- Rough Draft
- Work in Progress
- Character Bashing
- No Beta
- Violence - Canon-Level
- Alternate Universe
Chapter Seven: Getting to know Gids
The next morning was a repeat of the previous. When Tony got to the office, he resumed going through the records he’d been searching finding some very interesting patterns. He wasn’t really sure why the previous agent hadn’t caught onto it, but since he was long gone there wasn’t much Tony could do about that. Finally it got to a point where he felt he needed to catch up Alejandro, and spent the next little while going over the new information that he’d discovered.
They were just finishing up when he noticed Tara standing on the outskirts of his peripheral vision bouncing on the balls of her feet. He could practically feel her excitement, and let out a chuckle as he turned his head to look at her. “You either really have to pee, or it’s about that time.”
“Yes, please!” She burst. Her eyes wide with excitement and sparkling with enthusiasm. “Lunch I mean. Not pee. I don’t have to do that. I mean not right now. But maybe I should ‘cause you know…you mentioned it and now it’s gonna be in my head and… damnit.”
When the younger woman ran off, Tony laughed shaking his head. He could tell the young computer genius was going to keep him on his toes. While she was gone, he finished up his meeting with Alex, who decided that he and Lucian would go and visit the new suspect. Hopefully, they could finally get this case wrapped up, and get some justice for their victim. By the time she returned, Tony had his report finished that he’d been filling out as he went along, and had everything locked up.
“Ready?” He asked grinning at the younger woman who nodded before following him out to the parking lot. In another repeat of the day before, he turned to look at Tara and asked, “So, what are we doing today?”
“I’m thinkin’ the best Kobe beef burgers on the island, and then the Bishop Museum and one of the art museums?” Tara pronounced fidgeting excited. “Dad said you dig burgers, and you were always at one of the museums on your days off in DC. Michelle insisted that I take you to see the Bishop, and I would have anyway. It’s completely awesome, and you gotta check it out if you’re gonna live here.”
Tony grinned at the younger woman as he clapped his hands together. “Sounds awesome. One of us needs to drop their car off somewhere. So, who’s driving?”
“Oh you,” Tara demanded looking at Tony’s car. “Cause you are totally taking me out on the coastal highway and opening that baby up before I go home. Plus, you know, it’ll clear your head before you have to deal with the drama.”
Tony snorted, and stubbornly pushed thoughts of Abby out of his mind. He deliberately hadn’t gone to see her yet. At breakfast, he’d sent her a text to say they’d talk that evening, and he hoped she had a good day. He didn’t want her to think he hated her, but she needed to know that he had priorities that didn’t include her. “Sounds like a deal. I’ll follow you to your place, and then we can head to the restaurant.”
Quickly, Tara agreed and hurried off to her car as Tony continued onto his own vehicle. He was looking forward to this burger, but anticipated the talk even more. Meeting Gibbs’ daughter was something he hadn’t expected. He knew that he had one other than Kelly. When he’d decided to switch from Baltimore PD to NCIS he’d done a thorough background check on Gibbs. The older man’s guardianship over Tara had come up then. He was intrigued to find out about the relationship though, because he’d never met her in all the time he’d worked for the man.
There were pictures all over the house, and his boss had mentioned her on occasion. He knew that Gibbs’ vacations were normally spent with Tara, and that he’d taken some time off when both babies had been born. He’d added a picture on his desk of DJ, the youngest boy, just days before everything went to hell. However, it seemed odd to him that the woman’s last name was still Gideon, and that Gibbs had never adopted her. He couldn’t believe that the Marine had never offered, but he supposed stranger things have happened.
Other than letting him know that Tara would be working with him, Gibbs hadn’t said much about her that he didn’t already know. Although, what he knew was in the big picture not much. At that point, Tony hadn’t asked preferring to learn about her from the woman herself. He guessed that his former boss knew that, and it was the reason no additional information had been offered. Not to mention with things being as rocky as they were between them, it might have unconsciously affected his opinions, which neither of them wanted.
Quicker than he expected, Tony found himself seated at a booth studying a menu. It didn’t take long to decide to go with a house burger for his first time there, and put his menu down to see Tara studying him already. Quirking an eyebrow, he remained silent deciding to let her make the first move in their upcoming conversation.
“Are things with you and dad broken forever?” She asked, and Tony just barely kept in a sigh. He figured that his relationship with the man would come up, but didn’t expect it to be the first thing they discussed.
