Abby watched hidden in the shadow of the building, she really wasn’t snooping; she came out to take a breather from a hard case that she’d been poring over. But something made her stop, she looked around unsure where the feeling came from, and then she saw Tony and Gibbs.
She almost walked out to greet them, and then she saw the look on Tony’s face and stopped. The pain he was feeling was clearly written all over his face. She looked to Gibbs to see if he was going to comfort him, and realized he was the one causing the pain.
Puzzled she moved as close as she dared and listened, needing to know how to help and what she might be able to do. As she listened she put her hand over her mouth to stifle her cry as the tears ran down her face.
“No, Tony. No more. It should NEVER have happened.”
“Why? Too afraid to feel? Or is it that you finally realize I’m a man, though frankly I thought you grasped that point when your mouth was wrapped around my dick and deep throating me.” Tony sneered “For God’s sake Jethro, we’ve been seeing each other for months. What the hell brought this on?”
“It was just a mistake nothing more, nothing less.” Gibbs hissed out between his clenched teeth.
Tony quieted down as the hurt, anger and pain flowed through his body. It felt as though he’d been punched in the gut. “I can’t believe that. Fuck you! We were just making plans the other day to take a trip, so forgive me if I can’t just swallow what you’re telling me. Something happened and you’re ready to just throw away what we were building. I know you’re a bastard, no surprise there, but this is beyond what I expected from you.
“It is what it is, you’ve no choice but to accept it. Nothing you can say will change my mind, I’m done talking about it.” Gibbs stormed off leaving Tony in shock wondering what the hell happened. He leaned against a tree trying to get his emotions in check and before heading back to work.
Abby watched from where she stood, unsure of what to do and not understanding Gibbs behavior either. Sure couples fight, they argue and they break up, but this seemed different and from what she heard completely out of the blue. And right now her friend was hurting and she didn’t know how to help him.
She watched the slump of his shoulders and saw the very clear pain and loss in his eyes. She watched as he took a deep breath, straightened his shoulders and stood up shaking his head to clear his thoughts. She noticed a look come over his face and a certain resolve that sent a chill down her spine.
He pulled out his phone to make a call, but he was speaking too low for her to hear, at this point she didn’t care about privacy or secrets, all she knew is that call was rocking her world. She may not know how, but something hinky was happening and she needed to figure out how to fix it.
After he finished his call he headed into the building with purpose, like he was on a mission and that scared her. She ran into the building using the side entrance hoping to see where he was headed. She nearly plowed into Ducky. “Sorry Ducky.”
“Abigail, where are you rushing off to?”
“Can’t talk now, later. Something very hinky is going on and I need to figure it out.” She continued running off leaving a very worried and confused ME.
Feeling only slightly guilty about the whole spying thing and finding out about Tony and Gibbs relationship, well I guess it’s not one anymore, but still; she rushed to see where Tony was heading. Despite her run in with Ducky she beat Tony as he just stepped out of the elevator.
He started to head up the stairs to the Directors office.
“DiNozzo, we have a case. Get down here.”
Tony just looked down at him, his green eyes empty and cold and continued his way to Vance’s office without speaking a word.
Oh my God, oh my God, oh my God Abby thought. This is so bad, I’ve never seen that look in Tony’s eyes before and never ever directed at Gibbs. She looked over at Gibbs and saw his look of surprise, anger and something else.
Abby stood there waiting until finally Tony came down the stairs and headed to his desk, grabbed his jacket and bag, and headed for the stairs.
“DiNozzo! Get back here, you can’t just walk out of here. Need I remind you we’re in the middle of a case? ” Gibbs ordered
Tony simply continued out the door. Everyone in the area was staring with their mouths open unsure what to make of it. Sure Gibbs and DiNozzo had fought and yelled before, but this seemed different somehow.
Abby watched the whole thing with her own gut churning, something was happening. She couldn’t talk to Gibbs, after all he was the cause. With tears streaming down her face she headed for Ducky, maybe he could help make sense of all of this.
She walked into Autopsy and the ME took one look at her face and sat her down in his chair.
“Abigail, what’s the matter? What happened?”
She burst into tears that she had managed to hold back. After a cup of tea from Ducky and some sympathetic words she relayed all that she had heard and seen.
“Well my dear, normally I’d admonish you for eavesdropping, but I realize that was never your true intention. And after all that you were privy to hear, I can certainly understand your need to continue. I must agree with you, Anthony going to the director and leaving without speaking is not a good sign. I wish I had known that the two men had started a relationship, maybe we could have helped, but as you heard it, seems that Jethro, for whatever reason, is shutting Anthony out.”
Ducky looked at Abby. “I’m not quite sure how to go about offering any assistance either. Since this was all information neither of us was privy to.”
“What if we dropped by Tony’s tonight and just said we noticed he was gone and were worried. We don’t have to let him know what was heard and maybe he will tell us what happened.”
Ducky thought a moment. “Yes my dear. That seems to be the way for us to go. The best we can do given the circumstances.” He stood up. “Well, let’s get through this day and see what we may do to help our dear Anthony.” Giving her a hug and sending her back to work he sat back down.
Tony watched as the last of his stuff was loaded on a truck, along with his car headed for storage. He had packed the basics for himself prepared to buy what he needed once he was settled.
Sitting on the coffee table in his otherwise empty apartment, he was amazed at what could be done in a few hours if you knew the right people and had enough money. He really wished it didn’t have to be this way; it was certainly not how he imagined it.
But he sure as hell didn’t know what was up with Gibbs or where this need to push him out of his life came from. However, he did know he wouldn’t be able to work with the man after this. Not the fact that he didn’t want to share his bed or life, but the way he did it. He was a big boy, he certainly could handle a break up, except for the fact that Gibbs had taken it to a level that was unacceptable.
Hugely surprised by how co-operative Vance was, considering he skirted around the reasons for a transfer. On the other hand the relationship he has with Vance had vastly improved after he worked on a couple of ops with him directly. And right now Tony was grateful for that new relationship.
He was damn lucky there was an immediate need for him at another NCIS office. Because when he went into the office he was sure he’d have to be assigned to a ship or some forsaken place or forced to turn in his resignation. Instead somewhere a deity of some fashion looked down upon him and smiled, deciding to give him a break and as such he was being assigned as the SAC at Pearl Harbor.
He chuckled at the memory of finding out where he was going from Vance.
“I have an opening at Pearl Harbor, the current SAC requested to step down due to some personal issues. It would seem that the timing couldn’t be better for all involved.”
Hawaii? Seriously?” A small smile flit across his face at the thought of living in Hawaii, it was definitely far enough away from Gibbs. “I’ll take it sir.”
“Good. I’ll send the paperwork ahead of you; they’ll expect you in two weeks. Go home and start arranging your move. I’ll assign a couple of TAD’s to Gibbs so you can get stated. I understand that you have a new case, but I’m certain the other agents can pick up the slack.” Vance looked at Tony’s face, sensing there was a great deal more involved in the request than Tony let on, but frankly he was just happy keeping him employed as an NCIS agent. Sensing that Gibbs was a huge part of the reason, he decided to give Tony a chance for a clean break. “I’ll inform Gibbs after I finish up here, go home and do what you need to do.”
Shaking Vance’s hand I once again thank him as I head out the door to grab my things from my desk.
** End Flashback**
He looked around making sure the movers hadn’t missed anything. He was staying at a hotel for a couple nights before flying to his new home. That would give him a chance for goodbyes to those he chose to give them to. And leave plenty of time when he arrived to start the search for a place to live. He’d scoped out a couple places on the web and figured he could look more tonight.
He looked at the letter he’d written, sure it was the coward’s way of telling them, but right now his emotions were still too close to the surface. Besides he’d given them the hotel he was staying at tonight and was certain they would be dropping by. But those hours between that happening were necessary.
He was leaving a huge part of himself behind, and it was not going to be easy. He and Gibbs had worked together for over ten years, watching each other’s sixes, becoming friends and then lovers. That was a lot to walk away from, but he knew he had to. If he stayed he was certain he wouldn’t be able to move forward and positive that the strain would pull him down.
And with Gibbs desire never to talk about it and that it was all a mistake…well that’s not exactly something you can comfortably work around, and he made the difficult decision not to.
He called Jimmy while he was packing and talked to him already, and vented, ranted, and raved. But it had helped a great deal being able to talk to someone. Once Jimmy got over the initial shock of learning Gibbs and he had been lovers he was quite helpful. He also reminded me that I was going to the land of Magnum! Gotta love friends who know you so well.
Placing the letter on the coffee table, he pulled out his phone and called a cab to take him to the hotel. He noticed the several messages from Gibbs and deleted them without even listening to them, he didn’t need to. Gibbs was no longer his supervisor and no longer a part of his life. Gibbs got what he wanted; they would not be talking about it.
Hearing the cab, he grabbed his suitcase, garment bag, and jacket closing the door behind him.
Gibbs was ranting and raving at NCIS demanding to know what was going on and why his SFA had been allowed to just leave during an active case. Never once giving thought to his words and actions and the effect they had on Tony.
He received word that Vance would meet with him later and was sending a couple of TAD’s to help out for now. That certainly did nothing to contain Gibbs’ ire. The only thought running through his head was how he was going to kill Tony.
Ducky and Abby struggled to finish their day so they could get to Tony.
