This is it folks, thanks for going along for the ride with me. An extra long chapter. As for my beta Arress, I thank you.

Chapter 30

He walks through the house making sure everything was in its place, and ready for when their guests arrive. He can't help but remember these last two years and all that happened, bringing him and Mandy to this night.

He didn't raise his head and look up when he heard McGee and Ziva come off of the elevator and into the bullpen, it was just after eight in the morning. The snow was falling on a cold second of January morning, and it had been since three in the morning.

He didn't need to look to see them both surprised that he was working quietly at his desk. Never having felt the need to explain himself before, he saw no reason to explain himself now, as he placed another completed form on top of a pile that was already two inches thick

"Don't you two have work to do instead of just standing there staring at DiNozzo?" Gibbs asks before taking the stack of papers off of DiNozzo's desk, leaving a cup of tea in exchange.

"Yes, Gibbs," Ziva answers.

"Yes, Boss," McGee replies softly.

"That is the last of the paper work, Boss. Two weeks of the dailies and the monthlies. All of the requisitions including the ones for supplies."

Gibbs nods his head as he starts to go over the paperwork and signing his name where he needs to.

Tony looks at both of his teammates, nodding his head in greeting before he turns his attention to his email. He weeds out the all the reminders for past due paperwork, the forwarded jokes and junk mail that always floods his inbox from bored agents, techs, and LEOs. When he is done he is left with fifty that need his attention. He works diligently for half an hour before he utters a single word, but when he does it's an expression of adulation mixed with sorrow that is barely heard by his team.

"DiNozzo?" Gibbs asks.

"I got an email, Thompson took the deal, life without parole, protective custody," Tony tells him.

"Tony," Gibbs says simply.

"It's an empty victory, Gibbs."

"I know."

Tim and Ziva observed the exchange, but said nothing. They knew from experience it was better not to become involved. Surprisingly, they followed the order that Gibbs gave them. They didn't bring up the topic about the abuse that Tony had endured as a child.

A change came over the team. They worked well together and they solved cases. But if you watched closely you could see the change; a well-tuned team while they worked, but when they went home for the day they each went their own way. It was unsettling. They worked so well, but remained so distant at the same time. If you took the time to think about it, it made sense. They went through hell and back. They were lucky that they were still alive. In order to protect themselves, they kept apart when not at work.

All except for Gibbs and DiNozzo. The bond they had was without question stronger than ever. You would have to be a fool to try and get in between them and come out alive. The story about DiNozzo's father made its way through the Navy Yard like wild fire. Every single agent and Marine knew. They also knew what his father looked like, and there was no way the man was getting back on the Yard.

Tony had asked Ducky to use his home for the first time that Mandy met Jimmy and his wife, Breena. Tony wanted Jimmy to be at ease, but it was more important to him that Mandy was comfortable, with Gibbs there to lend a hand just in case. Looking back, Tony should have known better. The two women got along like old friends getting reacquainted after a long separation from the start.

Gibbs just looked, nodded, then went into the kitchen to get a fresh cup of coffee after the women said hello, only to be followed minutes later by Tony and Jimmy.

"I don't understand, they seem like old friends," Tony muses out loud.

"Women," Gibbs says, as if saying that one word explained it all.

But in a way it did, Mandy wasn't a threat to Breena as far as she was concerned. Breena could tell just from the way Mandy and Tony looked at each other just how much they loved each other. And that was important to Breena, after hearing all the stories from Jimmy about Tony and their friendship. She, too, wanted only the best for Jimmy's best friend. As far as she was concerned, Mandy was it.

The two couples became a foursome going out whenever their schedules allowed. Somehow the age difference didn't matter. They became close friends. The women became even closer than Jimmy and Tony.

They even managed to get away for a three-day weekend. It was nice getting away from the stress of the jobs they all has. Relaxing and joking, really letting go and having fun for the first time in ages.

Tony stepped away from the group to answer his cell, but still close enough to keep Mandy in his sight. He knew she was safe on a patio of the restaurant with Jimmy and Breena right next to her, but he just couldn't shake a feeling of foreboding as he watched the three of them laugh as Jimmy finished waving his hands in front of his face.

