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Chapter Two: Educating Gibbs
Gibbs stood in the doorway of the NCIS offices watching the twins running around with their new toys. When a cup of coffee appeared in his vision, he turned and nodded his thanks to Pride. “We appreciate your help, Gunny.”
“Glad to help. They seem like a good family.” Gibbs smiled watching Tony pick up Freddy, and run off toward the courtyard with Michael following shrieking happily.
“They are…. At least Tony and the boys are. Mother is a piece of work. Tony loves those boys to death though. They’re the reason he’s doin’ all a this I think. Although I have a feeling that he had plenty of reason to do it for himself. Plus, from what Sebastian has been able to gather, he was a hell of a cop. Would have been the youngest detective in Baltimore if his career hadn’t been derailed by false allegations.”
Gibbs frowned looking toward where Tony and the boys had run. “Can you fill me in on what’s goin’ on?” Pride nodded and signaled to Chris that they were going upstairs. The younger man moved into the kitchen with his laptop where he could watch Tony and his sons without interfering in family time. Also, he had some reports that needed completed, and a few searches and inquiries to contacts that he had to follow up on. Pride nodded to Gibbs then headed upstairs to the conference room leaving Gibbs to follow along behind.
The two men sat at the conference room table, and Pride let out a deep sigh. “I gotta tell ya, Gunny. I’ve never seen anyone who needs a break more than that guy out there. His father is a scumbag. Mostly runs cons and shady business ventures with some scamming widows or otherwise wealthy women out of their money for fun. His mother killed herself when he was a child. Daddy being the loving parent he was disowned him by the age of twelve, from what Christopher says it was because the new mommy didn’t like kids.
“Tony spent the next 6 years in a military school in Rhode Island. Kid got almost perfect grades and was in several sports and after school activities. He managed to get a double scholarship for football and basketball, covering the rest of his school costs with loans and summer jobs. Managed to put himself through school at Alabama with a degree in Physical Education and a minor in Criminal Justice. According to Christopher he would have gone pro if he hadn’t had his leg broken in a game against Auburn his senior year. Also according to Christopher, Tony’s the one that started what they call The Bro Train.
“Says it’s basically like the bat signal. One brother is in trouble sends out an alert of some sort. It gets passed along and everyone is honor bound to drop everything to respond. He says Tony was always the first one there when people call for help, before all this started. Apparently it took them awhile to figure out Tony was in trouble, but once they did… hell, Gunny, they put together an operation worthy of a SEAL team to get Tony out of DC, and away from that bitch.”
Pride got up agitated and paced around behind the table, pausing every now and then to look down at the courtyard. “Christopher’s… well I need to hire someone else for the team at least, maybe two. Christopher’s been trying to convince me to hire Tony for a while, even before all a this happened. Anyway, after his leg was broken and he realized that a pro career was out, he decided on being a cop. Chris wouldn’t tell me why. Said that was a story between brothers. Got into the police academy in Atlanta then got hired on there right off. Worked there for a coupla years before he moved onto Memphis where he was involved in some big undercover gig that took down a big organized crime syndicate.
“Something happened though and his cover was blown so he moved on again. Ended up in Baltimore, where he was just about to earn his gold shield when some… allegations were made from this jackass FBI agent Sacks. He worked for a buddy of mine Tobias Fornell, so I called him for the low down. Apparently they were all trumped up charges. But by the time he smelled something rotten, the kid had already been fired.”
Pride moved to stare out the window shaking his head. “Fornell says the kid’s lawyer had him locked up tighter than Fort Knox. They couldn’t get near him once they figured out the charges were bogus. They were still working on what happened though, so they didn’t have all the information. By the time they figured out who’d been behind it all, the kid’d been whisked out of the country by daddy dearest.”
Pride snorts disgusted and turns to lean against the wall looking at Gibbs with hard eyes. “Turns out daddy was behind the whole thing. He paid off Agent Sacks and some schmuck to fabricate everything. They didn’t know why then, but I think we do now. Daddy was working on a new venture and needed his son to finalize the deal. He’d gotten into bed so to speak with a terrorist named Eli David. Eli needed a way to get his daughter into the country without raising suspicion.
“Tony says that he should have known something was up by his father’s sudden interest in him, but… hell Gunny, what kid doesn’t wanna believe a bad parent has changed their ways. He sure as hell isn’t the first, and won’t be the last. When you add that on top of the whole losing his job and reputation. Not to mention daddy and daddy’s lawyer had been filling his head with bullshit telling him he’d never get another job in law enforcement again. He was practically drowning, and just ripe for the picking when Ziva David seduced her way into his life.”
Pride paused, most likely to calm down, and Gibbs had to admit he needed a moment himself. Taking a second to finish his now cold coffee, Gibbs pushed the mug away, and turned his attention back to Pride when he started speaking again. “The second the charges were dropped, Daddy DiNozzo had him overseas and ensconced in the residence of his new friend Eli. Unfortunately Tony didn’t understand the nature of his father’s business. After all he’d been a kid when daddy shoved him out. Plus he had no idea who Eli David was. Hell most federal agents wouldn’t know, let alone some former cop. Eli’s a bad guy, but not that well known.
Gibbs grunted at his not knowing himself who the hell Eli David was. “Who the hell is he? Never heard of the man, so I can’t blame Tony for not knowing”
Pride nodded and resisted the urge to chuck his mug across the room. “Eli David started out with Mossad, and got pretty high up in their ranks before he left to pursuit his own ventures. Speculation is that he probably could have made it all the way to the top. It seems though that he found Mossad way to… restrictive, which I gotta tell you, Gunny, is a scary damned thought. So when he found their rules too cumbersome, he left so he’d be free to run his little band of terrorists and assassins free from people looking over his shoulder and asking questions.”