Ducky stopped by to pick up Abby from her lab, deciding one car was all they needed for now since they had a singular goal…Anthony.
Thankful to be leaving the building before Gibbs noticed, they hurried to Tony’s apartment, both strangely silent as they were lost in their own fears. The first thing they noticed was that Tony’s car was gone.
“Ducky, do you think he went out?”
“I don’t know Abigail. Let’s head on up anyway just in case there is a reason for his car to be missing.”
“I’ve got a really bad feeling about this. It feels off.”
Though Ducky was silent, he did indeed agree with her, something was off. Reaching Tony’s door Abby knocked, when there was no answer, she pulled out her key and unlocked the door.
“Oh my.” Ducky whispered.
Abby looked at Ducky, tears streaming down her face. “How can he be gone already? Why didn’t he say goodbye?”
“Look on the coffee table Abigail, there’s an envelope. Maybe that will shed some light on what’s going on.” Ducky picked up the envelope, noticing that it had both their names on it.
“He left this for us my dear, he knew we’d come here and that we’d be here together.” He looked at the coffee table with a puzzled expression on his face and wondered, why leave that?
Abby looked over at him and saw the look he was giving the table. She looked it over and suddenly she understood. “I’ll bet Gibbs made the table, he wasn’t taking it with him. Can we go somewhere and have a drink while we read this? I don’t want to stay here. And even if his reasons are different than ours, the Bossman is going to come here. He’ll want to yell at Tony for leaving earlier, and I’m sure I don’t want to be here when he sees the empty apartment. Or the table. I don’t want to lose my temper and I know that will happen, Ducky, he chased Tony away. You didn’t see Tony’s face when Gibbs was going on. I don’t want to be here.” Her eyes tearfully begged.
“Quite right, let’s get out of here and head to that lovely diner down the road. Then we can see what Anthony has left for us.”
Getting in the car and heading for the diner, both hopeful that the letter would tell them that they were not being left behind like the table.
Getting out of the car at the diner, Abby clutching the letter like it was a lifeline. Sitting and ordering their beverages they looked at the white envelope in front of them.
“I’m scared.” Abby admitted.
“I’m certain there’s nothing in that letter that will hurt you, Anthony loves you. I believe that he was overloaded and needed some space to get his thoughts in order and the letter was essentially buying him some more time. Remember Abigail, he did not know that you witnessed the words between Gibbs and himself, he is only thinking that word would get to you about the words Gibbs spoke in the Bullpen.”
Abby nodded as she opened the letter.
Dear Abby and Ducky,
Abby, I know you are panicked and all in a tizzy about my empty apartment. Don’t be! There is a lot I need to tell you and explain and I apologize that it’s in a letter (apologies are not a sign of weakness between friends, and that’s Gibbs’ rule not mine).I know that Ducky is there with you. How? Don’t forget I’m trained to know these things!
Ok…there is that, but I also know you and that after hearing how Gibbs acted in the bullpen combined with my leaving the building, Ducky would be the person you needed to help make sense of it all and help comfort you.
First let me start off by telling you, that you will always be in my life. Though I’m leaving DC, I’m not leaving you! Pinky swear!
Ducky, I’m so sorry that I didn’t come down to speak to you personally, but I needed some time to wrap my head around everything that transpired today. I was on overload and needed to shut down. I needed to regroup, though I’m positive that you already figured that out.
From the beginning.
Several months ago Gibbs and I became lovers; Abby, you have always known I batted for both teams so that shouldn’t come as a great surprise. Ducky, well I always figured your keen eyes had picked up on that detail! Nothing really gets passed you. Gibbs…who knows. Things were wonderful, near perfect even until today. And though I’ve strained myself trying to think of a cause or something I may have done, I’m coming up totally blank. You both know how I take on everybody’s guilt as well as my own and I still can’t find a reason. Today Gibbs decided that we were a mistake, should never have happened, and that it was over, period.
I was shocked, surprised, hurt and a whole mess of other emotions as I’m sure you can understand. But through that mess I knew that I couldn’t stay here, that I couldn’t work for a man that couldn’t either trust himself enough to be honest with me or himself. I deserve so much more than that. And since I can truly find no cause other than Gibbs own warped mind (or some such reason) I asked for a transfer.
Vance was quite happy to give me one and not to get rid of me either. So stop that thought right there Missy! My relationship with Vance has changed a great deal, I know you know this, but right now you are probably too angry and hurt to remember. I didn’t go into details why I wanted one. I may be totally pissed at Gibbs, but I have no desire to ruin his career. But I was lucky and there was a need for a SAC and I jumped on it. I’m moving to Hawaii and working at the NCIS office at Pearl Harbor.
Tonight I’ll be at the Adam Hotel if you and Ducky would like to see me. I already talked to Jimmy. So he knows what’s going on. No notes for Ziva or McGee, well since the whole Gibbs retirement fiasco, I don’t feel the need to inform them. Gibbs can, he’s their almighty leader anyway.
As for Gibbs, I’m sure the table I left behind, as well as the key left on my desk will no doubt send a very clear and concise message. The table he made for me, I’m leaving it behind, trust me there is no petty reason here. I simply don’t want that kind of reminder; memories are enough for me, the good and the bad. And I have no doubt he will show up at the apartment sometime tonight. As for the key I left on the desk…well that’s for the lock box that I’ve kept his medals in. I was always proud of his accomplishments, even if he thought they were unnecessary. He’ll understand what the symbolism means, that’s what you get when you won’t open your mouth and talk to someone. Who knows maybe someday he and I can work back to the original friendship that we shared, but not now.
So I hope to see you and Ducky tonight. Just think you can come visit me in Hawaii and we can learn to surf!
I love you both!
‘Oh my God! He’s moving to Hawaii.” Abby looked at Ducky totally shocked.
“Yes. Why don’t we head over to his hotel and see him, lend him our support and say our goodbyes.”
“I don’t want to say goodbye, Ducky. I want him to stay right here. I don’t understand why Gibbs did this?”
“I can’t speak for Jethro in this case Abigail, I don’t understand either. And saying goodbye is not forever, he is only moving. We can visit Anthony in his new home and I’m sure after a bit of time he will be more than happy to visit here. Come, let’s go see him, plus we’re merely down the street from his old place and I don’t plan on being around when Jethro sees he has gone. Remember my dear, he has no idea at this time we know anything and for right now I’d like to keep it that way.” Ducky rose to pay the bill Abby following right behind.
“It still doesn’t explain why Gibbs ended their relationship, Tony seems as puzzled about that as we are.” Abby stated as they headed for the car.
“That may be something we never know the answer to, because right now the only person who knows that is Jethro and he’s not even talking about with the one who has the right to know.”
Abby sighed and quietly watched out the window.
Gibbs, tired of waiting for Vance to talk to him, stormed up to his office only to be told he was out at a meeting and would return shortly. His gut was churning and he knew that it had to do with Tony. He tried calling, but Tony wasn’t picking up, and though he wasn’t surprised it did nothing to soothe his anger.
Ziva and McGee returned from investigating a lead to find a pissed off Gibbs and a missing Tony. Looking at one another, they remained quiet and went back to work, assuming that Tony was the cause and they should stay out of the line of fire.
No one had noticed the key ring with the single tiny key sitting on Tony’s desk, or the fact that his Mighty Mouse stapler was gone.
Finally, Vance returned and called Gibbs to his office. He stormed up there determined to get to the bottom of this. Walking in and closing the door behind him, he turned and faced Vance.
“So where is Tony? We are in the middle of an investigation and you send my SFA away?” Gibbs barked.
“Sit down, Gibbs! I don’t need your attitude and I won’t put up with it. Tony has been transferred, effective immediately.”
“What? Bring him back! We need him here. Is this another game you’re playing at Vance?” Gibbs roared.
“No Agent Gibbs, I will not bring him back.” Vance sat back as he told him the one thing that was sure to shock the man standing in front of him. “He requested an immediate transfer or he was turning in his resignation. I had no desire to lose one of my best agents and gave him the transfer.”
Gibbs stood there in silence for a brief moment. “He’d never request a transfer, this is his home.”
Vance popped another toothpick in his mouth. “He did this time and was adamant about it. No hesitation. Contrary to what you may think Gibbs, I’m no fool. I know about the many offers he receives on a fairly regular basis from other Agencies and PD’s. Fornell may always seem to issue his offer in jest, but trust me; he’d snatch him up in a heartbeat.”
“And despite the differences that Agent DiNozzo and I have had in the past, I’m well aware of the asset to this Agency that he is. Though I’m glad he’s remaining with NCIS it will be a blow to the DC office. He has been transferred and given his own team, I expect great things from him in his new home.” Vance watched Gibbs closely as he absorbed all that he was being told. The investigator in him knew that at least a large part of the reason DiNozzo left was standing in front of him.
“Now if that’s all, I believe that you’ve a case you’re investigating. So please close the door on your way out.”
Gibbs being in shock over the turn of events did just that and headed down to the Bullpen looking at Tony’s empty chair. ZIva and McGee looked up as they saw Gibbs head down from Vance’s office.
He looked over at them. “Continue following up the leads, I’ll be back.” He headed out the door leaving two very confused Agents in his wake.
Gibbs sped off to Tony’s apartment, determined to talk some sense into Tony. He couldn’t leave him. A feeling of dread washed over him as he noticed the familiar car gone. Rushing up the stairs, he opened the door and looked around in shock. His eyes falling on the one piece of furniture in the otherwise empty apartment, the coffee table he’d made for him.
