A RAGING STORM
A sequel to Had Hoped.
Tim did track Jeanne down and Tony goes to visit her.
An established relationship story.
Written: April 2009. Word count: 1,000.
As he drives through the raging storm, hearing and feeling the claps of thunder and seeing the lightning dance in front of him, he is thinking. He is thinking about what he's going to say to her when he sees her.
He's done nothing but think about it since the moment Tim handed him her address and wished him luck. He's thought about it so much, has ran scenario after scenario through his mind, but nothing seems right. He still cannot think of what to say to her, what to say to make her listen.
He drives on.
He can't be Tony DiNardo, not even for her. He's Anthony DiNozzo and he loves her. He frowns as another clap of thunder momentarily drowns out his thoughts.
He shakes his head, where was he? Oh, yes. Tony DiNardo, the man who never existed. And yet he did. And as much as he isn't DiNardo, part of him is, because he created his alter-ego. He lived with him; he lived him; he was him. So much of Anthony DiNozzo was in Tony DiNardo.
He sighs as again the sky lights up in front of him. This isn't getting him anywhere, well nowhere helpful.
He drives on.
Could he be Tony DiNardo? Could he give up NCIS? Give up the family? Seventeen months ago he couldn't. Seventeen months ago he'd chosen the family. Seventeen months ago he'd chosen the family over Jeanne. And it had felt right. It had felt the only thing he could do. The only thing he wanted to do. Because he couldn't be Tony DiNardo. But nor had he been Anthony DiNozzo. For seventeen months he hasn't been Anthony DiNozzo, nor has he been Tony DiNardo, he doesn't know who he's been.
Then six months later he'd stood in front of her and had lied to her. Had listened to Ziva when she'd told him 'tell her what she needs to hear'. Had seen the look on her face when he'd told her nothing had been real. Had seen the utter and total betrayal. Had seen the kind of hatred that you're only capable of if you really love someone. Anthony DiNozzo had lied to her. Anthony DiNozzo had destroyed her. Anthony DiNozzo had destroyed Tony DiNardo. And in doing so Anthony DiNozzo had destroyed himself.
Another crash of thunder reverberates around him, making the car quiver. Now it sounds and feels as if the storm is right over his head. It feels as if it's following him. It feels as if the storm is linked to him and his thoughts. Maybe it is.
He drives on.
Maybe he's foolish to be here. Maybe he should at the very least have called her first. Maybe he should have thought about it more before taking the address from Tim, requesting leave from Gibbs and leaving for Europe for France for Jeanne. Maybe he should have done, but he didn't.
Maybe she won't talk to him. Maybe she won't listen to him. Maybe she won't even open the door to him. Maybe she won't, but he has to try. He has to try because he can't go on as he is any longer. He can't go on not being Anthony DiNozzo. He can't go on getting more and more bitter. He can't go on being the complete idiot. He can't go on like he is. And he knows Gibbs won't let him much longer. He knows Gibbs won't put up with him much longer.
Lightning forks through the air again and the thunder crashes. The storm has to be following him; otherwise he'd have left it behind miles ago. Maybe he should stop, the road is getting wetter and wetter; he can see large puddles of water in front of him. Maybe he should stop and wait for the storm to blow itself out. Maybe he should stop and think more about what he's going to say to her. Maybe he should stop and try to sleep.
He drives on.
Finally he reaches the town Tim tracked her down to. It looks small, the kind of place everyone knows everyone. He wonders if anyone knows Jeanne. It doesn't take long for him to find her apartment building. He drives past it and stops the car, not wanting to risk her looking out of the window and seeing it. Not that she'd recognize it, but he still doesn't want her seeing it.
He gets out of the car and turns up his collar as the rain plummets down on his head and shoulders, soaking him in seconds. There aren't any street lights, but he doesn't need them, the lightning shows him where to go. His head is aching now from the constant bombardment of sound.
Taking care to avoid the worst of the puddles, he half walks half jogs to her building. He just hopes it isn't one with an entry-phone. His wish is granted. He lets himself in, shakes his head to get rid of some of water and pauses. He still hasn't decided what to say. He glances back into the street, still the storm is raging. He wonders if he'll face another storm once he reaches her door.
He can't delay it any longer. He's wet, he's cold, he's hungry, he's thirsty. He doesn't know what he'll do if she slams the door in his face or tells him to go away. He'll face that when it happens.
Her apartment is on the fifth floor.
He reaches her door.
He rings the bell.
He can still hear the thunder.
Just as he's about to ring the bell again, the door opens.
She's there. In front of him, She looks tired, drained, unhappy, shocked to see him, and more beautiful than he remembers.
She's there in front of him and he still hasn't thought what to say.
But he has to say something. He opens his mouth, not knowing what is going to come out. "Jeanne. I lied."
LINKS TO ALL STORIES IN THIS SERIES
A Raging Storm
After The Storm
Who Are You?
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