The lovely characters do not belong to me. They all belong to CBS and their related companies. I do promise to put them back when I'm done playing with them.
"DiNozzo." He says as he answers his cell phone
" Agent DiNozzo, this is Anne Burns, I'm calling on behalf of Mr. Ernest Yost."
"Is he alright?" Tony ask his voice so full of concern it makes Gibbs look up and over to see what is going on.
"He was admitted to Bethesda two hours ago. It doesn't look good Agent DiNozzo he is asking for you."
"I'll be there in fifteen minutes, tell him please to hang on." Tony closes his cell then grabs his sig and badge. He looks at Gibbs and tells him. "I'm going to lunch."
"I'll drive." Is the only thing Gibbs says as he follows Tony into the elevator then into the sedan. He looks at Tony knowing no words on his part are needed.
"Bethesda." Is the only thing that Tony has to say for Gibbs to peel away from the parking lot.
With Gibbs driving it takes them no time at all to reach the hospital and even less time to find the right room after they both flash their badges.
He looks so frail and small laying there in the with all the machines surrounding him. Blinking lights and one sounding with a beep, beep, every time Ernie's heat beats.
Gibbs stays by the foot of the bed watching as Tony goes up and takes the hand of the man he had met long ago.
"Ernie, what happened ?" Tony says as he gently take Ernie's hand in his.
Ernie opened his eyes and tries to focus them. "What no Pops for me Tony?"
"I'm sorry Pops I forgot I sort of had other things on my mind."
"Gunny thanks for bringing him."
"For you CPL. Yost, anytime." Gibbs tell his with a slight smile.
"Pops what's going on?"
"My ticker is giving out, I knew it was coming son. You listen to me I want to speak my piece while I still have my strength."
"I promise, I'll listen Pops then you rest so we can get you back home, I'll even spring for a pretty Navy nurse to come see you at home."
Ernie blinks then smiles, "Listen to me kid I don't have much the house and the few good things that I was able to buy my Dorothy they're yours now I added you to the deed last year. I tricked you kid I had you sign the papers while you where watching a movie with me. Sneaky bastard aren't I? " He stops and looks at Tony as Tony starts to open his mouth. "No talking you promised. It's done I want you to have it. Now I want something else two things in fact. Gunny over there can help with the one of them. Bring my medal to Parris Island the Commandant will know what has to be done with it. And lastly stop playing with Barbie girls find a nice girl, a woman that loves you and that you love. A woman that you can't wait to get home to at the end of the day. Then marry her and start a family. Listen Tony I've watched you play with one Barbie after an other every time you took me out I saw you in action. Those girls are nothing but plaything to you. You need and want a real woman. Trust me when she comes into your life you'll never know how you did without her she'll become your everything. Now promise me."
"I promise Pops. But rest please I want you to dance at my wedding with my bride. That is after you help me find her."
"That's a good boy, now you remember where I keep my medal and all my important papers right? I showed you don't forget Tony I'm counting on you."
"I won't, now please try and rest let the medicine do its work."
Tony watched as Ernie closed his eyes and sighed a smile on his face. He glances over at Gibbs and sees that the former Marine has glistening eyes and is standing at attention as he looks upon the old warrior laying in the ICU bed.
The two agents stand and watch as Ernie's breathing slows down and then his heart finally stops beating. They had both seen death before but never one as peaceful as this one. Tony lowers his head and kisses the man he called Pops on the cheek and tells him softly. "Give Dorothy my love." When he stands and looks one last time at the man he had come to love and respect he sees that Ernie is smiling.
The nurse came in and moves with silent steps she turns off the beeping of the monitor.
"I'll leave you alone, please tell us when you are ready to leave."
"We've said our good-byes thank you." Gibbs tells her as he puts a hand on Tony's shoulder and guides him out of the room.
Six months forward.
Abby came bouncing into the bullpen dressed in her bowling outfit with a friend in tow.
"Gibbs, Gibbs we won the tournament against St George."
"That's good Abs."
"Oh I want you to meet my friend Penelope she is the technical analyst for the BAU. She is just as good as McGee well maybe a little bit better. You can call her Penelope she hates being called Penny."
"Penelope." Gibbs says as he offers his hand.
"Agent Gibbs it's a pleasure to meet you." she tells him as she shakes his hand firmly.
"Tony! Just the person I was looking for, you have to make Penelope come with me tell her just how good the movie is." Abby says as she drags Tony over to where Penelope and Gibbs are standing.
"Penelope this is Tony, Tony my friend Penelope don't call her Penny she hates it."
"Nice to meet you Penelope."
"Same here Agent DiNozzo."
"So what do you need Abs?"
"Tell her that she just had to go to the movies with me they are showing Oceans eleven with George Clooney and Brad Pitt. She says that she won't go see that movie that the original with the rat pack is better. She says why spoil a good thing by watching a remake. She wants to go see the African Queen."
Tony looked at her and smiled a real smile. "You like the rat pack? And old movies?"
Smiling brightly she nods her head . "Yes and I love old movies you should see my movie collection,"
"I haven't seen that movie in ages I'll go with you if you still want to see it."
"I should warn you it is a double feature the second movie is the Caine Mutiny."
"All the better. So just like that you'll go to the movies with me I just met you."
"Well you're Abby's friend so I trust you and if you hurt me my team will kill you and Abby will get rid of your body."
"Just where so you work?" Tony asks as he swallows.
"The FBI, I work in the BAU, Agent Hotchner's unit as a technical analyst."
"Okay then Penelope, I think this is going to be the start of a beautiful friendship." he tells her as he grabs his bag and weapon.
Abby and Gibbs watch as Tony leads Penelope away, once the elevator doors close Abby looks at Gibbs and smiles. "You did good Abby. Now I'll take you out to dinner."
Forward two years.
He tried to get there in time but it was a no go, with Gibbs at his side he walked into unit and made his way to her. Ernie was so right she was his everything and he couldn't wait to get home to her everyday. Some how they made it work with the jobs they had and the agencies that they worked for it was tough but it was worth it in the end.
She looked so beautiful but so very tired at the same time. In her arms she was holding a tightly wrapped blue bundle, his son the first of many he hoped, they argued about the name but in the end she won she wanted a name that their son could use proudly for their child was alive because of him in the first place.
So they named him Anthony Ernesto DiNozzo, but would call him Ernie after a great man.