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The Sum of Your Memories
by: The Seventh Swan (Send Feedback)
Series: - No Series - #1
Chapters: 001 Word Count: 9061
Warning(s): Other (See Author's Note)
Character(s): Jethro Gibbs, Tony DiNozzo
Category(ies): Alternate Universe, First Time, Romance
Summary: A montage of experiences, memories and dreams in the life of precog!Tony. Includes Tony as a child, a Peoria/Phili/Baltimore cop, the first time that Gibbs and Tony met and more.
Author Notes: This story is pure self indulgence on my part. I love stories involving a Tony with supernatural powers and think there's a sever lack of them. You know what they say, 'don't be part of the problem, be part of the solution'. So I wrote one and threw in moments of Tony as a child just for fun. This is the longest one shot I've ever written but the style just didn't allow for me to break it up. I hope you all like it and please let me know what you think!
The Sum of Your MemoriesWarnings:
Slash (hopefully the above clued you into that) including a sex scene. Also some naughty language and supernatural themes. Precognition, to be precise.
Ah... a lot. Up to season 6, episode 7: ‘Requiem’. After that things go pretty AU.
Yeah, NCIS unfortunately isn’t mine. And wouldn’t be allowed on during prime time if it was. Poems are mine, so please ask if you’d like to use them. As a side note, title shamelessly stolen from an Ertish saying found at the end of this story. Somehow, it seemed apt.
For the purposes of this story, Tony was born in 1976.
My mind is a maze
Of brambles and frost
With hedges sky-high
I’m easily lost
My dreams, they are whispers
That my hand loyally pens
I don’t know what to do with them
These beginnings without ends.
My present is my future
The past glimpsed towards the side
They crowd for my attention
And follow where I hide
Some are welcomed blessings
Some I wish away
But hate or love, cruel or kind
I know they’re here to stay.
The Sum of Your Memories
Adriana sucked in a shocked breath, the air forced from her lungs as her two year old son threw himself upon the bed.
“Anthony,” Adriana greeted, stunned from her sleep and finding herself suddenly in possession of a hysterical toddler, “Anthony, darling, calm down. Whatever is the matter?”
“Whatisit?” Michael muttered sleepily beside her.
“It’s Anthony,” Adriana replied, “Have you had a nightmare, bambino?”
“It –it was –was a-a-a-awful!”
“There, there, take a breath. That’s it. It was only a dream, Cara. Calm down and tell me about it. Deep breaths now. That’s it. Slowly, piccolo, slowly.”
“I dreamt you died,” Anthony managed at last, “There was an accident, and you died.”
“How dreadful!” Adriana tutted, hugging her son close, “But I’m right here, bella. It was only a nightmare. Dreams aren’t real –remember that dream you had about dinosaurs? That wasn’t real, now was it?”
“No,” Anthony admitted, voice a whisper, “But that dream was more fun.”
“Some dreams are fun,” Adriana agreed, “But not all. In either case, none of them are real. They can’t hurt you. Comprende?”
“Can I sleep with you?” Anthony asked shyly, all large eyes and tremulous smile. Adriana melted.
“Of course, treasure,” she allowed, “I’ll keep the nightmares away.”
Extract from the diary of Anthony DiNozzo, April 4th, 1987. Tony is eleven.
This is crazy. I know that. But I also know that I need to write this down. It was Josh’s idea. I’m still not sure he believes me, but...
Last night I dreamt about my mother. I don’t dream about her much, not since she died, but last night...
She was young. Her hair was longer and so were her clothes. She was smiling, happier than I’d ever seen her be. She was also on a boat. It was night.
My father was there and they were laughing. A waiter had spilled wine on his shirt, but neither of them seemed to care. He got down on one knee and pulled out a ring. My mother laughed until she cried and they kissed.
It was a short dream, and faded around the edges, like a flashback from a movie. But I woke up smiling and smelling the ocean.
I asked father how he proposed to mum. My new stepmother, Clara, didn’t look happy to hear the question, but father answered anyway.
The strange thing is, I wasn’t surprised when the answer matched my dream.
There’s yelling, thunderous applause, and Tony’s running sky-high on adrenaline. The grass is covered in dew, and the uniform feels a trifle scratchy, but Tony doesn’t care. He lives for this.
It’s like a dance now, expertly choreographed. Tony runs, follows the ball with his keen 20/10 vision and reaches up automatically when the pigskin sails his way. He snatches it out of the air cleanly, and begins to run. Legs pumping, lungs straining, the world a blur around him.
Then it comes crashing down.
There’s a moment of absolute stillness before Tony’s leg jars the wrong way and there’s a horrific crack. The guy who tackled him knows immediately that something’s up, and Tony gets a good look at the guys face –handsome, chiselled, etched with concern –before the world blacks out.
Extract from the diary of Anthony DiNozzo, October 18th, 1997. Tony is twenty-one.
I’m beginning to get a handle on this.
I can’t always tell which are dreams of the... okay, of the future. No point in pussyfooting around that. I can see the bloody future. In my sleep.
God this is fucked up.
Okay, so I’ll not completely out of my denial stage yet, but just give me time. If it’s anything like the stages of grief, I’ve only got four more stages to go.
Anyway, so I can’t always tell which dreams are of ‘things yet to come’ and which are just plain old variety dreams or even ‘things that might come’, but I can always tell when I dream of the past.
Perhaps because it happens so rarely. Most of the time, the dreams feature my mother but, sometimes, there’s a girl called Shannon with vibrantly red hair, who I know I’ve never met.
