A/N: My first NCIS fic. I'm fascinated with Gibbs. That's it. This story is told from Tony's perspective, so I hope I have captured the characters good enough. Please review! They make me smile, and help me write better.

Disclaimer: I do not own NCIS.

Tony found the front door ajar when he pulled up in front of Gibb's house. Pulling his sidearm from the sheath, he held it at the ready as he made his way up the walk and inched the door open. The house was in perfect condition. He made his way into the kitchen and headed down to the basement, where he knew he'd find his boss. What he found was not was he was expecting.

Gibbs was sanding his boat. It'd been a work in progress for quite some time. There was no television on, and he noticed Gibbs had decided to throw his phone into a glass of water. The landline behind him was lying off the hook. Gibbs stopped to wipe his face, but Tony could tell right away it wasn't sweat he was wiping away. It was tears.

"Boss, we've been trying to call you for hours," Tony tried to say gently. "Are you all right?" Awkward silence filled the basement. Tony was afraid to talk again, but he had to know what was going on. It wasn't like Gibbs not to answer his phone. "What's going on?"

"I'm fine, DiNozzo," Gibbs said flatly, and kept sanding.

"Then why is your cell phone in a glass of water?"

"Leave, DiNozzo."

"The case - "

"Leave! NOW!"

Tony took a few steps back, shocked by Gibbs' sudden outburst. He started up the stairs, but stopped and turned around after a few steps.

"McGee solved the case, by the way," he said, and continued up the stairs. He was hoping Gibbs would follow, but when he didn't, Tony left the way he'd come, closing the front door behind him.


When he got back the office, Ducky was standing at his desk, waiting for him.

"Hey Duck," he said, faking a smile.

"Where on Earth is Jethro?" Ducky asked worriedly. "He needs to see the results of the Commander's autopsy."

"I don't think he's coming in today, Ducky."

"Well what in blazes is wrong with him?"

"I went to see him. His cell phone is in a glass of water, and his landline is off the hook."

"Ex-wife number three again?" Ducky asked.

"He was crying."

No one said anything for a moment. Gibbs had never been known to show his emotions in front of his team. Ducky gave it some thought, and he finally remembered what was special about today.

"I can't believe I forgot," Ducky said, setting his report on Gibbs' desk next to him.

"Forgot what, Ducky?"


An hour after he'd left, Tony found himself back at Gibbs' front door, holding Ducky's autopsy report. He needed an excuse to be back here, or Gibbs would read him the riot act. He knocked this time. When no one answered the door, he let himself in, making a beeline for the basement door. Taking a deep breath, he slowly opened it and descended the stairs.

"Boss," he said, his right hand visibly shaking with the report in it. Gibbs looked up slowly.

"I thought I told you to get the hell out, DiNozzo," he said coldly.

"Ducky insisted that you had to see his autopsy report," Tony said in his usual tone, to try and lighten the mood. Gibbs snatched the report and opened it. Tony stood there silently, waiting for Gibbs to make the next move. He didn't have to wait long. Gibbs snapped the folder shut and shoved it back at Tony, who fumbled with it.

"What's the next move?" Tony asked.

"Bring the Commander's wife in."

"Got it, Boss." Tony turned and started up the stairs. He stopped halfway up. He had to ask. He couldn't let Gibbs hide in the basement, and he certainly couldn't drive all the way over here every time he had a question about the case. He slowly walked back down and leaned against the pole at the bottom of the stairs.

"Ducky told me everything."

"About what?" Gibbs asked.

"About what happened earlier. It's Shannon's birthday, isn't it?"

Gibbs didn't say anything. Tony could feel that awkward silence filling the room again.

"You don't have to talk about it, but I'm not gonna drive over here every time we have a break in the case. We need you on this, Boss."

Gibbs tipped up his coffee mug and finished off the bourbon inside. Tony could tell he had a good buzz. He looked down at his cell phone, submerged in the glass of water he'd poured for himself hours ago. What was he doing? He wasn't celerbating Shannon's birthday. He was making a disgrace of it.

"Pick up the wife. I want to talk to her."

Tony beamed.

"On it, Boss!" He ran up the stairs carrying the autopsy report. It was good to finally have the old Gibbs back.

This fic was inspired by "Glitter in the Air," Performed by Pink (lyrics taken from songmeaningsDOTnet)

"Have you ever fed a lover with just your hands?
Close your eyes and trust it, just trust it
Have you ever thrown a fist full of glitter in the air?
Have you ever looked fear in the face
And said I just don't care?

And it's only half past the point of no return
The tip of the iceberg
The sun before the burn
The thunder before the lightning
Breath before the phrase
Have you ever felt this way?"