Title: More Than Meets The Eye
Spoilers: All of NCIS,
It is AU. It is based in NCIS world though
Summary: Leon Vance's children have been abducted, and there are no clues. Tony has to do the one thing he is afraid of, and that's to show abilities that no one at NCIS has seen him do. He won't let those kids vanish without trying to help, even if it took his career, freedom, and his friendship with Gibbs.
Disclaimer: I don't own anything to do with NCIS. I am not making anything from this. I am just doing this for fun
Feedback is always welcome.
N/BThis was supposed to be for an e-zine, but somehow they misplaced it and I guess all my emails talking to the person who ran it. I have no idea if it is true, or they just didn't like the story. I hope you all enjoy it. I am disappointed, but not a lot I can do. Well, you all get an extra Tibbs story from me lol. Not sure if this could be made into a little universe with Tony using his skill, his and Gibbs relationship, and when/if the others find out. If you think it is a good idea, please let me know.
Tony bent his head over the sink in the men's bathroom and splashed cold water on his face. It had only been six hours since Leon Vance's children had been kidnapped. There was no evidence to be found, no witness accounts, nothing. They had just disappeared in a car that look liked Leon's, and it had no plates. It had happened just after school had finished, and no one had seen or heard anything unusual. Sometimes when Jackie couldn't make it, Leon would send his driver. No one thought anything of the Vance kids being picked up by someone who wasn't either one of their parents. Before this kidnapping, the team had been on another case and they had been up since four am. None of them wanted to rest, they were all determined to find those children. This time it was personal, it was one of them. It didn't matter if anyone had a problem with Vance, all their concentration was on this case. Everyone had volunteered to work extra and to do what was needed to bring those kids home. Tony bit at his lip as an idea entered his mind, it was a stupid idea he knew that. He chuckled to himself; a lot of people thought most of his ideas were stupid. He knew that there was a way he could help, but it could mean the end of a lot of things to him. His job, his friendships, and it could mean then end of his freedom.
'Tony, are you ok?' Tim asked as soon as he walked into the bathroom, and stared at his work colleague and friend.
'Yeah, I'm fine McWorrywart, why?'
'We're being sent home until we get some results. There isn't a lot we can do at the moment. We need to get sleep while we can. We all know that when everything the shit hits the fan, there'll be no sleep for anyone.' Tim explained.
'Ok, I just need to do some things first.' Tony's smile was bright and aimed at his friend. He watched as Tim narrowed his eyes in suspicion, and stared at him for a moment longer.
Tim finally nodded at Tony, and then turned to leave, but something stopped him.
'Are you sure you're ok Tony?' His voice was full of concern. Tim could feel that there was something off about his friend, and being around Gibbs and Tony he was learning to trust that instinct, or gut as Gibbs would say.
'Aww is lil Timmy worried about me?' He knew that if he carried on like this it would drive Tim away, eventually. The young man had become a lot stronger, and more determined. Tony was proud of him, but one day it would come and bite him in the ass. He hoped today was not that day, any other it would make him proud.
Tim finally shook his head in exasperation and left the men's room. Tony knew what he had to do. He couldn't and wouldn't put children's lives ahead of his own well-being. He rushed out to find Gibbs, and then Vance. Tony had to convince them to do something very strange. He just hoped that he had earned their trust enough for them to go with the flow, and not ask any questions.
Leon, Jackie, and Tony stood in the Director's office and waited for Gibbs to arrive. He had told them that he had a couple of things to do first. He hadn't found Gibbs, but had managed to contact him by phone. Tony was glad off rule 3, never be unreachable.
'Ok, DiNozzo what do you need to talk to us about?' Gibbs asked as he stormed in the office. The door slammed closed behind him.
Tony took a deep breath and prepared himself. 'I think I have a way that can help narrow down where the kids are. We could also find out their health situation.'
'Why are you telling us this now, just do it?' Vance demanded.
'Ok, please just do what I say without question. Please, please trust me.' Tony looked around at them. 'I need you to come to my apartment. Mrs Vance, Director, I need you to bring an item that each of your kids loved. Something they are emotional attached to.'
'DiNozzo, what the hell is going on?' Gibbs growled.
'Please Gibbs, just do this. You need to be there. It won't work if you aren't.' Tony told his boss. The reason why was the part he was going to hate having to explain, but once again there was no choice.
