I'll Always Have Your Back

By Arress

Summary: Missing scene from "Faking It". Mike Franks hurt Tony, Gibbs reacts. Takes place towards the end of the episode, right after Franks hands Gibbs the cassette tape. Not slash, more of a father/son fic. Spoilers for "Chained", "Singled Out" and "Faking It".

Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.

AN: This story is not betaed, any mistakes are all mine.


As Mike Franks turned and headed down the sidewalk, Gibbs put the beer bottle Mike had just handed him on the ledge under the window and called his old boss back one more time. "Hey, Mike?"

Mike turned and walked back towards Gibbs and asked impatiently, "What is it now, Probie?"

Once Mike was close enough, Gibbs wasted no time with words. He grabbed Mike by the lapel with one hand and punched him hard in the mouth with the other. Then he let go of Mike's shirt and let him fall to the ground.

As Mike lay on the ground, he asked indignantly, "What the hell was that for?"

"That was for Tony."

Mike got back on his feet and said indignantly, "I didn't hit him that hard. I just saw him in the cantina. He's fine."

Gibbs got in Mike's face and said in a low, dangerous tone, "That's not the point. You could've seriously hurt him and that was to let you know to never do anything like that to any of my people ever again."

"I think you're overreacting," Mike replied.

"Well, I don't," Gibbs growled at his former boss. "You should know me well enough by now to know what happens to someone who hurts one of mine. Now you better leave, before I change my mind about what happened in the cantina." Gibbs said.

Mike knew a losing argument when he saw one, so he settled for shooting Gibbs a glare, then turned and started down the sidewalk again. Gibbs shouted after him, "You should be glad it was me who took care of this and not DiNozzo. The last person who tried to hurt Tony is dead at his hands." He was referring to Jeffrey White, the man who had tried to slit Tony's throat while he was undercover a little over two years before.

Franks turned and gave Gibbs a final glare, and then he continued down the sidewalk.


Tony had just finished taking pictures of the crime scene and had started on his sketches when he saw Mike Franks leave the cantina, carrying a bottle of beer. Then Gibbs followed Franks out the door. Tony hadn't been sure who had whacked over the head at the time, but by the time he and his teammates had arrived at the motel room and found Mike's brand of beer and cigarettes, he was pretty damn sure it had been Franks. Once they arrived at the cantina, he was positive it was Franks who had hit him. Tony wouldn't mind getting a little payback, but he had the feeling that he wouldn't get a chance.

When Tony saw Gibbs leave, he decided to follow his boss because he didn't think Franks could be trusted. No matter how his boss had treated him in the past few weeks, Tony knew Gibbs had had a rough time of it since the explosion and the coma, and he would always have Gibbs' back, no matter what else happened.

Gibbs hadn't really been himself since he'd come back to DC, and Tony had even turned down a promotion as team leader in Rota, Spain, in order to have his boss' back; and until Gibbs got rid of that creepy mustache, Tony wasn't going to rest easy.

Once Tony reached the doorway of the cantina, he could see Gibbs and Mike talking in front of the window. He was completely shocked by what he saw and heard.


Once Mike was no longer in sight, Gibbs said, "You can come out now, DiNozzo."

Tony left the doorway he had been standing in while watching the confrontation and said, "How did you… Never mind." He knew Gibbs would never tell him how he knew Tony had been watching. Then he said, "Boss, that wasn't really necessary. I'm fine. I don't want to be the cause of any trouble between you and Franks. I know he's your friend."

Gibbs silently cursed whoever had made Tony think that he wasn't worth anyone's time and trouble; he had his suspicions that it was Tony's father. Given his own recent treatment of his senior field agent, he figured he should take some of the blame himself. He turned to his second-in-command and said seriously, "Like I told Mike, it isn't the point that you're fine. And the fact that he's my friend doesn't matter in this case. He could have seriously hurt you. Besides, he got off lucky. If he'd been anyone else, I'd have shot him."

"Don't you think that's a little extreme?" Tony asked. The way Gibbs had been acting since he returned from Mexico, Tony had begun to think that he didn't really care about any of them any more, except Abby, of course.

Gibbs knew he hadn't treated Tony well since he returned from Mexico. Even before he'd officially come back to NCIS, he'd taken over a couple of Tony's investigations and usurped Tony's authority as team leader. He knew if anyone had done something like that to him, he wouldn't have handled it as well as Tony did. Although he rarely apologized, he felt he needed to now. He had to undo some of the damage he had done, and he had to make at least one thing perfectly clear.

"Tony, I know I haven't been the best boss to you since I came back, but I want you to know that I'll always have your back, no matter what."

Tony knew that was as close to an apology that he'd ever get from Gibbs, and that meant a lot to him. He felt something shift inside him, like something that had been missing since Gibbs' return had been put back in place; like whatever had been stripped from his boss in that explosion several months ago had finally been returned to its rightful place. His smile was incandescent and real, not like the fake ones he'd been throwing around lately. He said, "Thanks, Boss. You don't know what that means to me."

Gibbs placed a hand on Tony's shoulder and replied, "Oh, I think I do." Then he removed his hand and ordered, "Now get your ass back in that cantina and do your job."

Tony was still smiling as he turned to head back into the cantina, then he stopped and turned back to Gibbs. He just had to press his luck. "Boss?"

Gibbs knew Tony wouldn't be Tony if he didn't do what he felt was part of his job and try to lighten the mood. He replied with forced patience, "What is it, DiNozzo?"

"We need to have a little talk about that mustache."

Gibbs raised his hand as if to deliver a head slap and Tony hurried into the building to avoid it. But once all the paper work had been finished and Gibbs was back at home, he shaved off the mustache.