Part 7 Green
"God, I hate waiting!“ Abby said as she paced the room up and down, "You think Metatron will find them?“ she asked Rufus.
"Oh, I found them," Metatron answered her.
Abby turned surprised as McGee looked around confused. "Hey, how did we get here?“ McGee asked.
"I thought I’d spare you the long journey," Metatron answered.
"Well, I’m not really comfortable with travelling like Harry Potter...“
"Wasn’t that a lovely book? Occultism is so much fun. Oh, and that movie. Alan Rickman’s a genius!“ Metatron said but before he could start a Rickman impression, Abby interrupted him.
"If you found them, where’re Tony and Gibbs?“
"Well, I did find Anthony and Timothy there, but aparently Tony already knew where, or rather, with who Gibbs was.“
"What?“ Everyone except Tim exclaimed.
"We got a DVD, uh, that showed us Gibbs having sex with Cassie Yates.“
Ducky shook his head. "That cannot be! Jethro would never have sex with Cassie, I should think. And he loves Tony!“
"Well, it sure was on the DVD," Tim said firmly.
"And our case was related to one of Cassies. Gibbs wanted to call her but she never showed up at the office and Gibbs disappeared," Ziva said, resigned.
"That still doesn’t explain where Tony is! Is he looking for Gibbs?“ Abby asked.
"Well, if he is, I wouldn’t want to be Gibbs, because he will most probably tear something off I’m lacking in," Metatron put in.
"Where is Tony?“ Abby asked again, pointedly.
"Well, after he and Timothy got out of their prison, he was yelling at me and cursed God. Tony has decided to lay down his charge.“
"And...what does that mean?“ Ducky asked.
"Well, all we can do is wait and see.“
Tony had gone straight, after a short walk of 10 miles, to the next bar. He had no money but he didn’t really care right now. He drank one whiskey after another and soon he was feeling the buzz. However the pain wouldn’t subside. After about three hours of drinking he had to take a leak and as he sat on the toilet, he closed his eyes.
As he opened them again he concluded that he must have passed out and was kidnapped again, since he was in a strange room. He wondered how he had gotten in here anyway, for there were no doors nor windows. There wasn’t a light, and still the room wasn’t dark.
He spun around, realizing that he wasn’t drunk anymore, but didn’t find anyone. He looked at the ceiling, trying to find a speaker but there was nothing.
"Don’t try to think too hard about it. I do not need human technology to make myself be heard. Actually, nothing of this is real. We are, in fact, in your head.“
"And who are you? My consciousness?“
Great, he was answering voices in his head.
"I am the morning star. I am the original fallen angel. I go by many names, Anthony.“
"Lucifer," Tony concluded and snorted. Yeah, that was predictable.
"Well, if you want to call me that.“
"Actually, I’d call you a son of a bitch, though that would probably be blasphemy. What the hell do you want?“
"You put up more of a fight than I thought. Apparently she did good to choose you," the bodiless voice laughed slightly.
"Who’s she?“ Tony asked but then knew he was talking about God. Bethany had told him that God actually took the shape of a woman, though, of course, she was neither, "Cancel that one. What the hell do you want?"
"I just want to talk to you, Anthony. I’m very curious why you’re fighting for her. It’s not as if she has done anything for you so far.“
The wall suddenly became a movie screen. It showed him his grandmother, lying in her bed dying. She was praying, pleading for mercy, but she was slowly suffocating.
"No mercy for the old lady. Pity, without her there you wouldn’t be her little knight in shining armour, would you? But then, maybe it was the result of adultery with an angel...“
Then the wall showed him his partner from Philadelphia, his lover. He saw himself kneeling next to him, trying to apply pressure to the wound, but it was no use. He saw himself screaming at the young man. Tears came to his eyes as he remembered the pain of losing Jeff.
"Yes, yes, Jeff was a good guy, a good cop. Many bad guys he brought to justice...and then he was brought to justice. Well, murder is murder, no matter who you’re killing.“
The next videos were from his mother, dying in a terrible car crash, Kate, dying on the roof and then Jenny dying in that firefight. Tony’s jaw was set with anger and with every word from the voice that rage grew.
"SHOW YOURSELF!“ Tony yelled, but recieved no reply. Instead the video changed again and he saw Gibbs and Cassie. He tried to close his eyes but couldn’t. His feet were nailed to the floor and he couldn’t flee the repeating image of the man he loved with that woman. And then as suddenly as the videos appeared, and a man stood in the room. His suit was as black as nothingness and his eyes as cold as ice.