Vance opened his mouth to so he could find out what the hell DiNozzo was playing at, when his wife elbowed him in the stomach.
'Please, let's do what he asks?' Jackie begged. There wasn't anything else to go on. She was would risk anything and everything even if it had a remote chance of being able to work. She wanted her children back safe and sound in their arms.
'Very well, we'll go home and collect some items that the kids loved. We'll then meet at your apartment.' Leon finally agreed.
Tony turned and walked out of the office before Gibbs could say or do anything. He knew that Jackie's plea would mean that he would turn up. This was the kind of case that truly hit Gibbs. It also had to be the worst kind for him, as it brought up memories that still hit him hard.
Tony had taken a long hot shower as soon as he arrived at his apartment. The muscles in his neck were tense. This 'gift' was the reason that he had been disowned at twelve years old. That was when he also realised how much of a curse it was. It was also the time when he found out that you should never read someone's mind to try and find out how they feel about you. You may find out things you never wanted to know, like how embarrassed, ashamed and disgusted they were with you. That was also the time he had started to act, and project an image that he knew people wanted. It was a part he had played since then.
Gibbs arrived at the same time as Leon and Jackie did. He still had no idea what the hell was going on. He was worried about Tony, there was something about this situation that had the younger man worried. To be honest it also had him on edge. He would never want Leon or Jackie to go through what he did the loss of a child. Gibbs would do anything; turnover every stone he could find to bring those two kids back home to where they belong. Leon reached up and knocked on DiNozzo's door. It opened and there he stood dressed in a t-shirt and track bottoms and bare feet.
'Come on in.' Tony moved away from the door so they could enter his apartment.
'What is this all about Tony?' Gibbs asked.
'Gibbs I need you to sit next to me. I promise afterwards I will answer any questions you have.' Tony watched Gibbs until the older man nodded and sat down on the couch. 'Do you have the items I asked you to bring?'
'This is Kayla's bear. She never sleeps without it.' Jackie managed to choke out.
'Can you take notes of anything I say?' Tony handed Leon a notebook and a pen. It also gave the man something to do. Once Leon nodded, he reached over and took the items; Tony reached out and grabbed the bear. Then with his other hand he took hold of Gibbs' hand, after a deep breath and closed his eyes.
Leon, Jackie and Gibbs all look at each other.
'What…' Before Leon can say anything else Jackie shook her head at him.
'I can't get through to her.' Tony scrunched up his face in frustration. He then finally opened his eyes.
'What do you mean you can't get through to her?' Gibbs demanded, but his hand remained gripped with Tony's.
Tony knew that he wouldn't get through it without being asked first. He had hoped that they would have waited until he had something, anything to prove he wasn't a nutcase.
'I have uhhhh gifts, I guess you could say. I'm telepathic, with an element of psychic abilities.'
'DiNozzo.' Gibbs growled.
'Fine, I can read people's minds. I don't generally do that due to the fact that the human mind is a horrible place to be. I also found out that when I connected uhhhh with my focus I can touch an object and then I can link with the owner.'
'I'm your focus? What exactly is that?' Gibbs wanted answers and he wanted them now.
'Can we leave that until later, please?' Tony whispered.
'No.' Gibbs replied quietly.
'It means that you are my chosen one, my mate, my true love, whatever you want to call it. I was born to be with you.' Tony sighed resignedly.
'I uhhhh.' Gibbs didn't know what to say. He'd had sexual fantasies about Tony; there weren't many people who didn't. He also did have feelings for him, but this was completely out there. This was something that he didn't expect, and he didn't know what to do. Gibbs had wished he agreed with Tony's plea to talk about it later, privately.
'DiNozzo, this is not the time to joke. My kids' lives are on the line.' Leon shouted.
'I'm not joking. This was one of the reasons my father disowned me. He is also one of the reasons I hate reading people's minds.' Tony replied coldly.
'What do you mean Tony?' Jackie asked she had noticed how his voice had cooled.
'My parents weren't loving people. I wanted to know how much they loved me.' Tony chuckled bitterly. 'Well, I found out that not only did they not love me, but they were ashamed, disgusted, and a whole bunch of other feelings. I never thought any parents would hate a child that much.'
'But he has been here to visit you.' Leon queried.
