Summary: An all dialogue story in which Tony and Tim discuss dads...
Rated: FR13
Categories: General
Genre: Character Study
Warnings: Spoilers
Challenges: Tipsy Challenge
Challenges: Tipsy Challenge
Series: True Friendship
“Stop nagging, maybe you should take my keys; that way I won’t wreck my new car.”

“We came in a cab Tony, remember?”

“Cab...I do rememember, wait, did I add an extra em in remem...whatever.”

“I think it’s time we were going home, I know you’ve had a tough day but it’s getting late and you, we have had enough to drink.”

“No such thing as ‘nough, there’s too much, too little, but never enough. Hey, I can’t be drunk if I can be so philosophical. I can even say philoph...phlos...”

“Don’t force it Tony, one philosophical is plenty. If you don’t want to leave, how about a soft drink, or water?”

“Water! Only if there’s a Scotch in the glass too.”

“Tony...”

“He’s done it again hasn’t he? I don’t know why I’m even surprised any more when he lets me down, why do I make reservations, buy concert tickets? It’s a stupid waste of time, every freaking time he bales and I’m left alone.”

“Hey! Thanks for that Tony, what am I, chopped liver?”

“No way, no way Tim, my pal, my buddy...you saved me tonight, saved me from myself.”

“Now you’re being maudlin.”

“I like the way that words sounds...it sounds...soulful, maudlin...you’ve been spending way too much time with Ducky lately.”

“Whatever you say Tony, er Tony, please take your hand off my knee, people will talk. How about I call you a cab, and don’t you dare!”

“Dare what McSpoilsport?”

“You know.”

“Guess it is a pretty old joke, saying someone’s a cab...but it’s a good one, the old ones often are. Tim, am I getting old?”

“We’re all getting older, but I don’t think you’ll ever be old.”

“I don’t...don’t want to be like my dad, always acting like some fading frat-boy, trying to hold on to...whatever he thinks he’s holding on to.”

“Don’t knock what your dad has Tony, he can be very charming; look at the way Abby acts whenever he’s around; Ziva wasn’t immune either, she had a soft spot for both DiNozzo’s.”

“Maybe...didn’t stop her walking away.”

“True, but she didn’t go because of anything you did, or didn’t do.”

“I know, I know...she had to make her own life, just wish I could be a part of it...wish I could be part of my dad’s life too.”

“You are a part of his life Tony! I know he lets you down sometimes...too often maybe, but at least he can tell you he loves you. My dad, sick as he is he still won’t say...”

“Hold it right there, whatever else we may think about them, we know our dad’s love us, they may not be good at saying it, or showing it, but deep down they feel...Face it Tim, our dad’s stopped being heroes long ago, but they were heroes once. Do you remember, hey I got it right! Do you remember the days when you thought your dad was the greatest man in the whole world?”

“Oh yeah; even when he was being critical of whatever I was trying to do, I know he was only trying to make me better, stronger maybe...”

“Did it work?”

“Sometimes, guess he taught me never to be satisfied with second best, always strive to improve every day; how about you? Your dad must have been quite something when he was younger.”

“Pretty much the same way he is now, only with fewer wrinkles and grey hairs. He was...is, always looking for the next big deal, the next bedroom conquest, the next free lunch.”

“Come on Tony, you told me he took you fishing, there must have been some good times.”

“A few...okay maybe more than a few. He would come to school sometimes, no warning, he’d just show up out of the blue and he’d take me out for pizza, or bowling; we’d talk, laugh. I remember there was a lot of laughter, but then...there were times when he’d promised to come watch me play ball, or listen to my piano recital...”

“He didn’t show?”

“Once in a while, when he wasn’t cooking up some amazing deal; when mom got sick he did try to spend more time with me, problem is he’s not good with confrontation. I was angry about mom’s illness, took it out on him, drove him away I guess.”

“But he came back; I know he didn’t always act like a responsible adult.”

“Ya think?”

“Okay, he doesn’t like being the grown-up, but having a dad who never lightens up can be tough too. My dad he...he’s always been distant, and not just because he was posted overseas; even when he was home it was like his mind was always with the Navy, not with us...out there, you know?”

“I know, believe me I know, my dad was like that, always waiting for a phone call, or on his way to a meeting.”

“You know Tony, when I first knew you I figured you must have had the home life every kid dreams of...pots of money, exotic vacations, now...”

“Not looking so rosy, huh?”

“Not so much. Guess neither if us is poster boy for the perfect childhood...we’re still luckier that lots of other kids; my dad never raised his hand to me, I never went to bed hungry, I felt...safe, loved. Guess my mom and Penny had a lot to do with that; it must have been hard for you, after your mom...”

“It wasn’t always easy when she was alive, the arguments between her and dad, her drinking...she could be difficult, but other times...loving her was so easy Tim, and even when she got real sick we’d sit together and talk, or watch movies...I miss here every single day, and every day I wonder if I’d have been a different person if she was still alive.”

“Guess neither of us would have turned out the way we did if our home lives had been different. I can’t imagine the size of the hole left by losing your mom; without my mom I don’t think I’d have got through high school, let alone had the nerve to move away from home and go to college. I can tell you one thing Tony, for what it’s worth; if your mom was still alive she’d be proud of the man you’ve become.”

“Seriously? You don’t think I be a dissp, dissoint...a let-down to her?”

“The Senior Field Agent on the top Major Case Team in NCIS? A loyal friend, a good son, an ace investigator, a man of impeccable taste in clothes, a walking movie encyclopaedia...what’s not to be proud of?”

“You mean all that Tim, really, truly?”

“One hundred percent; your mom would think she was lucky to have a son like you.”

“I...I was lucky to have her, wasn’t for as long as I‘d have like, but I sure was lucky. Another thing...I’m lucky to have you Tim, not many people would put up with me, I go too far sometimes.”

“Sometimes?”

“Hey! I’m trying to pay you a compliment. You’re one of the good guys, and I’m glad to have you as a friend.”

“Do you think you’d be saying that if you were sober?”

“You sayin’ I’ve had too much to drink?”

“Come on Tony, I’ve been saying that since your third Martini.”

“Shaken, not stirred...okay, maybe I’ve had one too many.”

“One?”

“Or two, but...I know what I’m saying, you’re a good friend, if you weren’t you’d be happy to pour more drink down my throat instead of trying to keep me on the straight and narrow. Let’s have one more drink Tim, a small one, just so I can toast my dad on his birthday.”

“Sure thing, so long as this is the last one.”

“Barkeep; two small Martinis, very well shaken. So Tim, a toast, Happy Birthday Dad...how about a word for your dad too, they may have messed us around when we were kids, but I guess all things considered we didn’t turn out so bad.”

“Guess not, go ahead Tony, toast away.”

“To Anthony DiNozzo Senior and Admiral John McGee, we forgive you for the bad times and thank you for the good. Agreed?”

“Agreed. To our dads, warts and all, we love you!”

THE END

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