Disclaimer: I do not own NCIS. Just when you think you figured out Gibbs with Tony.. WHAM!!! Along comes an episode like Bounce. Hope you like. Thank you to everyone who reviewed my first story. spoilers in this to Bounce, Honor Code Enjoy!!!

Tony ran a shaky hand through his hair and sighed. It was over. Thank God. The case had taken only a few days, but to Tony it had taken years. All the memories from three long and troubled years ago came flooding back: the emptiness he felt when Gibbs had upped and left, the first time he and Jeanne had made love all to the face of Remy screaming out his innocence. Tony felt a knot forming in his stomach as the world around him was closing in on his mind. He slammed his hand hard on the desk. His green eyes shot up at the silence following his action into the faces of his team, repeat his team at least until he dismissed them for the evening. He gave them no apologies or explanations for his action. It was not required.

Taking that as a sign to get moving, Ziva came to him first handing over her report. Tony gave it a quick glance, blinking several times to clear his vision. McGee quickly followed. Both agents stood at Tony's desk until McGee cleared his throat.

"Ah…Tony…are you going to keep us here all night or can we go home now?"


McGee nearly stumbled forward from the force of a hand meeting the back of his head. He spun around to come eye to eye with Leroy Jethro Gibbs. McGee appeared terrified and Tony couldn't help but look to the front of McGee's pants waiting for a wet spot to appear but to his disappointment McGee was spared that embarrassment.

"Show some respect, McGee!"

McGee stammered, "Yes, Boss." Gibbs stepped even closer into McGee's personal space. "Not me, "he said gently turning McGee's face in Tony's direction and pointing, "him."

Tony smiled and McGee swallowed hard. He knew he would never live this down.

"Sorry…B…Boss." There, he said it.

Tony grinned. "That's OK , Probie. Go one home everyone. I'll finish up."

Ziva and McGee didn't need to be told twice. They grabbed their gear and headed toward the elevator. Only Gibbs remained. Tony looked up from his reading into Gibbs' blue eyes.

"Something wrong, Boss?"

Gibbs gave a half smile. "You didn't get m y report yet."

Tony leaned back in his chair. " I assumed…. Well…you know… its you."

Gibbs leaned in. "Never assume, DiNozzo," he growled. He handed over his report and went back to his desk.

Gibbs was bending over to gather his gear when he heard a soft voice, so quiet that it was nearly missed.

"That was the first time."

Gibbs head shot up and gazed in Tony's direction. The always confident façade had faltered as he saw his agent's head buried in his clasped hands.

Gibbs waited for Tony to continue. This time, Tony met Gibbs eye to eye.

"You were the first one to ever tell me you were proud of me."

Gibbs released the bag he was holding allowing it to slide to the top of his desk and made his way over to his senior agent. He pulled over McGee's chair and sat down next to him.

Tony didn't move away, but definitely felt self conscious by Gibbs intense stare.

How in 37 years could this be the first time anyone ever told him they were proud of him? Gibbs could only wonder. Tony continued as if reading his thoughts.

"I mean, my mother came close once or twice but under the circumstances I don't think that counted." Tony's evasive answer caused a sickening feeling in Gibbs' chest that made him unsure if he wanted to know the answer behind that one.

"My father…well, he's a whole other topic too late to get into."

Gibbs saw Tony's head drop. He knew he should say something. He always knew he should say something in situations of vulnerability, but this time that something was even too painful for him to admit. Still….it was necessary.

"I never told Kelly I was proud of her."

Tony's eyes shifted in Gibbs direction at that admission. It surprised him a bit to hear that considering how the man ached for his family even after 15 years still trapped by their ghosts. Maybe these unspoken words were part of that pain. Now it was Tony's turn to see the confusion and loss on his Boss's face. He inched as close as he thought Gibbs would allow and tried his hand at settling the older man's doubts about himself.

"When Kelly had a nightmare, did you tell her it would be OK?"

Gibbs thought about the time between tours that he was home. Kelly had been terrified that Daddy wouldn't be coming back. He had spent most of the night holding her in his arms rocking her back to sleep.


Tony decided to push the issue further.

"When she wrapped her arms around you and told her that she loved you, did you tell her you loved her too?"

Gibbs thought back to when he had to leave, the last time he saw his family alive. He couldn't stopped giving that little girl kisses and telling her how much he loved her and would miss her. He still feels that everyday of his life.

Gibbs met Tony's eyes more determined this time. "Yes."

Tony nodded. "Did you ever leave her alone for two days in a hotel in another state to fend for herself leaving her to wonder if her daddy would ever come back for her?" He whispered. "Wondering how she could have been forgotten in the first place?"

Gibbs thought to when Tony had told him this tidbit and how he didn't know how to react. He tried to force a smile knowing that even Tony was trying to take it lightly even though it pained him still after all these years. Gibbs couldn't even fathom forgetting Kelly anywhere. 15 years was proof enough of that.

Gibbs shook his head no. Tony leaned back in his chair with his hands behind his head and feet propped on the desk.

"I rest my case."

Gibbs stood up and reached a hand out to the younger agent. Tony stared briefly at the hand before taking it in his own and gently getting out of the chair.


Tony's hand went to the back of his head.

"What was that for?", he squeaked.

Gibbs grinned hoping the next set of words would be something that would get through to the younger man. "That's for not thinking you were good enough. You always pull through. Trust yourself."

Tony rubbed the back of his head still clearly in shock.

"Now can I please go home, Boss?"

Tony faced Gibbs as he mock pleaded to be released from "his Boss's" presence. Now it was Tony's turn to smile.

Hope you liked and not too OOC. Please review! They make my day!!!