Another hallmark of a ‘Flashback Dream’ is exactly that –it looks like a flashback from an old movie. The colours seem less vibrant, the moods less distinct, the whole atmosphere less certain and more... relaxed.
Tonight wasn’t a Flashback Dream. I’m not sure what it was. It was probably nothing, and I say that because it was so very odd.
I dreamt about an envelope.
Nothing exciting, right? Only, this particular envelope was sealed with a kiss and I knew, with certainty, that opening it would bring me to the brink of death.
There were three other people with me. A girl with brown hair –Kate? I’ve dreamed about her before, I’m sure of it –a guy with a puppy dog face and Blue Eyes.
Kate sneezed, and I knew opening the letter would kill her. Puppy-eyes was fragile, and would live for less time than even Kate. And watching Blue Eyes reach the brink of death would not only break my heart, but his spirit. That scenario was the least certain of all, because Blue Eyes could go either way. I wasn’t willing to risk that.
I opened the letter.
“Just look at these marks, Anthony. How do expect to run the company if you don’t pay attention in class? I know you can do better than this if you’d stop caring so much about sports.”
“I don’t want to run the company,” he told his father boldly, “I want to play professional ball. I’m good enough! Couch Rodgers says so.”
“You’ll end up in the gutter if you follow that avenue,” Michael snapped, “And don’t think I’ll help you out. You chose that and you can say goodbye to your life of luxury –no more money, no more toys, no more fancy schools. I won’t pay for any of it. You’ll have to make your own way in the world if you defy me.”
Tony stood as straight as he could and looked his father right in the eye.
“Then I will.”
Extract from the diary of Anthony DiNozzo, March 23rd, 1988. Tony is twelve.
Last night I dreamt I was a cop.
The idea was pretty cool, simply because I knew that if father was willing to disown me for wanting to play ball as a job, he’d kick me out of the house completely for aspiring to be a cop.
I was older in the dream, not sure how much, and I wasn’t in New York... at least I don’t think I was. Nowhere I knew.
There was also a body and it was dead.
That sounds dumb, but... I’ve never seen a body before. Not of a person. And dead birds on a sidewalk don’t come close. It was wearing a uniform of some kind and I was arguing with some guy there about who got to find the killer. The guy was older than me and had really, really blue eyes.
I don’t think this was a future dream –it seems odd that we’d be fighting over a dead person like that. I don’t remember much about the fight, but I think, in the end, we decided to share him.
Playing ball sounds far less complicated by comparison.
Tony looked at his new badge, his new gun, and smiled.
After years of training, a lot of work, and a hell of a lot of determination, he had finally done it. It hadn’t been easy, making his own way, defying his father, admitting an end to professional ball, but he was here.
All that anguish was behind him now, and there was no question in Tony’s mind that he’d made the right decision. There hadn’t been any question, when the doctors had told him the news he’d never play professional, about what he’d do with his life now. He’d just known. Had too many hints and dreams and diary entries not to know.
It felt almost like cheating, being that certain, but on the whole his dreams were so tenuous that Tony figured knowing one answer from the thousands of questions they raised was exactly what he was due.
Of how it all tied up into the life of the Blue Eyed man was just one of the many that Tony would have to wait to find out about.
Extract from the diary of Anthony DiNozzo, February 15th, 1998. Tony is twenty-two.
Last night was a very strange night.
It was one of those nights where I had a multitude of dreams, one after the other, each one heralded by the feeling that I’d just woken up. Usually, I can be certain that the dreams mean nothing. I mean, last time I had a night like this, I dreamt I was a marshmallow, then a pirate, then I was on a spaceship.
Last night was different.
I dreamt of Peoria.
Given that’s where I live it’s not at all surprising, but the fact that all the dreams centred around Peoria... that is a little odd.
In the first one, I leave Peoria. I see myself becoming a Detective. I see a man (clearly my partner) smiling at me as we arrest a perp who I’m holding against a wall. I know I’m happy here.
In the next dream, I stay in Peoria. I go undercover. I see myself get shot.
The next dream. I stay in Peoria. The man who was supposed to be my partner had I left is knifed. He didn’t have sufficient back-up.
The final dream. I stay in Peoria. There’s Blue Eyes. He’s sitting under a wooden skeleton of some sort (what is that?) and he’s holding a gun to his head. Hesitating. Uncertain. He hasn’t smiled in years.
Now I may not be the brightest bulb in the pack, but I can take a hint. My dreams are telling me it’s time to move on. I know that much.
But where do I go from here?
Tony smiled lazily.
Inwardly, he felt a bit ridiculous. Here he was, a man of confidence and competence, feeling nervous about playing a piano in a club in Philadelphia.
He’d gotten the undercover gig by luck more than anything else –their killer had a bazaar fascination with men and woman who were musically inclined and Tony was the only one on the team who could play well enough to do it for a living, if he had desired such a thing.
Which is how he found himself here, in a slightly trendy bar their perp was known to frequent, dressed to the nines and ready to play some serious classical music.
He could see his backup placed strategically around the room but they weren’t his concern. He was here to play the bait (no pun intended) and he was going to do the best job he could.
Despite how long it had been, the music still came effortlessly. Flawlessly. A good ear would be able to tell he was slightly out of practice, but this wasn’t the sort of establishment where anyone would have such an ear.
He played an hour set then hung around, intentionally flirting with both men and woman. He carried a drink with him, but traded it surreptitiously with his partner’s non-alcoholic beverage as he brushed by. All the while, he kept his eyes peeled for anyone who matched the rudimentary ID they had for their killer: male, tall, left handed.