"Vance," Tony muttered as he stared at his director.
"Oh, Anthony, don’t be silly. I’m not Leon Vance. This is just the picture of me in your head. I can’t say it doesn’t fit. He was, in fact, the man who tried to tear you from your allies. And he nearly did it, didn’t he?“
"He didn’t. Gibbs wouldn’t let that happen," Tony insisted.
"Yeah, yeah, I get it! The big hero Leroy Jethro Gibbs. One should think I get enough of this from his wife and daughter," Vance rolled his eyes.
"That’s not true! They were good people! They’re not in hell!“
"How would you know? You were in Ohio chasing after skirts when they died. Or to be precise, you have been in bed with a gorgeous girl when they died...looked quite like Shannon in fact.“
Tony swallowed hard. Behind Vance the video of Gibbs and Cassie was still running on endless loop.
"They’re quite a couple, aren’t they? Sure, Gibbs is a little aged but hell, he’s still quite a guy. No wonder you fell for him.“
"What do you think happens now? I mean, Tony has to play some bigger role than just being the one who sees auras, yes?“ Ziva asked.
"Well, I wouldn’t know. The Lord has been very quiet, for once. Probably because of my relation to Tony," Metatron answered.
"Hey, maybe I’ve found something here!“ Abby called from the table where the books were still scattered. She raised the book Jay had skimmed through.
"This says that whereas angels usually don’t have an aura, Lucifer does not count as an usual angel. And therefore it is open whether he has or has not an aura.“
"So?“ Tim asked, confused.
"Don’t you get it? Tony’s aura is green, which, as he told us stands for hope. And what’s the counterpart to hope?“
"There isn’t one. We've established that," Rufus answered.
"Wrong! We established that there is no human counterpart to hope, but the opposite of hope is despair and isn’t that what Lucifer is?“
"My dear, you could be onto something there," Metatron said and took the book.
"How did you find it?“
"Our prophet left the book open at that page.“
"Well, I've got to admit, Jay never fails to surprise me," Metatron said as he read the passage. "Though it isn’t very helpful, isn’t it? Demons cannot become human and as long as Tony hasn’t a devine instrument he won’t be able to kill him.“
"Maybe he doesn’t have to kill him. I didn’t have to kill Loki and Bartleby, although you thought I had to!“ Bethany threw in.
"Well, yes, but you found a way around it, and they did die. Anyway, I don’t think Tony has to kill Lucifer. I think he simply has to – win.“
"Win? Win what? Are they playing poker?“, Jay asked and everyone rolled their eyes.
"I am pretty sure that whereever Tony is, he is with Lucifer and Lucifer will try and gain him as an ally," Metatron explained.
"What the hell do you want?“ Tony asked, exhausted. "Why are you doing all this? Why this fight?“
"Well, Anthony, I think you are ready to hear this: God is the most arrogant being I’ve ever met. So, since She’s so sure about Her place and Her power, I suggested a little bet.“
"Who are you? Mephisto?“
"Funny that you mention it, I really disliked the way this Goethe made me seem in his play. Anyway, my bet was a little – bigger. The jackpot wasn’t just one unimportant soul.“
Tony raised his eyebrow, tired of this 20 questions game.
"It was about all living souls. That’s a jackpot, isn’t it? She said that if I manage to build up an army of humans and if they win against one of Hers, all living souls shall be mine.“
"Yeah, well, your army did a shitty job.“
"That’s the problem when you’re working with amateurs. However there is still one of the army left and, of course, their generel, so to say.“
"I don’t have a counterpart," Tony said but then saw the green glimmering around Vance’s body. His mouth opened.
"Don’t worry, Anthony, I won’t kill you. I have better plans. Your soul isn’t as unimportant as all those others. You are very hard to kill, as you surely already noticed and if someone did succeed you wouldn’t really die. You would return as something we call a nepharim. Once your fragile human shell is gone, you are an angel, with all human qualities. Except of course, someone cuts out your heart..." Lucifer trailed off, his words full of suggestion. "Let’s just say I could use someone like you on my side.“
Tony looked at him, puzzled, but then he started to laugh. "Why the fuck should I be on your side?“
"Well, why be on their side?“
Tony's eyes were drawn to the video wall once more.