"DiNozzo" He says as he answers his cell.

"Anyone hurt?"

"No, Boss. We're all fine. Why?"

"My gut has been churning."

"We are leaving in about half an hour. I'll drop Jimmy and Breena off then Mandy will stay the night at my place. She'll go to her place tomorrow. We'll be back before dark."

"You'll call if something happens, right?"

"Of course. Gotta go, talk to you later, Boss."

The drive back was uneventful to say the least. The women hugged and made plans to get together for lunch later in the week just before Tony and Mandy drove away after dropping Jimmy and Breena off at their home.

"Tired?" Tony asks as he looks at Mandy leaning back on the neck rest.

"A bit, a nice warm bath then sleeping next to you, I'll be better by morning."

"I was just thinking the same thing. I was going to add one more thing for us to do before we sleep."

"Will this one thing make me happy?" She asks coyly as she bats her eyelashes.

"It has before, numerous times."

"Then I'm all in," She replies with a smile.

It took time, but Tony had finally found some peace and a sense of complete happiness in his inner being. Mandy gave him unconditional love and support just like he gave her, all without strings. He had never been happier in his life, and neither had she.

It was the hairs on the back of his neck that alerted him that something was wrong. Call it a sixth sense or a second sight if you will. Tony liked to call it a cop's instinct. Having been in law enforcement for so many years, he habitually picked up things and dismissed them without realizing it. When he pulled into his parking space in his apartment complex a few seconds later he knew why. His father was standing there next to a Mercedes Benz, a rental if Tony had to guess, parked in the visitor's parking space.

He had talked to Mandy repeatedly of what to do in case his father ever made an appearance while she was with him. He wanted her to be safe from his father's temper and out of harm's way, be it drunken or not.

Keeping his voice in a calm and gentle tone, he takes her hand in his before he says anything to her. "Leave your bag in the car, take your keys and cell. Go to the apartment, lock the door, set the alarm, and jam a chair under the door knob. Then call Gibbs and tell him my father has shown up. Tell him what I made you do, that you have no idea what kind of shape my father is in. Understand, Mandy? You have to do this for me and for you."

As scared as she is, Mandy knows that following Tony's instructions is the best thing that she can do for the both of them. She knows that Tony is unarmed. All he has is his body and wit to help him deal with his abusive father.

When he sees her nod her head slowly he smiles gently. "I love you, Mandy, don't stop, don't talk to him, and don't look back. Don't listen to him or anything that he says. Remember one thing, Mandy, I am not my father in any shape or form."

"I know, Tony. I love you. Protect yourself. Do what you have to do, but protect yourself."

"I'll do what I have to do."

Walking one step ahead of her Tony wants to make sure he is a barrier between Mandy and his father.

When he does stop right in front of Senior, he motions to Mandy to continue ahead.

"Aren't you going to introduce me to your friend, Junior? I'm surprised. I thought I taught you better than to go slumming. You're a good looking man like me. You can get any woman you want, not damaged goods like her," Senior says as he watches Mandy open the front door to the apartment building.

Tony stood there and sucked in a lungful of air through his teeth making a hissing sound. He can smell the liquor on his father's breath. He watches as his father runs his hand through his hair with the unsteady hand of a drunk person.

"What do you want, Dad?"

Mandy walked with a sure and purposeful step until she was sure she was out of the line of sight form the outer glass door. Then she ran, and with trembling hands she did just like Tony told her to do. She locked the door, set the alarm, then she jammed a chair under the doorknob. She paused long enough to take a deep breath grabbing her cell out of her pocket to call Gibbs, the one person she knows loves Tony almost as much as she does.

"Gibbs," he says.

"Tony said to call you. His father is here at the apartment," Mandy tells him with a barely controlled voice

"Mandy, is he hurt?" Gibbs asks with dread lacing his voice.

"I don't know," She answers then she tells him exactly what Tony told her to say.

"Stay in the apartment, don't open the door unless it's me or Tony.

"Gibbs…" Mandy starts to say, leaving the rest unsaid.