“I don’t know, Tara,” he admitted quietly playing with his straw wrapper paper. “To be honest, I’m not sure I would tell you even if I did know. We’re in an odd spot here you, me and Gibbs. Things with me and the Boss aren’t good right now. I don’t hate him, but I am hurt and pretty fucking pissed at him. What I do know is that I don’t want you to become a middleman between the two of us.”
Tara started to speak, and Tony held up a hand. “Let me finish, Special Agent Gideon, because this is less about Tara right now and more about you being my subordinate.” Once the woman nodded her understanding he continued with his earlier thought.
“I worked with your dad for a long time. It’s like dog years. Nine years with Gibbs is like 36 years with someone else. The whole second B is for bastard is justified. What they don’t say is that he uses that second B to take care of his people as much as he uses it against us to get the results he wants. I know Gibbs as well as anyone at NCIS other than maybe Ducky. Hell I wrote the current ‘How to Care for and Feed Your Marine Sniper’ manual.
“Things between us will work out or they won’t. It’s all in his hands now. I’m not putting up with certain things, and he knows how I feel. If I find out that you’re playing The Fixer I’m going to be unhappy. I understand he’s your dad, but I have to trust that you’re going to have my back. If you’re tied up in between Gibbs and I’s relationship, which even when it’s good can get volatile, then I won’t be able to trust you. So, with all due respect, the answer to your question is that it’s not really your business.”
He saw the anger flash in her eyes, and knew it wasn’t going to just be dropped. Hell he’d probably be shocked if it had been. So, he was prepared when she started to unleash her frustration. “You don’t understand. He’s upset. I know he was a butthead, but…”
“Tara, what did he say to you when you tried this conversation with him?” Tony asked calmly leaning back in his bench seat. “Because my guess is that he told you not to worry about it. That this thing between me and him was just that and that he didn’t want you to get involved in it. I also am guessing that the only thing that he wanted for you to do is watch my six and do your job.
“Outside of NCIS, Gibbs may be your guardian and basically your father, but you and I have a professional relationship first and foremost. You’ve now gone against both your father’s wishes and your new boss’. What exactly are you hoping to accomplish that you think we can’t do ourselves? Gibbs may be a functional mute, but trust me when I say he can verbalize his point just fine when he wishes to. So, I need you to stay out of this situation going on with me and Special Agent Gibbs. If you can’t do that, if you can’t respect both of our wishes, let me know now and I will find a solution that doesn’t put the two of us on the same team. You’re crossing a line right now that I will not allow crossed.”
“So you just what,” Tara huffed glaring, “you don’t want us to be friends?”
“We’re not going to be family?”
Tony narrowed his eyes at the last question and really wanted to strangle Abby. Tilting his head to one side, he took a sip of his drink as he just calmly watched her. It was one of his favorite things to see Gibbs do, and while he figured maybe he should feel guilty about using it on his daughter, he didn’t really. He knew that he had to establish who was the boss and who was the subordinate with Tara now or things would be a mess going forward. He could tell that she was an intelligent, headstrong woman and while he didn’t want to break that, he needed to make sure she knew that he was in charge.
“What?” She snapped and he just lifted an eyebrow at her tone not bothering to hide his smirk at the resulting squirming. “You got that from dad. I hate it when he does that. Just… sits there and stares at me.”
“Maybe he’s waiting for you to pull your head out of your ass, and use the brain that you were given,” Tony immediately shot back. “Or waiting for you to stop letting other people think for you.”
Tony took a deep breath and forced himself to calm down. This was not what he wanted from this meeting, and he was not going to let Abby’s manipulations twist this woman’s head. She simply meant too much to Gibbs for him to allow that. “Abby’s pretty persuasive, huh?” He asked and when he saw the surprise flicker on Tara’s face knew he was on the right track.
“She seems to automatically know your weak points, and comes off caring and sympathetic telling you exactly what you want to hear. Sometimes she is just trying to help. Sometimes though she has her own agenda.”
“She’s just upset!” Tara replied emotionally, and Tony immediately nodded, “and she’s important to dad.”
“Yes, she is,” Tony confirmed, “and your father is why she is the way she is right now.”
“Because he never tells her no and lets her get away with everything. There are no consequences for her poor behavior. My guess is that your dad told you to stay out of the Abby thing too, huh? But then Abby cried and looked all sad and because you’re an incredibly loving person who knows what it’s like to be hurt and abandoned, or be some place where you don’t really know anyone, you wanted to fix it. And it’s awesome that you feel that way. It’s a good thing that you care about people, but again, Tara, you need to stay out of a situation that doesn’t directly involve you. Especially when your dad tells you to let me handle it.”