It wasn’t much, but it was better than nothing, and not many people were left handed, so at least he had something to hone in on.
“You played beautifully.”
Tony turned, already smiling flirtatiously as he scanned the man before him. Tall, brown hair, holding a drink in his left hand. Tony dialled the smile up a notch and did what he did best: he talked.
Tony had once talked three hours straight to coax a guy off a building and had used the same talent to negotiate with perps with guns –there was just something about Tony that instinctively put people at ease and fooled them into thinking they were best friends. Tony had the ability of saying nothing by saying everything and it was a real asset to the police force.
Now was no different.
The guy (Kevin, apparently) was laughing in no time, and Tony had gently encouraged the man’s interest until Kevin finally suggested they take their conversation outside. Tony agreed.
Kevin was set so at ease that he fooled himself into thinking that Tony was just as off guard. He was therefore quite taken aback when Tony wasn’t cooperative about having his throat slit.
Tony had Kevin pressed against the brick wall, his hands clasped behind his back, in record time. Then his partner was beside him, handing him the handcuffs and smiling.
Tony, oddly struck by how happy he was here, grinned breathlessly back.
Extract from the diary of Anthony DiNozzo, December 22nd, 1999. Tony is twenty-four.
It’s time to move on again.
Apparently finding out your partner is dealing drugs on the side and reporting him is frowned upon here; in practice if not on paper. Everyone looks at me as though I’ve betrayed them but they don’t understand –he betrayed me.
I would have died for Peter. If he needed money so badly, I would have sold the clothes on my back to help him out. Why couldn’t I have dreamt about that? I could have done something about that.
But I didn’t know. Instead, I’ve spent the last week dreaming that my backup will conveniently desert me just when I need them most.
In my dreams I’ve been shot, stabbed, beaten and even beheaded. If nothing else, my former teammates are determined. I probably shouldn’t list them as a reference.
And once more, I’m left wondering where the heck I should go.
“That’s my body.”
Tony turned reflexively, a smile already on his lips. It froze in place as soon as he saw who was speaking to him.
“Detective Anthony DiNozzo at your service,” Tony introduced himself, proud with how calm he sounded, “Call me Tony.”
“Special Agent Gibbs, NCIS.”
“Well, he’s a marine, I’ll give you that,” Tony allowed, “But we found him first. And you know what they say, finders keepers.”
“NCIS?” Tony’s partner (whose last name, rather aptly, was Green), asked in confusion.
“Naval Criminal Investigative Service,” Tony replied, waving it aside as unimportant, “Our victim is a petty officer.”
“Which makes him mine,” Gibbs interjected firmly.
“And this lovely city is Baltimore,” Tony rebutted, “Which gives my team jurisdiction. But I’m feeling generous today. We can either spend the next half hour squabbling like infants or we can decide to play nice and share the case.”
“Captain won’t like that,” Green protested.
“And I don’t like fighting over bodies as though they were pieces of meat,” Tony shot back, “The captain will deal. We both know he can’t afford to lose me. Gibbs? You gonna play nice?”
“I’ll work with you,” Gibbs allowed, grudgingly, “But not with anyone else.”
“Captain won’t like that,” Green put in, apparently set on repeat.
“Deal,” Tony agreed, ignoring Green completely, “I’ll even let your M.E. use our autopsy room. Green, click away.”
Tony tossed Green the camera. He fumbled with it slightly before taking the hint and starting to shoot the scene. Tony, drawing out a sketching pad and a pencil, got straight to work.
“Sorry I’m late Jethro,” an elderly British man apologised as he approached the scene, “Traffic was a nightmare.”
“Jethro?” Tony echoed, disbelievingly. The look Gibbs shot him discouraged any further comment but Tony couldn’t quite force away his smile.
“Rather unfortunate name,” the man agreed, ignoring Gibbs’ glare, “And you would be?”
“Detective Anthony DiNozzo,” Tony replied, liking the man already, “But just Tony is fine.”
“Doctor Donald Mallard is my M.E.” Gibbs put in.
“Call me Ducky,” the man added.
Tony scoffed and pointed a finger at him, “That’s cute.”
Tony shot Green an exasperated look. “Mallard? Which is a type of Duck? Try to keep up here newbie.”
“We got a time of death, Duck?” Gibbs cut in. Tony couldn’t help but notice he did that a lot.
“Give me a moment, Jethro,” Ducky scolded, “I’ve barely set eyes on the poor boy. Though I’d stipulate it was no more than a couple of hours ago. Given the bruising around his neck and the foam around his mouth, I’d bet good money that he was strangled. But I’ll know more once I get him back to the lab.”
“DiNozzo has kindly volunteered his,” Gibbs noted, smirking slightly. Tony sighed and rolled his eyes.
This was shaping up to be an interesting day.
Extract from the diary of Anthony DiNozzo, April1 30th, 2000. Tony is twenty-six.
Blue Eyes has a name and it’s Jethro Gibbs.
Hillbilly jokes aside, today was like meeting... what’s comparable to meeting a man you’ve been dreaming about for years?
It’s weird. I know that my future is tied up in this man –I’ve known it for years. Known that I’ll work for him and watch his six. Known that one day I’ll feel strongly enough about his wellbeing to die for him, and not just as one partner for another. Everything seems to point to a deeper relationship than that.
Perhaps its fate, but I dreamt about him again tonight.
There was a plane, a dead officer and a jurisdiction war involving NCIS, the Secret Service and the FBI. Along with the girl named Kate.
Why are these people so important? Why should I dream about them so often? What are they to me?
