Authors Note: I wanna thank everyone for their great reviews :-) Also, there was a good question raised in one of the reviews, which was what the relationship between Gibbs and Tony was going to be, and now I can say without a doubt it is going to focus on the father/son aspect of the two, which you guys will get to see more of coming up :-) Enjoy!
Chapter Four: Shakespearean Tragedy
Gibbs didn't skip a beat when as soon as he saw Tony reach for his desk he yelled for McGee to call him with coordinates and then raced after his young agent. He barely made it into the elevator before the doors slide closed behind them, taking them down into the garage. Those few moments he used to glance over at the Italian, taking in the feelings that seemed to be radiating from him. His eyes were burning with anger, but if studied more closely there was a hint of fear as well that made Gibbs wish there were something he could do. Over years of partnership, one of the hardest parts of the job came to be having to watch his agent suffer, which happened much more than he could have imagined.
The quiet ding of the elevator drew him from his thoughts and he was chasing Tony towards the car before the doors had even completely opened. It wasn't until the pair finally reached the car that the two even spoke, and even then it was because there was no way Gibbs was letting Tony drive. "I'm driving," he stated, giving no room for argument as he pried Tony's fingers from the door handle. Luckily Tony nodded without argument and as Gibbs jumped in the car his phone went off, which he quickly handed to his young protege, knowing it would be McGee. "Get the coordinates from McGee and tell me when to turn."
The tires screeched as they pulled out of the garage, the speed at which Gibbs drove reaching a whole new level of crazy, which Tony actually seemed grateful for. He glanced over at his boss every few seconds, noting the pure concentration on the older man's face. He figured it was so they wouldn't get killed, which was good. It gave Tony the time he needed to mull over everything in his head, over and over again. So someone had been there when the deal had gone south and his boss had nearly been splattered across the pavement. It didn't make any sense. They had cleared the area! Obviously not well enough. But for them to...god, he didn't even want to think about it.
Up ahead he could see what appeared to be their destination. All the twists and turns had lead them towards an industrial park. Identical buildings passed by in flashes of silver until they seemed to be reaching the end. When they finally started to slow down he was already reaching to open the door before the car even stopped. A rough hand gripped his forearm, however, stopping his movements. Tony shot a glare. "What are you doing?? We need to get in there!"
Gibbs was not deterred though and kept his gaze steady. "And we will, but I need to know that you've got a clear head. We don't know who or what's in there and I don't need you getting yourself killed. Clear?"
Although he would never admit it, Tony understood where his boss was coming from, and knew he was right. He wouldn't do anyone any good if his movements were rushed and he ended up getting either himself or Gibbs killed in the process because he wasn't paying attention. "I gotcha boss."
Once the words passed through his lips and Gibbs gave him one last look over he nodded and released his hold, letting Tony get out of the car. Pulling his gun from the holster as he quietly shut the door, he brought it up and approached the entrance. Once he was pressed against the side of the building he took a quick look around, seeing no one other than his boss who was getting ready to push open the door. He nodded his head and as soon as Gibbs pushed open the door he moved around the corner, quickly looking in each direction, knowing that his boss was doing the same.
Before going any further Tony reached to his belt, grabbing his flashlight and clicking it on, bringing it into place above his gun. He turned his head a bit, just enough to see Gibbs nod once, and then slowly moved forward, pausing to look around every couple of feet. Crates were stacked on top of one another throughout the floor along with rope and other equipment that left the floor cluttered. The silence, however, was deafening and with each step he took, Tony felt more and more anxious. "Boss..."
"I know, Tony," Gibbs said quietly, and he did. If there was anything he had learned to trust over the years, it was his gut. And right now, he knew that whatever they were going to find, it wasn't going to be good.
Each second passed like an hour as the two made their way through the building. Soon sirens could be heard in the distance and it wouldn't be long until the others arrived on the scene. Tony was about to suggest doubling back but before he could turn around he caught sight of something from the corner of his eye. "Hey, I think I've got something..."
Moving closer to the object Tony bent down and focused the light towards the floor, discovering that what he had seen was actually a necklace. One that he recognized. After all...he had bought it. Closing his eyes briefly, he drew in a breath, holding it for just a moment before releasing and opening his eyes once more. "She's here somewhere...I..."
While Tony was busy inspecting the jewelry Gibbs had slowly moved forward, checking back every few steps to make sure the other was alright. He came to a corner in the maze the crates seemed to have created and paused for a moment before quickly turning, his eyes immediately locking on the scene before him. Despite his instincts, throughout their search he had hoped and prayed to whoever was up there to just give the kid a break, to let this end with at least a small amount of good news. With what lay before him that hope was shattered.
