Unfortunately I own nothing of NCIS *sigh*
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This chapter is a sort of flashbacks to explain you how Tony's life in the last six months. So, please, be patient with me. I promise you that there'll be just another long flashbacks.
Thanks from the bottom of my heart to my beta reader, ncismom :)))
'' Clear The Air and Move On ''
About six months ago.
Doctor Brad Pitt was a successful and happy man that loved his job as a pulmonologist at Bethesda Naval Hospital and really liked to spend his time with his friends and ex- frat brothers. About six years ago he had treated the most difficult and fascinating case of his career that had earned him top billing in the all Science and Medical Journals of the world.
One day in May, he had received a call from Isolation Department. They had just admitted two patients that could have been contaminated by a white powder that could prove to be a fatal deseas. At first he had thought that that was just one of his colleagues playing a joke, but he had immediately changed his mind when he had met the two individuals, NCIS Special Agents Caitlin Todd and Anthony DiNozzo.
After several hours of testing, he had found out that only the man had been contaminated with what turned out to be pneumonic plague.
He, Agent Todd and nurse Emma had watched that young man fighting with all his strength and gasping for every breath. They had all been surprised that he had been able to keep talking and joking despite the fact that he was more than likely going to die drowing in the fluids of his own lungs.
He admired that stubborn and brave man and when he had found out that his patient was the same guy that suffered a broken the leg during a football game at college, Brad had even felt guilty, because he knew that that accident had stopped the career of one of the most promising player in the colleges league.
Luckily the plague and the resulting pneumonia hadn't kill his patient.
Check-up after check-up, their friendship had grown, so it had been only natural for Brad to invite Tony every year to his birthday barbecue at his house in Bethesda, but unfortunately DiNozzo's job with NCIS had always stopped him from going.
When Tony had finally been able to leave the Navy Yard, he was so tired that he was going to call Brad and tell him that he wouldn't be able go to his barbecue on the next day because he wanted to sleep the entire week end. Fortunately, he had changed his mind and decided to go for a little while.
On Sunday morning Tony had worn a pair of Emporio Armani blue cotton casual pants, a Ferragamo white linen shirt and a pair of white and blue Nike shoes and had perfectly comb his hair. Looking at his image in the mirror he had smiled, "Not bad at all , DiNozzo. You don't look like a man that had slept just a few hours in the last three days."
By the time Tony arrived at Brad's, the party had already started. ''Finally! We're all in the back yard, come on!" Brad greeted him.
''Sorry, but I overslept. Ya know, my job...'' Tony smiled.
''You should slow down or your health...''
''Hey! This is your birthday and you're not my doc today!" laughed Tony.
''This is for you,'' smiled Tony giving him a small package. ''I hope you like it.''
Brad opened the gift and said, ''Tony, you didn't need to... WOW! This watch is so cool!"
''You gave me more time to live, so I thought that a watch would be the right gift.''
Brad dragged his friend into a hug as he whispered to his ear, ''Thank you. I'm happy I helped you. You're a good man, Tony.''
That heartfelt moment was interrupted by a tiny voice. ''Uncle Brad? Daddy needs you at the bar-bar...''
They turned to see a small little girl with red pigtails that was struggling to say an odd word; ''Barbecue?'' asked Tony smiling.
''Yes,'' she smiled back. ''Who are you?''
''Maggie, this is Tony and he's one of my best friends.'' answered Brad. ''This is my sister's four years old daughter.''
''Hi, Maggie. Nice to meet you,'' smiled Tony crouching down and extending his hand to shake hers. ''What a beautiful blue eyes!"
She blushed and shyly smiled. ''I'll never understand how you do that!" exclaimed Brad.
''What?'' asked Tony as he looked up at him.
''It doesn't matter how old they are. Every time you smile, the women just seem to fall at your feet.''
''It's a gift,'' winked Tony as he stood up.
''Uncle, daddy needs you!"
''I'm going! Tony on the table under the white umbrella you can find something to drink.''
''I'll bring him there,'' stated Maggie as she took Tony's hand in hers and drug him to the table.
Tony winked at Brad who was rolling his eyes as he sighed, ''Incredible!"
With an iced beer in his hand and after leaving Maggie with her mother, Tony made his way towards a small group of men.
