hinky_hippo: tony nap (Default)
[personal profile] hinky_hippo
Comment fic for [livejournal.com profile] drabblewriter on [livejournal.com profile] comment_fic

Prompt: any, any, driving across the underwater bridge

NCIS, Tony & Gibbs, driving across the MMMBT:

  


Here, There Be Dragons

 
 
A child of the Northeast, he was never bothered by tunnels growing up. But that was before a gilded envelope gave him a taste of what it was like to drown. Before terrorists and explosions and idiot ship captains and "Independence Day" showed him the possibilities - tunnels were death traps, even moreso than Gibbs' driving.

Tony had been pleased to be the one chosen for the three hour trip Gibbs-style to Norfolk. A road trip with Gibbs always trumped boring paperwork and internet searches back at the Navy Yard. That was before they found themselves shunted to I-664 after a major pileup on Gibbs' typical route, leaving them on the Monitor-Merrimac Memorial Bridge, which, to Tony's dismay, inexplicably dove into a tunnel halfway across Hampton Roads harbor. With everyone sent around the affected highway and an accident on the approach to its twin tunnel further east, they were now enduring bumper to bumper traffic as they crawled to the Norfolk Naval Base on the opposite shore. 

Tony tapped his feet impatiently when Gibbs slowed the Charger with a grumble once again. He fiddled with the radio, looking for the piped in stations before turning the static off with a frustrated click. His phone provided no answers; no service. Tetris held no allure. Not even the bubble light and siren they kept stashed in the glove compartment would help them now, he reflected moodily.

With a quick glance to gauge his boss' mood, Tony cautiously eyed the wavering lighting lining the underground tube. He could feel the millions of gallons of water weighing down above them; the oppressive, recirculated air stifling him. 

Sucking in a deep breath, he observed, "You know, Boss, it's a strange thing naming a tunnel after two ships that sank, dontcha think?"

"The Merrimac didn't sink; it was burned to avoid capture, Tony."

"But it did sink."

Gibbs matter-of-factly leaned towards his agent, enjoying the way Tony's eyes widened ever so slightly at the sudden scrutiny. "It blew up," he corrected archly. Settling back into his seat with both hands on the wheel, he shrugged noncommittally. "And, then it sank."
 
"Still..." Tony mentally kicked himself for trying to argue nautical history with Gibbs.

Behind them, the squeal of tires was followed by the strident blare of a horn. Gibbs diverted his attention from the road ahead briefly to check the rearview mirror as the echoes reverberated through the tunnel before fading into the thrum of hundreds of idling vehicles.

With a self-deprecating grin, Tony continued, "Just seems like a mixed message, you know?" 

Sliding away in embarrassment, his eyes drifted to the car next to them before gradually becoming mesmerized by the red lights shimmering far into the distance. Tony absently drummed his fingers on the window sill. He fidgeted restlessly while his mind raced from one movie scenario to another - "Daylight", "Flushed Away", "Fantastic Mr Fox"...

The unexpected sting caught him off guard.

"What was that for?" he squeaked in surprise while he smoothed the spot with a petulant frown.

"We'll be out soon," Gibbs calmly observed as he neatly slid the Charger into the other lane of traffic with a hair's breadth to spare. He smirked at the other driver's reaction with a tip of an eyebrow even while noticing with disappointment how he didn't get the slightest rise out of his preoccupied agent.

"What? I know! No problems here, Boss!"

Blue eyes regarded Tony skeptically for a moment before returning to the traffic without a word.

"Seriously! When I was little I used to lie across the back seat and watch the lights go by through the rear window. I thought it was what being swallowed by a dragon would be like..." He leaned forward to peer up at the tiled roof through the windshield.

His sharp eyes narrowed....was that a crack?

A gentle hand patted his thigh a few times before coming to rest upon it, grounding him as it radiated warmth and comfort.

Sliding his leg up onto the seat to better face his partner, he protested, "'m not afraid of a stupid tunnel."

"You're not afraid of rats, either, but you are."

