Title: Rest in Pieces


Author: Christi


Rating: Errr…PG?


Author’s Notes: So admittedly, I’m a bit flail-ish because this is the first time I’ve written in a new fandom for a good long while and I love NCIS so much that if I screw it up, I’ll be extremely woeful. But uh, I wanted to at least try. kate98 and pixie_on_acid beta’d and they are wonderful for doing it and assuring me that I wasn’t totally out of my depth.




Two weeks after Gibbs had left, and Tony still wasn’t sleeping through the night.


At first, he thought it was worry feeding his insomnia—worry over the new responsibility, worry over the fallout from the explosion of the Cape Fear, worry over where Gibbs might be and what he would do without them. But he had managed to lead the team through two cases by then, and while he didn’t have it down to a science yet, it was clear that he had learned from the best.


And while the ripples of panic and grief were still being felt after the terrorist attack on the Cape Fear, the sad fact was that it was nowhere near the fallout that had followed the attacks on 9/11. America, it seemed, had grown a thicker skin in the last four years. Terrorism had somehow lost its specter of impending doom and was now largely defined as the reason there were longer lines at airports these days. Gibbs’ resignation had silenced those few who might have wanted a scapegoat for the whole ordeal; now, the most visible reminders of the incident were repeating snippets from yet another telethon organized by high profile to benefit the families left behind — as if the proceeds from a reworded Elton John hit would make everything better.


With both his capability and culpability in the clear, it left only one option as the cause of the knot that had taken permanent residence in his stomach: worry over Gibbs. After thinking over this possibility for some time, Tony had dismissed the idea completely. Because the truth was, he couldn’t care less what or how Gibbs was doing right now.


Tony was too busy being pissed as hell to waste time with worrying.


There was no denying that the job was hard—the kind of hard that could break a person. But naively, Tony had always just assumed that Gibbs was…unbreakable. The recollection of him walking out the door with little more than a handful of half-hearted parting words had become Tony’s most surreal memory — well, at least it tied with one of his pledge nights in college.


He didn’t understand how Gibbs could have ignored Director Sheppard’s shock or Ziva’s dismay or Abby’s tears — if there was one thing that Tony would have pegged as Gibbs’ weakness, it was Abby’s tears. At the time, he had tried to take it standing up; stalwart and unflinching in the face of the unimaginable. But the truth was that the shock had been worse than when Tony’s own parents had cut him off financially (and God knew Tony had loved being rich).


But then, Gibbs’ opinion had always mattered more than his father’s.


He supposed he should have been proud that Gibbs thought he was ready. And the truth was, Tony knew he could do the job. It was everything he had been preparing for. He just didn’t want it yet — if, in fact, he ever would. Responsibility had never been something Tony welcomed, although contrary to popular opinion, he was capable of handling it. It was the timing that was off — less than a year after losing a partner and a friend, he was charged with the well-being of his entire team.


While Tony would willingly protect any one of them to his last breath, he worried that he didn’t have that stroke of luck Gibbs seemed imbued with. One of these days that last breath was going to sneak up on him.


But here they were — functioning like the team they had been trained to be while floundering in every other respect. It felt like they had been left on the roadside without a second thought; like Sam Spade had gotten halfway through the movie and then decided ‘To hell with this whole Maltese Falcon thing.’


They had all assumed that there were universal truths to life — Superman was never supposed to die, James Bond always got the girl, and Gibbs would be standing by them until the bad guys stopped coming. Discovering that in truth, heroes could just give up and walk away hurt more than any of them cared to admit.


So Tony was left standing in the ashes of his former idol, holding things together as best he could. Half the time, he wished desperately for Gibbs to rise from the ruins, better than ever before.


It was the other half, where he just desperately wanted to punch Gibbs in the face, that was the problem.