Sliding to the floor his legs no longer able to hold him, he held his head in his hands as his world crashed down upon him. “What have I done?” He slowly got up and shut the door and headed back to his car and headed back to work.
He walked back in the bullpen and as he passed Tony’s desk he noticed the key ring. Tony wasn’t coming back. That was the key to the box that held the medals he’d been awarded over the years, which Tony guarded and kept near. He’d left it for him and Gibbs knew what that meant, Tony was not coming back.
Ziva and Tim both kept their eyes on Gibbs, watching him.
Gibbs looked over at them. “Tony has been promoted and transferred.”
‘Promoted?” Ziva asked. “Why promoted?
‘Transferred?” Tim asked. “Where?”
Gibbs looked over at the two of them and like a movie that played he saw all the mistakes he had made, all the times he let them put down Tony, the times he did the same thing. He saw that they had no clue what Tony was really like, though now they would see first- hand what he did and how much he contributed. So many things over time that Tony had let just slide off his back and had taken in stride, things he shouldn’t have had to do. And this morning had been the last straw for Tony, he was the final nail in the coffin. Hindsight’s a bitch.
He may not be able to change anything that was going on for the time being, but he could set the two agents in front of him back to rights. Something that he should have done prior, shoulda, woulda, coulda. He narrowed his eyes as he spoke. “Tony gets multiple job offers from other agency’s every year, he’s turned down several offers for promotions from NCIS as well. Fornell may be an ass to Tony, but make no mistake he wanted him and if he thought he could have him, he’d grab him. I don’t know what the two of you think of your own abilities, but I guarantee you’re in for a shock.”
“McGee, you get to do all the paperwork that Tony did, all the reports and all the requests. Don’t assume you’ll be promoted to SFA now that he’s gone. You don’t have near the experience he had or the intuitiveness. I think you’ll both notice he’s missing fairly quickly.” Gibbs left to head down to Autopsy to see Ducky.
Tim and Ziva stood there, struggling to absorb what Gibbs had said. Forced to look at themselves in the mirror and not liking what they saw.
Tim for his part could see where he’d treated Tony like crap and he should have known and done better. He knew Tony was a far better investigator than he was and had always tried to teach him. Tony teased him mercilessly, but never with malice or intent to harm. And had been there and helped him through some tough times, when he shot the cop, his sister being accused of murder and his Aunt Penny just to name a few. So when had he changed, when did he become such an ass to Tony? Why? That was something he was going to have to figure out and hopefully talk to Tony and repair the friendship they once had.
ZIva sat lost in her own thoughts. Tony had been promoted? Had she truly overlooked the man that he was? Not willing to waste a great deal of time on that train of thought she continued her work.
Tony sat back on the bed watching the TV lost in his own thoughts. It was going to be a huge change out there, he was in charge of his own agents. Vance had dropped by the hotel to give him a new phone and personnel files on his new team wanting him to know who he’d be working with.
He stayed and talked for a bit reminding him that he was ready for this challenge and most certainly regardless of his need for a transfer, that he would not have been given this assignment if he was thought unable to do the job well.
He snapped out of his thoughts when he heard the knock at the door. He looked out the peephole before opening it, letting Ducky and Abby come inside. The next thing he knew was that he was engulfed in an Abby hug and he wrapped his own arms around her and held her close.
“Tony, I’m going to miss you so much. I don’t want you to go, but I understand. But I want a real pinky swear that we’ll always be best friends and never lose touch. The written one didn’t do much for me. And you know I can kill-“
Tony smiled. “Abs, I don’t want you to kill him. I’m pissed, hurt, confused and like I said a whole slew of other things, but I’d like him to stay alive.” He held up his pinky to her. “We will always be best friends! You can come visit me, and there will be all sorts of trouble we can get into. And at some point I’ll come visit you. But not for a while. We can e-mail, Skype and whatever else we can come up with to keep in touch. I promise.”
Abby joined her pinky with his. “I’ve got a reliable witness to this mister!” She smiled at him.
Releasing her pinky he walked over to Ducky and looked at him shyly. “I want you to visit me, I don’t want to lose my family over this and you’ve always been like my grandfather.”
Ducky pulling him into his own arms and hugged him assuring Tony. “You’re my family as well Anthony, we won’t lose you. I look forward to visits and e-mails my boy. This will be a great change for you, but it will be good for you.”
“God, I hope so.” He pulled apart from Ducky. “You want to go eat at the restaurant or order room service?” They all decided room service so they could continue to talk privately.
They reminisced, talked about the future and everything in between, the only thing that was never mentioned was Gibbs.
“Have you thought about where you’re going to live out there? An apartment? Condo? I hear it’s pricy out there.” Abby asked.
He brought his laptop out to the table where they were all sitting. “I’ve looked at some Condos and houses so far. I ruled out the apartments earlier, too expensive for what I was getting. I’ve been leaning toward buying and setting down some roots. It’s also a wise investment. Even if I were ever to transfer to elsewhere it would be a great place to run to.” He sighed.
“I’ve done really well with my investments and I’ve got the funds to do it. Been a long time since I really splurged on something and a home seems a wise choice.”
“Have you been holding out on us Tony? Are you a closet financial wiz?” Abby laughed as she looked over at Tony.
“Yes and no. I’m kind of a wiz, but I didn’t mean to hold out on you. You both know my background; wealthy family and disinherited at twelve. But not all my family felt that way, my mom left me money in a trust fund that Senior couldn’t touch and my aunt left me her estate. I’ve made really great investments and have done quite well. However, I wanted to be a cop to help people it was never about the money.”
“I just never talk about the money, it puts people off or they look at me differently. All they see is some rich guy who doesn’t need to work, and that’s not me. I had to declare it when I became an agent to make sure they could clearly see the source, so it could never come up as payoffs and bribery. Other than that I just keep it quiet. And the less Senior knows the better. I don’t need him knocking at my door for money.”
“Rightly so my boy. You and I shall have to converse on the financial part, I could use your expertise in that matter if you are indeed, as Abby says a wiz! Since mother died I have a need to invest and take care of my own future.”
“I’d be glad to help Ducky.” Tony smiled.
Abby thought for a moment. “Then buy a nice house Tony. One that has a kitchen you love, room for guests and a great view that’s near a beach or even better has a private one.” Abby was one of the few people that knew Tony knew how to cook.
Tony pulled up a couple of houses that interested him and showed them. “Here are the houses I narrowed it down to. I looked both at inland and beachfront and after debating the issue and looking at the prices, I decided that if I were going to invest this much money I may as well and get beachfront.” He looked at both of them his eyes twinkling mischievously. “See if you can pick the one I’m leaning towards.”
He watched as they poured over the details and the pictures of the houses that were in the running, curious to see what they were thinking. He’d actually already called and made a cash offer on the one, it was below their asking price, but cash talks and it had been on the market for a while. He also inquired if they were interested in selling the furniture as some of it looked like it was designed for this house. He didn’t really care for all of the furniture, but it would make life easier and he could replace what he didn’t like as he found pieces he did, and any fabrics he didn’t care for could simply be recovered.
Abby and Ducky smiled at him and laughed.
“Too easy my boy, the one room gave it away! I can’t see you in any of the others after I saw that.”
Tony just smiled brightly. “Same thing I thought Ducky. I figured the movie room would give it away!”
Abby smiled and looked at Tony with concern written all over her face. “Are you really going to be ok, Tony. I mean, I know some of it is all exciting and I know things change, but you’ve been in DC for over ten years, working for one man. A man you care about. I’m not trying to bring up the sad stuff, but I worry and I know you’re hurting and I won’t be there to give you hugs, or let you hold Bert. I can give you mind hugs, but they aren’t the same. And I won’t be able to share movie nights or take you bowling with the sisters. And that’s the hard part.”
Tony pulled her to him. “It is the hard part, but that’s what phones, video chats, e-mails and all that is for. You have a place to come stay when you need or want to. As for Gibbs, it will be different and difficult, but I can’t help feeling like it’s for the best. I was already in deep and it hurts like hell, but mostly for his silence. Having my own team and a new life will go a long way in the healing.”
Ducky added. “He’s right Abigail. Sometimes distance is needed, they’ve been a part of each other’s lives for so long to stay and work together would have been near impossible for Anthony. I can assure you Jethro would have become quieter and more surly as time went on and he still will.” He looked over at Tony. “Don’t get me wrong dear boy, you are most assuredly doing the right thing and I only wish you every happiness, but eventually Jethro will come around and think about what he’s done and what he’s lost. By that time you will have moved your life forward, as it should be.”
“Don’t know how much forward I’ll have moved, Ducky. I’m a bit gun shy right now.” Tony laughed nervously.
“Ahh dear boy, I could tell you stories about how love comes along unexpectedly and that’s the best time for it. When you weren’t looking. But no stories tonight, I’ll save those for when I come and visit. I dare not disturb you when you’re looking over my new portfolio you’re growing.” Ducky’s eyes were twinkling with mirth.
“How did you become a wiz, Tony? That’s not part of your background; then again neither is you Psychology or Criminology Degree, though I’ve told you before, you should be proud of those. You worked hard for them and received both while you were working at a very demanding job with wild hours.” Abby looked sternly over at Tony.