"I'll get there as fast as I can. Make coffee please," He tells her. They both understand that it is busy work to keep her hands and thoughts occupied. After the coffee is made she whips together a coffee cake all the while listening carefully as she cleans the kitchen.

The squeal of Gibbs's tires sent gravel and sand spitting into the air as he came to a complete stop.

Slamming the car door he pulls his weapon running to the entrance of the apartment building. What he witnessed as he came closer made him proud and sad at the same time, a bloody-faced DiNozzo blocking three punches then throwing one right-handed punch to the jaw and then an upper cut with his left hand hitting Senior in the chin, the final punch making the older man land on the ground knocked out.

"He wouldn't stop, Boss. I tried to block him," Tony tells Gibbs as he catches his breath.

"I know, Tony," Gibbs replies as he rolls Senior over so he can put the cuffs on.

"For an old man he still punches like he did thirty years ago," Tony says as he wipes his face with his sleeve.

"This is why, Tony, he had a roll of dimes in his fist," Gibbs explains as he hands Tony the roll of coins. "What did he want?"

"A place to sleep and money. I made the mistake of telling him I kept emergency cash in the safe."

"He'll be sleeping tonight in the holding cell at NCIS. I called for back up while I drove over."

Tony knows not to argue with Gibbs so he simply nods his head as a NCIS car pulls up with two agents in it.

"Put him in the holding cell, charges as follows; domestic abuse, assault on a federal agent, use of a lethal weapon, and drunk and disorderly. If he fights back charge him with resisting arrest, too."

"Mandy," Tony says softly as he watches his father being lead away.

"She'll be worried, don't lie to her. Tell her that he has been arrested and that we are pressing charges.

They knock on the door and wait for Mandy to let them into the apartment.

"Oh, Tony," She cries as she opens the door seeing his bloody face.

"I'm okay, baby, really I am. We'll call Ducky and he'll fix me right up."

"I made coffee and a quick coffee cake. If you come to the kitchen I'll start to clean you up so Ducky can see what needs to be done."

He nods his head and lets her take his hand leading him into the kitchen just as Gibbs closes his cell.

"Are you hurt, too, Gibbs?"

"No, Mandy, I'm not. You said something about coffee," He says deliberately changing the conversation.

He stood still for a minute touching the small scar over his left eye as he watches Mandy fill a bowl with pretzels, remembering just how upset and nervous she was until Ducky told her that five stitches would be all that was needed. Or the look of pride that crossed her face when Gibbs told her that Senior was going to be charged and was being held in a holding cell at NCIS headquarters. That is after his medical needs were seen to on account of being knocked out by Tony.

He let his mind wander to later that night, after sending Gibbs and Ducky home each with some coffee cake carefully wrapped in tin foil. He held her tightly in the middle of the living room as she cried.

When she stopped crying he led her into the bedroom laying her down he laid down next to her, he knew that it was not the right time for sex, but it was the perfect time for holding on to each other. Letting go of the past together would make them stronger, the physical scars would always be there as a reminder, but the emotional ones would need time to heal. Being together would making the healing easier.

It was that night they decided to buy a home and move in together. Spending days back and forth at each others places was tiring they needed and wanted something that was theirs.

Being raised by a man who goes through money as if it was water, Tony learned to save. He was careful with the money he made and he invested taking advice from a frat brother.

Six months, that is how long it took them to find a house to buy. Mandy's lease was up first. She left with out renewing it and moved into Tony's place. They stored some of her things at Gibbs' and gave some of the things away. The money that would have gone to pay her rent went into the house account. It worked for them. They found that living together came easy, not that they didn't have conflicts from time to time.

Mandy learned in time that living with and loving Tony came with a price. Sometimes she went days without seeing him. But he always called her at least once a day even if they only talked for a minute. It was enough she knew that he loved her. He didn't just say it, he showed her. Flowers showed up for no reason. She would come home from work to find her favorite meal ready to be served. He was gentle and loving with her, never letting her doubt just how much he wanted her in his life. It made her feel special, truly understood, and loved.

Gibbs and Tony stayed on one night as they to finished up the paperwork from their latest case. It was very late. Tim and Ziva had been gone for over an hour. The floor was quiet, only three other agents working at their desks.

