It's been a while since I've watched Requiem, and I can't really remember exactly what Gibbs and Tony's respective houses are like, so - *waves artistic license* - just suspend your disbelief a little for me =)

I don't own, or profit from this, and I promise to replace my toys in the box they came from.

Thank you to Guest for pointing out my structural faux pas - it's sorted now :)

Tony's POV

Gasping for breath as he awoke, Tony's fingers immediately latched onto his cell and were calling Gibbs' number before he had even managed to sit up straight, the overriding thought in his mind to make sure that the man was alive, that he was alright, not lying on a cold slab in some cold mortuary, dead despite all of Tony's efforts to save him.

By the time logic had reasserted itself, it was too late to cancel the call. So he pressed the cell to his ear gingerly and tried to think up some excuse.

It rang once, twice, three times and then was answered with a gruff, "Gibbs."

"Boss?" The word slipped out before Tony could do anything about it and he winced as he heard himself sound like a frightened child looking for reassurance.

It would be too much to hope that Gibbs hadn't heard his tone, but Tony hoped anyway, though any such illusion was firmly displaced when Gibbs said not 'DiNozzo', but "Tony," and then left an expectant silence for him to fill.

And fill it he did, though he wasn't really sure what he had said. He must have been waffling, because the next thing Gibbs said was, "Why did you call?" in a tone of voice that functioned quite effectively as a verbal head slap.

"It was a mistake Boss. I was playing around with my cell and – " he began, the lie sounding feeble to him even as he said it, though really, he should've known better than to try and lie to Gibbs of all people. Gibbs, who knew him better than anyone, with the notable exception of no-one.

Predictably, the boss didn't even give him a chance to finish his making-it-up-as-I-go-along explanation before interjecting, "At 0200 hours on a school night? Don't lie to me DiNozzo!"

Gibbs wanted answers – Tony recognised that tone of voice all too well – and he panicked. There was no way he wanted to discuss this with Gibbs now, so he made a feeble excuse, said goodbye and hung up before the lead agent could say anything else.

Then he let the handset fall from his hand onto the covers and stared at it, before it hit him:


He had just hung up – on Gibbs.

Tony groaned, dropping his head into his hands. Now what?

Gibbs' POV

An annoyingly persistent tune filtered its way into the sleeping agent's ears. It was familiar, and through the haze of sleep, Gibbs frowned as he tried to remember exactly why it was so.

Then, quite suddenly, his thoughts shifted into order and he rolled onto his side on the couch and reached out for the source of the dim light and irritatingly upbeat ringtone. Lifting the cell from where he had placed it on the coffee table the night before, he answered it as he brought it to his ear. "Gibbs."

"Boss?" The voice of one Very Special Agent sounded in his ear, and the former Marine was instantly on full alert.

Because in that one word, there had been more uncertainty and fear than Gibbs had heard in his agent's voice for a very long time.

He sat up, bare feet brushing against the cold hardwood floor and replied, "Tony."

The ensuing silence was soon filled by Tony babbling nervously, "Sorry to disturb you Boss, I just, er, I mean – "

Gibbs closed his eyes briefly and willed for patience. "Why did you call?"

"It was a mistake Boss," Tony began after a moment's pause, "I was playing around with my cell and – "

"At 0200 hours on a school night? Don't lie to me DiNozzo!" Gibbs snapped, his concern (as always) presenting itself as anger.

"Boss it's nothing, really," was it Gibbs' imagination or did his agent sound slightly panicked? "I'll see you at work, bye."

"DiNozzo – " There was a telltale click and Gibbs stared at the device in his hand in momentary shock; Tony had just hung up on him!?

Gibbs had already been pulling his shoes on, but now his gut twisted with a renewed urgency and he grabbed his jacket, badge, gun and car keys in one smooth sweep, before slipping out of the door.

Your reviews are always appreciated, so please let me know what you think =)

~ Qalam