Tara frowned looking at him. “How did you know he said that?”
Rolling his eyes he flashed a smile to the server as she brought their salads, and waited to reply until she left. “Seriously, Gideon? I told you. I know Gibbs, and even though things aren’t great with us right now, I know he’ll have my back. You’re letting yourself be caught up in situations that aren’t your problem and they’re upsetting you. And for what? You can’t fix either of them. I know you want your dad not to be sad, and you want Abby to not be fretting and hurt. You can’t stop either of those things though. They both made their beds, and they both have things to make up for. Is starting our working relationship off on the wrong foot worth it for situations that you can’t fix and don’t have any part of?”
“I just,” she started to say quietly , and then stopped and shoved some salad into her mouth. Leaving his salad to sit for the moment, Tony continued on speaking while she ate.
“I don’t know how you ended up with Gibbs,” he advised softly not wanting the whole restaurant to hear her business. “I don’t know why you have a last name that isn’t his or what happened to your parents. I do know abandonment issues and father though when I see them, because I live with them every day of my life. My father, Anthony DiNozzo Senior, whom I doubt you will ever meet because he’s scared shitless of John, is an alcoholic con-man who abused me when I could be bothered to remember I existed. My mother died when I was 8 and when she was living was also an alcoholic who once drank my sea monkeys because she thought they were her mint julep.
“Despite that, when she died I was shattered, and my ever so loving father backhanded me and hold me to stop sniveling already. Two weeks after that I was shipped off to my first boarding school followed up my military school after he forgot me here in Oahu and had to retrieve me from John. The only people that has ever stuck around in my life for any length of time are John McGarrett, Abby Sciuto, and Leroy Jethro Gibbs. John and I didn’t see each other from the time senior came to get me up until about 2 weeks ago. Abby may be my best friend most of the time, but she’s also a manipulative spoiled brat the rest of the time. And Gibbs, well, we’ve already been over how I’m not going to talk about that with you.”
Waiting until she looked up at him, he made sure to look her in the eye before continuing. “So, I get it, Gideon. You want everyone to be happy and not hurt because you want them to like you. If they like you then they’re less likely to leave you, and if they don’t leave you then you won’t be all alone again. Now, I don’t believe in God or some person standing in the front of a holy place telling me how to live my life because some… being told him that’s how it was supposed to be. I do believe in Karma. I believe in doing the right thing. I believe in trying every day of my live whether I am happy or miserable in trying my damnedest to be the best person that I can be. I believe that eventually if I do that then all the pain and suffering will have meant something. So, let me ask you this…”
Ducking his head slightly, Tony made sure he was looking her in the eye before he asked his final question. “Are you being the best person that you can be right now? By disregarding both me and your dad and letting Abby twist your head and get you all worked up about a situation that you have no part in, are you being the best version of Tara Gideon that you can be? Or, is Karma gonna come around and bite you in the ass cause you pissed her off?”
“I,” Tara started to respond, but then stopped and frowned. “Well, crap.”
“Yeah,” Tony said sympathetically. “She’s done it to the best of us. Like I said, Abby is good at seeing someone’s weak points and using it to her advantage.”
“She was all upset and I just wanted to help,” Tara explained needlessly. So, Tony just nodded signaling his understanding.
“I know,” Tony replied simply. “I promise you that I’m gonna get things worked out, and that will stop. Then hopefully the real Abby will come back, and you will all get to see why I still consider her my best friend. Now, let’s forget all this crap and move onto happier things. What do you want me to know about Tara Gideon, or what do you want to know about me?”
Tara used the server’s appearance with their burgers to collect her thoughts, and Tony was more than happy to let her. Once the woman was gone, he happily dug in letting out a not entirely exaggerated moan of pleasure at his first bite. For several minutes, they both ate in silence enjoying the quality of the meat. Eventually though she put her burger down and started speaking.
“When I was six a serial killer murdered my mom, my dad, and my three siblings. The only reason I survived was because I hid in a hidey hole that my father and dad made me when I heard mom scream. Jason Gideon found me first and then called to Uncle Dave. They were going to put me in a group home until Dad could get back, but Jason convinced them to take me home. Dad was on some mission, and then it took a while after he was done for them to let him come back stateside. During that time Shannon and Kelly were killed. So, even when he got back home he wasn’t in a position to take me.”
