When Mossad Liason Officer Ziva David found her new teammate staring at himself, through the reflection of the blank computer screen, she couldn't resist. With the stealth that took the lives of many others, the assassin approached the agent who was oblivious to everything but his own reflection. There was the usual jump and yelp when Ziva purred in his ear.
"Too good looking for your own good? You remind me of, who is it? Narcissus, yes?"
"I thought we decided you won't sneak up on me like that Ziva. And I am not in love with myself."
"Ha! There is no need to hide it Tony. You have been spacing away for almost ten minutes now. "
"It's either drifting away, or spacing out. Now go away Ziva. I'm getting ready for my beautiful date."
The Israeli laughed as walked away, never seeing the raw pain when the agent's gaze returned to the computer screen.
When Special Agent Timothy McGee found his partner intently looking into a small black, bat-shaped hand mirror, he wondered what had caught his partner's attention. And he walked over and joined.
"Can I help you, McGoggle?"
"No, no. Just wondering what you were looking at. I thought if you were concentrating this much with that kind of expression, this mirror either had to be some kind of tunnel to a different dimension which suddenly reminds me of this game I started last night. Persona 3, there's something called a Dark Hour that supposedly bends reality and during that time-"
"I have a gun Probie, and I am not afraid to use it."
"Either that or this mirror was pointed up an agent's skirt." Timothy finished quickly.
"Ah," Tony swiveled around, a sly grin lighting up his features. "That sounds more like it. And if that were the case, you would have joined me Probie?"
"Nah," Timothy patted his partner's shoulder. "Just call human resources."
The younger agent returned to his desk, never noticing the dark look his partner abruptly resumed the moment the junior agent had turned his back.
When Forensic Scientist Abigail Scuito realized her best friend wasn't listening to her explanations of why he had to accompany her to the party because he was lost in the reflection he saw off the door of her fridge, she smacked him in the arm.
"What was that for?" Tony finally met the irritated gaze and scowl.
"That was because you weren't listening at all Mister," Abby placed her hands on her hips and put of her best glare. "I need you at the party as my date-"
"Because your old date doesn't know to give up and I can scare him off with my DiNozzo-ness. I told you I'd gladly go Abbs. You weren't listening."
"Oh," Abby grinned sheepishly. "Thanks Tony. Knew I could count on you."
"But if he's such a trouble, why don't you unleash Gibbs on him?"
"I just want him to go away not found crushed beneath a boat or something. Pick me up at 7 okay?"
The Goth bounced away, happy at the way things turned out that she never realized the grief in her best friend's eyes as he leaned against her refrigerator.
When Medical Examiner Doctor Donald Mallard caught sight of the young lad seemingly so mesmerized by his own reflection that he hadn't even pressed the elevator button, the doctor chuckled.
"No need to be embarrassed," Ducky gently assured as the agent colored when he watched the doctor press the button for him. "We all have our moments don't we?"
"No, no no Ducky. It's not what you think," Tony grinned shakily. "I was just thinking that's all."
"Of course Tony," The ME positively beamed. "You remind me much of when I was much younger, I was-and of course still am- quite a confident lad. I would always pause when I came across a mirror to make sure my hair was just the way it should be so I could 'pick up' any beautiful young woman-"
"Whoops, elevator is here. Better go Ducky."
The ME was chuckled to himself again, content with his own memories of his youth that he never picked up the slight choke in his friend's voice.
When Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs slammed into his Senior Field Agent on the way to Abby's lab, he cursed. Abby's Caff-Pow was saved but the same could not be said for Gibbs's coffee and Tony's shirt.
"Eyes are there to be used Dinozzo!" Gibbs growled more out of worry than anger. The hot beverage had soaked into his agent's shirt and no doubt would burn the skin beneath. Gibbs placed the drinks on the floor and dragged his agent into the bathroom. "Take your damn shirt off before you burn yourself."
Tony who had been expecting a tear-down complied to the order immediately and threw the shirt into the bathroom sink. The ex-marine passed his agent a handful of wet tissues before he took care of the stain in his agent's shirt. He soaked the pale blue collared shirt with cold water and then rinsed again in hot water, pleased at the almost immediate effect. If Tony got the baking soda from their cabinet, Gibbs figured the coffee would not have any permanent damage on the shirt. The team leader looked up to see how Tony was doing, ready to bark an order for the detergent.
But he stopped.
"Tony?" Gibbs's brows met in confusion. "Tony?"
The Italian was staring into the mirror before him, mesmerized by his own reflection.
Mesmerized? Gibbs wondered. No. Disgusted? Not quite. In his agent's eyes, there were pain, and grief and maybe even guilt but what ripped the team leader's soul the most, was the terror.
The absolute, sheer terror.
When Special Agent Anthony DiNozzo saw his reflection for the fifth time that day, he couldn't fight back anymore. He did what he had been trying not to do the whole entire week; he shut down, blocking out everything but the mirror in front of him.
Tony could not see the uncharacteristically dull green eyes that stared back at him, nor hear the gentle voice call his name. He did not feel the warm hand that tried to pull him away from the mirror. Nor smell the blood he was extracting from himself because his nails were digging into his palm.
He could only see what his guilt ridden mind showed him, what his mind had been showing him since that day. Tony unclenched his fist and slowly reached forward, rubbing his thumb against his reflection although he knew the attempt would be futile.
He hadn't saved her. He hadn't been able to save her.
He would never be able to wash away his sin-nor the blood.
The one thing I've learned this year is never EVER slam your laptop shut when your earphones are still sprawled across the keyboard. Your LCD screen is NOT as strong as you wish it were. Along with my laptop I lost my format for 'Homing instinct' and because I'm starting from scratch I guess I'll be able to continue on in around December. Sorry for the delay.
Anyways, how was this story? It just struck me how Tony saw the worst when Kate died with her blood all over his face. This is my version of how Tony dealt with it-or maybe how he couldn't deal with it. Tell me what you thought, constructive critisism is always welcomed. :)