibbs breathed out slowly. He knew as well as Tony did that the kid liked these small moments of affection, even getting head slapped, as long as he was getting attention from someone.
"Tony, listen to me. Anything is an improvement on what he did. I know he's your father, although god knows he doesn't deserve that title, and for some reason you miss him, but you've got to just remember the good time, you hear me?" Tony nodded weakly, leaning against Gibbs' legs (He was crouched down remember). It was as if a huge chasm had opened up inside him. Figures, the only time you remember every single good thing about a person, they were dead.
"I don't know... I don't know how to cope Boss." Tony whispered tearfully, making Gibbs haul him upright, turning him so he was facing the ex-marine,
"Tony, you don't need to. We're all here for you. If you ever need to talk, or... or just listen to reason, or have some sense thrust into that head of yours. We're here." Tony blinked away tears and nodded, rubbing his nose on his jacket.
"I'm just... confused. I don't know whether to be happy or sad. I mean, it;s all over, finished, but, shouldn't I be sad? I owe that much to my father."
"You have a right to be happy too Tony," Gibbs reminded him softly, "Just make your peace with him and come back to work." Tony smiled at him, letting the tears slide down his face as he stared at the gravestone. Crouching back down, he put a hand on it and said,
"Bye Dad," Sniffing slightly, "I know you were only trying to make me into a man, but you took it too far. I will miss you, but not as much as people might think. And sometimes, sometimes I'll think of you. Of how you should have been, whenever the boss hits me, or if he tells me I've done a good job, I'll think, 'Here's a good dad', and I'll pinpoint every bit you went wrong. But I will miss you. I promise." The last bit was a mere whimper, as Gibbs took him in his arms and hugged him, running his fingers through the younger agent's hair.
"Good job son." Gibbs whispered, loving the knowledge that Tony was safe in his arms, and wouldn't be hurt ever again, if Gibbs had anything to do with it.
Ok, I'm soooo sorry the ending is that crappy, but it's the best I can come up with right now ok? Review? And thanks again for reading and reviewing so far ^^ xxx