A couple of days after he left Baltimore, leaving his fiancé he didn't love...his dirty partner...his former life behind, Tony found himself, again, in one of the buildings at the Navy Yard. He was standing in one orange colored corridor, deeply in thought, waiting for Leroy Jethro Gibbs so he could thank him for assistance in the case. The case they worked together for the last two weeks.
It wasn't the first time he had to work with someone from the federal agency, and it won't be the last either. As an awarded homicide detective he was well known in the law enforcement. He had morals and ethics that nothing, not even his partner, could break. His dirty partner. Every time he thought of Danny, he got the urge to throw up or to hit something. He did thought of turning the blind eye...for a second, but he knew he couldn't live with himself if he did that. Aside from his morals and ethics, he had an unique way of solving crimes, he was so astute in reading people, it was downright scary. He was also an easy going man with a smile that had everyone smiling back. People who worked with him loved him because of his selflessness, his need to help. There was something special in Tony DiNozzo, everyone agreed on that, even the Special Agent Gibbs, second B for bastard. The only one who disagreed was Tony himself.
Being an only child of an absent, and rarely abusive, father, and an alcoholic mother, Tony found his escape in books and movies. It was tolerable up until he turned nine, when his mother committed suicide. Then it turned worse. Senior, his father, didn't know what to do with a child and he started collecting wives. He was rarely at home, but when he was...everything that little Tony did, it was wrong. Craving for something, Tony started acting up, hiding himself behind a mask of a clown. Because of that, he was thrown out of various schools, until the last one, where a basketball coach saw right through him. There he discovered he was good in sports. Everything changed since that day. He became popular and among all the other kids that just wanted to know him, he found what true friendship really was. That gave him strength to fight his father about college. Against his father's wishes, he went to the Ohio state, causing Senior to disown him. To Tony, that meant freedom. He no longer needed his father's approval. He had friends, girlfriends, a chosen career, but even then, something was missing. When a guy from the opposite team busted his knee, his popularity was gone, but true friends stayed.
Tony was lost when his future as a professional player was gone, but even then, when Senior came with an offer for work, he stood up and declined. That was the last time Tony saw his father. One night, he had a dream. A dream of a fire and two kids trapped inside. He kept dreaming the same dream over and over until one night he found himself in front of a building in fire. Without a second thought, he ran inside and had to make a choice. Talking to his frat brothers helped. After a while he no longer felt that much guilt, even if sometimes he had nightmares about it.
Suddenly he knew what he wanted. To help people. He enrolled in to the police academy which he passed with flaying colors. His first job offer came from Peoria. When he felt it was time, he left and moved to Philadelphia. Then to Baltimore. In each precinct he stayed about two years. The dreams came and after a third one, that came true, he started calling them visions. Sometimes, he just had a feeling something was about to happen. He trusted those feelings and dreams, but he was smart enough not to abuse that power.
In Peoria, the sudden vision he had saved many lives, including his own, when they worked on a hostage situation. At the time, they didn't know about the fourth man in the gang that tried to rob the bank. The gang was vicious. They killed two men and one was wounded in the first ten minutes, before Tony and the rest of his team saved the rest. Tony was the negotiator, since they had no one who could talk that much like him. He was, after seven hours, on the verge of his strength, when he suddenly had a vision of a man with a rifle, standing on the rooftop of an nearby building. Not only that the man had a rifle, he also had some kind of a detonator. Seeing that, Tony's blood ran cold. The gang was a suicidal. They never planned to go out and surrender. They were just buying time. For what exactly Tony didn't know, nor did he planned to wait and see. He ordered Justin, his partner, to take three of their colleges and told him about that fourth man. Justin went without a word, trusting Tony. Fifteen minutes later, they had everything under control. Tony told the gang that were in the bank that their man was found and arrested. Without the leverage, the gang surrendered.
In Philadelphia, while working with FBI Agent Tobias Fornell, they caught a serial killer. Tobias was so impressed with the young cop, he offered him a job. Feeling it wasn't the right time, Tony declined. But, that wasn't the only reason. There was also that strange attraction, strange feelings that he felt just being near the older man. Feelings that he couldn't understand because he never felt anything like it for any other man. He liked women. At least he thought until he met Tobias. Not knowing what to do about it, Tony pushed those feelings away, determined not to think of them. Unfortunately, Tobias Fornell was very much present in Tony's dreams.
Their second encounter was a year and a half later when he just started working for the Baltimore PD. Tony went undercover, not knowing that the FBI had one of their own in the drug ring too. It was a pleasant surprise when he saw a familiar face at the coffee shop near the warehouse where the drugs were to be sold to the highest bidder. He was so focused on Tobias, he failed to see one of the dealers following him there. Before his cover was blown, Tobias saved the day and their lives saying he was Tony's boyfriend. Tony went with that, wishing it was true. Tobias was brought into the gang, then saved Tony's life when, a couple days later, the bullets went flying. Once again, Tobias offered him a place in his team. It was still not the right time and Tony declined.
Two weeks later, Tony met Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs after he tackled him in the alley. They worked well together, and Tony was impressed by the gruff, no-nonsense, Marine. Finding out his partner was dirty was a hard pill to swallow. Suddenly, he started to question everything.
''Maybe this job is not for me.'' He mumbled absently, leaning against the orange wall. Next thing he felt was a slap at the back of his head, and he looked at the silver-haired man beside him, eyes full of shock. ''Did you just physically assaulted me?''
Gibbs rolled his eyes. ''Rule Five. Don't waste good. And you are good. Trust in yourself.'' He said, then pointed at the door across them. ''When you fill up everything, find me in Autopsy.''
Tony watched the older man walk away with a small smile on his face. However, as soon as his hand touched the doorknob, he was assaulted with visions.
He saw himself and Gibbs working together as a two-man team, solving crime after crime. The respect and admiration slowly forming into something stronger.
The arrival of Kate Todd. Then Tim McGee.
Their disrespect from day one... Gibbs changing...
Chris Pacci. Dead.
The Plague. Blue lights. Fighting for breath...
Ziva David. Jenny Shepard. Jeanne Benoit.
Multiple heartaches, sleepless nights, more disrespect from his teammates... Gibbs saying nothing to stop them, sometimes even joining in...
Paula Cassidy. Dead.
Gibbs almost dying in the explosion.
Gibbs drifting away from him...
He saw himself sitting on the floor of his apartment, crying, holding the gun in his hands...
Jenny Shepard. Dead.
His time of utter loneliness on the ship...
Constant head slaps...first dolled light just to keep him focused, then harder for any reason...
As soon the visions were over, he fought the urge to throw up. It took a couple of moments for his hands to stop shaking.
''There is no way in hell I'm going to live through that.'' He mumbled under his breath, then quickly left the Navy Yard.
Once outside, he finally felt he could breathe normally. He suddenly thought of Tobias, and made the call. Tobias told him to come to the Hoover Building as soon as possible, and on his way there, Tony felt those feelings coming back, alongside the anticipation. This would be their third encounter. Third time the charm. The words rushed through his mind. An hour later, as he signed the last form, catching the smiling face sitting across him, he felt serenity. He felt rightness. He felt like he just came home.