So, the final chapter. I am sorry for those that wanted me to do one on Jenny, but I honestly just can't get into her head, particularly since I really didn't like her as a character. And for those that wanted me to do one on Tony's reactions to everything, I am actually considering it, but if I do it will be posted separately as a one-shot. :)
So, that said, heres the one with all the expectations… Gibbs. I hope I managed to do it justice… Enjoy the final installment of Reactions, and let me know what you thought!
And where the heck is DiNozzo?
If there was one thing he was good at, it was masking his emotions. There was only one time that he could remember really struggling to keep his mask in place; and that was when he had found out that Shannon and Kelly had been killed. Ever since then, he had simply strengthened his resolve and refused to let anyone get close enough to be able to effect him that way again.
That had changed.
As he stepped out onto the balcony over the squadroom, he found it hard to believe that just half an hour ago his only priority had been Jenny, and trying to work out why the CIA was going to such lengths to question her.
Then Jenny had appeared and told them that Tony had been part of a long term undercover op for her for months now, and that he was dating the daughter of an international arms dealer.
It had taken all he had to resist shouting at her for using one of his agents without even telling him. And not just any of his agents. She'd used Tony.
Still, even as they moved up to MTAC, and kept failing to get a hold of the younger man, the last thing he had expected to see was his seconds beloved car going up in a burst of fire worthy of a war zone.
He had sent the other two members of his team to get their gear so they could get to the scene. Jenny had gone to ensure that Metro PD didn't try to get there first; which was a good thing, since he didn't think he'd be able to handle even looking at her at this particular moment.
She had used his agent… his protégé recklessly, negligently.
And now, one of the only agents that he was proud of, and definitely the only one he trusted enough to hand his team over to when he retired… was dead.
There was no sugarcoating it.
The brilliant, vibrant investigator that he had seen such potential in way back in Baltimore was dead.
He started down the stairs slowly, knowing that he had to get his own gear before heading to the crime scene.
The crime scene that Tony's body was at.
The body that wouldn't greet him with a movie reference that this reminded him of. The body that would never make another Sean Connery impersonation; would never stay at his house and help him out with the boat.
He paused in front of his senior field agents desk, surveying the area with blurry vision, having to blink several times in order to see everything clearly.
He smiled bitterly at the array of pictures that Tony had stuck onto the side of his filing cabinet. He glanced around, and, seeing nobody there, simply moved the several steps required to get to the chair and sat down, staring at the pictures in front of him.
The pictures were all from varying time periods. Except for his childhood – the earliest picture was of his best friends in college. There were some from his years as a cop. And quite a few from his time at NCIS. There was a picture of every team that he'd had in the last seven years.
It had actually been Abby who had first realized that so far, she and Tony had, accumulatively, managed to get a picture of each of the various agents that had already come and gone within Tony's first year at NCIS. Ever since that realization, Tony had made it a habit to have at least one picture each time someone either came or left, and stick it on his filing cabinet.
There was barely any room left on that damn cabinet anymore.
He had gone through agents at what the Director had called 'an alarming rate', after Tony had joined the team. It had taken him awhile to realize that he was unconsciously comparing them to his newest, hand-picked agent.
None of them had measured up.
Gibbs smiled when he saw the picture of himself with DiNozzo and Abby. Ducky had snapped that picture, not too long before Kate had joined the team. Abby had insisted on a 'team bonding experience' and had dragged all of them along. Surprisingly, they had actually had fun, something Gibbs had seriously doubted when he had first seen all the signs to advertise the carnival.
But it had been the break they'd needed, and they had all enjoyed themselves. The picture had been taken right after he'd won both Tony and Abby stuffed bears at some stall. So far as he knew, they both still had the bears.
He stared at Tony's smiling face, looking straight through him with those expressive green eyes which told you everything if you knew how to read them.
He tore his eyes away when he could no longer bear to look into Tony's happy expression, no idea of the horrifying future that lay in wait for him.
His eyes fell on the shelf behind DiNozzo's desk, and he saw Tony's NCIS hat, along with his back-up shield and ID. Technically, it was against regulation to have more then one ID, but he knew that Tony had several he kept in a couple places just in case he'd ever need them. He did the same thing.
He picked up the shield, rubbing his thumb over it, mesmerized by it.
This shield had belonged to Tony. His protégé, that he had watched grow from a reckless, good cop to a brilliant, seasoned investigator.
Making up his mind, he stood up abruptly, placing Tony's shield and ID into his jackets breast pocket. Before he turned to get to his own desk, he also grabbed the hat lying there. He let his fingers run over the scrawling 'Property of Tony DiNozzo' written on the inside of the cap before putting it on.
It was a good reminder of the man that had wormed his way into his life and heart so thoroughly.
At first, he had hardly been pleased when Ducky had come up to the squadroom spouting about the damn plague.
After processing the gruesome scene, he had already been hounded over and over again of the image of his vibrant senior agent screaming in agony as his car blew up around him, unable to do anything to save himself.
And now, along with those vivid images, he was reminded of seeing Tony fighting for every breath as the Y Pestis worked to destroy him from within. It was hardly an image he cared to recall. Actually, it was one he tried to repress at all times.
But then Ducky had said the man in autopsy had never had the plague.
And he felt as though a massive weight had been lifted off his shoulders, feeling, for just one moment, absolute thrill at the thought that his senior field agent was still alive, before reminding himself that he still had an agent to find – and make sure that he never left his sight again.
Because he'd rather see Tony fight for breath a hundred times then have to see him with no breath at all.
That night, he was lightly sanding the boat, paying more attention to listening to the front door then to the actual wood in front of him.
He smiled with satisfaction when he finally heard it open and shut, and heard heavy footsteps leading to the basement.
The entire team had been let off early, and he knew that Tony had probably been making the rounds to all of them, making sure they were all alright – and probably also making sure that none of them had taken anything else from his desk.
He hadn't been all that surprised when he'd discovered that the others had also taken something to remember Tony by. The senior field agent was an integral part of their lives, and the thought of things without him… well, he'd already had to go through that thought process once today.
While the others had all headed home, trying to come to term with the days events, he had prepared things. Plenty of alcohol in the basement. The spare room made up, and homemade food ready to reheat for tomorrow.
He turned around as Tony made his way down the steps, the younger man still not saying anything.
His eyes caught the NCIS hat lying on a shelf next to his service weapon. It was Tony's hat, the one he had taken earlier that day. The shield, he had managed to return before Tony had even noticed it was missing.
But the hat, he was going to keep. As a reminder.
As he turned to hand Tony the bottle of alcohol, he was struck, for the first time in a long time, with sheer gratefulness.
Because Tony was here. He hadn't died.
He was here, perhaps not smiling, but alive and breathing.
And now that Tony had finished taking care of the others, Gibbs could take care of him.
So what did you think? Let me know…