Tara shoved a fry into her mouth and chewed violently before continuing her tale. “By the time he got back I’d bonded with Jason and his wife. They didn’t have Stephen yet, and had kinda given up hope on having a child of their own. Dad… Dad and my father were best friends. Dad was supposed to have custody of me per the will, but I was so attached to Jason and he was such a mess that he felt the best thing for me was to stay with Jason. Once things were settled he went back to his unit. I didn’t see him again for a few years, but he’d write me letters all the time.
“Eventually, he came back and started working for NCIS, well NIS back then. Not long after that he cleaned out Kelly’s room and made it mine so I could go stay with him sometimes. Even though he wasn’t an active Marine, NIS still sent him out of town quite a bit, but he saw me as much as he could when he was in town. I never liked Franks, but Dwayne Pride and Tobias Fornell were as much my Uncles as Dave and Max. Things were great until I turned six when Stephen was born.”
Sensing this was when things turned bad again, Tony was glad he’d finished eating and after wiping his mouth threw his napkin on his plate before pushing it to the end of the table. He remained quiet though as Tara continued her story. “Once they had a child of their own it was like… It was like I just ceased to exist. Jason and his wife never had time for me. What little time Jason had at home he spent with Stephen. His wife devoted all her time to the new child, and most of the time I was sent to my room and told to be quiet. Some nights she’d even forget to make dinner for me and I’d have to find something in the fridge to eat that I didn’t have to cook after she went to sleep.
“Dad got caught up in this Russian assignment and spent a lot of the next couple years overseas. One night when I was eight I was hiding in my room. It was the middle of the summer, and I hadn’t eaten all day. I don’t think I’d changed clothes in a few days because I didn’t have anything clean. I hadn’t even left my room because Jason yelled at me for waking up the baby. He’d sent me to my room and told me not to come out until they came and got me. Only, they never had. There was a bathroom attached to my room so I’d sneak in there to get water when I was thirsty, but that was all.”
Tara paused her tale, and Tony was glad his hands were folded together, because he wasn’t sure he’d be able to hide how angry he was otherwise. Unfortunately, he knew all about being forgotten by his parent. Unlike Tara though, he’d at least had servants who made sure he had food and water. He didn’t know much about Jason Gideon other than most people thought he was some kind of genius. To Tony, he just sounded like one of the monsters he chased.
“Then all of a sudden Uncle Dave is there in my room, and he looks pissed. I don’t really remember much except that he took me to his house and I never saw Jason again. After a while I didn’t want to, and that hasn’t changed. Dave made sure dad was called back from his mission, and helped him get guardianship over me. He offered to adopt me a few times, but… I didn’t want that bastard Gideon to be able to forget what I’d done. Every so often I send him something with nothing but my full name on it and Fuck You in all caps so he remembers I exist.”
Tony couldn’t help but snort at that. It sounded totally like something he’d do to Senior. “Good for you, kiddo.”
Tara smirked. “Fortunately, after dad took me things improved. He made sure I got to see Uncle Dave and Uncle Max whenever I wanted. Eventually, I then met Uncle Aaron and the various BAU team members over the year. When Jason recruited Spencer Reid, I made sure Uncle Aaron set up a meeting between us so he knew what he was getting into with that jerk. Otherwise, I knew he’d hurt the kid the same way he did me. Last I heard Jason just disappeared one day with some woe is me routine.
“Dad saw how smart I was and made sure I had everything I needed. It was because of dad and all my uncles that I decided to go into law enforcement. I chose Carnegie Mellon in Pittsburg because it had one of the best Computer Science programs in the country, and I could still do Criminal Justice. I love code and tried pushing things once, but dad found out and… well just trust me when I say I never tried it again. I like studying so I’m almost always working on some kind of degree in my free time. My mind works too fast and I don’t sleep much. So, I have plenty of time to study. Dad said that you’re the same way?”
Tony nodded smiling. “Yup. I’m not your level of genius by any means, but I do have a doctorate in Criminal Justice and a Masters in Psychology. I’m starting a Social Anthropology degree here at the local University for fun in the summer session.”
“Dude!” Tara squealed loudly bouncing in her seat. “That would be so cool! I always wanted to try something like that!”
Tony shrugged smiling. “Why don’t you then? It might be fun to have a school partner. I haven’t had one since I was in the frat at OSU.”
Tara squealed again, and Tony just laughed at her enthusiasm. Waving the server over, he asked for the check deciding they needed to start their museum excursion. Now that the heavy shit was out of the way it was time for the fun.