Billy and Mike were two of Brad's frat-brothers that worked in DC as lawyer and jeweler espectively. Josh and Bob were two of Tony's Alpha Chi Delta frat-brothers. Bob was a DC Homicide Detective and Josh directed his father's button factory. They all have been opponents on the football fields in college, but now they played together almost every Saturday morning.
Mike was married and had two children, while Bob had lost his wife two years ago and was now raising his two children alone.
The party went on well and Tony was able to relax and have fun with his friends, until Sammy, Bob's son threw up on his sister. ''Daddy, Sammy, puked on me!'' cried the six year old little girl. ''You're disgusting!" she growled to her brother that now was on his knee clutching his belly.
They all run towards the children. ''Where does it hurt, Sammy?" asked his father as he crouched down next to him.
''My tummy. Dad, it hurts so much,'' gagged the five year old boy.
''I know kid. I think I better take him to the hospital,'' Bob said, looking up to Brad.
''Go to Georgetown University Hospital. They've got an excellent Peditrician on staff,'' the doctor insisted as he examinated the little boy's tummy.
Tony saw Bob standing up with Sammy in his arms as he said, ''Okay. I'll lay you down on the backseat and I'll drive you there. Don't worry,''
''No, daddy. I wanna... wanna stay with you,'' whimpered the child as he clutched his father's shirt.
''But I've got to drive, honey,'' sighed the father as he made his way to his car, followed closely by the other guests.
Tony knew all too well the feeling of wanting to be in your father arms, especially when you're sick;unfortunately, he never got to experience his father's loving arms around him. Anthony DiNozzo Sr. had always been too busy to waste his time on holding his son when he was sick.
''I'll drive you there,'' Tony offered as he ruffled Sammy's hair and smiled reassuringly. ''I'm a Fed. I can drive really fast. Don't worry, you'll be there in a jiffy.''
Less than ten minutes Bob entered the ER carrying his son, while Tony went to park his car.
When Tony reached Bob at ER, he found the man pacing the waiting room trying to stay calm. ''Did they tell you anything?'' asked Tony.
"No. They told me to stay here and wait, but... Tony, I need to know how my baby is.''
The agent heard the desperation in his friend'd voice. ''Don't worry. He'll be fine. He probably he just ate too much junky food."
''How could you know that? His mother...''
''Milly started the same way. One day she felt sick and after six months she died for a stomach cancer."
''Come here,'' Tony pulled the man into a tight hug. ''He'll be fine. Don't think the worst,'' he whispered as he guide Bob to seat. ''I'll bring you some water. Stay.''
After about fifteen minutes a nurse entered the waiting room asking for Samuel Pryce's family and told Bob that his son's doctor would be talk to him in five minutes. ''How is Sammy?'' asked the anguished father.
''He'll be fine. Don't worry.'' she smiled before going out the room.
Tony squeezed his friend's shoulder as the man collapsed on a chair. ''You should call your daughter. I'm sure she's scared and she needs to hear your voice.''
Bob looked at him as he started to say something, but Tony anticipated him, ''I'll wait for Sammy's doctor and I'll tell him to wait for you. Go now, call Daisy.''
A few minutes later a blonde, short woman in white scrubs entered the waiting room. ''I'm looking for Sammy's family,'' she said with a sweet and warm voice.
Tony stood up and went to her, but before he could say a word she began. ''I'm Doctor Della Torre, Mr. Pryce. Your son's appendix is a bit inflamed and this is the reason why he got sick. We've given him something for the pain and for nausea.''
''Listen, doctor. I'm not...''
''I want to keep him here for a few days to see if the inflammation heals with medicine or if we need to remove the appendix.''
The woman finally took a breath and Tony was able to say, ''Sorry, but I'm not Sammy's dad. He's calling his daughter but he'll be here soon. I'm just a friend that drove them here.''
''Oh, I'm sorry. I thought that... I mean... Sorry, but it's been a crazy day after an even crazier night and...''
''Never mind, doc,'' smiled Tony as he looked in her doe's big green eyes. I'd like to be a sick baby so you could make me feel better. You'd need just a look and a smile.
In that moment Bob arrived and after telling him what she had already told Tony, the doctor added,''I'll take you to your son. He's already in his room on the Peditrician Ward and I'm sure he's waiting for you.''
''Thanks, doc,'' smiled Bob as he turned to Tony, ''Thanks for everything. I...''
