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17 January 2009 @ 06:54 pm
A Day in the Death of Tony DiNardo - Highlander/NCIS  
This is set in the Watcher!Abby universe I co-author with strangevisitor7 . I don't own any of it, this is done purely for love. It's another little sidebar to our main storyline, set during the events of Bury Your Dead(which aired here last Saturday).

 

A Day in the Death of Tony di Nardo

 Richie stared down at the charred remains and blanched. It wasn’t the state of the body that bothered him, but the possibility of whose body it might be. He shook his head, trying to clear his thoughts.

 No, please, not him, he thought and a tear made a bid for freedom down his cheek. He and Tony had become good friends, a brotherly relationship almost as close as the one he shared with Mac. The two of them had so much in common; they had just clicked on meeting and quickly become close.

 Richie was stirred from his thoughts by the sound of someone approaching and turned to see Ducky.

 “I just can’t believe it, Ducky.”

 “Nor I, Richard. And until I have dental records to confirm the identity, I refuse to even consider it,” Ducky replied. He walked over to the autopsy table where the body lay. “Er, I don’t suppose….I mean, he wasn’t?” Ducky added hopefully.

 “I’m sorry, Ducky, but not as far as I could tell.”

 “Oh,” Ducky said. Richie could hear the disappointment in his voice, a feeling that Richie shared. Ducky rallied himself. “Chances are this isn’t even Tony.”

 *-*

 Richie sat in the empty autopsy room, nursing the glass of scotch that Ducky had given him. He knew it was a bad sign to be drinking alone, but Ducky had to leave to attend a meeting and he didn’t want to go home alone. Not tonight.

He looked up as he heard the door slide open, and was surprised to see Tony.

 “Oh, hi, is Ducky around?” Tony asked. Richie shook his head. Tony was about to leave, but then noticed the glass. “Does Ducky know you’re drinking his Glenmorangie?”

“Actually, it’s the Laphroaig. And yes, he gave it to me,” Richie said with a small smile.

Concerned, Tony stepped into the room and took a stool next to Richie. The two just sat in silence for a while. Richie could tell that Tony was waiting for him to talk. He sighed.

“A few years ago, these two really kind people became friends with me. I never really knew my mom, she died when I was young, and I guess Tessa kinda became the mom I never had, you know? …Tessa…she was shot, in front of me,” he explained. Tony nodded sympathetically.

“And today’s the anniversary?” he asked. Richie nodded.

“I’ll be okay, it was a long time ago.”

“But that doesn’t make the hurt any smaller,” Tony said quietly. Richie looked at him and knew that Tony had lost someone too. Silently, Richie poured another glass of scotch and passed it to Tony.

“I’m sure Ducky wouldn’t mind,” he said and raised his glass. “Absent friends.”

“Absent friends.”

*-*

Richie made his way to Abby’s lab, knowing that his Watcher was close to Tony, knowing she’d need comforting. When he arrived, Gibbs was in there, so Richie waited outside. Gibbs still hadn’t made a decision about Richie’s future, so Richie had been avoiding him. Once Gibbs left, he made his way inside.

“Oh, Richie!” Abs cried and rushed at him. She grabbed him in a hug, so he hugged her back and stroked her hair. He could feel her cheeks were wet. “Can you tell me it isn’t him?”

Richie’s breath caught in his throat, caught off guard by the emotion in Abby’s voice. Her capacity to care for those around her never ceased to amaze him. He shook his head before answering,

“I can’t Abs. But Ducky should get Tony’s dental records soon. Then we’ll know.”

Abs pulled back from him and stared at him, her face pulled into the serious frown that Richie thought was adorable.

“But I need to know as soon as Ducky knows and I can’t leave the lab, I have evidence to process. Would you do it? Would you go down and wait for news?” she asked.

“Of course, Abs. I’ll call you the second I know,” he assured her.

Richie spent the next hour pacing the corridor outside autopsy. Every so often he would peek through the window in the door, watching Palmer and Ducky work on the body. He kept referring to it as the body, wouldn’t even consider that it was Tony, couldn’t consider it was his friend lying there as he watched them work.

*-*

Two weeks earlier

Tony caught up to Richie a block from NCIS, panting slightly from the two mile run. Richie smirked and jogged lightly into the park on their left. He found a reasonably deserted patch of grass and began to warm down.

“I thought Agents had to stay in shape?” he teased.

“I am, it’s just…you’re better,” Tony replied. Richie laughed. “Seriously though, all this effort is just for fun?”

“I like to stay fit. And I love martial arts. Plus teaching those classes helps pay the bills,” Richie added. He finished his stretches and moved into a beginning position for kata. “You up for this, old timer?” he teased again.

The nickname bugged Tony and doubly amused Richie since they were really of an age, so it had stuck. Richie used it to gently rag Tony whenever he was acting a little fusty. It worked like a charm this time, and Tony stood in the ready position. They began moving through the kata that Richie had shown Tony and had become a regular part of their workouts.

After twenty minutes, they finished and headed back to NCIS at a more leisurely pace than earlier. Tony clapped Richie on the back as they entered the building.

“Let me take you for a beer tonight. I’ve not really thanked you for teaching me,” Tony said.

“You could always pay me,” Richie replied with a grin.

