I am soooooo sorry that this took so long. I never intended for it to be so long, but I got impossibly stuck on this. But its here now, so you forgive me right? :)

Disclaimer: Not mine. Belongs to CBS.


I was ticked. Scratch that, I was beyond ticked. I was enraged.

I glared as one of the team's new probie's scattered away as I walked by. But then even the hardest, well seasoned agents were jumping out of my path.
They all recognized I was on a mission as I stormed off to the director's office and they knew that if any of them dared to get near me right now, they'd be in the line of fire.

After finishing with the tape I had headed down to the parking garage to see who had signed in for afternoon gaurd duty.

I think I might have given the guard at the gate near heart failure when I first stormed in and demaned to see the sing-in sheet, but he had handed it over anyway.

After a quick scan of the pages I found the culprits name. But I was angery (more so, at least) to see he had already signed out just a short time ago.

Something hadn't felt right though, my gut told me something was wrong.

I ended up bullying it out of the guard. If I didn't give him a heartat-tack before, I certainly did then.

Four minutes and he cracked, confessing the guard, a good buddy of his, had cut out early to meet up with his girlfriend.

Doing the calculation in my head of time, I figured he must have left just a few minutes after Dunn had been brought in. So either he didn't check Dunn at all, or he had done it quickly to get it done and missed the knife.
Either way, he was a dead man walking.

I threw the door open to Leon's office, causing it to bang into the wall.

"Come in, Agent Gibbs." Leon commented dryly as I stopped in front of the desk.

I waited for the door to shut behind me before saying anything.

"Haywood was the one who was supposed to inspect Dunn! He skipped out because he had a hot date! And because of that Agent DiNozzo was nearly killed!" I yelled.

"Do you have proof, Gibbs?" Vance asked, leaning back in his chair.

"No, Leon, I just picked his name off the roster and decided to run with it!" I snapped sarcastically, angrily.

Leon raised an eyebrow but otherwise didn't comment.

"You want proof?" I asked, "Go talk to his buddy down at gate. He's already admitted to me."

"Alright. I'll have Haywood escorted to my office as soon as he turns up for duty tomorrow." He reasoned.

"I want to deal with him, Leon!" I snapped.

"I can't do that, Agent Gibbs." he replied curtly, folding his hands neatly on the desk.

"Why not?" I ground out through my clenched teeth.

"Because I honestly don't think it would be a good idea if one of our top agent's was arrested for murder." He answered, staring at me.

I glared, but didn't say anything in reply.

"It will taken care of, Gibbs. What Haywood did was inexcusable. He'll be lucky to get a job as a civilian crossing gaurd from now on. But I will be the one to handle it, not you." He said firmly, pulling out a toothpick and sticking it in mouth.

I only stood glaring at him for a few moments before storming out of the room, making sure to slam the door behind me.

Just because Vance said I couldn't deal with him, didn't mean I had to listen.


Instead of heading straight for the bull-pen, I turned instead for the elevator intending to take it straight to the exit. I needed a few minutes before going back to the squadroom. I was too angry. I needed to take some time to cool off and calm down my nerves. The short walk to the coffee shop and back should be enough.

And it was. As I headed back towards the cluster of desks twenty minutes later, coffee in hand, I was much calmer.

"So were things terribly bored around here without me?" I heard Tony's voice drift around the corner.

Walking into the squadroom I was slightly surprised Tony had braved sitting on the edge of Ziva's desk after the tongue lashing she had been prepared to give earlier.

"Well, it was surprisingly quiet around here for a change." Ziva replied with a smirk and it appeared that her anger had ebbed away.

The corner of my mouth twitched as I sat down at my desk, trying to remember what I had been working on before everything had gone to heck in a hand-basket.

"Awww, see you did miss me." Tony commented, grinning widely.

"Something like that." Ziva replied with a smile.

I heard Tony give a single laugh and I waited for the smart, cocky comment that he was sure to fire back at her.

But it never came.
I looked up and noticed McGee and Ziva were watching him too. Tony, however, was starring at something on Ziva's desk.

"What is it?" she asked.

"Where did you get that?" Tony asked, ignoring his question, his eyes still glued to whatever object caught his interest.

"Where did I get what?" she asked, confused.

"That picture." he said.

Suddenly it clicked. He had seen the picture I had given Ziva from his desk. In the excitement yesterday we had forgotten about them. I mentally headslapped myself for it.

