Summary: Tony's thoughts in the elevator before he comes face to face with Trent Kort in the squad room in 'Bury Your Dead'.
Spoilers: Bury Your Dead
Disclaimer: NCIS characters belong to Bellisario, CBS and Paramount. No copyright infringement intended.
Beta(s): CSIGeekFan and Will.
A/N: Part of the 'Behind Closed Doors' series of oneshots. All involve the same location but different characters and/or time periods. Not in chronological order. Some episode related. Some AU.
One ‘66 Mustang—well done; optional crispy French fry to go. He couldn't believe his baby was gone.
Still buzzing from the internal shot of adrenaline forced on him during the explosion, he thumped the button for the second floor. They would have been looking for him; he’d sent the distress code to Jenny. He had no idea what kind of reception he was going to get when he walked into the squad room. Welcoming? Frosty? Indifferent? He didn’t care; just glad that he was able to experience a reception of some kind.
He didn’t care if Gibbs whacked him into the middle of next week.
He didn’t care if Jenny reamed him out in front of the whole squad room.
He didn’t care if Abby squeezed the breath out of him with one of her compression bandage hugs.
He didn’t care if Ducky wanted to poke and prod him, checking for signs of life. He still wasn’t sure he was alive.
He didn’t care if Ziva did not use a single contraction for the rest of the day.
He didn’t care if McGee bored him to tears explaining how he’d traced the location of his burnt out cell. If, of course, he’d been ordered to find it in the first place; which he didn’t think he would have. Tim would have been on it before the words came out of Jenny’s mouth.
Jenny’s mouth, or Gibbs’s? God, Gibbs. Tony slammed his fist against the elevator wall and hissed at the sharp pain that jolted up his right arm. He’d lied to him. Again. He wouldn’t blame the guy if he socked him one the moment the doors opened.
Tony sagged, leaning heavily against the side of the elevator. That had been so close. Too close.
Maybe not close enough.
Anger burned deep inside, threatening to combust; consuming him whole within his temporary confinement. Resisting the urge to punch the side wall a second time, as that would only cause him more pain - at least the physical kind anyway - he closed his eyes. There was no way that physical pain could match the empty ache he felt; the emotional mangling that his heart experienced at lying to the man he respected and the woman he loved.
You stupid bastard, Anthony.
The woman he loved. The mark. The contact he was supposed to cultivate. He’d blown his own cover. His legend, no more use than his burnt out Mustang. The op was over; Jeanne, most probably, over too.
The lies, the hurt; he was done. No more lies, Anthony. Gotta stop hurting people.
Tony opened his eyes and glanced at the lights above the doors. Number one lit up and then dimmed as the lift passed the floor.
All that was left now was the customary awkward debrief with the Director, and the inevitable unspoken dialogue with Gibbs which would most likely consist of him having to face the look of concern closely followed by disappointment evident deep within those piercing blue eyes. Gripping the side of the elevator, Tony turned to face the doors and lowered his head. He’d screwed up and he knew it. Hell, by now everyone knew it.
As the elevator arrived at the second floor, the reassuring ping echoed loudly in the car. Time to face the music, Anthony. He mentally spurred himself into action; his fragile mask of wide smile and ‘I’m fine’ eyes slipping into place. The doors slid open and Tony looked up to find none other than the bastard who’d probably blown his cover to La Grenouille weeks ago. Here was something worth punching, albeit verbally.
Tony’s smile inched wider and he locked eyes with Kort before laughing half-heartedly.
“Hey, my car blew up this morning. Did you do that?”