“I’m proud Abby, and if it makes you feel any better I won’t be hiding them anymore. Maybe I should have never hidden them, but it seemed easier to play a part at some points. Anyway, I learned all the investing I know in college. My frat brother Alan was majoring in finance and as I helped him study I absorbed a lot of it and continued learning the rest on my own.”
Tony laughed. “I’ve lost money as well, but I seem to pick good companies that grow massively. Alan always said some people just have the knack for seeing a company’s future and I’m one of them. Same way I handle people during interrogation, I read them and feed off that.”
“More than just good at it, Tony, I saw the prices of those houses. I wasn’t looking at that directly, but you know what I mean, that’s some seriously solid investing. Because I know you, you don’t do credit, you’re going to pay cash.”
“Yep. Don’t really like credit, no problem with a debit card, but credit is different. Plan on cash Abs, be happy to invest for you as well!” He smirked.
Ducky looked at him a little shocked. “Cash Anthony?”
“Alan always said I had the Midas touch when it came to finances, he even calls me occasionally just to ask for advice.” Tony chuckled. “Before you ask, I enjoy it on a personal or friendly level, it would bore me if that was all I did all day. I enjoy being in law enforcement and helping people, righting a wrong or delivering them a small bit of peace. But I did start out with a very healthy trust fund and an inheritance that was nothing to sneeze at, I just made it grow.”
Ducky patted him on the back. “You are right where you should be. You have a gift for putting the clues together in a most unusual way.”
Ducky looked at the time. “Unfortunately Abby we must be heading out.” Turning to look at Tony he spoke. “You call me when you arrive, dear boy. And make sure to keep in touch on a personal level, I don’t want to lose my family! As for the other, when you get settled I’ll send over the financial information and you can help me figure it out and do what’s best.” Hugging Tony tightly. “You’ll do wonderfully out there and I can’t wait to hear how you’ve taken Hawaii by storm.”
Abby wordlessly took his place in Tony’s arms. “You call as soon as you can. E-mail me every day, twice a day, video me and anything else you can do. I love you Tony. Be careful and watch your six, no getting hurt mister.”
“I’ll do my best Abs, I promise. I love you too.” Walking them both to the door, he watched as they disappeared and then closed the door. Feeling better than he had earlier, he knew it would all be ok. Not right away, but soon.
Hearing his phone ring, he looked at the caller ID. It was the realtor calling back, he hadn’t really expected an answer quite that quickly, but maybe they really were desperate to sale.
“Agent DiNozzo, this is Mike from I-Properties. I hope I’m not calling too late.”
“No, Mike. Not a problem. I’m going out on a limb here; you have word on my offer already?”
“I do. The owner has accepted your offer, and also agrees to add in the furniture for the amount you stated. They were very excited to hear your offer, as I’m sure you can understand in these economic times. Would you like me to schedule an inspection?”
“Great news, Mike. I certainly understand the issues with the times. I’d appreciate you setting the inspection up ASAP. Were they amenable to the time frame I asked?”
Mike laughed. “They were more than happy to agree to just about anything when they heard it was a cash offer. I set up an inspection for tomorrow…” he paused. “I wanted to be prepared if that was the way you wanted to go.”
Tony laughed. “Don’t worry about it. I appreciate you taking the bull by the horns, I want to get this settled and a done deal as quickly as possible. Do you for-see any issues with the inspection?”
Mike rushed to assure Tony. “No, none. We had it inspected prior to listing, it’s a policy we do on high dollar homes especially.”
“Good. You have my number, so call when it’s done and I should be landing sometime around 2pm. If it’s good to go and the papers are ready to sign, we can do that then. I’ve already made arrangements with the bank for the cashiers check.”
“Don’t see a problem with that. I can pick you up at the airport if you need.”
“Appreciate that Mike but I have a rental car waiting, until I have the house settled to ship out my car. I’ll call when I get to my Hotel room and meet you for dinner. Sound good?”
“Perfect. Thank you Agent DiNozzo.”
“Tony, please. Have a great night.”
“You too, Tony.”
Hanging up the phone, he started to feel like all the pieces were coming into place.
Gibbs had gone down to Autopsy and found it empty, heading to Abby’s lab, he wasn’t too surprised to find it empty as well. It didn’t take a genius to figure out they were together and probably with Tony. He couldn’t fault them for that; they were as much a part of Tony as they were of him. Not so sure how they’ll feel after they found out everything, and not real sure that he’d blame them.
To say he handled it all badly would be the understatement of the century. A little late for that sort of revelation now, he couldn’t change what happened or how he handled it. Maybe in time Tony would talk to him and maybe even forgive him for being a bastard.
He headed back upstairs to work on the case, feeling the emptiness and change all around him. And he wondered had it been worth it?
Tony landed at the Honolulu Airport just after 2pm; he claimed his baggage and headed for the rental car that he had waiting for him. He picked a Jeep Wrangler soft top so that he could ride with the top down and go exploring a bit. He had several days before he had to even check in with NCIS and planned to look around for a least a couple of those.
Throwing his bags in the Jeep, he took off heading for his hotel. Enjoying the view as he drove, he started to unwind bit by bit, letting the atmosphere and excitement surround him. Enjoying the way the Jeep drove and handled, he decided he may just need to get one to drive daily and for the sheer pleasure of it.
He checked in and unpacked his suits and clothes and called up Mike letting him know he arrived. He’d already received a message stating the inspection had passed, so all he had to do was sign the papers, handover the check, and the house was his. The owners had all but moved out already so the request that they be out of the house in days instead of weeks had no bearing. Most of the furniture had been left for staging and to give it a homey feel and the fact that he was buying it made their life, as well as his, pretty simple.
Mike told him, he’d meet him at the hotel restaurant at 5pm with all the paperwork and keys. Looking at his watch, he had a couple hours to spare, he decided to go find a Jeep dealership. Hell, this spontaneous thing was working for him so far he may as well chance it one more time! But first he gave Ducky, Jimmy, and Abby a call letting them know he arrived as well as had purchased the house. After squeals of delight from Abby and congrats from Ducky and Jimmy they made tentative plans for a long weekend soon.
He asked the front desk where a Jeep dealership was and was directed to one not too far away. The time there proved to be a great deal of fun and rather easy, since he knew what he wanted. A four door, soft top Jeep Wrangler and after looking at many colors he decided on the deep forest green. They would have it ready for him tomorrow with tags and registration and if he would like they could even return his rental car. That’s what I call one stop shopping!
He headed back to the hotel to meet Mike and finish up the purchase. The only thing he wanted to do to the house at least for right now was put in a security system. He’d already called his buddy John for that work. John was an ex-cop that due to an injury , opened a security business. Tony always sent business his way and now he was going to use them for himself.
He’d sent the preliminaries to John while on the flight so he could make some rough plans for what he would need. After he was in the house he would fly John and his crew down to do the work. There may be local companies out here, but he’d rather go with someone he knew and trusted implicitly.
He greeted Mike as they sat down to dinner and business.
‘It’s nice to meet you Tony. As fast as this whole deal has been, it feels like I’ve known you longer. The papers are here.” He pulled them out of his case. “Under the name Paddington as you requested. If you don’t mind me asking, why Paddington? A fascination with the bear?” He smiled at Tony.
Tony laughed. “Not really. That’s my mother’s maiden name. I don’t want my address public knowledge, you don’t always make friends as an agent. NCIS knows this is my house and they have full disclosure that is hidden somewhere in the recesses of all their information. I always picture it to look like the storage of the Arc of the Covenant in the Raiders of the Lost Arc movie.”
Mike laughed. “I can see that!””
Tony continued. “My real mail comes to the NCIS office, for one it’s easier since I have weird hours and two safer. There’s no need for anyone other than people I chose to know where I live. My household bills are under Paddington as well.”
Mike nodded. “I can see how it would be safer. Makes sense, kind of a shame you have to go that route, but in the end it doesn’t really matter.”
“True. Not to mention NCIS has double checked mail protocol and irradiates and x-rays the mail that comes in the building. I actually had an inadvertent and a “holy shit, how’d that happen moment’ that caused that policy.”
“Seriously. Man can you tell me that story? It’s not classified I hope.”
Tony chuckled. “Not classified. Suffice it to say a letter was received with a S.W.A.K. on the envelope and being a smart ass, I claimed it was mine. Opened it up and white powder came out of it.”
“Holy shit!” Mike gasped. “Anthrax?”
“No. Even better. The plaque.” Tony waited to let that one sink in.
‘You’re kidding right?”
Tony let out a bitter chuckle. “No, unfortunately not. It was engineered to be resistant to antibiotics, so it was like I was in the dark ages before medical breakthroughs. But as you can see, I managed to beat the odds on that one. So I’m sure you can understand my hesitancy to receive mail.”
Mike shook his head. “I’m not sure I’d ever be able to open up another piece without one of those bio suits on.”
Tony nodded. “That does cross my mind.”
Mike shook his head. “Anyway, here are the papers for the house. The deed should arrive in three weeks, but legally once these are filed tomorrow morning, the house is yours.” He pointed to the place where the price was listed, and the secondary line that added all the furniture. “This shows the total you paid for the house and contents. This shows that the taxes have been paid for two years per your request.” He went on to the next page. “This is the former owner’s signature stating that they will be free and clear of the house upon this date.”
