AN: I like to follow canon when it comes to ff, but I won't be doing that for any post-season 10 fic. I'm not watching anymore, & I don't even know what canon is. Hope you enjoy the last small installment of this story.
He doesn't expect to hear from her so soon. But here it is, the morning after their night at the bar, and he wakes up to a text.
He replies that he'll be there in twenty minutes. He doesn't have to ask where. They have a place. That's what happens when you've been someone's partner for seven years. You develop a history full places and moments and words both said and unsaid.
She's waiting for him. She's ordered his coffee and his favorite pastry, and she smiles when he walks in. It is normal and relaxed, and it has him feeling better than he has in months.
"This might not work."
And damn, he could hear those words so many ways. He just leaves them hanging there, unsure he wants to know what she means.
"This...plan. It might not work, not this time."
"You mean the job?" He is unsure if he is relieved, or frustrated.
She nods. "We may never get to go back. Or, we might, but it might not be the same."
Well, yeah. He's been thinking it too, that maybe those days are over. That maybe this is the time Gibbs' team doesn't get put back together. He doesn't know how to answer her.
"Maybe it is time to find another home." She doesn't say it directly to him. It's murmured and under her breath.
She's still talking about NCIS. She still doesn't get it, and he is tired of being her interpreter. "It was never the job that made it home," he says.
To his surprise, she meets his gaze. There's a spark there that he doesn't expect. It looks almost like a promise. "No," she says. "It was the people."
He has been carrying a weight on his chest. It has been pressing him down, making it hard to breathe, but he didn't even know it was there. Not until this moment, when it starts to lift. "And we're all still here."
"If we're not going back, if we won't be sitting across from each other every day...I still...I still want you there, across from me, with me. You specifically, Tony."
And because she apparently can't resist, she adds, "I can hardly believe it myself."
He snorts, starts to make a joke about the DiNozzo charm, but thinks the better of it. In this moment, against all odds and in spite of history, he is getting exactly what he wants. There will be time for jokes later. He reaches across and takes her hand in his, and all the weight he's been carrying is gone.
"Imagine that. The two of us wanting the same thing, at the same time."
"It might not work," she says. Because she's right. Because it should be said.
"I would really, really like to try." Because he knows that this time, there's no way they will fail.