Disclaimer: NCIS doesn't belong to me in any form! Just to be on the safe side: I don't own Starbucks either. I don't even drink coffee, so yeah...

Genre: AU, friendship, family, angst, hurt-comfort, humor... well, all the good stuff

Pairing(s): Gibbs/Tony FATHER/SON!, Tony/Abby BROTHER/SISTER and a smidgen of Ducky/Everyone friendship/grandfather/mentor

Rating: T for violence and language later on and sensitive mention of child abuse

A/N: Here it finally is, the first chapter of the third part in the "The Day" universe. It picks up right where TDIB left us and while it has elements of Canon, this story is AU! I'm just warning you now because I would like not to get reviews that go like: "But it didn't happen like that in the show!". Just trust me when I say that I've seen the show as well and know all the points were my story veers into AU-territory.

In germany it's friday, and from now on friday will be posting-day, YAY! It'll be weekly at first since I have a few chapters written already but in the future I may have to cut back to a chapter every two weeks, in case the writers block hits or my beta is indisposed, but never more than that, I promise.

Talking about betas: The wonderful, amazing AZGirl is beta'ing this story for you and doing an awesome job too, so show her your appreciation and go read her stories! Ahhhh, after you read this one, of course... :)

I'll warn you now that this story will at first appear very much like one of the many others that are out there and at first you might think how boring this is and how you've read something like this a thousand times already, but I implore you to keep reading even if such thoughts cross your mind. This is going to turn into a journey with twists and turns and surprises and I would love you to accompany me on this trip till the end. Thank you.

I know present you...


The Days After The Day


Chapter 01

The day was exceptionally hot, even for mid-July, and Anthony DiNozzo was immensely grateful for the AC that provided him with cool, refreshing air. It couldn't quite counteract the stuffy air and heat that dominated the inside of the car, but it was better than nothing. He'd really hoped to escape the heat wave that had Baltimore in its clutches but apparently DC wasn't faring much better.

As he watched the buildings pass by his window, he thought back to the first and only time he'd been to this city. He had been about ten years old and his father had been with him. It had been one of the few occasions when his old man had bothered to pretend that he wanted to spend time with his son. His father had called it a family vacation when he'd told his colleagues about it, but Tony had known that that wasn't even remotely true. They hadn't been a family for a long time - if ever.

Nevertheless it had been one of the better trips he'd had to endure with the man, mostly because his father really hadn't spent much time with him. He'd been too busy with the blonde bimbos down in the hotel lobby to care about what his son was doing. It had given Tony the time to explore the secret parts of this city by himself. He had pretended to be an adventurer and the fun he'd had and the interesting people he'd met along the way had almost let him forget that somewhere, deep down, he still wished that his father would accompany him on these expeditions. In hindsight he realized that he had seriously endangered himself, wandering around the city by himself, going up to various people to chat a bit. He'd been lucky that the people he'd met had been very friendly and didn't mind entertaining a lonely 10 year old boy. Tony wondered what his father would have done if he hadn't come home one day because he'd met the wrong person. Would he have even noticed?

Oh well, at least the man hadn't flown home without him again.

Tony banished the gloomy thoughts and concentrated on his surroundings again. He recognized a few of the buildings and streets but all in all, DC had changed a lot in the last fifteen years or so. Everything seemed a lot more... blurry.

Maybe the lack of sleep was catching up with him. He had already suppressed a few mighty yawns and the headache he suffered since the airplane touched ground was slowly getting worse.

But maybe his blurry sight had more to do with the maniac that was driving the car. A maniac by the name of Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs, hard-core bastard, traffic offender, and Tony's new boss.

"Did I miss something or are we already on a case, chasing a suspect?" Tony asked and held on for dear life when Gibbs took a shortcut through a traffic island.

Another driver had to brake hard and Gibbs grumbled something about inept drivers before fixing his new agent with a glare. "We're already late. If you hadn't delayed us with your antics I wouldn't have to rush now."

"Antics? What antics? It wasn't my fault that lovely Caroline from the checkout wouldn't let me go before I had her number."

