Let it Pass You By

Soul Music

Chapter One: Only The Fools

The moment the front door was pushed open, Gibbs was assaulted by the excited yipping of an excited dog, which was much too big to jump up at new comers, but did so anyway. The name on the collar round his neck proudly pronounced his name as Dief, short for Diefenbaker – obviously named by Tony after the television program. In all fact, Dief didn't look a great deal like a wolf, but he was such a mix up of breeds it was hard to pinpoint a species on occasion: there was a mix of German Shepherd in there, probably some Border Collie – but that could just be English Shepherd for all they knew – they'd been told some golden retriever and a smidgen of Irish Setter. But, really, no-one was really sure what the five year old rescue dog was.

Pushing the dog off him, Gibbs removed his dripping coat, soaked through from the only short walk from the car to the front door. It was tipping it down with rain outside. Dief had scampered off into the kitchen, probably hoping for food, or just more attention, who knew? Running a hand over the back of his neck where his wet hair had shaken loose a droplet of water that was running down towards his collar, the silver haired agent made his way towards the kitchen – the site inside making him raise an eyebrow.

"Aren't you supposed to be somewhere?" He asked, stepping passed towards the forever ready and well used coffee machine.

Seventeen year old Tony looked up from the book open in front of him, a smile plastering his features. Three years had changed a lot; instead of the lanky fourteen year old dressed in smart, expensive suits and shirts, now sat a lean, handsome seventeen year old adopting the casual jeans, t-shirt and no socks look. Didn't mean Gibbs still couldn't ruffle his hair, he hadn't really cut it very short.

"Trying to get rid of me?" The young man quipped, green eyes sparkling in the bright light of the kitchen. Gibbs just turned his head, fixing his son with a calm look. "Fair point." Tony conceded, shutting his book. It wasn't like he'd been riveted to the subject anyway, he was yet to find anyone who was going to be excited by the words Advanced Chemistry written on the front of a book.

"And I am leaving in…" He checked the watch fastened to his wrist. "Ten minutes ago. Damn." Clicking his tongue against the roof of his mouth, Tony slid off his chair, dragging his book with him and dropping it onto the bag he'd dumped on the floor. "If I run, I can get there…probably. Meh, I can get there." Tony was still calling as he took the stairs two at a time, sometimes three if he got the jump right. Gibbs smiled to himself, sharing a look between himself and Diefenbaker. The dog merely gruffed softly, turning his head onto one side. It was a gormless canine.

Two minutes later, a record time for Tony getting ready, the boy came hopping down the stairs, trying to pull his shoe on at the same time. "I'll be back at…eleven-ish." He called down the corridor, slipping his foot into the shoe and grabbing his jacket off a peg by the door. He turned round just as the jingle of keys flicked through the air. He caught the keys against his chest with surprise.

"Get in the car." Gibbs cheerful voice appeared in the corridor, hand reaching out to grasp his own coat.

"I can drive?" Tony's eyes lit up.


"But, dad!" He whined, giving his puppy dog eyes. Those aren't going to work on me, no. They won't Jethro, they aren't going to work. Gibbs thought to himself, smiling in the darkness.

"When you get your own car, you can drive it whenever ya like, until then I do the driving in. Now, car." He pushed his boy out into the downpour with a firm hand on his back.

"I can walk you know!"

"Not in this weather you can't, sit in the car." Gibbs slid into the driver's side which Tony had just unlocked, snagging the keys to start up the engine.

Tony recounting the events of his day was more or less an evening ritual for the family. Especially when Tony was cooking. The kid loved the kitchen and wasn't half bad in it either, which made it a perfect place for him to bustle around, occasionally tripping over Dief and rambling about his day. On those rare nights when Gibbs managed to get back in time for the preparation of dinner rather than just the meal itself. He did have more time now than he had before – no longer working weekends for the hell of it – but the long hours of a Federal Agent didn't stop because he had a family. However much he'd like it. But, Tony still had a knack of having the food steaming on the table the minute he walked through the door if he was late. Amazing kid.

"And, there's no difference between Chemistry and Advanced Chem, there's just more of it, so I don't see what they're complaining about, if you don't wanna do the extra work you're lazy?" Tony finished his latest rant on his class mates complaining about the difficulties of Advanced Chemistry. Gibbs was saved by voicing the comment which was right on the tip of his tongue which ran along the lines of 'You're just more intelligent than them' but, he was biased of course. He did have fact to back up his comment; almost all of Tony's teachers had stated, sometimes grudgingly, that however disruptive the kid was he was still clever. But, Gibbs pulled over on the curb on the quiet suburban street where he was dropping his boy off.

"Don't kill them, they don't mean it." Tony rolled his eyes at his father's comment.

"They're more likely to kill me, there are two of them, unfair advantage!"

"They're seven."