'Yes he has. He comes here when he wants something, and not when I need him to. He has an image to maintain. The reason I play along was, well I didn't want people to find out.' He turned to look at Gibbs. 'When I told you and the others I was disowned at twelve years old, no one asked why. I had to play along; this is my life we're talking about. Everyone seemed to fall in love with him, and forget about everything I said about him.'
'I'm sorry Tony,' Jackie glanced down at the bear still held in his hand. 'What do you mean you can't contact her? Does that mean she's…?' Jackie couldn't finish off the question.
'No, she's alive. If she wasn't I wouldn't feel anything, and I do.' Tony stopped for a moment and tried to think of the best way to phrase it. 'Kayla is unconscious. I can't tell you how she got that way, just that she is.'
Jackie breathed a sigh of relief. She didn't know why, but she did believe him. She took the bear out of Tony's hand and placed in it a comic book. It was a little ripped, and there were chocolate stains on the front. Tony looked up at the Vance's in confusion.
'It was a reward; he had won a small writing competition. I took him out, and this was what he wanted.' Leon's voice broke as he spoke. There were tears in his eyes as he thought back on that day.
Tony nodded as he took hold of it carefully. That was when Tony had realised that through everything Gibbs hand not taken his hand away. He took a deep breath and closed his eyes. All his concentration was on the comic, and the boy it belonged to.
Jared paced around the small room. His gaze kept being drawn to one of the beds, and the small figure on it. His little sister. He could see her chest moving, so he knew that she was alive. That was all he knew. Jared had no idea if they had given her anything. All he wanted was his dad to come and save them, and knew that he would happen. They would be saved.
That was when he heard it, a voice. Jared looked around, and then he realised that he couldn't hear it with his ears. The voice was in his head.
'I'm going mad.' Jared muttered.
Tony's face lit up, and then he chuckled. He opened his eyes and looked at Leon and Jackie.
'Jared's fine. He has complete confidence that you will save him and his sister.' Tony told Leon. 'He thinks he's going crazy because he heard my voice.' Tony closed his eyes again. He sent mentally who he was, what he could do, and also the story about the comic he was holding. 'Kayla is fine, she doesn't look hurt. She is unconscious. He hasn't seen who took them. Someone's coming.' Tony opened his eyes and blinked. 'I couldn't stay in contact with him. As soon as he heard the door opening he panicked and we were cut off.'
'What are you going to do now?' Leon asked.
'I'm going to wait for a few minutes and then I will try and contact him.' They watched as Tony rubbed his eyes tiredly, and rotated his head as he tried to loosen his neck and shoulder muscles.
'This takes a lot out of you doesn't it?' Gibbs asked.
'Yeah, I haven't tested it thoroughly. I'm afraid that if I stay linked to someone for too long that I might lose myself. I might not ever be able to come back to my own mind.'
'To come back?' Jackie queried as Leon wandered off into Tony's apartment.
'It's not like a walkie talkie, or radio. I have to go to their minds, which means it feels like I am no longer in my body. It's like astral projection, I guess. That's why if you had spoken to me and I didn't reply. I never heard you. There are a lot of things I'm afraid of. In a way, now, things are more dangerous for me.' He held up his and Gibbs' hands.
'So when you found your focus, it made you stronger which in turn means more things could go wrong.' Jackie summarised.
Leon finally appeared with a tray with glasses of bourbon, and a glass of water.
'I thought water would be the best thing for you.' Leon waited until Tony had put down the comic before he handed the glass over to him.
'Thank you Director.' Tony smiled at him.
'I think while we are doing this, you can all me Leon.' He nodded at Tony; he showed the younger man that he believed what he had been told.
'Leon.' Tony repeated. He drank down the glass of water quickly. 'Ok, let's see if Jared's alone.' He picked up the comic once more and closed his eyes.
Gibbs gave Tony's hand a squeeze. Just like Leon, he did believe his agent. Tony may have exaggerated on some things, but this wasn't something he would make up. He wouldn't do anything to risk someone's life. Gibbs had to force himself not to order Tony to stop. He didn't want the younger man's mind to be lost out there. There was obviously something between them and it was more than just lust. Tony's abilities showed they were meant to be together. At some point in the future, they would have to sit down and talk about things, about them. The good thing about this was that Leon knew about it.
Tony's faced tensed in anger. 'Jared is unconscious as well. They must have injected him with something. I'm sorry.' Tony uttered as he opened his eyes. 'I'll get some sleep and try again.' He turned a questioning gaze to Gibbs, who then nodded in agreement.
