Because this series was the first series I ever undertook to write, I thought I'd give a little bonus to all those readers out there who started this journey two years ago.
Alright, to begin, when I first started writing this story, I had no idea what I was getting myself in to. However, this story, in the process of being written, changed many times. To begin with, I had never written in McGee's voice before and a few days before I posted what would have been the first story, The Unknown Song,I sat down and was inspired to write a quick one-shot of how the team would deal with Tony suddenly disappearing: this in turn became The Leaving Rhapsody which in turn spawned the other two stories which lead into Tony's re-appearance.
While McGee's story was pretty straight forward and flowed off the page like butter (yes, I know odd simile but oh well), Tony's story went through three or four revisions before it landed on what was Tony's story. The main components though were Tony was always going to meet a woman named Brookyln, or Brooke as her nickname is, and either she was going to have kids or they were going to have kids together. I think in one of the first drafts of this story Tony was admitted to the ER and Brooke was his nurse. But then I found that too weird and scrapped that idea. Then there was Brooke having three kids before she met Tony and I didn't like that idea either because then I had to figure out a way to kill and/or get rid of the kids' father and well, throwing a minor character off a cliff into a black hole just didn't seem realistic.
Then, there was a brief amount of time where the team was going to head out to Paris and find Tony and be like "oh-hem-gee Tony's got a family" but I didn't like that either and threw that out. There was another plot line that had Tony NEVER figuring out where he came from and McGee moving on and being okay with not knowing. But then well, I couldn't do that either. It made me sad just writing it that way and these aren't even my own characters. Another last little plot line before this final product was going to deal with Tony actually walking into NCIS and then making a wise crack at the Director like "where's you're tooth pick" before having a seizure and collapsing and/or dying but that little plot line made me horribly depressed cause I really didn't want to kill Tony so I threw that out the window as well. Then for a brief moment after that I was gonna end with Tony walking into NCIS and blah, be done with it, but I couldn't do that either because I could just see the pitchforks being hurled my way soo, I gave you an epilogue. So in the end, it landed where it landed. It just took a few detours to actually get there.
But to tell you the truth, this story was greatly inspired by two songs and my need to write the kinda fic that would be proud to fit in the angst section.
The first, which started this whole plot bunny in my head, was a song that I heard while sitting in the theater. The trailer for a movie came out and the background song was Set Fire to the Third Bar by Snow Patrol. The lines that made my heart almost hurt were first, the whole first verse of drawing a map and seeing that the two places, in the view point of the map, were not very far at all "finger-lengths", which lead into the next line of "I hang my coat up in the first bar, there is no peace that I've found so far…"
With that line, I just imagined Tony, rambling around trying to figure out something, anything, and it was with that that lead me to write a good portion of The Unknown Song. It's a really dark and a very heart wrenching song and if you really want to "feel" what I felt, have that song play on repeat while you read that story again. And of course the chorus makes me want to cry, for no reason really. I just love this song that much.
The next song was a song that I heard on my mom's birthday while we were waiting for our desserts to come out. It's called I and Love and You by The Avett Brothers. This whole song really was what inspired Tony and Brooke's love. Sure, I'm not sure whether or not the band meant the city when they sang "Ah Brooklyn, Brooklyn take me in. Are you aware the shape I'm in? My hands they shake my head it spins. Ah Brooklyn, Brooklyn take me in" but to me it sounded exactly like the girl I wanted Tony to marry. Realistically, marrying a guy that had no clue about where he came from would be hard for someone to do. But Brooke was just that sort of girl. And if you do look up the lyrics, the first verse, "Load the car…we are headed north" is what Tony tells Brooke in one of the last chapters.
Really, I can't believe it's been two years since I first posted this story. It's crazy, because I had no idea it would take so long to get this whole story out.
And lots of people asked me why the chapters always contained a musical component. Well, to answer that, I figured it music was my muse, and if you agreed with what Tony said in the epilogue, then maybe you would see why.
I can't believe this story is finally done. It was a pleasure to write and I hope you all enjoyed it. Is this the end? Yes. Will there ever be more to this story: No. I have said all I needed to say. It's done. I'm happy with it, and in fact, I did a little happy dance when I wrote the last word. This Tony is done, as is this McGee and the whole crew. They accomplished what they wanted to and Tony's finally back. Will Tony stay in D.C. or will he go back to Paris? Well, all I can say is, which one do you want him to do? And which one do you think this Tony would do? As for me, I have no clue. Maybe he would find a compromise. Maybe he wouldn't. Maybe one day when he was old and gray he would suddenly remember everything. Maybe he would live the rest of his life with holes in his memory. But I can say that no matter what happened, Tony would have most defiantly found a way to work it out. And nothing would change that.
Thank you so much to everyone who ever read/alerted/reviewed to this series. I enjoyed every word.