And who on earth is Jethro Gibbs really?
The more Tony got to know Gibbs, the more he liked him.
It seemed like an oxymoron when phrased as such, but it was true. Gibbs was harsh, unforgiving, and unrelenting in his quest for justice. There were very few people in the world who were willing to die and kill for justice and finding someone prepared to do whatever it took was refreshing.
Tony could easily see how he could come to admire this man.
But admiration was one thing, the depth of feeling portrayed in his dreams was quite another. That sort of devotion Tony could only discover in time, and wonder about in the interim. It would come together eventually. Tony would find his answers.
One day at a time.
Extract from the diary of Anthony DiNozzo, May 19th, 2000. Tony is twenty-six.
I dreamt about Abby last night.
Things have been hard so far with her. For some reason, Abby and me simply don’t click.
Okay, so she can’t stand me.
I don’t know why. I’m charming as hell and its annoying that someone that Gibbs cares about so much can’t stand the sight of me. And, before last night, I would even have said that the feeling was slightly mutual.
But it’s hard to dislike someone you’ve seen as a child.
And god, Abby as a child? A whirlwind of trouble. And still creepily Goth-like. The particular snippet of her life that I saw, she was no more than five and dressed up like a vampire, clutching a vampire-attired teddy bear.
She was running around, as wild as a tornado, her hands flying like butterflies as she spoke to her parents who were, apparently, both deaf. It was odd because though it was my dream, I had no idea what anyone was saying. It was as surreal as dreaming in a language you didn’t speak, but besides giving me insight into the wondrous ball of energy that is Abby, it also gave me an idea in how to win her over.
I wonder where I could find a vampire-bear?
As soon as Tony saw her, he knew.
She was gorgeous of course. Long dark hair, dark eyes, an even darker sense of humour. Kate Todd was everything he’d known she would be and her presence heralded the end to the Tony/Gibbs duo.
He mourned the loss privately. Publicly, he dropped so many hints to Gibbs that he was tempted to just give the man her resume. It would be overt but, as it was, subtle didn’t seem to be working.
The two years it had taken to get to this moment had gone by both far too quickly and far too slowly –working with Gibbs was as rewarding as it was exasperating but Tony wouldn’t trade it for anything. Despite everything, Tony finally felt like he’d found a place to belong.
His dreams continued to hint that their relationship would get deeper yet, but now wasn’t the time for that. Now was the time for solving murders, kicking ass, and welcoming their soon-to-be-agent into the fold.
The awesomeness of the Air Force One plane? Purely a bonus.
Extract from the diary of Anthony DiNozzo, July 25th, 1990. Tony is fourteen.
Last night was one of the shortest dreams I’ve ever had. It wasn’t as clear as the others, just like the ones I have about mum. It was faded, dull. Like a flashback.
I dreamt of a woman.
She was very pretty. Long red hair, slim body, large green eyes. She was sitting on a bench at a train station.
That was it. A whole dreams worth of a woman with red hair sitting as she waited for a train. I know she was sad, and I know she wasn’t in New York –that wasn’t a New York station –but other than that, I don’t know who she is, where she’s from or why I dreamt about her. If she even exists at all.
I’m thoroughly sick of dreaming.
Not all Tony’s dreams came true.
Many of those he recorded amounted to nothing. Sometimes, Tony knew in advance that what he’d dreamt would never come to be but, other times, he was taken thoroughly by surprise.
The appearance of the white envelope was one such occasion.
He opened it of course. How could he not, given the alternatives? He knew he could survive whatever it contained –despite how close he’d come or how utterly it would suck.
And having the plague? Totally sucked.
Because when Tony wasn’t hacking his lungs out or worrying he hadn’t protected Kate after all, he was dreaming.
He had a month’s worth of dreams in a couple of days and, by the time he was finally moved out of the ICU, Tony felt utterly and completely drained, both mentally and physically.
Extract from the diary of Anthony DiNozzo, September 19th, 2004. Tony is thirty.
I’ve never had so many dreams in such a short time.
Some of them must have been the delirious thoughts of a man about the die... but some of them might not have been.
I dreamt of Kate. I saw her wasting away with the plague. I saw her killed in an explosion. I saw her with a bullet through her brain.
I hope those were delusions.
I also saw McGee. I don’t dream of poor Timmy boy often but this time... it was years from now. I know that much. And he looked good. Confident, bold, strong. A probie no longer.
I dreamt of me and Gibbs, pressed close together, lips touching. Let’s not even go there.
I dreamt of an ethnic girl (woman, sorry Kate) with dark hair and darker eyes, holding a gun to a man she loved. Shooting him anyway.
I dreamt of a child called Kelly, playing with a blonde-haired child in the backyard of a house. They were burying a capsule.
I saw an explosion on a ship. I saw a car hitting the water. The sound of gunfire, the smell of smoke and burnt flesh. A flash of a hospital room.
What was real and what wasn’t? The dreams were like a collage –and those are just the ones I remember. After a while, they all seemed to jumble together. A thousand different ways to deliver the same exact message:
One minute, they were laughing. The next, Kate was dead.
A bullet through the brain.
It’s funny how, sometimes, warnings mean absolutely nothing. They meant nothing when Tony’s mother was killed in a car accident and they meant nothing now.
Because dreaming didn’t cushion the blow from reality. And despite Tony’s cautions, despite him saving Kate’s life twice over, he couldn’t be everywhere at once.
And dreams didn’t come with time stamps.