"They can carry the Plague," he defended weakly.

"You beat the Plague. You took on terrorists. You've run into burning buildings. You carried a dead rat around a ghost ship." Gibbs turned to look at him sincerely, brooking no protest. "I know you, of all the people I know, could slay a dragon, too, if he had to."

Several protests died on his lips as a strange warmth filled his chest. Amidst honking horns, their eyes locked for a long moment as worries fell away and were extinguished by resolve.

A smile blossomed across Tony's face at his boss' endorsement. "Gotcha, Boss."

Suddenly accelerating at an opening in the traffic, Gibbs ticked his head over his shoulder to the road ahead with a fond smirk. "Looks like there's a light at the end of this tunnel, Beowulf."

Shooting his boss a broad grin in return, Tony made a show of flipping his sunglasses back into place to block the shafts of light gradually reaching for his eyes as if dropping a face plate onto an armored helmet and relaxed into the seat to enjoy the rest of his ride.


Date: 2012-05-06 08:59 am (UTC)
sinfulslasher: (abby approves)
From: [personal profile] sinfulslasher
Okay, first of all, I had no idea such a bridge existed, and now I'm equal parts astonished and freaked out. It looks beautiful and kinda out of this world, but...hell! I've used the Eurotunnel a few times, which is basically the same damn thing if you think about it, but the tunnel doesn't begin and end in the water! LOL!

Anyway. Learn something new every single day, so thank you for that! :) I can see Tony getting slightly worried while stuck in the damn tunnel. And I can see even more how Gibbs, in his usual gruff way, manages to calm the boy down again.

This? "I know you, of all the people I know, could slay a dragon, too, if he had to." Is such an awesome line, and just SO GIBBS, and I love it to pieces!!! :D

Date: 2012-05-06 10:52 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] hinky-hippo.livejournal.com
The scary thing is, there are TWO bridge-tunnel thingies going under the shipping channels in that harbor the exact same way and AIRCRAFT CARRIERS sail over them on their way into Norfolk! Eeeeek!

Thanks for your kind words, I'm glad you liked! It was a nifty exercise I resorted to last night to try to get some of the cobwebs out. I adore Gibbs when he spazwrangles. =}

Date: 2012-05-06 12:26 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] taylorgibbs.livejournal.com
what freaks me more is the small tunnel out of Norfolk...I forget which route. When we did the Norfolk tour they told us that the tunnel is so shallow some of the ships only have a couple foot clearance.

Date: 2012-05-06 06:43 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] hinky-hippo.livejournal.com
This bridge is really pretty - I just can't get 'water seeks its own level' out of my mind. LOL!

The bridge is what sold me on the prompt - even better that it was the MMMBT. Its sister tunnel isn't nearly as pretty or otherworldly.

I'd heard there are a few tunnels with very limited clearance in shipping channels. In the Boston area, we're crazy with tunnels and some really old subways also, all of which go under the harbor. Of course, we also have an airport partially built on piers and planes ~have~ slid off the runways in bad weather.... *shivers*

Date: 2012-05-07 09:54 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] taylorgibbs.livejournal.com
Oh yeah I know what you mean! We once did lunch on the little visitor center right before you go underground (errr...under water?) there and I was jittery LOL!

Date: 2012-05-06 11:28 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mamamia1964.livejournal.com
Excellent story. Gibbs always has Tony's back, even mentally and emotionally.

I'm glad to see something of yours posted again. Are things getting a little easier in the writing department?

Date: 2012-05-06 06:51 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] hinky-hippo.livejournal.com
Thanks! Gibbs is always supportive, even when he entertains himself with some of Tony's insecurities.

I actually went looking for a prompt to play with last night after struggling all day with one of my stories. Hopefully, it knocked some cobwebs out. =}

Date: 2012-05-06 12:25 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] taylorgibbs.livejournal.com
Love it!!! I love going on the bridge-tunnel and that is a gorgeous shot of the tunnel :)

Date: 2012-05-06 07:00 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] hinky-hippo.livejournal.com
Thanks! It's such a pretty bridge-tunnel. Since we usually avoid 95 like the Plague, I've never driven that far down the actual coast, but it's definitely on my must see list if we meander that way.

