Characters: Anthony DiNozzo Jr, Leroy Jethro Gibbs, Abby Sciuto, Timothy McGee, Ellie Bishop,
Relationship: Tony/Gibbs (Tibbs)
Content Warning: Non-Cannon Compliant: NCIS, Abby Being an Asshole, Character Bashing, McGee being an Asshole, Bishop being the voice of reason
Note: This was originally posted for EAD 2016. I wanted to post it here. I still have hopes that this story will someday get done. There are chances that what is posted could change if I do ever get this story done. Also, I have another chapter completed, which I am considering posting for EAD 2017.
EAD2016 Note: I’ve had these two chapters written for awhile. I decided to post what I have for EAD. At this point I am unsure if there will be more. I don’t seem to be able to write Tibbs at the moment. I’m not saying never but… Don’t know when it’ll get done.
Story Summary: Sequel to Stillness of Heart. Tony works with the BAU on his serial killer cold case. Abby and McGee get a reality check.
Prologue: The Breaking Point
He saw the punch coming out of the corner of his eye and with a speed that surprised even him caught the wrist, before the fist could touch his arm. He fought not to squeeze too hard. He fought not to let his temper get the best of him. He wasn’t sure where it came from, or why now all of a sudden, when certainly she had in the past been much worse than she is now. Lately though, he wasn’t in any mood to put up with her little “quirks”. Maybe it was the new relationship, the knowledge that Jethro was behind him. Maybe it was just the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back, but he no longer had the tolerance to baby one Abigail Scuito.
Tony turned hard, angry eyes toward her. “Hitting people isn’t funny or cute Abby. If you ever hit me again, I will bring you up on charges.” Abby’s eyes got big and she opened her mouth to respond, but Tony found himself cutting her off. “Grow up Abby. You aren’t a child, but you sure as fuck act like one sometimes. The world doesn’t revolve around you. Just because you want every tiny bit of information about my life, does not mean that you are actually entitled to it. Be happy with what you get, open your eyes, and act like an adult. I love you like my little sister, or at least I used to. I’m past the point though where I will be surprised if someday I grew to hate you. The really sad part is, I don’t even know or care when that changed.”
Tony turned to leave as she stood looking at him with disbelief, open mouthed. “I’ll send Tim down to get the results. Just… seriously Abby, grow the hell up.” Moving out of the lab, Tony passed the elevator, and moved down the hall into the bottom of the stairwell. Taking out his cell, Tony pushed speed dial 2 and waited for the person to pick up. “Hey. Do you have a moment? I’m in the stairwell on Abby’s level. Thanks.”
Hanging up, Tony sat on the steps and put his head in his hands. He didn’t know what had happened, or when it had happened, but he’d reached his threshold with Abby. Something had to give and soon. Tony smelled the faint scent of coffee and sawdust before he heard the softly spoken “Tone?” Feeling the hand on his back, he looked over to see Jethro sitting down next to him.
“Something happen with Abby?” Gibbs asked and Tony fought down his nerves. He was afraid to say the words, because he was scared shitless that despite what they’d promised, despite what had happened at Christmas that their relationship wouldn’t withstand Hurricane Abbigail.
“I can’t… I just…” Tony started then stopped frustrated feeling the hand on his back moving up and down slightly.
“Hey. Slow down and start from the beginning. What happened? I thought you were getting the results from Abby?”
Tony turned and looked at his boss and lover. “I need… I need my lover as much as my boss right now. I know that isn’t fair, or safe considering we’re at work. I just… I… I don’t know exactly what happened. I mean… It was the same ol’ same ol’… I just.”
Tony felt a head slap on the back of his head, and felt his thoughts clear. “Thanks Boss.”
“What. Happened?” Gibbs tried again as Tony took a deep breath before starting over.
“I went down to Abby’s to get the results like you ordered. The second I walked in the door though she started in on me. Who is it? Why won’t I tell her? It would just be a lie if I won’t tell her. How could I like to Abby? I know Abby’s rule #1. What am I thinking keeping information from Abby? Asking what was I thinking not calling her immediately? Telling me I better not let this go to my head. Saying that she knows I’m not telling the truth about us just getting together at Christmas. Don’t I know better than to try and lie to The Abby? She doesn’t even know who the hell I’m dating yet and she’s already all over my back! Acting like I owe her something. How’s she gonna respond when she finds out it’s you? What makes her think that she like… like she has some fucking RIGHT to my life!
“She may be my friend… had been my friend, I don’t know if she still is one or not. We’re at work. We’re in the middle of a goddamned case and she’s withholding results demanding personal fucking information that isn’t any of her fucking business. It may be a cold case, but it’s still a fucking case! I just… I can’t take her shit anymore Gibbs. I can’t…. something has to give. We need to have a talk. Things on the team need to change. I can’t… I can’t take the same ol’ same ol’ anymore. I need… I need you to act like I’m the SFA here, not like I’m on the same level as everyone else. I know… FUCK!”