He handed Tony keys after he signed the noted places. “We change the locks automatically after a sale, so here are the new keys, and trust me; we understand and encourage you to change the locks and security anyways.”
Tony took the keys and a copy of the paperwork. Handing Mike a cashiers check for the purchase. He looked at Mike. “Do you need me to go with you to the bank? I know it sounds silly, but that’s a lot of money.” Tony laughed. “I carry a gun you know.”
Mike chuckled with him. “I appreciate it, thanks. But have no fear, I also carry a gun and will drop this in the night slot as soon as I leave here.”
Tony smiled. “Ok. Just wanted to make sure.”
They wrapped things up and said their goodbyes and Tony headed up to his room. He got a lot done today and was really excited about the new challenges and the new house. So far it all seemed to be worth it.
Gibbs headed in to the Navy Yard and went to work. Needing to see if Abby had any results, he grabbed a Caf-Pow and headed down. It didn’t take long for him to figure out what she thought of Tony being gone. The Lab was silent.
“You have anything for me, Abs?” He asked placing the Caf-Pow down on her desk.
“Not yet. My babies are working on the secondary tests and haven’t answered me yet.” Abby didn’t turn away from her computer.
Gibbs sighed. “Abby, you can look at me.”
She shook her head. “No, Gibbs I can’t. If I do I’ll become even angrier than I am and that’s unacceptable. Tony told me not to act that way and to let it go. But I can’t. I won’t. He doesn’t know the reason why I can’t do either of those things.” She started pacing and waving her hands around. “He only knows that I support him, miss him and love him. He doesn’t know that I saw his face when you yelled at him outside. When you broke his heart. Because I don’t want him to worry, I didn’t tell him.”
“So no, I can’t look at you, because I won’t be able to see the man that I’ve always known you to be. Kind, caring and compassionate a man with integrity and honor. And if I look at you-“ Abby continued walking around in circles staring at the floor. “I’ll see you as a cold hearted bastard that I saw rip the heart out of a man that has stood by you for over ten years. That same man who risked his own health to drag you and Maddie out of the damn car because you didn’t tell him anything and went all lone wolf.”
“The man you shattered into a million pieces with your cold words and silence. I could go on about Tony, but you closed him out yesterday. So right now Agent Gibbs, I can’t look at you. I’ll let you know if I get any results.”
Gibbs looked shocked as he watched Abby quietly go back to work, her eyes never meeting his. He silently left the room and headed to Ducky.
“I heard that Jethro, and don’t think that I feel much different. No, I didn’t see what Abby did, but I saw what you left in your wake. Thankfully, Anthony is quite resilient and looking forward to his new position. Choosing to look at it as an adventure and challenge that’s taking him down a different path.”
Ducky stood up and looked into the blue eyes of Gibbs. “I will look at you. Let me make sure that I make one thing clear, Anthony will not be coming back, so if in that addled brain of yours you see yourself charging in and demanding he return or spouting some apology that is pure tripe. He has decided to put roots down there and is buying a house, he’s indeed embracing this change and taking charge. I’ve no doubt we’ll be hearing of his exploits and wonderful case solving acumen. And though I’m still your friend Jethro, I find I do not like you very much right now.”
Ducky took a deep breath. “I hope the reasons you had for doing what you did were worth it.”
Vance stayed in the shadows. He’d only come down to see if either the ME or Abby needed extra help with the rash of cases they’d had, but instead learned a great deal more. He was surprised and admittedly proud of both Ducky and Abby with their treatment of Gibbs. From what he heard he fully deserved it and it seemed like DiNozzo was well on his way to being everything that Vance believed he could be.
He agreed with Ducky, he had no doubt they’d be hearing his name and the cases that he solved. The Hawaii office covered a lot of area and was pretty busy. He’d make sure he let Gibbs hear all about it. He wasn’t bothered by the fact they’d been in a relationship, which might surprise some people. As long as people could do their job to the degree of excellence that was demanded, who they slept with was of no importance.
DiNozzo requesting a transfer made perfect sense now and was a really smart as well as courageous thing to do. Not for the first time, he thought DiNozzo would be a great successor to his chair.
As the day progressed Tim and Ziva started to fully appreciate DiNozzo’s contributions. Neither of them had the same investigative skills or the ability to make intuitive leaps. And Tim was wondering how the hell DiNozzo ever got work done or had any free time when he saw all the paperwork he was required to do.
Vance had been down earlier telling Gibbs to give Tim the temporary title of SFA; if he was unable to carry out all the duties with efficiency then another agent with experience would be assigned. Tim remembered complaining how easy he thought that Tony’s position was when Gibbs was in Mexico, now he realized that Tony had only given him about a quarter of what he should have.
There was no denying that Tim felt like shit for treating his friend that way. Hell after the way he was treated could he even call Tony that. He suddenly fully understood why Tony never told him goodbye, he had no reason to.
But there was something he could try and do, he could work on showing Tony that he was wrong, and an idiot of great proportions. He’d work on that, start with e-mails and then maybe Tony would see that he was honestly sorry and they could work their way back to being friends. Maybe Abby could help after he talked to her and apologized as well.
He watched Gibbs a good portion of the day and could see that he was missing Tony. Then we he pulled the locked box of medals out and placed them at his own desk, the look on his face said it all. Tony was gone.
Gibbs was never really a talker, but now there was even more silence than usual. Tim may not be the investigator that Tony is, but even he could tell that Gibbs knew and accepted that he was partially to blame for Tony leaving.
But Gibbs isn’t the sole cause Tim thinks, no, e also helped it along. Just because he stayed after the whole Mexico retirement debacle doesn’t mean that he was ok with the treatment he had been receiving from Ziva, Abby and him. Abby has already talked, apologized and dealt with her issues. Tim, he ignored them, decided it couldn’t have been that bad since he never brought them up. Since when has Tony ever brought up anything big?
Ziva, on the other hand appeared to be acting like nothing had changed and everything will be better with Tony gone. Tim is certain her tune will change after a few more cases. Time will tell.
Tony after breakfast went to pick up his Jeep, it was ready and he was raring to go. First order of business, go to his new house and check it out. Getting started with pictures and measurements for security was the first on the list. Mike had already taken the liberty of having the electric and gas changed over, so one more thing out of the way.
Pulling into his driveway, he finally laid eyes on his new home. Wow! It’s more beautiful than the pictures. The view is unbelievable and the beach in front of his house is smooth and white. Hell, that’s just the outside.
Once inside, the same feeling of amazement fell over him. This is perfect. He couldn’t wait for the guys to come visit! Pictures did not do this place justice. He pulled out his camera and pad and started with the pictures and measuring of the inside and then worked on the outside. Tons of measurements and pictures later he was done. He just sat outside on his patio and enjoyed the view.
There was something to be said about buying it furnished! He needed to make arrangements with the storage company and get his stuff here before he started work, if at all possible. It would just be easier if he could have that done.
Heading back to the hotel, he noticed a mall and decided to stop and buy some things for the house. New sheets, pillows and some stuff to make it his. Loading up the Jeep when he was done, he was certainly glad he decided on the four door one.
Pulling into the hotel the staff was more than helpful in getting it to his room. Ordering room service so he could send all his e-mails and tell Vance about the house, he settled in. He’d be at the house tomorrow night, so he made a list a few more things he needed to get. Just because he had stuff in storage, didn't mean all of it was going in the new house.
John had replied that they had the necessary equipment in house and had just overnighted, and would be flying out tomorrow morning to install it. So another thing off my list.
Vance was shocked when he shared the information and pictures of the house. Did pretty much the same thing Ducky did and asked if he could look over his portfolio. He laughed and told him no problem. He didn’t lie, playing financials was fun, but he simply had no desire for that to be his career. But helping out friends was something he enjoyed, and well…if he made them wealthy, the more the merrier!
Everyone else just loved the new pictures and of course he had to send them of his new baby! He didn’t want the Jeep to feel left out of all the hoopla! That merely received a round of ...’Tony!’
Hard to believe that it’s been five weeks that Tony been in Hawaii. His team is great and they were bonding nicely.
His SFA is Jack Redmond; he was an Army Ranger and has been at NCIS for six years. He’s married with a little girl. Great guy to have on your six, amazing stealth skills and ears like a bat.
Agent Pamela Weiss is the McGee of his group, seriously mad computer skills. She’s been at NCIS for four years, he believes she can out geek McGeek, but don’t tell her he called her a geek; she’s also got a black belt in several ninja type areas.
And for their Probie, is Agent DeeDee Wells. She was a cop prior to coming to NCIS and has been here for six months.
Their first case allowed them to show each other their skills, which was a good thing. Though the looks on their faces when he referenced a movie, but solved the case ,was priceless, hey, we all have our fortes.
They go out every now and then as a team, he encourages that, you need to bond and share in each other’s lives to an extent. He doesn’t see it as a weakness, but strength in knowing one another that well. And they laugh together and after some of the stuff they see and are required to do, well you need that sort of outlet.
Six months later.
Vance is walking on air! Tony and his crew brought down a terrorist cell that the FBI has been after for nearly two years. Tony gets a tidbit of information and then …Boom! One month after the tidbit, they’re rounded up. It’s all over the news, NCIS, Tony and his team.
He looks down from the stairs as all the monitors are showing the interview Tony wasn’t going to give, but he encouraged. Not only did Tony earn it, but he sees big things for that man, and he’ll edge him in the right direction. Besides, there are a few people here that need to see his accomplishments and be reminded of what they lost.