Date: 2012-05-07 09:58 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] taylorgibbs.livejournal.com
When Dh and I first married, we had 2 roommates--4 of us in 700 sq ft, one of whom was living in the living room. We had no money at all, and gas was cheaper, so we did all these driving tours.

One day, we went from DC, to Norfolk om the outer route (via Maryland and the bridge/tunnel) and back up through VA. Those were the days ;)

Date: 2012-05-06 01:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] hackey-mcslashy.livejournal.com
*happy sigh* I love Gibbs believing in Tony stories. Thank you <3

Date: 2012-05-06 07:06 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] hinky-hippo.livejournal.com
Me, too! Thank you! =)

Date: 2012-05-06 01:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] http://users.livejournal.com/_commonwealth/
I haven't been trapped in traffic in this tunnel, but I haven been in (on? within? through?) the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and man, do I ever feel Tony's pain!

Anyway, lovely story! :D I really enjoyed it, and not just for the infrastructure.

Date: 2012-05-06 07:11 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] hinky-hippo.livejournal.com
Thanks!

I've never been that far south on the coast, so I haven't had a chance to see this one up close and personal yet. Delaware Memorial, Baltimore, etc, yeah, but we usually veer west once we hit NJ on our travels whenever possible and then zoom south inland. [I'm just south of you on the coast, Pilgrim] ;)

Date: 2012-05-07 01:09 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] http://users.livejournal.com/_commonwealth/
When I was heading to Norfolk for part of my training, I was like "Okay, detouring, cause apparently this a Thing that I should See (according my geeky father). Bridge-TUNNEL?! How does that WORK?!" And then I was driving along, singing to myself, when holy mother of god, the bridge disappeared into the water!! Of course, it actually just dipped into the tunnel portion but the first time I saw it, I was like "OH GOD WHAT IS THIS WHAT IS THIS?! This is not how driving works!!" And then there was another one just like it closer to Norfolk and I was like "Okay, Engineers, I know I'm from Boston and we do all sorts of insane things with our bridges and our tunnels and our water, but I really like it when I don't look out over the line of the highway and see it disappear into nothingness!"

And then I was in the tunnel and I was stuck in traffic and I had idea how long it would continue (the traffic and the tunnel) and all I could think about was water seeping in through the cracks and the possibility of an aircraft carrier just smacking into a tunnel. In retrospect, I might have been freaking out a little bit. ;)

Date: 2012-05-06 01:47 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lin71.livejournal.com
I'm not really afraid of tunnels (hanging bridges on the other hand.....), but being in a traffic jam below water surface.... yeah, I wouldn't be feeling at ease too!

Lovely story! And a nice image of Tony as a dragon slayer too *g*.

Date: 2012-05-06 07:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] hinky-hippo.livejournal.com
There's a bridge in Canada which, when we drove it late one night in a blizzard, seemed to go STRAIGHT UP and then plummeted back to Earth. One of my friends is awful with bridges and nearly had a nervous breakdown when she saw it! I don't mind bridges and even my jaw dropped. [she hid in the back of the van for the entire trip over]

Just knowing and aircraft carrier could be passing over my head would be enough for me if I were stuck in traffic! LOL! *smh*

Thanks! He'd make a great knight, wouldn't he? *pets the Tony*

Date: 2012-05-06 07:25 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lin71.livejournal.com
I found out I have a phobia for hanging bridges (the rope and wood kind of ones) while being on one. About 50 meters above very shallow water. I completely froze suddenly and my husband had to push me forward to get me off that damn thing again. The other ones I crossed with my eyes closed while holding on to my man's belt to let him guide me. I felt like a dork but I'd never have gotten across otherwise. Not something I'm gonna do again any time soon!

Yeah, Tony in shining armor would be totally appropriate!