“Hey!” Gibbs barked sharply then immediately softened his tone. He wasn’t sure what happened, wasn’t sure he understood why Tony had been fine when he left the bullpen, and now he was a rambling mess. It was obviously something had shifted. Gibbs guessed that it had been coming in the last few months since he and Tony had gotten together. He wondered though if it was really the relationship though, or if it was just a culmination of things at work finally reaching their breaking point.
“Why don’t you take your files and go see your friend Derek. Vance ok’d us working with them when I was up in his office earlier. I meant to tell you, but then Abby called the second I got back to my desk, and I forgot. Hell Leon was so damned surprised I was ASKING to work with an outside agency he couldn’t say yes fast enough. Take the rest of the day. I’ll meet you at your place after I get done and we’ll compare notes. Just… leave Abby to me and everything else we’ll work out.”
Tony nodded and took a deep breath smiling shakily. “I know it’s highly inappropriate right now, but I need to say I love the fuck out of you right now.”
Gibbs just grinned. “Backatcha, Tone. Now get outta here. Tell McGee I said he needs to go down and get the results from Abby. I’m gonna go check in with Ducky.”
Tony nodded and hurried off leaving a worried and bemused Gibbs behind wondering which blow had broken the dam holding back Tony’s frustrations. He wondered if he should try to get things patched back up, or just build an arc and let everything get flooded.
Chapter One: This Ain’t the Status Quo Anymore
Tony takes a deep breath steeling his nerves as he steps off out of the stairwell and heads to his desk. Sitting down he shuts down his computer since he won’t return until the morning and grabs his bag before stepping to Tim’s desk. “McGee I need you to go down to Abby’s lab and get the results please. I’m going over to Quantico to talk to Derek. Just let Gibbs know what she found when he gets back from Ducky’s.”
Tim frowns and looks up at Tony. “I thought you were doing that? What’d you do? Proposition someone in her lab, and piss her off? Can’t keep it professional for two seconds, Tony?” Tim snarked, unknowingly picking the wrong moment to be a brat. Unfortunately for him Tony wasn’t in the mood, and was unwilling to just let it go anymore.
“McGee!” Tony snapped angrily stepping closer to his co-worker rapidly wondering if he had any friends in the building outside of Gibbs, Ducky and Jimmy. Clenching his jaw together tightly, Tony closed his eyes, and felt his fist clench as he tried to regain some composure before he spoke.
“You have a decision to make, Special Agent McGee.” Tim’s eyes widened at the use of his formal title, and wisely kept his mouth shut. “Normally I wouldn’t have this conversation in the bullpen. However, since you seem to enjoy treating me with nothing but disrespect in front of everyone then your dressing down can be also in front of everyone. Fuck what I should do. I thought you and I were friends once upon a time. I’m beginning to believe that was never the case, which… I have to be honest totally blows. I liked you, Tim. I wanted you on the team. I busted my ass to help you get to a point where you weren’t afraid of your own shadow. I tried my damnedest to help you become the kickass agent you are today, because you had so much potential underneath all those damned bits and bites in your head.
“At one point I had hoped you could be like my kid brother, but now I wonder if you can even manage to be on this team much longer. I realize that while Ziva was here things got lax. Lines got blurred, and because Gibbs didn’t stop it you two decided it was open season. I know I’ve teased you, but I’ve never deliberately tried to hurt you. Unfortunately I don’t think you can say the same.
“For some reason I still would like for you to be my brother, but I am NOT WILLING to be your verbal punching bag anymore, Special Agent McGee. I am, whether you like it or not, whether you agree with it or not, whether you understand it or not, your supervisor. That last comment you made was completely inappropriate and will not be tolerated any longer. You KNOW I wouldn’t do that. You KNOW I am currently in a relationship, although apparently you didn’t believe me. Remind me the next time I want to share something personal with you, not to bother. If you don’t believe me, then I can’t help you, and don’t care to help you. I want you to be my friend, McGee, but I want my sanity more. I DON’T want and will not allow our Probie over there to fall into the same trap you did.
“Now, as I said you have a decision to make. If you cannot be a team player, if you feel you are superior to me, put in a request for transfer. If you chose to stay here, your attitude WILL CHANGE. As to our personal relationship, well that is up to you. I’m done with your crap. I’m done with Abby’s crap. Whether either of you like it or not, I am not leaving this team.
“GIBBS asked me to have you go down to Abby’s lab and get the results. The reasoning at this point is frankly none of your damned business. Had you been my friend, I would have told you. You however seem to be leaning in the opposite direction, so I’m not going to share the details of what happened that necessitated the need for you to get them instead of me. I suggest you follow Gibbs’ orders. He won’t be pleased if he comes back and you don’t have them.”
