Author's Note-Tag to Faking It. Set in Gibbs point of view. Was just watching this today and got a muse. I couldn't remember if Franks was at Gibbs house or a safe house so I placed him at Gibbs. Sue me.

I do not own NCIS

He arrived at his house in record time, fear was racing through him making his driving even more reckless. One minute he had been speaking to DiNozzo, the next there had been a grunt of pain, the sound of someone falling, and then silence. Tony wasn't responding. He could feel his heart trying to escape his chest. He knew his agent would answer if he could, his man was down, and he hadn't been at his six. He flung open the door before he even hit the brakes. He wanted to get to Tony as soon as possible, if he was fatally wounded time was of the essence. His heart clenched at the thought of Tony laying in his front yard dying.

Running up the path, he looked around wildly, spotting the younger agent on his face, not moving. His heart skipped a beat as he cleared the yard and the house, rushing back to his agent he fell to his feet, his eyes shining with dread as he turned DiNozzo over slowly, placing a hand on his neck, sighing in relief as he found a pulse. His chest loosened, a breathe he hadn't realized he'd been keeping in escaping in to the afternoon air. He called for an ambulance, and for the rest of his team to process the house. He lifted DiNozzo, positioning him half on his lap, an arm around his Senior Field Agent's shoulders.

"Come on DiNozzo wake up for me. Can't have you slipping into a coma on me." Gibbs spoke softly as he gently slapped the kids face. Not even able to count how many times he had held Tony this way when he was hurt or needed comfort. He wasn't one to give such affection usually, but the young agent had been with him for so long, he knew Gibbs better than anyone else. And after all the years he had grown fond of the man. He made him more proud than anyone had in a long time. He was a fine agent and an even better man. Had he applied himself to it DiNozzo would have made a mighty fine Marine. He already had the Semper Fi part down. He hadn't just been throwing it out there when he said Tony was his Loyal St Bernard. He knew DiNozzo would always be at his six no matter the circumstances. And if ever forced with a choice he'd chose the older marine in a heart beat.

No one had stood in his corner for so long for nothing. No one had been so loyal to him, not on their own free will. Usually they owed Gibbs a favor, but not DiNozzo, he didn't owe him anything yet he was still there for him. No matter how much of a bastard he maybe to the man he never left his side. He knew just what Gibbs needed, they could even finish each other sentences and knew what Gibbs would want without him saying it. He had grown so accustomed to having the kid around that if he ever lost him he didn't know what he would do. It would take a very long time to get use to not having Tony to rely on. If anything he owed DiNozzo.

Yet here he was once again cradling Tony in his arms after he had been hurt. Once again he had failed to have his agent's back like the italian had his. No matter how he tried to protect Tony, he always seemed to get hurt regardless. Well, he'd just have to handcuff him to his wrist than. Anything to keep the man safe. Next to Ducky, Tony was the only person he considered family. He had failed him, growling he vowed to find the man responsible for this. A few minutes later he could feel a stirring in his arms, his heart leapt. Looking into the man's green eyes as he groggily opened he whispered, "It's okay son, I got you."

He knew DiNozzo wouldn't remember it, or would brush it off as the concussion he surely had, but it felt good to say it. He knew how miserable Tony's childhood had been, he had yearned for years to heal the damage that bastard had done to his agent but Tony never let him. He didn't trust easily and certainly wouldn't open up. He was closed down, never letting anyone get too close. Gibbs was closer than anyone else had ever gotten but still not close enough to heal Tony's wounds. Instead he tried to heal from afar. Tried to show Tony that he was loved and cared for, that he had a place to call home. Even if it was in his Marine, second B is for bastard way.

Surely Tony would understand eventually. He was sure it was why the man stuck around for more than two years. Looking down into the cloudy green eyes again, the dull pain glazing over his eyes he tried smiling, "Boss...Gibbs...they got Franks." He nodded, figuring as much but right now he couldn't do a thing for Franks, right now Tony was what mattered. "Screwed up Boss, 'M sorry."

He went to head-slap Tony only to see him flinch, his heart ached. It might have been years since the abuse his father put him through but the memories remained the same. After years of repressing it, it was only natural that some would bleed through over time and sooner or later the abuse would catch up. His ire reached it's peak, he was definitely going to hurt whoever did this to his protege. He gently tapped Tony on the back of the head, "Never apologize, it's a sign of weakness."

