Summary: After the events of Revenge, Gibbs needs a moment to reassure himself that everything and everyone (especially Tony) is okay. Gibbs/Tony father/son.
Warnings: None but spoilers for 10-22.
Copyright: I do not own NCIS, just borrowing their wonderful characters.
Disclaimer: Sarah Diaz 2013
Author's Note: Post 10-22 Revenge. I haven't seen the last two eps yet, so no idea how much off canon this is. Still, after watching Revenge, I felt there was missing one big scene and well, here it is now. Once again, English is not my mother tongue, so keep that in mind. On this note, a bow and big thanks to my fabulous beta scousemuz1k, who makes sure you still have a smooth read.
"How is she?"
DiNozzo made the rest of the stairs down to the basement and walked over to join him at the workbench. He waited until Gibbs took the beer he was offered before he sat down across from him and took a nip from his bottle. Only then did he finally answer with a shrug. "She's Ziva," he said, as if that said all.
Drinking from the beer bottle, Gibbs mused that it probably did. Studying his Senior Field Agent's face he tried to find a more concrete answer but Tony gave nothing away. Okay. Out of them all, Tony was the one who'd had all their sixes, looking out for everyone ever since the tragic dinner party that had taken Jackie Vance and Eli David's lives - and part of Vance and Ziva's souls. But his focus had been especially on Ziva's well-being and sanity. Gibbs had no doubt in his mind that his second would make sure that Ziva was going to be okay and that she knew that she was not alone; while always knowing when to actually give her some space. Which seemed to be the case now, if he'd come here instead of hanging around Ziva's place or the office.
Good. Because DiNozzo tended to forget to take care of himself, and he for sure had not taken one self-centred minute since he found out about Ziva and McGee working behind all their backs in order to find Bodnar.
Taking another gulp, Gibbs continued to check over the younger man, this time focussing solely on his condition - physical and emotional.
"Sir, there's been an accident."
The dreaded words still echoed in his mind and occasional took his breath away when he thought back to the call he'd gotten in the middle of the night from the first cop arriving on the scene. He hadn't expected it. Hell, not even his usually so reliable gut had given him so much as a twitch.
It worried him. His cases were built on evidence but the evidence he needed he usually got by following his instinct. But for some reason, his gut stopped working whenever Mossad dumped their shit into his yard, turning the lives of his people upside down - if they were lucky. Mostly, it ended with him almost losing one of his team. This time had been no exception. And once again, not just one life had been at risk.
"Two victims, man and female. According to their badges agents Anthony D. DiNozzo and Ziva David. Both are unresponsive at the moment."
It had been so close. He'd told Vance that they'd been lucky and that was the truth. He'd seen Tony's car. Seen the recording of the traffic cameras. It was a miracle they hadn't been hurt more seriously.
But he couldn't shake the feeling that their luck was running out. Barely a year ago, they'd survived a bombing with only minor injuries. Ducky was still with them, back at work, despite the heart-attack he'd suffered. Ziva had survived the attack on her father only by chance. Now this accident.
"They're on their way to the hospital. You should go there too."
The cop was new, he could tell right from the beginning. Part of him was still pissed at him for scaring the shit out of him like that. After those words he had hung up to drive to the hospital. He couldn't remember the drive, all he still remembered from those fifteen minutes or so were the images his mind kept torturing him with. It was a miracle he didn't have an accident himself, really. Ducky would have diagnosed that he was in shock. He'd have been right. There hadn't been many moments in his life when he had felt so floored and frozen with panic and fear. But two of them had involved car accidents as well. Only, like this time, neither of them had been an accident either.
He'd been fighting a war, right at the front line, watching his brothers in arms die. Now he was a fed, putting his life and those of his team at risk every day in order to fight for justice. So why had the scariest and most tragic times in his life always involved car crashes?
Brought out of his dark thoughts, he met his second's eyes. Fine ... Alive perhaps, thank God, but fine?
His lack of answer didn't go unnoticed. Watching him more closely, DiNozzo put his head to the side. "Really," he emphasized quietly.
