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Boat, Bourbon, Basement
by: taylorgibbs (Send Feedback)
Series: - No Series - #1
Chapters: 002 Word Count: 3283
Character(s): Jethro Gibbs, Tony DiNozzo
Category(ies): Episode Related, First Time
Episode(s): 6-16 Bounce
Summary: Post-Bounce, Tony feels the need to connect with Gibbs over the three Bs.
Author Notes: Spoilers for Bounce.
Chapters: 1 | 2
Gibbs was mostly silent as they drove back from the airport. Tony knew the case had taken the entire team to places they didn’t expect to go—him especially. He’d never expected Gibbs to cede power to him and do it with…well…grace. Tony didn’t often think of Gibbs as being graceful in spirit but he’d man had surprised Tony in many ways.
He’d waited a damned long time to hear some of the things Gibbs had said and Tony found himself welling up with emotion. It was no surprise that he thought of Gibbs as more than a mentor, as a father figure as well. There were few people in Tony’s life that were worthy of his constant support and Gibbs was top of the list.
And over the last six months, those feelings had coalesced into something else, something completely different. He’d actually longed for Gibbs when he was at sea, had needed to hear the man’s voice, for no other reason than his own selfishness. While Ziva’s picture has been up on his bulletin board, it was one of him and Gibbs together that he’d laminated and carried in his wallet. And looked at when he needed a boost, when the drinking alone became too painful.
Tony had developed feelings for Gibbs that went way beyond mentor and friend and well into forbidden territory. Lust. Desire. Need. For his boss, who was as hetero as they came.
And with this case everything had changed. He could see Gibbs looking at him through new eyes, as if they were closer to being equals than ever. And the fact that he’d said he was proud of Tony meant the world. It meant more than words could convey. Tony hadn’t quite worked out his complex and very new feelings for Gibbs and all of this changed everything even more. Was he now on the same professional level in the other man’s eyes? What did it all mean?
“Boss?” Tony asked softly.
They pulled to a stop at a red light and Gibbs turned to him. “For what?”
Tony shifted in his seat, mildly uncomfortable at the scrutiny, even though he met Gibbs’ eyes. Neither of them were emotional guys. “What you said earlier. About being proud of me. Between the headslaps and all, sometimes I wondered.
Now Gibbs looked surprised and Tony winced inwardly. Had he screwed up really badly here? “Guess I don’t say it enough,” Gibbs said, looking thoughtful. He fell silent and Tony didn’t dare break the comfortable mood in the car.
Reports took three hours to complete with Gibbs sliding his onto Tony’s desk first. Tony looked up at Gibbs in surprise.
“Your case, you sign off on the reports.” Ziva and McGee both looked up at that but Gibbs shrugged, clearly deferring to Tony.
“Thanks, Gibbs.” Tony waited until Gibbs had reseated himself before opening the file. The first page consisted of a letter addressed to the director. “Gibbs?” Tony asked, motioning to the paper stapled into the report.
Gibbs nodded briefly. “That was supposed to be there, Tony. Meant every word. Night.” He gathered his stuff and Tony watched him walk out. It was only after the elevator had closed that he turned his attention back to the letter and read more than the first line.
I turned over authority on this case to Special Agent DiNozzo, as he was the team leader during the original case. Special Agent DiNozzo has proven himself to be a top-notch leader and I was happy to follow his direction.
You should be very proud of him. I am.
Tony read through the rest of the report, blinking back emotion all the while. This letter meant so damn much to him. Gibbs could have delivered it to Vance directly, but he’d put it in the report, knowing Tony would read it. The letter was as much for Tony as it was for Vance.
“Ziva, McGee, get me those reports before oh nine hundred tomorrow, okay? Have somewhere to be. Call it an early night. Great work, Team!”
Tony put Gibbs’ report in the locked drawer of his desk before grabbing his overcoat and heading out. He knew exactly where to find Gibbs and it wasn’t as if a few minutes would make a whole hell of a lot of difference.
Tony drove home and hurriedly changed into a pair of jeans and a warm green sweater that he knew brought out his eyes. He knew he was tempting fate but he couldn’t sit back and ignore the new kinship, wherever it led them. There was a turning point now that he and Gibbs had switched power positions completely. Even if it was only temporary.