It felt like losing a sister. Tony didn’t know what to do with himself, how to act. It was funny, because where Tony was filled with a complete lack of action, Gibbs was exactly the opposite. He was consumed with the need to act, to move, to get revenge.
To find Ari.
Tony never doubted that Gibbs would succeed; he just didn’t understand what it would change. Kate would still be dead, and all they would be left with was a strange woman named Ziva trying to take her place.
Extract from the diary of Anthony DiNozzo, January 5th, 1995. Tony is nineteen.
I dreamed about Blue Eyes again.
I’ve dreamt about this man so often that sometimes it feels like I’ve known him all my life. Or at least since I was twelve.
Last night, I dreamt he was leaving.
He shook my hand, handed me his gun and badge, and told me I’d do. Whatever that’s supposed to mean.
There was a lot of sadness in the dream, and an overwhelming sense of loss. But while I dreamt he would leave me behind, I also dreamt he’d come back. How long a time was between the two, I’ve no idea, but if the act itself ever happens, at least I can console myself with the knowledge that his absence, no matter how long, will be temporary.
An idea supported by the other hundred or so dreams I’ve had starring this man.
A steady beeping sound, the rusty rasp of laboriously drawn breaths and a constant stream of cut-off conversations that permeated from the hall kept Tony company in the too-sterile environment of the hospital room.
Tony welcomed the noises anyway as proof that they were necessary and as a promise that this man was still alive.
Barely, perhaps, but breathing nonetheless.
He looked dreadful of course. Covered in bandages and dressed in a hospital robe, he would hardly be winning any beauty contests, but Tony didn’t care. As far as he was concerned a still alive Gibbs, however battered, was the most beautiful thing in the world.
He’d come so close to death it was a miracle he still breathed. And it was only now, that Tony was looking at the man before him, the man that he’d worked with and protected and joked with for years, did Tony realize that this moment was the accumulation of all those dreams and the reason that this man was so very vital. It was only now, in this moment, that Tony finally admitted a truth he’d denied for years.
He was in love.
Extract from the diary of Anthony DiNozzo, May 1st, 2002. Tony is twenty-eight.
I’m writing this at the office on a scrap of paper because the damn boiler at my building broke. I’ll re-write it again later but, just in case, I’ll write out the quick version now.
This dream was important and threefold.
I know this dream was important simply because I knew the girl’s name. I never know names in advance. The one person whose name I did know before I met her was Kate’, and even then I didn’t get a last name. This time I did.
Though who Maddie Tyler is and what she means to Gibbs is beyond me.
To the dreams in question. In the first dream there was Gibbs and Maddie. They were in a car which ploughed into the water. There was no one around, no one to save them, and both of them drowned. Moral: when Maddie shows up, watch Gibbs like a hawk.
The second dream. There was Gibbs and Maddie. They were in a car which ploughed into the water. I was there, running for all I was worth and shooting the bad guys as I went. I shot to wound and, by the time all three of us were on the dock one of them was recovered enough to shoot all three of us at close range. Moral: shoot to kill.
The third dream. Again, Gibbs and Maddie in a car which ploughed into the water. I was there, running like hell, shooting to kill, and diving into the water in a single fluid motion. I got all three of us onto the dock, gave Gibbs and Maddie mouth to mouth and called for backup. I was dripping wet, dizzy from a lack of air, and I knew my lungs would suffer. But all three of us would live.
Suffice to say that’s the outcome I mean to shoot for. In the meantime, there’s a woman who was buried alive and now suffers from amnesia to deal with. Apparently, there’s also a bomb on a navy ship.
No rest for the wicked.
The whoosh of the sea, the smell of salt, the crispness of the air.
Gibbs lived for this.
Sitting idly on the shore in Mexico, watching the sun rise, Gibbs felt his sense of peace war with his sense of restlessness. His memories hadn’t completely returned yet, and Gibbs found himself dogged by a sense of emptiness that even the light dancing off the water couldn’t outshine.
He fingered a scrap of paper: his constant companion since he’d found it tucked under Tony’s desk when he’d checked that the man hadn’t pilfered anything of his that he wanted.
The piece of paper was well worn and slightly faded. It had also been dusty, indicating it hadn’t been handled for quite some time. Gibbs wasn’t sure why he had kept it –maybe to convince himself that he needed to leave, maybe just to maintain a connection to Him.
Gibbs didn’t know what the piece of paper was, nor what it meant. Its contents didn’t make any sense, none that Gibbs could see, and the answers fluctuated between the idea that Tony was either slightly crazy or had a very odd sense of humour whilst slept deprived and bored.
Actually, having said that, it was probably the latter.
Extract from the diary of Anthony DiNozzo, October 7th, 2004. Tony is thirty.
Last night, I spent the whole night dreaming.
I know this. I know, but it makes no difference because the moment I woke up, I couldn’t remember a single scene. All I had was knowledge I had no idea how I acquired it.
For example, I woke up knowing that Gibbs and I would, through some bazaar twist of fate, become a couple. I also know that this eventuality won’t come to be until Gibbs finds out my secret. Lastly, I knew that telling him would prevent any such relationship from forming.
Me and Gibbs will only become a couple once Gibbs knows I see the future when I sleep but I’m not allowed to actually tell him as such –he has to figure it out for himself first.
Being that Gibbs is the most rational guy on the face of the planet and doesn’t believe in anything he can’t see, the odds of him figuring out that I dream the future can’t be all that high.
Needless to say, I’m not holding my breath.
Seeing as she was to serve as a trigger for a paradigm shift, Maddie Tyler was deceptively beautiful.
Tony recognised her at once, of course.
