This is the final chapter of Requiem!! I hope you all enjoy it and check out my other stories!!
Disclaimer: I do not own NCIS.......*sigh*
"Hey, DiNozzo." Gibbs greeted his senior field agent in his normal deliberate manner.
Trying to clear his sleep fogged mind, Tony asked, "We got a case, Boss?"
Gibbs fought the embarrassment at speaking his next words to Tony, "No, I need to talk to you."
Stifling a yawn, Tony responded, "Alright, shoot."
"Not on the phone. Can you meet in twenty minutes in the bull pen?"Gibbs could gear rustling as Tony got out of his bed.
"Sure, Boss. Be there in fifteen." His mouth hung open when he actually heard Gibbs say, "Bye," before hanging up the phone.
Ten minutes later, Tony pulled off the freeway to drive into the NCIS parking lot. His mind had been racing ever since Gibbs' call. What was so important that they had to talk at four in the morning face to face?
Multiple thoughts had struck him, but the most paralyzing were still gripping him. "What if something had happened to one of the team members or to Abby or Ducky? Gibbs hadn't sounded distressed or sad just worried and almost urgent.
Tony parked and wondered if Gibbs was quitting again and wanted to let him know ahead of time. What if Gibbs was firing him? Had he done anything unusually wrong lately?
Tony walked into the building trying to stop his thoughts of terrible possibilities. He made his way into the bull pen and saw Gibbs stand up from his desk.
Smiling timidly, Tony looked at his Boss and saw uncertainty flash in his blue eyes. "Hey, Boss. Uh, what's going on?"
Gibbs smirked at his agent's apparent confusion and suspicion, "Thanks for coming Tony."
"No problem, I wasn't doing anything important," Tony teased and was rewarded with a humored grin from the stoic Gibbs.
"Well, tony I couldn't wait or I'd lose it completely."
Mischievously, Tony smirked and responded, "Boss, I was never really sure you had it." Gibbs nodded his head acknowledging the truth in Tony's teasing.
Standing next to Tony, Gibbs looked extremely vulnerable compared to his normal tough exterior. "Tony I have a more serious subject in mind."
"Okay, Boss. You are kinda scaring me." Tony looked at the older agent searching for some sort of clue.
"I, uh," Gibbs rubbed the back of his neck, "I have some things I need to tell you that I have been scared to say before, but today I figured I never know when it will be too late."
Sensing the seriousness of the conversation coming, Tony just stood silently waiting for his Boss to continue. Taking another breath, Gibbs kept taking, "First off, Thanks for uh," Gibbs cleared his throat in frustration, "saving Maddie and me today."
Averting his eyes to the floor, Tony replied, "It's no big deal, Boss. You would have done the same for me."
Realizing just how humble an agent Tony was, Gibbs tapped the back of his head before squeezing his shoulder in a fatherly manner, "It is a big deal, Tony and you did a fine job. I don't think I have ever been so proud and thankful for one of my agents ever before. You were efficient and you saved our lives."
In awe that his Boss was using so many words just to thank him, Tony made eye contact. Gibbs steely gaze saw Tony's doubt and he continued to drive his gratitude into Tony until the young agent believed Gibbs was sincere. "Tony, I would be in a wooden box right now ready for my burial. Maddie would have died young just like Kelly." At speaking his daughter's name, Gibbs looked away pain coloring his eyes and guilt tingeing his voice.
"You're welcome, Boss."Tony voiced his thoughts seeing that Gibbs needed a second to recover from his statement. "I saw the car go into the water and adrenaline pumped into me. All I could think was get Gibbs and Maddie before it's too late."
Each of them soaked in the other's confessions for a few moments before DiNozzo broke the silence, "Boss, you didn't have to tell me all that. I know."
Shaking his head, Gibbs fixed his gaze on Tony, "I don't think you do, DiNozzo. That is why I had to tell you." He grabbed Tony's neck and pulled him closer so their foreheads were nearly touching, "Tony, you are worth so much more than you give yourself credit for."
Tony tried not to make eye contact with his Boss, "Yeah, that's why my dad always treated me so great and I have so many real friends."
