Tony DiNozzo stormed into the squad room Monday morning, eyes red and puffy and his hair mussed. Instead of his usual suit he was wearing an old much worn pair of jeans and a faded Ohio State sweatshirt. The entire office stops to watch the always flawless looking man so out of sorts. It was obvious he had been crying for quite some time no doubt.
Kate stared in shock as he set his bag carefully next to his desk and went over to where Gibbs was standing grabbing the second cup of coffee out of the man's hands. The older man took one look at him and let it go continuing around his desk sitting in his chair.
"Are you okay Tony?" Kate asked quietly standing by his desk.
"Fine Kate," He said gruffly clearing his throat quietly. He looked at his watch for a moment snatching his phone off of the receiver almost before it rang. "Special Agent Anthony DiNozzo. Let me talk to him, hey Roy send him on up will you I'm expecting him; thanks."
"Man there's some crazy guy with a cane downstairs trying to get through security without an ID." McGee said coming into the bullpen.
Just after he sat down said crazy guy with a cane came walking into the bullpen as well.
"Can I help you," Gibbs asked immediately, eyeing him suspiciously.
"No you can't," The man said before turning to Tony. "Jesus, are you okay Tony? Got here as soon as Cuddy and Wilson were distracted by that fire alarm in the clinic, don't know why anyone would pull that thing."
"Thanks Greg, you didn't have to come." Tony said smiling slightly at the older man.
"Are you kidding, I would have been here sooner but I had a tough case and had to work through the weekend."
"And you're not working today?" Tony asked standing and offering Greg his seat.
"Nope, Wilson will be calling in about five minutes when he fails to find me in the morgue, janitor's closet and coma guys' room."
"You shouldn't have come." Tony said shaking his head.
"Shut up and come here." Greg said wrapping his arms around the other man. As predicted just after engaging the embrace his phone began ringing.
"Answer it," Tony said pulling back and dropping back into his chair after getting a second one for Greg.
"What do you need Wilson? No I'm not coming back today. I'm in DC, I'm not joking. It's personal, look I'll see you at home when I'm done here I promise."
"Going to make introductions Tony?" Gibbs asked calmly from his desk.
"Kate, McGee, Gibbs meet Gregory House…my older brother."
"I didn't think you had any siblings Tony," McGee asked confused.
"I was adopted, our parents were having problems conceiving so they took me in, then when I was seven Tony was born few years later Emily joined our 'happy family.'" House said adding in air quotes.
"You have a sister too," Kate asked surprised.
"Yeah, I mean no." Tony said shaking his head as if to clear it.
"Emily died when we were just kids. She was shot in a drive by walking home from school one day that Tony and I both had practice so she was buy herself."
"Why didn't you ever tell me Tony," Kate asked sounding hurt, McGee was just staring in shock at them.
"It just never came up I guess, I've never really talked to anyone about Emily except for Greg." Tony said quietly.
"Speaking of talking to me, why didn't you call me? Carrie called and said she couldn't get through to you, she was really worried." House said giving the younger man a pointed glare.
"I just, I couldn't okay. I needed to be alone and she just kept calling and calling and I couldn't take it so I shut off my phone and locked myself in and kind of went on auto pilot." Tony admitted.
Suddenly there were strong arms around him he struggled for a moment before the smell of sawdust and coffee registered with him and he sagged against his older lover. It wasn't until that moment that he realized how worried the other man must have been for him when he couldn't reach him and all his doors remained locked.
"I'm sorry 'Ro, I couldn't handle having anyone around I couldn't let you see me like that."
"Shh, Tony its fine, I can wager a guess at what happened if it involves Carrie." Gibbs said quietly.
Tony let out a choked sob confirming Gibbs' suspicions about what was wrong. "She didn't deserve that 'Ro. She was just so small," Tony sobbed.
"I know Tony, I know. It's going to be okay, she's better off now. She's not in any more pain and you don't have to worry from now on." Gibbs soothed stroking the others hair.
"But she was just so small still, only six 'Ro. Why did it have to be her? She never did anything wrong she was just so sweet and kind and never deserved any of what she got."
"You're wrong Tony." Gibbs said calmly.
Tony jerked back from him immediately looking at him in horror. He didn't notice or didn't care that his coworkers were looking on in fascination as the two interacted.
"Gibbs is right Tony," House interjected catching on to where the other man was going with things.
"She didn't deserve any of that," Tony said shaking his head in denial.
"Your right, she didn't deserve that, but she did deserve the amazing parents she had even if they never planned on being anything more than friends." House said calmly.
Tony just shook his head as he collapsed against Gibbs again.
"You need to calm down Tony, do you think Alex would want you to be this upset?" Gibbs asked softly.
"I can't Leroy, I'll never get to hold her again she's just gone."
"Say her name," Gibbs demanded suddenly.
Tony shook his head furiously.
"Do it," Gibbs pressed.
"Alex-Alex-Andria M-m-Meredith Di-DiNozzo."
"And what was she sick with?" House asked.
"Ho-Hodgkin's Ly-Lym-Lymphoma." Tony choked out between sobs into Gibbs' chest.
"Atta boy," Gibbs muttered into his hair pressing a kiss to the others temple.
"I miss her 'Ro," Tony said eyes squeezed shut.
"I know you do Tony, I know you do. It gets easier though, I promise." Gibbs said hugging him tightly to his chest.