Date: 2012-05-06 07:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] hinky-hippo.livejournal.com
Oh man, I crossed some of those while working in Appalachia! Scary! I don't blame you at all - those things are insane [and they always fall apart in movies, right? RIGHT?!]

Date: 2012-05-06 05:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ferneberga.livejournal.com
Wow!! I don't think anyone would get me travelling along that road and through that tunnel without total sedation same goes for the Channel Tunnel between Calais and Dover; and yes I know the oldest parts of the London Underground are also the deepest and under the Thames - no consolation.

Always knew Tony was brave :)

Date: 2012-05-06 07:22 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] hinky-hippo.livejournal.com
Very brave - he's Gibbs' numero uno afterall! <3

Date: 2012-05-06 06:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] silvertales.livejournal.com
First of all, what a cool picture! I had no idea this tunnel existed, but the fact that it's halfway out into the channel and then just looks like it drops into the water is really neat! :)

Having been through a few underwater traffic tunnels, I can certainly see Tony's impending sense of claustrophobic doom! Pretty sure, given all Tony's been through, he probably *is* the bravest guy Gibbs knows, but we always knew that. Tony so would be a dragon-slayer! ;)

Love "Gibbs is there for Tony" stories. :)

Date: 2012-05-06 07:25 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] hinky-hippo.livejournal.com
Isn't that crazy?! Once I saw it I wanted the prompt - lucky for me, it was in Norfolk, so even more awesomesauce!

I adore supportive!Gibbs, especially if he gets a little chain pulling in as well. Tony is such a white knight [with a few dings in his armor], he just doesn't quite know it sometimes. *smishes both of them*

Date: 2012-05-06 07:42 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] hawk-soaring.livejournal.com
Aw... Loved this. And I love that bridge-tunnel. :)

Date: 2012-05-06 08:02 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] hinky-hippo.livejournal.com
Thanks! =)

Date: 2012-05-06 08:28 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] djmichealsfics.livejournal.com
I'd like to point out that I avoid all expansion bridges and tunnels at all costs. And the one that I can't when we go on vacation to the coast, I keep my eyes closed for the entire 2 miles.

And also? I hate the tunnel over/under the Chesapeake Bay. *cries*

Date: 2012-05-06 09:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] hinky-hippo.livejournal.com
LOL! Just the way you know you're most definitely going underwater on this one seems to up the ante. Talk about ignorance is bliss! BTW, I've spent many an hour stuck in traffic under Baltimore... ick!

Date: 2012-05-07 06:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] gibbsgirlabby.livejournal.com
I love bridges like this. I think there's one in Mobile, too.

Loved the story, too!
Edited Date: 2012-05-07 06:48 pm (UTC)

Date: 2012-05-08 12:02 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] hinky-hippo.livejournal.com
Srsly?! No matter how cool they are, I would hate to drive in one during hurricane season, just sayin'! *shivers*

Thanks!!

Date: 2012-05-10 08:35 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] firebirdblue.livejournal.com
The tunnel doesn't bother me, being under the river doesn't bother me, no worries about cracks, but - the idea of a high tide (or similar) engulfing the ends and filling the tunnel that way does make me shiver a little...

And yes this is Gibbs/DiNozzo at their best. Gibbs' quiet faith in his man, even when he does freak out over something 'trivial'.

Date: 2012-05-10 10:41 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] hinky-hippo.livejournal.com
Yeah, I totally agree

Their symbiosis is amazing, isn't it?!

Date: 2012-06-15 05:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tonysmel.livejournal.com
That is one scary-looking bridge! I totally get Tony's discomfort. I love how Tony described the air feeling thinner, as I would think it would underwater,and certainly add to his angst. This was so lovely. The fact that Gibbs picked up on Tony's growing unease just illustrates that great in-sync thing that the two share. Loved Gibbs trying to get Tony to cut himself some slack by mentioning all the "brave" things Tony had done,while at the same time nudging him to acknowledge his fear. And I love that Tony can be both a hero and a bit child-like, and that this is both recognized by and okay with Gibbs. Thanks, still smiling....

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