He didn't mention the screw-up, because Tony had screwed up, he shouldn't have been so distracted with his phone call that he couldn't be on the watch out for the bad guys. But that didn't matter, what mattered was Tony's well-being, he could hear the brakes of the wailing ambulance screech to a halt at his house. The paramedics rushing forward, he slowly stepped back to let them do their work. He gently squeezed the back of Tony's neck. "Everything's fine DiNozzo, now let these people check you out."

Minutes later he was lifting Tony's eyelids to see if he was really okay, unable to believe it himself, wanting to make sure that no mistakes were made on his agent, satisfied after his own examination, he gathered his troops and set about finding whoever dared to touch his man.

-later that very same day-

Everything made sense now as he stared at Mike who hastily asked of DiNozzo was okay. He felt his blood boil, before Mike had knocked DiNozzo out he hadn't been sure he could ever be angry at the man who pretty much saved his life after Shannon and Kelly died, but when he learned it was Franks who had hurt Tony, he glared angrily at the man, his eyes cold, lit with a cold fire that cut straight to the soul.

He pinned the older man to the wall and whispered in his ear, "If you ever harm DiNozzo in any way again Mike things out will turn out much worse for you, do you got it?" He pulled away when he was sure Franks understood perfectly, shoving him towards his daughter-in-law and grandchild.

On the ride back to NCIS all was quiet in the car, it was only Tony and himself, but usually the young agent had something to say. "Something on your mind DiNozzo?"

He shrugged, quietly looking out the window. "You know it still shocks me that not all Fathers hit their kids. I still think those Dad's are being bad fathers, are doing the whole parenting thing wrong when they don't smack their kids around."

Gibbs tensed, gripping the wheel with a death grip. He could kill Tony's father right now, if his heart wasn't too busy breaking. He felt his throat close off as rage swept off. He tried to swallow, but he couldn't, he tried to speak but his tongue seemed to be glued to the roof of his mouth. Tony wasn't done. "When I was a kid, when he use to punish me I use to hope someone would come in and save me. Take me to a place where I was loved. It never happened. One time when I was five I accidentally overflowed the toilet and my father threw me face first onto the tiled floor then grabbed me by my hair and dragged me to the toilet, he shoved my head into the overflowing toilet and tried drowning me in there. My Mother the whole time was leaning against the door post watching."

He could feel his knuckles cracking as he gripped the steering wheel as if his life depended on it. "I always use to dream at night, that my father was beating me and in swooped my teacher, or my mother, or a complete stranger. I still have dreams like that. 'Cept...now it's you who comes in and saves me."

The young agent was looking out the window, unable to look his boss in the eye, he was blushing in humiliation but he couldn't stop his mouth from running. Gibbs just gruffly replied, "Damn straight DiNozzo. If I'd been there you'd never have suffered like that. Your Father would have though." The older man was glowering.

He heard Tony snort. "I bet." Gibbs felt a sigh of relief when he saw Tony smile in satisfaction. "No one's ever had my back, not like you. No one's ever stood up for me like that." Tony whispered painfully before turning his tortured green eyes onto the driver who nearly ran off the road when he saw the agony in those green eyes. "Thanks Boss."

"What did I tell you DiNozzo?" Gibbs said in a rough voice, "Always have your six, no matter what."

"Kelly may not have lived long, but she was a lucky girl Gibbs. She was happy. You made her that way, she had a good life, short as it was. Don't forget that." He spoke softly, afraid to step on that subject. Tensing Gibbs stared at the wheel, he didn't speak for ages. It was the anniversary of their deaths. Tony knew him all too well.

Gibbs just nodded. There were no words that could take the pain or guilt away, but he was thankful Tony was there for him. No one else seemed to remember what today was. He felt a surge of affection for DiNozzo, he spoke outloud, "Yeah well, she would have loved you Tony."

Tony looked down at his hands, a small smile playing on his lips. There was no higher compliment, no higher place of affection in Gibbs world than that. It shocked him into silence as he soaked it in.

No other words needed to be said. They drove in silence, wounds healing.

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