Smooth Surface

He keeps it all under a smooth surface. A fa├žade, a straight face. Nothing out of place. No wide eyes, no paling cheeks, no worried lip or eyebrows dipped in a frown. After years of practise he has finally able to pull it off. He is sure that his exterior does not give anything away. He sits, his face set in a determined scowl that masks all the emotions that flit and flurry beneath.

His mind is spinning and his vision is blurred. He can hardly concentrate on the other voices in the car with him, he blocks out the hard edge to Ziva's voice and the anxious lilt to McGee's. Anxiety is plaguing him too, but he does a much better job of hiding it than Tim does. He takes in a sharp breath through flared nostrils and pushes it out in a huff. He doesn't open his mouth or move it from the thin line of his grimace. never breaking his mask.

His hands tell another story, knuckles white from gripping the steering wheel far too hard, the half moon indents of his too shirt nails in his palm, one oozing a fine trail of blood. Blue veins stand out against the stark white of his ageing wrists, a visual reminder of the blood that is coursing through his body with adrenaline. His heart thuds against his ribs and he can hardly hear for the pounding in his ears.

A bubble of annoyance erupts in him as he quickly gains on the car in front. With a forceful tug he pulls the indicator down and swings the car into the opposite lane, he slams his foot down and the car accelerates quickly. From the corner of his eye he can see McGee grip his seat belt, his face paling as the car swings back into the correct lane, just in time.

Even Ziva's monologue as she goes through evidence and tactics and weaponry since they have left DC pauses for a moment, her eyes are set in determination and preparation yet they widen for a moment. He catches them in the rear mirror and blinks numbly. McGee breathes a quick sigh of relief from the passenger seat and turns back to his laptop where he keeping tabs on the local Sheriff's department. The missing agent and team member is painfully obvious in these moments. He misses the oddly calming rambling that Tony does when he's nervous, the presence that makes him instantly at ease, the feeling of trust and surety that someone has his back. Instead much to his dismay and panic, Tony is gone, and he is not sure of where he is.

He can't think of that now. Even as his mind strays to his missing agent and his suspicions of his Director he has many other worries at the moment. Anger intensifies as he thinks of Reynosa and her threats. Regret and guilt crash around him as Abby comes into his thoughts. Worry, pain and panic swirl around him as his father's face flashes in his mind. He processes them all together, allowing himself to become engulfed in them and letting the emotion fuel his hatred and fury. His foot presses down on the pedal again, his fingers tighten further and his eyes narrow on the road in front.

Dodging through traffic, he ignores the blaring horns of those he leaves in their wake. Nerves twist his stomach and make him feel nauseous. He constantly has to swallow to stop himself from vomiting. He spots a sign post that dictates how far he has left before they arrive at their destination and his stomach sinks as his eye catches the number of miles left - he's running out of time.

Like a stone thrown into a still pond, the disruption of the smooth surface would cause waves to ripple out for some time, and Gibbs did not have that luxury. A moment of tedium nearly makes him laugh as he slams on the brakes to adhere to a red light, but if he cracked a smile or allowed a gruff laugh to slip through his lips he would surely break.