Maybe. As established, he was alive. For the moment, that was enough for Gibbs. The simple truth was, if he'd lost Tony in that car crash, like he had lost his girls, like he'd almost lost him once already when Kort had blown up his car ... Well, Gibbs couldn't take another loss like that. He just couldn't. It went against the order of things and damn it, he'd already put one child in the grave, and that was one too many already. He narrowed his eyes at Tony. "How'd you get here?"
DiNozzo raised an eyebrow. "Took a cab. Why?"
Why? Only Tony could be so blind as to not see why Gibbs had a problem with that, or even that clearly, he had the most terrible car luck in history. First, his car got stolen - and crashed, the next blown up, yet another stolen again and now totalled in yet another crash, this time with him and his partner in it. And the guy still got into cars! It was one thing to let himself be driven around by McGee. He drove like a granny so even if they did crash, the likelihood of them being hurt seriously was rather slim. But a cab driver? You never knew who was at the wheel or how good their ability to react was when the hit came.
The only reason he wasn't still in the hospital, worrying about his agents - or worse - was thanks to DiNozzo's more than adept driving skills. A truck had hit them head on with full force and still Tony had somehow managed to keep them as level as possible, preventing the worst.
Of course, if it were up to Gibbs, Tony would never again put even a toe inside a car, not even with himself driving it. Or cross a street. Or be anywhere in the vicinity of cars.
He knew it was an irrational wish, but he couldn't help it. Though he may never admit it out loud, he was a father who just almost lost his surrogate son in a car crash. Logically, the thought of him in an unsafe car with an unknown driver at the wheel, had him breaking out into a cold sweat.
Luckily, in the end though, reason won out. He was Tony's boss. Tony, who was his own man, a seasoned federal agent. And a hopeless car freak. There was just no way to keep that boy away from cars.
Well, then he just had to work with what he couldn't change anyway. Turning away, he walked over to the work bench to pour himself another jar of bourbon. Aww heck. He was getting too old for that car anyway. Turning back around, he fished his car keys out of his jeans pocket and threw them over to Tony, who caught them effortlessly. Frowning at them, he looked at Gibbs, the question written big in his eyes. Of course. As much as they could communicate without words where the job was concerned, when it got to the touchy things, unfortunately, DiNozzo usually drew a complete blank. Then again, perhaps, sometimes it was best to say things out loud. Actually, probably, there was already too much stuff that hadn't been said between them. Which usually wouldn't bother him much. Usually he wasn't just days after almost losing Tony though.
"The Challenger. She's yours now." If he couldn't keep Tony away from cars he just had to make sure he at least drove a car he could trust. There was no safer car out there than his Challenger. He'd made sure of that. She would take good care of DiNozzo and he also knew without a doubt that DiNozzo would do her justice.
But just to make sure ... "You get even a scratch on her paintwork, I'm going to slap you from here to Kansas and back. Got it?"
Tony stared at the keys in his hands for a long moment before lifting his eyes to look back at Gibbs, starting to open his mouth. Gibbs glared, not wanting to hear any protests. The decision was made. Slowly, Tony closed his mouth again and his hand closed around the keys. "Got it," he said, his voice rough, the emotion in his eyes even rougher before he slid them back to the keys in his hands. "Thanks."
Not trusting his voice to speak, Gibbs shrugged and emptied his jar. This was way too emotional for his liking. "Just ..." Don't die. But that was hardly what he could say to DiNozzo. "... take good care of her," he said, trusting his second to understand what he was really asking of him.
Tony met his eyes, held them. Finally, he nodded seriously, his hand clutching the keys as if they were something holy. "Don't worry. I will," he promised. Then a big, warm smile split his face. "I'll keep her safe, whatever it takes."
Gibbs rolled his eyes. "You do that." But his heart relaxed for the first time since that dreadful call woke him up. It was okay. It would be okay. Bodnar was dead. Ziva and Vance could start to heal now. Once again, Tony had defeated death. His team was still whole and he'd done what he could to keep Tony and the others safe.
For now, that was enough.
Author's Note: That's it already. I think my shortest NCIS fic yet. But it was fun. What can I say. Guys. Add cars and well, that's what you get. Hope you enjoyed it as well! If you did, well, watch out for my next story, 'Ground Rules'. I'll post the first chapter soon and this one's a long one again. Of course featuring lots of bad-ass Tony-hero with a bit angst and drama thrown in it as well. Just like I love him best ...