'Pack up some clothes Tony; you're coming to stay with me.' Gibbs ordered. He hated how empty his hand felt when it was no longer clasped with Tony's.
'Boss?' Tony queried.
'You don't have a spare bed, and I'm not sleeping on your couch. If you're going to try this again, you're going to need me around. So until this case is solved you're moving into my place. Don't make me repeat myself DiNozzo.' Gibbs growled, and then he smirked as Tony jumped to his feet and rushed into his bedroom. 'We'll find them Leon.'
'I know.' Leon replied as he stared at the spot where DiNozzo had disappeared. 'You do realise that the two of you are probably be going to….' He waved his hand around as he tried to make his point.
'You think, Leon.' Gibbs answered sarcastically. 'I did manage to figure that one out myself.'
'I want him to help find our children Jethro.' Jackie walked across to Gibbs and laid her hand on his face. 'Promise me, you won't let him push it? He isn't going to help anyone if he can't tell us.' She also would be eaten away by guilt if his life ended because of what he had tried to do.
'I promise.' Gibbs smiled at her. 'I have a genuine reason to make sure he stays healthy.'
'I never knew you had an interest in men?' Leon asked, and winced as his wife hit him on the arm.
'That is none of your business Leon.' His wife scolded him.
Gibbs kept his face blank as Leon continued to stare. He knew the other man was trying to work out if Gibbs had, in fact, any experience in a same-sex relationship. The ex-gunny would be the first to admit he hadn't had a relationship with a man, sex yes, a relationship no. He had no idea what Tony's experience was in that area. A selfish part of him hoped that he would be the first. It certainly didn't matter, and that would be something else to talk about when they had the time. At the moment there priority was to find Leon's kids, and to make sure that Tony didn't push it and lose himself in the process.
'I'll see you and Tony in the morning.' Leon went to leave with Jackie, but he stopped and turned to look at Gibbs. 'Call anytime if you find anything else out. You know if he does his thing.'
Tony walked in and chuckled as he heard the description. 'My thing?'
'You know what I mean DiNozzo.' Leon muttered.
'Thank you for trying this Tony.' She walked over to him and gave him a kiss on the cheek. Jackie smiled at them both and then left with her husband.
'I don't need to come with you boss.' Tony whispered. His head jerked forward as Gibbs slapped the back of it.
'I didn't do it to be polite DiNozzo.' Gibbs turned to look at him. He stared deeply into those expressive green eyes. 'Our connection, is giving you a boost is it the only thing it does?' He asked.
'I do have a shield, but it doesn't keep out everything. Really strong emotions can overwhelm me. I have come up with techniques that help me, but being around you does help ease the noise. You seem to be able to protect me as well.'
'The movie references and quotes are your techniques?' Gibbs guessed and watched as Tony grinned at him. 'If it gets too much for you let me know. We'll work something out. If I can help you to stop being overwhelmed then let me help.'
'I think when it is just us like this, you should call me Jethro.'
'So we're honestly going to….' Tony waved a hand between the two of them.
'Well, we'll talk about it and go from there. We might not have the chemistry to make it any more than just this.' Gibbs smirked at Tony.
Tony reached out and grabbed Gibbs' t-shirt, and then he pulled it towards him. When their bodies touched, Tony sealed his mouth over Gibbs' and kissed him with everything he had. Gibbs wrapped his arms around his soon to be lover, and opened his mouth under the onslaught. Both men moaned as the kiss deepened, their tongues entwined. Tony's hands tightened on Gibbs' top, and then he gentled the kiss until they finally pulled apart.
'I uhhhh think we might have some chemistry.' Tony slurred slightly as if he were drunk on the taste of Gibbs.
'Ya think DiNozzo.' Gibbs gently stroked his hands up and down Tony's back. He then slid them lower until they covered the younger man's ass, and he squeezed. Their bodies pushed together, their cocks hard against each other.
'Oh god.' Tony groaned. All he wanted to do was to strip them both naked and order Gibbs to take him, and do it now. He'd had enough erotic dreams about the older man to know that it would be great.
Gibbs reluctantly pulled away from Tony when it was the last thing he actually wanted to do. What he wanted was to drag him into the bedroom, but now wasn't the time.