"Gibbs gave it to me. He gave them to Abby, McGee, Jimmy, and Ducky as well." Ziva explained.

She was going to get worse then a headslap later I thought as Tony's eyes instantly flicked over to me.

I pretended to be absorbed in what I was typing on the computer and simply acted as if I didn't notice.

Tony continued to stare for a few moments before apparently deciding that now wasn't the time to discuss it, and turned away.

As he went back to teasing Ziva, who was still looked slightly confused over his reaction, I gave a inward sigh of relief. I really didn't need to deal with that right now.

As the conversation between Tony and Ziva, and soon Tim as well, continued, I had a hard time repressing my smile. It was all so familiar. So normal. So real. This is what I missed. What I had needed. What we had all needed. The little wise cracks that broke the silence and took our minds off the boring paperwork. The conversation, that really lead no where, but were comforting none-the-less. The teasing, the jokes, the conversation.

Without Tony, it had been so empty. So quiet and still. But now with Tony's familiar presence in the room, things were back to normal. Things were right.

I was slightly surprised at how fast the time seemed to fly now. Before the time had dragged on, unrelenting. But now, the day seemed to speed by. By six we'd finished, stamped, dated, and filed our reports and were ready to head home.

After Ziva had given Tony a kiss on the cheek, McGee had patted his shoulder, and we had all wished each other a good night, we were ready to head home.

Tony didn't even bother questioning where he was spending the night. He was learning.

As we entered the elevator, I felt Tony tense beside me and I knew what was coming. I should have known better than to consider that he might let the situation with the photos drop.

I didn't say anything as I stared straight ahead, waiting for him to break the silence first.

"Why?" he asked after just a few moments. He stood starring straight ahead the elevator's doors like I was.

"Why what?" I asked, not moving my eyes.

"Why the photos?"

I didn't answer for a moment, but instead stayed quiet.

"Why'd you have them?" I asked finally.

Tony stayed silent.

Noticing that the elevator was nearing it's floor, I hit the stop button.

He didn't even flinch when it halted to a stop or the lights darkened.

"You're avoiding my question." he said after another moment's silence.

"And you're avoiding mine." I pointed out.

Tony simply stared at me, his eyes calculating and testing. Wanting an answer, but not willing to give me one.

And then I remembered what I had previously been chastening myself for. Not letting him know how much cared. How I was proud of him. That he was like my son.

"Because..." I paused, swallowing past the lump forming in my throat, "Because, DiNozzo...We missed you. All of , Ducky, Palmer, McGee, Ziva...me."

Tony stared back, eyes wide. He opened his mouth for a moment before snapping it shut again.

I watched him a moment. I needed to tell him. I needed to say something. Anything. He needed to know.

"You're important to us, Tony." I all but whispered and I saw his eyes widen again slightly, "We need you and we care about you. All of us...Including me."

It wasn't much, but it was a start.

For a few moments, we simply looked at each other. Tony, apparently trying to find the right words to answer me.

Finally I noticed his lips quirk in some semblance of a smile.

"Love you too, Boss." he replied, his voice tight withe emotion.

My face split in to a wide smile.

"You better, DiNozzo." I added as I reached up rub the back of his head fondly.

Tony simply grinned.

Smiling still, I reached over and flipped the switch back on again. The rest of the journey to the car park was in a comfortable silence.

But as always with DiNozzo, the silence didn't last. And once again, I couldn't help but be grateful for that.

As we got in the car and Tony started to prattle on about one of movies, I let a smile drift across my face. Every thing was finally as it should be.

I had Tony back.


Okay, folks, that's it! I finally finished my first multi-chapter fic, Yay! :D I'm so happy right now! lol!

I know allot of you wanted to see Gibbs beat the crap out of Haywood for letting Tony get hurt and, personally, I wanted to see that too, but I simply couldn't make it work. The scene wouldn't come out right for one, and two, even though it is Gibbs we're talking about, I don't see him being able to beat the crap out of a (former) guard and not get in trouble at all and I really didn't want to get into all that. The main focus of the story was Gibbs' thoughts and feelings towards Tony and their relationship and I didn't want to get too carried away. Hope you guys understand. :)

Anyway, so I've finally finished, cause for celebration, yes? Well what better way to celebrate than reviews, hmm? :D lol!