''Go to Sammy and tell him that I'll see him tomorrow at my lunch break. What about Daisy? Do you need me to take her to my place? You know that she loves Uncle Tony,'' he grinned.
''Yeah you're a perfect uncle, but I called my mother. Thanks.''
They headed towards Sammy's room, but Tony couldn't stop thinking about Sammy's doctor. Her eyes and her sweetness had touched his heart.
Tony kept his promise and the next day at lunch break, he went to visit Sammy and brought him a red car as a gift. He stayed with the child and his father for about an hour. Sammy was better and Bob told him that Doctor Della Torre was optimistic that Sammy would avoid having sugery.
Walking to the elevator, to go back to NCIS, Tony spotted Doctor Della Torre next to a vending machine.
''May I buy you a cup of coffe, Doctor?'' he asked from behind, unitentionally startling her. ''Oh, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to scare you.''
''Oh, no. You didn't. I was just lost in thought.'' she smiled.
''Bad thoughts?'' he asked as he saw her smile fading too quickly.
''Yes.'' she sighed.
''I wouldn't be able to do your job. Working every day with sick children...'' he shook his head.
''Yes, but then you see them healing and going home with their family and you're the happiest person in the world.''
Tony just nodded as he looked at her and saw her eyes lowering and widening in surprise. ''Something wrong?''
''That's a gun?'' she asked as she pointed to the holster peeping from his suit jacket.
''Oh, this?'' he asked as he hid the weapon. "I was out for an interrogation and when I finished I realized that it was time for my lunch break. Yesterday I had promised Sammy to come. So I came straight here, but I didn't want to leave my gun in the car. Ya know, it's not safe. Is that a problem?''
''No, absolutely not. What's your job?''
''I'm an federal agent.''
''Really? Which agengy?'' she asked.
''I'm an NCIS special agent. NCIS stands for...''
''Naval Criminal Investigative Service.'' she recited.
''Ya know us?'' Tony was really surprised.
''Yes, a colleague told me about them and a weird case,''
''A weird case?''
''Yes. An NCIS agent was contaminated with Y pestis... I mean, with...''
''So it's true! He wasn't kidding me! Do you know that man?''
''Oh, yes. I see him every morning...'' he stopped just a second, ''When I look in the mirror.''
He saw perplexity in her eyes as she proceeded his words. Her big eyes became even bigger when she finally realized what he had just said. ''You're that man?'' she asked sotto voce.
''Yep and your colleague is Brad Pitt, right?'' she just nodded. ''We were at him when Sammy got sick.''
''Well, I dare to say that you perfectly healed,'' she smiled fixing her eyes in his.
''Luckily,'' answered Tony a bit imbarassed. He didn't like to talk about those days under the blue lights.
''You didn't answer me about the coffe.''
''Perfect,'' he agreed as he inserted the coins in the vending machine.
''Well, your job is as hard as mine and definitely more dangerous,'' she said as she took the plastic cup that Tony was givining her.
''Maybe, but luckily our victims usually are adults and not children. Nothing bad should happen when you're so young,'' he sighed barely audible looking into his cup and so missing her concerned look.
''You're right. Children should be always happy and carefree,'' she stated making him to look at her.
Why do I feel as if she's reading my mind and my heart? Weird. It doesn't bother me. ''Ya know, I don't know your name.''
''Alessandra, but they call me Sandy as Sandy Olson of...''
''Grease''! Do you like movies?'' It can't be possible! She even likes movies!
''I'm a movie addict,'' she admitted. ''And you?''
''The same,'' answered Tony as his cell rang. ''Sorry... DiNozzo... on it, Boss!'' He closed his phone and said, ''I've got to go now.''
''Okay,'' she said, a bit disappointed.
''If you have any problem or you need anything,'' he gave her his card, ''Call me,'' he smiled one of his best smile.
''Special Agent Anthony DiNozzo,'' she read. ''It's always useful to know a Fed.''
Are flirting doc? ''Always at your service, ma'ma!" he joked as he saluted her and went away.
I can't believe I left her the choice to call me or not. I didn't even ask her number! Am I going crazy? Why is it so different with her?
Three days later Sandy called him at NCIS, ''I've got a big problem and need your help," she said as soon as he answered the phone.
''What's going on?'' he asked really worried. ''Are you okay?''
