A/N: Oh my goodness gracious. Has it really been almost four months since I last posted the last Chapter of "The Unknown Song?" For this, I am truly sorry. I had originally sent this out to my beta a month or so ago but she never got back to me. :( Beta, if you are out there, I hope all is well. :)
This is of course part of the Rhapsody!Verse. We're still in Tony's POV here, and this story jumps around again but is much more linear than the last story because well, I think Tony's brain is settling down a bit. It also takes place awhile after Tony and Pete move down to Paris, Texas, a town that I have heard of but have never actually seen. So I'm playing with population and such. It's fiction peeps. lol
Once again, thanks to all those who read and review and for those of you who are waiting for the next chapter in "Might Have Been", RL has been rough. I'm trying my hardest to get it out as soon as I can figure out how exactly I need the next scene to go. lol.
Disclaimer: I do not own nor am I making any profit from NCIS or CBS. Unless of course, personally happiness counts as a reward?
Enjoy the story.
Saving: to rescue, preserve, or guard from danger or harm; to redeem.
Interlude: a short piece that is often provided to cover a change of scene or to move dramatically from one mood or atmosphere to another.
Somewhere between the beginning and the end of this story, Tony knew something had happen.
He hadn't hurt his head that day in the woods, at least, he doesn't remember being hurt.
But he had scars on other parts of his body from before, and Tony wondered if maybe that's why he is where he is.
Because here is the middle of a ranch, two hours from a town called Paris, somewhere in northeast Texas.
Here is a large house with beautiful landscape and here is seven horses, Pete, Pete's brother TJ and his wife Lisa, the ranch hands, Lee, himself, and more cows than Tony can count.
Here is somewhere far from any place Tony's ever been but then, Tony isn't really Tony anymore.
Tony is Deuce, a man that no longer wants to be what Tony represents.
Tony is a man who rages from being depressed to angry to sullen and Tony is a man that Deuce no longer wants to be.
Deuce is a six foot two man with dark blond hair, or light brown hair, he can never really tell, who has green eyes and who fell off a horse about seven times before he learned how to stay on.
Deuce is a man who hasn't known who he's been for a little over two years now.
Deuce is a man who will no longer wear a belt with a knife in the buckle or put a Navy coin in the front pocket of his jeans.
Those things are in a box, tucked away.
Just like Tony. Because Deuce does not have a before, or an after.
Deuce just has a now.
Deuce sniffed the air, wondering if it was indeed going to rain. He loved the rain, at least, in the summer. The house he lived in was near TJ and Lisa's house and had a large overhanging porch and when it rained, Deuce loved to go out and just listen as the rain pelted the roof.
Deuce wondered why he sometimes got a bone chilling feeling when he watched the rain. Something terrible had happen in the rain.
He didn't dwell on the thought long though. He couldn't spend his whole life wondering about before. Especially when now was finally starting to look up.
Snapping out of his thoughts, Deuce looked at the beautiful woman in front of him and helped her into the car.
It was time for his date.
And Deuce planned to enjoy every moment of it.
Deuce still didn't particularly like large crowds. His days of fighting were probably the closet he ever got to being in a crowd and even now, he rarely went into town with Pete.
TJ and his wife Lisa were nice and Deuce learned that even though TJ and Pete were twins, TJ smiled a lot more with his mouth while Pete smiled more with his eyes.
TJ had been ecstatic that Pete had finally made his way on back to the ranch- back to home.
Pete, Deuce found out, was a bit of a roamer and never stayed in one place to long after he got back from 'Nam.
Deuce wondered how that must feel, to wander around like Pete did.
Sure, one could say Deuce had done the same thing, but he knew it was different.
Deuce had moved, looking for something and running away at the same time, but unlike Pete, he had never had a home he could return to.
Deuce watched as the cattle moved through the gate to the east field.
Pete, who was a natural on a horse, was on his own horse guiding the back of the herd.
Lee, who had taken kindly to ranch life, was sitting by Deuce's buckskin quarter horse panting in the Texas heat.
"Hey Deuce," Pete yelled wiping his brow with his shirt, "Grab the gate, will you?"
Deuce nodded, hopping off his horse before heading on over to the gate.
Jumping back on his gelding, Tony nudged his flanks gently with his heels to get him moving back towards the barn.
"Where's Brooke?" Pete asked awhile later, while he and Deuce cooled off and cleaned their horses in the paddock adjacent to the barn, "TJ said she was meeting with the social worker again?"
Deuce nodded as he checked on Lee's whereabouts before putting his mare into her stall, "Yep. As if it wasn't crazy enough around here."
Pete chuckled at that, before telling Deuce he would catch him inside.
Whistling as he went, Deuce walked up the steps to the house and hurried to the kitchen, hoping the leftovers from a few nights ago were still good.
Finding half a burger and a coke, Deuce grabbed them before heading towards his room. He needed to shower and get ready for tonight.
Opening his drawer to collect a fresh change of clothes, Deuce smiled when he saw the small black box sitting next to his socks.
He had been dating Brooke for almost a year now.
And he was going to ask her to marry him.
Deuce still didn't like being around adults.
Being in a small town, Deuce found it much harder to hide and go unnoticed like he had in the cities he had stayed in.
Even though he lived outside of the town's limits, he still found that everyone knew about him.
And that alone made the hair on the back of Deuce's neck tingle.
But when they went into town, and Deuce didn't go all that often, Deuce found that as corny as it sounded, holding Brooke's hand made him feel less like a fish in a glass bowl.
Holding her hand made him feel human- something Deuce had craved for a very long time.
"Tony Hudson," Deuce introduced himself to the principal at the school that Brooke worked at. Brooke had asked him at least to come.
And because Deuce loved her and because Brooke had given him more than just a last name, he agreed.
"So, have you ever done anything like this before?" the principal, an old guy in his sixties asked as he and Deuce walked down the hall of the high school.
"No," Deuce shook his head. It would be pointless to explain to Mr. Harris that he didn't remember if he had or hadn't, "But I can learn."
Mr. Harris laughed at that, "I'm glad."
Deuce shuffled on his feet. Deuce had only met Mr. Harris twice before and even then the man had always been jovial.
"So when can you start?"
"When I can I-uh what?" Deuce fumbled with his words. Brooke had asked him to come. Never did he think he would actually…
"Basketball season starts in a few weeks," Mr. Harris continued to walk down the hall comically ignoring Deuce's shock, "Will that give you enough time to learn and prepare?"
Deuce simply nodded and shook Mr. Harris' hand, his mouth slightly ajar.
"Alright then," Mr. Harris smiled, "Just come in at the end of the week and I'll help you get set up."
"Mr. Harris, I don't-" Deuce tried to…do something. Though he didn't know if he wanted to stop it or…Deuce really didn't know what he wanted to do.
"Call me Phil, Mr. Hudson," Phil smiled before continuing Deuce's impromptu tour of Paris High School's athletic department.
Not know what else to do, Deuce hurried and followed
A/N2: Next chapter will hopefully be up tomorrow but if not, it will be up after I have watched the season premier of the new season of NCIS! :D
As always, reviews are welcomed. :)