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Chapter 3: Honesty between Brothers
Chris plopped down in a chair at the table in the courtyard where Tony was already seated. He passed over a bottle of water and put a couple more with some juice boxes near the middle of the table for the boys for later. “I’m pooped, Cap’n. How the hell do ya do this all by yourself all the time?”
Tony shrugged as he watched the boys playing quietly in a corner in the shade. “It’s the most exhausting thing that I’ve ever done, but definitely the most rewarding. I wish I knew what I was gonna do once this whole fiasco is over. Providing for them & giving them stability is my top priority, and at the moment I have no clue how I am gonna accomplish that. I can’t let my boys down, Chris.”
“Easy, ain’t nothin’ gonna happen to them boys. We’ll figure somethin’ out. ‘Sides I have a feelin’ you’re gonna get an offer from Pride that ya better damned well accept or I’ma gonna have to kick your ass. Once you gotta job, everything else’ll fix itself. If nothin’ else y’all can stay with me until you find a place.” When he saw his friend shaking his head at him, Chris just rolled his eyes.
“Chris…” Tony started, only to be cut off.
“No, doofus! The only thing holdin’ this back is gonna be you.” Chris shook his head again frowning. “You’d be perfect for this job. I’ve seen the background Sebastian did for Pride. You were a helluva cop before your daddy an’ that bitch’s father derailed ya. ‘Sides I could use someone to watch my back. Pride an’ I ain’t always together, and it would be nice to know I’ve got Cap’n America at my back. An’ furthermore them boys are practically my nephews. You ain’t takin ‘em from me now.”
Tony sighed and took a swig of water as he eyeballed Chris. “There is no way NCIS would hire me. My damn wife is a freakin’ terrorist. My life is a wreck. Why would they take the chance?”
“Maybe you’re right, ‘cause there must be something wrong with your hearin’, which could cause problems. I swear we just went over this. Maybe I jus’ need to talk slower for your Yankee ass. It’s. Practically. A. Done. Deal. Doofus! Pride’s already got the ok from the director. They’ve even worked out an exemption that will allow the FLETC stuff to happen here on account a you’re gonna be a single parent. It’s just waitin’ on Pride to have a second to officially make the offer, an’ you’re stubborn ass acceptin’! An’ I swear to the almighty that if you don’t accept his offer I’ll kick your ass clear around New Orleans!”
“And my wife?” Tony grumbled huffily as Chris just rolled his eyes at his stubborn friend. “I b’lieve Dwayne’s laywer’s workin’ on that. You’ll be meetin’ with him once all a this other stuff is settled I’m sure. Dwayne thinks they’ll be able to wipe out this whole thing with one a them annulments. Once that finalizes your marriage to that witch will be as good as never happened, an’ you’ll be all set to pursuit other avenues… like Gunny for example.
“Now there is a man MUCH more suited to you. How the hell you ended up married to a damned woman I will never understand. You musta been under the influence of some damn psychosis or somethin’.”
Tony snorted and shrugged checking on the boys then looking back to Chris. LaSalle had always been one of his favorite frat brothers. He was always available with a joke or a witty remark. When the chips were down he was always the first one you knew would show up. He never took himself too seriously and was always happy to give a kick in the ass when needed. Tony knew he and the boys wouldn’t be doing as well as they were if it weren’t for Christopher LaSalle bein’ at the end of the Bro Chain.
Looking up, Tony saw Pride looking down at them, and couldn’t help but think of his friend Gibbs. Ever since that hot and steamy affair with his American history teacher his sophomore year at ‘Bama, Tony had a definite type. The blue eyed store owner so far was hitting all the categories. It helped that his pickiest child, Michael, seemed to have taken to the man. Not that he was looking to settle down into something long term right away, but he wouldn’t turn it away either if he just happened to stumble upon it.
The thing with Ziva had been a nightmare for longer than Tony wanted to think about. A part of him wondered if he ever really cared for her to begin with, or if it really was just the desperation and the longing for his father’s acceptance that did him in. He couldn’t help but wonder if he’d still fallen for her if the rest of his world hadn’t been falling down around him at the time.
He could say for sure though that he had no lingering feelings for the woman. Things had been over between them for long enough that he had moved on, which was what was making him wonder if his feelings had ever really been as deep as he’d thought. He knew he had some issues to work out, he wasn’t naïve. While he didn’t like shrinks, he understood there were times when they were needed, and he had more than himself to consider. He couldn’t take the risk that he could become a danger to his boys later because he didn’t take care of his shit when he need to. They were too important to him, and he was goddamned if he was going to become Senior.
He definitely wanted the boys to see someone. He knew they were just babies practically, but he didn’t want to take the chance that something could crop up later because he hadn’t addressed it now. Then there was NCIS to take into consideration. As hard as it was for him to believe that they really did want him, he knew that Christopher would never tease about something that serious. He also knew he’d be a fool to turn down an opportunity to work for a federal law enforcement agency like NCIS. Especially if they were willing to overlook his dumbass attack aka his marriage. He knew it would be harder to explain it to anyone else. Beggars certainly couldn’t be choosey.
Looking at Christopher, Tony nodded, then chuckled when his friend gave a happy whoop. He hadn’t been sure about moving to New Orleans when all of this started, but between Leroy Jethro Gibbs and this new job it looked like he and the boys just may be settling down in The Big Easy.
End Note: I am seriously fascinated by the dynamic of LaSalle & DiNozzo and I am in love with writing them. I may have to find a way to work LaSalle into some of my other NCIS stories ideas I have percolating. (LaSalle & DiNozzo in the FBI anyone?)