"Ah, so your shameless begging didn't have anything to do with it?" Gibbs asked and smirked rather cruelly.

Tony spluttered while Ducky, who was watching the exchange from the backseat, chuckled discreetly. "I wasn't begging! Anthony DiNozzo does not beg a woman, it's the other way around." Gibbs snorted at that and Tony decided that it was time to change the subject. "And even if we're late, don't you think Director Marrow will have to wait a lot longer when you drive us into our early graves?"

"It's Morrow, my dear boy." Ducky corrected from behind him. "And don't worry so much. Jethro's methods of transportation may seem a little hazardous, but he always gets us home safely."

The Italian slumped into his seat. He was really tired and only wanted to sleep which was nearly impossible, with the shaking and rumbling of the car and his constant fear for his life. "Yeah, well if you say so Ducky. It's just gonna take a while to convince my racing heart of that."

"I assure you, you'll get used to it. You have to if you want to work with Jethro. He's pretty adamant about driving himself. Doesn't like it when someone else is holding the wheel."

"Ah I see! He likes to be in control. Figures." Tony said and turned in his seat to see the doctor better. "I'm sure he's also one of those guys that never ask for directions, huh?"

"Oh yes. You wouldn't believe how many times we got lost because of his stubbornness. There was one particular incident I remember quite clearly. We had been in Chicago when he-"

"You know what else kind of guy I am?" Gibbs snarled through his teeth. "The kind of guy who doesn't like to be talked about as if he isn't there, so knock it off you two."

Tony and the old ME grinned and winked at each other before Tony turned back around. Ducky leaned forward to pat Gibbs shoulder. "You are right old friend, that was rude of us." He turned to Tony. "I'll tell you the story another time. When he really isn't around."

Gibbs was practically seething, but Tony saw that it was mostly an act. Not entirely, but mostly. He snickered but stopped when Gibbs' hand connected with the back of his head. Despite the flare of his headache, the action caused his grin to widen. He probably would have teased his new boss a bit more if he hadn't wanted to make sure that Gibbs kept both his hands on the steering wheel. Ducky's trust in Gibbs' abilities as a driver was admirable, but Tony wasn't quite there yet.

They continued in companionable silence for a few miles before Ducky broke it hesitantly. "Anthony, please excuse my curiosity, but I couldn't help but notice that you have only one traveling bag with you. Where are your other things? And where are you going to live, if I may ask? If you don't have anything I would be happy to let you have the guest room in my house."

Tony was touched by the other man's offer, especially since he knew that it was sincere. Ducky really would let him bunk with him if he needed it. The former detective also noticed that Gibbs' attention seemed to drift towards him as well. Even though his eyes never left the road, Tony felt as if his new boss was watching his every move. He almost didn't dare hope, but maybe Gibbs was concerned about his living conditions as well.

Tony didn't understand why two men who barely knew him would care about where he would live, but the fact that they did made him happy nonetheless.

"Oh it's all taken care of, Ducky, don't worry. An old friend of mine has a little house here. He's in China right now, on business. I can use his place while he is gone, and Signora Moretti agreed to keep my stuff save until I find a place of my own."

In fact, Tony had planned to rent a storage place where he could keep his things for the time being but the fierce Italian woman had put a stop to that notion immediately. She told him that she wouldn't let him spent money on such a thing when she and her husband had an empty garage where they could store his stuff. Tony originally hadn't wanted to bother her, but in the end the woman had gotten her way.

She always did.

Tony thought he saw Gibbs' shoulders relax a little, but told himself that it was just his imagination.

"Does this friend have a name?" Gibbs asked which caused Tony to roll his eyes. He had pretty much accepted that it would be hard to keep his private life actually private around his new boss, but he hadn't expected that he would need Gibbs' approval concerning his friends too.

"Of course he does." Tony replied with just a hint of snotty brat coloring his voice, which immediately earned him a stern look. "It's Jimmy Nixon. You even met him once, remember?"

Gibbs frowned thoughtfully, but soon shook his head. "Can't say I do."