It was a huge revelation to connect her to Gibbs through Kelly. It put all sorts of puzzle pieces together. But that ‘light bulb moment’ was overshadowed by the knowledge of what needed to be done.
For the whole of the case, Tony kept both his primary and backup gun ready and fully loaded. He carried a towel along with his extra clothes and carried backup clothing for his backup clothing. He ran further when he exercised, practiced holding his breath for extended periods of time and spent a lot of time in the gym training. Well, as much time as he could when they were in the middle of a case.
Maddie Tyler was important somehow –in some way more than her connection to Kelly or the intrinsic value of her life in general. And though Tony wasn’t sure how this single event was so vital in the grand scheme of things, he was determined that it go exactly as planned.
Extract from the diary of Anthony DiNozzo, July 10th, 2005. Tony is thirty-one.
The explosion did answer one vital question. The girl I dream about sometimes, the girl named Shannon, she was Gibbs’ first wife.
That’s why she matters. That’s why she’s important. That’s why I dream of her. Because to Gibbs, she matters, and to me, Gibbs is everything.
I dreamt about her again last night. It wasn’t a long dream (I’ve noticed my Flashback Dreams are very to-the-point), but it was clear as crystal.
It detailed Shannon, sitting on a window seat, looking out onto the street. She was holding a photo frame with one hand, and caressing a swollen stomach with the other. She was also singing; a sweet, sad, slow tune with the words spoken so quietly I could barely make them out. I knew she was missing Gibbs.
Somehow, now that I know who she is, she seems so much more... tangible. This is a woman who loved and laughed and lived. A woman who sung a lament to her absent husband and did her best to care for her daughter. Any girl should count themselves lucky if they turn out half as decent as she.
I wish I could have known her.
The apartment was empty, but that didn’t stop Gibbs from being quiet.
He wasn’t sure exactly what it was he was looking for, but he knew he’d know the moment he found it. He checked the bedroom first, but despite an obscene amount of clothes and the expected packets of condoms and lube, it was a bust.
The desk was next: overflowing with documents, none which he needed. He contemplated checking the computer but, if it was there, he’d never find it before Tony arrived home.
Instead, he explored the table surfaces, any draws he could get his hands upon, and the bookcase.
Oddly, the bookcase is where he found something worth pursuing.
The whole bottom row was filled with notebooks, all of different colours and sizes. There were perhaps eleven in all and, curious, Gibbs plucked out the first one. The pages were slightly browned with age and the writing was slightly messy but it was still recognisable as Tony’s. The date in the far right corner told Gibbs that Tony had been eleven when he wrote it.
Making himself comfortable, Gibbs put on his glasses and started to read.
Extract from the diary of Anthony DiNozzo, January 17th, 2004. Tony is thirty.
Ziva was actually a child once.
I know her childhood must have sucked. I mean, with the end result, it could hardly have been all sunshine and roses. Probably beats my crappy childhood hands down.
But, like mine, there’s the occasional diamond amongst the coals.
Last night I saw one. Ziva was seven and playing with Ari. Though the dream was entirely in Arabic and I couldn’t make heads or tails of what they were saying, language isn’t really required to recognise hide and seek.
Sure, their father was likely only allowing them to play such a game because it encouraged stealth and patience, but it was clear that both Ziva and Ari were enjoying themselves. And every time Air would find his sister, he’d tickle her until she was laughing hysterically.
It was such a normal everyday scene. A typical day between a brother and sister who were bored and wanted to play. Ziva seemed so young, so happy, so in awe of her older brother. It reminded me, rather forcefully, just what she sacrificed when she shot him.
When Tony got home, Gibbs was already there waiting.
Tony paused, surprised. Gibbs had a key, sure, but he’d never used it in such a manner. Had certainly never sat himself in Tony’s living room like a predator awaiting his pray. Feeling a little off-kilter from uncertainty, Tony hesitated before making his way towards the couch and directly in front of Gibbs.
“What are you?”
Tony blinked slowly, honestly puzzled by the question.
“An NCIS agent?” he answered tentatively, wondering if Gibbs had lost his mind... or if he was out of a job.
Gibbs scowled at the answer and lifted up the book Tony hadn’t even noticed he was holding. When he saw it, his eyes immediately flickered towards the last shelf on his bookcase but, as expected, it was empty. The books that once occupied it now strewn across the floor. Suddenly, a bang drew Tony’s attention back to Gibbs and he saw that the man had slammed the book against the tabletop.
“What are you?”
Tony sat down heavily. Based on what he knew, this conversation would either go really badly or really well.
“What do you think I am?”
Tony kept the question light, idle. Trying to establish some measure of calm.
“No,” Tony disagreed, gently, “Psychics interact with the dead or get impressions from objects. I don’t do either.”
“You see the future when you sleep,” Gibbs persisted.
“Yes,” Tony agreed, “It’s called precognition. I was born with it.”
“You could have said something,” Gibbs accused him, scowling.
“Said what?” Tony wondered aloud, “‘Hey Boss, I can see the future in my sleep?’ I’m sure that would have gone down well. How did you find out about it, anyway?”
Gibbs held out a folded piece of paper and, plucking it from his fingers Tony proceeded to smooth it out. To his surprise, he found it was a diary entry detailing the dream he’d had about Maddie Tyler and the fiasco involving the car. He’d lost it years ago and assumed it had ended up in the trash –a stupid thing to do, he realized in hindsight. NCIS agents never assume; he should have checked and double checked. What would have happened if anyone apart from Gibbs had found it?
“You kept it all this time?” Tony asked, honestly baffled, “Why?”
