Series: - No Series - #1
Chapters: 001 Word Count: 1189
Character(s): Jethro Gibbs, Tony DiNozzo
Episode(s): 1-11 Eye Spy
Summary: The secret behind Rob's behavior is revealed. Will Gibbs and Tony be able to help Julia and him through it? Next in the Julia Knows Best series.
Author Notes: Thanks to Anna for the beta!
Tony watched Gibbs through the entire dinner, studying his lover carefully. Gibbs was putting on a good show, but Tony knew better. There was a tightness to Gibbs eyes, and the way his jaw was set between bites and small sips of wine showed just how serious this was. It went beyond a gay bashing thing, at least that was what Tony’s gut told him. He wasn’t Gibbs, but he was learning from the master, the Mr. Miagyi, the Shifu, the many masters who had come before him.
Tony blinked a few times, shaking his head to clear the memories of movies like the Karate Kid and Kung-Fu Panda out of his mind.
“Tony? Want more wine?” There was an annoyed edge in Gibbs’ voice, something Tony only usually heard at work. It never came home; that tone was clearly marked “For Work Only” and they both knew it.
“Uh, yeah. No. I…”
“Make up your mind.”
This was such a difference to what they’d been like earlier today. The donuts…the sex…the easy camaraderie. Tony clenched his cheeks reflexively at the memory.
“Yes or no, DiNozzo?” Gibbs barked out. It must have shocked him, because when the tone hit own his ears, Gibbs’ eyes widened, slightly, the skin around them tensing and tightening.
“No.” Tony kept his voice slow, in a gentle and easy tone. He knew better than to taunt the marauding tiger. He glanced over to Rob, the kid’s face just as stressed as Gibbs’ and Julia, whose worry had carved deep lines around her mouth.
Julia met Tony’s eyes, giving him a searching look. She was clearly checking to see what he knew, which wasn’t much. She couldn’t get out of him what he didn’t know, and he shrugged, letting her know that he wasn’t the guy she needed to speak with.
“I feel like there’s an elephant parading around my table,” Julia said in a more uncertain voice than Tony had ever heard from her. She was always so confident, so sure of herself. When Tony and Gibbs were screwing things up, Julia swept in, offering calmness, steadiness, and a shoulder to lean on. She was the most grounded and assured person Tony had ever met, not that she was cocky. She wasn’t; Julia was one of those people who was so damned perceptive that she could see the forest from the trees. The lost tone in her voice was unnatural and it made Tony’s gut twist around the food in it.
When it became clear to Tony that the other men at the table weren’t going to speak, he cleared his throat, sipping the dregs of his wine. Maybe he should have asked for seconds—or was this thirds? “What do you mean?”
“Something happened outside,” Julia said, normal confidence back in her tone. “But it goes beyond my son’s sudden issues with his uncle’s choice of date. I’ve been patient throughout dinner, watching this staring contest between my son and his uncle, and now I want answers.”
“I don’t have them.”
“I know you don’t, Tony. But Jethro and Robert do.”
“Not here, Julia.”
“No? Then where, Jethro?” Tony had never heard Julia raise her voice like that. She slammed a hand on the table, making the plates and silverware rattle and clang. Tony was aware that he was the only one pressing his hand against the plates to silence the ringing sound. “Where and when, Jethro? For God’s sake, will you tell me what in heaven’s name is going on?”
Tony stood, intending to move to Julia, but Jethro shook his head, pointing a finger at Rob. The teen’s eyes widened and he shook his head frantically, until Gibbs repeated the gesture, fingers of his free hand drumming on the table.
Rob finally stood, shuffling over to his mother and giving her an awkward hug. It was only when Tony saw that she was wrapped in her son’s embrace that he sat down, giving Gibbs an inquisitive look.
“What’s going on?” he asked in barely more than a whisper, knowing Gibbs’ almost suprnatural hearing would pick it up.
Gibbs shook his head, motioning to mother and son. “Julia, Rob has something he needs to tell you.”
“I don’t…Uncle Jeth…”
Gibbs had never sounded more commanding, and Tony’s whole body shivered. Gibbs in full drill sergeant mode must have been incredible. Tony’s mind started drifting to dress blue Charlies on Gibbs, and he swallowed hard, trying to wrench his mind back to the subject at hand.
“Uncle Jeth…” There was a pleading tone in the kid’s voice now and Tony completely understood. He felt the same way when Gibbs got all commanding on him.
“Your mess, Rob. You have to tell her.”
“You said you’d help me.”
“And I will. But you were man enough to get yourself into this. You’re man enough to break your mom’s heart.”
At the realization of what Gibbs said, Tony started to stand again, but he was just waved down by Gibbs. Tony gave him an “are you sure” look and Gibbs just nodded.
“Rob, what is it?” Julia said, breathing slowly and deeply as she waited for the emotional blow.
“You can and you will, Rob!” Gibbs roared, standing now and flanking Julia on one side. He stood close enough to touch his sister-in-law, but didn’t. Yet. Tony wanted to get up as well, but he knew this was a family matter and much as Julia might think of him as family, he wasn’t. Not technically and not where it mattered the most right now. He felt as if he had no right here and he stood, intending to go to the bathroom or something. Any manufactured excuse would do right now.
Just as he started to turn, Tony saw Gibbs crook his finger, motioning him closer. Tony shrugged, uncertain, even though the grim expression on Gibbs’ face had him moving closer rapidly.
“Fine,” Rob muttered. “I got into some trouble at school, Mom.”
“What kind of trouble?”
“A lot,” Rob said, making a face. “I was seeing this girl and she turned me on to this stuff.”
“What stuff?” Julia asked.
Rob didn’t answer, fishing around in his pocket and pulling out a container and a needle, which Tony reached over and snatched, holding up to the light. The needle had seen a lot of use, but that wasn’t what drew Tony’s eye. He turned the small jar back and forth, letting the light shine on what was inside, but he already knew what it was. And what bad news it was for the boy.
“And now I…I can’t stop,” Rob whispered.
“What kind of drug is that?” Julia asked, her voice shaking. Gibbs had wrapped his arms around her and he was rocking her slowly, while Rob stood forlorn, lost, desperate, scared.
“It’s heroin, Julia.”