I can't believe how long that took to write… I don't even know what's been keeping me so busy, but I gave myself a goal to update before musical rehearsals and the forensics season start… so here it is, the final chapter…
Ziva stood outside McGee's apartment building. She didn't know if she was ready for this. It had been 8 months since Tony was released from the hospital. The doctor had said that Tony shouldn't be living alone for a while, so McGee took him in.
The rest of the team didn't really see Tony much, since they were always working and he wasn't allowed on the base. McGee kept them updated with how he was healing, but he spent so much time at the mental institution or physical therapy or the Beatte house that they couldn't see him at all.
Ziva walked into the lobby and took the stairs to McGee's floor. She was delivering good news, but she wasn't sure how Tony- no, Anthony. McGee had said he wanted to be called Anthony now. She wasn't sure how Anthony would take it.
McGee answered the door with a confused look. "Ziva, what are you doing here?" A Selena Gomez song was blasting from somewhere in the apartment.
"I have some good news for, uh, Anthony." The name felt weird on her tongue.
"Wait is that today?" His eyes widened. Selena's voice was mixing with some very loud, almost on-pitch singing back in the kitchen. "Anthony!" He called.
"You are the thunder, and I am the lightning!" He heard in response.
"Everything comes naturally, it comes naturally!"
McGee sighed and looked at his teammate. "He's making breakfast. I now get to have a full three course meal three times a day every single day for the past 6 months." He didn't say that too happily. "I'll just go get him."
Ziva stepped in the room and closed the door. She'd been in McGee's apartment maybe twice at most in her life. The music was suddenly turned off and she could hear her friends' voices.
"Wow McBuzz-kill. Way to throw off my groove." It didn't sound like DiNozzo had stopped busying with his dish though.
"Anthony, someone's here to see you." Ziva walked over to the kitchen doorway. Anthony, at the stove, didn't see her, and he was obviously ignoring McGee too.
"And don't forget, today is Lily and Milo's birthday party, so we need to be at the Beatte's at 3, and we need to pick Eli up from the ward on our way."
"Yeah Anthony, I remember. But there's someone here" he gently took his friend's shoulders and turned him around, "to see you."
Anthony's shocked face slowly turned to a smile. "Ziva?" He ran forward and embraced her, grinning ear to ear. "Ziva!" Holding her at arms length, "I haven't seen you in months. How've you been? How's the rest of the team? What are you doing here?"
"I'm fine, they're fine. We are all fine." She took in DiNozzo's appearance. Considering what he had looked like leaving the hospital 8 months ago, he looked great.
His brown hair had taken on a longer, scruffier look that made him seem younger. He wore jeans and an ACDC t-shirt, and there was practically no more scarring evident on his exposed face and neck. He wore wrist guards to protect and hide his hands. After quite a few surgeries he had almost full use of them back, but those scars weren't going anywhere anytime soon.
He did, however, have this sort of glow about him. This complete childlike happiness that Ziva was sure she hadn't seen in him before. "You know what today is?" She made eye contact.
"The 23rd?" It dawned on him. "Wait, has it been-"
"Time's up." She smiled. He took a step back.
"So that's today? I can…" He just couldn't seem to finish a sentence. "I'll get my coat!" He sprinted out of the kitchen, still beaming.
McGee smiled and turned to Ziva. "Hey why don't you take him up there. I'll clean up this mess and meet you guys in a little bit."
"Thank you McGee." She hugged him and met Anthony in the hall. "Let's go." He was out the door and down the hall before she could finish.
The drive up there was quiet, but not awkward quiet. More like excited quiet. Ziva tried to keep her driving a little less reckless than usual, with minimal success. Anthony didn't care. He was happily taking draws on the inhaler Ziva hadn't known he needed. Neither of them spoke, but it was a short drive anyway.
When Ziva slammed into her parking space she looked at Anthony. "You ready?" He gave a slight nod. She got out and headed for the building, then noticed he wasn't following her. He was still sitting in the car. "Anthony!" She called. "Come on." He took a deep breath, got out of the car, and ran to Ziva.
Being in the building was weird for him, as was riding in the elevator. He didn't pay attention to the fact that they weren't going to the right floor.
The doors opened and there was Abby. She embraced him immediately. "Tony! I mean Anthony!" She pulled away. "Sorry I forgot, but I'm just so excited to see you and-"
"Abby!" He cut her off. "It's ok. I'm happy to see you too." They stepped into Abby's lab. It was filled with balloons, techno music, and a giant 'Welcome Back' banner. Jimmy, Ducky, Gibbs, Director Sheppard; everyone was there to see him.
"Anthony," Ducky walked forward. He was the only one who was used to using Dinozzo's full name. "How are you feeling, my boy?"
"Good," he thought about it. "Actually, great. Really great."
"Good." Gibbs shut his phone and held out his senior field agent's badge and gun. DiNozzo slowly took them. "'Cuz we've got a case." Both men smiled, and everyone headed for the elevator McGee had exited a second ago. Abby went back into the other part of her lab. Anthony just stood there, smiling.
Everything was the way it should be. The way he liked it. The way he-
"Hey DiNozzo!" His thoughts were cut short by Gibbs' voice from the elevator. "You coming?" Anthony ran to join them. He was finally with his family, his real family.
Finally, Tony DiNozzo was home.
There it is, hope you guys liked it… thanks to everyone who reviewed for sticking with me this long… well, till next time, bye! =)