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by: taylorgibbs (Send Feedback)
Series: - No Series - #1
Chapters: 001 Word Count: 1547
Character(s): Jethro Gibbs, Tony DiNozzo
Category(ies): Character Study, Episode Related
Episode(s): 1-02 Hung Out to Dry
Summary: After Tony's fall out of the plane, Gibbs offers him a place to stay and Tony gets a huge piece to the puzzle that is Leroy Jethro Gibbs. Second in the Julia Knows Best series.
Author Notes: hanks to Anna for the beta
Very loosely tied to my story Stranger, which explains the mysterious redhead. You can read Stranger here:
Written for the NavyNcisFF list challenge for episode tags. This one references Hung Out to Dry.
A burst of guilt had hit Gibbs after Tony had limped gingerly out of the squad room. Forty minutes later, Gibbs found himself knocking on Tony’s door, carryout bag in hand. A couple of thick steaks had eased the way and they’d had a relaxed dinner.
Gibbs realized how sore and stiff Tony was after dinner. Sitting at the table had caused his muscles to lock up and the limping went from uncomfortable to downright painful. “You’re coming home with me,” Gibbs had said. There was no question involved, it was a clear order.
After an hour in Gibbs’ multi-head shower, Tony’ back seemed looser. Gibbs watched him walking gingerly toward him and made a judgment call. “Bedroom. Mine.” Gibbs detoured into the bathroom and grabbed a bottle of massage oil, left over from the Stephanie era.
“Lie face down, Tony. Shirt off. Towel under your chest.” He was left in a pair of sweats, his back still a little flushed from the hot shower and Gibbs allowed his mouth to water before he got himself back under control.
“What’re you doing?” Tony asked a little uncertainly but he didn’t protest, just sighed. Yeah, he was sore and subdued.
Gibbs straddled Tony’s thighs, warming the oil in his hands before smoothing them over Tony’s shoulders. He dug in deep, working the tension and soreness out of the muscles, trying not to spend too much time on all that gorgeous skin, even though he was getting hard.
Tony groaned happily, hiding his shock about the turn of events really well. He had to have felt Gibbs’ hard-on through the layers of both of their sweats but he didn’t react or respond. Instead, pained groans gave way to small mewls of pleasure and he finally fell asleep.
Gibbs stroked Tony’s hair for a half hour before he fell asleep, stretched out on the king-sized bed beside Tony.
At oh six hundred, Gibbs awoke, Tony curled up on his side, hand gently fisting Gibbs’ T-shirt over his stomach. Gibbs disengaged, taking extra care to make sure he didn’t disturb Tony. He was strangely charmed when the younger man cuddled his pillow.
Gibbs and Billy Fuentes had been working on the tree house together for a couple of hours before his cell phone rang. He mussed the boy’s tousled hair and flipped his phone open, figuring it would be Tony.
“Gibbs?” Tony sounded young and uncertain. “There’s a woman here and she’s…can you get back to your place?”
Had to be Julia. “Keep the peace, Tony,” Gibbs said, a gentle order. He hung up and .looked at the young boy. “Billy, Oh seven hundred tomorrow. It okay if I bring a friend?”
“Yes, sir!” Billy saluted and Gibbs gave him a tender grin. He followed Billy down the ladder and said a quick goodbye to Mrs. Fuentes. She hadn’t even looked surprised when she’d come out at oh nine hundred to see Gibbs and Billy working together, Gibbs patiently teaching the boy the basics of carpentry. She’d brought Billy out a glass of chocolate milk and Gibbs a steaming cup of coffee and had been standing at the window watching them for the last ninety minutes.
Gibbs knew what he was walking into as he made the drive home and just had to hope that cooler heads would prevail. Julia had no idea about the feelings Gibbs had for Tony, the growing bond between them. It was one thing for her to be tolerant of his redheads but this was different, this was uncharted territory. And it was fragile and new.
It was one thing for Tony to hero worship him and an entirely another thing for Gibbs to act on that. He was hopeful. Tony hadn’t cringed or moved away from the hard-on Gibbs had been sporting when he’d been massaging Tony’s back. And he’d moved closer in the night.
Julia was fairly open-minded but her husband was a military man and “don’t ask, don’t tell” was ingrained pretty deep in their psyches. And she was Shannon’s sister. This complicated things even further. Gibbs stood to lose everything—his last connection to Shan and Kelly, Tony, even his marine reservist status and pension. Not to mention his job and Tony.