"And? There are two of them. Two, dad!"

"Get!" Gibbs indicated the door, winding down the electric window on the passenger side to illustrate his point, letting a brush of cold, wet wind hit Tony's face. With an exclamation of unhappiness, Tony gave Gibbs a mock glare, cringing away from the cold onslaught. Pulling up his collar, the seventeen year old darted out from the car and ran up the path towards the covered porch and front door.

"Tony." The father called from the driver's side. The dark haired boy turned under the porch. "I want you back in one piece." He received a warm smile as a reply. Shaking his head slightly, Gibbs put the car in gear, shifting out into the drenched road and up towards the way he'd come.

Tony rapped twice on the painted wooden door, waiting less than ten seconds before it was unlocked and opened from the inside. Roy smiled at him, stepping back into his entrance hall so the slightly damp boy could step in.

"And there was me thinking you weren't coming, you're picking things up from your dad. Arriving when you least expect it." Roy grinned, waiting as Tony pulled off his shoes and coat to hang them up in the closet. Annie, Roy's wife, appeared at the top of the stairs, dressed in a long green dress. "Evening Mrs. Cadman." Tony greeted cheerfully, smiling up the stairs. "Where are you off to tonight?" Roy rolled his eyes amiably, adjusting his tie in the hall mirror.

"Dinner with my parents." Annie clarified, taking the stairs carefully in her high heels. "Thanks for this, Tony. They're in the living room. Get them to bed by nine, it's a school night. We should be back by…Roy?"

"Oh, eleven; shouldn't be much after that, and I'll drive you home."

Tony nodded, making his way down towards the sliding door which took him into the cosy living room. Two identical voiced piped up with his name when he entered, two very excitable seven year olds bouncing on the cushions they'd pulled off the two sofas. Oh, good. Tony thought as the front door closed.

The front door opened quietly just after half eleven. The rain was still tipping it down outside, unrelenting from it's constant hammering against the concrete and tarmac. Diefenbaker didn't meet him at the doorway, just looked up from his basket under the warm radiator. Letting out a sigh, Tony hung up his coat before making his way into the living room. Crouching down next to the mixed up mutt, Tony stroked the dog's head, Dief's doleful eyes watching him in the dim light of the light which was only coming from the basement stairs down the corridor.

"So, you're alive then." A voice stated from the doorway, moving closer. Tony raised his head, stifling a yawn.

"Still in one piece, as promised." Pushing off his thighs to straighten up, he stretched his palms towards the ceiling, cricking his neck in the process.

"Up to bed, then." Gibbs shooed, pointing towards the stairs leading upstairs.

"But, it's only like –yawn- eleven thirty."

"Yeah, your point. I will tickle you if you make me." The thread wasn't as hollow as it might seem. Tony thought over this. Tickling, bed, bed, tickling. Yeah, bed. Making a grumbled decision, the seventeen year old turned, moving across to the stairs, his sock covered feet hardly making any noise as he shuffled along.

Gibbs met his son on his way towards his room from the bathroom, a sleepy look in his bright eyes. Smiling paternally, Gibbs put an arm around him, pulling the boy into a brief hug, kissing him gently on the side of the head. Tony frowned slightly, but returned the hug in a slightly perplexed sense.

"I'm only goin' to bed dad, not Cuba for a year." Gibbs rolled his eyes, chuckling softly.

"Night, Tony."

"Night, Dad."

A car a block away in the back of a stolen Ford a man shifted his position on the seat, headphones connected to the laptop on his thighs. A pen was in his right hand, the pad of paper on the seat beside him full of small, neat scribbles. The last few read:

'A' Left the house at seven forty three.

Driven by 'G'.

House number 522, opened by subject 'C'

'G' returned to house at eight oh three.

'G' Stayed in the house main room until nine thirty one, moved to the basement.

'A' driven back to the house by 'C' at eleven twenty nine.

'G' and 'A' move upstairs at eleven thirty five.

A small smile quirked the side of his mouth as he picked up his pen once more to finish the day. The comment written at the bottom was short and precise: installed microphones operating perfectly.

Shutting down the laptop and slipping off the headphones, the driver climbed into the driver's seat, gunning the engine and leaving his position on the parked curb, ready to set up for another day. Tomorrow to be exact. And the day after that. And the one after that.

Return of the italics man? Yeah, why not, it's not hard to figure out who he is, we have met him before. Anyway, new story, eh? Slow start, c'mon it's a slow day. You have slow days in a family and fast days, can't all be fast or they'd be no excitement in fast days. That was random. So, there it is. The start of something new? As always, I do not own these characters…well some of them I do, but not the canon characters. I own my own imagination and that's it. Reviews would be delightful, they really would, we all know how much reviews make something worth writing. So, that's all I have for you today, but I'm sure I'll have a reply up quickly. Thanks again

Soul Music.