This is a DiNozzo/McGarrett pairing.
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.