The Italian wasn't surprised. After all it had been a brief meeting in front of his school. Not to mention that it happened over 15 years ago.

"Well, you left a lasting impression on Jimmy though." Tony grinned when he remembered the way Nixon had pestered him about the imposing agent in the short weeks before DiNozzo Sr. had sent his son to military school. Jimmy, or Jim, as he wanted to be called now, was the only one Tony had kept in contact with.

Gibbs grunted noncommittally before he suddenly pulled into a parking lot.

Tony was perplexed and then simply annoyed when he saw where they were. He stared at the Starbucks sign with a scowl rivaling Gibbs.

"I thought we were in a hurry?"

Gibbs merely shrugged and got out of the car. "We're already late. A few minutes won't hurt."

Before Tony could answer, the car door was in his face and Gibbs was striding towards the coffee shop. A man on a mission. The Italian turned towards the doctor in the backseat and was only slightly miffed to see the older man openly laughing at him. "He does that on purpose, doesn't he? He's trying to drive me crazy. That's why I'm here, right?"

"Don't worry. Jethro's like that with everyone."

Tony slumped in his seat and closed his eyes. They felt heavy and gritty, but he didn't even have the strength to lift his arm to rub at them. He fought off another yawn before he murmured. "And that's supposed to make me feel better?"

Despite the heavy sarcasm, Tony admitted that it kinda did. It was nice to be treated like everyone else once in a while. With colleagues and superiors he'd always been an outsider in one way or another. They had either seen him as some kind of wonder boy and treated him with impersonal respect or resented him for that reputation and acted as if he was the enemy.

But Gibbs wouldn't do either of those things. At least Tony hoped he wouldn't.

He heard Ducky chuckle again, but the sound was slightly off, as if it was coming from far away. Before he could wonder what was up with that, he realized that he couldn't care less and tilted his entire body to the side to rest his aching head against the cool glass. The young man decided that he would just rest his eyes for a few seconds. Only until his boss got back...

By the time Gibbs returned, the young agent was snoring softly.


Ten minutes later, Gibbs finally pulled into the underground parking garage of NCIS headquarters.

Normally, this trip wouldn't have taken him half that long. A fact Ducky was more than happy to point out.


Gibbs claimed that he simply didn't want to spill his coffee, but he knew that he couldn't fool Ducky, so he didn't try too hard. Instead he kept quiet and shot the occasional glance towards his sleeping partner. The former Marine himself had never been quite able to sleep in a moving car, but Tony seemed to be the kind of guy who could make the best of any given situation. He hadn't even stirred when Gibbs had returned to the car with his precious coffee in hand. Gibbs knew that Tony was usually more aware of his surroundings. The last few days must have finally caught up with the young man.

He parked the car in its usual place, killed the engine and took a few minutes to prepare himself for their meeting with Morrow. This was the first time he had willingly chosen a senior agent himself, and Tom hadn't been able to keep the curiosity out of his voice when they had spoken on the phone. Gibbs didn't look forward to this first meeting. Morrow was a pretty easy going Director, but Tony had the tendency to rub people the wrong way when he first met them. And the first impression was crucial in this case.

"Is something wrong Jethro?" Ducky asked softly when his friend made no move to get out of the car.

"Just wondering how much trouble this kid is going to cause me."

He looked into the rear-view mirror to see the old ME shoot an anxious glance at the sleeping man. Only then did he realize that the overly sensitive young man could take his words the wrong way. Gibbs wasn't used to being considerate of the people around him, but the kid could be surprisingly insecure when it came to the opinions of others about him.

Thankfully, DiNozzo was still deeply asleep and Gibbs released an aggravated breath. Dealing with DiNozzo was already proving to be a mine field.

"Do you regret bringing him here?" The voice was a mere whisper now, but Gibbs' answer was all the more firm.


He didn't regret this at all. No matter how hard it would be to gain Tony's trust, and give his trust in return, he would never regret bringing the kid into his life. It had been the right thing to do and he would see it through to the end, no matter how things turned out. He owed DiNozzo that much.

