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Author's Chapter Notes:
The continuation...
Chapter Four: Semper Fidelis

Tony sat in the corner office with a NCIS sanctioned shrink.

His heart pounded against his rib cage.

Just keep your cool DiNozzo.

"I can't tell them."

"Why can't you tell them?"

Ahh that big question.

"Because they would see me differently."

The woman nodded and asked, "How do you think they see you now?"

"As someone whose not afraid."

"Everyone feels afraid."

His glazed over green eyes gave her room for more input.

"Tony...do you see fear itself as a bad thing? Or is there something you're afraid of you don't want them seeing?"

"I just don't want them to think I'm that guy!" He laughed.

"What guy?"

"Someone who's..." Tony sighed. "Affected by things that happen. Someone who doesn't enjoy life and smell the freaking roses," His eyes once again faded off. This time growing sad. "Someone who forgets how to laugh. Who doesn't let go when his partner turns on him..."

"Like how your partner turned on you."

He flinched.

"...I was a cop in Baltimore at the time."

She tapped a number 2 pencil rhythmically against her notepad, "Are you afraid your new partners will turn on you?"

The question caught him off guard, "W-what?"

"Are. You. Afraid...your new partners will turn on you?"

Tony felt like someone shot him.

He keeled back.

Did he...

Shock coursed through DiNozzo head to toe.

His psychiatrist sighed.

"Here's a better question: do you trust your partners to not betray you?'

Did he...

Tony looked at his team outside the closed off office.

He saw McGee.



Could he trust them?

All of this boiled down to one final answer.


After seeing her stunned expression he quickly added, "I-I mean Gibbs! If he asked me for my soul I would hand it to him!"

"I see...so you don't trust anyone other than Agent Gibbs?"

"I've trusted a lot of people ma'am...and they've all ended up breaking it."

"Like who?"

The senior field agent thought a moment.

"I trusted my father...to a point. I trusted my mother to always be there for me...I trusted friends in college. A fiancee I had once. I trusted my partner Danny Price....I've tried trusting Kate and Probie."

She wrote something down.

And leaned forwards.

"Tony...a partnership like this is a very sacred bond. You have to trust a co-worker with everything you've got. If there is no trust (or even friendship) A PARTNERSHIP WILL FAIL."

He snapped up, "Special Agent Jethro Gibbs is my partner. I do trust him with everything I've got! And there's no doubt he feels the same way!"

"Hmm...interesting. If Agent Gibbs trusted someone else...would you do the same?"

"I don't know," he gave a challenging nod. "I do know his gut is never wrong."

Her eyes never left him.

"...What do your instincts tell you?"

"...Trust my team."

"So what should you do?"

Tony shifted in his seat now very uncomfortable.

"Follow my instincts. They've never been wrong...except for a few times."

The naval psychiatrist noticed the change in attitude and said, "I think that's all for today."


He put on a fake smile and jumped up to shake her hand, "Thank you, Doctor."


McGee noticed the two shaking hands and frowned.

"What's Tony doing?"

Kate clipped on her gear and asked Gibbs, "Is he not coming with us?"

Their team leader sighed through his nose and said, "No. DiNozzo has other things to take care of."

Tony came out of the small room and his eyes met Tim's.

Something flashed between them.

It disappeared leaving Kate to wonder if she'd just imagined the whole thing.

He quickly walked away.

"Lets go Agent Todd," Gibbs told her.

She got in the elevator, putting her cap on straight.

The doors closed.

It was silent on the way down.

.....Did he not trust her?


They fought like siblings constantly but Kate had secretly grown to care about the senior field agent.

Despite his X-rated childish antics.

She thought they almost had a thing going.

She flashed back to a few weeks ago.

"Oh, so because I grew up with money, that somehow makes me bad. Very deep."

"It's better than having to work every day like my dad had to," Kate replied flippantly.

Tony whipped around to bite her head off, "Listen, you think money makes life easier, huh? That everything was just a big ol' cakewalk for little Anthony DiNozzo? You tell me, Kate, because I really want to know."

Did she really understand her partner?

Gibbs finally moved behind McGee and whispered, "...I know what you did."

The elevator stopped.
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