"Mandy says to tell you thank you for building her the bookcase for her office and if you come for dinner on Saturday she'll make you pot roast, your mother's recipe. She copied the recipe from your kitchen notebook last time she was there."

"She could've just asked. I would have given her the recipes," Gibbs tells him.

"I know that, so does she. I think she wanted to surprise you."

"I'll be there."

"One more thing, I'm not telling Abby about Mandy or the house just yet. As much as I love Abby, she hasn't learned how not to share things that aren't supposed to be shared."

"She has gotten better at not being a blabber mouth," Gibbs admits. Thinking about it Gibbs, has to be honest. Abby is great at her job, but sometimes she acts like a spoiled child. Things have been going well for Tony and Mandy and he wants as much stress and drama kept away from them, at least for a while. With his father in prison for a year and a permanent restraining order to stay away from Tony, Mandy, and NCIS for life, things are looking up for the couple.

Hearing Tony's voice brings Gibbs out of his thoughts. "Let's go Boss, I'm starved. French onion soup and turkey sandwiches are on the menu and my treat." Nodding his head, Gibbs closes the file he is working on and follows Tony out and into the elevator.

An early Saturday morning Jimmy and Tony could be heard laughing as they wait for their partners to join them. They had made plan to go sailing then have a nice meal at a beach front restaurant.

"Finally," Tony says in a teasing tone when the women join them.

"Hey, I was making myself look beautiful for you," Mandy replies with a huff.

"You're beautiful enough, just the way you are," He tells her as he pulls her into his embrace and hugs her fiercely letting her go only after kissing her with a gentle peck on the nose, when he hears his work cell ring.

"Damn," Tony says softly then closes his cell.

"What's wrong?" Jimmy asks as Breena and Mandy come into the room.

"I have to go Vance wants Gibbs and me to go over our depositions with the legal department. It's a big case and we testify on Monday."

"But, it's Saturday. Can't you do that on Monday," Breena asks with a small pout.

"Can't Gibbs do anything, Tony? We've had these reservations for weeks," Mandy please.

"Sorry my love, his hands are tied just like mine. Vance orders, we go. Chain of command and all that. Take pictures and bring home something for me to eat later."

They watch as he grabs his coat and weapon, then kisses Mandy before he leaves.

"Come on, it's a nice day. We all have it off and I for one intend to do as Tony suggested," Jimmy tells the women.

"Jimmy's right, Breena. Let me get my jacket and purse. I've been looking forward to this day and I'm going to have fun even it kills me. Then I'll come back and haunt Vance for making Tony miss our day out," Mandy tells them with a feisty gleam in her eyes that was completely spoiled when she chuckles.

Gibbs and Tony were barely able to hide their contempt for the young lawyers that were handling the case. The lawyers had the temerity to treat both of the agents like idiots instead of seasoned law enforcement officers that worked for a federal agency that they were.

Four hours into the review and Gibbs and Tony were ready to pull their Sigs and shoot them, all the while mumbling rule 13 as a mantra. "Never, ever involve a lawyer."

"We can stop for lunch now. Please come back in an hour, we only have a few more points to cover," The older of the two lawyers tells Gibbs and Tony.

"Coffee?" Tony asks.

"Ya think," Gibbs snaps back as he glares at the their nemesis making Tony laugh as he opens the door.

Fortified with coffee and a meal the agents put their best 'I hate lawyers' faces on as they enter the conference room.

An hour into the session Tony's work cell and personal cell each go off seconds apart. Gibbs glares, daring the lawyers to say one word as Tony hands him his work cell.

"Gibbs," He barks as he answers the cell.

"Agent Gibbs?"

"Palmer? What's wrong?"

"There has been an accident. I wasn't driving because I had a bad reaction to some food. Breena and Mandy were in the front seat, Mandy was driving. Agent Gibbs, we're at Bethesda. You have to come it doesn't look good."

"I understand. Are you hurt?"

"I have to go, just come please," Jimmy tells him before the line goes silent.

"Hello," Tony answers with a sense of dread after he reads the unfamiliar number.