Gibbs woke up to the sound of his cell ringing. He reached out to grab it, but he made sure that he didn't disturb the body cuddled in next to him. Gibbs glanced down at Tony; the young man looked so peaceful and innocent like this.
'Gibbs.' He uttered as soon as he answered the call. 'What, ok we're on our way.' Gibbs paused for a minute. 'Ok, well do what we can. Leon, keep us in the loop, and we'll do the same thing. Yeah, I hope so too.' He placed the cell back on the bedside table.
'What's going on Jethro?' Tony asked sleepily.
Gibbs turned and looked down at his partner. He bent his head and gave him a soft kiss.
'I could get use to this.' Gibbs mumbled.
'So could I, but I'm assuming that call you just had was significant?' Tony forced himself away from Gibbs' lips.
'That was Leon; he finally got a ransom note.' Gibbs did his best to keep in temper in check.
'What do they want?' Tony asked.
'The Rialdi case, Leon is a witness for it. If he turns up, Kayla and Jared are dead.'
'Isn't he the only witness?' Tony asked and waited for Gibbs to nod in agreement. 'That was really lousy luck on Rialdi's part. I mean you rob a jewellery shop, one of the hostages happens to be the director of NCIS. That same hostage is the only one that sees your face when your mask slips.'
'Leon is the one that can prove it was him, and make him go down for it. There seems to be some people out there who don't want that to happen.'
'I guess we are going into work to then.' Tony stretched his arms, above his head. The sheet had moved down, so it just covered his waist, and it left his chest bare. Tony could feel Gibbs' intense gaze on his body. They had only slept together in bed, wrapped in each other's arms.
'No. Leon wants us to try and see if we can contact Jared or Kayla again. Let's see what info we can get and pass it onto him, and hopefully that will coincide or give them somewhere to look.'
'I guess if we do find them, and no one at NCIS had that information it's going to be an 'anonymous source.' Tony grinned; there was no way they could explain this without them all getting locked away.
'Let's get up, grab a coffee and get started. The quicker we can find those kids, the quicker we can work on us.' Gibbs gave Tony a peck on the lips.
Tony watched a naked Gibbs get out of bed and head into the ensuite bathroom. He may have joked around wanting to get back to them, but the truth was Gibbs wanted Kayla and Jared safe and sound.
A dictaphone sat on the table, and recorded what was going on. Gibbs sat next to Tony and held one of his hands tightly. In Tony's other hand was Jared's comic. Tony had decided to go with Jared as he had managed to contact him the night before.
'Jared.' Tony uttered a smile now appeared on his face.
Gibbs took a deep breath. That meant Jared was alive and awake. He hoped that the kidnappers were too busy with NCIS to worry about what one of the kids was doing. Gibbs also hoped that Tony would be able to get some relevant information on the whereabouts of the kids so they could go and get to them. They only had a small window of opportunity as Leon was due in court tomorrow morning.
Jared wrapped his arms around his sister and held her tightly.
'Everything is going to be ok.' He whispered as she sobbed in his arms.
He hoped that the voice in his head had actually been a person, and not just a figment of his imagination. Jared knew that his dad would do anything to save them. He believed in him completely.
'I am scared.' Kayla hiccupped as she cried.
'So am I, but Dad will make sure we're rescued.' Jared held her a little tighter against him.
Tony held his head in hands. It had now started to throb so badly, and they still had nothing to help them. They hadn't taken Jared anywhere. Leon had called them, and still nothing on their end about who had kidnapped them.
Leon walked into his office slammed the door shut and punched it. The bones in his knuckles cracked as they impacted the hard surface.
'Fuck.' He laid his head against the door, tears fell from his eyes. As a father and director, he had never felt so useless. All Leon wanted to do was to go out there and rip Washington apart with his bare hands. He would steal anything, or kill anyone to get his children back. Leon couldn't imagine what he would do if they couldn't get them back, alive. He knew that if he didn't go to court that his family would always be in danger, but would he ever be able to forgive himself if he went, and they paid for it.
It had just passed midnight and Tony's head lay on Gibbs' chest. They were still dressed. Gibbs had insisted Tony lie down for just a moment. That is what Tony did, but he couldn't sleep. In one hand, he still held the comic; all he needed was a landmark, street name, anything. Just so they had somewhere to work from. That was when it hit him; he was so full of dread that it almost made him throw up. Tony closed his eyes and concentrated, he had never felt urgency like this before. He had never felt so much panic in his life before. That was when Tony certainly knew it Jared's he was feeling.