Gibbs frowned trying to picture Tony wrapped up with people like that. “An’ Tony associated with people like that?” Pride shrugged and heard a sigh as he tried to answer.
“Remember, Gunny, Tony had no knowledge of who these people were, or even who his own father was. Even terrorists can be charming if they want. Especially when they have a beautiful daughter to charm the lost and hurting son, distracting him from what may be going on around him. Ziva was daddy’s prize pupil and it sounds like she pulled out all the stops to charm and mislead Tony, at least until she got the ring and the green card she wanted.”
Gibbs nodded admitting Pride was right, and ran a hand through his hair agitated at the thought of the man he thought of as Papa at the hands of people like that. “I’m guessing there was a reason she wanted to live in the US?”
Pride nodded again, and Gibbs could see the anger in his face. “Yeah, an’ let me tell ya, Gunny, once she had the ring and the house in the states the switch flipped. Tony still didn’t really have his head on straight, so it took him awhile to catch on. The second she was all settled into her new American home the real Ziva David, terrorist and assassin trained at her father’s hand came out.
“By the time Tony realized that he’d been had, she was already pregnant. I’m not sure he still had a complete understanding though since by that time he had her mind games furthering the mess that was his brain. Finally though the pieces clicked. I’m guessing between his sense of justice, and that the abuse he was suffering at her hands got bad enough he decided he’d had enough. Either that or something happened that he was worried about his boys. I haven’t been able to get the exact whys of him leaving yet, but I am guessing Christopher knows or will soon. The two of them were apparently pretty tight in college and hell up until all a this. Christopher says Tony always treated him as his kid brother, takin’ care of him.
“Took Tony awhile to get to that point though. Christopher says that he was worried about what it would do to the boys to separate them from their mother at first. Like I said though something happened a couple a weeks ago that changed everything. Once whatever happened, happened he contacted Steve, one of the brothers who lived in the DC area. That’s where Tony and Ziva settled once he got back into the states.
“Through the Bro Train he found out Christopher had come to work for me, and they decided this would be the best place for him. Hell I’m pretty sure Christopher would a torn the whole east coast apart to find him if they’d tried to settle him anywhere else. The second the brothers found out their beloved Captain America as they call him was in a heap a trouble, everyone dropped what they were doing, and he was outta DC in no time.
“Two days ago he literally showed up on our door step with them babies and a heap of details about a terrorist threat. I gotta say he’s not only one helluva guy, but his investigative instincts are scary sharp. Apparently Ziva has been underestimating her “stupid jockstrap husband” as she calls him. She didn’t seem to guard details of their activities as well as she should. Tony says once he realized what he should be looking for it wasn’t too hard to find. Kid’s beatin’ himself up though, but Christopher will get him straightened out. If I have my way, Tony’ll be my new employee when all this is settled. I already have the details worked out with Vance. S’just a matter of him saying yes. I’m gonna leave that to Christopher… and you.”
Gibbs arched his eyebrow frowning as Pride moved back to the table. “I saw the way you were lookin’ at him, Gunny. It ain’t just those two adorable rugrats that has you smilin’. You forget I know you, an’ Tony DiNozzo is just your type.”
Gibbs scowled shaking his head. “Shannon…”
“Shannon wouldn’t have wanted you to grieve all this time, an’ ya damned well know it!” Pride took a deep breath and stared intently at his friend. “He was my friend too, Jethro. I knew him as long as you did. He may not have been my partner, but he was my friend, and the last thing he woulda wanted was for you to be hidin’ yourself in that damned store for the rest of your life. If he’d known that’s what you were gonna do with it, he never woulda left it to ya! Shannon believed life was to be lived, not stored away in a box somewhere to be protected. I get that he was the love of your life, but hell… The first time I met Tony I thought of you. He’s got a lot in common with Shannon. He’ll get right in your face, drag you out and make you actually socialize with people who love ya.
“I will be goddamned if I’m gonna sit here and let you use Shannon’s memory to pass up an opportunity at that young man out there.”
Gibbs scowled glaring and leaned back in his chair. “Even if I was interested, what makes you think that kid’d be interested in an’ old fart like me? What makes you think he’s even into guys?”
Pride grinned big as he leaned back propping his chair up on the back two legs. “’Cause I know his best friend, Gibbs. My Christopher says you’re just Tony’s type. You might as well give in now, Gunny. ‘Cause once my boy starts to matchmakin’ you got no chance. An’ he ain’t been wrong yet.”
Gibbs groaned and let his head bang on the table until he heard the high pitched shrieks of happiness coming from the courtyard. Sitting up, Gibbs smiled, not even realizing it as his gaze moved to the window. When two growls came after, a chuckle came involuntarily and he avoided looking at what he knew would be smugness on Pride’s face. It sounded like LaSalle had joined the fun. As he pictured the scene in his mind, Christopher was taken out, and he substituted himself in. He found he was unable to deny the small part of himself hoping that pride was right. Unwilling to admit Pride was right, Gibbs grabbed his mug and headed off in search of more coffee. Pride’s knowing laughter following him down the stairs.
End Note: Next chapter will be more Tony I promise. My Gibbs muse was very demanding that he speak first and impatient to get his part out when I wrote this. I’m sure everyone is shocked. *sarcasm* I hope all the changes to cannon are working for everyone. I appreciate all the people reading. 🙂