“I’m serious, Rich. I… was never really very good in self defence,” Tony said, leaning closer to Richie conspiratorially. “I’ve always kinda relied on boxing and wrestling I did in high school. But the way you teach, I finally think I’m getting good at it.”

Suddenly, Richie moved behind Tony, grabbing his arm and wrenching it up behind his back. Tony reacted fast, spinning out from Richie and using the momentum to throw him onto the floor. Richie lay on his back and laughed.

“Yeah, not bad old timer, not bad at all,” he said. Tony smiled and offered him a hand up.

*-*

Richie’s thoughts were snapped back to the present when he heard a commotion inside autopsy. He looked inside to see that Ducky seemed to be very excited. He threw his gloves at Palmer and made his way to the exit.

“Well?” Richie asked as Ducky came through the door.

“Y Pestis!” Ducky exclaimed. Richie looked at him, puzzled.

Ducky pressed the button to the elevator and waited for it to open.

“Y Pestis is the Pneumonic Plague, dear boy,” Ducky explained excitedly. The elevator door opened and Ducky stepped in, motioning for Richie to do the same. Ducky pressed the button for the bull pen and then continued. “Tony contracted the Plague, and as a consequence of that his lungs would be badly scarred. The body in autopsy has no scarring.”

“So the man in autopsy never had the Plague?” Richie asked.

“Precisely!” Ducky replied excitedly.

“So the body in autopsy isn’t Tony!” they both said in unison. Richie laughed.

“Oh, Ducky, that’s great!” Richie crowed. The door opened, and Ducky stepped out. “I’ll go tell Abs,” Richie added and pressed the floor for the forensics lab, his smile the widest it had been in a long time.

 

 
 
 
bugeyedmonsterbugeyedmonster on January 17th, 2009 07:54 pm (UTC)
Yeah! I don't watch much NCIS, but I'm happy that Richie's happy.

(^_^)/
BEM
But, I don't want to be a pie,: richie smileidontlikegravy on January 18th, 2009 10:07 pm (UTC)
:)
tygermamatygermama on January 17th, 2009 07:58 pm (UTC)
EEE!! That's one of my favourite episodes of the show!
You did a great job, loved how you showed Richie and Tony's relationship.
But, I don't want to be a pie,: pleased hamsteridontlikegravy on January 18th, 2009 10:10 pm (UTC)
Thank you! *beams*

It only aired here last week, which is what prompted the fic. It's definitely one of the best I've seen, but I have to say I physically winced when the car blew up - I love any American muscle car and to see one blown up is torture! *g*
Black Rook: Artizelgrachonok on January 17th, 2009 08:48 pm (UTC)
A very interesting passage, thank you! The last seasons of NCIS are still to be bought for showing here, and your series brighten up the waiting :).

P.S. An offtopic - could you look at the last couple of icons here http://community.livejournal.com/highlandericons/72397.html ? Since they were mainly inspired by your "Death takes a holiday", I thought you might be interested :-).
But, I don't want to be a pie,: headdeskidontlikegravy on January 18th, 2009 10:15 pm (UTC)
*headdesk* - I didn't think to post warnings, the UK is always so monumentally behind in TV that I forgot it might not have aired elsewhere. I hope I didn't spoil it too much?

Loved the icons *bounces*
Black Rook: Artizelgrachonok on January 19th, 2009 10:48 am (UTC)
Oh no, you didn't! *in a whisper* And I like spoilers :).
I will call her George: Tony on your sixstrangevisitor7 on January 17th, 2009 10:39 pm (UTC)
Yay you posted - i really like the friendship between Richie and Tony
But, I don't want to be a pie,: abbeyidontlikegravy on January 18th, 2009 10:16 pm (UTC)
Thanks hun, tho that's mostly down to whatsername, you know, my beta... ;-)
Ursula4x: Richieswordursula4x on January 18th, 2009 08:21 pm (UTC)
Happy New Year all over again
Great chapter!
But, I don't want to be a pie,: richie smileidontlikegravy on January 18th, 2009 10:16 pm (UTC)
Re: Happy New Year all over again
Thank you :)
tpena19tpena19 on January 19th, 2009 12:44 am (UTC)
Awe, such a great buddy friendship forming there, great! Glad Tony was ok and that everyone was happy.
But, I don't want to be a pie,: watcher abbyidontlikegravy on January 19th, 2009 11:40 am (UTC)
Glad you liked it :)
Lorencylorency on January 20th, 2009 11:58 pm (UTC)
Aww that's so sweet. Is Richie going to kick Tony's ass for making him worry? *smirk* Love how you described the development of Tony and Richie's friendship.
But, I don't want to be a pie,: richie smileidontlikegravy on January 23rd, 2009 06:53 pm (UTC)
Thank you :)

Hmm, dunno about kick his ass, but I'm sure he'll make him buy a few rounds *g*
nljfs on November 9th, 2009 03:33 am (UTC)
I just found this site... I'm loving your Watcher!Abby universe. I hope that you'll add to it sometime!

nancy in chicago
But, I don't want to be a pie,: watcher abbyidontlikegravy on November 10th, 2009 12:09 am (UTC)
Funnily enough, I'm working on a new chapter at the moment! Don't know how long it will take though, I've got a few challenges to finish first and this is a really busy time at work for me. But this isn't dead, I promise!

Thanks for your kind comment, and I hope you'll come back for more :)