"They haven’t thanked you for anything you have done, have they? All those murderers, rapists, terrorists, drug dealers and other scum. All that pain you took upon yourself just to follow the devine call. You could have settled down years ago. Have a family with a lovely woman, or live happily ever after with a gorgeous man, whatever you prefer...but no. You had to go and seek those who now turn on you.“
Vance looked at Gibbs and Cassie and grinned evilly. Tony’s eyes were glued to Gibbs‘ face. After many repeats he finally could read what the older man was whispering. Suddenly he knew what was going on and he turned away from the screen, looking at a shell shocked Vance.
"I won’t let you play with my mind," Tony said firmly.
Vance face became dark. "He will die, Anthony. You will never see him again and he will fall, like everyone else. You failed!“
Out of nothing there was a paper and Tony reached for it. He saw that it was the bet between God and the Devil. "You know, God gave us a choice. You are not the one to decide if we are good people or not.“ With that he tore the paper apart. A scream rang through his ears and as he opened his eyes he was sitting in a hospital waiting area.
"He woke up," he heard Abby say and then he saw them. All his friends and visitors were sitting there.
"Metatron found you in the bathroom of a bar. He said you were passed out...“
"I wasn’t passed out.“
"He said you had a hell of a bill to pay," McGee replied.
"I wasn’t passed out. I had a little chat with Lucifer...it’s over. I destroyed the fucking bet between him and God.“
"So, you did finish your task?“
Tony sighed and rubbed his eyes.
"I guess I did...where’s Jethro?“ He asked and suddenly making the connection of being in the hospital and Gibbs not being there. "No - I saw...he didn’t want to sleep with Cassie! He had his eyes closed and he was whispering my name! He – where is he?“
The others changed a look.
"Well, aparently he was drugged when he slept with Cassie. It seems that he was coming out of it when she tried to kill him...he was badly wounded before he managed to break her neck...he’s in the ICU.“
"Is he going to be ok?“
Abby put a hand on his arm. "He’s in a coma and after the last one...he put it in his file that he’s taken off life support...“
"They let him die?“ Tony asked as tears shot to his eyes.
"Well, we could arrange that they wait until you can say good bye," Ducky answered and Tony nodded. The ME brought him to the room and Tony sat next to the bed. He took Jethro’s hand and nodded to the nurse to pull the plug. She left him alone and Tony tried to swallow the tears.
"Please, God, please, don’t take him away from me! Is that too much to ask? Just this as a little thank you? A small good job? I just saved humanity from eternity in hell, can’t you give me a little more time with him?“
"I think we can.“ Tony looked up and saw Metatron next to a dark haired small woman. She smiled kindly at him. "We just wanted to step by and say thank you. I promise that was the last bet she had going," Metatron grinned.
"Okay...what about Jethro?“ Tony asked.
"Told you he’s straight to the point when he wants to be," Metatron told his companion. She nodded laughing.
"Well, good bye, Tony. I hope I won’t see you again in this life," Metatron said and the woman stepped to Gibbs‘ bed. She held her hand over his chest and suddenly he woke up coughing – and they were gone.
"Jethro," Tony said quietly unable to produce anything more than a whisper.
"Tony, God, Tony!“ Gibbs said and pulled Tony into his arms, "I love you, Tony.“
"I love you, too, Jethro!“
September 23th 2010 - Gibbs‘ Backyard
Exactly a year after Gibbs‘ death they all sat in his garden celebrating his second birthday. Bethany had returned to McHenry and Jay and Silent Bob were back in New Jersey. Rufus hadn’t been too excited when he left since Tony refused to get into trouble just so he would get his way about the bible. And the team? Well, everything went back to normal, well, as normal as it gets.
Abby was still wearing black and listening to noise that she claims was music, McGee and Ducky were still not going to church, and Ziva was still Jewish. They had taken Bethany’s advice and didn’t take religion too seriously, and trusted on the fact that they had the best faith you can have, knowledge.
Tony was being made teamleader after Jethro decided to retire, this time for good. He said that after an experience like this he didn’t want to lose any more time and being at the office he would lose himself in work anyway. However, since he also decided to stay in DC and finally finish his boat none of them really complained about it and they soon had their old dynamic back, even without Gibbs.
However, Tony still got regular visits from Metatron, who told him that he was just a messenger for there were a lot of people in heaven who wanted to thank him. Two of those were Shannon and Kelly.