note: I couldn't go to sleep last night, that's how badly this idea was plaguing me. I won't deny many of my personal thoughts as to what Tony might have been feeling, did creep into this fic, but I tried as hard as I could not to make it bashy toward any character. This is Tony getting tipsy, and angry, and not thinking straight, which is why he says some things he does. I just wanna clear that up first.
This is also Tiva, if you squint, but mainly, it's just Tony going over things, and dropping the F-bomb once. As to the actual episode itself, well, if you follow me on Tumblr or Twitter then you know how I felt about it, that's all I'll say. As a final sidenote, yes, this has parallels to my Shiva tag, Tongue Tied. That was accidental at first, but it turns out when I want Tony to ramble and spew out his feelings, he ends up in Gibbs' basement. Huh.

disclaimer: You know you're obsessed with NCIS when you're in France and can't stop smirking every time you see a sign that says Côté (and believe me, that's a lot).

listening to: In My Veins ft. Erin McCarley, by Andrew Belle.

It's just past 1am when he slams his car door shut- admittedly, after much deliberation as to whether he should even enter the house or not- and jogs up to Gibbs' door.
His mouth tastes like cheap Thai food and weak beer, and he knows he needs a bourbon and someone to talk to and possibly yell at.

Foregoing a knock that would be pointless anyway, he takes the light inside to be a good sign and turns the handle.
"Y'ello?" he calls, loudly, as he walks into the house, letting the door swing shut as it always has and always will do. A thud from a distance tells him Gibbs is still awake, and in the basement. Where else would he be?, Tony thinks.

He hurries down the steps and heads straight for the bottle, needing fire in his veins before he can even begin to talk.

"I guess you found 'em."

He swallows the alcohol with a wince, only after he slams the jar back onto the desk for a refill does he wonder how he'll get home.
"Oh, she told you, too? Figures."
His tone is just on the verge of spiteful and though it's nothing to do with the liquid courage he's consuming, he doesn't know how to stop it.

"She hasn't told me anything, DiNozzo, I just know. And hey, go easy on that."
The older man pries the bottle from his agent's hands, just as Tony is about to down a third finger. He'll be slurring soon.

"They left me out again. The two of them, just like they always do."

"Tony, they don't-"

"Yes, they do. I mean McGee has a ticket connection I only just found out about. And fair enough yeah, he could keep that to himself. But this? Ziva's trying to avenge her Father and they think it's okay to ignore me?! To tell me when they want and when they've already found the bastard? And McGee knows; he knows how I-"

Gibbs clears his throat as Tony stops abruptly; lays a hand on his friend's shoulder.
"How you what, Tony?"

"I care, Gibbs. And McGee knows that, he knows I'm not a jackass all the time. He knew when we got Ziva back from Somalia; he heard me go on and on about her before that and he saw when I lost it. You all did."

Gibbs says nothing and the silence begins to stretch out.

"Why... do I always get left behind?"

Tears are welling in Tony's eyes by this point; he's facing the wall and his eyes are blurrily trained on the ground and his hands fist on Gibbs' desk out of desperation.
"And he let me panic. I know things haven't been easy for him this last month, but god, he let me worry my ass off about Ziva, and said I was bordering on stalking, and all this time he fucking knew what was going on."

Gibbs tenses beside him, and Tony takes a deep breath, clearing the tears.
And then, he yells. He screams and kicks and swears and Gibbs grips his arms to stop him punching something because he just can't stop. He writhes in the grasp, legs flailing out and all control gone. He's successfully knocked over two chairs and a sanding horse before the wind leaves his plague-scarred lungs and his movements cease, save for the rapid heaving of his chest.
"You done?" Gibbs asks, gruffly, in the same tone he'd use for any other conversation with his agents; there's no judgment in his words.

"I'm so messed up, boss." Tony replies, defeated, as Gibbs' grip loosens. "I put on a brave face and pretend everything's okay but at the end of the day the people I consider to be my family don't even trust me. Hell, I thought they knew me well enough to understand I wouldn't leave this alone anyway."

"Sometimes, DiNozzo, if someone can't live without you then they'll do anything they can to protect you. That? That's what Ziva's doing."

His head jerks up, a frown forming on his face and a counter-argument swimming in his mind. But there's a lump in his throat, suddenly, and he's not sure he can do this anymore. Not whilst his heart is pounding at the possibility that maybe everything's not lost.

Gibbs sighs, grabs his jacket, and tugs on his agent's sleeve. "C'mon, Tony, I'll take you home."

No thanks falls from the senior field agent's mouth- in all honesty, he's not confident he's not going to slur-, but neither of the men are sure it's necessary anyway.

Instead, Tony blurts out the first thing he can think of, as he stumbles up the stairs.
"You really gotta tell me what you're building down there, Boss."

I hope nobody hated that.