Before arriving at Gibbs’ place, Tony grabbed some thick cut pork chops he’d been marinating and a bag of salad greens. This wasn’t gonna be a typical visit where they sat around eating pizza. He wanted them to continue the communication they’d started earlier today, and the way to any man’s heart was through his stomach.
He allowed himself a small smile. Was he really doing this? He had no idea if Gibbs would be receptive; Tony was going on gut instinct. And probably brass balls too. He and Gibbs had teased each other a little when they’d been asked if they were a couple but hadn’t taken it seriously.
Could he be reading this completely wrong? Gibbs had never looked at him with that intensity in his eyes, had never treated him as so much of an equal before. But professional equals didn’t mean there was any interest on Gibbs’ part. It could be—probably was—only Tony’s feelings strengthening.
He was a good investigator; there was no way he was reading this completely wrong. He’d never seen Gibbs look at anyone with that intensity before. Well…maybe Stan Burley but Tony had always wondered about those two…
He breathed in deeply a few times, regarding his sterile apartment before grabbing his duffle with a change of clothes. If anything happened, at least his gear would be in the car. Tony smiled briefly, realizing he was being completely unrealistic but he couldn’t help hoping…
Before driving to Gibbs’ place, Tony found himself at a high-end liquor store in his neighborhood that offered a much better selection than the state-run liquor shops in Virginia. He selected a bottle of Hirsch Bourbon Reserve, which was the smoothest stuff he’d ever drunk. In his time as team leader, he’d tried bourbon, had almost developed a taste for it. Seemed fitting that he and Gibbs would share this tonight.
And maybe a lot more…
Gibbs glanced at his watch and then his open basement door. He’d expected DiNozzo would have followed him home, had laid out a few delivery menus just in case. But when an hour passed and Tony hadn’t show up, Gibbs drifted down to the basement, even though he didn’t work on the boat yet. Two jars of bourbon had been poured and he was looking at the paper, a basketball game playing on the TV behind him.
Just as he was starting to consider giving up, the door opened, a soft thunk echoing downstairs. DiNozzo was here and he wasn’t empty handed.
Gibbs wandered up the stairs slowly, not wanting to appear as if he was pouncing on Tony, not willing to show his eagerness. “Hey, DiNozzo,” he said to the man’s retreating back. Tony was ducking into the kitchen. “Bourbon is downstairs, don’t need to turn the coffeepot on.”
“Hey, Gibbs. I’ll start some anyway. Your bourbon can wait. I’m making us dinner. And I come bearing gifts.”
“Oh?” Gibbs smirked, faintly surprised.
Tony nodded. “Just because I understand it, doesn’t mean team leaders live on the three Bs. You need to eat a good meal sometimes too. Not takeout, not fast food, not delivery. But one of the Bs will relax us after dinner.” He pulled out a bottle and handed it to Gibbs, who examined the label.
“Hirsch?” he asked in surprise. He’d heard of the stuff, had always wanted to try it. “Pennsylvania bourbon. DiNozzo. Kentucky makes the best stuff.”
Tony cocked his head, smiling. “Maybe, but this is Kentucky style. It’s good stuff. Worth the money.”
“And you want to share this with me?” Gibbs asked, smiling faintly. DiNozzo was full of surprises today. Well, not only today, he had to admit to himself. Tony had really come into his own in the last few years, especially since being Agent Afloat. It reminded him of the time just before Burley had moved on and that parallel bothered him. Tony was a damn good agent, and Gibbs wasn’t ready to lose him. Not to another team, not to Agent Afloat.
Gibbs busied himself with getting two glasses out of a cabinet, cracking the label and pouring equal measures for them both. He handed one glass to Tony and swirled his before taking a slow sip and groaning in satisfaction. It was smooth and multi-layered, one of the best bourbons he’d ever tasted.
“Good stuff, Tony. Why you sharing?”
“Just because,” Tony said, giving him a penetrating look that Gibbs was disconcerted to find he couldn’t decipher. He was used to getting an easy read on DiNozzo and it bothered him that he couldn’t.
“It’s like I told ya, Boss. I understand. More than anyone else, I understand.”
Gibbs suddenly had the feeling they weren’t talking about the case or team leadership. He swallowed another sip of bourbon and waited for the night to unfold.
Chapters: 1 | 2
MTAC - NCIS Fic