"Is this a T. DiNozzo? You are listed as a roommate for a Miss Amanda Madison."

"Yes. I'm Tony DiNozzo. Is she alright?"

"You need to come to Bethesda Hospital, Mr. DiNozzo."

"I'll be there in an hour," He answers then closes his cell. He looks at Gibbs with apprehension.

"An hour my ass. Half that time if I have anything to say about it. Let's go." He stops, turns back and looks at the lawyers. "We're done here." He barks out then grabs Tony's sleeve and pulls him out of the room.

Ten minutes into the drive Tony can't stop fidgeting. "DiNozzo, hold this." Gibbs passes him a coffee cup after taking off the cover. "Don't talk, don't think. Make sure it doesn't spill," Gibbs orders as she peels away from the curb.

"Come on, Boss, you've only taken two sips out of it," He says after glancing at it.

"I know, so make sure you don't spill any of it."

Sighing heavily Tony looks at the cup again and can't help but smile. It's not coffee that Gibbs ran in and got, it was tea. Sinking into the car seat Tony concentrates on sipping the tea without spilling any of it on his clothes.

Pulling into the police parking spot in the hospital lot, Gibbs puts the NCIS parking placard on the dashboard. He has to run to catch up with DiNozzo as Tony had jumped out as soon as the car was going slow enough for him to do it safely.

Hearing a stern voice as he walked up to Tony and a nurse, he could tell that Tony was about to lose his patience. It was something his SFA rarely did when he was dealing with a woman.

"I live with her, she's my girlfriend," Tony pleaded.

"But you're not listed as her medical proxy. You can't make any decisions for her."

"So you're going to let her die?" Tony asks throwing his arms up in the air.

"No we're going to keep her comfortable and stable and wait for a court order," the nurse explains.

"NO, you're not. She is under arrest for grand theft of federal property. Since she is my prisoner and I'm the one arresting her, you do what you have to," Gibbs orders as he shows her this badge.

The nurse knows it's all show this time. She has seen before only when children were involved and it was an emergency, only then the child was put under protective custody until the parents could be found. There was no way she was going to argue with Gibbs; she has heard about him. In fact, there was not one nurse in the whole hospital that has not heard of one Leroy Jethro Gibbs and his temper when it comes to someone he cares about.

"If I get into trouble with the legal department for this, Agent Gibbs, I'm going to tell them you lied and browbeat me into believing that tall tale of yours."

"I'll take full responsibility for this nurse…" He pauses long enough to read her name tag before he continues, "Cindy Davidson. I'll protect your six."

"Well then, you have papers to sign. Follow me please."

"One more thing. You have a James Palmer and his wife Breena here as well. They came in at the same time."

"Dr. Palmer is having an x-ray of his shoulder. We had to stabilize his diabetes first. His wife is in surgery. She has a compound fracture of her leg and has some airbag burns on her face."

"And Mandy?" Tony asks softly.

"She was driving the car. I'm afraid her injuries are more extensive. We are keeping her stable. She needed a blood transfusion. She'll be taken to the OR within the next half hour."

"What are her injuries?" Tony asks.

"Why don't you let the doctor explain that to you."

The two agents follow the nurse into the room where they are holding Mandy. Tony only has eyes for Mandy lying on the bed. Gibbs takes in the whole room and sees two doctors looking at her x-rays, one of them familiar. He walks closer to them.

"Gibbs, is she one of yours?" Dr. Pitt asks.

"Not one of mine, she is Tony's better half."

"I didn't know that Tony got married."

"He hasn't, not yet anyway," Gibbs replies. "So what's her condition?"

Before he can answer Gibbs' question, Tony interrupts. "Why is she unresponsive?" He asks, never letting leaving her side.

"Tony, I gave her something to keep her calm and relaxed. She was fighting, just like you do." Brad answers with a calm voice.

"Brad, her condition please." Tony asks understanding exacting why Mandy was fighting.

"She has a pneumothorax. I put a tube in that will relieve the pressure and make it easier for her to breathe. She hit the airbag hard and has a slight concussion. She has pelvic and her left femur fractures as well. Her left arm is broken, too. The truck hit them hard, Tony. She'll live, but she has a long road ahead of her with rehab."