“I only found it when I retired,” Gibbs replied, “And I kept it because I didn’t know what it was.”
“But then it came true,” Tony prompted.
“Then it came true,” Gibbs agreed, “I’ve spent the last few hours reading. Learned a lot.”
“You can’t have read them all,” Tony protested, “There’s hundreds. I’ve been recording dreams since I was eleven.”
“And dreaming about me nearly as long,” Gibbs observed.
“I’m... pulled to certain people or events. You’re a focal point, Gibbs. That’s why I dreamt about you so often. Because you were important. Because you are important.”
Tony was on the defensive at once.
“You think I wouldn’t have saved her if it was possible?” Tony demanded furiously, jerking abruptly to his feet, “You don’t think I would have died in her place? I dreamed she was shot, yeah. But dreams aren’t an exact science and don’t come with relevant dates attached. For all I knew, that dream could have happened in two years. Or five. Or ten. Or not at all.”
“You dreamed about Shannon as well,” Gibbs noted, ignoring Tony’s outburst completely, “Saw and recorded parts of her even I never knew. And about Kelly.”
“Yes,” Tony admitted, the anger draining out of him as abruptly as it had come. Suddenly exhausted, Tony retook his seat on the couch and collapsed into it. “Yes.”
“Saw us kissing as well,” Gibbs pointed out, tone not changing in the slightest, “Was that real?”
“Maybe,” Tony replied, covering his face with his arm and sighing, “Maybe not. It might be a glimpse of what will be. Or it might be a look at what could be. Or it might just be my own latent desires expressing themselves.”
“That gonna be a problem?”
“Has it so far?” Tony parried, peeking at Gibbs from under his arm and frowning.
“I need to think about this,” Gibbs admitted, looking annoyed at having to admit to such a thing.
“You can’t take the books,” Tony warned, “Though you’re welcome to read them here. But pass me the red one first. That one there.”
Gibbs picked up the one Tony was pointing to and handed it over with a raised eyebrow.
“This is a turning point,” Tony explained, rubbing his eyes with his free hand, “I’ll likely dream tonight and I like writing them down as soon as they happen. Happy reading.”
As a reply, Gibbs re-opened the book in his lap and began to read.
Extract from the diary of Anthony DiNozzo, April 1st, 1993. Tony is seventeen.
Last night, I dreamt of a girl.
I know she was a doctor, because she wore the scrubs. She was pretty (very pretty), and young. She was also obscenely happy and laughing lightly at something an older version of me had just whispered to her.
The dream was strange. Not because I was there –I’ve had plenty of dreams starring myself as a full-fledged adult –but because of the style.
It was like a flashback.
Not the clarity. The clarity was perfect. It was akin to the dreams I sometimes have of my mother simply because the emotions seemed muted. I felt oddly distanced from what was happening, like I had cut myself off, and that’s never happened before. It was odd, like watching a video recording of myself –something that I could barely remember and, thus, didn’t have much attachment to except as a memory.
I don’t know what that means.
I’ve got tests tomorrow and if I want to get into uni without my father’s help, I’ll need to do well. These dreams are hardly helping with that and they don’t seem to be going away. If anything, they’re stronger and more numerous than ever. More disturbing still is that I’m starting to experience some dreams multiple times, like cheesy re-runs. Blue Eyes, especially, can’t seem to leave me the fuck alone.
Who the hell is that guy anyway?
The light in the living room was still on when Tony awoke from his dream so Tony figured ‘to hell with it’ and stumbled out of bed to fetch a glass of water.
As expected, Gibbs was knee deep in his dream journals but the man looked up when Tony ambled tiredly out of his room and towards the kitchen.
“What did you see?” Gibbs asked as Tony filled a glass.
Tony hesitated, more from habit than anything else. He’d never told anyone about his dreams before. Not since Josh.
“I saw The Frog,” Tony replied at last, taking a big gulp of water, “He’s dead, by the way.”
“How?” Gibbs inquired, sharply.
“No idea,” Tony admitted breezily, “But I’m gonna get accused of murder again. Least I know in advance this time. Last time was an absolute bitch.”
“What do you plan to do?”
“Nothing I can do,” Tony shrugged, “I don’t know enough details to prevent anything and if I’m a suspect then I’m a suspect –The Frog is already dead, so it’ll hardly help to start ensuring I have an alibi every night.”
“It would drive me crazy,” Gibbs declared, “Knowing all this crap and knowing I couldn’t change it.”
“Sometimes I can,” Tony corrected, “Sometimes I see alternates, sometimes I plan and sometimes I’m just lucky. Occasionally, I’ll even change things by accident or something will be different and the dreams won’t come about at all. But I won’t pretend it’s easy and I won’t pretend it’s been easy.”
“Big secret to carry around.” Gibbs observed.
Tony felt his tiredness return with a vengeance just thinking about it. Some days it was hard. And some days it was really hard.
Gibbs’ gaze was suddenly far too understanding. Tony shied away from it and busied himself with emptying the glass and putting it in the sink to wash tomorrow. Hoping to return to bed with some of his walls still intact, Tony shuffled unobtrusively along the outskirts of the room back to his bedroom.
Gibbs blocked his path.
Tony looked up and found that the empathy hidden in Gibbs’ eyes had been replaced by a fierce look of determination.
And suddenly they were kissing.
Tony was startled enough that he didn’t resist, found himself instead arching into Gibbs instinctively, his hands struggling to pull Gibbs as flush against him as was humanly possible. Gibbs kissed like he did everything else: with intent focus, sheer passion and clear domination. Tony moaned into it helplessly, struggling to keep up and kiss back with just as much fire as opposed to simply submitting.