Tony took some deep breaths to calm himself just like he did for undercover work. He reached out his mind to Jared. This had been the first time he had ever spent this much contact was someone mind to mind. Tony's arm suddenly flew out and hit Gibbs hard. He woke up with a start, and reached out to whoever had attacked. In an instant, he had Tony on his back and underneath him. That was when he realised who it was.
'Tony?' Gibbs stared down at him, and that was when he saw the comic still clutched tightly in his hand. 'What's happening?'
'They are taking the kids. They are moving them.' Tony mumbled as he briefly came back to himself. 'I just see random clues.'
'What?' Gibbs growled he wanted an address. He didn't want to play games.
'Jethro, I'm dealing with a child's mind, and Jared is doing the best he can. I think it's going to be something like a scavenger hunt. I know where to start. Let's go.'
'Gibbs what the hell are you talking about?' Leon yelled into his cell as Ducky fixed his hand the best he could. Jackie sat on the couch as she stared at her husband. 'Damn it.' Leon put the cell onto the arm; he closed his eyes and took a deep breath.
'I guess Jethro hung up on you. The look you have on your face, I have seen that many times.' Ducky looked at the director.
'Leon, what's going on?' Jackie's voice was reticent. She wanted to know, but she was also terrified of what the answer would be.
'Gibbs and DiNozzo have been getting some clues.' He looked at his wife meaningfully while Ducky's concentration was on his hand.
'Oh and…' She asked.
'They think that they'll be able to find the kids before the court-case. Gibbs has also suggested that we leave it to him and Tony. If we go in as a team, they might get spooked.' Leon took a deep breath, waited for a moment before he asked his wife on what her opinion was. This wasn't just down to him. They were her children as well. 'Do you think that I should trust Gibbs and go to the court, or should I not go in case anything goes wrong?'
'My heart is screaming out for me to tell you to stay here. It's saying not to go to court, and be ready just in case.' Jackie looked down at her hands. 'I have been your wife for so long that I do know if we give in to this now we'll always be looking over our shoulder. Do you believe in Jethro and Tony? Do you think Jethro would give you any kind of false hope?' She stared at her husband.
'Yes I believe in him, in them. Gibbs wouldn't tell us something he didn't believe was true.' Leon finally answered. He knew that Gibbs wouldn't want anyone to live through what he did. Tony had also shown them that he would do anything to help save his children. He had shown them his gift that could have had him locked up.
'So do I. We have to believe in them. If we didn't, we'd always be afraid of the next time this could happen. I don't want to live like that; no I can't live like that. We'll both go to the courtroom together. If someone is watching us, we will show them that we're united on this.' Jackie explained bravely even though her heart pounded so fast and loud she could barely hear herself talk.
'Have I told you how much I love you lately?' Leon stood, walked over to her, and then he pulled her into his arms and held her tight against him.
Tony and Gibbs had spent almost the rest of the night on a scavenger hunt with the little bits of information that Jared had been able to send to them. Gibbs was genuinely worried about Tony. You could see on his face how much of a toll this took on him. He had never done anything like this before, and Gibbs was terrified of what was going to happen if he pushed it too much. The two of them had barely started something; he didn't want it to be over before it actually began. One of his hands held Tony's, and the other held a gun. While they were moved between places, Tony held onto the comic. Tony had stayed in contact with Jared as much as he could as they travelled. Gibbs could see it in the tightness and the dullness of his eyes that he was well past his limit. He also knew that Tony wouldn't give up until they had found the kids, no matter what it cost would cost him.
Leon took a long shower, he let the hot water run down his neck. He rolled his head trying to ease those tense muscles. It wouldn't be long now before he had to head off to the courtroom. Just like Jackie, his heart screamed at him to stay home. To wait in case, that telephone call came through. His head told him that he had to go. It was the same reasons that his wife had. It didn't make anything easier for him. Leon knew it would take every bit of strength he had to walk out of his front door. He was just glad that Jackie would be by his side.
Tony and Gibbs had stopped for a moment. They had been moving Jared and Kayla to different places to try and make it more difficult for anyone to follow them. What made it even luckier for the two men were that the children had become more and more tired. The people that held them had become more over-confident, so they had slowed down. This helped them even more.