"So, who do you recommend to set her bones?" Gibbs asks.

Brad point to the man standing next to him. "Charles Wilder, he is the best we've got."

Somewhat pacified that the doctor is known to Brad, Tony looks at his friend and sighs gathering his thoughts. "Brad, will you be in the OR?"

"I'll be there, Tony. Now you two go get some coffee. It's going to be a long while."

Jimmy entered the hospital cafeteria and scanned the room looking for Tony and Gibbs. He spotted them in the far corner away from the constant traffic. With his one useable arm, Jimmy loaded up a tray with three coffees and three sandwiches. After paying for the lot he managed to get to their table without too much trouble.

"I brought fresh coffee and sandwiches, and before you say you're not hungry just eat it or I'll call Dr. Mallard."

Gibbs tries to glare at the young man, but it has no heat in it. He takes the offered sandwich and coffee with a nod of thanks.

"How bad are you hurt, Palmer?"

"Dislocated shoulder and some stitches. I was sitting in the back seat. The truck drive had a heart attack and he lost control of his rig. He died at the scene." He tells them, filling them in on all the information that he had about the accident.

"I checked in on our girls. Breena is in post-op recovery and Mandy is still in surgery. I asked a nurse to get an update. Everything is going as scheduled is what I was told."

Putting his cup down Tony looks at Gibbs. "Just what was it the Mandy stole, Boss"

"Your heart Tony you do belong to the federal Government while on duty." Gibbs answers without a hint of a smile on his face.

Jimmy and Tony exchange a look before laughing only to stop after being glared at by Gibbs.

Hours passed and when Tony was finally able to see Mandy, he was tethering on edge. She looked so vulnerable laying there with all the tubes and machines surrounding her. Sitting in the most uncomfortable chair in the whole world, he kept looking up every few minutes as she slept. He usually loved to watch her sleep, but this time it was unnerving. She wasn't moving or making any little sighing sounds in her sleep. It was just after one in the morning when he heard a small moan. He got up from his seat and took the three steps needed to get to her and push the call button for the nurse.

"She moaned," Tony tells the nurse when she comes in the room.

Nodding in understanding, she checks Mandy's vitals then puts a painkiller into the IV port. "She should sleep comfortably now. You should go home and rest you'll want to look your best when she wakes up."

"I'll be fine, I don't want to leave her alone," Tony replies then he drops a kiss on her forehead before he goes to reclaim his spot in the chair, determined to keep guard, ready to help Mandy in any way that he can.

He woke up the smell of fresh hot coffee and tea. Opening one eye he sees Gibbs standing there looking down at him. "How is she?"

"She only woke up twice. Is one of those for me?"

"I don't drink tea unless Ducky makes me. Here," Gibbs says as he hands him his cup.

"I almost lost her, Boss," Tony tells him softly with pain filled words.

"I know, Tony. There is an old saying, that which does not kill you, will make you stronger."

"Boss, you do know that Nietzsche died insane in an asylum."

"Always knew you were smarter than you let on."

Tony had been up most of the night just staring at Mandy. His love, his lifeline. He came to realize that he didn't want to be without her anymore. He wanted, no needed her in his life.

"I need you to stay here for me. Stand guard and do that papa bear thing you do so well. I'll be back in two hours."

"Go home and shower and change. You look like hell, and take your meds or I'll sic Pitt on you."

"On it, Boss."

Two and a half hours later Tony returns dressed in jeans and a blue shirt looking a whole lot better than he did when he left. He didn't come empty handed, though. He had a fresh coffee for Gibbs along with a muffin. For Mandy he brought warm low cut athletic socks because her feet would get so cold and he wanted her to be comfortable.

"Well, let's see it," Gibbs demands

"See what?"

"The ring, Tony."

"Oh,that," He takes a small box out of his pocket and hands it to Gibbs.

Gibbs was shocked when he opened the box. Instead of a over the top diamond, he saw a princess cut one karat diamond with a smaller emerald on each side of the diamond, on a white gold band. A perfect ring.