He’s kept his ears to the ground and knows that Ducky, Abby and Jimmy are still firmly in Tony’s corner and that Tim is working on repairing his own friendship with Tony. He’s seen Gibbs team struggle a bit with the cases, it’s not that there’s not talent and ability, but someone with Tony’s natural ability is not a dime a dozen.
He smiles as he sees Abby run into the bullpen followed by Jimmy and Ducky.
Abby squeals. “Did you hear? Has he been on yet?” She looks at Tim. “Timmy we’re taping this right? I mean it’s not every day a terrorist cell is brought down. Well maybe it is, I don’t keep track of the FBI, CIA and well, I suppose there even more secret agencies out there-“
Gibbs laughs. “Tim’s taping it, don’t worry. You haven’t missed it.”
She continues bouncing on the balls of her feet, her excitement contagious as smiles appear all over the bullpen. The relationship between all of them and Gibbs isn’t quite the same as it was, but they’re all still family.
He turns his own eyes to one of the screens as his agents face appears and flashes that famous DiNozzo smile. NCIS is going to be inundated with massive amounts of mail from people wanting to know the man with the million dollar smile. It’s a small price to pay for the recognition of a job well done and the hard work that went into getting that result.
The only request he made was that they not divulge the location of the agency, they had no problem with that, so the interview was in a studio. Listening to Tony answer the questions and relay the events in a manner acceptable to the general public. You can see his intelligence, caring and charisma shine through.
Vance looks around at all the faces glued to the set, they are just as proud. After all this is one of their own, NCIS did this. Looking at Gibbs, he can see the pride mingled with loss. Ziva, well she still doesn’t see Tony really. For some reason she can’t get passed the frat boy image and that will be her down fall. She doesn’t see that the ability to play a role is what makes him the best undercover agent he’s ever seen.
That’s why other agencies borrow him for undercover and try to recruit him. Though he was informed that after today, no more undercover. You can’t be the face of NCIS and disappear into undercover work. For all Ziva’s self-posturing, she lacks a great many skills that are needed to become a great agent.
Startled out of his thoughts by Abby’s happy squeals, he allows himself to be carried along with her joy.
“He looks so good!” Abby laughed. “If they knew where he lived, he’d be swarmed!”
Ducky nodded. “I agree with you Abigail. That boy has a face made for TV, I’m thankful that Vance wouldn’t allow disclosure on the location.”
Jimmy added. “Tony said he was ok with not being able to go undercover anymore. He’ll miss it, but this was more important for the whole Agency.” Jimmy laughed. “It’s kind of funny, he worked here for over ten years and had lots of cases and amazing solves, but goes to a tiny Island and in a short matter of months manages to turn NCIS into a household name.”
Abby sighed. “I miss him, but he’s certainly where he needs to be.”
Ziva just watched and wondered how she could have been so wrong.
Tim looked over at Abby. “Is he going out tonight with his team?”
Abby smiled. “Was going to , but got a lead on a drug deal involving Naval personnel and bowed out to go meet with the Commander of Five 0. Told them to go celebrate for him.”
The interview ended and people started to return to their jobs and finish up their day. Vance looked down into the bullpen meeting Gibbs’ eyes. “I told you to expect great things from him, and by no means do I think this will be the last we hear.” He turned and walked back to his office.
Tony walked into the Five-0 headquarters and asked to see LT. Commander Steve McGarrett. He doesn’t wait long before the man is standing in front of him.
Holding out his hand he introduced himself. “I’m Special Agent Tony DiNozzo from NCIS.”
The Commander took Tony’s offered hand. “I’m Lt. Commander Steve McGarrett, please just call me Steve.”
Tony laughed. “Only if you call me Tony.”
“You got it Tony. Now, what can I do for NCIS?” Steve knew of Tony and had seen the interview and was actually impressed with the way the man had handled the questions and relaying of the story. Funny, he’d also had wondered what the man behind that smile was like, he never really imagined he’d be standing in front of him.
“Not really what you can do for NCIS, but what we can do together. I have information on a drug cartel that has stationed itself in Hawaii and is selling to the Navy. I’m sure they are not just stopping at the Naval personnel, so I thought maybe we could figure this out together.”
Steve nodded. “I think we might be able to do just that. Can you take time to talk now?”
Tony smiled that DiNozzo smile. “I’m free as a bird right now.” His traitorous mind adding in every way.
“Great. Caught your story on the news today, great job by the way.”
Tony smiled shyly a little embarrassed. “Thanks. Was definitely a team effort.”
Steve smiled at the way he tried to defer the credit, but he had no real doubts he was the man driving the cart so to speak. He was too knowledgeable regarding the whole operation.
“Why don’t we grab a bite to eat and discuss what your information is and where you think it will lead us? We’ve heard rumors of a cartel, but yet to find any proof.”
Tony nodded. “Sounds like a plan.” And before his mouth even knew what it was doing found himself saying, “We can go to my place and I can cook, I’ve got shrimp and steaks and make a mean avocado salad. We can spread out the files I have and you can give me your take.” What the hell was he doing? Has his brain left suddenly left him?
“Sounds perfect actually, be easier to talk freely. Where do you live?” Tony gave him the address and Steve looked at it.
“Seriously? You live there?”
Tony could tell by his tone that he was definitely finding humor and was merely curious. “Tell you what, I’ll tell you that story while I cook. It’s a doozy.”
Steve laughed. “Ok, but I reserve the right to beg you to hire me if you can afford that house on a Feds salary!”
Tony laughed. “Deal.”
“I’ll be there around 6pm that ok?” Steve asked.
Tony wrote something on a piece of paper and handed it to Steve. “The code for the gate to get in and 6 is fine. See you then.” Tony turned to leave.
Steve looked at the code. “You’re a trusting guy to just hand out the code to anyone?” The question may have seemed innocent, but Tony could hear the unspoken one.
Tony shook his head. “Not that trusting of a guy actually, just going with my gut here. And there were only three people that have that code, now there are four and that includes me.” Tony continued out the door leaving Steve smiling at the paper in his hand.
Tony did have steaks, but he couldn’t remember if they were in the fridge or freezer so he was glad for the time to make a quick stop at the store and pick up a couple of things for tonight. He sure as hell didn’t know what possessed him to ask Steve over, ok that’s not true, he knew what possessed him, but still. Then he gave him the gate code and made it seem like they were going steady.
He hasn’t dated lately and it really wasn’t for lack of trying. There had been no one that even caused a blip on his radar, male or female. Until now, and now he was all over the place. What the hell was he thinking, he doesn’t even know the man. He could just be friendly and not remotely interested.
Shit! He needed to call Abby.
Pulling out his phone as he pulled in the drive, he dialed her up. Walking into the house he started to put away the groceries and get started on some prep work. Besides cooking always helped clear his mind.
“Tony! I saw you on TV today! You looked great. Is that why you’re calling? Tim taped it for you. Everyone was watching and Vance was even smiling-“
“Abby! I need help, please! I’m glad you watched it and it went over well, but I have a huge, I mean HUGE issue here.”
Abby went into panic mode. “Problem? Are you ok? Are you safe?”
“Abs, not that kind of problem.”
Calming down Abby asked. “What kind of problem, Tony.”
“I went to Five-0 today to meet with their Commander about the drug cartel, and…Isuddenlyinvitedhimoverandofferedtocookdinner.”
“Ok…You need to try that again, a wee bit slower. I knew you were meeting with Commander McGarrett, but after that I couldn’t make out all the words. And are you cooking? You know that always helps you.”
Tony took a deep breath. “Ok. Yes, I’m cooking. I invited Steve over to go over the case and I offered to cook for him.”
“The Commander, Abs.”
“And this is a problem how? Did he seem offended you can cook? Didn’t like your face on the TV? What? You gotta give me more to go on here, because so far I don’t see a problem.
Tony sighed. “No, he wasn’t offended and gave me a compliment about the press conference. I gave him my gate code. Abs.” He said the end part like that was all the explanation she needed.
“Tony. It’s all good and I don’t see a problem. You like this guy and you’re attracted. You asked him over and he said yes. How did he act? And what does he look like?”
Tony replayed it all back. “He was fine and smiled; he kidded around with me about the gate code. Unless I’m reading this all wrong, I mean it has been a while, I think he’s attracted as well. And as for what he looks like, sexy, a hair shorter than me, blue eyes and brown hair and great muscles. He has a sense of humor and looks to be ex-military, not sure what branch, but I’m betting not Army.”
Abby laughed. “Sounds sexy! It’s time Tony. Your own body is now telling you that, you’ve been out before you met this guy and no one caught your eye, he did. Go with it, enjoy his company tonight and talk about the case and whatever else you want to. Just take it slow and if it works out for the both of you, that’s great. If it doesn’t you tried and you go on. Remember, you’re worth it.”
Tony took a deep breath. “Thanks Abs. Gotta go and get ready. I’ll let you know tomorrow how it went or shoot you off an e-mail. Love you!”
“Love you too.”
He put the phone down and looked at the time. Good, time for a quick shower. Steaks are marinating, potatoes in the oven, bread sliced, salad made and shrimp all ready to go. He could do this.
Tony showered and made copies of the information he had gathered so Steve could make his own notes. Dinner was ready to go and he’d started heating the grill. It was just five minutes to 6 when he heard his gate open, he wouldn’t have been able to contain the smile on his face if he tried.