Disbelief gripped Gibbs, all this time Tony had been his agent and he had never really realized how hurt Tony was from the past and how unsure of himself he really was. The shock showed in his eyes and millions of things to say to the young man rushed through his head. He simply asked, "You don't think anyone likes you just because of that?"
Pain flashed in Tony's eyes, but anger quickly drowned the pain out, "Gibbs, it's fairly obvious," a dry laughed sounded from him, "My old frat friends are hardly considered friends since the only thing they only hang out with me when there is alcohol involved, which I have tried to stop doing. I have to try so hard to make people like me."
Gibbs eyebrows shot together, "Then they aren't worth it anyway, DiNozzo. You don't have to try hard at all."
"Save it, Boss. Don't give me a feel good talk. I have to try to make people laugh and try to be charming. So yeah I boss I have to try." Tony looked determined and emptiness had surfaced in his green eyes.
Gibbs' voice was serious and authoritative. "Tony, stop telling yourself that. You are naturally funny and people that matter do like you. I know you have at least five real friends because Ducky and Palmer are your friends. McGee looks up to you and Ziva is your friend too.
"You are a great agent and a great guy and you don't even realize it. None of my other agents have stuck around me as loyally as you have, Tony."
As Gibbs paused to think, Tony jumped in with his self doubt, "That is why everyone is always so astonished when I do something right because I'm a great agent." Sarcasm laced his words and his anger put a bitter edge to them.
Astonishment continued to hit Gibbs full force at how little Tony believed in himself. Longing to get his point across, Gibbs said, "You are the best agent I have seen in a long time, DiNozzo. Stop selling yourself short." Bringing a strong hand down on Tony's shoulder, he continued, "Tony, I am proud of you and I am proud to have you on my team and I am proud to be your leader."
Tony looked dumbstruck from the honesty from his normally introverted Boss. Wanting to believe what Gibbs was telling him, but not quite ready to believe it Tony accused, "Then why don't you ever say it, Gibbs?"
Taken slightly aback from Tony's question, he tried to think of an excuse. Coming up empty he responded, "Tony, I honestly don't know. I guess I thought you knew! I am sorry I never told you, Tony."
With a mischievous grin in place Tony said, "Don't apologize it's a sign of weakness."
Rolling his eyes at Tony's ability to bounce back, Gibbs said, "There are always exceptions to my rules and don't tell anyone I said that."
Tony laughed, "I won't forget it, but I will keep it as a Rule#4."
"Tony, I am serious though. I am proud of you. You're like the son I've never had and the agent I've always wanted on my team because now you're trained so well I barely have to talk to you until tonight that is."
The rare emotional side of Tony overtook him, "Thanks for, uh telling me everything tonight, Boss. I needed to hear it."
"You're welcome DiNozzo, you're welcome." He patted his agent's back.
His humor resurfaced and Tony teased, "Hey, Boss, Can I call you dad?" A well known hand connected with the back of his head in response as Gibbs smirked at Tony.
Gibbs moved toward the elevator leading to autopsy, as Tony got comfortable in his chair for a nap. "Tony, one more thing."
"Yeah, Boss." Tony looked apprehensive.
"I have another rule exception for you," he paused until Tony nodded in anticipation, "forget Rule#12, DiNozzo, but be smart!" Seeing the shocked look on Tony's face he added, "I might miss some of your emotions, but I'm not blind!"
Gibbs smiled as he entered the elevator leaving behind a giddy DiNozzo. He felt the relief of honesty wash over him. He and Tony were closer than ever and now he could sleep peacefully. Entering Autopsy, he rolled up a towel and laid down on an examining table to sleep.
Smiling Tony leaned back in his chair, he didn't think Gibbs had ever talked to him so much before not even in a whole week. He felt giddy about everything that had happened between them and truly felt like he finally had a father. On top of all that, the best thing was, Gibbs had given him permission to date Ziva. Tony closed his eyes preparing to nap until 7 and with a grin in place he fell asleep knowing he was loved and wanted.
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