"Are you sure it will fit?"

"I took one of her rings with me to get the right size."

"Good boy. It's about time, too."

Tony inclines his head just a fraction of an inch as he looks at Gibbs.

Once Mandy is awake and talking, he knows that they are going to be alright. He kisses her once on top of the head. "You call me if you need anything. I'm going to check on Palmer and Breena. I'll check back before I leave." He takes a pair of sock to give to Breena after Mandy asks him to give them to her friend.

He only stays a few minutes with Jimmy and his wife as her parents Are there and the room is too crowded. Handing the socks to Jimmy he tells him the same thing, if Breena needs anything to call him. He knows that she won't call as her father will see to everything, but family is family even if Jimmy is the awkward smart cousin.

When Gibbs gets to the open door he stops and doesn't go in. From the reflection of the mirror he watches as Tony places the ring on Mandy's finger. Gibbs has to smile as Tony seals the deal with one gentle kiss that barely touches Mandy's bruised face and mouth.

He hated leaving her but he had no choice. He had to go to court but he didn't want to leave her alone, calling one one his teammates was out of the question. Hearing a noise he looked up only to see Mary Murphy standing there dressed in scrubs.

"Ma'am, may I help you?"

"No, but I can help you. Your gunny called me and asked if I could stay with your fiancee while you were in court. So go home agent DiNozzo shower get into a nice suit and take your medications."

"Yes Ma'am!." Tony replies he leaves after giving a kiss to Mandy's, and a kiss on Mary's cheek. After a whispering a sincere thank you to her.

Six months, that is how long it took for Mandy to rehab and get back on her feet. Every step of the way Tony was always either with her or a phone call away. It was Gibbs who built the ramps she needed to get into the house. He also put the bars in the bathroom for her to use.

No one said it was going to be easy, but in the end it was worth it. She could walk and do for herself like always. The first thing they did once she was completely healthy was get married, just the two of them. They went to city hall. With all the friends Tony had made thought the years, finding a judge to perform the ceremony was easy.

After thanking the judge, Tony takes Mandy's hand in his. "Let's go eat breakfast before I have to go back to work."

"Take the day, DiNozzo," Gibbs says standing in the back of the room by the open door. "Congratulations, Mandy, welcome to the family."

"Thanks, Gibbs," Mandy tells him.

"Ah, Gibbs, we still going to the reunion dinner," the judge asks.

"Pick you up at 1900, John," Gibbs says with a wave as the three of them leave the judge's chambers.

"Let me guess, an old Marine battle buddy," Tony asks as he ducks too late to miss the head slap.

They talked about it and finally decided that the time was right. So Tony sent out invitations for a housewarming party. Even if it was late, it would be a perfect excuse to have the team and the director over.

They set the date a week ahead on a Saturday night. Working together, it didn't take long to get everything ready. Even the newest member of the family could be seen getting ready.

A large orange tabby cat they got from the shelter came with a built in surprise. Six weeks after they brought her home she had two kittens. When they brought her to the vet to have her spayed as to the agreement with the shelter, they found her to be pregnant. That was all they need to hear. They brought her back home and made sure she had a good diet for her babies. With the three cats their family was complete.

With Gibbs leading the way, they formed a caravan driving to Tony's new home. Each one of them were surprised when Tony gave them the invitation to the house warming party after it made it clear to them earlier that they were only work friends. They wondered what he wanted, especially Ziva and Tim.

Seeing the motion sensor lights light turn on the walkway through the window, Tony calls to Mandy to come and greet the guests with him.

He opens the door and the women enter first then the men. Once all the coats are put in the other room, Tony pours some wine and Mandy places a plate of hors d'oeuvres on the table.

"I want to thank you all for coming here tonight. I also want to introduce you to my wife, Mandy."

"Wife?" Abby, Tim and Ziva chorus together.

"Yes, my wife."

"I couldn't have done better myself," Vance whispers to Gibbs behind his wine glass.

"Well done, Anthony, well done." Ducky says just before the hugging starts.

A/N: so there you have it. Thank you very much for all the review and favorites.