He went to the front door to greet and welcome Steve inside.
Steve looked around smiling. “Can’t wait to hear this story Tony, I mean this is some house.”
“Come inside, I’ll give you the nickel tour and tell you the story while I cook, as promised.”
Tony showed him the house and led him outside to the grill, grabbing the shrimp and steaks on the way.
Grabbing them both a beer, Steve sat at the bar while Tony threw the steaks on. “I come from a wealthy New York family, however, my father decide to disown me at the ripe old age of twelve. Think I argued with him too many times, who knows what kind a mischief a twelve year old can get into.” Tony smiled. “My mother died when I was eight and left me a huge chunk of money that I was unaware of until I was twenty-one. She hid and protected it from my father, he’s a con-man plain and simple. My mother was the one who came from money, very old money. My aunt died, my mother’s sister, she left me her estate.”
Tony took a swig of beer. “One of my frat brothers was a finance major and I was the one who always quizzed him and helped him out. He called me the Midas Wiz kid because I had a natural ability to find stocks and companies that were going to grow and make hefty profits.”
Tony turned and flipped the steaks. “I enjoy playing the market, but never had a desire to do it full time. I love being a cop and solving crimes. When I went to work for NCIS, I gave them full disclosure on my finances so there would never be any hint of impropriety.”
Placing the shrimp on the grill, Tony continued. “When I asked for a transfer, Vance offered me the lead here and I took it. I looked into apartments, condos and houses inland and on the water. I decided that since I wanted to put roots down and I had the money I wanted to buy beachfront. This one stood out among all the ones I looked at, so I made a cash offer and they accepted. Came with most of the furniture as well, I figured it was simply easier that way and I could replace stuff I don’t like as I go along.”
Tony pulled off the shrimp and steaks. “Let’s head inside. So now you know the story of the house.” Tony smiled.
“That’s one hell of a story. Did you fly out to see the house?”
Tony laughed. “Nope. Asked for a transfer, hired a mover, went to a hotel and opened my laptop. Found it and called the realtor and made an offer.”
Pulling out the rest of the food, they sit down at the table to eat.
Tony smiled. “Any other questions?”
Steve laughed. “I reserve the right to answer that later. This is really good. Do you like to cook?”
Tony swallowed. “I love to cook. My father was not a hands on kind of guy and was often away, so I spent a great deal of time in the kitchen with the cooks and loved every minute of it. Next time I can make pasta.” Tony’s fork stopped in the air as he realized what he just said.
Steve just smirked. “I’d really like that. I really can’t cook, but I do love to eat.”
Tony chuckled. “A match made in heaven.” Fuck me! What the hell am I doing?
“I can however teach you to surf, unless you already know how.”
Tony really smiled at that. “I’d love to learn how to surf. I know where we can get a fairly quiet piece of beach?” Tony waggled his eyebrows.
“That’s a good thing, the quieter the better. Pretty private then?” Steve asked, his voice lowering an octave of its own accord.
Green eyes met blue across the table. “Pretty private, the neighbors are older and don’t get out a lot.”
“Good.” Both lost for a moment in each other. The clanging of a dropped fork brought them out of their haze, finishing their dinner. Tony stood and cleared off the table and loaded the dishes in the dish washer, as Steve put away the left over salad and sour cream. If anybody had looked in the kitchen you would have thought they’d been doing that for years.
After drying off his hands he handed Steve a folder and they sat back down at the table. Steve started going over the notes and facts that Tony had given him. He was really impressed at the skill and level of the investigation.
“I believe you’re right, it’s a cartel. A small one, but we can get it before it grows large and makes it more difficult. Very nice work, if you didn’t already have a job in law enforcement I’d definitely offer you one.”
Tony smiled and ducked his head a little at the compliment. “Thanks. I agree, the cartel hasn’t grown too big and taking care of it shouldn’t be too difficult.”
Steve asked. “What does NCIS want?”
“Nothing really, just to be a part of it. Two sailors died from an overdose and one is in a coma from the impurity of the drugs. Just want them taken down.” Tony shrugged.
Steve nodded. “We can do that, a joint op between Five-0 and NCIS, good for everybody.”
“My people already have this information, so give it to yours and get back to me on how you want to handle this. I don’t want or need a turf war, I just want this problem gone.”
Steve laughed. “Is everyone at NCIS that easy to get along with?”
Tony snorted. “You wish. I just find it highly unproductive to argue over the small details, I’d rather get the scum off the street. And I’ve already had my face on the news, could really care less about that. NCIS wanted it, I didn’t have a problem with it, and it’s a win-win situation. But do I want to go out of my way to get that? No.”
Steve laughed. “Well, I’m pretty certain that pretty face of yours will be on the news again.” Steve looked down as he realized once again that his mouth was acting on its own volition.
Tony slowly moved and found himself standing in front of Steve. “Really?”
Steve took a step forward to put himself in Tony’s space, placing their lips to almost touching. “Most definitely.” He lowered his lips to Tony’s and captured them in a chaste kiss.
Slowly and gently pulling apart their lips, they remained standing close to one another, neither wanting to move further away.
Steve lifted his hand up to Tony’s face, caressing his cheek as his thumb ran across his lips. “I don’t want to rush this.”
“I don’t either.” Tony whispered. “I’ve never felt this kind of pull before.”
“Same here.” Steve continued. “I couldn’t control my mouth, it just kept saying what I was thinking, and the things that I really wanted to say, but wouldn’t or shouldn’t have.”
“I know I have the same problem. Remember the whole gate code discussion?” Tony lowered his lips to Steve’s for another small kiss.
Steve took a deep breath. “So we take it slow, we date, we do things together and we see where it takes us. Not my usual MO, but I’m going with my own gut here and it says slowly.”
Tony tried to pull away. “Slow, right, we can do this. I agree I don’t want to fuck this up. Are you out?”
Steve nodded. “People here know I’m bi, no one cares out here. You?”
Tony shrugged. “Friends know, people here know. DC is a lot different, they care about shit like that. I’m pretty sure Vance knows as well.”
Steve nodded. “So we don’t have to hide, that’s good. Because seeing that I can’t not touch you right now, I’m pretty sure as time goes on it’s going to get worse.”
Tony kissed Steve again. “Oh yea, gonna get a lot worse. No problem with PDA within reason.”
Steve pulled Tony closer to him. “Good. And despite my actions to the contrary, I need to let you go and get home and need to find out how to think slow thoughts. Because right now, my thoughts are screaming for me to go faster and I so want to.”
Tony closed his eyes and laid his forehead against Steve’s. “Ok. We can do this. I’ll walk you to the door and you can call me about the op, or to make plans. We can go slowly because we’re on the same page with that.”
Slowly they pulled apart, Tony led Steve to the door and handed him his file that he had made. Steve turned around and was suddenly pushed up against the door. Tony captured his lips and pressed his body against Steve’s, leaving no room between them. As Tony’s tongue was mapping every inch of his mouth, Steve didn’t have a coherent thought left.
He needed more and wrapped his arms around Tony’s waist, pulling him tighter, moaning as their erections ground together through the fabric of their jeans. The kiss was powerful, not unlike the men themselves and neither of them could have remembered their own names if asked.
Pulling a part they were both breathing heavily as they leaned against each other for support.
Steve managed to breathe out. “Shit! That’s what you consider slow?”
Tony blushed. “Ok, maybe not, but Damn! I couldn’t help myself, and we stopped didn’t we?”
Steve chuckled. “True. Ok, I’m going to leave now, before I can’t.” He placed a slow but sensuous kiss upon Tony’s lips. Until later.” He stood at the door and watched Steve leave before going back into the house.
Boy, I had a lot to tell Abby. I sent her of a detailed e-mail about the night’s events and pinky swore that I would take it slow. Heading to bed with a smile on my face, I had just laid as the phone rang.
I laughed. “Hi.”
Steve chuckled. “I wanted to thank you for dinner. I wanted to know if you’d like to go surfing this weekend, provided neither one of us ends up on a case?”
Tony laughed. “You just want to see me in my trunks! I’m glad you enjoyed dinner and I would love to go surfing, or rather learn how to surf.”
“Actually, I’d rather see you out of them, but that’s for later.” Steve whispered.
“Don’t, I’m barely hanging on here.”
“Good night, Tony.”
“Good night, Steve.” Hanging up the phone Tony tried to get his breathing under control. It was bad enough he hadn’t had sex in over six months, but then the added pull and attraction to one Steve McGarrett and he was a goner.
Abby ran down to Autopsy as soon as she made it to work, bouncing excitedly barely containing herself.
“Ducky! Tony had a date! And it went really well. They’re seeing each other again. He was so nervous before hand, he called me up all panicky.” Abby was talking excitedly with her hands. “He cooked him dinner and then they kissed. Apparently that shocked the both of them, but it was good. They couldn’t let go of each other. But they’re taking it slow, it’s what they both want.”
“Breathe dear Abigail. That does sound like great news for Anthony. Did he tell you the name of the lucky one that has garnered his attentions?”
Abby smiled. “He did. I looked him up and he’s really a great guy.”
Ducky sighed. “And what is the great guy’s name?”
Abby giggled. “Sorry, Ducky. It’s Steve McGarrett, the Lt. Commander of Five-0. She brought him up on her laptop. “See. He was a Navy SEAL and has a ton of awards. He was chosen to lead Five-0, apparently they had nothing to really investigate the big crimes until then. There’s his picture.”
