"Oh, right. . .coming Boss." Tony got up to follow Gibbs.
After finishing the pizza, they were watching an old cowboy movie on television. Tony seemed to doze off almost immediately when it started. After repeatedly struggling to stay awake, Tony said he should really go home.
"No, why don't you just stay here tonight." Gibbs just made a gesture toward the bedroom.
"Oh, okay, sure. Thanks Boss." Tony responded to the offer, which was too quick and easy for Gibbs to accept as normal.
Gibbs aroused around 5 am, surprised that he had slept that long without making a little check on Tony. As he approached the bedroom, he could hear Tony walking around the room. Gibbs stood outside the bedroom door for a moment, trying to figure out what Tony was doing. Gibbs determined that Tony had to be walking or pacing in circles. Gibbs heard Tony's footsteps heading towards the door, which caused him to recoil a few steps to the bathroom. Tony jumped when he saw Gibbs standing there by the bathroom.
"Oh, hey Boss." Tony said surprised. He quickly lowered his head and rubbed his eyes hard. Gibbs could not see his face in the dark real well, but Gibbs knew that he had to be crying.
"You first." Gibbs ordered Tony as he pointed his head toward the bathroom.
"Uh, thanks Boss." Tony hurried into the bathroom turning on the light. Gibbs could now see how bloodshot his eyes were. When Tony exited the bathroom, he was surprised to see Gibbs still standing there almost waiting for him. Tony continued to struggle to keep his eyes clear.
"Come with me Tony." Gibbs said as he guided him back into the living room. They both sat back down on the couch. Gibbs regarded Tony with concern, which Tony sensed as Gibbs continued to watch him. From getting the Gibbs' stare and with his own difficulty keeping his eyes clear, Tony started to shift uncomfortably.
"I just can remember it so clearly now." Tony admitted to Gibbs. "This was thirty-three years ago." Gibbs nodded from Tony's comment. "It is like it happened yesterday."
"I am sorry, Tony." Gibbs made sure that Tony was looking at him when he said it. Tony nodded acknowledging Gibbs' need to give an apology and break one of his own rules. Although Tony no longer was hiding his face from Gibbs or fighting back the tears that seemed to form, he did fight to maintain his composure in front of him.
"You need to grieve, Tony." Gibbs finally said, as he watched Tony's internal struggles. "Do you want to see your father?" Gibbs asked, considering the suggestion that Dr. Cranston made.
"No." Tony answered more sharply than he intended.
"I mean. . .I can't right now, Boss." Tony said much calmer but still forcefully.
"He told me what he did." Gibbs said without elaborating. Tony looked back up at Gibbs, just realizing that Gibbs had a conversation with his father about all of this. "You should have been allowed to grieve."
Tony started to remember back to when his mother died, and his father, as a single parent, did not know how to handle him.
"Boss . . ." Tony started to defend his father to Gibbs, but Gibbs gave him such a sharp look that he stopped. "Yes Boss."
"So. . ." Tony swallowed hard before asking the question. "You arrested her today, then?" Tony asked slowly not knowing the details of anything that happened outside of the conference room.
"Yeah, she was arrested." Gibbs was reluctant to give Tony any more information than that right now. Gibbs noticed how quiet Tony got again. He noticed that Tony was fidgeting again and seemed to be struggling to remember something, but then he buried his head in his hands for a moment. Gibbs wondered if Tony was ready to just melt down and start sobbing. Before Gibbs was able to move, Tony popped his head back up and looked at him.
"You know." Tony started to say. Gibbs was surprised by his completely changed, calm, demeanor. Gibbs looked to Tony waiting for him to finish. "She was the one that pushed my dad so hard to send me to boarding school. I really barely knew her though." After saying that, Tony just looked to his side angrily. Gibbs lifted his eyebrows and nodded from Tony's realization, but he started to get more concerned as Tony seemed to be focusing more on the suspect rather than processing the recently resurfaced details of his mother's death.
"Tony." Gibbs said sharply. "She has been arrested, and she is going to jail for a long time." Gibbs tried to reassure Tony and giving him a warning not to preoccupy himself with this.
"Boss, nothing has changed here for me." Tony stood up and started to pace as he ranted in frustration. "My mother is still dead. My father never believed me when I said I knew who killed her. My father and I stopped communicating after my mother's death. And, I still grew up in boarding school. What has really changed here?" Tony yelled.
"It's closure." Gibbs calmly tried to interject, watching Tony, whose anxiety level seemed to be intensifying. "The rest are just memories." Gibbs repeated the same line he used with Dr. Cranston regarding Kate's murder.
"I feel like the accident happened yesterday." Tony continued to rant. "I can't get the images out of my head. I tried to go to sleep, but I kept seeing the crash over and over again." Gibbs continued to watch Tony and listened carefully to his ranting, but he stood up to join Tony. As Gibbs approached, Tony's fidgeting increased as he almost felt threated from his approach. Noticing his uneasiness, Gibbs whispered to him.
"I am just listening, Tony." Gibbs said as he came closer. As he continued to stand there, he watched as Tony started to calm and his whole body seemed to relax again. Tony buried his heads into his hands again. As Gibbs continued to watch Tony struggle with this, he wondered if Tony was just having a hard time expressing himself about this in front of him, since Tony views Gibbs as a father figure.
"Whoa, Boss!" Tony jumped and shouted. "I didn't realize that it was 6:30 am already." That comment redirected even Gibbs' attention, since he did not realize that either. "I better go home and get ready for work. I'll see you soon Boss."
"Tony! Why don't you stay home today?" Gibbs tried to catch him before he ran out the door. Tony stopped and turned toward Gibbs.
"I would rather go to work, Boss." Tony explained. " I do not feel that anything has really changed for me here."
"Other than the fact, you got no sleep." Gibbs added. Gibbs watched as he ran to his car. The thought that Tony would most likely find out all the details of the investigation now concerned him, as well as the fact that Tony was struggling to maintain his emotions. Shaking his head, Gibbs dug out Dr. Cranston's number again.
~This concludes the No Dad. . .Not Again series, but the key story elements will continue. A new season 8/9 focused series will start soon. Thank you so much for reading.