Turning to leave Tony paused in front of Bishop’s desk, turning back he looked at Tim. “Oh, and feel free to share this little incident with him. I can assure you I will make sure he is aware of it.” Turning back to look at a wide-eyed Bishop Tony took another deep breath before speaking again. “Bishop, I apologize you had to witness that. I can assure you that isn’t how I would normally handle a reprimand. If you need to file a complaint, I understand. Either Gibbs or the Director would be happy to hear you out. If you need me, I will have my cell on. I will see you both tomorrow morning.” Then heading off again without waiting for her reaction, Tony bypassed the elevator and headed to the stairwell, deciding to take some of his frustration out on the stairs as he sent a text to Gibbs about the scene with McGee.
Tim watched Tony leave then glanced at Bishop who was frowning at him, looking confused. “That wasn’t very nice, Tim,” she said trying to understand what had just happened. “Tony told us that he was dating someone new when he got back from vacation, and that it was serious. Why would you ask him something like that?”
Tim scowled unhappy that the probie was questioning him. “Gimmie a break, Bishop. Tony is always giving us a hard time. It isn’t my fault that he can’t take a joke.” Shaking his head, Tim turned back to his computer to finish up the report he’d been doing. Sensing someone in front of him, Tim looked up to see Bishop standing in front of his desk.
“Shouldn’t you be going to get those reports?” She asked and Tim huffed scowling up at her again before once more to his report. “Tony isn’t my boss. He can’t tell me what to do, and he just took off. I have my own work to do. It’s not my fault that he pissed off Abby. Besides, he just took off without telling us where he was going. Let him deal with Gibbs’ wrath when he finds out he made her mad, and then took off. It isn’t my problem.”
“Except you’re wrong,” Bishop shot back still frowning down at him. Tim’s head whipped up, ready to put the probie in her place, but she didn’t give him a chance. Instead she kept on speaking ignoring any attempt by him to correct her. “I don’t understand how you can say that Tony can’t tell you what to do,” she continued on.
“Tony is the Senior Fiend Agent. That gives him the right to issue orders when Gibbs isn’t around. It’s how the chain of command works, or any management structure in any business organization. I realize that the NSA isn’t NCIS, but even I know that. I don’t understand why you would think anything else.
“As for him telling us where he was going, again he doesn’t have to. Gibbs just left not 10 minutes before Tony did, and I didn’t hear you questioning him. How do you know that the order didn’t come from Gibbs? Tony was clearly upset when he got back. Gibbs got a call right before he headed out. For all we know it was from Tony. It seems to me that by now doing what Tony said, after you acted like a total jerk, the only one Gibbs is gonna be mad at is you. But then what do I know? I’m just the probie right?” Heading back to her desk, Bishop picked up her phone to send Tony a quick message to make sure he was ok, then got back to her report. She certainly was not going to get in trouble with Gibbs or Tony.
Tim tried to go back to his report, irritated that the probie had dared to scold him, but what she said kept looping in his head. Back when Ziva was here, she never would have said anything, in fact she would have joined in with him. Of course, Ziva wasn’t here because she’d deserted them. This after she’d killed a man who had nothing to do with her father’s death. Sitting back in his chair, Tim frowned as doubt started to creep in. Things had certainly been different since she left, and he was no longer as certain about some of the things he’d done while she’d been there.
Bodner was a perfect example. When she’d asked him for his help, Tim had been excited and proud that she’d come to him instead of Tony. He’d thought finally he was getting the recognition that he deserved. He remembered how mad Tony was when he’d found out. Ziva had tried to tell him, after Tony’d left, that Tony was just jealous. The thing was, while he’d been out of work, his mind kept circling back to that night, and what Tony’d said. He now realized that Tony was right. Had the director not been so wrapped up in his own grief, they could have gotten into a ton of trouble, maybe more than Gibbs could have gotten him out of.
Glancing up Tim looked at Bishop, and saw she was basically ignoring him, and what she’d said looped through his head again. The more he thought about it, the more he realized she was at least right in that Tony had been upset when he came back. His usual masks weren’t hiding his pain and agitation. That had happened more than once since he’d told them about his new relationship. There was something about it that was hinky, but Tim couldn’t put his finger on it.
If Tim were honest with himself, he knew Tony had been telling the truth when he’d announced to him, Bishop, and Abby that he was seeing someone. He’d told them it was serious and he didn’t want to talk about the details a lot, but had wanted them to know. He hadn’t had his normal boasting and bravado, instead the declaration was quiet and almost shy. The investigator in Tim told him there was more to the situation, but now wasn’t the time to work on that puzzle. It also told him that Bishop was right in the timing of Gibbs leaving, and Tony returning. Swearing under his breath, Tim locked his station and deliberately not looking at Bishop headed to the elevator. He better get those results before Gibbs kicked his ass. While he was there, maybe he could find out what had happened between Abby and Tony that upset him so much.