Ducky smiled. “Well my boy, it seems like you have found someone who is worthy of your time. You say he already cooked for him?”
Abby laughed. “He said his mouth was speaking before he could even censor it, the words came out anyway. You should have heard him, it really was cute. Though of course I’d never say that to him.”
“No of course not my dear. My goodness, he seems to be caught up in something with this Lt. Commander. He told you how the date went, you said?”
“Yes, he e-mailed me the details. He even shared part of his past, Ducky. He told the story about the house and the Midas touch and all that. They talked and flirted and then kissed. He said , and I quote, “WOW!” - Even his typing was happy.”
Ducky chuckled. “I understand what you’re trying to say my dear. This sounds like a very promising start, dinner, sharing, laughing and kissing. I can’t wait to talk to him.”
Abby was all smiles. “Need to get to work! Had to share, Ducky.” She gave him a hug and ran off.
Ducky just shook his head and chuckled going back to the file he was reading.
Three weeks later.
Tony and Steve spent as much time as they could together in between their respective jobs and the op they were planning for the takedown of the cartel. They may not have squeezed as much time together as they would have liked, but the time they did was perfect. Between surfing lesson, dinners, movies and just simple walks on the shore line they were learning about one another. Both struggling to keep this moving slowly, they kept to wet deep kissing, but it was getting harder and harder to keep their hands to themselves.
But so far they were managing…barely. The op was planned for tonight, Tony’s team taking back up and Steve’s leading.
Both teams waiting for the signal, and there it was. Everyone did their jobs, the cartel was down and only a bullet graze to show for it. All and all very successful.
Once again there was a press conference and this time Steve and Tony were both in the spotlight. A drug cartel brought down and NCIS sharing the spotlight withFive-0.
The bullpen was once again proud of one of their own and Vance couldn’t be more proud if he tried. Tony going to Hawaii to lead the team there was the best thing that happened to him, as well as NCIS.
Abby, Ducky and Jimmy watched with knowing smirks. Anyone watching could or rather should be able to see the chemistry between Steve and Tony. They were both goners, they were never going to make their slow goal happen. They were trying, but looking at them on the big screen, the air between them was palpable.
Vance and Tim watched in fascination of Tony’s obvious joy, and any fool could see it had nothing to do with being on the news. He was happy, truly and totally happy, no one had ever seen a smile like that.
Gibbs watched and saw what everyone else did, Tony’s happiness and massive attraction to Steve. He certainly wanted him to be happy; he only wished it was here, with him. But that was his own damn fault.
At least Tony had begun talking to him in the past few months, they weren’t friends like they were before, but they were friends. He had missed that. Abby and Ducky had warned him to treat it carefully, and though he appreciated their warning, he’d already learned his lesson the hard way. He lost Tony, well more truthfully, he pushed Tony away. But there was no use worrying about things that had already passed, the damage was slowly being repaired, and he could share in Tony’s joy.
Steve pulled in the driveway after he finished his report. He picked up beer and fish for the grill Tony said he had everything else. They ate together most nights, it was like coming home.
He walked in the door calling for Tony. He dropped the food off in the fridge and headed upstairs, hearing the shower running he headed to the master bathroom, it wasn’t intentional, and he just forgot the shower was designed with no door. The sight that greeted him takes his breath away.
He froze to the spot and he couldn’t take his eyes off Tony, the water cascading down the curve of his back and over the perfect globes of his ass. At the same time he prayed that he didn’t turn around, yet wishing with all his might that Tony will turn around. All he knows is that he can’t move from the spot he’s in.
Tony sensed him enter the room and is torn between turning around or staying like he is. He wants to turn, wants Steve to see the desire in his eyes and the reaction of his body. From the moment Steve entered the bathroom and Tony felt his presence he was hard.
Steve can see Tony’s breathing quicken and he knows why. In barley a whisper, as that is all he can manage, “Tony, turn around.” Steve’s cock is rock hard and begging to be free of its confines.
Tony slowly turned around and Steve gasps. “God, you’re beautiful.” He doesn’t know any other word that does Tony justice. His eyes trail down Tony’s body drinking it all in and trying to remember to breathe.
“Steve.” Tony whispers it comes out of his mouth as a plea. Steve can’t ignore the plea that calls him closer to the one he wants. His feet move of their own accord and he finds that he’s standing in front of Tony, his hand raised and his fingers trailing down his chest.
Their eyes never wavering from one another, though now merely slivers of green and blue the pupils blown with need, desire, and want. Steve’s finger tips graze a pebbled nub, causing Tony to moan and arch into his touch. Steve brings his hand up to palm Tony’s neck and bring him in for a kiss. His mouth captures Tony’s lips pulling them into a hot, wet kiss. Steve nibbles on Tony’s lips before snaking his tongue between them causing a moan of pure need to slip by Tony’s lips.
Steve pulls Tony’s naked body tightly to his, his hands sliding down to cup his ass drawing their erections together. There is no stopping this time, their need is to great and bigger than the both of them. Unable to fight it any longer Tony begins to unbutton Steve’s jeans desperate to feel his flesh.
Steve helps him out by ripping his shirt off and making quick work of his jeans. Finally, they’re both gloriously naked and pressing against one another wanting every inch of their overheated skin to be touching. Groans escape their lips as their cocks make contact. Pulling each other tighter and grinding their hips together frantically wanting more. Steve wants more, he needs to taste Tony, and drops his to knees and takes time admiring the cock before him. It’s dripping pre-cum so he runs his tongue over Tony’s cockhead gathering all the pooled juices there. He then runs his tongue down the length of Tony’s shaft and the area between his balls and then starts the journey back up. Tony moans with need as Steve’s tongue burns his flesh. Reaching the head of Tony’s cock he wraps his lips around it engulfing it in the hot, wet heat of his mouth. He runs his tongue along the glans knowing that is one of his own hot spots. He can feel the tension in the other man’s body as he struggles not to cum.
He begins to pick up the pace and suck harder, his cheeks hollowing out on every pass. He ran a hand down between Tony’s legs, teasing the puckered hole. Running his fingers around the muscles at Tony’s entrance, He give him dual sensations that are causing Tony’s breathing to come in erratic pants.
“Jesus, Steve, I can’t hold out much longer. God, that feels so good.” Tony’s fingers gently grip Steve’s hair as he begins to lose his control. Screaming his name, Steve feels Tony’s release flow through his cock and down his throat swallowing every drop. Licking him clean as the tremors flow through his body, Steve rises to plunder Tony’s mouth with his tongue knowing full well Tony can taste himself on my tongue.
Tony’s hand slides between our bodies and finds Steve’s dick, leaking, swollen and throbbing. He moves his lips to Steve’s ear and speaks the words he knows the man has been dreaming of. “I want you in me now, fucking me until I can’t remember my own name.”
They made their way to the bed without falling though, he’s not sure how and he pushes Tony back down on the bed. “Lube?”
At that moment they really didn’t need words, Steve lowered is lips to Tony’s neck and trailed kisses along his jawline, as his hand traveled down Tony’s chest to find his puckered hole, he teased it with his lubed fingers, running them along the muscle there.
Slowly placed two slick fingers at Tony’s entrance and slowly pushed in and began to scissor in and out. He felt the body beneath him begin to thrust in earnest against his fingers wanting more. Sensing Tony’s need he added a third and twisted his hand to stroke the prostate sending tremors through Tony’s entire being. Tony nearly bucked off the bed as he writhed in pleasure. Steve was fast coming to the end of his control and he wanted to be inside Tony’s body before that happened.
Tony cried out as Steve removed the fingers from his ass missing the feeling they were evoking. He lubed his cock well and placed it at Tony’s entrance slowly breeched the first ring of muscles. As Tony’s body accepted the entry, Steve slowly pushed forward inch by inch until his balls were pressed against Tony’s ass.
Giving Tony a moment to adjust to his girth, Steve reveled in the heat surrounding his cock. Tony wrapped his legs around the man above him pulling him tighter to him and deeper inside. The feeling of being buried inside the man he wanted causes him to groan with need. He pulls out nearly all the way and thrusts back in finding the sweet spot, he begins thrusting in earnest now, wanting to give Tony as much pleasure as he was getting/receiving giving me.
Steve wanted Tony to feel every inch of him as he lay claim to Tony’s body.
He leans down and crushed our lips together as Steve neared his own blessed release. He gives into it crying out Tony’s name as he poured his release into the body under him. Tony cries out the other man’s name once more as he comes again, without ever touching his cock. Steve collapses on top of Tony as all energy has left his body and he feel s like a wet noodle.
We hold each other tightly as we struggle to even out our breathing.
Tony looks at the man next to him and smirks. “This is slow?” After getting a washcloth and cleaning ourselves up, we crawled back into bed. Tony snuggles in close, his head finding a home tucked under Steve’s chin his hand over my heart. Wrapping an arm around Tony, he pulls the man tighter against him as they drift off to sleep.
From the moment we both felt the pull towards each other it didn’t matter whether we took this relationship fast or slow. We were where we belonged, side by side and where we would remain. It didn’t matter the trial and tribulations that it took for us to get to this place, the pain, sorrows or the people that came before and that shaped who we are today. All that mattered was that it got us both here together where we belonged and it was worth it.