Tony looked up at the sky, the dark sky had lightened, and soon the morning would be here. 'Vance will be heading off soon. Do you think he'll still head to the court?' He muttered as he glanced down at his watch.
'Yeah, he'll head there. Leon will trust us to get his kids back.'
Tony closed his eyes and squeezed on the very tattered comic book. Gibbs watched and waited for him. He knew that something is going on.
'They've stopped. Jared can hear them talk about one of the men going out to get coffee.' Tony turned and looked at Gibbs and smiled. 'It looks as if the house is where they are going to stick it out.'
'Tony you wait here. I'll go, and follow the other one. When he is far enough away, I'll take him out.' Gibbs held up his hand to stop Tony arguing. 'You'll need to stay and keep an eye on the house. There are only two of us. We have to play this extremely carefully.'
'You better be careful Jethro.' Tony warned him.
'Of course I will.' Gibbs grabbed Tony and pulled him in for a quick kiss. He was glad to see the green eyes flash with anger. The little flush of emotion brought some colour to his cheeks.
Tony smiled at the older man. It soon faded as Gibbs vanished around the corner to follow one of their suspects. He couldn't imagine losing Gibbs now; not when they had finally started their true journey together.
The man walked out of the coffee shop. In on hand he had a tray that held numerous paper cups.
Gibbs watched from around the building as the man walked out. Once he was distracted by taking a swig of coffee, and he started to walk back to the house. As soon as he was near Gibbs the NCIS agent grabbed him and pulled him into the alleyway. The tray and the paper cups fell to the ground and spilled dark liquid. The delicious aroma of coffee filled the air. Gibbs took a deep breath to take in the smell of what was his life blood, coffee. After this mission was completed, and he had Tony settled down he would get some coffee, lots of rich, dark coffee.
Leon and Jackie walked together into the courthouse. That was when they laid eyes on the man who had their children kidnapped. It took everything Leon had to stop himself from strangling him. Rialdi just stood there and smirked at them.
Jackie reached out and took her husband's hand, and held her head up high as they walked past him.
'I hope you have a cellmate that keeps you …entertained.' Jackie had told him in a terribly polite voice before she and Leon walked away.
Tony stayed and looked at his watch again. He wanted to call Gibbs up and make sure he was ok, but he knew that it would be a stupid thing to do. He didn't want to do anything that could actually give away his position.
'Tony.' Gibbs whispered as he came around the corner.
'Oh, thank god.' Tony whispered and pecked him on the lips.
'Worried about me?' Gibbs chuckled. He loved how open Tony was with how he felt.
'Nope, not at all.' Tony grinned at him. The smile faded. 'Did you find out anything?'
'Yeah, I found out quite a bit.' Gibbs nodded to Tony and then over at the house. 'Follow me.'
'Wait a minute.' Tony held out his hand, and smiled when Gibbs automatically reached out to hold it. Once his gun had been holstered, he pulled out the comic book from his inside pocket and closed his eyes.
Gibbs watched and saw Tony wince as he made contact. He hated knowing that this caused the younger man pain. It only took another couple of minutes before Tony opened his eyes again.
'What did you say?' Gibbs asked as he concentrated on the mission at hand.
'Jared and Kayla are in a room alone at the back of the house. There is a bathroom there, no windows. He and Kayla are going to hide in there. There's no lock, but there is a chair. Jared is going to use that to lock themselves in.' Tony laughed. 'Leon should be very proud of how those kids have handled themselves.'
'We'll tell him when we bring them to him. Are you ready?' Gibbs asked, and he waited for Tony to nod.
The two men made their way towards the modest two-storey brick building. The morning rays started to show. They realised that they wouldn't have long before the men went in search for the children to kill them.
Leon stood up from his testimony and stared at Rialdi. Rialdi smirked at him, and then ran a finger across his neck. The director of NCIS stood with his head held high and his eyes on his wife. As soon as he reached her side, he held out his hand and waited for her to grab hold of it. Leon or Jackie didn't have any idea if their children were alive. They had no idea if Gibbs and DiNozzo were still alive either. These types of men would do anything to keep themselves out of prison. This was something Leon had seen time and time again. Gibbs had never let him down before he had to believe that it would be the same this time.
'It's going to be fine Leon.' Jackie whispered as she squeezed his hand.
Together they walked out of the courtroom and into the corridor outside. Leon wanted to grab his cell and call his men. He knew that could cause them problems.