The kiss went on, and on, and on.
When Gibbs finally pulled back, their lips still clinging and reluctant to part, both men were breathing harshly. This moment, Tony and Gibbs pressed flush together, lips barely brushing, was familiar somehow but Tony hadn’t any brain cells left to recognise it. Though still mentally tired, certain parts of his anatomy were very much awake.
“Bed,” Gibbs declared.
Sleep was overrated anyway, and Tony found himself dragging a very unresisting Gibbs into his bedroom, his fingers already working to rid the older man of his clothing.
They didn’t speak, which Tony knew (somewhere, in the parts of his brain that hadn’t melted) would have to be rectified later. Much later.
After more kissing.
Gibbs hands were sneaky. Tony found himself striped without knowing exactly how the other man had managed it. Then Gibbs was pushing him firmly onto the bed and Tony decided he couldn’t care less and focused instead on rubbing his throbbing erection against Gibbs’ answering hardness.
“Please,” Tony managed, voice hoarse as he spread his legs wide and thrust up sharply, “Please.”
Gibbs’ hand went to the bedside table at once, fumbling there gracelessly to open the draw and pull out the condoms and lube stored inside. He capped open the lube first, coating his fingers generously before trailing them teasingly down, down, down.
Tony hissed as the first finger breached him. In a moment of stark clarity, he remembered just how long it had been since he’d done this. Then Gibbs’ mouth latched onto his throat, making the flesh there, and he forgot why it mattered.
The next two fingers burned deliciously and Tony focused on Gibbs’ hands (oh, God, his hands), and on bearing down on the intrusion rather than tensing up.
Tony wanted to beg, assure Gibbs that he was ready already and to get the hell on with it. But those fingers, those lips, those hands... they’d stolen all his words. Idly, Tony mused that this was a much more efficient way to shut him up and Gibbs should substitute it for the head slaps immediately.
Then the fingers were withdrawing, and Tony lost the capacity to think much on anything. Gibbs didn’t ask, didn’t treat him like glass. He simply pressed in and sheathed himself in one smooth, long movement.
Though it made things more difficult, Tony held his breath during the initial penetration and released it in a sigh as Gibbs came to a halt, fully set. They both paused, savouring the connection for just a moment before Gibbs withdrew.
The pace began achingly slow. It didn’t take Gibbs long to find that sweet spot inside Tony and Tony arched into every thrust, moaning beautifully. Gibbs expression was focused on his completely, watching ever flutter of bliss across Tony’s face, his eyes so very blue that Tony felt liable to drown in them.
It felt like everything, every moment, had been leading to this.
Perhaps Gibbs felt the same, for he groaned loudly and his thrusts took on an added sense of urgency. Tony made to reach down, but Gibbs stopped him by taking hold of Tony’s erection himself and stroking in time to his own movements. Tony, hands suddenly idle, clutched instead at Gibbs’ back and urged him on.
Gibbs leant down, the motion enacted on his next inward thrust, and kissed Tony gently, a counterpoint to their steadily more frenzied lovemaking. Tony shuddered into the kiss, body tensing all over and reaching... reaching...
“Tony,” Gibbs whispered into the kiss, the first thing he’d said since their lips had first touched. Then again, one word was all it took before Tony was falling apart in his arms, coming in a long, continuous stream of muffled cries. Gibbs thrust one, twice, thrice more before he found his own completion, grinding into Tony reflexively, his muscles clenching and unclenching under Tony’s fingertips.
They lay tangled together, panting, for a long moment before drawing apart. Tony initiated another kiss, and found the sweetness of it loosened a ball of anxiety inside him he hadn’t even realized he was carrying. Gibbs sighed deeply and pulled Tony close. Tony figured that talking could wait until morning and that waking up itchy was worth the idleness now, so he settled himself in Gibbs’ arms and allowed himself to smile softly at the heavy weight of Gibbs’ hold around him.
On their own account, his eyes fell closed.
Extract from the diary of Anthony DiNozzo, November 25th, 2005. Tony is thirty-one.
I dreamed about Kelly last night.
She was five and it was Christmas. Gibbs was there, as happy as I’ve ever seen him and watching indulgently as she tore open her presents. It was a nice glimpse of the family dynamic Gibbs once had and he smiled when I told him about it and scowled when I teased him about the Christmas themed shirt he was wearing –Gibbs swears that Shannon had forced him into it.
When I laughed at the thought of tiny Shannon forcing Gibbs to do anything he shut me up with a kiss. A method that I’m rapidly becoming accustomed to.
It’s been three months since Gibbs broke into my apartment and read my diaries and things couldn’t be better. I didn’t realize how invaluable another’s opinion could be until I had it –suddenly, there’s another set of eyes to analyse my dreams, watch for triggers and debate the pros and cons of changing the circumstances. In fact, its so nice just being able to talk and bounce ideas about them off of Gibbs that I’m even considering telling the rest of the team. McGee and Ziva will require proof, I think, but Abby will believe me without question. And likely beat me up for not telling her sooner.
I asked Gibbs what he thought and he said he’d stick by me no matter what I chose –well, he didn’t say exactly that. With Gibbs, you learn to read between the lines. In any case, it’s a big decision for me, momentous even, and will take some careful consideration.
But I’m thinking about it.
Unremembered, yesterday is extinct
Without yesterday, today has no meaning
Who are you if forgotten?
Who are you but the sum of your memories?
MTAC - NCIS Fic