Disclaimer: I'm not Bellesario or CBS, so I don't claim to own them.
Note: Started for ncis_drabble but I got a little wordy...
Characters: DiNozzo/Gibbs Friendship/Family
Beta: azraelz_angel Thanks!!
Word Count: 587
Crossposted: ncisfanfic; tonydinozzo; ncis_haven
Summary: I always thought there would be time... but that chance was taken from me in the blink of an eye.
The phone call came at 3pm on a day I had been awake for 72-hours straight hunting for a serial killer. Gibbs was on edge which meant I was too. I barked my name into the phone and it was several moments before I heard a tentative, “Anthony?” My mind strained to recognize the voice and suddenly my childhood came crashing back. It was Sylvia, my father’s personal assistant, the woman responsible for sending me presents for birthdays and Christmas from the time I was eleven.
“Yes, Sylvia?” My shaky voice must have betrayed me because Gibbs looked at me sharply just as I turned my back on the others.
I didn’t need to hear the quiet, “It’s your father.” I already knew and my gut was twisting. I half listened as she told me about the arrangements my cousin had made, the cousin that was the son my father had wanted me to be. I thanked her and let her know I would contact someone if I was coming, but that I was in the middle of a case so it would be unlikely.
I let the cell click shut and took a deep breath before turning around to face the others. Before I had time to toss any joke or friendly insult to deflect interest off of me, Gibbs was out of his chair and heading for the elevator.
“DiNozzo! With me!”
I had no choice but to follow him. I felt like I was walking to my death as the doors closed behind us and Gibbs punched the emergency stop. I deluded myself in thinking Gibbs wouldn’t push. I even deluded myself in thinking that I didn’t want him to push, I didn’t want him to care enough to push.
“One day, you’ll get stuck in here without your coffee,” I tried to joke, but the attempt fell flat.
Gibbs gave me a measuring look before asking, “Who’s Sylvia?”
A million different possibilities ran through my mind, but I found myself telling the truth.
“The person who sent me the power sander. She remembers the dates but not what a person likes. Though that was better than what I got for my 21st birthday. My frat brothers never let me live that one down.”
I obviously didn’t provide enough of an answer because Gibbs just kept staring. Soon I was fidgeting from one foot to the other and wanted nothing more than to shoot or punch something.
“Why’d she call?” he asked in the same steady tone.
I finally caved as I sunk to the floor of elevator and wrapped my hands around knees and dipped my head downward.
“I always thought I would have a chance. Show him that I made it just fine on my own. That being in law enforcement and catching the bad guys would somehow make him proud; make him tell people I’m his son. But now it’s not going to happen. It’s too late.”
I was so lost that I didn’t notice Gibbs on the floor next to me until a felt an arm wrap around my shoulders and give a squeeze.
“I’m proud of you DiNozzo and,” Gibbs voice hesitated and I risked a glance at his blue eyes. I saw a mix of emotions that I had never really seen focused on me before. “And if he had, then I never would have found you in Baltimore.”
And for some strange reason, that made me feel more wanted than I ever had in my entire life.