'What have I done?' Leon whispered. He was so afraid that his children were dead because of him.
'Daddy.' A little voice called out.
Leon froze for a moment afraid that he had imagined that he heard his children's voices
'Kayla, Jared.' Her hands shook as she covered her mouth.
In an instant, both of them rushed to their kid's sides, fell to their knees and held them against them. Tears of worry, fear and joy fell down the cheeks. Leon looked up to thank both of the men that had saved his children. That was when he really noticed them. Gibbs looked rough. Then his gaze went to the younger man. Leon was about to say something when Tony's legs gave way. Gibbs managed to grab him before he landed heavily on the ground. Leon was instantly at his side to help lower Tony down.
'Tony, come on wake up.' Gibbs begged. 'Damn it DiNozzo, don't you give up now.'
Jackie held Kayla as she started to sob. She had tried to hold onto to Jared, but he had run to Tony's side. Voices echoed around calling for medical attention. Leon could see the worry in Gibbs face. The two of them had just managed to find their way to each other. He hoped that when Tony had kept using his gift it hadn't caused any permanent damage.
Tony slowly opened his eyes and looked around.
'What happened?' He mumbled as he licked his very dry lips.
'You exhausted yourself.' Gibbs stared at him.
'Exhausted myself…' Tony stopped as Gibbs looked over to the other side of the bed. When he did there was Ziva, Tim and Abby. That was when he realised Gibbs had stopped him from 'outing' his abilities. 'You know me.' He finished with a cheeky grin.
'Ok, you three back to work.' Leon ordered as he walked back into the room.
'But...' Abby started to complain, but stopped as soon as she saw the look on Leon's face.
Abby hugged Tony tightly. Ziva and McGee both squeezed his arm and smiled at him before they left. He could see the curiosity in both of their eyes as they tried to figure out what had happened. Leon stood at the door and watched them leave. It didn't take long for Jackie, Jared, and Kayla to come in. Jackie walked over and hugged Tony.
'Thank you, thank you for everything.' She whispered.
Tony wrapped his arms around her and hugged her back. He soon felt the top of his hospital gown get wet. Finally, Jackie managed to get herself together and pull away. Kayla got her father to help to climb onto the bed and snuggled into Tony's good side. Jared came and stood by his mother, in his hand was the comic book that Tony had carried.
'I'm glad that you managed to get it back.' Tony nodded at the tattered book.
Jared looked over at Leon, who then nodded at his son.
'Here I want you to keep it.' Jared held it out to Tony.
'I can't do that, this comic means a lot to you.'
'I want you to have it. You saved our lives; you risked more than just getting hurt.' Jared smiled as he saw Tony's confused expression. 'Your ability, dad told me how much it took out of you. That's one of the reasons you are here now. I need you to keep this, for me, please.' Jared stared at him.
'I'd be honoured to keep it.' Tony smiled, as he fought the tears back. Seeing the Vance family together was the reason he loved his job, and put in all the hours he did.
'Ok kids, we need to leave so Tony can get some rest.' Leon nodded at Jackie as he herded his family out of the door. When it closed, he turned back to them. 'I want to thank you both for everything you did.' He held up his hand to stop the two men from interrupting him. 'I know what it cost you Tony. You had to admit what you could do and your uhhhh connection to Gibbs. I am sorry about that by the way.' Leon chuckled at them. 'You'll have no problem from me. I know that if my family hear I have treated you badly, in any way, they will make me pay. Me saying thank you isn't enough. If you ever need my help for anything, just ask.' He watched them both nod, and then he left the room to join his family.
Gibbs waited for the door to close and then he looked at Tony. He reached out and stroked his face.
'When you collapsed I was afraid that I'd lost you, lost a chance to be with you. It killed me when I lost Shannon and Kelly, but I did have a lot of happy years with them. I don't know what I would've done if I'd lost you.
Tony reached out and grabbed Gibbs' hand, and held it against his face. 'You didn't lose me. I'm right here. We have time to get to know each other in a new way.' With that Tony waggled his eyebrows and watched as Gibbs laughed loudly.
'Yes, you are here, and yes we do have time.' Gibbs smiled and moved forward and kissed him.
Tony moaned and closed his eyes, his hand wrapped around the older man's neck to pull him closer.
'I'd thought …' Ducky's voice faded off as he stared at the two men who had now jumped apart and looked guiltily at him