Ashleigh Anpilova

Set during The Bone Yard.
Fornell is reflecting on his situation.
A Fornell-centric gen story.
Written: August 2008. Word count: 500.



When you're a seasoned Federal Agent, it's not always easy to be optimistic; you start out that way. You believe you'll change the world; you'll right all the wrongs; you'll catch all the bad guys; you'll win.


But you soon learn that just because you carry a badge and gun and can yell 'Federal Agent. Freeze' at people, it doesn't change the world. In fact, you often think you make no damn difference at all. Sometimes you wonder why you go on doing the job; it certainly isn't for the pay or the hours or the gratitude or recognition.


So as he sits in his cell, staring at the stainless steel toilet bowl, wondering what his first night behind bars will be like, Tobias Fornell hadn't got a great deal to be optimistic about.


He was not in a good situation. In fact he couldn't remember ever being in a worse one, and that was saying something. He'd been framed, framed by one of his own. The FBI thought he was a mole; they thought he was the person who'd put his own man on the slab in Ducky's Autopsy. And there was not a lot he could do to prove them wrong.


In fact from where he was, he could do nothing. Nothing except wait. Nothing except wait and hope. Nothing except wait and hope and be optimistic. Nothing except wait and hope and be optimistic that Leroy Jethro Gibbs, the man who was a bigger bastard than he was himself, could prove the FBI wrong.


And not just prove them wrong, but save Fornell himself. Save his good name, his career and quite possibly his life. Federal Agents didn't do well in prison; a lot never saw the outside again. And those who did probably wished they never had, as they came out to nothing; no job, no home, no future. And it wasn't just their fellow prisoners who played a part in them not seeing the outside world; the legal system played its part too. Judges tended to hand out the maximum sentence possible and seemed to rely on less than sound evidence; a Fed gone bad had to made an example of.


Could Gibbs do it? Would he even try?


Yes. And yes. Fornell had no doubt about either fact. Sure Gibbs was a grade-A bastard, but he was also a damn good friend. The best Fornell had. Sure they bickered at one another, even when they were alone. Fornell's 'realizing how sad this sounds, you're the closet thing I have to a friend, Gibbs' had just been part of their game; the way they handled their friendship.


Gibbs would get him out of there.


He would save him.


He would find a way to prove Fornell's innocence.


Fornell knew he would.


When you're a seasoned Federal Agent, it's not always easy to be optimistic. Well, not unless you have one Leroy Jethro Gibbs on your side. Then it's the easiest thing in the world.



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