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Summary: Some things should be taken to the grave.
Jethro gazed through the viewing window, silent and stiff, posture unyielding. He couldn't help remembering the last time he'd been in this situation; different cops, same crime; different victim, same killer. Taking a miniscule breath, he looked over at the female detective, pretty in a hardened kind of way, and asked, "Did he request a lawyer?"
"The only thing he's said is your name. We've been at him for the last three hours, but that's it. Just your name," she answered, blue eyes curious and unrevealing.
Jethro ignored her curiosity. "If I talk to him, are you going to listen in?"
"You're not a lawyer."
"So we're going to listen in."
He nodded, expecting that answer. Pulling out his cell phone, he dialed a friend who owed him a really big favor.
* * * *
Tony gazed at the viewing window, knowing that Gibbs was on the other side of it by then. It had been almost four hours since the DCPD had brought him in as a suspect in the killing of a young man named Jonathan Greene. They'd thrust pictures at him of a brutalized kid in his mid-twenties. Seventeen stab wounds, which spoke of tremendous rage. Not a single vital organ had been hit, showing knowledge about anatomy. There'd been no forensics evidence left at the crime scene, indicating law enforcement experience.
entered the interrogation room, his handsome, broad face twisted in anger as he snapped, "You're lawyer's here." Carson
Behind the detective came a woman in her mid-thirties with auburn hair and a no-nonsense attitude as she strode in. She turned a pointed look at the detective and told him, "I need to speak to my client alone."
As soon as the man left, Tony asked, "Gibbs hired you?"
"He did," she confirmed. "You will keep your mouth shut when others are in the room, Agent DiNozzo. You will answer only the questions that I okay. You will never admit to anything unless I have told you that you can. If you follow those three rules, we'll be fine. Can you follow those rules, Agent DiNozzo?"
"Good. Now then. Did you kill him?"
"That makes my job satisfying, but no less difficult. I see you've been in this kind of situation before."
Half-grinning, Tony nodded again and said, "I'm just lucky that way."
"I guess," she replied, dry.
The door opened and Detective Carson returned, an even more sour expression in place. "The D.A. says that you're free to go."
Tony's eyebrows went up in surprise. "I am?"
"You are, but don't leave town," he ordered, glaring.
Tony looked over at his lawyer who shrugged and picked her briefcase up from the table. "Let's go, Agent DiNozzo."
Gibbs waited by the exit to the squad room, as expressionless as ever. The slap to the back of Tony's head was, however, harder than usual, expressing Gibbs' displeasure in no uncertain terms. Wincing, Tony didn't protest, instead meekly following them out of the station.
Once outside, Gibbs said, "I'll bring him home and sit on him."
"Please do. They'll be watching," she agreed. "No other reason to let him go, despite the lack of hard evidence."
"Thanks, Delia, I appreciate this," Gibbs told her, smiling briefly.
Delia smiled back and told him, "You haven't begun to appreciate me yet, Jethro, but you will. Goodbye Tony, we'll see one another soon, I'm sure."
Tony's gaze followed her lithe, graceful figure down the front stairs.
"DiNozzo! With me!"
Jerking back to the present, Tony met Gibbs' glare and offered a penitent, hopeful expression as he said, "You can't possibly blame me for this, Boss."
Gibbs ignored him as he stalked to the car at the curb.
Tony scrambled after him, thinking, Then again, maybe he can.
* * * *
A single, bedside light illuminated the spare bedroom in which Tony slept. Jethro leaned against the doorjamb, watching the younger man's chest rise and fall. The light was soft and warm, painting Tony in golden hues that emphasized his beauty and innocence. Despite everything that had happened to him in his life, everything that he'd done and/or been forced to do, Tony remained a positive force for good.
For at least ninety-six percent of the time, Jethro thought with a heavy sigh.
He'd figured it out, idly doing the math one night; every life that Tony had saved, versus every one that he'd taken. Not the ones in the line of duty, no, those counted towards the good column. But the ones who didn't deserve to die, like Jonathan Greene. Or Carol Friedland. Or Jamie Smith. Or Samantha Wright. All dead at Tony's hands. Stabbed to death in a brutal, out-of-control rage that left the other with no memory of what had happened.
If he hadn't witnessed it, and the aftermath, Jethro would never have believed it. He'd come upon the tail-end of a rage killing, entering Tony's apartment with lock-picking tools after getting no response to his calls or knocking loudly on the door.
Tony's knife coming down repeatedly, bathed in the blood of Jamie Smith...
The utterly, scarily blank expression on Tony's face...
Complete silence as Tony had stood and begun cleaning up the crime scene...
Jethro had watched the rest, sickened and impotent. Since then, he'd done his best to keep on Tony's six to prevent it from happening. But he couldn't be with Tony twenty-four-seven, not without that final, irrevocable step that he wasn't yet ready to make.
Crossing to the bed, Jethro sat on the edge of the mattress and brushed his fingers through the soft hair as he sighed and murmured, "I don't blame you, Tony, I blame me."
Because the killings hadn't started until he'd gone to
. Until he'd abandoned Tony just like everyone else had throughout his life. He'd been the one to break Tony and it was up to him to take care of the resulting insanity. Mexico
Tony sighed and leaned into Jethro's touch, his mouth curving into a smile, though he didn't wake.
Bending forward, Jethro pressed his lips to Tony's forehead before standing and leaving the bedroom. They would be fine. The only way the cops could arrest and convict Tony was if one of them talked. Tony couldn't confess, literally, and Jethro would take these secrets to his grave.
That was what you did for those you loved, after all.
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