Title: Take me Home
Author: Trista Groulx aka dustytiger
Rating: T (to be safe, like the show)
Disclaimer: I'm a starving artist of sorts so please don't sue I'm just playing with the idea, NCIS belongs to its network, creators, writers, actors and actresses which keep it going.
Summary: Tony has been having nightmares, not exactly nightmares for years, and it's finally time for him to tell someone the truth.
Notes: I really liked this staying a mystery lady could be someone we know or not (I know who I'd pick but I don't think it's obvious). This is just a little one shot. The title comes from a Tom Waits song. Please be kind and respect the way I chose to write this fic. This is a little bit heavier than my usual fic but I hope you like it! Not ready to say goodbye to Tony just yet, but I have some post the big finale stuff simmering too but my creativity has only had so much time for fic lately.
"Anthony, your mother is sick," she explained. She was an older woman with soft features talking to a little boy who couldn't be more than eight. "She's going to be in the hospital for a while."
"Am I gonna get sick too, Nan?" he asked.
"No, angel, it isn't that kind of sick. You can't catch this like a cold. She's going to be very tired, and she might lose her hair too."
"Is she gonna be okay after?"
She hugged him tightly. "We don't know Anthony, I'm sorry." The little boy began to cry but soon a voice echoed in his head saying men don't cry.
Anthony DiNozzo Junior had had that dream hundreds of times but it was more than just a dream. It was a more of a memory now; but he was almost certain it had happened, although his father teaching him not to cry had come later. He woke up and looked at the sleeping body beside him and carefully got up, not bothering to put on boxers before pulling his bathrobe over his shoulder. He then went into the living room hoping that moving would change his train of thought and the second dream would not start the moment he let himself drift off. He didn't want to leave leaving her to worry if he had quit what they had been building together. Despite trying to fight it he fell asleep again on the couch.
"What about Mommy?" he asked, fighting his tears. "Isn't she coming home too?"
"No, Anthony, your mom went to heaven," his grandmother told him.
"When does she get back?"
There were tears falling down her cheeks. "Oh, my poor sweet boy, she's with God in heaven and she's an angel now."
"But… I asked God not to take her, why didn't he listen?"
He jerked awake knowing that the voice in his dream was real; his grandmother had always called him Anthony. It took him a moment to adjust to his surroundings. He never dreamed about his father being there; it was always his grandmother who supported him through everything. As he became fully awake he fought to keep the memory where it was. He hadn't talked about that part of his life since he'd lost his beloved grandmother.
"Tony?" she whispered taking his hand. "I thought you left, why are you on the couch?"
"I was getting too warm, I'm sorry."
"Why are you lying to me?"
"I don't want to talk about it."
She squeezed his hand. "Please."
He shook his head. "It's personal."
"I told you about some of the worst things that have ever happened to me yet you never seem to give me the same. I want to know. I want to help if I can."
"Talking isn't going to change anything!" he snapped. "It happened a long time ago and my father taught me not talk about this it's a family thing."
"Have you ever thought that Senior might be wrong about this?"
"I have these nightmares," he began. "Not nightmares more like dreams- not really dreams."
"Talking about them could help."
"I'm not ready, I may never be."
"You can trust me with your life but not with your past..." she sighed. "Why are you so afraid to talk about whatever this is?"
"This isn't about fear and I promise you it has nothing to do with trust; I haven't talked about this in so long I don't think I know how anymore. Can we please drop it?"
There were tears falling down her cheeks. "I want to know why you always hold this back. I know this may be difficult but a lot of what I told you about my past was just as hard for me to tell you."
"That's not fair and you know it."
"We've been down this road so many times," she sighed. "I want to keep moving forward together but you know that will never be possible if you keep hiding from me."
"I don't want to lose you but I've never talked about her before."
That was further than they had ever gotten before not that this was very far. He always put a wall up when it came to the nightmares he had. It wasn't the first time he had wondered off in the middle of the night only to come up with an excuse as to why he left which had nothing to do with her. He knew it wasn't fair to keep this from her but he wasn't lying when he said he had never talked about it before.
"Her who?" she asked, softly hoping he wouldn't flee into the night.
"My mom," he whispered.
"Maybe it's time I talk about her; she wasn't perfect but I still needed her. I didn't understand what had even happened to her until I was an adult. The only person who ever told me anything about what happened to her was my grandmother; she passed away a couple months later and after that it was just me and Senior."
"Tony," she whispered. "I had no idea."
"I never told anyone before," he admitted. "I dream about the day Nan told me she was sick and the day she told me Mom couldn't come back from heaven a lot."
She hugged him tightly and it took her a moment to realise he was crying. A part of her hated herself for making him hurt, but she knew that it would lead to something good. He almost never talked about his mother and when he did it was normally just in passing. Years of being told to keep inside had taken its toll and he wasn't sure if his tears would ever stop.
"Tony I'm so sorry I pushed you."
"It was time to stop hiding," he assured her.
He started to calm down, and wondered why he hadn't trusted her sooner. Having the truth out in the open felt somehow freeing to him; he could only hope the honesty would help them move forward together. She had always been able to push his buttons but never thought she or anyone else would be able get those memories out of him.
"Thank you for letting me in." She kissed his cheek softly. "I love you."
He smiled at her. "I love you, too."
He then kissed her lips softly. For a moment they relaxed into the embrace but she was unable to stifle her yawn. He looked at her his eyes soft and they went back into the bedroom. It didn't take long for either of them to drift back to sleep. All he could hope was that he had told the truth to the right woman at long last. He knew it wouldn't be the end of the dreams but they wouldn't haunt him again that night.
Notes: Well, that was that... I hope you liked it. I like the mystery of it and hope you do too. Let me know what 'ya think heart!