''I think I made a mistake and I don't know how to solve it.''
''Don't worry. I'll help you,'' he reassured her.
Tony heard a sort of muffled chuckle on the phone. ''Sandy, are you okay? Please, tell me what happened.''
''I've two tickets for Saturday evening's game. Washington Redskins vs Dallas Cowboys at FedEx Field, but I'm alone. Could you solve this problem for me?''
''You... you... you made me think...! And I believed you! You're a really naughty girl, ya know?" Tony was so relieved that she was fine and that she was just joking that he couldn't stop laughing.
''I know. When you asked me if I was okay, I wanted to tell you the truth, but...'' she laughed. ''It was too funny!"
''Funny? I'll make you pay for that.''
''What's my punishment?''
''Pizza at Gennaro's beforethe game.''
''I humbly accept my punishment, Agent DiNozzo.''
''I'll be at your place at seven. What's your address?''. After he wrote down her address he hung up and leaned back in his chair.
A beautiful, intelligent woman with a sense of homur and who loves sport and movies! I'm dreaming! Is it already Christmas? Or my birthday?
The evening was perfect and their new found relationship waseven better. It seemed like Sandy and Tony had always known each other. They discovered that they liked the same movies and that they had the same sense of humor. Tony and Sandy teased each other without malice. They laughed and talked about serious issues, like their jobs and all the bad things they saw every day.
''Thank you, for this beautiful night,'' Tony grinned as they were standing in front of her door.
''No, I should be thanking you,'' she said sotto voce as she leaned against the door jamb.
''Why?'' he whispered as he put his hands on her hips.
''Because you're... you,'' she answered caressing his chest as she looked up at him.
She likes me as I am. Nobody has done that before. They all wanted to change me and they all made me feel as there was something wrong in me. Is it possible that such an intelligent and sweet woman can accept me for who I am?
Tony leaned to her and their lips met in a sweet, passionate kiss. In that moment Tony understood that they would be together for the rest of thier lives.
Tony couldn't remember the last time he had been so happy and comfortable with a woman. It hadn't been this perfect even with Jeanne and he knew that, besides the lies that he had to tell her, he had really loved her. Tonight Jeanne had became a far memory and Tony felt finally he could move on.
Sandy was his chance to be happy again and with a little bit of lucky, that happiness would last for the rest of his life.
On the way to his apartment Tony called the airport and reserved a seat on the first flight to Denver, then he called Sandy to tell her what had happened to his father.
''Call me when you arrive and let me know how he is.''
''How do you feel? I mean...''
''I don't know. He's never taken care of me, but I know that this is the right thing to do. I need to go there.''
''Because you're nothing like him,'' she stated.
Tony had told her everything about his childhood, his mother's death and how Sr. had neglected him, leaving his only twelve-year-old child at a Maui hotel, just because he had to stay with a rich divorcee.
Usually people laughed or felt sorry for him about that story, but Sandy had got really mad at his father, so mad that the first time they met, Tony had been afraid that she was going to strangle him. Luckily nothing violent happened and despite Tony's protest, Sandy and his father had had a long private talk from with they both came out alive and unharmed.
Tony had never asked Sandy what they had talked about, but from that moment his father had slowly started to change. A call every now and then, just to find out how his son was, or to inform him that he had finally started a honest life and he had a honest job, or that he was out of country for business.
In every call, his father never forgot to ask about Sandy and when Tony had finally had the courage to ask him what they had talked about, Sr. had answered, ''You only need to know that that woman would defend you as a lioness defends her cubs. Your mother was just like her and you'd be a fool if you did anything that made her leave you.''
Sandy's voice brought him back to reality. ''Yeah?''
''When is your flight?''
''About an hour and half from now, so I've got to hurry.'' he answered as he opened his apartment's door and entered.
''Okay. Remember to call me. Ti amo.''
''Ti amo. Ciao.'' he whispered as he hang up, opened the walk-in closet, took his trolley suitcase and went to his bedroom.
I know. I know. I used my name for Tony's girlfriend... but it's not such a bad idea to be Tony's girlfriend so let me dream, please! LOL
Sandy's Italian and her last name is Della Torre (just like Di Nozzo). In Italy we wrote this kind of surmanes separated.
A question: do you prefer long or short chapters? Let me know. Thank you.
Please review. Thank you :)