Although Ducky had tried to convince him that he had no reason to feel guilty about Tony's past and the part he'd played in it, he couldn't help but think that, evidence or not, he should've taken the boy away from his father when he'd had the chance. In the end Tony had managed on his own to get away from the man who'd fathered him. He was an adult now, but Gibbs still felt responsible for him. A part of him knew that responsible wasn't quite the word he was looking for, but for now he was content to go with that.

He cast another glance into the rear-view mirror and just caught a blur of black before a familiar Goth popped up by his door. Abby was bouncing up and down as she knocked her knuckles against his window with enough force to make it rattle loudly. Gibbs hastily opened the window and pointed his chin in Tony's direction when he saw her open her mouth.

Her mouth snapped shut and she bent down to steal a peek of the new agent. Abby's smile grew a thousand times sunnier when her eyes landed on the sleeping man. Gibbs turned to look at Tony as well and even he couldn't help the little grin when he saw the thin trail of drool on Tony's chin and the serene expression on his face.

"Gosh, he's adorable!" Abby cooed in a subdued voice. Gibbs noticed that she was dressed especially extraordinary today. A thick line of black eyeliner surrounded her eyes and her lips were painted blood red while the rest of her skin was unnaturally pale, undoubtedly the result of more make-up. The dress she wore was completely dark as well, a stark contrast to the girly frills that adorned the collar. She looked like a dark princess.

Gibbs had seen that before. Every time a new agent joined their team, she would choose the most provocative attire she could find. It was, she used to tell them, the first crucial test for the newbies. If they weren't scared off by that, they were worth keeping around.

"How did you know we were here?"

She didn't take her eyes off the man in the passenger seat. "Surveillance cameras are a blast aren't they? Especially if you have the equipment to hack into them. Anyway, don't change the subject. When are you going to adopt him? Cause if you don't, I will!"

Gibbs blinked a few times. No one was able to throw him off his track as fast and as completely as the young enthusiastic woman. "No one's getting adopted Abs. He's my new senior field agent, not my puppy."

"But he totally is!" Abby managed to shout-whisper. "Look at him! So cute and peaceful. Don't you want to just cuddle him?"

Gibbs raised an amused eyebrow while Ducky got out of the car and put an amiable arm around her shoulders, voicing what his friend was thinking. "Please trust me; once he's awake, there is nothing peaceful about that boy anymore. And it's good to see you too, Abigail."

Abby looked embarrassed for all but two seconds before she threw her arms around the older man. "Aww, I'm sorry Duckster. You know how I am around fresh meat."

"Oh, don't I know it. Are you coming Jethro?"

Gibbs nodded and was about to reach over and wake DiNozzo when Abby's hand on his shoulder stopped him. He looked questioningly at her and was surprised to see a wicked light in her eyes.

"Let me."

He didn't resist. When Abby was in that kind of mood, you didn't get in her way. People that did usually got hurt.

"Don't damage him too much." was all he said before he got out of the car and followed Ducky. He cast a last look over his shoulder to see the Goth climb into the car and lean over the still sleeping man, her painted face hanging right over his.

He wondered if he should intervene, but decided that Tony would have to get used to their mascot sooner than later and let them be.

Ducky was already waiting in the elevator, and Gibbs hurried to join him. Just before the doors closed, he could hear a high pitched scream and Abby's hysterical laughter ringing through the garage.

"Poor boy." Ducky muttered.

Gibbs wholeheartedly agreed.



Remember Jimmy (or now Jim, since I don't want you to confuse him with our Jimmy)? I was thinking about a name for Tony's friend when I remembered that a few people expressed the wish to see little Jimmy Nixon from TDBTD again so I thought, 'Hey, why not?' That decision actually led to a few drastic plot changes. I can't reveal more without totally spoiling you but you will know it when it happens.

So, what do you think? Did the first chapter disappoint or was it alright? Next time, Abby and Tony meet and an amused Director Morrow is... well, amused. Don't forget to leave a few words and see you next week.