Gibbs pulled up to a bagel shop and ordered a dozen and some coffee—one with that hazelnut crap DiNozzo loved. He usually didn’t shrink back from a challenge and he knew this was a hesitation on his part. He tried to justify that it was tactical, but that seemed like a thin bit of reasoning from his perspective.
He pulled in behind Julia’s car and cocked an ear. All was quiet, which was a good sign. At least they weren’t arguing. The first time Julia and Diane had met had been a challenge. Hell, every time Julia and Diane were in the same room had been a challenge. Julia had worn black to their wedding and, looking back, Gibbs couldn’t blame her.
Balancing the bag of food and coffees, Gibbs had to contort to open the door. “In here, Jethro!” Julia’s voice drifted from the kitchen and he walked slowly inside, trying to analyze her voice for any clues.
“Hey, Julia. Morning, Tony.”
DiNozzo sat at the table, an omelet in front of him. He was still shirtless, Gibbs realized, and his eyes looked warily up. Julia was sitting across from him, her own plate of food steaming and piled high. The scent of garlic and freshly cut veggies made his mouth water. Her expression was unreadable.
“DiNozzo make you cook for him?” Gibbs growled, slapping the coffees on the table.
“No,” a small smile began to quirk Julia’s lips. “He cooked for me. I found him…in your bedroom…” her voice dropped and a blush stained her cheeks. “And I immediately thought the wrong thing but he called you and then offered to make me breakfast while he explained.”
“Want some, Boss?” Tony asked helpfully.
“Have bagels” Gibbs replied, holding up the bag. How could he have not known that Tony was a cook, a good one by the smell of breakfast?
“Well, man cannot live on carbs alone,” Tony pointed out, getting to his feet. Gibbs watched as he walked with only a little residual stiffness now.
“Back better, Tony?”
“Yeah. Thanks for the massage, Boss. Sorry I conked out on you there. Sorry you had to sleep in the spare room.”
Gibbs arched a brow. So, this was how they were playing it? “Slept okay,” Gibbs said with a shrug.
“Where were you?” Julia asked curiously.
“Helping a boy build a tree house,” Gibbs added. “You’re invited tomorrow, DiNozzo. Julia, if you want to come, a young widow could use a distraction.” He blinked a few times. “You guys met, right? Officially?”
“I know Tony,” Julia said, mouth turned up at the corners. “I would have recognized him anywhere from your descriptions.”
“And Julia’s your sister-in-law,” Tony added from where he was cutting up mushrooms and onions. “Which ex, Boss?”
“Not an ex,” Julia said softly, giving Gibbs a look.
“It isn’t a secret. It isn’t anything to be ashamed of!” She rarely raised her voice and now that she had, both he and Tony froze.
Gibbs was annoyed now too. “I’m not ashamed. They were the best damn thing that happened to me!”
“Good of you to acknowledge it,” she shot back. “My sister would be touched. What she wouldn’t understand is why you keep her a secret from everyone who didn’t know her! Your team matters…and they don’t know.”
“Boss?” Tony asked his voice soft and tentative.
Gibbs looked up at Tony, meeting the younger man’s eyes finally, knowing his own eyes with glistening with emotion. He looked away before he answered, composing himself before he began answering.
“Not an ex,” Gibbs said, speaking in small bursts of sound. “Before them all, there was Shannon.” He swallowed very hard. “Shannon died, DiNozzo. Car accident. Along with Kelly…”
“Kelly?” Tony asked, abandoning the food and moving closer.
“You…? Gibbs. I…” Tony looked helpless for a few moments and then stepped closer. “I never knew, Boss. I’m sorry. So sorry. How old was she?”
Gibbs looked away before he locked eyes with Tony again. “Six and a half.”
“Six and three quarters,” Julia added. “That three quarters was so important.”
Gibbs closed his eyes, nodding, knowing he had to change the subject. “DiNozzo, you plan to feed me any time or do I have to eat bagels.”
“Yeah…yeah, right, Boss.” Tony shook himself out of his mood and returned to the food. Julia got up and wrapped Gibbs in a huge hug. “I approve,” she whispered.
“Approve?” Gibbs asked, pulling back and looking into her eyes.
She nodded. “I know that look in your eyes, Jethro. When it happens—if it does—I approve. He’s a good guy.”
Gibbs didn’t know what else to say to that, so he just nodded. “I know.”
MTAC - NCIS Fic