Before him was the very still body of Jeanne Benoit. Dark tresses of hair fell on either side of her face, lying limply on the cold, concrete floor. Her arms were folded over her waste, giving her a strangely peaceful appearance that clashed with the cold, dark surroundings she had been left in. Kneeling down beside her, he carefully placed to fingers to her neck, silently cursing when he found no pulse and her skin was cool to the touch. He never had a chance to even turn around before he heard the clattering of what had been Tony's flashlight hitting the floor.
All the young agent could do was stare. Stare at the woman he had once loved as she laid on the dirt ridden floor completely lifeless. He didn't even have to ask. The look on Gibbs's face said it all. He couldn't speak, couldn't breath, and before he knew what was happening he was on the floor beside Gibbs, just watching her. More than anything he wanted to reach out to her, touch her just once, but a gentle but firm hand on his forearm kept him from doing so. He even vaguely understood why, but none of it mattered. All that mattered at the moment was that she was gone. Dead. Because of him. Because of his disease.
Minutes later the local LEOs and his coworkers arrived and Tony felt himself being lifted and ushered away from the scene while the processing began. He couldn't bare to watch. Conversations came in and out of focus, but when Ducky read the time of death he heard loud and clear. She had been dead before he even received the phone call.
Another hour passed by until Gibbs finally felt comfortable enough to leave, taking Tony with him. Ziva and McGee had been given their orders and Ducky had readily agreed to perform the autopsy that night, despite the late hour. He would call with the results. For now, all Gibbs wanted to concentrate on was getting his agent home, his home to be precise. There was no way he was going to drop Tony off at his apartment, not with a murdering stalker on the loose. No. He'd stay with him, just as he had in the past.
The drive back to his house went by in a disconcerting silence, Gibbs glancing over at Tony every few moments. The other seemed to be trying to keep his emotions in check and it tugged on the older man's heart strings. Those green eyes shone each time they passed a street light, filled with tears that Tony forced himself not to spill and more than anything Gibbs wanted to tell him it was alright. All that held him back was knowing that once they were safely inside he would be able to offer the comfort that he couldn't while he was driving.
Finally they pulled up in front of Gibbs's house and as he turned off the car and opened his own door he realized that Tony had yet to make a move. He just stared forward, his eyes burning holes in the glove compartment. Sighing, Gibbs shut his own door and made his way to the other side of the car, carefully pulling open the passenger side door. "Tony..." he called softly, lightly placing a hand on his shoulder. "Come on son, let's get you inside."
'Wait a minute...did I just call him...,?' Gibbs thought briefly before shaking his head and shoving it aside. That would be a thought for him to analyze later, when he wasn't dealing with a devastated Tony. On a slightly positive side, Tony seemed to react to the name and turned to face him. At that moment Gibbs would have given anything to be able to take away the raw pain that seemed to radiate from the young man's face. After a brief moment Tony nodded and slowly got out of the car, allowing the boss to usher him inside.
Once inside Gibbs locked the door behind them and got Tony situated on the couch. It was an easy enough task as his senior agent was still barely responsive to anything and allowed Gibbs full control. What he hadn't expected was the sudden rush of tears that seemed to come as soon as the other sat down. They weren't loud, giant sobs but rather silent tears that just rushed down his cheeks and momentarily Gibbs was at a loss. But as he continued to watch his agent's pain he set aside his hard exterior and sat down on the couch beside Tony, gently taking the younger man into his arms. It was only a slight surprise when the other instantly shifted so his head rested against Gibbs's chest, his fingers tangling themselves in the fabric of his shirt. All the while Gibbs combed his fingers through Tony's hair, whispering words of comfort over and over again, telling him it wasn't his fault, that things would be alright.
Eventually Tony had cried himself to sleep and Gibbs carefully shifted in his seat and laid the young man down on the couch. He looked so young, so vulnerable, and the older man silently swore to find out who was trying to mess with Tony's life. Sighing, he made his way towards the basement door, taking one last glance at the dozing agent before heading downstairs.
Working on his boat had always helped him relax and given him a chance to gather his thoughts, which was something he desperately needed to do now. He had called Tony his son, without even having to think. It had just slipped out into conversation as if he were simply saying his name. Part of him blamed the situation, that it had just come from him feeling protective of the young man who had just discovered the woman he had loved dead. But then again, he also recognized that there had to be at least some underlying feelings for it to even enter his mind at all, and if he were honest with himself he knew it was true.
Tony had been working with him longer than any other field agent, and over the years he grown very fond of him. His jokes and antics provided amusement for everyone around him, even if Gibbs would never admit it out loud. And his skills as an agent never ceased to amaze him. While most never truly understood his methods, they were very effective and he had come to respect that. So was it possible that he had come to care for and dare he say...love, this young man as the son he never had?
The answer to that question would have to wait, however, because before he could finish a loud thud broke him from his thoughts, drawing his eyes towards the door. For a second he had thought perhaps Tony had gotten up, however the next crash told him it was more, and thankfully he still had his gun strapped on.